Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Smiling Infidel Gardening Club Prize Patrol Is On The Loose.........You May Already Be A Winner!

Now, I'm not one of those types that crawls around on the lawn-magnifying glass in hand-examining each blade of grass, but I do take some pride in the outward appearance of our humble little abode we've dubbed 'The Infidel Estate'.

Lately we've found ourselves on the receiving end of a flurry of correspondence from our cantankerous Homeowner's Association. I'm an undying optimist. Every time a new letter from our beloved H.O.A makes a grand appearance in our mailbox, my heart starts to flutter wildly. I always assume that it can only mean good things are headed our way after 12 years of living in this sub par neighborhood and that the H.O.A is finally going to award us the prize of prizes........the honor of honors.......the glory of glories.......YARD OF THE MONTH!

Alas, it usually states things like "we plan to notify our Attorney if your yard is not brought into compliance with our deed restrictions in a timely manner."

So just what constitutes Yard-Of-The-Month-Worthiness to the esteemed members of our H.O.A?

Well, judging from last month's winner, the H.O.A deems pickle-inspired landscaping as the most praiseworthy yard design our subdivision has to offer.
(Oh please, this lackluster yard would so not even make it as the Greenhouse Green Of The Month centerfold. Ever.)
You know, I'm a good person. I don't need any green thumb approval from a snit-picky band of bunchy-butt biddies who go around reeking of compost pile perfume. No, I refuse to play their cucumber shrub mind games!

Since I wasn't born with a silver trowel in my hand, I'll never be invited to join their snarling neighborhood pack of Miracle Gro sniffers. I knew that if I wanted the elusive award, I'd have to forge my own path to victory.

I wasn't content with a ho-hum Yard Of The Month sign-because really, any ambitious fool with a vat of chinch bugs and a gallon of bleach to decimate their neighbor's lawn can win that. I opted instead to create a shining beacon to my Yard Conquistador awesomeness........I'm the proud owner of this one-of-a-kind YARD OF THE MILLENNIUM sign! Yay!

In my excitement to display the signage hailing us as grand masters of the lawn&garden utopia world, I accidentally soiled myself.

It wasn't my fault. That special gardening soil I use in my award winning planters is tricky stuff.

We're compassionate Conquistadors. So it seemed only right that we should share our bounteous blessings with others. Me and the mini-Infidels piled into the truck and set forth on a mirthful mission to bring a small piece of prize-winning joie de vivre to the masses.

One look at this planter featuring a gigantic ant mound-teeming with fiery hot contestants from the Miss Fire Ants In Your Pants pageant-and we knew that we had found the grand prize winner of our Sexiest Fire Ants category. Congratulations!

Snoop Dogg is a knowledgeable authoritarian on the history, evolution, and crop value of the almighty weed. I'm just a lowly emissary of the prestigious Snoop Dogg Garden Society........ but I'm positive that he'd approve of these homeowners who chose to go with a Weed, Weed, And More Weed landscaping plan for their yard. They also took top honors for their enticing pot strategically placed a mere footsteps away from their front door; for easy pot access, no doubt.

Notice that Weird Al is featured on this sign with ebullient rays of light surrounding him as though he's an omnipotent presence? Weird Al offered his divine inspiration as he informed me of his desire to share the Whiter-Than-Sour Cream award with a worthy individual. Despite spending day-after-day in the blistering Houston sun, our lawn jockey winner has never burned. He remains a whiter shade of pale and for that we commend him and his homeowner handlers. Good Job!

(I found out later that a local tanning bed place offers special Lawn Jockey discounts. Apparently our supposedly squeaky clean whitey winner was a former client of this establishment. Scandalous!)

Who better to represent the Best Undead Lily prize than the world's foremost recognized Undead Lily, Lily Munster?

My lilies croaked off into an early death this year. Happily by the dawn of spring they'll resurrect themselves and rise forth, pushing up through the fertile soil to live amongst us once more. LILY ZOMBIES!!!!!!

I'm not insinuating that these homeowners are practicing some kind of ritualized chicken bone Lily Voodoo. It is rather odd though that nobody else around here can keep their lilies alive past June- and yet, these lilies are still thriving at the end of July. Hmmmmm. They're lucky that the H.O.A doesn't demand that they be burned on suspicion of gardening witchcraft.

