Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Ezio Challenge: Intro

It’s been awhile since I wrote a blog and I really need to get back in the swing of things so what better way to keep myself honest with all the stuff I’ve been putting off and avoiding than a blog challenge?? Yay!!!! It feels like good timing too. My husband’s out of town for a few days and I just dropped Wally off at school after he threw up in the bathroom sink as we were walking out the door. I should actually get 17 mom points for that because I had already put on pants. And if you’ve made me put on pants and you don’t have a fever, you’re washing your face off and you’re going to school.

The ladies of yesteryear who were able to keep house and keep it well, were not bogged down with the latest conspiracy theory going around the internet. They had no time to ponder the inner workings of One Direction or what on earth that Kanye thing at NYFW was and if anyone died because of it. No, they got down to business.

Well since one of the things I need to finish is an Assassin’s Creed costume for a family member, that’s what I’m going to blog about, EVERYDAY until I finish it. Because I have so many things happening and it keeps getting pushed back, so if I have to blog my process to keep it the main goal, then that’s what I plan to do.

A little backstory I had no idea what Assassin’s Creed even was until I got a text from my aunt asking if I could make her son a costume so if I mess it up, don't come after me with a pitchfork, Assassin's Creed fandom. I am so down for this project. My oldest son, Wally Cleaver, went through a multi-year costume change and he's very specific in his "look". Back when I began sewing, I LOVED trying to sort out the details of each costume he demanded.

First it was Elvis. Jailhouse Rock Elvis. So I went to Salvation Army, got a black suit jacket for $5 and got busy. It turned out amazing!

By the way, his room looks like it should be in one of those Pottery Barn: Kids catalogues in that picture compared to what it looks like right now as I type this

Embarrassing. That will be its own blog challenge. Back to the costumes. So we had Elvis, then he wanted to be a old-timey detective

He wanted to be a knight

He wanted to wear a kilt for International Day at school. So I made him a kilt.

In 2nd grade, he had to choose a historical figure to represent. He chose Susan B Anthony. Susan B Anthony he became.

So now I get to try my hand at this dude.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Elf on the Shelf

(Bono voice) It's Christmastiiiime (sorry) and that means that houses around the nation are flooded with all these naughty little elf faces doing all these naughty little elf things while reporting back to Santa on whether you washed your hands after you peed or not. The elf knows. He was watching you while he left mint poops in the toilet. And now we all know because your mom posted a picture of it on Facebook.

Now if you know anything about me, you know that setting up tableaux of espionage and wicked tomfoolery to mimic something I saw on Pinterest and then posting it on the Instagram for status elevation is right up in my wheelhouse, and yet there is something about those cherry-cheeked little rats and their clandestine operations that sets my alarms to "Nope".

When my oldest child, or Wally as I like to refer to him on the web because it subconsciously plants the "Amy's like Donna Reed and totally has her life together!" seed in all your minds, well when Wally was around 2 years old, everyone kept asking me when I was going to hop on the Elf Express and invite one of these smiley spies into my home for the month of December. Intrigued, I did the natural thing and hit up my local Pinterest to check what these little rascals were about. Oh my eyes how they twinkled at all the glittery laughs and innocent fun!

"I'll do it!" I exclaimed to no one with a wink and one of those jaunty cross-body punches the kids do.

All that drunken Pinterest spirit fizzled, though when I saw that Target was selling those things for like $40 a pop. Forty dollars. For a stuffed elf. Plus those elves are kind of creepy looking. I don't need that thing going all Chucky on me and slicing my achilles tendon as I step out of bed one morning. I'm not spending $40 to invite a demon into my home when I'm fairly certain I can do that for free with some red paint and carefully placed candles. Plus I don't think that real demons can even hold knives so, cheaper AND safer.

Needless to say, the elf remained on the Target shelf and I lived vicariously through my Facebook friends and their ever increasing elf scenery that showed up on my tiny iphone screen.

Still, the need to over-do everything still nags at me to this very day and every year I wonder if I should either just break down and buy an elf, pose some dinosaurs in festive ways, OR just give in full stop and dress as the elf myself. The only problem with this plan is I'm out a photographer. My husband not only doesn't take photos but also stays far away from my grand schemes and nonsense so he's out. Then there's Wally who only takes selfies or really close up, arty shots of action figures doing strange things.

