School is fun!

This past Monday was the day my last assignment for class was due. I turned in my insightful and thought provoking english paper and I’m still waiting for my grade. However, after spending five weeks being alternately confused and annoyed with my Info and Tech class I decide to give my instructor what for in my own special way.

Here’s the exact wording on the assignment: (2-3 pages) Research how to secure a domain name and find a host for a website. Discuss website design basics; characteristics of well-designed websites; the structure of a website; and the Web accessibility issues.

He’s what I wrote for my final paper. I also scored perfect on the assignment I might add.

To begin with, I would like to let you in on a little secret: I have no idea what I am talking about. This is an absolute truth. Many of my classmates have commented on how much research and work I put into my posts. I think they would laugh heartily in disbelief if I told them that most of my research involves spending several days trying to figure out exactly what the assignment is asking, followed by a mad dash hours before the assignment is due to try and paste together something slightly coherent.

Some of the assignments given in this course have sent me screaming for the tequila bottle and this one is no different. So now I’ve completely given up. It’s the last assignment and I’ve got a good enough buffer so that even if I tank this assignment I’ll still be all right. So I’m just going to cut loose here.

How do you secure a domain name? You go to Google, type in “domain names” or “website hosting” your choice, then pick one, pay somewhere between five and fifty dollars and voila. Throw in your ultimately dull life story and a few cheesy pictures—the ones where you’re holding what you think is a witty sign in front of a mirror seem to be very popular, followed closely by a picture you took with your phone while in the john and forgot to flush before you hit the shutter button—and you’re done. Simple and painless. Yet now I have to somehow figure out how to drag that out for at least an entire page.

Honestly, if you still have no idea how to create your own webpage after several large breasted women have thoroughly explained it many times on several major networks (GoDaddy.com) then you’re not using a computer. That thing in front of you with the keys is called a typewriter; the startling lack of monitor should have clued you in gramps.

I mean seriously! We have Myspace, Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Youtube, Photobucket, and like a gazillion other social networking sites out there. If you haven’t heard of any of them by now you’re not just living under a rock, you are a rock. My eighty year old grandmother has a Facebook page for cripes sake.

I don’t know anyone who has been online for more than five minutes who hasn’t asked themselves how to create their own webpage. So take your pick. Yahoo, Google, Ask, or even that new screaming annoyance that is Bing.com, it doesn’t matter, pick an engine. Then type in some combination of the words “domain” “hosting” and “web”. Now grab your debit card, close your eyes and click. Which one should you choose? It doesn’t matter; they are all essentially the same. So go ahead and pick the one with the chesty women in tight shirts, it’s ok, the TV told us too, no one will judge you. What name should you choose? I’m sure it will be something profound that you’ll probably agonize over for a couple of weeks before you try it and find out that it’s already being used. Don’t worry, it’ll quickly become a billion dollar hit overnight and you’ll never have to work again because yes, everyone really does want to hear all about your mother in law’s bunions.

Accessibility issues? You chose Bob’s Web Hosting for a dollar a year where you get no bandwidth. Plus the site folded a month after you forked out your buck. You don’t notice this though because while you once thought your life was interesting enough to update it every day you’ve now come to your senses and realized that it’s really not worth the constant effort. And besides no one visits your page anyway. Not even you; but that’s mostly because you created some excessively convoluted bit of twaddle forgetting that you’re still on dial-up and it won’t load on your computer until a week from now anyway.

Web design basics? Copy, paste, preview, repeat. It’s not rocket surgery. Nearly every hosting site out there comes with some sort of tutorial, or at least a help button. WordPress is free, comes with some ugly templates that are close enough to what you actually want that they’ll do, and is in your basic email style format. Ever seen Failblog, Ugliest tattoos, how about those cute lol cats that just can’t seem to master the English language? All they are is WordPress sites. Simple, funny and so easy an un-housebroken labradoddle could do it.

I will add that sites like Failblog.org et al are also very well designed sites. You get a picture, a caption and a good laugh at someone else’s expense. Fun for all and easy as that girl in my eighth grade homeroom.

Website structure? (Aside from the fact that you’re paying $4.99 a month so that you don’t actually have to understand this anyway.) Basic web design structure mostly consists of some text, a few pictures, and almost always has some annoying and complex bit of Flash that slows down your computer to roughly the same speed as a lump of plumber’s putty, and a few random links to sites that the author of the one you’re on thinks are either pertinent or hilarious and are usually neither.

So there you have it. I’ve covered all the points, though I said nothing of real value, but hey at least I’m done with the assignment and I had fun in the process. You probably won’t have near as much fun grading it with the good solid D that it deserves, but I did warn you from the start and you can’t say that I didn’t.

