I think I need to get one of those helmets with a canary in it.

Random crap Saturday? Sure thing, buckaroos, saddle up. 

Winning Aunting with ADD Trains 

So it’s almost The Nephew’s third birthday. His mom’s having a party for him in the rec park near his house, happily on a Sunday so that means I can attend. Yippee! I like seeing The Nephew. He’s very excited about his birthday. He tells anyone who asks “I’m turning THREE YEARS OLD!” I think he’s also reached the age where he realizes that with birthdays, come presents. I think that’s a very auspicious age, when you can connect the two. 

I am going to show you a picture of The Nephew. I know, this is probably pretty unprecedented. If any pervs show up searching like they did on my friend Mer’s blog once, I’ll come to your house and make you eat your own testicles as an hors d’oeuvre, I swear on all that’s holy.

This is a picture of The Nephew fishing with his dad recently. It is possibly one of my favorite things in existence, because LOOK AT THAT SKEPTICAL FACE. He is NOT SURE OF SOMETHING. I love this child. To pieces.

His party is construction-themed, because right now The Nephew is into construction vehicles like dump trucks. He should come to Albany! All we HAVE is construction right now, Nephew! Come on down! I think you’d be a little less enamored with it if you were stuck behind one of these big trucks and it was driving super-slow and you JUST WANTED TO GO HOME AND RELAX IN FRONT OF THE FAN DAMMIT, but maybe that’s just me. 

My mom checked with The Nephew’s mom to see what gifts he wants for this very important birthday, and apparently, the answer is Chuggington. Which sounds like a euphemism to me, honestly. “Hey, honey, what time are you getting home tonight? Because I think it’s time for us to try out the Chuggington, right? Wink wink nudge nudge!” 

What is Chuggington, you ask? Some train shit, I don’t know. He likes trains. He used to like Thomas the Tank Engine, but there’s a scary train on it so he stopped watching that one. Listen, I just checked the website to show you which train scares my beloved little buddy and there are a LOT of scary-faced trains. Why is this a children’s show? 

I don’t trust the smile on this one, he looks like a child molester.

The hell? This might give me nightmares and I’m a grown up old person. WHY SO MAD, DOUGLAS?

Hector looks like he just walked in on his mom doing it with the pool guy on a pile of his Christmas presents. HIS LIFE AS HE KNOWS IT IS SHATTERED.

I asked my mom which one scared The Nephew and she said this one. He is scared of it because of “The Claw.” GOOD GRIEF. This show is NOT FOR CHILDREN. When I told her that, she said, “Eh, it’s British, what can you do.”

Anyway, Chuggington. I’d never heard of this so I did some research. Here is what the internet tells me about Chuggington: 

Now, come on. “Let’s ride the rails” has to be a euphemism, right? RIGHT?

It is British
It is about talking trains
One of the talking trains seems to have ADD
One of the talking trains is colorblind
Two of the talking trains are mischievous
There is a “movie star chugger” who flies (…I don’t know either)
One of the trains is a douchebag and tricks the other trains
One of the trains is named Hodge and “it takes a lot to get Hodge excited” (I think I dated Hodge in college)
There is a zoo with animals in it (I’m down the zoo situation)
The show seems to exist to teach us all about FRIENDSHIP 

OK, FINE, The Nephew, I’ll get you some Chuggington birthday presents. I’ll research this shit at Toys R Us.

Good GRACIOUS there are a lot of Chuggington toys at Toys R Us. 102! I had no idea. Toys R Us! Never one to not jump on a trend when it’s hot! JUMP ON IT LIKE IT’S HOT TOYS R US! 

“Bridge and Tunnel Starter Set.” EUPHEMISM!!!!

The problem is, if I get him Chuggington toys, everyone ELSE is ALSO getting him Chuggington toys and there’s a chance he’ll get repeat toys and I hate that. I like to stand out in the gift-giving department like the shining star that I am. I really, REALLY like to win aunting. I only have one other person to compete with, but I like to WIN, baby. 

Last year I got him a scooter, which was a total win and he did all the scooting. What should I get him this year that is better than all the other gifts, but costs like $50 or so? People that have three-year-olds or know some three-year-olds, help me out here. Remember: this is not about anything but WINNING AUNTING. Oh, what’s that? Also making The Nephew happy? Oh, yeah, that too. THAT TOO. (No, but seriously, seeing his little face light up when I’ve gotten him a good present makes my Grinch heart break the measuring device every damn time. I’m an easy mark when it comes to The Nephew. This is going to be a problem when he’s older and the gifts he wants are like computers and things.) 

I think I’m dying of black lung 

So we’re in rehearsal for our Director’s Showcase which opens Thursday (well, and closes Thursday, it’s a one-night thingamabobber) and since our building is owned by the City and our ceiling is falling in, they decided to come and fix it right now. So we’ve been coming into rehearsal and the theater is in various stages of disrepair. You’d think it would get better, but it just keeps getting worse. One day we showed up and we couldn’t get down the aisles without squeezing through ladders (BAD LUCK BAD LUCK!) then we showed up a couple days later and there are no seats to sit in so we have to sit on the stage to watch the actors, because the seats are covered in plywood. (I don’t have to sit on the stage. I get my own ROOM to sit in. I’m in the light booth. I’m running the lights and sound for this one. I’m FANCY.) 

