Monday, June 13, 2011

One Man's Junk Is Another Man's Treasure

I didn't actually write this title.

I stole it, from the very last student essay I graded before the school year ( finally!) ended, freeing me up to play a lot of Fruit Ninja and mutter goddamn KIWI! every three seconds because they're impossible to see against the 70's rec room wood paneling background, which is apparently very Zen but mostly just pisses me off. 

Anyway.  Her essay was about recycling, I'm pretty sure, not gay erotica.  I'm disappointed in you.

I don't really blame her. It could happen to anyone. Especially now that we text everything, and there are no vowels, or capitals or punctuation needed, and even then the phone gets bored with you and just starts writing its own thing.  For instance, recently I sent my daughter a text because she was out of town and missing home.

The text said Your brother wore his tophat to the park to play baseball.  (This is what it was supposed to say.)

Only my phone disapproved and jazzed the message up without informing me, and what it really sent her said Your brother wore his gopher to the park to play baseball.

He's a weird kid, but even he draws the line at wearing gophers.  If you are new to this blog you may not yet know that I am haunted by the subject of rodents, totally against my will, and now my phone is in on the game. It's creepy.

Also my mother is now texting, and beautifully, I might add.  Here is the transcript of our first-ever text exchange:

Me:  Rumor has it you are now a texting goddess!  Why have you not been texting me? I had a banana for breakfast. Thought you needed to know.

Mom:  Th[
She already knows way more acronyms than I do.

By now you may have noticed that this post lacks a certain....substance. I'm disappointed in me. It's like a ricecake post, where the title is the caramel drizzle on the top, and that's okay, but the rest is just air and the promise of  indigestion. 

Mostly I wrote it so that I could stop seeing a post about poodles and EASTER everytime I opened up the blog. It makes me look like a slacker. They aren't even my poodles, they're my mother's, and I'm beginning to think they're the ones who sent me the text message.

My next post will have a lot of weighty social commentary, probably, like how the failing economy has created an unlooked-for shortage of giant metal dinosaurs, so don't even try to find a 25 foot steel T-Rex to put next to your mailbox.  You can't find them except for online maybe, and the shipping is ridiculous. It's sad.


Maybe I'll start a series for summer!  Vic's Secret Shame!  Shames!  I'll swear you all to secrecy first, so it's all confidential, and I don't lose my job.  

Let me know what you think.  I've got some kiwi to kill.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The One Where I Try to Explain Where the Hell I've Been.

Sometimes, late at night, I lie in bed listening to the dog dig a hole in the carpet under my bed and think fondly of you, my blog people.  

I like to think of you gathered peacefully together, all of you in colorful winter hats, gently adrift on an ice flow.  I broke you off from the mainland somehow, and there is a taciturn polar bear by my side, I think his name is Carl, watching with me as you bob off into the horizon.

In my imagination the ice flow is not like the kind where the village has cast you out and sent you out to your death.  Don't even worry.  It's more like a floating party, like a frozen cocktail party, because the ice chunk you're on is a little teeter-y, and any dancing or highly animated Pictionary games would take us back to the death scenario.

Pretty soon you're just like tiny specks in the distance, and then it's just me and Carl, and polar bears don't get my sense of humor, apparently, so it's quiet.  Too quiet.

I think, I wish they'd float back here.  Only then I see it in the wise bear's eyes;   I'm the one adrift.

I know.  It's pretty deep.  Also, besides destroying the carpet, the dog is stealing clementines from the kitchen and storing them under there so I need to remember to check for rotten fruit again.  That dog loves produce.

Anyway, I had very good intentions for regular posting this year, but then the world got dangerous.  For instance. You know how all of a sudden the nefarious nature of teachers has been revealed to the unsuspecting nation?  And how we are draining the US economy dry with our opulent lifestyles? ( Seriously, the teacher next to me must have three or four gauzy, Stevie Nicks-style skirts in her wardrobe where one would do. Sheer wanton excess. ) You probably also know how teachers are systematically breaking the spirits of children, and in between acts of cruelty are taking long breaks from the work we don't do.

So, I was trying to absorb this sudden elevation of my status to supervillain, and then the whole news thing with that teacher and her controversial blog entry happened, and it reminded me that teachers are to be seen and not heard.  

Which is hard when you write a blog that includes stories from your classroom from time to time, and also part of your head is identifiable in your profile picture, and some enterprising and vindictive helicopter mom could easily piece it all together and come a-calling. I felt like maybe I should delete everything in my blog except maybe the posts about cats and beards, and just hush up.

I retreated from the blog world to the safety of my home, which was okay until the police started showing up in the neighborhood.  The first time it was kind of fun, because the NASCAR neighbors got evicted and left the house locked up, and the sheriff had to break into the window in his tight uniform pants and holster belt, not that I was watching or anything, and after he left I went out to "get the mail" and the homeowner said "Hey come look at this!!"

