Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shelf Control

Remember the hole we knocked into the wall to access space under our stairs? The remnants of the vintage poster are still mostly intact. Doesn't she look pretty all tarted up with party lights?

Uh oh, I think someone is trying to kick us out from the little under-the-stairs room.
Hey, wait, is that a door?
Where'd she go?
They'll never find us now. (Especially since "they" don't read this blog.) 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2 fun 2 B 4 real

Dentists ask the strangest questions. I have been asked whether I am or ever was bulimic (no), do I eat lemons (sort of) and today, I was asked if I've ever been in the military. I have army-style fillings, apparently. Tomorrow, I return to the dental chair for a two hour, two crown, 2K appointment. Luckily, the office features calendar pictures of baby animals thumb-tacked to the ceiling for my viewing enjoyment. So, a reclining chair, drugs and baby orangutans - in some other context, could be worth the 2K.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Am I A Runner?

I went running this morning on a popular Town Lake path here in Austin. Just like in Dallas, everyone passes me and I pass no one. Not one person. I realize it's not a race, but if I'm running, shouldn't I be faster than one other human? How can I tell if I'm running? Maybe I'm walking - like those people who believe they're dancing when on-lookers know they are not dancing. I spotted a woman on the path ahead of me who had a 3 year old in a tutu running beside her and a miniature poodle on a leash. I can take this group, I thought. And I did. They took a water break and I burned past them. I probably kicked up gravel behind me and into that kid's face I was trucking so fast. Then an elderly couple strode past with their walking sticks and I got the hell over myself.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Austin, TX. Salut!

Here I am in Austin. My weekend of solitude has begun. It's odd to be alone. I think I like it, I often crave it but it takes some working out the kinks, some stretching of those "I'm okay" muscles. I have tweeted, texted and posted pictures to facebook so I'm not sure how solitary that is. I didn't bring my laptop so I'm typing on the phone with a 3G slow ass connection. I had a wonderful day and was about to go to sleep when I remembered I need to take out my contacts and blog. I did all the things I wanted to do - veggie food, LBJ love and vintage shopping. Barton Springs swimming may not happen but the motel pool is delightful, so there's that. I don't know if I'll see any Tour de France. I haven't turned on the TV yet but my guess is they don't have the Versus channel...tiny screen, dry contact lenses, fading out...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Kinda Wet Day

- Running with a full bladder is kinda uncomfortable. Remember to pee before you go out for a jog.
- Running in the rain wearing glasses is kinda hard if said glasses don't have tiny windshield wipers.
- Mowing the lawn at noon is kinda insane until a sweet child appears on the deck with a glass of ice water. Then it's way fun.
- Needing to take two showers in one day is bullshit - or kinda bad planning.
- Forgetting about an appointment until just minutes before means running into a fancy schmancy North Dallas dentist office with hair still wet from one of two daily showers. Kinda uncouth.
- Getting caught in the rain while shopping is kinda worth it if you're at a groovy outdoor shopping center instead of a mall.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cooking With Gas

I recently mentioned my desire to recapture my will to cook. We eat out way too often and I go to the grocery store everyday, at the last minute, with no list, in search of the next meal. Today, I went to the store at the last minute BUT I had a list and a plan this time.

On the To Sir With Love night, when I went out to dinner during intermission, my soup was a carrot puree with a balsamic accent. The whole family sampled it and loved it. I replicated that dish tonight (yum, balsamic reduction) and got raves all around. Raves for carrots. Go figure. Carrot Puree with Balsamic is the second recipe I ever made up myself (or sort of ripped off). My only other recipe is for black beans. I'm on pace to publish a cookbook in another 67 years.

Since I started my vegan venture, I feel like my food choices are expanding rather than becoming more restrictive. I'm looking around for delicious options and new ideas and I've rarely been disappointed. I know, I know, talking about healthy eating is dull. I'll just add that I have a sense of well-being since changing my diet and it makes sense. As we learned while parenting babies and toddlers: if they're pooping and they're sleeping, they're happy. (I'm a chick, so I don't actually poop at all and I don't care to discuss it. I don't know why you brought it up. And when I say cooking with gas, I'm not referring to farting at all - chicks don't fart, not even vegan chicks. Just drop it. This is juvenile.)

We Are The (spray painted) World

My long awaited movie is still in post production. It is not as good as this history of the world, which has completely distracted me from Tour de France coverage this morning. Don't worry that it's almost 10 minutes long - you won't notice the time. Great art is great art (and it's great fun, too, up until the end when it gets depressing).

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Hat tip to Miss Cathy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

But what I really want to do is direct.

I want to read but I still can't get through most books I start. (RIP, The Witches of Eastwick.) (Damn you, ADD-inducing internet!) I was finally convinced to try The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It's sitting on the bedside table, unopened. I also want to run. Running in Texas means waking at 5:30 to beat the sun. (I'm not faster than the wind, but I can outsmart the sun.) Staying up late to blog or read - my two late night activities - and getting up at 5:30 do not mesh well. (Basically, I cannot do more than one thing per day. How do you people do it?)

I'm going to give the tattoo book a chance this weekend. I'm heading to Austin on a solo journey. I might not even take my laptop (!). I hope to explore vegetarian restaurants, vintage stores and the LBJ Presidential Library. (It's a lifetime/geek goal of mine to visit all the presidential libraries, but I haven't begun - LBJ is up first.) I'll probably swim at Barton Springs. I don't really know what else I'll do...I'm looking forward to letting it unfold.

Meanwhile, my beloved 14-year-old left today for three weeks. She's off to British Columbia with our friends. I don't know yet how the balance of power will change around here without her. (Waah! What will I do without her?)

In further news, I watched this little viral movie today:

I immediately went over to xtranormal and made a movie of my own. I'm a writer/director! I was hoping to share my 3 minute masterpiece with you, but I haven't yet figured out how to get the thing from their site to here. (Now I know how those Sundance directors feel when they can't get a distributor.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day 3

Three-day weekend coming to a close. We paraded, pool-sided, grilled fooded and fireworked ourselves into a patriotic fervor. Eventually, however, the time comes to sweep up the confetti and get back to business.

Independence Day 2

It's been a lovely, long weekend and it's not over yet. The 4th of July is 72 hours long this year.  This means I have another 24 hours to make it up to the blogogods for my skimpy posts these past two days. Pray for me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Love My Gynecologist

In my Open Letter To Doctors, I complained about being required to strip nude in the office while having no decent place to keep the doffed clothes. Today I went to my ob/gyn for an annual visit. It was pouring rain on the drive to the office. I reached the exam room with my wet jacket and I was able to do this:
So civilized. I have been with my ob/gyn for 19 years. She delivered all my children. She understands.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why didn't I think of it?

I found this blog today, via Andrew Sullivan. It appeals to me as a decorating magazine junkie, as a person who writes copy for a fancy home decor catalog and as someone who has watched photographers and stylists setting up the shots for said catalog.
Elaine was not amused by Gary’s passive-aggressive response to her request to “garnish the cocktails.”

