Cruisin’

The Woodward Dream Cruise is an annual gathering of grease monkeys, old timers reliving their glory days through metal and rubber and muscle car junkies. What started as a one day event has slowly turned into a week long series of events and traffic nightmare. People line up lawn chairs along the curb for miles waiting for the pageantry as mustangs and bitchin’ camaros burn rubber. Lime green hearses and airbrushed vans also cruise up and down the avenue as well as the occasional 1978 rusted out pinto. It is a giant pain in the ass for everyone else traveling within five square miles of the ten mile stretch for a week.

We are a car family. Fast cars. I have heard stories about my dad’s mom racing anyone who pulled up next to her in her Chevelle. Years later I did the same thing in my mustangs and porsche. I vividly recall my dad waking me up to watch the car race scene in Bullitt when I was a teenager. The rumbling of a big block engine elicits in me the same response as the aroma of chocolate chip cookies coming out of grandma’s oven.

Needless to say, my dad is all about the dream cruise and all it entails. He has rented hotel rooms for the day to have a place to keep snacks and have easy access to a bathroom for his friends and family as we sat under tents watching cars roll past for hours on end. This year he bought VIP tickets to an event at the beginning of the week called “Road Kill” which was drag racing at the northern most part of the Dream Cruise stretch. He spent an entire day with his friends watching cars peel out. He brought home souvenir foam fingers and back packs which my daughter has been carrying around for days.

He has been trying to get her as excited about cars as he and I both get with little luck. She doesn’t quite get it yet, being only seven and not having actually put the petal to the metal. She is a late bloomer in my family. I was on my first motorcycle ride at six months old and wearing my first helmet by age three. I was also driving a motorcycle by this age. This is the first summer that my kiddo has actually started to feel the need for speed. She has driven her dad’s car a few times and the wave runners on the lake.

And this year she went cruising with grandpa during the dream cruise. He picked her up on a Wednesday night in my mom’s convertible and they went driving around checking out cars for a few hours. She even took a few pictures and chatted up some of the drivers. She came home with her first dream cruise t-shirt and has been asking me to tell her stories about all of my old cars and racing. I think she has finally been inducted into the family tradition. Watch out world, here comes another little thrill seeker.

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Super Freak

My whole family took a little trip to a fun center out by my parents’ lake house this week. The venue had a ton of options including laser tag, trampolines, bumper cars, an escape room, glow in the dark golf and a big arcade. We spent the first twenty minutes trying not to trip over each other while chasing glow in the dark golf balls around the second floor. While doing so I learned two things – my golf game does not improve in the dark and my daughter has not outgrown her poor sportsmanship phase. She makes Happy Gilmore look like a the Dalai Lama. She took about a hundred swings and picked up her ball more than once, but the lights were out so apparently nobody was supposed to see her shenanigans.

While we were checking out the arcade games we noticed a group of adult men hanging around. They were playing an arcade game as if there were valuable prizes on the line for winning. I don’t know if they had perused the prize center, but it was mostly landfill and sugar. Maybe they were anxious to get their hands on a pillow shaped like a giant turd for 2,000 tickets.

As we watched these grown men walk around the place talking to groups of young boys playing games, offering advice on the best way to get their name on the winners board, my parents discussed the probability of them being pedophiles on the prowl. I was ready to agree until the largest of the men turned around and I saw his face. It looked as if someone had taken a sharpie to him after he passed out the night before and etched a thin handlebar moustache on his cheeks.  He was also wearing what appeared to be a Captain America t-shirt that only covered the top two thirds of his beer gut. I questioned whether or not a pedophile would try to draw that much attention to himself. Then again, I have seen news stories of some criminal who got caught robbing a bank due to the surveillance footage of a giant tattoo on his forehead reading “thug for life”.

Jumping on the trampoline was fun but I was quickly reminded that I am a middle aged woman who should not jump around like a teenager unless I do more kegel exercises. Every time my feet hit the floor I peed my pants a little. Some activities really should have age limits. This was one of those times I would have actually appreciated a sign to protect me from myself – specifically one that read “caution! jumping may make you wet your pants”.

