Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where SG's been the past week since clearly she hasn't been here

1. Trying to break her high score of 91 on scramble, despite not knowing such obvious words as caiques, ngwee, voudouns, dunt, and guiro. (1)

2. Dealing with undisclosed medical problems of a child who will not be identified. (2)

3. Writing a post entitled "Why Bravo needs to cast ShallowGal in The Real Housewives of Northern Virginia." Except then it turns out that they really are casting this. And Jessica A Piss has already written this exact post. (3)

4. Caring for a 10 month old foster baby, planting the garden and debating (endlessly) with PCSGuy and the posse about getting a dog.

5. But mostly playing scramble.

1) Caique: Turkish rowboat: a long narrow rowboat used in the waters around Turkey.
ngwee: subunit of Zambian currency: a subunit of Zambian currency.
We didn't find a match on "
voudouns" but we found the following alternate spellings for you.
Dunt: injury from blow: the injury or damage caused by a hit or a blow
Guiro: gourd scraped to make music: a musical instrument of Central and South America, made from a gourd with grooves cut so that a rasping sound is created when a stick is scraped across it.
2) It's not as dire as it sounds, it's just one of those embarrassing issues that said child would never forgive me for writing about.
3) But she also got Lolita Travelsalot and I (and our 4 year olds) advanced screening passes for UP so no hard feelings.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The "she totally deserved the Gold " (1) edition

Just add it to the list of things my kids can do that I can't. (2)

1) She did get a gold in Interpretative skating, 8 years old, Freestyle 1. In this event she got the silver. Jake won the gold in his event. Which if we were a country, would put us just ahead of Portugal.
2) Already on the list: downloading music to my ipod, a legal 25 meter butterfly and anything to do with the HD setting on the new tv.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's ironic that SG can't think of a title for this post because lately, SG can think of lots of titles but no posts.

It's the world's oldest story. Girl meets girl. Girl loses girl. Girl finds girl. Second girl tells first girl about the world's most awesome conditioner that she'd never find on her own because it's actually marketed to women of color. You've heard it a million times, if you've heard it once. (1)

See when Jake was two, we belonged to this playgroup. (2) Not the playgroup that lead to her yearly bay weekend, but the playgroup that sprang from her La Leche League meeting and led to her book club. (3) (Like most mothers, SG uses her kids as a magnet to make new friends.)

Once day, my friend Paula brought her friend Ellen to the playgroup. Ellen was the mother of twin girls and a quiet talker.

Ellen only came to one playgroup, but I ran into her all the time, mostly at Target. And every time say "Hi Ellen" and she'd look at me funny. "I'm Paula's friend" I'd explain. And Ellen would smile politely . Then I'd call Paula and say "I just ran into your friend Ellen" and she'd whisper "the quiet talker?" and I'd whisper back "want to wear my ruffled shirt?" and we'd both laugh. Paula is a very patient friend.

In 2004, SG stopped going to Target. (4) and thus didn't see Ellen for four years. Then last year, SG ran into Ellen at the ice rink, and OMG, she looked fabulous. Everything. Her hair. Her make-up. Her clothes. Her hair. Especially her hair.

I asked her what her secret was. "Pantene," she said quietly. "The relaxed & natural conditioner, for Women of Color."

And the rest is history.

A million times, you've heard this story. But here's your reward for listening to it again:

ShallowGal has three bottles of Pantene to give away.

And SG has some scoop: Pantene is going to be at BlogHer 2009 . And celebrity hair stylist Hallie Bowman will be there too! You've seen her magic on stars like Keri Russell, Emmy Rossum, Isla Fisher, Liv Tyler and Lucy Liu. She'll be doing a few hair makeovers on bloggers too ~ stay tuned for details on that!

To win a bottle of conditioner ~ leave a comment on this post. It can be about anything: BlogHer, Pantene, hair, ruffled shirts, anything. SG will then employ the old school method of writing everyone's name on a tiny piece if paper and having each kid pick one. (5) Contest ends May 22nd, 2009 at midnight.

1) But I'll only tell you once. Today. (Meaning I'll tell you once today and then possibly again tomorrow. Not I'll only tell you once and that time will be today. Punctuation matters (6), kids! Stay in school!
2) It's entirely possible all ShallowGal's stories start circa 1999.
3) It is SO a book club. We've read over 100 books. Shaheen kept a list.
4) Another story for another time.
5) That's why SG is giving away three bottles. If every kid didn't have a chance to pick a tiny piece of paper out of a tupperware container, SG would never hear the end of it.

6) A panda walks into a bar, sits down and orders a sandwich. He eats the sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter dead.

As the panda stands up to go, the bartender shouts, "Hey! Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn't pay for your sandwich!"

