But Nothing Will Ever Top The Original Tetris

My kid learned how to read so he could play a video game.

After that, I never argued video games again. Maybe I'll decompose someday with Sonic Heroes in my head, but it'll be worth it, if for nothing more than that.

My family, we're gamers. Not me, exactly, but the rest of them, for sure. My dad, my brother, my nephews, my boys...they likey their games. They used to be a mindless time-suck (really, Jungle Hunt has NO practical life applications outside of Compton) but something has happened in the gaming industry. Someone grew a brain.

We hung out with the people at EA a few months ago, and the woman who hosted us told us about the CEO of the Hasbro division at EA, how he had kids and gave up his spot in some other branch of EA to run the Hasbro side, because his kids shifted his priorities, and he realized that he could help make kids a little better, a little smarter, a little more eager to learn with his games. That's kind of awesome, if you ask me.

Even more than my kids being able to see the world through a well-coded video game, I've seen than, through these games, the gap between our generations is being bridged. We're driving down te street one day and Dream On comes on the radio. 2of3 asks me to turn it up. I oblige. He starts singing along and then asks me if I've ever heard of a band called Aerosmith.

Um, the name is vaguely familiar, yes.

Because my kids play Guitar Hero, they've learned to love the music I grew up with. And don't think I haven't spent the last decade trying to indoctrinate them into the House Of Zepplin. They just don't listen to me, because I am old and boring an don't know shit about that which is cool. But Rock Band does.

This new wave of video games is leveling the playing field in a lot of ways for families. It's making what we loved acceptable and accessible to our kids. And I, for one, am grateful for it. It's also giving us more options for family time. Wii Sports? Yep, my kids will spend all day kicking my ass at tennis. And I'll gladly waste away any afternoon with my best friend Sheryl letting her kick my ass at it, too. When I first moved back in with my husband, after the Great Divorce, we spent those awkward first weeks at night together having hours on hours of sports.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...that damn Wii saved my marriage. Not kidding.

I couldn't actually ride a skateboard again, even if the Space Invader aliens came down and threatened my life with fluorescent green laser blips if I didn't. But my kids can, and that makes my 13 year old heart skip a pubescent beat. All I wanted were a bunch of little skate rats, and I got them. And maybe its not the same as me, outside, at the skatepark on a half pipe, but I have to admit that this skateboarding game we got to play,with Tony Hawk, was pretty fucking awesome, if for nothing else, the hearty laugh they had at my uncoordinated ass. 

Which they kicked.

Again.

Maybe that's the key to successful parent/child relations...finding something you used to be able to do, and letting your kids absolutely cream you at it.

Yes, This IS The Best I Can Do, Thank You Very Much.

This weekend, I was blessed with a houseguest. And we did almost nothing. It was quite epic. But after the kids were put down for the night, after we'd drank The Donor under the table and he was good and passed out on the couch, we staggered upstairs to my bedroom, turned the lights down low; she in her little, faded wife beater and me in my short-shorts. We laid together in the darkness, doing what any two, youngish, reasonably attractive, identical woman would do when given a dark house, a king sized bed, with red sheets, and a lot of wine....we stayed up awwwl night long.

Talking about cleaning products.

Now, I'm as much a hippie tree-hugging earth momma as the next girl, and since I'm also quite lazy and have three children who like money, I try very hard to stick to organic, bio-degradable, won't - burn - their - fingers - I - can't - replace - off cleaning products. I swear by my Bissell steam mop and my jumbo Heinz vinegar bottle, and yes it has to be the jumbo Heinz bottle because I grew up with a girl who was loosely related to the Heinz's and she had this, well, obsession with underwears. She collected them, like people collect spoons or feet or teddy bears. I, of course, was barely able to afford my brother's hand me down underwears, and I honestly had no idea their were so many options as far as undergarments went. It was quite an eye-opening friendship. And slightly intimidating. Which may be why it took me until I was 33 and threatened within inches of my life by someone to start wearing chonies at all. Either way, I only buy the Heinz vinegar now.

