Friday, February 26, 2010

The Fiesta of Awesomeness

Remember the Valentine's Day Challenge? We totally made it! We promised to randomly draw a name and send them a Fiesta of Awesomeness. We thought we'd show you the Fiesta and tell you all about it. We wish we could send you each your own basket 'o' fun, so that you too could feel the love, but alas, we are both technically unemployed. And therefore broke.

What is in a Fiesta of Awesomeness? Other than - of course - awesomeness...
  • Girl scout cookies - SAMOAS
  • Two kinds of Ghirardelli chocolates
  • Beef jerky (because Lydia loves it soooo much)
  • Two amazing books hand selected by Kate for your reading pleasure:
    • The Book of General Ignorance
    • Secrets of a Shoe Addict
  • A Starbucks gift card
  • A little T-box (red flavor)
  • A playlist with MommyLand songs hand selected by Lydia for your listening pleasure

There was supposed to be a box of free-trade Punjana but apparently (after looking in SIX stores) there is some sort of regional Punjana shortage. Think about it. Where we live - there is no punjana. How terribly sad.

Also, we had a couple of people express interest in what was on the MommyLand playlist. Lydia and iPod collaborated on songs that alternately amused and offended Kate. Here they are:
Songs from the BWT

  1.  My Hair Looks Fierce by Amanda Lepore
  2. In These Shoes? by Kirsty MacColl
  3. Tres Tres Chic by Mocean Worker
  4. Give Him The Ooh-La-La by Blossom Dearie
  5. Bourgeois Shangri-La by Miss Li
  6. These boots are made for walking by Nancy Sinatra (But Kates's are made for kicking your a$$)
  7. Man Smart (Woman Smarter) by Harry Belafonte
  8. What You Waiting For? by Gwen Stefani
  9. That's Not My Name by The Ting Tings
  10. Low (feat. T-Pain) by Flo Rida Low (feat. T-Pain)
  11. U.N.I.T.Y. by Queen Latifah
  12. Gunpowder & Lead by Miranda Lambert
  13. Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John
  14. The Humans Are Dead by Flight of the Conchords
  15. My Stupid Mouth by John Mayer
  16. Trouble Maker by Weezer
  17. Cold Beverage by G. Love & Special Sauce
  18. 15 Step by Radiohead
Please note: You can hear all the songs by clicking! They're all either YouTube or Amazon links. You will notice there is NO Sarah McLachlan. Also, the first Twilight nerd that can tell us the significance of the last song, gets a cd. As you know - Lydia has watched the movie about 11,000 times on cable.

So what do you think? We really tried to make it awesome because we are so grateful for you and the fact that you shared our rants with your friends. And we had fun putting it together. So much fun that maybe in a couple of months we'll have an all-new challenge with an all-new fiesta. Or maybe this time is will be a "Fete D'Awesomeness" or a "Soiree of Super" for the mommies who get us to 5,000 fans. It can have French things. Or fancy things. But also a little beef jerky because it is so delicious.

Seriously though - we just want you to know how much we appreciate each and every click, comment and share. Sigh... Not to get schmoopy - but we ADORE you. Because you're awesome.

Have a great weekend!
xo, Lydia and Kate

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Top Ten Absurd Observations from Kate & Lydia's Broken Brains

10. Why does University of Phoenix ON LINE advertise that is has small class sizes?

9. I'm pretty sure that Dave and Buster's is the adult version of Chuck E Cheese and that is why I hate it as much as Kate hates my clogs.

8. Why is it that when I demand the IHPs stop yelling, I'm screaming my fool head off, and when I have to enforce the "we don't hit" rule, I smack someone's hand?

7. Thumbelina loves Lady Gaga but thinks she's saying: "Mama poke her face" and that's awesome.

6. My friend's husband just got back from his five thousandth deployment and everyone was super happy and cried and hugged and kissed and then maybe ten minutes later they made him go to Safeway to get pull-ups. I would feel bad except it's sort of like the third time you're pregnant and your husband is all: "Oh. Mommy threw up in the sink again. OK, I'm going to the gym. See you all in a couple hours."

5. Has anyone else noticed that babies and little kids seem to have some kind of  "my parents might possibly get lucky so I must stop this" radar?  If parents had the same kind of radar about their adolescent kids, no one would ever know the name Levi Johnston.

4. Can you retract a "God Bless"? Because the IHPs do it all the time. McGee: "God Bless Mom and Papa and Daddy and Lefty and Happy and Dog and wait! Not Cat, because he scratched me today." Lefty: "Yeah, not Cat. Maybe tomorrow."

3. Oh my God! After 3 hours and 17 minutes, they actually do get tired of playing Wii. Rather than thinking I'm a terrible mother, think of me as a really good scientist with a - now proven - theory. I'll take my Nobel Prize now. Thanks...

2. Lefty is pretty sure when I get to "three" the planet will explode.

1. Do eating and mindless meandering around my house have to be directly proportional? Are they cattle?

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to Get Your B On: A Primer

In a recent post, I referenced handing off my kids, getting my B on and then cleaning the whole house. A friend commented that this sounded "inspirational" and that I should clarify this process for others. I think it goes without saying that the friend who made this comment was a DUDE. It should also go without saying that if he needed to ask this question, his wife must be the nicest, sweetest woman in the history of ever. Because honestly, the Cap'n would never ask this question. He knows exactly how his wife turns from this to this:


There's a science to getting your B on. I mean that. It involves math. You see, just as chemicals were involved in changing Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde or Peter Parker into Spiderman - we too need a catalyst in order to transform. Here is some math to illustrate my point:

Bruce Banner + danger/stress = Incredible Hulk

Mommy + "Variable X" = Raging B

Variable X may equal:
  • Lack of sleep
  • Child with a fresh mouth
  • PMS
  • Imminent arrival of dinner guests
  • 72-24 hours before a major holiday
  • A hangover
  • Any job that includes cleaning up another creature's feces (that does not involve a baby)
  • Thoughtless comment from husband (e.g: "Is that skirt supposed to be tight?')
  • Empty toilet paper roll. Again.
  • Months 1-9 of pregnancy
  • One hour til your child's birthday party
  • D-bag in the BMW who would not let you merge

So let's be clear, Variable X can be many, MANY things. In fact, far too many for us to list. And if we're being honest, the necessary "catalyst" can come from anywhere. Even from nowhere. Getting your B on is just so easy some days. Like eating ice cream easy. So perhaps, mommies, it is time to explore the more important question. The question of the year, perhaps...

