Monday, March 30, 2009
Musical Potty Chairs
Duck, Duck Grey Goose On The Rocks
Simon Says Stop Jumping On My Furniture Or You're Not Getting Any Cake, You Five-Year-Old Future Felon
Pin the Baby On the Octomom
Hide and If You're Good, We'll Seek You When Your Mom Comes To Pick You Up In An Hour
Follow The Leader of the Doomsday Cult
Blind Man's Bluff In The Buff
Mother, May I Refresh Your Cocktail?
Hot Potato, Cold Brewski
Red Light, Green Light, DUI Checkpoint
The funniest ones on here are from my friend Cheryl, who's an amazing artist. Check out her awesome Beezles.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
We're finally home from our spring break trip. Sadly, I didn't return sunburned or hungover or even sporting a few nasty Mexican jailhouse tats to proudly show off at the next PTA meeting. (And I can't even tell you how incredibly disappointed I am about that last one. I thought this would finally be the year I'd be able to trump the spectacle that is Missy Bradshaw's humungo lip injections.)
Anyway, I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, the big reason I don't have any fun vacation souvenirs to display right now is because we actually spent our spring break week in Portland. Oregon. Awww, yeah. It was rain, rain and more rain. And then, right when I was about shave my head so my hair didn't look like Weird Al Yankovic's anymore, there was just a little more rain to top it off. Delightful.
Finally, after five days of wet feet, cold hands and being repeatedly jammed in the eye by Jack's lethal "Power Rangers" umbrella, we couldn't take another day, so we peeled off our Gortex, jumped in the rental car and headed straight out of town. To Seattle. Yep, I've got the travel agent skills of a moron. (Also, believe it or not, the old Space Needle didn't have even ONE Hot Thong contest the whole time we were there. Or even a Best Chest In The West contest. I honestly don't know how that city expects to get any tourism. I really don't.)
But while I have many more fun stories from the trip, I first have to write about what happened today. After getting in late last night, I woke up Sam this morning and took him to school a few minutes after the bell rang. And, since I thought I'd just be running him into the office where nobody would see me, I guess one could say that I didn't put too much care into my appearance. Of course, one could also say that I wasn't wearing any make-up or a bra or matching clothes, that I had a big blob of pimple cream on my cheek and that I still sort of smelled like a worn-out seat cushion from an American Airlines 737, but I'm sure one wouldn't want to be quite that nasty, would one?
Arriving at the school, we got out of the car, took one step into the parking lot, and suddenly, a loud, screeching wail pierced the early morning silence. We soon saw that it was the school's fire alarm announcing an impromptu fire drill. Fantastic. Within seconds, the entire school emptied out in front of us and we instantly found ourselves standing smack dab in the middle of 500 people. All looking right at my blob of pimple cream. I immediately crossed my arms tightly around my braless chest (which, ironically, would have been a good look in South Padre), then inelegantly tried to pull Sam through the crowd to find his teacher.
Finally, after being greeted by EVERYONE I KNOW (who all looked at me like "Dear God, what a shame, she used to be so sober"), I found the teacher, handed Sam to her and turned to make a quick escape. Unfortunately for me, however, I then saw that my car was now being blocked by a rather large fire truck that had apparently shown up to give the fire drill some authenticity. (And also to provide the teachers with a few moments of firefighter eyecandy. Or so I hear from the gossipy lunch lady.)
Since I couldn't move my car, I had no choice but to walk home, rather than wait around and experience even a few more minutes of public humiliation. I mean, a girl can only take so much, right? I hitched up my droopy sweatpants, smoothed down my unwashed hair and headed off on foot. Then, once on the street, I took a deep breath, smiled to myself and decided to shake off what had just happened. After all, it was a brand new day today. It was spring. It was a time of bright beginnings. So I told myself to just relax and regroup and really enjoy my half-mile walk home. And then it started to rain.
Next year, it's spring break in Dubai.
(But all kidding aside, I totally love both Portland and Seattle and had a grand old time at my alma mater in Eugene, the U. of Oregon. Even if I did look like Weird Al.)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The story below is one I wrote about four years ago when we moved into a new house. It's not the best thing I've ever written, but it really expressed my feelings at the time. Hope you like it.
