A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: listography

Listography – Top Five Keyword Searches on My Blog

I’m a numbers nerd. I like to count things and balance my checkbook for fun. Sexy, I know.

So one of the most interesting things to me about blogging is the behind-the-scenes access to Internet statistics. I’ll never forget the first time I realized I could see the actual phrases people type into search engines that lead them to The Bearded Iris. What a revelation! That was the same day I learned to stop tagging my posts with potentially dirty phrases like “sticky panties.” Ew. Should have tagged that one “static cling” instead. Hindsight.

Yes, my friends, I know for a fact that there are people out there searching for things like:

“what does Johnny Depp smell like?”

“pantyhose encased camel toe

jennifer love hewitt vulva

farting mom

I know this, because a small handful of searchers for these tidbits have been directed here to little ol’ me. And yes, I have indeed written posts containing each of those keywords or phrases. It’s only a matter of time before the Pulitzers come pouring in.

Don’t panic – we cannot see who you are, exactly. But we know you’re out there…cheeky monkeys.

This week’s Listography is about our top five keyword searches of all-time. Thankfully, none of mine include the phrases “jacked up toenails” or “anal bleaching” (those phrases appear much further down the list).

1. How to remove gel nail polish at home
Looks like I’m not the only frugal gal out there looking to un-DIY a shellac manicure! Howdy, gals. Happy to serve.

2. Droopy Dog
Once upon a time, there was a lethargic but shrewd cartoon dog named Droopy. His saggy face reminded me of a poor woman whose Botox injections paralyzed her eyelids. I honestly don’t know why so many people are searching for this ancient anime. Maybe nostalgic parents sick of hearing their kids repeat the rude language they learn in cartoons today are pulling their angry tweens to over to their monitors saying “Now THIS? This guy, Droopy Dog, he was a classic! He never said things like ‘shut your halfwit pie hole’ or ‘How the H are we gonna fix this S?'” Either that or there are a lot of shy looking older men giving BJs in exchange for yard work. Day-yam. The things I learn on the google!

3. Feminine Hygiene Tips
Well bless your hearts and “self-cleaning ovens!” This is one of my all-time favorites. And apparently it is one of your favorites too. In fact, according to my Referring Site Stats, there is a group of mommies in the Lake Hartwell area passing this post around like chicken at a church picnic. Thanks, you hairy Lake Hartwell harlots!

4. Buckwheat
Now this one I feel a little bad about. Hopefully these poor people weren’t searching for information regarding buckwheat – the grain. Because what they found instead when they clicked through to my blog was a visual reference to my ungroomed lady garden. Sorry, buckwheat fans. As a public service, here is a link to some delicious looking buckwheat pancakes instead.

5. Hot Hairy Italian Men
Yes, please. Ain’t no secret: I like ’em and I married one. Sure, my house is harder to clean than yours. Shoot, I even find hair in my freezer. But trust me, it’s worth it.

Curious to know the inside scoop of some other great blogs? Or perhaps you’re a blogger with your own unbelievable keyword searches to share? Well head on over to Kate Take’s 5 and join the fun. You won’t believe some of the keyword searches out there…scary, funny, beyond bizarre. Check it out.

yours truly,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

Don’t try this at home.

This week’s Listography over at Kate Takes 5 is all about Bad Combinations. Here are a few perfect examples taken from Kate’s sister’s Facebook page:

Wind \ Hair \ Lipgloss

Old people \ The Internet

Bikini Waxes \ Dignity

To which Kate added her own list of five. Very funny – and true. Especially if you have young kids and/or know what Sudocream is.

I’d like to add a few of my own, based upon personal experience. The rules of Listography limit me to just five, which is unfortunate because I feel like creating bad combos might just be my forté. Come to think of it, pretty much every Listography I’ve ever participated in deals with the inappropriate pairing of things… like gum chewing and Communion wafers, Catholic Picture Bibles and Satan reach arounds, nine year old suburban white girls and Barry White albums, emotionally retarded adult children of divorce and weddings. Hmmm… have I just cracked some kind of top secret Irish code?

