Go-gurt rant

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The kids and I have been on summer break for so long that I have officially lost my mind. Things that would usually not even be on my radar are suddenly very important because there’s too many kids in the house for too many days.

It has come to my attention that Yoplait have teamed up with Disney Pixar and are now advertising ‘Finding Dory’ on the go-gurt packaging.

It’s cute, it’s colorful, it catches the eye of small children who then must beg and plead because they NEED to have the go-gurt with the picture of Dory.

I’m cool with that. If you’re gonna eat weird sugary yogurt from a plastic bag, why not get the one advertising the big summer movie?

We buy the go-gurt. My kid is happy.

We take the go-gurt home. My kid is happy.

I tell her she can eat a go-gurt while I’m making her lunch. My kid is happy.

There’s a joke on the go-gurt wrapper. My kid is happy.

My kid reads the joke aloud. My kid is happy.

I think up two stupid answers to the joke which are bound to be completely wrong. My kid is happy.

My kid excitedly looks for the real answer to the joke. It’s not where she thought it would be. My kid spends more time looking for the punchline to the joke than it took to go to the store, put the go-gurt in the cart, pay for the go-gurt, drive home, load the go-gurt into the fridge, decide to get one back out to eat immediately, cut open the wrapper  and eat the go-gurt.

There is no answer to the joke.

I look at the box. I look at a handful of the other go-gurts. I cut open the wrapper and completely wash it clean, searching for the punchline. There is no answer to the joke.

My kid is not happy.

I’m going to have to assume that the answer to the question “why did the diver bring a telescope underwater?” is “to find the answer to this bloody joke.”

Book Review: The Husband’s Secret

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I went to NYC over Memorial Day weekend and spent a wonderful 3 days trekking around the city.

At JFK airport waiting for my flight home to Austin, I headed off in search of crisps (potato chips) and instead bought myself a book – ‘The Husband’s Secret’ by Liane Moriarty. 

I started reading while waiting at the gate for my plane to board and it pulled me immediately. 

‘The Husband’s Secret’ is a wonderful tale of what lies beneath the surface of the lives we present to the world.

 Happily married mother-of-three, Cecilia Fitzpatrick has her life completely worked out. She runs a successful business and manages her family life with grace and precision, and still finds time not to just be involved in the affairs of her small community but to play an important role in all school, church and civic events.

One evening, while her husband is out of town on business, Cecilia finds a letter amongst some old receipts. The envelope is addressed to her, to be opened only after her husband’s death. Should she open it? 

John-Paul Fitzpatrick has a secret, one he has kept for many years. If anyone found out his whole life, the life he has worked so hard for, would be turned completely upside down. One emotional night he confessed this secret in a letter he intended to be read only after his death. He had forgotten about the letter until his wife discovered it in an old box in the attic.

The letter will change everything, the repercussions will spread out to touch many other lives.

‘The Husband’s Secret’ is a juicy tale of love, lies and life. The characters are people you know, their day to day struggles so very real. The impossible situations they find themselves in, so painfully easy to envision.

Well written, with good measures of humor and drama. I will happily recommend this fast paced read to all my book loving friends, and to some random strangers.

Rock to the left of me, hard place to the right.

I recently reconnected with an old friend, someone I met through a moms group when I was very new at the mom thing. I met lots of people with same age kids back then, some of them I liked a lot – this lady was one firmly in that category. 

But I had issues with the mom group (I’ll just say clique and leave it at that) and it felt like freedom to walk away, unfortunately I didn’t manage to keep in touch with many of the friends I had made there – it was pre-Facebook.

I haven’t spoken with this friend in more than ten years, but through a mutual friend we got back in touch and I discovered that this friend has an amazing life story (from before I met her) which she has recently written a book about. I found her on Facebook and we messaged and as a supportive friend, I bought her book.

I have been reading the book.

I have not been enjoying the book.

As a supportive friend I would love to give a great review and help promote my friend – but I can’t. I know I’m going to have to give feedback, she knows I bought the book, no doubt she will ask my thoughts when we chat again. 