Of course, sometimes I have to bring my B game to the housekeeping, and that's when I'll bust out the Mr Clean with mountain and rain scented Febreeze stuff in it. Because that shit kicks ass. And is probably eating my pipes out from the inside, and may be responsible for melting one of the polar ice caps. I try not to bring my B game too often. When it starts to get dire, out comes the Tide and the hairspray. You can clean anything with a box of powdered Tide and some Big Sexy Hairspray. But when it's at critical, when my mother in law is coming, it's A game time.

Enter the lemon fresh Comet with bleach. $0.99. CANADIAN. Nothing in the world cleans anything better than lemon fresh comet with bleach ever. I clean everything with it; my counters, my walls, my floors, all of it. Sometimes right after I clean all of that with the Mr Clean stuff. And maybe the chemical fumes will kill me before I can pull my underwear that I'm now forced to wear down to go pee, but at least I'll be found dead on a 25 year old tile floor with grout as white at Michael Steele's heart.

The Stairway To Heaven Has Exactly Twelve Steps, And Maybe One Of Those Caboodles

I own a lot of lipstick.

Why do I know this? Because I decided to really clean my house. Step one of any good life-douching is admitting that you are powerless and that your life has become unmanageable. Check. Step two is believing that some greater power can restore you to sanity. Check check. Step three is giving yourstuff self over to that thrift store greater power. Triple check, yo.

The fourth step, the inventory one...I always get stuck on this one. I've never actually made it past this one in any of my numerous trips up and spills down the 12 steps, but this time I am going to. This time, I have a tape gun and a spreadsheet.

I admitted that I couldn't tackle this alone, and enlisted the help of my husband. We got some boxes ready and we started sorting. Everything. Every nook and cranny and drawer and corner. It's downright ghastly the amount of shit I hold on to. I like to think I'm sooo organized because I have these five wooden crates where all my Items of Great Sentimental Value are stored, astonishingly flammablelely, in a closet. I think my father also presumes himself a tidy man, what with his neatly stacked boxes filling more than half of his garage, containing Roy Rogers coupons and Acme weekly circulars from when he moved cross country.

In 1986.

We hold on to stuff in my family. We hold on to so much stuff that sometimes we forget the stuff we're trying to hold on to. I forgot the cute little Laura Ashley shoes I bought my daughter (on a sale that can only be described as orgasmically divine) because her closet is overflowing with shoes she outgrew last year. I unburied my laundry room and discovered that I indeed still own this.

Box



It's just about my favorite thing in the world, and I honest to god thought I'd lost it in my move to Vancouver three years ago. Nope, just shoved it in the back of a room I never enter. Because there's too much crap in it. And it scares me a little.

This box hasn't been used since somewhere in the early 90's, in the year when my friend Johnny broke his father's fishing heart and went vegan. He gave me that box many many years later, when he found out I love to fish, and it's sat in this closet or that cabinet since then, hardly touched. And I cannot get rid of it. CANNOT.

Tackle



Each one of those forgotten lures, every one of those abandoned marshmallows, they hold a moment in time shared between a father and his son. It doesn't much matter to me that it wasn't my father or my son; the proverbial someone's is quite enough for my sentimental heart.

And so that box will get closed up tight once again, left out of one of the ever-growing thrift store boxes, and I will have to pray a little harder to my higher power for the strength to accept the things I cannot get rid of, the courage to hoard the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

And maybe for a make-up bag, too. Holy crap, the lipstick. I have no idea what my steak knives were doing with Clinique in Honeynut, and I really don't want to find out.

Apparently, It's Genetic. Like Blue Eyes Or Webbed Feet.

So my boys started a blog.

It's not like I didn't see it coming. I mean, I've had this thing for half of their lives. Of course, they didn't know I had it until their father found out, which was more like 1/4 of their lives ago, but once they DID know, they were all over it.

