Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand . . Ways I Am An Idiot. Beverage Mismanagement, by Allison

So I am aware my toting around copious teas,
and my wreaking much havoc with my extreme beverage availability requirements -
 is absurd and ridiculous.

But today, as I was taking a photo of my bike in spin class,
as you do -
in this case,
it was because the picture kind of did that A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words thing  -

Something I have always protested,
because what if you want the thousand words instead?

But today I am meaning,
one picture is showing many ways I am a tea-toting,
mess-making fool -
(Really, really needing an intern, just saying.)

So I took a picture,
so I could send it to my friends and make them laugh,
as they have dealt with my tea thing long enough to know the many ways I wreck stuff via tea.

And then I realized,
I am way worse than I even realize.

I have THREE separate beverage photos,
of a variety of beverages,
ranging from messy to disgusting to potent but useless -

In the space of one day.

All totally embarrassing,
and if I had any sense I would delete them.

I have no sense.
At all.

So therefore, Behold The Nonsense:

 A Day In The Life Of My Beverage Mismanagement, by Allison.

Exhibit A:

My spin bike in scary, hard spin class:

Upon casual glance, you see two giant teas,
towels so the tea does not pitch forward onto the floor,
and random thing hanging to the side.

But this photo is actually an indictment of me,
creating ridiculous situations,
and then suffering the consequences.

I proffer:

1. Those are the Trenta Starbucks green teas,
so like a 7-Eleven Big Gulp, but of antioxidants.

Note, there is no ice in them,
because they are from the previous day.

2. Because I can barely drag myself to the gym on time,
no way can I pull off Starbucks run.
It took me 2 years to realize this.

Because I a an idiot.
But now,
I get tea for the next day,
so I can defeat my inability to get anywhere on time.

3. The thing kind of dangling off the precipice of the bike handles is a personal mini-fan.

4. As you can see,
it is hanging down by where my feet go,
and is not at all providing the delightful breeze-blowing it is meant to provide.

Unlike the fan of my most excellent friend next to me,
her fan is blowing correctly to cool her off,
sitting very properly atop her phone and doing fan stuff.

5. Which is evidence that I have an awesome friend,
 who is both so together and non-spilling stuff that she can put her phone on the spin bike.

(Note: I cannot begin to list the falls, spills,
and who knows what would happen to my phone,
 if it were perched on a spin bike.
It would not work out well,
that I do know.)

6. And also evidence I have Superpowers, Bestest Friends Ever Subcategory,
because she got me my little fan that I am haplessly dangling in useless and pitiful fashion.

She knows I won't get it together to remember to order one.

7. And she is trying to help me arrange things,
 so my fan doesn't dangle like it is a bungee-jumper.

But because I am irrational about my tea access,
I won't listen to her sage advice.

8. Which is?

"Allison, I think this all might work better if you had one less drink."

9. Ok, that was hilarious.
It is hard to make me laugh in spin class, but that surely did -

Because she meant, one less drink on my spin bike -

(But Note:
There are TWO drink holders on those spin bikes.

Not phone or anything else holders, identical drink holders.
 I did not invent those bikes,
 I hardly even want to be on one.
Two drink holders, to me, means this -
You are supposed to acquire and place two drinks on this hell contraption. )

10. But?

"Allison, I think this might work better if you have one less drink"
is wisdom I have ignored since forever.

I should probably put that on a T shirt so I can remember it,
when I am addled by one extra drink,
wherever I am,
whatever I am doing.

11. But in my defense,
I usually do drink the two teas in spin class, so there.

And after taking this ludicrous photo,
 indicting me of beverage and fan-strangling crimes,
I realize the photo I took right before that was ANOTHER ridiculous beverage mismanagement committed by me before I got to the gym.

Exhibit B:

My attempt at a green smoothie that  morning:

I totally made that in our blender.

It looks like toxic sludge.
It kind of was, actually.

It started out as a smoothie.
But somehow?

1. My normal protein powder and fruit smoothie turns into very unappealing green goop when I decide to go rogue and add green vegetable powder -
containing nutrients and kelp and every green leafy thing that is legal.

2. Further corrupted when I throw in handful of fresh kale and spinach.
I have no idea.
I was feeling the need for antioxidants.

3. And I know from friends and magazines or whatever -
  you can hide spinach in a smoothie without it looking and tasting like nuclear waste.

4. I do not know how to make that happen, though.

5. This may be due to the fact that I won't look at, or use,
or consult recipes.

I hate recipes.
They are very listy,
and I hate lists.