I had to move old disgusting ductwork in the lobby in order to close the theater door (you need the doors closed when you’re doing lights, otherwise you get spill from the lobby and you don’t know how your lights will look in a dark theater – there’s some theater inside info for you! Listen, before we’re done here, you’re going to be able to run your own theater, I swear) and my hands were so covered with nastiness when I was done that would NOT come off no matter WHAT I did that I’m pretty sure I’m dying of asbestos poisoning right now. Also, there are electrical cords everywhere, and I don’t know if any of them are live, so it’s like a game of chicken to walk anywhere. Will I live? Will I die? WHAT WILL HAPPEN? 

I know what will happen. I’ll get mesothelioma and have to call one of those TV lawyers to sue my own theater, is what will happen. Cough. Cough cough. 

Oh, what, you think I didn’t take photos? THINK AGAIN BUSTER.

This is the ductwork I had to move with my own hands. That left black shit all over my hands and pants. BLACK LUNGGGGG!

This is the inside of the theater right now. In front of you: the wood on the seats. Under that wood: the seats. To your far left, almost inaccessible: the stage. Directly in front of you, to the top: a ladder, precariously balanced. Directly in front of you near the bottom – a…snow shovel? I don’t know.

This looks like a haunted house but it’s the theater. Oh, hey, there’s my light booth near the top right, hi, my light booth! This is more seats, covered in plastic. And an abandoned bucket, all lonely-like. Some hard hats. And some wood. Heh. Wood. Also, to your left? ORBS. The theater’s totally haunted, yo. Call the Ghost Douche.

This is the ceiling right now. The ceiling that I’m sure is covered in asbestos. NO, I don’t know that for sure, but since when do I not exaggerate? Also, dangerous electrical cords, you know, like you want hanging out of a ceiling.

Also, Thursday, the workmen dropped a deuce in the toilet and didn’t flush, and left us a filthy tanktop on the table we serve refreshments from. You know. Like the classy people they are. THANKS WORKMEN.

(Listen, the show looks great, though. I like working on the director’s showcase because it’s a new director, and it’s fun to see what they can do and how they bring it all together. Well, I guess it’s fun if you like the director and they do a good job. In this case, she’s doing a great job, the show looks excellent, she’s got a wonderful point of view and I think the audience is really going to enjoy it. Also, she hasn’t even complained about the mess in the theater, which, hey, kudos. Don’t worry. I’ll complain enough for the both of us. That shit is CRAZY messy and gross.) 

Righto, guv’nuh. 

So tomorrow, I am going on an ADVENTURE. I know, right? I’m actually leaving my house and purposely going on an adventure. Are we all the most excited? Sure we are. 

Cute, right? So cute.

A new tea house/restaurant opened up very close to where I work, and when they were in the process of opening it, I saw the sign and mentioned to Ken, hey, there’s a tea place opening near me, when it opens, I should check that out. Then it opened, and I kind of forgot about it. SHUT UP, I have a lot going on. But then I remembered when I saw a review of it on one of our local blogs, so I checked out the tea selection and sent the link to Ken because he has to tell me if I’m allowed to go to places like this (I don’t know if tea is any good or not, what do I look like, fancy? No), and he said not ONLY am I allowed, I NEEDED to go. So, Sunday, I’m going to visit the tea place, and then I’m writing you all up the tale of my tea adventures on Ken’s tea blog. So you have to go THERE to read it. Yeah, it’s all a nefarious plot to get you to read Ken’s blog(s) as much as I think you all should, I’m not even denying it. Plus, Ken has promised to be my on-call tea expert should I run into any tea-related emergencies while I’m there. I’m sure I will. I can’t imagine I won’t. I’m also trying tea WITH CAFFEINE IN IT. I know, this could totally be the end of me. And by “the end” I mean it could cause a migraine to happen. But it probably won’t. It’s been a long time since the doctor told me that maybe caffeine was my migraine trigger. Who knows what will happen? It’s not going to hurt to try. And I really really REALLY want to see what Oolong tastes like. Ken makes it sound delicious. And since they don’t offer it as decaf, well, you can see my conundrum. 

Also, there’s totally a tea-related gift shop, and someone I know who was mentioned a billion times in the preceding paragraph has a prize package coming to him and tea relates to his interests, so that’ll be fun to investigate, now won’t it? Sure it will. What? What’s that? NO I haven’t finished shopping for the Bloggiversary Gift Package yet. Shush, you, I only got paid Thursday and we’re teching a show, I’m a little busy. 

So be ready for tea adventures! Oh, also there’s food. There’s totally food. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty excited about the food, too. It looks delicious. 

OK, there’s three things. THREE RANDOM THINGS! Plus lots of pictures. I’m exhausted and I think I’m dying of maybe TB like Doc Holliday so now I should go around saying lines from Tombstone like “you’re a daisy if you do” and “I got two guns, one for each of ya.” HAPPY SATURDAY! Enjoy your day, it’s supposed to be lovely!

