Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where Bob Learns to Boil Water and My Head Hurts From Too Much Learnin'

Thank you all for the words of encouragement - and yes -Bob will be packing lunches this week and even wrangling dinner since I hadn't realized I had PTA and Book Club meetings this week. I need to let that one go now, since my fear that the children will come down with rickets if Bob subjects them to his terrible cuisine has yet to come to light.

Children - welcome to your week of hotdogs and mac-n-cheese. They will never want me to cook again.

I haven't "worked" for about eight years. Two things really struck me yesterday. One, you don't have your refrigerator right there taunting you all day - both a good and bad thing (but I think mostly good) and two, I have no idea what any of the businessy/computer jargon means. When I did work, I was a social worker - as jargon-ey as I got was throwing around terms like PTSD after asking someone how they felt. Then I got to chart by hand on the patient file.

As I was being led through part one of what looks to be a thousand hour Power Point on financial counseling, my trainer bandied about all these big words. At one point she gestured to the fields on the computer screen that had already been filled in, and the font was slightly faded. "Note how you can just bypass the dithered fields," she instructed me.

It took me a minute, but I figured out that dithered meant the faded stuff already typed in. I was sharing this info with Sarah on my way home from work and then I laughed. So did Sarah. "You have lots of experience with that word," she said. "You know, when you go to your Nordstrom.com shopping cart and get ready to check out? And your information is all saved and you can see your address already in there?"

See, I have been a business woman all these years and I never even knew it.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I report to the hospital this morning for work - I'll be working a regular 40 this week to get much of my training in. Soooo, hopefully that means Bob experiences all the hijinks and fun living at home and I have nothing to write about.

Except that it really irritates me that in order to plan for today, I was up late packing lunches, preparing tonight's dinner to stick in the 'fridge (Jacob's teacher is coming tonight - great timing, eh), pack up Jack's diaper bag, snacks, etc. and then think about what I was going to wear today.

If I were Bob, I would have tucked the kids into bed, gone to sleep and got up and taken care of myself. Oh, to be a man - at least a man in my 1950s style household. Mama's throwing away her apron. Wish me luck.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Home of the Woo Woo

I love where I live, truly. But sometimes I am driven to the edge by the new-agey, healthy-food crazed, greenness of it all. Or as my sister would say, the "woo woo" factor.

I love my environment, my heart and mind are open to new ideas, and we eat a pretty healthy diet maybe 80% of the time. But by my town's standards, I suppose the fact that I allow things like Diet Coke, chips, and the occasional trip through a fast food joint means I am basically feeding my babies rat poison. I'm somewhat inured to some of these things, like at school meetings where we (I believe) innocently suggested stocking the front office with granola bars for hungry kids and several parents nearly died of shock and disgust over the idea that we would feed our school children fake packaged food with - of all things - sucralose - in it. For real, the rat poison comparison was drawn.

Anyway, yesterday I was invited to a lunchtime function and was told to bring my younger children, that lunch and childcare would be provided. It was outside of my regular circle, but I went to support one of my closest friends and another who had recently had a birthday. Other than that, I was out of my element. But, it was a trunk show, and the opportunity to look at new clothes is always welcome, especially since I start my life as a working gal in just a few days.

I'm so used to this town that I barely batted an eye at the home of our hostess, which was littered with crystals and candles and woodland sprites. Hey - my kids go to a Waldorf school now. I'm down with the woo woo. It doesn't stop me from watching my Real Housewives of New York City (no matter how many times I hear that tv is poison I will always love it. Puhlease. While they are fondling their chakras or whatever, I'm still writing novels in between episodes of bitchy socialites).

But I draw the line when young kids are, in my opinion, negatively affected - by any kind of lifestyle I should add. Yesterday, after playing for an hour while we grown-ups chatted and I counted down the minutes before I had to leave to get Jack down for a nap, Jacob came up to me. "Mama, I'm hungry."

I noticed that it was already one and neither of the boys had eaten lunch. Gah! So I went into the kitchen where the lunch buffet was assembled. To wit, by buffet I mean: A ceramic bowl of edamame in the pod, a smaller bowl of raw almonds, some orzo with mint and edamame and some apples. To me, the perfect lunch for grown women watching their diet and their health. For a five year-old who runs around all day and just wants a cheese sandwich or something in nugget form with some fruit? Not so much. And to drink, there was a beautiful glass canister of Red Zinger tea. For the kids, people.

