Thursday, March 31, 2011

A rose by any other name would probably still sound like a stripper.

If you name your daughter anything that
ends with "i," this is what you can expect.

This is an actual conversation between myself and the reservation agent I booked our Stripper 101 class with in Las Vegas:

(Blah blah blah...details about what time and how many and listing off nine Groupon confirmation codes...)

Agent: O.K., so I'm going to just make the reservations all in your name for simplicity. Can I get your name?

Me: Brandi, B-R-A-N-D-I, Douglass, D-O-U-G-L-A-S-S. [I always spell it out for people, otherwise it ends up being Brandy Douglas every single time.]

Agent: (Giggling) No, I need your real name for the reservation. You can tell her a stripper name for the license at the class.

Me: No, that is my real name.

Agent: Really? Brandi with an i and Douglass with ass?

Me: Yep. That's me.


Fast forward to the next evening at the end of the Stripper class. The teacher told us all to think of a stripper name for our licenses.

Among us we had a Sexy TeXXXy and a Stilett-Ho (which, by the way, the teacher spelled Stitle-Ho, which kind of detracts from the sexy factor), and someone even used Brandi as her stripper name.


So, I make my way up to get mine and she asks me what name I want and I say Brandi. She says, "Brandi is always a good stripper name." I tell her that it's actually my real name, it's even on my shoes. So she says, "Well, I'll sexy-spell it for you."

Guess how you sexy spell Brandi? C'mon, guess.



And this has been going on my whole adult life. Whenever I meet someone in person for the first time who knew my name in advance, I always want to apologize for not being a large breasted sex kitten, because I know that's what they've imagined.

Do a Google image search for Brandi. (Make sure you spell it with an i.) The first four pages of results are mostly images of large breasted sex kittens that I can't even post here.

I suppose it could be worse. I could have been Bambi.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Lonelies

I enjoy being alone.

I like quiet. I can retreat into my own head for hours. I'm excellent company for myself--I always agree with what I have to say, and when talking to myself, I'm a brilliant conversationalist.

This week, though, I have a case of the lonelies.

Last week I was surrounded by people 24/7. There was always someone to talk to. And not just anyone--I was surrounded by people I genuinely like and find endlessly interesting to talk to.

And now I'm alone again*, and finding that the company of myself just doesn't measure up to the company of others like it had before. I'm not sure what to do with this--this wanting people around. It's new to me.

I'm not sure that I like it.

Anyone want to come visit?

*If anyone says, "But you're not alone! You have the kids!" I'll hunt you down and punch you in the throat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

About that new header...

So, with all the flurry about Las Vegas, I completely forgot to mention the new header. A couple of Saturdays ago I got a text from my number one minion*, Bennet. It said, "There is a 93 percent chance you will get something in the mail from me today. Don't pass out from excitement."

And so I ran out to the mail box, and there it was. A hand painted picture of me (looking far skinnier than I really am, which is why she's my number one minion) wearing the red bathing suit I wanted to be buried in if I'd died during the tummy tuck and holding the best food ever invented.

And I passed out from excitement.

O.K., not really, but I did squeal and jump up and down.

And then I immediately e-mailed her (you know, the whole phone phobia thing) and asked if it could be my new header.

I had just made that other new header, but people kept e-mailing me about it because they weren't aware that the giant building was the tower of Babel, you know, in Babylon, and it was getting old explaining it.

So, perfect timing on her part.

And then I started getting e-mails about the new header. Because it was missing my MOLE. Bennet is a kind and generous soul. She didn't feel the need to immortalize my giant facial tumor in a painting. But apparently the rest of you do.

So, with her blessing, I broke out my outdated and bootleg version of Paintshop Pro and added a mole. And since Bennet hadn't actually seen me in person in 14 months, she didn't know my hair was a lot longer, so I went ahead and changed that too. So what you see up there now is a slightly bastardized version of her masterpiece.

My husband said it was "interesting," which is his code word for "Please don't get us excommunicated this week. Please?" Whenever he breaks out "interesting" I know I've achieved my goal.

Oh, and the best part? As a bonus, Bennet's daughter, Tenacious G, sent me her own version.

