Monday, July 31, 2006

Scrumptious

The theme of this year's Bible Camp was "Love is Patient, Love is Kind". After carting around 13 toddlers and fearing losing them to the street, I am opting to change its theme to "Love is a Kid Leash, Love is a Plastic Gate". In fact, if the 99cent Store can have computer chips imbedded in their carts to keep them from roaming too far out to the parking lot, I don't see why toddlers can't either. Okay, I'm joking. (Okay, no I'm not.)

I am thankful to Rex who heard all of my antics, then kissed me, did the dishes and put Pip to sleep. He was down right delightful tonite. Almost as delightful as...

This delicious site I found courtesy of Teri M': BrocamonteHome. http://brocantehome.typepad.com/brocante_home/ As soon as I get time to myself I will get a damn blogroll and link it to the left of this site, along with Teri's site.

For all my talk about going to Blogher http://blogher.org/about-blogher-conference-06, I've been reading quite a few of the reviews from various attendees. And while it sounds very informative, if I hear or see one more mommy trying to look like they aren't mommies talking about drinking, other people's shoes, make-up or faaaaabulous hair, I am going to barf. Just hurl right here on my computer screen. It all seems a bit highschool with all the self-linking and tight knit "clicks". (Get it? Clicks? As in computer clicks? As in yes, I am just that dorky, probably why I have yet to be added to someone's link list.) Of course when I'm done barfing and wiping the sweat off my brow from herding 13 toddlers through Bible Camp, I'll start thinking of ways to save to go next year. I'll be the one with the "I Love Geeks" shirt in the corner, calling Rex and crying into the phone about how much I miss Pip N Stink. Who doesn't love a party, and I can bullshit with the rest of 'em baby!

I will leave you with a quote from Brocante Home - much more my speed than Blogher. I wish you a lovely eve full biscuits, cozy blankets, mommies, babies, and of course, a spot of tea.

"Welcome To BrocanteHome. BrocanteHome is about creating a simpler way of life: a life that celebrates simplicity, authenticity and whimsy. If you are a Vintage Girl, with a scrummy house, too much laundry and a child (or two) attached to your ankles, then BrocanteHome is for you. Everyday, you will find the pick of the best Vintage Lifestyle sites, books and all manner of other lovely things. On our journey together, I will help you to create a Vintage Housework ritual designed to give you the peace of mind required to create a life that reflects both who you are and who you want to be. And of course, you will accompany me on my own path to authenticity, from the highest highs to cosy, chocolate fuelled afternoons and sleepless nights, courtesy of the cutest one year old little boy alive.
You hold my hand and I will hold yours."

PS: If these Blogher chicks can self-link, then I can too. And it goes like this. THANK YOU MRS. V! You have suuuuuuch great tennis shoes! I just looooooooved that you showed up and kept me from singing "Our Father, Who Art in Starbucks, Hallowed by Thy Cappucinos!" You have such glossy thick hair! Too bad it was pulled on by a zillion toddlers and one crazed mommy (that would be me.) You ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

12 Hours


I once read that the key to a happy toddler is a warm bath, good food, a few friends and 12 hours of sleep.

After sleeping from 12 to 12, taking a shower, then eating lunch with Cecelia while Rex watched the kids, I must admit that this advice is true for mommies, too.

While the other factors played a big role in keeping me from driving my Costco cart head long into a cellphone junkie who cut me off at the corner of fax paper and jumbo sized pretzles, the major kudos goes to my long stretch of sleep. And since such lengthy zzs are ususally reserved for the comatosed, Rumplestiltkzin and the occasional drinking binge (in my case, half a glass of white zinfendel) I am going to revel in this once in a blue moon experience. (For you other frazzled mommies, this is also known as a "nah nah nah nah NAHHHHH nah.")

Sad but true, rested mommies are kind of like a solar eclipse: it happens only once every few years. And, like the eclipse, if she never gets this rare stretch of dozing, and you look at her the wrong way, you might be forever blinded by her burning gaze.

Hey, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, right? I stand by my astronomy reference. And on that note, good night. May you sleep under a bed of (as my kids would say) tinkle tinkle little tars...

PS: In an effort to show my appreciation for my rest, I am even submitting photo A, taken by Herb Ritz Crackers (my husband). I have turkey neck. I have acne. Those with a discerning eye might even find drool. I bet none of you nosey bodies had as much sleep as me, so I just don't plain care.

PSS: On a final note, is that not the cutest pillow on the planet? I could just lick those stripes right up. I obviously have problems.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sex in Christ

I had a recent offer to work at home for twenty bucks/hour doing data entry. This seemed too good to be true. Of course, it was. It is in porn. My job? Easy enough: check the contracts to make sure the girls are indeed of legal age, check I.D.'s, etc.

