Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Important Announcement

Be it known to all persons that any and all decisions from this point forward shall be made by proclamation according to the mystical powers of the Magic 8-Ball. That way I have someone else to blame when everything blows up in my face.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Teacher Home Visit? SHIT!

Oh my God. Somebody fucking help me! I got a message from LD's preschool teacher today that she'd like to schedule a home visit this week. THIS WEEK! As the message sank into my busy brain, I scanned my kitchen. All that came to mind was this:

I have been so stupid busy with stuff that my house is in desperate need of a TOTAL FUCKING MAKEOVER! Grab your mops and hike over. STAT!

Also: I had a great training run last night, so I celebrated by dancing my ass off to Milkshake by Kelis. Get up in your cubicles, your dirty showers - whatev. GO AHEAD, LADIES! Web shout to SALY! (Wish I could have posted the video here, but alas, there is no embed code.)

I'm off to defunk my house!

Monday, August 18, 2008

She Teaches Me

Life is not always pretty. Being a grown-up isn't easy. Making hard choices sucks. Trying to be the woman I want my daughter to emulate is a challenge. Sometimes, though, she is the one teaching me.

Last week was a little rocky for me. So many things in my life are changing that I get dizzy just thinking about it all. Occasionally, I become overwhelmed. She's the one that gets me through.

I was crying pretty hard after a rough afternoon. Little Diva approached me quietly and calmly with little soft steps and concern on her face.

"Mommy, why are you crying?"

How should I answer a question like that to a three-year-old? I wiped my face with a kleenex and pulled her onto my lap. We talked about how it's okay to cry because sometimes we just get so much built up inside that we have to let it out. We talked about how she cries when she's scared and sad, and sometimes mommies feel those things, too. We talked about how it's okay to feel all of these things, and that it's perfectly fine to cry.

She sat quietly for a moment. I could see in her eyes that she was thinking pretty hard. And then she blessed me in a way only a child can. She took my face in her chubby little preschool hands, looked me in the eyes, and said, "I love you, Mommy."

"I love you, too, boo," I said.

She gave me a sweet little kiss and said, "You're going to be just fine. We're going to be okay."

Yes, we are, boo. Yes, we are.

In the Celtic tradition - a tradition from which I derive much of my philosophy - there are no words for "hello" and "goodbye." Each meeting and parting of souls is framed with blessing. Because I have been so blessed by Little Diva, I in turn offer a blessing for all of you and yours. It's a song called "The Blessing" that I sing to LD. Here's wishing you the warmth and wisdom of preschool hands upon your face...

"The Blessing"

In the morning when you rise
I bless the sun, I bless the skies
I bless your lips, I bless your eyes
My blessing goes with you

In the nighttime when you sleep
Oh I bless you while a watch I keep
As you lie in slumber deep
My blessing goes with you

This is my prayer for you
There for you, ever true
Each, every day for you
In everything you do

And when you come to me
And hold me close to you
I bless you
And you bless me, too

When your weary heart is tired
If the world would leave you uninspired
When nothing more of love's desired
My blessing goes with you

When the storms of life are strong
When you're wounded, when you don't belong
When you no longer hear my song
My blessing goes with you

This is my prayer for you
There for you, ever true
Each, every day for you
In everything you do

And when you come to me
And hold me close to you
I bless you
And you bless me, too

I bless you
And you bless me, too

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Funny Shit

There is nothing funnier than people falling down. They glued this bastard's flip flops to the floor. Enjoy, fuckers!

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die." - Mel Brooks

Friday, August 1, 2008

Random Thought At Starbucks

I realized while in line for my chai today that Starbucks probably spent more money on tongs so they could put bananas in smoothies than the amount of money I paid for my house.

SBUX Pres: Hello, Target? Yeah, I need tongs.

Target Customer Service: How many, sir?

SBUX: Let's see. Well, I guess 15,011 pairs.

Target: Okay, sir. Is that all?

SBUX: Actually, make that double. Some jackass will undoubtedly drop them on the floor. So let's go with 2 pairs for every store.

Target: Okay. That's 30,022 pairs at $6.99 per pair with your volume discount?

SBUX: Sure.

Target: Your total is $209,853.78 plus shipping. Anything else?

SBUX: Yes! Can I return 1200 of those if I have the receipt?

Target: Certainly. As long as it's within 90 days.

SBUX: Perfect.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Don't Mess Around

OK, so Landlocked Media, LLC's street team division is up and running. With college about to come back from summer break, I'll be recruiting. And since pix are worth a thousand words, here you go. I give you "2 Legit 2 Quit."

This is where handling multi-million dollar accounts in my pre-motherhood life will come in handy. Paperwork is filed, bank accounts opened, contacts being made. Here we go, y'all. Let's make a little magic.

Also, since this is actually a mom blog, here is a pic of Little Diva painting our back patio doors. Hey, when Mom has a good creative day, LD is allowed one, too. BONUS: J Dizzle flipped out. FUSSYPANTS!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Then and Now: Pictorial Version 2.0

I've written this post several times. This is a difficult one for me because it is so intensely personal. The last one I had posted was REALLY long and drawn out. What y'all really want to see is what I look like having lost 40 pounds in under 12 months without committing to some diet. So I'm going to do that in a second. But first...

Weight is a subject we just aren't honest about, are we? But, bloggerdom, we need to be. There are so many things I'd like to say about this transformation, but I have one simple take-home message for all of you. For me, this transformation was completely mental. I did not get into running to change the way I looked on the outside. I started running - which began as walking - for the renewal of the spirit inside of me that wanted to be at peace again. All the weight I had gained since 2003 (I was pretty average up until then in my teen and young adult years) was the result of a ton of commotion, stress, and upheaval in my life, as many of us have in our twenties. Running has become my solace, my solitude - the place where I am most in touch with my soul. (A little Zen, anyone?)

The bottom line: Transformation is about the mind-body-spirit connection. If you'd like me to talk about that in a post, I'd be happy to do it. Just holla.

Anyway, without further ado, I bring you THE TRANSFORMATION:

Above: This one is making me cry because I know how I felt about my life. Last June. Me, on the left. Fat and happy? Bullshit.

Below: This one is making me cry because I can't believe how far I've come. 450 miles (and a whole reborn soul) later.

My doctor tells me that I have 14 pounds left to kick. At the most.

Will I ever go back? Hell no. I can't.
Questions? Ask anything, even my uber-personal stats. I'll give you whatever you want if it will get you thinking about dealing with your own issues. Someone dear to me was my inspiration. I'd be honored to be yours.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fat Girl Slim

OK. I'll probably get a shit-ton of hatemail from the politically correct set, but fuck that. Momma's feelin' great today. Girls, it's been just under one year, and here are the stats:

* 40 pounds down
* approx 450 miles run
* currently averaging a 12 minute mile
* running 5K a day
* signing up for the Nike Human Race 10K on 8/31/08
* sassiness restored
* spirit renewed
* running for the y'chi, baby

And since I'm feeling extra sassy and Tessie got me started with the quotes, here's mine:

"What do you know about game? I got ALL the game."

If I can get up the guts, maybe you'd like to see some then/now pix. But you'll have to comment/e-mail me and beg, because it's a pretty difficult thing for me to look at myself in those before pix.

Got to go hit another 5. Peace, y'all.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Let's Get It Started In Here

Hey, y'all! Well, I've been talking with Kerlin, the editor at Hip Mama, and the summer edition that includes my work is at the printer. Stay tuned, and I'll let you know when you can head over and order a copy if you'd like.

Also, I've started building the web zine (so far it's just a starter page that's live) and the Landlocked Media, LLC paperwork is being filed as we speak. Can you believe this shit? I've got some distributors talking with me about the print version and all kinds of crazy stuff. Shar and Matt - are you guys ready? I guess we're really going to make this happen, eh?

