Friday, February 12, 2010

5:00 Fridays

Photo courtesy of Laurie White:
Photo courtesy of Laurie White:

Photo courtesy of Brenda Bartella Peterson:

I hear that some people in my viewing area have been hit with just a tish of snow.

Prepare yourself for a sidebar here:

When I was in about third grade I recall writing a story about where snow comes from. This was a creative writing assignment, not a science paper. I mean, really, I might have fared better in science class had there been more writing and less calculating. I didn't even know that snowflakes have six sides until Bird (who's 6) told me. All I knew is that each snowflake is unique and that that fact makes for a tired metaphor. Nothing like digressing in a sidebar that is already a digression of sorts. Anyway, I wrote a rather in-depth folkloric tale, replete with glitter in my illustrations, about snow. My story was that every time the angels combed their hair it snowed. My teacher hated it. She visibly shuddered. Back then we didn't need to pad self-esteem to the Nth degree and pat kids on the back for every gosh darn pea they ate and pee they tinkled. My teacher even took me into the hall for a good old fashioned talking-to.

You see, I equated snow with angel dandruff. Apparently angels are holy creatures not to be taken snidely. And apparently that little itch was totally telling my teacher something. I was too young to be irreverent; I was just being creative. So I thought. Lesson learned: Some people are very touchy about their dandruff.

Here in Raleigh we got some snow too. All of four inches. We missed three days of school. I'm not mathy but I think that figure to an average of about a day or so for every inch. I donated almost three times that much hair and didn't get a day off. When it snows here it's equal parts glorious novelty and pain in the arse. The novelty wears off as quickly as the white stuff melts. The pain in the arse lingers since the yard is pretty much a sodden mush pit now. From mosh pit to much pit in the course of a few years. Such is the plight of those of us who grow up.

Since our snow left us as quickly as you can blow dandruff off your shoulder, I'm honoring my friends just over the state line and beyond with today's drink. My pal Colin was serving these the first night it snowed here. I hear the plows aren't making much headway so you must have some untouched snow to use. Word to the wise, leave the yellow snow alone.

This cocktail is Head & Shoulders above the rest.

Snow Cream

Fresh snow
Maple syrup (The real deal only, folks!)

Fill a tumbler with fresh snow. Add a shot or two of bourbon, dash of vanilla, tablespoon or so of maple syrup, and a healthy pour of cream. Stir ever so slightly. Keep this one pure and don't add garnish.

Remember, the more you drink, the more quickly the snow will go away. Be your own plow.

When life gives you snow, make snow creams.

When life gives you dandruff, make a trip to CVS for Head & Shoulders.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Want vs. Need

Bird's homework yesterday was to make a list of five things he Wants and five things he Needs. Then we had to work together to determine the price of one item he covets, find out where to get it, and figure out how he could earn the money to buy it. We went through the exercises, but the outcome is realistically never gonna happen. Can a six-year old really earn 300 bucks to buy himself a freaking gaming system? Pretty damn unlikely in this house. I can't speak to what grandparents might succumb to.

Bird's homework got me thinking about how we're teaching our sons the difference between wanting and needing. There's simultaneously a fine line yet a jagged abyss between the two. It's clear that I'm not setting a very good example. I pine for the perfect pair of black boots and whine about how I nnnneeeeeeeeeddddd them. Of course I know and Mac Daddy knows I don't need them. Mac Daddy knows me well enough to know that all I really need is a slick cool slap of reality once in a while. That, and ice cream.

Have a look at Bird's list. You'll note that it ain't gonna win him any points on the pageant circuit. Looks like I'll have to return all the bow ties and black tap shoes I've been hoarding in his closet.

Need (He's clearly one to harp on the obvious.)
Mom and Dad (I'm amazed we made this list, with me getting top billing even!)
Car (This is because we live in Raleigh, the world's most unwalkable city.)

Want (Hmmm...this list harkens to the letter Bird wrote to Santa.)
Nerf gun
TV in my room (Nevah!)
Blendy Pens
Wii games
Ds games

The pageant folks might be impressed with the inclusion of artsy Blendy Pens (despite the As Seen on TV pock mark that blemishes this choice) or the future architect potential of LEGO, but the rest of the stuff is mindless clutter, literally and figuratively. I will say this: Bird is a kid who knows what he wants.

But what he needs is an attitude adjustment. As for me and those perfect black boots, I realize I don't need them. But I really really really really really want them. In a size 6. You know, just in case anyone is feeling particularly generous.

Maybe Bird and I can get a BOGO deal on that attitude adjustment.
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