Insane Dinner Conversations

At dinner tonight we were discussing important matters.  By “important matters” I mean completely random exchanges that make sense only to us.

Me: I went to JJ’s for lunch today.

Joe: JJ Abrams?

The Peeshwank: I was thinking Abrams too!!!

Me: Really?  YOU were thinking JJ Abrams.  Tell me, what show did he write?

P: STEVEN SPIELBERG!  I mean, Fringe.  I don’t know why I said Steven Spielberg.

Joe: Steven Spielberg is a play???

Me: Ooh!  Spielberg: The Musical.  I’m writing it.  Let’s see, there could be a song about ET… then a song about…

P: No!  Even better… Michael Bay: The Musical!

Me: Oh my Buddha, yes!

P: (singing) An explosion here, an explosion there!  (jazz hands)

Me: (singing along) I like to blow shit up!
Hey, hey, hey!
I’m Michael BAAAAAAYYYY!  (jazz hands)

Joe: (leaves the table)

That, my friends is how award-winning theater comes to life.

Explosion on Stage

The Act 1 Finale from “Michael Bay: The Musical”

The Peeshwank: Superhero or Crazed Villainous Overlord?

The Peeshwank turned 13 this year which is a cause for much excitement in our household.  Every nerd worth his mettle knows that the teen years are when your superpowers reveal themselves.  For The Peeshwank, this happened on our recent trip to Michigan…

The Peeshwank has participated in Odyssey of the Mind for a number of years now.  He comes from a long line of OMers – I having joined a team in ’84, and had it been around when my parents were in school my father would’ve been the king of Problems 1, 2, and 4, while my mother would’ve ruled over Problems 3 and 5.  This year The Peeshwank’s team won our state championship and made their way to World Finals at Michigan State University where they competed against teams from all over the world.  (And came in 25th in their division of almost 60 teams.  Top half!  Woohoo!)

After coming out of their Spontaneous competition we hosed the kids with silly string, bubbles and Hog calls then gave them Starbucks to refresh themselves.  Something in that combination must’ve set off something in The Peeshwank, because moments later this happened…005 (2)We knew a growth spurt would be coming soon, so we didn’t think much of it, until this happened…

004 (2) A Force Choke, Pdog?  Really?  Paul is your friend!

Then he turned his powers on his entire team and punched the ground.  The aftermath was too gruesome to show here.  Michigan State sent us packing after buildings started to crumble.  We’ve also been added to the “no-fly” list.  (These things may or may not be true.)

IMG_1904We’re a little concerned at this point.

Fourth of July Soundtrack: A Conversation

If you live in the North, on the East or West Coast, or outside of the United States entirely, you probably haven’t come across this phenomenon that has creeped into 4th of July festivities, bless your heart.  It has to do with this song.

Me: Why are they playing this song?

Peeshwank: Probably because you, Joe and I are the only people in this town that don’t like country music.

Me: No.  I mean, yeah, but no, this song is about spousal abuse.

Peeshwank: Hmm.  Maybe they found a hidden meaning.

Me: Ooh, like a metaphor.  I like that.  It’s like England was our abusive husband who was all “You’re going to worship God the way I tell you,” and we were all, “Oh, hell no I’m not.”  So we declared our Independence and burned the house down with him in it.

Peeshwank: Or maybe they just saw that it was called “Independence Day” and decided to use it.

Me: Maybe so.  I like my idea better though.

Peeshwank: Of course you do.

Making a Birthday List with The Peeshwank

Peeshwank: So, I know what I want for my birthday.

Me: Yes?

Peeshwank: A Kindle Fire.

Me: For what?  (Knowing damn well it was for playing games.)

[He senses that there is a right and wrong answer to my question, so he thinks for a moment.]

Peeshwank: For… reading books?

Me: Hmph.  What else?

Peeshwank: Monster energy drink, money, and 50 pounds of clay.

Me: What are you gonna do with 50 pounds of clay?

Peeshwank: What COULDN’T I do with 50 pounds of clay.  [looks off dreamily]

The Peeshwank: building an army of clay soldiers 50 pounds at a time...

