"It’s not that simple, Orco."

We’re watching a lot of “He-Man” on YouTube around these parts. Guess what? It’s really shitty. Ralph and I were appalled because as children TV viewers* He-Man was heavy, dramatic grist for our idealogical mill.

If He-Man can’t entertain Ralph and I with compelling storyline and rich explorations of the dichotomy of good and evil, he sure can deliver an excellent PSA:

Do you think anyone ever had the gall to touch He-Man on his bathing suit area? Perhaps when he was merely a shy, awkward Boy Adam. And I can’t help but think the last qualifier is made all the more awkward when it’s your rabbi or minister who’s doing the inappropriate touching.

* I grew up without a TV; I can only imagine my He-Man viewing was either at the grandparents’ or with friends – but I do remember my brother and I watched some. Billy? Do you remember? Was it in the back of that van where that man touched us in the way He-Man is talking about?

Today on IM a friend writes,

“8:49 i dress like a total whore.”
“8:49 a homeless one.”

Which reminded me of today’s clip:

As I type this, a guy across the street jumps down his front steps. He’s wearing tight black jeans (w/belt), poofy white sneakers, and is shirtless with a respectable amount of back hair.

I truly love living here, and I’m not being ironic or sarcastic one bit.

"I didn’t say it was a *good* story!"

This evening I found out that our local take-and-bake pizza place – a place that’s been around forever as far as I can tell – is not long for this world. The entire set of buildings on one city block in Aberdeen have been sold and the businesses left to their own devices. My half-assed guess is they were probably paying a very low rent and now that they’re forced to go seek leases in the real market, they can’t survive and decide to fold tent.

With a lot of whinging I might add, which is what I’ve been subjected to the few times I’ve gone in to purchase goods from the shops in the doomed locale. For instance today I’m told I can’t get sourdough crust for my pizza. I say, “Oh, you’re out?” innocently enough and the proprietor looks at me like I’m, yes, fucktarded, and tells me they’re discontinuing items because they won’t be around for more than a couple weeks. “It’s been all over the papers,” he kind of scoffs, clearly disbelieving that I would be so misinformed about matters of such global importance. Now, I love the pizza at this place – it’s fresh, tasty, completely unlike Papa Murphy’s or any of that franchise crap, inexpensive, and familiar. But the business owner giving me shit right now? He looks like an older, stringier, scarier version of the really bad guy in Fargo (we’re talking doppleganger, here). He’s also Russian (“or somethin weird”), tends to the surly side, and sometimes wears snug jeans that display his genitalia with too much precision for my taste (right above the counter at eye level since he’s on the tall side). So, um… yeah, it’s kind of hard to buy pizza from him. Even when he’s not treating me like an ass.

When I get home I tried to look the story up on The Daily World for the scoop on the business closures – but as I couldn’t find it after five minutes of searching, I gave up.

I’m sad I won’t get to have that sourdough crust ever again.

OT – one of the sweetest things about this story is not only the sweetness of this British lad but his teeth as well.

And dear God. If you recognize this, you know what I mean:

bikin’. and stitchin’.

We have decided we are only going to do fun things this weekend.

This morning I had the zany idea to go out to Ocean Shores’ Shilo Inn for breakfast. Years and years ago we had brunch there and it was fancy so maybe I was hoping for something to bring that special feeling back (hopefully without the $16-a-plate prices). As it turned out, the brunch is actually on Sunday, while Saturdays features typical breakfast fare, the most exotic item being a “seasonal” fruit bowl (which included sour grapes and wooden strawberries, the latter of which only my children would eat) but at least we had decent coffee – and decent prices, too.

After breakfast we checked out the rather lovely large saltwater aquarium and rather dreadful (but very titsy) mermaid sculpture. Such a successful set of morning activities got Ralph so fired up he would not take no for an answer on a little enterprise he’d been talking about for years, but I’d been hoping he was kidding. He wasn’t.

Now keep in mind a surrey bike looks innocuous (dorky) enough at first but it is in truth, as I found out, both extremely hard work to pedal and also feels very dangerous, as if you are going to tip over any second or fly out of control off the embankment which Ralph came close to many times and would have had not my stentorian voice (Ralph’s word: “sharp”, said while laughing at me) alerted this crazy man to near-disaster. Ralph mocked me our entire ride for being nervous but I knew what he didn’t, that this thing was a death trap. While mid-ride he ran up to the van to get his camera, I gingerly leaned out of my side of the bike (the faggot side that had a steering wheel that steered nothing, and thank God Ralph didn’t get the episode on tape where in a panic I attempted to counter his “driving” [careening] by using it) to feel that center-of-balance point. The bike stayed pointedly and solidly on all four wheels, acting like a car. But I knew better.

Of course it goes without saying that our children, ensconced in the basket in front of us, had the time of their lives. Ralph said he didn’t realize until he watched his footage that I was laughing the entire time we were out at the beach (that’s my mannish voice you hear in every second of that footage). Big Fun Weekend is looking like a good plan afterall.

Now, sadly, a 100% “fun weekend” plan got fucked because I had a prior commitment: see, the minute I felt slightly better after my illness I also knew I had to complete my obligation to finish a quilt for my children’s school. This quilt was a sad enterprise because every thread of fabric and bit of composition had been planned out by someone else – namely, our daughter’s teacher and a friendly neighborhood quilter. It was left to me (and the very vital efforts of my mother) to finish the quilt and finally, a half-hour before the auction tonight at which the item was due, drag it in, fingers bleeding but all smiles to be done, and done doing a very good job (well, except for a detail or two).

