Monday, October 29, 2012

Anyone Up For Hosting Halloween Party For 65 Sixth Graders? Boys and Girls? In Costume Disguises? With Candy And Possible Meteor Shower? I Can Help, Because I Just Did That, Otherwise Known As, Do Not Hand Thirty Middle School Boys Rolls Of Toilet Paper, Party Planning! by Allison

So when V and  her friend CC want to host a Halloween Party for the entire sixth grade?

At CC's house, not mine, her mom TC is way cooler and braver than me, and two more girls sign on for co-hosting?

And allowance is spent on Halloween decorations, and every kid seems to be coming, and there will be candy?  

And also, chaperoning this many kids (65!!!!!), some in costumes so maybe I won’t recognize them (Note: That totally happened, some were wearing bodysuits hiding their faces and entire selves, I eventually figured out who was who but it is hard, those wily tweens)

I get a bit nervous?
Maybe that is understatement.
Slightly more than a bit.
 Maybe a lot more.
Like, is it possible to both be vigilant chaperone but not ruiner of party fun? 
And not embarrass V but still relish seeing the kids having a good time?
Is that possible?
What if a meteor lands? That could happen, you know.
 So fine, maybe no meteor, but I have only daughters, sixth grade boys are as much a mystery to me now as they were when I was in sixth grade
(Note: but my extreme people watching skills pegs the overall traits at "labrador retriever" plus "huh?" plus "pizza?" plus "why are the girls so tall?"  plus "gibberish about video games I do not know what" plus still having fun doing kid stuff when no one is looking, and having a good time, and also not blowing stuff up, I have no idea, I have (three very different but still have that one thing in common) girls).
 I have a steep learning curve ahead of me, middle school boys, they are mystery creatures. Whose style choices confound me.  Specifically sock choice.
The guys all wear those totally weird mid-calf Nike socks now, like black socks with their sneakers, and I do not understand it at all, but I do not want to be all "What in tarnation are you youngsters up to? Back in the day, only the strange neighbor mowing his lawn wearing a hat and undershirt wore black socks with his lounge shoes, uphill, in the snow."
Evil genius Nike marketers have pulled off major victory in whatever in the  world they have done to make these unflattering, weird socks the total cool thing.
And I did ridiculous trend type style choices in middle school (Note: Shut up, and no pictures) and am glass house not throwing stone (Subnote: But not wearing vests anymore) am pot, not pointing out any colors kettle might be.
But seriously, I have eyeballs.

I am just saying, do not stand in the front row for pictures in those socks or you will regret it when the world remembers mid calf black socks are bad all around, and not to show but to be worn under pants, and black socks with white tennis shoes is horrible, and you will be the boy version of me with the "What was it about the Dirty Dancing style long jean shorts and my sweater worn backwards that made me think I didn't look like I got dressed in the dark in the closet of a giant with bad shorts selection?"
 SOCK TANGENT OVER. Back to nerves over 65 boys and girls, middle school aged, some in disguise, also lots of candy plus so many random variables my head hurts?
That is a reasonable reaction, right? I can veer (wildly, or not, I'm not saying) off course on the "reasonable way to react to (fill in blank, no flipping the paper over to continue list)."
 But wait!
Must factor in: TC  throws a party like nobody’s business, somehow with no giant panic of "my house is going to totally get wrecked in ways in which I cannot fathom but will be very sad about later."   
And TC can ward off possible mischief making by unknown number of party guests crowding into playhouse, she just walked over to it, said "Hey, who is hanging out in the love shack?" and the boys burst out of that house so fast you would think they had superhero costumes on.

Problem solved, in one second, in a way that was super funny and no harm, no foul. Brilliant.

 And the girls have decorated the house in amazingly cool ways (Note: coffins! caution tape! luminaria! creepy things! everywhere!) , there is a super talented DJ who also break dances, and most importantly, the kids are fantastic kids.
And party is a blast, and nobody lost an eye, or anything other than a mustache that was fake and would not willingly cooperate.
(And telling the former moustache wearer, "Go find V, she can fix it if she still has the duct tape she used on the hatchet headband" is a weird sentence out of context) and everyone, including chaperones, had fun, and again, 65 kids!!!!
 I'm maybe even missing a few. There were lots of them.
Behaving and having fun and being awesome!

