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ABOUT ME

About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Myah, probably not going to sleep much tonight

One day, a long, long time ago, Chuck and I took a walk on his friend's jetty. I was wearing flip-flops. I was drunk. I slid off one of the rocks and practically lost my big toe. Chuck carried me back to his friend's house, where they stitched me up with fishing line.

I told you I was drunk.

When I sobered up and looked at my toe, I fainted—and not because they'd turned me into Frankentoe. But because I have no stomach for body goop. None. Nada. Zip.

You can understand then why Chuck has forbidden me from Googling "scheduled C-section." He can't take anymore "Oh, gross [wretch...wretch] nooooooooooooo"s. He doesn't want me to have any more nightmares. I can't stop myself, of course. It's like telling someone who has a bulbous lump growing on her forehead not to Google "I think I'm dying."

So here I am the night before: well read on every aspect of the operation. And I do mean every. I've also got fond memories of my C-section with Junior, which included me asking the nurse if I was still alive because I couldn't feel my ribcage moving, thanks to the anesthesia.

Talk about freaky.

Having said all that, could you say a little prayer for me? Even if it's a silly, gobblygook prayer and your higher power is your kitchen drain.

Thank you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

But I don't want to know how a turkey feels

Happy Monday. I hope your holiday was all that and then some.

Here in Connecticut, we're digging out from mounds of snow. When I told Junior we got about a foot he asked, "Whose foot?"

Hah!

This is officially The Week of Diddlydoo. I've been a fucking maniac the last few days. I finally made Christmas cookies:



Just in time for...

...no visitors. Well, I guess I could consider Chuck a guest since he leaves his towels on the floor like our house is a goddamn hotel and yours truly is the chambermaid.

(Enjoy those cookies, you peckerhead.)

I packed my hospital bag. I packed Diddlydoo's hospital bag. I've also laundered 500 loads of laundry, bleached the bathroom floor, and last night, in a fit of sheer OMG-I-have-to-organize-something, I tackled Chuck's sock drawer and matched all of his socks.



I can't help it. I'm done working. I'm nesting. I'm freaking out about having a newborn and not remembering what to do with a newborn. My hands are constantly twitching. I'm surprised I didn't cut the cookie batter into a labyrinth of complex geometrical shapes just so I'd have to reassemble them.

What does one do while waiting for a baby?

Relax. I know. I should take lessons from our fat cat and just chill the hell out.



Or I should take the advice of my co-worker—who told me at the Mulletville Corp holiday party that semen ripens the cervix—and boink Chuck's brains out. (Do you know she also told me that if I'm not in the mood we could use a, um, turkey baster?) But that would mean Chuck gets to spend the week—this important, pinnacle week—snacking on hand-crafted cookies, enjoying matched socks and getting laid.

As if! The life!

What about me? What about my needs?

Oh, right. I'm the woman who spent my Sunday night playing with my husband's socks. By choice. My needs as of late are appallingly strange and June Cleaver-ish.

Maybe I should go baste something.

Eeeeeeewwwwwwww.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm one sniffle away from a %$#&ing Lifetime movie

Something fishy is going on.

I tear up when I pull into the driveway after work and see our house lit up for Christmas. I’ve been smelling Diddlydoo’s Dreft-fresh onesies and blubbering into them. I swear Judy Garland is channeling "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" straight into my brain because it’s all I hear.

Yes, I do believe that in spite of the discomfort of the watermelon teetering on top of my vagina, I have become Mrs. Merrily Verklempt. (I’m sure my Deep Thoughts at a Gas Station post was an indication I was heading in that direction.)

Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be cause for concern, but I’m the person who likes to mock everything. It’s why I blog. And darnitall my rosy outlook has derailed one a many post I’ve had simmering, including one about this outfit.





Isn’t it silly? Costume Express sent it to me to review. It's called "Velvet Elf Child."

As it made its way to my house, I cackled at the possibilities. Velvet Elf Child sounds like a horror movie. Like Swamp Thing. And how fun to traumatize Junior. I mean really, why have children if you can’t dress them up and use the photos as collateral when they're obnoxious teenagers?

Why?

Except. Chuck and I put Junior in the costume, and it is precious. It's soft and velvety and well, fricken adorable. Even though I'd wondered how much use the costume would actually get, Junior's had the thing on 24-7.

Chuck and I took pictures of our Velvet Elf Child trimming the tree and used the pictures on our Christmas cards. Relatives called in tears, thanking us for the beautiful photos.



We took Velvet Elf Child to a restaurant; people oohed and ahhhed.



We took Velvet Elf Child to another restaurant; people couldn’t stop smiling at him.



We took Velvet Elf Child to visit his grandma at the senior center and holy shit, you’d think we’d brought Baby Jesus himself. (Minor drawback: lots of germy, wrinkly lips wanting to plant one on Junior.)

In the past few weeks, Velvet Elf Child has been all over Connecticut. I never thought we’d get so much mileage from one costume. And it’s the good kind of mileage. Spreading good cheer? I get it.

I really get it.

Crap. Pass me a tissue please?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Maybe people thought I was the clerk's little knocked up girlfriend

Last night, my mother gave me and Chuck a special treat: She babysat so we could have some alone time. Chuck and I planned to split up for a few hours so we could shop for each other, then rendez-vous for dinner and light petting.

I drove to a lovely town in Connecticut, Old Saybrook (incidentally, it's where my brother's ex fiancee and I had our first date one year ago. Sigh).

By 6 p.m. I was done shopping. I pulled into a gas station. I filled up the tank. I got back in the car and put the key into the ignition.

Nothing.

Not even a whir, whir.

I turned the key again. Pumped the gas pedal.

Still nothing.

I called Chuck.

"Can you come get me in Old Saybrook? The car's dead."

"Um. It might take me a while."

"Where are you?"

"Vermont*. You're really hard to buy for."

"What?????"

"Call roadside assistance."

"^%#&*. &**(*#&#. Fine."

I called roadside assistance. They told me it would be about an hour. By that point my toes had gone numb, so I decided to wait inside the station.

I didn't know if the station had a policy about loitering, so I told the chunky 20-something clerk that I was waiting for a jumpstart. He could have cared less. His sidekick, on the other hand—an older woman with a bouffant hairdo—was a lot more attentive.

"Oh, hon! Grab some magazines and a candy bar. Sit down and relax!" She kicked the male clerk's chair out from under him and swung it under my ass, then she parked me in front of the dairy case.

So began my Night at the Gas Station.

It was actually (bizarrely) kind of fun. I got caught up on the latest gossip. Amber Portwood pregnant again? Kelly Osbourne modeling a bikini?



I ate a Twix bar and drank a smoothie. I got to observe a typical evening at a gas station. Did you know that more people bought winter hats than cigarettes? That lots of people bought mega-sized bags of potato chips on their way to parties? That no one cared that a pregnant woman was blocking the dairy case? They'd just wheel me to the side? Oh, and Essence of Beauty is buy two, get one free at CVS. Don't let the clerk stiff you on the coupon!

After an hour, I felt a fond kinship for the gas station clerks and patrons. Like maybe I could have been their pregnant mascot (come on, Nathalie Portman lived at WalMart in Where the Heart Is).

But life had other plans for me. Chuck and the tow truck showed up. The dude got the car started. Chuck and I picked up take-out and drove home.

I'm sure my gas station jubilation is concrete evidence that my life is pathetically boring, but as I head into week 38 of my pregnancy, I'd rather see it as a reminder to take time for myself and to enjoy that time. I mean really, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a smoothie and uninterrupted reading.

What about you? Amidst the holiday hustle and bustle, have you had an annoying diversion turn surprisingly pleasant?

