Thursday, February 24, 2011

Assembly Required

A few random things to share with you.  First up, a quote from Drew yesterday:  "Wouldn't it be weird if your name was 'Green' and people called you 'Blue' just to be annoying?"  Because it's not weird enough that your name is 'Green'?


In case you didn't notice, I have a new button on my sidebar for Amy and Paul who are trying to adopt a child.  I've never met Amy and Paul but I understand they would make awesome parents.  It must be true because they took a self portrait with an amusement park in the background as if to say, "We're FUN!  We believe in COTTON CANDY!"  And we need more adoptive parents who believe in cotton candy because healthy marketing strategies are on the rise and it's time to take a stand.  I mean, oatmeal at McDonalds?  I bet the same people who order oatmeal at Mickey D's get the lemon sorbet at Baskin Robbins.  Please.  Although I bet Amy and Paul are totally into nutrition too, because they don't look irresponsible.  I bet they strike the perfect balance and would expect their kids to eat all their chicken nuggets before getting dessert.


I've been working on decorating Drew's room.  I found a great end table at Wal Mart but the packaging posted the dreaded words, "Assembly Required."  Remember how I'm really good at decoding?  Well, for all you rookies out there let me explain that "Assembly Required" can mean any of the following:

1)  "This kit most likely has missing parts"
2)  "You probably don't have all the right tools"
3)  "This weighs a ton, and feels even heavier when you have to return it"
4)  "Kids, please don't repeat any of the words Mama says while she is trying to put this &*%^! thing together"


Here's an awkward situation.  My friend had to make the following phone call to Poison Control today.
"Um, hi.  My daughter just mixed a bunch of medication into a glass of milk and I'm afraid she may have drunk some of it.  Is this poisonous?"
"What kind of medicine ma'am?"
"Ma'am" replies she is taking a healthy dose of STD medication, and Poison Control Lady starts to giggle.
"IT'S FOR COLD SORES!" my friend explained.
"So, you're NOT dating Charlie Sheen then?"
"It's okay ma'am, it's not poisonous."  But you understand if I don't allow my kids to play at your house anymore.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When I Roll My Eyes It Means I Love You

As has been mentioned before, sometimes I am prone to rolling my eyes.  Often it’s a gesture directed at my husband because I don’t get out much and he’s the only adult I see regularly.  It’s pointless to roll your eyes at a teenager because they stare at you as if to say, “Really?  I own that move.”  It would be like walking up to Dr. Phil, tapping him on the shoulder and saying, “Hi there.  Can I give you a little advice?” or knocking on the door of Mr. Clean and handing him a brochure on baldness.  As for my other child, he’s still a little young to read into the sarcasm of an eye roll and I don’t want to hurt his feelings so yes, I save most of them for Cory.

But wait.

What if Cory doesn’t understand the sarcasm of my eye roll either?  Husband of mine, let me explain. 

It’s true, the other night when “Enchanted” was on TV and you jumped off the couch and started singing and dancing “That’s how you KNOOOOOW…” in the middle of the family room that I may have lifted my eyes a tad to the ceiling and shook my head.  Here’s the secret:  that’s how you know I love you.  Because the real meaning behind that eye roll is, “I’m not sure how to handle a singing spouse turning circles in the middle of the room by himself, but God love him for it.”

"That day she was amazed to discover that when he was saying ‘as you wish’ what he meant was ‘I love you’." - Princess Bride

Years ago we were heading down to my brother’s house for a family for dinner.  We were in charge of bringing dessert so we took a cherry cheesecake we had just purchased from some youth for a fundraiser.  You pulled our nephew aside before dinner and master minded a plot to stage an argument between you two that would end with him throwing the cheesecake in your face.  When you let me in on your secret, I rolled my eyes.  In case you misunderstood, what that meant was, “You are the coolest uncle ever.”  We had another incident when I was making rolls to take to another family dinner and you hid random food items in a few of them – a piece of potato, a carrot, some chocolate chips.  When our niece bit down on the one with potato she said, “What is wrong with these rolls?!”  You laughed and laughed.  I rolled my eyes and apologized, but what I was really trying to say is, “My husband is better than your husband and he kind of cracks me up.”

