Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekly Update: Three

Not okay:

Oh no! Coney Island's Astroland is closing. When I lived in NYC I loved taking the subway out to Coney Island. One of the coolest things I've done in my life is participate in the Mermaid Day Parade. (Always the first Saturday of Summer.) We did not however, ever Shoot the Freak.

Hazel has suddenly began resisting going to ballet. Trying to reach a remedy for the situation, I asked her teacher how she was doing in class. "Better" and "She's starting to get it." were her responses. Then I mentioned (again) that this was her 4th year of dance instruction. To which the ballet instructor replied (I swear), "Well, you'd never know it by watching her."

Very okay:

Yay! I'm always thankful when I run across unlocked WiFi especially when I am in dire need. So a big shout out to Dlink the network I was able to join this week when my service was acting up. Once I was messing with my iphone waiting for Lula to wrap her violin lesson and the message: Would you like to join the network PENIS? popped up on my screen. Here's a list of even more off color network names.

I can not wait to make this rainbow cake. I am in no way, shape or form a baker, but it looks like tons of fun.

I spent a fun day walking around the Mission in SF today with my friend Cindy. She's a talented illustrator and sells her whimsical work here. Buy some!

Happy weekend.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's In A Name?

I was making the girls' bed, folding blankets, connecting the personalized hot pink blanket emblazoned with a H-A-Z-E-L B-E-A-N. "Do you want a blanket like this, Lula?" I asked.

"Yes, Mommy. But I don't want it to have my middle name. Just my first name. Okay?"

This was a bit of knife to my heart. A dagger to my soul. I take great pride in my naming abilities. I am a name snob. I didn't want to accept that at the tender age of 6, surrounded by Rubys and Violets, that my daughter already had some resistance to her recorded-on-the-birth-certificate middle name, Tangerine.

"Some kids laugh when I tell them my middle name. Katelynn says my middle name is funny."

I inwardly fumed and scrambled. Reaching for the right thing to say. A salve of a response. Something that would bolster her opinion of her fruity moniker. But nothing was coming to mind. So thoughtfully I inquired, "Well, what is Katelynn's middle name?"

She answered with a very matter of fact tone:


Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekly Roundup: Week Two

Here's my second weekly roundup. And they said it couldn't be done.

Actually, I have a track record of being fast out of the gate. Look for me to lag in week 3 or 4. Here's my take on who is doing what this week.

Doing Okay:

Lost fans. Yay! Your show is back on. I don't watch Lost. I mean I will - with my laptop on my lap. But I just look at the cast and wonder how the oldest brother on Party of Five got stuck on that island and where has Jennifer Love Hewitt gone? This really throws me on Dexter where I spend the whole show questioning how David/Michael Hall switched teams and now who's running the funeral home. Some characters are hard for me to shake. I do watch Top Chef! (see below)

Oscar Nominations. They've been announced. I need to see Frost/Nixon and might take in Slum Dog Millionaire this weekend.

Social Calendar. I signed the girls up for the area Father/Daughter dance and bought 3 tickets to the circus. There's a chili cook-off I'd like to go to next week. But the tickets are $50. That's some spendy beans.

Home Alone. Erik (my husband) was in LA most of the week on business. It was fun to have so much girly time and we survived with the car in the shop and my debit card MIA.

Pro-Netflix. We're back on and enjoying Netflix. We had used the service years ago and fell into the same trap everyone else does. Too much pressure, not enough interest. I figured out how to instantly watch the movies on my Mac (I falsely assumed that "watch on your PC" meant that Mac users were out of luck. Not true. Not true.) Comment me your recommendations. Lately I've really enjoyed: Surfwise, The King of Kong, Ballet Shoes. I did not like Henry Poole Is Here or Pineapple Express.

Not Doing Okay:
This Fox News Reporter in Detroit. Seriously on of the most hilarious things I've ever seen. I wish I could see the video when they explained to her what she suggested.

The economy. Oy. I can hardly read the newspaper. And several of the people I follow on twitter constantly report layoffs in my field. I found a post from August where I was fretting about the economy. All the comparisons to the great depression. It's scary. It's stressful. I'm sick of it.

Lame. I thought that the Bush twins letter to the Obama daughters was silly. I want to read what was in W's sealed letter Obama.

Pesky School Fundraisers. I just got a note in email from out PTA president regarding the fall fundraiser. Apparently if you bought the peanut butter cookie dough it has been recalled due to the salmonella scare. Uh oh.

Potty mouth. There is so much poor language on Top Chef. I wish Padma would wash some mouths out with soap. We watch it as a family. Don't make me switch back to Disney Channel.

Girl Scout Cookie Sales. This just in. Last year I felt like cookie sales were a TON of work for me. That my weekends in were dominated by supervising sales and ultimately delivering cookies. While we were all getting ready this morning Hazel said, "Yay! It's Friday we get to sell cookies all weekend."

