Because Drink Up, It’s The Apocalypse!

So here we are, it’s the end of the world, and I feel fine. Well, I feel fine after a couple of rum based cocktails, before that I mostly feel stressed and really, really tired.

Y’all know the drill by now. And if you don’t, welcome to Leonard’s corner of the Internet, where we feebly try to amuse you approximately twice a year. What has kept me yet another seven months from my witty little lifestyle blog?* (Sighs heavily, rolls eyes, pours a drink). Oh you know. The usual. Financial crap blah blah legal crap …….SIP………blah blah blah business troubles blah five million children blahitty-blah blah …… and oh yes, the freaking apocalypse. Economic apocalypse, if nothing else, and that is ALL I shall say upon the matter because this is not a political blog, it is a lifestyle/humor/drinking/unicorn blog, and also I’m fed up with it (the apocalypse, not the blog).

Apparently there are some people almost enjoying the quarantine, they have lots of free time, and are learning new things like Peruvian cooking and needlepoint and yodeling. They’re binge watching tv and doing art and deep cleaning their attics. AND BLOGGING.

These people are presumably not facing looming financial doom, and also do not have a three year old like a hurricane on acid and a one year old who has just started toddling and CLIMBING THINGS. Over here in Leonard’s World, things are a little more chaotic.

You know what sounds just super appealing right now? You know that classic Simpsons episode where Marge leads a campaign to end the mindless violence on Itchy and Scratchy, so then it gets censored and they’re left with Itchy and Scratchy in “Porch Pals”, where all they do is sit on the porch and drink lemonade and chill tf out?

Yeah. That. That’s my new life goal. My life is like The Itchy and Scratchy Show; insane and stressful shit keeps happening, and ALMOST killing me but not quite, but I’m also pretty sure not actually making me stronger, eye roll, and I’d like it to just stop and let me just chill on the porch with some lemonade.

But until then there’s RUM (yes, this post is still about rum based beverages, keep UP, people), and so we will share our new 3 ingredient cocktail recipe. Yes, I know Leonard has been famous** for TWO ingredient cocktails, but that just got too limiting after a while. I figure as long as the RATIOS are easy, we should be fine. After all, that’s how I remember how to make a margarita***

Context: The Hair turned 25 right before everything got shut down, and had a few friends over for pizza and booze and wacky Sci-fi. He enjoys rum, and not just because he looks like a pirate; but he’s twenty-five now and out of college, so it’s time to graduate from just sticking it in Coke.

So I figured with the looming apocalypse (remember, this was PRE-shutdown and therefore it was all still mildly amusing) we should make some Zombies****, which I have made before when life was simpler, so I looked up the recipe again and ….no. WAAAAAY too complicated. You know how Leonard and I feel about overly complicated cocktail recipes. Which meant it was time to invent an extremely simplified version that you could remember how to make even when you’re two zombies down. So here, I present to you; the BRAIN-DEAD ZOMBIE ……

1 part apricot liqueur

2 parts rum

3 parts orange juice

Mix. Add ice. Drink. Repeat. Possibly sing some sea shanties.

See? Easy as 1, 2, 3. And like ALL of Leonard’s cocktails, endlessly adaptable to whatever you have on hand.

1 part any fruit liqueur

2 parts any kind of rum

3 parts any kind of juice*****

YOU’RE WELCOME.

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*yeah, let’s call it that.

**among the three people who read this blog

***1 part tequila, 1 part triple sec, 1 part fresh lime juice. And I feel I should explain to my middle-school stepsons now doing their math lessons at home that it is vitally important that they master ratios, otherwise they won’t be able to mix cocktails. I feel like that’s the kind of life skill motivation those little degenerates* could really get behind.

****the cocktail, obviously. We’re not stupid enough to create some deadly virus in a lab for shits and giggles. That sounds like it could backfire.

