Monday, August 25, 2008

One potato, two potato, three potato......cream cheese

I used to have a joke with my dear departed mother in law. There was a time, years ago, when I went over to their house and was wondering why in the world their refrigerator was so overstuffed, when it was just the two of them at home. She told me that she needed to clean it out, so I went to it.

I found five containers of cream cheese.

What I found, over the years, was that they never, ever had less than four containers of cream cheese, and just as many of sour cream. I could never figure it out, tll I went to work with a girl who was the daughter of Polish immigrants, who told me that if you're Polish, adding sour cream automatically makes anything taste good. (This is the same girl who has the "low fat, no fat, no way" rule, but I digress....) I think that the hubby bears out the sour cream rule, since he uses it on just about anything: carrots, chips, potatoes, pickles, anything.

His Polish grandma is up there smiling, I guess.

I guess it should've been no real surprise when I cleaned out the fridge today and found four containers of ketchup, in various stages of fullness. There were two bottles of Italian dressing, three of Ranch (two almost empty), and three containers of strawberry preserves. I combined the three mayo containers into one "Kroger Miracle Real Mayonnaise Dressing" container. No way I bought two of those containers, cause I only ever buy one brand of mayo. I think one may've come home from the fish fry at church, but who knows.

By the time I was done, I a) had some room in the fridge and b) resolved that I need to start using a grocery list when I shop. It's hard, however, to shop for groceries around here, because with three teenagers around, the food disappears before it even gets in the house some days. Whipped cream gets shot straight out of the can into the mouth, milk come straight out of the jug unless I catch them at it, and it's quite possible that a riot can break out if someone puts candy in the fridge. That's probably why they are always
hiding food.

So today, when I cleaned the fridge, I thought of my mother in law, gone now almost a year, and I smiled, thinking how funny she would have found it that our fridge now looks just like theirs did. And that she'd never find 15 year old, long expired, medications in our medicine cabinet, as I did in theirs. And I remembered how she loved my fruit salad, and how we would laugh over our husbands' eating quirks. So here's to my mother in law, and my nice clean fridge, and let's celebrate with a Vested Gentress vegetable skirt, from affair d'amour, on Babylon Mall. Coming soon, to a crisper near you.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bloody Hell

I hate to say it, but
the ear infection is back. Oh joy.

The Brat came down to the living room Wednesday night and said her ear was bleeding again -- like I really needed to be told that, because her hand was covered in blood. No pain, just bleeding profusely, so thank God, there was no drama. And I got sleep that night, though she woke up in the morning with blood everywhere, and I found myself once again pulling clots outta her ear.


Called the doc, who never called back that day, but they saw her in the office on Friday. She was less than elated, needless to say, but with the help of a bit 'o Xanax, no one got hurt. I got that little prescription for her after the last appointment, when she threatened to punch the poor littl 5'6" doctor if he hurt her. Mind you, she told me this the day before, but I truly believe the guy would've been lucky to live, had her mother not gotten Vitamin X. After that, she had a cheery little discussion about Butler basketball -- turned out it was his alma mater -- and everything went great.

This time around, she maintained, despite the guy suctioning out her ear for about 20 minutes, during which time he pulled out a clot the size of a raisin. After he was done, he told the little resident doing rounds with him to look in her ear, because apparently there was blood bubbling out of her tube like the La Brea tarpits. He doesn't know why, but it treating it like an infection, and we get to do eardrops for another two weeks.

Oh joy.

She seems to be cooperating this time, because she doesn't want it to get that godawful pain again, so she's not fighting anyone, and tonight even did the drops herself. My little baby girl is growing up.............but she still says she likes her primary care doc best. Odd, since she usually refuses to even speak to the poor guy when she's there, but hey, I figure not threatening bodily harm is always progress, right?

when I went looking for something blood red to match the garbage in The Brat's ear, I couldn't resist this red brocade taffeta dress, from bamabelle, on etsy. Dig the pic, and you'll know why it's the perfect dress for this post. All it's missing is the Xanax.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Living in Amish Paradise

Thomas went back to school last weekend. Took his time getting there, cause he wanted to make a little extra cash on his way out the door, but he finally arrived around 8pm or so Sunday night.

He's pretty happy, because he's in a newly renovated dorm, so everything is clean and shiny, the rooms are suites, and the school actually provided them not only a microwave and fridge, but a 32" flat screen Vizio TV. He's elated about the TV, and Dan of course just keeps asking "how much extra are we paying for that, anyway?"

