Monday, February 8, 2016

Can I go find myself in India?

So I'm having an identity crisis and it's all my friends' fault. See, if you read Foreign Service blogs, then you know that there are basically three types of blogs they write.

The first blog is the type that gets all into what life is like in their country and they post photos of jack-o-lanterns they carve out of watermelons and palm trees that they turn into Christmas trees and photos of all the local festivals they go to which always look amazing and interesting and colorful.

The second type of blog is the travelog in which they post photos of all the amazing places they go to and their lives look very much like a Corona commercial and I can't figure out how to get posted in places like that and also I look horrible in a white bikini so that is not what my blog is going to be about.

Then the third type of blog is the one that I hate the most and can't stop reading because I love them so much: it shows things that people actually make in their actual country that is way, way better than anything I will ever make. These people post photos of amazing furniture and say things like "look at this antique looking bureau that I made out of popsicle sticks, string, and nail polish just by following instructions on Pinterest!" or "Did you know you can make pumpkin pie out of a can of kidney beans?" or "Look how easy it is to make mozzarella out of things you can find in your freezer!" I will never, ever make mozzarella out of anything but a block of mozzarella and my freezer has mostly bacon and gluten free flour and I defy anyone to make mozzarella out of that. Thank goodness my post actually has cheese, not that I can eat it anyway.

So I read these blogs and I think, that's what I should write about! And then go look at all my vacation photos which are sadly lacking white bikinis and are mostly of my front yard because we actually never go anywhere besides Goa (which is awesome but hard to photograph when you are running from the hawkers on the beach) and I didn't have time to take photos of Thanksgiving dinner because I was too busy re-cooking the raw turkey I almost served to people. And for Christmas we cheated and went to see Star Wars and then to dinner at the chicken place at the mall that the children will not stop asking to eat at. But I don't blame them because doesn't it look delicious? And also it's not raw. But who wants to read about that.

Image result for nandos

The problem is, there aren't any blogs out there about the under-achievers like me because who wants to read about a middle-aged woman who never travels anywhere, binge watches Marvel shows, and constantly fights to get her dog off of the couch? I think the only people who would read that are my mother and perhaps Child 1 when she is bored to death and homesick, so do you see my problem?

Oh, speaking of couches, you will all be happy to know that I won the Great Battle of the Slipcovers and the couches downstairs are a lovely red. Well, they are mostly red. Almost all red, except that they forgot to cover the huge throw pillows which are still an awful greenish gold and clash pretty horribly with the red couches. So I asked the housing officer if I was supposed to ask for the cushions to be covered separately because I thought maybe I did something wrong and she said NO YOU'RE NOT THAT'S RIDICULOUS and I should send her an e-mail and she would fix it. Did I mention that I love our housing officer? She is amazing and I totally am not just kissing up because we have an awesome house (we sooo do). She told me a story about a family who wanted to change houses because they saw a man-sized monkey on their roof, so I told her I felt cheated because there is not a single monkey on my roof and she promised to issue me a man-sized monkey the next time she gets one. And by the way, Happy Year of the Monkey!

I actually miss the celebrations for Chinese New Year, although I don't really miss the annual breaking of my ankle that usually goes along with it. It's been about 2 1/2 years since my last ankle injury, and I don't want to jinx it so I'll stay away from Chinese New Year celebrations which apparently are dangerous for my ankle. But I'm still jealous that Child 1 went to a Chinese New Year party and got to eat dumplings and noodles.

But anyway, back to my topic about not knowing what to blog about, I'm just stumped. I feel stuck. I don't have writer's block, I just don't like any of the topics I think of well enough to say anything about them. So instead of writing, I just keep binge watching Marvel shows and playing thousands of games of Solitaire. I'm getting really, really good at Solitaire. OK, actually I suck. You would think that after playing it so much that I might finally get good at it, but I'm so slow because I keep doing things like helping Child 3 with her homework and telling Child 2 that yes that headband goes with her Pokemon T-shirt and fighting with my electronic personal assistant who won't listen to me and likes Husband better. Yes, you heard me right. Husband got me an Amazon Echo for Christmas and she goes by Alexa and she is EVIL and she is going to take over our house and kill us all, I am convinced. She ignores me all the time and yet Husband only has to think "NPR" and she'll tune right in, that little hussy. Oh, she makes me so mad! Why would you want to listen to NPR when there is a whole station with Imagine Dragons? Yet every time I say "Alexa, play Imagine Dragons" she says she can't find a Magic Dragon station and should she create one? Ugh! 

