Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Motley who?

I was thick as thieves with four banditas my freshman year of college: Muppet, Smack, KitKat, and K.O. Whether we were at a dance club or supposed to be studying, we simply had too much fun together. So when the opportunity arose early in fall semester for us to attend a concert together, of course we would go. The band: Motley Crue. Them: Fans.  Me: Not remotely a fan except I did like one song.

Smack’s older brother, BK, a giant hulk of a boy, was having a pre-party at his apartment. Perfect. As we all dress and convene to go to his apartment, I am met with four pairs of puzzled eyes.  "What?" I ask.
"Is that what you are wearing to the concert"  asked of me in unison.
"Yes, it is."

They are layered in various combinations of denim and black. I am wearing a bright red mock turtleneck, crisply pressed navy walking shorts, red and navy argyle socks, and penny loafers. Clearly, I was not a head banger and had never been to a Crue concert. My outfit du preppy not frequently seen at a concert. I was not aware that the only attire needed by women at a Crue concert was spiral perm, pasties, and underwear that could be quickly removed to throw on stage. And even though they didn't have these costumes either, off we went. Motley Crue: not exactly singing hymnals.

When we arrive at BK’s apartment, he takes one look at me and says, “You look ridiculous.”
I ignore him primarily because you can’t tell someone in argyle they look ridiculous when you are wearing tucked and rolled acid wash jeans and a jean jacket with rips all over it.

I pony up to the keg and am handed a giant glass. I can’t say that I had ever consumed 32 ounces of beer at one time. Maybe over an entire evening at this point in my drinking career but not at one time especially when it was only about 4 in the afternoon. But, I certainly do my best. An hour or so passes and I step outside. I believe there was a Marlboro Light involved.  More time passes and everyone gathers to leave. Although, I can’t be sure because I was curled up on the front porch taking a nap.

When my gal pals attempt to rouse me, it can not be done. As in, I am down for the count. BK is highly irritated with the antics. He opts to leave me there which is met with fierce resistance from my girlfriends (THANK YOU, girlfriends!) The departure includes a brisk walk to the stadium from BK's apartment. I mean, it involves a brisk walk for them. BK likely attempts to once more to advocate for leaving me on the porch to fend for myself. Once again, he is told no.

So he has to carry me fireman style over a mile back to my residence hall. He does so grudgingly and not before he says plenty of sweet things to me. Luckily, beer has soundproofed my existence. I wake up hours later feeling none too well. In fact, the only thing that seems to be a good idea is to open my 2nd story window and hang my head out of it. Cool night air washing me with minor relief. And then I am sick. At the precise minute my sweet and innocent Japanese exchange student roommate walks in with her study group. Welcome to America Shoko! You won the roommate lottery.

Luckily, she felt sorry for me having not a clue that I did this to myself. When the girls came home from the concert, they found me in the same position. But I rallied back and we were still able to have a very fun night after the concert. Oh, youth. Gives us such elasticity. And when people asked me about the concert, I simply said, “Motley who?”

And then I blamed in on the argyle prejudice.
And BK.

PS: He only hated me forever 
for a long time  
forever being nominated as the one to carry me all the way home. We never made up.

And I have never been to another Crue concert either. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

A letter to a friend

We met M.A. after she was hired by my Mom' s company. New to Seattle after graduate school in DC, she impressed my Mom as a young woman, both beautiful and brilliant, with a calm and engaging demeanor who always seemed to know exactly the best way to say, wear, and do anything. I was only eleven years old and as soon as I met her, she was everything I wanted to be. The perfect combination to me of mentor, sensei, and the big sister I did not have. M.A. and my Mom became great friends over the years and in addition to the guidance she gave me, we also watched her career and life in Seattle grow to greatness. 

She always spoke to me like I was a wise and mature young woman even though we know I was often neither of those things especially during the time of my life when age brackets ended in the word "teen." But she was a fun compatriot too and as I got older, went to college, turned 21, some of the best memories in my life were trips back home and "girls night out" with my Mom, MA, and their other best friend, Suz. And we have hundreds of pictures of the four of us together (some more flattering than others. And by "not flattering" I mean a few pics that captured us in honkytonks with long neck bottles and shots.)

And as I got older, MA remained a sounding board for a variety of topics ranging from Presidential debates, travel, the best restaurant in DC, and career advice (including how to persuasively lobby my HR department to overturn their hideous "no open toe shoes" policy.) And I remember placing a very tearful call to her in college when I knew I was days away from my first and most serious heartbreak.

And over the years since I was an eleven year old know-it-all with feathered bangs and Vuarnet sunglasses there has been not a single important moment in my life that M.A. has not been present. This spans the glossy vignettes of my personal highlights from back in the day like my high school prom to the grown up endeavors like promotions, my wedding, and the birth of our son. I was once told that is is critical for all young people to have an adult they can trust and talk to outside of the family. I know exactly why it is important and I  am blessed and lucky to have several non-family member guides in my life with M.A. at the helm. 

Years ago, the ever-thoughtful M.A. sent me a giant box. Inside was a bottle of Perrier Jouet and six gorgeous champagne flutes as a way to toast an achievement. Two of the glasses were broken and I immediately set about to find superglue to fix them. JohnnyMac watched in disbelief. Host etiquette being quite important to me, surely I was not going to superglue crystal champagne flutes back together.

I would, but could not find the superglue. I searched and searched and then began to tear the office apart. JohnnyMac's disbelief turned into a bit of WTF is happening because he had never seen me act like this. Our evening plans slightly derailed as I spent 30 minutes searching. Finally, he suggested that perhaps he simply drive to the store and buy some OR better yet, we throw out the broken stemware. 