 How do you get your B off?

I am working diligently on this question. It is research. It is science. It is important to ALL MANKIND. Interesting fact: while there are a myriad ways to get your B on, there are only a handful of ways that are actually helpful in shedding it. I have outlined them as follows:

Prayer/Meditation/Higher Power: Whether your higher power is JC or Oprah Winfrey - sometimes you may just have to hit your knees and beg for help. That's where I am currently. "Please God, please help me not to yell at my children when they act little monsters. Please help me to remember that most of the time it's just because they want my attention and there are three of them and one of me and notwithstanding the fact that I have a big, fat ass, I am spread reeeaaallllly thin. I want to be good but that is difficult and being a raging B is so very, very easy. So a little help please so I don't ruin three otherwise awesome small people. Amen and I'm out."

Also, I gave up yelling for Lent with the intention of never yelling again (unless it was like "Fire!" or "Stop biting her!" or "Soylent Green is made of PEOPLE!" or something really important). And I have been white knuckling it every day. I feel like Ricky Bobby praying to everyone for the invisible fire to stop burning him:

 Kate is *obviously* Cal Naughton, Jr. running to save me. Shake and Bake, y'all.

Working Out/Healthy Lifestyle: I should probably let Kate write this. I think that getting plenty of exercise helps keep you from being a B because of the endorphins (another chemical catalyst!). Either that, or the smugness that comes from being all - "I went to gym this morning" (said aloud) "Nyah Nyah Nyah!" (said silently to self). [Editor's Note: I do this. I'm horrible. - Kate] I really wouldn't know but I understand that a healthy lifestyle with all things in moderation makes everything in your life good. Until that box of Samoas shows up from the Girl Scouts and little Miss Moderation can only have three. Good luck with THAT.

Inebriants: I think we all know my position on wine. I am pro-wine. I am also pro-single malt and strongly in favor of Guinness. But let's not forget that even if you don't drink or can't drink, there are many options to dull your mind and senses. Here are my favorite non-alcoholic inebriants:
  • UsWeekly, People Magazine, InStyle
  • Facebook (esp. Bejewelled Blitz)
  • Ben and Jerry's
  • Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer - the series
  • The Real Housewives
  • Chocolate
  • Twilight Saga
  • Brie, slices of pear and a baguette
  • American Idol auditions
  • E!
  • Wii bowling
Behavioral or Cognitive Therapy: This can take many, many forms. Venting to a friend, listening to James Brown really loud, going for a walk to get away from your family get some fresh air, or just doing something for yourself that makes you feel better. For Kate, that may be wandering into her closet and gazing at her Louboutins.

When I'm feeling like a B, I sometimes have imaginary conversations where everything I say is awesome - as if I were scripted by someone brilliant like Joss Whedon or Nora Ephron. It's sort of like talking out a problem except that I'm just thinking about talking it out. So that I win. But I am odd. (My new imaginary best friend, Tina Fey, is sitting here in B-blur next to me laughing out loud. Again!)

For both of us, though, writing Rants from MommyLand is surest fire way of shedding our raging B's and returning to our normal states of being.

Please keep in mind - this is all preliminary research. But I'm obviously a subject matter expert. And it's obviously peer-reviewed because you are my peers and you are reading it right now. And this research is pretty inspiring. Almost as inspiring as the latest edition of UsWeekly. If it were dipped in chocolate. Hand delivered by Colin Firth. Who's also dipped in chocolate. And holding a Guinness. Now that's inspiration, B.
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lydia Loses Her Schmidt

Lydia had a bad week. And then, she was given the (rare) opportunity to run an errand all by herself. While alone in her car, she just lost it. At that exact moment, perhaps using friend ESP, Kate called:

Lydia: (sobbing - answers cell phone while driving) "Huh-huh-lo?"
Kate: "What's the matter?! Are the kids OK?!"
Lydia: "They're fiinnnnne. They're at hooommmme. I'm alone in the car and I just started cryyyyying and now I can't stoooooppp."
Kate: "What happened, sweetie?"
Lydia: "F*cking Sarah McLachlan came on the iPod and I started thinking about everything and I just started cryinnnggggg."
Kate: "Oh Lyd. Remember what we talked about? Alone in the car is not a good time for you. You're very prone to upset. Remember the rule we talked about?"
Lydia: (hiccuping and trying to stop crying) "I know. Only James Brown and Mika and Lady Gaga and stuff when I'm alone in the car. Only happy songs."
Kate: "Right. Do not let the iPod pick. And no women with guitars or pianos or plaintive voices. Remember what happened that time when you heard Tori Amos?"
Lydia: (still crying) "Whhhhaaaaaat's wrong with me?! I'm so horrible. I screamed at Thumbelina and everyone I know hates me and I'm a disgusting cow and I just shouldn't be alloooowwwed. Why do I have these beautiful children when I am so tooooxic and I'm going to ruuuuinnn them!" (pauses to catch breathe and then sob again)
Kate: "Honey, I think I need to talk you off the ledge this time..."
Lydia: "And the whole world seems so messed up - everything is so uncertain. Like it all could blow up tomorrow and how am I supposed to be a grown-up with all that going on? And I can't remember anything and I can't put a sentence together and I have lost all perspective and I'm going to have to stop blogging because I have lost my funny foreeeeeevvveeeer."
Kate: "Lydia..."
Lydia: "And all these really sad things have happened in the past couple of years and I can't slow down long enough to process any of them and now I'm losing it."
Kate: "Calm down. You're not losing it. You need a Venti Ralph Macchio. Go to the Starbucks drive-thru."
Lydia: "OK, but I don't think it will help. I think maybe I'm sick. Is there a medication for this?"
Kate: "You are not sick and you don't need meds - most of what you just described is the Blur. We both know you haven't slept in a week, you have PMS and the baby is sick - and that's when the Blur is at its worse. And I don't hear James Brown... Get Up Offa That Thing, Lydia."
Lydia: (messes with iPod - music starts) "That's a lot better, you're right. But even if it's just the Blur I'm still..." (sigh)
Kate: "I know you feel awful. And I hate to tell you this, but you're FINE. All you need is the kids to go to bed early, two size XL glasses of wine, time alone with the Cap'n and a good night's sleep. So just calm down. Because I'm not even there and my shoulder is getting all slimy and drippy."
Lydia: (in Eeyore voice) "OK."
Kate: "Now. Let me ask you a couple of questions. Are you doing the best you can every day?"
Lydia: (gulp) "Yes. Maybe not every day. Every other day."
Kate: "Do you want to be Perfect Mommy?"
Lydia: "Oh HELL no."
Kate: "Do you want to borrow a pair of my shoes for a while?" (laughs uproariously)
Lydia: "Are you nuts?! Do you want me to break an ankle?"
Kate: "Do you want me to buy you an UsWeekly?"
Lydia: "Yes, please."
Kate: "Did you know Rob Pattinson is on the cover?"
Lydia: "Oh goody! Meet me at Starbucks!
Kate: "That's my girl! See you in 15."
Lydia: "You know why I'm awesome? No mascara! Think what I could look like right now!" (long pause) "Oh. I just noticed my shirt is on inside out." (confusing noise - cries for five seconds then quickly giggles in response to her own stupidity)
Kate: "Of course it is. And that's why you're awesome."

