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, 18 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!

Friday, May 27, 2016

The "Cool Mom" (do the kids still say "cool"?)

This time last year I was the proud and sobbing mother of a High School Graduate.  Happy to report she has successfully completed her first year of college and is doing well. Tonight I will be chaperoning the band for this year's graduation ceremony. I have been to all of the graduation ceremonies at our high school since my oldest was a freshman.

I have cried at every one of them.

Yes, I'm that mom. I'm the mom that most of the kids know. I don't want to say I'm the "cool mom" because I think all the kids would roll their eyes at that phrase, but I am the mom that most of the kids know. I'm the mom who volunteers to work the concession stand for Friday night football games rather than sit in the stands and watch my band kid perform. I'm the mom who chaperones band trips because I love these kids. I've watched them grow from awkward middle schoolers to awkward high school underclassmen to amazing, bright, talented young men and women.

And tonight I will watch another group of them as they receive their diplomas and move on. And I will cry. I can't help it! It's my own fault for getting involved in the first place. If I was the mom who just showed up when I absolutely HAD to, or just phoned it in, these things would be so much easier. But that's not who I am. I choose to be involved. I LIKE helping out, I want to know who my kids' friends are, and I love getting to know the other parents who are as devoted to the cause as I am. It's a brotherhood/sisterhood sort of thing. You get to know the parents who really want to help and you get to mock the rest who never show up.

So here's to another graduation, the passing of time, the growing up of our children. Best of luck to them and to the parents who made them who they are. And here's to the teachers who helped guide them. I'll have Kleenex ready.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Squirrels under my car, entitled teens and more!

I'm not having a good week. Yes, I know there are those who are far worse off than I am. But damn, this has been a week. And not a good one.

Today I ran over a squirrel while driving my darling youngest child to school. Stupid squirrel. When I got home I went to log onto my computer and Windows 10 had decided to install itself without my permission. Screw you, Windows 10, I'm declining your ass. Don't mess with me today or you'll end up like the squirrel.

Normally I am a very involved parent when it comes to my kids' schools. I'm in the Band Booster org, I provide assistance when asked and I always attend their functions, be it a concert or an induction ceremony or an end of year banquet. Once again I'm on the team putting together our band banquet. Remember how much fun this was in previous years?? 

Glutton for punishment, party of one?

Anyway, this week we had two such end of year banquets. Tuesday's was fine. But last night's was quite an eye opening experience. I sat and listened to the student president of this school organization speak for a full 5 minutes about how difficult this year was for the club. She took over as president last spring and at the beginning of this year, the faculty advisor for the club wanted to step down, and another advisor stepped up to take over. But to hear this high school senior talk about the transition, you would have thought they had asked her to tear down the school building and rebuild it alone, brick by brick. It was ridiculous. She sounded so put-upon I almost wanted to take up a collection for her.

She then went on to say how pleased she was with their toy drive over the holidays. They collected so many toys for kids who were 'not as prominent or as well-off as we are'. I literally choked on my beverage when she said that. I looked at my kids and they both said "Mom, you KNOW how entitled she is. When you look up 'entitled' in the dictionary, there she is". The best was when we left the school. For some reason the flags were flying at half mast.  We tried to remember who had passed away recently but came up empty. My only conclusion was they were flying the flags at half mast for the trials and tribulations that the president had gone through this year.

What kind of kids are we raising? If she went on and on complaining at an end of year banquet about how difficult this year was for her because she was MILDLY INCONVENIENCED, what in the world will she do when she gets to college and she is responsible for getting assignments in, homework finished, exams done all while doing her own laundry and getting to the damn dining hall before it closes? HOW WILL SHE LIVE???? The mind reels.

The week wasn't total shit. I did run a really good half marathon on Sunday, hitting my goal of finishing in under 3 hours. And I had a really good time with the friends with whom I ran. I'm thankful to have both my girls at home, happy and healthy. I have a job that I love and my muscles are almost feeling better after the run. Today is my 21st wedding anniversary so that's cause for celebration. So yeah, life is good. But sometimes, the bumps are annoying and I just have to vent.

What bugs you lately?

