Saturday, January 31, 2009

Take this post with Prozac

Lately I find myself wanting to start a lot of my blogs with “Christ Almighty”—as in “Christ Almighty, today was a doozy,” etc., etc. But I don’t like to take the Lord’s name in vain. I worry about walking into churches and igniting into a ball of flames as it is. He doesn’t need more ammo.

But here I am again. I need a giant poof before I begin. Some kind of flaming spitting thundering poofing pop.

Ok, ok, I am pussyfooting.

We’re having Chuck’s cousins over for dinner. Chuck’s biological father’s sister’s kids. Chuck reconnected with them at his biological grandfather’s wake last weekend and now they are coming over for pork chops and to play what-have-you-been-up-to-for-36-years?

Did you get that? Chuck’s biological father’s sister’s kids. See, after his mom and dad had him and his brother, his dad fled the country. His mom remarried, this time to a man who had three girls of his own. His mother and the new dad had a boy and a girl. While all this was happening, his biological father came back to the States with his foreign wife and had three more kids. Chuck’s mother and step-father divorced a few years ago, and she married a man she’d secretly been in love with for almost 30 years. Thankfully he didn't have any kids with any of his four ex-wives.

So Chuck has one brother, three step-sisters, two half-brothers, three half-sisters and many aunts, uncles and cousins, including someone named Winky, whom I've yet to meet.

Joan Collins, I know you're jealous you didn't write this.

Chuck doesn’t talk to his real dad, though we did see him at the wake. And he saw Junior (a.k.a. his first biological grandson). Actually, Junior handed him a toy train. Which he took and awkwardly held.

I don’t need to tell you that the situation was difficult. Chuck’s taxidermied grandfather lying behind us only added to the discomfort. (I don’t mean to be trite, but a person can only absorb and witness so much grief before she finds herself making glib comments on her blog a week later.)

So tonight, pork chops and Our Lives, the abridged version.

I’m angry at myself for feeling slightly annoyed. We have so many people in our lives already—people who have been there, in person, for the ups and downs—and now we are going to revisit it all. I wish we could exchange life movies and regroup a few hours later. But as I write this I realize that it’s not them I’m annoyed with, it’s Time. Because it’s life that feels oversaturated, not our relationships, and I know already that after we have eaten our stupid overcooked pork chops (remember last time?), I will be looking at the sink and laundry and dust balls and I will pushing Chuck's cousins' words down my digestive track without having properly chewed them.

And that’s a shame. Because after Chuck’s kidney stones, gallbladder pain, possible ulcer, grandfather’s death, pink slip and alopecia (yup, that too), something good should come out of this winter.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

The poor man is crying out for crimson

I’ve been so caught up with former loves and bitchy Mexican food I completely spaced on a tag I got from the Juice. (By the way, the votes are in. Of those of you who voted, nine thought I was in the right. The chicken enchilada got three votes. But I’m not bitter.)

You might be sick of tags but look, it’s Thursday night and I just did the dishes. Whenever I do the dishes I reflect on the day, which means I mentally claw at something annoying someone did, and then I come up to my Womancave and upheave on my keyboard.

Today’s irrational irritant (at least I realize I’m mentally challenged) was my colleague’s response this morning to a brochure I designed. He started jack hammering the term “white space…white space” and wouldn’t shut it. The man doesn’t need more white space. What he needs is to stop wearing short sleeve-shirts with ties and blatantly abusing graphic design terms he’s overheard somewhere along the way. He also needs to accept his fear of color, as evidenced by his prolific collection of tan shirts, tan ties, tan pants and tan sweaters.


Anyway. The whole mangeek-is-obsessed-with-white-space leads me to the “six things most people don’t know about one of your specialties/hobbies/professions” tag. Except I am changing it to “six things I wish people would stop saying to someone in my profession (graphic design).”

You already know #1: “We need more white space. Can we have some more white space? I think we should use more white space. Or can we have tan and white space? White space and tan? Maybe just white space. Or tan.”

#2. “Do you have Publisher?” Oh, you fool! You poor, hapless fool! Publisher?

#3: “Make it pop.” Brochures are not jack-in-the-boxes.

#4: “Can I see the blue line what is that again the draft with blue ink?”

#5. “Are you painting your house?” No, but thank you for asking. It’s a Pantone Matching System swatch book and ok, I’ll be nice, it does kind of look like the swatch books from Home Depot. A really, really little book of Smurf-size swatches.

#6. “What’s wrong with Reflex Blue?” Reflex Blue is the ugliest color known to man. It should be erased from our lives and never spoken of again.

