Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Raindrops Keep Fallin on my Halloween

Like most of you out there, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Halloween. As such, I have started my week long vigil of obsessively monitoring the weather on the Internet (Noaa.gov) and Television - CBS, NBC, ABC News and if I get desperate, FOX 5 News. Remember the station where the news anchor accused his fellow newsman of effing chickens? Yeah, that FOX 5 News. So far the news is all bad. The forecast calls for rain.

For a month now, my husband and I have been building a trap door to hell for our front lawn. We stretched black fabric over a wood frame and faux finished it to look like rusted out metal. Our plan is to prop it open with a severed arm (a rubber one because the local med school can't be bribed to supply a cadaver arm. Kill joys.) and put a strobe light, fog machine and a CD player playing spooky sounds underneath it so that the eeriness just spills out on to the lawn. This is all just fine and dandy if there's no rain. Once it rains, the fog, the electronics, the flashing lights are all kaput!

And what about our rolling caravan of fun? We had planned to fill coolers with ice, beer, soft drinks and some pre-mixed martinis and drag the coolers in wagons as we took the kids trick or treating at night. Rain will ruin those plans as well.

And my costume? It probably shouldn't get rained on. My makeup most definitely won't withstand even a drizzle.

What am I going to do?

The only thing that I can think of is to harness the power of the Internet. So, if you are in reading distance of my words, let's all collectively wish for a gorgeous Halloween across the entire US. This is a non-denominational effort, so go ahead and pray, chant, light a candle, perform a sunshine ceremony, whatever you like. Me, I am crossing fingers, toes, legs, arms, eyes (even if my mother says they'll stay that way) and squeezing like mad in an attempt to cross my butt cheeks. I am so desperate for good weather, I'd eff a chicken if I thought it would help. Lord knows Ernie Anastos likes the idea. . . .

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Forty is Fabulous, Fifty is Frightening

Your girl Diary is getting soft. Not that doughy, middle-aged kind of soft that you might picture (I've been that way since I was two), but the "when the eff did I turn into my mother?" soft.

As I look back over the last twenty seven years of my adulthood, edgy and angsty have given way to comfortable and luxury seeking. Long gone are the days when I would feel safe and happy just chillin at a Motel Six with a box of wine and my best girlies for annual girl's weekend. I no longer want to eat fast food for any meal while I'm away and if the facilities and comfort level are not on point, I am much more likely to turn on my heel and take my business elsewhere. So, what I guess I want to know is, where was I when the body snatchers whisked me away and replaced me with a bougie suburban haus frau? Furthermore, when did my friends and I become the ladies that lunch?

I am really examining the evolution of my behavior of late for several reasons, the primary one being the recent 50th birthday of one of my dearest friends. She is the first in our tightly knit little circle to have reached that milestone and I am admittedly a little freaked out. And while we've never exactly been a bunch of crazy, pole dancing biker chicks, we are a fun group that has had some insane parties and engaged in some very outrageous behavior. How can we possibly justify continuing this behavior at F-F-F-F-F-ifty (see, I can't even say the F word)? It's conflicting, concerning and downright scary.

Another problem that I face is that while I accept the fact that I am indeed middle-aged, my brain still thinks I'm sixteen years old. You know that old saying "You're only as old as you feel."? Well mentally, I am still too young to vote. It's like my brain doesn't recognize the physical part of aging - body parts drifting south at an alarming rate, father time hiking all over my grill (in golf shoes) and middle age spread, that is, well, spreading. At some point, someone is going to have to sit my brain down and tell it the truth - we're old. I know the conversation won't go over well. I expect a lot of slamming doors, gnashing of teeth and self-protecting denial. And while I'm not exactly ready for the Red Hat Society, I think old brain and I have to accept that a certain amount of "dialing back" of old behaviors is appropriate.

Having just returned from girl's weekend this afternoon, I have a perfect illustration of how we are getting old and tame. This weekend we paid a visit to The Spa at Woodloch in Pennsylvania. We had a fabulous time, like we always do when we get together, but it occurred to us that this was a long way from our first couple of trips, when we were all really broke and the accommodations were quite vanilla. At one point we were all floating in the pool waiting for our facial appointments and we looked at each other and said - Who are we?

Now before you go off thinking that I am complaining, I am definitely not. I am very grateful that I have such a fabulous group of friends and that we can take these amazing little weekends together. And while we can't be as wild and crazy as we were in the past, we can still party hard. We just need a little shiatsu and a good, long soak in order to recover.

