Friday, December 30, 2005

Angels in the Toilet

Mid linoleum knock out, phase II, the guest bathroom started flooding. We couldn't figure it out. I opened the shower to find soap bubbling everywhere, presumably from the 10th load of laundry I did today. All eyes turned to our precocious toddler. Papa: "Nick, did you put anything in the toilet?" Nick: "Nooooo!" Mama: "Niiiiick. No one is going to be mad at you. Now tell us, did you put anything in the toilet?" Nick: "An angel!" Papa: "A what?" Nick: "A Christmas angel!"

See what I mean about 1 step forward (putting decorations away) 10 steps back (the tile project put on hold while James pumps up water and I mop the floor)

The positive news: James was able to plunge the main line and, unlike my cyberfriend Toni's train in the toilet story, we were spared a $300.00 plumber.

I guess this toilet angel's cloud had a silver lining. (Though I wish I could say the same for Lizzy's luck getting tickets... Thanks to everyone for your smart ass comments...)

Rosebowl Tickets Anyone?

Texas Lizzy is in town and looking to buy Rosebowl Tickets. If anyone out there has some, please email me. She's willing to pay up to 500 bucks/ticket. Thanks!

Parking It

Had a nice few days off with James. We started some house improvements, most significantly, our kitchen floor. After going back and forth on tile, linoleum, pergo, do it ourselves or have it contracted, the big decision was made last night when James took a big shovel and ripped it to shreads in less than an hour. Turns out there were four layers of floor underneath. Like my plan to organize my freelance career, I was reminded that there are many levels to get through to find my place in the world, but if I can stick it out through the yuck and goo, I will eventually have a beautiful floor to write on. As I made dinner admist the chopping, we laughed at our chaotic life. Nick was watching Dora, Sophie was throwing blocks, and friends were due over for a walk at any time. During the madness, we decided that I would repaint the kitchen once the baseboards were ripped out and James would lay the tile. Lucky for us, we already found a pattern we agree on (a beautiful brown square and cream that will be set in a diner checkerboard pattern). Now it's just a matter of calling up the tile guy and ordering - in this case, that would be Zarko the Great. No joke, his business card says "Zarko the Great". After attempting to get four estimates from various contractors, who all canceled or just didn't show, I will give Zarko the Great much kudos for his followthrough and earned namesake. He's a big Greek guy with five kids who not only is going to show James how to lay the floor, but tossles the rug rats hair and calls them Sir and Madam. Sold.

Side note: At the park the other day, a little girl was singing "Happy Birthday" to her sand cake. She had sticks for candles. I was thinking how sweet it is that techology hasn't ruined creativity. This all changed when she got to the end. "Happy Birthday to Elda, Happy Birthday to you..." "And dinosaurs... on 64... And a big fat lady... on channel 80"... Wow. You can't stop the power of cable.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Saint Nick

James started his first day of work today, which marks the official end of our holiday celebration. An hour into his day, he received this email from me:

"In the past hour I have caught Nick:

- Pants down on the couch, peeing on Sophie
- Pants on, riding her like a bull on the linoleum
- Spitting apple juice in her hair

On his way to his room, he asked for a lollipop.

I am beyond pissed."

Glad to be back to the post Christmas normalcy.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

In liue of songs, as I'm about to collapse from cooking, cleaning, wrapping and general Xmas preparation-ness (is that a word?) I'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy Xmas. I'm about to spend it at Stella's mobile home. I am sure to have loads of stories, so I expect some from you.

I wish everyone joy, love, peace, happiness, and of course, a maid.

And though I know I joke about being a waffling Catholic, I'm actually going to say it: God bless you. We all have so much to be grateful for. And if you don't think you do, then stop being so self defeating and do something about it: write a book, read a book, join a group, join a gym, join AA, start drinking, buy a house, sell a house, rent your house, rent a houseboat, take a class.

Or just at home and feel sorry for yourselves. But come on people, it's a new year. Who the hell knows why we're all here, but I have to think it's to be good to everyone and make our mark the best way we can.

Okay, I was supposed to stop at God bless you. Too bad.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Jingle Smells, Jingle Smells

This holiday season, my son has discovered the joys of farting. I was talking to Texas Lizzy, and apparently this is nothing new in the toddler arena. In her household (a beautiful ranch erected just to irritate overpriced LA box dwellers like me) farting is known as 'tooting' and consistently causes Toddler J to erupt in giggles.

Last night, after Nick could not stop cracking up (pun intended) at his "smelly butt noises" we had the official talk.

Me: Can we fart loudly at home?

Nick: Yeeessssss.

Me: What about at school?

Nick: Yeeeeeeeees.

Me: Nooooooooooo. We save our farts for home only.

Nick: Ooooh, Mama lets me fart from my butt?

Me: Yes. That's it.

