Monthly Archives: July 2009

Guest Blog: Shimajiro, My Leetle Quirky Friend

While I’m whooping it up at Blogher, I wanted to make sure you had lots to keep you entertained. So we kick off this series of guest blogs with a post on “progress” from Mamatouille. 

She sent this post all the way over from Japan, so enjoy!

Nobody over here in Japan would ever consider potty-training their kiddiewinks without the help of Shimajiro, a cartoon toddler-tiger with toilet-side cheering Mama and Papa tigers. 

Since we’ve got two little boy beans ages three and one, Shimajiro is our hero (we’ve watched this a bazillion and a half times). There’s no need to be squeamish, folks: Smiling cartoon pee droplets and dancing poo can wiggle their way into your heart in no time. 

His sidekick, Pants Man (complete with star-studded briefs and a cape), also has a place in our home. We’ve got a “Pants Man Progress Chart” (covered in stickers) on the wall next to our own special Japanese (heated-seat) toilet. 

Progress, when your home is full of runner beans named Maffa and Jellybean, is defined by where pee and poo end up – and a wee bit of chocolate-incentive doesn’t hurt either. 

As long as it doesn’t get confused for anything else.


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Seeing the world through pink colored glasses

Just because I’m going to Blogher this week doesn’t mean Queen of Quirky will be a ghost town. Oh no. It’s going to be rocking. In fact, it might even be better this week than ever. So stay tuned because there is a lot going on this week. 

To kick things off,  since I will be rubbing shoulders (and taking shots) with a ton of mommy bloggers this week, I thought I thought it would be appropriate to feature one of my favorite single gal mommies.2796_1154155891164_1145694898_434410_8319070_n

Meet Nicole. We met on a business trip. I’m not gonna say any more than that because I keep some separation of church and state on this here blog, yo. 🙂 But she’s totally awesome and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her.

Guys, this girl is smoking hot, and gives single moms everywhere a great name. Oh, and she recently met and started dating someone, so she’s off the market, but you can still drool over her. I would if I were you.

We totally bonded over our divorce stories. (Ex-husband jerks!) Even though (thank GOD!) I don’t have children, we could relate to one another’s sordid tales. 

Wanna get to know her better? Good because you are about to. She took some time to participate in a Facebook message interview for her new friends here in Quirkyville….

Q. You have two daughters and you work a full time job. What keeps you sane?

What keeps me sane….
I run. Running is a great stress reliever. I used to feel guilty about taking time to run but I have come to learn that I am a better mother when I take 45 minutes to myself to run.

Q. I know you love wine. So what’s your current fave?

There is a local winery called Adams County that has a great red. It’s called Three Ships. It’s perfect for summer time, not to dry and not to sweet. I also enjoy Hauser Estate’s (another local winery) Jenmy Wade White, but it is a little more on the sweet side.

Q. What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?

Several years ago I was asked to go to Annapolis, MD to ride jet skis. This was not a first date, had seen the guy several times. He was a perfect gentleman every time we had gone out previously. This time was NOT the same. First he couldn’t get the jet skis started so he decided we would take the boat in to town. When I was climbing in I handed him my clothes as I was wearing my bikini and sarong to take advantage of the sun. He dropped them into the water. So now they were soaked. Layed them on the seat to dry in the sun on the way across the river. Got half way to town and it started to storm! Needlesstosay, they never dried. He docked at a bar and climbed out. Again, I’m in a bikini and sarong. They wouldn’t allow me to sit at the bar w/o a shirt. So we took our drinks to go. He bought be a shirt so I could sit at the bar with him at the next place. At this place he proceeded to have several oyster shooters and several more beers. We then headed back to the house. At the house while I got ready to go out on the town, he drank an entire 6 pack of beer by himself. We drove into town and he chose sushi for dinner. I DON”T eat sushi. He also had several more beers. Then onto the next bar… this continued for a few hours! When it was time to leave he tried to jam his tongue down my throat in the middle of the street and I nearly had to slap him to get him to stop. Then I had to force him to give me the keys b/c there was no way I would ride home w/ him. Once in the car he tried to climb on top of me! At this point I did slap him. He finally passed out in the passenger seat. And here I was in a city where I had NO clue how to get out. I just started driving and praying I would make it home. I never saw him again although he did call and ask me to go away with him the following weekend! 