Alexa is definitely not better than a brownie. But you know what is? Superbowl commercials! I was unfortunately not awake when this year's game was played, but thanks to the magic of the internet which sometimes works here, I got to see a Weiner Dog Stampede! So adorable. Totally does not make me crave hot dogs at all. Really. Not at all. Um, if anyone in Delhi has a Hebrew National, I will pay you a thousand dollars. (Not really. But I might go for 1000 rupees. Call me!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Because who can resist peacock glitter?

Sooo much has happened since we moved to India that it's hard to find time to write about it.  Or to choose what is most important. Do I write about how we almost served raw turkey to our friends on Thanksgiving? Or how everyone at the Marine Corps Ball got food poisoning? Or my cough that won't go away? I can't decide! So here are some pictures of camels.

This one is actually a horse if you couldn't tell the difference.

We went to the Camel Fair in Pushkar and it was amazing. Husband wasn't impressed because of all the dirt and Child 3 hated the smell. But here is a picture of me and Child 2 riding a camel and having a blast. You can tell who the adventurous people are in the family. Once on vacation Child 2 ate snails at a restaurant, just because she had never tried them. When we said hop up on that camel, she said OK! So we rode happily singing all the songs we know about bandits which is exactly one but has the awesome line "Give your ID card to the border guard, your alias says you're Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the United Federation of Planets, cause they don't speak English anyway." Don't we look like bandits? OK, fashionable bandits.

And this one is of a Bodo Pre-Christmas festival that Bentley invited us to attend. It was awesome, even though they made me try the dance, which was embarrassing but fun.

The other thing that happened is the Amcham Ball. Yes, another ball. I never thought I would ever go to so many balls! When I was a very little girl, my mother had a magic walk-in closet. OK, it wasn't magic, but it had ball gowns and silver shoes! My mother and father would dress up and go out to parties and the occasional ball and she would wear her hair up and I couldn't wait to grow up and go to balls. And then I grew up and had my own little girls and the only dress in my closet was denim and there was not a silver shoe to be see anywhere and sometimes when I wanted to dress up I would put on mascara and wear my clogs without socks. I know! So fancy.

So when we joined the Foreign Service and started going to the Marine Corps Ball every year, which generally doesn't involve the worst food poisoning I've had in years, I started collecting ball gowns. So now, I actually have choices! I have more than one gown! AND lots of sparkly shoes, although that didn't stop me from buying some peacock blue ones at the mall last week. And when the Amcham (American Chamber of Commerce) Ball popped up at the last minute, I actually had something to wear that fit and looked nice and wasn't denim. My life has changed so, so much. And you know what? Owning peacock blue sparkly shoes is better than a brownie, even if they make your feet hurt really super bad so that you can't dance more than one song which is a bonus if they keep playing things like "The Macarena." Balls are not what you think they are, or at least what I thought they were. Still, my shoes!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Red, yellow, green, whatever. I still don't like them.

One of the lovely things about working for the federal government is convincing the federal government that white is white and green is green and blue is blue. If you let them, some people will tell you that white is orange and blue is magenta and there is no such thing as green. For example, I had the following conversation over and over again for two entire weeks straight.

Washington federal worker: We want you to run down that path as fast as possible in a straight line.
Me: That path there? The one with the big brick wall across it?
WFW: Yes. That path. Run down it as fast as you can for 10 minutes straight and then come back.
Me: What about the wall?
WFW: What wall?
Me: The big brick one right across the middle of the path that is 10 feet high.
WFW: There is no wall. It's your imagination. Get running.
Me: OK. I ran up to the wall, now what do I do?
WFW: There is no wall. Keep running.
Me: Here is a photo of the wall. It is 10 feet tall. I cannot go over it, or through it, or around it. I cannot run any farther.
WFW: OK. We see the wall. We removed it. Keep running.
Me: What do you mean by "removed"? The wall is still there.
WFW: No, it's not. We removed it. Keep running.
Me: By "removed" do you mean you chipped a tiny little hole in it?
WFW: The hole is big enough for you to fit through. Keep running.
Me: By "big enough" do you mean for my pinkie? Because that's all that fits.
WFW: You are being obstinate and difficult. First you said there was a wall, so we removed it and now you refuse to keep running.
Me: I need a brownie so bad right now.
WFW: Whatever. Just go through the non-existant wall and keep running.
Me: I'm going to sic The Dog on you!

