Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Birthday Party



Well, it went off without a hitch for starters! I'll admit, I was somewhat dreading the thought of two and a half hours with ten kids, all eight and under. But they were the most well-behaved, most polite bunch of kids I've seen in a while. I was impressed! Kai had a great time. The kids played laser tag and then bowled. After bowling, we went back to the party room for pizza and cupcakes. I bought cupcakes at Costco this year and what a bargain. We got 20 cupcakes for around $17.00, and they were HUGE! And they were a big hit with the kids. Kai got a lot of great presents, and tons of cash. The boy is rich!

The money was burning a hole in his pocket, so Tim dutifully took him to the evil Wal-Mart on the way home from the party so Kai could spend a bit of his money. We had a brief discussion about going ahead and buying Rock Band, but decided to hold off on that. We'd like to get Wii Fit, but it's sold out everywhere. He chose the game 'Boogie' for Wii, which is a dance/karaoke game. I played it with him, and I will confess right now, that I should NEVER, EVER, sing. It's not pretty, folks.

As if we hadn't celebrated enough after the party and the trip to Wal-Mart, Tim wanted to go out to dinner. We went to Kokopelli, a great little Mexican restaurant near out house. Since we hadn't eaten anything at the party, we were pretty hungry. We had them bring out a fried ice-cream dessert at the end of the meal for Kai. He ate a little of it, but I think by then he was tired and he really wanted to get home to play with his new stuff.




All in all, it was a wonderful birthday. Kai's already thinking about what he wants to do next year, which I know will change a million times between now and then. But for now, he's happy just being 8. These first eight years went by so fast! By the time the next eight whiz by, I'll probably hardly ever see him!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hump Day

Well here I am halfway through my stay-cation and I haven't accomplished much. Which is fine with me! I'm a firm believer that a vacation spent at home should be about relaxing and doing as little as possible.

I tell myself that because I have yet to tackle Kai's bedroom of horrors. Once I got the boys out of the house yesterday, and my mom left for work, I plopped down in front of the TV while giving myself a pedicure. I watched 'The Fly' on TV. I forgot how attractive Jeff Goldblum was in that film. Well, before he morphed into a fly anyway.

Tonight is Beth's visitation, which I will be going to. There will be people there that I haven't seen in ages, including her parents and probably some people from high school. It struck me earlier that I'm getting to the age where you only see people at funerals. I think though, that Beth would have been very happy to know that everyone gathered to say goodbye to her. And it makes me realize once again, that we need to tell the people that matter to us how much we love them. Life is fleeting; it goes by way too fast. So don't count the days; make every day count! And don't be afraid to tell someone you love and care about them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ahhhh! Sweet Freedom!

Today, I get to enjoy a rare moment around here. I'm going to have the entire house all to myself! Tim and Kai left for an overnight camp out (who camps on a Tuesday?), and my mom is headed back to work at the community center. So that means that I will have at least 5 hours all alone! I'm going to give myself a pedicure, drink another cup of chai latte and watch a little TV. Then I'm going to work on some cleaning around here. I know that doesn't sound like the most exciting thing, but I'll be able to get something done without any distractions from Kai or my mom or Tim. I can just 'be'.

I'm going to attempt to get started on Kai's room, but I don't know if I'm ready to tackle it. It's pretty scary in there!

I didn't write about it here, but yesterday I found out that a really good friend from high school had passed. Beth had been diagnosed with Churg-Strauss Syndrome about a year and a half ago. I honestly never thought she would die. She fought so hard, and died too young. She was only 40, and she had a really hard life. But she always tried to look for a reason to laugh, despite all of the things she had to deal with. And that's how I'll always remember her- laughing at some stupid joke that only we thought was funny.



That picture was taken in around '89 or '90. Our friend Carol had a 50's theme birthday party. We thought we were something else! Rest in peace, Beth. May you find the happiness and tranquility that always eluded you in this lifetime.

Monday, June 23, 2008

R.I.P.



