Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Aujourd'hui est Mardi

I am doing a lot of French homework lately, or as we say in French, devoir! Normally, French would be very useful for me because I travel to Francophone Africa a lot, and as you know, I love it. I love the food, and the people, and the officers at the embassies that I've worked with, and the animals, and the experience of L'Afrique. Remember that giraffe that I got as change in the Congo? So I do spend some time before each trip brushing up on my bad college French so that I can follow conversations and nod in all the right places. But my next trip is not to L'Afrique, but to Allemagne, which if you speak French you know is Germany and they do not speak French there. They speak this:

What you may not know, or may have forgotten, or perhaps I never really mentioned it, is that I did at one time speak German, and at one time, I was fluent and probably could have told you what this said, but now all I can make out is that it's the 25th of March, 1763. Because after I lived in Austria and got pretty fluent, then came the Norwegian and then French and finally Cantonese and Mandarin and now I can't say anything at all in German, but I can understand the news on TV. So I am trying out a new "Learn to speak German" app on my phone and we'll see if it is helpful. Really, all I need to be able to do is order from a menu, which I think I can do, and then ask if it is gluten-free which I am certain I cannot. So I have some brushing up to do. Geben Sie mir hilfen!

You know what is not better than a brownie? Crimped hair, which I hear is making a comeback. Supposedly, it was on the runway for Stella McCartney, who has excellent taste and also good sense, which makes her an extraordinary designer. But the problem isn't that models on the runways may have crimped ponytails. The problem is that if you give some people a crimping iron, this happens.

I do love feathers, especially when poking out of a hat, but not when it's my hair. And red crimped hair = feathers. So designers, please, I'm begging. No crimping! Women are not birds and we should not have hair that makes us look like owls. Or eyebrows like Vulcans for that matter. So not flattering.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mmm. Butterbeer.

Child 2 got her braces off last week, so this week I took her to a candy store to celebrate by buying her a bunch candy she couldn't eat with braces. And we didn't just go to any candy store, we went to the candy store of your dreams. The one that you always imagined existed but had never seen anywhere but in the movies. We went to this store.

Yes, it was the candy store of our imagination and our lives will never be the same now that we know there is a place you can go in the mall to buy butterbeer. Yep. They sell chocolate frogs, too. The girls loved it and Child 2 had a great time eating the taffy and lollipops she couldn't have before when the braces were on. Admittedly, it wasn't as fun for me since most of what there is in the candy store is chocolate. And oh the chocolate! Every delicious brand you can think of was in there, including Milka which is my very favorite. It was a Willy Wonka dream of a store and I couldn't eat a thing. I can, however, drink the butterbeer because it is both gluten and dairy free. Yay!

We Skyped with Child 3 over dinner today. We propped her up on the table so we could talk with her while we were eating. It felt a little cruel because she couldn't join in, but she thought it was great and wants to do it again next week. I think she misses me mostly for the food. We can talk and chat on facebook about the other stuff, but she can't eat pot roast over Skype. I now have a list of about 10 dishes she wants to make over Christmas that she misses at school. She also made me promise that we could have Thanksgiving dinner at Christmas so she could have it, too. I told her that's fine, but I'm still making it at Thanksgiving. We still don't know where we'll be next year and this may be our last opportunity to have a proper Thanksgiving dinner at home with all the trimmings. And since my stuffing is the most awesome stuffing you will ever eat, twice a year is fine by me.

It's Milan fashion week again which means fun for bloggers! And of course, there are lots of things that are not better than a brownie. Like these boots, for instance.


Now, I love a good pair of boots as much as the next person, but these are nothing like a good pair of boots. First of all, how do you get them on? Second of all, if you look closely, you can see that the little hinges poke out all over. So you would stab yourself in the thigh ever time you crossed your legs. And because they are so high up your thigh, you couldn't even really sit down in them. Can you imagine what they would do to your car upholstery? Not to mention an office chair would lose the battle every time. Thanks anyway, but I can't afford to reimburse the federal government for a chair that I destroyed by wearing crazy boots.

