Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Adult Truth #10

Adult Truth #10 Bad decisions make good stories.

My Top 5 Bad Decisions (Chronologically)

Panama City, Spring Break 1994

One hotel room, two beds, seven girls, 6 million roaches. Yes, we always kept the light on. Yes, there was a night when I slept on a lounge chair by the pool. Yes, a police officer asked me if I was okay.
Note to self: Shell out the big bucks for Morgan and Zoe to go somewhere cool like the Sedona Valley or Vail where there will be less fraternity boys and/or roaches.

Road Trip, Fall 1994

Mom: So what did you do this weekend?
Me: Joni and I borrowed Kristen’s boyfriend’s car, left Miami Friday after class, got to Mississippi State Saturday morning, went “mudding” with Joni’s boyfriend’s fraternity brothers, attended a keg party, woke up Sunday and drove back to Miami.
Mom: Why?
Me: We had never been “mudding” before.
Note to self: When you start seeing things on the Nachez Trace at 3 am in the morning, it’s time to pull over and go to sleep.

Put-N-Bay 1997

Items lost: Scott, Scott’s clothes, Scott’s wallet, Scott’s keys.
Items found: All of the above.
Location of items found: Scott wandered into the campsite on his own, everything else was found the next day on the ground by a row boat.
Note to self: You cannot ride a bicycle when you are too drunk to stand up straight.

Hookaville, Anytime, Anywhere

Most notably, the year Willie Nelson headlined. It rained the entire weekend. This would be the second time I got to go mudding.
Note to self: Do not park in a low-lying field during a 48-hour torrential downpour.

N’SYNC Celebrity Tour 2002

May or may not have spilled beer on the minors in front of us. Temporary deafness brought to you by the thousands of screaming teenagers that may or may not have been dressed like nickel whores. Blurry photos that may or may not have been caused by intoxication of the photographer.
Note to self: Be aware of your age and go on the NKOTB cruise instead.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Down the Hole

Fall is my favorite time of year. First, because of the weather (although we could cool it on the rain now). Second, because the smell always makes me feel young. Or at least younger.

The only sadness I feel when changing out my closet from all the shorts I never wore (because I hate shorts) for jeans and sweaters is when I lovingly place my flip flops (nine pairs) farther back on the shoe rack. Except my Puma's. My Puma's are all weather flip flops. Don't touch my Puma's.

On the other hand, I'm finally going to purchase Hunters to replace my wellies that bit the dust last season. Important decision: Robin's Egg Blue, or Butter Yellow? If I'm going to invest in Hunters, I cannot afford to make a mistake in this department.

This also means my super comfy, if not totally flattering, thick gray sweater is coming out of summer hibernation. I apologize to the village of Bay for how often you will see me in it. I mean I'm REALLY sorry...not sorry enough not to wear it.

But the majority of my Swan's Way moments occur in the fall...do you people know Proust's Swan's Way? I think I mention it a lot, but this is because it is Scott's and my inside joke from a Literature course we took together in the The College Years. It's (IMO) the most horrible book ever written that one is forced to read in a Literature class. The entire first chapter is about macaroons. Okay, it's actually about how smells hold the most vivid memories for people, which I get, but I don't need an entire chapter on macaroons to drive it home. P.S. Guess who didn't think it was the most horrible book ever written? Our professor.

I digress. Shocking!

Like the other day, someone was burning leaves despite being against city ordinances. This is not the most pleasant smell in the world, but I kind of like it anyway. Much like the smell of horse manure is a little slice of heaven for me. Burning leaves is definitely NOT against city ordinances where I come from, which is definitely NOT a city. Burning leaves make me think of high school football games. High school football games make me think of parking cars back in the fields with Matt Rossini.

Not "parking" in cars. Parking cars. As in, we didn't have lines in our gravel parking lot and had to also use the neighboring field, which required National Honor Society students (because, frankly, who else would agree to this) to wave their hands around and instruct all the rednecks how to park straight and pack it in. (And I say redneck very lovingly here).

