Saturday, October 29, 2011

Livin' On The Edge

I used to be a risk taker. An adrenaline junkie. A fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-who-cares-if-they're-on-fire-I'll-put-it-out-when-it-rains type of person. I grew up in the deserts of Arizona, so obviously I ran around with my pants on fire a LOT.


You don't believe me? You say, the content of this blog doesn't support the statement "that I used to be just like Patrick Swayze in Point Break." Um, I'm pretty sure I told you guys that I once dyed my hair with purple Kool-Aide, AND, once in high school, when my parents were out of town and a friend was staying over at my house with me, we ordered a pizza and got it delivered. Dude, we could have been murdered before the weekend even started! But we took that risk. Because we were young and careless and... other stuff. And, in college I used to walk from South to Central Campus after my night class. By myself. In the dark. (But that was mostly because I didn't want to ride the campus bus with my creepy English professor. He used to stare. And smirk. Dude. Either stalk me or belittle me. You can't do both. CrrrreeeeEEEEeeeepyyyyy!) So obviously I used to flirt with danger like Amelia Earhart used to flirt with aviation. Meaning, she didn't because she was totally out flying in the face of it!

But lately I'd been wondering if I'd lost that dare-devil in me. Had it been drowned with copious amounts of coffee, strangled through a lack of restful nights, smothered with a plethora of "whys"? So, I sat down this morning, butterfly coffee cup in hand and made a list of some of my daring ways:

1. I drink my coffee out of a cup that has "Not For Use in Microwave and Dishwasher" stamped on the bottom. I totally pulled it out of the dishwasher this morning too.

2. I routinely teach Sunday School without giving the kids candy. Even at Halloween and Christmas.

3. I run each morning wearing all black. Even in fog and early morning darkness. Without one of those blinky red lights either. (OK, this one might actually prove my stupidity rather than my audacious nature.)

4. I iron my shirts with my hair straightener. While I'm wearing them.

5. I brew espresso beans in my full size coffee pot.

6. I mow the grass when it's wet. With my electric lawn mower. (OK, I don't actually do this anymore since Jon found out and explained to me that "the weird feeling I get in my hands" was actually me electrocuting myself. Over and over and over, eh hem, again. He then Craig's Listed the mower and bought me a reel mower. Because it doesn't plug in. Even though I had already scrounged up a pair of plastic dish washing gloves and wrote "ELECTROCUTION GLOVES" on them in Sharpie. It's like he doesn't trust my understanding of basic science or something.)

You know what? I think I'm done listing things out. Because it's totally obvious I haven't lost that madcap part of me. I mean, sure my days running from men with smirking facial expressions is gone, but my days writing on the internet about other stupid stuff I've done have only just begun. So, excuse me, because I have to go make a tornado in a bottle with my kids. Now where did I put that jar of glitter?

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Stole A Baby. What Did You Do This Week?

I don't want to alarm anyone. But, a kidnapper was seen wandering around our local Fred Meyer grocery store just yesterday. I even have a picture:

Yeah. That's me. And, true, it's not the most flattering picture-but considering I'm a kidnapper and all, I figured I should, you know, gritty up my image a bit.

You see, there I was, wandering Fred Meyer, in my kidnapping costume (which obviously consists of jeans and a t-shirt, because when you're kidnapping babies, knee high boots with six inch heels and a cute flippy vintage dress just aren't practical, ya know? Mostly because babies will smear just about anything on you. And I'll stop there, because I have my boundaries, you have a wonderfully developed olfactory imagination, and I'm a kidnapper, so obviously I'm very busy stealing babies and I don't have time to be describing the ins and (hem hem) outs of babies shmear.) Anyway, there I was, doing my weekly grocery shopping at Fred Meyer. I had stuck Ellie in the cart so she could happily bounce on her little diapered rear while pointing at all the grocery items on the shelves. And that was my Rookie Kidnapper Mistake #1: Being Seen With A Baby.

