Today’s Random Sunday is brought to you by the Apple iPad because I WANT ONE. But I can’t have it. I have to finish the galleys and the first Liz and my essay for BenBella before I can start slinging that kind of money about on random electronics, but it’s hard to concentrate because I WANT ONE. I want one with the burning passion that Light reserves for everything she wants, which is everything. I, at least, am focused on one thing, while Light eyes the blue bunny pen, the wildflower seeds, chocolate chip cookies, Luigi’s lemon ices, and the bag I’m making for Krissie, none of which she can have and all of which she yearns for. When she is told no, she gives this little moan, not a whine, more like a short keen. Then she sees something shiny and moves on. But I am fixated. It doesn’t help that every magazine that arrived at the house this week had a full page ad for the damn thing on the back cover. It haunts my dreams. I WANT ONE. But I can’t have one so moving on . . .
Sweetness turned 11. She was thrilled. “Yes!” she said. “I’m a woman now!” For a nano-second, I thought about asking “How so?,” and then decided not to be a buzzkill. She was very specific about what gifts she wanted, and even more specific about her cake: white cake with white icing. And vanilla ice cream. Her mother, sister, and Fake Aunt Jenny tried to reason with her since we’d be eating this cake. Maybe chocolate with white icing? No. Maybe Italian cream cake with walnuts? Oh. My. God. NO. Maybe— NO, NO, NO, WHITE CAKE AND WHITE ICING ONLY. Okay fine. So her mother goes out the day before her birthday and calls me from the store and says, “I want to decorate this cake. Do you have cake decorating stuff?” She never learns. Don’t ask “Do you have cake decorating stuff?”, ask “Where is your cake decorating stuff?” There’s one of everything somewhere in this house. So she comes home and I start pulling out my cake decorating stuff which I have in abundance because I wrote Agnes and had to research it. And she says, “So I want to put Kit on it, do I just pipe it on?” and I said, “No, use fondant,” and told her exactly how to do it. I did not tell her I’d never done it because why undermine her confidence? So she did exactly what I said and here’s the cake:
Is that fabulous or what?
Then Sweetness’s birthday arrived and I started to cut the cake and she didn’t want any. Just vanilla ice cream. No cake. The three of us sat there and glared at her and she said, “What?” and I said, “You’re getting chocolate cake next year, kid.” Honest to God, white cake? Who does that?
Of course, it was getting all the cake stuff out that led one of us to drop the tube of green food coloring that led to Mona’s green chin which is now sort of gross, the kind of green your finger gets if you put a cheap ring on it. I realized today that Mona’s the only white dog I’ve ever had, that Lyle could be drenched in green food coloring and I’d never know since his fur is so dark. “Maybe if we dyed her a different color,” I told the kids. “Some people use Kool-aid.” Then we had a discussion about what color to dye her–I nixed yellow because yellow is a real dog color and where’s the fun in that–and we were thinking seriously of green until I saw how the current green was wearing off. I’ve seen more attractive mold.
Which brings me to the tuna fish. Lani made tuna salad two weeks ago and I forgot about it. Then she got the flu for the past week with all the attendant achy-ness and vomiting and she forgot about it. She came down to get a lemon ice and I got something out of the refrigerator and saw the glass bowl. “How long has that tuna been in here?” I said. She said, “Oh, god, forever,” which means it’s bad under that foil, but I need that bowl. So I said to her, “You’re still sick, right?” She said, “Yes,” and I said, “Well, then, you’re throwing up anyway, you get rid of it.” She gagged a little and said, “Best roommate ever,” and went upstairs. The tuna’s still in the fridge. Attention must be paid. Later.
Speaking of fish, did you see Glee last week? I am so in love with Brittany, I can’t stand it. “Dolphins are gay sharks.” In a million years, I couldn’t write a line that great, and the best part of it was the delivery. “Sometimes I forget my middle name.” Okay, that one actually happens to me, but gay sharks? Genius.
If I had an iPad, I could watch episodes of Glee on it. They’d look spectacular. I know, I know, I’m fine, I’m over it, I won’t mention it again.
Speaking of Glee, I’m writing an essay for Benbella’s upcoming book on the show, and the fabulous Leah asked me to pass on to you the Share-Your-Glee contest they’re having. My essay is on Sue Sylvester as the perfect antagonist, but now I’m starting to wish I’d picked the Genius of Brittany. Of course, Sue Sylvester is pretty formidable on her own. My fave Sue quote: “I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat, and then, on some dark, cold night, I will steal away into your home and punch you in the face.” That is amazing dialogue. Not gay sharks, but still freaking amazing.
