Friday, March 31, 2006
My life has been like this the past few weeks. Time to fold up the stroller and downsize.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
...and just when I'm ready to go mad with the rain and the sick kids and no tv, a rainbow shines through. As in...
Stinker got half his clothes back upstairs before collapsing on my bed.
Even more exciting, I got that intimidating contraption known as the VCR hooked up to the tv and wahlahhhh... programming! For the first time in 3 weeks, the kids can chill out while I put the house back in order. (All moms out there.. if our kids can go from knowing nothing to learning their A B C's, we can master the V C R)
Like Stink's favorite litte engine... am I going to make it through this day? "I think I can!!!!"
Side note: Another great reason for a double stroller - lugging that 100 pound TV from the garage to the house, in the rain, without dropping it on your feet. Unpedicured, no less.
And finally, in an unexpected spirit of gratitude, God bless you other blogging mamas out there. I don't care what people say about technology ruining people's intimacy... it's connected me to more wonderful people than I can count over grown eyebrow hairs. It's given me tips and support and laughter... And more than a little bit of wrist trouble, but I'll live with it.
Are you looking at that black and white fantastic kitchen? That's my kitchen! Well, not mine in reality... the one in my head. It belongs to http://velvet-vox.blogspot.com/. This cool mama (or papa, but with the name teri m, I'm thinking gal) has been following my blog and recently started her own. And what is one of her first posts? My dream set-up. She is so like me with her references to movie sets "The kitchen in 'As Good As It Gets?'... my shangrila'.
What is it about aqua and sherbert, black and white, stainless steel and industrial that gets me hotter than Liam Neeson? I don't know. A throw back to old times when things seemed easier? (But in truth, the fifties would have spit me out quicker than I toss out jokes).
All I know is that I adore my new floor (seen above, sans molding and paint) but I'm a tad disappointed that it doesn't scream 'retro funk!' like Teri's. Still, my floors should be easier to clean, and I'm hoping to accessorize with my burgandy, stainless steel shelves and funk anyway.
In the big scheme of things, does all this decor matter? I mean, there's poverty in the world, and hate and crime... I know I'm being a bit obsessive. But perhaps because of the freaky big marble we live in, it's comforting to direct our own little universe.
Or I'm just a shallow control freak.
PS: I am so tired today. Stink had pink eye last week. This week he's running a fever and was up all night. I awoke to more clothes on the stairs - ALL his clothes. YES I should supervise more. YES I should not get so angry when it's my fault for not stopping it. But God forbid I sleep. ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG... It is so easy to start screaming and yelling and you know what? It does no good. When I'm ready to blow it's time to go in my office, check emails and think about trivial matters like my dream kitchen... one more point for home decor: to keep moms from going off the edge.
(Any crazed moms out there reading? You'll be okay. Take a deep breath. Chill out. Grab a Diet Coke and call a friend. Like those big warehouses they advertise on tv, motherhood isn't a vortex you should adventure through alone.)
Saturday, March 25, 2006
One errand not mentioned above was my Saturday run to the drycleaners for Rex. It's always very predictable and uneventful.
Stink finally decided to stop complaining about the car seat, the cold, the heat, being with Pipsqueak, being without her, wanting a juice, wanting a milk, wanting to pee, not wanting to pee... and he collapsed. The upshot?There was no begging for cleaner candy (Braachs striped hard drops inside a plastic bowl near the cash register.) Rex tagged along, so he stayed in the car (This meant him being serenaded by Pipsqueak to 25 verses of E I E I OOOOOO)
For the first time in the history of my motherhood, I was privy to a solo cleaners run. Lucky for me, I got to witness a very amusing altercation between the very young cashier, Shayna, and a 50 something drunk patron. Scruffy, wobbling and stinking like kerosene, Mister Booze would methodically place his shirts in one pile, his pants in another, his shorts in another. I stifled the urge to both laugh as well as tell him he could get better shirts at some thrift stores for half the cost of the drycleaning. Then empathy would kick in, as well as the realization that he was so smashed, he wouldn't remember to pick them up anyway.
