Friday, February 29, 2008

Update and a Memo

Here is just a quick update because we are on our way to Dallas for my Mom's 70th birthday celebration and I am...um...hello...frantically packing, making preparations for the dogs and the housekeeper, packing an extra suitcase for my husband to take to New York when he flies back on Sunday, (He's flying in and out of Dallas this weekend so he will not be home again until the move. Not that I'm lying on the floor with an empty bottle of tequila or anything.), making sure the house is still "show ready" just in case someone wants to see it while we're gone, and trying to find something that will be appropriate for the Family Generations Photo Shoot now that my family has decided that instead of looking like people who work at Blockbuster, we should all look like... people who work at at place where they all wear black shirts and blue jeans.

Newsflash: not a single pair of my jeans fits me. I would drown my sorrows in M&Ms but that seems sort of insult to injury and plus, I already ate them. I am, however, drinking, like, my eighth shot of espresso today because I was so unnerved by nodding off and almost running off the road the last time I drove the kids on a long car trip. So, I might go to jail for speeding but at least everyone will be safe and sound and my kids only eat bread and water anyway. Win/Win.

Coop closed on our house in New York on Wednesday. (Not that he's lying on the floor with an empty bottle of tequila or anything.) Our house in Austin went under contract TODAY! (Well, it's still the option period but if the buyers back out, I swear to you, I will find out where they are moving and go over and leave SCOUT IN THEIR BACKYARD. Don't mess with me--I am a woman on the edge.)

The movers come on Monday the 10th and leave with all of our plastic crap worldly possessions on Tuesday the 11th. The kids will go to Dallas to spend a few days with the grandparents on Wednesday and on Thursday at the crack of dawn, my husband and I will fly all four of the pets to New York in what will surely be the most amazing exercise in complete humiliation ever. Be sure to tune in.

Jane slipped me a memo last night after she'd gone to bed. Here it is:



It says:

"Oh. Mom, Tomorrow I want spaghetti with sauce.

--Jane

mom; letter"

I cracked up at the last part. Where did she learn that?? All she needs is a secretary's initials at the bottom. She kills me.

See you from Big D!

--Barb

BC/ghwb (I always used to do this on my business correspondence. I liked pretending that George Herbert Walker Bush was typing my letters.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So, um...


Um.

So, how weird would it be if the same day we closed on our house in New York, our house here in Austin went under contract?

It might happen. Seriously, we have an offer on the table and we're not that far apart. But for a few hours, at least, we are the owners of real estate in both Texas and New York. And if we won the HGTV Dream House Giveaway, we'd own houses in Texas, New York and FLORIDA!! Dudes, we're practically LAND BARONS.

And all on the same day that our new move announcements arrived.

Okay, back to whatever incarnation of reality I seem to be having today. Because honestly? I am having the weirdest week.

I think it really hit me yesterday (BOOM!) that we're moving to Long Island in less than two weeks, you know?

Um.

Like when I was talking to my neighbor about how great an opportunity this is and I started crying. Not crying crying but sort of just...I don't know...leaking.

Um.

Like when I forgot to take my daughters their lunches yesterday. Both girls needed lunches made and we were running late in the morning so I told them I'd bring them up later. Only I forgot to do it in time to get Jane's to her.

I think you know me well enough to know that this is NOT normal behavior for me.

She forgave me (and she ate a baked potato from the cafeteria.) (Lest you be worried that the little darling went hungry.) (Mom, I'm looking at you.) It was in her best interests to forgive me because the reason I forgot was that I was at the craft store buying the ingredients needed to make scrapbooks for their classes to fill with stories and drawings of the girls. Sort of a good-bye, memory-ish kind of journal.

(I interrupt this angst for a very cute Kid Moment. Just now, Hannah Montana came BLASTING from upstairs and I, suddenly inhabited by the persona of Parents Through The Ages who have yelled at their kids to TURN THAT RACKET DOWN, stomped up the stairs to yell in person. Because, of course, they couldn't hear me from downstairs. I opened Jane's door and there my two girls were, each dancing with a stuffed animal. Hard not to melt with THAT in your face. I wish I had thought to do my scolding armed with a camera.)

(As an aside to my aside (I'm good like that), one summer, every morning on my way back from walking around the lake with my friend Kathy, I drove home behind a truck with a bumper sticker that said, "It's not that I'm old. Your music really DOES suck.")