At fun party at amazing house with great music and food and candy and the kids are rejecting the food as they were having too much fun to eat pizza and candy!  (I was pushing pizza and candy on the kids until I realized that was crazy. I was actually walking around waitress-style (Note: Not that I ever got to be a waitress, I was always stuck with being hostess,  otherwise known as air traffic controller who the waiters all hate because you sat a baby with mashed carrots or a mean man with water issues in their section) ).
It was miraculously free of any natural or man-made disaster.

Or even a girl crying in the bathroom.

I was ready for that, that was one of my jobs in my sorority in college one year, kind of patrol person for the criers and the dudes pulling light fixtures off the walls at spring formal for reasons that I do not know.

But no crying!

Or even frowns!

Or even less than full on smiles and dancing and zip lining (TC has cool backyard) and frolicking in manner I was afraid would not exist anymore, they'd be too worried about being cool and disengaged by fun.
 Yay to these kids, kids that it has been a privilege to see growing up before my eyes. 
I actually had to stop myself (This is probably not a surprise to anyone who has to deal with me watching swim meet or violin concert or anything involving kids doing something wow and growing up and then I cry) from turning Great Aunt Hattie "I remember when you were THIS big."

But I refrained, because V would kill me and I really did not have any quarters to hand out after the "THIS big," and I think is the law for Great Aunts, the quarter must be distributed after the awkward, embarrasing for all total super obvious observation.

If the worst thing that happens is me realizing I have just handed 30 sixth grade boys full rolls of toilet tissue for mummy contest, and maybe they might TP something other than mummy?
(Which, note: I totally handed sixth graders rolls of toilet paper, forgetting they are no longer Kindergarteners who will kind of follow the rules, and seriously, what is wrong with me not to trouble shoot that possible - otherwise known as for sure going to happen - TP extravaganza?
Totally me being idiot.)

But cool kids throw me a bone, and help clean up all of it!  For real. 
They cleaned up and continued with the fun?
That is an excellent party.

And you would think, maybe I'd get like a day or so of a grace period with V, like I am protected class person for a bit due to extreme coolness of being up for helping host and chaperone giant party full of costumed MIDDLE SCHOOLERS?

Not so much.
I mean, she's V, so she's not throwing things at me, but she is participating and perpetuating the Apparent Endlessly Fun Game For Others Known As Terrorize Allison With Images Of The Object Of Her Totally Valid Phobia.

Observe the pumpkin V carved, in secret, for our house for Halloween:




Sunday, October 21, 2012

Whooooo Is Trying To Kill Me? Or, What Is Worse, Evil Wicked Creatures or Evil Wicked Friends? A Toss Up, by Allison

So I am bedraggled and half-frozen from girl scout camping trip, which was rescued from being officially declared (by me) as a form of torture by the cool kids and moms, excellent time with E, and getting to save a girl's ponytail through the use of makeup wipes and my moisturizer removing huge blob of dried marshmallow.

Shall probably have more to discuss in rambling fashion re:  the camping trip, including shanty freezing cold Deliverance shack, but for now, am harkening back in time to Friday night, in which my lovely and wicked friends had fun continuing Allison Birthday celebration, and I am thinking my birthday is now going to last for the entire season of Autumn.
I think that is a fab idea and I am totally going to make that a thing.

Because parties are awesome! And evenings with friends are awesome! Plus presents! Also awesome!

But guess what is NOT awesome?

Owl attacks.

Not an actual live, loose owl plucking out my eyeballs, although I am pretty sure that is going to happen any moment.  I am instead referring to perpetual onslaught of owl items, photos, and other forms of owl terrorism.

And it is all Mark Zuckerberg's fault. 

I was innocently checking Facebook a while ago, making sure I was up on wishing people happy birthdays and reading ten zillion political rants and those cards people post, either inspirational or "Mommy needs a Xanax" in theme. And what to my wondering eyes should appear?

(Spoiler! Was not Santa and tiny reindeer. Was EVIL.)

The ad stream on the side of my FB page felt that I would be interested in "whimsical owl buckets." Um, FB? You need to rework your spying on me and deciding what I like program, because it is a known fact that I hate both whimsy and owls.

RANT ALERT!!!  There are words that cannot be said aloud or used to describe oneself or others or a thing without immediately invalidating the self or thing that you are labeling with the word.