I woke up this morning to read on the MSNBC ticker that George Carlin had died from heart failure. Wow, this one is really sad for me. Yes, he came out of the counter-culture of the late '60s, and yes, there was that infamous list of seven words you can't say on TV (I'm sorry to confess there have been times when I have said all seven of them), but looking past that, he was a gifted performer. His routine required you to think a little bit, required you to be engaged.

Later in his career, he was the quintessential little guy, railing against the government, corporate greed and general ineptitude. My earliest memories of Carlin were listening to sanitized versions of his routine on the Dr. Demento show. Later on, I made sure to catch every HBO special he did. He was ok in movies and TV shows, but I thought he was at his best on stage, angrily stalking back and forth, trying to make sense of our non-sensical world.

So, rest in peace, George.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Happened?!

Last night I came home from work, all excited that my vacation had finally started. Yay! No getting up at a ridiculously early hour every day, no dragging myself off to the bus stop for another journey into the festival of idiots that is my job.

As I walked through the front door, though, I was caught off guard by the fact that my casa is a wreck! Sure, I knew that the table by the front door was a catch all for incoming mail, my purse, Kai's backpack, etc. But I got to really looking around, and there's clutter in every room of the house! A good majority of it is Kai's, but I'm sad to say that a lot of it is mine, too. So I think a couple of days of my vacation are going to be devoted to getting this disaster back into some kind of order. And, shh!, Kai doesn't know it yet, but when he goes on his overnight camping trip this week, I'm cleaning his room! And throwing stuff away! He's got so much crud, he'll never miss a thing. Last year, I made him drag everything out of his room- all the toys anyway. The only thing left in there was the furniture. For three days, we sorted and tossed and organized. And his bedroom went from this-


(I am so sorry you had to see that!)

To this-


I had to have photographic evidence that his room was clean for at least one day. It's not quite as bad as it was in the first photo, but it's dangerously close. So it looks like I'll be donning my hardhat and digging in. Send help if you don't hear from me!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Awesomely Bad Food

I had forgot about this cookbook that I got a few months ago at an estate sale. I'm glad I picked it up, though! It was published in 1963 for the Kansas City Power and Light Company. Take a look at this kitchen-



At first, I was so transfixed by all that harvest gold that I failed to notice the completely insane set up for the cooktop. The harvest gold cooktop is inset to an aqua colored formica topped island, with the cooktop controls set SIDEWAYS. It must have confused the coffee klatch here too, because nobody's using it. The one girl there at the end of the counter almost blends into the harvest gold kitchen all together. I can't tell what Princess Big Hair is doing back there by the dishwasher, and I'm not entirely sure why Patty Duke is there in a Catholic school uniform. But whatever, come on, and let's "Know the Joy of Better Cooking Electrically".

All hail the electric oven!-



First of all, I have never in my life seen an oven that clean. That must be part of the joy of cooking electrically. I've been trying to figure out what that big hunk of meat is. It's got a nice, artery clogging layer of fat to splatter all over that oven, that's for sure. It looks kind of shiny, doesn't it? And it's barely fitting on that roasting tray with all those spuds and carrots. You'd probably throw your back out trying to heave that thing out of the oven. But that's ok, because according to the text, "If this is your first experience with an Electric (so new it demands to be capitalized!) range oven, you are in for some wonderful surprises". I'll just bet you are...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More Random Stuff

Things have been really busy lately. I keep thinking I'll find the time to sit down and do this properly, but just haven't found the time.

Tim is recovering nicely from the surgery he had on a herniated disc last month. He's doing more than I might like for him to do, but if he thinks he can do it, I won't stand in his way.

This week he's been working the Cub Scout day camp, teaching the boys how to shoot BB guns. That's right, Tim's in charge of sniper training! Just kidding! Kai is having a blast each day, and comes home exhausted and happy.

