Friday, May 29, 2009

A Slap In The Facebook

Last week I was complaining that no one ever asks to be my friend on Facebook. I'm always sending out and sending out the requests. Just now, I asked my husband how many friends he has. Then I nearly fell off the couch when he told me he's zeroing in on 500.

Not one person from my childhood or college years has sought me out. No old boyfriends. No flirtatious crushes of days of yore. No one from Student Council camp. Hell, I'm pretty sure almost every single one of my Facebook friends is someone I searched for and found.

So imagine my surprise when my former Stepmother recently commented on one of my cousin's photos.

History: My father, who had custody and was my primary caregiver, married Carol when I was five. We lived together for over ten years until the time that she told my father that either "she goes or I go". I ended up skipping a year of high school and living with my grandparents. Carol and my Dad divorced shortly thereafter and I drove myself to college.

I always think that I've dealt with all off this and it doesn't bother me anymore. However, as time goes by and my own children grow, I seem to get kind of murky my dealings and it brings up all kinds of issues and questions.

So, instead of making a therapy appointment, I did the next best cheapest thing. I clicked on the link that let me view all the people that my exStep is friends with. There were a few people her age. Most of my (half)sister's close friends. Suprisingly, she's friends with her first husbands child from his second marriage. But the real kicker, she's friends with my aunt. My father's sister. I had no idea my aunt was on Facebook. And guess what? She's never once requested to be my friend.

Blood may be thicker than water, but it's not friendlier on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One time, at band camp

Brace yourself we're headed down memory lane.

Okay, so it wasn't band camp. It was student council camp. The summer before my sophomore year of High School. We were broken into small groups for some sort of team building or self discovery or problem solving exercise. Everyone in the circle was supposed to name something they would "invent".

I remember the pretty blonds echoing each other with the desire to "invent" a children's hospital that would "cure" all childhood diseases. One after another, they built on their idea until the hospital not only cured and prevented each and every illness, but also promised an idyllic future full of rainbows, happiness and happily-ever-afters.

When it was my turn. I said that I'd "invent" a time machine.

This was met with great confusion and objection. "No fair!" The chorus of pretty blonds exclaimed. "Your invention has to be real! A time machine isn't real!" Unlike, say - a magic hospital that heals.

Afterward, I remember this quiet, bookish guy came up to me and said he liked what I had suggested. I keep thinking about that guy. Right now, he's probably polishing his Nobel Peace Prize. Or, I'm forgetting that his name tag read William Gates.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Me: I walk out of the offices of a personal injury attorney. I'm a human ping pong ball being bounced between the city, the property owner and my insurance company. The game ends when I give up.

She: Sits on a patio in the Texas sun when arguably the HOTTEST young male actor slides into table next to her. And to think she wished she didn't get out of bed today.

She: Alone in a conference room she grabs a few minutes of privacy to pump. Next she'll walk a room full of executives through a brilliant advertising campaign while her baby smiles three states away.

She: Walks on the beach staring out at the Atlantic Ocean. Thinking big thoughts with a heart full of love and sand between her toes. Surrounded by family, looking fabulous with an open ear and easy shoulder.

I miss my friends. Scattered over the country. I'm thankful that there is so much technology to keep us in touch. A hundred years ago, I'd still be waiting for the pony express to tell me they'd succumbed to dysentery. Life is good.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Golden Arches

Last weekend I made an appointment for an eyebrow wax.

I had noticed that my eyebrows were actually becoming two very separate entities. They were looking more like fraternal twins than identical. I'd spent the last month letting them fill in. So after a morning at the gym, I remembered my appointment and managed to arrive only about 10 minutes late. When I arrived, I was told that the waxer had left. So I rescheduled for today and then promptly forgot that appointment too.

