Friday, April 30, 2010

Bumper Stick It

Is it comical or alarming to see a car in front of me yesterday with a local elementary school car pool lane sticker in the front windshield and yet this bumper sticker on the back fender: 

Keep honking, I am just reloading.  

And is it comical or alarming that my friend Muppet, while in the car pool lane for her son's elementary school yesterday was asked by her son: what does THAT mean after they spotted this bumper sticker on the car in front of her: 

If you are going to ride my ass, at least pull my hair.   

WOW.  So are these bumper stickers honing in on perfect candidates for next year's PTA? OR has someone been drinking too many frothy crassacinos?  

Just one more reason teachers should be paid more.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The (dirty little) Meadows

The Meadows....ahhh. Does it make you think of grassy green terrain? Flowers swaying in the breeze. Maybe a little Sound of Music in the background. You know what I do not think of when I hear those words? Desert.

The Meadows. This is actually the Spanish translation of Las Vegas. Funny, that seems like an unusual fit to me. I can think of a litany of names for Vegas that begin with words like dirty, wicked, fun and do not end with The Meadows.

JohnnyMac just flew to Vegas. And we laughed about our last trip there. While in Vegas, I was reminded that you will experience no better people watching. A virtual visual carnival. Without the sexy costumes. Since I went to bed early the first night (oh yes, I have NO problem swishing back the dirty shots when my BFF comes to Atlanta but get to the real dirty universe, and I am a rather proper, dainty dame. Bed early? Yes. Early morning workouts? Yes. Limited cocktails? H YES!)

I was up at 7 am ready to start the day. Oh, not so fast. Day doesn't start here at 7 am as I quickly realize. In the land of neon lights, one knows better than to operate by standard tools of the everyday man. Clocks? Meaningless. Fresh air? Who needs it. Vodka and negligible cigarette haze? No shortage. As I pop downstairs for herbal tea (you have to bring your own) I see people on the tail end of their nights. Downtrodden and disheveled, nothing looks better on your countenance than an all nighter. It is one of the few cities I go to where I literally think my clothes need to be washed ten times before they can safely return to my closet.

I ask the bartender (still working) for some water. He looks at me, perplexed. I show him my travel mug with a smile. And I proffer up, "it is also what you use to wash away your sins." Thankfully he laughed and didn't put me in a headlock. (You know the Vegas bartenders likely have to dish out a headlock here and there.)

There is no sense of time, except, maybe Day wraps up its shenanigans at the club or on the casino floor around 8 or 9 am, goes on hiatus until around noon, slowly rubs it eyes around 1 pm and is finally showered and ready to rumble at 3 pm. Only in Las Vegas.

It is a fun fun city, no question. The impact of iconoclastic Steve Wynn has raised the level of high gloss options away from the Bugsy Segal Flamingo to the revamped Mirage, Treasure Island and onto spacious and resplendent Bellagio, Wynn, and Encore. The shops at Caesars Forum and Pallazzo rival 5th Avenue. The four and five star restaurants increase every year, and there are more sommeliers on the strip than in all of NYC. 18 of the 25 largest hotels in the world are now in zip code 89109. The MGM Grand? Now the second largest hotel in the world. This ain't your Grand-Pappy's Las Vegas.

We went for an adult getaway. While my husband slept, I hit the first day running. Literally. Fresh from a workout, I wondered why these casinos have work out facilities. And believe me, I was not paying many visits to the gym in Vegas on any previous trips. One of the benefits of parenthood is that regardless of what time you decide to go to bed, your Mommy Clock has a permanent wake up call.

Due to chilly weather, I opted not to walk the one mile trek from MGM to Mandalay Bay. Why not take the tram. 200 other people had the same idea. It's fun to be in full body contact with Vegas visitors, especially when I observe a grown man wearing a t-shirt with the statement "Boobies make me smile" emblazoned across the front.  However, I believe the woman he was latched onto was his wife. When I can literally smell alcohol being sweated off skin, I know it is an ugly morning. And I wish I had worn my "D-bags kind of give me a tummy ache" shirt.

As a large man brushed up against me, I needed a towelette to wipe off the residual redbull and jagermeister left on my skin. And don't think I am belittling the people just rolling off to bed at breakfast time. You know the ones, who turn to a pile of salt the minute they walk outside the casino and face the sun? I may have stayed out into the "no one is pretty" hours a time or two myself.

I survived short tram ride to grab a great bite at Burger Bar and a quick visit to Lush for now necessary bath products.

Vegas intrigues me. You see all kinds. Tourists, Europeans, and SMF (which stands for Slick Mother Feckers). You will see Bachelorette parties Ga-LORE. Stomping around with their foot long plastic glasses filled with slushy drinks, heads donned with tiaras. The Bachelor parties come too. But you don't see them. Because they are at Spearmint Rhino....the entire weekend.

Surprisingly, you often see families with children in tow. Someone may have taken a wrong turn toward Anaheim. Few things replicate "GOOD FAMILY VACATION MEMORIES" than parading kids through a casino with smoky haze thick enough to resemble a bear skin rug and people yelling at slot machines.