Aside: I think I just threw up a little.

Anyway, that's all for now. Have to go hit the trail!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blogger Blows Goats. Also - How many coffeehouses can I visit today?

OK, so I've been trying to take a commercial break from the soap opera that is my life to bring you Gratuitous Vacation Pix. However, Blogger kicks me offline every time I try to upload. STUPID EFFING PROGRAM!

Ahem. I just had the most wonderful morning-creeping-into-afternoon coffee chat/solving-every-problem-in-the-world session with my friend Jim. He is an awesome writer, great thinker, and beautiful soul. Jim, if you stop by here today - thanks so much for being there and speaking The Truth in love. Us emotional-types will be just fine, yes? Much agape, babe. Much agape.

After coffee with Jim (uh, it was more like HOURS), I headed to Perk to journal a bit (stop fucking yawning, will you?) and had my favorite lunch. OH MY GOD! When you bitches come to town, I am SO taking you to lunch there. The hummus is the best I think I've ever had and that damn Mediterranean crepe rocks me so hard I could marry it. Forget men; it's me and the crepes. For reals, yo.

Anyway, I think I'm going to do something productive now and balance my checking account so I can see what the situation may be for registering the old LLC. I'll let you know!

And I'm sure I'll end up at yet another caffeinated establishment sometime today.

Peace (and caffeine)...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Unmarriage

Well, y'all, pull up a chair. It's time for us to have a chat. Don't worry; I'm doing really great. Acutally, I'm probably the best I've been in years. I'll just let you know that from the beginning.

As many of you know from reading an earlier post, Hubs (J Dizzle) and I are no longer an item. I mentioned in that post that I didn't want to discuss it, and it wasn't because anyone is angry or hateful or anything; it's just that the situation deserves its own post. So here is the truth coming to you live and direct to quell any rumors or speculation.

We've been separated for about two months, and it's not about us having "a difficult time." This is long overdue.

I haven't posted this before because J Dizzle has friends that read this blog, and out of respect for him, I wanted to be sure that he was able to communicate with them on his own rather than having me drag our shit out into the limelight. We're cool like that. This whole thing is cool like that. We're grown-ups.

Those of you out there in the blogosphere who've been around a while know that this blog has become increasingly introspective over the last year. When I joined up with the bloggers last year, things had already been spiraling towards the end of our marriage for a long time. This blog was a place where I could hang and be all snarkalicious and sassy and foul-mouthed and all of that other shit (he he). The reality of all of this nonsense is that humor is the shovel for the shit-pile of life. My blog became a bulldozer, and I've known why for a long time.

J Dizzle and I have been living separate lives emotionally for many years. This separation is not about an incident that made us question anything, or some unforgivable something. This separation is because we are not a good fit for each other, and we have both acknowledged that we mutually deserve to be happy and in healthy relationships.

When I said I was going to rock my THIRTIES, I wasn't lying. Ya feel me?

The truth is, if he came home and told me that he met some woman that he wanted to get to know better, I'd go grab a couple of beers, plop down on the couch with him, and want to know all about her. Why? Because I want him to be happy. And I know that he's talked to some honeys, and it's all good.

I'm totally open to anything you all want to know. Seriously. You can e-mail questions to me at momoftheyearblog at gmail dot com. Nothing is off of the table. I imagine there are several of you going through similar things, and the best thing I can do to help any of you get through situations that may not be as amicable as mine is to offer up my story. So whatever it is - sex, money, living arrangements, support - just send it or post it in the comments.

Much love,
Mom of the Year

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Reading at Borders Tonight... IN FUCKING FLORIDA

Some of you are vacationing in the the Florida panhandle as am I. If you happen to be in PCB, come by the Borders at Pier Park tonight. I've been asked to read at their open mic tonight at 7 PM. Weird. I was chatting with a barista there last night, mentioned I was a writer from STL, and she asked if I had any of my stuff with me. I popped my moleskine out of my bag, showed her a couple of pages, and she said, "Damn. You gotta be here tomorrow night to read this. This is awesome." WTF?! So, I guess now I'm on tour. HA HA HA!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Postcards from the Edge

Hey, everyone! Well, I did it - I'm at the beach with the entire clan. I must admit that things have gone really well thus far. I was going to upload some pix, but I forgot to bring the USB cable for the cam, so you'll have to wait until I get back to check out my vacation, nosey bitches.

Before I made the decision to hop on the vacation train, I had a short but intense conversation with my parents. Well, actually, that's kind of sugar-coating it. I basically sat them down and read them the pre-riot act, letting them know that at the first sign of them all up in my shit or whining about things they have no right to discuss, my ass would be back on a plane to St. Louis. After all, I'm thirty for chrissake; support my decisions or get off of the fucking bus.
There have been a couple of close calls, but I've stepped right up and told them to kindly shut the hell up (in nicer words USUALLY), and they've respected that. So, in short, it's all good.

Take home message for all of you with familial troubles: stop the hand wringing. Make your own decisions and give them two choices - support you or get the hell out. If they truly love you, they'll choose the former. PERIOD.

We're all laughing, drinking, and generally enjoying the wicked coolness of all things beach-like. I've managed to get in some running around the area, which I think does definitely put me in the "made lifestyle change" category. Speaking of that, my one year anniversary of running is next month!

Anyway, LD wants to hit the beach. Gotta go sunscreen up, pack up my books and journal (my sis just remarked that I look like a librarian right now with the glasses and all), and hit the sand.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Anti-depressants or anti-vacation?

Okay, here's the deal. My family (dad, mom, bro, sis) has been hanging out on the gulf coast for a week every summer since I was a fetus - literally. The last two years, this tradition has continued, except now it's a mass of my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, my niece and nephew, and my sister, plus us. The thing is, I'm debating whether or not we should go along this year. I have four days to decide - they are leaving this Friday and will be gone for nine days.

Which is the other interesting point - they drive. Two days of driving each way. I actually took my car last year, and I have to say that LD does well with road trips. However, this year it would just be her and me (hubs and I are no longer an item, and no, I do not wish to discuss that right now), and we'd be rotating cars with my brother and my parents.

And my parents are driving me CRAZY.

In addition to all of the stuff that's gone on inside of me over the last three years (and has produced a much more fabulous me), one of the stark realizations I've had is that my family was not as normal and well-functioning as I grew up believing. In fact, we were about as far from fucking normal as a family can get. Well, OK. I won't take that from the TRULY fucked up, but it's fair to say that there was plenty of shit that went down that certainly colored the way I handled my own life. Let's just say that love for me had always come with guilt and strings attached. Metric tons of guilt and more strings than a violin factory. And it should never have been MY guilt to begin with.

The beach would be lovely. I love the whole idea of returning to the one place I don't recall any Family Weirdness and Stress occuring when I was a kid. But I'm wondering how much of my time will be spent with my family all up in my grill about my personal shit, and how come I don't want to do this, or why am I doing that, or when will I just be the little typical suburban mom they all dreamed I would be.

So in case you were wondering, I had pretty much decided that I wouldn't go. But then, my sister (who truly is one of my best friends) had this to say. Are you ready for this???

"You know, though, Mom and Dad won't be around forever. And LD loves Niece and Nephew so much. It'd be really sad if she didn't get to enjoy this vacation."


But she is right - my parents won't be around forever, and I love my bro and sis with every ounce of family love possible. And LD would love to be with her cousins at the beach. But nine fucking days???

Uh, HELP!!!!!!!!

How's this for timing? LD has just come into my office, picked up a large seashell, held it to her ear, and excitedly proclaimed, "The BEACH! I want to go to the beach!"


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hello from Portland!

Well, sort of.

