Saturday, June 30, 2012

Afterschool Special Girls Night Part 2, Electric Boogaloo, by Allison

So after my escape from awkward chat with policeman (I didn't get a ticket, or a psych evaluation referral, so that was good) I abandon tea-smuggling bag retrieval as not to be any later to meet fun friends at the wine bar pre-movie.

This part is actually lovely and nobody asked me for money (well, I mean, they charged for the wine but that was fair, it wasn't a shake-down and nothing of mine got broken and I am pretty sure the entirety of the wine bar had less alcohol content than the fumes coming off Wasted Steve).

Soon we are on our way to Allison Approved Movie Theater, but not before fellow patrons of wine bar make sure we have our tickets, because they had heard it was getting crazy over there and sold out and people were getting worked up.

 It was nice of them to check in with total strangers on that, but then I thought, did we even say what we were doing?

 Is it obvious?

We are not wearing Team Magic Mike homemade creepy t-shirts or anything, but I guess it was assumed we were on Girls Night to the stripper movie.

I guess any group of women out last night were obviously doing that? It must have been the law or something.

Friday, June 29, 2012

It is like Christmas and Free Gift with Purchase, But with Fighting: Part 1 of the Afterschool Special Girls Night Out, by Allison

Don't worry, this isn't like the Twilight ending Part 1.
 I do not die (spoiler!) giving birth to stupidest named baby ever (spoiler!!) and become a vampire.
(Bummer, it would have been helpful tonight).

I cannot even make a chart (well, I am not good at that anyway) or outline (hate those) or draft (no) or whatnot of my evening, it is going to be piecemeal, and I am going to laugh a lot and probably wake people up.


If It Walks Like It Huffs Glue, and Talks Like It Huffs Glue . . ., a Warning, by Allison

So without going into the specifics of why we currently have a non-coherent, pickled from drinking turpentine handyman wrecking our house, the short answer is:

Blame The Adult In The House That Is Not Named Allison.

I am presented with this handyman, much like a cat leaves a bird for its owner
(Note: I hate cats and birds).

Handyman, let’s call him Wasted Steve, arrives to begin a little project of assembling some things for V’s tween room while she is gone for the weekend so we can have big surprise reveal when she gets home.

He brings with him no tools, but a friend who seems very nice and is wearing the same expression you see on dogs wearing outfits:
 “I really wish someone would save me, but I have given up hope.”

Big mess is made, nothing is finished.

Wasted Steve to come back the next day at 9 am.


5 pm, because he was “tired.”

And then he has to help somebody move.

So, Matt assembles the room and we get it all ready for V, I think this is the last of Wasted Steve, but no.
The Adult In This House That Is Not Named Allison apparently lets this total non-handyman work on our fence, because “it is outside” and that way he won’t bother me. 

This is proof of:

1. Who is or isn’t the person who normally deals with house stuff and

2. Who is or isn’t the person that gets to leave (fine, to go save lives, bla  bla) the house and not deal with nonsense like this.

 Also, the cell phone number given to WS? That would be that of The Adult  In This House Who IS Named Allison But Is Not The Person Who Gave WS Her Phone Number.

The following ensues:
1.   WS shows up for fence work with no tools, and then asks for money to go buy tools from “a guy who needs to get rid of them.”

Not making this up.

My answer is, no, I am not giving you money to buy tools otherwise known as Mad Dog.

2.    WS brings friends who actually do fence work, and fence work happens, but not at all by WS.

Who, by the way, looks like the guy who waited outside the 7-Eleven to buy beer for high school kids when we were growing up and has spent the subsequent decades huffing, snorting, drinking, eating, or sitting in things found in garages only.
 Note: He is not scary or threatening and I in no way fear for our safety
(that would be safety of The Adult Person Named Allison and Her Three Daughters Who Live In This House And Do Not Get To Go Hide At The Hospital (fine treat cancer, whatever) All Day).

WS can only half-stand and I can totally roundhouse him with my new kickboxing skills if necessary, which it is not.

