Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Step Away From The Glue Gun, Put Down The Scissors, Please Stop Wrecking Stuff: Why I Cannot Craft, A Confession, by Allison

So it is almost Halloween!
Costume Negotiations -
(Geneva Convention type discourse, with added element of "no child prostitute attire" enforcement. That might be in the original Geneva convention, has been a while since I studied that, but regardless, it is an essential element of Costume Negotiations,
because almost all costumes for girls over the age of seven are child prostitute fishnet stockings included! http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/07/its-halloween-time-say-wicked-costume.html)

This year, Costume Negotiations involved two tantrums and one fit
(Note:I am not including my reaction to the aforementioned tantrums and fit. If you add me in, make that four tantrums and two fits).

Pumpkin carving as we speak - I mean, not me, because I am terrible at that.
(I really am.
It is not me pretending to be terrible so I don't have to gut a gourd.
I am inept and likely to cut myself, I have years of anecdotal evidence to back up this claim. )

I am in charge of seed toasting. I love that job - no knives, and it seems very Good Times Mommy Parenting Excellence Fun Magazine approved activity.
I normally cannot do one thing in those magazines -
I flail,
and use f words at the suggested "fun, easy crafts."

Here is why:

Crafts are not fun.
Crafts are not easy.

They are torturous, confusing, involve things I don't have,
or I don't understand even what they are to know if I have it or not,
and what to do with it to make the craft.

I am not crafty.

It has taken me years to be at peace with that - because other adults, plus all the kids seem to be crafting right and left without cutting themselves or gluing things to the table or crying.

I cannot do crafts.

I also hate crafts. 

I do not know if I hate them because I can't do them,
or vice versa - is chicken and egg scenario.
Either way, Mommy Does Not Do Crafts.

By the time my girls had eyes and ears, this was a known and accepted fact.

Thank the heavens for preschool, art classes at school, awesome babysitter, Matt, other children - my kids are not craft-deprived just because I cannot process crafts.

They have craft supplies, and there have been a few glitter glue traumas but otherwise,
crafts happen,
as long as I am not involved in any way.

Why am I all Craft Ranting today?

Halloween parties at school are upon us, and I love Halloween parties at school, except when I am assigned a craft.

(Note: Nobody assigns me crafts anymore.
Other parents, teachers, kids, witnesses of any kind know how inept I am by now.

When V, now a 7th grader, was in Kindergarten,
I helped at the Halloween party -
and I was assigned to a craft that involved rolls of gauze, liquid starch or bleach or something, paint tins, Styrofoam balls, wire hangers, and somehow I was supposed to help the kids make floating ghosts.

I did not understand one thing about how that was supposed to happen,
and did not have the good sense to say "I do not know one thing about how that is supposed to happen."

Instead, I created the Worst, Messiest, Possibly Toxic Non-Floating Non-Ghosts In The History Of The World.

It was very bad.

I remember looking at the mess, the big eyes of the Kindergartners and their  Non-Floating Non-Ghosts, and thinking
"This is bad. I have years of parties and crafts ahead of me,
I can't sign up to bring the paper plates every time, people will hate me,

I am getting all twitchy just remembering the disasters -
Frosting a candy castle decoration sounds easy except the frosting turns to CEMENT in two seconds, all the candy slides right off, nothing will stick,
and I am trying to glue and tape candy to a castle with first graders looking at me with pity in their eyes,
when they are not eating the candy that I am desperately trying to get to stick to the candy castle that will never be a candy castle because I am the worst.

But I love parties, everybody is happy at parties!

Except when I wreck stuff.

So I have learned to work within my skill set of NO SKILLS -

I do two things, every year, every kid.  Valentine's cards, made by the kids not me, and
Mummy wrap contest for Halloween  -
teams wrapping a teammate up in toilet paper, making a mummy kid.
Kids are thrilled to have permission to throw TP around with wild abandon, and you can have like, four contests in a row if you need to fill time.

Any attempts to expand my repertoire FAIL.
Every time.
Freezing water in Matt's doctor gloves to make creepy mummy hands in a punchbowl?

Have you ever tried to get the frozen hand out of a glove without breaking off fingers and having it look like random chunks of ice, not creepy mummy hand?

If so, please let me know how.
Because I break off the fingers, and the punch does not look creepy, just sad and wrong.

In planning E's 5th grade party, I offer up my one activity of mummy wrap, which I am also doing at M's 2nd grade party that day.

