Subourbon Mom


Port-o-John Etiquette

potty1We live in a society governed in part by laws of decency. They separate us from the animals and White Supremacists, and people should follow them to keep human grossness down to a tolerable level.

Which brings me to Port-O-John (POJ) etiquette.

Look, I get it – nobody wants to be in the Abyss of Nastiness, much less touch anything. I can remember having to take my kids in them and shrieking “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!” This usually ended with me holding said kid by the armpits over the hole while they tried unsuccessfully to do their business in the most awkward way possible.

The other night I was at an outdoor concert, and bless her heart, somebody (I’ll call her Chicken Little – explanation below) just did not follow what I consider to be good POJ etiquette. After waiting in the ridiculously long line for the few POJs the women were using (the men were using a POJ trough that was infinitely faster), I finally got to the front of the line and opened the door.

Now Girls, I know our Mamas told us not to touch anything and to line the toilet seat with toilet paper so we wouldn’t get some God-awful disease, or worse, pregnant, but you can’t do that shit in a POJ in the dark.  First and foremost, nobody can tell if you were merely being cautious (hooray for you – Mama would be proud), or if you’re covering up something nasty. Nobody coming in after you can afford to make any assumptions, especially at a concert where there are copious amounts of drunk Millennials.

POtty2When I opened the POJ door, Chicken Little had spread a lot of toilet paper haphazardly about.  Maybe she had attempted to line the seat, and thought the seat was three feet around and crawled up the wall, but there was toilet paper on the floor, on the wall and stuck to the door handle. It looked like a bunch of used Civil War bandages had gotten caught in a time machine.

No way in Hell was I going to even attempt to hover near that mess.

When I brought this up to a couple of friends, there was a surprising variety of opinions about female POJ etiquette.

My friend, I’ll call her Laura, admitted to lining the seat, AND putting extra paper down the hole to prevent splash back.  That was something I hadn’t even thought of…nor have I ever been in a POJ where the contents were so full as to have that issue. So, I deem shoving TP down the hole for that reason is acceptable.  Note to self: don’t travel with Laura.

Another friend asked, “But what if you aren’t physically strong enough to squat?” Well, that’s why they make the Elvis Handles – you know, the places on the door in front of you where you grab on with your hands to help you balance. Note to self:  keep working on squats at the gym.

So here are my Rules for Using the POJ:

  1. NEVER retrieve anything that fell in the hole – seriously, no phone is worth it. Besides, how awesome would it be to call it whenever someone’s in there? Even better, get an old phone and put a funny voicemail message on it.
  2. Leave your phone/drink/purse outside with a friend.  You don’t want to use any of them after being in that Cave of Satan.
  3. If you forget and bring your beer in there with you, don’t leave the bottle/cup in the urinal.  Somebody’s job is to reach in and get it – do your best impression of a man cleaning up dog poo: leave it on the floor and walk away.
  4.  If you must line the seat because you can’t squat or you’re still scared your Mama will find out, it is up to you to put the toilet paper that lined it into the hole when you’re done.  Again, that’s somebody’s job.
  5. Toilet paper is not a sticky note – it has no place on a wall or door handle.
  6. Feminine products: wrap ‘em up like a bad burrito. Nobody wants to look at that.
  7. Banging on the POJ while a friend is in there to scare the crap out of them is perfectly acceptable.
  8. Banging on the POJ when a stranger is in there is still hilarious but you’d better be able to out run them.
  9. Tipping someone over in a POJ is NEVER okay.
  10. Check your shoes for toilet paper – or tell someone if it’s stuck to them (unless it’s your friend and you’re laughing to hard.


Dear House Sitter (Actual Instructions I Left Last Week)
July 19, 2017, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor, Travel | Tags: , , , , ,

Thanks for taking care of the babies and the house!  Here’s what you need to know:

The Cats:   

We have 3 cats (because we’re stupid), but usually only 2 of them hang out at the house:

Izzy is our 14 yr. old weird orange tabby. She’s very vocal, so don’t be surprised if you find her nagging you to feed, water or be her personal slave in every way. This is usually indicated by a bitchy-sounding meow or by her repeatedly slipping her head under your hand as you try to work on your computer.

Kiwi is the long-haired, gray tabby. She’s the in-house terrorist, taking swipes at you as you walk by and plotting your death.  She truly believes that when she stares at you she is stealing a portion of your soul and selling it to the Devil – it might be true. The vet is scared of her – just feed her and back away.