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kate's TaLENT for Bad Ideas

So it's out there now, which means I have to stick it out for the next 40 days. And, even after a week I still have 39 days to go. How is that?? Because, haha, what I learned this weekend? Lent is actually 46 days. Fan. Tas. Tic.

For those who don't know, I announced last week that I have given up wine for Lent. Which is so funny. Because I. Gave. Up. Wine. When I said I was doing it, McGee got this incredulous look on her face and said, "You? Giving up wine? Seriously?" So she had to give up Wii. I would haha, but I had to give up wine.

And that's not even the least of it. Wine is sorta like my bottom line. I may have a cosmopolitan when I'm out, or even a Vodka & Tonic during the summer when I feel like playing bartender, but I'm not much of a drinker besides wine. So, while all of you who suggested vodka, or bourbon, or flat-out shots of tequila with a Jaegermeister chaser, that's -- awesome. -- but maybe not where I'm headed.

Basically, it's translating into I've given up drinking for -- sigh -- 39 more days.

And dessert.

And my favorite snack food.

Because I'm a moron. A pious moron, but a moron nevertheless.

And, I'm not even Catholic. McLovin is...even though he insists that St. Patrick's Day doesn't count. I totally call bullsh*t on that. But, the whole family has adopted Lent as a way to thank him for doing basically everything else all Protestant-y. So, McGee has given up Wii, Lefty has given up desserts, and Happy has apparently given up trying to even kid us that he's a good boy. Ever.

So far, Happy has been the most successful Lent-er.

So, where do I stand, on Day 8? My kitchen has been woefully neglected. I once told you all how much I love it, despite its tiny-ness and stupid layout. I would linger in there and make dinner and random little treats and surprises for lunches. But, admittedly, it was done with a glass of wine nearby. Now dinner is like Operation SlamSomeFoodOnTheTable. I'm like the Marines; quick in, annihilate everything, vanish. And, since 3 of the 5 of us are dessert-free, the other two have to sorta suck it up. Cuz I'm not gonna make stuff that I can't have. That's just mean. To me.

Lunches are quickly regressing too. Gone are the deluxe sandwiches cut out with cookie cutters into the shape of, oh, rabbits, George Washington & Abraham Lincoln (for President's was awesome...) or Texas. Now there are just square slabs of PB&J. Unpeeled oranges. Saltine crackers. My kids, who are such foodies and would happily take a lunch of brie and baguettes and grapes with a rough cut of dark chocolate for dessert, are now saying, "Nah, it's OK mom. I'll just buy the hummus biteable at school for lunch today." And then sloffing out of the room like they have lead fins attached to their feet.

And, hummus biteable? I'm sorry, school lunch ladies, but that just sounds foul. It reminds me of those "Crustables" -- those frozen PB&J sandwich like things in a pastry...but rather when you bite into the encasing -- could be anything -- you get a blob of preservative laden hummus sqooshed into your mouth. Ugh.

So, Day 8. It's already time for a re-vamping.

Cowboy up, Kate. You are totally hard core about Lent. [talking to self like a Marine] WHAT ARE YOU SOME LITTLE GIRL YOU GET OUT THERE AND KICK LENT'S ASS BEFORE I HAVE TO SHOW UP AND TELL YOU HOW TO GET THIS DONE!!

So, to the open bottle of Prosecco in the fridge, and the open bottle of Pinot Noir on the bar, and the easily openable T-Box in the pantry? Bring it on. I'm like Rocky over here.

Too bad the wine is the Russian dude with the hair.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Little Terror Suspects May *Not* Be The Best Nickname

As you may know, Cap'n Coupon refers to our children (when they are being naughty -- so like, hardly ever) as the Little Terror Subjects. OK, fine. We call them that a lot. But it may have as much to do with the fact that we're out-matched intellectually and physically and are therefore doomed to fail. I mean, seriously, what kind of adults have that much energy? The kind that are on three day meth-binges, that's what kind.

And as with real terrorists, we - as law enforcement - must be right 100% of the time.  They only need to be right once.  Just one Buzz Lightyear flushed down the potty and they have won.  And they never stop trying to defeat us.  And now even the smallest of the LTS is able to climb things and and scream actual words and no crib can hold her. And the cuteness makes it impossible to ignore her, so she is able to get the bigger ones to do her bidding in a way that is both alarming and, frankly, awe-inspiring. I am hopeful that one day she will command her siblings to clean their rooms, as they will no doubt obey her. My father has always claimed that the little girls in our family are a cross between Shirley Temple and Joseph Stalin. I used to be offended by that statement. Now I totally get it. And sigh...I'm afraid he's right.

