Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not your average Jack-o-lantern

One of my roommates during grad school, The Coat, was friends with a completely wayward rogue. We called said rogue O’Shame. Every time I watched LOST and see Sawyer, I was reminded of O’Shame in that same gritty, dirty, muscled, kind of sexy, but really mostly gritty and dirty kind of way. 

During law school, we used to frequent this fabulous dump called The Grenada. Thursday nights heralded in the beginning of the weekend (for us) but also 80's night AND Dollar Pitchers at The Grenada. Few other things on earth scream "I am serious about my education" than flocking with all your law school friends to a giant bar to dance to Come On Eileen and swill down pitcher after pitcher of Keystone Light. But flock we did, and OH, I loved every minute of those 50 weeks a year.

Now, dirty O'Shame would often join. The following is one of his more hilarious antics. 

While at The Grenada, a fertile ground for impermanent relationships, O'Shame met himself a little lass.  While engaged in a full on teen-age make out party, O'Shame, like Tarzan, or King Kong, lifts her up and puts her on the rail so they can take their PDA to a whole new classy level while she wraps herself around him. He is earnestly kissing her. How do I know? 

Because he was leaning so far into her they both FLIPPED over the rail. She landed on her back about five feet below. He landed on her. His face landed on the floor. Only when they finished making out did he rise, dust himself off. He rises and we see blood coming from his mouth and a big snaggle tooth jutting out of his mug. The remainder of his tooth apparently left on the dirty floor. He uses his hand as a towel to wipe the blood from his face. He gets napkins to ward off the flow. He sees no reason to get medical attention. Never mind your face was on the filthy floor. Might that merit at least a rinse or maybe a hand wash? NO. As he continues to bleed, his wife-for-the- night thinks he looks "rugged." As she fetches more napkins for him, he looks at us and asks if it looks ok. Does your broken tooth look ok? Is YES ever an answer to this question? 

The Coat, not wanting to inhibit his prowess, said "I think it is fine."
MarciaGarcia said, "WOW, O'Shame is dirrrrrty."
ShaNaNa (our nice friend) asked, "Are you ok?!?!"
I say, "You look like a jack-o-lantern."
The Social Chairman, in an areyou___ingkiddingme tone said, "More like a JackASS-O- Lantern."

Did it stop O'Shame? No. Even being told you look like a human snaggle-toothed jack-o-lantern couldn't stop that train. And it is awesome when being drunk and hooking up is FAR more important than your health. God forbid you miss a tongue dance while you take a time out to get your smacked gob looked at by medical personnel. 

Now all the rest of you little pumpkins, be good this Halloween. MiniMac is dressing up as a blue m&m. Have a safe and fabulous weekend. And like the black cats, don't let any jackass-o-lanterns cross your path. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So busy

During college, a friend worked at the only five star private restaurant in our college town, which was in the University Alumni Center. He was a bartender, and one day while scooting out before all of his chores were finished, he was called on the carpet by one of the cooks.

"Where do you think you are going?" she asked him. A very sturdy and solid woman, she took nonsense from no one.

He replied, "I have to go, I have to go to the gym, get something to eat, call my friend, and get ready for a party tonight."

"MMM hmm, you're just so busy."

"I am, sorry, I have to run," he said, with a pat on her shoulder and a smile. He was devilishly good looking, and this charming maneuver worked often.

"MR. BUSY, You can just save your smirky smile for your little college girls. I know you have to run. Run your little butt right back in the bar and finish your work."

They had a stare down. "Now GO." She outweighed him by about 200 pounds, so he went, believe it. As he scoots away, she mutters "so busy" that sounded just like this:  Sooooooooooooooooooooooo bizzzzzy.

The moral of the story: We do think we are so busy. And no doubt at times we are. The older we get, there is never a shortage of tasks. But I have a friend who can turn two errands and a trip to the grocery store into a Shakespearan tragedy.

I can fill an entire day with tasks but not critical tasks, but merely the tasks I want to do. My Dad used to get fired up at me in college when I would neglect to call him back for days. Every time I felt compelled to explain to him that I too was just. sooooo. busy.