Source: my son

Sourec: my son
And that just leaves The Beav and he's 4. He'll just take my phone, walk away and start playing Bubble Witch with it.

Also, the manipulation of this elf stunt is a whole different matter in that Wally, while incredibly imaginative is also very scientifically biased; if he can't see, touch, hear, or smell it, it doesn't exist. For example, Wally informs me one Easter that "haha, the kids at school think the Easter Bunny is real, Mom! When it's clearly just a man in a suit that comes into our house. Hahah fools" and two years after that it was "Fairies don't exist! Mom, please. It's a man in a pink dress that comes in my room in the middle of the night and takes my tooth and leaves me money. Hahahah tooth fairies. Please." Because apparently a man in various costumes breaking into the house in the middle of the night isn't the weird part. I wonder if he thinks they're all the same guy.

So no matter how elaborate my lies about the elf menagerie become, he's still going to know they're not REALLY spying on him and his brother and reporting back to Santa and I don't really need my kid being THAT kid that spoils it for the rest of the 2nd grade.

He would appreciate a James Bond themed elf set-up.... hmm...still no.

The more I think about these elves, the more I feel like sad, lonely business man Michael Douglas who's just signed his life away by cashing in a gift certificate that my drifter brother Sean Penn gave me for a birthday gift but I don't know that anything's weird yet until the creepy clown (elf) I almost run over in my fancy, rich people driveway (Target) and decide to bring into the living room with me for some reason (Pinterest and Facebook likes) starts to talk through the tv and vandalize my house while Jefferson Airplane blasts in the background as depicted in David Fincher's  1997 film The Game that nobody wants to talk about with me anymore because "Amy, that movie is like 20 years old. We've seen it. Let it go." Totally rude.

Quite obviously, my desire to "The Game" everything is still in tact AND I'm creeped out by inanimate things smiling at me. Put your smug face away, elf and tell me what you think you know. And don't kill me please. Or tattle on me to Santa. Just you know what? I'm just going to watch you ratting out all the other families this year on Facebook from the comfy position of not wearing pants and slouching on my couch.

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jared, the Coca-Cola Truck, and How I May Have Been a Middle-School Catfish. Or a Ghost Summoner.

When I was 13 I developed body odor and an obsession with the Ouija Board. I think in that order and at the same overnight visit to Lauren's house.

Sara, Lauren, and I met in middle school art class and in between drawing circle people and perspective city-scapes, the two of them spent every class, willingly or no, listening to my unverified theories that perhaps all of Def Leppard are deaf and like super Beethovens that are way into cats and either bad spellers or the cool kids that are smart but pretend they can't spell. I also spoke loudly on my conviction that N.W.A. was named after an airline. I'm pretty sure they had some bet going over who could stand my idiot stories the longest without laughing. Maybe there was a Dr. Pepper on the line. Whatever it was, I eventually infiltrated their clique of friends like Ebola, spreading my ignorance and lies to the furthest reach. Miraculously, I was never beaten up. 

The year was 1989 - please don't sue me Taylor Swift, I cannot erase that year of my embarrassment as much as we would both like for me to. We ALL would like for me to, but alas. So, 1989, possibly 1988 but we're not going to squabble because when I start doing the math on my age I begin to sweat and grow even older. It's like that merry-go-round  in Something Wicked This Way Comes, all fun and games until your skin wrinkles and dusts off of your skeleton in a pile of ash and sadness. 

Where was I? Oh, 1989. Sleep-over at Lauren's house. We had just finished watching a rented vhs copy of The Exorcist which even at the time we all knew was a bad idea but none of us wanted to admit it to the others. Or maybe that was my projection of the psychological terror and superb level of uncool little kid that I was feeling because I was scared. And if I'm scared, you all better be equally scared and ready to gossip or we can't be friends. Well, we can still be friends 'cause I like to feel popular, but I swear to god you keep your macabre to yourself because if you decide to "hahah" "tee hee" scare me I will not be the cool, calm, fun-loving Amy character I obsessively try to portray. I will take you down violently and by the crotch if I am able.

