Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Suburban Dictionary Word of the Day: FLUcation (1)

n: an unplanned day at home with sick kid(s).

Like a Jewish holiday, FLUcations begin the night before. Usually at the stroke of midnight. Ask any mother and she will concur: no vomit comes during daylight hours. (2)

Ingredients for a successful FLUcations: pajamas, a large DVD collection, Clorox wipes and vodka.

Early in our marriage, PCSguy agreed to the title of Vice President of Bear Management and Vomit. So far he's batting 100% on keeping me safe from bears but his vomit percentage is much lower. In fact I'd hazard that PCSguy is out of town on business during 90% of all FLUcations. (3)

Last night, however, PCSguy performed admirably. He may even receive a promotion, possibly to Executive Vice President of Bear Management and Vomit. I don't want the power to go to his head though, so we'll see.

(1)Yes, it's true. ShallowGal is actually ripping off her own post from Monday. Hey judge-y reader, lay-off ! Between the Alamo Bowl going into overtime and sick kids, SG got pretty much no sleep last night. SG was tempted to just type a whole lot of j's and call it a day. Cause in her sleep deprived mind, that's funny stuff.

jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj j jjjjjj jj jjjjjjj (4)

(2)Exception: if you're at a Nordstrom sale. Or First Call at Neiman's. Then they'll throw up at school. Those clinic nurses have no sense of priority.
(3) Like the time I was 8 months pregnant and the basement was being renovated and the water was turned off. Between midnight and 5 am, Noa threw up on every towel and sheet in the house.
(4) Funny and hypnotic. Win / Win

Monday, December 29, 2008

Suburban Dictionary Word of the Day: Blogcation

n: a day trip or short vacation, taken primarily to get out of the house and educate / entertain (1) spawn, but with the added perk of providing blogger with fresh material.

PCSguy: What should we do today?
SG: How about a blogcation to Baltimore.

(alternate definition: a vacation taken from writing one's blog to reflect upon the meaning of it all. See, for example, most of December 2008. )

To pass the time on the 90 minute ride, Eli utilized his new logo recognition skill and pointed out every Honda we saw on 95 North. FYI: A lot of people drive Hondas. Also FYI: the only acceptable response to a 3 year old pointing out a Honda is "wow, you're right. It is a Honda." (2)

Our original destination was the National Aquarium where we proved the age old adage that the amount one pays for an Aquarium membership will be inversely proportional to the collective enthusiasm. To wit: for a $125 annual family membership, the kids would be less interested than they are in the goldfish at the pet store.

But how does she really feel?

Having guilted the posse into enduring a solid 90 minutes of fish (3), we headed next door to the Barnes and Noble where SG could consult a Baltimore travel guide for an idea what to do next. Fodors recommended the Baltimore Public Works museum. PCSguy and SG sold posse on the idea of learning about sewage and walked the three blocks to this:

Naturally the posse can't think of anything
they'd rather do at this point than learn about sewage . . .

We walked a few more blocks to the Civil War Museum which looked like this:

. . . except maybe Baltimore's role in the Civil war.

We eased the pain at Vaccaro's with gelato and cream puffs.

On a whim, on our way home, we followed a sign to Fort McHenry. Now ShallowGal may have many years of advanced education but after ten years of staying home with kids, SG remembered NOTHING about the War of 1812. It is entirely possible that SG forgot there even was a War in 1812.

Posse: Mother, dear. Can you please educate us on the War of 1812?
SG: Something about Canada, maybe? And Napoleon. And it started in 1812. Or maybe it ended in 1812? And that guy who wrote the Nutcracker wrote that piece with the cannon that they play on the fourth of July. You know Da da da da da da dut dut dut. Boom ! Hey look! Cannonballs!
PCSguy: Ten bucks your mom is on Wikipedia within 10 minutes of walking in the door.(4)

Jake is fairly desperate for a souvenir.

Signs were read. Park rangers interrogated. Every square inch of Fort McHenry investigated. Learning ensued.

Three hours later we got back on 95 South, the posse excitedly planning to write reports on Fort McHenry and the War of 1812.

Cannonballs. Who knew? Hey, who cares? The Blogcation was a success.

(1) Or edutainment, next week's suburban dictionary word of the day.
(2)Any other response elicits the following rebuke: "Mommy, Mommy Mommy, Mommy. Say wow, you're right. It is a Honda."

(3) Fish CPM (cost per minute) $1.25
(4) A fairly smart-ass remark for someone who couldn't add any actual information about the War of 1812.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The Wonder Twin Powers Activate edition

Eli and his cousin taking the form of: Cookie stealing Spidermen! (1)

1) Considering he's actually Eli's step cousin, AND he was adopted, the resemblance is uncanny.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Very Shallow Book Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

OK, ShallowGal is going to be honest here. She picked this book for her book club for January because it had a cool cover. And then SG would have given up after only 50 pages except that Marinka called it "the most satisfying reads of the year" on Twitter. And ShallowGal both respects and fears Marinka.

The problem is you aren't immediately sucked in, because it's hard to follow. All the characters have Swedish names. And the places have Swedish names. And they make inside Swedish jokes. And the only thing ShallowGal knows about Sweden is that it isn't in Switzerland. (1)

The book's premise is that Mikael Blomkvist has been hired to solve the 30 year old mystery of the murder of Harriet Vanger. He does so after discovering that in a snapshot taken earlier that day that Harriet wasn't looking at a clown like her friends were, but was looking a tad to the left. And had a funny look on her face. Blomkvist and his research assistant Lisbeth Salanader triangulate the angle, find someone else looking in that direction, figures out who they are by a sticker on their car, tracks them down, and voila ! Mystery solved.

This is where ShallowGal made a text to self connection. Connections are a big part of the second grade language arts curriculum, where you read a book and say hey! I have a little brother just like the main character! Or I once made cookies with my Grandmother!

ShallowGal's text to self connection: I once solved the mystery of Jimmy Carter's mother's secret Jewish past by using an old family photograph.

There's a long story explaining why this photo hangs on SG's wall (2)

If you look close enough, Carter's mother is wearing a Chai necklace, similar to the one shown below.

