Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tuesday 5: In Which I Explain Last Week's Boycott List

I actually had to verify that it is Tuesday. Today has been a Second Monday, for sure. 

1. I got a lot of questions last week about why we boycott Pizza Hut, Heinz Ketchup, and Amarillo, Texas. In the interest of your rabid curiosity, Fellow Adventurers, here are the reasons: 1. Pizza Hut- In essence, this is one of those horrible customer service experiences that was left unrectified, even after complaining up the ladder. So not very interesting. We boycotted Papa John's before that, but have a strict one-pizza-joint-on-the-boycott-list rule, so Papa John's got a second chance and have managed to stay in our good graces. The rest of our boycotts are much more entertaining.

2. Heinz Ketchup- Some of you may have noted that a handful of other Fellow Adventurers also commented on my facebook link that they, too, boycott Heinz. All those Fellow Adventurers also had spouses serving in Iraq during one of The International Man of Intrigue’s long tours. At that time, John Kerry was running for president and made a very disparaging comment about the troops in Iraq and their intelligence level. It cut most of us to the quick, and since his wife, Theresa Heinz Kerry is heir to the ketchup fortune, and also gave a lot of personal money toward his campaign, The Intrigues, and many families we knew at the time, started boycotting Heinz and never stopped. 

3. Amarillo, Texas- The International Man of Intrigue was pulled over for speeding in Amarillo during college. When he asked to see the radar, the cop wouldn’t let him and instead gave The International Man of Intrigue a ticket for not wearing his seat belt. The International Man of Intrigue had taken it off to get his wallet. So, he paid the ticket and we carried on tolerating Amarillo. Fast forward a decade. The International Man of Intrigue was in his John Kerry deployment and I got a super official looking registered letter from The City of Amarillo. It contained a warning that there was about to be a warrant issued for The International Man of Intrigue’s arrest unless he paid a ticket from about a decade ago. I frantically put out feelers to get The International Man of Intrigue to call me—not easy in those days. The International Man of Intrigue ended up placing a phone call from Iraq to The City of Amarillo. Basically, they had done a shitty job of keeping track of their outstanding tickets and had hired a third party to review and collect and close them out. His had never been marked as paid. He ended up speaking to a judge who told him unless he produced proof that he’d mailed a money order over a decade ago to take care of his ticket, the warrant would be issued. Oh, and thanks for your service. So we did what reasonable people do. We paid the ticket again and enacted a lifetime boycott against the city. And thus ends our current boycott list.

4. I just started reading “Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities” by Claudia Kalb. If you’re interested in psychology, it’s a quick, interesting little read. It’s really armchair psychology, but it’s fun to look inside the minds of famous people. 

5. The Little Explorers have head colds and The International Man of Intrigue wasn’t home for bedtime tonight, so it was a lot like Whack-A-Mole. They kept popping out of bed as quickly as I could tuck them back in, one after another. It’s now an hour and a half later, and I have high hopes bedtime is finally finished. On that note, I’m going to call it a night. Until next week, Fellow Adventurers.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tuesday 5: Oranges and Boycotts

1. When there’s a federal holiday, Tuesday is the new Monday. Since The International Man of Intrigue was off work on the real Monday, we did something I don’t do when I’m home alone and watched the local morning news. Every time I watch, I end up so confused about Florida. This is a weird place, Fellow Adventurers. Just yesterday, I had to ask why on earth anyone would name an event the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. Did they not check the acronym? I also had to google “feral monkeys near Ocala.” It turns out that there is a gang of feral rhesus monkeys that’s been living near Ocala, Florida since the 1930’s. Depending on your source, they were either left there after the 1932 filming of “Tarzan of the Apes,” or put there by a guy who owned a jungle cruise tour to add atmosphere. I’m not a huge fan of monkeys, so I’m actually relieved I’ve learned this little weird fact just in time to move from this state.