Jacob, who will eat tofu-based "chicken" nuggets, looked about forlornly and said, "Mama! Where is the food for kids?"

Cue hostess, who entered with a supremely annoyed look and gestured wildly to the counter as if to say, do you not see the smorgasbord behind you? She then irritatedly looked at Jacob and me and said, "There is plenty of food." And walked away as if we had just raided her panty drawer.

So after another hour, with two tired and cranky boys who hadn't eaten since snack time, I left and took them out to lunch. Guess where we ate?


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fun Dipping into my Quiet Place

I have this book on writing, and it says that one great way to fire up your creative juices is to meditate for at least ten minutes each night. It sounds pretty easy, just ten minutes.

Relax and close your eyes. Imagine a pleasant place - a lakeside or a mountain glen. Imagine the feel of the wind, the look of the white clouds against the vivid blue of the sky, the scent of the water and grass and sand, the sigh of the wind in nearby trees, the feel of your body relaxing, letting go. If some more logical thought comes along from your left hemisphere, just watch it drift across your mind and go out again. Relax, enjoy, see, taste, feel, hear and smell things in your quiet place of escape, and drift.

Note to self: you must relax and do this. You are blocked creatively. Picture the beach in the Bahamas you went to after that year of homeschooling. God, that really sucked, the homeschooling. Stop, left brain! Out you go, logical thought. Okay, focus on the sand, the warm soft grainy sand. Yeah. It feels so nice under my feet. Kind of like the powder in those Fun Dip packs. Oooh, Fun Dip. I used to con my cousin out of her share of Fun Dip all the time. I feel bad about that. I need to call my cousin. Ohmyhell her daughter's birthday is coming up. STOP. Okay, relax and let it gooo. I hear the wind, the sighing wind. And I smell the chicken roasting behind the grove of palm trees. That jerk chicken. I am so hungry. Why can't I just cut out the five pounds from my belly that I need to lose and be done with it? Shhhh. I feel the warm waves gently lapping against me as I float on the current, the gentle rhythm of my breath as I inhale and exhale through the snorkel tube. I am at one with the sea. There is that big fish again, the one I wanted to photograph so the girls could see the giant colored fish - this whole place is like Finding Nemo. I am swimming after the fish, still relaxing. It's getting away, so I swim faster. I will get a picture of the fish. Oh, good! The fish has stopped! And turned and faced me. Excellent! Getting ready to take picture of the fish...ohmygod is it? It is. The fish is coming after me! It is chasing me! I am going to die from multiple bites from the giant colored fish. They will find my body tomorrow in the lagoon. Come to think of it, why wasn't I more careful when considering this whole snorkeling thing in the first place? There could be sharks here. Everywhere. I am swimming as fast as I can. I will live! I will see another day and never snorkel again! And I am breathing....letting the thoughts drift through...maybe I should just blog. The writing will come later.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This Hike Brought to You by Ortho Novum

Yesterday my friend and I thought it would be fun to hike to the bottom of a fairly sizeable canyon and back with the little kids. We packed a picnic lunch, loaded up on water and sunscreen, and I placed all 30 pounds of Jack on my back.

There's this whole element to hiking that I am still fairly new to, and that would be the downhill/uphill thing. If you spend the first half of your hike enjoying the scenery as you traverse downhill, it is inevitable that you will spend the last part of your hike walking uphill. As enjoyable as this all sounds, the pleasure dynamic does shift somewhat when you are lugging a toddler on your back. In my case, a toddler who thoroughly enjoys smashing remnants of cheese into the hairs on the back of my neck or grabbing my hair and steering me with it.

So as we made our way back to the top, somewhere between when my legs began to feel as if they were made of rubber and where I realized you can't make cell phone calls in a canyon, two delightful things happened. First, Jack proceeded to shriek in such a manner that the blood, if and when it finally decided to pour from my shattered eardrums, would trickle in a thin rivulet and land in a blot on my shoulder to resemble almost exactly the profile of Dinah Shore. He sustained this piercing screaming until we got back to the car, in fact. I suppose it was toddler-speak for get me off of your back, woman. There is no more cheese to smash and I am becoming annoyed by your ripe odor. I have a nap that needs to happen and a diaper to fill.