So Happy Friday everyone! Can I interest you in some thin mints?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a Brand New Day

Around our house we try to rock a whole positive thinking approach. We actively think good thoughts and ask the universe to bless us. Why, just last Saturday we stood inside the La cattredale d'Italia ovest arms outstretched receiving all the good things that come our way. And not half an hour later, wouldn't you know it, hot steam spewed from the hood of our car and all the coolant leaked in to a huge puddle filling the parking lot.

We had a broken water pump and begrudgingly I tried to look on the bright side. It CAN be fixed. We CAN pay for it to be fixed. We CAN walk or bus everywhere until it is fixed.

This whole positive approach is somewhat against my nature. And as I try to recite affirmations and will good things my way, I occasionally miss having a girlfriend or a therapist to complain to. What's more, it is really difficult to let go of all the indiscretions and rotten luck of my troubled past.

But as we all stand on the brink of the new dawning of Obama's America, I vow to try harder. I just need to get this one thing out:

You. You know who you are. You were a real asshole. I wish I had told you when I had the chance. But now, I release you. With love. because that's what they say you are supposed to do, but should you drown in my released love, so be it.

Happy Inauguration. Let the healing begin.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekly Roundup: Week One

Ah, yes, I bet you were just thinking to yourself "I wish AIMO would start another one of her series posts that piddle out after a few weeks". Well my friends YOU are in luck.

I bring you the Am I Doing Okay? week in review.

This will be a series (stop laughing) where I let you know who is and isn't doing okay in pop culture, advertising, parenting, politics and murder investigations.

Not Doing Okay:

Oh, No "O" didn't. So Oprah's ex-boyfriend says they had wild sex and she forced him to freebase. Note: The site is a web design don't.

Amanda Knox. The Seattle exchange student on trial for murder in Italy. She playa the sexa game? I learna about Italian judicial system.

The residents Preston Hollow a prominent Dallas neighborhood. Somebody is getting a new neighbor.

The guy who twittered about Memphis being a hell hole right before his big FedEx meeting. So glad that wasn't me.

Everyone in the Northeast. It was -15 yesterday in my husband's Vermont hometown. I guess snowplow businesses and people who sell home heating oil are happy.

Big Love starts a new season on Sunday. I don't have HBO. And I don't have nary a sister wife. Man if I did — I'd slip birth control pills into her water bottles and rearrange the schedule so she did all the cleaning and most of the cooking. Which reminds me, I need a sitter for next Tuesday.

Doing Okay:

Barack Obama and the rest of the whole United States of America. Yay us & US!

Guess WHAT? Somebody WON that wedding photography package. Thank you to everyone who voted from my blog or twitter post. I'm sure that my push for votes will keep me in favorite daughter-in-law status for at least 5 more months.

Nienie is back!

Captain Sully, crew & all the passengers who landed safely in the Hudson River yesterday.

Movin's going to visit her piano player on some exotic island next month! Need a wintery respite? Read about her topless sunbathing and other adventures.

Tracee Sioux launched The Girl Revolution. I think I've entered almost every one of her giveaways. Announce the winners already.

Niobe is a mommy. (I'm completely bummed that she might quit blogging. But so happy that her baby has arrived.)

And congrats to Ryan. Who announced and impending bundle this week.

That's what I've got for you this week. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

'Til Death Do You Part

I'm going to ask you to go HERE and vote for my brother-in-law Jay and his fiance Rachel to win a wedding photography package.

As I write this, I'm watching one of my favorite TV shows, Oxygen's Snapped. I love me some Snapped. Every episode you already know some wife is going to kill her husband some how. Perfect backdrop for impending nuptials, no?

I'm a little cynical about marriage. My father has been married 3 times. And I've honestly lost count of how many other of his engagements have not come to fruition. My mother has been married twice, but we're not aloud to talk about the second time. All the unions of which I was a bridesmaid are no longer. Currently, my aunt and uncle are in the midst of an ugly divorce. It's horrible to watch it destroy their family and the ramifications on the rest of us.

But oh, oh, oh - young love and what is more fun than a summer wedding? (A Snapped marathon?)

My mother-in-law is over the moon. Erik and I eloped and I think she was somewhat disappointed we didn't have a big wedding. So vote for the kids. They have a 33% chance of winning and a 50% chance of not getting divorced. Hooray!

Vote for Jay and Rachel!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Viva la Revolution

I wasn't sure if I would find an after school program in California that we all liked as much as the teacher aftercare attended in Texas. When presented with my options, I emailed Tracee Sioux to ask her what she knew about Girls, Inc. I guess I was nervous that beneath all the positive affirmations there might be a hidden agenda like the ones that occasionally permeate through other national organizations say, for example, The Boy Scouts or The Catholic Church.

Well, Tracee not only emailed me RIGHT back raving about Girls, Inc. she also continues to inspire and educate on behalf of girls though her empowering blog.