And it is called Sin City for a reason. When we checked into our hotel, the staff don't assume the person with you is your spouse. Oh no, they cleverly inquire "And Mr. JohnnyMac, the young lady with you?" How wise, but wow, how representative of the debauchery that goes on here.

But between the shows and entertainment options, you are no longer restricted to men with  tigers or Wayne Newton. My favorite of all time: Cirque du Soleil's Love. And the restaurants? Amazing. Some of our favorites: Aureole, Bartolotta, Fiamma, NobHill, Stack but with new places opening every day, the options are fabulous.

In warm weather, rent a cabana at the pool and enjoy the top notch service of having your own tv, fan, and waitstaff bringing you snacks and beverages. All day long. And the spas? Dreamy. Nothing like a eucalyptus steam room session to treat those pores. And I certainly went to the shops at the Palazzo. Do you know this shoppingpalooza? I do which of course is why I told JohnnyMac on his departure, "Don't forget baby needs a new pair of shoes." And I am not referencing MiniMac.

My Hub will likely need some serious rest after 3.5 days in Vegas. He will be welcomed home by a giddy toddler but I will just patiently wait for the shoes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Act your age, not your bra size

I remember as a young teen, showing off in front of my older brother and his pals only to have one of them say to me, “Act your age, not your bra size.” I thought, “Oh, you’re dumb. Everyone knows training is not an age!” When we were in high school, we would tell boys, “Act your age, not your shoe size.” And when we became older, we were plied with new mantras like “age is relative” and “age is only a number.”

Can these two philosophies co-exist? Let’s test them by applying them to a night out on the town.

My BFF flew into Atlanta for a weekend of fun. I purchased tickets to an Improv Comedy Club and we thought perhaps we would go out afterward for a cocktail. Or two. 

Acting our age: All dolled up and at the theater awaiting the start of the show, we have a cocktail and chat.

But, finishing those cocktails and being talked into buying a BUCKET of beers? Oh, yes, I know, the bucket was full of ice and we merely wanted to keep our beverages cold. Right.  AND we didn’t want the pesky chore of going back and forth to the bar during the show. RIGHT. Nothing says “Classy lassy” more than two grown women carrying a bucket of beers. I think there is a sliding scale for when age is relative. Sliding scale says: Beer in a bucket? Shave a decade off, ladies. Starting this night out nicely. 

Acting our age: We loved the show and laughed hysterically. The couple next to us, all dewy and in love, were also laughing hysterically. 

But, then the man next to us got BOMBED. And everytime they would kiss, which was about every 10 seconds, he would moan. So it sounded like: MMMMM, nom nom nom, MMMMM kiss, kiss, mmmmmmm, no I love you the most, mmmmm, NO I LOVE YOU THE MOST, mmmm, nom nom nom. And we would simultaneously think OH BROTHER and then giggle uncontrollably. Sliding scales says: You are acting like 12 year old girls. 

Acting our age: Take a brisk walk from the theater to a very cool bar a few blocks away. Arriving at that bar and consuming beverages while listening to the band.

But, en route to that bar, passing an old haunt that has a new Black Eyed Peas song blaring out the front door and it was so enticing we had to saunter in and go to town like it was the Spotlight Dance at the Copacabana. Sliding scale says: Oh, you really liked your late 20s. 

Acting our age: Arriving at a third bar. Grabbing a drink and parking it near the DJ.

But, after awhile when the DJ asks what we want to listen to and I shout over the music “Something I can shake my ass to…” Sliding scale says: WOW, you really like reliving your 21st birthday, don’t you? 

Acting our age: Running into the younger brother of one of my friends and when he offers us shots, we wisely and politely decline.

But, when he asks again, we don't even hesitate and think Oh, WHY NOT? And put them down quicker than a house fire. What kind of shots? Red Headed Sluts. Sliding scale says: Congratulations, now you are 21 year old boys.

And the next morning? When your toddler brays in your ear like a donkey in a microphone and your response is mew mew mew, Daddy just told me he would love to help you with that, mew mew mew, I'm so sleepy, mew mew mew alcohol hurt my feelings...well done, now you are acting your shoe size.

So yes, apparently acting your age and age is relative can co-exist. At least after several cocktails, it seems like a very good theory.

Monday, April 26, 2010

One order of Beefcakes. To go.

Gentlemen, no one is going to call you MaryLou and hand you a tutu for eating a cupcake, but just in case you felt too prissy with your vanilla cupcake with sprinkles, here is some good news. In one of my favorite cities, NYC,  Butch Bakery has turned bonne bouche with pretty pink sugar crystals into something meatier.

Literally. Butch Bakery is now doing a rotation of manly confections like The Rum & Coke, The Jackhammer and The Beer Run.  And each is topped with a chocolately ensemble of manly colors.

Including ingredients like bacon and beer, Butch Bakery is simply responding to what they think are too dolled up desserts.