Whew, another load of dishes done, another irritant addressed. Who needs a dishwasher?

* Tan can be your friend—it's mine—but please, go easy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I like my enchiladas with extra bitch, please

We’re in the midst of a bit of family drama. Ordinarily I wouldn’t air my undies but I’m hoping that by explaining it to you, my lovely and non-judging webwonderlings, it will help me to understand it, too. (Mmmyeah, cause drama is so—yawn, stretch—boring.)

Here goes. The down-and-dirty version:

Monday night I took Junior to have dinner with my cousin, Lauren, who is living with a major dickhead (I wish I was exaggerating, I really, really, really, really do). She says she wants kids; we’re all hoping Dickhead mysteriously disappears and Knight in Shining Armor swoops down, marries her, and puts a bun in her Easybake Oven.

Because Junior is 18 months old and likes to use his legs, we spent dinner shoveling in our food while chasing him around the restaurant (side note to bitchy father who was annoyed that Junior kept wanting to check out the light switch next to his booth: You’re also a dickhead).

To me it was a normal get-together: Cram food in mouth, chase toddler, talk with food in mouth, pop Tums, leave. To Lauren, who has yet to experience the wondrous bullshit that is trying to dine with a toddler, she went home and called her mother (a.k.a. my mother’s evil sister) and told her that after that experience with Junior, she wanted to have her tubes tied.

The next morning, the evil sister called my mother, Linda, and repeated this verbatim. Then my mother called me and shared the news with me.

An equation popped into my head; it looked like this:

Dinner + Junior = Longing for sterilization

Understandably I was hurt, pissed and jonesing for whiskey—I mean, answers. So I sent Lauren an email and asked her if my equation was right. She said no, she would never say she wanted to get her tubes tied. She had a lovely time at dinner. Blah, blah, blah.

Great, fine.

I thought we had put the matter behind us, but Lauren called her mother and yelled at her for putting words in her mouth. Then her mother called Linda and ripped her a new one for spreading rumors and being “small.”

Another equation popped into my head; it looked like this:

Sister + sister + cousin + Junior + me = Longing for relocation to Oregon

So here we are. My aunt and mother are not speaking. Someone said something about tying tubes and it wasn’t the plumber. Lauren wants to “go out again soon! ;) ” And Chuck, that slimy bastard, he forgot to put my leftover chicken enchilada back in the fridge after he raked his germy fork through it, and I was really looking forward to eating it for lunch and now it's crawling with Salmonella. I mean, come on! Lesson #1 in my book Eating with a Toddler is that if you can’t enjoy it the first time, you at least get to reheat it and enjoy it a few days later in the tranquility of your own home.

Lord Almighty, can we all get on the same page?

Anyway, who’s right?
a) Me, me and me
b) Linda
c) Evil sister
d) Lauren
e) Dickhead
f) Bitchy dad in restaurant booth
g) Chicken enchilada

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Human Resources Clod

Dear HR Manager,

I understand you are hiring to fill the important role of Vehicular Psychic. Please accept my one-and-a-half-year-old son's resume, as I believe his qualifications make him the perfect candidate for the position you are seeking to fill.

Vehicular Psychics play an important role in today's society. The ability to correctly determine—sight unseen—if a passing vehicle is a truck, bus, 'cycle, fire [truck], train, or car is crucial to our success as a locomotive species. Not only is Junior's record near perfect, he can successfully discern ground vehicles from air.

Over and over and over and over.

Never again will you have to hear the whir of a motorized vehicle and wonder if it's a bus or truck or 'copter. The incessant repetition of his exclamations only enhances his impressive portfolio.

As an added bonus, if you have any slacker employees, Junior can circle the perimeters and besiege them with "what doing?" again and again and again.

And again.

Surely this will serve as a gentle kick in the pants, one that will help to improve your organization's productivity and bottom dollar (no pun intended).

Junior will bring to this position enthusiasm, determination and an affinity for kitties. Rest assured that any fluctuations in temperament can be quickly extinguished with Cheerios and a juice box. His beloved Puppy and Monkey might be affixed to his side, but this will in no way hinder his progress.

Thank you for your consideration,
Junior's Mom

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I knew this day was coming, but this soon?

As I was giving Junior breakfast and bellowing, "C is for Cookie," Junior gave me the look. The oh-my-God-you-are-an-embarrassment-to-me-and-my-fellow-little-people look.

I can't be lame already. Sputter. Gasp. He's only 18 months.

Maybe it was gas. Yes, yes, yes! It was a gas bubble that pushed on the nerve in his belly that controls his eyebrows and it caused them to furrow. And then the weight of the furrow pushed down on his cheeks and made the corners of his mouth scrunch up.