Monday, May 2, 2016

100 Mile Races, MyCharge and a GIVEAWAY!!

Those of you who read this blog on the regular know that I have an insane and amazing friend named Susan. You'll remember that Susan was the mastermind behind the drive-by painting of my house. She was also involved in my almost-arrest in DC a few weekends ago. What you don't know is that she has a giant heart and is known for doing incredible things. This past weekend was no exception.

Susan signed up to run the C&O Canal 100 Mile Race and this past weekend was the big event. Over the past few months, many of us had been helping her train for this massive undertaking. Now, make no mistake: I think she's nuts. Coocoo for Cocoa Puffs. Off the rails on a Crazy Train. But I love her and would do just about anything for her (EXCEPT run 100 miles with her).  I was totally on board, though, with supporting her and running a leg of the race with her. There were several of us on board. Part of the support was making sure she had enough supplies, and among those supplies was a phone charger she could rely on.

As luck would have it, myCharge sent me the brand new myCharge HUB Max. I got it in the mail on Thursday and charged it up so that Susan could take it with her on her run.

It's equipped with an Apple Lighting cable as well as an integrated micro-USB cable so you can charge an iPhone OR an Android. It's compatible with smartphones AND tablets and trust me, we found out that this thing lasts for HOURS.

Susan's phone died fairly quickly in the early part of the run and she had a small, cheap portable charger that gave her phone enough juice for about 2 hours. Then? Her phone died again. When we gave her the myCharge HUB Max, she plugged in her Android and it not only took her through the afternoon and evening but her phone was still fully charged at 10:00 at night AND the charger was STILL on 2 bars worth of power. THAT is INCREDIBLE.

And guess what! I've got a SECOND myCharge HUB Max to give away to one of YOU lucky readers!! The retail value of this item is $129.99 and it's worth every penny! If you aren't lucky enough to win this one, you can use promo code "MOM" to save 40% off the purchase of a myCharge HUB Max.

I was so happy that this product arrived in time for us to test it out during Susan's run so that I could tell you all how amazing it is! We found out first hand, we didn't have to rely on other people's opinions. We KNOW this thing works, and it works for hours and hours. And this could be yours just in time for Mother's Day! The contest is only open to US Citizens (sorry Canada) and all you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck, Snarklings!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was compensated for this post but all opinions are DEFINITELY my own.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I almost got arrested in DC last weekend...

My friends suck. Yeah I know I said I had awesome friends but they are different friends. My Duranie friend and I always joke that when one of us is in trouble, the others would pitch in for bail money. But my Shepherdstown friends? They're the reason I almost needed bail money.

Our marching band had the honor of marching in the annual Cherry Blossom parade in Washington DC on Saturday, and I had the privilege of chaperoning this huge band along with my friends Susan, Lisa and Lisa's husband Dave. Because we had to be at the school at 5:00 a.m. and I knew we'd be on the school buses until 8:00 at the earliest, I skipped coffee in favor of NOT holding my bladder for close to 3 hours. As you can imagine, by the time we got to DC, I was not the little slice of sunshine you guys know me to be.

I needed coffee and I needed it immediately. Since I have an old iPhone and the little hamster that runs my internet wheel is about a thousand years old, I could not bring up any kind of app that takes me to coffee. Therefore, I had to rely on my so-called friends to help me.

Is this too much to ask for?

Susan, a woman of high morals and values, poo-poo'ed the idea of Starbucks (Monsanto, GMO's) so she was determined to find me someplace that didn't kick baby puppies, like Dunkin Donuts. But she couldn't find a Dunkin on her phone thing. Please keep in mind, she DOES have a phone thing that tells her where the coffee is.  Lisa was really not much help, basically laughing at how cranky I become when I have zero drops of caffeine in my body. Ha. What a riot.

We started walking down 7th Avenue and we came upon a lovely US Parks Police Officer sitting in his car with his window rolled down. Susan stopped and asked him if he could tell us where there was a place where we could get coffee, and I mentioned Dunkin Donuts since Susan abhorred the idea of Starbucks. At this point, I'd have taken a cup of coffee freshly brewed by Adolf Hitler, but whatever.

