Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Big Honkin' Bear

I'm leaving for Wyoming tomorrow and I'm a wee bit nervous.

About the bears.

You see, I plan to do a lot of hiking in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, which is home to an estimated 1,000 Grizzly Bears. Yellowstone Grizzlies weigh 325 to 600 pounds...some even larger.

That's a whole lot of big, honkin' bear!

Of course, being the nerdling that I am, I've done my research in terms of how to prevent bear attacks. And it's making me even more nervous.

If Kimmy and I run into a bear while hiking, the first thing we must be aware of is the bear's mood. Apparently, the bear's body language can help determine its mood. The mood we want to avoid is "agitation".

In general, bears show agitation by swaying their heads, huffing, and clacking their teeth.

Clacking their teeth? OMG. Let the nightmares commence.

Experts say that if a bear sees you, you should begin speaking in a low, calm voice.  It doesn’t matter what you say.  (So when I say "Holy crap, there's a freaking bear", I have to use my inside voice.)

They say we should retreat slowly, keeping an eye on the bear but avoiding direct eye contact. Bears interpret direct eye contact as threatening. And no winking at the bear. (Okay, I made that part up.)

Here's the scariest part: individuals who panic, run, or fight an aggressive grizzly bear usually end up with the worst injuries.

I promise you I have no intention of fighting an aggressive grizzly bear.  But I guaranty you that I will panic, and most likely run.

One of the articles I read said: "If you get attacked by a bear you will need a cool head, acting skills, and a change of underwear."
(Damn writer thinks he's a comedian.) 

Many hikers wear bells on their feet or backpacks to keep the bears away. But I understand that the Wyoming locals them "Bear dinner bells", since they are more likely to attract bears than scare them away.

Actually,  that information gave me a scathingly brilliant idea!  I'm going to be testing my own version of a bear bell: The Nerdling Show Tunes Bear Deterrent Device.

I think it will work. It's amazingly effective on my family. 

I just start singing and they run for cover!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cake Decorating School Dropout

I have updated my resume to include my newest talent: cake decorating. 

Educational Background:
  • B.A. Mathematics- Geneseo State
  • M.S. Applied Statistics- Bowling Green State University
  • Intro to Cake Decorating- Michael's Craft Store

Do you think anyone would follow up with Michael's and discover that I'm a Cake Decorating Class dropout?

Truth be told, I'm kind of an idiot savant when it comes to cake decorating.  After 2 classes it was clear (at least to me) that I knew all I needed to create extraordinary masterpieces for my friends and family.  

We practiced on cookies in the first class.  (As you can see, even then my gift for cake decorating was obvious.)

For those ignorant in the fine art of cake decorating, it's simple.  You just put frosting into triangular shaped bags with metal tips on the end. You squeeze the bag, and it gives birth to a line of frosting.  Different tips result in different shaped lines. 

That's all I needed to know to become a pastry powerhouse.

My friend Becca didn't believe me. She thought my goal was too lofty. She did not think I could possibly make a cake and decorate it to look like a drunken Mexican toothpick holder!

But first I had to buy a mixer. As you can see, I love it. (I know what you're thinking. Yes, I am on the rebound from my Kirby, but this feels real.)

It's critical to look good when decorating a cake, so I donned my new apron.  

Ready for action!

While we were waiting for the cake to cool, Becca studied my collection of drunken Mexican toothpick holders.

"I think you should just make a sombrero," she concluded.

"What? Are you kidding?" I said, appalled.  "You don't think I can do it?"

"It looks complicated," she said diplomatically.  "What if you lay one of your drunken Mexican toothpick holders on top of the cake and decorate around it?" 

She actually suggested crumbling up Ritz crackers on top of the cake to pass as sand.

Duh! It's a cake, Becca! Who wants to eat a cake with Ritz crackers? 

I have 3 words for her: rookie cake decorator.

But I have to give props to Becca. She was especially helpful when it came to cleaning up the frosting bowls.

And, after a couple glasses of wine, Becca came up with just the right words to finish off the cake. 

It's perfect!

To thank Becca for her encouragement and assistance last night, I've decided to make her wedding cake.  I've found the perfect design!

I may even enter it in the State Fair!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Death Sucks

I took it hard when my toaster died: my dear, wonderful toaster that helped me be the best toast-maker ever.

This loss is so much worse. You see my Kirby had been with me for 15 years. 

