ABOUT ME

About me: My husband Chuck, our six-year-old Junior, our three-year-old Everette 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, March 31, 2010

Maybe the Chinese food should mind its own business

I think I might have mentioned that Mulletville is under water because of the rain and that Chuck has been down in the basement for two days battling the flood and a kidney stone?

Some of the sounds coming up from the basement have been downright unsettling—sounds that make me think of large animals that have severed limbs, intestinal parasites and are close to death. Sounds like

Uuuuuughhhhh aaaaaahhhhhhugaaaaaaaghhugh.

And Aggggghugagagahelpmeblaaaaaaahhhhhh.

The Hug-aahhh hug-aaahh was the worst.

In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best time to shout down into the dark abyss



and ask about when he’d get around to finishing the wainscoting in the downstairs bathroom. But we’re having company this weekend—or rather, we were having company—and I was merely looking for a status update.

It’s not my fault. Facebook and Twitter have made me a status update crackhead.

Chuck freaked. He’s normally a very patient man, but he went ballistic. I guess the sensation of having your testicles in a vice as you lift buckets of slimy basement water will do that.

He raced up the stairs and told me exactly what I could do with my wainscoting—things I wouldn't recommend even seasoned Home Depot workers do with their wainscoting! Cover your ears!

Then he collapsed.

So there Junior and I were, watching Chuck twitch on the floor



when I cracked open the leftover fortune cookies from last Thursday and one said this:



Holy shit again. It's like something out of the Twilight Zone. Is King Wah Wok Palace a portal into the Great Beyond? Someone's obviously trying to tell me something via stale cookies, and it's creeping me out.

If that wasn't bad enough, the other cookie said this:



"Even the greatest of whales is helpless in the middle of a desert."

So now I'm inconsiderate and fat.

Bastards.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Busted

randomtuesday

My brother Ted found my blog. I've only mentioned him in like, 35 posts, so I don't feel too bad. I’m not sure why it took him so long. Every time he comes over he gets on my computer, and the name “frogmama” pops up for the fill-ins. Somehow that eluded him.

He finally found it by searching the Internet for mom blogs in Connecticut. I thought he’d be upset by the intimate accounts of his past relationships, his noxious flatulence and the unflattering photos, but he laughed it off.

Phew.

About my last post: I really know someone named Squirt. He was a friend of my aunt’s—the one who wanted me to be a modern woman. He lived in a tent behind the town green, and when I was 16, he’d buy me and my friend beer. I think he wanted to invite us back to his place except it was, you know, a pop-up.

I don’t think you’ve truly lived until someone named Squirt’s bought you a 24-pack of Budweiser.

When I was in high school I used to hide my beer stash in a suitcase in the woods. One day my brother and his friend found it and dragged it back to the house. I wouldn’t have gotten in trouble if my name hadn’t been on the luggage tag. Minor detail.

We have water in our basement from all the rain, and Chuck has another #$@*ing kidney stone. He was writhing in pain last night as he ran the sump pump, so I gave him the biggest, nicest kiss before I left him down there and went to bed. I'm such a peach.

Mmmm, peach schnapps.

When I was 19, my friend brought me to a night club. It was my first foray into hard liquor, and it wasn’t pretty. I puked the whole drive home. When we got to my house, my friend carried me to the door. The spotlight came on and flooded my brother’s bedroom. As my brother tells it, he ran to the window because he thought the sudden illumination was Jesus.

Sorry, bro. It’s just me, a frog with a mullet.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I felt like a princess

To those of you who asked: "They have fancy dinner dances in Mulletville?"

Why, yes. Yes they do.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm totally stalling

I must have been smoking crack when I bought this Laura Geller eyeshadow on QVC



I have no other explanation as to why I, a strictly brown girl, would purchase purple and gold sparkly eyeshadow. It screams ice skater. But dammit, I was willing to try it because Chuck and I are going to a fancy dinner dance tonight. So I slapped some on. I love the just-fell-down-the-stairs look, don't you?



Then I went to try on the sheer nylons I'd bought. Holy giraffe stockings! Did I accidentally shop at the Big and Tall?



So things are going great. It's 4:30. We have to leave in an hour. And I'm blogging.

Chuck, honey, I think we're going to be a little late...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chinese food shouldn't make you think this much

I’m having what’s known as a personal crisis. Since you’re human, I’m pretty sure you can relate. It all started when I read a father’s blog post about his wife going back to work. I found myself leaving this comment: “It gets easier, I promise.”