Meanwhile, my friend's daughter, who had been very happy for the most part chasing lizards with Jacob, decided she was not. going. to. walk. back. with. us. NO MATTER WHAT. So she had her own less piercing tantrum while her mom kept her cool and only threatened to strap her to the top of the car once.

As things developed, a young couple passed us on the trail. They tried to get past us as quickly as possibly, the fear evident on their faces. Even their large dog wouldn't look at us and kept his head low. I saw his tail tuck between his legs as Jack let out a particularly high-decibel wail.

There was nothing to do of course but smile at the couple and say, "We're part of a public service announcement for the forest service encouraging young couples not to breed. Now go! Refill your birth control as soon as you get back to town."

They actually ran past us.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

They're Baaack

Click on this link to read about last night's headlining news in my area. I about fell out of bed when I saw this lead the evening news last night!

Bob barely opened one eye as I elbowed him so he would watch. He didn't even react when I leaped out of bed, threw open the curtains and called up to the sky, "Take me with you! You can study the mind of a human crazy enough to breed repeatedly!"

They skipped my house.

Monday, April 21, 2008

As Long as I Don't Sound Like Marilyn Monroe Singing Happy Birthday

For better or worse, in my house if Mama isn't happy - no one is happy. I think it's too much pressure. If I am in a bad mood, I watch as my children one by one succumb to the surly. They're like little emotional sponges, waiting to soak in and squeeze out whatever mood I'm in.

We have had winds here all weekend. The whipping, whining, blow trees down kinds of winds that come ripping down from the mountains and set everyone on edge. It makes me feel cock-eyed - that kind of constant howling. So all weekend I battled the gusts and my souring mood - pushing doors open against the gales only to have them swing back and bark shins, watching as new green buds skittered across the field, and saying more than one silent prayer that May comes quicker than ever.

Today it is still blowing, so in order to calm the members of my household, I am going to have to pull out one of my least favorite tools in my box of tricks - the soft voice. I know that my kids will respond favorably, and I know that Bob will, too. I've talked about this before. The soft breathy voice, when employed properly, puts a smile on the children, keeps the dog in line, and renders your husband malleable and eager. I may have confused the effects of dog and husband - but you get my point.

But you cannot laugh. You must act as if nothing is out of the ordinary as you request, in your most breathy Marilyn-esque manner, that your husband/child/dog come hither/set the table/sit.

It is perhaps one of the most effective and annoying techniques out there. Especially when you believe, in your heart of hearts, that speaking like an asthmatic hooker isn't going to work on your husband (who loves you as the strong and self-reliant feminist that you may be thankyouverymuch) and when you try it for the first time you watch as he melts like cheap foundation on a summer day. Sure, it's easier to understand why our kids respond positively to softer inflections. They're kids. Kittens and puppies like it, too. But our husbands? They should want to do our bidding 24/7, even if we sound like Kathleen Turner on her third pack, right? Or do they secretly thrill when we sound weak and feminine, like we're in the throes of...something...when we address them. I still remember the first time I tried it on Bob. In my breathiest, weakest voice.....

[mustering self control to not fall on floor in heap of giggles] "Bobby? Honey?"

[Bob, visably straightens and perks up, a lot like our dog does when presented with bacon] "Y-yes? Sweetie what do you need?"

[tracing finger around shoulder, breathing softly] "Would you go to the store for me again? And get some milk? I forgot to put it on the list when you went earlier."

[Husband flushes, pulls me close and kisses my neck]. "Of course, darling."

I'm barely exaggerating.

Try it. I am going to employ this today, as I work to sooth my own nerves, calm my children, and try not to look out the window as I watch houses fly by with the tumbleweeds.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cue the Singing Angels

For this day I interview a housekeeper. A woman who shalt be paid to scrub my children's toilets. Forsooth, she shall pick up Bob's wet towels, and scrape off the morning's sustenance from the cereal bowls.

I start my part-time job on the 28th, and so any guilt I've ever had over the thought of hiring another woman to clean our home? Gone, baby. Especially since I will be paying her myself. With money I earned. Wee!

Now I must anoint myself for the arrival of my new wife Emelia.

p.s. I'm going to be a financial counselor at the hospital! I train for a week, then just work 16 hours a week after that. I'm so excited - a little bit of social work with a business edge AND I get to wear big girl clothes.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hold On to Your F*cking Hat

Gah - could not resist another video. Get ready to pee yourself laughing. Or at least have a great excuse for the fact that you may have already done so.

