Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Father's Present to His Daughter

Yesterday, I told you about Frita sending me a note, some partially written letters, and a dirty rag.  The note asked me to figure out this puzzle “game.”  When I called my parents yesterday, Frita answered.

Frita: So you got the package I sent.
Me: hehe Why, yes I did. 
Frita: but you didn’t figure out what it was.
Me: hehe You mean, the DIRTY RAG you sent me?
Frita: Yes, but do you know what the significance is?
Me: hehe I can honestly say, I have no idea. 
Frita: You know that shelf you have in your room?
(There is a shelf that runs high above the length of my room.  If my memory serves me, it contains two pairs of wooden shoes from Holland, a couple of big floppy and/or straw hats, some stuffed animals, cabbage patch kids, (including one from that crazy must have Christmas that my Aunt Audrye got me), and possibly a troll doll or two.)
Me: Yes, I know the shelf.
Frita: I cleaned it. 
Me: And sent me the dirty rag as proof?
Frita: Actually, I needed two because I cleaned those collectors’ plates and roses from Erika.  But I didn’t think you needed both rags.
Me: (Laughing too hard to speak)
Frita: I can’t believe you.
Me: hehe That I didn’t notice that you cleaned? When did you do this?
Frita: Last week.  No, I can’t believe you didn’t recognize the dust that you’ve been living with for years.
Me: hehe.  I’m sorry I didn’t recognize my own dust, Frita.  Hehe. 
Frita: Also, I don’t want to crush the view that you and Lucas have on the world, but the country in South America is “Chile”. 
Me:  I know.  This has been bothering you for a while huh?  If it makes you feel better, originally, Lucas said, “South Africa.” 
Frita:  That doesn’t make me feel better.  I know that family you live with do things differently out there. 
Me:  They are very visual people.
Frita: So am I! And all I could envision was a bowl of hearty chili that was too small to clap in!  Here’s your mother.
Momela: Hi.
Me: Rachel asked me if you knew about what Frita was up to.
Momela: I don’t pay attention to how he occupies his time.  Why, what did he do now?

So, I told her. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Scotch Eggs and Sock Buns

We are going to kick off this week’s fireside chat with an evening of Dr. Rach at Quinn’s in Capitol Hill.  I mentioned that I had put together a list of possible date ideas, including the indoor sky diving place.  Dr. Rach told me that one of her friends had been taken there to sky dive for a company event.  Dr. R: Yea, Basically they said, “Instead of Christmas bonuses you're doing this.”   And to think, my company just did a scavenger hunt. 

We were sitting at the bar, when someone sat next to me and asked me a question.

Dr. R: Did he just ask, “Is it okay if I put my thigh here?”

It took me a couple minutes to stop giggling before I answered, “No he asked if he could put his bag here.”

After the bartender talked us into trying a “Scotch Egg” (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/scotch-eggs/ ), he then knocked over, and broke one of our glasses.  Dr. Rach and I spoke at the very same time:

Me: Are you okay?
Dr. Rach: I didn’t do it!

My dad sent me something in the mail last week.  I decided to take a picture of it so you could fully grasp the situation:

If you can’t read it, Frita writes:

Dear Tiffany,
I know how much you love games so enjoy the enclosed materials.  The difference is that I am showing and you have to tell us what these represent.  The first is obvious, the second….?

Yes, that is a half written letter from when I was younger to Denise.  Yes, I wrote to my friends about what books I was reading.  No I have no idea what #274 is (but I don’t think that’s my hand writing), and why yes, THAT IS A DIRTY RAG.   In both my attempts to retell this story, first to Dawne when I opened it, and then again to Rach over the phone, I could hardly stop laughing long enough to finish the story.  Love ya, Frita!

I was talking Roy last week, when he told me about what happened on his birthday (back in June.)  Apparently, going through the natural emotions of turning 30, Roy decided he was just going to meet his sister for dinner.  Trying to make it convenient for her, he chose Outback which was around the corner from her office.  She asked him a couple times if he was SURE that he wanted to go to Outback for his birthday dinner, but since it was just a low key dinner with his sister, he said it was fine.  When he walked into the restaurant, he saw his sister, but he also saw several of his friends also there.  Turns out, his sister had planned a surprise birthday party.  Afterwards, Roy said to his sister angrily, “I can’t BELIEVE you let me pick OUTBACK!! OUTBACK?! Really?” Something to think about when someone questions your restaurant choice, I guess. 