I'll be back raring to go next week--unless I'm too hungover and sunburned and in Mexican jail. Cross your fingers.
HOUSE: A GROWN UP FAIRY TALE
We bought our first house six years ago; pre-kid. And for the first two years we lived in it, things were very, very calm. Quiet. Serene, really. Nobody was home much, things worked the way they were supposed to work and the house was even treated to frequent cleanings and fresh paint jobs. In the house's mind (which is located by the water heater), these were the salad days. There was nothing for it to do but just relax and reflect and sink into its golden years.
And then the boys came along.
Suddenly the walls were under attack, the carpet was fighting to stay its original color and the hardwood floors were so wet, they thought they were back in the Oregon rainforest. Now the house found itself always occupied, always used and constantly, constantly noisy. Screams, cries and giggles filled its rooms, even in the dead of night. Toys beeped their way into previously unexplored corners. Every window had tiny finger smudges and every toilet was suddenly perplexed by its new importance. ("A 'potty success' chart in my honor? Really?")
The house became upset and angry. It felt betrayed by its owners. Why did they have to bring in these little intruders? The house didn't want them. And, after all, it was there first. So, the house decided to fight back.
Floors suspiciously became uneven under a brand-new walker's feet. Doors screeched to pinch chubby little fingers. Closets that once seemed roomy now seemed packed. Even the walls got into the act and invited scary shadows to flicker Midnight Monsters shows so terrifying, they propelled the boys out of their beds and into ours. Sure, you can live here, the house seemed to say, but I'm not going to make it easy on you. In the end, the house proved a worthy opponent against the two little boys. So worthy, in fact, we started to think maybe it was too old, too unreliable, too small.
And then we sold it.
We moved into a trophy-wife of a house. It was new, bigger. The walls were pristine, the carpets spotless and even the shadows on the boys' walls seemed friendlier. Admittedly, it was a little weird to be in a house that had no history and no memories. If our other house was a cranky middle-ager, this house was a week-old puppy. Its big backyard beckoned for play. Its sunny, bright playroom yearned to be filled with loud, obnoxious toys. Basically, it was a blank canvas just waiting to be introduced to Crayola and Pepperidge Farm. We were nothing if not its perfect match.
And our old house? It finally got what it wanted. A crumb-free existence. A life of peace and quiet and emptiness. Nobody slammed its cabinets or spilled juice on its tiles. No "Dora the Explorer" blared from the TV. Nobody sat sulking in its laundry room "until he's ready to be a good boy." Once again, the house could just sit and think and look at the trees and the grass and settle.
And the house was never more miserable.
Then one day, a moving truck pulled up to the house. A young couple moved in with their stain-free furniture, delicate artwork and two pampered cats. The house stood up straight, gave its shingles a shake and tried for a welcoming smile. Then it looked for the kids. Listened for their tiny, wonderful voices. Waited to feel their sticky fingers exploring its walls. Strangely enough, it didn't find any. Stranger still, even though it was occupied again, the house still felt empty. And then, in the house's mind (which is located by the water heater), and idea formed. With all its might, the house gave a small shudder ("Just the house settling, dear") and knocked a forgotten baby toy out of a cabinet to land at the couple's feet. They smiled, looked at each other and said, "Must be a sign." The house creaked in contentment. Hi, it said to them. I'm your house.
Live in me.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I've never really thought of myself as being much of a whiner. (Long pause while I double over in hysterical laughter and pat myself on the back for actually being able to type that sentence with a straight face. Whoooo.) No, most days I'm much too busy writing page after page in my Oprah Gratitude Journal to complain about anything, really. What can I say? My life is just full of light-bulb moments.
That said, on the rare occasion I do find something to grouse about, I really try to not do it around my neighborhood friend Jennifer. See, Jennifer believes in something called "the power of positive thinking" and strongly feels that we should all be "thankful for what we have." Blah, blah, blah, the glass is half-full, those aren't mosquitoes, they're tiny angels giving you a kiss from Jesus...you get the idea.
