Friday, February 5, 2016

If You Don't Say Anything Out Loud It's Not Passive Aggression, It's a Writing Prompt. Plus, In My Fantasy? Dude Got To Make His Own Ice Cream!

I visit a coffee shop every Thursday morning. It's supposed to be my treat (add selfish glare here) before spending the majority of my day volunteering at Katie's school, because, let's face it, when you show up to school drop off with this hairdo*:

You're totally outing yourself as a... stay-at-home mom. Shhhhh....

(look anxiously over shoulder) Maybe they didn't hear that over there at Ellie's school....Maybe.

So now every Thursday I order an Americano, flip open my computer and write for an hour.


Unless Loud Guy On Cell Phone shows up.

Then I spend my hour recreating the other side of his loud phone conversation.

Loud Guy On Cell Phone: (walks into coffee shop, places computer bag on chair next to mine) Why does Evan even have to come back?

Person on Other End Of Cell Phone Tower/or Me. In my own head. But Typing Replys On My Computer So It Doesn't Look Like I'm Eavesdropping**: (incredulously, obviously) Because he makes his own ice cream! And there's that... ice cream contest. At... the company.

Loud Guy On Cell Phone: (Interrupting. (Dude. How rude?))  Right. I don't think he's going to come back.

Person on Other End of Cell Phone Tower/Really Me Typing: No, Dude! Ice cream is like a really big deal for Evan. He, like, full on transports last year's trophy to and from work every day. He's not-

Loud Guy On Cell Phone: (Interrupting. (I know! Who'd of thought!?!)) I don't think he's going to accept it if he does-

Person on Other End of Cell Phone Tower/Maybe I Should Just Say Me: (Interrupting. Because two can play at that game.) That new thing down from HR? He might! Plus he was talking about this new flavor, Lemon Chocolate Chip. He seemed really-

Loud Guy On Cell Phone: (Interrupting. (Because that's just how he is.)) I'm sorry, but I think he's going to do something else anyway!

Cell Phone Tower Person/Me: (Sign. Eye roll. Throws hands in air. Like I just don't care. But  because I'm annoyed, not to indicate inhibition on a dance floor.)

Loud Guy on Cell Phone:  Look, what do you think of-I'm just looking at Joel-

Me: Because he wears funny shoes? I don't-

Loud Guy: I thought you said you did have it in there!

Me: (Oh! OK, I get it now. Still on ice cream. Loud Guy is pretty concerned about their ice cream making team. Which is good, because I know all about making homemade ice cream! Thanks, Mom!) Well, it seems there are holes in our ice cream team wait list, man. You've just told me we've lost our best ice cream maker, it's gonna take time to get the team back in the same freezer canister, so to speak, once they hear of this.

Loud Guy: Right.

Me: Exactly, we'll need to suggest someone. Now, Libby has her own antique ice cream maker, crank and all. But, Karl, Karl used to work for Cold Stone Creamery. Bolden just wrote, "I like ice cream" on his application. We're all over the place! We're going to need to dash these people into shape. Ice cream maker pun intended there, Dude. (I'm doing so well! It's like I'M actually having the conversation with Loud Cell Phone Guy!)

Loud Guy: Right. I just don't know which one. Because, they all look good and I don't know how to pick.

Me: We could-

Loud Guy: What did you think about Gino? Did you like him?

Me: (rude breathy noise) No one likes Gino.

Loud Guy: Ok, so it's not just me.

Me: (I can say this, because Loud Guy and me? We're friends now.)Nope. He smells funny.

Loud Guy: I know. I know! Can I ask you a question? Why not just put all your buckets into interns?

Me: (Scrambling, because, if they have an ice cream contest at this guys company every year, I want to work there! So, I need to make a good impression!) Because On ...Joel's shoes?

Loud Guy: Ok, coooool.... Sure. Um, You hang in there.  (Puts phone in pocket. Walks away. To order coffee. Or because He and Joel are like best bestest besties and Loud Guy thinks Joel's zebra shoes are amazing, and now, I've totally insulted him.)

Me: (Mumbling as I close my computer, and start to pack up to volunteer. At Katie's school. Again.) Shoot, man! I'll never get a job at his company now. (tsk) Good goin', Martha.

*Ellie did my hair. I look pretty. She told me so.

**Look, it wasn't just me, Okay? EVERYONE was eavesdropping in the coffee shop that day.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Post Where I Become A Cat AND A Coffee Critic. Because That's A Real Thing*.

I love coffee.

And I love cats.

But, because Jon has decided to be selfish allergic to cats, the type of joy one takes in the mundane everyday stuff of life has been thrown all lopsided like. Awry. Disproportional. Irregular. Strabismic. Yes. Strabismic, Jon.

Even the cats feel it.



