Friday, December 12, 2014

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover, But Do Know What That Means If You Work In A Bookstore. Metaphor Mayhem, by Allison

So, when I drive the girls to school,
I am usually barraged with driving advice,
 requests to turn the music down -

(Both of those things are unwelcomed,
 and rejected outright)

But occasionally,
they ask me to do something I will actually agree to do.

There is not much I will agree to do.

and the procuring and supplying and whatever else,
gets a NO.

Complicated drop off and pickup requests,
 that are outside of my carpool skill set?


But my Achilles' Heel?


I don't say no to books.

The girls know this,
 as they live in a house full of books.

 And also a house full of me screeching about whichever Kindle isn't cooperating,
 and somebody fix it NOW.

But in the early morning,
with a good song on the radio?

I can't pay attention to all of that at once.
Plus a truck in front of me was driving all weird.

So I was like:

 "I cannot hear you.
You are all talking all over each other,
blurring your book demands,
 and also I like this song.
Write all the details down,
 or text me,
and I will go after the gym."

Who knew this would lead to Metaphor Mayhem, Bookstore Edition?

I did not know that was a thing,
but it totally is a thing.


Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover,
But Do Know What That Means If You Work In A Bookstore.
Metaphor Mayhem, by Allison:

So I go into the bookstore,
gross and starving after the gym.

Those are not ideal conditions for me to engage in any type of anything.

But my girls want books!
I love books.

So much that it is totally,
completely a bad idea to let me loose in a bookstore.

Especially when holiday displays fetchingly display
Stuff I Didn't Know I Needed But Now Totally Need,
And OOH!
I Want That Also.

I realize within one second -
after entering the foyer?

Presence Chamber?

Whatever it is when you open the first doors,
and there is a pile of marked down things all around,
 before you enter the actual store?

or whatever,
is clearly The Foyer Of Misfit Books,
and I should move along.

It is a bad sign when I can't even get into the store.

I somehow thought a book called Weird Things,
 plus one on How To Draw Horses,
were good purchase choices.

I should not be allowed unsupervised in a bookstore.

And I make myself stop trying to buy another castle book,
 or another pocket sized Constitution
(we have four already but they are so handy and darling)-

And I march myself up to the help desk,
with my list of books for the girls.

And am greeted by Metaphorical Mayhem,
in the form of Dude at bookstore help desk.

He seemed perfectly nice,
and I pull out my phone for the girls' requests.

He has a computer or some such thing,
that can look up where things are.

So I am like:

"Hey. I need - "
(scrolling on my phone)
 "A book called The Swap?

It apparently has a cover that looks like gravel,
with yellow ballet flats,
and a pair of sneakers on it also."

I am aware the author's name would have been helpful,
but I didn't have it.

E didn't give it to me.
she described the book's cover.

And bookstore dude started kind of hopping around.

And said:

I have never met a person who literally judged a book by its cover."

Ok, I was not up for this.

I decide to blot out the liberal use of "literally,"
because I am too tired and hungry to get worked up about that.



I choose to get worked up about the fact that HE IS WRONG.

He is wrong.

I am not judging a book by its cover.

I am describing the cover of the book.


Me :

 "Um, I am really just describing the book cover,
so we can find it.

Judging a book by its cover is more like,
if I said it was a good book or a bad book just by first glance,
by appearance.
It also applies to  people or places too,
but I am not doing that either."


"You are totally judging a book by its cover."


"Can we go find the book?"

And so we go towards the Young Adult section,
and I divert my eyes from all the stuff on tables,
luring me like a siren's call to BUY BUY BUY.

It was helpful that I was so baffled by this person who worked in a bookstore,
and yet did not seem to know what Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover means.

Isn't that like, on the application?

Apparently not.

But it should be.

Because we find The Swap -
and get this?

Cover has gravel, yellow shoes, sneakers.


That is exactly what you said.
You really judged this book by its cover."


"No! No I did not.
I described the book's cover,
and we found it.

If I said it was a bad book or a good book,
 based upon the gravel and shoes cover,
 then I would be judging it.

I am not.
That phrase does not mean what you think it means."

(not even getting my Princess Bride reference) :

"Yes you did."


"Ok, the next book?"

(scrolling my phone)

"Oh, wait!
I have a flash card on this one."

Because E wrote out a flash card detailing this book she wanted,
and put it in my purse.
She knows how to manage me.

I proffer my flash card,
which says:

"Out Of My Mind.

The cover has a fish jumping out of a bowl."

I show this to the dude.

And cringe,
waiting for the Metaphor Mayhem.

"This really judges a book by its cover!"

Which of course he says.

And I say:

 "No, seriously.
This is a description of the book's cover.
It would be awesome if we could go find it?"

It does not occur to me to ditch this dude.
While infuriating,
he is helping me find the books.

And also distracting me from buying everything I see,
 and think I need,
 because I am addled from the gym,
 and carpool before that.)

We find the book.

To no one's surprise,
it does indeed have a fish jumping out of a bowl on the cover.

And to no one's surprise,
Dude is like:

That is just what she said.
Way to judge a book by its cover."

And FYI,
I really don't think he was just purposefully antagonizing me for sport.

He kind of had a zealot's glee about him.

he had been waiting for a long time to trot out the book/cover thing,
and I was the lucky recipient of pent-up Metaphor Mayhem.


But, yay!

V's list is next,
and she is as concise as her sister is verbose.

First up:


"This daughter wants Stephen King's The Stand."

(Thinking, Ha HA!!!
Book and author,
take that!
You cannot wreak metaphor havoc on this one.)

And Dude was kind of glum about this.

Too easy a task,
finding a giant book in a section of giant books written by famous author.

He perks up at the next item on the list.


(scrolling phone)
It is written by Stephen King's son,
but he doesn't use that last name."

Dude is like:

"Well how will we find it?"

And at this point,
I have no idea what to do with this guy.

He is the opposite of helpful.

he is aggravating me enough to keep me from buying ten travel journals.
So silver lining?

But there is no father/son book display,
and Dude is flummoxed as to how we are going to find this book.

I swear,
they have computer things to look this up.
Horns isn't that common of a name.

So I was like:

 "I am pretty sure they made a movie of this book.
And I think the guy who played Harry Potter is in it.
I think we should look for a book with Daniel Radcliffe on it,
 with horns growing out of his head."

wait for it:


you totally judged a book by its cover before seeing it!"


"That makes even less sense than the other stuff you have been saying.
I am guessing at a cover of a book I have not seen or read.

I am trying to find and buy it,
because my daughter wants to read it.

I am not judging it.
I don't know the first thing about it."

all smug like I just proved his point,
and he sank my Battleship?:



"Are you doing this on purpose?"




Let's look for Harry Potter with horns."

And lo and behold!

Horns has Harry Potter with horns on the cover.

I do not even know what to do at this point.

I am afraid he is going to start  More Metaphor Mashup and Mangling.

I can barely handle the book/cover thing.

I consider snatching Horns and running off,
now that I have the books I have been tasked with purchasing.

But there is no way I can do that.

I would not know how the story ended!

Just like I have a personal rule to finish every book I start,
I have a rule to use my Pretend Ph.D. in People Watching for sociological purposes,
and I cannot cut bait now.


 I need Dude to walk me to the line to check out,
so I won't buy anything random.

And so,
upon seeing Harry Potter with horns?


"Can I tell my manager about this?
I have never seen somebody judge a book by its cover before seeing the cover. 
This is crazy."


"I'm sorry, I need to leave,
can I please get you to walk me to the checkout line?

I am at risk of buying origami kits or something.
I swear.
That phrase does not mean what you think it means."


"Ok, cool. It will be our secret."

I start wondering if  he even works at the bookstore.

But I check out,
no rogue purchases frantically made at the wicked Godiva and nightlight station.

And I flee.

And in case anyone is counting, this is Reason 1,493,574 Why I Want An Intern.
I can't take Metaphor Mayhem on an empty stomach.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Who Says Scrabble Isn't Violent? And Also, Violent Is An Excellent Scrabble Word! Advice, by Allison.

