Friday, June 22, 2012

Flashback Friday: Chester Arthur and House Hunters International, Malta

I am afraid my husband has recently questioned his decision to marry me.  

We were watching House Hunters International yesterday evening.  House Hunters International is a show that is particularly intriguing to us because, really, when will we ever shop for real estate outside this country? We might as well live vicariously through others.

The couple was Italian, apparently. I am not certain of this, but the woman's name seemed very Italian to me.

They were looking for a home on Malta in the "multi-million dollar budget"   range. This intrigued us even more as it is not very often that House Hunters participants have a multi-million dollar budget. 

The people who generally participate are average, middle-class folks who are just trying to eek by. 

 When I come across House Hunters that involve jet-setters and millions of dollars in their budget, I get sort of a sick voyeuristic curiosity that washes over me and I take notice.  .

The show also caught my attention because I wasn't sure exactly where Malta was. 

 Geography has never been my strong suit. 

(Addition: It hasn't gotten any better.  Three years later, I just realized that the Cayman Islands were WEST of Cuba.  I always had believed them to be somewhere East of Puerto Rico.  )

I mean, the last House Hunters International show I watched was in Panama. I could vaguely picture the Panama Canal, although I couldn't tell you much about the country itself, except it has strip of land that was highly contentious during the Carter administration.  

Even more perplexing, though, was that the man-half of the couple mentioned that he had children in Belfast, and the Malta didn't look anything like I believed Belfast would look like. 

I could tell by the architecture that Malta must be Mediterraean, though.

I considered the options: I could sit through the entire show and not know where the hell this House Hunters was filmed, or I ask my husband and risk him making fun of me.   

"Honey," I asked.

"What," he said distractedly, playing Angry Birds

"Where is Malta?" 

"Seriously, Mary.   Where do you think Malta is?"

"Greece?" I asked. The look on his face wasn't encouraging. "Italy?" I continued. He didn't say anything. "I feel as if it is an island," I carried on. He nodded a bit. "Off the.....coast....of.... Italy?" I questioned.

"Malta is where Maltese come from," he explained.  

The light went on,  although the intellectual respect had been greatly diminshed. 

 In his mind, it was sort of like in 1992 when his sister asked where, exactly, the Star Fleet Academy school was since she had been seeing so many stickers on the back of cars recently. Was it a new college?

So it was with great horror that tonight the husband witnessed another error in judgement as we sat and watched "Antiques Roadshow."

It came in the form of a signature in a book about Indians that dated...well...before any of us had been born.

The signature was that of Chester Arthur, to which the commentator referred to as "President Chester Arthur." Really? We had a president named Chester Arthur? I made a mistake saying this aloud.

"Are you freaking serious," he asked. "You don't know who Chester Arthur is?"

"Well, they just said he was the President, but I don't remember him at all." My husband prattled off some sort of trade agreement fact that only a history major with a photographic memory would remember.

According to Chris' little Iphone,  that he whipped out to demonstrate his coolness, Chester Arthur was the 21st President of the United States. 

 Add that to the list of "Things I Don't Know," I guess.  Such as where Malta is, or that the Cayman Islands are farther west than I had always believed.  

Combine this with the fact that I haven't taken a shower for the past two days, I have gained a considerable amount of weight in the past month or so. Oh, and I'm a bad housekeeper.

I am really quite a catch. Really. Quite a catch.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Certain Things About the South.

We drove through the Publix parking lot earlier this evening.  

As we turned a corner, I noticed an elderly man sitting in the driver's side of  a  Honda Civic.   He was in a corner space, next to the building.

He was in the midst of taking a healthy swig.    

I was like, "Oh, look, is that dude drinking an energy drink at this time of night.  Gads, he'll never get to sleep!"

His head was tipped back, making sure he got every drop in the small container.  I stared.  It was booze!   It was one of those mini-bar sizes of alcohol.   Something clear, probably gin or vodka.

I looked in my rear-view mirror as I passed him.  He opened the driver's side door, stepped out, and walked, stooped, into the Publix liquor store.

I didn't know what to do, really.

Does one call a deputy?  Should one be horrified?  Should one be sympathetic?  Apathetic?

I didn't know.

It reminded me:  I am in the South.

Some other things I have witnessed in the south that I certainly didn't see "up North."