That's obviously it. Phew. I mean shit, that was close.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Speed's the new black

We’re nearing the end of a major facelift at work, so my office building has been swarming with construction workers for close to a year. Some of you might enjoy the sight of taut, heaving muscles lifting and moving, day after bending day. Some of you might even appreciate the not-so-subtle glances you get from said musclemen (I won’t lie, I hoist the girls up a little higher as I walk by). But if you’re like the women in my office, you want the construction workers to die a slow and painful death.

There have been so many complaints about lingering glances that the building manager finally decided to do something about it. Today, everyone in the building received an email saying that any construction worker caught checking out the goods for more than three seconds “will be fired on the spot.” Several brown-nosers were even appointed as watchdogs to protect those innocents who cannot successfully determine whether or not they’ve been violated.

“Voyeurism is an intolerable act!”

At first I was giddy with anticipation. I pictured fierce eyeball showdowns: “1-2-3! You’re toast, asshole!” People dropping off like flies! Then I realized that the 3-second rule has a lot of gray areas. Like, what if you think someone is checking out your butt but he’s really looking at lint on your pant leg? And some people are really fast counters. What if someone’s three is someone else’s two-and-a-half? And how the hell did they determine that three is the magic offensive number? If someone is an adept ogler, you can feel icky after one second.

Why was I not on this committee?

Anyway, after I got the email, I jumped into the hallway to you know, check things out. And do you know what? All eyes were facing downward. Jose. Hector. Phil. Roy. Steve. Germaine. Clint. Rick. Dave. Little Fred. Terry. (What? They’re my guys). Not one glance.


I was just about to go back into my office when my coworker Linda—a top heavy woman who's shaped like an ice cream cone—came barreling down the hallway. I gave her a little wave and when she raised her hand to do the same she accidentally flipped her Lean Cuisine lunch onto the floor and stepped in it. Tragically, her heel caught the lip of the plastic tray (or perhaps a Portobello mushroom) and she slid forward, hands first, and landed on the floor in a position one might assume if one would like to be mounted.

Oh.My.God. The eye cannot even begin to take in the visual feast that is a voluptuous woman on all fours in three seconds. It’s impossible. It’s even worse when she starts to whimper, “Help me. I have brown sauce on my stockings.”

Oh, bejesus.

In light of all this activity, I’ve broken two cardinal rules today: I blogged from work (I was about to bust a gut if I didn’t), and I didn’t report Jose, Hector, Phil, Roy, Steve, Germaine, Clint, Rick, Dave, Little Fred or Terry for not averting their eyes. (Oh crap, now you know I’m a brown-noser. But come on, you knew that didn’t you?)

This post is dedicated to Chuck’s grandfather, the ultimate ogler. He passed away on Monday. He will be missed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm beginning to think my hotness peaked in elementary school

After blogging for close to a year—gasp/holy shit, think of all the hours I’ve shat on the computer—I have come to believe that whatever you send out into the blogosphere, it comes back to you somehow (yah, yah, I’m lifting that from The Secret).

Just yesterday I wrote about that evil little boy from my youth who wanted to see my goods. Well today there was a message waiting for me in my Facebook inbox and it was from my third grade boyfriend whom I haven’t heard from in 25 years.

Not since he wrote me this note back in 1984:

(If you can’t read it, it says, “Dear Christina, Can you come over June 7 or 12 after school? You do not have to if you want. It is alright with my mom. Bring your bathing suit because I went swimming over the weekend and if it is warm enough we will go swimming! Are you playing tag?”)

In what can only be described as the cruelest twist of fate, Brian moved just before the first week of June and I never got to experience the Sri Lanka that was his swimming pool.

Man, oh man, I had it bad for him. He had creamy white skin and pale blue eyes. He wore cardigans and a braided leather belt, and he looped the excess belt over the top because he was such a twig. Sometimes I felt fat standing next to him.

I wanted to ask him if he still does that with his belts but we, um, haven’t moved into the Intimate Questions Realm yet. In fact, I didn’t even tell him I had the note. Chuck personally thought it was “cute but weird” that I’ve held on to it this long. (By the way, Chuck doesn’t have appendix issues, might be an ulcer, blah blah). I think it’s perfectly wonderful that I still have it. Though God, I hope I don't get hit by a bus tomorrow because my life has somehow come full circle. That would really blow.

Anyway, what do you think? Will Brian think I'm a freak if I tell him I have The Note? Will he be pissed I didn't heed his warning about not showing it to anyone? Will Chuck's ulcer balloon to monstrous proportions if I keep getting giddy about my third grade love?