And then I began to cry. To which he took a momentary pause. I then explained to him I wanted these specific glasses she had selected. Not because I really wanted to serve broken stemware but because I wanted this exact gift, exactly as she intended to give it. And because I had found out days before M.A. was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer.

When my Mom told me, I was sick. We had such limited experience with cancer and no one wants to know cancer personally.  The initial diagnosis was so advanced and serious, that we, like many other families and friends who receive such news about someone they love, went straight from being scared to asking what we could do to help.  But fear remained active just below my peel which is why suddenly, it seemed foremost, necessary to piece these fragmented glasses back together.

At this time in her life, M.A. was married with two young children. Cancer, in its typical custom, came in uninvited. Not seeping in like smoke but pounding on the front door, both bold and brash. And as qualmish as I was over the news, I also thought, Oh, poor dumb cancer. You certainly won't prevail here.

And while M.A. began what I would consider aggressive treatment she never lost vigor, or panache, or that perfect eye contact that would greet you the same way you were used to and really said, oh, let's not even worry. I am fine. Now, tell me what is going on with you.

I have been impressed by so many amazing people I have in my life but I have never been affected which such breadth and depth as I was watching M.A. handle cancer. And yes, she handled it. Cancer did NOT handle her. 

The first time I saw her after her hair had fallen out because of chemo, she could even make bald look chic. And it is because her soul shines in everything she does.  We walked as a family and a group of friends at Race for the Cure Seattle with her as the center of our aura. Her Mom, also a breast cancer survivor and also a bad ass, flew in to join.  And watching them walk arm in arm, I recognized even then, at an event that is all about an experience honoring life and survivors, she would still take a backseat and spend her time asking about you. 

So, today I celebrate M.A. because she is alive, and healthy. Still every bit as beautiful and brilliant and still completely capable of facing cancer and delivering the smackdown. And we celebrate the miracle that cancer did not prevail.

And I didn't keep the two broken glasses but use the other four frequently.

Happy Birthday to a wonderful woman. Everyone whose life you touch is lucky. And for the 25+ years I have known you, you are still the perfect embodiment of mentor, sensei and big sister I could ever ask for in one person. 

Here is to another year of amazing things in store for you. And to more pictures of great moments. As you celebrate, know we are celebrating too, and you are certainly your best work so far.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just a walk in the park

As we drove home a few days ago, after Atlanta was becoming soggy under so much rain,  our car was filled with late afternoon sunlight. Surprising warm temperatures in the middle of our wet spell prompted a statement from the tiny voice in the backseat, “Maybe we can go to the park again soon.”

A hesitation on my part. The ongoing balance between the litany of things “to do” and the reminder that sometimes an impromptu visit to the park is a perfect addition to the day.  And the realization there will always be a litany of things to do. My response “Today seems like a great day to go” was received with a giant smile.

Sun pours between the trees as tiny feet race to the swings. As he only wants the “big kid” swings now, the set of bucket seats is ignored as he races by them. I remember those racing feet accompanied by racing heart when I was a kid. You know what comes next: Push me, Mommy!

And after several minutes he asks, “Do you want to swing too?”

I feel the pulse of the Blackberry ball and chain in my pocket. Just one more tool to remind me of tasks, emails, chores, upcoming appointments.

But yes, baby. I want to swing too.

Giggles are the primary soundtrack as we race to see who can go higher. Even when you have not sat on a swing in a long time, you never forget how to rise.  And for an unexpected detour, I embrace it.

And as my son laughs with his entire heart, he tries to mimic the moves as I rise higher.

I lift up.
Sunrays splashing through my arc.
I float through perfect air.
I remember how much I used to love this simple act.
And I remember the wonderment of freedom, freedom, freedom.

And yes, sometimes an impromptu walk in the park is a perfect addition to the day.  And I appreciate the reminder from my son that is a good idea for grown-ups to play on the swings once in awhile too. 

Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Urban Dictionary would have helped

As a young lady, we had a few unladylike expressions. One of them, used far and wide by teens across America, was a reference to a biological process. It also doubled as slang for someone you liked to imply, based on their behavior, was experiencing that biological process. Here is an example when Urban Dictionary, had it only been created then, could have helped. OR, an example of when you should not repeat what you hear your teenage daughter say.

My Mom is at her corporate office for a standard day’s work. Her boss, who is also a friend, comes in her office with a litany of questions about a certain business topic. As they converse, she notes his usual pleasant disposition is a bit off-tilt. As the conversation continues, his mood never lifts. As he departs her office, she asks if he is feeling ok. He replies yes. She says, “I was just curious because you seem off today." He assures her he is fine and continues on his way. 

Later, in another conversation, he gives a snappish answer to someone. When others leave, my Mom turns to him and in a joking manner says, "You are not yourself today. Are you sure you aren't on the rag?”

Silence. Complete and lengthy silence. And then he laughs. And tells her to go home and ask her teenage daughter what that expression means.

Her thought: It means you are crabby.
The truth: It means you are menstruating. Or acting like a crabby little betch because you are menstruating.

She was mortified. Luckily, he had teenage children as well. And they were friends. AND he has one hell of a sense of humor.

Teachable moment: Moms, better check the lexicon before you borrow phrases from your children. And I am certain she never uttered that particular phrase again. 

Sorry Mom. I am laughing at your expense today.  And I already gave the disclaimer it was NOT a ladylike expression. And no, I don't think I needed my mouth washed out with soap for it because we both know, it would have done NO good. haha.

PS: My laptop has a playdate with IT on Thursday to upgrade my aircard. One knows better than to tell IT to "hop to it" because one has a blog post that just can't wait. One knows IT holds the power. One will simply smile at IT and post again on Friday. 

