Monday, June 14, 2010

riddle me this:

I know not everyone is as addicted to coffee as I am, or is as irresponsible as I am to actually go out and buy a $5 cup of coffee on a near daily basis, but I figure there are some people out there who are and will have insight on this very perplexing situation.

A few days ago we went to Starbucks and ordered the following: Grande, Light Ice, Upside Down, Caramel Macchiato. Now yeah, the caramel macchiato is kind of a confusing drink in itself-- I mean, the flavoring is vanilla and not caramel like you'd think it would be, so when you throw the "upside down" in there you are pretty much asking for trouble. But this barista, unlike the one the day before, knew that upside down essentially means you make it in the reverse order that you normally would-- coffee and caramel on the bottom, milk goes in after. The other barista was like, "Um, y'all? So do you like, want the caramel on top? or on the bottom...?" and then she ended up not putting it in at all. Whatever. Some things are just hard for people, ok?

Reminds me of the time way back in the day when I went and ordered a Venti, 2%, Extra Hot, Toffee Nut Latte. And the girl made it with half and half. And when I asked her if she made it with half and half, she told me she made it with 2%. But I saw her make it with half and half and when I said that, she said that half and half is the same thing as 2%. What? How? Because half and half is half whole milk and half non fat, so it's half and half. Um, no. Close, kinda, but no. But good try. 'A' for effort! Now if you would please remake my drink with 2% so it literally does not go straight to my butt and stick to my arteries, I'd appreciate it.

ANYWAY! The upside down thing didn't trip up this barista, the request for light ice did. When he brought our drinks to the counter, they were hot. But we asked for iced drinks. And when I said I had asked for them to be cold he gave me an annoyed sigh and a 'tude and told me that, "around here, 'light ice' means that you want the drink hot with a little bit of room for ice at the top to cool it down." Do what now? First of all, "around here"? Where "around here"? Like, on this block? In this state? Do I look like a tourist and that's why you are saying "around here"? Cause I'm driving a car with Alaska plates... my California accent must have given it away that I'm not from "around here", right?

I've drank coffee in 19 states and 9 countries and I'm pretty sure I've never heard that before. I'm pretty sure that "light ice" universally means "don't put so much freaking ice in my drink that it is coffee flavored water by the time I take 2 sips, por favor". So don't make me look the fool when I clearly asked for an iced drink and you brought me a hot one.

Am I wrong? Baristas and coffee lovers, please correct me if I am and I'll go back to that Starbucks (that is actually located right next door to a sleep clinic-- no lie. Irony.) and apologize to the guy for asking him to correct his mistake. I know it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but let's face it, I don't want to be driving across the country looking like an idiot who doesn't know how to order a drink! I really don't mean to be difficult but if I'm going to drop 5 bucks for a drink, I want to like it and be how I like it. Maybe I should change my tastes and ask for something less complicated? No, I don't "do" regular coffee. Hey, at least I'm not this guy:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Yesterday was one of those days where the only proper response to almost every situation was a resounding, "SERIOUSLY?!" Seriously. The twins woke up at 5:15 am, teething something fierce. A is cutting 2 teeth and MJ is cutting 4. Seriously. Cranky babies all day. Seriously.

Then every time the phone rang there was just bad news. It got to the point where we would just look at the phone when it rang, wondering what on earth it could possibly be NOW. M called and told me that it wasn't exactly going to cost the $400 we were told it would to fix the transmission in his car (which busted the day after mine blew, Seriously.) but it was going to cost $3100. SERIOUSLY?! Because we just have that kind of cash laying around. Seriously. Especially after traveling across the country and buying plane tickets to Alaska. Seriously. The fix it place was more than willing to give us financing, at 12%. SERIOUSLY?! Oh yeah, put those papers on the desk and give me the pen. Silly people. I'll pick up a shift or two at Hooters before I pay 12% interest on anything. Seriously!

T's son J, who is 2, was feeling our stress so I decided to take him out for a walk. I noticed an unusually large number of seagulls out, but didn't think much of it, until we started walking and one started squawking and divebombed our heads. Seriously. I thought it was just a fluke so we just kept walking, but no, the thing did it 4 or 5 more times before the light bulb finally went off that something wasn't right, or that this bird had dug through someones trash and took a hit of their left over booze... or pills... or... whatever. As we headed home the thing kept diving for our heads. I was screaming, J thought it was hilarious and was screaming just like I was. I'm sure we looked like a big bunch of freak shows. Seriously. Thank goodness we made it home without the thing taking out a chunk of my hair, or picking J straight up off the ground with its crazy razor sharp talons. Seriously.

After we got home we realized the stupid thing was protecting something and T finally saw the 3 baby seagulls walking across the driveway. The mama had kicked them out of their nest and was teaching them to live on their own, and in the process was keeping everything away by crapping on them or taking off pieces of their ears. Seriously. I am not exaggerating, at all. Seriously. So for a good 2 hours we ran from the porch and back inside trying to avoid getting our eyes gouged out while still watching the baby birds. Seriously. And it was also pretty entertaining to watch as innocent bystanders had the audacity to actually drive into their driveways and get out of their cars, not knowing that they were about to run screaming and crying into their homes as their lives flashed before their eyes. Seriously.