Facebook, you insidious Pandora's Box you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'd drop my pants for Upchuck Chuck any time

Good grief. Chuck may have the beginning stages of appendicitis. I stayed home from work today to keep an eye on him, which was a real treat since all he did was clutch his stomach and roll around in agony. Chuck, honey, your claim that you “never get sick” doesn’t count anymore because kidney stones and ruptured body parts usurp colds. Hello.

Anyway, I decided to call my step-sister, Patty, because I heard that her husband’s friend’s neighbor’s dog’s sister-in-law’s appendix once burst and I thought that her educated council on appendicitis symptoms might provide us with enough fodder/warm fuzzies to catapult us into more meaningful conversation, like why we never seem to talk about anything meaningful.

Chalk it up to cabin fever/excessive snow/a midday nip of Vodka, Patty was chatty. Before I could even broach the appendix thing, she launched into a rant about how she’d just gotten a call from the school principal. Apparently her son, Jack, who’s in second grade, told a fellow second grader to take off her pants. And she did.

Jack’s punishment was that he had to apologize to the little girl and her parents and eat lunch at his own solitary table in the cafeteria for the week. Patty and her husband also had to go to school for a conference with the teacher and principal. I thought it was kind of funny; Patty was ready to ring his nuts. She was so pissed off that we never even made it to the much hyped appendix banter.


After I hung up, I relayed the conversation to Chuck. Then I told him about how when I was in second grade, my schoolmate and neighbor Eric Martin and I were playing in his basement. All of a sudden, he stopped what he was doing and said, “Take off your pants.” My heart starting pounding; I didn’t know what to do. So I said, “You first.” He dropped his drawers and while he was standing there expectantly with his pants around his ankles, I booked past him up the stairs and ran like hell down the street to my house.

Brilliant, right?

All of this got me wondering about our generational role models and if they have anything to do with our ability, or inability, to keep our pants on? I mean, we've gone from this:

To this:

Is it any wonder little girls are dropping their drawers on command? Or maybe I was just more discriminating (you can all just keep your flaky eyebrow comments to yourselves, thank you very much).

If you’d like to know more about appendicitis because you or a loved one are vomiting uncontrollably and you are 100% sure it’s not last night’s dinner, click here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Yah, that's right. I'm "that woman." And now I have to switch grocery stores

When I wheeled my mother f***ing squeaky snow covered cart up to the produce section of the Mulletville Stop & Shop this morning, I got an unexpected and unpleasant surprise.

Very unpleasant.

The ex’s parents were standing there buying apples. I haven’t seen them since the late 90s but I’d recognize them anywhere, mainly because they have stagnant attire, much like cartoon characters.

Their son, Greg, and I dated for two years in college. His hometown is very close to Mulletville (I actually mocked him for growing up in “the sticks”—see? It never pays to mock people) and because his parents have not changed since the day they married and settled and started collecting Disney figurines, they are still in the same place.

The father mistook my awkward grin for enthusiastic recognition. The mother, not recognizing me, grabbed his arm and said, “Am I supposed to know who that woman is?”

That woman?

Holy crap, lady. Being referred to as that woman is as insulting as bitch, whore, skank, etc., etc. Willy Clinton called Monica Lewinsky that woman. But I’m not surprised. Greg's mother never liked me. I think she knew all along that I would dump her son not once, but twice.

I had to! Greg was nice but:

1. He had dandruff in his eyebrows

2. He had his wacky schtick, and he was very proud of his schtick (God, it was so annoying)

3. He was lousy in the sack.

For those reasons alone I knew I would never marry him. Sadly, he believed otherwise, even after I dumped him. My guilt brought us back together for a short stint, during which time he started wearing excessively large metallic sunglasses. The writing was on the wall.

His father understood that these things happen. His mother just couldn’t accept the fact that her son could be dumped—twice!

So there you have it. Boy meets girl. Girl dumps boy. Girl takes boy back. Girl dumps boy again. Girl encounters friendly father and maladjusted mother by Harvest Bounty signage.

I waved hello then proceeded to make an ass of myself nodding way too enthusiastically whenever they looked my way. I was just about to wheel away when she walked over to me.

“How are you? Greg has two little girls. He’s a nurse. His wife’s a nurse. They’re both nurses. They’ve been married seven years. We see them every weekend. They met at a ballroom dancing class. She’s the sweetest thing. We just love her. And the girls are precious. Just precious. They have a dog. The dog loves the girls. We love the dog. The dog is just precious.”

