Come To The Dark Side: We Have Dad Jokes

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I know it’s not Father’s Day, but I’d been thinking about him lately, and even though he’s a pretty busy guy, I called my dad tonight and actually got to talk to him and not his voicemail. This rarely happens, and so he inspired me to write a little something.

A lot of people say I look like my mom. My Grams and I have a lot of similar characteristics. The fact that she is younger than your average grandma means I often get mistaken for her daughter. I’m not really sure what my dad looks like. I grew up without a father, but about twenty years ago I got a Dad. We might not look a like. Actually, it’s horrible that when we go out people often think he’s my husband. Talk about gross. I’m not sure anything is more embarrassing when you’re a teenager.

However, after two decades together, we do act alike. I find myself singing off-key tunes about my surroundings like I’m living in a broadway production, even though I used to roll my eyes at his musical numbers. I have no shame. This I get from him. I will dance in front of my kids’ school or in the middle of a crowded store. (After ten years, my kids are immune to this, but my friends’ kids are quick to act like they don’t know me and beg me to stop.) I will dance in the rain when other people run for cover. I am not too old to jump on trampoline or play hide and seek, and I don’t think I ever will be. My crazy antics and childlike ways are all from my dad.

The practical joker inside of me definitely didn’t come from my mom. We all have that one friend that is constantly jumping out shouting “BOO!” and trying to make us pee our pants. Well, I am that friend. I get it honest, though. Now my dad lives seven time zones away, so I have to settle for torturing my husband…with love.

Like the time we shared a Spotify account (this is probably how I ended up getting my own premium account), and I added this pop song that he absolutely LOATHES randomly to his over 100 playlists, if the playlist was really long, I’d add it twice. He spent over a year removing it, and I’m sure there’s still a couple hanging around. My dad used to throw random things in the grocery cart while my mom wasn’t looking, we’d have cart races, and play “football” in the aisles with a roll of paper towels.  In hindsight, this is probably how he ended up never having to go with my mom to the grocery store.

I say the same smart aleck responses that my dad uses. The same annoyingly parental unit come backs.

I’m Hungry.

Oh, Hi, Hungry. I’m Elle. Nice to meet you.

What’s for dinner?

Food.

What kind of food?

The kind you eat.

Believe me, I face-palm myself even thinking about it. I stop myself sometimes and go: How did this happen? I grew up groaning over these antics. I suppose eventually we all grow up to become our parents. The things that made your eyes want to roll back into your head while you sighed so hard you almost blew the house down? Yeah…one day you’ll do and say those things. I used to stop short and shake my head, but I’ve come to embrace them. Maybe one day my children will pass on the Starving Brain Sucker to my grandchildren.

Love and Cheese,

L.

xoxo


Hello, Old Friend…

It’s me again. Long time, no write.

It’s been…awhile. I had forgotten what you even looked like to be honest.

Well, as you can see, I still look the same.

10968334_10153324497236754_3484031295877036765_n Two of my oldest and dearest friends have called me out on my writing…or lack thereof. (I like to call it Chronic Writer’s Block, and I’m still working on experimental treatments.) It’s funny how we all have those friends. The ones that have known you so long that even if years pass without saying a word, you can pick up right where you left off without missing a beat. These friends also have the tendency to accurately call you out on your BS.

So, here I am trying to fit a blog post into my crazy life at two o’clock in the morning. Never mind that I have to be up in five hours, still have to get ready for bed, and I have a dentist appointment tomorrow afternoon. Those are just the minor details that I like to call life. I started another blog, and abandoned it. (Big surprise, right?) I have so many things I want to do that often times so much gets overlooked, and the truth is that, sadly, my writing has been pushed to the back burner. Once upon a time, when I felt that I had no voice, I realized that on paper I could let myself finally be heard. I once even won a trip to Washington, D.C., all expenses paid, for a week just because of an essay I wrote at lunch and printed out as the bell was ringing. It used to come so easily. Now, I sit for hours staring at the cursor while it mocks me with its pulsating blink. Write it down on paper, you might say…oh, the paper wad mountain in the recycling bin is just as frustrating. Other times, I can manage to close myself off, get it all down, then I go back to the habit I have had since livejournal and myspace blogs…I highlight and delete, convinced that my voice doesn’t deserve to be heard.