I'm too embarrassed to reschedule. My poor twins - ignored, neglected and forgotten. At this pace, they'll be conjoined just in time for summer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I've been known to get lost

Oh, the AUSD has become the a hot button of political or protestable issues with their plans to prevent bullying by introducing curriculum aimed creating tolerance towards gay families. From what I've read, the basic message to begin in kindergarten, is that families can be more than just one mom and one dad. Basically:

Supporters of the curriculum said it's a tool desperately needed by teachers to combat anti-gay slurs and bullying that starts as early as kindergarten. It's not about sex, they said, but about offering positive images of gays and their families who are members of the community but invisible inside school walls.

I was buzzing past City Hall yesterday on my ballet-gym-ferry-hockey-ballet-gym Tuesday night shuttle when I saw the protestors. There was the man in his devil suit with his and his ominous right pointing arrow. I contemplated stopping to shake my finger and speak my mind but opted for a quick left turn, away from eternal damnation.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oops! I did it again.

I am pro-library. And you should be too. Libraries are like learning, imagination, quiet, dreaming fantasy land. Now days, they're all hooked up electronically where you can renew and request online. Our library even has self check out. And a cafe. And a kiosk.

So if I'm reading a magazine, newspaper or blog that recommends a book, movie or DVD - I'll request it from the library and often as early as the next day, the library sends me an email saying it is in. I rush to go pick it up and I leave feeling like I have an extra $20 in my pocket. It all works so well. Except when it doesn't.

Last week I got a notice that some books were overdue. Reading the email it appeared as if they were due THAT very day. Oh, how my heart expanded. The library was treating my like an overprotective parent. Here's a little warning. You're not in trouble yet...but tomorrow. Tomorrow, we start levying 20 cents a day on your ass. So I signed into my library account online and tried to renew. Once I could see my whole account, I notice that the books were NOT due that day. Instead they were over three weeks late. Three weeks late!?!? How could this happen.

Later I went in to deliver the books and pay my fine. I had a twenty dollar bill in hand. I eyed the screen paying special attention to the box labeled fine. And the numbers! At first I thought surely this is like the The Biggest Loser scale. That is, the number arbitrarily bounces back and forth from the ridiculous spectrum to the stomach-able. But I quickly realized it was more like the pay-out at a slot machine in Vegas and I was the house.

So now I'm talking with the bank about a personal loan or considering some black market quick cash making scheme, because 20 cents a day adds up when you have a ton of books out. And I've soured on my steadfast love of the library. I hate it when this happens.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cheap Date

We re-upped our Netflix subscription a few months ago after one night at Blockbuster nearly broke the bank. Now that you can essentially "on demand" thousands of movies and TV series I'm thinking that the service might need to come to with a warning label.

I fully expected Child Protective Services to come to my door during a particularly paralyzing jag known as Seasons 1 and 2 of Friday Night Lights. (Note: Stef recommended this series which I thought I had no interest in, but after about 45 seconds I was addicted. I started out watching about half an episode before bed and then found myself unable to shower or sleep or step away from the computer due to an insatiable curiosity about what was going to happen next to those State Champion Dillon Panthers, y'aaaaallllllllll.)

Yesterday, I received 4 passes for a free one month membership that I'd like to give away. Leave a comment with your email address and I'll send the first four the code. I'm such an enabler. Good for new subscribers only.

I'm predisposed to documentaries and dramas. I also seek out celebrated family friendly foreign films and think that making my kids sound out the subtitles counts towards their daily reading requirements. And then there's the reality TV or afore mentioned High School TV series that make me lose myself in adolescent angst.

Here's a few off radar gems I highly recommend:

Freaks & Geeks

Dear Zachary

A Family Undertaking

Young @ Heart

The King of Kong


Please Vote For Me

I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Because the kids' base jumping class was full

If there is an activity, class, group, or gathering going on that is age appropriate for my girls- I want to know about it. It doesn't mean that I sign them up for every one, but I do give them lots of opportunities to try new and different things. Here's the latest activity we're prepping for...

