October 9th, 2014 § § permalink
Lest you think my son is the only one who amuses us, note this conversation I recently had with my nine-year-old daughter.
I happened to be at her class’s library time at the elementary school. The kids are into polls these days. As in “Who/what do you like better? X or Y?” A boy came up to the table where the girl was sitting, and posed this poll question: “Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?”
The girl froze, looking toward me, knowing there was a right answer, but unsure of what it would be. To give you a hint of that right answer, this was the girl and myself during the first week of football this season:
Me: Seriously? Seriously?
I turn to boy: I’m answering for her! She picks Peyton Manning!
Boy writes it down and wanders off.
Me: How could you even consider Tom Brady? Seriously?
Girl: But I wasn’t sure who Peyton Manning is.
Me: It doesn’t matter! You pick whoever is not Tom Brady!
Later, in the car, I go over this with her again, to make sure she understands.
Me: We don’t like Tom Brady. When you are asked, “Anybody or Tom Brady,” you ALWAYS pick “anybody”!
Me: Yes! Let’s practice. Hey, Pie, Tom Brady versus anybody.
Girl: What if the other person is also a Patriots player?
Me: Hmm. Yes, well… Well, then you still pick that other person. “Tom Brady versus anybody”? Pick anybody!
Me: Well, if it’s Tom Brady versus Hitler, yes, you pick Tom Brady, but anything else, it’s anybody!
Girl: Okay. Um, Hitler?
Me: Remember, he was the leader of Germany in World War II? Hated the Jews?
Girl: Oh yeah, right. Wait! Hitler played football?
And that’s life with a 4th grader. Also fun fun.
October 4th, 2010 § Comments Off on One of Us § permalink
I’m tormenting my children. We’re having a French drain system put into our basement, which means all of our subterranean belongings need to be brought up to daylight and stored in a pod. That’s right a pod. Not just any pod. A pod the size of Saturn. For some reason, my husband deemed it necessary to store a room’s worth of belongings in a pod that looks like one of those portable buildings all South Florida schools had when I was a kid–portables that fit 30 kids, a teacher, desks, and wall posters that reminded us of hurricane procedures.
So what do you do when you have a freakin’ fifty foot pod in your driveway? Why you talk about pod people. Of course. I explained it the best I could: “These bodies! They’re people… but they’re not! You go to sleep at night. And you wake up a pod person! You look like you. But you’re not you. You’re a pod person. ” Could you resist? I don’t think so. Do I need to tell you it’s biting me in the ass because it just means I now have two little people in my bed at night? And I’m thoroughly creeped out because I can’t stop thinking about pod people.
Adam (who is one of Boston’s top 15 innovators, thank you very much) is currently on the left coast and the pod is out there mocking me and I should really, really go to sleep because I’m was so tired today, but now I’m completely wound up because the Dolphins/Patriots game is on and you know I’m not going to sleep till the fat linebacker scores.
Speaking of football, I do love that I’ve taught the girl to trash talk her kindergarten teacher’s assistant. I got a report that Pie gleefully went up to her and taunted, “The Patriots are GOING DOWN!” The boy may have gone to the dark side (but only when I’m around) but the girl is a loyal Dolfan.
Ugh, I get so worked up over these stupid games. This is why I had to give up football. Because it makes me tense. I don’t like being tense. The only thing worse than being tense is having my father say, “Why don’t you be past tense?” which just takes my tenseness to the next level. Maybe it makes me present perfect tense. Because I have perfected tense.
Okay, you all don’t know this, but it’s been about a half hour since I was writing, a half hour in which I had to pour myself a big f’ing glass of wine because my beloved Dolphins are F’ING UP BIG TIME! Do you know what it’s like being in enemy territory all the time? They need to freakin’ win for me. They owe me.
This game is painful. I should just go to sleep. Because it’s painless you know. I just need to give in to the pretty space flowers.