Anyway, because of this whacko philosophy of hers, whenever I happen to say something even slightly negative, Jennifer immediately jumps right in and hits me with a few rays of her Little Mary Sunshine. To wit:
Ugh, I really don't want to go grocery shopping.
Y'all just be happy you have money to buy food for your family!
Jack puked in his bed and it took me an hour to clean it up.
He'll be out of the house before you know it and then you'll miss those moments!
I think I need an eyelift. I'm starting to look like a dude.
Life gives us the face we deserve! Be proud of your wrinkles, girlfriend!
I just wasted four hours getting an oil change.
At least you have a car! In Mexico, people drive half-blind donkeys!
Oww--my legs are sore from doing all of those lunges. (OK, I made this one up. I don't lunge for anything besides falling wine bottles.)
Just thank heaven you have two strong legs and don't need one of those electric scooters at Costco!
I have a friend who's really, really annoying.
Some people only have imaginary friends named Britney!
Seriously, I want to pin my friend down and tweeze off her eyebrows with jumper cables.
She'll probably thank you for saving her a trip to the salon!
My friend needs to just shut her pie hole, already.
Or maybe you need to put on your listening ears, already!
Good-bye. I'm going to go bang my head against a wall.
At least you have a wall!
She's a real treat, that Jennifer.
Which is why I was thrilled to learn that there's now a more private forum for my massive amounts of whining. The brilliant Marinka from Motherhood in NYC has a new, already popular blog called Secret Spineless Whine, where you can submit complaints, bitches and rants to your heart's content. Today she's posting my little missive about the pure evil that is Breathe-Right Nasal Strips. (The post also includes a few f-bombs. I don't know what's going on with me, lately. The effin' weather's turned me into Joe effin' Pesci.) So please, take a second to click on over, give it a look and maybe leave a whine of your own.
But whatever you do, don't tell Jennifer.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Usually, when you first start a blog, the only readers you have are yourself and the unfortunate few who found you because they Googled something like "Oxyclean, ketchup and The Pet Shop Boys". Which means that some of the borderline genius posts you wrote at that time were maybe only seen by 2 or 3 people.
Today, the lovely & talented Ann over at Ann's Rants starts a week of highlighting some long, forgotten blog posts, like my yoga rant, "Namaste", which can be found by clicking here. (Caution: Yoga has been known to make me drop the f-bomb. A lot.)
You can find one of Ann's lost classics over at Kelcey's The Mamabird Diaries.
And I'm lucky enough to have one of Kelcey's hilarious, no-longer-obscure posts right here:
In the Naked Night Kitchen
What's with all the naked people at the gym? You may be thinking - I have no idea because I can't get myself to actually go to the gym. Well, this information is not going to motivate you to get there.
Every week, I see these women who are enormously comfortable baring all amongst complete strangers. They stand there in the buck, with their lady parts all hanging out, while they mindlessly talk on their cell phones or blow dry their hair or apply mascara. Really?! You can't throw on a towel? Maybe underwear?
It's not like these ladies are super models. Oh no. Interestingly, it is often the ones with the cellulite dimpled behinds and extra generous waistlines that seem most at ease in the buff. Maybe they've come to some kind of peace with their bodies. Well, I'm not at peace as I attempt to throw on my yoga clothes without bumping into their exposed fannies.
Nudity in the ladies locker room goes way back. I distinctly remember when I was a teenager running into my best friend's mom at our local YMCA. She was completely naked.
She stood there and actually chatted with me. "How are you? How's school? I just ran into your mother at the CVS." That kind of thing. I just kept uttering moronic replies like, "I'm good. School's good. My mom is good." I kept trying to focus on her face. I did not want my eyes to slip downward and find out whether she waxed or not.
And when I was in my twenties, I once went to a nude beach with my dad. We were on Martha's Vineyard and I thought it would be funny to take a walk on Gay Head beach (yes, real name). I had never been to a nude beach before and I was a bit intrigued. So we went (fully clothed).
Well, there was nothing funny about it. Especially with my dad. Or any dad, for that matter. On our very short, uncomfortable walk, we ran into a naked family of four (mom, dad and two kids) all playing frisbee. Lots of running.
