A Trip to the DMV (Subtitled: Happy Birthday to Me)

It’s my birthday today.  Happy Birthday to me.  Which means my driver’s license expires today.  Which means that for the first time in FIFTEEN YEARS, I had to daytrip to the DMV to renew it.

And that 1.5 hours the DMV and I had right there renewing my driver’s license was fun, wasn’t it?

No.  Actually, it wasn’t.  Because while the DMV has gone all high-tech with that nice robot lady announcing everyone’s numbers, she somehow managed to get to number 321 before calling my number, 292.  This waitfest afforded me plenty of opportunity to watch the magic unfold.

As a result, I was able to identify a key opportunity for improvement in the process: GET MORE FRICKIN’ CAMERAS ALREADY, DMV!  Because that ONE camera being shared by Windows A, B, C through-and-including Window S??  That right there is jackin’ up your sci-fi system; Makin’ it all present-day and stuff.  The resultant two-step license renewal process is…amazing.  And by “amazing” I mean “a complete clusterbomb of massive proportions.”  Especially that part where the guy with two hard casts – one on each leg – who assured the DMV employee the FIVE TIMES she asked, that he COULD drive a car with those casts on each leg, I think he lied to her.  Because it took him a good half hour to slide down ONE window to get his picture taken.  I can’t even IMAGINE how he’s gonna drive a car by moving that slowly.  So it’s a good thing they let him have plenty of head start with his new license before they turned the rest of us loose.  Otherwise that parking lot run-in wadn’t gone be purty.

Happy birthday to me. 

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though.  I did especially enjoy (finally) getting my number called.  It kindof made me feel like Prim during the Reaping, except Katniss wasn’t there to take my place.  But as I approached my designated DMV plexiglass window with the little talk-y hole in it, the “help me” etched on the inside of the window did seem a bit concerning.  Ha, ha, just kidding about the “help me” thing.  But the window arrangement did make me feel somewhat like a prisoner on visiting day, especially when the DMV man made me pick up the phone to talk to him all quiet-like.  What was really cool about that was how he didn’t invite me to pick up the phone until AFTER I had already shouted out my height and weight to a roomful of strangers.  Yeah, cool.  That was really cool.

Happy BIRTHDAY dear meeee. 

But once we got on the phone, he kept me on the phone even WHILE I was taking the eye test.  That’s gotta be like a circus trick or something – talking quietly on the phone, while placing your face INTO the grody machine that hasn’t been sanitized since it was installed in ’72.  Oh, I place my face right here where the greasy nose marks are?  Got it.  And if the eye test machine hasn’t been cleaned in who knows how long, can you imagine what E.coli I was picking up from the PHONE?!?  Gaaaack!

Once visiting hour was over, I had to get back in line and wait for the One Camera Wonder to take my picture.  And at the end of ALL that?  I didn’t even get a new license.  I just got my old license handed back to me, destroyed, and a half-slip of paper to carry around with the destroyed old license.  They also gave me this parting advice: If the new license doesn’t come in a week, come back to the DMV so they can check to see what happened.

Yep.  That there’s real good advice.

Happy birthday to me…

Listen up!

Hubby and I had a recent conversation wherein he was talking about purchasing a shade canopy to use during Sissy’s softball tournaments, but I could NOT figure out what he was even saying.  Based on the few words I did catch, I thought he was talking about purchasing shelters shelters? Picnic shelters?? either FROM a neighborhood boyscout (bad plan) or FOR a neighborhood boyscout (why would we DO that?!).

Anyway, Hubby eventually figured out I couldn’t hear him and so he ultimately made his master canopy plan known.  There may have even been some pantomime.

The whole thing reminded me of the very earliest days of our marriage when I just stopped being able to hear him.

Back when we were fresh-faced newlyweds (23 years ago today in fact – Happy Anniversary, My Twew Wuv) allofasudden the words coming out of his mouth stopped making sense.  I mean, I could see his lips move and know sentences were being formed, but he would have to repeat himself several times and even resort to some cut-rate mime stuff before I could make out what he was saying.

I never did figure out what THAT was about.  Maybe some psychosomatic backlash?  Like, now that I had him locked to my side for all eternity, having just vowed all that richer-poorer-sickness-health jazz, I could now simply stop listening to him.  No matter what I did – up to and including no longer being able to hear him – he was still mine.  MINE I SAY!!  MWA ha ha!!! [evil laugh]

But that wackiness stopped shortly after we got back from our honeymoon.  And I’ve been able to hear him just fine ever since.  Well…more or less…

By the way, Sweetie, I’m not on board with the boyscout picnic shelter idea.  That seems like a dumb plan. 