So I did, just to be polite, and she took me in the house to show me all the trash they left behind, like six pairs of broken eyeglasses, and pizza boxes and meat on the counters, and what looked like drifts of yak hair in every room. Are yaks legal in town?

The next time the police came it was to arrest the sex offender we didn't know had come to live in the house behind ours.  Imagine our surprise! They took him away in hand cuffs, but I don't know where he is now.  I think if someone starts watching loud Doris Day movies at 2 am over there again we'll know to lock up the kids.

I guess what I'm saying is, I've missed you, my floating friends, and seeing as nowhere is safe anymore, I might as well enjoy myself and hang out here with you, if you don't mind. Let's just pretend that I work for the DMV or something for awhile.  People love those guys.

I've got clementines if anyone's hungry.  Some of them don't have tooth marks. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hips Don't Lie. Maybe just some little white lies. Sometimes the left hip tells some whoppers.

So I was doing some panicky last minute Christmas shopping back in December at CVS, because people on my list only get quality, and I saw a box lying on the shelf next to the last shake weight and some pajama jeans, and inside the box was THIS:

I wasn't sure what it was, but it was clearly AMAZING, so I threw it into my cart, rushed home, and then forgot all about it.

Christmas went by and one day I found the box again behind the dresser. The outside said "Hoopnotica" and on the inside, what looked like fancy tent poles was actually a special "travel hoop". For when you go on vacation and have a mad hula hoop need. (Who hasn't been in that dark place at some point?)

I was going to take it back because I'm already one barn purse over my impulse-buy quota, but then I saw that it came with a DVD, so I put it in and there were some gorgeous women on it, and one tank-top man in the back, who were dancing beautifully with their giant hoops, and flinging them up in the air and catching them with their teeth, and  it turns out that hoop dancing has been a big thing with all the Hollywood stars, and also hippies, for a long time now, and somehow I was  never notified because I live in the suburbs.

I watched the whole DVD and then spent hours watching every single thing on Youtube about hoop dancing. It's totally hypnotic and addictive.  I learned from the videos that hooping can whittle your waist, and  free your inner creative goddess, and also help you poop, all at the same time. Sometimes hooping can get you on the Ellen show. That's a crazy lot of wonderful, if you ask me.

I also learned that probably at some point, once I get really good, I should wear my hair in dreads and invest in some feathery flare-leg  yoga pants with a hip skirt for when I meet the other hoopers at Burning Man, but that's a couple weeks down the road probably.

I watched the demo part on waist hooping and figured I had it down, so I changed into some natural-fiber clothing (for grip!) and put the hoop together, reveling in its shiny, circusy bling.  It didn't take long to figure out that the house is not really hoop-friendly, what with the animals, and lamps, and flower-arrangements from the oral surgeon, so I waited until darkness fell and took the hoop outside.

In the front yard I assumed the recommended position, one foot in front of the other, hoop positioned at the small of my back, and gave it a firm swing to the left. The hoop flashed in the glow of the street lamp, spun once around my hips, and, despite my feverish gyrating, landed on the grass. 

I tried again. Firm swing to the left. Feverish gyrating.  Hoop in the grass.  Again. And again. And again. I heard a suppressed laugh from behind me, and turned around in time to see the blinds in my son's room fall closed.

"I see you up there!" I yelled.
"Seriously.  I know you're there, spying on me!"
Then I heard a soft voice coming from behind the blinds.  "What if someone sees you doing that?" it asked.

I chose to ignore such negativity and went back to work. Ten minutes later the front door opened, and my son appeared, holding his old plastic hula hoop, which he laid down on the driveway.  Then he stood and watched me as I sweated and stooped.

"Car!" he announced, when an SUV turned into the cul-de-sac.
"I'm not in the street."
"I know," he said, " I just thought you might want to hide behind something until they were gone."

Then he casually picked up his old hoop and began hooping, effortlessly.

My son kept me under contemptuous surveillance for awhile, until finally his hoop ended up in the tree and he lost interest, so now it's just me and my hoop dancing dreams out under the street lamp.

I'm not giving up.  It's been several days, and every night I go out and spin my shiny hoop and get all sweaty, and every night it falls to the grass, but sometimes now it turns a few times first.  One time I spun it expertly, but accidentally, around my forehead when my foot slipped in the grass.   I see that as progress.

Someday soon you're going to see me on Youtube, my hoop a blur on my magical hips, my inner goddess totally revealed due to the "flow" I've achieved and maybe a recent successful bowel movement. That's going to be a great day.

Did I tell you sometimes they light their hoops on fire?