Deconstructing the Earthworm Fart (TM)

Admittedly, I was not looking forward to spring break this year–2 weeks of hearing the young Padawan’s endless comments about farts, poop, balls, and wieners…but then one day, I took a good look in the mirror, and realized I was the Beavis-meets-Butthead driving this sophomoric, scatological humor train. This could be why my family and friends post stuff like this on my Facebook page without any hesitancy:

My Christmas shopping is done for this year...

My Christmas shopping is already done for this year…

I sort of realized it when Jack asked me for permission to do something and my quid pro quo was having him perform his best “earthworm fart.” Then there was our emoji text message exchange on Sunday morning, which had numerous piles of smiling poop emojis. You know the one…this one:

Text exchange between Jack & me Sunday a.m.

Text exchange between Jack & me Sunday a.m. My comments are in blue bubbles. I’m just grateful he spells “diarrhea” correctly, even in text speak…I must be doing SOMETHING right.

So…I went to play racquetball w/BFF Marovich Sunday morning (who didn’t hand my ass to me this week – I am improving and actually sort of won the last game because time was up as I was serving – I believe the score was 5-2) and back at her house, I reminded her of her infamous earthworm fart. You see, Marovich started this whole thing. She would always do stuff to make me laugh (never a quiet, polite laugh, mind you, but a full on giggle-turned-guffaw) and get us kicked out of the library when we were in junior high. She has this enviable gift for doing and saying the most outlandish things and keeping her poker face, which always makes me laugh even harder. So…she was a good sport about letting me videotape her on Sunday morning, but first, you will note, she had to pull a quick cross-eyed Eugene Levy-as-Loopy face…referenced here:

Eugene Levy as "Loopy" with two left feet from "Best in Show"

Eugene Levy as “Loopy” with two left feet from “Best in Show”

which always cracks me up…so the camera may shake a little, but you’ll get the idea. So without further adieu, here’s Marovich demonstrating her own invention, the one-and-only, legendary Earthworm Fart(TM):                                                                                                     





The Care & Feeding of a Comic Book Husband: A Field Guide for Dave’s Next Wife

What a week it’s been! Between double-checking our Kraft Macaroni & Cheese boxes for metal shavings, Jack’s parent-teacher conference (Every.Single.Teacher.Complained…about Jack’s class clownery–yes, my DNA runs strong in the young Padawan), and getting the news that the friend we call “Texas” is moving to Colorado, it’s a good thing my addictions veer towards sugar-free Bubble Yum and reading. It would have been a rough week to come out of rehab.

After racquetball with BFF Marovich on Sunday–me still with no wins to report, although we played the same 16 to 6 point for six rounds and invented a new rule about laughter hindrance–Marovich and I reflected on the fact that she has, in fact, become my de facto husband. I had asked Dave for three solid weeks to fill my windshield washer fluid, hoping against all hope that the warning light would drive him crazy, too. Not so much. Marovich couldn’t bear it any longer. So, she did it for me. She was astounded that it needed more than 1 container of washer fluid, deeming it some technical mechanics term – something like “bone dry.” Marovich will probably be climbing on a two-story ladder (she actually owns one) to change my foyer lightbulbs for me as well. She’s brave like that. After all, she installed her own sump pump this past weekend, which impressed me no end. She insists I could have done it, too, but I’m way too ADD to sit through any DIY YouTube video on sump pumps unless Peter Dinklage is the on-camera talent.

Marovich and her sump pump, and some weird tool that looks like a bicycle chain.

Marovich and her sump pump, and some weird tool that looks like a bicycle chain.

Most weekends, when people with husbands/partners get that “honey do” list tackled, Dave’s usually out of town for comic book conventions. I’m not complaining–I love having the house to myself–and even if Dave were in town, it wouldn’t matter. It makes no difference to Dave if it’s a weekday or a weekend. Every day is the same. He’s still working, napping, and online gaming, so no honey do lists will ever be tackled. No vacations will ever be taken (that aren’t somehow connected to a working trip). Jack will never learn camping or fishing from Dave. None of my hilarious family gatherings will ever be attended (by Dave). As will happen after 15 years of togetherness, aside from a few hours a week of shared TV watching, and the occasional exchange over work-related issues, we lead very decidedly separate lives. And so it occurred to me, after talking with Marovich, that if something ever happened to me, the next spouse should have a field guide for how to manage Dave. And by “manage,” I guess I really mean “co-exist with,” because there’s truly no managing involved. The one thing I’ve learned since meeting Dave in 1999 is, you simply can’t manage an immovable mountain. So here are some helpful tips.

