Haute Flash Contessa

Rants, ramblings, raves of a woman who blames everything from road rage to undercooked pork chops on a hormone imbalance.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Contessa's Costumes

This morning on The Today show, children modeled easy-to-make costumes based on children's books. Sounds good, right. Well, try telling that to the little boy dressed up as Captain Underpants.

Can you imagine how that kid, around eight-years-old, must've felt parading around in a body suit and his dad's underwear? On national television? What was his mother thinking? The boy just stood there and screamed when the camera focused on him. I bet he saw himself on the monitor.

Everyone knows you don't humiliate your kids in stupid costumes when they're in school. You do it when they're little, like toddlers or pre-schoolers when they've not yet figured out what's cool or not.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good Excuse to Buy a Case of Vodka

Vodka is the new vinegar. Don’t get me wrong, I love my vinegar. It’s been my mother’s little helper, a true BFF. Okay, second best, after Merlot. Well, maybe third, after Chardonnay. But it’s definitely way ahead of white zinfandel on the best friend scale. Little vin has gotten me out of tough spots, like when the mold in our tub started sprouting fungi. A little squirt of vin, a touch of The Big Guy’s elbow grease, and voila, the tub is clean enough to bathe in. Well, almost.

But according to The Daily Green, Vodka’s versatility spreads far beyond serving as the alcohol of choice for Gimlets and Cosmopolitans. With so many uses, it could be one shot glass away from ending global warming. Consider, it can:

Defeat poison ivy. Pour a bit directly to the infected area. Heck, just drink a whole bottle of Absolut and you’ll be amazed how the itching disappears. It’s hard to feel much of anything when you’re unconscious.

Freshen linen. Spritz your clothes and they’ll look like new. Plus, when that nosey woman across the street sticks her head inside the minivan and accuses you of having alcohol on your breath you can answer, “Nope. Laundry Day.”

Repel bugs. Not only can you keep mosquitoes away but now you have another explanation on those days you aren’t washing laundry.

Preserve flowers. Add a few drops of to the water in your vase and flowers will live much longer. Drink the rest and pickle yourself. You won’t live any longer but it’s all about quality, not quantity. Make sure it’s top-shelf.

Sooth jellyfish bites. Good to know, those jellyfish bites have become a big problem around here. By they time they hop on some kid’s flip-flops at the beach, get tossed around in the back of a minivan for 90 miles only to be dragged through the mud by a slobbering dog, those little suckers are stinging mad.

Clean and shine hair. Pour a shot or two of Smirnoff on your head, then rinse. Pour a shot or two down your throat and swallow. Repeat steps one and two until bottle is empty. You’ll end up a lush with squeaky clean tresses. Beats the heck out of crème rinse.

Sure makes you want to run out a buy a case of vodka. For emergencies.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Selecting Treats for the Older Tricksters

Now that I've decided which treats to give the little darlings, it's time to figure out what to do with their parents. This is tough. Just what do you hand out to a thirty-something balding guy standing on your porch decked out in his Sunday-best wife-beater t-shirt that doesn't quite reach his belly-button? And no, that's not his costume. He's the dad thrusting a Spec's liquor sack under your nose with one hand, juggling Pabst Blue Ribbon and a Marlboro with the other, and easing himself into your foyer while you're complimenting his kid on her creative costume made out of used trash bags.

I know. A restraining order.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Contessa's Halloween Candy

When the doorbell rings in October, everyone in the Contessa household hides behind the curtains because it may be:

1) Kids selling useless crap;

2) Marine recruiters on the march for a few good men;

3) Merlotta signing up volunteers for the school carnival;

4) Child Protective Services; or

5) Tricked-out Hannah Montanas and Batmans begging for goodies.

Actually, Contessa’s ready for the little monsters this year. After first considering whether to hand out used wine corks or Bongo's dog biscuits that look exactly like cookies (just ask Cat's homeroom party mom), she decided to go organic. Contessa has stocked up on healthful treats, like Pomegrante Pucker-flavored Yummy Earth Lollipops

and Vienna Roast Coffee-flavored hard candies.

That’ll line ‘em up at the door. The neighbor’s door.

She scored a stash of organic toffee chews, too, because all kids love toffee. It ranks right up there alongside fruit cake and Friday night laxatives. But the scream of the night will be the Endangered Species Bug Bites.

Nothing says yummy in the tummy better than vegan, gluten-free, kosher beetles available in both, milk AND dark chocolate. Plus, they come with a set of 32 insect trading cards. So after little Brittney and The Joker finish hurling in the bushes, they can discover all sorts of bug trivia, like how the cockroach will probably never be named to any endangered species list.