So then M calls back and told me that the transmission in his car breaking might actually be a good thing (??). Seriously?! You are not getting a new car, sorry. Seriously. But no, he assured me it was actually a good thing because we could pay for the transmission by refinancing the van, at an interest rate that was half of the interest we were paying now (the lowest rate in the past 2 years), which meant we could actually be paying less for our monthly payments. SERIOUSLY!? Sign me up! That is a deal I can handle. And I won't have to go work at Hooters! (And for real, don't even start to lecture me about finances and spending and being responsible with money and blah blah blah. SER.I.OUS.LY.)

Deep down I knew the transmission thing was going to work out so I refused to really stress about it. I was pretty much at that "...whatever..." point. I mean, seriously, what are the odds that the transmissions in both of our cars would need to be completely replaced in the same week? SERIOUSLY! We should start playing the lotto and staying inside during thunderstorms so we don't get struck by lightning. Seriously! Do we have little transmission gnomes living in our cars? Did we make the transmission gods mad? How is that even possible? Seriously.

Even though something good came of the crazy day, it was just seriously thing after thing, bad news after bad news, weirdness after weirdness. By 6pm A had found a cookie and was eating that while sucking down a cup of J's soy milk (which she's allergic to), MJ was in the corner sucking on a dum dum and J was doing only God knows what... Seriously, when did I become mother of the year? T and I finally threw all the kids in bed, did the dishes and sat down for a much needed break, only to realize that we hadn't eaten dinner, at all. Seriously. And what sounded delicious at 10pm? Half price day old donuts from Safeway, of course. Seriously! I'm pretty sure the checker thought I was high and had the munchies as the contents of my cart included the following: 6, half price day old donuts, a bag of ruffles, 2 containers of yogurt, a couple of boxes of candy, blueberries, strawberries and a bag of cherries. Seriously. Nothing like a sugar crash to put me right to sleep. Had to counteract that 5pm cup of coffee somehow. Seriously. It was just that kind of day. Seriously.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

trippin numero dos

Well, we made it. As semi promised, my car was ready by 3pm and we had it repacked and on the road by 3:18 on Thursday afternoon. And then we drove... and drove... and drove. We drove from the Arkansas/ Oklahoma boarder, through Oklahoma, North Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and half of California, only stopping for food, gas, and diaper changes. And for a small nap at a well lit and very busy rest stop somewhere in New Mexico.

We drove for 35 hours. 35 non stop hours with 4 kids ages 4 and under. It was... interesting. Someone asked my friend J if it took us so long because we drove 50 MPH the entire time, and no, we didn't. But we did drive about 60 because it was so darn windy through New Mexico, Arizona and So Cal that we couldn't go much faster in a fully loaded van with a stroller strapped to the roof. It was so windy that I got only 13.4 miles per gallon through most of AZ and So Cal. And there was the stopping 30 minutes out of every 3 hours to take care of everyone. 35 hours. THIRTY. FIVE. HOURS.

But we all survived, relatively sane and mentally intact, even with all of the car drama. The kids were amazing and put up with it very well and NO, there was no use of benedryl or other sleep inducing medicine. I don't roll that way, ever. People have asked me how we did it, how we kept them entertained and from throwing things at our heads and the truth is, we didn't have to do much (but I'll save that post for a later date). They are just awesome kids.

Three days after we got "home", the twins and I hopped a plane to Alaska. I'll save the "how the heck do you fly with twins" post for a later date also, but let's sum it up, again, as I have awesome kids. I am so glad I am here, I have missed my friend T like crazy and this is exactly what she needs... what I need too... because it is all about me, after all. I have to say though, it is a little weird to have my family spread out just about as far as you can be within the USA. M is on the East Coast, W and CB are on the West and I'm all the way in Alaska with the twins. I think we should all meet in Hawaii later in the Summer and call it good. Then we will have literally trekked from end to end of the country.

There are so many questions, I know: "Why are you up there?" "What is going on?" "How on earth could you leave your kids for so long?" "Why would you leave your kids for so long?" "How could you take them away from their father for so long?" "Why would you leave your husband for so long, or at all?" "Are you guys separating?" That one is always my favorite. Blah.

I'll answer the first two questions when I can but I will say now that, no, M and I aren't separating and yes, I love W and CB very, very much. I'm ok with being away from them for so long as they are ok with being away from us for so long. I trust them, I trust my parents (who they are staying with), I know they are fine and will survive without me and will be ok without M too. M can't take time off right now and while he misses us tremendously, he knows this is exactly where we all need to be right now and is fine with it.

Dudes, we live a crazy life. It wouldn't be us if it wasn't ridiculous. We'd be all bored and stuff. We'd be... "normal"... and that would be weird. Not that normal is bad, it just isn't what we do. This is what we do. It doesn't make sense to many, or any, and there are very few people who understand this kind of life but it works for us. I'm not going to justify it, or try to explain it because 1) I don't need to and 2) it would probably be a waste of time and 3) did I mention I don't need to? Ok, thanks. Ooooooh, look at me getting all defensive. I just don't want to hear the judgments anymore. So if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all, por favor. Gracias.