Between coughs and beard rubs, he'd mention to the ever patient Shayna, "This one has holes in it... kind of like my life.... Do you go to school?" Shayna would start to reply and he'd add "Hope so. Don't be stupid like me and not finish..." Then he'd point out some burn marks on a particularly dirty Walmart number and add, "I like to smoke when I sleep. When people ask about the holes, I tell them I'm a welder." He went on to give his last name... "Priestly... it's the only thing I like about myself." Then he quickly inserted "That old Asian lady? Nina? She still work here?" When Shayna nodded, he said "I like her. She calls me Chatsworth Steve."
Chatsworth Steve, wherever you are, take care.
And I take back what I said about saving money on your clothes by not drycleaning. If you're going to have to live with the shirt on your back, it might as well be a nice one.
Friday, March 24, 2006
"...Live together in perfect harmony... side by side with a fridge in the livingroom... oh, lord, why can't we?"
So I am taking liberty with a very famous 1980's something song to bring you fabulous updates on my writing/kitchen floor re-model life (If you're too young to know this song, you can come to my home, stand in front of what used to be a pretty nice livingroom but now resembles a K.O.A. camping site sans bbq, and kiss my lilly white Mama P ass... I'm just that resentful)
Black and white is the theme of this post? Why? Let me share...
... I finished my Desperate Housewives spec. It is printed in full black and white glory. And unlike my pre-mama days of editing til the cows come home, I am done. As in 'no gray' 'no changes' 'this is it black and white DONE.'
...Photos of my construction zone home are being taken in black and white so that some time in the future I can remember heating up chicken via the microwave (10 nights in a row) and brewing coffee in the garage for myself and the Armenian flooring mob as 'the good 'ol days' (Thank you, Armenian flooring mob... you are too fabulous. Thanks, Cecelia for the recommendation)
... I am so tired I can't think straight... but even after long days of dropping off scripts to my agent while the kids zone in the back seat (me praying they don't wake up until I've at least cruised past Sunset... "Oh... did I pack the bottles? Check. Diapers? Check. Cell phone? Check. Porta potty for 405 traffic? Check. Wallet? Check. Sanity? Whooops....)... the sun always shines in full color for my little assistants who have a ball at a Beverly Hills park on the way home.
Let's hope that my Desperate Housewives opens up some doors for this here desperate housewife (who, in truth, is feeling not so desperate these days and more like grateful mama. But that kind of sentimentality will get me no where in this town. Shhh... don't let it out that Mama P is going soft.)
Thursday, March 23, 2006
On many positive notes, my script is done, so Susan, if you're reading this, turn it off and read my spec!
Our tile is so pretty that all my hyper perfectionist self can say is "Wow... now our walls realllly need to be repainted"...
I had an awesome lunch out with my mom and my kids a few days back. I intend to have many more just because my mom, for a 75 year old broad, is awesome. I'd tell you all where she lived so you could talk to her yourself, but she's already nervous that I'll say something private about her and ruin her mask of obscurity, so sorry. Here's a hint though that could reveal all.... caramel (that's so obscure, even she won't know what it means... maybe she'll reply to the blog and we'll work our way into the darkness)
Got some awesome thrift store deals - including a Ralph Lauren almost- new tote for 10 bucks. Loooove it. I feel so very Jackie O with it. Except I lost my sunglasses. And I'm carrying diapers in it. And I accompany it with muffin top Old Navy jeans. But that aside, I'm very stylish.
I am spending much time with Rex who has just been a doll as of late. Thank you, sweet husband.
I found a new online friend - Teri M - who has similar sensibilites to me. Even more important, she has the coolest kitchen on the planet. Her link to come when I can get my blog roll going... While I don't lack in random observations that could fill the Roman Colliseum (and no, haven't been there... and yes, Macy... even if I did get to Rome, I'd probably spend 4 days in a hotel room, almost miss the bus, get there for 2 minutes, snap a photo and take a kitten home in my purse)... I am lacking in the blog link department. (Wow, do I get an award for the longest run-on, and possibly most uninteresting to anyone but Macy and myself, sentence on the planet? Even my explanation was long. Fuck it all. You hear me? I'm cussing, because it's late and I'm PMSing and sometimes you need to and yes this is a run-on also FUUUUUUUUCK IT ALL)
Oh, my first point... To a lovely new online mama, Teri, thanks for fixing my photo a few weeks back! Now all you have to do is decorate my kitchen via online photo shop and my admission to blogspot (thus far a big fat zero) will be worth it!