Other nice, normal, able to use scissors parents are talking about other activities or crafts,
and I am brainstorming, and I remember there is something else I can do!

The Thriller dance!

I totally know the Thriller dance and can teach it.
(I have done so in the past, including once at one of Matt's cancer center parties.
Note: He is still married to me.)

Only problem with doing Thriller dance at the 5th grade party?

E would immediately murder me.

And though murder is gruesome and kind of Halloweenish in theme,
I prefer to not turn into a vengeful ghost just yet.

I will stick with the mummy wrap contest.

But my brainstorming was not all for naught,
because it gave me another great way to blackmail the girls: threatening to come to their class and do the Thriller dance!

Awesome. I love finding new methods of blackmail to add to my arsenal.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Could Not Make This Up If I Tried. Doofuses, Meet Your Leader, by Allison

So, am back from Bestest Most Funnest Music Festival,
second year in a row with Best Music Friend Ever K -
she is so great, she picks the weekend that the Bestest Funnest Festival does NOT get rained out like Armageddon!

I mean Armageddon, but no Four Horses of the Apocalypse, more like a bunch of REALLY bummed out, normally mellow people, and some rabid fanboys.
Note: We witnessed the end-of-a-long-day-of-awesome-but-100-degrees-all-day cooked- fanboy outrage when Muse, the band, blew a fuse, literally.

I usually don't say "literally" because most of the time when that word is used,
the person using it actually means "not literally at all, but figuratively,"
so I am hesitant to use the word even when it is the correct word,
meaning "this happened, exactly, like I am saying,
not a metaphor or a simile or an expression or me not knowing what literally means, or accidentally saying literally when I don't mean literally and I cannot bear the shame."

But in this case?
I both can verifiably use "literally" and also make a rhyme - something I am loathe to do unless it is too irresistible not to do so.

Muse blew a fuse?

Sorry, can't resist that one.
Because they did! Blow a fuse.
Or a generator.
Or "it ran out of oil" or something I didn't understand and thought it was a British thing until Wise Bestest Music Friend K was like "I think they are making a Texas joke.")

And Wise Bestest Music Friend K made sure we had three days of glorious music awesomeness, No Ending Of The World Washing Away All The Music Worst Use Of Rain Ever.

After witnessing the sideways-leaning fanboy mutiny when Muse blew a fuse,
I cannot imagine the mostly totally calm and eco-friendly fury when the entire festival gets flooded beyond all repair.

It makes the three days of baking in the total hot sun, (using appropriate sunscreen, applied every ten minutes) , when we'd say "Remember last year when it rained for ten hours? That would be kind of nice right now"
even more a reminder that K is in charge of scheduling weekends forevermore.

And also, I should shush and just slather on sunscreen and enjoy the excellent music, and, while holding onto metal barriers that were scorching hot to keep from being slammed to the ground by Two Very Rude Girls wanting to mow us down to get to Vampire Weekend,
I should enjoy the opportunity to use my pretend Ph.D. in Extreme People Watching to categorize the crowd.

Allison's Music Festival Crowd Analysis, Hot and Bothered Edition:

1. Two Very Rude Girls:

There were more than two of them, but these two were directly behind us during the fun. set, and then decided to make a full-on hostile takeover of our well-earned spots in the giant crowd of mostly Not Rude People Who Respect The Spots Of People Who Have Been Boiling In The Hot For Excellent Music For Hours.

These two were notable for absolutely ridiculous lies told to try and get around us:
"My boyfriend's birthday is today and he is up there in front"

"My brother's birthday is today and my grandmother wants to wish him happy birthday and you are blocking me"

"Other things involving boyfriends or brothers or birthdays, switching to higher decibels or other languages or stompy feet when all else failed"

All else failed because they were BOGUS and pushing and shoving while making up lame stories is totally not cool music festival behavior.

And totally not working on me or K, we have earned our stripes as music festival die-hards and parents of toddlers missing their naps - we have seen it all.

Bring us your brother's birthday and you have to get up there?
K: "You are going to have to find another way."

Your boyfriend's grandmother is something something and will be mad at me?
Me: "You are being very rude. We are not moving one inch, stop pushing us. You should be totally embarrassed at how awful you are being."

(Note: K is more efficient in her word choices, equally or way more effective, as well as efficient.
I have to do a whole thing, I need to take notes from her next time we are being hassled by Two Rude Girls.)