Hopefully, they will be participating in the Berkeley Kids Triathlon on May 16th.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Say it ain't so, JoBros

A few months ago, my husband began paying our kids NOT to watch the Disney Channel. I'm confident that most of the sass I get channels directly from Hannah Montana through my daughter. Hazel can mimic Miley's eye roll, hand jesters and sarcasm perfectly. Until yesterday, I thought The Jonas Brothers were innocent enough. And that, it seems is exactly what Disney is hoping.

Disney is selling sex to kids, pretending they're not, and making a fortune while forcing their audience into cultural bankruptcy.

Go ahead, read the article Regarding The Jonas Brothers.

Did you know that they perform in their much publicized purity rings and then shoot, spray, hose the audience with white foam?

Sex is confusing enough. I don't want a propaganda machine urging chastity while subliminally serving up porn to my kids.

I'm not sure what's worse. Getting the foam in your hair. Or getting the songs in your head.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Camping 2.0

Kirby Cove is amazing. Thank you to the National Park Service for adding one to my Top 10 Coolest Things Ever list.

There are only four camp sites at this park, so overcrowding was not an issue. It was gorgeous - even if the weather was less than perfect. Fog prevented us from seeing the amazing city views that I had read about, but every so often we'd get a peek at the Golden Gate bridge. And like clockwork, ever 20 seconds the fog horn blew a warning. And every now and then, a boat would blow it's two blast reply.

We took it up a notch this trip. Everyone had their own sleeping bag. And we bought a rechargeable LED lantern. We added a protective tarp under our tent so even though the forecast said there was a chance of record lows we all stayed warm. Hazel insists she was up all night, didn't sleep a wink. Which is cute and dramatic and absolutely not true.

And this guy? I found him clinging to some rocks waiting to make a memory while Lula ran up and down the beach screaming, "THIS IS THE LIFE!"

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The end of April

My baby turned 7 this week. I usually spend some time reminiscing about birthday's past while I'm planning for the next. Here's a quick run down of how we've celebrated Lula's big day over the years:

1: Picnic in Sheep's Meadow, Central Park NYC
A few friends, a big blanket and Sprinkles cupcakes.

2: Party River Run Playground, Riverside Park NYC
Reserved a spot through the Park Commission. More cupcakes. Lots of hungover friends without children. Even more friends with children. I don't remember what we served for food. Delivered pizza, probably. Fun game where I hid toys in the sandbox tied to strings and the kids dug them up. Awesome face painter. Favors were personalized buckets & sand shovels.

3: Bounce House, Grandma Lonah's house Austin, TX
We flew in from NY and rented a bounce house shaped like a castle that took up half the back yard. There was a bubble machine and a piƱata that was as big as Lula. Favorite memory: after the party jumping in the bounce house with my girls, my mom and her two big dogs*, Nightmare and OhNo. *100% positive this was specifically forbidden in the contract.

4: Zoo Party, Grandma Lonah's house Austin, TX
To spice things up we hired one of those traveling zoo services to come to the party. There was a chinchilla, a porcupine, a giant tortoise, a kangaroo and a giant snake. Good times.

5: Family trip to the beach, Galveston Tx
Instead of a party we took off for the beach. We stayed at a hotel, went to the Rainforest Cafe and swam in the polluted ocean.

6: Bike and Scooter Parade, Lakewood Tx
Thought this was a genius idea. Invited the whole class to meet us in a park with a circular path. Everyone decorated their rides, Hazel and her BFF carried a large banner proclaiming 'Happy Birthday' and we all rode/marched around the park. Hot dogs, fruit, cake. The weather was a bit uncooperative.

7: Originally we were scheming up a doozy of 'Top Chef' party. Which morphed into a party at a cooking school. Which changed into a slumber party. (Same as her sister's 7th). So last night her four best friends came over for dancing, scavenger hunting, a PB&J bar and tell your mother I fed you some fruit, cupcakes and an ice cream cake. It was fun and manageable, but a late night.

To top it all off, tomorrow we'll be camping as a family under the Golden Gate Bridge at Kirby Cove. Fingers crossed for me. I've got weather, equipment, fussy husband, foghorn and wildlife issues to contend with.