Plus, they are non-negotiable.
There is no question and answer time with recipes.
Do this, use that.
Bossy and inflexible.
I would like to chat or have options.
Being told what to do,
without rebuttal time,
is like, one of my least favorite things.

6. Along with this smoothie.

It was so gross it scared off Matt and the girls -
they wouldn't even fall for the "EWWW. Smell this! It is awful" thing .
I can never believe anyone actually agrees to that but everyone usually does -

7. Except in the case of this ridiculous smoothie,
that I spent twenty minutes throwing bananas,
and coconut water,
and whatever else I could think of to make it not be horrible.

I could not salvage the smoothie.

So, I am done with beverage nonsense for the day, right?

(Spoiler!!!! Totally not done with the nonsense.)

In a total sad and pathetic absurdity,
here is the next photo on my phone,
taken after the monstrous green sludge,
and the copious teas and dangling fan that took one look at my teas and jumped off the bike.

I really wish the lineup of photos for this one day included something other than me being a total beverage mismanaging idiot.

But, alas -
I am a total beverage mismanaging idiot.
And as gift to the world, everyone can now feel normal,
and less of an idiot,
when compared to the ridiculousness I manage to create in less than a day.

Exhibit C:

Oops I Froze The Wine:

This is the bottle of wine I put in our freezer
because I forgot we didn't have any chilled wine,
and it had been a long day (See above) -

And then I forgot I put it in the freezer,
 and it totally froze,
cork came out like a little bad hat.


1. Totally not Disney version of Frozen -
although I hear they are making a sequel,
and I am happy to help.

2. But in my defense
(I always have one, it seems) -
I got distracted.

3. By a LIVE ANIMAL of some variety,
stuck in our dryer vent.

4. It was not an owl,
I know that because it did not chew out of the vent and eat my eyeballs.
My family joking about owls when the dryer vent was shaking,
and chirping,
or otherwise mysterious animal sounds,
plus scratching or clawing or flapping -
what was it?

Does it really matter?

The vent tube thing was rattling all around,
and something was in there.

5. And I am the mean person in this house.

Meaning Matt borrowed our neighbors long ladder,
because our laundry room is on the top floor,
and opened the little trap door.
or whatever you call the thing the dryer vent hooks to and normally lovely clean laundry scent perfumes our our backyard and nothing bad happens.


When something is trying to break out of the dryer vent like an alien baby.
Or small-scale grown-up alien,
I have no idea.

Matt and the girls run outside,
otherwise known as,
not in the room with the crazy scratching dryer tube thing with a LIVE ANIMAL of unknown species in it.

They all open the trap door thingy,
and coo encouragement to unknown species of LIVE ANIMAL in our dryer vent,
like it will come flying out of the vent and escape through the trapdoor.

They are expecting doves or a unicorn puppy.

They are deluded.

I know this, because I am the one who normally wrangles the gross stuff.
Such as last time I unhooked the dryer vent tube whatever,
to figure out why it was not working -

For the record, I did it myself,
like a pioneer.

Matt was at work,
and my urgent "The Dryer Keeps Not Working And I Am Going To Start Kicking It" texts,
emails, and messages were met with:
"I will be home later."

I was like,
"No, you don't understand,
I have already cycled through hissy fits and stomping and yelling,
and it has to be fixed this second."

So he was like,
"Just unhook the whatever and screw this and that,
 and get duct tape just in case. "

 And I was like,
"Have you met me?"

But I needed the dryer to work.
These people in this house go through laundry waaaay too much for me to use rational judgment and wait for a person learned in these things to help.

And I totally fixed the dryer!

It was really gross though.

The vent tube thing had some blockage,
nothing scratching or LIVE, that I could tell.

But when I turned the tube upside down and shook it repeatedly,
the most rancid,
primordial ooze plopped out on my feet.

I screamed and tried to run,
but it was on my feet.

That sucked.

And all that was just lint,
some socks with ice cream cones or smiley faces on them,
and whatever made the primordial ooze component.

Yet when the LIVE ANIMAL was thrashing around,
Matt was like "We should call a critter person."

I was like, "I can fix it, if it is not an owl or alien."

Matt and the girls are like,
"NOOOO. You will kill whatever is in there."


In every house,
somebody has to squash the bugs.
In our house, that would be me.

Matt and the girls would build terrariums or habitats or something.

So they get on a ladder,
and encourage the LIVE ANIMAL to fly or scamper away.

Not working at all.