ShallowGal has the same necklace.
Therefore SG deduces that Lillian was secretly Jewish

Lisbeth would have scanned the family photo into her computer and use photoshop to enlarge the image and do some fancy crap to increase the contrast and get a better view. ShallowGal is just going to hold the picture closer to the built in camera on her MacBook. Then she'll use the annotate feature on preview to draw a red circle around the necklace. Similar results with less work.

This is the computer equivalent of talking louder to someone who doesn't speak English

Part of the problem is we don't know the occasion of this photograph. Lisbeth Salander was a hacker but ShallowGal is just a plain old hack. So rather than break into we'll rely on plain old wikipedia to figure out the timing.

I think we can agree that the couple on the far right are John William (Jack) Carter and his first wife. That would make the toddler with the bowl cut holding Amy's hand Jason James Carter, born Aug. 7, 1975 and the baby Sarah Rosemary Carter, born Dec. 19, 1978.

The baby is somewhere in the 3-6 month range. That puts the photo in the first half of 1979. Just months before the mysterious death of
Bertil Ohlin, Swedish economist, Nobel Prize laureate. This is just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Ohlin, not surprisingly, also looking slightly to the left.

Carter's other 2 sons are harder to differentiate between. One is James Earl III (Chip) and the other is Donnel Jeffrey (Jeff). SG traced used this family tree to see that Donnell is married to Annette Davis who went to the George Washington University with Colin Powell who was (wait for it) was in Footloose with Kevin Bacon. How has nobody ever discovered this before?

That makes the tot in the short pants James Earl Carter IV, born Feb. 25, 1977. Although this is clearly an important occasion, he's sitting in the chair, looking not at the photographer but at a spot 27 degrees down on the floor. WTF? A toddler not cooperating in a family picture? Clearly the only thing that would have distracted him completely explains Lillian's secret Jewish past.

I've laid out all the evidence, and won't patronize you by spelling out the answer. But man, I did not see that coming.

Bottom Line: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is like a well written Swedish John Grisham novel. With Nelson DeMille's obsession with perverted sex. And some author who writes about Nazis knowledge of Nazis. Who, OMG, would not like Lillian's necklace.

Read it and see what mystery you can solve.

(1) Although SG should practically be an expert since the posse is addicted to ABBA channel 31 on XM Radio
(2)It's a good story that includes Magnum condoms and a 4 foot tall stuffed green dragon. Remind me to tell you sometime.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas edition

Because it isn't officially Christmas-time around here
until SG starts making daily trips to the pediatrician

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to score a hotel upgrade, PCSguy style

Let me make one thing clear, the quest for the free upgrade falls entirely on PCSguy. ShallowGal is thrilled just to be out of the house, and would happily vacation in a cardboard box as long as she was with her loved ones. (1)

Quick free travel lesson: When you redeem Marriott points to stay someplace like a Residence Inn, you have a choice of rooms; for enough extra points you can upgrade from a studio to a 2 bedroom suite. When you use them at a Ritz Carlton, you get a standard room, no view. Consider yourself lucky that you don't get the room with the roll in shower (2)

When we made our reservation at the South Beach Ritz, they asked if we were celebrating any special occasion. PCSguy informed them it was our anniversary. Rule #1: It's always your anniversary. Prove it's not. Who travels with their marriage license? Last year on our "anniversary" the Ritz in Naples upgraded us to a suite and sent us chocolate covered strawberries.

This year, however, we messed up:
Check-in agent: Happy Anniversary. How many years?
PCSguy: Four

ShallowGal: Twenty (3)
Rule #2: Get your story straight before check-in.

Other mis-truths that may or may not have been told during our stay; that ShallowGal is a thoracic surgeon, that we met in Spain while SG was on spring break and PCSguy was on a layover returning from the a stint with the Peace Corp in Iceland.

Rule #3: Thoracic surgery is a good fake career, because nobody really knows what it means, and even if they do, it's not like they're going around asking for help with their esophagus. And thoracic surgeons receive way more respect than stay-at-home moms / bloggers. Go figure.

Our small free upgrade to a standard room with a pool view was much appreciated as both PCSguy and ShallowGal succumbed to a nasty cold. And it rained the entire time. (4) Our faux-anniversary was spent in bed watching a Saved by the Bell (the college years) marathon and eating matzoh ball soup delivered from Jerry's.

And enjoying the pool view. Suckers.

1) Did anyone actually buy that? I thought it was convincing.
2) Until this very second, SG didn't realize it meant roll in, like wheelchair accessible. She thought it meant a bunch of rooms so cheap that they had one shower between them, that they rolled from room to room as needed. Live and learn.
3) Correct answer 12 1/2. The couple checking in behind us also claimed it was their twentieth anniversary. Too late losers, they've heard it before.

4) SG wonders who will be the first to use the word Karma in their comment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cause a million monkeys with typewriters will eventually type Hamlet

Things that make me think my three year old is secretly a prodigy:

Eli (points to television): Look Mommy. Obama.

SG: Who is Obama?

Eli: Our new President.

Things that make me think my three year old is actually not a secret prodigy:

Eli: (to 17 year old short haired, African American man working the front desk at the ice rink) Are you Obama? (1)

Things seal the deal:
Eli: (pointing to front page of Washington Post ) Look Mommy, it's the man from the ice rink.

1) Also falls under the category "things make me think my kids are really trying to kill me by embarrassment"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Disneyworld Edition

It was a very impressive parade indeed. (1)

1) ShallowGal's photography skills however, are less than impressive, bordering on non-existent.(2) That had the potential to be an awesome picture.
2) Her wordlessness meanwhile is getting way better. And ability to post Wordless Wednesday on an actual Wednesday? A+

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jewish Jeremy

From an actual conversation I had a few months ago. Because once strep throat season is upon us, the only grown-ups ShallowGal gets to talk to in person are pediatricians and pharmacists. And the guy at the liquor store. And nobody wants to hear those conversations.

ShallowGal: How was your trip to Greece?

Neighbor: Amazing. We went with this great group from Randall's school, all nice kids. One in particular, Jeremy. Hey, he's Jewish, maybe you know him.

SG: Jeremy?

Neighbor: Yeah, he keeps kosher so I guess he's probably Jewish. I don't remember where he said he lives but he goes to TJ so somewhere around here.

SG: Oh. Of course. Jewish Jeremy from Northern Virginia. Everyone knows him.

Neighbor: See I figured as much. Nice kid. Wait, are you fucking with me?

