Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells - No NO, not those Sleigh Bells - THESE Sleigh Bells. They are way better, and Santa Should Take Notes. "You Don't Get Me Twice," by Allison

So, it appears Christmas music during our lovely Christmas Eve dinner drove the entire family mad.

It happens.
There were some very bad interpretations of good songs,
and some bad interpretations of bad songs.

And we all had a lovely festive time making fun of awful songs,
but then, I hear Sleigh Bells, the song.
Sung by Neil Diamond.

Boo.

In search of an auditory cleanse after that,
I seek out the actual band Sleigh Bells,
because?

1. They rule

2. I heart them

3. They do not sound like Neil Diamond or any other Neils

4. Their song "You Don't Get Me Twice" is fab

5. I have made that song the slightly off-kilter version of Santa commands You Better Be Nice.

It kind of fits, anyway.

I would imagine if Santa could make room on his sled,
with the righteous whisper and wail of Sleigh Bells,
he'd get gain more traction than the empty threat of
"You Better Be Good, You Better Be Nice, I'm Making A List, Checking It Twice."

I probably have List Phobia because of those Santa images with long, endless lists.
Horrifying.
I can't focus on who is nice or naughty,
I just want away from endless lists,
and then checking them again?

Ug. No way.

I am fairly sure Sleigh Bells could sort things out,
without a list,
and it would be best use of Sleighs or Bells ever.

Because?
You Don't Get Me Twice?

That is hardcore, and Santa should use that.

I certainly am totally making it my theme song, as Santa's helper in this house.

Because?
You Don't Get Him Twice.

Love, let me tell you a story -
That's your hard advice.

I love this song.

Plus, there's a loophole!!!
I love loopholes.

Because, maybe?
Maybe if you ask me nice . .

Yay for Sleigh Bells.

Merry Christmas Eve!!  "You Don't Get Me Twice" by Sleigh Bells, official audio, which rules:
 
And extra bonus because I am in a fabulous mood now, a ridiculously good live version. Dear Santa, Can I see Sleigh Bells live this year? I will ask nicely, promise:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dear Facebook, Sloths Are Not The New Owls. You Aren't Scaring Me, You Are Copying My Attempts To Mess With My Children. The Sloth On The Road, Take That! by Allison

So, as I am wishing happy birthdays and seeing people's cute kids and such on Facebook,
to what do my wondering eyes should appear?

(Spoiler! Was not Santa and tiny reindeer.
Was hideous, creepy, leering, weird animal I do not understand at all.)

Sloth.

For like, days now.
An assortment of sloths.

Why? I have not done anything to bring this upon myself.

I have learned my lesson,
after idiotically alerting mischievous and wicked friends of my loathing,
dread, fear, and rational horror of owls.

All because Facebook ad overlords decided I might enjoy whimsical owl buckets,
I got all offended,
wrote a thing,
and now I am continually owl bombed and owl gifted and owl stalked forevermore.
Proof:
http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/10/whooooo-is-trying-to-kill-me-or-what-is.html

I do not dare announce -  in long diatribe format as that is how I roll - any of my other totally rational phobias. 
I am not always a total complete idiot.

But you know who IS a total complete idiot?
Facebook marketer ad stream whoevers.

You can't bait me with sloths, FB.

Sure, I have all sorts of sloth stories, who doesn't?
And the Sloth On The Road (More on that nightmare later) is insanely wrong,
but you cannot terrorize me with sloths.

Want to know why?

That is stealing from my own playbook.
Copycats.

The Sloth In The Road is actually an offensive tool I use in parenting.

I did not learn that in a parenting book because those books stress me out.

Sloth In The Road is like, my four corners delay offense.
 If I were playing basketball instead of attempting to wrangle my three girls into civility.

OOH! TANGENT ALERT!

TANGENT:

I do not play basketball.

I love basketball, though, and grew up watching it and am a fan.
Because?

1.You can see people's faces.

This is important to me for some reason.

It is one of the reasons I do not like football,
I can't see anyone's face.
I cannot tell who is who,
or what they may or may not be thinking,
or invent a total backstory I made up because my brain just does that,
I don't know,
but I can't do that if I can't see faces.

2. Basketball  moves quickly, and there is running around,
and limited time-outs so I don't get bored.

3. Basketball has strategy and fast stuff happening at the same time,
that impresses me.

I am sure other, helmeted or masked sports do that too,
but I can't tell,
due to the obfuscation of the helmet or masks.

Tangential Question:
Are there any masked sports anymore?
Bullfighting?
Is that a thing still?
Fencing has those masks, right?
So you can't stab your opponent in the eye?
I don't know,
because I can't follow anything if I can't see faces.

4. I also love the way basketball referees look like they are disco dancing when they do the signal for somebody traveling with the ball.

That has always delighted me to no end.
(Note: This is why nobody wants to watch any sports with me ever.
I am the worst.)

But I do not PLAY basketball, because?