So, not wanting to take the easy way out, I thought I’d reflect on some additional bad combos I’ve experienced in life. Here is just a small sample, ribbed for your pleasure:

1.) snapping turtle \ impromptu roadside petting zoo

snapping turtles bite... duh.

Image credit: Phillip Higgins

Apparently, they’re called Snapping Turtles for a reason. Who knew?

2.) chopping jalapeno peppers \ removing contact lenses
I’m pretty sure every child in my neighborhood is now familiar with the howled version of the phrase: “HOLY FUCKING HELL! MY EYES! MY EYES! I’VE BLINDED MYSELF! AAAAAHHHHHHGGGG!!!”

3.) really nice Scouting dads \ me \ playing cornhole

4.) Christmas party \ winter white wool dress slacks \ explosive diarrhea
Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t just wear a diaper to my sister in law’s house every Christmas Eve. I’m not sure if it is her homemade eggnogg, or the raw oysters, or just a psychosomatic response at this point, but something horrific happens in my bowels every year shortly after our holiday dinner at her house. Every. Single. Frickin’. Year. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’m not invited back next year, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Wow, imagine that, a poop story. Weird. So unlike me.

5.) parent-teacher conference \ speech impaired child \ dick jokes
True story. Last week The Gatekeeper and I went in for Bucket Head’s Speech IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Partway into the meeting, Bucket Head comes over to tell us “Look at my magic dick!” Of course, what he was holding was not his penis at all, but rather a magnetic wand, or STICK. However, since he can’t articulate beginning blends like “ST,” he substitutes the “D” sound. “Stick” becomes “dick.” Magical? Indeed. Oh yes, I did. And oh no, it wasn’t appreciated (or probably even noticed). Feeling the unbearable weight of the airborne potential joke, I even asked Bucket Head to repeat it: “What’s that thing called honey?” “My magic dick!” “Oh that’s awesome! Daddy has one of those too.” Nope. Nothing. Like casting pearls to swine, I tells ya. But thank God for you people! At least someone appreciates my humor.

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to prepare some skits for my church’s Vacation Bible School. What? Is that another bad combo? Oh, fine. Don’t worry, I won’t perform them sober.

yours truly,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Wedding Memories

Weddings are my Achilles heel, my Kryptonite.

Remember that viral YouTube video from two years ago of the wedding party dancing down the aisle? It makes me weep uncontrollably.

I’m talking about The Ugly Cry, people.

And I’ve watched it at least 30 times. Yes, I alone am responsible for at least 30 of that video’s 65 million views. That’s a lot of tissues. And a lot of lying to my children about why Mommy is so sad. “I’m not sad, guys. I’m happy. See how much fun those people are having at their wedding? Isn’t that wonderful?!” (Sob, sniffle, drip, wipe, repeat.)

Watching those people dance down the aisle with such unabashed joy just reminds me of all the family tension, mistrust, and resentments that clouded my special day fourteen years ago.

And the wound is deep. I can’t even hear stories about wedding planning without being instantly transported back to that time and all the things I wish had been different.

So today, after watching Kate and William give each other their troth, I’m feeling a bit melancholy.

But God dammit, I’m tired of feeling so sad about weddings. And I’m sick of reliving all the what-ifs and regrets and anger at the people who behaved so selfishly and sullied my special day. It’s time to move on. Starting today, I’m going to forget about the dysfunctional parts of my wedding and just focus on the good. New mantra: out with the jive, in with the love.

On that note, please allow me to present (my own slightly different approach to) this week’s Listography

Five things I would not change about my wedding:

1. First and foremost, the man I married. I have loved that man from the first moment I laid eyes on him and I would marry him again any where, any time, any way.

