Monday, September 29, 2008

Weird moments in music

Music plays a big part in our life, here in the Utter household. It started for me very young, since my parents love music of all kinds, from the unforgettable
Mrs Miller (scroll down for the song files), to The Sound of Music soundtrack, which we sang incessantly as kids. I remember many drives to St Louis in our old green Ranch Wagon station wagon, listening to Donna Fargo, singing "The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.," which my sister still sings, complete with the twang, at the drop of hat.

Memories are made of this.

We've got our own, albeit strange, moments in music, usually in the car, too. Like the time we all went to hear Jill sing with the Indianapolis Children's Choir. It was a Christmas Concert, and afterward, we decided to drive down to the Circle downtown, to see the lights. We ended up somehow with K.C. and the Sunshine Band on the CD player, and drove around the circle I can't tell you how many times, windows down, with all of us singing classics like "That's the Way I like It," and "Get Down Tonight." The kids still talk about that one. It was definitely something to go from the formal concert to disco beats, all while Jill was still in uniform.

We got a lot of strange looks, but we're used to that around here.

One time here at the house, Thomas and I were both on our computers, doing our thing. He was probably about 12 or so, and I realized that he was listening to Frank Sinatra sing "Fly Me To the Moon," or something like that. I commented, "is that Frank Sinatra," and was met with a snarling "WHY does everyone think it's weird that I like Frank Sinatra" followed by glaring silence.

It wouldn't have been weird at all, except the previous two songs had been Metallica and Mindless Self Indulgence.

Then there was the time that he and I drove back from his cousin's wedding, and listened to Lillium, the theme from Elfen Lied, continously, for the two hour trip from Terre Haute to Indianapolis. It's singularly one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces of music ever, in my opinion, and I think Thomas agrees, to the tune of him listening to it repeatedly for five hours straight one night. Be careful, it's addictive.

Of course, five hours doesn't compare to the time that Dan and I went to see my parents in Winter Park, when we all lived in Florida. We tuned to a station that was playing "Twist and Shout," by the Beatles. Over and over. And over. They played it back to back and, as far as we could tell, without commercial interruption for at least two days straight. We never figured out what that was about, but it definitely elicits a memory every time I hear the song now.

Nowadays, Thomas has something like 3000 songs on his iPod, which he shares with me on the ride to and from school. He's got a little bit of everything in here, except country, because he likes just about any type of music except the twangy stuff. Me, I travel in silence generally, if I'm by myself, but if he's with me, it's Radiohead and Ludo. If it's Jill, it's Jonas Brothers, AC/DC, and the soundtrack from the Patriot (yeah, she's into an eclectic mix of music too), and with Seth, it's usually techno beats. Dan's tendency is toward R.E.M. and the Police, with a side of football commentating.

Me, I have a thing for leaving the same CD in the car for weeks at a time, listening to it over and over, which drives The Brat crazy. One that tends to land there for a season is Nirvana's Unplugged, because I love "The Man Who Sold the World." One time, Thomas' buddy Potter climbed in the van and said, "man, I wish that just once my parents would listen to Nirvana in the car." When I asked him what they listened to, he said "my dad listens to African drum music, and my mom listens to NPR."

Yeah, I guess Nirvana would be a welcome change.

And so, after a long discussion about Radiohead on the way back to school last night, then pulling in the driveway to Miley Cyrus, I went looking for something with a musical bent, and found this vintage poly novelty musical notes print. Wonder what the music on it is? Maybe "Smells Like Teen Spirit?" It'd make me the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A. if you can tell me. It's on ebay, offered by anythingbutlove.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A double scoop of yucky

When Dan and I lived in Florida, in the years BC (Before Children), we used to frequent Larry's Ice Cream. We went regularly to a place in Bradenton, then when we moved to Orlando, we'd go to on in the mall there.

It's the only place that we ever found Almond Joy ice cream. That stuff was heaven on earth: coconut, a little chocolate, and almonds, in vanilla ice cream. It lost a little when they went low fat, just proving my friend's mantra of "low fat, no fat, no way," but it didn't stop us from eating the stuff at every opportunity. When we moved back to Indianapolis, we bought a Larry's T shirt for our then-baby, Thomas, and tried to figure out how to have it shipped up here. That Almond Joy ice cream still makes my mouth water, just at the thought of it.

I thought maybe I'd found something close a few years back, at Ben and Jerry's. I can't remember what the name of it was, and it wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good, compared to anything else I'd tasted since Florida. Ben and Jerry's is way out of the way for us though, since it's way up on the northside of Indianapolis, so I never tried it again. And if they take PETA's suggestion, I never will.

I read on CNN today that PETA has asked the proudly left of center Ben and Jerry's to substitute their cow's milk with "human" aka breast milk. Now folks, I am a proponent of breastfeeding, and nursed each of my kids for periods of time varying from 3 to 7 months, but let me tell you, I never once considered churning the hard earned products of lactation into frozen treats.

