The Grocery Store and Rock Star School

I went to the grocery store the other day with the kids, and because I’m me, I added a couple of bottles of wine to the cart. When we got to the checkout, Thing 1 asked if she could swipe my credit card for me.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s illegal.”

“Why?”

“Because California is crazy, and the store could get into trouble by selling wine to minors if you use my credit card, with me present, and my signature is on the receipt.”

The checker stared at me like I had three heads.

Then Thing 1 piped up, “I don’t care if California is crazy, I never ever want to leave. If you and Daddy want to move to Texas, then wait until I’m in college.”

“And just where do you want to go to college, Little Miss?” I asked her with a raised eyebrow at her teetering-on-insolent attitude.

She pondered it for a few seconds, and then thoughtfully replied, “I’m not sure … so long as I can learn to be a rock star.”

“You can start studying to be a rock star right now,” I replied, the mommy-wheels turning in my brain.

“Whaaat…?”

“Yup, as soon as we get home, you need to do your piano practice right away. All the best rock stars know how to play piano.”

“They do?”

“Yup.”

“I can’t wait to get home and practice my piano!”

The clerk burst out laughing, winked at me, and said, “Kudos!”

Then we went home, I poured a glass of wine, and Thing 1 practiced her piano for the first time without complaining in months.

God bless Rock Star School.

Thing 1 Just Says No to Dog Meat

I was reading this article from Mark Steyn about the exploding attack tactics being used by the Obama campaign against Mitt Romney. They tried to say that women wouldn’t like Romney because his great-grandfather was a polygamist, but somehow overlooked the fact that Barak Obama’s father was a polygamist.

Side note: Why liberals are down with gay marriage but not polygamy confuses the heck out of me. Isn’t that discrimination? Shouldn’t consenting adults be allowed to marry whomever they want to?

Another hypocritical criticism of Romney came when the Obama people decided to cry foul over the fact that the Romney family apparently strapped their crated dog to the roof of the car for a road trip in 1983. Then the fabulous Jim Treacher blogged on the Daily Caller that Obama had, as a child, eaten dog meat.

Better the roof of the car, then the roof of the mouth, Jim astutely pointed out.

The “Obama eats dog” meme has exploded on the Internets, because, well, it’s just so gosh darn hilarious to make fun of it. Dog recipes, anyone? Hall & Oates lyrics changed from Maneater to Dogeater? Brilliant.

Some people (I’m look at you, Leif!) don’t think the thing is funny. There are so many other issues to talk about — this is just stupid. The above linked article from Steyn does a good job laying out exactly why we should be laughing about it: It contrasts the comic value of the situation with the ridiculous seriousness that those on the left take themselves. We laugh; they form a Dogs Against Romney PAC.

He writes:

The exploding cigars are revealing not merely of Democratic hypocrisy but of a key difference in worldview between liberals and conservatives. Jeremy Funk and Governor Schweitzer reflexively believe that their dog-eating polygamy-scion is different from the other guy’s dog-transporting polygamy-scion. This is nothing to do with young Barack being six or ten years old and meekly eating whatever was put in front of him. He was 34 years old when he wrote the passage quoted above and ten years older when he recorded the audio edition. And, as both versions make plain, he thinks it’s kinda cool, and he knows that to the average upscale white liberal it has the electric frisson of the exotic other.

Earlier in the article, Steyn had mentioned dog breeder Kate McMillan, who said the following of the criticism that you can’t blame a child for eating what’s put in front of him:

Try this experiment–sit a normal, American 6 year old down at a plate and tell him it’s dog meat. Watch what happens.

With that inspiration, I grabbed my iphone and recorded this video of my eight-year-old daughter:

After establishing the fact that the girl is a regular carnivore, I asked if she would eat dog meat. She shakes her head and I ask her why that is.

“Because I would think of eating Junie’s* friends … and plus it sounds gross.”

*Furbaby’s real name is June. I guess that cat is out of the bag.

