Tuesday, October 31, 2006

You Really Thought You'd Escape the Photos?


Happy Haunting!!!!!!!!!!!! (A friend in the middle) Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hey, Duck You


I was thrown off my Ebay roll this evening (11 new items listed - woo hoo!) by the sounds of Pipsqueak crying. I padded into the room, careful not to awake Stink, and scooped a whimpering rugrat into my arms. Breaking all my rules about milk after 11, I filled up a bottle and lay on the couch with her, listening to her little heart beat next to mine.

With the twinkle of purple and orange Halloween lights winking through the windows, my heart overflowed with love for this fireball diva. How can someone so young be so sure of what she wants? And how on earth will I console her when the inevitable happens and she's left broken hearted?

I wanted time to freeze. I wanted my little shrew, for once asleep and tame, uttlerly peaceful, to be implanted in my soul forever.

So I grabbed the camera.

And this is what I captured: A sleeping princess with the look of an irritated frog.

Clearly Pipsqueaks have no need for sentimentality.

But the joke's on her... 'cause that just makes me love her more.

Saturday, October 28, 2006



Just a few reasons that, despite enjoying a few crushes here and there (I'm married, not dead...see post below) I am so grateful to live the life I do. (Flowers from Rex, jackets a la Pip N Stink, tree hugger? That would be my husband. I've heard of needing a bush trim... but that's taking it a bit far, don't you think?) Posted by Picasa


Meno had an interesting post about crushes. She's been married for a long time and sometimes her mind goes back to being single, or some random stranger who smiled at her at the grocery store, or some movie star that flips her button. (Not that button, you pervs.)

Being with the same man for almost ten years, this got me to thinking about some of my crushes in the past. The times when I'd show up at someone's house, hair loaded with Aqua Net, hoping the girl's brother would come home from band practice and notice my new leg warmers. There was the friend back in college who would buy me beer and listen to all my stories about my current relationship. There was Big B, who I loved so much I thought my heart would burst (not that he'd be there to put it back together. For some reason, that didn't seem to bother me.) And then came Rex. Sweet, consistent, ethical to a fault Rex. And oh so cute.

I remember when we first started dating. One night we were laying on the couch in my parent's living room, his arms wrapped around my waist. Nothing was going on, but everything was.

I miss those times.

And to be truthful, sometimes old crushes still pop into my brain. Or my mind lands a little bit longer than I expect on the lone daddy at a preschool party.

I could feel guilty about it, but I don't. I know who I am and would never jeopardize this life I lead with Rex. A life I love. It is not a man that I miss - but the newness of first love.

In an effort to rekindle this spark, I've started wearing my hair down again. I've started putting on makeup. I even wear socks with my shoes and shave my arm pits more than once a month... it's that crazy.

Something must be working, because the other day, flowers arrived at my door from Corporate Clingon himself. Then he surprised me with dinner out (Denny's with a coupon - I'll take it!) He is even excited about a Halloween party this evening. Seriously. Excited. He marked the time down on this blackberry.

With all this new found attention from my husband, no one could be more surprised than me when today, with ten minutes alone, I stopped at a garage sale, only to have this incredibly beautiful black man with huge muscles check me up and down. As I picked up a pair of ratty Nikes, he said, "Man, how tall are you?" I told him. "Wow, you didn't seem so tall when you were sitting in the car." I responded, "That's because the man upstairs graced me with long ass legs." Um... That was no Mama P talking. That was my alter ego, pre-marriage Hot Mama cranking out the one-liners to the cop on Flirt Patrol. Muscle Man, not breaking a beat: "Yes he did. Mmmm, yes he did."

I did what any cool headed woman would do. I giggled "tee hee! Tee hee!" dropped the shoes and fell on my way into the car, driving like a speed demon to help Rex fix sprinkler pipes.

Anyone else feel the same way I do about crushes?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Shades of Grey.

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Rex is a black and white techno person. Computer: Turn on, turn off, fix virus, shut down.

I'm a grey artsy gal: Turn on computer, grab ringing phone, grab cup of coffee, do the dishes while I talk and drink, set down coffee somewhere but don't remember, plop down at desk and wave a la-golden-retriever-puppy at the mail man and, while collapsing in my swivel chair, knock over coffee cup with right breast, spilling cold java on my keyboard. Frustrating as it is, I can always count on my little black sheep to herd the keys back into working order for his forgetful bo-peep.