I don't have a problem with nudity in the right context. My children love to be naked. My girls like to dance naked, eat naked, and conveniently, bathe naked. One of their favorite books is In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. The little boy, Mickey, pretty much spends the whole book nude - in fact that's the only thing I actually understand about this weird, trippy children's story.
So it's natural to bear all. I love being naked - as long as I'm wearing a t-shirt and jeans too.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
So, we finally got our ants. (I don't want to say how, exactly. Just know that sometimes it's good to have a friend who works in a comic book store.) The 50 or so ants flew cross-country from California and arrived in our mailbox this Monday. And what a fantastic surprise that was. Second only to getting a back payment letter from the IRS or a package from Ted Kaczynski, really.
The instructions from Uncle Marvin Industries told us that the very first thing we needed to do was put the test tube of ants in the refrigerator for an hour. Maybe because their eyes were puffy after the flight or the humidity was making them schvitz...who the hell knows. They're ants.
After they'd had a chance to just chillax for a while and catch up on their reading, Jack and I gingerly poured the lot of them into their new ant farm home, then sat back and waited for the magic to happen.
It was like watching the fall pledge drive on PBS, only without the implicit thrill of a tote bag.
Finally, we gave up and put the farm outside. (I'm a nice mom, but not nice enough to set them up in the guest room with fancy hand soap and monogrammed towels. Please.) (Plus, judging from our pantry, we were already at full ant occupancy, anyway.)
Unfortunately, that night happened to be a really cold one, so the next morning, our herd of ants wasn't moving very much. Or at all. Sighing, I turned to Jack and very gently said, "I think they're just sleeping, honey."
He looked back at me with his big, blue eyes and screamed, "NO, THEY'RE NOT! THEY'RE DEAD!!! (long pause) AWE---SOME!!!"
Well, OK then. Fine by me. Just wish I'd known a few weeks ago that my kid was so cool with dead things, because then I could have scraped some old flies off of the back deck and saved everyone the trouble. Or just put a flattened frog in a jar and called it an educational toy. Who knew?
So RIP, ants. You came, you saw, you bought the damn farm. Poor bastards. But, really, I think you're in a better place, now. Trust me on this.
Monday, March 02, 2009
In every relationship, there are a few arguments that just never seem to go away. For example, at least once a year, my husband and I fight about a pick-up basketball game we played over 12 years ago. He claims that during the game, I got angry, spit water in his face and called him a lousy mothereffer. And I claim that there's no way I ever did such a horrible, nasty thing, I mean, how could he even think I'd do something like that? (But, between you and me, I totally did. Dude kept blocking my outside shot. I had no choice.)
Another of our perennial disputes usually happens right after we've gone out to dinner. Walking back to the car, Chris will try to hand me the keys but, 10 times out of 10, I'll wave him away and say, "Sorry, but I'm just too full to drive right now."
For some reason, he doesn't believe this excuse, which means we then have to have a long, involved discussion about whether or not the five pieces of pepperoni pizza I just inhaled could actually impair my driving ability. But I mean, really.
After a trip to Krispy Kreme, don't you think the roads are a lot safer if I'm sprawled in the passenger seat with icing and self-loathing smeared all over my face, rather than behind the wheel trying to merge onto I-35? And God knows how many accidents I might cause if I try to drive home after gorging on wontons at a Super Chinese buffet. With all of that deep fried MSG in my system, I just know a nine car pile-up or high-speed chase or some other terrible road rage incident is bound to happen and that's why someone else needs to drive. I'll just be over here loosening my pants and playing with the stereo if you need me.
Then there's our other yearly squabble--the one about whether or not we actually saw Natalie and Tootie from The Facts Of Life driving next to us on the 405 freeway in Santa Monica one time. Chris heatedly insists that he's 100% certain it was them, but I loudly disagree and point out that there's no way it could have been them because 1) they were in a '79 Chevy Impala with a naked Latina woman airbrushed on the hood and 2) the one he thought was Natalie was actually a chubby Armenian gentleman with a gold tooth and a comb-over.
But, you know, I guess he could be right on this one. After all, the guy in the backseat did look a lot like Ms. Garrett.