Nick: Papa lets me fart from my butt, too.

Me: That's right. Papa can be very juvenile, and nothing makes him laugh harder than a good ripper.

Nick: Yes, a ripper! I can rip for Papa! And Mama! But not for church. Jesus doesn't like farts.

Me: That's right. No farting for Jesus.

Nick: It's Jesus birthday at Xmas!

Me: Yes! Very good! It's his birthday. (I am thrilled for the spiritual segway)

Nick: Even though it's Jesus birthday, I get the gifts.

Me: That's right. Jesus is a good man. He shares.

Silence, then....

Nick: I like Jesus. He shares his presents. And after I open them, I can fart. Cause I open them at home and I can fart at home!

I give up.

On that note, let's sing along to Jingle Bells, shall we?


Jingle smells
Jingle smells
Nick's discovered farts
For loads of fun just pull his thumb
And warm his little heart (Tooot!)

Jingle smells
Jingle smells
Toddlers love the noise
Forget tv and coloring
It's farts for girls and boys


Last night after our prayers
When everything was calm
I thought at first he made
A tiny little yawn

But then I heard a laugh
And something like a bell
It turned out to be gas gas gas
And how he loved the smell, Oh!


Jingle smell
Jingle smell
Stinkies all the way
Yes this song is juvenile
My son likes it that way (Hey!)

Big Finish

Jingle Smell
Jingle Smell
Tooting all the way
Let's hope Santa brings our son
Some Beano on his sleigh

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Come On, Gimme Some Credit

Inspired by my last rendition of Rudolph, I will be rewording one Christmas song per day to get me through the holiday madness. Think of them like Mama P's little Advent calendar - emphasis on the vent. Call me Weird Al Yank a Bitch... As in I could have yanked this bitch right off the register at Old Navy today and thrown her straight into their signature car and pushed it into the LA river.

After buying 215.00 worth of Old Navy clothes last week, including a fateful sweater set and pants for Nick, it turns out that after one wash the 2T cable knit, like my career, came unraveled at the seams. Then Nick's grey sweats developed a hole in the crotch. I haven't seen this much material openings in inappropriate places since Chrisitina Aguilera's last video. And since these threads aren't making me millions, I figured I would return them.

Okay, I admit, I had no receipt. But lucky Patron Saint of Shopping... the cashier said she could credit the card I bought them on. Perfect! Nick and Sophie were in the car with Grandma, I hadn't waited in line... what a lovely ending to a day of errands with the munchins. Insert game show buzzer: IRRRRRRNNNN! After telling me I would be credited 107.00, they said the register wouldn't validate the card because it says I didn't use it at that store. Bull! I don't ever use my credit cards, so I knew for a fact this was the only one (my Atm card got sat on one too many times, so I was using credit simply as a means of funding until the new one arrived.)

After holding up the line and enduring one too many incriminating looks by other shoppers (and I can't blame them... this was taking waay too long) I finally agreed to take a store credit, but not without telling the manager (a pretty Asian version of Madonna resplete with punk hair, headset and attitude) that "I'll take it your store credit, but your store sells crap. You hear me, Old Navy crap crap crap! Your commercials make everyone feel bad for not looking like a robot and your clothes are, let me remind you again, CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!"

I got home and immediately checked my MBNA statement. Guess what? 215.00 cleared well over a week ago. On my MBNA. The same card that never was used at Old Navy. Hmmm.

I am so angry.

But my mom made a good point. She said cancel the transaction with MBNA so they don't pay Old Navy. Hmmmm. What if I got my 107.00 credit in the mail still? Then everything would be paid for! But that's not very Christian, is it. But technically, I'm a waffling Catholic, so maybe until I get my Vatican papers, it's okay. Or perhaps I will just go to confession and pay off a saint?

Who knows. Let's all turn to happier thoughts, like verse.

Everyone! Sing along to "Santa Clause is Coming to Town"!


Mama P's making a list
She's checking it twice
And now her warm heart is turning to ice
(Cause) Oooool Navy Suuuucks... cow balls

The sweatpants had rips
The sweaters were crap
And the 12 long jeans sent too much air in her crack
(Yep) Ooooold Navy Suucks... cow balls


She's sick of all their dumb ads
Of anorexic freaks
Who look great in their lame clothing
But they're way too scared to eat, SO!

Final Chorus

You better watch out
Go ahead - cry
Mama P's looking you straight in the eye
Ooooold Naaavy Sucks... Cowballs

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Rudolf the Zoloft Reindeer

Okay, everybody, sing along to the "Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer" theme music.

Cue horns...

Mama P the Dead Beat Blogger
Thought that she could do it all
But all of that changed last Sunday
When she finally hit the mall

She couldn't find no parking
And when she finally did
The lines forming round Old Navy
Left reindeer tears on her lids


Then she got back to her house
With Xmas cards left to write
Both kids puked over the couch
And she and James had a fight - HEY!