2. The gorgeous chapel and grounds at Mills College in Oakland, California.

3. My husband’s family. Particularly my six sisters-in-law who instantly enveloped me with love and friendship that continues to this day. As long as I live I will never forget how they formed a circle around me at my reception and danced and sang “We are family! I got all my sisters with me.”

4. The cake. Not only was it delicious, but it was topped with the antique cake topper that my in-laws used for their wedding in 1952.

5. Our first dance. My husband chose the song, Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison as a wedding gift to me. So sweet and romantic, that man.

Ahhhhh, that’s better. What a difference a little attitude adjustment makes! I have almost totally forgotten the fact that some of my “friends” dropped me from a height of 7 feet onto my back during the traditional Jewish Chair Dance that I did not request at my non-Jewish wedding.

Shit. Now I’m mad again.

Well, congrats Will and Kate. I hope none of the assholes at my wedding were invited to yours.



© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Play that funky music, white girl.

This week’s Listography over at Kate Takes 5 is called “Now That’s What I Call Music!”

No, this weeks Listography isn’t your Top 5 favourite bands or Top 5 albums. It isn’t your favourite musical genres or most admired soloists. No, this weeks Listography is confession time.

First 5 albums you ever owned.

SWEET! I do loves me some classic tunes, as evidenced in my awesome dance moves to KC and the Sunshine Band last week. Hmmm, let’s see….

1.) It was 1977 and I was the proud owner my very first single: “Da Doo Ron Ron” by Shaun Cassidy.

I was only 7 years old, but I thought he was the bee’s knees. I mean come on… look at that kisser. Oh how I wanted to change my name to Jill! Yep, I was pretty sweet on that Hardy Boy for a minute there, but it didn’t last. Something was missing…

2.) Fast forward two years to 1979. My parents’ divorce was final and the disco era was in full swing. (I don’t think the two are unrelated.) I had outgrown my infatuation with squeaky-clean teen heartthrobs and was eager to graduate to something with a little more, oh I don’t know… verve. I had some money burning a whole in my little Sassoon jeans and I wanted desperately to own something by that hunka-hunka-burnin’-love, Barry Gibb, the foxy lead singer of The Bee Gees. Only problem was, I didn’t know his full name. Thus, under the supervision of a clueless teenage babysitter, I went into a record store and inadvertently purchased a copy of this:

That’s right. Not Barry Gibb…. Barry WHITE. “The Maestro.” A.k.a. “The Walrus of Love,” a nickname that encompassed his corpulent size, his deep voice, and his reputation as R&B’s most romantic ladies’ man.

I’m not a gambling woman, but I would wager my last nickel that I was the only 9 year old white suburban girl in the history of the world to ever buy a Barry White album. And let me tell you something, when I got that LP home and put it on my record player, it was devastating. Hearing that shockingly sultry bass “Can’t get enough of your love, babe” voice instead of the high-pitched falsetto “Well you can tell by the way I use my walk…” I was expecting, created a sense of sadness and confusion I cannot begin to describe. On the plus side, a soulful seed was planted that would influence my music tastes for the rest of my life.

Just so we’re clear…

I wanted this:


But I accidentally got this:


And became the only Barry White album owner in America
who looked like this:

(I like how all three of us have basically the same hairstyle.)

Don’t let my “girl next door” look fool you.
Apparently once you go black, you never go back.

3.) So anyway, it took a long time to get over that mistake and the curious stares from my parents. But later that year, a friend of the family took pity on me and bought me a copy of “Breakfast in America” by Supertramp.

I enjoyed it. It was catchy…. albeit a little white for my taste, and not Barry White, if you get my drift.

4.) Thankfully it wasn’t long until I discovered “Celebration” by Kool and The Gang.

My third grade teacher, Mrs. Andrianos, let us bring records to school once a week to share with the class and I must have brought this one every week for the entire year. Any 9 year old can bring an apple for the teacher, but it takes a special child to bring the funk.