So, the girls are home from school.
And there is no responsible adult to govern us.

And I am feeling like a Pioneer,
or at least a Parent Who Pays Attention To Stuff?

So I declare,
as we arrive home:

"We are having a wholesome,
no electronics,
or things that plug in,
or make beeps,

Tell all your friends we did this,
and also your teachers."

E: "Your Kindle is electronic."

Me: "Not really.
It is magical."

(Proof: )

V: "Mom, it has a cord.
That plugs in to electrical outlet."

Me: "Whatever.
Kindles are the exception.

If you all want to read on your Kindles,
fine by me."

E: "You broke all of our Kindles."

Me: (Internally):
That is kind of true.

Me: (Out loud):
"That is not totally true.

One is very finicky and obstinate.
The other one is playing hard to get."

V: "What about the rest of them?"

Me: "Not relevant.

Find a board game or a book."

The following ensues:

Who Says Scrabble Isn't Violent?
And Also, Violent Is An Excellent Scrabble Word!
Advice, by Allison:

1. E finds her book and reads.
This is delightful to me,
but I don't say that.

Because I am not throwing a parade for someone reading a book,
you are supposed to do that,
and in fact,
it is way better than watching reruns of Full House,

Why is that show mesmerizing,
so far past its shelf life?

I am thrown off by the mullets,
and cannot process the rest of it.

2. I digress.
V and M pull out the Scrabble board.

Also delightful!

3. V then says M does not know how to play Scrabble.

I am all,

"Teach her, then.
Or, you can do other wholesome activity like tending to the fields.
Which means cleaning up after the dogs outside."

4. Scrabble lesson immediately begins.

5. And I am all,
I can be Pioneer Gold Star Parent too!
I will cook stuff!

6. But then, I hear bickering.

7. It is loud.

8. I say,
as I am all Gold Star cooking stuff for real :

"I hear violence.
There is no violence in Scrabble."

9. I am totally lying.

Anyone who has played Scrabble with someone who uses a timer?

Or owns a Scrabble Dictionary?

Or carries their Scrabble in velvet wrappings?

knows this:

There is absolutely violence in Scrabble.

If your opponent cares too much,
play out your letters.

Short words that aren't Scrabble bonanzas,
but who cares.

Retreat, it is not worth it.
Go read on your Kindle.

Nobody should scrapple over Scrabble.

10. But, it is my duty to give Scrabble tips, right?

11. So I was like,
There is no violence in Scrabble.

If you need to burn off energy?
Play Twister or clean up the backyard.
no violent Scrabble."

12. But I have to properly parent.

13. So I follow up with
"But violent is a really good Scrabble word.
V's are hard to work in,
and can be very helpful in a triple word score."

14. V : "Don't insult my letter."

15. Me : "Ug.
Stop being ridiculous.
V's are unicorns,
only trumped by X or something."

16. E : (Who is supposed to be reading,
 and is not playing Scrabble,
 and all this unplugged family fun is going downhill fast)

"So you are saying E is not as special?"

17. Me: (Internally ):
I should have let them watch TV.
John Stamos,
or those Olsen twins?

They could have had a life lesson all wrapped up,
in the time it is taking me to deal with this.

18. Me : (Out loud) :
We are going to have a whole thing over the first letter in our names?
I am not adequately caffeinated to sort this out.

There are more E's than V's in Scrabble.
More vowels than consonants.
If you consult a dictionary,
which I always advise unless you are playing Scrabble,
because that is a total buzzkill thing to do?

More vowels.
Not a bad thing.

And not at all why any of you have your names,
and this is becoming a very cumbersome
Wholesome No Electronics Afternoon.

19. I am on Nineteen?
Really, already?

That was what my afternoon was like.

My Gold Star Pioneer Parenting?
Turned into the Geneva Convention.
Or Judge Judy.

20. Me: "V and M,
no stealing all the E's from the Scrabble board.
I will know you did it.

And E,
 no stealing them and using them in a monogram thing,
or to frame your sisters.

I will know you did it."

21. Me again: "And V and M,
no stealing your own letters from the Scrabble board.
I will know you did it.

And E,
no stealing their letters.
I will know you did it."

22. Clearly,
Scrabble is no longer happening.

23. I stopped cooking stuff, too.

I am on 23 already,
it only the afternoon.

Exhibit Number XXXVI3 times ten  Why I Want An Intern.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Carpool Through The Decades! Or, How I Entertain Myself With Entertainment, by Allison

So, today?
Carpool Through The Decades!

On my loop number 8 trillion infinity plus times extra,
to get E to voice lesson today?

Radio was clearly aware that I needed amusement and distraction -

So that I would momentarily forget that I was basically driving in circles for the afternoon,
after running in circles at the gym.

I love it when my radio senses my mood and fixes it.

PS: These photos were all taken at red lights,
and I am not a hazard on the road.

I am a total parking hazard, that is for sure.
But photos at red lights only.

First up?
Middle school throwback,
and only time I ever tried to learn German!

 Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

99 Luftballons.


And also?
Sad, and I think it was a protest song protesting something,
but I was too busy trying to phonetically learn German and sing along,
and missed that whole thing.

And then?
We hop up a decade
(Or more.
Not doing math.)


I love Lenny Kravitz.
Late 90's, I think.
(Too lazy to google.)

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Matt used to protest that this song
(Fly Away) misrepresented dragonflies,
since they don't fly so very high into the sky,
and instead,
they skim water and surfaces.

I told him dragonflies were gross,
 and alarmingly large for a bug,
 and had guts if they splatter,

And it is nice of Lenny Kravitz to give them a shout out in his song.
And I love Lenny Kravitz.
And I Am Right.

(Note: I must be right about the decade,
because this was when
Matt was still learning about the many ways in which I cannot be reasoned with rationally,
When it comes to music, (etc . .)
And What I Know To Be True, You Are Wasting Your Time,
I Am Right.)

Memory lane of fun!

Ooh, next I am winding back,
to a thrashy,
discord punk memory lane!

(That is why this picture is blurry.)

Sonic Youth!

Carpool Back To The Future Of Present Past?

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Followed by?

More Adventures In Carpooling Through The Decades!

To Right Now.

Lurching Back To The Now
Of Future Is Later
And Past Has Already Happened?

Like, This minute now.

Can't Predict,
But Guessing I Will Hear This Song A Lot Imagine Dragons New Song?

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Is stompy, clappy exact definition of current.

Like a soap bubble shelf life.

But it's catchy! 

And I stayed in the now, because I love alt-J.

I love alt-J.
Left Hand Free.
And I cannot get sick of this song,
because this song is awesome.

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Also, Left Hand Free?

I am left handed.

I know French and Latin words for left handedness are thinly-veiled synonyms for evil-
English translation:

 "Kevin Spacey Will Play The Definition Of This In Movies and TV."

This may be true in other languages, too.
 I do not know,

especially German,
 if it wasn't in a 1980's pop protest song I couldn't learn.

All I know is,

I was told in 5th grade I could only get a C or worse,
if I wrote with the left handed hand crook thing.

And I was,
 and am goal oriented,
And prone to outrage.

I practiced, forever,
and since then,
I have written with the paper straight and my hand straight,
give me my A plus and gold star,

I can't do calligraphy or scoop ice cream,
but I am not sure if that is because I am left handed,
or just am indifferent to calligraphy and ice cream.

I agree with all the stuff where left handed people are the best,
most smartest, etc.

I am not sold on the benefits of left handedness in tennis, though.
Growing up,
I think famous tennis players were left handed?

I don't know.
I was hopeful, taking tennis lessons.

Except for the tennis shoes part,
but I wore the stupid shoes and white outfit,
and I think I had barrettes to match.

And I got fired in fourth grade,
after one tennis lesson.

For real,

The tennis coach said "Find a new sport."

Unfortunately for him,
 my new sport was -
 Remembering This Forever.