*Chuck better not have gotten me cheese! He of all people should understand.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The perfect holiday anecdote to waif models

Anthropologie made Christmas shopping so easy this year. As soon as their catalog arrived, I knew just what I wanted.

See, stores like Anthropologie really get average women like myself. They understand I don't want to see their products modeled on underfed beauties. Psshaw. That doesn't help me envision myself wearing it. No, I want to see their products on...

...farm animals!

Take this scarf. I love how it curls behind those big floppy pig's ears. Really elongates the face. I just wish I knew if it came with free grain or not.



And these necklaces? What better way to showcase them than on a smelly creature whose neck resembles an ultra hairy forearm? So regal. I must have them!



And the boots! So slimming. So chique. Seeing the leather against all that shearling helped me realize I could pull off my shearling jumpsuit + cowboy boots look for the holidays. I'll be the talk of the ball.

Thank you, Anthropologie!



P.S. Hasn't Anthropologie's Creative Director ever heard the sheep joke? You know the one...Why do sheep farmers wear rubber boots? (So they can stick a sheep's back legs into them. Prevents them from running away while they're getting screwed...)

P.P.S. Anthropologie did not pay me to write this post. Obviously.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Slime, snorting and hand towels

randomtuesday

This week was supposed to be my last week at work, but I’m going to try to make it one more week. I can put my accrued vacation and sick time towards my unpaid leave. That’s a whole ’nother week on the other side of this baby.

In mom time that's, like, 45 minutes.

Normally I’d say it was worth it, but dragging my pregnant ass to work isn’t the most pleasant experience. I’ve dropped. I waddle. Everyone gawks. Plus, my co-workers must assume I don’t realize I’m nine fucking months pregnant, because they feel the need to stop me in the hall and tell me how big/huge/gigantic I am.

Imagine that. Looking big three weeks from your due date. If I wasn’t afraid of being sued, I’d sit on every one of them. Then I’d moo and buck and snort a lot.

The nice thing is that having my water break at work isn’t scary because it happened with Junior. Though this time I am not going to bring a lone hand towel to the hospital. I’m going to pack a damn bag.

The cute articles in parenting magazines about what women should bring to the hospital crack me up. All you need is: a bathrobe, a pillow, slippers, socks, toiletries, and comfortable pants that won’t dig into your C-section incision.

Yup, that’s right. After a lot of internal and blogternal agonizing, I’m going for the elective C-section. Thank you for all your thoughtful comments on that by the way. If Diddlydoo stays indoors until the week after Christmas, yours truly will be spending New Years Eve at Mulletville Hospital.

Chuck’s going to bring a big, big bottle of champagne. After nine months of not drinking, I’ve been having intimate dreams about that bottle. The delightful, fizzing bubbles. The throat tickle of said bubbles and the ensuing giddiness.

How I need me some giddiness.

I’m giddy just thinking about the giddiness.

Of course, I’m going to breastfeed, so the giddiness is only imaginary.

Don't you just hate when you pop your own giddiness bubble?

Here, I'll do it again: I haven't bought one Christmas present.

And again: I don't have any clue what to get anyone.

Head on over to the Un Mom for more randomness. You'll learn neat things, like how Canadians excrete a natural oil that keeps them lubricated during the harsh winter months (straight up!). By golly, we're going to Canada on our next family vacation just to get slimed by some Canadians.

Yeehaaw!

Friday, December 10, 2010

What can I say? I need a higher chair


Marketing Head: "Mrs. Mullet, can you come into my office?"

Mrs. M: "Er, yes, sir."

Marketing Head: "Your brochures have a lot of typos lately. A lot of gobbily-gook. Are you spell checking before you print?"

Mrs. M: "Er, yes, sir."

Marketing Head: "And the spacing is off. Is your space bar broken or perhaps stuck?"

Mrs. M: "Gee, sir, I can't imagine what the issue might be."

Marketing Head: "Well, I just thought I'd bring it to your attention."

Mrs. M: "Of course, sir. Of course."

Marketing Head: "We have the highest standards here at Mulletville Corp."

Mrs. M: "Of course, sir. Of course."

Marketing Head: "That'll be all for now Mrs. Mullet."

Mrs. M: "Yes, sir."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No one is safe

Even the dolls at the Mulletville flea market have mullets.




Shudder.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Everyone will be getting homemade ornaments this year. K?

I was all set to write a long, descriptive post about my trip to the proctologist (who wouldn't want to read about a pregnant woman's experience getting her buttcheeks spread by a Mullet-sporting doctor?).

Then D&W told me about Jenny McCarthy's book, Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth, and how McCarthy not only covered hemorrhoids in seat-gripping detail, her story was a million times more horrific than mine.

Damn McCarthy for stealing my thunder.

Now I have nothing left to write about.

Nothing!

Well...

I guess I could write about how tomorrow marks the beginning of my last two weeks at work before I begin my maternity leave. And how I have chosen to take six months of unpaid FMLA leave so I can spend time with Diddlydoo and Junior (isn't Mulletville Corp awesome? Zero days of paid maternity leave. Zero). And how that decision has been keeping me and Chuck awake at night because it seems incredibly irresponsible given Chuck's precarious employment status.

And yet it is the only decision that is right.

We've talked about it. My God, since Diddlydoo was conceived. It's all we've talked about and planned for. We've decided we can survive anything for six months. Chuck can sell his functioning body parts to science and hell, I can finally fulfill my dream of becoming a cocktail waitress while the kids are in bed. We'll shear sheep. Pump gas. We'll make it on love, baby.

It will be an adventure. A gift. An uncharted path.

It will be scary.

But I have wanted to get off this ride of being a full-time working mother for two years.

So here I go.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I have ridden the dark horse. All I can say is, I'm sorry

Many years ago, I attended grad school in Vermont. Chuck was a little under the weather at the time, but he wanted to spend New Year’s Eve with me so he drove from Connecticut to Vermont.

T’aint that sweet?

When he arrived, he didn’t look so hot. He was pasty white and grumpy. He was walking like he’d just dismounted a horse.

What bothered me most was that he wouldn’t sit down. We were celebrating New Year’s Eve at a local bar; everyone wanted to know why my sketchy boyfriend wouldn’t sit down. Why was he standing against the wall looking miserable? Damn him!

I got up and accused Chuck of being anti-social. I accused him of not wanting to sit near me because he didn’t love me. I went and sat back down.

(I may have been wasted at that point.)

Still, the man wouldn’t sit.

Finally he told he me why: He had a hemorrhoid, and it felt like he had a hot poker in his ass. He had just spent six hours in the car. If he didn’t stand, he might die.

At the time I thought, Bah! How much could a hemorrhoid hurt? Those people on TV who needed ointments and medicated pads and toilet paper made of down comforters were a bunch of sissies. I told Chuck as much. Even after he drove home and his nurse of a mother lanced the thing because he was crying from the pain—I still doubted him.

Years later, when Chuck needed surgery for his hiney, I still rolled my eyes when he groaned about the alleged hot poker feeling.

How much could it hurt? Suck it up! Butts can’t hurt.

Right?

Wrong. I have an appointment to see the proctologist in one hour. If he can relieve me from my pain, I will kiss his feet. And Chuck? If I could go back in time, I would not only stand next to you at the bar, I’d cram an ice pack between your cute little buttcheeks and knit a carry case for your surgical donut.

I'm sorry, okay?

Honey?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Does how we say good-bye make us better pet owners?

So yah, the fricken turkey gift basket.

Because of budget cuts, there almost wasn’t one for the marketing committee to give away. But after much debate, the Marketing Head decided to make a cut in another area: office supplies.

Whew.