PPS: IT knows NOTHING about one's blog and I think it wise to keep it that way. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I like big butts and I can not lie

Over the weekend, I saw an interesting tidbit on the news. A doctor in LA on air giving accolades to Jennifer Lopez with the intimation that Jennifer Lopez has helped him amass scads of money. Singing career on the side because he is just a Doctor from the block? No, this doctor is no crooner. Handing out sparkly jeans and JLo perfume? Not that either. He has made a fortune off replication. As in replication of her derriere. He is a doctor specializing in Buttock Augmentation. WOW. I have now officially heard of everything.

Butt implants are usually quite successful at making the butt larger and shapelier. This has helped many women gain a more sensuous appearance. For those that have had underdeveloped buttocks, buttock implants can now provide them with a more proportionate figure. Not only has this helped enhance their appearance, but for many they have also gained a boost in their self-esteem and self-confidence. 

I support anyone who wants surgery in hopes of improving self esteem and self confidence. From Botox to the face lift, do what you need to do sister. I admit I have heard of many surgical enhancements and living in Atlanta, I have seen the handiwork. But butt implants? I know nothing about butt implants.

The surgery can be upward of 2 to 3 hours. It can also be upward of $10,000 smacks. The usual side effects: pain, discomfort, potential future surgeries. BUT, an interesting fact:  you can expect to resume normal activity within 2 months. What if part of your normal activity actually involves sitting? ON your arse. Because sitting on your arse seems like an activity I don’t want to go without for a month. Or two. Have fun with that Crouching Tiger, Hidden (Tender) Booty.

Anyone willing to undergo that lengthy surgery and the aftermath of not actually using your badonkadonk for months is  a person who can genuinely claim: I like big butts and I can not lie. And incidentally, I have seen post-op video of butt implants. The clip I saw was evidence in a lawsuit. I am sure other surgeries are very successful but this surgery had some drawbacks. Mainly in that what I saw looked much like a large ham stuffed into underwear, covered with sweatpants, but imagine a ham that could be moved around as readily as a joystick from your 1984 Atari game.  I think we can all agree your butt should move like a yo-yo (unless you are just THAT great of a dancer.) Hence the lawsuit.

Now, I know several women who are bothered by their tiny biscuits. In fact, I know someone who was nicknamed at birth: Hickory Nut Butt because the butt appeared to have been left behind in the birth canal. I think I would love being called Hickory Nut Butt but J. assured me I would not.

I will never be called Hickory Nut Butt, and frankly, if you needed an extra dose of bootylicious biscuit, come my way, pay me 10K and I will give gladly pass you some of mine.

Now, unlike Sir Mix A Lot, who penned the now pop culture iconic lyrics highlighting how his Anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hon, I do not covet a bubble rump. In fact, this reminds me of a situation in college I will share. One day as a freshman in college, my gal pals and I strolled along the courtyard through main campus. A boy, perched on a ledge with his collection of misfits called out to us "I like your junk in your trunk" which I believe included the sound mmmmmmm as well.

A touch baffled, we glanced their way, and moved along. But they kept up. I was wearing my attractive and snug Calvin Klein jeans and over-sized yet tucked in rugby shirt (quite popular at the time) so I was singled out. Since they spoke a foreign phrase, and I had no lexicon to help, I ignored them. Let's be honest, I thought they were ridiculous. My car was parked by my house, which was half a mile away. And I knew there were only battery cables and a spare tire in that trunk. Silly boys!

Shortly thereafter, I asked a friend of mine who played football what ‘junk in the trunk’ meant. His response was multi-layered. But I quickly got the point. Suffice it to say when a college boy says, “You got junk in your trunk” that will also translate to “I am a boy who occasionally likes a kick to the ding ding.”

If I had known, as I paraded down campus in my fitted jeans and my oversize shirt, that a pack of wolves would basically identify I had a prodigious ass and then shout it out with glee like Rudolph's reindeers, I would perchance have opted to be a bit more obscure. 

I was assured by my friend that "boys like that"as if this was a consolation. And while I appreciated freedom of speech, candor, and the like, please do not shout across the quad like a donkey braying in a megaphone about my "trunk" be it full of junk or otherwise.

Now what was I to do but tell all to my gal pals and then nurse my feelings with a tall cold refreshing beer. I am sure I had a calzone with that (Sella's calzones...the best in the Palouse) but I digress. Was I not svelte? Was I not a work out fiend? Never mind that the beverage-calzone combo might have added a little pile of junk to that trunk but I was a freshman after all.

Mind you, this was long before Jennifer Lopez, the bodacious sensation wore her "junk" with pride. I was an injured girl and I don't care who you are, there was not a girl on campus in 1989 who would have proudly wore the "Biggest Ass" sash during the float parade. And NO ONE was intentionally seeking a bigger butt. And implants were strictly for ta-tas.

Now that I am significantly more savvy, and my days of thinking Keystone and 3000 calorie calzones were gourmet living, I can assure you no one has even commented on junk in my trunk. But I am still a long, long time away from implants for the booty zone.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Room (dis)service

As I was packing for our amazing surprise getaway last week, I was chatting on the phone with one of my girlfriends, Bean. She asked where we were staying and I told her the Ritz Carlton. She laughed, which made no sense to me, and then shared this story. 

Mr. and Mrs. X, a couple we all have become recently friends with, planned a night out on the town last month. After deciding to have their little ones sleep over at the grandparents, a night out became a big night out. Anyone with children on an overnight know this provides a level of freedom VERY different than just a simple night out which ends in relieving the babysitter and checking in on your kiddos snuggled in their beds.

As a parent, acquiring a rare morning to yourselves sometimes antes up the level of shenanigans the night before.

