Friday, August 20, 2010

Mercury In Retrograde

School is back in session.

Although we were all excited for the new year to begin, I must confess that my heart aches on each first day of school. It takes me a few weeks to get used to having them around during summer vacation, and then I get weepy and melancholy when I send them back to school. The irony of motherhood.

My oldest has started first grade. Her new school starts at o'dark thirty, so my late nights of bad tv watching are a thing of the distant past. I'm not used to getting up early. I've never been much of a morning person, which is a nice way of saying that I'm a raving lunatic anytime before 10am. As part of the back-to-school shopping, my oldest daughter got her first "grown up" haircut. The long hair we have lovingly grown out for the last 6 years was so damaged from the pool, we cut it into a chin length bob. The loss of hair instantly aged her- my husband and I were amazed at how much it matured her (she still has trouble putting on her socks, but whatever). It seems that overnight, she lost all vestiges of little kid-ness, and her gangly legs with mosquito-bit ridden knees are knobby and lean. She looks like a year old puppy with big paws.

We've been early to school each day this week (a remarkable feat for me)- mostly because I am so intimidated by the hustle and bustle of the school parking lot that I insist we park around the corner at the dry cleaners and walk. The kids think the "secret path" is great- which I think will change when we get hit with a typical tropical storm.

Houston has changed so much since we left here a few years ago. The population has exploded. Rumor has it that Houston will usurp Chicago and become the nation's 3rd largest city. All I know is that I had to beg my pediatrician to take us back because their ENTIRE practice is no longer accepting new patients. Nor is their dentist. The Costco parking lot is jammed, real estate is ridiculous and we went out for pizza last night and the line was out the door. On a Thursday. At 6:30pm.

The other day, someone on twitter was talking about mercury being in retrograde. Basically, this happens 3 xs a year, and it signals a time of transition, and significant change. This made me laugh, because mercury is definitely in retrograde around here, and has been for the last few months. Here's to hoping it settles down soon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jersey Girl

I was born in New Jersey.

I do not have a pouf.

I do have fond memories of summers spent at the shore.

I do not wear leopard. I did not marry a nice, juicy Guido and I don't fist pump or GTL. (Gym, Tan, Laundry).

I do, however, love watching "The Jersey Shore."

Have you seen it? Despite their newfound fame- the characters are as crass, genuine and idiotic as last season. The editing is brilliant. The dialogue is better than anything Hollywood could come up with. Most importantly, my husband and I roll on the floor everytime we watch it.

I am so going as Snooki for Halloween. (So yes, I will have a pouf).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Real Moron Game

The other day, the plug to my laptop stopped working. I made an appointment at the local apple Genius bar, and the very next morning- I picked up my brand new plug. I went merrily about my business.

That afternoon, my 4 year old dropped my iphone in the toilet. I'm not sure how it happened- only that she was excited to reach a new level on the "Moron Game" (don't get me started) and apparently couldn't temper her enthusiasm without some accompaniment on a potty break.

The phone wouldn't turn on. I googled every possible remedy. I chose to not bake the phone at a low temperature (it freaked me out), but I did blowdry the heck out of it, and placed it in a ziploc bag of rice. I spent two days blowdrying- bagging with rice. Finally, I turned it on.

It worked. Sort of. Everything seemed to be ok, except for the home button. I limped along, until 1 day later, the whole thing quit. Kapoot.

I went BACK to the Genius Bar. (By now, I"m starting to recognize them). I tell them what happened. They open it up, and it's flooded. I'm not eligible for an upgrade, but my husband is. So my Genius quietly suggests that I return at 11:20 the next morning- the same time they typically get their morning shipment of the handful of new 4G phones that sell out in half an hour.

So there I was, BACK at the apple store- this very morning. Dragged my little Moron Game expert and her sister to the local mall. Checked myself in for my appointment, and politely inquired if they had unpacked their morning shipment.

The Genius bar scheduler looks at me with disdain- and says, "We don't have any 4gs. I cannot tell you when we will get more." She then suggests I speak with a salesperson. I find the closest looking Vulcan in a blue apple shirt and ask him the same question.

He says he will go in the back and check. But as he leaves... I notice that he sighs--not a sigh of compassion, more akin to a sigh of annoyance. I don't even think he went to the backroom- he probably stayed on the other side of the door and waited until it felt like a long enough time before coming out and telling me they didn't have any phones.

Finally, it came time for my appointment. ANOTHER Genius in a blue shirt approaches me. I tell him the whole potty-sob-story. I say that I'm here to use my husband's upgrade for a 4G. I tell him that 2 people have already told me there are no phones. Before I can finish, he says he will go to the back to check.

He's gone for a while.

I start to feel hopeful.

My blue shirt (Genius?) returns. He's holding an iphone box under a piece of paper, close to his chest. He quietly approaches me, and tells me he found a box of phones in the back that had not been unpacked. He motions for me to follow him to the front of the store.

I don't understand why he's being so secretive. They have a product to sell, I'm willing to part with some cash- so sell it to me, right? Suddenly, I notice a gaggle of people have spotted the box. They start following us to the front of the store. (I know I can exaggerate on occasion, but I pinkie swear that I am not making this up).

My Genius takes out a black rope- similar to what they use at Disneyland or the movie theater to control lines, and puts it behind me. He holds the phone and says to the nearby OTHER Genius who will be completing the transaction:

"Congratulations! Here is your first iphone sale of the day!"

The other Genius claps her hands and yells "Oh Goodie!"

The crowd on the other side of the black rope starts murmuring with excitement. They start jostling to get a better position in the line that has now formed, directly behind me.

They activate the phone. They take my money. They act like they have done me a HUGE favor- this honor of allowing me to pay cash for a product.

Who's the real Moron now?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

First Graders Do Not Prefer Plaid

I'm not sure if it's the heat, or my rapidly advancing age- but this unpacking business is kicking my patootie. I start every day with grand illusions of what will get done- and by 6pm, I'm left scratching my head and wondering "is that it? Is that all I will get to today?"


I do have most of the boxes unpacked. I still can't find our red toolbox with all of our tools, or 12 of the botanical prints I so lovingly framed for the living room. Or 2 more pictures for the family room. My husband is sure we will uncover them, but I have my doubts.

We are really enjoying the pool- especially the dog. If you leave him outside for longer than 3 minutes, he comes to the door and cries. Not whimpers- full on pooch-sobbing sounds that say "I am a black lab! Let me in! It's 105 and my paws are melting!"

He's a wimp.

I spent a small fortune on uniforms for my first grader today. I was not aware that the required plaid jumpers are lined in 14 karat gold. I did stifle a laugh when I saw my daughter's face in the fitting room. "THIS?" she exclaimed. "This is what I have to wear? Every day? Are you KIDDING me?"

I told her to call her grandmother and commiserate. Her lifetime spent in Catholic school uniforms manifested itself into a serious Eileen Fisher addiction later in life. I told my daughter that one day, her closet would benefit from a short lifetime of uniform torture. She glanced at me, and I was able to marvel that even in all of her red/navy plaid cuteness, her eye rolls were still annoying.

I am not cooking. I am not regularly applying makeup, or doing much with my hair. My house looks better than I do, and that's really not saying much. I'm hoping that I will unpack my mojo soon, and start to feel more like myself. Or maybe, just like my botanical prints and toolbox, the mojo is something I will have to claim on the insurance form.