The pictures below are from the spa that we visited and beneath that is a video from the movie Camp (Sorry, I am a theater geek to the core. I can't reference Ladies Who Lunch without thinking of the song. This is a favorite rendition.). All and all it was pretty awesome and I was grateful to be there with my best girlies, even if we mostly just reminisced about our wild days. Well, that's not exactly true. There was some police activity this weekend . . sorry about that speeding ticket Mare :(

This is the chandelier in the entrance way that we did not swing from.

This is the indoor waterfall/whirlpool that we did not get busy in.

This is the outdoor spa that we did not get busy in.

This is the indoor pool that nobody vomited margaritas into.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Joy Riding in Cars With Boys - Part 2 of 2

This is the continuation and conclusion of yesterday's story.

That Wednesday morning the crew assembled at the concrete wall in front of the High School and plotted everything out. My friend was a little surprised at how many people were going to be part of this event. The plan was for Pete to steal the spare car key from the top drawer of his father's dresser. Then she, Pete and another friend named Brian were to meet at the church parking lot at 7:30. By that time, the sermon would be 30 minutes in and the likelihood of late arrivers or anyone hanging around the parking lot would be very remote. The three of them would put the key in the car without starting it, put the car into neutral and push it out onto the road. Once on the road they would start it up and take off, picking up friends along the way.

The three friends met at the church parking lot and the first part of the plan went off without a hitch. By 7:35 the car was in motion, heading for the first pick up. Pete, Brian and my friend all sat in a line across the front bench seat of Pete's fathers Oldsmobile 88. Pete looked a little nervous as he death gripped the wheel with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Approaching the first intersection, he stopped at the traffic light too nervous to look left or right. The other two passengers scanned the intersection for nosy neighbors and friends driving with their parents, but all was clear and the light turned green. The three friends exhaled and moved out of the intersection.

Pete turned into the development where his friend John lived, driving at a normal rate of speed as to not attract attention, then he moved on to the next friend's house and the next and the next and the next. Before they knew it, there were eight fourteen and fifteen year olds wedged into the car, bumping into each other with lit cigarettes and cursing each other out. Because of this, the mood in the car got rowdy. This seemed to have an effect on Pete, as his driving through the winding suburban streets grew faster and more erratic. He started to sway the car from side to side and he took corners at such a high rate of speed that the car tilted enough for the wheels to briefly lift up on one side.

As the car rounded yet another corner, Pete took it too wide and wiped out the side view mirrors on three cars parked on the side of the street. The Oldsmobile swerved wildly as he tried to regain control of a car that handled as elegantly as a tank. My friend was terrified at this point, sensing that there was a dangerous mob mentality at play. It occurred to her that she didn't know half of the guys in the car. What was to say that they wouldn't decide to rape her or escalate the situation further and wind up wrapping the car around a tree. At that moment, another car came down the block in the opposite direction, forcing Pete to slow down significantly. And with that, she panicked and jumped out of the moving car and rolled toward the curb. To her complete astonishment, she had nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises.

Within thirty seconds, Pete came screeching around the block and stopped in front of her in the street. Her friend Brian got out of the car, grabbed her and pulled her back in as silent Pete peeled away. She was too terrified and upset cry or make a sound. She just wanted the whole thing to be over. Glancing down at her watch, she realized it was indeed almost over because it was just five minutes from the pre-arranged return time. She swallowed the huge lump in her throat and squeaked to Pete that is was 8:50 PM. He had wanted to be sure that if his parents decided not to stay for the mixer after church, that the car would be sitting there by 9:00 waiting for them. He yelled at everyone in the car to shut up and he began shouting orders. He would drive to one block away from the church and let everyone out, then he would pull up in front of the church and turn off the car. Then the entire team would push the big boat of a car back into its parking spot and run like hell.

Pete let everyone out of the car a block ahead and they all started walking toward the church. Then, meeting at the driveway of the church, they slowly and quietly pushed the car into the lot. As they turned down the lane where the car had been parked, they realized that the parking space that the car had been in was no longer empty. As a matter of fact, none of the surrounding parking spaces were empty. He was going to have to park two rows further, on the other end of the aisle. They rolled the car into the parking space, each of them wondering and worrying over what was going to happen to them. They had stolen a car, scratched up the passenger side of it and put it back in the wrong spot. There was no question that Pete was bagged. The question remained, whether he would give up his friends or not.

