Friday, May 29, 2009

If you know my mom...

...then you know that I really need no explanation. In most ways, I am truly a carbon copy of the crazy lady. Things I got from Mom: 

my red hair
my inability to say "no"
my tendency to take on too much responsibility because I know only I can do things the exact way I have pictured in my mind
my flights of fancy
my sarcastic sense of humor and quirky personality
my love of being the center of attention
my love of quiet solitude
my passion for reading, but only if it's good, intelligent writing
my obsession with proper grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling
my refusal to tolerate ignorance
 my love of cooking (and drinking)
my overuse of ... but nothing else more perfectly represents my shifts between my random thoughts!
 my great taste in all things
my love of great music...mostly nothing after 1980
And the list goes on and on...

But today she and I entered into a thread of emails that had me laughing hysterically at my computer while my kiddos worked on a semester exam review. I couldn't stop laughing because it was one more thing that proved how much I'm like her! If the threads weren't labeled, you could truly not be able to tell which one of us is saying what.

Mom: They just had a spot on "Today" about Prince Harry playing polo. As part of the spot they had a famous polo player (who also happens to be the Polo model) and "oh, my..." Forget baseball players! His name is Nacho Piedras (sp?) and all that can be said is "oh, my..." :)
Misc. Redhead: Haha...Nacho...I guess you could look past the name if he's that cute! :)
Mom: Oh, trust me - you could look past a lot of things...except, maybe, that wedding ring on his left hand. Then again... :)
Misc. Redhead: Shame on you!! ;)
Mom: I know you can't do YouTube at school but when you get home check out Nacho Figueras. He's got a couple YouTube spots and then you might be planning a trip to Argentina! Oh, my... :) I googled (and ogled :) ) him to send you a picture and the YouTube spots were the "best" - as if there could be a worst. :) !

How hip is she? She is adept at YouTube, and she uses "google" as a verb. I love her.

Now that I've piqued your interest, here's a little taste of heaven. You probably don't remember when I dyed my hair dark for the shoot because I quickly went back to red. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How old am I again?

This is a night full of contradictory components that make it hard to determine if I'm really almost 4 months shy of 30 or only 8 years old. I'm sitting in my big, comfy chair with pigtails, drinking a beer, painting my toenails, eating sour punch straws, and watching The Reader. If you haven't seen it, it's got some pretty intense sensuality...but it's with a teenage boy! I'm a little, ok quite a bit, disturbed. Just now getting to the post-statutory rape scenes. I think...
So Ralph Fiennes was in The Reader. Just started Taken with Liam Neeson. Two of my fave actors and some dang good eye (and ear) candy! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

I love that song...ok, I just love Billy Joel period. Today my parents and I took my grandma and great aunt out to lunch at the good ol' Olive Garden in celebration of AE's 91st birthday yesterday. Today was an all-around good day...everyone was one thought anyone was stealing, plotting, or trafficking drugs. Little victories in my family that get us through. Thankfully, there was really, really good background music today that kept making me smile. I swear I was born in the wrong decade/generation.

Scene #1

(middle of a conversation with Mom about a tv show - keep in mind I am classic ADD and can't usually stay focused on one topic in a normal conversation, much less one involving these two)

Misc. Redhead: You haven't watched it yet?

Mom: No, I just haven't gotten around to it this week.

Grandma: What was the name of the lady who bought Lydia's house?

Mom: What?

Grandma: You know...the one who had that fat little dog.

Misc Redhead: Oh yeah...Speedy. Her name was Jean something.

Mom (looking back to me): Okay, go ahead.

Misc. Redhead: What were we talking about again?

Mom: House.

Misc. Redhead: Oh yeah. I don't know what I was even saying about it. Wait. I know. "Clang clang clang went the trolley" is stuck in my head. I think that's all I was going to say.

Grandma (looking at me): I bought that mirror you have from her.

Misc. Redhead: Who?

Grandma: That lady who bought Lydia's house.

(and on and on it goes)

Frank: Tell you that you're marvelous, tell you that you're marvelous, too marvelous for words...

Scene #2

(The hostess and a manager are setting up a table for 6 - the hostess originally sets up 2 on each side and 2 on the ends. The manager moves the chairs so there are 3 on each side.)

Manager: It's always better to arrange them like this because it encourages face-to-face conversation for the guests.

