Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 19 and 16. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Snarkfest Runs a Marathon....

This Saturday morning I'll be up before the birds getting ready to run a marathon. This will be my 3rd marathon ever and I'm really excited about it. My first was the Marine Corps Marathon, and my second was part of the Goofy Challenge. For that, I ran a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. Yeah, that was a little nuts. Or Goofy, as it were.

Goofy Challenge Bling
My bib and bling from the Goofy Challenge in 2012

But this weekend I'm running the Freedoms Run Full Marathon right here in my little town. The course runs through all sorts of historic places like the town of Harpers Ferry, the C&O Canal and the Antietam National Battlefield. These are all places I run almost daily, so it's literally like I'm running in my backyard. But for 26.2 miles. Hey it's a big backyard.

I'm totally ready. Hell, I'm almost looking forward to it. Almost.

I began training for this marathon in earnest back in mid-May. I've spent my mornings doing quick jaunts around my neighborhood and every Sunday has been consumed by double digit runs all through the summer. Most Sunday's I've been accompanied by one of my best friends (and the MOST excellent Sherpa) Susan. She has been riding her bike and carrying a backpack with a camel back, snacks and Ibuprofen to help me get through the long and mind-numbing miles. She has pushed me, mocked me, threatened me, sang to me and made me go farther and faster than I want to go. She assures me that I will thank her on race day. I'm sure after my suffering is over, I will do that.

My neighbor, the Nazi Crack Ho will be running the Half Marathon this year. I look forward to seeing her and her hubby, Sherpa Susan, my husband and favorite 16 year old daughter and many of my friends cheering me on at the finish line.

My goal is to finish in under 6 hours. The first 15 miles, from what I understand, is relatively flat so I should be able to average between 12-12:30/min mile. Once I hit those hills, I'll definitely be slowing down.

Wish me luck, Snarklings!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Long Live the Schlepprocks!

In my hood, we have a wide variety of personalities. Some nice, some warm and fuzzy, some prickly, some tangy, just like a big grocery store full of dispositions. We've got plenty of fruits and nuts, some twigs and berries, we've got it all. And it's a pretty decent mix, except for the rotten bananas. You know the ones I'm talking about, the kind who travel around with a black cloud of doom hanging over their head, much like Schlepprock from the old Flintstones cartoons. Wherever Schlepprock goes, he brings a gloomy darkness and bad things happen. Yeah, we've got one of those as well.

This is the type of person who frequently pees in your cornflakes in the morning. For the sake of anonymity and originality, we'll call our Schlepprock 'Schlepprock'. Our neighborhood Schlepprock takes pride and pleasure in the misery of others. If you're having a sunny day, fear not, old Schlepprock will come to your house and rain on your sunny day. Or try to if you allow it. But the key is NOT to allow it. You see, our Schlepprock is a lone wolf in a pack of happy puppies. And we happy puppies need not let our Schlepprock bring us down.

Let's take a look at some examples of our Schlepprock in action. Our Schlepprock enjoys making the ideas of others seem somehow wrong. Several of our neighbors toyed with the idea of sharing resources to save money in these difficult times and brought up the idea of possibly pitching in to share in garbage collection. Several other like-minded opinions were shared, yet Schlepprock poo-poo'ed these ideas, suggesting instead that we all just buy one big house and live together. When another sweet neighbor suggested that with the high cost of oh, I don't know, EVERYTHING these days, it sounds like we could ALL benefit from pitching in and that even dual-income households are scrambling to make ends meet. Well, apparently this is not the case at Casa Schlepprock. Schlepprock's spouse apparently makes plenty o'bucks so that Schlepprock can stay home and take care of the little Schlepprocks. I applaud Schlepprock's spouse and their ability to manage on one income but the idea of a two-income household is a ridiculous theory to Schlepprock. No, Schlepprock looks down from their high horse upon those of us who all have to go out and do all that nasty stuff called work. Ew. Schlepprock replied to this sweet neighbor by suggesting that said sweet neighbor wasn't home often enough to be a good mother to her own children. Yes, THAT little nugget pissed more than a few neighbors off.

