Saturday, October 31, 2009


John Mayer as (sadly) John Mayer

Happy Halloween. Or not. Ours was such a bust I don't even have an adorable photo of my children to share with you. Oh, they looked adorable alright. When they weren't screaming their heads off. I knew enough to know that my quirky kids would not put on costumes. No way. So I bought them cute little Halloween-themed outfits. Too bad nobody got to see them. There was a party Thursday night in our temporary high-rise building which has a (rather depressing) "party" room. I got them decked out in their new outfits with plastic pumpkins in hand and announced, "Let's go to a party to see some kids!" I said this very enthusiastically thinking my attitude might be catching.

"No party! No party! No kids! Too many kids! WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"

I wish they got the "no party" mentality from me. It would have made my college years a whole lot more productive. And some day I might come to appreciate their anti-party stance. Like when I'm paying their college tuition. But right now, when I actually like to socialize with other human beings (if only so I can complain about them later), it's annoying.

Not one to give up that easily when festivities are involved, we dragged them to another event on Halloween day where there was a petting zoo and other things kids are supposed to like. Unfortunately a woman dressed like Cruella De Vil greeted us and shrilly screamed "Twins!" to which they responded by screaming bloody murder which makes me think the girls should show up for a casting call for Halloween 45 or whatever number they are currently filming. We had to leave within two minutes.

There was also a party across the street we were invited to. Maybe they'll be in a better mood when they get up from their nap, I thought hopefully. When they woke up I asked nicely, "Want to go to a party across the street with kids from the neighborhood?"

"No party! No kids! Home! Home! Home!"

So at home we sat and watched a Halloween-themed Caillou, a riveting episode where Caillou can't decide what to dress up as. A real cliffhanger. And don't even ask me what happened when costumed children rang our bell and yelled "Trick or treat!" at the top of their lungs. I guess I should have expected this. If my kids don't like people in general, they're not going to like people dressed up like other people or worse.

PS -- With no photos of my children to share, I decided this post should be accompanied by the scariest image I could find.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Introducing a Fragrance By ... Naomi Campbell?

It would never occur to me that I'd like to smell like Naomi Campbell. Isn't she the person who said she doesn't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day? People smell when they don't get out of bed all day. That is, they smell bad. So if people are dying for that smell I'd be happy to package that shit up and sell it to them. For probably a lot less than Naomi is hocking it for. I don't know what her version is called but I think I'd just cut to the chase and call it "Smelly."

Also, do you want to smell like someone who assaults her employees, spits on people at the airport and has snogged this guy? Umm, I'll stick with my own aromatic scent. It's free.

Well, news has it she is screwing people out of money on this ill-conceived perfume deal. Be happy you got off easy, folks! At least she didn't cut you with a bejeweled Blackberry necessitating you get stitches.

On a somewhat related note, I like this song. True Blood used it perfectly at the end of a show last season and it made me happy for like 12 minutes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Celebrity Jackass

You know what I haven't spent nearly enough time doing lately? I'll give you a hint -- it's really really really important. No, not exercising. No, not reading to my children. No, not seeing a shrink. ALRIGHT ALREADY. I'll tell you: I haven't spent nearly enough time making fun of celebrities. If anyone deserves to be made fun of -- even more than my husband and children -- it's the animal that is a celebrity. (Except, and I think this goes without saying, Daniel Craig.)

And not the usual suspects like Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton or John Mayer (although I DO love to mock my John Mayer)... It's more satisfying to discover that famous people you thought might be kind of normal are complete pretentious nut balls. Nothing pleases me more, frankly.

Which brings me to Julianne Moore. Seems normal, right? Might be a nice gal who if you saw her out shopping she might quietly smile in your direction acknowledging that she knows that you know who she is but she's not being all tight-assed about it. Well, my friends, did you read the interview with her in the November issue of Elle magazine? If not, let me enlighten you with a particularly insightful excerpt:

Does Moore ever worry about being overexposed? "Are you asking me about being naked? Because I don't think that's a very interesting question," she says, her easy manner turning momentarily crisp. "What I want to do in my work is explore the human condition in all its aspects ... blah blah blah..."

