Saturday, June 28, 2008

22 minutes

That was all it took before 2 and 1/2 quarts of milk became a puddle. I knew I was going to win.

Here's the video:

It's too big to embed quickly, and I didn't want you to wait one more minute for the joy.

I'm not sure why it was a good idea to try and film this in the dark, but it's still funny.

It turns out, drinking and puking fast is much less painful than trying to actually win the contest. I wish I had known that 18 10 years ago, when I was 17.

Thanks, Rebi for the excellent editing.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer just got better!

Our town has a rec center which we have hardly used. A few days ago, the kids begged and begged and whined until I took them to the CRC to swim.

Much to my surprise, I found out that they can swim without an adult- under the supervision of the 5 lifeguards- once they are 7 years old. And how old did Nate just turn? That's right, 7!!

So, currently they are swimming away happily. And I am working. . .not so happily, but at least quietly.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Disney Television

I am not a big fan of Disney programming. I think it's stupid and ridiculous and a total waste of time, with few exceptions. It relies heavily on slapstick or unrealistic sequences of events and always has a trite message at the end. My kids love it.

Life is Ruff is no exception. Except it takes all of the worst qualities of Disney programming and amplifies them. Honestly, one scene is a dog show which is won by a dog who very rapidly crashes through every barrier on the agility course. And of course, he wins first place. Right.

At another point, one kid fakes an asthma attack for the "Very Dumb Parents" while two other kids break into their home via the back door and steal a dog. The fact that VDP's occur in nearly every show also annoys.

Luckily, I missed most of the show, but I can't help thinking that even the kids fighting with each other would have been more productive than losing brain cells watching it. I think it's time to disconnect the cable.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Milk Game

I'm going to refrain from posting any of the videos I found relating to this post. Because all of them end in puke.

Last Sunday, I was talking to one of the kids at church, an 18-year-old boy. Let's call him J to protect his privacy. J told me how much he hates bananas and we started talking about food loathings, which led to my detestation of milk. I literally cannot stomach the stuff. I can eat it on cereal, on occasion. And very very very rarely, I will dip Ooreos in it. But, mostly I drink water. Unlike several other foods that make me retch at the thought of passing them through my lips, I know why I hate milk. It all started the summer before I turned 18.

That summer, I stayed in Vegas with my cousin Jen for a couple of months. I no longer have any idea how it started, but two of our friends bet us that we couldn't drink a gallon of milk in an hour and keep it down for an hour. We both looked at each other, looked back at them, looked at each other again and said, "Are you serious? How hard can it be?" Because honestly, in Vegas in the summer, it's pretty easy to put a few quarts of fluids in your system on a hot day. And it was a hot day. And we both liked milk. And since I've always been pretty cocky and sure I was capable of anything, I agreed. Jenne, being smarter than me hesitated a little, but figured it was a slam dunk.

We pulled two gallons of milk from the fridge and sat down at the kitchen table. There was chit chat, a serenade or two, lots of bantering and cup after cup of milk went down. We were having a great time, feeling pretty cute and pretty sassy, showing the boys how it's done. As if we weren't awesome enough to win this simple bet. Whatever. . .It's funny. I totally remember knowing that I was capable of this. Not based on past experience or anything, just the overconfident vanity that strikes most teenagers. Some harder than others. And oh my, how I was stricken.

Lucky for me, there is a rapid descent into the pit every single time I allow pride to get the better of me. I know, I'm so blessed.

And the milk was no different. Because 2 quarts went down nice and smooth. We were still laughing and joking. I suspect we were even flirting with the boys. And then we started on quart number 3. 10 cups into the gallon- more than 1/2 way through- and it was sitting in my stomach like a brick. Jen, being smarter than me and also now more humble, quickly realized that if she didn't want to puke, she'd butter stop drinking and fast. And she didn't want to puke. She hates to puke. She calmly asked one of the boys to return her undrunk milk to the fridge, almost half full. The green was in her gills, but the milk did not come up.

I, being stupid and arrogant, felt the milk sitting in my stomach like a glob of wet cement and decided that I was no quitter. I would drink it down and keep it down, no matter what. Mom, you can at least be proud for instilling the tenacious tendencies. . .I think.