Anyway, back to weirdness--it's just been incredibly weird saying goodbye to people and meaning, well, GOODBYE. Not just, "Hey, see ya later." But "Hey, maybe we'll see you in a few months when we come visit."

To Visit.

Today, I had lunch with my former boss (the Publisher of Austin Family Magazine) and another friend who is the Photographer of Austin Family Magazine --and it was wonderful and I'm happy to report that I made it to my car before I started to cry. (Well, you know, not CRY cry but just... that leaking thing.)

And I saw one of my doctors today and we both teared up as we realized that this was the last time we'd see each other.

I don't know. It's very weird to have closed on a house that I've only seen twice. It's very weird to think about another family living in THIS house.

I don't know. It's just... weird. Weird. Oh, damn, I seem to be leaking again.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Hot

Not THAT kind of hot. LITERALLY hot. It's 88 degrees here. I think that's a bit hot for February. I'm not being facetious. Really. Because frankly, THIS is not what I want to see sunbathing on my deck...



I ask you, isn't this a bit... well...obscene?


Of course, I'm wearing MY bathing suit and getting a little sun, too and I'm sure that's why Thomas is averting his eyes. I can't really blame him. I think I've just discovered a new reason why our impending move to Long Island might be a good idea...

Okay, so Ana's tenth birthday party was a rip-roaring success. In Ana's words, it was "the best birthday party ever."

Dudes.

I'm not sure what compensation makes all the trouble and effort worth it when it comes to kids but I DO know that when your almost ten-year-old says, "Mom, that was the best birthday party ever. Thank you so much." you will feel like you just won the Mom Lottery. About 100 times in a row.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This Is What I Do

There is this great song by Rhett Miller called, "This Is What I Do."

(I swear to you, minutes ago, there was a video embedded here. But I don't know what happened to it and not only that? All of YouTube appears to be gone. Maybe having some sort of server problems or something. I promise it is not related to anything I did. No. Really.) (I hope.)



This is what I do this is what I do
Every one of us has a secret rhythm beating like a drum
All of us have a albatross and this is my one
This is what I do for a living this is what I do

Well, this is what *I* do.

I give really great children's birthday parties.

Except that greatness is defined by creativity and not by, say, organization.

Take for example, today. (Please.) Today is Ana's tenth birthday party--even though her birthday isn't until March 11. Ana's birthday always falls within the Texas Spring Break --which I know she thinks we did on purpose just to mess with her. Last year, Ana didn't get a birthday party because we gave her a week of horseback riding lessons and a small family party. (I think she'll be getting over not having a ninth birthday party some time in her thirties. At least we will know exactly which non-event to blame for her adult neurosis.) Anyway, in an act of further parental callousness, we will be MOVING to Long Island on her birthday this year. Because that just sounds so much more fun to me than throwing a party of a bunch of kids.

(Well, honestly, it's pretty much a toss up.)

(Just kidding!)

So, we're having her party today and we've heated the pool because it's going to be, I'msosorrypleasedon'thatemeyounortherners, SEVENTY-NINE degrees and sunny, sunny, sunny. Truly, it's like a reproach to us --Austin seems to have shrugged off the mantle of winter and to be pulling out all the stops to show us exactly how spectacular the weather can be here. I just try to keep reminding myself that in July when it's hotter than the fire of Hades here, we'll be coming back for a visit.

But I digress.

Anyway, Ana's party this year is a Puppy Party. So, I cobbled together a cake in the shape of a bone out of a store-bought cake and some cupcakes--because I can't be getting the kitchen all messy what with the house being on the market and incredibly snotty Realtors walking through at every damn inconvenient moment. (Not that I'm bitter.)

Get it? DOG years!! Ah me, I kill myself.

Are these the cutest goody-bags you've ever seen?




But you know where my Kid Birthday Party Planning Genius is REALLY evident?

Make Your Own Kibble.



(Note the serving dishes. All of my plastic, pool-friendly bowls have already been packed up so I bought these dog dishes at the grocery store and they were CHEAP. Even at our grossly-overpriced grocery store.)

No, stop, stop --no applause! Truly, you are too kind. After all, this is just what I do.

Well, that, and this:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I know it's Friday. I also know that it's fairly impossible for me to be "wordless." "Speechless" on occasion, sure, but never without words. So the whole concept of bloggers taking Wednesdays off from words was very interesting to me because, well, um, I thought blogging was ABOUT words. I mean, I use photos but usually to illustrate my words. If that makes sense.

