Monday, November 26, 2012

So I Discovered An Accidental Time Capsule In My Attic? Or, Can My Day Be Any More Random, Perseveration by Allison

So this has been a weird day, if you can imagine a combination of:

Totally Unfun Dentist-type Stuff, Moths Got To My Favorite Sweater, Awesome Friends Being Fabulous, Randomly Finding Absurd Treasure Trove Of The Various Stages of Allison Past, including:

1. Duran Duran poster. I saved one??

 I had eight trillion. I can't figure out why this one was preserved, or what happened to the rest (Note: if someone who knew me back then has them, I want them back, I am totally making a new Wall of Awesome) but it is timely, in that I am reading one Mr. John Taylor's biography. Which is fab. So far. Because they aren't famous yet, and he does a good job with the leadup to World (or not entire world, maybe, but for sure Allison) Domination, and I haven't had to read any gross groupie stuff yet.

2. High School Diploma.

For real, that thing was in a dusty crate from a music store that does not exist anymore, just crammed in there, like, the Velveteen Rabbit? The Woody toy from Toy Story?
Except it was not beloved and cherished and loved, it was earned as necessary part of moving through life and shoved in a music store crate.
But otherwise, same.

3. Paper I wrote in college comparing Dante's The Inferno and T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland, focusing on self versus society, as that was the focus of the class.

I remember writing it, and remember being thrilled to get a good grade on it because
a) I am very much a seeker of proof I am not a total mess and

b) this professor vary rarely gave good grades, and in fact would throw the paper at you, and in German accent thunder "UN-acceptable!!" if he didn't like what you wrote.

But overall, I noticed this paper had a lack of FORMS or annotations such as:

Who is your pediatrician?

Please write down your medical insurance information one jillion times.

I realize that on any given day, if you asked me would I rather
(Note: OOH! I hate that game, Would You Rather, with Death Is Not An Option caveat. You do not want to play that game with me, because I make up my own thing, refuse to answer the two horrible options in front of me and create a whole different scenario. Because it is a stupid game, and I do not have any fun learning if my friends would rather eat eyeballs or take a bath in cat brains)

Anyway, would I rather fill out FORMS or write a paper on Dante's The Inferno for a very scary professor, I would opt for the FORMS. But here is why: I get double bonus points, because FORMS are one of the rings of Hell in The Inferno.
I am fairly sure of that.

4. Pictures of me from about ninth grade, when my friend C got her first good camera and needed to practice, and I had not learned yet that I should require formal editoral approval on all photos taken of me, ever, even on yet-to-be-invented phones that take pictures (Especially those. Man, I realize iPhones are miracles, but the camera is hit or miss, just saying)
or by doofus paid cheesy photographer roaming around college sorority or fraternity events and then luring drunken idiot formal attendees to sign over their life savings for pictures, always with faces mashed together and "WOOO HOOOO" vibe, that arrive six weeks later and helpfully give you the time and date of your stupid choice to buy this bad picture.

The pictures C took were good on her part, she is very talented artistically, and that used to annoy me because she was also very great at math, and I was idiot who thought you could be one or the other, and had not yet read eighty majillion parenting books and How To Raise Girls Who Are Not Nightmares books in which I learned you can do several things well, it does not break any laws, rules, or treaties.

The only issue I have with the pictures is that I want (again, I am always finding reasons to want this) to zap myself back in time
(Note: I am the worst, I cannot be satisfied with bossing around the current or future, I must boss around the past too?)
and tell Ninth Grade Allison:

a) Stop with the bangs.
I swear. I know everyone has them.
Trust me, let the bangs go. Also, when acid wash denim appears, run.
I promise you will thank me.

b) Save that bracelet you have on. It's pretty and I want it.
Current Allison has no clue where it is.
Although I did not know any of the aforementioned things existed until today, so maybe I will find the bracelet tomorrow.
That would be fab.

5. Certificate, with SEAL and golden font, so is valid, inducting me on the sixteenth day of April (year redacted due to author's vanity) into the Eta Rho Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, which is allegedly a national Political Science Honor Society.