Because if you thought gender labels were only for kids toys, wrong again.

“I found myself asking why cupcakes are always pink with sprinkles, with cutesy names like Happiness and Sugar Smiles. And why, if you want a masculine cupcake, it has to be Bob the Builder or a golf tee or a football design," says David Arrick, the bakery's founder. "There's got to be a happy medium."

Butch Bakery, an internet-only shop, is clearly not feeling a recession. Sales have grown a reported 600 per cent in the last two months. And maybe they will open a storefront to display their manly fare. Another mancake master, Genevieve Griffin, said, "It has been a great way of getting guys interested in cupcakes."

Here is my thought on a means to get a man interested in cupcakes: Disrobe and place a cupcake in your outstretched palm.

But if that measure is too extreme, maybe he can simply drink a beer or a Rum & Coke to satisfy the need for the flavor of beer or Rum & Coke. And if you wanted something that tasted like bacon, could you just cook some bacon?

If that seems too easy, please give the mancakes a try. Maybe they are delicious even without the pink sprinkles. And the next time I am in NYC, we might pop by to see if they also have beefcakes on the menu. I kid. I really dig the chocolate with sprinkles as well as Happiness and Sugar Smiles.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This little piggy wants none

I am a fan of the gym and manage my schedule so work outs are part of my daily docket. My gym is great and relatively free of d-bags and silly people wearing sunglasses indoors and talking on their cell phones while they attempt to do bench presses. Yes, I have a few good stories from the gym, after all, it isn’t the library, but just a few. Most of the time, the gym is a break from my blackberry and a location where for at least one hour or so, I am guaranteed peace.

Except this day:

I luckily get the last open elliptical machine. Nice. And then I can not find a song I like to inspire me. My iPod was stuck on a slow song shuffle and as much as I love the soulful strains of Ray Lamontagne, I do NOT like them when I am trying to get motivated and raise the heartbeats per minute. Also, who in the hell put Carry On My Wayward Son on my iPod? Make note to inquire with JohnnyMac and erase immediately.

After finally locking into a Prince remix, the elliptical machine stops. As in, oh, I am just exhausted. I couldn’t get it to resume even unplugging it and no offense, but the front desk people at the gym are not going to figure it out. How do I know? Because I asked one and she said, “Yeah, I don’t know.” It needed elliptical paramedics.

I make haste over to the stationary bikes and as I get to pedaling, I see a man I used to work with sauntering down my row. He is a bit of a clown, and not the balloon twisting kind,  so I pretend I am highly focused on the TV above. He stops to say hello and make small talk, which is friendly and nice. Whooops, I have my earbuds in which is a universal sign serving to deflect small talk, is it not? I say hello and he pats the bike and says, “Taking the easy way out today, eh?” 

Umm, is riding the bike taking the easy way out? It is not exactly kick-boxing, agreed, but is it really remedial cardio?  If so, I will be sure to alert Lance Armstrong immediately. 

And thanks for the pep talk, fool. You are as motivational as Richard Simmons and wearing a rather similar outfit.

I only answered, “Yes” and put my earbuds back in. What a jackass comedian!  I should have asked him in all his wisdom to fix the broken elliptical. 

And then in the midst of my circular stride, my iPod freezes up. Freezes up and will NOT reset. Thanks $&#^%# Apple. Time for the touchscreen.

You know what does not play Carry on My Wayward Son? My Wii Fit. You know what doesn't freeze up on me mid-stride? My Wii Fit.  You know what doesn't give me lip about this little pig does the cheaty McLazy workout? You know it! My Wii Fit.

So this was one day, I should have just packed my gear, left the gym and cried Wii Wii Wii all the way home. 

I have an event tonight so I am off tomorrow. But, I am working the best Sea Salt Caramel Brownie recipe to hopefully share this or next Saturday. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey Robbers, we'll make it easy for you

My father is a retired police officer. I say this because anyone subjected honored with this privilege of a parent in law enforcement realizes the long term exposure one gets to safety, precautions, double-checking, and at all times refraining from having one's head up one's arse.

At all times growing up, any new escapade or adventure discussed would also be immediately assessed for inherent danger or lack thereof. But because of this, I grew up with an extra streak of cautiousness and a honed sense of awareness. I recall driving with my Father at age 15, when I was also preparing to get my driver's license. At a stoplight he asked me what I saw. Seriously. We are momentarily stopped and he looks to me and asks, "What do you see?"

A stoplight? Right and WRONG at all once. Right because indeed one was present. Wrong because I did not notate the 800 other things visible from our vantage point. Man walking. White car behind us. Construction zone up ahead. Dog on the sidewalk.

Paying attention means different things to different people. But, the training was helpful and my father could detect a lie three days before it was born. Skills I inherited which only make me harder to foil as a Mom. However, based on all of this staunch training I have received over decades, it is with utter amazement I relate the following story.