So when they all had sudden emergency things to do,
involving not being in this house,
I put the dryer on air fluff only -

I am not evil, really.
I did not want to cook the thing.

air in the vent did whatever,
the LIVE ANIMAL is gone,
I didn't kill it,
and I don't know what it even was,
which is for the best.


My wine froze!!!


LIVE ANIMAL dryer vent extraction totally distracted me,
and I froze my wine.

Wine slushie is not the same as lovely glass of wine.

In conclusion, I am a beverage mismanaging idiot.
In one day,
I mismanaged every beverage I came across.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Beloved DisneyWorld Traditons: Laser Warfare, Hydroponic Vegetables, and The Dingo ate WHAT? Plus Starbucks!!! by Allison

So we have returned from our lovely and magical
(it is the law there, you know)
spring holiday trip to Disney World.

All of us love it there -
I think they may pump extra oxygen or maybe Tinkerbell is actually throwing something magically potent in the air -

And though this year, for the first year,
V wanted to ride the gnarliest of the roller coasters,
while Matt is still nostalgically getting us fast passes for the Winnie The Pooh ride -
(Note: That ride rules even still. There are Heffalumps in tutus.)

And height requirements don't apply to even the youngest of us,
so we mourn the loss of that being a restriction,
while also celebrating the lack of said restriction.


But we are at Disney, is happy magic place.

Get this?

There are Starbucks there now!!!!!!!!

That was my idea years ago and I hope I get credit or stock.
I have grumped about the lack of my Starbucks tea for years,
ask anyone.
The sight of a Starbucks logo discreetly mingling in with other beverage opportunities is a joy, worthy of a parade.

Good thing we are at Disney!

They have parades, like, every half hour.

And we have family traditions we do every year at Disney,
gleeful, kind of weird traditions we love,
like taking pictures while twirling rapidly and trying not to throw up on the tea cups ride,
saying hey to Nemo,
riding this bizarre tram at Epcot that talks about hydroponic vegetable and fish
(I am not making that up, I wish I was,
I hate that stupid tram. We all hate it, I think,
but it is absurd and strange and therefore, Tradition)

And death match family throw-down on the Buzz Lightyear ride tradition.

Much to my dismay,
the entire time we were in line this year,
the girls were lobbying for the teams
(we have to divide into two teams, every year the same teams, Tradition!)
to be switched up, and be divided as such:

M and a sister and Matt, not me

E (little traitor, we always ride this together,
and totally aim the gun laser thing at each other or backwards,
it is fun! Tradition!) and a sister and Matt, not me

V and a sister and Matt, not me.

A theme emerges.
A theme of ingrates treating me like Worst Laser Or Whatever Team Member Ever.

And fine.
Maybe that's true.

It is.
But it doesn't matter,
there aren't actual weird squatty aliens or things I don't know what,
that we have to laser to save Infinity and Beyond.

And I can HEAR THEM, I remind the girls,
as they all try to foist me off onto someone who is not them.

But we are at Disney!

All gets resolved.
My team doesn't win.
I don't care, either.
That may be part of the problem -

And another grand tradition is Small World,
as many times as we can when it gets late and there is no line and nobody can overhear me say gruesome things and terrify children.

That last part has been an add-on to the original tradition of riding Small World and watching the happy robot children sing.

Because now, whoever gets to sit by me has to hear about wild dogs eating babies.
Because I am an idiot.


The Dingo ate WHAT??? How To Ruin Disney World, by Allison:

This went down last Spring.

So we had excellent trip to Disney World,
and again?
I am fairly sure it is impossible to be melancholy, or even slightly less than super happy.
They make it so.
Is magic.

However, in case you want to throw some horrifying,
inappropriate, half-remembered Meryl Streep-doing-an-accent in with the Fun,
just invite me along.

It seems I wreak havoc wherever I go.

Even on It's A Small World.

At Disney World.
Happy animatronic poppets singing about unity and world peace?

Or, "The dingo ate my baby!!!"

I was on It's A Small World boat, sitting next to E,
known Information-Seeker and Exposer of My Misdeeds.

Matt and the other two were safely seated behind us,
watching the happy robot children sing.

We all love the Small World ride and go on it repeatedly when at Disney,
since it is both insane and awesome, two of our favorite things.  Traditions!!

This particular Small World scandale went down on our first night of vacation,
so maybe I was tired.


Anyway, as our boat of Happy took us into Australia and such,
E asked me what kind of dog is next to the boy with the boomerang.

It's a dingo, of course.

I know this, thanks to Meryl Streep.