For the second time in three days, I had to turn down a job. I of course have not right to complain anymore about no extra cash, but I'm just gonna have to suck it up and keep plugging away at a gig that doesn't involve someone getting plugged.

Of course, as with everything in life, I feel like a hypocrite. Have I seen porn before? Sure. Have I vowed to lose five pounds then downed ten pounds of Animal Cookies? Too many times to count. But I never envisioned myself saying "I'm teaching Vacation Bible School for free in the morning, but that's no big deal, because after bed time prayers I'm making two hundred bucks typing sex contracts."

Rex takes a man's stance on this. Rex also takes a non-Christian viewpoint. His attitude? Sex is a release for people. It's not my job to be the moral compass of this country. As long as the girls are of age, they know what they're doing. Besides, my job would be to assure that the girls are indeed 18, not some 14 year old posing as a stripping nurse to make a little money for health insurance.

That to me just doesn't fly. An 18 year old girl who uses sex to pay her light bulb bill is not making a mature choice. I have a daughter. While I want her to have a healthy view of sex, I don't want her selling her body. Which she wouldn't have to, since I'd make enough money off of other girls' insecurities to pay for her private school.

See the conundrum?

It's odd to take this kind of stance, because I pride myself on not being judgemental. I truly love the person who offered me this gig. She is a friend of many years who works the clerical side of the biz. She, too, has a daughter who is very close to Pipsqueak's age. But for me? Deep in my gut, it just feels wrong. Call it the Catholic brainwashing. Call it a right winged Christian nation. Call me a prude. But the idea of my daughter being objectified for a few dollars then thrown away like garbage when the new DVD comes in just doesn't settle.

God, there I go sounding judgemental again.

And so I turned to my favorite source of truth. In this instance, not the Bible, but the web. Lo and behold, I found this:

http://www.sexinchrist.com/pornography.html

My favorite section?

"It must portray sex within the context of a Christian marriage. It must be apparent through the actions, behaviors, and speech of the characters portrayed that they are Christian, lead a Christian lifestyle, and have a marriage in which their faith is central. This could be depicted in a variety of ways, with scenes showing a couple praying together, studying the Bible, attending church or church functions, and generally relating to one another as loving Christian spouses outside of the bedroom."

Yes, I can see it now. A blow job is fine, but first, an "Our Father" followed by an "Oh God! Oh God!"

What do you all feel about this subject?

Let's pray about it, shall we? (And while you're praying, could you throw in a word about me finding some gig that doesn't involve 70 hours a week, naked girls and cleaning toilets? God bless ya.)

Life is a Mystery


But if Scooby could figure it out in thirty minutes or less, I suppose I can do it in the next fifty years.

And when I can't find clues, because clearly there are days when I don't have one, all I have to do is sneak into my Stink's room at 2AM to see what it's all about. Either I love this kid so much I could clearly die of heartbreak, or I'm a clingy stalker mom who will show up at his junior high basketball games with photos of his first bed and comments like "yes, that really is a Scooby Doo shirt he's wearing with the bedding ensemble, as well as Scooby underware... and a little Scooby vitamin in his tummy tum yummy tummy!"

As for Pip, I adore her just as much. But whenever I try to take a picture of her sleeping, she stirs, sits up in bed with her eyes shut, and mutters something very close to "Go Away, Mom". (Actually, that's exactly what she says, but I'm still in denial about how I'm going to raise this headstrong diva. I'm going with strength, humor and the occasional vodka tonic.)

Cheers!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Vacation All I Ever Wanted...

... I dropped the kids off at my moms, then spent 2 hours of free time setting up for Vacation Bible School.

Yes, you heard that right.

My official stance on religion: I believe in God. I want Him in my kids’ life. But dancing and singing to an island themed Jesus fest entitled Treasure of the Son? I’m having some doubts. What happened to us Catholics being reserved boring folk who said the mass in Latin and convinced ourselves that since we weren’t on the pill we weren’t technically having sex?

I proceeded to lose my cell phone for the fifth time since Pip’s been born, empty three bags of crap from the SUV, flog myself for not going to Blogher, flog myself for being vain enough to want to go, flog myself for not having a better direction in my life, flog myself for putting myself so last on the list this week that my SUV is worthy of a FEMA application, my underware is still M.I.A., I’m out of milk for my coffee, I wasted all my free babysitting hours this week forgetting my wallet and messing up my computer, I was late taking Stink to school, my kids have no bottles to be found, and I can’t believe I spent 24 hours worrying about a job that in reality would have been horrific for my sanity.

Now how can I continue to beat myself up in good Catholic guilt if I’m dancing around a palm treed tent singing “God is Patient, God is Kind”? Personally I’m about as patient these days as a paparazzi squatting outside a port-a-potty attempting to snap a picture of baby Suri while Katie walks zombie-like through Colorado mountain regions looking more puffed than a rice cake. And let's not forget she used to be Catholic, so it's guilty rice cake - not a great combination.

