Wednesday

The Candy Crush Addiction - as Told by Me - I Mean, Memes.

In the beginning I was against Candy Crush....Resist. Refrain. Refuse.  No games - not gonna happen.  I've been clean and sober from Facebook apps for 3 years since I gave up Farmville and Mafia Wars.



And then I was just like - no way - no time.


But the requests just kept flooding in.  Every day. All day.  And I grew weary.


Weeks went by..but I stayed strong.


And then my mom came to visit and kept telling me how much fun it was and that I should give it a try.

So fine - my mom said it would be fun.  I figured why not, for her sake, give it a try.  But I ended up like Bad luck Brian here.

I had so much fun with the first few levels.

My confidence soared as I cleared levels and earned specials with ease.
And then things got serious.
The levels got harder.
I was dying just like that.

My family and even my cats were happy when I was out of lives.


But I kept at it...and I learned not to give up.

And then I learned I could get help from my friends - and usually, without even asking, lives would appear!

But then it got frustrating...and maddening...


And I couldn't help but ask myself why I was putting myself through the aggravation.

And then I got angry again.

So I decided to take the control back and only play it when I felt like it.
And then it was fun again.

I've got this allll under control.  I can quit whenever I want to.

It's not.

So yeahhh hi.  Whaaat's happenin'?  Gonna need you to go ahead and help me get to the next episode in the saga mmmmkay?  Thaaaanks.

Cheers, love and jellies,
 ~DG

Thursday

A Case of the Mondays on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Save the Mondays for Mondays.


Hello?  Is this thing on?

Not sure if anyone is reading anymore.

I'm feeling crappy.  I thought it was just a mean case of PMS but you know what, even PMS gets tired of taking the blame for everything all the time.

It's life.

People are grouchy!  I mean really grouchy!

Just go look in your newsfeed.  I'll wait.

What did you see?

Bitching?
Whining?
A shared blog/photo of someone picking on someone?
Oh, let me guess - an open letter to someone who picked on someone who picked on someone?

I'm spotting a trend.... post. counter. rebuttal. satire. counter to satire. beat topic into ground until tiresome. drive everyone bonkers. death of topic. rinse repeat...


MAKE IT STOP!
For the love, why is everyone so pissed off all of the time?
Everyone reserves the right to be offended at any given time!
There's a fight looming on every other post on Facebook!

You know, we talk about our kids acting up?
Adults are the worst!

I'm not saying everyone - but seriously, there is a Case of the Nasties going around and it's got to stop.

I saw this Tweet Pick this morning on Happyplace.com and I had to laugh because it is so true:

'Were you in a good mood? Let me help you with that.'-Internet comments
@aparnapkin [Tweet Pick].

It's nearing the holidays..we need a little holiday cheering up.

So, here's my challenge.  Don't worry, I'm going to do it too.

Resist.
Refrain.
Relax.
Don't do it.
When you want to go to it.
oops - sorry, that's a Frankie Goes to Hollywood song.

Anyhow - the challenge.
Stop the madness.
Stop getting mad.
Stop being mad.
Stop buying into the bullshit.

Find the joy.

It's all around you.
Sometimes you just have to look a little harder.

You know, every day I ask my kids to tell me ONE good thing that happened at school today.  They find something - and I joke about it sometimes because their answers can be so silly - like I liked lunch, or I played at recess - or however small a detail it was, but they manage to do it.  So can we.  We can find something that made us happy, something  that is positive and if we can't do that than dammit we better go out and make some happy for ourselves.  Define your idea of happiness.  Is it a quiet walk? A nap? A shopping trip?  A visit with a friend?  A run?  What is it?  Time to find out.  Do it.  Take your happy back.

Just do it.


Yesterday, I was at a soccer game for one of my boys.  I was chatting with another mom.  She had the horrific duty of telling someone they had been diagnosed with cancer.  That was how her day was.  She reminded me that when she has days like that, it's pretty easy to be grateful for simple things like health, and smiles, and kids, and soccer games and brush off the stress of rushing around, dealing with homework, cleaning up the kitchen and other mundane tasks of the daily grind.

I hate that I had to be reminded of how fragile life is.  I'm someone who is usually pretty cheery in general but even I've been crabby lately.  Between the government shutdown, the shitty news daily, and so much sadness swirling around the lives of others, it's hard to stay focused on what matters.

But I'm going to refocus.  We've got one life, one shot, one go around.

It doesn't take that  much effort to pass a nasty post by without indulging - or to hide a Debbie Downer from your newsfeed, or to take the high road - or even to rearrange something subtly in your mind to find the good instead of joining the feeding frenzy of the bad stuff.

