New Year’s Eve 2012

Res-o-lu-tion n.

  1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
  2. The act of resolving to do something.
  3. A course of action determined or decided upon.

Here are my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions:

  • To get a job
  • To complete the entire series of P-90X

Yep.  That’s it.  What??  Isn’t that enough?!?

And I’ve got to confess that I’m more worried about the P-90X resolution than the job one.  It’s gonna be 90 days of pure, unadulterated X-ness (whatever that means.  And while we’re at it, what does the ‘P’ stand for anyway?  Ptotally phorrible?!).

But they’re out there now.  No taking ’em back.  And I figured that if I proclaimed them publicly – then I would work extra hard to make them happen.

How ’bout you?  What are you “being resolute” about in 2013?  What “course of action” have you decided upon?

Bring it.  Game on!

Christmas 2012

Weeee WISH you a Merry Christmas!

Weeee WISH you a Merry Christmas!

Weeeee WISH you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Handel’s Messiah

Anyone else have to sing Handel’s Messiah all four years they were in high school choir?  No?  Just me?!

And as a result – at this time of year – and especially this year since they’re unemployed and mostly live in their vast, cavernous head – constantly recall snippets of all those songs and/or the full songs (but just the Alto part)?  Still just me on this one?!?

I mean things like:  Lift up your heads O! Ye gates!  And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors!  And the King of Glory shall come ii-hii-hiin!  (deep voice now) And the King of Glory shall come iiiin!

Or how about:  And He shall purify!  And He shall purify!  And He shall pur-i-fy-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi the sons of Levi!  And he shall purify. (soprano part now, start again) And he shall pur-i-fy!

And one more since I’m in the spirit of the thing now: Oh, thou that tellest good tidings to Zion.  Arise!  Shine!  For thy light has come.  And the glo-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-ryyyyy of the Lord, the glo-or-ryyy o-of the Lord, is risen upon (sung “upond”) thee!

And then there’s my favorite solo.  “Behold a Virgin Shall Conceive.”  Amidst all of the boldness and intricacy of the other songs is a short solo, made even more lovely by its simplicity and thus total contrast to the rest of the work.

Every year all the Senior girls tried out for it because it was so short, which required minimum effort, yet maximum glory and more free time to socialize.  Priorities after all.  But what we didn’t realize is that this is the piece from which the entire work stems.  And as a result is the most important piece of music in the whole thing (well, in my mind at least – remember that cavernous head comment earlier?  I’ve got waaa-ay-ay-ay too much time to think about this).

It goes like this:  Behold, a Virgin shall conceive.  And bear a son.  And shall call his name – Emmanuel.  God with us.

‘Nuf said.

Modified Christmas Carol

You know what Christmas Carol you don’t hear much of anymore?  “Christmas is Coming.”

So I’m bringing it back for a final run – but with my own modifications.  In my mind it goes a little something like this:

Christmas is coming (sure is – where have you been for the last 3 months?  Don’t act all surprised like it snuck up on you or something!)

The goose is getting fat (yeah – the goose AND my a$$)

Put another penny in the old man’s hat (the old man’s hat aka the red Salvation Army bucket manned by an aggressive bell-ringer located in front of Wal-Mart.  And since we’re on the topic of Wal-Mart because I was just there today…what’s with all the old people walking around and holding hands?  At Wal-Mart??  And since we’re still on the subject, here’s an open notice to Wal-Mart: Dear Wal-Mart, when it snows, please plow the directional signage in your parking lot.  Otherwise all bets are off and none of the morons know which lane is one way and which lane isn’t.  Present company included.  Hey!  What are you looking at romantic older couple?!  How was I supposed to know this lane was one way!  I couldn’t see any of the arrows on the ground.  ‘Cause they’re all covered with snow!!!!  Move along.  There’s nothing to see here.)

If you haven’t got a penny, a ha-penny will do (really?  What’s a penny gonna buy nowadays?  And a half of a penny??  See the next part of this song for my response to that retorical question.)

If you haven’t got a ha-penny, then God bless you! (yeah!  What he said!!)

But speaking of ha-pennies, I believe my unemployment checks should be starting up again any day now.  Remember how I contested the whole severance-that-wasn’t-wages-but-yet-they-would-treat-like-wages-so-as-to-temporarily-stop-my-unemployment-benefits?!   Their very effective response is no response.   Just waited me out.  I guess it worked.

But I’m back in the game now!  Bring on those ha-pennies!!!!

Microwave Instructions

Why did we never make it clear to our 5th grade daughter that you don’t put metal in the microwave?!

It was so obvious.  Yet I suppose it went unspoken.  Yet why didn’t she notice that we never did it?  Yet why didn’t we just simply mention it during one of the 50 gazillion times we’ve put something in the microwave?!?