Since he is seriously mumbling with his eyes closed and I could push him in the road and end all this at any time.

3.   WS leaves a big mess, says will clean it up.

Does not.

Does, however, come back the next day to I AM NOT LYING ask me for “$150 cash” for a court appearance.

My answer is, no, I am not giving you money for court, or court related appearances due to Mad Dog, or just for you to buy Mad Dog.

 4.  Money is given for work on fence done by WS’s associates, and seriously, guys, you need new friends/boss-persons/crazy man who won’t go away and makes you do stuff. 

As an added bonus, WS tries to get me to write check to some random person who is not WS or anyone else I have ever met, and I am all,"No, that would totally get me somehow involved in a meth lab situation I do not want, sorry."
5.   The Person In This House Named Allison thinks this little episode is over and is begins to imagine the gemstone weight and quality that she is owed for putting up with this lunacy.

6.   The Person In This House Named Allison is wrong.

Wasted Steve shows up the next morning as I am leaving to take girls to swim team, for money.

"Because he is just trying to keep his wife out of jail.”

I am not making this up.

My answer is no, I am not giving you money to keep your wife out of jail otherwise known as you are going to go buy Mad Dog.

7.  WS wanders away, only to show up later saying he is going to go get blocks so he can stand on our roof.


 Me: “We do not need roof work. Why do you need blocks to stand on the roof?”
 WS : “Mumble Mumble now imitating that country guy who could not be understood    on the cartoon that used to follow The Simpsons.”
Me: “Never mind whatever you said. NO blocks. NO roof. All done. Goodbye.”
WS: “I need $400”
Me: “AAAARGH! Go Away!
I am not a nice person and not only am I going to totally blog about this but also may call the police and Underdog.”
(I threw in that last part because clearly he is completely addled in the head due to glue huffing and I thought it might scare him)
8.   I am now leaving out jewelry catalogs and crafting very mean e-mails,.

And if Wasted Steve shows up again, I am going to do what the dog trainer taught me to do when the dogs were bad, which is squirt them in the face with a water bottle.

But instead I have the girls’ giant super soaker loaded, and am just going to blast him until he figures it out and goes away.

This is my version of arming the house with a shotgun.

Words and waterguns.

Tween, A Study in Contrasts, by Allison

So today I am taking a photo of me in my new workout shoes, as you do (I did because they are new because I wore out my first pair of workout shoes owned as a post-4th grader, and this is milestone)

And I took the photo in V's new "tween" bedroom, only because it has a big mirror from when I decided that room would be our ballet studio, which never happened and I did not even get a barre intalled, but it has huge mirror, and I don't know how to otherwise take a photo of the shoes on me.

I thought if I took a photo of just the shoes, those who don't actually see me at gym would think I was faking it.

But the reason I am writing about this photo, other than to pat myself on the back for wearing out exercise shoes,
is because when I was looking at the picture, I realized it is a very good representation of having your daughter turn from little girl to tween.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Magic Maverick and Malibu, or Eternal Rain of the Spotted Mind, by Allison

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has always been one of my super favorite movies, and the poem from which the title comes, Eloisa to Abelard (?) is lovely, and makes me extra happy because it explains why I love rain so much -
I have a spotted mind.

Yet another reason I need an intern is to Tide to Go my spotted mind.

Especially particular spots, like the one that is surfacing in my head as I prepare to go to fun Girls Night tomorrow to see that Magic Mike movie.

 I love Girls Nights, very much, of all kinds
(except craft ones, but nobody would ever invite me to a craft night because I would ruin it)
and am most excited.

But for this Girls Night, I am more excited about the hanging out with friends part than the movie.

And now is the part where everyone calls me a big fat liar, but I swear,
although I cannot deny appreciating aspirational abs,
none of those guys is on my list or anything.

My particular fantasy creation would be less pretend firemen,
and more like a dim, slightly decaying bar .
with a bunch of lanky, floppy haired, British musician guys with guitars,
brooding and writing songs about me.