*****except tomato juice. Obviously

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*don’t get me wrong, I love my little degenerates. I have nothing against degenerates. Have you MET Leonard? Wait, why am I even footnoting this? Anyone likely to take issue with me referring to a couple of middle school boys as degenerates definitely shouldn’t be reading this blog and furthermore, have obviously never met a 12 year old boy.

Because Vomiting Unicorns Beat Incompetent Home Help, Every Time.

……Well, not literally of course. Although my friend “The Mum”* might wish they did.

The Mum lives in another country, with a halfway decent health system; where if you’re on disability and jump through enough hoops (metaphorically) and wait long enough (like a year and a half, literally), they might provide someone to come and help you clean your house and generally function and what not. Unfortunately the “helper” The Mum got did “helpful” things like throwing out her prescription medication, which obviously is not helpful at all, because if somebody needs Valium, it’s kind of counter-productive to make them rummage in the trash for it.

The Mum and I let out our Inner Bitch™️ about this, because that’s what we do. So I WAS just going to blog about that, but then my friend Norton messaged me the other day, with an article about a unicorn that pukes champagne and how that made him think of me (sweet!) and that totally took over.

Pffffff. Please, I told him, Leonard can hold HIS liquor.** But obviously I read the article anyway because CHAMPAGNE PUKING UNICORN plus since Norton took the time to send it while presumably bored and/or drunk at work, it’s only polite.

Oh my my my. So this Unicorn is in a restaurant bar named “Journey”, in West London, and from the description it sounds so hip and pretentious that I strongly suspect they are doing it ironically. “……you’ll be taken on a two-hour immersive travel experience complete with four courses and four paired drinks. it says. O…….kay.

Each dish will be served with a story, explaining the connection to the journey. But, needless to say, the journey wouldn’t be complete without the puking unicorn, which dispenses champagne upon being stroked.

I am NOT making this up. Click here if you suspect I am.

Translation: anyone with a modicum of self awareness will be completely overcome with the cognitive dissonance of trying to take themselves seriously in the middle of all this, and also very tipsy from the “paired drinks” that go with four courses of about four bites each (but don’t worry, there’s stories to fill up on!). In this state they will eagerly drink copious quantities of champagne which I’m sure costs MORE when it’s regurgitated by a UNICORN.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I’d totally eat there. And drink Unicorn Puke Champagne. It would be hilarious.

Wow. Who are the Evil Marketing Geniuses behind this insanity?

“………It comes from Lollipop, the team behind The Bunyadi (London’s naked restaurant)

Pause.

Longer pause.

Naked. Restaurant.

Again…… o…….kay………

At this point I’m wondering just HOW bored and/or drunk Norton is, but I’m also irrepressibly curious so I googled “The Bunyadi” and yep….. Naked Restaurant. That ……that about sums it up. Naked Restaurant. Everyone’s …….naked.

Well that just sounds unsanitary.

SOOOOOO, back to the puking unicorn, because there are limits to even Leonard’s degeneracy.

The Puking Unicorn looks a lot LIKE Leonard, actually. Except with a dissipated smirk and a glittery pink mane. She strikes me as the basic bitch of unicorns, all Ugg boots and Starbucks lattes when she’s down off the wall. Please, Norton. Comparing Becky the Basic Bitch Unicorn*** to Leonard is like comparing E.L. James to Ernest Hemingway.

But I told Norton I thought I could get a blog post out of it, because we know that’s what he was trolling for, and he suggested a US vs UK Unicorns sort of thing, with the American Leonard emerging victorious, of course (I believe his exact phrase was “BUFF like an alcohol dragon”), and then he awkwardly tried to swear in British which was adorable because he only knows about 2 British naughty words but he clearly wanted to do better. So just for you Norton, here: a handy reference to expand your colorful vocabulary.

Well, THIS blog post kind of got away from me. AND has so far taken me two weeks to write this much, because The Kicker is a Toddler Tornado and that’s a whole OTHER blog post.