Better, more inspiring posts to come later, with topics such as: why do I want a third baby when I'm pushing 40, my husband has had a vasectomy, and I'm so disorganized that my son got 2 days/week next year in school rather than 3 since I couldn't remember his registration? Am I just that nuts? Or am I just that maternal: this motherly saint-like deity of self-less love that exceeds ditzy mama p'ness and even the Diet Coke empire? I'm thinking the first theory, but time will tell.......
Sunday, March 19, 2006
I don't know about you other mamas out there, but when I'm not with my offspring, it's a huge thrill to wear cute shoes (the more sparkles the better)and sport a fun clutch purse. I have one hanging on a vintage hook near my door that reminds me of my impending free time. There's a sadistic thrill knowing that even if I wanted to stick a diaper in there, I just couldn't.
However, just because you ditch the rug rats for a few hours there's no need to ditch the stroller. Ex: With Rex on kid patrol today, I belted in my lap top, threw in my bag, and was good to go for a leisurely stroll to Starbucks. Impending rain? No sweat... I nestled Nick's duck umbrella in the basket. Without children clinging to my knees (or running away from me - depends on the day) I managed to take a writing break and buy 8 packs of velvet tab curtains, three sets of curtain rods and a Diet Coke. I panicked for a moment when I realized I had no car to lug it home. Then I piped down, reorganized the stroller, and called it a day.
Here are the top 10 benefits of pushing the four wheeler around (mom or non-mom):
1. Saves you from using a dirty shopping cart
2. Gives you a resting place for a large beverage of choice (I recommend the Diet Coke from any Arco of your choice, but it's your call)
3. Allows you to haul groceries from your car to your home in one trip (suggestion: use a double stroller for post-Costco runs)
4. Works as a transporter of Ebay packages and gives you something to lean against in the post office. Sometimes, but not always, limits altercations with cranky seniors in government parking lots.
5. Gives you a first class ticket to having doors being open for you (living in a busy city, people don't bother to check out your infant, but they have the basic common courtesy to at least hold open large entrances for you when they see a baby cart)
6. Occasionally, like Moses, lines part for you (probably to stay away from the assumed cranky baby inside. Hey, it's possible Moses was pushing a Graco. There's no proof he wasn't.)
7. Interesting (albeit annoying) conversation starter: "Hey, forget the kid?" or my favorite of the day "Oh... what did you name the curtain panels?"
8. Takes the load of heavy appliances (such as laptops) off a mama's tired shoulders
9. Unlike most pedestrian cross walks in the Valley, people attempt not to run over you
10. You don't tend to get truckers or gardeners whistling at you as you stroll the side walk (which can also be a bad thing, depending on how desperate you are for some male attention)
#11 Bonus: If you're a male, you will get more looks of approval than the normal penis sporting human since you took time out of your busy day to walk... oh... a laptop. Well, still, you look sooooo cute pushing it! Hooray for you for doing what most women are expected to do!
Side note: My husband is watching the 1986 block buster Short Circuit on his laptop while I type this. Who wants to wager that Ally Sheedy was on some serious doobage while shooting that movie? Not only does her acting suck, her eyes are glassier than the china department at Macy's. Or was that the robot? Hard to differentiate. All I know is that if someone can make a mint about a movie starring a robot named #5, I'm going to make some cash one day about my experiences dealing with #2. I also think that despite horrible special effects, if watched during my period, I'd shed a tear when the damn robot screams "#5 is alive!"
Saturday, March 18, 2006
How many of us do this? In love? In our careers? In our friendships? We know that the consequences of passion might hurt us (probably has many times) but we keep going after the dream over and over and over.
