My Honey and The Bandit have been working on the cutest project and I’ve been dying to share it with you.
Remember how in love with cowboys and horses The Bandit was? Well nothing has changed as he turned six. He also loves cars and Army men and Nerf guns and Pokemon and Bakugan and Transformers and all things little boys love, but the horses and cowboy infatuation has never got away. He still plans on being a cowboy/jet fighter pilot/hockey player when he grows up. I don’t know how that is actually going to work, but I’m not inclined to dampen his desire. Not really crazy about how dangerous any of those jobs are, but there’s still a chance he’ll growing into accounting.
Look at that. I went off on a tangent. Who’d have thought.
Anyway…. The Bandit asked his father to draw a horse the other day. Well, Daddy went one better and before I knew it we had a whole complex Western town paper doll set going on. There is a saloon and a jail house several cowboys, gunfighters and horses. It’s really quite cool. My Honey has aways been very good at drawing. If I’m asked to draw a horse – oh happy Zeus, it ends up looking like an amoeba with a mane. My grandmother was an artist. She made a living at it. I did not inherit a single artistic gene. Not a one. That’s probably why I find this project so incredibly delightful.
Bandit sets up the parts of the town and incorporates his plastic horse models in his play.
I love that the Saloon has a sign that says, “Check guns at the door” and that beer is 5 cents.
Did you note the bullet holes in the windows and walls? Apparently, this is a really wild Cow Town.
The jail has has wanted posters on the bulletin board outside the door.
I’m going to ask him to make me a model of Greece. I’m going to take it to my office and when I’m feeling desperate because my soul is nearly gone, sucked clean from my body, I’m going to crawl under my desk and practice my Greek alphabet: πάρτε την κόλαση από εδώ.
As I write this post it is currently 110 degrees with 8% humidity.
It’s been a very trying day. I got the kids off to camp. That means I got the boy to walk with me just long enough to get the World’s Fastest Peck Near The Cheek and to peel Sassy The Barnacle off my leg. My kids are so radically different about personal space and independence. The Bandit has things to do and I’m just generally holding him down – I’m like “The Man” only with boobs – and Sassy would crawl back up into my womb if I’d let her and there was enough room for her to take her Nintendo DS.
When I got back to the searing hot parking lot, my car wouldn’t start. No that’s not correct. It would start but it wouldn’t stay started. And then it wouldn’t do anything. It took mere seconds for the sweating to start. By the time I’d dialed My Honey’s phone number my hair was wet. I yelled at the poor man like the whole thing was his fault, which of course it wasn’t. He couldn’t rescue me. It was absurd that I was expecting that in the recesses
of my mind, but I was. I wanted my Fairy God mother to show up and smack the car with a wand or something. He wisely advised me to call our mechanic and AAA. I hung up on him. I’m not proud.
I got out of the car in a fit of pique and opened the hood – like I was going to fix it in my skirt and heels with no tools. I stared at the engine with malice. Then I viciously slammed the hood. When I got back in the car, the bitch started right up. I don’t know what the slamming of the hood did other than scare her straight, but it worked. Did I call back My Honey and apologize? No I did not. I’m not proud of myself for that either, but there you have it.
So, now I was back on the road with the air conditioning cranked up to sub-arctic. I don’t know what I was so excited about. After all it was the soul-sucking-day-job I was heading to. It’s not like I was at risk of missing my flight to go sign the ownership paperwork for Greece or anything.
When I left the office to met Kelli for lunch, it was 106. I don’t know about
you people, but I think that’s ridiculous, and we are still days and days away from measurable rainfall. We haven’t had a drop of moisture for a record setting 79 days. At least lunch was cathartic. Kelli and I grumbled and compared grievances for most of the time. We also texted with Ava who claimed she wasn’t in a bad mood like we were, but she did complain about the food on her vacation nevertheless.
