Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holy Peanut Butter Kisses!!!

OK, so the BIG DAY is only 5 days away and there is not one single solitary cookie in this house. This afternoon, I will venture out to get some flour so we can bake a batch of damn Christmas cookies.

I also still have one gift to buy. Damn again.

And I'm shredded. Because like a dumb-ass I was up until 4:30 this morning on my living room floor with a journal. Will it become a novel? It better become a fucking novel!

Anyway, peace to all this Thursday afternoon. I need to hit the trail (or the bottle perhaps)...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Manic Monday

Yeah, I'm a day behind. BITE ME. Uh, I mean, happy holidays.

I'm usually done with my Christmas shopping by this time of year. Now I know the joy of all the last-minute bullshit that people put up with. Dear God, why would anyone intentionally wait till the last minute??? This whole thing kind of snuck up on me this year. I looked at the calendar yesterday and was all, "Holy SHIT! Christmas is only a week away?" And I'm still on the quest for the "WOW" gift for hubs. It's usually basketball tickets, but due to budget constraints this year, I've been rethinking that one. Worst case scenario is that I can cave at the last minute and go pick some up downtown. We'll see.

Speaking of not having enough time (?), yesterday I also lost 20 minutes of my life - AT FUCKING KOHL'S. I went in to buy Diva a new pair of sneaks (they've got the best deal on toddler Nikes, and she needs them for her skinny feet) and when I got to the checkout, there were three (1-2-3) people in front of me, none with particularily large purchases. And it took 20 minutes for me to get out the damn door. Generally, I'm the world's most patient person, but this was RE-TARD-ED. When in doubt, team up and have a comedy jam session! I don't know that I've ever had as good a stand-up set as I did yesterday in line with the customers behind me. I offered up that I think stores should bring back carolers and snacks for people waiting in line. And then, the cashier asked the woman in front of me who was paying for her items if she wanted a gift receipt. And on cue, me and everyone behind me sang a chorus of "NO! Dear GOD, NO!" It was actually pretty funny. Well, I guess you had to be there...

Then, I was completely parched and needed a beverage. As luck would have it, there is a brand new SBUX drive-thru across the street. Like manna from HEAVEN! As I went through the DT, I believe I proposed to the barista. I don't know that I've ever been that happy to see my iced chai latte come out of the damn DT window. I called bananafana during my manic fit of tea-ness, and I think that now she may be rethinking our friendship. TOO BAD, SISTA! YOUR ASS IS STUCK WITH ME!

On the running front, well, the sidewalks are still a bit icy from the 6 inches of snow we got over the weekend. The good news? The highs today and tomorrow will be in the 40s, and we're not getting any major precip until later in the week. So I'll be back on track shortly. Thank GOD!

On the writing submission front, got a rejection yesterday. But at least it was a nice one. So I'll edit and send it somewhere else. Several folks have asked if it bothers me when I get one. I'd have to say that it really hasn't. It's annoying at worst. I can't be angry with editors if they don't think I'm a good fit. Someone out there somewhere wants what I have; I just need to find them. And most publications will start taking submissions again in January, so I'm getting ready for that. Thanks to everyone for cheering me on. If, however, I haven't gotten any acceptances by next fall, please punch me in the face, burn the flash drive, and tell me to get my head out of my ass. Thank you in advance.

For anyone who would like, I've posted an excerpt of the family Christmas letter at my other blog. Take a gander if you like.

Happy Tuesday to all!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Giving to Everyone Who's Ever Done Anything For You

On the heels of bananafana and tessie, I've looked up all the guidelines for the 80 bajillion service people in my life. I don't have to worry about the daycare thing, but for your amusement, here are the guidelines per Emily Post:

Every situation is different, so let common sense, specific circumstances, and holiday spirit be your guides. The tip amounts in this chart are merely guidelines. What to give is always an individual decision.
Au pair
A gift from your family (or one-week’s pay), plus a small gift from your child

Babysitter, regular
One evening’s pay, plus a small gift from your child

Barber
Cost of one haircut or a gift

Beauty salon staff
The cost of one salon visit, split among the staff

Child’s teacher
Check your school’s policy first, as gift giving may be prohibited. If allowed, then give a gift that is a token of appreciation from your child, not cash. Possibilities: a homemade gift made by your child, a book or a picture frame. Or, consider participating in a joint gift from the class as a whole. Possibilities: a gift certificate to a restaurant or bookstore.

Day care providers
$25 to $70 each, plus a small gift from your child for the providers who give direct care to your child(ren)

Dog walker
One week’s pay or a gift
Fitness trainer, personal
Up to the cost of one session

Garage attendants
$10 to $30 each

Home health employees
A gift, but check with the agency first, as most agencies have a no gifts or no tips policy. If this is the case, consider giving a donation to the agency.

Housekeeper/cleaner
Up to one week’s pay or a gift

Letter carriers
U.S. government regulations permit carriers to accept gifts worth up to $20 per occasion, not cash

Live-in help (Nanny, Housekeeper, Cook, Butler)
One week’s to one month’s salary based on tenure and customs in your area, plus a personal gift

Massage therapist
Up to one session’s fee or a gift

Newspaper deliverer
$10 to $30

Nurse, private
A gift, not cash

Nursing home employees
A gift, not cash, but check the company policy first. Consider giving a gift that could be enjoyed by or shared among the floor staff: flowers, chocolates or food items.

Package deliverer
A small gift if you receive deliveries regularly; most delivery companies discourage or prohibit cash gifts

Personal caregiver
Up to one week’s salary or a small gift

Pet Groomer
If the same person grooms your pet all year, up to one session’s fee or a gift

Pool cleaner
Cost of one cleaning, to be split among crew

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All I Want For Christmas

Dear Santa,

Well, there are less than 2 weeks until your big holiday. I hope that I'm not too late to get on your dance card for the evening. If I am, then I suppose I'll have to wait for presents until next year. If, however, I get this to you before your route has been determined (damned logistics companies do everything so early these days), there are a few things I'd like to suggest.

First, I must say that I think I've been pretty good this year. My toddler has managed to survive another year in my care, and I've not been convicted of anything that would lead to a stay in the nice correctional facility downtown. As for my mental state, well, I can only say that I'm coherent and have found ways to parlay any stress. I've gotten through another year of stay-at-home motherhood. So I'm all good then, right? Cool.

Secondly, I'd like you to know that this is merely a list of suggestions. If kids these days understood how to write Christmas lists in this way, we might see less school violence and more kids sharing. But the damned little brats have to get everything. Anyway, I digress. Here are my suggestions:

1) A shower enclosure/wall tile to take the place of the crap caulk job currently in place;

2) An all-inclusive trip to an unknown island for ME ME ME (and perhaps a fishbowl companion);

3) The antidote for toddler whining (I'm sure you can relate with the elves and all);

4) Sanity, or some semblance thereof;

5) Just one editor to say "We'd LOVE to publish that. It's AWESOME!";

6) OK, maybe 2 editors;

7) Toys for Diva that will neither be recalled nor come from China (let's just avoid it from the get-go);

8) A spank bank for hubs (thank you, Kristen and respective firefighters);

9) A spot in the next Fiddy video (random white ho on the Benz);

10) A get-out-of-jail-free card for my dirty mouth on this blog;

and if your damned corporate sponsors haven't completely repealed your budget, please send

11) THIS. Hey, I can dream, right?

Lastly, please tell Mrs. Claus that I think she's one hell of a woman putting up with your bullshit. What kind of husband works only one day a year? And putting the needs of the entire world first? Damn, Santa, you'd better be one HELL of a lover, because I can tell you that shit would bother me like all get out.

Anyway, please bring all my blogger peeps whatever they want for Christmas. They deserve it.

Much Love and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Portrait Day

I will never EVER be one of those parents who can go in to a portrait studio, choose one pose, and pay $10 for the whole caboodle. Why? Because to me, photography is about unadulterated memories. Glimpses of my baby girl. Moments of her life I will never see after this age. So, I spent too much cash flow today, but here is why (a sample).



Thursday, December 6, 2007

Inspiration

Normally I get all snarky and sarcastic, but not today, my friends. There are many of us out here in bloggerland that deal with the whole post-baby mind/body/spirit shakedown. It's a tough thing, probably one of the hardest places we've found ourselves yet. I don't know that I've ever been less sure of myself and more confused at times than I have the last couple of years. I think many of you can relate, and I just want to say you're not alone. And I also want to tell you that you can get out of it. I'm not sure how this will come about for you individually, but I can tell you what has happened to me.

Just over three months ago, I was at the one of the lowest points in my self-confidence spectrum. I felt down in a way I couldn't describe to you even if I had all of the right words. One day, I decided to take a walk to get out of the house and clear my head - no baby, no hubs, just me. And what I discovered that day is absolutely amazing. I discovered that I am a great mom with a strong body and a deep soul. All that just from thinking on a walk. And when I returned home, I felt like a new person. That day may have set me up for a kind of change I would have never imagined.