I tell you what, Red. When YOU are the interviewer and WE are the interviewee maybe you can decide what questions you find interesting. Until then, STFU and answer the question. And might I suggest social work or the Peace Corps if your goal is to truly "explore the human condition in all its aspects."

Listen, maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe the interviewer was getting on her nerves. Maybe she just had a fight with her husband. Or maybe she just saw a photo of herself in an unflattering dress with a giant bow on it. I suppose I could give her the benefit of the doubt. But I don't think I will. That's just not the kind of person I am. If I start giving celebrities the benefit of the doubt I might extend that courtesy to the real people in my life and next thing you know my karma will start improving, I'll start exuding goodness and then my whole personality will go out the window. And people might start to like me. I'm not comfortable with that.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Homeward Bound

This week we will bid our "downtown lifestyle" adieu and move back to our little neighborhood north of downtown where we will resume our "north of downtown lifestyle." I didn't make up the term "downtown lifestyle." I'm not sure what it means but every advertisement for a condo downtown talks about the "downtown lifestyle" so it must be some very drastic lifestyle change that nobody told me about. Maybe it involves yoga or spouse-swapping or similar.

Anyway, I think what I'll miss the most is this big-ass statue we pass every day on Michigan Avenue as we walk to the park. I mean, have you ever seen anything so heinous beautiful? I don't think this statue at all reinforces the myth that the real cosmopolitan types move to NY and that only corn-fed, tooth-pickin' folksy Midwesterners live in Chicago. I used to work in the building behind this abomination before it was erected. Thank God I timed my resignation correctly! Imagine having a crappy day at work and you're greeted every day at 5 pm with the saggy butts of two 80-year-olds?

Yes, I know it's a famous painting and the Tribune did some mind-numbing important article about its cultural significance but I'm pretty sure even the painter didn't anticipate someone would build a 12-story version of his creation, manifesting it into King Kong-esque octogenarians who at any moment might come to life and stomp innocent Chicago civilians and tourists to death. I sometimes picture Naomi Watts dangling helplessly from the old man's pitchfork while waiting for Jack Black to save her.

I will also miss the guy in the red convertible Porsche who drives around with the top down with no regard for the weather and a bumper sticker that says "Bad boys drive bad toys." I had the opportunity to be driving behind him recently and cut off a cab so I could pull up to the light next to him and conjure up the best stink eye I could muster. I think he thought I was hitting on him. Because I always bring along two toddlers when I drive around trolling for men in the city.

Farewell, I'll write again soon while I my husband unpacks boxes.

PS -- I realize I've gone a bit strike-through-text crazy. I figured out an easy way to do it so I can't help myself. I'll get over it never soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Crib Climber

"See what you made Mommy do???"

One of the girls has figured out how to get out of the pack and play, which they are in since we have been temporarily exiled from our home. They were excellent nappers until she discovered instead of sleeping she could jump on the bed, tear clothes out of drawers and press her face into the mesh of her sister's pack and play in a gleeful goading manner that seems to say, "I can get out and you can't -- BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I feel like I'm starring in the toddler version of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and I'm the evil principal.

Luckily (like Jennifer Grey who plays Ferris' sister) the other twin is pissed at this development and screams "Out! Out! Out!" like the good tattle-taler I always hoped to raise. (Actually, I think she's yelling that she also wants to get out and can't, but let me fantasize that she is offended by this blatant act of rule-breaking, thus the outbursts.)

I went into their room FOURTEEN times over an almost-three-hour period before she finally was too exhausted to hoist herself out. Every time I burst in the room, she would react differently. One time she pretended she was asleep on the floor. Another she put her hands over her face like she was playing peek-a-boo. Next she hid behind a chair. My favorite was when she continued jumping on the bed singing the Caillou song ("Caillou -- that's me!") as though bouncing around on a queen size bed at naptime is perfectly normal.