Afterward, I thought about the lie I’d just told. It doesn’t get easier—at least for me it hasn’t. If you want to spend time with your child and your situation doesn’t allow for that, you will contemplate calling in sick every day. You will cry in your car on the way to work. You might even consider letting your house go into foreclosure so you can see your child more.

It hurts more than anything has hurt before. You might find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Or you might find comfort in copious amounts of alcohol.

This July, I’ll have been back at work for two years. That’s a lot of wine. When I first went back, Chuck hugged me on a daily basis and said, “I miss Junior, too. This is temporary.”

In December 2009, Chuck got laid off. He still hugged me, but now that he was a stay-at-home dad, he said, “I’m taking Junior to the children’s museum today.”

I bit my tongue. I stopped myself from saying, “Must be nice.” The poor man had just lost his job. Did he really need guilt on top of despair?

Even though I blogged about it, and wished he would get run over, a resentful tongue can only be restrained for so long before it thrashes out of your mouth and takes on a life of its own. I found myself saying crummy things to Chuck. He retreated. The more he burrowed, the more I unleashed. In a relationship, this is known as “Your yin is killing my yang.”

Over the next year, Chuck had job leads here and there, but nothing panned out. The industry he’s in—event planning—tanked. One of his former laid-off coworkers just took a job in bug extermination. Understandably, Chuck’s dealing with his own issues.

So here we are. Two people with issues. And now the weather is getting nicer and there are fun things to do, like look for seashells on beaches and picnic in the sun and take long hikes in the woods. And I feel like this last year is the equivalent of a Cialis-induced hard-on—you know, the ones that last longer than they’re supposed to?

I’m ready for a change. My inner wiener is ready to boff the crap out of change and finally assume a satisfied, flaccid position. I want my post coital cigarette.

But more importantly, I want to behave better. I mean, you know you’re acting like an asshole when your fortune cookie says this:



That’s right: "Avoid compulsively making things worse."

That was my fortune today. Jesus.

So to Chuck, I’m so sorry. You’re doing a wonderful job as a father. This situation isn’t your fault. You didn’t ask to be laid off. You didn’t cause the housing market or event planning industry to nose-dive. I hope I haven’t tainted your time with Junior. I hope when you look back you think of it as a special time in your life instead of the Era of Mrs. Mullet’s Wrath. My friends tell me I have Heather’s moments, and they only see me once in a a while. Living with me must be somewhat frightening sometimes. I’m going to work on that.

I hope you keeping hugging me. Not the kind of hugs where you pretend to hump my leg. But the kind of hugs that let me know you forgive me for over-attacking this situation in the way that a Wooly Mammoth might attack a one-legged, 90-year-old bunny rabbit.

I'm a Capricorn, but I'll do better. I promise.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Llamas do too moo


The other night, my good buddy D&W and I visited a polygamist sect housed in a lovely barn. Twelve modestly dressed women sat in chairs on either side of us. The head lady sat directly in front of me. The women eagerly answered questions and giggled at each other’s responses. There were homemade lemon bars and fresh goat’s milk. Peace flags hung from the rafters. A llama mooed outside the window.

Oh, dang. Did I say polygamist sect? I meant to say Montessori school. Snap! It just felt like a polygamist sect—minus the men and merry-go-round vaginas, of course.

I swear I don’t mean to be unfair. The teachers were lovely in that granola and beeswax way. They were polite and smart and had dewy skin. But after two hours of learning about the Montessori method, I was a little freaked out.

Ok, a lot freaked out.

First, by the use of the word “work.” According to the head teacher, children don’t come to school to play, they come to work. They choose their task of the day—which can be pouring water or counting beans—and spend time at their station working on it.

Even as I write this, I’m sweating and starting to whimper, “Nooo, God, noooo, nooooo!” But that’s because of my own connotations with the word work. In my life, work is something I have to do. I drag my ass out of bed every morning and dutifully punch my timecard. I’m lucky in that some components of my work—graphic design—are things I’m passionate about, but let’s be honest. Some days work eats my soul.

So when I pictured Junior at his station working, I got claustrophobic and twitchy.

One of the teachers noticed my facial tick and explained that the school wants children to see work as an impassioned activity. Kind of like how she sees her weaving. I get that. But I can’t move past the fact that I don’t want Junior working at the age of three. Maybe this is my own personal failure because I let Corporate America rape my inner weaver on a daily basis, but it’s a huge hurdle I can’t jump.

Then there’s the independence angle. Holy shit. You’re not even allowed to go into the classroom because it interferes with your child’s ability to remove his own shoes, hang up his coat and choose his day’s work. You say goodbye at the door. Every activity fosters independence. Even snack time. It’s eaten alone when the kid chooses. All in the name of I CAN DO IT MYSELF.

