May 2008


Ever since that Four Things post, I’ve been totally jonesing for Tohm Kah Gai. This little place on Northwest Boulevard called Nong’s Hunan Express has the best Thai food I’ve ever had. Okay, granted that the only Thai food I’ve ever had has been in the U.S., and the preponderance of it has been in Ohio, but oh God, their tohm kah gai! I just scarfed some for lunch, with a side of steamed rice to fill me up. 

What is tohm kah gai? It says this on their menu: “Piquant Light Soup and Coconut Milk with Chicken or Tofu, Galonga, Mushroom, Tomato, Green Onion, and Sweet Onion.” My happy taste buds say it’s heaven. (Is it rude to lick the bowl in the privacy of your own cubicle?)

Okay, two stories. Wait, make that three.

First, many many moons ago, when my little cousin, Erinslick, was in either high school or early college, (Ow! Okay, not that many moons ago!) So anyway, as I was saying, she was just about that age when she was testing out whether she might share a naughty joke with the elders in her family. Well, I don’t remember the joke, but I DO remember that it featured “Bowm chick-a WOW wow!” in it, and we all totally lost it. It was so totally unexpected out of little Miss Erin Slick from Punkin Crick!

Second, not so many moons ago, we were all over at my parents’ house, the little ones were all tucked in upstairs, and the grown ups were all joking around and cracking each other up like we do, and I was trying to remember that porno sound effect from Erin’s joke. It was one of those silly moments when I just HAD to have that onomatopoeia (wait, is that an onomatopoeia? oh yeah, it’s an onomatopoeia of a 70’s porn guitar. now where was i?) Okay, so I just absolutely HAD to hear it. NOW. So I was like, hey Mom, Erin wouldn’t mind if I just called her up out of the blue and asked her to do her porn sound effect on speaker phone to a whole roomful of people, right? And Mom says, ya know, I really don’t think she would.

So I called her, explained my dilemma, and asked whether she’d mind if I put her on speaker phone. Being Erin, she did not. Being Erin, she took it all totally in stride, as if cousins calling out of the blue and asking her to make porn sound effects on speakerphone were, if not a common occurrence, not at all unexpected.

And thus, “Bowm chick-a WOW wow!” became a shortcut to that moment, to a giggly frame of mind. And for this, and many other things bright and shiny (if less pornographic), we love Erin.

And that leads us to tonight, and our drive home from one of the giggliest meals we’ve ever shared with our little ones. So the girls are singing and making the inevitable fart jokes and acting goofy in the back seat, and we’re all laughing, and one of our girls, whose name shall not be mentioned because if she ever reads this I will surely suffer, starts singing “Bowm chick-a WOW wow!” (Um, little pitchers? Big ears?)

I’m sitting there next to Cabana Boy in the front, face forward, trying to control some serious guffaws as the “Bowm chick-a WOW wows” multiply in volume and intensity, not to mention creativity, wondering how I can not react to this. I mean, we all know that to crack up at something a kid does is tantamount to an invitation to repeat it ad nauseum, ad infinitum, right? And then to like, go try it out at school and at friends’ houses. And you know, what parent wouldn’t want other parents and teachers speculating on how, exactly, this little girl knows porn music so well? Cabana Boy got the best of me though. He gave me one of those sly sideways grins and told the girls, keep it up! I think Mommy’s gonna explode!

And I did. The End.

Woo hoo! One week from today marks the end of the school year!

  • No more rushing through dinner to get the girls bathed and in bed in time to get up for school.
  • No more scrambling to get three people up, de-dreadlocked, and de-morning-breath-ized in the morning.
  • No more interruptions to my girls’ apparently treasured mirror time, when they make faces at themselves, apply copious amounts of lipgloss, practice dance moves, make their hair stick up, and generally do everything they can think of except brush their (damn) teeth!
  • No more bed-time belly aches, headaches, leg aches, or ache-aches.
  • No more checking temperatures in the morning to prove that, yes, they must go to school.

As of next Wednesday afternoon, their daily grooming shall be the responsibility of Cabana Boy! Um, wait, that actually hasn’t worked so well in the past, since Cabana Boy seems to think that a dip in the pool for seven days running passes for bathing. But wait, I’m armed with UltraSwim! The wonder shampoo that actually gets the green out of Sierra’s hair without a need for a plastic cap or a borrowed hair dryer!

Woo hoo! I’m free! Well, almost. Five more school days… and then it’s dreadlocks and morning breath for everyone!!!