I just came back inside from my near-daily run/walk, and an amazing thing happened to me today. I was nearing the last half-mile and a decent downpour of sleet, rain, and snow began. It was 32 degrees and I was layered up and now about to be soaking wet. But I didn't quit running and take a short cut home.

I threw my hands in the air, began laughing, and kept running. This is my moment - I have arrived.

Over three months ago I would have never even ventured outside because of the damn weather. How the hell did someone like me end up running in the FUCKING FREEZING WINTRY MIX?

I made a decision three months ago to do what feels good, and nothing more. That means on days when I don't want to run, I don't; I only go out and walk. The magic of that sentiment is that I don't feel pressure anymore, like I'm competing to better myself every damn day and then disappointing myself when it doesn't happen. That is the exact kind of thinking that stops me every time. "Why bother trying so hard when it doesn't work?" Fuck that. When I just do something, I feel a little better every day. And when I feel good I want to do more. And more. And more. And more. And because I only have done what feels good...

In the last three months I've lost 18 pounds, nearly 2 dress sizes, 4 inches in my waist, and 5 inches in my hips. I interval train (alternating running and walking) on the days when I feel good. My running interval has gone from 20 seconds to 4.5 minutes. I've thought about new things and learned new things about myself during my sessions. I feel like a human being again. And a damn strong, sexy, and confident one at that.

Remember, none of this really was ever about weight loss. It was just about taking care of me, having some alone time. I've listened for years to people tell their awesome stories about how they beat this or that health thing. I'd try to copy their successes and miserably fail. Why? Because each of us has our own unique way we relate to the universe. In turn, we have our own unique way of relating to ourselves. You are the only one that can figure out how it will work for you. But you will never learn if you don't find out what feels good and just try it. And when you truly find it, you will want to do more of it. And more. And more. And more.

I don't believe I will ever be a marathon runner or anything like that. I'm still all about me. I don't want stopwatches or medals or anything. I do it just because it feels good to get all primal with myself. But who knows? As I've learned over the last three months, anything is possible...

I wish you all of the best in finding that "thing" that helps you relate to your soul. May it be an eternal gift to you.

Much love to my internet family!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tag, I'm It: 7 Random Things About Me

So, bananafana tagged me for this post, so here are my 7 random things about, well, ME. Hope you'll still respect me (if you do) when it's over!

1) My number one fear is electrical fire. To add to my delirium, my house was built during the short usage period of aluminum wiring during the 1960's. Which is fine if handled properly, but mine needed some maintenance. So this past summer I didn't sleep at night for weeks until everything was fixed and up to code. But still, rewire a light fixture with a live box in anyone's house and I will be nowhere in sight.

2) I wrote my first "novel" at age 12. Isn't that insane? It was called "My Wildest Dreams" and of course involved a series of daydreams. I worked on it feverishly during free period in junior high. I'm toying with the idea of writing the same type of deal in my adult life. Of course, this one will, as I'm sure would would assume, entail some element of S-E-X. Scared yet???

3) I keep three journals - a personal, a daydream, and an inspirational. This is in addition to anything done on the computer for your reading pleasure. The daydream one is my favorite and I have completely personified HIM. Yes, I am insane. And he only gets the BLACK specially-picked pen, as opposed to the inspirational journal always in my purse which will accept any form of writing utensil.

4) My college roommate and I had contraband fish living in our dorm room. Apparently, they had opposite personalities despite the fact that the pet department guy told us they could co-habitate. SY's fish ate my fish's eyes, so my poor baby spent the rest of it's mundane life clinging to the side of the bowl.

5) Traditional Christmas carols and the Rockette's live nativity at the end of their holiday show make me bawl like a baby. I think it's because they bring back so many memories of my grandma, who is my biggest inspiration. I was named after her as well. She passed away while I was away at college in February of 1997. My last words to her before leaving to go back to school were, "I love you and I'll see you again soon." Still gets me going. Ditto for Sarah McLachlan.

6) I could have been a pop star. OK, maybe not a star, but I was selected and did a stint for an all-female pop group back in the early 90's complete with producer, studio time, etc etc. Weird shit, huh? It went south for me when my dad got wind of the schedule and the money situation. Oh - and Dad wasn't happy with the apparel selections, I might add. Britney, I was the original, BITCH! Oh, thank God I didn't go there...

7) My group of friends seems to lend itself to any sort of joke set-up. I have a whole range I wish I could finish. They go something like this:
a) So a minister, a flight attendant, and a law professor walked into a bar...
b) A doctor, an art teacher, and a speech pathologist are at this karaoke club...
c) A nurse, an attorney, and a carpenter go to lunch...
d) ok, there are too many to keep going
I have just about every field covered. Hmmmm. A future project???

Hope you've enjoyed this installment of bullshit. Have a great Thursday, BEOTCHES!

Where Little Diva Gets It From...

Courtesy of Season's Day Spa (Audra, girl, you ROCK), here is my current state of mind:

No, Perrier, you low-life! Evian is trailer-park water! And I said only GHIRARDELLI DARK CHOCOLATE! What's this Hershey's crap?! Get my agent on the phone! And where's my damn publicist?! Have your people call my people. No, I won't endorse that shit! Do you know who I am?!

Anyway, I'm gettin' all Hollywood on your ass. It's amazing what a massage and a great manicure will do to a girl. I've never been uber high-maintenace, but I'm thinking I could get used to such a lifestyle. Now, if we can just get the hair situation cleared up, I'll be ready for the big screen. OH, wait. I'm not an actor.

In an odd sign of things, I am awaiting replies from some publications. The nail color I chose for my manicure just happened to be called "My Big Break." Foreshadowing??? Just in case, I bought a bottle. We'll see...

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Well, everyone, just wanted to check in and say hi and that I have not been sent to a penitentiary or anything like that. It's been a busy couple of days around here, and I am about to lose my mind. So I'm doing what any somewhat-sane person would do - I'm headed to the day spa. Yes, ladies, I will be thinking of you all during my massage. Thank God I still had that gift certificate laying around. Oh how I pine for the days when I could pretty much go on a whim...

It's fucking cold out and now the biggest decision I have to make is what to wear to the spa. I'm thinking the yoga pants and a sweatshirt because I will pretty much be a big pile of do-nothing shit by about 2 PM. YAY!

Anyhow, I'll check in later!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas SMACKDOWN 2006: Back by Popular Demand

The proudest moment of my parental career has to be when we discovered Little Diva understood our message about how to handle strangers who give out candy.


Exhibit A:

Incidentally, this became our 2006 Christmas card that everyone STILL has hanging on the fridge.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The LIST

So I have this blog topic list that you all so wonderfully itemized for me. And for the last few days I've stared at it and want to write some more of it. But I'm getting bogged down. Why? GOOD QUESTION!

I think I'm suffering from what-if-it-doesn't-come-out-right syndrome. That's generally what happens the few days following the sending out of some submission work. I'm all freaked-out about me perhaps being some silly fool and that I won't say exactly what I mean. Because that's truly what happens when a TYPE A personality sets out with a goal. It never stops; the end result can always be better. At some point, it takes some of my peeps to say, "Will you just quit obsessing and FUCKING SEND IT OUT?!"

So last night, I did send out some work. And now I get to play the waiting for an answer/did they even get it game. In effort to spice things up around here, I will diverge from the topic list for a couple of posts and write stress-free.

ERICA: I will get to SAHMBO, I promise. It's one of my favorite topics, and I think more people should talk about it and HOW MUCH IT SUCKS ASS.

TESSIE: ENFP - this is a good example. Knowing that only 8-10% of the world's populations sees things the way I do only perpetuates my silliness. BUT I MUST WRITE ABOUT IT. It will be coming soon. As will the much-awaited birth story.

Everyone else: Thanks for not saying I'm bat shit crazy (even though you are all thinking it).

I'll be in touch!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

APB: Bloggers MIA

Where the hell is everyone? I found only a handful of new posts up today. Did some catastrophe happen and my family is the only one that survived? That's not good for repopulating, let me tell you! I'm lonely!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why HDTV ROCKS This Mama!

We have cheap cable. The kind that goes straight from the wall to the TV - no fancy boxes or any of that mess. So we don't receive the HD signal (but we will when the nation holds a gun to our skulls in 2009 and I HAVE to pay to upgrade). However, because we do have an HDTV now, we can stretch the cheap-guy's cable signal out to fit the HDTV format on our new TV. Which means that things get slightly wider. Including Victoria's Secret models. Just in time for the fashion show.

And thanks to my running and walking efforts to multiply the HDTV effect:

I NOW LOOK LIKE A VICTORIA'S SECRET MODEL!

Imagine the possibilities...


And just so I can toot my own horn: I lost a dress size in 8 weeks of making changes only to my exercise program (i.e. channel surfing to interval training). Digging on Starbucks AND losing my ass is AWESOME!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Salvation Army Stress Disorder

It started for me a few weeks ago. I hopped out of my car on a mid-afternoon supermarket run, sun shining, about 70 degrees worth of summer still left in the air. My ears perked up like the deer in Bambi at the sound of hunters. Could it be that time already? And then I heard it for certain - the BELL! THE TINKLING CLINKING TINY BRASS BELL! I shifted my gaze from the sky to the front door of the store, and my suspicions were confirmed. Tinkling bell? Check. Swinging red kettle? Check. Guy I'd have to talk to on my way out? Check. THE SALVATION ARMY WAS OUT IN FULL FORCE!