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sidney, soup, Sidney

Oh, how I love Sidney Poitier. I watched To Sir With Love twice tonight - kind of an odd double feature.  C. Louise walked in after I'd made it 3/4 of the way through the first time and said she'd like to see it from the beginning, so we started over. (Oh, but between viewings, we went out to dinner because how could I cook when I was so busy watching Sir? Dinner out was also C. Louise's idea - she's a smart kid. I had a delicious carrot soup and a salad, then back to Sir.) Because C. Louise appreciated the film, I must push her past the point of caring by showing a Sidney Poitier film festival. I considered Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night and Lilies of the Field as our next film, but then I remembered how much I love Patch of Blue. I haven't seen it in decades and it still scares me. Shelley Winters plays a vile creature. Sidney is heroic, as always. The girl is blind, stringing beads and always lost in the park. Oh, melodrama. If I recommend the film, C. Louise won't watch it. So, I'll just start watching it myself, then C. Louise can interrupt and be like, "hey, wait, why can't I watch that?" and then we can pause it, go out for soup, then start it from the beginning and our Sidney Poitier ritual will be established.

Monday, June 28, 2010

No Matter Your Instrument

I mentioned Michael Bolton two days ago and that fella has been a spark. I had my hair cut and colored today and except that I am still bald on top, Michael and I no longer sport the same 'do. MB also sparked an exploration into the cheesiest of cheesy songs by The Mike, which reminded me of my second favorite Dave Chappelle skit. Watch, laugh, keep dancing and enjoy what I consider to be the cheesiest of songs in the final scene. (Not Sarah Farrah will appreciate the cameo by ?uestlove.)

John Mayer skit from Tom on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Future internet sensation!

As a parent, I always know exactly what other parents should do with/about/to their kids. When I hear another mom talking about her parenting challenges, I know the solution. But I don't always know what to do with regard to my own children.

My revolutionary (or rip-off) social media idea is a site called Other People's Children*. What I'm imagining is a Chat Roulette for parenting. You know Chat Roulette, right? You log in and video chat with random, anonymous people and when you are bored or disgusted with the conversation (or the visual), you hit next and move onto the next random person. Other People's Children will combine the lurid appeal of anonymous chatting with our universal desire to espouse our personal philosophies to other parents.

Here are a few sample conversations:

Mammoo: My little Proton is 2 and won't stay in her own bed.
Chat 1: I spank my kids when..{next}
Mammoo: Little Proton won't stay in her bed.
Chat 2: We have a family bed and all 9 of us pile into...{next}
Mammoo: Little Proton won't stay in her bed.
Chat 3: Some bourbon at dinner calms my kids down...{next}
Mammoo: Little Proton won't stay in her bed.
Chat 4: I let the dogs chase my boy Trump until he's too tired to ...{next}
Mammoo: Little Proton won't stay in her bed.
Chat 5: You're a great Mom and whatever you're doing is great!
Mammoo: Well, thank goodness! Thank you for your wisdom. What parenting issue can I help you with?
Chat 5: When should I let my son start dating, I mean, officially? He's 13 and has a little crush on my friend and she said she'd take him out, you know, just for shits and giggles. It's sweet that she gave him some Axe body spray and, so ...{disconnect}
Chat 5: Where'd you go?
Helimomsha: I'm at my wits' end with Arbuckle. He's getting in trouble at school.
Chat 1: I saw on Oprah...{next}
Helimomsha: Arbuckle's getting in trouble at school.
Chat 2: We're homeschooling and...{next}
Helimomsha: Arbuckle's getting in trouble at school.
Chat 3: At my daughter Rigid's private school, we believe if you spare the rod...{next}
Helimomsha: Arbuckle's getting in trouble at school.
Chat 4: Do you give him regular enemas? {next}
Helimomsha: Arbuckle's getting in trouble at school.
Chat 5: Honey, you are doing the best you can! Rock on! You are a great Mom!
Helimomsha: What a relief! You're right. Thanks for your clear-headed analysis. What's up with your kids?
Chat 5: Well, my issue is sibling rivalry.
Helimomsha: That's a tough one! What's going on?
Chat 5: My daughter Lotus is very jealous of Excel. Whenever Excel nurses, she has a fit.
Helimomsha: That's very normal.
Chat 5: Yeah, sure, but it's escalating. When she gets home from school and walks in the door, if he's breastfeeding, she loses it. I give her a turn right away and send him out to play basketball in the cul-de-sac... {disconnect}
Chat 5: You there?

* A video chat site called Other People's Children should be free of liability, right? I'll simply ask people to check the "I'm not a pedophile" box when they log in.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bears for Bolton

You know what was awesome about today? While digging through toys, throwing out, sorting, cleaning and, of course, rearranging the furniture, I got to hear Michael Bolton sing How Am I Supposed To Live Without You three times. The song is on a CD called Hearts of Gold that played continuously (mysteriously, sinisterly) while I worked. The house looks like holy hell right now - when I get into a mode like this, every room is destroyed before it can be rebuilt - but I don't care! After a day with Michael Bolton all I can think about is how shaggy and unkempt my hair is these days. I need a new do. I fear my split ends and grown out roots are too Michael Boltonish.

It's somewhat ironic that I cried like a baby at Toy Story 3 a week ago and then mercilessly threw out my kids toys today. The toys were all sad looking and I realized it was one of them - a Build-a-Bear, perhaps - who must have cued up the Bolton music. Subliminal message not received, Bear. I can live without you just fine.

(It's Saturday night. I'm blogging on my iPhone while flat out in bed, totally exhausted, at 9:40 pm. Is it sad I'm thrilled with my day, my evening and the lovely freedom of going to bed early?)(Shout out to Not Don for being the muscular Ricky to my Lucy. The man toted furniture all day.)(Also, I'm super efficient - cleaning one day every couple of years takes less total time than cleaning regularly. When will the world see it my way?)(Goodnight.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Horse of a Different Color

Making art, horsing around, sweating their butts off - a terrific way for kids to enjoy their summer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Boondoggle Alert

Did I build enough suspense with my posting about The Wall? Seems like it was only a few hours ago!

Said wall is in our office and behind the wall is the staircase. Untapped space lurked under the stairs and I wanted to take a tiny peak to see if it would be usable for storage or possibly for a secret room (and if you're creating a secret room, by all means post it on the internet).

Nice hole.
OK, are you comfortable? Let's get a little closer.
Let's take a look at what's in there.
And there.
And there.
And there.
A generation (at least) before I thought of making an under-the-stairs secret room, someone in this house beat me to it, and they had a pretty sweet poster collection. Now, my house was built in 1910 (happy 100th, old girl!) so it's possible tragic love letters from WWI could have been discovered today. That's okay. I'll take my old shitty posters over WWI...umm, no, the letters would have been awesome.

