Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hi Mr G, How Do You Poo?

This post is not for the squeamish. Curiosity is killing you, right? Don't say I didn't warn you. . .

When I was in first grade, I used to walk home from school with a boy on my block named Randy Grippo. Randy was an annoying kid. You know, the kind that tells grandiose lies and steals your toys. The most succinct way to describe him would be to say that he was a "little shit".

On the last day of school before Christmas break, as we arrived at the corner of our block where we would go our separate ways toward our respective houses, Randy asked me if he could come in and use our bathroom. I looked him in the eye and asked him why he needed to use our bathroom when he lived a mere ten houses down the block. But there was something pleading in his facial expression, so I said that he could come in.

My daily after school ritual was to watch Popeye at 3:00 PM on WPIX. It was my way to unwind after school and my mom allowed me to watch it before I did any homework or chores (stop laughing mom).

I sat down in front of the TV with a glass of chocolate milk and watched the cartoons. I loved Popeye and got all caught up in the complex dynamics of the love triangle between Popeye, Olive and Bluto. Before I knew it, it was 3:3o and Popeye was over and I hadn't seen or heard from Randy for the last half hour. Just as I realized this, he slunk past me sideways and ran out the front door, shouting his goodbyes as he ran. Odd behavior, but he was an odd kid, so nothing surprised me.

Fifteen minutes after Randy left, I heard a blood curdling scream coming from the bathroom. My mother was screaming, no, SHREIKING my name. When I arrived at the bathroom door, she was holding a poo covered bath rug in her hands. I looked around the bathroom and there was poo on the toilet seat, poo smears on the floor, poo on everything. It wasn't clear exactly how the poo had managed to cover so much ground, but it was very clear that Randy had a major intestinal issue going on.

- - - - - - -But wait, it gets WORSE. Yes, I said WORSE. - - - - - - - -

Cut to the next day. Christmas day. And we are all loaded up in the car, about to make the trek out to my Aunt and Uncle's house out in distant Suffolk County. The gifts were loaded in the car and the fam was all dressed up in their Christmas finery. Everything was ready to go, except the toilet. For some reason the danged thing was stopped up and wouldn't flush, despite my father's best plunging and Drano dispensing efforts.

Not content to leave a plugged toilet while we are so far away, my father felt compelled to correct the situation. So he trudged downstairs with the snake and opened up the cap to the main sewage line. He let out 10 feet of snake, then 20, and so on until he felt like he hit something in the line. Then he started to reel it in like a fish on a hook. He could feel the weight of whatever it was, tugging along on the end of the line.

At this point we had been sitting in a running car for 20 minutes. My mother turned off the car and we went back into the house and found the basement door open. Assuming that this was where my dad was, we went down to see what was holding him up. We arrived at the Laundry Room door just as my father was reeling in his catch. Then we heard a whoosh and a rush of liquid as my father got covered from head to toe in raw sewage.

Completely stunned from what had just happened, my father staggered and grabbed wildly for a towel from the dirty clothes pile to wipe the poo from his eyes. Then he inspected the offending item on the end of the snake line and called out "Size 6X Boys Fruit of the Loom." Then he shook them at me and demanded "Are these yours?". Even though I knew not to mess with him in his fragile state, I fired back a sarcastic "Yeah, I wear boys briefs every day.". Then like a collective light bulb, we all looked at each other and muttered "Randy".

Apparently my little friend had an accident and tried to flush the evidence down our toilet. Knowing that he would probably get the daylights beaten out of him, my dad didn't tell Mr. Grippo, and I never mentioned it to Randy.

How did he pay us back for our silence? He robbed our house when he was 19 and got away with it thanks to the lameness of the Nassau County Police. We weren't the only family that he robbed and it eventually caught up with him. He is currently a ward of the NY State Penal system for multiple counts of burglary and won't be out any time soon.