He would advise me, in an increasingly stern voice, I did not actually know the first thing about being busy. And truly busy people make time.  I probably gave an eye roll and a shrug, convinced no one understands just how busy a sorority girl can be. Oh, such a wise young lady. From youth until now, I have heard this mantra on a never-ending loop. The truth is, the majority of the time, we certainly make time for the things we want to do. We all know it. Rarely have I missed a great event, a concert, or a friend's party because I was just so busy.

I adhered to this mantra much better during graduate school and by the time I started working, I fully embraced it. At my first office, I would listen to two of the young girls on our admin staff talk lament about why they couldn't get things done because, they too were just so busy. I thought, they have NO idea.

And when you don't have kids, people with kids try to trump you on the busy scale. And when you only have one child, people with two trump you. And so on and so on and so on. And then there are the people so unorganized they waste time simply trying to keep up with themselves.

And now, think about conversations we have with other people. Everyone is so busy, we try to out-busy one another. And being so busy is a built-in alibi. Couldn't call someone back? Soooo busy. Couldn't respond to that email? Soooo busy. Can't get together for dinner? Soooo busy. It's a choice, we all know it. And most of the time we have too much to do. But not all of the time. Maybe the obstacle is we are so busy being busy.

My BFF asked me several times last summer if I had looked into some theater tickets in NYC for our trip. The last time she asked, I told her I just couldn't get to it. She said, "Oh and the blog is writing itself I guess?" We both laughed. I looked into the tickets that day. 

And my little brother travels every single week for work. He and I get big fun out of talking about being soooooooooooo bizzzzzy. I know you just couldn't call me back but I loved all your Facebook updates. PS: You are not SOOOOOOOO bizzzy. 

The time we invest to proport about the never-ending demands on our time, our mountain of musts, our wearisome calendar, our lengthy docket of to do's, well, think of all the time we would save if we stopped doing that. 

But, it is handy whitewash if you need it, is it not? So the next time you just don't want to do something, just say, "I'd love to but I am soooooooooooo bizzzzy. "

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I love my hometown. I miss it often during the year, although I am surrounded by other fantastic elements here, like frequent sunshine. But my hometown seems special to me not merely because of the litany of memory attached to where I grew up, but because of what we learned along the way. 

I remain connected to a great deal of people I grew up with, although we have lost a few friends along the way. I love seeing the evolution of people I have known for decades. And I love knowing high school sweethearts still together. And seeing pictures of boys I knew who were big, strapping athletes back in the day who are now fathers. I sometimes laugh and think, oh, I remember your Dad at ____'s party our junior year. Oh, do I know a crazy story about him. And then I realize, Uh oh, I was at that same party. Better keep those shenanigans quiet. I love seeing these same boys toting tiny girls dressed in fairy costumes on Halloween. I love seeing girlfriends of ours that were wonderful, beautiful girls back then living as wonderful, beautiful women now. Not because in either scenario I didn't think these boys or girls had it in them, but because I knew they had it in them.

And when I go home, and we get together, the night is punctuated by laughter and updates, and recollection of silly things we did (like the constant TP'ing of houses...sorry Erik, did I ever admit to you that it was us?) or how I pranced around all hotsy totsy style when I got my first Cat Eye Vuarnet sunglasses. Whoa those were giant sunglasses but bless my tiny heart for trying. 

Not everyone remains and clearly I moved to the opposite coast but quite a contingency still resides there. One of my oldest and closest friends moved back and I love seeing her daughters now wearing the same letterman jackets we wore. And her daughters go to school, and go to dances with children of other people we grew up with. And the water must be enhanced because people look great. And they are happy.

But perhaps the greatness of my hometown is the  power and importance of community. Growing up there, I felt like we were given everything we needed to succeed. And that any endeavor we envisioned was possible. Our teachers, our neighbors, and our friends' parents were interested in us, and seeing us achieve.

So when I saw this in the news, and one of those wonderful women I grew up with then sent me the video, that has already had over 2 million hits on YouTube, it seemed truly representative of our hometown. 

Several weeks ago, during a high-school football game in Snohomish, WA., the hometown Snohomish Panthers avoided a shutout in inspirational fashion as Junior Ike Ditzenberger scored on a 51-yard touchdown run after entering the game for the first time with just 10 seconds remaining.

I love sports, sports stories, and feel good moments. Running a 51-yard touchdown in on your first step on the field is a classic feel good moment for any player. The fact Ike has Down Syndrome doesn't get in the way of his plans.

