Monday, October 26, 2015

Want To Get Out Of Carving Pumpkins And Cleaning Up? I Can Help! Whatever You Have In Your House, Plus Pumpkin Seeds, A Non-Recipe, by Allison

So, get this?
I am still in a state of autumnal bliss or something.

Lack of oppressive heat, leaves turning all pretty?

My reverse seasonal affective disorder has kicked in.
I am like, getting things done and stuff.

Things such as:
Acquiring and displaying pumpkins festively,
Using my wily tricks to get out of carving said pumpkins,
via pumpkin seed roasting job.

This is a job I assign myself,
so that I don't have to carve pumpkins.

(Shh! Secret! Don't tell anyone,
 but I am quite skilled at assigning myself jobs that I invent,
 so that I can avoid stuff I cannot,
 or really do not  want to do.)

I am terrible at carving pumpkins.
It's a known fact I cannot craft,
at all.

I can't draw a straight line, or cut with scissors effectively.
I totally use the fact that I am left-handed as an excuse,
and maybe I am right.

I mean, I am totally right.

So pumpkin-carving is completely outside of my skill set.

Growing up?
At some point I gave up even trying,
and drew an attempted glamorous face on my designated pumpkin with a Sharpie.

(By the way, I was not just inept.
I was like,
ahead of the curve on pumpkin art,
because I think drawing on pumpkins with Sharpies is a thing now.)

It wasn't pretty.
But whatever.
I was not going to magically develop pumpkin carving skills,
and if I could choose skills to magically develop,
that would not be my first,
or tenth, or one millionth choice anyway.

So I kind of assigned myself pumpkin seed roasting job instead.
Because it is autumn!
I am way nicer, and more willing to cook and stuff.

I have escaped pumpkin carving for years,
with this clever diversion.

Or, nobody wants to see my sad, badly carved pumpkin.
Or listen to me complain about how much I do not want to be carving pumpkins.

But I do make up for my pumpkin carving ineptitude,
by making very excellent roasted pumpkin seeds.

I have confirmation on their excellence from totally unbiased sources,
such as Matt and my daughters.
Matt might be kind to spare my feelings,
but the girls totally would not.

And so?
Since I am all autumnal bliss and all?

I am sharing my mostly whatever is in my house at the time,
non-recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.

In case you want to get out of gourd gutting,
or be an overachiever,
and both carve and cook?

Plus, look how festive they are!

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Whatever You Have In Your House, Plus Pumpkin Seeds, Non-Recipe, by Allison:

1. Get pumpkins.

You can be very photo-op wholesome and go on a hayride and pick out pumpkins,
if that is your thing.

Or, you can have horrible morning with squabbling children,
and then decide to buy pumpkins you see on your way to the gym after school drop-off,
in the vague hope that aforementioned squabbling children will be chastened by festive pumpkins when they get home from school,
and behave like civilized, non-squabblers.

Guilt pumpkins?

That's how I rolled this year.
But this is a non-recipe. Get your pumpkins however you want.

2. Get other people to carve pumpkins.

This is helpful if you are terrible at carving pumpkins,
or just don't want to.
It seems like most people -
(for example, everyone in my house but me)
actually like carving pumpkins, so you should be able to find somebody.

3. Get those people to scoop out the pumpkin guts.
They should do that, they are carving them, it's part of the job.

4. Get them to also separate the seeds from the rest of the gourd goop.
Bribe them with delicious roasted pumpkin seeds for their labor,
or whatever works.
This is a non-recipe, and I haven't even gotten to the part with ingredients yet.

5. Run into your house with the de-gooped pumpkin seeds,
 so you don't have to clean up the rest of the pumpkin carving stuff,
because that is gross,
 and to be avoided if you time it right.

6. Get a cookie sheet or baking tray or something, and mist it with olive oil,
or somehow make it nonsticky with spray stuff or whatnot.
This is a non-recipe, I do not judge.

7. Go look in your spice drawer.
If you don't have a spice drawer,
go look on the shelf where you keep random spices.

8. Sprinkle whatever you have onto the pumpkin seeds.
Seriously, this is a non-recipe.
And I use different stuff each year,
because I never remember what I used the previous year,
 and who knows what is in my spice drawer at any given time?

Not me, that's for sure.
This year, it was nutmeg, garlic powder, dark chili powder, sea salt.

I added cayenne pepper to the ones I ate,
because I was in the mood and also happened to have cayenne pepper in my spice drawer.

9. Put the tray of seasoned with whatever seeds in your oven.
Set your oven at 425, or something like that.
I can never remember what temperature for what,
so mostly things I cook are at 425.
If you know a better way, do that.

10. Cook them until they are done.
Before they burn, but make sure they are crunchy.
You can tell by poking at them.
(That pretty much works for anything, honestly.)

11. Put more stuff on them if you want.
Or not.
This is a non-recipe, you do whatever you like.

12. Take photos of your delightfully roasted seeds,
feed them to the people that have carved and cleaned up the pumpkins,
and yourself, of course.

Remember to feel smug and pleased with yourself.
They taste better that way.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cotton Candy Should Not Exist, It Is Neither Cotton Nor Candy, And Probably Made Out Of Clowns Or Unicorn Fur: A Diatribe, by Allison

So,  I am in a state of autumnal bliss.

1.It's not hot outside.
Like, at all.

2. Therefore, I am probably,
at least sometimes,
way nicer than when I am in chronic "It's too sunny,
I don't like popsicles or outdoor sports" mood,
otherwise known as May Through Whenever It Ends,
 Please Don't Ruin Back To School Outfits,
I Am Tired Of Summer mood.

3. I get to initiate the ceremonial Changing Of  The Closets!
My favorite closet-related ceremony ever!

4. And last but not least?
No more Cotton Candy grapes!

I wish I didn't know Cotton Candy grapes were a thing.
Because they totally should not be a thing.

I would not have even known they were a thing,
except last year I accidentally bought some at the grocery.

The girls were all "Yay!
You bought the Cotton Candy grapes!"
And I was all, "What are you talking about?"
Because, honestly.
 I bought green grapes because there was a display,
and I was buying produce,
because I am saintly, fruits and vegetables procuring mother,
give me a gold star.

I didn't know I had to scrutinize the fruits and vegetables for corrupted,
Willy Wonka infected flavors.

The girls were all, "Didn't you notice the big pink label saying Cotton Candy?"
And I was all, "Obviously not!
What did they do to those poor grapes?
You know my stance on Cotton Candy,
do you think I would ever,
ever on purpose buy anything with Cotton Candy in the name?"

The girls are like, "Please give us the grapes,
 please do not start talking about Cotton Candy being sugary fur."

And I was like, "Have you met me?'

Because Cotton Candy is just one of my mortal enemies.
And I have my reasons.

What reasons, you may ask?
(You know you want to know my reasons.
They are totally real, valid, and true.)

And I may answer, "Short version or long version?
(Trick question! There is no short version, ever.)