Whimsy is totally one of those words.
I am a fan of things whimsical.   But only if it is not labeled as "whimsical." You cannot call something whimsical. That automatically invalidates the whimsy. Whimsy has to be an on-the-spot, internal determination of the sheer fun and fluff and whee of a thing.
If you say, "Please observe this whimsy, we are being whimsical over here!" You are promptly, totally not whimsical.

You are the opposite of whimsical.

You cannot plan for, or label something whimsical.
It is like calling yourself classy. You know what is immediately, forever not classy?

Calling yourself classy.

Calling anything classy, really. Classy is the same kind of word as whimsy.
You can totally know it when you see it, you can think it, but if you label it, it invalidates the whimsy, or the classy, and turns it into some other thing, something faux and contrived and wrong.

Rant on advertising the whimsy over. On to rant about owls!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ridiculously Sick Good, Killer Awesomeness, Cool Retro But Not Stale, Instead Gritty And Chic, I Know, Is Miracle!, An Ode To The Neighbourhood, by Allison

So, in between trying to de-mud/rain/sun/hay/etc my clothes from Most Excellentest Music Festival trip, organize the girls' various things and such, I am getting totally distracted listening to The Neighbourhood, again, on repeat, is impossible not to stop and dance around and oops, an hour has gone by.

Is not my fault.

Totally not my fault.

 I realize I have waxed poetic about this fab band, and their song "Female Robbery" (am obsessed with that song, like, is hypnotically awesome) here:

And also waxed more poetically (? Is that a phrase? A thing? If not, I am saying it is anyway) about seeing them live a few weeks ago and then getting into duel at dawn type situation with some of their fans who objected to me discussing The Neighbourhood's awesomeness out loud, for fear of other people hearing about them?
Because then they'd get all popular and it would not be a special secret anymore and the world would end?
Which?  Is nonsense, and I said so, not very succinctly as that is not in my skill set, here:

So you may think I would have exhausted my (Granted, humongous) pile of adjectives, adverbs, exclamation points, all the tools in my arsenal re: The Neighbourhood is awesome.

But you would be wrong!!!!

First, I have never ending arsenal of word and word-type things. Is true, you can ask Matt. Or anyone who had to read my papers in school from first grade on. Or has received an email from me on a very simple topic that turns into a wall of text that NO one will read even if they lie and say they did.

But also, I have NEW information!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dude, Where's My Car, Phone, Friend, and Brain?, or Doofus, A Case Study, by Allison

So I am freshly
(Note: I am using that term figuratively, right now I am back from gym so gross,
and pretty much the entire time of festival I was covered in rain, mud, or sunburn.
Which?  Subnote: Really not fair, to have both downpour and sunburn)
returned from Most Excellentest Music Festival,
in which I had super fun and exhausting and amazing time,
and total fab fun with K the Best Music Friend Ever.

And there was so much good music and great performances
(Jack White! Avett Brothers! Shins! Metric! I Can't Stop With The Exclamation Points!)
it was ridiculously, overwhelmingly good.

Except for the doofuses.

(Note: For the most part, the gigantic crowd of 70,000 or more people,
all in one park roaming around hearing bands and trying to get good spot to hear sets, l
oving the day, everyone was chill, happy, glad to be there.
How could you not be, with so many good things going on?)

Seriously, was fab.

Except for the doofuses.

And since I am TOTALLY avoiding what I am supposed to be doing apres giant traveling trip to music festival and now must pay the piper,
I shall categorize the doofuses.

Allison's Music Festival Doofus Analysis
(Note: If this becomes a thing I am totally taking credit):

1. Crowd Surfing Doofus Subtype A: Clueless and Dangerous.
This doofus
(Note: I am sad to say that it was not sole doofus, it was plural, like, by a lot) does not know what he is doing
(Note: I am not gender-stereotyping. I am saying it was only guys doing this. Don't blame me, non-doofus guys. Blame the doofuses for besmirching your gender)
and/or thinks he is going to score front row spot by crowd surfing in straight line,
back to front.


Get this: We can't see you coming.

Your mom was lying.

She does NOT have eyes in the back of her head.

Nor do we.

