So, I’m writing a book. No, seriously…

So, most people know my life has hardly been the epic adventure I had hoped for.

But it occurred to me a few days ago that – yo – I’m 35.  Seriously.


That’s halfway to 70.  You know, practically dead – if I’m lucky enough to make it that long.

And even though I believe in a higher power and am relatively certain there’s a great, awesome life floating above the clouds for me after living out this relatively shabby one, really, no one really KNOWS what happens once we’re six feet under the ground.

Honestly, as much as I love living the dream that is my tortured life, I haven’t done 90% of what I’ve wanted to do, see, experience, and feel in the last 35 years… turns out decades of poverty and despair really have a way of dragging you down and severely limiting your options.

But holy shit does it make for a great book.

So this week I put the pedal to the metal with my writing (and not just on my blog and Crackbook).  I’ve spent most of my newly found free time attempting to organize years of random thoughts, complete millions of incomplete sentences and filling in the blanks of my unfulfilled life – ahem – I mean chapters.

My buddy Josh Axelrad recently got published himself, so I keep his book on my desk and repeat the title to myself daily – “Repeat Until Rich.”  Incidentally, it’s a really great read.  You should really check it out if you love a gritty novel like I do.  And Josh, you gave me the inspiration that awesome things really ARE possible when you got that book published.  Thanks for that.

And hopefully someday very soon, you will all be checking out my own gritty novel, which, also based on my buddy’s advice, I will NOT be blabbing the name of here.  If you’re one of my friends, you probably know it already (and keep your damn traps shut, people!).  And if you don’t know it, you’re just gonna have to wait till it’s published.  So there.

Anyway, this post is dedicated to my amazing friends, my dysfunctional family, my loyal blog fans, my incredible kids, and everyone else who has loved and supported me when no one else has.  Thanks for the encouragement, inspiration and love – I promise to make you all proud once I finally get this book done.

I’d also like to thank the assholes and fuckfaces who have given me enough fodder to write TEN novels.  My book wouldn’t be half as interesting without your help.

So, after my Today show interview, book signing tour and Oprah debut, we’re all on a plane to Punta Cana to my giant compound where my maids and chefs will treat us like kings and queens (oh, but not you, assholes and fuckfaces).

Hey, it helps to dream big.

Repeat until rich.  Repeat until rich.  Repeat until RICH.

Now back to the book – stay tuned!


My little pussy is pretty freaking awesome.

Alright, look, everyone knows that I have a potty mouth and I’m not afraid to use it, but Jesus H. Christ people, get your mind out of the gutter.  I’m talking about my cat.  For crying out loud!  I can’t take you guys anywhere…

:: clears throat ::

Anyway, lemme preface this by saying I am NOT a “CAT PERSON.” I do not like cats.  At all.  They poop in a litter box, which stinks, and god knows I have enough stink-makers in this house.  Then someone – and typically never the one who actually WANTED the cat – needs to clean it up.  They scratch.  They bite.  They don’t give a shit about what you think.  Their food smells as bad as their poop.  They run into the street in front of your grandma’s house and get run over (okay, maybe I’m still not over my Bengal cat Nero’s meeting with the business end of a car, but he was more like a DOG.  Ever seen a cat who likes to swim and heels on a leash?  I have.  That was Nero).

Basically, cats are little assholes in furry suits, and I’ll take 10 dogs over one cat any day.

But try telling that to your adorable little daughter who just NEEEEEEDS a kitten for Christmas.  MUST HAVE ONE.  MUST!  Well, a kitten AND those dumbass, unattainable Zhu Zhu pets (the same ones who have consequently called their home a box in the basement since approximately two days after Christmas).

So last Christmas I finally succumbed to her constant pleas and caved in.

Emma found a little tuxedo kitten named “Buster” on, and she had her heart SET on him.  No two ways about it – she wanted Buster. (*note to parents – never, ever let your child peruse*).

"Buster's" Petfinder picture.

“There are other kittens out there, you know.”  I said, trying to get out of the long snowy drive up to Fort Collins.

“No, I want Buster.”

“We could always check the Longmont (ahem, 15 minutes away) shelter too, Emma – I bet there are cute kitties there!”

“No, I really want BUSTER.”

“But honey, we don’t even know what his personality is like – what if he’s a crrraaaaaaazy cat??” (now coming up with anything I can possibly think of to get out of that goddamn drive to Fort Collins).

You can see where this is headed.

So up to Fort Collins we drove, an hour away, practically to Wy-freaking-oming, in the snow.  What mothers won’t do for their kids.  When I finally found the teeny tiny cat-only shelter, there were about six cages, and Buster was alone in the first one we saw.

“Now, Emma,” I warned her as we walked in, “we are not DEFINITELY coming home with Buster.  We need to see what his personality is like.  We can’t just take him home because he’s cute….”

“I know, Mommy…” she replied before I even finished, gazing into his cage lovingly and clearly not listening to a word I was saying.

“We’re here to see Buster.”  I said, with the wild enthusiasm of an inmate checking into prison for an extended stay.

“Oh, GREAT!” the cat person said, and quickly got him out of the cage.

“She did that too fast,” I thought.  “She’s too excited about this.  Clearly something is wrong with him and they want him GONE.  Look at him.  He’s cute.  If he’s so cute why is he still here?  EH?  ANSWER ME, YOU CAT PERSON!!!”

So, she hands me Buster and I’m immediately in hate with him.  He’s biting at my hands.  He’s squirmy and hard to hold.  Sure, he’s cute, but LOOK AT HIM THRASHING AROUND AND BITING AT OUR HANDS, EMMA!

Emma could not read my thoughts.

“Awwwww, mommy!  He’s sooooo cuuuuuuuute!”

“Yeah, well, I told you, we’re just checking him out – we should check out the OTHER kitties too!”

I forcibly removed Buster (or Buster’s claws) from her and quickly handed him back to the cat lady.  “Can we see the other kitties too?”

So one by one we went through the other cats… there was a nice, sleepy (older) white cat that laid like a bag of bricks in our arms.

“See?”  I said.  “Now look at how CALM this kitty is!  Isn’t this a nice, CALM kitty, Emma?”

She nodded, staring at Buster who at this point had attached himself to the front of the cage cartoon cat style and was meowing hysterically.  “But, she’s really… boring.  Too sleepy.  Buster is cuter.”


“So, you know, Buster is a cute kitty, why exactly hasn’t he been adopted yet?”  I asked the cat lady.  There were no other tuxedo kittens in the place, and I KNEW there had to be an answer as to why the little bastard was still there.