I started hearing rumors about a new coffee shop opening up in my neighborhood.

Me: (in my head) Cool. A new coffee shop to try out. Maybe they'll have good snacks..... For the children.



People started saying it was going to have cats!

Me: (internally. hopefully.) CUTE LITTLE KITTIES!?! REALLY!?! I'll hold them and squeeze them and love them FOREVER!!!!

Suddenly, my morning runs took on a whole other purpose as I systematically, in a logical grid like manner, began to scour the neighborhood streets for an empty storefront with a sign placed in the window that said something along the lines of:

P.S. The cats love you. 
A lot.

And, one morning, I kid you not, I found it, just blocks from Katie's school.  It was all curled up in the rain, with it's tail over it's nose, cozy and cuddly, purring away.

Yes, buildings purr.

(Shut up.)

And, my mind flew off on a flurry of imagniariums.

Each image






My life was going to look exactly like that! Drop the kids at school. Walk to the coffee shop. Play with cats. Pick the kids up from school. Go to bed. Wash, rinse and repeat. Every! Day!

But, first, I thought it would be nice to share with the children my new found life goal of spending 16 hours a day, minimum, at the cat coffee shop. Because, as every parenting class teaches you, as parents of young children we need to take care of ourselves first so we can take care of the children. Later. After we play with the cats.

So, after school the next day, Katie, Ellie and I skipped over to the cat coffee shop. We sang Ellie's "Cat Song" the whole way. Because she's five. And she asked us to. (Spoiler Alert: Ellie's song has just one word, "meow". Repeated over and over and over. Sung. You guessed it. Loudly.)



On the door, there was a sign. It said:


Me: (in my head) Well....shoot..... Wait. Dude! I'll just, you know, go over that whole stranger danger thing again with Ellie and buy her a cookie. She'll just sit at a table. She'll be fiiiiiine. (out loud) Would you like a cookie, Ellie?

Ellie: Meow!

Me: (in my head, again) Problem. Solved.



I read further down the sign. And it said:


Me: (thinking quickly) Shoot. I don't have a reservation. Wait! I buy both girls only one cookie. I make them split it, and then, while the staff are distracted by the inevitable "I don't want to share with my sister diversion" this will create, I'll just sneak into the cat room! No one will know! Brilliant!



The sign ended with these words:


And my heart broke.

Because I did math.

And, even without Katie's help I know, 16 hours X $10 is more than my daily budgeted latte expenses.

By a lot.

So this. This is as close as we got to cats that day.

And, as we wiped the last of the cat shaped cookie crumbs from our hands, we finally left the cat coffee shop. Shoulders drooping. Dragging our woebegone selves home. Through the rain.

But, somehow? I don't think we were the only disappointed ones.

* This is the internet. I don't lie about these kinds of things:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

And You Thought I Was Just Being Lazy. Duuude, That Hurts. Because...

I'm pretty much sure I'm a Disney Princess:


See, I heard some kids talking the other day at, I don't know, the bank, or an art museum or while I was nursing two sore buttocks at the ice skating rink, whatever, it's not important, what's important is that they said that there are, like, real live actual requirements to be considered a member of the Disney Princessdom.

Seriously! The PRINCESSDOM!

Now, the kids didn't actually list out the requirements, but, Dude, I've seen like five princess movies, I've got this.

So, grab a pencil and keep track of all the requirements you meet.

Because you might be a Disney Princess too.

1. Must own dinglehoppers.

People! I own dinglehoppers.

That sparkle. Like the treasure untold they are.

2. Have a fascination with the fiber arts.

I made this once! With needles! That were pointy!

And then I took a nap.

3. Own shoes, that you leave in inconvenient places.

I leave my shoes on the stairs all the time!

Sometimes Jon finds them. And brings them to me.

4. Must be good enough friends with the animals of the forest that they will do household chores. 

Totally! I mean, I have a squirrel friend! Who makes beds!

I believe in you, little guy! You can do it!*

*Princesses. We're notoriously overly optimistic.

5. Own a lot of books. Put them on bookshelves.

I know what you're thinking, but, no, owning the complete Twilight series does not count against your Princessdom application.

But only because Bella doesn't discover that Edward's a prince in disguise 'til chapter three!

So, which Disney Princess are you?

P.S. Now that you're a real Disney Princess, remember, take time for the little people. And their mom.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Conversations. Face It. We All Have Them.

My kids. They're going to send me over the edge one day.

Ellie: (on monkey bars at playground) Mommy! Watch this!
Me: Weeeeee! Very Cool!
Ellie: (stopping. staring) Why did you make that face?
Me: (confused) What? You mean smiling?
Ellie: Yeah. Why?
Me: (re-evaluating every facial expression since Ellie's birth) I...I...guess
Ellie: (Runs off to the swings. Laughing.)