I'm getting back on track - wanna join me?

Oh Oprah..if only it was this easy. xo


Keep smiling...Cheers and Love,
DG

Friday

Recess Without Tag? It's like Peanut Butter without Jelly...

Sorry kids, no playing tag on the playground!


Tag...you're injured.

Wha?

Apparently tag has gotten 'too rough' at some schools around here.  One school has decided to ban tag from the playground due to too many injuries.



Why....people...why???  Not tag!  Not the great American Schoolyard game!

Look, I get that injuries happen - that games get out of hand - but that's part of being a kid.  What game goes smoothly from start to finish without somebody's feelings getting hurt, someone getting poked, pushed, tattled on for unfair practices or someone getting a scrape or bump? It's the playground - the root word is play...what will it be called if there is no tag, dodgeball, kickball or cartwheels? Will it be called the Sitground? The Safeground? The Quietground? What about the Cyberground - where each child gets an iPad on the way out to recess and find a quiet spot to indulge in some simulated playground activity or maybe a cartoon on Netflix! No, please don't let that happen.  Surviving childhood is all part of growing up!    How are kids going to get their exercise with their daily break on the playground if they can't do 1/2 the things the playground was built for?  When I was growing up, if someone acted like a turd during recess, they had to sit IN the classroom for recess the next day and do work.  That sucked - so usually the kid learned that lesson and STOPPED being a turd.  Why can't things be that simple anymore?  It's sad.  Really, it is sad.

I know there are serious incidents that caused these decisions but I am not going to try and tackle that side of this  issue. I am sure there will be others who will do a thoughtful, researched write up on this topic but I just want to keep it fun. I'll just illustrate a few things with a little light humor so if you are game - read on.  I am going to use the hilarious meme called 'Annoying Childhood Friend' to help me with the illustrations.  After all - ACF was someone we all knew well when we were in school.  I'm sure you can think of a few of those guys when you recall recess back in your day.

We all know recess is tricky.  Sometimes, just walking on the playground could result in injury.

Shoe untied?
You could trip and fall and get a scrape.

Forget that walking is just left-right-left - fall over a chip a tooth.

Not watching where you are going?
Run into other child and bump heads.  (I got this idea from the nurse's office the other day when two girls were icing their foreheads and giggling about running into each other).

Decide to try out skipping?
You could do it wrong and pull a calf muscle.

It happens.  Injuries while walking on the playground are no joke.

What else can happen on the playground?  I'll look back at my childhood and tell you.

I've fallen off the bars while using poor form on a pennydrop.

Result?  Slight muscle sprain in neck.
Treatment?  Nurses office with ice pack for 20 minutes - then promptly sent back to class.
Long term effects?  Stayed away from pennydrops for life.  Did front flips instead.

Took a fist to the throat in heated game of  Red Rover.

Result?  I did NOT successfully come over.
Treatment?  Went and played with someone else.
Long term effects?  None.

Getting clotheslined and having the wind knocked out of you? Just two of the many reasons that Red Rover is banned from most schools.


Fell over and nearly sprained ankle from trying to hop on one foot while playing Hopscotch.

Result?  Had to go to end of line.
Treatment?  None.
Long term effects?  Limped for 20 minutes for dramatic effect - then forgot about injury and went
back to walking normally.



Caught ball with side of face during my turn in Kickball.

Result?  Loss of game to other team, minor red rash in shape of ball print on side of face as well as bruised ego.
Treatment?  The silent one from team members for losing the game for the team -duration approximately one hour.
Long term effects?  Strong dislike for round objects flying toward me.  General avoidance of Dodgeball.

I still recall the actual rubber smell of that damn dodgeball.


Bruised knee while sliding into home during a game of Softball.

Result?  Minor dirt stains on jeans, slight purple discoloration on knee where bruise formed
Treatment?  Spray and Wash.
Long term effects? None.

Pulled muscle in ribcage area from Cartwheel-gone-wrong.

Result?  No cartwheels for two days.
Treatment?  Laughter reliving the moment.
Long term effects?  Funny memories of recess on the school playground.



Walked in front of someone who was swinging and got a shoe in the face.

Result?  Minor stinging to jaw.
Treatment?  Rubbed jaw with hand for two minutes and then brushed it off.
Long term effects?  Paying attention while walking and being sure not to walk in front of swing during future recesses.

During Duck Duck Goose, was chosen as "Goose" with force to the head causing slight case of whiplash.

