Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Breaking News, It Is Hot Out!, or Yet Another Reason I Was Terrible Intern, by Allison

So as I am doing my regular thing, care packages for camping children, tea acquiring, gym, and such, many conversations with various people all over the place go something like this:

Every Person:  "It's hot outside."
Me: "Sure is, it is very hot out."

Repeat one trillion times.

I am pretty sure the underlying message in all of these conversatons is actually
 "It is horrible that it is so hot outside, it has caused my brain to melt so now all I can do is talk about how hot it is, to every person I see."

I may be putting my own spin on it, because I hate the hot.
Super hate if it is hot AND sunny, that is misery to me.

It means that I will be gross all day and lifelong social conditioning and mean commercials make me feel like I am sluglike creature if I do not put on visor and go play tennis and I also HATE tennis (Balls come at you! Fast! Also I look foolish in tennis clothes)
or put sprinklers on and give the kids popsicles and whimsically frolic outside. (It may not need to be said, but I do not do whimsy or frolicking.)

No, thank you.
May I order some rain and fog and mist and trees and more rain and also maybe a moor and include Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff and possible sparkly vampires who like forest areas instead?

I choose that.

Trip to Ireland in which all of those above conditions were happening convinced me that is my ideal climate -- I was in heaven and TOTALLY have the wardrobe for it.

(Clarification: All of the conditions listed above were there except no awesome dudes from books, that would have been extra great and also would mean that I would still be in Ireland)

(Picture of Me in Ireland, very happy with the non-heat and non-sun.)

But I can't say that whole thing whenever anyone says "It's hot outside."
I will drive away even more people than usual with my very long opinion on whatever it is that they innocuously bring up,  not realizing who they were dealing with and they better pull up a chair.

Also, the "It's hot" conversations remind me of one of the very ridiculous things I did when I was an intern at a local TV station one summer during college.

I've already shared in previous post that I was Terrible Intern, as evidenced by my wicked glee in mailing a recipe that was gross (Note: But not poisonous! Am not evil) that I made up out of random things and called Corn Fancy, I would mail this to people who wrote in to the syndicated chef we aired asking for recipes and sometimes I would send that recipe out if the recipe-requester was a lunatic (Note: There were a lot of lunatics, and I don't mean the fun ones, I mean the tape your cat's hair to the letter type), I detailed that crime in another post a while ago (http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/06/corn-fancy-or-why-i-am-worst-by-allison.html), this is different awful thing.

As intern, I did a whole bunch of stuff at the station, which was actually very cool unless it involved something lame I did not want to do, that part was NOT cool.

But still.

Sometimes if there was time to fill on the show that day, I would get assigned a very ludicrous nonsense story and go off with totally sad cameraman to tape it.
(Note: Because I was unpaid intern, I was not allowed to be on camera, only my voice and hand holding microphone would be seen, which now that I think of it, that could have been total lie and they just did not want me on camera, in which case I am glad they lied because that would have been very disheartening to hear)

(Also note: Was excellent for me anyway that I was not on camera because now there is no proof of any of the ridiculousness I got myself up to unless I willingly write about it)

This station had plenty of actual news to cover, we were not in small tiny town where not a thing is going on and you have to make up nonsense stories.


Here's the part where I go off on a tangent, but it is relevant and also awesome, so bear with me.

Speaking of nonsense news stories, the town in which we have lived for over a decade is also not tiny no-stoplight town, things go on here, plus also there is national and international news as well.
But the day we moved here,
 the newspaper front cover, above the fold front page story was:
"Buzz The Cat Survives Arrow Attack."
 Is insane and also awesome, but slightly troubling because we now live in a town where not only is this front page news -
But it means people shoot arrows at cats here?
Which seems kind of Daniel Boone-ish or Serial Killer In Training.
Neither are appealing to me.

Also Matt saw that headline and was all,
 "Um, Allison, told you we should have moved up North."

So I get all, "You don't know that, there are probably tons of people shooting cats with arrows in Baltimore or wherever further up you tried to drag me.  It is just not in the paper in those places because people are also shooting other people, with or without arrows, and that is more important than the cat attacks, which I am sure are happening there too."

And he is all, "Ug."

But we already live here so point is moot, other than the point I was originally making which was:

 Buzz Arrow Attack is a very non-news story that does not need to be in the newspaper,
except for entertainment purposes to horrify newcomers into thinking they have moved into Deliverance 2: Now We Are After The Animals! Town.

Totally worked, evil geniuses behind Buzz The Cat Survives Arrow Attack.

Well played.


I am back to my Terrible Intern story now, if you can harken back to the time in which you were reading about that and not freaking out about whatall is going on in my town.

So I would get assigned these silly non-stories to fill time, and it usually meant very bored and sad cameraman and I would go out and do some story, which was always a variation of:

Please Fill Three Minutes Of Time, We Don't Care What It Is About.

This particular assignment came to mind today when having many conversations with people that boiled down to, "It's hot out."
(Remember when I was talking about that a long time ago before I went off-topic several times? That was fun.)

So the non-news segment bitter and sad cameraman and I were tasked with was, "It's hot outside."

Seriously, that was the assignment:
It is hot out, do something on that for three minutes.

So I am already grumpy because it is hot and I have established that makes me automatically total grump, but also now this is ridiculous assignment and cameraman is all, "Yeah, you figure it out and tell me where to drive."
(Note: cameraman always had to drive me to nonsense stories, for some legal or otherwise very smart reason they did not let me drive giant news truck, I giggle thinking about all the havoc I could have wreaked as Terrible Intern if I had gotten ahold of a news truck)

So my idea for non-news story is not, children in sprinklers, something something cheerful, because remember I am grumpy and hate hot.

My idea was, what is the worst job you could possibly have when it is hot outside?
Because if I have to do a story on "It's hot out,"
it is going to be "It's HOT out, and hot SUCKS, and here's how it totally sucks."

So I decide (Note:  that was the fun part about these non-stories,  and really much of what I got up to as Terrible Intern, I was left to my own devices, which is clearly NOT a good call on their part)

that the worst job in the HOT is the dudes who are laying tar (Is that what it is called still? I think that may be colloquialism, there may be actual term like "putting down asphalt on a road with big truck rolly thing" or such, no idea, I was told at young age the thing they were doing was "laying tar," so that is what I call it, let me know if I am totally off)
in big rolly thing truck wearing hat and full tar-layer man outfit.

Not sure why I decided that was worst job, except for the fact that it seems like a very un-fun thing to do when it is boiling hot out, so that was that.

Cameraman is super sad as he drives me around, while we look for someone doing this bad job in the HOT, because I do not know if there is anyone actually doing that job right now.
Cameraman is about to kill me but finally we find giant rolly thing and tar appliers in big yellow suits.

And then I have to convince them that I am not crazy person
(Note: Am crazy person, but in this instance in this task, was not being crazy, or maybe was, but was allowed to be doing the crazy anyway) and we really did want to interview them about how much their job sucked because it was hot out.

 But guess what?

I am GENIUS Terrible Intern!!

They TOTALLY thought their job sucked because it was hot, and had lots of different reasons why, and I got my non-news story!

And I have no idea what the News Director thought, because I did not want to know.

It did get aired, though.

And one of the tar-layers asked me for my autograph, which was hysterical, and the cameraman laughed so hard camera shook, but still.

Am famous now.

So Lessons For Today:

1. Do not hire me as intern, I am Terrible Intern.

2. Do not engage me in "It's hot" conversation because I will either be super grumpy because it is hot or force you to listen to the above story, thus causing all the groceries in your car to spoil and you to question my sanity.

3. Do not get tar-applier job in the summer.

4. Do not shoot cats with arrows, or anything with arrows, unless you are learning archery for next Hunger Games movie or in Olympics, and if you are doing that, shoot at the target thing with the bulls-eye, not cats.

Buzz has been through enough already.

