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.


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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.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

When the going gets hungover

The hungover play with applets.

I found this little bit of online fun via George Parker's site. I spied him briefly at BlogHer and he disappeared like a male mythical fairy before I had a chance to slip him one of my cards.

You type in a URL and it creates a fun image of all your words. Here is mine:



So then I typed in Stef's:



And Dooce



And Bossy



And O The Joys



And Average Jane



Go make your Wordle.


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I'm working on my First Annual BlogHer Awards. Please send the pictures.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

BlogHer


*Me, Stef and Stephanie Klein

The Ladies:

I have met all the bloggers I had hoped to meet. I've sat next to Bossy, shared a cab with Baby On Bored and crashed a party celebrating the launch of Mighty Haus.

I've acquired tons of shwag and lost an earring.

I've networked, job searched, ask questions, learned, laughed and made people laugh. My IUD / DUI joke never gets old.

I've upgraded my status from a mommy blogger to emerging publisher. That's Ms. Emerging Publisher to you.

Check This Out

One of the best panel discussion's I attended was led by Elise Bauer. Read her BlogHer presentation and use her resources. I plan to go back and read them all. Email me if you want to discuss or you can explain it to me in extremely simple terms.

This morning, I met up with my old friend the San Francisco Farmers Market. We used to have a standing date every Saturday Morning. I'm really glad I forced my hungover self to jump on the BART (again) and walk around the aisles and aisles of organic fruits and fresh flowers and handmade cheeses. For breakfast I indulged in this amazing smoked salmon sandwich from Cap'n Mike. Fresh, smoked salmon, layered on a slice of creme cheese topped sour dough with a fat slice of an organic heirloom tomato, onions, capers and some absolutely to die for lavender sea salt. The only thing stopping me from buying a whole case to bring home is the fact that in less than a week San Francisco will be my home!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Take THAT T-Mobile

My two year contract with T-Mobile ended on July 13th. Just two days after the release of the new iPhone G3. A phone I have coveted and painstakingly yearned for, for over a year. I am officially a free woman. You'd think that T-Mobile would be pursuing me like a jilted lover. But true to the form of my life, they've left me hanging on, put me under their thumb. Due to the unique circumstances that only this month could produce - mainly phone interviews and new housing inquires, I unbelievably about half way through through my billing cycle I have used up the bulk of my minutes.

Many calls to T-Mobile procured me 200 bonus minutes. What I've been known to use in a day now has to last me over two weeks. Ten days before the minutes reset, the old phone of Erik's I had been using ever since I dropped my hot pink Razor in the toilet died. Ironically, I secured a ancient hot pink replacement that Stef instantly deemed "disco" from craig's list. But it barely works.

Today, my bill officially closes. And right now, my blogging business card sits in Type Pad fishbowl waiting to be picked out to win the much lusted after iPhone. So T-mobile, it has been thousands of dollars of real. And Apple, it is (hopefully) about to be much more fun. Until then I will horde the twenty-three minutes that I have left with T-mobile until 9pm.

Somebody BARTed

Right up there with my obsession with public libraries is my love of public transport. I think the combination of riveting reading materials, techy gadgets and 9 years in New York City made me loathe actually having to drive myself anywhere. I'm always tossing the keys to one of the kids and begging them man the wheel. The fact that their feet don't reach the pedals is the only thing keeping us stuck in the garage.

So when BlogHer was kind enough to provide step-by-step instructions on how to take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) from the airport to the hotel, I was up for the adventure. And it proved so accessible and easy that also hopped aboard for the round-trip to my interview and plan to do it again tomorrow morning for a visit to the Farmers Market.

I finished up a book, gazed out the window and helped save the environment. Not bad for $5.35*.


*Fare from SFO to Powell Street USD.

And you thought we were going to San Francisco

Stef and I made it to the city of love the city by the bay.

So far I've met:

Tracee Sioux

Stafanie Klein

Georgia Tangerine

Jessica of Oh The Joys

Jennster

Maggie Mason (sfx: squeal)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Panic!

My living room is full of boxes.

My bags are not packed.

Nor is my life or my belongings.

I board a plane first thing tomorrow morning.

Have an interview at 1pm PST.

Meet Stef at 4pm PST.

Check in for BlogHer and spend the next three days in a blogging whirlwind.

Fly home and move to California.

Please jump in my suitcase. I'm sure you have cuter clothes. Cleaner clothes.

Excuse me, I need to pick up my Xanax refill now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Googling Squirrel Birth

"Mommy, there's a squirrel in the tree and I think it is dead. Oh, Mommmmmmmmmy. It's been there for a long time and it is not moving."

So I dutifully, walked outside to examine the dead squirrel. Except, it's eyes were open. Every once in awhile it's head would twitch. It was splayed out on a low limb hugging the branch with it's tail in the air and some sort of inexplicable something going on between it's hind legs.

My mommy brain kicked into overdrive. But you should know, I'm not exactly an expert in animal husbandry. I remember once commenting that to my Aunt that one of the sows in the pig pen appeared to have hemorrhoids. She laughed at me shaking her head and corrected, "That is not its butt." (In case you don't make it around female hogs very often, to my city eyes the best way to describe it is to say the girly bits get ravaged.)