Pete sprinted home to return the key before his parents got back. My friend walked home with her head spinning. If she got caught, she would not be allowed to hang out with Pete or his sister Suzanne, who was one of her very best friends. She got little sleep that night, worrying that she might be going to juvenile hall.

The next morning, the same group of kids waited for Pete at the wall in front of school. Pete walked up and stood next to them without saying anything. They looked at him with eyebrows raised in anticipation. Finally, my friend asked whether he got in trouble. Pete waited a second, threw down his cigarette and said "Nope". Then he turned on his heel and walked into school.

Later that afternoon at lunch, my friend and Pete's sister walked out into the courtyard outside the lunchroom and casually chatted. Suddenly a thought came to Suzanne and she grabbed my friend's arm in excitement "Oh, my god! You're not going to believe what happened. Someone stole my dad's car out of the church parking lot and banged it all up. Then they put it back in the wrong parking spot." As she told the story, Suzanne got more and more animated and squeezed harder on her friend's arm, forcing her to pull it away. "My dad thinks that it was the leader of a drug ring. Isn't that unbelievable?" My friend rubbed the bruises on her arm that Suzanne had been unknowingly squeezing. "Yes Suzanne. I would have to agree with you . That is unbelievable."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Joy Riding in Cars With Boys - Part 1 of 2

I had this friend when I was growing up who was a little wild and uncontrollable. She took all sorts of risks that her girlfriends didn't understand. While the other girls wanted sit around and talk about boy bands and crushes, this friend wanted to hang out with the boys, be part of their world and do the fun things that they did. She wanted to drink beer with them, swear like a they did and hopefully manage a real hook up with whichever one she was crushing on at the moment.

The norm for this group of kids was for the boys and girls to gather on a particular corner in the neighborhood every Friday and Saturday night and hang out in a massive gang. About a year into this, my friend started getting calls during the week from they guys asking her to hang out, without the rest of the girls. The boys knew that they could count on her to be down for anything and that the other girls would likely disapprove of most of the things that they'd want to do. Things like stealing cars, for example.

One of the boys in the group was very quiet. His name was Pete and he spoke in single syllables, most of which were mumbled. But underneath it all, Pete was probably a genius. He had charted out a schedule of the best dates and times to steal his older brother and parent's cars. He had written down what time he should steal the car, from where and exactly what time he should have it back. One of these perfect times and places was when his parents were in church on Wednesday nights.

Pete's parents were deeply religious. His mom was a throwback to the fifties housewife in look, but without the sunny demeanor. She wore an apron and heels, every day. If you tried to engage her in conversation, she seemed completely empty headed and out of touch with the modern world, like some misplaced, zoned out June Cleaver. Her husband was a New York City cop, who legend had it, had been disarmed by a criminal and beaten with his own billy club, rendering him. . . a little "off" in the personality department. As such, they were not big socializers within the neighborhood. But in church? They were the belles of the ball. And they loved them some Jesus.

Pete's parent's church was an all night social event. Being raised catholic and being accustomed to the Sunday, one hour mass and dash, my friend could not understand what they did at church for three hours on a Wednesday night. But apparently they were busy with sermon, followed by bible study class and a cheese and crackers mixer after that which would keep them there from 7 -10. And they did this three times a week -Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Pete's parents had given up on making the kids attend with them all three times per week, so this made Wednesday night a great car stealing night. And my friend was into it. WAY into it.

Part 2 - Pete's Driving School (or) Taking Off Three Sideviews at a Clip - Tomorrow

Monday, October 19, 2009

Loyal as a Labrador

This morning I woke up to an award from Kys over at Stir-fry Awesomeness and it made me think about the topic of loyalty. I am grateful for getting this award because loyalty is a subject that is very important to me. I try to teach this value to my kids and when I see evidence of it in their behavior, it makes me feel great. Thanks Kys!

In honor of this occasion, I thought it would be fun to look back at the top 10 things that I am loyal to and ask you to share your list with me. Hopefully you will find some things on here that you would like to try (not my family and friends of course. I'm a Project Manager, not a pimp).