The officer DID mention something about how not all cops go to Dunkin Donuts and started to try to think out loud about where there was a coffee shop. I looked DIRECTLY at Susan and whine/yelled "Don't you have a phone where you can look this crap up??" but unfortunately, since I was wearing sunglasses and Susan was standing right next to the cop's window, the cop MAY have thought I was yelling at HIM because he couldn't see my eyes. And naturally Susan jumped all over it and told me that I didn't have to yell at the nice police officer, he was trying to be nice and help. And the cop wasted NO TIME in fumbling around the car and finding his phone to look up where he could find coffee for this obviously unstable woman screaming in the direction of his window. I swear to God I was not yelling at the cop, I was whining at Susan because she has better technology than I do and because I was really, really hangry for coffee.

The nice officer told us there was probably a Dunkin just south of D Street, and I apologized for not yelling at him but in his direction, and we thanked him for his help and practically ran to D Street. (ok I did, they were too busy busting my balls about yelling at a cop). I suspect he MAY have just told us there was a Dunkin there to get us the hell away from him. Who knows?

We walk just south of D Street and guess what. NO DUNKIN. So Lisa breaks out HER phone and I hear her say "Hey Siri? Where is there a coffee shop?" and I turned to her and screamed "YOU'VE HAD SIRI ALL THIS TIME AND MADE ME YELL AT A COP???"

It was at that point that Lisa and Susan both peed themselves.

As we started our trek back, we spotted two women holding Starbucks cups and we descended upon them, jacked them up against the wall like we were Crockett, Tubbs and their cranky caffeine-deprived side-kick, and interrogated them about where they got their stuff. "L'Enfant Plaza! There's a Starbuck there, I swear, that's all I know!!"

We wasted no time running to L'Enfant Plaza, found the Starbucks and despite Susan's mores and high values, I drank that coffee as if it was manna from heaven.

Walking back to where we had left the band, we passed the nice officer who pointed us in the direction of coffee. His windows were all rolled up, no doubt an attempt to avoid the crazy coffee bitch who yelled at him earlier. I raised my cup and thanked him as we walked by his windshield and he smiled and waved and probably prayed we'd just keep walking.

Here's where I almost got thrown in the slammer:

After I finished my cup of joy, naturally I had to pee. I left my 'friends' and headed to the portapotties, took care of business and walked back to where I had left them. We were there for a few minutes when all of a sudden, a Capitol Police Officer came up on us on his bike. He broke into our conversation and said: "Excuse me folks, we have a report of a woman who needs a phone, You fit the description, ma'am. One of our Police Officers said that there was someone in this group who needed a phone." He reached into his pocket (NEXT TO HIS GUN) and pulled out a cell phone. "We've been told you need a phone to find coffee, is this true?" I just looked at him with my mouth gaping open and when he smiled, I nearly peed again. Turns out Lisa's husband Dave is friends with this particular Capitol Police Officer, and while I was peeing (the first time) she and Dave talked to him, told him the story about how I (DIDN'T) yelled at the officer about coffee, and he said "Oh I have to get in on this. Where is she, I'll go give her a heart attack."   Or something like that.

He then smiled and said "Hi, my name is Mike, I'm a friend of Dave's". Everyone was laughing, I was peeing but finally relaxed enough to smile and laugh. I shook his hand and said "Mike you've just lifted my mood, I very badly needed that laugh so thank you!"

And thanks for not arresting me.

Yeah, those are my friends.

Friday, April 15, 2016

With a Little Help From My Friends....

I have the most amazing group of girlfriends. We lovingly refer to one another as BITCH, but it HAS to be capitalized. Otherwise it's just an insult. We met over 10 years ago on the internet. Yes. We met online. We've been with one another through weddings, baby showers, divorces, new relationships, crushes, and concerts. Lots and lots of concerts.

We are Duranies. Or Durannies, sometimes I forget whether there is one 'n' or two. But it doesn't matter. What matters is that we love one another and have built a lasting bond.

I had 13 of them at my house last weekend. Duran Duran was performing at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC and since I'm the closest to DC, I asked everyone who could make it to come to my house for the weekend. We'd hang out, party, go to the concert and eat at Waffle House. Naturally.

