Frizzled Wizard World

If you want to instantly connect with women ages 18 to 40 who are in some way involved in public education, dress up as Ms. Frizzle and walk around a nerd convention.

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This is from Halloween of last year, but the costume’s… somewhat the same. Mostly.

My friends and I went to Wizard World Philadelphia recently, and of the three of us I was the only one who dressed up, so the other two had to suffer while teacher after teacher pulled me aside to gush over how much they loved Ms. Frizzle, and take pictures with me.

Well, I enjoyed it.

There were people out there with far more impressive cosplays than me, mind you.

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After I took a photograph, as I walked away, I could hear them fluttering about how Ms. Frizzle had just asked for their picture.

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I saw this fellow standing off to the side and I stared at him for at least three seconds before I got it. It’s Milo! From Atlantis!

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Just look at that. That’s impressive. I honestly can’t tell how old the middle lady is, she could be eighty or twenty under all that makeup and wig. 

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Yondu Poppins. He said I wore a dress better than him, but I have to disagree.

Dressing up as Ms. Frizzle was fun just for the bug of nostalgia it infected people with. Vendors stood up in their booth and scrambled after me to get pictures. I heard people shouting (and whispering) “Ms. Frizzle!” to me and to each other all around the convention center. People gushed.

There weren’t many children around, but one little girl desperately wanted a picture with me and I let her hold Liz for it. When my feet started to give out in the yellow high heels and I was leaning against a wall to put on my emergency flats, a mother pushing her little daughter in a wheelchair did a double-take, stopped, and then made a beeline for me.

“Look!” she said to the girl, who didn’t seem able to talk, “See that? It’s Ms. Frizzle! See the Bus? See Liz?”

It took a second, and then the girl’s face lit up like a Christmas tree.

It really sticks with you, things like that. Especially when you’re just an idiot in a dress your sister made you, with one shoe off against the wall of a convention center.

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Also, Rose from Doctor Who was there. I took a picture from a distance so that I didn’t have to pay money or talk to people.

Basically Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day, and instead of doing anything romantic or productive I’m nursing my tea and begrudgingly healing my Overwatch teammates, because I’m sick again for the third time this year. As in, since January 1st.

The problem with taking care of three to six small petri dishes is that you will be sick, all the time, always. Sick will become the background music of your life. I’ve complained about this in the past, but I’m complaining extra hard today because it’s preventing me from going out tonight, and also because I’m blaming my illness on the fact that I killed my Valentine’s Day gift.

You see, on Saturday I went out with James to explore the wonderful and terrifying city of Philadelphia.

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It has architecture.

We spent most of the day wandering around, drinking our various warm beverages and pointing out ridiculous works of modern art.

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I don’t know what to say about this one. It simply is.

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This isn’t modern art (probably), but I was hoping somebody would know what it was, since it was just hanging out on a ‘no parking’ sign.

And, at one point, we ran into humanity’s most creative torture device, the ice-skating rink, complete with five year olds that can skate better than you, and packs of teenage girls taking up half the rink while they check their phones.

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Naturally, we gave it a go. I blame my performance on the fact that the rink was bumpy, and also that I haven’t gone skating since I was a five year old that could skate better than everyone. James and I shuffled around the rink doing our best impression of old people who have kneecap paralysis.

We thought we might stop by to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, given that they were a mere two miles away by walking distance, but by the time we arrived we realized it was a Saturday, and desperate parents with bored children were flooding the area by the hundreds. So we saw the outside of the buildings instead.

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Pictured: Line of two hundred-some people waiting to get inside. We sat on a park bench and tried to identify which one of them was a Russian spy instead.

And as a ribbon on the day, James gave me the promised small Valentine’s Day gift, which was a lovely pot of (live) flowers and some coconut truffles. I tucked it all carefully into my car, and when I got home that night, I promptly forgot about them.

The next morning, I woke up sick. And I’ve been sick for three days now (but not nanny-sick; that is, sick enough to skip work). And when it finally occurred to me to go into the car and get my stuff, I realized that pretty tropical flowers don’t survive too well inside a car kept out in the thirty degree weather.

