8

10 Things I Hate About You

10 things I hate about you picture

Dear Summer,

There are so many things I hate about you. Here are just a mere ten. Ten things. Ten things I hate about you…

1. It’s too damn hot. Yes, I know summer is supposed to be warm and toasty and we are all supposed to be gloriously sun-kissed… but hot isn’t warm and toasty. Hot is hot. Trying to walk from the garage to the car with no shoes on is like trying to walk on the surface of the sun. It can’t be done. It’s too much. It’s too hot. This is just one thing that I hate about summer.

2. It’s humid. Why does it have to be so humid? 90 degrees, but feels like 100 because of the humidity? What the hell is that? Walking out my door and feeling like I’m walking into a warm sponge isn’t any fun. It’s not. And don’t even get me started on how the humidity affects my hair. Oh my God. It’s awful. Blow drying it isn’t an option because, really, standing there blasting hot air at my head just makes me sweat. So I have to let it air dry. Which is a really pretty look. To make matters worse my straightening iron broke. Humidity is another thing I hate about summer.

3. There are bugs. Everywhere. They buzz around your head, they sneak into your house, they try to eat your food. They try to eat YOU. Each winter when I’m so cold that I start fantasizing about summer, I always forget about the bugs. But then summer comes and, BAM, suddenly there are bugs buzzing around like mad. Mosquitoes are the worst. Ticks, too. And horseflies. And spiders. And black flies. And wasps. And once I saw a cicada and that was awful.

Moving on…

4. My grocery bill practically triples in the summer. Besides the fact that fruit and that kind of thing costs more money, my kids just eat SO much food in the summer. The other day my husband and I were talking about how much money groceries cost and he was like, “the problem is, you buy a package of food and they just eat the whole thing in one siting.” Ummmm….yea? So what is the option? There are 5 of them. They are chow hounds. It’s this weird dichotomy of me buying food for them to eat, and then yelling at them for eating it.

5. Things smell bad. Like, take the laundry for instance. If I don’t immediately put the washed clothes into the dryer (I’m talking IMMEDIATELY) then they get that weird, gross, sour puke smell. Then I have to rewash the whole entire load. Oh, and my car smells. All the crap that was spilled on the floor of my car during the gloriously cold winter months now festers in my car as it just sits there cooking in the sun some days. It smells like sour milk and french fries. And the beach. But not in a good way.

6. It gets dark late. Which was totes cool when I was in my 20s. But the minute I started having kids I realized that the sun going down any later than 7:30 made bedtimes a nightmare. No one wants to go to bed when the sun is still up. So everyone goes to bed late. And then sometimes the younger ones miss their sleep window so they get their second wind. Which is awful. My sleep window is basically the entire day and I have been known to fall asleep mid-sentence if it is late enough. So trying to calmly get hyper kids into bed when I can barely stay awake myself is just another reason why summer is overrated.

7. Summer reading. I know that the studies show how kids lose knowledge over the summer, and I know that summer reading is a great thing to keep their minds engaged. I’m a huge fan. Except when I have to actually try to get my kids to DO it. Then I’m no longer a fan. Then I’m all like, “why do they have to do summer reading anyways?! Jeesh!” In order to help with the summer reading process I usually read the books first. Then I try to convince them to read them. Then I try to force them to read them. Then I threaten them with what will happen if they DON’T read them. Then we read them “together” and I am like a mother bird who takes the info from the books, chews it up, processes it, and then spits it into the heads of my children.

8. Camp. Camp is expensive. But without camp sometimes summer gets boring. So we do a few little camps. Camps that they have chosen. Camps they have confirmed that, yes, they want to go to. Camps that sound awesome and that they are excited to attend. Until the first day of camp arrives and you’d think I was sending them out to a prison camp for 3 hours a day. They don’t want to go. They are bullshit that they have to go. They have absolutely NO memory of ever selecting this camp as the 4-day camp that looked like the most fun.

9. Squirrels. Are squirrels just a summer thing? Probably not. If I were a squirrel I’d be hanging around the garbage cans in the Fall. Maybe even early Spring. But not these squirrels. They are everywhere. Everytime I go outside there is at least one fat-ass squirrel booking it away from the garbage cans as if I’m not going to notice him. These squirrels are bold, too. Sometimes they hold their ground and try to stare you down. They usually win. With me, anyways. I don’t want any part of a furry disgusting woodland creature trying to non-verbally  threaten me to a duel. No thank you.