The hole has now been expanded to something more door shaped.
And here is the vast space where we will stuff our children. It's decent enough for a couple of bean bag chairs and a book shelf.
The boondoggle to follow should become out of control - light it? drywall it? ventilate it? What is a Harry Potter room worth?

The Wall

Here is a wall. More later...

(This may or may not be my idea of a brilliant blog post.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tainted Love

I have a great idea for a blog post, but I decided to watch The Daily Show instead of working on it. Let me tide you over with this:
I just bought* a box of PopTarts* and a box of 64 Crayola crayons for each kid. It's my personal vision of happiness, circa 1973*. Either I love my children or I hate them and so I'll poison them with fake food and petroleum-based art supplies.

*These kinds of impulse buys do not happen at Whole Foods. This is what happens when I have to go to a real store to buy contact lens solution and Band-Aids.
*Why the hell would anyone buy unfrosted PopTarts? Pointless.
*It's really my personal vision of happiness 1973-present.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Get out.

In our beloved, plastic town of Dallas, TX, nature is elusive. It must be pursued. We did some serious nature hunting yesterday. We Not Bradys aren't super-outdoorsy types, so this was big for us. Today, we're all safely back indoors with our laptops and Wii console, looking fondly at our iPhone photos from good ol' yesterday.

6:45 AM, running at White Rock Lake

10:00 AM, hiking at Cedar Ridge Preserve

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Not Cooking With Gas

Never buy this stove.

Hell, they probably don't even sell it anymore. In any case, the thing has a grill on the left with a downdraft vent that starts automatically when the grill is on. I had big dreams to prepare a filet for Not Don for F Day, along with portobello burgers for me and Middle Girl and a hamburger for C. Louise who can't chew much right now due to her new braces. I planned to saute (fry? whatever) asparagus and boil pasta on the burner side. I started the pasta water first and when it was almost ready to boil, I started the burger. The downdraft sucked all the heat off the burner side and my pasta water never came to a boil. The grill side flamed up and filled the house with smoke. We flung open windows and 15 flies joined the party. The downdraft is a failure - it takes in the heat but not the smoke. Now, I have had this stove for about 7 years. This bad performance isn't news to me. I just thought it couldn't happen this time because, you know, it's F Day.

The meal came together finally at about 8:00. (This was after we had been rejected from seeing Toy Story 3 at a sold out theater in the afternoon. We shucked, we jived, we consoled crying children and we ended up at another theater a short 40 minutes later.) I should have quit with the F Day showing off yesterday while I was still ahead of the game.

p.s. Miss M referred to Father's Day as "F Day" just once, and now I must use the phrase ad nauseum.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day preview

I did something for my husband today that he only gets once every few years. (Minds out of the gutter, please.) I mowed the lawn. This is a very big deal. I got up bright and early to get it done while he was off golfing. (Y'all, I have resolved to never complain about the heat, but I will point out for those who do not know this: I live in Texas and it's June and I'm mowing the lawn and it doesn't matter how early you go out, it's already blazing hot. See? That wasn't complaining.) Then, I cleaned and took the girls shopping for  gifts for tomorrow. I had Not Don take a nap when he got home from golfing, cause I'm all saintly like that. Then, I took his car to the car wash. (Vacuuming a spouse's car in 100+ degree temps (not complaining) is a sure sign of: a) true love, b) dementia, c) someone who wants to brag on their blog later.) I filled the gas tank, too, while I was at it. Then, we went out to dinner. Now, we're watching Airplane!

So then. It feels like Father's Day is done, no? Well, no, not even close. I can't publish our top secret super surprise plans for tomorrow - I'll report back. The girls are fired up. Meanwhile, I'm making a list of demands for Mother's Day 2011.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Anyone remember back in February when I said I was going to redo my master bedroom, the most neglected room in the house? Well, voila! No, this isn't it.  This is Middle Girl's new room, which was previously our guest room.  (Guests are no longer welcome in the Not Brady home! Stay AWAY!) Our contractor and friend, Not George, painted the room pink, installed the shelves, cabinets and sconces (all from Ikea, of course) and disassembled/moved/reassembled the daybed. (He also installed a new curtain rod and lace curtains, not pictured.) My room? Looks exactly the same as it did in February.

Congratulations, Middle Girl! You look pretty happy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Local Color

Dallas, I must love you. Days like today remind me why I got over my Dallas Hate years ago. This morning, I took Miss M to her swim lesson and was greeted by John 3:16 on the dry erase board. Last week, the greeting read, "Jesus is my lifeguard." Bible Belt swimmers are the safest swimmers in the world.

Here's the studio where that middle kid of mine is doing an art camp this week. I used the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone to take this photo. This is the back of the building - an old Whataburger - with the word ART stenciled on the door. Can you feel the cool?

Here's Premiere Video's foreign film section. I love that ladder and how the DVDs and videos go all the way to the ceiling. I was renting something for C. Louise that stars Scarlett Johansson's husband - not from this wall, alas. I'm just glad to know it's there.

It was a beautiful day in my neighborhood.

p.s. I also went to the Dollar Tree today and that's not at all interesting or special except I noticed they sell pregnancy tests. For a dollar.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Elegance of the Hedgehog and stuff

I just finished reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I mean just finished at 6:45pm and now it's 7:05 and I have to head out for my book club in ten minutes. Whew. Just under the wire. I enjoyed this book and it's one of those where, halfway through, I began wishing I had been underlining passages to revisit later. I'll never be able to remember what was so juicy about it if I don't have it marked up. (Now on to The Witches of Eastwick.)

I learned this week that I need to stop putting 2 spaces at the end of sentences. I am still typing 2 spaces and then going back and deleting the extra one. Drag. I haven't been able to retrain myself.

Speaking of retraining, I need to relearn how to cook. I used to know how. I have a hard time making an actual shopping list and planning even a few hours ahead for a meal. I think the 2 space thing might be an easier learning curve.

Time to go.  Whew.  Just under the wire.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cultural step forward, dietary step back.

The Not Brady Family was invited to have authentic Mexican food at the home of one of N's friends from school yesterday evening. We don't know the family well. The Mom was so sweet to invite us all over after we'd had a discussion several weeks ago about who among our kids will eat different foods at Tex-Mex restaurants. "I'll cook you real Mexican food," she'd said and immediately set a date for the dinner.  I was nervous since I speak no Spanish and she has limited English proficiency. Also, I was nervous about the menu since I have been eating a vegan diet for 2 (!) whole weeks. Anyhoo, I decided I did not want to be the douche saying, "I'm a vegan..." so I decided in advance to eat everything. I don't know what the meat was marinated in - they didn't seem to know either - but it was fabulous. The beans had both sausage and bacon in them. The guacamole was more or less pico de gallo with chunks of avocado - divine. It was all delicious. Language, schmanguage - beer and grilled beef is all people really need to connect. As for my health kick, I'm back to being a douche vegan.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Anal Tables

Yesterday was a parent workday at Miss M's school. Her school is a small, public Montessori school that serves 3-years-old through 3rd grade. On the last workday of the year, they take every table from the Primary classrooms (ages 3-6) and sand the tops and repaint them for the next year. I painted tables for 2 hours. I love painting these tables.