I mean, look at all the blogs out there. Everyone and their mother has a blog. Some people have blogs with their mothers. I am hardly the first person to have an Autistic child, and I am certainly not the first wife and stay-at-home mom. I am not a trailblazer, because I moved from the Ozark Mountains to London. There is no novelty for most people in travel in a world of been there, done that, and I’m still a novice at it anyway. Sure, I bake gluten-free goodies that rock pretty hard. I bake a lot of things that are awesome, but what did I make that I didn’t already get from another blog or one of my many cookbooks? I can craft my little heart out, but when I’m covered in paint, mod podge, or just burned my finger with hot glue, I’m not exactly dying to take pictures every step of the way, and write a how-to manual. To those crafty blogs that I often read, y’all deserve gold stars.

With all the voices out there struggling to be heard, I’m pretty sure mind would get lost in the wind, or at least somewhere along the information highway. I always think to myself, ¨Is this original? Has it been done before? Done to death? Do I sound like an idiot?¨

I think now, it’s probably the sleep deprivation talking, and I promise not to delete this in the morning, but I think that it doesn’t matter if I’m not the first. I don’t have to be a trailblazer, and no matter how quiet my voice is, that maybe there are a few people willing to hear it. My life isn’t a Hollywood movie. It’s not even a made-for-TV or straight-to-DVD movie. It’s just life. It’s messy and complicated. It’s loud and most of the time, utterly exhausting, but it’s mine. I wouldn’t change that for the world. Would I change things about myself? Sure. Loads, probably. Not my life, though. I love where I am and those that I get to spend my days with.

Maybe,

Occasionally

Possibly… it might even be semi interesting enough to write about. I’m sure I can find a few things in the last few years to ramble on about, because currently the best I got is that it’s the kids’ last day of school tomorrow, and I’m having a crown. The one that involves a root canal, not the fun party or royal kind. I feel like I’d rather be chased by a serial killer clown than write about that, and I don’t want to imagine how painful it would be to read. Now, I should probably get to bed.

Tomorrow’s a brand new day.

Procrastination and Love,

L.

xoxo


Silly Blogs With Leigh-Leigh

I hope that reminds someone of Veggie Tales.

I know I have a Water Buffalo.

Right. So, this blog is dedicated to my seven year old daughter, Heaven Leigh, and I have called her Leigh Leigh for as long as I can remember. Heaven, she insists, is very much like her father. A little devious. “Mad Evil Genius,” he would say.

Her first devious after school act was committed curled up on a chair with a library journal with an evil little giggle. Anytime I came near her, she hid the notebook, and her end result… You know, when I saw it, I thought, it’s like a mini Adnan Osmani came up with that.

When I saw it, she laughed and laughed, but then again, so did I, laughed so hard I could hardly breathe.

Suddenly, she stops laughing and says, “Mama,  you have to put this online, so you can get a million hits. You will be famous. Even more than Daddy!” I chuckle at her. Me? Famous. I don’t think so. My husband has two books and more than twenty thousand twitter followers. Me? I bounce between fifty eight and sixty two. She’s an optimist for sure. Over thirty thousand stalkers on his blog and I barely have a few hundred.  Enough about who is more awesome than who (it’s me, clearly). I’m actually very proud of my husband, and who do you think pushes him all the time? Well, I wouldn’t say a push, sometimes all someone needs to succeed is a nudge- someone to believe in them when they don’t believe in themselves.

I wouldn’t even be writing a blog right now if Leigh Leigh didn’t ask me to. I’ve got to pack two children to move to London in what feels like virtually no time at all! To say I’ve been frazzled is an understatement. I can barely write my own name, let alone a blog, but I’m taking time out between laundry and other late night clean up activities to introduce to you, my seven year old, Heaven Leigh Osmani, the devious, yet adorable, Mad Evil Genius.

My Family By Heaven Osmani

The part that made me laugh was her depiction of her father. Spitting image. For that I’ll get a face-palm, I’m sure.

There you have it, Leigh Leigh’s million hit Silly Blog. I love my kids so freakin’ much! I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

She really did put a lot of effort into it and used me as a spell check for some words (she, however, prides herself on knowing the difference between but and butt), colored her art work, and wrote an endearing little message. She deserves her own blog.  Someday when she’s older.

Love and Growing Pains,

L & LL

xoxo


To Belgium and Back (Part 1)

L and O

This past long over-due winter break I went to Antwerp, Belgium with my husband, who was speaking at Devoxx and attending the jQuery summit online. No idea what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, in any other life, I probably wouldn’t either.

The point is Elle hit Europe, but were they ready?

We actually stayed in Ekeren, we went into the city for Devoxx, sightseeing and shopping. I decided to break the first part of this blog into Ekeren photos, because there are far too many pictures and things to blog about as it is.

My favorite place to eat.

