Monday, December 29, 2008


Let me throw this up before it everyone else does. C'mon - tell me you heard it here first. You can even make your own.
Our Message of Hope

Mine wasn't nearly as entertaining.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This stinks

Yesterday marked three weeks since I broke my arm. Several of you have left comments and promised prayers and I want to say THANK YOU and keep them coming. This by far has been one of the more challenging bone breaks of my life. Possibly even surpassing the The Great Ankle Break of '01 that required surgery and a (mis)diagnosis of pre-term labor.

A few days after this accident we ran into Lula's first grade teacher. She said: When I heard about you riding your bike with the kids to school I thought, wow! she's so adventurous that's a life well lived. Her remark added a spring to my step and a smile to my face.

It's remarkably different than the comments I get from my loving mother: What is WRONG with you? Who breaks as many bones as you? You need to have a bone density test!

I've broken 4 bones:

Wrist, age 11. 3-wheeler accident.

Ankle, age 31. Slipped on ice. Blamed on back-to-back pregnancies.

Wrist, age 32. Snowboarding.

Arm (between elbow and shoulder), age 37. Bike accident.

I am a bit nervous. Afraid that I can't snowboard, ice skate, kiteboard. Afraid that every time I fall, I will break something. And this break has been so stressful and taxing that it adds to my phobia.

But enough about fear, let's get to the bitching.

Someone commented that their husband had to hook/unhook their bra for them. Bahahahahahahahahahaha! In my house, in my relationship this just isn't going to happen. Nor can I expect my husband to button/unbutton my pants. So I wear tanks tops with built-in support and elastic pants I can pull on and off. I bathe (with my shirt on) about every three days and wash my hair in the sink on the same schedule.

The most helpful member of my family, the one who rolls their eyes the least is my sweet baby Lula, without her help I'd really smell to high heaven.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So yesterday my sister came to help celebrate Hazel's 8th birthday. We ended up at the bowling alley. It was alot of fun, but I discovered that actually bowling is much more fun than watching bowling. After 2 games and close to two hours - I just couldn't take it anymore. I grabbed my sister's 12 pound ball with my left hand. I walked to the end of the lane and threw the ball with my non-broken arm straight down the lane and with my first and only throw bowled a STRIKE!

That's how I roll, set 'em up and I knock 'em down.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hire Me

So this whole broken arm business has really hurt our finances. And at the same time everyone in my family finds the need to ask me about work. So yeah, I'm available for all of you copywriting needs. I'm especially qualified for writing jobs where speed and hygiene are optional.

It's all I can do to not scream at everyone I love: I CAN'T WORK BECAUSE I CAN'T BATHE.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wish I Was Here

Hey...guess what? Today is my birthday! I'm a big believer in planning your own fun because there's nothing worse than not having fun on your birthday. So a few weeks ago I made a reservation here and invited my favorite people (my family) to accompany me for an overnight.

Visions of a nice dinner, afternoon hike, tide pool exploratory and elephant seal observations danced in my head. Then I broke my arm. I have difficulty sleeping. I'm scared to scurry around rocks. I only have one hand to pick up starfish and sea anemone. It seemed to be the best play to postpone. *sigh* And on top of all that, I'm officially getting old.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I've fallen and I can't get up

When I broke my arm, I ended up pitched over my bike in a heap on the ground. The alley is a popular dog walking area, so I am incredibly THANKFUL I didn't land in a pile of dog poo. Having both of my children with me made it necessary to hold it together. As much as I wanted to scream and cry, I knew I couldn't.

Lula's assesment was that it looked like I was doing situps. I'd pull myself up and the pain would be so great that I'd have to lay down again. Luckily not in poo. Up and down. Up and down.

Finally, I decided to try to stand up and go get some help. My plan was to keep the hurt arm close to my body and use my good arm to push up, except even when my brain told me that my hurt arm was held close to my body it was actually swinging down towards the ground.

That's when I knew I wasn't going to be able to get out of this mess on my own.

The first man who came along said: I don't speak English.

And the second person, a woman, was 8.5 months pregnant.

It was at that moment I started imagining spending the rest of my life in the alley. In a shady quiet poo-free spot.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pity, party of one

This arm break is a serious problem. I'm still in the temporary cast so essentially I haven't actually started healing. Every once in awhile, I move the wrong way and I feel the bones give and a wave of pain rushes through my body that makes me wish I was in labor. I have to type and do everything with my left hand. I'm right handed. I essentially can't work or work out. It's difficult to sleep - even with the medication.

I've already irritated my mom and my husband. So on top of the fact that I haven't showered since Sunday, I also have to apologize and make nice with the two worst caregivers I know. All of my Christmas craftiness has been shot to hell - along with the ice skating, gingerbread house making and snowboarding. (The girls and I put up our tree and lights on Sunday.)

I see the Doctor on Friday. Erik seems to think that they will have to immobilize my entire arm. That it will be fixed in some sort of awkward jutted out position until Spring.

I think I'll go get a manicure. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to chip the polish on my swollen sausage-sized fingers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Throw Away The Key

The jury is currently deliberating on the the trial of the mom who created a fictitious MySpace account to harass a troubled teen who ultimately committed suicide. The mom crafted the account posing as Josh Evans, a hunky 16 year old boy, after her daughter and the now dead teen had a falling out. After reading a few news stories about this trial, I say she's guilty. I say we should make an example of her. I say, what the HELL are you doing on MySpace?

The last message Josh sent taunted the teen saying: The world would be better off with out you in it.

The mom says, she didn't send that message, so she should be excused. But you see...she opened the account. She says she didn't read the terms and conditions before agreeing to them, that no one does, but - ugh, I'm so disgusted by the whole mess.

It really sickens me that a 49 year old woman would conspire with her daughter and another teen to created a fake account under the guise of getting information and turn it into snarky sport.

What ever happened to Bunko? Or book club?

I'm hedging my bets that she'll learn what it's like first hand to become someone's bitch the object of affectionate torment.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Can you keep secret?

We'd just walked in the front door. It was dark in the hall. I noticed it in the distance.

Lula took a few steps towards it and her jaw dropped to the ground.

"Get on the floor! Get on the floor!" I screamed sounding like a bank robber.

"Lula, go sit on your sister!" That was my next brilliant instruction.

Then I grabbed it and quickly moved it to my closet. Throwing a stack of sweaters over the box on the top shelf.

Somebody is getting a sewing machine for their 8th birthday. Now zip your lips.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gobble. Gobble.

I can't decide if I should cook Thanksgiving dinner or go out to eat. I remember a few years ago, spending hours in the kitchen assembling the feast. Only to have the eating completely eclipsed by the preparation. And then there was the clean up.

I remember other years in NY, meeting friends in the Village and dining at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. It was all fun and games —until the bill arrived.

It's a double edged sword of a decision. One thing is for sure, my kids don't like turkey.

*I've made a reservation at the same restaurant we went to 8 years ago when I was 8 months pregnant with Hazel. They have a 24 hour cancellation policy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Roughing it

We took the girls camping Saturday night. The weather was forecast to be unseasonably warm. Like almost everything I pack for, I went with an under approach. It's one night. We'll get by - I thought. So I threw a few blankets and a few pillows into a bag. We rounded up our trusty tent and the one sleeping bag we had and headed West.

Five miles down the road, we encountered our first obstacle. The passenger's side rear tire systematically began to unravel in the fast lane of the 880.

A few hours and one stop at Big O later, we arrived at the campground. As the sun was setting, we quickly set up the tent, started our campfire and got down to the serious business of weenie roasting and s'more making. At exactly 6:46 the girls were begging to go to bed.