SG: Well, yeah. Just cause we're both Jewish doesn't mean. . . . (all of a sudden SG remembers Jake's girlfriend's brother is named Jeremy, keeps kosher and goes to TJ ) Jeremy Kringlehoff? (1)

Neighbor: Yes.

SG: Yeah, I know him. Good kid.

Neighbor: I figured as much. Hey, what's Barbara Streisand like in person?

SG: She's nice. (2)

1) Obviously his name isn't Jeremy Kringlehoff. Nobody is named Jeremy Kringlehoff. Seriously. ShallowGal googled it and nada. So, bonus! SG should,as of tomorrow, be the #1 hit on google for Jeremy Kringlehoff.
2) Ok, maybe she didn't ask that. But it makes for a way better story.
Don't make me have to resort to liquor guy stories.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The raisin returneth (1)

Raisin watch continues:
Saturday will be the raisin & dashboard's one month anniversary

1) Technically "the raisin stayeth" but dude, it's mostly wordless Wednesday on an actual Wednesday. That's got to count for something.
2) Hopefully Zappos will send something.
3) Let's cut SG some slack here. In the past two days SG has been to the eye doctor (4) the mammogram place (5) and got the tail light fixed in the car (6)
4) Someone needs reading glasses.
5) The girls are just fine, thanks for asking. And the mammogram doesn't hurt at all, people! Hooray for healthy tatas!
6) Why that mechanic didn't just throw away the raisin while he was there is the question we should all be asking.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Zappo-versary to ShallowGal

On November 29th 2007 ShallowGal bought some boots. And just when she thought the day was going to pass by completely without any commemoration, the following e-mail arrived:

One year ago, you ordered the following product from

La Canadienne Blanche - Cherry Crinkle Patent - 8.5/M (B)

We wanted to let you know that right now, your size is still available
from You can order the same product again by visiting:

So now SG is confused. (1) She expected a cake, or maybe some flowers, but instead just got this weird e-mail. Does Zappos think these shoes have already worn out ? (2) Or maybe they think SG has grown another pair of feet? Possibly they want to rub it in that SG has such bizarre taste that a full year later these shoes are nowhere near sold out.

There's only one possible explanation; Zappos is hinting that *I* should buy my boots a birthday present. What on Earth does one buy boots that already have everything? Except maybe some friends.

I know, I know.
I'm just too nice to my shoes.

1) Yes, now.
2) and if so, that she would then order the exact same pair?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Thanksgiving edition (1)

Thanksgiving Day 2000 (2)

1) Bite me.
2) That's actually Jake at 2
3/4 not Eli, giving credence to Tracy's claim that I only produce one model. ( The slightly startled Pilgrim is Noa at 10 weeks.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to pack for Disney World. ShallowGal style

Six months out:

Plan Disney trip. Immediately begin stressing about packing.

Here's the issue: Once ShallowGal has done something well, she expects the same results every time. For example, in 1996 she spent $50 a week on groceries. You cannot imagine how much it chaffs my ass to spend four times that now. And don't go justifying it because she now has 3 growing children. Or inflation. SG ain't buying it. (1)

So re: packing. Once ShallowGal went to New York for the weekend with a roll-on suitcase and a magazine. The bar has been set high.

Three months out:

Like I can remember what I did 3 months ago. Dude, if they weren't being so loud, I'd have forgotten to send my kids to school today.

One month out:

Download packing list off internet. Customize by deleting items like electric skillet , cribbage board, and tuna pouches.(2)

Page 1 of 6

One week out:

Start laying out clothes. You know how some people throw some clothes in a suitcase and hope for the best? SG has a name for them: lunatics.

Half of SG's readers are impressed and half are running for the hills.
When what they should be doing is buying ziploc stock.

Each bag contain one complete outfit; tee shirt, shorts, undies and socks. This prevents kids from suffering a PCSguy-related dressing mishap, like having nothing but a red shirt and green socks.

Bags are then dated to ensure that children match each other (3) and/or wear tee shirts that depict a character they will meet that day. Laugh now, but when I get the perfect picture of Jake with Prince Caspian wearing a Prince Caspian tee shirt, well, now that I put it that way, it does seem kind of lame.

Although SG may need to get herself a Prince Caspian tee shirt.
Or a tattoo.

1) The lame excuses. SG is buying the groceries for her growing children so back off, CPS.
2) But add crock pot and self promoting toaster. Because at this point, I've been so busy packing I haven't had time to see if Orlando has restaurants. And really nothing is more pleasant after a day in the theme parks than hunkering down in your 200 square foot hotel room with a big ol' packet of tuna.
3) But fun matching outfits, not cloying matchy-matchy crap. Here's the diff:

Left: Cloying & Dugger-like Right: Fun, except for the cow

Monday, November 24, 2008

Optimistic or just plain stupid

ShallowGal and PCSguy play this fun little game. But just in case my mom ever reads this blog, instead I'm going to tell you about this kind of lame game we play, called optimistic or just plain stupid?

(Just for clarification, by optimist, SG means someone who is hopeful about the future, not the guy who measures you for glasses. That would make no sense at all.)

For example: Every night ShallowGal sets the alarm clock for 7 am even though her youngest child is actually a human alarm clock who has never slept past 5 am.
Optimistic or just plain stupid?

Answer: Optimistic. Noa used to wake every single morning at 4:30 am. That stopped when she was close to 4 and now she's a total bear in the morning. However, because of that, waking Noa is the highlight of my day. I wake her the way I was woken for 1421 straight mornings; I stand in the middle of her room, scream BANANA ! and then stomp off.

Payback is a bitch and no, I don't feel petty for wanting revenge for something she did as a toddler. You need to take responsibility for your actions, even if you aren't even 3 feet tall.(1)

Ready to play? We can start off slow. ShallowGal has a closet full of size 6 dresses. Optimistic or just plain stupid?

Answer: Just plain stupid. If ShallowGal by some miracle (2) happens to get back into a size 6, she's headed straight to Nordstrom for a whole new wardrobe.

You're really good at this. ShallowGal really likes the grape Dansani water they sell at the gym. It's available at both the snack bar and the soda machine. Every day (3) just to avoid human interaction, SG tries to buy it from the machine even though it usually dispenses the lemon flavor instead. Optimistic or just plain stupid?