Compared to last year, he's doing pretty good, because last year's room was in a room they call "The Prison," because it's old and ratty. Total difference this year, although not all of the constructions is done yet. He didn't get put with his roommate from last year, but they're moving in two weeks, as soon as school will let them, because his roomie hates the party boy they put him with. He told Thomas that if he hears sirens, don't worry, it's just him putting his roommate straight. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

So before we left, I went through the mother's checklist: "do you have [insert article of choice here]?" He got offended at me rattling off my interrogation -- sheets? pillow? toothbrush?" "I'm not a baby, Mother," he said. "I'm not an idiot." I finally gave up trying, but wasn't surprised when we arrived at school and he sheepishly admitted that he had no towels, washcloths, or soap.

I just gave him the "I told you so" look that he'd best get used to, should he ever get married one day, and kept my mouth shut while I drove him to Walmart.

I emailed him the next day to see how he was doing, and he emailed back to say that they didn't have any phones or internet in the dorm yet. Oh my! I'm not sure how the kid is surviving, especially considering he has no cell phone -- did I mention that he left it in a cab in Chicago during the fateful Lollapalooza trip? Oh, and he has no debit card either, because he lost it at the beginning of the summer, ordered a new one, and lost that one practically the minute he opened the envelope -- which was later found in the leather couch of doom, sans card. After the Netflix/couch debacle, I won't even look there for it, and since Thomas was too embarrassed to order another card, he is out of luck at school.

Yep, Thomas has gone Amish, if only for a week or two, till the construction's done. Now if all of the female population could go away, he might actually get some studying done.

All of his Amish-ness got me thinking of Weird Al, especially after I heard "Gangster Paradise" blaring across the parking lot at Marsh. Brought Weird Al's version of Amish Paradise to mind, so I went looking for something equally Amish to share with you, and came across this Don't Drink and Drive T shirt from Crazy Dog T Shirts, on the bay. Kinda looks more like Pilgrims than Amish, but the message is clear -- Drink, and your mama won't Drive to pick you up for the weekend. Heck, she might not even let you live. But she'll bury you with a towel, a debit card, and a cell phone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Getting out of jail is not always free

Seth had a difficult time waking up this morning. Since it's hard to do math whilst semi-comatose, we got in the car and went out searching for science supplies. That's how I found myself talking to my boss' husband whilst driving through one of the most
dangerous intersections in Indianapolis.

Honestly, when one hears one's boss' spouse on the other end of the phone, the first thing you think is "oh my GOD, she's dead, and who is going to run the department?" It's kind of like your life, along with your immediate resignation, flashes before your eyes, actually. I think I may've thrown up a little in my mouth.

Turned out there was no disaster; the hubby was just in jail. I breathed a big sigh of relief when I realized not only that the boss was still kicking -- and working -- but that her hubby had just gotten tossed in the clink as a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I have no idea what his "cell" looked like, and he had no idea how much bail money was involved, but it was pretty funny to hear his pitch. Matter of fact, he sounded pretty darn comfy, kinda like he had Rita Hayworth hanging on the wall, and a rock hammer in his Bible. Heck, Morgan Freeman was probably sitting right next to him, for all I could tell.

My response, of course, was to question if my participation would be reflected on my performance appraisal. Gotta watch out for ourselves, folks, when the boss is involved. He made no guarantees, so I ponied up for the cause, and I'm pretty sure that he's now a free man. If not, it's a good thing I already got my raise for the year. Maybe I'll use it to buy this cameo and doily trimmed jailbird coat, from The Vintage Zoo, on etsy. But hey, the power suit doesn't mean I want the boss' job, that's for sure. I just want to look cute for the po-po.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Turkey and mayo on the rocks

My friend Jen, of has finally given up the ghost and decided to part with her to die for Givenchy Audrey Hepburn dress pattern. I just love this pattern, but understand her sadness, because I have a few in my store that I'm pretty attached to, but Audrey? I'd be buried with that one, personally.

I just love Audrey Hepburn. She was gorgeous, refined, and heck, she was Dutch. Dutch people have cool accents, and Audrey had a wonderful lilt that was just her. And besides her sad war-torn life, and her beautiful heart, she was just so graceful and unique. Yeah, I love her.

I read her bio a few years ago, and was mystified at the humility with which she looked upon herself. She thought she was too skinny, and she hated her teeth, so many of her photos show her with her lips closed. Teeth or not, I could look at photos of her all day.

So when I got thinking about people with teeth fixations, it reminded me of when we got our braces. We, meaning the hubby and me, because we got them, sitting in side by side dental chairs, when we'd been married for six months. I hadn't particularly planned on it at the time, but when I saw the oral surgeon about my impacted wisdom teeth, he mentioned that if I had ever thought of braces, now was the time, because I'd have to have a couple of other teeth pulled too, in order to make room.