Cotton Candy Should Not Exist, It Is Neither Cotton Nor Candy,
And Probably Made Out Of Clowns Or Unicorns: A Diatribe, by Allison

So, it is a known fact that circuses are bad and wrong,
there are sad elephants,
and bad outfits,
and clowns,
and bad people roaming around,
 trying to make you buy Cotton Candy.

Encased in plastic,
where it has lingered,
for at least ten years.
Most likely in some weird circus person's mom's basement.

There is nothing good that can come of that.

But it's a high pressure sale,
this fuzzy, pastel stuff on a cone.
Good luck avoiding the giant,
Dickensian orphan eyes of a child wanting Cotton Candy from the bad circus man.
This description applies to fairs, carnivals,
and other places featured in the opening scenes of horror movies.)

So, for two seconds,
there is a happy, totally non-Dickensian orphan child,
holding a cone of furry mystery.

If you are lucky,
and I am not there,
you might avoid an immediate,
pastel color commentary litany against the wretched mess.

For the unlucky?

"That is not Cotton.
That is not Candy.
You can't chew it.
It dissolves, inadequately.
It will ruin your outfit, your hair,
and anything within arm's reach.
It smells like tacky fake perfume.
And I am pretty sure it's made of either a clown's wig,
or unicorn fur."

I have always felt this way.

As a kid, I was thinking,
"This isn't candy.
I am kind of afraid it is unicorn fur. 
Should I say that out loud, or will that be weird?
Maybe it's not unicorn fur.
Maybe it's a clown wig.
Either way, I am not eating it.
You can't eat it anyway.
I am not dissolving it,
and have it ruin my specially chosen to avoid attention from clowns outfit."

I don't look good in pastels anyway.

I have only acquired more reasons to loathe,
and less of a taste for Cotton Candy, as time goes by.

Time goes by really slowly, FYI, when Cotton Candy is involved.

Whether you are trying to not have to buy it at creepy carnivals or sad circuses?

Or trying to find some way to unstick your belongings,
 after your child has abandoned the wig-fur cone,
 two seconds after begging and pleading for one from the bad circus hawker?

Or getting stuck running the Cotton Candy machine,
 at your kids' preschool Spring Carnival?
That is one of my Worst Volunteering Jobs Ever.
And that is saying a lot.
I wreck stuff all the time.

That Cotton Candy machine debacle is memorable.
First of all, I hate Cotton Candy.
I can't remember how I got stuck being in charge of that terrible carnival machine.
I am sure I did not sign up for it.
I actively avoid signing up for carnival machine volunteering,
it is one of my lifelong what-not-to-do's.

Second, have you ever tried to work one of those things?
There aren't like, instructions.
There are stacks of paper cones,
large cartons of pastel sticky crystals,
and large lines of children waiting for the magic to happen.

(Spoiler!!!! Not much magic was happening.)

I kind of figured it out, I had no choice.
Those kids were not messing around,
I had to produce something Cotton Candy-ish,
and there weren't any clown wigs nearby.

In fact, for maybe one minute,
I was Best Cotton Candy Carnival Machine Unwilling Volunteer Ever.

The sticky stuff swirls around,
and you have to really lean in to make the Totally Not Cotton Or Candy adhere to the cone.

The first few kids got what could be considered Cotton Candy on a cone.
After that, it's a blur.
Mostly because I was covered in blue sticky crystals,
even my eyelashes.
They stuck together.
I couldn't see, and again,
I did not sign up for this.

By the end,
I was kind of handing out globs of blue fuzz,
and actively telling myself not to refer to it as Cookie Monster's fur.

So, clearly,
I would never on purpose buy grapes infected with weird Cotton Candy flavoring.

It is bogus that I have to now check the produce section,
so I don't accidentally buy something horrifying,
resulting in PTSD carnival flashbacks.

Which is yet another reason I am in autumnal bliss.
Cotton Candy grapes only exist in the hazy, sticky, end-of-days late Summer.

Like expired sunscreen, I am throwing it out and moving on.

Red grapes match my fall outfits better, anyway.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pop Quiz, Hotshot! What Bizarre Thing Impaled My Shoe, And How Did I Not Notice It? , by Allison

So, as I was (reluctantly) tying my gym shoes on this morning,
I think I am hallucinating?

Or still asleep,
and somebody else got the kids to swim team and dance?

Or someone is trying to kill me,
in some sort of ironic noir scenario,
by skewering my gym shoes with an impaling instrument of some sort?

Note: That would be very clever strategy.
I hate wearing gym shoes,
and try to avoid looking at my feet when I am wearing them.

 So if someone is diabolical,
 and knows my weird thing about not liking gym shoes?

 That would be a good place to catch me off guard,
since I am not really looking at my stupid shoes,
 and cause a ridiculous injury or death,
via gym shoes.

Would never be investigated by the police,
because it is completely plausible,
to believe my gym shoes killed me.
I mean, it could happen.
I was almost done in by a fizzy vitamin at the airport once.


So I guess most pop quizzes don't have that much of a lead-up?
But how could you take the quiz if you didn't know the story, right?

For those of you still reading?

Pop Quiz, Hotshot!
What Bizarre Thing Impaled My Shoe,  And How Did I Not Notice It? , by Allison

So like I was saying way up there,
as I was tying my gym shoes this morning -

With my feet already in them.
I put them on without being skewered,
or even seeing there was a weapon stuck through my shoe.

Embarrassing, yes.
But weird enough that I am compelled to take photos,
and write a quiz-ish thing about it!

Because, honestly.

What is this????

It totally was not there yesterday, I swear.

I saw this sharp, pointy thing,
 when I was tying my shoe,
so I almost had an eyeball kabob situation going on as well.

Is it:

1. A splinter?
Can shoes get splinters?

2. Did my inherently evil gym shoes grow devil horns?

3. Maybe a humongous nail or whatever,
that was holding something important together,
and I don't know exactly what,
but am guessing I will find out,
when something falls apart,
 any minute?

4. Medieval torture device?
Possibly a souvenir,
from the Tower of London,
 that I forgot?
I am pretty sure we avoided those at the gift shop,
but I could be wrong.

5. Do I even want to know? 

6. None of the above?

If you chose answer 6, you get an A plus and a gold star!

I mean, I don't know if shoes can get splinters,
but it wasn't a splinter.

I would totally believe my gym shoes could grow devil horns,
but they didn't today. Yet.

It's not used to hold together anything currently in my house,
that thing got dropped off at dance,
30 minutes before impaling implement discovery.

But if you asked that thing,
which would be Thing Two,
my daughter, E?

She would probably pick medieval torture device.
Didn't come from Tower of London, though.

It came from the dance store.
It is one of those giant,
metal skull-scraping hairpins -
that she has to use to keep her bun in proper ballet bun order,
every day at dance.

So maybe partial credit if you guessed medieval torture device.

And, really, I didn't want to know what it was when I saw it looming at me,
so I guess if you chose answer 5 you are right, too.
Bronze medal, maybe?