Friday, September 26, 2014

In which I come up with bad excuses not to help with dinner

I'm not hungry.
I don't want to.
SHE never has to help.
I'm playing with The Dog.
I'm tired.
I have homework.
We're having that? Count me out!
I hate tomatoes/pasta/fish/whatever that is.
I helped yesterday.
Why do I always have to?
I am wearing a band aid.
My life sucks. I'm going to my room.
I'm practicing my instrument.
But Cake Boss is on!
I think I have a fever.
Is this cough contagious?

And here are the answers.

Doesn't matter.
I don't care.
Yes she does.
Go wash your hands.
You can nap later.
You, always have homework.
Nope, you're in.
Eat around them.
Me, too.
Because it's what we do.
Then rip it off.
Alright, but after you set the table.
You can play dinner music after you're finished.
There is a tv in the kitchen!
Nice try but you don't.
Only if pretend illnesses are catching.

See? I've heard them all and have an answer for every one. Wanna keep playing?

Just so you know, stomach pain is not better than a brownie.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Crossing the Rubicon

So I have homework again. And it is really awful stupid homework which I have already done more than once and one time was three years ago. See, Child 2 is taking AP government and is reading the Federalist Papers. Now, I love James Madison as much as anyone, especially because Dolley was just awesome. This is a woman who loves to accessorize, and also knows the value of a Gilbert Stuart portrait. I think I have those same pearls!

The problem with James Madison, though, is that he writes in 18th century academic English and he takes forever to get to the point. Seriously, Pres. Madison, could you just state at the beginning of each paper what your point is so I don't have to read the rest? Because I read them in college, and then again in grad school, and then again with Child 1. So now I'm really really hoping that we get overseas before Child 3 has to take AP American Government or I will lose my mind.

I have a question for you. Say you auditioned for a part in a play, or commercial, or whatever, and there were twice as many actors auditioning as there are parts. And say someone you know whom you believe is not as good of an actor as you also auditioned and they got a part and you didn't. Would you call up the director and ask why you didn't get the part when the other person did and complain that everyone said they were shocked that you didn't and bug the director until she wants to reach into the phone and strangle you and then you cry and say you were only trying to be "proactive"? No? Yeah, well someone in the Department thought that would be a spiffy kind of strategy and I had to sit on a phone call and reassure that fine officer that no, it wasn't personal, and perhaps another time they could get what they want. Except, I was lying. See, it wasn't personal when I made the decision, (and no, Child 2, the Department does not put on plays, I'm just not saying what the thing really was that I was deciding) but it sure as heck is personal now because that was not a fun phone call and I didn't enjoy it one bit. It was the kind of phone call where when you hang up, everyone in earshot says oh my goodness what was that about!

I explained very carefully to the officer that many times in the Foreign Service you will not get what you want and it is not a good idea to call people up and badger them about why. I also suggested that perhaps before making such a call, it would be a good idea to run that by your supervisor. Sometimes supervisors will head you off from committing career suicide before you reach the cliff. But in this case, the officer did talk to the supervisor who promised to call me and try to make me change my mind and then never did. It wouldn't have worked anyway, because as the children will tell you, once I make up my mind, I do not change it and whining never ever works. Ever. Really. Never ever. Sometimes I would look at the whining child and ask if she was whining. She would say yes. Then I would ask if that ever worked. And she would say no. Then I'd say well why are you still whining! This strategy occasionally worked. Sometimes I would also say talk in a big girl voice because I don't speak whining. And then I would ignore the whining until it stopped. I have said for years that being a Mom makes me a better Foreign Service Officer because it taught me how to say no firmly but nicely. To be fair, I haven't had to use those lines on the children in years. And I suppose it's a human reaction to want to know why something didn't go the way you wanted it to. But it is not a good idea to whine about it to anyone but your closest friends. Or people who read your blog. It's OK to complain to them. But not the decision makers. Not ever. And also, I got to decide something!

