Friday, August 29, 2008

When labelmakers happen to (mostly) good people

Have you ever paged through a Container Store catalog and wondered "who do they think they're fooling? Nobody's pantry looks like that!"

SG is going to break in and face the mixer to the right. Fuck up their whole world.

Possibly bring them a purple appliance as an apology

Internet meet ShallowGal. Nice to meet you. Hey! Would you like to see my pantry?

If ShallowGal were a sell-out she'd accept the offer from Tupperware to replace
the Amazon box with a matching modular mate.(1) SG is keeping it real for you!

Today's manic episode has been brought to you by Brother and their fine line of labelmakers. Let's make it clear how seriously SG takes her labels; this morning PCSguy put the coffee back in the pantry with the label facing the back of the pantry. ShallowGal called her attorney.

It's ironic how the camera flash made the labelmaker look like it's already in hell.
Cause SG is totally bringing it with her.

Bottom line: if it can't be labeled, SG isn't interested. And yes, while technically the cans of corn are labeled, they don't match the other labels. Especially the spaghetti-o's. Those labels are U-G-L-Y.

So ShallowGal had a dilemma (2) She could keep the nonconforming canned goods as recommended by every emergency response authority known to man or she could have a nice neat pantry.

Know what would be funny? If a giant hurricane hit the Eastern Seaboard and knocked out power for a month and everyone had to rely on their stores of canned food. And ShallowGal's family starved to death and when the bodies were discovered everyone was like "what a tragedy, but man, get a load of this pantry. It's like a Container Store catalog. Except for these fruit flies."

Cause labelmakers can do many things, but they cannot help in ShallowGal's never ending war against fruit flies.

1) PCSguy would totally take free Tupperware. (hint hint) But that offer was actually just to BUY Tupperware, and get discounted shipping. SG is *so* small-time.
2) Again with the dilemma. Someone get this girl a thesaurus. Also, SG is pretty sure spell check is wrong and it's spelled dilemna.

Monday, August 25, 2008

When bad things happen on beautiful days

Movie endings never surprise me. From the very beginning of The Sixth Sense I knew Bruce Willis was dead(1); hell, I even suspected Darth Vader was Luke's father.

My point? Very little catches me by surprise. But when Noa opened the side door Friday evening to reveal a DC homicide cop, well, it shocked the hell out of me.

I was too confused to get immediately upset. Before my mind could go to that horrible place, wondering where my husband and my son were, the detective informed me that my neighbor had been killed. Could I please identify him from a poloroid? And then could I stay with my neighbor's sister until some other family arrived, she's too upset to be alone. Could we do this quickly, he had other families to notify today.

In a way, it was my personal 9/11. And not just from the death angle. Of everything that happened on September 11th, 2001, here's the thing stands out the most to me; weather-wise, September 11th was an absolutely picture perfect day. It was astonishing that such horrible things could happen against such a bright blue sky.

Friday had been the perfect summer day. We celebrated Noa's birthday at the pool; twenty of our favorite people eating chocolate cake, swimming for hours, enjoying the sunshine. The knock on the door should have been a girl scout selling cookies or a neighbor needing to borrow a cup of sugar.

Maybe if life were a movie, I would have been better prepared. I would have realized the suspenseful music was playing. Everyone knows something bad follows the happy party scene. Lilo almost drowns after musical surfing montage. Nobody gets to have all the good times without paying some price.

Lesson learned: Bad things happen on nice days. In movies and in real life.

So that gives me two choices. I can go through life waiting for the inevitable Hindenburg explosion or try harder to enjoy the good times while they're happening. Choose between two cliched extremes. But no more stumbling through each day in a zoloft induce hazed, just counting down until bedtime.

When I went to pay my condolences to my neighbor's father he cried, "I used to have three kids and now I have two."

And just like that, my choice was made for me. Life isn't going to follow a script, and there's no guarantee for a happy ending (2) If bad things can happen on such pretty day, then the converse must be true too. We can make wonderful things happen on otherwise dreary days.

Go hug your kids. Even the pesky one. Especially the pesky one.

1) The movie is fucking 9 years old, if you haven't seen it yet, it's really not my fault I spoiled it.
2) This is a rare serious blog entry and I hate to ruin it with a flippant comment but I do plan, in my friend Rachel's honor, an entire entry about the phrase 'happy ending" and WTF was Friendly's thinking naming their dessert sundae that?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Backhanded compliment Friday

ShallowGal (reading from the local paper): The Senior Olympics are coming up. Listen to these events ~ scrabble, horseshoes, shuffleboard, yo-yo, miniature golf, line dancing, ice skating and bunco.
Jake: You should totally enter the skating competition. I bet you'd win.