This week, I also tried to send a “Baby Shower in a Box.” However, due to an Amazon user error, the Baby Shower in a Box, came unwrapped, without a card, and in 4 different boxes on multiple days.  Nothing burns my biscuits quite like a plan/gift of mine going awry.  My mom tried to tell me that it was the thought that counts, but my disappointment would not be assuaged. 
What it should have looked like:

On Wednesday, I had an early breakfast with Becktoria, and then later in the evening, I went to my first story writing class (I skipped the intro class and went right into the advanced class, because apparently, I do what I want).  Then on Thursday I was so sleepy I went to sleep at 6:30 and for all intents and purposes slept until the morning.  As you can imagine, I don’t have any news from that particular evening unless you want to talk about a dream in which I brought Turbo Tax to an accountant and asked him to fill it out for me because I didn’t feel like it this year.

On Friday, Lucas had a gig at the Q CafĂ©.  When I came home, the living room and kitchen were covered in painted t-shirts and Dawne and Jordan were commenting on how high maintenance their youngest son was.

Me: I hope Lucas appreciates what I’m giving up tonight.  Becky is going to see “Beauty and the Beast” tonight and bringing along a sign that says, “Sing-along Section.” 
Jordan: We’re missing Beauty and the Beast?! (Then to Dawne) I told you two kids were enough!

Not only did I get to see Jen at lunch on Friday, but I also got a text from her Friday night asking me if I was in Magnolia.  My answer? “I don’t know.  Am I in Magnolia?”  Turns out that I actually was, and she made a surprise appearance just as he was saying on stage, “You people need to move around a bit; you’re making me nervous.” Though she missed the earlier moment, before the concert, when Luke was talking to his friends, and his grandmother came over to him to show Lucas some art she took pictures of, and then to complete the circle, Jordan yelled, “MOM!” recognizing, and perhaps because of his own, embarrassment of the situation.  We had to explain that while we are required to be at all of his shows, we aren’t actually allowed to acknowledge is presence.  The next morning, recalling the incident, Lucas was laughing and commenting, “She’s a brave woman, my grandma.  She is comfortable in any situation.”  It’s so true.  Lucas also tried to tell the story about how the band almost died recording their one song (if you don’t remember that story:
http://www.sweetandsarcastic.com/2011/10/rom-coms-with-fro-yo-up-ying-yang.html) but I’m not sure the audience really grasped the essential plot line. 

Saturday, Dawne and I went to our Photoshop class, and then we thought we would go to brunch – but what ended up happening is we waited for two hours for Zach’s stuff to arrive from FL. When the truck did arrive, they parked 7 houses down, on the main road, on the opposite side of the street, in the middle of the lane, right before a curve.  When we mentioned this wasn’t the ideal parking space, they backed up a block, and stopped right in front of a side road effective obstructing entry to any car needing to get to their home.  The stupidity of these actions forced me to go inside, while the rest of the family enjoyed the Shady Russian guy demanding his money, and taking no responsibility for the obvious damages to Zach mattress and other belongings, as well as the 4 guys who were there (including one with two tear drop face tattoos) but weren’t actually there to help move anything out of the truck.  I could see how someone who had eaten that day might have found this situation hilarious, but that just wasn’t me.   

We did eventually have brunch at 2:30, after Diana had joined us, at IHOP.  We were talking about how violence has gone down over the centuries, and even with WWI and WWII, last century was the least violent century we’ve had – Per Capita that is.  Lucas quickly replied, “But we have a lot more per capita’s though.”  I guess that’s true too.  : )

Diana also told me about the “sock bun” which I haven’t tried yet, but will.  I would have tried it right away, but I mentioned I was going out later that night, and just in case it failed miserable, we decided to wait on the experimentation.  In case you want to try it simultaneously: 

Saturday, what we do instead of cooking in our kitchen:

Zach: are we going to snack on something for dinner?
Me: sure, as long as you don't need the kitchen.
Lucas: especially the Stoval area.