In come the, dad, and 5 kids. I'm sure they're eternally thankful for the thoughtful layout of the chairs for face-to-face conversation comprised of crayons and menu/coloring pages folded over the kids' heads while they converse about politics and the state of the economy.

Dino: When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine, that's amore...

Scene #3

There's a cute elderly couple at the table next to us. They each have two glasses of wine with their lunch. He has red; she chooses a blush. I'd like that some day. Enjoying wine over Sunday lunch after church with the love of your life.

Mr. Buble: But remember this, every other kiss, that you'll ever give long as we both live...

Scene #4

Grandma: I think AE has a boyfriend.

AE: (just gives her a go-to-hell case you've ever wondered where I get my face expressions from)

Grandma (laughing): She roommate's boyfriend.

Mom: Oh really? You've been making at eyes at someone? (Mom's classic phrase when we tease AE about chasing men)

AE: (just gives a devilish grin and nods)

Dino: When we dance you have a way with me, stay with me, sway with me...

Scene #5

(Walking out of the restaurant - discussing the surprise get-together we're having for AE later today at the home)

Mom: If you could get there a little early and take care of getting AE ready, I'd really appreciate it.

Misc. Redhead: Of course...what time? What all do I need to do?

Mom: I hung two outfits on her closet door that she can choose from. If she chooses the dress, there are some thigh highs in the top drawer she needs to put on.

Misc. Redhead: Thigh highs? I didn't know it was going to be that kind of party! Wild Turkey too?

Mom: (didn't even notice my attempt at humor because she's in her planning zone) And I bought her some new lipstick, so help her with that too.

Misc. Redhead: So that's a no to the Wild Turkey?

(AE perks up at the mention of Wild Turkey...she has a "history" with the stuff that we tease her about relentlessly)

Frank: But why should I try to resist when, baby, I know so well, I´ve got you under my skin...

Scene #6

I run into my dad's long-time business acquaintance/friend. He's one of the kindest and cutest old men with the brightest sparkly blue eyes. When he sees me, he tells the hostess, "Excuse me while I go hug that pretty girl." How could your heart not melt? He's a former city manager for this (relatively) small town and started talking to me a while back about wanting me to ghost-write his memoirs. He has some really good dirt about all kinds of scandals, dirty deals, and underhanded dealings from back in his day. I hadn't heard from him in a while and had honestly forgotten about it.  

Mr. S: How ya been, girl? Hey, I don't want you to think I haven't been working on my stories. I have; I've just gotten busy and haven't 

called you recently.

Misc. Redhead: Oh, that's okay. Just start sending me stuff whenever you're ready. (thinking, holy crap I completely forgot about this...

is there a way to back out?)

Mr. S:  Well, I've been jotting down some of my stories and I've been using little tape recorders. Would that work for you? We can just keep 

swapping them back and forth when you're done with one, etc.

Misc. Redhead: (thinking...what the hell have I gotten myself into? - but of course I adore this man and could never tell him I have 

the chance to write a book! So against my sanity the words fall out of my mouth.) Whatever works easiest for you! Just give me a call!

Not really playing at the restaurant, but I thought this would be more fitting:

Ado Annie (from Oklahoma!): I'm just a girl who cain't say no...

Scene #7

Dad: Mom and I were going to go see The Soloist on Friday, but it wasn't out anymore. So, we went to the Slippery Minnow instead.

Those're my folks! 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cirque du Gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon

As the first number in the dance recital came to a close, I immediately whipped out a receipt and my trusty retractable Sharpie to begin taking notes...I could already tell I had some good material heading my way. And in the words of my mom, "You can't make up shit this good." Buckle in; it's going to be a long one.

Now before I fill you in on all the ridiculousness, I must first give you my qualifications for being such a harsh critic. Dancing was pretty much my life for about 20 years. During that time, I took ballet, tap, and jazz, and was usually (actually always), front and center. The stage was mine, and I loved it! For four years in high school, I was my dance teacher's assistant and pretty much ran those classes. Also, for two years in college, I was a full-fledged dance teacher with classes all my own. Oh yeah - and I have eyes. That last one is pretty much the only qualification needed to realize this show - the choreography, music choice, and all-around circus concept - was crap...absolute...utter crap.