Big Finish

Now there's four days til Xmas
With shopping and gifts to wrap
And if she sees dear old Santa
Mama P is gonna kick his asssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

* Pictured: Nick being particularly helpful by dumping a bottle of baby powder all over my already vomit stained cushions "To clean up the pee pee!" he informed me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lucky #7

Okay, so this little ditty was taken from Toni's blog. I thought I'd throw it out there in case any of you want to add your two cents. (And thank you to WGA L, Mrs. V and a few more who posted! You're alive!)

Okay, here they are...

Seven things to do before I die:

1. Write a musical
2. Write a series of books similar to Armistead Maupins Tales of the City called 'The Valley Gal Chronicles'
3. Be published in a nationwide magazine
4. Get back into TV and do shows I love
5. Not be so anxious about traveling. (I went to London once for 5 days and spent 3 in a hotel. That's just dumb)
6. Be more current about news and perhaps a bit more poltical
7. Start a program for stressed out moms
8. Make a living from home (either Ebay or writing)
9. Take up piano again
10. Be very physically fit
11. Do more things that scare me(okay, so I have more than 7... I'll stop here)

Seven things I can (or will) not do:

1. Be mean to someone on purpose. It's just not in my nature. I can't say I haven't hurt people due to my honest and large mouth, but it was never to intentionally hurt them.
2. Go through childbirth without an epidural (Since we're not having any more kids, this isn't an issue. Unless I get knocked up by Liam Neesons Love child in a re-enactment from "Rob Roy"'s opening scene, but that won't happen either due to #3, inspired by Toni
3. Cheat on James. He can be a pain in the ass, but he's so damn loyal and good and true. I adore him.
4. Dance on my toes. I'm 6'1. I am a 38 DD. It's just not in the cards.
5. Jump out of a plane.
6. Have certain kinds of sex in certain kinds of places, body or otherwise... nuf said.
7. Walk naked in a nudist colony. Call it the Catholic conservative in me. I just don't need my hoo hoo in the wind. Nor my post child gumby boobs. Sounds very freeing, though. Until you sit on a lawn chair. Yuk.

Seven things that attract me to my spouse/partner/the opposite sex:

1. His beautiful face - like John Kennedy Junior - classic, rugged.
2. His voice - deep
3. His no nonsense, grounded attitude on life
4. His heart - amazing with kids and animals
5. His cleanliness - I can be messy, so it's a plus. When we first dated, he'd show up at my teeny apartment - that didn't have a dishwasher - and take my dishes to his condo on his lunch break). Then he'd take them home, run them through his dishwasher, and bring them back. I thought that was sweet. OF course later in life, it's this anal side that I could kick him in the head for. But while I'm kicking him in the head, I have clean plates.
6. I loved that he owned a condo and wore pants that weren't falling off his ass. A big plus compared to some winners I dated.
7. He puts up with me.

Seven things I say most often:

1. I love you.
2. Who loves you more than anyone in the whole world? And Nick screams "Mommy!"3. 1! 2! 3! Time out!
4. Hi, Doll
5. God Damnxxx! Need to work on that
6. Thank you
7. God, I really need to... fill in the blank

Seven books (or series) I love:

1. Tales of the City
2. Editorials in the LA Times Magazine
3. Harry Potter
4. Anything Ann Tyler
5. The Little House series when I was a kid.
6. The Writers Market (God, I really need to query... see?)
7. Any kind of home decorating or woman's magazine

Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would if I had the time):

1. Moonstruck
2. Life is Beautiful
3. Shrek
4. When Harry Met Sally
5. Evita or any musical for that matter.
6. The Incredibles
7. Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer (It's just so cozy with the snow and the music and the whole underdog theme. I am not fond of Santa's sexim toward Clarissa, but that aside, it's a classic)

Okay, anybody else, feel free.

The picture above is my husband in Germany. As you can see, he's totally exhausted. Can't you just see how much he misses me from his eyes? I really need to send him a care package.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Comments From the Penis Gallery

Okay, I meant "Peanut" gallery. Just trying to get everyone's attention. HELLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOO! I have had so little comments lately that I have a stock pile of reasons that ya'll better fit into. My opinon to follow. They are:

Reason 1. It's holiday season - I'm too busy (Hey, I have two kids and am neurotic and needy enough to post my life on the internet. At least validate my efforts with a "hey, whatevah idiot. bye." Cecelia... don't you dare post that. I know your type.

Reason 2. I don't have anything clever to say. (Fine. That just makes me feel better for being more clever than you. Given I am just avoiding dishes and putting Nick to bed, I don't need something witty. But you will get less harrassed if it's funny)

Reason 3. You don't want me to know who you are. (I will hunt you down, so come clean now)

WHERE IS EVERYONE!>????????????????????!

