How you know you are living your best life: when you get a text on a Saturday afternoon that just says, “We’ve got the trebuchet going on the midway by the rink if you’re interested…”
(Note: this, unfortunately, is not the actual picture of their trebuchet)
The only thing better than seeing a siege engine in action was what I saw on the way home Friday night:
I was walking down Michigan Ave., just about to go underground to the train. Right as the light turned green, some show-off, meathead, a-hole on a motorcycle gunned it so everybody would look at him and his sweet bike. Not merely content with everybody in a three block radius shaking our heads and going, “what a show-off, meathead, a-hole on a motorcycle”, he had to go one further and pop a wheelie.
Well, he had our attention.
Except his wheelie kept going, and he flipped over backwards, landing in the middle of the street. The bike traveled for a bit before wiping out and laying down sideways, leaving a trail of pieces scattering it its wake. The guy somehow wasn’t dead, but instead sprung to his feet and ran down the street after his bike.
It was the most perfect, glorious episode of schadenfreude I have ever witnessed. This guy was so clearly an idiot, and got what was coming to him in such a perfect and public way…
Universe, I don’t know what I did to deserve witnessing it, but thank you. Thank you.
Evelyn: “The trees look like the way people draw them!”
Me, laughing: “Did you wonder why people drew them that way? With all the sticks?”
Evelyn: “Well, no…they drew them the way they look in photos.”
Me, laughing harder: “So did you think, like, the camera did something to make them look like that?”
Evelyn, shrugging helplessly: “Well…?”
Evelyn: “They made pancakes for breakfast. I only ate a ‘weekday morning’ amount of pancakes.”
Me: “Probably a good idea. They probably weren’t prepared for a ‘Sunday morning’ amount of pancakes.”
The kids’ dentist is downtown in a high-rise. Last time we were there, we were looking out the window at the smaller buildings.
Me: “Look, there’s a pool on top of that building.”
Me: “Right there.”
Evie: “I don’t see it.”
Me: “Look where I’m pointing. It’s right there.”
Evie, following the line of my finger: “I don’t see it.”
Me: “…what do those big letters say on that building?”
Evie: “I don’t see any letters.”
On Friday we were walking to school and I said, “You know, after you get your glasses you’ll be able to see all of the branches of that tree, instead of a big brown blob.” Evelyn laughed and said, “I don’t think that’s a thing, daddy.”
Me: “Do you think there will ever come a time when I will be able to sit down and drink an entire cup of coffee?”
Sara: “Wait, I’m still calculating. 2034.”
Me: “I’m just trying to be argumentative like my daughter, and automatically take the opposite viewpoint of anything you say.”
Evelyn: “I don’t necessarily do that…”
Sara: “Evelyn, we should have [your friend] over for dinner sometime.”
Ollie: “And can [her friend]’s dad come to? He just seems like a fun guy.”
Alex becomes more opinionated every day. We have now entered a phase where, once he makes a demand, you have about 8 seconds to comply before he begins shrieking at the top of his lungs.
That is pure, unadulterated rage, my friends. “MAMA I SAID PICK ME UP RIGHT NOWWWWWWW!!”
Right away I knew what it reminded me of. Now whenever he starts doing it, I start playing this on my phone:
Strangely, that doesn’t make him feel better.
Evelyn wanted only one thing for Christmas: a typewriter. Now mostly this was due to the fact that her parents are the worst: she wanted to type stories but was tired of having to earn computer time with chores. A typewriter is not a computer, ergo, no need to ask permission.
Now as a writer, I felt this this was a TREMENDOUSLY AMAZING idea that I wanted wholeheartedly to encourage (and honestly, felt bad to realize I was restricting her writing time so thoroughly)(and also write all my first drafts longhand, so cry me a river, sister)
“How hard can it be to find a typewriter?” I foolishly wondered.
It seems like there are two choices: pay ~$150 for a new typewriter (seriously? More than a tv?) or else go on the Internet and pay for an “antique” that may or may not work and you will probably never be able to buy ink for.
Needless to say, neither I nor Santa were able to come up with one.
Evelyn was pretty bummed out, and I was pretty bummed out, but I promised her that I would take her around to thrift shops to look for typewriters. Armed with advice from some writer friends who collect typewriters, we set out.
It actually worked out perfectly; I think it actually worked better than if I had given her one for her for Christmas. It took us 4 stops to find one, so we had to work for it, but it wasn’t impossible. I kept telling her, “Now honey, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to find one…” so by the time we found it she had already accepted that she wasn’t getting one. And then we found one, and it was only $8, and she reverently paid for it with her own money, and everything was magical.
We stopped at another store on the way home and Evelyn was so nervous that someone was going to break into the car to steal the typewriter. After all, what could be more amazing and precious?
I was expecting more of an old dinosaur, manual typewriter, not a sleek, modern electric, but I have to tell you, I was feeling a little of the Christmas magic myself when we found it. I guess Evelyn wasn’t the only one trying to keep her hopes in check. And not only that, but I’ve been searching for the perfect alarm clock and found it for only $6. (I didn’t know I had such strong opinions about alarm clocks until I started looking and found they are all THE. WORST.)
Hooray for typewriters! Hooray for thrift stores! Hooray for the magic of Christmas!
Evelyn: “Can somebody take him?”
Me: “Evelyn, picking up your brother is like picking up trash off the ground. You should have left it alone, but now you’re responsible for it.”
Sara made me write that one down.
Ollie: “Every number is a word if you put an ‘H’ in front of it. ‘Zero’ turns into ‘Hero’. ‘Hun’ like, ‘come here hon’, ‘Who’ like, ‘who is it?’, ‘He’ like ‘him’, ‘Whore’ like ‘horror’…”
Ollie: “What? Why are you laughing?”
Ollie: “I wish I could possess mommy and daddy. Because then we could have candy whenever we want.”
::Sara getting the mail::
UPS Guy: “That package wasn’t me. I think the mailman is going to end up on youtube…”