Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From the mouths of babes. (Other than me, I mean.)

On the dangers of mid-earth travel

Sam: Mom, I know why it is so dangerous to travel to the center of the earth.
Me: Why?
Sam: Because if you go down there you can break the heart of the earth.

On scamming the Easter Bunny

Ross at Layton egg hunt: Hey Grandma. I didn't get any candy at all. Just money. So I bought a whole bag of candy from that other kid for only a dollar! (What he isn't saying: he went around shaking eggs, only picking up ones that sounded like cash). In the end, he gets the cash and the candy. Grandpa Ross was very proud of this scheme.

On 'Who's your puppy?'

Tom: Daddy! (he's pointing to our wedding portrait in the hall.)
Me: Yes, Tommy. That's Daddy.Who's this? (Pointing to myself in picture.)
Tom: Daddy!
me: Here. In the big white dress. MMMM....
Tommy: Puppy?
Me: No, Tommy. Right here. You know, the lady who feeds you and loves you and keeps your backside feces-free? Who's this?
Tom: Puppy. Puppy! Woof.

On how all great kid parties include pedicures for Mom:

Jane chose a day out with Mom for her 7th birthday, instead of a party this year. Itinerary:
Mall for new Webkinz
Lunch at Flancers
Enchanted at Dollar movies

It was a tough job, but somebody had to take her. Grandma and Grandpa Layton and Ryan met us for lunch, then Grandma came with us to the movies. I think I liked Enchanted better than Jane did. This was my kind of party. Jane loved it and blogged about it thoroughly. She's over yonder under "Janie."

Are we going to do it again next year, babe? I'll save the date.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sweaty pits and hairy eyeballs; stickin it to the MAN

UMMMM, I told you so. At least, I think I told you. I told some of you, at least.
But then, you likely already knew...because your underarms are suspiciously damp...

Summer begins today. Unofficially, of course. But still. The weather lady said it will be 90 degrees, which in my opinion is HOT.

Wait, you say. Spring just sprung! The vernal equinox was just last Thursday!

Well, people, this desert doesn't obey calendars. There is no law in the Old West. We've been springing since January, and now begins the long, hot summer.

I think we should have a moment of silence for the 80 degree days, which are gone forever. Or, maybe not forever, but until the end of October, if we are very lucky.

I think the government should fix our weather. It seems to be required to tend to all our other complaints and ailments. Why not this? Maybe Washington should pay for our air con bills, if it can't figure a way to shade the whole state. If I get skin cancer, I'll know it is George Bush's fault, and I'm totally suing.

As a symbol of my discontent, I might be joining the other hot and grumpy aging bourgeois revolutionaries, who wear dolphin shorts and tank tops with horrifyingly large arm holes to Costco. In this way, we can gross you and THE MAN (Feds) out with all kinds white and pasty, flabby and veiny thighs, and sometimes worse, in protest, until somebody fixes this weather. It is a diabolical plan, and we all know that diabolical plans almost always work.

In other news, big landslides closed the Beeline Highway in both directions, so we had to come home from the cabin in Payson via Globe and the many, many Renaissance Fair-goers. This took lots of time. Kids were very whiny and so I became very whiny. I got home and ran to Wal-Mart to buy food for Easter dinner (Beesons came here; thanks for doing all the dishes, ladies!) but the shelves were nearly bare. I grabbed the last bag of frozen hash browns and turned around to see a pinched-faced lady giving me and my frozen potatoes the hairy eyeball. I felt rather smug and happy that I'd gotten my hash browns, until I realized it was Easter and Jesus would totally have given the hairy eyeball lady his hash browns and gone without funeral potatoes (which is easily my favorite part of the meal), even on his big day. I guess I have a long way to go. I'm not so much like Jesus yet.

So now that I have gorged myself on potatoes and kept the party going with carrot cake for breakfast, I would like to make an announcement:

My rear end and I are going back to the gym! (No, I'm serious. April fool's is next week, and I was going to pretend to be pregnant, not pretend to exercise.) Do you wanna go with me? Ross is selling 3 month passes (little league fundraiser) to Fitnessworks (Baseline and Higley) for 20 bucks. Like, you slip Ross a Jackson, you go to the gym for three months. If you don't know Fitnessworks, they have the best classes in town. Seriously, they all are so entertaining I occasionally forget that I am exercising and that I actually hate it. Except for the spinning class, which was taught by my friend Marci. Even though she did an admirable job, I was wholly miserable and thought I might die a little bit.

