Wednesday, March 25, 2015

old man, look at my life; I'm a lot like you were

Today I read that awesome Fran Lebovitz interview while I was out to lunch, and while I was waiting for the check I started laughing so hard I cried and I had to stop reading in order to avoid causing a public scene.  I like Lebovitz's spunk and brazen lack of tact, and would like to become an opinionated old lady myself, but also she's kind of a jerk, right?  How do you find that place on the spectrum that puts you at endearing curmudgeon and not toxic butthole?  An illustration:

Has Fran Lebowitz struck this balance?  I feel like she has, but it seems that there are members of the commentariat who disagree with me.  Some of them feel like she should shut up, which, maybe about some things, but think how much duller the world would be!  Maybe we should all speak our minds in such an uninhibited, kooky and prickly way.

So how do we do that?  I feel like I used to be more balls-out with my opinions, but as I have aged, dare I say matured, I have become much more vanilla.  Maybe because I'm more conscious of how my words affect others, maybe because I'm learning that I really don't know very much about anyone or anything, but maybe because I'm scared people will hate me.  But also I sort of want people to hate me?  Or at least fear me.  I worry that I might be a Death Eater at heart.  I have these two warring factions inside me; my desire to unabashedly own and voice my opinions, and my desire to mature and become more kind and accepting.  Which is stronger, my desire to be kind, or my desire to be cruel?  Hard to say.  I think I'm getting nicer, which I guess is progress.

A story to demonstrate:  There was a guy at Lee's Mongolian last night who was wearing baggy jeans with a mish-mash of a jacket that was denim in the same color wash as the jeans (thumbs down), leather sleeves, and a fleece hood.  I can't think of a time when I've seen that patchwork technique deployed effectively, and last night was no different.  The pants should have been tighter, because he was telegraphing rock n' roll with the top half (poorly executed) and normcore with the bottom half (nailed it).  His hair was all slicked back, and then I got a look at his face, and it was like the face of a very old, sunburned man took the hair and body and clothes of a much younger man out to dinner.  I wrinkled my nose in distaste and said to Grant, "Disapprove."  Grant said "I can tell you one thing--he looks like you don't want to piss him off," and I was like, "Pfft, he looks like he's all hat and no cattle."  But then I watched the guy talk to the server, and he was really nice, and then I saw him interact with his wife and children, and he seemed like a pretty decent guy.  I don't know what has brought him to the place where he wants to wear such dumb clothes, but there are worse things.  I felt bad for the mean things I had thought and said.  I don't know his life!  I don't know his story!  Shut it up, me!

I can do these exercises in relativism with almost anything and it has really taken the fun out of being judgmental.

Monday, March 23, 2015

come on let's crawl, gotta crawl, gotta crawl, to the ugly bug ball

The last couple of books I've read to the kids have been Agatha Christie mysteries--Willa whines about how she doesn't understand them, which probably means she'll develop such an aversion to them that she'll refuse to read them when she gets older, but the joke will be on her, because she'll just be robbing herself of a delightful genre of books.  Agatha Christie is a beast and I love her.  We just got done with Cat Among the Pigeons, and the previous one was A Murder is Announced.  Great stories, both of them.  After the first one Grant said, "We should just read Agatha Christies from now on," and I was like, this is what I've been trying to say!  I've tried for years to get them to read Agatha Christie, but they were all into Ranger's Apprentice and Percy Jackson and whatnot, so finally I just took matters into my own hands.  I can't decide which one to do next.  I also might read them some of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, because they are great.

I read Look at the Birdie a couple of weeks ago and loved it so much I tracked it down and bought it.  It was like Kurt Vonnegut channeled Ray Bradbury, or vice versa.  I loved it, even though it made me sad all over again that Ray Bradbury is dead.

I am in such despair about my stupid guitar life.  I am terrible at the guitar, and now my teacher is wanting me to play a song all in barre chords and I can't make it sound decent for the life of me, and it's just really hard to be agile-minded about it all.

Monday, March 16, 2015

put him in the brig until he's sober

We celebrated Pi Day on Saturday, how about you?  On Pi Day we are all mathletes.  I had raspberry cream when I took Grant out for breakfast after his honor band dress rehearsal, and it was a darn good slice for restaurant pie.  Then we got together with my family and we had Dutch apple (me), coconut cream (Aleece), banana cream (Justine) and lemon meringue (my mom).  They were all delicious, although my mom was upset about the lemon meringue because she used real lemons and so it wasn't as firm as when she uses a Jell-O mix.

