Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where's Papá? He's busy learning how to make vampires, sweetheart.

My son says today after I pick him up from daycare, "Where Papá, Mommy?"
"He's at school."
Later, "Where Papá?"
"He's at school."
Then at dinner, "Papá at work?"
"No, he's at school."
Then I get a phone call.  "I finished my test early!" gushes the Husband. "I'm going to go spend an hour at Balloon Jam.  Is that okay?"
I look at our son.  "It's okay with me," I start.
"Cool!  Talk to you later!" Click.
A few hours later.
The garage door opens.  Our son runs to do his ritual "Hide from Papá."
The Husband searches the house and finds our son to surprise him with this:
Yeah, our son is thrilled.  It's a vampire balloon (note the red eyes and green fangs) to scare Mommies with.  Guess Balloon Jam was a good use of the Husband's time after all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

99 year old clown!

Big thanks to my school's custodian for telling me about this story from The Kansas City Star. I hope we're still clowning at 99! Rock on Posie the Clown!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Will you be that awesome at 99?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How it went from hobby to job-Part 4

The big day has arrived. I've put our son down for an early nap so that Anissa and company can come over to fine-tune their preparations. (In the meantime, the Husband and I are both speculating about what the Colombian food will taste like. Anissa's family's Colombian.)
They finally arrive an hour late, but it's okay because there's still plenty of time. The Husband and I are very impressed with Teresa who has made an entire clown costume with no pattern at all in less than a week! She looks super.
The Husband helps everyone with their make-up, I get our son dressed, we get in our respective vehicles, and drive to the venue. The drive there is out of this world! People are waving at us, driving alongside us so they can stare at us longer, etc. It's crazy, but enjoyable.
When we get out of the car, I walk our son over to the sidewalk while the 3 clowns unload their magic tricks and balloons. All of a sudden-tires squeal as they burn rubber. A car appears in the parking lot. Being a worrywart, I push my son behind me because I'm considering the possibilities of what to do if my husband becomes a victim of a hate crime.
The driver rolls down his window and I notice some kids in the backseat. "Thank you!" he exclaims joyfully (My brain's saying, "Huh?"). "That's just what I needed today. I'd been having a bad day and needed a laugh. Thank you!" he drives off.
Now, who wouldn't be hooked on clowning after that? Very cool.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How it went from hobby to job-Part 3

That next night, I call my mother in a panic. "The Husband invited a bunch of strangers over to our house! Could you please call me tonight to ensure that I survive the encounter and am not being held against my will?"
After my mother recovers from her initial overreaction to my overreaction, she agrees to do what I request. In the meantime, I go over in my head all the things that are cultural differences between middle-class White Americans and immigrant Hispanics in which I usually offend the Hispanic by accident. I can usually explain and clear things up later, but it's easier to prep myself in advance so I don't have to apologize later. (Thou shalt accept every morsel of food offered to you no matter how full you may feel!)
So long story short; Anissa and her sister this time come over, don't murder us in cold blood, and convince The Husband to put on a show as the lead of 3 clowns: himself, Anissa, and Anissa's good friend Teresa.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How it went from hobby to job-Part 2

So Anissa is refusing to give up and the Husband is refusing to give in. I think it's a great idea-the Husband's really good at it, it'd increase his feelings of self-worth. Nothing wrong with that, right? (If only I knew then what I know now...)
In the interest of preventing a scene in the middle of US Toy's Magic Shop, the Husband suggests a compromise. Why don't they come over to our house tomorrow? Then he can loan them his clown outfit and teach them some more about ballooning.
Anissa and her niece agree. They exchange phone numbers with the Husband, he gives them directions to our house, and they leave. Meanwhile, I have been rendered completely speechless (Don't worry readers! This is me! The speechlessness is of short duration.).
The Husband turns to smile at me. His smile disappears when he accurately determines my gaping expression not to be one of awe, but of horror.
"You invited them to our house!!!!" I say a little too loudly. The Husband does a double-take. "It's ok. We still have time to clean," he responds. Wrong answer.
"But you invited them to our house!!!"
"Yeah, so?"
"We don't know them!"
"Yeah, so?"
"We have a baby! It's not just you and me you're putting at risk!!"
"What?" the Husband asks.
"We don't know them!" I explode.
"So?" says the Husband.
"They could be homicidal maniacs that you just invited to our house!!"
"They looked nice," the Husband shrugs.
Unable to believe it, I finally quote Wednesday Addams in a real-life conversation in which I had not purposefully slanted the conversation so I could do so, "They look just like everyone else!"
And no, in case you're wondering, he did not recognize the quote. My big moment, wasted. Such is the life of a clown's wife...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How it went from hobby to job-Part 1