My family/friends/husband/kids: Not to sound too much like DeNiro in Meet the Fokkers, but I have an inner circle. Anyone that is in it has been carefully chosen through an intense vetting process that may or may not have included a lie detector test. And while some family are inherited and just come along with the main dish like a side of creamed spinach, I definitely choose the ones that I voluntarily hang out with. To me, friends are like a blender, once you get a good one, you should never have reason to replace it (my blender is at least 20 years old and it still makes crazy-good pina coladas)

Callie's Candy Kitchen in Cresco Pa. - There is a little slice of candy heaven in the Pocono Mountans of Pennsylvania called Callies Candy Kitchen. I learned about it when I was 16 and I have been going there ever since (for those of you counting, that's almost 30 years). It is run by a sweet old Santa Clause of a man named Harry Callie who gives candy making demos and talks about the importance of inspiration and creativity. His candy? HEAVENLY. He will cover absolutely anything in chocolate, so don't sit still for too long when you're in his store or you're next. He made my wedding favors and we named a dog after him. I heart him and his candy.

The Borgata in Atlantic City NJ- Those of you that are regular readers know that I love Atlantic City. But the truth of the matter is that I love the Borgata Casino in Atlantic city. The Borgata has a vibe that is a little classier and a lot less seedy than much of AC. It is filled with Chihuly chandeliers that never cease to amaze me with their agressive beauty. We always have a good time there.

Bobby Flay Steak (at the Borgata) - I'm not much on Bobby Flay as a TV personality, though I think he has improved and dropped some of the smarm in more recent years. However, his steak house in the Borgata makes a Strip Steak in a provolone cream sauce with caramelized onions that is TO DIE. And the restaurant itself is beautiful. It's our special occasion restaurant.

Starbucks - Forget the cup. Please mainline it for me.

Vodka - Over the past few years I have come to love a good vodka cocktail. And while I am certainly not a power drinker, the odd times that I have a drink or two, it's always vodka. My favorites are the French Martini and the Cosmopolitan. Your girl Diary can work a cocktail shaker like no one's business.

Regular Old Dry Pasta - When I look back at the one item that has been in my cupboard since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, it's that blue box Ronzoni pasta. As something of a foodie, I have experimented with different brands and with fresh pasta , but I always come back to Ronzoni or Barilla. Poo poo if you want, but taste my Lasagna first, then try to poo. That came out wrong, didn't it?

Macy's - Sure there are fancier department stores. But what I have come to realize about Macy's is that there are always great sales, they have a wide variety of clothing (and other goods) to choose from and they ALWAYS send me a 20% off coupon in the mail. So why wouldn't I shop there?

San Francisco -San Francisco first came into my consciousness when my uncle settled there back in the 70's. When I was 19, my mother put me on a plane from NY to spend a week with him. He and his wife were working during the days, so I took off on my own and investigated the city. It was love at first sight. You can imagine my glee when I had to travel to SF in my 20's for business. After that all trips were for pleasure. The best trip of all was taking my kids there last year. They loved it and I am hopeful that we will go back soon.

Elvis Costello - Of all the music that I listened to and obsessed over in my teen years, the only thing that I go back to on a regular basis is Elvis Costello. I marvel at his use of words and at how prolific he is as a songwriter.

I am going to share this award with my blogroll (it's not entirely up to date, so if I owe you a follow, I apologize). If you are on there, you have my loyalty, please grab the badge.

So Internet, what's on your loyalty list?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stealing Sunday's Stir-fry (or) My Brain is Made of Jello

Being around thirteen year olds is rotting my brain, so I am going to make today's post a Meme. I had popped over to Kys' place, Stir-fry Awesomeness and saw this there. It acutally looked like a fun one and seeing as how I have a brain full of wood putty right now, I need an easy assignment.
In interest of giving credit where due, Kys got it from Sunday Stealing's website and she got it from someone else, and so on and so on and so on. So without turning this into a Faberge Organics commercial, I'll go back as far as two generations with my shout outs, for fear I may never get to the actual game.

A - Advocate for: Anyone not given a fair shake

B- Best Feature: Not my feet, that's for sure

C- Could do without: Narrow minded people

D- Dreams and desires: A villa in Tuscany

E- Essential items: Starbucks

F- Favorite past time: You're reading it

G- Good at: Not really sure. I am mediocre at many things. Does that add up to one "good"?

H- Have never tried:Hot air ballooning without my kid

I- If I had a million dollars: I would have the sickest kitchen on the planet. It would be SO over the top it would make Martha Stewart blush with feelings of inferiority.