Last week, pre-breakfast with Little Man, I go downstairs to retrieve something from my car. Opening the interior door to quickly discover via rush of frigid air that the garage door is wide open. To which I respond by exclaiming, loudly, "What THE F____!" To which my neighbor who happens to be walking by with dog and dogleash in hand asks, "Are you ok?"

No. Because we left our garage door open. Overnight. With the interior door unlocked. Overnight. The interior door is about 20 feet from our son's bedroom.  And now I fitfully discover this in the presence of  my neighbor while I stand in the garage in my underwear.

We live in the city of Atlanta. We live in a gated community but really? Let's be serious. Have I not easily gotten beyond that gate after a late night out and no keycard to gain entry. I have.  And crime in this city? Abundant.

I was so surprised that two fully intelligent and capable adults in charge of a tiny person could amass such an oversight between them. Yes, we had our alarm on. I am sure security alarms deter burglars all the time. OR, the opposite.

Besides our art, wine fridge and our golf clubs stored in the garage, I am sure my Husband would be pleased if someone stole all of my totes of wrapping paper and stationary. He would likely help them load the car. But we are so incredibly lucky. Typically, robbers appreciate a no-challenge environment. Our neighbors were robbed several months back.  Thankfully, the thieves were off duty that night or home playing Grand Theft Auto since we could not have made it easier.

I told my Mom and because she is a Grandmother now, her first reaction was "Something could have happened to my GRANDSON!"  I half-heartedly asserted the alarm was on after all. "There was adequate time to steal him." Right.

I did advise that both her daughter and son-in-law could have been slain in the process but let's not be morbid. And I shall learn from my mistake. And sadly think back to when houses didn't need to be locked down like Tiffany and Co. to protect the contents inside. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

That is not a Flintstones vitamin

True Story:

At a weekend volunteer retreat, after a very long day of working, ten of us finally relaxed in front of a very picturesque campfire. We began to share a few stories, some of them better than others.  The following was shared by our friend AK.

In college, AK was a bit of a rogue. Handsome and witty, he had nary a problem meeting women. Due to this habit, AK found himself ill in his manly parts which required a trip to student health. Apparently, he had contracted a STD. Actually, more than one. This required multiple medicinal doses (as well as a reminder from the Doctor about the importance of condoms.) He was told to take his prescriptions and return in ten days.

Upon his return, the doctor of his previous visit was not available. Asked if he would be comfortable seeing a Resident. He agreed. His swagger inflated when the medical student turned out to be super hot. He felt confident he would leave with not only a clean bill of health but also a phone number.

Not even remotely reluctant to hit on her considering that he was being seen to check the status of his venereal diseases, he began chatting her up. She, likely being accustomed to being hit on college boys, even ones with the Clap, handled his flirty ways and means in stride. She asked how he was feeling and he said fine. She asked if he completed all the doses which he confirmed. She said he seemed to be recovered and asked if he had any questions. Before he brazenly asked for her digits, he said he did have one question.

“What was up with that suppository?”
“What do you mean?” she responded.
“Well, it said not to take with water but it tasted like horrible chalk. I could hardly get it down.”
Her, with tilted head, “You ate it?”
“Yes. The pharmacist said to take all of the doses.”

She excused herself and went into the hall. He said a few minutes later he heard loud guffaws of laughter. He assumed the laughter was based on the conversation that had just transpired but he didn't know why that conversation would be so amusing. He dressed quickly and hoped to evacuate the room before her return.

Not so lucky.

When she came back in, he simply said he would come back when the other physician had returned.

“Ok, Mr. K, and until then, I suggest you go home and look up “suppository” in the dictionary." He did. And after his mortal embarrassment that lasted for more than a year, he has been telling the story quite well ever since.

When in doubt, call the Nurse Advice Line.

And if you have never had the opportunity to learn first hand what a suppository is, let me give you a hint: Before you put it in your mouth, it is not a Flintstones chewable vitamin. And second, go consult your dictionary because if you call the Nurse Advice line, they will laugh hysterically when told you ate it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

She is the redhead

Back in the day while still under the supervision and roof of my parents, I discovered my Mom to be much wiser and craftier than I had perhaps given credit. Case in point:

One weekend during my freshman year of high school, I told my parents I needed to go to a girlfriend's house to study. I believe I was on restriction for accepting a ride to school from an older boy after expressly told not to do so. I lobbied that mere restriction should not interfere with education. I also added that my schooling should not suffer for one tiny mistake. My mom, likely sick of my endless need to debate, agreed I could go and study. 

Later that evening, returning from my get together, my Mom inquired on my afternoon. Did I learn a lot? Did I feel smarter? I enthusiastically answered yes to both. 

"Oh, by the way, I answered your phone earlier." (I had my own line and phone number in the house because this was well before cell phones or call waiting and my parents wanted to actually place or receive a call on occasion.)

"You did?" I ask. It was very rare for my parents to do this because of giggling girlfriends and stammering boys. While we did not have caller ID, I certainly had an answering machine so there was no need for my parents to trouble themselves.