Laser tag was mostly me hiding in a corner trying to outsmart my husband as he chased Riley around in the dark. I heard screams of “don’t shoot me daddy!” from across the room so of course I went to her rescue. She apparently takes laser tag even more seriously than glow golf. I hugged her as she sobbed into my blue flashing vest “Daddy just keeps shooting me. It’s not fair” which really meant “I”m not winning and this game sucks”. I promised to help her sufficiently destroy her father before the game was over. We attacked him from both sides as the door to freedom opened. 

We decided it was time to leave when we reentered the arcade and found Snidely Whiplash chatting up a couple soccer moms and their kids. We cashed in our tickets and stood around the counter as my daughter tried to decide between an emoji ball and an unnamed toy that was basically a tube of slime. She settled on a blue slime tube. I watched my daughter trying to ram her entire fist through the center of her new toy while walking to the car, and I realized what all the creepy old dudes were turning in their tickets for. This little unnamed prize was actually very similar to a sex toy for men. I guess the family fun center really does offer something for everyone. If we ever return i’m not going to argue if our pile of tickets turns into a sparkly unicorn poop pillow.

I wrote this while listening to The Melvins.

 

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Mother Mary

The other night I told my daughter we were going to church in the morning because it was a holy day of obligation. When she argued that it was a weekday and not a church day I told her we were going to celebrate the virgin Mary. I explained that we have all kinds of celebrations for Jesus but just this one day for his mother who was so important. She asked “will there be cake?” I guess it’s not a proper celebration without cake in her mind. I almost lied just to get her to comply, but I knew that would somehow lead to me actually purchasing a cake, so I stuck with the truth.

When I shared this story with my husband his reaction was “I’ll go to church with you if there’s cake!” Now he is sending me photos of cake ideas. He’s going to be really surprised when he comes home to find 24 cupcakes with rosaries on them. He forgets it is summer and I am home with a small child all day – we have nothing but time. So for anyone who didn’t celebrate the Assumption with a little cake after mass – you are doing it wrong.

 

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Make Me Famous

Like most seven year olds, my daughter is obsessed with YouTube. She has been interested in filming videos for a few years now and I have told her that she can make videos, but I refuse to let he open toys, play with toys or otherwise promote toys in videos. She has settled on cooking, even after many attempts to bribe her to do more Logan Family Band videos. I guess my music skills are really that horrific.

In addition to wanting to make videos, she loves watching YouTube. There is a family from Arizona that she recently discovered that makes a variety of videos. The kids are cute, but watching the parents makes me crazy. The dad has a cheesy frat boy arm band tattoo and I really need the mom’s number so we can talk about getting her some eye cream. (Side note – selling skincare makes you look at everyone with a critical eye. You want to save everyone from their wrinkles.) I have also made a mental note to stay behind the camera in these future YouTube videos so as not to attract the same kind of snarky criticism I am internally dishing out to all of the adults on screen.

The thing is, my seven year old wants to emulate whatever YouTube channel she is obsessed with for the month. Last year she was consistently watching a girl who face painted, so my whole family had their faces covered in neon hues on a weekly basis. She even called her grandparents over to be victims. My daughter does not have what you would call a light touch. Her application process is similar to patching a hole in drywall. After having their faces nearly torn off with scratchy brushes and being doused in glitter we sent them on their way back home, reminding them they may need to swing by the local party store for a bottle of water on their way. I waited patiently by the phone for a call from the police station or mental hospital that night. My mom did call later asking for the best technique to remove glitter from my dad’s ear hair.

The channel she is watching now has a variety of skits that take place in a classroom or a hotel. She has focused on the hotel and has, herself been pretending to live in a hotel for the last few days. It started with us driving to my parents’ house to “check out the resort”. We decided not to stay after we found the staff relaxing in the pool and booked a room at Loganland. My husband’s roles have included manager, chef, bellhop and concierge. I have been asked to play a guest (of course!) and the MAID. Seriously, does this child not know me at all? She has watched me destroy two vacuum cleaners and clean an entire room with a wet one, yet she cast me in this role. We also may need to have another talk about equality of the sexes since her reasoning for casting me in this part was “you’re a girl”.