1. I was and remain tall.
Current Allison is totally cool with that.
However, Adolescent Allison was hoping in vain for a shrinking potion to be invented,
for many reasons,
but one reason was this:
People kept trying to make me play basketball,
and I did not want to play basketball.

2. Because?

I was the girliest girl that ever girled,
and our middle school gym outfits were hideous,
and I was not interested in wearing one.
And certainly not getting all gross,
and then changing back into my outfit I thought was cute at the time. 
Hindsight has proven outfits to be not so cute, but still.
The worst outfit I ever created myself was Parisian Couture compared to the gym outfit,
and so I tried to talk my way out of every gym activity.

It was actually a pretty successful, years-long strategy.
I was scorekeeper,
even for things with no score.
I must have been truly tedious nightmare.
(Retroactively, to all who had to deal with me, sorry about that.)

3. I also did not play basketball because?

Nobody could ever tell me why I HAD to dribble the basketball.
I mean, I knew it was the rule, but?
It seemed inefficient to me.
Couldn't I just go to the other side,
give it to someone, and they shoot?
Or nobody give it to me to start with,
and let me keep score,
so I can secretly write notes to my friends and not wear the ugly outfit?

(Note: My father was a basketball player and coach. I am sure I totally brought complete shame and horror upon my family with my nonsense.)

4. But I think the main reason I was so ornery about playing basketball was because people would say, "Oh, you are tall, do you play basketball?"
ALL THE TIME.
At least, it seemed that way to me.

And my emerging social consciousness manifested itself in outrage that height equaled being good at basketball,
as I knew that not to be true.
I was Exhibit A.

And whoever was asking me if I played basketball may have been making polite chit chat,
not trying to send me spiraling into a hissy fit,
but the end result was hissy fit.
Actually, hissy fit plus my defense argument that dance and forensics team are totally sports too, you know.
At least,
dance is a sport and forensics team is a team,
so my bases were covered.

Figuratively.

No way on Earth was I playing softball or baseball,
where I grew up there was red clay on the fields,
forget it.
Also, I did not like things being thrown or hurled at me.
(I wish any and all of the  P.E. teachers stuck with me could see that now I pay people to make me do boot camp and other atrocities.
Am sure it is my karmic payback for being Eternal Scorekeeper,
Ew Yuck I'm Not Wearing That Or Doing That.)

But I still don't play basketball.

I do love to watch basketball, though.

And steal strategy for use in dealing with my daughters.

TANGENT OVER!

Remember when I was kind of talking about sloths, way back up there?

I didn't forget.
I was critiquing Facebook ad stream's Onslaught Of Sloth.
Because I do not like sloths,
and they creep me out,
and the Sloth On The Road is Just Plain Wrong.
But?
I harness the wrong -
(Ok, that does not sound right, but whatever.
I am not harnessing actual sloths.
Now I am totally grossed out by my own self.)

And employ basketball offensive strategies,
 such as delaying or running out the clock while distracting my girls,
 so they will stop doing whatever it is I don't want them doing -

by scaring them with the Sloth On The Road.

Totally different thing, Facebook overlords.

Sloths are not the new Owls.

Sloths are just really scary and absurd,
and one in particular is now in regular rotation in my arsenal of parenting tools I cobble together from 1980's ACC basketball strategy, The Art of War, and song lyrics.

The Sloth On The Road!
How We Found An Atrocity And I Now Use It To Scare The Children, by Allison.

So my sister tells me about her kids having to research crawfish on the Internet for school a while ago, and she directed them towards Elvis singing about crawfish in Kid Creole.
 Brilliant, as Elvis movies are fab,
AND she is controlling the Google factor. 

Unlike me.
I am an idiot.

 V had a presentation on sloths (she chose the animal, this was before the chronic owl nonsense.
Trust me, every single other animal project ever ever in this house has been about owls, 
brought home to me and dropped at my feet like a cat bringing me a bird,
specifically an eyeball-eating monster bird )

So we imaged sloths, and... I scanned for porn or the dude from The Goonies,
and we chose Sloth on the Road.
Sounded kind of like an adventure, or a fun outing.

WRONG. 

The HORROR.
Imagine wicked face, demon + abominable snowman + weird monkey + raccoon + Grinch,
coming at you to eat your brain.



So this image pops up, and we run screaming.

And then peek and run screaming. 
Rinse, repeat.

It became a hideous mascot, and the girls always beg to see The Sloth on the Road.

If they are all three acting like savage feral vulture children,
I will summon this terrifying thing,
and they are distracted, and I can escape.

See, offensive strategy!
Delay tactic!

Or sometimes,
surprise shock and awe if they are driving me extra insane,
like asking me 100 times to check the weather or to turn down the music or something.

If we haven't seen our sloth tormentor in a while,
and it has been an uncivilized evening,
I leave this remembered image up on the screen for them for the next morning.

Because I am Twisted Mommy.