I have never in my life seen this piece of paper.

It has my name on it, and various things in Greek or Latin to make it seem very Studious, and even signatures under the hysterical pledge "In Testimony Whereof We Have Hereunto Set Our Hands And The Official Seal of The Society."

Hereunto? Impressive use of completely underused because nobody is sure how to spell it weird smarty pants word.

Set Our Hands Onto It?
 I have never seen this thing or heard of the people who have signed it, all three of them, cleverly signing in scribble scrabble I can't read so I can't track them down and ask them when did they induct me into a cult I was not aware of, and also, is there a business of making up fake societies?
Because I totally want in.

That would be awesome.

And in conclusion to this weird day, in which I had planned to do a lot of things that did not involve Dredging Into Random Bits Of My Past Dusty From Non-Existent Music Store Crate, I shall share one of my favorite covers of a Ramones song, for no reason, remember, today is Random Day, and this song is awesome and Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is badass and I am fan.
And I can't think of anything more random, so here you go, is awesome, you're welcome:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Need A Get Rich Quick Scheme? Take Your Kid's Teacher To Vegas!! Financial Planning, by Allison.

So I never know what will emerge from the backpack/messenger bag/sparkly purses of my children when I routinely clean them out to make sure there is nothing living, rotting, needing to be signed, or otherwise dangerous in them.
Recently I got an autographed photo of the actor who plays Carlisle in the Twilight series, and I am all, "Um V? Wha?"
And she said "Oh yeah, this was passing around school and it is for you."

1. That is very cool, anonymous donor of Twilight memorabilia. Thank you, and also for future reference, anything passed along to me via Matt or V will be completely forgotten about by them, randomly found by me, and never explained in any way by either of them. If you want credit, go to E. Or M, she will add glitter glue, though.

2. Sears is taking way better pictures than the ones I recall. Those were involving fur blankets and rocking chairs as props.  Because this actor looks decent in anonymous benevolent donor's photo, and in the movie he looks not his best, which may be karma due to him breaking heart of 90210's Kelly Taylor, just a theory.

But that was like, best backpack scrounging ever. I cannot even describe some of the things I have pulled out or gotten stuck on me or been completely embarrassed by, like form from August needed back and it is December.

Yet there are treasures to be had!

And those are often in the pre-school and younger elementary grades, before your (Note: I am not saying this happened for real, but sadly it totally did) third grader writes a sixteen-page typed single spaced story involving the protagonist, who is a teenager wearing sparkly purple top, and her mother, who cooks really badly.

And this particular third grader is fast with the typing and good (So in this case, stinging? scorching? harsh? genetically predisposed?) with the adjectives so there is lots of discussion on the faulty cooking of the mom, mostly stream-of-consciousness as if James Joyce were inhabited by the brain of a Disney Channel tween star and Dorothy Parker at the same time?

But I digress, back to the treasures!

It is Thanksgiving, right?

We are supposed to list our thanks and things we are thankful for and such.

Turkeys made out of hands.

M the seven year old stylist is dressed as a pilgrim today, because it is MIRACLE otherwise known as, I found the pilgrim costume I bought for V 5 years ago and managed to save for E, lend it out to a friend, got it back, and put it in a hiding place so no dressup game murder would happen and then I remembered where I put it.

That IS a miracle, really, but miracles are one holiday away.
Giving thanks now.
And here is what I am giving thanks for (to?):

Teachers of young children, and your poker faces.

That is what I choose to be thankful for in this season of thanks.

Because you know what? If I had your job:

1. I would be in jail, there are so many reasons (Note: not bad ones, I would not hurt anyone, I would like, glue us all to the wall or lock the goldfish in the supplies closet and get tied up with string or have to leave due to complete inability to deal with .0000001 percent of what teachers of young kids deal with every day.)