So, I did a little surfing for other bloggers who had done the Wordless Wednesday thing and the thing is...well, don't tell anyone but they, um, CHEATED. They used words. They used photos, sure, but then they used words to describe the photos.

So, THEN I started wondering if I have any photos that I could use that wouldn't need words with them. This was the only one I came up with:

Sorry, I uploaded the big version of that picture and that is one big Thomas hiney. ("Tell Me about your big 'but.'" Quick, name that movie!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This Probably Isn't A Good Idea, Right?

Dear Guests,

I am so sorry but I couldn’t stash our dogs at our neighbor’s house like I normally do because our neighbors are having work done on their house today. I’ve shut the dogs down into the yard and they won’t bother you –other than their incredibly annoying barking. (I can’t think why we even HAVE them.)

You can see the entire property in the back from the upstairs deck or, if you really want to walk out into the yard, simply carry a tennis ball (positioned by each back door) and throw it. (Extra points if you hit the dog with the ball.) (Just kidding. Really.) Watch where you step.

Barb

PS: We’re taking the dogs when we move to New York and the neighborhood will be very quiet.

I had actually printed this out and taped it to my front door and strategically positioned the tennis balls and then I sort of remembered how terminally serious I was when *I* was shopping for a house. So, I thought better of it and took the note down and as soon as the coast was clear at my neighbor's house, I took the dogs over there. Then I left for an hour. The Realtor who called to make the appointment said she would come between 12:00 and 1:30. When I asked her to narrow it down, she said the soonest they could get there was 12:30 so I left then.

I got back at 1:18 and just assumed they'd been there.

Two minutes later, the doorbell rang.

It was the Realtor and her client. "I'm so sorry. I just got back home. I'm couldn't tell if you all had already been here or not." I said. "Come on in and I'll just head on back out."

She looked at her watch and raised her freaking eyebrows.

I bared my teeth at her smiled and got my keys and left.

But you know what? My impulse was to look at MY watch, raise MY eyebrows and then say, "Whoops, sorry, your time in my life has expired. I have wasted all the effort on you that I can spare, you narcissistic, overly made-up, rude, viciously thin, surgically-augmented B-WORD."

But, see, I think that now that I'm 43, I should be more mature. Am I really passing judgment on someone who might possibly sell my house to her nice clients? Am I really so shallow as to make an entire character assassination based on one thirty-second encounter with some poor woman whose feet were probably killing her?

Dudes. What has HAPPENED TO ME?

I think it is safe to say that I just AM NOT very mature at all. (Nanny, nanny, boo, boo. I know you are but what am I?)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

No Longer The Answer to Everything

I am 43 today.

I am just having a spectacular day, too.

Want to see some of my presents? Here's one that really meant a lot to me. In fact, it made me cry. I feel so blessed to have the good friends I have --it's like I feel about my marriage. I don't know how I got so lucky but my heart overflows with gratitude for your presence in my life.

Thank you.

Each of my siblings AND my parents called me today--isn't that just so nice? My BFF in Canada sent me the most beautiful card that she'd handmade--because she can do things like that.

My Austin BFF made me THESE:

My husband had my van detailed. My kids made me cards and had little trinkets they'd picked out with their dad. My BFF at the kids' school came over for dinner and allowed me to totally mess up my kitchen--a luxury I haven't allowed myself since the house went on the market. The weather was beautiful, I got my hair cut, I met my BFF Laura for lunch, and everything was peaceful and full of fun and reminders of how lucky I am.

And Edward? Edward gave me this:



I feel about Edward's feet like the person Elizabeth Berg quotes in one of her books (I would give an actual reference but apparently, that book is now in a box) where the person is asked to tell the best presents he's ever received. And he thinks for a bit and then he says, "You know the way cats sometimes run sideways? That."

Monday, February 18, 2008

"They Were Mostly, Um, Stuntmen."

We continue to clean out closets in anticipation of the movers coming three weeks from today to pack us up and move us to Long Island.

(Did I just scream out loud? Sorry 'bout that.)

