Monday, July 30, 2012

Keg Race, Snowflake Style

Most family reunions go something like this
image found here
  • 10:00:  meet at park for games
  • 10:30: emergency room visit for Skippy who got hit in the eye by a water balloon and is seeing double
  • 11:30: Uncle Cooter gets mad and goes home to watch "Turtle Man" 
  • 12:00: Potluck lunch featuring Aunt Vita Mae's famous potato salad
  • 2:00-eternity: Talent show featuring Mindy and Mandy, the baton twirling twins from the Twin Cities
  • 2:30: emergency room visit for Uncle Lester who took an errant baton to the noggin
  • 5:00: emergency room visits for everyone who ate Aunt Vita Mae's famous potato salad which is now even more famous because of a a new secret ingredient "salmonella"
My Flake family reunion features a full-on rodeo.  The favorite and final event is the keg race.  Now, if this wasn't a bunch of mostly Mormons, a keg race would probably feature some sort of intoxicating liquid refreshment, but at our rodeo, it's a game of musical chairs on horses.

The cowboys/cowgirls sit on their "kegs" until the announcer says go
Everyone mounts their horse as fast as they can
And race around a barrel at the end of the arena.
Stirrups are optional.
When they come back, one of the kegs is gone 
and everyone jumps off their horse to find a seat.
It's intense and crazy fun.

This year, my brother Jeff entered the keg race.  
He came in third.

We're expecting better results for him in his run for the Senate.

Your Family

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer's Slippery Slope

Tsk Tsk Tsk dear readers.  It has come to my attention that many of you have been making absolutely horrifical decisions during the past few months.  I know the summer has been hot, and you have been plagued with drought and unwanted house guests, but seriously.  Get a grip!

For example, Odell Toggie got to feeling so invincible,  he grew his hair into what he thought was a suitable helmet  for when he rides his Moped. His girlfriend Bambi is skeptical; both in the protective power of Odell's coiff, and that he really has any brains under his helmet-hair worth protecting.

Aspiring model and designer, Avonell unwisely combined her love of fashion with her lifelong obsession with the gastrointestinal system and was laughed off the runway.

The Bipperts decided to go out on a limb and eschew their usual matching denim outfits, boldly flaunting both print and pattern in the annual family photo.  Elbert, the youngest, refused and went with his lucky mustard colored shirt because it's the one that can totally camouflage Chik fil-A sauce.  When he donned his lucky green tennis shoes little Elbert knew he had a winner.

image found here
Conrad grew his hair out over the summer but let himself be unwisely influenced by his gargantuan crush on a young Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music   

Even with a unifying denim theme, Sla$h (alias Ronnie) still manages to remain aloof by refusing to unbutton his top button, or sprawl on the floor with the rest of the family.  He sends a message of independence with his firmly folded arms and a hairstyle that can instantly swing into place to hide both eyes, rendering him both mysterious and intimidating.  Neither of his sisters realize that Sla$h has recently hacked into their Facebook accounts and is methodically unfriending every cute guy on their friend lists.

Stay tuned dear reader, 
because very soon, Larainy is going 
to update your Horrorscope.  
You people need all the help you can get.

lovely people found here

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Grand Adventure

36 years ago, my bestest friend and cousin Jill had the nerve to abandon me and our wild post high school plans for college, travel and world domination to get married.

Five years (almost to the day) later, having failed at world domination and seeing how well marriage had turned out for her, I married too and we have been celebrating anniversaries together ever since.

This year we decided on a trip to Jacob's Lake, near the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  The lake is actually a pond but the quaint Jacob's Lake Inn, which is an assortment of little old cabins, and a small hotel nestled in the pines are so cute that you won't gripe about the lack of lake.  Also, there is a dandy bakery, lunch counter and restaurant that made me very happy.

A short car ride away is the north rim of the canyon and a great hike called the Widforss trail.  It has everything I like, not too much elevation change, spectacular scenery and wildlife that doesn't eat you.