I really had a hard time deciding which one to use.

*Pretty much anyone who sends me stuff can be my number one minion.

**Like the header? Want something similar for yourself? Contact Bennet at I don't even know if she's taking commissions, but it wouldn't hurt to ask her.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What happens in Vegas really does stay in Vegas.

This one's for you, Harmony.

So, I keep trying to write a recap of my week in Las Vegas, but there's not much to recap.

We may call it "Bad Girls' Week(end)," but let's face it--we're all nearly-middle aged moms. We're too tired to be bad.

I already covered pole dancing and drag queen bingo. Those were the major activities for the week. Other highlights included:

  • I finally ate at Cafe Rio. I've been hearing about it from Utah people for years now. It was really good, but fear not my East of the Mississippi friends--Moe's is pretty much exactly the same.
  • Marianne won $500 on the slot machines. I won $16, but I spent it on more slots. That's why I should never gamble.
  • Harmony passed out at the outlet mall like a drunk girl at prom.
  • We saw Gollum in a plaid mini skirt and tube top crouching next to a fire hydrant in front of The Bellagio.
  • I may or may not have been filmed doing lap dancing moves to primary songs. And if I did, I assure you that the video no longer exists. I hope.
  • I'm pretty sure that we all decided who we'd pair up with if we ever decided to start "playing for the other team." Unfortunately, I think we all decided on the same two people.
  • Someone who shall not be named ordered a fruity drink in a three-foot tall glass. She thought it was a virgin drink. She thought wrong. That someone was very drunk most of Wednesday night. (And no, "someone" is not code for "me.")
Yeah. That's about it.

I know. I've greatly disappointed you. I'll try to be badder next time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stripper 101

So today's Vegas adventure was a stripper class.

Stripper 101 graduating class of 2011
(The hot one holding her boob was the teacher)

Not only can I now give a mean lap dance, but I can work the pole like a champion tether ball player. And with these tips, now you can too:

  • Give the cookie, take it away.
  • Just pretend you're putting on lotion.
  • Don't do the good stuff on the first song.
  • Boob check and sexy stretch.
  • If you get tired or bored, just bend over, hold the pole and sway. That'll buy you at least five minutes.
  • If you freak out, just turn around and shake your ass.
  • Insist on payment upfront.
  • Layer your panties.
  • Don't get too close to the pole or you'll break your cookie.
  • Bruised shins are the sign of an amateur.

Breaking my cookie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Midnight in the garden of drag queen bingo.

So, it's midnight and my brain is so not functioning right now and I reek like cigarette smoke and I just spent nearly three hours at drag queen bingo.

It was pretty awesome.

I'd tell you all about it, but I'd have to use words I wouldn't normally say.

I'll leave you with this:

Unfortunately this isn't all of us. Three are missing. This was the conversation immediately after the picture was taken:

Jen: "You just got your picture taken with a bunch of Mormon housewives."
Drag Queen: "Can I be a sister wife???!!!"


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On the first day of Vegas my true love gave to me...

...A pair of shiny, glittery whore shoes!

So, in the interest of full disclosure, I've had about three hours sleep in the past 48-ish hours, so I'm not really that coherent right now. I'd love to say that it was because I was gambling or drunk pole dancing in some den of iniquity until the wee hours, but really it's just because we've stayed up way too late talking.

Sunday night I arrived and met three of my friends. We stayed at the gayest hotel ever (not a bad thing, by the way) and thought we'd be experiencing a huge gay spring break bash. Except that we were pretty much the only people in the hotel. Despite the hotel calendar's claim that it was the kick off bash for gay spring break that night, the gayest spring breakers there were the four of us.

Around midnight we decided it would be the perfect time to go get some dinner. The restaurant in our hotel was closed, so we wandered across the street to the Hard Rock Hotel. Now, I'm a pretty liberal person. I'm not fazed by much. But I'll admit that I was a little taken aback by the debauchery going on in that hotel. And I totally saw my first pole dancer. Also, at the table next to us was what I'm pretty sure were a group of porn stars. One of them wearing handcuffs. There may have been some straddling taking place, too. I just ate my potstickers and stared.