I was all,

I don't like things coming at my face anyway.
I was all for the outfits.
But you are mean.
I will take more dance classes,
and add on
Telling Everyone Ever Forevermore
How You Made Me Feel Awful
And Left Handed Means Awesome,
So There,
as an extra sport. "

And I can wear whatever shoes I want!

And as a reminder of that era?

Back to the 80's!
Love & Rockets!

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Break out the keyboards and nostalgia.

And then,
 song from band we all now have on our iThis or iThats,
whether we like it or not!

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

I am mercurial when it comes to U2.

I like their B side stuff.
(When things used to be on records or tapes,
Ye Olden Days.
I am not doing math,
but whatever.)

The non-giant, angsty ballad anthems.

I like the twisty, quiet angst ones.

And speaking of angst?

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg


I flicked the station before finding out if this was his more recent collaboration stuff,
that I don't want to hear,
or those old,
creepy spoken-word recitations of Mr. Tambourine Man or Rocket Man,
that I don't want to hear.

I think they may be hypnotic trance things to get me to like Star Trek,
and that is not happening.

(Note: The rest of my house, and I guess,
intergalactic galaxies?
are free to like Star Trek.

I can't do it,
because for me,
it triggers spontaneous narcolepsy.

That may be a gift to the other people in my house and intergalactic galaxies.

Because it shuts me up before I can start in on the outfits,
and the bad haircuts,
and is this the one with the Reading Rainbows guy,
or the kid from Stand By Me?
Is That Winona Ryder?
And. . zzzzzzz.)

Maybe this is a totally different musical thing.
Indie or throwback band I don't know about?

I was not risking listening to find out.

I can't sleep and drive at the same time.

Good news for me!

By the time I flicked back around stations-

(Note: While driving safely,
 and only taking pictures at red lights.
I am adept at screeching and changing the station while driving,

Also car dancing,

But I can barely use .0002 percent of the mysterious features on my new iThingy,
when sitting still.)

Yo La Tengo!

Random delight.

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Cherry Chapstick.
Liked it then.

(Not doing math,
but there is at least a decade involved?
Too lazy to google.
This is why I want an intern.)

Like it now.

All's well that ends well.

E got to her voice lesson,
things got busy around here,
and I just now looked at my new,
mysterious iThingy,
and wondered why I took all those pictures of the radio.

And then I remembered!

Carpool Through The Decades!

That is exhausting, you know.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Don't Wait Until Halloween To Buy Candy Or Abraham Lincoln Might Yell At You. Holiday Shopping Advice, by Allison

So, I guess the past few years,
 I have been busy fighting the Harlot versus Hermione
Halloween costume wars negotiating costumes for my daughters?


And so have been too distracted to notice what day I buy Halloween candy?

I could have sworn I always buy it on Halloween,
since there is no need for giant bags of candy in our house,

This was identified early on,
when in a state of Deranged Early Parenthood,
Matt hand-fed toddler V M & M's,
so she could fully experience her first lunatic sugar rush,
 and subsequent histrionics?

She was an adorable giraffe,
 (she loved that costume),
until she was a Deranged Adorable Giraffe,
running in circles,
for 45 minutes,
squealing "Wheeeeeee!"

It was very cute, for 10 seconds.
It became much less cute after a while.

And since I was due to have second soon-to-be-trick-or-treating child soon,
I put:
in my "things to remember" file in my head.

And really, anyone with sticky, glassy-eyed,
deranged children learns that at some point.

And in our house?

 "The dogs ate it" lie I tell?

 When all the candy gets sent to Matt's office?

 Or thrown away,
 if I feel like the girls might wear him down and stash candy?

We know it is me,
but whatever.

The ridiculous,
 immediate Christmas stuff all over the place is helpful as a distraction.

But somehow the acquiring of Halloween candy,
 to hand out to adorable trick or treating kids?

And NOT to the grown dudes on their cell phones,
 not in costume,
 holding out a CVS bag.

Unless it is the end of the night,
 and I want to get rid of the candy.)

I guess I did not actually wait until the day of Halloween to buy it.

Until now.

Lesson Learned.

And since I am a benevolent benefactor, I will share the absurdity of my day:

Trick or Treat?
Or Total Hell At Target For Two Hours?

Don't Wait Until Halloween To Buy Candy Or Abraham Lincoln Might Yell At You.
Advice by Allison:

1. So today on the way to school,
 my girls remind me to buy Halloween candy,
since they are aware there is none in our house yet.

Me: "I know.
You are all in costumes,
there are pumpkins, I will get candy."

E: "Don't get the gross kind.
Get good candy or it will be embarrassing."

Me: "I always get good candy.
You just don't know that,
because I give it all away before you get home from trick-or-treating."

E: "You are mean."

Me: "Agreed."

M: "Get enough candy. We always run out."

Me: "No, we don't.
I just give giant handfuls to the last few people,
so we get rid of the candy.
You guys come home with giant bags of candy.
You are fine."

M: "You are mean."

Me: "Agreed."

V: "I'm going to be at a sleepover, so whatever."

2. And though I am painting myself as a total buzzkill,
 bah humbug Halloween person?

I'm really not.

And I have done secret case studies for years!
(I am a scientist and sociologist, you know)
 where I put their candy in a bowl one shelf up from their height,
 but visible?
And it is interesting to them,
for like,
a week.
Then they totally forget about it,
and I start throwing it out.

But I leave some in, and it stays until Easter,
and rinse, repeat.

For years.
Like, more years than I want to add up.


 I could have sworn I always waited until Halloween to get candy.

3. But apparently? 
I am a bit hazy on my timeline.

4. Because?
which is Halloween?
And I go to Target for candy?

5. Bedlam.

6. It was hard to find a parking spot, weird.

7. Weirder, no carts.

8. Weirder still, there were like,
total empty areas of the store.

9. The newly-stocked Christmas stuff was plush and shiny
(Note: I will save that rant for later) -

and it is not like I was looking for costumes,
or decorations,
or anything but candy.

Which they have giant aisles of at Target,
year round.

I am aware,
because of the thing of candy aisles are near the toy area.

And that is Danger Zone.

In which I only enter solo,
or else my children turn into savage vampire feral wild things,
regardless of season.

10. I can find no candy.

I can find kind of dazed,
After The Rapture If The Rapture Was About Candy,
Left Behind looking people,
roaming around.

I can find an Abraham Lincoln,
appropriately attired,
and accompanied by a tiny Spiderman.

That would have been a charming little scene of whimsical costume mashup,
if Abraham Lincoln hadn't had a rage issue over the lack of candy.

I tend to think of Abraham Lincoln as having a gentler tone.

11. Also there is a dude wandering a round yelling "VERA!" at the top of his lungs,
every two minutes.

Often enough that other candy-seeking scavengers were discussing him.

Was he lost?

Was he looking for someone named Vera?

Was he hoarding all the candy and eating it and acting deranged as a result?

My theory was:
"Method actor.
Thinks he is in A Streetcar Named Desire
(he was wearing a white t-shirt, I was thinking Stanley Kowalski-ish.)

He has not actually read or seen that play, though,
and doesn't realize he is supposed to be hollering "STELLA!"

That actually made me super-sad for some reason.

I could have ruminated on that for a while,

12. An actual Candyman came!
not a horror movie,
since it already felt like one.

A guy with a dolly roller thing.
Full of candy boxes.

And he was descended upon, like,
well, a horror movie.

Night of The Locusts,
Dawn of The Dead,
anything zombie or famine oriented?

13. Lucky for me,
he had a lot of candy to throw at the foolish, late candy shoppers.

14. Unlucky for me,
 the line to check out was worse than school supplies,
 or Christmas-not-too-early-but-before-all-the-good-stuff-is-gone time.

15. I had time to read a whole magazine,
and text around about how lame it was at Target.

16. And I was so desperate to escape?
I was throwing bags in my car a bit too enthusiastically?

Whatever my mood,
it led to me breaking a case of Diet Coke open,
and more than one can split,
and sprayed Diet Coke all over my hard-won candy.

I could hear it fizzling all over the place,
as I drove home.

17. And I was hoping maybe it wouldn't be that bad.

But it was bad.