Also there would be champagne and green tea and jewelry,
and we could throw in the Argentinian polo player, if he was in formal wear,
and not the kind that velcro rips off,
because what if I want to go ballroom dancing?

So, Hollywood, please make that a movie starring me ASAP -
 and I have some really good ideas about casting.

 But tomorrow night's Girls Night will be fabulous,
I will have a ball, but I may need that intern with the bleach pen,
as movie may summon memories of a very spotted mind situation with this particular genre of entertainment back in college.

Here is the part where I say:
To my college landlord and any relatives of mine, this did not happen, I am making this up.

the reason this whole thing went down at my apartment was because  in college,
I was in a sorority and we had a lovely house that seniors lived in,
but one of the house rules was that we couldn't have parties with alcohol there.
(Note: This was not always the case,
we had a library with scrapbooks from yesteryears and the ones from the '70's were basically full of girls doing keg stands)

Of course, there were loopholes,
like we could use money for parties with fraternities and give them "social fees" -
was Beer Money.

I mean, the rule-makers could pretend it was for the fraternity to decorate and clean up,
but ha, ha.
Beer Money.

 But we could not throw a big old party at the sorority house
(But, Note: Pre-parties we could have,
and is pre-party not the most ludicrous term ever?
You are drinking Captain Morgan and pineapple juice listening to MTV Party To Go Vol. 2,
it is a party)
so a decision was made to host a friend's 21st birthday party at our apartment,
since we had no such rules.

 I swear,
I do not remember how the birthday party came to involve two male strippers,
and I do remember thinking,
how do we know they won't be murderers or gross looking?

This was before Al Gore invented websites,
so it was the phone book, I guess?

But whatever, there were a bunch of us,
and somehow I did not believe two male strippers were going to show up at my apartment anyway.

I seem to get myself into situations where I think,
well, this won't really happen . . .

Yeah, right.

Of course, the male strippers DID show up.
 Their names were Maverick and Malibu.

So just right there,
I am toast, in hysterics,
plus they had hair like the ladies on Dynasty,
and were wearing high waisted acid wash jean shorts.

So it is all awkward,
and then they go in MY room to change.


At this point,
I am realizing I so did not think this through,
why doesn't my apartment have a back door,
please do not let them do anything yuk to my room.

 And they come out,
and we sit down, in my living room,
which reminded me again that I am an idiot and we should have gone out instead,

But the aforementioned Maverick and Malibu are good-natured fellows,
and they danced all around,
and I am pretty sure we all were like, ok, we get it,
stay where you are.

And they seemed disappointed that no one was hanging from the ceiling,
but birthday girl had fun, nobody lost an eye,
it was PG rated,
maybe PG-13 at most and that would have been for language (ours)

BUT get this?

After their dance or whatever,
they say "whoever wants to take this further, we'll be in there."

And I am like
"NO, you will NOT,
that is MY room!!!!!
Nobody wants to go in there with you!

 So they left, and it was even more fun,
because then we could laugh about that as well as have regular birthday party college fun.

And to this day, I giggle about the whole thing, because really?

 Maverick and Malibu?

You could not make that up.

But because of that experience,
I am afraid the Magic Mike movie may trigger flashback hysterical laughing,
and that would annoy my friends trying to peacefully enjoy the eye candy,
and that is why I need an intern,
that particular spot should probably get cleaned up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How I Got Fleeced At Target, Please Send Intern: by Allison

So, recent ending of school year has resulted in the girls accompanying me on errands I normally do alone.

And there is a reason for that.

All this time I am pretending to have a sparkly vampire boyfriend, and my children are actual vampires.

So girls are dragged to gym and Starbucks, and after I say we need to go to Target, as I am down to one pack of Neutrogena Makeup Wipes, probably need some Diet Coke and Tide to Go.

They immediately turn into Dickensian characters who have no food, clothing, or toys and are in desperate need.

Mumford and Sons: US August Tour Dates Announced!

