Perfect: A Chipmunk’s Trip to the Grocery Store

While I was a sophomore and junior in college, I worked as a grocery checker (amongst other roles) at a number of different grocery stores. I actually really enjoyed the job. But, as a result of doing that for a number of years, I have this…problem.

I am awkward as a customer at a grocery check out. Like, really awkward. I feel this bizarre need to be overly friendly. And I can feel it happening – like some sort of weird reflex.

Unrelated: I don’t have normal reflexes. Never has a doctor bounced that weird little rubber hammer on my knee and made my knee move. Not once. I might need to Google that

Accompanying my checkout weirdness includes: sweaty palms, a lot of laughing at jokes that aren’t funny, speaking in a high-pitched tone that is clearly not my normal speaking voice, and overstated pleasantries. Odds are you’ll hear me say the words “fantastic”, “no problem at all,” and “perfect!” at least once each.

Actual checkout conversation that occurred the other day after I had waited a very long time for the person in front of me to try to figure out the chip reader (and ultimately paid in cash because she couldn’t work it out).

Cashier: “Thank you for your patience. That machine is more trouble than good!”

Me: (voice high-pitched, like a chipmunk) “That’s not problem at all! I’m here without kids, so, in fact, it was, like, a freaking blessing because it got me more time out by myself.” (awkward, high-pitched, chipmunk laughing)


Cashier: “Haha. Boy, you have a lot of produce. I’m new…I’m going to have to look up all these codes.”

Me: (still in chipmunk mode) “Oh, that’s totally super. Glad I came in your line so you could get more practice.” (More laughing. And I’m definitely smiling too big. I can feel my cheeks) 

Note: Watching the checker look up every item makes me feel itchy. In my head I’m screaming 4011! The code for bananas is 4011! But on the outside, my face still hurts, so I must be smiling.

Cashier: “Your total is $106.15.”

Me: (still a chipmunk) “That’s perfect. Great. Thank you.”

Note: Why do I always tell the cashier my total is perfect? Always.good-its-perfect

Next time I’m going to try just nodding a lot. Maybe if I don’t speak I can ward off the impending chipmunk. Or, I’ll eat a candy bar while I’m checking out. Yes, more candy. That may be the answer to all my shopping woes.


Bacon: We know you were a spelling bee champion and chose chemistry over art in high school to ensure you got the “Easy A” (weirdo). But tell us, did you ever fail a test? How did you handle it?

The Mayflower Riddle Answered: One Part History, Two Parts Bacon, Three Parts Awesome!

Note: When Oleander gave me the Mayflower prompt, she had no idea that she was handing me the opportunity to brag and fluff myself up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Oleander was oblivious to the dignity of her heritage as it relates to the Mayflower, a fact for which I am sadly chagrined. At my previous failure to brag and fluff, yes.

Once upon a time, a vessel set sail for the New World. It’s 102 passengers shared a mid-ship, windowless cabin about 15×25 feet, with less than five feet headroom. There was no bathroom facility and the trip took twice as long as anticipated.

Note: Ugh.

There was no SHUFFLEBOARD on the Lido deck.

Sadly, the Mayflower didn’t sound like a lot of fun. April Showers seem much more pleasant than malnutrition, seasickness and scurvy.

In November 1620, The Mayflower landed. But the weather was really really bad. So, the passengers and crew were forced to remain on the ship until March of the next year. Only half the passengers survived that first winter.

Note: The story gets happier. Hang in there.

Although there’s not a lot of historical documentation, but who needs it, the legend is that 13 year-old Mary Chilton, who had lost both parents on the ship that winter, was the first “white woman” to set foot on America. Apparently as the boat neared shore, she quite simply leaped off in her excitement and impatience to get off the sea and onto dry land and to use a real bathroom. Later in the year she celebrated the First Thanksgiving, she got her own land grant and later married John Winslow and had ten kids.

Why am I sharing the legend of Mary Chilton? Why am I quite certain that the legend is true? Well, I believe that the petulant, excited, strong-willed, independent and lovely young Mary really was the first woman in The New World because she is my Tenth Great Grandmother!