Note: This is not for an actual grade.
Unless you want it to be!
I could totally give quizzes and essay tests,
I do that to my girls all the time!

And great grades would look fabulous on college or grad school applications!
almost as fabulous as internships!

I still don't know how the hairpin managed to impale my shoe.
I have mysteries to solve!
Which is Reason 1593428203292 Why I Really, Really Want An Intern.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Breaking News, It Is Hot Out!, or Yet Another Reason I Was Terrible Intern, by Allison

So I am headed to the girls' swim meet in a minute, and Breaking News!
It is the hottest day of the year, ever.

This is exactly the weather forecast from last Tuesday, swim meet, hottest day of the year, ever.

I am sensing a trend.

Like gauchos, or clogs, I do not like this trend.

But I am familiar with the stupid It Is Hot Outside Trend.

Behold! A story of maybe last summer?
I don't know.
It was hot.
I try to block it out.

Breaking News, It Is Hot Out!, or Yet Another Reason I Was Terrible Intern, by Allison:

So as I am doing my regular thing, care packages for camping children,
tea acquiring, gym, and such,
many conversations with various people all over the place go something like this:

Every Person:  "It's hot outside."

Me: "Sure is, it is very hot out."

Repeat one trillion times.

I am pretty sure the underlying message in all of these conversatons is actually
 "It is horrible that it is so hot outside,
it has caused my brain to melt,
so now all I can do is talk about how hot it is, to every person I see."

I may be putting my own spin on it,
because I hate the hot.

Super hate if it is hot AND sunny,
that is misery to me.

It means that I will be gross all day,
 and lifelong social conditioning and mean commercials make me feel like I am sluglike creature if I do not put on visor and go play tennis,
 and I also HATE tennis
(Balls come at you! Fast!
Also I look foolish in tennis clothes)
or put sprinklers on and give the kids popsicles,
while whimsically frolicking outside.
(It may not need to be said,
but I do not do whimsy or frolicking.)

No, thank you.

May I order some rain and fog and mist and trees?
 And more rain and also maybe a moor?
And include Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff,
 and possible sparkly vampires who like forest areas instead?

I choose that.

Trip to Ireland in which all of those above conditions were happening convinced me that is my ideal climate -- I was in heaven and TOTALLY have the wardrobe for it.

All of the conditions listed above were there except no awesome dudes from books, that would have been extra great and also would mean I would be even more deranged about the sun and the hot)

(Proof: Picture of Me in Ireland, very happy with the non-heat and non-sun.)

But I can't say that whole thing whenever anyone says "It's hot outside."

I will drive away even more people than usual,
 with my very long opinion on whatever it is that they innocuously bring up,
not realizing who they were dealing with,
 and they better pull up a chair.

Also, the "It's hot" conversations remind me of one of the very ridiculous things I did when I was an intern at a local TV station one summer during college.

I've already shared in previous post that I was Terrible Intern,
as evidenced by my wicked glee in mailing a recipe that was gross
(Note: But not poisonous! Am not evil)
that I made up out of random things and called Corn Fancy,
I would mail this to people who wrote in to the syndicated chef we aired asking for recipes and sometimes I would send that recipe out if the recipe-requester was a lunatic
(Note: There were a lot of lunatics, and I don't mean the fun ones, I mean the tape your cat's hair to the letter type),
I detailed that crime in another post a while ago (, this is different awful thing.

As intern, I did a whole bunch of stuff at the station,
which was actually very cool unless it involved something lame I did not want to do,
that part was NOT cool.

But still.

Sometimes if there was time to fill on the show that day,
I would get assigned a very ludicrous nonsense story,
 and go off with totally sad cameraman to tape it.
(Note: Because I was unpaid intern,
I was not allowed to be on camera,
only my voice and hand holding microphone would be seen,
which now that I think of it, that could have been total lie and they just did not want me on camera,
in which case I am glad they lied,
 because that would have been very disheartening to hear)

(Also note: Was excellent for me anyway that I was not on camera,
 because now there is no proof of any of the ridiculousness I got myself up to,
 unless I willingly write about it)

This station had plenty of actual news to cover,
we were not in small tiny town where not a thing is going on,
and you have to make up nonsense stories.


Here's the part where I go off on a tangent,
but it is relevant and also awesome,
so bear with me.

Speaking of nonsense news stories,
the town in which we have lived for over a decade is also not tiny no-stoplight town,
things go on here,
plus also there is national and international news as well.

But the day we moved here,
 the newspaper front cover,
above the fold front page story was:
"Buzz The Cat Survives Arrow Attack."

 Is insane and also awesome,
but slightly troubling because we now live in a town where not only is this front page news -

But it means people shoot arrows at cats here?
Which seems kind of Daniel Boone-ish or Serial Killer In Training.
Neither are appealing to me.

Also Matt saw that headline and was all,
 "Um, Allison, told you we should have moved up North."

So I get all,
"You don't know that, there are probably tons of people shooting cats with arrows in Baltimore or wherever further up you tried to drag me. 
It is just not in the paper in those places because people are also shooting other people,
with or without arrows,
and that is more important than the cat attacks,
which I am sure are happening there too."

And he is all, "Ug."

But we already live here so point is moot,
other than the point I was originally making which was:

 Buzz Arrow Attack is a very non-news story,
 that does not need to be in the newspaper,
except for entertainment purposes,
 to horrify newcomers into thinking they have moved into Deliverance 2: Now We Are After The Animals! Town.

Totally worked, evil geniuses behind Buzz The Cat Survives Arrow Attack.

Well played.


I am back to my Terrible Intern story now,
if you can harken back to the time in which you were reading about that,
 and not freaking out about what is going on in my town.

So I would get assigned these silly non-stories to fill time,
 and it usually meant very bored and sad cameraman and I would go out and do some story,
which was always a variation of:

Please Fill Three Minutes Of Time, We Don't Care What It Is About.

This particular assignment came to mind today when having many conversations with people that boiled down to, "It's hot out."

(Remember when I was talking about that a long time ago before I went off-topic several times?
That was fun.)

So the non-news segment bitter and sad cameraman and I were tasked with was, "It's hot outside."

Seriously, that was the assignment:
It is hot out,
do something on that for three minutes.

So I am already grumpy because it is hot and I have established that makes me automatically total grump,
but also now this is ridiculous assignment and cameraman is all,
"Yeah, you figure it out and tell me where to drive."
(Note: cameraman always had to drive me to nonsense stories,
for some legal or otherwise very smart reason they did not let me drive giant news truck,
I giggle thinking about all the havoc I could have wreaked as Terrible Intern if I had gotten ahold of a news truck)

So my idea for non-news story is not,
children in sprinklers, something something cheerful,
because remember I am grumpy and hate hot.

My idea was,
what is the worst job you could possibly have when it is hot outside?

Because if I have to do a story on "It's hot out,"
it is going to be "It's HOT out, and hot SUCKS,
and here's how it totally sucks."

