Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Out came the bird - yes, THAT bird.

I just love me some Epcot.  It really is my favorite park in the Disney Compound.  There is just so much to see and do while you are there.  I could spend a whole week exploring the different areas.

On our second day in Epcot we kicked off our adventures by riding Spaceship Earth, the ride that is inside the iconic giant Epcot ball.  This is a slow ride that brings to light the limited resources on the planet and how we can best work together to preserve them and still flourish ourselves in the process.

You ride on this ride in pairs, so I linked up with five year old Esther.  We climbed in our little car and shut the door, then turned to enter the dark abyss in front of us.

Spaceship Earth begins with a steady incline as you travel to the top of the ball.  Unlike most rides where they take your picture, on SE you actually have some warning (about five seconds) that a camera is about to capture your expression, so I immediately turned to Esther to prep her to throw up a gang sign and put on her "tough girl" face.  Her face was spot on.  Her hand ended up raised in some sort of  thrusting position that made her vaguely resemble one of the Hitler youth.   Which? Was better than what ended up happening to me.

In my haste to prepare Esther, I did not have time to fully commit to any gang sign myself. But the camera did capture me perfectly mid-pose with my "tough girl" face and my fingers contorted under my chin.  And it just so happens that my fingers ended up contorting with only one sticking up. Yep. The middle one.  Epcot captured me sitting next to my five year old and flipping off the camera.  On Spaceship Earth.  In Epcot.  A Disney park.

I rule at parenting.

It gets better.  The end of the ride is an interactive game where you design your own individualized future world.  The use the cropped photos they took to show you living in this world.  So Esther and I got to watch a thirty second clip of our very own Hitler Youth and her "Eff You" Mama riding bikes and growing their own food because we are compassionate about the world.

When you exit the ride everyone's pictures are on a giant screen in the middle of the room.  Each picture zooms to the part of the world you are from and then fades away.  This is how I ended up explaining to my mother-in-law why I flipping off the camera while next to me Esther saluted Hitler. Thankfully (or sadly) she knows me, so this all made perfect sense to her.

So, the moral of the story is:  You know how on airplanes, when the oxygen masks fall you are always supposed to secure your own before you help a child?  This is just like that.  Secure your own gang sign before you help a child secure hers. The rest of humanity will thank you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Johnny Depp and Jack White: The Men Who (Almost) Changed My Life

Weird, right?  My future will never be the same.

So this is what could have happened during the Great Disney Extravaganza.  (This portion is best read while having Tiffany's Could've Been playing in your head.)(Don't know it? Click here.)(You're welcome.)

When we were eating our lunch outside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Magic Kingdom and I was a little *stressed* we might miss our Fastpass time for the Jungle Cruise (which was dope), I could have insisted we stay and watch the pirate show that was starting on the stage ten feet from my person and worry about the Jungle Cruise at a later time. Then, had we stayed, I might have noticed that the man playing Jack Sparrow on the stage ten feet from my body was actually Johnny freaking Depp.  Because apparently sometimes Johnny D likes to sneak in to Disney World and play Jack Sparrow for fun without announcing it to anyone.

Had I chosen to stay and been the only person to notice with my keen Sublurban Mama Spidey Skillz (actually a thing) that it was really Johnny Depp, I would've stalked trailed behind him politely until he noticed and addressed me.  Then I would introduce myself as the huge What's Eating Gilbert Grape fan that I am, and also compliment him on his amazing work on 21 Jump Street (both versions).

Johnny Depp would recognize from my fine bantering that I'm probably a world class blogger (obviously), follow me on my blog, and in his next public interview, make it known that he is a Sublurbanite.  My blog would blow the heck up, and I would be bigger than The Bloggess, landing my own book deal(s) and becoming a famous New York Times Bestseller, while simultaneously fulfilling the occasional demand to be interviewed by the real David Letterman.

However.  Instead I rode the Jungle Cruise.

That elephant?  Animatronic.  Don't you feel let down? Guess who's not animatronic?  Johnny Depp.

That Jungle Cruise was a pretty costly ride.  It cost me my entire retirement plan as I lost my book deals as well as denied me a best friendship with Johnny Depp. (Which?  Priceless.)

Or it cost me the opportunity to take his picture from ten feet away.  Semantics.

So that is the story of how I did not meet Johnny Depp.  Honestly, his loss.  Totally.

"I can't believe I don't read Sublurban Mama."

This is the story of what could have happened if our friend Ed wasn't so darn reliable and Jack White had a bigger bladder.

Picture this.  It's the Saturday of our return around 1:00 p.m. and we are back at the airport in the D. I am wrangling a toddler who has had little to no sleep over the course of seven days.  He has had more chicken nuggets and apple juice than one child should consume in a year.  He has been confined to a bus seat, stroller, airplane seat, and a stroller again for six hours.  So I let him run wild exercise a bit in the baggage claim while we waited for our ride, keeping one eye on the curb to make sure we were ready* when Ed arrived.

*Detroit Metro Airport is a little intense about the curbside pickup.  I always feel like I'm shooting a war scene while airport employees hustle us along with shouts of, "NO PARKING!" "NO STANDING!" "LOAD UP AND GO!" "KEEP IT MOVING!"  There is no meandering towards your ride. There is no room for idle chit chat.  When your ride arrives, you book it (not a prison joke). Because that's how Detroit rolls.

It was at this time that I saw Jack freaking White.  Jack White of the White Stripes.  Jack White just chilling out twenty feet away, looking up at the baggage claim board, searching for his flight numbers so he could collect his luggage the same way I did a half an hour earlier.  It's like we already live similar lives.

I freaked the heck out trying to find my camera, which of course was in my purse which was in the basket of the stroller buried under everyone's jackets.  Seriously?

As I was frantically pawing around for my camera, Jack White turned and started to walk away...straight to the bathroom.  And I couldn't follow him because it's illegal I think famous people deserve some privacy although if I was a dude I totally would've been there.

But that's okay.  I'm patient.  I could wait for Jack to finish his business.

Except this is when our super dependable friend Ed showed up in our minivan, ready to escort us home.  (Disclaimer:  Ed is the jam.  I appreciate him so much.  He got up at o'dark thirty the week before to drive us to the airport, and was giving up his Saturday afternoon to be on call to come and drive us home.  He is awesome.) I'm not trying to imply that Ed ruined my life with his impeccable timing, but if I was given five more minutes, this would have been my future.

If I would've made it over to Jack White, I would've offered him a ride home.  And because my minivan packed with four kids and a week's worth of luggage for six people is way more inviting and comfortable than some personal and private Metro Car, Jack would have jumped at the chance to accompany us.