I told you he was a little shit.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Look What Fell off my Family Tree Friday - Setting the Stage

Last week I put out a challenge to the blogosphere to share with the world, under the semi-anonymous cover of my blog, the story of their family crazies. Thanks to their good nature and probable need to "let it all out", I have lined up four great bloggers to share their stories with you, each Friday in February.
I myself have a bountiful basket of nuts to choose from, but the soft spot in my heart is for my Uncle Ronnie. I have posted several stories about Uncle Ronnie that highlight his tendency toward "the crazy". However, I was/am no prize myself and my bachelor uncle was my constant companion and was thereby subjected to all of my mercurial behavior.
This story is less about Ronnies craziness than it is about my own Hurricane Hattie tendencies.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Uncle Ronnie was the first and only person in our family to have a Polaroid camera. This caused quite the buzz of discussion the first Christmas that he brought it out. It was Christmas at my Grandmother's house, circa 1973. My mother had sewn us matching maxi dresses from a pretty purple fabric and we were both rockin our Florence Henderson shags. Sitting in my grandmother's yellow vinyl and chrome kitchen chairs, we looked like a 70's ad for stuffing mix. We were the modern American family!

The family was all milling about the downstairs rooms of my grandmother's house, placing presents under the tree, making drinks, talking and cooking. But Ronnie was nowhere to be found. I hopped out of my chair and ran up the stairs to see where he was and what he was doing. Just as I reached the top of the stairs, he emerged from his room with a flat black box on a string around his neck. I pointed and yelled "What is that?". That, he explained to me, was a Polaroid camera. And it makes instant pictures!

Instant pictures? I was immediately intrigued by this device. My best friend Debbie's mother made instant mashed potatoes all the time, but my mother refused to buy them, which really made me jealous. So the notion of something instant like this at my disposal, set all my nerve endings on fire. I HAD TO TRY IT!

Ronnie, being the pseudo-adult that he was, tried through his laughter at my excitement over this gadget, to give me the 'be careful', 'handle it gently' speech to me as I flew down the stairs, crashing it into the wall, the banister and assorted relatives on my descent. Ronnie followed closely behind in a vain attempt to protect his new toy.

He allowed me to snap a couple of the very limited number of pictures in the film pack (it had 10, maybe 12 per pack) and as I took each one, a long, strange looking black sheet shot out of the front of the camera. "Hold it by the edges! Don't touch the center! They have to be developed!" Ronnie yelled as he swiftly pulled the undeveloped pictures out of my hand. Then he lined my mother and I up for a quick pic of our matchy matchiness and went upstairs. I ran up the stairs behind him, barely able to contain my excitement.

Ronnie sat at his desk and pulled a black canister out of his Polaroid Camera bag. Then he opened the canister and dumped out what looked like a rolled up pink rag with a plastic handle on one side. He peeled away the top paper that sat on top of each photo, revealing what looked like. . . nothing. There was just a grey box inside the white frame of the picture. Then he took the strange pink rag and dragged it across the face of the photo and instructed me to watch. I stared holes in the picture until finally, the ghost of an image started to appear. I could just make out that it was my mother and I, standing side by side in our maxi dresses. I begged Ronnie to let me do the next one, but he showed unusual restraint and said no.

Not content to just stare at him while he did all the fun stuff, I proceeded to jump on the bed. Higher and higher I jumped, but Ronnie paid no mind. He was focused on the development of his pictures. Bounce, bounce, bounce, I went, with my black Mary Janes all over his bed. Then with a flourish, I attempted my dismount. Unfortunately, I played it too close to the bedpost as it caught my maxi dress and slit it up the back to reveal my yellow underpants. Ronnie barely noticed, but I knew I was in deep trouble.

Feeling the breeze at my behind and knowing that I had to face the music with my mother, I grabbed the picture of my mom and I and I ran downstairs like a flash. Then walking toward my mother, making sure to face forward and not reveal the back of my dress that was waving in the wind like a flag, I presented her with the photo. She oohed and aahed and talked about how bright the colors looked and how pretty our dresses were, then as I side stepped away from her, she caught sight of my hospital gown chic. As expected, she was livid and she gave me the full barrage of what a disaster I was, and how I shouldn't have anything nice and so on. What could I say? I was only seven and she was only right.