You know what is better than a brownie? A dog being rescued by a manatee. No, really. That is a dog trying to climb out of a river, and that is the manatee who guarded him all night.

A little humanity shown by non-humans is just what I needed today. However, if that were The Dog, she would have tried to eat the manatee. Do manatees taste better than shoes? We will never know.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ugh! I so don't want to use my brain tonight!

So my computer is self destructing. It is having issues which means I have to dig deep into my brain to pull out computer stuff that I used to know and make it reconnect to the internet and stay connected. See, don't know if I mentioned that back in the day, I worked for a very famous software company. Today, if I mentioned the name of that company to Child 1 she would say what is that? But back in the day it had enough money to send everyone to Hawaii for a Christmas bonus. I, of course, was hired shortly after the bonus was given and then the next year, we got beach towels and frisbees instead. But I do know something about computers and they are not completely foreign to me. So when I talk to computer support people at work, I get a little impatient with them when they treat me like I'm an old lady that only knows how to play Solitaire. I am old, and I'm a lady, but I'm also a former geek, so leave me alone! Anyway, I made it work so now I am blogging. See what lengths I am willing to go for you, Child 1? I am actually thinking.

Except now I can't remember what I was going to blog about. Not bidding. I still hate bidding. Not The Dog vomiting all over the carpet because that was so not very much fun. Not the Assistant Secretary who popped into my cubicle this morning to ask how I was. That made my heart stop for a second and thank goodness I was writing an e-mail at the time and not goofing around with my office mates. Nope. Whatever it was, it's gone. I'm too tired to think of something else and I have to help Child 3 with her French homework. Maybe it was about how much I hate doing homework when I don't have any? Ugh.

OK, here is the part where I confess that I used to watch the Miss America pageant religiously. Not because I loved it, but because, um, I liked to make fun of the contestants. I know! You are thinking why didn't I do this on my blog? And the answer is because I am trying to be a better person, not a person who is better at snark. So I haven't watched it in years and also it's not on prime time and who has time to channel surf looking for a beauty pageant? Now, I am determined to not watch it ever again, because in addition to destroying the ozone layer with their hairspray cans, the Miss America pageant is also a big fat liar! (And yes, one last snarky comment about a fat Miss America, but in this case I'm talking about the organization.) And lying about how much money you give to women scholars is not better than a brownie in any way. So in addition to not being able to create world peace in a 20 second sound bite, they also can't count. To the Miss America Organization, $45 million is not the same as $4 million. Maybe you should make passing mathematics a prerequisite to entering the competition. I am glad I stopped watching you years ago. Instead, I will donate a scholarship to my own female student (Child 1) which is called "paying for my daughter's education." She will not need to parade around in a swimsuit and be given a number score to receive it. She only needs to call me every once in a while and say she loves me. Which she totally did twice today. OK, one was a text, but still. I miss her.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Heart. Is. Breaking. Sob!

Migraine again this morning. Seriously, I need to start counting the days that I don't have a headache. They are getting to be fewer and fewer. Surprisingly, OK actually not surprising at all, I didn't have a single migraine the entire time I was in Hawaii, despite being in the sun all the time. I drank a lot of water and juice and diet Pepsi so that might have helped, but it is extremely stressful setting your daughter up for college so far away, yet not. one. migraine. Huh. So maybe I need to just chuck it all and go to a place that is sunny and lovely and I'm happy being there every minute. Oh yeah. I have to pay for the college in Hawaii. So I'll just have to suck it up and deal with the constant stress and commuting and headaches and whatever. I so want to go back to Hawaii!

