Why I want to Write for Portlandia

On April 30, 2014, in Crazy Stuff, by Jennifer McPherson

Reasons I want to write for Portlandia:

1.   Anyone who knows me understands that every episode of Portlandia could have come directly from my brain.

2.  Every single day I see things and instantly think – DUDE –  that could be a Portlandia episode.

3.  I worked in Olympia, Washington, which is like Portland lite.

4.  I lived in Poulsbo, Washington which was right across the bridge from Bainbridge Island which is like Portland lite with wealth.

5.  I currently live a few miles west of Boulder, Colorado which is identical to Portland but without the rain and with legal Marijuana.

6.  Since I lived in Washington State most of my life, I HAVE been the people in the “patch of light” as seen in this episode of Portlandia.

My first two episodes would be:

Aerial Dance Hippies. Fred and Carrie are hippy lovers who express themselves by wearing a full body unitards while aerial dancing. In this episode they clumsily experiment with various unique poses.  They have a distorted visual of themselves as they wrap themselves inside the aerial apparatus (much like a preschooler imitating a ballet dancer, inside their head they are fabulous), eventually becoming completely entrapped.

Husbands Purses. Carrie is a fashion designer who creates a strap which goes over her shoulder to carry her husband as a purse. As she walks around town with her husband purse ladies stop her at every turn to find out where they can get a husband purse.  Carrie goes into a store and purchases some clothing, when paying her husband purse hands her his wallet.

The endless episodes that play every day inside my brain, makes for pretty awesome free entertainment.

 

 

Yeah, That was Completely Unexpected

On April 25, 2014, in Crazy Stuff, by Jennifer McPherson

Dog looking at ownerWhen I left my house this morning it was a complete disaster.  I don’t mean there were a few toys laying around and a couple of shoes out of place.  By disaster I mean there were dishes stacked, floors that were in desperate need of attention, and children’s toys and clothing strewn around all levels of the house. A bomb went off in my house and everyone survived, with the exception of  household clutter everywhere.

No time for cleaning however.  Kids needed to be at school and I had lots of other important out and about things to do.

I left home at 7AM and returned at 4PM.  As I opened my garage door I suddenly remember the utter disaster that lie before me. Wishing with all my might the mess I left this morning was merely a figment of my imagination, I reluctantly entered.

As I walk through the door a fresh clean scent overcomes me.  I round the corner into the kitchen and nearly faint.  Spotless!  Every counter was bare and clean. Sparkles caught my eye as my hands glided softly over the freshly sealed granite. Beyond the kitchen where the toy explosion and dirty laundry once lay, my hardwood floors were visibly cleaned and waxed.  I have not seen the floors so pristine since we originally bought the house a few years ago.  I walk through every room of my house completely dumbfounded.  Every carpet was vacuumed, every bathroom scoured.  The toothpaste that was cemented on the counter as though it was now a permanent fixture was GONE.

WHAT happened?  Who do I owe this remarkable welcome home to?  I turned the corner to my bedroom and there I saw the finishing touches on my toilet were being finalized.  Standing over the bowl on hind legs, with an apron tied around his waste, a spray bottle in one hand and scrubber brush in the other, was Locke, my 2 year old Beagle-Kelpie mix.

Yeah, that was not expected.

Literally this morning I was saying to myself, I wish my pets would clean my house.  They laze around all day long and we wait on them hand and foot.  There seems to be something wrong with this picture. And low and behold, not only does Locke have the ability to clean my house but he also has ESP.  Who knew!

What is Your Parenting Style?

On April 21, 2014, in First Set, Mom, by Jennifer McPherson

text message between mother and daughterParenting and personality traits go hand in hand for the most part.  For example, I tend to parent with humor most of the time. Unless of course my child has intentionally pushed my button too many times, then I use the Mom’s gone gorilla mad, wildly waving her hands, jumping up and down, and screaming parenting style.

For me, humor works, but there are moments when I need to access the time to be uncomfortable and get serious parenting style.  Last week I was talking (via text message, of course) about the “B” word (boys) with my teenage daughter. After giving my two cents on this topic she sent me the following text:

“Is your goal to always say the most awkward and uncomfortable things to me?”