Cracking Myself Up

So I bought myself two pairs of jeans today. This is quite remarkable because A) I rarely buy for myself. B) Nick was with Crafty K at an indoor playgym (God bless that woman - she didn't even have her kids with her, but since she was hosting the mommy and me for her church, she wanted to take Nick as her guest... that woman is soooo getting the fancy highrise in heaven). C) Sophie slept - the WHOLE time.

It was a very odd experience to walk through Old Navy and just... look. And lo and behold, there were two pairs of size 12 long jeans that fit like a glove. This constitutes as remarkable # D because I don't know the last time I was a 12. And not to sound braggy, but I will, since it's my blog, I looked friggin goooood in them! I kept turning around to look at my ass and thought "either I'm on drugs, or these things make me pretty hot. I'm not talking J-Lo or MILF status (MILF - Mom I'd Love to Fuck) but I looked sexy for Mama P.

I was in such good spirits I bought 2 shirts, matching cable knits for the kids, and some pants/shirts for Nick. This goes down as Remarkable #E since I rarely buy new. But what the hell. My ass was doing the thinking, not my brain.

This became only too clear when I picked up Nick from Playsource. He was at the train table, and when I bent down to get him... pooooof. Air in the dairyair. (Yes, Mom, I know that's not how you spell butt in French, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now. And since my butt is the size it is due to lots of icecream, and I was feeling wind back there, dairy air works.) Honestly, there wasn't massive amounts of air, but to quote Dominic's favorite Thomas book, "There was a crack in the track!" To clarify: the pants didn't rip. The waist was just a tad too low. No major cheek cleavage, but enough to really bug me. I tried the whole "it's no big deal if I don't squat" defense. But as a mom of 2 toddlers, all I do is find myself on the floor, or hunched over a toilet. That just isn't going to work.

Then I got home and checked the VISA bill. Yikes. Buyers remorse started setting in big time. Sure, the kids would look adorable in their sweaters, but do they need them? And the shirt I got, it does look good with my bowling shoes, but so does KD Lange, and it's not the look I'm going for.

So, after some long soul searching, I am returning both jeans and the shirt I bought. I'm keeping the kids stuff. (I know that's a typical mom move, but hell, they friggin deserve some new digs for a change). As for me? I ordered one pair of 12 long WAIST jeans online and called it a day.

Kids are now sleeping. I'm cleaning my office, prepping dinner, and making mental plans to sell more Ebay stuff. Then I'm going to buy myself more clothes.

I swear.

No, really.

And shoes.


And when I post the picture of my angels in their red brand name cable knits, ya'll better post and tell me how friggin adorable they look! I will spare you the photo of my ass in the jeans. It ain't that kind of blog. But truthfully? I'm tempted to take one. Just as a reminder for what I look like next month when I'm back to my normal size 14 and then have to complain on this blog how I spent 30.00 on something I can't wear.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Soul Foods

I was at Whole Foods market on Thursday morning. I sometimes go there with Sophie after I drop of Nick at preschool. This particular location has a fun cross section of ethnicities and economics. There's the long haired organic attachment parenting hippy moms loading their boca burgers into their Mexican woven environmentally sound shopping bags. There's the Tommy Hilfiger clothed mommy and daddys toting their twins (by surrogate, hence mom's killer rack) in designer puffy stroller seat covers. They are usually on their cel phones calling out names of cities, which might lead you to believing their travel agents, until their kids respond to mom's shrieks, "Berlin, take your hand off of London's cheek RIGHT now or we will NOT be going for sushi". There's the twenty five year old Sarah Jessica Parker type clad in the DKNY business suit buying her premade lunches for the week, and equally as many red wines. Then, there's Marty.

As it turns out, Marty is a 85 year old wheelchair bound senior with no legs. Like me, he was sipping coffee in the cafe' area. I saw the headline "Williams Awaiting Death Penalty" and as it turns out, for the first time this month, I actually listened to NPR this morning. I had to know Marty's story, so I threw a quick comment his way about how many years William's has already spent in jail. I figured Marty would either start talking, grateful for company, or pretend not to hear me. Lucky for me, he started jabbering right away. At first, it was about the news. How terrible people act. Within minutes he had rolled himself over to my table. I detected an accent, which led to the info that he was a Jew. He was born in England and moved to Italy when he was 17. There he met a woman who "had a body that would not stop" and married her. She was the love of his life. He is still not over the fact that she died of cancer in 82. He stopped believing in God when his son died a year later. Five years later he married wife #2. He likes her, but... (now in a hushed tone as she was due to meet him soon) ..he's not in love with her. She's lost too much weight recently. And let's face it "I have a lot of women chasing me at the senior center. Not that I'd marry them, but I could have a nice relationship".