Yesterday I received a piece of GREAT news. So I'm feeling the whole Joseph Campbell "follow your bliss" vibe here lately. Anyway, I got a phone call from a good friend just moments after receiving the news. I was still riding the "CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?" wave and doing fist pumps in my office. Now, said friend was excited for me and all but I detected a HINT of SMART-ASSERY as the friend said, "You know, you should blog that."

I love smart-assery. I can kick some smart-assery, too.

BLOG MOCKERY! HE WHO MOCKS THE BLOG GOES BACK TO THE HOUSE OF PAIN! There is a fun-loving history of such with this person, and it is slightly endearing. So here it is, JB, you lovely smartass. "It is what it is," yeah?

ANYWAY, THE NEWS... one of my introspective-retrospectives will be published in the summer issue (print version) of Hip Mama. TA DA!

Go sign up for a subscription to the print version of this zine for two reasons:
1) because it rocks; and
2) because I fucking said so!

Carry on.

Monday, June 23, 2008

No Longer a Virgin

A RACE virgin that is! Yes, all, I finally managed to get in that all-important first race - the Race for the Cure. I am happy to report that my adrenaline did wonders, and I have beaten the mental block! Because I'm all going on about my BAD SELF, here are some pix:

My friend Michelle was in town from the OC to run with me!
I ran to celebrate a family friend who is a 5 year breast cancer survivor.

Who lined up with the RUNNERS? Who?! ME, bitches!!!


Crossing that line was one of the greatest moments of my life.

For those of you arriving late on the set, it's been a long three or so years for me. I've done a lot of readjusting, a lot of getting real about myself. I started running late last summer, just a little at a time (and I mean a little at a time) just to find a good life-groove. I never thought that I would do this whole "distance running" thing, especially FOR FUN. Totally would have never believed I'd be doing this shit daily.

But I am. Running is my new religion. (Note: OK, maybe supplementary to my original faith).

I'm sure sometime in the future I will write some pithy Chicken-Soupy essay about it because I always do that introspective retrospective shit, you know? OK, just kidding - it's already in the works. Like you didn't know.

I kid you not, kids (heh heh heh)... this running thing has changed my life.


An extra-special shout out to KW and MA for the training dates (I love you girls - you did me wonders) and to SY for cheering me on and enduring my narcissism (we'll do a 5K together SOON!).

Peace and good vibes,

mom of the year (AKA She Who Runs As A Goddess)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bad Girl and a Mom

One serendipitous stoplight signaled the end of my identity crisis.

I slammed on my brakes at the white line silently cursing the intersection red-light cameras. I’d missed the left turn arrow by seconds. Milliseconds. Nanoseconds. My Honda Accord recoiled momentarily as the procession of drivers privileged to have a green light passed by my front bumper with mere inches to spare. Lucky bastards, I thought.

Little Diva and I were late returning home from our mother-daughter excursion. The dash clock blurted out 9:15 PM. I knew that this delay in our arrival home meant one thing – bedtime would be more hellacious than usual. As I considered the impending battle of the bedroom, a completely surprising remark came boldly from Little Diva's mouth.

“You’re a bad girl and a mom.”

I sat in a confused silence. Had she actually said what I thought she said? We never used the term “bad girl” at home. I needed to hear it again. “What did you say?” I asked.

“You’re a bad girl and a mom, mommy,” she smiled, as I watched her in the review mirror.

“Is that right?”

“Yes, ma’am. And I love you.”

The light turned green and I chuckled as we headed to the highway. Although I was sure that Little Diva wasn’t entirely knowledgeable about the term “bad girl,” there was truth to the idea, especially the way my life had been changing for the last three years.

Following Little Diva's birth, I spent a great deal of time in varying stages of depression. I sought counseling, wrote in multiple journals, and tried to deal with the silence that always ended in a late-night downward spiral of emptiness. One day last summer, I took a walk to clear my head. During my walk, I asked a lot of hard questions of myself, of my soul, of my beliefs. And something unexplainable happened – I rediscovered who I am.

I realized that my depression was not about the changes of life. The sinking hopelessness I felt was a result of me having changed who I was to fit the world’s expectations of mothers. When I returned from that walk, I resolved to get back to being the only thing that will ever satisfy my soul – me. The other woman that left the house to walk that day has never returned.

I am a bad girl of sorts. Always have been. What does that look like for me? What do I hope “bad girl” means to my daughter? I considered these questions as we headed down the dark highway. From that drive, I now have my own manifesto for bad girl motherhood. I know what it means for me, and what I hope it means to my daughter.

As a bad girl, I live my life unapologetically on the entire page – in the written ink and also in the white space. Sometimes it’s the white space, the place where things are only felt or understood, that matters the most. I honor my sacred space, the place in my soul where I am most at peace with who I am. Honoring that place means I can’t be everything to everyone all of the time – and I shouldn’t be. I respect my body in all of its unique perfection and imperfection. When I make time to love and respect my body, my body is good for my soul.

What else do I know about being a bad girl and a mom? I don’t have to be a part of the Proper Mother Minivan Cult or enroll my child in soccer to be a good mother. I’ll continue to drive my fuel-efficient four-door and allow Little Diva to choose the activities that fit her desires. I shouldn’t force myself into awkward playgroups or hang out at kiddie gyms to be a good mother. I’ll still hang out in bookstores to meet like-minded moms. I won’t wear a coordinated jogging suit complete with designer sunglasses to be a good mother. My jeans with funky t-shirts and Chuck Taylor sneakers or Doc Martens fit me better anyway. My music collection should be a collection of the music that speaks to me and not be replaced by the latest Create-A-Genius collection. Little Diva and I will continue our life-groove to everything from hip-hop and Sarah McLachlan to Ella Fitzgerald and Bach, and all of the indie noise in between.

All of the things that made me the person that I was before motherhood are even more important now that I have a child, especially a daughter. The best gift I can ever give Little Diva is the knowledge that arranging life to satisfy the status quo is not living. I want her to see that real living comes from understanding there are not good choices and bad choices – there are only choices. Her choices and her needs are different from every other person’s needs and choices. She is the only one who can understand the completeness of her soul. No one else can decide what completeness will be for her. And if believing these things makes me a bad girl and a mom, I’m all about it.

As Little Diva and I pulled into our parking space at home that night, I turned to face her and asked, “Do you like that I’m a bad girl and a mom?”

She shook her head intensely. “You’re the best mom in the whole world.”

Enough said.

Thank You

Just wanted to say a sincere thanks to all of you who commented, e-mailed, called, or sent your thoughts via carrier pigeon. I truly appreciate your sympathy.

I've been writing A LOT. In all fairness, I won't say it's GOOD writing; I've just been writing. So I've been keeping busy.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks and send out a shout to let you know I'm thinking of you all.

Oh, and I've posted some ramblings above for your pleasure/loathing...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In Memory of David L. Leimbach

Dear David,

It's your cousin here in St. Louis. I wish I knew where to start this letter, but when it comes down to a time such as this, I suppose that it really doesn't matter. I know we haven't seen each other in ten or so years, since you made a career of the military and all, but I want you to know how much you mean to all of us, and how much we'll miss you.

My last visual memory of you is from Grandma's funeral back in 1997. I was nearly catatonic with grief most of that day, but I vividly remember you in your Marine dress blues. I remember how you stood at the rear of the chapel before the service began, your uniform arranged in perfect presentation, crisp crimson lines on deep blue, regalia placed upon your chest without a millimeter's imprecision. You balanced your white cap with perfect symmetry on your forearm as you held the solid presence and reserve we all needed that day.