Oh, so you're sick of hearing about Katie and Tom? Too bad.

Screw everyone. (But in a "loving" "kind" way.)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The A B C and Dees of It

Before I sound too much like a hot shot cowgirl in the post below, blaring my pistols and telling MXC to take a hike, let me insert a quick adendum that goes as follows...

Throat clear: Despite all my fabulous girlfriends telling me to take this gig, my cousin Dee listened to me with unwavering patience, took a breath for good measure, then remarked "Are you insane?" She has known me forever. She knows I'm a grass is always greener kind of gal. She knows I want to be out in the work force, but six days a week? That's not for me.

Of course she's right. And it helped me make a hard decision. (Insert the fact that I'm a whiny bitch that with everything going on in the world I should be so lucky to agonize over something that feeds my soul, not feeds my kids.)

In conclusion, I figured I had better post a nod to Dee here - for the world to see (aka: 20 faithful readers) before my cell phone rings off the hook with her on the other end screaming "I'M the one who told you not to take that crazy proposition. If you'd listened to me about marrying your first husband look at how much heartache I would have saved you then, too!" (No offense to J who may or may not read this blog. He was a great guy. I was just in a young, dumb way that makes Brittany Spears look mature. Spelling on Brit? Too exhausted to find out. I'm sure if she can live with that pitch black witch cut she has, you can live with the misspelled name.)

To conclude, Dee is now laughing her ass off, not because this post is particularly funny, but because it's true.

Now she's trying to figure out how to comment.

Now she's going to call her computer tech husband and have him do it for her.

Most Extreme Elimination

This was the show I was originally offered 14 weeks of work for.

http://www.tv.com/most-extreme-elimination-challenge/show/19800/summary.html

After an agonizing 24 hours of deciding whether the pay was worth the hours away from my family, I did, indeed decide the chance to be in a writers' room was a risk worth taking. As one girlfriend noted, "A 14 week experiment... what do you have to lose?" Well, my mind. But what the hell.

And speaking of girlfriends, thanks to all of you who cheered me on. Cecelia: "You have given up 3 years of your life for your husband and kids! Get back in!" Mrs. V: "I'll pick up Stink from school for you!" Rex's least favorite (though second runner up for me) Topanga T: "This isn't about the money. This is about you following your dreams and not giving up."

Although Rex was skeptical about my ability to don the superhero cap and make this happen, I had it all planned out:

* Week 1: Big cheers! Big excitement! Run on adrenaline and be on time for work every day! Lots of italics! Lots of CAPITAL LETTERS. Loads of exclamations!!!!!!!!

* Week 2: The trip to Studio City is a bit of a drive, but I can listen to books on tape. What exactly is so pressing in the Middle East that a good cup of coffee and a bagel can't fix? NPR will fill me in. I'm commuting, but learning. I even start to learn a bit of Hebrew. Oy!

* Week 3: Monday morning is a bitch, but Rex can take the kids to my moms for me. Insert: Huge fight when he says he has a business meeting and can't drive them. Me: "But I'm there for you when you travel. Be there for me." Rex: "My job pays for our mortgage. Yours is barely going to break us even for a lot of running around and arguing." Me: "Who's arguing, asshole?!"

Oh.....

Week 4: My mom is sick. Time to for plan B: the Jewish Daycare my sister used to take her kids to. They're off for some holiday. How to say Fuck in yiddish? Topanga T takes the kids, but I'm late for work due to traffic on PCH, as well as a naked sit-in from Pepperdine students.

Week 5: The boys at the job are resentful about me being late, but don't say anything because I type 100 words/minute. I'm resentful of the men because they don't balance work and motherhood but instead scratch their nuts and get paid to joke about it. I don't say anthing becaues their nut scratch jokes pay my checks each week - the checks that I'm barely breaking even on but I'll be damned if I concede to Rex about this. I get a call mid week that Topanga T's pit bull almost ate Stink's foot. My mom takes the kids again, but her car is busted, giving me fears that Stink will swallow a Depends and by the time the ambulance arrives it'll be too late. Dark? Yes. But I'm sleep deprived, and that's what moms concoct.

Week 6: I hate Rex. He hates me. We are never having sex again. But I have an excuse: there is now overtime at this job and I am never home to have sex.

Week 7/8/9/10: It's Halloween and Thanksgiving. My kids are going trick o treating as miserable orphans. I arrive at my in-laws for turkey and have nothing to be grateful for. They wonder why I'm upset. I remark that I can't tell the difference between Rex's or the bird's butthole.