18. Lucky for the trick or treaters,
the candy was in bags.
 and is not extra spiked with caffeine on top of sugar and additives.

19. And the moral of my story is?
Not sure.

Don't wait until the last minute when candy is involved?

Even Abraham Lincoln can get deranged when deprived of candy?

I would have time to figure this out, if I had an intern.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

As You Wish? I Totally Wished!! And Now Princess Bride Behind The Scenes Book? Happy Birthday To Me, by Allison

Um, in case it is still up for debate?
Which it shouldn't be,
considering my Exhibits A-Z  Infinity Plus?

On Proof I have Superpowers?

I have more proof!!

Please note that for the record.
Whatever record, if there is such a thing.

If there is not such a thing?
There should totally be a thing.
And I want credit.

Last year for my birthday
(Or because that is when the book was published.
But I choose to believe it was for my birthday,
and I am always right. )

One Mr. John Taylor of Duran Duran wrote his autobiography.
Which was super cool of him to do, for my birthday and all.

And what a glorious, nostalgic,
without being stale,
or past its shelf life book -

It could have gone wrong in so many ways,
and it did not!

Which is a perfect birthday present for me,

And now?

As we enter the Season Allison and M
(my youngest daughter and also Advocate of Autumn)
declare as Celebration Of Us,
And Also The Clothes Are Better?

I have another birthday
(Note: But I am still very, very young) -

And what do my wondering eyes should appear?

(Spoiler!!! Not Santa and tiny reindeer. Different season.)

Another book totally aimed at the target audience of me.

(And great timing, by the way.
Because my Kindle,
or Matt's Fraudulent Second Deranged Kindle,
is misbehaving.
So I need an actual book.)

As You Wish,
behind the scenes of the making of The Princess Bride?

Written by Cary Elwes ?
(Dreamy Wesley With Excellent Hair,
Dread Pirate Roberts, Mostly Dead, True Love, etc?)

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

I do not yet own this book ,
but the lovely emergency shipping people are working on that right now.

And since I finally got my girls to watch The Princess Bride,
which was a top parenting goal of mine,
yay to check that off of my non-list?

And they love it too?

Maybe it will be family heirloom.

I really hope it is good,
if it sucks that would totally suck.

I have a good feeling about this, though.

And since it magically appeared at my birthday?

Totally proof I have superpowers, just saying.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hissy Fits And British Accents Save The Day! It Wasn't My Fault, Anyway, by Allison

So in case it is still up for debate,
I Have Magical Superpowers.
I have just proven my own theory to be totally true.

Does that count for a Nobel Prize?
Sainthood or Miracle?
Gold Star?
Smiley Face Sticker?

I will take anything, really.
Other than ridicule.

My superpowers are not solely limited to music summoning via outfit choice, FYI.
Yes, I wore a flannel shirt and now Pearl Jam is touring.
But get this?

I am also a technological genius.

Anyone who has ever had to witness,
come to my aid,
show me the off button,
or all of the above?

Since I cannot do anything technologically savvy
(Or proficient.
Or trained or untrained monkeys can do it)
 at all,
this may sound like a ludicrous and delusional claim.

I get that.

 I had to have my hand held,
 and step-by-step instructions given by Very Patient Technologically Astute Friend,
 to even start this blog.

In fact,
I am not only incompetent when it comes to increasingly kind of different but how, exactly?
 iThis or iThats?

I may possibly be allergic to them,
or repel them in some way,
 that leads them to run and hide in places that make no sense,
like the freezer or in my purse,
where I already checked fifty times,
so some sort of evil machinations are afoot.

I am not paranoid, technology hates me.
I have proof!

A Short(ish) Summation of The Ways In Which I Wreck Stuff With Batteries or Cords or Electronic Components,  It Was Not My Fault! by Allison:

1.  My TV went out during Power Station's performance at Live Aid in 1984.

Power Station, featuring one Mr. John Taylor of Duran Duran,
and they were also going to perform.
I was and am a Fan.
My TV stopped working,
the cable went out,
and I became deranged with thoughts of missing their sure to be brilliant performance.

So, I threw a hissy fit of such proportions that my sister took photos of the detritus with her Polaroid camera.
A camera I couldn't work at ALL,
to use in my defense after I cleaned up my fit evidence.
It was not my fault.
Stupid cable was wonky in the suburbs in 1984.
Also I cleaned up, so there.

2.  My mom's Audi
(Note: The kind that 60 Minutes TV Show,
 or whatever,
 proved was a crazy car,
 that randomly drove away from its owners and wrecked stuff,
 and Mike Wallace made very serious, sad faces about it,

car was computerized, not so much as K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider,
that would have been cool.
But it had buttons and things,
 and one controlled the seat adjustment.
Lovely feature on a car,
When I drove it,
 the seat thingy went insane.
Like, it went from Setting One,
 to Setting Scary Carnival Ride Controlled By A  Doofus Who Is Not Paying Attention.

 And the seat back would fling backward and forwards,
 thunking me in the back,
and the seat I was sitting on went forward and backward,
 making it VERY hard to drive.

It may have been a fun carnival ride, but I didn't push that button.
I just wanted legroom.

Also whenever I pushed any button on it,
nothing happened,
 other than the car smelled exactly like wonton soup.
Not My Fault.
Google it.

3. My traitorous word processor dot matrix computer thing ATE my honors thesis in college.

It ate it.

I was almost done with this long,
footnoted opus, and the computer ATE it.

Fine, NO, I did not save every three minutes,
I feel like that is the computer's job, mine is to write the thing.
I wrote it.
Computer-ish thing totally failed on its end of the deal.
It was not my fault, at ALL.

Luckily there were no witnesses with Polaroid cameras taking photos of that fit. 
It was a doozy.
And also, not my fault.

4. The Great Air Conditioner Leakage of 1995:

In law school, one year my friends and I lived in a house that was kind of charming and near school, and had excellent backyard for parties.

We did not know it was also evil.

My room had an A/C unit in the window,
and, FYI, I not only repel technology,
I lack basic functioning spacial relations skills and reasoning capabilities.

So I set up my music directly under that A/C unit.

My music,
ALL my bootlegs from a billion shows plus all the mixtapes I had ever made or received,
pretty much my prized possessions.

So I put them under an old creaky A/C unit.
Because it fit there and looked cute.

And as old creaky A/C units are wont to do, it leaked.
All over my music.
All of it.
I have yet to recover.
I may never fully heal.

And granted, I am the spacially challenged person who placed all those treasures under the A/C, because really,
 it did look cute and there was nowhere else to put it-

But I didn't make the A/C leak, causing The Great Air Conditioner Leakage of 1995.
At least, not that I know of.
I may have gotten grumpy and pushed buttons if it was hot out.

It was like, .001 percent my fault.
Mostly I was the victim here.

5. Wisdom has not come along with age
(Or has it???????????????????
Foreshadowing here.
Plus also, I am still very, very young):

I fry Kindles by crying on them,
or dropping them while blowdrying my hair and reading upside down,
or spilling tea on them repeatedly.

Proof: (

I break phones in too many ways to list,
I will just say that I have destroyed them with all of the elements at my disposal -
earth, water, fire, air.
(Note: Not Earth,Wind, and Fire, 1970's disco/soul band with gloriously festooned outfits.

I always wondered why they did not include Air in the band's name.
Why only the three elements, was there a story there?
I was driven to distraction by that elemental omission.
I am still very curious.
Is there a Behind The Music episode about that or something?
If not, there should be.
And if it becomes a thing, I want total credit. )

I do not understand our remote for the TV in our kitchen,
so I stand on our kitchen table with a large spoon,
 and poke at the buttons until it comes on.

So of course, a few days ago,
as I was attempting to put my mixtape I am making onto a flash or jump or whatever drive -
the computer actually sighs,
and possibly says a swear word at me,
before dying dramatically,
kind of like Cleopatra minus the kohl eyeliner.

It has done that before.
I have witnesses, real live actual witnesses.
Who will be like, "Weird. You are right.
That thing just made a grumpy noise and started taking a nap."