J- Junkie for:Starbucks, Blogging, Baking for my kids

K- Kindred spirit: Any friend of mine was carefully chosen and is a kindred spirit

L- Little known fact: I have weird toes. (Damn! Now everybody knows)

M- Memorable moment: Watching my kids perform on stage

N- Never again will I: Let small minded people get me down

O- Occasional indulgence: Travel to New Orleans or San Francisco

P - Profession: Project Manager

Q- Quote: I say so many stupid things, it's hard to choose

R- Reason to smile: My circle of friends and family

S- Sorry about: This post not being funnier

T- Things you are worrying about right now: Why can't I make this post funnier?

U- Uninterested in: Sports . Most hated: Golf. I don't want to hear about your Birdie, it sounds vaguely pervy.

V- Very scared of: Bugs

W- Worst habits: Starbucks
X - Marks my ideal vacation spot - Anyplace with a nice hotel and good restaurants. I love to travel but I don't like roughing it. You will NEVER find sitting around the campfire waiting for someone to dig a potty hole near the campsite.

Y- Yummiest dessert: Tiramisu from Nick Malgieri's Great Italian Desserts Cookbook (a lot of work but TO. DIE. FOR.)

Z- Zodiac sign: Both of us are Gemini.

I feel like I cheaped out on you, but I'll have to get over it. I have much cleaning to do and I could easily get distracted by blogging and not get it done. So thanks for letting me take the easy route. Go ahead and try this one yourself. And be sure to tell two friends about it . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lovely Awards and Songs That Require Brain Scrubbin'

First order of business - A special thanks to The Only Girl for giving me the Lovely Blog Award. Can we talk for a second about the name of this award? I hardly think my blog qualifies as "Lovely". I have pictures of glazed ham in my sidebar and random photos of Bai Ling in acid green pants sprinkled across it. And my subject matter - Jamie Lee Curtis' dumping habits, vulgar tee shirts and assaults on Marshalls clerks are hardly the Victorian ideal of lady hood. So while my pics O' pork are not lovely, your sentiment certainly is. Thank you The Only Girl for making me feel like a lady, if only for a moment, until I have to scratch an itch in a place that I can't scratch in public. Until that itch flares up, I will drink my tea with my pinky held high.

Part of getting these awards is sharing them with others. I know that all the linkages are hellacious and it can feel like a lot of work, so I give them with the stipulation that you need do nothing more than make a brief acceptance speech and that hopefully you will share it with at least one person that you like (Though the original rules call for 15. It's up to you.) I will do three nominees tonight because that's how many I figure I can get through before I pass out. Here are tonight's fab three:

For me, the essence of a "Lovely Blog" is the darling Jen over at Lessons in the Art of Slow. She writes about slowing down and taking in all the beauty that life has to offer. It's a great place to bring a cup of coffee, read and exhale.

Next on the list is Harlem's Haterade. She's hatin on something new in every post. She's opinionated, honest and funny. Her post about Boob Jigglin is a great example of her perspective.

Nancy over at If Evolution Really Works has a fun blog that is a little bit parenting and a little bit girl talk, even a few recipes. I like the mix.

So, tonight's post was going to be about how the music in the supermarket infiltrates your brain like a computer worm and makes you sing along to vapid pop songs while you search for Tomato Puree. The clip below is what they were playing while I food shopped tonight. Thanks Stop & Shop! No matter how hard I scrub inside my ear with a bottle brush, I can't get this out of my head. I owe ya one. I'll be sure to clumsily take the bottom can out of your next carefully stacked display of pineapple juice.

Being the sharing, caring, giver that I am, I am passing this on to you. Get your bottle brushes ready. All I can say is, at least it isn't herpes. Oh and special thanks to MTV for being tool-tastic enough to put a commercial before the song. Capitalist bitches.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm the Mom on the Planet of the Apes

I picked up my son from guitar lessons tonight and I asked him whether he was too tired to stop at Walgreens to get batteries for my new boombox (It has an IPod dock. It's totally sweet.). Luckily he was agreeable. As usual he started frothing up in a retail frenzy the second he stepped into the store, taking off like he was fired out of a cannon. Before I knew it, he had a bag of bones for the faux graveyard we have set up under the pine tree, a giant headed ghoul with tattered shroud and light up eyes to hang over the basketball hoop, new ear buds for his IPod and a Halloween mask.

I was just about to put my foot down at the mask when he threw it on and looked at me. That was it. I was DONE. I laughed so hard I almost peed. He insisted on wearing it all the way home, mugging at everyone that pulled up next to us at the traffic light and accusing me of not loving him because he looked like an ape. It was all I could do not to drive off the road.

