Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A glimpse of my own mortality

Guys. I just filled out a mail-in rebate form to receive $10 off my latest purchase of vodka. My lameness has reached a new level.
I wonder when I'll be eligible for a senior citizens' discount at the liquor store

Friday, May 24, 2013

26 Minutes

26 Minutes.  For those of you out there wondering how long my house could stay clean, the answer is 26 minutes.  No sooner had I posted "Cleaned the whole house today!  Quick!  Someone come visit me!" than I walked into my kitchen, opened the pantry and spilled an ENTIRE. BOX. of cocoa powder onto my kitchen floor.  And friends and neighbors, cocoa powder is insidious.  I spent about 30 minutes chasing it all over my kitchen tile (with the various and sundry animals tracking all through it) before I got it cleaned up.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prom is a 4-letter word

I really don't believe that proms used to be this crazy.  Back in my day, you went to the prom with whatever guy you were got a dress a couple of weeks before prom, he rented a tux.  You guys bought your prom tickets the week before prom ($25 per person or $40 per couple). Then on prom night, the guy borrowed whatever cool car someone in his family had (Jeff drove his mom's Cadillac), you went to the school gym that was kitted out in whatever tacky prom "theme" package the Student Council had purchased, you took your picture, sashayed around the room a couple of times and then you and your date went to eat at Baby Doe's in Birmingham. The end.  Here are me & the hubby our Junior year.  The theme was "Swan Lake" or some shit.
Note the crepe paper flowers...note the tails on the tux...note the silver lame' bow as big as my head.  I remember that Jeff actually had to BUY his tie and cummerbund because back then, no one would rent lame' stuff because it couldn't be dry-cleaned.  I think it cost him an extra $50.  My dress was a little over a hundred bucks and the only reason I was able to get it is that my sister promised to wear it the next year.
Folks, lemme tell you, times have changed.  Here's a re-cap of what the past oh, 6 months have been like in my household, pre-prom.

First, the kiddo is dating a guy that goes to another school (we'll call him #1)...his prom is in March, so in December, she wants to go dress hunting.  I stress REPEATEDLY that anything over $200 will have to be worn to BOTH proms.  She finds a dress that she LOVES for $300.  We buy it, but don't take it home because A: With all of the beasts currently residing in our house, it's just safer the longer it can stay in a nice, fur- and claw-free environment. and B: I'd never hear the end of it from Jeff because I bought the dress so early when we have a kid that changes her mind more frequently than her socks.
Of course, she breaks up with #1 in less than a fortnight after the check clears the bank from the dress purchase.  And now she hates the dress that she bought with him in mind.  Because the dress has never actually left the store AND because I snivelled and begged to the owner (with whom I went to high school) to please, please, please let us put that dress out on the floor and get another one, we had to go dress shopping again.
In the meantime, the kiddo decides that she's just going to agree to go to prom with a friend...a person she's known for years who is a friend, just a friend and will forevermore remain a friend, forever and ever, world without end, amen (#2).  That seems reasonable...that way no matter who each of them is "liking" or "talking to" or "texting" or whatever, we are spared the drama of worrying about prom.  We pay the HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLAR prom fee (yes. $180 American dollars. Per junior.  The whole racket made no damn sense to me whatsoever.  $180 would cover a long as the date wasn't another junior...then EACH of them had to pay $180. RE-FREAKING-DICULOUS.) Oh, AND this prom fee is due in January for a prom that's not being held until May. Does ANYONE at this high school remember that we are dealing with teenagers?  Asking them to make a nearly two hundred dollar committment 5 months in advance? Is the prom board high?  Are they smoking crack, because this is insane. Ahem.
We go back to Bow-Ties to look for another dress and what do you know?  The kiddo finds one that she LOVES and it does look fantastic on her and it is just to-die for and it makes her forget ALL about whats-his-name (#1) that she broke up with last month.  I am ashamed to even print here what I paid for this dress.  I will say is the single most expensive piece of clothing I have ever bought.  And that includes my wedding dress.  However, since $300 of it is already paid, it is slightly more bearable.  Of course, the purchase of this dress promptly inspires her good friend, we're-going-to-go-to-prom-together-as-friends-and-just-friends-no-matter-what (#2) to change his mind.  I won't even get into the whys of that right now...but I'm fairly sure it was largely due to the fact that the child had started dating someone else (#3).  Who gallantly stepped up to say that HE would be thrilled to take her to the prom.  Of course, it's not that easy, because you can't just agree to go to prom. Nosireebob, you have to have a PROMPOSAL.  I shit you not.  The guy has to have some incrediably complicated, romantic, original way to ask a girl to the prom and it has to be the envy of every other girl across the breadth of every social media known to humanity...Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Yes.  Girls really expect all of that from some 17-year old boy who has to be reminded to sign his Mom's Mother's Day card.  Because we all know how sappy and sentimental 17-year old boys are.
We are now within 7 weeks of the prom...the kiddo is stressing out that #3 isn't ever going to "officially, officially" ask her to prom by having sky-writting planes fly overhead of the school or whatever when it happens.  THEY break up.  At this point, even the kiddo is sick to death of the constant upheaval that is prom planning. 
Not only are we having all of these stupid boy issues, but there's the whole prom bus issue.  I guess now a-days, instead of borrowing your older brother's awesome convertible, everyone gets together and rents a prom bus.  These things transport about 20-40 kids to and from their prom and whever they're going to dinner.  Since everyone usually goes to either Birmingham or Atlana (60 and 90 miles away respectively) it's probably a good idea so that the kids aren't driving themselves and wrapping older bro's car around a guardrail.  However, prom buses are a political quagmire unto themselves.  We went through so many itterations of "I'm on a prom bus!" and "They overbooked that prom bus!  Now I'm going to die!" and "Nevermind, I found a group that's taking a limo!" and back to "Oh, wait, someone dropped out of the prom group, I'm back on the bus!" that I lost count.  She decides to ask another friend (#4), one who graduated last year, if he wants to go with her.  Again...just as friends.
In the meantime, she starts dating another guy...who is just as happy as a clam that HE doesn't have to go to prom.  He (like many, many others of the male species) would rather eat a bug than get dressed up in some fancy-dancy monkey suit and be forced to DANCE and to HAVE PICTURES TAKEN and all of the other stuff that the girls love and that the boys hate.  Everyone seems to be on the same page.