More recently, we had another little conversation going about the positives and negatives of HOA's. This is a hot button topic among all neighbors, and all involved have valid points of view. Even Schlepprock. However, as someone famous once said (and no, don't ask me who, because I don't know. It could've been someone who works for UPS or FedEx, but don't quote me. Maybe it was Mr. McFeely from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, he was the postman, wasn't he? Anyway, I digress) it's all in the delivery. Delivery is key. It's all about delivery. You deliver your point of view in a grown up, respectful manner and your opinion is treated with the respect it deserves. You deliver your opinion like an ass, and that's the way you'll be treated. Watch your words. If you tell someone that you like the HOA because you don't want to live with a dirt ball mentality, and if you want to live with a dirt ball mentality, go move to a trailer park, then you are going to be challenged. And if you backpedal and say there was no name calling, then you're obviously suffering from short term memory loss and you should immediately change your name to Dorrie and go find a whale to have a chat with in your quest to find Nemo. And if you FURTHERMORE refer to someone as a bitch because they ask you to tone down the name calling, you deserve any ass-whooping that comes your way.

We all know people like this. They are everywhere in every community, hiding in the woodwork like cockroaches. They piss us off and then act innocent. Their opinion is much greater and much more important than yours. Their spouse is better than yours, their milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard. I say good for them. Long live the Schlepprocks, for if they disappear, it'll make it harder for me to unleash my snark. And it's not good for the snark to be locked up for too long. One must not bottle up the snark. So thank you, Schlepprocks of the world! Because of you, I'm never at a loss for a good topic for a blog post.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Better Things on FX AND a GIVEAWAY!!





Hey Snarklings, have you heard of the new show on FX called Better Things?  I watched the pilot episode last Thursday and aside from the fact that the main character Sam (played to perfection by Pamela Adlon) is a part-time porn star, I can totally relate to almost everything else that she deals with. While she has 3 daughters and I have 2, what she deals with is so relatable. That's probably the best word to describe the show: relatable.

Better Things on FX

As the pilot opens, her youngest is throwing a fake tantrum because she isn't getting her way. Been there, dealt with that. Then she deals with her teenager and the full-on attitude that comes with the teen years. Um, hello? Is there a TV camera hidden in my car?? Her middle child is a bit of an enigma. I haven't figured her out yet except for the fact the she barges into her mom's room despite Sam's repeated warnings to NOT come into her room. Who among us with kids EVER HAS PRIVACY? Again: relatable.

Better Things on FX

So far, after watching the pilot episode, I feel for Sam as a single mom. She wants the best for her daughters but while our children ARE our world, there has to be more, right? Is it wrong of us to want some alone time? Is it wrong to want a connection to more than just what our kids need? No, it's not. We love our kids but we deserve adult interaction, we NEED it. And so far, Sam needs it and I can totally relate to her. I'm looking forward to this week's episode to see what happens next. You can watch Better Things on FX on Thursday nights at 10:00 pm EST. But be warned, Better Things is for mature audiences only. Did I mention the main character is a part-time porn star? Yeah, no kids watching, please.

But wait, there's more!  FX has also given me a great box of swag to give to one of you lucky Snarklings! Check out the goods in this box:

Cool swag box

Ray-Ban Sunglasses
Chipolo Bluetooth Key Ring
Leather clutch
Travel pillow
Emergency beauty kit
Lip moisturizer
Mini Mints
Essential Oil blends

To enter to win this awesome swag bag, you need to do 2 things. Just comment below and tell me what overwhelms YOU! Laundry? Parenting? Work? What overwhelms you? Then, once you've commented, please complete THIS GOOGLE FORM so you may be entered to win! I will pick the winner from the Google Form, so make sure you've commented here AND completed the form!

Check back because I'll be drawing a winner on Thursday September 22 at noon! And make sure you tune in on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. EST to watch Better Things on FX.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Drivin' Miss 16...