2. Speaking of grocery shopping and The International Man of Intrigue, he sent me a text from the grocery store this week. “Which ketchup are we boycotting?” Yes, the Intrigues boycott Heinz ketchup. We’re pretty forgiving by nature, but we do have a short but serious list of things we boycott. Pizza Hut, Heniz Ketchup, and Amarillo, Texas are the only things on the list at the moment. They all, of course, have good reason behind them. Do any of you Fellow Adventurers boycott anything?

3. We haven’t done a “What are you reading and watching?” for a while. I’ve just finished “Unbroken” by Lauren Hillenbrand, which I found very compelling, and “Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh, which had me laughing to the point of tears. I think I’m going to read “Paris” but Edward Rutherford next. I did see a couple of quotes from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” books today, which put me in the mood to reread that as well. We’ve been watching “Longmire” on Netflix, which has kept us interested. The characters are interesting and the detective aspect is something we always enjoy.

4. The International Man of Intrigue just wandered in, complaining that we’re out of oranges again. I swear, you’d think we were attempting to singlehandedly rid the free world of scurvy the way the Intrigues go through oranges. The last bag was gone in two days.

5. Some updates on the Little Explorers: Amelia Earhart’s nose was, indeed, broken. A visit to an ENT confirmed that her nose was still perfectly aligned, even with the break, so we just have to wait for it to heal. Laura Ingalls Wilder is successfully potty trained. She turned out to be the easiest of the four Little Explorers to potty train. I took Gertrude Bell to the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game Sunday night. Less than two minutes in, a fight broke out. Initially, I think Gertrude Bell was a bit concerned, but in the end, she decides she really likes hockey and was crushed to find out there’s no ice hockey in Hawaii. Not to leave Arthur Dent out of things, we’re very proud that, when we had a houseguest last week, he wore pants the entire time. *Sniff* My baby boy is growing up. Now if he would just stop crying about having to put his shoes on to go to school every day…

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday 5: An Overwhelming Start to 2016

1. Well, it turns out some of you Fellow Adventurers have actually missed me the last two weeks. I’m super flattered. Contrary to popular belief, flattery will get you everywhere with me. So, why the radio silence on the blog? 2016 has been a little overwhelming. Not only has getting over shingles been a little more difficult than I anticipated, there have been a few other big events that have demanded lots of time and energy. Lots of things have been lots of crazy this last six weeks.

2. After a January that I was hopeful was not indicative of what 2016 has in store for me, February waited exactly three days to punch The Intrigues in the gut, or, more appropriately, the nose. Amelia Earhart got in a collision playing flag football in PE. I got the call and, by the time I arrived at school, her nose had stopped bleeding, but the school nurse thought it might be broken. Off we went to the ER, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Arthur Dent in tow. On the way there, I did my best to reach The International Man of Intrigue, which isn’t always easy, since he is banned from having a cell phone at work and he’s not often at his desk. Once I finally managed to reach him, he left work immediately to meet us at the ER. Of course, he got pulled over for speeding on the way there. At that point, I started to find the whole thing very funny. In the end, I stopped laughing, and we found out that Amelia Earhart’s nose is cracked, but properly aligned, so no need for any intervention. Along the way, we were constantly reminded how tough she is by all the medical professionals. She’s also anxious to rejoin her after school flag football team. That’s my girl.

3. We’re giving up our sanity and diapers for Lent. Potty training starts on Friday for Laura Ingalls Wilder. We do the hardcore, straight to underwear method. It’s brutal, but it works and then it’s over. 

4. Today, Laura Ingalls Wilder left her favorite doll, Baby Niki, at Target. It required a trip back to claim her from Guest Services. Laura Ingalls Wilder is currently sitting beside me, throwing papers onto the floor. I think this is why I’m tired this year. 

5. The most important piece of news in 2016 is that the giant government military complex has told us it’s time to pack up and move again. The Intrigues are Hawaii bound this summer. It wasn’t our first (or second, third, or fourth) choice of assignments, but it will definitely be an adventure. I don’t think there is any way to move to an active volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and not have adventures!