On our drive home, Jack would be witness to my unparalleled air drumming (which is 95 percent passion and 5 percent actual rhythm) and be so blown away he would insist that we jam together in real life.  This would lead to a new collaboration with Jack freaking White and Sublurban Mama that would obviously go double platinum and provide me the rock star lifestyle I know is somewhere in my future. (This may happen with Jack White, or happen as part of a cover band at Disney World.)(I'm still undecided.) 

But none of that will ever happen; Jack and I have no future, because our meeting was over before it began.

So while I tried to corral the kiddos into the minivan, buckling car seats and booster seatbelts, I glanced over my shoulder into the airport to see Jack again.  And I did see him once more. Forlornly, out the window of my vehicle, while it was driving away.  Slowly but surely driving away from Jack White who never got the pleasure of meeting me.  My nose may have rested on the window, my palm pressed beside my woebegone face while I mouthed, "Jack."  (Okay, maybe that's just me being a bit dramatic.)

"Hi, I'm Jack White.  I can't believe I grew up so close to Kelly and we never crossed paths.  Now, as I have a return visit to my hometown, I still can't believe I didn't meet her.  Looks like money and fame can't buy you everything."

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Luke, if I'm your sister we are in trouble."

Little Miss Independent in the airport.

Facebook Status:  After a week of traveling I have concluded that music is not the only universal language; B.O. communicates pretty clearly as well.

I'm baaaaack! And I need to apologize because I was a big fat liar when I said I was working on a project and couldn't blog.  There was no project.  What I was really doing was spending a week getting my Disney groove on with the offspring. (Not The Offspring.)(My offspring.)(Who are just like the band.)(Except for the whole So-Cal punk thing.)(But they are Pretty Fly.)

I was going to be truthful about my truancy, but apparently you shouldn't announce to the internets when you are going to be out of town, even if you have a strongly worded anti-burgle disclaimer accompanying that information, because it won't be enough to satisfy your husband who is all "why don't you just post our address and code to the garage as well as the exact dates and times of our absence just to help the robbers out more?" because he doesn't trust humanity.  Probably he hasn't seen the Ebay commercial yet, which clearly proves no one would break into your home and steal your stuff like they did ours a few years ago.  So, thanks burglars for creating a world where I am forced to lie about visiting the happiest place on the face of the earth unless you are a child who has eaten crap for three days straight and is so tired and overwhelmed you are literally flailing on the cement lamenting that you have to see the stupid parade in the hot sun because the hubster is a tad paranoid after the aforementioned thievery.

Mulch, Sweat, and Shears - Bandscaping at it's finest.
Can't you totally see me doing this job?

So.  I totally went to Disney World this past week.  It was incredible.  I have officially drunk (drinked?)(drank?)(Help, Kelly G!) the Disney Kool-Aid.  I could spend forever there.  In fact, I've decided that if I wasn't a SAHM then I would be in an awesome 80's cover band that plays in random spots around the Disney parks.

The quick summary before I write other nonsensical more detailed posts about the trip:

This is our cabin.  We stayed with Esther and Ezra
while our next door neighbors (A.K.A. The Grandparents)
hosted Eve and Hosanna.

We stayed in the cabins at Fort Wilderness.  Best.Choice.Ever.  It was really nice to have our own kitchen and a separate bedroom for the kiddos.  We were also smack in the middle of acres and acres of forest, which was a nice change of pace from the craziness of the parks.  Plus we got to take a ferry to Magic Kingdom, so, yeah, I'm on a boat.

We visited Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Typhoon Lagoon.  My favorite was Epcot; I could spend an entire week just taking my time and seeing everything there.  (But I'll probably skip Mission:Space next time I'm there.)(Because the barf bag I had to carry around due to motion sickness totally didn't go with my outfit.)

And I totally met Pooh.  Don't be too jealous.  Also? Mary Poppins, Mulan, Donald freaking Duck, and Gepetto. So, yeah, it's kind of like I know people.

But the ultimate highlight of our trip?

This photo can't contain all the awesome that is me and the hubs fulfilling our Star Wars dreams.  Except that we are posing as siblings here, which is mildly disturbing.  More disturbing?  You can get this image on sheets.  Star Wars photo bedding = romance.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Makin' Whoopie

Scene:  The kiddos are in bed and Brian and I are finally alone for the evening.  We are each taking a moment to decompress* individually before we spend some quality time together.

Brian:  (leans to the side and releases some pent up flatulence)(loudly releases)
Kelly:  Dude.  Really?
Brian:  What?  You think farts are funny.  That was for you.  I was being romantic.

Since I won't see you tomorrow, Happy Sweetest Day y'all!

(Also, I'm working on a project next week so I won't be blogging at all until Monday, October 29.)(I would say "Don't miss me" but that would be lying because I totally want you to miss me.)(That way you'll come back.)(But you should come back anyway because you'll be able to hear all about my special project then.)(And that is a teaser.)  See you soon!

* decompress - *giggle*

Thursday, October 18, 2012

On This Momentous Occasion

Let it go down in history:  October 18, 2012.  This is the first official day in Sublurban Mama history that I am showing up at 5:30 a.m. without any kind of post to edit.  Do you know why?  Because yesterday was beautiful.  Like, 74 degrees beautiful.  Like, sunny with a slight breeze beautiful. Like, winter is scratching at the back door and we've already had a cold spell and pretty soon the days will be short and the nights long and dark but today you can get out your flip flops and wiggle your "I need a fresh pedi" toenails in the air beautiful.  So instead of blogging I went for an outdoor run.  And then I ran some errands in the aforementioned flip flops.  Then I called baby sis while sitting outside and had a heart to heart because it's been waaaaay too long since we talked in real time (because while Facebook is a busy mama's friend, it ends up being a poor substitute for real conversation).

So yeah, yesterday was a much needed dose of vitamin D and clean air.  And while I do feel bad leaving you all, "The heck, Kel?  Is your day in the sun supposed to entertain me somehow?"  I offer this:  a whole website dedicated to bad lip reading.  And because I fully support informed voting choices, here is a recap of the first presidential debate if you were a deaf American who suffers from an inability to accurately lip read:

The presidential debates the way they were meant to be watched.  I'm pretty sure they're more helpful this way anyway.  So watch.  Be responsible; be an informed voter.  You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dude, where's my royalties?

