Thursday, March 13, 2014

I believe...

...that 'The Book of Mormon' may be the very best thing I've ever experienced. New Year's Eve in Times Square? Weddings? Birthing babies? Overrated, all of them! But this? This was sublime. This was perfect. This was South Park in human form and therefore awesome in its very wrongness.

For our 10 year wedding anniversary/my 40th birthday, Dylan got us tickets to see the traveling production of 'The Book of Mormon' in Baltimore. I'd wanted to see it ever since first hearing about the project (I mean, really: South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut? Orgazmo? Team America: World Police? BASEketball? Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo? Who wouldn't?). So my husband, who after 10 years has learned to just go with it, made my dream come true. And lo, was it worth it. We laughed. We cried laughing. We laughed some more.

For maybe the 3 of you out there who haven't heard about this, The Book of Mormon is the story of two young Mormons who are just about to receive their missionary assignment. Excitement and nerves are running high in the training center as others are sent to exotic places like Norway (trolls and gnomes!), France (pastries and turtlenecks!), Japan (soy sauce and Mothra!). Elder Price is the golden child, the chosen one so he's obviously destined to be sent to his very favorite place on Earth - Orlando. Or not. Paired with the awkward, schlubby Elder Cunningham the dynamic duo will be doing their two-year stint in Uganda. Elder Cunningham is thrilled to have a built-in best friend for the next two years with the added bonus of being with someone who has actually read the book that is their main preaching tool: the eponymous Book of Mormon.

Elder Price sucks up his disappointment and vows to make the best of a bad situation (all around) and they travel to Uganda where their luggage is promptly stolen by the local war-lord General Butt-Fucking Naked. And from there things just get weird: tribal cures for AIDS, the world's worst missionaries, crises of faith, stepping up to the plate, baptisms, sticking it to the man and being really fucking polite to everyone.

Giving any more detail would deprive you of the awesomeness (I've been listening to the soundtrack on repeat for the past week) so you should totally buy it if you like Broadway musicals about the magic of frogs. Look! Here's a link. Now go forth and make your paradise on earth right where you are.

PS1 - Okay, I'm exaggerating about how it's better than weddings and babies. But I totally mean it about Times Square.

PS2 - Link is not an affiliate link so I get nothing for linking it, I just like you all that much.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lenting it up all over myself

Have you heard? We're in the most magical time of the year, where spring is in the air (sure), winter is winding down (ha!) and Easter looms with bunny rabbits and fluffy chicks, chocolate eggs and jelly beans as far as the eye can see. The time of the year where we give up that which we enjoy because Jesus died on the cross for us so STOP WHINING ABOUT GIVING UP SODA YOU UNGRATEFUL SLUGS, IT'S ONLY FOR 40 DAYS. CHRIST. Or, you know, if you believe all that though by all accounts everyone agrees that he was one righteous dude.

(Also, has anyone realized that the Lenten season of sacrifice comes right on the heels of the death of January resolutions? Geez, no wonder folks hate winter so much; it's nothing but three months of deprivation.)

Anyway, we are seven days into this Lenten season. Dyl is going a whole new route this year - he's giving up swearing. I would do that but hello, have you met me? How about soda? Eh, I don't drink enough of it anymore to make it 'legit'. Wine? BWAHAHAHAHAHA *takes a breath* AHAHAHAHAHA. So I do what any rational person would do: I give up eating altogether. Well, sort of. I do a fast in which (my mom told me) we were only allowed one meal a day for the duration of Lent. Of course, she's reached the age where you are no longer required to do this and I'm signed up for another 20 years so well played mom. Oh, but guess what? That only applies to Ash Wednesday and Fridays. Also something she neglected to share. But I'm not bitter. Then a few years ago my grandmother told me that Sundays were exempt so I proceeded to eat ALL THE THINGS. The downside? Getting into work clothes on Mondays were always a bit of a crapshoot.

After, I dunno, 15 years or so, I've got it worked out pretty well. I will eat a small breakfast because biology trumps religious constructs. Sorry. I used to do the Slim Fast milkshakes but 1) they're nasty and 2) I can't find them in the stores anymore (alas) so have turned to a new option: belVita breakfast biscuits. Four biscuits in a package and spread them out over the day to keep me going (except for today when I just shoved them all in my mouth because HANGRY. Also, I'll regret this decision later no doubt.) The key is crunch; just drinking a 'milkshake' goes nowhere in fooling your brain you've eaten. (This is also the time of year I rue not being pregnant or breastfeeding. INSTANT DISPENSATION SUCKAS.) The first week is relatively easy but it gets progressively harder the closer to Easter we get, mostly as I had tied it to the sunset. Dylan learned to step cautiously around me until after the sun went down, kind of a reverse-vampire thing. I no longer go quite that insane. I'll bitch and moan but overall I'm glad that I do it because as much as I posture otherwise, I like knowing it's a sacrifice sanctioned by the church as I'm a big rule-follower. That loose fitting jeans and jelly beans are in the offing is really just an added bonus.

