Thursday, February 22, 2007

Snow Day

Sugar Bowl--IT'S FINALLY SNOWING. Or as Rick says, "Oh, Fuck."

The snow gods are smiling on the Truckee-Tahoe area today, in a big way. I'm sitting here in our generic ski rental, looking out the El Cheapo Home Depot windows at enough snow to cover Vito Polito at least 1.5 times. We'll be testing that theory later today when we run out of arts and crafts to make.

People who actually know things about weather say that we can expect a few feet of snow in the next few days. All I know is that Rick will be pulling major babysitting duty while Gianni and I hit the powder. I almost forgot what this place looked like with snow after weeks of global warming goodness.

As always, my heart gave a little leap of joy when I looked out the window this morning. Today, I am nine years old again, and not in the usual way involving fart jokes and movies featuring talking dogs. I love California coastal weather but dammit I miss the snow. I miss seeing the flakes start falling before bedtime and waking up to a beautiful blanket of white. I miss snowmen and snowballs and snow bricks and other time-honored snow creations. I miss sitting by the fire drinking hot chocolate after a long day of snow play. These are things I took for granted as a kid, and every time I see snow again it's like a second childhood.

For Rick, it's more like the second circle of hell. Where I see winter wonderland, he sees a natural disaster. In his opinion, why would people voluntarily subject themselves to freezing temperatures and blocked driveways? Winter sports are what people invented because they were trapped and needed something to do to keep from eating each other. I would categorize his attitude as snow-averse, to say the least. Growing up in Tucson will do that to you.

So why are we here, snowed in? Because if I can give my kids one thing, its a sliver of the winter experience I had when I was their age. My son will never, ever, barring freak weather patterns, have a snow day. It's a good bet my daughter never slide down the snowy hills of the Presidio on a giant Hefty bag or a cafeteria tray. They'll never feel the adrenaline rush of riding on a toboggan tied to the back of a moving car (which is a terrible irresponsible thing that I would never do or encourage, oh no no nooo.) A few weeks here and there in Tahoe is the best of winter without the weeks of yucky brown slush and freezing rain and flat skies that follow the few magical days of winter in the Midwest. It's winter: the highlight reel.

And for that, I'll put up with snow chains and shoveling and Mister Buzzkill's tirade against winter. It's worth it. Of course, if we're in here for five days and Rick starts to envision me as a large pork chop, maybe we'll have to reevaluate. Donner, party of five!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Gianni's First Complaint Letter

Rick just forwarded me Gianni's first protest letter. I wish he were rallying to save the wetlands or depose our current administration, but a kid has to follow his heart. So here's what we have:

Dear Toys-R-Us,

My daddy is writing this for me.

I'm sad that you closed the Toys R Us in San Francisco. I think you
will be really disappointed with this news. Because your job is to
make little boys like me happy. And I really liked going to Toys R Us.

I want you to bring the store back. And don't close any more stores.

And I really liked going there and so does my sister, Tea.

From - Gianni

p.s. And Tea.

pps. I'm really not so sad to see you leave our town. There is a much lower incidence of sugar shock and now my kids don't go into name-brand zombification and tantrum default every time we shop for a birthday present. Since you have left, I rarely see a two-year-old sucking on a bottle full of coca-cola and popping M and Ms for lunch. Can't say I miss it!

And this is coming from someone who HAS a sense of cultural literacy and a sense of humor and does not think kids are healthy only on a diet of wooden toys handmade in Germany. But really, Toys R Us sux. Don't miss the sugar or the plastic or the branding. BUT the kids have spoken. Gotta respect that. Luv Mom.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Spin On This

As if there weren't enough reasons to be disappointed in the human race. And as if there weren't enough excuses not to go to the gym. Today, I got to multitask and experience both feelings simultaneously!

I had the single worst gym experience of my life this morning. If you belong to the JCC and you were in the 9am spin class this morning, you know. Maybe even you should be ashamed of yourself. Twice I have been in this spin class and twice I have seen arguments nearly break out into fisticuffs. In case I wasn't clear, let me repeat: IN. SPIN. CLASS.

Last time, a guy took a woman's bike while she was getting water and refused to give it up. This week, they had a sign-up sheet. Yet, though people were signed up for the class, people had sneaked in and taken bikes and refused to give them up, even when they took roll. I was signed up, and the head of group fitness at the JCC found me a bike. I went out to pee and came back and my towel and my keys were thrown on the floor. A woman was tuning up the bike.

I started to ask what was up and before I could say anything the woman got right in my face and started bitching me out. "I GOT HERE EARLY DON'T YOU DARE TAKE MY BIKE BLAH DE BLAH." I'm talking about full-on rage. Because apparently giving folks the finger every time you go through an intersection or screaming about parking spaces is not enough in this city, now it is de rigeur to to get into a hissy fit over stationary. fucking. bicycles.

I gave up my spot and worked out elsewhere. Why? Because it's a spin class, people. It's riding on a bike that doesn't go anywhere. To music. If it is such an earth-shattering absolute that you must spin on your bike in the JCC at 9am, so much so that you will cheat and lie and destroy whoever gets in your way, then guess what? YOU ARE PATHETIC. If that is your one goal for Saturday, then your life officially sucks and I am glad I'm not you.

I am spending most of my non-working hours NOT spinning, mind you, but trying to teach my six-year-old how to measure his responses to everyday situations. We have little deals, medium deals, big deals, and weird deals. A little deal is when someone takes your spot in line or accidentally knocks over your legos. A big deal is when your house catches on fire and a burning piece of the house falls and amputates all of your limbs. A medium deal is somewhere in between. A weird deal is when your dog starts speaking russian and makes you a cheese omelette for dinner. But that's another story.

The point is, my kid is trying his absolute hardest to remember that you don't haul off and slug someone over a little deal, and when you trip and fall you don't scream like your house is on fire. But being in that class this morning, I wonder why I bother. Because I don't see any evidence that anyone else does. The supposedly adult, educated, professional people in that room behaved worse than my two-year-old, let alone Gianni. How is he supposed to learn when there is a whole city full of people who don't get it yet?

Shame on you, people. That is a big deal. Or a weird deal, at the very least.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

You're Floating in a Most Peculiar Way

I'm peeing RIGHT NOW

Is there anyone in the country right now who is NOT obsessed with this crazy astronaut story?

It is the greatest, most bizarre thing I've ever read in my life. You can't make this shit up.

I don't know what part is best. The adult diapers? The meticulously planned "mission?" The fact that she and this guy were not actually in any sort of relationship other than as astronaut buddies? I mean, holy crap, it's classic! I cannot wait to see what happens.

No Sudafed for You.

Why did she do it? Look at that booking photo. It is methtastic. That woman is tweaking her brains out. I mean, think about it--she's an astronaut. Intense job. And as my friend informs me, astronauts use amphetamines to deal with "space sickness." So I am just waiting to find out that this woman was cranking full bore on government-issued speed! AWESOME!

(Ok not really. She has a husband and 3 kids. I feel bad for them. But HOLY SHIT WHAT A STORY. If it were me, they'd be obsessed too.)

I also just found out that my friend KNEW HER growing up in the DC area. You better believe I am all over her for details. (Although I'm sure Ms. Lisa Marie Caputo Nowak was a nice girl, they don't let psycho methheads into the Naval Academy. Apparently, they make their own!)

I hope this woman gets the help she needs. And I would appreciate it if she'd send me some of those diapers. I'm driving to Tahoe next week and that 76 station in West Sac is just gross.