Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I am certainly not very mindful of the speed limit as is clear from the previous post. And I am probably not the most conscientious of drivers in general. However, I have managed to navigate the roads for 20+ years without ever hitting an animal. I mean, there have been close calls - but I've been lucky, and careful. I mean, I don't eat animal products. I have a son who carries bugs, no matter how small, very carefully out of the house so that they can live the rest of their full and satisfying lives trying to get back into my fucking living room. I am an animal lover.

On the way back from South Carolina, my luck finally came to an end. And boy, did it go out with a bang. Or rather, a bump. A very, very large bump.

I was tooling along at a relatively sedate 80 mph in the middle of the night. Everyone else in the car was asleep (as I've mentioned, Ted is not a night owl). And right out in front of me lumbers this... creature. I mean, I couldn't have swerved out of the way if I had wanted to - there was NO time. So, one HUGE thump later, I squeak loud enough to wake up Sleeping Beauty.

Ted's like "What's wrong?" I'm like, "I hit an animal." He asks what kind, and I am momentarily at a loss. I literally have never seen anything quite like the thing that strolled out onto I-95.

But it was vaguely familiar, and in a second it comes to me. I say to Ted, "Remember the Princess Bride?"He's like, "Oh boy. You hit an R.O.U.S.?" And yes, that's exactly what I hit:

I mean, but EXACTLY. All I could think of the entire rest of the way home was "Thank God we rented a minivan for this trip because there are probably animal guts all over the front of this car, and if it was ours we'd obviously have to sell it."

But hey, on the bright side: no ticket!


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Saturday, July 13, 2013


Every year we drive to South Carolina to spend a week with Ted's entire family (and then some) on Edisto Island. Why? Because for some reason, Ted's mother and step-father have settled on this random island as the ideal vacation spot, despite the fact that it takes all of their children a minimum of 12 hours of driving to get there. You can fly, but last summer the tickets were $700+ EACH. Also, when you drive, you can bring more shit. Which is obviously awesome, because who doesn't love traveling with two small children and enough luggage for seven sherpas?

This year, we followed our finely-honed practice of leaving at 1:00 AM, so that the vast majority of the driving is done overnight - the kids sleep and there's no traffic: win/win.

As usual, I drove most of the way down (Ted is a fragile flower who needs a solid eight hours of sleep, or he just isn't himself. He also drives the speed limit, which means we'd get there halfway through the week of vacation).

Things started out swimmingly. We hit New Jersey at 1:30, Delaware at 3:00, Baltimore at 4:00 and flew into Virginia at around 4:45 AM. That's where things started going wrong.

Now, the speed limit in Virginia is 70 mph, which might lead one to believe that they take a carefree and relaxed approach to how fast you go on the roads there.

Interesting Fact #1: This is not the case.

As I blew by the state trooper, I knew I was fucked before I even saw his lights go on.

Interesting Fact #2: State troopers in Virginia drive Mustangs.

And those motherfuckers are FAST. Don't take my word for it - watch one kick a Camaro's ass on Consumer Reports' Auto Test Track:

I was doing close to 90, and he was up my ass from a dead stop in about 4 seconds. And Officer Peterson was, to say the least, displeased. Apparently he clocked me going 88, which is considered "reckless driving," and for which one must appear in court. In Virginia. When I told him that no fucking way was I coming back to fucking VIRGINIA on August 9th to appear in traffic court, he threatened to take me to jail on the spot. And it gets better...

Interesting Fact #3: It is NOT legal to drive with headphones on.

Though I personally don't think Officer Peterson had to be such a dick about it. "I don't know what state YOU live in that you think it's legal to drive with headphones. Ohhhhhh, New York!"

Interesting Fact #4: Southerners are apparently blind to the obvious awesomeness of New York. (I don't think Ted's Yankee cap helped.)

End result of our trip through Virginia:

Ted demoted me to "Passenger" at the next exit. But only for about an hour and 45 minutes, because he was still tired (I told you!). So I was back behind the wheel when we saw the first sign for South of the Border:

Usually when we go by South of the Border, it's not open. But since we left a little later this year (and had a small delay in Virginia), it was open for business by the time we got to the North Carolina/South Carolina border. So we stopped. 

Interesting Fact #5: South of the Border is not exactly what I thought it was.

Thankfully, my kids are not rocket scientists and did not notice that South of the Border bears absolutely no resemblance to a "really fun amusement park" and had a great time.