Totally not my fault.
And if I try to summon help from sage advisors?

I ask my daughters.
The are Jedi Masters or Queen Extreme Supreme Extra Plus in Undoing What I Did.
Also, They Are Clever Little Traitors Who Hijack My Stuff And Put Owls On It.

And if they can't fix the thing?
Not my fault, but NOT a good sign.

First red flag.

Second red flag?
When Matt can't fix it,
as he does very computery and techy things with cancer treatment machines and such,
and  usually can fix whatever dumb thing I did,
unless the dumb thing involves puddles of water.

This time, I am informed,
after a few days of me twitching and saying mean things to the computer,
then saying nice things,
trying to get a read on what it wants from me,
(Good Cop or Bad Cop?)

Matt will take it to computer fixers next week.

Anecdotal evidence,
lack of bootleg jam band shows,
and bills to phone stores and Kindle store reflect that I have no business attempting to solve a stupifying computer failure issue.

Even one that TOTALLY was not my fault.

But alas, I am not a patient person.

Also, I cannot access any of my music with the computer being all hostile.

So I decide to take matters into my own
(Note: inept, corrosive, "Nooo, don't touch the red button!!!")

I decide to use the only tool I have left,
since my family has abandoned me,
 and I am lone Don Quixote,
tilting at windmills otherwise known as my ornery computer,
 that is now my nemesis.

What tool, you may ask?

And I may say,
forlornly but with gleam in my eye like any good deluded fool -
My only tool is this:
Irrational Nonsense.

I am very good at Irrational Nonsense.

Once, back in ye olden days,
we were listening to a book on tape during a long car ride,
and the British lady reading it would advise when to switch the tapes.
She also advised if the tape did not work,
one should "smack it smartly, three times" upon the dashboard.

That advice,
in plummy, high-end British tone,
amused me endlessly.

In fact,
the rest of the drive I replayed the advice and then smacked the tape smartly three times,
rinse, repeat.

And since then,
(And also before then,
but it was nice to have backup from posh,
erudite British lady)
 "Smack it smartly three times" is one of the irrational nonsense repair attempts on any broken electronic or technologic or not-working-what-is-the-deal thing.

So Matt is at cancer conference,
the girls are frolicking outside,
nobody is around to stop me from making an attempt to fix the computer.

That is broken.
And It Was Not My Fault.

I begin my Irrational Nonsense with Phase 1.

Phase 1:

Unplug it, and put all the plugs in different places.

Does not work.
I move on to Phase 2.

Phase 2:

Shout expletives and insult the computer's mother and stomp my foot a lot.

Does not work.
Move on to Phase 3.

Phase 3:
Turn everything off,
 and count to thirty,
using the One-Mississippi slow version,
then turn back on.

Does not work.

It is about to get all Braveheart in here, on to Phase 4.

Phase 4:

Using British fancy lady accent, smack the thing smartly, three times. 
(Note: I added singing in Mary Poppins voice,
 "A Spoonful of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down",
 because it seemed both on-point,
and subtly menacing)

And guess what,
people who read manuals,
 and follow appropriate measures,
 and do not hit,
 or kick,
 or sing at their computers?

I fixed it.
It gave up.
I'd like to think I kind of A Clockwork Orange terrorized it into behaving.

Or, it is a secret techy trick,
you drop your computer off to be fixed,
and they kick it a few times and bill you for it.


Hurray! Whee! Tra la la.

Especially validating,
since it was not my fault the thing was broken,

But must go,
am off to kickbox the kitchen TV while talking like Julia Childs,
dressed as a ninja. 

Totally will work.

Or, you know, I could get an intern.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Wait, What? I'm In A Good Mood? On Monday? How Did That Happen? The Adventures Of RainDance Allison.

So this morning, Monday morning, I am in a delightful and cheerful mood.

Because this Monday,
the day when our calendar is lit up like a Christmas tree with events,
and volleyball,
and Girl Scouts,
and dance,
and more dance,
and where to be when?
With which girl?
Wearing what? 
And where do I park?

That part of the Christmas tree calendar?
That's just the afternoon.
The morning part of the Festively Futile calendar is the special,
Just For Me part.

Which on Mondays?


My Monday mornings are wretched.

And not because I don't like Mondays,
I actually like Mondays a whole bunch -
 the kids get dropped off at school,
and they stay there!
It's Trash Pickup Day,
meaning I don't have to play Trash Tetris,
 trying to fit the detritus of our lives into proper receptacles!

What's not to love?

Oh, yeah.
The Doom part.

In which I willingly subject myself to :
Very Terrible Hard Awful Overly Long Spin class,
followed by?
 Oww, Are You Stabbing Me? Barre class.

Both with same Gleefully Sadistic, Maniacal Gym Instructor.
Who Is Also Excellent Friend But Sometimes, Especially Mondays,
I Think Or Say Very Bad Things To Her.

So that's the Doom part of my day.
And normally I dread it like I dread the sun and owls.

But I am in a good mood today?

I had to think of why.

Isn't that pathetic that I had to actually stop,
and figure out why I was NOT grumpy?

My default mode should be something slightly more aspirational than grumpy.

Insouciant, maybe?
Zen calm?
Filled with kindness for all of the universe?

I will work on that.

But I did figure out why I am in such a good mood.

It's raining!!!

I love rain.
Love love love.
It makes things sparkly, it makes the sun go away,
 it sounds lovely,
and I feel no pressure to be outside gardening or playing tennis.
(Note: I never do either of those things anyway,
 but rain makes them less possible.
I am totally Team Rain.)

Also I love trench coats, and I get to wear them in the rain!

Also, I have Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.

And the sound of rain right now is like a promise from Rain to Me -

 "Don't Go Insane Over The Heat, Allison.
I've Got This Summer Thing On Its Last Legs.
Go Play With Your Trench Coats While I Fix This For You."

Yes, I realize that it may sound like I am insane already, since I am having conversations with rain.
I'm fine with that.

And since I am in SUCH a good mood,
and also kind of procrastinating on getting myself to the gym,
although I have to be on time,
 or I will get a bad spin bike away from the fans,
and die,
and not get to enjoy the rest of the rainy day.
 The two hours after gym before Light Up Calendar Afternoon.
But still.
Better than the hot.)

My good mood is a benevolent benefactor!
It made a playlist for the End Of Summer Residue Washing Away.
I call it:

Sticky, Not Stuck Playlist, by Allison

1.Left Hand Free, alt-J
2. Take Me To Church, Hozier
3. Seasons, Future Islands
4. Stolen Dance, Milky Chance
5. Come and Get It Bae, Pharrell
6. My Song 5, Haim
7. Waves, Sleeper Agent
8. Rent I Pay, Spoon
9. Silhouettes, Colony House
10. Riptide, Vance Joy

I'd add more, but I will suffer for it.
Happy Rain Day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sometimes A Sweaty Gross Old T Shirt Is Actually The (Black) Key To World Of Excellent Friends And Music. You Can't Always Get What You Want, But You Get What You Need, by Allison

I had the most fabulous, totally fun and excellent evening of music,
under twinkly lights,
surrounded by friends and awesomeness last night.

Like, just one of those transcendent nights -
 where all is well and life is good . . .
I guess cheesy stuff you'd put on a T shirt?

Except I would not wear that T shirt.
Because I have T shirt laws and they are:
Band T shirts, only.

But in the circle never ends wisdom thing?

Or Rolling Stones wisdom of you can't always get what you want,
but you get what you need?

Or, sometimes good things happen when you harass people at the gym,
 and try to buy their ratty old T shirts in boot camp class? 

(I realize that is not an actual thing, in general.
 In my life, it is a totally true and valid truism.)


Years Of Absurd Over-Sharing And Chatter About Music,
What I Think And Why Pays Off!, by Allison

Ok, so I have always been self-proclaimed, very dedicated PR and Promotions person for any bands or music that I like.
(I had a clipboard in middle school, full of Duran Duran facts.
There are witnesses, who are still my friends -
AND are Duran Duran fans to this day, so there! I am right.
I am always right, really.)