That was just the kind of kid I was. Reckless, tom-boyish, always scuffed and disheveled, despite my poor mother's best attempts. And the apple does not fall far from the tree. I spent the last half hour and an hour last night detangling my daughter's hair. After much combing, sleeping with a conditioner pack, and working with detangler spray, we finally got it smooth. And it looked beautiful when she left the house. But I know that when I see her later today, it will be a squirrel's nest of tangles. But I won't get mad. I can't. It's my DNA at work and that's not her fault. Perhaps my daughter and I owe my mom a long overdue spanking. . .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday - A Little Early

You must be thinking, "Geez woman, can't you get anything right? You're always posting this on the wrong day!" But I would answer that question with a blank look and my head tilted to the side like the RCA dog. I don't know from rules. I'm just happy to be within a 24 hour window of the the rule. That's success in my book.

It's time for Post It Note Tuesdays hosted by Supah Mommy. Go over to her place for instructions about how to join the party. Now, on with the early bird show. Hey! Down in front and don't chew your prime rib so loudly . . .

Now it's your turn. . .

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Little Bro

Happy Birthday little Bro.

Even though I probably shouldn't call a man of your advancing years "little bro", you will always be that to me. And while I recognize that you are a successful adult, father, husband and homeowner, you will always be the following things to me:

- The boy with the green toughskin jeans that our mom shrunk to the perfect flood water length, revealing three inches of sock covered ankle.

- The tattletale that outed my every transgression to our mother, which resulted in the "you're older, you should know better" speech.

- The boy with the unruly mop of hair that we could barely get a brush through. Hair that looked like a 70's game show host's if you brushed it really hard and tried to smash it down.

- The kid that never wanted to take a bath, despite your mother's begging and pleading and eventual forcible insertion into the tub.

- The boy that would trade licks off a lollipop with the family dog.

- The foe that faced off against me across the dining room table with no weapons between us but a bowl of fruit*.
*Note to Self: the flesh of ripe Macintosh apples will get stuck in the grooves of the wood paneling if you throw them hard enough.

- The co-conspirator that helped me tie a wire from a neighbor's front door to their rear car door, so that when they left for work in the dark morning hours, we could hear the sound of their aluminum storm door trailing behind their car.

- The little brother that I felt compelled to protect when TJ O'Neill slammed you into the cafeteria wall at lunch. The little turd never knew what hit him when I grabbed him after school and swung him around by the hood of his parka. He never came near you again and he definitely never made eye contact with me again.

And because of these things, or in some cases, in spite of them, you are one of my favorite people on the planet. We share an unusual family history and an even more unusual sense of humor and of course, we share Uncle Ronnie. Nobody will ever understand that dynamic better than you and I.

So today, on your birthday, I honor you with a yellow cake with home made chocolate icing and my undying appreciation for all that we have shared in our lives. It wasn't always easy, but we came through without any major neuroses or gunshot wounds. That in itself is something to celebrate!

Happy Birthday with love,


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Look What Fell Off My Family Tree Fridays

Calling all crazies! I am looking for four guest posters for a feature that I want to run on Fridays in February called "Look What Fell Off My Family Tree, Friday". You've all heard about the exploits and adventures of my crazy Uncle Ronnie. Now it's your turn to share. Do you have a cross dressing grandpa, a flatulent auntie, a brother who sunbathes naked on the front lawn? This is your opportunity to tell your story.

If you want to participate, please leave a comment below which includes the phrase -

'Yes! My family is as nutty as squirrel poo!".

Then send me an e-mail at telling me the following things:

- Relationship of person to you - Uncle, Aunt, Dad, etc.

- Brief statement of "the crazy" - Eats grass or spies on neighbors or thinks she's from Mars

You may know by now that I am not much of a rules person. However, the goal of your post should be funny. Here are the two general guidelines that you should follow:

1) No real names or pictures. Let's protect the crazies, particularly if it involves spying on the neighbors.

