Sunday, August 31, 2008

There's a Reason That I Don't Usually Do Political Posts

So, like most other people, I've been hearing a lot lately about John McCain's pick for VP, Sarah Palin.

About whether women, particularly those annoyed that Hillary is out of the running, and who have had recent lobotomies, will flock to her.

About whether she has the necessary experience to attend funerals abroad.

About whether the comparisons between McCain & Palin and Regis & Kelly are inevitable.

So, this post is not about that.

This post is about Obama and my lackluster response to him, despite the fact that my fellow democrats are throwing their virtual underwear at the computer screen at the very mention of his name.

"Yes, we can!" they chant. And have been chatting for the past year or so. It's really annoying to me, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

Until now.


Do you?

If you are a mother with children under 7, boys, in particular, you certainly do.

That's right, the beloved cartoon character, Bob the Builder. A builder, A problem solver. A working class man.

And what does Obama do? He steals from him. I am all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but as far as I know, Bob is still building, still answering the phone in the middle of the night to go on repair emergencies. If Obama paid him for his catchphrase, surely he'd be kicking back a little, not chasing after every job.

Plagiarism. Theft. How Obama can think that we're all so stupid that we'll let him get away with this is simply beyond me. But I think it shows clearly what he thinks of women in general, moms in particular and the working class in general. Nice.

But perhaps this helps explain his appeal to the younger generation? "Yes, we can!" strikes such a familiar chord, brings such nostalgia to us young 'uns, that is it a source of comfort, of Sunday cartoons and we flock to him.

And notice the media's total failure to call him on it. Nice, liberal media.

But I am telling you, blog friends, so that you can be on alert.

So that when Biden comes out dressed in a giant purple suit, singing "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family!" you will be hip to what's going on.

We must hold our politicians accountable.

Although if McCain started channeling Captain Underpants, he'd totally get my vote. Wedgie Power!

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sometimes a Picture is Worth About $200, Unless You Have a Warranty

We are going upstate New York this afternoon, to my parents' house, to retrieve our kids, who have been vacationing up there this whole week. But with school starting next week, we thought that we might as well get them.

This morning, I walked through the Union Square Greenmarket which is so obscenely beautiful that I am still shocked that Giuliani didn't try to shut it down when he was mayor. Farmers from the NY area, upstate and Long Island, and New Jersey, come and offer their produce. It's fresh, it's gorgeous and it's great to buy from people who are so involved. And plus, Bernard Goetz (remember him?) is around Union Square a lot, training squirrels or something. Seriously, what else could you want in a green market?

Today, I saw this display of flowers, and it was so breathtaking that I decided to photograph it. And while I was trying to get a good shot, while telling the flower selling man that I am not a gifted photographer and he reassured me that my camera is great, so basically how badly could I fuck it up, I dropped my cell phone on the concrete and it made this shattering noise that completely ruined the serenity of the floral appreciation moment and bonding with the flower farmer or whoever he is and I almost had a stroke on the spot.

But aren't the flowers lovely? And I like the broom in the corner so much I almost asked if I could borrow it for my commute.

And now for awkward transition: When we were upstate last weekend, dropping the kids off at my parents (is it me, or is anyone else thinking that my kids should learn to drive and stop depending on us as their personal chauffeurs, or parents, or something?), we saw a tree in the forest that had been hit by lightning a few weeks before. Eerie. And yet while taking this picture, I managed not to drop my cell phone. Because if a cell phone falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear me complain about it...

Labels: ,

Friday, August 29, 2008

Free Relationship Advice. Worth every penny.

I will never give anyone relationship advice, but one thing I know is that if you ever find yourself comparing your marriage to any movie, you must stop immediately and start drinking instead. Or do whatever you can to distract yourself, because believe me, unless you're comparing it to The Shining, your relationship will not stand up well to the test of Hollywood. And not just because you don't have our own soundtrack and the actors in your love story are more "reality" and less "shot through a lens smeared with vaseline", if my euphemisms are resonating.

I learned this through painful experience when my husband and I saw The English Patient and I was sobbing maniacally and he was looking at the insides of his eyelids. "WOULD YOU CARRY ME THE WAY HE CARRIED HER THROUGH THE DESERT?" I sobbed. "You know that I have a bad back," he said.

The only saving grace was that a few years later, I read that David Sedaris and his boyfriend Hugh had a similar problem when they saw that movie where Julianne Moore coughs once and the next thing you know, she's dying. Sedaris describes himself as crying so much that he became dehydrated (seriously, isn't that the best description? I totally would have stolen it to use in the above paragraph if I thought that for a second that I could get away with it), while Hugh asked if he always cried at comedies. Knowing that David and Hugh went through something similar made me feel like my marriage had a chance.

What I did not know is that the movie prohibition extends to literature, and I am using the term loosely. And I don't mean just the obvious Romeo & Juliet nonsense. This applies to anything and everything ever written.

For example.

Over vacation, I read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, because I figured, just because she doesn't know how to spell her name, doesn't mean that she can't write, right? I mean, she has the best-selling series of books (for teenagers, but still), so clearly it's a sign that I should read them. Besides, the covers are really pretty. And since when I'm on the beach, I spend a lot of time staring at the cover, it really fit the bill.

Don't worry, this won't be a book review, where I mention that the book describes the weather in more detail than my mother in law. But I do have to tell you what it's about, so that the rest of this post makes sense.

So, our heroine, Bella, moves from Phoenix to Seattle to live with her father because her mother is a huge pain in the ass, or is newly married to some baseball player and they travel a lot and whatever. So, she's in Seattle. It's rainy. Bella likes sunny. But then she meets Edward, a fellow student, who is so good looking that Bella doesn't know how it's even possible. She keeps saying that he's like a statute (he's also very cold). I'm guessing Bella likes the strong silent type. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you the part that Edward is a vampire (but that's a secret!) and he thinks that Bella is really nice and also that her blood smells really good. Now, I was thinking he meant her menstrual blood, but apparently, I'm a sick freak, and no one else thought that, and he just meant her vein blood, that he can smell, because you know, he's a vampire. So, I'm sure you can see his dilemma. He doesn't want to drink her blood because that's really rude and she would die, but just being around her is so tempting to him that he spends a lot of time moping around and generally acting like Hamlet, if Hamlet were a huge whining pain in the ass, authored by a hack. But you know, a romantic whiner.

Anyway. So of course, because every song is about me, apparently, I decide to ask my husband what he would do if he were a vampire, thirsty for my blood--would he kill me or would he deny himself the pleasure of my company. For some strange reason, my husband hates these hypotheticals. He has this theory that I throw relationship hypotheticals at him when I'm PMSing, and I'm not sure that I can disprove it, or what it has to do with anything, for that matter. By the way, is anyone else craving Haagen Dasz chocolate and peanut butter ice cream? No?