Her: I did. A boy named Chris called.
Me: Hmmmm, Chris. (Forging nonchalance and not very well.)
Her: Do you know Chris?
Me: Chris, Chris, Chris...let me think
Her: He said he and his friends met you, D., and J. today. At the mall. (Mall= perfect place to meet boys back in the day.)
Me: Did he say that?
Her: He did. And he wanted to know if you were the blond or one of the brunettes. 
Me: What did you say?
Her: I told him you were the redhead. OH, and that you are only 13 years old. And then he hung up.
Me: (Silent surely with mouth hanging open.)
Her: Oh, and enjoy extended restriction.

Curses. I did not enjoy extended restriction and at the time I believe I said, " WhatEVER Mom! I am SO SURE!"

Although, now as a parent, I think excellent retort, Mom! How impressive. Proof that parents can stay one step ahead.

Do not lie to your parents or they will tell a cute boy you met you are only 13 (how did she pick this age? Because at 14, this is how old I looked. And I certainly did not look 17 which was the age I had an accidental habit of telling boys.) But shame on that boy in the first place because he couldn't keep the names straight. Word to boys: Don't ask a girl's Mommy to help you sort it out. I would have told him myself but Chris never called me back.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Speak and spell

I had plans to meet a great friend for dinner last night. Yesterday am, she offered to pick me up so I could enjoy a few glasses of vino and then just cab home. My initial response was "Oh, thank you but I will drive because I have. so. much. to. do. on. Friday."

By the end of yesterday, having FULLY enjoyed a chaotic day at work, I sent her an email, "Scratch previous statement and yes, please fetch me."

Never mind that I really planned to be home around 9 pm to cut, bag, ribbon, label the 4 dozen chocolate chip and toffee  cookie bars AND cinnamon sea salt caramel dark chocolate brownies I made for the bake sale at MiniMac's school today.

At dinner, we enjoy a glass or two or three of wine. And by glass I definitively mean bottle. Does the consumption matter? Not really. Some days, sipping actually means devour.

So we have a fabulous 3.5 hour meal and afterward, in the cab I opt to send JohnnyMac a text:

How is yr night? (Just had to simplify that word YOUR. Which is odd because texty shorthand bugs me.)

He responds: Great. Yours?

Me: AWEsome. (Really? I certainly was enthusiastic. It is odd that I just discovered I can sound like a high school cheerleader while texting. And no mockery of the high school cheerleaders, I was one but really? With the AWEsome? Stop it.)

Me: When I get home, let's __________. (Fill blank with your favorite activity of couples. For example: play Guitar Hero, talk about our feelings, or get down to business and I don't mean the tax return kind.)

He must laugh because he sends this: On your way? Don't pass out in the cab.

I respond: No. Be back at 5.

Apparently I think the word "AT" and the word "IN" can be easily interchanged. Awesome to text your Hub after clearly enjoying the fermented grape nectar that you will be home at 5 am. And by "no" I meant No I will not pass out in the cab. I think late night confusion is big fun.

Perhaps I need to revisit my training class for texting: the Speak and Spell.

And no, when I got home, we didn't __________. Because I was up for another hour cutting, bagging, ribboning, and labeling 4 dozen baked goods for the bake sale. I should have at least eaten one. Or had another sip of wine since my Hub was fast asleep.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In case I need a penis

As MiniMac is fully potty trained now, he considers himself a big boy. He is also becoming a bit more fascinated with his boy parts which I suppose will only last the rest of his life.  

Before MiniMac turned two, as he was discovering his body,  we were forthright with him regarding the names for all of his parts.  As previously shared, one day while we were getting him dressed, he grabbed his business and asked me, “What is this?”
I replied, “Your penis.”
His enthusiastic reply, “ELEPHANTS EAT PENIS!”
Well, not exactly but at his age, I can see how he put that all together.

And as we have potty breaks, sometimes the conversation takes an unexpected comedic turn.

Last week, I took MiniMac into a restroom. Mind you, we have had several conversations lately about sharing and what you should share (toys) and what you do not share (toothbrush.) This is relevant. Why? You'll see. 

While in the actual stall of a crowded restroom, the following conversation occurs:

MiniMac: Mommy’s don’t have penises.
Me: Correct.
MiniMac: We don’t share our Mommy's.
Me: Well, right.
Minimac: We don't share our penis.
Me: Correct, you don’t need to share your body. (Remind me to remind him of this when he turns 15.)
MiniMac: What if you need a penis? (I am sure he means to go potty.)
My thought: Oh boy. Add this to things I hope to never discuss again.
MiniMac: (after a small pause) I don't share mine but maybe you can use Daddy's!
As I am trying not to laugh in his tiny face, I say, "I will certainly let Daddy know. "

And amidst the giggles I heard from the other women in the restroom, I didn't feel it necessary to tell MiniMac that I am pretty sure Daddy and I have already worked this out.  Somehow when we were tallying up the goods on the baby registry, nowhere did I see the "Warnings and Prep" workbook regarding conversations like this. Oh, and he is only 3 so I better buckle in.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You smell delicious

One misty morning in a German train station, I passed an impeccably dressed man. In his perfectly tailored suit, he not only looked fantastic, but he carried himself like a man who knew his role in the world. I did a made-for-movies double-take and turn. 