But get this?????
Two Rude Girls, when faced with the fact that their boyfriend's brother's birthday or whatever is not getting them to the front of the crowd, totally apologized!
For being Two Rude Girls!!!!

Totally, like "We are very sorry, we will never behave that way again."
I have never gotten such an immediate, self-correcting type apology from my own daughters, or any girl, or anyone ever.

I had to get witness feedback to even believe it was true, that heat stroke was not causing me to imagine eye-rolls and "What. Ever" to be total rude girl apologies.

But witnesses verified that indeed, the Two Rude Girls stopped being rude, apologized, and we could all get on with our waiting for the show without being shoved repeatedly.

Delightful outcome!

2. Very Tall Guy Who Understands His Very Tallness Is Vexing To All Behind Him
But Does Not Apologize For It But Is Nice
And Offers To Hold Phones Over His Very Tall Head For Others To iPhone 
What They Cannot See Because He Is Very Tall And Blocking All Views.

I think I explained that guy in the above paragraph.

3. BEST IDIOT DOOFUS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do not exaggerate. I could not cook up a fool this foolish, and entertaining, and disturbing, yet engaging, but still.

We had been cooking in the boiling hot sun with excellent spots for Silversun Pickups,
 because I am complete, total, lunatic fangirl for them and love them a billion trillion.

We had made the tactical, painful but necessary decision to cut bait on poor Passion Pit,
way over the entire field at a different stage,
so that we could keep our spot for later bands and hopes that Kings of Leon had really gotten it together/kept the wayward brother on a leash -

(Spoiler!!! They totally did.
It was impressive.
I was a hard sell on that, having seen them be awesome and then be totally subpar, they were totally awesome again!
Hurray for awesome!)

And after I kind of crawled out of our spot to fetch beverages so we would not perish
(We were thirsty, it was hot, and also, we were thirsty)

And somehow I randomly got assistance, unsolicited, from a security guy,
who escorted me to a taco stand so my friend and I would have food for the long haul of waiting ahead of us -
which was kind of weird, but cool, and

K was like "Only you would get a security escort to a taco stand.
I am supposed to eat this in five minutes before Wilco comes out?"

And I was all, "I didn't ASK for an escort.
Or a taco.
I kind of went along, it seemed like the thing to do, plus surely I'd get a good story out of it."

And I did! 

Plus also, we had food, and that wound up being a good thing because later in the night, I was an absolute total idiot, and you know how you think over and over, don't be an idiot, and then you are more of an idiot?

Is that just me?

Anyway, I bought tickets for the aftershow, at a club in a TOTALLY DIFFERENT CITY.

Because I was petrified of doing that exact thing, that is what I did.

Our cab driver/wise sage (who showed up to take us away from the place where the aftershow had happened the day before in this city and was now in a different city because I am an idiot)
told me it was because of the book "The Secret."

All I know is, I am glad K is still friends with me and I am never in charge of anything other than random stories, ever ever ever.

But I digress!
I am an idiot, that is for sure,
but even my flagrant ineptitude mixed with delusions pales in comparison to BEST IDIOT DOOFUS EVER!!

I thought I'd done a thorough Doofus Analysis last time (http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/10/dude-wheres-my-car-phone-friend-and.html)

but I had no idea the heights (depths??) to which Doofuses could ascend (descend??)

Behold the story of BEST IDIOT DOOFUS EVER:

So we were in the boiling hot, holding our spot, fortified by my random security escort tacos, when what should our wondering eyes should appear???

(Spoiler!!!! Was Not Santa and Tiny Reindeer. Was DOOFUS. Best Idiot one ever.)

A dude, with a sideways baseball cap on, extremely cheerful and jolly, materializes out of nowhere.

As he is a cheerful, outgoing fellow, and also toting a full bottle of smuggled wine, he makes friends immediately.

We were curious as to where in the world he got this bottle of wine he was brandishing,
as they kind of check you when you come in to the festival.

It's not like full-on airport security, and I would know

But they do not let you carry in your own liquids.

Is mellow excellent music festival, but they are not stupid.
We have to buy our boxes (seriously, boxes!! Is weird) of water or other more potent beverages from the giant vendor tent things scattered amongst the various stages.

But this cheerful dude had a mostly full, corked bottle of Malbec in his hands,
and was delighted to share his secret for smuggling in bottles of wine through security.

