Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Hokey Pokey Allowed

I was raised in a musical household.  We didn't do sports, that I recall, but we all were involved in some way in music.  I did two years of organ -- much against my will, as I hated it, and the teacher, Mr. Ribble, creeped me out.  Then I did a year of violin, was ambivalent, so I switched to viola, which I really enjoyed.  After that, we moved to a school that didn't have an orchestra, so I switched to piano, and did choir.  But we always had some form of music in our house.  Some of my earliest memories are of Mrs Miller --- God help us, I don't know where my dad found HER, Johnny Cash, Donna Fargo (shine on me sunshine, walk with me world, it's a skip-a-de-doo-dah day), all my dad's choices, and Three Dog Night on my transistor radio, and the Dixie Cups on my 45rpm record player.

Of course, that was interpersed with the Disney 33 1/3 rpm records that I listened to over and over.  I listened to Bambi over and today have no idea what it was like to not have DVDs.  I found out the other day that Rodgers' and Hammerstein's Cinderella is playing on Broadway again, and if it comes to town, I will trample someone for good seats.  Oh, the memories............

Today, I rarely have the radio on, and my iPod is rarely charged.  Matter of fact, I just gave it to Seth the other day.  If a CD makes it in my player, I generally play it until someone complains which, these days, is at least a couple of months.  More often than not, however, I travel in silence.  But music gets stuck in my head all the time.  Yesterday, I was stuck on a country tragedy channel of George Jones and Brad Paisley/Allison Krauss (who has the voice of an angel).  Tonight it has been soundtracks, namely Gladiator, which is some of the most powerful soundtrack music in recent history.  This is, of course, interspersed with the sounds of the boys' music:  Thomas is on a 70s Progressive Rock phase, and Seth is into, of all things, waltz music and soundrack music.  (Don't worry, he'll be back to techno in a New York minute).  Jill listens to mostly pop, but if Michael is choosing, it's Waylon and Willie and the boys.  I will say, I am glad that my children have such varied taste in music.

Last weekend, Jill asked me to go with her and Michael to scout out wedding reception locations.  One of the places we went to had a place where the DJ could be on a balcony above everyone, and the tour guide pointed out that it would make it difficult for people to make requests.  Jill said that was fine, because they didn't WANT people to make requests.  HUH?  Jill mentioned a "do not play" list.  HUH?  Michael, in a rare moment of opinion piped up with "yes, we are rather picky about our music." He was even a bit emphatic about it.  HUH?  Apparently, there is to be no Rihanna, Chris Brown (it'd be weird to have a couple with an abusive relationship at your wedding anyway), and a bunch of other artists.  But then they dropped the big onet:  there is to be no music "with steps in it."  HUH?

Apparently, there is to be no Electric Slide, Macarena, step-to-the-left-step-to-the-right whatever that song is, Chicken Dance, Hokey Pokey...........none of it.  I pointed out to them that the point of those dances is to incite the crowd to DANCE, because non-dancers will get up and do their thing too, but they are dead set on their musical rules.  I, of course, am only in the consultant role here -- it's their wedding, and it should be done their way.  Given the insane events surrounding her parents' wedding, I wouldn't dream of making waves. Come to think of it, she probably shouldn't even have me along to consult..........

But what if the hokey pokey IS what it's all about?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I Ain't Buying What He's Selling

My old boss was a Jehovah Witness.  Every Thursday, she would say "well, I have to go to Bible study tonight, to learn how to knock on your door."  "Not my door," I would say.  "I've lived there for almost twenty years, and not once has a JW or a Mormon knocked on my door."  She was somewhat incredulous about this, and went so far as to even take note of my address one time, but no one ever came.  Except the seasonal leaf blower/snow shoveller types  -- one of whom later broke into our garage and stole our (broken) snowblower.   That gave me a laugh.

So today one of my friends posted on Facebook that the Mormons were canvassing her neighborhood, and she was trying to decide whether to blast Highway to Hell right then, or wait till they knocked on the door.  Well, we all know that life is full of options, so we started listing some for her:

  • Greet them at the door wearing a burqua.
  • Keep some Jehovah Witness literature on hand.  (Or Mormon, in case of JW sightings.)
  • Ask if they are Team Jacob, or Team Edward.
  • Play Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast
  • Tell them you're Jewish.
My contributions:
  • Since she has a big dog, when the doorbell rings, just start shouting "SATAN!  SATAN!  Get behind me!"
  • Or greet them enthusiastically, grab them by the arm and say "oh thank GOD you are here!  The body's in the living room."
  • Say "You're right on time.  I have the money right here.  It'll be done quietly, correct?"
Of course, be kind to them, even if you don't intend to chat.  They're just doing the Lord's work.  But life really should always be handled with a wink.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Marked For Death

I think the Heir to the Throne has it in for me.  Some months back, I told him that my will was written, that he is the executor, and that he is the trustee of The Spare's money till he turns 21.  He looked at his brother and said "you're screwed."  I see how it's gonna be.