Just plain stupid. That machine has never once dispensed the correct drink, if it deigns to let me buy one at all. Not to mention why the hell is ShallowGal paying 2 bucks for a bottle of water anyway?

Tune in tomorrow for another brilliant post. Ha! Brilliant? Tomorrow? Who's the optimist now?

1) Nothing pisses me off more than a shirking midget
2) And by miracle I mean miraculously come across the money for liposuction.
3) Let's pretend every day. Lipo money doesn't grow on trees, apparently.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Five things

ed note: this is likely to be SG's most self-righteous, annoying post ever. I already read it through and SG uses foul language and gets just a wee bit holier-than-thou. You've been warned.

Over the past five years, ShallowGal's family has fostered over a dozen children ranging in age from 2 days to 8 years old. Along the way, we've learned a few things. And lucky you, get to hear them today.

1) Babies suck at Gobblet. Noa beat Baby J 4 times out of 5 and claims she let him win the fifth. Baby J was 3 weeks old and asleep at the time.

2) Everybody needs a hand up from time to time. Anyone who claims otherwise is a loner or a liar. And the people who judge the birth mother most critically, are ironically the same ones who don't actually participate themselves in any community work.

If these detractors would take just 10% of the time they spend criticizing people they've never met and spend it actually helping; well, I'd have to listen to 10% less bullshit and maybe someone's life would be a bit better. Just a thought. No, you and I did not get pregnant at 16. We were lucky. Not better. Lucky.

3) Which leads us to this: Abstinence only education DOES NOT WORK. We need to make accessible to everyone affordable contraceptives and the knowledge to use them effectively.

Not everyone has the RNC behind them to pressure the baby daddy to marry them.

4) The fine people of Arkansas? Are idiots.

Now ShallowGal is outraged with California and Prop 8. Why anyone votes against love is beyond understanding. But the denizens (1) who passed Act 1 in Arkansas, which prevents unmarried cohabiting couples from adopting or fostering children, voted against families.

Clearly the intent of Act 1 was to prevent gay couples from adopting. Which in and of itself is awful. SG isn't even going to bother with the statistics about pedophiles (2) Let's talk about the unintended (?) side effect. Parents cannot be guaranteed that their choice of guardian will be honored if they die. This law could supersede not only the parents' judgment but that of the judge and caseworkers who are familiar with the actual child. Hello? I thought the right wing was all about less intrusive government.

Like there wasn't enough reason to get the fuck out of Arkansas before?

Arkansas already has three times as many children who need homes as people willing to adopt or foster them. Taking away potential loving homes, so kids could instead grow up in a group home? So not in the best interest of the child. And it's happening now, in Arkansas to hundreds of already placed foster children. It breaks my heart.
Reminds SG of her all-time fave bumper sticker
which made more sense before SG edited the previous paragraph.

5) You could be a foster family. Trust me, if we can do it, anyone can. We already have 5 people in an 1800 square foot house; adding another means pulling out the trundle bed, blowing up an air mattress, or sticking a pack and play so it blocks my closet. It is loud as fuck in my house sometimes. More laundry than you could imagine. Totally worth it.

1) Denizen is a fancy word for citizen but doesn't it sound kind of obnoxious? Cause it's totally supposed to.
2) Hint: The vast majority of them are actually heterosexual men.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Where the hell you been all week SG?

Public service reminder: 3 week old babies need to eat every 3 hours
and the free help ends at 8 PM.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ShallowGal receives an invitation

Or possibly a death threat, at this point we can't tell. (1)

But given the care SHAHRA (2) put into the invitation,
I can't wait to see
the refreshments.

1) This fingertips would indicate death threat, but I'm pretty sure they're mine. And the crossing out of the tell-tale number, yep, me too. Way to tamper with the evidence SG!
2) Or maybe Shahla? I don't know anyone named that either. Also, doesn't her signature look like she's shouting at me?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: ShallowGal's new shoes

Last night ShallowGal found herself at Bloomingdales. Which was a tremendous coincidence because ShallowGal needed some new boots, and Bloomingdales just so happened to have a shoe department.

Coincidence or fate?
ShallowGal would never tempt fate. Better buy the boots.

But something nagged at ShallowGal. A feeling these boots reminded her of something. And in a dream it came to her:

Not the fashion statement ShallowGal was hoping to make.

Monday, November 10, 2008

An ode to the raisin in front of my speedometer

To the tune of the runaway hit classic "I have (1) a little dreidel" (2)

I have a little raisin,
I found it on my dash.
It's brown and oh so dusty,
I should put it in the trash.

Oh raisin raisin raisin
From where forth has thou come?
Oh raisin raisin raisin
This song is really dumb.

I noticed you last Thursday
Just sitting there so stealth;
It really shouldn't surprise me
I fear my mental health

Oh raisin raisin raisin
I had real crap to say (3)
You've really gone and done it
I must throw you away.(4)

A picture is worth a thousand dreidel songs.
Too bad I already inflicted this one on you.

1) Quick lesson about Judaism. There are 3 branches;Reform, Conservative and Orthodox. The basic difference is that Reform Jews sing "I had a little dreidel" while Conservative Jews sing "I have a little dreidel." Also how many days a week we have to schlep our kids to Hebrew School. Possibly something about Torah interpretation. But mostly the Dreidel song thing.
2) My spell check program claims I don't want to say dreidel but Dresden. Is it possible for a computer to be antisemitic?
3) You know, about the election, and my Disney trip. But clearly songs about raisins are time senstitive.
4) There was another verse that rhymed absurd with mouse turd. I spared you this time.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Things that make ShallowGal go hmmmm

This morning ShallowGal swung by her local library to pick up a book they had on hold. (1) The parking lot was full, as was the auxiliary parking lot. ShallowGal had to park in the super-auxiliary lot. (2)

The big draw? A used book sale. Now ShallowGal loves a good library book sale as much as the next guy but isn't it weird how many people push and shove their way into a tiny room to buy a book that they could borrow for free twenty feet away? (3)

1) Twilight. Yes, really. I know it's a book about teenage vampires. For teenagers. On second thought maybe we better keep this one between us.
2) It was important; SG's been on the waiting list for four months. Oh bite me. (Hey! A vampire fiction pun! Excellent.)
2) SG spent $21. You had to see that one coming.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Where we eat our weight in ice cream

Sunday would have been our friend Hannah's 14th birthday.
We celebrated her memory with the biggest ice cream sundae we could find.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Guest blogger: David from Someone in a Tree

OK. Technically, yes, ShallowGal is back from her vacation and capable of writing her own blog. But David from Someone in a Tree wrote this for her, and it's better than anything that SG could write. Plus SG has like 14 brazillion loads of laundry. And still hasn't turned her brain back on. (1)

In her head ShallowGal wrote this awesome intro about how she met David at VUBOQ's pumpkin carving party and right off the bat, tried to pick a fight. Over the proper use of a stencil.(2) Cause SG really really really liked David.(3) And he deserves way more than this:

Hey guys! Say hi to David!

