Friday, March 6, 2015

Intimidation. It's A Real Thing. Especially When You're Wearing Your XXL Purple Sweatpants From College.

I'm not a swimmer. Not really. Sure I can mix it up freestyle with the triathlon people each season, but only because I stay to the left. Far to the left. With the breast strokers and that one guy in flowered swim trunks. (You've seen him, he's at every triathlon.) And, sure, I've swum with Mabel. And, yes, the rumors are true, she's totally like a streak of lightning in the water. Then again, she was on the swim team in High School where they use to crown her with tiaras made of Rhododendron flowers and carry her around on their shoulders every Friday before swim meets*, so it makes sense. But, here's the awesome thing, never once did she make me feel like a doggie paddling flailing four year old. Of course, that might mostly be because when we use to meet up for sunrise swims across the pine tree encircled lake by her house, after about 30 seconds I never so much as saw a bubble from the woman. But that also meant that I could stop mid swim, flip to my back and just float in the middle of the lake as the sun turned the sky pink and the tops of the pines faded from black to dark green.

And it was peaceful.

But today? I got up at 5:30. To swim. In a pool. Inside. An inside pool I had only ever, genetically speaking, dunked like 20% of my body in. (Genetic Math Note: I've had my children dunked multiple times for swim lessons. So, taking into account "flesh of my flesh", at 10% DNA/child, times that by two (X2), it equals 20%. Of me. Also? That math is totally correct. I checked it with a DNA scientist. Note: I made up that part about a scientist.)

Guys? This morning? I walked into that natatorium, wearing:

1) my old XXL purple sweat pants from college. You know the ones. The ones that look like this:

 and 2) underneath those ginormous purple sweats? My mom tankini. In black. For that slimming effect. Obviously.

So, there I stood, next to the bleachers, squinting through the cloudy layer of steam that had settled on my glasses.

And do you know what I saw?

A pool full of Mabel's.

And a dolphin.

Seriously! Swimmers were bouncing from one end of the pool to the other like they were in a giant pinball game. It was like they all watched a documentary on Olympic swimmers, went to bed normal people, and the next morning woke up identical clones of Michael Phelps. These things happen. I've seen Spiderman. I know.

Dude. There were lanes full of people swimming butterfly. Flip turns were going all over the place. Freestylers were as smooth as a well poured cup of coffee. The backstrokers? In perfect alignment. Like milk and espresso in the hands of a good barista. Also? They didn't run into the pool wall once. I watched.

And that dolphin? Totally showing off her breaching skills.

There was absolutely no more room in that pool. And the waiting swimmers? Were they sitting around, chatting, scrolling through their smart phones? Nope. They were drylanding. (Which is a real swimmers word that real swimmers use that I had to look up on the internet.) Sit ups? Check. Push ups? Check. Planks? Check. Chin ups? Check. Giant semi tires being flipped and heavy ropes tied around an old car to be pulled across the pool deck? Check. (Probably. Maybe. But not really.)

And, there I stood, at the side of the pool, glasses still slightly fogged, trying vainly to suck in my Jennifer Garner look alike baby gut that I had hidden so cleverly under giant purple sweatpants, intimidated. Dismayed. Daunted. Inconceivabled.

There was no way I was getting into a pool with these people. I would die. Litterally. Die. It'd be like riding my bike along the Autobahn. Stupid.

But I'm an adult. I've done Olympic distance triathlons! (One. Six years ago.)  I couldn't just walk away! So I bucked up my chin, found a thin thread of tenacity from somewhere and had this conversation with the lifeguard:

Me: (quavering voice) Um, sooo, it's been a, um, while since I've been in a pool... (cast glance at super athletes) Is it, always like this?
Lifeguard: (knowingly) Yeah, they're pretty intense. It usually clears out around 7 though.
Me: (quavering, still, maybe worse, possible tears puddling in the corners of my eyes) Yeah... It's kinda intimidating looking....
Lifeguard: I know. That's why I stopped swimming at 18.

And on that note, I turned around and walked my purple XXL sweatpanted behind to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. While the dolphin glared at me, Mean Girls style. Then did a back flip.