When we got home I set up my new boom box and he grabbed a microphone and microphone stand out of the den and he lip synced "Ain't No Other Man" by Christina Aguilera with the mask on. Again fits of hysterical laughter.

Either it takes very little to make me laugh or this is the funniest Halloween mask EVER. What do you think?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why Are You Wearing an Advertisement for Your Small Weiner?

Because I'm Classy Like That

WARNING: This post discusses an ugly man in a vulgar tee shirt.

Stop here if easily offended. Bad words. Adult content. Get the picture?

Over the summer, my husband and I spent a couple of days in Atlantic City NJ. And as you might expect, summer in AC is a hotbed of activity thanks to beach-goers and gamblers alike. When you are exposed to masses of humanity like that, it's inevitable that you are going to see things that disturb you. I have learned over the years to expect classless behavior, dress and conversation (and that's just from the grandma's they bus in). It is clearly not the epicenter of good taste. However, I did see one particularly bad tee shirt on my way home that stayed with me and I feel the need to share.

As we were driving home, we made the obligatory stop at the Cheesequake rest-stop on the Garden State Parkway. Cheesequake is one of the the busiest stops on the parkway as it is the first/last stop after/before the Outerbridge Crossing into Staten Island. The place was a madhouse on this particular sunny Saturday afternoon, teeming with all sorts of traveling humanity. As we came up the stairs there were two men with buzzed hair, in their mid to late twenties standing in the sun eating hot dogs. They were both wearing black tee shirts, but the tee shirt on the smaller of the two men caught my eye immediately. I did a double take, trying not to stare too hard as I verified what I was reading. By the time I reached the top of the stairs where he was standing, I was looking straight at it and there was no mistaking what it said. His shirt had a cartoon on the front of two stick figures - Stick figure A was bent over a toilet as stick figure B (ummm, how to say this?), "took" stick figure A from behind under a banner that read "HITTER IN THE SHITTER". How classy is that, ladies? Is this the sexiest thing EVER?

The sad part is, he probably thinks that a statement tee such as that is telling the world that he's (sarcastic air quotes) a funny guy or that he's (more sarcastic air quotes) sexually adventurous or that he's a(the MOST sarcastic of air quotes) hardcore rebel who doesn't care what people think. But the message that gives to people, women in particular is "RUN! This is a drooling moron whose stupidity has rendered him dangerous to the female population." Even Forrest Gump could have figured out that you save that shirt for poker night with the boys, not sunny airings at family enclaves.

A word to Mr. small penis (an assumption, but probably a spot-on assumption) - A shirt like that has almost zero percent of being a hit with the ladies. I mean, some women may like it. For example, you could surely snag a girl with a tooth count somewhere south of one. The way I figure it, you are dressed for success as long as your measure of success equals picking up a bowling alley hooker.

Look, tee shirt guy, don't get bitter, please take this criticism in the spirit in which it is intended. We here at Diaryofamadbathroom want you to live a happy and fulfilled life. But if you don't make a few radical wardrobe changes you should think about adopting cats. This way you won't die alone in a tacky tee shirt.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Duck, it's the Hawk

First, before I launch into today's post, I need to profusely thank Erin at the Mother Load for a great award. Get this . . . it does not have any rules! What? PARTY!!!!! However, she used it as a means to recommend some newly found blogs to her readers and I will make my recommendations as well. Now ya'll stop giving me awards or I'll get all spoiled and expect them every time I leave a brain dropping.

What I would like you all to do is to take a peek at the blogroll on my profile. I heartily recommend all the fun and fabulous bloggers listed there. Congratulations to all of you! If you're on there, grab the award and share the love with some of your peeps.

Now . . .on with today's post.

"Ma, ya gotta wax my unibrow!" This is what my son yelled at me from the back of the van on the way to dinner last night. My daughter, sensing an opportunity to insult her brother launched into a tirade about his brow line, demanding that I shave "The Hawk" because it's heinous. We have referred to my son's brows as "The Hawk" since around second grade when it became crystal clear to us that his Russian and Sicilian roots were making themselves known above his eyes. They grow in an malevolent looking downward turn toward the bridge of his nose, forming a V shape, like a hawk soaring in the sky.