Greetings, all.

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m David, from Someone in a Tree, the blog that absolutely no one has been buzzing about recently.

I’m here today in the capacity of guest blogger while Shallow Gal and her brood, er, lovely family are off on a fabulous vacation that I was not invited on. I was fortunate to meet SG at a party last weekend and over the course of the evening we bonded. If by “bonded” you mean “argued over pumpkin carving stencils and nearly came to blows.”

But all that is behind us now and here I am, ready to entertain you for the three or so minutes it will take you to read and summarily dismiss this post.

So. Kids. I don’t have any.

But SG does. She’s got three! That must be quiet the handful. Not that I don’t have extensive experience with children. I mean, I was a rather in-demand babysitter back in the day. That day being Friday, March 14, 1980. No, actually there were many more days. I just blocked them out. But I’m not lying about being in-demand. I sat for this one family that had two boys. They loved me. It would have been nice if the situation were mutual. I mean, those boys were obnoxious. Spoiled, needy, a little arrogant, and one was only three years old. And still working on the potty training. After about a year of solid work from them (mainly because I think no other sitter had the patience to deal with those little nimrods) I had had enough and lied to the mother, telling her that I’d gotten a part-time job at a local Dunkin’ Donuts and so was leaving the sitting business. She was devastated and kept asking which location until I had to lie again giving a location at which, of course, I was not working. She later left a phone message that she’d taken the kids to visit me there but I wasn’t working, could I tell her when my shift was? I considered the witness protection program.

I also did three years as a camp counselor for a day camp. I had the kindergarten age group. Roughly two dozen little beings whose lives were in my hands six hours a day, five days a week. Overall I loved the kids. They were at that age where they could communicate clearly with you but still respected your authority. And had nap time. And they were easy to pick up so if one of them had a meltdown or refused to leave arts and crafts to get ready for swimming, you could just toss ‘em over your shoulder and carry their shrieking little bodies back to the campsite. In all fairness I used that skill more to give piggy back rides. It’s a good thing I was a teen then with a resilient spine. But it really was a pleasure to spend my days with them. And even more of a pleasure in the late afternoon to send them home in the clothes I’d helped them muddy and smell up all day long.

Of course there was always one bad apple in the bunch. One kid who from day one was committed to defying you at every possible turn, encouraging other kids to pick on each other and disrupting every activity with inappropriate behaviors. They were the ones who pushed other kids into the pool, poached crayons from their peers, made fart noises during sing-a-long time, and had turf wars over the Lego blocks. And their parents were always the worst tippers at the end of summer. The apple sure doesn’t fall far.

I have two nephews now that I see fairly frequently. I’m proud to say that I’m rarely tempted to push either of them down a flight of stairs. Yup, they’re good kids. The eldest is 15 and the youngest is 12. No felonies yet, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

So. Kids. It’s why we’re here, isn’t it?

Well, it’s why I’m here, since SG has to schlep hers somewhere fun several times a year to avoid a mutiny.

Thanks for reading. Come back soon!

1) Although DisneyWorld? Provides much to blog about.
Tell me you aren't confused too.

3) Which is why he deserved a good intro, not why she picked a fight.

Monday, November 3, 2008

An Open Letter to the Person Who Stole Shallow Gal’s Obama yard sign and sent Julie the racist anti-Obama e-mail.

Today's guest post is courtesy of the fabulous Julie from Blah Blah Blog. Julie just completed a half marathon which causes SG to seethe the green ooze of jealousy thru every pore of her body. Because that? Is fucking awesome.

(Unfortunately when SG gave her guest bloggers directions she was not specific enough. Because she instructed them to steer clear of right wing politics and excessive discussions of sex but neglected to forbid pro Red Sox banter. Rookie host blogger mistake.)

An Open Letter to the Person Who Stole Shallow Gal’s Obama yard sign and sent Julie the racist anti-Obama e-mail. (1)

Dear Person,

You suck.

Julie and Shallow Gal

P.S. Julie is sorry. She handled that poorly. What she meant to say was: Really? That was the best you could do? Steal and sign and forward a racist joke? You see, Person, if that is the best you can do, there is no room for discussion. All we can do is tell you that you suck. And we don’t like to do that. We’re nice people. (2)

Here’s the thing, Person: if you don’t want to vote for Obama, don’t. We don’t care. (3) We’d be happy to respectfully disagree. Then we could break bread together and part as friends. (4)

But no. You ruined that for us all, didn’t you? See - you suck.

Julie will not show the world the racist e-mail you sent her. She not only deleted it, she even Shift+Deleted it. She had to banish it forever and ever, so deep was her loathing of you and your evil ways, Person. But Julie will say this to you: Watermelons? That was the best you could come up with?? You’re not even a smart racist. (5) Nobody even gets that reference anymore, because guess what, Person? That particular joke, thankfully, died in 1960. Watermelon is food for all people, you jackass. (6)

Julie shouldn’t speak for Shallow Gal. (7) (7.5) But she knows they both hate that you have made them part of the problem. They don’t like responding to your hostile cowardice with an anonymous call-out on a blog. They are better than that. Well, Julie thinks they are better than that. She doesn’t know for sure, since she’s never actually met Shallow Gal. But Julie has imaginary conversations with SG, whence they discuss parenting, religion, world peace, and labelmakers. (And SG takes her shoe shopping, ‘cuz Julie is totally lame at shoe shopping.) And in those imaginary conversations, SG always encourages Julie to take the high road, heighten the level of discourse, and be a force of good in the world. (8)

So again, Julie would like to apologize for saying you suck. In reality, Julie is all about peace, love, and understanding. Even towards people like you, who suck.

