Archive | July, 2012

Keep Away from Open Flame, or Even Closed

29 Jul

I dislike fire.  A lot.  I don’t want to go into the details, but let it suffice to say that in my first two years of high school there was an exploding lab table and a student in French class who gave us a dramatic lesson in the meaning of the word ‘flambé.’

Our ice cream torches from Friday night are long gone, so our Olympic games seemed to be lacking that iconic blaze, and despite my fears something needed to be done.  We researched some past cauldrons for inspiration.  Remember that horrible one from Atlanta that looked like a McDonald’s french fry container?  Awful.  But I’ll give them ingenuity points for recycling the grease to keep the flame alive.

Seeing as we were fresh out of fast food containers we scavenged the basement for cardboard, developed a design, and got to work.

While watching water polo, of course.

Everyone got a chance to carry the torch as we moseyed around the house.

Yes, there really is a torch under there, but it’s just a toilet paper tube, so don’t look too closely.

We had to work on the hand-offs,

but once we got them down the fire picked up some speed.

Simeon was so full of hot air from his leg that he began to come off the ground like a hot air balloon.  

The most senior Olympians got the last legs, ending with the lighting of the cauldron in a place of honor above the TV set, where it will burn until the end of the games.

Why so high, you ask?  Even tissue paper flames, no especially tissue paper flames need to be kept out of the reach of little twins.

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Distraction of Olympic Proportions

27 Jul

Oh, those Olympics.  They have a way of interrupting life, don’t they?  Like the time back in my college days when we decided during one of the advertisement breaks of the Atlanta Games to turn down our water heater in order to save a bit of money.  We flipped the breaker, adjusted the thermostat, and then rushed back to the living room at the first notes of the John Williams theme.  Three days later, after numerous chilly showers, my roomates and I realized that we had been so distracted by the games that we failed to flip back on the breaker.

I blame Bob Costas.

And yet here he is invading our lives 16 years later and I couldn’t be happier.

This is the first time we’ve really gotten the kids involved in the addicting athletic event.  Today we picked teams based on a complicated equation of favorite colors, propensity for medals, and continental distribution.Our supper , like the age-old games, was provided by Greece (and a really great recipe from the Twins’ Godmother.)Even the salad dressing got into the spirit.  It was probably just excited that I did not serve the lettuce out of a bag for once.

We carried chilly torches because I have a bit of a phobia of actual flames,and even had an educational moment or two.Like the one where we got to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction after Simeon remarked that England should have asked Susan and Lucy to be on their archery team.

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Oh, I know, all I owe, I owe Prednisone

3 Jul

You know when you get a song stuck in your head and you can’t get it out? Of course you do. What a mundane topic, right? Well, have you ever had it happen with a word? Of course you have. What am I thinking? It happened to me last night. Urg.

And what was the Vocabulary Ear Worm parasitically trapped in my mind during my Prednisone-induced non-sleep (I have a rash)?

Appropriate, given the impending incediarily celebrated birthday of our Nation, don’t you think?

As I was laying there riding my imaginary 10-speed across the Grand Canyon and running my Olympic Sprint Marathon I got to thinking about other such words that have layed claim to my sanity. I remember very distinctly an invasion of the word “secretary” when I was a wee 9 or 10 year old. I will briefly explain what I did at that time to cope with said invasion.

I went out to our swing set with our 20-odd cats and sang songs to them using the sole lyric “secretary”. Let me give you an example:

(To the tune of “The Sound of Music” from, well, The Sound of Music) Secre-tary! Secretary secra-. Tary secreta-ry, secreta-a-RY! (And so on.)

Here’s another:

(To the tune of “All I Owe Ioway” from State Fair) Secreta-ry-y. Sec-re-eh-ta-a-ry. Secretary secretary secreTA! (And so on.)

At this point I have to wonder what predictions my parents were making of my future. Probably that at some point in my life I would be laying in bed hand-cultivating corn fields while I repeated the word “incendiary”. They were spot on.

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