Most people with a cursory understanding of Montessori think it's a groovy free-for-all where the kids hang out and do as they please. In reality, it is an incredibly structured environment. Case in point are these tables. They are color coded by height. The blue tables are the shortest for the tiny 3-year-old kids, then the pinks are a few inches taller, with the green being the tallest. The tables fit kids of varying heights and the color coding is just a layer of anal attention to detail that I find to dominate in the "prepared environment" of the Montessori classroom. I love these cute tables even more than the children who sit at them. I'll be a basket case when Miss M "graduates" from 3rd grade next year and I will be forever separated from these tables. Perhaps they'll hold her back.

(can't wait to see if anyone googles "anal tables" and ends up here)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Choose Ducky, Stupid.

I just watched Pretty in Pink for the first time in 24 years. Molly Ringwald's prom dress remains the single, ugliest barf-bomb ever put on an actress in any film. Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) is the biggest puss of all time. Ducky (Jon Cryer) is a great character but he suddenly tells Andy (Ringwald) that Blaine is "not like the others" and is really a good guy. What the hell are you smoking, Ducky?  Blaine  is an ass from start to finish. Andy is stupid to end up with him. Stupid! Does anybody believe their relationship is going anywhere? I have a tension headache.

So, um, be sure to add it to your Netflix queue.

(Ducky fought James Spader to defend your honor, Andy. Where was your precious Blaine then, huh?)

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Spoon Full of Saccharin

Miss M has been in swim lessons this week. She blows kisses at me during her lessons.  Today, she yelled over to me, "Mommy, I share my heart with you." All the other moms went, "AWWWW!  She is so sweet!" And just like that, they forgot about her pumping her fist, yelling, "I am the Queen!" And they forgot about her misbehaving and being reprimanded and losing her cookie privilege. And they forgot how she chats throughout the lesson, distracting everyone else and interrupting the teacher. And they forgot her telling the other kids, "Well, my dive was perfect.  No offense, I'm just saying."

That kid's got a future.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Exercise doesn't suck.

I have gotten up at 5:30AM the last three days to run with Not Don and another couple. (We're a flash mob of 4 and it's fun.)  I've also added a bizarre slice of childhood trauma as my version of cross-training. (Cross-training = hahaha, overstatement.)  This week, I have jumped rope, hula hooped and roller skated. These are all things I suck at and sucked at (and was embarrassed by my suckage) as a kid. (Second grade was a nightmare of rope jumping ineptitude. Mommy!) (And now you're going, huh?  Hula hooping counts as exercise?) To this day, I can only manage to jump rope or hula hoop for perhaps 30 seconds at a time.  Getting up early + exercise + 30 seconds of cross-training are sucking the life out of me.  I'm sleeeepy. I've dozed off twice while writing this. (You too?)

No running is scheduled for tomorrow - no early wake-up call and no childhood flashbacks. I expect to return to my normal level of physical activity of rearranging furniture and kicking my dog.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Drink With Jam and Bread

Such is my commitment to green tea with soy milk, I have invested in a reusable cup.  It's washed and ready for me to begin saving the environment tomorrow.  I haven't had coffee in more than 2 weeks and I don't miss it. Not yet anyway.

(Yes, I took this picture this morning in anticipation of having nothing interesting to say today.) (That is my new cowboy hat in the background.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Not Dewey

My friend, Not Sarah Farrah, recently said she alphabetized her nail polish. Seems odd since it's so obvious arranging nail polish by color is the only logical way. (I don't own any nail polish, so who am I to say?) Then I thought about my book shelves and how I recently reorganized them. These two are in my dining room.

Find brown, blue, red and black bound books here.
Aqua, green and white titles are shelved right next to the bike parking. Easy.

(My favorite book, by color of the spine, is The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.)

Monday, June 7, 2010


Thanks be to Not Don for rescuin' my summer.  He swooped in tonight with frequent flier miles and an iPad to finally book our summer trip to Virginia.  I've been stewin' about drivin' v. flyin', on which dates, to which airport, yada yada yada, I had the bisque...Now we're in, we're goin', we're booked and we're perfectly shoe-horned between his trip to Italy and C. Louise's school orientation camp.  (I realize orientation camp sounds gruesome - it has some pithy name I can't recall like "RaMp It UP!")  Now we're swoopin' off to the Old Dominion and I can stop wringin' my hands about it.

This has been another great Marital Moment, brought to you by the letter G.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I added the Hipstamatic app to my iPhone today. Here's my Corpse Chic self-portrait. It looks like I have a flipper coming out of my chin in addition to the waxy skin and vacant eyes. Not Dunmire has posted fab photos using this app. She needs to resurrect me and then give me some photog lessons. And modeling lessons. And a facial. And a flipper amputation.

Baby Needs A New Pair of Shoes

Baby gonna be barefoot for awhile, I'm afraid.  I could not remember my dreams this morning so I had to bet blind.  Turns out I bet mostly on blind horses.  Finally, Rocks and Rings came through for a win in the last race. I "won" $30.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Run Down

5:30 AM did not arrive at my house until around 8:00 AM today.  I did run.  I did stub my toe so hard that I have a deep bruise and blood blister.  I don't think I'll be able to wear my Five Finger shoes again for a few days.

Tomorrow we go to the horse races.  Now that's running I can enjoy.  I like to bet based on my dreams from the night before.  Proper dream interpretation in the seventh race = cash money.

If I were less brain dead right now I would tie together my lame attempt at running with the grace of horses running and how I much prefer to be the slob/voyeur instead of the hoofer.  Or, I would regale you with prior dream/winning bet combinations so you could look forward to my inevitably cute/profitable report tomorrow.  I know what I should do for you, you who has now made it to paragraph 3.  Instead, I'm running off to bed to get my dream on.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Eat and Run. And read.

(Yawn)  I'm ready for bed, folks.  Really, I'm ready to read for awhile and I need to lay out my go running at 5:30AM.  Don't ask. Or don't tell. Whichever.

When I first moved to Dallas, friends introduced me to The Dream Cafe. I didn't like it at first - I had never been to a "natural" restaurant before. Over time, it became a regular destination for it's delicious (healthy) food and for its wonderful atmosphere. The Dream had an open, grassy field where kids ran wild and climbed on play equipment and got all Lord of the Flies in play houses.  Sadly, a huge condo development has recently gone up on the field and the running around space is limited. We don't venture there as much as we used to.  Tonight, we dined on their patio and I found myself vegan-izing the already healthy fare - a far cry from my first adventure there in 1990.  (Their website says they've been around 17 years, but according to my steel trap memory, it's been at least 20.)

