You know how some parents are always saying, “I just don’t know where Jr learned that kind of language”? Well, when it comes to my kids, I totally know where it’s coming from. I really don’t have an internal edit. Milliseconds after the words leave my mouth, my head goes, “ooooh.”
Too little, too late.
So this weekend when I heard The Bandit very clearly scream the words, “Sassy, you’re a jackass!” I knew exactly where he’d learned it. I’m certain that’s not the worst of it either but, to the boy’s credit, he still thinks the “f” word is absolutely the worst possible word to utter and he’s not said it yet. At least that I know of. He and his sister still refer to that word in the hushed, irreverent tones of the truly faithful. As an adult, I know there are much worse sentiments than the “f” word, but I never use those words so they won’t have learned them from me. I draw the invisible curse word line at the f-bomb, although I will admit I use it liberally and very creatively. Honestly though, the most creative cursing I’ve ever heard comes straight from the mouth of my Sister, Kelli. Wow! She’s like The Dude, the Great White Wizard of Swearing.
Upon being called a jackass, Sassy immediately ran to me to tattle.
“You know the policy. If you’re going to tattle you have to give me a dollar,” I reminded her. This little tidbit of child rearing advice I got from Ava. You may not agree with it, but I save a lot of money on allowance this way.
“I’m not tattling,” she told me in highly put out tone. “I’m just telling you what he did wrong so he’ll get in trouble.”
Uh-huh. Now it’s going to cost two dollars.
So The Bandit told me that his eyes were foggy. I didn’t know what that meant, but he told me the same thing for about two weeks so I scheduled an eye doctor appointment. He’d had a basic one during his physical before kindergarten, but we couldn’t tell if he did so poorly because he was a squirrely little five year old who didn’t really know his letters very well OR because he couldn’t see a damn thing.
Well, we learned the answer at the opthamologist. I have no idea how that boy hasn’t bumped into everything in his path. The doctor said that little kids compensate. “OK,” I said with raised eyebrows.
It sure explains his difficulty with kindergarten and his attention span of a gnat.
So I let the boy loose on the wall of frames. My hope was he would embrace the idea of glasses instead of pissing and moaning and whining about it. He embraced with gusto. He tried on every single frame. Every single one. I was really pushing for the ones that made him look like Elvis Costello but My Honey put his foot down.
Jeez, you try to give the kid a little character…
Out of the 7,500 frames he put on and took off and put on and took off over the course of an hour, he decided on some Spongebob Squarepants ones.
It took the doctor’s office nine days to make them and every single day he asked when they were coming. After about day five, he was certain I already had them and was keeping them from him on purpose. He also has a very wiggly front tooth and quickly the wait for the glasses became a race to see if he’d lose his tooth first or get his glasses first.
Glasses first. He’s cute, eh? I tried to get a picture of him with a “normal” face but apparently that is physically impossible when you’re six. He really does have eyebrows – when he’s normal, which is, admittedly, rare.
Who wants to start the poll on how long they’ll last?
I’m driving to work this morning, minding my own business, when a traffic light had the nerve to turn red and cause me to stop. I was the first car in line because the driver in front of me decided to run the yellow/red light. I would never run a red light the way Amylynn does.
I don’t really listen to country music but I found Johnny Cash on one of the stations and it was “Ring of Fire”. I love ”Ring of Fire”. So I turned it up.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a man on a bike enter the crosswalk. He weighs about 200+ lbs. As he rides in front of me, I see that the bike is really quite small for him and it’s PINK and PURPLE. I’m guessing it’s not his bike. It has streamers in the handle bars. I’m guessing it’s really not his bike. I’m guessing it’s his five year old daughter’s bike.
Oddly, he appeared to be peddling in time with Johnny.
“I went down, down, down and the flames went higher.” Peddle. Peddle
“And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire.” Peddle, peddle. Peddle.
I don’t know why but a big guy on a pink and purple bike furiously peddling away to Johnny Cash made me laugh hysterically – you can laugh to, just picture it . . .
So the headline read, “Prince Harry due for copter training at site in Arizona”. Of course, this peaked our interest, so we read further. We learned that, “the prince, a captain, is training to pilot the Boeing Apache attack helicopter with the British Army Air Corps.”
