Friday, April 27, 2012


Alex bought me two tickets to Cats for my birthday with the intent I take Lucien as my date.  Sure, Lucien loves music and spectacle and hyperactive fake cats, but I still wasn't convinced it was a good idea to take him to the show. 

As a test, I showed Lucien some Cats clips on YouTube.  After five seconds of watching Mr. Mistoffeles prance around like an asshole,  Lucien said, "No thanks, get me a babysitter."  It was a clear message I would have been an idiot to ignore.

I asked Alex to come with me.  His reply was, "Would that make you happy?"   I said "Yes."  Then he said, "This gift is backfiring on me."

Alex agreed to be my date, then immediately asked how long Cats was.  I googled the question and found this --

"forever, those cats never stop singing, you just want it to end."
Good omen!

Our tickets were for the Saturday matinee.  This wouldn't have been a problem except Friday night was Girls Night Out, organized by a friend to celebrate another friend who just ran the Boston Marathon. We salute you, Seattle Mom.

Posse, you know I love beer.  Beer is my friend.  I also enjoy wine.  Hard alcohol, however, I do not do.  We do not get along.  It never, ever ends well for me, such as the time we threw a festive "tequila party" in college.  Whenever I think about that party, I want to track down my old college roommate and throw up in her clothes hamper again.

But memories are funny things.  As in, I always forget them when they matter.  The ladies and I started our Friday evening with a few shots at a local craft distillery's tasting room. Then we walked up to Poquitos on Capitol Hill and had a couple margaritas.  Then we went across the street to Moe Bar where there was dancing paired with several vodka cranberries. 

 I know some of those people

In the moment, the night was damn fun and I didn't think I was making bad choices.  I was called "sexy" by a hot man who had muscles for days, which only bolstered my belief that everything was going well. 

Opening my eyes the next morning, however, was not fun nor sexy.  To give you an idea of how bad it was, I was still wearing my shoes and Alex was staring at me with a horrified yet awestruck expression.  I didn't even know his eyes could get that wide. 

Al got the kids out of the house all morning so I could suffer in peace.  He came back to check on me and timidly asked if we were still going to see Cats.  I said "Hmrphsgh"  so he picked up the phone and tried to give our Cats tickets away to half of Seattle.  Everyone said, "No, we don't want to see Cats, not even for free."

I promised Alex I would rally so his dollars wouldn't go to waste.  The plan was for Al to take the kids out for lunch, drop them at the babysitter's, come home, shower, and we'd get downtown to make the 2:00 showtime.

2:00 came and went and Al wasn't back.  Calls to Al's cell weren't answered, calls to the babysitter confirmed my kids were not there.  I entered an excruciating hangover/panic mode, which is when you're freaked out about the whereabouts of your loved ones but your head hurts so badly you can only sit limply on the couch like a person with no bones and cry.

Al finally answered his cell phone.  I didn't know if I felt immense relief or immense anger.  He said he'd taken the kids to the mall, where he'd lost track of time and left his cell phone in the car.  Then I knew the answer was "anger."

Anyway, we missed most of the first half of Cats, ran into the theater about ten minutes before intermission.  We took our seats right in the middle of the Jellicle Ball.  Those damn cats were dancing all over the damn place and the audience members were clapping in unison and cheering.  It was deafeningly loud and there were strobe lights involved. 

Someone should notify Dante -- there's a tenth circle of hell.  It's called "Cats with a hangover" and it's the most unbearable of them all.

Regardless how agonizing most of the performance was (Is Gus the Theater Cat's pirate bit really necessary?  Sweet Jesus...)  as soon as Grizabella opened her mouth to sing "Memory," I was a quivering mess.  Oh, I cried.  It was partially because of my emotionally turbulent day but it was also because she really hit those high notes.

Alex told me later Cats was worth it for those few minutes of "Memory."  That's high praise coming from the guy who slept through the entire disappearance of  Old Deuteronomy.

I will share some of the glory/misery that is Cats by embedding "Memory" below.  As an added bonus, I've used the version that includes Grizabella, the former beautiful glamour cat, ascending into "the Heavyside Layer" on a giant tire.  Good Lord, this musical is ridiculous. 

If you can get over the fact it's a grown woman with a painted-on cat nose and whiskers, I think you'll realize "Memory" is still one of the best songs ever to come out of musical theater.

Hard alcohol -- it will NEVER HAPPEN again, until I forget all my memories and it happens again,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Turkey Bacon

I survived Spring Break 2012 by going to the YMCA a lot.  There's childcare there, plus a sturdy elliptical machine upon which to vent my parental frustrations.

I love the YMCA.  The YMCA is different from other gyms I've belonged to because fifty percent of its members are senior citizens.  I enjoy working out alongside senior citizens for a couple reasons: one, they make me feel as agile as a jackrabbit, and two, senior citizens are doing some really strange, entertaining stuff at the gym.

The most bizarre sightings are usually in the free weight area.  As I worked my biceps the other day, I observed a senior citizen on the ground in front of me doing what can only be described as "aggressive mat humping."  Then I looked to my left and saw an elderly woman engaged in "dangling from that bar" coupled with "slight swinging." 