But you should always be careful what you put on the internet, right? Because a couple of days ago, Lydia found another stranger in her house - this time because of the moniker: "The Little Terror Suspects."  It may be time to look for a new nickname.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Blog Awards, Good Manners, and Sharing the Love

We have a confession to make. Before we started to undergo extensive maternal pyscho-therapy by writing a mommy blog, we had never even read a blog. So the fact that there's such a thing as 'blog etiquette' is a totally new concept for us. One that we're still learning. When we started this venture, we didn't think we had to bother learning blog etiquette for one very simple reason: we were pretty sure that no one except each other and Lydia's Aunt Mary would ever read these rants.

But then - a miracle! In the past two days, we've gotten three awards from other bloggers who read Rants from MommyLand and apparently are not offended by it! WOOT! WOOT!

(K & L high five for an embarrassingly long time, accompanied by jumping around - it's awesome and hilarious and also awkward).

So we want to say a very sincere thank you to them for the awards. And to YOU for reading our blog: thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

Here are the awards and the amazing, awesome, jaw-droppingly gorgeous bloggers who bestowed them on us:

I know we're overdue with returning the blog-love, so please help us out. We're going to create a blog-roll. But right now we're so far behind on this we don't know where to start. If you have a blog and you follow us, have us on an RSS feed, or help direct your friends to our rants - please send us an email with your URL so we can be sure to include you. ( And thanks again. We really appreciate it.

On Monday, we'll list the blogs and show you the ones that we're passing on our awards to.

Also, while we're making amends, we are bad at Twitter. Like really bad. Totally clueless. For those of you kind enough to friend us on Twitter (Lydia - quit being stupid - It's not "friend" - that's Facebook, on Twitter it's "follow". Oh. Sorry!) We will eventually learn what we're doing and share the 'following' back with you. And also learn to tweeter (Lydia, it's tweet).

Thanks and we love you!
xo, Kate and Lydia

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LIVE BLOGGING: Tiger Talks...We Respond

OK, so we're super excited about this...and nervous. Lydia's computer has a quirk that makes it just SHUT OFF mid-sentence. Fantastic.

What we know so far: Tiger's mea culpa is not only going to be shown on the big three - NBC, ABC, CBS - and pre-empting "Ellen" or "Tyra" or "Bonnie" (how many are there???) but it's also going to be on the cable news channels, the sports channels, the GOLF channel...E!...maybe the Cartoon Network, TeleMundo, the Chinese News Service and LOGO...seriously, if they preempt "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Lydia's gonna lose her schmidt. We're setting the TiVo so we can watch it over and over and over...

The big question for us: Where's Elin?? Lydia thinks the Mrs. - per our advice - is at home playing a drinking game with her girlfriends...every time Tiger says "sorry" they do a shot...every time he says "my attorney" they add another zero to the settlement amount...every time he says "...let you down" Elin and Co. castrate another baby tiger.

Kate thinks she's backstage, practicing her swing...with the driver this time. Cuz it's a wood.

Get ready he comes...oh, please forgive any typos...we're typing like crazy over here!

xoxo Kate & Lydia

  • You're late, d-bag.  Was rehab getting you down?
  • He looks *awesome*. Is he wearing make-up? Think he’s banging the make-up artist?
  • We're not your friends.
  • He's medicated!  Or drunk.
  • Do not say Elin's name!!! 
  • Tried to be private?  Except with your "woods"?
  • You don’t look humble, Tiger. You look… constipated.
  • What does he mean by "friends"?  And "letting them down"??
  • You are CHANGING the subject!  It's about you being a manwhore!
  • Is your mom silently weeping in the background right now?
  • Dude, golf writers aren’t covering this. You know what they ARE covering right now? The tournament you’re NOT playing in.
  • Oh whatever. You’re such a douche.
  • Elin should hit you NOW.
  • Elin deserves praise and $300 million dollars.
  • Never thought about who you were hurting?  Only who you were doing.  NICE.
  • Your mom looks SO PISSED.  *awesome!*
  • Take a drink, Elin. It’ll be over soon.
  • Put the hospital gown on, now Tiger. It will be easier for everyone that way.
  • It's not what you achieve?  Seriously?  DOUCHE!
  • Who wrote this “apology” for you? Michael Scott? Did Dwight help?
  • Is this Step 6 of sexy time therapy?
  • We respect ELIN's privacy.  You gave yours up when you texted skanky mcwafflehouse.
  • Oh... It's the media's fault.  I see.  I forgot  - it's about them being assh*les.  Right?
  • A better man?  How about who knows how to stay home?
  • Buddhism?  Dude.  The Dalai Lama wants to slap you with a sandwich right now.
  • You're  born again Buddhist?  And you're in sexy time therapy.  Good luck with that.
  • You can rely on us for help, tiger. 
  • For keeping it REAL.
  • We have a good wish for you - we wish Elin would crack you in the head again.
  • Work on your private life and more specifically your PRIVATES.
  • Oh we believe in you now.  We believe that hug you just gave your mom was CRAPtastic.
  • Nice "bro-hug".  What is this?  A receiving line?
  • And..... it's over!
  • Get ready for a quick de-brief.  We're typing it now...

That was bullsh*t. Did your notes actually tell you to stare vacantly at the camera? Because that was *creepy*. We don’t know if it helped the appearance of contrition to leave the room like it was the State of the Union address. Was that Ruth Badar Ginsburg you hugged in the front row? Can we just say that you seem more selfish and lame now.  Ernie Els (who Kate assures me is a professional golfer - I have no idea) is PISSED at you for holding your "statement" in the middle of a tourney.  Because you just have to be the center of the Golf world - even when you're not playing. 

Elin, we love you.  You're bad*ass.  Thank you for NOT being there.  Thanks for not participating in that ridiculous spectacle.  It seems at one time you were married to the most amazing golf player in the was cool. Now you're married to this pathetic chump who has to arrange to be hugged, and is most assuredly disease riddled. We say you take the 300 mil and run.

xo, Kate and Lydia

PS: One more thing:

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Top Ten Questions Tiger Doesn't Want Us To Ask

So, Tiger may be talking this morning (at 11am eastern - an we'll be LIVE blogging!). But it isn't a press conference. Because he's not taking questions from the press. Why? We wondered the same thing. So we asked some unnamed sources (who actually watch golf) what they would ask Mr. Woods.