So, I ask him and he says, "Why would I be a vampire?"
And I say, "I have no idea. But let's just say. You're a vampire and you lust for my blood." (That's actually what it says on the back of the book--that Edward lusts for Bella's blood. Is that supposed to be romantic? Because it sort of gags me.)
"I don't know," he says. "It's hard for me to imagine wanting to drink someone's blood."

"Someone's". Nice. Really makes me feel special. I mean, I am just trying to ascertain where I stand in this relationship, whether his desire for me is stronger than his desire for my well-being and he is totally refusing to play along. It's almost like he is asking me for a divorce.

But then he asks me what would happen if I were a vampire. Which is sort of insane because in the book, the boy is the vampire and the girl is the vampiree. And you don't mess with literature. It's like the first step towards book burning and censorship.

"I wouldn't drink your blood because I love you and I wouldn't want you to die," I tell him.

And he says,"Ok."

And just like that, the conversation is over. Which makes me think that if he had a blog, it would be totally boring.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 28, 2008


My husband recently told me that he does not want to answer my hypothetical questions anymore. Or other questions that he sees as "traps".

I think that this is unfair.

I am listing several hypothetical scenarios that he recently evaded, just so that you can see how silly he is being.

1. If I died and you were getting remarried, what would your vows be?

2. If we suddenly found out that you are not our children's biological father, would you still love them as much?

3. Oh yeah, well, why do you object then when I introduce you at parties as "my children's biological father"?

4. Let's say that I maxed out all our credit cards on a winning fall wardrobe. Would you eventually forgive me? And how long would this "eventually" be?

5. Would you still love me if I had a penis?

6. Why would you still love me if I had a penis? DO YOU NOT LOVE ME WITHOUT A PENIS?

7. If you were to leave me for another woman, who would it be?

8. If we were getting a divorce, would you get a really aggressive lawyer, or try to mediate with me?

9. I said, "mediate", not "meditate". But what's wrong with "meditation"?

10. No, not "medicate". Although if you had to "medicate" me, what pills would you choose? And would you make sure that I could still drink when I was on them?

11. Do you think that I gained more weight on my thighs or stomach?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Doggy Style

Last year a woman who works in our office brought in her dog to work with her. For no apparent reason. What made it so odd, besides the fact that there was a dog in our normally canine-free office, was that she was so matter-of-fact about it, like it was something that we all did on occasion or something. One of the people who was not so matter of fact about it was me. And not just because when I was sitting at my desk and noticed it out of the corner of my eye, I screamed maniacally because I thought that it was a furry rat or a gremlin or something.
She ran in, “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of Fluffy!” she said. Ok, so the dog’s name wasn’t really “Fluffy,” but to be honest, all small furry dogs are sort of “Fluffy” to me. Just like all California blondes are Jennys. Although I can’t think of a single blonde name Jenny now. That is really unfortunate, blogally speaking.

“I’m not afraid of her,” I reassured her, pushing my chair back and worrying that I was accidentally going to roll over Fluffy. “It just startled me.”

“It?” She asked, clearly offended.
“She’s a girl.”
Yes, aren’t we all.

By this point, judging from the shrieks coming from down the hall, Fluffy made her way to other offices. Her owner, I mean, “mother”, went to reassure the other office occupants/shame them into admitting lack of Fluffy Fear.

The day went slowly for me. For some reason, I was anxious about where Fluffy was, where she was going, what she was plotting. I was afraid that she would run out into the elevator, that I would sit on her, step on her, make a copy of her on the Xerox machine. The only moment of peace I had was when I closed my office door and then I’d hear her rodent-like paws scratching at the door. I could not wait to go home.

The woman who brought Fluffy thought that Fluffy was a great asset to our office. At some point, I overheard her telling a co-worker that dogs are therapeutic and lower blood pressure. Since at that very moment I was having a mini stroke about Fluffy’s whereabouts since the last time I saw her was near our high-rise open window, I found the claims of Fluffy as a hypertension-buster really hard to swallow.

I went home early that day, emotionally drained.
As I was waiting for the bus to go home, I got a call from my friend from the office who had the best news. Fluffy just left. After she peed all over our lobby. I don’t know about blood pressure, but I am certain that her bladder pressure was lowered.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


So, I've been on vacation/Pokemon torture chamber. My son has been talking to me about Pokemon nonstop with an intensity that makes waterboarding sound like a pleasant distraction on a hot summer day.

A typical conversation, that springs out of absolutely nowhere, goes something like this:

"Mom, guess who my favorite Pokemon is."
"I don't know."
"Give me some options."
"Ok, Turtwig, Jumpluff, Tortero, Flareon, Ivysaur or Nidoking."
"The first one."
"Which was the first one?"
"I don't know."
"So why did you say that it was your favorite?"
"To shut you up, I mean, because it sounded like the strongest one!"

But then, I had an idea. All the Pokemon have amazing powers. For example (and I'm using the cards for reference now, lest you think I have this stuff committed to memory), Nidoking has the Poison Rub power and the Pride Attack power. Leafeon has the Spiral Drain (which sounds handy if you have a clogged kitchen sink, for example) and Leaf Blade. Dusclops has Dark Mind, which makes me think that he'd fit with us bloggers! Ambipom has Astonish, that show off, and Hang High, but I don't speak Pokemon jive, so I can't tell you what that is. Of course I can ask my son, but if you think that I will willingly initiate a Pokemon conversation with him, you must be new around here.

So my idea was to develop powers for moms. Because we need them. Things we can all use to make our day, you know, easier. So that by the time 4:59 pm rolled around we didn't have the bottle of wine taking its first anticipatory breath.

Here are some powers that I suggest. Please add your own.

Power Glare: The glare shuts the kids up immediately and makes them bend to the Pokemom's will.

Teflonitis: Any insinuation that the child's rude behavior is a result of poor parenting, gets completely deflected and blamed on the accuser, instead.

Urination Prolongation: The ability of mothers to lock themselves in the bathroom to pee, and also to read "War and Peace" until their kids notice that they are Not There.

Blog Attack: Retaliatory blogging about children's misdeeds.

Power Glug: Because even with our super Pokemon powers, sometimes we need to enjoy a glass of wine. Or ten.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 25, 2008

Life Mysteries

On one of the last days of our vacation, I was lying in bed in our rented front door ajar and no lock house, listening to the dogs barking up a storm. Except there was no storm of course and that expression has never made sense to me. But it reminded me of Hound of the Baskervilles and I was trying to remember if anyone got murdered there, because I didn’t want to start panicking unnecessarily.

