Sunday, September 23, 2007

Things this weekend that made me laugh

Earlier this week I called miss-dig to locate the utilities in our front yard. We needed to dig a large hole to plant a tree . So, naturally I wanted to make sure we wouldn't hit the gas line and blow ourselves to kingdom-come while digging. I arrived home Friday to find a small herd of children literally having a parade in our front yard. All 10 of them were marching around in a single file line waving tiny orange and blue flags over their heads feverishly. Coincidentally, these are the very flags miss-dig used to mark our utilities. The child leading the parade was riding a bicycle and tooting a whistle. When I was spotted blocking the parade route across my driveway the child at the front let out a long piercing blast on the whistle and motioned for me to move.

Chris and I took the cat to the vet first thing Saturday morning after we found some blood in his litter box. The vet quickly looked him over, and said she needed do a rectal exam to find out what was wrong. Yikes! She quickly assured us that "actually, you are lucky because I have the smallest hands of all three of the vets working today by far." Serioulsy? Ew! Flanked by a vet technician on either side Chris and I watched as they hauled away our 18.5 lb cat. After a few minutes we heard "MEEEEEEEYOWWWWWWWW!" and then utter silence. Poor, poor kitty.

The next project for Saturday was planting the 10 foot tall tree we purchased for our front yard. First we had to dig a gigantic hole in the front yard. Chris and I thought it would go faster if we both dug at the same time but when we leaned forward to shovel dirt out, we banged our heads together. We sat there on the lawn with stars and little birds flying circles around our heads for a few minutes and after that, we decided to take turns digging. The remainder of the weekend was punctuated by going outside to water the tree, then, coming inside, and immediately forgetting the hose was on. Approximately 15 minutes later, one or both of us would remember the now drowning tree in the front yard at which point we would dash outside, sprint across the lake forming at the base of the tree and make a dive for the hose.

Sunday morning, Chris decided to make an omelet. Everything was going fine until it was time to turn the omelet. He began to shake the pan menacingly to and fro. Once the egg was err, loosened, he gave one final shake while he lurched the omelet into the air. In his mind I'm certain he pictured the omelet flipping in midair and gliding back down smoothly into the pan. Here is what actually happened: the wad of egg cheese and vegetable, now airborne, began its rapid descent in a pattern that was clearly not headed for the frying pan. I sat watching, transfixed, the oatmeal spoon halfway to my mouth. The dog and cat appeared from nowhere, ready to eat the eggs that would soon be falling from the sky. Chris lunged foreword to catch his escaping breakfast. He managed to net about half the eggs out of mid air. The remaining eggs hit the stove top, and the dials on the back of the stove, and the tea kettle, and the wall. It was a big omelet.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It is [almost] vest season

There are a few items in my wardrobe that are of particularly great value to me. They include bell bottom jeans, Chaco sandals, anything kelly green, and topping the list, vests. Specifically, fleece vests.

I. Love. Vests. I can't decide what I love more, the fact that they go with nearly everything (they do so!) or, the fact that my arms never get too hot. On my most recent camping trip, I wore a vest every day. Over a tee shirt. It was the greatest week of my life.

My justification for my love affair with vests can be best explained by a turn of phrase I am particularly fond of: "think like an onion". Onions, like most of my outfits, have layers. Its the best way to dress if you don't know what to expect. Too hot? Remove a layer. Too Chilly? Add a layer. Better yet, add a vest so your arms don't get to hot and your middle doesn't get too chilly. Usually if Chris hears me say "think like an onion!" he rolls his eyes dramatically and says "You are going to put on a vest aren't you?" The answer is *always* yes.

I have at least 5 vests (last time I counted). I wait all summer with unrelenting anticipation for it to get cool enough to wear my vests. Inevitably, each year in a fit of zeal I get one or two false starts. It is rather cool when I leave the house for work so I put on a vest. Then as the day goes on, it gets warmer. And warmer. AND WARMER. Left with no other option I remove the vest, just prior to collapsing from heat stroke.

I had one such false start last week. Around lunch time, in the break room, a coworker looked at me inquisitively in my vest and said "You know it is like 80 degrees out right?"

