Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh, the bureaucracy!

Let me see if I can reconstruct the timeline of the events of the past week; maybe then it will make more sense.

Friday afternoon I called the district court to see if I could mail in a check or pay my ticket over the phone with a debit card since we were moving to Nashville. No dice. I must appear in court or a bench warrant will be issued for my arrest. Ha! Me, the hardened criminal.

This news was frustrating. DJ had to move to Nashville without me so that I could remain in Minnesota for my mandatory court appearance. This morning I got up at the crack of dawn and began feeding, bathing, and dressing my children in their spiffiest clothes in order to make it to court by 9:30. Did I mention that because DJ is in Nashville (without me), I had to take my four children, the oldest of whom is only six, to court with me? Awesome.

I arrived at court at 9:28. My kids hair was pasted back, they wore their Sunday best. They were not yet rowdy. We sat in the back of the courtroom and waited for my name to be called. And then the bailiff escorted us to the lobby, where there was a large sign displaying the Rules of the Lobby.
1. No talking
2. No electronic devices
3. No food or drink
4. No sleeping
5. No reading
6. No gum chewing
Yeeeeeeeah--that's happening. I think I may have laughed out loud when I read this. He explained that we could wait in the lobby and he would come get us when it was our turn.

An hour later (an hour) the prosecutor for the city of Hopkins emerged and told me that if I was willing to pay a $200 fine for allegedly passing the school bus, I could just sign right there on that paper and go home. I'm human. I signed the paper. The city of Hopkins had me where they wanted me.

"Give me five or ten minutes, I'll have the paperwork ready and you can pay your fine and go home," he said, but I was so distracted by his reptilian skin and forked tongue that what I heard was, "Give me five or ten minutes, I'll have the paperwork ready and you can pay your fine and go home."

Silly me. What he meant was: "Now you will sit in this foyer for two more hours wondering if I am in my office eating a hoagie, using this paper you just signed as a placemat."

I sat in that cursed foyer, on those ratty stained couches, surrounded by crackheads, child molesters, people who wantonly disregard school buses, and four unbelievably whiny children for three hours. I would have preferred a jail cell (at least then I could let my kids run around or chew gum).

At the end of my three hour sentence, the prosecutor snapped his jaw back into place after having swallowed a mouse whole, and came back into the foyer. He did a great job of looking surprised to see me (as if he couldn't hear my whining children from his office).

"Oh! You thought I was going to bring the paperwork back out to you!" he said, fake-palm-smacking his forehead.

I am embarrassed about my behavior in that foyer. "You mean," I screamed, the edges of my vision getting shaky, such that I began to wonder if I was going to transform into a werewolf, "I have been sitting in this foyer for two hours for nothing?!" Spittle flew. Really. It was not attractive behavior. He began to respond, but I was so filled with rage that all I could do was gather up my five hundred children, and the board books, and the stuffed sheep that Olivia had to bring, and the spilled Cheerios, and stomp into line to pay my $200 fine.

And I waited in line.

The same line that I had just waited next to for three hours.

When it was my turn, the poor lady working there (who was a witness to my tantrum) was the one who had to tell me that their "computers [were] down" and they were unable to take my payment.


Then I can mail my payment in, can't I?--Of course you can mail your payment in!

She even gave me a convenient envelope designed for the specific purpose of mailing payments.

Oh, the bureaucracy!

(For the record, there was no school bus.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Speaking of...