This year, the turkey toss-up was between a male employee, Steve, and female employee, Kathy, who have dedicated their lives to saving cats. Not as a cat-saving duo but in their own respective corners of southeastern Connecticut. The committee didn’t spend much time vacillating between the two. Steve, a middle-aged man who lost both his father and his wife in the last two months, was the clear winner.

What we did spend time on was the wording of the congratulatory card. Let’s listen in:

Co-worker #1: “We should keep it simple. Like, wishing you a happy holiday.”

Co-worker #2: “No, no. We should say, we hope you have a happy holiday.”

Co-worker #3: “Is that even possible? The man is grieving.”

Co-worker #2: “Fine. In this time of loss, we still hope you have a nice holiday.”

Marketing Head: “Closer, but no.”

Co-worker #2: “Take time this holiday to reflect on happier times?”

Co-worker #3: “Now is the time to think about happier times?”

Marketing Head: “Let’s not talk him off the ledge, people.”

Co-worker #3: “I heard he has 17 cats in his house. Are we sure he’ll even cook the turkey?”

Co-worker #2: “Take pause to reflect?”

Co-worker #1: “I heard it was only 11. How about, enjoy your turkey?”

Co-worker #2: “Wishing you the best?”

Co-worker #1: “From us to you, with warm holiday wishes?”

Marketing Head: “People. The man is now alone with his cats. A card might not be enough. What we need is someone to say something in the spirit of warmth. What we need is a personal touch. Co-worker #1 and Mrs. Mullet, you will give him the basket and say something warm from the committee."

Co-worker #2: “What about the card?”

Marketing Head: “No card. We mailed him two condolence cards. That’s enough postage.”

Co-worker #3: “But the card is in the gift basket.”

Marketing Head: “That’s besides the point. The man has gotten enough cards from us.”

So it was. Last Tuesday, after I ate my 5,987,678 salad, my co-worker and I wheeled the gift basket on a mail trolley down to Steve’s office.

Not only did he not want our "charity", he didn’t want to hear our warm wishes. Steve told us flat out that he joined a support group for grieving spouses, and that no one had any business feeling sorry for themselves, including him.

He told us that he buried his wife—he didn’t divorce her—and that after 18 years of marriage, he and his wife should be considered a success story. Tears were unnecessary. People should be happy for him.

Then he tried to tell us a story about his favorite cat, Fang.

Co-worker #1: “So you don’t want the gift basket?”

“NO.”

As we wheeled the gift basket back to the boardroom, I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment. Did Steve have a point? Is seeing your spouse in a casket preferable to seeing him/her in the court room? If something happened to Chuck, would I take solace in the fact that we’d been separated by the universe, not by marital discord?

My initial thought was no, feeling like a marital success doesn’t ease the pain of losing someone you love. Still, I kind of admire Steve's outlook. After spending almost 20 years with someone, seeing your time together as an achievement, and not something lost, is kind of sweet.

Unless he was sick as all hell with her. That also could explain the ease of his acceptance.

What do you think?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

You want staging? I'll show you ^%$&ing staging

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. I only had to make out with, like, 25 people to crumb together half a cookie. It was worth it, except that one of those people had a cold and I've been sniffling and hacking for the last three days.

The perils of sucking face for sweets.

My cold put a big damper on our weekend plan, which was to make some progress on Operation Move. Remember how I mentioned in August that we were moving to Mulletville Lite?

We haven't gotten very far. For one, we haven't sold our house. My darling brother Ted, who stopped by yesterday, wondered aloud if it might have something to do with the fact that our dining room looks like this



"You've heard of staging, right?" he asked. "You have to stage your home."

Staging? Have I effin' heard of staging? This, coming from a 28-year-old bachelor who still sleeps until 3 p.m. Who has no idea how few able-bodied hours there are in the day when you work full-time, raise a toddler and get winded opening the mailbox.

Even if I had spent precious time staging, the house we're moving into-my father's old house, aka my childhood home-has been fraught with problems. Because of black mold, Chuck had to demolish the basement and air scrub it.

And my wannabe Bob Vila father keeps taking a sledgehammer to anything that looks even slightly off kilter. No sooner do we think a room is ready than we get a call along the lines of, "I saw an air bubble in the paint so I got the axe and tore down the wall for you."

It's madness; we need to abscond his keys.

Diddlydoo's Mulletville Lite bedroom looks like this



The dining room looks like this



But don't worry! Staging will save us.

I swear, siblings can be such peckerheads. You're helplessly staring up at the friggen summit and all you can do is waddle around base camp, cramming almonds and reduced fat cheese sticks into your mouth, and they get all HGTV on your ass.

Anyway, after some discussion this morning, Chuck and I decided that Operation Move will now be called Operation Move Later. Diddlydoo will be born in Mulletville. We'll move in January. With a newborn. In the middle of winter. On limited sleep.

That's when I officially change the name of this blog to "Vodka in my Vodka."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My kiss may have an ulterior motive, but I still love you. Honest

Chuck, my husband and blog manager, just informed me that my last few posts have been very angry and that I need to lighten things up.

Chuck, honey, I have some questions for you. Have you been living on these?



Do you forage for twigs and nuts every morning because you have been diagnosed with fucktational diabetes? Do you have nightmares you're going to give birth to a hard-boiled egg with peanut arms because everything you've eaten in the last few weeks has 4 billion grams of protein?

No. You come home and shovel leftover Beef Lo Mein down your hatch then wash it down with a Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard and some Gatorade. I daydream about licking your empty cartons. I fondle them. I've named them.

Oh, whoops, lighten up. Lighten it way up, Mrs. Mullet. Deep breath.

Ok, here goes.

I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, especially the wonderful people I've come to know through blogging. I love all of you. I wish you a peaceful and memorable holiday. It warms the cockles of my heart to envision you gathered near the hearth with your darling families. It makes me so very happy to picture you casually popping stuffing and buttered rolls and pumpkin pie and cookies and party wieners and sweet potato pie into your satisfied, carbohydrate-laden little bellies.

So happy I could scream. (And possibly kiss all of your faces if only to allow a few errant cookie crumbs to drop into my own mouth...)

Eat a lot for me, ok? And if you happen to have a chronic seasonal masturbator in your family too, say an Amen for my dear Aunt Burty. She's up there hammering away, I'm sure.

Peace.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is for you to have a soul again

I know I’m supposed to tell you whom the Mulletville Corp Thanksgiving Gift Basket Committee picked as its turkey recipient, but if I don’t write about what happened Friday night I am going to explode.

Chuck, Junior and I went to the West Farms Mall. I knew Santa had already arrived at the mall—he comes after Easter now, right?—I just didn't realize he had changed so much.

Did you know he up and moved to Narnia?



Hell ya. He's now shacking up with the Ice Queen. In his new digs, he has a magical throne that makes your butt cold when you sit on it (that was the helper’s enticement to try it out, not mine). Snow globes through which you can walk. Televisions that blare scenes from the new Chronicles of Narnia movie, Voyage of the Something Something.

Gone were the little wooden trinkets and jingling bells of years past. This Santa was 100% Disney-fied. Bigger. Brighter. Balls-to-the-wall action.

Of course Junior wanted to meet him. Of course. What pre-schooler doesn’t want to say hi to the man in red and inquire about his reindeer?

We made our way through Narnia and found Santa, who invited Junior onto his lap.

"Have you been a good boy? Do you know I like cookies? Wasn’t that last scene from the Chronicles of Narnia riveting?"

Yes, yes, yes, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp and Walden Media. I mean, Santa.

“Let’s go, Junior,” I said sweetly.

And then, from Santa, came this: “Do you like LEGOs or Hot Wheels, little boy?”

I didn’t know Junior knew race cars by a particular brand name, but he surprised me by saying “Hot Wheels.”

“Well. Then you’ll love the Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Speed Set! Make sure you ask for it!”