So today we went on the most epic shopping trip to the grocery store ever! According to Child 3. What we did is we went to Target and bought groceries. But apparently if those groceries include things like pumpkin spice chips for making cookies and maple frosting, it is epic. I told Child 2 that yes, since she got her braces off she could buy Jolly Ranchers and she said I was the most awesome mom ever and the woman standing near us in the aisle said wow she wished her kids felt that way. And I told her that apparently letting your children buy candy is the key and she laughed. But I wasn't really kidding. I am totally willing to buy their love with a $2.50 bag of candy if that is all it takes.

So then we got home and Child 3 was bored so she decorated the house and now it looks like Halloween threw up in our living room. There are ghosts and streamers and bats and cauldrons and pumpkins everywhere. I had forgotten we have this much stuff. But she is happy about the way it looks. I just hope people don't trip over the pumpkins on the stairs. Maybe we should move them before I break my ankle again? At least we don't have this many.

For dinner, I drove out to our old stomping grounds to meet the other moms from Child 1's playgroup when she was a baby. Two of them made it and we all commiserated about how hard it was to send our babies off to college. Except that their daughter's are both going to schools that are less than a day's drive away and mine is on the other side of the world. Yes, I know you are thinking that it is my own fault but I am not the one who put Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific Ocean because geography!

Then finally, we Skyped with Child 1 and it was so hard not to be able to reach through the computer to give her a big kiss. She is doing well and is having a lot of fun, making friends and finally admits that being from Virginia is kind of cool and she misses it. Ha! So, Skyping with family members on the other side of the world is better than a brownie, and so are the gluten free sugar cookies with maple frosting that we are making tomorrow. At least I hope they will be.

Friday, September 19, 2014


So today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and I know you are all participating and saying things like Ahoy, Matey! And shiver me timbers! And I'm the captain now! Oh wait, that last one you should save for talk like a Somali Pirate Day, which to be fair to pirates around the world, we celebrated at work, too. Some of us sounded like Captain Jack Sparrow movie, some of us like Somalis, and there was one guy who can only do a Russian accent, but since Russia is acting like a bunch of pirates stealing peoples land and stuff, that was kind of appropriate, too.

So I was thinking it was a pretty good day until Child 3 called and said she lost her school election, which made me sad because she had some great ideas. And then bidding. See the problem with bidding is that it stinks, worse than a pirate on a 6 month voyage with no shower. It's all a shell game and I suck at those because I'm too lazy to follow the right shell all the way through. If only they valued a great sense of humor and the ability to blog about nothing, then I would so have a shot at a great job. But no, it's things like being able to be diplomatic that gets you a job. So since I have a tendency to say things like that's the stupidest idea I ever heard and I'm not going to do that, I have a slight disadvantage. OK, I'm not quite that blunt and I've never actually said that at work to anyone but Husband, but I'm not a kisser upper, either. I want people to like me because I'm great at my job, not great at schmoozing. And I hate to say it, but the schmoozers still have an advantage in this business. Husband is confident we will get something good, and by "we" he means he and maybe I can telework. I'm not so very happy with that plan. If only I could find a job where I could get paid to talk like a pirate. Yer all a bunch o scallywags and I be tellin ye so! Make them bidders walk the plank!

After the election loss and the bad bidding news, I was kind of in a daze, and I took the bus home. That would normally be fine except I drove to the metro today so this evening when we went to get in the car to go to dinner to cheer up Child 3--no car. Husband asked me where I put it and I was completely confused. And totally still do not remember driving to the metro. So we drove Child 1's car to dinner and then he made me get out at the metro and drive it home. So I'm going to bed. Sorry. too tired for piratey things. Tonight I really am the Pirate who doesn't do anything. Anyone have some cheese curls and rootbeer? (Children, please tell me you get that reference.)

You know what is not better than a brownie? Killing the very people who have come to help you. I have not been to Guinea yet, but I have some very good friends who have served there. They all really, really love the people and have good things to say about them. Many people in the Department, including me, are working very hard to support those countries affected by the Ebola epidemic through this crisis. But we can't help if ignorance triumphs over knowledge. So to the wonderful people of Guinea, we are so sorry for all your many losses during this epidemic and please let us help you through the crisis. And to the families of those who died, our hearts are with you and are broken at the loss of these eight heroes. This is a photo of one of them, Pastor Moise Mamy pictured here with his wife, Nowei.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My call was important to them.