My husband is really getting into his parts. He is accepting room service calls, cooking to order and basically delivering anything requested by his guests. He is even answering questions like “what is on the activity schedule at the resort today?” I think he may be taking it a little too far though. Last night I told my daughter that I had requested a wake up call from the front desk so she wouldn’t be late for camp this morning. I was awakened by my husband saying “this is your wake up call!” at 5:30 am. My alarm was set for two hours later. He was promptly driven away, confused by my annoyance. He thought I was serious when I requested that he wake me up in the morning. Now I am asking does my husband know me at all? I never thought I would need a “safe” word for playing a make believe game with my child.

I am a little concerned about some of the amenities this resort offers. I have never stayed at a hotel that insists on complimentary cuddles at night from the manager. I think that would warrant a bad Yelp review at the very least, if not a restraining order. I do enjoy that they let us roam around the hotel in our underwear and help ourselves to the pantry at all hours. Their snack selections are a little lacking though.

At this point I’m pretty confident we could turn our home into an AirBNB rental if we ever needed an extra source of income. I’m sure it would be more lucrative than my daughter’s blossoming career as a YouTube star. I’m guessing the complimentary cuddles would earn us some great reviews. Hopefully my husband won’t figure out that this was all just a long drawn out ploy to get him to serve me breakfast in bed.

 

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Wet Hot American Summer

I dropped my daughter off at camp today for “slime week”. It’s a full week of making slime, playing with slime, slip and sliding in slime and probably bathing in slime. As long as she is not sniffing the glue they are making the slime with, I’m totally okay with this. Also, as long as they are not sending any of said slime home with my kid, it’s good. I don’t need a single other thing that can get ground into my couch.

As I was walking out of the building there was a mom with two young boys almost in tears. She had brought her boys to soccer camp the wrong week. They were signed up for next week. She was on the phone with her husband trying to figure out what happened. And if she is anything like me she was trying to make sure the blame fell squarely on the man of the house. I felt for her. Camp is a giant pain in the ass.

Normally I wouldn’t say this. I would say camp is the thing that is saving my sanity after spending every day of the first half of the summer with my daughter who knows how to press every single button I have. But this year, the process of getting my child to camp has been full of complications. It’s my own fault too which makes it even worse. I always send my kid to camp at her school which is totally hassle free. This year my daughter decided that in addition to a few weeks at her school she wants to attend a few weeks of camp at our gym. When I grabbed a registration form from the child care center, the woman behind the desk told me to take the full packet because there were more forms. She wasn’t kidding. There are a dozen forms that need to be filled out, signed in blood, notarized and delivered by a judge.

One of the forms is a health appraisal form which needs a signature from her doctor. This is the form I turn in every year to her school, but I don’t have a copy and it’s summer, so I can’t exactly get a copy from the school. I, of course, called the doctor’s office. I was promptly told by the uninterested receptionist that they would not give me a form because my daughter is overdue for a visit. I informed her that we have an appointment in two weeks but I need this form now. She basically told me that this was not her problem and she didn’t have the time or desire to help me. When I asked to speak with my daughter’s doctor her response was simply “no”. Seriously, I think this woman saw that David Spade receptionist skit one too many times. I left my number for a call back from the pediatrician (which I am still waiting for) and did a Google search for a new doctor, one that could get us in immediately. Unfortunately not a single office can get us in for a month, but I talked to a very nice man at an office a few miles from our house who told me that I can get my daughter the form she needs by going to a local urgent care for a sports physical. He saved me a giant headache so I rewarded (punished) him by setting up a new patient appointment for next month.

I spent four hours on the phone, found a new pediatrician for my child, added three more things to my “to do” list, discovered another annoyance that could send me to anger management, and still not filled out a single form in the dictionary-sized package I need to submit before my daughter can go to camp next week. I have come to the conclusion that it will take me from now until the day she goes to camp to actually complete this paperwork. God help me. Now I understand why parents go on vacation when their kids go to sleep-away camp.

The best part of all of this is after reading through the paperwork I quickly learned that the health appraisal form I was going into apoplexy over is not necessary as long as I certify that it exists. I really should investigate a little more before I get my panties in a bunch about something that may not even be an issue. Oh yeah, and my daughter brought home slime and promptly managed to smear it into the couch.

I wrote this blog while listening to the new Interrupters album!

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