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thequillsisters

September 15

We’re half way through September and it’s still a million degrees outside. We stare longingly at the pile of sweaters we won’t be able to wear for at least another month. It’s a bit disheartening. But, at least we’re not flooded. Our friend Kurt would be proud of us for coming up with something not to complain about when it comes to weather. He knows just how much we love to complain about the weather. Actually, complaining about stuff in general. Right now, the biggest complaint is due to the Sisters lack of proximity to each other. Working on opposite side’s of the city does not afford us many opportunities to lunch together. We hate it. The world would be a much more tolerable place if we were back together more often. Thank Zeus there’s these five things to keep us distracted.

1. It’s a zoo! So the Arkansas Game and Fish happened upon a barn housing seven tigers, six lions and one leopard. They went there on an anonymous tip. All of the animals were in good health. No one got into any trouble because their owner, a man from England, had all the proper papers. This gave the sisters pause. Are you telling us there are proper papers to be had? That’s all we need? Where does one get these papers? Surely there’s somewhere on the internet we can get them. Or maybe at the office supply store where they sell the do-it-yourself divorce kits. How complicated can it be? Maybe this is the call we’ve been waiting for to become familiar with the black web.

2. Something’s up in Vermont. The police are looking for a man who ran into a sporting goods store and stole an airsoft rifle. That doesn’t seem like that big a deal. Certainly not necessarily something that would pique the interest of the Sisters, you’d think, right? Wrong. Seems this fellow was wearing a panda suit. Don’t you think that’d be strange enough, if a person came into a store wearing a panda suit? Honestly, that should set some alarm bells ringing. One can assume some shenanigans are afoot. Also, it should be noted that if a person is shot with an airsoft rifle it would hurt a lot less if you’re wearing a panda suit. Not that we know this from experience.

3. Steph Laberis. Amylynn bought this print by Steph Labris, a completely delightful artist, while she was in Disneyland this summer. This is the spookily accurate representation of living in the Bright house with Quentin. It’s like she’s met the Velvet Menace and spent some quality time with him. The Sisters are just in love with her art – you can see a  bunch of it here on her Deviant Art page. We’re looking for a few specific other pieces by her as well, but she’s hard to locate. Steph – if you read this we’re convinced that you’re an Honorary Quill Sister based on your Panda picture alone. Everything you do is adorable. Please let us know where we can find your work. Also, if you’ll accept a

commission for a portrait of Jojo Kitty, the handsomest cat in all the land. Love – your Sisters.

4. Edward Thomas Hardy. One of our favorite actors turned forty yesterday. We should all take a moment to take in the glory of Tom. Not only does he look like this…sigh. But he’s also one hell of an actor. If you’re not familiar with his work and you’re in the mood for something serious, we recommend Wuthering Heights, The Revenant, Inception. If you looking for something romantic and charming go for This Means War. If action is what you’re looking for there’s The Dark Knight Rises and Mad Max Fury Road. But if you want to see the best movie he’s ever done – an amazing film in both story telling and directing. The entire cast is phenomenal. Check it out. Warrior. You won’t be sorry.

5. The Glories of Mortgage Lending. The Sisters often joke about leaving the glories of mortgage lending behind to do something else. Truthfully, anything else. However, and this is true, the Sisters do learn something new almost everyday at their jobs. For example, one of them had to find out how much round portable animal pen panels with gates cost, used ($1200.00). They also know what Dorper Sheep are and what part of the country they hail from (Texas). It also turns out, you can’t get a mortgage if you own a marijuana farm but you can if you only work there. We suggest you don’t play Trivial Pursuit with us.

Redemption

I made dinner tonight. First let me state, right now at the beginning, that no one (else) got hurt or sick. Also, The only thing that got burned was my thumb.

To those of you who are new to the blog, I am not the primary cook in this house and everyone is grateful. Except My Honey, but he also knows that he’s way better at it than me. When I make dinner, you can almost guarantee that something will go wrong. I swear to Zeus I don’t do it on purpose.

Take for example the last time I made a chicken pot pie.

That’s one of the few things I make well. Pie. I’m good at pie. It’s probably because it’s dessert and I LOVE dessert. Somehow or another that transfers over to a savory pot pie.

That is NOT a burn at the top – it’s the shadow from the pepper shaker.