I thought I knew the sound of my own voice.  As a voice major I spent 4 and 1/2 years recording myself vocally and listening to it back to critique every breath, pitch, nuance, and inflection I could pick up on.  I never say, "Is that really what I sound like?" after hearing a play-back from a voice mail message I've left, or watching old home movies. The sound of my voice (outside of my head) is just already weirdly familiar.

Imagine my shock when I got a small sample of how my children perceive my voice.  It sounds exactly like this:

This is the only logical explanation for why phrases such as "FLUSH THE POTTY" or "HANG UP YOUR COAT" go consistently unheeded.  Those directives are full of individual words I am quite sure already exist in their vocabularies;  I'm even thoroughly convinced that the specific combination of those individual words have clear meaning to the little munchkins.  So clearly something must be wrong with the sound of my voice.

The Peanuts corporation has apparently been stealing the sound of my voice for years.  In fact, this is such a gross case of theft that it began before I was even born.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to sue them, because at this point I'm due millions in royalties.  That's right, millions.  (Pain and suffering and all that.)  I plan on using some of my winnings to hire an interpreter for my children so that when I talk there will be no further confusion over what I am actually communicating.  And by interpreter, I probably mean Super Nanny will come live with me and school all those involved.  Or I'll buy an ice cream truck and employ a healthy dose of the reward system to encourage the kiddos to get on board and learn how to speak Mama Nag.

This might end up being a class action lawsuit, so if you or anyone you know may have had the sound of their voice stolen and used in the Peanuts comic, contact me to see how you can get a piece of what you are owed.  Because everyone needs to be understood, but especially everyone needs their own ice cream truck.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sour Cream and Cheddar. A Delicious Epiphany.

I didn't notice it right away (really it took about two months) but "suddenly" my pants were tight.  I hopped on the scale and freaked the heck out to discover I had gained TEN pounds since the triathlon.

That's right.  TEN.

It turns out that eating like you're training for a triathlon is actually helpful while you are training for a triathlon, but afterwards?  Not so much.

That discovery of the bulge was about two weeks ago.  Since then I have been super diligent about my diet and exercise and will weigh myself in two weeks to see how I'm faring.  If I do it before then and I see any positive movement on the scale I get all "IT'S WORKING" (I say this like I'm Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China) and then slack off.

So, I'm staying on "budget" with my calories, pushing my inner gym rat to go hard ... life is good, right?

It's never that simple.

Have you ever gotten in a fight with one of your kids?  Like, they're being all "I'm a kid and I'm gonna try and challenge your authority all freaking day and then I'm gonna take my anger out on all my siblings because my life is so hard because you asked me to wipe down the kitchen table when it wasn't even my turn and you are being so unfair that you would take away tv time/Wii/computer time and expect me to just PLAY OUTSIDE?"  And you respond by being all, "I'm not going to engage in this with you because I'm an adult who knows better than to participate in a battle of wills with my own child because that will never prove my authority but since you just left the room and mumbled something passive aggressively under your breath that I totally didn't hear but could ascertain that whatever you said was completely disrespectful now I'm totally going to engage because my pride demands I have the last word."  And the pair of you are now off on an awfully awful exchange.

Now I'm not saying that ever went down at my house, especially not yesterday in the early afternoon, but if it did it would've been a prime time for me to take the opportunity to eat my feelings.  And I did.  I was feeling slightly ice creamy, a little sour cream and cheddar chippy, and a lot iced coffee-ey.  That's approximately 450 calories of feelings.  To clarify, Monday is my lowest calorie day on the zig-zag calorie plan, so I only had 1300 calories total.  Monday is the worst day possible for me to be all "Forget you, Responsible Eating Plan."

But it happened anyway.  And I knew the rest of the day was going to be an avalanche of deliciousness as I allowed myself the quantities and combinations of food I have been successfully keeping at bay for two weeks.

Then I had an epiphany.

I was at Boot Camp later that day (where I burn around 550-600 calories for the hour - hoorah!).  I was in plank position (where I do my best calculating) and realized that my binge wasn't that huge, and my "I totally screwed up today anyway, so I am going to stop by McD's for a giant Big Mac and fries and maybe even real Coke on the way home from the gym" plan wasn't really necessary.  In fact, I hadn't even really screwed up all that bad in terms of calories; it was more the lack of self-control I was upset about.  My McD's plan is what really would have wrecked me.

I never do this with money.  If I shouldn't spend any money and I buy a pair of shoes, I never go drop $500 at the mall "because I already messed up."  How stupid is that?  But I still think like that with food.  Duh.

Epiphany.  Hey, Kel, stop and think before you do any more damage than the initial damage done.  Word.

Do any of you struggle with this?  What thoughts/actions help you?

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Toddler Wars - How to Win a Battle of Wits

Facebook Status:  Eve is doing impressions of me.  They include, "Dude, gimme a minute to wake up," and "Everyone be quiet!  I can't find Ezra."

She's pretty much perfected that last impression, because honestly, the boy disappears about twice a week.  It's mildly concerning to have a two year old vanish in a 1700 square foot house, and it becomes downright alarming when that two year old knows how to open locked doors and could possibly be down the street or, with his proclivity towards pushing boundaries, China.

(*It might be a true story to share that one time our next door neighbors brought Ezra home to us when he left our yard to enter their back yard, climb on their deck, and enter their home uninvited via the back door.)(I hope this in not an indication of his future vocational aptitudes.)

When Ezra disappears, the whole house shuts down.  I employ all three girlies in the search efforts, and we run from room to room, saying his name with increasing frequency and volume as more time passes and there are fewer options left to explore.

It is only when I am screaming (the final step before I fling open the locked front doors in a panic, run down the street, and shout his name frantically like any other mom with her act together) that I remember one last search method.

This is when we all freeze, and I softly whisper, "Ezra, Dude, ... want a cookie?" and Ezra comes tearing out of his hiding place, the glee at pulling a fast one on Mama again replaced by an urgent signing of the word "cookie", which was his first independent sign language sign, and remains to be the only one he uses consistently today.

I hand over a delicious cookie to the monster who has once again played Mama like a finely tuned cello.  I'm obviously raising the next Yo-Yo Ma.  Well done, Dude.  You won this time.  Again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tickets to the Gun Show

Today I feel that fantastic kind of sore.  You know, the kind of sore where your body feels like it got hit by a bus and is all jelly-like when you wake up because last night at the gym you showed up and worked.

Sarah may have pushed me a bit during swimming.  Oh, and the kettle bells during weight workout class before that were fun as well.  Consequently, this morning I am loving life despite the early hour due to going to bed early because I couldn't handle another round of debates because conflict makes me nervous and I can't stand the theatrics of politics.  And I am ready to talk one of my favorite subjects.

