Friday, December 21, 2007

Gondola Drag Racing

I am married to a teacher. That being said, there are sometimes projects created at our house. Big projects. With themes. That brings me to last night. Chris was feverishly preparing for today's class holiday party. This year's theme: Christmas in Italy.

Italians have all kinds of fascinating holiday traditions. For example, in Venice, they race gondolas on Christmas Eve. In my head I picture Santa holding a checkered flag amidst a floating fleet of souped up "street racing" gondolas complete with neon lights, chrome trim and huge outboard motors strapped on the back. The gondoliers are all wearing fire proof jumpsuits and helmets. Now, I've been to Venice and I didn't see any street racing gondolas but, it was summer. Maybe they only get them out at Christmas. Anything is possible.

Chris decided that his kids should do a gondola race during their class party. He has been working with power tools all week in the basement sawing and drilling to make these boats. He even painted them. They came out really great. But he still needed to find a way to race them. What to use.... hummmmm...

There used to be gutters on the front of our house. *Used* to be. Now they are gondola race tracks. In the basement the 10 foot long gutters were precariously positioned with a wobbly table under each end. "Now for the water"Chris announced pouring a huge bucket of water into the first gutter. "Huh, it's not full yet. I think it needs more" he said. The second bucket-full went in. I watched as the gutter bowed like a hammock. Then water started to pour over the sides making loud splashing noises as it hit the cement floor. "That's bad" Chris announced. The cap on the end of the gutter fell off and the remaining water rushed out the end and hit the rug with a a sickening thwap. I put my head in my hands. "That's worse" he said.

"You know" I said, looking at Chris, "they flooded the Colosseum with water for ship battles in ancient *Rome* not Venice." Chris game me a look that suggested my impeccable comedic timing was failing to amuse him. Since we only have one mop, and I was out of jokes, I decided to go upstairs. From the basement I heard loud mopping punctuated by muttering. Then silence. Then hammering. Wait. Hammering?

I ran back downstairs to find Chris standing in the middle of the laundry room holding a hammer and grinning. I looked around frantically. I was not prepared for what I saw. The soggy rug was now nailed to the rafters. A large puddle forming underneath it as it dripped dry. I blinked in disbelief. "You nailed the rug to the ceiling! WHY did you NAIL the rug to the CEILING?" I sputtered

"Well, it was too heavy for the clothesline" Chris responded matter-of-factly. "But don't worry! I used really little nails."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Ottoman Empire

It recently came to my attention that grown-ups have matching furniture. And while I have all the responsibilities of a grown up, I do not have matching furniture. What is up with that? So, I brought this glaring problem to Chris's attention last week and he agreed, we are grown ups and our furniture does not match. "Dude, this is not good." I said "We gotta fix this."

Chris tipped his head to the side for a moment made his thinking face and then said "OK, lets go get new furniture."

And so it was decided, we would get new furniture for our living room for Christmas. We went to no less that 9,658 furniture stores last Saturday and after an entire day we selected an ottoman. Yes, an ottoman. Just one. There was drama, and eye rolling, and loud, dramatic sighing and I *distinctly* remember someone (ahem) trying to talk me into an "under the sea" themed fabric pattern but we did not collapse under pressure. Despite the sales people circling like vultures, we held out until we found one that we both liked. And we like it. A lot. And it *coordinates* with our living room which is even more grown up that matching. Or so I hear.

So it was Saturday night and there I sat on the Ottoman. Thinking about what to do next. It was then that it came to me. I turned to Chris, "Do you know what I think of every time I hear the word Ottoman?"

"No, but I have a feeling you are going to tell me." He said.

"The Ottoman empire" I replied smugly.

"Hummm" said Chris "I see the connection"

"Do you know what that makes me?" I asked grinning.

Chris looked over the tops of his glasses at me and raised a single eyebrow. "What" he said with great reservation.

"The emperor!" I roared with glee. "And as emperor, I decree that you should bring me a diet soda."

"Fine" he said walking into the kitchen, "just don't spill it on the empire OK?"

As it turns out, having coordinating furniture does not necessarily mean you have to be grown up. At least not all the time.