Fare Thee Well: The Death of a Handbag

For those of you who know me personally, you’ve probably met “Red”, my Prada shoulder bag.  (I’m not as creative with my handbag nomenclature as with other inanimate objects: Just ask “Gray Plaid”, “Green”, “Slut Bag” (featuring magazine pinups), “Black Clutch”, “Chewbacca” and the others.)  “Red,” however, goes with me everywhere.  He’s survived several years of rain, sleet, snow, blistering heat, and traveling from Arkansas to Sacramento to Louisiana to Michigan to Maryland and back home again.  “Red” and I have established a special Fashionista/Fashion Bag bond.  A bond I have sadly taken for granted.

He’s sat on floors, the kitchen cabinet, and an open sharpie marker (which miraculously did not permanently scar him).  He’s been squished in theater seats, under bleachers and has been searched by the TSA and Razorback stadium security.  He’s carried clipboards, tampons, snacks, and even a change of clothes for the Peeshwank.  On any given day you could find a tape measure, duct tape, an exacto knife, a proof copy of whatever my latest novel happens to be, and a large-buttoned calculator within his depths.

He knows all my secrets.  He safely stows my journals in which I scratch random character traits while waiting in line at the store.  He stashes gifts when I come home from a day of shopping so I can discreetly sneak them into the closet to be wrapped.

And now, he’s torn.  His leather is snagged in more than a few places, his handle threatens to tear from its hardware at any moment.  He’s a mere shadow of his once pristine self.  And thus it is time to say goodbye.

The search for his replacement lurks on the horizon.  It won’t be easy.  Joe even considered buying his replacement for me for Christmas, but he knows how picky I am.  Finding a new “Red” is a daunting task, one not meant to be undertaken by man.  Only womankind can understand my variety of needs.  I’ve considered taking out a personal ad:

Wanted: red tote.  Must be leather, have no extraneous buckles, no vinyl, no large tacky logos, no chains, no tassels (unless they are quite small), solid color, no strange gathering, nothing schlumpy, no backpacks/messenger bags/crossbody totes, no quilting (unless you’re a Chanel, then we can talk), metal feet on bottom preferred.  Silver hardware preferable, but gold may be considered for the right price.  Patent leather and crocodile are perfectly acceptable.

But… that makes me sound just a wee bit anal.

And so, I took to ebay.  I’ve found several of my Kate Spade‘s there over the years.  And there it was…

Look at it... just look at it... ahhh...

And then I checked the price tag.  Only $84,450.00 + $150.00 shipping.  That’s it.  We’d have to refinance the house, but it’s just a small price to pay for a perfect handbag, right?

Damn you, Hermes.

I’m gonna go write another book.  I need to sell… oh… about 16,890 more to be able to buy this beauty free and clear.

Dream Journaling: The end of humanity.

Yeah, we’re gonna try that dream journaling thing again…

The apocalypse was upon us.  Buildings, cities, countries had been blown to smithereens in an all-out video game-style war the likes of which my two dudes have been training for their entire lives.  Of course we were amongst the rag-tag bunch of survivors.  Just us, all the guys I used to make indie films with and several other randoms.  (You always gotta have randoms to trip and leave behind when the zombies make their appearance.)

So, we’re hanging out and I’m trying to determine how to keep society alive while the film dudes were arguing about how to get just the right camera angle on the destruction around us.  “Hey guys, Youtube isn’t around anymore.  And the movie theater?  Yeah, that crumbles heap of ash right over there?  That’s it.”  But no one was paying me any mind.

I realized that the government had set up a think tank where the most brilliant minds had been sent to insure the survival of mankind.  We entered the tank to find it had been turned into an arena in which the “greatest minds of our time” had all constructed their very own Battlebots and were fighting them and placing bets, etc.  Apparently they had been in the think tank so long, they had gotten bored.  My dudes were positively elated and rejoiced at the site of the bots.

This is where humanity’s headed y’all.

BattleBots (video game)

Image via Wikipedia

I Should’ve Known This Was Where We Were Headed…

And… I’m back.

The past month or so has been completely crazy, so I have to give many thanks to the #whirlwind blog tours, that allowed me to entertain the word-hungry masses (all three of you) with guest posts from fellow authors.

What have I been up to, you ask?  Why, I’ll be glad to tell you.

First, as most of you already know, I made it through another NaNoWrimo.  I’ve still got a long way to go on the novel, but it’s getting there.  In my non-writing time I’ve been helping out The Peeswhank’s Odyssey of the Mind team.  Fundraisers, after-school practices, and lunch with the gang every Tuesday.