Week 11: Hiatus! I can sleep in! I'm ready for a vacation! Time to mend fences with Rex. But he has business in Europe. On his way out to the airport in his clean GTO (while my SUV stinks of copy paper, McDonald's fries and soy milk), he reminds me that I'm not really making profit on this gig as "it's not about the money" so we can't afford a real break anyway.

Week 12/13: My mom sells her house and I must figure out where to place my children. Social services doesn't do drop-ins.

Week 14: It's the last week. I show up on time. I have sex with Rex for good measure and pretend everything's okay. He goes for it because he's horny as hell. I call him on that. We fight. I tell him we're never having sex again. He then asks me if it's because I signed up for another season on MXC.

I started to rethink my decision to take this gig, but Mama P Light reinforced me, adding Week 15 to the mix: "You will be so proud of yourself. It's all I hear you talking about. DOOOO it. You got my Ebay started. You took care of your family 3 years. This is time for YOU."

I called the producer, only to find out that it's not a 10 - 6 gig after all. It's possibly longer, very probably Saturdays, and Sundays could be involved.

I then called up my ex-writing partner and responded as graciously as possible: "HELL NO."

People, I just don't know. I wanted it. I did. But the truth? Writing TV is all or nothing. Great for men. Great for single people. But mamas with babies? It's fine if your heart is made of stone. I, unfortunately, have a heart of playdough that hardens when it's left outside a bit too long, but in general? Mushy as poo poo.

So I'm back to the original plan of flipping Ebay items (rather than flipping out.) I'm going to write movies so I can stay at home and watch movies with my kids. I'm going to keep blogging and update this sight so I can maybe make some money off my dumb ramblings. I can plan on going here next year: http://blogher.org/about-blogher-conference-06

I also hope to hear from my queries at some point.

On a final note, on our way home from dinner (which I could not have done had I been selling my soul to the tv devil and avoiding sex with Rex) I saw a sign outside a boutique window that read "Home is where the stories begin."

One can only hope.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And Then God Rested

Today I took Stink to preschool, helped out a friend who is prego with #3 and sick as a dog, picked Stink up, took my mom to the store, re-wrote a letter for my sister, watched Cecelia's baby for a few hours while Rex hung up a 42 inch flat screen and was offered a job on a television show for a 14 week gig.

I'm not comparing myself to God, as God seemed to create the world effortlessly while I am currently running around the house with arm pit sweat obsessing over Stink's new Scooby sheets that smell like cat urine, how we have a television set larger than the big Man himself but haven't taken a vacation in 3 years, and if I accept this 14 week gig and do the manic dance of figuring out child care and back up plans for sick kid days and the inevitable screw up that comes with balancing career with family will my children end up in 14 years of therapy rejecting God and peeing on my five dollar JC Penny close-out sheets and vegged out in front our new television?

All in all, a busy day.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I Need Air Part II


My original post may or may not have been deleted, so forgive me if I'm repeating this to you again. If I am, just pretend I'm a toddler and be grateful it's only the second time you're hearing it and not the 25th auto-repeat of "Wonder Pets Wonder Pets We're on Our Way, To Help the Baby Cow and Save It From the Meat Grinder". That last part was my addition. Cranky at losing my first post. If a baby farm animal has to die on account of this crabbiness, so be it.

Photo above just one more example of how a busy mother thinks she's buying a magazine put out by the Oxygen network, where she has contacts from her tv writing days (yeah!) only to discover that the tan chick on the first advertisement is not an example of female inner strength but a mofo body builder named Vixen advertising some sort of pro-muscle body powder in a muscle rag called Oxygen. (boo!)

Such a mistake could explain why either A) I'm not yet writing professionally or B) Why the cashier didn't have an eyelash in her eye but was actually winking at me.

I am so ready to get something published that I actually considered pitching to this publication. My top five ideas?

1. How to Bench Press that Man into your Heart
2. I Saw Mommy Arm Wrestling Santa Clause
3. When the School Bully is Yo Mama
4. When Lap Dances Can Kill
5. Fake Tan, Fake Hair, Real Steroids

Lucky for their editor I had to turn on The Wonder Pets Save the Body Builder and by the time I got back to the computer I changed my mind.

On other notes, despite my brain having the odd ability to remember that Amber Frey got married last week and me having no idea what is happening in Israel at this moment, I appreciate the support of all you lovely readers who think I'm half way intelligent and encourage me to continue writing. I did, indeed, send out five queries today - my favorite being a pot luck piece to Rachael Ray's magazine. And while it just might take a little pot and a lot of luck to get through this painful submission process, I have faith that it will happen for me.

As will an Ebay biz of some sort. No more thrifting - as much as I love it. It's time set my sites higher and buy/flip a wholesale lot of some sort. If I fail after raising the bar, I can just hit a bar and start over.