Gah!!!  Is there a time for a coming-into-womanhood talk about how to use the microwave that I/we missed??

Oy.  All I know is that I literally saw a nuclear cloud go up in my microwave last night as my daughter was re-heating her bean and cheese burrito left over from Chipolte’s.  It was still wrapped in aluminum foil.

I’ve only heard that zipping/zapping noise once before (it sounds kindof like lightening, yet smaller and in your kitchen…or maybe like a power line downed by a tree branch that’s arcing electricity into the night).  That “once before” was when my little sister put my wedding-china-with-the-gold-rim into the microwave to warm up her dinner.  Oy is right!!  She must have missed the coming-into-womanhood microwave talk too!!  (Winky face and hi, Sissy!!!)

As I went screaming towards the microwave (keeping my head low because I had visions of the microwave door blowing off its hinges into my lily-white face), everyone else just sat there.  Literally sat there.  With mouths agape.  No joke on the agape part.  How many times in your life do you literally see mouths agape?!?  Except my daughter.  She started to cry and run upstairs because she instinctively knew that it typically doesn’t end well if a nuclear explosion goes off in your microwave.

I caught her halfway up the stairs in a hug and explained that I wasn’t mad.  That the situation was just so startling and that’s why all the yelling and ducking happened.  That nothing was hurt.  That it was all ok.  That her burrito was ready to eat if she still wanted it (was that the right thing to do or was it hopelessly irradiated at that point?!).

Anyway…back to me.  I took this all as a sign.  As far-fetched as it seems, I believe I’m supposed to intuit something here about my own life.  Maybe something along the lines of…everyone knows how to get a high-paying marketing job, yet no one mentions it??  Or…just use your powers of observation and it will come to you?  Or…even…there was a talk my mom was supposed to give you (or at a minimum, a pamphlet on the topic) but I missed it!

Perhaps I’ll just try the cry-and-run-upstairs methodology to see where that gets me!?

Ding!  Bean and cheese burrito anyone?!

So much to do, so little time

There’s so much to do before my parents make a Christmas visit in a few days!

It makes me wonder how I used to do it all BTTMJ*

My memory of that time is fading.  Faadddinnggg…..ffffaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddiiiiiinnnnnnngggggggggggggggg…………………………………………….


*Before they took my job.

Caroling Haiku

My daughter is doing a segment on poetry in English class (as my son says – ENGLISH class?!?  But she already knows how to speak English!!!).  One of the types of poetry they are studying is the Haiku.  For those who are too far away from 5th grade English class to remember what a Haiku is (or who don’t speak English) –  a Haiku is comprised of three lines: the first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables and the third line has 5 syllables.

In honor of our recent travels to Haiku-town, I wanted to give you a de-brief of the Cubscout Caroling Clusterbomb 2012 in Haiku form:

Scouts subside, chimps rise

Not caroling now, ever…

Instead ape-boy yopps

Hey – and you know what else is totally, TOTALLY like a Cubscout meeting?  A wrestling match (only it smells slightly worse than a scout meeting)

It’s got the same run-by-men, chaotic, wandering-around-because-no-one-knows-where-they’re-supposed-to-be-or-what-they’re-supposed-to-be-doing sort of  vibe to it.  So in honor of THAT – I’ve written another Haiku.

No direction, none.

Cluster bomb of massive size.

Disorganized mess.

Christmas concert last night

Is there anything more excruciating than a grade school Christmas concert?!?

Which was made that much more painful because it required scrambling around in order to find black bottoms and white tops during the week leading up to said concert.  Daughter didn’t have black bottoms so I made her a skirt which made me feel a little like Caroline Ingalls because I had to cut-down one of mine.  Yes, it’s a sewing term.  Google it.  And son didn’t have a white top…unless you count his slowly-turning-gray uniform dress shirt which is what he was forced to wear but we “hid” it behind his red snowman tie because red accents were allowed.

To set the scene for you, let me mention that all 75 third graders played Silent Night on their recorders.  Why yes.  Yes it was just as awful as it sounds.  Stray cats dying up on stage would have sounded better.  And as a side note, my son needs to learn how to play the recorder with both hands on top of the instrument because I don’t think the hand on the bottom was adding much value.  (He said during a later conversation that his hand was all sweaty and so he did that “wrist twist” to try to keep the recorder from slipping – which didn’t make any sense because it was attached to a lanyard hung around his neck; it wasn’t slipping anywhere.)

He’s of the playing-the-recorder-is-similar-to-playing-the-harmonica school of thought.  You just THINK the tune and it happens for you.  It doesn’t matter where your hands are.

