Astral Float for Two

My L’il sis and Bro’ in law got Hubby and me an Astral Float for Two for Christmas. Yep.  Nope.  Yep.  This is a real thing.

When we called to make the appointment, we inquired as to what we should bring with us. Please say swim suits. Please?  Pleasepleasepleaseplease!  They replied with, “nothing” which naturally meant I had to bring my swimsuit anyway.  Just in case.

What is an Astral Float for Two, you ask? It’s as close as you can get to riding on Space Mountain without actually being on Space Mountain because you are instead floating naked in a sensory deprivation tank filled with body-temperature salt water.  Expect you’re by yourself while your husband is in another room in his own sensory deprivation tank filled with HIS naked body and some salt water.  I know he didn’t have his swimsuit on because I had it in my purse which was in my room with me.

Also? There’s no orange asteroid which periodically flashes across the sky like in the real Space Mountain.  You’re in a sensory deprivation tank after all, so all you can see is a deep, dense black that is the same whether your eyes are open or closed.  Snippets of the movie “A Cure for Wellness” flash through your mind until you become increasingly worried that no one will hear your screams if you start feeling tentacles.

It seemed like I spent the first thirty minutes fooling myself into thinking I did…and then I didn’t…and then I did have to go to the bathroom. Eventually I talked myself out of the bathroom thing because the bathroom was all the way down the hall, no robes were provided, and my swimsuit was high and dry right next to Hubby’s in my purse.  Why didn’t I put on the swimsuit? It would have been helpful with the bathroom run.

At some point, the voices in my head died down enough for me to begin to relax. Until I slowly started to realize that I could hear OTHER voices, through my ear plugs AND the sealed door of my deprivation tank, two different voices talking somewhere down by my feet.

Ack! ACKKKK!!  Screw the tentacles, THIS is the biggest fear!!  That there are people who accidentally stumbled into MY deprivation tank room and will shortly be throwing open the tank door and exposing me in all my glory!  Why are there two of them? Are they checking on me?  Or do THEY get to float together while Hubby and I had to stay separate but equal?

So I’m straining to hear. Straaaaaaaining to hear.  Trying to pick out a word or two and deciding if I’m going to be all friendly and casual when the tank door opens “Hiya!”  Or all super pissed, ready to go ham and shout “Shut the door!” to whomever is out there.

It dawns on me, but not soon enough, that the low rumblings and alternating higher pitched whining noises are actually coming from stomach. Oopsie. Tee hee hee.  Stupid chili cheese fries for dinner last night.  And for the record, those noises all sound different coming through salt water and ear plugs.

It’s such a relief that no one’s about catch a glimpse that I do actually become quite zen. Until I start wondering whether L’il Sis and Bro in law would ever get something like this as a gift for my parents.

Since it’s stream of consciousness time, I’ve moved on to thinking about when my parents lived in a mineral spring spa town in Germany and my aunt came to visit.  She convinced my mother to “take the waters” with her, have a spa day and get a massage. Except my mother, who hadn’t ever had a massage as far as we knew, ended up wearing her jeans on the massage table.  It’s become something of a family joke.  At which point I picture my mom wearing her jeans to the astral float.  And I start laughing.  And laughing.  And laughing.

Then the ghostly music begins to play which was my cue that my time had come to an end.

And none too soon.

Ahhhh, relaxing!  Astral float for two.  Jeans not recommended.

Stock Show

The Stock Show is in town! I don’t know what it’s all about exactly, not bein’ from these here parts, but it’s a hot field trip ticket for the 2nd grade and under set in the Denver, Colorado area.  Back East, we take field trips to places like Philadelphia or to see a Broadway Play in New York City. Stock Show?  Makes me feel like my kids are deprived.

We were talking about it at dinner tonight, and Sonny – whose favorite field trip WAS the Stock Show – chimed in with, “Yeah, it was the best! At the end, you could even buy a chicken for $20!!”

Oh boy, can you just imagine what Colorado mothers do when their kids show up from the Stock Show field trip with a chicken in tow?!

“But I didn’t have any money with me so I couldn’t get it.”