Monday three more of our contingent arrived and we moved into the rental house. And because we're all badass, we spent the day shopping at Costco, eating at Cafe Rio and making knitting needle run to Michael's.

Last night we went to the strip and walked around for awhile. I won fifteen cents on penny slots. And not just any penny slots--Star Wars penny slots. We ate gelato at The Venetian and then took a stretch limo back to the parking garage at The Bellagio where our cars were . We're rock stars like that.

Tonight the final three ladies arrive, and we'll be off to Drag Queen Bingo. And when I checked my e-mail this morning there was a Groupon offer to take a pole dancing class for $20. I am THERE. I'll even get a souvenir Las Vegas Stripper license.

What good are stripper heels if I can't also work the pole?

Merry Christmas, Will!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Love is in the air.

(Horny Robin and her nest of unwed sin)

So, it's Spring here. The trees are blossoming, the flowers are blooming, my lawn guy is about to start taking away my extra spending money, and the robins are getting frisky.

Very, very frisky.

There's a robin couple (Shhh! Don't tell, but I'm pretty sure they're not married) that have built a love nest in a tree in the back yard. And they've been doing some sort of elaborate mating ritual all week.

Granted, I know nothing about the mating habits of robins. Maybe they don't have a mating ritual--maybe they're just freaking insane. But I'm pretty sure they're hornier than than a couple of sexually repressed teenagers.

It was kind of fun watching their antics while they were in the back yard. It wasn't so fun when they moved their hot date to my driveway.

I had the garage door open while I cleaned out my van, and they flew in not once, not twice, but FOUR times. Four times they flew in, raging hormones making them completely oblivious to their surroundings and the fact that they were on my water heater.

Oblivious, that is, until I whacked them with a broom and shooed them out.

If I'm not getting any at my house, neither is anyone else.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane.

So, first of all, I need to say this:


O.K., now that that's out of the way...

In two days I'm leaving for Las Vegas to spend five days with a bunch of awesome women, NO children and hopefully more than a few drag queens.

In an hour I'm heading to the airport to pick up my parents, who are spending the week here taking care of my spawn their grandchildren.

I need this vacation. I need about five of them a year, but I'll settle for the one.

Anyway, I'm going to try something different this trip. I'm going to challenge myself to accomplish something I never have been able to before.

This insurmountable challenge?

I'm going to attempt to only have a carry on and no checked luggage.

Anyone who has ever traveled with me is laughing right now. I'm a notorious over packer. But I just know my luck. I know that my luggage would be lost and I'd be stuck wearing the same outfit for the whole week and borrowing someone's toothbrush. So, I'm going to try. I have a carry-on approved rolling bag and my laptop bag. I'm going to attempt to fit all my clothes, shoes and toiletries for five days into this bag:

Shown actual size

Wish me luck.

Also, I can probably look forward to a few full body pat downs and cavity searches. It was cheaper to buy two one way tickets on different airlines than a round trip ticket. So, I'm flying one way with no checked luggage. If that doesn't send up a red flag or two, then our system has failed, because that would make even me suspicious of me.

Anyway, I have a couple of posts set to go up over the next few days because I'll be kind of busy. I never pre-write posts, so hopefully they actually post when scheduled. And I'll be checking in frequently from Vegas. I promise.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ribbed, for her (birthday party) pleasure.

So, I was at the commissary earlier, and saw these.

I have nothing more to say about this.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lunch Time Poll Topic #8675309

Yeah, so I have no idea what number Lunch Time Poll Topic we're actually on.

Today's topic was submitted by an old friend. As in, I've known her for a long time. Not that she's old. Anyway, she needs some feedback about a situation with the school, and we all know that you guys always have the best answers on the internet.

A couple of things to note:
1. She's a teacher, so the workload of a teacher is something very familiar to her.
2. Powerschool is a program many schools use so that parents can have access to their kids' grades and attendance on a daily basis. You can even see the grades for individual assignments and tests. It's like a report card every day that includes all graded work.

Without further ado, her letter:

Today I got a heavy-breather phone call from my 11 year old daughter. My cell rings after I put my students on the bus. It's not a number in my phone, so I don't know who it is, but it is local so I answer it. I hear, "Mom?"