Oh, yea! Not only did I get away with that but I also aced the course. Go me! So yup, school is fun.


my mom’s new phone

Mom: __us__ I ju___ bo__t m__ag___ck

Me: I can’t hear you all I hear is stuttering, the thing keeps cutting in and out.

Mom: h__ ___ow

Me: Yea just fine, what were you saying about John Candy?

Mom: __ch __r ___ck

Me: Was he in that one I don’t remember?

Mom: ___ uk Wa__ ___st

Me: Yea I think I saw that one.

Ok, so I’m not going to absolutely recreate the whole conversation, but that was the gist. I still managed to spend about half an hour on the phone with her, hearing only the occasional consonant, as she told me about my sister, some movie that she and her paramour were watching last week, the girl she works with, and about a hundred other things that I only heard parts of.

Why does her phone suck this bad? Because even after I told her that MagicJack sucks she still went and bought one. How do I know that it sucks, because Husband is a cable guy and he is constantly going to homes who are having trouble with their internet AND have MagicJack.

Unfortunately my mother still believes that I am incapable of tying my own shoes, and I’m pretty sure she’s convinced that Husband being a cable guy means that he drills holes in people’s walls and calls it a day.

She also does things like this…

Mom: Hey I heard about this neat new belief system called Paganism, I’m thinking about looking into it.

Me: You remember back when I was 14 and you threatened to have me Exorcised when I first told you that I was getting into this?

Mom: You should hear this cool new singer I just found named Tori Amos?

Me: You do remember that when the twins were born I told you that I was going to name Girl Twin Tori because of Tori Amos right? And that me listening to her music was one of the reasons you named for having me Exorcised right?

Mom: Hey did you get that link I sent you for the Harry Potter thing at Universal Studios?

Me: Yea mom I told you about that like two years ago, and I also told you about the one in the UK too.

Mom: Have you ever read all of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, you really should you’re missing out.

Me: Mom I sent you those books remember?

However, when I give her any of this information it’s always wrong at the moment I give it to her. Yet a year or so later she comes back and “introduces” it to me like I had no clue.

And she wonders why my sister and I drink so much when we come visit.

My husband and I both have decided to go back to school. We looked, we checked, we cross referenced our interests, with the job market and decided on what classes to take. Then we looked into schools and we decided on a distance learning (online) school. After about fifteen months I’ll have an Associates Degree in Paralegal studies. Meaning that I’ll finally be able to do something more than say “do you need a bag?” Yay!

My first course went fine. Other than the vague “you need to think deeper” that my instructor kept throwing at me anytime I turned in a paper I got an A in that class. My English Comp class is going very well. I sent my professor an email in the beginning that explained my weaknesses and asked what her grading curve was. She was very impressed with my writing and grammar skills even going so far as to call me entertaining, which is something that is in short supply in technical papers. Double YAY!

My IT class though is already setting me firmly on the road to remembering to cut down and not across. I have always struggled with serious inadequacy issues. Husband has no problem with this. He was raised in security by a two parent household, never had to worry about where food or shelter was going to come from, and has several achievements throughout his life that have bolstered his self esteem. My life on the other hand has been a string of failures with only a few accomplishments scattered within the chaos.

Husband has a perpetual “can do” attitude. Don’t get me wrong, we’re so distinctly different that when we work in tandem we balance each other perfectly, which is a good thing. But sometimes his “i can’t fail” attitude makes me want to pull his nose hairs out one by one. If he wasn’t bigger than me I probably would have by now. Which is another thing that means we work well together, I know he’s bigger than me, and he knows that he has to sleep sometime.

I should have known ahead of time that going to him and saying “I am going to flunk this class” would garner the answer “well with that attitude…” Seriously, sometimes the man is enough to make anyone run screaming for the tequila bottle. And if it wasn’t for that great ass of his I wouldn’t keep putting up with the crap.

So for the last week I’ve struggled through the extremely vague task description until I came up with what I thought was the perfect answer. At least until I went to turn the piece in on the school discussion board and saw that my one paragraph essay paled to the five and six paragraph answers of everyone else. And what’s worse is that now I have to respond to some of those posts. Unfortunately I have no idea what I’m responding on. Do I critique? Do I say good job? What the hell do you want from me you perverse sadist!?

OK, I’m not beat yet, I’ll just write my instructor and find out the answer. That was two days ago and I still don’t have a response. Of course, because of those pesky inadequacy issues I know that it’s because I’ve done something wrong that makes him want to avoid me like the typhoid Mary. What’s wrong with me? Why does he torment me so? The bastard better be tied up in a bunker somewhere to keep ignoring me! (Down not across, down not across, down not across) It couldn’t possibly be because all the things I asked are probably going to be covered in the live chat session tonight. No it’s because I’m fat and ugly and I once threw up in class in the fifth grade and the entire world knows about it so they don’t like me because of it….

Oh, yes, I’m that crazy.

