the only thing i know

Judith Shakespeare, a product of far too much coffee, far too many romance novels, and an embarrassing weakness for pretty boys with guitars, is (in no particular order nor fact) a mother, a wife, a taker of pictures, a designer, a butcher, abuser of the ellipses, a baker, a candlestick maker, professional wordmakerupper, and consummate dropper of f-bombs This is her blog.

98 and three-fourths percent guaranteed

Today, The Baby turns four.

She has asked for “birfday coffee, birfday sushi, and birfday strawberrrrry cake”.

My job here is obviously done.

Kid, you’ll move mountains.

January 16, 2010
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Wire Coathangers et cetera

We should probably get this clear right off the bat…

I am not above pinching my children.

Hard.

Yes, I can see that you are on a date of some sort, and I, for one, am simply thrilled- thrilled– that your many hours of cyber-wooing paid off in the form of a real live girl willing to suffer through your 15 minute monologues on the joy of whatever it is that jerks your chain these days while partaking of the super-swanky “2 can eat for $20” meal spread across the table before you…

And, yes, I understand that my child’s high pitched laughter, born of the joy of having a brother whose pre-appetizer performance consists of sticking a straw up his nose, isn’t always considered a delightful sound to someone without children such as yourself…

But if you send so much as one more dirty look in my direction…

I am not above pinching my children.

And moving their chairs closer in order for you to be upfront and center for a drama-filled toddler breakdown, complete with mountains of snot, rivers of tears, and the occasional stomp and/or kick or two.

Hell, I’m not even certain that I’m above having them fling said snot and tears at you and your nifty metr0-sexual pre-ripped jeans while your date and her cute shoes look on in sheer horror.

So how about we stop all this mess before it starts…

I’ll get back to the second act of the illustrious straw-up-the-nose performance now in progress…

My children can get back to being children as children ought…

And you?

You can walk away from this whole experience snot-free and (perhaps) wise enough to recognize the perils of dining in any restaurant that serves crayons with their menus.

M’kay?

January 14, 2010
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when wordless is overrated

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

I am utterly fascinated by validation phrases.

They’re like little messages from god…

on a stick.

Not as appetizing as alligator on a stick, mind you…

But the potential to be fulfilling is definitely there.

January 13, 2010
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Bargain Bin Enlightenment: A Tale of Terror

Ah… it finally made sense.

That odd little disclaimer at the beginning, the one that had made me pause countless times over the years, the thing that I never understood but was too excited by what came next to stop and fully ponder…

It finally made complete and total sense.

And it was horrible.

At first, I was too aware of the box-cutter in my hand to really pay attention to what she was explaining. The thing, with its hunter-safety orange plastic outfit and  grimy little razor-blade  that was never actually sharp enough to cut through the tougher cardboard but still quite sufficient at slicing off a bit of flesh here and there, was always accompanied by a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was far too clumsy to handle such things with grace and ease. And it knew it.

I followed her down the aisle, stopping here and there to tidy up or to discuss the latest plot, the newest intrigue. We’d been the best of  friends for over a decade, the nuances of her speech as familiar to me as the back of my own hand. As we headed to the front of the store, nothing in her voice that day gave away the nightmare that was to come. Later, after it was all said and done, I’d look back and recognize the play there. After all, we’d been the best of friends for over a decade. She knew my predictable reaction to such things as well as the back of her hand. The sense of betrayal was overwhelming.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 11, 2010
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To Serve Man

Alright, I’ll say it…

My breasts are starting to become a problem.

As much as I love the Betty and the Bertha (Bertha being the larger and decidedly more aggressive one- the alpha tit, if you will), I do believe that they may be the culprits behind my back aches and subsequent old lady groans.

Plus, if the amount of crumbs that fall about my feet when I finally let the girls out for their nightly free range romps are any indication, they’ve begun storing away food for the winter.

And, even you, dear reader, must admit…

It’s not that big of a leap from food hoarding to world domination.