And it was unexpected.  Dave (Mr. Sensitivity) called me at work and said, "The vacuum cleaner's dead." 

I stopped breathing. 

"What's wrong with it?"
"It won't turn on."
"I think I can fix it."
"No you can't. It's dead."
"I can try....," I blubbered.

And then he said 4 words that were like a dagger in the chest: "I got a new one."

What? Already? No!!!

We'd been through so much together. My Kirby came with an owner's manual and a VHS movie, which we watched together over and over when Kirby was young. That movie taught me how to operate my Kirby, to change her bag, fix her broken belts and even shampoo my carpet using one of her many accessories.

I'll bet the new one can't do that. 

"Couldn't you even wait until she was in the ground before you replaced her?"
"I like the new one. I think you will too."

When I got home I pulled out the owner's manual. I watched the movie with poor Kirby at my side. (It was a tear jerker.

I'm afraid Dave was right.  My Kirby has died.

I lashed out at Dave. "You never liked that Kirby! What did you do to her?"

"Are you accusing me of harming your Kirby? I WOULD NEVER harm a hair on the brush of that vacuum, you know that!"  

And then he added. "Wait a minute!  I know someone who despised your Kirby."
Sibling rivalry can be deadly.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quit Picking on Me!

I admit it. I'm a scab picker.

If there was a Scab Picker's Anonymous, I'd be a regular attendee.  "My name is Lou and I'm a scab picker."

How bad is my habit?  Pretty bad.  In fact, I actually like mosquito bites. Why?  Because they turn into scabs and I can pick them! I can make one mosquito bite last about 3 weeks if I'm lucky!

Don't judge me! It could be worse. Personally, I believe scab picking is several rungs up the ladder from nose picking.

And I don't pick nose scabs. 

(At least scabs inside my nose.)

You may wonder why I'm coming clean with my scab picking. Well, it's because of a product I happened upon today. It's quite a niche product, targeted towards people like me: people with scab picking disabilities. I mean, who else could this product possibly be geared for?

In terms of weirdness, this product is right up there with the Pee & Poo plush. In fact, it could sit right next to Pee & Poo on a shelf in your playroom!

It's the Bandage & Scab plush set.

The scab has a name! Crustopher!!

Here's what the box says:

Hey everybody my name's Crustopher the Scab. I'm that best friend you just love to pick on. I come complete with a blood-stained bandage. "It's my blanket!" Hold me, tickle me, nibble my crispy edges, just don't forget I'm a part of you.

Wait a minute. This guy has serious issues! I pick my scabs. I don't nibble on their crispy edges.

I have lost my appetite.

In fact, I was just about to eat a taco, but thinking about eating the edges of a scab has repulsed me.  I may not be able to eat for hours.

This mustached poop taco will have to wait until later.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Exploding Excrement

I swear it wasn't premeditated.

I mean, how could I possibly get a baby to blast poop out of his diaper all over my friend's hands on demand? (I wish I could! It would be the best practical joke ever!)

But I can see how my friend George might be a bit suspicious. One minute he was minding his own business at our friend's birthday party and the next thing he knew he was holding 3-month old Preston.

I must give baby Preston some props. He’s absolutely adorable and has a wonderful disposition. But I've never seen such a sense of humor on an infant! And what great comic timing!

"George, hold Preston, OK? Jackie and I are leaving," I said as I placed the baby in George’s arms.

George, always the good guy, shrugged his shoulders and held on.

Then I noticed that Preston was throwing up.

"Look out, George! Preston’s puking!" I said. Jackie ran for the spit rag and mopped up the puke from George's shirt. All was fine...for a minute or so.

Poor George tried to give Preston back, but we were too busy saying our goodbyes to take him.

Then came the real entertainment. George realized that the brown stuff all over his fingers wasn't chocolate. "Baby exploding excrement!" he exclaimed, attempting to remain calm. Chip, Preston's dad, whisked the baby away for clean-up (I suspect a fire hose was required).

In the meantime, poor George was left standing in the hallway with a hand full of poop.

It's a darn good thing I was there to save the day. Not unlike a surgical assistant, I helped him locate a sink, turned on the water for him and sprayed soap onto his hands. I even handed him a towel! Yep, George sure was lucky I was around that night!

"OMG! That was the funniest thing I've seen in a month!" I said to George. "I just hope Tiffany caught it on film!"