Happy Foreign Language Friday!

Since here in the good old state of Michigan tank top season is officially over, I figured it would be the perfect time to discuss the exercises you can do to get monster guns.  (Timing?  I have it.)

Where you at, Jillian Michaels? guns.
Warrior Dash guns a.k.a. Muddy guns.

I realized as I was flipping through my workout logs that upper body exercises have the weirdest names.  Tricep kickbacks?  Chest flys?  Cable rows?  How in the world can you follow the lovely circuit workouts offered on Pinterest if you don't know what these things are?

Tricep kickbacks 

I picked this girl because even though
she is doing one arm at a time instead
of two like me, her butt
looks fantastically just like mine.
Your triceps are the muscles found on the back of your upper arm.  If you work these you will help eliminate those pretty little bat wings that *ahem* women of a certain age/weight seem to acquire.  To do kickbacks, pick up some hand weights (5-10 pounds), hinge slightly at the waist keeping your tummy tucked in to support your back, bend you arms with your elbows tucked into your sides, and, keeping your elbows tucked in, straighten your arms behind you.  I always think of squeezing my tricep at the top of the extension. Return your arms to the starting position.  One tricep kickback in the bag.  Congrats.  Now go do 11 more.  Three times.  (Fun fact?  The best triceps I ever had were in ninth grade due to my after school job at the local Baskin Robbins.  It turns out that while consuming copious amounts of ice cream is bad for your physique, scooping copious amounts of ice cream for other people really works those arms.)

Chest Flys

These sadly have nothing to do with your boobs sailing through the air.  Or taking a trip on an airplane.  Whatever.  Way to get our hopes up, inaptly named chest exercise.  Chest flys work *surprise* your chest.  They target your pectoral muscles, but also work your triceps and shoulders, so, bonus.

See the rainbow? (Which just made me think
of Skittles, even though their slogan was Taste
the Rainbow.  Sugar, it's like you're stalking me.
To do chest flys, lie down on the floor, bench, or stability ball.  Your knees should be bent with you feet planted firmly.  Pick up your hand weights and extend your arms out to the sides so that you are making a "T".  Keeping a slight bend at the elbow, bring your arms up and together, sweeping them along a rainbow arc.  Once your weights are together, slowly bring them back to the beginning of the move (without touching the floor if you are on the floor).  Your first chest fly.  Journal about it in your baby book and then do it 11 more times. Repeat three times.  (I often have "I'll Fly Away" in my head during this move.  It is extremely helpful.  If hymns aren't your thing, you can always chant "I must, I must, I must increase my bust" a la Punky Brewster.)

Cable Rows

There are probably a billion versions of this move you can do.  I might be exaggerating a titsch, but for real, you can take some liberty with this move because you can do it seated, standing, bent over, with dumbbells, with a barbell, on a standing machine, on a seated machine, while eating a snickers.  Cable rows work your back, neck, and shoulders.

Pick some weights that have some heft to them, but not so much heft that it messes with your form or posture.  It should feel comfortably uncomfortable.  Get it?  Now here are some choices:

The standing row looks like this.  Keeping your weights in front of you, tuck your tummy in and raise 'em up.  Slowly lower them back down.  Do this twelve times total.  Rest. Rinse and repeat.  Twice.

This is a bent cable row.  I like to think of this as "starting the lawn mower."  The important thing here is to keep your elbow hugging your side.  Raise your weight into until it's even with your chest.  If your elbow is properly tucked in, your dumbbell should be touching your chest.  Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.  If you find yourself twisting and lifting with your back to accommodate the weight, choose lighter weights.  Do this twelve times.  Switch arms.  Do it twelve times over there.  Repeat the whole process twice.

Attack those guns, ladies!  You officially have all winter long to develop some amazing guns, so by summer I'm ready to be blown away by your buffness (totally a word).

Have a great weekend!  See y'all Monday!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Got Milk? I DON'T

After spending a harrowing three hours on the computer yesterday researching food options for my allergy kid, I'm going outta my durned mind, y'all. Which is why I have no post today. Except this one, which is totally cheating because it's not really a post. It's just me ranting about why there is no post.  

So here I am, just sittin' here, all post-less like, without a post, praying I would spontaneously have a reader who is an expert on how to feed a kid with milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, berry, citrus, sesame seed, and high fructose corn syrup allergies, and wants to gift me with their knowledge.  Or a reader who is a professional chef who specializes in food allergies who wants to cook for my family pro-bono.  Either one would do - I'm not picky


*jiminy crickets*

That's what I thought.  So my solution today is to go into my Awesome Bubble.  In my Awesome Bubble there are jammies until noon, art projects with the kiddos, iced coffee and chocolate chip oatmeal, and maybe, if I'm lucky, some closet cleaning/reorganizing.  Also, I finally got Insurgent from the library (the same day as Katie!)(and I had the same issue of reading book one so long ago I forgot what was going on) so there will be some reading under cozy blankets during Ezra's nap time.  

And then I will emerge from my bubble to submerge in the pool and swim some hardcore laps and drills with Sarah.  And I will feel much better.

Tomorrow I crush the internets with my pimp investigative skillz and come up with a stellar plan to feed my kiddo crazy good food.  'Cuz while I don't "got milk", I've definitely "got soy milk" and the heart of a Navy Seal.  And we don't give up.  Hoorah!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

If I wasn't a mom I'd be a Rock Star. Or more likely a Roadie. Either way I'd have access to a microphone, so yeah, WIN.

I'm pretty sure Bear is singing, "Kelly is our
NUMBER ONE FAN and she is so awesome."
I'm fairly certain those are the lyrics.
I'm not going to downplay it.  My weekend was pretty boss. (Yeah, you read that right.  I'm bringing boss back.)(This is kind of like when Katniss was bringing earmuffs back in book two of the Hunger Games series.)(Because I know that I will someday lead a revolution just like Katniss.)(But mine won't be a revolution against a tyrannical dystopian society.)(Mine will be a revolution of Awesome.)(I don't even know exactly what that is, but it's gonna be boss.)(And will probably include free Iced Capp.)(And definitely have it's own soundtrack.)(Comprised mainly of Needtobreathe.)(That was a segue....)

Needtobreathe?  Oh yeah, I totally saw them this weekend.  Again.

A few months ago Lauren called me in a panic because we didn't have tickets yet for their fall tour and this was the first NTB show where there were actual seats. For someone who is only 5'3" and NTB's NUMBER ONE FAN, this was a bit disconcerting.  I have never, ever seen NTB from anywhere other than the front row.  Also, every single time I've seen them play I have spoken personally to at least one member of the band.  Because that's what NUMBER ONE FAN's do.