I rolled my eyes when you were conniving grand adventures for our son in the crevices of our neighborhood.  First, you led him on a treasure hunt that required him to break bottles to get clues, dig holes to find others, and ultimately resulted in the grand finale of finding buried treasure on a mountain top outside our housing development.  Then you convinced him that dragons were real, going so far as to dress in black accompanied by hornet spray and a lighter to simulate fire breathing in the distance when you knew he was watching.  And I confess, when you asked me to help write a message in dragon language on muslin and leave it for Drew on the fence across the street, I rolled my eyes.  Please know, however, what that really means is our son has the coolest Dad on the planet and I am keenly aware of it.  I may have rolled my eyes by day but at night I would say prayers of thanks to a God that loved me enough to let a guy like you ask me for forever. 

Two days ago I had this conversation in the church hallway when a guy stopped me to say, “Hey, I saw your husband at basketball on Thursday night.”
”Yeah?” I replied.
He continued, “Yeah, and when I went up to him I saw that his NECK was PEELING!”
“Oh, that,” I said.
“So I asked him what was wrong with his neck and he said something about seeing a magic trick on YouTube that he was trying to replicate or something?”
It was a question.
“Yes, he was trying to make it look like he was sawing through his neck with dental floss,” I explained.
“I love your husband man, he cracks me up,” the gentleman finished.
I rolled my eyes and added, “Yes, I do too.”

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nothin' Up My Sleeve!

I have something to tell you, but I don’t even know where to start.  I’ve been keeping it a secret for a long time, and for good reason.  It’s kind of embarrassing, hard to explain, and frankly, something I don’t really understand myself.

It has to do with Cory. 
And where he often goes on Friday nights. 
And why he sometimes disappears into the basement for hours.
And how it’s not “just a phase” I was hoping he would grow out of because he’s been doing it for about 17 years now.

You guys, my husband is addicted to Magic. 

But not that kind.
Not the pull rabbits out of hats kind.
Or the smoke and mirrors "presto!” kind.
And least of all not the, “hey, you’re hardly wearing anything and your hair is so bright you could see it through a smoke cloud, would like to be my assistant?” kind.

I’m talking about Magic: The Gathering.  It is a card game, and chances are if you have a pimply teenager without a lot of friends who plays in the band, wears a lot of black and occasionally dabbles in eyeliner, he probably knows how to play this game too.  Cory will be annoyed with how I am portraying this, but the following is a TRUE STORY.

It was a weekend, and Cory went out one night to play Magic at a card shop in a neighboring town.  He sat across his opponent, a young teenage kid, and began making small talk.  Cory asked him where he went to school and when he answered Cory said, “Oh hey, I have a niece that goes to that school!  Do you know ------?”  And he did.  And the next day at school this kid went up to my niece and said, “Hey, your Uncle Cory says ‘hi’.”  And she was like, “Wha…?”  So the kid explained, she came back to us and reported the run in, and we have made fun of Cory for that ever since.  It’s how I show my love.

Cory insists that there are plenty of normal people just like him who love to play Magic (and that’s where the definition of “normal” gets fuzzy), and he has continually defended the investment of the hobby.  I have always smiled and nodded at this defense, waiting to turn my head before generating an eye roll that could circle the globe.  HOWEVER.  (Cory, are you ready?  Because I’m about to put this in writing.) 


Was right. 

A few weeks ago my good husband informed me that he was in need of new golf clubs.  Yes, and the Haitians are in need of clean drinking water because they are dying of the cholera.  Anything else?  Oh, he tried.
Cory:  “You know, I’ve had these clubs for like, 10 years.”
Me:  ….
Cory:  “And the technology is totally outdated.”
Me: ….
Cory:  “Maybe we could clip coupons to save more?”
Me: ….
Cory:  “What if I sold some of my Magic cards to pay for new clubs?”
Me:  “Bingo.”