5.) That was the same year (1980) I discovered my reason for living…

Diana Ross, The Supreme Diva…be still my heart. I sang along with “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out” until I wore a hole in that LP. To this day, I cannot hear either of those songs without grabbing the nearest microphone-shaped-object and doing my own little Diana-Ross-wanna-be-dance. When I saw her on Oprah earlier this year I cried. I cried even before Oprah cried. If you and I are ever at a karaoke bar together and I am good and hammered, you know what to do if you want to see me make a gigantic ass out of myself (more so than usual, that is).

I know this listography is limited to 5 albums, but in full disclosure, you should know that apparently Diana Ross was merely a gateway drug for the next few critical years of my musical development…

Well thanks for coming along with me on this musical journey down memory lane. If you enjoyed this little sideshow, go see what the other crazy kids who linked up to Kate Takes 5 shared for their Listographies. My word, the things you can learn about a person!

Until we meet again,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Five Great Books for Toddlers and Tired Parents

So today, the first day of Lent, I asked my two older kids if they understood the significance of the 40 days leading up to Easter.

My oldest said: “Yeah – that’s how long Jesus was in the desert. You know, when that naked Satan was pressed up against him from behind.”

Me: “WHAT?!!!”

Him: “The picture… in that white bible. The one where Jesus is in a robe and it looks like Satan is naked.”

Me: (OMG. WTF?)

Him: “He might not be naked though. You can’t see his wiener. He might be wearing a thong.”

Me: (Oh.  My.  God.  WTF? WTF???)

I raced for the Catholic Picture Bible Mini-Me received as a baptism present from her God Mother and sure enough:

Page 114: The Temptation of Jesus in the Desert

Just great.

Let’s create an image for our children of Satan as a nudist sodomite, shall we? Scared straight! Turn away from sin, kids, or naked Satan will bugger you! He looks like he’s totally reaching for a handful there, doesn’t he? Of course the disco era feathered headband isn’t helping. Is that Satan or one of the Village People?

And how does my 11 year old even know what a thong is?

That Catholic Picture Bible is just chalk full of goodies. My kids’ favorite (other than naked Satan) is the story about the beheading of John the Baptist. It’s a gruesome enough tale, unillustrated. But in a picture bible… oooh weee:

Page 150: The Beheading of John the Baptist

Why yes, that IS a decapitated head on a silver platter. Pass the salt and pepper, please.

I don’t know about you, but when my kids are reading books, I don’t like to see facial expressions like these:

Which brings me to this weeks Listography, brought to us by the lovely and talented Kate at Kate Takes 5.

This week’s topic: Books and Babies.  Specifically, five favorite books for toddlers, as opposed to books that frighten and disgust them like my Catholic Picture Bible.

Hmmm. I do loves me some books. How will I narrow it down to five?

Kate makes a great suggestion:

The one piece of advice I wish I had been given when I started buying my kids books was this: Not only does your child need to love the book – you do too – because you will probably be reading it to them six times a night for the next six months. ‘Again mummy, again’!

Kate, my darling, you are so right. But, I’ll take that one further and say that not only do you both have to love the book, but even better if the child can read it by themselves while you are “resting your eyes,” and trying to catch up on the sleep you missed while you were blogging into the wee hours.

So here it is, amigos… my five favorite books that toddlers can read all by themselves:

1. ) Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton.

Delightfully funny. Will help your child learn colors, clothing, and comedic timing. Your little ones will be reciting this by heart in no time, thus freeing you up to nap, check email on your iPhone, or paint your nails while they “read” to you.

2.) Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward and Tomie dePaola

Learning the days of the week has never been more fun or easy… and all while Mommy is sleeping off her hangover. Great watercolor illustrations, adorable main character, one sentence per page. Spoiler alert: Cookie falls into a toilet… a gen-u-ine knee slapper for all.

3.) Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day

My favorite kind of board book for toddlers… there are only words on the first page and the last page… the rest of the pages are illustrations with no words. Therefore, it is a different story every time you (or your children) tell it! It sounds like more work, but it’s not. Trust me. After you read it twice, the kids knock themselves out trying to make it even funnier than you did. Refill your glass and sit back while the kids do all the work.  By the way, Carl is the best dog ever. He babysits! And he even cleans up before the mom gets home. Take some notes, my bad dog Ike… you suck.