The cynics might say that makes us stupid. I believe it was Freud that definied insanity as doing the same thing over and over, getting the same results, but always expecting them to be different.
I choose to see the flip side: that in doing something over and over with the belief of a positive outcome we are living our lives with hope. And for you negativos out there, here's a quote to battle Freud 'Neither the postive nor the negative person is right, but the positive one is happier.'
Either I came by this view of life through sheer will for joy, or I can blame it on my mother who, despite the odds stacked against her, runs out twice a week for a lottery ticket. Then again, blaming my parent points everything right back to Freud, doesn't it?
It's a twisted, incestuous life we lead. I say we eat icecream and make the best of it.
Friday, March 17, 2006
When you're displaced from your home due to flooring issues, with two toddlers to contend with, you have two choices: 1) Lose your mind 2) Stay busy. I have opted for choice #2, but due to overload, I am eeeeking my way into #1. This combined with rain and a spec script (one week overdue), countless obligations to read others' work, a baby shower and babysitting issues have left me feeling on the verge of panic. The two ways to deal with a slight anxiety disorder is to 1) Lose your mind or 2) Stay busy. See the conundrum?
Thanks to Rex, some awesome girlfriends, family and some prayer time, it's all working out. I should be so lucky to have the money to get a new floor... to have my free moments spent worrying about writing time as opposed to feeding my kids. I have said it before and I'll say it again... the key to happiness is not what you don't have, but what you do. That all said, just look at me funny during PMS and I'll tell you where to stick it. I'm that much of a hypocrite. (But I am trying not to be. Does that count?)
Side note: Now that I'm a mama, I no longer have a membership to an arts society or the gym, but I do belong to the zoo! I love it. There's so much to see. It's so clean. It's twenty minutes from my house on a clear traffic day. There's a huge play park in the center where I meet my other mom friends. I hope Stink and Pip have fond memories of walking past the pink flamingos and screaming "Puuuuu!" or "Look at that monkey... he's eating his own ca-ca!"
The picture above is of Stink and Mrs. V's handsome son, J J. Seeing my son light up in the presence of another rugrat is a site to behold and makes me proud. Can't even be sarcastic about that one.
Final note: It is with great irony that as I drive the 134 to the Zoo exit, I pass all my old haunting grounds: NBC, ABC, Disney and Warner Brothers. Even my dad is buried at the cemetary off Forest Lawn Drive. It's true that life moves on. I am of course saddened by the loss on both fronts (career and my wonderful father) but heartened by the hopes that I'm creating new memories. And maybe some stories that will help me back through those doors at the studios one day.
I'll keep you posted.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Stormy and rainy in the Valley with lows being a house full of sawdust, highs being a very verbal three year old who cracks my butt up.
After a romantic day of screwing with Rex (floor boards, you pervs) I was reading a bed time story to Stinker. He chose "Jonah and the Whale". When it was over, I reminded him that, after his ordeal, Jonah chose to listen to God for the rest of his life. "Isn't that a good plan?" I prompted him. Stink looked at me very suspiciously and replied. "That man got stuck in a biiiiiig fish. Mommy, that is not a good plan."
Friday, March 10, 2006
Top 10 things Pipsqueak and Stinker loved about our midweek field trip to the Getty Museum:
- Going round and round the tunnel (The parking structure)
- The crocodile lake (The Palace of Versaille inspired fountain on the main plaza)
- The train ride (The tram leading from the parking structure to the main grounds - and to be clear 'there is no crack in the track')
- The pyramids where Cleopatra sleeps (the stone facade buildings)
- The glass aligators (elevators)
- The tomb where you don't want to wake the mummy (the marble bathrooms)
- Scooby snacks in the restaurant and fancy agua (Costco fruit candy and plastic courtesy cups)
- The biiiiig water fountains
- The many signs. In particular: STOP. Spelled S-T-O-P. It is red. It does not mean go. Go is Greeeeeeen. And as Stink says "I am not 3. I am 'S' years old.' Okay buddy.
- The net (big steel art piece structure outside the tram)
For $7.00 parking and home made peanut butter sandwiches, you too can be enlightened by fine art.