Super Extra Awesome Music, Seal of Approval Given by Allison and M the six year old stylist

So M the six year old stylist and I are doing the camp care package mailing/tea run and having quite a fun time with the car dancing, as we do, and this Chappo song came on, and this song has tickled my fancy for a while in a way that I can't put my finger on, except that it is kind of both fanciful and also grounded in emotion and also awesome fun car song lending itself to super fun car dancing. So M and I decided we would stamp this song with our Seal of Approval, which is very huge honor, by the way, and then we came home to check out the video, as we do once song has Approval, and I have to say, that is one TRIPPY lunatic awesome weird as all get out fantastic video that had unicorns (M was psyched) and weird costumes and colors and I think a magic hourglass and it is highly entertaining and random, so now song gets our Extra Super Plus Seal of  Approval. Combination happy yay whee fun dance, great song with cool lyrics, and wackadoo video equals Awesome, we have declared it so.

So Super Plus Seal of Approval by Allison and M the six year old stylist, Chappo's "Come Home."

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Getting It Done, or Stuff I Cannot Do At All That My Friend Totally Is Genius At Doing, an Ode: by Allison

So boo sad, most funnest beach week vacation with awesome friends has come to a close, have sealed up the memories I choose to remember in my vault of  This Is How It Went, and delivered daughters V and E to lovely, wholesome, mountain summer camp, complete with smiley waving counselors greeting you to the point where you worry they may be robots. No worries! Not robots! Just very nice and smiley and welcome-y. And now I have week with M the six year old stylist, and she has agenda already plotted out, and it is awesome agenda involving product procurement and spa treatments.

Also making care packages for V and E, and also L, my childhood friend B's daughter, who lives in a fantastic fab city that is awesome and fun to visit but is currently at camp with E because they are super friends, and probably the best thing to happen from our most funnest vacation with my childhood friends and their non-lame spouses and kids is this:  not only do we get to all stay friends and hang out and have (number of years redacted due to author's vanity) lots of memories and subreferences stored away to joke about, but now our kids know each other and are friends. Is wild.

I am thinking that if somehow I could transport myself back to middle school (Note: by the way, I am never ever doing that and do not want it to happen in case anyone has time machine hear this:  I am not going back to middle school)  and inform Middle School Allison that my future daughter would be super friends and go to camp with B's future daughter, Middle School Allison would be all "Wha?"  And Current Allison would immediately get distracted by Middle School Allison's ridiculous hair and clothing choices and totally go off-script instead of explaining how great it is/will be that my friends are so super awesome or imparting wise thoughts and counsel such as :

1.Nobody is looking at you, I promise,  they are all too worried about themselves and whether other people are noticing them to pay attention to your unfortunate bangs, chill out.

2. Stop having stomachaches, people will eventually be as tall as you, in fact the first one will be your friend B, future father of your future daughter E's friend.

3. Do not take driver's ed from someone with open dip cup on the dashboard.

Happy Fun Morning Music, Packing For Camp Edition, by Allison, V, E, and M

Happy Fun Dancy Morning Music, some Foster the People to brighten up our already bright, getting trunks packed for V and E for camp morning. M the six year old stylist and I can do quite the Mark Foster dance-off to this song, and the girls think the video is hilarious, so super whee yay, "Don't Stop."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Contemplative Excellent Intense Perfect Music, by Allison

Ok, so this is not super happy fun yay summer song, except for the fact that I totally love this song and it is exactly what I am into listening to right now, on repeat, a whole lot. I love it when music can reach whatever it is you need it to reach and either express what you can't or fill you up or make you dance or whatever, I love that.  And today, I am all about Broken Bottles by Silversun Pickups, this song came out this winter and how I so so love the lyrics and the song itself is fantabulous in a majillion ways, but right now the lyrics are getting me.  I am complete and total Silversun Pickups fangirl and if you can ever see them live, totally go, and right now am extra loving them because this song is clicking right in where I need it to, both thrashy dancy and soothing balm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sometimes a Sword of the Giant is Not a Sword of the Giant, but I say it is always Sword of the Giant, a Decree: by Allison

I don't know what day it is, which means I have arrived at that lovely point in a vacation where you don't know what day it is.

 It's like, at the beginning of vacations you are setting up and figuring out who does what when has to happen (especially when most funnest friends and their kids and me and mine are all in one house) and then it takes a bit of time to get your brain to chill
 (Note: I highly recommend my friend RTB's absurdly good concoctions to speed up this process) and then you are all, ahhh, totally relaxed.
 Don't know what day it is, what's going on in the world, no worries but who is going to go get more limes for the delicious beverages that need to be made.

 For me, this day is quickly followed by despair over the countdown to the pack up/clean up/organize stuff/do the what stays and what goes thing, so I am enjoying this relaxed fabulousity while it lasts.

And speaking of those delightful beverages  mentioned above, it appears that the recipe I posted about
the most excellentest watermelon/peach combo delightful beverage is NOT named Sword of the Giant.

I was in this room writing and calling out questions to the others who were in the fun room funning. So when I called out to RTB for drink name and how to make it, I heard him wrong and thought he said Sword of the Giant, but that TOTALLY was not at all what he said.

In any way.

His actual name for that drink is not suitable for print, and he had no idea I didn't hear him right, so all the comments everyone was making following him shouting out the name that I thought were involving Sword of The Giant were totally NOT about Swords or Giants. 
It is kind of hysterical because nobody knew what I was talking about when I was discussing giants. It's like a Three's Company episode, but without the Ropers.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Most Funnest Beach Week Friends Reunion, or Why Allison Was Very Nice Person In Former Life Since She Scored These Fabulous Friends And None Of Them Married Jerks, by Allison

So I am currently luxuriating in my most favoritest week of the year, my beach vacation with Matt and the girls, and my childhood friends, their significant others and children.

And somehow, we manage to balance on the head of a pin (Is that an expression? I think it is, and that it is pin not pen, but if not I invented it and am trademarking it) where these awesome friends from forever married awesome people and had awesome children, and I am not making this up.

No one is holding gun to my head, no one is withholding tasty mixed beverage until I write glowing things.
Is true.
We've been getting together for I am thinking 4 years? 5?

Will ask someone, but anyway, this fabulous group of friends from all my life somehow managed not to marry or birth any annoying people.

This is really not the typical thing.

You know, you catch up with a friend from school or college or work and their husband sucks?

Their wife is insane?

Their kids are setting bugs on fire?

This is not the case here.

No lie.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Morning Music, by Allison and M the 6 year old stylist

And here's a happy morning song that I've been loving for a while, Morning Parade's Headlights, and M decided it needed to be part of our happy morning music. And she is right. Also, we watched the video, and she decided that they were also cute. And she is right. And it seems the musician thing is genetic. Happy Morning!

Sticky Summer Happy Morning Music, by Allison

Here's some pre-summer weekend morning music, Alabama Shake's "Hold On," I am so into this kind of Rolling Stones circa Sticky Fingers vibe, love these guys and song is very weekend is almost here song.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How To Make Lemonade Out of Lemons, or Actually How To Non-Creepily Have Fun With Severed Dolls Heads, by Allison

Here is what I got today when I asked the girls to find my Kindle while I took a shower. Kindle is found, with severed doll head as bonus. (And before I get into the doll head thing, I am ridiculously attached to my Kindle as is Magic Kindle that magically produces books immediately, and I get twitchy if I am too far away from it. So while I was not in immediate need of Kindle while taking a shower, (Which? Please make one that can go in shower or bath!! That would be fantastic, inventor people, get on that) I like to know where my Kindle is at all times. Children are thusly tasked with finding my Kindle, and since they are not only Kindle detectives but also hilarious, I get severed dolls head also.

So this is the time where you might be thinking, hmmm, did swim team and FORMS  really actually melt Allison's brain?  And that may be true (note: probably is true),but I promise,  the severed doll head thing is not a situation that could be used on one of those procedural shows about investigating something really awful, the severed head thing is a running family joke.  Does that make it better? Because it is an awesome long-standing family joke and I don't want to get rid of it just because it makes us all look deranged. 

Happy Morning Music, It's Nice To Be Alive, by Allison

Just a little happy morning dance to fun song before the daily routine begins, super fun song, love it, especially lyrics that say "Don't Stress. That's Dumb." Very wise.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where The Wild Things Are, or RIGHT HERE AT MY HOUSE SEND HELP, by Allison

First, I do not want to turn my baby blog ( Note: baby meaning new, not meaning about babies) into a Mommy Blog  --   Because I am totally inept in all the things those blogs and magazines (and in saying this I am not insulting those Mommy writers or their readers, I am just saying it is a world that is foreign to me) discuss and recommend, especially the crafts. 