Hello rock, hello hard place, let me try to get comfortable.

It’s Really Spring!

Anyone who has ever spent time in Texas in what is traditionally known as Spring, will know that we don’t always get real spring weather.

While our winters are usually scoffed at by those states/countries who freeze their butts off for weeks/months on end, we do have a cold season and have been known to see our thermometers drop below zero on occasion. Texans either scamble to find hats and gloves or bask in the glorious opportunity to wear cozy sweaters and scarfs for an entire day without breaking out in a sweat. But we also whine about icy roads because our state can’t cope (we don’t grit our roads), we don’t have actual winter coats, and we’re not used to the pain of defrosting ears and noses – what horror is this, the very air attacks my face!
But as soon as the winter weather eases off we play the enjoy-the-outdoors-as-much-as-possible game because we know we’re about to wake up one morning to full on Texas Summer, despite the calendar clearly stating that it’s supposed to be spring.

Summer can start as early as March. No I’m not exaggerating. The sun remembers Texas exists and tries to kill it. Kill it dead. Burn baby burn.

But every so often, we get to enjoy spring, and it’s lovely. It rains, things grow, and stepping outside we discover that “fresh air” is a real thing.

I can leave my windows open and my house does not become an oven!

I can take my dog to run about outside after lunch without requiring a cool bath and an IV!

The kids can play outside, even AFTER school! We can bike or go to the park!

I can actually pause as I  walk to the car, and chat with my friend for more than 48 seconds without needing to wipe the sweat from my eyes!

I love spring! Spring is good!

Oh wait, I forgot about my allergies.

Trusting people with your hair.

When I was very small I had short hair because my mum was in charge of these decisions and she liked short hair.

When I was a little bigger than very small, I wanted my hair long enough “to put in bunches” which is Scottish for pigtails. My mum let me have just-barely-long-enough hair for about a month, and then she insisted I get my haircut again.

My hair was always so short and in such a non-descript style, I bore a striking resemblance to a little boy. And so occasionally I would run around after my older brother, and we both pretended I was his little brother.

I hated getting my hair cut. Because I never had any say in the outcome.

One day I decided to choose my own hairstyle, my mum and her/our hairdresser tried to talk me out of it. It was supposed to be a spiral perm – all the rage in the late 80’s I swear!  I ended up with a DISASTROUS  puffy, old lady perm, and I wore a hat for the next three weeks until my mum took me back and the hairdresser cut as much off as she could. I actually LOVED the fix haircut, except that my ears stuck out.

As an older teenager, I decided to assert my authority over my own hair. When my hair was deemed due for a cut, I refused to go.  My mum persevered for a while, but if I wasn’t willing to walk to the hairdressers with her there was no way she could make me, and so I didn’t have to get my haircut.

For a few years I had scruffy I-have-no-idea-what-to-do-with-this hair – it’s a great look for a teen girl, perfect for making friends and winning the hearts of boys. My patent-still-pending “just gel the sides” look was fabulous.

My fringe (Scottish for bangs) hung down over one eye, great for hiding from mean stares not so great for reading anything further away that the end of my own nose. My aunt told me later that every time she saw me she wanted to reach out and snip that hair curtain right off.

By the time I was 16 I had uniform long straight hair, and that’s pretty much the way it has stayed. It’s gotten progressively shorter over the years, my kid likes to tell me I looked like a hippy in her baby pics, now it’s never longer than just past my shoulders. I trim it myself. I’ve even learned how to put in layers.

As an adult I have gotten my hair trimmed at a salon exactly one time. I thought I had grown up enough to enjoy the experience and want someone else to do something to my hair. I was wrong. When it comes to my hair, I trust no one.

My daughter (the one who said I looked like a hippy) is a different story. She has excellent hair, thick and luxurious and a beautiful shade of auburn with highlights that bring back memories of her strawberry blonde days. I have always let her decide what she would like to do with her hair, because it’s on HER head, not mine.

She’s had quite a few different styles in her relatively short lifetime – she regretted the decision to get bangs, but you live and you learn.