P.P.S It’s possible Julie enjoyed writing footnotes way too much. And the third person omniscient voice is also really fun. Hello, Blog Reformat!

(1) Julie is presuming you are one and the same. She can’t handle the thought that there might be more than one of you.
(2) Well, Shallow Gal is nice. Julie can go either way.
(3) Not entirely true. But Julie is trying to make a point for peace. Don’t piss her off.
(4) Julie lives in the O.C. You don’t think she knows how to be friends with Republicans?
(5) Yeah. As if.
(6) Stupidity, on the other hand, belongs to a special few.
(7) Though technically, she could, as she has commandeered SG’s blog, and can say whatever the hell she wants.
(7.5) Go Red Sox!
(8) Julie, on the other hand, encourages SG to join her in another glass of wine and calling that Person a Big Dumb Butthead.

Friday, October 31, 2008

VUBOQ and the Straight Guy Discuss the Children

Today's guest author needs no introduction. ShallowGal met VUBOQ through Bossy's Excellent Road Trip and her life has not been the same since. For the better. Definitely for the better. Without further ado, the most honorable VUBOQ.

VUBOQ: Good Morning, Kittens! While ShallowGal and her brood are enjoying sunny Florida and Disney World, I volunteered to write a short little guest post for her.

The Straight Guy: And I decided to help because, dudes, ShallowGal is a totally hot chick! I mean, really, look at this:
SG editor note: I have absolutely no idea why this horrific picture came out so small.

*rowr* I'd totally hit that.

V: Whoa, there Cowboy, remember ShallowGal said we couldn't talk about, y'know, (whispers) S-E-X S-T-U-F-F

TGS: Then what the hell am I supposed to talk about?

V: Well, I thought we could talk about children. Children! Huh! What are the good for? Absolutely nothing! Children! Huh! Sing it with me!

TGS: Have you been smoking?

V: No, but I just ate like 15 mint chocolates. Like, OMG, we've barely started this post and we've already mentioned S-E-X S-T-U-F-F, drugs, and you CURSED. ShallowGal is going to be so angry with you ... Anyway, We're going to talk about children.
As some of you may know, I recently broke up with a guy who (was-totally-not-supportive-after-I-was-viciously-attacked-and-nearly-killed-in-broad-daylight-on-a-busy-street-on-a-rainy-Friday-afternoon) wanted children. I, however, do not want children. One of the Best Things about Being Gay (besides the, y'know, Thing ShallowGal Has Forbidden Us To Mention) is that we are unable to procreate. That makes me SuperHappy! Children are messy and noisy and, well, they smell. It's not that I don't like children. I like other people's children. And I like them most of all when they Go Home. Children of my own? No thank you.
What say you, Straight Guy?

TGS: Straight Guys love children. Srsly. And -gather 'round- I'll let you in on a little secret. I'll tell you why Straight Guys love children: Straight Guys love children because in order to have children you get to do, y'know, that Thing. And Straight Guys love doing that Thing. Srsly. It's practically all we think about. Well, sometimes we think about beer. But, usually, just that Thing. Mmm. That Thing. Don't believe me? Pick any random straight guy on the street or in your office. Right now, there's a 95% chance he's thinking about that Thing. Probably with you (if you're a totally hot chick, like ShallowGal). Maybe a little creepy, but true.
Dudes, find a Woman of a Certain Age, tell her you love children, that you want children, and you are guaranTEED to ... um ... do that Thing with her. Srsly.

V: Um, Straight Guy? Don't you think that's a little misogynistic?

TSG: Misogy-What?

V: Nevermind ... Even though we disagree on children, we do agree on one thing:

TSG: Properly trained, a child can be taught to bring you a beer when you get home from work.

V: Or mix the perfect martini.

TSG: They're like dogs, only with less shedding!

V: Probably slightly more drool though (depending on the breed)! Thanks for letting us guest post, ShallowGal. I hope you'll still speak to me after you read this. Love you! *smooches*

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday. On an actual Wednesday

Unfortunately, a recycled picture. Oh well. One out of three ain't bad. (1)
Photo credit: Donna Owens Photography. (2)

1) Although of all the Wordless Wednesday rules I've broken, this is the least offensive.
2) If you're in the DC area, you may still have time to have Donna take your holiday card photo. Call her today and tell her ShallowGal sent you !

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Backhanded compliment Friday. Tuesday edition.

Which should push Wordless Wednesday to the following Monday. Except for that part of Indiana where they don't observe Daylight Savings. They get Wordless Wednesday a week from Thursday. (1)

Today's zinger comes courtesy of Lolita Travelsalot. Who prefaced the comment with "You could use this on your backhanded compliment thingee." Which in and of itself is kind of a backhanded compliment.

I totally thought of you today. I haven't changed my clothes in three days.

Fair enough, Lolita. Fair enough.

1) Dude, I don't make the rules. I just follow them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just another manic Monday

Alternate title: Taking the Stay at Home out of Stay at Home mom.

Alternate alternate title: Nobody wants to read this crap.

Here's ShallowGal's schedule for today. As VUBOQ would say: I haz all teh fun.

7:45 Noa to school
8:25 Jake to school
9:30 Eli to school
9:30 to 12:30 ShallowGal tackles her to-do list
12:30 Eli home from school
12:45 Noa home from school
1:35 Jake home from school
2:20 Jake and Noa 'well kid' check-ups. (1)
2:45 All 3 kids flu shots.
3:00 Jake and Noa to gymnastics
4:00 Jake from gymnastics
4:25 Noa from gymnastics
5:00 Parent conference with Jake's teacher
5:30 Jake to Hebrew school
7:30 Jake home from Hebrew school

Things on SG's to-do list:
  • pack entire family for Disney world trip (2)
  • find guest bloggers (3)
  • Pay bills, laundry, meals, etc. All the minutiae I usually protect you guys from having to hear about.

How SG will probably really spend her day:
Odds are good that with a day this busy, SG will undertake an additional project of monumental unimportance. Something like alphabetizing her hotel toiletry collection. Stay tuned.