Maybe the below saga would not have happened if I DID read them, will ponder that, but I do enjoy things both with and without the kids and don't want that to change.
I am much less horrible to deal with if I get some Allison Time.

So I am trying to refrain from mentioning the girls a whole whole bunch, since I insist (I insist this to myself, repeatedly, whether it is true or not I do not want to actually know) that I am my own person as well as mom of V, E, and M.

But even though I have recently discussed said children, and should be writing about something totally unrelated to them, I cannot.
Because I am currently TOTALLY mad at them for turning into feral cat savage lunatics when I was on the phone.

It was not just a regular phone call.

I had prepped them (Maybe that was my mistake? I would know this if I read actual Mommy Blogs) with, "Guys, I am getting a call from my friend about our trip to music festival
(Which sidenote: SQUEEEEEE! Am going to most awesomenest music festival this fall with excellent fun friend AND NO KIDS. Or husbands, actually, they will be dealing with the kids, and I say good luck with that.)
so can you guys be chill for a while?"

(Note: They have been fed nutritious food and not sugar or crack, they are bathed and in pajamas and appear to be normal, civilized human children.  Subnote: Looks can be deceiving).

Observing Hammock Dude, or Another Useless Activity Enjoyed by Allison and her Daughters, by Allison

So the drive home from the gym and also the girls' school and lots of other places involves passing this one particular house that is known in our family as Home of Hammock Dude.

We call it this inventive name because in this house lives a dude who is ALWAYS in his hammock, which is placed prominently smack in the middle of his yard right by this main road where cars drive by all day and night.

Hammock Dude is also always shirtless.

He's not horrifying, in fact he reminds me of the character Brad Pitt played in True Romance (and purely for informational purposes I have been google imaging Brad Pitt for quite a while just now, but it was ONLY to further this pointless narrative, it was not because I was plotting to make another laminated Brad Pitt wall since the one I had in law school no longer exists),
that character who is always lounging, totally high, oblivious to the entire universe?

Here's the Brad Pitt one, and now that I think of it, it would have been great if he had been shirtless in that movie, since that would help the character development.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fighting About Ronald Reagan, or How To Keep Your Relationship Spicy Without The Words "Fifty" or "Shades," by Allison

So in case you are bored with whatall in Fifty Shades of Gray and the advice in Cosmo magazine (Note: I have not read Cosmo in a few years since the girls were old enough to have eyeballs and see the really not-suitable-for-minors photos and/or articles)
(And Subnote: I read the Fifty Shades series for research, people.
My Tricky Kindle recommended it to me before all the media hoopla about it, I took Tricky Kindle's advice, got book, no idea, so I was all, This is a total Twilight ripoff, how can this author not get sued?, to Well, Ooookay then . . ., what is my Kindle trying to tell me? 
When the books got all that press attention and the author now makes like one majillion dollars a day, I decided to cut my Kindle a break and think that Kindle recommended that book to me so I would stay ahead of the curve pop-culturally.)

But even though I am not charging anyone a majillion dollars or even anything (though gifts are always welcome), I am very kindly sharing with you my personal advice for keeping your relationship spicy.
Things not super fun?
Take advice from your friend Allison: Fight About Ronald Reagan.

I am not kidding.
(Note: am not getting into politics here or ever on this blog, I have argued or have witnessed arguments over politics and/or religion enough to know that nothing you or person with whom you are arguing can say will change anybody's mind to a significant degree so let's talk about something that is NOT a total buzz kill and room-clearer-outer).

So I am stepping outside of my self-designated box of No Talky About Politics here, but it really isn't about politics, at all. 
It is about good, old-fashioned, fun fight. (Note: I am not advocating actual fighting or anything, let's call it lively debate?  Verbal jousting?  There is really nothing I can say here that does not sound wrong in some sort of way  .  . .)

Matt and I have this really repetitive fight about Ronald Reagan, and even after (number of years redacted due to author's vanity) years of our relationship, somehow we still get all worked up over whatever Reagan issue is at hand and have giant fight about it, which leads to us not fighting anymore and I may or may not get jewelry but all's well that ends well. 

Cosmo, are you listening? 

Book buyers, doesn't that sound like something you would pay a majillion dollars to fantasize about? Of course it does!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

We Be Of One Blood, Thou and I, or Ode To E, by Allison

So this is not going to turn into blog where all I do is talk about The Time Allison Staged A Flash Mob To Call Me Maybe Swim Team Edition, I promise.

I would like to pack that memory up in a box and file it away with the other boxes of horror brought on by my idiocy.

 But first, I have been thinking about this all day, I have to pay some serious respect, in word form as that is how she likes it (and I TOTALLY get that), to my daughter E.

 E is my 9 year old, middle daughter, and she is a handful, and I say that with complete respect and admiration as well as exhaustion.
While my older daughter V is quiet, mysterious artist who is very still water running deep and frequently an enigma to me, and my youngest M is a blindingly sparkly and confident bundle of awesome and bossy in equal parts, covered in lip gloss,
E is more emotion-driven, and also Extreme Communicator and Writer of Documents, so there is a huge common denominator with E and me, which is,
we have great talks, read together on my bed, and FIGHT.

E does quite the tantrum, always has, and can go from zero to 60 in one second, and you really want to avoid that if you can.

 And because she and I both are People Who Want The Last Word, and also more emotional than rational at times (or always), we can get into quite the tussle, and do so, A LOT.

Over whatever.

And she knows my buttons, and pushes them, and my Planned Calm Parenting turns into this:

E: "Nuh-uh."

Me: "Uh huh."

E: "Nuh-uh."

Me: "Uh huh."

Rinse, repeat.

Wait, this is not the Ode I was planning, but I always feel like I need to set up the scene, like all professional screenwriters do (for the movie that will eventually star me and I am thinking Rob Pattinson as Matt because Matt is very busy) .

Ths particular thing went down last night at the swim team banquet, and I certainly have detailed my lunatic, what in the world flash mob idea and execution, especially the moment in which I am up in front of all the known world (well, a lot of our friends and my kids friends etc) and flash mob is supposed to start, and I am ALL ALONE.

That may have been a brief second, but trust me, it felt like a really long time.

And as panic and terror and oh NO why do I do these things set in, I scan the room for something, anything, an ally, and what do I see first?

E, in her lovely lavender dress she has been saving for weeks to wear tonight, with her hair done just like she likes it after an hour of us working on it, pushes back her chair and stands up.

This is E, who cares a LOT about what her friends, her coaches, anyone really thinks of her.

She is also tactical and smart and knows a lost cause when she sees one, and at that second, I was Mom Up In Front Of Everyone Looking Foolish.

And my daughter, this girl who cares so much about what her friends and the world thinks, at that moment, she cared about me more.

I know she did, I saw the look in her eyes, it was "I've got your back."

I saw the way she straightened herself up and came forward, knowing possible total humiliation was a good bet in this case, and that is her worst nightmare.

And yet, she was the first one up.
And I know it was not because she just couldn't contain her desire to do a flash mob song and dance, it was for me.
I got that, it was like a tidal wave for me.

 I realize that it is not always going to go down like that, and that at some point she is going to cut bait if I am being ludicrous at Brownies or whatever, and they better invent giant Xanax IV drips when she is teenager, but I am kind of fine with that.

It is kind of how it supposed to be, especially when it comes to E and me, we will go off and Write Documents and Last Word each other ad nauseum.

But it is moments like last night, when she pushed aside extreme social anxiety and came by my side (and the influx of awesome little flash mob girls and fab coaches immediately followed, and they are all stamped super cool by me),
that will be a little treasure for me.

 And I swear, if she ever stages a flash mob, I am ON IT.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hey, It's Swim Banquet, And This Is Crazy, I Wrote A Flash Mob, Please Help Me, Maybe? by Allison

So, if you are a fairly normal,
functional member of society,
you probably have other things to do,
instead of writing flash mob serenades to tune of Call Me Maybe for swim team banquets.