A quick interjection: This is a typical man. He's 85. He has no legs. He has on old clothes. But he claims women are chasing him. I almost added "Of course they're running after you... it's not like you can run after them" but I refrained. I would say he's arrogant, but I kind of believe him. This guy has a fabulous personality. He's engaging. And there's some women who can't live without a man, so perhaps it's true....

Anyway, before his wife came, and before Sophie passed him the 100th brochure from our table on "whole foods veggies" he slipped me his # on a check book cover. "I live in Room 26 at the Senior Center... come to the front desk if you ever want to have coffee. And bring the kids! I am not trying to push a friendship on you, but I like you. You're fun to talk to. And it gets lonely."
Then he wheeled away.

As I watched him converse with the woman he did not love (though he'd been with her for over 20 years) I was struck with how someone can spend a whole life adding memories to the vault, but without someone new to talk about them, they mean nothing.

I weighed the pros and cons of calling this guy one day. Cons: He's a total stranger. I have so many obligations already. He does more talking than listening. Pros: He can't exactly attack me - he's bound to a chair. It's good for the kids to see older people and not be scared. He's wicked smart, funny and full of story potential.

Guess which option will win out?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I Am Thankful

I awoke this morning to James eating Cheerios on the floor with the kids. He also had sent the following (posted below) to me. I don't know what's going on around here, but clearly the Xmas spirit is infesting even the curmugeony of scrooges. I also find it odd that the one other blog I follow (Travels with Toni, link a few posts below) features quite a few "gratitude" listings. Coincidence... Universal goodness being tapped into? I don't know. But it's nice to focus on the good things in life sometimes rather than the obvious sadnesses. Some of you might have lost family around this time of year (I did). Some of you might be low on money (been there). Some of you might not have a significant other (been there). Some of you might be fighting with your significant other (been there). But even with all this, there's always something lovely amiss. Let's turn our heads toward that and keep on truckin'. And if you can't see the rainbow in the rain, there's always the news.

From James.....

Live well, Laugh often, & Love with all of your heart!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

K Tagged

Before you read K's books, I have to comment that I always knew how smart she was. And introspective. But it's so interesting to do little exercizes like this, because I see a different side of her now. Not that I'm surprised, because she's as beutiful outside as she is inside. But she's still pretty whacked. She collects Asian salt shakers. Her husband dressed up as Mr. T. She had an engagement dinner at 7 Layers of Beef. She jokes that she's not uppercrust, but she's pretty much the cream in anybody's coffee, so don't let her disuade you. And K, if my comp hubby can send me love letters from work, you can believe in romance, too. Just forget about the glass slippers and stick to tivos.

K's choices:

1. C.S. Lewis-His overwhelming arrogance and confident conclusions changed my life. Read page 56 in The Case For Christianity.

2. Alison Weir-She gives voice to The Six Wives of Henry VIII. I love anything from that era. -such tales of castles, wealth, rising up through the ashes only to be cast away..and the sex! Those people were serious. Procreate or die. Good stuff.

3. I could die and wake up in Where the Wild Things Are. I get that kid. I want to be that kid. Wouldn't it be great to dress up in a white wolf suit, sail away and become king of a bunch of cooks, and come home to warm dinner. It just reminds me of seeing my mom. She'll love me no matter what.

4. Then there's Gatsby. I found that book bound in Blue leather decorating the bathroom in my parents house in high school. I read it 6 times since. I memorized the last lines when I was 16...I was an emotional mess back then, but that book haunted me through all my dramatic times. It's easy to get lost in.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further... And one fine morning - So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
5. I read a book called Thank You Mr. Falkner every year on the last day of school. It's really easy to have a hardened heart by June. You spend your entire year trying to help some kids through red tape and learning disabilities. I cry almost every time. It reminds me why I teach and how hard it is to be a kid.
6. Memoirs of Geisha-damn them for making it into a movie. I read it cover to cover on a plane trip to Manhattan. Oh just go see the movie.
7. I want to be Holly Go Lightly. I have her sunglasses. Does that count? Who doesn't want to have Breakfast at Tiffany's?
8. Judy Blume. Are you there God, It's Me Margaret and Wifey. I'm speechless. I learned so much.
9. I read Less Than Zero in college because I was fascinated with the characters. Then I read the strange sequels that followed. Bret Easton Ellis is dark and to tell you the truth really weird. I hadn't quite settled in my skin back then and those characters fascinated me. I loved being around my "cool" Hollywood friends but too much of a white bread bubble girl living in suburbia to do anything outside of the box, or is it bubble? Anyways, it was a good chapter in my life. I'm glad I didn't go out of the bubble box.
10. My copy of Cinderella is lost. It was original Disney with a torn pink cover and I would read it over and over and over in my bedroom. I studied the pages and outfits. Some day my prince would come. Who knew it would be a washed up baseball player accountant? Will his 4 Runner turn back into a pumpkin at midnight? It was nice to be a kid and believe in the fairy tale. If you truly know me, you know how I preach that "life is not an episode of friends". I don't really believe in romance anymore. It was nice to believe for a little while.
11. Cookbooks are my Prozac.
12. The Scarlet Letter was great long before Demi Moore tried to spice it up. I remember reading that and thinking how brilliant Hawthorne was. He knew what people wanted to read. That was my first taste of adultery and drama. The I met the ass that I dated for 6 years.
13. Pride and Prejudice is my other Cinderella. Long before I had no clue about life I thought I would fall in love with Darcy and run away. Just once I want a guy to write me a letter. The rest I can let go. God knows no matter how much elbow rubbing I do with the upper crust-I aint getting in.
14. Mormon books..I don't know what it is. Those people intrigue me soooo much. Try Leaving the Saints. The woman is so nuts even without her crazy religion. I didn't want to keep reading but I had to. There are a couple of good ones out there. No really.
15. Chalotte's Web It is the first time you realize you are growing up. Some teacher handed you a copy of this book with death, rebirth, and struggle in it and you're supposed to get it. It jsut made me start to see the world had some issues.

