Monthly Archives: March 2009

Monday, Already?

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Where the hell did the weekend go? I swear, this weekend was so busy that it flew by.

Friday night, I had the Burgh Moms (& dads) dinner, which was tons of fun, as always. Except for the part where we had to wait almost an hour to be seated for our seven o’clock reservation. Now I thought the whole purpose of a reservation system was to avoid waiting for a table. But I’m all wild and crazy like that. I finally went up to complain (probably embarrassing the other Burgh Moms in the process, but they know by now what to expect from me – I own my inner [OK, outer] bitch), and upon asking when in the name of holy blue fuck we’d begetting our table, since we had been waiting 40 minutes, the hostess with the leastest sighed and rolled her eyes at me and said, well, it was a large party request. To which I replied, “exactly. Thus the reservation. Jeez. But once we were finally seated, it was all good times. The food was very good and the beer was awesome. Appropriately, I had a beer called Beelzebub. The company was interesting and fun and funny, of course, and I love them. Even if they are all a part of some vast conspiracy and using a smaller font on their blogs every day. It’s the only explanation for my difficulty reading of late. Because I can not possibly need reading glasses, dammit!!

It wasn’t until 10:15 pm that I set out for the hour-long drive home. But not before I stopped for gas. And then got a call from mr b reminding me that I promised to stop at the store and get home some distilled water for his apnea machine. Needless to say, it was midnight before I got to bed. I didn’t even rink any of the growler I brought home, which should tell you how tired I was.

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Saturday, I had to get up at 5:30 to get ready to go to a makeup event at Macy’s. I had to pick up Hedge and Rapunzel in time to drive to the North Hills and check in before 8:00. It was a fun day, though. They gave us a Panera breakfast and lots of free makeup and perfume goodies. Who doesn’t love that? Then we had a delicious lunch at Aladdin’s before heading home so we could get ready to head back out to Hedge’s son Squidward’s birthday party.

It was a skating party and since, in my mind, I can still do all the things I did when I was 13, I got me some wheels. Did you ever notice how in your head you can do just about everything? I can totally – in my mind, of course – still do back handsprings on the beam, and two and a half reverse pike with a full twist from the 3 meter springboard. In real life, however, I would probably break 14 bones and drown. But by God, I was going to roller-skate!

I actually did pretty well, though. I am steady on my feet wheels, can go pretty fast, etc. I can’t skate backwards anymore, though. I don’t even remember how. But one thing I could do as a kid that I can’t do now is not give a shit if I plow into someone. So when I saw a kid in my peripheral vision careening out of control toward me, I tried to get out of the way so as not to fall on him and perhaps kill him. The good news is that I did not, in fact, smash a child. The bad news is that I was going really fast at the time and I stumbled. Remember physics class?

A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force

Well, consider me that body. The “outside force” would be the skating rink floor. But I didn’t just fall. I went down in a flying, rolling, skidding, America’s Funniest Home Videos extravaganza of a fall. It was spectacular! Seriously. I wish I had a video to post since I have no shame. But I’m sure you can imagine it. It looked pretty much like you would expect a fat, middle-aged lady* flying through the air and rolling 10 feet across a wood floor to look.

But I had fun, even if one part of knee hurts even when my clothes touch it, and another part of my knee has no feeling whatsoever. I’ll try just about anything. I don’t know if that makes me brave or stupid.

*Also – “lady?” HAHAHAHAHAHA

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And then Sunday, we had a birthday p[arty at a neighbor’s house and when walked home, carrying some birthday cake, the wind picked up and MY CAKE BLEW AWAY!

That sucked.

Wednesday Weirdness

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1.) What is your significant others worst habit?

Hmmm…that’s actually kind of a hard one. Not because he doesn’t have any bad habits. And not because he has so many I can’t pick. It’s more that while there are a whole bunch of things I bitch about (and vice versa, I am sure), I am not sure how to define the “worst”. I guess I will have to go with the moodiness. I know it’s not a habit per se, but I think that to an extent, we can choose how to react and respond to things, and he too often lets the crabbiness and bad temper reign (and I’m not saying I’m Miss Sunshine or anything, either). And while clothes on the floor and snoring on the couch and not getting shit done may drive me crazy, I don’t think they are particularly damaging like the moods can be,

2.) What piece of clothing that isn’t lingerie or an undergarment do you have that you feel especially sexy/handsome in?