Mumford and Sons: US August Tour Dates Announced!

I am so road tripping for this. They are amazing live, golden and magestic.

Why I Need an Intern, Palomino Towel Situation:by Allison

So all 3 of my girls are on swim team.
Which? Is great, we love swim team, great kids and coaches, fresh air, exercise, 6 hour meets (I am actually learning to have fun at those, shocking) all good things.


Towel issue.

3 girls, sometimes two practices a day, somehow means eleventy towels are needed and have to be laundered urgently at all times.

We have tons of towels, yet the girls plow through them daily with abandon.

I am all, please hang them up to dry, and they think the chlorine on the towel is bad for their skin due to a misinterpretation of me saying Mommy Does Not Get In The Pool Because Chlorine Is Bad For My Skin.

So I am kind of screwed on that, and therefore towel frenzy.

Last night was a meet, and the girls all take at least 3 towels and make a nest with their teammates and at the end of the night, those towels are foul and gooey and covered with detritus that I do not understand, and instead of dealing with them I stayed up until 3 am converting Call Me Maybe lyrics for a flash mob I am planning.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Corn Fancy, or Why I Am The Worst, by Allison

So wanting an intern had me remembering being an intern, one summer during college I interned at the local ABC affiliate TV station.

It was actually pretty cool in that they were understaffed so I got to do lots of stuff, including being assignment editor (Which? Is like hostessing at a restaurant, all the reporters get mad at you like the waiters do when you don't give them the story/customer they want)
and interviews and editing, but there was this one thing I had to do that made me just evil.

 Pre-Food Network etc, there was this segment during the noon show with a syndicated chef, and I was about to use his name but I googled and he is still around so I will not call him out, but every single recipe he used involved Bisquick, applesauce, pudding, tapioca, or a mix of those.

He'd tell people to write to him "at the studio" and he'd send the recipes, yes this was in Ye Olden Days where you had to write and wait for someone to write back, uphill in the snow.

So my Bad Intern Job was to reply to these people who wrote in for recipes.

Sometimes, I would send them the recipe they wanted.

This happened if they wrote a nice letter, with proper grammar, not using crayons, asked nicely, and were not lunatics.

 So, that was like 10 percent of the time.

If the letter displeased me somehow,
for example enclosing pictures of the writer's cats,
severe subject-verb agreement issues,
demanded in a cranky way saying they'd written three times and never got a recipe,
had perfume on it, or was otherwise crazy, like this one lady who wrote every day with requests for the chef to tell the anchor at our particular station about her son who was single,
I invented Corn Fancy.

Corn Fancy was a recipe I totally made up and put on the chef's letterhead, and it was the grossest thing I could think of that could passably be something this chef would actually make.

It was the following: Bisquick, canned corn, applesauce, tapioca, and salsa.

Mix and bake for 45 minutes at 350.

I would send out Corn Fancy, entertaining myself with the thoughts of people getting the recipe, thinking,"Huh? Was this what I wanted? Let me ask my cats."

And then I thought of someone actually liking it, and making it their signature dish, that they'd bring at holidays, their Corn Fancy.

This was huge fun for me, being semi-benignly wicked to a variety of absurd recipe requesters.

Of course, in retrospect, that was not a nice thing for me to do, and clearly I was a Terrible Intern.

The intern I am seeking will not wreak such havoc. Unless havoc needs to be wreaked. If so, unleash the Corn Fancy.

 Sidenote: One way in which I knew Matt was going to be able to deal with me was when we started dating I told him about Corn Fancy and he was not horrified and did not think I was evil or deranged, he thought we should test out the recipe and possibly serve it when needed. 

True love.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pop Quiz, Hotshot, Lunatic Children Edition: by Allison

So our wonderful and fantastic babysitter is on vacation this week, and luck of the Irish (Matt's people, mine wore kilts) one of the girls' swim team coaches was able to fit us in to her schedule to help with the girls. This coach is not only former superstar swimmer turned coach, she is extra super gorgeous, nice, blonde, better than a Disney Princess. So what do my girls do when she comes over?