Another woman was holding a weight like a baby and turning in circles.  Behind her was an elderly man who believed lying prone on a mat staring at the ceiling was exercise enough for him.  I probably should have checked the pulse on that guy.

(Please don't misunderstand -- I am not making fun of senior citizens.  I have great affection for my fellow gym members, and big respect for anyone at any age who's committed to staying active, no matter how strangely they do it.  Will I be a senior citizen humping a mat at the gym someday?  God I hope so.)

Friday morning I was on the elliptical machine when an elderly woman with a huge smile, very loud voice, and thick unidentifiable accent climbed onto the machine next to me and went gangbusters.  Her legs were flying all over the place.  She turned to me with a big open-mouthed smile and yelled, "LOOK AT ME!  I'M FASTER THAN YOU!" 

I'm not the competitive type, but I didn't like everyone in the room thinking a tiny grandmother wearing street clothes and a large straw hat could outpace me on an elliptical.  So I yelled back, "I'M ON MY COOL-DOWN AFTER 45 MINUTES OF INTERVALS SO BACK OFF, WOMAN."  

I'm thinking about trying the "Silver Sneakers Cardio" class next week.  I will be legend.

In other news,  Coco is diapering dinosaurs --

 The brachiosaurus has been a real b*tch to potty train

I'm writing this on Sunday.  My Friday and Saturday were really something to talk about, but that's for another time.

I want to talk about today because it was a perfect one, both in terms of weather and low level of annoyance with my family members.  They were downright fun -- all of them! -- all day. 

We went east towards the mountains, stopping along the way for breakfast at IHOP.  IHOP is considerably less fun since they started listing the calorie count of all their menu items right on the menu.  It made us rethink our choices then make different, less fun choices.  In related news, I hate turkey bacon. 

After breakfast we drove to Snoqualmie Falls.  We drove with all the windows down and the sunroof open, not just because Coco got carsick and threw up all over the place again, but because the day was too perfect to keep out.

I love where I live

proof I still exist

Our friend's brewery is right next to the falls so we stopped to grab a couple growlers.  Aren't they beautiful?

like bottled sunshine 
The rest of the day was spent in our backyard with the growlers, a couple wiffle balls and bats, an anthill, some light screaming, an aggressive game of tag, and many band-aids.  
It would have been flawless if it weren't for that damn turkey bacon.
Go gangbusters, little lady,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Amorous lizards

Those are our friends over there.  We were walking through Capitol Hill after going out to dinner Friday night.  There was a lot of wine involved, hence the blurriness of the photo.  We love babysitters.

Thanks to your suggestions, posse, our home is now finely coated in baby powder, corn starch, tea tree oil, bay leaves, boric acid and vinegar.  The ant traffic, while not stopped, has slowed.  I'm not sure if it's the ant repellents that are working or the fact I've started piling ant corpses in front of all ant entry points. 

Do you think the ants feel fear when they realize they're entering a house of ant death?  If so, I have a healthy respect for those who press on in their search for Goldfish cracker crumbs.

I was a chaperone for Lucien's field trip to the zoo last week.  Each chaperone was responsible for four kids.  I had to lead my group of four around the zoo, consolidate all their needs and wants into a one-hour visit before meeting up again with the rest of the class for lunch.  It was tricky business because as soon as I asked, "OK, guys, what do you want to see first?" I heard, "TIGER ELEPHANT I WANT A SNACK I HAVE TO PEE."

I realized I'd made a grave error in giving the children any say whatsoever in their zoo experience.  To see anything at all, I was going to have to be a zoo dictator.  I promptly marched them to the flamingos.  The kids were bored but I laughed myself silly because man, what ridiculous looking animals.

 I then took them to see the amorous lizards because I'm a very good chaperone.

I was very protective of "my four." They were superior to the other groups of four because they were mine.  They won me over with their big eyes and their need to hold hands all the time and their calling me "Hey, Lucien's mommy."

 my four, truly flawless Kindergarten specimens

Because I've recently seen The Hunger Games, and because I often confuse movies with reality, I was sure all groups of four were going to be forced into combat at some point.  So while other groups took frivolous spins on the carousel, we trained.  You should have seen little Katie with those nunchucks, she was really something.  Eli excelled at psychological mind games and torture.  Lucien's primary weapon, of course, was his scream, which paralyzed anything within earshot.

There was no battle.  Very disappointing.  Instead, all groups came together in peace to pet this pathetically sad and lifeless goat named Lester --

My favorite part of the field trip was riding the yellow school bus.  It's been a long time since I've been on a school bus.  They still sound, smell, and look exactly the same, right down to the "bodily fluid clean-up kit" hanging over the driver's head.  Didn't you just pity, yet at the same time absolutely despise, any kid unfortunate enough to throw up on your bus when you were little?  Horrifying stuff.