So this couple books a hotel room, and goes out on an adults-only bender which includes dinner, live music, dancing. Returning to the hotel, and apparently, still quite thirsty, Husband calls down for a bottle of liquor. Liquor comes, party continues.

The next morning, Husband recalls certain bits of the night but other components, dipped in haze, required him to ask his wife for further clarification.  Such as: When the man from room service arrived at their door, why was he so rude?

She looked at him and said, “Maybe because the way you answered the door?”

He asks, “What about it?”

“Well, you had no shirt on," she replied.


".... OR anything else.”

You poor room service guy. That’s not exactly the tip you were expecting, was it!

Note to self: Love that Mr. and Mrs. X know how to have fun.

Postscript to self: When planning fun outings with Mr. and Mrs. X, remember to never, ever share a room with Mr. and Mrs. X.

Post-postscript to self: I am SO glad neither Bean, nor Mr. and Mrs. X,  nor the service staff at the Ritz have a similar story to share about us.  

Post-post-postscript: Just like Jerry Seinfeld told you, answering the door to your hotel room with your junk on display definitely qualifies as bad naked.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pour yourself some sex kitten

Red wine has long been considered heart-healthy. With its antioxidants, flavonoids, and resveratrol, a glass of red wine a day is believed to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and improve overall cardiovascular health. And of course, a glass of red wine is a great counterbalance to the endless chores you had to do all day.

But wait, there is more.  According to The Journal of Sexual Medicine, women who drink red wine get frisky more often than woman who drink other types of alcohol or do not drink at all. The study involved over 800 women and the verdict was women who drink up to two glasses of red wine a day are more likely to unleash their inner vixen. 

This makes perfect sense. Red wine is luxurious and decadent, isn't it? 

White wine, oh you taste good in the summer, but too much of you just gives a headache.  And  too much beer, well, that will cause you to paint your team name on your naked chest and yell things like "Freebird" for no reason. 

Two glasses of vodka? You aren't getting frisky but will likely end up with perfect pics of you wearing a french maid costume and later petting the toilet like a puppy.

Too many gin martinis, have fun doing karaoke. And not well either. And not a song that everyone will know and like such as Baby Got Back or Margaritaville but something like Total Eclipse of the Heart. Which you weep during. 

And scotch? Enjoy too much Scotch and you'll be Sean Connery. With the same slurry voice only less sexy and not sophisticated.

And Tequila. Well, we all know Tequila translates into havoc and turmoil. And vomit. And waking up naked in someone's lawn in just your cowboy boots. (Remember when you did this, D?) And discovering the next day you shouted at policemen. And drunk dialed 50 people. And put your bare arse on Facebook. 

So red wine, you classy miss, you are really just helping us tap that central hellcat reserve. Now, I know some of you don't drink. And you might be rambunctious enough all on your own. But for the rest of you, pour that red love story and get your frisky on.  

My Husband clearly knew this scientific finding already hence the reason our house is constantly stocked with cases of red wine. And all this time I thought his intent was to help me maintain a happy and healthy heart. 

I will keep that in mind tonight. Happy St. Pats if you are celebrating. JohnnyMac has planned a surprise weekend getaway for us so I will be MIA until Monday. Red wine anyone? Meow.

Have a fabulous long weekend. I am quite sure I will. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

There is a reason it is not called "Private Diary"

Recently in Pennsylvania, a university professor was suspended for venting her workplace frustration on her Facebook page. On January 21, she posted a comment that read, "Does anyone know where I can find a very discrete hitman? Yes, it's been that kind of day..." The second comment, posted one month later, read, “Had a good day today, DIDN'T want to kill even one student :-). Now Friday was a different story." This professor only recently started her Facebook account, has 32 "friends" comprised of friends, relatives and colleagues. She has no students among her Facebook friends. She was unsure how her messages wound up at ESU's provost's office. After a 10 minute meeting with the Dean, she was escorted off campus by security.

The Facebook incident also points out how our off-hand musings cannot be considered private in the age of social networking”, said Montana Miller, an assistant professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, who is also a Facebook Expert. (She is NOT the professor suspended.)

I don't teach so I can't adequately opine whether students are or are not irritating enough to make you drink, pull your hair out, or as this professor wrote, ponder worse ideas. I do think if you are going to write notes on your FB account, perhaps it is unwise to pen a sentence which  includes both of the words students and kill. However, the more interesting statement in this article is she was unsure how her messages wound up at ESU's provost's office because no students are her "friends" on her account.

Hmmm, let me call Colombo. And while I am waiting for him, I guess that one of your 32 "friends" who are also some of your colleages thought it perhaps unwise to pen sentences that include both the word students and kill.

PS: How in the world did Professor Miller become an expert in Facebook? If you are an expert, Professor, please help us all by telling us how to encourage certain people from the constant status updates like “I sure like bologna” and "I left my heart in Farmville."

In the ever-growing word of social media, is the expectation of privacy very valid? Facebook has an important word in the name: BOOK. As in, it is basically an open one and if you write shiznit about your school, your students, your employer, your boyfriend, or your Father’s employer, someone will use their SnagIt program and share it with the world. Otherwise, it might be called Face-SuperSafePlacetoAirAllYourSecrets. Someone should have told Sarah Henderson this news. But, she was sticking up for her Dad, right? 

But airing secrets on Facebook isn't as rare as it should be. I ran into an old neighbor recently. He is a newleywed and a salty one at that. A small tiff with his new bride escalated into an ugly brew-ha-ha when he read this on FB:

(His wife) Mrs. B: Day is bad. My husband is a total jerk.
His response: And, along with our entire families, one of your friends on FB who can read your status updates. 