For you mama and papas out there, I highly recommend The "Family Room" - an interactive kids venue on the upper plaza where art is reproduced in life size shadow boxes for little hands to play with. The stimulation makes it fun for the kids, and the one-door entry makes it a relief for the parents. While you might not make it into the main art galleries (unless you want a bunch of academic snoodies wondering why your kid is referring to the painting of the 1600 Baroque monk as 'The Creeper', it's certainly worth the trip for the fresh air, gorgeous plazas, incredible fountains and clean bathrooms.
Sadly for Stinker, we never did find "Eddy at the Getty"... but perhaps you will have better luck.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Some you have asked what I look like without a diaper on my head. Others of you have feigned interest in facial features that don't include me sticking out my tongue, drooling with a child on my chest, or sporting sunglasses or an afro.
Some of you don't give a rat's poop, but you get the photo anyway since the angle hid the new double chin that does not show in person, but has mysteriously crept into my photos as of late. I will have to put Scooby Doo on the trail (though I'm thinking it's less mystery, more indulging in one too many Scooby snacks).
And finally, let this be proof that it is possible to clone yourself (though, as my aunt says, ' your daughter looks just like you, only she's much prettier;)
Hey, if you're family can't tell you the truth, who can?
(PS: Does anyone out there volunteer for the job of photo-shopping that damn booger off my daughter's eye? Sorry for using that word, Mom. I know it grosses you out. Booger booger BOOGER!!!!!!!!!!!)
And the those great first date jitters
Here's a cheer for the losers
Who don't remain bitter
Here's to those who see smiles
Despite tears and some lying
And to my Pipsqueak & Stinker
May you NEVER STOP TRYING.
Words we try to live by in the Mama P household. (And when they don't work, Diet Coke and Twin Almond cookies fill the gap until enlightenment strikes again)
Have a fabulous day, people. And do me a favor?
Never stop trying.
Monday, March 06, 2006
As in floor boards. As we are still in the demolition phase of our kitchen/bathroom tile project. It's been a good three months now, and I'm at the point where it's starting to feel normal. Yes, like a wooden leg that at first seems odd, but evolves into just another part of your body to get you around, my five different layers of linoleum, odds and ends of hand me down rag rugs and shattered molding just feels regular. It comes down to perspective. Similar to that wooden leg (which I would make constant jokes about... "Got wood?" or "Rex, I want to to to dinner... Wood you?" ) I have decided to make the best of it and see the upside. Which is...
We have a tile guy thanks to Cecelia. Rex is pulling the final layers this week and I am ordering the porceline - 18 x 18 squares set to a checkerboard pattern. Sooner or later this thing will be done!
Of course, we currently have a toilet on our back lawn (James pulled it get the bathroom floor up) but...with no appliances in the way, it will be so easy for me to paint the walls a lovely shade of burgandy. I will also be getting my long awaited bead board. Between the chandelier above the crapper, the pedestal sink and the orange towels, the end result will be a cross between an elegant salon and a brothel - just what I've always dreamed of.
I suppose I could really get creative and make some extra cash with our bathroom. In its current state of wood boards above dirt, we could rent it out for Indian Sweat House rituals. I could put a sign on the lawn with my Cherokee Name - "Diet-Coke A-Lot. Then again, that would be really going out on a limb, and since I don't really have the wooden leg I speak of above, I'll stick to peeing upstairs and call it a day.
Well, a month. Cause that's when this project is done!
Any of you out there improving your homes? While improving yourselves or your spouses or your kids? (If you're just sitting on your ass eating Fritos, that's okay, too. Just want to hear from ya)
Friday, March 03, 2006
The 3rd very prestigious worth nothing -but-all-my-gratitude-and-love-for -your-existence Martini goes to...
She earned her name for her love of all things mountains: skiing, hiking and no hills being too high, emotionally or physically, to climb.