We had gotten an advertisement about the Easter Bunny being at our favorite toy store/magic & clowning shop (The Husband and I have always been into balloons & magic tricks). I'm also a teacher, so any chance to go to this place I'm all for (it's called US Toy. Give them your business!!)
We took our son, who was 1, to see the Easter Bunny. Wow. First time US Toy had let us down. It was just a guy standing there in a bunny suit holding a basket. No hugs or anything!
So since we had already made the long drive, we decide to look around to see if there's anything new, after all, it's still a great store.
So I'm looking for ideas of what to use for one of my classes and the Husband's kind of looking but spending more time convincing our son to stay with us and not run off. As the Husband talks to our son, who is in the process of lifting up an entire shopping basket, a strange middle-aged lady with this orangey bleach colored hair comes up and starts making small talk with the Husband. She'd heard him speaking with our son in Spanish and thought she'd come ask for help.
"Where's all the clown stuff?" she asks. I grin. My husband knows where every little thing is. He's going to talk her ear off. (Better her than me!)
It turns out, the woman whom I'll call Anissa, wants to create a clown party for her niece's son's birthday but she's not sure how to go about doing it. The Husband starts to explain while I make my rounds of the store with my son. On my second trip around the store, I discover my husband's gotten out balloons and is trying to give Anissa and her niece a crash course in ballooning. The problem? The Husband's not a teacher and ballooning requires tons of practice. Both women have these horrified looks plastered to their faces while my husband's acting like he's teaching them how to open a door. Simple! Nothing to it.
Next thing I know, Anissa's begging my husband to just be the clown at their party instead of her. The Husband's startled. I'm impressed. "That could be fun for you, honey," I say. He shakes his head. "No, I only do this for fun. It doesn't feel right."
The problem is, Anissa is the type of woman who is incapable of taking no for an answer...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Clown that Never Ends

This story is about a party the Husband clowned at a couple of months ago.
The Husband does his show and gets an extremely enthusiastic response (They were happy drunks at this party, as opposed to the mean child-thieving ones, but that's another story). It's time for balloons and the line (excuse me, did I say line? I meant mob surrounding my husband) was huge!!!! To help move things along, the Husband passed out some key rings of pictures of the kids' choices for balloons. Needless to say the kids don't give him enough space, but he works with it, trying to make everyone happy.
On this occasion we had debuted a new way of charging the host, by the hour as opposed to a flat fee. So the host comes up to the Husband amidst the mob of children and asks him to stop (he'd budgeted only for $100). So the Husband starts to pack up.
The children don't leave. They continue to swarm him. I manage to pack up most of the Husband's things while he's fighting his way out of the crowd when he discovers one of the kids have pocketed one of his sets of pictures. I fight my way to the DJ, toddler in tow. "Could you please ask if anyone still has the clown's balloon pictures?" I beg. The DJ starts walking around the party asking people. I just can't bring myself to tell him I wanted him to make an announcement with his microphone not by quietly looking around.
Finally, the host gets the DJ to make an announcement and the pictures are recovered. As the Husband begins to pack his supplies in the car, the same children from the party materialize next to him! "Will you make me a balloon please?" They won't give up!!!! (The interesting part is that all of them have already received balloons and they've already given them to their mothers to hold on to)
I turn to the Husband. "It's late! It's a school night! I want to go home!!" he looks at my stricken expression, sighs, and pulls out his balloons again. Luckily it's dark out because I feel so angry there's no way I'm not purple. "We're paying for those balloons! Not the host!", I hiss. Finally, the Husband manages to shoo the children away, get paid, and pass out some business cards. We get in the car and drive off. All I can think is, "Thank God those kids can't drive yet. They'd follow us home."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Clowning is a Compulsion