If my first alert as to your presence is your steel toed boot hitting the back of my head three times in your attempt to surf your way up front in your pitiful ploy to fully experience the show/go wild, s
core closer spot, whatever,
you are not winning me over.

I am not inclined to shake off the concussion you just gave me and lift you over my head to the next person in front of me,
 who also does not know you are coming,
 because you are doofus,
 and you are launching yourself at people who can't see you before you land on them.

Know what is going to happen to you, Crowd Surfing Doofus Subtype A?

Either person you just kicked in head or landed on is going to move over and let you fall straight onto the ground -
OR -
You will make it as far as the security guy who will grab your ankle and launch you over the barrier into oblivion.
Because you can't crowd surf back to front,
it is cheating to get closer, or if you are not being strategic and just extra doofy,
you are kicking people and landing on them and that is POOR FORM.

Party foul.


The average age of this doofus is young,
and I am not sure there is a crowd surfing pamphlet or such
(Note: I should totally do that),
but it does not take a whole lot of brain power to realize people who can't see you
(or hear you, it is concert, they are loud)
don't know you are there until you kick them and that is not nice,
nor will it make friends or influence people.

I am sad to say that there were many plurals to this type of doofus,
and bands with lots of fanboys (i.e. The Black Keys) draw them out in full force.

Silver lining: You can make friends with concert attendees near you who also agree that the crowd surfer is a doofus, and friends are great!

2. Crowd Surfing Doofus, Subtype B: Hand-Wringing Nervous Nellie

This subtype of doofus is thankfully not launching himself in straight line from back headed forwards,
and maybe because he sees people trying that and getting dumped on their doofus heads,
he is a little wary.

To surf, or not to surf?
That is his Shakespearean dilemma.

So he interviews surrounding would-be surf assistants,
to make sure they will in fact help him crowd surf.
He gets an affirmative,
yes, fine, we'll launch you up or whatever,
but he's still vacillating.

He asks again if help will be provided.
He asks to see my biceps.
(Note: I am not making this up. I wish I had that kind of an imagination)

He visibly psychs himself up for the attempt at crowd surfing,
bouncing up on the balls of his feet,
eyes wide, checking the scene.

Still can't pull the trigger.

And then, after saying "okay, okay, okay" forty million times,
he is aloft.

But he is also a DOOFUS,
and the song has about fifteen seconds left in it and anyone who has ever heard the music this band is playing knows that,
so while he successfully crowd surfs for those fifteen seconds,
he goes down like a lead balloon once song is over.
About four rows back from where he started.

Silver lining: And he is never seen again.

Doofuses of the world hear this:
You crowd surf diagonally.
Like in the old Connect Four commercial you are too young to have seen unless it is now part of faux nostalgia for the 1980's and is making a comeback.
Never mind.
Diagonally. Laterally. Whatever.
So we know you are headed our way.
And start before the song is over, or momentum will be lost,
while band is switching up instruments or whatever,
you are on ground getting stomped on.

It also helps if you are not a guy but instead are a girl.
That is the way it is.
Most girls don't attempt it, but if they do, they are normally successful and the doofuses who assist her high five afterwards,
because they got to touch a girl or something.
I do not know.
I am a Ph.D in many Ology's, but Doofus Mindset is not one of them.
(Nor do I want it to be, FYI.)

3. Chatty Afflicted Extreme Doofus

This type of doofus strikes up conversations in thick crowd trying to leave park at night and limp their way to their hotel or place of rest by saying such clever things as "Hey, girl! Hey! Girl!"

(Note: If this approach has ever ended in true love or even one girl thinking the doofus is not a doofus, I would like to know about it,
because I am convinced that has never worked in the history of ever)
"Did you just tell your friend you are hungry? I am hungry too! We have so much in common!"

I am pretty much content to chat to anyone that is not throwing things at me,
spewing hate talk, or drooling (unless they are baby and that is cute).
But doofus, we are tired, long walk ahead,

Of course, my friend K the Best Music Friend Ever has speedy way to eliminate doofus annoyances, she just gives death look and keeps walking.

It is a very good strategy.
Sadly for K, she is walking with me,
and I am intrigued,
or at least will humor, an Extreme Doofus, for research purposes.

The best example of this subtype of doofus is this one doofus who materialized next to us on our long long trek back to our hotel the first night.

He was not scary or creepy, just a total idiot doofus.