10. From a physical standpoint, how the hell did you ever win a tournament? You spent every night playing skank tag - how did you even manage to make your tee time? Did you have to take supplements? Did Red Bull give you wings?
9. Did you have a favorite er... lady? Because they all look like they have chlamydia lame compared to your wife.

8. When Elin found out that "playing 18 holes" had a special meaning in your world - what was colder? The country of Sweden or the ice pack on your onions?

7. In that same vein of questioning, your taste in women ranges from Swedish swimsuit models to porn stars to Waffle House waitresses, but, would you tap this? ---------------------------------->

6. When you heard the news about John Edwards, were you like:
(a) I want to party with that guy
(b) Just one chick? P*ssy.
(c) That's not that bad.
(d) Sorry, I was texting a porn extra I met near Augusta;
(e) Hey, Rielle? You play golf?

5. Your GOLF game is consistently below par, but your "play" was described as sub par. How do you respond to that?

4. New Sponsors: Viagra? or Z-Pak? or Massengill?

3. We've heard reports of possible pregnancies. Using a golf analogy, didn't you put a cover on your clubs? No? Then did you at least use the ball washer?

2. Would you consider endorsing a ball washer? Here's the tag line: "If you can't keep your balls on the fairway and your putter in your pants - try the Tiger Woods ball washer! For a cleaner weiner!"

1. Did you ever throw your caddy the "ugly friend"?

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Top Ten List: Simple Concepts My Kids Seem Unable to Understand

The following are all easy concepts. Some are rules. Some are just basics about life. Yet... my children do not seem to grasp how it it all works. I started to make a list of all the things my kids should understand but don't. I stopped at 239. Here are the top ten.

10. Bathroom Issue #1
Thumbelina claims she is scared to be in the bathroom with the door closed. She has no problem spending hours in her room with the door closed, but whatever. So, here's how it goes. I tell her she should go pee (as she is dancing around as if there were actual ants in her actual pants). She goes. I walk down the hall, see "it" all in living color, and start to close the wide-open door. "MOOOOOOOOMMMM! I'm scared of the door closed!" So I leave it open. Then Hawk walks down the hall to his room, which is directly opposite the bathroom. He sees the wide-open door and his sister perched on the potty. So she shrieks: "HAWK! Stoppit! I need my privacy! MOOOOOMMMM!"

Let's pause for a moment. Deep breathe. Really, Thumbelina? You want to pee alone? Imagine that. Shut. The. Damn. Door.

9. The Television
If I ask one of my kids to set the table, feed the dog, or go brush their teeth while they're watching television, my request will invariably be met with eye-rolling or the ubiquitous "MMOOOOOOOMMM!" Then comes: "OK. But only if you pause it."

Are you kidding me? As if they haven't seen this particular episode of Phinneas and Ferb twenty times or, even worse, the frigging commercial for Moon Sand. I will not pause a commercial. EVER. Go feed the damn dog. TiVo is not a right. It's not like oxygen or liberty or the pursuit of happiness. TiVo is a privilege. I can take that sh*t away anytime I want. Now go set the table.

8. What Happens to Your Brain When I Can't See You
If you go to the bathroom, for the sole purpose of brushing your teeth -- Or go to your room, in order to put on your shoes-- Don't come back ten minutes later unbrushed or barefoot and look at me with glassy eyes like: huh? Teeth? Shoes?

What just happened to you? Were you abducted by aliens? Did you undergo a quickie lobotomy? What have you been doing? Did you get distracted by shiny things? I will never understand this phenomenon and it happens at least once a day. Seriously, what happens to your brain when I'm not in the room?

7. That Magical Invention Known as the Seat belt
When we get in the car - buckle up. We've been over this. You have a car seat. Get in it. Buckle it. There will never be a time when it is ok for you to ride to school crouched on the floor in front of the passenger seat while tossing cd's at your sister. EVER. And no, Thumbelina, you can't drive.

6. The Dog Talks to You by Barking
When the dog walks over to the sliding glass doors on the deck and barks really, really loud - it means he wants to come in. It does NOT mean to turn the TV up. It does NOT mean to talk louder as to drown out the sound of barking. It means get up and let him in. Woody is asking nicely. He is using his words. Let. Him. In. And no, I will not pause the wiki-sticks commercial.

5. Questionable Eating Habits
The all-natural Cheetos I was pressured into buying for you? Not breakfast. And no. You may not have ice cream, either. Dr. Pepper is not a snack. You can't have a sip of daddy's brown soda. Do not even think you can eat an entire box of chocolate chip granola bars for lunch. Happy Meal? You have GOT to be kidding me. Eat your baby carrots. Here's some ranch for dipping. Be grateful for it.

4. Bathroom Issue #2
I can tell if you've washed your hands or not. Don't try and lie to me. I am a hand-washing NAZI. Oh and no excuses make it OK not to wash your hands. Here are some examples.
  • I only peed. (No. Wash your hands.)
  • I didn't use my hands to wipe. (No. Wash your hands.)
  • I only tried to go potty but nothing happened. (No. Wash you hands.)
  • I already washed them at school. (No. It's now 8:35pm. Wash your hands.)
  • I used the shower curtain/bathmat/hand towel to wipe off my hands. (No. Wash your hands and then TIME OUT.)
3. I Will Still Say NO
No matter how many times you ask me, I will still say no. The more times you ask me the same question, the more likely I am to say 'no' and the more likely I am to say 'no' in the mean mommy voice.
Hawk: Can I play Lego Star Wars?
Lydia: No.
Hawk: Can I play Lego Star Wars now?
Lydia: No.
Hawk: Ok. But can I play Lego Star Wars?
Lydia: Again. No.
Hawk: (5 second pause) Can I please play Lego Star Wars?
Lydia: Grrrrrrrr....NO!
Hawk: Ok, Momma (scampers up stairs - sounds like slappy-slappy-slappy) DDDAAAAADDDYYY! Can I play Lego Star Wars?
Lydia: (head explodes)

2. This is Not A Restaurant
I know you don't like peas. You say it every time you see them on your plate, alongside some delicious chicken or pork and, your favorite, starch. And every time you see peas, you turn up your nose at this wonderful dinner and ask me for a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich. This isn't IHOP. And have I ever made you an alternate dinner? Plus, I'm the person who plans the menu, shops according to that menu, prepares said menu, and then serves it to you. Your job is to eat. And, as I've told you a million times, until you are the kid who doesn't find a stash of acceptable dinners up your nose, your opinion doesn't count.