At that point, I will consider delving into some new areas of life that have been put on the back burner: cooking, dancing, more regular church attendance.

As far as body building goes, though? Unless it's a three pound bag of Mother's Animal Cookies followed by a sixteen liter of Diet Coke, I'm gonna leave the hard bodied stuff to Vixen.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

On the Radio

At a ladies lunch at my aunt's house, I met a woman who DJs a morning news radio show. One thing led to another, the upshot being that she's giving me a tour of her studio to show me that side of the business. I figure it's one more pie in the sky thing for me to eventually get turned down at.

Does the normally upbeat Mama P sound a bit jaded? If so, it's because the ego who lives in the writer side of me is being faced with the realist who lives in her pragmatic side. I had the good fortune to bask in L.A. fantasy land for a long time, but now that I have kids, and my creativity isn't paying for my cappucinos I'm ready for something.

Anything.

I don't want to be that 40 year old at a cocktail party who recalls the glory days of being yelled at by Roseanne Barr and being locked in a bathroom stall with Brett Butler only to have the 22 year old Yale Graduate, head of the magazine I want to write for, inquire, "Who's Roseanne Barr?"

On the drive home, I spoke to Mama P Light who is raking in the dough on her plus size Ebay biz - a biz that I set up for her step by step (thank you very much.) She's normally pretty reserved, but given she's puking her guts up due to pregnancy #3, she laid it on the line. "Mama P, you need to put the writing dream on the back burner, buy a wholesale lot of something, and make some cash."

This is going along the lines of K's idea: to start a biz.

I'd like to tell these beautiful women that they're both nuts, but it has been a few years since anything remotely encouraging has happened. I might have to suck it up and get successful.

But this is boring talk. Let's get on to something exciting and overly dramatic and helpless.

I have ants.

My house stinks like a rodent died in a possum's belly button.

It has hit 114 degrees in the beautiful San Fernando Valley.

My $175.00 haircut and color transformed me into the mirror image of an Armenian disco singer.

I can't find my bras, Stink has lost every single pair of underware, I'm wearing my husband's shorts since I'm too lazy to break down and buy myself something decent and my kids are still awake at 9pm.

Oh yeah, it's exciting.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Man That's Cold

Yesterday, despite it being 105 degrees outside, Stink and I watched Polar Express for the first time. I forgot how cozy snow, light and sweet music mixed together can be.

It also cemented my feelings about moms who blog. Anyone who finds our ramblings to be self-centered only need to turn on this animated film and watch Tom Hanks act in every role but the elf who does a flip flop and farts before Santa's big entrance.

The fart could have been reindeer hooves scraping ice. That's debatable. But moms who want to share their experiences about raising kids and keeping some sort of life going for themselves is not.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Body of Work

Here's an interesting site out there for those moms who are dealing with post partum weight - and those of you living in fantasy land about how your bodies are never going to change. http://shapeofamother.blogspot.com/

I stole it from this site http://www.suite102.com/baldo/

While I can't lie and say "I love my body more than I ever did before I had my babies", I can say that I, like these women here, am extremely proud that my six one frame was the oxygen/growth tank for the most precious people on the planet.

That all said, I would watch a Full House marathon before I uploaded my naked body to anybody's blog.

I Love Women

And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Let me name the top 10 gals this week who caused this post to exist:

1. My sister-in-law, K: She has an idea to actually take our talents, stop bitching, and start an internet idea. Wow, and stop being rejected by queries and entertainment execs? I'm not sure if I could deal.

2. My cousin, D, who turns 36 today. Not only does this 4'9 diva make me laugh on a regular basis, she sends my kids maps of Disneyland, reminds me that she's old, too (references to PSA airline), and makes references to my deceased father that remind me of his generous and jovial spirit: "It is indeed a beautiful sauce... Are you having relations with that man? Now, pass me a dietetic soda." (You had to know my father.)

3. Mama P Light: She keeps me going on the queries, reminding me I'm gonna make it happen soon. She also took my Ebay advice and opened up her own rocking' plus size store. She's only 95 pounds, which makes this not only ironic, but inspiring that business happens when you make it happen, regardless of the product.

4. Mrs. V: She not only is going to volunteer with me this summer and next year at my kids' church school just for the hell of it, but she lets me use her pool, doesn't make cracks about my white ass legs and brought little Pipsqueak a doll, a bottle and a stroller today.

5. My mom: I had a rough week without Rex, and she showed up three days in a row just to have coffee and talk about things other than poo poo, Scooby Snacks and why ice is a solid and water is a liquid. Stink: "But when you lick ice it gets wet. That's liquid, right?" Ah, yeah. And so is tequila. My mom keeps me off it.

6. My sister, L: Even last week when she was going through a rough break up with her boyfriend, she sat on my couch and reminded me what a great mom I am, how nice I looked, and delicious my tacos were. I think she even believed the first two, God bless her.

