iPhone 6

iPhone 6

I am not a conspiracy theorist. I’m a skeptic.The problem is conspiracies not only abound, but are proliferating. It’s obvious the CIA wanted to get rid of Tupac. And that strange floating eye on the dollar bill clearly represents something sinister. A secret so powerful and destructive to all of humanity, protected and passed down through the ages by the Priory of Scion, the Knights of Templar, and The Little Rascals.

No, I am not immune to conspiracy theories, and from time to time I fall victim. I don’t wish to create mass hysteria, but right now hundreds of thousands of us have fallen pray to a fiendish corporate plot.

old cell phones

I’m calling it the “Poison Apple” conspiracy. Apple Computer is sabotaging all prior versions of the iPhone. They are lashing out at those of us who did not upgrade immediately to their new folding phone. Much has been made about the iPhone 6.0 and its glitches. But nobody is talking about a systemic and diabolical plot against slow adopters. Some of us had better things to do than stand in line all night for the iPhone 6, as if Van Halen reunited, and David Lee Roth found his marbles.

I’m talking about those of us still hanging on to obsolete iPhone 4’s and 5’s. If you fall into the late adopter camp, I’m willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that you are experiencing one or more of the following issues:

  • Voicemail constantly repopulating deleted voicemails from the last three months, than declaring your voicemail full.
  • Your entire contacts list mysteriously disappearing.
  • No Internet access.
  • You can receive texts, but replies are undelivered; a particularly torturous form of existential Hell.
Oompa Loompas now working for Apple Computer

Oompa Loompas now working for Apple Computer

I imagine a secret room in the bowels of Apple headquarters in Cupertino, where a team of Oompa Loompas work day and night hacking into old versions of the iPhone and wreaking havoc.  Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory went broke after that blasphemous remake of the original classic. I can’t really blame the Oompas, lured by stock options and the promise that some of their Apple colleagues sport the same green hair. Finally, they fit in.

“Oompa, Oompa, oompa de do..If you don’t upgrade, we’ll cause trouble for you…” I can hear them singing that hauntingly ominous melody.

Well I’m here to say, that I’m not going to take it Apple! Don’t be such an Apple! (Thanks Annoying Orange.) I’m blowing the whistle. And just to show you I mean business, I’m waiting to upgrade until the next version of iPhone 6.0 arrives, and you’ve worked out the bugs.

Fall Means Soccer

Fall Means Soccer

The season morphs from summer to fall and the air becomes crisp, nature’s colors radiant. Our family anticipates and embraces back to school, reunions with friends, and of course, football season. But alas, along with excitement, fall brings regimented schedules, rendering lazy summer days a fond, but distant memory. We now have places to be, on time, geared up, ready for action. “Everyone needs to be in charge of their own sports and school gear this year.” I explain to the kids. Order and efficiency must reign supreme. I’ll teach these young whipper snappers a thing or two about responsibility.

Preparing to leave the house, I observe each child carrying their own soccer bag. We packed them the night before and took careful inventory. This is going great; we are off to a roaring start for the new school year! On our way to practice, we stop at a friend’s house.  When it’s time to ready my son for soccer, my plan falters; his bag is missing. A thorough search of the car yields nothing but a summer’s worth of rubbish; half empty juice boxes, sand, crushed shells. “Rain Man, where is your soccer bag? Did you bring it into Jamie’s house?” Rain Man has no idea where his gear is, but he is certain he brought it with him, as am I. Next we search the house, a sprawling old craftsman. This takes a considerable amount of time. No luck.

Fortunately, Jamie has three girls between the ages of six and eleven; she has a size run of all sports gear. She lends us cleats and shin guards, saving our bacon for the umpteenth time.

Arriving home after practice, the mystery is quickly revealed. I trip over my son’s soccer bag where he dropped it in the middle of the room, on his way to the front door. Oblivious! Absolutely oblivious! This is when I lose my mind…

I rifle through the junk drawer, miraculously locating a measuring tape. “Eight feet, seven inches from the

CYO Soccer

CYO Soccer

front door.” I repeat it over and over again. I pick up the bag, then drop it, just to see if I notice. I repeat this motion several times. Yes, it registers immediately in my brain that I am no longer carrying the bag. Suddenly I find myself playing an inane and solitary game of “Mother May I”. It takes seven scissor steps, five bear walks, ten crab walks, or two giant steps to cover the distance from the “dropping point” to the front door.