That is nothing new.
But a few years ago, for some reason,
probably insanity or sleep deprivation or brainwashing mind tricks?
I left the civilized Pilates studio at my gym,
which had very challenging Pilates classes I loved,
plus you didn't have to wear sneakers -

(Note: I hate sneakers.
Tennis shoes.
I am reluctant and recalcitrant in wearing them.
Which is sad, considering daily,
I wear them more than any of my delightful army of excellent shoes.
Sigh. I digress.)

And I entered the Thunderdome.

I didn't realize what I was doing,
 or I would have run the other way,
 as fast as I could in my newly acquired ugly stupid gym shoes.

But no,
I had heard this "360" class was fun and cool and I should try it.
I was tricked.

The name isn't scary, right?
Like, It's not INSANITY 90 TIMES XX HELL ON EARTH, or such.
I know to avoid those.

360 seemed kind of introspective and aspirational.
I am an idiot.

I go in, and am told by Very Serious Trainer to tether myself to the railing.

I am honestly baffled, because nothing he said made any sense to me at all.

He tried again, with "Tether yourself to the railing, for suicide sprints and bear crawls."

Not helpful.

That sounded REALLY unfun.

That is why I didn't want stupid gym shoes.
Can I go back to Pilates, please?

I am somehow tethered to a railing and everything else is a blur, except I lived.

And, I felt kind of like a badass when I was able to walk(ish) out of that room,
having done things I had never heard of or would agree to do,

Plus, there must have been brainwashing that I didn't realize,
 because I was still trying to process why I was hitting a tire with a stick.

I went back!
And eventually, was shocked I could do some of this crazy stuff.

But, the reason I do stuff at the gym and not at home?
I am inherently lazy and will find something, anything, to do other than exercise.
That is why books and music exist.

Group exercise is helpful,
 because I am amongst other people suffering,
also wearing stupid gym shoes,
and I am not allowed to pull out my Kindle and hide in the corner.

One of the drawbacks, however,
to the benignly named, totally awful 360 classes is this:

No chatting.

You can't catch your breath,
and Very Serious Trainer does not care if you tell him you are sweating from your eyeballs.
(That happened.)

So, though I was now in a group of people willingly being tormented,
 there wasn't any time for conversation.


Plus afterwards?
You just want to leave,
limp or whatever - get out of there.

One is the loneliest number,
you know.
Ask any elevator Musak.

And so I couldn't continue with this "no talking or making friends or I have a funny story" thing for long -

So Hurray!
As with most things in life,
I was saved by music.

Or more specifically,
 a dude who came to class in an old, ratty, iron on Black Keys T shirt.
One of the first ones.
From Akron.
Iron on old band T!
Band I love!
I summoned enough oxygen to completely freak out this poor dude,
 by trying to bribe or beg or buy his disgusting T shirt,
as the real, old iron on Akron Ohio T's are like unicorns.


Of course, as most reasonable people would,
that guy completely ignored me.
And never came back again.
But silver lining?
The friendly, happy,
almost absurdly cheerfully Zen
(I did not know that was a thing until I met him,
but it is a thing)
dude from my 360 class?
Named Paul?
Was like "Oh, you like music?"
Open the floodgates.
Get this?
He not only travels for shows,
 and is as content and happy to talk and share and expound upon music as I am,
but also?
He Field Of Dreams, Music Edition
 and bands come and play.
Good bands, from all over.
There are twinkly lights,
and excellent crowd,
and really good musicians.
I am not sure how he does it, other than,
the whole thing is kind of magical,
who wouldn't want to be a part of it?
(Note: Paul is also the only person I know who will see a show in Chapel Hill with us,
and then agree that it is a fabulous idea we should go see them in Charlotte the next night.
He somehow remains bright-eyed and in good spirits afterwards.
I internally and externally pay the price for my music gluttony.
I'm fine with that, just jealous I cannot rally like he does. )
And last night, we saw a fabulous band, Barnaby Bright,
at the Backyard Stage of Paul's house,
in the end-of-summer twinkly shimmery kind of an evening in which I am not grumpy over the hot since it is coming to an end -
And the band?
They were awesome.
Really talented, excellent musicians with all sorts of stringed instruments (guitar, banjo, ukulele, maybe more) and keys and harmonium!
They were fabulous.
Fabulous night of music, Barnaby Bright are amazing
And you can hear them and find them at,
and here's their "Old Coats" video:
Last night we heard a killer version of Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow," had a blast, got to talk to the awesome band -
Am total fangirl !! Me with Barnaby Bright after their awesome show

All thanks to Fabulous Awesome Music Friend "He Built It, And Thank Heavens It's Music Not Baseball!!" Paul.

Lesson of the Day:

It's Totally Ok To Freak Out A Dude At The Gym By Trying To Buy His Old Black Keys T Shirt, Because You Might Meet Awesome Friend And Have Fun Forevermore.

(Also, Dude You Freaked Out Will Most Likely Never Come Back To Your Gym So No Awkward Social Situations!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear Diet Coke Cans, Stop Tormenting Me. I Do Not Like Go-Getters, Or Sharing. You Are Totally Not My BFF Anymore, by Allison

Dear Diet Coke Cans,

I am very disgruntled with you,
and this pains me-
you are my trusty, stalwart, required morning beverage.

It is a known fact that there must be Diet Coke, in CANS

(Note: Bottles are only for gas stations and airports.
 Fountain drinks don't count,
 and are gross and totally not actually Diet Coke.)

in my refrigerator, at all times,
or The World Will End.

You'd think the sheer volume of Diet Coke cans I've consumed,
and the volume of the fits I've thrown if someone drank the last Diet Coke,
would earn me frequent consumer status.

Is that a thing?

It should totally be a thing.

Tell Starbucks too.

I mainline Trenta green teas, for the antioxidant infusion -
to counteract the oxidants I require daily,
from my three Diet Coke cans.
Consumed immediately after I wake up,

I have a LOT of making up to do,
is how I justify all my tea.

Because I used to be way worse.

Like, I think there were a few years (law school, for sure)?
In which 98 percent of the fluids I consumed were cans of Diet Coke.

I left half-full cans on the roof of my car,
which was not a good idea -

 but I had a theory that I'd remember where I put it,
 if I put it on the roof of my car.
(Note: This is a totally specious and terrible theory,
and it doesn't work for wallets either.

I left them in the freezer, in case I ran out of cold ones,
only to have to clean up frozen, exploded can of Diet Coke after I forgot I did that.

Maybe ten million times.

I'm better now.
I have a more balanced approach to my irrational needs for beverages at all times -


Still irrational.
I've just added to the list of required beverages.

Some could posit that I am actually worse than ever.

But I Can't Quit You, Diet Coke Cans!

I am now very grumpy with you.

As a chronic,
avid consumer?
(For?  Exact number of years redacted due to my vanity.
But it is quite a while,
though I am still very, very young)

I am insulted and affronted by your dumb, lame,
generic gimmick marketing strategy.

Specifically, the generic,  bossy suggestions on the side of my Diet Coke Cans.

Telling me to "Share a Diet Coke with a Go-Getter."
Or a "Buddy."
Or a "Friend."

WTF, Diet Coke?

Are you scrimping on your focus group budget?

Who shares a can of Diet Coke?

Not me.
At all, ever.

And also?

It is early, I am trying to wake up.
Stop pressuring me.

I don't want to share in the first place,
but especially NOT with a Go-Getter.

I actively avoid Go-Getters,
although I am not exactly sure what you mean by Go-Getter,
but whatever.
That sounds like someone who makes lists,
 and will tell me what the weather is and why I am late for something.

Not happening.

And cans telling me to share with a "Buddy?" "Pal?"

You are driving me insane,
Diet Coke Cans.

First of all, you are not the boss of me.

And secondly?
You are embarrassingly uncreative -
those are the blandest, most boring,
overly broad,
unspecific categories ever.

It is the exact opposite of what I totally think is clever,
targeted marketing on your bottles, Diet Coke.