Result?  Ran even faster to catch the kid who pummeled me.
Treatment?  An extra long drink at the drinking fountain.
Long term effects?  None.


Poked eye during friendly game of Simon Says

Result - couldn't see 'Simon' giving cues because eyes were watering and lost round due to temporary vision loss.
Treatment - rubbed eyes with shirt sleeve.
Long term effects - none.



Bonk to my melon head during intense game of Tetherball to myself.
Result - Acknowledgement that I am a hazard to myself even while playing individual recess games.
Treatment - Little Debbie Snack Cakes afterschool.
Long time effects - None, I can never resist smashing that Tetherball when I see one - but alas, they are nearly extinct on the playgrounds of America.
Dangers of Tetherball: Rope burns on arms,  smashing face with rogue ball, getting hit from behind, etc.


That's all for now dear readers.  I've had enough nostalgia for one day.  Seriously - haven't we all had similar playground trauma in our lives and we lived to tell about it?

What's your story - leave me a comment - I'd love to hear it.
xo
~DG
Reckless Recess Survivor

Thursday

Snacks, Lies and Ouzo Shots with Tina Fey...


Preface:  Not sure if you've seen the funny 'guess who came over' posts that some of my fellow bloggers (please see complete list of hilarious pieces at end of this post) are brilliantly writing, but I am pinch hitting for a dear friend of mine who has fallen victim to the back to school flu bug.  Not that Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat has impossibly big shoes to fill or anything - no pressure...but a friend in need, right?  DG to the rescue.  You might recall, Jen adores Tina Fey.  So when a bunch of us wanted to help Ilana from Mommy Shorts promote her hilariously funny new web series on ulive called The Mommy Show, Jen chose Tina Fey as her pretend-your-idol-came-over-for-coffee-celeb fantasy post.  (Sidenote: If you aren't aware already, Ilana's show features celebs dropping by to visit her pristine apartment for a chat while she attempts an interview and other funny things with them. She even gets her groove back by having THE Taye Diggs on her show!)  ANYHOW... Jen chose to have Tina over for imaginary coffee but is under the weather so I volunteered to have my fellow Greek girlfriend over for some Gyros and Baklava and Greek Coffee as a favor to her.  Here's what happened in my fictional afternoon..




Tina: (Knock Knock)

Me: (opening door with grace, calm and elegance)  Well Hello!

Tina: Oh ... umm...oh, you must be Jen's assistant?  I have a coffee interview with Jen from PIWTPITT.

Me:  No, I'm not Jen's assistant, I'm a blogger friend of hers - she's sick and asked if I could do the interview for her.  She is so very sorry but she didn't want to get you sick.

Tina:  (bummed)  WOW...So you're really NOT Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat?  I am a huge fan and love her books

Me:  No, I am so sorry you are disappointed.

Tina:  (now she's just pissed)  Well - technically, right now you ARE a person I want to punch in the throat but (makes sniffing noise) wait, is that Baklava I smell? (looks over my shoulder)  Oh..my..gosh..is that spanakopita???  Tiropita???  That is an ENTIRE table full of GREEK FOOD??!!"

Me:  Pfft..it's nothing! I just thought since you're Greek and I'm Greek that you and I might have a little Greek Coffee and some homemade goodies together..

Tina:  (pushes me)  SHUT UP!!!!  Why didn't you just SAY that when I got here?  I am ALWAYS up for good old fashioned, homemade Greek food but just never have time to make anything with my two girls running around driving me crazy all the time.  You must not have any kids to be able to put THAT spread together?

Me:  Umm - actually, I have three boys - my youngest is five.

Tina:  (looks around) How in the HELL did you have time to make all of this AND take care of them?  You must have this parenting gig down to a science!

Me:  I just told them I had a special friend coming over and to do some reading and other quiet things while I cooked all day.

Tina:  (turning red) Okay I must be doing something really wrong because I'm lucky if I can handle Taco Tuesday at our house with pre-fab tacos in a box.  And your place - it's so clean! The boys aren't home I take it?

Me:  Oh no, they're home   - they are in their rooms working on projects.  We do Taco Tuesday too!!!  I just make everything from scratch and cut up some fresh toppings and they can make their own from a taco bar.  They LOVE Taco Tuesday!

Tina:  Well, you certainly make me envy you and your life - you are so put together and your kids are so easy that you can have people over and chat and cook all day - and have a spotless house.  Unreal.  And your gorgeous long Greek hair - it's so silky and shiny - it must take you hours!  

Me:  Would you believe that my hair is on day 3 of no shower! I barely did anything to it! (brushes off compliment slyly)

Just then my 13 year old yells out, "Mommm, your hair and makeup lady said she left her bag here and will come by later to get it!!"