If you are interested, leave me a comment or call me if you've got my #. The last day is Thursday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Embarrassing teenage journal entry #1, and why I've still never been to the Prom

"March 21, 1992
Boys to hang out with this semester:
1. Rob,
2. Jean-Marc,
3. Lee,
4. Bruce (home teacher),
5. Klaus,
6. Adam

New ones I met washing my car last Saturday, at the beginning of Spring Break:
Kevin and his friend Jake and also this guy from across the street named Bill.

I have to go pick up Stacey from the airport. I'll finish later."

(This is my first mention of Jake in my journal. I was a freshman at the University of Arizona. Liz and Stacey were my roommates. Liz and I treated boy-meeting as a team sport. Apparently, this was quite a good list. Liz and #2 are now married and have four children.)

Obviously, it was love at first sight in that soapy driveway on that warm March Saturday.

You can tell by the way I wrote "and his friend Jake," that I could see eternity in his eyes. Maybe.

This is how it went:
Mi hermanita Jen and I were washing my car in the driveway of 1946 E. Lockwood the first morning I was home for Spring Break. I loved my car, a white 91 Acura Integra. When I drove around in it with my big 90s hot-rollered hair, the boys would turn and stare. Anyway, just as we finished drying, two 18 year old boys, Jake and Kevin, pulled in to the driveway, and asked if we would put a scrubbin on Kevin's Civic, tambien. I had already started to re-fill the bucket when I heard Jen telling them :

"we don't know you and we won't wash your car."

"Oh, yeah", I thought, "maybe I shouldn't seem so eager. Play it cool. Play it cool." Jen was only 15, but she seemed to know instinctively that teenage boys only want one thing from pretty girls:

free car washes and movie treats.

Wait, that's two. Anyway, once you do chores for boys, they don't respect you any more. I learned that in Mia Maids, I think.

So I turned off the hose and we chatted a bit, and I tried to resist, but then I gave in and washed the car anyway. (I can't believe I was so easy, washing cars even before the first date). I think Jake helped, while Kevin and Jen stood by supervising. It seemed the boys had driven all the way from Glendale to visit Sarah, the girl across the street, who had promised to wash the car. Since she wasn't available, they went to the next nearest bikini car wash (only with no bikinis, just shorts that would surely violate the BYU honor code. At the UofA they were very nearly prudy, however.) After the cars were shiny, we all went to the movies to see Fried Green Tomatoes. I sat by Kevin, who tried to get me to buy him popcorn by telling me he lived in his car and didn't have any money. I think Jake was chatting up Jen while mentally calculating how long it would be until she turned 16, so he could put some moves on her, officially. (He denies it now, but I was there. I got eyeballs.)

It occurred to me perhaps one month later that Jake was smart and cute and funny. It also occurred to me that since he was technically still in high school, he or Kevin could invite me to the prom (I had never been to a prom, and it was my secret dream). So I tried to flirt with them. Too bad I'm a horrible flirter, because no Prom materialized. By the fall, though, Jake and I were fast friends, and I might have let him kiss me if he'd tried. Alas, he did not. But that's a story for another day.

Here we are at Disneyland, January 1, 1993. You'll notice Jake is wearing his Mickey ears.

What does all this mean? It means Happy Belated Anniversary, Jake! You pulled into my driveway 16 years ago last Friday. March 14, 1992. I'm so glad you did.

I'll wash your car anytime.
I'm just a girl who can't say no.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Are you a Kristen or a Lobster?

"Is he a Kristen or a Lobster?" Jane asked this morning as we headed west on Guadalupe, while zipping her Sun Chips into her backpack and giving them a loving pat through the pink satin.

I had been trying to drown out the distasteful conversation (which included, but was not limited to, the hilarious possibilities of getting run over by a cow, and poop and farts) with The Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 1.

I turned down the music. Tommy's head stopped bouncing, but he didn't complain. I glanced at him in the rear view mirror, where he gave me the sign for 'more' and said what only his Mother can understand is 'blueberries'. Blueberries account for about 50% of his total food comsumption this week. I got him some raspberries and blackberries, but he won't touch 'em. You should see the black poop. (More potty talk. Sorry.)

Back to Jane's question. The one I didn't understand. "What, Jane? Who?"

