Thursday, April 26, 2007

Getting ready

countdown to the disco show.... 8 days

Hair rolling, tanning, and nail appts? Check!
Disco wear? Check - sort of. Outfit is darling and will look striking on stage, but vest is large and pants waist is tight. I may leave it, I'm leary of last minute fittings, you can run risk of ruining the outfit. Not a good sign on this...

Pictures? check

Casual wear? Not sure, still deciding

Hair and Makeup booked? Yes! (btw the mom whose doing Gizmo's h/m and her daughter were in the movie Little Miss Sunshine LOL)

Started packing? no...

Started worrying? yes...

Gizmo is an under dog at this one. It's a 4-6 supreme group and all the national heavy hitters will be there.

Will she end up a winner over the favorites (like in Napoleon Dynamite or any other underdog wins over too-cocky odds on favorite...) or are we going to the slaughter (like in Little Miss Sunshine)

You haven't lived until you've bet $500 on whether or not a five year old will make faces on cue and do dance moves in platform shoes, fake lashes and a dolly parton wig in front of a hundred screaming wacky people ... all the while being sung to by an ambiguously gay emcee in a blond fro, elton john sunglasses and bell bottoms...



Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yes, you CAN have a pageant hangover

It's 9:32am on Sunday and I can't believe I'm up already.

'Cause usually after a schedule like the one we had this weekend I sleep until about noon.

We were off doing pageanty stuff this weekend!!!

You really would not believe how much hard WORK it is for the parent... and in trying to prepare for the disco event, given the fact that my daughter hasn't been on stage since January, we hauled our sorry selves 3 hours away through the mountains to do a pageant!!! Yes, there were closer events, but sometimes it's nice just to get out of town, and not deal with the "where have YOU been??" or "Have you done so-and-so?" or "why weren't you at such-and-such??" events. Sometimes when you do a particular system several times, the directors and even the other moms get a little, well, possessive LOL. Besides, my daughter won her grand supreme package paid (this is the "base" fee to make you eligible for certain awards and there there are added awards at the door etc.) and since this fee is usually pretty hefty (around 250-495 per) I thought well, what the heck!

I took off work early Friday and picked Gizmo up directly from school (she was very excited about this since usually her grandma picks her up) but we got there early since I thought it was about a four and half hour drive, but we made it in three (even with the fourteen bathroom and snack stops) - and that evening we had a nice relaxing dinner at Outback steak house splitting a melt in your mouth filet with sides of broccoli, potato, and a sundae for dessert. We ran into some folks we hadn't seen in a long time that were there for the pageant, and I'm sure we irritated the wait staff some trying to chat back and forth between tables (seemed like they were always in the way LOL) But it was nice to see some friendly faces going into the show. Another lady and her daughter and our coach (all of whom we were bunking in the room with) got in town later, so it was a little difficult to settle Gizmo down with so many people in one room...after tanning I took her out in the hallway to practice a bit before watching tv and going to bed. We also went to visit another lady we know who sews and does hair and makeup to show her new pics and chat a bit before that.

Since it was a one day pageant, we had to go down to a dressing room for hair and makeup instead of doing it in the room so we all had to get up early to get a good spot (think cat fights for real estate and power outlets when you get there late.) It's nice to pay someone else to do this, and this go-round we used our coach, because usually between mothers and daughters it can end up the mother of all power struggles (I can't tell you how many times I've squacked "who's your momma!!??? trying to get Gizmo to look at me and not everything else going on around her....) Why kids are better for someone else to do what you could do, is a universal anomoly. It's also nice, because this doubles as babysitting service while you run 4,535 miles running your crap back to the car while you check out of the hotel, because there is the "disappearing" carts syndrome at hotels the morning of checkout at a pageant - it also seems that hotel bellmen are permanently extinct and you have this "do it yourself" mentality at hotels - not to mention that most hotels I've stayed at lately have paired down the staff working so far down to the bare bones, it's a small wonder that they ever clean the places and that they don't find more dead bodies... (and we stay at Hiltons, Holiday Inns, Sheratons, Marriotts, etc.) So we also usually bring our own lysol... But I digress. I must have walked/jogged 5 MILES running to the car taking suitcases, getting breakfast, checking out etc. I am SO not used to this level of exercise.