To be honest, nothing. I feel fat and ugly all the time. When I was thinner, it was jeans and awesome shoes. Now, I mostly feel like hiding.

3.) If you could drink ONLY two beverages for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

Tea and beer. While I love Coke Zero, if it was all I had, I would never be refreshed in the summer (iced), nor warm in winter (hot). And I really enjoy my rum and wine, but I would either be too drunk or my head would explode. So beer it is.

4.) What is your worst habit?

My big fat mouth. Especially when I get all het up about something and tend to forget to think before I speak.

5.) Are you superstitious in any way?

Does being afraid of (non-contained) high places because I have obsessive worries that I will throw myself off the edge count as a superstition? No? Ok, then not really.

I will walk under ladders, step on cracks, never think twice about Friday the 13th, and break every single chain letter/email/text you send me.

Well, I guess I do have one superstition, actually. The only thing I get superstitious about is the health of my family. Like, if I throw a coin in a fountain or wish on a star, I will be thinking “powerballpowerballpowerball,” but will then think that by wishing for that, I will then wind up rich, but something horrible will happen to my kids or me or my family. I also won’t lie about sicknesses and/or deaths in the family to get out of something.

6.) What kind of shopping do you hate doing most? (Grocery shopping, clothes shopping, shoe shopping, etc)

Without a doubt, grocery shopping. Even with a list, I forget things and have to traipse all over the store. And usually when I am grocery shopping, I am in a rush to get home. Then I have to wait in long lines. Then I have to pay a bajillion dollars. Then I have to load the car. Then I have to unload the car. Then – THE HORROR – I have to put all that shit away. Hate it!! And if the kids are with me? Bowels of hell.

7.) What was a “fad” you remember from your childhood?

Well, let’s see. I had pet rocks, mood rings, Mexican jumping beans, and sea monkeys. Bell bottoms (the first time. Baby oil & iodine. The Bump. The Bus Stop. Weird ass shampoos (Gee your hair smells terrific, that shampoo with beer in it). Friendship pins. Dyn-O-Mite! And so, so many more.

Random Shit Monday

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There was a truck in front of me the other day that had stickers on it that made it look like there were bullets holes all over fake bullet holes all over the tailgate. I truly do not get this. I am just not sure why this guy wants to say to the world, “I am such a huge asshole that someone SHOT AT ME” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he also had fucking hitch balls. For those of you asking what hitch balls are, here you go. Classy. I couldn’t tell for sure, but I’d be wiling to bet there was a mullet involved. I’ll bet the guy has to beat the ladies of with a stick, because he is clearly quite a catch.

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I saw that truck in the drive-thru line at McDonald’s while I was getting some morning caffeine. You know what I really hate? People who blow their horn in the McDonald’s drive-thru line. I understand that you are in a very important hurry, but do you not realize that we have no control over our speed here? The poor guy at the window is just waiting for his McMuffins and there you are, three cars behind him, blowing your goddamned horn. In MY ear. Stop it.

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We rented some movies from redbox this weekend, and I have to say, Dear Baby Jesus – thank you for redbox. I am serious – they are cheap, and best of all, I don’t have to deal with the idiot working at the video store. I know netflix is cool, too, but really, if it involves stamps and mailboxes, I will fuck it up. Redbox is much easier for me.

Anyway, we watched Bolt, What Just Happened, and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I didn’t expect to like Bolt, but I did. I think I was biased, since two of the main characters were voiced by Miley Cyrus and John Travolta, and I don’t like either one of them. So I was prepared not to like the movie. But it turned out it was pretty damned funny.

I think What Just Happened is one of those movies that is really for Hollywood. Because I think that anyone in the film industry probably found it uproariously funny, but for the rest of us, it was just one inside joke after another. I just didn’t really get it.