We were able to stave them off until the ripe ol' hour of 8:30. We all crawled into the tent. My plan was a pallet of sorts. We'd all share the blankets. Of course, it was colder than anticipated. The kids were fine. Thanks to a Groovy Girl™ sleeping bag. I ended up with the one of their hoodie sweatshirts tied around my head and a beach towel wrapped around my legs.

"I'm so cozy." Hazel exclaimed.

It was cold. And good grief that ground was hard. I mean, seriously, I had no idea. I thought I had enough padding with the sleeping bag and the blankets and what I'm managed to naturally accumulate on my own waist and thighs. My hips hurt, my shoulders hurt, my ears hurt. It was easily one of the longest nights of my life.

Around 4 am my husband exclaimed that he couldn't take it anymore and went to the car. Moments later I heard the ignition engage. That was my que, faster than the raccoons that ransacked our cooler, I zipped myself into that bag that had up into that point unsuccessfully held any body heat.

Later, I stumbled out into the night, opening the driver side door complaining that he was wasting gas and disturbing the other campers. Sports radio mumbled below. I crawled back into the tent and pulled the girls close.

At first light, I heard Erik start the car again. We all piled in and set off in search of coffee and cocoa. As I opened the door to the passenger's side I marveled at our new tire and the fact that Erik had spent the last few hours trying to get warm in the car with the passenger's window down.

Friday, November 14, 2008

She get it from her Mama

The first time I played tetherball with her I let her win. But today, she's upped her game. With months of practice, she now possess the ability to beat girls in higher grades. At the end of the long rope a yellow ball bullets towards my face and I whack it with all the force of a heavy-weights right hook. Usually, I make contact sending the ball flying around the pole. More times than not, she volleys it back with heft. Once in a while, I swing and a miss or worse I have to duck to avoid taking it upside the head. We wrap our tourney at 2 - 2.

"What time do you want me to pick you up?" I ask.

"Around six" she answers.

"What about the fairies?"

"What fairies?"

"The ones that are coming to clean the house." I say.

"Oh, they're going to be late." she says over her shoulder as she runs off to return to school.

My kid has my sense of humor.

She get it from her mama - juvenile-09-mamma_got_ass-rns

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I think the passing of Prop 8 is what started my downward spiral into an all out fuss.

I felt sad. I felt confused. I felt stuck. And when someone twittered "Fuck You California!", I felt like I'd been slapped in the face.

Then I was watching this video over at and I got all nostalgic and remorseful remembering that I used to have a turtle. And when I thought I'd reached the depths of despair I remembered the turtle I used to have, lived in the house I used to own.

I mean of course, I'm happy in California! We live across the street from the beach for crying out loud! But in my ex-house, I had a Consumer Reports #1 rated LG stainless front loading washing machine. And now, I haul stinky socks and sheets down the hall. And heft the damp drawers into a dryer that I discovered (after almost posting passive aggressive note to the community bulletin board asking the perpetrator to: STOP OPENING THE DRYER MID-CYCLE OR DIE) independently pops open leaving the time running out and my clothes sitting damp. Did you follow that? For this joy, I have to keep track of pre-paid keycard and pay $1.25 a cycle. Unless the door pops open, in that case, I pay $2.50.

Recently, I discovered that a blogger I read has over 2000 followers on Twitter. Which is cool, except this blogger only follows two other people on Twitter. This really made me feel blah about the blogosphere. It's one thing, to have a huge blog following and say upfront, "Hey - I'm just too damn busy and popular to comment or answer my emails." But to expect us all to hang on every tweet and then realize that there isn't any give and take. You're just pushing out content. You tweet every five minutes and don't really even give a damn what anyone else thinks? It made me feel spammed in a new and not so nice way.

(Update:I just checked and Dooce has close to 20,000 followers and is able to follow 65 other people. That's all I ask. But because I love to eat crow, a certain other blogger I adore follows zero.)

And then I watched Away From Her. Yeah, I have a sick infatuation with really sad and depressing movies. But in case you need an excuse, this flick is the express ride to Zoloft-ville.

And then they announced Chicago as the host of BlogHer '09. And I couldn't really get all that excited about it. I had my heart set on Portland.

So, sorry for the break between posts, Mrs. Blogoway.

In summery, bitchy + twitter = Bitter.

Yeah, I'm down but I'm not so far gone that I can't make up cute little post titles about the state of my mood.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Did

The hardest part of this election is the discovery that several of my family members are racist. It was difficult and painful to hear their jokes. To receive their texts. To listen to their excuses.

I know that it's rooted in fear. That when you've never been exposed to different cultures, different colors, different opinions it is difficult to to embrace the unknown.

I'm so happy that my children are excited and optimistic about our 44th President.

And my sheltered and narrow minded family, have yourself a heapin' helpin' of CHANGE.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve

I'm clicking all over the internet trying to find WHERE I go vote tomorrow. The search is only interrupted by me kicking myself for not exercising my early voting option. Should I be nervous about the lines? Should I be nervous about the outcome? I haven't allowed myself to even contemplate that there is a chance that Obama won't win.

In my search I've found a bunch of new local blogs that seem to be focused on Alameda. I can't wait to give 'em all a look-see.

I was so excited to tell you all how my 84 year old Grammie is voting for Obama. But tonight, my republican father reported that she couldn't find her voter registration card. I think I detected a hint of glee in his voice. I countered with a "she probably early voted and forgot." Or else they gathered up the voter registration cards at her assisted living facility in preparation for the taking all the residents in the morning.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

If only

I was as good at taking pictures as I am at making homemade costumes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Día de los Muertos

On this the Day of the Dead, I wonder if it will be I that will end up expired.

I orchestrated the 200 mile trek of Hazel's BFF to spend the night at my mom's. The true root of the problem is that, I still struggle balancing the visits between my divorced parents. Currently the happy to unhappy ratio of the Grand Banquet and Sleep Over is 6 to 2. *sigh* Oh, I should add the BFF's parents to the happy. They're holed up at a fancy resort hotel. *sigh* 4 to 4. I added my dad and my mom's "companion" to the unhappy. They're both watching the UT vs. Texas Tech game. I guess a more accurate count would be 2 to 6. *sigh* Oh, Lula's joining in the fun! Wait everyone's happy. Hold. Your. Breath.

As a silver lining to the day, the present Hazel had selected for her BFF arrived this afternoon. Her request was a Best Friends necklace, and we found this adorable version online.

I'm on the fence about NaPoBloMo. But wish to not disqualify on the first day

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

OCD: Obsessive Costume Disorder

I love me a costume contest.

Let's just start it off with that.

So, when I hear about parents fretting that their toddler won't wear the adorable new costume they've created just for the occasion, I think —you're not doing it right. You've got it all wrong. Don't give them a choice. Until they're 5 you can force them into any award-winning thing you want. Repeat after me, I am the boss of my two year old.

But, then there comes an time when you can't escape the inevitable Disney Princess:

And it's at that time that I upped my ante and went with a If you can't beat 'em join 'em approach:

Because, really. most of what matters is holding the trophy at the end of the parade.

Halloween 2005

Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Partly Cloudy, Chance of Storms

I slide into the window seat of the Transbay commuter bus. As I make contact with the seat I feel the unfamiliar weight of a child's backpack still slung over my shoulder. Grabbing a transfer, I exit at the next stop and begin running in the direction from which I just came. Back to the the school to deliver the backpack that holds the ballet uniform and the lunch money.

"I need to talk to you." The creative director says. "Aren't you going on vacation?"

"The kids are out of school so, I'm taking them to visit my parents for a long weekend. But I'm available to work remotely," I sputter. I have successfully completed six fast tracked jobs and have three projects that are no where near completion.

"We have to cut our budget. Next week will be your last. We'll try to get you back in as soon as we can."