But, do you know where I was an hour and a half later?

That's right.

I was in that pool.



And lapping every swimmer over the age of 60.

(No. I wasn't.)

Because you can't intimidate a woman wearing a mom-tankini for long.

Until you get to the showers. And she attempts to take it off.

Because that can be really scary.

*I made this up. But, in my head, that's exactly what Mabel's high school career was like. Because, seriously, you should see this woman swim!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Girl Scout Cookies: They Taste Like Feminism

I'm gonna let you in on a secret.

I don't like Girl Scout cookies.

It's not just those nasty Thin Mints either. (Then again, me and the ants, we regularly chant "solidarity sister", as we pass anything mint flavored.)  I think they all taste gross. Equally. Yes. All eight flavors. I think the chocolate tastes waxy. The shortbread is a hard hockey puck of sugar. And, with each bite of a Samoa, I can feel the trans-fat rushing straight to my arteries intent on building their blood circulation war machines of doom. The only cookie with any redeeming gastronomical qualities is the Do-Si-Do. But only because it's a sandwich cookie and I can do the twist and lick maneuver. Although, let's face it, Little Brownie Bakers were a bit too light handed with that bottle of artificial peanut butter flavoring.

I'm just gonna say it: Girl Scout cookies aren't a quality product.

But they could be worse.

I mean, have you tried the new flavor, Rah Rah Raisin this year? (shudder)

But it is Girl Scout cookie season and Katie? She's putting on her Brownie vest. She's knocking on doors. She's asking neighbors. She's counting boxes. Tracking money. Setting goals. Taking responsibility. That's right, she's selling Girl Scout cookies.

And, let's face it, that's kinda awesome.

But you know what else that means, right?  Exactly. I'm on the hook to buy a box. Or two. Or twelve. And, I will. I'll buy the cookies. I'll give them to my kids for dessert. I'll pack them in lunches, serve them at parties, bring them to pot-lucks. I may even eat one or two. But, that's because the Girl Scout cookies I'm buying don't taste like real butter, sugar and chocolate. (obviously) Nope. They taste like:

Carol Bellamy

Linda Chavez-Thompson

Venus Williams

Shari Lewis

Lucille Ball

Margaret Bourke-White

Sandra Day O'Conner

Laura Bush

Sally Ride

Queen Elizabeth II

And, let's face it, that is more than kinda awesome, it's full. On. Amazing.

So, what's your favorite flavor of Girl Scout cookie?

PS Girl Scout cookies don't literally taste like people. Because that's creepy. And immoral. And illegal. And all sorts of evil Hannibal Lector craziness. But I'm stickin' with my feminism flavor theory. Because it totally matches my earrings.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Conversations. In My Head. Probably. Mostly. Hopefully.

I'm Katie's Girl Scout troop cookie manager this year. I had parents picking up cookies from my house all last weekend.

Ding! Dong!
Me: (opening door) Hi!
Parent: Hi! You must be Martha.
Me: Yep! You must be Cookies.
Parent: Uh, I'm Roy. Spring's Dad?
Me: (in my head, loudly) Blah blah, blibbity blee, whatever Dude, I've already named you Cookies. There's no gettin' out of that now! (out loud) Nice to meet you. The basement's this way.

I read about a new beauty regimen on PinINterest the other day. Then I went grocery shopping.

Me: (in my own head, the middle of the health and beauty aisle, bottle of shampoo in my hand) Huh. Soooo, no-poo. It's a thing. That's really good for your head. Because Poo-Oop-A- Poo POO! Betty Boop said so. (pause) No she didn't. I made that up. Just so I could say Poo-Oop-A-Poo. (flip bottle over, read back) OK. Soooodium lauryl sulfate. That's bad. Because.... Um.... Because.... of no poo stuff. Poo. Poo. Cow go noooo-poooo! (chuckle) Nooo-p- (Look around. Catch another shopper's eye down the aisle.)  oooo.... (Put the bottle back on the shelf. Leave. Quickly.)

I woke up early the other day. But not before all the illness germs did.