Quick re-cap for those who are still counting:
Number of prom-dates so far: 4
Number of dresses so far: 2
Prom bus plans: too many to count

Okay...we get to within a WEEK of actual prom...the #4 has ordered his tux and...he suddenly loses his damn mind, decides that he wants out of the friend zone RIGHT NOW even though it has been made explicitly clear that they are only friends and besides which, she's been dating her new beau for a whole entire month and is pretty nuts about this guy. Sigh.  The kid and #4 agree that it would be just too uncomfortable to go to prom together NOW.  My child declares that she's just going to go to prom by herself because hey, at least she's on a prom bus.  But with 5 days left on the prom count-down clock, her current BF, being the sweetie-pie that he is, asks if he can take her to prom.  Whew!  Thank God!

Crap.  I forgot about the alterations drama as well.  We take the dress that cost the unmentionable amount of money to be altered.  The kiddo needed it shortened (she's a really short lil ole punkin) and taken in at the waist.  Poor chile has the genetic combination of my boobs and her daddy's no butt. That puts her jean size at a 0 but her bra cup at a D.  Yeah, I know, such tragedies.  We had bought the dress to fit up top, which meant it was really loose through her waist and hips.  We take it to a lady that comes highly recommended...come back a week later...and it does not even COME CLOSE to zipping up at the top.  I don't know what happened there, but the alterations chick told us not to worry...even though it was a fully beaded dress.  We both looked like we wanted to cry when we left...fortunately, the second fitting was perfect.
Thank God.

Finally, we have arrived at the evening before prom.  Her dad & I had given her a gift certificate for a mani-pedi to a local spa.  She had decided to use it for her prom nails.  She made her appointment for the evening before because she didn't want to be rushed getting her hair and makeup done.  She spent THREE HOURS getting her nails done and they looked like this:

(BTW, note how they BUTCHERED her thumb. I??? Was not a happy momma). Thankfully the kiddo's date's mother is a freaking MIRACLE WORKER was able to repair them:

The next morning FLEW by with hair and makeup and etc., etc. and finally, FINALLY they went to prom:

Her date was a handsome, well mannered, polite sweetie-pie.  They enjoyed their dinner.  The wheels did not run off of the prom bus.  There were no catastophes worth mention for the rest of the entire evening.  And I was so very, very thankful.
Next year I am seriously considering offering her a weekend trip to the beach in leiu of prom.  It would be cheaper and would HAVE to be less complicated!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Something blue me out here. I have been seeing this every day on my way to and from work.
A while back, someone spray painted three blue balled penises (peni?) on this building. They were there for several weeks. Then, apparently, someone else (the owner?) decided that they needed to do something about the obscene graffiti and set out to un-vulgarize it. So they got some badly-matching paint and spray painted over the penis heads. JUST the heads.
I have driven past this building dozens of times. Each time I do, I wonder anew at what exactly they were thinking. Not whoever originally defaced the building...but whoever thought they were making it better by trying to erase just the heads.
Thoughts, anyone?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Passionate Goddess

Despite the title, this is a pretty mundane post...but something I wanted to share.  I just had my afternoon snack, and I am, well, perplexed is the best word I can come up with to describe myself right now.  I have long been a fan of the Chobani brand yogurt.  To me, it's the best Greek yogurt out there.  And I could have SWORN I had tried all of the flavors at least once.  And you know, you gravitate to the ones you really like (the blood orange is fantastic), but then sometimes you mix 'em up with ones that aren't your favorite, but you like them well enough & they're good for a change (peach or pineapple).

I thought for sure I'd tried the Passion Fruit before and just relegated it to the back of my the last time I bought yogurt, I decided to get it again (I thought, but apparently it was for the first time) for a change of pace from the blueberry/orange/vanilla-rut I had sort of fallen into the last few weeks.  However, once I had ripped off the foil seal & started to stir the fruit up from the bottom, I realized that I had never, ever, ever had this yogurt before in my life.