Being as flexible as I am with various situations, no one is more surprised than I am to be irritated by my daughter's grey tooth (seen in photos above). I think it's from a spill she took on a coffee table (always back to the coffee) but I can't be sure. She just woke up and there it was. It's worse than the photos shows. I am going to the dentist tomorrow, and either they are going to pull it or I'll have to live with it for the next five years until it falls out.

I know that it could have been worse. She has her health... She's not in pain... I can save 14.95 on a toddler witch costume (or send her as a go-go dancer who hit a pole thanks to Kate's fabulous retro sunglasses. Thanks for the care package!) Rex has commented on several occasions that he'd love her to pieces if she were toothless with a bowl haircut. That's pretty grey of him, and very ironic, given he has the face of a god (Shut up, K, I know he's your geek brother, but he's gorgeous, so deal with it.

While my heart sees all this unconditional affection bubbling over in a big pot of love on the Mama P gas grill, my vanity is a horrific cook who, when the heat gets too much, will leave the flame in full burn mode and walk away for a Diet coke. Yes, unlike my grey heart, Chef Vanity is blacker than the bottom of the doomed soup pan.

I can't wait until Pip is 3 and cuts off her hair with the training scissors. At least her pink glasses will rock the new look. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Don't Hassle the Hoff

This just might be the most disturbing thing in the history of time. And yet, it is so delightful. Cut, paste into your browser, and prepare to LOVE THE HOFF even more than you already do.


PS: Seen once before at Run Amok http://runamokmama.blogspot.com/ and then again at Brocantehome.com. Just had to share. (One day I'll get my blog roll going...)

Time Out

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Not last week but the week before
My kids had me pounding my fists on the floor

Time out on the rug, time out on the stairs
Little Mama P was pulling her hair

After several more tugs and quite a few yanks
I started to threaten with whackety whack spank

(All you lovey dovey peace folk, or attachment parent kind
Go 'head - condemn me - but I was losing my mind)

After yelling for hours (even at Mom in law)
I decided to cool it and have some guffaws

The kid are young once, that goes for me as well
So I told anal moi to "Please go to hell"

Rex and I hit a pumpkin patch and then went to dinner
Pizza, brownies and lattes... the results were not thinner

But we had a few laughs...We even took time
To let the kids run and all turned out fine

Why this post is in verse I simply can't say
But after all the crazyness out the way

A little perspective sure does feel nice
Now only if the pumpkin patch sold that fabulous time out device! (seen in photo above)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What Moms Do!

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You know that section in US Magazine called "What Stars Do?" (or something like that?) They always have these little quotes and then pictures of famous people doing regular things. "They get coffee" ... shot of Gwen Stefani drinking a latte. "They fuel up" Oh, it's Brad Pitt getting gas! Neato! "They eat Mexican food". It's Nicole Richie munching on a burrito! Wait... she's eating? Must have been a stand-in.

For any of you celebrity readers out there interested in what I do while my husband is gone for DAYS ON END, I have a little picture show up above. If my techie man was home, or I had more time to invest in Typepad, I'd learn how to publish shots via links, or at least within the body of this writing. Instead, you'll have to match my quote with the picture box above. If it's too confusing, grab your assistant and let them do it for you. Ready?

What Moms Do!

* They let their kids make pizza for breakfast!
* They turn off the fire alarm before scratching off the charcoal with an Elmo spoon!
* They fail at training their children to sleep in the same room, seperate beds!
* They make them read 1 minute for every 1 hour of TV!
* They intend to buy Pottery Barn burgandy chairs for the TV room then relent when the kids fall in love with a tacky Nemo patio set on Tuesday at Albertsons!
* They push the kids to the courthouse around the corner to pay speeding tickets, then afterwards let them loose so they can roll down the grass out front (while Mommy races after them with an empty carriage, inwardly thanking God that although she wants more time alone, she's grateful not to be the woman in the White Stag suit smoking a cigarette who's probably thinking "I wish I could be home with my kids". Or "Haha! Look at that mom! Glad I'm working!" And the stroller isn't empty. The rugrats had buckled in two dolls, 2 lollipops, an empty bag of popcorn and a "baby pinecone" they picked up along the way. Some squirrel out there is pissed.)