Oh yeah, good news.  C. Louise got her summer reading list in the mail today.  Good news for me because reading lists get me high.  She'll read To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and Night.  I might do some re-reading along with her just to be super annoying.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Open Book

I'm reading hard through Open by Andre Agassi.  I'm dying to get to the part where he starts doing meth.  Brooke Shields just came into the picture.  My friend recommended it so highly, she bought several copies for friends and gave me one.  I've done that before.

Years ago, I bought copies of The Winner of the National Book Award by Jincy Willett for my entire book club.  I wanted to make sure everyone read it and enjoyed it as much as I did.  They did not enjoy it like I did, sadly.  For them.  (I find humor is difficult to get agreement on.  Or at least what I consider to be humor.)  I gave my copy of Winner to my friend to read when she gave me Open.  I like her recommendation so far and I hope she likes mine.  (My self-esteem depends on it!)  (Not really.)  I'm not afraid to be a pusher at great personal risk to my reputation.  Twilight, anyone?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In A Tiny Voice

I want to make a virtual Dudeist church sign, but I have writer's block. It's like deciding what a tattoo should say.  I have the same feeling whenever I try to do my Six Word Memoir.  Or Twitter for that matter.  I wouldn't be blogging if I could spit it out in 140 characters or less.  As for that tattoo, I'm not opposed.  I just can't imagine what I'd say and it's a teeny bit more of a commitment than a tweet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I've Been Slacking

It's June 1. I have had two episodes these past couple of weeks of walking away from the blog for a few days. The first time, I was in a bad mood; the second time, I was in a really good mood. Apparently, I'm only inspired to write when feeling eh. "Eh" is my inspiration.

In honor of June 1, I'm giving myself a directive (yeah, I'm talking to you) to blog everyday until the beginning of Lent. I was going to go in for the full 365, but giving the blog up for Lent next year should be an option. Until then, I'll post with reckless disregard for my feelings.

(Why honor June 1? Why the hell not. It's as good a jumping off point as any other.) {I stopped right here to google significant June 1 events and..}

I'M FREAKING OUT! I just googled June 1 birthdays and Charlene was born on JUNE 1, 1950! I just NOW found this out! I had already embedded the video and everything before looking it up. I had already written the above parenthetical. My hair is standing on end. I'm dying.

The name is in the mail.

I found someone with a nameless baby. A pregnant friend mentioned on facebook she's looking for a baby name, so I e-mailed her my list of suggestions. (Yes, I realize lamenting on facebook is not the same as actually soliciting me for advice. I sent her the list anyway.) She was polite and responded positively. As for the baby, I was happy for her all along, of course, but now I have skin in the game. I can't wait for her to deliver so I can see if she picked something I recommended. Should I bill her now or after the birth?

Vegan Week

I have mentioned before my desire to adopt a vegan diet. Well, I accidentally started last week and now I'm on Day 8. Turns out, once I tried to break my latte addiction, I substituted with lots of salad. I've had good restaurant experiences so far, the best at a Salvadoran place. My 11-year-old (you know, the nameless girl) baked vegan cookies yesterday. They're called Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows. Fabulous.

I don't have lofty goals to make this a lifetime lifestyle, but I'm so enjoying it right now.

Fun Fact: Oreos are vegan.

One room, two sides

The getting rid of shit initiative continues - slowly, but it continues. My house might need some fiber.

Slight progress has been made. You know I gutted the armoire of its art supplies and I made a trip to Goodwill. We have also painted our living room and dining room white. We're now calling our office The Yoga Room. We don't do yoga, but expect to be motivated to take it up by an uncluttered space called The Yoga Room. Any day now. (I have made zero progress on our master bedroom - it is still "before.") Every room is in a transitional phase.

Here are opposite ends of my living room today.
By the door, a new pile of shit for Goodwill. Yippee, progress.

On the mantle, a new configuration.  The painting deserves a close-up.

A dear 12-year-old friend of ours painted this and gifted us with it. It's our backyard. We only just took down the swing set a few weeks back, which makes the painting even sweeter.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Where? Why?

1. Here.
2. Because posting 3 sentences about Joe Cocker took the wind out of my sails. (And I thought he'd lift me up where I belong.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Get By

I watched American Idol for the first time ever this season. Wednesday night was the finale, which I didn't watch until just now.  Joe Cocker performed, as did a million other acts. Joe kicked everybody's ass - Janet Jackson, Alanis Morrisette, what remains of The Bee Gees, Hall & Oats (Hall and Oats suck anyway.  Oates or Oats?  Can't remember, don't care.)  Joe Cocker is a stud.

He always was.

(Somewhere there exists a video tape of me doing an extended Joe Cocker impersonation. I have not viewed it in 20 years. I hope it has been destroyed.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Public Works

Today, I feel like getting a job (these feelings come and go).  I may (possibly) just want to work among the public in a place such as Whole Foods or Starbucks.  I would have much better blog topics if I left my house more often and mingled.

I mingled today at the Goodwill donation center in the grocery store parking lot.  There is this woman who works there year round.  She sits inside a trailer (heat, rain, cold be damned) and piles up the donations until the truck is full.  She's been working there as long as I can remember.  I had my van loaded to the top with donations but after loading the van, the latch on the hatch had broken so I could no longer open the back end.  To get the crap extracted, I had to crawl through and haul each individual hunk of junk out through the side door.  I was there for awhile, as a result, and got to mingle with other donors.

This one woman, with long black hair and driving a hot SUV - the kind that says "I'm successful and single," not the kind that says "I've got a million kids and this is better to drive than a van with a broken latch" - she walked up and started detailing to the nice Goodwill lady all the contents of her bags: never worn clothes, nice, NICE clothes, suits, Cole Hahn shoes even! A second woman with blonde hair, driving a Mercedes, dumped some towels and asked for a receipt, no muss no fuss.

Then a large, older model American car pulled up behind me and I was totally blocking the drive because I was still crawling over the seat hauling out pots and pans one by one.  (I knew the car was driven by an elderly person and I knew I had no intention of getting out of his way - if he has mobility issues, he can chill for 2 minutes until I'm done, ok?)  He finally decided he could make it and climbed out of the car with one navy blue shirt wadded up in his hand.  He tossed it up to the nice Goodwill lady in the trailer with a "there you go" and didn't ask for a receipt.  Then, he went on his merry way.

I guess getting that one shirt out of his life was worth the trip.  I wonder if he had anywhere else to go or if this was his "getting out of the house" moment, his daily dose of busyness that seems like Purpose. I pat myself on the back for completing tasks like that. Sometimes those mundane tasks have to be elevated to Purpose or else how can we justify the time we spend on them? A collection of mundane tasks can take up a day or a week, or a career.  Maybe I'll collect some mundane tasks into a job with the public so I can mingle and observe how others go through their motions. If I worked in the Goodwill trailer, I could collect other people's cast-offs and while piling them up, pile up a few good stories.