“I can’t believe how much those dogs are barking tonight,” I told my husband, trying not to show fear.

“What dogs?” he asked, masking his fear even better.

“You know, the ones barking,” I pointed to the window.

“Those aren’t dogs,” he said. “Those are geese quacking.”
“Geese? Quacking?” That seemed less ominous.
“Or honking.”
”Honking? Is that what geese do?”
“How the hell am I supposed to know what geese do? I’m from Newark.”

Ok, I have no idea what being from Newark has to do with knowing the appropriate sounds that geese make, but whatever. It’s one of life’s mysteries. And here’s another that I thought of that night, now that I felt somewhat assured that I wouldn’t be murdered in my sleep.

How come people don’t fall out of their beds more often? I don’t mean the King-size bed sleepers, but people with twin beds? People move around in their sleep, shouldn’t we be rolling off our beds more often? Because if more people would plummet off their beds, I could finally work on developing my bed seatbelt idea that would keep us strapped in, like a straightjacket, sort of, but it would come in different colors. Maybe even seductive leopard print. In satin.

And the other life mystery I wonder about is what happened to True Romance magazine. In the 80s I saw it on newspaper stores all the time, but now, never. Yes, it took me two decades to notice, but now I’m wondering.

Because I can’t imagine what could be more fun than being strapped in bed, listening to geese honking and reading “True Romance”. Except being murdered in your sleep, of course.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Guest Post, Jr.

Today's guest Blog Post is from my 7 year old son. I transcribed the story that he told at breakfast. And of course didn't tell him that I was going to use it on my blog. Because I know how to exploit people. Underage people. Children. That sounds so wrong, doesn't it? Hi, FBI!

Oh yeah, and for those of you who think that this is blogging at its laziest, I have this to say: Good call!

Last night I woke up at 1 in the morning, so I looked out the window to see if I could see a dear, and you know what I saw? Nothing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pesto Not So Presto

My husband is generally a soft spoken, mild mannered person, so all our domestic disturbances tend to be very even keeled. There are exceptions, and those come when he makes pesto. That’s when we have screaming matches that rival some scenes of Sid and Nancy.

And not just any pesto. Pesto at other people’s houses. Because my husband uses a Cuisinart to make pesto and not everybody has one at home, so he has to adapt. He is not a big adapter. This is the third year in a row, that I can remember (reminder—I drink heavily and my memory isn’t great, so this has probably been going on for like a million years, at least) that he starts to make pesto at someone else’s house (that we are either visiting or renting, I don’t mean to imply that he breaks in to do this, although you never know what the future holds!), realizes that there is no Cuisinart to blend the oil, basil leaves, and garlic into a deliciousness and has to resort to using the blender. Using a blender, apparently, is an attack on his dignity and way of life. The garlic just bounces around, unminced, the basil leaves don’t bend to his will, everything is fucking wrong and he doesn’t understand how some people can be so ignorant and live without a Cuisinart in the house. If you can call that living.

He has to push the basil leaves down, but because there are sharp blades involved, he uses a wooden spoon to do it. Can you guess what has been happening to wooden spoons for three years in a row now? That’s right, it’s like feeding it through a wood chipper. And do you know what he said to me? Well, two things, first, he doesn’t understand why I have to say “fuck” so much. And then, wait for it—a little wood in the pesto doesn’t ruin it. What the? But still. The basil still needs to be pushed down. Or depressed, like me. So this summer, he branched out and used a plastic spoon to do it. Can you guess what happened to the plastic spoon? Hey, you’re getting good at this guessing game! Fortunately, there were no other instruments around so I can’t report on how other materials fare against the blender blade. But stay tuned for next summer’s hijinx! And let me know if you’d like to hire him to cater your next luncheon.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Look Back to Quebec (Not a Poem)

While I am on vacation, eating my weight in oceanic delicacies (wait, does that sound like I just ate Ariel, the beloved Little Mermaid? Because that is so not where I was going with this), glugging beer as though I have been wandering in the desert for the past forty years, I am recycling a travelogue that I wrote last fall, about a romantical weekend getaway that my husband and I took to celebrate our tenth anniversary. Even though I wrote it a almost a year ago, I re-wrote bits of it to make it more blog-o-rific. It’s like I’m some sort of saint or something. Perhaps a Saint Bernard.

Monsieur Marinka and I went on a mini-vacation for Quebec for the weekend. And it was great!

Quebec is absolutely gorgeous and I suspect that the fall is the exactly right time to go. Everything was pretty much perfect, with a few minor exceptions that I will make mountains out of through the art of exaggeration. To minimize boredom, I will avoid mentioning any of the perfect parts because as Tolstoy said, “all happy families are boring and no one wants to read about them.” I may be paraphrasing, but I think he had a strong point. At least as paraphrased by me. And as a further aside, did you know that "Tolstoy" means "fat" in Russian? Shouldn't his name be translated as well, not just his books? Just an idea that I am throwing out there, totally free of charge. Anyway. Back to Quebec. Or Whatbec, as I like to call it.

First of all, I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under, but I was really shocked by how everyone speaks French all the time and how awkward their English is. Yes, I know that I have a lot of nerve commenting, especially since my French has already been exhausted by the “monsieur” in the first sentence above (and plus I had to use spell check for it!) But still. This is my travelogue, so I get to be snide! Besides, everyone knows that English is great and French is weird. Perhaps that’s another post.

We went to a bookstore and it was very surreal because all the books were in French (duh!) and I kept asking my husband what the titles were. I made a point that this is probably what illiterate people feel like in bookstores, although maybe they don’t spend that much time in bookstores. Or writing and reading blogs. Hey, I bet it’s a real timesaver, this illiteracy gig!

Everyone we encountered was friendly and nice. They were mostly nice to Monsieur in French because, you know, he speaks it. Like the woman checking us in at the hotel told him lengthy things in French, which he translated to me as “the room will be ready shortly”. In truth, I think that she was telling him trip-enhancing things that I was not privy to, and that would deprive me of much deserved joy, but there is a slight chance that I am a touch paranoid. Is that what you think, too? That I am paranoid? Did anyone else mention that?

We went to a fancy-shmancy restaurant that is known for game! I got to tell you, I’m not sure what I expected by “game”, but when the chef brought out an amuse bouche (“an amusement for the mouth”, or as I like to call it “the amusement for the chef to watch your reaction”—catchy, no? I’m thinking of copyrighting it!) that was venison tartare, with dried blueberries, I was making the international gagging sound. I am not an adventurous eater, and asking me to eat raw Bambi is tantamount to declaring war on the United States. And why would Canada want to risk that? WHY?

But I ate it . And I’m trying my best to suppress the memory. It was one of those things that is best enjoyed by swallowing whole, so that the mouth doesn’t make contact with the texture and that the taste buds are not engaged. Really, just close your eyes and think of England.

