Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday 5: What's on My iPod and the Importance of Avocado Toast

Wow. Tuesday again. That came a lot sooner than I expected. 

1. I have discovered my new favorite food. Avocado toast. Lightly toasted whole grain sprouted bread with avocado smashed up on top and a decent sprinkle of good salt. It’s like heaven in my mouth, and mostly guilt free. 

2. Speaking of food, I realized the other day that I identify as “not picky.” Actually, I’ve gotten pickier with age. Growing up, we always had to eat what was put in front of us, at least two bites of everything. By the time I was an adult, I’d eat anything, even if I didn’t like it. Then one day it hit me: I don’t have to eat things I don’t like. Don’t want a watery tomato on my burger? I can actually order it without. At a dinner at someone’s house? It’s actually not rude to say “no thank you” or pass the dish without taking some in most cases. It took me until my 20’s to realize this and until my 30’s to embrace it. I still eat things I don’t like, but I also more often make the choice not to. It’s really freeing.

3. The other day, I called The International Man of Intrigue at work. Halfway through the conversation, I had to ask him to speak up. He shouted into the phone, “WHAT is going on over there?” I answered, “WHAT? OH, THAT. Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell are practicing for a wheelbarrow race. Laura Ingalls Wilder is screaming because she’s trying to poop. Arthur Dent is standing right beside me crying because his pencil lead broke…Oh, wait. I think what you’re talking about is the electric pencil sharpener I’m using to sharpen Arthur Dent’s pencil. Yeah. I guess that is kind of distracting.” And the thing is, this is just a normal day at the Intrigue house.

4. If you're ever worried that your life is too safe, try washing a ninja blender blade by hand. Problem solved.

5. Just for fun: Hit shuffle on your iPod. What are the first five songs that come up? Mine are, “I Would Walk 500 Miles” by The Proclaimers, “It’s a Shame About Ray” by The Lemonheads, “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, “Where The Blacktop Ends” by Keith Urban, and “Airplanes” by Gary Allan. Interesting. That’s definitely not as eclectic as it could be.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday 5: Food Fights and Han Solo

1. This morning, Arthur Dent, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I had a playdate with a friend we met while we lived in California. Her husband has a similar job to The International Man of Intrigue, but just different enough that she’s done some things like evacuate the Embassy in Tunisia with her four kids (including infant twins) in tow. We live about 20 minutes apart now, and go to the same church, but don’t see each other nearly enough, as I realized after hanging out with her this morning.

2. I decided to take a shortcut on cooking dinner after our morning playdate and a quick trip to Target to get some birthday presents for parties the kids have this weekend. I bought a pan of Stouffer’s chicken enchiladas and rice. My kids were appalled. The second their plates hit the table, the whining commenced. “Eeeew. This looks disgusting! What IS this? I don’t like it! Is it spicy?” I got frustrated and said, “It’s boogers and barf in a tortilla. The next person who complains about it can brush their teeth and go to bed.” You see, in The Intrigue House, we have a strict eat it or starve rule. I don’t go in for food battles, but I don’t make special orders. I cook dinner and put it on the table. I won’t fight them to eat. We learned that the hard way with an epic chicken battle when Gertrude Bell was about two. It involved ketchup and vomit and screaming. We’ll leave it at that. Basically, a Little Explorer can eat what’s for dinner or go to bed hungry, but it’s their choice to make. In the end, Amelia Earhart ended up enjoying it and cleaning her plate. Gertrude Bell took it upon herself to apologize after dinner and offer extra help cleaning up. Arthur Dent still hasn’t eaten a bite, an hour and a half later. He’s sitting at the table coloring. I imagine he will be hungry in the morning.

3. We watched the new Star Wars trailer with the kids the other day. At the very end, when Amelia Earhart saw Harrison Ford, she said, “Han Solo is OLD!” Out of the mouths of babes…

4. Does anyone here do a “capsule wardrobe?” It’s basically like one of those magazine articles entitled, “10 Pieces, 27 Outfits!” only that’s it. You get rid of your entire wardrobe except for those mix and match pieces and lots of accessories. I’m really, really tempted to give it a try by creating a capsule wardrobe and just putting the rest of my clothes in boxes for a set period of time as a trial run. 