2. I could not, at ALL, keep a straight face.

So aside from the forced sentiment of thanks that I actually really DO feel,  but hate to be made to color it orange and say it at this one time of year instead of randomly saying it when major props are due to whatever amazing thing happened that you made happen, what I am really saying is this:

Elementary Teachers, go to Vegas.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Shall Not Go Gently Into This Twilight Girls' Night, Or, A Requiem for the Undead, by Allison

So seeing as I have had little sleep, much gym, trip to school for special snack for M the seven year old stylist who is Star of the Week at school,

(Note: Any and all teachers of M, she does not need you to tell her she is Star.
She already is aware, has designated that role to herself permanently, and good luck taking down her pictures and moving her special toys and doll and hair brush to brush the doll's hair out of the Special Star chair come next week,
I see a coup d'etat in the making)

So cornbread and blueberries snack
(Note: M wanted salmon and blueberries, which are her favorite foods because I am Awesome Mom, otherwise known as blind luck but I sound like a very health conscious parent when she tells people that, and it is true, she does love those foods, but I was fearful of somehow poisoning a room of first graders with rancid fish at 9:40 in the morning so cornbread was substituted)

And fun with M and friends, followed by deranged Target spree,
unloading of said spree,
and now copious emailing or texting or messaging or smoke signaling with friends regarding Girls Night Out, Last Vampire Standing Edition.

I think I am being frantic today because:

1. I get slightly manic when running on very little sleep, which I am currently on fumes due to Twilight Movie Marathon yesterday, in which all of the movies were shown in a row, culminating in Breaking Dawn Part Two: Or, You Came Back After That Birth Scene?,
which is (Spoiler!) the last movie in the Saga,
Allison's Irrational Teenage Regression Issue,
whatever you want to call it.

2. I get slightly to very giddy plotting Fun Girls' Nights, especially with the crew I have assembled for tonight, involving lots of different women from various parts of my life with common denominator of AWESOMENESS,
plus they aren't embarrassed that I carry a life-sized cardboard cutout of a movie vampire around with me on said girls nights.

(Note: It was a GIFT. And people act insane and take pictures with him as if he is real.
 I realize I am carrying around a cardboard cutout, but I do not pet him and feed him and call him George, duh, his name is Edward, and I know he is not real although he does scare away the bad guys and M likes to put hats and tutus on him.)

3. I do not want this to be the last Twilight movie so I am even doing chores I hate like laundry and dog maintenance to distract myself from fact that it is in fact, last movie.

 (Note: Alleged future spin-offs involving werewolves, characters with stupid names, or any character that is not currently in cardboard fashion in my home, played by actor of required Britishness, tallness, moodiness, floppy haired-ness, and remember the music part, does not count.
Not the same.
Is New Coke.

So instead of distracting myself further, because I am really totally not interested in any more chores, I shall wallow.

I choose to wallow.

Here is why.

Allison's Reasons For Being Totally Sad Cheesy Vampire Series Is Approaching Its Pop Cultural Shelf Life And Now We Are Supposed To Like Zombies?:

1. It is not my fault.

 I was lured into a seemingly innocuous book by my friend B who also babysits the girls and knows the good dog and the bad dog and that I read books all the time.

She is all, "So there's a book series? I don't know if you read Young Adult books, but I think you might like it."

Note to universe:
This is how they lure young Midwesterners into becoming prostitutes when they get off the bus in the Big City.
Just saying.

Three days later, books absorbed, when's the next one coming out, oh they are casting a movie? Let's obsess on that.

And new book coming out the day I leave at 6 am for family vacation flight?

Kind YA fiction drug pusher B goes to midnight book release and delivers one to me for my flight, a flight in which I sit separately from my family and have a read-off with a lady who also had procured the familiar black and red covered book.
(Spoiler! It got ugly. The read-off, not the book. Except the werewolf parts.)

Actual conversation between me and Lady Next To Me With Same Book On Long Flight:

Me:  "It seems you are ahead of me in your book. Please do not make any sounds, say any names, or react in any way to this book until I catch up to you. Which I will, I am a fast reader. And I will not reveal plot points once I pass you. Deal?"

Lady: "Fine. But I am a fast reader too. Good luck." (This is said with look of disdain.)