I pick up the bag, “I have to zip up to Ken’s Market. I’ll be back in five minutes!” I shriek at my husband, in a voice unfamiliar to myself. I drive like a maniac up the street to the market. I grab the bag and head straight to the vegetable department, where I weigh the bag in the hanging scale. Three pounds, eleven ounces. I’m gob smacked by the irony; precisely how much my son weighed at birth.  I am quite certain I never inadvertently dropped my son on my way to the front door, and simply kept walking, unaware of my lightened load. I begin to limp out of Ken’s Market, still muttering “Eight feet, seven inches from the door”, my hair is disheveled, mascara smeared. I’ve somehow lost a shoe in my frenzy.  The tattooed grocery clerk, with plugs the diameter of DVD’s, in what were once earlobes, looks at me with genuine compassion and pity. “Just another Queen Anne Mom whose lost her sh*t.”

I took unpaid leave from my unpaid, less-than-part-time blogging job, so I could make the most of summer. And what a summer! Bright cerulean blue skies, mid-to-upper eighty degree temperatures, day after day. This was a summer for the record books; and when the sun shines in Seattle, it calls for celebrating. A lot of celebrating. Day into evening, evening into early morning, hit repeat, revelry.

Hottest Accessory of the Season

Hottest Accessory of the Season

Here I am pictured in my summer uniform; a perfect poolside or beach hopping ensemble. “What was my accessory of the season,” you ask? Not the wide brimmed hat, obliterating peripheral vision while keeping me pasty white. No, not even the flowing caftan, purchased at H&M, that made me feel oh so Talitha Getty, lounging in Marrakesh. The true summer accessory of the season was my magically magnificent soft-sided rolling cooler. The versatility of this accessory cannot be overstated.  It holds six bottles of wine, champagne, or pitchers of margaritas; whatever the occasion and mood require. The gun metal grey hue compliments any outfit. And the wheels! They move things along with ease. In fact, this accessory is so versatile, it’s going to roll right on into fall with me.

The last day of school was June 12, after a week of picnics, field days, and pool parties. The four large grocery bags, two for each child, filled with a year’s worth of school work, were deposited in my living room. There they sat, week after week. I considered having a coverlet made, and simply incorporating the pile into my décor.

The congressional debate going on in my brain, was at an impasse. Do I take the whole kit and caboodle and dump it in the recycle bin, without looking? What a nice simple solution. But the hoarder in me voted for carting the bags to the bowels of my boiler room. There I could place them on shelves amongst the treasure trove of outdated Architectural Digests, my husband’s text books and brilliant college term papers scrawled the night before they were due, my old year books, a box of floppy disks, and a vintage 1980’s Mac computer.

As this debate raged on in my head, and I, not unlike congress, became completely paralyzed with indecision, these grocery bags sat. Finally, my son took matters into his own hands, and dumped the contents of the two bags of absolutely everything he did in second grade, including scribbles on scratch paper, on his bedroom floor.

The Crowning of the Virgin

The Crowning of the Virgin

Amongst the detritus, I found this precious gem of a picture my son made at Catholic school. It depicts the “Crowning of the Virgin”. I took one look at this awe inspiring picture. I could almost hear the choir of angels singing in exultation, and in a flash, I grasped the assumption the entire Catholic faith is built upon; Immaculate Conception¹. Yes, I get it, God. I completely understand.

¹I am taking great liberties using the term “Immaculate Conception”. It is a common misconception among Catholics (including this one) and non-Catholics alike that “Immaculate Conception” refers to Jesus’ Virgin birth. This is actually wrong, but I use the term because it concisely gets my point across, and I believe most people understand my reference here. However; “Immaculate Conception”, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, “is the unique privilege by which, when the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived in her mother’s womb, she was kept free of original sin through the anticipated merits of Jesus Christ.” ² Whoa! Perhaps the powers that be over-thought some of this church dogma stuff? Hopefully most of you, my dear readers, did not bother to read this footnote, but I really hated the thought of someone who really knows their church doctrine thinking my use of the term means I am a total ignoramus. I am only a partial ignoramus.

