Obligatory Driving-Related Quote

I was going to call this post “The plague of the greasy black engines has gone East” but I figured that was too unrelated/too long (or maybe life is too short to harbor as many Joanna Newsom quotes as one might wish to use). But that is how I feel when I think of the fact that: yep, I finally got my license. Hip hip hooray, or whatever. Everyone is pretty happy about it, including myself. I was one check-mark away from failing that cone stuff but HA HA NOPE I WIN.

Mom wanted to be tagged about driving, since she was the one who had to endure the torture of teaching me the cones. However, after going to the store with her the other night, I have an even better thing to tag her for.

So I decided to be super nice and accompany Mom to the store… I somewhat dragged my feet, and then dragged a cart, and then rode the back of the cart like you’re not supposed to but everyone does. I stood in an aisle of pillows and contemplated lying down in a basket of them and having a nap while Mom debated for the rest of eternity about which one to buy. Then the groceries… Mom kneeling to peer at the bottom shelf while I lolled over the handle of my cart and made bored commentary for my own amusement and that of nearby shoppers.
Mom: “They only have strawberry lemonade and not pink lemonade!”
Me: “Well, that’s awkward.”
Mom: “I know, right?!”
I laughed, and so did the random lady passing by our predicament.

What is it about this particular store– the Target up the street from my house– that engenders interactions with strangers? And I don’t mean talking to the cashier or something. I mean I always seem to have some kind of encounter within those aisles. Like the time I wore my hat (a gray hat with a brown feather in the band) there and found myself mired in the cereals alongside a pair of hipsters who gave me scoffing sideways looks.

Speaking of which. Just now I was sitting at the table listening to my music play through the pair of computer speakers that have somehow become an intrinsic part of our house, and Dodge teased me about being a hipster (Me: “This band is actually well known though. They’re popular.” Dodge: “With hipsters.” “But they get played on the radio.” “The hipster station on the radio.” ….”You just rage quit this conversation,” he said as I finally gave up). Then Dad sat down and took off his knit hat.
Me: “What the heck is with your hair?” It was laying flat and combed back, and in its need-of-cutting state… “You look like Benjamin Franklin.”
Dodge: laughter
Me: laughter
Dad: “I’ve been wearing a hat all day!” (scowl) “And I’ll wear it all night too.” (mutters) “Kids.” He put the hat back on and went into the living room to sulk.
Dodge: *high-fives me*

Yeah I know, I’m practically a comedian. Anyway, I’m off to work.

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Coupon Shopping and Other Forms of Torture

Mom has decided to become a coupon shopper. She has a binder full of clear plastic slots just for organizing her (wait for it) “coups”.

Me: “Did you just say ‘coups’? What, is this crazy coupon lady jargon now?”
Mom: “Heh… No. I made it up.”
Me: “Greaaaaat.”

Well, we went to Target. And everything was really. Really. Slow. Because instead of whipping in, grabbing a cart of stuff (cough junk food cough) and getting the heck out of there, you have to actually, you know, shop. Like look at prices, and sales, and make comparisons. And dig through the Binder. (Yes, I feel it should be capitalized. It’s That Important.)

Candy Aisle:
Me: “Peeps! Look, they’re so sad.”
Mom: “You’re looking at marshmallow birds while you should be helping me! Don’t get distracted.”
Me: “Look at their beady, sad little eyes!”
Mom: *drags me away*

Hair Products Aisle:
Mom: “I have a coup for this hair spray… Oh look! It’s on sale! Wait, wait. Buy one, get one of these other things free…”
Me: “Great. Fabulous. OK. Let’s go.”
Mom: “Wait, wait. Where’s the free things? Buy one get these free… I don’t see them…”
Me: “They’re all gone.”
Mom: “But I don’t see them.”
Me: “Because they’re gone.”
Mom: “But… wait… what are the free things?”
Me: “You won’t see them because they are gone.”
Mom: “Where?”
Me: “GAH!” *sits on lower shelf*
Mom: “Ohh. There they are. Wait, they’re gone.”
Me: ………………
Mom: “Oh. That’s what you were saying.”
Me: ………………..
Mom: “OK. Moving on.”

The above conversation is an example of what we children of the family call a “Unicorn Moment”. So named because one day, Dodge and I were watching The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings movie, in case you have gone through your life deprived of epicness and have never heard of this thing) and Mom was in the room, asleep on the couch. She was half-waking up when Shadowfax (a white horse) came on the screen. Dodge sarcastically exclaimed,  “Look, a unicorn!” Mom opened her eyes all startled and said, “What? He’s riding a unicorn?”