"Yes, dear what's wrong?" More heavy breathing. . .So I ask her if she's going to talk or breathe in my ear.

Eventually she spills her guts about how she is with her teacher, and she is calling me because she wrote something not so nice directed toward a boy in her class.

Should I get that phone call? Absolutely. I am super disappointed in her for what she did. Though I am grateful that she used her pen, and not her mouth to express her sentiments about this boy. I am also disappointed that she was (insert sarcasm) smart enough to turn in the assignment that the words were written on.

But I digress. My real issue is this:

1st quarter her report card showed that she was failing science. We never got a phone call, so assumed that things were fine. I ask during conferences what's going on, and the teacher pulls up her grade book on the computer and says, "Well she just didn't do very well on the test that we took last week." As in, that was the only science grade in the book for the whole 9 weeks! And the teacher goes on to say something like, "It was just the first science test, lots of them struggled with it." So we go home and tell her she needs to be more diligent and take the opportunity to retake tests if she does poorly.

2nd quarter.
We assume she's doing better--we haven't had anything tell us otherwise. My husband works for the school district too, and this teacher sees him every day when she takes her students to lunch. This time when the report card comes, she is failing social studies and language arts, but her science is grade up. The middle school principal was out on medical leave, so I talked to the counselor. I asked her, "Isn't there some policy requiring some sort of parent contact when a kid is failing?" She listens to my concerns, says she thinks there is such a policy, and promises to talk to the principal about it when he gets back because other parents are having the same issue. We tell our daughter to get it in gear etc. . .

This week, 9 days before the end of the 3rd quarter, the counselor asks me if I knew my daughter was failing 3 classes? Ummm, no. Are you kidding me? I teach in this district too, last year this teacher taught in the class next door to mine (now she's in another building). We as parents are around, not hard to get a hold of. She has access to both our personal phone numbers, and email as well as our work ones. Like I mentioned earlier, she sees my hubby every day. We even go to church together.

So after my child is done breathing heavily into the phone, and done getting around to telling me about the bad thing she did at school, I ask to talk to the teacher. We discuss today's issue, and then I ask her why, since she knows how to get a hold of us, can't she let us know that our child is failing THREE classes?!? I got responses like: "Don't you check powerschool? I can't call all 17 parents (this is a regular 5th grade class). In the 5th grade I want to let them take on more of the burden of responsibility. I need to get them ready for middle school where they change classes every 45 min and can't turn in late work. Didn't you get the note/s I sent home? I didn't know she was that far behind. I really don't know where she is (meaning academically)."

So I answer: "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T CALL ALL 17 PARENTS!?!?!? They aren't all failing are they? I call parents all the time especially if their kid is beginning to fail. Obviously this kid isn't ready for this kind of responsibility. What makes you think she's going to give me a note if she isn't doing her work?" In my mind I'm thinking: BS, I turned in late work all the way up through college. If you really are keeping your powerschool grade book up-to-date, how do you not know she's failing? How do you not know where my kid (and all the others) are academically when the state tests are coming up in 3 weeks? It's her responsibility to know where they all are. Since I teach in this school I know that my daughter scores at the top of her class on the state tests. She knows the content. She just hasn't been turning things in. She's been known for hiding her homework under her bed, in her laundry hamper, behind her bedroom door, and who knows where else.

So my question is:
Who's responsibility is it to make parent/teacher contact when a child is failing? This is the first year she has ever failed a class.

O.K., internets. What do you think? I'll weigh in with my opinion in the comments.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sleeping with Vera Wang.

So, when you hear the name Vera Wang, what do you think of? Beautiful clothes? Gorgeous wedding gowns? Red carpets and fashion shows?


Yup. Apparently Vera Wang now has a line of mattresses.

It just seems like an odd direction to go.

And it makes me wonder if her PR people really thought this through. Do you really want your label, which is associated with the elite of the fashion industry, being blasphemed by the owner of the Discount Mattress Barn in rural Kentucky?

"This week only at the Mattress Barn we've got Sealy, Tempurpedic, and Veee-rah Way-ang mattresses half off!"