Speaking of socks, Dawne at one point on Sunday, was sitting in the living room, and announced, “I can’t believe I am so lazy, I can only put one sock on.”

And speaking of home remedies, Lucas asked me to tape a broom to his back to fix his posture. Happy to help:  

I also couldn’t help taking a picture of this family bonding moment.  (Not sure, but this might be the worst red-eye I have ever created.)

And we went to Target to get some room organizing items, and I turned around and Dawne and Lucas had spent 10 full minutes deciding which “dog toy” to get before deciding on both. 

I am going to sneak some “Sweet” into this “Sweet and Sarcastic” update.  I heard Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up”   today on the radio.  

This song has a lot of emotional connections for me because my Grandma heard Josh Groban sing it after my Grandpa died and she asked me for the song.  Not for Josh Groban’s album, just this song.  She said she immediately loved the song because it reminded her of Grandpa, that even though he was gone, he was still “raising her up” to be more than she could be.  I’m still convinced that while Grandma was nearly 100 when she died, that the real cause of death was a broken heart.  Like that couple who was married for 75 years and died 6 hours apart, my grandparents had a love to be envious of.  And when I hear this song, I always think not only about Grandma, but about how together, with their love and example, they push us all to be stronger then we could be on our own.   I hope you all have had someone in your life that has “raised you up” and continues to raise you up even from a far.  - Much Love - 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Medulla Oblongata

Last week was a bit of an anomaly in that I only went into the office for 4 hours total with the rest of the week working from home while we were stranded during “Snow-travesty 2012.”   There is something about not being able to leave the house that leaves you guilt free to lie about on the couch all day, and it is glorious.  Complete with cheese and chocolate fondue, wine, steak, cookies, breads of every variety really anything that wasn’t on the diet was made last week. 

I opted not to swim and get some work done (I don’t have to say that either, no one from work reads this).  When the rest of the fam came back in after their swim:
Jordan: This pool stuff is dangerous work.
Me (looking at Jordan in a robe): Why do you have a helmet on your head?
Jordan: I told you, it’s ROUGH out there. 

I got up every morning, showered, got dressed and stepped outside to see if I could make it to work.  At one point I actually searched for a shovel, but before I did, I announced that I was going to look for one and Jordan helpfully told me that if I could find one that there was an extra Spatula in the kitchen.  Thanks, Bro.


At one point I did get a work email from Kelly and at the bottom of the message it said: PS: I miss you.  It might have been directed to my boss, who was also on the email, but I like to think she was talking directly to me.   I also received many emails from co-workers to confirm that emails were received AKA “Proving I’m still working from home” emails.  I complained about these to my boss, only to get a “Hey did you get my email” email from him the following day and I swear for half a minute a panicked, thinking “I’ve been sitting here for an hour watching Gilmore Girls, and not a single email… oh, you… kidder.”  

At one point, because everyone was messing around with their iPad’s anyway, Lucas put on a skateboarding game.  Mind you, earlier in the day/week, Dawne had this mini-series on the BBC “Lillie” which was 13 episodes of horrendous.  But obviously we were going to watch it because Dawne wanted to.  There were a couple moments in which people actively did not tell her how the remote worked so she couldn’t get to the next episode, but ultimately, all of it was watched.  So, when Lucas started the game:

Dawne: Is watching this skateboarding game better than watching my movie?
Me: Yes. 
Dawne: Let’s take a vote.
Me: Jordan doesn’t get to weigh in.
Jordan: I watched 10 episodes!
Me: Watched? Or had them on while you were around? B/c I saw you put on several and leave the room.  Plus, you have to agree with Dawne.  You’re vote doesn’t count.
Dawne: Fine.  Lucas?
Lucas: Do the letters R-A-D mean anything to you?
Dawne: Zach?
Zach:  This [Skateboarding] is a step above.
Me: I told you!