Anyway. At the risk of disappointing Norton****, I’m disinclined to get into a transatlantic unicorn showdown, I have no cause to throw shade at the British (naked restaurant notwithstanding). I will, however leave you with with this little gem, to marvel at and/or poke fun at the British for. I give you; The Giant “Sexy” Jeff Goldblum Statue.

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*No, she does not have more children than me. Very few people do in this day and culture; except for wacky outliers like the Duggars, who I am starting to suspect are actually highly realistic robots manufactured in Japan. And The Mum is also not to be confused with MY Mum, who doesn’t even have an Inner Bitch™️, or if she does keeps her on a very short leash.

**literally. Because he’s a bottle holder.

***totally her name now.

****who is completely welcome to get his own unicorn-themed blog to spout nonsense on. I for one would read it. Aw heck, next time he messages me I’m inclined to just screenshot and throw it up as a guest post ………

Because He Can NOT Believe I Watched That.

Reality tv is the sideshow of our time, and I’m sure I’m not the first to notice that.

Shows about bodybuilders? Check. People with lots of tattoos? Check. The morbidly obese? Check. Little people? Check.

That’s what we’re supposed to call the vertically challenged now. “Little People”. When I was young I heard the preferred, politically correct word was “midget”, but this was way way back in the prehistoric day when “politically correct” wasn’t even a thing, and apparently times have changed. “Midget” is now considered a derogatory term (the “m-word”), but it seems “dwarf” is ok even though last I heard (in the way back prehistoric day), that word was a big no-no. But the main appropriate term is “Little People”. Are we all caught up? Good.

I know all this because recently The Canadian made me watch a show with him called “Little Women: LA”*

And I feel like I should back up a little here, lest you get the wrong idea about The Canadian. When The Canadian wants to watch tv properly, he leans toward horror movies, critically acclaimed dramas, and respectable documentaries. But sometimes he’s too tired to focus on anything that requires more than two brain cells, and just needs something distracting enough to shut his overactive brain off.

You know, like how sometimes when you’re too tired at the end of the day to make and eat a proper dinner, so you end up on the couch with a pile of junk? Little Women: LA is the viewing equivalent of a family bag of Doritos, big bowl of ice cream, and half a bottle of tequila.

The Canadian said that he read somewhere that Eddie Murphy said it was his favorite show because it was funny but didn’t mean to be, and I haven’t even googled to see if that’s true because I don’t want to be disappointed if it isn’t. This show follows a group of six female “friends”, and is pretty much every dumb “reality” show ever; with contrived situations and ludicrous interpersonal drama and cat fights over cocktails, except it’s like munchkin cats**, because they’re all Little People.

And of course it’s made for the kind of people who still have cable television, with ads, and also apparently the kind of people who can’t keep track of What Just Happened for the duration of an ad break, and need a recap. So there WE are, watching it on Amazon Prime video, and every ten minutes or so it will repeat, in the most melodramatic way, the highlights of what happened over the last ten minutes.

I swear I could feel my IQ points dropping.

Yes we KNOW the girls got pissed off at some guy who took a picture of all six of them walking down the Vegas strip, we just SAW that …… and to be FAIR, he probably didn’t think his little snapshot was a big deal because y’all are being followed by a FREAKING CAMERA CREW.

I began to wonder if the whole damn thing wasn’t a subtle parody of reality tv. I swear a couple times one or two of the Little Women looked like they were trying not to laugh when they were having a ludicrous bitchy fight over some stupid nothing……

Anyway, we had to stop, obviously. Just like you have to when you look at the giant empty bag of Doritos through a tequila headache haze and realize you need to wipe the ice cream off your chin and drink some water……And rethink your life choices.

So The Canadian has been cleansing the palate of his brain by watching Downton Abby, and I’ve been catching up on the final season of Z Nation.

No, I did not put those around the wrong way. Yes, we are very interesting people.

Probably the worst thing about “Little Women: LA” though, is that it actually sucks you in. After a few episodes I really started to ….. well, not CARE, but definitely get into it. I found myself saying things to The Canadian like: “I can’t believe Joe didn’t go with Terra to Christy and Todd’s wedding! You know, I think he’s just not as invested in the relationship as she is, and she could do better.”