Every day,
they check the weather to begin the tense negotiations of wardrobe. 
They know I think the weather forecast is voodoo,
and when I did the news for our college radio station,
I would always just make up the weather. 
Mean,
if anyone ever listened,
which they did not. 

 So, if the girls are extra uncooperative and impossible,
and sometimes just because,
I unleash (figuratively, again, not interested in hanging out with this thing)
The Sloth On The Road.

Music to my ears, 
the screeches when the girls try to check the weather in the morning,
and instead find
THE SLOTH ON THE ROAD.

Sloth on The Road goes over like gangbusters, always.

Much screeching and running and then looking at it again and then screeching and running. 

And  discussion of how I am "bizarre" (V, and that is true),
"weird" (E, also true),
and then M, in her sweet, darling, suck-up glory, says that I am pretty,
and she wins and now gets all of my jewelry when I die. 

Which will be a result of having my brain eaten by the Sloth on the Road.

After the owls finish with me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Behold The Glory! Champagne, Tears, and Diesel Fuel: Allison's Non-List Of Top Ten Albums of 2013, Kind Of. There Are Exceptions, And Exposition, Too! by Allison

Ok, so apparently all it takes to totally distract me is to have a friend
(Note: a cool friend, whose taste in music and etc. I admire)
send me their Top Ten Albums of 2013 list.

Somehow, it is an hour later,
not sure how that happened,
other than me procrastinating and writing this,
and I have replied to him by agreeing on White Denim (Love them!!)
and then adding in my two cents.
Which?

Not possible for me to add in two cents.

1. I never have any change or money ever, my children are vultures.

2. I can't stop at the literary version of two cents,
or one thousand cents,
that is why I have a blog, no word limits,
no two cents happening.

Also not possible for me to make a list,
as I hate and loathe lists.
But I can ramble, in an opinionated way.
And honestly,
this is about as organized a list as I have been able to produce in ages.
(Granted, this is total procrastination,
 and not getting me far in accomplishing the things I am supposed to do,
but baby steps, right?)


So, Behold The Glory!

Allison's Non-List of Top Ten Albums Of 2013, Kind Of.

(Note: Two came out in 2012 but I don't care,
because they belong on this non-list due to excellence.
Also, one is a song with album coming soon,
but it is a great song, and I am excited for the album,
so it goes on the non-list.)

(Also Note: These are not in order,
because it isn't an actual list,
and I am not up for ranking things, seems too harsh and organized.
So consider these like,
floating happy champagne bubbles,
or tears of perfect melancholy,
or gas for your engine,
or a combination of champagne, tears, and diesel fuel.
 Let's call it a divine spill?)

The Neighbourhood's I Love You plus the I'm Sorry EP:
Tatted up LA dudes who go from smooth croon to fast, scratched up cool -
either ratcheting up the sound and emotion,
or pulling you in with a bedhead messy vibe.
Have seen them in a crowd of 10 and a crowd of 2000 - so good.
I write Odes to this band often, am fan.

Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City:

Amazingly totally has their known sound -
kind of hipster/prepster cleverly composed yet feels extemporaneous post-ska? -
but this album totally builds on and below that and is blasted great.
Step, Unbelievers, Ya Hey - totally awesome love it.
Saw them at ACL this fall,
and they were ridiculously good.

Portugal. The Man, Evil Friends:

I am totally fixated on this album, and this band -
have been fan, but this album,
with Evil Friends, Atomic Man, Creep In A T Shirt - kills.
Crazy good lyrics, sound you can totally thrash around to,
or do laundry more quickly,
or get speeding tickets if you are driving.

Kodaline, In A Perfect World:

Irish boys with very excellent multi-tasking on the strings,
very excellent soaring to quiet to tragic to hopeful lyrics,
very excellent Irishness in general.
We saw them open for The Airborne Toxic Event this April,
 and they were crazy, super good,
and we'd never heard of them,
and I was texting my music friends after their set like:
Get a hold of them live before they are not the opening act,
I swear, I am right on this.
And I was right!
I love it when that happens.
High Hopes, After the Fall, All I Want -
all totally fantastic songs, a
nd they play big, fabulous, intricate, beautiful ballads,
 as well as trippier twisty stuff.

Metric, Synthetica:

Ok, so it is officially a 2012 album but whatever,
I am counting it anyway.
They are so good.
Canadian, new wave, ruled by one Ms. Emily Hanes,
wearing many hats as lead singer, writer, plays keys and guitar and tambourine at the same time wearing leather hot pants like she is reincarnation of Debbie Harry
(Note: I know Debbie Harry is not dead.
So say, re-invigorating Blondie ‘80’s early electric, to quote M)
but not stale,
tres chic.
Could teach a Master Class In How To Be A Rock Star.

Broken Bells, After the Disco:

Um, Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins?
Is like, most excellent mix of electronica and tragic poet from rainy climates
"Oops I drank the rent money but here's a poem" catnip.