Last time I made it from scratch just like I always do. I roasted the chicken, made the roux, latticed up the crust. I pulled the glass pie pan from the oven and left it on top of the stove to set and cool a bit while I set the table. It was gorgeous.

I had just set the plates on the table when there was an explosion in the kitchen. I assumed the dogs. Dogs are trouble – especially when they’re tall. Roscoe the Wonder Mutt is a leggy bloodhound who can easily grab things off the counter. I ran to the kitchen but it wasn’t the dogs. It wasn’t even a curious cat.

I had inadvertently set the glass pie pan on a hot burner and it exploded in a million pieces splattering my beautiful pot pie over every inch of the kitchen. It took forever to get it out of all the burners. And off the ceiling. And the cabinets.

I was too furious to cry. I remember we had spaghetti instead. I love spaghetti but it’s no homemade pot pie.

Regardless, I committed to doing it again. Chicken had been on sale at the grocery and we’d stocked up the deep freeze.

I made 100% certain that the burners were all off on the stove. It turned out perfect. This story has no punchline and that’s a damn good thing.

 

September 7

Welcome back! Well, we guess we should welcome ourselves back. We took a break. We’d been at this blog for YEARS and we were just exhausted. And sometimes you’re too busy and/or weary to be funny for other people, ya know? To be honest, and we feel really bad about this actually, we didn’t do much writing at all. We’re feeling much better now, though, and we’re committed to being funny for an audience again. We thought we’d start back with the Five Favorite Things because that was one of our little pet features. The Amy and Ava Show is back for a long engagement. Remember, leave comments to encourage your favorite comedic bloggers.

1. Blue-Eyed dragons. Are you all fans of Game of Thrones? If you aren’t, we don’t know how you manage to avoid it. How can you even follow conversations on Monday mornings? They’re all full of conspiracy theories and manic ravings about incest and murder and white zombies. This show is so fabulous — we can barely contain ourselves. Did we ever tell you about the time we almost got arrested for stalking George R R Martin? It involved the bribe of a Bundt cake. All the best shenanigans involve cake, and we figured George looked like a fellow who’d appreciate two funny and charming women showing up at his house with cake. Maybe one of these days we’ll give you the full scoop. Back to the point. We want a blue-eyed dragon who breathes blue ice-fire. It would come in remarkably handy when one of our nemeses needs a reminder of just exactly who they’re dealing with. Hey – you watchers of the Song of Ice and Fire – what’s your theory on where the hell the Night King got those giant chains to pull that dragon out with. Is there a Home Depot on the other side of the wall or what?

2. We all deserve the shake. Ava was fetching herself some lunch yesterday – alone – because now she and Amylynn work on opposite sides of town and never see each other. This is a tragedy of epic proportions and the universe is all the lessor for it. However, there’s also probably fewer employment opportunities for wait staff and counter help now that they’re not together torturing people as a hobby thus forcing service people to quit their jobs and remand themselves to solitary occupations such as nuns and hermits. While ordering at the counter she over heard this pearl of wisdom from an older lady talking to her granddaughters. “I’m 80-years-old. I’m getting the shake. You’re teenagers. Get the shake.” This woman is our hero. This is also why we’ll always be fat. No matter what your situation, it’ll probably be made better with a shake.

3. September Vogue. Specifically page 662. What the hell is this bullshit? This, dear readers, is the embodiment of the Emperor Has No Clothes allegory. It’s literally a winter coat sewed together with a house muumuu and some fake pink fur. Who would wear this nonsense? Where would you wear it? Like we guess while running around in the fields of Yorkshire in the dead of winter trying to catch your wayward sheep. Amylynn swore she wouldn’t ever wear that ridiculous getup even if offered a lamb as a bribe, but Ava reminded her that the model was paid and that Amylynn should shut up because – lamb or no lamb – if offered money, Amy would wear it. Of course she was right. If you get paid enough money you can buy a lot of lambs. And if the lambs should happen to get poop on your dress, no one would even notice. Or care. Except maybe Prada.

4. How close can we get to the front door? Ava used to be married to a person who refused to valet park. Now she wanders the earth valet parking everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Even when she’s not even going in a restaurant. If a valet comes near her car to park it, she lets them. What’s better than valet parking? Nothing you cry! But you’d be wrong. Because you know what is? Valet parking in the middle of a monsoon! Yup. Ava went out to dinner last night and it started to pour. Out came the valet to the rescue. That kind valet even parked Ava’s car right in front of the restaurant.  Thanks, John!