Katie: (on walk to school) Mom! This bush looks just like a dinosaur!
Me: (looking, unconvinced) Reeeeally??
Katie: Yeah! You have to squint hard.
Me: (squinting)
Katie: Squintier than that.

Katie: See it!?!
Me: Well, look at that! A dinosaur! Right there! (pull out phone) Want a picture? (click)
Katie: (laughs) Just kidding! It doesn't. I made that up. It's just a bush.
Me:  Ohhhhhhhh....

Ellie: (holding up a paper from school) T is for turkey, Mommy!
Me: (Putting on my vegetarian hat. It looks like kale and smells of self righteous nutrition.) Oh, Ellie... What's wrong with the poor turkey?
Ellie: (looking at paper) Oh, nothing. It's just killed and baked on a plate, Mommy.
Me:  THEN what's going to happen to the wittle turkey!?!
Ellie: (with a glint in her eye) Someone will eat it.
Me: (getting...) Is that a good thing?
Ellie: YEAH!
Me: (ser.i.ous) Why?
Ellie: Because. Then there will be less sound in the world.
Me: Less sound?
Ellie: Yeah. Turkeys are noisy birds.

Of course, I could bring it on myself too.

Jon: (walks into kitchen) How's your coffee?
Me: Deliciously caffeinated!
Jon: Um, where'd you get that mug?
Me: The dishwash- (shoulders dropping, in realization, or smartness, really its your choice) It's not clean, is it?
Jon: Nope.
Me: (sipping, thinking, but uncaffeinatedly) Hmmm.... No. It's still good.

But, then, I looked at Katie's "dinosaur bush" again:

And I thought, "Nope. Definitely not my fault."

P.S. I've been away for awhile. Because I'm lazy. Or because I became a Disney princess.

Either could be true.

Friday, June 19, 2015

This Post Is About Physics. (Dude. Quit Laughing. It's Rude.) NEWLY UPDATED! JUST FOR YOU DAD!


I'm totally going to talk about physics.

Noooo, not the Olivia Newton John kind with the sweatbands and leg warmers. The science physics. With real physics words like: density, trajectory, volume, and quarks. Which, let me clear up right now, is not an alternate word that science-type people use for, um, certain bodily functions, so "Quit trying to make it one, Martha."

Now, before you say to yourself, "Huh. According to all my Internet stalking, Martha never took a physics class in high school or college. That was (typetypetypetytype) AP Bio and Environmental Science, respectively." To you, I say, "Kudos!" followed immediately by, "Creepy much?" But, seriously folks, I'm like a life long learner, metaphorically cruising the educational highway, the roar from my classic Triumph bike filling the air, motorcycle jacket screen printed with the platitude "Down with Institutionalized Grades and Standards!" complete with a smiley face. And a kitten. Because that's what rebels do. You know, just like Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli.

See, once, way back in the day, Jon and I went on a picnic. There we were, finishing up our sandwiches and apples sitting at a table in the shade of a large ramada, and, for some reason, (yawn) talking about basketball. (yawn) I'm fairly certain my contributions to the conversation consisted of "huh" and "interesting" and "I like to pretend trashcans are basketball hoops." It's also likely I said something along the lines of, "You should throw your apple core into that trashcan way over there." Not because I thought it would be cool, but because I was bored of talking about basketball. Obviously. Which is when Jon started pulling out physics terms like "escape velocity", "angular momentum", and "when you take into account the MeV slope of the ramada roof and the arc of the oscillatory motion averaged with 62% of the trashcan being behind the post, the kinetic energy needed to make that shot is scientifically impossible." Which is when I rolled my eyes, turned, sighted, and launched my apple core. Yeeeaaahhh! All net, baby! Giving me the undisputed title of "Physics Master!" Which I made into a button*. When I got home. On my own button making machine. Because that's what the Fonzie's of the world do. Because we're cool. (I may not have needed to add that last bit.)

Anyway, the other day, as my kids were enduring their last few days of school before they too can ride the educational highway on my metaphorical Model H Triumph:
Which now has a sidecar. For the children.
I was walking around the house, sighing, because, dude, my kids are pigs! Living in stys of their own making, full of discarded books, dirty clothes, ripped art projects, stuffed animals, games, toys and probably a bunch of disgusting things, if I looked deep enough. But I didn't. Because I was distracted by science. And the realization that Bulk's modulus of elasticity totally applies. When you add a solenoid**.

Seriously. Look:
Isochoric process? Yeah, that volume has been totally constant, for at least two weeks now.
Isobaric process? (Takes deep breath. Closes eyes. Counts to 10.) Yep, pressure is constant too. 