I smiled as I watched the video of the TD run because the camaraderie was palpable. And because I know that as a parent, the minute your child is born, you want to think they will be exposed to endless opportunities. And possibilities. Special needs kids do not need pity, or sad faces. They need a place to suit up, participate, and an opportunity to shine.

And with the alarming rates of childhood disorders including Autism, our communities need to work together to create more opportunities so special needs kids, in all applicable cases, can be a part of mainstream education. And have access to great possibilities.

Bravo to Ike, The Panthers, and a community that remains healthy and well. I read earlier this week Dateline is coming to Snohomish to cover the story. Good choice Dateline and a smart counterbalance to most of the news we hear today. My Panther Pride is still  firmly intact.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You better back up before you shack up

Dear older brother: feel free to stop reading now. Or feel free to read as I joke at your expense.

During my first year of law school, I flew home for Thanksgiving. Shortly upon arrival to Seattle, my Mom phoned to say my parents were stuck out of town due to weather and did not know when they would return. Days ticked by before they confirmed, they would in fact not be in town for the holiday. When I was on the fence about which part of the family I should spend the holiday with, my Mom suggested I drive an hour north and spend it with my older brother. Oh, I am sorry, she suggested I actually drive up there to cook Thanksgiving dinner at his house since he was working law enforcement at the border and had to work some crazy 12 hour shift.

Cook him what? Apparently we have not met.  I wasn’t cooking real food then. Nor was I all about the sisterly love and Thanksgiving snacks for my brother's benefit. However, for months my brother had mentioned his roommate, B., who worked with him in the department. He wanted B. and I to meet thinking we would hit it off well. Admittedly, this may have been a potential incentive for the visit. And as it were, B. is a fantastic cook and made a huge dinner for us.

It turned out to be a very fun evening. Great food and easy conversation ran quite late. My brother offered me his room and he would sleep on the couch. I think B. and I had determined through certain long looks that perhaps we should stay up a bit longer. Night night I told my brother. He offered to stay up with us. I told him he looked tired and should not forfeit rest on my account.

He brought me some clothes to sleep in since I had not planned to spend the night. I am sure he regretted that he did not have a XXXL turtleneck and chastity belt at his disposal but his giant hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants were the best he could produce. Both about as sexy as a Hefty bag. Off to bed he went. Well, we stayed up late. And when it was finally time to go to sleep, B. gave me his room to change and he said he would sleep on the couch. Mmm hmmm. I changed into my giant hand me downs which made us both laugh before B. offered me some running shorts and a t-shirt. I folded up my brothers clothes and set them outside his door without further thought.

When I woke up in the morning, I changed back into my clothes and went out to their living room. My brother has a scowl on his face only Gargamel could love. My brother asked me where B. was. He went to the gym. This alleviated 2% of my brothers sour mood as he had been up for hours and seeing no sister, no B., and a closed bedroom door, all his angst had oscillated between wanting to fake a fire alarm to get me out of there and storming in to punch his friend in the face.

Me: What’s wrong with you?
Him: Why were the clothes I gave you strewn into the hallway?
Me: HAHAHA. Sarcasm often courses through my veins so I say: Because they got in the way.
Him: The way of WHAT?
Me: Ummm. You know.
Him: SHUT THE ______ UP.
Me: HAHAHAHA. I kid!
I explained that B. slept on the couch and I slept in clothes B. gave me. And that nothing crazy was happening behind closed doors. And not to mention, EWWW. No one is going to hook up with their brother in the exact same house. This isn't American Pie.

Me: I thought you wanted me to go out with him?
Him: Go OUT. Not shack up. You don't even know him.
Me: Wait, you WANTED me to meet him. And nice hypocrisy there, Pontius Pilate. 
Him: And you should not date him. I think he like a woman at work anyway.

Setting your sister up with a friend is always a great idea. Until you do it. And they like each other.  Luckily, he didn’t have to worry because B. and I had the inconvenience of 1900 miles between us. But we talked many times and always got a big laugh out of my brother’s reaction. Even as grown adults, big brother is ALWAYS watching.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rock Star Parking

Some people have what we call "rock star" parking status. Everywhere we go this special talent is realized. My mom is one of those people. Want front row at Nordstrom during holiday season? Ride with her. Want to park as close as possible to Costco? On a Saturday? Handled. Want to park downtown Seattle on the same block as the theater, in order to see a show that hundreds of other people are also going to see? Fret not. She's the machine that will get you there. It is a given, a guarantee. 