Our celebrity spokesperson, Big Bird makes no secret of the fact that he likes to watch the chickadees shake their tail feathers down at the Bird Bath Cabaret whenever he's on a filming break from Sesame Street. He never tires of telling the naive, young swallows, "Hey baby, do you wanna know the real reason why they call me Big Bird?"

On hot summer days, this exquisite bird bath masterpiece-crafted of the finest concrete- becomes more like a Bird Jacuzzi, just ready to host a full-blown bird bath bonanza. (R.S.V.P to Robin or Jay)
What lucky person wouldn't want a sign telling the world that Presidential nominee, Barack Obama loves their bush??!!? We awarded this fetching congratulatory masterpiece to the owners of a most gorgeous Esperanza Bush-filled with an insane amount of vibrant yellow blooms. You see, Esperanza means "HOPE" in Spanish......and Senator Obama is all about spreading messages of "HOPE", right? He even wrote a best-selling book with "HOPE" featured prominently in the title. Well, this bush is hopeful hopefulness at its most hope-inducing. It's unfortunate that it doesn't have anything else to offer beyond physical beauty and a shallow promise of hope.

This is likely the only time in history you'll ever witness Obama declaring his love for a Bush in Texas. :)

If you weren't one of the lucky winners this year, don't despair. We plan on making this an annual event. I don't have enough money to start up a philanthropic society but at least I'm doing a little something to give back to our local community. I wonder if I can claim posterboard and markers as a tax write-off since it was used for charitable purposes?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hair Today......GONE Tomorrow!

I'm not only a fatigued homeschooling/working/blogging mother of 6 mini-Infidels but I'm also the President of a local bank. I bet you didn't know that, did you?
Yes, we opened the First United Infidel Hair Bank about two years ago. Naturally I selected myself as the most qualified El Presidente to handle Hair Bank business.
Deposits have trickled in slowly but the hair market is a solid one that grows at a nice and steady pace.
Last week we decided to liquidate all of our accumulated tress assets. The snippets of hair weighed right around 2 pounds in totality!
We then transferred ownership over to the Locks Of Love organization so that our severed ponytails-minus the split ends- may live on through others.
That picture I posted in the sidebar of my curled coif with hair descending down to the middle of my back? Yeah well, as of last Monday, it's completely outdated.
I'm now sporting a sensible chin-length bob with cute little layers that curve around my face. My hair's short but there's still enough there to utilize as a privacy curtain so I can shield others from seeing me blush in an awkward situation emergency. That's a very important hair feature to have.
Not to worry, our First United Infidel Hair Bank may have closed up shop but the Severed Ponytail Society lives on! Us Hair-i-tics are intent on growing a fresh new crop of donations by the end of next year.

That Karma Chameleon Has Been Putting In Some Serious Overtime Hours Lately!

My stepmom immigrated to the United States from Colombia. My husband and in-laws all hail from the refried bean capital of the world, Me-Hi-Co. As such, I love me some super dramatic Spanish telenovelas!
Okay, I don't really speak fluent Spanish- however, that hasn't prohibited me from understanding what's going on. Come on, how many palabras en espanol do you actually need to decipher an evil twin/baby daddy/adulterous/amnesiac/secret love child story line?