So I decide?
(Note:  that was the fun part about these non-stories,
 and really much of what I got up to as Terrible Intern,
I was left to my own devices,
which is clearly NOT a good call on their part)

The worst job in the HOT is the dudes who are laying tar
(Query? Is that what it is called still?
I think that may be colloquialism,
there may be actual term like "putting down asphalt on a road with big truck rolly thing" or such,
no idea,
I was told at young age the thing they were doing was "laying tar,"
so that is what I call it,
let me know if I am totally off)
in big rolly thing truck wearing hat and full tar-layer man outfit.

Not sure why I decided that was worst job,
except for the fact that it seems like a very un-fun thing to do when it is boiling hot out,
so that was that.

Cameraman is super sad as he drives me around,
while we look for someone doing this bad job in the HOT,
because I do not know if there is anyone actually doing that job right now.

Cameraman is about to kill me,
 but finally we find giant rolly thing and tar appliers in big yellow suits.

And then I have to convince them that I am not crazy person
(Note: Am crazy person,
but in this instance in this task,
was not being crazy, or maybe was,
but was allowed to be doing the crazy anyway)
and we really did want to interview them about how much their job sucked because it was hot out.

 But guess what?

I am GENIUS Terrible Intern!!

They TOTALLY thought their job sucked because it was hot,
and had lots of different reasons why,
and I got my non-news story!

And I have no idea what the News Director thought,
because I did not want to know.

It did get aired, though.

And one of the tar-layers asked me for my autograph,
which was hysterical,
and the cameraman laughed so hard camera shook, but still.

Am famous now.

So Lessons For Today:

1. Do not hire me as intern, I am Terrible Intern.

2. Do not engage me in "It's hot" conversation because I will either be super grumpy because it is hot,
 or force you to listen to the above story,
thus causing all the groceries in your car to spoil and you to question my sanity.

3. Do not get tar-applier job in the summer.

4. Do not shoot cats with arrows,
or anything with arrows, unless you are learning archery for next Hunger Games movie or in Olympics,
and if you are doing that,
shoot at the target thing with the bulls-eye,
not cats.

Buzz has been through enough already.

5. And I have to pack up for swim now, so it goes without saying, I could really, really use an intern.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

No Rest For The Wicked, No Respite For The Weary. Please Send Intern And Sunblock, by Allison

So, Summer is upon us.
I know this,
for sure.

Even without the stupid sun and hot weather torturing me?
Melting my brain and lip balm?

I know it's Summer.


1. There are no more end of year recitals,
dance productions,
concerts, graduations,
and other things I may have totally missed?

Because that aforementioned list of things?
Signifies the end of the school year.

2. Also?
Before that aforementioned list of things,
signifying end of school year?

There were rehearsals.

Lots of rehearsals.
For all of the aforementioned list of things.
Some (most) involving costumes.

And now?
All of those things are done.
(Or are they???
I don't know.
My brain is melting from the heat, already.)

3. But the brief respite from these events?

There is no actual respite,
brief or not.

These things overlap,
 like Venn  Diagram Of There Is No Way I Can Do All Of This.
I make the executive decision -
Since I cannot clone myself?
Or alter the space/time continuum?

Though that could be helpful around this time of year?

There must be a respite.

Or there will be blood -
or other ominous movie title type thing,
indicating mayhem and madness.

Respite, please?

4. No such luck.


Or blink away tears of despair?
And you miss it.


Totally immediately interrupted.


Meet your mortal enemy:
Swim Team.

Which started practice two weeks ago,
back up there,
 in the blur of End of the Year stuff we were doing.



Ruined by the following delightful sisterly exchanges,
scented with chlorine and sunblock:

-"Where are my goggles?"

-"You stole my goggles"

-"Those are my goggles!"

-"Where is my bathing suit?
Not that one, the other one!"

-"You stole my bathing suit!"

-"Where are all the towels???"

-"MOOOOM, all the towels are dirty!"

5. And my responses:

-"You have got to be kidding me.
We own 100000 pairs of goggles.

You all have 3000 bathing suits.

And the towels are in the laundry pile,
because you all refuse to hang them up,
and they are now making all of your orchestra,
and dance costumes,
and end of year concert clothes all gross.

Because I haven't had time to wash the End Of School stuff.
Never mind the ten thousand dance things,
 stained with stage makeup.

And seriously?
Two zoo field trip bags, and field day?

Camp forms, already?

I have had NO RESPITE!

No respite at all.

And now I am thinking I am spelling respite incorrectly.
But I am too lazy
Worn out from the lack of any sort of respite)
to Google check myself.

And though I am having a No Respite Rant?

All of the above End of Year festivities were cool.

Not in any way possible to absorb, and flew past in a blur of Really?
Third thing today?????

But cool.

And swim team is great,
and fabulous team and cool sport.

So if I don't melt from the heat,
 or go deranged from Chronic Hunt For Goggles?

Yay, Go Blue Dolphins!

And if I do melt
/go deranged/

I can always divert myself by staging a flash mob at the swim banquet.


No telling what I will do,
when deprived of my well-earned respite.

For the sake of humanity,
or at least anyone having to deal with me?

If I can't get a respite?

I really, really could use an intern.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Crimes Against Fashion, Violin Parking, And Impersonating A Police Officer: Citizens Arrests Gone Wrong! by Allison

So, the other day on the way to school?
No good songs on the radio.
Music always soothes the savage beasts -
at least the ones driving or riding in my car, anyway.

And to prevent boredom or squabbling,
I start up a conversation on something random.

As I read that sentence I just wrote up there?

I think that might sum up my entire existence.

But on that particular day,
the random conversation centered on citizen's arrests.
That is how much of a nerd I am.

Impromptu Civics Lessons!

I don't  totally remember how the conversation started.
And the ride to school isn't long enough for me to thoroughly impart my wisdom,
 or lack thereof.

V's history class had been learning about citizen's arrests,
and she and her sisters were delighted by the prospect of dispensing judgment on any crimes,
or annoying things,
within their jurisdiction of The Universe.

I had like thirty seconds to throw in that I was pretty sure citizens arrests worked better in the medieval ages,
and there are rules involved,
but I can't remember them right now.
I don't remember anything clearly before 8 am,
especially when I am under-caffeinated.

My basic summation of citizens arrests was:

 "It's like the Scooby Doo gang,
 solving mysteries and detaining the bad guy,
 who could have gotten away with it,
 if it hadn't been for those meddling kids."

And then I am like:

"Do not tell anyone I said that.
Go look it up in books and Write A Document on it.
It will be fun!"

Why do I come up with these things?
I am an idiot.

Named Pandora, and I have just opened a box.
What is in it . . .?
Why has everyone been so quiet?
That is always a bad sign.
What is all this yellow paper?

What havoc have I inadvertently wreaked,
because I didn't want to listen to Pitbull on the radio,
and decided to give half-baked Impromptu Civics Lesson instead?