The waiter spoke English to me and it was mildly to moderately painful for both of us. But also adorable. For example, I ordered an appetizer and he said “there is something that I must tell you right now about the appetizer that you ordered. It is not available, because the gentleman over there is eating it now. But please feel welcome to order other appetizers that people have not yet eaten.” Also, when he was describing the cocktails, I immediately ordered the first one because again, the descriptions—“The essence of chamomile is having a wedding with nectar of the apple from the apple tree, with an introduction of the vodka.” Ahh, he had me at “vodka”. I would have ordered pretty much anything to make him stop talking. It’s an incredibly effective waitering technique, now that I think about it.

Anyway, we also did some historical-cultural things, but in the interests of not boring you to a near-coma state, I’ll spare you the details. It is interesting, though, that it takes me one quarter of the time to go through a museum that it takes my husband. I think it’s because I’m so sophisticated that I “get” culture right away and don’t need to linger in front of each piece for a long time, appreciating it. Besides, the hotel had the E! channel and I was anxious to rush back and find out if that whore Britney got her kids back.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Open Door Policy

If you are just joining us, here’s the backstory: I am on vacation this week, with my husband, my 14 year old step-son, my 10 year old daughter and my 7 year old son. And a pack of superduper Pokemon cards. And my laptop which takes about 8 hours to dial up on the internet. Yes, I’m vacationing in the mid-1990s. And they are not happy that Madras shorts are around in the future. Seriously, do men who wear Madras shorts have mirrors? Or eyes?

But anyway.

We are on a tiny island (and just like Kelly Ripa, I won’t disclose where I am vacationing until I’m back from vacation, because, you know, the paparazzi are after us both. But unlike Kelly Ripa, I vacation at the same place every summer, so see you in August 2009, stalkarazzis!)

So, every year we rent a different house on the island, mostly because we never get around to renting it until mid-April, when all the houses that we really wanted are already taken. It’s our way of giving back to the community—giving everyone else a chance to pick out the house that they want, and we’ll take whatever is left. And if we have to pay more for the privilege of renting a shitty house, we’ll do it! Because we’re such givers. Socialists, practically.

And every year, we have a conversation with the real estate agent where she reassures us that it is not necessary to lock the front door because it is so safe on the island. Of course I ignore it every year, and travel with my own security detail. Sort of like the Pope. But without a Marinkamobile.

This year, to top all other years, the house doesn’t even have a key, or a hint of a keyhole, and, ready for this? The front door does not even close. As in it stays open all the time. I don’t know whether it’s a structural flaw, the humidity, or the Manson family staging for their reunion. And yet, unlike in previous years, I am not freaked out of my mind. Maybe because I now have the superpowerful Pokemon cards to watch over us. Or maybe because I am too busy getting the beach sand out of my bed.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ouhr Wahr!

Ok, so that car is all packed, the kids are ready and I am in pre-nervous breakdown mode. This could only mean one thing--it's Sunday! I mean, we're going on vacation!

I was supposed to finish packing last night, but I thought that the packing would go better if I fortified myself with some wine. I figured since every single time in my life when I drank wine I got sleepy, the law of averages said that if I got drunk last night, I would get super-energized and start power packing. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at this law of averages crap, and I fell asleep immediately after, oh, 9 pm. The good news is that I am well-rested. The bad news is that my husband had this conversation this morning:

Husband: Why are you packing the Channukah candles?
Me: I'm so tired of your snide anti-Semitic remarks.

The good news is that my kids and I had this conversation this morning:

Me: Should we take the fake poop on vacation with us?
Kids: Duh.

So, we're all set! I did decide not to take the Channukah candles. Although I am taking some bagels. And just to make sure that I offend everyone with my religious jokes--did you know that the Church is now offering Weight Watchers host wafers? It's called "I can't believe it's not Jesus." My friend John told it to me. Like a year ago, so I figure his moral rights to the joke have expired and I can use it. As a matter of fact, I'm rethinking crediting him with it. Unless you're offended, of course. Then it's totally his fault!

Bye! See you in a week! Or tomorrow, if I get internet access.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Allowance Update: The Recession

Last month I posted about my new allowance philosophy. I would give my kids a designated amount, they would have to save half, and could spend the other half as their discretionary spending money. What they would spend it on is up to them, but I would not be buying them any more crap.

The results have been mixed. It's possible that they are staging a coup.
The first thing to go was the "save half" nonsense. Because they claim that I didn't tell them about it in advance. Like they needed a longer advance period to prepare themselves emotionally or something. Whatever, kids. It starts in September. 2009.

My daughter, who has been known to pinch a penny until it screams, is doing very well, thank you. She gets $10 a week and in the past three weeks, she bought some yarn for like $7, so she's practically loaded. She did tell me that she wants to buy The Simpsons Movie DVD, so I am worried that this will bankrupt her. She did explain to me that it would be better for her if things cost less as opposed to more, so we're working on getting that to happen. Any help would be appreciated.

My son is struggling. He gets $20 a month, on the first day of the month, so he already bought $18 worth of Pokemon cards on August 2nd. He has a list as tall as he is of Wii games and Gameboy games that he needs (he doesn't have a Gameboy, but I thought that breaking this news to him would put him over the edge), and the unfairness of it all is starting to get to him. September cannot get here soon enough, except OH NO! That's when school starts. I'm sure that you can understand the moral dilemma that he is wrestling with.

The good news is that now that they know that they are responsible for their purchases, they have stopped whining and asking for things altogether. I did not think that it would be this easy, and I'm sort of expecting a huge backlash, like when we leave for vacation tomorrow, they will spend the week begging for a snow globe or something. But my fingers are crossed. And my wallet is tucked away.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Dulldrums? Not around here!

By the way, I'm not sure that "dulldrums" is a word, but it totally should be, red squiggly spellcheck line underneath it, be damned. Like "funner". In what world isn't that a word?

Anyway, in case dulldrums isn't a word, I mean the word that means when you're a kid and everything is super dull and you just sort of hang out there, waiting for the time to pass. Something like ennui, but for kids, and that doesn't require medication.

My 7 year old son is fighting it with all his might. This morning's project--holding a pencil between his nose and upper lip AND talking while doing is. So far, he's doing pretty well. He can definitely hold it (you're welcome for the beak, son!), but the talking is coming slowly. He usually drops it by "My name is-". But at least he has a project to work on! When does school start again?