Yes, folks, my mouth was too small. I have dcumentation of it, too.

And so it was that we got our braces as newlyweds, and I got them off four years later, as a mother of two. The same orthodontist did braces on those two babies, years later, and when they were explaining the cash discount, the sibling discounts, etc. I, of course, inquired as to the gestational discount, since the guy had mentioned that although he'd taken care of lots of parents and children, he'd never taken care of a pregnant woman, and then later, the bun who was once in the oven. I figured that'd be worth something, but no go. ::sigh::

Hubby, on the other hand, only had his braces for about a year, but it was a LONG year, folks. Heck, the day we had the braces put on, we went home and had pizza. They told us that our teeth would be sore the next day, but I had no idea what was up -- especially in this time before over the counter ibuprofen. Yes, folks, it hurt, but I figured it was pain that was for a reason, and just sucked it up and took my Tylenol.

Hubby, on the other had, had a different sucking up in mind, because he could not bear the idea of "soft foods." The man has a food fixation, remember? He goes into a bit of a minor tailspin at the idea of not eating, or eating inflicting pain upon him, so he concocted his own menu to get him over the rough spots. And so it was that the day after our braces were applied, that I came home to him putting his turkey sandwich into the blender.

Turkey, bread, lettuce, tomato, mayo -- mixed with some milk and ice -- put on purree, then dumped into a glass. That had to be one of the more disgusting things I ever saw, but he slugged a few gulps of it down and pronounced it delicious. Took another couple of slugs, and the pace slowed, then stopped, when he turned a little pale and said "this is really gross" and tossed the remainder down the sink.

Hunger breeds desperation, but if the man is this bad with just some sore teeth, I'd sure hate to see him in a refugee camp.

I didn't buy a blender for years after that, and Dan still doesn't use it, thank God. Come to think of it, maybe this explains his penchant for taking ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch now. At least he's never drunk one.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Underscoring the point.........

And so, the boy arrived home from Lollapalooza, thankfully chemicallyl unaltered when I went to pick him up at the train station, accompanied by the grandparents. Don't ask, don't tell, and all that rot, cause I don't want to know, but I will say that I told him if he gets an academic scholarship for next year, I will personally buy his ticket for the return trip next year.

He has announced that he will be taking his little brother, at some point in the future, so that he too can become a man. When I mentioned that it involves a) noise, b) crowds, and c) heat, the three things that I know Seth hates most, Thomas replied "oh yeah, he would hate it, but he's going. Not right now, but he'll go, and he'll love it." Once again one of those things only a brother can share with a brother, I think. And again, one of those "don't ask, don't tell things" that only a mother can give the proper evil eye for. Oye.

So now, a week or so later, I was at work, and my friend Ann mentioned that she got another "misdirected" email. Ann, who lives on what we jokingly call "Wisteria Lane" because of the desperate housewives there, just happens to have an email address that is one underscore away from someone who appears to be a woman who is, shall we say, rather popular with the boys. All on the Q-T, of course, but in this case, popularity equals some serious cash.

When Ann first told me about it, me being me, I had to go and google and see what I could find. What found was that a good time is apparently had by all, and the woman doesn't have to worry about paying her light bill. Oye. Ann gets emails from time to time, from customers who can't seem to figure out to add that little underscore, and want to make appointments to meet up for a little "company." Little do they realize that the emails are being received by the wife of a dentist who enjoys quilting, dolls, and raising her nuclear family, and whose idea of excitement is an upcoming Yarn Convention in Chicago. All in all, she's very wholesome, so you can imagine the giggles these emails evoke.

Imagine her surprise when she opened up her email yesterday, only to find an offer from "Roy," who would like to enjoy her namesake's company for a couple of hours. Roy, who just happens to live only blocks from Ann's house. Oye. And of course, me being me, I had to google to see if I could figure out where Roy lives, and who he is, because I'm nosy like that. I mean, how many Roys can live on Wisteria Lane, anyway?

Well, I haven't found him yet, but if you know a guy named Roy who lives in northern Indianapolis, give him a nudge, and tell him to throw some extra in the offering plate on Sunday, cause he obviously has some cash to blow. And while you're underscoring your point, make him buy you this uber cool vintage wiggle dress from jazzboogie, on etsy.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Lollapa-WHO-za Part 2

And so it was, last Saturday, at midnight, that our phone rang. We had just climbed into bed, so we weren't asleep yet. I heard Dan saying "why do you need to talk to her, why can't you talk to me," right before he handed me the phone.