The more the women talked, the more vivid my mental movie became. By the time they offered us the damn lemon bars, this is what I saw:

After two years of Montessori schooling, Junior comes home one day and announces he’s getting his own apartment. He’s landed a job at a local farm counting beans. Chuck and I have to acquiesce: he’s perfectly capable of living on his own. Chuck and I cry our hearts out. Our house fills with tears. The cats drown. We cry more. Our house floats down the street and into an intersection. It’s smushed by oncoming traffic. We’re smushed. Junior’s agoraphobic tendencies prevent him from attending the funeral. He’s riddled with guilt. He turns to drugs and alcohol. He’s in juvie by five-and-a-half. All because we chose to a Montessori school.

Wait! Wait! If you’re a Montessori lover, don’t be mad. I’m sure there are many of you who have had fabulous experiences with Montessori schools. Maybe this one was just a little hard core. I mean, the way the head directress spoke about the school’s founder, Dr. Maria Montessori, I was expecting them to wheel out her taxitermied body so we could kneel before it.

Independently, of course.

And to the parents who brought their bug-eyed kid to the open house? The invite said the evening’s activities were “not appropriate for children.” Because of all the, you know, bed hopping stuff.

Oh my gosh. I’m done with the polygamy jokes. I promise.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I suppose I could try to resell it as "bongo biceps"


The bongo butt game seemed like such innocent fun. I didn't mean for it to become a family pastime; I was just trying to kill time Friday night between Junior's after bath towel-down and Chuck's arrival with his pajamas.

Instead it was a weekend jamathon. After every shower Junior was eagerly awaiting me and Chuck so he could slap our asses and shriek, "Bongo butt! Bongo butt!"

Whereas Chuck shrieked, "Agh! Down boy!"

Whoever said regret is a chance to learn and grow has never experienced the sting of an overeager toddler's hand against his flesh. I take it back. I take it back!

I'm hoping by mid-week that the novelty wears off. Kind of like how the novelty of the words "poop" and "toot" might also wear off soon.

[Shudder]

Friday, March 19, 2010

What'll I do next week without all the mid-morning field trips?

Last Friday I was supposed to have an appointment with the daycare director to talk about her bowling stats—I mean, about the garish behavior of her staff. We never got to talk, because she canceled on me.

By then I’d pretty much decided I was done scaling buildings. But I brought Junior in this Tuesday for one last hoorah, and to see if maybe—miraculously?—things had improved.

Hah. When I dropped Junior off, he clung to my leg and cried. Like this:



The zombie grandma sat in her chair and stared. The teachers went about their business. We stood like that for ten minutes. I tried to engage Junior in some of the room’s activities. He wasn’t interested. I tried engaging the teachers, like, “Hey, Junior, I bet the teacher has a fun project this morning.” Nada.

Finally, one of the teachers said to Junior, “Mommy has to go to work. I really don’t like prying kids off their mommies. I’d really hate to have to pull you off.”

Omifrickengawd! I wanted to pick up the kiddie chair and club her. If anyone’s going to pry my kid off me, it’s me.

Junior finally let go and let her lead him to the bookshelf. I said goodbye and walked out into the hallway. Then I heard a horrible thud. Junior had flung himself against the glass door and was screaming for me. I ran back inside and picked him up. Then I went back out to the hallway and called Chuck:

“I CAN’T DO THIS. I HATE THIS. THIS ISN’T RIGHT. WE NEED TO GET HIM OUT OF HERE. IT’S AWFUL.”

All of a sudden, Junior wriggled to get down. He’d seen one of his friends and wanted to go play.

These toddlers, man. They are downright bipolar. As he happily ran away I stood there, speechless. You’re kidding me, right? So off I went to work—a mere 35 minutes late. I fretted. I fidgeted. I called to check on him. They promised he was doing fine.

At 11:30 a co-worker popped in. There was a fire truck outside the preschool, and the kids were outside. I immediately ran across the parking lot and looked for Junior. If the school had difficulty with snack time, how the hell would they handle flames?

The kids were standing in the far lot. I found Junior and the director (to my dear friend who described her as a flamingo: you were right).

“Nothing to worry about,” the director told me. “False alarm.”

“Super. Can we talk when the drill's over?”

Into her office we went. I told her I was going to pull Junior, that the behavior of the teachers was unacceptable and that the granny gave me the creeps. Then I waited.