Update: Ok, Wikpedia tells me that it's Doldrums and that it's a maritime term. I need to speak to the Minister of Spelling. Because Dulldrums is so much better. I hope that once Obama is sworn in, he will address this first.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


So, this is where I am in my life. All things being equal, I'd rather be called "cunt" than "sweetheart". Not by my husband or a anything, although if he started to suddenly call me "sweetheart," I'd be really suspicious, unless he did it in this Humphrey Bogard lisp-thing, but even then, I'd start asking questions about why suddenly he's calling me "sweetheart" when never before had it occurred to him to call me that and that may really annoy him and if here were more John McCainlike, he may call me "cunt". Of course if he ever knew that I referred to him, even in the subjunctive as John McCainlike, he would call me a lot worse than "cunt," which according to my equation would be "sweetheart," but that is where my reasoning has a fatal flaw. Or at least a flaw that puts my reasoning in intensive care. With a DNR sign slapped across it.

Anyway. Last month, a colleague called me "sweetheart" in a professional setting. And I found it really annoying. It smacked of, "get me a cup of coffee," even though we were speaking on the phone. And just like that, I had no response. What was I supposed to do, call him "honey bunny"? Generally I don't like things that leave me speechless and what I hate about "sweetheart" is that it is so passive aggressive. We were not discussing our weekend plans and he was not expressing affection towards me. He was putting me in my place. He was reminding me that he's been doing this longer than I have. After we'd hung up, I thought that I must be a fucking weirdo because the word "cunt" has never bothered me, but sweetheart, honey, dear, darling, all those Hallmarked words are like nails on my soul.

I know that as a woman and as a feminist, as a mother and as an avid TV watcher (what? I can't throw that in?) I am supposed to be offended by "cunt" to my very core. I am supposed to call it the c-word, in some nod to the atrocity that is the n-word. But I can't do it. I have no need for it. But I may start calling sweetheart the s-word.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blog Angst

Warning: This post contains a lot of navel gazing. At the end, I announce that I am going on vacation for a week and may or may not update during that time because I want a break. Of course whenever I announce that I want a break, it means that I will update constantly, in real time, will upload podcasts and will come over to your house to read blog updates to you. So, if you don't read about my angst below, I won't be insulted. But don't be surprised if you flunk the pop quiz that I have planned mid-September!

I know what you're thinking--isn't Marinka too young (of a blogger) and too beautiful (of a person) to be suffering from any kind of angst? You would certainly think so, and yet you would be wrong. Because I have terrible blog angst. I may require medication. Wine, at the very least.

My blog angst runs the gamut of "why am I doing this?" to "what is the point of doing this when there are others out there who do it better, and I wonder if they drink more or less than I do." (Also, as I'm typing this, I'm eating the mashed potatoes that my husband made, although I am using the term "mashed" in a very loose sense, so I also have 'will I be the first person in gastronomic history to chip my tooth on mashed potatoes?' angst. I'm an emotional mess right now.)

When I started this blog, over two months ago, I thought that it would focus on chair massages in New York City. That lasted approximately twelve seconds. Then I just started to blog about things that were on my mind. Like my kids, a lot. Like September 11th, a lot. Like my family, a lot, although my husband prefers to be referred to in passing only, my mother is still unsure what this internet business is about and my father dares me to "write whatever you want, I've heard worse about myself."

(by the way, my husband just put the ice cream into the microwave. We do that a lot around here because we cannot wait for it to soften naturally, but it occurred to me that maybe this isn't standard in all households and that I should come clean on this. It also reminds me of that joke that Joan Rivers told about Liz Taylor microwaving popcorn and yelling "hurry!")

I worry that my blog doesn't have a focus--I don't concentrate on parenthood, I don't concentrate on humor and I don't concentrate on New York. And sometimes my own writing voice really grates on me. That's normal, right? It grates on you, too, right? I worry about how much to share. Should everything be filtered through humor? Do people want to know about the darker aspects of my life, even when I don't.

And it's so hard not to be intimidated. Not just by the superstars, like Jenny the Bloggess, and Wendi Aarons, each of whom cracks me up whenever she posts, but by raw talent and emotion that is out there. It's Is There Any Mommy Out There, The Redneck Mommy, Baby on Bored, to name a few whose posts are etched in my brain . (You're welcome for that image, by the way! If you're not happy with your blog hosting platform, why not consider my brain? Lots of open spaces!) These women whose posts not only entertain but share such a huge part of their lives and themselves that I feel humbled and privileged to read it. They break my heart and I come back for more.

In a way, these women are my Flannery O'Connor. Because in high school I wanted to be a writer (well, what I really wanted to do was be out of high school) and then I read A Good Man is Hard to Find and thought that I could never do that. For some reason, Hawthorne, Melville, Dickens and Salinger did not intimidate me the way that Flannery did. It took me years, decades, to come to terms with it being ok that I couldn't write like Flannery O'Connor, because no one else could either. There was one Flannery O'Connor, and there's one Jenny the Bloggess, and one Anymommy, Redneck Mommy, Mama Ginger Tree, and so many of the other bloggers that I adore. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Oh yeah. I'm going on vacation next week and I may not update the whole time. Of course I'll be with my kids, so I may update constantly. Place your bets now!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

O. Hiss

My kids are at my parents' house upstate, enjoying the summer, while their father and I toil at our offices. Air conditioned offices, within walking distance of Starbucks, but still.

Yesterday morning I was talking to my mother on the phone about how annoying it is that Oprah is on the cover of every single issue of "O" magazine and what kind of egomaniac do you have to be to insist on that, and how if we were Oprah, we would give other people a chance to be on the cover, because although we probably wouldn't be building schools in Africa with our kazillions, we would certainly be modest enough to want to take a month or two off from covergirlhood.

I was just about to make an award-winning point about how if I were Oprah, I'd have other celebrities whose name started with "O" on the cover, just for continuity sake, when I heard my son let out a blood curdling scream. Well, at first I thought it was the cat, then I thought it was a young girl, but then I understood that it was my son. There were a few thoughts that raced through my mind at that point: 1. God, I hope his voice changes eventually. 2. Is the Mason family out already and visiting my parents? and 3. It's a good thing that the scream-interruption came when it did, because I can't think of any other celebrities whose name begins with an "O".

He was screaming because apparently he saw a snake in the bedroom. Now he's not a junior Joan of Arc where he sees things that aren't there and they talk to him. And yet a snake? In the bedroom? Isn't that a little Garden of Eden?

My mother went to investigate. My father arrived with a bucket and tongs. My daughter, apparently, didn't look up from her book.

"What's going on now?" I shrieked into the phone.

"We have located the snake," mama narrated. "We will now photograph it."