Click here.

A Woman Scorned...

Is it bad that I really like her hair?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Uber Mom

I hate it when you realize that you're not going to have it all. I still harbor the belief that if I just get enough energy I could be this woman:

Rises at five for meditation, jog, and house cleaning. Return home from run, start home cooked breakfast, listen to NPR, and watch as smiling, beatific children tumble down to breakfast. Smile to myself as they make jokes about how their science project is going to beat out Bobby's next door. After all, they worked so hard on it these past weeks. Glow visibly as Bob enters kitchen, try to contain sexual arousal at man who has been able to turn me on for the past nineteen years. Hand him his coffee as he places his arm around my tiny waist (the one that hasn't changed a bit! after birthing four babies) and shudder with delight as he slips his other hand around my back and covertly places a one of a kind 1920s art deco jade necklace around my neck that he found at an estate sale while on a business trip. Giggle, since he does this every Tuesday!

See the children off to school, return home to tidy up, but everything is already so clean, fresh, and right out of an Ethan Allen showcase it seems almost silly to tamper with perfection. Retire to office to work on second book in negotiated Random House bookdeal while 21 month old son plays cherubically at my feet.

After several productive hours of working, gather cheery son and go to school, where I pull up into parking space with my name on it. It's the safest space on the lot, and the plaque reads, "For all of Your Hard Work and Selfless Dedication, Jen M."

Pick up happy children who keep interrupting each other to tell me how much they missed me, how many As they got that day, and how they want to stop off at the local shelter before we go home and give their allowance to the homeless. We do, and for a reward, I take my debit card and treat them to a shopping trip with no worries about the amount I spent. I even treat myself to three size two Diane Von Faustenberg wrap dresses.

Return home to see that the chef has already prepared the savory, delectable, calorie-free dinner and the wine is already corked. Sigh happily and take in the glory that is just another day.

If only I was a morning person, all of this would be mine.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's all Such a Norman Rockwell Life

On occasion, my cousin likes to send me snippets of her life. I like to do the same, and we enjoy guessing who's life is more likely to make one of us cry funnier at the moment.

They say that families who eat together enjoy closer bonds, fewer issues at school, and stronger ties to both family and community. You decide.

Excerpt from Get in the Car's table:

Maddie: "I'm a vegetarian! I won't eat chicken!"

Chloe: "I'll eat the chicken, mom. Mmmmm. Chicken." [shoots look at sister to indicate that she won round one of who is the better daughter]

Jacob: [making rude sounds with armpit] "Mom? Does chicken make your muscles big?"

Jack: [places cheese in water glass]. "Pthpfh."

Bob: "Let's talk about me."

Maddie: "Can I picket KFC? They torture chickens."

Chloe: "I finished my state report early. Did you know that the chicken was almost the state bird of Delaware? Milk is the official state beverage. Did you see how I finished my milk?"

Me: "Bob, please uncork the wine."

Snippet from My Cousin's Recent Evening Repast...

Cousin: "So, when did you know you wanted to marry me?"

Husband of Cousin:"Oh probably that night I got really drunk at that party and was really rude to you about the topic of marriage and then I was really hungover the next day and we went out to breakfast and I threw up outside the restaurant and everyone saw. When you stuck around after that, I figured you were a keeper."


Husband of Cousin:"And also, I think I was just ready to get married, you know? I realized the whole dating thing was bull crap."

Cousin. "Oh. That's pretty romantic, O."

Husband of Cousin: "I know, I never say romantic things, do I? But I was always really attracted to you."

Cousin: (Brightening) "Really? What do you mean, always?"

Husband of Cousin: "Oh, like since the first time I met you at that apartment building. I thought you were hot."

Cousin: (Batting eyes) "Really? Like hot, how?"

Husband of Cousin: "Can you believe they charge $33 for this rack of lamb? I mean, this is a $12 serving, at most. We should have gotten nachos at the bar."


Monday, April 14, 2008

Close Call

Friday afternoon I pulled into the school parking lot after school to pick up the big kids. As I was easing my way into the congested parking lot (oh, for our new school grounds with a safe pick-up and drop-off zone) I glimpsed a woman loading her own children into her green minivan.