And even better,

"C'mon down to the Mattress Depot for a Saint Paddy's Day sale! We've got Vera Wangs for rock bottom prices! That's right folks. Put Vera Wang in your bedroom for the best night of your life!"

Classy. I'm sure that's exactly the direction she hoped this endeavor would take.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The lies we tell.

I have a couple of friends who refuse to play along with the whole Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy game. The reason? They believe it's lying to their kids, and how can their kids ever trust them again once they find out that mom and dad lied about Santa?

That's fine for them. And they're good about teaching their kids not to ruin it for all the other kids who have lying bastards for parents.

But you know, I think it's kind of silly and takes a little magic out of childhood (not to mention the fact that Santa threats are the only way to get some kids to behave anytime between Halloween and December 24th). I think it's safe to say that most of us grew up believing in Santa or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy or something like that--nearly every culture has some sort of mythical character taught to children. And I also think it's safe to say that none of us go around harboring lingering distrust toward our parents because of it.

And you know, mythical characters aside, sometimes lying to your kids is a necessity.

Case in point: This morning I informed Amelia that she was getting a hole in the side of her face and that her lips were peeling off.

The kid has a terrible habit of sucking on her blankets. Not just a bit of the corner in her mouth as she falls asleep--we're talking yards of fabric crammed so tightly into her mouth that I don't know how she hasn't choked to death in her sleep. Her blankets are soaked with saliva every morning, and if I don't wash them every other day, they stink like there's a rotting carcass in her room.

It's seriously messing up her teeth, and her lips and cheeks are constantly chapped due to rubbing on wet fabric all night.

I took all of her "blankies" away ages ago, but she just sucks on her sheet and quilt in bed. So, I bought her some blanket sleepers, turned up the heat a little and removed all but the fitted sheet from her bed. I hoped maybe a week or two without blankets would cure her. Instead, she pulled the fitted sheet off and had half of it crammed in her mouth the next morning.

Sometimes I go in at night and remove the blanket from her mouth while she sleeps. It's like those clowns who pull a hundred hankies out of their mouth. I don't know how she fits that much in.

ANYWAY. This morning her lips and cheeks were particularly dry, cracked and bleeding. Soooo, I took a closer look at breakfast, and in my most worried tone, informed her that I was pretty sure there was a hole forming on one of her cheeks. And that it looked like her lips were going to fall off. I got an added bit of credibility when after wiping her mouth on a napkin, there was a bunch of dead skin and blood left behind.

I told her it was from sucking on her blanket. I won't lie--she was pretty terrified. But if it works, it will be worth the therapy bills in the future. They'll probably be cheaper than the orthodontia she'll need if she keeps up with the blanket sucking anyway.

Another example was about a year ago. I would do laundry once a week, and Ben would only have one pair of underwear in the dirty clothes. Occasionally, there would be NONE. For some reason, he decided he wasn't changing his underwear anymore. Even after his shower, he was putting dirty ones back on.

He was "talked to" about it a few times, but the problem persisted. So, I told him that the reason we were so adamant about him changing his underwear every day was because dirty underwear could harbor bacterial infections, and if he got one, the only way to keep it from spreading throughout his body was for doctors to remove his penis.

Evil? Maybe. But he has changed his underwear every single day ever since.

I may have also informed my children that not eating vegetables would cause them to go blind and lose their ability to walk.

Sometimes you do what you have to do, moral quandaries be damned.

Monday, March 7, 2011

They were born this way.

Nothing to see here...just a typical Monday night at the Douglass house.

Born this way from Brandi Douglass on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thursday Morning Confessions

This may as well be an "adult" store as far as I'm concerned.

1. Restaurant supply stores get me hot and bothered. I don't even know why--I don't really like cooking. But whenever I go into one, I get a rush of adrenaline and suddenly feel the need to own a 15 gallon stock pot, a 200 pack of cardboard french fry holders and one of those syrup dispensers like they have at IHOP. Oh, and a monogrammed chef coat.

2. The pattern in my counter tops occasionally looks like pubic hairs. We've lived here for eight months now and I still freak out and think there are pubes on my counter.

3. I had a really spectacular hair day yesterday, and the only person who got to see it was the cashier at Wal-Mart. I hope she appreciated it.