Later, he made his way into the same train car and his perfect English made the conversation easy. I was on vacation and had a rudimentary grasp of the German language. And while tempted, I certainly was incapable of translating you smell delicious. Before departing, I wanted to ask him what he was wearing. But I didn't and our routes took us in different directions.

As a child, I was exposed to the gorgeous scents and beautiful bottles of perfume. From my Mom I learned the power of scent and often, when she would leave, I would tip toe into her room and spray some of her perfume on my wrists. I would spend the rest of the day feeling glamorous and grown up. 

However, it is also during this time I learned you do not sample and spray from every bottle on the dressing table at one time if you want to spend the rest of the day with yourself. And should you make this faux pas, you should have a response prepared when your Mom smells you and asks if you have been playing with her perfume. A proper response: I wanted to come up with a signature scent so I layered several together. A poor response: Your perfume? NO.  Right. First, she is far more clever. And secondly, there is no other means to create that smell unless I just took a plunge into a whorehouse. Even the most heavenly perfumes do not smell great mixed together. 

But my love of perfume bloomed. And it is a beauty staple I don’t go without even for a day. I tie perfume to memories, impressions, places. My first favorites were my Mom’s. Especially the bottle of Roma I bought her in Italy. My first real bottle was Christian Dior’s Dolce Vita, a scent I still love though cannot easily find. 

And then Issey Miyake, Gucci Rush, Gucci Envy, Lolita Lempicka, Herve Leger. And to my collection I have added Mme Chanel, Badgley Mischka, Romero Britto, and my new favorites from Jo Malone. I feel about perfume the way some women feel about shoes. (Ok, I feel pretty strongly about shoes as well.)

And I feel the same way about cologne. And everytime JohnnyMac wears it (albeit not every day) I appreciate that the scent of something can remind you of a starry night, or an interlude, a wedding in spring, or your last tango in Paris. And for me, perfume or cologne is one of the few things that can rouse memories and emotions ranging from new and sweet to sultry sex. 

When I was in Atlanta only a few months, I met someone. His cologne immediately jettisoned me back to the train station in Germany. The exact scent could not be forgotten so I inquired. What was he wearing? Chanel Egoiste Platinum. I bought a bottle for myself and still wear it.  Men's cologne? On a woman? Try it. It can be amazing. And I wear it not as a reminder of the man but as a reminder of just how stirring a great elixir can be.

Monday, April 12, 2010

One for the money, two for the show


After a hearty time sipping concoctions and testing our luck at one of our favorite casinos, Bellagio, I needed the powder room. Why did I pick the powder room with only four stalls and ten women waiting in line versus the other women's rooms that could house a small jet? I have no logical answer. Why did the person in front of me not quite properly flush the commode? Another answer I don't know. Should I wait for another stall after I have already waited for fifteen minutes? Mmmmm. Tempting. But no.

Should I simply put my foot on the handle to flush. Sure. I have preferences, one being please flush the %$@# toilet before you leave, but I know when to set my preferences aside, as in when it is a long, long line in the lav and just getting longer.

I simply place my foot on the handle for a quick push. What does the toilet do? Erupts.

Nothing says HIGH CLASS like an erupting toilet. I don't care if it was Steve Wynn's private guest house. Exploding toilet = ILL.  And not exactly what I had in mind for dancing in the rain. Oh, and the shoes? Oh...the shoes!

Should I have simply elected to wipe those shoes down? Sure. Except they were suede. Gives a new creative twist to the state of being pissed off. A girl is going to garner a frown after being momentarily caught in a urine fountain. Not exactly Slumdog Millionaire where he dives under the outhouse but still, very VERY unsavory. And I am quite confident some equally unsavory words flew out of my mouth whilst I was being doused.

I went to the room to change shoes and place my suede victims in the trash. Then I stomped right out of that room and downstairs to the blackjack table. Karma, might you want to give me some lovin'? After all, you just schlepped on my new suede shoes.

She did. And this time, she paid me back gracefully. One of our friends said, at that rate, I will go in that bathroom and let that toilet explode on me. Ahhh, while that does sound like a fetching idea, I didn't attempt that fate twice. 

Speaking of Vegas, you know who else is a big winner: Big congrats to MommyLisa from Mommy's Nest for the ultimate chocolate lover's giveaway. Email me Lisa and I will put you in touch with Chocomize. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Take A Bite Of: Mini Reese's peanut butter cup cheesecakes


Since I have already talked about chocolate twice this week, let us go for the trifecta of goodness. Here is a little taste treat you won't be able to resist.  I bought a new mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms which I absolutely adore. To justify this purchase I combined two of JohnnyMac's favorite things: cheesecake and Reese's peanut butter cups into one collective of YUM. These are simple, take very little time, and can also be made in a mini muffin pan. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite. 