Tag, You're IT!

I was one of 3 people"tagged" by my online buddy Toni to list 15 things I like about books. Once I got started, I couldn't stop. I am posting my replies here since I'm too lazy to write a new post tonite and going to tag 3 of my own readership: Lucky winners are:

1. Cousin Kim
2. K
3. Kate

I'd have said Cecelia, but I'm going with the 3Ks. Though Cecelia, if you have time some day, please post your top 15. You're such a good reader of stuff - smart and political and I hope to learn about history through osmosis.

My response to Toni:

Right now I'm knee deep in poop and chicken cooking (not a great combo). Hence, this is a first course sampling of kid books and adults (not THAT kind of adult version you pervs)

1. For my son, I love reading this colorful condensed version of Heidi. You know the chick: blond, barefoot, digs goats and is nice to old people. It's so soothing to read at night. We cuddle in the bed and read about the hot cheese bread and warm milk Heidi shares with Grandpa overlooking a valley of flowers. But old Grandpa, speaking of pervs... he unnerves me a bit. I'd like to see a Broadway version of the real story behind Heidi and her grandpa.
2. Thomas Books - great for counting, coloring and getting your kid to eat (look... it's Thomas carrying green peas to your tunnel. Eat! Quick, let's put it on the turn table! Then you put it on a lazy susan, give it a quick spin, and while they're laughing, down the hatch!)
3. I don't like Dr. Seuss that much. I know I"m going to hell, but he's a bit too bizarre, with his dogs and his cars, like he's smoked too much pot, yes he rhymes quite a lot, but I'm sick of the fish and the hats and that's that...
4. I hope my kid reads the "Little House" series. I love the idea of traveling in a covered wagon with your family close by, fighting for survival but cozy campfires at night. Of course, in reality, my family would have intentionally forgotten me in the woods. I'm not a good traveler and most definitely would have gotten wagon sick. And I can't drive an SUV well let alone a huge object that requires horses, rope and a skill for Indian hunting. Starbuck hunting? I have an Eagle eye for that, my pioneer friends.
5. I adore anything with Ramona Quimby or Super Fudge. I hope my kids aren't too cool for school with those. (I never did the Nancy Drew mysteries. Sorry, Toni. But maybe I'll read them now?)
6. Shel Silverstein gave me my love for writing wacky poems. My highschool quote was "Teddy said it was a hat, so I put it on, now dad is saying where the heck's the toilet plunger gone?"
7. I will run from anything sci fi and fantasy. Except for Harry Potter. My husband and I read that out loud to each other during our honeymoon (ironically a week spent in the wilderness in a cabin)... I was so entranced, I swore if I had twin boys I'd name them George and Fred.
8. I adore Jane Eyre. I remember going through a rough time in college and reading it in the ladies' lounge outside the main quad with a cup of coffee in one hand, the rain coming down.
9. Armistead Maupin is my hero. If you haven't read Tales of the City, then get off your butt and buy it on Amazon tonite. I love his short chapters with characters so laugh out loud funny you want them over for dinner and red wine. Or a joint, as in his case. For me to want to smoke a joint with anyone (as I've never smoked pot in my life) must mean that he writes some "good shit, man"
10. I remember taking a day off of Catholic Girls' highschool to finish reading the Grapes of Wrath. I sat all day in my dad's recliner with the wind whipping outside. I felt safe and warm, and lucky I wasn't starving. Again, love outback spirit. But prefer the air conditioning of Outback Steakhouse.
11. I read this random book I found thrifting called "Playing Away" about a woman who has an affair. It was so funny, despite the subject matter, and touching... it was sort of a Helen Fielding meets the girls who wrote "The Nanny Diaries"... that's a good book, too. And it has a good ending
12. Oh, God... the BEST book I read this year "Hypocrite in a White Pouffy Dress". GET IT.
13. The most overrated book I read this year "Good in Bed". Too unrealistic... like I'm all for the fat chick getting a break, but this was the fat chick who wrote a character who wrote who had fantasies and weird coincidences happened that made these fantasies come true, despite stupid choices on her part. NOOOOOO.
14. Anything by Anne Tyler is a winner. She might have slow pacing, but it's like you're in a Philadelphia home. With people who's lives are so sedentary... until one minor thing comes into play and the ball of thread comes unraveled.
15. I did not like "Light on Snow" by Anita Shreve. I found it "Light on Plot" and too obvious in its emotional currents... "Ooooooh... a lost baby in the woods helps a dad and daughter bond after they lost their own wife/mother"... Still, it's a huge seller, so maybe I need to get off my ass and write something better if I'm so great.
Random Selections I adored
- White Oleander- ...Ya Ya Sisterhoood (what the hell was the first two words?)- Memoirs of a Geisha- Anything by Amy Tan- Great plays
Not a Shakespeare fan myself, but had a great class in college on it.
Wow, I didn't know I was so passionate about books. Thanks, Toni!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog...