So my cousin says I need more content. It’ll happen as time goes on. In the meantime, here’s a meme (she tagged me for it):

Four Jobs I’ve Had

  • My shortest job ever was in a jewelry kiosk in a mall in Virginia. I was there for like two hours when I became disgusted at the rip-off techniques they demonstrated on a 16-year-old boy buying something for his girlfriend. This was during a summer break from OSU.
  • My longest job was as a Japanese office lady. For 13 years, I did bookkeeping, finance, international currency exchange, and took Japanese people to the social security office, drivers’ license office, doctor’s office, and translated (loosely) whatever ideas they needed to understand or get across to someone else.
  • My most difficult job was in tech support at a very geeky software firm. With 6 months of self-study and a couple of Microsoft certifications under my belt, I became den-mother to the much younger tech support guys who’d just come out of deVry. I was barely treading water trying to support seasoned programmers with my 6 months of virtual experience when they recognized that I’d serve them better as a tech writer. Thank God!
  • My funniest job was in a Chinese restaurant owned by an absent-minded math professor. He would wander off down the mall in pursuit of smokers that he would lecture mercilessly and I’d have to go find him to remind him that he was in the middle of cooking something for a customer. He and his wife were vertically challenged, so they always had me get things off the high shelf for them while he’d sing “loooooo la loooooo, Kim has long legs!” 

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over

  • Arthur
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  • Top Secret
  • Bennie and Joon

Four Places I’ve Lived

  • Alliance, OH
  • Lynchburg, VA
  • Columbus, OH
  • Richmond, VA

Four TV Shows I Like

  • The Daily Show
  • Boston Legal
  • The Office
  • Saturday Night Live

Four Favorite Foods

  • Alaskan King Crab Legs
  • Tohm Kah Gai
  • Singapore noodles
  • Anything with almonds and chocolate as the main ingredients

Four Places I’d Rather Be

  • Paia, Maui
  • In a palapa in Yelapa
  • The Ise Shrine under human-planted trees older than anything in this country
  • At the All Good Festival!

Four People I’m Tagging

  • Umm, since Erin’s the only blogger I know, I’m just going to leave this off.
  • Unless of course someone actually reads this, then it’s “Tag! You’re it!”

Okay, I was a weirdo when the girls were babies (NO I’m not a weirdo now!) and tasted their baby food before I fed it to them. If it was nasty, I’d let them try it in case their tastebuds were different than mine, but would mostly pitch it and never get it again. One such item was babyfood bananas. BLECH! They’re sour! That’s just not natural!

So I was thinking, how hard can it be to smash up bananas myself? And I found this awesome tip on the internet: smash them up and freeze them in an ice cube tray, dump them in a ziplock, and you’ve got single serving sized cubes! I only had to do it like once every week or two, and it only took a couple of minutes, and then they were always on hand. I’d nuke them in a little Japanese tea cup and then cool them down with rice baby cereal and some formula, and that stuff was good! I’d even eat it!

In general, slacker mom describes me better than domestic goddess, but man, I felt pretty good about those banana cubes after the first couple of times I unintentionally made someone else feel like a slacker mom in comparison with my Banana Mashing So NOT Slacker Mommy self! And then I’d do the Church Lady Superior Dance and try to get over myself.

At dinner last night we were down a kid. Sierra, our big girl, was sleeping over at a friend’s, so Aja got Mommy and Daddy’s undivided attention. She was prattling on about tomatoes being fruit, and how most people don’t grow fruit in their gardens. I told her that we did–we have a good crop of strawberries setting up right now, next to her sandbox. David said “At least until the bunnies get them we do.”

Aja looked thoughtful for a couple of seconds and then, so sweet it was all I could do not to dump her on my waffles, came out with “Well, I want them to be for the bunnies, because they’re always out there looking looking looking for food and it’s  really hard for them to find food so I want to give them our strawberries.”

I love to watch how her face goes from goofy seven-year-old to ageless sweetness and light. As a goofy seven-year-old, she’s likely to have her cheeks sucked in and clamped between her teeth, green eyes crossed, and emit some of the most heinous noises. Then suddenly, it’s as if an angelic light washes over her, and she glows with it, her dimples demure, a gentle goodness radiating from her eyes, the sprinkling of freckles across her nose adding a certain poignancy… And then I’m lost. All I can say is, thank God her front teeth have grown in, because when those were missing, her cuteness factor was nearly unbearable.

Of course, we’re never in that much danger of losing it over the ol’ sweetness and light version, because inevitably goofy kicks in with a fart joke and we’re saved.

The car in front of me on the way to work this morning had one of those license plate frames that typically have some kind of sports fanatic message or a car dealership ad. But this one gave me pause. I couldn’t help trying to imagine the person who would go to the effort to purchase and install one that said along the top:

 I “heart” Baskets!

Baskets?? Just in case there was any confusion, they helpfully provided a row of images along the bottom. Yup, baskets.

I “heart” a lot of things, my kids, Cabana Boy (aka my husband), long hair on guys, Umphrey’s McGee, gorgeous spring days, Alaskan King Crab legs, but I have never been moved to actually purchase and install a license plate frame to proclaim my devotion to any of these things. Seriously, baskets??

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