Hell hath no fury like a Chancho scorned. Feast your eyes on Chancho's Grumpy Face. It may turn out to be less charming when he is a teenager, but for now I adore it. It's one of the few things he does on command.
Speaking of doing things on command, I have an announcement. I have been officially summonsed to court for my driving-around-the-school-bus infraction. I've been commanded to appear at 9:30 Monday morning. I'm considering depriving my children of breakfast and taking them to court with me, just so the judge gets a good idea of the conditions I was driving under when I committed the offense. Maybe I should also bring a Super Soaker to simulate the rainy conditions.
Speaking of committing an offense, the tornado siren went off last night. At first I thought, "What the devil is that obnoxious squealing?!" I stepped onto the deck and beheld that the trees were blowing horizontally on the lawn and that leaves and debris were falling upward; not good omens. Also, it was five p.m. and dark as night. I reacted calmly and rationally, remembering the two most important things to do in an emergency: 1. Text everyone you've ever met, and 2. Make your kids get in the bathtub. To make a long, action-packed story short, there was no tornado in Hopkins. Apparently the town of Hopkins is a little siren happy. Also, the siren also goes off in case of flooding and there was flooding downtown (getting in the basement when I hear the siren=no longer my first choice). There was the threat of a tornado, however--but that also happened last week.
Speaking of things that should have happened last week, we're moving to Nashville next week. DJ's whole office is moving and whither they goest, we go. I'm liking the idea of living in the country music capital of the world. What if I meet Jack Johnson?! I know he doesn't sing country, that was just an honest question. I would love to meet Jack Johnson.
Speaking of Jack Johnson, one of my favorite songs of his is "Gone." Here are the lyrics:
Look at all those fancy clothes / But these could keep us warm just like those / And what about your soul? Is it cold? / Is it straight from the mold and ready to be sold? / And cars and phones and diamond rings, / Bling, bling, but those are only removable things. / And what about your mind? Does it shine? / And are there things that concern you more than your time?
I love this song. If you've never heard it, I recommend it highly. That, and "Banana Pancakes"--both to listen to and to eat.
Speaking of cars and phones and diamond rings, my husband is in a sales contest at work and he is kicking some serious sales booty. He keeps winning stuff. So far he's won an iTouch, a pair of fancy headphones that he gave to one of his coworkers (Skull Candy? All I know is they are way too awesome for the likes of us), a $200 gift certificate to an overpriced online clothing store, and get this--a motorized longboard. (I don't know what that is, but I can tell you my grocery shopping just got a lot easier!) Tonight he's in the process of winning an iPad. If he wins the iPad he moves on to the Jeep round. If he wins the Jeep round he goes on to the Camaro round. You heard me: Camaro. Naturally, if he wins the Camaro I'm going to make him sell it to pay off our debt. But it will be fun to drive until it sells. Maybe I can get a skanky miniskirt (and a tan) and pretend I'm that girl in Transformers. Oh wait, I just remembered I'm not cool. Crap.
Speaking of crap...just kidding, I'm done.
(Now, take a 2 minute, 14 second vacation. You deserve it.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Behold, The Coolness

Enough silliness.
Time to blog.

I've been pondering the idea of changing the name of my blog. How does Haynes Family Travelling Circus of Chaos roll off the tongue? What about Haynes Family Rowdy Towhead Parade? I feel like the ringmaster of a travelling circus slash towhead parade. But to call myself the ringmaster implies that I have some degree of control. This is most definitely not the case, which is evident whenever I shop for groceries.

DJ (bless his soul) works six days of the week, and unless I want to live off of ice cubes dipped in ketchup it behooveth me to shop for groceries. Shopping trips usually require the use of those humiliating limousine shopping carts with an orange car on the front. I hate them. It is impossible to feel cool bringing up the rear of one of those monsters. Naturally, my kids love them.

I'm finally coming to terms with my uncoolness (twenty-nine years later). It's been a long, nerdy road of self-discovery. I was especially uncool in middle school. I was the dorkiest of the dorks. I'm okay with that because, in hindsight, even the cool kids were total dorks. In fact, there are many things that were considered cool in middle school that I was too much of a geek to be involved with. Two specific things come to mind: 1. crimped hair and 2. Beverly Hills 90210.

[Before my sisters out me, I must admit to owning and wearing a 90210 t-shirt that had Jason "Brandon" Priestley on it. (I would've preferred the Luke "Dylan" Perry t-shirt but the store was all out. Ah, the fickle tastes of a tween...) That was the full extent of my involvement.]