I hope this excitement doesn't scare any of you stars from reading more. Tune in next week for the "They do clean out the potty chair" section. (Retitled "What Moms Doo!")

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Fine Line

There's a fine line between being an active person and balancing work with motherhood, Ebay biz with doctor's appointments, friends and family with playdates. Some people do it well. Being the "yes" person that I am (and too social for my own good) I air on the unbalanced side of the line.

My husband is no better. He's one of those that gets cell calls at 2AM. And even worse - he answers them. He does office work from home on Saturdays. We frequently talk about vacation plans (which always get broken) while I'm typing on the computer and he's punching his wireless Blackberry. We communicate across the country when he's going to bed at 10:30pm and I'm knee deep in bubble bath and oven timers ringing. While I relish my independence, and I am supportive of what Rex needs to do to provide me with this wonderful life, sometimes there's a void in the house when he's gone that, for all my bravado, leaves me a little blue.

And lately, when he is here, there's an emptyness because we're not being present with each other.

On Saturday, for the first time in a while, we spent quality time together just laughing over dumb stuff (including me standing by the car door, waiting impatiently for him to open it while he revved the engine and left me giving him the finger.)

One beer in, and far too many chips, we decided to dedicate Sundays to the family . We're going to try and unplug, hang out, hit some yard sales and just lounge around. I'm going to try not to do housecleaning. He's going to try not to do yardwork. The kids are young once. And us, too. We're not going to spend our lives on this rat race wheel where we end up with a stainless steel cage on the right side of the tracks but we're too exhausted to enjoy it. It's time to forgo the fancy cheese, buy some take-out, and kick back in the sawdust.

On a side note, I'm thrilled to announce that my biz is starting to sell! For those of you that expressed interest, thanks! Just bid or buy what you want and I'll give you a big discount on the shipping and the wholesale price on the clothes. You just need to remind me when you're invoiced that you know me through this blog and it's yours. (No pressure either... just following up). Link in previous post some place. Or just ask.

I'm off to make dinner and call Rex. Thanks for checking in peeps.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday, Bloody Funny Sunday

As Autumn leaves fall, pumpkin lights flicker throughout the Valley. Little girls don cable knit tights, little boys chase them shrieking through puddles, and mommies get to feel pressured to dress their children in matching Gap sweater sets (all the while buying Martha Stewart recipe books but then burning Libby's pies... setting the dessert out on paper plates since their toddlers used their Crate N' Barrel cake stand as a Sit N' Spin.)

Everyone has their own traditions that mark the beginning of the holiday season, and for me, one of these is the start of Sunday school. Every year we get new parents, new children, and a whole new set of hilarious comments. Thanks to Mrs. V., who graciously volunteers her big heart and piano playing skills, today was exceptionally enjoyable. (You ain't seen nothing until you see a Georgetown Law graduate get jiggety on a plastic keyboard crooning "Jesus gave us friends today Hooray I seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Mrs. P!", the whole while wearing a rainbow cat in the hat cap on her head.)

In the theme of Fall, here's a few comments that made me fall over laughing during prayer time.

Mrs. V: (to a 3 year old boy) Do you have any friends at your preschool?
Josh: My teacher is my friend. Her name is Mrs. Back Door.
Mrs. V: Mrs... who?
Josh: Mrs. Back Door.
(I don't know about him, but I'm thinking the teacher has a few buddies.)

Me: What about you, Jenny? Do you have a friend?
Jenny: Yes. She lives in San Francisco.
Josh: I have a boyfriend.
Me: Oh. Does he live in San Francisco too? (I couldn't help myself)

Later that evening, I went to Mrs. V's for dinner. (Rex is away on business, but managed to call me from every layover. I don't hear from him for days on end when he's in the same house with me. But put him on a plane and he waxes more nostalgic than Santa the day after Xmas.) As the kids gobbled up pumpkin quesadillas (picture to come as it's healthy and festive and EASY... my kinda deal) we had a nice back and forth about our previous lives as singletons, our hopes for the future and various tricks we use to stick the kids in bed. (Mine? Dinner at home, clean up, bath, books bed. Unless it's tonite, then it's mooch off friends, ride through the city looking at Halloween lights, stay up until 10 and crash in Mommy's bed. Whatever.)

