Friday, January 28, 2011

"Kiss This Guy" Is WAY Less Funny Than Singing About Boogers

Generally speaking, I'm good with words. Generally speaking, this means I can figure out lyrics when I don't know what they are, or at least make some incredibly good substitutions. (Obviously this was a handier skill before you could look up actual lyrics on the internet.)

But even though I'm now older and wiser and good at the Google, it turns out that old habits die hard. I still mis-sing many lyrics out of habit when I'm not paying attention.

Now, I know a million blog posts and websites and silly books ALREADY exist to capitalize on this humorous phenomenon. Like, do you remember when Crazy Aunt Purl wrote her post about how she thought the song "Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean was actually a song about a man named "Harry Dupree"?

That's a lot funnier than thinking the lyrics "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" are actually "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" (which was the basis for an entire book).

Anyway, I was just reminiscing about my sister and the hilarious language "challenges" she faced as a kid*, and decided it was time for another version of "let's share our hilariously wrong lyrics." Besides, it's Friday.

The most egregious error I've ever made (and continue to make) is thinking that the song "Our Lips Are Sealed" by the Go-Gos was "Honest I See You." In fact, JUST NOW? As I went to Google to confirm that yes, that was indeed a Go-Gos song? I started typing in "Honest I see--" before I realized I was still doing it wrong.

I will point out that my version is incredibly poetic, regardless.

But back to my sister, Healy.

Healy's language "issues" went well beyond songs. For example, perhaps you know this Nursery Rhyme?
There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle
 of her forehead
And when she was good
She was very, very good
And when she was bad
She was horrid

Well, Healhy didn't quite get it. And so when she'd recite it, it went:
There was a girl
Who had a curl
In her whore-hen
And when she was good
She was berry, berry good
And when she was bad
She ate soup

I couldn't make that up, right?

So you can imagine Healy's creative lyrics to songs mostly only she knew in the first place.

Like, well, we were Cabbage Patch Kid enthusiasts in my household, despite their being ugly and horrible and inexplicable.

If for some reason you don't remember or didn't know, the rush on Cabbage Patch Kids was ridiculous. They were un-gettable for the longest time, except that you HAD TO HAVE ONE. And these were in the dark ages before eBay, so every family in America had to just call every store and family member they could think of trying to locate these plastic-headed, nylon-bodied dolls that came with birth certificates.

My grandparents in MINNESOTA finally got hold of three of them and sent them to us. Their arrival was epic. 

We are so excited about their showing up at our house that Healy and I look positively POSSESSED.
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One Christmas, we got a cassette tape that accompanied a book? A movie? about this Cabbage Patch Kid saga. I can't really remember the story, except there was a bad guy named Cabbage Jack, who kidnapped Cabbage Patch kids (I think?) and a hero Cabbage Patch kid named Otis Lee.

I remember Otis Lee because there was a song on the cassette about him that Healy particularly liked. And that recorded her own version of.

The original song went:
[sung by Otis Lee, a tough young boy]
I got myself a bulldog
I got a load of friends
Every day is so much fun,
I'm sorry when it ends
[everyone joins]
When you've got a problem
He's the one you gotta see
There ain't no match 
In the cabbage patch
for good ole' Otis Lee

Note: THIS IS STILL IN MY HEAD. I left the house without my wallet TWICE last week. But I can still sing about fucking Otis Lee.

Anyway. Healy's recorded version went:

[Healy, singing as a tough young boy]
I got myself a booger!
I got a lotus friend!
Every day is so much fun
I'm sorry now and then!
[she'd sing the rest correctly and WITH GUSTO]

Our house was fun.

Um, so what are your favorite mis-heard, mis-sung, misunderstood lyrics or nursery rhymes? I'll bet they don't involve boogers OR whore-hens.

*And adult. She still gets some words mixed up if she's not careful. Like the time a few years ago when she shouted to all the rowdy fans around her at the ballpark that they'd be "ejaculated" from the premises for using foul language. (OH, THE IRONY.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Actually, I mostly hate parades.

Fair warning: I have about 300 million posts in my head, that have been piling up for months and (actually) years, and which I will now be spewing at you in no order whatsoever.

For instance.

A couple days ago I was thinking about how my "About Me" page is a little outdated and how I might go about updating it and maybe I should wait for my magical sparkly redesign and then I got distracted when I came across this lovely photo of myself. Which I love for many reasons:

I use "love" loosely.

As I've mentioned before, I was in the marching band in high school. I took my involvement in marching band excruciatingly seriously, such that I wanted to be Drum Major very, very badly. I suppose I thought if I was going to DO THIS THING, I was going to DO THIS THING RIGHT. So I practiced and auditioned three years in a row, and finally, FINALLY, I was selected for my senior year.

