Friday, September 30, 2011

Is Fake Singing the Only Thing More Critical Than Global Thermonuclear War? Duh, Obvi.

I might have said once or thirty times that I am not a big fan of our school's PTA.  This is not because I don't appreciate the wonderful things that they do to raise money for our school, I most certainly do recognize and appreciate that.   The problem with our PTA is that it seems to attract a very specific type of woman and this type of woman is not my favorite.  In fact, I think it's fair to say that if this type of woman were a man, I'd punch her in the junk.

You know the type of woman that I'm talking about; the type with too much time on her hands, lots of gossip to spread and just enough of a mean streak to spread it freely. She will  sidle up to Mother A at Spaghetti Wingo Night to mine a nugget of deeply personal information out of her and by the time Family Fun Night comes around, Mothers B-Z have heard the entire story in rich detail. In a word they are cliquey, klatschy, crappy.

Generally speaking, I avoid these women like herpes.  In the beginning of the year, I make a financial contribution and then I lift my giant rock like Patrick Star and I get under it for the duration.   Unfortunately, over the last school year,  I had to interface with these sea hags of the educational system and as usual the experience has left me full of piss and vinegar.  My least favorite PTA moment of the prior school year - Lip Sync Night.

Yeah, you heard me, Lip Sync Night.  Don't look at me with that puzzled look on your face.  If you don't know what that is, you spend more time under your rock than I do.  This is a matter of critical national importance!  It's code red!  It's under media scrutiny! IT'S LIP-EFFING-SYNC!!!!!!!! You clearly don't get the gravity of the situation.  Allow me to illuminate. . .

My daughter has participated in Lip Sync night for past three years and this year, she really didn't want to do it. Unfortunately, one of her good friends insisted that she join and being the 12 year old girl that she is, she caved to the pressure of the queen bee.

When rehearsals began, we received a very detailed, typed schedule of practices, shortly after that, the costume requirements came home.  They consisted of shorts, tank top, black tee shirt, leg warmers,nude pantyhose, gauntlets (fingerless gloves) and black converse sneakers.  This little outfit ran us in the neighborhood of $150.00, but listen up people, IT'S LIP SYNC NIGHT!

As practice wore on, we started to get performance notes home about our daughter's efforts at Lip Sync practice. Apparently, there were some issues with the way she was fake singing. She was behind a step here, she didn't seem to have memorized the words to the second verse, she was moving to the back row a half a beat too soon, etc.  It was about this time that I wanted to call the mother up and say,  "Listen up Fosse, lay off the Dexedrine and lay off my kid!".   But instead, we took the notes and promptly filed them in the shitter where they belonged and never mentioned it to the kid.

Fast forward to Lip Sync night.  As we pulled up to the school, we had to fight our way through throngs of paparazzi and a deep layer of security to get in.  We found our way to our glamorous, gum covered seats in the auditorium and quickly scanned the program to see where our daughter's group was - fifth in a field of 53.  Thanks to the collective deities of the universe for that small favor.  I had sat through all three hours of the past two years for our daughter's two minute performance.  Being the mother of an outgoing 6th grader gave me the gravitas to bolt out under cover of darkness after her performance. I was through being polite.  We left and went food shopping.  We had a neighbor text us when the finale started and we went back and got her.

As we were walking out, my daughter turned to me and said "Do you remember my friend Jamie from Kindergarten?"  "The one whose mother was PTA president?" I replied, trying not to have my voice drip with too much venom.  "Yea, that's her.  Well her mother hired a professional choreographer for her group." Dumbstruck, I failed to respond, I simply stopped in my tracks with my mouth hung open like a trout.  My daughter looked back at me with a devilish grin and a gleam in her eye, knowing that she had stunned the unstunnable.

Early this month I sent my daughter off to Jr High School.  I have my concerns about the next couple of years as Jr High is a time of discovery and experimentation for many teenagers.  It has more freedom , more stress and more homework than elementary school, but you know what it doesn't have? Lip Sync night. I think it's going to be OK after all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Bladder is no Longer Strong Enough for My Daugther's You Tube Recommendations

This is undeniably stupid.  Goofy.  Even a little weird.  But as soon as I saw it, I burst into uncontrollable, spasmodic, hacking (just getting over bronchitis) laughter.  I dunno.  See for yourself.

Friday, September 9, 2011

10 Things That Scare Me

Spam - the slimy, gelatinous meat in a can, not the e-mail kind.

PTA Moms - This frightening breed of uber-moms seems to live to gossip and judge and to make absolutely sure that you only get one playbill on LipSync Night. 

Raw Chicken - No, really, I have bad dreams about cross-contamination.

Televangelists - They are a generically frightening bunch, but Benny Hinn's hair is truly terrifying.

Anything that Andrew Zimmern eats.

Radical Vegans - Peace out girl scout.  I am cool with you eating twigs and dirt, you need to be cool with me having a big hairy steak.  Mmmmmm, Flay Steak.