Phew.

“But that’s nothing; Bestie was going to get a PEACOCK!!”

Good lord.

“But he didn’t have any money either and then he fell asleep on my lap on the bus home.”

And there you have it. The best field trip of all time.  And also the reason you should never, EVER, send money with kids on a field trip.  Can you imagine what that bus trip home would’ve looked like with Sonny trying to tend a chicken AND a peacock while Bestie snoozed away?!?

The question naturally came around the table to Hubby, who’s a born and bred Coloradoan. His favorite field trip when he was in grade school??

Yep, you guessed it. The Stock Show.

Gosh. The Stock Show is starting to sound like a lot of fun.  I should git’ me there real soon.  I just won’t bring $20.  Or even $50.  Don’t want to be tempted or anything.  Also?  The nap at the end sounds very promising.

Tiger’s Eye

Let me tell you about my new carpet. My new NEW carpet.  We had new wall-to-wall carpet installed in the family room the week before Thanksgiving to replace the old one the dog did irreparable harm to.  Stupid dog.

Hey, Mr. Carpet Installer, this carpet you’re installing the week before Thanksgiving seems a little dark. Are you sure this is Tiger’s Eye and not Black and Tan?!  Oh, it IS Tiger’s Eye and NOT Black and Tan?!?  Ok, because it seems a little dark for Tiger’s Eye since it only has the black and tan in it.

Turns out it WAS Black and Tan and NOT Tiger’s Eye. %^&$#!#&*&^%%&#$!!!

So the week AFTER Thanksgiving (and my parents visit where they missed seeing what-was-supposed-to-be-amazing-and-perfectly-coordinated-carpet) the carpet installers came BACK to put in the new NEW carpet in the correct color. Or as a friend of mine describes the whole carpet clusterbomb, “Hashtag First World Problems.”

Hi, Mom and Dad! That was a fun visit.  Especially that part about the 1,000 piece puzzle we you were staging on top of the coffee table, but didn’t finish because it was 1,000 tiny annoying pieces with a lot of leaves and apples.  You’ll be pleased to know that the carpet installers managed to move the coffee table off of and back on to the new rug with not a piece out of place.  We eventually finished it, but thanks for the great head start!

I thanked the carpet installers for being so careful with the puzzle. I mean, when you’re only 25 pieces away from success, you don’t want anything to mar the effort.  To which the head installer replied, “I don’t see puzzles much anymore.  I used to see a lot of puzzles in PRISON.  Some guys could do those puzzles really fast.”

Oh. Oh.  Uhm….ok.  I wasn’t expecting that.  FAST you say?  Sounds like you’re being a little judge-y about the puzzle speed in this house.

But the new NEW carpet is in! It’s Tiger’s Eye* NOT Black and Tan.

*And I’m not even gonna go there with the 80’s Song for Every Moment in Life game. Because Tiger’s Eye?  Eye of the Tiger?!?  It’s too easy and you readers are sitting fish – like shootin’ ducks in a barrel.  Because “Eye of the Tiger” is a song by American rock band Survivor which was released on May 29, 1982 as a single from their third album Eye of the Tiger and was also the theme song for the film Rocky III, which was released a day before the single. But like I said, that’s too easy for someone at my skill level, so I won’t go THERE with THAT.  Also?  Who needs to play the Rocky III theme song in their head every time they look at their family room carpet!?!

Geometry

Something is terribly…terribly…wrong at our house.

Sissy practically skips off to do her geometry homework, her face wreathed in smiles.

See? Wrong. Way wrong.

Sometimes I’ll come across her facetiming her geometry bestie and they’re GIGGLING while working their way through homework.

What the what?!?

Supplements and complements to angles? High-larious!

Congruent polygons? What a gas!!

Direct and indirect proofs??! Nuthin’ better, num, num num!

