Friday, August 18, 2017

7 Quick Takes about Pensive Desserts, Serious Remorse at the Zoo, and the Secret Life of Strawberry Shortcake

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, my daughter pointed this out to me.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Crafted with 'thoughtful ingredients.'

'Thoughtfulness' seems like an awfully sentient quality for brownie ingredients, but okay.

I flipped it over to see what could possibly be in these, but we had to start unloading our cart and I only had time to read the first ingredient: it was flour.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed.


It was free admission day at the zoo, and even though it was an hour drive one-way and I was on the second day of the head cold from Hades, I figured it would be a good idea to go there with the kids.

It was not.

The traffic was so horrible it took us an hour and a half to get there, we couldn't find parking, and when we made it to the gates the crowd was so thick we could hardly walk. In my head, I actually heard Gob's voice from Arrested Development saying "I've made a huge mistake..."

We saw about four animals, the baby grabbed a smashed PB&J off the ground and tried to eat it, and then we literally turned around for the hour-and-a-half drive home.

I haven't seen Anchorman, but from now on I'm just going to assume that the following scene was based on free day at the zoo, because there's even a bear in it:


I already mentioned I'm doing a pretend trip around the world with the kids through the end of August. Months ago when we set up our "travel itinerary," the kids chose North Korea for next week.

Which should be interesting, considering current events.

We try to explore as many aspects of the country's culture as we can, including the dominant religion. In North Korea that's atheism, which seems pretty straightforward, but I searched our public library's catalog to see if there were any resources in the children's section for talking about it.

What the actual heck.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

The top 6 results for "atheism" in the juvenile section were Strawberry Shortcake books. I was so confused.

I even Googled "is Strawberry Shortcake an atheist," thinking maybe I'd missed some serious existential commentary in the show as a kid in the '80s, but nothing came up.

I'm still confused.


So I was looking at my 8th grader's school supply list, and halfway down the page it says I'm supposed to get her a TI-84 graphing calculator.

Excuse me?

How are these not completely obsolete? I used a TI-85 (one model newer, even!) when I went to high school twenty years ago. This is one step away from getting her a slide rule.

I'm actually more upset the longer I think about it. There are zero professionals in math and tech jobs today using a graphing calculator. Zero. We have a little thing called "the Internet" now, and pretty much any device from your laptop to your tablet to your iPod can do everything a graphing calculator does.

But at least such a defunct piece of equipment won't cost a lot, right? Nope. $100. I'm seriously considering buying her a $30 smartphone and installing the TI-84 simulator app on it.

Seems unconventional, but I think it's a much better idea than the $100 doorstop I'm supposed to be buying.


Something bizarre happened at the pediatrician's office for my toddler's checkup. The visit part was run-of-the-mill, but afterward he needed two shots, one in each arm.

He got his first shot and didn't even react. He just looked at the giant syringe in his arm thinking, "I wonder what this is?" and then after the second he simply whimpered once and looked at me as if to say, "Well, that was annoying."

And that was it.

After 13 years of shushing and rocking an inconsolable baby, toddler, and yes, sometimes elementary-schooler after getting a vaccination or blood draw, I honestly didn't know what to do with a kid who was completely unfazed by the whole ordeal.


My 5-year-old has always been a maker. Until she came along, the obligatory cabinet o' craft supplies sat mostly forlorn and neglected in the corner. Now she's in it every day, whipping up some work of art or another.

Recently she's been on an absolute crafting rampage. There are some nights when I can't cook dinner because her newest creations are drying on every counter in the kitchen.

If I take a look around right now, I can see this Christmas-and-feather collage:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
No doubt a satirical commentary on the hollow commercialization of the Christmas season.

This mixed media glitter-and-watercolor painting:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
If anyone needs me, I'll be cleaning magenta glitter out of EVERYWHERE for the rest of the month. 

And this abstract sculpture:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
To be honest, I'm not really sure about this one.

And that was just today's work. I really think I need to rent some studio space for this kid.


Because our attic is poorly insulated, we get ice dams in the winter. If you don't know what an ice dam is, it's an unpleasant phenomenon that results in dripping ceilings, climbing ladders in subzero temperatures with pots of boiling water to pour on chunks of ice in your gutter, and chucking pantyhose filled with ice melt onto your roof.

Anyway, that's why Phillip hired some guys to come insulate our attic. Better insulation means no more ice dams.

I was all for it, until it dawned on me that in order to insulate the attic we'd first have to physically remove every single thing we're currently storing in it.

When Phillip ignored my pleading to call and cancel the appointment, I decided to be positive and look at it as an opportunity to organize things I knew needed organization and throw away things we didn't need anymore.

So far it's going pretty well: I donated one carload of stuff, spent the better part of a day reorganizing and labeling boxes, and only broke down in hysterical tears once.

Okay, twice. It's a little overwhelming.

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Sarah said...

I'm so so sorry, but I laughed hysterically at your depiction of the zoo trip, because this is me basically every week at least. Full of regret.

AnneMarie said...

Wow, that's intense that they're making your 8th grader get a graphing calculator! I don't think I had to get one until high school. Naturally, my family was so disorganized that after plunking down tons of money for my older brother's, we couldn't find it when it was my turn to use one. Those things are ridiculously expensive (but they are cool-one of my friends asked his girlfriend to Prom with his graphing calculator!).

That library search for "atheism" with strawberry shortcake has me cracking up! Too funny.

Jenny Evans said...

A fan on the blog's FB page clued me in: the last name of the author of the Strawberry Shortcake books is Matheis. So I guess it sort of makes sense. To a computer, anyway.

Jenny said...

My second child was a lot like that with shots at first too. Up until she figured out all dr appointments for the first year included shots she would just look at the nurse all offended and mad and then move on with life.

Jenny Evans said...

Sounds like a mature young lady.