Because Lauren is a cuh-razy good friend and also loves NTB (like any person with impeccable taste should), she immediately drove fifteen minutes out of her way to procur tickets for us.  We ended up getting second row seats, but it was after the orchestra pit full of folding chairs, which made us more like tenth row.  This was a huge disappointment for me, someone who actually paid money to join the Needtobreathe Fan Club strictly so that I could have first dibs on ticket sales and meet and greets.  But I totally dropped the ball and my ah-may-zing bestie picked it up and got us the best tickets possible.  That's why she's on my team.

Proof?  This is my actual fan club membership card.  I even signed the back.  You need a photo ID to use it, so don't even think about trying to steal it.  Also?  It's Non-Transferable, so no, you can't have it.

Saturday afternoon I got all dolled up and took this picture.

"Hey!  Imma Blogger and this is a pic I took of myself."

Then Lauren showed up and Brian helped in the photography department.

See?  I do much better with others around.
We left around 3:00 to drive to Kalamazoo, MI, home of Western Michigan University.  We made decent time even though Lauren graciously had to accommodate my many pit stop needs due to my uterine/intestinal issues.  I was allllll a mess up in here.

We parked for free (whaaa?) and had to pass two tour buses and a semi truck previously full of NTB gear on our way to dinner.  It took HUGE amounts of self-control to refrain from "dropping by" in the form of stalker-like knocking, but I was determined to play it cool.  Biggest mistake ever. (Decision? I'm totally done being cool.  Like, forever.)(Brian thinks this decision won't have much affect on my current lifestyle.)

We ate at a bar next to the theater and just happened to sit next to one of the opening acts. (Parachute?)(They were awful.)(Musically, I mean.)(IRL they were really polite to their server.) But they weren't NTB and I'm not a groupie for the sake of it, so I just kept devouring eating my baked potato soup like a lady, and left them alone.

We went next door and were ushered to our seats.  

See what I mean?  Like, tenth row or something.  But it was something different and I'm ok with it.  Really.

Drew Holcomb played first and the dude is funny.  It was just him and a guitar because his band was all back home, but the man was personable and owned the power southern growl.  Lauren surprised me by buying me three of his CD's because once again I am spoiled rotten by my awesome friends.  I heart new music.

The next band was the aforementioned Parachute.  I think that's all I have to say about them. Except I was actually grateful for our ticketed seats because I had freedom to leave the theater during their set and frequent the privy without suffering a huge line.

NEEDTOBREATHE! NEEDTOBREATHE! NEEDTOBREATHE!  The excitement of waiting for NTB almost got the best of me, but fortunately I was distracted by this:

Can you see what this is?  It's the floor of the theater aisle.  And where it changes from carpet to the cement of the orchestra pit was a 1/2 inch piece of molding.  (Where the dark part and the bluish part meet.) This is when we giggled like teenage boys every time someone tripped over it.  It happened a lot.  The time flew by.

Then ... there was Needtobreathe.  A moment, please.

I love them.  That's all I can really say.  They played a new song that was gorgeous.  And they finished with an acoustic song, which I always love.  And they are amazing and someday I will win some kind of grand prize that allows me to spend an entire day in studio with them.  Like a Make A Wish thing, but without the sickness requirement.  And I will officially be dubbed their NUMBER ONE FAN.  (This is kind of starting to remind me of sixth grade when I had New Kids on the Block bedding.)(But not as weird ... right?)

NTB went on at 9:30 and they played for around two hours.  I danced and sang and got my NTB on, but at 11:30, since we had a two hour drive home (3 for Lauren), we decided to be adults and not wait around for the band.  Which (sad face) was a good decision, because half the venue was outside waiting for the band.  I'm sure Bear, Bo, and Seth all grieved a little because we didn't get to hang out, but whatever, I'll see them in a few months.

Until then, boys, until then.

There's this thing they do at the end where they pull out all these drums and do a crazy rockin' out song with lots of bass and I dream air drummer dreams of greatness.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Remind me to tell you the thong story."

This is totally what it was like.  If I played tennis.
This weekend reminded me that my friends are amazing and that I am spoiled rotten to have them in my life.

When I mentioned to Sarah (who finished her 70.3 IRONMAN in 5:43:30 BTW) I was thinking about running my first 10K because I was feeling horrible that I quit Jillian and needed to prove something to myself she was all, "I'll find a great race and run it with you!"  Score.

Sarah found a cheap great race close to home and we decided to go for it.  I was excited but not terribly nervous; any kind of new distance is a guarantee for a personal record, and I wanted to aim for a 1:06:00 finish.  This seemed fairly attainable and all was good.

Then I got a visitor.

I've never been one of those girls who bemoaned her monthly; sure, it's not the most pleasant of events, but it's just a part of life, you know?  But something happened to my body after I had Ezra.  I went from being a girl that had a normal uncomfortable time during her period to a girl who dreamed of mainlining Aleve and that arranged her schedule around the dreaded Day Two.  Why did my body change so drastically?

Of course I have a theory about that. Remember how I'm pretty sure that Ezra is my Siamese twin? I think that after carrying him in my womb for nine months my body is staging an ongoing rebellion that he had to leave.  And so every month my uterus organizes a full scale battle on my mind, body, and emotions.  It will punish me until menopause or until I have another baby.  (Which I think about all the freaking time.)(Because all my friends are having babies.)(And they are adorable.)(The babies, not my friends.)(Although my friends are adorable, too.)(But then I remember that  babies don't sleep.)(And I do.)(And that is awesome.)

So basically a civil war is being fought every 28 days inside me and my uterus is the battleground.
Someone was all like, "Do you know what I should knit?  An angry uterus."  And they did it.
Thursday night was menstruation's golden time of arrival.  Which made the dreaded Day Two fall on Saturday.  The same Saturday of my first 10K.  Thankfully the wicked diarrhea I had from my delicious Friday night Applebee's dinner woke me up at four a.m. and totally distracted me from the awfulness that is a direct result of Day Two.

But I'm a "Game ON" kind of girl.  Sarah picked me up and we arrived at the race early enough to get parking, register, and use the porta potty.  It was about 45 degrees.  I wore pants and my ALABAMA sweatshirt (which only becomes a point of contention when they play Michigan or Michigan State)(Roll Tide) and was chilly enough to wish I'd worn more.  This worked out well as I was looking forward to the start of the race just so I could get moving.