When the boy was little, he was pale. Hmmm, no, that's not right. He was clear. And skinny. I can remember my father asking me "Does he eat?", which of course he did, but as he had enough energy in him to power a small city, he burnt it off as faster than he could take it in. His Doctor nicknamed him the perpetual motion baby because he would pick him up under the arms and hold him in the air and his arms and legs would be pedaling and spinning like he was running a marathon. So with his skinny, ghostly countenance and the eventual sprout of freckles across his face, I thought he would take after the Scotch/Irish side. But judging by his brows, I apparently went on a black out drunk, wandered into the woods and had relations with a Yeti. My husband hasn't made any accusations yet, but I would imagine that by the time the boy is 21, his paternity may come under question.

So after dinner, we stopped by the Rite Aid Drug store and headed for the depillitory section. He helped me select some wax strips (yes, he's brand loyal, he's a teenager) and we bailed. When we got home we headed to the bathroom and we began the familiar ritual of cutting the wax stips to size and we got to rippin. My son, sensing the intimacy and quiet of the moment did what he always does and he took the opportunity to ask me for something. "Hold still and be quiet," I told him. "I need to concentrate. You don't want to look like one of those douchy guys that shaves lines in your eyebrows, do you?" But he was undaunted by the possibility of a waxing mishap and he came at me again with his request. I did my best to ignore his pleas for a new video game and I focused on the task at hand. Zip. Zip. Zip. Aaaaah, human again.

I took a deep breath and I looked at his freckled face and at his thick head of brown hair. He was adorable. He gave me a bracefaced smile and a look of anticipation for my answer. I looked at him for a second, sighed a heavy sigh and sent him out to the woods to ask his father.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Monday Kinda Award and a Missing Berry

Well wasn't that a surprise when That One Mom over at A Day in the Life; Chronicles of an Only Parent gave me the Lovely Blog Award. Thank you One Mom, that was mighty kind of you!

The purpose of this award is to tag 15 newly discovered blogs and while I have (thanks to SITS) discovered quite a few new blogs of late, 15 is a tad ambitious. Besides, if I comply and tag 15 blogs, I will be terribly late to work, thereby ruining all my opportunity for stealth blog reading/commenting. Actually, now that I lost my Blackberry, I can't even do that. To make matters worse, I lost it seeing Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Isn't that some sort of bad karma double dipping?

Do you have any idea what a savior my Blackberry was? All my mid-day tweets, stealth blog reading and admonishing texts to my 13 year old came from that thing. *Sigh* I have had to resort to bringing my 10 year old daughter's cell phone to work. Which would be fine except that it's pink and white with a Hannah Montana skin on it and cell phone jewelery dangling off it. Yes, I feel like a colossal dork using it. No, it does not have Internet access. Grrrrrr.

So if I don't visit your blog as much over the next two weeks while I am waiting for my new berry to wend it's way through corporate purchasing, don't get bitter. I haven't forgotten you, I've just been stripped of opportunity. I'll make it up to you, I promise. Now, on with the Awards show.

So, being that I am all about managing expectations and trying to manage my own tendency to over-commit, I am going to tag three newly discovered blogs ( all on the Mommy tip) with this award and hope that the award gods do not look upon me unfavorably in the future. Here are a few firecrackers that you need to get your butt over to visit. Check it out y'all. But first, my standard award disclaimer (Hey, what can I say? Lawyers, man.)

My personal rules for selecting nominees are as follows -

  • If I follow you, I already think you are awesome. So everyone on my follow list is award eligible. I will try not renominate anyone that I have tagged recently. I am trying not to give a lot of homework.

  • I will not be upset or offended if you don't have time or inclination to play the game. If you want to grab your award and make a brief acceptance speech (I will have my musical director play you off if you go over 200 characters), then that's OK too. This is about showing appreciation, not making people stress over the process.

  • If I visit your site and see no evidence of awards, I will assume that you are not a player and will not nominate you. If I have gotten this wrong (ie. your blog is very new or all your awards got wiped out in a bizarre computing accident), then just let me know in the comments section that you are game and I will pounce like a tiger the next award I get.Phew! That was a lot of pre-show. And the nominees are (drumroll please):

Speaking from the Crib -This is a crazy-funny lady who gets LOTS of awards, so I won't get offended if she does not do all the tagging and whatnot. She's a blast and her new background is truly lovely. So there!

Chief - A recent discovery with a blog called Hiding From the Kids. With that blog name, you know she must be whip-smart. I am hoping to pick up some hiding tips myself as my kids always find me, particularly when I'm in the bathroom.

The Crazy Baby Mama - Yup, the name says it all. Her recent post about a prenatal meltdown over Pumpkin Muffins in Trader Joe's was classic. A pre-cursor to a post-natal throwing of socks at a clerk in Marshalls? We'll see. . .