For the last few days everyone here has been sick. It started with my son and a very large strange lump on his hip in exactly the place he doesn’t want mommy looking anymore. Yes I noticed he was walking funny lately, but being a sensitive type mom, OK so I just really didn’t want to know, I didn’t ask him about it. After three days of him walking funny and me looking the other way he finally gives.

Boy Twin: (Turning beet red) Um, mom, could you, uh, come in here and look at this?

Me: I’m sure it’s growing in just fine, and yes they are supposed to be different sizes.

BT: No, it’s not that. I …wait, how did you know that…never mind…there’s this swollen lump. (pulls down his shorts) Mom you have to open your eyes.

Me: (Because of course now it’s his fault) When were you going to tell someone about that?! How long has that lump been there? (in my head I’m running through only the most horrible and deadly things it could be.)

He then decides that he’s going to let it be for now because he doesn’t want to lose his perfect attendance. However, when he comes home Friday he can barely walk for the pain. I call Dad/Husband and he gets off work early to take us to the ER.

We’re in the back and he’s writhing in pain when a nurse comes in.

Nurse: What brings you here today?

BT: My parents. (yes, he really did say that)

Just a swollen lymph gland, nothing to worry about. Here’s some Keflex and some Tylenol 3’s.

Two days later we’re back in the ER because BT’s eyes have swollen almost completely shut, he’s having trouble breathing, and he’s freaking me right the hell out. At least now we know he’s allergic to Keflex.

BT is on his way to better now. But now it’s Girl Twin’s turn.

Girl Twin: Mom I have a fever. I need something for it.

Me: More cowbell! (yes, I really did say that)

Three more days of sick and GT is on the mend. Now it’s Bug’s turn.

You know, toddlers are funny about sick. If they’d just sit still, lay still, be still, they wouldn’t have the crud half as long. But nooo, dose a toddler with fever reducer and they’re right back to tearing the wall paper off the walls. Until the Tylenol wears off that is, then they’re curled up in a ball crying.

Of course this one had the added adventure of the whole spewing from both ends fun-fest. Gotta love that! I mean really? How does a three foot tall little girl get so much bodily fluid out of so many places? Is it really possible for something that small to release that much all at once? Fifty bucks in laundry soap and new undies later, Bug is on the mend.

But of course now that means Husband has it now. And wow! Grown men are babies when it comes to colds. He told me he had a fever and threatened grievous bodily harm to all of us when our reply had to do with cowbell. (I will note here that it was he who started the cowbell response, he’s so unfair)

Husband: (weak and sickly) Baby? Can you get me some water?

Me: Yea but hang on here’s the kids’ progress reports…

Husband: (even more sickly) Water?

Me: Here look at these while I get it. (I lay them on the nightstand…where they stay)

Husband: Can you get me the Motrin?

Me: They’re right next to you all you have to do is extend your arm a little.

Husband: Well if you’re going to be a bitch about it…

Me: (resisting the urge to make them suppositories) Here love, do you need me to open them for you? (Maybe shove them down your whiny little throat?)

Now just in the time that I’ve been writing this he’s asked for:

The remote…it was at his feet on the bed.

More water…the water I just got him was too warm now….after all it’s been five minutes.

His cigarettes…all he had to do was lean up, but I had to walk across the room.

A cold cloth… and could I lay it on his head…and then make it cold again… and lay it on his head again…

Yes, everyone else in the house was/is sick, but they can’t possibly be as sick as he is. He’s so much worse off than everyone else. Have I made it clear yet that my husband is a six and a half foot tall German? Well his is. And now he’s whining. Every few minutes he gives me an update on exactly how much of what kinds of fluids are exiting..or staying. He punctuates each of these statements with a whine, moan, sigh, or some other noise to emphasize exactly how much discomfort he’s in.

He’s on the down side of it now, but I’m just starting. My eyes are burning from fever, by tomorrow I’ll be near death…or at least that’s how I’ll put it to him. He’ll then be the water fetcher, Tylenol opener, cold cloth getter, and I will have my vengeance!!!

The other day I went to pick up my twins at school just like every other day. At 2pm I pulled up to the school to see my twins standing outside screwing around. I was all geared up to yell and scream at them for cutting classes.

Then this happened:

Girl Twin: Where were you?
Boy Twin: We’ve been waiting for hours!

Apparently it was a half day and I completely forgot. They got out of school at 11am. They had been waiting that long for me to come pick them up.

In my defense though I will say that we only live ten blocks from the school and they could have chosen at some point to just walk home.

Not like screaming at me about not being able to stand too close to anything in the room that may have a penis; but something would be nice.

Yes, I am very happy that you are secure enough in our relationship that you already know that you don’t have to worry about me cheating. But come on!

