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Brush up on your lists of hard words and buzz over to The Blotto Bee.
Brush up on your lists of hard words and buzz over to The Blotto Bee.

Who loves a drunk spelling bee?

A few years ago, I had the honor of hosting OnMilwaukee.com’s adult spelling bees at the now-defunct Room 434 and The Social, and if I learned one thing during this experience it’s that getting buzzed at a bee is a blast.

Hence, I am happy to blog that The Wicked Hop’s Jackalope Lounj, 345 N. Broadway, will launch the first Blotto Bee on Thursday, Nov. 13.

The Blotto Bee happens two Thursday nights a month: Nov. 13 and 20; Dec. 11 and 18; Jan. 8 and 15. (Two weeks on, two weeks off.) Registration begins at 7 p.m., and the Bee kicks off at 8.

Contestants each do one shot before spelling words that, primarily, come from popular culture. The event is hosted by Schoolmistress Susan and her accomplice, Tot Mama, apparently a hot lunch lady who distributes tater tots during intermission.

Registration for the Blotto Bee is $6 and covers one shot for every round you remain in, and a tip for the barkeep. (Admission is free for spectators.) First prize includes a $25 gift certificate to the Wicked Hop, a "Certificate of Achievement" and any confiscated items found in the bad kids’ lockers that week. Woo-hoo. 

Now that's a nice set of chompers.
Now that's a nice set of chompers.

Tantrums over teeth

Yesterday, I posted an article about tantrums, and later that day, I took my kids to the dentist where, lo and behold, I dealt with a nasty tantrum in the dentists' office.

Let me start by saying, my kids love going to the dentist. They love it as much as going to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum or Discovery World. Mostly, because they have never had a cavity, thanks to genetically strong enamel on their teeth.

However, when we arrived at the dentist yesterday, the receptionist informed me that my insurance company wouldn't cover my youngest son's appointment because he had a teeth cleaning less than six months ago.

Upon hearing this news, my kid burst into tears. Then he started wailing in the otherwise-quiet office, even threw a Highlights magazine on the ground and stomped on it. Between sobs he cried, "I want my dentist! I want my new toothbrush! I want to ride up and down on the chaaaaiiirr!"

The waiting room was filled with adults, none of whom looked the least bit excited about their future new toothbrush or chair ride. A couple of the patients and I caught eyes and smiled, just a little bit, because of the hilarity of someone being so damn upset over a canceled dentist appointment.

"I'm here for a root canal," said one guy. "I'd be happy to give up my appointment."

I didn't realize it at the time, but while my kid was melting down, the receptionist called my insurance company and got clearance for my son's dentist appointment since we were just a couple days shy of the six-month waiting period. When she told me the news, my son switched off his tantrum like a nightlight, and sat quietly in his chair.

"Yay," he said, smiling.

I was mixed with emotion. It was certainly nice and above-and-beyond  customer-friendly that the receptionist went to the trouble to have my son's dentist appointment approved, but at the same time, it reinforced to my son that a big, fat tantrum gets ya what ya want. Sigh.

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Can ginkgo biloba help me find my keys?
Can ginkgo biloba help me find my keys?

Does ginkgo biloba really work?

In the past few years, I have become increasingly forgetful. I leave my keys at the library or I call my kid by the dog's name or I go to the grocery store for dish soap and return with a bunch of bananas, a container of sour cream and a box of fish sticks.

The supportive people in my life say this is common for working parents with two small children, especially those of us who glom hobbies and a social life atop the already heaping plate.

Regardless of why it's happening, I can't stand spaciness. I spent years of my life killing brain cells on a regular basis, and yet, never once did I stand in the middle of my living room like I did today, scratching my head and wondering where I put my shoes.

A while ago, a friend recommended I start taking ginkgo biloba. I have done a little research and am considering it, but I hesitate to add it to my already-bloated grocery bill every month. So, I am wondering if anyone has tried ginkgo biloba, and if it improved your memory and / or attentiveness?

I really believe most of my problem is rooted in too much multi-tasking, and I am trying very hard not to do it as often. But if a  plant can help, too, then it's worth the monetary investment. Assuming, of course, I can find my wallet. 

An old-school Facebook page.
An old-school Facebook page.

Updating status on Facebook

I update my status on Facebook about every other day, and when I do, it always strikes me that what I’m really doing -- despite what I’m typing -- is F-ing around on Facebook.

It's fun to think of creative ways to say what I was doing, will soon be doing or wish I was doing. There's the honest, humdrum status update "Molly is making dinner for her family" to the overused, clever status update "Molly is." to the TMI update "Molly is pooping." 

However, status updates are nothing more than another way to communicate something about us to our cyber friends. It has nothing to do with what we're actually doing, otherwise everyone’s update would simply be "typing" or "updating my Facebook status."

Right?