I’m certain it was hotter when we left the restaurant than when we arrived. The interior of the car was melt-your-face, catch-your-hair-on-fire hot. I drove the two blocks back to my office only to find someone parked in my covered spot. You already know how possessive I feel about my parking spot. I gunned the engine in heat induced rage and parked under a microscopic tree. I took out a notebook and composed three notes I had to crumple up before I composed one that didn’t overtly threaten the other selfish driver. My lawyer says my threatening notes should be more opaque. There is a new tenant in our building and today was move-in day. I stomped, literally stomped, over to that office and “kindly” requested that driver move their vehicle tout de suite.
By the time I finally arrived at my desk, I was alarmingly red. In fact, my cubicle neighbor commented on it. I’m certain it was due to the sun broiling me at 110 degrees without the benefit of a nice marinade.
The guy moved his car and even came in to apologize. Unfortunately, I was not gracious enough to accept it without throwing in a couple digs about “polite society” and “parking lot etiquette”. I would like it noted that, even though I growled at him, I did not actually bite the man. The summer is still relatively young, though, and there’s still time.
Would you like to know the real tragedy with the economy today? You might think unemployment or the staggering foreclosure rate or the obscene gas prices. These things are all bad and I’m not so full of hubris as to try to convince you otherwise. But I do think we’d all agree that these things are made more tolerable with humor.
The tragedy of this economy, at least as it effects me today, is that it is seriously curtailing my ability to pull off practical jokes.
As you know, Ava is in Tennessee this week with her family. Tomorrow they arrive in Memphis where they are staying at the Heartbreak Hotel at Graceland. Ava offhandedly pointed out to me last week that the hotel and Graceland are supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Elvis. Well my ghost hunting didn’t work out all that well, but that doesn’t mean I want to give up entirely.
So I decided the truly hysterical thing to do would be to FedEx her the special pickle jar right to the hotel. I pictured her family gathered around the reception desk and the clerk handing over the overnight box. I’m certain Ava would start giggling as soon as she saw the return address from Quill Sisters Ghost Hunting Inc. That’s what Kelli and I decided would be the funniest thing. I imagined her pulling the Costco size pickle jar out of the box, packing peanuts tumbling out along with it to fall on the floor and counter. Kelli and I decided stuffing it with Hostess items would entice Elvis to come out of his ghostly hiding. My Honey tells me The King loved those nasty pink Snoballs so I was going to cram some of those in there with the Twinkies and Cupcakes. I have no idea how My Honey knew this about Elvis but I’m not inclined to question him about it any more than he questions me about movie trivia.
The biggest draw of sending the Ghost Trapping Pickle Jar to the hotel, besides how much I knew Ava would think it was funny, was how much it would just drive her husband, Ed, crazy. I could hear him already, “What’s wrong with her?” And her girl and boy would probably be embarrassed by the stupidity of it.
I giggled just like Betty Rubble everytime I thought of it.
Unfortunately, no matter how funny it was going to be, I couldn’t justify spending 35.00 or 40.00 just to overnight the jar, not to mention the 10.00 or 15.00 it would take to pack the jar with bait.
There was a time, not so long ago, when I wouldn’t have even hesitated to pull off this joke. In the good old days, I would have sent it Priority Over Night stuffed full of yummy, fattening, King of Rock and Roll seducing treats and waited by my phone for Ed’s irritated text. The one from Ava would simply read, “Nose Coffee.” That’s Quill Sister shorthand whichmeans whatever you just texted made the recipient snort hard enough that coffee came out their nose.
Then think of the hysterical blog post I could write you people about that adventure. Don’t you see how this economy is ruining it for everyone? Who do we contact about this? The White House? Ben Bernanke? I think we should start a letter writing campaign or something. Anthony Weiner isn’t up to anything right now. Maybe he could spearhead this endeavor. He’s just perfect for the task. Think of all the Weiner jokes. I promise they’d be better than that last ”spearhead” joke.