I know that my husband isn’t going to cheat on me. However that does not automatically mean that I’m not going to question certain things. Like when some woman he went to high school with feels that the first thing she needs to tell him when she finds him on Facebook (and she hasn’t spoken to him in a dozen years) is that she’s getting a divorce. Um, excuse me, but why does MY husband need to know that you’re now available?

But if that happens with me I get nothing. Like he’s saying “well I have nothing to worry about because no one’s gonna hit on Slagathor over there.”
I mean throw me a bone! At least ask a couple of questions about the motives of the conversation. Something that says you have at least a little problem with someone who might be getting too familiar with me.

But I get: It’s a compliment when some random stranger ogles your bosom for half an hour in the grocery store. (Well I have a problem with it and you know I have a problem with it so would you at least give him a dirty look or something.)


I don’t have a problem with that guy you knew in middle school telling you that he just got a divorce and that he’s going to be up this way soon and would like to see you again. (Really? You don’t have a problem with that? Are you that blind?)

and especially

I know I’m better than them so why should I worry?

Well I know I’m better than every bleach-haired, toothless, slag you ever dated too! But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be silently accepting of some chick you haven’t talked to in years dumping all her relationship problems on you. When girls do that with each other they are looking for advice. When they do that with other men, they are trolling for dong.

I think that the problem is that my husband is also hopelessly OBLIVIOUS to these subtle cues. Not like oblivious so that he can deny it later, but really and truly completely blind to even the most basic “you can stick that right here” cues.
He really does think that the girl is telling him this stuff because he is a good listener. Um, no. I’ve known you for years and the last thing I would say about you is that you are a good listener. It takes me twenty minutes to get your attention on a good day and god forbid it’s football season! And everyone who knew you back then says that they are surprised that I can get you to listen now. So no. Just no.

He gets the occasional: Why does she think you need to know that?

I get: _____________

That’s right I get NOTHING! So until something finally happens to make my husband at least a little territorial Slagathor will be in the corner drinking tequila and wishing for an iota of personal validation.

I have three kids, twins who are boy and girl 13 year olds, and a 4 year old. As soon as I had my kids there was apparently a big neon sign stamped on my head that says it’s ok to ask me personal/stupid/annoying questions and give me completely unsolicited advice on everything my kids do.

For example, when I say that I have twins the first question out of most people’s mouths is did you have them naturally or by C-section? The answer is yes, they came out of my vagina. And thank you for concerning yourself with my holiest of holy you person whom I’ve just met. My vag also thanks you for the unwanted attention and sympathy. That question is always second only to “how did/how long did you breast feed?” Wonderful you’ve asked me about my most private areas and I don’t even know your name.

When I was pregnant with my youngest people asked me what we planned to name her. Then they would tell me exactly why that was a horrible name. One fat old trailer dweller told me that I shouldn’t give her that name because it’s too long. What? Just because you named your son Tom because it’s the only one you could spell doesn’t mean that I have to shorten my kids name so that your head won’t explode when you think of it.

So I have both teens and toddler, the most advice riddled ages there are. I get advice everywhere I go. Especially the grocery store. You shouldn’t let your child eat that. You shouldn’t let her stand in the cart. You let your daughter dress like that? You let your kids say that?

First off, it’s fruit, ok. Fruit! And yes my kids eat a lot of it. And yes, sometimes I buy it in those little containers with the high fructose corn syrup in them. When your giant sloth sheds about half a person because you’re letting them gorge on a huge bag of fat free chips in one sitting then you can talk to me about my kids’ diet. Until then you may want to tell junior to take the wrapper off before he starts shoveling in the fat free ho-ho’s. I would really like to know why someone taking up more than half the snack food isle feels the need to tell me and my no-so-big kids how to eat.

Stand in the cart? Lady maybe you didn’t notice but she has her arms around my neck because I’m taking her out/putting her in the cart. As for her standing in the cart in the cereal isle, notice that I’m also holding said cart and that she has two teen spotters on each side of her while she politely picks out her own cereal box. Notice also that she’s not raking the boxes off the shelves like your little monster is doing, nor is she throwing a tantrum because I won’t let her have a super-size box of chocolate coated sugar.

And yes, I not only allow but I personally buy every pair of neon green and orange argyle knee socks in my daughter’s wardrobe. Notice how she’s chosen to pair them with the knee length denim shorts and basic tee-shirt that says “sanity is over-rated”. Not only did I let her marker her white tennis shoes in varying colors, but I helped her chose the pattern.

Oh, and when you say this to me and she replies “At least I don’t look like your little skank.” as she points to your teen who’s wearing the latest in Paris Hilton tramp wear, you know: heels, tiny shorts, push-up bra and and low cut tank top. Or better, the little cotton ass showing shorts that say something classy like “jail-bait” on the back. Yes, yes I do let her say things like that, because when she says it it’s not illegal.

And people wonder why most of my tee-shirts say mean things on them.