**warning, spoiler-y**The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a weird one for me. I was prepared to love it, but it just kid of missed for me. I liked it most of the way through (for as much as you can like a movie about the holocaust). Other than the fact that the boy from the camp was not only way too robust, but actually had full-on chubby cheeks, it was engaging and somewhat interesting. But the end ruined it for me. I think I was supposed to be heartbroken by it, but I wasn’t. don’t get me wrong, it was sad. But the overall horror of the holocaust is so overwhelming that it is hard to feel sympathy over this one “accidental” death. I mean, I guess that was the whole point of the movie that the holocaust was horrible. But you don’t rally need to kill off an innocent German boy to prove it to me. I know already. Six million dead Jews and 5 million other dead ethnic and religious minorities, disabled people, homosexuals, and free-thinkers (or more) pretty much make it clear without this contrived story that I felt was intended to pull at my heartstrings. It simply didn’t. in fact, although the boy was likable and I felt bad, I still found myself thinking, “well, boo-fucking hoo”

I know that the movie was critically acclaimed, but I just can’t get on board with the rave reviews. I didn’t hate it, I don’t think it was a bad movie, but I just couldn’t help being disappointed in the end (and don’t think I expected a happy ending, because there are none in this subject matter). I broke my own rule and saw the movie without reading the book and that may have made it worse. Reading about the book, I think I would have appreciated the slight differences. The movie, though, left me feeling…I don’t know…weirdly uncaring. Maybe that makes me cold, I don’t know. But Schindler’s List made me cry. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl made me cry. Inheritance made me cry. Forgotten Holocaust made me cry. The Holocaust made me cry. Survival in Auschwitz made me cry. Night made me cry. Every single book I have read on the subject made me cry. Visiting Dachau made me an emotional wreck. But this movie just made me feel manipulated and underestimated.

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OK, so now, since I hate to end things on such a heavy note, I will talk about dogs.

When I was cleaning on Friday, I found a few large-ish chunks of black pet hair. Now, having a black dog and cat means that I am always finding hair floating around, sometimes even big tufts and tumbleweeds of it. But these were bigger than normal an I was a little concerned that one of the pets was having some sort of problem. Until Sunday when I saw this:

I know it’s not a great photo, so in case you can’t tell, that is a large chunk of fur missing from the dog’s back. one of several, in fact. Put that together with me being unable to find scissors Saturday and The Girl “helpfully” telling me exactly where they were, and I think we all know what happened here. I guess she has moved on from putting eyeshadow on him.

Also – Puppy! (not mine, just “borrowed” for a little while from Rapunzel)

My Weekend in Letters

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Dear super-expensive car driver,

Thank you. No really, thank you for going through that stop sign and almost plowing down my family. It gave us a great opportunity to teach the kids a great life lesson – that rules are for the poor. After all – you stopped whole the folks in front you were obeying traffic laws (the mid-80s Buick and a late 90’s minivan), so you really can’t be expected to do more.

Love, Gina

Dear Neighbor,

When you do yard work right at the edge of the road – the wooded, rural road, near a blind curve – perhaps head to toe camo isn’t the best choice. Just a suggestion.

Love, Gina

Dear Cell Phone Guy,

This may come as a surprise to you, but nobody here gives a shit about you, your phone call, your investments, your car or your weekend. Take it outside.

Love, Gina

Dear Guy in front of me at the movies,

Do you really need 5 minutes to stand there and take off your coat, then put it back on then take it off again then fold it, then hang it over the back of the seat, then pick it up and arrange it on the seat, then pull up your pants then check your phone for calls then stretch your back before you get settled in your seat? Because you are one big dude and I can’t see. And they may only be previews, but if I can’t seem them, then I can’t get all excited and declare my intent to see every single on of them when they come out, even though I know I will see approximately none of them. Still. I want to see. Sit down.