We move back to our house next week where plummeting a few feet onto a hardwood floor from the crib might stop this nonsense. Or it might necessitate a trip to the emergency room. So crib tents have been ordered (overnight delivery) and they will be set up before we move back. Boy, will they be pissed! Another bonus -- they can't toss their pacis out. (YES THEY ARE STILL ON A BOTTLE AND USE PACIS. SHOVE IT.)

In the meantime, I'll consider pacing back and forth to their room repeatedly my exercise.

PS -- RE: Caillou. Yes, I know you all warned me. But they had already had a taste of that little bald f#$% so it was too late. I have so many questions about Caillou. Why is that mother always so cheery -- does she not know she has two children under the age of four? Why does the grandmother look so much older than the grandfather? Does Ms. Martin have sex? Why does the mother wear the same thing every day? (I do too but I'm not on television.) Why does every adult female wear a headband? A constant stream of questions go through my head as we watch Caillou. One I'm especially not proud of: "What if that fire engine lost control and smooshed Caillou?"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Girls Weekend

There's nothing a bottle of milk and Caillou can't cure.

I'm sitting here eating croutons (fat-free parmesan ranch if you must know) right out of the bag for dinner. My husband, the cook of the family, is at our house trying to unpack so we can move back there. (I'm trying to get into the spirit of Facebook where everyone shares what they're eating and doing in real time...)

Anyway, so this upcoming weekend I was supposed to go on a girls weekend with my best friend from high school (she rescued me from certain obscurity when I moved in the middle of 10th grade) and several of her college friends who I came to know and be close to as well. Then I got an e-mail last Wednesday with the title "Last Minute Planning." The gal hosting the extravaganza is Type A so I chalked it up to "last minute to her probably IS ten days in advance." Then I got a call from my friend saying "See you Friday!" And then it clicked. I had the wrong weekend. My flights were for the weekend of October 23 but this shit was going off the weekend of October 16. With or without me.

Last year I had to cancel because my daughters sensed I was doing something for myself and willed themselves ear infections. I couldn't very well cancel again this year and call and say, "Umm, right! You know how you've been planning this for months? Well, I got the date wrong biatches! Have fun without me." So thank you Southwest Airlines! No questions asked or fees incurred, they switched my flights and I even had one of those annoying delightful singing flight attendants to boot.

And, always one to take a lesson away from life's adventures, here's what I learned:
  • All husbands suck are challenging. This is either very depressing or very liberating depending on how you look at it. (Actually, I learned other husbands don't work full time plus pay the bills, clean the house, cook the food and generally serve as a butler so I came back a bit more appreciative. But don't tell my husband that).
  • These women actually know somebody who poisoned her husband's breakfast with cyanide and killed him. My first question: "What did he do to make her kill him?" Second was what she put the cyanide in. Apparently orange juice or an omelet or a combination thereof.
  • Five women should not commandeer a boat to dinner when those five women know very little about boats but a lot about wine.
  • Southwest Airlines doesn't consider an obese man doused with a poisonous level of cheap cologne a domestic terrorist.
  • My girls can survive 48 hours without me.
  • My husband can survive for 48 hours without me.
  • My girls don't make my husband sit and watch Calliou with them while they drink their night-time bottle like he's a prisoner in a war camp where they punish inmates with children's television. (It's a good idea... incarceration officials should try it and see if the incidence of repeat offenders plummets.)
  • I need to spend more time with friends.
Next year's girls weekend is only 359 days away but who's counting...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Making Work Pay

I taught a class one night last week about transitioning into a public relations career. The fact I am transitioning OUT of a public relations career is, evidently, irrelevant. It's one of those things I agreed to months in advance and then when the date actually arrives I want to shoot myself or something similarly deadly for agreeing to it in the first place. I'm more likely to be excited about teaching a class about hosting a blog that only about 12 people read, one of whom is my mother and probably just because she feels obligated. But, let's face it, nobody is going to let me teach a course called "Write a Blog Nobody Reads" although I think the title alone might be intriguing to certain underachieving, self-loathing writer types.