Top 7 for the Week of March 16th

This week, and I talked about:

  1. It’s All that CO2 Making You Fat
  2. The Health Care War on Women (Hint – It’s not the Republicans depriving women of care)
  3. Gas Prices Are Up & the Cost of Living Skyrockets
  4. 50 Shades of Grey (Jenny talks about Twilight fan fiction mom-rotica, and Ashley asks, “What’s BDSM?”)
  5. Your Middle East Update
  6. The Obama Campaign’s 17-Minute Documentary
  7. Did Google+ Ruin Google?

Plus we have a rant, a Dude of the Week, and instead of a dirty joke, we have a pickle tasting party. Not a euphemism.

Happy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

Guess Who Was On the Really Real Radio? Hint: It Was Me.

I got to spend Friday afternoon hanging out in Hugh Hewitt’s office. His radio office, that is, not his law office, which I have no desire to visit as I hope to never need a trial attorney. But if I did, I’d try to get Hugh Hewitt to represent me, because dang that dude is smart.

But I’d rather not need a trial lawyer.

Anyway. I got to bum around the recording studio for the Hugh Hewitt Show, which was being guest-hosted that day by my friend Larry O’Connor. Friday morning, when I was in the middle of doing Top 7 with Ashley, Larry pinged me to ask if I wanted to do a segment on the show. Um, hello, yes please.

So I said something along the lines of, “YEESSSSS!!!” and then told him that next time he hosted to give me some notice because I wouldn’t mind driving up to LA to go in-studio. Larry told me that it was Irvine, not LA, and I had an invitation. Irvine is way closer to San Diego than LA. It just so happened that Leif was working from home, so I didn’t have to worry about the kids, and I asked him if he minded if I went, and he said, “Go! Be smart. Be funny. Be cute. Be you.”

Side note – I love that man.

Wrapped up Top 7, hopped in the shower, did some quick hair and make-up, then hit the road. When I got there, it was 2:55, and the show started at 3. I called Larry to find out where exactly I was going, and he came out to get me, and then we RAN back to the studio, where he fell into the chair behind the mic just in time to start hosting a nationally syndicated talk radio show.

Sometimes my timing is impeccable.

Hugh wasn’t there, but his crew was, and it was lovely to meet them. I’ve been following his producer Duane Patterson for a while on Twitter, but I didn’t think he’d have any clue who I was, because really, why would he?

“Hi, I’m Jenny! Nice to meet you!”

“Duane,” he said, shaking my hand, and then added with a wink and a smile, “This is Salem. You can’t say dipsh!t on air.”

In case you didn’t know (and I didn’t until last summer), Salem is the Christian broadcasting network that runs The Hugh Hewitt Show. And on Thursday night, Duane had been on Larry’s regular Internet radio show. And Thursday is when I do my weekly Quickie with Jenny on The Larry O’Connor Show. And I had said that particular cuss word on that particular show, which is actually pretty unusual for me. I rarely cuss on air or in print, saving those words for the most impact when the situation calls for it. It totally called for it on Thursday.

So now I’m apparently the girl that says dipsh!t on the radio. But I do know better than to do that on a Salem drive time show. Give me some credit, Duane!

It was all kinds of awesome watching the behind the scenes stuff … Adam with the hand signals from the room with all kinds of technical-looking equipment, Duane with the 30-second warnings in the headphones, Larry forgetting to push the button to bring a caller on, because he’s used to his producer Meredith Dake doing that for him … it was very cool.

During the second hour, a real-live congressman came in for a live interview, and I got to sit right next to him. Representative John Campbell was a peach, and it makes me happy that there are people like him in Congress. When he came in, Larry introduced me as a Mom Blogger, which is basically what I am, which also means that while I was listening to the show in Hugh Hewitt’s office, I was on my laptop tweeting, chatting in the Hughniverse chat room, and taking notes for an article I have due Monday morning on the whole Newt vs. Mitt thing since that’s what they were talking about.

When we cut to break, Congressman Campbell looked over at me and asked, “I don’t mean to be nosey, but what are you doing over there?”

‘This? This is what I do. Talk to people on Twitter and in chat rooms. Write stuff. I’m going to be on the radio in the next hour, I do that too. I. Love. My. Job.”