For no reason at all I was overcome with a bad feeling. A very bad feeling that made me feel mean as I watched this woman tossing a backpack into her car.

I don't know this particular mom - she has children who are all in different grades than my own and our paths had never crossed. So I was irritated at myself. Why on earth would I feel so negatively toward this woman? How irrational are my periods going to make me as I creep toward forty?

Moments later, I pulled into my usual spot and waited for the girls to see me. Chloe saw me first, and climbed into the back seat. I noticed that Maddie was still gabbing with her friends, oblivious to me, so I told Chloe to hop back out and go get her sister for me. I was already ticking off the list of things to do to prepare for Saturday's Gala.

Chloe stepped out of the car, took one or two steps, when my whole body jolted and was thrown against my door. I sat there for a moment, confused, until the realization of what happened came to me.

The woman in the green minivan had placed her car in reverse and plowed into my car. Right against the door where Chloe had exited just seconds before. Chloe looked at me through the car window, her eyes big. I rolled down the window and just stared at her.

"Mom, the car is hit."

But Chloe wasn't. She was right there, looking at me. I still couldn't move. Other parents who witnessed the whole thing were beginning to walk over, looking at me with quizzical expressions. I was unaware of this, and later my girlfriend would ask me why I took so long to step out of the car.

I believe it was because I couldn't get over how close of a call it was. The woman who hit me finally came over to my window and said, "Sorry about that; I was wondering when something like this would happen in our parking lot."

I just nodded my head and said, "Better my car than a kid."

Friday, April 11, 2008

What? Your Child Isn't a Brainiac?

And they hate math? Then wander over to the review blog and check out my daughter's review of Brainetics....

Little Green Men

Do you believe in UFOs? Alien life on another planet other than ours?

I do. And even though I do, quite strongly in fact, it's never been anything I've talked about. I like reading books written for lay people like me, such as "How the Universe Started For Dummies." I like reading about string theory, even though I will never, ever get it. Even when brilliant scientists try and write a book for regular people, they usually miss the boat.

Now, just imagine the time space continuum as a slice of bread. Got it? Good. Now you can understand the flaws in relativity and move on to the next chapter.

When I'm just pooped out, I love nothing more than to beach myself on the couch and turn on the History Channel and watch UFO Hunters or UFO Files. But really, that has been the extent of my interest. I haven't even really talked about it to anyone.

Until my oldest daughter told me she saw a UFO one night.

She's a kid, and I brushed her off when she told me. I didn't believe her - I still don't know what to think. But one night I was watching a show on "The Phoenix Lights" that recapped the famous sighting in Phoenix eleven years ago. It was caught on film by dozens of people, aired on CNN, and even the governor of Arizona at the time claimed to have witnessed the enormous, silent, formation of brilliant, mulitcolored lights on several things flying slowly overhead Phoenix - until they just disappeared. We live close to Phoenix. And sort of close to Roswell. You could say we're an alien hotbed where I live.

So my daughter came out into the living room while I was watching History Channel, casually glanced at the screen, and announced, "That looks just like what I saw out of my bedroom window that one time."

Okay, I'm a dork. I got goosebumps. I quizzed her. It was an airplane. It was a helicopter. She was dreaming. First, We rarely see airplanes overhead up here in our mountain town, especially way out where we live, and she reminded me that she did grow up on an Air Force Base. Okay, then, helicopter. Mom, helicopters move slower, straighter, and have a blinking light on the tail. This thing was long and round and had lights all around the edge. And it zig zagged. And then it was just gone; I couldn't see it anymore. Oh, okay, you were dreaming. No I wasn't, mom. It was the night you bought me my daybed. I couldn't get to sleep, so I just stared out the window at the stars for a while. That's when I saw it. Why didn't you come get me? I almost did, but I knew you wouldn't believe me.

So even though in theory I really can't accept that earth is it - the only place that harbors life, I don't know what to believe here. I believe that she really thinks she saw something. So I told a neighbor and good friend of mine. She proceeded to shock the pants off of me.

"Everyone around here has seen something. One of my employees said his entire street was out one night because the power just shut off, and everyone went out to see if the neighbor's had lost power, too. When they were all out on the street, every one of them saw these strange lights in the sky. He actually called 911 - and they kept waiting to read about it in the paper, or the radio, or something the next day, and they never did."