"Yes" I said, standing in front of the freezer fanning the cold air onto myself. "I guess it is only *almost* vest season."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I did on of those online quizzes today. The topic? What would your obituary say?


'What will your obituary say?' at

Yeah, that sounds about right.

When I was little there was a terrible, mean, old woman who lived on our block. She used to chase Girl Scouts selling cookies off her porch with a broom and 'confiscate' balls that accidentally bounced into her yard. You get the picture. Children in the neighborhood refered to her as Oldie-locks, since by our best approximation she was no less than 158 years old. A few years later the woman died, presumably of old age.

My mom found her obituary in the paper and was discussing it with my dad when I walked into the room. "What is an obituary?" I inquired. My parents exchanged glances.

"Honey," my mom said, "Mrs. X (her name escapes me) from down the street died so they put a obituary in the paper, as a way of letting people know ."

"So the obituary is for Oldie-locks?"

"Yes" my mom answered. "I know Mrs. X was not very nice to you kids but can you please stop calling her Oldie-locks?"

"So this word, obituary" I continued, "it's an abbreviation?"

"An abbreviation? What do you mean?"

"Obituary" I said slowly. "Old bitches who have died."

My mother and father did their best to stifle their laughter. "No, it is not an abbreviation" said my dad.

"And it does not mean old bitches who have died" my mom interjected sternly.

To this day, when ever the topic of obituaries comes up in my family we all burst into snickers. It makes for some great comic relief in an otherwise humorless situation.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cook 'n Mow

Our phone books were delivered this week in those yellow sacks they hang off the mail boxes. Upon pulling into my driveway, I observed the gigantic first grader who lives next door pedaling madly across the front yard atop a hot pink bicycle that was *clearly* far to small for him. He was swinging the phone book in wide circles over his head using the handles of the plastic phone book sack. Then, he let out a battle cry so piercing that a small flock of birds in a nearby tree took flight. On the other side of the yard, directly in his path stood one of the really little kids that lives there. The grass where she was standing was approximately, up to her chin. He was headed right for her! The mother rushed outside just in time to stop the little one from becoming bicycle road kill or having to surgically remove a phone book from her head. Events like this usually serve to alert our neighbors that it is time to mow their grass.

The grass next door. To say that it is long, is, well, an understatement that doesn't really do it justice. They could lose a small child in that yard . They can not cook out because the grass is so long that it will light on fire beneath the grill. They also can not find the lawn mower in the grass. So really, it becomes a vicious cycle. This is why, when the grass becomes so long that they can no longer get their cars in and out of the yard, or they cant find the children, they have to spring into action. They host what Chris and I have come to refer to as a cook 'n mow. This consists of inviting about 20 of their closest friends over. Each friend brings something to grill and a lawn mower. They do this because 1) the people who live there can not find their own lawn mower in the jungle yard and 2) even if they could, the grass is SO long that one mower would break down from the sheer mechanical stress after one pass across the yard.

So, all their friends come over and start their mowers *simultaneously* to make sure they work. One mower is loud, 20 mowers are *VERY* loud. Fortunately, most of the mowers break after about 10 seconds so after the initial deluge of noise, there are only 1 or 2 running at a time. Priority 1: mow a path to the grill. After the grill is lit, they mow concentric circles around the 15 foot wide trampoline in the middle of the back yard. After there is a clear path to the trampoline, all the children (that they can find) are herded onto it. This includes the baby. Now that the kids are out of the way, they continue mowing concentric circles around the objects in the back yard in order of importance.

Honestly, it's pretty amazing to watch, there are guys who mow, guys who fix lawn mowers as they break and guys who just run back and forth exchanging broken lawn mowers for working ones. The remaining guests are in charge of grilling.

This brings me to the "cook" part of the cook 'n mow. I observed at this weekend's cook 'n mow, a man using what appeared to be a large metal snow shovel a sort of gigantic spatula to flip food on the grill. Why didn't he use a regular spatula you ask? Well my only guess is that it was lost in the grass.