As the service began, our whole family gathered in a small room to shield us from the finality of closing Grandma's casket. Do you remember that? As the doors to the room closed, I witnessed something I will never forget - your white-gloved hands holding the shoulders of your parents, the sound of your sobbing, your tears falling down your heroic face and landing on the tops of your impeccably shined shoes as we all mourned as a family. To anyone who says that the military turns people into savage murderers, I offer this image.

This week, David, we are mourning our loss of you.

My memories of childhood summers are dotted with you in the pictures. I recall the nighttime jug-fishing excursions with your dad and my brother (I was always left behind), flying leaps from a dock at the lake house in backwoods Missouri, playing endless rounds of cards with Grandma, hitting all the landmarks in St. Louis when you came to town. I can still hear you, at about the age of fourteen or so, near tears as you pleaded with your dad not to make you hurt that monstrous fish. I remember it all.

After your years in the Marine Corps, you went into the Army National Guard. This latest tour was your second in Afghanistan. Your unit from South Carolina came home earlier this month; you chose to stay behind. I know you chose to stay and help that unit from New York not because of any beliefs you held about this war, or about your service being the patriotic thing to do, or for any reason that the propaganda might offer. You stayed because you wanted to help some guys out - guys just like you, the kid I remember.

I found out today that your unit came under attack with small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. I don't even want to think about it. I want to believe that you were not the last one standing. I want to believe that you went quickly. Most of all, I want to know that God, in His divine power, let you feel all of the love from your lifetime all at once, carrying you on to the next place.

The one peace I have right now is that Grandma has her David back in her arms. Someday, God-willing, we'll all be together again just like we were at the lake. Until then, please know how much I love you and how immensely honored I am to have been able to call you family.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hittin' the Streets

For those of you who've followed this blog for a while, I think you understand my love of both poetry and hip-hop. You also know I've been pounding the pavement and adding millions of miles to my car while street teaming for Jason and the Beast. Now you'll understand why. Check it.

You can leave anonymous comments on the site. Please show Jason some love. What he is doing truly crosses cultural, educational, socio-economic and a list of other boundaries.

Peace and love.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I've got a monkey on my back and his name is Juan Valdez! (Thank you Jack McFarland)

I am currently suffering from not only a case of the marital fuck-its but also a scorching case of OCD (Obsessive Coffee Disorder). I refuse to even tally up the amount of money I've spent in the last week on coffee and miscellaneous coffeehouse crap. Between Starbucks, Murdoch Perk, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Wired Coffee, and Kaldi's, I could have supported several families in Myanmar. This makes me a complete asshat. So I have been attempting to do more of the grind here at home.

The Fates are not happy.

The other night when I totaled my flash drive, what was I doing? Returning from the kitchen with a fresh cup from the Cuisinart (thank you, Fana). Disaster. Last night, while heading back with a cup of coffee from the kitchen, guess what? ANOTHER BIGGER MORE TREACHEROUS DISASTER!

Kids, this totally sucks ass because it happened on a total FUCK-IT Day. I heard running water as I came down the upstairs hallway with my coffee. I peaked into the upstairs bathroom to see if maybe LD had been playing with the faucet or something. NO SUCH LUCK! Instead, I heard water hitting the bathroom floor as a large puddle began to spread across the tile.

The fucking toilet tank (CLEAN WATER PEOPLE!) cracked. I immediately went into home-improvement superheroine mode and attempted to shut the water off at the wall. The damn valve got stuck. So I shoved a bucket under the crack and ran to grab the phone to call my dad (thank God he only lives a few miles away) because, after all, Hubs was at work at 1 AM. And then I heard the second crack in the tank. All I could think was "HOLY SHIT, KIDS! GRAB YOUR LIFE VESTS!"

It was hell. HELL, I SAY! The water ran down between the walls and into the basement, so I had that clean-up to deal with in addition to the water all over the bathroom floor. Bonus - even my dad struggled to get the water shut off, so I don't feel too badly about my lack of LONE WOMAN AT HOME IN CRISIS MODE POWER.

So much for that tax return.

Fuck the home brew. Got to go see Jared and Rob at Starbucks. MUST HAVE COFFEE...

I'm out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Burning the Midnight Oil. Also: GAH!

OK. The original title I had picked earlier for this post was "Inner Peace." Let the irony of this not be lost on you. And then hell, handbag... you get the picture.

I was going to ask all of you Internets if you were of the opinion that I should add yoga (peace = balancing chakras) or kickboxing (peace = I'M GONNA KICK YOUR ASS) to my fitness program. However, my sister has informed me that kickboxing is a better approach for my current level of stress. Who knew?

SOOOOO - burning the midnight oil. Yeah. The number one rule of writing when using a PC is to have your working copy, a back-up copy, and a hard copy AT ALL TIMES. Guess who got lazy and didn't triple check to make sure that her GHOSTWRITING PROJECT was saved in two different locations? And she didn't print a hard copy because she was so close to the end that it would have been wasting paper? And then proceeded to leave her office to get another cup of coffee to finish up? And then came back into the office and


Yeah. Sweet deal, eh?

You totally wish you were me right now. I just know it.

And for Tessie: This is why all of my personal stuff is in notebooks. I kick it old school.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The 100th Post

Really? No shit?! Yes, this is the 100th post. Can I get a HELL YEAH??? Although, I've been a deadbeat blogger as of late, so perhaps I owe you bitches an explanation.

I'm taking on an array of projects these days and am allowing them to occupy the white space that should be filled with how to deal with some Major Bullshit. I won't fill you in on the details of said bullshit here; let's leave that for the Pink Apartment I'm working on renting. WHICH, I may add, I would already be living in EXCEPT that [other blog site] won't let me FUCKING LOG IN ALREADY! Ahem. So, I present for your viewing pleasure, the list of projects (i.e. Tools of Bullshit Avoidance) which keep me running full speed from my worries:

1) my own writing
2) collaborating with artist Sharlene Kindt
3) street teaming for Jason and the Beast
4) editing and potentially ghostwriting for, well, a "ghost"
5) starting up a web zine (I registered the domain, but nothing's built yet)
6) potentially writing lyrics with my brother
7) attending every poetry reading possible in the metro area

Aside from these things, I am still Chief Executive Nose-Wiper and running a household of 3 (plus one large irreverent dog).

So, yeah, I'm fucking busy. But it's how this game is best played for me. I need to get back on here every day, firstly because you wenches ROCK and secondly because I hate missing the damn party. I'm still short on snark and sarcasm. FUCKING GAH!

If anyone can find where I left that box of FUCKING HILARITY, please drop it by. And leaving it on the stoop with a bottle of Grey Goose would be extra groovy. Oh, the hell with it. Just make it Mad Dog. These are tough times.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Theme Song

These lyrics caught my ear the other day. I think they speak to a lot of the transition I'm going through at present. "Hopeless" in this sense doesn't refer to anything truly dark or anything. I think it's more of the sense of the remark that people make when you up and rearrange your life because you know it's what you need to do. Without further ado, I give you the lyrics to KT Tunstall's lyrics, with the especially relevant parts in bold...


Everybody says it's just another decay of the soul
But I know I'm a hopeless follower of anything to take me
Away from this hole in the ground
I found it's hopeless clinging to a feeling
Like a fish on a line, so blinded by the lately
Hopeless, no more saying that there's no more time.

I've was trying far too hard
To be what I thought I should be
I was playing wild cards and
Seeing things that weren't in front of me
Like a little tiger, play fighting,
I was hurting myself, again and again
Because I'm hopeless.

That there's no more time.

Well I'm just discovering
I'm living in a different body
Caught a little insight into everything thats happening to me
Like a little spider, I'm climbing the insurmountable
But I'll never hold myself accountable, no.

'Cause I'm hopeless.
Everybody says I'm hopeless
But I got a bit of hopelessness
Oh and you can never bring me down
Even though I've got some silent ground
Oh because I love it so
And I think you should know
Because I'm hopeless.