Thomas was talking faster than I had ever heard, while he said "I need the number for Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, real quick." What the heck? I asked him what in the world was going on, and he tried the "oh, everything is fine, I just need the number" thing that thousands of crazy teenagers have tried and failed, in a desperate attempt to forestall the inevitable interrogation by the inquisitive parent. "Oh, don't worry," he said, "we just lost Andrew. There are a bunch of ambulances here, and we're thinking he might be on one of them."

Oh, that's all? Let me get that number for you.......

Turned out they had been at the Rage Against the Machne concert, during which dozens of people were carted off by the 35 ambulances standing by as shuttles to the hospital. Basically, Thomas said that if you were under 5'6", you got "destroyed" whn the crowd surged to the front when the concert started. A couple of vain attempts by the lead singer to get the crowd to calm down finally got things a bit more under control. ""Look out for one another," pleaded Rage singer Zack de la Rocha, eventually threatening to end the show early if people didn't calm down. Why? Only seconds into "Testify," the band had already created complete mayhem among the ocean of people at the AT&T stage, with myriad mosh pits turning Grant Park into a sea of sweat, fists and elbows," said the paper. Thomas said that if you fell in the mosh pit, you'd better hope that someone yanked you up, because otherwise, you were going to be body surfed to security and hauled off to the first responders. At one point he saw someone fall, then all he saw was an ankle sticking up in a sea o moshers, and "all I thought was, that guy must be dead."

Here's his email of the next day:
"2 hours of straight energy, moshing, and going nuts. We were pretty far up (and two of the guys we're with could have reached out and touched the lead singer -- they were FRONT ROW and got DESTROYED), and anyone below like...5'10" got messed up, and Andrew is like 5'5" 5'6" tops. If you fell, you were done. People around you would help you, but if the crowd closed in on you before people could help you up, there wasn't ANYTHING you could do.

But after the show was over, 4 of us met up at the spot we said we would go to, but we could not find Andrew ANYWHERE. He left his wallet & phone with one of the other guys, so there was really nothing he could do. We ran around looking for him until about 12:30, at which point we didn't really have a choice since the trains stopped running at 1am. But somehow, some friggin way, that kid made it 15 miles back to the hotel without any phone or money.

You have to understand how absolutely scary this was though. You would have to have been there to realize that the odds of him having been in the hospital were REALLY high. This cop we asked for some information said that there were 35 ambulances making runs back and forth between hospitals. When I said there were legions of them, I wasn't kidding. You also have to understand that Andrew is both retarded (he didn't think to call his phone even though he knew we had it), and if he got in to any kind of situation in the mosh, he would have just given up basically. Scariest shit ever, but now that he's back we can look back on it and say that it was the best thing all 5 of us have ever experienced, and we're doing it again at Nine Inch Nails tonight. :D"

Oh, to be young again............

All this happened whilst we were attending the opening night of the Wizard of Oz at church, with Jill playing

Glinda. So whilst legions were carried off to Northwestern, and Dorothy was being carried to Kansas, somewhere, someone was leading a normal life. That never happens here, of course, so let's just take a gander at a vintage 80s Rick Springfield Oz tour shirt, from Purse Diva Vintage, at Main Street Vintage Online. Just keep repeating, "there's no place like Lollapalooza, there's no place like Lollapalooza....."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Lollapa-WHO-za Part 1

Thomas just got back from Lollapalooza. Hearing that the kid was going to a three day music festival in Chicago is one of those "be still my beating heart" moments for a mother. In typical Utter Chaos fashion, things got complicated.

The night before he left, he mentions to me at work at 6 p.m. that he forgot to go to the bank. This is not a good thing, since he had lost his debit card somewhere in his room about a month ago, and it hasn't been found yet. Add to that that I had lost my debit card the day before, and of course the new one hadn't arrived yet. I ended up leaving work for ten minutes to run around the corner to the bank where I have my business account. Got him four crisp hundred dollar bills, which I promptly snatched away when he reached for them. "Don't," I said, "let this money be involved with anything illegal, any alcohol, or bail money, or you're paying me back double." He responded with a roll of the eyes.

Next morning, his father drove him to the train station, for a 6:30 a.m. departure. Right as he got there, Thomas remembered that he had forgotten his $200 Lollapalooza ticket on his "desk" (aka card table) at home. Did I mention that it was now 6:14 a.m.? Dan drove like his pants were on fire back to the house, grabbed the ticket (yes, there was swearing about the "dumb kid" involved), and got back to the Amtrak station at 6:32, where te kid met him at the door, saying that the train had been delayed for 30 minutes. It was at this point that Thomas should've realized that God does, indeed, exist.

More tomorrow. Meantime, enjoy this fast moving train shirt, featuring Restless Heart -- a band whose music was featured in our wedding -- from Earth-Aware, on ebay. The only thing it's missing is the kid running alongside, holding a concert ticket.