Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Penelope Says

December 13th

Word to the Wise:
If Penelope appears from nowhere to give you a seemingly innocent Star Wars quiz--"Do you like Yoda? Do you know Obi-Wan Kenobi? Have you seen R2D2?"--please be advised that she is a Sith Lord. This could save your life. Tragically, my mother learned the truth too late.
4:13 pm

December 14th

Just before I woke up this morning, I had the weirdest dream. It's too crazy not to share, but please don't take it as a political statement of any kind. I swear it's a real dream:

I was at a very glamorous pool party/barbecue in Paris with hundreds of other people. We'd boarded a plane to get there, and now I was finding that getting to certain desirable areas of the party was quite difficult. In fact, something about this party seemed off (apart from the dolphins in the pool). It was extremely opulent, but there was this eerie vibe.

Finally we all started to realize that we weren't in Paris at all. We were in Syria. Instantly we were all terrified. We were on a private estate, so we were safe for the moment, but everybody wanted to get back home as quickly as possible.

In a rush of panic, I thought, "I should find Donald Trump! He'll help me." But then I remembered that he was the host of the party.

"I think I've made my point," he said with a laugh. "Nobody wants to go to a pool party in Syria right now."

Bill and Hillary Clinton were there, and Hillary called out, "You've gone too far this time, Donald! This is insane! You've endangered all of our lives!"

With a smile, Trump said, "Don't worry. Don't worry. Of course there's a way out of here--for the people who matter."

Only VIPs could board the plane home, and first they had to find the plane. In the ensuing chaos, I happened to spot Bea Arthur.

"Oh thank God!" I said, running up to her. "I'm so glad we're friends."

"Well, I wouldn't say that we're friends," she said skeptically. "Have you ever watched me in anything besides Golden Girls? And besides, you said I was looking hefty."

"No," I assured her, not remembering that conversation. "I said you were looking nifty."

She gave me a disbelieving look and repeated my ridiculous lie, "You said I was looking nifty?"

"Why would I say you're fat?" I demanded. "That doesn't even make sense," I said, suddenly remembering, "You're dead."

And then she disappeared. Suddenly I spotted the Clintons and ran up to them.

Hillary told me, "Don't worry. We'll help you."

"Just follow me," said Bill. "I know the way out."

So the three of us walked through several labyrinthine corridors, until suddenly I realized that Bill had turned and was heading somewhere else.

"Wait!" I said to Hillary. "Shouldn't we follow Bill?"

She pressed on, saying over her shoulder, "Just ignore Bill. He's always wandering off."

I said, "But maybe he knows the way out."

She said, "No, he's a coward. His plan is to wander out into a crowd and dazzle people with his celebrity."

The next thing I knew, I was following her into a college auditorium. We entered behind a professor on a stage and slowly walked past students to the top of the room. Suddenly Hillary was pushing me in a wheelchair. As the students looked up and began recognizing her, she waved to them, smiled and said, "Hello! Hello! Could you make room for us, please? My daughter Chelsea just had a baby!"

I began to suspect that she was the one trying to dazzle people with her celebrity and to wish I'd followed Bill. Then at the top of the room, she used my wheelchair to open some double doors. Suddenly we found ourselves outside facing a burning street full of chaos. Right away, Hillary dumped me out of the wheelchair into the street, then ran away back into the classroom.

I ran after her and accused her of trying to kill me. "You're the one trying to dazzle people with your celebrity."

Looking really annoyed, she insisted, "I am TRYING to HELP you!"

"It sure doesn't seem like it," I grumbled.

Rolling her eyes and seeming really put out, she grabbed my hand and said, "Well come on!" She led me back through the classroom and we wandered all through the halls until we found the back of Bill again.

"Bill!" Hillary yelled furiously. "Why did you leave us? We were following you! We thought you knew the way out!"

Bill turned around, and it wasn't actually Bill Clinton. It was Darrell Hammond from SNL. He shrugged innocently at us and said with wide eyes, "I was following Bea Arthur."

Then I saw that Bea Arthur was standing above him as a Star Wars style Force ghost. She shook her head, rolled her eyes, and sighed at all of us.

Then bombs started dropping all around and everything blew up.

That's when I woke up. I realize this sounds like some strange joke, but it's honestly what I dreamed. I wrote it down immediately, so I could remember it all.
9:46 am

The other day, I was looking for picture of myself at Gideon's age. I couldn't find many, but I did find some other great photos tucked away in secluded places.

[9 photos]

3:14 pm

Last night...
Text from Derrick (while putting Nellie to bed): Nellie wanted me to tell you she counted to 200.
Next text from Derrick: She. Won't. Stop. Counting! Arghh!
Next Text: She just hit 475.

This morning...
My mom: What was up with Nellie and all the counting last night?
Me: I don't know. I assume she was trying to stall before bed.
Mom: She was over 500 at one point.

This afternoon...
Penelope (eating string cheese, reminiscing at random, very satisfied): I counted to 860.
3:44 pm

While at Target, Gideon started to exclaim, "Ohhh ohhh ohhh ohhh ohhh!" while staring at something. We walked him back and forth to make sure and finally determined what all the fuss was about.

8:19 pm

Penelope: Let's go see if my Christmas tree is on sale.
Me: I doubt it.
Penelope: Ooh! Look! It is!
Me: Wow. That's quite a sale. Who would believe nobody had $600 to spend on a giant, white Christmas tree?
Penelope: Take a picture. Maybe Santa will get it for me.
Me: I don't think it will fit down the chimney.

8:31 pm

December 15th

Giddy and I Enjoy the Final Days of Fall

2:00 pm

Gideon admires the rushing water and decides he is tired of taking pictures.

2:51 pm

Dad and I are watching the debate and discussing it, but we're sitting on opposite sides of the room. I have to be careful because every time I raise my voice, Gideon makes a face like Donald Trump. He raises his neck and narrows his eyes and glares over in Dad's direction like, "Who is making my mommy yell? I never forgive my enemies." (Also I think Carly Fiorina sounds like Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. I've been trying to place that odd cadence since these debates started, and I think I'm getting closer.)
9:31 pm

Christmas tree fun


December 16th

Preparing to leave for the park this morning, I got Gideon ready, patted my pocket to check for my keys, headed out the front door, and didn't get far.

11:27 am

Penelope (as Applause comes on the radio): What? Why are they playing this? This is a really old Lady Gaga song. I heard her perform this on SNL when I was like four years old! Seriously! Honestly, I am shocked they're playing a song this old on the radio!
6:57 pm

Every kid is excited about Star Wars, right? And what gets mine the most excited? "Look Mom! Carrie Fisher brought her crazy dog to London! Oh look! That crazy dog is on the red carpet!"
7:04 pm

Birds and Trees

8:14 pm

I'm sitting on the couch, working on my book (tricky since I have to paste in all the "h"s) while Gideon sleeps on me. I just looked up at the window on the wall I'm facing. The blinds are closed, but they're a little bit broken at the top. And through the crack, I can see the moon.
10:34 pm

December 17th

Admiring the waterfall

2:26 pm

Just got back from a walk with this ol' handsome...

6:28 pm

Me: Look at you, big boy! You climbed the tree! I will tell Daddy how you climbed the tree, and he will be so proud of you!
Gideon: It's true! I'm awesome! Wait 'til Daddy hears this news!

2:32 pm