So we're shopping for a new dishwasher. The salesman is extremely knowledgeable about dishwashers. As he bends into a dishwasher to explain something, the husband pulls a red handkerchief out of nothing. The salesman stands up and answers a question the Husband has. The handkerchief has mysteriously disappeared. The salesman goes into the back to check something. Red handkerchief appears again. I shoot the Husband a Look. "Must you do magic EVERYWHERE?" The handkerchief disappears. He shrugs, waves his hands in my face, and makes the handkerchief reappear with a flourish. The salesman also reappears to tell us something and so disappears the handkerchief. "I can't take you anywhere!" I say. The Husband shrugs again and smiles an evil grin. The poor salesman looks extremely confused. Let's hope he doesn't get customers like us all the time!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why Grown-Ups are Afraid of Clowns

1. Batman-numerous clown villains
2. Parents force their children to take pictures with clowns and traumatize them
3. Parents think babies like to look at exaggerated facial features that are covered with red and white make-up
4. There are unethical clowns who allow these maniacal parents to take pictures of them and said parents' screaming child
5. Batman-seriously have you seen "The Dark Knight?" The Joker is terrifying!
6. Whitefaced clowns. They're snobby about their white nostrils.
7. It's the cool thing to do. (Teenagers are highly irritating at these parties. You're not really afraid of clowns if you go tell the wife who's standing right next to him. You're on the other side of the room cowering.)
8. Batman-The Riddler has probably caused someone some sort of trauma

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Son of a Clown

Our son is a magician. He waves a playing card at you (He doesn't know that they're for anything other than a magic act. Our household's weird), sticks it behind him and shows you his empty hands, "Tada!" He also makes quarters disappear by sticking them down his shirt. "¡Magia, Papá!"
Seriously, though if it's weird to be a clown's wife, how excruciatingly strange is it that my son sees all this weirdness as normality?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ringling Brothers is finally here-Part 4

I walk in the house with my son this afternoon and am greeted by an overwhelming chemical stench. Horrified, I ask, "What is that?!"
The Husband replies nonchalantly, "I'm cleaning my shoes."
Back up to Saturday afternoon when the Husband is hanging around the Sprint Center dreaming of living the circus life. He'd told one of the clowns about his synthetic leather shoes and had asked the price of real leather clown shoes. Long story short, the circus clown offers to sell the Husband his slightly worn shoes at a steeply discounted rate. Who'd have thought clowns would be so classy?
Alright. I think we're finally done gushing. But seriously, check out these shoes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ringling Brothers is finally here-part 3

As you can tell from the pictures, the Husband did not run away with the circus yesterday. I told him I'm grateful he didn't run off because without him in my life, "A Clown's Wife" would get real boring, real fast. ;)
Anyways, check it out! Autographs from real circus clowns! Extremely cool. Let's hope my son and I will get to go eat dinner with them next year as well!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ringling Brothers is finally here-part 2

The Husband woke me up at 1 this morning to tell me how it went. He showed me his signed program-wow! He met a lot of clowns. He said he had a lot of fun talking to the clowns from Peru & Bolivia, apparently one of them is now Facebook friends with him!
He asked the clowns a lot of questions. They say they're ok with people using their acts as inspiration, but they don't want people copying the entire thing which I find to be entirely reasonable. He also asked them about raising their kids in the circus, apparently Ringling Brothers has its own K-12 school which allows them to keep their children with them. Another question he asked was what do they know about training the elephants and it doesn't sound like they know a whole lot. They did say that the elephants that are already trained are never physically punished (makes me wonder what happens while they're being trained but, but I honestly don't think these clowns know. They're not the trainers after all).
It sounds like they were really sweet to my husband and I'm very happy for him. Right now he's waiting outside security at the Sprint Center to talk to them again (I think they invited him...)
He just called me on the phone and told me, "If you never hear from me again, you know what happened to me. I've run away with the circus!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ringling Brothers Day is finally here!