The Gift of the Magi, Except Totally Completely Not At All That Poignant, by Allison

So the above photo is of Matt and me at a recent, seriously old-school college era Drivin and Cryin and Connells show. English teachers of mine, please admire my O'Henry reference, and by the way, The Gift of the Magi was like the saddest, worst thing I could imagine as a child, and absurd as an adult because I am totally not cutting off my hair for Matt to have a watch band.

 But as a kid, the image of this shorn lady with useless hair combs and the guy with no watch depressed me to no end. I understood they loved each other so much they sacrificed their best thing for the other, and believe me, I love gifts and Matt can Magi himself out as far as selling possessions in order to give me jewelry, but he knows better than to mess with his floppy hair, but that story made me so sad for the lady with no hair and I wanted to somehow insert myself into the story and fix everything and have them just make each other cards.

Why I Needed an Intern to Make Why I Want an Intern:by Allison

So I am very new to blogging, like half a day new. Very not new to writing a whole lot about whatever in the world is in my head, and seriously the world limits on Facebook or even the daunting lengths of my emails were chafing. And I am not computer illiterate or afflicted, but I was stymied by how to set this up, how it should look, I dithered and dathered like my youngest daughter picking out shoes.

 Really awesome friend gave me awesome detailed instructions, which when I followed them, were super easy, so I am all, I'm in business now. Except designing the thing.

The Avengers, or Why I Am The Worst, by Allison

 So Matt wants to see The Avengers, and although I have extreme sartorial issues with superhero movies, I concede, since he certainly accompanies me to my Twilights and British Speaking People movies without much grief.

Plus have heard it was good and like some of the actors.
But right away, I am awful.
Samuel L Jackson shows up, all bla bla exposition on some glowy thing, and I say to Matt, "it would be cool if he started swearing a lot about snakes and planes, or wore a wig and killed people with John Travolta" and Matt is all, shhh.

And then Captain America arrives, and seriously, that is the dweebiest superhero ever.
His hair is way too tidy and pants are in his armpits, and I get that he is from olden days and stalwart and true blue, but his costume is so doofy and I decide he is Reagan-like  and say "I bet he's going to start talking about trickle down economics to kill the bad guys," and Matt is "you are doing a Reagan thing now?"

 I could write a whole essay on my issues with superhero costuming:

1. Tights? I wear tights, they run, like when you are getting out of your car, good luck scaling building or such.

2. Capes? Cumbersome.

3. Plus, we know that's the guy in there.

Nobody is fooled.
The little mask thing, or the colorful ensemble, or whatever is supposed to trick the world into not recognizing Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent or whoever, looking exactly like themselves but in a very non-functional costume, does not fool anyone.

And Captain America's costume is super, triple dweeby and obnoxiously patriotic.
And when Matt does lure me to superhero movie
(Note: Exception given to Batman, mostly because Christian Bale exceeds my perimeters for hotness and so I try very hard not to notice the outfit),
 I either spend my time talking in Comic Book Guy from Simpson's voice (Worst. Costume. Ever) or falling asleep, which is preferable to him and audience.

I Am Obsessed

My Kindle, how I love my Kindle, it is magic - I order a book, and it appears! I keep a stack of reviews and have a little book order frenzy, because I read constantly. Read, gulp, absorb, crash through, all sorts of ways. And the last book that I was completely captured with was Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn.

 If you have not read it, I am actually kind of jealous of you that you get to read it for the first time. I am not even going to describe it because it is easy to give away spoilers and it is so worth it to read it fresh. Gillian Flynn is the author of Sharp Objects and Darker Places, which were also great, but darker, harder reads, Gone Girl is gripping and cool and twisty and so great. Looooove.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reflections on Camping: by Allison

 So thinking about list terror reminded me to draw up some reflections on camping. Here goes:

 1. It is official that I should never ever be put in front and given a map and tasked to get us to a place or thing. I will probably get us a little lost, as pointed out by my traitor daughter E (in my defense, it was a really bad map)

Why I Hate Lists, a Rant: by Allison

So recently I spent approximately one billion dollars at Target getting ready for a camping trip, due to absolute list terror.
This in no way is meant to insult the list makers of this list or any list ever, I realize I am in the extremely small minority on this.
It may be just me.