Everybody says it's just another decay of the soul
But I know I'm a hopeless follower of anything to take me
Away from this hole in the ground
I found it's hopeless clinging to a feeling
Like a fish on a line, so blinded by the lately
Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless

No more saying that there's no more time.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"I feel the earth move...

...under my feet." Not like THAT, jackasses. Please. The only earth-shaking going on in this house is that which is caused by tectonic plates in an underground street fight. Seriously.

Yes, internets, we felt the earthquake here in The Lou in the wee hours of the morning. I think it was around 4:30 AM. I was sort of in a sleepy haze, but I remember my heart was racing and I woke up. I thought I was having a panic attack with all of the shaking. I laid in bed for a second and then I heard a picture frame and a metal vase start hopping around on my dresser. It was the same kind of my-bass-canon-is-rattling-my-trunk unsettling noise that I recall from high school (and now wish that I could recreate in my yuppie ride). By the time it really sunk in that we were experiencing an earthquake, it was over. I checked the house and everything appeared to be okay, except for the pictures on the walls.

Talking to my dad this morning, I learned that the whole showdown was more powerful than I thought. He said he could hear the roof cracking and popping and creaking. THAT IS SOME CRAZY SHIT. I mean, come on - the damned ROOF!

Well, that's about it. I'm trying to get back in the groove for you all...

Edited: It's 10:16 AM and we just had an aftershock...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm not dead. I repeat, I'm not dead.

Just wanted to pull up a seat here in my virtual spot and let you all know I'm still around. Many thanks to those of you who've e-mailed and asked where I've been. Get ready, because I don't usually let this out online, but I'm having a moment...

Beneath the snark, sarcasm, and intentional gratuitous swearing of yours truly, there lies a woman with an expansive soul, a huge heart, and deep faith (yes, in God). For those of you who've been with me a while, you know that I've been going through a lot of transformation since I began this blog. The mind-body-spirit connection has become paramount to my life - I run, I write, I ask God a lot of questions. I'm learning to accept that life is a much more complicated beast than previously thought; however, I don't think it needs to seem impossible to navigate.

I've seen life quite differently since the birth of my daughter three years ago. I've faced a lot of challenges and changes in these past three years. I want to take a moment to send out my undying thanks to a whole alphabet soup of friends who have loved me beyond the realm of any human understanding. You are the mainstays of my heart, and I love you dearly. You know who you are.

Also, to my blogger bitches - I think of you all lots and check in daily. You make me smile. Thanks for being out here in the blogosphere, hanging out as the really cool bitches (gratuitous profanity for your pleasure) that you are.

And lastly, to a group of truly inspirational people in the literati and ANTI-literati circles who've taken me under their wings. I don't know if you'll ever know how much that means to me. My dreams have life because of you. Whatever you need to further your career, I'm your girl. Call. Ask. You will not be denied.

I'll be back on with some snarkiness as it becomes readily available. Until then, peace and love...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We Interrupt This Birth Story...

We interrupt this birth story to bring you National Poetry Month. YAY! While I'm sure that I couldn't convince most of you to carry a poem in your pocket this month to read when and wherever the mood strikes, I will instead encourage you to learn a little about the craft of poetry. Wash from your mind the brain-numbing bullshit you learned in high school. Build a new understanding of what is considered by many to be a dying art.

For a lot of people, poetry is sort of this black hole into which all sorts of writing is dumped. I concur that this is quite the case in our current culture. However, there is a very real background to poetry and its creation. For some, it's a natural gift. For others, it's a learned skill. I liken it to those who can play the piano by ear and those who have to take lessons - both make music, some instinctively and some out of practice. I don't want to bore you with the didactic snobbery of it all, for that is the shit that makes most people give up on poetry before they ever even have the chance to discover the intricacies with which it is created. And that's a damn shame.

Poetry is continually evolving. There are always new forms in development. There are new rules created by poets. There are awesome combinations of poetry + insert-just-about-anything. And on that note, I'll take a moment to set you up with some links to some cool shit going on with poetry.

Hip-Hop and Poetry - Jason and the Beast
This cat is a Lou local. You've never heard Shakespeare like this. And his own lyrics kick ass, too. I know you bitches will be dancing in your cubicles. Web shout to JASON!
Poetry Chicks Will Dig - Kim Addonizio
You'll want to be her best friend/wine drinking bitch.
Poems for Every Occasion
If you're bored at work, check this out.
Poetic Forms and Techniques
This list is SHORT and leaves off some good stuff. But, hey - it's a fairly snot-like literary site. What would one expect???
Knowledge is power. Learn by reading.

I could go on and on, but I'll stop here. If you've got any poetry questions/thoughts/frustrations about the whole art form, post them in the comments. I'd love to get a discussion going...

NIKE HALF-MARATHON UPDATE: Unfortunately, The Dirty Thirties were not pulled in the lottery to run in San Fran this fall. BOO HISS. So my bitches and I are on the hunt for a different one to run...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Birth Story Part I: A Tribute to LD as She Turns 3

Last night, I was weeping as I taped up cut-outs of Cinderella all over our house. I cried harder when I affixed a balloon bouquet to LD's chair at our kitchen table. I think there are still tear stains on the Cinderella napkins I'd put at her plate, ready for breakfast this morning. Why? My baby is three today, and I simply can't believe how much of a little person she is. Where did my baby go?

LD and I are a lot alike. Needless to say, the toddler stage was a little, well, wearisome for both of us. But lately we've reached this great equilibrium in our relationship. She starts conversations with me, gives me kisses and lovies for no reason, and tells me that I'm the best mom in the world. I'm amazed by her thought processes and can't get over how much she has grown. A potential Einstein? Maybe. But I'll settle for whatever she wants to be, because I've never wanted happiness for anyone in the entire world as much as I want it for her.

So, today, I would like to share my birth story of this incredible little human with you.

Sunday, March 26, 2005 was Easter Sunday. Hubs and I were at the traditional post-church family throw-down at my brother and sister-in-law's house. My due date was two days away, and I was bone-tired. I made my plate for lunch, complete with this taco-saladiness that my mom makes and I usually couldn't get enough of, especially when I was pregnant. (Come to think of it, the weekend LD was conceived, I think I'd had several servings of it at our BBQ. Ponder.) That day, the sight of it made me want to BARF. I should have known something was up, despite the fact that I really hadn't had much activity at the ob/gyn on Friday. My doc had pretty much convinced me I would pass my due date. FOOL.

Hubs and I got home in the early evening, and I gave him the green light to go out for a while with a buddy of his. It was, I concluded, his last shot at having a decent time out. He headed out and I slopped around the house in my pajamas. He came home at midnight. We got into bed. I rolled over and said to him, "This kid's coming tonight." He rolled his eyes and we went to sleep. Lesson to all men - WOMEN ARE ALWAYS RIGHT.

At one AM, I woke up. I grabbed his arm and said, "Don't move. I either just peed or my water broke." I stood up slowly, and it was definitely NOT urine I found, but rather fluid with meconium. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of this occurrence, I will put it mildly - pea soup and lake scum. Gross. And vile.

We headed to the hospital, and by 1:30 AM I had been admitted. The nurse who did my admitting paperwork was a bitch; every other nurse I had was AMAZING. Anyway, because of the meconium, I had every monitor in the hospital shoved up into my vajayjay from the get-go; they were not going to fuck around with this. My contractions would not fall into a regular pattern, so enter the PITOCIN. And I was all, "Hey, my Lamaze instructor said I can wait on that until I've had my epidural."