He was wearing what looked like three jester hats piled up on each other.
He had a friendly demeanor,
and the glassy eyed look of someone under hypnosis.
He was super, duper cheerful for a fellow who:

1. Lost his phone at the show
(His story on that, and I am quoting verbatim: "So I was like taking pictures or calling or something and I thought, am I thirsty? And I went to get a drink, but that was stupid I should have gotten water because I lost my phone.") ????

2. Drove to show from Houston,
so parked his car somewhere he does not know,
except it is 45 minutes from the festival and "thirty minutes from here,"
which makes no sense, as we are AT festival.

Note: At this point, K is looking at me like,
Whyyyy are you talking to this clown?
And I say, I am totally dying to hear what other stupid stuff he says.

(Spoiler: He says way more stupid stuff!!!)

3. Asks us where we are from.
We do not provide details on that as K is totally ignoring him as he is doofus, and I am using extreme people watching skills but am not going to facilitate this doofus following me home like lost dog.
Upon not getting a specific answer,
he switches topics to, he wants to visit New York.
But alas, he does not have a place to stay there.
He thinks that if he goes on Facebook and posts that he needs somewhere to crash in NY someone will give him somewhere to stay.
He also then says that he is not sure what he would do if he visits New York, because there is nothing to do there.

And then he says that he did used to have one friend who lived there,
but he doesn't live there anymore because he got a DUI.
Curious, as I do not know many people who live in New York and drive around, as parking and driving are hard in that city, I ask, a DUI in New York?

He says no, the friend got the DUI in Nevada.
Of course, that makes total sense.

At this point, this doofus needs to be ditched,
but he is walking in the direction we are walking,
apparently to meet his buddy at a certain corner.
Luckily, the corner arrives soon so we can rid ourselves of the doofus.
And in true doofus form, he asks us which bar we think his friend is more likely to be in,
as there are several.
I point at one, so he will go away.

Silver lining: I was thoroughly entertained the rest of the weekend thinking of where that doofus wound up and how in the world he functions in society with the faculties he possesses.

4.Dedicated Umbrella Doofus

I was fairly astonished to see umbrellas being employed at big music festival,
in both rain and shine.

Almost exclusively by guys, and not guys hired by P. Diddy or whatever his name is now to shield him from elements,
or guys protecting their delicate girlfriends or anything.

No, intstead, the umbrellas were opened and held over the heads of DOOFUSES.

In a crowded, sardine situation in the pouring rain,
waiting for great band to come on stage,
these doofuses have open umbrellas and are huddling under it as if acid rain is falling.
For real.

Doofuses? I
 am as prissy as they come.
Prefer my hair and makeup not get messed up,
do not want to be stuck in wet jeans for 10 hours.
And if I know better than to open an umbrella and block the view of the stage for everybody behind me, remember,
at a giant music festival with tens of thousands of people behind me who can't see now because I am so precious?
If I know better, and you do not,
you are a doofus.

And you are a total, complete doofus if,
when asked by those directly behind you to lower your umbrella since we are all totally soaking wet anyway and get over it,
you do not lower your umbrella, but instead,
continue using it to shield yourself from the rain.

You realize what is going to happen when you and your polka dot (not kidding, there were many kinds but this one stuck out to me) umbrella remain an obstruction to people who have not eaten,
sat, or had any creature comforts during downpour for hours?
Well, here is a tip, doofus.
It is not going to go well for you.

And umbrella doofuses trot those things out in the sun, too!

Like we are in Merchant and Ivory film strolling by a lake.

Umbrellas as shade, in giant open field festival.
Whatever, twirl your parasol and tap dance for all I care,
unless you are in the crowd of a band performing,
blocking yourself from the sun with umbrella.

Second verse, same as the first,
not going to go well for you when your sun shield is also vision shield for others.

Silver lining: Not sure if there is one there, the umbrella doofuses were super annoying.

To conclude, as I cannot procrastinate any longer or lack of ballet shoe purchasing will result in my death, festival was awesome,
except for the doofuses.