Now, I may have a trickle of that luck but not in the "sure thing" kind of fashion for which she is accustomed. One balmy afternoon, she and I decide to drive separately but meet at Costco. Both in our vehicles, we spy the same car leaving and we both jockey for position. Because of direction, I have clear access while the other car pulls out and blocks her. Therefore, I prevail. Since we know each other, we obviously think it is all fun and games.

To add to the parody, my beautiful and typically more demure mom rolls down her window and says, "That was my spot you, b*tch!"
So I laugh and shout, "Not anymore lady. I am younger and much faster!"
(All very reminiscent of a scene from Fried Green Tomatoes.)
As I close my window and exit my car, a sweet older woman pushing her cart reprimands me by stating, "Miss, that woman was waiting for that spot."
"Oh, that is just my mom," I say. I laugh. All quite laissez-faire, as I am trying to scuttle away.
"Then you are very rude."

I try to explain it was a joke. She is stoic.  As I dart away, and she launches into a diatribe about children today. I pause to further explain before realizing, it won't sink in. I am sure the woman was shocked. My mom and I had a quick laugh, and of course, my mom got a better spot. All fun and games indeed.

Do you know when it isn't fun and games? When I am actually waiting for spot, and some teenager driving a Kia, or a Tata, or a matchbox car because it was so tiny, does swoop in and take my spot. On a rainy day. At 6 pm. At the grocery. When I have a munchkin with me. Did you see that blinker? Isn't that the universal sign that I am pulling in here?

Hmmm. What do you do? Pick up his tiny car and put it in the nearest trash receptacle ? Key it even though your car key is bigger? Kick it like a soccer ball? Write a note saying "YOU SUCK"? Launch into a diatribe about children today?

No. Because it is raining. And you have a toddler with you. So you simply wait, since by all means, there is no one else trying to park at the grocery store at 6 pm. And next time, you borrow the rock star parking pass.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We can beat around the bushes, we can get down to the bone...

For those of you who have been with me awhile, you are well aware our 3 year old, MiniMac, is a bit of a budding rockstar. A path we are highly encouraging (except for that full drum kit my older brother bought him from Seattle Percussion that resides at Grammy's  house...we are not encouraging a full drum kit in our house. Yet.)  One of MiniMac's favorite bands is The Eagles. From the playlist to the guy who plays the trumpet (Billy Armstrong) our son loves the music, the songs, and even crazy Joe Walsh who wears a yellow hard hat on stage.

And what may come to be a quintessential moment in our son's life, JohnnyMac bought VIP tickets for us to take Mini to see The Eagles tomorrow night. Yes, we have earphones and I even have a police issue noise reduction sharpshooter headset for him. (Thank you Grandpa.) To say our son is beside himself to go to this concert, well, it is an understatement. I remember the very first concert my parents took me to see: John Cougar Mellencamp. I was 13 and loved every minute of it. Had I been cooler, or able to play the frets like our son has been known to do, perhaps I could have gone a decade earlier. So cheers to great experiences that shape us. When our son grows up we will know if tomorrow night was one of his. And if we needed proof he is a true Eagles fan, here it is. Have a gorgeous weekend. I know we will.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ten tips for people who like to take pics of their body parts to share with others.

There seems to be an activity growing in popularity. This activity is called Taking pictures of your body parts and texting those pictures to other people. Initially, I thought such a shenanigan limited to The Howard Stern Show.  I also saw the negative aftermath of such a stunt well documented in the movie American Teen.

And now, there is non-stop chatter regarding Brett Favre and whether he sent pictures of his naked little Viking to a former Jets sideline reporter. I do not know (or care) if he did or if he didn't. Listen, I have a hard enough time following whether he is going to retire or unretire. He oscillates weekly. (On a side note, I do know he is not denying it. My word, don't your attorneys tell you anything Brett Favre?)

For fun,google the words "fired for texting lewd pictures" and you will find news articles alleging this is a weekly occurrence.  I don't understand the motivation to participate in this activity but since its popularity and frequency only seems to increase, I have some suggestions.