  • A man mowing his lawn on riding mower with a Budweiser and no shirt.   A Confederate flag flew proudly from the front of his home.

  • Two monster-size trucks parked in a driveway.

  • A homeless, and presumably inebriated, man enthusiastically dancing in the shallow waves of the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Pirates roaming the streets.  And a "pirate" war in the bay.  (St. Augustine.)  

  •  A neighbor taking off the head of a cottonmouth that had been slithering around our yard.  She made sure to ask for bleach to clean up the blood on our front sidewalk.

And finally, my husband added another decal to his front windshield.  I think we are assimilating well to the South.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Funday, Baby Birdies, Acts of Valor

Happy Father's Day!

It was nice and laid back day, y'all.  

Church, then a slow- cooked, pulled-pork lunch with "real" garlic mashed potatoes, gravy and corn.


Meg ~  (who had beautiful pigtails this morning )  watched the momma bird feed her  babies in the nest just outside our front door.  

 The kids played outside tonight while Chris washed the Wrangler.

We even let our German Shepherd out.

She kept a serious eye out for the kids, because no one watches those kids like she does.

Last but not least:  The baby birds.

What a terrible place to put  a nest.  

  But... they are cutie patooties, and are clearly visible from inside our house.  So they will be watched.

Then we watched "Act of Valor."  

 Although lacking in acting skills, it was a fairly accurate military depiction.

 I suppose one doesn't have to be a good actor to be a good sniper.

All right with me.

Thanks for stopping by the Funcoast.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Flashback Friday: Chinese Water Torture and Fine Wine

I thought I would pull some of these old blog posts out of the archives and post them again!  Hope everyone has a stellar weekend.


Today was a great day.

The culmination of the Chinese water torture phenomena that I call "summer vacation" came to a head this morning. 

My morning was spent slightly hung-over from the "back to school" celebration bottle of Shiraz I shared (I use that term loosely) with my husband last night, and urging my apparently half-deaf children to get dressed, eat and brush their teeth.

The urgings were gentle at first; however as the requests (orders) went unheeded, the urgings morphed into a full-blown freak-out in which   bodily harm was threatened and I practically drop-kicked the  children out the door.

The uber parents walked with their children, hand in hand, to the bus stop and waited with their precious spawn until the bus arrived; my children walked, shell shocked and confused, wondering what exactly just went down with their mother. 

I let out a whoop that probably was heard within a five-mile radius.

More caring parents might have thought longingly of their children a bit during the day, concerned that they were new students in new schools.  One of  them was beginning his first year of high school, even. 

I thought only of what I was going to eat for lunch.   

I believe the problem with the summer was that it was jam-packed full of changes and wackiness for the adults.  The stress from these changes "trickled down" and produced whiny, demanding children.

They were endearing, occasionally.  Generally in slumber.   

I would gaze down on them and feel slightly guilty about the several times that day that my shrieks scared not only them, but our poor little dog, a scrappy Cairn Terrier.  (His name was Sven, and he had begun to skitter away from me quickly whenever I entered the room).

I've always been a bit sensitive to stressful situations .  It might be an gross understatement to say that I don't deal with stress very well. 

My husband loves me despite this character flaw, and has only had to take the  drastic measures when ~for several weeks straight ~ I laid in bed, gazed out the window, and set the the Counting Crows CD on repeat.   

I suppose I could understand his concern.

I think  I have mellowed with age.  Like a fine wine, if you will. Or a Golden Retreiver.

The freak out events occur on a less regular basis these days.  

 I would love to have my children speak of me as my husband speaks of his mother.   "I don't remember my mother ever yelling at us," he says.   

I'm pretty confident that my kids will not say that about me. 

They will most likely say, "I remember that first day of school when we were living in Florida... and her head almost exploded!  It was the weirdest thing. The dog was hiding under the bed and the neighborhood kids were scared to come to the front door."

That will most likely be my legacy. And I think I will be okay with that because my eight year old told my husband he missed his mom today.

I think I probably missed him a little bit, too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June Birchbox & MyGlam Disappointment

I received both of my monthly shipments of Birchbox and MyGlam on the same day this past weekend.  