So, my co-workers and I down at the steamy Houston Chronicle warehouse have been privy to watching a real-life telenovela unravel before our very eyes during this past year. Spanish telenovelas aren't like American soaps that linger on for decade after decade. Telenovelas-even the insanely popular ones- eventually come to a conclusion........and in turn, so has the real-life version.
We've known this guy, "Jose" for many years. He and his wife-accompanied by their kids- came here illegally from Argentina. They're also a member of the same church I belong to. Yeah, they willfully broke one of the Articles Of Faith by thwarting American Immigration laws, but that little tidbit factors into the main crux of the story.
Jose played the stereotypical role of the hard-working Hispanic- often holding down 2 and 3 jobs at a time in an effort to support his family and allow his wife, Bruja (Spanish for witch) to stay home with their kids. Bruja lived in a nice house and drove a big SUV all courtesy of Jose busting his nalgas to give her a comfortable life.
It's painfully obvious that Bruja is skeezy husspants who was born without any semblance of a gratitude gene because her payback for all of Jose's efforts is nothing short of unconscionable.
As a favor to a family they knew from church, Bruja started working very part-time tending to the needs of a fellow Argentine expatriate who's afflicted with a progressive disease that's permanently crippled her. Somewhere along the way, Bruja deviated from solely tending this lady's needs and extended herself to taking care of the husband too.........in a sexual manner, that is.
Soon, Bruja found herself knocked up by the philandering husband, Senor Pig and that's when the real trouble began. Senor Pig elected to dump his wife and his kids to shack up with Bruja. Only one obstacle lay in their path to Piggy Poke happiness.......Jose.
Jose would never allow his kids to be raised by the slovenly Senor Pig-who not only typifies moral weakness but also refuses to hold down a job. And so the two of them-Bruja and Senor Pig- hatched a plan to eliminate Jose from the picture permanently.
Now, mind you, Jose and Senor Pig both served stints as soldiers in the Argentine military. I would guesstimate that they're roughly an equal match in size, strength, and combat skills.
Bruja craftily staged a showdown with Jose in their home while the scheming Senor Pig cowered around the corner. Bruja informed a stunned and heartbroken Jose that the baby she was carrying was not his but instead belonged to Senor Pig. Bruja continued on by telling Jose that she no longer loved him and that she planned on kicking him out of the house and keeping him away from his kids. Pushed to that point, Jose snapped and hit his whorish wife(I don't condone this) before walking out the door where he encountered Senor Pig.
Before getting into his car and driving off, Jose beat the swine crap right out of Senor Pig; pummeling him to the ground.
Bruja and Senor Pig then summoned the Police so they could file assault charges on Jose-just like they had planned all along.
INS stepped in and Jose got the one-way South American Sayonara Express plane trip back to Argentina. Bruja, the emerging main villainess in this tale, refused to even bring their kids to him so that he could at least say goodbye.
Senor Pig abandoned his disabled wheelchair-bound wife and children and moved into Jose's house where he essentially took over Jose's life and all material possessions. Senor Pig is so shameless that he even tried to convince my boss to make Jose's last paycheck payable to him instead!

This all transpired a year ago. Guess what happened last week to shore up the final twist of this saga?
Bruja left her kids inside the vehicle while she went grocery shopping. Uh yeah, we've only had temps. hovering around the 100 degree mark for the past month. A security guard noticed the neglected kids and called the Police who whisked the screaming and irate Bruja off to jail where she now faces deportation right back to Argentina.
Wow, that karma sure is a bitter mistress, ain't she Bruja?

*All my sympathy is reserved for the children caught up in this unholy mess. Hopefully the older ones will be reunited with their father in Argentina. I'm not sure what'll happen to the baby. I suppose they'll hand him over to Senor Pig because he's a legal resident. There are grandparents in Florida, so that's one possibility*

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm Still Dressing The Same Way I Did In The 80's.......My "Look" Was Inspired By Revenge Of The Nerds

Okay, every Sunday I thumb through the glossy newspaper ad supplements from the various stores. Lately I've noticed a disturbing trend emerging that confirms my hypothesis that the American fashion merchants are launching a conspiratorial plot to unload all the 70's crap they didn't sell the first time around.
You, as a consumer, have the power to stand against such tyrranical clothing evil. Just say NO! to gauzy peasant blouses, ultra cameltoe-inducing gaucho pants, halter-styled jumpsuits, tab collars, cork-wedge platform sandals, and polyester tops with gaudy patterns on it.
Listen, us Infidels have been listening to a lot of Euro music lately and the accompanying videos show a starkly different trend spreading across Europe. From the skinny ties, colored belts, suspenders, and striped T-shirts with colored blazers it's obvious that they're embracing all things circa 1983.
They're bringing 80's back......yeah! So if you suddenly get a hankering for something retro, make sure you set your closet time machine to bypass the 70's era completely.

The oldest mini-Infidel daughters find themselves completely enamored by this group from Denmark called Alphabeat. Think of a Scandinavian version of a Disney High School Musical production with upbeat song material and backed by an unstoppably perky band: That's Alphabeat. The paired boy/girl lead singers ooze super adorability and charm. They're also both too young to have lived the 80's experience. Yet all their videos show that unmistakeable 80's vibe going on.

We're also really loving an English band called Black Kids. They're sporting the patented Mr. Rogers pullover cardigan style and belted jumper dresses along with a distinct New Wave-ish sound. One word of caution: casually telling people that you're listening to "The Black Kids" might lead them to some interesting assumptions about you and your racial viewpoints.