Ten tips for people who like to take pictures of their body parts to share with others:

 1. If you  meet someone, and you find them smoking hot, why not try simple conversation? When that gets you nowhere, maybe you can lie and say you are a fighter pilot, or Jean Claude's stunt double. Do NOT get their cell number and then immediately set about to seduce them with pictures.

2. If you want an awesome way to celebrate good news or encourage team building at work, I suggest you bring in baked goods or perhaps buy a round of shots. You should definitely resist taking a picture of your Johnson to show people at the office.  They are called co-workers and not best friends for life here to harbor your secrets and help you avoid pitfalls.  Just ask Sean Salisbury. Further, this will not snag you an awesome promotion. In fact, it will get you canned. Just ask Sean Salisbury. By the way, if you would not so much as utter the F word in a staff meeting at your office, you should know that dirty pics are a dead end. PS: There is your career, swirling in the toilet.

3. If you simply MUST take a pic of your body parts to send someone, here is a a good rule of thumb: If on the average day, the part you want to feature is covered by multiple layers of clothing, ask yourself why that body part is covered by multiple layers of clothing. Don't consider that a fluke.

4. With the litany of body parts available, choose wisely. There is a reason the postage stamp features people's faces and not your pork and beans.The US Postal Service is right about this one.

5. If you are single, once you ignore all the previous suggestions, you should ONLY send naughty pics of your naughty parts to people you are dating. Extra important if you are in high school. Because everyone knows there is no risk your relationship will possibly be short-term and then you never have to worry about someone using those photos against you. 

6. If you are married, you should definitely swap those photos back and forth with your spouse because every one knows that marriage never ends  in divorce or bitter divorce and then you never have to worry about someone using those photos against you. 

Extra brilliance = you are single and texting these pictures to someone who is married. OR you are married and texting these pictures to someone who is not married to you. Naughty pics = proof (proof in this case = divorce court + alimony.)

7. Hey everyone who wants to take pictures of their privates, let me introduce you to this new fan-dangled thing currently all the rage: The INTERNET. You can thank Al Gore that now, with the click of a button, that pic you sent one night after too much red wine can now be sent by an Ex-Lovah to your entire email address book which includes your hair stylist, the tennis league, Car Pool, and your high school music teacher. Guess who doesn't want to see your parts? Your entire email address book which includes your hair stylist, the tennis league, Car Pool, and your high school music teacher. Even if one of them got sloshed one night and did it too, they will NEVER admit it.

8. When you take pics of your privates, definitely have your face showing in the reflection of the bathroom mirror so later, when you try to deny it, it will be impossible. This will just save you time of trying to deny it for months to later finally admit it or what I like to call "Truth telling in increments: The Bill Clinton Method."

9. You don't really need to send pics of your body parts to people, now do you? No. Of course not. Why? Because anyone with a modicum of imagination can close their eyes and even on a bad day, if inclined, could come pretty close to conjuring up an image of your parts. I never sat on Santa's lap requesting someone text me a picture of their parts. EVER. Why? Because I  have already seen the parts. I have parts of my own, and there is no need to frame that and hang it in our foyer. Also, I have seen a penis or two before. I don't need that captured for life in my cell phone. Even if you LOVE the penis, you probably love chocolate chip cookie dough, or Prada bags, and you don't store those pics for life. A picture of a man's junk is not a rarity. I want to see pictures of either happy times or things I will likely never see again. If you have a picture of, say, a real leprechaun, than, F____ YES you should text it to me. But the contents of your undergarments? I will pass. 

10. The public at large does not want desire to see your parts either. How do I know? Because if the public at large did want to see your parts, here is how it would go down:

Ring ring, ring ring.
You: Hello.
Other person: Hi, this is X from ___ (insert name of Publisher stellar in this line of work.)
You: Yes?
Other person: We would like to take pictures of your bits and then emblazon the glossy pages of our magazine with those photos as a testament to the fabulousness of your bits, and to give them a permanent tribute.
You: Really? WOW. That is AMAZING. I can't believe it. What do I have to do?
Other person: Well, you will come to our professional studio, and work with our professional stylists, professional photogs, and professional camera crew using professional lighting, professional editing, and professional photo finishing. In fact, your bits will look so perfect, you will think they fell from heaven.
You: Wait, can't I just take a picture with my iPhone and text them to you? 