Me: (walking, OK stalking, or fine, really, clomping with extra stomping, into bedroom as Jon is getting ready for work) DUDE! The kids are sick. Again. TheyAreAlwaysSick!Aren'tThey?Don'tAnswerThat.TheyAre.EverySingleDayOfEverySingleWeekOfEverySinglMonth! Man! I can't handle this anymore!
Jon: You know, I always thought you were this overly compassionate person. (pause) I don't think so anymore.
Me: (grumpily) Yeah. I'd make a horrible nurse. "Hey you! Why are you back at the hospital! I treated you last week. Get out."
Jon: (in his fake pitiful voice, which sounds a lot like Rob Schnieder from Waterboy, also, don't tell Jon I said that) "But... I have no legs..."
Me: "So? There are people with bigger problems. Deal with it, figure it out, whatever!" Now move. I have stuff to do.
Jon: hahaha! Exactly.
Me: No. Seriously. Move. I have to get to the thermometer. I have stuff to do. Stupid germs.

Friday, February 13, 2015

UPDATED!: Awesomeness I Found While Wasting Time On The Internet As I Was Stressing About Being Too Busy To Write A Proper Post

1. This ball. Carried by this dog. I don't know why, but it just makes me smile.....

2. This job. Which, while touted as the best job ever, isn't selling itself short. Also, even though I'd never be able to actually apply for the job, it's created some awesome fantasies on my morning runs.

3. This story. Also, I don't know if it's true. But I think it's true. But, either way, gollygoshgee, I hope beyond all hope that this is a true story, because, guys? These are some of the cutest penguins ever! (squeeeee!)

4. This dream. Because, it finally came true.

5. This palindrome. 

6. This quiz. Because, secretly everyone knows Do-si-dos are the best. Because we're "tough on the outside, but our best friend knows how sensitive and mushy we are on the inside." Although, that whole bit about crying "those sweet, salty tears anytime a commercial about a dog comes on" is just crazy talk. As if. 

7. This. Because it's the best part of any Super Foot Bowl of any year. Also? Totally not crying right now. It's just, (sniff) that I (wipes eyes) accidentally put on my onion deodorant this morning. (sniff) That's all. Anyone could make that mistake. (blows nose) Shut up.


9. This. Because when I played it for Jon he said, "This makes me wish I could dance!" Dudes. Someone needs to find me more of this!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Because There's A Super Foot Bowl Tomorrow

I am not a Seahawks fan.

Because I think Skittles are gross.

Of course I don't really understand what role the rainbow colored candy plays on the average Seahawks footballer's game day, but, judging from the cake I saw in the bakery case of our local QFC while I was grocery shopping this week, and this picture of this guy:

it's a pretty important one.

Now, before you get all #TBT up in my face, I'll admit it. Yes, in high school, I used to eat Skittles. And, I'm fairly certain this one time in the orchestra room, I said something along the lines of, "I love Skittles! It's like eating happiness in all the colors of the rainbow!"  Let's just put it down to experimentation with an unhealthy lifestyle, OK?  I mean, let's face it, we all did stupid things in high school.

Anyway, I was thinking that, what with the Super Foot Bowl coming up (GoogleGoogleGoogle Huh, look at that!) tomorrow, if I'm not a Seahawks fan, maybe I'm a (GoogleGoogleGoogle Yes, again.) Patriots fan!

No, seriously, hear me out. I once went to Philadelphia and do you know what I saw there? A statue of Benjamin Franklin's head completely made out of keys!

It was amazing! It was, literally, the most awesome statue in the history of statues! (Shut up, Michelangelo, no one was talking to you!) And, with Benjamin Franklin being considered one of the Founding Father's of our nation....

That's right.

You know where I'm going with this.

But then, I was on the Internet, and I read that House Key Franklin wasn't the original statue that was placed in front of that Philadelphia firehouse. There use to be one made out of pennies. And it could talk! A TALKING STATUE?!? DUDE! EVEN MICHELANGELO WOULD CONCEDE TO THAT AMAZINGNESS!

But Philadelphia broke it. 

So, now, I'll never be able to visit a talking statue.