Turns out?.

The girls are really prolific citizens,
with extremely ludicrous judgment in making arrests.

(Note: There may be a genetic predisposition towards prolific lunacy.

Crimes Against Fashion, Violin Parking, And Impersonating A Police Officer:
Citizens Arrests Gone Wrong, by Allison

The girls have been busy.
Being insane.
Tickets are handed out for crimes including:

1. Being Annoying
2. Illegal Violin Parking
3. Bad Singing
4. Shoes on Couch (That is a rule! Thank you, Citizen!!! )
5. Plaid Pants
6. Name Calling
7. Giraffe Socks
8. Illegal Computer Parking
9. Being Rude And Sassy To a Cop


10. Being A Fake Cop, Federal Arrest

Note: That makes no sense.
How embarrassing, I was a government major.

I need to teach them what citizen means,
and that they should say police officer,
not cop,
when they are referring to a police officer,
and again, none of them are police officers,
or cops,
that is the whole point of citizen's arrest.

I knew I needed more time for that Impromptu Civics Lesson!

We are also totally out of those sticky notes now, too.

I am thinking if I had one, I'd write a reminder to myself that I really, really, really could use an intern.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fabulously Good Kale Chip Non-Recipe, Or, Why I Will Never Be Asked To Write A Cookbook, by Allison

So, in honor of St. Patrick's Day,
I have figured out my non-recipe for kale chips-
 (They are festively green! ) that are magically delicious.

When I say non-recipe,
I mean:
Not an actual recipe,
 because I hate recipes.
They are very bossy, and lists are involved.
 And they are not open for discussion.
So? Nonstarter, right there.

I totally did figure out how to make kale chips,
 that are totally good and taste nothing like kale,
but are totally, shockingly not decadent.
I know that to be true, I made them!.

And I kind of should write it down before I forget.

Fabulously Good Kale Chip Non-Recipe, Or, Why I Will Never Be Asked To Write A Cookbook, by Allison:

1. Acquire kale.

2. Make sure it is all kale.
I have had a Very Unfortunate Incident Involving Fire Alarm,
when using what I thought was kale,
 but was in fact kale mix.
And spring mix and spinach hiding in there?
 Do not want to turn into kale chips, or anything good.

3. Get a pan or baking tray or whatever,
and put the amount of olive oil one of my small spoons holds,
smearing it on the whatever tray.

I don't use measuring cups or spoons, because?
I can't find them,
and I don't like how they all have to be washed,
 when you just need a little bit of olive oil,
and that is tedious.
Also, I am inherently lazy.

So, like a small amount. Not a regular spoon amount.

4. Tear up the kale.
Into whatever sized things,
chip sized things.
You can pull off the leaves (?) and not use the stems,
if you are extremely "this tastes like kale, no thank you"  type.

I leave stems in,
because ripping leaves off would take too much time,
and I am inherently lazy.

5. Put the kale pieces on the tray.
See, easy!!

6. Throw whatever seasoning stuff you have, that you like,
on the kale tray.
I use sea salt and crushed red pepper,
because I put that on everything.
And therefore, know where it is in our house.
But this is a non-recipe, you do whatever you want.

7. Put a little bit more olive oil in a small spoon the size of the small spoon I used.

8. Fling it at the kale.
You can add entertainment by saying "En Guarde!"
Or "Voila!"
Or "Wonder Twins Power, Activate!"
Flinging is fun.

9. Put tray in the oven.
Don't worry about pre-heating, unless you want to.
I never ever do,
because if I pre-heat it,
when I open the oven,
it is all hot.
Way more likely to injure myself or mess up my makeup.

10. Temperature for oven?
I'm not totally sure.
I kind of spin the dial,
I like the roulette type of game of chance.
But probably 425 or something around that.

11. Leave the kale in the oven for however long it takes for them to be done.

This is a non-recipe,
so I don't feel guilty about the fact that I have no linear idea of how long I cook stuff.
I hate the timer.
It is a pain to set - and I am inherently lazy.

Sometimes it is wrong, that timer.
The thing isn't done yet, or is burnt.
Stupid timer doesn't know.

I certainly don't.
My best guess for the kale chips?
 Time frame:

-how long it takes for me to semi-dry my hair,
until I think the phone is ringing,
 or someone is saying my name.

-how long it takes for me to check email,
if there is nothing I want to actually deal with,
 and I am ignoring siren call shopping.

-dealing with laundry until I get extremely grumpy.

So, I think ten minutes?

I don't know.
This is a non-recipe.
They should be turning crunchy.

12. My time-honored gauge of "Poke at it" works.
When it's crunchy,
but still green, it's done.
Not the same color green that went in the oven.
But not black and scorched.

Go for like,
 that dark Charleston green, used to paint porches and window shutters?
 About that color green.

13. Take them out of the oven.
If you can't find any oven mitts?

I am not judging here.
This is a non-recipe.
If you have no oven mitts,
and have used all other things that could serve as impromptu oven mitt?

Open the oven, and use a spatula or similar,
and scrape them onto a plate.

14. Then put whatever seasoning -
 I used more crushed red pepper,
because I like crushed red pepper flakes.

You use whatever you like, that is a seasoning type thing.
This is a Choose Your Own Adventure Non Recipe.

15. And then you have really very excellent kale chips!!
You have the reason why no one will ever,
ever ask me to write a cookbook.

It would be 10000 pages long, and a lot of it won't be about food.

Reason Number 8,379,308 - why I really, really want an intern.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Just Because We Have A Wigs, Festive Hats, And Costumes Closet Does NOT Mean I Am A Neon Ancient Camel, by Allison

So, by now,
being the person who knows where stuff is in our house?
(Note: Except for keys, or my wallet.

I am used to getting weird,
or urgent - or urgently weird - or weirdly urgent -
requests for some random thing to be found.

Sometimes for no reason I can understand.
Always on a timetable of "Now."

Lost blankets,
dance bags,
the other shoe?
Practice makes perfect, I suppose.

Because after one million times hunting for those things?
I am good the fine art of:
 it is too right by your desk,
 even if you said it isn't,
 it is, told you so,
I am always right."

I should probably teach myself how to find my own belongings,
but I am too busy looking for everyone else's stuff.

I am saint-like, really.

But I am not a magician.
At all.
I am really and truly creeped out by magicians.

They are in the same general category of "Run away!!"
as mimes,
and people needing directions.

Plus, I only approve of top hats when used in Bob Fosse-style dance numbers,
no rabbits appearing,

And since I am not a magician?
(Which?  Good thing, because I don't like magicians anyway)

I cannot magically locate things that DON"T EXIST IN MY HOUSE.

Such as?

Camel Costume.

Not kidding,
V asked one day, right before leaving for school:
"Um, Mom?
Do you happen to have a camel costume I can borrow?"

I was like, "Are you insane? No!
Have you ever seen a camel costume in our Wigs,
Festive Hats, and Costume closet???"