... Cryin' all the time.

In homage to Toni's Xmas photo session (post below) I am uploading a shot of Sophie taken last Halloween. At that time, her hair was still pitch black, and she had side burns. It was a toss up between Snow White and a Flying Elvis. Guess which one I went with? She was very pleased.

Ah, Memories

I'd like to put a good word out to a mama who is raising 3 boys in Chicago. She's one of those wacka-dos like me who is trying to bring up healthy children while maintaining her passions - in her case photography and writing. Here's her blog. I am posting 3 pictures of her ill fated holiday photo session. I love any woman who has the good graces to take out her camera when life is going to crap.
I particularly ike how big brother is laughing at little brothers who are alternately crying and also laughing at each other. Fabulous!

Hooray, Hooray...

...It's Taco Tuesday! Ay yay yaaaaaaay.

Spent a very busy past few days doing a whole lot of mommying wifeying occasional andrea-ying stuff. Bought Nick a train table for Xmas and an art table for his birthday (my New Years boy!) Did a little Sunday school teaching (more details later - it's shocking I do this, but it's fun, and the kids like me... it really is a miracle from God!) I food shopped, I went to a jewelry show, I did 10 loads of laundry, cleaned floors, started repainting my hallway in conjunction with painting my mom's bathroom. I ebayed and thrifed and punched my pilot and... well, I'm not doing a very good job defending why I never get one thing done well with a life so packed in odds and ends. If I could be a Super hero, I'd be Octamom - In one hand is a toilet brush, in one a diaper, in one a lap top, in one a paintbrush. That leaves four for cooking, cleaning, ebaying and phone calls. Everything else is going to shit. Then I call on Anal Man - my superhero husband - whose xray vision is more like tunnel vision, but he focuses. And always saves the Day!

James really has been great lately. He's been making his stews, thanks to a 1975 pressure cooker from Stella. He's been putting Sophie to bed each night. We've been dating again (including a Saturday night visit to the Marmalade Cafe' where we people watched, strolled by Xmas trees, and of course, talked about his favorite subject, cars and computers. And to be honest, as long as my mouth is being stuffed with sour dough bread and Diet Coke, he can talk about an RX 7's rotary engine for hours without piston-ing me off). With all this soul providing (okay, so I like that Michael Bolton song "Soul Provider"... I also like country music, Disneyland and Walmart - Get over it) I have no business complaning. At least not until my next period, and then he can go to hell again.

I am downright chipper these days. Between my time off, Nick's reinstalled nap (making him his happy go lucky self again) and much time spent with James and my family/friends, I'm a regular little Xmas Elf. Well, a 6'1 Xmas Elf. Okay, I'm a Xmas Giant. But I don't have a huge head. That would really bug me. Especially the inevitable insults as I walked down Plummer: "Hey, getting ahead in the world?" or "Hey, you want some more head?" Or "Hey, heading this way?" Then again, people are so politically correct, maybe I'd get a writing job on a show under some WGA clause: "In addition to all the sexist men that write for Hollywood, we also need one female, preferably with an oversized head to fill our special needs quotes. " Then again, everyone in Tinsel Town has huge heads, so maybe my idea isn't so brilliant.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Top 20 Wrap Up