Driving through the canyons, looking at the lights of the city tonite, everything seemed possible. Stink and Pip kept screaming "Ahhh! Hills! We're gonna fall!" But they said it with such glee. What's to be afraid of? Warm pjs, Mommy driving, a little John Lennon blasting through the speakers.

My heart, like a child's candy basket, felt overjoyed with the sweetness of how good life can be. Like this season, like my children, like those canyons, I vow this year to not let fear rule me. I vow to laugh. I vow to shut my eyes, let someone else do the driving, and just fall.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Let Me Revise

...Lest any of you think I'm against bragging about my kids, I remind you to read every other post on this site. I'm done trying to pretend this isn't a Mommy blog. I can say all I want about "it's a descriptive entry into the life of a writer". I might as well add candles and a statue in front of my kids smiling mugs and call it a day.

What I simply meant by being tired of bragging is the one-ups I hear at parties. Not the "I'm proud" moments. More of the "I have the best child in the universe and though I see you have a blind monkey humping your head and sqwaking the Margarena I can't talk about it because I am too busy rambling about my toddler's brilliant finger painting" kind of boasting.

On another note, I have a store.

It is plus size.

It is live on EBAY.

This plug, like the boasting parents at any facilities that include the word 'gym' and 'Einstein', is shameless.

Too burned out to care.

My husband sleeps, while I frantically list 2000 skirts and possibly my daughter's stained training pants.



All clothes are plus size (1x, 2x and 3x, size 16 - 24). All are name brand from Macy's including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Olfani. All have original price tags. All are being sold at 80% off original value.

Most important, you need the code word to take advantage of my fabulous offer: TIRED CRANKY MAMA FUCK OFF

It's been a pleasure doing business with you!

PS: IN a complete haze of skirts, sequins and plus size Xmas sweaters, I got to thinking about Elmo's pubic hair. If he actually sprouted some, given that he's already so red and furry, how would he know it's there? You get will get an additional dollar off shipping if you can answer that burning question.

Monday, October 09, 2006

And the Gold Goes To...

...the mother whose daughter not only knew all her shapes by age 1 but who got her to sleep through the night while still in utero and found out that her cord blood was so high in intellectual DNA that at 17 months her toddler was accepted into Harvard.

Do any of you moms ever get sick of the brag fest that goes on between other mommies? I have always had issues with this and was recently impassioned again after reading a post on WWW.menosblog.blogspot: Parenting as a Competitive Sport.

There is a difference between talking things over with other parents, which can be extremely helpful, and bragging. It’s subtle, but i know it when I hear it.

The latest thing, now that Em is in High School, is SAT scores. When parents ask me what Em got, i lie and say i don’t know, because 1.) it’s HER news to share, and 2.) they will either be smug or unhappy, and 3.) it’s none of their damn business.

Frankly, I'm bummed out that I was naive enough to believe that the boasting wars continued into teenage hood. I thought if the kids grew up we could, too.

Just read my posts from a year ago and it'll come as no surprise that I was a pretty insecure mama. Two kids in two years... it can make anyone nuts. And while I sensed competition between women, I always thought maybe I was being insecure. After a year of getting back on my feet, and surrounding myself with the best group of kick ass mamas the world could ask for (including many of you blogging babes), I can very confidently say that while my insecurity has shrunken dramatically, The Mommy Wars rage on (Great book, by the way...)

Just go to any kids party and in less than one minute you'll hear about how great this daughter is or that son is. Another thing you can't escape is the gossip about this teacher or that teacher or the latest change in holiday schedule and isn't it just so awful that so and so is making these decisions and bla bla bla... It's shocking to me that not only do grown adults talk about other people to people they barely know, but it's also a miracle of God they are able to articulate with their heads so far lodged up their child's anal cavity.

Call me nutty, but I can honestly say that I still don't give a poop about teachers, whether or not Event A or B happens, or whether the snacks have changed. If Stink was assigned a boring teacher (which I thought he might have been given) I didn't rush to yank him out of that class. It would have been an opportunity for him to learn how to deal with a quiet personality. And I trust that the director, despite being sometimes overly assertive, wouldn't hire someone who didn't know what they were doing!