George Michael's Shorts in Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.  - I mean, really?  Wasn't he concerned with VPL (either visible panty lines or visible penis lines - it's your call).

Planking - Seriously,  this is all there is for you to do?  Come to my house and help me paint if you're bored.

Pea Puree - Everyone on Top Chef has parked a protein on top of pea puree.  There was even controversy one season about someone stealing someone else's pea puree.  What is with this trend?  Is this really anything more than runny baby food?  Besides, if you leave the peas whole, they are much easier for me to push aside with blatant disregard.

Absinthe - One time is all you need to know that this is the single most terrifying and volatile substance ever distilled.  Keep your dignity . . .if someone offers you Absinthe, just say no (unless you like wearing a strangers underwear on your head, then, by all means, be my guest).

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Odoriferous Chillin

I need to start this blog post with a dedication to hurricane Irene.  Avast ye drunken wench!  You rolled into port, blew everything in site, left our little island broken and powerless and moved on up the coast.  Thanks for the syphilis ya scurvy skank!

OK, now that I got that out of my system. . . I'm really not here to complain about hurricane Irene.  We did lose power for five days and while she may have dosed us with a case of electrical clap, it was our incompetent doctor LIPA that ensured that we kept that case of the drips until we bordered on the brink of madness.  However, we were very lucky as all of our family and pets are safe and there was no real damage to our property, outside of our refrigerator, which suffered mightily.

When the storm was on its way, we filled a big cooler with many bags of ice and then proceeded to fill the cooler with key perishables from the fridge - eggs, butter, milk, vodka. You know, the important stuff.  I also jammed the freezer full of bags of ice to use as a sort of secondary cooler, figuring the power would be back on long before the metric ton of ice that I had supplied would ever melt.  Wrong again Diary. Very wrong.  There was no way to predict the level of chaos associated with trying to work, take cold showers, keep track of children with dying cell phones and check in and out of hotels amidst a widespread blackout.  I totally forgot about the remainder of what was in the fridge.  I forgot for five days.

When the power came back and we finally opened her up, the aroma was what I'd imagine the devil's taint smells like after a tough workout. Or maybe that's not a heinous enough comparison. I dunno. It was BAD.
Not only had I not removed all perishables from the fridge, I left the things that are most likely to stink to high heaven when they go bad; containers of  yogurt, chicken wings, juices and hummus and a variety of cold cuts and cheeses. Did I mention the block of smoked provolone? Yeah, I left that too. It was like the stinky cherry on a gabage pile sundae.

The next 24 hours were dedicated to decontaminating the fridge.  Every scrap of food save for two sealed jars of  pepperoncini and Lemon Curd were pitched into the trash.   We then removed all drawers, shelves and cubbies and scrubbed them twice with soap and hot water.  Anything small enough to fit in the dishwasher, took a ride through the Sterilization cycle and the box itself was scrubbed with Mr Clean until it sparkled like diamond dust.  I then reassembled the shelving and equipped her with two fresh boxes of baking soda.  I felt a tremendous relief to have a clean fresh smelling refrigerator, for about thirty seconds.

As I turned to walk away from my sparkling clean masterwork, I got a whiff of the rotting hell that we had smelled before.  Could it be that I didn't scrub sufficiently?  I inserted my head deep into the freezer and inhaled.  Nothing. Repeated the procedure with the fridge.  Fresh as a daisy.  But again as I turned away, there it was.  Just a whiff, with no obvious location.  From that point, I began sterilizing everything.  The sink got scrubbed with bleach and force fed an entire box of baking soda. The dishwasher got one of those dishwasher spa treatments.  Still, the smell persisted.  Finally, I noticed warm exhaust coming from under the fridge .  It was clear that the smell was riding up on that burst of warm air. It must be the drip pan!

My husband grabbed a flashlight and looked under the fridge and sure enough, there was a drip pan filled with festering water.  The ice in the fridge had been melting down into the drip pan and carrying the aroma of everything that was gradually rotting in the fridge for five days.  We had to clean that drip pan, which meant that we were going to have to move the fridge. The thought of moving the fridge made me very nervous. It had been a while since we had moved the fridge, I fully expected to find a Hobbit community under there, complete with homes, pets and infrastructure. It wasn't quite that bad, but it was a little gnarly.

Between gags, we cleaned and sanitized the drip pan within an inch of its festering life, and voila! the smell was gone.  We then cleaned up Hobbit Town and pushed the fridge back into place all clean and fresh.

Later that evening, I went to target to stock up on cleaning supplies.  As I was checking out, the cashier looked at me sideways when she saw the sheer volume of home fragrance that I had purchased - two cupcake scented pillar candles, a jar candle that smelled like mango and pineapple, three reed diffusers, a cinnamon apple plug in and a bottle of Febreeze.  I looked back at her, giggled nervously, shrugged my shoulders and said "teenagers".  I know, I know, it wasn't true, but I dare you to poke your head into my son's room and continue to judge that response.  It might be a close second to the drip pan.