That is just my thought.

 I am completely not normal,
and am not contributing to the Greater Swim Team Whole in a way such as Bake sale,
Tent parenting -

 You want to line up 25 or more 6 years old and under aged boy swimmers,
 and keep them in line for 20 minutes until they go to the next place to stand in line?
If you do,
gold star for you,
I am totally, completely awful at that job)

That is waaaay too much pressure.
 Like, you have to time the kids.
And there are usually 3 timers per lane so in case someone (you) is awfu,
l and cannot accurately time,
all is not lost because you are terrible).

I did just start volunteering for "runner,"
only because by that late in day/night of a swim meet I am groggy and need cardio,
and also,
you run all around with forms,
and someone takes them and does stuff with them,
so you are kind of like middle-person,
no one is winning or losing if you mess up.

But all in all,
I am terrible swim team parent.

Unable to perform the tasks necessary for this huge great thing for kids and all to happen.

Am not helpful.

But what I can do to contribute?

 OOH, ooh, I know!!

Write and choreograph flash mob?

 And get young kids to perform it at large banquet?

In which probably all of the rest of the room is like,
Good grief, What in the world?

That is a wonderful idea, Allison.
Totally do that.

Some background:
That summer,
Driving to and from long swim meets with my girls means lots of time in the car in which Call Me Maybe song is on radio,
as that is apparently the law now,
must be played every 10 minutes or world will end.

And if I hear something enough,
my brain starts messing with it, and no,
I am not secretly Weird Al,
do not have spiral perm,
am not a guy,
not on purpose writing faux lyrics to pop songs for any reason. 

It just happens, is all.

You sit up all day and night in the hot and then drive,
 and see what your brain does.

somehow I come up with a version of Call Me Maybe tailored to our swim team head coach,
and then sit up half the night making sure I am right on lyric/verse organization,
syllables and consonant endings

I am, and by the way, COOKIE MONSTER,
you may be all famous puppet with real writers and all,
but you did not match up right.
 and also "bite" and "call" do NOT rhyme.
Just saying)

I did this for no valid purpose in any way,
but it had burrowed into my head,
 and had to be done.

And so the next day,
I try to be all casual to the swim coordinator/very cool friend who has daughter V's age that is also awesome,
and to the perfect, lovely, darling Barbie coaches,
 like, "Hey, how's it going, by the way,
I wrote a flash mob idea for the swim banquet. . . "

And I am sure they were thinking
"We need to call Matt and see what is going on here,
somehow Allison is actually melting from the heat"
but I am humored with this,

And as all Giant Snowballs do,
it rolls down hill,
 until emails are sent out that will be printed out for my children's file for
"Why You Have To Pay For My Therapy," ,
called "Allison's Flash Mob Dance Rehearsal at 3 pm."

That totally happened,
we had rehearsal,
and let me say,
bunches of little girls,
 (reluctant brothers hunkered down at other table pretending they are totally not there)
wanting to do your song and dance?
 Turns me into LUNATIC more than even normal.

And we do our stuff,
incorporate the Harvard boys baseball YouTube thing because why not,
they are adorable and that  middle guy,
really, my daughter E is right, those are very nice eyelashes and he has good coloring.
(This is what I am allowed to say to my daughter.)

And then,
I am making copies,
but similarly to other events in my life in which I cook up some sort of scheme that I think probably won't actually happen but DOES in fact happen -

I am at swim banquet,
with preppy, suntanned, lovely families in Lilly and Vineyard Vines all trying to have a nice wrap-up to swim team.
Plus there are a lot of trophies to be handed out,
and surely a slideshow and speeches.

And yet, here I am, harassing people for my flash mob.

Because I have something WRONG with me.

Fake phone calls are made to the head coach so I can smuggle in lyric sheets.

At one point, there are like 20 girls in the country club ladies' room with me rehearsing.

because I cannot control myself,
 and my oldest daughter is looking at me like,
"Ug, MOOOOM, you are so embarrassing!"

My middle and youngest are kind of hanging in there,
and these other darling girls are all "Whee! Let's have a show!"

But I realize I cannot sing,
am fine doing the song and dance and nonsense but really I can't sing,
so must try to recruit other singers,
and this goes over like giant lead balloon of GO AWAY LADY.

I am at one point thinking,
How did I get here?
I turn into Talking Heads Guy:
This is not my beautiful house!
This is not my beautiful wife!

(Note: I am not wearing giant padded shoulder suit and twitching,
M the then 8 year old stylist and I consulted on my ensemble,
so I am not looking crazy,
just acting it).

And in case you are wondering?

When planning your flash mob in a Giant Public Place of Humiliation?

Not everybody who agrees to this is actually going to get up there with you.

Count on the little girls.

The rest of them will BAIL on you.

Unless you are married to them,
 and they are forced to hold up cardboard cue card lyrics.

That guy will get up there.

Otherwise, trust me:

No matter what you do,
 or say,
or cajole,
or threaten,
or beg,
or act like insane woman who wants to do flash mob and why would you do that?

There will be a LONG moment,
 in which you are in front of your friends,
their friends and peers,
and pretty much anyone else ever.


With Call Me Maybe background track playing.

And you wish for death.

But, wait!

Little girls are awesome!

They throw their properly placed napkins off of their Lilly Pulitzer dresses,
and rush up to flash mob with you!

And some
Not all, and they know who they are)
coaches get up,
and mood improves from "send in the psych consult"
 to "we are doing a song thing here"
and flash mob happens.

And it is hoped that the head coach that the song is written for enjoys it,
he seemed to-
Although what do you do when you are flash mobbed?
You kind of have to roll with it.
And if you think about it,
it is his fault,
because his name worked with the song so well and all)

And certainly the little girls who so gamely played along seemed to have fun,
and totally rocked on the highlight moment of "We're taking seconds, offf our RELAY"

And then my friends all lied to me and said it was not a total humiliation,
so at that point,
I'll take it.

Just let me grab a honking fat glass of wine and not be doing a flash mob,

And I joke that one of Matt's friends' face was totally,
 "I am so glad my wife is not crazy like that,"
 But Matt's friend is all,
 "Yes, that is exactly what I was thinking, actually."

But it is done,
flash mob Flashed and Mobbed,
nobody lost an eye,
and what song will be on the radio next year?

Cannot wait.

Because I am totally not baking cookies or timing,
so I have to do something, right?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's Halloween Time (Say The Wicked Costume Vendors)! or, How I Have it Totally Together, by Allison

So this is funny, and slightly pitiful, but I can work with that. 

To begin, we got the good Halloween catolog today in the mail.

And by good I mean, there are fewer child prostitute costumes in there than most other catalogs or websites.

People without kids or with only boys
(Note: those boys can be Han Solo or Avengers or whatever FOREVER, nobody makes Avenger prostitute costumes, I don't think, and if they do, I really never ever want to know about it)
may not know this,
but when you try to find a Halloween costume for your daughter once she is over the age of 7, you are pretty much stuck with Harlot.

Harlot Saucy Pirate Wench, Harlot Trashy Witch, Harlot Angel/Devil, Harlot Cat or Cat-type Animal, etc.
Or if you are lucky she will want to be Hermione from Harry Potter for 5 years and you can do the tie and robe and wand and you are good.

Otherwise, good luck.

Needle in haystack, and then you have to convince your daughter that she wants to be cute Ladybug Princess instead of Harlot Zombie (not making that up).

There is one catalog that makes expensive but not jailbait costumes, and it arrived today.

 It is July, we have not recovered from swim season and I am working on a rehearsal for my upcoming flash mob (more on that later), why do we have to deal with Halloween now?

Is wrong season.

Too hot.

Pumpkins would rot.

 But here is why:
The good costumes, the ones that will not involve fishnet stockings,  sell out, and then horrible costume-scalpers sell them on ebay for hundreds of dollars, just so your daughter will not look like a Trampy Mad Hatter (not making that up, it exists, but I am not putting a picture because yuk).