Is this our brave new world? Is this the new world order?!  Has the earth shifted on its axis and highschool girls in the 21st century really LIKE geometry??  Because back in the 20th century, highschool girls hated the beshizzle out of it.  So much so that we had to spend our entire geometry class ignoring whatever nonsense was going on at the front of the room and instead talk about our perm-on-top-of-already-curly hair.  (This in turn got one of those olde timey chalkdust filled erasers whipped by the geometry teacher at our aforementioned curly hair.  That makes a girl hate geometry for more reasons than one.)  And geometry homework time?  Had to be spent weeping loudly at the kitchen table.  Yeah.  Way, WAY more crying over geometry back in the 20th century.

Sissy’s geometry mystery prompted me to gaze deeply at her textbook (in case each problem was followed by a delicious chocolate treat or something which would explain my puzzlement away).

And this is what I found. (Here, I took a picture so you could see too.  Look close.)

geometry

Geometry for Enjoyment and Challenge.

Ah, yes. This DOES explain it all.  Here in the 21st century highschool girls are doing geometry for enjoyment.  And challenge!

Back in the 20th century, highschool girls were doing geometry for tears.  And Hell.

Creepy Clowns

Sonny is an Urban Legend creator’s dream. And the latest Urban Legend he’s in for broke on is the Creepy Clown Craze sweeping the nation!

He suspects creepy clowns will be waiting for him in groups of three on the front porch when he gets home from school. Or perhaps lurking in our backyard, hidden in the shadow of a tree, just one…beckoning him to his death.  And if not in the backyard, then most certainly in his bedroom, probably right around four of the ayyy em.  He’ll most likely find two leaning over him just as he’s jolting himself out of a nightmare about two creepy clowns leaning over him.

So it’s no surprise as I’m driving him home from his flag football game tonight (down a very dark and tree lined street with minimal streetlights) that he says, “I always think I’m going to see clowns on this street.”

Yep. This would be the street where the clowns hang out and cause mayhem.  But ok.  I’m in for broke too because there’s no dissuading the kid from his clown obsession.  Here we go….

“Really, Buddy? Cuz that seems pretty nutso, donchathink!?  But we’ve had that talk already about the power of suggestion and the clown business.  So let’s have a different talk.  What would you want me to say to you if I DID spot a clown?  Would you want me to yell ‘LOOK OUT, THERE’S A CLOWN!!!!’”  And I shout so loud his arm kinda jerks and his water bottle goes flying.

He turns his head to me all startled, but serious and says, “No! Not like that!! I would want you to say it very calmly, real quiet.”

He’s still looking at me, so I look right back at him and say very quietly, “Don’t look now, but there’s a clown. Shhhhhhh.”

To which he replies, “Oh my gosh, MOM! REALLY??!?!!!”

We’re at a stop sign by this point and I’m still looking at him as he’s looking at me.  He clearly thinks – since we’re stopped right here on the street where the clowns lurk – that there’s a  clown peering into the passenger’s side window right…behind….him. So I smile a totally dumb smile, look into his eyes and say, “Yes.  I’m looking at the clown right now.”  And I keep smiling the dopey smile.

His face falls from fear into total annoyance. Clowns are no joking matter.  HIM as a clown is no joking matter.

Then I start singing:

Where ARE the clownnnnnns…

Send innnn the clownnnnnns….

Don’t botherrrrrrr they’re heeeeeeeere….

NOLA

I was just in New Orleans, Louisiana. That place is fun.  Pretty wild, in fact.  And also exhausting. Especially that part where you have to walk down Bourbon Street with a plastic cup as tall as a yardstick, filled with piña colada.

So it’s a good thing that the airport in NOLA is an international one and you can fly back to the United States when you’re done with the piña colada.

But first you have to go through security at the airport. It looks and feels (and smells?) just like every other security, but the difference with the NOLA security is that it’s all just a big setup to get in a pretty girl’s pants.

Yes.

This is the exact truth.

Let me explain.

There I am, standing spread eagle in the security screening thingie that’s reminiscent of a revolving door, I’ve got my arms crossed in surrender above my head – just like in the helpful picture they post for you to stare at.

When I come out of the revolving door, the TSA agent asks me to step to the side. As I’m doing so, I look back over my shoulder to the screen that shows your big, round head, and all your supposed metal bits highlighted in yellow.  There on the screen is a yellow splotch the size of a softball.  At the top of my pants. In the back.