The National, Trouble Will Find Me:

I was late to the party on The National, I don't know why,
maybe listening to too much other stuff, but shame on me.
Because we saw them this fall and was I kind of gobsmacked,
 and said to my Bestest Music Friend K, 
"Um, why did you not inform me about this?"
And she was like
"Because this is your wheelhouse of the broody singer brooding mightily,
while dressed well?
plus their songs are great?"
And she is right, and they are fab -
and the lead singer is baritone broody,
which is blasted good up against their music,
which is melancholy but not grim.
Is excellent.
Boxer, their older album that I discovered after I realized what I had been missing,
is truly kind of perfect.
There is a documentary out now about the band,
filmed by the lead singer's brother, called Mistaken for Strangers,
which is on my non-list list of things I want to see.

The Airborne Toxic Event, Such Hot Blood:

I love this band.
Have been a devotee ever since hearing their song Sometime Around Midnight
 (I love this song because it is a sucker punch. You know exactly what he’s singing about - 
watching the girl (or boy, whatever, but is girl in this song) you love and who has crushed you - parade nonchalantly on purpose to torture you with her new plaything,
because she knows it will work.
Flick of hair,

twirl of drink,
cat-eyed slinky gaze meant to rip him up.
The buildup, not the typical verse /chorus /verse/ chorus /bridge /chorus construction,
but a build,
 both his voice, all of the instruments,
they get frenzied until boiling point of his agony.)
This band is super fab,

can go acoustic with stand-up bass ,
or in a kitchen covering Violent Femmes. Plus violin girl,
am partial to them because strings add such richness ,
plus I have three violin girl daughters. 
But their plugged-in, coming at you is sublime. 
And they are sick good live.
And from Such Hot Blood, the song Timeless is fabulous, The Storm too.
And they have a single on the Dallas Buyers Club soundtrack,
Hell and Back, and that is excellent ripped-up foot stomper.

Jack White, Blunderbuss:

Ok, another one from 2012.
Can't help it, it is a treasure trove.
Granted, I am an easy sell on anything Jack White does,
whether it be his White Stripes stuff (my daughter V is very sad they broke up and won't listen to me that there are more Jack White options available),
The more jaded Raconteurs bass driven stuff,
Dead Weather creepy cool,
the stuff with Danger Mouse,
and this solo album - I am a triple fan.
I would like him to come live at my house,
although I think he'd hang upside down in the attic,
and ruin my best red lipstick.
I am cool with that.
And I love Blunderbuss because? 
It is RELENTLESS.
You will believe.
“She don’t care what kind of wounds she’s inflicted on me.

She don’t care what color bruises she’s leavin’ on me.
‘Cause she’s got freedom in the 21st century.”
Um, ok, whatever he says.
And gives me the faint memory of those things representing chasm between childhood and what’s next . . . . real or imagined.

Two Door Cinema Club, EP Changing of The Seasons, full album soon:

OOOH, I love this new Two Door Cinema Club song,
and they are working with a new French mix guy,
 and I totally love what they are doing,
Changing of the Seasons may be my favorite song of theirs now.
Irish indie alt band, very dancy, very fun,
very good live, in big or small venues,
and am fan.

And that is that.
I had to stop writing,
 because there is dance pick-up and birthday party drop-off,
so I am not even counting to see if that is Top Ten,
 or Top Nine or Top Eleven.
Moments like this, and all other moments,
really,
remind me that I really,
really want an intern.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Procrastination, Secret Weird Closet, Attic Atrocities, And Maybe A Time Machine? A Holiday Miracle! by Allison

So get this!
I found a silver lining/lemons into lemonade approach to the early,
tedious onslaught of Holiday Everything.
Bombarding us via every form of media?
Assault via red and green everywhere we go?

Totally stressing me out.
Because I haven't done a thing to check off on my Holiday To-Do List.
Because I don't have such a list.
Because I hate lists  (http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/06/why-i-hate-lists-rant-by-allison.html)
But still.

Am not geared up yet, and?
I don't respond well to all the Holly Jolly pressure.

Not to mention the Christmas trees are cut and waiting -
like an army of delightfully aromatic,
totally messy,
now you have to water it or else,
festive soldiers  -
standing proudly so they will get picked,
and lovingly taken home by wholesome families singing carols..

And not be the sad, forlorn, pitiful Charlie Brown tree,
left all alone in the freezing cold,
until someone who grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas feels nostalgic,
and buys the sad tree,
in homage to excellent Christmas Special that never gets old -
unlike the tree -

That thing will drop needles on the car ride home,
and after a few days,
total nuisance tree aggravation trumps nostalgia.

Helpful Tree Tip From Allison:

Get the tree that looks like it could maybe survive for the holiday season,
and possibly withstand your reluctance to army-crawl under it,
with a pitcher of water that always spills,
getting needles in your hair,
as you crunch your hand on a broken ornament,
while cursing your family of lying liars.