“Oh, people just like different things – someone said his marking were TOO perfect, you know, it’s just different tastes…”

“Oh sure,” I thought.  “Don’t feed me that line of crap.  This cat has ISSUES AND YOU KNOW IT.” I stared into her soul searching for the truth, but she stuck by her story.  “Buster was a ferrel cat, and he’s been in a foster home which is probably why he’s acting so crazy right now.  He’s not used to the cage.” she said.  A ferrel cat?  That’s just a fancy way of saying he was born in a barn – which he was.  Great.  Like I need more inconsiderate slobs around my house.

So after every other cat in the place was vetoed by Princess Emma in favor of Buster, I finally resigned myself to the fact that we WOULD be leaving with him.  Paperwork?  Fine.  Cardboard “crate” for $15?  Great, I’ll take one.  Just put the damn cat in it and let’s go.

Suddenly I was the not-so-proud owner of a stinky asshole kitten.

The feelings of panic set in about 5 minutes into the drive home.  He was meowing – rather, screaming – in the pseudo-crate on the passenger seat.  He began wildly GNAWING THROUGH THE HOLES of the heavy duty cardboard.  Evil little claws were emerging.  And we still had another 50 minutes till we were home.

Visions of careening off the road as a rabid kitten clawed off my face began surfacing in my mind.  I could see an entire leg now.  20 minutes later, the majority of his head appeared.  Dear sweet Jesus, we just adopted the CAT FROM HELL.  WHAT HAVE I DONE?!? In a last ditch effort to save our very lives, I took the box (whilst driving as fast as humanly possible down the freeway) and shoved it onto the floorboard.  THERE.  That’ll hold him.  No getting out now, sucka!

His entire head emerged through the hole as I finally arrived at our exit.  I stuffed my heavy duty winter coat in front of the now kitten-sized escape hatch.  Please God, don’t let us die.

By the time I pulled (or screeched, rather) into the driveway, his entire head and one leg was out of the box.  Kyle came to the car and I shrieked “HE’S GETTING OUT!  HELP!!!!”  We rushed him to my room so Hurley wouldn’t freak out (like I was) and I prayed to GOD that I didn’t just invite Damien the Satan Cat into our home.  I hated the name Buster, so somehow we came up with the name “Jinx.”  Which is appropriate when preceded by the word “Hi.”

We released the beast on our bed, and he immediately set to sleeping.

Jinx, five minutes after nearly killing us all in a firey freeway crash.

And sleeping…

Two hours in...

And sleeping…

Four hours in...

And sleeping…

Dude, are you alive?

So, it turns out Jinx sleeps a lot.  And thankfully he has proven to be more entertaining than the robotic hamsters that make unnatural animal sounds (since when do hamsters “moo,” anyway?), and other than the pooping inside part, he’s actually not too bad.  He’s even kind of grown on me over the last year.  He looooves Hurley and follows him around pretty much everywhere, much to Eeyore’s – ahem, I mean Hurley’s – dismay.

Meeting Hurley for the first time... no hissing or scratching involved.

The gentle giant Hurley, less than amused with his new companion.

Remember that Dr. Seuss book "Are You My Mother?" That's pretty much it.

And of course, for Emma it was love at first sight…

So, Jinx has mommy issues.  But seriously, who doesn’t?  In the beginning, he spent every single night attempting to sleep across my neck scarf-style while kneading my skin with his tiny kitten claws and trying to suckle on me.  Now he prefers to lay directly next to my head, moving each time I do as to make sure there is ALWAYS a paw touching me.  He still wakes me up in the night by gently touching my face with his paw – usually either on my eye or cheek – and then going back to the kneading/suckling routine.  If I could train him to do it on my back, he’d make a great masseuse.

And of course, despite our deal that EMMA – the one who WANTED the cat – would clean the cat box, guess who does it?  You got it.  Me.

And, of course, Jinx now thinks he rules the house.

And Hurley is still not thrilled with the fact that he’s been dethroned by a furry little asshole….

But as it turns out, everyone gets along really well.  No one has lost an eyeball (or even been scratched or bitten), I’ve never heard him hiss, and for the most part, his favorite activity is sleeping.  And annoying Hurley.  And eating stinky cat food.  But mostly just sleeping.  Preferably as close to Hurley or myself as possible.

He likes Jack's toys almost as much as Jack does....

Assisting with toy assembly.

He enjoys ruling the house. And sleeping. Don't forget sleeping.

And strangely enough, he LOVES water.  Nero reincarnate?  Maybe so….

Monitoring bathtime activities.

Yes, he HAS gotten in.

So, all in all, I guess having a cat isn’t THAT bad.  I still am not a “cat person,” but Jinx, as far as cats go, is pretty darn okay.  And if it makes the kids happy, I guess risking life and limb and sanity to invite the little bastard into the house was all worth it.

Emma, you’re welcome.  But don’t go asking for another animal for Christmas, cause we’re chalk full of crazy already here.    And no, Jinx, you are never, EVER going outside.  Deal with it.  Now go back to sleep ya furry little jerk… 🙂


My Summer “Break” – by Anne Zeiler

Hello?  Helloooooo??  Anyone out there still?

I know, I know.  It’s been an ENTIRE SEASON since I last blogged, so I thought I’d do a good ol’ school-style summer report for all of the people who probably no longer check my blog.  So get your popcorn, Mike & Ike’s and Snuggies ready – this is gonna be a whopper.

Let’s start with WHY it has taken me this long to blog again.  The answer is simple – it’s because I’ve been having SO MUCH FUN!

Oh wait, no, that’s not exactly it…

Where to start… how about where I left off?  Sound good?  Perfect.

So, on May 1st we moved as planned into our new pad directly next door.  But not before Kyle managed to break his hand into several pieces just one week before what was supposed to be the easiest move ever.  Incidentally, ONLY Kyle could shatter his hand falling from the second rung of a ladder (yes, I’m working on building him a impenetrable bubble).

NOT how hand bones should look.

Anyway, his boss helped us move, so between me, the bossman, and a team of uninjured movers we managed to get everything into the new house (all whilst watching Kyle’s uninsured ER bills build up).  We left our old house (and psychopathic landlord) behind and awaited the return of our deposit so we could give it to the new landlord.

Despite the unfortunate timing (and never-ending bills) of Kyle’s hand debacle, I really like the house.  It’s considerably bigger and set up much better for a family of our size (i.e., the kids rooms are on the opposite side of the house from ours, meaning I no longer have to see the disaster areas they call “rooms” on the way to and from my own room, and I finally have a “big girl” bathroom).  I like it.  A lot.

Or I should say THE KIDS have a big girl bathroom. Cause it seems that's who is always in my bathtub.

Anyway, we continued to wait somewhat patiently for the return of the deposit, which we KNEW we would be getting back since we were told the old house looked great on the walk-through (done just moments before the new tenants moved in) and we’d be getting our deposit back ASAP.