What I'm saying is, don't scare me. I have a brand I'm trying to sell. Jesus.

So anyway, we get done watching The Exorcist and decide to dress up in Lauren's new dresses from San Francisco which is the precise moment I realized that I officially needed to start wearing deodorant. I'm convinced it was fear manifesting itself into physical form, like Freddie Krueger shredding up the pits of Lauren's new dress with my onion-like stench. I'm a true friend and said nothing about it. We also decided at this time, because I think a Magic 8 ball told us it was destined, to pull out the Ouija board and talk to dead people. This would not be my last Ouija board experience nor my last attempt to talk to dead people as I just tried last night to convince my neighbors that my ghost hunting app was top notch. It didn't work. It may have also gotten me the coveted classification of Neighborhood Witch. Kids will flee from me for years, my legacy has been written. 


    "Only use two fingers, like lightly put them them on. Actually, they shouldn't even really touch it, just like hover."

    "But it needs our energies to work or something doesn't it? How's it going to work if we're not touching it? We need to touch it."

    "Yeah, like if we didn't need to touch it, it'd be channeling ghosts all the time!"

    "What if it's channeling ghosts right now? I don't think I want to do this. You saw what happened in Exorcist. Even the smoking priest couldn't handle the demons that came from the Ouija board."

    "He smoked. That's what the demons were mad about. The smoking. He was probably faking the whole thing anyway. He was a stunt priest."

    "Can we get on with this? Okay. Two fingers, touching the pointy thing, but lightly. And don't push it. I'll know if you're pushing it."

Will you know though, Lauren and Sara, I thought to myself as I sat oozing B.O. into a dress that wasn't mine. Don't test my will to trickily deceive and story-tell.

Now, to be honest, I probably pushed it but I don't remember doing so. I remember being spooked and engrossed in the story playing out before us letter by letter of a boy named Jared who was killed  - hit by a Coca-Cola truck on his way home from the mall or something equally as teenager and forced into an afterlife of parlor tricks and fortune telling. I still think fondly of Jared.  What's that little ghost dude up to these days? Did he get tired of stinky teenage girls putting words in his planchette? Did he move on to the Magic 8 Ball? Or better, did he find his own Long Island Medium to do his bidding, occasionally having to take fall for an ill-timed fart?

Or are you a truck driver, Jared? Driving up and down a lonely country road waiting for your chance to pick up a hitchhiker to pass on your tales of untimely death? "Just tell 'em Large Marge sent ya"? Only "Large Jared" unless maybe you now do go by Marge, I don't really know, you never call me.

Or do you????

Excuse me, I have a ghost hunting app to update.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pulling Teeth and Oil

I drink a lot of coffee and tea (and red wine) and my teeth have no issue rattling their teeth mouths off on these truths of my vices very loudly and yellowy at your face when you're forced into having an in-person conversation with me. It didn't used to be so bad but then I apparently began channeling my Scottish great-grandma and my tea cravings have become a bit of a problem.


And now my teeth are a problem. It's because of the tea. The tea set my teeth over the edge from an ivory to cabin witch brown. I also apparently have a cavity in one of my wisdom teeth that the dentist won't even touch unless I let him yank it out which nope. I'll go ahead and deal with that on my own by never going to the dentist ever again and then in a couple of years when the pain gets too much, I'll bang it out with an ice skate and a rock like Tom Hanks did in Cast Away. By the way, if anyone is looking for a life coach, shoot me an email. I take PayPal.

Anyway, my sister-in-law just had her wisdom teeth removed a couple of weeks ago and in talking to her, it honestly sounds like my plan of ignoring my dental needs is the right way to do things. As we were talking about her dental bravery and my cowardice, she mentioned some kind of "oil pulling" or whatever it's called that she had seen on Pinterest. Oh Pinterest, you evil temptress. She tried this oil business which is basically swishing coconut oil around in your mouth everyday for some minutes and it's supposed to heal cavities and whiten teeth. "Sign me up!" is of course my immediate reaction. How gross can it be? Also, I only have two kinds of oils in the house of which I'll be using the olive oil because I don't have coconut oil and I'm pretty sure that olive oil won't kill me or make me blind, unlike the really old bottle of make-up remover I found under the bathroom sink.