I'm cool with that, as I HATE lists.

They are so unyielding, and permanent, and no room for discussion.
I love discussion!
What if I want to substitute my thing for the list thing?
Do I have to bring both?
Can I branch off?

There is no chatting in lists.

 Also why I hate multiple choice tests, I have much more to say than a, b, c, or d.
Give me space for an essay!

On lists, though, I am tormented in that even if I carry a dreaded list, I will totally forget something on it, probably subconsciously fighting against the Man.
The List Man.

When I forget bread at the store and someone says, did you bring a list, my head goes on fire.

I hate lists.
They don't work, they are bossy, and are not flexible at all.

I realize I might be describing myself there, but opposites attract. 

The only lists I like are a pile of book reviews I pull out of magazines to order on my Kindle, or new beauty or makeup products I read about. But that is because they are NEW.
And unknown to me. 

I know bread.
I do not want to write it on a list.
I will get it whether it is on the list or not, because I know we need it.
It is in my head!

Which is full of ridiculousness and I am aware of that, but it also contains the basic needs of my household and whatever else, and if I write down "get stuff for Class Party" my head will explode.

I think I secretly like to be proud of myself for remembering, sans list.

But don't tell anyone that.

Also why I hate recipes.
Why so rigid?
Can't we talk?
No, you must use bla bla. 

I reject that, because I guess I am an ornery mule type person.

But I totally get that the rest of the world does indeed enjoy lists, uses lists, benefits from them, etc.

In the abstract, I can kind of get it, but in reality, an actual list that I print off the computer or write down gives me hives.

Born Free! As Free As the Wind Blows!

Throw away your list, go wild at the store, get what you want, it is very freeing and fun.

I Am Obsessing

One of my music obsession in recent months, Of Monsters and Men. Love this song, love the duet, love them a whole bunch and super super sad no shows anywhere near me. But I must say, this song is awesome and I have it on constant repeat along with some of their other stuff. looooove. I may or may not (I do) have a whole duet car dance thing worked out with pretend floppy haired British guy I have invented and myself on the girl parts. It's very awesome.

Maybe a bad idea? A Conundrum: by Allison

 So the girls and I are in the car and as bad luck would have it, no good songs on radio. Unusual, as I like lots of stuff, but sometimes happens. Because I am addled with lack of sleep due to late night fun party and early morning gym, I teach the girls the joy of either yodeling or singing "Meow" instead of lyrics to tune of song if the song displeases you...

No, You Can't Wear That, a durge: by Allison

 I need to send the girls to a school with uniforms, as clothing negotiations with three girls is like an international peace treaty during a war, every morning.

First, there is the Shorts Conundrum, in which they want to wear shorts (which is why they check the weather daily and why I put the Sloth on the Road up to entertain them) year round and I say no during winter or ice storms and they protest.

Sloth on the Road, a Missive: by Allison

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

Unlike me, when V (my oldest daughter) had a presentation on sloths (she chose the animal, she is a cool, quirky kid) we imaged sloths, and... I scanned for porn or the dude from The Goonies, and we chose Sloth on the Road. WRONG. The HORROR.

So you think you can car dance, a journey, by Allison

So I shall share the four separate car dancing incidents in which I have been busted in a single morning, in descending order of embarrassment:

 4. Arriving at gym, medium level car dancing, witnessed by several people at the gym (Song: Young the Giant, "My Body")

 3. In my car before leaving gym, enough of a level of car dancing that I could not drive while doing it, witnessed by more people at gym including several who laughed (Song: White Stripes, "Doorbell", couldn't help myself, hadn't heard it in a while)