So we waited.  And waited.

Two weeks passed in the new house, and something started to seem, well, off with Kyle’s job… like the fact that he didn’t get a paycheck on the 15th as he should have.  Oh, wait, what’s that?  The business is folding and we’re up shit creek in a house you just helped us move into two weeks ago??  Super.  Thanks, asshole.

Hey, landlord, where’s that deposit again? Ahhh, certified mail, this has gotta be it!  Yay!

Wait, no…  What the…

Holy shit – so lemme get this straight.  Not only are you NOT giving us our $1750 deposit back, the one our new landlord is waiting for, but you are suing us for almost EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS?!?!? (enter sound of my heart failing, my hair turning gray and lots and LOTS of crying, cursing the world and throwing things).

Fast forward to the court date.  We sit in court for HOURS listening to a gaggle of white trash idiot relatives arguing over who stole who’s toaster, who ruined who’s clothing, and who gave who bed bugs (enter sound of us both itching and moving as far as possible from them).

We finally get our turn after four hours of listening to other people’s meaningless problems, and the psycho hands me what appeared to be a novel in a three-ring binder.  My heart DROPPED.  I broke out in a cold sweat.  What could he possibly have in this GIANT binder?

In his summons, he stated we basically ruined his entire house, forcing him to (hopefully) perform a full Extreme Home Makeover courtesy of us.  Sinks?  Totally ruined (how exactly DO you “ruin” a sink, anyway?).  Carpet?  Completely destroyed.  That banister that sent Kyle plummeting to the bottom of the basement stairs the prior Christmas?  Yeah, we made that happen too (cause everyone knows banisters that lead to a cement basement floor are clearly for aesthetic purposes only – no holding them allowed).  I’m still not sure how he got to a figure of just under $7500, but I’m guessing it has something to do with $7500 being the small claims court limit.

Thankfully, he is as dumb as he is psychotic.  He had pictures alright!  TONS of pictures.  Pictures of things like…. perfect looking sinks.  The underside of rolled up carpet (the same rolls that lived in our basement for two years).  Dirt behind the oven (cause everyone pulls out ovens to clean behind them… especially with a broken hand).  And a very helpful property manager that admitted the pictures were taken two days prior to the court hearing (complete with the new tenant’s stuff in the pictures, since they’d moved in moments after we left).

But he still had one more ace in his pocket, the creme de la creme, a big finale meant to bury us and get him that home makeover he’d been dreaming of…

He had a picture of (drum roll, please) – CARPET FRESH.  Yes, Carpet Fresh.  That stuff you sprinkle on carpet?  Yeah.  That stuff.  Because, you see, the name in and of itself suggests that it is NOT intended for carpet.

The douchebag actually put me on the stand and had me read the instructions aloud for his big, “A Few Good Men” moment – the instructions that read “For best results, sprinkle on liberally each time you vacuum.”  I could barely read it with a straight face.  It sent the judge (and property manager) into hysterical laughter, and it wasn’t the first time.

Actual "evidence" from his big binder of bullshit

*IMPORTANT NOTE TO MY READERS:  Carpet Fresh is NOT meant for carpet.  Got it?  Good.*

Needless to say, the judge dropped his entire case, we won our entire deposit back and also got the rare pleasure of watching the dickwad waddle out of the courtroom with only what was left of his pride.  The best part is he enclosed a note with the check that read (and I quote) “Please take this deposit, go on with your lives and please let me go on with mine!”  Wait, whaaaat?  Who sued WHO here, jackhole?!?

At any rate, the win was bittersweet.  There were still those two preceding months of extreme douchebag-induced heartache and worry (and stress-related wrinkles I’m certain weren’t there before).  But hey, a win is a win.

In the meantime, pre-summons and pre-Kyle’s job loss, I’d planned a trip to CA with Emma to visit with the family and friends I hadn’t seen in ages (and hopefully stalk out my hero Lin-Manuel Miranda after I took Grams to see him perform at “In The Heights” at the Pantages).

After all, I had worked six days a week for the past two years, Emma had never had a summer vacation, stress at our house was UBER high, and I knew Grams could use some company after losing David, her partner of 35 years.

So I had booked the time off, bought the plane and show tickets, and got ready for an epic CA vacation.

Wait, what’s that? My account is going to voice recognition?  Now we’re BOTH unemployed?!? FUCK ME.

At any rate, we proceeded as planned, which turned out to be the right decision (not to mention, everything was non-refundable).  The trip proved that the ENTIRE summer wasn’t gonna suck.  Emma and I had a GREAT time in CA, and I was able to hang out with old friends, new friends, family and (gasp) just myself.  It was just what the doctor ordered.  You can check out the pictures here!

Other things that didn’t suck over the summer were….

After a long battle with The Art Institute, I finally received my diploma.  AND I ended up being on the Deans List!  Booyah!

Yay for me! Now, how to pay off those student loans...

My “baby” Jack turned 4…

*sniff, sniff*

My beautiful girl Emma turned 8 in the company of her closest friend…

*boo hoo!!!!*

And she went back to school as a third grader…

Kicking scholastic butt and taking names.

…which has only been possible with a little help from our friends.

Oh, and I turned (gulp) 35.  But we’re talking about stuff that didn’t suck, so let’s move on.

Yes, that's a 2 and a 1 candle in a banana. It seemed appropriate.

My bestie got Grams and I a room at the Hollywood Hotel, which was amazing.

One of the many awesome views from our room.

We stayed two nights… and renamed the pagoda there “Penis Pagoda,” after witnessing a large naked man on his porch, looking at us and… well, you can guess the rest.

Penis Pagoda

Sneaking by Penis Guy's house. "Don't you know there are GRANDMOTHERS staying here, buddy?!?!"

That night I saw In the Heights with Grams, and it was everything I hoped it could be.  The show was totally amazing (yeah, that’s three times for me now), and my incessant obsessing, plotting, planning, fantasizing, subway riding and quasi-stalking (okay, maybe just flat out stalking) resulted in me actually meeting Lin-Manuel Miranda not once but twice.  Kyle said I’m the only one he knows who can obsess about something so much that it actually happens (*note to self – obsess upon being filthy, stinking rich*).

With the best lady on the planet, before the show

Then, the post-show pics….

Lin on his way out (*insert my screams of delight*)

I think I said something remarkably stupid, like “I can’t believe this is really happening.” He said “You know, we were just saying that last night when we were going on “So you think you can dance!” Thanks, Lin, for not making me feel like a total moron.

I also met the rest of the cast (again, since I had met most of them in Denver), but you can never get enough of these awesome people!  Rogelio Douglas Jr even remembered Emma and I from the Denver show (swoon, swoon).