I grabbed Chuck’s arm. “Did Santa just name drop a specific product? Did he just tell our son to request a mother fucking criss cross speed set? Did he?”

“Yes,” Chuck said. “Santa just target marketed to our son.”

Junior climbed down. We walked away.

I felt dirty.

For the next few hours I couldn’t help but shake my head. The Narnia vomit was bad enough, but to have Santa ask pointed questions about Junior's toy preference and to then have him recommend a specific product was, well, disgusting. It confirms every feeling I have about what the Christmas holiday has become: over-commercialized, mechanical and soulless.

I kept thinking, Santa’s a sell-out. Nothing is sacred anymore. Nothing.

Over the weekend I contemplated calling the mall to ask how much Santa gets paid for his product pitching. I also wanted to know the name of the marketing company that dreamed up this let’s-get-Santa-to-market-specific-toys campaign. Not only because it is evil, but because they didn’t even execute the campaign correctly.

A helper should have been listening to the kids’ responses and should have immediately handed the kids custom coupons for the products for which they’d shown a preference. Then the company would have known how many of Santa’s pitches converted to actual sales.

If you’re going to sully the lap of the Big Red Man you should at least be able to track your fucking sales leads.

But maybe they were just dabbling this year, trying out the idea. Maybe next year Santa will be on the Pirates of the Caribbean ship, pitching Bratz dolls, and that’s when we’ll finally sink those last few inches to the murkiest of murky bottoms.

Then what?

P.S. I thought about writing a Letter to the Editor to share my experience but realized the nearest newspaper, The Hartford Courant, probably wouldn't run it, seeing how they sponsored the Ice Palace. Those pesky conflicts of interest!

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's that time again

Mulletville Corp's annual turkey send-off. We're meeting today.

Gobble, gobble.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why my shoes are on the wrong feet and I’m lying face down on the front lawn, smattered pieces of brain in my hands


Prenatal vitamin: Take one hour before or two-three hours after meals

Blood glucose test: Take four times a day, two hours after beginning meal

Junior’s pre-op ear tube surgery instructions: Nothing to eat after midnight

Arrival of beeping garbage truck: 4:32 a.m.

Junior’s ear tube surgery arrival time: 8:00 a.m.

Major project at work: Teleconference in at 11 a.m.

OB-GYN ultrasound appointment to follow up on gestational diabetes diagnosis: 12:40 p.m.

Follow-up appointment at Mulletville Diabetes Clinic: 1:30 p.m.

Phone calls to family members/friends/post-op doctors to say “Junior is just fine”: 7

Average length of phone calls despite intentions to keep short by only saying “Mmhmm”: 12 minutes

Work files due at printer: 3:30 p.m.

Arrival time of yet another person who wants to look at my house but won’t make an offer because the street is too busy: 4:45 p.m.

Actual time work files were sent to printer: 6:15 p.m.

Number of fat cats crying to be fed: 2

Average weight of dirty dishes in sink: 7.2 lbs.

Ear drops for Junior: Three times a day in each ear for five days

Number of times attempted self-performed lobotomy: Not enough

Monday, November 15, 2010

I used to walk to school uphill both ways, and I loved it

I know I'm sinking into that eight-months-pregnant-and-perpetually-grumpy slouch, but every time this commercial for the 2011 Toyota Highlander runs, I find myself yelling obscenities at the television.



According to the moppy-haired brat, he "doesn't tolerate dorkiness very well." He disapproves of his family's car choice (there's poor Dad, washing the Dodge caravan in his white socks and sandals). The boy concludes by saying, "Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you have to be lame."

I hate this kid. I hate every bratty, spoiled, entitled thing about him. At a time when families are losing their homes, unable to pay medical bills, and worrying how they're going to put food on the table, I—as a parent—am supposed to give a shit that my kid doesn't think our family car is cool enough?

When I was a kid, my family's VW wagon had holes in the floorboards. During the winter months my father would wrap his legs in a blanket and hop to get into the car. My mother would hand him a cup of coffee for his drive to work. I remember thinking he looked like a worm, not that he was uncool.

Maybe that snot would worry less about being cool if he spent a week in Haiti, where cholera is claiming lives because people are bathing in and drinking water from street canals. Or maybe he'd like a free trip to Mulletville, where Chuck recently encountered a grown man crying at a Walmart register. The man finally had enough to buy his son a birthday present. The kid's birthday was back in April. The present was a box of LEGOs.

Times are tough. Family and friends are what matter—not that your damn minivan has streaming audio capabilities. That kid should be grateful he has food on his plate. And that he can see. What is he, a fucking sheepdog?

Ok, I'm done. For now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weiners that plump when you cook them should be a welcome addition to any salad bar


To say that the pickings from the sexual salad bar at Mulletville Corp are withered and oddly shaped is a gross understatement. There are 50 women to every man; the ten men who work here? I’d rather switch teams than nuzzle their noodles.

Yet no matter what my female co-workers and I begin talking about at lunch, the conversation always wanders back to “Would you rather boink Mr. X or Mr. Y?”—even though the answer every time is an emphatic “neither.” Even though we circle around the same 10 men over and over like some horrible and twisted version of Groundhog Day.

We talk about Cadaver Hands. I can’t imagine anything less appealing than watching a dry, purple hand wander up my inner thigh.

Sir-Hump-a-Lot (no relation to Nurse-Lump-a-Lot). Granted, he knows his way around the bedroom, but someone who misses work to have a threesome is probably going to be poking you at 3 a.m., 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., pestering you for sex. Sleep is too precious a commodity.

Jim from purchasing. If you have tactical maneuvers to thwart someone’s "lazy eye" glances, you vomit a little when your co-workers ask, “But if you and he were the last people on Earth, would you?”

Mr. Doll. Enough said.

Mr. Handsome. His teeth sparkle as he walks down the hallway. His blond hair is perfectly coiffed. He successfully wears shades of purple. He doesn’t have visible pores. He seems perfectly doable...until you get a little closer and realize there’s something askew about him. His pants aren’t quite long enough. His shoes have rubber soles. He doesn’t appear to sweat. If you let yourself imagine an encounter with him you envision him stopping mid-thrust to hairspray his hair back into place. Or to floss/flick lint from your backside/lay out his clothes for tomorrow/what-have-you.

Would I choose him over Cadaver Hands? Most certainly, but we have money on it that Mr. Handsome is hiding a secret, like a third testicle.

The remaining men at Mulletville Corp can be summed up with “I’d rather [insert scenario in which you die] than have sex with him.” They’re an unattractive assortment of scraggly beards, canes with snake motifs, saggy asses and bad facial ticks.

We have been in desperate need of new lunchtime material for years.

Then, on Monday, like a gift from the Heavens, Mulletville Headquarters in Assachusetts sent us Mr. Tightbody. Suffice it to say, he lives up to his name and then some. Well-fitted suits hug his rippling torso. His hungry eyes sear into my flesh. His man parts heave and his loins send throbbing shockwaves up and down the—

—Oops, did I mention I’ve been moonlighting as a romance novelist?

Heh, heh.

The point is, he’s hot and I thought this meant we could finally move on from the “Would you rather...” nonsense. But no. After being surrounded by rusty Pintos of men for so long, no one knows what to do with this Corvette of a man except to verbally vomit nonsense every time his name comes up.

DidyouseehimtodayhelookssogoodomigawdIwoulddohiminasecond.

IthinkhelookedatmeandgavemetheIwannajumpyoulook.

Women have literally turned to Jell-O.

The situation has made me realize just how estranged we’ve become from normal, attractive men and how HR should have eased us into Mr. Tightbody. Like, maybe his bottom half could have started on Monday as a way of introduction. Then an arm. A shoulder.