Then we talked about Twitter a little bit more, and I told him he should use it more to communicate, and also warned him against ever sending DMs, because as Anthony Weiner knows, sometimes you mess up and send pictures of your junk out to the world instead of as a DM. It’s better to just avoid it if you’re a public figure.

Then again, John Campbell doesn’t seem like the type to do that anyway.

So I finally got to go on the radio with Larry, and what did I end up saying?

“I’ve been lobbying my husband for a sister wife.”

“Newt makes my eye twitch.”

“She insists on looking like a dude, and I don’t understand it.” 

Clearly, I am a ridiculous person. But y’all already knew that, right?

Happy listening!

Jenny on Hugh

My Birthday Party, Mitt Romney, and the Free Market

Yesterday Governor Romney said that he likes being able to fire people. And of course, that sound bite will be saved and played over and over by the entitlement crowd in negative attack ads.

As much as it irritates me to have to defend Romney, I gotta say that he’s right. He did not say that he enjoys firing people; he said that he enjoyed the ability to do so. He enjoys freedom. He doesn’t care for bad service.

What is wrong with that?

Last Saturday I fired a restaurant.

No really, I did. I will never be going back to this particular establishment, because the service was abominable. I will no longer give them money to provide me with delicious melted cheese and singed knuckle hair (that will make sense later, I promise).

You’re fired.

It was my birthday on Saturday, and I had an actual birthday party for the first time since I turned 21, but that one kinda sucked because I had to cut the night short to go home and nurse my 10-week-old infant because she wouldn’t take a bottle (she’s still just as stubborn eight years later, by the way).

This year I wanted a party. That’s it. I wanted to go out to a restaurant with my friends, order four cocktails, and generally be the center of attention for a night before going back to my glamorous life of wiping noses and working from my couch in velour pajama pants and chipped nail polish. A girl’s gotta live a little, after all.

My awesome and amazing hubby Leif done good this year. He planned a party for me, invited my friends to my first 29th birthday celebration, and even flew Ashley Sewell out from Texas to celebrate with me. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I totally figured it out. But it was fun to tell everyone that Leif got me an Ashley for my birthday.

We met up with everyone downtown and proceeded to make merriment. Our waitress seemed a little strange at first, but I blew it off because it was my birthday and besides, maybe she was having an off day. We’ve all had those.

The first *real* issue came when my friend Michelle ordered a cocktail with a sugared rim. Ok, so there’s this cocktail (at another restaurant) I love called a vanilla lemon lust, and Michelle fell in love with it too when we went there, so every time we’ve gone out together since, she asks me to order for her.

“She’d like a lemon drop made with vanilla vodka, and served in a cocktail glass with a sugared rim and a twist.”

That’s easy, right? Well this waitress asked me three times what a cocktail glass was before I finally gave in and called it a martini glass. Then she got it, and made some strange comment about why didn’t I just call it that. Uh, because a martini is made with gin and vermouth and served in a cocktail glass.

By the time she came back, so much of the drink had spilled over the edge that the sugared rim was virtually nonexistent. Michelle asked if I would send it back, and I said yes, because the sugared rim is the best part. She was kind of shy about it, which I understand because I usually am too, but it was my birthday, and I’m always better at taking care of my friends than taking care of myself (I think most chicks are like this) so I got the waitress’s attention.

“Excuse me, but is it possible to get this drink re-poured into a glass with a sugared rim?”

She stared at me and said, “It is sugared.”

Michelle pointed to the one spot of sugar and said as politely as possible, “Only in this one spot … it’s just that the sugared rim is the best part…”

The waitress came over and examined the glass, and again insisted that it was sugared. She said, “That’s the best I can do, because the sugar dissolves when the alcohol sloshes on it.”

Yes, she just admitted that she doesn’t know how to carry drinks.

“Could you please bring us another glass with a sugar rim, and we can just pour it ourselves?” My friend was going to get her sugar, gosh darn it!

At that point, Miss Sunshine rolled her eyes, grabbed the glass, and announced snidely, “I’ll take care of it. It’s just going to be a shorter pour.”