11 cups down, my stomach felt like I had eaten a whole turkey, feathers on. It was swollen and extremely painful and I was starting to feel some serious queasiness creeping up my throat. So I waited a few minutes. I figured I still had 25 minutes to drink 5 small little cups of milk. And as I poured another cup out, there were murmurs of respect from the boys. They were impressed by my abilities. Jenne, feeling nauseated, just cringed. She may have even begged me to stop. But, with 5 measly itsy bitsy cups of milk, only 40 oz of 164 left, I could feel the victory.

And I started to sip, because my throat was catching, making it almost impossible to swallow. Which in hindsight, really should have been a clue.

I was almost to the bottom of the 12th cup when I gagged. I could feel myself gagging so I breathed deep, sucking in air to stave off a full on puke. To no avail. And suddenly, I knew I was dead in the water. I hurled myself from my chair, leaped across the kitchen, and careened down the hallway, slamming into the floor with my face in the toilet as 3 quarts of milk solids spewed back up. Yes, spewed. Like a white lava volcano. Chunk after chunk, it caught in my throat as my body desperately expelled it.

I don't remember ever being so sick in my life. And mad that I lost. And pissed that the boys were howling with laughter in the other room. And mortified that I couldn't stand up and wash my face because my stomach was a distended agonizing fire ball.

After telling J this story, his exact words were, "I could totally drink a gallon of milk in an hour." So of course, I bet him $100. Because being older and wiser has some benefits. One of them is the sure knowledge of an easy $100.

Even better, he pulled someone else in on the bet. J is motivated. After one more warning for me, which was met with my very own words of, "How hard can it be? Honestly, you have no idea how much I can eat," he has $200 riding on his stomach being 3 times the size of an average human. And let me reassure you, notsomuch. Honestly, every time he opens his mouth to tell me how easy it's going to be, I can hear the exact words I was thinking so many years ago when I sat down with my first cup of a newly opened gallon. A tune I no longer whistle, to be sure.

I just hope that I am not so soft in my old age that I can't break into peals of laughter when he is doubled up, crying from the agony that is milk which turns solid when it hits stomach acid. Because it would be such a pity if I actually felt sorry for the kid.

It's going down Friday night. I've already told you how it ends. I just hope I don't start puking when he starts puking. 45 months of morning sickness in 7 years will do that to a girl.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Testing the new Office Software

Not without its pitfalls, I have allowed Dave to upgrade my Office software. It isn't that I hate the new shiny stuff, I just don't currently have the time to learn new things. Still, it only took me a week to figure out how to "save as" and 10 days to generate this post with it. By next year, I'm guessing I will be able to save a document in such a way that I can then email it without errors. Then again, there's really no reason I would need to be able to do that, seeing as I never send out proposals, confirmations and insertion orders as a daily part of my work.

But if this goes smoothly, blog posts just got easier (hence the wild formatting. This is a test. This is only a test).

Politics in a nutshell

Thanks Alex!

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Barack Obama: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! Yes, he can!
John McCain: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

Hillary Clinton: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One! -- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.......

George W. Bush: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

John Kerry: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

Bill Clinton: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

Al Gore: I invented the chicken

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

While Evan and Ellie were at the orthodontist the other day, I was browsing Target.
And lately, because I have lived in one house for three years and I am feeling restless, foreign aid and foreign travel have been on my mind.

No, I don't know why. As I've expressed in past posts, partly I have a desire to remove myself and my children from our comfort zone in order to understand the blessings we have. In part, I have a desire to fully experience something new, something challenging like a new language or a new culture.

Mainly, I have always been consumed by a desire to make things better. Usually, this was fighting for the underdog at school- and yes, the VP of students knew me well. Any injustice towards the weaker kids, especially those who were mentally incapable of standing up for themselves, and I usually ended up front and center with Haslam. It didn't really win me any friends.

Regardless, I am determined that somehow, someway, we are going to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than us. And while there are lots of opportunities to serve, I have concerns about fundraising when our economy is unstable. Because I really don't like to ask for things like help. Or money.

Anyway, because of all of this, I was intrigued by the book, "Three Cups of Tea". It is the story of a failed attempt to climb K2 in the Himalayas and how that failure combined with one man getting lost in the middle of nowhere has brought education to thousands of children, especially girls, in the farthest regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is one of the most inspiring stories I have read in a very long time. It made my wanderlust even worse, and made me even feel compelled to do much much more than I am doing to help people who have nothing.

Now, I just need to consult with the kids and decide on where that help will be focused. And even more difficult, I have to figure out how to find the funds to actually make it happen.