Other person: The other person says nothing because all you hear is dial tone. That other person who makes millions from the manufacturing of photos of this sort of thing KNOWS that regardless of your fancy pixels, the camera phone photo shoot can NOT possibly benefit anyone.

Oh, I know you think it is hot. That is the Jose Cuervo talking, honey. And I already clearly explained what an A-hole Jose Cuervo is.

No one immediately recognizes the content of naked private pics anyway. The initial reaction is: Why would you send me a pic of an aardvark? Or: What a scary ostrich. Or: Apparently, someone failed Puppetry because that is the ugliest cookie monster I have ever seen. And once the recipient has their Oprah-style AHA moment, the pic can only make your bits look a certain way: Starved for attention. Sad. And yucky. And now that you snapped that pic on your phone and sent it to someone, it is quite likely, someday many other people will get to see it as well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is this your first time working a hose?

In law school, I went with my then beau to his parents house one afternoon. The purpose: a grill out (Non-college style. Translation: no tasty libations.) We lounged about outside in the sun chatting and playing with his dog. At one point, his Father goes to the driveway to wash his vehicle. Mine, covered in dust, needed a bath as well so we queued up for some soap and suds. His parents had an amazing lawn and garden which would justify the reason the sprayer on the end of the hose looked like it was built by NASA.

When it was our turn to wash my mobile, his Father asked me if I needed a quick demo on how to use this gadget. Me, considering myself capable of the task at hand, reply without thinking “I’ve handled a few hoses.” To which, then beau bursts out laughing. Double entendre, please sit down.

Well, I did need a demo because the first time I put the hose down, I dropped it on the handle which activated the hose. Have you ever seen those sitcom-like situations where the hose whips around like the tail of Black Lab and sprays everything in sight? Well, I wished it was that scene. Because instead, the hose was precariously close to me so when the handle engaged, the stream sprayed straight up into my face.  At full force.

My need to turn it off was instant, however, my ability to see the actual nozzle highly impacted by the water spraying in my face. My hindered vision similar to Mr. McGoo in a snow storm. My then boyfriend intervened ONLY after he watched, laughed, called his Dad to witness the melee, and then laughed some more. Perhaps a little less sass on my part would have provoked a little earlier help.

By the time the mere minutes passed, I was completely drenched. Adding insult to injury was that it turned out to be an imperfect day to wear a white t-shirt.

And for years afterward, I would be hazed about how I just couldn’t handle the hose.

An impromptu wet t-shirt contest at the home of your boyfriend’s conservative parents? NOT recommended.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Be careful home hair stylists....

I have not had my hair cut in six months. I used to get it cut every 4 weeks but that was when I had a mane like Rapunzel. After the Locks of Love donation, I felt lighter, but shorter hair seemed to take much more work. So I let it grow. And grow. My stylist came over to cut it last Friday. I quickly confess to him I have trimmed my bangs a few times. He assures me he already knows. I also quickly confess I colored my own hair 6 weeks ago. He narrows his eyes ever so slightly and tells me he will assess my skills (e.g the damage I self-inflicted) once he begins cutting.

I will be the first to admit in the last year, in the mass of dark hair I own, I have seen tiny gray hairs sprouting up like daisies in certain areas of my head. It started out small but oh, like rabbits, they multiply. And I am not against the gray hair. My husband is the salt and pepper fox. But similar to UPS, I like what brown can do for me.

Now you would think after CopperGate, I wouldn't dream of coloring my own hair. But when you chop off almost a foot of hair, coloring it at home is incredibly easy. And incredibly convenient. I can't sign up for hours at the salon. Haircut? Yes. Color? Well. I have a cape. A fantastic comb. And per the box, it really only takes 20 minutes.

My stylist, upon conclusion of my cut, told me he could not tell I had done it myself. Well let me reach right around and pat myself on the back. So this endorsement made me feel more confident than ever I could do it again. Flawlessly.