I immediately began checking my pockets and wallet for "spare" dollars or change. I had none! DAMN THE DEBIT CARD! No cash transactions = no change for Salvation Army volunteer. It was like being caught with my pants down! My heart started racing as I approached the door. What the hell was I going to do??? Vomit was a viable option. Why? Because prior to the life of single-incomedom I loved to be the Christmas spare change/cash wielding bitch! Giving is fun, and I love it. That was before the budget and the debit card. And now, here I was, with no good answer to this new situation.

How did I handle it? Well, I can't ignore people, so I told the guy "God bless" on my way out. Whew. Dodged a bullet there, genius. But what do I do next time??? The alternate question is how do YOU handle it? It seems to me that most people take one of three positions on this issue (when they are not giving):

A) completely ignore volunteer bell-ringer;
B) smile, nod, and say "I gave this morning"/"I'll get you next time"; or
C) run like their ass is on fire/it's raining and they have to get to the car.

None of the above options really work for me because I am an ENFP personality (see post to come for more info). I would be awake for days at the thought of being dishonest to someone who is volunteering for poor people for the love of all things holy! (Yes, really, me). However, I can't afford to give a fiver everytime I head into a store. On the other hand, I don't want to be that cheapskate with the pocket full of pennies! For now, I'm taking a few quarters with me when Little Diva and I go errand running so she gets to learn giving, and that's about it at this point. But the quarter jar is getting low!!!

I have entertained the idea of holding out my debit card and pretending to "swipe" at the kettle when I walk by - like SpeedPass for charity. Does that make me an asshead? Discuss your position on holiday charitable giving...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Coffee Cup Quandary

This message is brought to you by arm restraints and coffee creamers.

I'm a little OCD about some things. Weird things. Things that would make you think I'm a madwoman (or an asshead, your choice). Like coffee cup lids. But only coffee cup lids that do not come on the stout and sturdy go-cups from true coffee establishments like Starbucks and Wired Coffee.

My paranoia is related to, in particular, those flimsy-ass convenience store/gas station coffee cup lids. I have this recurring daymare (like a nightmare, but during my conscious waking hours, oh my god I'm so crazy I'm making up words). In said scenario, I go to take a sip of my judiciously mixed coffee beverage only to have the lid leak/crack, or in the really terrifying dreams, completely blow off leaving me in a boiling hot waterfall of my perfect coffee.

[Note: A special shout out to the lame ass who sued McDonald's many years ago over the coffee spillage burn issue. Thanks to this genius, every coffee cup now has the WARNING: HOT bullshit branded right into the cup. This only adds to the hypersensitivity I have surrounding this issue. There's nothing like seeing those last words as I raise the superheated beverage to my lips, wondering if my daymare will come true.]

SO, if you see someone in the convenience store checking the lid on her damn coffee like 80 times AND pushing down on it hard enough to crumple the whole stupid cup before leaving the scene, it's probably me. Unless that person is muttering things under her breath. Oh, wait. That probably IS me...

Monday, November 19, 2007

10 Things That Annoy Me (A TRL Exclusive)

OK, so this was going to be the TOP ten things that annoy me. However, that is a continually changing list which is often dependent on a) my hormonal/BITCH cycle and b) the amount of times my patience has been toddler-tested in any particular day. So, we'll just go with ten things overall. These are not deal breakers. These are the things that just make me say, "What is UP with this shit?" In no particular order:

10) Purchasing a fountain beverage and realizing upon the return to my car that I have chosen the incorrect size of straw for the beverage cup. Naturally, I've already buckled in and revved up the 4 cylinder when this occurs.

9) Finding myself alone and up late on a Friday night only to rediscover for the eighty-billionth time that Frasier and Golden Girls are NOT in the late-night line up on Lifetime.

8) Again, back out in the car, buckled, revved, etc. etc. and discovering that my iced chai latte has been inappropriately created with WHOLE MILK (I said NON-FAT, you bastard. No, not you. The other one!). Note: Pardons are granted for new baristas.

7) Applying deodorant and the damn stuff falls out. You know, the last chunk left in the twisty-up-lie-to-me container? And it always happens on a this-is-my-last-clean-black-tank-top day, thereby leaving a tell-tale trail of white crap across said shirt. This is why I donned an over shirt on the hottest fucking day of the summer.

6) Nancy Grace. Moving on...

5) Getting all excited that we have a ton of mail, only to realize that 95% of it is from charitable organizations who by now have used all of my previous donation money to send me solicitations for new donations. Next time I'll send them stamps instead and we'll call it even.

4) Long honkers. See Lame Snippet 2 for more info.

3) Stopping at a four-way stop across from other drivers and being the only one who knows the correct procedure. By this I mean that everyone else looks from one driver to the next, and some try to wave others through with complete disregard for the right way to handle it. For those of you who fall into THEIR category, here is the deal should we ever meet across one of these situations (to avoid my wrath):

A FOUR-WAY STOP sign means that there are four stop signs at this
intersection. Traffic from all four directions must stop. The first vehicle to
reach the intersection should move forward first. If two vehicles reach the
intersection at the same time, the driver on the left yields to the driver on the right.*

2) Trying to open any sort of container wrapped in some sort of cellophane/shrink-wrap where a perforation is denoted "OPEN HERE." The annoying containers of which I speak tend to be beverages, lip glosses, or cough syrup. The teeny perforation serves no purpose for me except to make me feel like a complete failure because I can't even open the damn thing where they've supposedly made it easy. CONVENIENCE MY ASS! Somebody hand me a scissors or a box cutter or something. I'll take off a finger tip before I buy into that "open here" scam again. Don't try and do me any favors, Mr. Consumer-Friendly-Packaging Developer Guy. I'm just fine doin' it old school...

1) THIS:
WHY, GOD, WHY? Is this really that hard to figure out? Is this deficiency in appropriate TP behavior genetic and gender-related?

Note: This pic may later appear in a photo essay about hubby. But I was dying to use it, and it fits with the current topic.


Well, I think that's about it for now. NEXT SUBJECT COMING SOON!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blogger Constipation

In response to some e-mails and comments, I am hanging out here to explain myself (or lack thereof). Paraphrasing from Seinfeld, Kristen, "I will not submit to forcible [posting]!" And yet, here I am. Because some of you actually seem to get all horny for the blog. Geez, it's nice to be missed. But I'm posting for me, not you. GOT IT?! Umm , that's sarcasm. If you're not used to that, you must have ended up here in error. But keep reading because I've been told I say some pretty funny shit from time to time...

For those of you who know me, you are aware that sometimes I drop off the face of the earth for a few days. Then I suddenly appear in all my sahm glory with all too much to say. Therein lies my current dilemma. I am not suffering from a lack of topics upon which to bore you with my ramblings, but rather I have a plethora from which I cannot choose.

I am enduring a MAJOR case of blogger constipation and as soon as you all can help me out, I'm sure posting diarrhea will soon follow. If I don't get some assistance here soon, I'm afraid my creative system will be impacted. And that would completely suck. It's gross, but it's a great analogy. It's like I'm sitting here with a magazine and my drawers around my ankles thinking, "Will you just come out already?!" So discuss in the comments, if you will, the topics you would most like to see shortly:

My wedding story (I'm light years behind you more industrious bloggers on this)
Little Diva's birth story (see parenthesis above)
Salvation Army stress disorder
The coffee cup quandary
Little Diva learns the art of "working a room"
HDTV and its effects on people I envy
Top 10 things that annoy the shit out of me
SAHMBO (stay-at-home-mom burn out)
The strip tease class
ENFP - Yeah, I'm an idealist
Stuff I need to finish before I die
Annoying tidbits about Hubs

That's just a start. Pick some and help me out, dammit!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

MUST. GET. SLEEP. NOW.

OH MY GAWD! I am so exhausted. I damn near fell asleep at the lunch table with my fam today. I think all the craziness of this past weekend is catching up with me.


That, AND I've been up late writing for a couple of submission deadlines, which has been fun but is killing my nighttime rest. I've always been a bit of a procrastinator, but it tends to work better for my writing. I've never been one of those people that could do that multi-step writing shit they teach you in school. I'm too ADHD for that bullshit. Get it all out at once, I say! Passion, stress, anxiety - these are the elixir for good writing!!!


The stupid part is that I didn't run Monday (heavy rain), Tuesday I managed to eek out 2 miles, and today, well, I think I just need to go lie down while the wee one gets some much needed shut-eye. She was a major CRAB ASS towards the last part of our weekly visit with S and E at Barnes & Noble this morning, even going so far as to take a swipe at E with one of her paws. We had to come home and have the talk about "you know we use our words and hitting is NOT acceptable." Which was followed by some crocodile tears and a juice request, which somehow makes everything feel better in a toddler world. (I guess I can relate because I know what Grey Goose does for me on a Friday night). I know Little Diva needs a nap or it will be the end of mom of the year as a felony conviction-free citizen by about 4 o'clock today (or as it is known in our house "crappy hour").