Behold, the coolness. I think I've seen every one of those outfits at the D.I. This leads me to my next point.

The harder I try to be cool, the dorkier I am. See those jeans? Those are Girbaud jeans. They had a little white tag right on the fly, that's how come they were worth sixty dollars. (My parents are better to me than I deserve.) I wanted with all of my 11-year-old heart to have voluminous bangs like the cool girls (coughMONNA!cough). I squirted and squirted them with Rave Super Duper Maximum Hold Hairspray. I couldn't pull it off. (Clearly, the problem was in the asymmetry. I see that now, eighteen years later.) The bolo tie certainly didn't help my cause. Aaaannyway...

I'm done. I'm not even going to try to be cool anymore. It never works out. It's expensive, impractical, and when you take the Rave into account, bad for the environment.

What brought all this on, you ask?

I don't know.

Maybe finding this on my camera.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Road Trip

Please keep your hands and arms inside of the emotional rollercoaster at all times.

On Thursday of last week I packed my children into the car and left for St. George, leaving DJ waving pathetically in my rear view mirror. I wept. It was an emotional parting. After I was out of sight DJ began inflating his float tube, sorting through his tackle box, popping microwave popcorn, and taking up the entire bed.

The next morning I was on I-70 west of Denver when DJ called saying that his Grandpa Mendel had passed away the previous night. I can't try to be funny about the passing of Grandpa Mendel. Who will fill my children with cheese and crackers (but mostly cheese) every Sunday afternoon when we visit? Who will DJ call when he sees a good deal on a camper/chainsaw/diesel/ice auger/high boy jack? Who will give me a Costco-sized bottle of A-1 sauce every year for Christmas? Who will finish Grandma Marilyn's sentences? Who will fill Grandpa Mendel's shoes?

No one.

DJ flew to Utah immediately, almost beating me there. We attended the viewing on Saturday morning. The funeral was on Wednesday. I got to spend a few days hanging out with my awesome aunts-in-law. (I'm still waiting for my Scrabble rematch, by the way.)

Then we drove to Lake Powell for my sister Lisa's long-awaited wedding.

The setting was beautiful.
It rained and we ran under the tent.

This kiss was a long time comin'. We're talking twelve years comin', peops. We're talking Jim and Lisa have been together since before American Idol. Before they started putting zipper tops on the brown sugar and bagged cereals. Before Priuses. Before George W. Bush. Lisa and Jim have been together since the Clinton administration, people.

Lisa looked absolutely beautiful.
Macey got all mad at me for making her get out from under the table.

And the next day we went to the beach at Lone Rock so that we could get sand in all of our crevices. (Speaking of crevices: Carrie, if you ever read my blog you would send me a bouquet of roses for photoshopping your exposed crevice. Look at that craftsmanship! You can hardly tell there was once a comically exposed crevice in that very site. You can also barely tell that DJ was wearing those ridiculous silver spaceman sunglasses that someone left in his van.)

That night my dad took my sisters and I on a boat ride that caused massive amounts of family drama. This is us before the boat ride drama doo doo hit the fan. After it hit the fan, DJ and drove back toward Minneapolis to avoid any of the doo doo splattering on our windshield.

We stopped in Nebraska to sleep at Motel 6, where the girl at the front desk informed us that there was a tornado warning in effect. "If you hear the siren," she said cheerfully, "come downstairs and we'll all get in the basement. No biggie."

I was totally excited to see a tornado. I couldn't sleep at all because I was hoping to see one. I was also excited because I had a bunch of tornado jokes I was prepared to crack in the basement. It was like waiting for Santa Claus. But, just like Santa, the tornadoes eluded me.

The next morning we pressed on toward Minneapolis. Olivia threw up in the back seat of the car and it was gross. Then we got home. The end.

Please remain seated until your emotional rollercoaster ride comes to a complete stop. Permanaced sentados, por favor.