Q.  When we met, we bonded over our divorce stories, commiserating over failed marriages in our early 20’s/30’s. Do you think it’s made you a stronger person?

YES! I truly feel like what I went through at the age I went through it made me not only a stronger person but a better one. Better b/c I found myself I mean truly found myself, who I was and what I wanted. But I don’t see it as a failed marriage as much as two people who grew apart.

Q. Do you have strong opinions on Internet dating?

I don’t necessarily have strong opinions on it one way or another. I personally would not do it for myself but I know several people who have found their perfect match that way.

Q.What are some of the unqique challenges single parents with kids face when dating? How do you deal?

I think the biggest challenge single parents have when it comes to dating is time. Finding the time to get together with someone. Especially if both people have children. Most custody agreements allow one parent the visitation on the weekend and the other parent through the week. If schedules are opposite it is hard for people to make time. And then there is the problem of when things are going well and you decide to allow the children to meet the date. That has been a stressful sitation for me. One way I have dealt with these issues is to either A. only date people without children (that is getting harder and harder the older I get) or B. don’t date!

Q. What’s your favorite weeknight meal to cook your girls?

Well we are a very busy single parent family b/c both children play sports so we are not home a lot through the week. But when we are, my fav meal to make is either spaghetti or honey mustard chicken. I have been blessed with children that are very good eaters.

Q. You sure do like pink. What’s the dealio?

My favorite color is PINK. But I have also been called princess for a long time by co-workers and family. So pink is just natural for a princess! I am quite the girly girl so pink is just a given.

Q.One of my favorite things about you is the shock factor when you tell people you are a mother of two school-age girls (because let’s face it –you look 21.) Do you have a favorite story about that shock factor?

Well first let me start by saying THANK YOU! I don’t have a favorite story about that but not many people believe me when I tell them that. I often get the response “Did you start having children when you were 12” And I have also heard the infamous ‘you must be the older sister line’. The funny thing is my oldest daughter thinks that I am soooo old. I always tell her to ask all of her friends how old their mom’s are b/c I am certain I am probably the youngest and if not the youngest i’m def one of the youngest. I wouldn’t change it though. I enjoy the fact that I am young with my children. It makes for an interesting time. And my girls like sharing my clothes!

Q. What’s the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

I’m not sure what the quirkiest thing I have ever done is. Is that sad? Maybe that means I lead an uneventful life… who knows? I belong to the Hanover Area Parrothead Society and we do a lot of fundraisers. Over Memorial Day weekend we were having a chicken bar-b-que to raise money for a lady that needs a heart transplant and I dressed up in a blow up shark costume and stood along the main highway in our town and flagged people down to buy some chicken. Does that count as quirky?

Yes, yes it does. And thank you, Nicole. Have a question for Nicole or a comment about the awesomeness of single motherhood? Comment. 



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Wherein I dispense advice?

I know. Terrifying, right?

But my friend Jenny is under the impression that I’m a super blogger. I’m totally flattered. So I  faked like I knew what I was saying when I answered her questions. Just pretend along with me…

Oh, and please go leave her a comment with your own blogging advice or what you like to read as a blog reader.

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How do you know?

A great post by Mike’s sister poses the question, “how do you know?” I love the reference to MASH. It kinda makes me want to have a slumber party, eat too many M&M’s and watch Sixteen Candles…


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No Dice

Last week I got a speeding ticket. It was totally my fault. I was speeding. I had no idea I was speeding, but I was. So the girl who drives like a granny was issued a ticket for going 42 in a 35. Boo.

That story is pretty much uneventful. In fact, I’m done talking about  it. (Until I have to fork up the $90 next month.) But it sparked a nice conversation between the fiance, DD Girl and myself about more memorable encounters with the law.

Since the fiance and I are uber competitive we think you should vote on whose story is better. (Obviously, I have the upper hand as the writer, but I will try to be fair here.) Then, you should share your own story in the comments. Ready? Go!

My Story:

In college I worked at Old Navy and I drove the same car I currently drive. However, since my dad still owned the car and paid taxes for it in Johnson County, KS, it had Kansas tags. (My parents lived in Germany at the time.) I attended school and lived in Johnson City, TN. When I turned 21, I needed a new driver’s license, but apparently the nice people in the Volunteer State don’t find a dorm room is an acceptable address.  Luckily, Aunt Nancy lived a hop, skip and a six-hour jump away in Kentucky. So, using her address as my residence, I had a Kentucky driver’s license.