(also while playing game)
Lucas: Is this how a ship is built?  Like, could you really skate board in a half built boat?
Me: “And could you buy me one daddy?”
Jordan: I hear there is one going for cheap in Italy. 

After watching “Office Space”:
Lucas: He should have taken the money and run.
Me: I couldn’t live with the guilt.
Lucas:  You know, there are scientific ways to deal with your morals.  They hook up electrodes to your medulla oblongata.
Me: Stay away from me at night while I’m sleeping. 
Lucas: Just be careful of your medulla oblongata.  

While watching a British movie that had a briefcase full of cash, Lucas said, “That’s not real money. It’s not green. “

Dawne: Let's watch a movie we have to pay for.
Jordan: Where do you want to watch this movie?
Dawne: Well, I'm already sitting here. 
Jordan: There are lots of free ones...but wait I'll find one we have to pay for. 

Lucas: Chili is the skinniest country in South America.  When people clap they have to clap like this (tiny pats on the sides of his legs.)

Dawne and I thought it would be fun to take a picture of all of us in our “Snow” outfits just to emphasize that Zach wore shorts and a T-Shirt every day.  When we went down to meet someone at the brown house on Friday, he was wearing flannel pants (b/c we made him put pants on to shovel) and sandals.  When we got down there, I asked Zach if he brought the keys down with him.  His reply?  “Look at me?  Do I look like someone who comes prepared?”  I ran back up and got keys. 

Saturday morning I finally got out of the house - first to my photoshop class, and then to meet Jen for a “Bachelorette” day.  We got pedicures, lunch (where Rach joined us), saw The Descendants (apparently it’s not a movie her 6 year old would enjoy), then coffee while waiting for Shana and Laina, followed by dinner and shopping.  Kind of an awesome day actually – though I’m afraid to tell her that isn’t how my typical Saturday goes. : )  While shopping we discovered “Moon Boots.” 

Shana: Do they come in size 11?

Why yes they do!

Trying on the Rainbow ones (which she ultimately bought) Laina: The other ones were too subtle. 

She is totally doing the moonwalk in this picture.  (We also found out that there is no left and right with these shoes because they have memory foam inside so you have to mark them.  Hehe.)

In case you wanted to know what it is like to be my friend in real life, I sent out an email to a couple of friends with the title “Meeting Request: High Horse Hunt”

Dear friends,

I find myself at a loss.  There was a time in which I would proudly sit on my high horse and talk about what I want out of life and love, but I have been thrown from my horse into a muddy puddle full of Settle-ment if you will.  I need a meeting with the express purpose of putting together a list of requirements in my life and future love.  And as board members, I feel like you will be able to fine tune the bare essential Non-Settlement.  For example, if you see me putting down, “Must find a man who is practically perfect in every way.” You can suggest “Able to act practically perfect on special occasions.”  I just feel like I am dangerously close to making bad or maybe just drastic decisions, and I need your help.  After we get a good list of standards or a wish list if you will, then maybe you can use it to get me back on a horse (even a medium sized horse will do.)

Some of you are seated firmly on your own high horses of wedded bliss, or simply more confident in your life choices, and some of you might just want to make your own lists (I’ll share my board with you.)  Either way, it might be fun to mock (I mean support) me for the evening.  I was thinking drinks with “How to Marry a Millionaire” in the background? 

-       Me

Surprisingly, no one questioned this ridiculous invitation.  Though, at the last minute, I almost canceled because I realized I’m actually not strong enough to have my friends tell me that I’m not living my life right and how to change it.  We ended up watching “Married in a Year.” 

I’m not entirely sure how helpful this was, but the chatting was quality chatting.  Plus we wrote down our 5 Non-Negotiable’s and a list of fun date ideas so even if the date was bad, at least you got to do something fun.  The most interesting bit of the movie, I thought, was that she suggested making “Bio Cards” which were kind of like baseball cards for yourself – complete with full length photo one side and stats and contact info on the back.  This way, your great aunt sally can meet a nice young man and hand over your bio card.  Would this picture be inappropriate for great aunt sally?

BDug: Fun girl day?
Me: I’m glad I didn’t cancel.
BDug:  That’s going to be written on your tombstone.