Oh. Before I forget, here is my normally sweet baby dressed up for Halloween...

I will say it for you: HOW CUTE! She wanted the pumpkin to become the carriage, but I was simply out of magic dust for that to happen. Alas, we ended up hoofing it to the neighborhood Halloween ball.


OK, I will ponder the run/walk or nap decision for a moment longer. Then I will commit to one or the other and try and come up with something funny to say later...

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Rough Draft Teaser

For your reading pleasure, I've begun a new creative non-fiction piece and have posted a teaser at www.literalchaos.blogspot.com. Please feel free to leave comments, good or not-so-good. I need to hear it all. Also, no, it's not done yet...

Social Event Progression (or Regression???)

Yup. It happened. This weekend hubs and I had our first-ever party including babies, kids, and pictures of everyone's families. It was CRAZY FUN! Up until this point, our parties pre-Little Diva revolved around large quantities of alcohol in many forms and staying up until the wee hours playing drinking games or something else to justify being piss drunk. Post-Little Diva's inmahbellay time and birth, the parties centered around Little Diva (birthdays, baptism, first time on the potty, geez, you know, anything for her). This time our party was one of those rights of passage in family-hood - THE BRING YOUR KIDS PARTY! It was insane, and yet so much fun that I can't wait to have another one after the holidays!

So now, here are some pix:



At our maximum period of fun, we had about 40 people here, about 10 of which were kids. I would venture to say this is probably the most fun I've had in my own home in a while. The beauty of it was that everyone seemed to be relaxed and just having fun being away from their respective homesteads. The newer moms and dads could hang out on the floor with the babies or run up to LD's room for crib/rocking chair use as the need arose or parttake in the many conversations going on all over the place. The toddlers and older kids kept each other entertained and we heard nor saw any whining, crying or bleeding, so all was well! We had all sorts of people here - married with no kids, married with 1 kid, married with several kids, single, single and hot, engaged, married too long to count and so on and so forth. It was great! My only regrets were that it took us over 2 years to have this party and that I wasn't able to spend as much time with everyone as I'd hoped until after dinner. This thing started at 5 and was wrapping for the kid-laden by around 8-ish, which was the plan since we understand that whole bedtime thing. We had several folks who stuck it out with us much later (thanks to post-dinner babysitters for us weary parents).

I totally recommend this type of informal occasion to ANYONE! I hope that all who were here had as much fun as I did. It was so nice to see everyone, and the kids had a great time keeping each other out of our hair, which was also a bonus.

One more web shout-out to Officer N, our friend who recently became a STL City Police Officer. You and your lovely wife have my undying respect and admiration. And, N's a cutie, too, so here's his pic with his shiny new badge:






Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mostaccioli Recipe (the short version)

At the request of several readers, here is the quick version of mostaccioli:

CLASSIC BAKED MOSTACCIOLI

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 1/2 c. meatless spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. water
8 oz. (3 1/3 c.) mostaccioli noodles (or penne, I suppose if your grocery store is LAME)
6 oz. Mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese

In skillet cook meat and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender, stirring to break meat into chunks. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water; simmer 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook mostaccioli as directed; drain. Mix the sauce with mostaccioli in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle Parmesan over mixture. Then put Mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with garlic bread.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happiness Quotient: Extremely HIGH

I have been gone for what seems like forever. I know you are sorely disappointed in me, but, alas, I have been corralling all of the craziness here and also taking some time to indulge myself. Here's the breakdown:

Saturday
Spent the afternoon kid-free with SY looking at all things girly and sparkly and yummy. Treated myself on the impending bonus hubby will be receiving soon (the labor contract was nationally accepted). Here is an example of the end result.

You: Excuse me. You smell fantastically sexy. Are you wearing Dolce & Gabbana?
Me: Why, yes. Yes, I am.

I indeed enjoyed my afternoon and came giggling into the house with a bottle of D&G from Macy's (and nothing more). Ah, yes, these are the simple diva pleasures I remember from my former life (i.e. when I was single).

Sunday
Hubby enthusiastically agrees that we need a new TV. Now, you must understand he is the last person to spend money on such things, so this was a total surprise. Also understand that since my 15 year old kick ass (really) TV crapped out one year ago, we've been watching TV on a 19 inch set as old as me that does not have any input jacks for DVD players, VCRs, or anything but coaxial cable. Oh, and the tube is almost out so I had the contrast turned up as high as it could do so we could get a picture. Thus, watching the World Series was more like watching blood droplets ooze around on a green background.

You: How cool is your new TV?
Me: Well, it's pretty cool by our standards. We don't require much in the way of electronic gadgetry. We already had surround sound (a gift from an ex-boyfriend - thanks, JOHN!) and the DVD player, and the TV brings us up to current American normalcy, I suppose. You can see it here.

Monday-Tuesday
We have an upcoming soiree this weekend a la casa de mom of the year. Thus, I have been cleaning up things and got my office all picked up ultra-clean so we can clear some toys out of the living room and SWOOSH them away to the office to accommodate our guests. I used my "mommy time" while LD was at school to get some party supply shopping done (which did include some nice foo-fooey table coverings and acanthus leaf candle holders - YAY). I was in mid party-planning mode and starting to get some things together both days, and collapsed into bed at night while fighting the horrendous cough my daughter had a few weeks ago.

Wednesday
YAY! Today was Barnes & Noble Day, so I got to hang with S and her daughter E. I might add that the toasted marshmallow mocha at B&N was tasty, although I think maybe a bit overrated. I'll stick to my chai next time, I think. I'm in full party-planning mode and am chomping at the bit to get everything white-glove clean and get the food going, but I certainly wanted to be here for a moment, because I've missed my internet GURRRLZ awfully bad. Over the last few days, I'd realize I missed a whole day with you all and I'd actually fucking freak out about it.

I will post some Halloween pix soon so you can see the light of my life dressed as Cinderella in all her finery.

Anyway, there's mostaccioli to make and bathrooms to clean...

Note to other St. Louisans: "mostaccioli" is not in spellchecker. Can you imagine???

Friday, November 2, 2007

German-esque Recipe from Hausfrau

Good morning, ladies! Hope you all are having an excellent Friday. I thought I would stop in and share a recipe that I love to cook up this time of year. Judging from the states that many of you come from, I think it's safe to say that there are quite a few of you who, like me, have some sort of German heritage down the line. You know, those relatives with the last name bearing a consonant to vowel ratio of about 80:1. While I am mainly of Western European descent (see Braveheart for references), that German gene is so damn potent! Here is a recipe that totally rocks and is super easy. Warning: it does contain sauerkraut. However, my sister, who somehow has managed to misplace her German section of genes, HATES sauerkraut in any of its forms, save for this one. It is actually quite good and can get you through any longings you may have for the fare of Strassenfest, Oktoberfest, Wurstfest, or any of the other FESTS solely created by Germans for the purposes of downing beer and raising cholesterol levels. So, here we go:

Sauerkraut and Ribs

1 32 oz bag of Flanagan Krrrrisp Kraut (usually found by refrigerated pickles in meat section)
1 can french onion soup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 pounds country style pork ribs boned and trimmed (I buy them this way)

Preheat oven to 350. Place ribs on bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Top with the drained sauerkraut. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the sauerkraut. Pour the undiluted soup over the top of all. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 3-4 hours or until tender. Remove foil during last 1/2 hour for browning.

I LOVE THE SMELL OF THIS BAKING!!! Reminds me of my grandma's house...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Letter to My Neighbor-Guys

Dear Neighbor-Guys,

Thank you so much for your support today whilst I was running. It meant so much to me that you gave me a wave and yelled "Yeah, titties!" from your VW as you drove by me. Without neighbors like you, I don't know how I could continue running. If you truly appreciated the show, I will be sitting on the stoop this evening while my daughter naps. You can drop by a sizable tip if you'd like. Or perhaps my "titties" and I will run into you at the neighborhood Halloween party tonight at the clubhouse. In either case, thank you again for your undying respect.

Peace,
Runs with Titties Bouncing
(my Native American name)

P.S. I do 3-6 miles per day. What do your pot-smoking asses do? YOU WANNA GO, SUCKAS?!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Barrel Train

Inquiring minds were asking, "What the hell is your child daring to ride on at the pumpkin patch?" Well, all, it's a line of old barrels on wheels strung together and pulled by a small tractor. Here is a subsection of the "train":
Just because I'm a jackass, and in case you are completely concrete jungle raised and you've never ever been in the country, here is a tractor:

And I think since the barrels are more than likely old chemical barrels (from a certain company with whom I may or may not have been employed), those of you who don't like modern farming will probably give me this:

Spoil sports. Jeez. It's not like they aren't CLEAN! And before any anti-chem panties get in MAJOR wads - the farm chem once residing in these barrels is inert to humans. Although, the barrels can be purchased for farmers to mix their own chem, so it's entirely possible that these were purchased just to make the train and never held any chem at all. That will help me avoid any possible egging of my home or car, right?

