Sunday, March 22, 2009

Highway Lovesong

Dear America,

We are sending you a South African, a German, and a Chineese girl. They will be in the car filled with junk food and heavily accented sing alongs. Please be nice to them. Under no circumstances should you ask them to parallel park.

They are coming to you because when Stacy asked what she should do with her vacation I insisted that a full blown American road trip was the only option. And when I say American I really mean everything west of the Rocky Mountains. I still think of the eastern time zone as 'the colonies' and mentally associate it with smoke, lard, and staying up ridicilously late to watch baseball games. The midwest is also boring unless you like cornhole or creationism. The west has all our pointiest mountains and deepest holes, not to mention football games that start at 9am, so this is the direction I pointed them in.

I've tried to insert many of my favorite things into their itenerary so that while I sit here watching one baby beat the other over the head with an empty coke can I can dream of driving past the sand dunes, canyons, rocks, and pointy green trees that I now only see on Christmas or as scented simulcra hanging from my rearview mirror.

Of course, convincing three teenage girls that they should spend more time looking into deep rocky holes and less time trying to spot Hills characters shopping on Robertson is no easy feat. And so that is why I seek your help America. Please provide these girls with our very best. Deliver them brain halting slurpees and jaw dropping sunsets, sexually explicit mudflaps and heavenly vistas. Take a picture with them and autograph their mental guestbooks. Let them remember you the way that I do after a lifetime of my own roadtrips: a blur of awesome that smells vaguely like feet and Cheetos.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What Sleepy Horses Are Listening To These Days

A few days ago I read an article about a particular kind of music listened to by kids who recreationally take horse tranquilizers.  That led me to this song, which has since infected my mind and prevented me from doing anything productive except researching how to secure horse tranquilizers (turns out you have to know some pretty shady horses).  Hence, my elaborate excuse for not blogging sooner.

And lest you think horse tranquilizer music is not enough to derail cognitive function, I've recently come to the conclusion that every toy my children own teaches three things: colors, numbers, and how to honk a horn.  For some reason we seem to have concluded that the first three skills we need as humans are the ones that qualify you to be a NY cabbie.  

So to appreciate the nature of my week, imagine the following updates playing out against the auditory wallpaper of incessant honking and dazed horses:

Stacey has decided to stay with us for another year.  This is good not only for us as a family, but as Americans.  As the most prominent face of our country to this single foreign visitor it would have been devastating to feel like we didn't represent our land well enough to make it feel like an appealing destination for a second year.  Fortunately, we will not have to suffer that indignation.  However, the parents of other au pairs who are returning home after one year should be ashamed and possibly deported.  I should also point out that Stacey made her decision before the influx of horse tranquilizer music and that there are no take backs.

Ripples has learned to shake her head 'no' and thus refuses everything just for practice.  I don't think she's eaten since she picked up this skill.  Nixie has also learned to hake her head 'no' but doesn't seem to have associated it with any particular meaning.  When you offer her something she will emphatically shake her head no while anxiously smiling and opening her mouth.  And honking something.

When I got back to the airport the other night it was about 40 degrees and raining and I had no jacket and for 30 minutes I could not find my car.  I knew it was right next to the little bench with the trashcan, but it turns out there are LOTS of little benches with trashcans.  Every time I saw another bench next to a trashcan I thought, oh thank god, that's it.  And every time I was wrong.  I may or may not have yelled at some of these benches for toying with my emotions, and may or may not have urinated between parked cars out of desperation.  Even when I travel for business it would be hard to confuse me with a business traveler.

This week, seriously, less animal narcotics and more blogging.  The honking however is probably with us for the long haul.


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