  • Comodynes, Self-Tanning Intensive:  Who needs the sun when you can get a safe, buildable, and natural-looking tan with these bestselling European towelettes.  Pack of 8, $14.99
  • Masqueology, Pore Minimizing Mask:  This targeted sheet mask shrinks visible pores while amping up your skin's moisture levels.  Use it daily and - if you're brave- during your next flight.  Full-size, $24.00
  • stila, one step bronze:  Fake an island glow with this three-in-one bronzer, primer and serum.  It also keeps your skin's oil production in check.  Full-size, $36.00
  • TheBalm cosmetics, Stainiac in Beauty Queen.  We're crazy about this two-in-one lip and cheek stain:  the sheer gel formula delivers a subtle, long-wearing flush.  Full-size, $17
  • Lifestyle extra:  tili bags.  Breeze through airport security with these too-cute plastic bags.  They're perfectly sized for storing all your travel essentials (and beauty samples).  Pack of 9-12, $8.49-$9.49
  • Birchbox Man Extra, John Varvatos, Star USA.  In honor of Father's Day, we've included this dapper cologne, a blend of ginger, juniper berries and vetiver.  Pass it on to a lucky guy friend or family member.  Full-size $55-$70
Birchbox's $10.00 cost was absolutely worth it this month.  

I will use everything in here, and was particularly excited to see the stila bronzer.   

I will find a use for the baggie (which I don't think got in the picture), the mask and the bronzer towelettes.  I will definitely try the stain.  I have Benefit Benetint, and it is "meh" on me; willing to try something different.

The sample men's cologne is pleasant, but  forgettable.  I make my husband wear the Thierry Mugler, Angel A*Men which is very unique.   I like it BECAUSE it is unique.  The John Varvatos cologne?  Not so unique.   But I'm sure he'll wear it because it is something different for him.


  • Philosophy, Take a Deep Breath Oil-Free Energizing Oxygen Gel Cream Moisturizer:  This lightweight moisturizer detoxifies and helps protect for a healthy-looking glow.  
  • NYX, Round Lipstick:  Incredible color that resists wear and smudging.  Let your lipstick last all night with an amazing velvety smooth, mineral formula.  
  • Living Proof, frizz Nourishing Styling Cream:  Stops frizz in its tracks, keeping all styles frizz-free, soft and smooth.  Living Proof's miracle molecule OFPMA, conquers frizz by blocking humidity without silicone or heavy oils.  
  • Marbella, Permanent Eyeliner Pen:  Master the art of beautiful eyes with this unique waterproof, smudge free and long-lasting semi-permanent eyeliner pen.  
I was mostly excited for the eyeliner pen.  I had an eye infection last month and had to throw out my black MAC Liquidlast eyeliner.   

I used the Marbella eyeliner pen one day, then went outside and worked in the yard for about ten minutes.  When I came back inside the liner had smeared ALL around both of my eyes.    

On another day,  I was caught in the rain.   When I  climbed in the car, I got a gander of myself in the rear view mirror.     I had black streaks down my face.  

So...I don't know what planet their claims of "smudge free" and "long lasting, semi-permanent" come from?  But  I have never used such a crappy eyeliner pen before in my entire life.     

I hate to rag on MyGlam, but  this is the second month I have received a lipstick in a funky color that is unusable for me.   Last month, I received a red color...but an "off" red.  Like the kind you would find in a dirty clearance basket at Big Lots.  

This month the NYX lipstick is a fuschia color.  Again, a bargain-bin Big Lots color.  

And though the monthly makeup bag seemed like a cute idea in the beginning, I am getting SO MANY makeup bags and I don't really use them.  I hate the thought of receiving something every month that will end up contributing to  landfill problems.  

The moisturizer is...."meh," because I don't really use a moisturizer if it doesn't have at least SPF 20 in in Florida and all.    I will mostly likely give the frizz serum to my mother.  

I think I might cancel MyGlam after this month.   Overall, aside from the rare Urban Decay and the occasional Philosophy items, I feel like they are mostly samples of cheaper, drugstore cosmetics.   

What about you guys?    What is your opinions on these companies and their samples?    Are you happy with the products you are receiving?  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

That Was the BEST TOENAIL EVER! And Other Concerns.

A couple of thoughts today.

The first is a conversation that just happened at the lunch table.   I am concerned about it on many levels.

Maggie:  That was the best toenail ever!

Wes:  What?


Wes:  Mom!  Did you hear what Maggie just said?

Me:  I did.

Wes:  She said she's eating her toenails!