Obligatory Fall Pictures

Today's post is sponsored by introspection, solemnity, and silence. In other words, I'm just not that freaking funny today. *long sigh*

I am so glad that fall is finally here. For those of you with the misfortune of not living in a section of this country that experiences the autumn color change, I offer the below images from our trip to the pumpkin patch this past weekend. Although the leaves are not quite in full color-changing swing yet, the signs are quite apparent that the show will be fabulous this fall.



And because everyone loves pictures of kids, here's one of Little Diva at said location enjoying her afternoon of being able to run around and be LOUD:



It was a really nice day out for all of us. Little Diva had her first horseback ride this weekend, and we had the good fortune to serendipitously meet up with a couple of friends at the farm. By, the way, here is Little Diva with her future husband:


Anyway, LD is at school, hubby is napping, and we have no groceries. I suppose I'll head out and forage for some food at the supermarket. *YAWN* Maybe I will have some ridiculous observation when I get back...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hanukkah Shampoo and Melting Mom of the Year

There is a strange phenomenon that's been occurring in my shower for approximately the last two weeks. I heart Matrix Amplify shampoo so much that I might consider giving an appendage for it. My bottle should have run out weeks ago, but for some reason, every time I reach for it there is still enough to get me through that particular shower. And that's without adding any water to get it out. It simply will not run out! Therefore, I know the joy of that special thing I like to call Hanukkah Shampoo. I'm retarded.

On the heels of the Bedroom Confessions post, I would like to offer up a particular snippet of video sent to me by someone who shall remain nameless. This is basically a great representation of how CHOWDAH could be restored in my home; please note the dialogue. The HOT ACTOR might be a nice feature as well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_gJ6huUHDU

OH MY GOD! GO AHEAD, BABY! SOMEONE PLEASE HOSE ME THE FUCK DOWN! I am such a sucker for an awesome kissing scene, and this one takes the cake, er, uh pie. SERIOUSLY! If Donnie Wahlberg were any hotter in this scene, I truly believe my entire body would melt into a fucking puddle on the ground. The end.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bedroom Confessional

OK, for some unknown reason, I am privy to truckloads of dirty dirt on just about all of my girlfriends. I am honored to hold such secrets and revelations and will not divulge any of them here (really). Conversations of the CHOWDAH sort usually begin with a friend saying these words: "OK, this is kind of TMI." But I think they say that as a sanity-checker for themselves. I, quite honestly, believe we are all freaks of some sort or another, and perhaps that's why people tell me things. Anyway, since many of you have let me in on certain bits of your bedrooms, I will give you one of mine. Don't worry - it's not TMI, just really funny.

So we've all heard the shit about sometimes just needing to do the wifely duty for his sake, right? I know that all of us are not programmed to run on such a circuit 24/7, so here is my fix for you. I keep a mental fishbowl full of slips of paper containing the names of certain attractive males I will never in all the fire of hell have the opportunity to, um, bang the living daylights out of. Note: no one that I know or that is the property of someone I know is fair game. On one of those nights when just getting it done for his sake is the goal, a cool thing happens in my brain. Have you ever been to a theatrical production where a character is being played by an understudy? Stick with me here. Generally, there is an announcement made that the understudy will be playing the role of such-and-such character. THIS IS THE COOLEST EVER! A little man in a soft voice pops into my head before said act and announces, "This evening for your enjoyment, the part of hubby will be played by (insert fishbowl name)." And, voila, you have a more entertaining time. Odd? Maybe. Better fantasy? Definitely. He cares? HELL NO! He wins no matter what. Period. Feel free to use this one any time.

I'm sure you're dying to know who's in the fishbowl. All I can say is that the fishbowl may or may not include (in no particular order): Donnie Wahlberg, Johnny Depp, Edward Norton, Leonard DiCaprio, Vince Vaughn, and several others. Perhaps I need a larger fishbowl since the vacuum incident...

Now it's your turn. DISH UP THE CHOWDAH SOLUTIONS!

Target Panick Attack

DEAR GOD HELP ME! Little Diva and I ventured into the whimsy that is Target to pick up some stupid crap like paper towels and light bulbs. You know, the stuff you just can't wait to spend money on (right now I'd rather buy a couple of martinis than be able to see in my house at night). Anyway, while we were perusing the various visually delectable wares at Target, I decided that since it is getting a bit chilly here, I need to pick up some more running/laying around the house attire. I went to the sportswear section and started looking for my favorite fall/winter separates of all time. At first I didn't see anything, so I checked around more slowly than the first round. And again a little faster. And again. And by the fourth time around the department, I was so frantic that Little Diva actually said to me, "Mommy, do you not feel well? Please slow down." I was pacing around the racks like someone looking for a way out in a Friday the 13th film. And yet, I NEVER FOUND THE BLACK SLIGHTLY-CLINGY BUT MAKE MY BUTT LOOK MUCH SMALLER YOGA PANTS. If they have opted out of this particular merchandise selection, MY LIFE IS OVER! First the vacuum, then the pants. What next, the apocalypse???

Addendum: I ended up blowing a cool $189 on household BS, one CUTE outfit for LD, a couple of workout clothes items, dogfood, lightbulbs, paper towels, Halloween candy, and Halloween sparkle shoes for LD, who will be going as Cinderella. Because I know you really wanted to know this shit. Also, I got out my wallet and told the cashier, "I don't have any money, but these people will send you some." I put my card in the card reader and she stared at me like she didn't get it. Ok. I guess I'm lame. As you were, troops. Comment away.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Anti-CHOWDAH (props to Tessie)

OK, first I must give myself a large shout out for my fitness efforts today. I interval trained for approximately 4.5 miles (cue applause track; standing ovation optional but suggested, thankyouverymuch). Holy hellcats! I am finding myself to be much stronger than thought, so this is a total bonus.

HOWEVER, after returning from my excursion around the neighborhood, I found this subtle symbol of my husband's love for me: Meet our vacuum cleaner. Yes - out, plugged in, and ready to go. FOR ME! Are you fucking serious? This seems to be a regular occurrence in our home. He gets it out, plugs it in, and then leaves for work. Ummmmmm, yeah. I believe I think about CHOWDAH more than any other person in the world these days, but for reasons such as the aforementioned misogyny, THE FACTORY SHALL REMAIN CLOSED. More on possible solutions to my debauchery debacle later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

JAM SUCKA!

Oh yes, I am completely in the throes of the third-of-life crisis. What's that, you ask? Well, it's that time in your life when you look around and basically say, "WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED HERE?" And then you spend the rest of your time trying to figure out how the hell you can claim your life back. So that's where our journey begins.

Today was Little Diva's half day at school. I spent the first half of my free time getting in the run/walk head clearing/workout and the second half driving around, hitting Starbucks, and rediscovering the joy that was my former self, which needs to be continued past this pinnacle of life we call motherhood. I hate that I lost myself, yet love that I am finding myself again. And I get to reinvent myself in the process. How cool is that? SO on that note, I have again professed my love for Rage Against The Machine to the dismay of fellow drivers at stoplights. If you were out today in my hood, yes, that indeed was me in the Honda with the empty car seat in the back and blaring renegade madness. Ahhhh. It feels so good to be home. For your entertainment, I promise many updates on the REBIRTH OF SLICK (wink SY). It's sure to be an interesting ride, so please stay tuned. And BUCKLE UP, for the love of god!!!

On a completely unrelated note, just for my curiosity, here's the question of the day. Please discuss in the comments (be brave for my sanity's sake, you non-posters):

What do you think I look like?

And those of you who know me, pretend you don't and that all you have to go on is blogger content to describe my appearance...

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's Just Like Christmas

Yes, girls, today is that special holiday that comes only once a year - the annual gyno exam. I just love the paper gown and the crampiness that follows. Perhaps I will pen some appropriate carols to celebrate this holiday later.

I shall be removing all doors and light switches from my home. Little Diva is driving me BAT-SHIT CRAZY with them. It goes like this: open/close, open/close, "please don't do that," open/close, open/close, "do you need a time out to calm down," open/close (with a guilty glance), TIME OUT. On/off, on/off, "I asked you before not to do that," on/off (mischievous grin), "please stop or you'll be in time out," on/off, "that's enough, go to your room." AHHHHHHHHHHH. Repeat pattern hundreds of times throughout the day until mom is ready to pack her bags and get out of town on the next thing smoking. While I admit that light at literally the flip of a switch is quite a cool phenomenon, this is fucking insane. I would change all electrical appliances to The Clapper to avoid switches, but I think we know what THAT would do to me. Moving on...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of having lunch with SY at Noodles and Company. YAY! It was good to be outside and get some "big-people" conversation time. However, the unexpected occurred as Little Diva demonstrated for SY exactly why alcoholism is so prevalent among stay-at-home moms. By the way, I did have a drink at 3 PM (but I swear it was just one, and we were out of Coke anyway).

For all of you lit enthusiasts, I've posted a partial journal entry at http://www.literalchaos.blogspot.com/ which may or may not become a creative non-fiction piece. Feel free to stop by and comment if you'd like.

