Friday, August 30, 2013

How Am I Going To Be An Optimist About This? My New Mantra, Courtesy of Awesome Band Bastille! Pompeii, Song and Solution, by Allison

So it is a known fact that I am an Eternal Optimist.

(Note: That is a TOTAL lie. I am more a believer in pretend superpowers, voodoo, and am not sunshine-type at all. 
And optimistic seems very sunny weather, no rain - I don't like to be told to smile or frolic in sunshine throwing Frisbee or such.) 

(Also Note: Not only am I skeptic on the optimist thing,
but the "Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?" question as arbiter of whether I am a positive thinking, optimist type?
Please!  That is the worst question ever.
The answer totally depends:
What is in the glass???
That makes a difference, you know.)

So I grapple with my internal ornery, obstinate nature when tasked with forced enthusiasm or cheery outlook.

A conundrum, because I am not gloomy Eeyore type - I love rain! It does not make me talk in monotone, and I am not a mule or donkey or whatever.

But I can't sign on to contract of attrition eternity agreement to be Yay, Go Team Go.

So I consult the authorities, otherwise known as alternative indie bands.

And hurray!!

Problem solved.

I can pick and choose when to be shiny, happy person.

I know this, because awesome indie band Bastille says so, in their fabulous song "Pompeii."

First of all, Pompeii, site in Italy of ancient civilization turned to ash, is a romantic touchstone for Matt and me. 
Instant destruction is very romantic, n'est-ce pas?

Matt and I were both Classics minors, way back in Ye Olden Days (Not as Olden as Classics!!! I am still very, very young.)
We didn't know each other then, and that is the only cross-pollination of our education (I am very pro-essay question, he is a fan of multiple choice)
- but we are both fans of old stuff, even cooler if it is in Italy.

And our honeymoon, which ruled, was in Italy, and included both the glowy "Lady and the Tramp" (Note: I am Lady in this scenario) pasta scenes and gorgeous lovely Italian loveliness,
and also Pompeii.

We both took a class on Pompeii!
And are nerds!
And Matt had a theory that went something like (Note: Matt is humoring me with remembering what his logic was on this, so I am quoting him directly like a proper investigative journalist) "we are making an eternal promise to each other and punctuating that promise with a visit to a place that was time capsuled for an eternity would be right."

I didn't totally remember the details on that, I think I was thinking of the wine and loveliness parts.

But we did go to Pompeii, and have gone back, and taken the girls, because, again, Italy!
Also we are nerds.

But that does not explain my a la carte enthusiasm mantra, as decreed by alternative band Bastille.

Their song "Pompeii" does reference Pompeii, and also allegorical personal challenges, and is an excellent song -

And I love the song for eleventy reasons, but mostly because I have a new mantra:

"How am I going to be an optimist about this?"

I love that! I can pick what to be cheerful about! Yay!
Most things are less taxing than instant doom courtesy of Mount Vesuvius, but I am prone to exaggeration anyway.

I love this song, the vibe, lyrics - "I was left to my own devices, many days fell away with nothing to show . . ." - sing it, brother.

But my most favorite part - the chorus "How am I going to be an optimist about this?" - is my new mantra.

Because I love the notion, however fleeting, that I get to like what I like.

And if I have to talk myself into being Yay Whee about Forms! or whatever thing I build up into a giant yuck,
I like to have my indie band mantra to listen to on my giant purple headphones while I figure out how to be an optimist about it.

As always, am benevolent benefactor:

Bastille's "Pompeii"

Monday, August 26, 2013

He's Back! The Ballad Of Wasted Steve, Or, If It Walks Like It Huffs Glue, and Talks Like It Huffs Glue . . ., by Allison

So today, as I am unloading my teas and whatever hunting and gathering for the people in this house, what to my wondering eyes should appear?

(Spoiler!  Note: It was not Santa and tiny reindeer.
Was, like the opposite, unless Santa has had a very, very rough year)

It was World's Worst Alleged Handyman Who Is Not Handy And Can't Even Spell His Tattoos Right, Wasted Steve!

For those who have not had to hear me rant about Wasted Steve and his inept, absurd, bizarre requests for money while doing NO work and in fact breaking stuff, here is backstory:

The Ballad Of  Wasted Steve, by Allison

Without going into the specifics of why we had 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, he's veering way off to one side.  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? You 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 Adult 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 Adult 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.

Totally ineffectual tools in Getting Wasted Steve To Go Away.