1. Put. It. Away.
Again, you have an entire room that exists solely for you to put your crap. And yet, every day, when you come home and hear me say, "Put your stuff away" you dump it right inside the front door. Also, why do I find underpants all over my house? They are UNDERPANTS. What in the F are they doing on the kitchen floor? And, every day, when you leave the house, you spend the last 90 seconds frantically searching for everything while I'm backing out of the driveway, cuz you know I'm not going to be late. Why do we do this every day? Your Great Gramma used to throw Gramps's toys in the fireplace if he left them out. I figure one big bonfire at our house, and I'll never have to say it again.

Until then, the dog's barking...

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lydia's Mini-Surrender Questions

Lydia here. First of all Kate, thank you for writing The Mini-Surrender. As you know, I'm a fashion train-wreck. For me, a clean face and brushed teeth makes everything better. I like rules and lists and being good at things, so this was all very helpful. But... I have some questions.

Honey, you're not a train wreck, just an occasional derailment. No trauma or injuries, just the sad sigh of a population who knows their fashion commute is gonna be a little bit longer ;-)

I've provided my answers in blue below your very astute and mostly legitimate questions. And, for the sake of impartiality, I'm introducing Dorothy, who in the world of MommyLand, is Surrender Immune. Seriously. She's currently wearing a headband, and I seem to be OK with that. And, she never - NEVER - wears makeup, unless subjected to the freakish demands of a deranged bride. And which point, her McLovin told her she looked like a French Whore. And emerged unscathed, that's how much she agreed with him. Her rebuttals, and final judgments, are in red.

1. Showering. In a given week - I'm usually five for seven. But you see, my ability to shower is predicated on the baby's cooperation. She is now at the stage where containment is difficult. She's like a blond howler monkey - excelling at both climbing and screaming. So showering is possible only when she's asleep or when there's another adult in the house. I could wake up at 5:30am (like you), but I average about 4 hours of sleep per night and I crave sleep like Tiger Woods craves punjana. I am just not sacrificing any of my precious, precious sleep.

So sometimes I can sneak in a shower during the day and other times it's only at night - before I go to "sleep" (those were sarcastic air quotes). So, here's my question - what if the only shower you can get is the night before - is that an automatic surrender for the next day? Because of the sleep dirt?

Showering the night before -- totally acceptable. AS LONG AS you anticipate and deal with the ONE item that will throw you into IMMEDIATE SURRENDER, no matter if you look like Betty Draper everywhere else. And that is Wet Bedhead. There is Bedhead and then there is slept-on-wet-hair Wet BedHead. And there is nothing that saves this. Your hair - short, long, straight, curly - is all kinds of whack and that situation has to be handled. Now, I know I'm going to get an avalanche of comments from moms -- specifically my sister -- who say "I go to bed with wet hair and it looks ah-may-zing the next day." Really? By doing nothing?? And, sis, don't deny're shoving your head under the sink EVERY MORNING to deal with the cra-zay-ziness that is erupting from your skull. You may be 6-foot 73 and thin and perfect and have legs up to your armpits, but your hair? First thing in the morning? Whack. Shut up. It's whack.

Why is it worth taking a shower if you can't be bothered to dry your hair before you put your wet head on your pillow? Hey, way to grow mold. Absolutely, showering the night before is NOT a surrender, just please, for the sake of science, and the love of God, man, dry your hair.

2. Shaving. Shaving requires that you have more than 3 minutes in which to shower. Shaving requires that every single shower you take is not a contender for the fastest shower in history because you are probably leaving your children unsupervised, having chosen personal hygiene over their personal safety. My question: I now like to wear black opaque tights once or twice a week (your influence). That's OK, right? Even if shaving was a day or two before. Because you can't really tell - right?

Right. It's OK. I can't tell...just don't wanna see it. Don't wanna hear about it. Definitely don't want to know how you haven't shaved since August. But you have, right? Shaved since August? Please??

Or, you're not a hippie or European.

3. Sober/Hung-Over. My general rule is no drinky-drinky until the kids are sleepy-sleepy. Just because mine are still little and potentially dangerous (see Terror Attack) so I need to be on my toes. Unless it's an emergency. Since Snowmaggedon - I have broken the rule twice. I feel quite proud of that - as if it represents enormous restraint on my part. I don't have a question. I think you handled this one really well.

Sippy cups, and, as your kids get older, sports bottles, aren't just for benign beverages. Don't judge. I'm the final word here dammit. Nothing beats a fine wine spritzer sucked through the twirly bends of a crazy straw.

4. Headbands. Why are you such a hater? I don't wear them very often. Except when tidying up the house and I see one of Thumbelina's pink and green ones with a large sequined kitten attached to it, pop it on my head to hold back my wonky bangs while tidying, then forget about it and leave the house with it still on to run errands and don't realize it's still on, til someone points it out like three hours later. But that's not on purpose. Which brings up the concept of the "accidental surrender". Can you get a pass (or two) if your surrender is by accident?

Where are your mirrors? By the front door? No? Then what about your car? Rear view mirrors can also serve as eyebrow/bang mirrors. Hey, if your wonky bangs are missing in that mirror, assume you have on kitty headband. Remove. Promptly.

You saw fit to bring up the fact that I recycle headbands from the sleeves of old t-shirts. Yes. Because unlike you, I love the earth and recycling. Also, because just yesterday I saw stretchy fabric headbands for sale at Target. So they must be OK because some people pay for them and mine were free. I have a couple of pictures below that illustrate the many ways these awesome headbands can be utilized. So... I am clearly awesome. I'm waiting for your apology.

Please note: I am gazing fondly at a greeting card/poster of Edward and Jacob that Kate sent me for Valentine's Day. Is she awesome or what?!

I'm sorry -- that your sweet huge orange dog has run off to live with sane people. Do you notice that Woody seems more pleased to be muzzled by your "headband" rather than when he's wearing it like a headband??? Poor dog. You know I love love love your new hair, and that I'm all about you in this color blue, but fortheloveofPete, you've stretched that thing more than Mrs. Dugger's hoohah. Love the Earth, Lydia. Recycle this band right into the trash...and do it quick before every mom I run into starts wearing a Mommy-Power Wristband. They may as well be 'Suck It, Fancy' Wristbands. Which, actually could be profitable...hmmm.