2) We're looking for crazy, not criminal. If you have a family member that hurts animals or engages in hate crimes, that is definitely not the brand of crazy that we are looking for.

Since there are four Fridays in February (5, 12, 19, 26), I will take the first four respondents that meet the criteria above. Come on and show us your nuts! Again, no photos.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Uncle Ronnie's Dating Profile

All the while that I have been writing posts about Uncle Ronnie (like this, this and this), I realized I hadn't given you a very good description of his appearance or his interests. OK, we covered the Guns and Ammo portion of his interests, but there is so much more to Ronnie than weaponry. As a means of helping you to know more about him, here is his online dating profile:

Name: Uncle Ronnie

Hair: Q-tip white with buzzed back and sides and eight inches of tasti-whip piled up on top, held in place with a generous shot of Brylcream or Vitalis. Sort of like this (see Setzer, right not the age appropriate dude on the left).

Eyes: Brown with large, signature glasses. Like the ones on this young fella below. I'm not sure what he's been smokin, but he definitely has good taste in glasses.

Age: Born in the 20's. That's all I'm sayin. . .

Physique: A bull of a man. 5' 8" of barrel chested Italian.

Interests: Guns, shooting, target practice, skeet shooting, hunting, bullet making, gun shopping and oh, did I mention guns?

Favorite Movie: If it's not on the History Channel, I'm not interested.

Favorite Food: Sfogliatelle. If you have to ask what it is, you can't hang.

Favorite Music: I have an eight track player in my truck. Has been known to blast a little Eddy Arnold. Are you familiar with "If I Had a Nickel"? That's my jam.

Women: I like them half my age and skilled in dentistry. You never know when a bridge might need fixing.

Please forward all inquiries through my niece, DG. I don't have a computer and I'm not really sure what Online Dating even is.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yes Virginia, There is a School of Rock - Post It Tuesday

When the singer in my son's band told me that she was going to the School of Rock and that she thought he would like it too, I paused for a second to think. There is a School of Rock around here? Nah. She had to be talking about Manhattan. Wow! She has amazing parents to be schlepping her in and out of NYC once a week.

Curious, but never thinking it was a real possibility, I looked it up on the Internet. Surprise, surprise, there were five SOR locations in the NY metro area, one reasonably close to us. So I gave them a call and they told me to bring my son down for a brief skills assessment, which would help them determine which programs he could participate in.

The way SOR works, is each 4 month "semester" of SOR consists of a weekly 45 minute, private lesson on the instrument of your choice and then a 2+ hour rehearsal, leading up to a show. The show ends the semester as a sort of "final exam". There were several shows that my son could choose from this past semester, including; Green Day, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix and Progressive Rock (Yes, Rush, etc). Being that his band mate was in the Green Day show and Green Day is in his pop/punk wheelhouse, it seemed to be the obvious choice for the boy. And we signed him up, just like that.

I'm not gonna lie, the tuition was pricey, but when we figured out the number of hours of instruction that he would get and the opportunity to play with kids of diverse skill levels, it seemed like it would be worth it. The proof would be in the Green Day show, the actual performance for a paying audience (usually held in a bar or other venue equipped to feature musical acts).

The first night that I dropped my son off at SOR, it was like stepping into another world. There were guitar cases everywhere, kids running up and down the stairs to the rehearsal hall, parents and kids sitting around strumming guitars and discussing music and a collection of music teachers and administrators buzzing about, orchestrating. It was chaos, but it was a happy chaos. I knew that the boy would fit right in.

I had read the SOR manifesto and the rules of conduct and was pleased to know that they have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcolol, encourage team work and collaboration and accept kids of all skill levels. From what I could tell from getting my son enrolled, the people that ran the place, were very nice and really seemed to live by their promise of making their school a friendly, non-threatening environment. There weren't any noses in the air (except for one guitar teacher that seemed like a bit of a douche. He wasn't my son's guitar teacher though, so I didn't care).