4. The plus size model on this cycle of America's Next Top Model is a size 8. I think I'll go kill myself now.

5. Yes, I watch America's Next Top Model. Religiously. Shut up.

6. The reason I was at the aforementioned restaurant supply store was to buy a pack of little one ounce disposable sauce cups with lids, and a pack of the also aforementioned cardboard french fry holders. I put baby carrots and bell pepper strips in the fry holders, fat free ranch dressing in the sauce cups and packed it in my kids' lunches. They now think I'm the best mom ever and they ate their veggies.

7. I couldn't find our headset/microphone combo the other day, so I had to Skype with Will using the Wii microphone from Lego Rock Band. I really had to fight the urge to bust out into "We Will Rock You."

8. I have a post that's been sitting in my draft folder for awhile now. I'm afraid to post it because no matter how many times I rewrite it, it comes off sounding kind of racist, which honestly is not my intention. Let's just say that my friend and I (in her big, red Mormon minivan) got caught up in a funeral procession coming from Boiling Springs Black Baptist Church of Clarksville. It experience.

9. Sometimes I'm afraid if I think about things or say things, they'll happen just because I thought or said them. For example, I would never ever use the fake excuse of a relative dying because I'd be terrified that they really would die and it would be all my fault. As I was falling asleep last night I started thinking about what I would do if my plane was hijacked by terrorists and/or was about to crash. Like, who would I call if I could call--morbid things like that. Now I'm terrified that when I fly in a couple of weeks, it will crash and I will die while trying to make an international cell phone call to Afghanistan.

10. I'm so excited about my trip to Vegas I might throw up. I don't even care about the Vegas part of it. I'm just excited to see my friends and escape my children. Of course, if my plane goes down I'm going to feel horribly guilty for wanting to run away from them for a week. Yet, it's still kind of worth it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What I'd do for free ice cream.

This could totally be me, for the low, low price of my soul.

So, does it mean that I've finally made it as a successful blogger when I start getting daily solicitations to review products and interview random people? Because if so, I HAVE TOTALLY MADE IT.

So far, I've been asked to:

-Review an advance copy of a book by some life coach, then interview the author and write a "favorable review." Yeah, they would only pay me if my review was favorable.

-Interview a doctor about how acne causes teen suicide, and then help said doctor with his fear campaign by promoting his acne product.

-Taste and review "Super premium, designer ice cream and probiotic frozen yogurt flavors." Again, payment is only offered for favorable reviews. I won't lie--I almost did this one. Odds are, I'm going to like the freaking ice cream. And fifty dollars is fifty dollars. Plus, you know, free ice cream.

-Try and review penis enlargement pills. This company was so sure of great results that payment was not predicated on a favorable review. There's just one problem: I don't have a penis. And the only penises (penii?) in my home right now belong to children. So, that's not happening. Can you imagine? "What, that? Oh, they were out of your Flintstone gummies. Just take this pill instead."

-Travel to Canada, interview a "sexuality and spirituality" guru, participate in one of his weekend retreats (which was accompanied by a warning that nudity and non-sexual but intimate touching would be involved) And then write a--you guessed it--favorable article about the experience.

And you know, I'm not averse to making some money from this blog. Heck, I wouldn't even be opposed to using and reviewing one product a week, especially if they gave me enough that I could give some away, too. (You're all coming with me to Canada for spirituality, nudity and non-sexual but intimate touching!) (That's way better if you read it in your best Oprah voice.)

But the problem is, these companies don't want me to say, "Hey--the company contacted me, sent me a sample, and here's what I think about it." Even if I honestly think good things about it.

They want me to write a post as though I just happened to try it, and I just happen to love it so much I want to tell you about it and provide eleventy million links to their site.

I'm not down with that. I've seen some bloggers who do that sometimes (coughNieNiecough) and it's so fake sounding. I mean, can you imagine what the blog post about penis enlargement pills would have been like? "So, my dear husband has a really small penis and we were looking for a way to remedy the situation. We found these super Penile Enhancement pills online, and let me just tell you about how GREAT they are!"

But you know, I really might reconsider that ice cream one. They have a Rice Krispie Treat flavor.