The jazzy version of O Come, Emmanuel! was slightly less terrible than the recorder extravaganza.

The manger scene?  Oh, you mean the manger scene complete with 5th-grade-girls-dressed-as-angels and talking/singing animals, right??  Okay…I guess it was cute in a terrifying lambs-really-shouldn’t-sing sort of way.

But I was so proud of my own darling 5th grade girl when it came time for her big narration scene (“but there was no room for them in the inn…”  Does anyone NOT know how this play is gonna end?!).  The microphone cut out right in the middle of her lines.  I have seen lesser women thrown by this scenario – but my little girl kept her cool.  She paused.  Adjusted the microphone.  And started her lines again.

If I haven’t said this before, then I’m saying it now – God bless us, everyone!  And no one more than the music teacher…and the kids in the Christmas concert!!

Fire in the poop deck!

As Mr. Crabs would say (he’s from Sponge Bob Square Pants btw…but must I really explain?!), “Mother of pearl!  Fire in the poop deck!!”

In other words, “Heavens-to-Betsy!  Houston we have a problem!!!”

All of a sudden it’s come to light that there was no cubscout meeting scheduled this month.  The cubscout leader “gently” took us to task over it and as a result I threw out a flippant offer to go caroling at my house knowing full well we’d never get a quorum of scouts this late in the game.  Since it’s Christmas-time and everyone is soooo busy with other obligations, no one has time to squeeze in one MORE thing, right?!??!?!??!


Turns out there’s enough time for some quick caroling with 8 monkeys and various siblings at my house on Friday.

Like I said – Fire in the poop deck!

I’m sending out an SOS email to my drinking-buddy-neighbor-ladies today to see if anyone will be home so that we can go caroling to their house.  And so that they can give me drinks to keep me alive until the end of what will soon be referred to as Cubscout Caroling Fiasco 2012.  (No – Mom & Dad, I don’t have a drinking problem.  I drink, get drunk, fall down, no problem.  Kidding!  Totally kidding.  No – no problem.)

Mother of Pearl!!!!

You say poh-tay-tow, I say poh-tot-tow

Worked Teacher Appreciation Luncheon all day yesterday.  It was exhausting!  I was literally on my feet for 6 hours straight.  Which reminds me that when I find a job – it totally needs to be a desk job.

Previously (before they took my job) for the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon effort, I would have participated in the planning (via email) with maybe a coffee-meet-up thrown in along with a twenty buck contribution.  And then I would have capped the effort off with a hostess-with-the-mostess approach by working for an hour serving the lunch.

But this time around I was in charge of the student participation component of the meal (each child cut out a star and wrote their Christmas wish for their teacher on it.  We then hung the stars on paper Christmas trees throughout the luncheon room.  Cute, right?!).  And I also planned and executed the lunch – from purchasing supplies, to set up (starting first thing in the a.m., right after carpool drop off), through lunch service all the way to clean-up and beyond.

Like I said…it’s exhausting.

First off, people, please bring what you’re supposed to bring.  Unless you have the stomach bug – in which case no, no we don’t need your salad after all.  But other than that, please provide the dish you committed to, and please make sure it’s enough to feed the 10-to-15 people like we requested, and not just 3.

Take the mashed potatoes for example.  Someone supplied a little, tiiiiiiny container.  And someone substituted stuffing instead.

But God is present in all things and the balance of the mashed potatoes we desperately needed to round out our “Christmas Dinner” theme walked in the door (a huge crock pot full – complete with another crock pot full of gravy!!!) 5 minutes before lunch started.  Seriously.  We were right in the middle of calling the other party planner out of her morning spin class to run and get some mashed potatoes asap.  But then the potatoes walked in the door.  Those there were some divine-intervention spuds!!

Even so, it did get to be pretty slim pickin’s at the end.  We slowly downsized to smaller serving spoons as the meal went on and then began serving little dollops instead of having them help themselves as part of our potato conversation efforts.  (wished we thought of that sooner, d’oh!)

There was even one point where we were trying to come up with a recipe for MORE potatoes using rolls, heavy cream and butter.  But saner heads prevailed and we settled for moving the rolls closer to the gravy for a make-your-own-biscuits-and-gravy concept, while adding the heavy cream and butter to thin out the remaining potatoes.  Though we were forced to pull the potatoes totally off the table towards the end and reserve them for the last batch of teachers to come through so they could get a little taste.

But all’s well that end’s well and we received so many thank yous from these wonderful people who are with our children all the live-long day, that it made me feel guilty we don’t do more to thank them for their efforts.  Except for provide them with a Christmas Dinner with too few potatoes and lots and lots of stars!

P.S. How do you spell potatoes?  Singular is potato and plural is potatoes??  Anybody else think that looks weird?!!