Fast forward four months to this past weekend and the Green Day show was upon us. The opening act for the Green Day show was something called Rock School 101. This was comprised of beginner musicians aged 7 and under. Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you hear a cherubic seven year old blond girl belt out Paranoid or a pint sized boy in shades singing Rebel Rebel. It was adorable, but more importantly, it was impressive. This was the clear indicator that they knew what they were doing. Then speedily and efficiently they swapped off the little ones and introduced the Green Day show. With a set list of over 20 songs and a cast list of more than that, there were performers swapping in and out with every song. This was done quickly, gracefully and with great efficiency. And the kids were good, the songs were polished and nobody seemed to have even the most remote case of stage fright.

When it was all over, the hubs and I were completely sold on the boy doing another semester with them. However, he is in play tryouts at school and if he gets a part, the rehearsal schedule won't allow time for School of Rock. When I told this to his teacher last night, he seemed genuinely disappointed, but he graciously told the boy that he could sit in on any practice sessions that he wanted to, because he was "part of the family now". And that felt good. I'm thinking summer session.

This is school is a franchise of the actual School of Rock that the movie was based around, but if you ask those associated with the movie, they will tell you that it was not. There was apparently a reality show in the works that went south and the movie popped up shortly after without credit to the school's founder, Paul Green - Excerpt from an article on Digital Nation "If any or all of this scenario sounds familiar to people who’ve seen Richard Linklater’s The School of Rock, it should. Jack Black does a passable imitation of Green, in his scruffy dress and cranky demeanor, and, his curriculum is practically a carbon-copy of the original. Paramount continues to assert that any similarities between the two entities are purely coincidental. Fact is, though, sister-company VH1 had spent some time with Green and his students in 2002, taping material ostensibly intended for a reality-based show. The crew disappeared one day, and Green didn’t smell a rat until publicity material for “The School of Rock” began showing up in theaters and on TV."

Having seen both the movie and the real School of Rock, it's pretty ballsy that Paramount wouldn't fess up about the inspiration for their movie.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Painting With Uncle Ronnie

My dad likes to say that "Ronnie thinks paint is structural", because whenever anything gets old, worn and dilapidated, Ronnie slaps it with a coat of paint and to him, it's as good as new. I'll give you an example; Ronnie has an ancient wood ladder that is probably older than he is. The thing was handed down from his father and is probably circa 1923. For all I know, it came through Ellis Island with my grandfather. This ladder has seen plenty of use over the years and the underlying wood is worn to the circumference of a matchstick. But thanks to the magical restorative powers of paint (a mere 77 coats over 88 years), the rungs now bear resemblance to tree branches in thickness and texture. To think that 1.5 inches of paint is going to hold 195 lbs of barrel chested Italian is either the definition of faith or the definition of crazy.

And it's not just that he will paint over rotted pipes and crumbling stucco without thought of repairing the surface first, it's that he does it in the most heinous rainbow of colors that you can imagine. You see, Ronnie buys his paint in bulk. Five gallon tubs of gloss white to be precise. Then he uses paint dyes to mix his own colors. Let's just say he's no Martha Stewart with his custom color mixing. Where Martha's colors are all 'Robin's Egg Blue' and 'Braised Celery', Ronnie's colors are 'Holy Shit! What Threw Up In Here Green' and 'Bile Duct Yellow'.

Back in the early 90's, the hubs and I bought our first house, a tiny, little 600 square foot cottage on a half an acre of land at the end of a culdesac. The tiny house was nestled on two lots of land that sat side by side , so there was a big, open space surrounding the itty bitty house. As you drove into the culdesac toward our house, it looked like a child's play house sitting in an open field. We painted our little doll house a tasteful shade of blue grey and tried very hard to make it liveable and charming, as it was pretty cramped quarters and storage/closet space was minimal.