Yesterday, when I picked the girls up from Girls, Inc. I got to watch as they presented their projects to the group. It was a thrill to hear my girls speak and even better to get a peek into their psyche. Here is what Hazel had to say about herself:

Coincidentally, Tracee relaunched her girl empowering blog now titled The Girl Revolution. It chock full of awesome, caring, insightful, hopeful, smart, good, age-appropriate, kind, friendly and helpful information. If you are mothering or mentoring a girl, you should bookmark or subscribe to this great resource.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Like Nobody is Watching

My soon-to-be-famous sister has another music video under her directorial belt. This from Sister Hazel front man Ken Block's new solo album.

What do you think?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keep Your Shirt On

Hazel has ballet on Saturday mornings. So our Saturday routine usually goes something like this. Drop Hazel at ballet and then tool around the business district boosting the local economy and killing an hour and fifteen minutes. We usually stop at the House of Bagels, get coffee, stop by the library, browse the thrift store, book store, or toy store. We pick Hazel up and have been known to stop at tuttimelon for a little froyo for the kiddo. And that is exactly what we did yesterday.

I held two little hands as we made our way back to our car. Walking down the block, I noticed a man kind of tucked behind a shrub. He was writing. Filling in some blanks on a white piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Maybe because I'm a mom. Maybe because I'm naturally curious. Maybe because there was a full moon, I really have no idea WHY I noticed the man, but I'll admit, perhaps my eyes lingered a tad longer than necessary.

And that was all it took.

He instantly started yelling.

"What are you looking at? I see how you're looking at me. You can't look at me like that."

We'd gone maybe three steps, when my husband turned around to inquire if the guy had a problem.

"She's racist. I don't have to take that. This is 2009."

I was dumbfounded. I wanted to reply that I was absolutely not racist. But my logic told me that like the person stumbling around on the sidewalk at 2 am surrounded by friends offering rides slurring "I'm not drunk", simply proclaiming my innocence wasn't going to be the salve that sobered this particular guy up.

So while the guy and my husband agreed to disagree. I ushered the kids across the street to safety and spied a police cruiser parking about 100 yards away.

When I turned back to look at my husband, he was half way across the street. It was over. Or was it? Because, perhaps, by just moving my head in the general direction of the man was yet again so offensive that he had to start yelling. Again. And then he did something so strange. He took his shirt off.

It was a button-up dress shirt.

And he whipped it off in an instant. Shirt on. And Shazam! Shirt off.

That was all it took for me to signal the police.

I don't like fights. I don't like violence. Obviously, he didn't want to talk it out. He wanted to take his shirt off and scream obscenities and clench his fists and who knows what else.

The whole scene had me really shaken. I was hesitant to make eye contact with any one for the rest of the day.

I feel somewhat better today. My husband thinks it was funny. His new favorite response to everything now is: "Keep your shirt on I'll walk the dog. Keep your shirt on, I'll take out the trash."

But here is the kicker. Guess what the the paper was that the man was filling out? It was an application for employment to our local movie theatre.

I'm sure this had something to do with why my eyes lingered. I love movies. And I, myself, am seeking employment. We have so much in common. Too bad we didn't have the opportunity to get know each other better. But I couldn't get past how the man was trying to get a job at a place where he was going to have to be surrounded by people like me. A bunch of middle-aged moms buying diet Coke® and popcorn, *shudder* making eye contact and rushing off to watch Brad Pitt age in reverse on the big screen.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

AIDO Gets An Email

Imagine my surprise when the caring folks at Netflix sent me this email

They wanted to know if I had received my requested copy of the comedy Pineapple Express.

Awhile back I was listening to an NPR interview of James Franco. Unbelievably, James Franco was not really on my radar. I got swept into the the conversation, listening to how he got his undergrad from UCLA and he was working on his MFA at Columbia. I was developing an on-the-spot mini crush.

Then my friend asked me if I'd seen TV series Freaks And Geeks. Be still my heart. I absolutely fell in love. I took our relationship to the next level with the movie Milk. Swoon. So what if he was gay. It was the 70's! He wore short shorts.

So I couldn't wait for what was sure to be our consummate moment in the blockbuster comedy debuting on DVD yesterday.

That was until I watched it.

So yeah, Netflix, I got the movie. And it sucked. And now I want to break up with my boyfriend Franco.

Thanks a lot.

Monday, January 5, 2009

She's Good At Math

Recently the girls were having a bit of a heated discussion. They each seemed to be expressing their feelings and it wasn't getting physical, so I just tried to stay out of it. I was kind of proud that there was so much dialog and they seemed to be working towards resolution. But the thing I found interesting and highly amusing was that Lula kept using mathematical concepts to get her point across.

"You make me so mad. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm mad at you an 11!"

"You frustrate me 80% of the time."

"Fine! Then you can just play by yourself until you're 172 years old!"