Nina (Arielle Jacobs)

But why did you meet him twice, you ask?  Because after floating over to the show with grams, floating backstage and actually meeting him I later realized, holy crap, I forgot to bring the picture I drew of him to get it signed.  DOH!

So what did I do?  The next night while still in the Hollywood Hotel and kicking myself for the majority of the day, I hopped on a subway (alone), ventured BACK to the Pantages theater, hung around the back gate and then plead my case to the security guard, who sweetly allowed me to wait (at the front of the line, thanks!).  Mission accomplished.  And once my computer decides it’s not gonna die at the mere thought of Windows Movie Maker, there WILL be an accompanying video.

Yeah, it's me again. He said "Dang girl, this is TIIIIYTE!" It was ALL worth it. 😉

And finally, last but DEFINITELY not least, two days ago Kyle finally started a new job.  Not that we aren’t still in a black sucking hole of poverty thanks to the last three months of neither of us working, but at least there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, and I won’t have to figure out how to decorate my new cardboard box on the corner.  Besides, as much as I adore losing weight, the whole Poverty Diet thing is pretty overrated.

Jack and I yesterday, finally enjoying some alone time

So stay tuned, kiddos.  Turns out being depressed and destitute didn’t lend itself well to blogging, but I’m gonna start on that plan of obsessing about being filthy stinking rich now and keep you all in the loop as I do it.  Thanks for reading this novel – now go pee!  Oh wait, that’s me….  ❤

Dear Moving (and Uncle Sam) – I hate you both.

So, I haven’t blogged much lately because we’re moving all the way next door in just two weeks, and as I realize each time I take on the daunting task of packing, it’s amazing how much crap you accumulate after two kids and 14 years with someone. The house is awesome though, way, way, waaaay more awesome than our current one.

Wanna peek (or become a stalker? I love stalkers…)?

If you take the little arrow and move it to the house on the right, that’s our current house. Which has become something like a slightly more carpeted prison over the last two years (although I’m fairly certain prisons are built just a little better). At any rate, I’m having to fight off my natural tendencies for procrastination BIG TIME in order to get prepared (this is coming from the same person who just filed her taxes yesterday. On tax day).

Which brings me to my next gripe. Taxes. Who the fuck came up with this system? (yeah yeah, our founding fathers. whatevs.) You’d think in a year where Kyle was unemployed for six months we’d be getting a big, fat return, right??

Wrong, wrong, OH SO WRONG.

See, as it turns out, Unemployment Insurance (you know, that shit you pay for out of your paycheck – the one that is TAXED) is still taxable. So rather than getting the few grand we typically get, we’re getting a whopping $600 back from the Feds. Not too bad, you say? Wrong again (Sweet Jesus, get it right already!!). Turns out we owe the grand ol’ state of Colorado $700. Nice, right?

So in short, our reward for barely eating last year thanks to Kyle’s unemployment is a nice fat tax bill. And no refund. Awesome.

In other news, Emma had a playdate with her little friend Alle on Saturday, and messy fun was had by all (turns out if you mix sidewalk chalk with bubbles, it creates something akin to brightly colored glue). Also, note to self: Remember to upload the video of them doing the macarena for future blackmail purposes….

LL Cool Jack

Jack threw on his typical charm (a scary foreshadowing of the teenage years to come) and followed the girls around EVERYWHERE, much to Emma’s dismay. That is, until Alle’s little sister Sophia showed up (fickle man. so typical).

Messy, chocolatey, adorable little faces.

Jack's two loves. Girls and cars. Oh, and dancing, but we'll leave that out.

Now back to cleaning; we have a friend we haven’t seen in like 12 years flying out tonight (holla, Justin Gries!!), and I’m suspecting he and his wife wouldn’t appreciate the current state of my kitchen… besides, that’ll let me procrastinate on the “packing” thing more! 😉

Packing, cleaning, Kohls, and other things that annoy.

Ever tried to pack or clean around a three-year-old?

Lemme tell ya – it’s no easy feat.

We gave our 30-day notice on this dump of a house a few days ago, and now I have the distinct pleasure of not only attempting to pack, but attempting to keep this place clean for prospective renters over the next three weeks (a teeny little clause in our lease agreement that is proving to be truly annoying). 

And by “dump of a house” I really should say “lemon of a house.”  Cause it truly is.  Anyone remember this?

Anything look wrong with these stairs to you?

Yeah, they fell right off the wall while Kyle was walking down them.

Then there was the bannister that pulled away from the basement stairs (the uncarpeted stairs that lead to the concrete floor) that caused Kyle to fall down about seven of them while bringing up Christmas stuff… and then there’s the gigantic crack in the wall (and I do mean gigantic)…

Best to get out before the entire house collapses...

Actually, it’s pretty amazing that we’re all still alive after our two years in this pit.

So, we’re making a huge move… all the way next door.  Way bigger and better house, a landlord without the need for anti-psychotic meds, and pretty much the easiest move in history… if you aren’t trying to clean and pack around a three-year old, that is.

See, even with general cleaning, it goes something like this:

(me, picking something up)


(me, picking something else up that he hasn’t touched in days)


Repeat this about 5000 times, till I eventually just give up.

So the idea of “showing” this dump to people – aka keeping it in a constant state of order and cleanliness – in order to get it rented out for our aforementioned psychotic landlord is daunting at best.

Hopefully the prospective tenants have kids.  And know a good contractor for when this place finally crumbles on top of them.

In other news, as some of you may know, I hate shopping.  I mean, I really, really hate it.  I’ve questioned my estrogen levels on several occasions because expensive heels or clothes or malls do nothing for me other than put me in a really, really bad mood. 

I dress like the artist slob I am every day, wearing the same paint-stained jeans and ripped up t-shirts pretty much every day.  I’d much rather spend money on art supplies than clothes… and sadly, it shows. 

So when my dad gave Kyle a $100 gift card to Kohls, we saved up a little extra cash on top and I resigned myself to the fact that I must get new clothing.  Which involves two of the things I hate most… leaving the house, and seeing the many idiots that roam this place we call Earth.

So I pack Emma and I into the car on Monday, her last day of Spring Break, and we head to Longmont (a 35-minute drive).  We stop at Red Robin beforehand and have a nice lunch as the clock quickly ticked down to my work hour. 

We head to Kohls after that kid-hell and proceeded to shop.

By the way, ever try to find man pants in the size 32 x 34?  It’s practically impossible.

So 20 racks of khaki’s later, we find daddy some new pants, a few new shirts, and I managed to pick out a few things for myself too.  My internal shopping clock expires after about 45 minutes.

Tick tock, tick tock… I also have to work at 3 o’clock.  And it’s 2.