Sarah wore her fancy running watch, so she was going to keep track of our splits (privately) and tell me if I needed to pick up the pace to reach my goal.  This way I wouldn't obsess over the numbers and could run according to what my body (in it's current rebellious state) could handle.  (Have I mentioned yet how great she is/spoiled I am?)

The run was both fantastic and horrid.  It just depends on when you asked me.

I told Sarah I wasn't going to be much for talking this run.  Since my stellar commentary is primarily what makes me so fun to be around, you will be saddened to know I said about three things during the six (point two) miles we ran. The first was, "Lowe's" as a shorthand response to Sarah asking what we ended up getting my Dad-in-law for his birthday.  I meant we got him a Lowe's gift card, not that we actually bought him the whole store, but since Sarah has common sense and college degrees, she totally understood what I meant.

I also said, "Remind me to tell you the thong story."  I don't remember what made this relevant to whatever she was sharing at the time, but I had a thong story to share, and good golly I did not want to miss the chance to tell it.  The Thong Story sadly was more my opinion and personal experiences with thongs, but did include the words and phrases, "don't want anything in my crack", "I'm bringing free ballin' back", "but then she told me, "free ballin' never went away."  Don't worry, I was able to eventually communicate all these things boisterously to Sarah while we were stretching amid 1500 people who were meandering about the post-race area.

I finished with, "I think I'm gonna die (huff, pant, huff) or puke."  I was not being dramatic.  Mile 5 to the end was painful.  At one point I thought about crying.  I heard someone call my name during this time, and when I turned around and saw someone I knew walking the 5K portion the information barely registered.  All I could think was, "Don't freaking trip because you will not get back up."  My split for the last mile was a lot faster than the first 5 because pleaseGodletitend.

I finished in 1:04:08.  Hoorah!  I was 251 out of the 344 that ran the 10K.  Apparently there is a medal for 251st place; it's called "Participation."  (But my family was so cute; when I came home with my medal, they got all wide-eyed and said, "Did you win?")

In conclusion, take that, Aunt Flo.  You might try to knock me down, but you will not keep me there. Because Eminem sang "Won't Back Down" in a continuous 20 second loop in my head the entire race I am a Navy Seal at heart, and we don't let a little internal insurgency stop us from getting the job done.

It truly was a Red October Run.  (*giggle snort*)
And I was surfing the Crimson Tide. (OMLawd, someone stop me.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

"And don't come back for 5 to 7 DAYS!" - Vada Sultenfuss

Oh.My.Word.  This is the longest period EVER.

(Also, when I googled images for My Girl, I freaking cried like a baby.  I haven't seen the movie in about 15 years. Dude, Menstruation, ease up.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Just Pretend It's Everest (and I might have ADD)

I promised you a RAD mountain climber post today and the pressure of that expectation is crushing my soul.  (Not really, because mountain climbers are pretty RAD all by themselves.)(It would be hard for me to give them a bad rap.)(Unless I tried to do it myself.)(Rap, I mean.)(I'm terrible at rapping.)(Except for anything by Kris Kross; that's my jam.)(How often do I get a chance to rap? Mostly I rap while I'm running and wearing my ear buds.)(This probably looks and sounds as Thug Life as you are picturing it in your head.)(Especially since I'm really awful at knowing the lyrics.)(But none of this really matters because:

Yes.  All that mess in my head ended with a perfectly crafted e-card.  Thank you Pinterest.

A story just for free? In college I took a sociology class where the professor referred to me as "Caucasian Female" all.semester.long.  It was awesome and vaguely horrifying the week we discussed plantations (not on the syllabus) and I was asked to give my opinion as a representative of the white man slave owner.  However, the prof also let me take the midterm I missed because I overslept without any kind of penalty, so I think we are even.

So ... back to mountain climbers.  Every Friday I do a series called Foreign Language Friday.  These are posts written to define the words and phrases used only in Exerciseville.  (Totally not a real place.)

{UPDATE:  I just Googled Exerciseville and found THIS BLOG.  Duuuude.  The language is a bit rough but I think I just met my new best friend.}

Today I am answering the oft asked (in your head) question, "The heck are mountain climbers?"

These are currently the bane of my existence.  Actually, it's more the getting usable pictures of me doing mountain climbers that is the problem.  Do you know why?  I'm on my freaking period and a bit testy about how bloated I am All the photos we took were a bit unflattering.  And since you've seen some of the pictures I've posted, you know I'm not overly concerned about personal vanity, so my mountain climber pictures had to be bad if I refused to post them.  And I mean really, really bad. (Like "Hey Kel, are you pregnant? How about your tush and thighs - are they pregnant, too?" bad.)

To be fair, the physical positions of mountain climbers really don't lend themselves to complimentary photographs is what I told myself to make me feel better.  Then I searched the internets and found these:

I'm beginning to hate the women of BodyRock.  You know, in a totally fair way that is rooted in jealousy and insecurity.
So what are mountain climbers?  Mountain climbers are both a cardio and a strength move, so pretty much they are awesome.  I'm all about streamlining*, so doing one effective exercise to knock out a bunch of other exercises is good math.

(*I know a man who is so efficient that as a child he would get dressed for the next day before he went to bed.  Because why waste time with pajamas when you just have to take them off eight hours later?)

To do mountain climbers get in a plank-ish position.  Draw one leg forward (like all the pictures). Squeeze your abs as both feet jump and switch positions.  Switch your feet for 30-60 seconds. Move your feet faster for more of a cardio workout.  It's as simple as that, y'all.

You can vary MC in many ways to change it up for both your body and your mind. For a more intense ab workout you can focus on bringing your knees in to your chest (KNEES TO CHEST - FillWerrell).  To work your obliques (the side abdominals kind of), pull your knee to your opposite arm, or pull it towards the same side shoulder.  You can also do MC on a bosu ball.

This is sick hard because you have the added challenge of balance thrown in for fun.
To get more of an upper body workout, you can lower yourself into a push up and bring your knees up on the outside of your body.  You might feel like a frog.  You won't look like one, don't worry. Frogs never look like they're about to cry.

I have a Boot Camp instructor who hates people, and so she makes us do mountain climbers with paper towel under our feet as we travel across the floor.  This is cuh-razy hard, and I only get through it by thinking about Taco Bell and how much I hate our instructor.  (This is how you know pain a liar because our instructor is awesome.)(She's like a Jillian Michaels who doesn't care about your feelings.)(That was a joke, because Jillian doesn't really care about your feelings, and our instructor cares even less.)(But lest you think that makes her unlovable, think again, because I love her.)(And I'm not saying that just because she literally kicked my butt during plank to get it down into proper position, and I'm a titsch scared of her.)  The paper towel thing is supposed to be better on your joints but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid y'all unless it's red because I heart that mess.