Oh.My.God. The more she talked, the faster I nodded. I'm surprised my head didn't fly off my neck. I kept thinking, What if I had married Greg? What if we had had unearth-shattering, lameass sex and, instead of my sweet Junior, I had produced a baby with flaky eyebrows? What if the baby had to wear Disney clothing while Greg’s parents snapped photo after photo? What if we all had to take ballroom dancing classes together and every weekend felt like Groundhog Day?

Oh hellish nightmare!

When I got home I almost called Chuck’s mom and dad to tell them how much I appreciate the fact that they rarely visit and that Chuck’s dad takes such flattering shots of my cleavage. I mean, it’s enough to make any daughter-in-law’s heart burst with gratitude.

(I said almost. Haven't I been through enough today?)

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm a hot biker babe. Totally.

This morning, over coffee and oatmeal:

Me: “I had another crazy dream.”

Chuck: “Yah?”

Me: “We bought a motorcycle.”

Chuck: “Yah?”

Me: “I was driving it and you were sitting behind me. I couldn’t get it to steer straight because my legs were sideways and—”

Chuck: “I was riding bitch?”

Me: [Pause] "Is that what they call it?”

And there you have it. The subconscious mind hard at work again—this time trying to make sense of the new roles in our household: Chuck as stay-at-home dad, me as Superior Gorgeous Wino Queen. The dream nailed it. Especially how Chuck was facing the right way while I was sitting sideways trying to figure out how the hell to steer (Chuck, you said the bitch thing, not me).

Sigh. Coupled with my terrible sense of direction, we are headed for certain disaster.

Kidding—cough, cough—I’m kidding.

It will be fine.

Chuck is rounding out week two as a stay-at-home dad, and he’s handling it better than I handled being a stay-at-home mom. There were days when Chuck would be walking up the front steps, briefcase in hand, and I would open the door, hand Junior to him, mumble something and get in my car—just to drive around alone so I could smoke and swear and try to remember who the hell I was pre-Junior. I keep waiting for that from Chuck, but instead I am greeted with his chirpy “we had a really nice day.”

Granted, he’s had 18 months to transition into this role—in parenting years, that’s a lifetime—but it does make me wonder if Rebeldad is on to something when he asks if dads “are less likely to whine than moms” (for the record, I never whined, I simply bemoaned my frazzlement/fatigue/fever—as in cabin).

Or maybe Chuck is just well suited for being a SAHD. I mean, the man has been jumping out of bed, unloading the dishwasher, picking wet towels up off the floor, making coffee and grocery shopping. He’s abreast of our sundries for Pete’s sake. He even hung a curtain rod for me last night at 11:23 p.m. He hates to hang curtain rods!

There’s a kick in his step, an extra hair on his otherwise barren head. The man is happy.

See, just like I said, it’s fine.

The best part is that I am not jealous. Nope. Not one bit.

But if I were jealous, it definitely would not make me act out or do bad things. Like, I would never intentionally not unload the dishwasher or not pick my wet towels up off the floor. Certainly I would never ask Chuck to hang a curtain rod at 11:23 p.m. then tell him the rod is crooked and make him rehang it.

I just want everyone to know that.

Kawasaki power!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm going to switch to water now

A horse. Chuck bought a white horse to help with the lawn and it was going to cost us $500 to insure it. We don’t have $500 to spend on a horse. Which is what I was trying to tell him when the alarm went off.

Thankfully it was just a dream. A dream I had to email to my friend Robyn. Despite her annoying superhuman abilities (running 20 miles for fun, breastfeeding across continents), I love Robyn. She’s a good listener, and she always gives it to me straight while somehow referencing cardio.

I hit send and waited like a good little girl for her response, which was annoyingly slow (was she running again for fuck’s sake?). Finally she wrote back. I won’t lie. Because she’s so thoughtful/squeaky clean/buff I was expecting a concerned email about how I must be frazzled since Chuck got laid off, symbolism of white horse and money, blah blah, and at least one sentence about how I should start exercising.

Instead I got a story about how her dad bought a goat when she was a kid to help with the grass and how the goat had a bulbous uniball that used to scare the shit out of her because when the goat ran, it would slap against the goat’s leg and, because she was a kid, the engorged testicle was at eye level and she was always worried the nut would fly off and smack her in the head.

Um, thanks? Next time I need some dream analysis I’ll Google it, ok?

(I love when friends surprise us, don't you? Especially with a good uniball story.)