7. My sister, R: She takes my kids for two hours each Saturday so I can slurp down a coffee, do some story research, or get half a hair cut. She has kids close in age to mine, so she's always game for a McDonald's play area, a jaunt through Costco or a last minute Diet Coke over chips and salsa.

8. Topanga T: Even though she got hit by a mac truck last month (no joke) she still had time to pick up the Muppets on DVD for my rug rats.

9. Texas Lizzie: Even though she's two thousand miles away, she never forgets a birthday, to ask about my kids or just call to chat about the mood in her house when the Longhorns lose.

10. Cecelia: She's got a six week old and she still makes time to read this damn blog and set times to hang out.

There's countless other gals who come up to the plate to make my life not just livable, but downright enjoyable (Like Kar, who is watching my kids Saturday night - thanks again.) And of course, Kate, Teri M, anyone who reads this daily rambling - thanks.

Man, just one day and I don't hate everybody anymore. Maybe if I were a cynic I'd be more successful. But then I wouldn't have time for all these fabulous gals in my life.

I Am Old

You might be old if you have When Harry Met Sally, Bull Durham and Moonstruck on VHS.

You might be a mother if it takes you five hours to watch them, spread out over five days.

You might be cheap if each tape cost you $1.99 at Goodwill, and even then you were debating if you could have gotten it for less at the Salvation Army half-price Thursdays.

And if you fall into all three categories, you just might be my soul mate.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Hate Everything


I hate that I have heard nothing from my queries in the past week.

I hate that a stupid local paper turned me down for a column I proposed when they normally are scrapping last minute for stories about flies and how they feel about eating crap for a living.

Speaking of, I hate the millions of flies in my house.

I hate the San Fernando Valley heat.

I hate that I'm 36 years old and I have three zits on my chin.

I hate that no one is buying my Ebay stuff and I'm still too scared to get a real business going because what I really want to do is write but no one is writing me back - see my first cranky statement.

I feel compelled, now, to write something positive about all the good things in my life. Something about how at least I'm not living in the Middle East and how I can afford to sit here and be bitchy.

But I'm tired tonite. I have my period. I am bloated. And I have no perspective.

I hate that the most.

Monday, July 17, 2006

2 for the Road



Today Pipsqueak turned two. She dipped in the elephant pool (in her birthday suit, no less). She dined on Cheerios in front of Dora. She took in a three hour siesta and woke to hugs from Auntie H and Grandma (who brought her pirate toys and a frog chalk board respectively, resplete with colored chalk).

Dinner consisted of Papa coming home from work early to accompany us to McDonalds. Much to her delight, she was greeted by her two cousins and Auntie R. After sliding and climbing it was, indeed, a Happy Meal as the rest of the patrons in the playgym crooned birthday wishes to a runny nosed toddler, frantically licking up her icecream cone as it melted all over her # 2 candle (which Stink had guarded like a groomsmen with the ring, his little mitts patting his chest pocket for good measure to keep it safe until the big song).

After all that commotion, I figured she'd sleep like a baby.

But she's not a baby any longer. She's a firecracking toddler - Pipsqueak to her core. And if the sounds from the Pack N' Play are any indication, her birthday is far from over.

PS: A big thanks to Texas Lizzie for the fabulous dress up kit, resplete with 2 princess costumes, a brides veil, a rabbit hat, two cowboy hats, a tiara taller than she is, a purple genie outfit a la J-Lo, sunglasses, a belly dancing skirt and crop top, a Hawaiin lei, a cel phone, a fairy wand and an engineer's cap. All it was missing was her personal microphone. Again, from the noise coming from her dining room crib, she doesn't need one.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Good Whine

Whenever Stinker whines for not getting his way, he finishes my sentence for me.

Me: "I am sorry you can't have your way, little man. I want a maid, a cook and a--"

Stink: "--Nanny!"

Yesterday, while waiting for our order at the drivethrough window, Stink asked for his favorite greasy pleasure. I told him no. A moment later he looked through the McDonald's window pensively, then shouted, "If they don't have fries, maybe they have a cook and a nanny in there!"

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Being of Service

I had a boss once who was a Scientologist - so much so that she eventually left television to pursue it full time. Right before my leap from writers' assistant to writer she told me "Mama P, we have a term for people who have a dream. They must 'be of service'." I of course made some crack about how her people also think their leader is going to rise from the dead in a volcano. She continued on, quite serious, "What I mean by 'being of service' is to show up ten minutes early, stay an hour over... put in 110% when you're dog tired. Be. Of. Service."

I shrugged it off with the guffaw of a girl in her twenties who was too busy getting her hair done to listen to some 40 year old boob job cult member. I wasn't paid enough for that kind of servitude. But I was desperate enough to try anything.