² Source: Wikipedia (A footnote to the footnote.)

 

Breakfast of Champions

Top Pot Doughnuts

When the coach sends that inevitable request for “snack mom” for games, be it soccer, baseball, or flag football, I hang back. I wait, and I watch, until every snack slot is filled, and then some. You may think me despicable, and perhaps I am. I like to think of myself as a conscientious objector to after game snacks.

I am 100% sure that none of the kids on our team are going hungry. Why not head home for a proper after game meal? Not to mention that I have no idea how to maneuver around food restrictions.

But the jig was up last Sunday. I think my daughter’s soccer coach, after three years, realized I had never brought snack. So when he provided game information, right there in the email, I saw that I was designated snack parent.

My husband suggested Top Pot Doughnuts. My knee-jerk reaction was pure revulsion. Are you kidding? Yesterday’s snack mom brought fruit kabobs and gluten-free sea algae seed bars. Doughnuts!? Are you kidding? The parents will hate me. The kids will hate me; those sun-screened, broccoli nibbling, no-TV –watching, violin and chess playing children of the new millennia? They are not allowed to eat doughnuts. They. Are. Not. Allowed. To. Eat. Doughnuts. glazed, chocolate with sprinkles

An irrepressibly evil grin spread across my face as my heart of darkness began pounding. I could feel the black tar coursing through my veins. If I bring doughnuts, my name will be mud in Snack Mom World. I will receive a lifetime ban from bringing snacks. It might include a fine, and public flogging, but so worth it! No mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa in the world will smooth it over. The judge and jury of snack world will hand my sentence down swiftly, harshly, without due process of law.

On Sunday morning, the family was, of course, running late. I ran into Top Pot, and ordered up three dozen doughnuts. Spare no expense; bring on the cortege! I let the clerk at the counter select the best, most decadent doughnuts.

“It’s extra for cream filled? No problem! Whatever you think the kids will like. It’s all for the children.”

We reached the soccer field, and as I walked in with the large Top Pot boxes, I felt all eyes upon me. People were staring, but not with disdain, but desire. Suddenly I was the Pied Piper of Hamelin, parents and children alike were chasing after me, hoping to get first dibs on the doughnuts. “No, we must wait until after the game. Players get first choice.” Some of these innocent eleven-year-olds had never had a doughnut.

“Do these have nuts in them?”

“No, it’s a misnomer. Honestly, I don’t know why they call them doughnuts. They are just dough balls deep fat fried.”

When the game ended, I was mobbed; practically trampled to death. I thought this joyous crowd of players and spectators would hoist me on their shoulders as if I had made the winning goal in a championship game. I was declared snack mom of the year, perhaps the century.

Missoni Bathing Suit cover upLas Vegas has a way of rubbing off on anyone who enters that most distinctive den of all dens of iniquity. My husband was at a trade show in Las Vegas last week, and sent me a photo of a fantastic Missoni bathing suit cover up.

“Yes, lovely”, I responded, realizing this was to be my Mother’s Day gift. I began envisioning myself poolside in the summer, reading a magazine, sipping cocktails, lounging in a hand-woven Italian masterpiece. Oh sweet reverie.

My knight in shining armor came home from Vegas, a little worse for the wear, and presented me with a shopping bag, that had definitely not come from Missoni.

“That Missoni was way more money than what I wanted to spend, but I thought this would be a close second”, my beloved husband explained.

He wasn’t even coy enough to say, they didn’t have my size. He just shamelessly admitted he was too cheap, and presented me with the most astonishing excuse for a Mother’s Day present.

I knew what I had to do. I needed to represent every mother out there who has ever received a second or third-rate gift on Mother’s Day. “Put up your dukes Lars Lindstrom, because this was a costly mistake, you cheap &$%@+!” I could hear the words in my mind, and envisioned a one-two knockout punch to the sides of his Norwegian blockhead.

There was only one problem. I just couldn’t help grinning from ear to ear, like I’d just found a new banana-seat, high-handled bicycle under the Christmas tree. This man, my sweet Lars Lindstom, after almost eighteen years of marriage and 21 years of togetherness, he knows me! He really knows me!