About half an hour later, my kids called me to tell me the tale of the snake. My son was feeling super-brave and explained that he had saved the day by finding the snake. My daughter didn't see what the big deal was. I though that maybe Clive Owen could be our cover shot. See? Even in a crisis, I'm always thinking.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pre-Vacation Stress Disorder Syndrome

We are leaving for vacation on Sunday, so I am officially kicking off a week of anxiety fun that leads to the vacation. Every day this week, I will bedazzle you with stories about my worries, until one day I magically look up "bedazzle" in the dictionary and apologize for using the word incorrectly. Perhaps I will just dazzle you with these stories. Or better yet, in keeping with the truth in advertising principles--I will type them up on my blog.

The fun thing about my anxieties is that I'm afraid that writing them will both make them come true and also make them not come true, but will beget worse calamities. Like the Loch Ness Monster appearing out of the ocean and stealing my last beer. I don't know how anyone can be expected to relax with that possibility out there.

But my first issue is housing at the vacation destination. Next weekend my family and I will go to a small island for a vacation where we rented a house and I expect to spend every night with Eyes Wide Open because the real estate agent's assurance that "it is so safe here, no one bothers to lock the door" is just the kind of foreshadowing that's in all the best slasher movies. Not that I've actually seen too many of those, either, because, you know, I want to be surprised when it's my turn.

The first time the real estate agent lady told me that she never locks her door, I asked her for her exact address and she just laughed. The second time, I asked her if we did in fact lock our doors on the island, would it seem suspicious to the local criminals--like what, are these people too good for our island that they lock the doors? They probably have the Hope Diamond in there. Let's go! For some strange reason, she didn't laugh.

I know that this is my problem. I've lived in apartment buildings my whole life, and I am terrified of houses. There are too many points of entry for me to relax and to escape thinking about all sorts of blood curdling (and possibly flowing) possibilities. Houses make all sorts of noises and although I do not believe in ghosts, sometimes, in the middle of the night, I will make an exception.

My solution to this, of course, is to drink heavily. And to limit vacations to a few short weeks a year. Thank goodness that I don't live in Europe, I don't know how those poor people cope with their six week vacations. They must all have alcohol poisoning.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Tidbits

I am busy decluttering today, which so far has involved my getting rid of tons of clothes and books and papers and possibly fossils. I am in the mood to be ruthless, so I have been tossing things without a second glance, except every once in a while, I do stop and take a look and I'm almost never sorry.

My friend gave me this card for my birthday, I love it because he calls me Marinka and serenades me with a poem. Perfect.

I also got this card from a friend who was vacationing in Croatia.

If there is anything that I love more than semi-literate English cards printed in foreign countries, I can't quite figure out what that is.

And then there was this:

My in-laws visited us last month, and when they left, I noticed that they put this baby portrait of my husband (and the other four of the quintuplets) up in their room. Of course, I was not going to throw it out, but it makes me laugh every time that I look at it because it is such a period piece. Sort of like they used to draw children as miniature adults in medieval times.

Friday, August 8, 2008


You know how sometimes, for fun, we do one of those "My Week in Review" posts and it's something like:

Monday--woke up feeling great, but then chipped a nail. Damn it! Need a new manicure!

Tuesday--Tivo didn't record "Live with Regis and Kelly". Can't cope.

I did one of those not too long ago. Here.

I'm not doing one this week, because in short hand, this is what my week was like:

Monday: Shit
Tuesday: Crap
Wednesday: Manure
Thursday: Shit with a hint of Crap
Friday: Shit with an aura of Crap with a sprinkling of Manure

(ok, is it me, or is my week starting to sound like a scatological fusion restaurant?)

So, today, after work, I decided to get a lottery ticket. I never get lottery tickets because I am very judgmental and there's something very trashy about them, I think. Except for scratch off tickets. Or maybe especially those. But in my opinion, you can't really get those unless you're wearing Lee Press-On Nails and chewing Bubble Yum, and I have short nails and dental work, so both options are out.

But today I figured, what the fuck?
I got the regular Lotto ticket, I think the prize is $44 million. I specifically asked the clerk to give me the winning ticket, so I'm all set. Really, the drawing is just a formality. He asked me if I wanted a lump-sum or the annuity and I asked him about the tax consequences of each and he just sort of stared at me blankly. Excuse me, but if a customer asks for some tax planning advice, shouldn't he able to provide it?

Anyway, I chose the lump sum because I figure I could really use it. With the week I've had and all.

Not So Fun Mom

Know when my kids will refer to me as "Fun Mom"? On opposite days and only then. Well, maybe if they spend some time at Gitmo, I'll seem more fun in comparison, but I can't make any promises.

Here is the list of reasons why I am very unfun. Let me know if you need any further proof.

1. I will never let my kids go to an amusement park. You know how sometimes you hear about a horrific accident when someone loses a limb or a head on the Twister or the Decapitator? Honestly, I don't understand why that makes the news, because I assume that this is what goes on daily at those places.

2. I will not let my kids have a pet snake, hamster, or anything else that can escape from its cage and make me never sleep again. That includes tigers and lions. Oh and by the way? I know I can't be the only person who totally expected Christian the Lion to tear those two guys to shreds. Maybe next time.

3. I won't let my kids get a bunk bed. Seriously, who thinks of this crap? Emergency room surgeons, is my guess.

4. I won't let my daughter wear anything with JUICY scrawled across the ass. Or DeLiteFul. Because I am a prude in the first instance and like the English language in the second.

5. I can't bring myself to text "u" for "you" and other abbreviations. The only one I will do is "K8" for "Kate".

6. My 7 year old still hasn't seen Star Wars because I'm worried that it is too violent. Most of his friends have seen it at 3. I'm sure that he is planning to take them all out.

7. The answer to my kids' pleas of "When can we have a TV in our room?" is "Never."

8. I interrupt precious Wii playing time on playdates to ask visiting friends what they are reading. They almost never answer.

9. Now that our dishwasher is broken, or is taking a well-negotiated break, I make my kids wash their own dishes. This is really unfair, because as my son explained, he has waffles for breakfast and therefore has to scrub the syrup off the plate, whereas my daughter has cereal and only has to rinse her bowl. I suspect that he's looking into one of those disposable astronaut breakfast deals.

10. I let them have Doritos and chips only on "special occasions". Special occasions include when I'm having some and am confronted with hypocracy (ok, I tried every single spelling of that fucking word and the red squiggly like still appears underneath it--how do you spell it? Hippocrasy? Hipokrasy? Hyppocrasie?), when I am too lazy too cook dinner and when the Messiah arrives. Just kidding, when I'm too lazy to cook dinner, we order out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I am Practically Katie Couric!

As some of you (particularly those of you gifted in the art of ESP) may know, I recently participated in the Great Interview Experiment, organized by Neil of Citizen of the Month. I interviewed Shiny of Shiny's Takeout. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't fully appreciate the title of the blog until I started to write this up. Say it out loud and you'll see what I mean! I did immediately appreciate Shiny's email address, which is Shiny at not wearing pants dot com. There are not many people who show their sense of humor with their email address.