Maggie:  I'm not Maggie, I'm Perry!

Wes:  Okay, Jimmy.

Maggie:  I'm not Jimmy!  I'm Perry!

Me:  Just ignore her, Wes.

Maggie/Perry/Jimmy:  That was the best toenail ever!

Maggie/Perry/Jimmy:  That was the best toenail ever!

Moving on.

I saw this on Pinterest this week:

And I was mildly curious.  

So...I started taking notes for approximately an hour.  

#1:  Can I have breakfast?

#2:  Does Dora have germs?

#3:  Is everyone on Earth?

#4:  Are we on the Milky Way?

#5:  Do all the planets go around the sun?

#6:  How did Super Why get on Netflix?

#7:  Why do kids keep watching bad shows?

#8: Can I watch the dog movie, mom?  It has kitties, too.  

#9:  Can I watch anything I want, Mom?  

#10:  What is this puppy show called?

#11:  What can I do for you?  (playing "restaurant.")

#12:  What can I do for you?

#13:  What can I do for you? 

#14:  Mom, do you want Chick-Fil-A?

#15:  Mom, do you want a chicken sandwich?

#16:  Mom, do you want Sonny's or Sonic?

#17:  Does Thora (the German Shepherd) go upstairs?  

#18:  Mom, where do your friends live?

#19:  What town are we in?

#20:  What town are we in now?

#21:  Are we almost home?

#22:  Does Ragnar (dog #2) have underwear on?

#23:  Where is the Milky Way in space?

#24:  Is that funny, Mom?

#25:  Is that funny, Mom? 

And since I forgot to write some of the questions down during this time, I think that 437 questions might be on the lower end for MY 4 year old.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Bad Week for Two Actors, and Other Junk

There are different ways to deal with grief.  One way might include, but is not limited to, turning your dead cat into a remote controlled helicopter:  Buzzfeed.

How did THIS happen?  


Not a good week for Matthew Fox.  A Twitter conversation with his old Lost co-star, Dominic Monaghan (Pippen, for LOTR fans):  

FAN: Holla at Matthew Fox and tell him to get a twitter I beg of you.
MONAGHAN: He beats women. No thanks. 
FAN: I know it was wrong but what?! What about all those good times you had together?!
MONAGHAN: How do you know we ever did? You don’t know either of us. He beats women. Not isolated incidents. Often. Not interested.
FAN: Spreading an accusation that EVEN eww-TMZ didn’t make… How classy. Hope Matthew Fox sues you for defamation.
MONAGHAN: An accusation is when you “claim” someone did something wrong. I know. But hey little fan girl maybe want to get slapped.
MONAGHAN: And it’s very difficult to sue someone for speaking the truth.  

ANNNND, in another Twitter fail, this married actor's attempts in an airplane to hit on his neighbor went horribly awry.  She was live Tweeting the entire thing.   This should put every potential philanderer on high notice that THIS VERY THING COULD HAPPEN TO YOU, guys (and girls, for that matter!).  

Cool Shirt.

Axl Rose, y'all.

I will never look at "LMAO" the same way....


Like him or not...this must have taken FOREVER to put this video together.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I'm gobsmacked.  And terrified.

I admit that I exaggerate.  Not always, but only when it behooves me to do so.

But this post from Winning At Everything scared the s**t out of me.  

Not  exaggerating about that.

These pictures make me nervous for a number of reasons.

Reasons that include ~ but are not limited to ~  the necks, the veins, the "je ne sais quoi" in their eyes and the fake, oily spray tans gone COMPLETELY AWRY.

They look hungry.  And fierce.   Like they would kill me for my McDonald's fries I so enjoy.   They could kill me very easily, indeed.  

I am not a very fast runner, so one of these girls (or  a zombie.  We live in THAT KIND OF CRAZY these days, don't we?) could very well overtake me.  *Mental Note:  I need to start the Couch to 5K program again in the near future.

They look determined ~   like masters of self control.  Jedis, if you will.   Actually, these qualities are ones that I quite admire.  I wish I had more of them.

Although I must say, I would like my self control and determination to manifest in an ENTIRELY different way.

I am actually pretty scared to say a whole lot about these pictures.

Not sure what to think, either.

What do YOU all think?

Aaaaand, just so those aren't the last thoughts in your head, here is a chaser.