 And if you are not super-organized, calendar-consulting, up on this stuff type person
 (Note: I am not any of those things at all, I really wish I were but it does not seem to be happening),
you will go to get Halloween costumes in mid-September, which is TOTALLY reasonable to me, it is early, I am all ahead of the curve on that, see kids, I didn't forget the permission slip, we are cool . . .

and you will find out that your 8 year old's dream costume of Eighties Girl (I should have saved some of my Forenza outfits) is sold out, backordered, going for 400 dollars on ebay.

And now she wants to be Harlot Goth Rock Star instead, and Matt is looking at me like, can we sew her something?
(Which?  The answer is, No.
If it is me we are talking about, no.
I cannot sew at all.
Matt actually can, but he calls it "suturing" so he does not feel like making curtains turns him into Betsy Ross, but "suturing" a button onto a shirt and "suturing" Native American booties for a 3rd grade project is actually sewing.
I do not tell him this because I can't sew or suture, which are same thing.)

So two years ago, The Tragedy Of The Sold Out Non Harlot Costume occurred, in case that is not in your history books.

We all survived, E had to be like a purple appropriately constructed but weird saloon type dress and cat eared thing, I have no idea what that costume was about.

M was Pink Supergirl and V was Honeybee (not the Harlot Honeybee, there was totally one of those). Nobody would agree to be Hermione.
But the world did not end, and nobody was dressed like child prostitute, so success.

 Last year, the catalog arrives, our house still smells like sunblock and chlorine and it is hot and I am not in mood, but girls turn total psychotic maniac children and chase me around with it until we order their costumes so that they are not stuck wearing something random because all of the good ones are sold out.

And joy!
Eighties Girl is in there again, the other two pick out ones that are not indecent, we order, I am all "I bet we are the first people we know to order their Halloween costumes."

All smug, since I am not first or early ever, and this is a new experience for me.

But V goes, I bet Mrs. S already ordered theirs.

And I am all, the catalog came today! This very day! No way.

 Mrs. S is a really good friend of mine with two girls V and E's ages, and we do things together and they go to school together and play violin together and it is pretty much assured that whatever activity is going on, she will be there first, with healthy snacks, wet wipes, foldup chairs, a defibrillator, whatever you need.

You might think this would make me hate her, but she is awesome and cool, calm and relaxed and fun, just naturally on the ball in a way I cannot possibly understand or emulate in any way.

She is also the person I call for questions I should know the answer to, like, when is holiday break, what day is the concert, any sort of information thing I am rubber she is glue, bounces off me, she gets it and retains it and uses it helpfully.

But is also fun to go have a glass of wine with, see movies, shopping, in general, she is great, so I do not hold it against her that she has it together and I am scotch taping Girl Scout badges on and such.

 So to humor V and prove for once I am Most Organized Together Mom Ever (for this one second in time),
I call Mrs. S, say, did you get the catalog for Halloween, the girls picked out bla bla, and she says yes, her girls ordered theirs yesterday.
 (Note: she is not gloating, she does not have any idea I am even trying to find out if she's already ordered hers or not)
And after we chat, I scowl at V, she is like, "told you," we move along.

So that was a very long windup to this:
The famed catalog arrives today, along with stupid back to school stuff and please, people, it is hot out, stop this, but V holds up the catalog.
And I am all, here we go.

And her face lights up, and she gets twinkle in her eye, and says, "Mom, you should totally call Mrs. S and tell her we have our costumes already."

And I am like, we do?

When did we do that?

Am I losing whole chunks of time now?

Did I take Ambien and buy 500 costumes late at night?

But no, she reminds me their recital costumes from Lion King show are awesome and they love them and want to wear them for Halloween, so we have technically had our Halloween costumes since May.

And V is not being sarcastic or snarky here, nor is she trying to start a "Who can accomplish this Mom task first" contest with Mrs. S because she knows I will go down in flames,
she just sees the humor in the fact that we accidentally already have our Halloween costumes and will not have to frantically buy them right this second or be Harlot Nurse this year.

And she knows me, and Mrs. S, well enough to know that we will both find it hysterical that my girls (through no proactive Halloween costume purchasing action on my part) have their costumes lined up.

Because I should take my tiny, random, accidental accomplishments in parenting while I can.

Because come Halloween, I will totally be calling Mrs. S to ask what time is the Halloween parade at school.

I really, really want an intern.

I Am Obsessed, or This Book is GOOD, by Allison

 I know my ability to process extreme trauma or tragedy in written form, film, theater, or mime (I am speculating on that one, as I have about a .004 second tolerance for mimes)  is of a sub-par level, that can't even handle "The Giving Tree," so it is a Big Deal when I actively pursue, read, and love a book that (I am not giving spoilers, it is on the book jacket) is centered around teenagers with cancer. I mean, sometimes I am tricked into reading a sad book by my Kindle and it's "Oh, I know, you Allison, we are tight, you will like this" and the next thing I know Tricky Kindle has me ordering a book that I do not realize is about lovers separated by the Holocaust until I am already reading it (and I clearly knew where it was going, but I am not a quitter and have to finish a book I start, it is the law) 
So for me to actively select a book that I know is going to mess with me, this is risking public humiliation for sure. I am a known sobber and wailer during sad movies and plays (went into hysterics first time I saw Les Mis and some strange lady started passing me tissues when the satin bow tied around the top of my Jessica McClintock velvet dress got soaked, I should have been crying about my outfit choice instead of Fantine),  and books get me even worse.
That being said, The Fault in Our Stars is so good that I did not mind having to soak my eyes with cucumbers and randomly start crying in public when thinking about it. 
Front Cover

Monday, July 9, 2012

Death Row, or the Cigarette Factory? Let's Do Both!, or My High School Field Trips, by Allison

So I grew up in an area with lots of famous historical landmarks within driving distance, lots of good field trip options for our schools to pick from. And certainly I saw plenty of colonial things and presidential homes and settlements and capitals and such. But the top two field trips of my youth are the ones no one ever believes me when I tell them, and I have to like, call someone from high school and put them on the phone to prove that I am not making this up.  Because those field trips were to Death Row and the Cigarette Factory.

I am not lying. And I did not go to juvie or anything, I was an honors student at a nice suburban school. And for some reason, our high school government teacher felt that his 11th grade AP Government class needed to be Scared Straight or something, and we got to take a field trip to the prison. You know, in case any of us were planning to commit some felonies after we finished our homework and editing the newspaper and running track or whatever, I guess he wanted to show us where we "would end up if we weren't careful."

 Um, Death Row usually involves being a little more proactive in your crime committing than just not "being careful." I mean, sure, you get caught doing your giant Death Row crime by leaving behind a glove or fingerprint or letter detailing your evil scheme and you should definitely be careful not to do that, but I don't think he was taking us there for tips on how to not get caught while having homicide spree.  Or maybe he was, he was a weird man.

 But anyway, 11th grade AP Government class takes a bus to the federal prison, (and sidenote: before this trip, the girls were instructed to wear long sleeves and long pants and not "dress provocatively" or look anyone in the eye or listen to what they were likely to shout at us. Why in the world one of us didn't object to this nonsense, I have no idea) where we I AM NOT LYING are marched down OCCUPIED Death Row cells, and then given a lecture from a corrections officer on how we would not enjoy it if we were to wind up on Death Row, so we should not commit any capital offenses.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Well, This Is Disturbing, or I Am Not A Senior Citizen, Hallmark Channel! by Allison

So I don't watch a ton of TV (and this is not Madonna-like snobbery, I am not off being macrobiotic or something, it is purely because my Kindle is Magic Kindle that delivers books to me in one second and Kindle plus Allison equals TruLuv4Eva) and the girls typically watch Disney Channel because some of the shows are kind of cute (I love you, Good Luck Charlie!) and they can't agree on anything else and my rule is, if squabbling, TV is off, you are writing me a poem. (They have to do that anyway sometimes, but it is good threat in this situation).

 But tonight, all are exhausted due to really huge, long, crazy city-wide swim meet that somehow had more people there than exist in our city, and as one guy pointed out, more 9 year old girls swimming backstroke than there are 9 year old girls on the entire East Coast. Ha! And true. So Matt's home, we're all happy family cozy (even the bad dog as well as good one allowed to participate) and he flicks on the Hallmark Channel, and it is Little House on the Prairie.