10. Gypsy moths.This summer is doubly worse than most of the previous summers because this year we have gypsy moths. Freaking disgusting gypsy moths that fly around randomly with no sense of purpose or direction like they are drunk.Here is a picture of one that my friend, Mary, took the other day.

moth

Look at that freaking thing!!! It was on her screen door just staring at her. I mean, seriously, do I need any reason other than that to hate summer? I should have called this post “One Thing I Hate About Summer” and just put that picture up and been done with it. Disgusting.

And, so, there you have it. 10 things I hate about summer. The only other thing that I hate about summer is that it is really much too short.

 

2

If My Kids Taught Summer School

You are going to be so absolutely thrilled beyond thrilled when I tell you that my kids are going to be teaching summer school.

Yes, that’s right. Teaching summer school.

Why, you ask… Well, I think of it this way (and I’m sure you will agree with me): if you are an expert on something, it is your duty to pass that knowledge and skill set on to others. You need to share your gift with your fellow man…or in this case your fellow kid. Should I be humble about how awesomely talented my own children are with some of this stuff? Sure. But I’m not going to be. They have mad skills. Mad. Skills. I know because I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. And if you have been around my house at all this summer you have surely witnessed it, too.

The summer school course offerings are listed below. All I can say is, you’re welcome.

[Course 1] The Fine Art of Fighting About Nothing I ~ This class offers the student a chance to learn how to fight and argue with their sibling(s) about literally nothing. And everything. For no reason other than just to argue. All day.

[Course 2] The Fine Art of Fighting About Nothing II ~ This class is mostly a brainstorming class. We’ll gather together all casual like they do on TMZ (while we are sipping from our Big Gulps that we talked our mom into getting for us and that we filled with Mountain Dew even though she told us NOT to get Mountain Dew) and we will just shout out things that can be fought about at home. Has anyone in your house practically fought to the death because their sibling accused them of having “Bieber fever” or being a “Belieber”? No? Well, they will after taking this course. Recommendation: completion of Fighting About Nothing I

[Course 3] Stop Hitting Yourself, Stop Hitting Yourself ~ Let’s take those skills of annoying your siblings up a notch. Why sit together and enjoy each other’s company when you can literally annoy them to the point where they are practically crying? And then, with the tips you will learn in this class, just when you have your sibling on the verge of hysterical, homicidal tears you can ever so quietly sing Melissa Manchester’s “Don’t Cry Out Loud”. It’s brilliant. And it is all right here. Yours for the taking. Tip: Best to sign up right away for this one. It is a true gem and sure to fill up fast.

[Course 4] I’m 13 and You’re All Idiots ~ Clearly, this course selection is for the other child. 13 and up. Maybe 12, depending on the attitude of the particular child. Individual evaluations will be conducted before admission to this class. Tip: If you still think your mom is cool, this class is not for you. (Even though your mom probably IS totally cool and everyone knows it.)

[Course 5] Time Management ~ Everyone knows that the key to good time management is knowing what you are doing today. And what you are doing later today. And what you are doing tomorrow. Without this info you have no way of complaining that you never do anything fun. This class is basically a session in refining your skills of being a pest.

[Course 6] How to Eat Everything in the House, and Then Complain That There is No Food ~ Whew! What a mouthful! This class is NOT for the faint of heart. Rest assured that only the family experts on eating all the food in the house will be teaching this course. The children who don’t eat much and who only eat when they are actually hungry will NOT be at the helm of this lesson. Course topics include: taking three granola bars at once (from a box of 6 granola bars) and squirreling them away to be eaten at your own leisure. Which leaves only 3 granola bars left for everyone else to fight over. (This class ties in nicely with the fighting over nothing & how to annoy your siblings classes.)

*BONUS*

Ted Talk ~ Philosophy of “Watch Me!”

If you jump off the diving board into the deep end with no goggles and without even holding your nose, and your mom wasn’t watching you, did you really do it? If your dad didn’t watch you build the sand castle from start to finish without even turning his head once, did you really build it? If your fun summer vacation pictures aren’t posted on Facebook, did you really have a fun summer vacation? And if no one comments or clicks the thumbs up button, do you really even exist?