The biggest “Occupy Jenmac” perpetrator was The Peeshwank’s budding acting career.  As I mentioned in a previous post, he was cast as Randy Parker in our local theater’s run of “A Christmas Story”.  Yes, the “how do the little piggies eat” kid.  That’s my boy.

"I can't put my arms down! I gotta go weewee!"

We had loads of rehearsals and it was truly a great experience.  He and I both made lots of new friends and had a wonderful time even in the midst of working so hard.  (I ended up becoming the production seamstress and occasional backstage child-wrangler.  So I managed to keep pretty busy while at the theater myself.)

Peeshwank mentioned how much he loved being onstage and I thought back to his first live audience.  WAY back.  All the way back to when he was two years old and Debbie Gibson… er… pardon me, Deborah Gibson came to town with The Monkees for a lupus benefit concert for one of the Backstreet Boys’ older sister.  No, seriously.  It happened.  I promise I’ve consumed no alcoholic beverages yet today.

We were hanging out on the second row and P was playing with the fun bouncy theater seat.  “Look, I push it down, it comes back up.  Yea!!!”  Debbie… er…. Deborah’s backing tracks went all batty, so she decided to sit at the piano and play acoustically until they could correct the problem.

Just as she started to play a nice, soft ballad, SWAP.  The seat hit Peeshwank in the chin and he screamed bloody murder.  Debbie Deborah stopped playing and looked out into the audience.

“That didn’t sound like a happy scream!”  She announces.  I sweep P up into my arms, shoving his face into my chest to muffle his screams and haul ass for the exit.  (Of course, our seats were in the middle of the row.  Of course.  I’ve only ever sat on an aisle seat ever since.)  Debbie Deborah says, “Turn the lights up and let’s find that baby.  Then we can point and laugh at his mother and throw rotten cabbages at her for bringing a baby to a fancy benefit concert.”  She may or may not have said that last part.

The lights come up and she catches me before I can get out of the concert hall.  Then she uttered a sentence that I still have nightmares about:

“Bring that baby up here and let’s see if we can’t get him to stop crying.”

The building could’ve fallen down on me at that moment and I would’ve welcomed it.  I tried to make a run for the fire exit.  Alarms be damned, I’m out!  But an usher caught me by the arm and dragged me to the bottom of the stage stairs.

Heart pounding, face burning with embarrassment, I made my way up the steps onto the stage where Debbie Deborah had her stage manager bring out a bench for the screaming Peeshwank to sit upon.  The minute the lights were on him, though, he stopped crying and started waving at the crowd.  I realized at that moment that my toddler had planned this all along.  He was faking some grave injury just so he could get onstage and be in the spotlight.

So there we were – me, The Peeshwank and Debbie Deborah Gibson just hanging out onstage in front of a concert hall full of people thinking “What a dumbass!  We paid good money to hear ‘Electric Youth’ not see some damned kid and his idiot mother hang out on stage and hog the spotlight.”  I wanted to die.  In 1988 if you had asked me what my dream was, it would be to be at a Debbie Gibson show and get to sing and dance with her.  In 2002?  Not so much.

So Ms. Gibson sat down next to Peeshwank and serenaded him with “Lost in Preston’s Eyes”.  He ate it up.  He still refers to her as his woman.  He didn’t want to leave the stage.  Especially after she picked him up and hugged and kissed him and joked with me about how he was making her biological clock tick.  Yeah, that happened.  Me and Debbie hanging out, talking about child rearing in front of hundreds of concert-goers.

And thus began my son’s love affair with the spotlight.

Oh, and I know the big internet slogan “Pics or it didn’t happen”.  So here:

The three of us just chillin'. For a whole song. Me standing there looking over her shoulder as she sang a love song to my 2-year-old. Not awkward. At all.

While The Monkees were playing later in the evening, Peeshwank was unable to understand why he couldn’t just go back up onstage, so we wandered around in the lobby for a bit, where Deborah’s creepy-ass stalker followed us around and kept staring at Peeshwank as if he were going to lick him where Deborah had kissed him.

So, he got a taste of THAT side of stardom too.  I guess it didn’t scare him enough to rethink his decision to pursue acting though.