I need to re-read The Art of War, or The Cat In The Hat or something,
because Wasted Steve is back.

With a friend.

He rang the doorbell one billion times,
I finally looked at him (and his friend, who could be fine, but has bad taste in company for sure)
through the windows on our dratted historical yet window-laden front door,

And he said, incoherently but this is English translation

"I am going to be on blocks on the roof looking in your bedroom in case you are in there or in the shower."

And I said, "No, no you are not, no blocks, no roof, no windows, no bedroom, no money, no nothing."

And he says, "Well, just wanted to tell you why I would be looking in the window."

And I say, "Seriously?" this is aimed at friend , I have given up on WS.

Friend is like, "Dude."

I am like, "I do have a (squirt)gun and a friend who has a homicide detective police husband,  and I am going to call her RIGHT NOW."

Friend totes away WS.

For now. I am going to now go put dog bowls of gasoline in front of all the houses on our street but mine so he will be lured away.

I am sure my intern could solve this ongoing dilemma, please I want an intern.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lorde, Possibly Only 16 Year Old Who Could Pull Off The Slither And Cool Fabulous , Does That Count On College Applications? by Allison

So as I chair dance wearing my giant purple headphones, listening to the slinky, slithery cool song "Royals" by Lorde,
 I realize there is a slight drawback to endless awesome chair dance:

1. I am getting nothing else done, but that has never stopped me before.

2. But get this?

Awesome song from Lorde?

She is 16.

3. I am kind of totally shocked by that.

Her eyeliner is an impressive cat-eye, hard to do, it takes practice.

Also, she has awesome hair.

But most of all,, the music?

The singing?
 "You can call me queen bee, let me live that fantasy?"

The song and vibe?

4.I mean, sure,
I got my driver's license, and took AP exams, and worked at The Gap when I was 16.

Those are all super fabulous things, of course.
Forensics Team.
Had to make sure my college application was properly overfilled.

That took up most of my time, and I can totally fold a sweater in Gap-approved method and got into college -

5. But still.

Making records at 15, in New Zealand?

With the swagger she's got?

Her own sound, not auto-tuned or on a sub-par animated movie soundtrack?

That is badass.

Am fan.

And "Royals" isn't a one-off, either.

"Tennis Court" is also excellent - and she pulls a Bambi/Florence + The Machine/Stylish Alien Singing Precociously thing fabulously.

"I fall apart with all my heart
And you can watch from your window"

I love that.

Lorde "Royals"
And Lorde, "Tennis Court"\
And Lorde As A Parenting Tool Because Song  Lyrics Are Better Than Anything Else I know:

Back to School Forms, Or Somebody Is Trying To Kill Me, Please Send Help, 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: 
Oooh something shiny!

And I leave form incomplete, then get plagued with guilt about undone form and then go to do it and 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, otherwise, 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, dentist, 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 10. Otherwise, same. And also M, she is 7. Otherwise, all same."  
But that would be so cool, 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, whatever, FORMS - if you won't let me cut and paste, you run the risk of Sharpie scribblings, dotted with tears and green tea)

No ability to use the computer for cutting and pasting purposes,  a computer similar to the one whoever is making me do this used to write all these forms I am now filling out?
But oh yeah,THEY can then just print more copies.   

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, so I just mail them back, right?

 Oh wait!

No, not yet! 

Can’t  leave out step where I have to go to the doctor’s office and 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. 
I tried pleading, “Look, it is on the form already, on this form I am giving you, right there! “

But no, and if I have to write their names, addresses, doctor’s information  -
Which?  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 (V registering for middle school volleyball team)?

At least this year I have a totally reliable witness to my Totally True Printer Malevolence Making Everything Worse.

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 a reliable, known organized person witness 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 it today with the forms, so 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, unsigned, spotted with beverages, and bounce, three weeks late, crumpled, 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 them spread out around me in piles to make sure I get the form for each form for each kid for each thing,  o I look like a lunatic -
plus 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, because?

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 gremlins or bad aliens or bunnies, there is no way I can win.


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


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Another Reason Procrastination Can Be Awesome! How Avoiding Dreaded FORMS Led To Discovery Of Magical Musings On Reading by my M, First Grade Poet, by Allison

So as a reward to myself for slogging through FORMS,
 and calendars and volleyball practice schedules,
 and dance rehearsal schedules and play performance nights,
 and the trillion other nightmare organizational horrors,
 that are exponentially breeding in piles around me,

I decide to do fun stuff I like instead.

I love it when I decide that as a plan of action, it is always fun.