And even though you know Facebook is not called “Private Diary” for a reason, here are some other interesting examples from funny to fumbles of people who learned that ex post facto.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Multiple times I have successfully convinced JohnnyMac volunteering is a great way to spend a few hours on the weekend. I think JohnnyMac would make his own list of great ways to spend a few hours on the weekend that would look like this:
Lay in bed in silence while my wife spends a few hours volunteering
Drink my coffee in silence while my wife spends a few hours volunteering
Watch SportsCenter in silence while my wife spends a few hours volunteering

But he is a great sport and this particular weekend was a perfect example. The volunteer job du jour? Playing bingo at a retirement community.The woman who runs the program is wonderful and this volunteer assignment is easy and fun. We simply help the residents with their bingo cards, call Bingo, check the cards when someone wins, and pass out tasty treats.

This particular Saturday, there was a new resident. He was a little grumpier than his compatriots but it didn’t phase me. And he had a formidable winning streak early on. And then wow, he was clearly quite lucky since he won about a dozen games straight. 

Except he was cheating. The game is for fun and he is not winning an escape from the retirement community so I smile and play along. And then he demands more prizes.  I am not the Bingo KGB but the Director encourages me to handle it. I attempt to tag JohnnyMac into the fray which only makes JohnnyMac laugh and go elsewhere.

But just because you cheat at bingo, does not mean you're nutty. 

Then Mr. Grumpy told me I look like Carly Simon. I don’t but I said thank you. Then Mr. Grumpy told me Carly Simon is one of all-time favorite singers. I have some Carly Simon on my iPod so I agree with him. Then Mr. Grumpy tells me he has been writing letters to Carly Simon. Every week for decades. And decades. Then he told me he proposed to Carly Simon.

Just because you cheat at bingo, does not mean you're nutty. Actually being nutty makes you  nutty. 

I was as nice as I could be to Mr. Grumpy the rest of the day. Cheat at bingo and propose to Carly Simon all you want, Old Timer. When I am old, if I want to cheat at bingo,  and wear Jackie O glasses with Bo Derek braids, I don't need a little whippersnapper telling me otherwise.

But the sweetest woman of the day was Miss May. Miss May loved to play bingo and as she studied her cards, she came up short each round (primarily because of cheater pants.) But she kept with it.  And then, at the turn of the hour, Miss May got that critical B29 and yelled “SWEET JESUS, I WON.” Pure happiness over a simple game of bingo.

I adored Miss May.
And she never once cheated.
Or told me I look like Carly Simon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Roller coaster of love...

Do you remember when Red Hot Chili Peppers did a remake of the classic rock song Love Rollercoaster? I love that song. Back in day, every time we were out and that song came on, it was showtime. Which is a little bit ironic because when I think of roller coasters, multiple words come to mind and LOVE does not even make the list.

Oh, I used to like roller coasters. I used to like them a lot. Excitement dipped in trepidation as you went up, up, up and then hands in the air for the rocket ride through one loop after another.

Roller coasters date back to the 16th century in Russia. The first US roller coaster was actually a switchback railway in Pennsylvania. And the first pure entertainment roller coaster was built on Coney Island in 1884. This spot is where The Cyclone on Coney Island still stands. For hundreds of years, people have sought out the danger and euphoria of great heights and fast speeds.

And it all used to be so exhilarating. And one day I crossed an invisible divide. When did this happen? Perhaps it was in Vegas when my thrill seeker friends and I opted to ride the coaster on top of New York, New York. Shall I blame it on the barrel rolls I was not prepared for? Or I could blame it on the hangover, the cocktails, or lack of enough cocktails but I spent that entire ride going 67 miles per hour and screaming.

When the ride finished, my friend JVC laughed at me like I was an 8 year old girl. A father and son exited the car directly in front of us and the young son turned to me and shared, “You said a bad word on the ride!” A bad word? Consider yourself and your ears lucky kid. I thought of 100 bad words and perhaps fear kept them in my mouth.

You know how many roller coasters come equipped with Photo Ops now? So you can see your face, fixed with bravery and washed with thrill? When we saw our photos after the ride, JVC looked like a satiated speed demon. I looked very similar to this:

All of this bad experience was completely forgotten when I was invited to go on the Aerosmith Rock 'N Roller Coaster at Disney. After the ride when I struggled to appear intact and quickly checked to make sure none of my organs had flown out of my mouth, my friend Brazil asked me if I liked it. Brazil LOVES roller coasters. Trying to be positive, I said I really liked the music. He said he had a harder time hearing the music because I was screaming _______, @!&*%$  and ______ the entire time.

And when I met JohnnyMac, I discovered no bigger roller coaster aficionado exists. But when he invited me to ride Everest with him, I declined. Give Rock 'N Roller coaster another spin? No, thank you. Kraken? I’ll pass. Manta? Are you kidding me?

And when I finally did go on a coaster, it was the Goofy Barnstormer roller coaster in Mickey’s Toon Town Fair. MiniMac's idea. Who was nervous that MiniMac would hate it and cry? Me. Who got off that ride with face flushed with adventure? MiniMac. And a plea “ Can we please go AGAIN?” Apparently, 25 mph and a little 20 foot drop is nothing for my toddler. For him and Daddy, it is a roller coaster of love.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Man's dilemma

It is just a tiny bit R rated but I saw this photo with the caption: Man's Dilemma.


Does this photo capture the true spirit of man's dilemma? If so, what is the equally profound woman's dilemma

And to think all along I thought man's dilemma was: Oh ____ _____, what shall I do if she never stops talking.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Women over 30 shouldn't do crack

Over the weekend, I popped into Nordstrom for a new belt. In my shopping endeavors, I stumbled across a fabulous pair of Joe's Jeans on such significant sale, they might as well have been tied in a bow and handed to me. AND in my size. I saunter into the dressing room, because one more pair of jeans can never hurt, and try them on. 