This weekend there is a tournament going on in Denver, so Cory decided to look through his cards to see what he was willing to part with and trade.  Then, on a whim, I decided to go with him.  As we walked into the convention center it smelled like a boys’ dorm, where the dirty socks never get washed and the pizza boxes never get thrown out.  I looked around and leaned over to whisper in Cory’s ear, “You don’t have man boobs and I don’t have a lip ring, WE DON’T BELONG HERE.”  But he saw the guy he needed to do business with and we stood in line to wait for him.  It was just like Oz.  I needed a heart, Cory needed a brain, there were people in braids, and it smelled like dog.  Noticeably absent, any sequins or gingham.  THEN, a dude walked by wearing a shirt that said, no joke, “Once a King, Always A King But Once A Knight Is Never Enough.”  Oh, my life.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Unlike Cory’s Magic cards, which I would trade faster than a hummingbird on Red Bull to get bedroom furniture.

Our turn.

Cory settled behind the table and pulled out his rarest, best kept card.  “Whoo boy!” the dude exclaimed.  Cory plopped down his second best next to it, and the guy inspected the cards.  Cory had paid approximately $40 for both cards some years back, and now the guy looked at the lesser card and declared, “I’ll give you $125 for that one,” and picking up the 2nd card said, “and I could give you…$600 for this one,” as he held up the rare.  Cory looked him in the eye and said, “I think it’s worth more than that.  How about $1000 for both?”  He had to ask his boss, and his boss said ‘yes’, which is why you will want to invite Cory with you on your next trip to Tijuana when you go shopping for souvenirs.  After plopping a few more cards down Cory ended up walking out with $1200, enough to buy his clubs and a nice dinner.

We did both.

Cory wins.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hammer Time

My Wii is giving me flashbacks.  There are dozens of songs on our “Just Dance” game, and one of our favorites is MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This”.  (Jill:  Yes, you should know who MC Hammer is.  Shut up already.)  The song may be old but the beat still urges me out of my chair.  However, every time I hear this song I am suddenly 20 years old in a Georgetown bar clearing the floor with a guy named Mike while my summer crush looks on.

Here’s what happened.

I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.  Wait, wrong song.  I was working as an intern in Washington D.C.  Yes, that’s more like it.  See?  

At the time my sister was the Executive Assistant for a California Congressman, and when we figured out that I could intern for their office over the summer while simultaneously earning college credit, I jumped at the chance.  It was one of the best summers of my life, and not just because of the super cute guy who worked at the Republican National Committee down the hall or the chocolate/peanut butter frozen yogurt that you could get from the cafeteria every day.  Except that had a lot to do with it.  Anyhow, I acquired a rather large crush on said RNC hallmate, so when he invited me out to play sand volleyball with some other Capitol Hill interns and employees after work I went for it.

We bumped, we set, we spiked, and following our two hours having fun in the sun one of the guys piped up about a bar in Georgetown that was having some intern specials on beer and recommended we move our little party over there.  As the only non-drinker in the group I was going to opt out, but RNC guy talked me into coming just for the company, no drinking required.  I relented.  (This was a bold move for someone like me – I didn’t drink, smoke, sleep around, or even say “dammit” at that point in my life.  I still don’t drink, smoke, or sleep around.  The end.)  “Hi Cute And Persuasive, meet Mormon And Naive.”

We caught the subway to the bar and entered the doors where I was instantly surrounded by a mob of thirsty, desperate souls, clamoring their way to the front of the line, waving their bills in the air and yelling their orders over the music and the crowd to the woman at the counter.  “Can I get a beer?  I need a beer!  Three beers please!”  The woman finally got to me and asked me what I wanted to drink.  It was like asking Martha Stewart what kind of Velveeta cheese she prefers.  “Um…can I just get, like, an orange juice or something?”  “What?” the waitress yelled back.  I tried a little louder, “An ORANGE JUICE?”  “We don’t have orange juice!!” she retorted.  I may as well have asked for the sun to come out at midnight, so RNC boy took me by the arm and steered me outside where we searched out some fast food.  After a quick dinner we made our way back to the bar to visit with the rest of the group where it was announced that MC Hammer had been requested, and a guy named Mike and I committed to dance to it before we left. 