Denied. I was in a serious time frame, working against the clock now. So I got to go through labor with pitocin and no epi in sight because my dilation come to an abrupt halt at 2 cm. I breathed through contractions and focused on, of all things, the power button the DVD/VCR across my room. I am now a fervent believer that you do not chose focal points; they choose you. My chosen focal point, a tiny stuffed fluffy lamb, never saw the light of day from the bottom of my bag at the hospital. If it had, I probably would have mutilated it. Example: at some point just after sunrise, my dad came into my room and was chatting his ass off like it was fucking happy hour. I was in the middle of a contraction and (remember the evil stares in The Exorcist) turned to my dad and said, "SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP YOU ASSHOLE!" He announced that he would be going for coffee and didn't return for about an hour.

That said, upon dad's return, he gave hubs a break and took me through some contractions. He cried. That's what daddies do. And it was one of the most profound moments I've ever had with my dad.

Finally, around 8:30 AM, I was told I would have the chance to meet the man of my dreams - THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST! I did, yes I did, propose to him. I also asked if I could have an extra epi to save for this kid's first date (we still didn't know the sex of LD). Denied, but I did get a laugh.

The rest of my labor went really well. I was able to sleep, and hubs did, too. And of course, who doesn't love popsicles all day?

But I'd had enough as the sun started to go down. And apparently, so had the nurses. That's when the showdown began just a little after 6 PM Easter Monday. For those of you counting, you are correct - 17 hours of labor...

Monday, March 24, 2008

ER Paranoia. Also - Actuary Needed

With all of the ER visits I've heard about in the blogosphere lately, I have to admit I'm a LEETLE paranoid. Geez. Do I need to wrap my kid in bubble wrap? Yesterday, LD was jumping on her bed (NOT dressed only in Cinderella underpants and her purple snowboots as she was last time), and I had just reminded her of the time out situation about to occur when she fell and banged her head on the headboard. The headboard that is pointy in the truest fashion of 1970's/80's girly-girl furniture. I know you know what I'm talking about since most people I know had a similar version of my childhood furniture, which LD is currently using. So, after a brief inspection of the non-existent flesh wound, and LD pretending that she didn't hurt at ALL (despite the fact that her eyes were welling up), we avoided the ER. But you all are accident-prone, so maybe I should stay away. LIKE THAT WOULD EVER HAPPEN!

Also - any actuaries in the crowd? I need one. I'm trying to decide which body part would give me the most bang for my buck if I put it up on eBay. Why? Because Chrysler is being a pain in my ass. Those of you that remember the contract negotiation saga will love this.

Before I go any further, YES - I DO KNOW I CHOSE THIS LIFE FOR NOW. But, still, just let me get my whine in and I'll be done.

Anyway, hubs was laid off the entire month of January. They worked in February, and then he was laid off AGAIN for two weeks in March. Yes, he does get partial pay. The problem? The checks are delayed AT LEAST two weeks. And when one gets paid every week, which is already shitty, this whole delay thing totally bites the big one. So, again, any recommendations on which body part to auction? OK, I'm done with that.

Moving on. Why the hell did it snow on Easter? And not just ANY snow - HUGE-ASS POPCORN-LIKE FLUFFY FLAKES. Weird. Totally. Welcome to The Lou.

I'm going to grab a shower and head to Starbucks, courtesy of a well-timed gift card, and indulge my snot-nosed intellectual side by reading "The Ode Less Travelled." Need to do some brushing up; free verse has gotten the best of me lately. Anyway, cheers!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Your input needed here. That is all for now, but rest assured, you will be in the acknowledgements. As you were...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And FINALLY, the light goes on

OK, for those of you who know me, I've been preaching that really I think CFLs are exchanging one evil for another - energy misuse for mercury in the groundwater. And, finally, it makes the media. Better check this out and make sure you know what you're doing with those MERCURY-CONTAINING ITEMS IN YOUR HOME. This would be where that science degree came in under the PRACTICAL column.

I say, screw the CFLs and let's invest in solar or wind instead. And, look - that would be mercury free!

Edited to clarify: Do I think CFLs are a bad thing? Not entirely. But think about how many people you know throw batteries, smoke alarms, and other miscellaneous hazardous crap into the trash without thinking. We're by and large a country of people who don't think about this stuff...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Funny Bunnies

Mom, Dad: I'm Gaelic!

Happy St. Patty's Day, everyone! Hope you will find some time today to listen to some Flogging Molly and have yourself a green beer. Or just a beer in any form. I celebrated a bit this weekend:

And because I'm an awesome sister, when my little sis called me from a bar in Soulard, I did, in fact, go and pick up her DRUNK ASS. Here she is with a friend...

My husband also is quite the character, LITERALLY, when it comes to St. Pats. Here he is in all of his glory.

Yes, he made that thing. Cute. Also - fucking annoying.

Anyway, I'm off to get some corned beef and cabbage (which is an American thing, by the way). Yeah, I know. It's so stereotypical. What is with us Americans and our food stereotyping? Oh my GOD. Don't get me started on that one. Because I have SOUTHERN roots as well. Assume what you will about that, and you're probably right when it comes to the food.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The RESULTS: A Drum Roll, Please

For all of you who wanted to know (and for those who didn't) a little shameless self-promotion is about to go down.

In short, I've already mentioned I placed in the top three essays for the STL Writers' Guild contest, but I didn't know HOW I placed (first, second, or third) until tonight (incidentally, first place gets published in a paper with a circulation of 35,000+). And so, without further explanation, I won first place, and I'm telling you, well, I just can't. I'll let my free writing journal entry do it for me. And for the record, smartasses, I don't edit my journal entries. And my love of parentheses knows no bounds. ()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()

Also, a HUGE thank you to all of you who offered your insights into the piece that took the prize. Your support and comments were wonderful. Can I buy y'all bitches a beer???

I digress...

Wednesday March 12, 2008

It’s almost one in the morning, and I’m still awake. I’m still reeling, unable to really comprehend all that has transpired in the last six hours. I went to my first public reading tonight and read my material, my first-place essay, to a packed house. A crazy thing happened up there at the mic – I couldn't stop shaking. My voice was steady and appropriately dramatic (I am a sucker for the dramatic pause), my body relaxed – except for my damn hands. My hands shook as though I was having some crazy seizure stemming from holding a single piece of printer paper. Whether there were 200 eyes or two million focused on me, it wouldn’t have mattered; I’ve never been afraid of public performance. But my past experiences have always been with someone else’s work. This time it was mine.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the shop windows as I headed into the coffee house. For a moment, I had one of those “do I know you” experiences. Suddenly I saw myself, for the very first time, doing the thing I’ve always wanted to do. And it was amazing. I’ve been a closet writer since I was nine years old, too afraid to put my work up for anyone to see. And tonight, after nearly 20 years of self-doubt, I got to be the person I’ve always wanted to be – the one who wasn’t afraid to be honest about my thoughts, to read the things I think about when no one else is paying attention.

And I loved every minute of it.

The shaking? Well, my best guess is that it was something psychological – or maybe spiritual - like holding my own words in my hands to give them up to other people was like giving birth. Now that I think about it, I haven’t shaken like that since I went into labor with my daughter. And the shaking wasn’t out of fear then, or now – but perhaps out of a sense that my life is changing in ways I couldn’t have dreamed, going in a direction I always knew it should go, but was afraid to pursue.

Some people may say that this is only one contest. To them, firstly I say FUCK YOU – I conquered my fiercest demon. How about you? Secondly, I say that tonight in some sort of metaphysical way, I became myself, not because I won anything, but because I’m being true to myself, to my soul. And that really is all I need to be at the end of the day, no matter what anyone else says or thinks about it.

So now, it’s official – I’m a published writer. And, man, does it feel good. Damn good.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Love Song for You

Is this as funny as I think it is? 'Cause I was rollin' on the floor. A Friday dedication to all the average Whiteys and the Fake Hispanics, too.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I can't believe this!!!