Sure, a Missoni’s rather nice to prance and parade around in, but this trashy Vegas get up, I can work with this. It’s just so inspiring.vegas 041

Pick up and drop off at my children’s school, the next auction meeting, the grocery store, baby showers, bridge club, PTA meetings, UW Husky football games with a purple onesy underneath, Tupperware parties, the summer neighborhood block party, National Pamela Anderson Day, honestly where and when can’t I wear this?

My imagination is running wild. I need to find a 1983 Chevy Camaro to rent or borrow. I might need to bleach my hair blonde and get extensions, and lock myself in a tanning bed. I won’t come out until I’ve reached that perfect burnished orange color. I should schedule a liposuction appointment for the problem tummy area.

Oh dear, I’ve got to go, V. Stiviano is calling, she wants to borrow my outfit for a hot date with that super hunk of hotness, #DonaldSterling.

Mom family portrait-largerThere is a tone of wistful nostalgia when my mother, Helen, talks of growing up during The Great Depression and the war years. Collective deprivation produced a cohesion never experienced before or since in America. She reminisces about playing kick the can on Albany Street, collecting metal scraps and newspapers for the war effort, and as a five-year-old,  walking to the corner grocer to pick up a stick of butter for her mother, or cigarettes for her dad. The neighbor kid showed her the family’s machine gun hidden in the violin case. Where the violin was stored, no one knew. She and her siblings attended the Saturday matinee religiously, to swoon over Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

Her younger sister, Frances, was admired for her beauty and blonde locks, her older sister, Laura, praised for her comportment. My mother felt she was harder to love. Helen was reprimanded for her fiery temper, and teased relentlessly for her red hair; attributes inextricably linked in common lore. Her father, Bill, was a larger than life, loving guy, who fondly called her “Pinky”. He appreciated her for her sharp wit and assuaged her combativeness with humor.

Childhood came to an abrupt and absolute end, when the family buried her father, on my mother’s eleventh birthday. Her own mother went to work full-time to support the family. My mother, and her sister, Laura, became surrogate parents to their two younger siblings.

Responsibilities, in addition to school and homework, now included cooking, cleaning, laundry, mending and sewing, grocery shopping, and raising a five and a seven-year-old. When he came around, they fended off an abusive teenage brother, whom their father could no longer protect them against, and their mother could no longer control.mom graduation 020

Helen worked her way through college graduating with honors, Phi Theta Kappa. She immediately began teaching grade school, which she considered more vocation than job. She supported her older sister and mother on her meager salary and took a job in the cafeteria of the state hospital during the summers to keep a paycheck coming.

Written off as an “old maid school teacher” at twenty-five, she surprised everyone, including herself, when she met and married my father in 1962. She was a seasoned veteran at raising kids and all things domestic when we three girls came along in two-year intervals. My mother was warm and loving, yet a fierce disciplinarian. Everything she did was for family.

Easter 1969Helen never had a “me” day. An indulgence was the “beauty parlor” to crop her red, wavy hair, or a few bites of a Hershey bar she stashed in the cupboard, until I began climbing on the counter and stealing it.

In an era of Hamburger Helper and TV dinners, my mother made everything from scratch. Not in an egotistical Martha Stewart way, but it was simply what she knew. Homemade tarts, granola, delicious whole wheat bread, which barely made it out of the oven before my sisters and I devoured it. She sewed all of our clothes, until my oldest sister begged for a pair of “store bought” jeans when she was in seventh grade!

She supported all of our endeavors. When I took a comparative literature class in high school, my mother read all the Chaim Potok books that I read, so we could discuss them as I prepared my term paper. In an era when parents were less involved, my mother shuttled us back and forth to lessons, and attended every competition and performance. She volunteered at school, long before parent volunteer hours were required and meticulously tracked.

3rd gradeMy father died six years ago, after forty-six years of marriage. As the fog of grief lifted, my mother discovered a curious thing; freedom. For the first time in her life, she no longer was a twenty-four-seven caregiver. Today she is a vibrant, very young, seventy-seven year old enjoying the simple pleasures of life on her own terms; reading, watching movies, traveling, tending her beautiful garden, and spending time with her family, which now includes three wonderful sons-in-law and four grandchildren, in addition to her three daughters.

Words seem inadequate for the intense gratitude I feel toward my mother, who loved and loves unconditionally and fearlessly.