 

My Response: “No…. My goal is to parent you even when it’s awkward and uncomfortable…”

I didn’t think much about my response initially, but the more I thought about those words the deeper my sense of importance as her mother became. We are bombarded in advertising and television with images of mothers and daughters being best of friends. I admit, I have fantasied about shopping with my teenage daughter ever since she was a baby. Trust me people, an impossible reality.

But the harsh lesson is that I am not her best friend.  I am her best ally.  I am the one who will lay down my life for her without a second thought. I am leading her even when she does not want to be led.  I am the one who will say to her the awkward and uncomfortable things she never wants to hear, because I love her and when I signed up to be a mother, it included standing up for her even when she says she doesn’t want me to.

Parenting is hard, the toughest job I have ever had and ever will have. In a matter of seconds you will go from being loved to being hated (sensitive moms, NO, your kids don’t really hate you).  The more kids you have the higher the chance that at any given time, one of your little ones will always be mad at you, for what you said, did, didn’t do, the way you look, the way you smell, the dinner you made, the stupid rules you make, or because they wanted you to button their shirt a different way. The list is never ending.

Parenting styles and how you react can make all the difference in the world (ahem, especially to you Mom).  Just remember when things get uncomfortable, do not avoid but confront those awkward and uncomfortable moments with confidence and truth, because this IS what you signed up for when you became a mother.

How do you handle uncomfortable moments with your children? What style have you found works the best or doesn’t work at all?

 

 

This weekend included some awesome activities.  Easter of course, and all the things that surround it. Jesus, hard boiled eggs, candy, plastic grass that I will be cleaning up for the next 5 years.  Fun times. Here are my top 5 weekend highlights, all are true to the best of my knowledge!

Top 5 Weekend Highlights:

5.  Getting a message from a friend saying:  ‘See you tonight’, then realizing you scheduled the babysitter for the next night, really? Fortunately our sitter was able to change within a few hours notice and we got to go to the party! Whew…

4.  Easter is awesome for many reason, one of my favorites is opening the fridge when people are standing around, then blaming someone for farting (hard boiled eggs in the fridge = nasty stinky). I know… that is so elementary, but still really funny.

3.  I am writing an alternative analysis for roadway design…..

Really ugly deviled egg


2.  Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE eggs.  They gross me  out more than just about anything.  Think about it, who was the first person to see an egg come out of a chicken’s private area and say: “Hmmm, I am going to eat that!”  Despite my eggophobia, I decided I would make Deviled Eggs.  It took me over 5 minutes to peal one egg, I am a giver upper, so we are now having Deviled Egg (yes, it is singular people).  And one more thing, my egg looks like it belongs on a Pinterest Fail site.  Oh and one final thing….. We didn’t have paprika so I used chili powder on top! 

Saving the best for last…

1. Invisible furniture is awesome! We dodged the cracked babysitter phenomenon and made it to our friends 40th birthday bash. Yay!  Carrying a case of beer and a veggie tray I walked across their living room steadily heading toward their sliding door to join the crew already outside.  Next thing I know I am on my face.  Literally, not like, yeah I had so much to drink I was on my face, more like, there was an invisible table and I walked right into it and fell on top of the beer and veggie tray and was on my face! I even knew they had an invisible coffee table, not exaggerating people, they have a coffee table made of clear Plexiglas. Last time we were at their place we actually had numerous laughs about the invisible table and all the mishaps it has cause.

Looking back on the night I would not have it any other way though. It was funny as anything!  It did make me realize when you are older, shit hurts a LOT more when you fall, I am still limping like a baby around the house!   If the opportunity ever presents itself, I am getting invisible furniture cause that right there is funny as hell!

 

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Is it Difficult Coaching PeeWee Soccer?

On April 14, 2014, in Crazy Stuff, Mom, Second Set, by Jennifer McPherson

Um… yeah…. A pair of soccer shoes

Let me just answer this by saying, coaching 4 and 5 year old kids is like dumping a bucket of mice on a field and watching them scatter.  To my defense, I did not volunteer to be a soccer coach.  Ann Marie’s coach was going to be out of town and asked me if I could help.  Of course, I can help.  I spent the entire week leading up to my debut full of anxiety because; 1, I have never played soccer in my life, and 2, because they are 4 and 5 year OLDS!  I am a seasoned enough mother to know this is the age of bipolar personalities with the attention span of nonexistent.