Backside slathered in denim, I use the three way mirror to look at the caboose from every conceivable angle. You do this too? Oh, you don't? Me either. 

Just kidding. Of course I do. I LOVED these jeans but noticed the tag indicated low rise. Now, all my parts were fully covered but I know from experience, you need to do the "Sit Test" in low rise jeans for prevention of donning them for lunch one day and give some unsuspecting diner a peep show. 

To do the Sit Test in a dressing room is a little challenging, because you can't merely sit. You must sit and be able to observe your situation.  Finally, twisting myself just short of Cirque du Soleil style, I got the view.  And then I saw it.

And my first thought was "Wow. They should have wrote low, low, low rise."
My second thought was "WOW. That is a lot of crack."
My third thought was "Uh oh, I don't do crack."
My final thought looking at that view: "DAMMIT. I love these jeans!"

Now there was a time when I showed the bare tummy in the navel grazing shirts. And wore the tiny shorts with high heels. If I had the cleavage, I would have bared that too on sultry summer nights. But some of these low rise jeans are showing so much skin. But I am out of that age range and you know it is fashion unbecoming when you can see more crack than Whitney Houston.

And women over 30 should not do crack. At least this woman over 30. But, many a girl has tried to rationalize a purchase like this. You try to tell yourself you will wear a long sweater. You won't. And like me, many a girl has a purchase or two in the closet not ready for wear because of technical difficulties. Leaving the dressing room, I had a fleeting thought that maybe these could be my 'stand up only' jeans. What a terrible idea to have 'stand up only' jeans. And even then, I might wear them out, enjoy a cocktail or two, and whoops, I forget the jeans are limited in their range.  No need for that to be on display hence a photo shows up on FB with the caption "Showing more ass than a night at The Bunny Ranch" (and not dipped in flattery.)

So belt purchase = perfect. Jeans purchase = reshelved. A perfect example that crack is not always addictive.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just say: I don't know

We have been a bit chilly, for a bit too long in Georgia. This part of the country has two seasons: Summer and Fall. Summer lasts 9 months and Fall lasts for three. So the fact temperatures have bobbed around the 20 - 40 degree mark for months leaves us in a pinch. You already know that states doused frequently in sunshine have drivers who can not drive in even a sprinkle of raindrops. Snow? We are paralyzed and the city is shut down.  Buy your bread and milk, Mabel. Snow = emergency conditions. 

People live in the South for a variety of reasons. One of my top five: weather. If I wanted to be chilly  and damp more often, I could return to Seattle. There I would be looking at the greenery, and water, and deal with about 92% less a-hole drivers.

And when we are weeks away from Spring, we don't like our temperatures to begin with the numbers 2, 3, OR 4. So when the weather prediction at the end of last week was sunny and almost 70 degrees on Sunday, people greeted the news with the same enthusiasm you would expect from someone winning an Oscar. 

We planned a full day involving things outdoors. I took off at 9 am to run. No jacket needed because it was supposed to be 50 by then. Wrong. I should know by now not to trust the weather report. It was 39. Brrrrr. 

And Brrrrr needs a coat, and hat, and gloves. I mean, when you are a little weather pansie who has been enjoying a warm climate for a decade. 39  degrees in March  might feel like suntan weather to our friends in the the Midwest and NE.

We waited all day for the sun. Hope you enjoyed sleeping in, Sunshine. Thanks for foiling my plans.  Oh, you finally made it to 55 by late afternoon. 

Weatherman: Just say, " I don't know" OR "Your guess is as good as mine" OR "Whatever you hope for, expect the opposite" OR "Yes, I have the best occupation with no prerequisite of accuracy or success needed in order to get the dollar bills" OR "Why don't you wake up tomorrow, look out the window, and then you will KNOW what the weather is going to be for the day."

Sun: I miss you. We are getting a bit surly, a bit salty, and a bit desperate down here. 

PS: You don't have children, Sun, so let me share a piece of information. Outdoor play time is awesome. In fact, it is really quite critical to nap time.  The more outdoor play time, the longer and better nap time.  Mamacita really, really loves nap time. Outdoor play time with freezing ears basically, well, sucks. So let's work on the temps.  

PSS: Forget this request in August when you are burning us like tiny bacon slices in a very humid inferno.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Leprechauns like lusciousness.....

St. Pat's is around the corner and it is not all about the green beer. Even if you don't celebrate, here are some luscious treats for you.  Irish Coffee Cupcakes AND Guinness Cupcakes. Why not? But it's too early for chocolate? Shame on your for thinking that way. You want something hearty? Something savory to go with your sweetness? I am also adding a delicious St. Patty's Potato muffin. Perfect to fill your tummy before you celebrate. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite.

Irish Coffee Cupcakes (makes 15)
Ingredients: For the cupcakes:
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
¼ t baking soda
¼ t salt
½ c boiling water
2 T instant espresso powder (you can use instant coffee or buy the instant espresso powder at Starbucks)
¼ c whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
½ c. sugar
½ c packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting:
1 c. heavy cream
1 T powdered sugar
1 T whiskey
Instant espresso powder for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 and line your cupcake tins.

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Pour water over espresso powder and let cool. Combine espresso with milk. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar with a mixer on medium until pale and fluffy (about 3 mins.) Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.

Beat in flour mixture 1/3 at a time alternating with espresso mixture beginning AND ending with flour. Batter may look broken.  Fill muffin tins ¾ full. Bake 20-22 mins until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool, turn cupcakes out from tin.