The bus pulls out of the station, exits the garage and comes to an inexplicable stop. I've boarded the last bus that will allow me to make pick up. I look around at the other passengers, no one else seems panicked. No one else even seems concerned. Without warning, we're on the move, but when we get across the bridge we stop again. "We're just going to wait here for a few minutes folks." The driver offers up as an explanation.

"I should be charging you." The counselor of the after school program says glancing at the clock. The minute hand not yet reaching the number five. The fine is $10 for every 15 minutes you're late. "I need you to try to be a few minutes earlier." she says with a forced half smile.

How late are you working? I text Erik.
Very. Is his response.

Tears stream down Lula's face. I've just picked her up from private violin lessons. We've stopped at the grocery store to pick up some necessities and some cookies for Hazel's class. I'm the room parent. Last week I asked for volunteers to bring a few items for a small halloween class party. I've gotten no responses unless you count the crying six year old spouting "You didn't get anything for my class?"

What IS up?

I just saw this and I'm in love. The genius behind this is astronomical. Watch the first on for a reference. The second for a referral.

Psssst. It's the same actors, 8 years later.

Thanks to Eden at Fussy for the heads up.

And yeah. I know. I essentially STOLE her post and threw it up on my blog. But there's ONE WEEK left before the election and there's still some undecided voters out there. Oh, speaking of undecided voters, Dooce posted about David Sedaris' thoughts on that matter.

And when I say "undecided", I'm grouping my conservative family members into that lot and sincerely begging that they reconsider. That they look at the issues, the last eight years and put aside their prejudice. Things have to change.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chapter 2 on Prop 8

Last week, I wrote about how and why I'm voting No on Prop 8.

I wasn't quite able to articulate exactly what was bothering me so much about the TV commercials that proponents for the measure currently have on air, until a few days later when I read this post by Dad Gone Mad.

After some thought, I came to the conclusion that Politicians as a lot, have no business dictating anything about marriage. I mean seriously, if you look to our elected government leaders as role models for "traditional" marriage you get:

It's a bunch of philanderers and prostitute seekers. The campaign trail is littered with power hungry politicals who leave (or step out on) their wives (even when they're dying), their husbands (even when they're moose hunting) and children. They even have dalliances with their subordinates in the Oval Office. Or they seek quickies in airport restrooms and get arrested for it. I really don't want to have to explain any of that to my 2nd grader and I'm thankful there isn't a children's book title that does so currently on the shelves.

For me, the comparison makes a very, very strong argument for what this commercial is so fearful of. Hey, at least in the storybook King & King the character can be described as a "prince".

Please, no matter how you feel about "marriage", don't let politicians dictate its definition.

The End.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Word Of Mouth

As an advertising copywriter, I have had the opportunity to work on many brands.

I started my career writing for Pepsi. I did and still do prefer Coke.

I worked on McDonalds briefly. That experience coupled with the movie SuperSize Me have reduced my chances of winning their Monopoly game down to nil.

This week at work, a few of us were remembering projects of yore and came to the conclusion that after working on a brand you usually grow to despise it. Except for, we decided, HBO and Guinness.

I was reading Mom 101's post about how she's pitching in to help Obama.

A few of my friends have also used their talents to support Obama and the electoral process.

Check out this facebook application: My Barack for your Obama

And this site: Help Josh Decide.

While I don't have a National TV spot on air, or a politically related URL in the blogosphere, I am currently putting some persuasion on certain members of my family. I think that should classify as a regional campaign.


Mom 101's Spot:


Monday, October 20, 2008

No Joke

I've got some stories about Halloween costumes gone awry. And they aren't pretty.

There was 1992.

When I was going for this:

You know, because she had just done this:

Remember, that was the year, Sinaed O'Conner made headlines for ripping up a picture of the Pope on her SNL performance. So I wore a bald cap and flowing white dress and carried a picture of John Paul the II. I thought it was timely. I thought it satirical. I thought it was obvious.

Only this tough mean popular girl at work asked me if I was dressed up as this:

Yeah. Um, cause doesn't every young college girl want to be asked if they're dressed up as Uncle Fester?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Words From My Mother

Maggie at Mighty Girl sparked the idea for this post. Miss Grace did it too.

Here's my list of the best advice my mother ever always gave me.

Don't eat carbs.

Don't eat everything on your plate.

Don't eat after six pm.

Your father is an asshole.

Don't eat fried foods.

Don't eat rice. Or potatoes. Or corn. Corn is the WORST thing you could eat.

Your father is an asshole.

Eat lean protein.

Don't eat bread.

Don't eat crackers.

You know, they feed corn to pigs. Don't eat corn.

Your father is an asshole.

You should have gone to Law School.

*Ironically, or not, today is my Father's birthday! Happy Birthday, Dad! Mom sends her love.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I knew there was something I forgot to do today.

If I was a sperm cell, I'd never be the one that actually impregnated the egg. I'd be on of the first guys out of the gate. All hell bent on my destination but eventually tracking off course, getting distracted and ending up a few feet short of the goal line.

What this has to do with everything, is that I signed up to participate in Mrs. G's Average Monday contest. And much like a surgeon with out a scalpel, I will attempt to recreate the events of the day with out my digital camera.

Riveting, I know. I had you at "sperm cell."

6:50 Wake. Put child with small bladder on the potty. Slip on shoes and take dog out to pee.

7:05 Make lunch boxes & kids' breakfast. Eggs, hash browns, yoghurt and orange juice.

7:50 Scramble about attempting to gather work items and child items and place in appropriate backpacks and computer bags.

8:15 Finally connect with child's teacher regarding dubious Room Parent assignment. Another example of premature enthusiasm leading to a failed accomplishment. Remember the sperm?

8:20 Travel to work with husband. Remark how bus seat is like carousel. Bus mates explode in uproarious laughter. *Slight exaggeration*

9:00 Work (Leave out details as not to incriminate myself bore you to death.)

5:30 Pick up children from after school program. Drive children back to school. Meet husband who rides with children home. Laugh as husband pops a wheelie across the school yard.

5:45 Check mail for the third time. Children inform me of national holiday, name Columbus' three ships and babble something about food storage before refrigeration. Children giggle at my feeble attempt to give Columbus credit of discovering the "new world". Hellllooooooo! There were already people living there. The Native Americans. Hellloooooooo!

6:30 Dinner. Homemade pizza, ravioli and pineapple. The broccoli never made it out of the fridge.

7:00 The great homework wrangle. Decide it is too easy. Fret that children aren't being challenged. Attempt to explain why "I don't know" does not constitute an answer on a fill-in-the blank question. Worry that they don't try harder on the easy stuff.

7:30 Fold two loads of laundry. Cajole dirtiest child into tub with chocolate tub soak salts. Discover they're salts by tasting. I have officially "drank her bath water" sort of.

8:00 Panic about tomorrow. The carpool. The violin lessons. What time is that meeting? How can I possibly get off early? I need to hurry to the Clinique counter for that free gift with purchase. Why aren't those children asleep? Ah, Tuesday - where once again I will attempt to succeed when it is beyond obvious that I have set myself up for failure. On your mark. Get set. Swim!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happily ever after

There are many issues on the ballot next month. A big one in California is Proposition 8 — gay marriage. I'm for it.

I tell all my gay friends they should get married. I think everyone has the right to be miserable create a life with the person they love. And I don't think the government or the church should have a say in the matter.

I just saw this commercial on the evening news. Basically, it says that your kid might learn that a same sex couple can wed in school.

Well, sway my vote. Because my kids surely won't learn that a same sex couple can marry from by being invited to such a ceremony by loving adults who have been roll models or caregivers or the parents of their friends.

You can make a button too. Even if you don't live in California.