OK, that last line was just in my head, because unless WFW is a bird or a baby, The Dog would just bark at them. She is useless as an attack dog. Anyway, I got really tired of being told the wall was all in my head so last weekend, I went on vacation to Sri Lanka with two of my friends for a girls' weekend. I highly recommend Sri Lanka as therapy. It was amazingly beautiful. How can you not relax just looking at this!

Granted, it did take us hours to get to this waterfall in Horton Plains and some of the hike was on a "path" and by path they mean some boulders mixed in with mud and really sharp rocks. But still, it was worth it and I didn't break my ankle even once. We got wet from being rained on which turned out to be the theme of our weekend because when you go to Sri Lanka during the rainy season, they aren't kidding. It was full on monsoon rain with lots of thunder and lightning and we got soaked more than once. But we also saw this:

Sri Lanka has LOTS of waterfalls. And then we went on safari and saw this!

I didn't use a zoom--the elephants were this close! Can you see the baby underneath her mother's legs? The photo is so grainy because it was super dark during the thunderstorm that was soaking us. We also saw lots of peacocks in trees, which was interesting because I didn't know they could fly. We also saw water buffalo, lots of storks, and some logs we were pretty sure were crocodiles. But the elephants were the best, because, well, they are elephants. And there were babies!

We also ate some really delicious food. We went to a spice garden and got an herbal back rub, bought delicious cashews on the side of the road, and stopped for coconut water fresh out of a coconut. Sri Lanka is also home to many species of bananas which all taste just like bananas, so that wasn't my favorite. My favorite discovery about Sri Lankan food was that curry comes with incredibly delicious side dishes, a lot like Korean food does. So when you order curry, you also get beets, eggplant, green beans, etc.


We did a lot of driving and eating and about the driving in Sri Lanka, the roads are amazing! They are well kept with rest stops and landscaping. And there are peacocks and monitor lizards crossing the road that you have to watch out for.

I won't bore you with details about our whale watching ride which started out exciting with a boat rescue and then turned into a boring odyssey where the only thing we saw was flying fish. But on our last day, we went to a resort and just relaxed and it was so amazing that for the first time ever, I will post a photo of myself on this blog!

I'm the one in the hat. And just in case you were wondering, traveling to Sri Lanka with my friends was way better than a brownie.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

At least they were my fancy jammies

I am exhausted after a long day of shopping in my living room. OK, I'm not really exhausted. It's rather nice shopping in your living room, and I'm not talking about internet shopping, which I am also a pro at. This is India, and although they have which delivers the next day to your door, and you can call and have groceries delivered by the market down the street, they also have vendors who will come to your house and bring things for you to look at and purchase. So far, I have bough Buddha's wife, two pots--one bronze and one brass, and an elephant statue.

Which reminds me that the children have decided that I have an elephant problem. They might be right. In our living room, we have three elephant pillows, an elephant painting, one brass elephant, one bronze elephant family, one soapstone elephant, and two wood elephant bookends. There is a sandalwood elephant upstairs in our bedroom and I have a rosewood elephant bookmark. I promise I'm not a crazy elephant lady. I don't collect elephants, I just like them and so when I am somewhere that has elephants, I get a souvenir. For example, the pillows are from a visit to Bangkok and the painting is from Phuket, Thailand. The soapstone one is from Gabon and the book ends are from Nigeria, and the bronze family I bought from a guy who came to my house and really who wouldn't buy a family of bronze elephants for $10? My bookends are a little more subtle than this, but you get the idea. Nice, no?

So when the bronze guy came back to the house and said he had lovely matching elephant statues, I resisted because "crazy elephant lady" is not the moniker I'm aiming for. So I bought Buddha's dancing wife instead. I wasn't aware that Buddha had a wife or that she liked to dance, but the statue is lovely and it's not an elephant. I also bought a pot that I don't know what to do with, but I'll find a place to put it. It doesn't have any elephants on it, so it should go just fine in the living room.

Today's adventure in home shopping, however, was for carpets. The carpet man, who has been buying and selling carpets since age 10, brought about 20 carpets to show us of all shapes and sizes. What we really want is a runner to hide the ugly brown carpeting on our stairs, and we saw lots of runners, but it was a little like Goldilocks and the 20 carpets and I'm not sure that we found the right one. Husband loves the carpet we are fostering to see if we want to buy it. And it's nice, but it's kind of brown and every time I look at it, I think, why are we buying a brown rug to hide a brown carpet? So we'll see.