Yes, they are in their pajamas. At this point you may be wondering why we do any of this in the first place. Here's why:

It really is paradise once you get down here. And the time with the family is priceless. So on that note:

Tune in tomorrow to find out how the drive home went :)

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I kind of gave away the "surprise" ending in Part One of this saga, but I didn't want to leave you guys hanging, wondering exactly how badly I got fucked by Pinterest this time. To refresh your memories, this is what my disgusting baking sheets looked like before I tried the trick of cleaning them with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide:

As for how they looked AFTER the experiment? Well, here ya go:

I mean, they don't look worse... Right? In fact, you can definitely see some improvement - especially when you take a closer look at the pan on the right. Just take a gander at that almost kind of cleanish area in the center. I know I want to eat cookies baked on that sheet! But just for fun, let's go back and see what glories of shininess Pinterest had promised:

Now I will be the first to admit that my pans were much grosser than the ones whatever far better housekeeper than I am attempted to clean using this method. However. One might be excused for thinking that the results, no matter how dirty the original baking sheet, would be more impressive than THIS:

I know what you're thinking. "She didn't scrub. She's so lazy, she probably didn't even pretend to scrub!" While yes, I am indeed that lazy, I would never compromise a scientific experiment just to spare myself the horror of actually burning calories. I scrubbed, all right. But to no avail.

But don't feel too sorry for me. I went onto Amazon.com (my dearest friend and the bane of Ted's existence) and was able to find new pans that were honestly much nicer that mine ever were, even when they were clean and new themselves. I am now the proud owner of these:

And while it's obvious that they are cleaner and shinier than my old ones, they are also larger and the same size (oh, the joy!). So really, it was a win-win. Ted got to see his wife make a huge (for me) effort to save us a few dollars, and I got to buy new baking pans. Not to mention the secret thrill I get from proving that Pinterest is often full of shit.

But to be fair, the opposite is also true. So in the next post, you will see some Pinterest successes that will knock your socks off! I promise! ;)

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Monday, July 1, 2013


I know it's Monday, not Tuesday. But this particular Pinterest project has a prolonged waiting time right in the middle, so I'm breaking it up into two posts. In this one, you will see the promises that Pinterest makes, the effort that I put into achieving success, and a sneak peek at the (SAD, VERY SAD) results. Tomorrow, which is Tuesday, there will be a follow-up post with a complete break-down of the (VERY VERY VERY SAD) outcome.

I don't know about you, but I am a shit housekeeper. My husband is a cheap bastard on the thrifty side, but even Ted knows that paying the cleaning lady is a necessary expenditure. Mercy the Amazing Nanny does as much cleaning as she can while tending to the brats darling angels, but cleaning is not her job. In a (rare and totally unappreciated) effort to save the Tenthoff Family some money, I have offered not once, but twice, to clean the house myself.

These ill-fated bouts of generosity ended poorly, with me being fired by both Ted and Mercy in what can only be described as intervention-like family meetings where they gently explained that the house had become so dirty that they were afraid for the health of our family.

All this being said, we currently do not have a cleaning lady. I seem to have remarkably bad luck when it comes to hiring a person to clean my house. The cleaning lady we had in the city threw a party in our apartment when we were out of town. Despite this, I did not fire her. Then we went away again, and this time she threw a party that necessitated our neighbors calling the cops. After that I did actually fire her.

Since then, we have had two or three different people come to clean our house, but all of them have been terrible at the job. And believe me, my standards are low. I mean, it's hard for me to imagine anyone with lower standards than me when it comes to cleaning ladies. But while I don't mind spending money when there's something to show for it, I do mind spending more than a hundred dollars a week to continue to have a dirty house.

Anyway, all of this is a very long way of explaining why my baking sheets are as disgusting as they are. And they are disgusting:

See? I wasn't exaggerating. Now, in what can only be described as an incredibly ironic gesture, I have a Pinterest board called Cleaning House. This is where I collect the myriad cleaning tips and tricks that I never, ever use. Not even during my stints as the Tenthoff Family cleaning lady. But there was one pin that kept catching my eye. If you spend any time at all on Pinterest, you've probably seen it yourself:

By some miracle, I happened to have the two necessary ingredients, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, in the house. (That is actually a total lie - I had to make Ted go to the store and buy baking soda.) Who the fuck has baking soda on hand??? A functioning household-runner, that's who. Not me. Until now:

I followed the directions carefully. I mixed up a paste, and applied it to the entire surface of the pans. In fact, since it was a little unclear how thick the paste was, I mixed up two batches of different consistencies to see which one would be more effective. (This is another enormous lie. The difference in the batches was totally accidental, and I was too lazy to fix it.)

Here is the experiment in progress:

Here's a close-up of the pastier paste:

Here's the less-pastey paste:

Now, you have to leave the stuff on the trays to work for like eight hours. So tune back in tomorrow to see whether I was able to see my face in the newly shiny baking trays. But here's a hint: NO I WASN'T. See the picture below for a sneak preview of the disappointment that lies ahead:

See you tomorrow, dear readers! I look forward to breaking your hearts and destroying any trust that you may have in the wonders of Pinterest ;)

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