Giant purple headphones on, first item on Agenda of Fun:
Plot band shows,
scribble scrabbled on envelope since it seemed to work last year -

And yay whee there is some cool music I have scribble scrabbled.

I hope I do not lose that envelope amongst health FORMS and registrations.

And that was a delightful bit of procrastination.

Or reward for trying pathetically to figure out how to get which girl where when how.
That is something I really, really am horrible at doing.
Need Intern. Maybe several.

But as I am attempting to turn over new leaf and not lose my mind over FORMS,
I go back to the piles of FORMS to give it another go;
before I can procrastinate some more.

But the piles and FORMS had multiplied while I wrote up my concert schedule for the fall.
And I cannot deal.

Clearly, I need to procrastinate a little bit longer.

So next item on Agenda of Fun:
I am reading more of M the seven year old stylist's journal she kept during school in the first grade.

I love that thing and I read it in little bits, to savor it.
And am keeping it as emergency in case of FORM insanity or such.

I read, cried, wrote, and was flabbergasted by the awesome of her journal entry on music a bit ago( -
because it totally ruled,
and to see how music affects her and how gorgeously she, at age seven, can express that was like, bestest thing ever ever.

I kind of didn't want to read the whole journal at once because after the music entry,
I was so joyful and whee yay tra la la,
I didn't want the next entry to be like "Why Can't My Mom Fill Out FORMS?" or worse.

But mostly,
I save reading it for emergency situations like aforementioned FORMS overload,
or Kindle revolt resulting in me not having my books and driving me batty ( )
so M's journal to the rescue!

And tonight, as I am still having Kindle war,
and newly acquired stack of actual books are hanging out like eager understudies, ready so I don't suffer through a no reading nightmare while traitor Kindles decide who is the boss of them.
(For the record, the answer to that question is always Allison,  you better give her her books, Kindles.)

I find a journal entry M the seven year old stylist wrote in the middle of first grade.

About her love of reading.

This kid is killing me here.
This journal entry is joining her music one as Bestest Thing Ever Ever Ever, Ever.

M, first grader, on reading:
With picture of a book drawn above.

Reading is . . .

Penguins in the desert.

Mysterious, like an ice cream cone that doesn't melt.

Maybe an ocean without fish.

A forest without trees.

Could be a school with no teachers.

And that's what reading is.

How in the world she can capture the feeling of entering a different world when you are reading?

How it takes you outside of yourself, transports you?

Sigh. I totally don't even need a book or a cooperative Kindle.

Am going to read and re-read M's journal.

No FORMS in this lovely journal, and as celebration of the inventive and expansive mind of M the seven year old stylist, I am totally not looking at those tedious FORMS.

Am writing an Ode to M instead.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Know That's You, I Can See Your Concert T, I Bought It For You, Remember? Another Justification For My Music Thing, by Allison

So I am forcing myself to stop searching through my girls' camp's posted photos from their Extreme!! camping.
(Note: I am not exaggerating.
There was army crawling through scary caves in the dark, dangling off of cliffs, something something with tarps and rain, living in the woods with snakes and bears and MUD.)

I am stopping because the photos are not organized in any way that I can discern.
So I cannot easily observe the ridiculously insane things my older two girls did at Extreme!! camping.
(Note: They loved Extreme!!!, and I want to see photos! 
Because they are back home in one piece, so them dangling off a cliff won't freak me out as much.)

And I cannot sort out the various places the various photos live in cyberspace,
and I am quite vexed.
It should not be this hard a task for me.

I mean, I realize I am fairly addled when it comes to organization, and repel most technology,
but I am totally not addled in the following skill:

Spotting photos of my children and the concert T they are wearing when they are in death-defying Extreme!! activities.

I can SO do that.

Because I know what they look like, even if it is just their elbow, in the dark, or coated in mud.

I know what shirt they have on.

Because I gave them those shirts.

And remember the show,
and the shirt acquiring,
and the music,
and in general how much I love bringing them Ts from shows -  since I can't do crafts or sew or cut sandwiches into nice triangle shapes like other moms, at least I supply excellent concert Ts.

But I am trying not throw a fit as I search in vain for photos of the girls doing their Extreme!!!  white-water canoeing
(One split in half! Canoe, not one of the girls. Glad I did not know that at the time, or see photos of that.)
I am trying to throw fewer fits.
Turn a new leaf, or such. This photo thing is not helping my new leaf at ALL.