Did Stink like the food better last year? Probably. But guess what... he doesn't tell me. And do you know why? Because at our house, he has two choices at dinner: Take it. Or Leave it.

Now this is not to say I don't ask my kids about their day and respect their choices. Pip hates macaroni, so I'm not going to force her to eat it. But if she's just being difficult about the hot dog, she can sit there until we're done. The world doesn't revolve around the kids 24 hours a day. They might have to live with olives instead of the fruit snacks at school. Stink is going to have to learn how to keep a kid from bullying him in the bathroom when I'm not holding his weener. Pip is going to have to learn that not everyone is going to be her best friend - particularly those kids whose parents have told them that they don't want them associating with her their mother, the Sunday School teacher, who sometimes uses the word "Fuck."

I just don't get the princess mentality of entitlement where the world is a Petunia Pickelbottom bag full of maids, private school and Pottery Barn sheets all the time. I love all that stuff, and I'm blessed to provide my children with most of those things, but sometimes it's less designer organic food and more a lunch bag with peanut butter and jelly that got mushed by a bike. And despite a smushed tire mark through the bag onto the 99cent store Wonder bread, the sandwich is still edible, people. And it's probably a damn funny story, too.

I think it's okay for our kids to learn disappointment early in life. Today the library was closed, so what did we do? We made sand castles in the parking lot island, ate apple dippers, and watched the dump truck empty the recycling cans. They learned that water from wipes turns gravel into mud. They had their fill of Vitamin C. AND they learned about the environment and how to describe the blue recycle can in Spanish ("Azul!" Which sounded like "asshole!" and made me laugh. Whoops. There's another reason not to let your kids play with mine.) But I'm thinking that regardless of NOT being enrolled in Gymboree and going to private cooking classes, my rugrats learned a little bit about Science, Health and Language today.

Now who's bragging?!

PS: This post was super long. Last year I would have still written it, but worried about boring everyone. This year? I don't care. And as I say to my kids about their dinner, you have two choices. Take it. Or leave it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I Need a Vacation from my Vacation

Left Wednesday at 1PM for San Diego with girlfriend.

Kids slept the whole way down to Oceanside.

Unloaded a warehouse full of supplies, including, but not limited to: 1 Scooby Pillow, 1 Dora Pillow, 1 duck blanket, 1 star blanket ("tar" blanket "dat Tella made"), 1 Snoopy, 1 Baby, 1 Pack N Play, 1 portable DVD player, 10002 DVDs (None that did not include animation), 1 suitcase, all my friend's bags and 140000 fruit roll-ups. Did I unload Mac makeup bag? Oh, no... I like looking like a dried up Irish washer woman at a St. Patty's fiesta.

Reminded kids ten times that we don't strip neeeked on the time share balcony.

Proceeded to thrill them with wonders of the murphy bed that goes up and down in the wall.

Swam until bodies turned into the size of a six foot 1 prune.

Ate pizza.

Ate more pizza.

Drank coffee.

Drank more coffee.

Got the kids hooked on strawberry banana crystal lite blended on ice.

Watched Shrek 3000 times.

Crashed at midnite.

Woke up to fighting over who gets to press the On button on the fireplace.

Prevented 3rd degree burns by taking two trips in the double stroller with luggage to car.

Met college friend at beach in Mission Bay. Proceeded to swim in ocean until Pip's diaper resembled the wraps on a Sumi wrestler.

Picked up my traveling companion at the Santa Fe train station who had the fine state of mind to relax in the timeshare as opposed to having a poopy explosion in a bagel shop on the way to meet college friend.

Got lost trying to find relatives' apartment across from Balboa Park.

Ate. Terrorized their dwelling. Played at park.

Gassed up at Mobil in La Jolla where I had strange memories of my first husband filling up the Jeep Cherokee while I wondered if being in love with someone else but being married to him was such a great idea.

Conquered spinning brain with packs of Oreos, Nutter Butters and powedered doughnuts.

Called Rex on cell phone and made him pretend to be a doctor as Stink complained his belly hurt and lobbied for the doc to open his office for him.