On Sunday afternoon, I don my cape (from his salon) and set to work. After the deep condition, I clean up my supplies as MiniMac comes into our room. He asks what I am doing and I tell him I am combing my hair. He then asks, "What is that?" I look to where he is pointing. A large brown spot discolors our large, fluffy, white bathmat. Uh oh. I forgot to move the bathmat. I tell him I spilled something on it. Like a sloppy Martha Stewart, I set about cleaning it immediately.

Be careful home stylists.

I take the rug downstairs to the laundry room as I hear MiniMac tell JMac "Mommy has to clean the rug, she spilled something on it."
JMac asks, "What did she spill?" (Because he has no idea.)
MiniMac replies, "Something brown. I think it was poop."

UMMMMM, NOT EXACTLY but I am not sure who laughed harder, my husband or me. His laughter only increased when I felt compelled to explain it was hair dye. In retrospect, I am quite certain I didn't actually need to clarify.

What a dichotomy: My fabulous stylist could not tell I colored my own hair but my 3 year old thinks I spill "poop" on the rug. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Climate Control

I was greeted yesterday morning by brisk Atlanta temperatures. Coming downstairs before going to the park to run, my husband looks at me and smiles. But not a be still my heart kind of smile. More like a smile indicating smart ass comment on its way. "Where are you going?" he asks. "Running," I respond although he already knew the answer. "Are you running the Iditarod?" he asks with more than a splash of sarcasm. I responded, "Have we met? I like to remain warm." And he then laughs out loud because I am dressed in a long sleeve fleece, down vest, and hat. It was 52 degrees out.  

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, 52 degrees would like be a terrific fall day. And when the sun would heat things up to say a balmy 80, no one batted an eye about lack of air conditioning. "We have fans for the purpose of cooling off the house," claimed my Father. Having been spoiled by the heat for over a decade in the south, 52 degrees requires preparation. In fact, right up with being trapped in an elevator, being cold is one of my least favorite things. I would probably pick elevator entrapment over being cold because I would not be cold IN the elevator. 

Why my disdain for cold? Perhaps I have developed thinner skin as I age. More likely, it is because of years of torture conditioning by my husband. 

In our house, my husband likes two temperatures: Cold. And a temperature some of you may know that I refer to as meat-locker. I recall buying JohnnyMac a gorgeous Kenneth Cole suede jacket when we first began dating. He looked at it like it was a foreign antibody he could not identify. "It is a jacket," I told him. As if I needed to explain this piece of clothing to a grown man. "I know, baby. But I don't really wear jackets." Guess what? He was right. I have seen my husband wear a jacket one time in the past five years. Apparently, his blood pumps just fine at subhuman temperatures. Ironically, he does not like cold weather. Which I am fine with because I love coats. And hats. And gloves. But that is for external use ONLY. Inside the home, I like warmth.

We have three separate points in our home for controlling the temperature. This has become a battle of wills and wits. For years. We used to openly discuss the temperature. Now we simply rely on subterfuge and recon. There is about a 10 degree delta between our preferences on temp. It begins with slowly inching the gauge up one or two degrees at a time. Until I have it set to turn the AC on when it is is actually hot and not accumulating snow outside. Once discovered, my husband resets it, without telling me. I learn this when I wake up with icicles growing in between my eyelashes. Even in December. 

We have a pile of blankets I rely on in order to stay warm when the red wine alone won't do it. I would cut 3 holes in a sleeping bag, invert it, and wear it around with a belt cinched at the waist if I could. (And no, a Snuggie is not an option.) We finally reached an agreement the temp would be 1 degree higher than he wants it. And 9 degrees lower than I want it. Until I secretly change the registers. Again. Climate control? O climate control freak? How can someone be comfortable when the internal temp of our house is 52? Hard to say. But I better bundle up. It is not even winter yet.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Take A Bite Of: The best pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. Ever.

Happy October. Let me be the first to say, I love fall. And bring on the pumpkin. Since you have clearly already seen the pumpkins out, why not start on your fall baking? This is one of my favorite recipes for this time of year. Or for all year. Or what I like to call yum, yum, give me some. So I must share it again. And not sure about pumpkin and chocolate chip together? Don't be afraid. These are fantastic. And perfect for sharing (or eating them yourself.) From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Iced)


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 12-oz. pkg. Chocolate Chips Cookies
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle or spread with Vanilla Glaze.

FOR VANILLA GLAZE:Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl; mix well.