It also makes me think of catching leaves blowing from the tree line with my little brother. Seriously, hours of entertainment.. Until Charlie and BJ showed up and started pelting us with acorns, that is. Then we would play some semblance of football that mostly involved us saying "Hut, Hut" and the dog going crazy tackling us before we could say "Hike." (Are those even the right words?)

Later it meant deciding whether to wear a coat or tough it out on the Slant Walk between South Quad and Uptown; pulling 50 plus manes to get our nags and ponies ready to host a regional horse show where we would kick OSU and Lake Erie's butts because they didn't know how to ride our reject school horses (I pity the fool that drew Boomer or Rusty); and shivering around a keg on the front porch of Pour House (who doesn't name their house?) or a U Commons balcony because we were never ready to move the parties indoors.

I took Zoe on an apple picking field trip this Wednesday out in the ol' Firelands. We pulled in to my parent's afterwards and I swear my dad could have been Grandpa "HB" Kirschner. But not because he looked old. I was suddenly remembering my grandpa from when I was a toddler in his flannel shirts, smoking a pipe while he putzed around in the woods. He would have a fire in the wood burner in the barn and we would watch the dogs run back in forth in their kennel (first Lady and later Jake). If we were lucky (and we usually were where Grandpa was concerned) he'd fire up the minibike and give us a ride. It should be noted that I was probably wearing a hand-me-down navy blue coat with fur around the hood from cousin Rachel/Katie.

My dad has inherited two main things. One of which is not dark and wavy hair. The first is grandpa's hands. I noticed this when he set about getting crumbs off the breakfast table on Sunday. Very Beaches. But more prominently, my dad has inherited my grandfather's three speeds: Sunday Putzing, Putzing, and Quick Putzing. The last of which is only used when he still has to clean up his latest home improvement project before people come over or getting a dead cat out of the barn before the girls find it.

Coming soon...the craziness of the Halloween season. Yes, it is no longer a day. It is a season.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sophie's Choice and Almost Famous

Spohie’s Choice

I’ve actually never seen the movie, so I’m not entirely sure what choice they are referring to, but imagine if you will…(Editor's note: As I'm posting this, Sophie's Choice came on the TV, how weird is that? FYI - About sending kids to concentration camps.)

A young mother in a war-torn middle eastern country is told by her embassy that she must be evacuated to a nearby peaceful area, but she can only take one of her two young children with her. The other child must stay under the watch of the heavily guarded and super-qualified embassy staff. But still, someone could bomb the embassy at any time, right?

Me: Meredith’s mom is picking you up at school to take you for ice cream with your Daisy troop tomorrow.
Morgan: Yay!
Me: Then she’s going to bring you back to their house to play until I get home from work.
Morgan: (pause) What about Pooh Bear Blanket and Beluga? Where will they be?
Me: At home, I guess, since you won’t go to Thea’s after school. (She usually takes them to Thea’s and dumps them in the hallway before catching the bus and picks them up again when it is time for us to go home.)
Morgan: (tears starting to form) But…but…
Me: Morgan, you don’t have them all day at school, and you don’t even play with them at Thea’s, so this is no different.
Morgan: But couldn’t I take them in my backpack just this once?
Me: They won’t both fit in your backpack. I guess you can take one.
Morgan: (gasp) But which one?
Me: I don’t care. (Because I just can’t get past the fact that she DOESN'T PLAY WITH THEM!)

In the morning Morgan quietly gets dressed and asks me again through many tears if she can’t somehow take both of them. To which I become mean Mommy and tell her that I’m not going to let her take either of them outside the house ever again if she doesn’t get over it.

Well, actually, I think I was pretty reasonable. I told her it was okay that she was sad, but she had until we left the house to calm down and stop worrying about it. She decides that Beluga will make the trip in her backpack.

I continue to get us ready to go and come downstairs to find Zoe standing with Pooh Bear Blanket lovingly clutched in her arms. Morgan is smiling.

