Friday, October 29, 2010

Why I should pitch screenplays for a living.

So ... didya watch Oprah yesterday?

The entire cast of The Sound of Music was on. Why this wasn't recognized as a national holiday, I simply do not know.

This is one of those movies that I saw about a gajillion and seven times as a child ... but I hadn't thought about it for several years. As I'm sure you know, I played second-oldest daughter Louisa in a 1988 community theatre production of The Sound of Music.

You know Louisa, right? She's the one who has a line wondering what her mother was like ... when, based on the ages of her siblings, she was at least 9 years old when her mother died. She was also the one who sang "I flit, I float! I fleetly flee, I fly!"

So, I played the stupid von Trapp.


I was ecstatic about the reunion show, but when I tried to explain the gravity of the show and the movie to My Guy? It went like this:

Me: Do you know what today is?

My Guy: Thursday?

Me: No! Well, yeah. But it's the entire cast of The Sound of Music on Oprah!

My Guy: So?

Me: So? It's awesome! Don't you like that movie?

My Guy: Uh, it's a musical. So, no.

*Stunned silence during which I questioned my choice of life partner. I didn't think to point out that My Guy loves Glee.*

Me, taking another tactic: The Sound of Music kicks ass. You know ... it has Nazis.

My Guy: Singing Nazis?

Me, vamping: Uh, yeah! And there's this captain, right? And he puts the moves on his kids' nanny - who is a nun!

My Guy: You're lying.

Me, picking up steam: No! It's true! He puts the moves on the nanny and she ends up leaving the convent to hook up with him, and then they have to escape from the Nazis! It's a true story! And then they made a movie about it!

My Guy: Oh. Well, that sounds OK.

And that's why if it weren't football season, we'd be watching The Sound of Music this weekend. But it is football season, so we'll be glued to the gridiron all weekend. I'm sure My Guy is disappointed, but we'll get through.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two things that made me laugh this week.

Because I was a mathlete.Woman’s t-shirt at the chiropractor’s office:

Math is awe “sum”!
And yeah, I’m forgiving the quotation usage.

Because I knew this girl in college … and that’s all I’ll say about that.Best Facebook update ever:

At dinner tonight, I said, “Guess what I did today?”

My 4-year-old: “Got arrested?”

My 6-year-old: “Went to the liquor store?”

The answer was “I got a pedicure.” Glad my kids think so highly of me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Look at the baby! Look at him!

Behold my dad's despondency at the end of the Iowa / Wisconsin game. Note the proud black and gold, accompanied by disappointment and ...
... and a little puppy.*

Yes! My parents brought home the newest family member this weekend. His name is Murphy and he is a 7-week-old shih tzu.
And holy crap, he's cute.

My mom says he like to chase leaves, and he needs a boost to get inside the back door ... the threshold is about six inches from the surface of the patio. You know how it is when your legs are an inch long.

But don't let the cute, cuddly baby exterior fool you. The Murph is already angling for supremacy in the family.

I asked my mom about him and her immediate response was, "He's so smart!" Then she told me all about his potty habits.

I have a college degree. Poochie is working on his master's. But we know where we stand.
Hopefully, our parents will still remember our names and we won't become "Oh yeah - our other kids. Wonder what happened to them?"

But really? The Murph is so cute and such a blessing. It's cool.

*Even when he's got the "We're not mad, we're just disappointed" look, isn't my dad just super handsome? I like him.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today's show is brought to you by the letter W.

My people are a football people.

Case in point? Uh, last week? My family - me, My Guy, my parents, and my aunt and uncle - were all late to my brother's rehearsal dinner. We were watching the end of the Iowa / Michigan game.*

What? It was important.

And this week? My Guy and I were exhausted and pissed as hell after watching the 30-31 Iowa / Wisconsin debacle. But we needed our strength! My alma mater - where I also worked in the athletic department - played the Saturday night game.

Set new records for attendance at College GameDay? Beat the number one ranked BCS team?

Yeah, we did. M-I-Z!

But Brent Musburger hates all teams that wear black and gold. Seriously - he couldn't stop talking about Oklahoma even as Mizzou was beating the crap out of them. And anytime he calls an Iowa game? Well, don't get me started. In the words of my dad? "Everybody knows Brent Musburger hates Iowa. He always has."

I think it's more that our buddy Brent still favors the traditional powerhouses. Maybe he's trapped in the 70s. Maybe he has "Roll Tide" tattooed on his ass. Who's to say?

I thought about this while watching last night's game. And I thought about Brent in his powder-blue leisure suit, reporting on the 1977 World's Strongest Man Competition. The dude has paid his dues.


I think I'm going to start hosting my own show about college football. It will be called The Cha Cha Show, and it will be a weekly half-hour where I talk about stuff I know about college football.

You wanna watch it, don't you?

I'll talk about the coaching tree of Iowa legend Hayden Fry (seriously - like, a gazillion Division 1 coaches either played for him or coached for him). However, I won't be afraid to do hard-hitting investigation, like my controversial look into why Bill Snyder of Kansas State is an ass (he runs up scores needlessly). And I'll remember arcane and totally useless facts like the score of the 1985 Iowa / Michigan game (12-10 in favor of the number-one-ranked Hawkeyes. Actually, I'll probably bust that out every episode.).