Or maybe there should have been a gradual upgrade to Mr. Tightbody. Let us get used to a moderately attractive new male hire before you bring in the firecracker. You don’t just throw a frog into boiling water for Pete’s sake.

I should so be in charge of the world. Geesh.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elusive indulgences wanted! (And maybe a little sympathy)

Did I mention I failed my 3-hour glucose test by one point? (One fricken point!) I did. Even though I am not overweight, stick to a healthy diet and run myself ragged working full-time and caring for a toddler, I have gestational diabetes.

Because of that point—one point!—my doctor banished me to the Mulletville diabetes center last week for a consultation. I entered the center in the foulest mood possible. I may have been dubbed a gestational diabetic, but I wasn’t going to go quietly.

First I saw a chipper, lumpy nurse who called me “honey,” “hun” and “sugar.” She smiled past my snarky looks. She was impervious to my Death Stares.

Like gasoline on a fire, baby.

She gave me a 50-page health questionnaire to fill out. She checked my thyroid. She waxed my legs. By that point I’d been at the center for an hour. I started to get even pissier—sighing heavily and looking at my watch. Scratching the walls. Urinating in the corner. You know the drill. Nurse Lump-a-Lot finally noticed.

“I don’t belong here,” I moaned. “One point…”

“It’s probably genetics. Just one of those things.” She handed me this:



The OneTouch UltraMini. It may sound like a vibrator and look like a crack pipe, but it’s not nearly as exciting.

She told me I have to check my blood sugar levels four times a day and record them in my own special blood sugar diary.



(Sorry, Heidi Klum, this will have to replace your special notebook for now.)

We test drove the UltraMini. I passed. Hoohah! I waited for her to tell me I could skip the whole gestational diabetes thing but no, it was time to see the dietician.

Fuckity fuck no.

The dietician was even cheerier than Nurse Lump-a-Lot. Worse, she was skinny. I’ve been around long enough to know that skinny people who think a lot about food are never happy people. They use food scales and talk about bulgar wheat.

They are the Anti-Christ.

Before I’d even sat down, the dietician busted out her rubber fruits and vegetables and started playing kitchen.

“Two servings of broccoli equal one serving of potatoes. Now, what happens when we add a piece of toast?”

She drew smiley faces on my food chart. She referred to her camaraderie of dieticians as “we,” as in “we strongly encourage you to try Quinoa.”

I wanted to tell her where she could put her Quinoa, but she wouldn’t shut it. I kept trying to tell her that I knew enough about nutrition—one point!—to fast forward through the elementary-school schpeel, but she was going to cover it.

I even busted out the big guns—I told her how I was one of the first reporters to cover trans fats, a nasty bi-product of the hydrogenation process, for a gourmet food magazine back in 1997, so I knew about bad fats—but she wouldn’t put down her damn rubber vegetables.

She pummeled me with fake food. I was beaten.

So here I am, just me and my UltraMini. And a whole buttload of Halloween candy. Thoughts of Thanksgiving pies. Of fat, gooey chocolate Santa Clauses with jolly bellies full of marshmallow. Brownies dripping in caramel. Puff pastries. Cheesecakes paired with red wine.

Nothing I can touch.

I need a vice, people, and I need it now. What’s left to do that’s naughty?

(Don’t say sex. Please. We all know that sex when you’re eight months pregnant is about as appealing as moose going at it on the National Geographic channel.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Finally, something is called what it really is



Alternate title, "The most uninspired name for a toy train town ever."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I've decided to have my baby in an igloo with three fish as midwives. Oh, and a leprechaun as an anesthesiologist. Are you happy now?


I can’t remember if I blogged about my labor and delivery with Junior. Oh right, I did. I shared how, after 6,000 hours of Pitocin, 547 epidurals and indescribable pain, Chuck told me to picture my happy place and I dreamed about being flattened by a Mulletville transit bus.

That’s how my labor went.

Now here we are again. Another pregnancy; this time, the vexing question: How will this child enter the world? Had my first labor not ended with an emergency C-section—which saved my life and Junior’s—I wouldn’t be sitting here trying to decide what the hell to do. I’m one of the few whose doctors will support a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean), but—but—she also scheduled a C-section just in case.

Cue Jeopardy music. Pan in on Mrs. Mullet biting her lips, nails and Chuck trying to decide which option is best.

I realize in writing this post and approaching it in an I’m-not-sure-what-to-do manner I’m putting myself out there for possible judgment and criticism, but I want to go there because the topic fascinates me. Women have strong (sometimes frighteningly so) opinions about how babies should be labored. There are some, like Blossom star Mayim Bialik , who heartily judge women who’ve experienced medically-aided, non homebirths.

Others have such a low opinion of how delivery is handled by hospitals they’ve coined terms like “birth rape.” According to an article on Salon.com, “The term is being used to describe cases where a woman feels that her rights are violated by doctors, nurses or midwives.” Writer and activist Amity Reed feels that "Fingers, hands, suction cups, forceps, needles and scissors ... are the tools of birth rape and they are wielded with as much force and as little consent as if a stranger grabbed a passer-by off the street and tied her up before having his way with her.”

Wow, birth rape.

The prejudice is even appearing in cutesy parenting magazines. A woman I'll call "Sphincter" recently responded to an article about a homebirth with "How sad that micromanaged hospital births are now the norm."

Sniffle, sniffle.

Get the feeling that unless you deliver your kid at home while the neighbors rub nectar on your cooch and everyone hums Kumbaya, you’re pond scum? Kind of feels like that. Hospital births seem to have become the enemy. I concede that the medical system is imperfect (C-section rates in the United States are at an all-time high), but what system is perfect? And is the answer to a few horrific deliveries by overzealous, unsympathetic doctors really a showdown between mothers?

I continue to hope not. The idea of a natural delivery is so built up and so acutely affixed to our idea of womanhood and motherhood it cuts at the soul when the delivery experience fails miserably; no one needs judgy shit from other moms on top of that.

But there it is: the "how sad" bullshit. The pity and shame.

Which brings me back to my dilemma. After I had Junior, I heard myself tell people I’d had a C-section “because I had to/we would have died.” The urgency absolved me; I found comfort in that. Even worse, I added, “And I have a beautiful baby boy!” as if Junior were a consolation prize. As if the labor journey mattered more than the end result.

I promised myself I wouldn’t care this time, but every time I ask Chuck what we should do, I hear a nagging voice. This time, if I choose a C-section, I’ll have a dirty little secret. My surgery will have been by choice. I will have chosen to fail at labor. Even though a VBAC might mean laboring again for 24+ hours and never dilating. Or possibly losing kid #2 because of the stress of a 24+ labor that doesn’t go anywhere. Or taking a month to heal from another emergency C-section because of all the trauma my body endured leading up to it.

Even though.

Is being able to fly the “My kid was 100% naturally vagged!” banner really worth it? A big part of me thinks not. Just like being able to fly the “My kid was 100% breastfed!” banner was overrated. At some point the banners come down and your kid is either healthy and happy or you’ve royally fucked up—regardless of which body cavity he came from and how you fed him.

Regardless.

Gah!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Kicked to the curb for the very last time

Are you sick yet of Halloween? No? Great. ’Cause Mulletween 2010 was super dandy and I'd like to tell you all about it.

This is the first year we’ve trick or treated in our neighborhood; I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. There wasn’t a mullet to be seen—just lots of parents dropping off their kids while they waited in their 4x4s and smoked.

How thoughtful!

As for our neighbors, one nice man dumped his entire bucket of candy into Junior’s bag after admitting he forgot it was Halloween (he’d been too engrossed in the Patriot’s game to answer the door). His lovely woman friend waited until we were almost out of earshot to call him an asshole.

"Mommy? What's an asshole?"