Meaning that yes. My senior year of high school -- while other, cooler kids might be playing "sports" or launching their "rock" bands or going to "parties" -- I was busy being Head Band Geek.

No hiding in the shadows under a plastic-brimmed hat with giant red plumes (yes; plumes. As in feathers.) for me, where maybe possibly no one would notice or see me and thus years later I could ostensibly deny having had any dealings with band at all. Noooooooo.

I wanted the role where I was out in front. No hat. No plume. Instead of a blue uniform, mine was WHITE. (Because nothing says HOT CHICK like a giant, stiff, white poly-wool-blend BAND UNIFORM that instead of contouring to my actually-not-too-shabby body, jutted out from my boobs and just, uh, stayed there.)

During band competitions we even had our own Drum Major judges with Drum Major scores, and--

Wait. Yes. 

Yes, also. Marching band competitions. Did you know that they exist? And that they are mostly the WHOLE REASON people are in marching band? Did you know that playing at football games is just ancillary and totally NOT a marching band priority? Even though that's the only time or place anyone who isn't IN marching band ever sees a marching band?

Except, of course, for parades. Which I will get to.

But marching band competitions are a big deal (to people in band, I mean. Well, and to the band instructors, who, as grown-ups STILL involved with marching band, are a whole special kind of Band Geek species). The competitions have levels and divisions and allllll kinds of important rules and regulations and there are multiple tiers of judges and each competition has a big awards ceremony and drama and crying and long bus trips.

While the regular marching season comes with its own on-school-property band camp -- which would be reason enough for a normal high school student to never be in band -- the summer before my season as drum major? I got to go to a three-day Drum Major Camp in the middle of a field in the middle of the summer in the middle of Pennsylvania. I had the three worst days of my life there, ever, EVER.

I WENT TO THIS CAMP WILLINGLY (which is still around today, apparently, even though the beloved George N. Parks died of a heart attack last year):

Ohmygod LOOK how seriously these kids are taking themselves.
I was just. Like. This. As though training for the Olympics. Of Lame.

Imagine three days of standing around, alternately at attention and waving your arms frantically for non-existent marching bands, trying to out-perform the Top Band Geeks from all over the entire Northeast. TORTURE.

Anyway. ANYWAY.

Probably you didn't know or care that it was a big deal to be a drum major, or that there was something in the world called "drum major academy" or that there were band competitions where we were judged or any of that. Probably you just knew that sometimes marching bands play at football games and sometimes they perform in parades.

But here's the thing: I don't really "get" parades, not even when I was in them. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is fun to watch because it's hilariously ridiculous, and has lots of pretty people and fun songs and Broadway numbers and floats that are feats of engineering and it makes a lot of happy noise while you're trying to get the turkey in the oven. If you can tune out Al Roker.

But local parades aren't quite as fabulous as the multi-million dollar spectacle that is the Macy's parade. My experience has been that local parades feature the people you see in the grocery store, except instead of picking out boxes of fish sticks from the freezer aisle, they are walking by you in some semblance of a "formation" next to people wearing matching hats.

And yet, every year, we got ("got") to perform in TWO different town's Memorial Day parades, as though this were the exciting culmination of our year's worth of marching band practices.  We were to march proudly, perfectly, as though representing our country? maybe? and playing something and being very patriotic. It mostly meant that we had to get up at the crack of dawn to wear heavy, lined polyester/wool-blend uniforms to stand in the sun and march around for blocks and blocks in gross humidity.

I'm not even kidding when I say that Band Parents would follow us and spray us with water, and then have to cart off the kids who passed out. And then applaud for us when we'd actually play something.

It's just that in hindsight, absolutely none of this makes any sense to me at all.

So I guess all of this is to say: I love this picture. Because I look like I am taking my role VERY SERIOUSLY (because, as I said above, I was) and looking not unlike a band-striped marshmallow.  But not only that, LOOK AT EVERYONE ON THE SIDELINES. Do they look suitably impressed? Astounded at our musicality? Do they look like we are inspiring patriotism?

I'd just like to point out --

A. There's like a GOOD 3-to-5 inches of space between my waist and where the front of my jacket is hanging.

B. This man has a doofy mustache and is wearing shorts with white socks pulled up to his knees. HE looks like he's enjoying the marching band. You know why? It is 90% likely that it's because he was IN marching band. And still misses it.

C. Aside from my first "wow, strollers have come a long way" thought, boy does this father seem pissed off. Look, dude. It's not your baby's fault you're standing in 91-degree heat with 92% humidity.