Note: I know what you’re thinking. Why, Bacon, you don’t look a day over Ninth Great Grandmother!

Additional Note: And leave it to my Tenth Great Grandmother to be the first one ready for adventure.

But I’m serious! Please consider the following documentation of the event. And notice the family resemblance of these actual images:


I’m not sure I’d call it a leap, but perhaps it an historical way, yes. A small leap for Mary Chilton, a giant leap for women!


I quite like this one. She was greeted to America by Prince Charming himself. And look at her teeny waist. Too bad I didn’t inherit that figure.



Read the teeny tiny writing. The Landing of the Pilgrims by …. Bacon!

I rest my case!

You go Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandma Mary!

Okay Oleander, get busy with this one: Let’s hear about your strange metamorphosis into a chipmunk …


Behind the Music: Community Theater Edition


While it has, admittedly been a :::cough::: few years since I was involved in a musical theater (theatre?) production, I have been in my share of them. And, let me tell you, backstage is both as exciting as as boring as you’d expect it to be.

Exciting: Quick Changes

I recall a particular production of The Sounds of Music that I was in. The Von Trapps (I played Marta, the second-to-youngest daughter in the brood) had to do a quick change. We had, literally, about 20 seconds to change costumes. I recall a whole crew of stage hands waiting with our costumes in hand to help us make the change. If you recall the Von Trapps have 7 kids – that was a lot of people to get changed). Most nights went off without a hitch. Except for that show where my left shoe was nowhere to be found. But, as you’ve heard, the show does go on, shoe or no shoe. So I Edelweiss’ed that night sans the left shoe.


Boring: Down Time

Unless you have the good fortune (or nepotism…pardon my still-too-real indignation) to be cast as a lead in a production, the odds are that you have a fair amount of down time backstage during a two-hour production. There are a number of ways to pass the time. While playing Pepper in [probably my favorite production I was ever in] Annie Warbucks (yes, Annie has a sequel, and it’s awesome), the orphans had a long stretch of downtime backstage.

So, we did what any self-respecting orphans would do, we played Scum (the card game). But we forgot to put someone in charge of watching the stage monitor. And we missed our cue. Yes, imagine the curtain opens on an empty orphanage. Not one orphan. Annie has come to us for advice…but we are nowhere to be found.

So we hear Annie on stage calling us by name. “Molly, are you playing hide and seek again?” and “Pepper, where are you?” Cue 10 orphans running as fast as we can from the green room to the stage and trying not to laugh as we all stare at each other trying to figure out which scene this even is.

Curtain Call. 


Bacon: If April shows bring May flowers, what to May flowers bring?


IKEA INSIGHTS: And is a Lingonberry a real fruit or something made up by Cap’n Crunch?

anigif_enhanced-buzz-3800-1389317397-13When I was growing up, we didn’t have an IKEA. We had a SEARS catalog that came every year in the mail, full of dreamy items but with normal names like couches, sleeper sofas, bookcases, curtains and cabinet handles. And sometimes, when life got fancy, we went to Sears. To see the dreamy items. And well, dream.

Note: That Mike Brady. Such a hunk.

But I grew up, yes. And I graduated from Sears to IKEA, a place where Americans go to pretend to live frugally and with less stuff. But ironically, IKEA is a place to buy stuff that probably nobody really needs in order to live small, but we Americans are an eager bunch. And so we buy KLIPs to sit on and FAGELBOs to sleep on and EXPEDITs to organize with and MERETEs to hang at our windows and GODMORGONs to open our cupboards, which overflow with stuff from IKEA.

But that’s okay because you can buy actual cabinets at IKEA to hold even more IKEA stuff and make you feel even more EUROPEAN as48d36b7558452e26509904ffbb65ea97 you wrangle with the tools and the cabinets and knobs and try to put all of this stuff together in your living room, because for your convenience, it comes in flat boxes to conveniently tie to the roof of your Prius and fly down the freeway, perilously.