Who swore they'd help water the tree THIS year, promise!
 And who totally, never ever water the tree.

Well, that was kind of a Bah Humbug way to introduce my silver lining,
lemons to lemonade making.
Long lead-up to my use of  the onslaught of All Things Merry and Bright to my advantage,
but I had to set the scene.
I can't just like, start with the story -
there is always backstory.
At least there is if I'm the one telling it.

So, here's where I stop complaining about the cacophony of Jingle Bells,
for a bit,
 to complain about the fact that my girls' giant, personalized,
very colorful and did I mention gigantic?
summer camp trunks have been blocking the staircase up to our attic.

Since August.

They are vividly hued,
enormous proof that I am a total slack procrastinator.

And I get to stub my toe or knock into them daily,
as a reminder that the girls' summer trunks are still out,
and somebody needs to put them up in the attic.

Somebody other than me, preferably.

For many valid reasons,
as well as the fact that I am a slack procrastinator,
and I don't want to deal with those giant trunks.

But I have valid reasons for avoiding dealing with those neon nightmares:

1. I do not want to drag them up to the attic,
those stairs are steep.

And it is either way too hot or too cold up there,
depending on how long I procrastinate dealing with the trunks.

2. There is never, ever a light bulb in the attic.
 The only Light in the Attic in this house is Shel Silverstein poetry book.

And it seems like yet another excellent use of my procrastination skills,
avoiding putting a working light bulb in the attic.

3. And the use of my cell phone light,
in pathetic attempt to grope my way through the too hot or too cold,
completely dark attic?

 Totally a setup for the first scene in a horror movie, just saying.

4. Plus also, the attic is in a bit of disarray.
Partly because I can't SEE, at all, where I am going,
and after trudging up there,
I fling things and run back down the stairs.

Also I am not super vigilant on whatall is in which giant tub of stuff,
 as labels won't stick on them -
and I can't SEE anything,
due to my poor light bulb maintenance.

So is impossible to verify if  I am putting Halloween decorations in their tubs in the Second Tier  Holiday D├ęcor Zone.
(Note:Christmas has its own secret, weird closet in the attic, more on that later)

I can't tell, I might be in Special Keepsakes / Artwork/ Stuff I deem Worthy of Saving Zone.

And that Zone is a fright,
 due to a perfect storm of procrastination and organizational challenges -
(http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/08/i-am-most-organized-person-ever-or-that.html)

And now it has a plastic jack o' lantern in with the baby albums and do not even ask me where the Easter baskets are.

Because I can't SEE a thing,

Because I am the slackest slacker who ever slacked,
 and cannot tote a light bulb up to the attic stairs.
 (Note: stairs are very steep, plus it is dark up there,
where is the light bulb supposed to go?
I can't SEE!)

And Because I recently ransacked Special Keepsakes tubs in frantic search of a Kindergarten picture for V,
Because she informed me,
 twelve seconds before the bus gets to our house,
 that she needs a picture of her from Kindergarten for a project.

Lots of papers flying, tubs thrown about, chaos on top of chaos.

Bad.

Not an incentive for me to deal with all of that sorting out and re-arranging,
since clearly I cannot even summon the will to change a light bulb.

5. So in my serpent eating its tail, the circle never ends,
Proustian Dilemma, I can't organize the attic,
or convince anyone else to do it,
and I can't put the trunks away without dealing with the attic,
and I don't want to do either of those things,
but I can't ADD to the wreckage with the Christmas stuff strewn all over the place, too.
I may be slack procrastinator,
but I have my standards.

So how am I going to get the stupid giant trunks up there,
and also why am I stuck with all of these tasks in which I have no inherent talent,
and am not interested in doing, at all?
I consider bribery,
fit-throwing,
mutinous stand-off,
Writing A Document, and then-

OOOH! OOOH!
Perfect plan!
(Note: here is the part where I talk about the silver lining to the barrage of
You Better Be Good, You Better Be Nice,
You Better Do Your Christmas Cards And Don't Forget The Teacher Gifts pressure,
in case you forgot what I was talking about when I started. )

Hold the Christmas decorations hostage until the attic and trunks are dealt with!
Genius!!!
I must have picked up that tip in The Art of War, I think.

I was like, "Listen, you guys, attic has to be wrangled,
 and these camp trunks have got to be put away,
 before I release ANY of the Christmas stuff out of the secret hidden weird closet in the attic"-

TANGENT ALERT!

We have a secret weird closet in our attic.
It has a door leading to it,
you open that door,
and you are confronted with another door,
that you have to push in,
to gain entrance into the secret weird closet.

I greatly enjoy pondering what in the world that closet was for,
when the house was built in the early 1900's.
Why the door, and then another door immediately after, opening the other way?
I imagine the Dread Pirate Roberts' hidden treasure,
or a deranged aunt,
or the philosopher's stone?
A 1900's Craftsman attempt at a panic room?