 "That thing over there is called a stick-out, 
which is a geological term"

 It took a lot of courage for me to pile these rocks 
as a monument to my loving husband of 31 years, 
but I must say it turned out pretty well.

I hope you can smell the rain because 
there is absolutely no smell like Arizona rain

Widforss Point:
which was the point of the hike, 
which is only one of many pointy points in a landscape 
never painted by the pointillist painter Georges Seurat

 Another tender moment when I was reunited with "Brighty", mascot of the Grand Canyon and the favorite burro of my childhood reading days.

Another point of interest never painted by the pointillist Georges Seurat, is the million-dollar-most expensive-non-flushing toilet in Arizona. It can be found at the Navajo Bridge Visitor's Center.  A good stiff breeze mysteriously blows up through the commode when the lid is opened, providing a unique and refreshing experience for the weary traveler.

I quite like this guy and look forward to many travels to come.

And I wouldn't mind if these two were along for the ride.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Give em' Hell Harry

So furious that tiny sparks were shooting out of his crackling silver hair, Harry Reid blasted the Ralph Lauren designed USA olympic uniforms that were made in (gasp) China.
Sen. Harry Reid speaks to community members attending the 2012 Democratic Caucus Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at Cheyenne High School.

“Put 'em in a pile and burn 'em,” Reid said of the uniforms,
“If they have to wear nothing but a singlet that says ‘USA,’ that’s what they should do.”

(Now, in case you are confused, a "singlet" is a skin tight wrestling type uniform, as opposed to a "doublet" which is a tight fitting Sumo wrestling type uniform)

You have to hand it to ol' Harry.  He went right home and took the spandex into his own hands, cutting, measuring and sewing all night long, humming away at his grandmother's treadle sewing machine and creating the uniform that he modeled the next day on the Senate floor, to the delight of no one.

 Apparently, Harry has not heard back from the USA olympic clothing committee, but his wife has requested that Harry wear it when he does yard work.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ten Good Reasons To Quit Trying to Fit Into Your Bathing Suit

Do you know that there is a class in every creative writing department in every university and junior college across the fruited plain called
How to Write a List of Ten Ways to Fit Into Your Bathing Suit:101?   
Okay, maybe I made that up, but there has to be some serious scholarship on the subject because every magazine, newspaper and online column runs an article like this every day of the year from May through August.

Well I happen to think that there are some seriously compelling reasons not to fit into your bathing suit.

1.  You can't eat a whole pan of these

2.   Bathing suit crotches are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria

3.  Since your old bathing suit doesn't fit, you have an excellent reason to go to the mall and look for a new one, not find one and buy some shoes instead...also a pretzel.

4.  Your bathing suit was probably made in China and wearing it would be unpatriotic, unless you are part of the U.S. Olympic team wearing Ralph Lauren.

5. You can't drink a quart of this

6.  Losing weight, getting fit and looking good in that old bathing suit will alienate 69% of your friends and have been short on friends ever since you starting selling Cutco knives and bugging people to host parties.

7.  Forward thinkers like Al Gore are all recommending the acquisition

of a healthy fat layer to compensate for impending crop failures due to global warming.

 8.  You can't make this and eat it like that kid in the Matilda movie because you have always wanted to see if you could do it.

9.  Watching the Olympic swimming events in your jammies is much more fun.

10.  Who wants to swim anyway?  You'll just have to blow dry your hair all over again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Spam

Time to get your party hat on!

Spam just turned 75!*

In their wildest nightmares, 
who could have ever predicted that a
"ham-like nodule amalgam 
encased in a quivering gelatinous coating"
would last longer than the marriage 
of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes?

Did anyone ever jump on Oprah's couch and proclaim their love for a hunk of Spam on Wonder bread?

The answer to that my friends is a big fat no.

Spam has survived scorn and a bevy of failed taste tests 
to celebrate 7 decades plus a fiver
despite a profound and well earned lack of respect.
(The army liked to call it
"ham that didn't pass it's physical".)