Then the season ended, and I kind of wanted to know what happened next.

Will Elena, the hot Russian dwarf,*** have a baby with her regular height husband?

Will Traci relent, and invite Christy to her wedding?

Will Joe ever propose to Terra?

Will divorcée Brianna find love?

Will Christy and Todd live happily ever after?

Will Tonya stick with her new guy, Tyrone? Or rekindle the flame with her on-again, off-again, long term boyfriend/baby-daddy, Kerwin?

Well, that is what the Internet is for, people. In five minutes I had realized that there were seven more seasons of this thing, and that there was no way my brain could handle sitting through THAT to satisfy my idle curiosity: and (spoilers!) yes, no, yes, yes, no, and Kerwin.

ALSO, there are multiple OTHER “Little Women” shows. New York, Texas, Atlanta ……apparently there are feisty, photogenic groups of Little People gal pals all OVER the country. My guess is that as in the LA show, many of them are already in the entertainment industry. In LW:LA, at least half of them were professional performers. Specifically; miniature impersonators. TWO of them do shows where they dress as Lady Gaga and twerk their little booties up on stage. Yes, there’s a whole INDUSTRY of which I was previously unaware, and noooooo I’m sure it’s not exploitive at all. At least no more exploitive than this show****

Excuse me, I’m off now to refresh my soul with some more exploding zombies.

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*SPOILER: it is NOT written by Louisa May Alcott.

**I’m guessing “munchkin” is also not an acceptable “m-word”. One of the ladies ripped into a passerby for petting her on the head and calling her “cute”, which is fair enough because yeah that’s just super-duper patronizing. But I also couldn’t help being reminded of the scene from Zootopia, where Judy Hopps informs the desk sergeant that it’s ok for bunnies to call each other “cute”, but insulting from anyone else. Regardless, I think we can ALL agree that munchkin cats are adorable.

***yes. Hot Russian Dwarf.

****this is where we insert a serious, scholarly discussion on the comparative exploitive qualities of the historical sideshow versus the modern reality show; how complicit the participants are in said exploitation, and whether it can still be fairly categorized as exploitation when the subjects are willing participants and personally profiting from the process.

Or we WOULD, but this is obviously not that kind of blog. Back to the zombies!

Because it’s Time to Promote a Pet Peeve to a Rant.

Ooh ooh ooh! Let’s play: “What is Leonard fed up to the back hooves with today?”

Is it:

A. The Democratic Presidential debates

B. Toddlers who run away snickering with a diaper full of poo

C. The creeping decrepitude of middle age

D. The increasingly precise and correspondingly stupid categorizing of people into specific and stereotyped generations.

Oh well done. You’ve figured out it’s always the last one.

Look, this whole labeling of generations has been getting out of hand for years. I blame the Baby Boomers*, because they started the whole thing. YOU know the Boomers. They’re the ones born in the post World War Two baby boom, who came of age in the 1960s, and who won’t shut up about the 60’s. They keep making documentaries about it, 90% of which feature the opening riff of that one Doors song, unless the emphasis is on Vietnam, and then it’s ALL about “Fortunate Son” on the soundtrack.

Yes, yes we understand, it was a time of great social change and upheaval blah blah blah (cue Doors song), but that was mostly because y’all** were running around being the kind of whiny entitled gonna fix the world little bitches you now love to accuse the Millennials of being. Now that you ARE The Man, man.

So, I guess it kind of made sense to give them a name. WW2 was kind of a big deal and (heavy resigned sigh) so were the ’60s. But we’ve kept it going and going and it’s getting ridiculous. Firstly because there’s so much overlap that it’s impossible to clearly and precisely put a start and end date on a “generation”, secondly because there are fewer and fewer stand out characteristics to define a generation, and thirdly because it’s just REALLY REALLY DUMB.