 

5. Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The Sister’s got an accidental cat. We see you rolling your eyes! Well, it’s true. We had no plans to get another kitty. Well, not a real plan that was going to be executed. It wasn’t like we were lying to ourselves about getting a sixth cat between the two of us. Anyway, the problem isn’t that we now have six cats, the problem is that the new fur baby has no tail. He’s a Manx. That means he has no tail, just a tuft of hair where his tail should be. Amy insists he lost it gambling. Ava can’t pet him right because she always tugs the cat’s tail when she’s done petting it. This cat actually went to college with the oldest Bright child. When the hell did it become okay to bring a cat to college? He is majoring in Catculus. If it had been like that when we were in school – we’d still be there.

Confession is not necessarily good for the soul

A couple of weeks ago I sent a bad email at work – totally on accident, I assure you. It was an email I meant to send to a colleague but accidentally sent to a customer. In this email, I said something fairly unpleasant about that very customer. I freaked out the second AFTER I hit send. Too little too late, right?

I did the thing that pulls the email back if it’s not been read, but I had no way of knowing if it actually worked.

I trotted down the hall and spilled my guts to my manager. I told her everything. She laughed at my misery and tried to tell me it wasn’t so bad and things would be okay.

Then I called my colleague and admitted everything. If there were going to be any repercussions from an angry customer he would be the first to get the earful and I didn’t want him to be blindsided. He did his best to put me at ease, said he agreed with my assessment in the email, and told me to calm down.

I absolutely could not calm down.

Fast forward to this week. I stayed home sick on Tuesday (although I spent the whole day working on the couch instead of at my desk, so it didn’t really count). I got an email from HR.

“An email has come to my attention that I’d like to talk to you about.”

Oh, man! My heart sunk. I responded that I was home sick and she could call my cell phone. I also said, “I know what email you’re talking about and I’ve just been sick over it. I immediately told my supervisor about it.”

She waited a moment and replied, “What email are you talking about? I’m talking about the one with the picture.”

HOLY SHIT – I just confessed to HR about an incident that they didn’t even know about.

“Hahahahahaha,” I said and completely ignored her question. “I really hate having my picture taken.”

See – much cuter than a picture of me.

The Tech guys at work had sent a request to those of us who don’t have a picture attached to our email. They asked for us to send in one. I sent in a cute little caricature of myself instead.

“Don’t worry,” she told me. “You can opt out of the picture. What I’m really concerned about is the comment about the Witness Protection Program. Do you need to talk about that?”

BLAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHA.

When I sent in the little drawing I told the tech guy that I was in the Witness Protection Program and they won’t allow me to put pictures of myself on the internet.

If you’re in Witness Protection do they think you’re actually going to tell everyone at work?

The real problem here is that apparently, if I ever get dragged in by the cops, I’m going to confess every single sin I’ve ever committed since the 4th grade.

Let the joys of summer begin

First I want to start this story by telling you all that the desert is well into spring already. The high was in the 90s today – all of this while the east is digging out of a blizzard. We know; the worlds not fair.

Onward.

We were sitting at a stop light today. We had a few errands to run, but really it was an excuse to get out of the house because I was slowly turning into a hermit.

Suddenly, there was shrieking from the back seat – from the boy, interestingly enough. I didn’t know what he was shrieking about but his sister quickly joined him. Neither My Honey or I could make out exactly what was going on but there was prodigious flapping of arms and screaming.

“Open the window! Open the window!” was the only intelligible thing to emerge from back there.

Here comes the best part. Prepare yourself because the following could be mistaken for a Laurel and Hardy skit.

I opened the window and expected the hysteria to immediately decrease a notch.

Instead…

“OH MY GOD! IT WAS ON THE OUTSIDE!”

Yes, it’s true. All the preliminary bedlam was unfounded as the insect was on the outside of the window. Now that I’d so quickly rolled the window down, the insect was presently buzzing around on the inside with apparent bloodthirsty

MOTHRA!

menace.

Ratchet up the screeching! Recommence flapping of arms. There wasn’t much My Honey or I could do about this. First of all we were in traffic in one of the busiest intersections in town. Also,  we were all seat belted in as per the law. Besides all of that, neither of us was too excited to crawl back there and be clobbered with a shoe – which was now being waved around with maniacal precision.

WHAP! “I got it!” Sassy informed us like a big game hunter. “Biggest mosquito I’ve ever seen.”