A rather rough week of parenting and domestic mishaps have just been added to ye old memory file. I have two choices: curl up in a fetal position and live off of a sippy cup and Gerber puffs, or remain focused on the good things. I am choosing the second, because by nature, I'm a "pick me up by my great thrift store find of the week 10.00 Bass boot straps" kind of girl. To quote one of my favorite sayings "There are two kinds of people in the world: positive and negative. Neither are right, but the positive is happier." In homage to this, here are my top 10 gratitudes of the week. In homage to the pissy four year old inside of the mature 35 year old, I am also posting the top 10 irritations. Re: my complaints: I am going to delude myself that the 10 negatives should be viewed as less "bitching" and more "connecting" to my massive online audience who will be thrilled to know they are going through simlar things as me. Of course, as Cecelia pointed out a few weeks back, my readership probably consists of 40 people if I'm lucky which, in her honor, goes down as the #3 complaint on my Top 10 list of complaints. The truth is she's probably right (her pragmatism is her best quality), but rather than face this probable truth, I shall simply up my delusion pill from 50 miligrams to a horse size tablet of happy serum and continue on.

Top 10 Positives This Week

1. My hallway is almost done
2. Nick just used the toilet on his own
3. My pilot is completed
4. I bought the Writers Market (new, no less! 30.00! I'm so crazy!)
5. I am going on my 3rd 6 hour Sunday
6. Sophie is talking in sentences now "Up, Mommy" or "Milk, peeez" and is seriously the cutest spunkiest girl in the world
7. I sold some items on Ebay, upping my fortune to an average of 50.00/week - woooooo!
8. James and I are spending loads of time together and laughing more than usual
9. I am looking forward to Maid installment #1 next week (Xmas gift from fabu hubby)
10. I am healthy and am reminded by Nick each day that I am loved.

Top 10 Pissy Items (Let's just do adendums to the list above, shall we?)

1. My hallway is almost done - but I see blue streaks all over from where the paint store didn't mix it properly, so I have to redo the WHOLE THING
2. Nick just used the toilet on his own (after having a few accidents each day this whole week)
3. My pilot is completed (but I need to punch it and cut one page out before giving it to power agent) Also, I can't rest on my laurels that I am an internet celebrity, because as Cecelia pointed out, I have 40 readers if I'm lucky. THANK YOU Cecelia.
4. I bought the Writers Market - new, no less! 30.00! I'm so crazy! (I now have to find time to query all magazines and brace myself for the inevitable 100s of rejections before an acceptance letter happens... I am less worried about failure as I am finding the time to write alluring letters. 5. I am going on my 3rd 6 hour Sunday (Hey, there's the six hours I'll need to use to write my query letters)
6. Sophie is talking in sentences now "Up, Mommy" or "Milk, peeez" and is seriously the cutest spunkiest girl in the world (As her cuteness rises, Nick's rebellion does, too. Yesterday, he threw all his blocks into the turtle tank and started sipping reptilian crap water from his Dora cup)
7. I sold some items on Ebay, upping my fortune to an average of 50.00/week - woooooo! (I also didn't sell alot, so with Ebay fees and money spent on inventory, I'm almost breaking even)
8. James and I are spending loads of time together and laughing more than usual (He's leaving for Germany for a week soon)
9. I am looking forward to Maid installment #1 next week Xmas gift from fabu hubby (I can't complain about this... I'm trying, but no dice)
10. I am healthy and am reminded by Nick each day that I am loved. (I worry that I'm not giving him what he needs or he wouldn't be wetting himself on purpose... )

Okay, I feel soooo much better now. Hey, at least I'm not poor Jessica Simpson, going through a divorce. I mean, it's such a rough decision to leave a man you know is a womanizing bastard. Then you have to fight over your fifty million dollar assets and your fifty million dollar ass that will be wearing fifty million dollar clothes to court that will land you fifty million more dollars in your free advertising and predictable Movie of the Week.

Mama P's crystal ball reading for Jessica?

-A few years boozing and sleeping around (probably with an ex of Paris Hiltons, which isn't hard, because that chick has fucked everyone)
- Then she'll turn 21, long for spirituatlity, and join the Kabala or Scientology.
- After a year of being best friends with Madonna or Katie Holmes, she will go back to her Christian roots, marry her father, and have a baby to "settle down" (in this case, she'll have her brother or sister)
- Then she'll go into obscurity for two years, seen only in organic coffes shops with the baby sling, being quoted as "I have no nanny" and other such blatant lies.
- Then she'll join Angela and Brad for a tour of a third world country and adopt an Ethiopian boy named Botox.
- Then she do a Barbara Walters Exclusive! Telling the world in exquisite detail about how she pissed in a dessert hole and had to live in a Holiday Inn for two weeks
- Then it's the inevitable "Return to Music" with an aimiable duet with Nick Lachey (who just finished an Oprah Winfrey Exclusive! on his sex addiction and genital warts condition.
- Then she will divorce her father, marry her fat 40 year old manager, and we won't see her for twenty years until the "Newleyweds Xmas Reunion" where she's bloated more than Cathy Bach.

Clearly, for all my complaints about having no time, when I do have time, I don't use it constructively.