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.

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Mom 101's Spot:





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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.