Holly and EscobarEscobar is the black male. He’s super friendly to people and loves to lay around on his back and show you his junk.  He’s also an asshole to Izzy, especially when he’s hungry.  Escobar wanders the neighborhood looking for…c’mon, that’s too easy.   He occasionally graces us with his presence when none of the neighborhood cats are in heat. He’s our neighborhood’s version of Barney from How I Met Your Mother.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t see him at all.

Food and Water:  Izzy and Kiwi get one scoop of dry food 2x a day.  Escobar gets the same when he shows up, but it’s like going on a date – don’t put out unless you’re ready to use it.  The cats get fresh water in their bowl when I remember, but Izzy usually drinks out of Larry the Fish’s bowl anyway, and Escobar never really learned how to drink successfully out of a bowl – I can’t even explain how ridiculous he looks when he tries. Kiwi drinks out of the toilet – don’t ask. I think it was part of her ISIS training.

Meds:  Izzy gets a half Zyrtec in the morning.  She has allergies, so her lips get really fat like Angelina Jolie and it makes her scratch. That’s also why her stomach is completely bald.  There is something so sad (and hilarious) when she sits on the kitchen floor and her bald tummy rests on the tile like Jaba the Hut, or when she compulsively licks, muttering to herself, “So bald, so pretty!”

Cat Litter:  I’ll change it before we go. There are two boxes – one in the downstairs bathroom and one in the hallway upstairs.  I usually scoop the funk out every couple of days into plastic grocery bags (Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!).  If it’s really nasty, feel free to just dump the whole thing into a trash bag and put it in the outside bin. Just don’t be like me and forget to add more litter to the box – that doesn’t end well.

Larry the Fish:

There’s no reason Larry should still be alive, so don’t worry if anything happens (he’s like 5 years old and came in a Ziploc from Field Day of the Past).  He gets a small pinch of food every day.

 The Dogs:

Disclaimer: You said you wanted to do this!

We have 2 dogs.

Lily front PorchLily is the strange brown hound that is terrified of everyone.  We’re pretty sure she was Rufied when she was a puppy, and never had therapy to deal with it.  She won’t walk through any door except the one off the deck, and will lurk around the corner looking like she wants to come in until you open the door. Then she’ll disappear faster than America’s middle class.  But also like the middle class, she’s perfectly happy to ignore the world around her and snuggle on the couch watching Dancing with the Stars.

 

Holly and EscobarHolly is an attention whore and a klepto.  She loves people and cars – so much so that she will jump into moving cars through the open window. Then she’ll take your stuff as she exits the car, and all you’ll find are chewed up bits all over the yard.  She also eats packages delivered to the house, so please sure they are picked up immediately. So far, our running total of delivery destruction is around $700 – that includes two prom dresses we ordered for sizing purposes only. If you know anyone who might want them, they’re hanging in the laundry room. I’m told the kids are now wearing clothes with holes in them.

They can go outside during the day.  There is an electric fence (it was so cute that we thought that would keep them in). Our neighbors have taken pity on us and when the dogs escape, frequently leave our wayward girls in the driveway like a bad one night stand.

The Pool:  

Enjoy!  If you can clean out the skimmer basket every couple of days that would be great – usually there’s just frogs, spiders and beetles in there. Sometimes there’s a snake or two, but not to worry, they’re more scared of you then you are of them.  Ha! That’s such bullshit!  I’m hate them and call Hubby to come get them out.  You’re on your own there.  I dump the skimmer critters out in the grass over the fence. The dogs LOVE that.

Oh yeah – I threw in enough chlorine in there to give your face a chemical peel. Enjoy your week of being wrinkle-free.

Other:

Plants:   Good luck.  They’ve sucked all summer.

TV:  We have Xfinity for cable purposes. Turn the TV on using the large remotes (either one will do).  Ignore the other remotes sitting around – I’m pretty sure they’re just dog toys at this point and that they don’t work any of the electronics in the house anymore, but SOME PEOPLE won’t throw anything away.  All other TV questions – ask Hubby. I have no idea how any of that shit works.

Internet:  We live in the country. It’s often slow or doesn’t work at all. Read a book.

So there you have it – feel free to call us if you have any questions and have a great week!



Spring Break – 5 College Guy Body Types

Lots of people have asked me if there was any eye candy on the spring break cruise we took, which apparently had most of the University of Georgia on it. I hesitate to say yes, because a) the “men” were the same age as my daughters and b) eye candy is only fun in this situation for someone my age as long as you have your headphones on.  As soon as you actually hear the eye candy speak, it’s all over – it’s like getting what you thought was a caramel chocolate out of the candy box, and it ends up having that nasty pink creamy stuff inside.