Since then, they have all been counting the numbers, and having different discussions of how they could off their mother.  The other day, Thomas was enumerating the different methods he could use.  I reminded him several times that he can't profit from his crime if he kills me, so he'd be stone cold broke.  He just kind of shrugged, and then told me that my recent fall down the stairs -- it was an ugly one, and pretty much trashed my left knee -- was a psychic fall that he had inflicted with his mind.  Dark, he is, yes.

Jill popped in and reprimanded him, saying "Thomas, that is your mother you are talking about."  Again, a shrug.  Jill said "don't you even feel bad?"  To which Thomas responded, "hey if I kill her, then you get to have the wedding of your dreams."  Without skipping a beat, Jill said "I'll give you a 35% cut."

I'm a marked woman.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fly Girl

In 1990, I wanted to be a Fly Girl.  Those girls were amazing.  Never mind that they could dance like nobody's business, and my siblings convinced me when I was little that my little pigeon-toed self had no future in dance.  Of course, also forget that I was also very pregnant with Jillie when the Fly Girls came to the forefront.  I thought they were pretty cool.

So today, somehow Jill got talking about one of her three jobs, where she works in food service.  She mentioned that they require them to wear a hair net.  She said that she refused to wear one, because she "didn't want to look like a lunch lady."  She said that she just puts her hair up and under her hat, and no one knows the difference.  She also pointed out that there's no way she should look like a lunch lady anyway, because she doesn't start working till dinnertime.

I asked her what the difference was between the Lunch Lady and the Dinner Lady.  She said, without missing a beat, that "the dinner ladies are fly."

Must've picked that one up during gestation, cause apparently she is a Fly Girl.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pride Comes Before Vacation

Caution:  motherly bragging will commence shortly.  You may have to get over it.

There is a lot happening in the House of Utter Chaos.  Meaning:  it's Spring Break for a certain girl.  Activity always picks up around the house when Jill's home.  You know, I was pretty sure when they were little that she and Thomas would never reach adulthood without one killing the other.  And then, along came Michael.  He is the Great Stabilizer.  Seth loves him, Thomas loves him, and I love him.  And Jill.......well, he carries her everywhere.

I asked her the other day why it is that they are always carrying each other.  Truth be told, he's usually carrying her, but I did see her giving him a piggyback ride in Jim's kitchen.  I just figured they are weird, but when I asked Michael why it is that he's always picking her up and lugging her around, he said "well, she told me when we met that it was nice to have a boyfriend, because when a girl has a boyfriend, she never has to walk.  He carries her."  So, Michael carries her.  

The boy is in love.

So spring break started out "sucky", according to the girl, with her getting a rejection letter from one grad school on Friday, then another on Saturday, when she also got lost going downtown to a statewide convention for some science nerd group she belongs to.  She woke me up out of a dead sleep, calling me sobbing because she was lost and had no idea how to follow the Mapquest instructions on her computer -- and she'd called Michael and he wasn't answering.  Mind you, the boy's not from Indianapolis, so how he'd help her, I don't know, but she was near hysterical.  I asked her where she was, and she said "I just left the driveway!"  

Kinda had to work hard not to laugh at that one, but Jim and I managed to navigate her downtown and she got there -- late, but at least she got there.  Her learning disability includes, in a big, big way, navigational issues.  Yes, she had a GPS, but she swore that Richard, the voice of it, yelled at her when she missed a turn , saying "turn NOW, stupid," after which she started relying on Michael's navigational skills.  Thank God he's better at it than Jill's father.  Oye VAY.  That man could NOT navigate to save his soul.

So Saturday started out stress-y, then we went out to Greenfield to see her horse. It was her last visit with him, because she sold him on Sunday.  Cried a river, and it was heartbreaking, even if she knew she was doing the right thing.  She is planning, after all, to leave the state and go to the beach for grad school.  So yes, by Sunday night, spring break sucked.  Then she got an ear infection on Monday.  Geez Louise!

We decided to perk things up with some mom/girlie time, so I took her out shopping for wedding dresses.  This girl went from not being able to describe one detail of what she wanted, to fairly shouting "SPARKLES!  I want SPARKLES!" as she wandered through the store wearing a poufy ball gown.  And so it is that five layers of sparkly tulle later, she found The Dress.  And I got through it all without sobbing.

Miracles to happen.

And then today, she called me at work, screaming into the phone.  By now, I have figured out the difference between good screaming and bad screaming.  I need a couple of breaths to figure it out -- kind of my own version of "Name That Scream," but I knew that this was the good kind, not bad.  And I could literally hear her jumping up and down.  I thought at first that she had finally heard back from the last grad school, but no. She had gotten an email from one of the schools, offering her a full ride, PLUS a stipend.  

Suddenly, spring break didn't suck anymore.

By the time I got home ten minutes later, she and Michael were researching apartments, talking about wedding dates, and he was, of course, carrying her around again.  Those two...............

She's got a REAL sparkle now.  And I am glowing, not only because of how amazing she is, but because suddenly, I have somewhere to go on a beachside vacation and have someone cook for me.  If Michael will stop carrying her, that is.