The Husband called to check in after the Ringling Brothers show about an hour ago. Being a clown he doesn't seem reticent, but on the phone with his wife, he is.
"So how was it?", I ask.
"It was fine," he says. I wait. Nothing happens. The man has been looking forward to this for weeks and he is not forthcoming with information!
"Tell me more!" I urge him.
"What?" he says.
"Tell me more!" I say. He tells me about the price of the program (he bought it to have to have the clowns sign, hopefully I'll have a picture of it to upload in a couple days) and he told me he's having trouble with our camera's battery. Apparently he had a good view of the show and so would have gotten good photos but the battery died. The battery dying is very weird and disappointing because I saw him change the batteries right before he left.
I have to prompt him about my real question, what was it like to meet the clowns?
Apparently I had a misconception (miscommunication in a bilingual household? Shocking!). I thought he was going to see them before and after the show-apparently that's after. So we (myself included) will all have to stay tuned to find out how it went with the pros! Don't change that station!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Out Late on a School Night

The Husband went to his clown alley last night to pay for his ticket for Ringling Brothers. Later he went to get some buffalo wings for his dinner (so healthy!) and he saw one of his fellow clowns there. So I got a phone call a little before ten. "I was going to get it to go, but I see one of the clowns here!" I know what's coming-any chance he gets to pick another clown or magician's brain he takes. "Go ahead," I say. Do I want him to come home? Absolutely. Do I want to be the reason he missed out on an opportunity to learn from the other clowns? Absolutely not.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Such a sweet party

It's the end of soccer season for my husband's cousin's son's team and they did not do very well. So what do the parents do? They give the boys a celebration party anyway. What a great way to help those boys to not only bond as a team, but to remind them to love playing soccer and not have it always be about winning. Some parties the husband goes to have extremely conceited people who only care about how extravagant the party looks to the guests and forget that it's a party for their child not them. This party was not like that. It was sweet, simple, and beautiful. All the families split the expenses from paying for my husband to clown to serving the side dishes as a potluck. It was so cool to see my husband make those kids so happy. That's my favorite kind of party.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mustard vs. Blood

The following story isn't so much about clowning as it is about the husband and wife relationship and our cross-cultural differences (White & Hispanic).
Last night, we were eating hot dogs (they were turkey dogs, the bar-s brand)and we usually put a ton of stuff on them. I was trying to convince the Husband to try Dijon mustard instead of the ordinary kind. Even though my husband can put on make-up and make a fool out of himself in front of 100 people, he's a coward when it comes to trying new foods.
I, on the other hand, have been introduced to a myriad of things that are strange to me and I have tried them. The list of weird things I've tried includes tripe, beef brains, intestines, tongue, and pig's blood (Twilight, anyone?). Brain and intestines are really too chewy, tripe and blood (seriously all I can think about is the Cullen's vegetarian diet) are gross, but tongue is GOOD. Needless to say, he didn't try the mustard. I love him, but he's a big rubber chicken.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pregnancy Balloon

One of my husband's weirder creations:

If you look very carefully, you can see that he has inserted a small black balloon inside of the dog's stomach.  No, it's not food or internal organs, it's a fetus!
His routine begins with the creation with a "normal" dog.  He announces what it is "un perrito."  He then proceeds to create a second dog (this one happens to be pregnant) and asks his audience what they see.  They inevitably respond with "un perrito." Exasperated, he tells them how very wrong they are.  This dog is not a boy!  He points to the fetal puppy and says, "¡Una perrita!"
Later, after the show is over, someone usually comes and asks me if I also know how to do it.  Do I look like a clown???

Friday, September 2, 2011

Language Barrier

So as the big day for Ringling Brothers looms nearer, the Husband talks about it everywhere.  At daycare he sees a flier, "I'm going to go see the clowns there!!!"  The manager says, "Oh are you taking your son?" "Nah," he replies.  I step in with, "We don't think our son will be able to handle sitting through the entire show."
The Husband continues, "Seriously, you should be there when a bunch of clowns get together."
"Do you clown around?" says the manager.  (Which is still funny, even though it no longer sounds either original or clever).  The Husband doesn't laugh.  I'm not sure he understands how it's funny, but it is an idiom and English is not his first language.
"Yeah!", says the Husband.  "It's so crazy.  Some clowns are very SERIOUS about being a clown."  He's trying to point out the irony of the situation to the manager, but she misses it.  Possible language barrier.  I'm starting to enjoy myself.  They're both cracking jokes and neither one is aware of it!  Oh what a day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Link from The Onion

Click here to see a link my dad sent me.  The Onion is an extremely weird and extremely FICTITIOUS website.  They're very silly.
Since it involves clowns, I thought my readers might enjoy it.  Leave a comment to let me know what you thought of it.