I Totally Have A Wigs, Festive Hats, And Costume Closet! Organization, by Allison

 Our house is full of mysteries.:

1.There is a calendar from 1872 in our attic, and we just noticed it last year.

2. That attic also has a secret, weird closet.
Proof! (

3. There are hieroglyphics or something on the door to the English basement.
 Is fancy term for, dirt under the front porch basement space,
 where we keep paint cans,
 strollers I thought we gave away,
 until I saw them when I had to go in the English basement dirt area for paint the other day,
 and Matt has hung an Elmo beach towel in it, as well.
 For ambiance?)

4. We have a coal chute!

5. That leads to a coal room!

6. We don't use coal for any purpose,
and that coal room is full of Christmas dishes and other kitchen stuff I never use,
or forget I own,
because I don't go in the coal room.

7. We also have lots of closet space,
which was very thoughtful of the guys who built this house in Ye Olden Days.

8. One of those closets has been appropriated by me for housing:
Festive Hats, and Costumes.
Dance Costumes separated from Regular Costumes.

It may be the most organized thing in our house,
this closet.

I can find the bird wig from Cinderella two years ago, in thirty seconds!
(I know this,
 because recently E urgently needed the bird wig from Cinderella,
like NOW.
And I went to the wig section in the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet,
and found it in thirty seconds.

And then I was really offended -
she was not impressed at the speed in which I found the wig,
in our organized Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet.
I was like, "E, you know?
I don't think most people would be able to find a bird wig that fast. "

And she was like, "Where are your keys and your purse?"

I had no idea, but that was not my point.

Want a hyena skullcap? 
(I'm never wearing it, it scares me.
It is from The Lion King dance production a few years ago.
That show has a whole section in the costumes department of our closet:
Safari Animal Unitards.)

Viking Helmet with horns and braids?
(From Disney Norway.)

At least ten garish St. Patrick's Day Green Spangly Leprechaun Pimp Hats?
(Blame Dublin for those.)

Calico prairie dress for fourth grade Olden Days day?

Betsy Ross costume? (?????)

Mardi Gras garb? Wolf ears?

Mouse ears, both Mickey and Dance Costume options?

It's full of the most random, yet organized Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes!
(The floor of the closet is covered by All Of The Backpacks The Girls Made Me Buy And Don't Use Anymore,
Otherwise Known As Exhibit A In Why I Am Not Buying Any More Backpacks.)

And the reason I went off on this tangent?
Everybody in this house knows we have a Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet.
And in it, are our wigs, festive hats, and costumes.

Accessible to all.
If there is a camel costume, it would be in that closet.

I am glad there isn't one - the hyena and water buffalo are weird enough.

But V should totally know if we do or don't have a camel costume -
(Note: Again, for the record: we do not have a camel costume)

Because if we did (we don't),
it would be in the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costume closet.

Tangent Kind Of Over!

Only kind of, though.
Because in the span of a week?

M wakes me up one morning with:
 "Can I borrow your frumpy, old lady clothes?"

And I am all,  "Excuse me?
What? I don't have anything frumpy in my closet!
Go get the prairie dress thing or Betsy Ross from the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet.
I am totally insulted, by the way."

Her attempt to dig out of the sartorial insult hole she had dug was:
"It's the 100th day of school, and I have to dress like I am 100 years old."

I was like, "Yes, what does that have to do with my closet?"

And she's like, "Is there anything really frumpy and grandma looking I can borrow?"

And I was like, "No! Go get the prairie thing.
I had to order that dumb dress from Vermont when V was in fourth grade for the Ye Olden Days day, use that."

And she was like, "No, that is really unflattering."

And I was like, "Yes, I know, that is why it is in the Costume Department."

And she was like, "Hmmm. Ok!
Old ladies have lots of diamonds and pearls.
Can I borrow your jewelry?"

And I was like, "Nice try."

And maybe two days later?

E wakes me up ?
(I do not want this to become a thing.
Am not a morning person, on a good day.)
Asking to borrow a "tacky neon shirt and acid wash jeans" -

I thought I was having a nightmare,
because we don't use those words in our house.

After I realize I am awake,
and my daughter thinks I have neon clothes and bad jeans in my closet?

I am all, "NO, I don't have any of that, are you kidding?
Also, why?
Neon? Shh, it's too early to be so bright. "

And E is like, "It's for Throwback Thursday."

And I am like, "Throwback to what?
When did you ever wear neon or acid wash jeans?
Throwback for you is like, a smocked dress and a hairbow in your hair."

And E is all, "Everyone knows Throwback Thursday is ugly 1980's clothes."

And I am all (internally) :
Those devious FB overlords are hitting two generations with this?

I am all (out loud):
"Stop being ridiculous. I don't have anything neon or acid wash. "

And then I remember:
"Wait , E -  you were 1980's girl for Halloween two years ago.
You have that mess,
in the Costume portion of the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costume closet.
Use yours.
Throwback to fourth grade Halloween."

Apparently that doesn't count.

I do not know why I am curating the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet so carefully.

I do know that "Do you have a camel costume?"
has become a standing "I can't find the thing I am looking for, where is it?" in-house joke in this house.

It is meant to diffuse my righteous indignation at having to locate a perfectly locatable thing.
It sometimes works.

But mostly reminds me - I really, really, really could use an intern.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Beware Of Mayonnaise And Serial Killers! It's Friday The 13th! Advice by Scarlett O'Hara and Allison

So, it is definitely for sure Friday the 13th.

Look out for the ladders. 
Don't let a piano fall on you.

Don't open the basement door!
Can't you hear the ominous music???

Friday the 13th brings bad luck.
I put mayonnaise on my food on purpose.

I hate mayonnaise.
It is vile and gross.
It is globby.
It leaves sluggish residue that does not go away no matter what anyone says.

It is the signature ingredient in most 1970's Picnic Food.

Mayonnaise has TOTALLY ruined countless restaurant orders over the years.

( Note: Restaurant people who really don't want to have to cook a whole other thing,
 just because the cursed condiment is drenching my food - causing me to screech?
 And stop, drop and roll -  like it is fire?

You can't wipe it off a hamburger bun and pass that off as mayonnaise-free.
Mayonnaise won't go away once you put it on stuff.
You cannot get rid of it, no matter how hard you try.

Kind of like Beetlejuice.
Or glitter.


Mystery At McDonalds: What Awful Wrong  Did They Give Us?  What Horrible Thing Is In The Kid Play Area?
Fun or Foul? by Allison

Back in Ye Olden Days?
(Note: Not that olden, I am still very, very young)

Before I saw Fast Food Nation?
Before they had to tell you what was in the food?
Before I had young children?

In college, my sister and I would drive out of our way,
to go to this one particular McDonalds,
just to see how badly they would get our order,
and in what way.