Lesson for Today:
Do not be a doofus, or marry one,
or hang out with one unless for research purposes,
and do not let your baby eat lead paint or drink turpentine,
and maybe the doofus to regular person ratio will improve.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Little Afternoon Musical Awesomeness To Brighten Your Day, Otherwise Known As Me Super Happy And Obnoxiously Bragging About Going To Their Show Tonight, MuteMath's "Spotlight," whee yay, by Allison

So, whee, yay, tra la la, in between assorted Girl Scouting and Important Planning for upcoming AWESOME music festival fun trip extravaganza,

(Which?  Note: The "essential" guidelines for said festival are totally cribbed from the Y2K preparations for Armageddon websites. I am not toting giant backpack full of garbage bags and bacterial spray and toilet paper. I am totally good with Tide to Go and Neutrogena Makeup Wipes.
My friend and I decided that we've had to wing it at both music shows and kid wrangling in various locales long enough that we can make do with less than humongous piles of stuff, and this may be total folly on our parts and we will be wishing for garbage bags and Neosporin, but I stand by the makeup wipes as cure-all)

I am actually going to MORE music tonight!!!

(Note: This is because other than birthday parties for my kids or my fab friends and husband, the only thing I can organize is long lists of shows I want to see.)

Tonight, we are roadtripping to see Civil Twilight and MuteMath in cool, old movie theater venue, and I am super excited.

Why, you may ask?

And I may say, Do you remember me and the liking of the vampire movies?

And you may say, Of course, you are irrational about them and have a cardboard vampire in your home.
(NOTE: IT WAS A GIFT, and he scares away bad guys and the girls like to dress him up)

And I may say, True, but also: Those movies have really good soundtracks. Like, good, mixtape of various great stuff, from cool bands, I heart them.

And I am willing to go out on a limb, not willing to jump off the limb, nor do I want to do that, or ever jump off limb, just for clarification  --  But I will say, I have not heard such coolness overall in soundtracks since my beloved John Hughes soundtrack years, in which I wore out many a Pretty In Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful and Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller tape.

I mean sure, other soundtracks are cool: your Dazed and Confused has a vibe, Moulin Rouge if you are feeling campy and theatrical and FAB, all good.

And no one can top the John Hughes ones, which he selected himself and Narcissist Allison Then and Now believes were specially made just for me, thanks for Psychedelic Furs, The Smiths, Echo and The Bunnymen, etc, John Hughes, RIP! You were badass.

But it is true, the Twilight soundtracks are good.
My favorite Florence and the Machine song ("Heavy" it is sooo good), Thom Yorke, Band of Skulls, Dead Weather, my first exposure to the righteous glory of The Black Keys, is treasure trove.

And song that first grabbed me, and made me buy soundtrack and then make playlists and annoy the world with my amazing thoughts on this subject, was MuteMath's "Spotlight."
Which, having done my research like any good deranged fan, they merged several of their songs together, to create tapestry of AWESOME.

And I have been dying to see them live, as like their other stuff too, especially "Blood Pressure."

And yay, whee, only a few more hours of grocery and plotting for various things and child management stands in between me and MuteMath, live, hurray!!!!

So as a little happy bon mot before hunting and gathering for the residents of my household continues, here is MuteMath with "Spotlight." No sparkly vampires in the video, sorry (or, if you are not a fan, you are welcome)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ditch the Sugarplum Fairy and the Pony, But Bring The Butcher Knife, or Tips On How To Throw A Successful Kid Birthday Party Without Losing Your Mind, by Allison

So recently M the six year old stylist became M the seven year old stylist, and her birthday party was the most lovely, peaceful, non-horror-show event, Matt and I were looking at each other like, when does the bloodshed start? (Spoiler!! No blood! Not even a scratch! Or an evil clown! Or animals! Or other mayhem!)
Just a few little girls getting their nails painted and then cupcakes.

I am guessing this is not earth-shattering news to the rest of the world, because normal people do not go off the rails with kids parties like I used to, before I was soundly defeated by my own idiocy.

But just in case I am not the only one who is LUNATIC child birthday party planner before I learned my lesson (Note: It took me approximately fifteen of my various daughters' various birthday parties before this lesson sunk in, you'd think I'd figure out after the INDOOR PONY and the BAD CLOWN and the BALLERINA SHOW and all, but I am getting ahead of myself)
I am generously sharing the following advice:

Allison's Tips On How To Celebrate Your Child's Birthday Without Being Crazy Person:

1. When organizing your first child's first birthday, pay attention to what season it is. For example, if it is still winter, an outdoor petting zoo might not work out very well. Especially if it is sleeting.