*Assistant teachers are needed for all the above mentioned classes. Something tells me that you may have a kid or two at home who has an expertise in at least ONE of these areas, if not all of them.

Please send all applications to:

howmuchlongeruntilschoolstarts@losingmymind.com

2

Critical Analysis of a Photograph

Critical Analysis of a Photograph

jess bug.jpg

A simple portrait of a girl enjoying some outside summer water play.

Look how delightful she is.

If you look closely at her eyes you can see just the slightest hint of, “Mom, quit taking my picture and let me play already.” The fake smile confirms to the viewer that she has, indeed, had enough of the camera.

What you don’t see on her face is the horrified fear that she WOULD be showing if she knew that there was a bug hovering over her head. Not just an ordinary bug, but a dragonfly. And not just any dragonfly, but a dragonfly with a moth in its mouth. That’s right, the worst kind of bug…the kind that makes no bones about the fact that he is such a badass that he will eat another bug right out in the open with no shame at all.

The portrait evokes a sense of hysteria in the viewer. Do we laugh? Do we scream? There is a bug that is about to land on her HEAD! It’s madness.

The viewer is left helpless. They can do nothing to stop it.

This portrait is titled: Just Before the Freakout

Let’s look at some closeups…

Oh

My

God

The photograph is a nightmare captured on film.

The photographer is clearly brilliant and extremely talented and should probably quit her day job and tour the world taking equisitely breathtaking pictures. The photographer has missed her calling.

Oh, and here is the next pic taken.

This one is simply titled: WTF is on my Head?!

after1

 

2

S.O.S.

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My kids have been out of school for two weeks. Two long, long weeks of constant torture. I’m about ready to write a note, stick it in a bottle, and whip it into the ocean in the hopes of being rescued.
A note like this:

 

Day six of captivity

Last night they tortured me with sleep deprivation. It was awful. At midnight I was getting water for one of them who was “dying of thirst”, at around 2:30am one of them needed to go to the bathroom and for some reason needed an escort. The weirdest thing though, the only other person who is being held captive with me is NEVER woken up. Or never wakes up. Or pretends not to wake up. Interesting.

 

Day eight

My captors think I have information that they need. They pepper me with questions almost constantly. Around the clock I am answering questions about whether or not a fly poops. About what would happen if the sun never set. My opinion on whether or not I think the world will blow up. I clearly don’t have the answers to these questions, but it is pretty clear that an answer is imperative because they will literally drive me to the brink of madness until I just come up with an answer to appease them. (Yes! I’m sure a fly poops, okay?!!) What do they want from me?!

 

Day 11

Word around the cell block is that they will let me go around the end of August, which is good news, but for now they are here all day every day right by my side. Literally RIGHT by my side. They don’t even trust me to go to the bathroom alone. Sometimes they even sleep snuggled up close to me, which is weird. Going to the grocery store is also a group event. They tell me what they want me to buy for them, then they accompany me on the trip. They huck random things into the shopping cart to try to mess me up and blow the budget. Then when we get home they complain that I didn’t get anything good. I’m like, fuck you! Only I can’t say that out loud because it is sort of frowned upon and they will punish me by repeating it in front of their grandparents.

 

Day 12

I’m going crazy. I’m craving solitude. I’ve asked them if perhaps they could put me in solitary confinement for, like, the afternoon or something. With a book. That’s all I really need, but they just laugh like I’ve told the world’s funniest joke. Sitting alone and reading isn’t going to happen. I’ve come to accept that. What I can’t accept it the mind games. Sometimes, just to drive me completely ape shit, they will actually go and get me my book, and they will hand it to me, and I will start to read. Then just as I’m getting to the good part, “BAM” they start talking to me nonstop. NON STOP. Non f’ing stop.

 

Day 13

I finally had to ask my fellow captive to create a diversion so that I could try to escape for a little while. It worked, and I was able to sneak out and drink a cup of hot coffee alone. I briefly thought about getting back in my car and just driving away, heading to a new town, changing my name to Charlene, and becoming a librarian. But I figured they would find me. And if they didn’t find me, my fellow captive would for sure come looking for me so that he wasn’t the only one enduring the never-ending torture. I get it. I’d probably do the same.

 

August seems really far away.

Really, really far away.