Stopped at Denny's where Stink made me take off his shirt so he could dry heave on sidewalk.

Got them safely in their bed only to be woken by coughing, gagging and general unhappiness about being in their warm safe beds and not in the hotel with the lumpy murphy cot.

Did all this within 30 hours.

This morning I cleaned house. Cleaned car. Shopped at Costco where I bought 172.00 worth of healthy food (in an attempt to detox and put Sara Lee out of busniess) and inherited a friend's son for the evening.

Please tell me where the stop button is?

And even more important, tell me why I can't wait to do this again? I had a blast.

What is wrong with me?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stella Strikes Again

Merely an hour after I posted below, I received this joke from Stella. There must be something about "fifty" in the air tonite. Enjoy (especially you, Amisare, you little jokester, you.)

Dear wife,

You will surely understand that I have certain needs that you, being 54 years old, can no longer satisfy. I am very happy with you and I value you as a good wife. Therefore, after reading this letter, I hope that you will not wrongly interpret the fact that I will be spending the evening with my 18 year old secretary at the Comfort Inn Hotel. Please don't be upset. I shall be home before midnight.

When the man came home late that night, he found the following
letter on the dining room table:

My Dear Husband,

I received your letter and thank you for your honesty about my being 54 years old. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are also 54 years old. As you know, I am a math teacher at our local college. I would like to inform you that while you read this, I will be at the Hotel Fiesta with Michael, one of my students, who is also the assistant tennis coach. He is young, virile, and like your secretary, is 18 years
old. As a successful businessman who has an excellent knowledge of
Math, you will understand that we are in the same situation,
although with one small difference - 18 goes into 54 a lot more times than 54 goes into 18.

Fear of 36... Err... 50

For those of you naysayers that may think all I do is clean, teach Sunday School, occasionally query magazines, Ebay and stand forlornly at the window wondering how my babies flew the coop and are now in college (well, it's not for 15 years, but I think ahead which is nice for my anxiety) it turns out I sometimes read.

I'm currently reading a book called "Fear of Fifty" by Erica Jong. While some of her rants are a bit on the pedantic side for me, I have to agree with so much of what she says about a society that puts women in the grave the moment they get a wrinkle. She is smart, sarcastic, and is probably on a much higher dosage of Zoloft than me. So for that last credit to her name, I give you a quote:

"I look around me at fifty and see the women of my generation coping with getting older. They are perplexed, and the answer to their perplexity is not another book on hormones. The problem goes deeper than menopause, face-lifts, or whether to fuck younger men. It has to do with the whole image of self in a culture in love with youth and out of love with women as human beings. We are terrified at fifty because we do not know what on earth we can become when we are no longer young and cute. As at every stage of our lives, there are no role models for us. Twenty-five years of feminism (and backlash) then feminism again - and we still stand at the edge of an abyss. What to become now that our hormones have let us go?"

Who else wants to stand up and applaud this woman (with the hands that show our real age) for saying it like it is? And who can give this book to Lindsey Lohan, or Paris Hilton, or the executives who think that's all we women care about? And who can be there to talk to my daughter at 13 when she wonders why her six foot, healthy frame isn't being shown on the magazine covers?

It's so much easier now that my little Pipsqueak still gets excited over the word "quack". I hope this culture doesn't turn me into one.

Monday, October 02, 2006

True True False

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This is a test. This is only a test.

Which of these 3 scenarios do you think did NOT happen?

1. Stink slept at the in-laws on Saturday evening. After bathing in their sink, he was treated to five books from the library, a Scooby Doo video, bbqed chicken and new Scooby pajamas. We picked him up in the morning to find him on the couch, hot blueberry muffins in his hand and a glass of milk.

2. Pipsqueak slept at my mom's. She chatted with Grandma until 11pm, turned my mom's kingsize bed into a queen sized throne for her highness de la Pip, woke up in the middle of the night and was given a fresh bottle on command and was allowed to go through every piece of paper my mother had in her rainbow file cabinet.

3. I was treated to a hotel, coffee in bed, a long massage and as many animal cookies as I could stuff in my mouth while being serenaded to Stuck on a Feeling. I was then read Oprah's: Live Your Best Life by firelight as a personal manicurist painted my toes and a maid cleaned out the air ducts.