At first, they didn't quite understand what it was. And then they realized it was them, and they wanted to read it All. The. Time. And then they got bored of it, and then it became this big, running joke. "Oh, 2of3, you wish you didn't do that! Mom is totally going to put it on her blog!" And then it became a competition. "Mom, put this on your blog! 3of3 was on there 5 times this month but you haven't talked about me at all!"

And now they're getting a little too old to e-cuddle and they really want to be on Facebook and I'll let them do many various age-completely-inappropriate things but Facebook ain't nevah gonna be one of them, so they did the one thing every child does best.

They did like I do.

They started a blog.

They had a co-conspirator some help. They have this little friend online who they got to meet in real life a few months ago and when that happened, grand and very expensive birthday parties were planned and blogs were forged out of marshmallow and flame. Or dessert was, either way.
Just In Case
The birthday party? Fat chance, kids.  The blog, however? Yeah, that just happened.

Or I Could Just Do The Laundry Already

It's 12:04 in the am. I am not even close to sleep. Why? Because I didn't take a shower until 6 tonight and I'm now on my 18 millionth cup of tea and I am a moron. Someone really needs to invent a caffeinated beverage without the caffeine. Oh, wait....

So my husband walked in on me showering tonight. That's not exactly true; he walked past the bathroom while I was showering and I can't close the door to the bathroom because earlier today I decided it would be a fine idea to use the one bathroom in this house with a shower in it as a laundry basket and I haven't washed the laundry in, like, 4 days which means I have a pile of laundry taller than Everest going over here and so the bathroom door won't even come CLOSE to closing and I have a glass walk-in shower so yeah, he got a full frontal shot.

Which wouldn't be so bad, really, I mean, we've been together since I was 20 and it's not like he's never seen me in the buff before (three times, to be exact) but when a man sees me in the shower, I fully expect the shower head to be ripped out of the wall at some point. That's a fun story to explain to your landlord, by the way. What I don't expect is for that man to go wandering past the door, see that it's open, peek his head in and start talking to me while the floor is up to his knees in smelly preteen clothes, my youknowwhat's are covered in Veet and my face is slathered in Noxema.

Not hot. Not close to hot. My shower head lives to see another day.

It probably shouldn't have bothered me. It's not like he hasn't had to hold me up on the loo while I alternated puking and pooping as a person clawed his way out of what was, until mere moments before, his favorite toy in the world. It's not like I don't fart in my sleep. It's not like I haven't washed the sheets he completely destroyed during a particularly nasty bout of the roto-virus. It's not like I don't walk in on him every motherfucking morning while he takes his morning pee. In the nude. There really isn't anything we haven't seen each other do, I guess, but I just don't want him to see me THAT exposed. Noxema exposed. It's just soul-crushingly unsexy.

I never close bathroom doors when he's not home because it's usually just me and the 4 year old and she's still at that phase where she wants to hold my hands and help me squeeze the poopies out. Even when all I have to do is blow my nose. It's slightly annoying as all fuck. Wherever I go, there she is, and I accept that. 11 years of parenting has killed any hope of privacy or decency for me, and I embrace it. I don't ever bother to close the door, which only bites me square in the ass on the days when my husband is home, and I forget, because he's never home, and those are the days when I am sure to run up to the bathroom to do my thing and leave the door wide open, leaving me no choice but to jump up in the middle of certain events that don't call for jumping of any kind and try to slam the door shut before those footsteps I hear coming up the stairs reach the top and he loses the last little inkling of attraction he may or may not have left for me.

So far, so good. And when he walked in the bathroom tonight, he said whatever the hell it was that was SO FUCKING IMPORTANT it couldn't wait until I was done and then he walked out. Almost out. 90% of the way out before he turned around and said, "Oh, by the way, hot."

That bitch is totally getting Dutch Ovened tonight.