When we moved in a decade ago, and discovered the secret weird closet,
I was like "This is a secret weird closet.
What is up with those two doors going opposite ways,
do you think it was like a Mrs. Rochester thing?"

Matt: "What?"

Me: "Ug, you did not read Jane Eyre?  You should totally read that.
Also note that it is not a good idea to lock up your wife in an attic,
bad things happen, FYI."

(Note: Matt is not likely to lock me in an attic, a la Mrs. Rochester in Jane Eyre,
because he is fab, great husband.
I am more likely to accidentally get stuck up there somehow,
but I figure somebody will need me to sign a FORM or find dance bag,
and come looking for me.)

Matt: "What?"

Me: "I am just saying, I sense intrigue in this closet.
It is secret and weird, and I am now going to have endless fun game,
 imagining what this secret weird closet was used for,
before our Christmas stuff took over. 
Spy hideout?"

Matt: "It's lined with cedar. It's for clothes, see the hanging bars for clothes?."

Me: "Nuh uh.
It does not smell like cedar,
moths will not be intimidated, if they can manage getting through the two strange doors.
I smell no cedar.
I smell secret and weird,
this is a secret weird closet."

And the secret weird closet is where all of our Christmas decorations live for 11 months of the year (Or, actually? 
maybe less than that,
because I drag the many tubs down and have super fun decorating,
but then un-decorating is lame,
and I get grumpy that it is always me doing this yuk chore,
and leave the tubs at the bottom of the attic stairs,
much like summer trunks.
But they eventually go back to the secret weird closet.)

TANGENT OVER!

So I tell the girls no Christmas stuff leaving the secret weird attic closet until their trunks are put away up there,
and in order to do that,
we all have to clean out the attic,
and no looting tubs to take things back downstairs because you can't bear to part with the dog porcelain painted thing you did five years ago and forgot,
which it is why it is in a tub and not your room.

Matt's like "Sounds like a plan."

Then I was like, "Oh wait, there is this light bulb issue . . ."

Matt's like, "I have a light bulb, we're all set."

So we all trot up the steep stairs, and get this?
Miracle.
The kids help.

Special Keepsakes Zone totally cleaned up and labeled with sharpie by someone other than me.
Nobody yelling at me for putting beloved tree painting in a tub.
I fear they are playing a trick on me, and will revolt soon.

But fear not!
We get through the Second Tier Holiday Zone,
found all the Easter baskets,
and bonus: snorkeling gear I put someplace absurd!
Hurray!

And extra bonus: we didn't discover anything bad,
like a village of elves nesting in the eaves.

The only odd discovery was that one wall has a calendar from 1872 hanging on it.
That makes no sense,
as this house did not exist in 1872.
Also, they had wall hanging calendars then?
I did not know that.

It was hanging in a part of the attic I never deal with,
because of me not being able to SEE a thing anyway.
And the girls were thrilled with this discovery,
Matt verified that it did indeed look like
a very old calendar from before our house was built,
somehow in our attic.
And we'd never noticed, in over a decade?

I was like, "This has something to do with the secret weird closet, I bet.
Or? Did any of you get a hold of a time machine and go get this back in 1872?
Because I totally called dibs on any time machines, remember?
I have some havoc I would like to unwreak,
and some important hair advice to give."

So it was total silver lining lemonade day!
I was feeling so Merry and Bright,
I cranked up Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas!"
I can still ID all the singers' voices - that part of my brain hasn't rotted yet.
Holly, Jolly, It's A Wonderful Life, etc.

For at least three minutes.
And then M's sweet little voice asks
"When do you think the Elf on the Shelf will appear?"
My heart shrinks three sizes,
I have no idea where I hid that stupid elf because he can't go with the Christmas stuff because he is supposed to be secret magic,
and that led to the girls finding him in July two years ago in some random drawer I forgot I shoved him into -
and I hate the Elf on the Shelf.
Because I suck at remembering to move him,
and also I think he is totally creepy anyway,
and it is not helpful when the girls' friends Elves get into wacky mischief at their houses,
and all our Elf does is forget to move off of the globe for a week.

But it appears the Merry Jolly vibe was still in the air, because E saved me.
She whispered to M, "Our elf is weird. Weird in a good way.
He sometimes doesn't do what you would think he'd do.
But he'll surprise you one day."

That about sums it up.


















Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ooh! You Can Call Me Queen Bee, I'm Feeling A Flash Mob Coming On, Can Anybody Beatbox ?? by Allison





Ok, this is awesome.

College a cappella "Royals?"

I love the hardcore beat boxing girl in the front.

I am totally envisioning a flash mob in my near future.

The girls walked in, watched for a second because it is awesome,

and then were like "NO.
Please.
Do not embarrass us."

As if that has ever stopped me.

And ooh! I just realized!

 They look like a very talented and well groomed jury,
 delivering their decision via song.