More than teaching my children who they can and cannot marry. I try to not build marriage up as the ultimate destination status it seemed to be pedestaled to when I was growing up. Marriage was presented as a doorway to happiness, sexual fulfillment and financial security. As a girl, I remember plenty of conversations about not having sex before marriage and none about the importance of being a confident, self-supporting individual.

I try to build a self centered foundation for my girls. So that wherever they go and whatever they do they have the strength and courage. And then in the very distant future, when they're at least 30 (not kidding) they have my blessing to get married to whomever they love.

* Yeah, Erik and I have been "together" for 14 loooooooooooong years. Not all married, just all in love.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No sh*t

I frequently call my Grandma Dee.

"How can YOU stand to talk to her so much?" my mother asks.

I call because I like her stories. It is always something.

Most of her stories begin with, "You know Marcelene Brennigan, don't you?"

I never know any of the characters of her stories. But they all start with a name and brief biography.

"Marcelene married Harold Huleskamp. They lived over by the old farm house. They had fifteen children. The middle boy, Rod, was in your mother's class? You know Marcelene. I know you do."

After we run down her busy schedule (doctor and beauty shop appointments) and what's new with the family (birth, death, divorce) she often reports what's going on in area news.

It was early this year when she nonchalantly announced, "The woman who sat on her stool for two years lives down the road!"

Huh?! What???

"She sat on the pot so long she got stuck to it."

Huh?! What???

"Her skin grew into the toilet seat."

Huh?! What???

"Her boyfriend finally called the police."

I did what I'm sure most people do after talking to their grandmothers, I googled. And sure enough, it was all over the news.

So you can imagine my surprise when once again, today, the boyfriend of the woman who was stuck to the toilet seat and lives down the road from grandmother made headlines. He was in the news for winning the lottery.

It was his second win.

Number two.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Life imitating art

I finally saw Sarah Palin Tina Fey in Baby Mama . Remember the scene where her sister is looking at a brown smudge on her child's arm and says, "Is that chocolate or poop? Chocolate or poop?" And then licks her kids arm to get the answer. I can totally relate.

I remember when Lula was a few days old, and in the midst of changing her newborn size diaper a few millimeters of sweet day old baby pee some how managed to get on the couch slipcover. My mother who was helping with everything standing over my shoulder observing my every move, loudly exclaimed, "Now you've GOT to wash that slipcover!"

I remember limping down the hall to the laundry room, muttering under my breath about how ridiculous the whole thing was. That I'd "rather drink her pee than wash the entire sofa slipcover" but I was too tired and hopped on hormones to argue.

Cut to yesterday. For me, night training is a potty training PHD - compared to the GED of wearing in big girl panties during the day. For years I felt like every other sentence that came out of my mouth was, "Do you have to go potty?" Now I've graduated to at least 5 to 10 "Did you go potty?" asked each and every evening.

And on occasion, there's still an accident. Now that we're back in an apartment, it's not as easy as throwing the sheets into the wash before I walk out the door for work. So at night, before I go to sleep, I've been forced to revert to an old tactic: picking up the sleeping child, carrying her to the bathroom, helping her on the seat, waiting for the tinkle of the tinkle and the getting the almost 60 lb child back to the bed. (Whew, the laundry is starting to seem easy.)

So last night, as I pulled back the covers and prepared to scoop up the sleeping child, I noticed a mysteriously moist spot. I stared curiously, "Sweat or tinkle? Sweat or tinkle?" And in order to get an answer, I did what I think most moms would do. I shoved my nose into the spill and sniffed. Sniffed big.

Sweat! I proclaimed. And then I laughed at the woman I'd become and was very thankful that I didn't end up on the wrong end of the poop/chocolate conundrum.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alawesome: Burma Superstar

I've found my new favorite restaurant.

BACK STORY: At the end of July, we moved to Alameda, California. Which is tiny island in the East Bay. The last time I lived in San Francisco, I came to Alameda about this many times: none. I hardly knew the East Bay existed. Save for trips to Ikea and some aspirational trips to Berkeley, I almost never crossed the Bay Bridge. Oh, wait there was that time we went to the Oakland A's game and my dad TOOK HIS SHIRT OFF in the stands. Errrr, awkward, Pops. Saving that story for another blog post.

FACTUAL INFO: Alameda is about one half the size of the island of Manhattan. And (according to my math genius of a husband) Manhattan packs the entire population of Alameda (pop: 70K) into one slightly higher priced square mile.

NEW SERIES: I'm going to write about things we do around town. Because I like to try new things and I have an idea about pitching these to the local paper or maybe the travel website bloggers I met last week at the CBS mixer. (Hi, Alison.)

Okay, so the fact that there are a few places that have popular strongholds in the city that have expanded to open outpost on the island makes people I know trill: "Alameda has everything!"

One such place is Burma Superstar.

I think the number of times I've eaten at a Burmese restaurant before tonight was this many times: none. I scanned the menu before we went in we inside. Seeing eggrolls and rice convinced me that we could bring the kids. We were quickly seated at a booth by the door. The girls almost immediately began tapping their chopsticks on their water glasses xylophone style. Did you know you can download all sorts of educational and fun applications on iPhone? Including various flashcards, word scrambles and Labyrinth.

Looking over the menu, I realized that the number of things that looked good to me: all. And the number of things I might convince Lula to try: four.

We ordered:

Tea Leaf Salad *
Salad prepared with imported Burmese tea leaves, tomatoes, lettuce, dried shrimp (or vegetarian), fried garlic, sesame seeds, peanuts, and split yellow peas.

*photo & review at Ono Kine Grindz

The menu actually says this item is a party in your mouth. Completely amazing. Beautiful presentation. Our awesome waiter even brought out a mixture of the seeds and beans on the side for the kids.

Salt and Pepper Chicken

This was basically bits of fried chicken. Ordered as a safety for the children.

Mango Shrimp

The girls like shrimp and they love mango. I didn't hear a word about the sauce or the green garnish or the onions. And I only had to twist an arm and cut the shrimp into little bitty pieces, and Lula cleaned her plate. Oh, and the garnish was two pieces of broccoli and I witnessed Hazel take the vegetable and rub it in what little sauce remained on the plate and gobble it up. Note to self: buy more broccoli.

Fiery Beef with Tofu
Stir fried beef with tofu, string beans, red bell peppers, and basil in our five spice, sweet heat sauce

Erik's pick. What can I say, he likes things hot. It was very good.

Tan Poi *
Basmati rice cooked with cardamom, cinnamon, raisins and nuts

Jasmine long grain rice

Another safety for the children.

We all drank water and were official members of "the clean plate club." The ambiance and waitstaff were impeccable. It was so nice to go out for a fun meal with my family. I can't wait to have an excuse to eat there again.

Our bill with tip was $61. This is a little spendy for me but it was well worth it.

Come back next week when I review Color Me Mine.

The sky IS the limit

Go check out Tracee Sioux's Empowering Girls:So Sioux Me: blog and submit a picture of your daughter. Mine was the poster girl last Friday.

I'm so proud.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

C'mon - buy some crap, it's for a good cause

It's time for the fall fundraiser and I am so conflicted.

This is the third public elementary school the girls have attended and once again they've been sent home with catalog of crap amazing gift items to sell to their friends and family. The times have changed since I hawked items solo door-to-door. Obviously we can't send them out to cold call. Shilling makes Erik uncomfortable. We're new in town. Our whole sales strategy is in chaos.

Oh, and I'm down on stuff. I'm unofficially participating in spending hiatus. I avoid big box stores because I don't want to buy things. I'm working and for as many things as I think we need or no longer want.

Lucky for us, both sets of our parents are divorced expanding our grandparent options. Yay! Us!