5. Watching: Season two of “Orphan Black.” If you haven’t seen this show, it’s good! The main actress, Tatiana Maslany deserves an Emmy. Seriously, why hasn’t she won an Emmy?!? Reading: “The Big Over Easy” by Jasper Fforde. It’s a crime/detective novel about the death of Humpty Dumpty. For real. It’s fun. What about you?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tuesday 5: Imaginaries and Phonies

1. Arthur Dent has imaginary friends. Yes, friends. Two. One is a robot named Robot. The other is an imaginary brother named—you’ll never, never guess this one, Fellow Adventurers—Spaceship. Yes, an imaginary brother named Spaceship.

2. Arthur Dent is on a roll lately. Tonight he was talking on his pretend phone to “The Professor” (another imaginary friend?) and said, “Yes, my big sister Amelia Earhart is weird. There’s something wrong in there.” I’ll just leave that there with no further comment.

3. I just finished reading, “Ladies’ Night” by Mary Kay Andrews. I used to love her books- chick lit mysteries. This was definitely a light read, but it was also predictable. Oh, here we go, the protagonists are finally together. Well, there’s still a third of the book left. I’m sure there will be a misunderstanding that causes them to break up or fight. Yes. There it is. So, it was a nice mindless escape, but no great read.

4. Speaking of literary things, I saw a t-shirt today that said, “Holden Caulfield thinks you're a phony.” That’s genius.

5. How is your Easter? Sunday was a lot of fun. We got up super early and went to sunrise Mass, then came home and took a nap. We had another family over for lunch and instead of cooking a giant meal, had a make your own panini bar. It was low stress and everyone was sure to like their sandwich. Today, I went to Target and bought new plastic eggs. We have a hodgepodge collection of eggs from many years of egg hunts and school parties. Now that our kids are getting a bit older, they’re getting more competitive about finding eggs, so I bought the cheap single color dozen in four different colors, so everyone can have their own color to find and no one will be able to find most of the eggs.

BONUS: The International Man of Intrigue and I have been watching “Arrested Development” and, while we find a lot of it funny, for the last few days, we have been laughing hysterically at Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog. (Even if you don’t watch the show, say that out loud a few times.) Sometimes we just say it and laugh. HYSTERICAL.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tuesday 5: Kids are awesome. And hilarious. And gross. And loud.

1. Tonight at dinner something amazing happened. Gertrude Bell asked if we’d like to hear the song her kindergarten class will be singing for the school’s International Festival next month. The country her class will be learning about is Madagascar. Of course, we said yes and braced ourselves. She opened her mouth and out came the first verse and chorus of “Rapper’s Delight!” The International Man of Intrigue and I were floored! Given that her teacher had them perform to LL Cool J and Naughty By Nature for their winter holiday show, I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. I’m sure you are wondering how “Rapper’s Delight” relates to Madagascar, Fellow Adventurers. We were, too. So we asked Gertrude Bell, figuring a six year old would have no idea. She answered immediately, “Oh, well, It’s because Wonder Mike’s mom is from Madagascar.” There you have it. I can neither confirm nor deny the validity of this statement, but I swear to you, hearing my six year old flawlessly rap that with no coaching or accompaniment was the cutest and most amazing thing I’ve heard all week, at least.

2. The International Man of Intrigue and I have a dream. Since no car companies have yet pounded on our door asking if they could pretty please use our idea, I’m going to share it with you. There should be - no, NEEDS to be - a feature option available on mini vans. It’s a divider like in a limousine, with a window that rolls up and down, separating the front seats from the back. It should also come with speakers and volume control, so parents can hear their Little Explorers, but at a suitable level. Today I would have made good use of it. You see, on the drive home from school, Gertrude Bell was doing bird impressions and Arthur Dent was singing a high pitched rendition of “Jingle Bells.” It was enough to make me want to get hearing aids, just so I could turn them down. Please, mini van makers, hear my plea!

3. That moment when you have chocolate on your hand and you’re about to lick it off. You suddenly realize you have four Little Explorers, and what if it isn’t chocolate?!?! 

4. Speaking of gross things and kids, Arthur Dent is all about trying to climb the refrigerator. He grabs the handles and uses them to pull himself up while “walking” up with his feet. I had to have a big talk with him the other day. Footprints are really hard to get out of stainless steel.

5. I know we’ve mentioned Gertrude Bell’s ability to dance to the beat of her own drummer. Tonight The International Man of Intrigue was looking over her math homework and had to ask what one of the numbers she wrote several times was. She told him it was a nine. He told her that it wasn’t what a nine looked like. She answered, “Well, I decided to make up my own “9.”” Of course she did.