I just hope it’s not carved any time soon. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hershey's Kiss

(I know this was this week, and I’m writing about last week, but I’m sending this today so I thought it would work itself out in the end. J )

D and J were out of town last week so I got to hang out with Zach and Lucas.  I’ll gloss over the rough week that we all had between loosing important items, a dog getting so sick that that not only did he create a mess that covered two floors, Zach had to be sick mid-way through cleaning and I am still trying to erase the memory.  Lucas asked me to pull out my spell books to banish his bad luck.  I was telling him that he needed to light a candle, and while he was lighting it, the match started to burn his finger, he let it go, and it melted into the wax and the light went out.  Not a good sign.  Needless to say, we were happy to see them come back home on Friday.  Here are some of the happier highlights. 

Luke: Those cartoon faces with their frowns are highly exaggerated.  No one actually frowns like that.
Me: Actually, haven’t you heard that random fact about how many more muscles it takes to frown than to smile (showing him my frowny face.)
Luke (after trying some face contortions): Now I'm confused and I can't do either.

Zach: Who’s sick?
Me: Haven’t you been paying attention to Mucas Lucas over here all week?  (I said, oh so proud of my new nickname for him.)

In the car with Lucas with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the radio
Me: This song is dirty.
Lucas: Get your mind out of the gutter.  It’s about Chocolate.
Me: Suck my kiss?
Lucas: Hershey’s Kiss, Tiffany. Come On. 

After seeing that Zach’s car was delivered from FL caked in mud:
Me: That car is filthy.
Lucas: I like it.  It’s like he was in the desert and had an Indiana Jones Adventure. 

I woke up on Saturday morning to go to my very first photoshop class.   I told Dawne, and she said she wanted to go too.  15 minutes later, she was dressed and registered for the class.  But the thing is, we don’t usually go out together in the morning so when we said “Okay, Ready!” we looked to see that we were both wearing the same purse, clutching the same notebooks, and had the same coffee cups in our hand.  Good thing we weren’t going to pretend to not know each other. 

On my break, my niece Jackie texted me to ask if it was snowing here, and I said, “It doesn’t snow here silly!”  Then God immediately called me a liar by making it snow.  When we got home, we packed quickly and drove an hour and a half down to Great Wolf Lodge for Luke’s birthday.  (Before we got home, Luke was outside with his friends and one of them got a bloody nose.  Luke was mock-accusing him of picking his nose, when mid-mock, he also got a bloody nose – in case any of you don’t believe in karma.) Right before we were about to drop the dogs off at doggie day care, which they have never been to, Casper put the window down.

Dawne: Every. Time.   Casper puts down the window when he is close to the park, but when he gets to doggie day care he puts it down and then back up.   

As soon as we arrived we found out you could donate to the Boys and Girls club and have dinner inside the gingerbread house at the lobby.  Clearly we made reservations immediately.  Then, (after we took lots of pictures of us inside a gingerbread house) I ordered some apple juice and shot glasses so we could look like we were boozin’ it up in the lobby gingerbread house. 

We got into an elevator and a little kid was talking to us as he announced his departure:
Jordan: Okay, we’ll be here!
Dawne: You shouldn't lie to children
Jordan: He lied first; he said he was coming right back. 
Dawne: Well, now you have to stay here
Stranger on the elevator: Someone should bring him a sandwich later. 

When we headed out the next morning, Dawne and I cleared off the snow on both cars to get them ready for the trip back, while 6 grown men stood around us watching and making commentary. 

Dawne: I need to remember to ask what tricks they taught Casper when we pick them up.  Last time he learned a new trick, how to jump through things, he jumped through the fence at the park and I yelled at him and he kept going back and forth to show me his new trick until finally he jumped through the fence into water, which he hates, and he couldn’t get out, and he just sat there like, “Mom! Help me! I’m in *shutter* water!”

As we got closer to the house, there was more snow so we decided to load up on groceries and firewood just in case we were snowed in for a week – but more on that later. J

And as I mentioned before: I wrote a book people. It has officially been published, so now I'd like all of you who read what I write for free every day, to take some time to pay for what I've written. Fun right?