I have located E pre-rappelling and setting up camp for the night with the subpar tarp in her American Authors T,
and hilariously grump facing in a photo where somebody is clearly trying to make her do something she does not want to do in her Bad Books T. 

I can't find her caving in "The Black Keys Are My Brothers" T, but I know she was wearing it because she told me so, to mess with me. 

Trying to scare me about Extreme!!! damage to a beloved T.
T survived the not-for-the-claustrophobic caving,
as it is a righteous concert T.
And also she wore a fleece over it. She's no dummy, that shirt rules.

But I want to see all this Extreme!! stuff she did Extremely!!!.

I will make giant posters of it as proof she dangled off a cliff,
in a cool T her mom (me) brought her from a show,
that she wore as a way to keep me close to her heart.
(Note: That is my story, and she is not right next to me as I type so she can't say otherwise,
she actually wore it because she likes the band and the shirt.
As she should, both are awesome. But I like my story better.)

I can see V army crawling with a headlamp on through cave, but she's covered in mud and all I can see is her face and then mud.

And V is less interested in having lengthy "What did you wear when you were rappelling? cave-crawling?" discussions with me than E is, so don't even know what she was wearing, other than mud.

I did spot V midnight zip-lining on this absurd 987 feet through the mountains zip-line via concert T recognition, though.

I might add ID-ing my children via their concert T to my list of Pretend Superpowers.

Matt was not sure it was V in the midnight zip-line into darkness photo because it was dark.

And because he couldn't see the anklet she made out of twine the corn at Whole Foods was tied in that she fashioned into an anklet.
Which I guess was his identifying clue when photo searching for Extreme!! camping kids of ours.

But I knew it was V, based on overall intrinsic "I know that is her" thing (shape of elbow), and because of the concert T. 
I know that elbow AND that shirt.

It is a brown Dave Matthews shirt that she likes to call "vintage" to mess with me.
And since instilling snark is one of my parenting goals, I don't mind the teasing about the age of my concert Ts.
Plus also, 1993 is not vintage yet, says me.

And as I am distracting myself from throwing a fit due to Extreme!! challenges finding Extreme!! photos, as fit prevention, I do something random and of no use to anyone.
But at least I am not throwing a fit.

My distraction was: I re-read this article from Vanity Fair magazine, written in 1985,
 by Dominick Dunne about Claus von Bulow during the time in which he was tried for attempting to murder his wife, twice, and the delusions and arrogance and what???????????? of that article are absurd.
Extreme!! even.

(I am clearly not totally distracted, but as far as attempts at distracting me, no one is dangling anything shiny at me, I have to distract my own self.
And truly, article is fab distraction/procrastination/reading which is good for you, so there.)

I always loved Dominick Dunne Vanity Fair diary entries.
He was quite the heavy-handed name-dropper of a writer, but that was the whole point,
and that article is legendarily, unbelievably, absurdly, whack crazy.
With great descriptions:
 "It was the type of house where you walk through huge rooms to get to other huge rooms"
"Vivacious, curvaceous, and flirtatious, she seems a sort of latter-day Gabor, with a determination factor somewhere on the scale between Imelda Marcos and Leona Helmsley"

And every other sentence has yet more implausible but true scandales scattered like crazy confetti:
"His mistress' husband following their divorce married the former wife of Dr. Richard Raskind, who changed his name to Renee Richards when he became a woman."

And since this was written in 1985,
when I was not a subscriber to Vanity Fair, but instead Tiger Beat -

And collecting my first concert T for Duran Duran's Seven and the Ragged Tiger Tour,
I missed this infamous article when it was first written.

But somehow through osmosis I knew it to be infamous and scandalous and I had to read it, I assigned it to myself as homework or something.
And just now assigned it to myself as distraction.

And what it has to do with trying to find my girls' Extreme!! photos via concert Ts is beyond me, other than I am not throwing a fit right now.

And as I am as always, benevolent benefactor, here is a link to the aforementioned article:

And as free gift with purchase, extra bonus, E's concert T's alive and well apr├Ęs Extreme!!!!

I could totally, seriously use an intern right about now for photo hunting and distraction assistance. Just saying.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Breaking News, It Is Hot Out. Proof My Brain Melts In Summer, If I Go Off The Rails It Is Not My Fault, 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 and whimsically frolic 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.

(Clarification: All of the conditions listed above were there except no awesome dudes from books, that would have been extra great and also would mean that I would still be in Ireland)

(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 whatall 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)

that the worst job in the HOT is the dudes who are laying tar (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.