2. If it is sleeting during the supposed outdoor petting zoo for your one year old who does not know a thing about what is going on as she is one year old
(Note: No parent ever ever will believe you if you tell them this information, that their one year old has no clue whatall is going on. I certainly ignored sage advice from just about everyone because V was genius savant miracle child who surely would appreciate and remember the petting zoo and all details of this giant party),
do NOT bring the petting zoo inside.

(Note: I realize this is the part where you say, Allison is a total liar and cannot even tell believable lies. But everything in this whole Tips For Parties list is true. I am not exaggerating, I wish I were, but alas, I was actually lunatic enough to do all the things I say I did, and more that I do not wish to recall)

3. If the petting zoo lady says, "No, it is sleeting, I am not bringing the pony and iguana and ducks and snake and such", do NOT beg and bribe her to bring them anyway as not to disappoint your one year old who has no idea any of this is happening.

4. If the petting zoo lady shows up with the animals you begged her to bring, DO NOT bring the animals in the house.

Who would do that?

A pony?
For real?

(Spoiler!!! I totally did that.)

Ducks in a barrel? An iguana on a leash?
All in my house, for the enjoyment of my daughter who is still a baby and her baby friends who have no idea what is happening? NOT a good idea.
But, Silver Lining: All adults in attendance got a laugh and/or a "Whew, thank the heavens I am not married to her" out of it. Well, all adults except for Matt.

Pony. I have pictures.

5. Learn your lesson after Ponygate 2002. Do NOT pretend none of that happened and throw another giant party for your next one year old, this time taking weather into account but not thinking about how it would totally be horrible if you hired a BAD CLOWN to come to your house and scare the babies AND the parents.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oh, You've Heard of Them? Well, Then, I Don't Like Them Anymore, Otherwise Known As, Please, We Are Not In Third Grade, a Plea, by Allison

So today I am at the girls' school, having a healthy snack birthday fest for M the now seven year old stylist, and glory be, it is raining. Which is awesome because:
1. I love rain.  Is the best weather, forevermore.
2. I got to see the first graders in action inside instead of on playground, the playground otherwise known as I lose a kid or two if I am on lunch duty, which is why I no longer do lunch duty.

The inside play time is always fascinating to me, to see Who Does What When, as I am Sociologist and Anthropologist and other Ologists. And to my delight, the girls put on a show! Whee! A puppet show, no less.
And they furthered my longstanding belief that all puppet shows involve animals, dancing, and murder. This one was called "Oh My Goodness I Am Being Eaten Alive" starring M as a rabid rooster who dances and kills dolphins and tigers and goats (??).
It was fab.

Was fab.  So why I am I all worked up into such a state that I can't even peacefully read for a half hour before swimming/Junior Assembly/drum set arriving for M (gulp)/Birthday Dinner/more Junior Assembly?

Because I was listening to the radio, as I am wont to do, while hunting and gathering and driving to gym and school etc. And I had it on a cool satellite channel that plays a variety of alternative, indie, different, mixtape type stuff. And something I normally love, a segment called Blog Radio in which a blogger (Note: Sirius XM people, I do qualify, just saying.) is DJ and talks about music.
So like, my dream job.
But today, it got me so grumpy I had to vent in word form, as soon as I got home, leading the good dog to act like the bad dog, eating the salmon for M's special dinner.  Ug.
(Note: Am back from hunting and gathering more salmon. Did not see Angry Grocery Antagonist, whew)

Why am I still grumpy? Is rainy, fun party day.
But alas, the blogger on the radio was STUPID and IDIOT and I really, really wanted to throw something at him. The guy was playing a good song, I think from Wild Nothing? Can't remember, as my head caught on fire when dude was all, "Yeah, so, people ask me what I am listening to lately or if anything new is good, or to make them a playlist."
(Which, Note: That is my dream conversation. Nobody ever asks that, probably because I have already told them the answers to those questions and/or given them a playlist.)

But blogger Faux Hipster Music Genius and I apparently differ on sharing fab music with interested people, because he was all, "Yeah, but I'm not telling them what I like or what is good. They don't get music like I do. They don't feel it as much. I'm not telling them what is cool, they wouldn't get it."

So this is where my head explodes into flames.