Regardless, at the risk of generating serious envy, I'd like to share with you the financial details of my lucrative teaching endeavor:

Payment for my services: +$300

Cupcakes from upscale bakery to buy students' affection and goodwill: -$45

Cab to and from class: -$38

Manicure (one can't have credibility with one's students when one's cuticles are bloody stumps): -$15

Pedicure (who gets a manicure without a pedicure?): -$25

New lipstick to make me look professional (or like
a harlot depending on your point of view): -$16

Copies of my presentation since I am currently without a printer: -$17

Two McDonalds cheeseburgers with fries and Diet Coke (the #2 Meal Deal if you will, not Supersized but I thought about it) because I wouldn't be home for dinner and because it's what I would choose for my last meal if I were going to a death sentence which I felt I was: -$3.36

Large (venti? grande?) Starbucks skinny vanilla latte because
I was tired and the class lasted til 10 pm which is two hours past my bedtime: -$4.10

Uncle Sam's portion: -$120

PLUS, of course I needed a new outfit because I can't stand in front of a
bunch of judgmental people way younger than I looking like a fuddy duddy now can I?

So let's add a $415 JCrew expenditure to the list.

In summary, I spent $703.46 to make $300. That class cost me $403.46.

So as I keep telling my husband -- my working does in fact not pay. I,
frankly, CAN'T AFFORD to work.

PS -- Feel free to borrow this rationale if your spouse is currently hinting
you may want to consider getting a job. Get a job? Well, I'd love to!
But we simply can't afford it...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Things to Ask Yourself Before Posting on Facebook

People, this thing called Facebook is really a fascinating study in the human psyche. I think the American Psychologist Association could garner some compelling research to determine our population's mental well-being. Which is to say I think we've all gone bat-shit crazy.

And because I'm here to stop the crazy (although truth be told I'm a big fan of crazy), following are some things I suggest you ask yourself before posting on Facebook:
  • Am I sober or am I under the influence of a substance known to impair one's ability to determine who one should be friends with? Have the Facebook founders considered a breathalyzer that hooks up directly to the login page? Sort of like that apparatus attached to a DUI convict's ignition?
  • Would my own mother be interested in the piece of information I am about to post? My mother is pretty interested in my life, but even she couldn't care less what I had for breakfast.
  • Am I generally a boring person who nobody listens to? Just because you're posting doesn't mean people are suddenly interested.
  • Would I speak the comment I'm about to make out loud or call my best friend to share this piece of information with her? I don't know about you, but if I called my best friend to announce I just ate a bagel, she'd hang up on me.
  • Speaking of posting what you had for breakfast, unless it's this: Twelve Bloody Mary's and a box of nails, NOBODY CARES. Trying to kill yourself before work? Okay, I'll bite. A blueberry muffin and coffee? I might kill you myself.
  • Are my virtual friends interested in what level I've reached in Mafia Wars, whatever that god-awful game is? No, we don't -- and I've had your updates blocked to prove it. If I knew Tony Soprano I'd pay him to visit your house with a baseball bat, perhaps alleviating your obsession with the mafia.
  • Do my friends look like ass in the pictures I am about to post? Will they spend the rest of their workday untagging themselves which might somehow negatively affect the gross national product, worsening the economy which is already in a recession?
I think Facebook is like makeup: Less is more. Sure, share when you do something noteworthy. (Example: You just stormed the set of the new James Bond film to grab Daniel Craig's ass and you are writing from the clink to report his buttocks is indeed as firm as it appears.) But don't share every little detail of minutia that is your life. (Example: I am currently putting on my sneakers.)

Or maybe I'm missing the point of Facebook. Maybe everyone really does want to know what everyone else is doing every second of every day. Maybe it's just me. That's entirely possible. Okay, so I'm going to place some raisin bread in the toaster now... Then I plan to butter it. And I may even eat it after that... Hmmm, sharing that was oddly satisfying.

PS -- I'll be over my fascination with making fun of Facebook soon... I promise. Also, (okay I'm not over it yet) why has nobody "poked" me? Should I be insulted? Because my virtual poking somewhat mimics my real life poking and that is concerning.