I may have had the longest computer support call ever today in the entire history of the Department. It was over three hours. And to their credit, they stayed with me on the line until the problem was resolved. I'm actually stunned because at one point, they told me they had no idea what to do because we had tried everything except buying a new computer, which I was almost ready to go do myself. But they were patient and persistent and eventually we tried something that finally worked. But that was at 4 in the afternoon, so I had to work until around 10 to make up for it. So ugh.

See, the problem is that I somehow glutened myself without knowing it and I woke up sick as a dog and unable to get out of bed so I stayed in it and tried to telecommute when I felt better. But then I couldn't connect to the system and then I called IT and the rest should be recorded for posterity because I'm not sure I believe it myself. So that was my day. It was fairly sucky until this.

Yes, that is Alfonso Ribeiro and it is a cheesy Dancing with the Stars photo because I can't find an actual photo of his dance because it was just finished 20 minutes ago. But I think I'm a little in love. He was. A. Maz. Ing! A real dancer and I was hooked. Child 3 says she now needs to watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air so she can see him. So yes, for once DWTS was better than a brownie. It was a nice distraction from bidding, which don't get me started on.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Say that again. Go ahead. I dare you.

Remember those lazy weekends when you could sleep in, have a late brunch and take a long walk in the beautiful fall weather? Nope. Me neither. I haven't had one of those in over 18 years. And today was a doozy. The weather was gorgeous, but I didn't get to enjoy it for even 5 minutes because Child 3 was crying all morning and Child 2 decided to go on the warpath in the afternoon. She spent most of the afternoon yelling at me and calling her sister a punk and accusing everyone of hiding her stuff, which was not hidden but put in front of her bedroom door, which she had to step over to get out of her room. So no, definitely not hidden.

Where was Husband during all this commotion, you might ask, and the answer would be where he always is which is at work. Bidding, you know. So I am at home trying to help Child 3 stop crying long enough to finish her homework, learn about the three branches of government and write a campaign speech all the while fending off the barbs from Child 2 and Husband walks in right in the middle of it and tells me to lighten up. Yes. He said that. Lighten. Up. Well, since you know me by now, you know that that went over about as well as an elephant jumping a fence. He has since apologized.

The thing is, Child 2 is supposed to be the easy one. The one who does her homework and doesn't call people names and actually does the dishes when I ask. But now that Child 1 isn't here, she is yelling at everybody. I think it might be lack of sleep and also she misses her sister. I'm hoping it will pass and that we're not in the throes of angry teenage-girldom again.

So wish Child 3 good luck on her campaign for Student Council Vice President. I have no idea if she will win, but she has some great ideas, an awesome campaign speech, and is passing out candy, which is an acceptable and popular form of campaigning in 7th grade apparently. Speaking of campaigning, it is election season again. Someone local running for treasurer came by with his brochure wearing a US Embassy Tashkent polo shirt, so of course I asked him why he was in Tashkent. He was USAID, so I told him I was Foreign Service and he said, "thank you for your service." It made me want to cry. That is the only time anyone has ever said that to me. So now I'm definitely voting for him. Good campaign tactic! And also USAID people know about budgets.

Threatening to shoot an 11 year old boy over practicing the clarinet is in no way better than a brownie. I'm so angry that this woman ever thought that was acceptable that I'm not putting up her picture. She doesn't deserve the publicity. She is selfish and evil and I sincerely hope she loses her ability to own firearms forever. Honestly, what is wrong with people?!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The friendships DO last long at Kellerman's!