My mom and I have many differences of opinion when it comes to food, but it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, right?  And it's a good thing for me to be reminded that a lot of the stuff I get all worked up about is not really that big of a deal.

Meow, I don't like tutoring anymore!  The kids I have now are naughty/bratty and they don't like reading and it's like, would you rather be doing a worksheet than coming in here and having a totally chill time with a cool mom and getting treats if you're the first kid into the room?  Pfft, screw you, rude kids!  Good luck with your sub-literacy, I guess.  Why did they take away my nice kids?

I just love gifs, because they add visual interest without the hassle of me having to upload the pictures onto my computer.

I think I might have to buy a slow-cooker cookbook and that scares me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

get ready for the funcooker

Fitness question:  Will I burn more calories/build more muscle by sublimating my rage at my children's laziness and ingratitude, or by letting it burst forth in a froth of spittle-flecked invective?  Just because I want to take every opportunity to raise my heart rate/strengthen my core, don't you know.

This is where I should ask the question "How do you give your kids opportunities to explore their interests without turning them into me monsters?", but I'm not going to because it is a question that has no universally applicable answer.  All I can say is, well done, you parents out there who have struck that perfect balance that has brought you kind, thoughtful, well-rounded, inquisitive children.  It must be nice for you.

I guess it's negative of me to talk like that.  My kids are good, I'm just at an ebb in career satisfaction right now because I didn't want Grant to go to basketball in the first place because he has this stupid cough that won't go away, and his Spanish teacher told him not to come back to school until he's better, and then John didn't think it was a big deal for Grant to go to basketball, and Grant begged and I gave in like a good parent never does, and here it is almost 10:00 at night and guess who's still up even though he agreed to be in bed by 9:15 because he's sick and needs his rest?  Grant, that's who.  And Willa came home from school and snuck out to play with the neighbor girl without doing her homework or piano practice, even though she called me from school and complained about having a sick stomach, and I couldn't get her since the car was in the shop having a well car checkup for eight freaking hours, and I don't think Emmett has practiced his piano for more than an hour total in the last month, and I know for sure he does a crappy job of feeding and watering the goats every day, like it's so hard to turn on the hose, and Ike jammed his finger at recess yesterday and will talk about nothing else but how much his finger hurts, and how the Tylenol at the doctor's office tasted (sick), and how the Ibuprofen at our house tasted (fine) and if the finger can bend more or less than yesterday, and how often does he need to change the gauze, and is the purple bruise on it bigger or smaller than yesterday, and if it is puffier or less puffy than yesterday, and what was his level of pain at various points throughout the day and finger finger finger finger until I shoot myself just to have some peace and quiet with nobody asking me for anything, not even gum at the checkout stand.

I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will

Yesterday I bought what was called on the tag a "soft pant."  These are some of those gathered-ankle pants that are like slightly less slobby-looking sweats.  I have tried to buy such a thing in the past, but everything I tried was pretty much the most unflattering thing I've ever had on--that I recognized at the time.  For sure the denim button-ups and pleated mom jeans I wore in high school were bad in retrospect, but these were bad right out of the gate.  But I had faith that I could find some that worked, and yet again Costco, source of all things good, has come through for me.  Sure I look a little bit crazy, and every day I get closer to fully succumbing to the "athleisure" dressing trend, but at least I'm comfortable, which is important to me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

is that a frampton reference in MY STORE

Image result for smart gif

I have read pieces in multiple places recently that are praising Carly Rae Jeppsen's new song "I Really Like You," and they're all just having babies about it, and guys, the song is not that great.  It's not that catchy, the repetition is excessive even for a pop song, and the bottom line is, "Call Me Maybe" it ain't.  And speaking of excessive repetition, "Shake It Off" was hard for me because of the hate hate hate, play play play, shake shake shake stuff going on in it ("Blank Space" is a far superior song), but THEN?  Then we come to the spoken work/"rap" section of it and I almost collapse into myself like a dying star because of projected embarrassment.  I can't listen to it.  I can't.

I mean, I'm no music critic, and I can't offer a nuanced rebuttal to the people who think those songs are so so great, but I know what I like and the rest of America is just being dumb.