PROMPTuesday #132: Scintillation, in the Family Way

Courtesy of my friend, Paul: Today’s creative writing challenge should you choose to accept it, is to:

 

Write an everyday, “boring,” straightforward activity as if it were p$rn. Make it scintillating, but not too p#rny. We’re a family blog over here at San Diego Momma.

 

HA HA!

 

I make me laugh.

 

Meanwhile, please post your submission in the comments or write about it on your blog and leave me the link.

 

First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here. Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.

 

Decluttering, Euphemistically

Just re-posting this…because HOLY TIMELY…

 

Just checking in to say that my husband and I are not divorced yet. Oh, it’s OK, probably. I’m crossing fingers that we will weather Project “Tidy House in Sequence Beginning (with) Large Obvious Wrecks & Stains” (THIS BLOWS), also referred to pseudo affectionately as the “The Huge Intrepid, Super Ballsy Long Overdue Weeding-Out Strategy” (also THIS BLOWS).

 

Seems someone (**cough cough* I’manidiot **cough cough**) took it upon themselves to declare the days following Thanksgiving as “Organization Time,” and so we are cleaning out the kids’ toy bins, drawers, dressers, closets, etc. ALL WEEKEND LONG.

AS IN FRIDAY, SATURDAY, and SUNDAY WEEKEND LONG.

 

The problem here is two-fold: one, I suffer from chaos disorder; and two, I don’t like to be told what to do. So this leaves me with (1) not knowing what to do with all the crap, and (2) not liking my husband’s suggestions (which, in my defense, usually amounts to “let’s put everything in this plebian-looking industrial-size utilitarian container!“) or (let’s take off the closet doors!,” his nonsensical organizational omni-answer).

 

So I love my husband, but we are so painfully mismatched in our organizational approaches that I really and truly dread de-cluttering with him. Like I said, I am genetically predisposed to repel all organizational efforts, and even if I wanted to establish order, I do not have the brain circuitry to do so. I lack the DNA, I’m telling you. I could stick something in a drawer (and I do, oh how I do), and forget it’s there until The Rock finds my birth certificate while looking for the toilet bowl cleaner (which, in my passive-aggressive defense, NEVER happens).

 

It’s like I know what needs to be done to organize, but I can’t get there. Seriously. You should see my sock/underwear/bathing suit/silver coin collection/1999 movie tickets/kids’ immunization records drawer.

 

On the other hand, organization was bred into The Rock’s family. His grandpa used to take 10 minutes to open a Christmas present because he did it so methodically and calculated (with a pen knife) so the wrapping paper could be refolded and used again. Also, The Rock’s mom has things like “recipe collections,” and “photo albums” to organize her stuff. I find this baffling. My mom just stuck all her photos in a big box prone to water and fire damage, a tradition I proudly follow to this day.

 

Still, I pretty much know where things — the important things — are located. I have a half-assed organizational system that sort of works. Or at least it used to, until my second pregnancy, which stole most of the brain cells responsible for memory. Now, I kind of just grope around in the usual places and hope to find what I need, like smog certificates that were due 10 days ago, or an EPT indicator stick.

 

Also, did I tell you how I went to a Hewlett-Packard focus group a few weeks ago? To offer input on an in-progress product that could further organize moms’ lives? And how all the moms there were actually organized? And how I had to admit that I was not? In the least, littlest, fractionest, teeniest bit? And how any product designed to organize my life would be futile and an exercise in ridiculousness? Then how I publicly shared I hate paper? Because it’s more stuff I have to not organize? And so I don’t have things like recipes, or grocery lists, or master calendars, or any of that detritus? Because it’s more debris to de-clutter? Well, let me just say about that: a collective gasp arose from the moms, and one politely but firmly told the HP engineers, “we’re not all like that.”

 

I was so mortified at myself after that focus group that I went right out and bought a master calendar. I filled it out and everything. And you know what? The Rock said something to the effect of it wasn’t organized enough. I guess I needed to fill in more than one month at a time?

I swear, I’m gonna kill him this weekend.

 

No divorce. Just death by master calendar blunt force trauma. And then I’m going to stick his body in an industrial-size utilitarian container, kinda like a tribute. Or in the closet? I haven’t settled on a body disposal site yet. My indecisive gene is even huger than my chaos gene.

 

Just kidding honey! I love you, and hope that together, we can harmoniously tackle Project THIS BLOWS. Because a solid partnership like ours should not crumble just because your mom’s eggs had too much organization in them.

 

p.s. And I’m sorry I gave that bum our umbrella. I just couldn’t find the right drawer for it. Also, it’s Christmas! I thought it’d be nice if I enabled more efficient four-seasons panhandling.