"The guy with the horses behind me says he sees stuff once a month or so. But he would never report it because he's this conservative horseman. They'd laugh him out of town."

Even weirder.

So when the weather warms up, I am going to the deck upstairs and I'm going to look for little green men.

Would you? What do you believe?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Philanthropy Thursday - Second Call For Entries!

I saw a commercial last night that featured several listless teenagers milling about in an alley. The voiceover said, "This town almost built a community center. Don't almost give. Give." It was by the Ad Counsel.

With that, how many of you are still planning on submitting a man, any man in the hot steamy throes of housecleaning for the....

Hot Men of Housework 2009 Calendar

All of the net proceeds will benefit the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity - and my goal is to at least triple the amount raised here last year for them. We can do it!

I have entries already, and there is time, but think about the benefits here:

*Funny/Hot/Silly (it doesn't matter) pictures of guys doing a bang up job around the house

*It goes to charity.

p.s. to the troll commenter - BRAG ALERT: I wasn't going to feature my husband in the calendar, but now I decided he'll be Mr. September, wearing a small frilly apron. I want to showcase his enormous member, which will be covered in gold bullion, with our bank statements plastered across his ripe, lucious bottom.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Terrible Tuesdays and Mr. Big

I'm beginning to notice a trend. If I have a day that is harried, frenetic, involves major mechanical failure of my car, clothes washer, or water supply to the house - it's a Tuesday. Is there some sort of cosmic plot to make that day horrendously difficult for some of us?

Yesterday happened to be one of those days for me. My car battery died not once, but twice. I had let the battery drain all night and when I finally got my car jumped (after frantic calls to friends to come take the kids to school so they wouldn't be late for their AIMS testing) I immediately turned the car off and went into the house. Seems I didn't know you should drive the car around a bit and let the engine run for a while so the battery won't die again. Which mine did, just before I had to get Jacob from kindergarten and get ready for a job interview.

I interviewed yesterday for a part-time (very part-time) job. I did this after a day where I had sweat my way through several t-shirts, made phone calls where I sounded like a prank caller because somewhere along the line I have lost most of my voice - I sound like Kathleen Turner after twelve packs of ciggies - and wrangled yet another friend to drive to my house out in the country and jump my car.

The interview went really well, but I have to make a decision. Do I want to work for a company where the Big Boss happens to be my husband? Where the executive who interviewed me for this job seemed almost nervous around me? It made me think back to times I had wanted to die laughing, throw up, or punch Bob in the back because of his position.

Like when I was in labor with Jack. I was stumbling through the hospital hallways trying to get my reluctant cervix to dilate when I heard some of the nurses at the nurses station look at Bob as he walked past them and they giggled. One of them said, "Do you know who that was?" I had gone into labor during the work hours, so Bob was still in Executive Wear. Meanwhile, when I had lumbered past them in excruciating agony from the eight pound baby getting ready to work his way out...nada. It made me want to feign some terrible pregnancy pain and fall onto them, my will causing my water to break all over their pink and green crocs. So much for will.

Or the time when an employee of his approached me and the kids at a function. She seemed a little breathless around Bob, and I was standing very, very still so that I wouldn't involuntarily snort, roll my eyes, or push her to the ground. Which was even more difficult when she looked at my daughter and asked, "What's it like?"

My daughter, younger at the time, looked at her blankly and said, "What's what like?"

"Living with your father," she replied.

Yeahhhhhh. Goood times. Which explains the question in my interview yesterday as to why I would want to work there. Why did I want to go to work? The implication was clear: Why would you leave your velvet chaise at home, your silver urn of chocolates, and the cushy life as "Stay at Home Wife to Mr. Big" for a job at the hospital?

I had prepared for that question. Bob had prepared me for that question. But still, the answer on my lips was not the answer I was supposed to give. I wanted to look this coiffed, professional woman in the eyes and screech, "Have you met my husband? Do you know how many kids I have? Do you know if I am gone for part of the weekends this man has promised to do laundry and keep the kids happy? Well, DO YOU?"

Instead, I smiled blandly and said, "I believe every woman should work, whether it be five or fifty hours a week."

So there.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

One of us Peaked in the Eighties...