Off to the register.  Only $121?  Thanks, sales!!!!  That’ll be $20 bucks, about $80 less than I was planning on spending.  AND, I won’t have to look like a total hobo anymore.

An old lady with a gigantic, black, hairy mole on her neck tries to run my gift card. 

“You should really get that checked out… or removed,” I think to myself. 

The long black hairs have put me in a trance.  I cannot look away, no matter how hard I try. 

“Oops, I need to call on this,” hairy mole lady says when she runs my gift card.


The line slowly builds behind me. 

“Oh, okay,” she says, and hangs up the phone.

“Do you have another form of payment?”

Um, no, bitch, I have a $100 gift card.  I ain’t paying out of pocket.

“No.  What’s wrong?” I say, KNOWING this is why I fucking hate shopping.  And people.

“Well, something seems to be wrong with the gift card system….”

*blood pressure beginning to rise*

“Get me your manager.”

In walks greasy-haired manager guy.  He’s about 25 with a haircut that was clearly from the 80s and looks like it hasn’t been washed in weeks.

He asks giant mole lady, “Have you checked the balance on the card?”

*blood pressure rising further*

“I guarantee the card has $100 on it.  I just got it as a gift (hence the words GIFT CARD), and it’s never been used,” I say, feeling a sense of impending issues that will undoubtedly piss me the fuck off.

He walks to another register and checks it.  “Nope, it says it’s blank…”

*blood pressure reaching boiling point*

“Look, I have the receipt – my dad sent it with it (my dad is always thinking).  CHECK IT AGAIN,” I tell him.  He retreats to “the office,” to check it out… which was apparently located in Wyoming since it took well over 20 minutes for him to return.

The line behind me is now three deep.  The other women in it look at me with pity.  “This is happening to you because I’M in this line,” I say to them.  They open another register.  Don’t mess with the crazy lady, I imagine the clerks are thinking.

35 minutes have now passed.  Kyle texts me, “What’s your ETA?  We need diapers…”

It’s now one hour till I start work.

Finally greasy manager kid returns.  “I’m sorry,” he says sheepishly.  “It’s not your gift card.  The entire gift card system is down.  I can hold this for you, hopefully you live close…”

*now fighting the urge to grab the cash register and smash his head in with it*


The lady in the other line pipes in.  “Wait, I can’t use my gift card??  I live in Firestone (right down the street from me).  Are you kidding???”

Greasy manager guy is getting nervous.  Another customer chimes in too.  “What, wait, no gift cards today?!?”  A riot seems to be on the verge of happening.  And apparently, people only shop at Kohls on gift cards.

“I’m really sorry, I know it’s a pain….”

I cut him off.  “YEAH, it’s a fucking PAIN.  It’s the only GODDAMN REASON I DROVE OUT HERE TODAY.”

“I can give you this 15% off certificate….”

I snatch it from his hands.  “GEE.  THANKS.  That won’t even cover the gas it took to get here.”

Hairy mole lady adds, nervously, “Um, here, here’s a survey, you can fill it out online.”


“Can you come back tomorrow?  I can hold this stuff for you till tomorrow,” greasy manager guy asks.


*Blood pressure has now boiled over.*

“Um, well, um, I can hold it for five days for you….”  Greasy manager guy is clearly frightened.


I grab Emma by the hand and storm through the doors to the car.

And THAT is when I realize “Oh, fantastic, I left my sunglasses in the dressing room.”

I storm back in.  Firestone lady is leaving empty-handed.  A cute little checker girl has taken over mole lady’s place.  I tell her I left my sunglasses, and she rushes to the dressing room with me. 

Nope, no sunglasses there… there are the clothes I tried on, no sunglasses.


She pages the dressing room attendant, clearly in fear of me at this point (as she damn well should have been).  She searches the cart and under the counter.  No sunglasses.


I storm back out, squinting in the bright afternoon sun.  I get in the car and attempt not to drive it through the doors of Kohls.  I curse into the air and at every car on my way home with nothing to show from my trip other than a BLTA that is now making my stomach hurt.  

And no, I still haven’t gone back to Kohls. 

In other, happier news, Easter was a success.  The Easter Bunny came and the kids had an egg hunt.  We watched Princess and the Frog and I actually enjoyed it, which says a lot since I hate movies.

And Jack’s lip is looking a LOT better now.  Just three weeks later, and the only visible scar is the one permanently ingrained in my heart.

This is the result of mommy's obsessive application of scar ointment... and very skilled doctors.

Bottomline – Moving sucks, as does cleaning around a 3-year-old, but this house sucks worse.  And Kohls sucks, period.

How to Shave 25 Years Off of Your Life in Just Over a Week!

Step 1:  Start the week out with massive insomnia, and then remember after a little under an hour of sleep that you are chaperoning a field trip. 

Realize, as they make a U-turn in front of the porn shop, that the bus driver is lost.  

Smart parents don't ride on the bus. They drive behind it so they can take a XXX shop tour of the city.

Wish you had coffee.  Finally arrive an hour later only to realize the terms “play” and “Beauty and the Beast” were both used VERY loosely.  Imagine a “beast” with a mascot-style gigantic head, and no “Be our Guest” whatsoever.  Desperately attempt not to lose any one of your five screaming second graders.  Use Purell.  Lots and LOTS of Purell. 

My five girls, unaware of the torture that is "field trips" for parents.

Step 2:  Repeat insomnia throughout the week and curse your mattress for being 14 years old as you see new bags progressively forming under your eyes. 

Step 3:  Attempt to relax on a Thursday night.  Allow your children to play together before night-night time in your daughter’s (wooden) bed as they have done many times before.  Hear a sharp shriek and run to the room to find blood splattered on the aforementioned bed and a huge gash across your son’s upper lip.  Freak out.  Freak out some more.  Have your husband race him to the ER (which is 40 minutes away) at 9 pm.  Cry and pace the room while you wait to hear what is happening to him.  Cry and pace the room while you wonder how many of your uninsured dollars this will cost.  Cry and pace the room wondering if your beautiful little guy will be scarred forever or will have the appearance of a cleft lip patient.  Cry some more. 

Step 4:  Hear the stories of how they had to strap him down in the bed, bright light in his eyes and hands over his ears in order to give him three stitches.  Hear about how he begged the doctors to please stop, that he couldn’t see, that it hurt.  Freak out more.  Cry more.  Wonder how to remove the hex that seems to have been on your life for the last few decades. 

Step 5:  Finally get your little guy back home by about 1 am.  Stare in horror at his poor little face and what he had to go through.  Smother him with love and cry some more. 

1 am in the Zeiler house Thursday night.