PSS -- I just taught a PR class (yes, I know, who would pay me to do such a thing) and the young kids there assured me THEY DO want to know what their friends are doing and eating and thinking every single second of every single day. So it IS just me. Carry on, people. Update us with your mundane up-to-the-second goings on. I'm just old and don't get it. I'm like that guy who when e-mail was invented still made his "secretary" print out every e-mail he received.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Issues I Don't Want to Hear About Ever Again

For the love of all things holy, I'd live a more peaceful existence if I never had to hear ever again about the following:
  • Why, how, who or what drug is responsible for Anna Nicole Smith's death.
  • Ditto Michael Jackson.
  • Who David Letterman is screwing.
  • Who Jimmy Kimmel is screwing.
  • Who any late night talk show host (unless Daniel Craig becomes one) is screwing.
  • Why Chicago didn't get the Olympics (ask Forbes) and how this adds to Chicagoans (nonexistent) inferiority complex about being the "second city" blah blah blah.
  • Why Jennifer Aniston can't keep a man.
  • Why Megan Fox can.
  • Brangelina's latest pregnancy / adoption rumor.
  • Whether Heidi Montag and that Spencer loser plan to have eight children and how their sex life is faring. (Dear god please no. Plus, does he actually have a penis?)
  • Anyone associated with Lauren Conrad, people attached to the Gossip Girl and Ashley Simpson.
  • The death of Jessica Simpson's dog.
  • Jessica Simpson's weight issues / boob size / man troubles.
  • Rachel Zoe (does it rhyme with Joe or Joey?)
  • Anyone who Rachel Zoe(y?) dresses.
  • Whether Miley Cyrus is going to continue to "tweet." Oh! Do continue to regale the world with your esoteric thoughts, Miley! Sadly, no. (If you do yourself one favor today, click on the Miley link. It's a treat, I promise.)
  • The demise of Lindsey Lohan and her odd stalking of that DJ chick.
  • Anyone with the last name Lohan. Except maybe Dina.

  • Who took whose money out of the Gosselin joint checking account.
  • Who Jon is screwing.
  • Who Kate isn't screwing.
  • Who anybody is screwing (except Daniel Craig).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paging Al Gore

It's already reached temperatures not fit for the human population here in Chicago and we had to make an emergency run for new winter coats earlier than expected. I don't know about you, but I'm not convinced global warming would be a bad thing. Why don't all of us deserve San Diego-like weather? Did you see March of the Penguins? Those poor creatures were freezing their emperor asses off and could perhaps use a bit more balmy weather. Maybe the males could do more enjoyable things (like eat) rather than sit on an egg for months if it was a bit less frigid. Then again, maybe that's why they mate for life. It's too damn cold to go trolling for sex. Similarly, has anyone actually asked the polar bears their optimal temperature preference or are we just guessing they like it that bitter? Which begs the question: Does Al Gore even speak polar bear?*

Regardless, I'm already running out of indoor activities to entertain the girls. Witness Exhibit A: them running around the parking lot vandalizing cars in our temporary building, the staff of which is counting down the days until we vacate the premises:

(Sorry no musical accompaniment this time. Hum "Life is a Highway" amongst yourselves.)

For those wondering if this is dangerous, perhaps. But keeping my kids inside with nothing to do but watch Caillou (dear God who is responsible for creating that bald miserable little monster?) is far more dangerous. For me. Yes, yes, I know there are lots of safe indoor activities for children in Chicago. I've done them all in the last two weeks: Children's Museum, Fantasy Kingdom, Day Frog, Pump It Up, Chicago Park District crap, Baby Bulldogs and the list goes on. If it exists and charges money, we've been there.

Oh, except Room2Play which is on my shit list. We drove there on Thursday -- AFTER CONFIRMING THEIR OPEN PLAY HOURS AND ADDRESS ON THEIR WEB SITE -- to find a large sign informing us they've moved. Their web site forgot to mention this minor detail. So I drive to the new address and they are not open. I call the number listed and the recording says they will reopen this week. This handy information would have been appreciated BEFORE I drove all over the Chicago metro area looking for a place for two screaming toddlers to play for $12 a pop. Of course I'm desperate for indoor activities that aren't spelled C-A-I-L-L-O-U (if that is indeed how you spell it) so I won't protest Room2Play or withhold my business. I'll just talk about them relentlessly behind their backs. Feel free to prank them. Or Twitter meanly about them which I suppose is this generation's answer to prank calls.