She saved up her babysitting money and paid a fancy salon to make her hair bright pink.

She got tired of the pink. And the hair. And she cut it all off.

She’s so confident with her hair that she let her friend cut it for her. Her friend did a pretty good job, so she asked the same friend to cut her hair a few more times.

This week my daughter decided her hair needed to be cut again and she’d like to pay her friend for her time and effort – a very cool and mature attitude of which I approved.

When I picked my kid up from her friends house, with her shiny new haircut though – she wasn’t smiley and happy. Uhoh.

She did not like the cut. It wasn’t a bad cut, her friend did a really good job on the back (super short) but the front was longer and puffed out too much (Dora the Explorer having a bad hair day) and it didn’t resemble the hairstyle in the inspiration pic.

How were we going to fix this?

The solution was to go back to someone we had previously trusted with her hair – the kid hair salon we’d been frequenting since my kid had enough hair to require a cut. They didn’t let us down. They fixed the messed up cut. It’s good to know who you can trust with your hair.

Me Before You – A Review

Before my new book club picked this novel, I had heard the buzz EVERYWHERE. 

I despise spoilers, so I hadn’t read any detailed articles or reviews but it seemed that every time I went online, I saw friends, friends of friends, and complete strangers recommending ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes to anyone who would listen. So it was on my radar, and I added it to my mental TBR list.

I haven’t been to any meetings with my new book club (maybe it’s a little forward of me to claim it as my own, I should wait and give them time to meet and reject me first) but the friend who invited me forwarded the book choice email to me and I thought yay! Everyone is liking this book, I won’t be stuck reading some rubbish just so I can join in the discussion with my soon-to-be new best book buds.

That same day, another friend shared a link to a video and before I realised which movie it was related to, I clicked on the link and found myself watching the ‘Me Before You’ movie trailer. Oh, now I knew what the book was about… and honestly that premise seemed like something I’d seen before.

Undaunted I immediately bought the book for my Kindle so I could get started reading while the idea was at the front of my brain. If I’d put it off ’til later it would no doubt get lost under “buy stamps” and “swipe that cobweb at the top of the stairs.”

First the positive stuff: I really like the way Jojo Moyes writes. It’s easy to absorb, funny, and the story just carried me along. The main character, Lou, is great. Hugely likeable, and highly relatable.

The story itself, while an enjoyable enough read, was nothing new. The entire time I was reading I could not shake the feeling that I’d read this whole thing somewhere before.

SPOILER ALERT

The main character, Louisa, is a strange but lovable young woman who has never left her hometown and doesn’t think she has much going for her. She’s seemingly happy to accept her small life despite being jealous of her own sister, and having acknowledged the lack of passion, or even interest, in her own love life.

When Lou loses her job at the local cafe she almost accidentally finds herself hired to be the companion and caregiver to a young man who suffered a terrible injury causing him to be paralyzed from the chest down.

Will, the dashingly handsome quadriplegic, that Lou is hired to hang out with, does not want to live the rest of his life in a wheelchair and so very dependent on others for his every need.

Lou discovers that Will had previously attempted to end his own life, that he has a deal with his family that he will be allowed to do so at an already set future date, and that she is the last effort to change his mind and show him he still has a life worth living.

Line up the cliches!

  • Will used to live a very active life.
  • Will used to be a bit of a dick.
  • His parents are rich, so money is no object while trying to change his mind about death.
  • Lou’s family is the opposite of Will’s family – poor/rich – silly/snooty – express emotions/stick up their arse
  • Will’s sister doesn’t like Lou.
  • Will’s parents don’t have a happy marriage.
  • Lou has a scary event from her past.
  • Lou’s boyfriend doesn’t understand her.
  • Lou’s attempts to make Will enjoy his life leads to her seeing the potential in her own.
  • They fall for each other.

There were no plot twists that I didn’t already see coming from three quarters of a mile away.

I’m convinced that this story has been done before, and because of this, even though it was nicely written and not awful to read, I’m seriously disappointed.