16 will be 17 soon, and a few weeks ago she got her drivers license. She aced the parallel parking part of the test early on and the lady who administered her test told me that 16 was the most confident and capable person she'd had all week taking the road test. SCORE!! And now she's Drivin' Miss 16!

I allow my child to drive my car to school. Does that make me a bad parent?

She got her license on a Wednesday and school started the next day. I opted to allow her to drive my car to school. And I've allowed her to drive to school almost every day since she got her license. Some people may think I'm crazy. I'm not.

A friend of mine posted on the Facebooks that she, too, had allowed her newly-licensed driver to take her car and OH THE HUMANITY!!!!! "Why would you let your kid take your car???" "Why do YOU have to walk to the store when you have a perfectly good car???" "That's not fair to you!!!!"

People were literally freaking out on her post, criticizing her for walking to the store and letting her kid take her car to school.

First of all, it's not really anyone's call but the owner of the car. Period. If you have an opinion, that's awesome. Good on you. But what you think doesn't really make much of a difference in anyone's life but your own, or in anyone's decisions but your own.

Here's my story: I work just under a mile from my office. I am a healthy 49-year old woman with fully functioning lungs and legs. I am fully capable of walking to my job. In fact, I actually ENJOY walking to my job. It gets me out in the sunshine, gets me fresh air, vitamin D and some much needed exercise. It's helping with weight-loss and it really doesn't suck as much as some nay-sayers would like you to think.

I also believe it's building my daughter's confidence. I have faith in her ability, I know she is careful, I know that she's capable and I know that it makes her feel good that I trust her enough to take my car to school. It also saves ME the trouble of having to go pick her up after sports or band practice every afternoon. If I continue driving her everywhere, she will not get the experience OR THE CONFIDENCE to do it for herself.

If it's raining, girlfriend gets to ride the bus and then I will go and pick her up from practice when I get out of work. But if it's a beautiful day outside, and I could use the exercise, and she could use the confidence building, why not let her drive? If she has her license but I drive her everywhere, what purpose does that serve? What experience is she getting?

So to all of the nay-sayers, I say this: it's none of your business if someone allows their kid to drive their car. If you have a child, parent that child. But don't judge another parent for their parenting decisions.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also find some humor in the story of my dueling GPSs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mean Girls Suck...

If you know me, you know that I've struggled with my weight since forever.  I began putting on weight in the 4th grade. I was heavier than most of the girls in my class, and since I was short, I carried all my weight from my hips down. Fat ass. Barrel ass. Thunder thighs. You name it, I heard it.

Funny thing, I heard it from the girls in my class. My peers. The boys? They never bothered me. They were my friends. They weren't the bullies. It was the mean girls with the big mouths and the bigger attitudes.

Bullies have been around since Jesus was a baby. Why are mean girls so...mean?

Starting in 6th grade, we had dances for grades 6-8 in my school. And I loved to dance, so when I went to dances, I danced my fat ass off.  I danced with my girlfriends and I danced with the boys in my class. I was mocked by the other girls in my class, the mean girls. But I never had a problem with the boys. They wanted to dance, and so did I. It was fun.

Maybe the mean girls didn't like that I was getting attention from the boys at the dance (trust me, it was all in friendship, I never dated any of the boys in my school, they just wanted to dance, nothing more). Who knows?  But because I was a fat girl, I was an easy target for them.

It hurt at first, not gonna lie. But eventually I stopped caring what they thought. In the years since I stopped giving a shit what other people think, I've run more than 20 half marathons. I've run 2 full marathons and am training for my third in October. I've become a published author and I am officially a New York Times Bestselling Author. My ass is still big but my confidence is bigger.

Both of my daughters have dealt with mean girls. Mean girls never go away, they will always be there and they will always suck. But both of my girls have the courage of their convictions and have found things at which they both truly excel, and they've learned (or are still learning) not to sweat the small stuff.  Both my girls kick ass at music and sports. They know they are good. They're not cocky or arrogant, but they are confident. Naturally, the mean girls hate that confidence and continue to be petty and small.  But my girls know the deal. They work hard, they practice, they do well and they get past the small people with their small minds and their petty bullshit. The means girls don't realize it but they are actually teaching my girls a good lesson.