One Saturday, as I was returning from a morning of errands and food shopping, I noticed something odd as I came up the block. Something looked wrong about the outside of my little dollhouse. The side of the house that was visible when coming up the block into the culdesac was the side where the 250 gallon oil tank sat. It was right up against the side of the house, under the kitchen window. But on this day, it looked different upon approach. I'd dare say it looked downright angry. As a matter of fact, it looked like my little doll house had grown an enormous and highly agitated pimple on the side of its face. This was because, while I was out shopping and picking up dry cleaning, Uncle Ronnie had shown up at my house and painted the 250 gallon oil tank a hideous shade of school bus yellow. We're not talking Tan or Dijon or Mustard. We're talking all it needed was a bus driver and two dozen screaming kids that won't stay in their seats, school bus yellow.

I pulled into the driveway with my mouth agape. As a matter of fact, my mouth hung open as I walked up the front walk and over to the side of the house, where Ronnie was blissfully painting away. Ronnie turned to me and proudly announced that there was a leak at the bottom of the tank and that a good coat of paint should take care of it.

I grabbed my chin and forced my mouth closed. I needed to pause for a moment, because if I answered within the context of my initial emotional response to what was sitting in front of me, I'd end up insulting him. So I forced a smile, said "great" and did what any new bride would do, I cried to and then yelled at my husband who had absolutely NO IDEA that Ronnie was outside painting our oil tank. It was a total ninja paint job.

When he was all done, we had him in for a glass of iced tea and some cookies and then he took off on his merry way. And I didn't touch the school bus yellow oil tank for a couple of weeks. Finally, after I started to develop a twitch in my eye, I painted it the same blue grey as the house and its angry skin condition faded away.

When he came back a few weeks later I was very nervous about what he would think of the fact that I painted over his flaming yellow monstrosity. But he wasn't upset at all. Instead, he seemed relieved. Relieved because he did not feel like the two coats of yellow that he had put on had been enough to seal off the leak and he had spent the past two weeks worrying about it. Knowing that I had added an additional two coats put his mind at ease. Now that pesky leak won't return. You know what? It never did.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What I Meant to Say Wednesday - Hosted by Chief

Welcome to What I Meant to Say Wednesday, hosted by Chief at Hiding From the Kids.

I am a master of politically correct speech. I could actually write a book on all the nicey, nicey, spare that person's feelings and don't wind up in HR bullshit that I spew on a daily basis. I apologize for going cheap on you with this one, but in the interest of time, I am providing only one entry for today:

QA Tester: When I said perhaps you should enlist the assistance of your manager to escalate the requirement to have the process that you need run put on a regular, daily schedule.

What I Meant To Say Was:
Listen pal, I am not your hand maiden. Nowhere in my job description does it say ass monkey for QA. You do your friggin job and I'll do mine.

There, I feel better. Thanks Chief.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An On-Time Post it Note Tuesday

OK y'all. It's time to stick it to it! Go over and visit Supah Mommy if you want to play.

That's it for today. Be sure to visit Supah Mommy if you want to play along.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Music to Bake Cookies By

What is the soundtrack of your life in the kitchen? Do you make marinara to Puccini? Creme brulee to Edith Piaf? Slow smoke some Texas Barbecue to Waylon Jennings? Not me. I do most of my cooking and baking on the weekends, which means that I am serenaded by the pop-punk stylings of my son's band. For me, the smell of buttery, freshly baked cookies is a sense memory associated with Blink 182 and Green Day.

Today I decided that I was in the mood for soft, chewy M&M cookies because I had a gorgeous block of Irish Butter that was just pleading to be baked with (Pretty sure it pleaded with a brogue). So I searched around and found a recipe on Martha Stewart.Com. A quick review of the recipe showed a promising ratio of brown to white sugar and a healthy shot of vanilla, which really appealed to me. It being a Martha Stewart recipe, did not appeal to me, however.

I know, I know. She's supremely talented and she is a successful woman who has built an empire on the strength of her own sweat and hard work. I'm all about credit where credit is due. However, there are things about her that read false. For example, her Larchmont Lockjaw accent. She's a Jersey girl. Nutley New Jersey to be precise, which is about as far from the tony Connecticut coast where she landed as a married woman as it is from Beirut. Under that affected accent and WASPy exterior beats the heart of a spray tanned, Bumpit wearing Snookie. If Martha would do more to acknowledge her humble beginnings and defrost some of that adopted Connecticut iciness, I might respect her more. But I digress. . .




