Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday 5: Guess who checked out on the X-Files this week!

1. I’ve recently decided that I’d like to start carrying a microphone around in my purse, that way when I do something awesome or make an insightful statement, I can pull it out and drop it to the ground.

2. Tonight, after The International Man of Intrigue put Laura Ingalls Wilder to bed, we caught her on the video baby monitor trying to climb out of her crib. At 21 months, she’ll be the Little Explorer who attempted it at the earliest age, and she’s on the very petite end of the spectrum anyway, so also the shortest. The other Little Explorers just weren’t interested in climbing out, thank goodness. There is no way that Laura Ingalls Wilder is ready or sensible enough for a toddler bed, though, so things could get interesting.

3. My car is in the shop this week. In looking for some paperwork in the glove box, I realized there was paperwork from brake jobs and other repairs that date back two duty stations and are for an entirely different vehicle. It turns out my glove box is just the car version of the junk drawer. Speaking of which, I found a night light for a 220 volt plug near the junk drawer yesterday. We haven’t lived anywhere with a 220 volt power system for two and a half years. I have no idea where it materialized from, but that is the nature of the Intrigue Household. There’s really no point to guessing.

4. I keep seeing these commercials lately about only paying for what you need in a wireless plan. It’s these older people saying how they don’t need text or data. What I want to know is, can I get a plan with about 15 talk minutes a month? I don’t need phone on my phone plan. Text me all day long, reach me on social media, but don’t call. You’ll just end up listening to Laura Ingalls Wilder scream. 

5. Into the continuing saga of now famous people who were killed off in the X-Files before they were famous enters Bryan Cranston. The Breaking Bad star is the main character in Season 6, Episode 2 of the X-Files. He lasts until almost the end of the episode, when his head explodes. And that’s your Tuesday 5. (Drops mic.)

And, for your viewing pleasure, Bryan Cranston himself, dropping the mic:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday 5; Chris Farley and ER

1. I’m confused as to what day it is. The International Man of Intrigue is off work this week, which makes every day seem like Saturday. He had a lot of leave (leave=vacation days in military speak) that was use or lose, so we made it kind of a staycation. Actually, it really hasn’t been a staycation. Over the weekend we painted the kitchen and living room. We’ve taken The International Man of Intrigue’s Jeep to get fixed from where he got rear ended last month. We have a dentist appointment, back to school nights, and more and more. 

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder has a new hobby. It’s screaming. She has several eardrum shattering variations. The first is one the kind that makes sound effects technicians green with envy. It’s the perfect horror film scream, starting out high and then suddenly jumping an octave to blood-curdling. I thought that one was going to drive me crazy until she invented one today that may drive me to drink. It’s somewhere in the sound range of nails on a chalkboard with a volume about equal to a rock concert. It’s a full on pterodactyl screech, done at top volume and pausing only for breath. Oh, how I long for the days when she just yelled “poop” everywhere we went. I have a headache.

3. Today, the to-do list included taxes. Yes, in August. We had to file an extension since we didn’t have Laura Ingalls Wilder’s social security number in time to file by April 15. Taxes are one of the few things in life that really make me feel not smart. I don’t understand taxes. Once I tried to use Turbo Tax, but I got so frustrated because I didn’t understand half the things they were asking me to input that I gave up. It doesn’t help that every year, we have some “unusual” thing, like deployment, buying or selling a house, adoption, or who knows what. No matter how hard I try to collect anything that seems pertinent, when I take my pile of taxes to the accountant, we’re missing something. Getting taxes done not only makes me feel not smart, it makes me feel like maybe I’m only masquerading as an adult. I have no idea of the depreciation schedule of a house we bought a decade ago, and absolutely no clue what capital gains really means if you can lose money but still have it. Since that saying about death and taxes seems to be true, I guess I have a lifetime to figure it out, or to check my ego once a year.

4. As I mentioned before, we’ve been watching X-Files. I get a major kick out of recognizing actors playing bit parts before they were famous. Jack Black got killed off in one episode. We were watching the other night, and the actor and roll were so foreshadowing it was creepy. Remember the guy who played Dr. Romano on ER? He was the main character in Season 4, Episode 12 of the X-Files. As Dr. Romano, he played an ER doctor who lost his arm in an accident with a medivac helicopter, and was later killed by the same, which is when, coincidentally, I stopped watching the show, because, for me, that helicopter was like a giant shark, and Dr. Romano was wearing skis. Back to the X-Files episode, which aired less than a year before Dr. Romano joined ER. The same actor played Leonard Betts, an EMT who was beheaded in an ambulance accident. (Insert X-Files theme here) Creepy, huh?

5. I’ve started a diet and exercise program that I’m pretty committed to. I’ve lost some weight and kept to a daily workout routine for almost two weeks now. I feel like I’ve done pretty well at eating the right things to keep me from being hungry and cranky, but a friend reminded me of this little Chris Farley gem, (Thanks, Emily!) and I realized something: 

LAY OFF ME. I’M STARVING. Happy Tuesday, Fellow Adventurers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday 5: Back to School, Back to School...

Tuesday, again, and I’m writing in the middle of the day, due to the fact that I can’t comprehend getting off of the couch for the next thirty minutes. I did start the dishwasher first, so that sort of counts, right?