The color of the Passion Fruit puree was one of the most unappealing things I have ever seen in my life.  (You guys may remember from the time I ate goat that yellow/Chartreuse food stuffs aren't really my thing.)  And it had big ole black (bug-looking) seeds in it as well.  I kept stirring, hoping the color would mellow out somewhat and it did, but the black seeds were still a little concerning to me.  I was half tempted to go back to the work 'fridge and see if I had stashed any other flavors in there...but I hate wasting what I'd already opened.  I cautiously sniffed at it and it smelled I took a tentative taste...and it was really, really good.  I wasn't a huge fan of the seeds (they don't appear to have a taste of their own and their texture and the way they crunched were just weird) but I ate the whole container even though I'd sometimes come to a pulpy bit where the color was once again pretty evident.  And I just can't say whether I enjoyed my snack or not...thus the whole perplexed thing I mentioned.  Also, I know I have to buy at least one more container of the stuff because I ate this one before I realized I wanted to write about it, and now you're all probably wondering what it looked like.

This whole thing reminds me of something my sister used to do when we were kids.  Do you guys remember Green Goddess salad dressing?  It was made by Seven Seas and it was all my mother used to buy.  I had no problem eating it on salads...but my sister used to get it and stir it up into her mashed potatoes.  Below is a picture I found of WishBone's Green Goddess.  Like I said, we always bought Seven Seas, but the WishBone ad gives you an adequate idea of the color:

And folks...mashed potatoes should NOT look like they'd glow in the dark.  It was a constant source of meal-time disharmony (Mom was a big fan of whipping out the Hungry Jack potato flakes for a quick side dish to any meal).  Since the dressing has sour cream, chives and black pepper in its ingredients, it probably does go okay with potatoes palate-wise.  I just never could stomach the color.  It was just WRONG and half the time, my sister was doing it just to annoy me (she was 22 months my junior...PERFECT age for annoying). I finally had to admit it was my own hangup after my mother insisted we perform a little experiment...she made up some mashed potatoes and put some green food coloring in one batch of them.  Blind folded, I couldn't tell the difference between them, but when I could see...I swore the green ones tasted funny.
Now, I don't have a problem with green things that are supposed to be green (broccoli, bell peppers, granny smith apples).  It's the things that are green that shouldn't be.  Green Eggs and Ham used to make me gag if I actually started thinking about it...once when the daughter was in elementary school, they had a Dr. Seuss Day and served them eggs and ham that had been treated with green food coloring.  Child wouldn't touch it...which told me that this was probably just one more neurosis I'd passed on down to her.  Ah, well...I'll get back to you guys on a picture of the yogurt!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mea Culpa

I hate being wrong.  That being said, as much as I hate being wrong, and as much as I really, really, really hate admitting that I'm wrong, the integrity my parents raised me with insists that I set things straight.

Almost four years ago, in August of 2009, we bought a brand new, surprisingly powerful, electric hedge trimmer.  The hubby was delighted.  On a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon, I left him to his own devices and went off to do the weekly grocery shopping.  As I pulled around the front of the house, he was attacking our unruly boxwoods along the front.  His new hedge trimmer was buzzing merrily and was slicing through our (admittidly out-of-control) shrubbery like butter.  I heard a little voice in the back of my mind, "Mayyyyyybe leaving him alone with a power tool is a bad idea." But I drove on anyway...because truth be told, I have always hated those boxwoods and thought, "Let him do his worst."

When I returned home a few hours later, I could see this:

This is the side of the house, not the front.  I didn't know he had intended to trim things on the side of the house!  There aren't any ugly boxwoods on the side of the house!  I moved closer:

and started chanting, "No. Nonononononono..." and moved closer still....

 "Wha???? But, but, but...that's my camellia bush!"
"Jeff!!!" I said (or maybe shrieked is a better word) "What have you done to my beautiful camellia bush???" I turned slightly and looked at the carnage:

and this:

I was nearly in tears as he rounded the corner of the back yard.
"Did you say something?" he asked.
"You killed my camellia bush."
"'ll be fine."
"Jeff, LOOK AT IT!!! It's NAKED...and what's with the one weird thingie you've left sticking out of the top?"

"Oh, that? I thought I should leave it with some green for when it grows back."
"It's not growing back!  You've murdered it! MURDERED! You're nothing but a big ole BUSH MURDERER!!! God, I hope you can sleep at night."
Then I stomped away, all pissed off.

I kept waiting on that little weird bunch of green leaves at the top of the one branch he had left unmolested to start to wilt and drop.  Then I could be all "A-HA!!! I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU! CAMELLIA KILLER!!" but that never happened.  Now mind you, the next spring, that bush was still pretty butt-ugly, but it wasn't dead.  The following spring, it wasn't quite as hideous and had even more growth to it.  Here is what it looks like today:

Yeah, it's fine.  It actually produced some really nice blossoms this past winter, as it's a winter-blooming bush.
So honey, I'm sorry I called you a Bush Killer (and other things) back in 2009.  You were right and I was wrong.  I even think it could use a LITTLE trimming back...just not quite as much as last time, please.