The one I really wanted was a beautiful antique Persian paisley rug that the carpet guy said he could probably auction at Sotheby's for $50,000. It was so beautiful that when he unrolled it, it made me want to cry. So of course we didn't buy it. It looked a little like this rug, but with more of a paisley design. I was sad to see it go, but Child 1 would be really upset if she found out that we had spent her college tuition on a carpet. So Child 1, I apologize. You'll have to keep going to school and I'll have to keep looking at brown carpeted stairs.

So to sum up, shopping in your pajamas in your living room not on the internet is totally better than a brownie. Next up, the wicker man! No, not the one from the really bad Neil LaBute movie--the one who sells something like this.

Friday, October 2, 2015

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Today is Gandhi's birthday, so the Embassy is closed. That is one of the best things about life overseas is that you get to celebrate local holidays as well as US ones, and Gandhi's life is definitely worth celebrating, especially while we are in India. 

For the long weekend, and because I'm tired of looking at boxes we need to unpack still after a month, we decided to drive out to Rajasthan and stay in an ancient fort that is also a hotel. Our room is literally on the side of the mountain because one wall is actually the mountain. Child 2 and Child 3 are really enjoying the novelty of a rock wall in the room and Child 3 was ready to climb up it until she noticed that it was a little dirty, because mountains are made of rocks and dirt. So we're just enjoying looking at the rock wall rather than scaling it. She's going on a zip-line down the mountain tomorrow, so that will have to do. The hotel, in case you are wondering, looks like this:

That is not my photo, although it's pretty much what the view from our room looks like. I would post my own pics, but I can't get my iPod to connect to the internet because apparently I cannot figure out how they spelled my name which is the wifi password which I need for my iPod, but not my computer, which is pretty typical for India. I'm learning to not ask why because there is no why, it just is what it is. I used to hate that phrase for being trite and circular, but it describes life in India so well--it is as it has always been and will always be.

Accepting that fact has made some of the differences and challenges of life here easier to take. For example, I've learned to download videos to my hard drive so that when the internet is out for days, I still have something to do. I don't even blink when the lights go out and then on and then out and then on. I eat what is offered that I can eat, and I don't really mind that it's the same thing over and over or is sometimes just rice. After about a month of the same order every time, when I come into the restaurant on the compound, they see me and say "mediterranean chicken with no pita, french fries on the side?" And I nod yes. I walk into the canteen at 9:45 every morning and they automatically get out two Diet Cokes because it's what I order every day. I'm fond of routine, so I don't mind it. India agrees with me in that way.

Driving in India does not agree with me, so I have refused to get a license and why should I when I have a thing called a wallet and it can pay for my taxi? Granted, taxis are sometimes dodgey, so we have hired a driver whom I shall call Bentley and who is rapidly becoming my favorite person in the world besides Husband and the children. Driving, or rather riding, with Bentley is a treat because he has been driving for Embassy families for 19 years and oh does he have some good stories! Like the time he was driving down from Shimla which is on a mountain and the breaks went out and he didn't want to say anything because he thought it would make madam nervous. Um, I'm thinking he was correct there. And about how he grew up next to the Corbett National Park and used to see tigers on his way to school early in the morning. Bentley is a treasure. He is also a very good driver because he constantly has to avoid other cars, scooters, rickshaws, cows, dogs, small children, and the occasional elephant. Also cars like this that tend to meander all over the road like a slow flowing river just placidly going along oblivious to the rest of the traffic around it.

Now, about the food in India, I think it is actually good for me. I have been healthier here than I was back in the US and I made it 10 weeks without a single sick day, which for me is a record. Although the sick day was yesterday and it was a doozy and I was really worried I would not be able to come on the trip to the fort which is called a non-hotel hotel and I guess refers to the fact that people's rooms are made of mountain. I booked and paid for the hotel in advance, so if I wasn't well enough to go, that really would have sucked, and although I'm sure Husband and the children would have enjoyed it anyway, I would have been stuck at home alone with The Dog. The Dog, if you were wondering, has adjusted well to life in India and has stopped barking at every single thing and only barks at about every third thing. The guards and Bentley have figured out that she is all bark and no bite and Bentley agreed to look after her while we were gone since Husband would be driving us. The Dog tolerates Bentley, mostly, and he says things like "Dog, I am coming, so you can begin barking now!" So when I woke up this morning without a fever and didn't fall over when I tried to stand up, I decided I could leave The Dog and go as long as we did nothing, and that is what I plan to do for the rest of the weekend. This blog post will be as productive as I get.