Morgan: (in her Little Miss Innocent voice) Zoe promised to take care of Pooh Bear Blanket today, so she is going to take him to Thea’s. Thank you, Zoe.
Zoe, The Enabler: (clearing proud of her responsibility) You’re welcome, Morgan.

Basically, I give up.

* * *

"Rockstars have kidnapped my son!" - Almost Famous

I may have overdone it a bit at the clambake on Saturday. That might have been obvious by my facebook status updates.

Needless to say, Sunday morning came a little too early for me, despite the fact that the girls seemed to be sleeping in.

Around 7 a.m. I hear Zoe starting to stir. In a quiet voice, I hear, "Morgan, it's morning time. Wake up, Morgan. It's morning time."

Ten minutes later Morgan gets up to use the bathroom and Zoe comes in to our room. "Mommy, I have to go potty, too. Oh, nevermind Mom, I will use my little potty. You stay in bed."

"Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?"

(Note: We have a training potty that doubles as the sink stool so they can reach to brush their teeth. So even though she doesn't need the training potty, it is still present. A fact I was very much thankful for.)

Then I hear Morgan help her empty the training potty into the regular toilet. WHAT?

Next there is a an opening and shutting of dresser drawers, the padding of little feet, and she appears again. "I picked out my clothes, Mommy."

In her hand is a tank top and shorts, but they MATCH, by god! I say, "I think we need to wear something nicer to Sunday school, okay? I'll help you."

I decide if she is going to be helpful Zoe, I better take advantage.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Irishman, a Mini-Dress and a Lawnmower

Scott and I wrote our race blog for his site, which you can read here. But as I was writing my section, I realized I would be remiss if I did not account for the drama we were exposed to while watching for him to pass on his bike. That is what follows below.

11:00 AM I notice one of the athletes that stopped at the port-a-pot is in tears and using someone’s cell phone. I can’t catch everything but it sounded something like I did the one time Scott tried to take me mountain biking with another couple when he was in law school. Basically a lot of crying and insisting that I can’t go another step and in fact will not be moving until someone brings a car around for me.

It sounded like the person on the other end may have been less than thrilled with her decision, but I could sympathize. Coincidentally, road assistance had stopped in this same spot to help someone that must have slipped a chain, so he was advising her not to go on as well, but she was clearly having a personal crisis.

We invited her to sit in a chair in the shade of our tent and after she explained how nauseous she was I offered her some of our pretzels. This immediately dis qualifies her, by the way, and I feel a little guilty that I let her off the hook, but Road Assistance came over and we could kind of tell he wouldn’t have let her back on the course, noting she would just become an emergency situation later on in the race.

At this point, she admits that she tried the Louisville ironman last year and had to be taken away in an ambulance. (Sidebar: On telling Scott this story he says, “Oh my god. I know who she is. I read her blog last week and it freaked me out.” Sidebar 2: You can read her account in her blog and she mentions us!) As Scott will say many times, the Rev3 staff is AMAZING. Road Assistance drove her back to transition and gave each of our girls a free “volunteer” t-shirt.

Incidentally, Zoe pointed out that the road assistance guy was using “English words”. Ha! He had an Irish accent.

12:00 PM Second batch of volunteers show up, most of which are high school girls wearing Future Teacher t-shirts. Except one. One girl who showed up in a short strapless sundress and stacked heels. To stand on the shoulder of the road by the port-a-pot. If you cannot picture this…picture a high school car wash fundraiser and the annoying girls on the corner yelling “CARWASH!” in a screeching voice, while not actually participating in any of the car washing.

According to her, she came right from church.

One, I’m sure god was happy you dressed like a hooker to worship him. (She didn’t really look like a hooker, but the dress was SHORT and the heels were HIGH.) Two, was there no room in your car for a pair of flip flops? Or shorts to throw on under your dress so the gusts of wind created by professional cyclists didn’t cause multiple Marilyn moments?

Now, I will say, she did hold people’s bikes for them while they used the pot, made sure they got the right nutrition and hydration on the bike by the time they were out, and gave them encouraging words upon their departure. However….mini-dress and heels. Cannot get the picture out of my brain.