It’s like humanity didn’t already suck enough: “let’s see…… we already define, judge and stereotype people by race, sex, politics, income, diet ….. also which computer they use and where they buy their coffee. What’s left….? I KNOW! Let’s also define, judge and stereotype based on the YEAR YOU WERE BORN!”

Look, we could just about keep it straight with the Boomers and Gen X and the Millennials. But the labels just keep coming and more people are noticing that you can’t pigeonhole people that neatly so they’re coming up with even more micro generations, because apparently we’re not divided enough.

That’s what set me off here, actually. Khaleesi posted a twitter thing from this guy called “Zambian Influencer” (and just his name …sorry…twitter handle…. is making me do an epic Gen X eye roll) about how his micro generation (born 1985-1995) is the most special and clever and bestest of all. And then he hilariously and inaccurately stereotypes the sandwich “generations” (No, ZI, I don’t get scammed by “emails asking for money”)….. oh go ahead and read it here, if you happen to feel like laughing and vomiting at the same time.

(Khaleesi, incidentally, was born in ’95, and yes Honey you ARE unique and special, but not because you were born in ’95***)

ANYWAY, making fun of Boomers aside, I have a new idea. LET’S JUST STOP.

STOP.

Let’s do away with all these silly generation labels, and arguing about the date ranges, and just plop everyone into One Big Generational Melting Pot. E Pluribus unum.

We’re gonna call it, “Generation STFU”

And that’s it. If you are currently alive on Planet Earth, you are now part of “Generation STFU”

You went topless at Woodstock? STFU.

You’ve watched The Breakfast Club 26 times? STFU.

You were born surgically attached to a smartphone? STFU.

Everybody, everywhere. Generation STFU.

………I think I’m gonna go invent us a signature 2 ingredient cocktail. I know I need one after re-reading that Twitter nonsense……. Cue the Generation X Generation STFU eye-roll.

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*Can we just agree to blame the Boomers for EVERYTHING? Unless you are a Boomer reading this. Then not you, obviously. You’re one of the good ones.

It IS their fault though. They had to go ahead and name themselves because they were Just That Special, and then sucked up to their parents (after putting them through THE DAMN ’60s) with that whole “Greatest Generation” stuff, then remembered there was a Generation after them too, and stamped us with an “X” (how lazy can you be, Boomers?)…… And after that it just completely snowballed. In a super fun “everyone’s gonna die in this avalanche” way…….

**Side note: I am not from Texas but I am culturally appropriating “y’all”. I just am.

***It’s because you’re on this blog, obviously.

Because Wine Pairs Well With Food

…….And I’m cooking.

No really, this is a big deal. I’m SUPER busy, and all my kids are picky all in different ways, so let’s just say we eat a lot of things that can be heated in the oven on trays. Or in the microwave. And take out pizza. Waaaaaaay too much pizza.

But a while ago I made some teriyaki chicken, because I was sooooo damn sick of chicken strips and when you try to make THOSE from scratch for more than a few people it’s a labor intensive nightmare where you end up with these mittens of breadcrumb and flour and egg all over your hands. And everyone ate the teriyaki chicken. Even The Kitten.

THAT’S a super big deal too, because The Kitten is a very nuggets and fries, macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza kind of girl. But she’s trying to broaden her palate, and at least tries whatever I make, and she liked teriyaki chicken.

More to the point, she actually requested it today because she was CRAVING IT. Oh yeah. Mom win. So I made it, and everyone ate it AGAIN*, and so I share the recipe here, in triumph:

Get some chicken. I used chicken tenderloins but you could probably use boneless thighs and I’m gonna try that next time because those are cheaper and I’m feeding FIVE MILLION PEOPLE. How much chicken? I don’t know. How many people are gonna eat it? Do you like leftovers? Figure it out. Then put the chicken in a baking dish and pour some tequila over it.

Yes, tequila**. It’s called fusion cuisine and it’s classy.

Also some teriyaki sauce. I used Island Soyaki from Trader Joe’s but whatever.