So that's it for today. Take a few minutes, check these ladies out and please, if you find a Blackberry with a pink and white paisley skin in the Imax theater, have a heart send it back to me. I'm jonesin baaaad man.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mother Nature's Gift Rewarded

"Good morning sunshine. I left a gift for you." I sat up and looked around the room to see who was offering me early morning treats, but nobody was there. I stumbled into the bathroom and flipped on the light and there it was. My gift. Apparently that heinous bitch Mother Nature had come a-callin and she decided to bestow two spankin new pimples on my grill. One for the chin and one for the nose. . .wouldn't want only one, then it would be lonely.

I scuffed my way downstairs and put on a pot of coffee. As it brewed, I thought about my gift. Why this? Why now? I didn't just roll off the assembly line. I have mad mileage on my tires. Why would a woman of mid-life be getting the zits now? I think I got five zits throughout my entire teen years. That was simply not one of the problems that I had to deal with. I had plenty of others, believe me. Just not that one.

So, I sat down and over a cup of coffee, I thought about the best way to address this issue. I have a family dinner planned for tonight, so I can't stay in and hide my new found puberty. I will have to share with the world. I thought and thought. Then I had another cup of coffee and I thought some more. Then, as I was pouring my third cup of coffee, it came to me. I'll bake an Apple Pie. Oh, and a pan of Blondies.

I reflected on my decision for a second. Are sweets really the way to resolve mid-life onset acne? No, probably not. But when I die, someone from Mother Nature's crew is going to have to deal with what to do with me. I figure I can make their job more difficult if my ass is REALLY large.

So screw you Mother Nature and NO you CANNOT have a bite of my pie, bitch!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion

I have a confession to make Internet readers, so huddle up and I will spill all my dirty little secrets. I have gone on a guerrilla advertising spree as a way to promote my blog.

As many of you know, it can be difficult to grow your readership outside of the blogging community. Those of us who blog, read each other regularly and through those blogs we find other blogs to read. It's a perfect little network if you're on the inside of it. But what about the regulars? The non-bloggers? How do you get to them? Sure, sometimes you'll get a word of mouth read from a regular, but the process of building readership is slow and requires infinite patience. And, surprise, surprise, I don't have much of that patience stuff. Action, no matter how ineffective, feels better than waiting.

But there's a dilemma in my approach as I blog anonymously. So how do I promote my blog without attaching a face to the deed? I certainly can't walk up to some ego-tripping PTA harpie, press my card into her hand and tell her to check out my blog. The reason I can't is because then I can't savage her in print when she decides to spill confidential information about someones kid's special ed plan to a non-PTA mom who was volunteering for the school bake sale (yup that happened and If I'd had a blog at the time, I'd have outed her bitchy little ass). I also could not have handed a pen to the store manager at the tile store, as I had basically accused him of hiring sales help from the Forrest Gump employment agency.

So where does that leave a girl with 500 business cards and a dream? Stealth promotion, of course. Everywhere I go, I leave behind a pen or a business card with my blog name on it. Go to the ATM? Stand a couple of cards in the crevice in front of the machine. Midnight run to the drug store for Children's Motrin? Stand a few cards up next to the children's cold medicine. Go to the bank? Leave pens in the ATM vestibule near the deposit slips. This one is a public service to the bank as it keeps their pen safely on the chain. I have even gone as far as target marketing my demographic (or at least who I think my demo is) by going to the humor section of Barnes and Noble and burying a business card deep within the pages of books by female humor writers. Kind of a "Designer Imposter's" approach to advertising - If you like this book, try this website. I also leave a pen on the keyboard of every computer station sprinkled throughout the book store. It's cheap, it's easy and **BONUS!** I know that the person picking up that pen can read.

More than anything else, I have to say that this approach is pure fun. It's a little like a High School prank, but nobody gets covered in a bucket of pig blood as a result. It's fun to dodge the Walgreens night manager who's giving me the stink-eye for malingering in the band-aid aisle. It makes every boring shopping trip or errand just a little more James Bond.

Ever since I have started doing this, I have kept a close eye on my web hits from the Long Island area and I have started to see a few hits from the towns that I have, well, hit. Which reminds me, I'd like to offer a note of apology to the lady in Stop and Shop who bought the hanging pot of yellow mums. Sorry, that was my bad for sticking that neon pink pen inside the flowers. You got all excited that they came with "fertilizer sticks". Yeah, I laughed all the way home on that one.