Speaking of gay sharks, here’s an octopus that grabbed a diver’s camera. Then the diver went after it. There was no discussion of gayness, not that there’s anything wrong with that (has that one outlived its relevancy?), but the video is amazing. And the diver is insane. LET THE OCTOPUS HAVE THE CAMERA. Before it rips your arm off. Film at eleven.
The octopus reminds me of the tuna fish. Must do something about that.
I wonder if the Iceland volcano is upsetting the octopus and the gay sharks. It’s upsetting everybody else. My theory on why there’s no “Is this the end of the world?” stuff on this is because everybody’s focusing on 2012 because of the Mayan calendar which makes no sense at all. I mean, the Mayans had to quit making that calendar sometime. They got a couple thousand years ahead of themselves, figured they had time to finish it later, and broke for lunch. Fast forward a couple of thousand years, and a bunch of paranoids are screaming, “The end of the world in 2012!”, failing to notice the fine print at the bottom that says, “To Be Continued.” In the meantime, a volcano under a glacier has shut down a good chunk of Europe and there’s no end in sight but that’s not bothering them. Isn’t there something in Revelations about a cloud covering the sun? My grasp on Revelations is no longer what it was before I read Good Omens and Thief of Time. Pratchett’s version just wiped out King James. (“And the fifth horseman, Ronnie.”) The reason I ask is, if it is the end of the world, there’s no point in doing anything about that tuna fish.
But back to the volcano. Many Important People are stranded right now, including the Prime Minister of Norway. But Jens Stoltenberg is not letting a little volcanic ash keep him from his duties, no, he is governing Norway from a New York airport using his iPad.
If I had an iPad, I could govern Norway. Well, okay, I couldn’t, but I could do cool things I can’t even imagine now because I don’t have an iPad to find out what they are. I know, let it go, Jenny, but I WANT ONE.
So, moving on, speaking of fish, my nephew Jacob came to visit and got drafted into several games of Go Fish. My nephew is one of the few sane people in my family, a sturdy, placid guy who lets the crazy flow over him at family gatherings while he sits and smiles. He’s basically a Weeble in a family of wolves. I’d told the girls about him, especially about how when his sister was too little to say “Jacob,” she’d said, “Grape-id,” and we’d called him Grape after that. I can still remember my burly firefighter brother yelling, “Grape, get in here,” out the back door. Of course, the nickname had been gone for years by the time he showed up on our front doorstep, but the girls glommed onto him immediately and called him Uncle Grape and made him play Go Fish, and I watched him and thought, “This is possibly the nicest guy in the world.” Then he went home and told the family they were hardcore Go Fish players which made the girls giggle. My nephew is the best.
Speaking of wolves, Sweetness overheard her mother and me talking about a friend who’d had horrible parents, and I said, “Basically, she was raised by wolves.” Sweetness drifted past and said, “I was raised by dachshunds.” It’s like she’s Brittany with brains. And terrible taste in cake.
Speaking of Grape, we all went home to Wapak and on the way we stopped at the RV place because Liz is going to get an RV in Rest in Pink and I had done my research and knew exactly which one she’d get. Then I saw it for real and wanted one. Okay, this is not in my future, those things are grotesquely expensive but, as Lani would say, WANT. What is it about RVs and little houses that’s so seductive? Lani picked out one for when the kids graduate and go to college so she can get a truck and haul it to wherever they are and camp in their driveways and never leave, but I want this one now. It’s so small you can use it as an everyday car AND still have a bed in the back. Flying has become such an incredible hassle I never want to go anywhere again, but if I had an Agile, I could drive everywhere. Slowly. Stopping to microwave lunch while I read a book on my iPad. Anyway, the kids loved the RV place so much, Lani told them that was where she was taking them for vacation next year. And then we went on to Wapak and they played Go Fish with Grape again. It was a good day.
Sweetness did not have a good day last Monday. They were playing soccer and the ball came toward her and she ducked and got yelled at by one of the kids. “It was coming straight at my head,” she said, outraged. “Perhaps we should review how soccer is played,” I said. “It’s my face,” she said and went upstairs to read a book. Meanwhile Light is in trouble for not doing her homework (sitting still is not her forte) and is covered in bruises from running into soccer balls, falling in the bathtub, tripping on the stairs, and generally barging through life without looking and then bouncing back. Warrior Woman. “You’re Xena,” I told her, and she said, “Who?” so I googled and showed her Xena. “I’ll have to grow my hair longer,” she said and went outside to run into something else, leaving her homework unfinished behind her. What Sweetness needs is a soccer ball that stays still, and what Light needs is a book that moves. Like this:
I WANT AN IPAD.
I didn’t get a birthday present last year. I should have this. And chocolate cake. Sigh.
And now I must go back to the galleys, Liz, the Benbella essay, and inevitably, the tuna fish.
But no iPad.