Despite my personal misgivings about Martha herself, I went ahead and made her recipe. Good thing I did because they deliver on their promise of a soft and chewy cookie and the taste of the Irish butter was not lost in the mix. I chose to substitute Valentines M&Ms for half the chocolate chips (because I'm festive like that) and the results were quite fab.

So what was today's cookie sense memory song? I have attached it below. This will stay in my head for the rest of the week until next week's band practice knocks it out with something else. God forbid I walk past a Mrs Fields and get a whiff of cookie goodness, I will end up humming and whistling it for the rest of the day. Something tells me that this NEVER happens to Martha Stewart.

I must admit, I LOVE this song and the kids do a pretty amazing cover of it. It sounds like cookies, no? OK maybe not.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Your Auntie Wants to Know About You

It's interview time with Aunt Becky over at Mommy Wants Vodka. If you haven't already done so, go check her out and you too can answer her 10 interview questions on your blog. It's good clean fun and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card in the process.
My answers to Aunt Becky's questions are in red.

1) Dave and I have a long-standing feud over cheese in a can. He thinks it’s food of The Gods while I think it’s probably Of The Devil. Your take?
I am fairly sure that it is the ass *Carvel of the devil.

* For those of you not from the northeast, Carvel is a famous brand of soft serve ice cream.

2) Is there any way you can think of to make the elder Gosselins go away? I AM ALL EARS.
Tell them there is a photo op down at the Walmart then Napalm the pant loads.

3) Who is your ridiculous “I can’t admit this to anyone in polite company lest I be banned from life” crush?
What is more ridiculous than a the crush itself is that I don't have one. Nobody. Nada. Don't give a rats ass. I might be dead. I dunno.

4) If you could fuck it all and pursue your dream (assuming, of course, you were going to be GOOD at it), what would that dream be?
Trust fund baby with a conscience.

5) They say “living well is the best revenge.” I think they are wrong. Do you?
I am stumped by this question. Forrest Gump? Party of one. Forrest Gump?

6) What is the most humiliation you’ve experienced in public that you’d be willing to admit to The Internet?
Falling down in the middle of Times Square and having the contents of my purse and my cell phone fly in opposite directions. People walked over me like road kill. It was heinous.

7) Are you honest with The Internet? Like, if I came over to your house tonight (heh)(I’m coming over, yo)(heh) would I be surprised at who I found?

You might be surprised by how much mess two seemingly mature looking children can make. You'd think I lived with a marauding band of four year olds the way my house looks right now.

8 ) If you could have one talent that you don’t currently possess, what would it be?
Mathematical aptitude or ability to play the pan flute. Tough call.

9) There’s not always room for Jello. Is there?
Hell to the mother effin no! Especially if it is green. That is just nasty and unnecessary.
10) What’s your guiltiest of the guilty pleasures?
Crap TV. It's like mother's milk to me. The trashier the better. It's like junk food for the brain.
Well, thanks Aunt Becky. That was fun. Now it's your turn peoples. Give it a whirl. Overall, it was easier than answering question 5.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday (or something)

It's time for Post It Note Tuesday, hosted by SupahMommy! What? It's Wednesday? Well, the person who writes this blog is obviously a lazy slacker. On with the show, even if the curtain goes up 24 hours late.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No Pioneer Woman, I

I'm going to let you in on a little secret - I used to want to be a food blogger. If you have been reading over the past year, you have probably figured out that this did not happen. The reason for this was multi threaded:

Problem 1 - Food bloggers need to be excellent photographers. You can make the most magnificent meal, but if you do not style it, light it and photograph it appealingly, it might as well be a pile of crap. I baked and photographed a number of dishes and uploaded them to some food p0rn rating sites. They never made the cut, mostly due to photography and food styling issues.