In conclusion, this post was a hot mess of awesomeness.  I think I have ADD.  But not really.  Brian used to have bad ADD and weaned himself from his meds in college.  I keep begging him to go back on them so I can pilfer his Adderall, mainly for the weight loss and focus it would provide, because I'm all about responsibility with medication and don't believe in taking short cuts.

I hope you enjoy your mountain climbers and have a fantastic weekend.  I'll see y'all Monday!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

They're Not Out Yet

Black Friday Ads, I mean.  I know because I've already checked.  Monday was October first after all.

I'm not completely crazy.  I don't camp out or anything yet.  I'm not sure if this has to do with my last desperate grips onto the thin line that separates the normal shoppers from the crazies, or if it's because I just hate camping. Or maybe it's because I live in Michigan, and the past two years have yielded an average temperature of 37 degrees at 3 a.m., which is hella cold when you are standing around waiting to bum rush a store opening.

For me, Black Friday starts now.  With daydreams and huge expectations.

This is the time to prepare.  I go through my house and see if we have any big ticket needs.  So far I have a vacuum cleaner on the list.  (Enter "because ours sucks" joke here.)  I would also like some new bedding.  Also, a Kanye West tweet cross-stitch, but honestly, if Target offers them in a $5 bin on Black Friday, it will probably lose it's appeal.

Once I have my needs/wants list (although the reality of Black Friday means it's more of a WANTS/needs list) I scour the internets for all the leaked sales ads.  I make a spreadsheet that reveals my hidden CEO, categorizing items, prices, store hours and locations.  Once all my information is confirmed (Wednesday evening) I make a detailed schedule for the next night's shopping extravaganza.

I have a process for Black Friday.  I get in line about an hour and a half before opening at whatever store has my most-needed items.  If I'm really lucky I stand near a talker; that makes the hour fly by.  If I don't stand near a talker I simply drop one-liners as frequently as possible until I seduce a talker from the people that are in close proximity to politely banter with me out of pity.

When the stores open I work my plan.  Meaning probably Ludacris sings "Get Out the Way" when I'm darting through the store.

There are some practical helps that are tradition for me.  The first is bringing my own GIANT bag for shopping.  I get a lot of  compliments on my clear plastic zippered bag.  It's about 3ft x 2ft x 18in and holds a ton of stuff.  This is handy when there are no carts to be found or when you are at Kohls and you need whatever help with agility you can get because:

1. There is so much merchandise it creates a rat maze in the store.  With a giant shopping bag (and enough training) you can leap over displays.
2. People, people everywhere.  And they don't enjoy being hit with your cart.  Twice.  In 30 seconds. (I did apologize profusely.  And compliment her pajamas. And offer to buy her coffee.  So don't worry, we're good.)

Also, the giant clear bag holds way more merchandise than a cart, anyway.  And nobody confuses it with their own.  You can slide it across the floor when you are waiting for an hour to pay.  And when you leave, everybody entering the store can exclaim over your hot buys and mega bargains in jealousy.  No, you're right, the bag is brilliant.  This ain't my first rodeo, girlfriend.  I came prepared. Take notes, sister.  Also, while you chose to sleep in that extra hour - I bought all the $5 scarves.  I hope you're still okay with that decision.

No mercy.  I'm ruthless on Black Friday.

My second practical help is scheduled breaks.  I get a fancy coffee around 4:30 a.m.  Then, around 6:30 a.m. I always buy a gossip magazine and go to a tiny diner near my home where the waitresses call me "Hon" and it's not patronizing at all. It makes me feel mothered and cared for and it's wonderful.  I order a deliciously diner-like omelette with hash browns and a large diet coke because I'm an American, and we have the freedom to drink pop* for breakfast.  This is where I literally put my feet up (on the seat across the booth) and chill out for a few minutes.

(And maybe last year I took an extra break when I went to see Breaking Dawn Part One at 9:00 a.m., just so I could get a second wind.  It totally worked.)

My second wind is much less frenzied than the first wind, primarily because all of the other crazy people have gone home to sleep and the stores are less crowded I have purchased what was on my list and now I can enjoy some window shopping for fun.

The step after the GIANT clear plastic bag.
In conclusion, Black Friday is rad and you are welcome that the presidential debates were last night and I'm not posting one. darn. thing. about them.  (Instead, like a true media mogul I am using my powers to divert your attention from the importance of an upcoming election to choose a leader for our country to remind you of shopping.)

*soda for all you weirdos

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hollywood, Jaywalking, and How I Saved Ayanna

This is not me.  But it's how
I feel when I run.

It's been a while since I've written about any kind of training. Most of my runs have been with my nine year old (who is training for a Thanksgiving 5K), but a few times this week I ran by myself so I could be ready for an upcoming 10K. (I mean, my little girl can hustle, but sometimes you gotta go the distance, too.)

Last week I went to Ab Lab and planned to follow it with five treadmill miles which sounded like the worst thing in the world. Enter that it was gorgeous out, and probably some of the last of the gorgeous weather of the season, and I could not make myself stay inside.  Even for a calibrated run.  So I left the gym on foot, with only a general direction in mind.

This is not like me.  Not having a plan, I mean.  I obsessively map my runs/rides so I can effectively self-talk my way through the parts of the run where I want to quit. (Fun fact for free?  Lately, every run has included this internal conversation:
1 Minute in: "Dude, I really need new shoes."
2 Minutes in: "Oh, maybe not.  I think I just needed to warm up."
3 Miles in: "Dude, I really do need new shoes."
Yes, every single run.  Because I learn best when history repeats itself. Or something.)

So, I set out into the great unknown, travelling unexplored sidewalks through foreign neighborhoods only previously seen through a minivan windshield.  It was like an adventure.  Except I was feeling ... pensive.  And it's like my Ipod knew it.

The first song that came on was All We Are by One Republic.  I was running on a long(ish) stretch of sidewalk next to a golf course, so the area was predominately open with a few evergreen trees.  It was during this song that I knew I looked like an actress dealing with a serious situation thinking deep thoughts while I ran to clear my head.  While the (pretend) camera captured me running for a scene that would be edited as "running ... (fade)  running farther away ... (fade) running in the far distance ... (cut)" I knew One Republic was playing on the soundtrack. Ryan Tedder sang, "We won't break, we won't die; It's just a moment of change" and I looked appropriately meditative and solemn because I am an excellent pretend method actress and have enough vision to direct myself. (It's like I'm my own Hollywood studio.)