When I was in high school, I had this friend, Jenelle. We were on newspaper together, we were thespians together, and she was best friends with my not-yet gay ex-Mormon boyfriend. At the time he was still Mormon, and even though if you ask me he knew he was gay, he would have denied it back in 1989. In fact, he denied it up until pretty recently. Now he's out and proud, with an ex-wife and two kids. But that's a different story.

I am bragging about my friend, Jenelle, today. Here is a picture of her then:

Here is a picture of me back then, too:

Here is a picture of the two of us when we worked together on the newspaper (important foreshadowing):

Note that we both enjoyed pinning our bangs back severely on top of our head. All the better to showcase the awesome big permed 80s hair. To say I was a little enamored with Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman is a fair statement.

This is Jenelle now:

And this is me now:Our lives have taken us on very different paths. Jenelle is a playwright, a journalist, and hangs with people on her lunch hour that we mortals get to see on the big screen. This Friday you can catch her on the E True Hollywood Story as she dishes insights into Luke and Owen Wilson. For real. She's the cute brunette wearing the red shirt.

You'll find me parked in front of my television squealing, "I know her!" as my kids make paper chains out of our electric bill and the dog chews on a diaper in the corner.

If only I had joined the high school newspaper staff sooner....who knows...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Drag Queens and the PTA, or, How to Embarass Your Children, Part II

In order to give the sagging sales for our school's spring gala a boost, my fellow PTA buddy, Kristi, and I decided that we needed to get out there and hawk tickets ourselves. It's going to be a dressy affair, so we decided it was best to get to the school early in the morning in full length gowns, tiaras, gloves, and jewels and ask each parent in person to RSVP for our upcoming event.

Yes, I am that scary manic volunteering PTA mom you try and avoid. In fact, many parents took one look at us and immediately did a pivot in their efforts not be accosted by the wild-eyed mommies in evening wear. I don't get those parents. How else are they going to find their self-worth if they don't volunteer crazy hours and martyr themselves over the fact that they are the only class parent who remembered to bring in muffins on testing day? And don't give me that whole "inner value" and "self-esteem" hooey. It's all about the hours you log, baby.

Our plan worked, and we managed to pull in an extra $600 in sales that morning. Even better? My daughters melted into the floorboards of the car as I pulled up to the school looking like a drag queen who hadn't had her coffee yet. In order to get everyone out the door and ready that morning and to the school extra early, I had to forego the morning shower. Which is always a nice touch when donning a bright red ballgown.

Their humiliation, shame, and personal agony was delightfully apparent as I sashayed around the school grounds in my slightly rumpled finery. I watched as my seventh grader slinked across campus, pretending to be oblivious to my calls of Have a maaaahvelous day, dahling!

My fifth grader refused to kiss me goodbye so I made sure to blow her plenty of air kisses as she practically slithered on the ground to her classroom.

My kindergartener, a total sexist by nature, gave me a big kiss and a hug and told me, "I like it best when you dress this way, Mama." Yeah, total chauvenist pig in the making. He also likes my hair down, not up, and if I cook his mac and cheese in heels? He asks for seconds.
My toddler was rather non-plussed, save for the fact that my low-cut dress did remind him of his nursing days. Given the amount of teeth in the kid's mouth I wisely kept my distance and stuck him in the car with a movie while I made my rounds. Mother of the Year award here I come!

Ahh, motherhood. Who said there weren't benefits?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Why Bossy Will Be Inheriting My Rhinoplasty Fund

What a great night!

Last night nine of us (most of us bloggers, with the exception of Bossy's fabulous friend, Wendy) met in Scottsdale and sipped beverages, noshed on good food and talked about blogging, pregnant men, vaginas, blogging, Ann Coulter and her dietary habits,who has a book deal and who doesn't, blogging, and my nose.

Minutes before arriving at our destination, I got a call on my cell from Sheri, who wanted to know where I was. Let me just say something about my new friend, Sheri. She is the type of woman you meet once and feel like you have known forever. We had emailed back and forth in the past, but we had never met IRL as the bloggers say. Now we have, and she will now and forever be known as my Scottsdale BFF. Get your guest bedroom ready, girl. The six of us are driving down and we expect to see those Spaghetti-Os piping hot.