But, then?
Add a play tunnel/solenoid and the ratio of normal stress to the volumetric strain is totally produced! Bulk's modulus of elasticity, ba-by!
 Watch. I'll do it again. This time, in Ellie's room:
Isochhoric? Check.
Isobaric? Double check.

Bulk's modulus of elasticity stretched all over the place!
But, then, I got to thinking. Where else in the house can I apply physics?

The breakfast table?

Yep. Physiced that one!
"My" office?
Heh hem.
Did you notice the quotes around 'my'?
I put those there on purpose. 

Normal stress?
The bathroom, perhaps?

Excuse me.
That's embarrassing. 
You may want to advert your eyes on this one, Dad....

The car.
(I told you not to look, Dad!)
Science made my car this messy.
It's not my fault.

Now this, this, is what can happen when I don't keep the science in check, Dad.
The conclusion from my day of sciencing?

My house isn't as messy as I thought. As long as I can keep my solenoid from quarking all over place. I mean, dude!, I never have to clean anything again! Kinetic Energy High Five, man!

(Looks over shoulder.)

Um... Heyyyy, Dad. You still here?

(Lowers hand, slowly.)

Except for the car.



I used a shop vac!

Because that's what good daughters scientists*** do.

But you know what they say about science, right Dad?

It's unpredictable. 

*I also have a button that says "Statistics Master!" I made it after playing Yahtzee with Jon who kept talking about the statistical probability of rolling Yahtzee's, "Because each die has six sides, the probability of rolling, say, a 2, is 1/6...yada, yada, yada...." He made the same math speech three times. In one game.

** A cylindrical coil of wire that becomes electromagnetic when a child current flows through it. I bet you didn't know I knew that!

***Not an actual scientist. But I play one on the Internets. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Like To Yell, "Bring Me Your Head!" When I Want To Apply Shampoo. Because It's Funny.

So the other evening, while I was frantically jumping up and down behind a gaggle of mother's in the girl's locker room after swim lessons, trying desperately to get Ellie to wash her own hair and body without actually having to enter the shower area, it occurred to me. Dude. This is how that whole refereeing thing in sports got invented.

How To Wrangle Kids After Swim Lessons Using Referee Signals From Various Sports. But Mostly Wrestling, Because, Let's Face It, They're Pretty Much Wearing Swimsuits Already.  

This doesn't mean "Start the injury clock":

It means, "HURRY UP! Kid's are waiting! Seriously, this other little girl's lips are turning blue!"

And this doesn't mean, "Illegal Hold or Unnecessary Roughness":

It means, "Scrub your head. Better. Better than that. Come on, Dude! Really get in there. S-C-R-U-B" Follow it with the don't-make-me-come-in-there look.

This does not mean "Potentially Dangerous Left or Right Hand":

Nope. It means, "Rinse. Your hair. THIS side." Repeat as needed. Don't forget the hip drop. To show your seriousness.

Also, there's no way this means, "Flagrant Misconduct Left or Right Hand":

It means, "Rinse THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD!" Make sure you swirl your hand around. Really well. It helps get the seriousness of the message across. Trust me, the kids don't care if it turns your hair into a huge frizzy mess. Actually, it will make you look cool. Like Hermione.

This isn't "Stalemate":

Nope. It's, "Please take off your swimsuit and hand it to me." Make sure you bring the arms down along your body. Add a hip wriggle. Make sure it's realistic. Ignore the stares of other mothers. YOUR yoga pants aren't soaked up to the knee from darting into the shower area.

This one means,"Indicating No Control":

The NFSHSA Wrestling Officials totally got that one right. I just happen to call it, "Stop. Stop! STOP! We do not run in the locker room! Do you want to get a concussion!?!" Potato/potata.

Then finally you get to give the, "Replay/Re-serve" signal:

Which, as we all know means, "Yay! All done! Good job! Turn off the shower! You're done. Turn it off. I mean it. Now. TURN. IT. OFF." Which looks a lot like "Scrub your head" around the eyes, but the thumbs give it a different meaning.

And for the big finale? Fluttering. That's right, you flutter that purple and blue striped swim towel on the sidelines, just outside the spray zone, until their little eyes turn red and they charge.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

This Video Is Educational. I Did That On Purpose. Although, The Rhino Objected.

Katie turned 8 and it threw me a bit off kilter. Literally.  Because I did this to her birthday cake after (lovingly) pulling it out of the oven:

And while I was picking up the pieces, it totally made me feel all melancholic. Like a rhinoceros*.  So, I popped my Schoolhouse Rock CD into the stereo and made a video. Badly. 

Unfortunately, I couldn't just cover it with pink frosting to fix it. Like I did with Katie's birthday cake. Because Jon said that it would make all the computers sticky and stuff. Or, something like that.  I was stuffing my face with left over birthday cake at the time, so, you know, I wasn't really listening. 

*Seriously. Look at that face!