My mother and I sew very well together. I probably tease her too much, or rather talk too much shit about my superior speed in the whip stitch (I’m not kidding, I made a joke about it). But we speak our own foreign language of sewing, developed in no small part together but also refined and practiced in many ventures apart. We work well together and laugh and my dad circles in the background and wishes for our attention and makes jokes when he thinks of them. It was good times today.

This quilt is currently being auctioned off at a fundraiser and I feel a real pang that I’m not there – especially since my lovely friend Jen and her family is.

But Family Fun Weekend calls – onward!

typical day + best. quote. ever.

Sink-eriffic
Billy comes over for lunch and to take some pictures. I wish we had a camera. Scratch that. I wish we’d get off our asses and scrape up the $100 to fix ours.

Small gaffe on Mama’s part – so today my brother is taking pictures of Sophie and the latest two shirts I’ve sewn her and she says, “I want to take pictures of my bottom and punani!” and I say (without thinking), “That’s called kiddie porn. And we’re not going to do that.” She responds crankily, “Well I want kiddie porn!”

Yes, that's what she's saying.
Billy and I doubled up in silent laughter. I immediately regretted that whole conversation. But, let’s just move on.

Boy Ningo
Nels, pensive. He’s been like that lately. I think he’s undergoing a personality change. Since it isn’t in the direction of savagery, I’m happy with it.

Sunlight
My room, sunlit. I would say “our room” but as Ralph points out, we are sleeping along gender lines these days. Unless we can trick the kids to sleep together, which we do now and then.

P.S. I found some crystal meth on my walk to my parents’ today. Yay!

"You've got meth!"

"Oh, King of the Castle, King of the Castle, I have a chair!"

I’m in a black mood today. Correction: I was in a black mood.

This morning as my children and I came downstairs, me with a huge pile of laundry on one hip and a wailing Nels holding my other hand, I heard the distinctive sound of my daughter vomitting on the floor. You know, you know what the sound is split seconds before you identify it? For a confused moment you’re thinking, Did my child pee her pants? but you already know the answer is “No”, so your mind then moves on to … damnit. Puke.

Luckily we taught Sophtie to be a champion puker long ago so she was straightened out in no time (a quick bath, two pigtails so she could vomit unhindered). And life continued on, badly. It seemed stuffy and unwelcome in the family home – like my parents no longer want us (specifically, me) here; like we all need to get out of the house but they really don’t all that much so I do (sick child and all) – a visit to the library, not so bad.

Other lowlights: trouble with Ralph. Making playdough for my children’s school. This fucking sucked. My brother – saintly – helped me. It involved a lot of mess and a lot of kneading and I didn’t even get anything to eat out of that. Oh, and of course my daughter puking, again and again. This afternoon as I dispassionately hold back her hair, “Yeah, that looks like your ice cream and peanut butter.” She pukes in the car while waiting for drive-through coffee – “luckily” in my husband’s coat.

On the other hand, this evening my husband, mom, and I watched Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and during the naked hotel / fight scene my mom and I were laughing so hard, and for so long, it was painful.

Let’s hope tomorrow continues on in that vein. Okay?

lovely gifts in the mail. and … ass.

In a few minutes: the family all-out for Sophie’s 5th birthday party. Yay Sophie! Yesterday she received a simply lovely birthday package from her friend Olivia (daughter to my friend Abbi):


From left to right: miso pretty gum, picture of Liv, fabulous summer fisherman hat, optical illusion book, small pewter night and dinosaur card.

Thank you, Olivia!

A few minutes ago I overheard my mom quickly turn to my dad and angrily say, “He smells like shit. Check his ass!” (referring to the dog who came in from his afternoon outside dump). And my dad kind of shrank in his chair when she yelled at him because he knew he’d have to do it. 10 minutes later and I am still laughing, laughing, laughing.

i don’t do it when i’m babysitting, promise.

Last night I asked my children if they wanted a bedtime story or a spooky story. I had never raised that query before and Sophie immediately widened her eyes: “Spooky story.” The kids were silent as I ran through a couple I knew (the one with the hook hanging off the car door? I told it badly, but they got the general idea).

I decide to go off-path and tell a story about a scary tree – my hands make the creepy-looking branches and wave in the evil, cold wind. The tree snatches up children, names by request: Nels, Sophie, then Olivia. The children – trapped in the Scary Tree! Alone and frightened! I tell them Mama decides to go confront the tree; Mama gets dressed in clothes (bra, panties, two tee shirts, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie, pants, socks, big boots, a jacket, mittens, scarf, hat) and marches out to find the tree.

[ smack! ] Sophie removes her thumb from her mouth, raises her eyebrows, and intones simply: “You’re going to get yourself killed.”

Note to parents: it’s tough to tell spooky stories when you’re stifling a laugh at the scariest part.

In today’s naptime version (Nels especially likes the thought of his friend Olivia being captured and held in the tree; he has a slight crush on her I believe): the method of dispatch for the hideous deciduous villian is that Sophie finds Grandpa and asks him to take his big bus and run the tree down, thereby freeing the children. Nels, up until now completely quiet, can be silent no more:

“AND NELS RIDES THE BUS AND SOPHIE RIDES THE BUS AND OLIVIA RIDES THE BUS AND GRANDPA RIDES THE BUS AND CYNTHIA RIDES THE BUS!”

“Lower your voice!” says Sophie, in the most adult tone her duck-like register can. Ready to hear the rest of the story. Nels’ eyes are filled with stars, thinking of riding in the beloved bus with all this loved ones.