I was so looking forward to popcorn and Red Vines for lunch. Alas, it was not to be.
His father sent the Bandit into his room to do the last bit of clean up on his room and then we were going to go see Cars 2. We were all looking forward to it. Do you suppose the boy went right in there and proceeded to clean up his room or do you suppose he got into mischief? Knowing the Bandit, what do you think happened?
Twenty-five minutes into his allotted half hour, it was discovered The Bandit used his time unwisely. What he did had nothing whatsoever with cleaning his room. In fact, he wasn’t even in his room. Even now, hours later, I can’t believe the fruits of his labor.
He painted the bathroom with magenta nail polish – specifically Sassy’s magenta nail polish.
He painted this feet and shins, the toilet, the sink, the floor, the door stopper, the bathtub, the newly speckled bathmat, the wall and, most significantly, the tile and grout. Nail polish remover easily removed the color from every surface except the material of the bathmat and the grout. Nothing will remove it from the grout except perhaps a sand blaster. I scrubbed and scrubbed with a toothbrush and liberal amounts of acetone and managed to make it fainter, but it’s still there. While his father ranted and raved and Sassy gnashed her teeth, I thought at least I had my Sunday night blog post covered.
The movie was canceled, obviously. The boy was sent to his room where he screamed at the top of his lungs for a protracted amount of time at the injustice of not seeing his movie. His sister cried for some time at the unfairness of having lost an entire bottle of nail polish. I cried because I wasn’t getting Red Vines. No one was happy.
I don’t know why I bothered to ask the boy why, but both his father and I did anyway. I don’t know what we were expecting his answer to be. When I asked him specifically what he thought was going to happen when his transgression was discovered, of course he said, “I don’t know.” He didn’t know why it seemed like a good idea. He didn’t know what possessed him. He didn’t think about what his father and I would say.
His grandmother commented that it would have been nice if he could have chosen a nice blue or brown if he planned to do some remodeling as it would have matched the existing decor. She was not helpful. Especially when I could hear the laugh under her voice. I know she’s just happy that I have the same joys of parenthood she enjoyed.
This is so obviously a boy thing. His sister never did insane things like this. I never did them, either. My brother on the other hand, was a nightmare. I suspect this is a boy thing. What the hell is wrong with boys? Are they always this stupid? Kelli says, “Yes. Yes they are.” I shrug.
When I put him to bed tonight, after the yelling and screaming and scrubbing was over, I asked again why he did it. He still didn’t know. However, when I asked him if he would ever do it again, there was no hesitation when he told me no.
Did I believe him. Absolutely not. I’m not a complete idiot.
If you’re a reader of romance and want to know what I thought of the books I’ve been reading, these are the reviews I posted this week.
The Quill Sisters are excited to present a couple new additions to our website! Welcome to “5 Things that Kept Us from Slitting Our Wrists This Week” that, although self-explanatory, really are some things that happened to us through the week that improved our outlook, despite the soul-sucking job and the delay on our purchase of Greece. We hope you enjoy!
1. I finished the first draft of my 2nd book. Afterwards, for the next two days I wandered around with no idea what to do with myself. I didn’t have any plot points to resolve or conversations to mull over. It was a completly bizarre feeling and I honestly didn’t like it. I can’t wait to get the revisions done so I can send it to MY AGENT and put it to bed. I have so many ideas for my next project.
3. I had to send a Dooney & Bourke purse back to them because the leather was peeling off the bottom. I was remarkably depressed about it because I really loved the purse – gorgeous red patent leather. I was complimented constantly on it. The lovely people and D&B gave me a nice credit and I was permitted to go shopping on their site. My new purse will appear on my doorstep sometime next week. I don’t know what I expected but I had a lovely experience with the company and the Sisters whole heartedly endorse them.