"Josh in my class. Is he a Kristen or a Lobster?"

I am lost, but I am starting to think that this'll be fun. I'd rub together my palms in anticipation, but I might wreck my awesome blue van.

"Like, you know, what Church does he go to?" Jane elucidates. (Jane talks like a Valley girl. I wonder where she got that?)

"You mean a Christian? Well, yes, he is. His family were our neighbors in Gilbert, so they went to Church with us. They are Mormons. What is a Lobster?"

"I dunno. Another kid in my class told me he is a Lobster."

I start throwing out religions that start with L or have a short O vowel sound.


Jane has her answer and is losing interest in being grilled about Lobsters. Ross chimes in:

"What are Lutherans and Protestants?"

So I start with the Catholics, and mention Martin Luther and the 95 Theses. (I am feeling good because I can finally use a little of what I learned in the "History of Christianity" class I took at the U of A, which was really only about Catholics because the Prof was a friend of the Pope or something. I'm not sure I'll ever have use for all the First Council of Nicea info I've got stored somewhere up in my bean.)

I pause for a moment while Ross snickers because he thinks I said 95 feces.

Then I quickly explain (this is taking longer than it did in real life) that all of them (including the rest of the Protestants and their ilk, Lutherans and progeny-sects like Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Unitarians, etc...) are Christians with different ideas on the way Christ's Church on earth should be run and who has authority to do it.

"Are Vegetarians a kind of Protestant?" Jane queries.
Ross snorts.
Jane grimaces and grunts. She is like an expert grunter. Extra deep, throaty, and menacing for an almost-seven-year-old.

"Many are, but not eating meat it isn't a religion, exactly." (Except maybe for the Lobsters.)

"Did that guy get in trouble for nailing stuff on the Church? Were any of his complaints real?" Ross says quickly.

"Um, yes. And yes." I replied. "He made some good points and a lot of people listened." Not the Pope, though, not at first.

There is sort of a long pause. I figured they were all back there pondering Martin Luther. I have a warm, good-mother feeling in my heart.

Ross finally pipes up: "How do you spell feces? What if you got run over by a cow and landed in feces?"

Hardy har har.

I lost their attention before I got to tell them that we aren't Protestants (nor will most Protestants claim us even as fellow Kristens), but it was due to men like Martin Luther, that Joseph Smith had a bible in English to read. It was due to itinerant Protestant preachers with wildly differing doctrines, that the confused 14-year-old Joseph went into the woods to pray, and saw God and his son Jesus.

I never found out what a Lobster is.
Probably not a Kosher-keeping Jew.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Googling me, googling you

Whilst googling this fine Monday morn, I noticed the drop down box is full of all kinds of fun goodies. It is like a trip down short-term memory lane.
trumpette baby socks
Arizona Statehood Day
Arizona school cut off date
bounce u
BYU Women's Conference
David Gray
Josh Radin tabs
Peninsula hotel New York Reviews
Rick Steves Italy
New office episodes
Kelly Beeswax (insert actual name.)
Pikachu Pokechow (wasn't me)
Far Side Cartoons
Strep throat symptoms (Went to Urgent care, where they swabbed and jabbed me, then told me I was clear for strep and mono.)
John boy mormon?
Chicago fire cow

Do you know who's googling Jean Claude Van Damme? Lots of people.
Do you know who they are getting? Me.

That's right. Every day I get visitors from all over the world coming to see this early blog entry. (If you haven't seen Jake with Hugh Grant's hair lately, it is worth a second look.) Occasionally, people are looking for Hugh, but mostly just Jean Claude. I found this when checking out my visitor map. If I click on the location, it tells me they came from Google image search. Where have my Jean Claude googlers come from JUST THIS MONTH? I'm glad you asked...

Stockholm, Sweden
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Liberecky Kraj, Czech Republic
Delhi, India
Helsinki, Finland
Paris, France
Honolulu, Hawaii
Ontario, Canada
Bucharest, Romania
Warsaw, Poland
Auckland, New Zealand
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Tokyo, Japan
Costa Rica

Now that I think about it, I shouldn't have told you all about Jean Claude. I should have just posted the visitor map on my blog so you could all be shocked and amazed at my cosmopolitan readership.

What have you been googling? Who is googling you? Take a peek and leave me a comment with your findings!