When I found our group, I knew right away I was in the right place because I am smart I saw Bossy's hair. Then I really knew I was in the right place because everyone was drinking and I could hear someone speaking loudly in the third person...okay, I'm kidding. You didn't really think Georgia speaks in the third person when she's not blogging, did you? Of course not. Nor did you think she was anything but a genuine, real, compassionate, all around neat woman. What a gift to know such great people.

I also get to say that I have found the men who will hereinafter be referred to as my Scottsdale Gay Best Friends. Scott-O-Rama and his posse (to include his charming boyfriend) were there and as much as I would like to share a picture of him, if you read his genius blog at all you would know he doesn't post pictures of himself. Here is what he looked like:

Then there were the other charming and wonderful bloggers Like Erin, who had us giggling with her work stories. And no, we weren't jealous in the slightest that she has a literary agent. Bossy and I both seemed to take the attitude of let's call her agent and tell her that Erin really has been hiring us as ghost writers so that she'll represent us and sell our books to the world! The world I tell you! Good for you, fellow writer! Because everyone knows that bloggers represent the utmost in emotional maturity.

But then there was the magical moment, the moment that glittered with a thousand facets of pixie dust as time slowed and Georgia's voice became like molasses, albeit really nice molasses, as she gave me an offhand compliment. About my nose. The nose which for years has plagued me as that thing that looks a bit too phallic to be on my face. And she said it was cute. Without prompting. Like she took one look at my schnoz and was compelled to say something nice. For no reason. Then we went to the bathroom together.

The end.

That's me and my nose, second from the left.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Big Bossy Meet Up


I get to go play down in Scottsdale this weekend. Yeah, I'll be by the pool. Hanging out, doing the white man's overbite to some bitchen Bananarama, overdoing the Diet Coke.

Should I take pictures? 'Cause I'll be hanging with this blogger, her, him, her, her, her, her and, oh, HER.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ask the WrinkleRexic

Ladies and metrosexuals it's ask the Wrinkle-Rexic day!

Please, please. I live for this. I know I just play a skincare expert on the internet, but this is my secret love. My true oeuvre.

Bring me your chapped heels, your crow's feet, your sad lips, your dull and pasty complexion. Hasten forth with your breakouts, your cellulite, your lackluster epidermals....just bring it.

Of course I will get the ball rolling with a few thoughts....

If you don't have Loreal's Colour Riche Soft Pink lipgloss, I urge you to go to your nearest Walgreens and snatch it up. Cheap, glossy yet not sticky, and doesn't make you look like an extra on Grease. It makes your lips look like they're rose petals. In a soft mist. In HEAVEN.

Botox - thoughts? I want to hear them.
Self-tanner woes? BRING IT ON.

Natural nails? Long or short? I'm a short and natural, but I've dabbled in acrylic in my day. Don't recommend it.

Do your hands look your age? Do you care? I didn't think I did, until I looked down the other day and saw this:

Dear Great Creator, why wasn't I told to rub face cream on my hands at an earlier age? Why?? Did I eat small children in a past life?

Do you drive? A lot? Do you know how much sun exposure your hands and face get? A buttload. And your left side of your face? Probably more crow's feet than the right side. Go look. I'll wait.

*La, la, lalalalala, the girl from Ipanema*

Now talk to me and I'll tell you what you can do about it.

Edited to add: I've been sk*rted! Chloe's post was skirted by Mamma Loves...explains the huge jump in site visits!!!

add to sk*rt

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Saving for Parole Part III

I found this on Chloe's door today.

Teenage Laureate

The United States government should seriously consider appointing a teenage poet to the position of Laureate. Among the ranks of Maya Angelou, we would have a voice for the angst-stricken. A purveyor of words for the unheard. A weaver of magic for the annoyed.

There she goes again
Offering me a sandwich
She knows I hate Swiss cheese.

Is she taunting me?
Telling me to "eat" my dinner

She appears to me, like a nightmare I cannot wake from...
Get up!
Have you done your homework?
Get in the car, we will be late for your music practice

Have YOU done your homework
I want to scream back?

I watch her writhe
No grace
Back hunched
Face twisted
As she tries to dance to my music.
I laugh, for she cannot know the words of Kanye.

Go back to your Peter Gabriel, Mother!

I want to scream and run for freedom...
But instead, I slowly roll my eyes
and gently exhale
and tighten my burdened shoulders

And I smile, knowing she cannot see me do these things