And all of those Swedish names come in handy as you wrestle with the ropes and the tools and the boards and the instructions without words because all Swedish words sound like solid swear words, so you can express irritation without using the actual words in front of the children.

For example: What in the FRYKEN world! (Boxes with lids, if you’re wondering).

So, I pretty much love IKEA. I love the words and the products and the daring of the perilous driving and the lingonberry sauce.

And the meatballs. Please don’t forget the Swedish meatballs.

Heck, yes!IMG_3930


Oleander: So, go sit outside in your IKEA POANG and tell us what really goes on backstage during a musical theater production.

Timey-Wimey Stuff


But first, let me take a #selfie

So, Bacon has challenged me to share where when I’d go and with whom if I had a time machine. And I’m really hoping that the time machine is a 1983 DeLorean…

I’d like to note that I’ve watched enough Star Trek to know that time paradoxes are not something to be messed around with. But I’ve also watched enough Doctor Who to know that:
fd44921441d32e180a329eecfed54f1cAnd then there’s all that business about a butterfly flapping its wings in Toronto and causing a hurricane in Australia (wait…that’s not right…).

So, suffice it to say that I had to work through some stuff before I could determine an answer to this prompt. And here’s what I decided:

I’m going to the future! At least 100 years, but probably 150. I want to be well beyond my life span. But I want to know what shakes out with all this global warming business and if we all end up in scooter chairs like in WALL-E.

And I’m definitely taking Bacon with me. No one else will appreciate my snarky commentary quite like her. And she’s also the only person I know who would agree to half 2/3 of our luggage being taken up with Diet Coke. No way am I going to a future without Diet Coke.il_fullxfull.792656362_afhd

thirsty  Oleander

Bacon: Ikea



When I was a kid, and I use that term loosely, there was a deodorant commercial that said “Never let them see you sweat,” which is really great advice, in any given situation. 

Smelly_Armpit-WomanNote: Equally important, perhaps, especially when catering deliciously-scented foods, is never let them smell you sweat because talk about a buzz kill.

Anyway, catering is basically controlled pandemonium behind closed kitchen doors with a perfectly-crafted, delightfully-executed product emerging from behind closed kitchen doors with a smile and shrug and a “Hey, it’s what I do,” with an emphasis on making it all look easy.

Note: It’s not.

Business-School-3Lots of random stuff can happen behind closed kitchen doors such as but not limited to: a shattered tray sending glass shards through the prep area, breakers blowing in the archaic kitchen when you plug in a blender, running out of my personal stash of Diet Coke, arriving at the venue and finding a single plug-in hot plate for reheating, running out of my personal stash of Diet Coke, brides deciding to “speed up” the service timeline, brides deciding to “slow down” the service timeline, and running out of my personal stash of Diet Coke.

But, never let them see you sweat. I never met a problem I couldn’t handle. But one time, it came this close.

Setting: We’re in the northern California winery wedding venue that’s a little bit Italy meets Disneyland in a remote area using an outdoor kitchen, meaning Uh, there are no closed doors. The Bride has requested stations throughout the venue with food representing different countries which gives it the “It’s a Small World” vibe, sort of. So, in the interest of catering to my client’s wishes, I have German bratwursts and potato ball things and Italian raviolis and artisan pizzas and French crepes and quiches and pastries and you get it.

Things are going swimmingly. My staff is hard-working and courteous. The food is delicious. We are professional, in spite of the lack of closed doors.

And then.

It happens.

The worst catering mishap in my career (which is admittedly not that impressive) but still.

A guest has been enjoying himself at the open bar. A teeny bit too much. An adorable member of my staff rushes to me, her eyes wide, her cute little apron stained.

This can’t be good.

“Some guy just knocked over France!” she is saying and she is panicked, a little.

It can’t be that bad, I am thinking. But I am wrong. The display is on it’s side, guests and staff dabbing at the remains of a once-proud country. Cream be like a duckpuffs, gougeres, quiches and crepes lay on the ground oozing and weeping. I could almost hear them, gasping for breath.

Note: Oh, wait. That gasping is coming from me.