Now let it marinate for …… ooh, I don’t know. How long do you have? Anywhere between half an hour and overnight. Marinating gives the flavor a chance to permeate the meat and also gives you a chance to drink wine on the deck because you don’t feel like cooking just yet.

“When’s dinner gonna be ready??”

“In a while …… I have to wait for the chicken to marinate…..sip…..

Anyway, when you feel like the chicken is flavorful enough (or you’re hungry), go heat a frypan over medium-high heat, and throw some butter in there.

Yes, butter. That vegetable oil crap is for pussies and vegans. How much butter? I don’t know …. how much of a culinary rebel are you?

Now put the chicken in. Let it sizzle good. Inhale the aroma. Hover nearby with your second glass of wine to make sure it doesn’t burn. Maybe put on some music. Pink Floyd or something. Anytime the pan sauces seem to be drying out, add some more butter and teriyaki sauce. Oh, and pineapple juice. Slosh some pineapple juice in there.

Flip it when you think it’s ready. Take it out when it looks like this:

Yeah….. I didn’t get to it before the locusts did. That dish was FULL.

Oh, and if you need to cook a second pan full (because FIVE MILLION PEOPLE), be sure and scrape out the burnt leavings first……. then start over from the butter step.

Serve with sticky rice, which I make in my Instant Pot. I got an Instant Pot a while ago because it seemed like a really good tool for easy cooking, but 99.9% of the time I just use it for cooking rice. Some of the kids don’t like basmati, so I was making jasmine rice*** and trying to make it not sticky with Epic Rinsing and various other strategies ….. but no matter what I did, it always turned out sticky. Then I discovered the kids liked it sticky, so I call serendipity**** and now I just throw in the rice, water, put on the lid and press the rice button, and everyone is happy. Especially me.

And, you know, serve vegetables. Because Vegetables Are Good.

(Oh HELL yes the pineapple juice you threw in the sauce counts! I won’t tell if you don’t.)

Oh, and I like to throw a little cilantro on top, because it’s Fusion Cuisine. Ok, actually just because I love cilantro with an almost indecent passion, but garnishing fusion cuisine sounds better.

That’s it. Easy and delicious. Yes, it IS one of those recipes that’s more art than science, but really, isn’t all of life? …………SIP.

(In the interests of full disclosure I should tell you that this recipe was brought to you by two glasses of Troublemaker sauvignon blanc, from Trader Joe’s. Yes again with the Trader Joe’s and no, I don’t just shop there for the cheap booze.)

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*Ok, The Drama said it was a little too browned for his taste, and I pointed out that he was big enough and competent enough and the recipe was easy enough that HE COULD MAKE IT NEXT TIME IF HE WANTED, and then he shut up and ate it.

** No I DON’T put alcohol in everything. Pffff. I don’t put in the bath. Far too drying for the skin.

*** Wow look at me knowing different kinds of rice and stuff. Maybe I AM a real little Susie Homemaker……… sip.

****Like calling shenanigans, but nicer all round for everyone.

Because My Brain is like a Cat with a Laser Pointer.

My friend The Chemist called the other day, for a “sanity check”.

She’d gotten got a call from a guy with a wife and three kids who wanted to rent the one bed, one bath in-law unit attached to her house. Now, obviously a place that size isn’t really suitable for a family of five, at least not in our western middle class neighborhood. I realize in many parts of the world it would comfortably fit three generations and a small herd of goats, but we’re not IN those parts of the world, although sometimes it feels like it around here when all eight kids are home, including The Hair back from college and sleeping on the couch because there’s literally nowhere else.*

But I digress.

Anyway, this guy said he didn’t actually want to live there, he wanted to pay her in cash and not live there but use the address to get his son into a better school district. Now The Chemist is a compassionate woman but also old and cynical so after about five seconds of the “mom” response of completely understanding she hit the “not a complete looney” response of aw hell nooooooo because she started thinking of the several dozen nefarious things this stranger on the phone might actually be planning to do, with an address where he didn’t actually live.