Me:  (SHIT! Busted...nervously laughing in panic)  Oh, ummm...yeah, I had my hair and make up done the other day because I had some interviews based on a funny parody of the I Quit video - I pretended to be a mom who quit her job.

Tina:  Wait - wasn't that lady's name Brenna from New Hampshire? That wasn't you, was it?

Me: (busted again) - Ohh yeah, it was my friend Brenna but I umm..had drinks with her last week (shows Tina framed pic of me and Brenna at a chic restaurant on the coast that I have framed on my mantle) umm, I meant  that I was there  if she needed me to be on tv with her.  Yeahhh..nooo..I didn't mean that was ME.  Sorry, you are making me so nervous.  Why don't we start on some appetizers, shall we??


Tina:  (biting into mouthwatering, flaky, buttery spanakopita triangles) MMM wow - these  are THE BEST I've ever had - I cannot believe you had time to roll out the fillo dough and stuff these yourself.  It's like they just melt in my mouth. I know how hard those are to make I just don't know how you did it with kids around.  Anyhow -  I have to have a few more of those. (At this point she is moaning and shoving food in her mouth.)  Thish ish like the besht interview ever..thish food ish shpectacular...(food flying everywhere).

Me:  (Laughing with paranoid, nervous giggle.) Oh don't be intimidated by that fillo dough - it's so much easier to work with than people think - really, it's simple.  It's like roll - butter- layer-stuff-layer-butter repeat - and boom, you're done just like that.

Tina:  How do you stay trim with all of this delicious food in the house?  I'd be big as a house!  You must watch what you eat - either that or you exercise constantly.

Me:  Oh gosh - I rarely eat that stuff - I try to eat whole foods, organically grown produce and what not - I don't eat anything processed.  Really, it's how I keep my figure.

Suddenly, again a voice from the back room interrupts us as  my 6 year old asks "Mom when you told us you'd give us $50 if we stayed quiet in our rooms for one hour did you mean you'd pay us todayyy?"

Tina (uncomfortable and brows knit with confusion and suspicion):  Where's your garbage? I just want to throw my empty plate away and then I really should get going. (SPOTS CUPBOARD BY SINK - GOES TO THROW AWAY PAPER PLATE, DISCOVERS EMPTY BOXES FROM FROZEN SPANAKOPITA, TIROPITA, BAKLAVA, AND OTHER GREEK IMPORTED SPECIALTY FOODS).

Me:  (running over to cupboard yelling NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Quickly, I stand feet firmly planted in front of my pantry.)


(credit: http://tinafeygifs.tumblr.com/)
Tina:  Who the HELL do you think you are?  You made me think I was doing it all wrong - that I was crazy - that you were some kind of weird Greek Pinterest Freak or something! (runs to pantry, pushes me out of the way and flings open the door)  ALRIGHT LET'S SEE WHAT OTHER SECRETS YOU'RE HIDING IN THE CLOSET!
(pulls out boxed Bundt cake mix,  Old El Paso boxed Taco Kits,  Yia Yia's Greek Cookies in a Bag with the TJ Maxx sticker still on them, Jars of Commercial Greek Dressings, and then she moved on to the freezer with a frenzy I've never seen. )  AHA!!!  FROZEN BAKALAVA!!!  I KNEW IT!  FROZEN GYROS...YOU HAVE 1/2 OF THE KRONOS FILLO PRODUCT LINE IN HERE! SHAME ON YOU!!!  YOU'RE A BIG FAT HAIRY GREEK FAKER!  (She is yelling in my face and shoving handfuls of baklava into my hair, ruining my beautiful flat iron and straighten job  - I paid $100 for that house call to hide my frizzy, unruly big hair.)  HOW DO YOU LIKE A LITTLE HONEY IN YOUR 3 DAY OLD UNWASHED HAIR, HUH?  WHERE'S YOUR HAIRDRESSER NOW TO SAVE YOU?? OR IS HE HIDING IN A CLOSET SOMEWHERE AROUND HERE TOO?


Me: (choking on hair that's stuck to my lips from the sticky walnut/honey combo):  ALRIGHT!  ALRIGHT ALREADY! I'm busted.  I'm an underachiever, okay.  I'm doing the best I can - and that's just not good enough.  I bribe my kids, use the Wii as a babysitter, buy quick and easy Greek foods and pass them off as homemade, and almost everything I've ever tried to duplicate from Pinterest is one big fat greek FAIL.  I'm exhausted all the time - I run ragged taking care of everyone,  and I barely have enough time to shower so I had someone come and clean the house before you came while I got my hair and makeup done so you didn't see what a big frizzball afro I normally have.  OH and one more thing...I eat nachos by the plateful okay - I eat a stick of butter daily and most of my meals are PROCESSED!  I just exercise to make up for it... ARE YOU HAPPY NOW!???