A shorter pour? Eye-rolling?  Uh… yeah, that just happened.

When it came time to choose our main courses, she insisted that we choose a certain style of cooking. We even asked about the other methods, and she told us that they weren’t important because they weren’t as good as what she was recommending. Ok fine, whatever. Later that evening when we got the bill, we found out that the methods she recommended cost extra. Of course.

Throughout the evening, whenever we could get her to wait on us, she acted like she was doing us a favor. The eye-rolls and generally bitchiness probably did quite a bit to prepare me for when the girls are teenagers, but for my birthday party, it was no bueno. There were multiple empty glasses left on the table, we couldn’t get extra sauces, and she almost lit Leif’s hair on fire.

Yeah, you heard me.

We were just starting on second dessert (more on this in a minute), when our waitress lit a shot of alcohol on fire and poured it over our chocolate fondue. She held it too close to Leif’s hair, and the entire table gasped. Did she apologize? Act horrified at her ineptitude? Nope. She just said out loud, “I haven’t had knuckle hair in years! I can’t even have acrylics anymore, because they kept melting off.”

Appetizing.

Several of us speared some marshmallows and tried to toast them over the fire on the chocolate, and the lady pushed past us to stir the alcohol (along with the fire) into the chocolate. No toasted marshmallows for us, no apology or explanation from Suzie Sunshine.

So let me get back to the second dessert part of the evening. Remember all of those empty glasses on the table? As dessert was being set up, our waitress had to clear some of those away. She lifted one carelessly and abruptly, which resulted in a hard impact with the hanging pendant light.

Glass went everywhere. All over the table. All over our dishes. In my cleavage.

At least she apologized for that one. She started clearing the plates of dippers for the fondue, and wasn’t going to replace all of the dishes. Everyone at the table was frustrated at this point. We’d stopped ordering drinks because we didn’t want to give the restaurant any more of our business. In between picking bit of glass off of laps, out of hair, and from in between boobs, we insisted that everything be replaced.

After that came the fire and knuckle hair comment.

Finally got to the end of our evening and got the (ginormous) bill, where we learned that our specialty cooking styles had cost extra. We also discovered that we had been overcharged for a few drinks. Our waitress had ended her shift at that point, and the new guy taking care of us took the extra drink charges off, but said he couldn’t do anything about the cooking charges.

That’s when I said something I’ve never ever said before.

I’d like to speak with the manager.

He seemed the decent sort of guy, and apologized several times to everyone as we all regaled him with the story I just told you. I told him that normally I’d let it go, everyone has bad days, but the service was atrocious, and it being my birthday and all, I just couldn’t. He took the extra charges off our bill, gave us a 10% discount, and told us that he would have a talk with Miss Grouchy Pants.

Now Mr. Manager couldn’t see because his back was to the door, but our waitress (who we thought had left for the evening) poked her head in the room THREE times to angrily glare at us. We were just the teensiest bit skeered of her. Chick obviously has issues and is definitely in the wrong line of work.

So yeah, I agree with Mitt Romney (ack! Never thought I’d be typing that…) on the issue of firing people. I’m glad that I have the ability to fire people. It’s not fun. I wish everyone could just be awesome and not suck at his or her job. The world would be a better place, and all birthday parties would be splendiferous. But that’s not how the world works.

That restaurant is so totally fired.

Lost In DC

My Favorite Place On the Planet

So I’m in DC for AFP’s Defending the American Dream Summit, where I’m feeling all professional and stuff. I’m even wearing pantyhose! And I can’t get Dolly Parton out of my head.

Working nine to five! What a way to make a livin’!

(Sorry for the earworm.)

Except that it’s now 2pm and I’m just now sitting down to clack something out on my keyboard. Because I got lost in DC. I love this city, but man are the road signs confusing.

It started out innocent enough – 2 blocks down to the CVS to pick up some deodorant, because of course I’m a dork that forgot to pack it. Attendees of the conference; you are welcome. Then I decided that I wanted to wear my jeans today, but I only packed t-shirts, and that just won’t suit when I’m supposed to be all fancy.