Love, Gina

Dear people behind me in the movies,

Ok, first off, your toddler? Too young for this movie. The only thing he understands is that doggies say “ruff ruff” and that The Rock is tough. I know this because I heard him say it. TEN THOUSAND TIMES. And the fact that you refused to stop him from kicking my seat for two straight hours made me have to work really hard to not punch you in the face. It wore me out and made me unable to fully appreciate this:

Next time I can’t promise not to punch you.

Love, Gina

Dear Uncle Crappy,

I promise it was just a coincidence that I saw you in the library – I am not a crazy fangirl stalker. And I apologize for not remembering your “real” name and being forced to refer to you using the word “crappy” in a public place. My memory is not what it used to be. I blame college.

Love, Gina

Dear Melissa Rivers,

Shut the fuck up. When, on Celebrity Apprentice, you said that it was embarrassing for the men’s team because they lost to a bunch of girls, you became dead to me. Dead. Way to perpetuate sexism, dumbass. And while we’re talking – lay off the goddamned plastic surgery – it makes you look older rather than younger.

Love, Gina

Dear Ministers,

I hear a whole bunch of you are refusing to perform a ceremony at the playboy mansion. I understand that you probably consider the playboy mansion to be the veritable Cinderella’s Castle of pornography. But really, who gives a shit. I am sure you feel that by refusing that you are standing up for and protecting women from the big, bad pornography industry. And don’t get me wrong, I am sure that there are some young women that get taken advantage of. But in general, the women involved with playboy have chosen to be there. Many are educated, intelligent women who have used their assets to get ahead. Many go on to successful careers in other fields. By trying to “protect” them, it is implied that they need protection – that they can’t make decisions for themselves. While I am not a big fan of playboy, I can’t really sit here and lecture about the objectifying of women, blahblahblah, when I think that most beer ads are more offensive. At least at playboy they are honest – it’s all about sex. But when just about every product known to man is sold by oiling up some tits and ass and pretending it has something to do with beer or shoes or cars or Doritos, it’s hard to get worked up about a company that is only using tits and ass for the sake of tits and ass. Ease up, dudes.

Love, Gina

Dear Ass,

Go away. And take your fat friends thighs and belly with you. And please do so without any intervention from me, OK?

Love, Gina

Excuses, Excuses

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Parent Bloggers is offering some great prizes (courtesy of Sylvania) for sharing your kids’ excuses for not going to bed. Check it out.

My kids are different in a lot of ways. I mean, he’s a boy, she’s a girl. He’s 12, she’s 5. He’s crazy, she’s crazier. But one thing they do have in common is that they will not let me sleep.

For years, the boy slept in our bed – he had a million reasons why he had to, and most of the time, we just gave in out of exhaustion. Finally, when he was about 6 he stopped and we were thrilled. And mainly, he went to bed pretty easily.

Then the girl came along. At first, she was good about bedtime, but as soon as she realized she had an opinion, she decided to share it with us. And that opinion was: I do not want to go to bed. And she has used every excuse in the book. It’s rubbed off a bit on her brother, too, because why should he in bed when she is up discussing why she is not in bed.

The boy doesn’t have a lot of excuses her can really get away with. He’s too old for monsters in the closet and the scary dark, so he tends to fall back on one of two types of excuses. First up – illness. He’s a big fan of walking out of his room just as I am settling in with my book, putting on his most pathetic face and telling me he has a headache. Or a stomachache. Or his leg hurts. Whatever, anything to get him a few more minutes of checking out whatever is on TV while we discuss it. The other delay tactic he likes to use is the stuff we really can’t argue with. He needs to wash his face. Or brush his teeth. Or put his homework in his backpack. These are things we obviously want him to do, so we can’t really stop him. But the problem, is that he should have done (and was asked to do) these things 45 minutes before. He’s a smart one though and waits until it’s bedtime to suddenly become very conscientious about his hygiene and schoolwork. Also – he will go all the way to the other side of the house to go to the bathroom, instead of using the one right outside his bedroom door. Because even the extra few minutes getting there is a huge delaying success as far as he is concerned.