In life, there will always be assholes. In every job, in every club, in every organization, in every facet of life, there will always been jackasses. Learning this early on, and learning how to deal with those jackasses from the start is helpful for the future. So if you are bullied, I realize it's easy for me to tell you to let it go and not let it bother you. But find what you are good at and work at it. Practice it, master it, and show the assholes that you're better than they are.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Purina Pro Plan Cat Food: A Cat's Tail

So I've got this cat, you see.  You know her, you love her. I love her. She's my Cinnamon and holy cheese she'll be 15 this year! She was born on Sept 11, 2001. She's my 9/11 baby and she's as dumb as a box of rocks but as sweet as sugar.

When we got her, she was just a little baby and was a TERROR to our other cat, Pinhead. Pin was a cranky old lady and Cinnamon was this young pain in the butt whippersnapper that lived for annoying the old girl. When Pin finally passed a few years back, we adopted two dogs, Henry and Cosmo, and Pin had her revenge from the grave. The dogs finally realized that they were bigger than the cat and once they did, all bets were off. They chased and played with Cinnamon just as she had done to Pinhead. I wonder now if she regrets being such a pain to Pinhead.

A word about my cat's taste in cat food
I just KNOW the Purina Pro Plan Cat Food is in this drawer!
Now that she is slowing down a bit, she's getting much more picky about eating. I don't give her dry food because she has issues with her urinary tract when I do, so she's been eating canned food and being really persnickety about it. Recently I was contacted by the folks at Purina Pro Plan Cat  and offered  the opportunity to feed their Purina Pro Plan Cat Food to our Cinnamon. They're gonna need to send a bigger case. This cat can't get enough of it. While this IS a sponsored post, I'm not exaggerating when I say that she absolutely LOVES this food. It's like I've created a monster. She's seriously wishing she had opposable thumbs so she could open the cans and feed herself.

A word about my cat's taste in cat food
Is this where you're hiding the Purina Pro Plan Cat Food??  #MyGreatCat

All of the formulas are high in protein, featuring real meat, poultry or Cinnamon's favorite, fish. I mentioned that dry food caused her urinary tract issues and Purina Pro Plan Cat Food is great for maintaining hydration and has all of the nutritional value my old girl needs. It is proudly manufactured at Purina-owned US facilities. And now your cat can try it too, just click to get your coupon for a free can of Purina Pro Plan when you buy 5.

A word about my cat's taste in cat food
Where the heck do you keep the forks, human? #MyGreatCat
You guys know me, I don't  normally write full posts about products unless I truly believe in them. And I believe that Purina Pro Plan Wet Cat Food is a great choice for my Cinnamon, or your Tabby or Fluffy or George. Whoever your favorite cat is, why not click for the buy 5 get 1 can free coupon and treat them to Purina Pro Plan Cat Food?

A word about my cat's taste in cat food
FINALLY cat food I won't turn down #MyGreatCat

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Egg Nazi...

Hey Snarklings. Most of you know that I've got two teens in High School this year, a Senior and a Freshman. Both my girls are band geeks and I couldn't be happier. Band kids are awesome. They are pretty well-behaved (most anyway) and I know and love most of their friends in band. Anywho, every year the whole band packs up and heads to the 4H camp for band camp (NO AMERICAN PIE JOKES NEEDED, TYVM) and we band parents all pitch in to assist. We provide produce, we show up at the school to help load up all the luggage, fans, equipment and instruments. Some parents drive the trucks up, others drive up in their own vehicles to help unload, and during the week, parents sign up to chaperone in the bunks or to help serve meals.