Wait! WHAT?!?  No, no, no!!!  There’s no metal in my pants RIGHT THERE!  Waitwaitwait.  No!  I swear to you, there’s no metal in my pants AT ALL!!  The yellow splotcher mcbob is broken.  Please, PLEASE, who would smuggle metal through airport security in the back of their pants?!? Not me!  NOT ME!!!

But because stuff that happens in New Orleans always seems like it’s one click away from going mediaeval on your a$$, I’m afraid to protest and cause a scene. Also?  It WILL seem like I’m trying to smuggle metal through security in the back of my pants in a “methinks she doth protest too much” sort of way.

…and then I’ll use the backs of my hands to smooth down and over that area. So shall we begin?…

While I’ve been flipping out in my head about my metal filled pants (that aren’t really filled with metal), the TSA agent has been describing how my strip search is gonna go down.

…it’s your right to a security screening in private if you prefer…

Actually? I prefer no screening.  NO SCREENING ATALL!!!  Can we arrange that?!

…if you decline that, I’ll need you to face away from me and open the waistband of your pants…

Ok, now we’ve veered into some weird “poopy diaper check” version of a cavity search and I decide that it’s not gonna happen this way without me piping up, “Listen. I want you to know that there’s no metal in my pants so I’m not sure why it showed up on the screen that way; I really, really think your screen is broken.”

…very good, Ma’am, now your waistband…

Wow. How many times has this TSA agent heard the “I don’t have metal in my pants” shtick?!  Not even a flicker of emotion.  Robot much?!

Resigning myself to the fact that there’s no fighting against automatons who want a sneak peek at the magic, I open my waistband before God and country. While standing in the security line.  At the New Orleans airport.

…Not your underwear, Ma’am. Just your jeans…

Ok. Can I please go away and die now?  Please??

But first, I have to submit to a full bum smoosh …with the backs of my hands, Ma’am… before being given the all clear and sent off to curl up and die/cry in a corner somewhere.

Tried to tell ya there wasn’t anything of YOUR concern in MY pants.  Showed ya too.

My amazing parting shot? “See!  I told you your screen was broken!  I really think you need to check into that.”

As I’m walking away, I hear the TSA agent say to the woman behind me, “Ma’am, please step to the side…”

Thank HEAVEN you can fly back to the United States from New Orleans when you’re done – because that place is exhausting.

The Potty’s Oh-vah

potty-ohvah

I came home from a tennis match the other eve to find this loverly display out front of the house.

It’s Sissy’s old potty. We had to get it replaced with a new one because the one you see here just decided to stop working when summer break came to a close and Sissy gasp! started highschool! Gasp!

Did you catch that part about Sissy gasp! starting HIGHSCHOOL?!? Gasp!

Which is completely, completely weird and not even possible because she just started kindergarten like…last year.

Nonetheless, the potty went kablooey and freshman year was finally upon us. Hubby and I both took Sissy to the first day of highschool – Hubby driving, me sitting in the front passenger seat crying into my sunglasses while Sissy sat in the back asking her father if I was crying into my sunglasses.

Whereupon Hubby would give me the side eye, then swivel his eyes front again and say, “Nope.”

“Really? Are you SURE she’s not crying?!?  Is Mom CRYING??”

Side eye. Swivel front.  “Nope.”

Not sure what he was trying to do there other than protect my dignity and save Sissy some embarrassment because she hates it when I cry. But eventually she caught me sneaking another tissue and responded with, “She IS crying!  You ARE crying, Mom.  I KNEW it!!  Why did you lie to me!!!?”

Don’t involve me in this. I didn’t lie to you at all.

At which point the ride was almost over and I still hadn’t given my inspiring advice to her about how to have a successful highschool career.  So despite the tears, I launch into my, “Just be as kind and lovely as you always are.  Draw kind and lovely people to you.  You’re going to have so much fun, Sweetheart.  Work hard.  And don’t ever let anyone sit alone in the lunchroom on your watch.”  This last part trailed off into a high-pitched squeak and then weird laryngitis-like silence even though my mouth was still moving.  See? Very inspiring.