4. Fried Food It was a bad week and the only thing that was going to make it better was a giant mess of fried food. I introduced Ava to Sour Cream and Onion French Fries. Being a non-onion eater, she was certain she wouldn’t like them but once I convinced her to give them a try she became a convert. We also ordered fried zucchini, fried mushrooms and steak fingers. That’s the combination for a winning Thursday, I’ll tell you.
5. Elvis Presley and Graceland This Weekend Ava and her entire family head off to Memphis for a visit to the King’s house. She even tracked down shirts for all the girls that read “I (heart) ELVIS” in rhinestones. How perfect is that? Both Kelli and I wish we were going. Ava is instructed to bring us back something appropriately kitchy. I’m hoping for a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich wrapped in tin foil.
Amylynn is telling the truth about me leaving her at the office. I admit it, I did leave her there. I did turn out all of the lights, send the security guard home and lock the doors. However, it was an accident. An ACCIDENT I tell you! It could have happened to anyone. I didn’t see her and I couldn’t hear her, and really, if you can’t hear Amylynn, chances are good she’s not there. It happened because I’m old and forgetful and – I didn’t realize that Amylynn would call me on my cell phone and YELL at me.
To make it up to her – I took her out to lunch. I told her to pick where we’d eat. I thought she would pick a restaurant. But NO – as my punishment, she took me to a bar. It was called the “Red Granny Panty Salon”. I did not make that up. I was concerned that there might be pole dancing but, thankfully, no old grannies work the poles there.
However, to my surprise, almost the entire menu consisted of fried food. There are some nutritionist who say that fried food is bad for you. Amylynn and I do not agree with this theory. We ordered fried zucchini sticks, fried mushrooms, fried steak and french fries, which are fried. We dunked everything in ranch dressing. Being sisters – we double dipped. I’m making myself hungry . . .
Now, any normal person would forgive the person they were upset with after such a fried feast but no, not Amylynn. Still wearing her “angry eyes” she insisted that I buy her a puppy. I had to decline because I really, really like the lovely man that Amylynn is married to and I want him to continue to be my friend. I suspect that she will not let this die quite yet. I’ll keep you all posted on her continued demands.
Sometimes, I just feel irrationally mean. I’m not sure if this is one of those times or not. I’ll let the Internet decide.
At my office, there is covered parking if you chose to pay for it. There are also trees in the parking lot if you don’t want to pay for the luxury of a metal ramada, however, the trees are smallish mesquites with approximately seven leaves on each tree thus only providing any semblance of shade for about twelve minutes per day.
The enormous company I work for which is actively sucking my soul dry, actually pays for a certain number of covered spots and I laid claim to one. I’d like to say I went over and peed in it like a dog but, we’re all women in our office and, that sort of territoriality is usually unnecessary.
Recently, a woman was hired to work for one of the neighboring offices in the building. She’s got a British accent which would usually give her a head start in the acceptance department but not even that little leg up is going to redeem her to me.
She rides a bicycle. That alone doesn’t cause me to be annoyed, although it is much too hot to be bicycling so clearly she’s insane. Her bike has a baby seat on the back which she uses to stow her backpack. I don’t know if she has a kid or not – merely a dirty, brownish blue backpack. Maybe she shoves her baby in there. Anything is possible – we’ve already determined she’s not normal. Also, the piece de resistance, she’s a smoker. A bicycling smoker. It’s like she doesn’t even want to try.
Here is the part where you determine just exactly how bitchy I am.
She is using my pole to lock up her bicycle. There are approximately twenty-five poles available to her under the parking structure and it’s really irritating me that she has to use mine. When locked to the pole with seventy-five yards of cable, her bicycle infringes on my parking spot. The pole is on the driver’s side of my spot which means I have to get out of my car and, in order to make a straight line to my office – I always appreciate economy of movement – I have to circle around her bike. That’s like six extra steps.
That’s the part that lost you, right? The six extra steps. That part makes me sound insane.
In my defense, sometimes her bike touches my car and I’m waiting for the day it scratches my chrome or the front fender. That would be a legitimate complaint, I understand.