That's where I come in. Every year since 16 was a wide-eyed Freshman, I've gone up to band camp one evening to chaperone in the bunks and then to help with breakfast the following morning. I feel like every parent who has a kid in band should help out in some way, whether it's sleeping over at band camp, serving meals, chaperoning band trips, or one of my favorite things to do, working in the concession stand during Friday night football games. But I digress. Let's get back to breakfast, shall we?

My partners-in-crime and fellow band parents Suzie, Lucy and I woke up at the asscrack of dawn and schlepped over to the building where meals are served. There, we were instructed by the crack staff that is there every year. These awesome ladies, I believe, are on staff at the public schools in the area as cafeteria workers (don't quote me as I'm not 100% sure on this, because they could also be prison guards, could go either way). They quickly put us to work cooking eggs, buttering toast and cutting fruit. Breakfast on that particular morning was eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, toast, cereal and an enormous selection of fresh fruit (trust me when I tell you, the kids at band camp almost NEVER go hungry). 

My job was serving freshly made scrambled eggs to these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed band kids. All 180 of them. Plus instructors. So there are 200 egg-eating folks all lined up and ready for me to dish them out some steaming scrambled goodness. I started with a big ice cream scooper and those first few kids were giddy with excitement at the serving of delicious eggy delight that appeared on their plates. And that's when it happened. The Egg Nazi appeared. She is the keeper of the kitchen. The master of the meals. I heard her say "THAT'S IT!!! NO MORE!!!" And then she traded my big scrambled egg scoop for a small scrambled egg scoop. She instructed me NOT TO GIVE OUT TOO MUCH to each person because we have to make these eggs last for everyone. "If there are any eggs left" she said, "they can go back for seconds. But I doubt there'll be any left. So you have to just give out a small portion to make them stretch for everyone."

The look on these kids' faces broke my heart as I laid out a smattering of eggs, like, a tablespoon on each plate. Their eyes, nearly filled with tears, looking up at me as if to say "Please, ma'am, may I have some.....more??" Overwhelmed with guilt, I apologized to each child as they looked down at the baby-sized portion of eggs on their plate. "I tried, I swear, but if she catches me giving you more.....she'll kill me"  I whispered through my own guilt-laden tears.

With 1/4 pan of eggs left and less than half the band left to serve I heard the Egg Nazi shout from the kitchen, "Put this fresh pan of eggs out, those eggs out there are getting cold!!" So I traded the old pan for a fresh new pan, but still, I was being watched like a hawk. If I gave even a smidgen more than that baby scoop, I could feel her eyes burning a hole in my skull. I could almost hear her thoughts: "NOT SO MUCH!!!!! ARE YOU CRAZY??? WE'LL RUN OUT!!!" Never have I felt so much guilt, I felt like I was starving these kids. I feared that they wouldn't make it to lunch before passing out on the field because they didn't get enough to eat for breakfast.

When I saw the end of the line, I looked at my pan of eggs. Almost still full, because of the miniscule amount of eggs I was instructed to distribute. Slow, smouldering rage began to burn in my heart, because I realized at that point that WE WERE GOING TO HAVE SO MANY GODDAMN EGGS LEFT OVER WE COULD FEED A SMALL AFRICAN VILLAGE. I seethed. I bit through my bottom lip. I burned with the fire of a thousand suns at the Egg Nazi, for making me starve those poor band kids.

As the last person in line walked away with their portion, the Egg Nazi came out from the kitchen, and looked at the mountain of scrambled eggs still left in my pan. She could probably feel the heat from my anger radiating through my skin. "I'm real sorry," she said, "I really thought you were giving out way too much in the beginning but looks like we had plenty."

Since dumping a pan of hot scrambled eggs on the Egg Nazi would probably have gotten me kicked out of band camp, I decided to keep my big mouth shut and carry my giant pan of eggs over to the table so that the children could help themselves to seconds. In the end, few did. It was almost time for them to head out and start practicing their music and their movements, so there was no time to eat the eggs. I'm not sure what the Egg Nazi did with the remainder of those eggs but I can only hope an orphanage in Haiti was well-fed that afternoon.

Next year I'm handing out toast.