Push to Add Drama

Most of the television I watch is pre-recorded so I can fast forward through commercials. But once in awhile a brilliant marketing team creates an ad compelling enough to be brief entertainment in its own right.

What if there was a button to add romance? Waiters in tuxedos bring out a table for two covered in white linen and rose petals. Champagne on ice. A violinist serenades you. Fireworks burst in the sky.

How about a button to add humor to a situation? Wherever you are, Jerry Seinfeld appears and performs stand-up comedy.

I really like the idea of a drama button. I’ve often said to Lucas my life is sadly lacking in euphoria. Sure, it’s happy and full of love but what about the intensity? The excitement? So I made this list of possible adrenaline rushes:

Crowd dive at a concert.
Normally I don’t like live music but I’d make an exception for this.

Attend a fancy movie premiere.
Sneak in, if necessary. Bonus: obtain press credentials and ask losing celebrities why they’ve never won any awards.

Perform drunken karaoke.
Possible songs: Copacabana, Summer Nights, and It’s the End of the World as We Know It.

Become an immortal.
This requires a reconnaissance mission to Italy to locate a vampire coven. *Highly dangerous.* Consider hiring private investigators.

Train to fight in the zombie apocalypse.
I’m assuming this goes beyond classes offered at our local gyms. To do: put an ad on Craigslist for a survival trainer.

Ride motorcycles on the freeway during rush hour.
If you’ve ever driven in Phoenix, you know why our auto insurance rates are so high.

Provoke the Church of Scientology.
See if their campaigns of stalking, harassment and wire tapping are legit. Then provoke Donald Trump. Compare results.

Diffuse a bomb.
We may have to make our own if we can’t find one about to detonate.

Join the Cirque du Soleil.
We should be in excellent shape for this after training to fight zombies.

Speaking of drama and adrenaline, are you watching Better Call Saul? This is probably the only spinoff show in history to be as good as the original. Now that this show has started, my Monday nights have certainly gotten high octane.

It’s Friday. Dance.

Molly Ringwald dancing in The Breakfast Club

The Hazards of Shopping with Strollers

With eleven days until Christmas and zero presents brought – yes, ZERO – Lucas and I took our 5yo and 2yo shopping at a fancy mall in Scottsdale. Our thought was that we could put the kids in the double stroller and get presents for the family on our list. We imagined that we’d have a great time together while still being productive and we actually thought we could do this with two kids on the second to last weekend before Christmas.

WE WERE WRONG.

Parking was easier than I thought. We squeezed into a space on the second floor of the garage. Then we had to wake up the 5yo who had fallen asleep because if he’s in the car more than ten minutes he’s out like a light. He wasn’t cranky but he didn’t want to ride in the stroller and from then on the kids took turns objecting over riding instead of walking. “Walking” meaning wandering and either lagging behind or charging ahead.

Anyway, we make it inside the mall and it’s no Mall of America but it’s big – three levels and a split-level in the middle with the food court and movie theater. Certain areas are only accessible by stairs or wheelchair ramp. In other words, it was designed by childless people who have never heard of strollers.

We waited half a century for the elevator to go to the second floor and headed to Crate & Barrel. Out of all the vibrant throw pillows, elegant glassware, and festive holiday decorations, Lucas selected two plain white bowls as gifts. Despite the fact that they’re useless for baking or food storage since they didn’t come with lids, I know my husband has an innate ability to pick out the perfect gift. That’s why I agreed to wait in a Disneyland-esque line for lidless bowls.

By this time the kids were restless. Lucas suggested letting them burn some energy at the kids play area, which is on the third floor. Rather than wait for the elevator, he led us to the escalator. I was reluctant to let him attempt it with the stroller, but I went up holding the kids’ hands and he maneuvered it flawlessly.