 

Perspective

It took me three days and eight grocery store trips to shop for Thanksgiving. I made five lists, lost four, and retrieved the last from a hapless garbage toss. I’ve searched the Internet for homemade stuffing recipes dozens of times because I forget which bread I’m supposed to use, switched the turkey cooking method to barbecue to deep fry to roasting to back to deep fry, and made phone call after phone call to my dad, my neighbors, mother-in-law, and friends.

 

Is bourbon the same thing as whiskey?” I ask.

 

Do I cube the bread before I dry it out for the stuffing?”

 

Are waxy Yukon golds better than Idaho for mashed potatoes?”

 

And in a particularly low moment:

 

Do I remove those bags of body parts before I marinate the turkey?”

 

I’ve got boxes of stuff — electric knives, carafes, extra silverware — scattered around the house. I don’t know where to put the kids. I’m still trying to decide on buffet or sitdown.

 

It’s been hard for me to quiet my mind, as always, but more so these last few weeks. I can’t quite think straight. Come up with the right words, decide on a game plan, calm down. It feels like my mind is a Japanese movie converted to the English language; the words of the actors aren’t matching the audio and everyone is speed talking. My brain and body aren’t calibrated. One or the other is going too fast.

 

And now I sit here at 6:42AM on Thanksgiving Day — surveying the thumbprints on the dining room table I’ll have to Windex later, cycling through who is going to sit where, pondering the epic cleanup later tonight — and something intrudes upon my hamster-wheel thought process. Something that woke me up early, pushed me downstairs, and sat me at the table in front of the computer to write before I let the words go.

 

Grateful.

 

Grateful.

 

Grateful.

 

That’s the something.

 

That’s the only thing.

 

If I hold on to “grateful,” it doesn’t matter where anyone sits or if I use Italian bread instead of wheat for the stuffing.

 

The word isn’t particularly profound, but a few seconds ago my six-year-old daughter came scampering down the stairs whispering “I’m so excited!” and “How big is the turkey again?” and I think “grateful” need not be profound, it just need be.

 

Sh$t My Dad Makes

So I talked to my dad today.

 

And this is funny because he is funny in a gruff Shit My Dad Says way, and whenever I talk to him he makes me laugh.

Usually without meaning to.

 

Did I ever tell you the song he taught us kids when we were young? Stay tuned. It will follow below.

 

Meanwhile, when I asked my dad about the turkey I plan to “roast” (term used loosely) on Thanksgiving, he shouted, “Listen to me! Butter it, season it, then keep your damn hands off it!”

 

And when I laughed, he reiterated: “I’m telling you Deborah! Keep your damn hands off it!”

 

Then he told me to make fruit salad with maraschino cherries and Cool Whip.

 

And I pretended that I would, and he said he was going to send me something special that would really wow my guests on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Two hours later, this arrived in my email inbox:

 

Sweet Bourbon Corn Pudding

* 2 large eggs

* 3/4 cup evaporated milk

* 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

* 2 tlbs. unsalted butter, melted

* 3 tbls. dark brown sugar

* 3 tbls. cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbls. bourbon & 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

* 1/4 teaspoons of salt

* 1/2 teaspoons of ground white pepper

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8″ square baking dish.

2. Whisk together the eggs and the milk. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

3. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Bake 45 to 48 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm.

 

Cheese Bread

* 2 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese

* 1/2 cups milk & three eggs along with one tablespoon dry mustard

* 6 slices or add accordingly for larger portions slices of white bread (Wonder works best)

 

1. Whip eggs, milk, & mustard.

2. Layer cubed cheese on bread.

3. Start with bread, end w/cheese.

4. Pour liquid over all

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes

 

Bake the above while singing the below, courtesy of my dad:

 

Polly went out to milk the cow, Polly Vouz

Polly went out to milk the cow, Polly Vouz

She missed the tit and pulled the tail

and all the shit went in the pail

Hinky Dinky Polly Vouz.

 

Happy Thanksgiving! And for God’s sake, keep your damn hands off that turkey!

 

PROMPTuesday #131: Of Odes and Such

First of all, let me publicly apologize for not PROMPTly responding to your submissions last week. I plan to in the next few days. I always love what you write and want to savor and digest the posts, and not rush through and lose the flavor. (I am hosting Thanksgiving this year, and have eating things on the brain.) So…just know…that I appreciate your PROMPTuesday input and I read every word you write, even if it is a week later, and HOW DO YOU COOK A TURKEY????

 

In other news, yesterday was my 42nd birthday (in my head, I pronounced it “forty-HOLY SHIT WHEN DID MY SKIN BEGIN RESEMBLING A PLUCKED CHICKEN’S!-second”) and I received the most beautiful and amazing well wishes. Among them, this from my kindred-soul friend, Mary. And in addition to a plate of other things (like deep and lasting love) her lovely post inspired this week’s prompt, which is:

 

Write an ode to someone or something.