There will be a segment where my dad identifies his favorite college football player names (Marvin McNutt, anyone?).

Then, My Guy will do some talking about technical stuff and will say things like "Watch the strong safety during this hook-and-ladder play." I will nod during this segment, like I have any clue what he's talking about. I will also be strangely turned on by his athletic prowess.

Finally, every episode will close with a segment called "What Cha Cha's Mom Thinks of Joe Paterno." She and I have practiced this segment, and it pretty much consists of my lovely mama looking at the camera and saying, "I hate him."

And that was "What Cha Cha's Mom Thinks of Joe Paterno!"

Light on tough college football analysis? Possibly. But it might start to make up for ol' Musburger's complete lack of respect for those teams that haven't won multiple national championships. Check your local listings.

*It sounds worse than it really was - the rehearsal dinner was a small affair at the home of Poochie and Mrs. Poochie. And we were only like 15 minutes late - totally within the acceptable limits of lateness due to football.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gratuitous photo Friday.

Cute, isn't he? I think I'll marry him.

Also? My Guy gets triple points for moving tables, organizing wayward relatives, and generally kicking ass and taking names at Poochie's wedding. What a gift.

Plus? He's so cute!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Because the people demand satisfaction!

So ... Poochie's wedding.

Was lovely. Obviously.

The day was warm and sunny. Everybody was happy. I did a pretty OK job of officiating. I got sunburned, which was awesome since my dress had an asymmetrical neckline. I now have one pink boob and one pale boob.

And now I understand why so many wedding blogs are mostly pictures with very little text. It's hard to explain the hubbub of the day. Our sweet neighbors - who are kind of like grandparents to me and Poochie - were there, smiling and laughing. The rowing club held oars up for the happy couple - who met rowing - to walk through. We enjoyed Dutch letters - yummy pastries filled with almond paste - in lieu of cake.

And Poochie? Was so, so happy. Which made me happy.
You can see more photos here. If you need a photographer in central Iowa, call Allison. She was wonderful. Obviously.

Photo #1 courtesy of the tourists who snapped a pic with Poochie's iPhone. Photo #2 courtesy of Allison Marie Photography.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Marriage and shit.

Poochie and his beautiful bride got married yesterday. The day was lovely, sunny and warm. The bride was stunning and the groom was handsome. I had a few people comment that I did a nice job officiating and they didn't realize I was the groom's sister until after the fact. So, all in all, a good day.

I'll share more later, but ask that you forgive me for just hitting the high points today. My Guy and I drove back today. When we got back, we had an hour to kill before meeting our realtor, so we went to the bank to open a joint account. WHICH TOOK AN HOUR.

Seriously. We're both existing customers. Why, oh why would it take an hour to set up a new account? Bank of America? You suck serious ass.

So, we were late getting to my house to meet my friend our realtor and our new realtor. My friend just had her third (gorgeous!) baby, so she's handing over our listings to The New Realtor Guy. This new guy, whose first impression of me is that my house smells like shit.

Because Puppy Love Lisa, the beloved dog sitter? Has issues with portion control. She went through a week's worth of dog food in three days. And Foxie Doxie, he of the delicate digestive tract? Had crazy diarrhea in his kennel.


So, while My Guy and The New Realtor Guy talked real estate strategy, I drug a shit-filled kennel outside, then gave Foxie a bath. My friend tried to soothe her cranky 3-week-old. And Lil' Frankfurter got jealous of the attention Foxie was getting with the kitchen-sink bath. So, he pooped and peed directly behind me in the kitchen.

My house smelled awesome.

We decided to drop our prices again, and I had an almost freak out of the "I had $25.35 to my name and then worked my ass off to buy this house and I don't want to lose money on it" variety. And then My Guy pointed out that the goal here is to live together, and he was all reasonable and shit.

So, we did the real estate stuff, and then My Guy hosed out the kennel and threw away the bedding. I think he saw that I was on the precipice of a meltdown. We agreed that throwing away the bedding was the best decision ever.

And then we ate dinner, and I had an adult beverage. And now I'm getting ready to go to bed. Because 8:30 is totally my bed time after this sort of day.

But Poochie got married and it was lovely and we'll talk about it tomorrow. M'kay?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Turn on your heartlight.

I was going to write about a maybe big-ish argument / confrontation / disagreement that my brother and my parents are having right now, the week of his wedding, and how it makes me want to hide in my closet.

But when I tried to log in to Blogger? I got a "503 - Service Unavailable" screen. I guess that's a sign.

So, instead? I'll tell you the magical story of Poochie and Our Jewish Dad.


My very first non-Sesame Street LP was Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits. I looooooved this album, even though it features a barefoot Neil on the cover and I have always been iffy about men's feet. The album was all mine - I got it for my fifth birthday from family friends who knew how much I loved their Neil eight track.