Me: (internally gleeful for not only long flight with book I want to read and no toddler biting me (that is not a spoiler. E bit on flights at that age), but now also get to have a read-off,
and I always win at those, due to total obsessive reading habits, choosing subjects to study in which I had to read a lot to get good grades and I am clearly goal oriented person when ranking is involved, continued obsessive reading, and also smelling a whiff of Smug from Lady, which does not sit well with me.
She does not have to do the "oh, no, I am sure you read way faster than me, I just learned to read yesterday" fake insulting of herself thing I hate we all do to ourselves, but really, Lady, I am sure you can beat me in most things in life unless it involves reading books, typing really fast, or discussing who did or did not get beheaded in Tudor England. But on this? You are going DOWN.)

"Good luck to you, too."

An hour later, minus the distraction of biting toddlers or finding the correct special colored marker that won't stain stuff or distributing wet wipes, plus motivated by read-off with Smug Lady, I am ahead. Since I am only 99 percent brat, I do not call attention to this.
But get this: She DOES.

Lady: "You are skipping pages."

Me: "What? No I am not. I am a fast reader. You can ask those people over there I am ignoring right now, since I am reading fast instead of parenting."

Lady: "I went to law school. I read very fast, and you are now ahead of me."

Me: "Um, before I became mom to those people I am ignoring, I also went to law school, and before that a college where I read a lot, and before that was a person who read both Jane Austen and Sweet Valley High compulsively. I type fast too."
(I do not tell her that those things are basically my skill set in its entirety, and if the book were not a Zap Me Back To Being Fourteen book but instead the dishwasher manual, I would be on page 1.)

Lady: "Harrumph."

Me: "You can quiz me if you want. I love quizzes. Only essay, though. No word limitations."

Good grief, now I have totally forgotten my trajectory in sadness over series conclusion due to remembered fury at Smug Lady.

Long story longer, I won, did not rub it in her face as did not need to, plus she was boring and I had to start re-reading it again, since my rule was four times through and then I had to read something that won a Booker Prize, or at least was in the grown up section of the bookstore. 

But retroactively, Ha ha, lady, plus Matt, total thanks for dealing with the kids so I could read my book and have irrational read-off with that lady.

2. Ok, back to Why I Am Wallowing.

I theorize the introduction of this book series came upon me at a time in which I was reading a lot of little kid books to my little kids, so a Young Adult series seemed like Nietzsche. 

This is of course complete nonsense, but I don't care. 

The Venn Diagram of People Who Like Twilight Books, Flaws And All is a large one.
There are many cross-sections of circles going on.
And I am too sleepy to do math to figure out how many I fit in.

But I do know that friends from all parts of my life either secretly or not so secretly Have a Thing for it too, and I am not secret, as I am self-proclaimed PR person for Things I Like. 

So when movies come out, I throw a party!!!

First party was for the DVD release of the first movie, since it was not totally a huge thing with people in tents weeping and Team this and that yet.

 (Note: No need for teams. Is obvious. Please.
I do not even engage in discussion with people on that issue, because, it is not an issue, I do not have a cardboard cutout of a wolf in jorts in my house, gift or not.
No brooding, no tall, no Britishness even though American accent is used, TOTALLY NO FLOPPY HAIR, only bad wig and then crew cut?
No music whatsoever?
Carved wooden gifts? Bleh. )

I get all excited for my party, and get apples and ribbons and fake diamond decorations and make up a whole trivia contest, and because I am still in the phase in life in which I have ballerinas and indoor ponies at my children's birthday parties,
I decide the prize for winning the trivia contest,
questions written by me, requiring essay answers of course,
should be exact replicas of the gray mittens Bella was wearing in the movie when she almost gets hit by the van.

And because as I mentioned earlier, people were not trademarking everything attached to Twilight yet,
I muster enough Nancy Drew to find the lady in WALES who knitted the mittens,
email her daughter, they are starting up a website for her knitting but haven't done it yet so we chit chat, and the lady, who now has a whole site and is completely lovely and her work is wonderful, mails me the mittens
(I ordered two pairs, one for me, I am not a dummy) all Euro-wrapped with a personal note saying "Allison, I hope your party is a smash. Love, Ruth Cross." 