See ShallowGal on the bottom right ?

PS: Jake claims he thought that senior just meant anyone who wasn't a junior.
PPS: FYI: Only yo-yo-ing breaks down the competition by age group; 50-69 and 70 and over. Is age an advantage or a disadvantage in competitive yo-yo? Better require something besides a Chinese passport, just in case.
PPSS: Spell check HATED that PPS, claiming the first sentence is just a bunch of random letters. Hey spell check: if typing becomes a senior Olympic sport you better bring it now!
PPSSS: I have no idea why I told spell check to bring it. It's been a long week. Hey ! Remember when ShallowGal used to use footnotes? WTF is up with the postscripts? They're just like a license to babble.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vacationing with ShallowGal: easy as 1 2 3

ed note: This post was originally titled Vacationing by the Numbers but Stimey read my mind and stole my title. Pretty sneaky sis. Luckily she knew how pissed I'd be (1) and had the foresight to give me my very first award.

SG has been called many things but never informative

Technically ShallowGal is supposed to now pass this award along but she is both an award whore and an award hoarder. Say that 5 times fast. Award whore and award hoarder. I can't even type it five times fast. (See that? How I distracted you from the fact that I kept my award?)

Anywho. Traveling with ShallowGal is easy as one two three (or simple as do re mi) (2)

ONE massive fruit fly invasion discovered in the pantry upon our return.

TWO pounds over the suitcase weight limit. (Bonus number fact: Zero: number of times Air Tran representative would have noticed had PCSguy not pointed it out to her. Good going buddy! )

Alternate fact for TWO: total pairs of shoes packed by ShallowGal. For real. Running shoes and these:

Another pair of Earth shoes. SG could lose serious street cred if this gets out.

ShallowGal packed running shoes. Note that didn't say ShallowGal wore her running shoes. What kind of vacation do you think this was?

THREE massages. In 8 days. Yes, that's what kind of vacation it was. Of or pertaining to the sloth-y sybaritic genre.

Other THREE facts: Three meals a day eaten without my three children. Three books read cover to cover.

Easy as one two three. (3)

1) She's a really good mind reader.
Just to prepare you, there will be no actual tie-in here later to the Jackson 5. ShallowGal did not approach this post with an end in mind.
3) You are all indebted to Stimey for stealing my title so I had to stop at three. And Stimey, thanks for the award !

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How to handle a fruit fly infestation, ShallowGal style.

1) Admit you have a problem. (1) Admit you are powerless over millions of teeny flies that swarm possessively throughout your kitchen.

2) Send Jake to google "fruit flies in pantry." Still feeling all Vermont-y, decide against chemical solution and make two fruit fly traps using a water bottle and apple cider vinegar. (2)

3) Empty everything from the afflicted pantry. Scrub shelves.

SG considers it a small victory that she didn't repaint the pantry whilst she was at it. Baby steps.

4. Place contents haphazardly on kitchen table. Realize you now have no place to eat. Remember nice big table on deck. Check weather: no rain expected until Saturday. Problem basically solved. (3)

4) Become sidetracked by checking expiration dates on food. Today's winner: baking powder that expired in 2004. Realize explanation for 4 1/2 years of flat cookies.

5) Faithful readers totally know what happens next. ShallowGal replaces all the spices in the pantry alphabetically. Food is harder to organize so ShallowGal decides she needs more modular mates. Logs on to but her hunter green color has been discontinued. Starts surfing eBay. Stumbles upon something called oso * Fresh. Spend rest of the night googling why silver helps keep food fresh.

5) Lose interest in the entire project. Hope kitchen fairies make overnight visit.

Bad kichen fairies.

1) Jokes about alcoholics? Never get old. Hence, SG's new label "SG hopes they serve beer in Hell."
2) Someone actually invented a trap that catches the fruit fly but doesn't harm it so you can take it back outside and release it outside. This is a bug with a life span of 7 days. You make the call.
3) Except for the fruit flies and the crap on the kitchen table.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What Not to Wear (Vermont's Largest Agricultural Fair edition)

1) Sandals 2) White 3) Anything labeled dry clean only.

Basically one should wear muck boots and a John Deere cap.

Other than that, we fit right in

Because when the locals say "you picked a good day to come, it's not muddy today" they don't mean it in the way one's candy-assed suburban-fied kids mean it. No. They mean it like this:

Actually I don't know what they mean. Holy cow there was a lot of mud.(1)

Other than that, Vermont's Largest Agricultural Fair was, well, large. And agricultural.