So get on out there and celebrate

with a tender morsel of Spam wusubi.


you can just eat a Vienna sausage,

which is neither from Vienna, or a proper sausage,
but a Spam cousin, once removed 
molded into a flesh-toned cylinder of horror.

Bon appetit!

*I really hope I look this good when I'm 75. 
I really hope I don't look like this when I'm 75.

Monday, July 9, 2012

So Long Skipper

 I'm so relieved that Ernest Borgnine is dead.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he's was really a nice old guy.  But I possess an unhealthy conceit in my ability to be able to tell you who is alive and who is dead.  Ernest has been the monkey wrench in my excellent accuracy average for about 20 years.  I mean seriously, how could the man hang on so long?  He looked 45 when he was 20 and has looked 105 for the last 30 years.  Old Ernie has been driving me as crazy as a monkey on a trike.

I am an excellent resource for the breathing/nonbreathing capabilities of a long list of of semi celebrities.  You know, the kind that create dangerous brain blips whenever you try to come up with their name.  According to Wikipedia, whenever your brain blips it wipes out the equivalent of one week of algebra class or 4 days of Conversational Spanish.

Just to prove how astute I am, here is a representative sample to demonstrate my prowess.

C. Everett Koop


Currently taken over for Colonel Sanders as spokesman for Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Has mounted a rigorous campaign to "unkoop" chickens and turn them loose on the "free range"

Larry "Bud" Melman


Currently residing in heaven and trying to earn his wings by convincing David Letterman to become a Republican

Abe Vigoda


Only a trained professional can evaluate this one.  


Last sighted in Addam's Family films, 
appearing as "Uncle Fester"

Rest in peace Ernest.  
You have kept me humble for 50 years.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cruel and Unusual Shopping

 Even if you are experiencing a life-threatening urge for 
glue sticks, velcro or decorative spanish moss, 
do not attempt to take your children shopping with you at this store!!!

Oh sure, you may make it through the fabric cutting line, or negotiate the yarn aisle by cramming your little darling full of goldfish crackers and fruit snacks, 
but eventually you will be forced to walk...

"The Chocolate Mile"
on your way to the checkout.

I have seen many a young mother try to make it 
past this treacherous stretch without beating their begging child. 

There is a reason that Child Protective Services has a kiosk in the lobby.

You decide what is more important; 
buying a pack of googly eyes to make that thing you saw on pinterest
watching your little darling grow up in foster care because you lost your cool in the middle of the chocolate mile and pummeled junior with a pool noodle that was on clearance for $3.99

The choice is yours.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Fishy Tale of Grief

It was a sweet idea really.  
An innocent dual purchase at Petco. 
  1. male beta
  2. female beta
Research was done.  
An aquarium was divided to separate 
the happy couple until it was time for breeding. 
Romantic lighting was installed.  
Bubblers merrily bubbled away.  
Fragrant fish flakes sifted down regularly, plentifully.  
The male glided through his northern kingdom, 
displaying his finny plumage, 
showing off for his plain sleek partner 
in her southern chamber.
Anticipation was high that someday, 
there would be a union 
and hundreds of tiny offspring would be nurtured, 
floating amongst the bubbles carefully blown by papa fish until they swam free. 
Life was good.


In the deepest part of night, 
when a vigilant owner was buried in the covers, 
dreaming the dreams only high school seniors can dream, the duplicitous female made her move.
Burrowing her wet snout into the slight crevice 
between the screen and the glass, 
she silently slipped into her lover's lair; 
the innocent but flashy male beta 
that had taunted her lo these many days 
with his gaudy display of finny finery.

She attacked, she slashed.  
She nibbled and gnawed and gnashed her terrible teeth.  
He retreated, she advanced. 
He was confused.
She dogged him like an aquatic hound.
Our handsome suitor was discovered
 listless amongst the fauna,
his color bleached out by fear, 
his proud plumage chewed by a she-devil.

He leaves no survivors.

Still she swims.
Inhaling her fish flakes likes she has the right.
No trace of grief creasing her slimy brow.

Our own black widow of the sea
 flicks her careless tail
not realizing
that she is only a flush away from hell.