“I think we should go have our picture taken with him,” Ava said. I agreed. “How fitting would that be? We write historical British novels….he’s British…It’s perfect.” Again, I agreed.
I read further and discovered he is coming to Arizona sometime this fall. When is “fall” exactly? It’s hard to tell here where there are no leaves to signal the change and school now starts in August. School used to start in the “fall” but, when it’s 109 degrees while you’re at school, I don’t think that can be considered fall.
“I think we should find him,” Ava continues. I nod. That seems like as much fun to plan as the kidnapping of the lion cubs from the zoo. That’s still totally on, by the way. Keep an eye on the news – I’m certain you’ll see us. “We can be stealthy,” she suggests.
I raise my eyebrows at her with a great deal of skepticism.
“No?” Ava asks, “You don’t think we can be stealthy?”
“Yeah. Stealth isn’t really one of our strong points.” I tell her. Ava nods sagely. “Don’t get me wrong. I still think we should do it.”
“Right. Then we can ask him what the odds are of getting his sister-in-law to come out and visit.”
“Wouldn’t that be great?” I’m really getting into the idea now. “Or maybe just Pippa. I’d take a picture with Pippa. She seems quite nice.”
Ava’s enthusiasm is really pumping now. “Yeah, cause we’re not snobby.”
We are most definitely not snobby – snarky, bitchy, and rude but never snobby. So “yes” to Harry, Wills, Kate and Pippa. Even a “meh” to Elizabeth, although frankly, we’d rather have met the Queen Mum. You know who’s out of the question? Camilla. She can stay in England. We still haven’t gotten over that whole Diana business.
It’s been another week. Exceptionally slow for some of us and rocketing past at lightening speed for others. We stopped and smelled a few roses over the last seven days and these are a few of things that made us giggle or gasp longingly. Enjoy.
1. Peacock bracelet. Oh. My. Word. Isn’t this one of the most stunning pieces of jewelry you’ve ever seen? We can just imagine the tail of this gorgeous peacock winding up our arms, the lacework tickling our skin oh so seductively. There are 7,500 stones: .05mm Paraiba tourmalines, tsavorites garnets, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. Ava swore if Ed bought it she’d wear the bracelet and nothing else. Of course, that makes the 11 year old girl make choking noises. Ignore the child. Bask in the gloriousness that is the work of art. Now, if any of you run out and buy it, we’re going to be very perturbed. Although, I can’t tell you the price as it’s listed as “pricing upon request” so that means we’re all out of the running.
2. Opportunities. Kelli called Amylynn this week and told her they would have to beg off some plans the Sister’s had for the coming weekend. It seems she has the “opportunity to go camping.” Ava and Amylynn are not completely sure Kelli has a firm grasp of the meaning of the word “opportunity.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a favorable juncture of circumstances” and as far was Ava and Amylynn are concerned there is nothing favorable about camping. We could be bribed into if the peacock bracelet was a reward at the end, but there would still be considerable whining.
3. Donut Thugs. The headline read, “Greek police smash violent doughnut ring.” Apparently two Bulgarian men and a former Greek wrestling chamion were attacking other doughnut venders in an effort to corner the market. Again the
police went undercover to “blow a hole in the ring of alleged crooks”. There are a lot of things to comment on here: What are Bulgarians going in Greece? What kind of wrestler - Grecco Roman or professional mask-wearing wrestler? Apparently the Mediterranean is the place to be a cop. You get to dress up as donut venders, gladiators, garbage men and tourists. But we’re sure you’ll all agree that before we pass judgment, we need to hop on a jet and taste those donuts.
4. Umbrella lady. We’ve always referred to her as the “Parasol lady” because she always has a pretty one with her when you see her walking down the street, but apparently she is offically known as the Umbrella Lady. She is one of the charming characters of our town that everyone seems to have a story about. She wears outlandish dresses of the prom variety with lots of petticoats and lace and must own a gazillion parasols. She walks everywhere – even in the summer. She’s fascinating as all great characters are. We think she might be good luck but we decided it’s probably not polite to hop out of the car and rub her.
5. Prosciutto. Oh you scrumptious dry-cured Italian delicacy. We tried writing a haiku to it but we got distracted by it’s salty goodness. Ava’s husband is leaving this weekend for a three day prosciutto fiesta. He and a friend will spend the weekend learning how to make it. We already have plenty of experience in eating it. The Sisters are considering waiting for him at the airport with a ripe cantelope and a bottle of ice cold gewurztraminer.