Another neighbor let Junior pet her New England chickens. When the blind one tried to peck Junior’s costumed feet, the woman kicked it.

Gently.

And hello, hearty aerobics. The neighborhood is an outdoor gym, I tell you. It’s house after house of this:



Yes, poor Junior’s “trick or treats” sounded more like “triiiiiii...ck [gasp, gasp] ohhhhhhhhhhr [gasp, gasp] treeeeeeeeee......at” but he scored a lot of extra candy—no one likes to see a miniature dragon in pain. And because Chuck carried Junior for most of the night, Chuck got some exercise, too.

(Velcro would have been helpful. Polyester dragon costume + leather coat = “Chuck! Junior’s sliding down your back again! Grab his tail!”)



As for me, Mulletween helped me answer a pesky existential question that's been plaguing me for the longest time. I now know what I want to be in my next life: a stray dog in this neighborhood. Thanks to the dark sanctity of the neighborhood shrubs, me and my pregnant bladder were able to mark at least five miles of Mulletville in complete modesty. You couldn't ask for a better set-up than dark hills lined with shrubs.

We had such a quaint night, it was enough to make me misty about moving. Could I have misjudged this blighted community? Could we have been BBQing alongside our neighbors for the last four years instead of cowering from their swearing, smoking, chicken-kicking ways?

Could have been so beautiful...could have been so right...

No. When I left for work this morning I found our pumpkins smashed to pieces on our front walkway.



Mulletville, you are officially and irrevocably dumped. Forever.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Maybe it is time

For a menaissance...




Happy Halloween!

(Parents
magazine, October 2010)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can I admit something?

When I first got pregnant with Junior, I was really excited. I was excited for all the obvious reasons...

...and then there was the excitement surrounding my belly button. It's an inny, and everyone knows that at some point in your pregnancy, your belly button pops like a turkey timer and becomes an outy.

Zing!

I imagined that magical day, perhaps a little too vividly, for I had grandiose ideas of what that transformation from inny to outy would entail. See [blushing], I kind of naively thought that 30 years' worth of accumulated stuff would come rocketing out and that Chuck and I would be able to rifle through it and exclaim, "So that's where that extra key went!" or "I thought Tiger ran off years ago."



But you know what? It doesn't work like that. Some innies, like mine, just widen in span, morphing and growing into Grand Canyons of belly buttons. With pregnancy #2 it's even more expansive.

Hello-ello-ello-elloo-ooo.

Hello-ello-ello-elloo-ooo.


I feel kind of jipped. I'll never know if something incredibly valuable could have fallen in there without my knowing. Like an original Declaration of Independence! Gold! Pictures of Lost Continent of Atlantis!

Or, lint. Ok, fine, it's just lint.

Grumble, grumble. Don't look at me like that. It's not like I just admitted I wear nipple tassels.

Heh. Heh.

Anyway, thanks for, um, listening. We now return to our regularly scheduled broadcast: Mrs. Mullet Should Probably Get Out More.

(Pssst. Yah, you. I know you have something weird you want to admit now too. Go on, do it!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

You'll be GWHTLC someday, IYKWIM


Listen, you little recent college graduate buttwads. I’ve been working with some of you since May, when you were lucky enough to land a job in this piss poor economy, and I’ve come to a realization: Aside from a select few, you’re lazy, coddled whiners.

As a seasoned professional, I’d like to offer you some free workplace advice. Unless you’re happy with your inauspicious beginnings, which I suspect some of you are, it would behoove you to heed my advice. I’ll try to make it as easy as possible for you to understand with some text-speak, since I know your robotic brains can synthesize little else. Ready?

1. You need to CTS (Cut the shit)
It’s not okay for your boyfriend/significant other to stop by the office every day during business hours and to talk for hours. You can see him during your allotted break, which is called your lunch hour. It’s bad enough your boyfriend can’t pull up his pants and we have to look at his bunched-up boxers. Do you really think we find your giggling and blushing marathons endearing?

2. IBYNTP (I’m begging you not to procreate)

Do not tell me you stopped taking the pill because of, like, wicked cramps. First, that falls under something called TMI, or too much information. Second, you’re asking me to add my .02, which is that you should keep taking the pill because, with his pants down around his ankles, your boyfriend seems primed to inseminate something. Please, for the sake of humanity, don’t take a chance on that being you.

3. IWKY (I will kill you)

Just because your brain cannot function without technology does not entitle you to simultaneously watch Youtube, update your status on Facebook, send emails, instant message and talk on the phone while you’re working.

You’re sitting in a lifeless gray cubicle because you have a job to do, and—news flash—that job doesn’t entail being entertained. And I swear, if one of you little assholes gives me another irritated look when I remind you to disconnect yourself until your work is done, I’m going to strangle you with one of those old-fashioned phone cords.

4. URNMC (You are not Miley Cyrus)

This is a place of work, not a strip club or rock concert. We don’t want to see your bra straps, underwear, pajamas, miniskirts, concert t-shirts or sweatpants. And thigh-high boots? Really?

5. GAFC (Get a fucking clue)
If you see your supervisor sitting at his/her desk around 12:30 and they are chewing something, chances are that person is in the throes of what is known as a working lunch.

I’d like to suggest that you GAFC and leave that person alone for the next 15 minutes. Do not, I repeat do not, pull up a chair and start asking questions like, “When are raises done?” or “I know I only started two days ago but can I have Friday off so my friends and I can go to Vegas?”

6. GTFU (Grow the fuck up)
Business hours are called such for a reason. Don’t show up an hour late and expect the office to be sympathetic because you’re “not a morning person.” Many of us barely slept because of crying or sick kids or because we were trying to squeeze in a quickie with our partner after remembering it had been several months.

And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t raise your hand during a staff meeting and suggest we change the meeting time to later in the day because you have trouble concentrating before 10 a.m.

7. N1W2CURDSF (No one wants to see your damn smiley faces)
Professional emails do not include emoticons. I cannot stress this enough.

8. GOVAY (Get over yourself)
If your work is mediocre, I’m helping you by telling you that.

I know you grew up during a time when the whole team got medals and when your parents sung the praises of every piece of macaroni artwork you brought home, even though you ate the glue instead of actually using it, but this is the real world. We don’t do a dance when you poo. We don’t care about your fragile ego; it’s not our fault you were overparented.

Ironically enough, I’d like to conclude by saying TYVM. Working with you has given me a glimpse into the tragedy that belies parents who live with their heads up their kids’ butts. I hope Junior fails miserably at something, so he understands the value of humility. I hope he has to work for the things he wants, so he understands pride. I hope he’s told by someone he admires that he needs to try harder, so he understands the value of fortitude.

And finally, I hope there are better role models in 2020 so he understands the value of a good belt.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tampax has a nice ring to it. No?



According to ivilliage, I've graduated from growing corn to cabbage. Soon I will be able to make a salad.

Every time I try to think of more appealing things they could have chosen for comparison I'm stumped.

Size of your baby: Manolo Blahnik pump, size 7?

Size of your baby: Big ass sunflower head?

See? It's hard.

It's also hard trying to nail down a name for kid #2 because every time I imagine a baby boy I picture Junior, and then I find myself choosing Junior's name all over again. Though I am still partial to Diddlydoo. Just for shits and giggles I Googled it. According to Urban Dictionary, it's "a nice word to describe feminine hygiene products."

Knowing this, I can't in good conscience name my cabbage after a tampon. And ew, does "feminine hygiene products" encompass stuff like Vagisil? It just doesn't seem right. So I've decided I am going to wait until I see him to make up my mind. It's kind of refreshing, the idea of waiting. Thanks to modern technology, we know so much before babies are born (gender, what color to paint the nursery) I rather like the idea of a surprise.