The bottles with names?
Actual names, of people?

I have seen kids be wildly excited upon receiving a gift of an empty Diet Coke bottle with their name on it.

And as gas station/airport bottle purchaser,
I totally look for a name I like, or that makes me laugh,
or is someone I am married to, and then buy one.


Totally worked!
Excellent idea you had.
Gold star for you.

Why did you have to ruin things, Diet Coke?

The reason the names on the bottles idea works so well is that it is a name.
Of a specific person.

Not vague, boring "Buddy" or "BFF."
Not stressful like "Go-Getter."

If you have to do something with the cans, can you get a snarkier ad team?
Find better focus groups?

Because I'd totally buy Diet Coke Cans with snarky or absurd suggestions -

Worst Friend Ever?
Obnoxious Neighbor?
The Guy From Twilight? (I would buy a bunch of those, actually.)

Or, better yet?

"Don't Share This Diet Coke With Anyone.
It Is Yours And Yours Alone."

Those would crack me up.
instead of spontaneous combustion of rant rage.

Much better way to start the day.

Please fix this egregious error immediately, Diet Coke Cans.
You are better than this.


Your Frequent Consumer and Advocate (as long as you are cold and in my fridge and MINE),

PS: I am not your Buddy, Pal, OR BFF as long as this continues.

PPS: Also I am not a Go-Getter, and please don't send one to my house.

PPPS: And the only thing I share is my opinion.
But I am totally right, and you are welcome.

Monday, August 18, 2014

FORMS, The F Word That Inspires Many Other F Words. Please Somebody Stop This, Or Send Intern, By Allison

It is FORM time, everybody.

And like bad sequels to already bad movies,
or swarm of locusts or whatever,
it keeps getting worse.

Every year, they multiply.


The dreaded F word. 

I am bad with FORMS, in that I almost always spill tea on them,
forget to look up the dentist’s number,
 and have to go find that and then: 
Something shiny!

And I leave FORM incomplete,
then get plagued with guilt about undone FORM,
and then go to do it.

But I realize I never looked up the dentist number, . . . . 
and here we go again.

And seriously, each year,
when I think we have enough sweat equity or FORM filling out information,
at schools or dance studio or whatever,
and it can't be as bad as last year?
 It keeps getting worse.)

I have just filled out seven majillion FORMS.

All with the exact same information -
just swap age of girl and grade in school,
all information on these FORMS is exactly the same.
Because the subjects of these FORMS have shockingly similar,
otherwise known as exact same,
information on their home,
and upkeep and care. 

V, E, and M all live in same house,
go to same doctor,
have same parents,
same insurance,
same ALL of it. SAME 

I realize camp and school can't just have a completed FORM and two others that say,
” See everything on V’s form except this one is E and she is 11.
Otherwise, same.
And also M, she is 8.
Otherwise, all same."  

But that would be so cool, FORM People.
I am so going to start a thing on that.

And the FORMS are all,
old school come in the mail,
fill them out in pen -
(Or? only writing implement at your disposal is pink Sharpie.


Advance notice.

If you won't let me cut and paste,
you run the risk of Sharpie scribblings,
dotted with tears and green tea.

I am given NO opportunity use the computer for cutting and pasting purposes,  
a computer similar to the ones totally used to create the FORM.
If I have to handwrite all this over and over, it should be quid pro quo. 

Eye for an eye,
tired writing hand for tired writing hand. 

I am going to work on that,
 now that I have completed the FORMS.

And can now relax and
 just mail the FORMS back, right?

I wish.

No rest for the wicked.
(Although I proffer that in this situation,
the FORMS are wicked,
 and I am saint-like, wrangling FORMS.)

Can’t  leave out step where I have to go to the doctor’s office,
and I am not kidding:

No lie NO LIE I am not making this up,
have to fill out a FORM for each FORM I need the doctor to sign. 

The FORM wants all the information that is on the other FORMS.
Can’t they get that information from the existing FORM?

Can I borrow a Xerox?


No, must fill out one FORM per FORM I am asking them to sign. 
Plus there are clipboards with FORMS on them too.

I tried pleading, “Look, it is on the FORM already,
on this FORM I am giving you,
right there! “

But no.

And I have to write the girls' names, addresses, doctor’s information  -
Is insane,  
because I am currently IN the doctor’s office.
So it should be kind of obvious who their doctor is,
plus I ALREADY WROTE IT ON ELEVENTY FORMS and am giving them to you,
that information is right there,
and there,
and there,
and also there. 

Please, no more FORMS.

Or how about?
Not the same FORM from the same place two times in one day, at least give me that?
 (V registering for middle school volleyball team,
plus taking FORMS to other FORM people.)

At least I have finally cobbled together a list of witnesses willing to testify on behalf of  my Totally True Printer Malevolence Making Everything Worse By Eating FORMS.

I am normally met with disbelief when I say
 "My printer won't work today.
It is having a fit or a bad day or something.
It just groans at me."

And as I am trying to print out repeated FORMS for sports and dance and lunch and etc,
the printer is all,
"Ug, I am not feeling up to this.
I shall make groaning noises and flash lights and kind of attempt to print,
but totally not print the actual FORM,
nevermind FORM times three because you have so many children needing FORMS."

I was super happy to have witnesses my printer rebellion,
because otherwise,
given past history of technology abuse,
and spilling,
or kicking,
and cursing at computer parts,
no one would believe me when I said that my printer was having a hissy fit.
 And I am really trying to not be the worst.

 I am attempting to not send in late, green tea splattered FORMS this year.

It’s the new me!  
Turning over leaf!  

When situations like this arise, I am now asking myself, what do I NOT want to do right now? 
Ok, that’s the thing I should probably do. 

So far, so good, I just started attempt number (not telling how many years but it is embarrassing)
FORM wrangling today.
 I can’t say if it is going to work long-term.
So I fill out the FORMS with our names and all the information on the FORM.

And I know from previous half-attempted FORM hell,
 that FORMS will multiply and breed,
 and do bad biblical plague things come FORM time.

I try to prepare emotionally,
but that is not possible.

I am rubber, FORMS are glue, 
they bounce off me,
spotted with beverages,
and bounce,
three weeks late,
to wrong person,
stuck like glue to the bottom of someone's shoe.

So at doctors' office the second time in one day,
Is ridiculous and not helping me in my quest to defeat the FORMS -

I try,

I even look at one of the FORMS to fill out this new FORM,
and I am sitting on the ground,
with FORMS spread out around me in piles,
to make sure I get the FORM for each FORM,
for each kid,
for each thing.

So I look like a lunatic -
Pediatricians’ office floors are a very dumb place to choose as your work station,
but I have to make sure each FORM has its New Friend,
also known as FORM,

No matter what I do,
I will forget or leave off or not initial something,
resulting in questionable tetanus shot information,
or some such disaster that I cannot seem to circumvent every year.

So that leads to me sitting on ebola virus floor making piles of FORMS.

And showing FORMS to the girls, all
"Look. I filled it out.
Do not turn on me if the bad dog eats it."

(Note: The dog actually eats FORMS!!
I am not making that up.
I always thought "the dog ate my homework" was a derivative and lame fake excuse,
but seriously,
I have had to write "I am very sorry but the dog ate her vocabulary words" more than once.)

But we all know that there is no way,
with ornery printer,
purple crayon as only writing tool,
FORMS off multiplying like evil gremlin,
or bad aliens,
or bunnies?
There is no way I can win.


This is why I really, really, really want an intern.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Want To Hear Fabulous Music? Take Planes, Train, Automobile, a Ferry, A Brilliant Friend, And A Lucky Green Shirt. Travel Tips, by Allison:

So,  one of the  (few, totally worth it)
drawbacks to excellent, fabulous,
Will Travel For Music Festival Trips,
 with Bestest Music Friend Ever K is this:

There is a ton of stuff, in piles -
 either FORM or laundry format,
waiting for me upon my return.

Plus I am all worn out by the awesome.