The fundraiser organization baits the kids with the promise of reward prizes. So on the day their backpacks came home filled with trees the packets of paperwork, they were so excited about the potential of what they could win. The ipod touch! The $250 cash. And the item they'd personally set their sites on - a 15 inch flat screen TV!!!!!!!!


I'm really down on excess TVs. And TV watching. And Disney Channel. I'm talking to YOU Zack and Cody. I don't want a TV in my kitchen. Or the kid's room. Or even my bedroom. And they have to sell 150 items to get the TV. One hundred and fifty items. I wonder if my pals will pony up for 10 items each? And isn't that too much to ask? At a more realistic and attainable level of 25 items sold - the prize is a water snake.

My husband is of the thought that the school should just give parents an cash payment opt out. Make a $200 donation and we'll call it even-steven. Everyone is happy, especially the landfill.

But here is my rub, my mom thinks I am denying the girls a chance at realizing a dream. Stealing their joy. Squashing their goals. Ripping their hearts out with my inability to embrace the fundraiser.

She is willing to buy 20 low priced items and thinks the other grandparents should as well. I think if she wants us to get a flat screen TV so badly, she should order us one from Amazon and add a few dozen inches.

We go round and round about it. I have managed to find a few items (the turquoise earrings, a subscription to Real Simple) that interest me but I don't want them fifty times over.

Oh, and have I mentioned I have a full time job? That I can barely hold it together enough to get the daily to-do checked off. That the list of things I want to do and should do is a mile long. Toward the end of the list, I've added: turn in payment and complete paperwork for the fall fundraiser by October 6.


Please tell me how you feel about this subject. Or, on the off chance you've got money to burn, email me and I'll send the link to the online order site.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nice Zit

So I stopped by the Bay Area Blogger Mixer last night. My two word assessment of the evening was: BlogHer Lite.

The room was packed, there was food and drinks and people passing out their cards. I met many fun and interesting bloggers. Saw a few familiar faces from the actual BlogHer conference. Saw a few lonely name tags of people who didn't make it that I had hoped to see. In the end, I wish I had spent twice as long at the mixer vs. missing two buses and hanging out half the night in the AC bus terminal.

(You'd think that I'd have gotten the hang of reading a transit schedule by now. Don't assume that they're all alike. They are not.)

OK - so at the mixer. There was a man with a video camera. He worked the room asking people to say the name of their blog, their blog address and a brief description. I had about thirty seconds to prep my answer. The words just kind of flew out of my mouth.

I say I have a carefree approach to parenting. Bahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

I come in around the 8:50 mark. I stutter. I stumble. I have a HUGE pimple above my brow.

I don't really think I have a carefree approach to parenting. As if. I think have an insecure, judgmental, fear-based, loving, proud, intense, laid-back, supportive, nurturing, overwhelmed, anxious, careful approach to parenting.

And I hate to have my picture taken.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I've bitten off a bit more than I can chew.

Isn't admitting you have a problem half the battle?

I've gotten myself into a pickle with more work than I can humanly produce. I'm considering outsourcing or a sister wife as a solution. Neither option is looking terribly realistic. The proof is in the lack of responses to my posting on Craig's List.

I find myself surrounded by people who speak many languages, the least of which is CSS and various other forms of computer code that the mere name of escapes me. And  by people who compete in triathlons on the weekends - for fun. All of this creates an overwhelming urge to throw my cards on the table and scream:

Oh yeah? Well, I made MILK come out of my Boobs!

Surely that trumps just about everything, right?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pulling a Double

When I was in college I waited tables at an extremely busy cajun restaurant Pappadeaux's. They had a rigorous training program and stringent set of rules. The uniform was militant. We had to wear orthopedic SAS® shoes, nude hose and a white oxford button down shirt starched hard. We were required to bring a $50 bank to each shift with prerequisite denomination including $5 in change. In addition, we all carried a wine opener and a lighter. You could be reprimanded at any moment if any piece of your uniform was missing or dirty. And we were vehemently prohibited from wearing any sort of  pieces of flair

There was a lot of BS to put up with at that job, but there was always a line of hungry people out the door. Which meant, in a pinch, I could pick up an extra shift and secure the cash I needed for something important like say, my rent. A double shift meant you were on your feet for over 12 hours serving up fried seafood and jambalaya until almost midnight. 

One night after a particularly grueling day I remember coming home taking off my apron, turning on the TV and sitting down on my bed only to wake up with my apartment flooded with sunlight and still dressed in my uniform.

I think I feel exactly the same sort of tired tonight. Only now I'm not wearing a bow tie.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Secret To Life

Last night I learned a very important life lesson. I had what Oprah would describe as an "ah-ha!" moment.

I was attending a very fancy industry event. A very fancy advertising industry event.

If I had more time I'd bore you with the details of how I didn't have time shop or primp. Or how I ran into a dear old (boy)friend and he commented on my toenail polish. Or how I got locked outside when I went to give Charlie (Hi Charlie!) a hug. Or how I went to the party with highly contagious cold, contemplated wearing a face mask but then just ended up drinking vodka/grapefruits and washing my hands alot. 

And thank goodness I did, because I learned the secret to life. And it couldn't have come at a more opportune time.

I was talking to another dear old (boy)friend of mine, let's call him Mr. Fabulous.

Me: You sure are busy, Mr. Fabulous.

Mr. Fabulous: Baby, I'm always busy. But what are you talking about?

Me: Well, your status updates on Facebook. It's just one thing after another. NewYork. Belgium. St. Paul. Miami. Wichita. I mean one day you're running with the bulls and the next your dog wins best show.

Mr. Fabulous: Oh, honey. I make that shit up.

And there you have it. The secret to life: Make shit up! 

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's in a name?

When we lived in New York City, the local public radio station had the call letters WFUV. All US radio stations start with the W or a K depending on their location.  My name is Vanessa. Many of my friends call me V. And FU. You know what that stands for. 

So day in and day out, EVERY time the radio station said WFUV on air, I heard,  "F You Vanessa!"  I could never understand why the peace loving NPR DJs in a city of millions had it out for little ol' me?

Recently, I recieved an office issued email address that uses my first initial and the first 5 letters of my last name. In my case, Vlaymo. Here we go again. Every time I type it the voice in my head says, "Vanessa Lame-o! Lame-o! You're so lame-o!" Not great for the self esteem, but I'm working on letting it slide. And I'm secretly, hoping my co-workers aren't thinking poorly of me each time they compose an email.

For all of my life, the people closest to me have called me Ness. My parents, family and friends all lovingly refer to me as Nessie or Nessa, but mostly Ness. My husband, takes it a step further and adds an adjective: SweetNess, GoodNess, HappyNess. Awwww. Cute, huh? And now I have a hip-hop mogul and fashion icon jumping on the bandwagon. 

No Bitch Ass Ness.

No Bitch Ass Ness?!? Attacking my persona and my body on the television, internet and apparently for sale online and by counterfeiters alike. Oh dear. This is like the last thing I needed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Never Forget

I thought it might be too flippant to mention these facts in my post yesterday:

On September 11, 2001 my husband and many other New Yorkers took stocking up on supplies to mean clean the shelves of the nearest liquor store. That day he brought home hundreds of dollars worth of wine.

Many babies were conceived in the weeks right after the attack. Lula however, was already a cluster of cells patiently waiting for her mom to wise up and pee on a stick.

I bought FDNY & NYPD shirts and hats for for my family that Christmas. 

I was kind of unaware that other parts of the country were so affected by the attacks. I was always surprised to hear people talking about the ramifications it had on them in places like Dallas.

Erik's company was throwing him a "welcome back" party on 9/13. Invites were out. Space rented. Babysitter was hired. The party however, was cancelled. 