The panda yells back at the bartender, "Hey, I'm a PANDA! Look it up!" The bartender opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda:

"A tree dwelling marsupial of Asian orgin, characterized by distinct black and white coloring. Eats shoots and leaves.

Monday, May 11, 2009

ShallowGal's Cake-tastrophe

Step 1: Buy cookbook at a yard sale. Find recipe for this cake.

Picture borrowed from this baker (1)

Remember that SG marked the exact same recipe in another cookbook.(2) Clearly it is a sign that SG is meant to make this cake. Decide that since ShallowGal will only turn 40 once (3) proper celebration should ensue. Piss off PCSguy and the posse by announcing plans to bake own birthday cake. (4)

Step 2: Head to the neighborhood Giant. For a teeny neighborhood supermarket, there is rarely an ingredient so obscure, I can't find it here. Until today. The culprit: Dutch processed cocoa powder.

Step 3: Visit four other supermarkets, come up empty handed. Debate canceling birthday.

According to twitter, SG has a long history of canceling holidays
for much less than a missing can of dutch processed cocoa powder

Step 4: Dutch processed cocoa is only needed for cake layers, all ingredients for the pudding layer, clearly the most important part of this cake, are available. Devise plan to use boxed cake mix. Return home to make pudding. Start talking in a fake Dutch accent. (5)

Step 5: Make pudding following cookbook's directions to cook for 2-4 minutes. Assume runny pudding will somehow miraculously jell during its four hour visit to the refrigerator. Consume birthday cocktail.

Step 6: Move on to cake portion. Discover that well-stocked pantry contains 6 boxes of cake mix: five of them carrot and one, Christmas funfetti. Borrow chocolate mix from neighbor. Bake cake with much "help" from the posse. Let cool and slice horizontally into 4 mini layers. Crumble one layer to use as topping.

Step 7: Consume lamb kabobs and a bottle of shiraz. Open fridge to inspect pudding which is still a runny mess. Learn that pudding was actually supposed to cook for 24 minutes. Make one box of instant chocolate pudding and open a can of Pillsbury chocolate frosting.

Step 8: Announce "I have the best idea!" SG's Mom asks "Is it to pour Kahlua over the crumbs? " Indeed it is. PCSguy stops, stunned at this silent melding of great minds. Pour Kahlua over the crumbled layer. Eli shrieks "Mommy is pouring wine over the cake! " Assure Eli that Kahlua crumbs will not touch the rest of the cake. Consider eating Kahlua soaked crumbs right out of the bowl, stopping only because it would be better with cool whip.

Step "For the Love of all things holy just finish the dang cake so we can get on with our lives" : Assemble the cake in the following order: Plate, mini layer of cake, 1/2 the pudding, mini layer of cake, 1/2 can of frosting. Attempt to place the last layer on top, but the middle falls out causing the cake to resemble a volcano made of artificial ingredients and sewage. Fill the hole with pudding. When children run for the camera, sprinkle with Kahlua soaked crumbs.

This looks nothing like the cookbook photo, which makes no sense
since SG followed the directions almost exactly.

Frost sides of cake. (6) Allow 4 year old to dump entire can of sprinkles on top to get him to not blab about the "wine cake" to his brother and sister. Top with a single blue candle.

Like turning 40 wasn't bad enough.

Step "I will never complain about Coldstone Creamery charging $30 for a cake again" Eat and enjoy. Ignore children who laugh at your cake and pronounce it "bad."

Step Because you know ShallowGal never knows when to just call it quits: The next morning pour runny pudding back into a saucepan over medium heat for 24 minutes. Let cool in fridge for 4 hours. Visit seven more supermarkets in search of dutch processed cocoa. Return empty handed. Placate self by eating 3 cups of perfect-layer-cake pudding with a spoon. Plunge into chocolate coma.

1) Who did a double mitzvah in a) lending me this photo and b) pointing out the error in the recipe, albeit just a tad too late.
2) Step 1 1/2: Wonder exactly how many copies of the same cookbook I own.
3) Although I have turned 29 multiple times.
4) Piss off English teachers everywhere by changing grammatical person repeatedly, often within the same sentence.

5) SG's entire knowledge of Dutch accents comes from an Austin Powers movies.
6) Side of cake? How many sides does a circle have?

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's the 4 year old version of "I slept with this girl. You don't know her. She lives in Canada."

Eli & I were on our way to a DC Metro Mom event sponsored by PBS Kids. Despite the fact that Eli is the single most outgoing child on the planet, I felt the need to prep him for the childcare situation:

SG: We're going to have such a good time. You're going to get to meet your new friend Quinn.
Eli: I already have a friend named Quinn. Can we go to McDonald's instead?
You have a friend named Quinn?
Yes. He's five and lives in New York.

