Friday, August 31, 2012
The first message I saw was about how someone had yelled at the nice high school boys who had started their own ice cream truck business, and couldn't we give the nice boys selling ice cream a pass on the whole "no soliciting" thing.
Fortunately, most people were joining in on the side of nice ice cream boys. The interesting e-mails were from people yelling at anyone who would dare tell kids they can't sell ice cream. It descended very quickly into telling people to go form their own town if they didn't like living here and suggesting that maybe we have armed guards at the entrance checking everyone's ID.
The moderator stepped in at this point and reminded everyone that personal attacks aren't allowed and that maybe people could reconsider their enthusiastic use of the "reply all" feature.
In response, several cranky people formed a rogue neighborhood listserv, where everyone would be free from rude interruptions from a rude monitor who was squelching free exchange of ideas.
The other big topic on the listserv is the condition of the many "ponds" in our area. They are supposed to be decorative and provide habitat for birds and such. They are a nice touch. However, right now, they are mostly empty, with just a bit of green slime at the bottom. The people whose houses back to the ponds are not pleased, to say the least. Nevermind that we haven't had rain in months and farmers are losing crops and herds because there's no water. The entitled suburbanites want their water features.
There's been lots of chatter on the listserv about who, exactly, is to blame. Is it the HOA? The builders? The water supply company? There's lots of finger pointing going on.
Finally, the HOA sent out an e-mail reassuring residents that they were aware of the problem with the ponds and were in the process of addressing it. Apparently their way of addressing it was to put up signs.
It's nice of them to warn us that "decaying plants, discolored water and odor IS expected."
Obviously this is a grammar error up with which I cannot put. So I pulled over and changed a few of the signs. While I was working on the first one, a woman stopped to see what I was up to, laughed and drove away. Phew.
I doctored the second sign when I had Ella with me, and she was MORTIFIED. "Mom! You are vandalizing. You could get arrested. You need to wipe it off."
She then told on me to the neighbor, who looked at her son and said, "See! I'm not the only mom who corrects grammar."
I was pleased to see that my edits were still there this morning. They may be small and hard to see, but I feel better knowing that the signs now have subject-verb agreement.
Monday, August 27, 2012
(Excuse me, I mean "The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World." I briefly dated a guy who worked there and he insisted on using the full name each and every time. Part of the reason I only dated him briefly.)
We'd leave home at 6:00 am and be at TMKWDW by the time the gates opened. After a full day, we'd watch the fireworks as we rode the paddle steamer across the Lagoon to parking lots. It was easy. Now, apparently, to go the TMKWDW, you have spend a whole week there, staying in the resorts and eating meals with characters and spending all day, every day at one of the parks.
No thank you.
Even though I've been to TMKWDW dozens of times, it's been at least 20 years since my last visit. But what I remember is that the place was huge and spread out and it really was its very own world. The outside didn't intrude at all. I also remember it as spotlessly clean with pairs of garbage people following visitors around sweeping up. And cast members were always in perfectly fitted, pressed uniforms, despite the wilting Florida heat and humidity.
When I planned my trip to LA to visit my sister, one of my requests was that we go to Disney Land. I'd never been to the original Happiest Place on Earth and figured it would be fun to go without kids. Fortunately Sarah and her BF are good sports and humored my request.
I decided to just throw myself into the spirit of being at Disney Land. No matter how bad the crowds or how long the lines, I would have fun, mostly because I wasn't dragging four hot, tired, whiny kids along with me. And it worked. I had a great day. While it was hot, the crowds weren't bad and the lines weren't too long.
But I was shocked at how different Disney Land is from TMKWDW. It's so small; the castle doesn't dominate the skyline like it does in Orlando. I actually asked my sister where the castle was when we arrived. It just sort of blended in.
The highlight of the day was Splash Mountain. Somehow, despite there being one at TMKWDW, I'd never been on the ride. It was the only long line of the day, mostly because it was so damn hot that everyone was looking to get wet. It was so much fun, and we got soaked to the skin.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
A few weeks ago, my sister sent me a link to an article about an exhibit of Princess Diana's dresses on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The ensuing text messages went something like this:
Sarah: OMG good or OMG terrible?
Me: OMG jealous. I would love to see that.
Sarah: Come out to visit.
I went out to visit, and we went to the Queen Mary. The exhibit did not come anywhere close to living up to our expectations. After we left Sarah said, "I'd apologize for dragging you to that, but there was no way to know ahead of time." I pointed out that I'd been a willing participant.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Unfortunately, I chose the weekend that LA was having its worst heat wave of the summer to visit. Everyone who found out I was from out of town, apologized for the heat. "It's NEVER this hot," they'd say. In Texas, when a visitor complains about the heat, we usually say, "This? This is nothing. You should have been here last year. Last year was worse."
So it was hot, but it wasn't as hot as Austin, in that we could actually be outside without bursting into flames.
And that is the only complaint I have about my trip.
It was just the right amount of doing cool stuff and sitting around and watching trash TV. Knittergran still can't believe we didn't go to the beach or to the Getty, but I'm saving those for the next trip.
Our one culturally significant trip was to the Griffith Observatory, which sits high in the hills above LA. The view was pretty spectacular.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
We’ve hit the low point of the summer. We’re all bored and tired and hot. Going to the pool isn’t as much fun as it was a few weeks ago; it’s too hot to ride bikes and scooters; watching hours of Scooby Doo just isn’t as appealing.
I’m spending my days refereeing fights over who did what to whom, negotiating just how long a “turn” on the computer is, and listening to the kids tell me they’re bored every 30 seconds. To keep kips entertained I’ve resorted to doing things like taking them to the Snake Farm and to see movies (I hate movies and snakes). But I’m running out of options.
The good news is that I leave at o’dark hundred on Friday to go to Los Angeles for a few days. It will be cool there. And I won’t have four kids to take care of. I may never come back.
In the meantime, a cute hedgehog picture.