But while I waited at the back of the pool crowd (see photo above) for the waiter to bring my next boat drink, I did notice that there are essentially 5 main male college bods:

  1. The football player who will eventually be a real estate broker or work in his Dad’s car dealership. This guy has already peaked – in fact, he may have peaked in high school but is riding the wave until the bitter end. His bulky size is beginning to go or will go to fat as soon as he stops working out in the gym, although he may re-acquaint himself with his neck when that happens. He always enters the belly flop contest and does the beer yell while dancing like Uncle Kracker. He also has some of the worst sunburn because he doesn’t have a girlfriend, and guys generally just aren’t that helpful to each other with sunscreen application.
  2. Dad-Bod. This guy has already achieved that settled look that usually comes after baby #1. You can already see what he’s going to look at when he’s 40. He’s wearing the pastel button-down shirt (probably unbuttoned) and a university hat. But he is someone who might be able to hold a conversation, and his sunscreen is evenly applied because he has a girlfriend (or potential girlfriend) who cares.
  3. The Gym Rat. This guy, no matter how tall or short, spends the same amount of time in the gym that Oprah Winfrey spends telling people how to live their lives better (BTW, I’m still annoyed that one of Oprah’s “favorite things” was a pair of slippers for $300, as if we’re supposed to be able to afford them – bitch, please). He has perfected the flex-and-scan, which involves – you guessed it – flexing his pecs and abs and scanning beneath his $200 sunglasses to see who noticed. This is usually followed by a smirk if he’s spotted a fan, or a frown if he hasn’t.
  4. The Head of the Back (a-la Michael Anthony Hall in 16 Candles). These leaders of the non-Ken Doll contingent tend to lurk around the outskirts of the big crowds, drinking as much as the rest (or more), but never quite make it to the inner circle. They may not spend as much time in the gym or in the girls’ dorms as the other guys, but they have an amazing assortment of professional sports-related clothing to choose from, such as baseball and basketball jerseys. Sunburn? See Bod #1.
  5. Baseball player bod. These guys aren’t necessarily baseball players – they just have that naturally athletic look to them, without all the gym work. They either are already in the military (hence the look), they’ll work 20-hour days on Wall Street, or they will climb some other corporate ladder quickly with their combination of looks and charm (and probably smarts as well) – unless they go the opposite direction and do something interesting/noble like joining the Peace Corp or becoming a Wilderness adventure leader in the Rockies. Their sunscreen is applied evenly by pretty much anyone they ask.

At the risk of being accused of body-shaming, these are generalizations only. I don’t know these people and haven’t spoken to them except to ask them to please aim their vomit down the stairs and not down my front (just kidding). And no, I’m not going to talk about the girls’ body types because…I’m not stupid.

And yes, I was jealous of them for a bit, but then I had a revelation:

College kids don’t have cash, and pool wait staff like cash.   A lot.

Grownups have cash.

So, we grownups grabbed some chairs first thing in the morning while the partiers were still sleeping, and camped out all day enjoying the partiers’ annoyed looks.  We tipped the wait staff each time they took our orders.  Soon we didn’t even have to ask – they just brought. No standing in line amongst the sweaty, rum-breathing hoards, vying for the bartenders’ attention among the belly button rings and thongs. Just drinks on a tray when we needed them.

It’s good to be a grown up.



New Year’s Resolutions

(Not that any of you should even remotely care what my resolutions are this year, I thought maybe you could use some ideas.)

Dear Self –

debit-cardLearn to pay in cash – not only will you save money, but the super-annoying “Remove Card” buzzer when using the debit card will no longer send you over the edge in Food Kitty

 

Do yoga in the living room – just because it humiliates you that Sting’s trudy-yogawife is 63 years old and can twist herself like a pretzel is no excuse for you not doing her yoga DVD that you spent $20 on

 

Sleep more – that means stop playing Candy Crush in bed – you’re the only person on the planet who’s still doing it

Stop playing games on phone…except at stop lights…and while watching tv…and while waiting for the fam to go anywhere…and while Hubby’s driving…

Write more family-friendly blogs

Start anonymous blog page so you can write about the fam

Save money for hiking trip in Scotland (a.k.a. satisfy Outlander fetish)

sam-heughan-768

Run a 10k

Run a 5k

Walk every day

Walk once a week

Hike once a month to train for hiking trip in Scotland

Drink only on weekends…or when out socially…or after a really, really crappy day at work…or when the cats pee in the house…or when the recipe requires wine…

cooking

Stop cooking with recipes requiring wine

dogs

 

 

 

Be nicer to the dogs

 

Be nicer to the cats



Modern Art

Um...yeah.  I recently went to Chicago to visit a close friend, and we decided to get a little culture and go to the Chicago Art Institute. Back in the day, I took an Art Appreciation class, and have always liked losing myself in a painting or sculpture, letting my imagination run wild – kind of like when I people-watch in airports. There’s always an interesting story line in my head, and I love how everyone reacts viscerally to various artists and styles, how some works resonate with the anger, sadness, joy, fear or any other emotions we have. But I swear if I ever wear a beret in public, somebody lock me up.