And hold up just a minute! Can we rewind and talk about Cast Away Tom Hanks again?? Wasn't he only eating coconuts? And wasn't he eating a coconut when his tooth started bugging him??? The tooth he had to beat out of his face with a rock and an ice skate??? So what's the truth? This isn't boding well for the all mighty coconut. Do I believe Oscar Winner Tom Hanks or some hipster science on the Pinterest?

Source: giphy

Well, to be fair I'm always up for a Pinterest duel and more importantly, olive oil never did anyone wrong, did it? I mean, it's delicious on a plate with red wine vinegar and ground pepper to dip my artisan bread in. Would anyone even fault me if that's where I end up in this oil pulling experiment? 'Cause we all know that's where I'll end up. Let's be real.

God, now I'm hungry.

Okay, intermission. I'm going to try this and report back, fully expecting to be typing with the shiniest, whitest teeth you've seen. And hopefully I don't just forget about this whole experiment because I gave up and ate and then spent the rest of the day scrolling tumblr. Wish me luck and white teeth.

source: flickr

Alright, everyone. Return to your seats. The results are in.

I started off with good old store brand extra-virgin olive oil. Shot glassed it up and swished. Now, I can't remember all of what the sis-in-law told me as far as the details are concerned, but I figure she swished everyday for about 2 minutes. I swished for as long as it took me to get my phone and erase a bunch of incriminating evidence to make enough megabyte room for this instagram worthy picture of my olive oil.

source: me

My teeth are pretty much the same color and I'm very disappointed about it. My mouth did feel like it had indulged in a big Italian meal that needed more garlic, though and I don't feel like I have bad
coffee-infused morning breath anymore and my lips feel nice and lubricated. I also brushed with baking soda right after and my mouth feels very clean and delightful, especially my tongue. Maybe I'll keep this up for a bit, or as long as I can remember to do it.

Don't worry, my friends, I am not anywhere close to giving up my deodorant or shampoo yet, though.

So because I for the life of me, don't understand how this works, I went and looked it up. This blog was first on my google search and it seems legit. However, it also says that I'm 18 minutes short in my swishing. How is a person expected to swish for 20 minutes?!????

Source: giphy

Should this experiment further itself, expect an update. In the meantime, I think I'm due for a loaf of garlic bread. And red wine. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Zayn Malik and the Yoko Ono Situation

I came into the soap opera called One Direction via the rabbit hole named Larry Stylinson. I ship it hardcore without shame, by the way.

Source: tumblr

For those of you with adult lives and hobbies, Larry Stylinson is the combination of Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. This generation's David Bowie/Mick Jagger aka Dick Bagger. 


Now I am an ENORMOUS Beatles fan if you don't know this about me already. I am in fact typing this from inside a three day old, cat hair covered A Hard Day's Night shirt. I'm in this for life. It is this obsession of mine that feels the need to set some things straight. 

This Zayn Malik leaving One Direction meltdown that's hit the Internet and mankind causing the heavens to open up and rain to fall worldwide, dogs to bark, wolves to howl, bats to screech, the darkness to arrive in each of us, etcetera and so on has brought out all kinds of theories, one of them seeming to blame Zayn's girlfriend, Perrie Edwards. They're comparing her to Yoko Ono leaving thousands of teenagers on Twitter to yell, "What does that even mean?? Who's Yoko Ono??" 


Sigh of a million sighs. Yoko is not amused. 

Do we as a nation, a society with all the knowledge of the world a few keystrokes of a smart phone away really not know the force that is Yoko Ono anymore??? This is a very strange outcome of this One Direction chaos that I never expected. 

The fascinating thing about Beatlemaniacs and the fans of One Direction (they're not Directioners anymore I've read) is if you switch the signs out, change the skirts into skinny jeans, and add social media to the mix, they're the same kids. 

Source: tumblr

Source: Tumblr

One Direction even have their own Apple Scruffs called The London Stalker Crew. Again, for those of you with adult things to think about, Apple Scruffs and London Stalker Crew were/are huge groups of super fans that wait for the boys wherever they happen to be in London be it 1965 or 2015. They are the same group of people, generations removed. Hang in there, London Stalker Crew, the Apple Scruffs eventualy got to sing on an honest to god Beatle album and also have a song written about them.