The jet lag is a little better, although I still feel like a zombie at about 8pm. Like now it is 9:30 and my eyes are beginning to cross, but I told Child 1 that I would blog more so that she could know what's going on at home. So here is what is going on--bidding. The thing about bidding is that it totally takes over your life so it's all you can think about. And this lasts for months. And then it starts invading your dreams. In fact, every time we bid, I have a premonition dream about where we're going to be assigned and I get all excited because I think I have ESP. You can tell I have ESP because so far we have been assigned to Lithuania and Burma, just like in my dreams.

The bidding thing is mostly what Husband and I talk about. So do the kids have homework? Did you write the DCM? Have you heard from Post? Who walked The Dog? Do we know anyone who can lobby for us? Why hasn't anyone walked The Dog? So that football game. . . oh, I just thought of who would be a good 360 for you! Why didn't anyone tell me we were out of dog food? Look at these pictures of housing! What about the schools? Is the high school any good? No, I said homework first, then dinner. Why is The Dog whining? You can't take dogs to that post? Don't tell the children, but now it's my favorite bid.

Even when we went out on a date for Thai food, we were talking about 360s (which are what the Department calls references) and which posts would have good restaurants and how we would have to bring a lot of gluten-free soy sauce in our consumables. In fact, I a so sick of bidding, that when my friend at work suggested we have a girls' day out, I jumped, leaped really, at the chance to NOT talk about bidding. Especially when I learned we were going to this:

Yes, we saw Dirty Dancing, the musical. It was very, very like the movie, except the guy playing Johnny couldn't act. But he could kind of dance, so that was good. And it was fun to be with friends, and man does my friend "Sunn" love the movie. She bought the sweat jacket that says This Is My Dance Space and I'm kind of jealous because that is my favorite part of the movie/musical. The only sad note of the day is that I now have the Kellerman's Anthem running through my head and I can't get it out. Somebody help! No more voices and hands and hearts, please.

You know what is not better than a brownie? Joking about violence perpetrated by NFL players. So you all know I love football, but I do not love the fact that millionaire football players think it's OK to beat up women and children. Personal violence is not OK, and if you can't learn to leave it on the field, you don't deserve to play professional sports. I don't care how good you are. It's time for us to stop giving people a pass just because they're famous athletes. Thank goodness for people like CBS Sportscaster James Brown who called it like it is and said real men care about being respectful to women and that, "For instance, when a guy says ‘you throw the ball like a girl,’ or ‘you’re a little sissy,’ it reflects an attitude that devalues women. And attitudes will eventually manifest in some fashion.” I think I love him.

OK. Child 3 just asked who Isaac Mizrahi is and why do fashion designers have such weird hair. So I have to fix that. And no, that's not contradictory. The awesome thing about being a modern woman is having choices, so I can love football and fashion. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

For the last time, I am jet lagged! Jet. Lagged.

Correction.  For the record, I am never wrong. But Child 1 says that Bonnie is a terrible name, so from henceforth,  Bonnie will be known as Miranda. It is not 1930 after all. And also for the record, Bonnie is the perfect name for Child 1's partner in crime. But whatever. I am too tired to care.

I also have to apologize to Child 3 for dropping her off at an activity that is actually next week. So maybe I'm occasionally wrong.

Are almond horns better than a brownie? Discuss.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Are you sure that's not a dinosaur?

So the thing about tropical islands is that they come with bugs. Big bugs. Huge. Really, the largest roach I have ever seen in my life died on my windowsill. I used my traditional method of dealing with bugs which is to completely ignore that they are there. Once, when Husband was away at that Place That We Don't Speak Of, I killed a spider with a shoe and left the shoe on the spider. One of the children asked me why was my shoe in the middle of the floor, which I swear was the only time she has EVER noticed something in the middle of the floor, and I said it was hiding a dead spider. And she asked me if I was going to clean up the spider and I said no and I didn't. Somebody eventually vacuumed up that spider, but it was not me. So when the roach expired on my window sill, I did not clean it up, and my new old friend "Eileen" told her daughter who promptly cleaned up the roach because she is a bug disposer as well as a bug killer. This is what the roach looked like. Keep in mind that it was almost as big as my hand. Eileen's daughter is extremely brave.