Neil's always been a part of our family. And when I was in college, Poochie and I convinced our mom to buy us Hot August Night on cassette, promising that we would share it.

Keep in mind that at the time, we lived four hours apart and neither one of us had a car. But we did share that tape - it was so, so good! I'd bring it home on school breaks, or Poochie would offer it up over summer vacation.

But that fabulous recording of Neil in concert? It proved to be just a gateway drug.

It's not politically correct, but Poochie and I refer to Neil as Our Jewish Dad. I've seen him in concert four times; Poochie's seen him five. Over the years, there have been many Neil recordings that we've given each other, and we've seen him together twice - two shows that felt like a combination of church and family reunion. Good times.

Now, longtime readers may remember Poochie's track record for remembering birthdays. As in, he doesn't. One of my favorite voicemails ever was last year on my birthday, when Poochie serenaded my machine with an impromptu song about my birthday - a song during which he began to doubt that it truly was my birthday. So, about two-thirds of the way through the song, "happy birthday" morphed into "I'm pretty sure your birthday is sometime this month - hope it is / was / will be good." That was also the year he gave me a Snuggie for my birthday, but didn't actually give it to me - he used it in lieu of a sleeping bag on a bike trip.

This background is important so that you understand the gravity, the weight of what I'm about to tell you.

This summer? Poochie gave me a belated birthday gift. Two, actually.

He gave me the used Snuggie. But the blanket with arms was wrapping! Wrapping for The Single Most Amazing Gift Ever In The History of Gifts.

Poochie gave me a framed, autographed photo of Neil Diamond. Neil in all of his hairy, spangly, late-70s best.

I'm not often speechless, but I truly was when I uncovered this prize.

Again: autographed photo of Our Jewish Dad. I know!

Now, My Guy and I have agreed that whatever our future home looks like, it will need a lighted niche - complete with security lasers - to properly display and protect Neil. We have my brother to thank.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I am on a horse. Cow.

The countdown is on! My baby brother is getting married a week from today. So, I thought this week could be A Celebration of Poochie.

Fun Fact You Didn't Know About Poochie: He had / has a thing for Grover. Yes, everybody's favorite furry little monster.

Poochie received a Grover stuffed animal as a gift when he was a youngun', and Grover became his one and only. Poochie and Grover went everywhere together, and Grover is featured prominently in many family photos.

One year for Christmas, Grover asked Santa for a purple t-shirt. This caused my mom a lot of heartache. How could Santa possibly deliver a purple t-shirt for a monster whose presence was absolutely, without question necessary for my brother to fall asleep?

Let's just talk about how awesome my mom is for a moment, shall we? She'd wait til Poochie fell asleep at nap time (he's the favorite kid - he actually took naps). Then, she'd sneak in, steal Grover, and figure out a pattern from his furry blue body. When she was done, she'd throw him on the floor in Poochie's room, so when Poochie woke up, she'd just be all, "Oh, Grover fell out of bed."

Then, Christmas Eve? She and my dad had to steal Grover in the middle of the night. My mom sewed the t-shirt on. Then, they tucked Grover back in bed with Poochie. And my brother awoke Christmas Day to find that Santa had, indeed, given Grover a purple t-shirt.

So, Grover sports a purple t-shirt to this day. And I think he's on retina transplant number 19, as the pupils on his plastic eyes keep wearing off and being touched up with Sharpie. And he has a bald spot on his rear, as Poochie would rub Grover's silky tag against his upper lip for comfort. In the grand tradition of The Velveteen Rabbit, Grover is as real as they get. Super Real. Super Grover.

It's all just one of those things that makes Poochie who he is, and makes me love him.

But Grover's a man who evolves. You might remember his Olivia Newton-John era aerobics bit, or his disco dancing. Now, he's spoofing those hilarious Old Spice commercials.

And ... you're welcome.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In which I am mucusy and sweaty and long-winded.

I have had a cold this week. Perhaps you've heard of it? It goes by the monikers Cold of Death, The Sinus Crusher, and, occasionally, Snot Doggy Dogg.

I feel like I've been hit by a truck.

Yesterday, though, I finally remembered my friend Sherrie's comments about how when she's sick, hot and sour soup is the only ticket to health. So, My Guy and I went to the home of the world's greatest hot and sour soup: Fire Wok.

Or, as we usually call it, "You Know, That Place That's Always Closed." Which seems to have caught on as the official moniker, despite the fact that I really tried to get "Fire Crotch" to catch on, just because it made me laugh.

You Know, That Place That's Always Closed has the best hot and sour soup. And really? It has an awesome buffet, too. They are open from 11-2 and 5-8, weekdays only. Never on the weekends. And really? You have to be a really good restaurant to survive being open for only, like, half an hour every week.


So, last night, the hot and sour soup from You Know, That Place That's Always Closed made my nose run and my lip sweat. And then I felt better! And so, today, after work? I stopped by and got not one but two servings of soup to go. Yes, I gorged myself on two bowls of hot and sour soup for dinner. It was the best dinner ever! And my nose ran and I got sweaty ... and I'm thinking I will triumph over this cold.

And yeah, that's the excitement here.