To make frosting: Whisk together cream, powdered sugar until peaks form. Add whiskey and mix until slightly stiff peaks form. Top cupcakes with 2 T of frosting and lightly dust with espresso powder. Feel free to save most for yourself.

Guinness Cupcakes
Ingredients: For the cupcake:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
1 12 oz bottle Guinness (not for your mouth..for the bowl.)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream

For the frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

To make the icing:
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.
Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa or chocolate sprinkles. You can also use nonflavored green food coloring to make the icing green. Take a bite and say "mmmmmmmmm." Repeat.

Savory St. Patrick's Day Potato Muffins

2 medium potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pinch salt (be generous)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons fresh chives (or spring onions chopped)
3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or use paper liners. In a small saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until just tender.
Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat the egg, oil, buttermilk, chives or spring onion and parsley. Stir the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture until nearly combined. Gently fold in potatoes. Add the cheese.  I also added mushrooms. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes. 

You can top these with extra grated cheese. Remove pan from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove muffins and cool on rack.

After all that work, you deserve a beverage. Now, go pinch someone on the 17th. Have a fantastic weekend.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Touched for the very first time

I remember my first time. I was a bit of a late bloomer so among my friends, I was one of the last to join that special club. I sat forlorn while I witnessed them having what I perceived to be all the grown up fun. I was anxious to do it too, but I was nervous.

And then one day, it was my turn to be a big girl. My turn to take that next step to womanhood. I had plenty of pep talks from my best friends who considered themselves savvy on technique by then. So the day came…I had my supplies to make it easier. But even the most careful planning can’t prevent the sting.

I am talking knicks and cuts, people. And the first time you shave your legs.

You try to be so delicate but unless you are Johnny Cade or PonyBoy Curtis, you have no experience with a razorblade.  You slather with soap but oh, you have no skills. You leave the bathroom with 20 pieces of toilet paper “bandages” stuck all over your legs. And never mind the mess you created which looks like Hannibal Lecter had a few guests in your bathroom. With the direction of growth or against the direction of growth? It matters not because when you are new, you might as well shave your legs with a microplane and save yourself the surprise of being knicked. And then you have the excuse you were attacked with a dangerous weapon and not have to admit you were shaving your legs and doing a very poor job.

But oh, you just couldn’t wait could you? 

And bless your heart when you forget your little pink Bick disposable razor and decide to use your Dad’s blade because you think “he will never know”and then put it back without telling him so he too can knick his face up like he did the tango with Edward Scissorhands.

And it is not just girls,  boys have no immediate skills either. Hence the reason my brothers looked like they hugged a barb wire fence the first few times they had to shave.  How the razor even reached their skin I don't know with so much shaving cream on their faces, they looked like Santa Clause or Billy from ZZ Top.

And bless your parents hearts when they see your legs covered in gauze. You casually dismiss their smirks because your war wounds are something to be proud of since you are a woman now. You know your parents want to laugh at you but  they don’t. Or they do laugh but at least they wait until you go in your room and get busy either chatting on the phone with your friends to the tune of “oh myyyy gawww, I totally cut myself” or doing your “we must, we must, we must increase our bust” exercises. These activities high in both frequency and importance on a teenage girls “To Do” list.  

And your parents also hope you learn very soon to stop hijacking your Dad’s razorblade so he doesn’t have to show up at his office with TP face and blood on his collar.

But no, for some reason, we as young ladies just couldn’t wait to have those legs touched by that razorblade for the very first time. Had we only considered that we would have the opportunity to do it every day for the rest of our lives, I think we could have waited.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A kid at heart?

I saw a Dad and his little munchkin at the park last weekend. The Dad was about 6'5 but what struck me is watching he and his daughter having a giggle over their juice boxes. Seeing a giant man who could likely palm a basketball holding a tiny juice box as they had a picnic made me smile.

I have seen my own Husband wear silly hats, sing songs he never dreamed of singing (and probably never wanted to sing even when he was 3) like I'm a little teapot, and chase my son around the house like Diego from Ice Age simply because each of those acts makes our son laugh uproariously.  I can appreciate that even a grown man can be a kid at heart.

And then I saw this..and thought, umm, wait a minute.  Kid at heart? Or a man who needs  new backpack? Now, maybe he is simply holding it for his grandchild since it is clearly a giant backpack that is likely to snap a young person's vertebrae.

If not, he definitely needs an update. Bratz Doll backpack? Creepy. Those girls look dirtier than what I imagine the guests in the hot tub at 4 am on Bret Michaels' Rock of Love tour bus might look like.
Or maybe he likes Bratz and considers them highly inappropriate for the age group they target and market and would likely say who cares if you don't like my backpack. But I think even a kid at heart would look better with SpongeBob (and I dont even like SpongeBob.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

If only those animals liked hamburger

My parents loved to send us to our Aunt and Uncle’s house on the Oregon coast during the summer when we were kids. My Aunt and Uncle did not have children. I think they liked children. And I know my parents loved a week without their children. 

During one visit, while my Uncle takes my older brother out driving my Uncle’s sand rails around the sand dunes, my Aunt takes me to the grocery store. I was five. In the store my Aunt relays to me that my Mom has sent a laundry list to her of all the foods I do not like. My thought: Excellent work, Mom! I was a highly finicky eater so I attribute this act as wise counsel on my Mom’s part. 

My Aunt asked me how in the world hamburger made my list? Future vegan? Not quite. But I did not like hamburger. So my Aunt buys hamburger much to my chagrin and tells me I just haven’t eaten her hamburger yet. I haven’t eaten mice yet either but I don’t need to in order to know I won’t like them. 

When it is your child being a coy smarty pants, that child is precocious. When it is someone else’s child being a coy smarty pants, especially when you do not have children, that child is begging for the Joan Crawford treatment. Thankfully, my Aunt was a pacifist. 