And, as an added bonus, it drives family members crazy when you won't list off possible names.

I'm going to bed now. I failed my damn glucose test and have to take the 3-hour version at 7 a.m. tomorrow. Ordinarily I'd feel crappy about that but thanks to women like Trista Sutter from ABC’s The Bachelorette, I now know that skinny, pretty people can get gestational diabetes too.

I mean, yay. Thank gawd she came out and shared her story (like, OMG, how "it’s difficult to see cellulite on your arms when you didn’t have any before!").

So difficult!

But hey, maybe I shouldn't knock her. I considered naming my son after a maxi pad.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Playing with chest hair makes me forget all about those big, bad bank statements


It all makes sense. Chuck’s knee-long beard. The towering collection of Old Spice. The blatant scratching. And last night, how he clubbed me and dragged me, ponytail first, to the boudoir.

Why, he’d joined the menaissance, of course!

Haven’t you heard? According to Salon.com writer Tracy Clark-Flory, the “menaissance” has hit the runway and the world will soon follow suit.

I could give a crap about who’s walking the catwalk, so I went back and read the New York Times Fashion and Style article Clark-Flory was referring to when she coined the gem “menaissance” (along with “mancession”—oh gawd, I’m having frenemom flashbacks). And whaddyou know, there are actually people out there who believe that images of hairy, weathered, strappin’ men (the very essence of masculinity) will help carry us through these dire economic times.

Gone are the days of hairless male waifs as icons. Good-bye feminized boys. Hello, bustin' manballs.

Joe Levy, editor in chief of Maxim, was quoted as saying, “Men have always been defined by their jobs — always...Suddenly the notion of having a job or a career is in doubt. So you fall back on old notions of what it meant to be a man or to look like one.”

I like the “or” in that last sentence. Cause the line between actually being something and looking like something is like 0.00000000000000004 nanomillimeters apart. It gives me comfort though. As the breadwinner with a trophy stay-at-home dad husband, I can continue to be the salve to our familial economic wounds just by dressing up as a manly man.

Unless there’s a testicle check at the door?

Frick. There’s always a testicle check.

But what about Chuck? If he's always been defined by his job—always—and needs to fall back on comfy masculine notions because of his bout with unemployment (hello, he did club me), will we have to duke this one out?

Maybe we can just alternate clubbing nights.

My favorite line of the article comes from Sam Shahid. He’s the creative director of the very manly Shahid & Company, and he basically continued the Maxim editor’s thought: “Look back to movies during the Depression, and all you saw was real guys like James Cagney. In tough times, people want a strong man.”

Strong man. We still can’t get past that damn Cinderella ending, can we? And it’s what, 2010? Don’t get me wrong, it’d be mantastic if images of aged, hairy men were enough to save the world, but I think we might need something more like, oh, I don’t know, better economic reform, institutional accountability and fewer sluts as role models.

At least better cheese in a can.

It goes so well with chest hair.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bracket talk: (verb) 1. to TRY to communicate or exchange information, by speaking. 2. to TRY to make sounds suggestive of speech


Me: Pancakes for breakfast, Chuck?

Chuck: I'll make them—

Junior: Excuse me. Um, excuse me.

Me: Just a second, Junior.

Chuck: Where's the—

Junior: I have a question. Would you try to run faster than a train?

Me: Yes.

Chuck: No. So, Mrs. Mullet, what’s on tap for today? Should we—

Junior: Excuse me. Excuuuuuuuuuuse me. Um, excuse me.

Me: Just a second, Junior.

Junior: I have to ask you something! Have you ever eaten an orange?

Chuck: Your mother and I are trying to talk. Just a second.

Me: We could drive down to New Haven and—

Junior: Excuse me. Excuuuuuuuuuuse me. Um, excuse me.

Me: Go to the—

Chuck: Please don’t interrupt, Junior.

Junior: What if I didn’t have hands or feet?

Me: Peabody Museum. Why is he asking that?

Chuck: Junior, your mother and I are trying to talk. Don’t interrupt.

Me: Or we could stay—

Junior: Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me. Excuuuuuuuuuuse me.

Me: Closer to home. Just a minute, Junior.

Chuck: Yes, just a minute.

Junior: But I said excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me.

Chuck: It’s not polite to interrupt. We’ll be with you in a second.

Me: Or we could—

Junior: But I said excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me! Do trains run on tracks?

Chuck: Drive down to—

Junior: Do they?

Me: Fly to—

Junior: DO THEY?

Chuck: Hawaii—

Me: Alone—

Junior: DO THEY?

Me and Chuck: YES! For the love of God, YES!

They make protective bubbles for kid #2, right? For when kid #1 tries to push him out a window/return him via the mailbox/set his stroller on fire? They must.

Because this ain't gonna be perty.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We had pancakes for dinner

Years ago I shared an office with a woman whom I kind of hated. She wasn’t a bad person. She was just on fast forward. At a moment’s notice, she was ready to roll up her sleeves and attack a project. Her motto was “Let’s bang this shit out!”

I, on the other hand—a single woman in my late twenties—couldn’t understand what her rush was. Her eagerness annoyed the crap out of me. She was always on.

I remember once I was gingerly hand-cutting a proof for a vendor, and she stopped and watched me. I could see her hands moving faster for me.

She didn’t even drink coffee.

I thought of her today. Chuck’s been gone for 12-hour days for reasons I can’t get into. I’ve been waking at the buttcrack of dawn to get me and my bump ready for work and Junior ready for pre-school. I drop him off, work all day, pick him up, make dinner, get ready for bed and er, blog. Somewhere in there I do laundry, dishes, grocery shop and make sure my clothes aren’t inside-out.

Don’t forget the house showings at a moment’s notice.

To add insult to injury, Junior has another ear infection. I can’t take off work, so Chuck’s mother is spending the night tonight; my mother is spending the night tomorrow night. It’s like the slasher version of the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, in which they want to talk and laugh and all I want to do is poke my eyes out. Or maybe jump through a window and fly to Antarctica.

One-way.

I honestly didn’t write this post intending it to be a pity party. I wrote it because I suddenly understand the can-do attitude of my former co-worker. She was a single, working mother with an elderly parent for whom she also cared. She ploughed through because she had to.

Kind of like me now. When I see a mess, I don’t stop to assess it, I dive in. I don't have a choice. I have to get things done. I'm a fricken workhorse, and the 20-something slowpokes at the office are making me insane.

Insane!

I’m still on the fence about what this all means. Perhaps that I’ve fully acquiesced to grown-up-ville and its mundane chores (I did, after all, post a cheery Facebook status about replacement windows). Or perhaps that I’m projecting kind, apologetic feelings toward my former co-worker in an attempt to sooth my own, tired, frail, plump ego.

Whatever the case, I'm shit banger outer.

How...exciting.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Peeing my way to freedom

I haven't talked much about Chuck's ghostbusting lately, mainly because he hasn't talked much about it. I asked him not to after I had a steady stream of nightmares in which he appeared as a floating head. Oh, and I still kind of skeeve my dining room because of the whole sea captain thing.

The truth is that I believe in ghosts/spirits/floating things, but I don't want them to know that.

Chuck has obliged my request to not be in the know by having all his ghostbusting conversations in the basement. But dangitall, there I was vacuuming this morning when the cord flew out of the socket and the vacuum went dead. My ear was thisclose to the baseboards. Chuck was talking really loud. I tried to pull myself away, but I couldn't. There was talk of flying bottles. Missing pets. Mysterious scratches.

I finally walked away-right after I'd sufficiently freaked myself the fuck out.

To calm myself, I took Junior to Target. If you didn't already know, pretty red bull's eyes are the ideal anecdote to the geebies. (And in case you missed it, enchiladas are the perfect after-being-robbed food. You come here to learn, I know.)