Mini Reese's peanut butter cup cheesecakes

Crust:  
1 and 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs  
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 stick butter, melted 

Filling: 
1  8 oz package cream cheese (at room temp) 
1/2 c sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or almond extract 
1 egg
20 mini Reese's peanut butter cups chopped 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of a standard muffin pan. Or use your mini cheesecake pan.

To make crust, in a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until crumbs are moistened. Press crust into bottom of each well (or muffin cup.)

Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar, flour, and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in chopped pb cups. Spoon this mixture over graham cracker crusts. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving. Try not to gobble them all. Maybe share one or two. And these are perfect for parties too. 

And while you gather the ingredients, don't forget the chocomizer giveaway in the post below. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Your mouth can thank me later

Did I not just tell you how eating chocolate is basically good for the planet? Of course I did. Now, because I want you all to be global ambassadors of energy created from chocolate, do I have a little treat for you. 

Spying an article in a magazine, I  discovered a new company called Chocomize. After reading about their new twist on the goodness of chocolate, I had to visit their site. Oh my...talk about a need to feed. 

Chocomize lets you play candy maven by selecting your favorite chocolate base: dark, milk, or white and then choosing from their list of 90 ingredients to customize your little vittle in the best possible way to make your mouth water. Oh, you can't decide between organic cashews and almonds? Don't pick one. Have both. Want toffee AND dried raspberries AND crystallized rose petals? Come to Mama, baby. You can add up to five ingredients so your possibilities only end around 10 billion. My picks? First: milk chocolate with Oreo and m&m's. Second: dark chocolate with cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne pepper (maybe they can name that one the JennyMac.)  But are they good?  I have one answer: MMMMMMMMMM.

And the company, run by three young entrepreneurs fresh out of college, is really about a great product. Further, I applaud anyone who creates an opportunity to work for themselves. If MiniMac graduates from college, and builds a business from a vision, I will tell everyone.  So it is also fun to share good news about other young people who are building an empire. Especially one made of chocolate. 

But back to the goods. How does this involve you? Because I am giving away  some yum yum yum.  Who wants a bite? Or more specifically, would you like a 25.00 gift card to Chocomize? Rules are simple. 

1. First entry: Leave a comment between now and Sunday night. Get your little chocolate on.
2. Extra entry for being a Twitterella and giving it a tweet.
3. Extra entry for linking on Facebook. 
4. Extra entry for linking the chocolate love to your blog and send me the link. 

Go check out the website and see what you are missing. And they have also given us a discount code to use: jennymac if you just cant wait to see who wins. Good luck and happy sampling. Your mouth can thank me later.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

JA of the Day: volume v

I like kisses, tickles, and sunshine most of the time. But every so often, a little news bit comes across my screen that must be archived in a special place. Welcome to this volume of JA of the Day. I was torn on which candidate to choose.

Never, ever do this. A 19 year old inmate at Merced County Jail was complaining of pain. Corrections officers discovered this inmate had hidden something. Not a paper clip. And no, not a book from the inmate library. He hid a 5 inch long shank. Where did he hide it? Not in his sleeve. He had to have it surgically removed from his biscuit. And I am not meaning the buttermilk kind.

This inmate said he had no idea what it was when he found it. Guess what Inmate McFool, I didn’t know what a crossbow was at one point either but I promise you, if I found one, the last storage spot that would come to mind would be my badonkey donk. PS: Get a pair of pants with a POCKET. And for the love of Jailhouse Rock, please smarten up or you are going to have a long term relationship with Merced County Main Jail.

Dear City Administrator handling the budget for Merced: Did you already create a slush fund for stupid people? I know its not your fault, but maybe a nice apology to taxpayers who paid for this surgery.  Should he win? I don’t know. This awesome act of idiocy might not top this jackassery:

Jason Z. approached the drive-thru window of a Detroit Wendy’s on foot. With a blue bandana around his face, he pointed a rifle through the window and scared a female employee. She ran away and he attempted to use a code to open the cash register. The Manager intervenes and they wrestle over the cash drawer. Jason Z. gets away WITH the cash and hops into his getaway car sitting in plain sight. The getaway car is driven by a girl who previously worked at the Wendy’s and was recognized by several employees. The police are called and when they arrive the Manager identifies the robber who is also dating the former employee. How is she so sure? Jason Z. is her son and when he was attempting to steal the drawer, she shouted in his face, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?

Jason Z. and your pitiful getaway car driver, get comfy in jail because you are clearly staying there. Anyone who robs a fast food joint in which they worked is a jackass. Anyone who robs a fast food joint in which their Mother is the manager is a pitiful jackass. Fred Flinstone, using BamBam as a weapon and driving a car with rock wheels, using only his feet as accelerators would do a better job than you two clowns. And congratulations, you are the JA of the Day.

PS: You know who is not a JA? Your Mom who tried to kick your ass and then told the police it was you. Your Mom is a badass. 

PPS: Blogger is acting up on me today and I am having issues publishing comments. 