That was totally awesome.
And my trivia quiz was like 30 pages long, and my sister edited it a bit, by reading it and saying "Ok, the question, Which of the Cullens is wearing a wig, extra credit which wigs are of the actor's existing hair color and which are of a different hair color, extra extra credit which wig does Allison hate the most (Spoiler! It is always Jasper's. He looks like an evil clown)
is ridiculous."

And of course because I have decorated, coerced a bakery into making red velvet cupcakes with sparkles that I then added extra sparkles to because they were not sparkly enough,
got mittens knitted in WALES, did I mention?

And collected assembly of fun friends and ordered other prizes for the non-winner of the mittens, such as Rosalie's necklace, which my cool friend KR wears to every premiere since she won it for coming in fourth place,
and was super excited for my crazy party,
OF COURSE my appendix bursts the day of the party.


Totally not cool.

Matt had to email people from the hospital, and he was all witty like "Allison was so excited for the Twilight party her appendix ruptured" or other doctor gallows humor.

Note: appendixes hurt when they decide to get rotten, FYI.

And there is no call button in the ER,
because I guess all sorts of people for various reasons would push it 24/7,
so I had to literally beg for mercy,
and the nurse who had me on morphine and was like, really, it still hurts?

And she pokes me and I jump off the table, I then am given dilaudid.

Which is like, chloroform on a rag, or knocking you in the head with a hammer old school medicine.

Which works, by the way, but made my eyes shut but I was still awake, and may have made me paranoid too because I was convinced they were going to take me into surgery and think I was unconscious and operate on me even though I was awake, which is a horror movie, and NOT a vampire movie with sparkly nice vampires with good hair.

Bad horror movie.

So I kept announcing, with eyes shut "I am awake!" every two seconds until they actually made me un-awake.

And party was rescheduled, fun was had by all (I hope), next movie coming soon, now midnight releases!
Whole nother level of fun.

Otherwise known as, Allison and Hardcore Friends go to Midnight Show, and then Allison Has Girls' Night Party For Her Semi-Normal Friends The Next Day.

Rinse, repeat, times 3, tonight makes 4.

So I am wallowing.
Because they are fun!
Fun is fun!

I like using my Ph.D in Extreme People Watching to assess the crowds, assign myself and them on the Bell Curve of Crazy
(Note: I am fully aware I am on that curve, but I do not make scrapbooks, t-shirts, put fake bite marks on me, or think they are real),
love the fun evening with friends, am entertained by people trying to maul my cutout vampire,
and the general fizz and whee of fun.

So now I have to go get the cutout vampire ready for the party,
 and also myself, and since the stupid stripper movie girls' night had to be broken up into 3 blog posts, this movie marathon and girls' night will probably do the same,
especially since yesterday's marathon involved tea smuggling, car keys,
deranged ushers,
me remembering how much I loved the music in all the movies

(Seriously, I have an Ode just to the soundtracks. They introduced me to The Black Keys! Best Florence and the Machine song! Fave Radiohead! Learned about Band of Skulls! Lykke Li! I will stop now),

and finding out that car keys plus tea smuggling sometimes turns into a ridiculous situation nobody would believe but I have witnesses.

I shall begin getting sparkly now.
(Just clothing. There was a girl there yesterday though who was all over sparkly, it was impressive).

 But not too sparkly, as am in mourning.

Would be tacky to go over the top.
And would wear all black similar to Civil War widows except everybody already does that at Twilight movies, and I have to stand out somewhat, in case they come to life and jump off the screen?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Early Bird Catches The Car Dancing Mom, Otherwise Known As, I Cannot Win, by Allison

So today was Giant Adventure, otherwise known as Allison Braves Carpool To Take E To Orthodontist.
This may not seem like any sort of noteworthy thing at all, but let me tell you, the carpool deal at the girls' school is like, labyrinth of cars and lanes and you go here if your kid is this age but if siblings are younger go over there and there is pointing and overall, is like conducting orchestra, but of SUVs and backpacks instead of instruments.