I wish they also danced,
but I think you kind of have to pop and lock if you are beat boxing at the same time, I think that is the law of boy bands anyway. That would be hard to do in their nice black dresses from the jury pool.

No, Sorry, I Don't Have The Time. Or A Watch. And I Can't Look At Clocks, Either. I Have Reasons, I Swear, by Allison

So I got busted today at the gym.

This is why I do not wear a watch and should never look at clocks.
I know better.

It will get me in trouble somehow - it always does.

Today, in class, my cool friend and sadistic gym instructor -  who is both delightful and shows no mercy ever -  somehow,
amidst all of us doing a bunch of jumping around because she is making us -
she notices me looking over my shoulder at the clock.

Bad.
I turn back around, she lets me know in one second she saw me looking at the clock,
and now I must suffer.
Horrible lunges.

I know better.

I have a collection - a random, nonsensical, absurd collection, but still -
of reasons why I cannot wear a watch or look at clocks.

It is like looking at Medusa, or saying Rumpelstiltskin three times.
Bad stuff will happen.

Why I Cannot Wear A Watch And Should Never Check What Time It Is Ever, An Edict, by Allison

1. Growing up, it wasn't until I was let loose with a driver's license to get my own self to school that I realized I was not inherently gifted in time/space continuum comprehension skills.

Before then, I was the beneficiary of people taking me places and stuff when I was supposed to be at whatever place.

I had no idea this was so very vexing and complicated.

Retroactively, thanks to everyone who had to deal with me. It is HARD.

When I did get my driver's license,
and was tasked with the basic requirement of: Get To School,
it all started to fall apart.

My nail polish wasn't dry.
(I used to change up my nail polish to match my outfit, like daily.
I plead temporary insanity, or that I was a teenaged girl, or is that redundant?)
Where were my books?
Ooh, I like this song!

But still, I could kind of pull Getting To School off,
except -
my Get To School side job was picking up my friend T.
T is absurdly awesome and one of my favorite people.
But when I would come barging up her driveway on the way to school,
she'd step out of the door, holding up a finger,
"One second!"

Total lie.

She would be in a kimono, with hot rollers in her hair,
holding an iron as she ironed her outfit (Thinking back, we were very high maintenance high school girls with all this upkeep at 7am) -

It was not one second.
Or a time frame best counted in seconds.

Truly, even then, I had a "I like her more than I care about time" philosophical ennui that is clearly skewed logic,
and apples and oranges or whatever,
but that is what I would think in my head while she got ready every day.

It wasn't even that stressful to wait,
except the stupid morning radio DJs would screech the time and weather every two minutes nonstop.
THAT was stressful.

Plus most of the songs were terrible.
Boo.

I think those stupid morning radio Q 94 overly cheerful DJs may have ruined me for life.
Given me an intolerance for time or weather information,
as well as haughty rejection of subpar music, as determined by me,
while I sat there waiting for my friend T.

2. But I did have a watch back then.

It was very cool - it had a leather wristband that wrapped around my wrist like five times, and two  clock faces, one with a sun and one with a moon.

And upon reflection,
I never had a clue why there were two clock faces,
and why they should be different,
or what I was supposed to do with them at all.

It was an accessory, really.
Ornamental, not helpful in a time-providing way.
I was fine with that.

3. And when I was in college, I went watchless for two reasons.

First, I did not need a watch.

Because there was a guy who wore a cape and a stopwatch around his neck,
who would follow me from class to class,
and tell me how long it took me to get from place to place, such as
"It took Allison 10.57 minutes to walk from Morton to Wren Building."

He would then go along with his day.

And now this is where you are thinking,
Allison is a delusional, total liar who cannot even tell believable lies.
But I am totally not making this up.

I am not that imaginative.
I don't think I could conjure up a cape-wearing, stopwatch-bedecked,  unsolicited personal timekeeper - because who would ever think of such a thing?

Unless you HAD an unsolicited
(But appreciated! Both the time information, and the story, although unless witnessed, nobody believes me about this)
cape-wearing, stopwatch-bedecked timekeeper following you to class throughout college.

Then, it seems totally plausible.
And as proof I proffer this:
I would otherwise have NO clue how long it took to walk from Morton to Wren Building.

Because I didn't wear a watch!

Did you notice I got back to my topic just now?
I do remember what I was talking about, way up there.
Not only did I not need a watch for basic daily life in college, I had a second reason not to wear a watch.

I was forbidden from wearing a watch!

Because of sorority rush.

It was a rule, like written down.
I was very happy to have official permission not to wear a watch,
and an excuse to give for having no clue what time it was ever.

The reason we were forbidden from wearing watches during sorority rush was this:

If you have a watch on during the rush events where you meet a bunch of new people,
and get stuck in a tedious conversation,
you might be inclined to look at your watch to see how much longer you are stuck,
and that would be very rude and make someone feel bad.
And that was Not How We Represent Ourselves.

So no watches.