Our favorite Black Kids song!

As if I needed more evidence to add to my case that the 80's will rise again-check out the Swatch watch knockoffs I scored at Walgreens Drug Store for $2.99. The picture on the left shows my broken, crumbling Swatch watches that cost a hefty $35-50 bucks back in the Swatch heyday. Now look at the Walgreens watches. Do you see much of a difference aside from the huge pricing gap? Nope, neither do I.

You know what time it is? It's 80's time, fool! The store ads may be full of models wearing clothing that appears as though it's straight from the Sonny & Cher collection, but I believe that most consumers are going to shun that and adopt the mantra, "It's 2008 and we think the 80's are great!"
So, Izod Lacoste is back. Checkered Vans are back. Leggings under mini-skirts are back. It's only a matter of time before we're wearing the doofy vest look again with our layered socks while showing off our Steve Perry-inspired mullet hair.

(We're also grooving Infidel-style to this group called Morandi. Apparently, they're the preeminent Romanian pop/techno sound of the moment. Anyway, I swear to you when I saw THIS VIDEO all I could think of was the possible but remote theory that George and Andrew dropped a few love children when touring Romania back in the 80's because these two guys from Morandi are freakin WHAM! incarnate.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Infidel Family Actually Leaves The House To Go Somewhere: A Pictorial

Yes, the Infidel World Tour rolled through town last Friday. We made sure to hit all our favorite stops because I wouldn't want any of the cashiers at the fantastical 99 Cents Only Store to think that we've fallen out of love with them. Never take your 99 Cents Only store for granted, people.

Our first tour destination landed us smack in the middle of the Public Library where we observed the most unholiest of unholy children's section decorations. Minnie Mouse is either angling for a role in a Disney remake of King Kong or she's interested in getting this big fella back to her place so she can finally procure that luxurious gorilla fur coat she's always dreamed about.

I'm not sure what rigorous event they put these prunes through to call them "Champion" but I do know that according to the box you are forbidden from eating them anytime other than breakfast. Oh, and the prunes also have pits. I'm praying that doesn't mean armpits.

Spanish Telenovela-styled drama at the 99 Cents Only Store! We love our hot and spicy Abuelita mucho mucho-and so naturally we were greatly distressed to find that Abuelita's new boyfriend, Don Gustavo has taken over her company. Oh sure, he may look like the epitome of elderly sweetness behind his adorable little spectacles, but inside brews a company-stealing monster who wooed Abuelita and then snatched her business out right from under her. Poor Abuelita.
(Yes, I make up melodramatic back stories for my Mexican cinnamon chocolate beverage products, don't you?)

The 99 Cents Only store envisions a brave new world where all fast food is made out of marshmallows.........

and people will drink their juice out of grotesque bug carcasses.

Here's comes Peter Cottontail....hopping down the bunny trail......well, the "bunny trail" is actually code for Aisle 8 at the 99 Cents Only Store. Yes, now you too can celebrate a one-of-a-kind Easter in July with these delicious treats.....because food poisoning is timeless.

Sunbum's Addiction.
These almond cookies are seriously delicious.

Beware the zombie starfish tub toy!!!! Any film called Starfish Zombies would spawn a zillion sequels due to the starfishes unique ability to regenerate itself.

Racially insensitive socks. Seriously, these win the prize for the most WTF? socks ever in recorded history. And what is the significance of the little For Sale sign? Is this unwrinkled Raisinette/Milk Dud/prune with legs a real estate agent? Maybe he's pimping himself out and he's actually the one for sale? So many questions that only a professional sock interpreter can answer.

Pirate's Booty Potato Chips: The Best Kind Of Booty Call! Yeah, I groped me some Pirate Booty at World Market!

Kung-Fu Fido Fortune Cookies For Dogs, as seen on the shelves of World Market. Our resident crotch-sniffing wonder dog, Reagan doesn't need a cookie apprising him of his fortune because I tell him every day, "I See A Sausage Factory Looming In Your Future If You Don't Stop Scratching Up My Windows." See? I could totally be a canine fortune cookie writer.
I have an unhealthy obsession with edible drinking cups. It began somewhere in my childhood when I saw Willy Wonka crunch into this tulip-shaped teacup he plucked from a bush. Anyway, Willy Wonka had to contend with a crispy cup that sounded like it was made from a stale rice wafer. I'm opting for these made out of Belgian chocolate.