Soon after advertising creatives were tasked with coming up with a campaign/message to improve morale and reassure tourists. I (heart) NY More Than Ever was born. My friend Gail (Hi Gail!) wrote the same line but her agency did not win the account and thus she didn't get the credit. Gail did write the line: Eat More Chicken for Chick-fil-A. She's a rock-star.

Yesterday someone IM'd me this joke

Knock. Knock.

Who's there?


9/11 who?

You said you'd never forget.

We both agreed that the best part of the joke was the relief that the punch-line wasn't more offensive.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years

On the morning of September 11th 2001,  I woke up in our apartment on the Upper West Side of New York City. I was tired from traveling. Having flown cross country the day before with Hazel, who was 8 months old. 

Erik had left for work about 20 blocks away and I remember there was a Baby Einstein VHS playing when the phone rang.

"A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center." she said.

I clicked over to NBC.

It was impossible to make an outgoing call. 

We'd only moved into our apartment 11 days before. I didn't know what to do. I turned on local news radio. The announcer barked the warning that we were under attack and urging people to stock up on supplies.

I took my baby and walked across the street to the grocery store. The shelves were bare. There was no water. No diapers. I remember staring at the empty shelves and the crowded store and the panic and fear on everyones faces.

One block away a fire station stood empty, the whole crew answering the call. I remember watching the buildings burn and wondering how they would ever put that fire out.

We lived adjacent to American Red Cross headquarters. Almost instantly, the building sprung to life including a line of blood donors snaking all they way around the block. Emergency teams prepped for victims.

The Episcopal church on the corner handed out free bottles of  water and I remember seeing a business man walking down the street with his jacket on his arm, briefcase in his hand and his entire face black with soot.

Later the Red Cross used megaphones to urge people to go home. They said they would make an announcement if they needed volunteers. As hospitals, doctors and nurses stood ready to treat the injured that never came.

Friends came over. I remember Stef, Ro and Lori. We all worked in advertising. We sat together in my living room watching the news for hours barely speaking. They replayed the clips over and over and the whole time we watched, I remember there was never a single commercial interruption.

Monday, September 8, 2008


If I were a farmer and my legs were the field and my razor was a combine - I'd leave half the crop in the ground.

When I was a teenager and I was finally allowed to shave my legs were as smooth (and white) as a cue ball. Every. Single. Day. I lived to shave and I shaved to live. Looking back, I think I would have sooner died than found a errant hair on my long, light legs.

This is how I know I'm getting old.

Old ladies have hair. Hair springing out of places it's got no business sprouting.

And young girls, young girls think they'd rather die than live through some bodily embarrassment.

This summer, I'd catch a glimpses of whole rows I'd missed. Or even worse, the wind would blow and I swear I could feel it tickling the inside of my left calf. Like a

yep, just like a tree in the wind. 

So tonight I was yapping on the phone and flopped down on my bed and lifted my right foot to my left knee and the light from the bedside lamp shown brightly against my leg to reveal a backlit FORREST. I have long hairs around my ankles and on the top of my foot that make stare and cringe. Kind of in awe.

My grandfather raised hogs, wheat and cattle in rural Kansas. That man never left money in the ground. He'd measure once, sickle twice.  Okay, I know. I'm human. It's part of the deal to have body hair. But it's my crop and I'm not getting it all when it's time to reap. Not anywhere close.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Porky's for Parents

Remember that movie Porky's? In case you don't, it came out in 1982. Wikepedia says it influenced many filmmakers in the teen movie genre. All I remember is the peephole. Come to find out it stars a young Kim Cattrell. I think I'm going to add it to my Netflix™ library request que. I bet it will seem really tame to me now.

Let me get to the point of my post. Dirty movies and child rearing.

Hazel has started Ballet. I love watching my girls in their activities. In NYC the studio had a small two-way glass window. Imagine 3 mommies and 24 nannies all squished together trying to observer the little prancing dancers. The new studio has a different method of observation.

This is my view:

So much better than the shower scene.

For what it's worth, Howard Stern's production company bought the rights to remake the Porky's movies and filming is set to start soon. Oh, and Kim Cattrell played Lassie. The girl who howled during sex. How telling.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Everyone makes mistakes

No. I'm not talking about

(Although, am I the only one who was SHOCKED she accepted the nomination? Heaven help us. I'll borrow the phrase and fact that Sarah Palin would be a 72 year old heartbeat away from the presidency. Don't even get me started on my tolerance for McCain. McNooooooo!)

Okay- mistakes I have made. So I thought I'd tipped the scales yesterday when I committed TWO of my most common email errors. Number one: sending out a work email and forgetting to add the attachment. Ugh - I really hate it when I do that!

Another doozy I do quite frequently is sign off with a Thank Your as my email salutation. Embarrassingr! Although I read once the you/your mistake is quite common and obviously not caught by spell check.

As a salve to the blunders, I'll bring up other peoples mistakes. I got an email late last night from my daughter's first grade teacher with this post script:

P.S. Sorry about the multiple emails….I finally figured out how to do a distribution list, but while I was practicing I sent you 2 accidental emails with subject lines ANNE and WOW (ah, technology)! Please delete these emails. Thank you!

Yep. She sent at least four emails to the class list, including sending the correct subject/message two times. I bet she's happy that the WOW email wasn't intended for her girlfriend distribution list and ranted about how she really feels being trapped in a room with 20 six year old all the day long. And that one child, Lola or Lulu or Lula (what kind of name is that?) does she have any volume control? I'll be deaf by 27. For reals. TGIF. PS - What time is happy hour? The bell rings at 1:50. Text me.

And a mistake that is even worse. This belongs in the Guinness Book of email errors. An advertising agency in New York accidentally sent out an email detailing major layoffs to its entire staff vs. the senior management team it was intended for. Their document INCLUDED the powerpoint attachment with a script of what to say to the people being let go, the people who remain and the agencies clients. OUCH! Get the PDF in case your looking to let go of some employees, want to thank your lucky stars you don't work in advertising or just generally want to feel better about your individual situation.

This morning I was on a conference call at 7:30 am. Everything was going swimmingly, New York was loving my presentation, I was going to be able to wrap it up in time to walk the girls to school. So of course, as we were discussing next steps and saying good bye I interjected a hearty "Thanks Mike!" before hanging up the phone.

His name is Matt.

What do you think the chances are that he didn't hear me?


In other who gives a sh*t news:

Mama got an iphone! It's official the iphone product life cycle has moved from early adaptors.

I contacted a "sponsor" and get to try a new product for free! Look for that feature coming soon.

I was interviewed for a magazine article about the ridiculous trend of bras for young girls after she googled "childrens bras" and found this post. Actually, I get quite a few readers from that search. Hi, Pervs! Present reporter company excluded.

Going back and reading that, reminded me that I have almost been blogging for one whole year. Just call me Dooce, Jr and send gifts. Lots of gifts. In blue boxes or office envelopes stuffed with cold hard cash.

I got less than five hours of sleep last night.

Have a great weekend.

Thank your -V

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What do I know? I just spend too much time online.

After it became public knowledge that Jamie Lynn Spears was pregnant, I crafted a story idea on the effects of the announcement on tweens and what area educators planned to do about it and pitched it to the editor of our local newspaper. Right out of the gate, I was hit with the fact that in the previous year there were 7 middle school pregnancies at our area school. Let me say that again, SEVEN middleschooler's were with child in a top-rated school of choice in our safe, squeaky clean Dallas hamlet. It's flabbergasting to me even now.

When I was in middle I don't know if I was even in the stadium, much less crossing home plate. And I was much more, shall we say athletic than I hope my girls to be. (In reality, I probably have selective memory.)

A few years ago, when Hazel still talked with a toddler's lisp, she asked me, "Mommy, how old are you when you can have a baby"

"Thirty" I replied, without missing a beat.