For his part, he’s always been able to hear ME just fine.  So he’ll hear me when I say:

Happy Anniversary.  I love you and thank you for twenty-three great years!

I’m not 100% sure, but I think he says he loves me too.  Either that…or he’s really serious about the boyscout picnic shelter and is moving forward with it.

It’s Gettin Up Time!

By a show of hands, who’s familiar with Hap Palmer’s musical works?

Anyone?  Anyone?!?

No??  This is incredibly puzzling because Hap Palmer wrote the biggest bunch of crazy-making ear-wormish toddler songs that ever existed.  How could you NOT have heard of him?!

Hap’s “Baby Songs” music video factory was slightly ahead of the Baby Einstein video curve.  Quite possibly even earlier than that, say at the dawn of VHS camcorders (early 80’s or so).  How do I know this?  Because most of the footage was home-movie quality and shot in someone’s backyard.  In addition, the videos starred a bunch of kids dressed in primary colors – a passel of Caillous from up north, if you will – with hearts embroidered into their extremely shapeless Osh K’osh overalls.

Also?  The mom in the music video who’s dropping her anxious kid off at daycare had a headful of dreadful permed hair and a massively shoulder-padded Fashion Bug blazer.  All further evidence of the 80’s timeframe.  (For those in the know, you’ll recall this as being the award-winning “My Mommy Comes Back to Get Me” video.*)

But what I really wanted to talk about here was Hap’s song titled, “It’s Gettin’ Up Time.”

[now singing from memory] Baby’s cryin’ in the bassinet.  Waking up hungry, cold and wet.  Waah, waah, waahwaahwaah.  It’s gettin up time!  (and yes, you must sing the waah, waah, waahwaahwaah chorus like an open-mouthed, cranky baby.  Who’s hungry.  Cold.  And wet.)

This?  Is how I wake my kids up in the morning before school.  I lovingly sing that song into their sleep-warmed cheeks, while they’re still abed, making sure I pull out all the stops on the waah, waah, waahwaahwaah part.  And when I say things like “open-mouthed” and “into their sleep-warmed cheeks” what I really mean is open-mouthed ON their cheeks.  So their cheeks get all…moist…from the open-mouthed waah, waah, waahing.

Once more.  Altogether!  Nice and loud!!  Waah, waah, waahwaahwaaaaaah.  It’s gettin up time!!!

See?  You’re awake now too.

*I don’t think it ever even OCCURRED to my kids that it was a remote POSSIBILITY that I might not come back to get them after I dropped them off at daycare…until they saw Hap’s big MTV music video on the topic.  Thanks, Hap.  Thanks for so, so many things.

Voltron, Defender of the Universe

I have a brother.  I have a son.  I know me a little sum’in sum’in about Voltron, Defender of the Universe.  He was a big robot-y guy who was made up of five smaller dog robots.  Sounds bizarre on paper, but is true enough in cartoon-land.

And when my big Mother’s Day outing to go see a movie came up today, I was on board.  Totally on board.  We’re seeing the new Voltron movie?  The Age of Voltron?!  Count me in.

So I’m sitting there watching all of the previews when the lights dim and we slip into one final (and overly long, if you ask me) preview about a new superhero movie pertaining to the Avengers.  You know the Avengers: Iron Man, The Hulk, Hawkeye (Hot Guy heh, heh, heh), Captain America and so forth.

At some point it becomes puzzling to me why this preview is going on so long it almost seems like THIS is the movie, but Voltron has yet to make an appearance.  So I lean to the child on my left and whisper, “Is this actually the movie we’re here to watch?” and receive an eyeroll in response.

Ok, totally not helpful.

So I lean right and whisper to the kid on that side, “I’m confused, is Voltron an AVENGER??”  Another eyeroll.

Ok, still not helpful and why is no one addressing the pressing Voltron issue?!?

Long story short: The name of the movie turned out to actually be “Avengers: The Age of ULTRON.”  (But say it fast.  It sounds like the Age of Voltron, yes?  Yes.  Thank you.)

So now we’re to the part of the blog where I wanted to tell you I felt like my mother.

How so?  Glad you asked…

One time my sisters and I took my mom to see that movie “About a Boy.”   Hugh Grant was in it and the movie was described as being about a boy and a cad.

Except when we were explaining the movie to my mother, she thought we said it was about a boy and a…CAT.  So she waited the whoooooooole movie expecting the cat to show up.  And was extremely puzzled when it didn’t.  A movie about a boy and a cat and then there’s no CAT?!?  That’s stupid.  Completely stupid.

Anyway, that’s why I felt like my mother.  Going to see a movie that was NOTHING it was billed to be.  Naming a movie after Voltron and then not even having Voltron IN the movie??  That’s stupid.  Completely stupid.

Hi Mom!  Happy Mother’s Day.  I love you.  I thought of you today.  I FELT like you today.  And I’m just wondering if you ever found that cat?!

A Dog’s Life

Seated around the dinner table is a charming family-of-four.  Their scruffy but adorable dog is sitting in his bed in the corner of the room.  Chinese takeout containers are scattered across the table.  A scintillating conversation is underway.  Shhhhh!  Let’s listen in…

Son (while glancing at the dog seated silently in his bed awaiting any chicken-y tidbits anyone…anyone…anyone wants to toss his way) says: I wonder what the dog thinks about all day.

Loving-not-to-mention-funny-and-pretty-mother-everyone-says-so (who desperately wanted Sonny to design a study around whether dogs could see colors for his Science Fair Project and is still smarting from the fact that he ended up going with “how quickly a sugar cube dissolves in a variety of sodas” and if we’re being truthful, he chose that particular experiment not to further the scientific body of knowledge, but mostly because he wanted to drink the sodas after the experiment was over) replies with: Hmmm.  That’s an interesting question.  How could you design an experiment to discover that?  I’m thinking something around remote observation…

Hubby interjects: Hey, I know what you could do.  Teach the dog to write.  Then give him a piece of paper and pencil and ask him to write what he thinks about all day.

Sonny (throwing the stink eye his father’s way.  This has been a point of contention all along: that the dog is “lucky” and doesn’t have to go to school, while Sonny does have to suffer this daily torture with the pencils and paper and such) responds:  You know it’s been proven that dogs have souls!!?

Sissy lending her insight to the conversation:  Oh yeah?  Who proved it??  Yo-yo Boy*?!

Sonny:  No!  Pope FRANCIS!

-Silence ensues.  Everyone knows Pope Francis didn’t “prove” that thing about the dogs.  But all joking aside, the realization dawns on the happy group seated at the table that despite how many times Hubby calls Sonny by the dog’s name and vice versa, and despite how they joke about the boy and the dog being almost one and the same, the son draws WAY more parallels to the dog’s life his own self than the family ever could.  See how he worries what the dog thinks about all day?  See how he’s preoccupied with the question of the dog’s soul?-

The Loving-not-to-mention-funny-and-pretty-mother-everyone-says-so sees the true heart of the matter and in her wise and insightful way closes the conversation with:  It seems to me that the dog probably thinks about the same stuff YOU think about all day, Sonny.  He probably thinks about what’s for dinner and will any friends show up soon.  He also probably thinks about when he’s gonna go outside next, and where he’s gonna pee once he gets there

[End Scene]

The camera pans away from the family as they move out of range of the soft glow of the overhead light.  The camera zooms in on the dog’s face.  The dog is still seated in his bed long after the family has cleared away their dinner.  Still there, hoping for some chicken-y tidbits to come his way.  Or any of the breakfast meats would be good too.  Bacon, sausage, ham.  Anyone…anyone…anyone….

*Yo-yo Boy is a pseudonym for Sonny’s bestie.  He got Sonny into yo-yo’ing, and he typically has some developed opinion on things.  Except when we get to hear about his opinion second-hand through Sonny, things always seem a bit…er…lost in translation, shall we say?  And you understand that we don’t actually CALL him Yo-yo Boy when referring to him in casual conversation amongst ourselves or to his face; We call him by his real name.  We’re only calling him Yo-yo Boy today for blog purposes and so as to protect his professional reputation.  Although now that I think about it, Yo-yo Boy has a nice ring to it.  Yo-yo Boy.  Yo-yo Boy.  Yeah.  That’s good.  That has real potential.  It also sounds like a Frozen Yogurt place where boys can go and get frozen yogurt while showing off their yo-yo tricks.  So that’s a plus.