And it worked. I became a produced writer in three months.

I have used this advice over and over to learn things in my life.

Take yesterday when I volunteered time to paint banners at my kids' church. Do I have room in my schedule for this? No. But my mom watched the kids and I was of service anyway. In return, I learned a super easy way to paint a mural using an overhead projector and a stencil. (Yes, Texas Lizzie, you've been telling me this for years.) But I never would have learned unless I had to do it myself. For free.

So much of motherhood could be considered dull since I'm not getting paid. And I won't lie. Sometimes I think I'll go brain dead if I have to listen to Scooby Doo theme music one more time. But when I put on my enlightened hat and am of service to my kids, the pay off is pretty huge.

And now, I'm going to work on my queries. While I want to be of service to the internet community, I want to be of service to myself, so I can get a job and pay for full time maid service.

And if Rex thinks he's going to get some service Saturday night after being gone for 5 days he'd better bring me some room service Saturday morning.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Crafty Service

The good news? Nickelodeon is going to use my house.

The bad news? Not for shooting. They are using it to feed the extras in my backyard.

Once again, the house with the perfect red door on the corner was chosen for the actual shooting. I am torn between happiness at getting a little cash for doing nothing, and bitterness. Like a scorn woman, I am feeling defensive for my sweet abode. If it could talk, it would say "What about me? So I'm not in perfect shape. But I'm presentable, charming, and full of life. I'm tired of being overlooked!"

Only in L.A. could I even have this conversation with myself.

I lead a very bizarre existence.

And on that note, I shall sleep like the dead.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Getting the Bird


As we headed out for our morning dunk in the elephant pool I saw a small lump covered with ants. My immediate thought? Dog poop. But my dog is at my mom's. Upon closer inspection a baby bird was revealed. I quickly buried it in the dirt under the bbq, trying not make jokes about how some birds end up under the grill, some on it.

I suppose I use humor to diffuse the sad truth of how life sometimes works out. How many of us want to follow our passions but, like the baby bird, we're afraid our flying will land us on the ground with a resounding thud?

I encourage all of you to take a chance and leave the comfort of your nest. Sure, the outcome could turn out lousy, but the thrill of flight is worth it.

And speaking of being airborne, and death, my husband is flying out to Utah today. Before boarding, he got the call from the CIO that his first boss, Ed, died in his sleep. Rex had just spoken to Ed last night as they planned where they would meet for dinner tonight. Ed was a partier, a drinker, with an ex-wife in L.A., conquests in London, and a girlfriend in Costa Rica. He left behind boats, real estate and family. He was 40.

I don't know what to think sometimes. That's why, like the little bird, I close my eyes and jump. Or get pushed out there by family and friends.

Whatever works.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Weighing In - A Poem

Dieting for me is like earthquake erosions
Too little carbs and it's poo poo explosions
I don't mean to be sick, but I have to be honest
Too little calories make me want to vomit
There must be a balance for one and for all
Between Rosie O'Donnell and Kate Beckinsal
I want my kids raised by a woman who's healthy
Whose earnings are small but whose spirit is wealthy
So I aim to find peace with this body of mine
Because it's strong and it's healthy and I'm doing just fine
So screw all the starving - I'll work out (I'm a rookie)
And balance the sweating with some Animal Cookies

PS: Thank you to K, for being so cool
Even with those dumb photos near the elephant pool
And thanks to Kate Dana for still checking in
And making me laugh in my pursuit to be thin
The truth is we never worked side by side in a cube
We talked way too much and our boss made us move!
And finally to Sue, say what you will
But you live in a mansion next to the great Dr. Phil
You're the envy of all of us whacked L.A. mommies
So I'm coming over to swim - look out for tsunamis!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Stretch Factor




I am back with many new and exciting things to report. Well, they're new and exciting to me anyway.
* I did indeed hear from a major publication who is interested in my query. Of course, when I was single, I was interested in having an affair with Liam Neeson and it didn't happen. Let's pray my writing has a better outcome.
* I finished painting the bathroom today. One might describe it as the color of M& M chocolate. Or crap. Depends on their mood.
* I have hit my goal of doing one nice thing/week for myself. Granted, this week was the first week I started, but let's go with it, shall we? Today's pleasure: eyebrow wax. And I can't really call it pleasure. My lid hair was akin to going at an overgrown shurb with a pick saw. Ow. And let's just say the elation was overshadowed by Ming Lee asking me "Ooooh, you want mustache plucked, too?" I did not know I had lip hair going on. With all my introspective writing, one would think I'd be aware of fuzz between my mouth and my nostrils, but maybe it's like a child who hits, curses and screams but you're so in love with him you don't notice and insist he be given the part of the lead angel in the Xmas play, even if he insists on shoving a candy cane up the plaster lamb's ass. At least I can stop obsessing over my belly weight and move onto something new. (Thank you very much, K, for the worst 4th of July pictures in the history of time. I look like a beached firecracker.)