(I can't lie, I've had a lot of red wine tonight, which is why this seems a lot funnier than it probably is.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

After rereading this, I'm surprised Junior decided to join us

I was cleaning out some drawers today and found a letter I'd written to Junior exactly two years ago today. I've always been jealous of A Letter to Xander, which is why I read the site obsessively (plus it's funny and cool), but after finding this I realize if I'd continued along this vein Junior would have needed extensive therapy and Paxil.


Today your father and I have been married for six months and one day. We dated for almost 10 years then in one year got married, bought a house and conceived you. Nothing like going from 25 mph to 150 mph. Perhaps the rest of our lives will follow the same formula because as of yet we haven’t set the world on fire. I don’t mean that disparagingly, I only mean that, well, we don’t have Hollywood handprints nor are we known outside our small circles. I guess we’re average. Not small minded or dumb, just middle of the road. (This is coming from me, remember, my hormones have incited a certain melancholic wistfulness, plus it’s winter and someday you’ll know about the seasonal malaise known as SAD because for some strange reason we chose to live in the Northeast. Although I am thankful for the camouflage of heavy sweaters and coats because I have always hated my upper arms—go long!—and I do not relish the thought of wearing a tank top in a few months and topping the scales at 175.)

I had my second ultrasound and heard your heartbeat. It was nice and strong and sounded like you were doing a bunch of karate chops. I don’t mean to be rude but it’s strange to think of you in there growing and moving without asking me if it’s okay to do that in my body. I wish I could see in there; it must be dark. Obviously.

A little forewarning about the family you are coming into: There are a lot of crazy people. The good kind of crazy. Harmless, but off their rockers. And your dad. He had hair when we met but now he’s bald. What God took from his head he gave to his body tenfold. He looks like Sasquatch. My mother—your grandmother—has a thing for Magnum P.I. and sometimes asks if she can touch your dad’s hairy chest. This makes for awkward get-togethers, so your dad has taken to wearing turtlenecks when we visit.

Just so you know, I was about to get a dog when you appeared as a little pink cross on my Brooks drugstore home pregnancy test. I didn’t mean to buy generic—we want to give you the best—but the tests can get expensive and your dad and I weren’t being that careful (in his words, “the goalie was out of the box.”) Anyway, I don’t mean to say that you dashed my lifelong dream of getting a puppy, it’s just that your dad promised that once we got a house I could get a dog and then bam, there you were. So as soon as you can say dog we are hitting your father up for a puppy. I don’t care if it ends up being my responsibility, I want my own godamned dog. If I don’t get one I’m afraid it will say on my tombstone “Here lies Mrs. Mullet. She never got that dog. Now look at her.”

Your dad is at the only pub in town right now. He’s threatening to quit his new job if they fire his friend. Sometimes I think he read too many comic books as a kid because he is obsessed with quality and fairness. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t bad qualities, it’s just that when you couple them with the Viking garb and sword you kind of get this mental image. Thor, Crusader for Freedom or something. Yes, your dad is a Viking. Not literally, but unfortunately he adores those tacky and awful Renaissance fairs. I wonder if you might be a celestial conspirator of mine because you are due right around the time of the biggest fair of the year. If you and I plan this right and you come a few weeks late he can never go again. Just something to think about as you enjoy the ample amenities of my womb into the summer.

Well, I’m tired. See you in six months.

Love, Your soon-to-be mother.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are you married to a hotdog head?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

A wife is doing the dishes. Her husband comes up behind her and says, “Why don’t you take a break?” She stops doing the dishes but starts folding clothes. Again, her husband comes up behind her and says, “Why don’t you take a break?” So she stops folding clothes but this time she picks up the vacuum. Exasperated, her husband comes up behind her again and says, “I thought you were going to take a break?” She turns off the vacuum and says, “Well, why don’t you stop following me around and start cleaning up around here so I can take a damn break? Weinerface!”

Oh wait, sorry, that’s not a joke, that’s this afternoon’s conversation.


Friday, January 9, 2009

If you're skinny but you think you're fat I just bought you a ticket to Get the Hell Out of My Life

Now that it’s officially over with the nanny, I’ve decided to break up with some more people. Seems like a good time, seeing how it’s a new year and winter (I don’t know about you but the background of dead, lifeless trees always seems to bring the duds in my life to the forefront). And I like the idea of doing some human house cleaning; it makes me feel productive.

The first person I want to dump is my coworker Danielle. Sometimes we get lunch, sometimes we sit together at work functions. I’m dumping Danielle because I’m tired of having this conversation over the morning coffee pot:

Her: “You look so skinny!”
Me: “No way, you look so skinny.”
Her: “Shut up. I look like a house.”
Me: “You look great.”
Her: “I’m gross.”