Mila Spring Soccer Sched 14 027I indulged my Star Wars obsessed son with Darth Vader shoes at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale this past summer. They not only light up when he walks, but feature the signature Darth Vader asthmatic breathing.

I recently bought a pair of blingified “Birkenstock” style sandals (is that a non sequitur?). I was so thrilled about this purchase. So “on-trend” at a reasonable price! They will address many a fashion need for spring and summer.

Mila Spring Soccer Sched 14 023But to my dismay, there’s a Dark Side to these slides. They too come with sound effects. They make a relentless squeaking noise with every step, even when I tip toe, walk really, really, slowly, or shuffle and drag my feet. It sounds like I went crazy at Taco Time and ate the bean burrito combo meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I find myself blushing, and explaining to perfect strangers that it’s my shoes making that strange sound. I’m not sure if anyone really believes me. I’ve been getting a lot of strange sideways glances.

The problem is that I love these shoes, and I’m trying really hard to rationalize them. Certainly I’ve made sacrifices for fashion before, usually withstanding excruciating pain for the perfect pair of Givenchy or Prada heels. Standing in H & M today, it came to me in a flurry of inspiration. I felt I had stepped into a time machine that transported me back to college. Fashion was spinning around me like a jumbled and incoherent rehash of the past. It has all been done before, while I am embarking on the last bastion of unexplored territory in the fashion world; sound effects. I’m not only setting, I’m inventing the trend, one awkward squeak at a time. I just wish my shoes sounded like birds chirping instead of intestinal gurgling…

spring 2014 017Perhaps you’re familiar with the Jack Daniel’s® Flu, but now there is Maker’s Mark® Therapy. I was recently diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis. Don’t worry, it’s not terminal. That’s the medical term for what is commonly known as tennis elbow. I grew tired of the chronic pain, so I went to see the doctor. I was hoping for a prescription for Swedish massage therapy, but was prescribed physical therapy. There is no quick fix for this particular malaise; you have to commit to doing some really boring exercises every day. I got tired of lying to my P.T. that I was doing my exercises in between scheduled visits, so now I’m on my own.

I don’t own hand weights, so I tested various household items: dusty t-ball trophies, bronze candlesticks, etc. I found the 1.75 liter bottle of Maker’s Mark® Kentucky Bourbon to be the perfect weight and shape. My pain is beginning to subside as my commitment level to my “therapy” has increased. The only problem is my trusty hand weight seems to get lighter every day; it’s often depleted after a weekend. Luckily it’s nothing a trip to the liquor store can’t remedy.

Winter Spring 2014 247My self-esteem has really taken a beating lately. These are few things I recently forgot to do. This is not for lack of trying or caring, and of course, I have all the apps, gizmos, and gadgets, designed to avoid such oversights.

1)      Lock the front door. Not only did I not lock the door, but it was left ajar, when our family left for three days. If the neighbor kids threw a party in our house while we were away, they did a great job cleaning up after themselves.  I only found one mysterious, half-empty beer bottle.

2)      Submit my daughter’s bio for her role as Tiger Lily in Peter Pan.  At least no one can accuse me of being a stage door mom. Most of the bios require editing because they can’t possibly devote a whole page enumerating the astounding list of accomplishments, awards, lessons, and performances, for each child. My daughter’s bio was concise; first and last name.

3)      Bring in the milk on Mondays.  I generally forget to do this every week.  Having a milkman deliver the milk, saves me from forgetting to buy milk at the grocery store.

4)      Re-enroll my children in their school for next year. Luckily, I was sent a friendly reminder.

5)      I remembered to sign my son up for the afterschool Lego class. But I forgot I remembered, and helego missed the first four classes, out of a total of seven.  I played dumb when he mentioned there had been several classes prior to the first one he attended.

6)      I forgot where Seattle is located. Even the most geographically ignorant among us, knows that Seattle is as west as you can drive, before falling into salt water. I was tired and confused, after a long day of skiing with my kids and my sister. We ended up in a charming, Swiss-style hamlet located east of the mountain pass.  Oops. The great news is that we had a lot of extra time to belt out Beyoncé, Celine, and Mariah ballads. Let’s keep this one from my husband. Not about heading home in the wrong direction, but the music selection.

© 2017 Napadaisical
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