#1. This will be your foyer for at least five days after Dave returns from a show.

We're on Day #3 of the foyer looking like this, post SC Con.

We’re on Day #3 of the foyer looking like this, post SC Con.


No, you’re not allowed to actually move this stuff out of the way. Dave has a very specific way he wishes to unpack the suitcase, so you must not touch it. Or move it. Just learn to accept it’s part of the landscape. Trust me, after a while, you won’t even see it anymore.

#2. Your vehicles will never be parked in your garage. (Mind you, this wasn’t so bad in Florida, but if you, too, will be living in Chicago where snow and ice are a factor, this may drive you crazy.) Despite two industrial-sized dumpsters in the last 12 months, our garage is absolutely filled to overflowing with floor-to-ceiling empty cardboard boxes. I’m too embarrassed to even share an image of it.

#3. If you love fruit, nuts, and vegetables, you’re eating on your own. (I marvel at the fact that despite growing up in Hawaii, Dave never developed a taste for pineapple. I mean seriously, WTF?!?). Oh, and don’t even think about cooking cabbage in the house you share with Dave. We always pray he’s traveling on St. Patrick’s Day.

The foods you'll be eating on your own.

The foods you’ll be eating all on your own.

#4. Burning candles are a no-no. Dave’s heightened olfactory nerves cannot bear the scent of a match or a candle being burned out. Birthdays are really fun around here!

The rest of this lengthy list will reside with Marovich and The Sister Wives for safe keeping. Just ping them on this blog in the event of my demise and share your email. They will get back to you. Be sure your printer ink cartridges are new, and you have plenty of paper loaded. In fact, better yet, forward it to Fed Ex Kinko’s so you can get the list printed and bound.

Sunday Racquetball with Marovich, Part Deux

So in between games of getting my ass kicked in racquetball today, Marovich and I sat down for a moment to discuss life and swig from our water bottles, wishing they were gin and juice (cue up Snoop Dogg: “LAID back…got my mind on my money and my money on my mind…”). There was no shortage of longshoreman speak, and we noted the men in the next court were not nearly as bad as we were. Perhaps they were clergymen. Mother, not followed by “Superior,” was our word of the day. (The first mention being fueled, no pun intended, by Dave Dorman leaving my gas tank on fumes the morning I’m running late. But…karma’s a bitch…a blonde bitch who goes by “Denise.”)

So Marovich and I were discussing muscle groups and various workouts when I made the mistake of telling her–of all people–that I inadvertently showed up for a pole class at my dance studio last week. It seems the term “Vertical Fitness” is my studio’s synonym for “Pole Class.” Who knew?

Or in my case, to shower me with singles...

In my case, to shower me with singles…

As I was attempting to quickly recover and gloss over that part of the story to explain which of my muscle groups needed a turbo-charge, Marovich held up her right hand in that “Stop” position, interrupting.

“Wait! You’ve waited until NOW to tell ME you went to a POLE class?

“Was it raining singles?!? 

“Is there an observation deck where I can watch you take this pole class?!?”

The fact that the owner didn’t even charge me for taking the class should’ve been some indication of my level of participation.

Just because...this looks like Marovich's new kitten and it sorta kinda ties in with the blog today.

Just because…this looks like Marovich’s new kitten, and it sorta kinda ties in with today’s blog.

Post racquetball, we were watching our weekly allotment of Schitt’s Creek episodes at her house and I was trying to recall the final score. Even in the heat of play, Alzheimer’s patients do better than me at remembering game scores. I thought it was 19 to zero (despite the fact that I did, indeed, serve 19 times but couldn’t close the sale), but I needed verification. “Is this for your blog?” Marovich asked, raising her right brow in her inimitable John Belushi style. That right eyebrow of hers gets such a workout, it has its own biceps. I confirmed. “Then I would tell people it was 15 to zero,” she advised. “We don’t want them thinking you played me in a wheelchair.”

Whenever I need that humility check, I can always count on Marovich. That’s what BFFs are for.