Then we were at school. Sissy’s bestie was standing out front waiting for her.  I jumped out of the car with Sissy, took completely non-embarrassing pictures of her and Bestie, hugged them both (again, completely non-embarrassingly) and they were off!  First day of gasp! highschool. Gasp!

I cried the whole way home and eventually gave myself a full-blown migraine with visual aura which I at first mistook for a detached retina due to excessive crying.

Well, that was fun. And we got a new potty out of it.

So now I pose to you a question:
Potty oh-vah?! Or potty just gettin’ stah-ted??!  

Whoop, whoop!

And see what I did there with the whole party potty thing?  Clever. So clever.

Pardon me, your slip is showing

A tennis friend and I were recently talking before a tennis match about a second tennis friend who had slipped and hurt her knee and therefore was out for the rest of the season.

The version of the story I heard was that Tennis Friend #2 had slipped on some wet tile. Naturally I assumed she had been in the shower when the slip occurred, so when Tennis Friend #1 and I were catching up on that news, the conversation turned – as conversations about slippery tennis friends prior to tennis matches do – into a regular funniest-shower-slipping-stories-we’ve-ever-heard laugh riot.

Her story involved her sister and some screaming and thumping noises. By the time she got into the bathroom to see what had happened, her sister had a broken toe or tooth (I forget which) and she was all tangled up in the shower curtain, the rod of which she had completely ripped out of the wall.

That primed the pump a bit and we were laughing like loons by the time I trotted out my story involving my freshmen roommate. I was IN the shower with her at the time her slip happened so I bore witness to the whole shebang.

Hey! Hey, CREEP!  Creepy, creeper.  Eyes up here, ‘cause it wasn’t like THAT.  So before you go THERE with THAT, I’ll tell you that the showers in my freshman dorm consisted of like a 6 foot by 10 foot tiled room with four shower heads – two on each side of the wall.  That’s it.  No partitions.  No curtains.  Nuthin’ except a few inch lip which separated the showers from the rest of the bathroom.  I don’t think there was even a place to put your soap and shampoo since I remember a lot of crouching to grab stuff off the floor.  I also remember a lot of stretching and bending because there wasn’t any place to put your legs when you were shaving, except up on the wall.  Unless you chose to bend over to shave instead (with your backside strategically placed in the corner).  Gaah!  Talk about a total lack of privacy.  And in retrospect, there may even have been SIX shower heads – THREE on each side.  Grrrph.  That’s even worse.  Completely awful.  [Shudder.]  But six shower heads seems right because there was a lot of having to walk past what seemed like rows of naked women so that you could get to the shower head in the corner which had recently been vacated – excuse me, oops, sorry – because it’s not like you could ask everyone to “move down one” so that you could be closest to the escape hatch…er…lip.  Ugh, blaaaaach!!!

Ok, here we go.

But first, may I remind you that slipping in the shower is no laughing matter…

My roommate and I were in the shower. She finished before me and was carefully stepping over the lip of the shower when allofasudden she was lying sideways with her legs inside the shower and her upper torso bent up and over the lip outside the shower.  It was the funniest HowDoYouDo I’d ever seen.  And?  She was MAD.  Really, really pissed off.  So despite her, “Yeah, I’m sure that looked funny.  Go ahead and laugh.”  I got the sense she didn’t really want me to laugh.  So I stifled my giggles and tried to help her up.  But remember she’s naked and slippery.  And I’M naked and slippery.  It’s a lot like helping someone stand up who fell while ice skating: I’m worried she may drag me down with her.  Further, I don’t want to accidentally touch…anything…so I’m mostly just using my words to encourage her to get up.

Eventually she exits stage left even; limping and carrying her toiletries bucket while I spend the next ten minutes huddled under a stream of water, shoulders shaking trying to control the belly laughs that keep coming. This is no one’s cutest look.

Turns out frosh roomie had to go to the infirmary because she really bunged up her leg. There were crutches and everything.  To preserve everyone’s dignity we both told the rest of the girls on the hall that she got hit by a car in the crosswalk.