I have known her since I was 14 (Texas Lizy, Mama P & Meg make 3). Out of the 3 of us, she was the first one to go to prom, make a sports team, and get laid - All very big honors for us slow to develop Catholic girl highschoolers. (And if Meg were typing this she'd include "and I'm still waiting for two things to develop... you got me beat on that, Mama P" )
Mtn Meg has lived in Arizona, San Francisco, Chicago, Colorado, France and now she's back in Los Angeles. She's an inch shorter than me, but a good twenty pounds less. If I didn't love her so much I'd hate her. She is heeeeelarious. She can talk the balls off a brass monkey, tell a raunchy joke better than a drunk frat boy (in fact, she has probably told many to a drunk frat boy) but she's also wicked smart and good hearted. In fact, despite our very different lives, she has remained loyal and true. (ex: at one point she was telling me about her extravagant sushi dinner while I was cleaning up after the family dog. I commented "this is the difference between you and me. You're telling me how you bent over backwards in a yoga move to give a guy a kiss --- I'm picking dog shit off my lawn." We still connect)
My favorite story about her is in regards to the photo above. She and her friend (blindfolded to protect the innocent - Meg is on the left) dressed up as sexy UPS workers for Halloween this year. They proceeded to walk up to unsuspecting men and ask "Excuse me, sir... may I inspect your package?"
As fate would have it, she met a lovely man who she is still dating to this day - quite a feat for our lovely marathon runner (who can not only run long distances, but has had her share of running away from not so great men - go go go Meg!) This man goes by the name of Richard.
I had to laugh, because only Meg would go to a Halloween party, inspect packages, and start dating a man named Dick.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
I am eeking toward balance and scheduling myself for one 'WGA' event a month.
I am allotting myself time to make phone calls.
I am inserting blocks of pretty pink 'do your hair' time.
It has been a glorious epiphany for me that cleaning off baby poo with fabulous hair actually makes it more tolerable. Going to the market for last minute milk can be gratifying when some random person says "oooh, cute belt!"
Yes. I am investing in me a bit more which is paying off in two network meetings for show pitches.
This is paying off for my kids because, despite any ruckus that might ensue over 'Pipsqueak touched my shoe!' I can calmly, and rationally, parent my children because I have a little rabbit's foot called 'hope' in my back pocket - those same back pockets that are starting to sit a bit perkier on my booty thanks to my scheduled walking time (Thank you, Mrs. V., for venturing into the mall vortex with me on a regular basis for our pedestrian adventures.) * Side note: Never get in the way of two mamas with double wide strollers chatting vehemently about their husbands. Someone's gonna lose a body part .
As for Rex? He likes the payoff of a happier Mama P. But his overall feeling? "I could still use more sex."
Outlook is going to have to come with extra attachments for that one.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
And the Second Martini Award goes to.......
K! My fabulous sister in law.
Like my scripts, let me comment that my relationship with K has been, from the beginning, a work in progress.
On first glance, K can appear to be very Hollywood: blond, thin, always dressed to perfection. But then if you take two minutes to talk to her, she'll be the first to self-depricate about how she needs a highlite, she has friends ten pounds thinner than her (I am assuming these are cartoon characters, as they don't come much skinnier than K) and that she is "Just wearing old sweats". (Because K is so thin, a dish rag on her looks shabby chic)
K is taking home the internet gold not for her good looks, but because of her whack job actions. To borrow from my earlier post, she collects Asian salt shakers. She helped her husband dress up as Mr. T. She had an engagement dinner at 7 Layers of Beef in downtown. She sends pictures of herself and her 100 pound dog (uncropped no less, shown above) to Society Magazine (as she says, they "represent the greater snobby Westlake area). She uses her time to put on after school theatre performances for her second grade kids and invites Stella in to read to them. She dresses up as story book characters to teach class. So far, she has not been fired.
When I say she and I are a work in progress, I simply mean she's one of those eggs that is colorful on the outside, but solid underneath. And she stays solid by inviting just a few people into her shell at a time. Sure, I visit here and there, but I'm not a permanent roommate. I have decided that rather than approach her egg in normal Mama P fashion (me with a jack hammer and clowns feet) I will simply stand outside with a tiny chisel and peek through the cracks now and then. She knows where I am when it's time for our big sister-in-law lunch at Seven Layers of Beef.
Whatever has an indoor play area.