“Less than a month ago, Santa Mira was like any other town. People with nothing but problems. Then, out of the sky came a solution. Seeds drifting through space for years took root in a farmer’s field. From the seeds came pods which had the power to reproduce themselves in the exact likeness of any form of life…Your new bodies are growing in there. They’re taking you over cell for cell, atom for atom. There is no pain. Suddenly, while you’re asleep, they’ll absorb your minds, your memories and you’re reborn into an untroubled world…Tomorrow you’ll be one of us…There’s no need for love…Love. Desire. Ambition. Faith. Without them, life is so simple, believe me.”
One of us… one of us… one of us.
Must get more wine. Don’t talk to me tomorrow. It won’t be pretty.
February 7th, 2010 § § permalink
Let it be known that at 9:18 p.m., I am the last remaining person in this household standing. New Orleans keeps scoring, and everyone around here keeps snoring. The two little ones went down with a fight about 15 minutes ago. The big one went down without a peep, although he squawked when I tried to wake him to rejoin me watching the game. For the record, so far the Betty White commercial is winning hands down.
We had a fairly impromptu Super Bowl party, which ended early as little people had to get to bed. I whipped up some jambalaya in honor of the Saints, made some homemade turtles, which I should say, taste as good if not better than any I’ve had in New Orleans, and got the annual football cake from Wilson Farms.
Ah, 78-yard touchdown. And Adam’s asleep. Sucks to be Adam.
But forget Adam and football. Let’s talk about the Who. What was that? Oh my, who let those old men who can’t sing on stage? Does Pete Townsend really think he still looks rocking with those windmills? And what was on Roger Daltry’s head?
Me: Keith Moon was their drummer who died right?
Adam: No. Keith Moon played for the Rolling Stones.
Me: Are you sure? I’m pretty sure Keith Moon was with the Who.
Adam: No. Definitely not. Definitely the Stones.
Me: Hey, Dan, who was the drummer for the Who who died?
Dan: Keith Moon.
In 1981, I begged my parents to let me see the Rolling Stones on their Tattoo You tour. My parents refused. The were playing at Folsom Field during my Colorado years and I wanted to go so badly but, no, my parents said absolutely not.
It wasn’t long after this that I did get to go to a concert. My friend Karin and I really wanted to see the Go-Go’s at Red Rocks, which my father told me I could go to only if I found an adult to take me. “What’s an adult?” I asked him. “Someone over twenty-one,” he told me. That summer I worked as a Water Safety Assistant at the Boulder Rec. I was friendly with one of the lifeguards. I was 14. She was 23. My father had to let me go. The lifeguard introduced me to Seven and Sevens, which the guys in the row behind us had smuggled in.
In October of 1982, the Who were playing at Folsom Field–it was their Farewell Tour. (Everyone please note the last lines of this article: “One has to applaud their decision to call it quits now. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be missed.” Um, yeah. I missed them tonight.) Jethro Tull and John Cougar (and I mean John Cougar–this was a few years before he became Mellencamp) opened. For the life of me, I can’t remember two things: one, with whom I went to the concert and two, why the hell my parents let me go to this concert. What were they thinking? I’m positive there were no adults with us–I remember sitting in the row in front of the delinquent of my ninth grade class. I loved the concert–whatever happened to my Who concert T-shirt? I’m almost positive it was a baseball shirt, because baseball shirts were so cool and they went perfectly with my braided hair barrettes.
Oh, look who came back just in time to see the game being over? Yea, Saints (Me, to Doodles today, “Who are you going to root for? The Saints or the Colts?” Doodles: “What’s a Saint?” Me: “Uh… someone who’s dead who in some religions is considered is really important. Everyone will be rooting for the Saints tonight.” Doodles: “Okay, then I’ll root for the Colts”). It’s been a long time since I’ve been to New Orleans–that last two trips I was pregnant with a Brown Brown, although I didn’t know it on the first one (I was better behaved on the second one)–but I’m happy they won. If it can’t be my Dolphins, the Saints are a good second best.