Danielle easily weighs 30 pounds less than me—easily—so if she thinks she’s fat and gross how the hell can I look skinny? It’s mathematically impossible. Not only is this “conversation” pointless, it belongs in Legally Blonde and last time I checked, I was not Reese Witherspoon.

Danielle, you’re a talking floor lamp, and your duotone crimped hair is an unfortunate lampshade. Plus, you walk like you just got off a horse, which I guess is what happens when you don’t have any fat to support your gluteus maximus.

Bye, sweetie.

The second person I am dumping is a former co-worker friend, Wendy. (If there are any Wendys reading this, I’m sorry, but I have yet to meet a Wendy that wasn't a little nuts. Maybe there’s a Wendy out there who’s my BFF and I’ve yet to meet her but until then, I’ve got to go with what I know.)

Along with being a truth-bender, Wendy is a former corporate big shot turned stay-at-home mom. There are rumors she was let go, but she’d never disclose that. I’m ditching her because I’m tired of having this IM conversation:

Her: I’m having so much FUN playing Twister with the kids!!! I LOVE not working!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Great.
Her: Next we are going to bake brownies!!!!!!!!! I’m STILL in my bathrobe!!!!!!!!
Me: Super.
Her: Did you have a good holiday vacation (I don’t know what that word means anymore because I’m on vacation ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!)
Me: Yep.
Her: Well, have fun at work.

Wendy, Wendy, Wendy. Me thinks you doth tell me too many fucking times that you’re thrilled to be home. Last time I checked, staying home with two kids was not a vacation, unless you’re just plain dumb. And playing Twister in your bathrobe with your kids sounds a wee bit tricky (do you really want your three-year-old son straining for the blue dot that’s under your liberated crotch?).

If you were a real friend, you wouldn’t feel the need to exclamate your affected jubilation all over my computer screen. Sometimes Windex doesn’t get it all off. You’re obviously insecure and petty, and life’s too short to let people such as yourself populate my heart.

While we’re at it, did you really think I would let my child drink from those mangy, slobbery sippy cups you dropped off? Who recycles chewed-on sippy cups? If you wanted me to keep dental records of your children in my home why didn’t you just bring them over so they could gnaw on my woodwork? At least then I’d have a personalized memento of our friendship.

You’re gross, and we’re through.

Aaaahhh. Much better.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yep. Just me, Hugh and a couple of St. Bernards. Flutter, flutter.

The nanny’s last day is tomorrow. I’m sad to see her go, so it’s a good night for random distractions and the History Channel’s “Armageddon Week” just wasn’t cutting it (all I have to say is, if 2012 is really the end of the world that is so not fair! I want to see 40 so I know whether or not my wrinkle cream is working).

Ahem. One of my favorite bloggers, Small Town Mommy, tagged me with the seven random things about me tag. Marcia, Marcia returns. I’ll be succinct this time cause, like I said, the damn Mayan calendar said we only have five years left and I’d hate for you to feel you spent one minute longer than necessary reading about me instead of, you know, kissing your grandma.

Here goes:

1. I’ve seen Steve Tyler from Aerosmith twice in person. He has a summer house in the same town in which my grandparents lived. Once, I saw him tasting carrot juice at a health food store. The second time, the chain broke off his bicycle as he was riding past me. Both times he reminded me of a Pez dispenser. Holy jaw.

2. Several years ago, when I was traveling in Spain for a photo shoot, my company assigned me a French photographer for the two-week trip. One night, over cognac and goose liver paté, he asked if I wanted him to seduce me. I mulled it over, taking into account that a) he wore boat shoes and had Donald Trump hair, and b) he’d just told me that his marriage broke up because—among other reasons—he put a fake turd on his mother-in-law’s chair and no one in the family thought it was funny. Needless to say, the answer was absolument non.

3. I daydream about moving to Ouray, Colorado at least once a week. Mostly the daydream involves me being an avid hiker who owns several ginormous dogs and is married to Hugh Jackman.

4. My husband is an occasional ghostbuster who has hung out with the guys from TAPS. I’m thinking of starting a blog about it: “Frogs in my Ectoplasm.”

5. I wish I’d come up with It’s just not right that a blog with that name is dedicated to bicycling.

6. When my grandfather died I took a pack of his unfiltered Camels (he used to leave cartons of them in a big box in his closet to let them dry out because he liked them crispy). If the History Channel is right about 2012, I figure that’s a great time to have a smoke (by that time they’ll be so crisp I’ll be able to smoke them in one puff).

