Things I Learned From Forensic Files

Growing up, Unsolved Mysteries was a must-watch for a good night in front of the television. Who’s with me? And who still gets creeped out when they hear the theme song?

I credit those formative years with Robert Stack in making me a lifetime crime and ghost show devotee. I’ve probably watched all of them out there at least once and keep any series I like as good a go-to option for a restful evening.

Forensic Files has been one of those go-to shows for years. Even though we don’t have cable/satellite anymore, I still manage to catch the occasional episode while traveling – usually around 10pm weeknights. Does it reveal something telling about me that I can easily fall asleep with it playing in the background?

Then I realized it is available on Netflix.

Turns out, Forensic Files is also a spectacular show to binge-watch. I’ve helped myself to over 40 episodes* recently and think I’ve learned a thing or two about orchestrating the perfect murder.

DON’T take the victim’s name off of the mailbox the week they are killed.

DON’T get two teardrop tattoos on your face while in jail awaiting trial for two murders.

DON’T fall asleep at the victim’s memorial service.

DON’T make a list comparing the victim’s life insurance totals to your current debts.

DON’T toss out the victim’s belongings the night before they disappear.

DON’T spread the victim’s ashes by slowing down and throwing them out the window of your car.

DON’T mention facts about antifreeze poisoning randomly during casual conversation with friends and family.

DON’T put the victim’s dog to sleep immediately after their death.

DON’T claim suicide when the victim has been shot more than once. Same goes for a hunting accident.

DON’T grab a snack out of the victim’s kitchen.

DON’T make a to-do or shopping list for the crime.

And a couple of serious things that could have prevented at least 50% of the murders featured on the show: 1) Just be gay if you want to be gay. 2) Just get a divorce if you want one. Seriously guys, these are much better options than murder.

*Stop judging me. You know you love to binge-watch.

Happy Friday!

Time to jump on the meme bandwagon!
Here is me, as illustrated by three fictional characters. I think I nailed it!

Just a Little Note

Dear Ants,

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you leave my kitchen now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you; I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.*

As you callously walk over the bodies of your dead companions remember – I did that. I did that without giving it a second thought and now I’m waiting for you.

With Love,
Your Friendly Homeowner


Dear Leela,**

What in the world?! Why are you suddenly trying to leave the house? I know you’ve always been a bit of an explorer, but you know that you are way too anxious to wander around on your own. Why are you suddenly trying to dig out of the backyard anytime we turn our back? I’d just like to take this opportunity to remind you that our local shelter isn’t a no-kill. They are good people and try hard, but do you really want to push your luck? You’ve been there before – that’s where we found you, remember? – do you really want to go back? All you have really done is forced us to put your collar back on your 100% of the time. Stay home, weirdo. You can’t handle it out there; you’ve gotten soft and squishy since your past life on the street.

Your Loving Host


Dear Allergies,

How can I fight something I can’t see? You aren’t playing fair. I hate this time of year. I hate nature. And, most of all, I hate you.

Sneezy McSneezerton


Dear Mumford and Sons,

Hey, that concert was really good. I’ll admit that I was nervous – I’m not a fan of anything on your third album. It isn’t bad, but it just isn’t why I love you. I certainly wouldn’t pay to see the third album’s band in concert. So. . . yay! I had a really great time. I forgive you for not playing Sigh No More or Hopeless Wanderer, because you played Broken Crown. And because you came running up into the stands dancing next to my section. That was neat. I laughed walking out in the parking lot when a group behind me said, “They played a few songs I didn’t even know. They played a lot of old stuff.” Um. . . you only have three albums. There really isn’t any “old stuff.” They must have been third-albumers.

A Big Fan

P.S. I still don’t like anything about the third album.

*Do I need to tell you that is Liam Neeson?
**The dog.

Five Things I Can’t Live Without

Now, I’m not talking about the obvious things – air, water, toothbrush – but the fun things. The little “luxuries” that make the monotony of every day just a little bit more fun. I’m not even going to choose books or coffee as those are both obvious. I’m also not going to say gif. You should know by now that I love those little moving images.

As usual, these are in no particular order.

1) Melted Cheese
Yuuuuuuuummmmmm. You guys, melted cheese is a gift and we should honor it. The ability to melt cheese is the ability to improve on perfection.
Cloudy Cheese Bath
2) Stripes
Not necessarily my favorite pattern in the world, but definitely the one I can’t live without. I’ve got stripes everywhere – I’m wearing some right now, if you must know. A good stripe is classic and striking. Vertical is okay. Horizontal is where it is as. And don’t even try to tell me that fat ladies shouldn’t wear them. Boo, I say. Boo. I need good patterns in my life.