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Pictured here: My flowers wrapped in an electric blanket to try to thaw them out.

I discovered that these flowers are Cyclamens, and I found an excellent website on how to care for them, which sadly assumes you haven’t already killed them. In particular, the website states “Cyclamen that are sold as houseplants are tropical and cannot tolerate temperatures below 40 F. (4 C.). And certainly not 30 F for three days straight.” I’m paraphrasing.

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I’m eating one of the truffles right now as I type this. It’s also frozen.

I think the moral of the story is that I shouldn’t be trusted with anything living when I’m sick. Certainly not the children I’m taking care of. So if I could have a day or two off, that’d be great.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all, and to all a good night.

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Get well soon, little Cylamen.

‘Tis the Seasonal Mayhem

I could breathe through both nostrils today, from which I must conclude that the end of this horribly stubborn cold is in sight. I’ve been sick for eleven days now, and it’s been terrible, because I haven’t been able to sing a single Christmas song without sounding like a frog. And not even that frog that could sing really well.

The beginning of the end of the cold means that I have to actually get up and start being productive.

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Apparently sitting in Starbucks all day with eggnog chai and Overwatch is not “productive” or “conducive to a social life”.

And one of those things that I was putting off, besides flossing my teeth and finalizing my healthcare plan, was putting together the last of the Christmas presents.

My immediate family was already taken care of, but my employers very nicely give me gifts on Christmas and my birthday, and it’s only decent that I purchase something for them. And for their three to six children. And somehow, this year, I’m participating in two secret Santa gift exchanges. So in addition to the three to six children, I had four more gifts to put together.

Thankfully, none of these people read my blog, so I can post what I’m getting them.

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Employers are hard. As it turns out, it’s moderately difficult to buy things for your bosses, because they’re richer than you and they’re not quite your friends, even though you’re friendly with them. I decided to put together gift bags.

  • Two coffees. Or “cawfees” if you say it like my employers do. They like Starbucks and they like coffee.
  • Two chocolates. Because that’s a good default gift.
  • Two nice, Christmas-y candles. Also a good default gift.
  • Two scarves. I tried to buy what I thought they might wear; they’re both very conservative in their dressing, so I went for that “rainy day in a post office” look.
  • Two different Christmas ornaments. Mrs. Parent got a cute little reindeer because the Christmas aisle in Target was low on stock, and Mr. Parent got a mustache, because, wait for it… he has a mustache. It will be a hit with the kids, anyway.

In my head, this is thoughtful yet impersonal enough to be gifts for your employers whose house you happen to live in. I mean, probably.

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Secret Santa gift #1 had to be a bit smaller, because we had a limited budget to work with. Contents include:

  • The same scarf that Mrs. Parent is getting, although the owner of this one will wear it brighter, somehow.
  • More chocolate!
  • A littler, mild candle. I give mild candles to people I don’t know quite as well, in case they have some kind of reaction to strong smells. I understand this, as I am frequently forced to kill anyone who gets me a cinnamon-scented monstrosity.
  • Two little sets of dangly earrings that I didn’t think to pull out. This lady always wears dangly earrings. I figure she must not have cats.
  • Also that box with a bow. Most of these items will be stuffed into it.

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Also, these things, for secret Santa #2. Just… just turn your head sideways, if you would. It’s far too difficult to rotate this thing and upload it again. If there’s a way to rotate a picture while in WordPress, I’d love to hear it.

  • Two absolutely outrageous earrings for an outrageous lady.
  • Two boxes of Lord of the Rings flavored tea. I buy the Bilbo Baggins Breakfast Blend for myself on the regular.
  • Chocolate. Creatively.
  • Another mild candle.

These things, in addition to the three to six identical extreme dot-to-dot books I am buying for the boys, mercifully conclude my Christmas shopping. It somehow doesn’t feel right to be doing this now; in Idaho we have snow by now. Here, it’s 50 degrees and I’m running my errands without a jacket, and this strikes me as “Halloween is coming up” weather. C’est la vie.

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Bonus: I can’t just sit in this house. I am a perpetual jungle gym.