1) Their birthdays are in March and September. SG is nothing if not timely.
2) We come back a week from tomorrow. Our trip is basically over already. Bummer.
3) Interested? E-mail me or comment.
4) and right now, we're both thinking it's so not worth it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

ShallowGal thanks heavens there is no blogging ethics panel. Yet.

Hope you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet (1), because SG has found the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

It's a Bilibo. In yellow.

ShallowGal had written a phenomenal piece about the brilliant minds that brought us ABBA and IKEA kind of dropping the ball on this one, when her fifth grader informed her that Sweden and Switzerland are two entirely different countries. Fine. SG expected more from the country that gave us fondue.

But you can see where SG might be confused since one of the ways you play with this toy is such:

And when one thinks of turtles, naturally this comes to mind:

Now it's entirely possible that ShallowGal is underestimating this toy. If someone would like to send SG $27.99 she will take that money and use it to invent a time machine. Then SG will go back to the exact moment she wrote this post and this time ask for $8000 instead to take a Northern European cruise to Sweden to investigate this toy in it's native habitat. Because if some sucker will finance lunacy, ShallowGal wants to be first to take advantage.

Online reviews praise the Bilibo because it encourages children to be creative. Coming from the mother of a child who wanted to name her baby brother "Johasphat Macaroni Head" and has sixteen imaginary friends all named Bert, imagination may be overrated.

Now if the nice people of Sweden, Switzerland want a fair and balanced review of this toy, please feel free to send me three Bilibos and $8000.(2) For a regular review, you can just send the toy. I guarantee that with my almost four dozen readers a day, I can help beef up your Wikipedia article.

On a totally unrelated note, ShallowGal has invented a new toy herself. It's called a mixing bowlborkborkbork.

Retail price: $8000. Fruit not included.

1) Dude. I've been done for weeks.

2) Actually that works out nicely because you can hide the money in a secret Alps account. Isn't that another Swiss perk?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Playground edition

Just when I wonder how I will survive another three year old,
he does something that makes me unbelievably proud
Like protect 37 senior citizens on a haunted hay ride.

Alzheimer Grandma no longer has any clue as to who Eli is
but she knows she loves him.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In which we learn how far ShallowGal will go for a snickers

When ShallowGal first moved into her neighborhood nine years ago she was a little suspicious. Maybe even a lot suspicious. Because her new neighborhood reminded her of a little place called Stepford, CT. No, that's too harsh. Maybe not Stepford. Maybe just that town on The X-files where the giant arms come out at night and swallow anything that isn't perfect.

Within hours of the moving truck pulling away, a dozen neighbors had stopped by with plates of cookies, cakes and advice. (1) Children frolicked on perfectly manicured lawns before coming in to freshly home cooked meals. ShallowGal had apparently moved to 1954.

But a month after moving in, SG discovered her new neighborhood's best feature. The high school homecoming parade. With candy. Free fricking candy.

Parades demand tradition. For eight years Serendity and her crew have come over. First we raid the bag collection. Then we walk to the corner where we engage in another tradition, the yearly debate about where to watch to ensure maximum candy.

The parade starts precisely at 5 PM. First the marching band marches past but they're busy holding instruments and flags. Thus they have no candy to throw. So even though they're impressive musically, they get this reaction:

Sephora bags are sturdy and the perfect size for collecting candy.
Also, interesting trivia: we always end up on this corner on Presidential election years.

Then the good stuff happens. First the Seniors drive by. SG yells "Seniors rule." And the seniors throw extra tootsie rolls in our direction.

Once the Seniors have passed come the Juniors. "Juniors kick Senior ass." The Juniors lob handfuls of little milky ways our way.

Next are the sophomores. "We love the sophomores," we yell, and are rewarded with peanut butter cups.

Then the freshmen come and because the seniors have since turned the corner, and SG didn't bring her thesaurus, we recycle. "Freshmen rule!" And they do, since they have brought skittles.

The crew team floats by (2) and SG screams "Crew is the best team!" Which they are because they have tootsie pops.

Then a small Miata carrying four students holding a sign that says YOUNG CONSERVATIVES cruises by. And there's a giant McCain sign on each side of the car.

Everyone looks at each other wondering what to do. And ShallowGal yells "Hooray for Young Conservatives!" and for her trouble receives several starlight mints.(3)

And then PCSguy said, and I quote, "you are such a fucking candy whore."

Now ShallowGal may be many, many things, but a candy whore? Actually if asked to make a list, it would probably look like this:

  1. Candy whore
  2. Mother
  3. Blogger
  4. Wife (Wife was #3 before someone impugned SG's good name)(4)

After the parade a neighbor approached ShallowGal and said "I was so impressed with Jake. He didn't cheer for the young conservatives just to get candy." In other words, ShallowGal is not just a candy whore but an outed candy whore. (5)

She looks sweet and will share ALL her starlight mints.
But don't even think of asking for something chocolate.

ShallowGal may be a candy whore but
at least she isn't going to insist on bringing her candy to bed tonight.

1) One such piece of advice; when Jake turns five he has to join the swim team. Jake was 18 months old at the time.
2) Dude. I didn't even realize that awesome bit of ironic punnery until the editing stage.

3) Although SG has it on good authority that John McCain prefers Werther's Originals.
4)So SG is actually not 'many, many' things. She's just 'some' things. That's so sad.
5) In my own defense, I NEVER would have cheered if I knew they were throwing starlight mints.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Weekend Edition.

I don't care what PCSguy says.
I'm 99% sure that is not the real Theodore Roosevelt. (1)

1) I am, however, only 92% sure that's really Noa.

Monday, October 13, 2008

ShallowGal debates the merits of an oligarchy during a post-Bush administration

No, I'm totally kidding. (1) We're going to discuss Paris Hilton's new reality show. Eventually. There's a lot of back story to cover first.

See last week ShallowGal and her friend Alicia had dinner at Pia's house. SG calls Pia her pretty friend. (2) Pia's been SG's go-to friend for years; even if weeks or months go by between conversations, Pia will always answer a distress call with "What can I do?" Answers have included such massive favors as "watch my kids while I go to the Bahamas."

ShallowGal occasionally gets to be the helpful friend. Once ShallowGal watched Pia's dog for a week. The dog-sitting was PCSguy's idea, his ploy to get a family dog. However (as any mother would predict) despite the many promises by the posse, all care of the dog fell upon ShallowGal.