The girl is also known to use these techniques, but being five, she likes to make her argument in a more dramatic fashion, including, but not limited to:

I need all my (six bajillion) animals in the bed to protect me.
There are scary noises outside.
There are scary noises inside.
I can’t fall asleep. (5 seconds after going to bed)
Something is in my closet.
You called me. (no, I didn’t)
Dade called me. (didn’t)
I’m hungry (she’s not)
I’m really, really hungry (she’s really, really not)
I didn’t even get to watch The Office! (The Office isn’t even on)
It’s on at Weenie’s house!! (It’s not!!)
What if I have a bad dream?
BEARS! I’M AFRAID OF BEARS!!

And my own personal favorite: What about the bats?? Yes- she refused to go to bed for approximately a month because of bats. I told her that there weren’t any bats in the house.
Her: Yes, but they are outside my room.
Me: Bats are good, they won’t bother you.
Her: They can see in my room.
Me: I’ll close the blinds and they won’t be able to see in.
Her: But if you close the blinds, then the bats can press their faces up to my windows and I won’t know!!

Lie to Me

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Someone please tell me that you have raised a insane psycho clownhellcatStrong Willed Girl and she turned out alright. A nice girl who grew up and was sweet and kind and didn’t have a tantrum at her high school graduation (because she actually made it to the high school graduation instead of incarceration at juvie) and she went on to have a nice, normal life that didn’t involve too much screaming or scaring small animals or showing up on COPS.

Because this child is killing me.

Generally, she is a good kid. She does have a raging case touch of whineywhineritis, but that’s pretty normal. She goes to preschool and daycare and gets along with everyone. She comes home from visiting with friends or relatives and I get reports of how wonderful and helpful she was.

But like a lot of kids, she has her moments. And on Sunday she had ONE HELL OF one those moments. And by “moment”, I mean hours and hours of everyone within earshot being licked by the hot flames of Satan’s flaming pitchfork of misery and death.

These things don’t happen too often (though more often than I would prefer), but when they do, you better get yourself some earplugs (for the screaming), shin guards (for the kicking when you carry her – hanging in front of you – to her room), a flak jacket and helmet (to protect yourself from jamming a sharp item into your own body to just get away from it) and a big bottle of patience (I imagine Xanax would work).

This particular episode was extra special. It went on and on and on (and – God help me – ON). It started because I told her she had to clean her room. Her immediate reaction upon being told to clean her room is the helpless act (“I neeeed heeeeeeeeeeellllllllp!!”). And I understand that she is only five and does actually need a little guidance when it comes to cleaning. So I told her that I had a few things to doand I wanted her to get started and I would come in and help shortly. Or maybe I told her that I killed her dog. By feeding him all her toys. And then used the dead toy-filled dog to beat Santa to death. Or at least, that’s what her reaction would imply.

I managed to stay calm and not yell at her. I gave her specific instructions – pick up all her dirty clothes that she had been neglecting to put in the hamper and put them in and put her stuffed animal on her bed. Then let me know when she was done and I would come in and help her.

I KNOW!!!!! I am a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad mother! I can’t even imagine a worse mother, can you? She proceeded to scream and cry and stomp and roll around and throw things. It went on for hours. She screamed at the top of her lungs until her voice was hoarse. She made an even bigger mess with all her carrying on.

I ended up taking stuff away from her. I called my SIL and cancelled this week’s visit (it’s her favorite thing). All to no avail. When she finally started to calm down, she cried because her throat hurt. She needed “something cold” for it. I told her when she stopped crying I would get her a cold drink. But no – she wanted ice cream. Ummm…HELL NO! I told her that her throat was hurting because of the screaming. So she screamed some more. And so it started again. And on and on with the screaming, crying, kicking, stomping, yelling nonsense. And then her head split open and seventy-three of Satan’s most evil minions came out and set us on fire and chewed our faces off and then we all died. True Story.

Eventually, she Very Sorrowfully and Dramatically started picking up clothes and putting them in the hamper. She finished up with the things I asked her to and sniffled at me that she was done. I went in – as promised – and helped her finish up, but by this time, we were all drained and the day was pretty much ruined for everyone. My favorite part was when she hugged me and said, “I’m sorry I said you were a terrible mother,” which I hadn’t even heard her say anyway (which, whatever, I don’t get all het up about that shit anyway).