I hate 0-4 5-up, supreme group breakdowns. What this means is they pull highpoint levels for kids 0-4 then 5 and up before doing age divisions. It sets the competition a little higher, because you don't just compete against your age group, it pits everyone in the age ranges against each other. My Gizmo is very, very tall for her age, and she models very well - so to me it tends to hurt her when they are judging "personality" because the babies are getting goaded to do goofy faces at grandma. If the other 4 year olds are still doing "silly face" moves, she tends to look a little stiff in comparison. Then at most other pageants the 4 year olds are judged on modeling, so if they do too much cutesy stuff, they count off. Four is a bad age in pageants!! When the did group lineup, Gizmo looked awesome, but not four. Kid to the left, very cute, pudgy face, huge brown eyes. Kid to the right - same deal. Gizmo looked about a foot taller, with a slim, model's face. Doesn't help that she has kind of in-between coloring - she's neither a true brunette or blonde and she has a medium skin tone with grey eyes so she doesn't have a real distinct look on stage next to tow-headed blondes or really dark haired light skinned kids. But she smiled INCREDIBLE. If they give a best smile award at pageants, my baby almost ALWAYS at least gets that particular prize. I've never quite understood why it doesn't count for more, but we've just learned to be okay with it. At this show though, the only side awards were for "best dress" and "best eyes." Gizmo won neither of those. When it came time for her to do her indivicual modeling, she only messed up slightly on her first X - she didn't walk in a circle around it coming out and she didn't do her two step turns. But since there is no standard on the variations or order of beauty modeling steps , the judges wouldn't know the difference. From there, she did AWESOME, and she did it by herself. I couldn't have asked any more. Same for casual wear... when they came out for group lineup - once again - Gizmo looked like a runway model compared to the two kids on either side of her. She just can't help how she looks. I wished I had moved her up to the 5 year olds, even though she won't be 5 for a bit longer. It would have looked more normal. Everyone we know in pageants is pretty convinced Gizmo is going to grow up as a world class supermodel, but we all know that most models complain that their younger years were spent as the tall-gawky years. SIGH.

It didn't help that we didn't do outfit of choice (as an optional category) but we didn't have a swimwear or sportswear or westernwear.... or anything else wear for that matter. I would LOVE for Gizmo to do sportswear or westernwear too, but I just can't afford to buy the outfits (they usually cost in the range of 500-1500) and she's too skinny to buy used because they are very, very difficult to alter and the fit of the outfit is judged on stage in addition to the modeling etc.

I did not have a good feeling about the outcome of this one. We were into a local element (all the judges were from the state we were in) and she looked awesome and she performed AWESOME but my little cosmic voice is usually right (after all I've been involved in pageants for 33 years - it OUGHT to know something by now.) And I was right. She got dead last in everything for her group (rare, but it happens) and didn't win any side awards. I was a bit worried, because right after she didn't get anything onstage for the group awards, she realized this and pouted about wanting to go home. I had to tell her to wait, they hadn't done the crowns yet and not to worry (she would have at least won beauty if nothing else.) The way they do awards pretty much requires an expert mathematician's skills but I knew she would get something from how it had gone so far, just not a high title. Fortunately, she did score higher overall than other kids in her supreme group and in the older groups overall for beauty/photo combined (a paid door optional) so she did get a few toys and a banner, crown, and some cash :o)

I did go through the judges line, even though I know they won't tell me squat about what they did/didn't really like. They said they didn't like her hair up. (code for - we just weren't into your kid..) We hear that sometimes whether she wears her hair up or down, because she has a tiny face and it's an easy reason for judges to give... it's funny too, that a lot of the kids that win big have large faces (there was one child who won tons of national pageants a few years ago, and I couldn't believe when I saw her - her face was almost freakishly huge....) That's okay, that's the way it goes sometimes. You could say that we should stick to certain pageant systems, but Gizmo gets about the same level of placement whether she does a prelim or a national, or a face pageant versus a total package glitz so we go where we think we'll have the most fun and we don't worry about it. There are plenty of kids who consistently get a lot less than Gizmo who keep trying!! When Gizmo doesn't get what I think she should have, I focus on the fact that there were plenty of kids there who would have been VERY happy to have received what she got. And I NEVER let on to her if I'm disappointed in what she is awarded. That's not what it's truly all about, but after all I am human... When she's older and understands this better, I will have her focus on it that way too. It's just the opinion of three random people on a random day.

And for now she doesn't really understand that the other girls in her group got higher titles than her, and no one is worse for the wear about it... all she knows is that she won a big crown and she is going to build a bear today to spend her money.

I'm going to keep it that way ;o)

Then there is the three hour drive home, unload the car, clean out the boxes where everything is thrown back in hither and yon, going shopping the next day even though you are totally exhausted etc. No rest for the weary....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Only 6 votes???