We kept track of the below absurdities,
which for some reason was the most hilarious thing ever,
 every time.
And they never let us down!
Categories included:

1. Wrong Food Order In Two Or More Wrong Ways.
2. Ice Cream Upside Down In A Bag.
3. Correct Food Order, Uncooked.
4. Wrong Food Order, Uncooked.
5. Forgetting We Were There At The Drive Thru Entirely For Fifteen Minutes Or More
6. MAYONNAISE on Wrong Food Order, Bonus Screeching If Uncooked As Well
7. MAYONNAISE on Correct Food Order, Ruining It, It Will Never Be Right Again.

The only thing that didn't happen - our Holy Grail, our Great White?

They never gave us a Filet-O-Fish.
It was super fun activity, though, because we could not figure out WTF?

Were they in there drinking the cleaning fluid they were NOT using on the kiddie play areas?

Were they truly flummoxed by the menu options and what is and is not cooked?

Did they eat all the uncooked stuff and get bird flu or mad cow disease?

Were they messing with us on purpose and laughing just as much as we were,
thinking of us driving away with our Whichever Category Of Wrong?

No Clue.
Those are the only instances I tolerated being around mayonnaise, because it was on our list of things that could go wrong,
and I wasn't going to eat it anyway,
and that was fun.

Only fun memory of mayonnaise.

Or McDonalds.
Here comes the foul part, the fun was up there just now.

When the girls were younger,
and would have be ruined forever if they entered a McDonalds,
or so I had been told?

(Note: That is kind of true.

Nutritionally, I leave that to the experts,
 and they have well and fully convinced my girls that McDonalds is salty poison.
Thanks, Experts!.

I am talking about the disgusting,
 filthy kid play areas.

They put little chairs in there,
 to lure your kids into throwing fits,
or breaking free and running,
 into that petri dish of yuk.

I am fairly sure the kid play tube/ slide things,
are not cleaned regularly.

Or ever.

The ball pits?
Never ever.

Items we have been handed by our children -
things they found in various play areas?

1. Cigarette Lighter
2. Grown-up-person-sized underwear
3. Socks, of various sizes and grossness
4. Hair Extentions
5. Used dirty diaper
(V is no dummy,
she just told us there was one up in the tube thing,
leading to the slide,
she didn't hand it to us)

And I have heard of worse, from traumatized friends.
Not listing those.

That would be hearsay.

And therefore struck from the official record.
The official record of this sub-tangent,
of this tangent of this story.

I am helping the fact checkers,
for when somebody ever decides Post - Apocalyptic Teen Strife is done.
Shark has jumped.
And rambling weird stories,
covered in green tea, is next big thing?

And whole books of my nonsense are like, the new black.
I'm helping the pretend future fact checkers!
By not writing about stuff  I cannot prove is true.

Because that would be a sucky job, fact checking my ridiculousness.
"Hey, I need to verify that Allison had a hobo on the roof. . ."

I am so planning ahead for the benefit of others!
I am saint-like, really.

Also, I remember everything!
Not always a good thing.
But in some instances,
like remembering what I was talking about,
way up there when I started writing this.
I meander, maybe?

But I know what I was meaning to say.
What bad luck siren was calling me?


And you know, I hate mayonnaise.
 It is a blight upon the world.

And ruiner of endless things people have tried to get me to eat,
but I won't.
Because I know there is mayonnaise in there,
or you just wiped it off.
Mayonnaise leaves its DNA, in the form of goo.

Matt's brother loves like, putting his food in a mayonnaise bath.
It is not something I can watch.
I have been like, "Matt, you can tell him he doesn't have consume that just to mess with me."
And Matt's like, "He's not messing with you, he likes extra mayonnaise."

Tuna salad.

I understand it is the required goo to hold the stuff together,
so must be tolerated, if you want tuna salad.

Because I decide my own made-up rules,
 I am allowed to make exceptions,
and sometimes I want tuna salad.

And I can tolerate the mayonnaise,
and I have a theory on that:

On tuna salad, mayonnaise is serving a purpose.
Making itself useful, being glue goo.

Contributing, instead of blopped all over otherwise good food things,
like a gooey, will go bad,
and your hair will be really gross,
wet blanket on the food.

Who would want to eat such a thing?

Apparently, because it is Friday the 13th -
And I am NOT opening the door everyone knows the bad thing is hiding behind.
Because of the soundtrack, duh.

I bad lucked myself!
 I put mayonnaise on my food on purpose.

Look for flying pigs,
or the devil asking to borrow a sweater,

Until four this Friday the 13th afternoon?
I would have said that you could find a unicorn,
holding a four leaf clover,
and the directions to Atlantis,
before you would find me willingly putting mayonnaise on my food.

It is kind of Matt's fault.

He has hearts of romaine lettuce as a snack.
I am a chronic romaine lettuce procurer as a result,
but he has a lot to deal with wrangling me,
I will supply him lettuce (unless I forget).
I will buy lettuce everywhere I go (that sells lettuce),

I normally ignore his lettuce,
 and put spinach and kale in smoothies,
 so I can cross "eat green stuff" off of my Things I Should Probably Do list.
But the other day,
 I hijacked his lettuce for myself for lunch -
 since I was too tired from the gym,
 and I am inherently lazy anyway,
 and didn't feel like hunting and gathering.

So I made tuna salad and a ridiculous amount of lettuce.

It was fabulous.

I am now an even more frequent procurer of lettuce.
I am loving the lettuce.

This is slightly concerning me,
because Matt's lettuce is my new favorite thing to eat,
and I am afraid I might be turning into a rabbit.

Specifically my nightmare :
The Easter Bunny.

Talk about bad luck.
I would be the worst Easter Bunny ever,
that fact has already been established through anecdotal evidence,
such as:

1. Being terrified of people wearing rabbit costumes.

2. Not wanting to make Easter baskets full of candy,
 and that wretched fake grass that never goes away.

3. No way am I going near eggs and colorful dye for a craft.
I hate crafts.

4. Filling those plastic ones with candy is boring.

5. I look awful in pastels.

But I am having fun with my lettuce/tuna thing.
And at four in the afternoon this Friday the 13th,
I put extra mayonnaise on the tuna and lettuce.

Not blobbed on top where I could see it, of course.
That would be gross.

But I actively put more than required for salad goo glue.

I am troubled by this.
Because I know I hate mayonnaise.

I feel like a traitor to myself.
I Am My Own Benedict Arnold ,
If He Was A Turncoat Over Mayonnaise Instead Of The Revolutionary War.

I am blaming it on Friday the 13th.
I know its reputation is Bad Luck Day,
especially in horror movies,
and people who don't like to fly on airplanes, anyway.

It's not really about changing your mind on whether you like or don't like mayonnaise.
I realize my situation is probably not considered traditional Bad Luck.

I don't care, because it is Very Bad Luck,
 if this mayonnaise thing becomes a thing.
My version of Bad Luck, so I would know.

For my own safety,
 I am writing on the computer,
 instead of opening creaky doors.
or hanging out with chainsaw toting people in overalls,
or eating anything that may have ever been near mayonnaise.