And the quote lives on forever in infamy… Now, whenever Mom has a “duh” moment, we say, “What? He’s riding a unicorn?” and then she laughs and tell us to shut up.

So finally the coupon shopping experience was over. We did end up saving a decent amount of money, but not enough to pay for Braille lessons after I yanked my eyes out and threw them against the wall in frustration.
Obviously I didn’t actually do that.
But it could happen. Just saying. I’m on the brink already, people! If not my eyes, someone else’s. Another three minutes in that aisle, breathing in the sweet, sickly chemical scent… Beware, innocent bystanders!

~Pen

PS: Written per Mom’s request, as she wanted to be tagged… :)

Thumbing Our Noses

So we had to go grocery shopping… my least-favorite thing to do, like, ever. I HATE the big grocery store! We try to get everything we can from this little marketplace/store that sells all Ohio-grown produce, homemade sauces and soups, and really good meat… But they don’t sell soymilk, cereal, shedded cheese, stuff like that. So we always have to go to the EVIL grocery store. Whenever I go there I always feel such rage against the world… It makes you feel very trapped in this system, and especially after watching Food, Inc and reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, that is not where I want to be.

This time, my mom came with me. We brought our reusable bags…

This is really a whole other post, but... Me disliking feeling like a billboard + Dad disliking foreign cars + one giant permanent marker = this.

Since I’ve of course been talking up a storm about organic foods, Mom decided to be very loving and supportive and buy as much organic food as we possibly could. My soymilk. The beans. The cereal, the meats. The granola bars, peanut butter, pasta and frozen veggies. We checked out and used a total of ZERO plastic bags (Cashier: “Would you like me to put this meat in a plastic bag?” Mom: “Would you like my daughter to have a heart attack?”) Everything was more expensive, of course, but once we read the labels we realized that the food we were getting was mostly made with less and healthier ingredients. The peanut butter was made with (shocker) Peanuts. That was all. The applesauce was made from Apples and Water. Though I knew Mom was not exactly happy about the higher prices, she was still very, very nice and supportive of me and decided to just go with it. Thanks, Mommy!

We left the Evil Grocery feeling actually victorious. I didn’t feel as trapped. Of course it wasn’t perfect (I would prefer all-local, too, but we take it step by step) but we felt like we were thumbing our noses at the system. We didn’t need the big, evil store or the big, evil companies that were trying to make us eat clones and chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients. “Better open a window, cuz somebody just got BURNED!” Oh yeah.

So that was our day. I’m very proud of Mom for being so adventurous. <3

And while we’re on the topic of thumbing our noses at the system, on Friday we were out gallivanting around town after our dentist appointments (I am already growing wisdom teeth, which is not supposed to happen until age 18. I said I must be very wise for my age). We stopped to grab a bite and the lady at the register was all, “Oh, is school out already?” (It was like, noon.) We were like, “uh… sure….” But now I’m wondering why people feel this uncontrollable need to ask me why I’m not “in school”. Do you ask adults why they’re not at work? Is school supposed to be my life or something? So, next time I get asked that question I’m just gonna say, “Nah. I cut classes again today.” Now THAT will freak people out GOOD. Hahaha. Hilarious. The best part is when they look at you like they can’t decide if you’re joking or not. 

Breaking out of the system is not only good for you, it’s FUN. :D

Till the cardboard boxes,
–Pen

You ate what!?

Well. The mall overnighter was fun, I am still kind of tired (probably didn’t help that I stayed up till 1 am last night, but oh well. I was writing). Also while there, I discovered that I am a failure at shopping.
First of all, I am very slow. I look at everything, ponder for a bit, then try it on and if it fits, ponder some more. Secondly, I have found that shopping by myself is excessively difficult. I mean, I actually ask my mom to come help me. This is not a very good sign for my “Independence Campaign”. I mean most people my age are trying to ditch their parents at the mall, not take them along! And so to conclude, I have realized at long last that I am just not cut out for shopping. I hated shopping until at least fifth or sixth grade. Now I like it, but only because I enjoy having cute clothes. (And necklaces– I think I am going to have a necklace fetish, because I saw a bunch of them Saturday night! Oh, and I bought myself a very cool Alice in Wonderland shirt. :) )

In other news….
Eliza ate ALLIGATOR!
She and the rest of the DHFs are in Florida (lucky!!!) soaking up the sunshine right now. Apparently Rachel convinced Eliza to eat alligator like this: “If you eat it, you can tell Pen you ate alligator”, so she ate it! I was like wow! I would probably never try any. But she said it was actually pretty yummy… I am very impressed! :D

I miss them… and the sun… and oh yeah, there was once this thing called summer…

I guess that’s all for now. Time to go make some broccoli (ew). ;)

Peace out,
Pen