Quelle surprise.

But in true ShallowGal fashion, the dog was walked, fed and at the end of the week returned home. Whereupon Pia received an email explaining that we could not dog sit again in the future as Noa had become "allergic."

Nice. (3)

Another time was when Pia's husband, who SG likes to call Adam (4), slipped on the ice and broke his leg. Not only did ShallowGal show up at the hospital with a turkey sandwich for Pia's lunch but when the orthopedic surgeon arrived to discuss the impending operation and asked if there were any questions, ShallowGal asked "will he be able to play the violin afterward?"

(Would you believe the surgeon had never heard that joke before? What the hell kind of medical school did he go to? And Adam did not consider this guy's complete lack of a sense of humor a reason to find a new surgeon.)

Pia was the first on the scene when Phil died, the first at the hospital (5) when Eli was born. She sets the standard to which ShallowGal holds potential friends.

What does this have to do with Paris Hilton? I have no idea. Damn back story got me all confused. Plus why is it called the back story when I told it first? It should be called the front story.

Wait, I got it. Seven months ago, ShallowGal applied to be on Paris Hilton, My New BFF. Oddly enough MTV passed. Their loss. ShallowGal makes for excellent reality television, all unshowered and pajama clad.

But ironically this show premiered the night that ShallowGal arrived home from her drunken fete. And SG realized how much she appreciates her real BFFs.

First Paris kicked four girls out based on a lousy first impression. (6) Screw that. In Shallow-land, you get many chances to make a first impression, even if that's technically impossible.

Then Paris required her new friends to get radical makeovers. Dude. You can hang with me no matter how your hair looks. Actually, I'm a huge believer in the worse you look, the better I look.

Piss Paris off and you're headed home. Her parting words? "Our friendship is over. TTYN." Harsh. Way worse than "my kid is now allergic to your dog." Right?

Paris Hilton's words of wisdom: Best friends should trust each others opinions. ShallowGal's opinion? Paris Hilton makes good television but SG will hold on the the friends she already has.

1) SG doesn't know what, if anything, that even means
2)Mostly because Pia instructed SG to call her the pretty friend. ALL ShallowGal's friends are gorgeous.
3) I had completely forgotten this story until Pia reminded me somewhere after our third bottle of wine. Also, observant readers will notice that on long posts SG has moved back to the annoying habit of constantly shifting from the first to the third person and back. Deal with it.
4) Luckily it's his name.
5) Looking, PCSguy likes to say, like Neiman Marcus exploded.
6) Granted one of the girls saw the Virgin America sign and exclaimed "we're going to London!" so maybe Paris wasn't too far off base.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ShallowGal's get rich quick scheme

ShallowGal's been watching the problems on Wall Street. And the effects on her family's 401K. Either PCSguy is going to have to work until he's ninety or ShallowGal needs a plan.

And one thing ShallowGal can always be counted on for is having a plan. (1)(1.5)

ShallowGal is going to open a pole dancing gym. No you perv, get your mind out of the gutter. A classy pole dancing gym, for women to get exercise and have fun.

And because when SG can do this, PCSguy will ensure her financial future.
Photo stolen from these guys.

This is no ass backwards plan, for your information, although it should result in ShallowGal having a very nice ass. Like any prudent business woman, ShallowGal started with a little market research; in this case, a survey. Goddess fitness in Bethesda offers a trial class and SG invited Lolita and Decidedly Right to go next week to try a class. DR told SG to stop acting like a whore, but Lolita was in.

That gives us a 50% interest rate in pole dancing classes in women between 35 and 45. (2)

ShallowGal's Northern Virginia town has 20,000 women over the age of 18. Do the math. 10,000 women are wandering Burke, Virginia right now wishing they could find some place to learn to pole dance.

If four different tae kwon do studios can exist within 3 square miles, a pole dancing gym should be a license to print money. And ShallowGal will be laughing all the way to the bank.

1. Another is SG will NEVER let you drink alone.
1.5) Another is overuse of prepositions. A third is laziness when it comes to renumbering footnotes during the editing process.
2. Math is totally SG's strong point.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: ShallowGal's front yard, a retrospective

ShallowGal's yard, Saturday, September 27th.
The first such sign in her ultra right wing neighborhood
Much hoo-hah commences.

ShallowGal's yard Sunday, September 28th.
Something seems to be missing.

SG's yard, October 4rth.
Yes, it took a week. Obama yard signs are hard to come by.

SG's yard: October 5th, 7 am.

October 5th 7:01 am
ShallowGal admits defeat. She is not meant to own a yard sign.

PS: I will be off-line from sundown tonight until Friday morning in observance of Yom Kippur. To all my Jewish friends: G'mar chatimah tovah. May you be sealed for a good year in the Book of Life. xoxo, Amy

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Gwen Ifill better watch out

Although ShallowGal has no clue what she wants to do when she grows up, Noa has narrowed down her career options.

She's either going to be a rock star or the Vice Presidential debate moderator. (1)

Debate moderator is actually a job tailor made for Noa, as there is little in life she likes more than asking questions. One day I actually counted how many questions (2) Noa asked; the answer, a mind numbing 278. Assuming she sleeps 10 hours a night, that works out to 19.8 questions an hour, or one every THREE minutes. All day, every day. Getting paid to ask questions? Icing on the cake.

When Noa heard that Gwen Ifill had broken her ankle, she immediately started working on the questions she would ask, should her presence be required in St. Louis.

  1. Have you ever been to Russia? What about China? Did you like it? Did you bring me anything?
  2. How many cars do you have?
  3. Is today a good day for a car wash? What about a lemonade stand?
  4. Do you like to play football? Do you watch football? Who's your favorite team?
  5. Do you have a dog?

The makers of Palin bingo would need to do a monster re-write for the answers you'd get to these questions.

Never one to be left out, Eli has a few questions of his own:
  1. What's your roof made of? (3)
  2. Do you know Blues Clues dad, Steve? Is he nice or bad?
  3. Do you have any gum?

1. She's no idiot, my little girl. It's a pretty cushy job, what with 1460 days off every four years.
2. Full questions only, not just phrases ending with a question mark like "mom?"

3.It took a few minutes to figure out the roof fixation but finally determined he must have read The Three Little Pigs at school. Or he's planning a career in shingles.