Nonsense. I have not yet begun to defile myself.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

23 responses to “I think I need to get one of those helmets with a canary in it.

  • CB

    Ah, Thomas and Chuggington… I am an EXPERT on those two. We have almost all of their trains. And I do mean all.

    If you want to stand out, introduce them to something new. Three is a good age for dinosaurs, too. Or pirates.

    Or their could be a Duplo set for Chuggington set up. (And my son was afraid of Diesel 10, too. But he really stopped watching Thomas when they went to digital animation and actual speech. He doesn’t like the faces talking. Weird, but true. Of course, now he’s pretty much over collecting trains and watching those two shows and has moved on to superheroes and robots. Anyway…)

    Oh! I got a different train set for my friend’s son when he turned 5 this year… Tomiko, I think. Patrick was all envious and wanted it. Might be a bit too old for 3, tho. I don’t remember. (It’s too early for me to look stuff up.)

    Honestly, I should just ask Patrick. He picks out awesome gifts.


    • lucysfootball

      I have got to check for Chuggington Duplos. He is all about Duplos (and getting into Legos.) I love him being into those – they’re such an intelligent and creative toy.

      Between that & the flashlight sj mentioned on Twitter, I think I might win aunting. THANK YOU!

      (How weird with this Diesel 10 thing. Why the hell would this show have something that scares so many kids on it? I don’t approve at all.)


  • sj

    Commenting before I’ve read everything but the first part. Will go back up and read and comment some more, but I wanted to tell you before I forget.

    At three, my boys were ALL ABOUT stuff like this. Get him a cool little tent that can be set up in his bedroom and you’ll be his favourite FOREVER. Ours had one like that and it was the best thing ever.

    If you go that route, you can also get him a cute little sleeping bag to go with it, and he can have ADVENTURES IN HIS ROOM!

    OR (and I’m sorry if you hate the tent idea, but I’m just going with my experience) we also got these cool little bed tents for them one year. You just set it up over their bed and they can sleep all comfy while still feeling like they’re on a big adventure.

    We got one like this for them: http://imagethumbnails.milo.com/007/786/667/trimmed/7786773_8101667_trimmed.jpg

    The whole bed is under there! It’s pretty neat.

    Okay, off to read the rest.


    • sj

      Also, Thursday, the workmen dropped a deuce in the toilet and didn’t flush, and left us a filthy tanktop on the table we serve refreshments from. You know. Like the classy people they are. THANKS WORKMEN.

      HAHAHAHAHA, wait – did they ALL poop in the toilet and not flush, or was it just one? Because I have HORRIBLE MENTAL IMAGES, Amy. The worst.

      I can’t wait to hear about tea adventures!


    • lucysfootball

      I ran all the ideas I got today past my mom.

      He has a number of tents, but apparently is SOOOO OVER tents. (He has a very short attention span.)

      However, she says he LOVES flashlights, and loved the idea of the flashlight that showed different scenes. I’m going to try to find one. She said that would help me win aunting. (She spends a LOT of time with him so she knows what he likes.)

      She also loved the idea of Chuggington Duplos that Beth mentioned. I still have to investigate the Plasma Car that Danielle mentioned.

      SO MANY IDEAS. You all rock. Thank you!


      • sj

        Yes, those flashlights are awesome!


        • lucysfootball

          Investigation on them starts today. Mom told me an adorable story about him & flashlights. He likes to go into the bathroom and when she turns the light on he says, “NO! OFF!” so she turns it off, then he gets a flashlight and says, “Come in now!” and she comes in and he turns it on and says “Can you see now? It’s bright now, right?” and apparently never gets tired of it and laughs and laughs. I love him. He’s the most joyous kiddo in the world.


  • lahikmajoe

    I feel like I should tell you more about Oolong before you go there. It won’t change the way it tastes, but it might make it easier to understand the difference between Oolong and green (or even black) tea.

    Also, I already filled you in on the secret tea drinkers’ handshake, right? I’m glad we remembered to deal with that, so you’d be completely prepared for all the possible uncomfortable moments that tea newcomers experience when they drink tea properly.


  • Heather

    The nephew’s side eye is fantastic. (._. )

    I have no idea what to buy a three-year-old boy. My nephew lives kind of far from me, so he gets gift cards or books. I am the giver of books.

    The deuce conversation going on in the comments is making me guffaw.


  • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

    I have no toy advice. None. I am terrible with children. I should not be allowed near them. I’m that ghastly lady that knows perfectly well kids can see right through her and thus makes awkward we-both-know-neither-of-are-buying-this cutesy comments that result in the three-year-old death stare (i.e. the Nephew might well be looking at ME in that picture.)

    Also, workmen, gross. Way to perpetuate stereotypes about yourselves.


    • lucysfootball

      The workmen are pretty icky. And it’s sad, because I always want to give workmen the benefit of the doubt. I like workmen. They’re the kind of people I grew up with. But these workmen…ew.

      I’m strangely good with children, given that I don’t like most of them. It’s odd.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    “Eh, it’s British, what can you do.” is my new favourite phrase! I’m going to start using it excessively!


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