This entire event only lasted an hour.

Longest.       Hour.       Ever.

 

First, I had to gather all the little ones in a single area to give instructions.  This proved to be impossible.  I got half the kids together in a circle then while I was coaxing the rest, the original group disbanded in 5 different directions for no reason what so ever.  After about 5 minutes I think I managed to get all the kids together and started explaining the drill we were going to start with, when:

one kid holds his finger up and says: “I got this big owee last night.”

I say:  “Oh.. ouch.”

Then another kid:  “I have an owee on my knee.”

Me:  “Oh.. wow.”  Then another kid… and another and another….

Our circle time of instruction ended up feeling like I was at an old folks home listening to the power hour of the latest ailment issues with preschoolers.

(Dear God, Please let this hour feel like a minute…)

I suffered through the first half hour and finally – GAME TIME!  We have 9 kids on our team, with 5 players on the field at a time, so we have to sub in and out the other 4 players.

IMPOSSIBLE…..

I had my 5 starting kids, within 30 seconds I only had 3 on the field.  WHERE did they go?  I scan the sidelines for my crew.  One is getting a drink and the other is pulling up grass and throwing it in the air (yeah – I could totally be happy doing that right now too, but DUDE, we have a game to play!). I sub in two different kids.  Another 30 seconds goes by and I have 3 again. Who wants to play the game?  All the parents are trying to get their kids out on the field. Whatever, don’t be a hater parents….but my free hour of coaching does not include trying to reason with your bipolar, inattentive ankle biter who would rather stare at rainbows in the sky than play your beloved sport of Soccer.  Oh… oops, did I say that out loud?

After a full hour of herding large mice, the game was over, snack was dished out and I walked off the field confident that I will NEVER do this again.  Unless, of course, someone asks me to ‘help’ because, of course I can help!

 

 

Anchors of Impossibilities, Also Know as the Front Parking Spot

On April 13, 2014, in Mom, by Jennifer McPherson

The front parking spot. The fabulously close, front row spot of your dreams.  If you park in this place you are afforded the opportunity to reach the doors without effort. Simply open your car door, walk 10 feet, and the destination is at your feet.  A spot like this is highly sought after. The desire to be at the front, to be in the lead, to be number one is ingrained in all humanity.  The power and glory that comes to those who park here is unfathomable.

Why are we not satisfied in the second closest spot? Always looking for that first spot, passing many acceptable places along the way to achieve more. To gain the splendor which this spot guarantees? Who ever told us this spot surpasses the other places? Why do we believe this to be true?

I have parked in the front spot. Life is not superior when you park in this place. Many seek this prominent place all their life only to find once you have parked, the responsibility to uphold the mythical being know as the ‘predominant place’ is too much to bare. Your feet become anchors of impossibility as you try to walk to your destination. With each step you hold your poise to perfection. Not allowing any piece of your false achievement to be shown to others.

This spot gives no one an upper hand. It is simply another destination of wisdom to gain foresight and realize our shortcomings. Perhaps humbling us along the way.

 

 

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WHO…. invented the Magic Eraser?  Please identify yourself because I want to give you a Starbucks gift card to say THANK YOU.  I do NOT get endorsements, nor do I do them on my blog – so this is not for the benefit of advertising rather for the benefit of every mother who is sick and tired of scrubbing with all their might to clean their bathrooms.

What is in the Magic Eraser? WHAT is it that makes it so easy to get all the grime off your tub, counter or toilets?  It IS freaking magic!  That is all I have to say about that….

Let’s move onto toothpaste.  Why has no one invented toothpaste for kids that doesn’t turn into cement the moment it leaves the tube and lands on the ceiling, floor, baseboards, light switch, cabinet doors, light bulbs and any other place that mysteriously toothpaste lands.  I long for the day when someone goes on Shark Tank and announces they have revolutionized every mother’s life with easy clean toothpaste!