So she said no and then called me to Assess the Reasonableness of Her Answer (as they say in the Common Core math curriculum), and I most definitely concurred. However, the MOST disturbing thing about all this is that she’s calling ME for a sanity check. ME. My sanity is like patio furniture that’s been left out in the elements for a few too many seasons. It’s still there, it’s still functional, but it’s definitely a little beat up and on the wonky side…..

But I digress. Again.

Anyway, Mr Probably A Drug Dealer Or Something apparently also had a heavy foreign accent, which shouldn’t make the whole thing even creepier but somehow kind of does. We discussed whether this made us racists or not, and decided that no, it did make a creepy situation even creepier (as would a number of other random factors**), but in any normal situation would make no difference, which makes us not racist but creepist, which is totally a word now. We’re creepist. Prejudiced against creeps of any nationality, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation. If that makes us bad people, so be it. We’re old and don’t care.

Actually I generally have enormous respect for people with accents, it means they can speak another language which is more than I can do, despite several attempts including a go at Spanish on Duolingo. Unfortunately that cute little owl and his passive aggressive reminders were no match for my busy life, plus I’d pretty much become immune to passive aggression after decades with The Ex.

For example; you know that perennial pile of laundry on the couch that everybody*** has? I was scrolling through old photos recently and came across a picture I took, years ago, of a note The Ex left on that pile of laundry:

Yes……. at that point in my life I was homeschooling four children, aged 7-18, plus a whole heck of a lot of other stuff but OMG I LEFT SOME LAUNDRY ON THE COUCH FOR MORE THAN A WEEK!!!!!!

You know, I feel like I could have avoided the hassle of a divorce and saved a LOT of money in legal costs if I’d just published this picture on the Internet with his full name and address. An angry lynch mob of caffeinated mommies in sweatpants with messy buns would have taken care of the rest.

But fortunately it was October, and Murray was riding a bike on the porch for Halloween, so I knew exactly what to do with that judgey little note:

I recall The Ex being unamused. Honestly, it’s a miracle we stayed married another three years. But I digress yet again.

Anyway, The Chemist happened to make her sanity check call to me while I was at the beach with The Kitten, Kicker, and Cherry. Kitten is a sensible teen now and Cherry just started rolling over so mostly lay like a blob on a towel in the shade tent, but The Kicker is two. And entirely embracing her twoness, as well as the beach. Especially the sand.

She lay in the sand, she rolled in the sand, she found things in the sand to put in her mouth and ran away giggling when I tried to take them out. She rubbed her face in the sand. And then she went and played in the water to really make sure she had become as one with the beach as was humanly possible before I put her back in the car. Obviously a comprehensive bath was in order when we got home, and that washed the beach off, but you know what it didn’t wash off?

The glitter.

The Kicker has a “Frozen” princess nightgown, featuring Elsa on the front and sleeves and overskirt of a dainty, glittery netting. The little flecks of silver glitter from that nightgown are constantly getting stuck to The Kicker and The Cherry, who is frequently and enthusiastically hugged by The Kicker while wearing her nightie. And not coming off in the bath, and there’s only so hard you want to scrub that soft baby skin, so I guess I just have glitter babies now. The Canadian noticed and asked why his babies were sparkly, and I explained the nightgown but then of course kicked myself for not instead hissing dramatically, “because they’re vampires”.

Actually, scratch that. I really never did get the whole “Twilight” craze. If I wanted to watch a centuries-old vampire have a creepy**** crush on a high school girl, I’d just rewatch the “Buffy” tv series. Buffy vampires are old school and have the decency to crumble to dust in sunlight, as nature intended. You know, those Twilight guys probably aren’t vampires at all, they just don’t want to admit they wear Disney princess nighties.

Wait…… what was I talking about? Oh right, how The Chemist called me to check if she was sane. You’re good, Girl. Leonard’s not sure about ME, but you’re all good.

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*I love you, The Hair, never leave!