Yep, after a treat from Contessa, kids are gonna beg for something more traditional, like razor-in-the-apples treats. Or wine.

Prisoners and Pre-Teens

What do Texas prison inmates and 12-year-old girls have in common? Apparently, talking and texting.

All those years of isolation on death roll take a toll on a man, having him search out a few BFFs. Calling strangers collect from the prison pay phone is soooo 1990s. Ewww. As if.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How to put the "fun" into fundraising

I'm tired of hawking candy, cookie dough, candles and wrapping paper to raise funds for schools. It's such a waste of time. Neighbors see me coming up the walkway and they don't answer the door. Oh, yeah, that's when I bring over supper. Schools spend the money on luxuries anyway, like books and toilet paper.

Cat just finished selling four boxes of 40 candy bars and I just finished eating four boxes of 40 bars, all for some crappy "surprise" field trip. The principal's probably loading up all his top sales students into a van and shuttling them to his house for yardwork. No, wait, they're not allowed to do that. Or is it prison wardens who can't? I get them mixed up. That's easy enough to do - they both oversee a bunch of crazed and caged wild animals. At least principals can ship theirs home every night.

I say, to hell with all those useless products and send those kids out with stuff people want to buy, like door-to-door wine tastings. A field trip to Napa Valley sure beats pulling weeds.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Frittering The Day Away

I'm so distracted and unfocused that the only thing I can seem to finish is a glass of wine. Thank God for that.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

To the Depths of Hell and Back

Last night, I plunged to the depths of hell. Oh, I know I say that every time I clean Pinot & Grigio's bathroom but this was worse. I chaperoned 300 pre-teens at the YMCA dance.

I'm not sure why it's called a dance because the kids hopped. Up and down, sideways, back and forth, they hopped. And I was stuck in the middle, kinda like a handful of Mexican jumping beans with a kidney bean mixed in by mistake.

Dance organizers were teens themselves, not too many years older than their charges. Parents were required to volunteer in order for their kids to attend. Misery loves company, I suppose. The KICs (kids in charge) armed us with flashlights and said to just shine a light on the ones getting too close each other or beginning to fight. Sorta like spraying a hose on two dogs. After an hour hopping up and down without stopping, in an overcrowded, under-cooled gymnasium, I think a spraying from a hose would've gone over better. The kids would've liked it, too.

KICs also suggested if kids got out of hand to turn the trouble-makers over to them. They didn't think we parents should be burdened with disciplining the kids. Right. Take away my one chance for enjoyment.

At least it's over. Until next spring. Maybe Cat will take up another, less frenetic interest. Wonder if she'd go for mud wrestling.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photo of Contessa

I've been encouraged to add my photo to the blog. Once I figure out how to do that, I'll upload this snapshot:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ultimate Reality: The Big Guy's Underwear

“Contessa, I need your help,” The Big Guy hollered from the den. Oh great, he wants me to turn the channels on the television set. Again. I can’t believe Cat traded her dad’s remote control for an iTunes gift card. She should’ve held out for an iPod touch.

“Actually, I want your opinion.”

Since I hear those words less often than “you look like you’ve lost weight,” I made a beeline straight to the den. That’s where I caught sight of a first: The Big Guy sorting laundry. Well, not really sorting. Maybe sifting. Okay, inspecting.

“Rag or no rag,” The Big Guy asked, flashing a pair of ratty, holey Fruit of The Looms in the air and grinning as if he was holding a suitcase full of money. “Should I toss it in the rag pile or not?”

rest of the story here

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Health Advice For Women

A friend sent this to the Contessa. I don't know who originated it but my cork's off to her!

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
Do you suffer from shyness?
Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor
or pharmacist about Chardonnay.

Chardonnay is the safe, natural way to feel better and more
confident about yourself and your actions. Chardonnay can help ease you
out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and
willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Chardonnay almost immediately
and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that
prevent you from living the life you want to live. Shyness and
awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many
talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living.

Chardonnay may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant
or nursing should not use Chardonnay. However, women who wouldn't mind
nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting,
incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of
clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table
dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke
and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked

* The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you are
whispering when you are not.

* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to tell your
friends over and over again that you love them.

* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to think you can

* The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you can
logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

* The consumption of Chardonnay may create the illusion that you
are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sad Commentary From The Big Guy

"You know you're feeling old when the girl on your college dorm-room poster is now doing Prilosec commercials.

At least she still looks good.

My hero-hunk on the wall went from this:

To being the poster child for men suffering mid-life crises everywhere:

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