But what it really comes down to is that her bike is infringing on my area, and I don’t like it.
We are not talking to Ava. I want to make it clear if she calls you, don’t take her call. Ignore her at lunch. She is being punished.
You know that the two of us work together at the soul-sucking day job. You also know we have been “re-purposed” and have been going through excruciating training.
I am so not talking to her.
Between the training sessions from hell, we still have to sneak in customer appointments and, because we’re so new at all of this and, quite frankly, we’re terrified, we’ve been doing the appointments in pairs. Today, we had a late appointment at 4:30. I volunteered with another lady from the office to do it. I did whine to Ava about it but really only because it had been a long day and I didn’t waaaant to taaaaaalllllk to anooooother customeeeeeer. She pretended like she cared. She promised she’d stay until the appointment was over.
The customer was perfectly lovely and the appointment went very well. That was until I walked out of the appointment room to make copies and I discovered the office completely dark. Every light was off.
All right, I thought to myself. Surely Ava was still there, waiting for me, but, no, her light was off too, her desk stowed away for the night. The front door was locked. Not a soul was left but my partner, and the customer, and me. I was aghast. And really pissed off.
So I called her on the phone. “Where the hell are you?”
“I’m driving home.” There was a pause and I could hear the wheels turning in her head. “Where are you?”
“I’m standing in a very dark, very empty, very lonely office.”
“OH. MY. GOD,” she said and then tried to recover. “You’re almost done right?” Like she MEANT TO FORGET US THERE.
“Oh no!” I told her, “we have a bit more to go here. Alone. In the dark. Alone.”
“I am so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Riiiiiiiight. I hung up the phone.
And then I called her back. “Dude, did you really just forget us here? You walked out of your office, PAST MY DESK where all my stuff is sitting out. You didn’t think it odd that my car was still in the parking lot? When have I ever left the office without saying good bye to you? Where did you think I was? You had to drive by my car!”
She trotted out her tired old line. “I’m old. I really need to be taken to an assisted living facility and left there.”
Long, slow, aggrivated sigh. I was definitely wearing my angry eyes.
I warned her that this would be a blog post. She admitted it was only fair. She has apologized several times in several ways, but I still have a couple more days of milking this. After all, SHE LEFT HER BEST FRIEND IN THE DARK AND LOCKED HER IN! It’s a damn good thing the customer was a tiny little woman who barely made it to five feet.
She promised baked goods would show just how sorry she was. An eclair was mentioned. She still owes me lunch for going to the office at midnight on Friday night to let the computer guys out. MIDNIGHT! ALONE. IN THE DARK.
I sense a theme here.
This eclair better be served to me by a beautifully accented French man at a sidewalk cafe on the Champs-Elysees with a lovely view of the Sienne. If she says the word “salad” to me while I’m enjoying my pastry and picturesque view of the waiter, I can’t be held responsible.
A lonely, dark office with a locked door. Indeed.
Possibly two eclairs.
I have a very strange magnetic force. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s been with me since, well, since forever. There’s no polite way to say it. I’m certainly not bragging.
Although, oddly, the little boys do seem to be growing older as I grow older but, no matter how you do the math, they’re always little boys. It’s just that now the little boys are in their twenties. When I was in my twenties the little boys were in the single digits.
You see how that works?
Ava is always cracking up about my funky little fan clubs. They manifest themselves in busboys, barristas, and random young men I don’t wish to publicly embarass. Now days, the little boys don’t literally crawl all over me like they used to when they were 5, 6 or 7 years old. They don’t steal kisses anymore. Sometimes, that’s a bummer.
I’m sure My Honey doesn’t think so.
Now then, puppies. I love puppies and those little suckers can bounce on
over anytime they want. My Honey actually said the following words to me today, “Maybe around Christmas we can look at getting a puppy.”
A little bulldog girly named Lulu. It’s only 187 days till Christmas!