After our glitzy trip, I found myself on a remote back road somewhere near Mulletville. Hoping that Junior would fall asleep, I'd taken the long way home and had gotten us lost. I was about to turn around when I saw a big sign for a corn maze.

Hooey! Fun with corn!

We drove up a dirt road. Sure enough there was an old man sitting by a big ass field of corn. I can't be sure, but I think he had a glass eye. We were the only ones there. I asked how long the maze was. He said it covered a few acres and could take as much time as I wanted. Seeing as I'm seven months pregnant and was in the company of an overtired, fickle toddler, I said we'd be out shortly.

Um, Mrs. Mullet, they call it a maze for a reason.

Every damn row of corn looked the same. We went in circles. We went in squares. The wind rustled through the corn husks. The husks loomed over our heads. There were no landmarks with which to get my bearings. I'd never seen Children of the Corn but I kept thinking of it.

Corn. Dead, hairy corn.



Then I started hearing Chuck's voice. The floating bottles. The pets that never came home. The husks rustled again. I thought I saw something a row over. I heard someone whispering. I heard the theme song from Halloween.

Oh.My.God.

Run, Junior! Run!

Ultimately, the thing the saved me was my bladder. After we were out of eyesight of the farmer, I'd dropped trou and watered the plants. Twenty minutes later I'd done it again. And so on. We followed the um, markings, back to the entrance. I never thought I'd say this, but I love my pregnant bladder in a way I never thought possible.

I'm done eavesdropping. And I'm all set with corn until next summer. Even that might be too soon. Tell me: With Halloween right around the corner, do you like to spook yourself out? Do you like to be scared?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The thing I wished for didn't really make me happy. Now I kind of feel bad for the kid

The last time my mother babysat, she left this little present for Junior:



I’ve written before about my disdain for Caillou, the sickly looking character on PBS Kids. Junior loves him; I feel nauseous whenever I see him. The life depicted on the TV show is sickeningly sweet. Yes, it’s a kid’s show but do people really giggle incessantly over nothing? Does the family ever have a bad day?

Apparently, yes. Caillou and his family do have crappy days—in their print lives. “Caillou Hurry Up!” features a leaner and meaner Mommy and Daddy. In fact a more apt title for “Caillou Hurry Up!” might be “Mommy and Daddy Resent You, Caillou, Because We are Tired and Overworked.”

Without boring you, a quick synopsis: Mommy and Daddy oversleep. Mom tells Caillou to eat breakfast. The damn cat knocks over a plant. Dad yells at Caillou to get dressed then shoves the cat outside.



On the way to get dressed, Mom screams at Caillou for not eating breakfast. Then, tragedy strikes: younger sister Rosie is sick. Mom has to drag her to grandma’s so she can go to work. Caillou tries to liberate the cat. Daddy loses his shit on Caillou for not eating or getting dressed and—horrors—wanting to go to grandma’s too.



Caillou cries. Daddy apologizes and says he’s tired, blah, blah, blah. Mom pours her Screwdriver into her travel mug and whisks Caillou off to daycare. The end.

With each page turn, I grew more depressed. Where were the giggles and hearts I so despised but Junior so craved?

Save the whales!

I felt I needed to give Junior a post-story recap.

“Look,” I told him, “it’s not Caillou’s fault his parents woke up in pissy moods because they can’t properly set their alarm clock. And it’s perfectly reasonable he’d want to protect the poor cat and go to his grandmother’s. He’s four. Everything about his behavior is normal for a child. The morning’s derailment is Caillou’s parents’ fault, not Caillou’s.”

Junior said he understood, but when he wasn’t looking I hid the book under the couch cushion.

I tried to understand why I was so bothered. Why did I care so much about a creepy, hairless kid? Then it hit me. The story reminds me of what I hear in grocery store parking lots and on playgrounds and at daycare and pre-school drop-offs every day, which is: WE ARE IN A HURRY. MOVE IT. COME ON! GET IN THE CAR. GET OUT OF THE CAR. HURRY UP. I SAID NOW.

Just yesterday I watched a mother slap her son for shouting good-bye to his friend from his carseat because “We have to get going, Bradley!” This morning, as Junior and I walked into pre-school, a mother threatened to leave her crying daughter in the parking lot because “I’m going to be late for work, Cassandra! HURRY UP.”

This hurry-up-or-else mentality is kind of horrible, and it’s kind of prevalent.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we slowed down for a minute and really looked at what our children are asking of us while we’re doing all this yelling. That little boy in the carseat was excited to say good-bye to his friend. That little girl just wanted to spend more time with her mother. Stupid Caillou just wanted to save his fugly cat.

Now I don’t know, maybe Bradley yells from his carseat 24-7, and his mom has had it. Or maybe Cassandra cries and dawdles in the parking lot every morning, and her mother has had it. I’ve certainly lost my patience because Junior is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to walk to the car. And I’m certainly not suggesting we put life on hold to meet our children’s every whim...

...But it seems that there are a lot of people who are perpetually pissed off at their kids because they’re a hindrance to their busy schedules, and the bottom line is that it’s not the kid’s fault.

(Did I mention I really hated "Caillou Hurry Up!"?)

I’m making a conscious effort to hurry Junior less. I really am. If you’d hurry up and comment, DAMMIT, I’d know how you feel, too. I MEAN NOW. YOU'RE MAKING US LATE.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Honey, you forgot to mow the kitchen counter

randomtuesday

If you need evidence that the human race has hit rock bottom, look no further. Snookie is publishing a romance novel. If you don’t know who Snookie is, I’m jealous. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to Jersey Shore, but I do watch it sometimes. I can’t help it. Any day now, one of the cast is going to catch such a bad case of herpes or gonorrhea that their limbs fall off, and I want to be there to see it.

Thank God someone invented a cure for unsightly dish racks. Fake grass on your counter looks so much better.



But where is the watering can coffee maker? And the coiled garden hose toaster? If someone’s going to suggest that regular kitchen apparatuses are aesthetically unacceptable, there needs to be more follow through, dammit. I need cohesion. How can we be asked to settle for just grass when we deserve so much more? How?

Yes, those are my pregnancy hormones talking. They’re the same ones that yelled out my window to the woman who let her poodles poop on my front walkway. I’ve never yelled out the window at anyone. It felt kind of good—though I think it would have felt even better if I’d been holding a rocket grenade launcher and had one leg up on the window sill, like I was ready to spring.

Why think small?

Before we can move to Mulletville Lite we need to remove black mold from my father’s basement. Chuck said mold removal takes precedence over painting. “Not when you’re painting a bedroom that used to be the bedroom your parents smushed* in,” I said. It’s true: being exposed to both can cause dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

Especially vomiting.

We’re throwing my friend Jen a bachelorette party this week (she’s the one who had her identity stolen by the Russian mafia, among other things). The evening includes fondue, specialty waxing—yep, an expert is stopping by for wax jobs—and this



Because what bachelorette party is complete without a penis cake? My friend Ana is baking the masterpiece, and she looked to me for guidance. Of course.

First, there was the question of ethnicity. After some debate, we decided on an attractive shade of tan. Then, the obvious question of testicular accoutrements. Ana was full of ideas: “I was looking online and someone covered the balls with chocolate sprinkles. It looked good. But I think if I can find the black licorice strings and curl them - that that might look better/grosser...I may try to make veins to, but that may be too much for me to handle.”

How could you not love this woman?

I think I’ll stop the randomness right there so you enjoy that graphic image of a penis cake for a while. Consider it my gift to you.

No, thank you.

*If you don’t know what smushing is, I’m jealous. Essentially, it’s what the cast of Jersey Shore does 24-7. Their word, not mine.