But it was taking a really long time.

It was getting late, the subway had a schedule, and I was inching closer and closer to the last pickup time.  I was also dependent on RNC boy getting me to the station because wandering around an unfamiliar town at 11pm alone didn’t seem like such a wise idea, ESPECIALLY if I ended up missing my ride.  (Mom?  Dad?  You doing okay here?  I’m not sure you’ve heard this story before.  You were probably home watching Rush Limbaugh when this was all going down, thinking Sooz and I were just hanging out at her townhouse playing UNO.  Psych!  P.S.  This story ends well, which reminds me - thanks for paying your tithing.)
“I really should get going,” I said.
“Just one more minute, the song should come on any time now.”
[It’s been a minute!]  I looked at my watch, “I really have to go,” I said to my crush, begging him not to leave me stranded in Georgetown.
“It’s okay, if you miss the subway you can sleep at my house.”
Did you know that sometimes God answers prayers that the rap music in a bar will come on faster?
[the speakers blared]  “Hammer Time!”
That’s my cue!  Mike and I headed for the center of the mob and busted out our best moves.  It's important to know here that NO ONE ELSE was dancing, so when we took the floor everyone in the joint made a circle around us and began clapping and cheering us on.  Mike was probably drunk, and I was stone cold sober and praying that the subway wouldn’t leave without me.  When the song ended RNC boy and I ran outside, rushed to the subway station, and I stood there, panting and hoping against hope that the line to Alexandria would come.
It did.
And now MC Hammer and I will live on forever in my memories.
And while playing “Just Dance”.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Changing Lives One Cupcake At A Time

I had to post a picture of something that a friend of mine who reads my blog just dropped off.  She was inspired by these bad boys that I made when I went to the radio station, but look what she did with the sugar embellishment!

She colored the burnt sugar with red food coloring - the chocolate frosting is homemade (because I know these things) and it's topped with chocolate shavings.  Not. Too. Shabby.  Thanks for sharing Nicol!  

Guess what else?  Another reader made some to take to a Valentine's Party.  That's true love, people.  (Way to go Katie!)  Also, people other than 3rd graders have Valentine's Day parties?


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we here at Casa de Vern are technologically handicapped.  The kids at the bus stop have cooler cell phones and fancier gadgets than I do, and as long as we have been on the planet we’ve been at least a couple of years behind everyone else when it comes to the latest and greatest stuff.  A few years ago we were visiting some friends and they asked, “Hey, do you wanna see our new Blu Ray?”  “Sure!” I answered and thought to myself, that must be SOME aquarium, but then he headed for the entertainment center to start pushing buttons and I felt confused.  Quite honestly, not all technology excites me.  I still hate automatic faucets and drinking fountains because they never detect me to be in the right place at the right time, and there’s nothing more humiliating than bending over a drinking fountain with your mouth open and tongue hanging out, hoping against hope that your mouth and the water will meet amicably. 

Nevertheless, ever since sitting next to a chatty gentleman on an airplane and his showing me how he could color tint photos on his iPhone, I knew that the iPhone and I were meant to be together.  But they are expensive, and require different data plans and providers, and we weren’t ready to make the commitment.  (It’s not you, iPhone, it’s me.)  BUT.  Things change.  People change.  And when things AND people change at the same time one finds herself in the Verizon store pointing at the shiny thing behind the glass while clutching her checkbook and saying, “Can I have THAT one?”  And the guy behind the counter is incredibly accommodating and patient because he gets commission, and he tries to answer all the lady’s questions.
“So, how do I know if I want the 16 gig or 32 gig?”
“Well, what do you plan to use it for?”
“Um, well I’m hoping to call people on it.  And I’m very much looking forward to not having to press the 7 three times every time I have to text an ‘r’.  Also, I hear there are some angry birds that may be able to entertain me if I’m ever stuck in an airport.”
“Do you plan to set up any hot spots?”
“Hot spots?  You mean like Ft. Lauderdale?”
“I think you’ll be fine with the 16 gig.”