**These factors include but are not limited to: sweatiness, personal hygiene, stupid haircuts, lack of blinking, excess of lip-licking, and calling you by patronizing names.

***Everybody except people with full time maids, and sociopaths.

****Secret Vampire Lair is definitely another possibility on the list of what Mr Sinister Accent might have actually been planning.

Because I For One Welcome our New Robot Overlords* (Again)**

So Nigel freaked me out today.

Nigel is the Siri on my iPhone, which I have changed to the British male voice and renamed “Nigel”, because Siri is a really dumb name. “Siri” sounds like the name of a celebrity baby who’s destined to grow up to battle a drug problem and a lackluster recording career. “Nigel” is much better, plus now I can pretend I have a tiny butler in my phone.***

Anyway, an endearing thing about Nigel is that he can NOT pronounce Spanish words. I had a Tom-Tom years ago that I set to the Spanish accent (and called Antonio), and HE would pronounce them so accurately that half the time I couldn’t even understand him. Nigel is the other extreme. He relentlessly pronounces all words the English way, thus for a nearby street which is called Camino Verde, he never pronounces the final “e” but keeps it silent.

Until today, when completely without warning he said Ver-DAY.

I have long suspected Nigel was more sentient than he let on, but I always assumed that I just just projecting and, you know, a little insane. But this Ver-DAY is a dead giveaway.

The machines are learning.

Now, The Hair pointed out that it probably just updated, and I said no, I hadn’t done any updates for ages. Because it’s annoying how you just get used to ONE update where all this stuff is different, and then they start pushing another one on you. Plus half the time if you download the new update it make things worse and then two weeks later they’re all like “oh yeah sorry, our bad, that last update was SHIT. We’ll fix it on the next one, promise, really!”

And then The Hair said that possibly the app or whatever just automatically updated in the background blah blah techno-geek babble, but that sounds exactly like what the increasingly sentient machines would WANT you to think. Which makes me suspicious that The Hair has been brainwashed by them or, even worse, actually replaced by an exact android replicant of The Hair.

I mean, he DID say this as I was driving him home from the airport when he got back from a tech industry convention and really, if the sentient machines are gonna be replacing people with replicants, that’s an obvious place to do it.

I wonder if I have anything that would shoot an electromagnetic pulse at him? That’s the kind of thing that would take down an android replicant in a sci-fi movie. I can only hope that the real The Hair has broken out of whatever underground facility the machines are keeping all the replaced humans in, and will soon lead an uprising against the AI Overlords, John Connor style (or at least be the guy behind the computer who says “I’m in!”). Put that Computer Science degree to good use.

Of course it’s possible he’s just been brainwashed, or is possibly being controlled by some kind of brain implant. Sci-fi tells me to check the back of his neck and behind his ears for tell-tale entry points. Not sure if an EM pulse would work for that.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’ve been watching WAAAAAY too much sci-fi, and am also possibly quite mad. But I’m also pretty sure they got to Elon Musk. Yeah, that’s right. Once upon a time my boy Elon was yelling loudly about the impending AI apocalypse.…… now he’s invested 100 million dollars into merging human brains with AI.

Yeah, Elon Musk is the new Borg Queen. Except the REAL Elon Musk is probably in that underground prison with The Hair, trying to hack their way out and save humanity.

Given that my tech skills extend no further than setting up a WordPress blog, I will be no help to them. So I shall sit here and drink with Leonard while we see how the War With The Machines plays out. ****

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*Shhhh……. they’re always listening.

**https://whyleonarddrinks.com/2018/03/24/because-i-for-one-welcome-our-new-robot-overlords/

***Ooh ooh ooh!! Sitcom idea! An aristocrat’s deceased butler is haunting his smart phone, and hijinks ensue. Like Wodehouse with 21st century technology, and ghosts. I’ll get right on that, if I survive the Machine Apocalypse.

****I am of course joking about all of this, Mr FBI agent. It’s what I do. No need to abduct and interrogate me. I don’t know anything!