Then I turned into a neighborhood of McMansions.  (IRL, I'm back to being a suburban mom just out for a run.)(Stay with me.) I occasionally cut through this neighborhood on my way home so it was a little familiar.  My Ipod gifted me The Freshman by The Verve Pipe which is a perfectly pensive song. I started thinking about mistakes and how some are so bad they really alter the course of your life and, lest you think I'm about to drop some deep bomb on you, because of these thoughts I naturally thought about the situation where Ayanna from Road Rules Extreme Challenge (circa 2000) got in a physical altercation with teammate Christian because he offended her, and got removed from the show because she refused to apologize for hitting him.  I took TVP's The Freshman as an opportunity to have an intervention with Ayanna.  We chatted a bit about why she felt she couldn't apologize and weighed principle against opportunity.  Just as I was about to convince her she could still feel justifiably offended without hauling off and punching someone, and it wouldn't be selling out to apologize, I realized I was lost.  In McMansionville suburbia.  On foot.

I really only had one option.  To keep going.  It was getting a little close to sunset and I wanted to be done before it got dark.  I have a pretty decent sense of direction, but, um, all the houses and streets looked the same, so I was a little turned around.  This is when I had the genius epiphany to find the sun that was about to set so I could locate west.  Awesome.  I'm not a homeschooler for nothin'.

I found a main road about three minutes later, and discovered I was only about a mile from my gym. I could add some distance if I lapped the pond in the park where I took my running class.  It would be like going home.

This is how I found myself jaywalking (jayrunning?) in front of the police station, effectively cutting off a police car in the process.  I rehearsed the "My sister is a cop in another county so please don't give me a ticket because I used to share a bedroom with a fellow officer" speech in my head that completely excuses any type of infraction I may commit against the traffic laws of this fine land. Fortunately the officer could tell I was feeling pensive (probably because I was wearing my Pondering the World's Issues -you know, like Ayanna's fight with Christian- Face) and chose to let me ruminate in my deepness and continue my run.

Ben Folds Five joined me with Brick (of course they did) for the final leg of my run.  The pond was as buggy as I remember, so much of my prime emo time was spent spitting out bugs.  I couldn't even do a solid interview with Babs, even though I made one of her Most Fascinating Lists, which? was pretty rude.  Way to ruin prime time television specials for everyone, Insects that fly in my mouth while I'm running and having a pretend interview with Barbara Walters.

When I climbed the last hill about a hundred yards from my gym, I noted with some concern that my vision was getting dim.  I had no idea how far I'd run; I felt okay, but I was definitely seeing my vision darkening, and I was super concerned I was about to black out.  I didn't bring any water with me because I knew it would be a less than an hour run, but maybe I was dehydrated ... it turns out that the sun was just setting, and that's why it was getting darker.  And I was fine.  Good thing I am not a drama queen  jump to the most fantastical conclusions  have an overactive imagination  am always observant about my physical health like a responsible person. Crisis averted yet again.  Wonder Woman still in full effect.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why the Present is a Present

After my gorgeous perm pictures, I decided to revisit the best hair moment in my husband's history. This is a lesson in: Don't judge a man by his style in seventh grade (a.k.a. it's fortunate for all parties involved that the hubs and I met later in life).

Remember Vuarnet?

Yep.  The Vuarnet logo.  Shaved into his hair.  Circa 1990.

The man today.  He refrained from any more shaved logos for the wedding we attended because honestly, it was the bride's day and it wouldn't be fair to look better than her. 
At a wedding last Saturday.  Good thing it's 2012 and we won't laugh at this picture until 2032.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I carried a watermelon? - Baby

No one puts Baby in the corner.

You know that voice in your head that gives you advice about what thoughts to verbalize?  Sometimes I get all, "You're not the boss of me, Imma say what I want" to that little voice, which is an excellent decision if you want to be known as a psycho.

Sometimes I'm not even trying to disobey that little voice, I just seem inherently unable to fully recognize the English language when it is in the form of sound advice screaming whispering politely in my head.

The other day I arrived at the gym (i.e. my safe zone so I wasn't even on my guard, mistake number one) when my neighbor was leaving.  This is a new neighbor I don't really know all that well; he and his wife recently moved in and just had a baby, so they are understandably not all that much for shooting the breeze outside on the front lawn.  But we know each other enough to recognize each other (mainly because I'm infamous in the neighborhood for my offspring's boisterous playing mad driving skills that include missing the driveway every.darn.time and consistently scoring a perfect 10 on the minivan lawn job).  The following conversation is why I'm so cool IRL.

Me:  Hey!  You're my neighbor!
Neighbor: Yeah.  Hey.
Me: I totally forgot your name.  (He's a dude, he's not offended.)(I'm pretty sure.)
Neighbor: I'm Thor. (Totally not his real name.  But this is a public forum, you know?  So I'm protecting his identity because it's polite.  And?  Who wouldn't want to be fake named Thor?)
Me: I'm Kelly.  (We both pretend to catalog this information again so we will remember next time we see each other and not have to start yet another conversation with a name exchange.)(It will happen anyway.)(And probably I'll falsely remember his name as "Thor" for the duration of our relationship.)
Thor: Are you a member here?
Me: Yesh.  (Uh-oh, I've relaxed a little bit and now I'm starting to lisp.)(Not because I have a speech impediment which would be awesome but because of something entirely unexpected that I will get to in a minute.)  We uthed to have the family memberthip, but (and now I'm trying desperately to overcompensate by speaking louder and with more enunciation) IT WAS TOO HARD TO KEEP THE KIDS SO CLOSE TO US.
Thor:  Yeah, the rules are crazy about that.  What is it, like four feet proximity at all times? (He is politely ignoring that I suddenly turned insane.)
Me:  YES.  AND I HAVE FOUR KIDTH TO BRING WITH ME IN THE POOL.  I CAN'T BE WITHIN FOUR FEET OF ALL OF THEM. (Wisely deciding louder is not the way to go, I try another tactic.)(The voice chimes in, "Kelly, shut up and say goodbye." I ignore it.)  Sorry, Thor, I juthed downed an entire Ithed Cappuccino from Tim Horton's so I could finith it before my workout (The Voice: SHUT UP!  RETREAT!) and now my tongue ith all numb and sthwollen and I can barely thpeak.
Thor:  (laughs)
Me:  I'll sthee you later?
Thor: Sure. Bye.

In conclusion:  Get your Iced Capp at least thirty minutes before you have to workout, or else you run the risk of gulping it and rendering yourself completely thpeachleth.
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