 (Note: I was not a humongous LHOTP fan as a kid, mostly because I could not deal with the possibility of them being cold or in want of a basic need or having to wear those calico dresses and I was sure somebody was going to die at any second, it stressed me out. I was a Charlie's Angels girl, because of clear aspirational aesthetics and you knew nobody was going to actually get hurt except for maybe poor Kate Jackson and her turtleneck outfits.)

But I have noticed that even stuff I did not like growing up now seems charming and "ah, the memories" to me now. Don't get me wrong, there is no Def Leppard on my iPod, but I think it is an actual thing that I can recall things fondly even if I didn't even like them in the first place, because apparently, I am not only OLD, but am on death's door.

Case in Point: We watch two minutes of LHOTP, in which I attempt to explain the basics of the show without getting into Mary going blind because I Cannot Deal With That. And then, commercials.


Who Let This Song (And Subsequent Crazy Memory) Out?, A Flashback by Allison

It may be shocking (it is more horrifying than shocking to me) that I have several life stories involving that terrible, lame, cheesy, idiotic "Who Let The Dogs Out" song that was all over the place in the mid 90's and then infiltrated all sporting events ever, but it is true.

And today, I heard someone blasting this song out of their car, and my first thought was "Really, that is still on the radio?" and then my mind wandered (as it does) to a particularly silly memory that includes this song.

Background: after college, I did a cross-country road trip with two of my bestest friends from ever, LH and LT (I seriously won the friend lottery), and this is a trip we planned with no Internets or GPS because we were Pioneers, we had Triple A maps and about 300 dollars.

It was truly one of those transformative (at least for me), magical, hysterical, and weird life events you carry with you in your pocket forever.

We each got to pick out one place we wanted to visit (LH: Graceland, LT: Meteor hole in Arizona, Me: Ima Hogg's House in Texas - because I felt so terrible for her that her dad named her that and gave her a pink house that I wanted to somehow acknowledge the fact that she was cool and turned it into art museum, plus pink house!) and set off on our way.

The three of us are completely unprepared lunatics with two mix tapes and some random books on tape and for extra entertainment,
(otherwise known as  blackmailing them to rewind tape to hear "So Cruel" by U2 as I was really into that song then)
I sang sorority songs and camp songs.
(Note: That is very good blackmail strategy should you ever need to employ it).

This is a long leadup to the "Who Let the Dogs Out" thing, but I could not in good conscience jump right in without setting it up properly.

I take my ramblings seriously.

We road trip (I think I have a month's worth of posts on this trip, it was badass) and are in Los Angeles at some point, and though we tried to avoid cheesy tourist traps except for the ones we wanted to see so we decided they weren't actually cheesy or if they were, we were embracing the cheese (Example: we ate jelly doughnuts in front of Graceland).

In LA, we go to Universal Studios.
I am thinking someone gave us tickets (various relatives threw stuff like restaurant coupons and unused vouchers at us so we would not starve or become crackheads) because we could not afford those on our itty bitty budget
(Which? Get this, our money was in TRAVELERS CHECKS!!! Pioneers.)

 As we are roaming around the theme park, LH and LT eating those churro things
(giant fried sticks of dough with cinnamon? I do not know, am not fan)
we can overhear some music coming out of a big theater where some sort of show is happening.

(Note: These are the shows otherwise known as: Parents Want To Sit Down And It Is Hot Out).

LT looks at me, and says, "Are they singing that right?"
Because show people had turned "Who Let The Dogs Out" into, I am not making this up, "Children, Where The Booty At?" (whoop, there it is.)

 My first thought was, did they end a sentence with "at?"

 Because that is a preposition and our sixth grade English teacher terrorized us into NEVER ending a sentence with a preposition if we could help it, and if anyone asked her a question such as "where is it at?" she would burst into flames, say "Behind the T, is where it's AT, don't end a sentence with a preposition.

So I had early waterboard type drilling of preposition laws, and I hear "at" and think LT is having flashbacks to sixth grade.

 But then I realize LT is pointing out the awful fact that the lyrics say "children where the booty at?" and that is gross and weird and what did they want the kids to do in response and I am glad I can't see what happens in the audience after the singers ask about the children and the booty, yuk.

And note:This is before any of us on our Magical Mystery Tour of Delights had kids, only LT had even met the person with whom she would eventually have (awesome) kids.
(Also note: See how carefully I did not end in preposition?
I am totally still scared of that teacher popping up and yelling at me, she also forced us to learn calligraphy which is mean and weird).

We did not know the rules on what is or is not appropriate for kids at this stage in our lives, but even our uninformed minds knew that was a really tacky song, and also, let's stand here and listen to more to see what else they do.

This was not a good idea, as it somehow made this guy who worked for the park dressed up as Conan the Barbarian (or Tarzan, I am not sure, but the outfit is similar-ish in its lack of pieces of clothing) who was lingering around that area posing for photos with people
(People, why? Why do you want a picture with that guy?
I get Disney and the characters and princesses, for kids "of any age", but this is just cheesy dude who totally may have been Maverick or Malibu from my post a while ago, i.e. super cheesy guy who thinks he is going to hook up but is actually not going to hook up.)

So Conan sees us standing around (listening for more terrible song manglings and all) and thinks, these girls totally want to hook up with me.

(Again, note: NOT the case, at all, you are dude at park in some sort of silly half-outfit, we are having our own fun time and you are not as cute as you think you are). 

So he saunters over, all suave-like (in a theme park dressed as Conan with 1990's era Oompa Loompa spray tan sweating off of him) to chat us up, and LT and LH look at me like, "Dude, we have our churros here to enjoy, you deal with him."

So I try various ways to get him to go away, and I have a bag of "go away, shoo, yuk, leave" tricks up my sleeve, but this guy is persistent like extremely challenged dog who runs into sliding glass door four billion times and never gets the hint.

 (Note to Universal Studios: do not hire creepy guys)

He will not go away, he is somehow sure this is all going to go his way, and finally LT, genius, gets out her camera and takes his picture.

And like Pavlov's Dog, he gets all "Ooh, pictures of me! Surely I will get a job on Melrose Place."

And LT has him go in the little play area/cave thing (also known as Parents Are Hot And Want To Sit Down) and she has him do a bunch of goofy and idiotic stuff on children's play area, and he poses, like a total fool.

And while he is fantasizing about guest appearance on a soap opera, we hustle off fast, but Conan starts up with the following as if we have a Gross Costume Guy Bag that we are going to put him in and carry him away, and we duck into the E.T. ride to just break free.

And that is where my mind went today as I heard that song fleetingly playing on someone's radio.

So of course all this remembering, plus now writing about it, has me way late on my tea run, which is why I really really want  an intern.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How Many Synonyms Are There For The Word "Bossy?", or Reading M's School Report, by Allison

Before I begin what you may think is the reason this child will need therapy, let me say this: M is awesome.
Best 6 year old that could have ever landed into my life.
Cherry on the sundae of our family. Leaves me love notes in my purse, is mini-stylist, runs a hair and beauty salon out of the corner of her room, likes fingerless gloves, is overall just plain delightful.

However, as no one is perfect robot kid (or if there are kids like that, I am glad they are not my kid), M is sometimes very convinced of her complete rightness in whatever it is she is thinking/doing/planning/wearing.
Ok, always convinced.

 At home, this quality is muffled somewhat by her older sisters, our two dogs (more the bad one than the good one, but both), me, Disney Channel, etc. But at school, where M is not the youngest, not the smallest, apparently this character trait emerges, like, A LOT.

 And we just got the end-of-year reports on all of the kids (I will discuss why I sobbed in nostalgic emotional frenzy reading V's at another time, this is all M) and let me say:

Our school is fantastic, they give constant feedback, several conferences each year in which your child is basically psychoanalyzed to the point you are freaked out about how much they get your kid, you know how things are going all the time.

 But the end-of-year one is kind of a thesis on your child, and reading M's cracked me UP. She is super reader, super math-er, super Spanish, super artist, in general rocking Kindergarten like she invented it. But there is always a "however . . ." (unless you have robot kid, if so you can go get the robot to wax your car or something).