And in recent Governor's Ball in NYC,
fabulous music overload with fabulous friend,
involving cars, planes, taxis,
trains, subway,
and FERRY?
 (Note: Also tons of walking.
 And standing.
Also dancing. Does that count as cardio?)

I arrive home in time for eleventy end of whatever school closings,
 requiring my children to sing or play the violin,
plus spring concerts and swim team is starting up,
and WHERE are the goggles???
I buy three billion goggles every summer????

Anyway, frying pan into fire.

I have no time to even see if I got any decent pictures or video,
or remember which bands we saw which day.
All that awesome kind of blurs.

So I do what I always do when I try to remember something,
 and I can't figure out where I was when.

I ask myself:

What was I wearing?

I always know what I wore to what place when.

Starting with preschool.

I'm not exaggerating, it is how I remember things.
I certainly am NOT wearing a watch.

So I remember things via sartorial evidence.

Or what was up with my hair,
if I have to do like the Phone A Friend extra help option.

Hair Evidence is normally not needed because:

1. I remember what I wore when,
am savant.
Wish I had a more useful skill, but I do not.

2. If my hair is bad,
I have most likely thrown away or deleted the picture,
 so there aren't many situations I can rely on hair evidence.

I can tell you what I wore for a second grade spelling bee
(pink shirt, pink and green wrap shirt, matching purse).

Or fourth grade first day at a new school
(pink oxford cloth button down shirt, khaki shorts,
barrettes I wove ribbons in to match - I was in a preppy phase.)

Is way less horrifying than some of my middle school phases,
such as:

1. Strawberry quilted coat,  creepy giant old person tinted glasses,
 and Michael Jackson gloves,
 hiding hideous poison ivy rash,
 beginning middle school World's Most Unfortunate Outfit

2. Panama hat and white jacket adorned with Duran Duran pins -
homage to one Mr. John Taylor.
This was before I realized -
 you weren't necessarily supposed to DRESS like your pretend floppy haired musician boyfriend,
and in fact,
you should probably NEVER do that.

I remember what I was wearing on random occasions,
 as well as special days.
I remember what I was wearing last Girl Scout troop meeting,
so I don't repeat my ensemble and make M the eight year old stylist grumpy.

I am like Mnemosyne from Greek mythology,
minus the cool name.
Plus remembering my outfits,
instead of every single thing that happens?
Greek myths may indicate there some Narcissus mixed in.
Fine, whatever.

Back up there?
When I was talking about the music festival?
And how I was trying to remember which bands,
which days,
where was I?

(Note: I do remember what I was originally talking about.
I digress,
will meander down the primrose path,
or yellow brick road,
or streets of Manhattan,
but I will get back to my topic eventually.
I promise.)

Delay in cataloging,
or getting two seconds to blissfully recall the show?
Due to having to pay the piper for being away during crazy,
hectic time of year?

Means I have to piece together which day was which,
and what we saw and did,
based on my outfit.

I know I could just go look at the festival calendar and see who played when,
but that is cheating.

I realize that one of the days,
the We Are Not Messing Around Day?

Music Festival Day Categories, by Allison

1. Day One:
Get there,
figure out the lay of the land,
check out bands,
plot best spot for Day Two,
while having excellent day,
involving refreshments and people watching,
as well as music.

This is like, baby pool.
Bunny Slope.
And also recon mission for Day 2 plotting.

2. Day Two:
in our various festival experiences,
Day Two is We Are Not Messing Around Day.

We know where the stages are,
and fate/wily music festival people have the lineup we want,
on one stage,
with hours in between,
for us to revel in the grim conditions,
and lack of food, water,
or personal space.

It will be sluggish, hot, stagnant day.
Or rainy and cold, doofuses wielding umbrellas day.

Pick your extremely yuk weather condition,
and stand in it for hours.

Why would anyone do this, you ask?

And I answer:
Because it is awesome!

Like, why you fly to cities far away,
and take every means of transportation other than hovercraft -

(Note: That would be so cool, a hovercraft?
Please someone get on that.
Also, I would like a time machine.
So I can see shows that I have missed.)

The music, the overall vibe (minus the doofuses),
hanging out with Bestest Music Friend Ever K,
as well as other music fanatics all packed together like sardines?

All those people (minus the doofuses),
 plus all that music?

But on We Are Not Messing Around Day,
We Do Not Mess Around.

we have our game plan
(In this case, Broken Bells, Jack White),
And we settle in,
as close as we can get,
to a scalding hot barrier,
the best way to hold a spot for hours.

Because we heart these bands times a trillion,
and want to see them up close.

And we wait, interspersed by crazy good music.

Which rules.

And then we lurch like zombies out of the park.
Happy, sated with awesomeness zombies.

3. Day Three:
This is the day after Day Two.
In Which We Were Not Messing Around.

Day Three starts a little slower.

We have brunch on Day Three.

We mosey over to the show, have a blast,
and do not voluntarily shut ourselves into metal, grated corners all day.

Is more mellow.

Although actually,
I did decide I needed to be on the barrier for Vampire Weekend,
so I take that back.
But still.

Tangent Over!

The reason I went off on that tangent?
In hunting through the photos I took from the festival,
I can tell which day is which,
because of my outfit.
Which included?

Lucky Green Shirt !!!!

(Note: I love my Lucky Green Shirt.
It was acquired for me by awesome friend hunting the Earth for it,
after I saw it and did not buy it,
but then wanted it,
and tragedy -
it was gone from every store ever ever,
and I would not stop pitching a fit,
and my awesome friend magically found one,
from Mars or something,
and it is my lucky shirt. )

I wore Lucky Green Shirt on We Are Not Messing Around Day Two of the music festival.
For good luck,
plus also I love that shirt.
So now I can remember who we saw that day!

Based upon the following evidence:

Me, and Lucky Green Shirt,
worn as talisman,
 so we would get excellent barrier spot for We Are Not Messing Around,
Where Are Broken Bells and our sunblock? afternoon.
You can see by the fact that I am wedged into a corner of barrier that the shirt,
and our strategy, is working!!

Because look where we were not!
We were SO not in the middle of those people,
far away from scalding hot barrier of excellent music coming soon.
And I am apparently feeling very smug about that,
given the cat who ate the canary expression I have on,
along with my Lucky Green Shirt.
But here is why I was so pleased with myself:
Broken Bells!
Playing October, I love that song!
I love them.
Bestest Music Friend K is brilliant strategist, 
with minor assist from my Lucky Green Shirt.
And I know the picture below is of waiting for more awesome music,
 in that same spot by the scalding barrier on the same day,
due to brilliant deductive sartorial analysis:
Since I am a terrible photographer on the best of days,
you can barely see Lucky Green Shirt,
but that was during super sunny, hot,
 smooshed wait for The Strokes.
This is a new friend we made, she was with her dad,
who was making sure she was hydrated and happy. (She was.)
 It was cool to see a dad and daughter spending quality time,
 smooshed in the heat at a music festival. 
That was adorable.
It is nice when the people you are smooshed with are as cool and friendly as they were.
And I know this is pre-The Strokes playing,
because that was a very enthusiastic crowd,
some of whom got heat stroke or whatever,
 and had to be handed overhead to security,
 and we'd been at our barrier spot a good while -
(And were not budging.
 Jack White was coming up, you could not pry us off that barrier),
and I was visibly a hot mess,
in my Lucky Green Shirt.
I am kind of regretting not deleting that picture,
but it is evidence of what day it was.
 Lucky Green Shirt, total wreck me.
 But still happy because?
 Jack White!!!!
Who was fabulously insanely good.
  I have no photos of that,  
because he doesn't like cell phones at shows and we were so close!!!
(Strategy! Perseverance! Brilliant Friend K! Lucky Green Shirt!)
Even without proof (though you can YouTube it or hear live feed somewhere),
it ruled.
And all was well.
Look at that charming, fairy lights and happy crowd scene.
Behind us!
Because We Were Not Messing Around.
But also we had a total blast and saw many, excellent and fabulous bands.
I can't go into all of that, though,
 because I think my phone either died,
or I can't tell what I was wearing,
so I am not an unimpeachable witness.