So off I went in search of a Macy’s.

The very nice cashier at the pharmacy pointed me in the right direction, and I’m sure I would’ve been totally fine, had there not been a detour due to road construction. Crap.

So I did what any rational Apple-lover would do and whipped out my iPhone and pulled up the maps. I entered the address of the Macy’s after looking it up on the internet in the palm of my hand, clicked the walking directions button, and assumed I was good to go.

I walked the mile or so to the spot that my phone was telling me was a Macy’s. I could’ve taken the metro or something, but I love to walk, and I love DC, and the weather was gorgeous, so why the heck not?

Only when I got there, I found myself staring at George Washington University. That’s not Macy’s. Oh hey, I think I can see the Lincoln Memorial! Forget Macy’s, I want to go there and gaze upon the marble immortalization of my favorite president, and read the words of his second inaugural address carved into the wall.

I love doing that.

It was a bit more of a trek than I’d thought, with tons of detours and wacky signs, and I started to feel like I was trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Finally found it. Loved it. Decided to ditch the effort to find a cute top and suit up instead. Started the trek back.

And then I got lost.

And then I thought I was found.

Except I was still lost.

Then my phone said to go one way, and I’d go that way, only to check it again a block or two later and have it say I needed to go the other way. Then I’d turn around, go the other way, and check the phone, and it happened again. Those mice in the mazes deserve more candy or crack or whatever it is that they reward them with, because that job suuuuucks.

I know. I could’ve grabbed the metro, since there’s a stop right next to my hotel. But I never accidentally came across one (or I wasn’t paying attention), and then there are all those colored lines (not racist, I swear), and I really do like walking, and since I ended up wandering around the city for FOUR hours, I get to have mac-n-cheese for dinner if I want! Yay for cheese and carbs!

Obviously, I eventually made it back. With a new appreciation for leprechauns and mice.

Professional Stalkers Turn the Flash Off

With Jeff Atwater and Sarah Rumpf, taken with our permission and not by a stalker

On Saturday night, I was hanging out at a meet-and-greet in Orlando for Jeff Atwater when Leif called me. I snuck out into the lobby, where a few other people were milling around. It was pretty quiet, and the perfect place to talk to my honey for a few minutes, especially since there was an outlet, and my iphone was almost out of juice.

Like all good Apple girls, I always carry a charger in my purse if I’m going to be out for more than a few hours. I plugged in, sat on the floor (cord-length issues), and caught up a bit with my baby daddy.

I was telling him about something cool I’d gotten to do, and he was telling me something the cute the girls had done, and then I don’t remember because the following happened.

Like I said, there were a handful of people lingering in the lobby, but the events of the conference and the day had pretty much wound down. There was a middle-aged man that looked like he was strolling down the hall, and he stopped about 20 feet away from me to check his cell phone. That’s totally normal. At any given point at one of these political conferences, nine out of ten people will have a cell phone in their hand.

But then Creepy Stalker Dude carefully angled his phone, and I swear it looked like it was pointed right at me. You are sooooo paranoid, Jennifer, I said to myself. And yes, I call myself Jennifer in my own head when I’m trying to knock common sense into it. It’s what my mom did when I was a kid and even though I’ve never been in therapy as an adult, it’s not hard to connect the dots on that one.

And then.

The flash.

Yeah. Dude took a picture of me. I have no idea why. Did he want a picture of the ultra-famous*, glam-life living, political activist mommy-blogger formally known as Jenny Erikson? Because I totally would’ve posed for that picture. Did he think I was cute, and just want photo evidence that republicans don’t have to look like Newt Gingrich? Did I have a giant booger in my nose that fascinated him?

Honestly, the whole thing stunned me so much; I didn’t really know what to do. When the flash went off, my head snapped up, but he was already scurrying off. Of course hindsight being 20/20, I should have gone after him and taken his picture.

Well, I learned something for next time. And I hope he learned to turn the flash off. Amateur.