I had Kai sit down with me on Sunday night to watch the 'Best of Mike Meyers' SNL special they had on TV. He wanted to know where Jason was, so I had to explain that this was Mike Meyers the comedian, not Michael Meyers the deranged killer. Once we got past that, he liked the show well enough and has been quoting Phil Hartman's 'Susan the She-male' routine from the Sprockets Dating Game. Yes, I know that it's wrong for my almost-8-year-old son to know about she-males and poopchutes, but I busted up laughing at the skit and so he did too. Now I can't get him to stop talking in a bad German accent about 'size 7 poopchutes'.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it or not, but Kai has a listening problem. Not a hearing, a listening. He mis-understands everything. The other night, he asked if we had a dung vader in our house. Excuse me? I asked him what a dung vader was. He said, 'you know, that box in the wall that has a rope and it takes food to another floor in your house?' Oh, a DUMB-WAITER! I explained it to him and told him that Dung Vader was Darth's retarded cousin. He seemed to accept this.

We're gearing up for Kai's birthday party in a couple of weeks. I decided to do it at the bowling alley this year. For about the same money that we fork out for a cook-out/party at home, the kids can bowl, play laser tag and have pizza and soda. Best of all, I don't have to do a darned thing! The most I'll have to do is pick up some cupcakes at Costco. And my casa stays clean! Well, clean-ish.

I'm off work next week and it is a desperately needed vacation. I'd like to say that I'm going to sit around and do nothing, but there's a lot around the house that needs to be done. I do plan to have some 'lying around watching movies on Lifetime' time, but there's a few other projects I want to tackle too, and some more bags to make.

That's all for now, look for a new Awfully Bad Food post tomorrow!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday Night At The Movies- Last Clear Chance

Twenty minutes long, but the MST3K commentary makes it worthwhile!

Friday, June 6, 2008

A 'New' Concept- The Stay-cation!

With gas prices climbing along with the cost of everything else, people are choosing this summer to go on a 'stay-cation'; staying close to home instead of traveling across this big 'ol country of ours. I remember this when I was a kid; it was called 'summer vacation'.

Growing up, my mom didn't have extra money for us to be jetting or driving around all over the place. I spent summers outside, playing on the front porch of either my grandmother or great grandmother's house. There were other kids all up and down the street doing the same thing, and our days consisted of hula-hoop contests, Barbie fashion shows and riding our bikes down to the far end of the street. I drove my mom nuts most weeknights, begging to stay up to watch the 'racy' episodes of Benny Hill on channel 41.

As a teenager, summer days seemed to both whiz and crawl by as I laid out in the back yard to work on my tan and talked endlessly on the phone with my best friend about whatever boy I was obsessed with that summer. The highlight of the summer was a trip to Worlds of Fun and riding every ride out there. Before she scored a car, one of my best friends and I would spend hours walking around the neighborhood, hoping to catch a glimpse of the objects of our affection. Once we had wheels, we were up at City Park every night we possibly could be, sneaking bottles of wine coolers in the car with us.

Writing all of this, I can't help but feel sentimental for those times,and I can't imagine my son or any kids I know for that matter, being content with a summer at home. Now more than ever, we've become a nation on the go, unable to slow the pace down. At almost 8 years old, my son is too 'sophisticated' to run around the backyard trying to catch lightning bugs in an old mayonaise jar. He practically scoffs at the idea of playing any game that isn't handheld, on the TV or on the computer. But I'll keep working on him!

Since we are for sure having a stay-cation this year, here are some of the activities I have in mind-

Cookouts, cookouts, cookouts

Going over to Pa-pa's to swim

Sitting on the back porch at night, listening to the sizzle of the bug zapper

Going to the library and to the dollar shows at the movies (although I think they're way more than a dollar now!)

Talking Tim into trips to Dairy Queen for dipped ice-cream cones or Dilly Bars

Let me know what your plans are for your summer staycation!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Things I Will Never Want

Quite often, I make lists of things that I wish I could have or things that I love. This time though, I thought I would give a quick run down of the things that I will never want, covet, desire or drool over-

Anything that spins and has color-changing fiber optic lights.

Peanut brittle

'Designer imposter' perfume

socks

bungee cords

magnetic jewelery

any kind of odd 'food saver' bags

lawn ornaments

anything glow in the dark (give those to Kai, he'll love it!)

appliances

I like to think of myself as a relatively simple girl, who enjoys the simple things in life. I would never think of telling someone that I hated something that they gave as a gift to me, but any of the above would pretty much set my teeth on edge (and I've received them all!!)

I'd love to hear what some of your least favorite things are!