4.) Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

This might be my favorite of the lot. Again, an almost completely wordless book that is absolutely captivating. The illustrations alone are worth it, but the silliness of this book really captures kids’ (and their parents’) hearts. There is one scene, I swear to God, that is even worth staying awake for. If you or your kids can do a variety of animal impressions, even better. I frickin’ love this book.


5.) No, David! by David Shannon.

Nose-picking, playing with food, and toddler streaking… what’s not to like? But in addition, your kid will be able to read this back to you on day one. Funny illustrations and a great message of unconditional love. I always enjoy this one as a peace offering when I lose my cool and strain my vocal chords. Hey, it happens. Why not have a book on hand that helps you all survive it?

How about you? What are your favorite children’s books?

Sincerely yours,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Five things I really hate.

While absentmindedly scrolling through my Twitter feed yesterday, I stumbled across this blog post title: Pet Hates. Not to be Confused with “Hates Pets.”

Which just goes to show you how important blog titles are. Because I thought to myself, that’s funny… I hate my pet sometimes. Like when Ike does this, this, this, or this.

But anyway, I clicked that compelling Twitter link, and read a very funny post about 5 things the author hates (none of which were pets). And it was awesome. I even left a comment… which (as you know, dear lurking reader) isn’t something one always (or in your case, ever) does. And then I clicked on another link in her post and found out that there is a whole society of list making bloggers!

Well sign me up for a hot, steaming side dish of THAT!

Brace yourselves, I’ve been brewing this list in my head for a long long time. In fact, boiling it down to just five is going to be harder than bringing Charlie Sheen home to meet your dad. (“But Dad… he calls me a Goddess!”)

So here it is, my first listography, Pet Hates:

1. Christmas Card Newsletters
I get it… your life is SO MUCH better than mine. As if I didn’t already know that when your card arrived on November 29th with an embossed return address and a Virgin Mary stamp. Bragger.

2. People who chew gum in church
I see you chewing your gum, mister. Now, what are you gonna do? Stick the gum under the pew before communion? Or swallow it? Or just tuck it over to the side of your yap hole while you consume the Blessed Sacrament? None of these are acceptable answers. Spit the gum out before church, asshole.

3. Baby showers
Yes, babies are cute. And yes, moms-to-be need stuff. But having to watch someone open hundreds of cloyingly pastel gifts while all the hens in the room cluck “awwwwWWWWWWW!!!!!” (gradually increasing in pitch, volume, and enthusiasm) over the 18th embroidered and appliquéd onesie, is just plain torture. At least the last one I went to had really tasty sangria to numb the pain and no humiliating games like “Guess the Girth of the Pregger.”

4. People who talk on their cell phones in public
Dude. You are in the waiting room of the Toyota service department with twelve other hostages customers. We do not want to hear about your gout or the fact that you “wish a pox on the family” of the client who screwed you. Jesus H. Christ. Or how about the lady behind you at the grocery store who is talking on her Bluetooth, but you don’t see the headset and you think she is talking to you? I hate that bitch.

5. Vagisil commercials
In general, all feminine hygiene ads just irk the hell out of me. But specifically, the newest Vagisil commercial where the sad and dejected looking woman in the public restroom is saying “I found out the hard way that not all cleansers eliminate vaginal odor,” while two women in the background are clearly gossiping about Ms. Stinky Pants. Really? You found out “the hard way?” Oh my God. Lady, you have much bigger problems than choosing a body wash. If it smells THAT bad, you might want to see your doctor a-sap. I’d also suggest some new friends and/or hobbies that don’t include waft-friendly positions like Downward Facing Dog.

Wow – that felt great! Listography, you are my new BFF. Just don’t invite me to your baby shower.


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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