Which brings me to my first donkey show. A donkey show with kids in tow. They've recently revamped the children's area at our zoo. Replacing an area that used to house goats with three miniature Sicilian Donkeys. The first time I laid eyes on the little asses the black and white one was seriously letting it all hang out.

"Mommy, what's that black thing hanging down between its legs?"

Which was the EXACT thought racing through my mind. Seriously, I'm not sure if was the Italian or the Donkey, but that lil feller might need an agent. Or on second thought, thank goodness he's in the zoo where he can be protected.

"That's his penis." I replied nonchalantly. Lula quickly scampered away and I carefully picked my jaw off the floor and resisted the urge to point and take pictures. About this time Hazel approached.

"Mommy, what's that thing hanging down?"

"That's his penis." I again replied nonchalantly. But I couldn't stop staring. Seriously, I couldn't look away if I tried.

"No, what is that thing hanging down?"

To which I exclaimed, "No, really. I know it's hard to believe but THAT is his penis!"

"No, that BLUE thing."

I zoomed out, allowing my eyes to take in more of the scene. Tied to a rope, hanging from the eaves of the barn was a medium sized blue rubber ball. And as if on cue, the donkey obediently switched gears, reeling in it's manhood and playfully head butting the toy ball.

Which brings us back to the squirrel. I stood there in the backyard perplexed. Quickly ushered the dog into the house. Quickly jumped on the computer to try to google an answer. Seems as if this isn't quite the birthing season for squirrels and they commonly deliver a litter in a tree nest. So I'm still about as confused as I was when I started. I don't know, the best I can come up with is maybe it is the squirrel that has hemorrhoids.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Smurfette

When I was 27 weeks pregnant with Lula, I slipped on some ice in a parking lot in Steamboat, Colorado and broke my ankle. I spent the last two days of my vacation hospitalized and having a series of plates and screws surgically inserted into my ankle while Lula was carefully monitored in uetero.

When the OB made his rounds I mentioned that I was experiencing some "leaking" and I was pretty sure it was pregnancy related incontinence but could he just check it out. In the span of what felt like 2.5 seconds I was suddenly surrounded by a team of doctors, a priest and an orange jump-suited life flight team.

With barely a second to blink, I was loaded on to a prop plane en route to a Denver hospital with an appropriate level NICU unit. Upon arrival, the neo-natal specialist described her course of action. She was going to fill my womb with blue dye using the same needle commonly used during an amnio. Then I would insert a tampon and we'd wait to see. If I was "leaking" blue then I would be delivering a less than 2 lb. baby that day, if not I'd be kicked to the curb with out so much as my crutches that, along with my husband and first child, didn't get to enjoy the scenic flight over the Rocky Mountains.

Luckily. Thankfully. Miraculously. I did not deliver a baby in early February of 2002.

For the 13 remaining weeks, my husband and I nervously awaited the arrival certain she'd come out with an azure hue.

Six years later our wait is over.



Lula took home first place in our cartoon-themed 4th of July parade in the humor category. Making her parade and costume obsessed mother very, very proud.

Monday, July 7, 2008

How OLD are you people?

We've been telling people for awhile now that we are moving. Our social circle revolves mostly around the girls' school and our neighborhood. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I adore our school and neighborhood. (Never mind, that almost each kid is blonder than the next.) The kids and their grownups have proven to be a surprisingly fun, interesting and in general all around good group of folks.

We're exercising a popular option in our area and selling our home to a builder. A builder who will ultimately tear down our home and replace it with what is affectionately known as a McMansion. While there are those that have strong opinions about tear downs our neighborhood is not historic nor is it suburban. Furthermore, we are in no position to have our house languish in the sluggish market.

So it seemed right on track that as the word spread that we were moving, lots of friends expressed their sadness that we'd be leaving the area. There were several that said they would miss the girls specifically. And one mommy said that I helped to "keep it real" around the school.

And not one but two people said:

"We're going to have to have a HUGE party before you go."

My heart swelled. Oh, how hard it is to say good-bye I thought. And a tinge of panic crept into my mind. Where we making a mistake?

And then not once but twice, the parties interested in having a party said:

"Yeah, so we can really TRASH the place."

And then I ran home and began packing in earnest.

The end.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

Go check out my friend Stef's Independence Day post. In it she talks about how she came to the decision to leave her first marriage in search of something that was, and now is better for her. She's inspired me to open up about my own desire to find more of my own happiness.

Lately, I've kind of hinted at changes around our house. I didn't have the courage to blog about the the fact that once again we've been experiencing job upheavals. (That's fancy talk for unemployment.) After my trip to San Francisco in May, we came to the decision that we wanted to move back.

We both began looking for work. And madly listing our bulky possessions on Craig's List. We quickly sold our house.

So on this day that we celebrate our nation's independence, I wanted to come clean about putting myself out there to find something more. Stay tuned, fireworks are sure to follow.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

LaySleepover

I bet you're thinking that I'm not posting because I'm basking in the warm glow of being reunited with my beautiful children in loving and tender embrace. But oh no, you'd be WRONG! Thankfully I am about to race out the door to pick them up after they spent the night sleeping on the floor of Chicago O'hare. And if you think that I couldn't sleep thinking of what or who could abduct them with my husband inches away snoring like a freight train, you'd be RIGHT!