That's right, Philadelphia, you just lost yourself one more Patriots fan. City of Brotherly Love? Pshaw! More like City Of No Talking Benjamin Franklin Statue So It's Not As Cool A City As It Use To Be. (That's right, you heard me Will Smith.)

I'd like to end my Super Foot Bowl post rant here. But I can't. Because, due to the indoctrination of our public school system, my kids are now rabid Seahawks fans.

As evidenced by their bedroom doors:

Which I didn't help decorate.

At all.


Which means, for the second time in two! years! (the agony of it all!), I will watch the Super Foot Bowl. With a book. And a pot of coffee. While wearing my "honest to goodness I bought it at a tailgate party outside of a real stadium" official football necklace. Because that's what supportive mother's have to do.

But I won't be wearing my football shirt.
You can thank Philadelphia for ruining that one Patriots.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Once I When I Was Teaching, A Kid Was Upset And Came And Asked Me Something In Spanish. I Walked Him Back To His Table And Explained To The Other Students The Importance Of Sharing And Then Directed Them To Give Him Back His Scissors. AND After They Apologized, THEY TOTALLY DID! This COMPLETELY HAPPENED Even Though I Speak, Like 10 Words Of Spanish With Any Confidence. Which Can Only Mean One Thing. I'm A Magic Spanish Speaker. Obviously.

Overheard from Katie's room while putting away the laundry upstairs:

Katie: Oh, heya, la laa falup tu ittty.
Ellie: Meya hi la oin fram is nally gram.
Katie: Sulla?
Ellie: Sulla!
Katie: No! Tramish grati sabad oinala uti ma sulla!!

That's when I whipped out my SuperMom cape and busted through the door.
(Start humming theme song to "Cops". I did.)

Me: HEY! Excuse me! I don't know what's going on in here, BUT IT STOPS! RIGHT! NOW!
Katie and Ellie: (looking like baby angels, puppies, teeny tiny chinchilla kits and scoops of vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles: all innocent like) What?
Me: (mom stare, you know the one, it comes with a disbelieving raised eyebrow) What. Are. You. Doing?
Katie: We're just speaking Spanish!
Ellie: Yeah! Like DORA! (add fluttering butterflies and rainbows here, because that's how people who are four years old talk)

And then I left, SuperMom cape metaphorically stuck firmly in the phone booth door.

Also, someone, please, tell me that there's a pair of siblings way off in Mexico City, sitting in their bedroom talking in complete nonsense, completely convinced they're speaking English. I have some pen pals for them.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

They Would Hang People For This Type Of Magic In Salem Times

Christmas vacation was magical this year.

And, I'm not just talking about the awesome six mile run through the Sonoran Desert Ginger and I took that one morning



Although, it WAS an unmistakably magical morning run.

I'm not talking about the magic Pearl, Chester and I viewed during our half mile walk through the most amazing living cave I've ever seen, either.

Kubla Khan
Which, let's face it, was more impressive until the park ranger used the word "Xanadu" and I started to giggle. Because I've seen that movie. With Olivia Newton John. On roller skates.

I'm talking about a shallower type of magic. A magic dealing more with the frivolous. The superficial. The cosmetic. You know, the fake kind.

See, we met up with an old high school friend of Jon's, and, as Jon and I went to the same high school and graduated the same year and all, obviously I remembered this guy too. This is how the magical conversation went:

Jon: Hey, Bob!
Bob: Jon! How are you?
Jon: Good. You remember Martha, right?
Bob: (blank stare)
Me: We had English together for like three years.
Bob: Huh. (pause) Are you thinner now than you were in high school?
Me: What!? Noooo.... (Begin to laugh, stupidly. Stop laughing, abruptly. Think. Process. Get. Smarter.) Yes. Yes I am. I am totally skinnier now than when I was in high school.

On a related note #1: Sadly, due to a horrible, um, recent, uhhhhh.., (looks around desk) oh! coffee accident this is the only picture that survives from my high school days:

On a related note #2: I've eaten next to nothing else but chocolate chip cookie dough, pizza and coffee for the last three days. And I feel gosh darn good about myself too.