So this whole Sarah Palin is really Trig's grandmother...that's impossible because Bristol's knocked up has about got me baffled. Not to mention the my water broke but I need to travel across country, past countless hospitals to birth a baby that doesn't appear on the hospital website delivered by a Doctor who has suddenly gone MIA.

I keep running over to here and here to get more.

I watch things like this:

Which has nothing really to do with the pregnancy, but is funny and follows the Obama model of children being off limits.

So I try to figure it all out and try to write or say something that will make sense to my kids...but I can't even make sense of it myself?

I mean seriously! Have you seen the pictures of Palin during her first pregnancy? But props to Mrs. G, whose response post is kind and poignant.

I'm going to go out on a limb and on the record and say that I do NOT think that Palin is Trig's mother, I think she is the grandmother. And I think that this "news" of Bristol's current pregnancy will be followed with a convenient miscarriage cover up.

But what do I know? I just spend alot of time doing online searches.

Still I'm going to have to go Miley with this one:

You have a four month old, a son going to war, a pregnant daughter and you want to be vice-president SAY WHAT?!?!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Proof I live in California

One of the reasons I knew that Dallas was not the town for me was its "farmers' market". Their market that had nothing to do with farmers, or organic farming or the slow food movement and everything to with two of the most revered local attributes: plentiful parking and air conditioning.

I sound pissy. But I just never figured why their strawberries came in a pack stamped by Driscolls.

And fine if you want to argue that strawberries don't grow in North Texas. They could have sold me some peaches, pecans or freakin' locally smoked catfish. Something that was produced in the central time zone. Please.

Alameda rocks a twice weekly traditional farmers' market. And the SF market is the bar to which all others aspire. I can't wait to check out Berkeley's.

But lest you think I've got it so good. Having an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables comes at a cost.

Behold my friend - the fruit fly. That's my handy dandy fruit fly trap. Death by cheap wine. Albeit locally produced, organically grown cheap wine.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Live from the Apple Store

So the attempts to wait 24 hrs to restart did NOT restore the computer back to full working order. I made an appointment at the nearest store and prepped for attempting to be vague and demand expedited repair.

Except, we arrived a few minutes late.

And we'd never been to this outdoor retail space.

And just the day before, my new freelance gig had casually mentioned that I would need to BYOL - Bring Your Own Laptop.

So when we walked out of the store with a new appointment scheduled. And then Erik decided to mumble something along the lines of:


and then my brain exploded and I contemplated divorce.

And then I marched back into the Apple store and secured a stand by appointment and when MARIA "The BEST Apple employee ever" called my name and I came 100% clean. Threw my cards all out on the table and slid all my chips into her hands. It's damaged. Needs repair. Orange Juice. Divorce.

It's been about half an hour. And she replaced the battery and it is working and maybe, just maybe we'll all live happily ever after.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

And then orange juice was spilt on the new MacBook

Yeah. So.

It's been fun. I'm writing this on a borrowed machine.

Thanks for reading. I'm not sure if there will be a resurrection or just another example of how I am not meant to have nice things.

It's really my fault for not being the responsible parent. Or for pouring the OJ in the first place. But, of course, it was Lula who knocked it over.

Oh, wait. If you google "liquid spills on laptops" you get all sorts of advice. The last of which is to enter the Apple store in a huff, exclaim that your laptop doesn't work and never mention the spill.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

But if it does, it's par with how I like to handle problems.

Pretend they never happened.

In other news, Universe - if you're listening, I want to go to the Outside Lands festival Saturday.

I really need this computer thing to work out too. For the sake of the blog. And the children. And the marriage. And the Free Weeds episodes I can occasionally find online. Amen

Monday, August 18, 2008

You say PTO. I say PMS.

Hey - headhunter lady, you're getting on my nerves.

Remember when you wanted to "get together" for a meet-and-greet right in the middle of the first morning session of BlogHer? And how I offered to meet you at a different time and then you wrote back and said "we could reschedule, because you wouldn't want me to miss my class".

I would say it was at that moment that we got off on the wrong foot.

I didn't really let it get to me when you suggested that I meet you 15 minutes before the interview you had arranged, I just showed up earlier to ensure that I'd make it to the interview on time.

HIndsight, should have been a flag.

Then last week, you rubbed me the wrong way with your email correspondence. It seemed to be dripping with tone. You used the phrase: like I mentioned to you previously which I translated directly to I told you this already you halfwitted nimrod .

So today, the aforementioned day that you said you would have more information. More information for the position that they needed to fill immediately. The man who answered the phone said you would be out of the office ALL WEEK.

Uh. So not only do I NOT remember what you like mentioned to me previously, I also do NOT remember you telling me that you had no intention of working the day that the big news was due.

But we're all good, 'cause you sent me that email alerting me to the fact that you'd be out all week on PTO.

Yeah, you used the acronym. Our relationship has come to this? Using single letters to represent a simple words?
OMG. It's cool. Just let me know ASAP. Until then I'll STFU.


Your BFF -V

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I've got your real silly

Oh, boy! It's the day I force my kids to pose as famous bloggers. And today, it is the turn of Ms. Bossy.

Remember how I told you that Bossy and Lula have the SAME MIDDLE NAME!?


Hazel is named after a song and it is a color. So I was looking for a song/color combo. And there was Led Zeppelin.

*tangerine, tangerine,
Living reflection from a dream;
I was her love, she was my queen,
And now a thousand years between.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thirty minutes or less

Yesterday Slouching Mom hit the nail on the head.

This week, I've been parenting full time while also attempting to look for work and settle into our new home. While an hour hour of solitude to write would be nice. A few moments to find my sanity is needed.

In the span of less than five minutes today Lula managed to spill a Diet Coke™ down my pants, stick a feather in my ear, clear a shelf to house her new yet to be purchased fish and start making blueberry muffins. She makes my head spin.

Hazel on the other hand. Cleaned her room, did four loads of laundry, finished her dissertation and mailed out handmade change of address cards to all of our friends and family.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I live on an Island

Se we're getting settled in Alameda.

It's an island. We choose to settle here because it seemed more manageable than the city and we'd heard good things about the schools. And Erik came here ONCE and there were kids swimming in the ocean and real live kite boarders and sunshine and that pretty much sealed his deal.

People often ask how the girls are handling the transition and truthfully, it really wasn't that hard to convince them to move once we mentioned the proximity to the Pacific Ocean. They wanted a house where they could see the waves out of their window. (Don't we all.) We settled with a 2 bedroom apartment across the street from the beach with tennis courts out our back door. We've secured racquets. There is a dog park within walking distance. A state park. Shopping is a mile away. School is close.

The locals call it the Island. Which I think adds an air of mystique mixed with hint of sass. I'll use it a sentance: There are a few (private schools, auto part stores, dive bars) on the island. Oh, see mysterious with just a bit of attitude.

We're figuring it all out. I like the fact that if I get lost, I'll eventually hit water.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Joel Osteen's Wife Gave Me Hemorrhoids

I'm not going to lie to you, it was a tough day.

Before I walked out the door at 6 am, I used Erik's cell to call mine to make sure I had my phone before I left the house. Smart, huh? I dialed "Mom Cell" two times. (Yeah, Erik and I do that OBNOXIOUS thing where we call each other Mom and Dad.) And I wondered why it wasn't ringing or vibrating or - Oh, there it is. And I didn't even connect the dots when my cell aka "Mom Cell" called Erik back. I thought that I was accidentally pushing buttons not that I'd called Erik's mom twice before 6 am. Daughter-in-law of the year.

Took a cab from the bus station to Fort Mason. It was 5x what I had estimated the cost to be. Somehow I think my "dollar a mile" algorithm might be flawed.