Worrying about your children is not better than a brownie, and sending them off to college and worrying that some crazy person with a gun will shoot them is even worse. I can only imagine the heartache that the parents in Oregon whose children were killed are going through--and in my imagination it is bad enough. To Child 1, I am glad you are safe and that this hasn't happened at your school. But the thing that makes my heart clench is the word I left off of that last sentence: yet. Because until America figures out that the death of children by someone with a gun is unacceptable, it could happen anywhere and that terrifies me. So for Gandhi's birthday, I am praying for peace and sanity and that my fellow countrymen might find the courage and strength to fix this problem before someone else loses yet another child to senseless, preventable violence.

Monday, September 7, 2015

What's so great about a bandwagon anyway?

If you follow any other Foreign Service bloggers, then you know that they very often blog about the amazing places they go visit near their overseas posts. These blogs make me so very envious because I could never compete with them. I mean, who wants to read about a trip to the mall, or those three day-weekends when Child 2 made us drive out to the Cracker Barrel in Manassas? (She really, really likes the fried apples and root beer barrels there.)

I've thought often about blogging about my trips to Africa, but those trips were really all about work and I got to see very little. I did manage to take one or two awesome photos, though. Like this one I took in Senegal of a guy shucking oysters he had just pulled from the Atlantic Ocean. Do Pringles go with oysters?

Or this one which I love so much of some girls in Cote d'Ivoire who sold me some mangoes. I asked if I could take a picture of the fruit, but they wanted to be in it, too. And I must admit that it's a way more interesting photo with them at the center. After I snapped it, they all crowded around me to have a look and said "tres jolie!"

But mostly my trips were far to technical to be of any interest to anyone and I mostly saw the inside of the embassies and my hotel and occasional restaurants. But now, I am in India and I live here! I live in India! So I get to travel around and see really amazing places and I went to one this weekend and I promise I will blog about it. 

But first, I want to talk about fashion and State Department workplace attire. I know you are wondering what in the world fashion has to do with workplace attire in the Department and the answer would be nothing at all. Because as people in the Department have proven time and time again, nobody has any idea about what is appropriate work attire, and because no one does, people fight about it all the time and we all end up in a uniform of black pantsuits and flag pins (mine is made of rhinestones.)

The reason I have been thinking about workplace attire so much is that it is very different overseas than in the Department. In The Building, people are always dressed up--suits, ties, wingtips, and extremely high heels. Pencil skirts and jackets, always jackets. You can wear slacks or a skirt or a dress, but you must have a jacket because apparently it is the jacket that makes you look professional. But in embassies and consulates, it's a little different and it's different still in India. The other day, our office had a training day so the dress was business casual. I put on a really cute, full maxi-skirt that I bought in a store here in New Delhi and I wore a T-shirt with gold beads embroidered around the neck. I also put on jeweled thong sandals which ARE NOT FLIP-FLOPS and I felt very casual yet put together. And Husband said to me I thought it was casual day? And I said I am casual can't you tell by the not flip-flops? And he said no, he thought I looked ready for work. And then I got to my office and my staff said to me oh, you look so relaxed! And so there you have the problem in a nutshell which is that Husband has no idea what women should wear to work. 

To his credit, Husband knows that he is not an expert in women's fashion and freely admits such. He also doesn't feel it is his place to tell women what they should wear after the Great Sweater Incident at the very beginning of our marriage when I firmly let him know I would not be taking his fashion advice, ever. And, also to his credit, he has never really given any since. Other people in the Department aren't so self-aware and without fail complain every summer about attire being too casual, very often beginning with a statement that the Department ought to have a dress code and that there is a deplorable lack of respect of the non-existent dress code at the training center and can't we please have a dress code because they are tired of looking at women in capri pants and flip-flops. No. Seriously, every. single. discussion. When you get down to the bottom of it, it's that they don't like women wearing comfortable clothing in the summer and they want us all to be in the black pantsuit club. And no, sadly they don't mean like this one from Donna Karan, although that would be awesome and I would totally pay attention to any woman wearing that in a meeting.

Can I please just say once and for all that dress codes for diplomats are ridiculous?! I mean, for crying out loud, the last time our nation's leaders got together and decided on a uniform for diplomats, this is what they came up with.

I'm not saying I wouldn't rock that feathered chapeu, and the sword would be really fun to play with during lunch breaks and think how awesome it would be to point at a presentation with a sword! But how would I know that would be in a color that suited me and also there are no darts! I cannot do a single breasted jacket without darts.

