Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I forgot to make a plan

Me:  OK. We're going to back up, go down the driveway, and turn left.  So make a plan about that.
Him:  I don't do left very well.  Can we go right?


Him:  Did you SEE me do that left? The wheel COMPLETELY just spun right back.  I am awesome at this.  And you can let go of the door handle anytime now.  I'm TOO good.
Me:  Don't get cocky young man.  I admit, you stayed in your lane, which is a major improvement.  Nicely done.  OK.  So, we're going to take Burbank to practice. You'll be turning right. Make a plan to change lanes sometime in the next ten or fifteen minutes.
Him:  Burbank?  That's my STREET!


Me:  It's dark out, so you'll need to plan ahead a little more than usual.
My husband, from the back seat: Pay attention! You're going way too fast! Did you SEE the parked cars on your right?  ON YOUR RIGHT!!
Me: Honey, he's fine on the right.  Honey...other honey...you should probably plan to get in the left lane.  I see a UPS truck six blocks ahead, and you know how that freaks you out.
My husband:  Brake! Brake! Red means brake! Jesus!
My daughter: I am SO walking home.
Me:  OK. The parking lot is going to be on your right soon. Get over, when you are ready. But soon.  But make a plan first. Then change lanes.
Him:  I hate ALL of you!


Me:  OK. Let's try the freeway.  Make a plan to get up to speed, and keep checking all around before you merge.
Him:  Mom, I GOT this.  Didn't you hear the instructor? I have NO problem with acceleration. That's my thing.
Me:  Oh...oh...oh...dear. OK. Now get off.


Him (after 20 minutes in gridlocked traffic, having moved exactly one block):  This is RIDICULOUS! Seriously!?! What the hell! Change the station. Change the station. Stop. I like this song. Louder. Change the station. Stop. Can I show you a FEW THINGS!?
Me (shouting over Justin Timberlake): OK, you're just going to have to cut in here if we are ever going to get anywhere.  Make a plan.  In front of the silver car, that's our plan.  Put on your signal.  Good.  Catch the guy's eye.  Good. Poke your nose in.  Good.  Give him a wave.  Say thanks.  Good.
Him:  That guy is my HOMIE!  Homie wave for you, dude. Nice one. Turn it up. OH...as long as I got my SUIT AND TIE!


Me:  OK, I kind of forgot that you're going to need to do a bunch of lane changes at once up here, so get set.
Him: WHAT?
Me:  Yeah. What we're going to do is get into the next lane over.  Then, it's going to curve onto another freeway, and you'll need to get over three lanes, while other cars are trying to get over where we are. It goes super quick. Ready?
Me: Go.
Him (after successfully navigating the four level 101-110 interchange at rush hour):  Most terrifying thing I've ever done in my life. You suck.


Him:  That guy right there?  Did not even give me the homie wave after I let him in. Seriously, dude. What is UP with that?


Me: OK. I'll wait over here. Don't be nervous. Listen to the person. Take your time. You'll be fine.


Him:  Bye, Mom.  I'll be home about 8:15.

Homie wave.
Door slams.

He's out there, driving my car*.
I let him go.

Most terrifying thing I've ever done in my life.

Don't worry, Mom.  I GOT this.

*"Drive my Car", with my six year old son on the drum track:  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Consider the non-sequitor

I've enrolled in a food writing class.  This strikes me as a fun and enriching thing to do.  I love to write about food (obviously), and lo and behold, along comes someone willing to take my money to teach me how to write about food, but better.  Also, there will be snacks that I can potentially both eat and write about*.  Win-win, redefined.

Class starts Tuesday night.

We are out to dinner as a family, and I begin discussing the first homework assignment.

Me:  We have to read the first chapter of a book called Consider the Oyster. Then, we are supposed write our own essay,  "Consider the...blank".  The blank can be anything food related.
My husband:  Wait a second. Consider the blank?  What does that even mean?**
Me:  Well, they did give us some examples.  Like, "Consider the raspberry" or "Consider the carrot". I suppose I could do "Consider the bacon" or "Consider the food truck."
My husband:  So, do you have any idea what you are going to consider?
Me:  No! It's so open ended!  I'm really struggling and class hasn't even started yet.
My son:  Wait.  Is this like some kind of Goblet of Fire thing?

My husband and I both turn to stare at him, well, blankly.
He continues.

Him: You know, where you have to go underwater and dive down and the mermaids are there, holding your friends prisoner?


Him:  Hel-lo! Harry Potter? Anybody home?

[more silence]

Him:  The...the...thing!

[He makes a few exaggerated gestures with his hands that also are unintelligible, but could be interpreted as symbolizing the opening of a mollusk or wizards doing an odd form of the breast stroke.]

Him: Where they didn't know what their assignment was? And the other kid grew gills?
Like an OYSTER!?

Me: Oh.


No. Not like that at all.

Now feel I have a potential topic:  Consider the Vodka.

* In an improved way.
** At least he wasn't completely dismissive anymore.  When I first told him about the class, he said, "Why are you taking a writing class?  That, you already know how to do.  Why don't you find a class that will teach you to go to bed on time or how to stop signing up for stuff?"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I torched a Peep, and I liked it

So, what'd you do after Easter?

Major kudos to Patio Daddio for the Peep Kabob idea*.  His version uses Cadbury eggs for the chocolate part, by the way.

*Very minor kudos to my kids. Yes, they showed me how to open iMovie, but then they got tired of me asking them how to make it do what I wanted, and just walked away.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hoping I'll be wiser, now that I'm older

The night before our brief spring break getaway, I had literally done nothing to get ready for the trip.   

I hadn't packed.  
I hadn't checked the weather to know what I ought to have packed.  
In fact, I hadn't bothered to go through the laundry to see if there were clean clothes of any kind for me to pack, regardless of the weather forecast.

There was no gas in the car.
This, by the way, is not a clever metaphor for my state of mind that evening. 
The tank of the car was empty FOR REAL.

I did not have a to do list.
For example:  1. Get Gas. 2. Pack.
Not even a mental game plan that would have involved making such a list as a first step.
Essentially, I had no idea what I hadn't planned to do and therefore had not yet done.

I was 100% blowing it off.

Instead, that evening I hung out with my brother in law, eating salami and cheese, leftover soup, and an ad hoc salad, commiserating about the lousy job market and watching our respective NCAA brackets implode over a big bottle of red wine.  A friend and her daughter arrived, tired, hungry and eager to catch up.  We obliged them on all counts.

Mid-sip and mid-chat, I looked up at the clock, and all of a sudden it was almost eleven. Wow. It was time to head to the airport and pick up my son.

Only when he was home, really home, safe and exhausted and sound, did it hit me.  

Oh crap, I thought.  I'm supposed to bring dessert*.

Better make three.  Apparently I've got to stay up doing laundry anyway.

NOTE TO SELF.  This may have seemed like the logical thing to do at the time, but you were wrong.  Your family will not be impressed by the extra plum tart** or the chocolate chip cookies you baked fresh that morning, mostly because no one has shampoo.  And it's just plain embarrassing to have to admit to your kids that you have no idea where your wallet is***.  Now that you are, at least on paper, a year older than you were that night, you'll know better.  You can have the wine and cheese, and friends, and brothers-in-law, but make the damn list.

And only make one dessert.