The stockers at World Market must have a lot of fun when they decide where to shelve merchandise. What else can explain the cans of Spotted Dick juxtaposed next to the Wing Nut containers? If you combine a Spotted Dick with a pair of Winged Nuts you'll get the oddest dragon-ish mythological creature ever created.....probably the blindest and the dumbest, too.

I scoped out these Poker Pretzels for bloggy friend and Mistress Of The Poker Table, Alice. Pretzel diamonds can also be a girl's best friend.

And finally I'd like to conclude the Infidel World Tour by showing the "obvious much?" label on this nutty bag of Naked Nuts. Okay, it's a sack of peanuts manufactured by a company called Naked Nuts and yet they still had to post a disclaimer on the back stating: Manufactured in a facility that uses Peanuts and other nuts.
You know what I loved the most? The very stoic cashier-who's checked us out nearly every time we venture to the 99 Cents Only store-never cracks so much as a smile at us. Well, while he was ringing us out I was busy taking pictures of the Naked Nuts on the conveyor belt. Suddenly my mini-Infidels started whining, "Mooooom, he's done. You need to come pay now." And so naturally I told them, "Not now. I'm busy playing with these here Naked Nuts."
We actually scored an LOL-moment from the Cashier. Yesssssss!

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Son, The Rocket Man (And Elton John Has Nothing To Do With Any Of It)

My 10 year old son, Buster has finally moved out of the destructive frame of mind-so typical of male adolescence-and into the constructive zone.
Buster's been busying himself this summer with drawing up rocket designs and then devising ways to build it and launch them.
Here's a sampling of some of his handiwork:

Many a paper towel tube and plastic bottle valiantly gave its life so that Buster could pursue the art of the perfect rocket technology.
And now? To infinity and beyond!........................

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Neighbors Are Dirty Swingers

Don't believe me? Just look at this filthy display they've plopped right in the front yard for all the world to see.
Have they no decency? Whatever happened to shame? Did they leave this out in the open as a sort-of invitation for any and all passerbys to join in with them and their dirty swinger lifestyle?

Well, dangit, I want to be a dirty swinger, too! We have more trees than these people do-and I can surely rustle up some sofa cushions, rope, and white duct tape to make my own set of impoverished Third World Neighborhood swings. I may even add some festive ribbons and a cowbell so that mine's fancier than theirs.

Once I get these marvels of the swinging industry up and running, I'll invite you all to my Welcome To Swingtown! party. I hope you don't mind dropping your keys into a giant empty pickle jar so that we can play a little swap game called Swinger Switcheroo. I'd like to keep my naughty swinger freak side, satisfied.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hey, I Don't Mean To Alarm You But There Appears To Be An Alligator On Your Breast!

Yeah, my mom bought into the all the preppy reptilian hype back in the 80's. I had quite a few toothy alligators dancing across my chestage as an adolescent.....and then as a teen the man-eating alligator emblem was displaced by a fearsome band of snobby Polo ponies. Nowadays the only thing hovering over the breast area of my shirts are the stains from the meatball sandwich I ate for lunch.
Honestly, I can't really fault my mother for choosing the trendy look for my wardrobe. As I recall, the only other fashion options in 1984 involved Valley Girl mini-skirts, parachute pants, checkered Vans, zippered leather jackets, fugly stirrup leggings, OP beach wear, and Garanimals. None of the above options would ever look normal on the pudgy, white bread-suburbanite me .

After an extended hibernation, Lacoste is back on the scene.
Look at how excited one Houston neighborhood is to welcome in a new era of all things Lacoste. They LOVE Lacoste and they're not afraid to show it. They even named their street Lacoste Love Ct.
You too can be a resident of Lacoste Love Ct. but only if you solemnly swear to uphold the strict tenets of their Home Owner's Association Policy. The H.O.A. states that all residents must wear Izod Lacoste apparel at all times. Residents must also decorate their yard space with alligator fountains and all topiary bushes must be cut into the shape of alligators. I think they're working on a fundraiser to isolate their street from the rest of the neighborhood by building a moat and stocking it with real alligators.
I hope they realize that they'll never be able to get another pizza delivered to their home again.

I really like the NO OUTLET notice situated above the street sign.
It's as though the occupants of Lacoste Love Ct. are saying LACOSTE LOVE OR DIE, BABY. THERE'S NO WAY OUT!