As you all know, Amylynn and I work at a bank. A very large bank. Some folks say it’s the largest bank in the world. That it might very well be, but we don’t believe it because they won’t buy as plastic forks. Surely, the largest bank in the world would buy their employees plastic forks, right?
Anyway – my husband texted me this morning to see if I’d heard the HUGE news about “Bank of No Forks” gaining an extremely influential and very revered investor. His phone cut out but I swear he said “Jimmy Buffett”. Then the call dropped.
When I got to work I told everyone the news. “Bank of No Forks” has been propped up by Jimmy Buffett! Jimmy Buffett? There seemed to be confusion. One friend wondered where he got all of the money from. I thought his music and his restaurants must be doing very, very well. We all agreed that must be the case. I do have one of his albums and I’ve eaten in his restaurants several times – I had no complaints. Another friend thought we’d surely get forks now – after all Jimmy has to have an in with the take-out food utensil folks – right?
All of this happiness was not to be however. Once we booted up the computers, our home page announced the swell news but the investor was not our beloved, beforked Jimmy Buffett but some unknown man named Warren Buffett.
“Well, who the hell is he ?” we all wondered aloud AND does he have access to plastic forks???
Sassy is in third grade this year. Apparently this is the year they start learning cursive. I guess that’s when I learned it to, but really, all I remember about third grade and Mrs. McNally was spending a lot of time in the corner for talking and winning a school wide story competition.
I had read in several national news magazines that students weren’t being taught cursive or even penmanship anymore since everyone types or texts everything these days. I personally thought that was a bad idea primarily because I had to learn it, and it sucked but no more than learning fractions, and if they stop making kids learn fractions I’m totally going to have a fit.
So in homework this week, she needs to write the upper and lower case “B” in cursive. She asked me if I would write out all the letters, upper and lower case, so she would have something to work from.
“Sure,” I said taking the pen and paper.
A was no problem. Neither was B, C, or D. E caused me some difficulties. I had no idea how to make an uppercase F. G was much more difficult that I remembered. H and I were simple. J – what does an upper case J look like? I’m sure what I ended up with for the K was wrong. L, M, N, and O were easy. The P seemed too easy so I’m sure it was incorrect. Q? Is it supposed to look like a #2 or is that just for calligraphy? I erased the R three times. My S kept ending up looking like a treble clef. T, U, V, and W mostly looked all right. X, Y and Z – honestly, I have no idea.
When is the last time you tried to write the cursive letters exactly like you were taught in school? My handwriting, while perfectly legible, is an amalgamation of my own creating combining print and cursive and Sanskrit.
Yeah, they better make them learn fractions. It’s only fair.
I am the worst Sister in history. I can’t help it. The whole situation is absolutely dreadful and so God damned funny, I can hardly breathe.
Poor Ava had to go to Albuquerque for a meeting tomorrow. The whole trip was absolutely insane – a round trip flight, hotel, two days of food, and a car rental all for a two hour meeting. She didn’t want to go – for a whole lot of reasons, but most especially because she’d be bored and alone and I wouldn’t be there to take care of her and drive her around. Also, because how stupid is this whole thing for a two hour meeting?
Regardless, she packed her little bag and she went to the airport.
She told me she decided not to check her bag because it was so small. I had a few questions about that, but I got sidetracked and I forgot to ask them. When she got to the security checkpoint she expected to breeze through. After all, she had hardly anything with her. Do you see what’s coming? You would if you knew our dear Ava better. She was toting in her overnight bag huge cans of hair spray, shampoo and lotion – none of which were in the nice three ounce sizes as prescribed by the Transportation Security Administration. Ava described her predicament as something that “excited the security people.” She also said, “they were quite nice after quickly arriving at the fairly obvious fact that I am retarded.”
Three of the “quite nice” security guards escorted her to the check in desk and watched her check her bag. Unfortunately, the whole thing made her flustered and she checked her sweater and her book inside. The TSA people then took her picture and let her go. I’m sure they’re posting her likeness in the break room as a warning. I blame myself for this portion of Ava’s troubles. That thing I wanted to talk to her about earlier – I just new she hadn’t considered the liquids in her bag. I just knew it.