Step 6:  Wake up in the morning and realize that no, in fact, this was not just a horrible nightmare.  Further realize that you will now need to attempt to stop all traditional 3-year-old craziness in favor of not having to return to the ER for busted stitches.  Say/scream/moan “BE CAREFUL” at least the 20K times an hour, every hour, for the next week.  Cry more. 

This face was mainly because I told him he couldn't dance for a while.

Step 7:  Continue to hover over Jack like a heat-seeking missile.  Begin realizing you should have recorded the words “BE CAREFUL!!!!” on some sort of apparatus that would just repeat it over and over at the push of a button.  Also realize that since his wound was so deep and dissolvable stitches were not an option, that you will need to return to the scene of the crime (the ER) again in a few days in order to get the sutures removed.  No hurt in crying a little more at this point.  

Step 8:  Be happy you all survived the last six days.  Wait, what’s that?  A blizzard?  TONIGHT?  When we have to take him back in the morning for the stitches???  Great.  

He is clearly less traumatized than us.

Step 9:  Wake up and hate Colorado for making you shovel for two hours (or, rather, for making your husband shovel) in order to get out of the drive way.  Thank the snow plow guy for making a three foot wall of ice in front of your driveway.  Kiss the little man goodbye and thank the husband for not making me go through the torture of watching him be tortured. 

Fuck you, you fucking fuckface called "Spring snow."

Step 10:  Worry.  Pace.  Worry.  Do not envy the hubby in the ER.  Attempt not to cry at the very thought of him having to go back there again. 

In the ER waiting to be un-stitched.

Unaware of what is about to happen next.

Step 11:  Attempt to breathe again.  Vow to continually smother aloe and vitamin E and Mederma and whatever else you can get your hands on onto his little lip.  Pat yourself on the back that Jack can now spell the word “NEOSPORIN” thanks to your obsessive application of it to his lip every half-hour.  Try to be happy that it wasn’t worse – and that daddy and Jack have far stronger stomachs than you do. 

The stitches are gone, but my PTSD is not.

FOLLOW-UP INSTRUCTIONS:   Try to block this last week out.  Try NOT to look in the mirror and see how you now miraculously look 25 years older courtesy of paralyzing stress in combination with insomnia.  Resign yourself to the fact that you now will forever FEEL 25 years older.  Vow to build hamster-style bubbles around your precious little children so you don’t know the ER docs on a first name basis.   Pray you don’t go bankrupt (again) thanks to the impending hospital bills (Nice, Obama, but that came about a week too late for us!).   Thank whoever is up there for my beautiful little monsters and the fact that it wasn’t worse (cause we know better than anyone – it can ALWAYS get worse).  Remember to buy lottery tickets.  Have a drink and try to forget the last week. 

VIOLA!  You have now shaved 25 years off your life – you’re welcome.

Newsflash: It’s MARCH.

So I’d like to believe that everyone procrastinates to some point.  I understand putting things off, cause I do it all the time.  For instance, just look at my laundry basket(s) – if you can find them under the mountains of clothes, that is.

I’ll give you a couple of weeks after Christmas to take down your crap (although personally, I start taking mine down two hours into Christmas morning).

But this, my friends, is REEEEDICULI.  Hello, it’s freaking MARCH.  It’s ALMOST EASTER.

Seriously? A Christmas tree? Icicle lights? SNOWMEN????

It’s March 5.  There’s just no excuse. 

So here’s the new plan, rather than stealing it in the night and putting it in the entry way to the complex:

I’m finding my box with the plastic Easter eggs in it tonight. And I will write little notes inside all of them that say “TAKE YOUR FREAKING CHRISTMAS CRAP DOWN BEFORE I TAKE IT DOWN FOR YOU.”   Then I’m gonna toss them all over their yard.  

It seems only fair.

Why is it that other people winning things always makes me cry?

I’m not sure if it’s just another side-effect of having a previously-occupied uterus or if I’m just getting soft in my old age, but ever since having Emma back in 2002 pretty much anything and everything makes me cry.

That commercial they show at Christmastime that plays “Silent Night” while showing all the sleeping babies?  I’m crying.

That Sarah Mclaughlin commercial for the ASPCA?  Don’t even get me started.  I literally have to turn away.

Extreme Home Makeover?  PUH-LEEEZE.  I can’t even watch the beginning without breaking into tears.

Ellen giving away a new car and/or money to someone who deserves it?  I’m totally weeping (oh and not just cause I need a new car AND money too). 

Jack randomly kissing my back (no, really, my BACK – cause he’s a shorty) and telling me he loves me?  Yep, I’ll totally cry.

Emma showing me her test scores that showed she’s in the top 2% of Colorado braniacs?  Totally made me cry.  Or like yesterday, when she said “Mommy, I know Christmas was a long time ago, but I just wanted to say thank you AGAIN for getting me Mr. Jinx (the kitten).  You’re the best mom ever.”  Here come the waterworks.

A sad news story about pretty much anything having to do with kids?  Niagra Falls.

The Disney Channel being on my TV 24/7?  I’m bawling (but that’s just cause I feel like Handy Manny lives here since I see him CONSTANTLY).

I’m thinking about having my tear ducts permanently closed just to make it stop…. but then I have a feeling it’d just pour out of my ears (nice visual, right?).  I’m thinking investing in Kleenex should have been something I did back in 2001.

Anyway, I’m off to play some Wii, cause pretty much Princess Peach getting stolen by Bowser is the only safe, non-teary event I can count on. 🙂

Please stop. Mommy’s head is gonna explode.

Recently I’ve been asked why I started this blog.

Actually, that’s a total lie.  The only person who has been asking me is me.

So in an effort to answer my own self-imposed question, while creating new banners this morning amongst the chaos of my house, I thought about it a lot.

Clearly it’s not because of all of the spare time I have on my hands… as a work-at-home (six days a week, thanks) mom of two monsterous angelic children, time is clearly not in excess here.

And it’s certainly not my love of typing, since I do that 60 hours a week as it is.

Jack is at the peak of whiny season (at least, I PRAY that’s the case), I haven’t seen the bottom of my laundry basket in almost eight years, and the maximum time that my floor/kitchen/house will stay clean is one hour – tops.

I defy any mommy out there to try to actually type legally-binding documents while a preschooler screams in their ear and actually get it done in any reasonable amount of time.

I can’t even cook dinner most nights.  Working 3pm to midnight every night minus Saturday typing for doctors doesn’t really lend itself to cooking.  And strangely, not only am I a great cook, but I actually like doing it.  So sometimes I just fuck the schedule and do it anyway in order to actually give my family a REAL meal.

Add in attempting to continue to advance in my art/writing career in order to get out of my mundane MT job, and it gets rather frustrating… then there’s still that whole ‘student loan’ thing to think about – I didn’t graduate from Art Institute to type.