Problem 2 - Food blogging is time and labor intensive. In order to post three times a week, I would have to cook and photograph late into the evening on work nights. With a full time job, an hour and a half of commuting each day along with my basic need to cook regular meals and spend some time with my family, there were just not enough hours in a day to accomplish this.

Problem 3 - I'm verbose. Not content to just write a recipe and post a picture, I want to write about it, what it makes me feel, what was happening in my life, the story behind the dish. Again, time consuming and this would have made for really long posts that could be daunting for the reader.

I can honestly say that my inability to make this happen took a little of the wind out of my sails. I lost some of my culinary mojo and confidence for a while. I really felt defeated. However, that was short lived as I am too stupidly optomistic to let it hold me back and I am happy to report that I am starting to get my foodie groove back. But the real bright spot in all of this was, like a gift that I wasn't expecting to get, I ended up with the Diary of a Mad Bathroom.

I am thinking about all of this because January 11 marks my one year anniversary (blogiversary in bloggy parlance) and at this marker in my blogging history, it is clear to me that what began as failure and disappointment became a positive force in my life. It is a clear example of the lemons/lemonade metaphor. It is what I would call a happy failure.

And as if to prove that my culinary mojo is back, this weekend I had a stunningly delicious Caprese salad with pesto and oven roasted tomatoes at a great NY city restaurant and I replicated the taste of that dish the very next day, including every last subtle note of tomato sweetness and pesto richness. So who cares if I can't take its picture? I can still eat the damn thing, and I can write about the experience, and there is so much more joy in that for me than any picture could ever give.

Friday, January 1, 2010

No Resolutions Here

I know that I'm supposed to do a New Year's post, where I talk about my resolutions or how thankful I am for all the good stuff in my life, etc. But I try very hard to examine my crappiness all year long and see opportunity for improvement all along the way. Let's face it, if I only tried to correct my bad behavior once a year, my kids would be slipping me their Christmas lists under the Plexiglas divider in county lock-up.

So what can I do to kick off the new decade in Diary style and show that I am caring, sharing and completely bereft of ideas? A top five list. Being that I am too lazy to do a top ten list, I am going to share with you, my top five whatevers of this decade - music, TV, ad nauseum, ad infinitum (well, not really, I'm only going up to 5).

1) Teen Girl Squad 0n - I was introduced to this online cartoon when I wanted to check up on what my son was watching a few years back. This is such a sharp satire of High School politics, I almost thought it was over his head. The episodes get better as they go up in number. Unfortunately, they stopped at episode 14 and I am very, very sad. Don't forget to look for the Easter egg at the end of the cartoon. Most have it.

2) Anchorman - If there is one movie from this decade that I have watched entirely too many times, it's Anchorman. The whole Sex Panther scene never gets old. "It has bits of real panther, so you know it's good."

3) Spectacle - Elvis Costello with . . . This one's a bit of a no-brainer for me, as I am obsessed with Elvis Costello. When I initially heard of this project, I wondered what kind of interviewer he was going to be. It was hard to wrap my head around the concept, but it has been fascinating to watch him. It points out that even in the blinding glow of his own awesomeness, he is a true fan of music and is awestruck by the work of others in the same manner that I am awestruck by him.

4) The Boy From Oz - This was without a doubt, the best Broadway performance that I have ever seen. Hugh Jackman somehow managed to make Peter Allen sexy. He got the Tony because he earned the Tony.

5) Glee - For a self-confessed Broadway nerd like myself, a show like Glee is a fabulous, show tuney gift, all wrapped up in glitter with a giant bow on top. Add Jane Lynch to the mix and it's fabulosity goes off the charts. Her Sue Sylvester is so deliciously evil, that I can't recall a single television villain that can come remotely close.

Well, that's it. That's all my lazy ass can muster this Friday morning. I am going spend the rest of the afternoon reveling in the sloth that is New Years day. I might read a book, I might watch TV, or I might just go back to bed. That's what this day is all about. And despite only giving you a top five list, I still earned that sloth, so I am off to revel in it unapologetically. I hope you do the same.

Happy New Year all!!!