Well, some instruments. E had her violin.

But I am always like bumbling idiot, "Wha? I go where?" and just follow the people in authority pointing me this way or that.
(Note: This is one of the reasons the girls ride the bus in the morning. The primary reason is, there are only so many times you can get pulled for speeding and "I like this song" is not good defense (Subnote: Tip from me: If A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" comes on the radio, pull over, it makes you drive fast) and "We are totally late for school" is not a valid defense, and it is super stressful and the girls are so not on my team on the getting themselves clothed and shod and in the car in time.)

But if the bus driver is there, they shoot out of the house right away.
Little traitors.
But, get this: I am proud parent of three girls who have NEVER been tardy. They keep track of that at school.
Another reason the bus is awesome.
Plus I am not sure if you can blog from jail, and I would not remain on the loose if nonstop shuttling of screeching feral cat children was a daily thing for me.

Anyway, the girls mostly have after school orchestra or drama or chess or such and hardcore afterschool pickup can be avoided, to the delight of me and all of the known world. 

But on various days, the totally intricate, mysterious carpool must be confronted, and today was one of those days.
And it was with E, known clock watcher, time observer, "you are late, where are your keys, did you lose your purse, are we lost, can I wear shorts, I need my umbrella" kid.

So I was all, ha. I will show her. I will be early.

(I realize this is not me winning a battle so much as it is me doing the thing I am supposed to do as the mother of E, but she and I are in constant chess game of sorts, rules change a lot, scenarios can be altered, but we are on our toes, pens and paper in hand, Extreme Communicating will be on the agenda)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Financial Advice from Allison! Buy Stock In Kleenex. Les Miserables Movie Coming Soon, Otherwise Known As, You Do Not Want To Be Anywhere Near Me, by Allison

So in case any neighbors heard sobbing and wailing coming from my house, or anyone has to see me before the cucumbers and tea bags on my eyes help restore my pre-sob fest state: 

Blame it on Les Miserables.
 (And also Entertainment Weekly, it contains WAY too many photos of sad, tragic, bereft, suffering French people, and with cherry on sundae of me in hysterics, doomed Anne Hathaway without her lovely hair.)

Victor Hugo and his sad, sad, tragic book kills me to start with (Note: is sad book, you know bad things are coming, and it is also long.  But remember, I am glass house throwing no stones on writing many many words, and he is famous writer, he gets to spin tragic tales that are crusted in grim and despair all he wants).
I am toast over tragic books. I mean, I still read and love them, but you don't want to be around me when the sad goes down, is all. (Note: fried via tears Kindle et al.)

So tragic, French, starving, cold protagonists  (Listen, I could not even deal with Little House On The Prairie because the pioneering stressed me out and I was sure a blizzard would come and they would starve or die or go blind some more) with added torture of beautiful, emphatic, mood stirring musical score? (Note: that mood would be SAD)

Throw in 14 year old Allison seeing the musical when it was first on Broadway?

Not a pretty scene.

Clad in my beloved blue velvet dropped waist Jessica McClintock dress with satin bib and tie at neck (Note: THAT was a tragedy, no need for starving French prostitutes dying of consumption, the dress alone is bona fide tragedy) my family and I saw the musical on a trip to New York, and in retrospect, there were some warning signs that maybe this was not a good idea.

Taking teenage Allison, known Extreme Crier over sad things, to a musical that anyone who read the book or even the title (Miserables? Do not need AP level French 5 to figure that one out) or poster (starving waif!!) could gather that it was not going to have a happy ending with a kickline of jaunty sailors or ladies in petticoats.

No sailors.

No petticoats.

But lots and lots of tragic, desperate things happening to singing people, plus  LOTS of crying.

Mostly by me.

And given my history of histrionics (Note: brief history. Remember, I am very, very young and was way younger then), detailed succinctly (Spoiler! not really) below, it should have been clear that I needed to go watch the roller skating whatever it was called Andrew Lloyd Webber musical instead. 

Why You Should NOT Go See Anything Sad, Or Kind of Sad, Or Melancholy with Allison: