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Adventures in Absence (Or: How I spent a month in my pajamas)

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Yes, I realized I’ve been gone just over 3 months. I have an excellent reason for it — I just haven’t, you know, thought of it yet. I know that for at least 1/3 of the time, though, I’ve been in my pajamas and that’s not much of an adventure. Plus, if I wrote an entry called “Adventures in Flannel” we’d have to go back to that whole “Why My Mom Sometimes Thinks I’m A Lesbian” post and I’m far too lazy to link things.

So what have I been doing other than being in my pajamas? Well, I’m glad all three of you asked. I last wrote in mid-September, right after the nephling went back to school and I came down with martian death flu. (I once said “Venusian mumps” and someone said, “Oh, I’ve heard that’s awful!” She was totally serious, so I went back to Martian death flu because as far as I know, no one really takes me seriously when I say that….)

So I kind of spent like 2 weeks being mostly dead. But then I got past that. I hoped that when I recovered, it’d be all like Sleeping Beauty or something, but turns out if you spend 2 weeks being dead of Martian death flu? You wind up more like “Ew, please get a shower; you’re 80% lint and fever residue.”  So I got a shower. I even saved a glamour shot just for you people!

Glamour Shot!

See? All kissy face. (It gets better, I promise!)

See? Not much of an improvement, you think, but I’m doing you the courtesy of not including BEFORE pictures. Those are pretty sad and I only took them to text to my mom to illicit sympathy and invoke special favours like “Can I have cherry 7up, please? So I won’t die?” [Insert pathetic photo of me, looking dead]. (I’m not above emotional blackmail when it’s warranted — as in the case of cherry 7up and Bold Ten Dr. Pepper — I love that stuff!)

Anyway, lest you fear that this is as good as it gets, I promise, I did clean up better.  I refuse to admit whether I am currently, at noon:02, wearing my pajamas at the moment — okay, well, I am, but there’s a reason!  I’m watching my nephew today as part of his Christmas break and his stipulation was “Can we have a relaxed day?” What’s more relaxed, I ask you, than pajamas?  Nothing. Unless you have pajamas and xanax, at least, but that’s a little far afield for our conversation at the moment. SO: we are having a pajama day. Even the dog is being lazy.

But just to prove that there are indeed times when I am not in my pajamas, I’m going to include this photo, too, as additional proof that I don’t always look like a pop art exercise in absurdity.

Me, looking less dead

See? Not so bad, right? Right. (If you think this is no better, then, um, HUSH.)

I clean up better, I promise! In this picture, I am upright, driving (well, not at the point of taking the picture. I hadn’t even started the car at that point.), wearing makeup, have combed and washed hair, and I’m even kinda smiling. There are no pajama pants in sight — not even the fuzzy blue snowman pants, and those are like fluffy fleece security!  Nope, I’m wearing colour coordinated big girl clothes! It was a really grey day, though, and for some reason, the only logical shade to counter grey with is bright green and lots of it. So I’m wearing quite a lot of green in that picture. Including my Kiva t-shirt. I’m a fan of Kiva. You should be, too. GO EXPLORE KIVA OPTIONS!

I got a little off track there. What else was I going to say? Come on; you were meant to be paying attention so you could chime in when I forgot where my brain was going! I’m considering this a failure on your part, personally.

Anyway, except for the fact that I am indeed wearing my pajamas currently, the pajama days are over for the foreseeable future. I think I’m good with that. The pajama nights, however, will continue, because that’s why God made pajamas anyway.

I have exciting news I can’t tell you yet, by the way. So you’ll all just have to wait to find out what that is.  But to distract you from the thing I’m not telling you, I’ll tell you something else!

Last month, somewhere near the end of November, we celebrated Thanksgiving, which was awesome. It’s not usually my favourite time of year, but it was good. This year was so much more laid back than the years before. In the past, seriously, Thanksgiving prep started a month ahead of time and by the time the holiday rolled around everyone was exhausted and cranky and it just wasn’t much fun. This year, we kind of scrapped all that. So my holiday was pretty good. I spent it with people I genuinely liked doing things we all genuinely enjoyed and it was pretty relaxed for the most part.

 

The day after the “official” day of Thanksgiving, I stalked the Sparks clan to their super secret hideout in Pocahontas, AR.

Pocahontas, AR

ACTUAL SIZE

Don’t be fooled by the presence of Smiths and Brookses; this is a Sparks hideout.  For those of you not yet familiar withPocahontas, though, let me give you an idea of the sort of metropolis we’re dealing with (though how you could be ignorant of such an important port of commerce and culture, I have no idea; I blame your parents).

This is Pocahontas, Arkansas. All of it — right there.  And it’s exactly that big. My only guess as to how they manage to have a population of non-microbial persuasion is possibly TimeLord physics and I think city hall might be a TARDIS.

And later, when I’ve recovered from the exceptional amount of work this simple entry has become, I’ll tell you what I found there.  Stay tuned; it’s possibly fascinating. (But probably not.)

 

 

 

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Adventures in Babysitting (Part: “My Brother Doesn’t Read This Blog”)

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Well, last time we talked about how I am, more often than not, a danger to myself and others. What can I say? It’s a gift. I’ve been preternaturally clumsy my entire life. (I think that means I bump into ghosts. Not sure. I really need a better thesaurus.)

In addition to the poor nephew of the last post, I also have a niece. She’s of the more fragile age of … turning-3-tomorrow. So for now, she’s 2. TWO. It helps that she’s scarily precocious to the point that I *really* want to check her closet for a hidden laboratory, but I digress….

Look, this past weekend, I fell out of bed and only woke up when I landed on my face. I injured myself with a hairbrush and nearly blinded myself with eyeliner. I am not the first person who should come to your head to entrust something you’ve been working on for like 3 years and that you spent nearly 10 months cooking! But my brother and sister-in-law are adorable and naive and still think that I can’t totally warp their kid in the space of 6 hours. (Seriously, you’d think they’d know better….)

So they let me:

ME

Would YOU trust me with your kid? I didn't THINK so!

 

….with the malleable, still forming synapses of this:

 

K

Innocent, malleable, possibly forever warped now....

Now, lest I leave you with the wrong impression, despite yesterday’s claim that leaving your kid with me makes you automatically a bad parent, my brother and my sister-in-law are actually really good parents. This picture is of her, her stuffed Mickey pumpkin (named “saltypants”) and the bed she’s snoozing on at Disney World because that’s the kind of parents she has. She turns 3? They go to the magic kingdom of fun and sugar overloads.

They’re good parents. I’m pretty sure that’s why they have the kid and I don’t. God is apparently on top of this stuff.

Anyway, so when left with their precious, precocious and giggle-faced toddler, what did I do?

Well, first we got tattoos.

 

Not REAL ones. (Though I did tell her that when she’s ready for her first one to call me ’cause I’ll probably want one, too, and I’m totally the “cool” aunt.)  But we did get tattoos and we talked about the anti-feminist themes of major Disney princess movies and — okay, well, *I* tried to, but at that point she insisted we go make pretend pie in her Tinkerbell kitchen, so I think maybe my point was lost. I probably shouldn’t discuss complicated socio-gender concepts with her until she’s at least reading chapter books.

So we made pie in the Tinkerbell kitchen and she took my order because she likes to play waitress and despite my attempts to get her to play bionuclear chemist FROM SPACE, she really wanted to play waitress.  So she took my order. A lot. I asked for chicken, but they were all out. (She frowned at her pink learning laptop while she informed me that there was a chicken shortage.) I asked for ice cream but got a lecture on eating my “reglaler food” first before I ruined my appetite.  So I asked her what they had and all they had was Clifford pizza and Bazagna.  I tried not to think about what cartoon pet pizza might signify and asked for the “Bazagna.”  I was told I had to eat “Bazagna and a bean” before I could have ice cream (in which they only carried pineapple flavour).

And you know, the longer I sit here and think about it, I realize what they were up to.  Suddenly, I’m not so sure who was babysitting whom….

 

Adventures in Babysitting (yes, I totally went there):

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Okay, as you have probably figured out by now, it’s a miracle I manage to dress myself most days. I was a smart kid in school if you ask my teachers, but I was one of *those* smart kids — I could recite pretty much anything I’d ever read, but I might have forgotten to wear pants. I like to think I’ve grown, but I’m pretty sure I just tell myself that to keep the despair from becoming lethal.

So it probably won’t come as a surprise to you that I am not a good babysitter. Let me stress this:  if you ever need a favour from me, I am happy to comply — including watching your kids. But if you leave your kid with me — and really, let me stress this again: don’t leave your kid with me — it makes you a bad parent. Automatically.

See, I have a nephew and this nephew has managed to survive my bumbling for, like, 10 years now. Almost 11. And I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s part Amazon and part Chiapet. Water him occasionally and he’s pretty much good to go.  But unless your kid has been genetically modified to be 30% cat with opposable thumbs and a tendency to announce things they need without provocation,  it’s a really bad idea to leave him, her or them with me.

I’m not a mean person and I even like (some) kids. It’s just that I’m that kind of absentminded person who will forget to, you know, feed them. I can’t keep plants alive.  I have a dog, but I pretty much remember to feed her because she barks when it’s time. (She’s smarter than I give her credit – but not much. It’s a total survival instinct. Total.)

Anyway, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s not that I mistreat kids. It’s kind of that I forget that they’re not necessarily going to forage for food or enlist my aid if they, I don’t know, catch fire. (Do kids catch fire? OMG ARE THEY FLAMMABLE?? I DON’T EVEN KNOW!)

If, however, you still doubt my fitness and think leaving your offspring with me is just the best thing ever, then I have to show you this. I didn’t want to, but you’re kind of forcing my hand here.  The following is a photo of a true incident occurring at my house Friday, Sept 2, 2011.

Seriously, he's not even pointed the right direction

Yes, he's asleep. No, I'm not sure how long. Yes, I took the pic before waking him up and putting him in bed. I think he doesn't know how chairs work.

To your left, you will see Exhibit A. Yes, he’s asleep. And upside down. In a chair. Without a shirt. With shoes on and the Wiimote nearby (in case of, um, zombies? I don’t know. That’s what they’re for, right? Zombies?).

I *thought* I was doing really well.  I fed him, got my butt kicked in Wii Baseball, even taught him something interesting about wombats — THEY ARE TOTALLY NOCTURAL — he was unimpressed, but I know he’s secretly about to wiki the crap out of those things.

He even helped me wind some yarn.

Then he sat down — right way up, I swear! — to watch something on Netflix. I sat down to check email and possible write about how I can’t drive or why the ghetto Sonic scares me and I hear snoring.

I didn’t think anything of it.

Later, I saw this. So what did I do? Snapped a picture, texted it to my mother and then woke him up and put him in bed.

Seriously. Don’t leave your kids with me.

Why My Mom Sometimes Thinks I’m A Lesbian

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Not a lesbian!

I'd link to this shirt, but Zazzle is down.

Sometimes mothers think maybe their kids might be gay. And in fairness, most moms would probably know before most other people, whether they’d want to admit it or not.  My mom, however, despite having no discernible gaydar, sometimes thinks I’m a lesbian. And not even for the reasons other people might think I am. (Spoiler:  I’m not a lesbian. But if Queen Latifah or River Song asked me out, I’d totally go. Then again, I don’t know any sane people of either major gender who wouldn’t.)

Reasons you might think I’m a lesbian:

  • I’m 32 and not yet married. In my defense, I just turned 32 and wasn’t aware that hitting 32 as a single made me automatically lesbian. If that’s how it works, somebody should have sent me a “Welcome to Your Lesbian Life” letter or something, because otherwise, I’m just going to keep fumbling along as a straight chick.
  • I wear blue jeans a LOT.  Didn’t realize this, but apparently this makes some people think I’m a lesbian. I was all about thinking “I love blue jeans; why not wear them?” and people were seeing my jeans and thinking “I’ll bet she likes chicks.”
  • I didn’t really enjoy wearing makeup until I was in my mid-20s.  Again, I fail to see how this impacts my sexuality, but apparently it does. So for all you lesbians who wear makeup, take note: you’re apparently not good lesbians. Apparently.
  • I have a lot of gay and lesbian friends. Again, I think this just means I’m a fun person, but it seems to make people who don’t know me think I’m a lesbian. Somehow, the fact that I have as many or more straight friends doesn’t automatically make me straight. Weird.
  • Oh, this is the biggest one, I’ve been told: It doesn’t bother me if someone calls me a lesbian. Mostly ’cause I don’t think it’s an insult. And if it’s from a lesbian friend, I assume it means I look especially adorable that day.
Reasons my mother thinks I’m a lesbian:
  • My favourite movies are eclectic, but some of them involve gay men or lesbians or straight men/women playing gay men or lesbians or drag queens or transpeople or something. I don’t know. Somehow, the fact that I like In and Out and The Bird Cage and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is just proof positive I’m a lesbian. But, fair’s fair:  Netflix seems to think so, too.
  • I told her when I was a teen that I thought shaving was stupid — that guys have hairy legs and some guys are practically walking wombats of hair and that I never volunteered for this shaving shit. I didn’t say shit, though. I’d have gotten slapped for that. (Hi, mom! Ignore the word “shit,” please….).
  • It didn’t bother me that I didn’t start dating regularly till around high school. Why this is on the list, I don’t know. I spent all of elementary and junior high depressed and reading. I didn’t have time for dating.
I haven’t really asked her if there are other reasons, but I’m pretty sure these 3 points make up the whole list.  Oh, and the fact that yeah, the first list applies, too, but I’m happy anyway. (Is my life supposed to be miserable and empty because I’m not married and probably won’t have bio kids? SOMEONE NEEDS TO TELL ME THESE THINGS.)
I guess I should also include this.
Reasons I’m not actually a lesbian:
  • I’m attracted to guys
Oh. That was a really short list. Crap.
Thing is, I don’t think many people are static in sexuality.  I think there are women who are going to identify as straight and even be happily married who will still be able to look at , say, //INSERT FEMALE CELEB HERE//* and recognize that she’s indeed terrifyingly awesome levels of hot.  And I think there are totally straight guys who can look at //INSERT MALE CELEB HERE//** and say the same. I’ve even got a straight male friend who, if he had to pick a male partner after the zombie apocalypse, has already chosen his because he seems like a sweetheart and would probably be good to cuddle.  And I think that’s totally normal. You don’t want to forget to plan for any possible eventuality when talking about a zombie apocalypse.  Otherwise you’ll find yourself stuck in a corner trying to repopulate the world with a jar of peanut butter and, really, at that point the zombies just win.
_________________________
* I was going to say that I left this intentionally blank(ish) because beauty is an undefinable quality based on complex unique and personal values — but really, it’s just because I know squat about pop culture and I was afraid I’d pick the wrong one.
** ibid.