Eugene and Daniel Levy’s SCHITT’S CREEK = Comedy GOLD

My BFF Marovich is, naturally, my fellow comedy nerd. Take this morning’s racquetball game, for example. If my serve is long, I hear the words “Long…” (yelled loudly) followed by “Duck Dong…” (said in a barely audible almost-whisper) and if my serve is short, I hear the whispery “Martin” followed by the more loudly yelled “Short!” Not that my serves are oft of either ilk, mind you…

We could hardly wait to finish this morning’s game and get back to her place to watch Eugene Levy, Chris Elliott, and Catherine O’Hara’s latest offering, Schitt’s Creek. (Unbelievably, my “AT&T U-Verse every-channel-in-the-universe FIOS package” that Dave Dorman demands we subscribe to–for the low, low price of a compact car payment–doesn’t carry the POP Network).

Side bar: There was a couple watching us play who had our court for the following hour. When Marovich and I stepped out of the court, the husband said that he knew we were tennis players, due to our double-handed backhands (busted!), and that we looked “well-matched,” which I just loved, because I knew that made my hyper-competitive friend’s shorts pucker a bit. Ha! (Truthfully, when the day arrives that I can beat Marovich at any sport, I’ll be taking out a full page ad in the Chicago Tribune to announce it.)

Schitt's Creek Official Press Image

Schitt’s Creek Official Press Image

But I digress. Back to Schitt’s Creek. I saw creators Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy  interviewed on WGN Morning News about their new show two weeks ago, and I’ve rarely been so excited by the promise of a new comedy. Basically, the Rose family’s assets are seized by the IRS because their financial manager didn’t pay their taxes, and their only remaining asset is a town called Schitt’s Creek, that the patriarch Johnny Rose (played by Eugene Levy) bought as a practical joke for their son, David. (If I had stupid amounts of cash, this is totally something I would do, so the plot really clicked with me.)

The town sign says it all...

The town sign says it all…and I SO want this if it’s ever a t-shirt.

Here’s your link to a Schitt’s Creek commercial, which sets up the premise of the show for you, and (BONUS!) an interview at the back end with Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara:

From Episode 1, we soon discovered Daniel Levy is an absolutely adorable comedic delight. Now I must see everything else he’s done.

When Mayor Roland Schitt, played deftly by GENIUS and no longer under-utilized talent Chris Elliott

Mayor Schitt (Chris Elliott) and Johnny Rose the video king (Eugene Levy)

Mayor Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott) and Johnny Rose the video king (Eugene Levy)

removes the doors from the Rose family’s motel rooms in a snit and Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara) remarks that their open-to-the-world rooms are “like a Moroccan Fair,” Marovich and I were gasping for air. The writing is smart, quirky-funny, and I can’t help but embrace any show that really uses a nuanced comedy stallion like Chris Elliott (or Andrea Martin, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty or Norm Macdonald, for that matter). God, how I miss SCTV. Can you tell?

I hope you have a chance to check out Schitt’s Creek on the POP Network (formerly TVGN) and if so, you can share which line(s) made you laugh the hardest so I can relive them all over again. This show lives up to its every creative and on-board talent promise. WATCH IT.



What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is Going On?!? Dodgeball Has Gotten Wimpy

I avoid living vicariously through my son, but not when it comes to Dodgeball. I signed him up through the park district, and okay, I’ll admit it–it might’ve been because I heard adults could play, too–so last night was our introductory session. Jack was reluctant to play. That is, until he quickly realized that together, he and I make a viable force–serious contenders. I’m no athlete, but there are four exceptions: Dodgeball, Four-Square, Racquetball and Tennis. If it has a ball, I’m IN, and I play with PASSION. So does Marovich, which is one of her many great BFF qualities.

One of my favorite movie scenes was this one (link below) with Justin Long and Vince Vaughn in the movie Dodgeball–a catchphrase I like to repurpose a lot: “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

My favorite scene from DODGEBALL: "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball."

My favorite scene from DODGEBALL: “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

My “Sister Wife” friend Maura snapped some photos of me last night. I called Marovich this a.m. admitting that images existed, but that I wasn’t about to send them to her. “Tell you what,” she coaxed ever-so-smoothly, “Just send them over… I’ll decide whether or not they’re blackmail material.” That Marovich. Always thinking.