Now some might judge them for how they spelled Chinese, but not me. Those girls spoke Chinese, French, Dutch, and English. Amazing. You go to a Chinese restaurant in Branson, and they act like they don’t speak Chinese or English. I love the tolerance of other people. They say that Europeans hate Americans. Maybe the Brits, I find that to be a tiny bit true. However, you have no idea how many Dutch conversations a sweet smile and a polite, “I’m sorry, I’m American” got me out of with a small chuckle an apology. It’s almost like when I get a flat, and I call roadside assistance. “I’m sorry, I’m a girl,” it works every time.

Preggers Belgian Barbie

Sounds crazy, and I’m more than a little crazy, but this was one of my favorite finds of the trip. Just sitting on the shelf with all the other Barbie and Justin Bieber dolls, Knocked Up Belgian Barbie, and she even gives birth to a tiny baby. Totally creepy? Maybe, but highly hilarious. Two thumbs up.

No Doggy Doo

Is this vulgar? Possibly, but it also had me rolling. It was probably the beers I’d had before that, but seeing this sign gave me a serious case of the LOLs. I found it on the side of a building in a seemingly sketch part of town.

Leopold II, King of the Belgians

In my neck of Ekeren, I didn’t find many actual sights per say, but I did find this lovely church and statue of Leopold II. Not the greatest guy if you lived in the Congo in the late 1800s, but the Belgians liked him well enough, I suppose.

That concludes my pictures of Markt Ekeren. I was only there a little over a week, so I didn’t do the greatest amount of exploring, and as my husband reminded me, it was a business semi vacation sort of trip. On the bright side, I finally got to finish 1984 by George Orwell, and it was just as brilliant as I imagined it to be. Not much more I could say about Ekeren. My husband would scold me for not mentioning Jump-Inn, his favorite restaurant, but as I said, it was his favorite, and this is my blog.

*insert silly winky face*

Until next time…

Love and Leopold,

L

xoxo


Insert Witty Blog Title Here

It’s not for lack of topic that I can’t write…

Ever had life go so topsy-tuvy that your thoughts are jumbled, and you can’t help but question your existence?

…Yeah…

Me either.

One thing you’ll learn in life is that no one likes a Debbie Downer. So, Buck up, Chuck. I know that I hate when my emo friends constantly post things on facebook about how terrible life is (and semi clothed photos). I love them, and if you can’t say anything nice… I just know that if I wrote about half the things spinning around in my head, I wouldn’t want to read it (and I lived it!), let alone anyone else.

Marilyn Monroe (who is far more brilliant than history gives her credit for) once said, “I believe everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can learn to appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so that you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”  She was not just big, blonde, and beautiful (and of course brilliant)- she was also desperately sad and lonely- almost haunted.

-But is that how the world remembers her? No, we only remember her smile…

My New Art

And smile I shall, because I have a million reasons to. This is just one.

I know it’s hard to capture every thought that’s racing through my over-worked brain and string them together in some semi-coherent line, but I do have a lot of good ones. Tales and Travels to come…and now, more Tornadoes.

Now, back to where I was going before, not sure if anyone noticed my blog being quite dodgy lately, but I consider it “Under Construction.” I am just committing to writing, even if ElleOhElle is all out of whack with not so many LOLs.

Another quote. This one Picasso. “Inspiration exists, but is has to find you working.”

So, I better get my shit together, eh? (I know, I know, don’t be vulgar…blergh)

I do miss writing. I want to write a short story, but it’s literally been at least seven years since I’ve written one. I wonder if I’ve just forgotten how. I guess I need a topic- any ideas?

Love and Muses,

L

xoxo


My Bucket Book List

Love or Obsession?

I’m not like some sad old man that reads the last chapter of every book that he’s ever begun, because I might die before I finish it.

In fact, I’d be more concerned if I was a man, old or otherwise.

My problem is that I start a book, get a few chapters in, and I start another book. Sometimes I’ll even go back to books I’ve read before. Perhaps I’m a book hoarder. I’ve cut out the romance novels, though, by the dozens. Possibly hundreds. To just the classics. Gone With the Wind, Love In the Time of Cholera, Jane Erye, and maybe just a couple more if you don’t count any Shakespeare at all…

As much as I love it, I can’t read The Bell Jar again until I’ve made a dent in my book shelf. To say I love it is an understatement. I checked it out every two weeks the entire school year my sophomore year of high school. True story. It’s how I became School Mascot. The school librarian loved me.