Anyway, gotta hop in the shower and get ready for THE HOLIDAY. Later, taters...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Found: Sense of Humor

Apparently, I'd left it at bananafana's house, which is where I just came from at 11:30 PM. What's that, you say? 11:30 PM? Holy shit! Yes, it's true. I had several offers of serenity from those of you who checked the blog earlier. Thank you all, by the way, for lovin' on me. While hubs is at work tonight, I was treated to pizza and a toddler free-for-all at bananafana's, to whom I express much gratitude for the hiatus from my normal evening chaos.

On the way home, after rehashing some college memories, I felt nostalgic. As luck would have it, on the 2 mile ride from her home there is that beacon of college bliss - TACO BELL! I went through the drive-thru (with sleeping Diva in tow) and ordered up that mid-party delicacy I loved so well at my alma mater - the CHALUPA! Dear God, is there anything wonderful you CAN'T create? As an added bonus, the guy who works the late night window looks just like Fiddy and referred to me as "girl" and "baby" several times. In my prior life, I believe that would have counted as "game." Damn. Awesome. All of this on a Friday night. I know - it's fucking unbelievable.

I should probably head to bed and continue planning how this momma's gonna get her groove back. I think it will involve the reintroduction of studded leather belts and some really awesome hair. But before I go...

Riding on the coat tails of several bloggers' Starbucks stories, I would like to make a contribution. Yesterday, I went in to order my usual, which is the best way to order at a place with so many beverage options (uh, by the way, non-regulars, if you don't know what the hell you want or how to order it, step aside and watch us pros FIRST before you hold up the line and make an ass of yourself). These guys have a good idea of what I want, but I obediently step up and say "venti iced chai non-fat." Now, I've been doing this for a while on a somewhat regular basis, but every FUCKING time I order, I somehow screw the word order. I thought I had them this time, but NAW! I gave my order, and one barista looks at another and yet rearranges my words. Here's the difference. Today, I audibly said, "DAMN! I thought I had it right this time. I'm gonna get you bastards one of these days!" Good thing these guys know me well enough to laugh...

Until tomorrow...

BLAH BLAH PISSED OFF BLAH

Ok, kids. It's one of those days (the second of two in a row, I might add). Here is the list of things that are irritating the ever-loving SHIT out of me:

1) Little Diva whining/drama
2) The Battle of Naptime
3) Having to take LD on the run/walk today (don't GET me started)
4) My office is a wreck
5) Didn't get to my "Good" writing yesterday; today looks bleak as well
6) Deck is still not weatherproofed
7) I need a haircut and highlights (in some weird color, perhaps)
8) Husband is being a MAJOR ASSHAT
9) I need to go grocery shopping
10) Starbucks is so close but so far away
11) The night shift
12) UAW contract rejected
13) Hubby thinks I'm nuts
14) Sex? What's that?
15) Compensation for #14 needs to be replaced soon

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Can you relate? TO make it even, I'll post happy things later, possibly after I FIND MY FUCKING SENSE OF HUMOR!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

9 Pounds KO'ed - BUH BYE

Hey, girls! Well, the walking is paying off. I've always maintained that I don't overeat - I under do. And the scale is agreeing with me - 2 weeks and 9 pounds are gone like yesterday's garbage. YAY!

Anyway, I was really ambitious yesterday and decided to tackle a huge spot on our carpet that couldn't be anymore obvious if it were bright red paint (we have grayish-white carpet in most of our house). So I hit it with the carpet cleaner and it all amazingly came up. One problem - it's the only spot of CLEAN carpet in the entire house now. Dammit. Now I need to go rent a Rug Doctor before our little fall soiree in November. And I'll have to do the steps, too (insert sad face with single tear).

Holy shit. Little Diva is going through this whining stage with EVERYTHING! It's driving me fucking crazy!!! Despite repeated attempts to require the "nice voice" for any action from a parental figure, the whiiiiniiing continues. On top of that, we are currently fighting the Battle of Naptime. I swear to god I'm going to lose it with this...

Why an I in such a funky mood? Could it be that mommy needs a GIRLIE DAY? DID SOMEONE JUST SAY THAT PAYDAY IS TOMORROW? Perhaps on Saturday, I will head out and do some girl stuff just for me. I'll have my e-mail forwarded to Sephora in case you all need me ('cuz I know you do). Hmmmm. Black and white shopping bags holding the keys to eternal good looks and femininity. I think that will do nicely.

I'm going to write something else later. I need to go find my sense of humor. It's somewhere around here...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This and That (A Vacation Break)

AH, yes, today is Tuesday. It's Children's Day Out Day (aka Mommy Sanity Day). Do you hear that? ME NEITHER! It's quiet on the midwestern front. Let me soak it up for a second.

I'm sitting here in the office wanting to post a bit before I hit the outdoors for my walk. It's sunny today, with some intermittent clouds. Overall, the weather is great and it's one of those days where you find yourself smiling all of the time. I love days like this - me, the sunshine, and the Dell. And in a moment, me with my homeys and my thoughts for my next writing venture. I actually started on a short story last night that has been taking up mind space for some years. It's time to get that bitch on some paper, yes? Hopefully, I'll have a rough draft teaser up on http://www.literalchaos.blogspot.com/ sometime in the near future. It's funny because this one is not the type of stuff I want when I look for a good book, but it's very enjoyable to write.

Anyway, thought I'd give you a toddler bit. A few days ago, Little Diva and I were headed downstairs after naptime. She turned to me mid-staircase and said, "Mommy, where's my body?" I was a little surprised by that comment. I said, "Well, sugars, you're walking in it." Isn't that odd? I think what she was actually referring to was her shadow, which has been a source of sheer curiosity lately. It was kind of cute, but I couldn't help laugh thinking about what she said because it's entirely how I've felt over the last several months! I think they just have this intuition...

On the vacation posting... well, I think it's one of those things that is way funnier if you were there. So I may post some more pix with captions later and let you all fill in the blanks. I'm lame. The post yesterday wasn't as funny as I imagined, so I'll try and be just informative later and let you find your own humor in the whole thing.

Well, off to walk. Gotta make that mind, body, spirit, connection.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Scenes From A Road Trip Part I

Hey, my lovelies! I trust everyone's weekend was great. The fam and I thoroughly enjoyed our time down in good ol' Mississippi for Papaw's 90th birthday. However, I must say, WHAT A RIOT! Here's how it went down:

Scene 1: Driving through Missouri, I suddenly became aware of how people from the northern parts of the US assume that Missouri is somehow a southern state. It's because we have completely ignorant names for towns such as this:


Yep, that's right, folks. COOTER, MISSOURI! We almost ventured out to find the "Welcome to Cooter" sign, but it was too far off the beaten path and Little Diva was snoozing. Had to take advantage of the precious driving time. This highway exit sign will have to do. Can you even imagine? "Where are you from?" "Cooter, Missouri." How the hell can any reasonable human being say that one with a straight face???

Scene 2: Dogfight

Before I get conVICKted by PETA, this totally happened by accident (well, it would be an accident if I didn't foresee this). My MIL has two powder-puff spa dogs that make me ill. MIL decided it would be great to bring them along; not that she would EVER dream of leaving "the kids" at home. These dogs, well, the treatment of them makes me want to barf. Bear in mind that there are already three dogs that live on the property (a Rottweiler, a Weineraumer, and a Rat Terrier). So FOO FOO stupid dogs get out of the car and the mean of the two decided to pick on the Rottie. So all the craziness of my MIL freaking out ensues. She and the powder puffs are already the focus of every family joke, so this just adds to the hilarity of the ongoing saga. Note: no animals were injured, but MIL did make them retire to over-obnoxious puppy suites early from the assault.


Scene 3: Finding Lula Baptist Church in Lula, MS where the party was held.



Uh, OK, don't bother with a map because I'm willing to bet it's just not on there. The town practically doesn't exist in real life let alone in some cartography program. You take 2 bad roads off the interstate, follow two more nonexistent roads, and look for the spot where the least number of roaming dogs congregates (leaving a trail of bread crumbs might be a good idea). We missed the turn twice and ended up touring the remains of what was once a very tiny old town. It is now pretty much populated desolation. But if anyone needs a cheap summer home, there are a few for sale. HA HA HA!

We'll return for the second half later. Don't worry; the second part is MUCH better...


Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Bounce Factor

I'm still reeling from the comments graciously left by Paul Joannides, author of "Guide to Getting It On." Alas, I will put on my poker face and complain for you today about my latest irritation, affectionately named "The Bounce Factor."

Here's how this thing works. I am on a quest to have the less-than-ideal outside of me match my svelte, sexy inside being. I have begun walking and running again on a daily basis in effort to conquer the mom body with which I've been "blessed." This whole exercise deal has been great on a number of fronts (mental, creative, sex goddess wanna-be, and lastly health). However, it has been less than pleasurable on the real front of me. Really. The boobs.