Marovich and I loved Dodgeball as kids. We were reminiscing about playing over the phone, and she reminded me how she “used to love it when someone wasn’t looking and (I) could nail them right in the head!” I had the unpleasant task of informing her that head shots are no longer allowed. “What the shit is THAT?!?” she sneered, in sheer disgust. I agree. We’re raising a nation of wimps clad in bubble wrap, hovered over by helicopter parents.

I don’t know if it’s just our park district, but the red, rubbery balls I remember fondly from childhood are no longer used in today’s version of Dodgeball. Now they use these lightweight, spongy wimp balls that don’t deliver the leverage I like for hitting hard.

So Marovich and I are now in hot pursuit of an Adult Dodgeball League. This may be our last middle-aged gasp at going for the gold. Dare I hope (Dare, dare…) that there’s a Dodgeball Olympics?!? 

Rebel Without A Pause: As Breaking Bad’s Skylar White Sez…”Jesus, I didn’t get the beige memo.”

Once upon a time, pre-Dave Dorman, I dated a corporate exec whom I’ll call “The Senator,” because he had what my friends described as “Senator Hair.” You know the look–parted on one side, conservative, never a hair out of place. As a perfectionist, he desired me fitting into the mold of a corporate exec’s wife–minus the marriage part–and I did my level best to comply. I filled my closet with white oxford shirts and beige khaki slacks, fresh off the pages of a Dilbert cartoon. I severely curbed my longshoreman speak. But…as anyone who truly knows me can attest, I can only behave for so long…the inner rebel always rises to the surface. The moment I’m told I can’t do something, that’s when I have to do it. If you told me I couldn’t snort a piano, I’d be breaking mine down, running it through the food processor, key by key.

In my first stint as a "corporate wife" type, I felt like Skylar White in Breaking Bad who famous said, "I didn't get the beige memo."

In my 2nd stint as a “corporate wife” type, I felt like Skylar White in Breaking Bad who famously said at a high net worth party, “Jesus, I didn’t get the beige memo.”

One night The Senator informed me that we were joining the rest of the executive staff for a “corporate retreat,” and that I (and the other corporate wives) would be meeting the male execs at some undisclosed location a couple of hours outside of Chicago. I was told I would be riding in a separate bus with the corporate wives, stopping for a leisurely lunch along the way before arriving at the final destination.

Once The Senator was out of earshot, I was on the Bat Phone with my BFF and favorite co-conspirator Marovich. I told her the sitch, and she immediately began plotting with me. Marovich suggested my white oxford shirt and khakis would go well with a transparent beach bag filled with low-brow literature–National Enquirers, Soldier of Fortune magazines, Playgirl. I suggested rub-on tattoos. Game ON.

The corporate wives and I boarded the bus, and so the odyssey began. After our leisurely lunch, I suggested to the ring leader and CEO’s wife, “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we convinced the hubs we stopped off at a tattoo parlor on the way?” (Mind you, this was the mid-’90s when tattoos weren’t as commonplace.) Once she recovered from her shock at my impertinence, she actually embraced the idea! I couldn’t believe my luck. I showed her my loot–the 50 rub-on tattoos in my bag. Before I knew it, I was whisked away to the washroom of this restaurant where I began rubbing tattoos on middle-aged boobs as fast as I could go. There was literally a line out the door. These women clearly needed a little spice in their lives, and on this trip, I unwittingly became their Srirachi sauce.

Our bus arrived at the secret squirrel destination a good 30 minutes late, and we were instantly admonished by the CEO. It seems that in corporate land, there’s this thing called “a schedule,” (yes, I’m doing the air quotes with my fingers) which is very important to this genus of mammal. The ring leader wife gently protested that we had made an unscheduled stop along the way, and though I didn’t choreograph this, the wives all revealed their tattoos in perfect comedic timing as she finished with the words,”…to a tattoo parlor.” You’ve never seen so many disgusted, horrified caucasian male facial expressions. It was EPIC. The Senator just knew I was somehow behind this. I felt him giving me the stink eye as I avoided eye contact, fighting my smirk as best I could.

Later in the evening, as my new BFFs and I were karaoke-ing, my heart swelled with love for these women and their moment of micro-rebellion. In another era, I’m convinced they would have been right there with me protesting our right to vote, or aiding and abetting the Underground Railroad. Hey, however micro, it’s still progress. On that trip, we became The Sisterhood of the Traveling Khaki Pants.

My mother's worst nightmare: Me with a microphone.

My mother’s worst nightmare: Me with a microphone.