It was a lot of fun for me to check out his website, and I hope that you will visit it, too.

Anyway, heeeeere's Shiny!

If I were suddenly unavailable to interview you, because, for the sake of argument, I had to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, which of the following would you like to interview you and why: Barbara Walters, Kelly Ripa, or Oprah?

First of all, many congratulations on the Peace Prize. I hear it comes with a coupon for 5% off at Circuit City. Use your newfound glory wisely...

This is really a tough question: which of these three lovely ladies would I want to interview me? Would I want Barbra Walters, which would mean either a stint in prime time or an opportunity to spar verbally with Elisabeth Hasselbeck? How about the oft-watched Kelly Ripa, a woman I find beautiful, perky and stimulating -- and partner to an old fogey whom I could giggle at uncontrollably if I get him to say the word "rubbers" without him thinking of any double entendre?

But I think I would have to go with Oprah. Never really been a huge fan of hers, but apparently she gives away free cars every once in a while. I suppose I can't win if I don't play...

So, I am about to interview you and then I see that you've already been interviewed, with many excellent questions! How do you think it makes me feel?

It makes you feel cheated. You most likely feel like Bruce Willis when he was about to promote the film "Armageddon" mere weeks after another film about an impending space-related disaster film, "Deep Impact" had already hit theaters. However, your questions are different than the softball ones I threw at myself.

Now, about the silk Superman boxer shorts—have you tried them yet? What are you waiting for?

I haven't yet tried any silk boxers, much less those with the Superman insignia on them. I have nothing against Superman or what I'll simply call "Underoos for grown men," but I simply feel just fine in the boxers I have. As I've mentioned in my blog, I can be a large, sweaty man who craves a breathable fabric. I'd hate for the lil' guys to suffocate...

Are all the photos on your website your own?

It depends on which photos. If you're talking about the photos of my family and me, then yes -- I own those photos. But many of the other images you'll find on the site are taken through image searches across the web. I prefer to use photos allowed use by Creative Commons licenses, but I'll be the first to admit that I sometimes use images from the web without express permission. I have not yet received any takedown notices, however...

What is the book that you read from cover to cover and then wanted to hurl against the wall because it, well, sucked?

I was excited to discover that author Douglas Coupland was releasing a follow-up to one of my favorite novels, Microserfs. Released in the early 90s, Microserfs chronicles the journey of a Microsoft employee who leaves the comfort of his life in Seattle to move to Silicon Valley and work at a friend's startup company. It's written in a format closer to a blog format than anything else written at the time. His 2006 novel jPod was to follow a video game designer in Vancouver through the same writing style. I pre-ordered the book from Amazon expecting a similar experience to Microserfs. Instead, I found the book's self-referential nature to be insulting to the reader base -- whom Coupland knew would pre-order the book. I mean, he makes it so you have no choice but to skip meaningless garbage for pages on end! I was so pissed at this book.

Interestingly enough, the CBC, in association with Coupland, brought jPod to the small screen as an hour-long dramatic series starring, among others, Alan Thicke. And it's been a remarkable show. It was on for one season, but the fan base is pleading with the CBC to produce more episodes. If it ever makes it to DVD, it's certainly worth a watch.

Do you think that Jesse Helms had regrets about his political life?

No. I honestly think that he was doing what he felt was right. That he was answering a calling. Which is, in my opinion, quite sad.

What's your wife's take on Robin the Vegetarian Goddess?

They've actually spoken with each other by phone recently. I suppose socKs (my wife) has been frustrated that a girl I was majorly crushing on nineteen years ago influenced me to be a vegetarian and that the spell wasn't broken when the omnivorous socKs came into my life. But she's been wonderfully supportive of my vegetarianism throughout the years, even if she pokes fun at me for the reason I became one.

Personally, I think that the YouTube clip of Shiny Shows His Balls is awesome. By the way, if that is not you, please disregard. But if it is you, please tell me about the response that the clip received? Has your family seen it?

That is me. And I think it's receive a positive response. I mean -- what men out there don't want to show the world their balls? I still think that the crown jewel was me exposing what I've been treasuring since 1986. It's certainly something quite valuable.

As far as I know, my father does not read my blog. My brother is a reader, however, but he has not (yet) commented on this video. My five year-old son hasn't seen it, but he's more into YouTube clips which are more animated with less monologue.

What is the kid TV show that you can't stand? Love?

There are so many on both lists! Among those that I can't stand are Barney and Friends (too patronizing), Dora the Explorer (her voice just gets on my last nerve) and The Wiggles (again, too patronizing for me. And too repetitive. I also don't like the way they deal with Anthony's food/portion control issues. But I will concede that they're wonderful in concert...)

I'll give a shout-out to three kids shows that are quite wonderful: one is "SuperWhy" (PBS), an animated show which focuses on reading skills. But more importantly, it has a superhero named "Alpha Pig." How can you not like that? The other two are productions of "Spiffy" -- "Jack's Big Music Show" on Noggin and "Bunnytown" on the Disney Channel. They're both puppet-based and created by some folks who used to be part of the Muppet organization. :Jack's" focuses on musical performances in a very creative way, and "Bunnytown" is just silly and cute and obscure.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An Announcement from My Son

Son (7 years old): I don't have buttocks.

Marinka (age unspecified): What do you mean?

Son: I don't have buttocks. Do you want to hear it again? I don't have buttocks.

Daughter (10 years old): That's stupid. And who cares?

Son: Buttocks are important. It's how your butt lives.

Daughter: Some people have their buttocks chopped off at birth.

Son: Why?

Daughter: Like by a devil nurse or something.

Marinka: glug, glug.

Killing the Whole Damn Aviary With One Stone

My daughter is so bored that the she is about to win the Nobel Prize for Boredom. She is checking her pulse periodically to make sure that she is still alive, because she cannot believe that any life can be maintained while being so devoid of anything of interest.

She tells me this often, and although it doesn't bore me, it annoys me quite a bit. Because she has a room filled with books, arts and crafts and an ipod. Seriously, what else is there? I don't want to launch into the whole "when I was your age, I had an orange, and it was my only friend and it entertained me for weeks," but I am only human and at some point I am going to snap.

Apparently, that point came after the third time she told me that she was bored, while were riding in the elevator to go to the store to get some orange juice. Probably made from a descendant of my best childhood friend, Orangy. She actually said, "there is nothing to do in the elevator." That's what I get for traveling without a Mariachi band.