1. This morning, I took all four Little Explorers shopping for back to school supplies. They were mostly little monsters, fighting and begging and whining and more fighting. This is why I can’t fathom getting up off the couch. The upside is that, even when the other kids were hitting her and Amelia Earhart made this known to everyone in Target, and probably also everyone in the parking lot, even the ones with their windows up and radio on, I did not yell and mostly kept my cool. I’m pretty sure the whole experience reset my purgatory clock to zero. 

2. Arthur Dent has been a royal mess lately. He’s been waking up in the middle of the night and making sure to come into our room so that I can enjoy his company midway through my REM phase. The other night, he came in and so I promptly sent him to the bathroom. A few seconds later, a not even close to awake International Man of Intrigue stumbled to the bathroom. His response to being surprised by the bathroom being occupied at 4 am? “I really wasn’t expecting a line at that time of night!”

3. A couple of other weird highlights from Arthur Dent this week: The International Man of Intrigue had to put “yucky polish” (a nail polish that tastes bad to prevent finger biting, etc) on Arthur Dent’s TOES to keep him from biting his toenails. Arthur Dent also broke down in a hysterical crying meltdown when he randomly asked for ice cream- which we almost never eat- and was told that there wasn’t any in the house. For the next several hours, he could be heard to occasionally mutter in a very pitiful voice, “I just wanted some ice cream.” This kid keeps me on my toes, Fellow Adventurers.

4. I’m a little anxious about school starting back up. I’m equal parts relieved to have a break from the Little Explorers and crushed that I won’t get to spend all day with them. Arthur Dent will be in school during the morning, so it will just be Laura Ingalls Wilder and me for a few hours each day. I do feel like I have to up my meal planning and prepping game now that activities will be starting up and piano lessons have already moved back to right before dinner. Any suggestions as to how you keep on top of things?

5. Reading and Watching: We just started watching the Netflix original series Daredevil. It’s really good. I just finished reading “Dad is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan. I relate to him because we’re both fat and we both have a lot of kids and we’re both Catholic. I really enjoyed the book, even giggling out loud in parts. It was a little scatterbrained and choppy, though, perhaps making me Gaffigan-like in another way- the book felt more like a blog than a book. I’m not sure what I’m going to read yet. Any great suggestions? 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Livingstones, I Presume

I know I’m a day late in posting. I think I’ve come down with the post vacation blues. I could be wrong, but the fact that I picked all the M&Ms out of a bag of trail mix leads me to believe it’s the doldrums. I'll make it up to you with a Wednesday Random Six. Forgive me, Fellow Adventurers?

1. When you count the people you love who aren’t blood relatives, who do you count? The Intrigues just took a ten day vacation with some people on our list. After ten days, they’re not only still on the list, but they've moved up a few spaces. We first met The Livingstones two combined kids ago, while living in Sri Lanka. They were present for many adventures, and were first featured on the blog in Monsoon Dinner Theater. As you age and your family changes, it’s harder and harder to find friends who mesh with you, especially entire families who mesh with your entire family. The Livingstones and The Intrigues are a perfect match. All four adults enjoy each other’s company in any given combination or pairing. All seven kids can wander off and play for hours without arguing. The downside of our friendship is that this little vacation we just shared took place in between The Livingstone's assignment in Sri Lanka and their next assignment in Zimbabwe. Distance is a bummer, as all you Fellow Adventurers who move on a regular basis understand.

2. The three Livingstone kids are all girls, so we’ll name them after the three fairies from sleeping beauty- Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. Flora is six months younger than Gertrude Bell. Fauna is six months younger than Arthur Dent. Merryweather is, you guessed it, six months younger than Laura Ingalls Wilder. The adults have high hopes for a possible Intrigue-Livingstone merger in the form of a marriage twenty or so years down the road between Arthur Dent and one of the little Livingstones. Should that happen, all future holidays will be spent with the happy couple and they will never have to worry about splitting their time between families, since each set of in-laws will insist the other be present!

3. Whenever Mr. Livingstone and The International Man of Intrigue get together, they manage to invent games that involve throwing things. In Sri Lanka, when both families were quarantined with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, (more severe than its North American contagious disease counterpart) they invented a game called “CrocShoes,” which was a lot like horseshoes, but with more ridiculous rules. This time around, as we sat in the hallway of the hotel at Disney World, drinking beer and whispering to keep from waking the kids who were sleeping on the other side of the doors, Mr. Livingstone and The International Man of Intrigue invented “Ninja Card,” the basic gist of which is seeing who can fling a hotel key further. 

4. Speaking of putting babies to sleep, Laura Ingalls Wilder was less than cooperative upon being asked to sleep in a pack and play at the hotel and at the beach house. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. White noise apps are a thing, which is amazing and something every traveling parent should know!

5. Proof that The Livingstones and The Intrigues parent in a similar fashion came on one of our last days together. Mrs. Livingstone and I were standing in the kitchen, talking over coffee. She looked at me and said, “We’re just tuning it out.” I looked at her questioningly. She said, “You know, the babies?” It was then that I tuned into the fact that both Laura Ingalls Wilder and Merryweather were both splayed out on the kitchen floor, throwing temper tantrums. I can't end this without noting that The International Man of Intrigue described Merryweather as "squishy and soft, like a marshmallow." She really is a perfectly chubby one year old.

6. Yesterday, we hugged and fought back tears as we sent The Livingstones off in a van, weighed down with suitcases, to catch their flight to Zimbabwe. The Intrigues love you, Livingstones! Godspeed! If you have Livingstones in your life, take a minute to tell them you appreciate them!