Our however in M's case, is that she has a tendency to be bossy.
Capital B Bossy.
I know this, although it is more apparent at school without the other members of this household of whirling dervishes.

So reading her report (Which? Again, school is fab, this thing is 10 pages of small type long with every quality assessed and input from all the specialists and essays from the teacher, really, is work of art),
I was happy to see how well she was doing, and even more than that, totally entertained by the various ways in which her teacher had to write "M is bossy" in different ways in each section of this thing.

I know her teacher well, she is awesome, and I know she loves M, so the thought of her with a thesaurus out, looking up synonyms for "bossy," or asking others, "what's another word for bossy?" cracked me up. Here is some of the teacher's best work:

"She is such a happy, lively person, when she slips it is when her strong personality gets the best of her."
Translation: Bossy.

"M is bright and excels when she can act as leader or be in charge of the organization of an activity. She has the ability to pull people together to accomplish objectives."
Translation: Bossy.

"M is a leader in many areas, we will work to support her as she learns the value of stepping back before stepping in." 
Translation: Bossy.

"M has a strong personality and enjoys being the leader, she understands what needs to be done and how to affect that. She is learning to better take into account the feelings of those she is leading." Translation:  Bossy.

"M can get frustrated by the behavior of some and be less than generous in her comments, but she is growing in her ability to understand others or at least refrain from commenting." 
Ha! And Translation: Bossy.

I repeat, this is not me slamming my M.
She is so great and fantastic and fun and she car dances and loves with her whole heart and I adore her to the stars and moon.
Also, she is bossy.
And the school is on it, as they are great, and we are on it, as much as is possible given this house is crazy house of all sorts of personalities, and I am sure she'll get a feel for when to bring out the Bossy and when to leave it in her sparkly purse for later.
If I were not so confident in her, I would not write about how her Kindergarten teacher says she is Bossy.

I am mostly writing right now because
1. avoiding other stuff and
2. I am paying homage to the delicate, sensitive, creative writing skills of her teacher, because this is masterpiece of Synonyms For Bossy. 
I give it gold star.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I Hate Parades, or Why I Am Probably Going To Be Deported, by Allison

I am not a Fourth of July type person.
Partly due to the fact that it is always very hot outside, and I do not like hot.

Also, I do not like forced outfit color schemes.
That makes the Fourth of July extremely vexing.
People get all "Where's your love for your country? Are you Canadian or a terrorist?" if you do not wear the required red, white, and blue.
And I have tried navy and white shirt and white shorts alternative every year, (I like that outfit), nobody goes for it.

But the main reason I am not a July 4th fan is because I HATE parades.


I do not want to stand in the hot, listening to the girls be all "We can't see!  We should have gotten here earlier, MOM.  You always do this, now the evil clown can't throw old candy at us."

And I have to then remind them:
1. They are lucky we are even AT a parade
2. No way are we getting there two hours early to stand in the hot and wait for it to begin
3. Also I have told you before not to take candy from evil clowns.

 One reason for this loathing of parades can be traced back to my younger childhood, in which my family would all meet up at this campground area on a bay, and it would be a big party with all sorts of seafood and clams and oysters and other bay products, that part was cool.

But for some reason, the highlight of those days was that when there was a parade or "prelude to Allison burning her hand with a sparkler, every year."

Before the actual parade, a big honking truck-ish vehicle drove all around the campground spraying  huge, thick, clouds of noxious, deadly,(surely completely a carcinogen and maybe a hallucinogen) mosquito spray in mass quantities.

 (Note: the mosquitos there are HUMONGOUS, but still)

 My cousin, my sister, and I would idiotically ride on the back of this mosquito spray truck, inhaling copious quantities of Very Bad Stuff. 

(Note: This is before anyone completely realized that stuff was like Agent Orange, and also my cousin and sister are totally not compromised in any way by these fume-inhaling celebrations, so it might just be me.)

 I did kind of feel cool that WE got to be the crop-duster mosquito-killer kids, so my parade issue really manifested itself when we moved to a subdivision in the suburbs, in which each neighborhood had its own woodsy name.
Ours was Quail Hill. (no hills, no quails, but that was the name.)

Every year, the various neighborhoods in our subdivision would have a Fourth of July parade, and neighborhoods would do a theme and enter to win Best Neighborhood, or whatever it was.

Somehow this lead to me marching along in a parade (audience filled with classmates ,neighbors, other people who could laugh at me)
dressed up as a birdfeeder (Quail Hill is For the Birds!)
or Hillbilly Jailbait in gingham shirt tied at midriff, jean cutoff shorts, pigtails (Quail Hillbillies!),
and it probably does not need to be said but -


 I am an adolescent girl, a foot taller than everyone, my greatest wish is to be a foot shorter, blonde, and named Jill, and I am instead birdfeeder or Ellie Mae Clampet (sp? too lazy to Google).

Once I was able to wrangle myself out of neighborhood pride parade entry, I am still made to participate, so my friend (who is cute and darling and tiny and adorable) and I decorate and ride my family's tandem bike in the Bike Contest portion of the parade.

And there are little kids, all sorts of adorable toddlers, and then here we come, and I am doing my best, but I am up front on the tandem.

And anyone who has ever been in that position realizes very quickly that you are basically rickshaw person, steering and pedaling for both of the tandem duo, and while backseat tandom person is pedalling away all cheerfully, they are NOT actually steering or moving the bike forward with their itty-bitty cute little pedals. 

And as we pass the judges on that Hell Parade, they are all "Well, missy, don't you have trouble with your steering. Be careful not to hurt your cute little friend. Good luck, don't wreck, you'll ruin the parade fun.."

So now, retroactively, I say to these judges: 


You are lame and mean and I don't see any of you chugging a tandem bike up a hill slowly so you don't squash little kids, plus, who made you judge of this?
I did not agree to that.
I call foul.

This is my early life parade trauma, I have lots more parade hell experience, but I am being summoned away to dress like a Patriot. 

And I am not non-Patriot, I actually carried around a leather-bound Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights (separate from my pocket sized Constitution) for many years, am fan, but I am totally positive those guys would not have made me inhale toxins, dress like a birdhouse, or willingly be mocked by gross creepy neighbor people high on their power as Parade Judges.

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Origami v. Orange Crayon Contract, I Totally Need An Intern To Write Up The Court Ruling, by Allison

So last night on the way home
(At 11 pm, ug)
from swim meet,
E is all, "my friend's mom said you wrote something about our horse towels.
Why don't you write about me?"

And I am like, "E, I do write about you, I promise!
(Note: This is the exact opposite of any conversation that will ever be held between her older sister V and me,
with V requesting NO writing about her, ever.)
E says,
"Did you tell them about my orange crayon contract?",
because she knows I love that thing.

And I have yet to share that heart-warming story of my daughters' squabbling and how I brilliantly intercede,
otherwise known as try to get them into different rooms so they will stop,
 so here goes.

And for the record,
I am pretty sure that Good Parenting Mommy Fun Times Magazine is going to frown upon my attempts,
but so be it.

So V and E are bickering about something,
I don’t know what,
and came to me talking very loudly over each other,
trying to get me to resolve unknown issue and punish the one that wasn’t them.

I told them to go to separate rooms and figure out why they were mad, and then we’d talk.

V, as this is her nature, goes off to make origami.
Not kidding.
She is very good,
so I am intrigued to see what kind of origami she makes as visual description of why she is mad at E.
E stalks off with an orange crayon and paper,
and I get kind of excited thinking about what sort of document she is creating.

I am lifelong Writer of Documents,
and can do quite the Treatise On How You Have Done Me Wrong.

And E does not disappoint,
she comes back with a contract.

My law books are in the attic so I am not sure how she became so savvy in contract drafting,
but hers is very well done and is probably legally binding in the jurisdiction of our house.

It reads, verbatim:
 “V is not allowed to pressure point me,
pick out her own movie,
eat all of the breadsticks,
and tell me not to sing or that I am annoying.”

There is a signature line for me as witness,
and for V and E.

I praise her for her clever contract,
we negotiate that she will not sing after bedtime,
and I sign it,
and V is feeling much better after making origami swan and frog.

I certainly have daughters with very different skill sets,
but I happily take origami and contracts over bloodshed.