After about forty five minutes of play, our shopping led us up and down the main levels and split-level a few times. Lucas was still expertly dragging the stroller on the escalator… until the last time. The kids and I were at the top waiting for him when suddenly the front wheel got stuck at the end. I just stood there watching helplessly as he struggled to free it. All I could think was, “Oh no I can’t believe I’m watching one of those ‘escalator fails’ moments in real life and my husband is about to get sucked into this conveyor of death right in front of our kids and they’ll be scarred for life and how will I afford a therapist as a single mother?”

Fortunately, Lucas was able to yank the stroller free before disaster struck. But his wild efforts sent the bag with the lidless bowls flying and it landed with a crash that sounded not unlike glass breaking. Of course I was happy my husband hadn’t lost life or limb in the escalator but I was pretty disappointed that the only two gifts we’d managed to buy in an entire afternoon were now shattered.

Funny thing about all that annoying cardboard and Styrofoam packaging – it actually worked! Despite the noise, the bowls were in perfect condition and we all made it home safely – without ending up on YouTube. We still have lots of shopping left though. Lots and lots and lots of shopping. From now on, we’ll wait for the elevator.

An actual conversation I had with my teenage daughter

Madison: Mom, I’m scared of Ebola.

Me: *rolls eyes*

Madison: There was this report that some guy caught Ebola and died. Then like three or eight hours later he came back to life*.

Me: So the zombie apocalypse has started?

Madison: MOM! We’re all going to die. Why did you even bring me into this world?

Me: It was an accident.

-  -  -  -  -

*So I Googled it and the story is actually true. Sort of. It happened in Liberia and people were trying to get the sick man help for days. When he was thought to have died, a burial team showed up within an hour and they sprayed him with bleach. Luckily for this guy he moved and they realized he was alive and an ambulance soon came to take him away.

One does not simply argue with Melissa

So I learned from The Bloggess that there’s a new trend where you Google your first name and “meme.” Then you post the results.

Since I’m totally trendy… oh wait, I’m not. Anyway, I decided to do it and I’m so glad I did.

I need to get this printed and framed:

meme1

And look, Ryan Gosling wants me to cheer up:

meme2

Also, people are happy I exist:

meme3

But sometimes I exasperate people:

meme4

It’s true, I do. I can’t argue. This is me saying sorry:

mad-sorry

See that sarcasm? That’s part of what’s so exasperating about me.

Drunken Award

When I win an award I want Johnny Depp to present it…

…and these people to come to my after-party.

I can’t imagine what organization would present me with an award, but something tells me if these people are involved it’s gonna be a good time.

Is Quentin Tarantino directing commercials now?

Have you seen this new Life Alert commercial? It’s terrifying.

This could be a clip from a horror movie or one of those true life crime shows on Investigation Discovery, maybe even a snuff film.

That poor Grandma is laying helpless at the bottom of the stairs while her oblivious mailman flirts with a neighbor walking two friendly dogs. And, if she ever gets help, she still has to finish the laundry and fix her leaky kitchen faucet.

They’ve really upped the scare factor to sell 24-hour emergency response systems since the days of clumsy Mrs. Fletcher, who uttered one of the 80′s most famous catchphrases, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

Listen carefully at the 0:30 mark. See if you think she says cang instead of can’t. That used to drive my father CRAZY.

And, if you never heard that wacky song Dr. Demento used to play on his radio show, then TODAY IS THE DAY.

“No one lives with Mrs. Fletcher,
There was no one there to catch her.
She could really use a stretcher,
It looks bad for Mrs. Fletcher.”

It’s better being a woman.

Lucas fixing the hot water heater

This is my cute husband doing manly things.

Yesterday the toilet in the hall bathroom wouldn’t flush. The problem is some valve Lucas has to replace. This morning I started the car and right away I could tell the battery was about to die. He decided to take care of that first so he could drive to the hardware store and buy the necessary parts to fix the hot water heater, which decided to leak all over the garage today.

That’s three things. A Trifecta of Broken Crap.

I helpfully pointed out to Lucas that he wasn’t the only one getting hit with trials this week.