No lie,
he cheerfully informed us (Us meaning K and me and the gaggle of girls in front of us, who were all mesmerized by this mysterious smuggler in a doofus cap)

"I always wear compression shorts."


I know he said this because all of us looked at each other like, "Did he just say "compression shorts?""

Yes, indeed.
Compression shorts.

Ick and yuk, and no thanks, when we were offered some of the compressed in I Don't Want To Know wine.

That in and of itself was a glorious, delightful bit of Doofus, worthy of a story.

But it gets even better (worse?)!!!

He asks the gaggle of girls around us, referring to K and me "Are they mothers?"

The girls, in unison, kind of squeal something to the effect of  "That is rude! You can't ask that!"

We were both like, "Um, yeah. There are what, five kids between the two of us? What does that have to do with anything, compression shorts or not?"

He was all, "I have to treat you differently, if you are mothers."

I was all, "Really, I am certain we'd react the same way whether we had children or not, but whatever."

I had fun conjuring up what maternal figure raised this idiot doofus,
because he was immediately deferential,
and also offered us not only his smuggled Malbec, but another smuggled container of rum and/or vodka,
and also some 7 and 7 that he had hidden somewhere.

We were like, "um, no, that's ok, no compression shorts anything, thanks."

And I am giggling to myself thinking of this stern nun-type mother figure or whatever in the world hatched this kid,
repeatedly schooling him on offering his smuggled nasty compression shorts beverages to the mothers in the crowd first,
it's the polite thing to do.

Endless entertainment, really.

And even when excellent music started up, and that is why we were standing in this field for this long,
best idiot doofus ever was the doofus that kept on giving.

In between songs,
I hear something to the effect of "Are The Mothers OK? Do they need anything?"

And I ask K, "Did he just call us The MOTHERS?"

And she was like, "Yes, yes he did."

And I was like, "Are we insulted, or not? Amused?
I don't even know if that is rude, or just weird, I am still baffled by the compression shorts thing."

And he was all "No, I mean, you are BAD mothers -"

and I was gathering he meant in the sense that he left off the last part of that word,
 and not the sense that he was going to call Child Protective Services on us.

And since my bag had a bunch of T shirts for the girls and all, I was feeling quite good on my maternal skills.

I mean, I was in a different state, at a 3 day music festival, but I totally got them cool T shirts.

And we really didn't need (or want, or understand)
the seal of approval from compression shorts smuggling cheerful doofus -

But we were presented with a new, different, more idiotic type of doofus,
a new subcategory we did not think existed,
and for the entertainment and for me to get to file away "compression shorts" into my keywords of NOT MAKING THIS UP,
I am eternally grateful.

Also totally kind of creeped out and worried about the state of the world, but still.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Whee, Yay, Tra La La, Totally Excellent New Music From The Airborne Toxic Event, "Hell and Back," by Allison

So I make no secret of the fact that I love times a billion trillion The Airborne Toxic Event. I'm pretty sure I've written Odes to them and their super perfect, angsty ,beautiful, shredded, poetic badassery.
(I am right! I am always right, really.
AND http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/08/bestest-most-gorgeous-tortured-awesome.html)

Also seeing them live was so crazy good and I kept looking at Matt like, "Seriously? More awesome? Will you pick up my pieces if I explode with glee?"

Also, observe: (That is me. With Mikel of The Airborne Toxic Event, post show.  Post awesome show, as evidenced by my extreme glee.)

And am thinking that the music gods were like, totally pleased with me for making the trek to Bestest  Most Funnest Festival Ever With Bestest Music Friend K last week (Note: it ruled. I have lots of stories and heard lots of fab music and used lots of sunblock),
so they rewarded me with get this?
NEW music from The Airborne Toxic Event!

I did not expect such a lovely surprise, music gods. Many thanks.
New song "Hell and Back?"

Totally excellent and totally different from the sound I know and love, this song is more strummy, call and repeat, stomp song. I love it.

And as always, am benevolent benefactor, but this time I am also technologically challenged idiot benevolent benefactor because I can't make the video go where it is supposed to on this post. And I have no one to pester for help, so this rambling post is like, the opposite of the journalistic inverted pyramid?
Or is it actually a correct inverted pyramid and I don't normally write in proper journalistic fashion because why would I?
Shall ponder that as I listen to excellent song some more.