PETA's stance is that it will decrease the suffering of the cows and their offspring. WTH is that about? Jill's an animal rights person, and even SHE thinks the concept is nasty. And what about the suffering of the lactating women? Would this spur men to try hormone therapy, so they can have their own flavor? And more importantly, what would they name the stuff?

Ben and Jerry's is known for their creative names, like Cherry Garcia, Half Baked, and Chunky Monkey. What does one name an ice cream that has breast milk in it? Boob-berry? Tit-illating Tundra? Tit-ti Fritti? Rocky Nipple? I mean, come on folks, really. They could have fun with it, even if they never sold a scoop, and the PR would even send them through the roof or kill 'em, but they could handle it. They are hippies, after all.

Me, personally, I'll stick with my search for Larry's Almond Joy, but will have to settle for Baskin Robbins, where I usually stick with something boring like butter pecan, or chocolate chip. And if you're with me, grab this vintage Baskin Robbins shirt, from Pop-a-licious Vintage Select, on ebay.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Santa Claus with a crack pipe

Well, I guess the camping trip was a success. No one set themself
on fire, and the only one who came back worse for the wear was Dan, who tried to be a hero and go mountain biking with the guys. Let's just say it wasn't as bad as his worst mountain biking accident, but his right side ain't looking real pretty.

I'm not sure that you can properly use the term mountain biking in Indiana, but you know, if it strokes the old guys' egos, we'll just roll with it.

I guess on the last day, Jill decided to go horseback riding at the saddle barn. She's nosy, because she wanted to compare with the stable where she works, and see how well they care for the horses, how well they lead, etc. That is, of course, because she's competitive, even with a barn that's over an hour from where she works. She couldn't get anyone to go with her but the Outlaw Josie Wales, who now was rather torn up by road rash, but hey, at least he went.

She said she'd checked out the stable the day before, and the guy working there was a little "overly nice," and looked like "Santa Claus with a crack pipe." Huh???????
"You know, mom, a crack pipe." I'm thinking she might've meant a regular pipe, cause I'm hoping she's never seen the real deal, but I just let it go. She said that she was hoping that he wasn't going to lead their ride when they finally went out on Sunday, "but who did we get? Santa Claus with a crack pipe."

On a horse, no less. Picture that, cause it really gave me a giggle, but that could be the fact that I haven't slept more than 15 hours since Friday. Cause when the cat's away, this mouse stays up and gets stuff done, like listing patterns and reading O magazine, and taking the Heir to the Throne out to dinner, then watching The Birdcage with him -- a hilariously funny movie that somehow my film-o-phile son had never seen.

I guess there's some kind of irony of my watching a movie about drag queens and conservative Republicans, whilst the Outlaw Josie Wales is trailing Santa Claus with a crack pipe, but if you haven't figured out by now that that's how things roll around here well, you need more help than I can really offer today.

But in case the Santa Claus with a Crack Pipe interests you, then just try finding it on the internet. Closest thing I could find is this digital download of Santa Claus sucking some Coke. It's from Heirloom Stitchery, on Main Street Mall Online.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A camping they will go.......

You have to pray for my little family. Actually, just praying for the two younger kids should cover it. They're going camping this weekend, with their father, whilst the mother stays home and works.

If you ever read about our
camping experiences, you should know that this oughtta be interesting, because although my own personal rules are to only camp with the hubby in good weather, when electricity is available so he can make "real" coffee, and to have dry food at all times, the kids' rule is generally "don't camp without Mom, and all the bases are covered." I hope they're right.

Church is having their annual camping trip this weekend and since I have to work, the little family is going without me. I will be enjoying a weekend at work, then chilling out in the evening at home -- probably listing patterns on the new website whilst Thomas, who is coming home for the weekend, sleeps and studies chemistry. Sounds like a plan to me.

So let's hope, for the younger generation's sake, that there is electricity at the campsite, and that the weather holds, or things could get a little sketchy down at Brown County. Of course, they're camping with a few Eagle Scouts, which always helps the odds, but hey, I'm glad I'll be home in my jammies.

So if you want your camping to be strictly indoors, check out this manly vintage camping themed flannel shirt, from The Cats Pajamas Vintage, on ebay. Mr. Coffee not included.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sethanese, revisited

I've been gone for a while, but man, oh man, has it been busy! I've bought a
new website, which is so much fun, but also a lot of work at the same time. Work is always good, in my book, though, so that's fine.

Also been doing the nursey thing too, which is always entertaining. Over the summer, I got the "official" title of trainer, and I've been busy training the new staff, as well as the old. Taking calls, too, of course, which is my constant source of entertainment. Best one this week? Probably the mom who called to say that her 8yo son was chillin' out on the couch, just watching TV, when his little brother came and jammed a thermometer in his ear. YOWZA! Kinda like that scene in Batman where the joker makes the pencil disappear. Needless to say, that kid went to the ER, and I had a headache the rest of the night.