Now, carry on with your week-end. Try; try with all your might to get the visual of college girls in the shower out of your head.

By the way, it turns out Tennis Friend #2 didn’t even slip in the shower.  When Tennis Friend #1 and I were able to get ourselves under control from our hardy, har, har fest, we sought clarification from our team captain.  Tennis Friend #2’s knee injury had NOTHING to do with the shower.

So I’m not even sure why you brought the whole shower thing up.  Also?  Slipping in the shower is no laughing matter.

Triathlon Talk

Super bummed the Olympics are coming to a close…

But ya know what should’ve come to a close way sooner?!?

All the nonsensical chatter by the male announcers when one of them-there l’il lady athletes was trying to win a medal after…gasp…having a baby!

That was the big topic of convo during Nicola Spirig Hug’s triathlon race. It was a long race, so lots of male t.v. announcer yakity yak yak.  Imagine the nerve: her trying to win a medal, after having a baby, after having already won a medal.  Sounds like that feat has been accomplished by very few women in Olympic history.

Weird that. But really, chick is an Olympic gold medal winner who then made it to another Olympic games.  Howz about we focus on that for a quick sec instead of making women like her sound like freakshows.

Also? I didn’t hear anyone talking about Michael Phelps in the  context of his parenthood.  Or that diver dude who won bronze with his toddler up in the stands.  Or that Marathoner Meb and his three daughters.

I may be over-the-top with this, but my thinking here is that guys talking about female Olympic athletes in the context of their motherhood is demeaning in lots of ways. So let’s knock that off ay-sap.

Ok, deep breath. Enough about male t.v. announcers.  Back to Nicola.  All’s well that ends well and she seemed pretty happy with her silver despite all the fellers who thought she should’ve felt otherwise.

An Olympic athlete? Gold medal winner??! Who then won a silver medal? Who’s also a MOTHER!??!

Rock on wit’ yer bad self, Girlfriend.

What really puzzles me though is how no one is making any sort of hoo-rah about Gwen Jorgensen being an ACCOUNTANT for heavens-to-Betsy!

Talk about nutso. Gals doing MATH?!  For a LIVING??!

Weird that. How was that allowed to slip through the system?!

But in my humble opinion, her whole gold medal winning backstory is even weirder.

Totes far-fetched if’n you ask me.

There she was. Sitting in a cubicle, doing math-y type activities when the USA Triathlon calls?!

Uh, hello, is Gwen Jorgensen there? Oh, this IS Gwen? Hiya.  How’s the math goin’??  Listen, this is USA Triathlon calling.  We want to sign you up for some triathlons and possibly a gold medal at some Olympics in the future.  You in?  You are??!  In which case, can we have your social security number. 

I mean, are women actually sitting in cubicles doing math for a living?

And are phone calls from USA Triathlon actually happening??

Because if so, you know what the.  Weirdest.  Thing of all is?? That USA Triathlon hasn’t called me yet.  Not that I do math for a living or anything.  So that must be the reason I haven’t gotten my call.  Yep, definitely the reason.  I’m also the mother of two.  So there’s that as well.  Oh, and I don’t do triathlons.  But pay that no never mind.

Bye, Olympics!  It’s been fun.  Sorry to see you go!!

Fundraising Walk

Sonny & Hubby went to a fundraising walk across town this morning.

When they came back this afternoon, I asked Sonny how it went.

His reply? “I had the best breakfast burrito I ever had!”

Hmmm, ok. So no report on the actual walk? Because it seems like you should talk more about the walk than the breakfast burritos.  But something about this is starting to sound familiar: every time Sonny is involved in a walk, he tries to do everything else but the walk.

As Sonny finishes his comment, Hubby, who’s passing through the room says, “Yeah, and I asked him to get me one too. He was gone for ten minutes and then came back with a plastic snake.”

This is all sounding just about right for Sonny at a fundraising walk.

As Hubby continues on his way out of the room, Sonny turns to me, eyes glinting with excitement, “Mom! I won the snake in a fishing game!”

Yep, just exactly…totally…right.  Glad you had fun, Sweetie.