I'm now thinking that elderly gentleman was probably just out mingling to get fodder for his blog.  He's over there right now writing about the jackass who would not move her old van out of his way, the jackass who, for some reason, kept crawling back and forth over the seats, offering her shit to the nice Goodwill lady piece by piece.  How mundane that jackass is.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'Cause I'm a Bitch in a Nerd Suit

-Bought a swimsuit today.  I think it could be Yacht Club (primary color) or Nerd (modest, duh). I actually bought a top and bottom from two different brands, 'cause I'm a rebel like that. I'm not posting a link but the name of the suit (top) is:  Buffalo Betty. Yep.

-Only had one near altercation while at the mall. A skincare salesperson (troll) stepped into the aisle to block me (and I mean she used her body to prevent me from continuing along) and she said hello, I said hello, then she said can I ask you what skincare products you use and I replied - no. She snorted - actually snorted - then stepped aside and let me pass.  (Are you thinking "bitch!" cause I'm thinking "Bitch!") (Bitch about her blocking me and then snorting, not bitch about me for the monosyllabic no for an answer, right? Okay.) ('Cause her snort meant she thought I was the bitch.)

-Found my phone while sitting in a chair talking to Not Don this evening.  I glanced over his shoulder and there it was on the mantle.  I didn't even have to stand up to find it, after having searched high and low all day.  Then my phone snorted at me and I think it thinks I'm a bitch.

-Have had ZERO caffeine today.  My head is about to explode and my mood is still on the wrong side of the bed.  I'm not giving up coffee, oh no, but I need a few days to break this vicious cycle.  I'll be back, Juan Valdez, 'cause I'm your bitch.

*It was my goal to write "'cause" instead of "because" three times in one post. I did it!  Tomorrow's goal: use "bitch" a lot more.

iCan't iFind iMy iPhone

As attached as I am to my iPhone most days, I still feel like I could give it up, just like that.  I could walk away from it and any other cellphone you've got to offer.  I don't need it, so there.

Except, I can't find my iPhone right now.  I'm about to leave the house for the day and I'm getting a little panicky.  What if the school calls because someone threw up? (Never happens.)  What if C. Louise texts me she's staying after school? (Happens often, but if she doesn't turn up at home, I can kind of figure out she stayed there, right?)

My panic isn't about them, it's about me, of course.  I like to check facebook and text while I'm out doing other stuff, especially if I'm alone (because then I'm never alone, am I right?) How will I monitor my friendships? How will I photograph fun stuff like 'bathing suits hanging in the dressing room' if I don't have my iPhone? Deep breaths.

Guess I should take another stab at looking for the damn thing instead writing an ode to my day that hasn't even happened yet.  And perhaps remind myself it's not the end of the world.  And if it were the end of the world, I'd have no way of knowing since I won't have my damn phone.

p.s.  iPads seem totally lame.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is my life a Cathy comic strip?

There are five styles of swimsuits for a woman my age:

1.  The Cocktail Dress:  usually black with gauzy inserts for mystery and drama; could be worn to a fine restaurant with the right sarong; The Wedding Dress, in white, is a variation.  The Cocktail Dress says, "I don't know how to swim, but look at these legs!  I do Pilates!"

2.  The Yacht Club:  primary colors and stripes, with rope and grommets. The Yacht Club says, "I'm athletic, but not horsey!"

3.  The Resort:  animal or tropical prints with gold or wood bead accents, The Resort says, "alcoholic." (I kid. Actually it says "I don't want to be at my community pool - I'm being whisked away on a Caribbean cruise any second now!)

4.  The Mary Ann: ruffles, bows in pastels and plaids. The Mary Ann says, "I'm young and flirty and innocent. Where are my cigarettes?"

5.  The Nerd: with or without skirt in Don't Notice Me colors (refer to Lands End catalog), The Nerd says "I'm a mom to a toddler. I can perform CPR and I wear SPF 600." (If only it included a water-proof pocket for Goldfish crackers!)

I do not mean to disparage these fine, fine, awesome, totally awesome choices or the lovely ladies who wear them. We've all been there. I have worn 3 out of the 5 styles myself. Maybe 4. (Hopefully, no photographic evidence exists one way or the other.)

Anyhow, available styles are less important than quality. I just want my swimsuit to fit and to be FULLY LINED. I want this for all women. I don't want to know which of the moms at my pool are waxing and to what degree and I don't want to see anybody's nipples. Let's keep that all under wraps so we can have a conversation in the snack bar line without blushing. 

I long ago made peace with the high price of swimsuits, but I'm not paying for see-through. I'm talking to you, Michael Kors and Calvin Klein. You gentlemen really let me down this year. Please, don't force me to go back to The Nerd.  I can't go back, I won't.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

She smells just as sweet.

Hey kids, wasn't I proud of you just yesterday?  I have to be proud again today?

OK, so I realized I rarely mention my middle child on this blog.  I'm always yammering on about Miss M's misadventures and C. Louise's teen fabulosity, but I've barely introduced the tween.  (One reason is my stupid naming conventions to protect their identities...I don't like "Miss N" - I didn't like Miss C either so it became C. Louise.  I didn't go with the old Not ___ with my kids names, for some reason.  mmmm.  I'm tired.  Have you dozed off yet?)

So, what's-her-name had her first dance recital tonight.  It was fun and she was cute as can be, dressed in red and dancing hip hop.  It was the last event in a week that included my attendance at a field trip, parent day, an orchestra concert, a rehearsal and the recital.  I was proud of my kids every step of the way, even of the one who shall not be named.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No One Yet Engulfed, Effort Continues

My sister sent me this card years ago and I've displayed it prominently ever since.  I even moved it out of my kitchen window for fear of it fading in the sun.  It's now on my desk among a collection of Buddhas, Obama buttons and a Magic 8-Ball.  The artist, Erin Smith, offers this image on canvas as well - I plan to upgrade.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Can you at least pretend you're a real Starbucks?

Dramatic scene at "Starbucks" in Barnes and Noble.

ME:            Double tall non-fat latte, please.
Barista #1:  Do you want to make that a Grande?!?
ME:            Why?
Barista #1:   umm...I don't know.  No one's ever asked me why...
Lady in Line:  Because you get more!!
ME:            A double tall has the same amount of espresso as a grande. {sigh}
Barista #1:  umm, you get more milk in a Grande and I don't like the taste of coffee!
ME:             I do like coffee and I'll stick with my original order.
Barista #2:  So that'll be a double tall, Sunshine?
ME (Sunshine):  Yes.
Barista #2:   Here's your double tall non-fat extra delicious latte!

Dude, when did you hear me ask for extra delicious?  I believe I have the authority vested in me, as someone who has spent every dime she's made in the last 5 years on espresso, to strip you of your Starbucks aprons, morons.  And don't call me Sunshine.