*Dear Environmental Enthusiasts, I am kidding. I am very concerned about global warming, as are you. Just yesterday when asked if I wanted paper or plastic I tried desperately to remember which was the politically correct answer and answered "Paper! No plastic! Wait, which am I supposed to want?" I also shop sometimes at Whole Foods. They sell organic food. Don't send me hate mail.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Top Ten Observations About Facebook

10) Some people are under the delusion that their "friends" (and I used that term very loosely) care about what their whereabouts at all times:
  • 8:02 am -- leaving for work!
  • 8:04 am -- waiting for bus!
  • 8:07 am -- bus late! =-(
  • 8:10 am -- here it comes! Gosh darn CTA! =-)
  • 8:15 am -- chilly on the bus; turn on heat bus driver!
  • 8:45 am -- just got to my cube, going to get a cup of joe!
Note to you people: It's only 8:46 am and your entire network of cyber friends want to shoot themselves right in the head. The worst thing Facebook did was allow members to update via mobile devices. This application allows those of you who have no impulse control to pester the rest of us who do.

9) The term "friends" is probably the wrong word chosen by the Facebook powers that be. Associates? Acquaintances? Passersby? Guy Whom I Met Once That If I Saw At A Party I'd Run The Other Way?

8) Facebook can't be good for the single person's dating life. I mean, you tell the guy you're casually dating that you're going out with your girlfriends and then the other guy you're dating has a friend who posts a photo of you (AND TAGS YOU!!) for everyone to see including the guy you're casually seeing who thinks you were out with your girlfriends. Busted.

7) I just received a friend request from a guy with whom I've never spoken or seen but sent my resume to and he never replied. Friends? Oh, sir, I think not! But I accepted him anyway because that's how I roll. Like a chicken.

6) What's with the thumbs-up sign where you can say you "like something." I'm more apt to go ape-shit with a thumbs down sign on the crap I don't like but the friendly Facebook folks don't seem to provide that option. People seem to give the virtual thumbs-up sign with wild abandon. I will have to really really really like something to give you the thumbs up sign. Like "Just saw Daniel Craig streaking past my house."

5) Notice about 99.999% of comments people make on other people's wall should really just be a private e-mail just between the two of them? Why do I need to know so-and-so is looking forward to having dinner with so-and-so and then another follow-up note where so-and-so tells so-and-so that they in fact had a lovely time at dinner? I DON'T CARE. Unless I'm invited to that dinner and you're paying. But apparently some people do care, because I've seen the "I like it" thumbs-up sign crop up after such posts. Don't encourage these people, people!

4) I'd like to apologize publicly to Andy Fenebock. Andy, I don't know who you are. And judging by the fact that my friend request to you is hanging out in friend limbo, you also don't know who I am. I don't know why I sent you a friend request. Because I have never heard of you. It was an accident. (Lesson: Don't Facebook -- a verb -- while drinking wine.) Hit "ignore" and move on, Andy.

3) You really find out on Facebook the folks who have too much time on their hands. Let's help them out and unwittingly sign them up for charity work in their respective communities. But something tells me these people will then take photos with their phones of their charity work and post it throughout the day. "Look at me feeding the hungry!" "Here I am sorting through donated children's clothes!" "This is me with the charity organizer's gun to my head because I won't stop taking photos and posting them!"

2) I think the high unemployment rate might be directly correlated to Facebook. Would you hire anyone you see in these photos? You interview a nice buttoned-up looking fellow for a handsomely paid position and then you Google him and see him doing the macarena with strippers as they lick tequila shots off his bare chest.