I think I've mentioned before that my husband, aided and abetted by his mother, tends to keep, um, well, everything. Maybe I've mentioned that one or two (million) times? I tend to milk the humor out of my husband's messiness because it's pretty much the only thing I can tease him about because he's so... well, perfect in just about every single way. And I am not just saying that because tomorrow is my birthday and he buys me great presents or anything.

Anyway, he has a bit of a little Clutter Issue. He comes by this honestly --his people Keep Things. Because you just never know when you're going to need something, right?

Like, um, a set of (occasionally intact) GI Joe dolls and their clothes.

Dudes.

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

He looks a little tired, don't you think?
It might be because he's missing a forearm. Famous quote from my husband, "Well, these guys were mostly, um, stuntmen."

That would certainly explain that outfit.

And, um, these:

Well okay, maybe they could be explained by a combination of stuntmen and Saturday Night Fever.

Oh, and look at these fur-trimmed pants.
I'm guessing that these are for when GI Joe is moonlighting as a male figure skater.

However, there might have been some sort of issue because he had TWO pairs of these and one of them looks as if someone (shhh!) didn't quite make it to the potty on time.

This guy?
He's the Lone Ranger. We're not certain what exactly happened to his horse. Or his chaps.

Or his, um, pants.

This is the Six Million Dollar Man!


Coop showed me that he can do Karate chops. I said, "No, maybe that's just for pumping his arms while he's running."

He looked at me with that cute look that says, ever-so-clearly, "What PLANET are you from?"

"Dude. Trust me. It's for chopping."

Right.






I almost fell on the floor and flopped like a fish when I saw THIS: Doesn't he kind of look like a red-headed Burt Reynolds during the Smokey and the Bandit phase? The really funny thing (as if the beard and sideburns weren't funny enough) was that I took three photos of this head and the head looked increasingly psychotic in each one. And, um, the eyes followed me wherever I went.

Maybe he was just mad because he wanted to wear this shirt today and couldn't find his gold chain to go with it.

I had to hide it under a stack of random body parts. Even though, like, what was it going to do to me? ("Come back here and I'll head-butt you to death!") (Quick, name that movie!)

One thing is for certain, all of these little plastic figures are WAY too sexy for these shorts.

Anyway, I was all set to give them away when my MIL decided to take them home with her (she's been visiting) and keep them. Just in case her other son has boy children who might want them.

You never know.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What American City am I?

Okay, so I totally skewed this toward Austin after I saw that Lori Hahn was Austin --she lives in California! I answered the questions in such a way as to make ME Austin, too. (This is why I was always really good at standardized tests.)











You Are Austin





A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.



Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick




Because look at this, apparently, I am also New York.










You Are New York




Cosmopolitan and sophisticated, you enjoy the newest in food, art, and culture.
You also appreciate a good amount of grit - and very little shocks you.
You're competitive, driven, and very likely to succeed.

Famous people from New York: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tupac Shakur, Woody Allen



And just for good measure:










You Are Boston




Both modern and old school, you never forget your roots.
Well educated and a little snobby, you demand the best.
And quite frankly, you think you are the best.

Famous people from the Boston area: Conan O'Brien, Ben Affleck, New Kids on the Block


And, um... well,










You Are Los Angeles




Young and fun, you always know where the best parties are.
And while you tend to keep things carefree and casual...
You certainly can glam it up when you need to.

Famous people from Los Angeles: Tyra Banks, Jake Gyllenhall, Freddie Prinze Jr.



Oops, one more:








You Are Austin




A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick, Barb Cooper




Stupid Blogger won't let me adjust the spacing nor the font size. I just love that Blogger. Love. It.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sign of the Impending Apocalypse


Tonight, I was debating my children with regards to Haribo gummy bears.

Now, most of you know that I eat no other kind of gummy bears. And in my lifetime, I have eaten, roughly, 12 bazillion gazillion pounds of them. When I was single, I thought a nice dinner was some chardonnay and some Haribo gummy bears. (Hey, I ate the green ones--what do you want?) They are the ultimate comfort food for me --no doubt because my grandfather used to keep an old (and probably the same old) bag of them for when the grandchildren visited. In fact, I LIKE gummy bears (Haribo) when they are a little tough and stale.

Tonight, I was arguing that I am a connoisseur of them and there is NO DIFFERENCE in the various colors--they have no distinct flavors. So, we did some taste tests, including my mother, who hates them but assured me that I was really and truly WRONG about the flavors not having any relationship to the colors.