I start out and get things pumping with my ganstas in my ear buds. When I get sick of walking, I switch to running. And therein lies the problem. After about 3.5 minutes, my boobs have smacked me in the chin and upper arm so many times, I have to stop or someone will accuse my husband of being a wife-beater. Oh, and the mams burn with all the fury of hell. Thus, the bounce factor is sabotaging my running effort (or, as in earlier grammar, "harshin' on my running buzz"). Shin splints? Fatigue? Whatever. It's the BOOBS that get me every time.

So do I commit to walking like my ass is on fire until the boobs go down? Or do I suck it up and continue running as my boobs make me look like a human pinata (much to the delight of teenage boys in the neighborhood)? I have yet to find the perfect bra solution to this situation, as even the best fitting sports bra has no elastic left by the time my first interval is over. HELP ME!!! I mean, can anyone relate???

Also, I will be attending a 90th birthday celebration in honor of Hubby's grandfather this weekend. We will be traveling to Mississippi for the festivities, so I will not be able to chat with you all until Sunday. Upon my return, I will probably have some pictures which will make you all question my values, but will be side-splittingly funny. Little Diva is still fighting a cough and crabbiness for which there is no solution (other than Motrin and a humidifier), so we'll see how this car ride goes. Keep your fingers crossed that no one makes us "TURN THIS CAR AROUND, YOUNG LADY!"

I wish you all (ya'll) a happy and safe weekend. Please pray that no one in the family ends up shot by celebration gunfire.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Take-Out Food Ban Lifted

Without any of the grandeur and shit-slinging I expected (and shamefully kind of hoped for), the strike is already over. Picket signs, go back to your usual sheds. Workers pick up your usual tools. There's a tentative contract on the table; the opposing team has decided to pack it up and go home. That was so uneventul that I'm a little sad. No pictures of hubby holding a picket sign.

On the upside, we will be having take-out for dinner. JUST SAY NO TO GRILLED CHEESE! Unless, of course, the members don't vote to accept the deal. Then we're back at square one. But in the meantime, it's restaurant food tonight, baby!

Thanks to all for enjoying this brief adventure with me. Again, as a white-collar, I'm still scratching my head. It's like being involved in a car accident. What the hell just happened?

It's Officially Official

Well, girls, I'm no longer a strike virgin. At 11 AM today, Chrysler workers put down their tools (in the middle of what they were doing) and walked off the job. That is so strange to me. I've been through 2 white-collar lay-offs, and that's about the scope of my understanding about leaving a job. So this stuff is completely weird.

I've been cruising the internet checking out the news spots on this story, and I've been reading the message boards. Boy, when did America become so anti-fellow human being? Yuck. Somehow people have really nasty things to say about the UAW and its employees, and that kind of gets me all hot under the proverbial blue collar. I think there's a lot of misinformation out there about the UAW workers and exactly what their benefits and such are, but the overall reaction seems to be that people really want them all to be jobless and be anti-UAW. While, to a certain extent, I agree with the last half of the statement, why do people want other families to fail financially? I don't get it, and it's a little bit heartbreaking. But, they're haters, and if the UAW did go down, they would feel the economic crunch, too. So fuck the haters.

This is somewhat like watching the last game of the World Series for me. The strike could end in a day or in months - no one really knows. It all depends on what contract is delivered from the mound and whether or not the batter will take a swing. I'm actually kind of excited. But again, I think that's because we have options. I do feel a lot for those families out there right now who don't have the same opportunities; this really can be a scary time for them.

Oh well. Just wanted to check in and let you all know that I get to have the inside scoop on strike life for all of us who never understood it growing up. Perhaps this will become the premise for my blockbuster novel???

On a happy note, I know how much everyone loves pix. So if Hubby gets picket duty, I will be sure to post his debut right here...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Honey-Do's

Ok, so my understanding is that when a guy isn't working, the male psyche takes a pretty big beating. In order to combat potential strike "ego deflation," I'm compiling a list of available semi-manly projects that my dear-God-don't-make-me-use-a-chainsaw husband wouldn't mind doing. These things must be easy to complete, require little planning, and not be too girly or too woodsman-like either. So help me out here. I have a few things I think I'll toss in the mix, but I'm open to ideas:

spackle holes from prior maze of baby safety gates
rub mom of the year's feet
hang decorative iron work that's been residing on the floor for over one year
give mom of the year a massage
power wash minuscule deck (is that too much toolage???)
make mom of the year dinner
seal minuscule deck with wood sealer (again, too much labor???)
detail mom the of the year's car
pick up dog poop in backyard
feed mom of the year strawberries and champagne
add new mulch to small flower beds

Hmmmmm. I know there's something else. It's on the tip of my tongue. Ahhhhh, yes:

Read "THE GUIDE TO GETTING IT ON" so the wife can be forever blissful. I think this would vastly improve the quality of my environment in addition to the above tasks. What's better than no dog poop in the back yard and a little sumpin'-sumpin'??? Well, there's the REAL question for the comments:

FILL IN THE BLANK: __________ is better than sex. Be honest. Your guy won't ever know you told. Be catty. Be anonymous if you like. Just be here in the comments, dammit!!! Let's lighten it up here!!!

A New Holiday

Well, my friends, in 10 minutes my husband will be officially working without a contract. Tomorrow by 11 AM we will know if a strike is on or off. This is my first experience with such an interesting scenario. I've never experienced all that is "strike duty," so I have decided to be a glass-is-half-full type of gal and create a new holiday: New Contract's Eve (or in a pessimistic view Pickett Sign Eve). This evening is filled with all the excitement of Christmas Eve. Seriously. Strange, right? The only difference is that under the tree tomorrow we will see if we have received a better gift than that of yore or if we will delay accepting gifts until we think we can get better ones. I guess it's sort of like a lively version of "rob your neighbor," that irritating game everyone plays on the holidays with really lame gifts.

I think my letter to the holiday patron saint would read something like this:

Dear Contract Issuer,
First I want to say thank you for giving my hubby lots of overtime this year. He's been really good, and I know you liked paying out all the time and a half. Secondly, I would like to ask for the following:
1) Health insurance that either a) isn't totally worthless; or b) has the option to upgrade;
2) An increase for inflation (hey, everyone else whines for one); and
3) Some sort of assurance that hubby will have a job for at least another 2 years.
There are some cookies for you at the union hall. If you can meet the above requirements, please eat the cookies on the BLUE PLATE ONLY. If you cannot meet the above requirements, eat the "extra-special" cookies on the RED PLATE and leave the blue plate cookies for all the families who will have to live on strike allowance until the staring contest is won at the bargaining table.
Regards,
Mom of the Year

I'm actually not really that worried about this, but it does make for interesting blog fodder. Well, it's interesting to me, I guess because I've never really understood all the union stuff I saw on the news before and how people got all worked up and what not. We are fortunate that I am at home and if the worst were to happen, I'm degreed-up and can go back to my old company like yesterday. We also have people around us who won't let our lives go sour on this thing. So, we're kind of win-win. I'm not so concerned about us, but living through this thing with the auto market in its current state makes me feel for all of those people who don't have other viable work opportunities. I guess some could go off on a tangent here about the "tough shit," "create your own opportunities," or "you knew this going in" sentiments. The truth of it is that all of this has really opened my eyes to a way of real American life that I didn't really understand before. So if all else fails, I can chalk this one up as a valuable learning experience. The heart of the matter is we're all just people trying to get through life the best we can, white collar or blue. And the economy can't survive without either set of folks being employed and profitable.

Well, that was heavy and shitty, so I'll start a new post above for something more fun!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sexual Healing

Awwww, yeah, baby. I've been inspired by my blogger friend Swistle to post this piece (of shit). It seems that many a mom is suffering through some sort of sexual, uh, inefficiency on the home front. Be it an over-driven husband, and under-horny one, or some sort of don't-you-dare-touch-me-with-your-fucking-eyes wife issue, we're all sort of there at some point or another. I'm not sure of one blanket solution for everyone, but I think I had an epiphany tonight about mine. Are you ready?

Back in my BC (before child) life, I was a corporate bitch-handler like most of you out there. A lot of my hours were spent handling business by phone. On dozens of occasions (literally), I had multiple clients of mine allude to the fact that I apparently have the perfect voice for phone sex. Do you see where I'm going with this? Funny thing is, I worked in the science industry with high-academic types or salesmen, yet they all had this same weird notion. So, I think I should start a 900 number. Extra cash, horny guys, PROBLEMS ALL SOLVED! Well, that would be assuming that I had the client list of the Hollywood Madam. I don't do the underlings.

Oh, and I'm not serious about that, but it is pretty entertaining.

On my own home front, the Chrysler strike deadline is Wednesday morning. So, for those of you who want to send a letter of support, please address it to your local Congressman/woman and tell them to fuck off if they voted for NAFTA, thank you very much. I'm not bitter or anything, nor am I all hot-under-the-blue-collar for the UAW. I just don't like this crap.

Well, that's all better. More bullshit later...