Sorry it took so long for this post to show up. Apparently, Fana is at home and doing well. The contractions were stopped and she was NOT leaking fluid (wow - we're not too bright are we???). The whole fiasco was stress related and momma and baby (still on the inside) are doing just fine. Thank you all for thinking of her! But next time you stop by her blog, make sure you tell her NO STRESS, LADY!!!

URGENT: Prayers for Bananafana and Baby Needed

Hey, all. Just wanted to pass along some information for all the Who Needs Sleep readers. Fana is my best mom friend and I don't know what I'd do without her. She could use some serious prayers, whatever your religious standing may be.

I got a call from her around 1 AM and she had been having some weak contractions. Her husband K was snowed in at a hotel by his office, so she was by herself and a little nervous. We started timing the contractions and after a while I went to her house (she only lives 2 miles from me). She was leaking fluid (we strongly think), and the contractions were becoming more frequent, so she called her doc and he sent her to the hospital.

Fana is only 33 weeks, and although she's one of the strongest people I know, she's obviously very nervous. Because she had complications with O, she was really hoping for a normal, as natural as possible delivery this time around. I am holding out every hope that she will still get that scenario.

At 4:45 AM, I just received word that she made it to the hospital via her dad (I stayed until her folks showed up at her house because her son O was sleeping) and K is meeting them there. They've been at the hospital about 15 minutes, but we don't know anything yet. Her mom is staying with O and I will be in touch with her in the morning to see what has transpired.

Please keep Fana, K, O, and baby in your prayers. I will let you know when I have news.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


What's up, everyone? Well, we're under several inches of snow here in The Lou, and LD is out playing with hubs constructing some semblance of a snowman, which is actually a snowpile with a carrot nose and the requisite hat and scarf.

There's been a lot going on around here lately. OK, admittedly, a lot of it has been going on in my head. But I've not had the same snarkiness that you all have come to expect in my bloggerworld, so I've refrained from posting lately. I miss you guys, though.

So what's up with me? Well, actually a lot. I've been pretty introspective as of late which brings out all sorts of crap from the deep recesses of my head, and really doesn't make for good blog fodder. Stuff about marriage, soulmates, the direction (or lack thereof) for my life, career changes, etc etc. BAH. So we'll leave it at that for now.

On the YAY front - I've registered for the Nike Half Marathon. We'll see on April 1st if my Dirty Thirties and I will actually be running in San Fran, since Nike's gone to a lottery system of entry. I'm not Catholic, although St. Sebastian is getting a few messages from me as of late...

If you will recall, my Dirty Thirty girls and I recently celebrated our collective birthdays in San Diego. As a reminder, the half-marathon crew will be these fine people:

Not that we have a collective drinking problem or anything. I'm just saying. Beer anyone???

My sister and I are thinking about doing the St. Patrick's Day run here, although it doesn't start until 9 or something. I'm Irish and may have pounded some pints by then, so I guess we'll have to see...

P.S. An update on my neighbor - she's been in the hospital fighting off some pneumonia since the day after the fall. I've been in touch with her grandchildren (who actually are really great people), and we'll see what happens...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wanted: Readers and Critics

Hey, all. Just wanted to send up a flare for anyone interested in helping me tread the waters of literary-dom. I've joined the St. Louis Writers' Guild and have been busy entering some contests and shit like that. Anyway, I need some feedback if you're available. My deadline is Sunday. I've got a new piece up on my literary site that I need your thoughts on (eeeek, ending a sentence with THAT?). I've looked at it so much that I can't see the forest through the trees or something like that. Anyway, any help is appreciated.

I'll have an update on the neighbor situation later...

Monday, February 18, 2008

News From My Hood

I live in a fairly well-balanced neighborhood - both culturally and age-wise. I have two elderly neighbors, one is in her late seventies (J) and the other is 95 (N). I'm pissed off on behalf of the 95 year old today.

She's the sweetest grandmotherly type you'll ever meet. She's witty and totally hilarious. But she has macular degeneration, and quite honestly needs some serious home care to help her with her house. In short, I would poke out both of my eyes before I'd let my mother live the way she does.

Today she fell - again. This is the fourth time in the last year that I know of. There are probably more instances than that, but she doesn't speak up when things happen. So her neighbor on the other side of her house (K) went to check on her since she hadn't seen any activity over there. When K knocked on the door, she heard the woman call for help. K ran to my house looking for a phone and we called the paramedics and got the house key from J (I was damn near ready to break through the large plate-glass window, but since N was speaking knew we had some time to work with).

When we got inside, N was laid out on the floor looking totally awful, no color in her face. Apparently, she'd ended up on the floor SATURDAY (but couldn't remember how she got there). What the FUCK? While we waited on the paramedics, I made several attempts to reach her granddaughter, but to no avail at either of her numbers. The granddaughter and I have had several of these conversations in the past, and I wasn't looking forward to having this one.

The paramedics came and checked N over, gave her fluids, and did what they could. But N refused to go to the hospital. Her grandson finally showed up and is now sitting with her.

Here's what bothers me kids. I get that N is an independent woman and really just wants to be on her own. But, seriously kids, believe me when I tell you that most of you and I would fight hell or high water to get her some home care, or at the very least, a Life Alert. If K hadn't been curious, N would have died. No joke.

My whole thing is this: how do I tell her family they need to do something? Or can I even say that? They are good people. Maybe they just don't really realize how things are? Really? Is that possible?

Do I say anything? What do I say?

K and I are going to start a rotation checking on N every day, and that's about all we can do. It just makes my ass twitch...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Don't Know Where She Gets It

Ah, the things kids say.

Today, before lunch, my husband was helping LD wash her hands. She was trying to get down from the stool, and hubs pointed out she still had soap on her hands to rinse off, and she needed to finish that first.

She put her hand on her hip and gave him a hooded stare. Then she got sassy. "But, Dad, I have things to do."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Because I'm a Poser...

Bananafana did this, and then of course I had to follow because imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Noble Excellency Mom Of The Year in the Middle of Old Tonbridge Wafers
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

What A Girl Wants

OK, so I probably have not been gut-busting thrilled about Valentine's Day since my junior year of high school as I anticipated what my boyfriend of the semester would manage to get me that would absolutely blow my mind. But today, girls, I have been truly surprised.

There was a huge red box hanging out in the kitchen this morning. Hubs finally gave it to me after lunch, mumbling something about how no, it wasn't jewelry but it was something I've always wanted. So I immediately ruled out the piece of bling from Tiffany's over which I continually drool and opened the box. And here is what I got:

For those of you arriving late on the set, Tessie had posted around the holidays about gifts, and what we did or didn't get as kids. I asked for that damn thing for YEARS to no avail. I figured Santa was either a complete idiot or loved my friends more than me, since everyone in the free fucking world had this thing.

But hubs has pulled through, and my childhood is now complete. Thank you, honey. We'll make margaritas with it later, yeah?

What did I get him? A gift card to Hustler Hollywood. Like you would, no doubt, expect from some girl like me.

Yes, he will be away at work tonight. But don't worry about me. He included a four pack of double A batteries in the large red box as well. Heh heh heh. Damn. Snoopy Sno-Cones and DW? In the same day?! This is the best V-Day EVAH. YEAH, BABY!!!
Happy V-Day, bitches!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Happy Birthday

Hubs turns 32 today, so in his honor, I give you his face displayed online for all to see. Pastey Irish guy, indeed. Note: LD chose the clown cones over a cake at Baskin-Robbins. I did not indulge, but happily took pix of my fam doing just that.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tragedy Hits Home

Well, all, my personal drama is nothing compared to what has transpired for so many others this week.