 

Here’s my ode to Thanksgiving:

 

Oh Thanksgiving, why do you mock?

I worry my stuffing will taste like a sock

I can’t cook worth a damn

My turkey’s a ham

And everything else is a rock

 

Fine. Not only does my Thanksgiving cooking need help, so does my Thanksgiving ode. Also, your ode need not be a crappy poem.

 

Carry on.

 

Please post your own ode in the comments or write about it on your blog and leave me the link.

 

First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here. Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.

 

Failed PR Pitch

First in a series…

 

 

Dear Sandie Go Momma:

 

You seem zippy! Always going somewhere, are we right? It says so right in your name, Sandie!

 

Would you like to review our tornado car? It is built to withstand winds up to 300 miles per hour! We’re pretty confident that you will love this car and we are going to send you — all-expenses-paid of course — to Oklahoma’s beautiful dust bowl country to try it out.

 

Lots of people love this car, Sandie! If you’d like to interview these people, let us know! We will collect their scattered body parts and re-assemble them into acceptable interviewees whose talking points will be quite literally provided by our lovely intern, Paprika De la MelrosePlace. Because the people who’ve tested this car are dead, Sandie! But hey, they knew the risks!

 

Do you know the risks Sandie?

 

Zippy on-the-go people like you don’t care about no stinkin’ risks, are we right?

 

The tornado car awaits!

 

Warmly,

 

ACME PR

 

Long Story Short

Perhaps I’ve mentioned that I’m wordy? Like overly and irritatingly wordy?

 

I’d let you ask my husband, but he had his ears removed in 2002.

 

And the thing is even though I’m a lover of the language, I prefer to write it, and not say it so much. So I tend to not vlog and appear on camera because I babble and yammer and I can’t hit the backspace button and delete myself.

 

Still, sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet and agree to be filmed or create a vlog.

Which is what I did recently for my gal pal, Rock On Mommies.

Last month see, she asked if I would join two other ladies and vlog my answer to the question, “What is the one thing you said you’d never say to your kid but ended up saying anyway?”

 

And I answered the question. And answered it, and answered it, and answered it. Then threw one more answer in there for good measure. Which I answered with my answer.

 

Luckily, I had the World’s Greatest Vlogger and Humor Blogger visiting the weekend I taped my vlog and I asked her to look at what I recorded.

 

And so she did.

 

 

And stopped watching at about second THREE and after the 82nd “aaaannd,” but out of politeness and because she was stuck at my place, kept watching. But with glazed eyes and a burdened heart.

 

And then she said:

 

It’s too long and too slow. Do this instead:”

 

 

And so I did.

 

Forever and ever Amen.

 

Sidebar: It’s also good if you take a shower before you vlog. The World’s Greatest Vlogger and Humor Blogger didn’t tell me that, but I read it in her eyes.

 

My Week So Far

Monday

I woke up early and took a shower, then dried off, very happy with myself that I was not going to be late for anything this fine morning. Why, I was probably going to be early for stuff! No rushing! No eating half-and-half for breakfast! No washing my face with shaving cream, using a Barbie necklace as a scrunchie, passing off pajama bottoms as harem pants! This was going to be a great day!

 

Now…where was that mousse I bought yesterday? I just need to style and dry my hair and I am out of here to start my morning NOT LATE! The mousse was right here, wasn’t it? I mean, I just purchased it from the store. The bottle was silver and red and said “Mousse” on it. Also, the mousse was glittery. Lots of rainbow sparkles in every pump. I know it was right…

 

Wait. Glitter? Red, silver, rainbow sparkles?

 

Right. That mousse I bought yesterday and just spent 15 minutes looking for on my one early morning?

 

Was in my dream.

 

It was dream mousse.

 

Hanging out with naked in my high school math class and running from knife-wielding demon hamsters.

 

Non-existent.

 

Pass the half-and-half and pajama bottoms.

 

Tuesday

I had a doctor’s appointment and needed to be there on time to fill out 80 pages of paperwork that basically says “Your insurance pays for nothing, nothing, NOTHING, do you hear us? But here is a pretty flower pen.” I was making pretty good time, having dropped my oldest off at elementary school and was now heading back to the car after taking my youngest to preschool. I walked fast, with purpose, verve, and confidence. I would be there on time. Ah, there was my car! I threw the door open, ready to plop onto the driver’s seat with robustness, when…

 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

 

There was a person in my seat. A person who looked just like me, but was screaming.

 

I looked down at my hands, my legs, my feet. Am I here? Or am I in the car? Do I have a doppelganger? Have I been a figment of my imagination all these years? Do I even exist?

 

But no. The screaming person was Sharon. She was in her car wondering who the hell just violently opened her door.

 

To my credit, Sharon looks a lot like me.

 

Wednesday

Give me a little time. It’s only 10:02AM. I’m sure something sloppy and idiotic will happen by noon.