7. I really wanted to be a weatherwoman.

Phew! I am passing this tag on to Dads, dads and more dads:

Dad to Two

C-3Po at Football and Keggers

And Practically Joe because he always makes me laugh.

If they choose not to do it, I'll be fine. Sniff, sniff.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stay-at-home Viking Dad, day two

I came home to find Elmo armed and guarding the fort. I swear, if Junior starts swigging Mead and playing the mandolin I will go ballistic. One Viking is enough. (Though Chuck does get extra stars for labeling things.)

Oh, who am I kidding? This made my week.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The 2009 Freak Flag: softer colors, sublter hues but just as resilient

All the hype. All the build-up. Alas, my birthday (aka Date Night III) blew serious chunks.

On Saturday, Chuck and I dropped Junior off at my mother’s then had lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant. We even had a gift certificate from good ole Granny. But after stuffing ourselves full of Chicken Tikka Masala, garlic naan and a carafe of wine, we both looked like we were expecting.

The ensuing espressos and cloves were mere stupidity. As was the shot of Jack.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of me asking Chuck what he wanted to do and him telling me he didn’t care, it was my day.

My day. It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? A whole day to do whatever the hell I wanted. But there was one problem. I didn’t know what the hell to do! Something was off. I couldn’t shake the blech. The blah. The macaroni brain. So Chuck did what every good husband does when his wife is behaving like a freakazoid: He took me to the outlets.

And that’s when I started behaving like a psychotic mother in a Lifetime movie. It was like every little kid had a marshmallow head, and I wanted to eat it. Was the little boy in front of us Junior’s age? What words was he saying? Would his parents mind if I held him and called him Junior? Could I please smell his hair and kiss his fat cheeks?

The evil voices in my brain started telling me that my mother had tricked me into thinking I’d like some alone time with my husband and to sleep late. She didn’t care about me. She just wanted Junior all to herself! She just wanted me to suffer!

Can you guess what happened next?

Why, yes, of course. Chuck smacked some sense into me, we went home, etc., etc., watched the entire first season of Weeds, had a birthday toast, etc., etc. and slept until 11:30 the next morning, around which time my mother brought my child back to me and my wonderful husband served me breakfast in bed.

All of this leads me to believe that actually being 34 is going to be fine. It was the damn metamorphosis bullshit that sucked balls*.

Wow, does anyone else see a Hallmark card somewhere in there?

*It could also be seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or my potassium levels or maybe, just maybe, I have become every obsessed mother I ever mocked.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I want my house back. Now

Dear Glade,

I am asking—no, begging—you to come up with a Houseguests Be Gone spray. I think it would make a lovely addition to your fine family of products. It would also make my year. I don't care about the scent. It can be fish butt musk or banana cream skunk. It really doesn't matter. As long as it makes guests sniff the air and exclaim, "Gee! I must be hitting the road."

Thank you kindly,

Mrs. Mullet

Friday, January 2, 2009

Flaming shots of absinthe

I made one crucial mistake when bemoaning the lack of New Year's Eve festivities at our house. I forgot that Chuck is a party animal and that no matter how small the crowd, if you’re coming to our house, you will be inebriated within five minutes of arriving at our front door.

No ifs, ands or buts about it.

My husband’s motto is “18 for life.” Personally, I despise the saying because it implies a complete lack of regard for responsibility and/or maturity and what wife wants to hear that her husband thinks he should be able to behave like...oh shit, I don’t know one delinquent celebrity who is 18! A Jonas peckerhead? Miley Montana?

Crap, I’m ancient.

Part of me knows he is kidding about the whole 18 for life thing. (Hah, hah, right honey?) Although now that he’s going to be home with Junior I do worry I will come home one day to find them doing a collective crotch scratch to Skid Row while shot gunning apple juice.

Crap, I’m nervous.

But really, back to New Year’s Eve. Chuck bought a bottle of absinthe and practically pitched a tent when a Polish friend of a friend mentioned she could light the shot on fire, which is popular in her home country. Everyone tried it, even my father (yah, go ahead, chuckle ’cause my dad was here—he’s 21 for life yo!)

Crap, I’m hokey.

Tonight, I’m afraid there will be more flaming shots of absinthe because Chuck has invited a whole new slew of people over for a little birthday pre-game (that’s how he explained it but I know the truth—the man will invent any reason to party).

The good news is that if tomorrow's Date Night III is tame and tequila-less, I have valid reasons why.

Crap, I'm going to be 34.

Make laundry fun — and punishable

I don't know why there's so much effing laundry. Yes, there are five of us, but we aren't going anywhere. Part of me feels ...