Dream big, kids. Dream big. 

Speaking of the Apple Scruffs singing on a song, it was rumored to be a decision made by Paul McCartney to, according to John Lennon, passive-aggressively ruin Across the Universe which was John's song. This is important, remember this. I'll get back to it in a minute. 

Yes, their fans are the same level of hysterics, they've both taken over the world, One Direction actually over-taking world records that The Beatles were locked into owning forever. The Beatles started as a rock n roll band, were crafted into a boy band to take over the world and then changed the face of rock music forever and then broke up. One Direction started as individual contestants on the X Factor, were crafted into a boyband that took over the world, have the potential to be seen as a serious group, and now Zayn's left. 


The difference in the two groups is huge though. The Beatles, finding each other and building the band organically, being huge in Liverpool and Hamburg on their own without representation they held the power, they called the shots. They always did. They felt threatened on tours so they flat out stopped touring. John Lennon wanted to sound like he was singing upside down underwater on top of a mountain, people got him a very expensive microphone hung from the ceiling dunked into a glass of water. One Direction have never held that power. They've never had ANY power. They were put together and told what to do and how to do it from the beginning. They don't necessarily get to call the shots because they are someone else's puppets. Everything about them and their lives is controlled into their images. They aren't this generation's Beatles, they are The Monkees. They are everything that happened to the Monkees but on a Beatles sized scale. They're reliving the movie 'Head'. 


No wonder Zayn needed out.

Perrie Edwards, as far as I can tell, is no Yoko Ono. Zayn Malik leaving even if because of Perrie, which I don't buy is NOT "pulling a Yoko Ono". 

It is my belief that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were soulmates. It is my belief that John fell in love with Paul. I waver back and forth if I think it went anywhere but that kind of doesn't matter. What does matter is that in the little slash fiction McLennon world that exists in my head, John felt slighted by Paul who hooked up with Linda (who by the way, was a female John). John started up with Yoko (female Paul. As I type this I feel the pitchforks coming out. Love me, Paul fans. Love me. I'm one of you! Paul for president! and all that.) 

Anyway, Yoko gave John what he was looking for from Paul and I really believe that the John Lennon-peace sign and  sunglasses-I love New York! John that the casual person would know John Lennon as, wouldn't be if not for Yoko. In the history that has been written, John needed Yoko to transform from Beatle John into freedom fighter John. The Beatles didn't break up because of Yoko, The Beatles broke up because of The Beatles. The Beatles broke up because John and Paul did stupid, spiteful things to prove to the other that they didn't need each other. John got married to Yoko 12 days after Paul and Linda wed. For spite. You will never convince me otherwise. Paul invited stalkers into the studio to ruin John's song. For spite. The 70's. All spite. 

Zayn's issues don't appear to involve the other boys at all. Zayn's issue seems to be with the machine itself. It's not a Yoko Ono situation at all. It's a Mike Nesmith one. 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Mariah Carey Year

On December 31 I promised my 2014 self that my 2015 self would be a better self. I've become maybe a worse self. 

New Year's Eve was wraught with potential. I was serious about it, too. 

"One more day of wasting hours on tumblr then it's serious business and a new you!" I exclaimed with gusto, only silently and to myself. I did come up with this plan while scrolling tumblr, though so I should've known it was going to fail. But! I was serious. My neighbor came over that evening with champagne and I joked that 2015 was my diva year! Then I thought about divas and champagne which naturally brought me to Mariah Carey and I came to an epiphany. I might be entering my embarrassing Mariah Carey years. As the night wore on and drinks were drunk my tv started playing One Direction performing on New Year's Rocking Eve or whichever one it was and I embarked on a one woman mission to make sure everyone knew that Harry Styles is handsome and beautiful. And charming! (And possibly gay.) And funny. And I wouldn't shut up about it. The rest of the night. 



Seriously though, right????