On my way home my from the party I had a flashback to another "baby exploding excrement" experience. It was on a flight from Milwaukee to Buffalo.  Baby Kimmy was all dressed up in an adorable dress when her diarrhea kicked in at 20,000 feet. I had 6 diapers with me and went through every last one in very short order.

Just imagine my apprehension as Kimmy, wearing only her dress, flew commando during the last 15 minutes of that U.S. Airways flight. There was no nerdy onesie to hold any makeshift paper towel diapers in place. I had no duct tape. All I had was my lap.

The only thing I could do was pray.

God answered my prayers that day. I made it to baggage claim without any excrement explosions, and I hastily put a diaper on poor baby Kimmy.

I was very lucky that God doesn't have Preston's sense of humor.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Unfriending

OK. I admit it. I would not have wanted my mother to be my Facebook friend when I was 16 years old.  But it's irrelevant since Al Gore invented the internet long after I was out of high school.

At any rate, I was completely dumbfounded when I noticed that my 16-year-old daughter Linda had unfriended me this afternoon.

"You unfriended me!?!?!"  I said incredulously. "Why would you do that?" 

"I heard you laughing about my status update with Aunt Wendy,"  Linda explained.

"I was not!" I said defensively. "Wendy was laughing about my comment!"

Between us friends, Wendy was telling me that she thought Linda's 'Parents are stupid and annoying' status update was funny, but she found my comment of 'Very nice, Linda'  to be hilarious.

(It's so special when my family's lack of domestic tranquility provides such entertainment across Facebook.)

"I don't want you in my biz-ness,"  Linda proclaimed.
"Your WHAT?"

What business? Has she joined a gang since she unfriended me at noon?  This was getting serious.

"Linda, if you ever expect to do ANYTHING AGAIN IN YOUR LIFETIME, you will accept my friend request."

"Then I'm gonna make that my status update: 'My mom says I can't do anything again in my life if I don't accept her friend request' How pathetic is that?"

"Go ahead! And don't forget to mention that you're out of my will if you don't accept my friend request!"

We had to leave for cake decorating class then. I almost added, "And you can't go with me to cake decorating class unless you accept my friend request," but I remembered that she didn't want to go. Since I was forcing her to take the class with me, I figured the threat would probably not be very effective. We headed for the car.

"Can I drive?"

"Only my Facebook friends can drive my car."

Nothing else was said about the topic.  We had a very pleasant afternoon making flowers (that don't look at all like these flowers) on our vanilla cookies.

I checked my Facebook about an hour ago and discovered that Linda accepted my friend request. She's back in the will.  

Let the stalking begin.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Tooth for a Tooth!

I’m not just a Nerdling Blogger. 

I’m a crime solver.

I read about a horrendous crime yesterday, and was able to solve it...without even breaking a sweat. I ought to be deputized.

Here’s the hard-hitting crime report, from the WISTV.COM web site:

“Police say that an elderly woman attacked another woman and accused her of stealing her teeth at an IGA grocery store in Walterboro. According to Walterboro police, the victim was in the parking lot of the grocery store when she was confronted by the elderly woman last Friday.”

But that’s not all! After accusing the victim of stealing her false teeth, the woman slapped the victim in the face!  Woah!

“The victim said that she had met the suspect before, but could not remember her name.  Authorities are continuing the investigation.”

You may wonder how I developed my talent for criminal investigation. Truth be told, Barney Fife has inspired me. For those of you not familiar with the 1960’s show "Andy of Mayberry", Barney was the very sexy and cunning deputy who was able to capture an assortment of criminals, including the very dangerous town drunk Otis and several menacing moonshiners.

Very little could get by Barney.

And very little gets by me.

With minimal effort and some savvy internet searching I have identified the culprit. I’m not sure how the wench made her way from her nursing home in Matteson, IL to Walterboro, S.C.

But sure as spit, she was in that IGA parking lot last Friday night. (She probably hitchhiked or stole a car.)

Here’s the posting from the Homewood, IL police blotter that tipped me off:

"A Matteson woman is determined to find justice after being robbed of her custom dentures at an area nursing home, police said. The woman said that when she retired for the night at 8 p.m. in her room at ManorCare, 940 Maple Rd., she placed her fitted upper and lower dentures in a case by her bedside. After the woman awoke around 6:30 the following morning, it was discovered that the dental appliances were missing from the room, police said. The custom dentures have an estimated value of $8,000. The woman said she will press charges against the thief or thieves, according to the report."

