Monday, July 26, 2010

Packing For Camp

A loyal Brutalism reader kindly sent along the following Facebook status update that someone  posted to her wall (in all seriousness) this weekend:
Does anyone have children going to Camp Ramsbottom the next two weeks? Matthew will be there - just wondering if he will know anyone
Which, of course, made me question the following:

a) Was Camp Buttpirate already full when you tried to enroll lil Matthew? Did your vacation schedule conflict with the dates for Camp Assjockey? Was Camp Rumpranger too expensive?

b) Do you really think knowing someone is going to be the biggest cause for concern for young Matthew?

c) Does "choosing the top bunk" mean the same thing at Camp Ramsbottom as it does at other summer camps?

When Matthew comes home and asks for Mexican S'mores "just like they made at camp," you have only yourself to blame.

UPDATE: Thanks, Moooooog, for linking to me in your weekly wrap-up. Makes sense, as you are an authority on Ramsbottom.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Amish In The Haus

Thist past weekend, we went to Lancaster, PA, to take our kid to yet another theme park. In her short life, she has been to Sesame Place and Disney World a couple of times, Busch Gardens, Knoebel's, a few local carnivals, and as of last week...Dutch Wonderland. Canetto and I are fairly confident that we have now met the parental theme park requirement and can thus begin our focus on some real travel in coming years. (Perhaps to Amsterdam -- the real Dutch Wonderland.)

We spent our first day in Lancaster County exploring the area and seeing how the Amish live. And they do live very differently from that they seemingly have a one-to-one person-to-outlet mall ratio and what appears to be an unnatural love of kettle corn.

All I know is that for years I have had some kind of romantic notion about what Amish country is like and not once when I was imagining the simple lives these folk had carved out for themselves (working the land/ forgoing technology and evil indulgences like zippers and not marrying cousins) did I envision that Amish country would look so much less pastoral and so much more like a super Wal-Mart.

I mean, sure, we saw some covered bridges and some horses and buggies, so I did get a chance to gawk at the Amish like I wanted. We also saw a courting buggy (a convertible two-seater) and a homemade rumble seat (a plastic lawn chair secured to the back of a buggy with a thick piece of rope in which a young, blonde child bounced up and down as the horses clopped down the street). It did not look at all secure, but then again, when each Amish family has an AVERAGE of seven children, I suppose losing one or two on the way to a barn raising or a sing is not the end of the world.

And let's just say that for a people who consider the rest of society the "Devil's Playground", they live in a town called Intercourse, they are famous for their whoopie pies, and they decorate folk art with a stylized bird called a distelfink. (My new favorite non-dirty, dirty-sounding word.)

(Amish Aside: In a previous life when I did trade shows for the NRA, I was in the booth one day when an Amish man came up and asked about a Life Membership. At the time it was $400, which I let him know. He proceeded to pull out a huge wad of cash and peel off four $100 bills and hand them to me. I processed his membership application, put the cash in the cash box and sent him on his way. Then I turned to one of my fellow exhibitors and said, "Must've been a good year for butter.")

My whole life has been a rumspringa,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing

Last night, my husband and I went to see Chris Isaak at Wolf Trap -- a standing date we've had every summer for the past eight or nine years. We now get seats inside the amphitheater instead of picnicking on the lawn as we've done in the past -- a decision necessitated by Boobapalooza 2005.

That year, we had seats on the grassy expanse with hundreds of other people. I was ridiculously pregnant and completely uncomfortable because my maternity bra was stretched to its limits and cutting into my rib cage. After fidgeting and tugging at it and shifting sitting positions several times, I decided that the only way I could get some relief was to do that subtle unhook-your-bra-and-take-it-off-through-your-shirtsleeve maneuver. Forgetting, of course, that the move loses some of its subtlety when your bra is large enough to house a couple of boy scouts and several tins of their overpriced popcorn.

The looks on the faces of the concert-goers on the crowded lawn convinced Tim that it would be in our best interest at future shows to sit inside where I might not be as inclined to disrobe.

He hates freedom.

Last night, however, it was not me who was putting on the show.

Before the show started, a man and woman walked by where we were standing, and as they did, the guy just completely passed out. The EMTs came over to check him out and figured it was probably the heat (and by that, I mean "the alcohol") and let him lay on the ground and recover while they monitored his vitals. When he came to, he stood up and vomited everywhere.

I bet his wife is gonna make him sit in the amphitheater now, too.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Don't Mean To Boor You

We've been reviewing homophones with Avery lately. She has a library book that compares all kinds of words that sound the same yet are spelled differently and mean different things. As a result, she's been coming up with homophones as she thinks of them and often blurts them out in her excitement.

Like last night at dinner, when she asked me to pass the butter so she could put some more on her ear of corn.

After I gave it to her, she practically screamed, "More on...that's like the driving more on."

I looked at her quizzically and asked, "What are you talking about?"

She explained, "More on" -- it sounds the same when you are talking about using more of something or when someone won't let you pull in front of them when you're driving."

Moron that later,

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Relative Insanity

A description of my massive extended family once prompted a friend of mine to ask, "Are you from a family of circus people?"

And after attending a reunion in Pennsylvania this past weekend, I would answer that in one word:


Better because in our family, we have a little of everything. (Except Mexicans. We have a lot of those.)

Of the 90 or so people who attended this reunion (this is my mom's side of the family and she is one of nine kids), we had the following: an undertaker, an RN, a rocket scientist, Harley guys, a mariachi band member, a Stanford professor, a toilet paper maker, a Google network security expert, an Army Lieutenant Colonel, a lawyer, a farmer, educators, stay at home moms, staunch Republicans, liberal Democrats, non-drinkers, heavy drinkers, one-legged Diabetics, two-legged Diabetics, religious people, atheists, artists, and centaurs (just seeing if you made it all the way through the list).

I should make some sort of profound statement about how our family is a microcosm of the world at large and that if a group this diverse gets along and loves each other then there is hope for all of us as a human race.

Or I could just quote my Aunt Marilyn and say, "we're big and weird."