That's all I know,
since I apparently did NOT know how to keep my big mouth shut and tell my daughter that the dog was a lab mix. 
I instead mushed on with the following awful conversation:

 Horrible True Crimes Committed By Dingoes And Society, By Allison.

The extent of my dingo knowledge is "The Dingo Ate My Baby" movie,
the one where Meryl Streep wears horrible black bowl cut wig,
does a very good Australian accent, and plays tormented mother of aforementioned baby.

And because I was and remain an idiot,
I chose to try to explain the true story dingo-baby movie to E,
who immediately is like "What? That dog ate a lady's baby?"

And then I decided it is important to clarify,
by saying that the dingo was a wild dog that was not as cute as that robot one,
and that the mother of the baby was falsely accused of infanticide,
partly because she did not cry enough,
she seemed mad and grumpy and not sad and weepy,
and people chose to believe she was bad and had killed her own baby. . .

And then I realized, I am a total, complete moron digging giant hole for myself,
and I cannot wriggle out of this conversation,
being held while Happy Robots From All Over The Small World sing.

I can ruin anything.

And I tried to explain to E what I took away from the movie/true story,
other than "the dingo ate my baby" pop culture reference,
was how first impressions sometimes are ruinous,
and the justice system did not work in this case,
and after a number of years the lady was proven right, and set free, . . .
but it is not a happy story, at ALL.

And we were at Disney World,
where the happy is just raining down on us,
unless I choose to put up an Umbrella Of Awful.

Which I totally did.

Big Giant Umbrella Of Ruining The Fun, Thanks Mom, Now I Will Have Nightmares.

And E was indignant, wanted to know did everything turn out OK?
She wanted to know did they just unlock the jail and say, "Sorry" to the lady when they found out the dingo did eat the baby,
and also why did the dingo eat the baby,
and also why was I watching a movie about this?

And I was all, "E look, we're in Holland, there are ducks!"

And she was all, "Not buying it.
Tell me more about the horrible terrible story involving babies and dingos and grumpy mothers in jail."

And I was all, "I am very glad that family in front of us cannot hear me right now,
or I'd get us thrown out of the Happiest Place On Earth."

But E and I did have a cool talk about not making snap judgments about people based on how you think they should act
(She tried to get in a "Sometimes a temper tantrum is OK" here, but I blocked that one, am not total amateur),
about how sometimes what seems like the right answer is not right,
and how we are never going camping in Australia.

And as we departed the ride,
I turned to Matt and was all "Could you hear what we were talking about?"

And he was all, "Nooo?"

And E was all, "Dad, do you know what a dingo is?"

And I was all, "Who wants to go to the tea cups????"

And luckily, tea cup ride is another tradition,
in which Matt takes progressively funnier photos of the girls as the tea cups whirl around,
and one ride's disaster was dodged as we rushed off to take embarrassing pictures of each other.

Fairly benign snarky silliness at tea cups,
no scary true-life crime stories at ALL.

Did not even talk about the Boston Tea Party,
or even complain about no Starbucks at Disney.
(Which? Honestly, that seemed like a win-win to me, seriously.
And Note:
I was right, it is a brilliant idea,
and now there is lovely Starbucks tea everywhere and everyone is even happier!
Is magic. Also, I am always right, really.)

Dodged a cloning debate when we got to renovated Fantasyland and there are now two Dumbo rides instead of one.
Exact same, just two, and I almost started a whole thing on cloning and whatever happened to that Dolly the cloned sheep?

But I did not!!!

Hurray!  I remembered to STOP TALKING!

Is magical place, after all.

So magical that my Horrible True Crimes Committed by Dingoes and Society speech, given on Small World ride, is a new tradition!

The girls get to rotate which one of them is the lucky winner of  Dingo Debate.

I am totally better at that than stupid Buzz Lightyear ride.
I wish they gave scores for Most Inappropriate Topic Please Stop We Are Happy Here Talks on the Small World ride, that would rule.

But no worries. I have my tea.
There are parades!
I am not sure if they are all centered around Starbucks and  Disney finally getting their act together, but that was what I was celebrating.

There are fireworks!

And Towers of Terror I have to ride now that V is old enough to drag me along.
But that was better than the Rock and Roll roller coaster.

The whole line is worrying about whether the ride is scary or not,
and I am worrying about the music.
And whether there is an animatronic Steven Tyler.
I was crossing my fingers, "Please, no robot singing Steven Tyler.
Please, please, don't let them play that song from Armageddon."

And hurray!
No Armageddon ballads on the roller coaster!

Only a holograph of Steven Tyler.
I mean, that is not ideal, but no robots!

Is magical place, after all.