Peace restored.

 And during all of this M was in my closet ranking my shoes in order of which she thought were prettiest. 
 All's well that ends well, I think smugly,
for about two seconds.

Appeals Court begins almost immediately.

By morning, 
V decided that she wanted out of the contract she signed with E,
because what if she really got sick of E singing all the time?

Or wanted to pressure point her?
So I am, "what is pressure pointing, anyway?"  

And she says “like a pinch on the neck of Mr. Spock.”

So then, we have to suspend Appeals Court (this may be why I am not automatically Judge of All Things, although I think breaks for Beastie Boys is a valid court ruling) to dance to “Intergalactic.”

When we resumed the appeals hearing,
V's argument was that the contract was not valid due to it being written in orange crayon.

I am all, oh yes it is, contracts scribbled on napkins sometimes hold up in court,
orange crayon is not a deal-breaker.

And V gives me a look,
so I drag down my crate full of law books and bluebooks (from Ye Olden Days) and present to her some contract facts,
and at the stack of information,
 she gets glassy-eyed and goes off to draw a kaleidoscope.

Not kidding.
By the way, this is how I (in my mind) win arguments with Matt,
if we are debating something tangible,
I do my whole argument,
then research it for hours and highlight important facts and details that prove I AM RIGHT,
and then stomp downstairs to present him with this opus.

At which time, he has totally forgotten the argument or debate and is all,
what in the world?

And accepts giant bundle of facts,
plus cover memo from me,
but I seriously doubt he even reads it,
which means I win, right?
 It appears V has the same tendencies.
But her retreat into kaleidoscopes (which are fantastic, she is artist) was kind of the same as her pleading no contest,
so orange crayon contract stands.

No pressure pointing,
complaining about singing,
or calling anyone annoying. 

So then I had to write up my findings,

and this is totally why I need an intern.

Proof I Have Superpowers, Vol. XXI: How You Like Me Now?, by Allison

So I have no idea if this is actually Vol. XXI of my theories of Proof I Have Superpowers, and since this is baby blog (newborn! so little! don't you want to knit it a sweater?) I would have to like, scroll through a bunch of FB posts and emails to count the exact number of reasons I Have Superpowers. But the latest one, kind of a winding story (shock!), is related to super-fab dance-funk whee-yay must-dance song, "How You Like Me Now," by The Heavy. Has been out for several years now, but when we play it at home or it comes on radio, it is all - ok, stop, time to bust a move, we can resume whatever we were doing later.

 For some reason (which was probably me doing something cool for one of the girls and then saying, "So, how you like me now?" and then dancing around, which I tend to do) this song was totally in my head yesterday and I wanted to hear it, but in car I leave it up to the satellite radio gods to determine what comes at us.

 And much like when I wore a plaid shirt and then magically made it 1991 and Soundgarden released new music, yesterday am driving to girls' swim meet and lo and behold, My Superpower summoned forth . . . How You  Like Me Now!!????!!!! Ha! Have Superpowers. And for your listening/viewing enjoyment, here is the official video for The Heavy's "How You Like Me Now," complete with random animation and woods and delightful awesome great song.  You're Welcome.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Almost Girl Fight in PetSmart, a Tribute to MCA, by Allison

So at the gym this morning, after yuk boot camp class, a friend was laughing at me over getting into a Chicken Fight at the movies this weekend.

And she was all "Didn't you get into a fight with some girl over dog food recently, too?"

And I am all "NO!! That was an almost-fight, and it was about Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys dying and the girl was being rude and a very bad retail employee. But it got resolved."

So for clarification, I do not run all over town getting into altercations with people.
 Am peaceful type.

Have never hit or kicked anything or anyone (on purpose)  except when made to do so by gym trainer. 

Most public arguments I have been in have been during debate competitions or moot court, and that does not count.

But apparently (and this is probably due to my ninja training) if someone insults or upsets one of my girls, or friends, or recently deceased musical geniuses, I get feisty.

I do not fight people over dog food, really, unless you count the following (numerous) lively exchanges:

Me: "Matt you need to get dog food"
Matt: "I am at work, you'll need to get it"
Me:  "It is your fault we have this second dog so you should get it"
Matt: "You need to get over that whole thing and just get dog food when you are out"
Me:  "I am not getting over it, she is a bad dog and you know it"
Matt: "What does this have to do with the dog food?"

That is the extent of dog food fighting in my world, but I did recently have a situation in a dog food store, but it was not about dog food.

Not same thing.

I was really very super sad to hear that Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, had lost his battle with cancer. I was surprised how really upset I was over this awful news, but really, when I thought about it, I cannot put into quantifiable terms how much joy and delight and fun and whee and yay I have gotten out of their music over the years, they are badass.

And MCA dying was just tearing me up, and I have to go do the errands and violin/tea/whatever run, all snuffly.
So am in car and beloved alt nation station does not let me down, they were airing poignant and awesome stories about Adam Yauch as well as most excellent music.

 So I am weepy mess, still dancing as it is actually impossible for me not to when Beastie Boys are on.

 Am so puffy eyed and smeary that I look like Courtney Love after a bender, so I wear my big sunglasses in to get dog food.

 Checking out, Bad Clerk asks me why I have sunglasses on.


Is Rude.

I could be former Spice Girl or CIA agent.

I tell her I have them on because I am sad MCA from Beastie Boys died. She looks at me like I am crazy (which may be true, but not in this case) and LAUGHS at me.

I am about to go all Braveheart on her, when store dude intercedes, tells her she is awful, and offers to help with my dog food.

I say no, you stay and teach her how very subpar her retail skills are, not to mention her extreme musical ignorance.
And he quotes some Beastie Boys to me, I do the same, we are now best friends.

Glad I did not get into actual tussle, as am guessing policeman would not like "but she insulted MCA and he just died and that means she goes to the seventh ring of Hell" any more than he liked "I like this song" as my reason for speeding.

See, that is not a fight about dog food at all!

Totally different.

And now, I don't even try to make Matt get the dog food (much) because I go in there with the biggest dark sunglasses I own on, every time, daring her to say something. 

 I think if she ever does, my new tactic will be to tell her I have a great guy she should meet and introduce her to Wasted Steve.

Crying dog food purchasers will seem like nirvana comparatively.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lesson in Music by Allison, Greatly Enhanced By My 6 Year Old

So I make no secret of the fact that I LOVE music and since I am the car, driving kids around or going to their violin lessons or the gym or Starbucks, I get to listen to music a lot. Which is awesome and makes the driving around stuff a lot more entertaining. But when the girls are with me, there is a sliding scale of Mommy Approved and What They Will Not Yell About.  Right now, we all agree on "Some Nights" by fun., which is my favorite on that album and is super excellent car dancing material.

 M, my 6 year old, and I were having a lovely little dance to this excellent song, and she says, "Mommy, this sounds like the "We Are Young" people, but if they were in The Lion King." And I am all, huh. She is totally, totally right in the best way. I mean, spot on. I'm like, "M, you are so right, how cool to put that together," and I briefly do a Lesson in Music, since she just gave me one, and talked about how I liked that they made these songs that sound really huge and anthemy, bombastic even, but it doesn't seem like they are taking themselves seriously in a "we're teaching you a lesson while this music swells and important things are sung about", it has a different vibe.

We Are Obsessed

I love products, reading about them, testing them out, placing them lovingly in little rows like happy soldiers in my war against ug. And I've got all sorts of hair types in this household, and this is something we all agree upon: Frederic Fekkai's Beach Waves Spray is best sea salt spray out there, it is fab, we all use it in various ways (me, bun in hair, spray it, take bun out later, beachy hair, girls, braid hair wet, spray it, twist it up, spray again, in morning wavy hair. Happy are we.)
Introducing Summer Hair Essentials: Fekkai

And E, my already wavy haired girl who is swimming twice a day, is loving the Smooth Sailing cream stuff, it totally works and she becomes California Barbie and I am jealous.

So we all love it, the girls are starting to steal it from me so I have had to order extras to stash around in case of Beauty Apocolypse, we need to be prepared. If FF wants to send me giant cases of it, that'd be awesome. For now, purchasing will do. LOOOOVE.