Friday, March 07, 2008

The end begins

The other night Ross and I were googling Far Side cartoons (Ross is really into comics lately, mostly Calvin and Hobbes). We were having some good times until this one popped up:

Foreground: "It seems that agent 6373 has accomplished her mission" says one cow to another.
Background: "Chicago" in flames.

"I don't get it," I say to Ross. "Apparently some cow is causing trouble in the city," then I move to click to the next cartoon.

"Wait!" says Ross. "I know what it is about. You know the great Chicago fire of 1871? It was started by Mrs. O'Leary's cow who kicked over a lantern in the barn. Whoo hoo. That's funny. Like the cow was a secret agent..."

I scratched my head.
I paused for a moment, for dramatic effect.
I felt something shift.
I felt the tide change.
This was a pivotal moment in our lives.

You might be thinking, it is just a cartoon.

It isn't. You see, I'd never heard of Mrs. O'Leary's cow. Yet, I know something about American History. I like to think I do, at least. I have a degree in it.

Of course, I began to rationalize, the whole cow story was made up by a newspaper reporter, who knew an Irish Catholic immigrant scape-cow would sell newspapers. He later admitted the lie. I just learned that on Wikipedia.

But, you see, Ross knew it, and I didn't. We weren't talking about Pokemon or sports, subjects in which no one expects me to know anything. Including me.

He's only just nine. I think this Far Side cartoon begins the end. Obviously, I still have a few things to teach him, but how much, and for how long? This whole cow incident isn't just a one-off, and I know it.

I suppose I should have been expecting this. I've had years to get used to the idea, ever since he was 18 months old and I would ask, "Ross, show me the letter B, " and he would respond:

"upper case or little case?"

It is different now, don't you see?

I knew the letter B.
Both of them.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tuesday Night in Suburbia

There are days to cook. That was yesterday. 6 hours making chicken pot pies. Not including clean-up.

There are days to lie about in bed and read novels you are mildly embarrassed to name on your blog. I'm still waiting for an entire day of that, but I carve out time for the embarrassing novel or two. They aren't collecting dust.

There are days to go out for ice cream with your OBGYN. (Well, not mine exactly, just the one who delivered Tommy on May 19, 2006 because the real one was at Les Miserables. That was the night I decided that epidurals were maybe overrated. Which they are not. It was far too late, though, when I decided I had been so totally, terribly wrong. In between these momentous decisions, I screamed a great deal, not thinking I would ever see any of these people again...socially.) That day was Saturday.

There are days to clean. That was today.

I am sleepy.
My throat hurts.
I need a bath in my clean tub.
Maybe some Paula Deen brownies from the freezer.
Then bed.
Maybe about 500 mg of Tylenol and a little Anita Shreve "A Wedding in December" to wash it down.

NONONO.I need to stop dreaming so big. Ross has a non-fiction book report on ice hockey due tomorrow.
I think I'd rather take a puck to the head.

Last night was much the same. I shut it down about 7:30, all tucked into my bed, teeth brushed, jammies donned, then realized I didn't have the remote control and Baywatch was starting. I secretly pride myself on having NEVER watched even a single episode of Baywatch. Not even 2 minutes in row. I was so sleepy, though. I was feverish. Almost paralyzed, really. I could easily have let myself be lulled to sleep by the soothing voice of David Hasselhoff. But I didn't. I was able rouse myself enough to roll out of bed and flip it to PBS. I was rewarded with Rick Steves travels in Bath and York. I fell asleep somewhere in his descriptions of the amazing Georgian architecture. Which goes to show how tired and sick I really was. I have a not-so-secret crush on Rick Steves. Ask anybody. (But don't ask Jen. She thinks my RickWatch has a dark side,and that I read Rick's blog so I can evilly stalk him in distant and exotic locales, with plans to do him bodily harm. FYI, Rick was all the way over in Italy this summer while we were in London and Paris. Which I thinks proves my lack of evil intent.

Jake had a computer guy with an orange tie come over this morning and configure things so all our 5 computers (even the geezerly, won't-run-the-webkinz one, plus one not plugged in) will play nice and print wirelessly. He also did something to make the network stronger so we can watch netflix movies on the laptop in the bedroom without the troublesome pauses. Important stuff. Thanks, Jake. You are right. There aren't words or room enough on this blog to thanks you properly. Maybe I'll have to share the brownies with you later.

There are also days for washing stinky clothes. That's tomorrow.