The first to arrive Thursday night was Spammy from Pittsburgh. She was soon followed by Jen B from Florida. At midnight, Erin from Massachusetts arrived, followed at 1:00 a.m. by the Ohio/Chicago/Milwaukee contingent, JenB (not the Florida JenB, let's call her Ma Bell), Mindy, Gracie, Sarah, Heather and Carrie. On Friday, Lorrie from Virginia arrived in time for us to get in the cars and drive to the Metro Station, where we met Fred and Mims.

We all boarded the Red Line for DC. We ate dinner at Matchbox (if you've never eaten there, I HIGHLY recommend doing so. Trust me, you won't be disappointed). Then we headed over to the Verizon Center for the show..

Did you know that they remove the caps from your drinks so you cannot bring them into the venue? We bought bottled water (for the same amount of money I spend on groceries in a week) to take inside and they took the caps. (I actually sweet talked the lady into sneaking mine back to me, and this lady that was standing next to me tried to reach for it and grab it. So I shot her)

Nile Rodgers and Chic opened for Duran Duran and they BLEW THE ROOF OFF THE BUILDING. No lie, they were so musically tight and sounded so amazing, it was 45 minutes of pure music heaven. They set the bar WAY high for Duran Duran.

When our band did come onstage and start singing, Simon LeBon sounded very strained. It's very early in the tour and he is having way too much trouble hitting the high notes.They did the standard songs that every casual fan (but no self-respecting hard core fan gives a shit about) wants to hear: Rio, Girls on Film, Hungry Like the Wolf (that last one is my "I have to pee" song) and some new songs off of their latest CD, Paper Gods. But the highlight for me was when they did Too Much Information. I cannot remember if I've ever heard them sing that song live, and I've seen them more than 2 dozen times. ROCKED. IT. OUT. It was fantastic. Overall the show was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

When we got home, we ate the most delicious cake made by our Duranie baker, Carrie. The best part? The frosting. Happy Birthday Lorrie. Thanks for letting some of us have a little of your cake, BITCH.

The last Duranie chick to arrive was Joelle. She got the house around 3:00 in the morning on Saturday. My dogs had NO idea why all these crazy women were at our house and kept wondering why we weren't going to sleep. NO SLEEP ON DURANIE WEEKEND! Ok SOME sleep, but not much.

Saturday morning we got up and had cake for breakfast. We polished that thing off quickly. After showers and packing up, we hit Waffle House and sadly had to say goodbye to half the crew as they headed back to parts west. Lorrie left later in the afternoon and then after naps Saturday evening, we had dinner and played Cards Against Humanity with some of my Shepherdstown Besties, Luddy, Susan and of course, Lisa the Nazi Crack Ho.

Sunday came way too soon and I had to say goodbye to the rest of my BITCHES who headed back from whence they came. Overall it was an amazing weekend that went way too fast. It's nice that Duran Duran are touring but we all know that we don't need a show as an excuse to get together. We see one another as often as we can and love one another tremendously.

I don't condone running out and trying to meet internet friends, because yes, there ARE some crazy psychos out there. Trust me. Our group knows a WHOLE LOTTA crazy psychos out there in internet world. But we've been really lucky to have found this group and we will grow old together, listening to Duran Duran and eating frosting.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Girl Super Heroes? You bet!! And a GIVEAWAY!!

What more could you ask for, folks? FINALLY the ladies are coming to the forefront!

If your kids are looking for action-packed girl power, look no further than DC Super Hero Girls! DC Entertainment's latest animated series features a dynamic group of super heroes on their journey of discovering the power of their unique abilities and friendships. The characters are dynamic, from strong and fearless to edgy and fun; there is a character for everyone!

The DC Super Hero Girls YouTube Channel makes it easy for our kids to watch their favorite characters, on-demand, and from any device.

But wait, there's more! Your kids can also go to the DC Super Hero Girls Website and play games, download free printable activities and more. And as if that wasn't cool enough, how about a $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway? I know, it's almost too good to be true. Enter at this Rafflecopter link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And check out the DC Super Hero Girls YouTube Playlist here:

This was a sponsored post from DC Super Hero Girls but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fear the Stick Shift!