Eli sounds so convinced that I believe him. I run through the various cousins and other people we lump in the "friend" category for someone named Quinn and come up blank.

Really? Where did you meet him?
I mean Paris. He lives in Paris. Now can we go to McDonald's?

Here's someone you don't get to meet at McDonald's. Or Paris.

All John Hughes movies aside (1) , it was fascinating to learn how much work and thought (2) PBSkids puts into each episode. They even shared with the DC Metro Moms the results of an independent study that showed that viewing episodes of SuperWhy helped low-income children improve their early literacy skills.

And all this time, SG was pushing PBS on her kids just to avoid the crush cup commercials.

1) An earlier draft referred to Eli's many friends named Quinn in the Niagra Falls area, having a fake ID so he could vote, his low tolerance to dehydration and warned that "if he gets up, we'll all get up. It'll be anarchy." But the nice people at PBS kids deserved better than that.
2) Someone who shall remain nameless could learn from them. Fine, I mean me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Passive-aggressive notes, ShallowGal style

On our Baycation, Noa and Jake fought. A lot.

Here's the thing. Honestly, I don't care if they fight so long as they don't touch each other and I don't have to listen to it. And this fight broke rule #2.

After several warnings, I sat them down to impose my new favorite consequence for making me listen to loud children : writing each other an apology note.

Jake, being the typical first child, sat down and wrote his note:

I wish I could blame the camera, but Jake's handwriting actually is this blurry.

Translation: Dear Noa, I'm sorry I used bad manners to you and I will use better manners in the future and hope you'll forgive me and I'm very sorry I pushed you. (1) It was wrong to do and I'll use better manners. I'm also very sorry I got you into trouble too. Love, Jake.

Fine. Jake is released and goes into the next room to watch television with his friends.

Now Noa HATES to write. It's actually a little upsetting to me, since writing is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. But it does make for a good punishment for her. Maybe.

This exercise in apparent child abuse brought to you by Hyatt

Dear Jake: I'm sorry for doing nothing, Noa. PS: I did not touch you :(

Nobody will ever accuse me of being the Queen of follow-thru, but there is no way I am going to accept this. Noa points out that there is no more hotel stationary and I counter by showing her that the back of her note is blank. Back to the desk Noa heads.

The instructions were to write a full page note.
Noa took advantage of the fact that the hotel stationary was unlined.

Translation: Dear tattle tail, I'm sorry. I won't do it again. Noa
This now poses a dilemma for SG: should she submit it to Passive aggressive or save it for her own blog? Noa takes advantage of SG's confusion and escapes to watch tv. The end.

1) So in writing this note Jake also admitted to breaking rule #1, but at this point, I have bigger fish to fry. Well, I guess technically a littler fish. But a little, mean fish, like those miniature sharks. Or an electric eel.

Friday, May 1, 2009

How to make your own yogurt, ShallowGal style, and other half-assed topics

Over the past few months, SG has started several posts that were headed absolutely nowhere. So they sat in her draft folder for months and months. Then one day SG posted a ridiculous bunch of random thoughts about comments and got 21 comments in return (1) Turns out you guys don't expect me to have a point.

1) Last month I made yogurt in the crockpot.

Hands down the crunchiest thing I've ever done.
Crunchy in a creamy way

I used this recipe which called for a gallon of organic milk and (wait for it) yogurt. So it's like if you were going to make a lasagna and the ingredient list called for meat and cheese and, oh yeah, a little tiny lasagna. But everyone in real life that I test drove that joke on, went off on some scientific tangent about starters.

2) Then there was the time that SG decided to solve the Craigs List killer mystery.(2)

This post was thwarted by SG's inability to post a decent screen shot.

Basically SG was trolling Craigs List and found this guy who was willing to barter his income tax expertise for a massage. On April 16th. Busted. But then it wasn't him. I tried.

3) Today is PCSGuy's birthday. But we celebrated that last year, and we have to be careful not to set a precedent here.

4) I think it's only fair to warn you guys that SG is on a diet. The South Beach Diet. The diet where SG can't eat cookies. And she simultaneously gave up diet coke. Because SG is not going to be Forty AND Fat. It's one or the other, and I can't change my birth certificate. Trust me, I've tried.

1) Although PCSGuy claims I was basically begging for comments there. Pity comments, he may have called them.
2) What's the most important part of telling a joke?TIMING. That joke isn't too funny in print but in real life, it's hilarious. And before you accuse me of misnumbering footnotes, the point was that blogging about the Craig's List killer now is akin to blogging about the 2007 Miss Universe Pageant.