3) Straws
All cold drinks are better through a straw. Except maybe wine. My household starts to feel really deprived if we run out of straws and – even though it is wasteful – I try to keep an extra package on hand at all times. Hard plastic straws are fine, but I prefer disposable so I can bite the end closed and make it square. It is sad to say, but these little tubes are significant in my daily life.

Water? Better through a straw.
Iced tea? Better through a straw.
Soda? Better through a straw.
Chocolate milk? Better though a straw.
Ann Perkins
4) Skip Button
I physically cannot listen to the end of a song or watch the credits of a television show. Just can’t do it (although interestingly, I enjoy watching movie credits). Without a skip button to make my way through a shuffled playlist or to bypass episodes of a television show I just don’t want to watch . . . well, I can’t even imagine how cranky I would be. Somehow I am both picky and undecided; a skip button is imperative to my media consumption.

I’d also like one for real life. Okay? Thanks.

5) Olde Brooklyn Lantern

Scoff all you want, but I’ve gotten more humor mileage out of this as-seen-on-tv gag gift than almost anything. I love this weird, cheap thing. Anytime the lights blink you can hear someone in the family call out, “Better grab the Old Brooklyn Lantern.” Life would be a little worse without it.

The ABCs of Stephanie

Just a bit of fun today. Raise your hand if you are struggling with the time change. Okay, now keep your hand up if you are already tired of spring weather. Now wave it around if you are sitting on the couch catching up on Drag Race in your underwear. What? Just me? Seriously? You are missing out. . .

A – Absolutely
B – Burrito eater
C – Classy
My Big Fat Greek WeddingD – Dresses, preferably patterned
E – Estimated, under
F – Fat
G – Grumble
H – History
I – I’m free!
Mr HumphriesJ – Jingle
K – Knuter valve
L – Lists
M – Mosquito food
N – Nerd
Parks and RecO – Only
P – PlayfullyTacky
Q – Quiet
R – Resting face, bitchy
S – Scars
T – Tripped again
AliceU – Utilize
V – Volunteer
W – Write
Y – Yawn
Z – Z? . . . zzzzoh no she better don’t

Turn Around, Bright Eyes

Last week, the family spent an evening together enjoying some nourishment in the great outdoors. Or, at least, we ordered dinner from a selection of food trucks parked behind the husband’s office. Best yum of the night was some mint chocolate chip ice cream that tasted like I was being enveloped in a fluffy spearmint cloud.

It was fun, but the real event happened on the way home. Nothing elevates a ride home in the mini van like being treated to Total Eclipse of the Heart on the radio. Being proper parents of a modern teenager, we took this opportunity to educate our lovely daughter on some classic ‘80s realness by singing at the top of our lungs. Mix in some fascinating interpretative dance and quick-thinking fill-ins when we didn’t know the words, and it was a performance to be remembered.

Well, being a typical modern teenager that she is. . . *Ding recorded the whole thing. We let our guard down. ::sigh:: Parenting fail.

I’ll let it slide though. For starters, she’ll never share it outside of a few friends as it would be too embarrassing. Really, really embarrassing. Secondly, those little moments are what makes a family. We will never think about that food truck event again, but we might look back on that rocking night in the mini van and smile.

Or we might remember coming home and sitting down to watch Total Eclipse of the Heart – Literal Video Version on YouTube. Now that was some ‘80s education for the kid.

Sadly, it looks like most of the literal videos have been taken down for copyright reasons. They are clearly parodies, but I can understand that ending up in court over a humorous YouTube video isn’t very appealing.

That Time I Bought Some Bracelets That Turned Out to be a Napkin Ring

The title of this post kinds of gives the whole thing away, but it is funny and makes me feel like an idiot. .. so I’ll share.

Black Friday weekend I hit up Kohls.com to buy a few of their super-soft throws that were on sale for $8.99. Retail price on these is $39.99 and you usually don’t see them in the store under $25 or so. I’m cheap and jumped at the chance to replace some of our couch blankets. Do you have couch blankets? You should get some. By the way, this isn’t a sponsored Kohls post, I just feel like a cuddly marshmallow when I wrap myself up in one of these blankets. It makes me sound a little bit like a commercial.

Anywho, after filling my cart with four blankets and a couple of other things I had my eye on, I reached that magical price point where you can either pay shipping or add about the same amount of merchandise to get free shipping. They were also doing Kohl’s Cash, so I was really motivated to add something else to my cart.