And finally, can you tell, I was cleaning my kiddo’s bathroom today.  I admit, I have avoided that room of all rooms in our house like it was contaminated and no one should go in there.  Something came over me today and I mustered up the gumption to get out the rubber gloves and tackle the monster.  It was not nearly as bad as I thought (ahem – Magic Eraser) and cleaning the bathroom gave me the very idea of ……  cement-less toothpaste for kids.

While I was on all fours cleaning around the toilet base, I looked behind me and Ze Cow was drinking a glass of wine saying: I’d help, but I don’t have apposable thumbs. Sometimes I hate that cow.  What is Ze Cow?  Click the link – to find out more about my friend Ze Cow.

Cow drinking wine

Where’s My PEN!

On February 16, 2014, in Crazy Stuff, Mom, by Jennifer McPherson

The other day I was looking all over my desk for my pen, moving papers, lifting the keyboard, and crawling under the desk. Where the F is my pen… I looked for at least a minute.  Then realized I was holding my pen in my mouth.

I am a genius.

cartoon of lady with pen in her mouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found a gray hair again… The single lonely reminder of how last week I was in my 20’s and now –  I am much wiser and the youth of today are totally different than when I was young… Just sayin…..

Heels are painful, but OMG they look so cute…..  Oh Puke.

Today on Facebook I saw an ad for wedding ring sets at Wal-Mart, they were $10.99.  I Love You Baby…..

 

I Am Never Satisfied – Who Am I Meant To Be?

On February 5, 2014, in Crazy Stuff, Mom, by Jennifer McPherson

cartoon of lady outside an ice barAnyone who knows me will agree – I am never satisfied. I am not talking about with my family or friends. I am talking about stationary life. What is wrong with me? My thoughts are consumed with the next best thing and the next best place. Exploration baby! Exploring is about experiencing and you need more than a week to really experience someplace new.

In trying to sort out what ‘I want to be when I grow up’, I came across this quiz – “Who You Are Meant To Be“. I took it fully expecting to have a complete life plan in place for me at the end. What I ended up with only confirmed I am a bonafide loon who cannot be helped.

My results: I am – Striving to Be Spontaneous. I am an adventurer: Action-oriented, curious, outgoing, and often technically gifted, you live for new experiences. You are drawn to risk-taking and are not afraid to fail. Generally restless, you tend to job-hop or choose a field that offers constant novelty. If you had to name your favorite place, it might be the center of attention—you’re a born entertainer, and can easily adapt to any audience. While you collect many acquaintances, you’re less likely to develop deep, committed relationships.

And then they went on to say I may end up being self-destructive blah blah blah…. Who better to destroy than one’s own self!

They make suggestions, for example: try to find value in some traditions; if you learn to appreciate repetitive experiences you won’t always feel the urge to bust free. Let me just say, if I was ever to appreciate repetitiveness I am certain hell would freeze over and the Devil himself would create the world’s largest Ice Bar – like in Vegas. Fur coats would be handed out at the door and a hefty admission would be charged for people to sit on ice blocks, drink copious amounts of alcohol and gamble away all their financial responsibilities. Hmmm… Maybe I will have to add that to my list of ideas.

Another suggestion (as if they don’t know who they are talking to): And when a new opportunity thrills you, keep in mind that just because it sounds exciting, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Obviously the quiz has NO idea who I really am. Because if someone tells me….. that my idea and opportunity is not good for me. I am now more invested in my idea than before.

And finally: As a risk-lover with a lot of energy, you’re a natural entrepreneur. You’ll be happiest if you change jobs every so often and travel extensively. Movement is what keeps you going.

I can agree with this statement. The only problem is funding my adventures…… Maybe I need to start croudsourcing my next endeavor.

And Other Ridiculous Things…

On January 14, 2014, in Crazy Stuff, Mom, by Jennifer McPherson

Me:  Hey, have you seen the latest Doc McStuffins?

Me: Yeah, the one where she says to the Jack in the Box, “I will straighten your crank Big Jack.”

Me: That was hilarious, I don’t know how she said it was a straight face!

a person in a dirt hole

 

I think dooms day peppers are really people evolving into Prairie Dogs.

 

I think in a past life IT guys were really honey badgers.

 

Sometimes I think my dog is over acting when he gives me puppy dog eyes.

 

I vow to one day make the certifiably cheapest product on earth.