So, in a moment of parental genius I told her that when we came home, she'd have to sit down and write a list of things that she could do when she is bored. This way, she'd have something to do--and when she was finished, she would have a list that she could refer to in times of boredom. And then I could take a picture of it and post in on my blog--an instant blog post! Instant boredom buster, all around. Although not necessarily for the people reading this post. Sorry.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Guess What?

You know how some people say "guess what?" and you say, "what?" and they immediately tell you? What is that all about? Why don't they just come out and say what they want to say and spare you the foreplay? And does anyone ever bother guessing anymore?

"You won the lottery? No? Hmm, you impregnated Angelina Jolie? No? Am I at least close? Was I warmer with the lottery or with Angelina?"

In my opinion, the less prefacing the better. Which leads me to my question--guess what? Give up? Super duper give up and swear that I am the Queen of Guess What and you are the Vice Queen in Waiting with No Hope of Becoming Queen?

Anyway, since you give up, I'll tell you.

Today, I am guest blogging at Citizen of the Month. Come see me there! And don't be intimidated by my topic--I make it accessible! Click here! Why are you still reading this? Click!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Throw in the Barbie

On Saturday morning I walked into my daughter's room and nearly collapsed into a heap of nervous terror because every piece of clothing that she owned was on the floor, in a heap of nervous terror of its own. She told me that she was organizing her outfits. I have experience with this type of organization. Everything gets dumped into an enormous pile. Then three pieces get Gap-folded and then an unprecedented exhaustion/depression/paralysis sets in and suddenly, it seems easier to relocate than to finish the organization. So when I walked into her room, I saw the writing on the wall. And I don't mean the "Zac Effron is dumb" that she'd scribbled in the corner.

And yet, within an hour, everything was sorted, folded and put away. I was super-impressed. And then she brought out this enormous box of rejection--Barbies in various stages of undress as well as some Madeline dolls. We seem to have lost the nun, Miss Clavel, but a few months after we got her, she was Always Naked anyway. Not so holy. Or maybe extremely. So, I'm left with a Barbie box. It's weird to know that my daughter will never play with dolls again, that she's ready to let them go. And that I have to find some poor saps to unload them on.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


My kids' camp ended last week, but not before they learned a few catchy tunes. I'm telling you, you can't pay for this kind of thing. Except, of course, we did.

Here's a transcript of the lyrics:

Aggravation (as this song is performed, any questions about the meaning of its title miraculously disappear. As does the will to live.)

Aggravation, Rehabilitation
Aggravation, This is how you play!

First you take a bowling ball and you roll it down the hall.
Hit your dad, he gets mad, ooooo-oooo-ooo!

Aggravation, Rehabilition
Aggravation, This is how you play!

Then you take a red balloon and you put it on a spoon
Eat it up, you’ll blow up

Ooooo oooo oo!

Aggravation, Rehabilitation
Aggravation, This is how you play!

Then you take a teddy bear, stick it in your underwear
Go to work, you’re a jerk

Ooooo oooo oo!

Aggravation, Rehabilitation
Aggravation, This is how you play!

Then you take a garden hose and you stick it up your nose
Turn it on, you’re all gone.

Ooooo oooo oo!

Aggravation, Rehabilition
Aggravation, and that was how you play!

The Freezing Song (this song has the obvious benefit that everyone is supposed to freeze and stay frozen at the end until Mommy utters the magic word, like "get me a beer and then re-freeze". The disadvantage, of course, is the song itself.)

There’s place called Mars, where the women smoke cigars
And the men wear bikinis
And the children drink martinis

Every step you take
Is enough to kill a snake
When the snake dies
You put diamonds in his eyes

When the diamonds crack
You put mustard down its back

When the mustard fades
You call the king the Spain

When the King arrives, Everybody freezes!

And because I personally do not get enough of Jingle Bells during the Christmas (October-January) season:

Dashing through the snow
On a pair of broken skies
On the fields we go
Crashing into trees
Ha ha ha!

Now the snow is red
And I am almost dead
And now I’m in the hospital with staples in my head.

Jingle bells, Santa smells, Rudolf laid an egg!
Oh what fun it is to be hanging from a peg!

The other big news around here is that in the event there is now a disagreement between the kids about a critical issue such as who get the blue bowl, who has to practice the piano first and who gets the first piece of bacon, we no longer use Rock, Paper, Scissors. We have moved on to Eenie Meenie Miny Mo. Here's the version that my son recommends:

Eenie, Meenie. Miny, Mo
Catch a Tiger By Its Toe
If He Hollers, Let Him Go
Eenie, Meenie Miny, Mo

My mother told me to choose the best one and I choose you.

The colors of the American Flag are Red, White and Blue. I choose you.

The best part about it is that by the time he's all done, I've eaten all the bacon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Last week, my daughter's toe was inflamed and I took her to a podiatrist. She didn't want to go. She would have preferred to have an ice cream sundae. I didn't raise no damn fool, you know. But when we were there, she was so grown up, so composed and so brave. She is ten now and sometimes it's still hard for me to reconcile how she is now with the screaming toddler who I had to restrain for vaccinations and dental appointments.

It was an ingrown toenail and the doctor had to remove a piece of it. I have no idea who she inherited her threshold of pain from, but I bow to that DNA. I nearly pass out when I walk into a doctor's office and here she was, receiving a shot that lasted a good minute in her toe and all she said was "God, that hurts." And she's not even religious.

Later that night, she woke me up at 2 am, standing by my bed and sobbing. She said that her toe hurt and she wanted me to sleep in her bed. She hasn't wanted me to stay with her for years, so I was delighted. Sleepy, but delighted. I got her some Tylenol, and I lay down next to her. She asked me to rub her back and she hugged me and after about an hour, she said, "I feel better now, you can go to your bed, mommy." It was a moment of pure joy for me. It was like all that I've ever wanted to hear.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dr. Shark Week

I am relatively new to blogging but I've noticed that some bloggers include photographs of doodles--their own, their children's fantastic drawings, their gynecologist's rendering of what is happening. Well, I'm not due for a Pap smear for another month or so, and even then I can't guarantee results. The only artistic talents that my gynecologist has exhibited during our relationship was sewing up my episiotomy tear, and I don't think that he even did the cross stitch on that one. Although an earlier OB that I had ended up carving his initials into a woman's stomach because, according to him, he did such a great job with a c-section, he wanted to sign it. I bet he could have provided quite a sketch for my blog.

Anyway, my son was clearly sensing that I was feeling left out of the whole "adorable doodles on blog" thing so he left this inside my notebook. And even though we're not watching Shark Week on TV, (because we're afraid) his drawings seem very Shark Week to me. What I like best about them is that the first one does not have a body, just the shark head, but then he realized his mistake and included the body. He's clearly a genius. On his way to medical school.