Not needing anything else in particular, I haphazardly grabbed holiday socks for our stockings. Great! Still needed one more thing though. And then I saw it . . . a little set of silver bangles for $2. It was stuck down in the “other things you might like” section just calling to me. Perfect! This will put me at my price point and be a nice addition to my daughter’s stocking. For reference, here is the photo from Kohls.com:
Napkin Bangles
A few days later when I received my shipping email, I noticed a couple of extra words in the product description that hadn’t stood out to me during my shopping trip. I blame it on the leftover turkey.

SONOMA life + style® Bangles Napkin Ring

::sigh:: Yep, I bought a napkin ring. One lonely little napkin ring. I don’t even own cloth napkins. Not quite sure what to do with just one napkin ring, I hung it on the Christmas tree. It works.
Napkin Ring

The Elf on a Shelf Can Kiss My ***

Elf on the Shelf. It’s just not my thing.

Not that I won’t go above and beyond for some holiday magic. Oh no, you are talking about a lady who once put her Christmas tree up on a random summer night so her kid could experience Christmas in July. Really. But Elf on the Shelf is just too far. There is no place for that creepy guy in my household.
elf on the shelf
1) This Elf on the Shelf nonsense almost always includes making a mess for mom to clean up in the morning (I’m just saying mom here b/c it only tends to be moms who really get into this newfangled tradition). I have no desire to make some sort of cute mess to make my kids laugh before sending them off to school and cleaning it up when they aren’t looking. I have enough to clean up before I leave for work, thanks. I also have enough kids already; I don’t need to make up a fake one.

2) Your kid doesn’t care. No, really. He might enjoy it this holiday season, but when he grows up he is going to think back fondly on those mornings waking up to see what that silly elf messed up. Nope. Not going to happen. Sure, he might think back fondly on your commitment to a family tradition, but in reality you can’t expect anymore more than a “That was fun, but I can’t image having to do that every night. My mom must have really liked that elf.” Yep, he’ll be happy that it made you so happy. And then he won’t do it for his kids.

3) We already have Santa. Is Santa not enough? Are you not entertained? How many magical traditions do me need? At least Santa has a little history behind him and isn’t just a merchandise scheme that has spawned even more merchandise. The little guy has a dvd, dapper little clothes, ornaments, a reindeer friend, and a board game. I could name more, but I’m not Amazon. You can even buy a football jersey for your $30 elf toy.

4) This isn’t a tradition. The stupid little elf has only been around for ten years. Maybe if he is still around in another thirty I’ll have to rethink my position and buy one of those damn things for my grandkids, but I will deal with that then. And I won’t be happy about it. We will listen to our classic Justin Bieber holiday songs and put our elf in weird positions while grandma scoffs.

Did you know there is a Jewish version called Mensch on a Bench? Yeah, I hate him too.

Just say no. Bah humbug.

Am I going to get a lot of hate for my elf on a shelf hate? That is probably fair.

Sometimes . . .

Sometimes when you walk to work in the morning, you realize people can see straight through your dress when the sun hits it. Then you thank you lucky stars that you decided to wear underwear.

Sometimes you realize your dress is tucked in to the back of your underwear just before you walk out to the school bus. Then you say a little silent prayer of thanks.
Sometimes you need to treat a Monday night like a Friday night.

Sometimes you regret that decision when the alarm goes off Tuesday morning.
Sometimes you want to sleep on the couch just to get some alone time without having to stick your spouse with all of the work.

Sometimes when driving through the parking deck singing RuPaul’s Click Clack very loudly, you realize your window is still partly open. Hope everyone enjoyed being serenaded . . . poorly.
Click Clackdaddyjail

Sometimes you get so tired of changing diapers you want to set them ablaze in a giant backyard bonfire. Burn them all!

Sometimes looking at your calendar for October makes you want to crawl in bed and cry, but that’s cool. Just keep swimming.
Sometimes the only acceptable lunch is nachos.

Sometimes you don’t have time to blog so you throw some random sentences and fun gifs together and hope it counts.anigif_enhanced-13912-1443459222-2

A Glimpse of Laundry Day

Me: [holding up a random, unknown t-shirt from the laundry] Who does this belong to?
Husband: The Red Hot Chili Peppers? Well, it didn’t come home with [the little man].
Me: [calls daughter to come identify shirt] Is this one of your friend’s?
Daughter: I don’t know.
Me: . . .
Daughter: What? [tries to reason how shirt might have come into her possession in lengthy explanation that basically = “gym clothes get mixed up, yo”]
Me: [cuts her off] Yeah, I get it. I just want to to put it in your backpack and find its owner.
Daughter: [exits]
Husband: You know what she can do with it?
Me: . . .
Husband: Give it away, Give it away, Give it away now.
Me: [raucous laughter]