My Aunt makes lunch for me. And I sit at the table staring at some meatloaf-ish type dish. I can’t eat it. She subscribes to the theory of try one bite. I put the smallest fragment of meat on one tine of the fork. This does not qualify.  She also subscribes to this theory: you will sit there until you finish it. I assess my situation and get clever. 

They have cats so I began luring the cats over under the table and believe they will eat this entire serving of meatloaf surprise. I do not pay enough attention to my own cats at home to realize there is reason cat food is flavored like tuna and not cow. They also have a tiny dog. Or what I like to call a cat in a doggy costume. Her name is Myrtle and that foolish dog won't eat the hamburger either. Don't dogs eat meaty flavored snacks? What is wrong with these animals? We had two Airedales at home that would eat aluminum cans if you dropped them under the dinner table. 

So, I devise another plan. I am tiny but I can see the window about four feet above the kitchen table. The window is open so as my Aunt busies herself and turns her back, I catapult bites of my lunch out the window. I take my time as to avoid appearing too obvious in my sudden change of heart. 

She comes into the kitchen and I make deliberate acts of patting my mouth with my napkin. ALL done! Oh, SO good. She looks at me for a minute. “Did you get enough to eat?” she asks.
“I did. Thank you.”
“Are you full?” she asks with a smile.
“Pretty full. Not too full for a trip to Dairy Queen down the street for a chocolate dipped ice cream cone but pretty full of hamburger.”
“Ok. I have just one question.”
“Yes, ma’am?” I respond as my innocence sparkles through my eyes.
“Do you know why there is a pile of hamburger in the kitchen windowsill?”

What!?!?! My heartbeat races as my eyes expand. Early indication I have no poker face.

What I had failed to notice because of my tiny size was that in fact, the kitchen window was NOT open. Because our windows at home were all sliding windows, I didn’t know that awning windows can jut from the house and have a four or five inch windowsill. Sure enough, in the windowsill was a pile of hamburger meat.

“Sorry,” I say because clearly, I can’t blame the cats or the worthless meat-hating dog. And I am quite nervous she is going to tell my parents. And what I did was quite terrible. She agreed there would be no more hamburger testing. I promised not to do it again.

If only those animals liked hamburger my ruse would have met with great success. 

I am sure this reminded my Aunt of just one of the many reasons they chose not to have children.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You and your filthy money

As a child, my Grandmother told me once to never put money in my mouth. I refrained from responding with “Who puts money in their mouth, crazy Grandma?” and instead said “Oh, Grandma. Why would I put it in my mouth when it clearly will not earn interest there?"

But grandma was right: Money is one of the dirtiest things in the world.

I was reading an article last month that indicated the flu virus and pneumonia can live on paper currency for seventeen days. And two physicians, Theodore W. Pope and Peter T. Ender of the Medical Center of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio identified a total of 93 different types of bacteria living on the bills, and two-thirds of the bills had at least one type. Proving that germs have been spending too much time listening to Puff Daddy (PDiddy? PDiddle? PDoody?) sing “It’s all about the Benjamins” because even germs like cold, hard cash.

I also learned from CNN that 90% of US bills have traces of cocaine. 100% of the bills collected from major cities such as Miami, Boston, and Detroit tested positive for cocaine. Even samples from smaller cities like Salt Lake City, Niagara Falls had over 60%. 

So not only is your money dirty, it also likes to party Amy Winehouse style.  And with the $12 Trillion dollar US debt, and ever fluctuating value of the US dollar, maybe Money should party before a package of Top Ramen outranks it in value.

And I saw a man at the gym holding his dollars in his teeth while he waited in line at the smoothie counter. Why not just lick the flu bug on your way to Pablo Escobar's? 

Further reason to never put your money where you mouth is. But at least this supports the reason I never carry cash. I will consider it my own health care reform by not passing out greenbacks that are sickly and also coked up. 

PS: Money, it is not your fault. I don't think you are entirely filthy. Just a little filthy. But I still love you. If I win the lotto, you and I and all your green friends can have a big bubble bath together.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Dear People who opt to skim rather than thoroughly READ email: 

I understand you have an incredibly busy schedule and can only afford to spare a small portion of a few seconds (as opposed to say, maybe ten entire seconds) to read emails. I know you are pressed to scan the page for key words and phrases so you can attempt to glean any and all necessary data. 

You poor thing with your cell, Treo, Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry, AND laptop beckoning you at all hours of the day and night. You are so busy. I know you have 300 emails in your inbox. I know you are up to your retinas in electronic communication. But I want to make a tiny suggestion. When I send an email (work related primarily because we all know we take all kinds of time to read our personal emails) here is what should not happen: 

My email: All: We are meeting to discuss X on Monday at 4 pm in conference room Z. 

When you are cc'd with about 20 other people, you should not hit REPLY ALL asking "What time and where?" 

Be a lamb and do me a quick favor. Reread my email (which is positioned about one inch below your response) and you will clearly see WHEN AND WHERE. 

If you do not have time to read my one sentence clearly and absorb all of the info, you likely have no time to send a reply (asking a foolish question) and absolutely no time for me to snark you like a hurricane. While I wanted desperately to "reply all" as well, I didn't need to did I? Because everyone else who read your response thought awww, poor little kitten, you need to read your emails. This happens. With regularity. 

Since you don't report to me, I won't have the opportunity to chat with you at your annual review and coach you on the importance of reading emails in their entirety. The emails you receive are at most a few paragraphs so don't balk like you are being asked to read John Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government. 

Read thoroughly. It can only make you look smarter. 

The good news is, since you don't read thoroughly, there is no fear of you reading my post and realizing it is about you.