At the museum that weekend there was a Degas exhibit and an exhibit on the artwork from the last 2000 years celebrating Dionysus, the Greek god of fertility and partying. I quickly realized a few things.  True Blood and the special effects folks for Lord of the Rings must have also seen the exhibit – the orgy scenes from True Blood could have come directly from some of those drawings and engravings, and there as a sculpture of a creature that looked eerily like Golum. I also noticed that most of the art pertained to the hedonism and exploits of men. The only women in the scenes were either being used for pleasure or were maenads, Dionysus’s female helpers – regular women, as usual, were not considered to be big partyers. My, how things have changed – can we say “Girls gone Wild?”

Since I also occasionally like to pry open my mind and do something that makes me uncomfortable, we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art. The people there were a little different from the visitors at the more traditional Art Institute. There were skinny jeans everywhere, coupled with ski hats shoved half way up Hipsters’ heads, and an assortment of folks meaningfully staring at walls filled with household objects dangling from strings or just glued there. Some, like me, were racing through the exhibits in a mild panic, trying to find something recognizable as art.

Of course it’s probably due to my lack of education, but I just don’t get Modern Art. I understand that the genre turned traditional art on its head with new ways of looking at objects, social norms and politics. But there were three exhibits at the museum that made me question the, er, validity of modern art:campbells soup

  1. I thought the Pop Art exhibit would be cool. What I didn’t expect were the baby dolls stuck on a piece of wood and painted solid white, hanging on the wall – WTF? Or the multiple canvases portraying Campbell’s Soup cans and logos – um, Hello, People, there were a lot of other iconic food labels around – why puck on Campbell’s? (Yes, I know it was Andy Worhol, but I don’t care who painted them. It’s soup cans.) At one point, I was walking through the exhibit and saw a woman in regular street clothes standing there staring at a blank wall…for at least two minutes. I actually thought she was part of the exhibit until she moved left to look at a mirror on the wall next to her. She’d been staring at a tiny plaque, which I later realized explained that the mirror had a bullet casing on it from a James Bond movie. Um….yeah. I don’t get it. I would just call that a souvenir.
  2. The next exhibit was in a small room. The walls, ceiling and carpet were all painted black. In the room were several pieces all painted black. According to the accompanying sign that was way too dark to see without squinting and wishing I could shine my phone light on it without embarrassing myself, each piece represented how we function in society – the velvet ropes apparently signified how we keep people in and out of our lives; the wooden sign that said “Here” signified that we are always seeking to establish our place the world. I never found out what the other two pieces were symbolic of because as I was reading, two young men walked up to read the plaque too. They both had the requisite black skinny jeans and ski hats, but one had on a distractingly vibrant, purple-feathered cape. I couldn’t look away, and I definitely couldn’t look at my friend because I knew I would start laughing. David Bowie may have been able to pull that off because of his innate coolness, but that 20-something hipster looked like a pterodactyl Barney.
  3. So we left that area, and went upstairs to a room that resembled those student exhibits you see on airport walls or in other public places. There were un-labeled pieces that could have been done by a preschooler or a high-schooler – the pieces had no labels to identify anything, so you couldn’t tell. This room was also painted black with a little bit of ambient lighting. On a screen at the back was a movie playing, perhaps explaining all of the artwork on the floors below, but I wouldn’t have known because it was all spoken in very soft, slow German. Two men dressed in black sat amid the 20 chairs, arms crossed, watching the movie. I looked at my friend and said, “You have to be high to understand what was going on here.” Of course I got glared at, but maybe it was because they were thinking, “How are you NOT?”

I wish someone could explain Modern Art to me so that I could truly appreciate what was happening.  I like Picasso and Munch and sometimes even Pollack, but the babies on the wall thing? And the plastic chairs from the 1960’s just sitting in a room? Um…I got nothing but creeped out and annoyed. Now, I understand that the Pop Art exhibit was meant to visually be snarky about our culture (at least that’s what the brochure explained), but I can tell you it was the best $12 I’ve ever spent to be verbally snarky for a straight 45 minutes.

 




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