First, my sciatica flared up again, bad enough that I had trouble sleeping two nights in a row. Then I got my period the night before yet another dental procedure that left me with two stitches in my gums. It was a Trifecta of Pain.

I didn’t even remind him that the lever to recline my favorite spot on the couch broke this week. I didn’t want to outdo him with a fourth woe or bring up something else to fix.

“See?” I said to him. “You had your manly stuff to deal with. I had womanly problems.”

“Yours were all preventable,” he said.

I put my hand on hip, which is my automatic reaction when he says anything Neanderthal-ish. It’s a handy visual cue that what I’m about to say should be taken seriously. “You were going to look so good in my blog post. Don’t ruin it,” I warned him.

Then he smiled at me and went back to the hot garage to keep working without complaining.

That’s one of the reasons why I love him. He never lets repairs put him in a bad mood. He also does his own laundry and makes his own lunch. He’s pretty much the perfect husband, even if he doesn’t understand that periods complicate everything.

Stop Talking

I was reading The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath when…

(Wait, does that sound pretentious? It isn’t, really. I’m about to reveal my ignorance.)

…I came across the word infelicities. Plath described reading poems by ACRich (Adrienne Rich, I assume) that were “easy, yet professional, full of infelicities and numb gesturings at something.”

Since I’m constitutionally unable to read a word I don’t know and not look it up, I searched an online dictionary and got this oh-so-helpful definition: the quality or state of being infelicitous. I looked that up too.

Infelicitous definition

Ever made an infelicitous remark? I HAVE. I don’t mean asking a non-pregnant woman when she is due, I mean the kind of comment that leaves you hoping the earth will open up and swallow you whole.

It was a decade ago and I still carry the shame. I was having a particularly stressful, hectic day at work when a co-worker called. Her father very recently passed away and she’d returned from bereavement leave but was out of the office one afternoon. She called about a work-related issue, greeted me warmly and asked how I was doing. I sighed dramatically and, in my frustrated and overwhelmed state, I blurted, “Well, I’m NOT DEAD.”

Luckily, she laughed. Then again, how do you respond to an infelicitous remark of epic proportions?

Anyway, I apologized. Profusely. Again and again. I should have shut up. If only someone had been there to hand me a STOP TALKING card.

Stop Talking

This is a real thing made by Set Editions. Imagine the possibilities. Discreetly slide a card into a nervous girl’s palm under the dinner table when she starts talking about ex-boyfriends on a first date. Or hand one to the rude couple behind you talking during the movie. Or give a card to the idiot telling divorce stories at a wedding. Give one to the fool who won’t stop apologizing after telling an ill-timed death joke to a grieving daughter. You’d be doing us all a free public service.

Have You Heard? … Scottsdale

Whether you’re new to Scottsdale or just looking for a parent’s guide to all things local, Have You Heard? … Scottsdale has you covered. Created by a team of mothers who like to share their expertise, it’s your resource for the best the city has to offer.

Have You Heard? ... Scottsdale

Find fun things to do with the kids or locate local clothes and toy shops. Get the dish on family-friendly restaurants and where kids eat free, or enjoy a little romance with their date night recommendations. Get social with their MOM SOS listings of clubs, playgroups, and Mommy and Me classes.

Planning a birthday party? Browse through venues, caterers, and in-home entertainment. Looking for pediatric doctors and dentists? They’ve got the details.

Their Scottsdale School Resource Guide is an information goldmine. Among the nuggets of school stats you’ll find:

Scottsdale School Resource Guide

  • Total enrollment
  • Teacher-to-student ratio
  • Curriculum info by subject
  • Gifted and special needs services
  • Discipline methods / Behavior expectations

They also have AIMS and SAT rankings and a handy Scottsdale School Locator.

Moms, they value your unique experiences too! You can submit your tips, comments and stories. And, if you own a Scottsdale business, this is the ideal spot for advertising to a targeted audience.

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