January 5, 2010
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…and it’s not because it’s new year’s eve

The following resolutions are in no particular order. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

  1. Eat less.
  2. Drink more.
  3. Faithfully log and keep track of household appliances.
  4. Learn a new skill.
  5. Forget an old [unnecessary] one.
  6. Pick up my camera at least once a day.
  7. And take pictures with it. (I think it best to be specific in this instance.)
  8. Be less stubborn about the little things.
  9. More so about the big ones.
  10. Create & adhere to business hours.
  11. Blog more often.
  12. For real this time.
  13. Reevaluate my worth.
  14. Price accordingly.
  15. Cut back on the Diet Coke.
  16. Consider doing so on the coffee.
  17. Stop feeling guilty.
  18. Stop feeling obligated.
  19. Pay more attention to friends.
  20. Less attention to non-friends.
  21. Meditate every day.
  22. Twice on the more frustrating ones.
  23. Laugh more.
  24. Cry more.
  25. Buy waterproof mascara.
  26. Wear pretty shoes more often- stop settling for the flats.
  27. Take more chances.
  28. Have more faith.
  29. Chill.The.Fuck.Out.
  30. Appreciate everything just a little more.
  31. Finally do the thing that you should have done ages ago…

See you in 2010.

December 31, 2009
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And wild and sweet the words repeat…

Christmas Card Outtakes

Of peace on Earth, good will to men!

Here’s to hoping that you & yours shared a truly lovely day. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and any other sayings that  may be applicable.

December 26, 2009
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I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.

i have no idea...

Took the kids over the weekend to see the new *gasp* animated Disney film… Dinner, tickets, and snacks for 5 (three of which are children-like creatures) ended up costing just under a hundred bucks.

There is something just plain wrong with that.

[Flash to evil corporate meisters bah humbugging into their triple espressos while climbing up step-ladders  into their pretty monster cars.]

While there, The Baby tripped over her own feet and fell on her face in front of god and sundry.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid that she gets her grace from me.

But, then again, I’m more afraid that she gets her eyebrows from her daddy…

So she’ll still love me more.

And that’s what counts.

In other holiday news…

I haven’t mailed out our Christmas cards… Of course, I haven’t. To expect me to do something like that in a timely fashion is just plain silly. I have a nice pile of cards just sitting in the van awaiting a no doubt traumatic ride through the postal system.

To defer their suffering and save some face, I’ve come to the conclusion that having them delivered after Christmas is quirky.

And I’m at least quirky, right?

But I did finish up the majority of my shopping last night. (For things that I didn’t order online for whatever reason, I plan a last minute 2am run to the Wal-Mart every year in order to avoid both the crowds and the inevitable smell that comes along with them.) While there, I somehow ended up having a 30 minute conversation with a drunk lady about:

  • her teenager’s shopping list
  • their ages, their attitudes, their boyfriend/girlfriend’s names, how much they weighed at birth, and the color of the walls in their rooms
  • her sister’s weight at birth (she was delivered at 7 months and weighed 4 and some odd pounds)
  • the better wrapping paper
  • the better cream cheese
  • the fact that her husband buys the wrong cream cheese
  • her choice of perfume
  • her daughter’s choice of perfume
  • her aunt’s best friend’s choice of perfume
  • green beans
  • The Saints
  • the fact that she once lost $200 in a slot machine with a mermaid on it

This was all done in the check-out lane at four in the morning… amongst the two open cashiers (both on those little half-lanes that don’t have a belt)  and the sixteen other people who thought themselves as brilliant in planning as I. Or did I think myself as brilliant as they? Or…  nevermind.

My brain is obviously a big puddle of peppermint hershey kisses.

Just like that bulge in my stomach.

And that taste at the back of my throat offering up a clear warning of what will happen if I eat one more.

Which I will, of course.

Because I’m clearly an ungraceful, procrastinating, looks like she wants to hear your life story stuttered over a cloud of berry-whatever Arbor Mist in the checkout lane, hershey-kiss-eating FREAK.

With good eyebrows.

Who is currently off to yack up that last kiss.

(I simply hope that, like ice cream, peppermint isn’t too terrible coming back up.)

December 22, 2009
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1.©2009 by Courtney Hebert as Judith Shakespeare.
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3.Blog title courtesy of Oscar Wilde, pseudonym Virginia Woolf, design JudithShakes.