So I pondered why I would take on something else (like trying to blog) for a while today and eventually came to this conclusion (amongst wiping purple yogurt off kid faces, breaking up sibling fights AND attempting not to age prematurely from the screaming in the house, which is mainly mine):

I started this blog to preserve whatever is left of my sanity and self, and in the process, spit out all the crazy-ass shit that is going on in my head in the hopes that I’m not alone.

I said "what's LEFT of my sanity" I can't claim how much of it actually is.

Parenting is CLEARLY not easy.

Not too long ago, I was asked by a great (single, child-less) friend that I love, “What exactly makes kids so expensive?”

I laughed in my head as I tried to try to sum it up.  Um, diapers?  Food?  Your soul?

There’s really no good answer.  Pre-kids, I used to hate people who would tell me “Oh, someday, you’ll get it” in regards to being a parent.  But it’s the sad truth.  Now, I really DO get it.  Cause once you have kids, you have no choice BUT to “get it.”  And there’s really no way to explain it to someone who hasn’t experienced it.

Being a parent is the hardest job out there.  I often think “Dude, if I’d never had kids I could have (insert the best daydream you’ve ever had here).”

Then I feel guilty, look into their beautiful, perfect eyes, and know that never having them would have been the worst mistake I would have ever made.  They ARE me now, and I can’t imagine my life without them.

But any mom who is being honest with herself – or at least any mom I would ever be friends with – will admit that motherhood is the most difficult job you’ll ever take on.

For instance, Jack whines CONSTANTLY these days.  I blame his father, who told me early on that, of his mother’s three boys (bless her still-beating heart), he was “the whiner.”  Note to the wise – this is a trait that CLEARLY passes on to the next generation.

And I’m not saying that sometimes Jack whines.   I’m talking ALL THE FREAKING TIME.  All day, every day.  This started about the time he turned three – which is why I always snicker at people who think the terrible twos actually END at 3.  In my two-child experience, my official opinion is that it should be called “The Terrible, AWFUL, HORRIBLE Three-to-Fours.”

Jack will whine for a drink, typically the second I sit down to attempt to accomplish anything not kid-related.

“Drink, drink, DRIIIIIIINK!!!”  The whining chant will continue until I drag my battered and exhausted body up to get it (note to self – working six nights a week from home AND still trying to remain sane is NOT a good move).

This is NOT how cute he looks when he's whining.

The very moment I am pouring his drink, it turns into “Mommy, can I have a snack?  Snack!  Snack!  SNAAAAAACK!!!!!”  This repeats EVERY FIVE MINUTES for any other imaginable thing he could want – and I’m not even exaggerating.

It’s no surprise that we haven’t been able to afford to eat since the dawn of Jack.

Then there are the things that don’t exist that he whines for.

Like today. “Mommy, can I have a banano?”

“A what?”

“A banano”

“Um, we don’t have any bananas honey.”

“Noooooo!  A BIAAANAAANOOO!!!”

(repeat, repeat, repeat).

I eventually realized he was talking about a kid-piano he had over two years ago that has long since been given to charity to make room for the 15K other unused toys he has.

This is all exacerbated when Emma, who really is an angel, comes home from school at 3:15.  Incidentally, this is not only the EXACT time I start work, but also the reason I STOPPED homeschooling Emma once Jack turned two/more verbal.  At that time of day I have the pleasure of a) her immediately wanting whatever the heck Jack just asked for, regardless of what it was or how recently she had it and b) constant, relentless bickering (see below) and c) trying to actually WORK around it all.

This is kind of how it goes, in a much more condensed version.

“Nooo, Jack, that’s MIIIINE!!!!”


“No, Jack, that’s not how you say it.”



Mind you, the words “MOOOOOOM” or “MOOOOOMMMMMYYYYY” are typically inserted into any situation that annoys her OR Jack.

(repeat, repeat, repeat).

Why do I still have hair?  I’m really not sure.

I can hardly blame Emma.  Jack IS annoying at times.  And so is she.

But also, both of them are freaking adorable.  I’m now certain God makes ’em that way so we don’t kill em (this also applies to puppies and kittens, incidentally – the difference being they don’t talk, don’t argue, and eventually grow out of the ‘annoying’ stage much, much quicker).

Both of them know JUST how to butter me up when they want to – and they also know exactly how to bug the crap out of me to the point of making me almost certain a white coat with no arms accompanied by a padded room is in my immediate future.

It’s a delicate balance of being absolutely in love with them and fighting off the temptation to walk out the door and keep walking till I hit the border of Mexico.

And then there are the times when I’m almost (or am) brought to tears by how sweetly they are playing together (I’ll follow this up with the fact that EVERYTHING makes me cry since becoming a mother in another blog).

Like, for example, as I type this, they are sitting side-by-side playing Family Game Night 2 on the Wii, with Emma graciously humoring Jack’s inability to actually use a Wii remote and telling him he won even when clearly he didn’t.

Or when I catch Emma reading him a story or teaching him to write an “H” (his new prowess he’s extremely proud of) and realize the silence was NOT them destroying something.

Or when I hear them giggling together over their little inside jokes (probably about us), hugging and rolling around like kittens on the floor.

Sometimes, they really do play nice.

THOSE are the times I wish I could keep them like this forever; that I could somehow freeze-dry this precious time and consequently kick myself for being the one who really needs a time-out.

We don’t have a babysitter of any kind here in CO.  We’re ALWAYS here with them.  Always.

Consequently, I tend to lose it a lot.

I constantly worry, even being here 24/7, that I’m missing so much… not only with them, but with my husband, and my own life.  This all culmonates into me feeling bad and quickly apologizing to the kids – who typically have already forgotten WTH I’m apologizing for a few minutes later.

It’s not something I’m proud of, but at least I know I’m not alone.

Once Kyle’s mom told me about a time when she was trying to feed him strained peas in his high chair, her husband off in the military, and he refused to eat.  She grew so frustrated that she eventually threw the glass baby jar of green mush against the wall, leaving a big pea-colored streak down the wall, and sent her into tears as she cleaned it up.

Motherhood is clearly frustrating, regardless of the generation.

Some days I wish I still had a glass baby jar of green mush to throw against a wall…. sometimes because I miss those times of baby mush and know they are over for us, but more often because it’d just feel great to do so (rather than bash my head into the wall instead).

But when I feel those little sticky arms wrap around my neck, when I see I’ve done such a great job with both of them that Emma now reads three grades ahead of her own, when I see them loving each other – AND still loving me despite my recurrent breakdowns – I know it really IS worth it.  I mean, just look at how far they came…

So cute I could eat her up right now.

The same with my little man.