And once again, I’m the last one awake (that man can sleep anywhere, anytime. I’m jealous). Time to fix that problem. Good night.
January 24th, 2010 § § permalink
Many of you know that my father is, proudly, from New Jersey. Don’t go teasin’ with any of that “What exit are you?” He’ll have none of that.
But you may not know that my mother is an actual Southerner. I don’t mean Miami Beach. Plenty of people have asked me what it’s like to live in the South. And I don’t know. Because Miami and Miami Beach are not the South; they’re the East Coast. South of Orlando is the East Coast; north of Orlando is the Deep South.
My maternal grandmother and her big sister were born in Chipley, Florida, where people came from all over to see if “the Jew baby had horns.” My great-grandfather had to travel a couple of hours to Alabama to buy kosher meat to bring back for my barely-spoke English great-grandmother. My maternal grandfather (whom I called Abba) was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. My mother, while born in Memphis, moved before her memory even kicked in and spent all of her formative years in a suburb of New Orleans. My mom comes by the “y’all” honestly, and it doesn’t take too much riling up to get her accent out.
Let’s move to football. Once upon a time, I cared a great deal about football. Abba was a serious fan. He had season tickets for the Dolphins for as long as I could remember, and occasionally, I’d get to go see, first Bob Griese, and then Dan Marino play. Abba would travel to watch the Dolphins and he was at the ’73 Super Bowl when the Dolphins had that unforgettable year. I became interested in late high school, when it was a fun way to hang out with Abba. We could bond over the Dolphins. When I lived in Seattle, football was amazing because it was never on past my bedtime, and I had two good from-Miami Beach buddies who would, week after week, go to the sports bars with me at 10 a.m. for beer, fries, and Dolphins.
But then kids came along and I became a Dolphins fan in name only. Sure, if they’re on network TV and it’s not starting past my bedtime, I’ll watch. But I have no idea who is who. As Dave Barry once put it, at this point I’m pretty much just routing for the color. I do watch enough to know that the evil man Jimmy Buffet replaced the Dolphin’s fight song at touchdown with a stupid Landshark song, but my loyalty is pretty much a remnant of the past that shall always remain. I follow playoffs, I watch the Super Bowl, but I’m not as invested as I used to be. Perhaps one day I’ll have a good team again, my kids will be big enough I can lounge on Sundays, and I’ll be able to spend a little time caring.
Okay, this is the part where we bring everything together: Deep South mom and football. My mother knows exactly two things about football: 1) Peyton Manning, the quarterback for some team, went to Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, which is the same school she attended and 2) Peyton’s little brother, Eli, the quarterback for a different team, also went to Newman.
But suddenly my mother has found a bandwagon. And she’s jumped on it. In an e-mail last week to me and my father, she announced, “Okay, I care about the Super Bowl. Geaux Saints.”
My father had to point out that the Saints weren’t in the Super Bowl yet, and she’d have to get through a playoff game. Her response, “Oh shit. That means I have to watch two games.”
Tonight I went out and had a lovely dinner with Pie at a friend’s house (a friend who is so creative and engaged with her kids that she makes the rest of us look really, really bad. I know you read this! Stop that now!). I got home and Adam was putting Pie to bed, so I started cooking a little dinner for him (I’ll take cooking for anyone any day over putting her to bed) and I turned on the game. It was a commercial, so I called my mom.
“I just got home and it’s a commercial. What’s going on in the game so far?”
My mom replied, “Um, the Jets lost?”
“Yes, I know that. What about the Saints game. The one that’s on right now?”
Silence for a minute. “Um, I forgot. Let me go turn it on.” We hang up.
A few minutes later she calls back. “It’s not on!”
“Yes, it is. Of course it is. Put on Fox.”
“Oh. I guess it’s a commercial.”
Theoretically she’s watching the game right now. Ask her who the quarterback for the Saints is. She won’t know. He went to high school in Texas. Geaux Saints.