I took Lucien to a birthday party for one of his classmates.  It was there I discovered Lucien has taught his class the French preschooler's favorite taboo phrase -- "caca boudin."  His entire class now regularly breaks out in unison in a caca boudin chant -- caca boudin! caca boudin! caca boudin!  It made me smile, but only after looking frantically around the room for Lucien's Parisian teachers.  Had they been there, they most certainly would have been giving me the stinkeye.

The father sitting next to me noticed my cringe and asked if caca boudin was a bad thing to say?  I assured him no, it was a fine thing to say, especially if he was a fan of poop sausage.

It's Spring Break right now so I have both kids with me all the time.  I survived the first day so am feeling invincible.  The feeling probably won't last.

Caca boudin never surrenders, never dies,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This post is sexy if you think ants are sexy

Thanks for your support of The Loosh and our family, posse.  It sure was a rough week, but we're moving past "the incident" nicely.

The other night Lucien fell asleep on our bed on a pile of newspaper.  When we moved him to his own bed, we saw he had newspaper ads printed all over the side of his face, so we did what any proper parent would do -- we pointed and laughed until he woke up and looked at us with wide, confused eyes.

So yep, it's safe to say the kid gloves are off again, and it's back to business and mockery of the children as usual.  But again, thank you for supporting us when we felt fragile.  We're lucky to have you all.

In much-needed fantastic news, the tacos are back!!!  The taco truck has moved into a corner store in the neighborhood.  It's now serving its delicious tacos across a real counter inside a real store so can never drive away again.  We celebrated by having Seattle Family over and eating hundreds of tacos.  Seattle Family also brought a birthday cake for me because I successfully grew a year older last week.

Alex took me to Restaurant Zoe for my birthday.  We ate seared foie gras.  I'm not sure how the French would feel about that.  The other part of my present was two tickets to CatsCats was the first Broadway musical I saw as a kid, and kicked off my obsessive Broadway musical phase, which was nonstop fun for my whole family. 

I thanked Alex, agreed it would be nice to see Cats again after all these years.  But then Alex told me the second ticket wasn't for him, it was for Lucien.  The warm fuzzy feeling evaporated.  I said, " want me to take Lucien to Cats and what's more, you consider it a present?  Are you insane, man?"

The show is in a couple weeks; I will spend the time between now and then begging Alex to go see Cats with me.

I also had a celebratory birthday night out with some of the neighborhood ladies.  We decided to start a book club.  We're not going to read any books, just go out to restaurants and drink wine.  Getting older isn't bad when you make grand plans like ours.

In not-so-great news, our Tiny Cottage is overrun with ants.  I returned from the grocery store one day to find a long line of ants winding across the dining room floor.  I armed myself with a spray bottle and a roll of paper towels and conducted an ant massacre of epic proportions.  I'm now worried their tiny ant ghosts are going to band together and seek revenge from the other side.  Whenever I hear a strange creak in the house, I yell, "Ant ghosts!" and crash through the screen door in my hurry to get the hell outta here.

The ants keep coming, I am powerless to stop them.  They appear to be pointing and laughing at my strategically-placed ant traps.  The only way I can keep them at bay is to regularly spray their entry point, which is directly under my writing desk, with a toxic spray cleaner.  It's possible I'm fuming myself to a dangerous degree, because as I write this, the chocolate Easter bunnies in the kids' baskets are talking to me.  (I should warn you all is not well in chocolate Easter bunny land -- they're planning something sinister according to the smiley one in the yellow bowtie known as "Mr. Pickles.")

We had a good Easter.  I had to return to the grocery store several times because the Cadbury Creme Eggs I bought for the kids' Easter baskets kept disappearing into my mouth.  I'd go back to the store, buy a few more, accidentally eat them again, go back to the store.  It was a vicious cycle, and now all my teeth are falling out.

The neighborhood Easter egg hunt was held in the backyard of The Goddamn House, which is kind of pathetic when you think about it.  We figured it was the best place to have it, on account of it being the biggest yard on the block.  It's also easy to hide eggs there -- it's so overgrown you just toss the eggs a couple inches in front of you and -- voila! -- hidden!

 the kids listening to Al's egg hunt instructions

Supermodel Neighbor uses the covered back porch of The Goddamn House as his carpentry workshop.  This offered more fantastic hiding opportunities -- our silly dumb kids didn't even consider looking in the jaws of the table saw.  It will probably surprise whoever owns the house someday to find our overlooked eggs hidden in piles of sawdust on the back porch.  They will know something happened back there.

We had Easter dinner with a handful of fellow neighbors who, like us, don't have family nearby.  With family far away, friends are family, maybe even slightly better because you get to choose them and don't have to buy them presents at Christmas. (Hugs, family!)

I was responsible for cooking half the Easter meal and it was not a disaster.  That's about as good as it gets when MJ's in charge of food.  I don't know if it's my midwestern upbringing or what, but I was shocked no one had heard of serving cherry sauce with the ham.  What the heck is the point of eating ham if it doesn't have cherries on top of it?  I just don't get people sometimes.

What was that noise?  Ant ghosts!