So keep your Lenten promises y'all. The Easter Bunny, after all, is watching.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Merchandizing! Merchandizing!

There is a reason that we choose to keep the TV channels tuned to Nick Jr and Disney Jr - they don't have commercials. I'd rather not have the kids sold to while just relaxing after school so even though the likes of Peppa Pig and Dora the Explorer make me want to gouge my eyes out, I'll tolerate it as background noise. A trade-off of sorts: inane shows for no marketing.

"Mommy, is there really a Sparkle Fairy?"

Well, it was a trade off. But now, they've started airing commercials. Mostly cleaning products (?) with the occasional toy ad. And only between shows but dammit, they're screwing with my peace. I get that the late night programming has been changed to be more parent-friendly so fine, show ads then. Though if it instills a desire in them to clean then so be it. It's as if they expect parents to watch this drivel with the kids rather than using it as it's intended: a babysitter so I can eat and go to the bathroom uninterrupted.

"Wow Mommy! The Kaboom works really well!"

Okay, yes, it's an opportunity to start a dialogue with them about the purpose of advertisements, that they rarely work as magically well as the commercials make them appear. That the job of the ads is to convince us to buy their products and our job is to be savvy consumers and vet the claims carefully. It's a conversation that's ongoing and evolving and Noelle seems to be taking this in; at least, she'll ask if the ads are truthful after each one.

"I have a lame phone, I want a cool phone."

Oh, shit.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Roasting isn't just for peppers anymore

For the past couple of years, I've been experiencing hot flashes. It's been like two months on, three months off. Lather, rinse repeat. This time, however, I've been commenting on it (see: 40 and not giving a rat's ass) leading to a friend trying to reassure me that it's not a hot flash, it's capsicum. I work in the flavor industry so burning by capsicum is not entirely out of the realm of possibility but alas, no. (Oh, look, here comes one now. Hey, endocrine system, can we set it to 'medium-rare this time? Kthxbai.) So Ben, as much as I'd love to believe you, I don't.

Burn you up from the outside in

It all starts with a metallic buzzing in my head, I guess this would be the preheating stage. The from the center it gets warmer and warmer and warmer until I can feel the clamminess on my skin from the inside. But no sweat on the outside. Well that's a neat party trick - fun with wonky internal thermostats! It hits peak heat and holds for anywhere from 15 - 30 seconds before ending. This is especially fun when the temps are near or at freezing - you would think that it would cancel out. You would be wrong. Hot on the inside, cold on the outside like a perverted McDLT or whatever the hell that travesty was. It mostly stays in the upper body so my icy feet still get the shaft. (Sorry honey). Nobody wins!

Here, this will sum it up nicely:

Lifelong goal to become a kitchen appliance? Achievement: Unlocked.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This is 40

Yesterday I turned 40 years old. Wow. 40. It's but a number but is fraught with meaning - the entering of middle age, the loss of youth, the settling for how things are. Well, traditionally that is. Around these parts? It's the start of a whole new ball game.

Gray hair? No worries, I've been dealing with that since I was 20. Crows feet and laugh lines? They don't mean a thing as I earned them laughing like crazy with my family. Developing the Nachman chin? That's a point of pride - my grandmother was an incredible woman. I was never a beauty so the trappings mean very little. Hot flashes? Meh, I've always run cold so I look at this as a perk. Middle age? Bring it.

What I do have now is perspective - what's truly important. Doing my best at my job. It may not be what I wanted to do 20 years ago but now I'm here and I'll make the best of it. I can still leave my mark by developing a training program that will last for years; it might not be changing the world but it will be improving the bit that I occupy.

I'll make more time for me and doing the things that nurture my soul: cooking, writing, and exercising. Not too look better but to do my part to make sure I'm around for my kids and their kids for a long, long time. (Though if my clothes fit better in the process, well, I guess I'll just have to live with that.)

Dyl and I are both 40 now and as the kids get older, we can do more things with just us to remind us why we fell in love in the first place. It's so easy to lose track of that in the throes of early childhood and career management.

It's the freedom to move on from the crazy uncertainty of youth, to being comfortable with who I am and where I'm going, as an individual as well and as a wife and mother. Let the youngsters duke it out for the notice and accolades; I like where I am and I'm good at what I do.

This is 40. And from where I sit, it looks damn good.