Thursday, July 31, 2014

Things I didn't know

There are lots of things I don't know, but here are some things I learned over the past couple of weeks.

  1. You can have a migraine for 5 days straight and it won't kill you, although you might wish at times that it would.
  2. You can get lost in your own neighborhood when your head hurts so much that it feels like an ice pick is trying to push its way out through your eye-brow.
  3. You should not drive when there are ice picks in your head.
  4. Although our townhouse only has three bedrooms, it can sleep 13.
  5. The Dog doesn't like it when there are 8 extra people sleeping in our house.
  6. It is really hard to plan dinners for 13 people when you have ice picks in your head.
  7. Gabrielle is even more awesome than you know, because without even knowing about the ice picks, she made dessert for 17 people (the 13 plus her family of four) AND she made it gluten free AND without dairy AND no chocolate! AND it was from scratch!
  8. I hate bidding.

OK. That last one I knew already, but you might not know that it is now bidding season again in the Foreign Service and I have to once again beg people all around the world to give me a job. It, in a word, sucks. If I believed that my migraines were caused by stress, then I might believe that bidding might be the cause of my five days of ice picks. It is frustrating beyond belief for someone who reads the end of the book first and likes to know what she's getting for Christmas before she opens the gifts. I hate surprises and I don't like suspense. And now I'm facing three months of uncertainty before I find out what my future will be, and, by the way, I have no say. OK, I have some say, but the say I have is in not bidding on the places I don't want to go. So I am not going to bid on anywhere that has recently blown up or doesn't have a high school for the children or that requires learning a really hard language that can only be used at that post. (Yes, I'm talking about you, Hungary!) I don't have anything against Hungary, but I will never ever be assigned to Hungary because it is nice and I am a "fair share" bidder.

Oh, you don't know what "fair share" bidders are? Well, it's when the Department tells you that all the places you have served are too nice and you have to bid on places like Ecoliland or Ickystan, or somewhere else that no one else ever wants to go. And you have to have the majority of your bids be these places. You see, because having Husband almost blown up in Afghanistan apparently does not count. So I am "fair share." But here is the thing, Gods of Bidding, I only ever bid on Ecoliland and Ickystan, and Armpitia! And you never assign me there! So just for once, please smile on me and give me and Husband both jobs in Ecoliland. And please don't make me beg anymore. It's making my head hurt.

You know what is not better than a brownie? Road rage. However, what happened to this driver is almost brownie-worthy. You see, he was in a rage and got out of his car while stopped at a red light to bang on another driver's window. Except he was a little drunk and when he got out of the car, he forgot to put it in park, and when the other drove away, his own car ran over him. So here's to you, Mr. Rager, for taking care of your own punishment for bad behavior. And here's to the Florida police for also charging him with a DUI.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Oops! Didn't mean to push publish you stupid computer!

I am in the house alone. Children 2 & 3 are at camp with Husband and Child 1 is out somewhere with friends I don't know, so it's just me and The Dog. Yep. The Dog is still here and she still drives me crazy. She hasn't eaten my shoes for a while and she's stopped pooping on the carpet, mostly because I think the children actually walk her daily. But she is still always under my feet and someday she will break my ankle. Granted, it's not that hard to break my ankle, but still. When I trip over her and fall and break something, I will totally blame The Dog.

Caroline and I went to dinner tonight to celebrate the fact that I was on my own. OK, really it was just an excuse to eat really yummy Vietnamese food and chat, but it was fun. I have this new favorite Vietnamese place. I order the same thing every time because I know it doesn't have soy sauce and it won't make me sick. The staff are really good about checking with me on what I can and can't eat. The prices are reasonable, and the food is delicious! Tonight we tried the Vietnamese version of Baked Alaska called a winter roll. Basically it's a deep-fried spring roll with frozen yogurt and fruit in the middle. It was awesome and delicious and the wrapper was made from rice, so I could totally eat it. I made a big mess, but Caroline said that was the only way to eat such a delicious dessert. And also "fried" is a food group and it had fruit so it was healthy!

It would be awesome with mango and banana. I need a deep fryer.

No really. I've been thinking about this for a long time. I know they start fires and I know that fried foods are supposed to be unhealthy, but I can't have the fast food versions of things like french fries because a lot of them use wheat flour to make them crispy, and I can't eat egg rolls because they are also made with wheat, and you have to deep fry egg rolls and fries, and fried chicken, so I need a deep fryer. Now, if only I can find a way to keep The Dog from tripping me and knocking it over.

You know what is better than a brownie? Buying pizzas for your passengers when your flight is delayed.

That's what a pilot for Frontier Airlines did when they had to land in Cheyenne and wait for weather to clear over Denver. I know you are wonder why I am applauding pizza buying when I can't eat pizza, but sometimes it is the thought that counts. Thoughts won't make your stomach stop growling, but it will make you like an airline a little better. United and Delta, you're on notice! I bet no one from Frontier Airlines demands to see your medical records when you ask for a gluten-free meal. Yeah. That actually happened. United customer service sucks.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

You kids get off my lawn!

I love the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. It's where I used to go to pretend I was traveling to countries I never thought I would go see. And then I joined the Foreign Service and saw lots of places I had never dreamed of going. But I still love the festival. So this year,  Husband and I made the children come with us because it is China and Kenya. And we thought it would be fun. Doesn't this look like fun?

"What is it like to see your work so big on the National Mall?""Is it big? It could be bigger! Hahaha!"Flower Plaque artist Danny Yung poses with the completed structure on opening day of the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by Sandy Wang.

Oh, were we so wrong. Apparently, if you have lived in China, it is not fun to go see things and people from China at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. And apparently  you also need to say things to your parents like this is the lamest thing ever and why are we even here, and we lived this already so why do we need to see it again. And if your mother travels to Africa regularly and brings back souvenirs  you are also too cool to care about Kenya. Because apparently all African countries are the same. That is until your mother mentions that bidding season is coming and if you really don't want to live in Africa. . . .

Yes, I used the carrot of actually seeing things in real life to get them excited about seeing things in real life right in front of them. I know, it's confusing, but they are teenagers, so it is getting harder and harder to emotionally manipulate them into doing what I want without whining. So we looked at all the stuff from Kenya, and then they ate Chinese food. Because they lived in China and they love Chinese food. Really, someone needs to make charts about how to understand teenagers. And please make them not look like this.

The National Park Service also doesn't understand teenagers and that the Folklife Festival may be the only way to get some teenagers to the Smithsonian and the National Mall. They actually believe that the grass is more important than bringing people together so the Smithsonian has started a petition on I know you are thinking that "they" are the same organization and I did too, but we were wrong. And so is the National Park Service. So I signed this petition here: Because even though the children complained bitterly about me dragging them to the festival, they still ate every bite of the mango-tapioca-coconut dessert. There should always be a couple of weeks every year where you can get yummy desserts on the National Mall.

This Buzzfeed list about hide and seek is way better than a brownie. Child 2 was the worst ever at hide and seek when she was little. She would call out not to look in the bathroom because she was hiding in the shower.  And she was just as bad at seeking as she was at hiding. Husband once stood in the middle of the living room holding a lamp and she didn't find him. Granted, she was four, so she's improved since then. But back then, she was about as good as this kid.

I have never laughed so hard during a game in my life. We loved it. I hope someday she has a child who is just as terrible and just as trusting.