1) I hate to say it, but I am loving Facebook. You know why? Because people are strange.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Harmful Television Watching

I am in the market for a new television show for my children as Dora is getting really old. For me. Oh, the girls could watch Dora til the cows came home (and in one episode they did) but I'm getting really tired of watching the same exact storyline with slightly different characters inserted. The Dora production staffers are comprised of the laziest writers since possibly Three's Company. Although I did like Mrs. Roper... Dora and Boots save (insert baby creature) and bring him back to his (insert Mommy creature) and along the way Swiper tries to steal something from them, making the tragedy of a baby being separated from its mommy even more horrific. Although yesterday we saw one with a slightly different theme where a scary witch casts a spell on Boots rendering him comatose and Dora must become a "True Princess" to save him from eternal slumber.

"Boots Night Night!" "Boots Night Night!" my children screamed throughout the entire FIVE HOUR half hour program. That's it, I said to myself, we need something a little less fear mongering. Enter The Fresh Beat Band.

Talk about scary. They make The Wiggles look like U2. The lead guy is like Ashton Kutcher if Ashton Kutcher sustained a crushing brain injury but Hollywood kept giving him projects and Demi propped him up on the red carpet as though nothing was amiss.

The abomination that is The Fresh Beat Band is beyond my literary talents to describe. Thirty seconds into the show I was speechless, a rare condition. It sent my mind racing: Who are these people? How much are they being paid? What do their friends and families think? Do they date, and if so, what do they say they do for a living? Because you couldn't possibly tell the truth!

The Fresh Beat Band had my children's utmost attention for its entirety. And their mother's. It was riveting in the same way you wonder what idiots are holding up traffic just to try to get a glimpse of a bloodied victim in a car accident but as you approach you crane your neck and hit the brakes too.

Other shows I'm considering introducing:

Caillou: A bald little boy with a hard-to-spell name and slight resemblance to Charlie Brown flits around the neighborhood with his plain mother who could really use a makeover. The narrator is like a female Ben Stein except without a sense of irony.

Kai-Lan: Not to be confused with Caillou, Kai-Lan is the Chinese Dora but without a monkey sidekick, slightly better looking and with a more refined sense of style. We learn lots of Chinese words that we'll never use, because let's face, nobody speaks Chinese except maybe in China.

In the meantime, I've decided CSI: Special Victims Unit would be less damaging than The Fresh Beat Band. So I'm going to go TIVO that right now until I decide for sure on a new show...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Running on Empty =-(

My husband sent me this photo via his iPhone with the words "You didn't get gas" accompanied by an unsmiley face. As you can see, the car indicates we have zero miles before running out of gas (right there under the temperature of 55 degrees). Which begs the question: If you are imminently going to run out of gas, is your first inclination to take a photo of the gas gauge and send it to the offending party who left the car running on empty? This would not be my first thought. My first order of business would be in fact filling up the car at my earliest convenience so as to possibly not run out of gas and THEN chastising the person who didn't fill it up. But that's just me. Also, isn't it a little dangerous to be driving 7 miles per hour while simultaneously photographing your dashboard? =-(

Anyone who knows me knows an unsmiley face is very upsetting to me. While other people might take it with a grain of salt, an unsmiley face to me is akin to "F@%# off and die! I want to kill you!" You can make me feel bad about anything, no matter how small the transgression, if you attach an unsmiley face to it:
  • The dry cleaner put starch on my shirts =-(
  • The car has a dent in it =-(
  • You lost the children again =-(
When I didn't do my chores in our house in college my roommates would leave an unsmiley face on the work chart (sometimes I got a double unsmiley face) and that would usually make me hop to attention. They may have even resorted to proactive unsmiley faces knowing in advance I wouldn't perform my household duties. I wonder where my fear of the unsmiley face originates. Perhaps I got one in pre-school while my fragile self-worth was still in development and never quite got over it? Let's put that on the list to discuss with my therapist, shall we?

Alas, my husband did NOT run of gas which just supports my theory that you can drive cross country on an empty tank. The car just warns you way ahead of time to make you panic and fill up unnecessarily. The car industry is probably in cahoots with the gas industry and this is their way of scaring you into getting gas when you don't really need it.

By the way -- and perhaps this goes without saying -- in case I ever ask, don't lend me your car.