*Sarcasm

Top 7 for the Week of September 2, 2011

This week, Ashley and I talk about:

  1. College Football & American Craft Beer
  2. Obama’s Jobs Speech vs. GOP Debate
  3. Jobs vs. Bugs
  4. The Taxpayer Funded Strip Club
  5. Policing the Chicago Police
  6. Rapists Getting Paid by Taxpayers to Babysit
  7. The Texas Sonogram Law

Plus we have a rant, a dirty joke from Eli, and an awesome Dude of the Week!

Happy Listening!

25 Random Things I Love

Because I’m in an exceptionally rotten mood (PMS, anyone?), I’ve decided to find 25 things that I love and share them with you. Let’s call it an exercise in contentment, shall we? I’m going to skip over the boring and heavy ones like God and family, because y’all already know I love them. This is just about fun frivolity. I’ll be serious another day. Maybe.

Things I Love (In No Particular Order)

  1. Coke Zero. It fuels my crazy days.
  2. Boogie boarding. Most fun workout ever.
  3. Big Bang Theory. Geeks and a token blonde chick. Hello My Life!
  4. Leif’s My iPad. He only thinks it’s his.
  5. Cheese. All of it.
  6. My ceramic hair dryer. Seriously, it’s magical.
  7. Dressing up the girls is super cute matching outfits. And people stopping us to say, “Awww!”
  8. My immersion blender. Puree, anyone?
  9. Getting three stars on a really hard Angry Birds level. I think some are impossible, by the way. Jerks.
  10. Books. Romance novels, classics, mysteries, historical fiction … anything that has pages that beg to be turned. Or clicked on my kindle.
  11. Tomatoes. They’re my ‘one food’ food. Avocados are a close second.
  12. Netflix streaming. It has changed my life.
  13. Champagne. WHICH IS TOTALLY WINE, PEOPLE! Sparkling wine. So there.
  14. Remote controls. Seriously, can you imagine having to get up to change the channel? No wonder they only had three stations back in the day.
  15. Hawaii. It’s my happy place. Thinking about staying here for our trip next summer.
  16. Nature. If I could live in a tree house or a tent at the beach, I probably would.
  17. Traveling. I want to see everything. EVERYTHING.
  18. My new Hudson skinny jeans. They’re like buttah.
  19. Coq a vin. I make the best coq a vin. Note to self: Make coq a vin tomorrow.
  20. My new suitcase. I got it in black, not purple like the one in the link. If you travel at all, get yourself one of these. It made getting through the airport so much easier it blew my mind. LOVE IT.
  21. Since we’re on bags, I love my new Big Bag. It holds my DSLR, MacBook Pro, wallet, and odds and ends. And it looks fabulous.
  22. Plumerias. I love everything about them. They way they look, they way they smell, the way they remind me of Hawaii… I just love them.
  23. Pop music. Get over it.
  24. Reading menus. Does anyone else do this? I love reading menus in restaurants, online, on sidewalks…am I a weirdo? Wait, don’t answer that.
  25. The Internet. Without which, you wouldn’t be reading this. And I’d probably be unemployed. And also without which we might never know what will blend.

What do you love?

Cluckers

What: A conversation with Leif

Setting: Our living room

Time: Ten minutes ago.

I have a random thought.

“You know what the term ‘cluster #$%@’ makes me think of? Chicken orgies.”

He looks at me blankly.

“Because, you know, cluster … clucker?”

Blank stare.

“Chickens? Clucking? Feathers and beaks everywhere?”

Nothing.

“Oh come on, that was funny! Clucker. #$%@. That on its own is funny!”

He finally responds, “Yeah, no. It’s not.”

“Chicken orgy? Come on, I know you’re trying so hard not to laugh.” At this point I burst into a fit of giggles.

“Sorry Honey, it’s just not very funny.”

I indignantly grab my glass of wine and leave the room, saying, “Yeah. Don’t laugh at my jokes. That’ll get you laid.”

“Only if I’m an egg.”

“Hey Mister. That is poultry pedophilia, and I won’t stand for it in this house.”

“Hey yourself. Eggs get laid by chickens all the time.”

Leif 1 – Jenny 0