But then, magically, the “never let ’em see you sweat” smile emerges, the wave of the hand, the perpetual “it’s no problem” ease returns and I pop my eyes back into my head.

And carry on!

EIMG_3880njoy your next catered meal! It just might be me behind those closed kitchen doors– Bacon

So, Oleander: Let’s imagine you just built a time machine. (I imagine the Hub helped and it’s made out of old propane tanks and beeswax). Where are you headed? Who’s coming with you?

Tell me your Symptoms, We’ll Google it.

So, I’ve had this headache that has been lingering for a little over a week now. Every day I wake up and my whole head feels like it’s in a vice. It hurts really badly if I move too quickly or bend over. And it barely responds to over the counter pain meds.

Let’s see if Google can help me figure out what’s going on. 


Phew. I’m not the first person to Google this problem. Okay – which result to choose.

searchresultsWell, Google has been perfecting their search algorithm for nearly 20 years. Obviously they know which search result is the most relevant. I’ll click on number 1. when to callAwesome. Let’s see if I have any of these symptoms. Let me grab my green check mark to mark off the ones that fit. symptoms2

Oh my gosh. I have them all. What did they say that meant? Oh, good, there’s a link to Aneurysm. anerysmOh, no. This can’t be happening. I’m a mom. Okay. So, worst case scenario is stroke. What should I expect there?stroke

That’s it. I have an aneurysm and that’s going to lead to a stroke and death. It was lovely knowing you all. I’d better go call my doctor and tell him what I learned on Google.

“You know what, doc, now that you mention it, I’m actually feeling a lot better since I took that decongestant. Oh, so you’re saying I just have a sinus infection? Oh. Well, okay, then. That’s great news.”

I knew I was going to be fine.

8067708-131018604_10-s1-v1 Oleander

Bacon: As a woman who works as a caterer, tell us about your worst cooking mishap?


Yo: Wake Up You Need to Make Money!

Ah, Memories.


Memory Foam. In Action. Because it really doesn’t forget, apparently. And it’s funny.

Fellow blogger Quirky Girl nominated BaconandOleander for the 3 Days Quote Challenge, with the topic of Memories of Yesterday. (Check her out–she’s pretty hilarious!) Being the more nostalgic of the two of us (read: older), Oleander threw the ball into my court, which I will consolidate into one, glorious day of remembering. Stuff.

Note: Speaking of balls thrown into courts, I will be attending the GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS play-off game tonight to cheer on my neighbor, who will not be playing due to injury.

Additional Note: Okay, fine. He’s not my real neighbor, but he lives in my neighborhood.

Additional Note to the Note: Technically, neighborhoods encompass a fair amount of area.

Anyway, Memories of Yesterday. 

Twenty-One Pilots. Their take on Memories:

P.S. They might be geniuses.

Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days,
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out.

We’re stressed out.

We used to play pretend, give each other different names,
We would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far away,
Used to dream of outer space but now they’re laughing at our face,
Saying, “Wake up, you need to make money.”


There’s magic in being a kid. You get to be the center of the universe. And you had proof, too. If you needed tucking in, there was Mama. If you needed a boo-boo kissed, there was Gramma. If you needed a good game of horse on the backyard hoop, there was Pops. Or whoever. But there was somebody. You didn’t work. You played. Playing was your job. Even the moon orbited around you.

IMG_3842I miss being a kid.

Note: Are your memories in black and white? I kind of think mine might be. And a little fuzzy, too. Like an old movie camera. Which also means everything is going really fast so the movie-taker can get in as much action as possible in two minutes, thirty seconds.

And then you have kids. And you realize that the world is a dangerous place for your sweet cherubs.


And then something magical happens.  The imperfection of life kinda fades and memories become your best friend. The grass was greener, the sky bluer, the possibilities in a day were endless. Your parents never argued. Christmases were perfect. Your own kids weren’t so hard to potty train. Your crappy job wasn’t that crappy.

It’s as if the Men in Black arrived at your doorstep and just sort of flashed away the hard times, leaving you basking in the beauty that is life.