Tina:  (puts her arm around me)   NOW we can be friends.  YES I am happy now.  Look, we are all just trying to keep it all together and raise good kids while staying sane in a crazy world.  So we cheat sometimes, so what?  So we make homemade Spanakopita once a year for Easter - that's plenty!  So what if we use the tv or the wii as a babysitter while we attempt to have a friend over -who doesn't?  I have people around me to do my hair and makeup all the time and I still can't keep my shit together.  Don't sweat it honey - just as long as you have a good sense of humor and a good heart, that's all that matters.  (glances back at pantry) Hey is that an unopened bottle of Ouzo I see?   How 'bout you pour me a shot of Ouzo  and we sit and have a laugh.  We can share all of our shortcuts and all of our secrets.

Suddenly, my three boys enter the room dressed in Greek Costumes waiving Greek Flags and begin to dance Zorba, ignoring my sign language not to proceed with staged 'impromptu Greek flash mob' to impress Tina.  One of them shoves the other, one of them flips the others costume up to show his underwear, and the other yells 'that's not fair he gets to hold the flag...'   showing their true colors of just being kids.
YOU'RE CHOKING ME...NO I WANT TO HOLD THE FLAG...STOP PULLING MY COSTUME UP...MOOOOM!!!


Tina and I laughed and laughed and we became friends that lived happily ever after, swapping pre-made Greek ready mixes, and links to order pastries on line.

Until next time...



Hey - wait - we're not done yet - - who would you want to have over for a chat, and how do you think that would work out for you?   I'd love to hear your angle.
Cheers, Love and Tina,
~DG
The Queen of Kronos

Please check out these hilarious run ins with celebrity crushes and idols:
Johnny Depp, by You Know it Happens at Your House, Too 
Mindy Kaling by The Mom of the Year
Daniel Craig by Frugalista Blog








Monday

Want the juicy gossip? Sit in on Kindergarten Circle Time.

(Click cartoon to enlarge)












Every day I pick my boys up from school it's the same old thing.

First, I get any one of the following laundry list of complaints.

I wasn't the line leader again today and that's not fair.
We didn't have enough time at recess.
I didn't have enough time to eat my lunch.
My juice box was warm.
Jimmy was picking his nose again at my table.
Matthew was touching me at circle time.
It was too hot today.
It was too cold today.
The tag on my shirt was bothering me.
My butt itches.




Then I start my round of questioning.  Apparently, I am on a need-to-know basis and also I am limited to one to three word answers.

How was school?
Good.
Did you do anything fun today?
Not really.
Did you learn anything today?
I can't remember.
Who did you sit with at lunch?
Same people I always do.
Who did you play with at recess?
Same people.
Can you tell me one really great thing about school today?
I had recess.
Okay then how about 2 really good things.
I had recess and then I pooped.

And when we end up at pooping and farting, I end the line of questioning and just start preparing dinner with Ellen on in the background.

During dinner when we all finally get a half of an hour to be together to eat and have a chat about our day, that's when the juicy stuff comes out.  Not sure if they just need that 3 hour window to decompress or to marinate on the day's events or what, but the shock value stuff is saved for suppertime.

Johnny threw up  at the table next to me at lunch.

Ummm.  Nice.

On the playground, Sam ran off into the woods and peed on a tree.

Alrighty, then.

Sarah didn't lock the door in the class bathroom and I walked in on her peeing.

Oh Dear.

At recess today, we chased girls and played the kissing game but no one kissed anyone it was just pretend.

Oh hell no.

Noah coughed all day today and didn't cover his mouth once.

On second thought, I will have a glass of wine with dinner.

Today at circle time I told everyone that Mommy has two husbands.

*choking on my wine*  You what?

I told everyone you have two husbands because you got married twice right, Mama?

Umm...I did get married once before Dad but I got a divorce remember I told you about that?

You got a DIVORCE?  I thought you said you were married before and got a HORSE!

You didn't tell people I had a horse thought, right?

I did Mama, I told people you got married twice AND got a horse.

*Mental note:  call for parent teacher conference.  I've got some explaining to do.  Thank goodness these teachers have a really good sense of humor.  Until next time...



















Onward and upward,
xo  ~DG