Next, I naively pushed my cart to the check-out lane and proceeded to unload all my kidnapper food: tofu, wheat germ, Braggs Liquid Aminos, baby wipes, quart sized Ziploc bags, Halloween candy (in which to lure more unsuspecting sugar needy kids, obviously) and other such items while giving the older gentleman in the next lane a friendly smile as he gave my cart a weird look. (Which, naively again, I took to be a what-is-she-some-freaky-vegetarian look, rather than a oh-my-goodness-she's-stolen-somebody's-baby look. This is why I don't buy candy.) And that's when I made my Rookie Kidnapper Mistake #2: Making Eye Contact.

Quicker than I can say "I drive a Honda Civic, not a scary kidnapper Honda Odyssey!" I was being circled intimidatingly while having menacing questions thrown at my head by the, now, rude old guy from the next lane. "Where did you get that baby?" "Did you get that baby in Kansas?" "How old is she?" "Is that the baby from Kansas?" Bewildered, it took me a minute or two to figure out what the guy was talking about, before I could even try to assure the man that Ellie was indeed mine! Luckily the nice lady in line behind me threw in her support of my non-kidnapper status, or I think the guy might have actually called the police!

Lessons learned. So, next week, when I head to Fred Meyer to do my grocery shopping, Ellie's totally going in disguise:
Because I've never been accused of shoplifting either.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Used To Dream In Technicolor

I dreamed I was a crouton the other night.

Oh no! You read that correctly.

In my dream I was a crusty stale crouton sitting on top of someones wilted salad greens. Then do you know what happened? I got picked out of the salad and put down on a napkin, before they poured all that boisterously fun salad dressing on top. Yeah. It's been kinda like that lately. I blame my kids*.

You see, it's hard to write on this blog when I'm all depressed. All those unfun type of emotions swim around in my nervous system and if I let them out they'd just plod around all scowly and weepy, half-heartedly kicking car-licking buffaloes in the head and making all my Twilight jokes soggy. Not cool. Plus, I'm not even sad about real stuff. (You know, like cancer, or global warming, or, um... the color gray.) I'm sad because I read a book. Well, three point zero two books, really. And I blame my kids. Yes. Again. But this time it really is their fault.

You see, Ellie and Katie pick out most of my books from the library. Something like twice a month, before I turn them loose in the children's section, I drag them over to the adult section. I'm not insane. I don't take them near the regular stacks. Oh no! I take them over to this section of our library where they put a lot of popular titles all mixed together on a couple shelves: fiction, non-fiction, biographies, self-help, whatever, all mixed together. Quick. Simple. Um, quick. Because usually after about 30 seconds Katie whines, "Can we go to the kid's section now? I'm booooorrrrrred!" and Ellie yells, "GOOOoooooo!" all long and drawn out while she toddles off pumping her arms in the air to keep herself upright. So, I let my kids hand me random books, which I dutifully put in our library bag to check out. I've been pleasantly surprised at times. Other times?

There are dead brothers, dead babies, a father who commits suicide, dead babies, dead baby ducks, more dead babies, and a mother who is murdered while carrying her baby on her head. And that last one was a picture book from Katie's pile! (Did you know Babar was that dark?) The only book I didn't read more than two pages of was entitled, A Gate at the Top of the Stairs, because after the previous three books I knew it was just going to be about a safety gate at the top of some stairway that goes on a baby killing spree. Obviously. It took me awhile, but eventually I caught onto the overarching theme there.

Now don't get me wrong. I get the whole deepen the main character by killing off some of the other characters in the story bit. Dude, I've read Harry Potter. But come on! Every single book this week? I can't handle it! I'm just not myself anymore. I even found these online:
And I was all, "eh...kinda...cute...(insert heart-wrenching tear jerking sigh here) maybe...."

Kinda cute? Kinda cute !?! They're BALLOON ANIMAL DOORSTOPS PEOPLE! Puppy balloon animal doorstops nonetheless! I should have been, I don't know, doing a Mary Poppins dance or, at the very least, belting out a slightly ribald Girl Scout camp song about my underwear!

But I didn't.

And, guys? Library day is coming again. Soon. (insert whimpering sigh with a sad puppy eye look here) Do you have any book recommendations for me?

*I figure I can keep blaming my kids, for just about anything, until they develop their own mad interneting skillz. Which, if they take after me should be around the age of 30. If they take after Jon, it should be next week.