Note: And it is MY DREAM to have Will Smith at my doorstep for any reason whatsoever!

Heck, yes!


The rules for this challenge are simple. For the three days you just need to post a quote or if you wish you can post all three quotes on the same day.

You then nominate three other bloggers each day to participate in this challenge and inform them about it.

Don’t forget to thank the blogger who nominated you!

Our three nominees:




Nominees, you are under no obligation to accept this challenge…but Quirky Girl has offered up cake!

And Oleander: So, Hypochondria?

There are Tears and then there are Disney Tears

Imagine this scene, if you will: I’m sitting at our bar height table having a late lunch. Hub and the kids are sitting on the couch in front of me watching Toy Story 3. You know, the end part where they are all about to be incinerated (this can’t possibly be a spoiler alert, the movie came out in 2010) and they all hold hands, ready to go down together. And all of the sudden I shout “Stupid toys!” Hub whips around to find me sitting there, tears all over my face, my sandwich, my shirt. I’m a MESS, guys.

This is my Disney life. Something about those carefully crafted stories and songs is guaranteed to make me well up in tears. And each time, knowing how ridiculous I am, I call it out – “Stupid Nemo,” “Stupid Rapunzel and her ventriloquy,” (seriously, even that scene makes me tear up), “Stupid Up” (yes, the entire movie), “Stupid baby lion and his dead dad.” But, of course, I love them all. They also have magic, and hope, and friendship. And that’s what Disneyland has, too. Only on epic levels. You leave your life and stress behind and enter a world of magic, and hope, and friendship. I mean, Walt put it on the door: FullSizeRender_2And it’s true. Every where you go is a fully immersive adventure – be it a Haunted Mansion, Pirate Caves, Star Transporters, or visiting Radiator Springs.

After a day or two there, you start to realize that the magic has become a part of you and you start realizing you’ll have to leave soon. And that’s when it happens. You start hoarding souvenirs – because that’s the only way you can remember this feeling. By buying ALL the things. And as you lay in your hotel at night, belly full of Matterhorn Macaroons and Dole Whip, surrounded by stuffed Mickeys and [now] lightsabers, you feel safe. FullSizeRender_1But, then it happens, just as quickly as it came, it’s time to go home. No more nightly fireworks. No more parades. No more riding Astroblasters 15 times a day because your young son can’t get enough of Buzz Lightyear. No more hearing the magic of jaunty music everywhere you go. No more lines that are, kind of, a delight to wait in. And then, at least for me, the tears. FullSizeRender“Stupid Disney.”

9988335-131018604_10-s1-v1 Oleander

Okay, Bacon, we’ve been challenged by a reader and fellow blogger Quirky Girl to the 3 Days Quote Challenge with the topic of Memories of Yesterday. (She broke the mold and gave us license to do three quotes in one day – so that’s what I wanna see). 

These Pretzels are Making me Thirsty: 7 Life Lessons from George Costanza

George Costanza (of the sitcom, Seinfeld, played by Jason Alexander – and if you didn’t know that, I’m a little sad for you) is arguably definitely one of the best characters to grace our television screens.

Okay, I know that using the word grace and George Costanza in the same sentence is a bit overreaching.

But, somehow, Jason Alexander managed to make George, the neurotic, selfish, man-child into a can’t-miss character. So, without further ado, 7 important lessons we learned from George.

1) On perception from others:
“Leave on a high note.”
giphy (2)

2) On the art of the con:
“It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

3) On avoiding more responsibility:
“When you look annoyed all the time, people think you’re busy.”

4) On motivation:
“I love a good nap. Sometimes it’s the only thing getting me outta bed in the morning.”

5) On mustaches:
“I feel like an out-of-work porn star.”

6) On gratitude:
“Do you ever get down on your knees and thank God that you know me and have access to my dementia?” (here’s looking at you, Bacon)
giphy (1).gif

7) On perspective:
If you take everything I’ve accomplished in my life and condense it down to one day…it looks decent.

8811967-131018604_10-s1-v1    Oleander

Bacon: Turkeys. Go.