Maybe we can market them with the words LiveSTRONG and Suck It?

As for the headbands, regulations are required. Nothing with a child's character -- Hello Kitty, Power Rangers -- [Editorial Note: Power Rangers?? On a girl's headband?] Pink Power Rangers. [glares at Kate] When one is in need of root a touch-up, we'd prefer a headband to the lovely bi-color situation you have going on. And, a FOREVER HEADBAND SURRENDER PASS to every mom who shreds, burns and napalms the ashes of any scrunchy. Because, those are just not OK.

5. Sunglasses. Is it a surrender if you always wear your sunglasses on top of your head -- like a headband??

In a word? Yes.

Unless you have a migraine. Like I'm suddenly getting. From the two of you. Then you can do whatever you damn well please with your sunglasses. And blame the two of you.

6. Mascara. I totally agree with everything you wrote. I have no questions.

7. Lipgloss. I think you hit the nail on the head about teeth and breath having to match the non-gloppy lipgloss. It's really about your whole mouth - right? But here's my question: are there some colors that should be avoided? Because every once in a while I see a mommy out somewhere with super-sparkly, purple lips that look like they should be on the 15 yr-old behind the counter at Dairy Queen. And I think to myself - maybe a mommy in a mini-van should pass on the purple-glitter-lipgloss. But I don't want to be judgey. Because I'll probably be unshowered in yoga pants and a sweatshirt.

Purple? Glitter? Lipgloss? Good Lord. You may as well put your makeup on via slingshot.

Makeup purchased at real store. Fine. Purchased at Dollar Store or found in daughter's Libby Lu Goody Bag. [Editorial Note: Goody Bag - gack. - Kate] Do I really need to go further?

8. Top Half. Always wear a bra. Got it. If I plan on working out - sometimes I wear two. Thanks for the coffee-spilling shout-out. You're really nice not to make latte-spillage an auto-surrender. *hug*

The day I outlaw latte-spillage is the day my Starbucks Grande Decaf Cinnamon Dolce de Leche ends up down the front of my shirt on my way to a job interview. There is no coming back from, "yes, it's coffee...on my, about the position..."

Agreed. No one needs to see that. And really, some of you can poke a child's eye out with those things. Safety first, girls. Oh, but what I would give to see Kate all Boobs A-Coffee. Almost worth spilling it on her myself, were it not for the whole third degree burn thing.

9. Bottom Half. No holes. Check. Too small is bad. Check. But a pouch? Hmmm... Here's my question: I have a sweatshirt (technically - it belongs to the Cap'n) that is ginormous and cozy and hoody and has a pocket in the front that is just a wee bit marsupial-like. Is it OK? Please say yes. I love that sweatshirt so much.

A question: Can you fit Mini Mini Me into the pouch? If so, then your beloved sweatshirt becomes utilitarian and gives you free hands. If not -- and let's not kid ourselves, Mini Mini Me would lose. her. mind. in that thing -- then you do with your sweatshirt the same thing you do with everything else that is ginormous and cozy. Like a sofa. Like Woody. You leave it in your house.

[drinking wine and nodding a la Alistair Cooke...]

10. Sneakers. Got it. Sneakers have rules and if you follow the rules, they're fine. My question: WHAT ABOUT CLOGS???

Girl, please.

Do I spy a Tulip Festival? Are you in RiverDance? Then you have your answer. But I also love that this rankles Kate, so, when worn purely to aggravate her, go forth and clog. Just make sure your MommyLand Power Wristband matches.

Didja know if we open more wine, we get even funnier?

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

(Completely Imaginary) Celebrity Advice Column: Please date guys

Dear Kate and Lydia,

I did a bad thing.  I was recently talking to a journalist.  I said some things I really, really shouldn't have.  I said a bad word.  I talked about a couple of girls I used to go out with.  I feel terrible.  Because now everyone thinks I'm an assh*le.

In sadness,
Johnny Boy


Dear John Mayer,

It's OK.  Because, you are an assh*le.  But for guys like you, we will use the preferred MommyLand term: d-bag.  You are a big, nasty, manwhore d-bag.  All of your sniveling "I'm so sorry, I don't want to be part of the media anymore, I feel terrible" is crap.  You feel bad because your conversation got PUBLISHED and now everyone knows you're a d-bag.  I doubt there's one second of remorse for what you said but rather lots and lots of public self-recrimination because you can't stand that you look bad

Two more things about your recent Playboy interview:
1) It is unwise to disrespect women, no matter their race. But to go off on the sisters, boy, you are stupid. To start with, you had better PRAY you never run into me and Kate, because we will be forced to educate you on the politics of race in MommyLand.  It breaks down to this:
Mommies = awesome. 
Mysognist, (questionably) racist, woefully arrogant guitar players = target practice.
Seriously, Kate's Choos are really pointy and when she aims them at a douche-bag's onions:  She. Does. Not. Miss.

2) Jessica Simpson is from Texas.  Therefore, her daddy has a gun.  And even more worrisome for you - HER MOM PROBABLY HAS ONE, TOO.  Be careful, Johnny Boy, you're overdue for a whuppin'.

Let's move on.  We're not even going into the whole Jennifer Anniston thing.  Jenn is a grown-ass woman and she can take care of herself.  But seriously, be glad she's not from Texas.

We want to discuss YOU.  You are a great musician.  We're not even going to pretend otherwise.  But...You're like that guy girls meet their freshman year of college.  You're all boyish and sort of cute but ugly at the same time.  And really deep.  And so different.  And you just get it. Sigh...  And then oops, that freshman learns the hard way that you're actually THE DEVIL.  Oh, right.  You're so into women.  You venerate the female.  Your Body Is a Wonderland.  I don't frigging think so.

You have left a wasteland of women in your wake - women who were hoping it would be a wonderland.   Instead, we're pretty sure that it consisted of 5-8 minutes of barely adequate, followed by you not calling, tweeting about it to your 7 gajillion followers, and a week later the poor freshman having to make a hasty trip to the GYN. 