The next exciting development was that they cancelled her 12:00pm flight to Phoenix because of mechanical difficulties. They next flight out was at 5 pm so Ava got to cool her heel in our exceedingly modern and well appointed airport. HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA. Boy, do I crack myself up. Our airport might as well be a shoe box for as large as it is. There isn’t even a Starbucks. She made the best of her time while she was there though. She ate chocolate for lunch and bought a new book. Apparently a man noticed she was cold without her sweater and offered her his socks. I also understand she made some new friends by insulting a crying Australian woman and told a man reading Who Moved My Cheese that it was written by a communist and he’d do just as well to read nothing at all and sit and meditate. I’m sure that, secretly, those people were thankful for her unsolicited council.
Finally, she gets on the plane to Phoenix. I received a text at 4:38 that she was boarding the plane. At 4:52 I received a computerized call from the airline informing me that her flight from Phoenix to Albuquerque was cancelled. OH HOLY CRAP! I called right away but her phone was off. I immediately called Ed, her husband, and our reaction was very similar. This was not going to be good.
I got on the internet to see if there were any flights coming back home tonight only I accidently put the Tucson airport code as TUC instead of TUS and found her a lovely flight that left Phoenix to arrive in Mexico City, taking off for Panama City the next morning to Buenos Aires and ultimately landing in Tucuman, Argentina two days later. After I picked myself up off the floor and wiped the hysterical tears from my eyes, I checked for the correct flights.
So we all waited and waited and waited for Ava to get off the plane so we could let her know the horrible news. I’m totally going to hell for it, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Ava was going to be furious. F. U. R. I. O. U. S. Ed and I debated driving up to fetch her. We even considered getting on the road already so by the time she landed one of us would already be half way there. We pondered if she’d take the last flight to Albuquerque landing at midnight or just say the hell with it and get on the first flight home. If she took the one home, she wouldn’t have her luggage with her and Ed thought that would be very uncharacteristic of his wife. I thought she wouldn’t even care anymore.
Poor Ava got back home sometime around nine-ish so that means she traveled for eleven hours and got exactly zero miles from home. Poor, poor Ava.
I found this cartoon on my desk today. I’d clipped it out and put it there and then it got lost under the flotsam and jetsam on my desk. There five or six hair clips, a half-full water bottle, a thousand sticky notes, scads of magazines with pages turned over for me to read or blog about, a pair of purple, fuzzy handcuffs (more about that another time, I promise), burned incense, and bookmarks.
I love this Speedbump cartoon by Dave Coverly.
We had some technical dificulties so I can’t make it any clearer, so click on the cartoon and the jump will take you to the Cartoonist Group for a full size verson.
If it was only so easy as using some forceps to get it out.
So My Honey had another show this weekend. I attended the show with Ava’s husband, Ed. Thanks for the loan, Ava.
Ed thinks I’m crazy because I’m constantly looking things up on Google at the slightest provocation. In my opinion, that is the only good thing about my smart phone. Mostly I hate my phone with the passion of a thousand suns, but the Google and Wikipedia aps are a Godsend to my curious mind.
While we were at the bar I Googled who was playing at a rival bar (no one
interesting), whether or not any of the Beastie Boys are dead (no, but Adam Yauch had throat cancer in 2009), what is the name of those cages you always see pirate skeletons rotting in in movies (gibbet or “crow’s cage”), and the name of all the motorcycle gangs in my town that start with the letter “S” (none that we could find so, disappointingly, that question was never answered.
What a random grouping, huh? Conversations with me can really lead anywhere. I am the queen of the tangent.
Tonight, Sassy and I Googled how many bones in a dog (average 319-321), cat (230ish), and a rabbit (that answer seems elusive and unreliable. I lost interest before a serious search could be made). I have no idea why a dog has so many more than a cat or a human (206).
Honest to God, I have no idea what I did before Google. That’s not true. I actually had the phone number for the public library Information Desk in my rolodex. I called them all the time. I always thought that would be an awesome job.
Anyway, with the exception of the animal skeleton episode, Sassy has informed me, “Mom, most of the time I’m not even interested in all your nonsense.”
Yeah. That’s what she says now about my trivia, but just wait until she needs to “phone a friend”. Then we’ll see who she calls.