12:30 PM A man you can only find in Firelands or the movie Deliverance saunters over to where we have set up camp. “Who has authorized you people to be here? I have to mow! All these cars are in my way! I have to mow!”

“Ummm…those aren’t our cars. They belong to all those volunteers down there. We just came to watch.”

“Well I need to mow and all those cars are in my way.”

Okay, sir, do I look like I have any authority whatsoever? We are sitting here with three little girls that are currently coloring Strawberry Shortcake pictures. We point him down to the volunteer tables and start packing our stuff, even though I know Scott is going to be coming at any given moment.

Jason tries to reason with him that it will only be a couple more hours and the bikers should all be past this point of the course. Could he just come back?

“NO! There is a football game on in an hour.”

Helpful. And by the way, I’ve seen longer grass in my own back yard, which we all know Scott’s obsession with lawn care, and this is a small patch of grass between a parking lot and a cornfield!

He comes back ten minutes later, after we have pretty much packed up everything but the tent, and says. “Aw, you don’t have to move the little ones. I can mow around you and turn the blade the other way.”

Information that would have been helpful ten minutes ago.

Meanwhile Scott has biked past, yelling out to US, but nobody even noticed him…thanks, dude.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Adult Truth #4

Adult Truth #4
There is great need for a sarcasm font.

It would be even better if it was just one of those buttons at the top of the MSWord document like the Bold and Italics button. Sarcasm button.

I would be able to stop using quotation marks around my sarcasm, thus eliminating the confusion for people who put quotes around “everything” and making my blog much more readable. See earlier post.

Would have come in handy when I was texting Scott about the “sweet” thing my department did to present me with my five-year lapel pin which I will quickly send in to Cash for Gold.

If you make it too easy, I just might use the thing all the time. It would be like those people that type in all capital letters all the time. STOP SHOUTING AT ME ALREADY!

As of right now, I can hide my sarcasm in an email and it appears as if I am being genuine. This is the reason I stopped having face to face conversations. If you give me the font, I’ll probably use it. And that will just open up a whole other can of worms.

I Digress
I have been in my current job for five years, but it actually seems longer. I was at Ernst & Young for six before I got kicked out for being a mom (kidding…not really), and I feel like I have been here twice as long.

Maybe because my former frequent flyer miles actually caused days to disappear out of my life never to be recovered and now I’m living each and every one of them out. Not sure.

Regardless, it’s been five glorious years. (Where is that font?)

Background: We have a manager meeting every Thursday at lunch time where we eat our lunch together and then talk about classified information. Like whether or not Kelly agrees with me that the Marnie storyline on True Blood has run its course. The conference room we usually meet in is currently on a floor under construction.

Scene 1 in which I get no less than twenty meeting invite updates in my inbox from our esteemed leader who is trying to change the meeting location.

Me: You are killing me.
Bill: (Innocently) ?

That was over instant message, he didn’t actually say “?”

Scene 2 in which I return from the restroom, check my calendar for the location, grab my scissors and head to 802. No, I don’t usually bring weapons to manager meetings, but today I had decided to multitask and cut out strips of paper to use at the PTA meeting for door prize entries. I sit down and start cutting, only slightly registering that the lines in the cafeteria must be long. That’s when I receive a text.

Mary: We are back up here from 10.
Me: Where is “here?” I’m in 802.
Mary: 1301
Me: I’ll get there when I get there.

I’m pretty sure the tone of that one made it across. Because, damnit, I rarely look at my calendar to confirm a room, trusting the people that I’m with know where they are going, but he had just sent out all those updates and I wasn’t stopping in the cafeteria with them, so I actually, for once in my f-ing life, made a point to look.

Scene 3 in which I walk in to the actual meeting room and the rest of the department is standing along the wall, saying “Surprise!”

Me: (Clearly annoyed and thinking that he has gathered everybody for some announcement and had them say surprise so I wouldn’t be mad that his update hadn’t made it to me.) What for?

Probably not the reaction anyone was going for. So, yeah, sweet!