Cory bought me one for Valentine’s Day, and while our relationship is still new (mine and the phone’s, not mine and Cory’s – because hello, almost 18 years folks) I think we’re going to have a long and happy life together.  And that goes for Cory too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ice Ice Baby

While attacking a snow bank at the bus stop this morning a big chunk fell to the sidewalk, and Drew stood on it with the assumption it would collapse under his weight.  When it didn’t he looked at me and said, “Well, I AM light and skinny.”  I motioned him off and said, “Let me try it.”  I stepped up, gained my balance, and the block stayed firm.  “OR,” Drew started, “It’s just really strong.”  Bless his heart.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bangs! Bangs!

In my defense it was a snow day, and I had cabin fever, and the scissors were RIGHT THERE.  And actually, when I say it was a snow day what I mean is it snowed all night, and then the phone rang at 5:30 am so the automated message on the other end could inform me that the high school was delayed a whole THIRTY MINUTES.  Thank goodness for that half hour, because I swear if I had had to leave at 7:00 am instead of 7:30 am I probably would have had to help shovel FIVE people out instead of just the FOUR. 

But eventually the day got underway and I was home alone for six hours.  Cold and alone and already caught up on my DVR'd episodes of The Middle, I looked in the mirror and said, "I think I need bangs."  That's how I got here:

And incidentally, how I ended up looking twelve years old.  And not even just because of the eyeroll. 

I discovered something while I was cutting my bangs in the mirror.  See that mole on my neck?

 How about now?
I've received mixed reviews on my bangs.  When Samantha got in the car as I picked her up from school she said, "What happened?"  "I was bored," I answered.  Then she said, "And THAT'S why I don't let you cut my hair."  Cory also confessed that it is not his favorite, but the guy gets credit for supporting me when I went red.  Remember that?  Ooh!  And remember when wearing a rainbow shirt didn't mean you were gay?

You could always just focus on my cute scarf.

Monday, February 7, 2011

After I Zoquo, I Like To Ushnu

I think I have writer’s block.  How else am I supposed to explain that I’m sitting here at my computer, staring at my scrabble dictionary and wondering if I have anything to say about it?  By the way, “rheology” is a word.  It means, “the study of matter in the fluid state”, which is code for “sucks to be a rheologist”.  Also?  “Quiff” is a word.  It means, “a forelock”, code for, “what the crap is a forelock?”  The point is I’m really good at decoding.

I’m also really good at identifying the difference between certain words.  It’s nothing special really, except I worry a little about the people who don’t share that ability.  For example, a person who gets confused between self deprecation and self defacation could be in BIG trouble.  Or, take Oxytocin and OxyContin – one is a hormone, one is an addictive opiate.  Critical information if one needs to stage an intervention.  Know what else?  Intervention and Intermission?  TOTALLY different.  If you need to stage an intervention and you go for an intermission instead, everyone will be totally confused.

Glad I could help.

p.s.  Anyone who can identify the reference of my post title without googling is my HERO!  Can you?  Huh?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Colder Than A Brass Bra On The Shady Side Of An Iceberg

Today's high in Denver is supposed to reach -3 degrees.  You heard me, the HIGH.  Seeing as it was 67 degrees two days ago this comes as a great shock to my system.  For kicks I looked up some cold jokes to see if there was anything funny to say on the topic, but I only found one that I liked.  Are you ready?

It's SO COLD...

...that the local flasher was caught describing himself to women.

I'm here all week, folks.