Got all that? Kansas tags, a Kentucky driver’s license and living in Tennessee.

On my way home from an evening of folding denim, I was pulled over. I was probably speeding because I more than likely needed to get back to study for something I had put off. Mr. Police officer took my license, walked around behind my car and immediately returned to my window.

[Editor’s Note: The following scene has been recreated from my memory and is not intended to be an actual quotation of the conversation between Mr. Police officer and myself.]

“Maam, you have Kansas plates, a Kentucky driver’s license and as far as I can tell, we’re still in Tennesee. Where do you live?”

“Milligan College?” I answered/asked.

“Can you please explain to me why you have multiple states represented here?”

“Well, my parents live in Germany, but my dad owns this car in Kansas. He pays taxes, so don’t worry about that. I live in Williams dorm at Milligan, but I can’t use that as my address, so my Aunt Nancy in Kentucky lets me use her address for my license.”

Mr. Police officer returned to his squad car and returned shortly with a warning ticket.

“I’m giving you a warning because quite frankly, you are too much paper work. But please don’t speed again.”

Pretty good story, huh? You liked it? Ok, I’m now going to share this kind of good story from the fiance.

His story:

On his way to somewhere (not important, but it’s probably a very nerdy destination.) the fiance (aka lead foot) was pulled over.  He followed the necessary steps of opening his glove box and handing the officer his license, registration and proof of insuranace.

The officer then asked him to go with him to his squad car. So the fiance turned to his buddies, shrugged his shoulders and said he’d be back.

In the car, the officer asked him point blank was was in the blue baggie in his glove box. Immediately understanding that the blue baggie was under suspicion for illegal substances, the fiance breathed a silent sigh of relief.

He explained to the officer that it was his bag of dice, used for D&D and a variety of other nerdy games.

Needing more proof, the officer asked him to show him the bag. Happy to oblige, the fiance took him back to his car, opened up his glove compartment and removed the suspicious bag. He reached inside and pulled out a variety of die, explaining how a 20-sided die would be used, a 10-sided etc…

Completely baffled, the officer left, shaking his head over the fact that he had pulled over a car full of nerds, and not a car full of criminals. (Technically speaking, of course.)

So now you vote and then you share your story.

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Looking for someone?

I’m over here today.

You’ll want to head over there to see how I made this:









And what these ingredients created:


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An Asian themed party in which the guest of honor indicated we should have been throwing a lobster party instead

Lunch bunch Kevin, who wants you to know he is the #1 fan of this blog (and don’t you forget it) e-mailed me last week about the dumplings. His e-mail was something along the lines of “how do you make those dumplings again?” (Even though as my #1 fan, he probably should have been able to extract the recipe from my blog, but I know, I know, that search box disappeared a long time ago and even I can’t figure out how to get it back up there.)

So about 5 e-mails later, I think he had the gist of how to make the dumplings, or at least how to get me to come over and make them for him.  The trick was to throw a party for his roommate, Shane, who had recently returned from a month in Italy. He thought Shane might enjoy the dumplings, some egg rolls, Asian slaw, ribs and the brookies (thank you Kevin for the awesome name for these. And yes, I know they don’t fit the Asian food theme, but I guess that theme stopped at dessert.) The party was for Shane, but perhaps really it was for Kevin and his partner Jim who are moving to Cleveland in a few weeks. But regardless, it was a party and all were in attendance. (Including Gertie who instantly ran upstairs to take a nap with Jim, because that’s the socially acceptable way to be a guest in someone’s house.)

Only Shane had spent the morning at the lake and showed up looking a bit like a lobster. Shane, did you use sunscreen? I asked.

No, I was only out there for three hours.

I responded, That’s 2.75 hours too long to not wear sunscreen.

Anyhow, apparently the dumplings taste good whether or not you have a sunburn.

So speaking of dumplings, I am super hungry and the fiance finally got his butt out of bed so I’m going to take advantage of this fine opportunity to go chow down with my favorite man.  (Don’t worry, Kev. You’re still my #1 fan. You can fight him for that role.)

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