Side note: If I am talking about my weight a bit more in these posts, let me clarify that I by no means have any desire to be an L.A. lollypop - huge head, all stick. It's more that, like my lip hair, I've been living in a bit of denial about where the last ten pounds have settled. But thanks to my sister-in-law's camera skills, it's clear that, despite my penchant for thrifting, I don't like the extra junk in my trunk. I don't care if when I stand I look fabulous. I want to be able to sprawl out in a drunken housewife vegetation and still look lean and chic. So, good bye carbs after 2PM. Hello 50 situps/day and walking. But I'm keeping the animal cookies on Saturday. Until next month anyway when K takes photos of me sprawled in my hammock at some random family bbq and I have to track her down and kill her, throwing her remains in a Mother's Animal Cookie bag. And believe me, this girl is small. They would fit.

* I made an appointment to get my hair done. I'm thinking stripes of some sort. I'm aiming for sexy and fun. With my luck, it'll turn out Valley Girl zebra.

* I am writing one hour/day.

* I am Ebaying 3 items / day.

* Rex was gone last week and he's leaving again next week, but we're managing to have some fun.

* I am exhausted beyond belief and a bit down the past few days. But, being the neurotic woman I am, I took an online depression screening and, as it turns out, I am not clinically down. Instead, I am merely a hyper over-achiever.

Um.... Duh.

So now... I'm off to check my lip hair in my new shit colored bathroom, followed by 50 sit-ups and dreams of being alone all week without my husband.

Aren't you glad I'm back?

PS: In my neurotic state, I freaked out over maybe getting a major writing gig and then having writers' block. Clearly I don't need to worry. In fact, I think a little blockage might do everyone some good, but alas, the pipes are open with the floodgate of my freakishness.

PSS: Picture of my last ten pounds at pool, courtesy of K, and me running at park, courtesy of Rex. I show them not to be a complete narcissist, but to show how one might be fooled with how good one thinks they look. The stretch factor is to blame. And I'm mad at the evil, evil deception. Die, stretch factor. DIE!!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Rescue Hero


A friend came to the rescue today by generously giving up a joint playdate with her child in favor of watching my two rugrats while I take an hour to myself.

I then, in turn, was a rescue hero of sorts myself as I joyfully sorted through fabulous bargains at the Sherman Oaks Goodwill, giving new life to fifty dollars worth of brand name kid clothes to flip and sell. I even picked up a beautiful pair of Gap corduroys for my 3T terror (On that note, he should be sleeping. But is he? Oh, no. No one ever mentioned that the "pitter patter of little feet" is not so cute when they should be resting but the floors above your head are reverberating with thrown sippy cups and dropped trains.)

I am a bit ashamed of myself that instead of rescuing my career with more queries I am spending my time on onesie twosie Ebay items. What do I think I'm going to accomplish (other than a few hundred bucks/month and some fun going through the racks... I really do LOVE it.) My time would be so better served cutting out Ebay and focusing on getting those queries done, because that's tons more cash to then be able to shop or build a better biz for myself.

I am s0metimes no better than my 3 year old: going from thing to thing with sticky fingers and the attention span of a gnat. It's time to focus.

So, on that note, I am taking a blog holiday. I will be writing in one week to let you know of all my fabulous accomplishments writing wise, which will one day get me a fabulous freelance business, which will make me a happier mom with more financial freedom which will give me happier kids (Not that they're not happy. They might not have the latest gadgets on the planet, but they're pretty content little kids.)

Perhaps my lack of posts will inspire some of you readers out there to stop futzing around on the computer and attack your own "to-do" lists.

Of course, if you decide to cheat, go ahead and check me mid-week. I intend to be brave, but like my penchant for Diet Coke, I am a bit of a wimp and will most likely succomb to the blogging machine. Especially if something earth shattering happens, like I get a surprise vacation, some publisher writes me back, or I win a lifetime supply of Pink and White Animal Cookies.

* Pictured: Queen Sophie. I'd call her a princess, but she's such the ultra diva, and so bossy, I don't dare to de-rank her. Yet, despite her assertive disposition, what makes this girl so irresistable is that she's also a major cuddle bug (With her parents. With other people, she won't even look at you. Unless you're wearing sparkly shoes. Then she'll take them off your feet with a reminder "Those are miiiine!") Just last night, as she fell asleep in my arms, I reminded her "Baby, you are the sweetest, smartest kid in the world. I love you so much." I then kissed her. She then looked at me through sleepy eyes, put down her bottle, and remarked, "I love you, too, Mommy....Don't touch me." Like I said, All Hail the Queen.