The show started with the ballet (and I use that term very loosely) portion of the evening. Every single song was one of those French pieces used by Cirque du Soleil and the like. Those guys can get away with that annoying, uninspiring music because they are simply amazing at what they do. Not so with little girls who don't know their right from their left. That same monotonous cringing noise with pseudo-ballet went on for about 35-40 minutes. One of my dance studio pet peeves jumped out during this time. Would you try to teach differential equations to a 4-year-old? Hell, no. So, why in God's name do these small-town dance teachers think it's appropriate to teach 5-year-olds pirouettes and leaps? They can't and shouldn't do them yet, so don't put them in the damn dance! (Same goes for older girls. If they can't do the move, don't use it!)

We now enter the jazz set. I can pretty much sum this up with a verbatim quote from my receipt notes: "more freaking poms." Seriously. Poms have no place at a dance recital. Save them for the football field, people! But, I kid you not, over half the jazz numbers used poms. The song "A Little Less Conversation" has now been ruined for me for eternity. Then comes the performance to "Circus" by good ol' Britney. I'm thinking, "Okay, this one's got to have some's Britney freaking Spears after all!" Nope. Boring. I guarantee you, I could have gotten on stage in my 4-inch wedges and free-styled some better moves than what she had done. 

In between every single dance number, the "ringmaster" for the evening came out in a top hat and tails to introduce the next "act" of the show. He's a high school senior who I actually adore, and he was - hands down - the only truly entertaining part of the night (my weird enjoyment from watching the massacre of the art of dance doesn't count as real entertainment). At some point, there's also a "performance" by some high school students doing random crap like riding a tricycle, bouncing on a pogo stick, hula hooping, and blowing bubbles while roller-skating around the stage. I know - I couldn't have made it up if I tried.

Back to the "dancing." This one poor group of girls did a pom dance to "Get Ur Freak On" by Missy Elliott. I bet Missy would DIE knowing they used poms for one of her hard-hitting tunes. That then transitioned into "Super Freak." Remember the awkward stripper-style number done by Olive at the end of Little Miss Sunshine? It was awesome compared to the choreography these poor girls had. I promise you - I'm not exaggerating. (I love that scene though!)

Then comes the number one of my students is in. I'm still trying to think of what to say to her come Monday morning. But anyways, it's to "Whip It" and they use those ribbon sticks. You know, like what they use for rhythmic gymnastics in the Olympics except instead of ribbons, it's plastic pom-like strips instead of actual ribbon. Needless to say, they're flying all over the place, not to the music, getting tangled together, etc. Just a train wreck that should never have made it past the "now what about this?" phase. One group performs to "Route 66" and at the beginning and end of the number, a weird person dressed as a cat drives a toy car across the stage. Don't ask me - I have no idea.

Then there's the "How Much Is That Doggy" number...the quintessential little girl's dance number seen in every dance recital across the nation. The girls were, of course, cute because they're the 3-4-year-old class, and they're wearing these pink poodle costumes made entirely of tulle. Literally. You don't see any leotard...the whole bodice is tulle. But the weird, weird, weird part is this grown man dressed as a dog juggling at the back of the stage the entire time. Again, I have no idea what was going through this lady's mind when she came up with this stuff. Even if it sounded good in her head, how did she not realize how ridiculous it was during rehearsal? Why didn't someone speak up??

Now, I already told you I was an assistant and dance teacher for a total of 6 years. I stood on the downstage right corner behind the curtain (out of sight) and dorkily danced the numbers in exaggerated fashion to help the little girls who forgot the next move, etc. But, oh no, not this lady! She shouted the moves the entire time. I was on the very back row of the auditorium and heard "shuffle ball change," "arms up," "move to your circle," etc. throughout the entire dance.

The biggest travesty of all came at the end, thankfully. If it had come at the beginning, I may not have lasted. I feel it best to just, once again, quote my receipt notes: "Ring of Fire, tap, red cowboy hats, fake red boots, red sequined vests. Johnny Cash would die if he weren't already dead." That pretty much sums it up.

Those are just the highlights, and I probably didn't even do the show justice. It is disgusting, sad, and somewhat criminal that all those parents truly believe their money has given their daughters a dance education. I have, however, semi-calculated what that woman makes per month. Ladies and gentleman...I am opening a dance studio! 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Because I'm worth it (said in Beyonce's attitude-filled voice)

I was in Target (shocking) the other day and ran into an old high school friend's mom. She didn't immediately click as to who I was and said, "Oh, I almost didn't recognize you! Your hair doesn't look as red."

What?!? Get me a box of Miss Clairol, er, how about an appointment with Jennifer instead, stat! I can't become the Miscellaneous Blah-head!