PPPS: Apparently, Blogger wants to be nominated for volume vi..because not only am I having comments not post, I am also having issues all day posting comments on other blogs. Just kidding Blogger, I would NEVER call you a JA but straighten up now please. Good boy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Let's just put our libido back in the suitcase

A Mommy and Daddy take their 2 year old son to Cabo San Lucas. Mommy & Daddy (M&D) share a room with young son. M&D realize quickly the time change is going to be the catalyst to everyone rising VERY EARLY each day. The downside is when night time arrives and little man falls asleep, M&D might be extra tired too. M&D have not been able to have any "alone time" of the saucy variety. No pants party? Not happening.

One day, while little man is finishing breakfast, M&D decide to let him watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as subterfuge so M&D can sneak off together.

Mommy and Daddy feel confident he will be enthralled since Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is toddler narcotic. Except they can’t sneak off too far just in case because Mommy is worried little man will open the sliding glass door he finds fascinating and walk right off the open patio. M&D decide to sneak into the hall where the large open doors of the armoire will block little man from seeing any adult shenanigans.

M&D attempt to hurry. M&D remain as covered as possible. That is not as fun as it sounds. But M&D are getting a moment and as M&D attempt to enjoy this rare moment of adults only time, they suddenly hear a voice.

“What are you doing guys?”

Mommy and Daddy look down to see a tiny face on the ground looking up from the 5 inch space below the open armoire door.

Daddy, every quick with a retort, says, “We are exercising!”

Little Man giggles and says, “You look FUNNY when you are exercising Mommy and Daddy!”

A witness while you do the hallway lambada? Not good.
The fact you are basically fully clothed though? Awesome.
That a voice would ask what it is exactly you are doing? Not good.
A quick cover up that you are exercising: Genius.
A child's commentary about that exercise? Not good for the libido. Or the memory. But especially the libido.

Children even seeing your exercise, even if they are only two at the time and likely can't suffer irreversible visual scarring?

Great motivation for putting your libido right back in the suitcase until you return home. Or at least until you get more creative.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yum, yum, gimme some

Do you need any more reasons to eat chocolate? Of course you don’t. But I have good news for you. 

Chocolate: just part of good, clean living. 

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK have discovered a way to create hydrogen. Now, before you get all glassy-eyed, this is not a science lesson as much as it is an opportunity to give chocolate even more praise.

By adding confectionary waste products from chocolate factories to E coli, it converted the sugars to acids, and the acids into hydrogen producing a clean, renewable energy source. See, even E coli can not resist the delicious charm of chocolate. (And who knew I would have even a fleeting interest in any recipe that includes chocolate and E coli.)

How much energy was produced? The initial experiment used a fuel cell that generated enough power to operate a small fan. Later, two Brits drove across the Sahara Desert in a bioTruck running on alternative fuels from chocolate. 

Are you serious?

Which means you can just nom nom nom through that chocolate stockpile of yours and know that really, you are merely helping the world. Every bite of chocolaty goodness in your mouth also created waste at the chocolate factory that someday could power entire buildings or hydrogen based vehicles.  So many of you are already doing your part! Me too. And every time you forget to recycle or forget your canvas tote? Shame on you BUT the least you can do is eat some chocolate and redeem yourself.

And now you have a perfect, life-long excuse for not satisfying that craving. Might have to have a bite right now. This is science after my own heart.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Take it all off. Or, what I did for love

In my post Monday, I shared my celebration of a wonderful woman and friend who has been a long term role model for me. She is also a breast cancer survivor. I shared her story with you, and thank you so much for the amazing comments you shared. I have printed all of these and will send them to her. The cameraderie that is shared in Blog World is a powerful force and Monday was a perfect example. I also wrote that post to share my thoughts about her with her because I am a true believer that people you love should never wonder about your feelings towards them.

And I want to share something else. When I spoke to MA earlier this week, she thanked me for the birthday gift I mailed. And I told her that in her honor, I also gave a gift to someone else.






Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces for children suffering from hair loss from any long-term illness. When I went in for the cut, the salon began to buzz with a few women sharing stories of doing this similar act. And one person said to me, "You know, there is a little girl who goes to class and never smiles because she doesn't look like all of the other kids. And because of you, she will have the most beautiful hair in school." 

If the reason for doing it didn't stir enough emotion in me, that particular statement resonated with me all day.  And MA knows exactly what this would be like for a young girl.  So this is what I did for love. And for Locks of Love.

I am not special. I am not finding a cure or eliminating a single family from being told their child is sick. But I do think we can all play a small part in making life better for others. And  leaving the salon with a gift in honor of an inspiring woman did add a little lift to my step. It could be that by removing 11 inches of hair, I certainly weighed less. Or it could be that my heart felt a bit more buoyant that day. And a buoyant heart is always welcome.

I am off tomorrow for a day with MiniMac. And if you are celebrating, have a beautiful Easter. I know we will and I am grateful and thankful for so many things in my life. Have a fantastic weekend.