Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Minivan Media

Picture yourself in the front seat of my Venture minivan. (Oh yes. You're already green with envy over my life of obvious excess.) We both have a grande skinny vanilla latte, and we have a little time to kill. We could be waiting for our kids, or for our meth dealer to show up. No matter. We're here, in the van, together. Let's talk pop culture. I promise to give you a 1000 word review where less than 10% is actually about the topic. It's like having an actual conversation with me.


Today's musical: Mamma Mia

I think I've figured out the smell from last Friday.  George the Superpet is extremely shaggy, because I don't get him groomed in the winter because I feel all guilty taking away his coat.  It's like saying to your cute, defenseless kindergartner, "Hey, I know you have this really awesomely warm sheepskin coat, but since it's about 10 degrees outside, I'm going to make you go outside in just a tank top and pee in the yard."  So George still has his very thick sheepskin/poodle coat on, but it's been thawing, and even though I picked up five grocery bags of poodle poop the other day, the dog still poops every day, and he has apparently been acting as a large Poodle Swiffer in my backyard, collecting mud, bracken, and the remains of the 30 or so feral cats from the backyard in his shagginess.  He's been banned from my bed, which makes him very upset, and I'm calling a groomer tomorrow.  He weighed in at 111.2 pounds at the vet last week, but I bet 10 pounds of it is his coat.  Poor George.

So last Saturday, I loaded up the girls and drove to Omaha, Nebraska.  It's a five hour drive from my house, and until Des Moines it's okay, but the stretch between DSM and Omaha is enough to make you want to drive straight off of a cliff.  If there were any cliffs between Des Moines and Omaha, which there are not.  It's very flat and devoid of much, so even if you wanted to drive into something, you couldn't.  It's especially awesome when your 7-year-old says, "How much longer, I can't take it any more" about every 15 minutes.  You can't even bribe the children because it is the longest stretch in the world without a McDonalds.

I grew up in Nebraska, and live in Iowa, so I can say mean things about them because it is said with love in my heart.  It's kind of like how I can say, "It drives me nuts how my husband can just sit on the couch all night and watch TV" but if you say, "Doesn't it drive you nuts how your husband sits on the couch all night and watches TV" I will be forced to say, "No, I encourage it.  It keeps him from screwing the neighbor like yours does."  This is how I am about Iowa and Nebraska.  If you say, "It's so boring to drive there" I will say something like, "It's beautiful in its sparseness - ever hear of Willa Cather?  Try driving through Kansas."

We got to my parent's house, which is actually just a summer cabin on the Elkhorn River, and of course, my mom wasn't there.  She was shopping with my sister, which is where she usually is when I show up.  This time, they were shopping for three queen-size inflatable mattresses, because my sister's house was full of natural gas as their furnace broke.  Oh, and I was on Day 2 of my period.  If only we had a leper and a whore and this story would take on Biblical proportions.

My mom was taking Oldest Daughter, my sister, and me to Mamma Mia at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha for OD's birthday.  We sat around talking until we realized with a panic that we were late, we raced to the restaurant only to find that the wait was too long and we ended up at Panera Bread to eat fast before the show.  Mom had accidentally deleted the tickets from her e-mail, so we had to drop her off for the Will Call window at the front of the theater.  We dropped her off for the tickets, found a parking garage a couple of blocks away, prayed for a crime-free night and settled in for the show.


She is not in ABBA, nor is she a Mamma, and it is not set in Italy.
She is laughing at us, not with us.

Mamma Mia was terrific, with two notable exceptions:  A) the girl playing Sophie was very ANIMATED and THEATRICAL to the point of distraction, and B) Colin Firth was notably absent from the role of Harry.  I moaned loudly about the lack of Firthiness in the show, and during intermission my mom very loudly told us all a story about the last time she was in the Orpheum Theater: 

"Suzanne from work and I came here to see a movie, it must have been about 30 years ago or so, and I looked across the aisle and there was this guy jacking off, and it was the only time I've ever seen someone do that in public.  He was REALLY into it.  But the Orpheum has really changed since then, it's so much nicer."

You're welcome, everyone in Loge seating section 2.


Inside the Orpheum Theater,
where no one masturbates anymore.

So the show ended and we drove home and mom wanted to know why everyone was going to bed?  Aren't you going to stay up and have a drink?  Um, Mom, it's 1 a.m., and I have to drive five hours tomorrow.  Stay up with me, I never see you.  Okay.  So I stay up with Mom and have a drink, and when I just can't stay up any longer I crawl into the air mattress and promptly roll into the middle with OD  because the mattress is already deflating, and it's freezing cold in there, and just as I get warm one of the kids gets sick.  All of the adults get up to sit with the sick child, and when that seems to be okay, we all go back to bed around 2:30 or so.  Then I wake up in a panic at 4 a.m. because it's almost dawn of Day 3 of my period and sometimes there is an emergency.  I woke up at 8 a.m. with the same kind of emergency, and at that point mom was up with coffee having her morning smoke, so I decided to stay up with her and eat chocolate cookies for breakfast.  Because we are ALL about health in my family.

At 11 a.m. I packed up the girls and we left, just in time to hit a small snowstorm in Des Moines, and then Youngest Daughter got carsick in Williamsburg and then in West Branch, so I'd like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to McDonalds for having the cleanest restrooms on the Interstate. 

All told, it was nice to see my family, and we loved Mamma Mia.  But Sophia can tone it down a little bit.  And the Orpheum Theater is lovely, even though Colin Firth would have certainly perked everyone up a bit.  The end.





3 comments:

Peruby said...

I don't know. It sounds exhausting. Get some rest.

Tonya Dreher said...

SO...if I were to picture myself in the front seat of your minivan, we would be paging through a copy of Awkward Family Photos and grabbing our crotches to keep from peeing everywhere. If you haven't already, treat yourself to awkwardfamilyphotos.com Serious material for you. You're welcome.

chasing empty pavements said...

A. It feels so good to be back reading your stuff. Took a hiatus. Missed you.

B.It's kind of awesome-creepy how I know all the places you talk about in your blog because I also live in Iowa and I'm probably your neighbor like 3 streets or maybe a county away.

C.My boyfriend's family is also from Nebraska and they also like to correct me when I loudly exclaim "this is the most boring drive ever."

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