In conclusion, you're a douche.  Focus on music and start dating guys.  Because hopefully, every woman, foreign and domestic, is now over you.

XO Flipping you off,
Kate and Lydia

P.S.  We would've given you the Maude face, but let's face it.  She probably couldn't stand to look at you.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Mini-Surrender

Daisy B. -- before she introduced us all to the world of the MOS and became MommyLand famous -- said that there should be mitigating factors to The Surrender. For example, you couldn't "officially" surrender if you:

1) were France [haha...OK, that was funny only to me...that doesn't count]
1) had on lipstick or,
2) had your hair in a headband

OK, with that in mind, Kate -- being the Kate that she is -- has determined what does, and more importantly, what does NOT, save you from The Surrender.

From the top:

  1. Shower -- Unless you're headed to work immediately after doing the morning drop-off, I am all about waiting for the blissful silence of no (or fewer) children at home to take a shower. But when you're still an un-showered, now Stinky Hot Mess when you return hours later for pick-up, well, that's just sad. Think of this rule as sort of the Maximum Security Prison Mandate: If you're not showered by noon, you're in Solitary. And if it's the same situation the next day, we get to turn the hoses on you.
  2. Shave -- Totally dependent on the season. I'm all in favor of shaving year-round, but I'll make accommodations to weather, time restrictions and spousal joie de vivre. Here's the crux, girls. We don't want to see it. Not on your legs, definitely not under your arms, and, as Samantha would say, when it comes to bikinis, "I could be on death row and have that situation under control." When it comes to beach attire, we'd prefer your children, and not your bikini line, be the thing left unattended. There are life guards for the kids.
  3. Sober/Hungover -- It's one thing to wistfully mention to friends that it's 8AM and you could already use a drink. We all went through the 2 hour Fraternity Hazing Ritual called Get The Kids Ready For School. But pouring a scotch? Feel free, but we will be worse than Judge Judy, because we'll be all pointy-fingery behind your back. Which may make us bitches, but still makes you drinking at 8AM. As for hungover, we've all done it. Begged our kids to "pleasepleasebequietforMommyjustthisonetime." And all the other moms will enjoy a hearty, though quiet, laugh in your face and at your expense. And offer you disgusting things like scrambled eggs and leftover Bloody Mary mix from the fridge. Do it for the third or seventh or 26th time, and you're facing a pack of Perfect Mommys suggesting your nourish your inner aspect. And by that we mean stop breathing on us.
  4. Headband -- No and no and no. Mostly because she wears them to keep her wonky bangs out of her eyes when she's at the gym. And even if not, are you eight? Headbands? Is it 1986 preppy St. Louis? Is the collar of your IZOD flipped up? Stop. STOP. Headbands are not OK. And for Lydia, who re-fashions the sleeves of OLD t-shirts into headbands, and wears them after she puts them on her dog's snout, it's so not OK that I'm amazed I have to type it. They almost augment the surrender, not mitigate it. Here's a quick check list: if your style AT ALL resembles any flashback scene from a modern movie, it is not something you want to be wearing outside of the range of October 26th to November 2. [Editor's Note: I just re-read this and was confused...I'm referring to Halloween. Halloween Parties. Or Halloween Themed Events. Basically, a headband is part of a costume. Sadly, it took me like five minutes to remember this...stupid empty glass of wine. -Kate]
  5. Sunglasses -- A great pair and you're channeling Jackie O. A bad pair and you're a hungover Paris Hilton. After that, it's all about the attitude, girls. You wanna hide your face? Be classy about it. Have some mystique, some complementary accessories, some clean clothes. Otherwise, you look like you're heading home all walk-of-shame-y, wondering where your panties are and unable to face the sun, much less your kid's teacher.
  6. Mascara -- A possibility. However, the pivotal question? Is your face clean, moisturized and with a fresh coat of Loreal? Or are you glopping it on what you had on yesterday, with yesterday's remnants hastily dug out of the ever-deepening wrinkles under your eyes?? Be honest, Moms. Did that Two Buck Chuck take you to bed before you washed your face last night? Because a two-day pile-on is like channelling Tammy Faye can rake leaves with those things. Is that what you want? You start off taking your kids to school and wind up farmed out to de-foilage up the neighborhood Country Club? Do you really want to be mistaken for a common shed tool? Point is, wash your face last night and we're good. Mascara away...with my blessings.
  7. Lip Gloss -- Has serious potential to take a surrender and make it a strategic offensive maneuver. Think fresh, light, shiny but not gloppy. One caveat: make sure breath and teeth match fresh light shiny lip gloss. Otherwise, you're the human equivalent of a Halls' Watermelon Eucalyptus Throat Lozenge. Pretty little packaging, eyebrow-melting odor.
  8. Top Half -- You may have spilled coffee on your way to school. You may have a kid with a runny nose and a proclivity for burying said nose in your shoulder. You may have even worn the same shirt for the past three days. We have ALL been there. The rule for Top Half is simple and Unbending. Three words: Wear. A. Bra.
  9. Bottom Half -- If they have a hole that wasn't intended to be there as part of the design by Calvin Klein or Michael Kors or any other famous gay man, it's a No. If it has a button or a snap on one side, and a corresponding buttonhole or other snap on the other end, and those ends aren't meeting, it's a No. If there's a pouch in the front, and you are neither pregnant nor recently postpartum -- or a marsupial -- it's a No.
  10. Sneakers -- We've hit the place Kate now refers to as the grey area...she's become kinda partial to her most hideous bum-tightening ugly-as-f*ck sneakers. Here's the fine line: if you look like Surrender Kate AND you're in those Godforsaken shoes, just go back to bed, you pathetic girl. If, however, you're showered, shaved, headband-free, hungover-free and sunglasses-free, freshly mascara-ed, lipglossed, AND wearing a cute shirt (like an Anthropoligie tunic) cute jeans, and still sporting said funky shoes, repeat after me. "Suck it. Suck it. Suck it." When someone looks at you wonky, say "Suck it." When your McLovin says, "Nice, ummm, shoes?" say "Suck it." When Lydia laughs, yell, "SUUUUUUCK IT!!!"
They're just jealous.

You win.

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