D. I just circled her because of her amazing outfit.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What Did I Learn In 2010? Mostly That Motherhood Melts Your BRAINZ

Happy New Year!

 blue dots = CHILD! thoughts interrupting the normal course of human brain activity; just a sampling; VERY SCIENTIFIC

There used to be space in my brain taken up by things like...uh...thoughts. Thinky thoughts.  Like, sometimes I would think a thing. And then I would think something related to that thing. And then the things would string together, and before I realized it, I'd have an entire narrative in my head. The narrative would begin at point A, travel through points B, C, D, and end somewhere around point E. Sometimes I would further weigh those points, juggle them, move 'em around a bit and create a blog post out of them. Other times I would just initiate this other thing called a "conversation."

Then a tiny human being was conceived and born and suddenly a significant portion of my brain melted into her. I do not mean this romantically. (Especially because when I say "melt" I think "cheese.")

What I mean is that I no longer have complete thoughts and I no longer speak in complete sentences and every blog post I try to write takes me 300 years because all focus is gone because anywhere from 25% - 55% of my brain has melted into a gooey, incoherent mash of CHILD! WHAT ABOUT THE CHILD?!?!

And it's not like this part of my brain is one lump over on the left side, contained, reserved for child-centric moments of my life. No. It doesn't work like that. My brain is now bespeckled with CHILD! like a golf ball.  The CHILD! parts interrupt every brain path, every thought, every sentence so that even the most mundane of brain functions has melted CHILD! all over it.

For example?

Normal morning thought, as I walk down the stairs: I would like some coffee.

Current morning thought, as I walk down the stairs to where Ish is entertaining Eve: I would like -- WAS THAT A SHRIEK OF DELIGHT OR IS SHE CRYING? DID EVE SLEEP WELL ENOUGH LAST NIGHT? I HOPE SHE ISN'T STILL SICK -- what was I just thinking? Huh? Have I had coffee yet?

I am not complaining. This isn't complaining. This is me trying to explain why simply existing as a mother is hard to do even if your child is perfectly wonderful: because being a mom takes up space in your brains.

And no one told me that.  Oh, people said things about how "pregnancy brain" lasts for 18 years (har, har) and that your worry over your child never goes away, but no one talks about melted, mushy brains being part of your new everyday existence. They talk about being tired and having Elmo's voice ringing in your ears 24-7, but they don't say it like this, so I will:

There is a part of your brain that exists only to think about, worry about, wonder about, consider and love your child. But HA! You do not grow this extra part of your brain when you're busy gaining 800 million pounds during pregnancy. Nope. Mother Nature isn't that kind. Instead, this new CHILD! thing comes from the brains you already had.

Thus, you no longer have the luxury of "dwelling" on "thoughts." There is no narrative from point A to E; you are lucky if you get from A to A-and-a-half. You can't remember lyrics to songs AND what day of the week it is AND what time that meeting is AND keep your child from hurling herself off a staircase or eating the cat. Sure, you can start writing every. Single. Thing. down -- and you'd better -- but good luck remembering where you wrote it! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

If I don't put my next doctor's appointment in my phone at the doctor's (which I never do) so that my calendar can email AND beep AND text me when it's coming up AND have the doctor's office call me to remind me AND have my husband keep track as well, there is 0 chance I will make it to the appointment. And THAT, my friend, is Melted CHILD! Brains.

And why my blog posts have gone a little sideways. But I'm here. And posting. And redesigning my site and all that. It's just taking a little longer than I would IS SHE NAPPING YET? like.

Why? What was the question?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No! I Am Not Gone! I'm Under Construction!

Um, hi.

This is the longest I've gone without posting and it kills me. But no. I am not gone forever. I have not actually gone anywhere. I've just hibernated by mistake.

Then once the accidental hibernation was well underway, I though I wasn't going to come back until my site was relaunched.

YES I SAID IT. RELAUNCHED. New design, new host, new everything.

But ah...did you notice how it's like, January 13 already? Oops. I had hoped I could get my act together before the start of this year, but I was only half right. I DID manage to devise a plan and now I post to Promtacular every weekday.  Which is great!

It's just that I'm also working full time for a start-up.  And have an 18-month-old.  And am 23+ weeks pregnant.  And all I actually want to do is eat Sour Patch Kids and chocolate cake. And remember something, anything, for longer than 12 seconds.

Wait, what was I saying?

*scrolling up*

OH! Ha! Right.  So this redesign is coming soon!  Someday!  Regardless, my posts will start again next week (even if the design isn't new and sparkly yet). 

Because I have a lot to say and I barely managed to eke anything out in 2010 and I'm really tired of blogging being my life and career and livelihood...and never getting to do it. Writing is and always will be my first love.