Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How to Spice Up Your Humdrum Life in 65 Easy Steps

1) Work all day.

2) After work, bring load of stuff from old house to new house.

3) Put kids to bed.

4) Fix two ceiling fans.

5) Stand around talking with spouse about where to hang 13 shelves, 4 mirrors, 1 fruit basket.

6) Hang 7 shelves, 2 mirrors, 1 fruit basket.

7) While hanging 8th shelf in boys' room, use faulty shelf bracket that unexpectedly springs out of wall after installation.

8) Enter time warp while watching wooden board fall in slow motion from faulty shelf bracket and crash into fish tank on table below it.

9) Listen to sound of shattering glass.

10) Listen to sound of gushing water.

11) Watch twenty guppies escape onto table full of legos through hole in glass.

12) Hear one seven-year-old yell from nearby bed, "Save the fish! Save the fish!" over and over again.

13) Hear one five-year-old chant from nearby bed, "OhNoOhNoOhNoOhNoOhNo!" repeatedly while hyperventilating and bonking his head on underside of top bunk above him.

14) Usher both children from room as gallons of water and fish continue to spill onto table, carpet, toy bins and legos.

15) Empty giant tub of Duplo blocks onto carpet in bedroom doorway and use empty bin to catch remaining water and fish.

16) Go downstairs at 10 pm and ask landlords surrogate parents if they have shop vac.

17) Wheel super cool shop vac with super cool caddy from garage onto back deck through kitchen, upstairs to boys' room.

18) Gratefully accept stack of towels and useful bucket from surrogate mom.

19) Pluck baby guppies out of carpet and throw them into remaining water in temporary Duplo bin home.

20) Settle boys in living room with unexpected treat of late night movie. Garfield Gets Real. For the fifteenth time in two days.

21) Get on hands and knees on soaking wet carpet and pick hundreds of miniscule legos out of broken glass and fish tank rocks. Put them in stainless steel bowl.

22) Find new box in which to put mountain of Duplo blocks now blocking path to saturated carpet.

23) Pick up Duplo blocks.

24) Remove dry filter from shop vac and use wet vac feature to suck as much water and fish tank rock out of carpet as possible. Repeat.

25) Move broken fish tank to bathtub.

26) Move Duplo bin of fish and water to bathtub.

27) Peer anxiously into Duplo bin to assess health of fish.

28) Poke hopelessly at sideways tetra, Barney, with index finger, turning him right side up.

29) Watch Barney roll over sideways again and attempt to swim diagonally through water.

30) Cover bedroom carpet with towels and walk all over them. Repeat.

31) Return shop vac to surrogate parents, grabbing bleach bottle from laundry room on the way back.

32) Put boys back to bed. Mistakenly allow them to view fish in temporary Duplo bin home.

33) Comfort wailing five-year-old as he grieves the passing of Barney the Tetra. Promise him a new Barney.

34) Ask seven-year-old to lower his voice as he proclaims matter-of-factly, in hysterical five-year-old's hearing, that he's sure some of the baby guppies didn't survive.

35) Squint while reading fine print on back of bleach bottle for precise measuring instructions.

36) Develop headache trying to determine how much bleach to put in 3/4 gallon pitcher if equation is 3/4 cup bleach per gallon of water.

37) Mentally thank mother for 5th grade homeschool fraction training 22 years ago.

38) Pour bleach solution over legos in stainless steel bowl.

39) Grab Clorox disinfecting wipes and clean up splattered toy bins while waiting for legos to soak in bleach solution.

40) Rinse each lego creation under tap water. Sort legos from broken fish tank glass and throw glass away.

41) Spread extra large dish towel on living room floor.

42) Take apart each and every lego creation so pieces can air dry on dish towel overnight. Inadvertently swallow bits of bleach solution in the process.

43) Transfer fish from Duplo bin home to new temporary home: empty ceiling fan light globe from recently repaired ceiling fan.

44) Place ceiling fan light globe in saucepan to account for decorative bottom of globe that comes to point in center like spinning top. Cover globe to protect fish from enterprising cats. Place on high shelf.

45) Fall into numb stupor and laugh uproariously at premier of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

46) Drift off to sleep during Pearl Jam song. Wake up during Episode 4 of Jimmy Fallon's Seventh Floor West.

47) Stumble to bed.

48) Wake up to find five-year-old peering into face asking where fish are.

49) Groan, get out of bed, eat breakfast, get family together, drive to pet store.

50) Buy new fish tank, two new tetra (Barney and Fred) to replace one dead one, new fish tank rocks, new plastic fish tank plants, new plecostomus.

51) Do lots of other shopping. Drive home. Nearly set fish up in same spot.

52) Rethink that.

53) Quickly find safer location for fish, in living room completely devoid of untrustworthy shelving full of toy bins.

54) Rescue air-drying legos from underneath sleeping dog. Again.

55) Pour remaining live guppies from ceiling fan light globe home into stainless steel bowl.

56) Squint and wince while holding sandwich-sized ziplock bag partially full of water into which guppies are being unceremoniously flopped from fishnet. Pray no fish flop onto fingers. Ewwww...

57) Sneak with fishnet to bathroom, watching furtively for approaching children, and flush all dead fish down toilet.

58) Fill new aquarium with rocks, plastic plants, sunken treasure, sunken ship, and water.

59) Watch three bags of fish, one with two tetra, one with one plecostomus, and one with eighteen guppies, bob on top of fish tank water waiting to be acclimated.

60) Open bags, let fish into tank, and watch with satisfaction as they swim merrily to and fro in their brand new home.

61) Wash all containers exposed to yucky fish water.

62) Rehang fruit basket.

63) Hang 6 shelves, 2 mirrors.

64) Eat dinner, put boys to bed, sit exhausted on couch, and stare mesmerized at fish, wondering what happened to past twenty-four hours.

65) Blog about it.