I’m listening to the Pogues right now. I’ve been on a Pogues kick lately, and I finally made my own Pogues playlist on YouTube after several frustrating attempts to listen to other people’s disorganized ones. Mine is perfect. It’s very short, only ten songs, but they’re my favorite ten, and they flow seamlessly from high-spirited to slightly melancholy to downright depressing. As it should be. I seriously wonder about these people who can actually listen to “Whiskey You’re the Devil” immediately after “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. It’s just irreverent.
So the Olympics start today, and I’m pining for a television of our very own. It’s times like these, when the Olympics are on and when It’s a Wonderful Life plays incessantly for all of December, that I keenly feel the absence of a television.
That’s such a lie. I feel it all the time. I love TV, which is exactly why we don’t have one.
But I really do have fond memories of Olympic summers. My favorite was when Kerri Strug won the gold by breaking her ankle. (I think there was a good vault in there somewhere but mostly people remember her for bravely choosing a gold medal over the integrity of her own bones.) We were on vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks that summer, and we all forsook the bright sun and glittering lake in favor of huddling around the small hotel TV to see how the gymnastics competition turned out (since, let’s be honest, that’s the only event anyone really cares about).
We all cheered, shouted and high-fived each other when she stuck that last landing before collapsing, and I actually teared up when Bela Karolyi carried her up to receive the medal. Even at the tender age of twelve, I recognized an iconic Olympic moment when I saw one.
Speaking of iconic Olympians, did y’all know that Jason Statham was an Olympic diver for the UK? And that he later said that being an Olympic diver was “just a silly hobby?”
That really makes me question my own silly hobbies. I think watching The Big Bang Theory is a silly hobby; Jason Statham thinks being one of a handful of the world’s top athletes is a silly hobby. I think occasionally twisting some wire into a pair of earrings is a silly hobby; Jason Statham thinks jumping off a high-dive and performing a complex series of flips and twists before slicing neatly through the surface of the water is a silly hobby.
But then I remember that he starred in Crank, and I feel much better about myself. And then I remember that he also starred in Crank 2, and I wonder if Jason Statham actually knows what the phrase “silly hobby” mean.
Most of our neighbors have been out of town for the summer, trying to escape the oppressive heat. It’s been like a ghost town around here. I’ve been starting to wonder if I somehow fell into the last two episodes of Season 2 of Supernatural, when Sam is stuck in the bleak, empty, “most haunted town in America.” Seriously. I half-expect to see little demon girls around every corner, just waiting to scratch my eyes out.
Luckily no creepy demons showed up, but our neighbors are finally returning. It’s such a relief. I don’t think I realized how depressing it was to be surrounded by empty houses.
So some evil hornets have begun building a series of nests by our front door. This is a serious problem for me because I’m terrified of hornets and the Ogre isn’t here to spray them for me.
Terminix is coming to do a quarterly treatement on Wednesday, but I’m wondering if I should wait that long to deal with them. Additionally, I’m not sure that I can handle the adrenalin rush of pure terror that I have to face every time we walk out the front door and try to dart to the car without the hornets noticing and emerging to brutally sting us to death.
The worst part about it is that the kids don’t seem to understand the life-threatening situation they face each time we leave or return to the house. I scream, cajole, and threaten, and yet they mosey. They stop and look at the lizards in the bushes. They pick up leaves and bend down to tie their shoes. And all the while I have to battle my instinct for self-preservation, which compels me to dart inside, slam the door, and let them fend for themselves, and my protective instincts, which compel me to huddle half-in the door, anxiously watching for any sign of hornet activity while yelling at the kids to move it, right now, because don’t they understand that if the hornets come out we’ll all die horrible, painful, excruciating deaths?
Then Sienna calls me a chicken, and I internally curse the Ogre’s genetic code for giving me children who have loads of their father’s stoicism and almost none of my natural wimpiness. All I want is one child who runs, terrified, with me into the house when anything which both flies and buzzes comes within 20 feet of us. Instead, I have children who laugh and point and call me a wimp. Is that fair, I ask you?
I like to remind my family and everyone in the general vicinity and apparently you as well that I had a baby in my living room. If that’s not stoicism, I don’t know what is. Look at that picture! That was in transition, yo! So what if I scream at the sight of stinging insects? I can expel entire people from my hoo-hah without the aid of serious pharmaceuticals.
I wonder how long I can milk that. Is ten years too much to hope for?
Happy weekend, everyone! Go see Jen for more quick takes!