Friday, October 5, 2007

October in The Lou



OK, for those of you who don't know me, I am a true lover of my hometown. There is no other place I'd rather live than St. Louis. I am a full-blooded St. Louisan. This city is totally great. Well, most of the year anyway. Why I might consider buying a house in which to vacation: THE FUCKING WEATHER SYSTEM. I don't know what it is about a city nestled between two big rivers, but our weather is totally jacked up. It's fucking October and the bank on the corner just blurted out in big lights that the current temp is 95! What the hell is this? Also, for those of you who have not experienced the joy of St. Louis humidity, let me just tell you that you need the sharpest knife in the world to cut through it on hot days. Texas, Florida, Georgia - you've got NOTHING on us. I'm actually pissed about it because the run/walk thing has been going so well and now I have a day that makes me want to die the second I step out my front door. So I think I'm going to try and suck it up for at least a mile and see what happens. If I don't make it back, SY will have to follow through on our solemn pact and remove "certain unmentionables" from a drawer in a nightstand lest my whole family find out some things they really shouldn't know while divvying up my personal property. Maybe that's TMI. Oh well. Everyone's a freak. I'm out the door. We'll see how it goes.

Addendum: I just read bananafana's blog for today and she is pissed about the same thing...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Variations on Rejection

Thanks to all who commented last time on my pathetic excuse for a sickness. Apparently, I was not terribly ill as I walked about 3 miles today and managed to get some hausfrau joy spread about this place. The eye-boogers are at bay for Little Diva, and the cleaning fairy has swept away the crustiness. Ahhhhh.

Anyway, I had the joy of hanging out with my younger sis this evening over a salad bar and some mini-burgers at Ruby Tuesday. YUM! I'm not sure how I justify eating burgers with fried onion rings and cheese on them after a healthy salad, but OH FUCKING WELL. During our banter across the table, my sis declared she has three requirements that her latest conquest of the mid-twenty-something dating scene has failed to meet. They are as follows:

1) must not drive a truck;
2) must attempt to purchase at least one beverage for her during an evening out; and
3) must love Cardinal baseball.

I concur with her that all of these are completely reasonable (especially if you live in The Lou - baseball fans aren't hard to find). And yet, this latest dating specimen could not at the very least handle number 2 above, which to me is a total given. So this places F firmly in the "let's be friends" category. This type of stuff makes me happy I am married...

Moving on. I received my first official publishing rejection in the mail today. Don't cry for me - I was counting on it. Now at least I have something to put in my writing file other than a shitload of papers with rough drafts and ramblings scrawled about them. On the glass-is-half-full front, somebody read my stuff! On the half-empty end, they didn't like it. Either way, I'm happy to have made the first attempt at a career change, which no doubt will continue until a mid-life crisis, at which point I will develop psychological fugue and end up somewhere in Montana wearing a paper bag while singing the hits of 1992. SO much to look forward to...

Let's play best/worst for today, OK?

Best: got a publisher to reply
Worst: got a publisher rejection

So it all shakes even and makes today pretty damn normal. How about you all? What's your best/worst for today???

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Me (sick) = Shit Hitting Fan

Please allow me to wallow in self-pity for a moment. I think one of the worst things about feeling less-than-well is when everyone else in the house continues on the "mom can hack it" continuum. I managed to make roasted chicken and taters for lunch without a side of barf while my loving husband sat and started at me from the kitchen table. Apparently, dinner from my sick-ass is still desirable above his usual self-made Ramen noodles. (For the record, I wasn't barfing, but was having the I'm dizzy-and-nauseous thing going on). I hadn't really told him I was completely awful, but for the love of all things holy, I wasn't standing up straight! And for all you free-thinkers, no I am definitely not pregnant...

Meanwhile, Little Diva has some sort of eye-booger action happening and it doesn't appear to be pink eye... but it could be. Of course, it is accompanied by some sort of cough and snot thing, so perhaps the congestion has just found a new outlet through her eye sockets. Until this point, we'd had a pretty good couple of years as a mainly snot-free zone, in which I greatly reveled.

Remember how I said weeks ago that we'd need ass pads to get through parenting? Well, I guess now I need mine, not only to protect my ass from Mother Nature's foot, but also because I want to sit down and EVERYTHING IN MY HOUSE IS COATED WITH A LAYER OF SNOT!

I'm going to bed (again). And when I awake in the morning, *poof* my house magically will be clean and I will be the poster child of wellness.

Carry on.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Funniest Video EVER

Since swearing is hilarious, please check out this commercial, which totally cracks my ass up every time I watch it...


Monday, October 1, 2007

Where the hell have I been?

Well, holy crap kabob - it's already Monday! And just where have I been, young lady, you ask? WHERE? For the love of God, why have I not been here to add to the insanity of your day? The truth is that my life has been disproportionally calm compared to the usual daily chaos of yours truly. But I suppose I could entertain with a snippet or two until the next piece of shit hits the fan and I have something fun to post about. So here goes...

LAME SNIPPET 1: Since finally removing my head from the last millennium, I've purchased an MP3 player in order to bring back that "athletic" side of me I once so treasured. I don't know what was worse - not running at all or running with a discman. I've started walking and running again and thanks to technology AM NO LONGER BORED TO TEARS WHILE DOING SO. Now I've got the tunes, but I'm in desperate need of RUNNING SHOE recommendations. For those of you who run or (dear GOD) power walk, what would be your rec? I've always been an Adidas girl, but I've heard some good things from a few marathoners about Asics as well. New Balance does not do anything other than look cute on my feet (which I'd be willing to deal with so long as they were cute enough to detract my HOT neighbor from my fat flapping ass/thighs/oh-hell-anything-from-the-waist-down). Overpronaters, what do you suggest? Comment away!!!

LAME SNIPPET 2: I hate long honkers. I was sitting in position as the second car at a stoplight yesterday. The light changed and it took the car in front of the guy to my left a second to get his foot on the gas. Then, for like 8 hours, the guy to my left was laying on his horn. I think there should be an auto-off switch for people who honk longer than four seconds. Seriously, four seconds is a long honk. Now I like a good honk as much as the next girl, but come on, people. If it's that bad, get out of your car at the next light, walk up to the offender's car, tap on his window, yell F*** YOU, and call it a day.

THE END

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pump Up the Volume

Ha! Funny, but true, story. During mommy time this afternoon, I went to the convenience store down the street to get a car wash, gangsta rap CD in full effect. I decided that I would not wuss out and turn down the volume. So I get out of the car and go into the store to pay for my wash and a drink, and there is a HUGE black man smiling at me as I come in.

"Nice tunes," he says giggling. "Is it all Nelly?"

"No way! Akon, Jay-Z, Juvenile, Fiddy. You know," I said smiling.

"That's good stuff!" he nodded.

"Yeah, it's how I roll," I laughed.

And then I got a TRUE DAT! YAY!

Dear God I am such an idiot!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

blahspot.com

Yes, I am old and apparently trying to remain hip. I actually said "harshin' on my coffee buzz" at Starbucks today. Dear God, when did I become Californian?

Is it just me or is everyone going through a BLAH thing this week? Usually I have some quirky thing to put down here, but I'm kind of at a loss. Unless we talk about SLEEP...

Which has not been too great here. Right now (praise GOD), Little Diva is taking a snooze. Since she recovered from the fever, we've had major post-traumatic sleep issues. Coupled with the fact that the days are getting much shorter here (it's completely dark by 7-ish), I'd say unless tonight goes fantastically, I'm headed towards the fashionable white coat with extra long sleeves!

My mom used to say "I'm at the end of my rope with you," and I'd always kind of wondered what that meant. Now I know because I was there Monday night. You know how in the movies when someone is clinging to life at the end of of rapidly fraying rope? When they get down to the very last thread? Yeah, that's where I was on Monday night post-bedtime. I was ready to free fall into the canyon at any moment when my hero, the sleep angel, finally appeared! Thank God for small miracles...

Anyway, everything else here has been BORING. I'm bored to tears. Literally. Not that I can't mop the kitchen floor, clean my dressing room, steam the carpets, etc. It just doesn't sound like anything that might improve the action around here.

On the upswing, I am considering downloading some old tunes to my new MP3 player (don't get all horny and jealous - it's a cheap one). I've already got plenty of gangsta rap on there, so I need something light. Any suggestions? Perhaps some Marky Mark? Bon Jovi? Something from the late eighties/early nineties. Tell me your faves...

On the gangsta rap front, I find it quite fun to be driving around in my over-driven prior-yuppie mobile with the car seat in full effect while Jay-Z belts out of the speakers. I spent an hour one night creating a CD of nothing but explicit rap to move my booty in the car when Little Diva is not in tow. Wonder what the other playschool moms would say. Are they haters? Are you??? There's just something extra-gratifying about figuratively giving the finger to the suburban mommy stereotype. Can I get a HELL YEAH from you muthas??? And yet, whenever I turn into a parking lot or down a residential street, I turn the volume down to "barely audible." I'm a wuss...

One down, two to go...

GM is back at work! So, we're not sure if Chrysler or Ford will be next at negotiating (they may even go at the same time). So we'll just wait and see. Thanks so much to all of you for being a little pep squad for me. We're not out of the dark yet, but we can see the light. I really do appreciate you all just taking an interest. It's been really nice.

I need to go do some stuff for a bit, but I'll be back later to GET MY SNARK ON!