Because what if this Very Bad Luck lasts seven years,
like breaking a mirror?

Or the Very Bad Luck jinxes me,
and I won't get good songs on the radio during carpool?

Or worse, if owls like mayonnaise on their eyeballs snacks,
and they find me?

Worst Very Bad Luck ever.

To safeguard against this,
 I am going to have to cut back on this lettuce thing, too.
It is the gateway food of this whole mayonnaise curse.

What if I willingly put mayonnaise on lettuce again?

I can't handle changes to my Lifelong, Steadfast ,
Ridiculous Behavior And Belief System.

Too risky,
plus now it's Very Bad Luck.

Also, I really, really don't want to turn into the Easter Bunny.

So I am kind of panicking about mayonnaise and turning into a giant rabbit -

(Note: I realize that the above sentence,
taken out of context,
or maybe even still within this context,
is ludicrous.

But that doesn't mean it isn't both ludicrous and totally true,
and happening right now.

I don't think that I have panicked over those two things at the same time before!
I have totally panicked about both of them individually,
like one million times.)

 So as a distraction from this new bizarre concern of mine,
I am going to make a mixtape.

But what if bad luck is contagious and the computer gets it?
That would be bad luck for several people,
and the computer and neighbors hearing my fit.

I'm ditching the diversion strategy, since it isn't working,
 and I am writing about how it isn't working.

So it is like, double negative distraction.
Or a distracting distraction from a distraction attempt?
I don't know.
Too lazy to figure out how to diagram that sentence.

I shall employ my beloved and oft-used Scarlett O'Hara Strategy:

I am not going to think about it,
I will rely upon her sage advice:
 (Drat!!!  I knew I should have bought that curtain dress costume!)

I shall say fiddle dee dee,
I'll worry about that tomorrow.
At least the worrying about it tomorrow part.
I don't know how to fiddle,
or fiddle dee dee.

And tomorrow's not the 13th anymore!
Saved by the wisdom of Scarlett O'Hara.

I totally want that costume now.

I'll worry about that tomorrow.
Or, like, get an intern so somebody can worry about it today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Some Things Never Change. We Be Of One Blood, Thou and I. An Ode To E, by Allison

So,  I have been informed by my daughter E that having a birthday so close to Christmas is unfair and lame.

I think this is an opinion held my many people with close-to-other-giant-present-giving holidays?

Anyway, she would like some summer attention as well.
And I am all,
 "Are you kidding?
I get out in the hot and melt at swim meets!
That is attention.
I am saint-like, really.
You should write me a poem."

But drat.
She did not fall for the Go Write A Thing tactic.

 I decided to remind her that summertime +  me =
You Never Know, Bring A Tarp,
 And Lip Balm And Bail Money,
 And Starbucks Tea,
 And Be Prepared To Sing and Dance,
And NO I Do NOT Know Where You Put Your Goggles Fun Times.

Since it has been a while, it is cold outside now -

Sidenote: Thank you, weather!
Please also make it rain,
 but not sleet or anything that will inconvenience me.
I am way cool with foggy and dreary, though.

I have to remind E  that asking for a summer celebration can lead to
 The Time Mom Staged A Flash Mob To Call Me Maybe Swim Team Edition,


I would like to pack that memory up in a box and file it away,
 with the other boxes of horror brought on by my idiocy.

But first, I have been thinking about this all day,
since she mentioned summer -
I probably short-circuited and started smelling chlorine and sunblock and began to melt -

But since E is the one pleading her case for chronic celebrations -
which isn't a bad idea, come to think of it.
If that becomes a thing, I totally want credit.

Anyway, I chose to celebrate E by writing about one of my favorite E memories.
I have lots,
But this particular one is swim team flash mob E rules memory.
And I  have to pay some serious respect,
 in word form as that is how she likes it
 (and I TOTALLY get that), to my daughter E.

 E is my middle daughter, and she is a handful,
 And I say that with complete respect and admiration,
 as well as exhaustion.

While my older daughter V is quiet,
 mysterious artist who is very still water running deep,
 and frequently an enigma to me -

And my youngest M is a blindingly sparkly and confident bundle of awesome and bossy in equal parts, covered in lip gloss-

E is more emotion-driven,
and also Extreme Communicator and Writer of Documents,
so there is a huge common denominator with E and me,
Which is,
we have great talks,
read together on my bed,
and FIGHT.

E does quite the tantrum,
 always has,
and can go from zero to 60 in one second,
and you really want to avoid that if you can.

 And because she and I both are People Who Want The Last Word,
 and also more emotional than rational at times (or always),
we can get into quite the tussle,
and do so,

Over whatever.

And she knows my buttons, and pushes them,
and my Planned Calm Parenting turns into this:

E: "Nuh-uh."

Me: "Uh huh."

E: "Nuh-uh."

Me: "Uh huh."

Rinse, repeat.

Wait, this is not the Ode I was planning,
but I always feel like I need to set up the scene,
like all professional screenwriters do (for the movie that will eventually star me and I am thinking Rob Pattinson as Matt because Matt is very busy) .

This particular thing went down last night at the swim team banquet,
and I certainly have detailed my lunatic,
what in the world?
 flash mob idea and execution,
especially the moment in which I am up in front of all the known world
(well, a lot of our friends and my kids friends etc) and flash mob is supposed to start,
 and I am ALL ALONE.

That may have been a brief second,
but trust me,
it felt like a really long time.

And as panic and terror and oh NO why do I do these things set in,
I scan the room for something,
an ally,
and what do I see first?

E, in her lovely lavender dress she has been saving for weeks to wear tonight,
with her hair done just like she likes it ,
after an hour of us working on it,
pushes back her chair and stands up.

This is E, who cares a LOT about what her friends, her coaches, anyone really thinks of her.

She is also tactical and smart,
and knows a lost cause when she sees one,
and at that second, I was Mom Up In Front Of Everyone Looking Foolish.

And my daughter,
this girl who cares so much about what her friends and the world thinks,
at that moment,
she cared about me more.

I know she did,
I saw the look in her eyes, it was "I've got your back."

I saw the way she straightened herself up and came forward,
knowing possible total humiliation was a good bet in this case,
and that is her worst nightmare.

And yet,
she was the first one up.

And I know it was not because she just couldn't contain her desire to do a flash mob song and dance, it was for me.

I got that,
it was like a tidal wave for me.

 I realize that it is not always going to go down like that,
 at some point she is going to cut bait if I am being ludicrous at Brownies or whatever,
and they better invent giant Xanax IV drips when she is teenager,
but I am kind of fine with that.

It is kind of how it supposed to be,
especially when it comes to E and me,
we will go off and Write Documents and Last Word each other ad nauseum.

But it is moments like last night,
when she pushed aside extreme social anxiety,
 and came by my side

(and the influx of awesome little flash mob girls and fab coaches immediately followed,
and they are all stamped super cool by me),

that will be a little treasure for me.

 And I swear, if she ever stages a flash mob,
I am ON IT.