Tonight I attended a memorial service for my husband's cousin, who at the young age of 26, took his own life. He was an actor in New York, and at the risk of revealing anything about who I am, will only say that his face would be recognizable from bit parts in some films you may have seen. He'd lost two people close to him in a couple of years, the first being the love of his life in a car accident, and then later a friend.

Upon returning home, we learned that a suburb within a stone's throw of our home has suffered a major tragedy. Anytime a cop is shot, I freak out. I have friends who are cops. There are two dead in Kirkwood tonight, along with 3 city officials and the gunman. I do not know any of them personally, but I can't believe this has happened. http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/02/07/city.council.shooting/index.html

Anyway, I guess the point of all of this is that our own personal crosses are often so much lighter than those belonging to others. Kiss your babies, hug your friends, tell everyone you love them.



Holy hellcats! There has been a whole lot of drama around Chez Mom of the Year this week. Sorry I've not been around. I'm trying to work a lot of things out in my head, if I may be honest with you all. I can't get enough of Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry," and Sarah McLachlan is on continuous play. I know, I know. You're all, "Oh shit, girl." But it's all good...

Because I've decided to completely ROCK my thirties.

As the big 3-0 birthday looms just two months away, I'm so ready to kick my twenties to the curb and take on the decade of ME - beginning with finishing the novel and interval running the Nike Half-Marathon in October. Me? Yes, me. Why? Because life is not a dress rehearsal, dammit!

I'm working on a post that will explain my delirium over this whole thing, but just wanted to pop in and say hi to everyone. I hope you are all well...

Friday, February 1, 2008

8 Inches for Mama

What did you think this post was about??? Quit it, gutter sluts! Today's post is brought to you by rock salt and hot cocoa. For those of you who've left behind snow and are now living in non-snowy states, here are some pix of what you're missing. You're welcome to come over and play, but bring your own Bailey's for your coffee, as Mom of the Year will be polishing hers off today! Also - this should make for an interesting Mardi Gras tomorrow, yes????

Please note the snowboarding boots on hubs. Approximate number of times they have been used for snowboarding in the last 5 years? Zero. Why does he own them? They go with the snowboard propped up against our basement wall. I suppose at one time in his twenties, hubs made an attempt at being EXTREME. The only thing really extreme about him now is the EXTREME lack of hair on his pastey Irish head. So, Tessie, tell BR not to feel bad. HA HA HA!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Eternal 29th Birthday Convention Part I

How was my weekend in San Diego, you ask? Well, MAMA'S STILL GOT IT, BITCHES! Oh how I love to be a wing woman! The Eternal 29th Birthday Celebration (aka the meeting of The Dirty Thirties) began with a few pitchers of Sangria, which is a pretty good indicator of the modus operandi for the entire weekend.

Exhibit A: friend Kiwi kicking it off in Irvine.
Exhibit B: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner DAY ONE in Lake Forest.

Exhibit C: Lunch DAY TWO at The Spot in La Jolla.

Exhibit D: Dinner DAY TWO. Are you seeing a pattern???
Exhibit E: Uh, yeah. DON'T WE ALL????????

Exhibit F: Yours truly having polished off the first of, well, just a few, car bombs. YUMMY! Please note the unruly hair and crazed eyes. I guess I won't be using this shot in the old blogger profile!!!

For all you animal lovers, we took a break from the bacchanalia and saw some seals and shit, too.

I'll have some killer thoughts on the weekend with more pix later. Just couldn't wait to put something up here and say HI!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eye Doctor IQ

Am I the only person in the world who gets nervous going to the eye doctor? Perhaps some of you can identify with my nervous tummy if I lay out my visit for you today:

Exhibit A: The air puff test thing. Yeah, you know the drill. They shoot air into your eye to check the pressure. Totally sucks and I flinch every time, meaning it takes like 10 tries to get it right.

Exhibit B: The stupid eye charts. Damn. I feel like I'm being given a pop quiz or something. What letter is that? G, or maybe a C? Wait. Is that a O or a D? And just for shits and giggles to scare the hell out of you, there are numbers now on that thing, too.

Exhibit C: The corrective lenses eye test. Which is clearer, this or this? OK. Is this better or worse? Fuzzy or clearer? 1 or 2? OK. 3 or 4? OK 5 or 6? What the hell number are we on?! No dammit, I don't know which is better! Which is the right answer????????? Stop the insanity!

Exhibit D: Field vision screening. Every time the doc sees that my mom has developing glaucoma, I am automatically subjected to the stupid test where you click a button every time you see a line disturbance in a vision field. And I'm all, GOD, I DON'T FUCKING KNOW! Did I just see one there? Or there? Or was that just an artifact from the last one? Someone tell me the answer!

Yeah, so that was my day. I'm going for coffee and a Prozac, perhaps...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Hometown Goes Dirty

For Tessie (who HEARTS Mike Rowe) and Erica (who HEARTS St. Louis): Tonight's episdoe of Dirty Jobs was made in The Lou. Apparently Mike Rowe was in town learning how to put barges in the scrap heap. I'm not sure how much of The Lou you'll get to see, but hey, Mike Rowe is enough, right?

Peace. I'm out!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

From the Highlight Reel

Happy Monday to all! It is Monday, right? I can't keep it all straight with hubs STILL OFF WORK SINCE CHRISTMAS! Yes, that's right - a month's worth of down time for him. I'm going batty! Love him, but shit. This is insane. Usually he gets two weeks off, but this year we were given an EXTRA two, no doubt for good behavior with all of the insanity of the market right now. Well, at least, that's what I tell myself so I don't freak out.

ANYWAY - the highlight reel. So, even after the madness of the holidays, being sick for two weeks, and a weather system so crazy it's a wonder no one has said the world is ending, I have managed not to gain back any weight and reclaimed the minute on my running intervals that I had previously lost. I'm down a total of 24 pounds. WOO HOO! And remember - my only philosophy on this whole this is to do what feels good and not a speck more, which has translated so nicely to weightloss for me. What's on the highlight reel? Two cool things:

1) From under the net - My postal woman cheers me on every day, but hadn't seen me because I was sick for a couple of weeks. I saw her on Friday, and she said had to do a double-take because she said she didn't recognize me.

2) And from the three-point line, a married father-of-two neighbor of mine that I usually see while out running actually came to my house, rang my damn doorbell, and asked if I was okay since he hadn't seen me in a while. Then, as he was leaving, he turned around, gave me the twice over with THE EYE, and said, "Damn. You're looking good, mama."

What the hell? It was so weird, and yet, somehow awesome.

Anyway, I'm powering writing the book this week since on Friday I will be flying to Southern California for the Eternal 29th Birthday Convention (AKA the gathering of The Dirty Thirties) - a trip that I'm sure, as you would guess, will no doubt involve much dancing, drinking, and male-bashing. YAY!

I'll have more for you later...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Literary Slut Version 2.0

Well, it's been a while, has it not, my lovlies? Sorry I've been MIA, but I'm undertaking a project which has me doing all sorts of crazy things like staying up all night researching things online, performing spontaneous dance parties in my home office, and generally being wicked cool. What is it, you ask?

I'm writing that fucking book. Finally.

So ANYWAY... what have you all been up to? I've actually been checking up on you guys a lot; I just haven't been posting and such. But now that a good deal of my research is done for this motherfucker, let's get this party started AGAIN!

My hats off to everyone who survived the holidays complete with car trips, multiple familial homes to visit, and cranky babies. We have three days of Christmas, of which Christmas Day is actually spent sitting on our asses, opening presents at home, and ordering Chinese take-out for dinner. Bonus - all of our family lives within 20 minutes of us. So, even if I had any holiday complaints, I would feel like a complete asshat for airing them here as I saw so many of you rolled down the open road with screaming kiddos.

My love and middle finger to all my bitches. Literary Slut is back.