I have to explain about Eileen. She is a friend from when Child 1 was small. Eileen's daughter "Bonnie" and Child 1 have birthdays two days apart and we celebrated them together. Then she moved to West Virginia and we moved to Asia and I haven't seen her in about 13 years. So when we discovered that Bonnie was also going to attend the same school as Child 1, Eileen offered to rent a house with me close to the school, so we did and it was so, so very much fun that now I am plotting ways to get to West Virginia to hang out with her more often.

So the other thing that happened is that Child 1 made me get on Instagram. Apparently, the cool kids no longer hang out on facebook because that is for moms. Instead, they take photos and put them on Instagram and compete for likes. So Child 1 helped me sign up for an account and then took my phone from me and liked all of her photos. Because that is apparently the only reason mothers should have Instagram accounts--so they can like all of their daughter's photos. Oh, and I also discovered Child 3 has an Instagram because Google+ suggested I follow her on it. Oops! So that's another good reason for moms to be up on technology or how else could we check up on our children?

So I know you are all wondering how bidding is going and the answer is I don't want to talk about it. I hate bidding worse than ever. OK, I don't want to talk about it but I do want to rant a little. This is how bad bidding is and how ridiculous it has become: I am targeting active war zones and countries with horrifying epidemics because I think that might give me a better chance at finding a job. So anywhere that is in the news because something horrible is happening, that is where I'm submitting a bid. War zone? Great. Ebola? Even better. War zone AND Ebola? That's my top choice! And the saddest thing of all is that I'm apparently not the only one with this strategy because all those places have about 100 bidders each so I'm still out of luck.

You know what is also better than a brownie? Pineapple gummy bears. I love you Dole Plantation gift shop!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The price for paradise is no Chipotle

Child 1 is all moved into her dorm and I am back from Hawaii after a looong and sleepless plane ride with no food. Yes, I did bring my own, but gluten-free options that are shelf stable and that you can take on a plane are slim to none in Hawaii and it is hard to subsist on pop-chips and nuts for 10 hours. Seriously why does United not offer gluten-free lunch items for purchase? You wouldn't even have to call them gluten-free--just call them Paleo or something and offer cheese and grapes. I don't do well with diary, either, but at about 6 hours into the flight, I would have taken it over the nothing I had.

Anyway, Hawaii, as you expect was wonderful. I had forgotten how delicious the ocean is there. It was the perfect temperature and not cloudy at all and so wonderful I never wanted to get out. I mean, just look at it!

We had a lot of fun going to the beach almost daily, which is super easy when it is outside your back door. But one thing I wasn't prepared for was how far away everything was going to be. It took hours to get to Target or Wal-Mart and back and I also did not know how many times we were going to have to go to Target. Because even with checking four suitcases, we still did not have enough stuff, and also you can't fit a big fan in a suitcase and since people in Hawaii don't believe in air conditioning  you need a fan.

I know you are wondering what people in Hawaii have against people being comfortable and the answer is I have no idea. They say things like "you don't need air conditioning here." And "it's not that hot." Well, if you can survive 90 degrees and 100% humidity with no breeze, then you are Hawaiian, which I am not and neither is Child 1 and she didn't sleep very well until we got that fan. Also, if you have child who is addicted to burrito bowls at Chipotle, please tell her before you get to Hawaii that there are not any Chipotle restaurants on her island because apparently if you don't tell her beforehand, then the lack of any of her favorite restaurants becomes your fault entirely. However, the fact that Forever 21 is literally next door to the Cheesecake Factory makes up for that a little bit, especially if you buy her lots of harem pants to wear to class. Harem pants are the new yoga pants apparently.

I am jet lagged, so I am going to bed now, but I can tell you for certain that Matsumoto's shave ice is definitely better than a brownie and completely worth the hype. I know because we went twice. Serious deliciousness in a paper cone. And completely gluten-free.