Okay, I know who's voted and who hasn't...

Vote for me!!! Often, and liberally :o)

Someday when I run for politics I'll know who to give favors too.... If not, I'll know who NOT to pardon... >o


I answered BiffSpiffy's call for folks to be interviewed!

As the rules go, the interviewer (in this case Biff) asks for volunteers (i.e. me being one) to be asked 5 questions (which said interviewer gets to pick) then they post the questions and answers on THEIR blog.

'cept doofus here just emailed them back the first time... it's hard for me to get things straight - I have the attention span of a drunk puppy so sometimes I just skim and miss important details in the instructions...

Here goes:

Aliens have landed in your front yard. What will you do?

Invite them to dinner, after all I'm pretty sure they're relatives. (My dad has no photos from before his 21st birthday and very few relatives - and they are all, very, different...)

You’ve just received a box of expensive sexy lingerie from a man you can’t stand. What do you do?

Thank him profusely but send it back explaining that I'm enrolling in a convent.

If you had one destructive superpower, what would it be, and who would be your first victim?

According to my team at work, I already have the ability to kill people with a facial expression so I'll stick with that. My first victim? The idiot that cut me off on the highway this morning in the fast lane then decided to drive like his grandma while I'm trying to deliver my two hellions to school on time.

If you could tour with any band, which one and what would be your role?

Bon Jovi - I'd be the water and towel girl. (doesn't hurt I can tune guitars too!!)

Have you ever stopped to listen to a street performer?

Always! And unless they are so painful to listen to that I might have to pull out my superpower look, I tip too.

BONUS QUESTION - What would be your perfect day?

Send kids to grandmas the night before.
Sleep late.
Have limo take me to a spa for the deluxe head to toe treatment.
Go shopping for a new outfit to wear that night.
Eat dinner at outrageously fancy restaurant with hubby.
Drink and Dance until the break of dawn at a very loud club.
Have limo take us home.

SO! who volunteers for me to interview THEM?? Just put a post in for me to "interview you" (or you would write rather, "interview me") and I'll think of some really cool questions to ask you!!!!


On an unrelated note - unless you've been under a rock somewhere, didya notice it's PROM season?? Note to self - next blog, relate my THREE prom horror stories :o)

nite nite all

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Been so freakin' busy!!!

First, it's 28 degrees here in the South on flippin' Easter.

The question I ponder is - where are all the articles on global warming when we have a freak cold spell? How come they never coincide with a cold snap? Not trying to start an argument on global warming, just making an observation....

Second, I have a new fascination.

Individually wrapped prunes.

Oops, my bad, technically, they are labeled "Dried Plums."

Now, who the heck would think that, uh, individually wrapped prunes would be a marketable idea??? I can just hear the meeting now....

"These will take candy jars by storm - people will replace the Hershey bars for the convenience of the preferred healthy lifestyle!!" (after all we only put candy in the jars because it's just more accessible and easier to store...)

"Yes, and the glamorous packaging...." (yep, they come in a very fancy box) "will provide the type of image we want to portray for the active lifestyle generation...."

I am utterly INTRIQUED.

So I bought a box, and for my own little test, have offered them to my coworkers and placed them in our community candy jar. After all who could resist these babies??

I am truly DISAPPOINTED. After all the "healthy lifestyle" complaints people have submitted about pizza day and donut day, not ONE person has snatched these little beauties as a preference over the Now or Laters or the Hershey's kisses. Not one single person has emoted the same level of excitement I have over these fabulous miniature alternatives to eating mini doses of cholesterol in foil.

Buncha' hypocrites. I would think these babies would have been snatched up in a heartbeat with folks begging for more, thankful to be saved from the humdrum of 3musketeers and peppermint patties and snickers bars and.... I could go on but you get the idea....

Oh well, I DID try. Guess it's back to the boring old chocolates.

And finally - Panic at the Disco!!!

We've got to prepare for a major pageant in May - a Disco theme deal that looks like it will be loads of fun. We have the routine and the outfit, but still searching for the epitome of the disco song that is well - funky, and represents the disco sound, isn't offensive for a 4 year old to do a routine too, and isn't overused (arrggggh, if I hear Funkytown one more time......)

If you have any suggestions, leave 'em 'cause were a bit desperate here, and I've pretty much exhausted itunes (right now the front leader is "Blame it on the Boogie" by the Jackson 5)


Bad parent example #6,922

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ a>