Friday, September 26, 2014

Staycation Day 4: Recreational Slumming

We changed things up on Staycation Day 4 because I had an appointment in the morning, so Grammy generously offered to watch the kids. The kids are a little more rambunctious than Sister and I were as children, so I'm fairly sure that the second they leave Grammy's house she pours herself a glass of wine and takes a nap. Grammy already has her hands full trying to train Hello Puppy, who is just about the cutest puppy ever. But as anyone who has tried to train a dog will tell you, cuteness is in the eye of the person not getting woken up at 4 am to watch the puppy sniff the grass for ten minutes and not pee. I hoped that the kids would help out with Hello Puppy, who they all seem to like better than the Dog. You might be wondering how Hello Puppy and Dog get along. Well, the first time they met, the Dog was thrilled to find something over which she could exert dominance (her usual M.O. is to try to take down the Baby). They chased each other and tumbled around on the floor and then the Girl said, "Look, [the Dog] is trying to play wheelbarrow with the puppy!" Yesssss, that's exactly what's happening.

Just as a palate cleanser, here is a dog pushing a wheelbarrow:

Just so you don't get the idea that I was doing something fun for myself, I had a physical therapy appointment for my back. Going to PT has a certain Hotel California-like quality to it. Time loses all significance and when I leave, sometimes after two hours, I can't for the life of me explain what took so long. I also feel a little dishrag-tired, especially if I've had dry needling. After PT, all I want to do is go home and relax. When the kids are in school, at least that's an option (even if I rarely just sit around and relax). Unfortunately, with the kids on break, what I had to do was entertain three children who were tired of spending time together.

 After I relieved Grammy of her babysitting duties and took the kids home, I realized we had to come up with a plan, and fast because my cleaning people were coming. There is nothing more disheartening than being in the house while it's being cleaned and watching the kids immediately ransacking the parts that have already been finished. At least if you aren't home you get that 30 seconds of euphoria that comes with opening the door to a clean house before the children trash it. Over the Boy's strong objections, I decided to take them bowling because it's super close and I was running out of ideas.

We have a bowing alley about a mile from our house, which might make you think you can picture our neighborhood, until I tell you that it's across the street from a Buddhist meditation center. I'm fairly sure that bowling alleys across from meditation centers is the definition of "mixed use." The mall in which the bowling alley is located is undergoing renovations and will welcome Walmart as a new anchor tenant. The addition of Walmart was pretty controversial and I can understand that people have strong dislike for Walmart, its business practices, and some of the products sold there. I'm choosing to look on the bright side, which includes Walmart Bingo:

I just LOLed at the just underpants and no underpants dichotomy. Which is worse? Hard to say, it probably depends on the situation. Meanwhile, that's probably the first time "dichotomy" was used in reference to Walmart and underpants. Come to think of it, the same Bingo chart might work just as well at the Boy's baseball tournament this weekend.

The bowling alley smells like skunked beer and b.o., and it attracts the most randomly random people, which is always interesting. However, we were the only people who were bowling at 2pm on a Thursday, which gave me a few minutes to chat up the employee about the big changes coming to the mall. He told me that the owners of the bowling alley were given just under $1 million to stay open during the Walmart construction and that they were planning to do some big renovations to the bowling alley with that money. I fear that it will take far more than $1 million to do what needs to be done to the bowling alley. And even after any renovations, it will still be located next to a hair-braiding shop. But, he did deliver some good news (from my POV, anyway). Starbucks has plans to build a drive-through in the renovated mall complex. You heard it here first!

The kids bowled and I enjoyed the medley of early 1980's music. We heard Madonna ("Borderline"), Prince ("When Dove's Cry"), Human League ("Don't You Want Me?"), and Toto ("Africa"). How is it that I can remember the words to all these songs when I can't remember what time the Baby has softball practice? The bowling alley had a big poster advertising their upcoming Celebrity Bowl-a-thon:

So, so, so many questions here. Why not donate the money to finding better cures and treatments for sickle cell anemia, instead of just "awareness?" What do you get for the extra $25 per person VIP package? Most importantly, who are these celebrities who have been attracted to appear at a bowling alley in a strip mall whose biggest claim is that it will soon be acquiring a Walmart? Turns out there was a poster showing all the celebrities:

I know it's hard to read, but trust me, there's a good chance you wouldn't know who any of them are even if you could see it better. The only "celebrity" I recognized was Ronald McDonald and I'm pretty sure he's not going to be bowling because, for one, there's no way they'd have shoes in his size. I hope that the Bowl-a-thon was a huge success and that Chantal Zaky, Ms. Universe Jamaica can parlay her appearance to something bigger. Well, I suppose she's gotten a mention in a blog read by literally dozens of people, so that's a good thing. I'm also wondering whether "Ms. Universe" is a different beauty contest than "Miss Universe," or if that's a typo? Sigh.

So, I had one last day to make the kids' dreams come true with a trip to Sky Zone. I found that the Kennesaw location was open at noon on Friday and that's where we would go to finish up our Super Staycation week!

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