Last week one of my co-workers drove a different car to the office and left his parking permit in his other vehicle. He was scheduled to go into a meeting that we knew would run over the time frame where parking is allowed without a permit in our little burg, so he asked if I would be able to move the car for him. "Sure" I said, knowing that it would be no big deal.

Guess again.

When the time came, I took his key and walked to his car. I got in, buckled my seat belt (safety first!) and looked down at the gear shifter. Sweet Freaking Felix, it was a stick shift! Without a word of exaggeration, it's been 28 years since I've had to manually shift the gears on a car. It's always been my contention that if they MAKE a car that automatically shifts itself into gear, who am I to buck the system and do it myself? I'd hate for the guy who installs the automatic transmission to be put out of a job, so I buy the car that has automatic transmission so he gets to keep his job. I'm all about the economy, folks.

Perhaps I should explain my irrational fear of the stick shift.

Back in the late 80's, I had a '74 Chevy Vega, a little grey thing with red hubcaps. Yes, red. It was a sweet little ride. It didn't matter that you had to open the hood, unscrew the carburetor and stick a pencil inside to hold open the choke to start it. Every. Time. Some call it a pain in the ass. I call it character. My little red-hubcapped character. She was an automatic and I didn't care that I had to jump through so many hoops just to get her started. She was mine. Until she died. (RIP little grey).

My next car was given to me by my Mom's old boyfriend who felt sorry for me (not sorry enough to buy me a sweet NEW ride, but sorry enough. Whatever). It was a '77 Buick Nighthawk special edition Skyhawk. And it was a stick shift. I had to learn how to drive a stick shift. Now it is my opinion that EVERYONE should at least have a basic knowledge of how to drive a stick shift, on the off chance that they are with someone who drives a stick and that person becomes unable to drive. It's a good theory.


But let's be honest. If you're lazy like me, you enjoy the automatic transmission. You prefer it. I know I do. But the car was free and I needed a car to get to and from work, so I gratefully accepted the gift. I don't remember much about the car (it started without me having to do the pencil in the carburetor thing so that was a plus) other than to get the car to go into reverse, you had to left up on this lever on the gear shifter while pushing the shifter all the way to the right and down. It took practice. Lots of practice. Parallel parking sucked. Hard.

Just when I thought I had mastered the art of going backwards, something went 'pop' in the transmission. And then I couldn't go backwards anymore. Now, that may not necessarily sound like a bad thing, but trust me.  It's bad. You can only pull into parking spaces that are on the street, and then pray to whatever God you're worshipping that no one parks in front of you.

"Hello boss? Hi, yeah, I may be a little late to work today. Why? Oh, because there's someone parked in front of me and I can't move my car. Backwards? Oh, you mean reverse? Nah, that's not possible. Sorry. I don't go that way."

"Hello? Unemployment?"

So yeah, when your car doesn't go backwards, it causes financial hardships. I drove the car to the repair shop, but gave the repair guy plenty of advanced notice that once pulled IN, unless he fixed the transmission, there was no going back. Literally.

Somehow, dude managed to fix what he called 'a problem with the linkage'. Linkage apparently means the go-backwards-thingy in the transmission. But he did warn me that it could happen again. That guy was totally psychic! Because it totally DID happen again. Three more times.

The last time was the BEST though. Whatever crazy magic voodoo that was happening with the linkage caused that car to then ONLY GO IN REVERSE. That's right. The car would not go forward, no matter what gear it was in. Now that right there, that's a bigger problem than not going in reverse at all.

Long story short, the local car dealership was having a 'Push Pull or Drag It In' sale so I had the car towed in, and they actually gave me $500 towards a trade in for a new car. I bought myself a sweet new '88 Mercury Tracer. Automatic.

So you can see why I have an irrational fear of stick shifts. I like being able to go both forward AND backward when I'm driving. Call me crazy.

Remind me to tell you about the time my '88 Mercury Tracer caught fire in my driveway. That's a blog for another day....