It may or may not have been a mosquito. It was quite large. Frankly, it could have been a dragonfly. Either way, Sassy was thrilled to have “saved her brother’s life” while also being allowed to give him a fully sanctioned welt on his leg with rubber flip-flop.

 

Don’t mess with the civil service

Remember how I traded in Dave Durango for Leanidas of the 300? That was back in November.

My love affair with Lea progresses nicely. She’s beautiful and she smells good and I love her sound system.

Sometime in January, I got a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles claiming that they didn’t have any insurance on record for Lea. I followed the instructions and sent them my insurance card.

I assumed all was well.

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail that Lea’s registration was suspended due to lack of insurance and they

Typical line a the DMV

implied that I would live to regret my apparent disregard for their policies. Then they demanded I send proof of insurance along with $50 ransom.

Yeah.

I called the number on the letter and sat on hold for 45 minutes. 45 long minutes that didn’t even include hold music. Apparently, the DMV doesn’t feel inclined to tell you that your call is very important to them. I guess we should find some honor in the fact that they won’t lie to you just to try to make you feel better.

I told the woman who finally came on the line to help me that I’d already sent the insurance card. Additionally, I told her that I didn’t appreciate Lea’s registration being suspended. I confided that I enjoyed speeding and this whole registration business was cramping my style. Lastly, I told her I was not giving them $50.

She suggested that I could try the computer system and download the insurance info again. I scoffed. That worked out so well for me last time.

She played her ace by advising that I come down to the office and wait in line.  I told her that, actually, my father didn’t have anything to do these days except wait around in lines and complain bitterly to anyone who would listen. I informed her that he was often disgruntled and, should we give him a good reason, he could apply this disgruntledness to just about any cause. I’d be willing to pack him a sandwich and send him down there if she thought that would be a good course of action.

I want you to know that the employees of the DMV are not intimidated by threats – certainly not those of grumpy old men. Apparently, they breed them down there.

I uploaded my insurance info again via their website. I received confirmation that Lea’s registration has been cleared. I did not send $50 because I won’t cave in to terrorist threats.

I sped like a fully registered idiot the whole way home.

Guess where we’ll be

March 11 – 12th

We’ll be in Booth 111 right by the Arizona Daily Star booth. You can’t miss us!

There’ll be lots of books and giveaways and the chance to meet us and some other great authors.

You’ll hear us squealing every single time a doggy walks by.

We really hope to see you there.

What kind of sorcery…

Sorcery. That’s what this is. It’s also, totally genius. Think of the time and effort it would relieve the Sister of if we had this.

We know that we’ve told you before how we have to eat M&Ms and Skittles in certain color order. It’s one of our few peccadilloes that is charming and not bat-shit crazy. They make machines for that kind, too. It’s called electroshock therapy.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the internet, we present this to you.

And this is why I’m suing Kellogg’s

The other night around 2am, while my family was sleeping soundly, I was hungry. It had been quite some time since dinner and my tummy was growling. I decided that I wanted some cereal. It’s one of my favorite foods. Just love me some cereal.

I filled up a bowl with Frosted Mini-Wheats and went out to the living room to watch television. Things were going along just fine when suddenly I was choking on a tiny sliver of wheat. A mini wheat, if you will. I have no idea how

The fellow seems harmless enough

this happened. One minute, chew chew chew and the next GAH! I managed to get to the point where I was coughing, which any medical professional will tell you means that I’m not actually choking anymore, but doesn’t do a lot towards making you feel better when you can’t seem to get a full breath.

So here I was, slowing dying in the living room, coughing so hard I actually peed a little, and the whole time I’m trying to defend my bowl of deadly cereal and milk from the damn cat.

I thought to myself, between desperate hacking, that there was very little dignity in death by cereal. I also figured it was apt that I’d die from eating something I had no business eating. I considered that I should try to crawl down the hall to wake up My Honey to let him know that I needed assistance, except that I’d have to put down my bowl and then Quentin would get the milk for sure.

This was how my family would find me in the morning, dead on the floor in the living room, a tiny fleck of wheat lodged in my throat, and dairy-free bowl on the floor by a contented cat with milk breath.

Clearly I lived to tell the tale. As I see it, the moral of the story is: Don’t eat cereal by yourself.

My Honey says it’s: Go to bed at a normal time.

My guess is that neither of these things are actually going to happen.

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