But today, I was off, so Seth and I drove to Vincennes to get Thomas and his roommate for the weekend. We got running late, so I told Seth I'd buy him some Arby's on the way there. Ordered, with little or no idea what the guy said when he repeated it back, because the speaker was so bad. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when we drove off and found that Seth not only hadn't gotten the honey mustard he asked for, but that he had a lemonade instead of a Sprite.

And so, in the interest of those wanting to become fluent in Sethanese, I thought I'd share the conversation with you:
S: "This Sprite tastes like lemonade. That's weird."
M: "IS it lemonade?"
S: "Maybe. Oh well, no big deal."
Silence, while eating. Seth was eating barbecue chicken shakers with ketchup on them. Made me need a Prilosec, just looking at it.

About 25 miles later, out of the blue:
S: "It's so weird that they gave me lemonade when it's raining outside."
M: "What does the rain have to do with it?"
S: "Never mind."
M: "No, really. What's the difference?"
S: "Well, lemonade isn't a rainy day drink. You drink lemonade when it's hot outside, not on rainy days."
M: "Well, what about Sprite? When do you drink Sprite?"

The question was met with a long, hard stare from Seth, who just shook his head at my ignorance, and said "never mind," in that dismissive tone that lets the parent of a teenager know that they are way, way beneath the subject material.

And so, to sooth my broken ego, I went looking for something gaw-geous, and found this absolutely smashing vintage 60s emerald Lurex dress, from

Figure 8 Studio. WOWZA! Grab it up now.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Take a picture. It'll last longer.

Dan got it in his head that we needed to have that penultimate cheesy souvenir of the Christmas holiday -- Christmas cards with a family picture in them. Mind you, this requires a family picture, right? Which requires the family to actually get a picture taken, right? Which means that we all have to be in the same place at the same time, fully dressed and matching.

I wasn't taking bets on that happening.

I had it on my calendar for weeks, then ended up going to Ohio to pick up the stuff for the new website, instead of shoppping for matching clothes. I found myself the day before in Target, frantically looking for clothes that matched, and that The Brat found acceptable. Got home and realized that I'd bought something for everyone but me and, in typically mom fashion, went to the DAV and found myself a top the next morning, for the price of exactly $1.48. OK, so it didn't fit like I'd like, but the darn thing matched, and that's what I was going for, folks.

Dan wanted Christmas-y pictures, but their Christmas background was in the shed, so we tried this instead: candles that were supposed to give a generic "hey it's KIND of holiday" vibe. Personally, I think that we ended up with what looks like we're getting ready to call the Catholics to, as Jill says "get dem demons out yo soul," cause all it's missing is a ring of salt, and we could be on The Hot Guy Show, with Jill's husband. Note too, Seth's choice of socks and sandals. Oh well, at least it's not orange flip flops:

Next, they put us on the floor, with our brat-lings all around us. This is Jill's "I'm cool and you know it" picture, but I don't like it cause Seth looks a little green:

This one is better, not only because Seth is no longer green, but because you can't see his choice of footwear anymore. And Thomas, who proclaimed that he is "physically incapable of smiling," despite two oral surgeries, a year of braces, and hundreds of dollars being spent on his beautiful, straight, white teeth, at least has a Mona Lisa smile:

Next we have the "she's got the whole world in her hands" look. Doesn't everyone look just so very happy? It proves you can do anything with a camera, really:

Then they decided to make it black and white. I'm not crazy about it. It look a little fuzzy to me, and Jill looks like she's changing her race:

Then we went outside. This is not a park. It's a little grove of trees, behind which cars were whizzing by, probably wondering what the heck was going on with the photo op. Seth has now ditched the shoes, as has Jill. First, in black and white:

Then, in color. If you can figure out what's different in this picture, I'll give you some kind of award. And it's not the fact that I'm wearing shoes, an oversight that Dan pointed out:

We have a long history of weirdness in family pictures, from the first time we got it done, with the two oldest kids. Jill was two, and we had to keep stopping to let her go flying outta the room proclaiming "I gotta get outta here," or, as the photographer said, "her face is as red as your sweater." (Yes, we were again going for the Christmas theme. ::sigh::) We were a long time getting pictures after that, because Seth always had a broken arm or a goose egg on his head, but we did it again when he was four. Those are some of my favorite pics ever.

And then there were the fateful cruise pictures, when we cruised with my mom and dad. We were all dressed in our finery, and Dan went to go get Seth and get him ready. Took him forever, and when he finally showed up, he was wearing black pants, white shirt, black and grey vest, a bow tie, and ORANGE flip flops. Fluorescent orange. And since he was the youngest and shortest (though not by much. My sisters are elves) he went front and center with said flip flops.

Oye and vay.

My mom bought that picture, of course, because it was so "Seth."

So, let me know which of the pics you like best, cause the proofs have to be back at the end of the week. The odds of us getting pictures done again are pretty much nil, since the kids have scattered to the winds already.