But when this happens, it tears us all up. I try very hard to be patient and not rise to the bait, but sometimes it’s really hard. And mr b has no patience for it whatsoever. His fuse is about one billionth of an inch long and so I find myself in the position of trying to deal with her psychosis, keep myself sane, and keep him fro making things worse.

And make things worse he can definitely do. Because he can’t stand it and just wants it to stop. So if I let him, he will step in and give her what she wants, which trains her to keep doing it. The thing is – if he would get up and help her clean the first time she asks, it wouldn’t bethat big if a deal – it would be a parent helping a child. But instead, he lets her go crazy first, and then when he can’t stand the screaming, he gives in, stomps in and says he will help. This is not acceptable. Not only does it teach her to lose her shit to get what she wants, but it then secures his spot (in his mind) in the martyr hall of fame, since he quit whatever “important” thing that he was doing to do what is (also in his mind) my job. He does this shit not because he feels bad for her but because he feels bad for him. (It’s a totally separate issue that we need to work out, because as long as it isn’t interrupting his game/book/guitar he doesn’t give a shit, but when it does, he lumps me in with the kids. I can yell at them for something they TOTALLY need to be yelled at and he will say something like, “I am sick of all the yelling in this house!!” Nice, huh?)

Anyway – back to the issue at hand. I don’t make idle threats – I follow through. And unlike someone who shall remain nameless, I don’t make threats that are obviously not follow-through-able (like not going on vacation, etc).

Even when we show a united front, though, we have yet to find anything that works on her. Ignoring her does nothing –she just keeps on going, like a tiny energizer bunny of misery. Taking things away from her just enrages her – she’ll panic and plead, but then she will simply try to tell you that she will do what you are asking after you give back whatever you took away.

Nothing seems to phase her.

There are times when I find myself worrying that there is something wrong with her and should I call a psychiatrist or and exorcist? And yet she’s very bright, articulate, otherwise well-behaved, and has no obvious triggers or health problems. Other than being STUBBORN AS ALL HOLY FUCK.

So someone please – PLEASE tell me about your evil crazy little strong-willed daughter who turned out to be a lovely young woman. Lie to me if you have to.

See – when she looks like this:

I forget about this shit:

And I Walked to School, Uphill, Both Ways…

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You know, nothing makes you feel quite as old as helping your kids with schoolwork. This weekend, I was trying to help the boy prepare for his social studies test and I discovered that I have become my grandfather.

The test was on the geography of Eastern Europe, so I set him up with one of those online map quizzes where it asks you to identify countries by clicking on them. He did pretty well, getting most of them right, but occasionally, he would falter and look at me for help and let me tell you: I am a Big Fat Geography Failure.

Now, I have never been particularly great at geography, but I did OK. But this time, I can’t even be blamed for my failure. It’s because I’m old. Not that I can’t remember the stuff from when I studied it back in the 70s and 80s (it’s my short-term memory that sucks). No – it’s the fact that when I studied this stuff way back when, the map was completely different!!

We had East and West Germany. There was no Croatia or Serbia or Bosnia and Herzegovina. We had Yugoslavia. Czech Republic and Slovakia? Nope – Czechoslovakia. And there was one big country called Russia or USSR, depending on who was doing the talking.

I am old! Old enough that the maps are way different from “my day”. I’m not totally sure, but there’s a chance that there may have only been one or two continents back when I was in school. And they were all inhabited by dodos and mastodons.

Sigh.

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Some of my favorite photos from the past week:

A sweet girl’s birthday:

Waiting patiently at the window for her big girls night with a friend:

There was an insane person in front of me in line with a feather purse (crappy illicit cell-phone photo):

To show you how redneck my town is, here is the ladies room at the local bowling alley (I wish I were kidding):

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And today’s embarrassing photo from my youth (first in a series of however many it takes until I get tired of it):

Angel costume, candy apple, toilet: priceless
Also – doesn’t my girl look like me?