Conference was cool. Wish I could have stayed for more. Especially the more that included the beer.

Drove 40 miles (80 miles roundtrip) to a job interview all afternoon. Hate freeways. Hate traffic. Would never see the girls. Still feel pressure to consider the offer in this economy.

Erik had Stress in The City. We're both adjusting to the sights of San Francisco. Our girls have a grasp on homelessness not so much on transexuals. It's just going to take some time to adjust. If we were fish, we'd still be swimming inside the plastic bag.

I'm tired. Lula brought her rug into the living room and is begging me to roll her up like a burrito. Would I be terrible if I leave her rolled up like that?

Oh, the Joel Osteen wifey nod. Wowzer. I'm mesmerized.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

That's My MIGHTYGirl

Here's Lula doing her best Maggie Mason.

FYI, Hazel is boycotting this series thus far. The series where I force my children to pose as famous bloggers. Scroll back to last Wednesday to see Lula as the Bloggess. For what it's worth, Hazel is considering a Bossy but is not fully committed.

Tomorrow I am volunteering at the The START Conference. Maggie's husband is the co-founder.

I volunteered hoping to meet people and learn something. Now I have to split in the afternoon to go to an interview for a job that would require me to drive too far and pays to little. Brilliant. And my alarm is set for 5 am.

Friday, August 1, 2008

35mm pictures are a bunch of ho-bag sluts

Hazel was born before digital cameras. And because she was the firstborn we took thousands of pictures of her. And because when you dropped off your film for developing there was often that little box or special offer where you could get doubles and even triples for 99¢, we now have boxes and boxes and boxes of pictures. Add that to the albums and albums and the photo boxes and the framed photos. I'm drowning in a sea of high quality glossy paper.

And I swear they get together and procreate. I've run across the exact same photo in four different boxes and two different albums. Whores - all of 'em.

Then there is the boxes and albums of pre-baby pictures. Those wild NY nights where it seemed like a perfectly sane idea to snap candids of office mates at the happy hour turned late night turned ugly. I've already thrown away almost every picture of people who have once again become strangers to me.

I keep going through boxes and culling them down but seriously there are so many it is making my head spin.

Oh, and I have a bag (a whole bag) of those disposable cameras that I have never gotten developed.

I wish someone would have taught that Kodak to keep her shutter closed.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Like Mother Teresa the Bloggess, only shorterer

And now, kiddies, we start a series where I force my children to emulate famous bloggers. First up, Lula as Ms. Jenny from the bloggess.

Am I a genius or what? We might have an issue when I make Hazel do a Kelly Stern.


I had been working on a post about trying to steer my girls in a empowering direction that ended with the true story of how I blast Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me and scream along like the seventeen year old I once was. And the punch line was how my husband attempted to cover up the pole dancing lyrics with the explanation that:

Mommy likes sweets.

It was just taking too damn long to get to the funny.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I curse the day you were born.

The Grand Canyon topped the girls wish list for our cross country drive. So at an RV park in Arizona we unloaded the Audi off the trailer attached to the moving truck and headed to the south rim. Somehow they had gotten it into their heads that the Grand Canyon involved climbing, which I guess it would if you were on the canyon floor. However being on the rim proved panic inducing as the girls attempted to scamper up and down various lookout points. Oh the disappointment that mommy won't let you climb down the ledge of a thousand foot cliff.

Upon arrival, we'd consulted with a ranger who had tipped us off on how to achieve badge wearing Jr. Ranger status. They encourage shuttle bus travel around the park, so we hopped aboard and headed to a informative, educational and most importantly energy burning children's activity. Then we hopped on the bus to our next destination intent on a quick hike. Two stops later I was abruptly interrupted by a white haired, barrel chested driver barking, "You have to get OFF this bus RIGHT NOW!"

There was that pause of confusion. And then more man barking, "You have to get OFF this bus RIGHT NOW! No dogs are allowed on the bus."

And then I was really confused. We'd been traveling close to two thousand miles with our 6 lb. Chihuahua ChaCha. He was on leash as per park instructions. While on the shuttle bus or in crowds I stuck him inside my bag where his little head popped out much to the pleasure of many an adoring tourist. We'd been given a dog biscuit by the park attendant upon entry. We'd been instructed to take the shuttle by the Ranger who acknowledged the lil guy and not one person mentioned no dogs on the shuttle bus.

Now with a bus full of people the driver who looked like he'd fit in nicely with fat Elvis' Memphis Mafia was blowing his stack. It was a scene. My husband boldly stood his ground. The driver jumped on his walky-talky. The kids were wide-eyed.

"What are we supposed to do?" I wailed. "We're 5 miles from our car?"

Defeated, I marched forcefully into the nearest ranger station. "I want to talk to the most important person in charge!" I demanded. "What's up?" the hot college students checking guests into the historic hotel asked. I explained. They thought. A taxi was ruled out because of the same restriction, only service animals. And a solution surfaced.

"Just get on the next bus." said the sage Hollister™ wearing worker. Genius! We'll board one with a driver who doesn't have a stick up his end. And it was perfect, because I have a difficult time taking no for an answer. Plus, I very much wanted to get back to the car before night fall.

I wish that Jennster had been with me, because she would have told the driver to SuckIt! Instead I mustered up my best Charlotte York and exclaimed to the driver in front of the entire bus, "I hope you have a NICE DAY!"

Take that, Gary L. driver of the Grand Canyon shuttle bus C-13.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm a moving day survivor

Of all the things I don't do well, moving has to top the list. Even though I had had weeks to prepare. Executed two successful garage sales. Worked Craig's List like a fiend, I was still woefully unprepared yesterday when the moving van pulled into our yard.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I had just returned from BlogHer - which I have been affectionately calling Spring Break for Grown Ladies the afternoon before. Or perhaps it was the fact that teams of individuals were working in tandem to disassemble anything remotely of value before my eyes and under my roof. I mentioned a few items we sold yesterday. The fence. The stove. But on Tuesday they came for the cabinets, the front and back doors. All of our windows. Our skylight. Our toilet. Our doorbell. Our mailbox. Our sink. Shelves. Deck. On and on and on.

So by the time the girls and the dog and the belongings and the car were all loaded and accounted for and my husband was gunning the diesel engine of a 24' moving van, I felt like I had lived a lifetime in one day. It was the EXACT opposite of those meaningful and glorious days - like the birth of a child or the marriage of your beloved -it was as if each second tick-tocked by in an excruciating slow pace. Each moment reminding me how I fail at adulthood and simply attempt to barrel through the icky and unpleasant parts.

As we pressed on heading west, my husband and I recounted the details that miraculously had all survived. He mentioned the fact that the woman buying the cabinets and her contractor had both brought their sons for assistance on the day the cabinets had been sold.

THAT day? I asked. That day? That day also happens to be known as TODAY.

And we laughed at the moving marathon we had survived. We looked much less like professional athletes and more like the sole that barely survives and ends up as a feature story with an unbelievably embarrassing photo.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Text me about it

I opted to receive my flight info via text message. So the phone just made its whirly sound alerting me to the fact that my flight is delayed an hour and will now be arriving home at one o'clock in the morning. Which would be completely devastating if not for the fact that I flew stand-by on the morning flight and am now safely and sweatily at home. Yay 105°!

I'm moving to California tomorrow.

My husband has been dutifully packing and liquidating. Did you know that when you sell to a builder who plans to tear down your house and replace it with one four times the size you can also sell all of its contents?

At this very moment, a team of workers are dismantling our fence. Another group is taking our garage door. Gone are the cabinets, refrigerator, sofa, ceiling fans, light fixtures. It's all gone. As, my father-in-law likes to say it is much easier to move cash.