OK, here is really the thing. The thing is, that work appropriate means different things to different people at different times and in different places--and that it is an especially thorny ground to be on when you are judging women's performance by what they wear. You would think that a Department that sends people all over the world would get that, but so many of them don't. So here, ladies and gentlemen, is what you are permitted to tell me and other women about the appropriateness of our clothing for work:                (crickets chirping)                     (leaves blowing in the wind)                 (an air conditioner kicking on).  Did you catch that? If not, let me spell it out for you. N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

If my wardrobe is actually malfunctioning, then please mention that my hem is ripped, or I have a button on my sleeve that is about to fall off, or I am missing an earring. If you love my shoes so much that you are dying to know where I bought them, ask and I will tell you. If you think that green and purple don't go together and you are appalled by my pairing them together, I don't care, and also you are wrong on two counts--it's inappropriate to mention it and you are wrong. Green and purple are lovely together. And if you think capri pants aren't appropriate for work, then you are sadly lacking in both fashion sense and people skills and I pity you. Capri pants can be very work appropriate. In fact, I just bought a new pair not unlike the ones below and I just might wear them tomorrow. (OK, I know, those are actually cropped pants, but I swear to you that the people writing these complaints don't know the difference.)

Oh, and guess what I wore on my last visit to The Building before I left for India? Yep. Capri pants and (not) flip-flops. But with an adorable white jacket because I am a professional after all. You're welcome.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Where did all these scrunchies come from?

I am tired. Dog tired. More tired than The Dog who went to the vet to have her teeth cleaned today. Husband was a trooper and took her over his lunch hour because my lunch hour was taken up by People Who Want Something From Me, which apparently is everyone in the entire Embassy and they usually want it yesterday. In fact, one PWWSFM got upset because I didn't do the thing he wanted on Friday because I couldn't because he didn't give it to me until Monday. I know Foreign Service Officers are supposed to be able to do the impossible, but time travel isn't one of my talents at the moment, and if it were I wouldn't waste it on work. There are way more important things to do than to go back in time and ask someone to give you something to work on that they want and should be taking care of on their own. Just saying.

Like if I could time travel, I could go back to the moment in high school when I won the argument with my math teacher about the utility of learning about imaginary numbers and whisper in my ear you're right! You will never need imaginary numbers but please pay attention in geometry because it will help you pack your suitcase better. I could also tell my 15 year old self not to get my hair cut like Joan Jett. And I could wipe out a whole decade of too large turtleneck sweaters. See! The humanity! 
Then I would see if I could do something about Hitler and Osama Bin Laden and Air Supply. There really would be so much to do. Can time travelers run out of time? Or can you always just make more like popcorn?

One other thing I don't have time for, just like work that PWWSFMs forget to give me, is unpack boxes. I so had a plan to do that this weekend and then I went shopping and then I got a migraine so I unpacked three and called it good. That leaves about 8 left in my bedroom that need to be emptied before the rest of the stuff gets here. Because stuff is coming.
Winter is Coming - Brace yourselves! HHE is coming.

I know you thought we got our HHE already, but remember when I said that was only part of it? Well, it was actually the smallest part and more is coming and I have to find places to put it. But I am so, so very tired at the end of the day, it is all I can do to make it up the stairs and into my pajamas. I'm going to end up like Child 2 and just sleep in my clothes because I'm too exhausted to change and the boxes will never, ever be unpacked. You know that scene in The Incredibles where Helen calls Bob all excited because they are finally moved in and then Bob goes and throws his supervisor through a wall?

 Image result for the incredibles unpacking the last box

I know, you're right! It's totally not believable at all because the thing about being in the Foreign Service is you never, ever get that last box unpacked. Punching through walls could happen, but the last box is always there, staring at you until you hide it under a plant. I have boxes in storage that haven't been unpacked since 1996. At this point, they probably shouldn't be. I'll save them for posterity and my great-grandchildren will inherit them and they will look at the turtlenecks and say what on earth made her think that was attractive?!

So I can't decide if the comment card below is better than a brownie or not. On the one hand, it's the dumbest idea ever, which makes it soooo much better than your average brownie--just for the entertainment value. And on the other hand, it's the dumbest idea ever and what has America come to? You decide. I'm going to bed and not unpacking boxes. You know, if I could time travel, I could take naps! Gotta get on that time traveling thing.

My friend works at Yellowstone and some guests actually left this with the front desk upon checkout this morning