The merry merry month of May.

Eh, boy.

Recitals, graduations, dances, performances, ceremonies, field trips, field days...

Bathing suit shopping.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So what else is new?

Let's get caught up, shall we?

--We've lost all three goldfish in the space of a week. Rest in peace 50 Cent, Polka Dot (or Dots, I never knew for sure) and Peaches. Mysteriously, the cat that took a huge shit on top of my bed yesterday goes on living.

--I read an actual book while I was unplugged. Haven't done a lot of page turning lately and the books I have been choosing, I can't seem to finish. I picked up Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and it was just what I needed:  dark, quick and entertaining.

--I've been thinking about how to work schadenfreude into a conversation.  I've mastered bildungsroman and I'm ready to add to my snotty German vocab.  I probably missed my best opportunity at book club last night.  I had not read the book (a bildungsroman, btw) we (they) discussed and I didn't have much else to contribute. They would have undoubtedly felt schadenfreude for me if I tried it.  Next time.

--I didn't entirely give up facebook for three days.  I admit it:  I lurked.  I hate the lurkers that never have a damn thing to say and never update, but you know they're right there reading everything.  Come on, people.  Shit, or get off the bed, as my cat would say.


If he can do it, so can I.

I found myself needing a lap sans laptop for a few days. I've barely acknowledged my phone or e-mail. No facebook. This sudden urge for the Amish lifestyle caught me by surprise but then, when I think Amish, I always think Robert Smith. Things are starting to make sense. To you too?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Middle School Redux

I decided this morning I would go to the opera and I would stay at the dance whether my child wanted me or not. Two great decisions. I am now happily at the end of a long day of hanging with the middle schoolers.

The great thing about the opera excursion was even though I was technically on a field trip, I drove myself there, met the group, then sat with adults and had no supervisory responsibilities. Not too shabby.

When you're in your 40s and menstrual, Madame Butterfly is very affecting. I went ahead and started crying as soon as she walked on stage in the first act. It was a teary 2 hours. Quite a different feeling from the first time I saw it at Mary Washington College in 1980 - the 1980 feeling being boredom. I say that I was bored and I remember being bored, but I also remember the experience. It was my first opera and it made an impression on me.

I came out of the dance tonight sweaty and exhausted and I didn't even get to dance. I set up for two hours, helped with food service for three, then broke down tables and swept the floors for an hour. I spent some time spying on C. Louise and trying to take secret pictures of her. I can't reveal anything about her personal life here, but I can say she looked cute as can be.

I knew almost every song they played thanks to my immersion of late into current Top 40. Plus, they played You Shook Me All Night Long and I Will Survive and some other tunes from my actual middle school years. I remember always being excited about going to the dances back then, but it was all so awkward and ultimately underwhelming (UU - try it out while texting).

Madame Butterfly from 1980 is more deeply etched in my memory than any dance is from that era. In present day, however, I will remember C. Louise and her dance far longer than the opera I watched today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sprayed Out

I love the sound of that little metal ball inside the spray paint can when I shake it up. Ooh, ah. It's not as delightful on a windy day on the front porch. Residue in four colors is all over the porch and I'm waiting for Not Don to notice (go outside and notice it, Babe). I didn't realize the paper I put down was inadequate until I cleaned up.

What was I working on? Party decorations! Ooh, ah. C. Louise's dance is tomorrow and I'm doing the decor. The theme is Masquerade Ball and the colors are red, blue and purple - all chosen by the students, btw. I spray painted masks, styrofoam and dowels to make centerpieces. If I were more resourceful I would have taken a photo to share.

Tomorrow morning, I have a ticket to see Madame Butterfly at the Dallas Opera. I may skip it so I have all day to get my dance decorating ducks in a row. That decision will be made in the morning. The other decision I need to make is whether or not to honor C's wish that I not show my face at her dance. It's OK for me to decorate and to come back three hours later to clean, but she's unhappy with me chaperoning during the event.

I'm going to shake my spray paint cans and meditate on that sound for awhile.

What? What?

I went to the hardware store this afternoon to buy 4 cans of spray paint.  Near the register was a display taller than me of something called Anti Monkey Butt. I did the big double take and then moved along quickly without stopping to figure out exactly what the heck it was. I later googled Anti Monkey Butt - it's just powder and they sell it everywhere - not too interesting after all.  But, why at the hardware store? They must believe some percentage of their clientele is walking around with sore asses.

I had gone to the hardware store directly from a spin class. I was new to this class and I chatted with the instructor beforehand. Once he had my name down and his microphone on, he singled me out throughout the class. Not Stacy! Are you motivated? (yes) I can't hear you! (YES!) Come on, Not Stacy, more effort! (gasp, gasp) Pick it up, Not Stacy! Out of the saddle and climb! Hey, Not Stacy, what did you have for dinner last night? (A Slurpee. Wild Cherry.)

Turns out I was the sore ass customer the hardware store had been waiting for. If only I had known the cure was right there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't, don't, don't, don't, Don't you

Consider this a bookmark.  My shoulders are sore and up in my ears today and I can't assume the position for very long.  Two posts tomorrow - I'll be crafting so it should be scary and fun.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Contains live & active cultures.

My daughter was THE BEST performer at Multicultural Night.  All the other parents agreed their kids suck and they all cried and crowded around to wave goodbye as we drove off at the end of the night.

C. Louise was narrating a kabuki version of Sleeping Beauty.  She kicked ass, as only a narrator of a pantomimed show can.  In addition to Japan, represented by kabuki, Multicultural Night included dances from Kenya, Germany, Colombia, Mexico, The Philippines, India and Israel.  Songs from Austria and Turkey were sung.  Electric guitar players, hula dancers, a performance piece on slavery and a praise/step show represented the USA. I'm sure I'm forgetting something - the show was an hour and 45 minutes long.

A few comments.  Not Don pointed out that while Germans do beer well - singing and dancing, not so much.  The song "from" Austria was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein.  The electric guitar performers, billed as representing the USA, played Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, an English band. (splitting hairs?)

The best part for me (aside from C. Louise obliterating all other children) was Miss M sitting on my lap during the praise/step show.  The praise/step group is African American girls who perform to contemporary gospel (praise) as well as stepping.  During the praise portion, Miss M held her hands high and swayed from side to side.  No one else in the auditorium was painting the rainbow.  When I mentioned it in the car later, Miss M said, "that music just feels like that's what I should do."  Indeed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Post Mother's Day Awesomeness

Miss M stayed home from school today. She called in allergic. I don't like sick days to be too fun, so I limited her Wii time to one hour. After the time was up, I physically removed her from the room and went to fold laundry. She started playing again the second she thought I was out of ear shot. I went back, unplugged the Wii and took all the games and all the controllers and put them in an undisclosed location. Miss M wailed in protest, as expected, and was sent upstairs to chill. She came back to me a few minutes later with a note that read:

evin whin we fiate I all ways 100% love you

She was really proud of her note as I read it aloud. What a sweet kid, I thought. I should have been the one to say that to her, I thought.