Peer Pressure

Well, I finally did it. Facebook. I said I never would. But, hey, there are a lot of things I said I'd never do and have. Don't make me list them.

I was a hold-out but deep down I knew I'd cave. It was just a matter of when. It's like the first time I drank. Everyone started drinking at a high school party and I waited until like five minutes before we all had to go home and drank 45 screwdrivers in less than a minute to catch up.

Not to brag, but in less than a day I already had over 30 friends. Several I've never heard of. Several have never heard of me. I thought when Facebook made suggestions of who should be your friends (Facebook is like the FBI) that these people had already invited you to be friends. "Well," I thought to myself, "Josh looks like a nice person who probably never committed a felony and I don't want to offend him ... Sure! Let's be friends!" And then I get a note that Josh confirmed me as a friend. Which means I invited him. Does Josh wonder who I am and suspect we slept together? Josh looks promiscuous.

I am also friends with a fellow I knew briefly in the early 90s when my friend worked with him. He called me the "blonde Don Rickles." Back then he was referring to my sarcasm but I think he's probably pleasantly surprised I'm actually starting to look slightly like Don Rickles as well.

I spent about two hours sorting through photos trying to come up with an appropriate profile picture. The last decent photo of me is from about six years ago. But it seems disingenuous to post a photo of a person you no longer resemble. But given I swat anyone who comes within five feet of me with a camera, my recent photo options are limited. I settled on a photo from right before I got pregnant. Less than three years ago and it's a bit fuzzy. Works for me.

My main priority on Facebook will be to "untag" unflattering photos of myself that others post. Given I don't let cameras near me that should only take up 10 percent of my Facebooking (I understand you can now use "Facebook" as a verb). The other 90 percent will be stopping myself from making belittling comments on other people's stuff. Which is why I am never going on Facebook after a couple of glasses of wine. Who knows the havoc I will wreak. By the time I wake up the next morning and have insulted not only all of my friends but all of my friends friends, I will have been de-friended all over these United States. (I decided I am not going to be international friends with anyone. I have to draw the line somewhere. And if that line isn't going to be only befriending people I actually know, I'll use the U.S. border as my criteria for friendship.)

BUT NO TWITTER. This I mean. If I ever announce that I'm twitting or tweeting or what-have-you, kindly sneak into my house one evening and smother me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Conversations with Strangers

I believe I've mentioned my children's dislike for pretty much anyone outside of our nuclear family? Well, people, I think we've had a breakthrough. Usually when we are on the elevator, if it stops to let someone in, they start yelling "No! No! No!" and continue this until the offending party gets off. It's charming.

Today it stops and I groan inwardly waiting for the verbal assault to begin when a pleasant maintenance worker with the building gets on. I wait but no screaming. In fact, one twin sort of sheepishly makes eye contact in what could be the two-year-old version of flirting. Then, without warning, SHE SPEAKS TO HIM. And here is exactly what she says: "I make poop." Just kind of factually. Like it's her job.

It may not be appropriate conversation to have with a stranger, but it was conversation nonetheless. Now all we have to do is work on the content of what we say to the innocent passerby. The other twin just sort of sulked and gave him the stink eye but at least she didn't yell "Nooooo!" with petrified urgency like Ted Bundy just hopped on the elevator. Baby steps.

In other uninteresting baby news (people, I can't always be entertaining), the girls are now waking up at 6:15 am. This morning, I hear rustling around on the monitor at 6:10 and exactly five minutes later I hear "Mommy! Mommy! Outside!" This, loosely interpreted means, "Mommy, get your ass in here and take us to the park." At 6:15 am, mind you. So when I walk in their room I'm greeted with "Hi. Get dressed." Is there a mental disorder where one cannot tolerate being inside. Like the opposite of agoraphobia? If so, my girls have it.

PS -- This is them at the park at 7:35 am when normal families are having breakfast and watching Sprout. I wish I had a photo of the interaction with the maintenance guy but didn't think to whip out my phone. Maybe next time. When hopefully she'll continue to discuss the contents of her diaper.