So I went on-line to prove how ridiculous and misguided those silly, silly family members are. And I found THIS: Number one of the FAQ at Haribo is this:

What are the flavors of the Haribo Gold-Bears?The white Gold-Bear is Pineapple; the green Gold-Bear is Strawberry; the yellow Gold-Bear is Lemon; the orange Gold-Bear is Orange; and the red Gold-Bear is Raspberry.

Apparently, the bears were reformulated in March of 2006.

WHAT??? WHAT???

This is just... Un-Freaking-Acceptable!

People! Clearly the world is ending. Run and take your Haribo Gold Bears (without the flavoring) with you.

Plus, WTF??? Green equals STRAWBERRY? Those people are SMOKING SOMETHING.

The Problem

The problem with going to bed at ten o'clock --and let's face it, it would have been earlier but my nine-year-old was having a hard time falling asleep (the boy she has a wicked bad crush on gave her a tiny stuffed monkey for Valentine's Day and she couldn't sleep for happiness)--is that here I am at 3:00 in the morning wide awake and, um, HUNGRY.

I extricated myself from the orange tabby pride on my bed and went downstairs and came back up with... well... organic mini peeled carrots.

Yes, carrots.

I realize that this flies in the face of all you know about me.

But see, the thing is that while my husband has been breaking all kinds of Great Valentine records and using his time away from us to fund this frat party, he's also been working out in the hotel gym. He's buff.

Me? Not so much. Not so... AT ALL. Not.

And even though I have done Weight Watchers (I say that in the "I signed up and paid them money" sense) and vowed time and time again to figure out if there is an exercise on earth I can do without my really messed up foot (almost a year now--but who's counting?) (Bitter? Not me.), the truth is that I am out of shape and chubby and looking a lot like my paternal grandmother.

It just seems like I should be trying harder. I've always said that I know my husband is the right man for me because he inspires me to try to be a better person. (He's always said that he knows I'm the right woman for him because I make him madder than anyone ever has in his entire life. Seems a good trade.)

So, here I go, trying harder. I know I've said this before. But THIS time I really mean it. No, REALLY.

Dudes. I am eating CARROTS and there are perfectly good gummy bears downstairs.

Must be love.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love (My Fairy Tale) Thursday

Hey There! I didn't mean to worry anyone. I know that I took off two whole days without posting. Polar ice caps started melting, flights were delayed, traffic ground to a stand-still.

Oh wait, none of that had anything to do with me.

(As far as YOU know.)

Anyway, it's been the usual chaos and house showing here at the Cooper Clubhouse and just a wee bit of knitting. I'm still working on the socks that were due on my friend's birthday, which was February 5th. Finished the first one, started the second and then got sidetracked by a new crisis, the details of which I will spare you. I WILL say that my Plate O'Crises is very full now and I will not be accepting any new crises for the foreseeable future. Sorry 'bout that.

In other news, it's a little windy here today:


And on the Continuation of My Fairy Tale --because you knew I was living one, right? Complete with (apparently) Happily Ever After? --when I got home from my volunteer stint up at the school, these were on the front porch, addressed to Ana and Jane:




And then there was a note that a package had been left next door at the neighbor's house.

Um.

My husband has brought me flowers almost weekly since we were married. This is among the most spectacular arrangements I've ever seen.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Dog Walker

(Click photos to enlarge.)

Small Things, Again

Last year I wrote a post about Small Things, inspired by my cousin-by-marriage Leslie. In it, I talked about this national schizophrenia that has overtaken us that tells us we must do all things to excess and how hard it is to feel meaningful when you're doing a lot of small things. But I had sort of come to the conclusion that the small things are the things that honestly make our lives worthwhile.

This past week would have been my next-door-neighbor's son's 18th birthday. He was tragically killed in a car accident on August 17th and witnessing the grief of his family has been one of the most heartrending experiences of my life. They are so, so, so sad. And there is no solace.

I was thinking about them and I was thinking that the only way to get through this grief is to concentrate on doing small things. Tiny remembrances and connections with their son and his life. Because to think about him gone forever --to think about it every minute of every day without respite? Therein lies madness and despair from which we can never emerge.

