Friday, November 22, 2013

using his head

I think Jake would like to take Tae Kwon Do lessons with Damon.  Or maybe he thinks he doesn't need them.  I don't know.  I'm not a mind reader, and Jake doesn't verbalize his hopes and dreams much.  I just make guesses based on what I see.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

laundry (mis)adventures

For book club last month we read Almost Amish.  Well, some people read it.  I read 40 pages or so until I decided life was too short to waste it on something so boring.  Someone else read a romance by mistake also called Almost Amish.  Anyway, boring or not, it had some good ideas, like drying your clothes on a clothesline in the basement during the winter to conserve energy.  Dryers use more energy than any other household appliance except for the refrigerator.  So I decided to try it.  Drying clothes in the basement I mean, not using more energy than a refrigerator.  Newsflash: dryers were invented for a reason.  Drying clothes on a line in your basement is a lot of work.  After a week of that, I was through.  Sorry, Mother Earth.

But the kids thought it was wonderful, and Claire insisted that we also start washing our clothes the old fashioned way.  I told her no.  We don't have a washboard, and it's hard on your clothes, not to mention your back and your sanity.  But she insisted that we must be good stewards of the earth, so I told her about something I saw on Law & Order once: a family washing their clothes in the bathtub with their feet.  She decided that would suffice.

They were having a little too much fun with the stomping part, so I made sure they helped with the wringing out part.  Even sore arms and fingers from squeezing out water didn't do the trick, so I finally told Claire that without using the washing machine, we wouldn't have time to do things like family history work, which is at least as important as being good stewards of the earth.  She seems okay with that.  Which is good.  I hope to never repeat washing clothes in the bathtub EVER again.  Only one load and I felt like my whole Saturday was down the drain.

Bottom line: don't read non-fiction.  Or if you do, don't tell your kids about what you're reading.  They're too easily radicalized.

Oscar Wilde Lives Again and The Wizard of Oz

Anne gave Jake a makeover last Saturday.  I think the photo speaks for itself.

Then she and I went to Portage Northern High School's production of The Wizard of Oz.  Damon and Claire decided not to go because the play went from 8-11 p.m.  They didn't want to stay up past their bedtime.  I'm  not kidding.  Claire routinely stays up until 11:00 and I pointed this out to her.  Still didn't think it was a good idea.  (She was awake when Anne and I got home, BTW.)

The show put me in culture shock.  I co-starred in my high school musical, and Portage Northern's production made my high school's production (not the Wizard of Oz.  I think it was an Indiana Jones spoof) look like a group of 5-yr-old's putting on a play in a garage.

Wait for i-i-i-i-i-i-t..............I don't think we're in Malad anymore, Toto.

If the costumes, set, and pyrotechnics cost less than $10,000 I'll eat Anne's ruby slippers (which of course she wore to the play).  And then the acting, the singing, the dancing, the live orchestra!!!!!  It might have rivaled Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera--it's hard to say, because I saw that a long time ago and I was so far from the stage I couldn't actually see it except for a few seconds when someone loaned me their binoculars.  At PNHS Anne and I were so close to Oz the Great and Powerful the blasts of fire almost singed our eyebrows.  Not really, but it was hot.  Thank you, Portage Northern, for a great time. 

Spy Games and Karma

Note: this blog entry is posted against my will

So, a week or two ago I tried introducing some stimulating conversation over dinner.

"I think we should go off the grid one of these days.  I called [friend in Logan, UT] a few days ago, and now I'm getting Logan ads on my e-mail.  Ad companies are spying on us," I said.

Damon said, "I thought only the government spied on us."

I said, "I guess everyone does."

Claire, strong advocate of precision in speech, asked, "Everyone?"

"Yes, everyone," I replied, suddenly remembering something I'd found in the basement that morning.  "Even my own kids.  I found a notebook today about you kids spying on me and Dad!" Unfortunately, I'd been running late for my institute class and hadn't read past the title ('Spying on Mom and Dad,' or something like that).  If I had, I never would have brought it up, and this whole disaster could have been avoided.

"Really?" asked Jake. "What's in the notebook?"

"Mom picking her nose!" announced Anne.

"WHAT?!" I said, as everyone practically rolled on the floor laughing.

"Yeah," said Damon.  "It says 'Mom feeding the baby, reading a book, and picking her nose.'" Doing all three at the same time suggests an impressive degree of dexterity, don't you think?  No?  You're just disgusted?  I don't blame you.

"Why were you spying on us?" Jake asked.

"So we could figure out the passcode to the ipad."

Jake was having the time of his life.  "You should put this on your blog."

"No," I said.  "The purpose of my blog is not to humiliate me."

"Why not?" said Damon.  "You embarrass us all the time on it."

Which lead to a long No I Don't/Yes You Do argument that only ended when I agreed to blog about me getting caught picking my nose.  There.  Are you happy, kids?