This was obviously a crime of passion. Dentures are personal. And this chick is guilty as sin!

Now, what to do with this information? I suppose I should turn it over to the authorities.

If only Barney Fife was on the Walterboro police force. I’d deliver it to him personally.  (Sigh!)

Maybe I'll get a reward!

I just hope it's not too cheesy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Beloved Pet What?

I grew up across the street from a farm with a chicken coop. And those chickens terrorized me with their erratic, indiscriminate ankle biting antics and their clamorous screeching and squawking. Not to mention that smell!

All of which makes the concept of chicken diapers incomprehensible to me!

According to www.mypetchicken.com, chicken diapers are great for "beloved family pets who you couldn't dream of putting outside"!

Beloved family pet chickens?

Are we talking about the same things?

(And can you imagine Kevin's reaction if I brought home a beloved family pet chicken?)

Apparently, after your beloved family pet chicken is potty trained, she will graduate to Poultry Panties (The site is somewhat vague about the specifics of poultry potty training.)
But there's more for sale on mypetchicken.com. Check out these chicken saddles! They offer protection in case the rooster gets a bit carried away with his..um,..well..uh, you know....

We're all adults here, right?  

It's apparently protection for poultry S & M.

According to mypetchicken.com, "a rooster's claws and spurs can often pull out or break the feathers on the backs of his favorite hens during the act of mating. Once her feathers are gone, he can accidentally puncture the skin!"

Euuu. T.M.I.

(While they're at it, why not make a black leather version of the saddle with spikes..or lace?  Or how about selling little Barbie high heels for the chicken to wear on her claws? Maybe a chicken nurse's costume?   Wouldn't that provide some added stimulation for Mr. Rooster?)

Sorry.  Enough editorializing.

My favorite item on the mypetchicken.com site is not for beloved family chickens. It's for their owners. In fact, one does not have to even own chickens to order this product.

It's Free Range Chicken Poop Lip Balm!

Damn! It's sold out! And I believe it really works.  Check out their advertising claim:

Grandpa says:
If ya got dry lips
put chicken poop on 'em
so ya won't lick 'em.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kevin's Sea Sickness

Yes, I'm the guest blogger... the guest blogger who's lucky to be alive!

Let me start by saying that spending an entire week in some strange lake house with an agglomeration of Lou's family, 2 big dogs and a 3-year old child was absolute torture.

But it was that raft ride that nearly put me in the grave.

This all could have been avoided if I'd just kept my mouth shut.

I was sitting on the dock watching Lou float around on some plastic chair in the lake. All I said was, "Hold on tight, Lou. Don't drown. You're the only one who feeds me." The next thing I knew, Linda was saying "Hey, Mom! Kevin wants to ride with you."

Now, I've been living with these people for over a year. Wouldn't you think they'd understand me by now?

I barked louder, "No I don't!" and Linda said, "Don't worry, Kevin!  She's coming to get you."

"Wait! I'm a Pomeranian," I barked. "I don't like getting wet! Let one of those retrievers ride on the raft with her!"

Before I knew it, I was being air-lifted off the side of the dock onto Lou's lap and we were floating away.

"Look!" said Lou. "He likes it!"

I looked around for an escape. I started to frantically climb around the blue plastic chair, up and down Lou's legs, arms, and over her head searching for a passage to safety. It was hopeless.

She tried to hold me in place. "Kevin! Sit still! You're going to fall in!"

I was beginning to lose my composure. I barked, "Take me back!!!"

I think Lou finally understood me. "Maybe he's had enough," she observed acutely, and began to feebly paddle her pasty legs in an attempt to maneuver the craft closer to the ladder.

But nobody was on the dock to air-lift me out of the disaster area.

That's when the real drama began.

The deck was about 3 feet above lake level. The ladder had at least 5 rungs.

Lou grabbed me under one arm, and attempted to climb the ladder with the other arm, while holding onto the raft with one toe.

Had she slept through physics class? Hello? Remember gravity?

It was so predictable. And so wet. We fell backwards off the ladder.

Lou came up for air. "Help! Kevin! Glub! Help!" It was like a Three-Stooges movie with one stooge. Lou grabbed me and pulled me under again. Finally she managed to throw me up on the dock and dragged her debilitated body over the edge.

Yes, we both survived. 

But I'm here to say, Lou ain't no Spiderman!  

And that's the last time I try to have an intelligent conversation with one of those crazy people I live with.