Just as I was thinking about this, I got an e-mail from Ei, from the comments. It said this:

In January, my nine year old niece was diagnosed with osteo-carcinoma, a cancer that manifested in the bones of her arm, and subsequently spread into her lungs through the lymphatic system. The cancer was found because a mass in her upper arm grew large enough to break the bone. She has begun chemotherapy treatments, and if they can get the tumor in her arm down to manageable size she will have her arm amputated at the shoulder.

My half-sister, Karla and her husband Dan have no health insurance and have been out of work for several weeks now caring for Emily. Their local women's club (in San Diego) is doing a fundraiser for them. If you have even a couple of dollars to spare to help them out, I know we would all appreciate it. The address to mail donations is:

Checks payable to: GFWC-MIRA MESA WOMEN'S CLUB

Mail to:
Sandra Cabral
10769 Parkdale Avenue
San Diego, Ca. 92126

For anyone who is in the San Diego area and would like details on the event being held at Fuddruckers for Emily, please email me and I'll get you the flyer.


Support a candidate this year who wants to do something about the state of health care for everyone in this nation. Emily is a good reminder of why it is so vital that this issue be addressed.


And I started looking for my checkbook, thinking how awful this situation is and how horrible for that little girl. And how with all the cancer and death out there, how can we even go on?

I think the answer is that we go on by doing the small things we can to alleviate the pain and suffering we can. So, I'm sending some money and some prayers to this little girl and her family.

But in order to not get mired in the despair of this mortal existence, there is something else I can do: I can practice active, conscious gratitude for the blessings in my own life. So, that's what I'm trying to do.

Small things.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Excavation Continues

Have you ever wondered what your junk drawer says about your family? Oh, come on, you know you've imagined your biographers coming through your house and telling your adoring public all about how you lived your life, right down to the contents of your junk drawer! You do that, too, right? And people applaud?

[Yeah, well, clearly I have a lot of time on my hands.]

Anyway, today, dear readers, we examine the contents of the... COOPER JUNK DRAWER. What secrets lie within its crowded, cluttered contents? [My biographers always love alliteration.]

[Listen, you populate the voices in your head with whomever YOU want and I'll populate the voices in my head with whomever I want. Deal?]


Before we examine the contents of the COOPER JUNK DRAWER, perhaps we should specify that this one is the Officially Designated Junk Drawer. It does seem to resemble many of the drawers in the Cooper household, no doubt for some incredibly well thought-out reason.

It's not a very big drawer.

And yet, through some miracle of planning and persistence, it contained ALL of this inside of it:

What does this say about the Coopers, do we think? Let's go further in depth.

It appears that the Coopers are inordinately concerned about their hair.




The Coopers appear to have severely dry lips.


And to be concerned about halitosis.
Does this enormous stash of chewing gum in the junk drawer indicate that the occupants in the house sometimes grab a piece of gum on their way out the door instead of brushing their teeth? Why are a few of the pieces practically petrified? The mystery only deepens...

The Coopers appear to have some issues with keeping their papers organized and bound.

Note that we see binder clips, paper clips, staples AND a staple puller but no, I repeat NO, stapler. What does this mean? Was there a problem with the stapler? Or did a small child escape with the stapler, carrying it to the recesses of her room from whence it was never recovered? [My biographers love words like "whence."]

The Coopers appear to be concerned about their hearing. Is there a logical reason the ear plugs are kept inside the kitchen drawer? Is there ever screaming at meal time in the Cooper House? We want to know.

So, far, other than an abnormal obsession with personal hygiene (look at the two sets of clippers and variety of tweezers in this next photo) the Coopers seem like a fairly normal family.

But now things take a turn for the sinister. WHAT is with all of those screws? Can one safely say that the Coopers have more than one screw loose? [Hey, you biographers! Knock off with the puns, okay? And a little respect--is that too much to ask?]

And DUDE, how is it possible to have this many keys?

And buttons.

And outlet covers

And adhesives.

And boxtops?


And honestly, what's the deal with this home-made temporary tattoo? Would someone put that on a CHILD? I think this was for an adult --and what mature, self-respecting adult would wear a temporary tattoo?

I'll tell you, in my esteemed opinion as a biographer of thousands, what this drawer reveals about the Coopers: It reveals that they're CRAZY and not only that but that are P-I-G-...

[And this concludes the final episode of the Cooper UNauthorized Biography Series, brought to you by the unruly voices in Barb's head. She will now take her regularly scheduled medication and return you to your own well-ordered and temporary tattoo-less existances.]

[Last time I play THAT game...]