I’m currently between 1984 by George Orwell (and I want to re-read Animal Farm, because I bought another copy the other day), Hell’s Angels (and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) by Hunter S. Thompson. I also forgot that I was half way through a book about Marie Antoinette by Victoria Holt called Queen’s Confession, and I mean, I haven’t even gotten to the rioting or wanting to chop her head off parts.

Once upon a time I wanted to read The Grapes of Wrath, but all the swearing on the first couple of pages made me kick it to the curb. Don’t get me wrong. I swear, but I hate when people use God’s name in vain. It’s like finger nails on a chalk board. I don’t judge people for swearing, but I can’t stand hearing that, let alone reading it in my few and far between moments of free time.

I love to read. I read the entire Narnia series at work at an ice cream stand from ten to noon every day for like a month. I have an awesome edition that is all seven of the books bound into one big ass book.

This is why I can’t be a comic book geek. I barely have time for chapter books. Someday I will read you, Murder On The Orient Express, but for now I write a blergh about reading books…yeah, now that I have my glasses (and my geek on), I should probably pick up a book. My goal should be to finish one of the half dozen books I’ve already started, but I feel like starting a new one…I know. I’m terrible, but there are probably at least a hundred books that I want to read before I die. Tons of movies that I refuse to watch, because I haven’t read the book first. The only except to that rule is Harry Potter. I don’t know why, but I really don’t have a desire to read the books.

*Cue Potter fanatics stoning me to death or beating me with wooden sticks while wearing their bath robes.*

I know we’ve all got a little nerd in us, and while I go read some of Fear and Loathing…(because after all this hullabaloo about finishing a book, I might as well do it).

I want to know, because obviously you have the ability and possibly the desire to read, since you suffered through this lame ass blergh thus far…

What book would you like to read before you die?

You just have to pick one.

I have boxes of them.

Literary Love,

L

xoxo


Thank You, Simon Cowell

My blergh usually hits an average of ten million hits per post. So, imagine my surprise when I saw that my American Idol post had hit over two hundred and fifty million hits on Monday. Oddly enough, as surprised as I might have been, I wasn’t really shocked. My last post from a few years ago (which has long since been deleted when I cleaned house), was very popular. It was even featured on some Russian website.

So, thank you, Simon Cowell (and Ryan Seacrest) for making my blergh a more popular pitstop.

Is this post about American Idol? Survey says…

No.

Not really.

Just big ups to the show that gives me hope that I might not be the most crap writer in the world. In high school, I won nearly every award for writing that was offered. I even ended up winning a week’s paid trip to DC my junior year. After school, instead of going to college, I majored in motherhood. I don’t say that as being my downfall, but it’s hard to write short stories between diaper changings and PTA meetings.

To make up for it, I decided to start writing my blergh. Whether anyone reads it or not. It’s a way for me to get random thoughts out of my head and be semi creative between teaching 2+2 and how to tie your shoes.

So, I thank American Idol for bringing a bit of traffic to the ghost town that is my blergh.

Yes, I’m an Idol fan, but I also watch X Factor. Those who can’t do…watch reality tv?

Now, what was I really saying?

Oh, yes. Blondes. I used to be a redhead, but naturally (as I am now), I’m a blonde. Do they have more fun? Things are funnier when you’re blonde, so I suppose so. Are we ditzy? Without a doubt, but blonde is an attitude, not a hair color.

My perfect blonde trifecta:

Marilyn. Britney. Paris.

I count them even if their roots are dark.

Even if one of them shaved their head and went totally Looney Tunes.

I’m talking about the infamous Britney Spears. I’ve been listening to her since her abusive catholic school girl days.

What I loved about her music is that it was pure and some of her songs were even personal. Today? I’m sad, because all her new stuff that I hear is so auto-tuned that I have to pause and really listen…is that Britney? I don’t know, because she sounds like a robot! Now, Ke(dollarsign)ha has made a fortune of being queen of the auto-tune. Britney, on the other hand, I remember, From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart. I don’t care how much hair or sanity the girl has lost, she’s still got her voice…so use it.

Jeebus!

Not that I want to ban all auto-tuning and all that crap they like to do to mess with your voice. I rock out in the car to If You Seek Amy and Piece Of Me.

But where did the soul go?

Sound machines have no soul.

I don’t know. I read that on this wooden box this guy was playing like a drum at a Violent Femmes concert. Seemed appropriate.

So, enjoy this classic that I’ve had in my head all day.

 

Now, that’s the Brit Brit that I love and adore.

And if you don’t?

Suck it.

QOTN: If you could be not just famous but infamous for one thing, what would it be?

I’d be the World’s Greatest Mom

For reals.

Oops! I Did It Again,

L

xoxo