Mariah Carey: Level 2

Source: tumblr

Guys, I've been in a rut. Like an unmotivated, crabby, diva-like rut. Maybe I'm overwhelmed with it all. Or maybe I'm bored. Maybe it's because I've been waiting an eternity for Mad Men to return. And Bates Motel is not back yet either. And LOST has been over for 4 and a half years and no one wants to go back to the island with me. 

Source: reddit

I came to this post trying compare my year with Mariah Carey but I think I'm actually just Jack Sheppard, Season 3. Both involve drinking so, whatever, I'll continue on.

This Season 3 Jack Sheppard rut is kind of ruining my plans. I'm not sewing, I'm not writing, I'm not cleaning my house- though to be fair, that has little to do with a rut and more to do with that I would like a maid please. And a nanny. I would like to sit around in kicky little outfits cracking bad jokes and singing to no one in particular while someone else does all the washing and sandwich making. I need an Alice to my Carol Brady is what I'm getting at. 


So that's where I've been; sitting on my couch and avoiding facebook except when I think of something funny, scrolling tumblr and twitter, and thinking about how I should do something and then getting mad when someone (the husband) suggests that I get up and do something. I've also been busy breaking up fisticuffs between the children. This also makes me crabby. And diva-like. And wishing for an Alice. 

Alright I need to wrap this up because I'm supposed to be writing a PTA fundraising letter and I don't think they'd dig any Harry Styles or Carol Brady references in it so, I kind of have to buckle down on this even though we all know that Harry Styles sells. I'm just saying. Think it over, PTA. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Of Being a Fangirl

If there is one thing about me that will forever hold true it is that I am a fangirl. If I decide that I like something, I go big, I go hard, and sometimes it makes me pee my pants. But there is no shame in this game. 

Lately there's been a little shame. 

But we'll get back to Mr. Styles in a minute. 

Anyone who's had a 5 minute conversation with me has had to discuss my favorite Beatle, my favorite Beatle's son, my favorite Monkee, my theory on Mad Men, Harry Styles' hair, my favorite character on I Love Lucy, baseball, and has seen me cry at the mere mention of LOST. I am an insufferable bore and I don't know how I still have friends.

Speaking of friends, I will also gladly discuss F•R•I•E•N•D•S and how horrible I think Monica's hair was and how I hate chunky 90's shoes and oh my god I took a facebook "Which Friend are you?" quiz and I'm Chandler but I think I'm probably Ross, if anyone is interested in that subject. 

Yet each one of these topics is a tree in the bigger, much more interesting and complex forest that houses them. And that forest of obsession is well-kept and coveted by the fangirls and fanboys that sow it. 

Now me being obsessed is nothing new. Me being obsessed with One Direction, that's pretty new. I am currently completely wrapped up in the soap opera that is the Harry Styles/ Louis Tomlinson possible hidden love story as depicted through the symbolism of Harry Styles' instagram posts and possible PR seeding. No seriously, it's a thing. A very, very fascinating thing. And whether it ends up being real or a very elaborate head cannon created and built upon by fans, doesn't matter to me in the same way it doesn't matter if reality TV is scripted. You have me. I'm hooked. 

Now, just spending a few minutes on tumblr in any fandom, you will inevitably come across the most realistic photoshopped pictures you have ever seen, the cutest drawings you've ever seen, the most amazing sketches and art, a lot of it is kind of smutty but it's amazing. And the well edited videos, the sense of humor and comradreie. And then there's the fanfiction which gets all kinds of eye rolls and shade from the outside world but it might hold the greatest admiration in my heart. I've only ever read Beatles fan fiction because it's the only fanfiction that has held my interest, however the very fact that it is a thing that people are so passionate about makes my English Majored heart want to burst. And going back to the One Direction fandom, there are a lot of teenagers coming up with this stuff, writing, photoshopping, creating, studying entertainment law and marketing and body language analysis, tattoo symbolism, fashion and probably the most beautiful part in any of this, these kids are fighting for equal rights and getting very involved in the LGBTQ+ community and embracing their fellow fandom on whatever choices and hardships the others are going through. It's really quite beautiful. 

I love the fangirls and fanboys. They are my people. 

Now excuse me while I go find out what shoes Louis Tomlinson is wearing today. It might be another clue.