There was some hand signal thing,
if you were really, really stuck, like -
I don't know, I was never stuck, I can obviously hold my own conversation with myself,
talking about whatever.
I had to make sure not to BE the tedious one, not letting the poor girl get a word in edgewise -

But if someone were to be very, very stuck, there was a hand signal you could use,
like once in your life,
and someone would come over and join your conversation and save you.

I did not learn the hand signal.
Because?
I can talk to a coat stand if I have to, I'm fine, no need for rescue.

Also?
I am a chatty "ooh, I have a story on that!" type,
but I am not an idiot.
I am not going to extricate myself from talking - to a person or coat stand  -
to throw myself on a conversational gridlock, crickets-chirping,
wish I knew what time it was scenario.

So no watch, and no hand signals! Awesome.

3. And in law school, I could totally not wear a watch,
or ever turn around to look at the clock during class.
Socrates and his Method of teaching does NOT approve of clear indications
you are not riveted to the lecture,
and Socrates -
(NOT the real one, I am not that olden.
Just olden enough to have been in law school pre-everybody has a laptop era.
I think we were the last class sans required laptops,
scribbling our exams in blue books like pioneers.)

basically wants you to NOT be looking at your watch,
or turning to look at how much longer class will last, trying to do math on the odds of your getting called on that day for a case.

Do NOT do that.
Don't risk it, ever.

(Helpful tip: If you are tempted to turn around and look at the clock,
do this instead:
Imagine a musical version of "The Paper Chase,"
cast it, and start writing songs in your head.
That is surprisingly entertaining,
and now that I think of it,
that is a great idea.
If someone makes a musical version of "The Paper Chase,"
I totally want credit,
and have some ideas on casting.)

It is a certainty that you will turn to look at the clock,
turn back around, and the professor is now staring at you.

Specifically you, you time-checking,
distracted, pitiful student.
And you are now ON, for the rest of class.

Don't look at the clock.

I am guessing with approved electronics with time and date information right in front of you,
the lure of the watch or the clock-checking is greatly reduced.

Lucky.

Although, am thinking the first cell phone ringing in class is the new bait for Socratic Fury.

I would have made out better on that as a trap,
because my phone is half of the time lost, or dead,
or both, or neither,
but my odds are way better with a cell phone staying stowed away than with the lure of the clock.

4. Once I was loose in the world as an alleged grown up, I still did not wear a watch.

Because?
I clearly was traumatized by years of Don't Look At The Time Or Else situations,
and also,
meetings with clients or colleagues are the NEW
 Don't Look At The Time Or Else situation.

It is still just as rude to look at your watch or turn to see what time it is.
And now you are offending people who are paying you.
That's dumb.

Don't do that, right?
No watch for me.

Plus at that point, it was a phobia of sorts.

5. And if you find yourself with the task of having babies and little kids to take care of,
 and tote around,
 and feed and water,
get this?

It does not matter what time it is.

It doesn't matter what day it is.

You don't need a watch, the baby will just teethe and drool on it.
And those babies and little kids?

They never go away.

It does not matter what time it is.

And time is parceled out in different terms like,
Oh God Why Are They Up time,
Nap, Both The Children and Me time,
Witching Hour,
Where is my backup??? time,
cocktail time,
Where Is My Blanket???? hunt time,
and They Are Asleep If You Wake Them Up You Are Dead time.

Seriously.
It is less painful if you are just kind of semi-aware of those pesky details,
 like what time it is, reminding you how long you have been awake and is it really only Tuesday? What did we even do last weekend?

Ignorance is bliss.

6. Blissful Ignorance is short-lived, though,
if one of those babies or little kids turns out to be a Rooster,
 Obsessed With What Time It Is,
 And What Is The Weather,
And Did You Lose Your Keys Again, MOM type.

I do not need a watch.

I have no working clocks in this house,
other than the horror of Matt and his alarm clock that goes off at 3:57 am,
and I am not getting into that right now,
because it is dark outside,
and I am guessing it is late,
but I am not looking at the time,
because I am now All Worked Up.

I am kept aware of the time by E the Fashion Debate Rooster,
 helpful kind friends who kind of herd me to the gym on time,
 and then the violin or dance or whatever,
I am always usually supposed to be somewhere,
I know that,
I will be less recalcitrant about it if there is not a blinking alarm or alert.
(Note: that is one reason my phone is always on mute.
The other is, my kids steal my phone, turn the sound off,
play games or design dog hairdos on it,
and then it remains mute or dies somewhere in the house,
mute,
and I have to get the creepy iPhone Stalker Big Brother Cloud People to find it.)

So, for the above reasons, excuses, and irrational but long-held beliefs,

I Cannot Wear A Watch,
And Should Not Look At Clocks,
It Does Not Work Out For Me.

And as the exclamation point on the end of that sentence, I am now being forced off of the computer so others may look at information on weather and start negotiating bedtime.

I am all set, really,
no need for any time information ever again.