It’s cliche, but they really do grow up so fast.  I can’t even believe I’ve/we’ve all made it this far.  Fourteen years together, as rough and broken as they’ve been.  Eight years of parenthood and several more wrinkles later, and this is what it’s resulted in…

I mean, c'mon. Messy faces or not, they're seriously the cutest things ever.

Time for a drink.  And if you’ve made it to the end of this long-ass novel blog, you need one too.

And it’s time for me to try to remember that this too shall pass… and that I will be sad – and likely bald – when it actually does.

“Hey little girl, ya want a book?”

So living in rural Colorado has it’s hazards.

Mainly snow and ice…. and psychotic religious zealots.

As a preface, for those of you who may not know, I was brought up in an uber-Catholic family that consequently turned me off entirely to organized religion. 

Incidentally, eleven years of Catholic school does NOT equal buying into the Catholic – or any – religion (an FYI for anyone currently force-feeding their kids against their will). 

Basically, what it did for me, was turn me into the typical “Catholic School Girl.”  And we all know what THAT means.

Why did I stop at eleven years of Catholic school, you ask?  Well, my grandmother, who was raising me through my entire high school career (and beyond), could no longer pay the ridiculous tuition (which was higher than UCI at the time).  In an attempt to let me finish out high school there (I’d already been to 17 different schools by the time I hit ninth grade – thanks, mom), she wrote to the Orange County bishop and asked – pleaded, rather – for him to help her with cutting the cost my final 1.5 years.

He eventually replied.  Sure, they’d give her a discount – but the balance of the monthly “discount” would be due at the end of the school year.  Gee thanks.  That helps a lot.

I knew the financial pressure was going to be too much for her (not to mention, she was paying for everything for me already) so I told her I’d go to Ocean View, a public high school in Huntington Beach. 

I mean, I see the bishop’s point… obviously, everyone knows God needed her money (this is yet another point of contention between me and religion).

My best friend at the time, Megan, also transferred along with me – cause seriously – who the fuck can afford 4K+ per year for high school?  Not either of our families. 

But on the upside, based on the rigorous standards of Mater Dei, we were way more ahead than the rest of our peers and effectively ditched pretty much all of the following 1.5 years of public high school (oh, and I still graduated with a 3.95 GPA).   

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah.

So basically, what my early history has resulted in is organized religion leaving an icky taste in my mouth.  Don’t get me wrong.  I believe in a higher power, something bigger than us, or whatever you want to call it.  God, Allah, Buddha… a higher power. 

And it’s not just that I don’t like the thought of dying and ending up a rotting corpse buried in a box in the dirt.  I truly believe that there’s life after death.  There are times when I can feel my former friends and family that have passed around me, and I’m certain our spirits continue. 

And before you say it, it’s not just from my former occupation as a “psychic friend.” 

I really believe our souls are more than our physical body.  And I also think it would be a pretty bleak/naive outlook to think our physical body is the end.  At least from my standpoint.

But I don’t do church.  Ever.  So don’t ask. 

I digress.  Let’s get back to Frederick, Colorado.

So two Halloweens ago, after trick-or-treating with our neighbor friends (and when Jack was far too young to go house-to-house), Emma did what we probably all did with our Halloween candy as kids.  She dumped it out on her bedroom floor and sorted it out into piles.   

She walked out only a few minutes into the ritual and said “Mommy, I don’t think this was for me,” and handed me a little booklet that resembled a coupon book, with a ghost and the word “BOO!” on it.  She said, “I thought it was a coupon book, but I don’t think so.”

When I opened it, it was like a miniaturized evil comic book.  It had illustrations of headless horsemen killing people (no, literally) and said (again, literally) that Halloween was a satanic holiday, that pumpkins were the “sign of the devil” and that “Jesus hates Halloween.”  I won’t go into the illustrations of cats being killed and all of the other absolutely nutzo crap in it.  Let’s suffice it to say that it REALLY pissed me off.

*taking a minute to compose myself so I don’t hunt down and kill the bitch that gave it to her*…

Okay. Better now.

So as you know, Emma is brilliant.  And like her mommy, she has a totally photographic memory.  So I immediately asked her, “Do you remember what house gave that to you?”

She did.

Right away I called the neighbor friend we went with, who had a 4 and an 11-year-old.  She checked the bags of her kids since we all went to the same houses together.  Sure enough, she had one too.  But strangely, only Emma and her youngest child (4) were given them.

So, you know me…. I’m sure you can guess the rest, but I’ll tell ya anyway.

The next afternoon, after leaving a very NOT-religious message to the “church” number (which was only on Emma’s, not on my neighbor’s equally disturbing “comic book – I suppose the odds of retaliation were less if they only put it on half), my friend and I went to the house Emma claimed to have got it from.  And her photographic memory did not fail us.  It was decorated to the hilt with Halloween crap.

So my friend and I walked up and knocked on the door, evil comic books in hand.

A homely woman answered the door, and we presented her with the booklets.  “Did you give these out last night?” we asked.  With much indignation, she said, “Why yes, I did!” 

So both of us started into her.  Why decorate your house with Jack-o-Lanterns if, as your books say, they’re a symbol of “satan”?

She had no answer to that.  What she DID say almost made me punch her in the mouth.

“Well it’s my right to spread ‘the word’ however I want.  If I want to hand those out with candy, I can!” 

I literally had to forcefully turn myself around and leave before I bashed her head in like one of her pumpkins.

At any rate, we apparently made our point – guess who’s house has been dark every Halloween since? 

So fast-forward to yesterday.  I took a bunch of video games back to GameStop in the mall with Emma for our ritualistic “girls day.”  Just as we were about to reach GameStop, we passed an old man sitting on a bench.  He reached out his arm to Emma, a book in hand.  “Hey, little girl, ya want a book?” he said – which wasn’t exactly a QUESTION cause by the time he said it, he was putting it in her hand.  As we rushed by (and as I ripped it from her hands), he said “I bet it’s not like any other bible you’ve ever read!”

In retrospect, and if I wasn’t in such a hurry to get the whole mall experience over with, I should have taken it and smacked him over his old head with it. 

Instead I shoved it in my purse, cause crazy religious crap always makes me laugh.  It was exactly as psycho as I expected it would be, and later I followed up my regrets of NOT taking an old man down in the middle of the mall with a drunk “fuck you you fucking fuck” dial to the number on the back. 

Bottomline:  Don’t force your religion on me if you want to continue walking. 

Bottomline II:  The next person who tries to force-feed my kids THEIR religion by taking advantage of their innocence (like, stuffing it in their Halloween basket or sitting outside of a GameStop putting books in my kid’s hand) better be wearing armor. 

Cause next time, I’m gonna THROW DOWN.