So, I took a deep breath and looked her in the eyes and said, "Spell much?"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What was today again?

Mother's Day is a great day every year.  Mostly because Not Don takes his role as my enabler very seriously.  From breakfast in bed to doing chores to cooking dinner, he does it all and he keeps the kids playing along.

I got two goldfish from the girls yesterday, named Peaches and Polka Dot.  It put me in the mood for sushi.  A dead fish is a good fish, as I always say, so we left the kids at home and had dinner at Blue Fish.  We sat on the patio and Not Loni paid - can't get much better than that.

Gifts today included Tom's Shoes (hooray - I've been eyeing them for awhile) and an instructional dance book.  As I practice my sprinkler, mashed potato and running man moves, I'll keep you informed.

I've been reflecting on my relationships and motherhood this whole weekend.  I'm just not in the mood to try to impress you with my deep thoughts and emotional depth at the moment.  Kind of like last night - I had a lot on my mind about the nature of my cyber life v. my real life and I couldn't articulate it. Eventually, I will.  Or not.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Today, my sister e-mailed an on-line gift card from both of us to our Mom for Mother's Day.

Today, I tried to donate to a charity I want to support but the website is down.  It will take me awhile to find my checkbook and stamps.

Right now, my friend is live streaming a birthday party and I'm on my couch watching a bunch of guys slamming around to punk music and having a ball.

Not there. Not there. Not there.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Catalog Log

Today is my copy deadline for the catalog.  Yesterday, I isolated myself in a coffee shop where I wouldn't know anyone - I know everyone at Starbucks and there's too much talking over there.  Working at the studio is distracting, though often necessary.  Working at home is just plain distracting.  The coffee shop worked beautifully for me yesterday, so I'm back today.  And guess what?  I'm blogging...kinda distracted after all, I guess.

I know I'm getting tired when I start using words like homage, ubiquitous and epitomize - they have no place in a catalog, really.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Open Letter To Doctors

Dear Physicians,

In your practice, you're going to ask every of us, the patients, to take off our clothes.  It's part of the doctor-patient contract that we, the patients, will be naked when we meet you.  I'm fine with that.  However, if you know you are going to ask every single person who darkens your door to disrobe, where are the hangers? Where's the closet? A rod? A frickin hook? Perhaps a drawer?

Every stupid exam room has One Chair.  One Chair where we, the patients, are ordained to pile up our clothing when we undress. One Chair sucks. We, the patients, don't ever get a chance to sit in the One Chair. We sit on the crinkly paper on the Tall Table on the other side of the room. (Personally, I am far more comfortable sitting there nude (and cold, btw) than I am staring at my pathetic bra draped over the arm of the One Chair from across the room.) If a patient brings a family member along, the family member wants to sit in the One Chair. Then what? Should the family member hold the patient's clothing throughout the appointment or just sit on it?

Fix this.

Yours til the hangers on,

Not Stacy

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dermo F-U

F-U as in follow-up.

Look at my neck now.

The dermatologist's first move, as predicted, was to offer me botox.  I declined.  Her second move was to brandish a razor blade and slice off the neck mole to make a neck hole.  (I'm proud of this picture, taken with my phone while sitting in traffic.)

She also sliced something from my shoulder blade.  I never saw it but the doctor described it like this:
I left the office with 2 prescriptions for ointments.  Since I had declined botox, the doctor recommended I try Frownies.  Frownies are pieces of tape you put on your frown lines at bedtime.  Sleeping with tape on my forehead sounds sexy, sure, and the active ingredients of tape are: adhesive and paper.  That (Don't try to get rid of laugh lines with Frownies.  They are not FDA approved for that.) 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Caution: Gross photography

I'm going to see a dermatologist for the first time ever tomorrow.  There's this mole on my neck.  Can you see it?  Well?
I'm of a certain age, you know, and I want to have my moles inventoried.  Once I'm there and we start talking, I'll have to ask about crap like this:
Meet my age spots.  Come closer if you dare.  Is there a cream, an ointment, a poultice for these things?
Do I stop there or do I go all the way to the forehead?
The horizontals don't bother me.  It's the verticals I could do without. (One of those verticals is a strand of hair, by the way!  FYI!  Not all wrinkles!!)  From my limited knowledge of dermatology, I assume botox is a treatment for this and I'm not willing to go there.  Not now, not next year, but get back to me around 2014.  Again, looking for a solution in the lotion family.

It's a slippery slope, I fear - a slippery slope greased with potions.  After years of completely ignoring my skin, the dermatologist's magnifying glass is going to unnerve me and I'll start throwing money at "problems" I never knew I had.

Now I'm fixating on how my right eyebrow is much higher than my left eyebrow.  Anybody know a good surrealist?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Music History

Last night, I made an impulse buy at Whole Foods.  (I'm there everyday, right?  Re-naming the blog I've Been to Whole Foods stat.)  The CD Here Lies Love was for sale in the checkout line.  David Byrne!  Fat Boy Slim!  Disco tunes about Imelda Marcos!  I was ripping off the cellophane as soon as the checker ran it across the scanner.

The checker:  What kind of music is it?

Me:  It's dance music.  The songs are about Imelda Marcos.

Checker:  And she is?

(My first reaction was "ARE YOU SERIOUS?" but I didn't say that.  I waited for my second reaction, which was understanding - compassion, even - that he's a young man born long after Ferdinand Marcos was in power.  (But, come on, the "as many shoes as Imelda Marcos" thing?  Is that totally out of the pop culture lexicon now?))

Me:  She was the wife of a dictator in The Philippines who was deposed in the 80s.

Checker:  Oh, yeah?  My Mom is from The Philippines.  She left there in the 80s.

(My first reaction was "ARE YOU SERIOUS?  You're Filipino and you don't know about Imelda Marcos?" But I didn't say that.  My second reaction was polite smiling and taking my receipt and my CD and getting the hell out of there.)

I hope David Byrne's dance beats will be an opening for this young man and his Mom to discuss their family history.  Perhaps they'll dance a little, too.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

85! 85!

Holy shit!  This is my 85th post on this thing.  Do you realize what this means?  If I had put a dollar in a bucket each time I posted, I'd have $85 by now.  In a bucket!

Eighty-five reminds me of the year I graduated high school.  The year was 1985 and we were partying like it was 1999 and we couldn't drive 55 and we were singing about the summer of 69.  And now there's that song about the girl who's stuck in 1985.  Maybe I'm that girl.

Except, I much prefer to be the girl pictured here.  In honor of post #85, here's my favorite photo of late, taken by a talented 4-year-old at an 80-year-old's birthday party.  That sign behind Not Don says "I heart 80" not "I heart THE 80s."

I heart 85.