Memo to the state of Vermont: Noa would like to request that all future agricultural fairs be carpeted. And air conditioned. And less stinky with fewer bugs.

Noa preferred the less authentic activities of the previous day, which included a lot of plywood cutouts, free samples and instructional videos. First there was the cider mill:

agri-tainment at its finest

Then a cheese factory which was technically an outlet store.

Nobody laughed when ShallowGal said "Say cheese."

FYI: ShallowGal and family are now happily ensconced at the Tyler Place. Regular posting will resume Monday, unless something exciting happens like the time our pontoon boat crashed or PCSguy fell out of a canoe.

1) See the cow reference? We're in Northern Vermont, expect more of those clever puns!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Backhanded compliment Friday

I read your blog. You're a very good speller.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Getting there is 16% of the fun

This week ShallowGal and posse were invited to their friend Linda's beach house.

On one hand this offered a free beach vacation, a visit with some of our favorite people and a chance to escape DC in August.

On the other hand, this proposition also involved several things ShallowGal despises, namely driving over the Chesapeake bay bridge and spending long periods in the car with her children.

ShallowGal may move to the beach just to avoid driving home.

Do you remember the episode of Little House on the Prairie when Charles and Mrs Olsen had to get the kids from the blind school across the river and they built a swing using a rope and a horse? ShallowGal considers that more civilized than the bay bridge.

Fine, we'll go. The things I do for these children.

The bridge to hell is paved with good intention. Yes the bridge to hell. That's why ShallowGal hates bridges so much, being convinced she will meet her death plummeting off one.

So ShallowGal set the GPS for beach and shared some math facts with the kids. 150 miles. Estimated travel time 3 hours. And in lieu of DVDs or a Nintendo DS, the kids were amused with travel math questions. (1)

ShallowGal loves her GPS. How else would her posse be able to learn to solve SAT level problems like this:

If ShallowGal and posse are driving at 60 miles per hour and the next exit is in 20 miles, will that rest stop serve coke or Pepsi? Cause if it's Pepsi, we aren't stopping.

And then ShallowGal made the following query to her posse:

According to the GPS we have 2 hours and 30 minutes of our 3 hour trip remaining. What percentage of the trip have we completed?

And before her fifth grade GT student could say 86%, traffic came to a dead stop.

So instead of body surfing, ShallowGal and posse sat in the car and argued about whose feet were stinking up the car. Instead of drinking coronas and gazing at the sunset, they drank Gatorade bought from a man on the side of the Souza bridge with a giant cooler (2) and watched the people in the next car consummate their relationship. Good times.

Meanwhile the GPS taunted them with their negative progress.

For the first half hour, the GPS maintained that they would arrive at the beach in exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes. Then time started moving backwards.

ShallowGal hates her GPS

New math question: If ShallowGal takes a baseball bat to her GPS, will her children sleep past 6 am? (3)

1) Not to say ShallowGal left for a 150 mile road trip with 3 kids totally unprepared. She also had a packet of goldfish crackers, 4 sticks of gum and 2 bottles of water.
2) $3/ bottle. Literally highway robbery.

3) Apparently, no.

And it's not even the stupidest argument they had today

"Noa told her imaginary friends to tell my imaginary friends that I said I hated them so they'd be mad at me and I'd have to play with her."

ShallowGal was too busy lobbying the school board for year-round school to mediate.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

ShallowGal is, like totally spirtual

An actual conversation Friday with my Rabbi.

Rabbi: Young lady, I have something for you. (Hands me a Yankee travel mug) I was at Yankee stadium Wednesday and it was the giveaway. (1)

ShallowGal: Oh my God, thank you. Oh. I mean, oh my goodness, thank you.

Rabbi: It's OK. You're welcome.

SG: Crap, I just said 'Oh my God' to the Rabbi. Oh my God, I just said crap. Jesus what's wrong with me? Oh my God, I don't mean Jesus, obviously, we're in a synagogue for God's sake. Oh, crap.


SG: I'm going to go now. Thanks for the cup.

Rabbi: Bye.

Hopefully I can bring my new travel mug to Hell to keep my diet coke cold.

1) Over the years, the Rabbi and I have spent hours discussing baseball. That's how he knows I'm a big Yankee fan. We have never once discussed religion.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Backhanded compliment Friday

This oldie but goody came last December courtesy of a salesclerk in a So Ho boutique. I stopped to examine my knit-dress-covered butt in a full length mirror when she announced:

You have the best ass I've ever seen on a white girl.

Edited to explain: Well, actually, let's let Sir Mix A Lot clarify. He's good with words.