She coughed for a few minutes then sputtered, “I have bronchitis.”

“That’s fucking swell!” I said. “Your teachers are throwing things!”

“I know,” she moaned. “Things haven’t been great.” She stretched her mouth in one of those “eeeek” faces.



“And your reasons for taking him out are perfectly understandable. The grandmother is weird. We don’t know why she comes.” Her eyes got buggy, and then



“We’re just so new.”



She started hacking. “Will today be his last day?”

“That’s it? No, ‘We’ll try harder, baby’? or ‘We want this to work’? You’re just going to let me go?”

Hack, hack.

On the drive home, Junior was uncharacteristically quiet. When we got to our exit, he puked. Chuck came out to the car to meet us in the driveway. He stuck his head in the door and asked, “How was your day?”

"Gutter ball."



"What? Is he covered in puke?"

"I'm going to go lie in the road now."

(But hey, at least I know we made the right decision.)

Thanks to www.allmoviephoto.com for the freaked out kid picture.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Could it be?



That we are finally crawling out of the cold, dark ass crack that was winter 2010? Are we done with ear infections and sleet and shoveling and vomiting?

Yes! And no. Junior puked on me again last night. But even still, we're getting there.

How about you? Do you feel like you're starting to crawl out?

Monday, March 15, 2010

It must be that time of the month: I have strong opinions



Yowsers. Have you read this article and all the irate responses to it? If you didn’t, don’t worry. I’ll tell you everything you need to know.

A mommy blogger/New York Times reporter named Veronica Noone went to a blogging conference, Bloggy Boot Camp, organized by Tiffany Romero and Heather Blair, the founders of the Secret Is in the Sauce. Some have found her ensuing article to be offensive. While I agree with some of what’s being said, I also think there's some truth to the article. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Noone starts her article with this: “The topics on that day’s agenda included search-engine optimization, building a ‘comment tribe’ and how to create an effective media kit. There would be much talk of defining your 'brand' and driving up page views. You know. For your blog.”

Clearly, she’s nailed patronizing. She makes blogs sound like poodles in designer handbags; ergo their creators—mommy bloggers—seem vapid and silly. I get that. What follows is a not-so-nice description of bloggers clickety-clacking away at the conference while drinking mimosas from “brightly colored plastic sippy cups.”

And she continues with: “Heed the speaker’s advice, and you, too, might get 28,549 views of your tutu-making tutorial!”

Mmm. Because the depth of a blogger’s content is in direct proportion to her sewing skills. And I like how Noone makes it seem like Romero and Blair are making money off podunk women whose only talent is as Susie Homemaker.

Golly, Billy Bob! Maybe we can finally fix dat dang tractor with my blog 'ernuns.

She’s pretty bitchy. I’ll give her that.

But can we be honest? Despite the fact that Romero rebutted on her own blog with “I run a conference whose entire goal is to make women feel included, empowered and connected” can’t we clean off our lenses a bit and admit the obvious? Romero and Blair organized a conference to help women make money from their blogs; a conference from which Romero and Blair made money themselves.

Feeling “included, empowered and connected” is nice, but if that was the sole purpose of the conference, it could have taken place in any living room for free. I’m not begrudging the organizers for their conference (they seem like genuine, motivated woman and I enjoy the SITS site immensely), but there’s money in blogging and everyone has his or her angle.

Take the marketers. Mommy bloggers wield a lot of power, and marketers want a piece of the action. I’ve only been blogging for two years but holy shit, times have changed. You have to weed through the clearance racks to find genuine content. And the product placement is getting harder to detect. It's creeping into content.

My favorite part of the article is the quote from Pamela Parker, a senior manager with Federated Media. She’s quoted as saying, “The blogosphere is where authentic conversation is happening...Marketers are recognizing that they want to be there, associated with that authentic conversation.”

Bwahahahaahahahahahha. That’s the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever read. Marketers want to be associated with authentic conversation? Side splitting. Marketers don’t give a shit about anyone. They want to be associated with your 1,000+ twitter followers, 300+ Blogger fans and 400+ Facebook fans. You’re an insta-network. They want access to your posse. When they get it, they’re golden.

I’ll say this once: The best advertisement is one that people don’t know is an advertisement. If your blog is strong enough to have become a brand that people trust, marketers will want to screw your blog brains out. You’re their Trojan horse.

Now, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t acknowledge that there are perks to landing a sponsor or ad money from your blog. I myself have made about $500 over the last two years from various sources—and won some great goat soap. Obviously, others have had greater success. Some moms have landed book deals or brought in enough money that they could quit their day jobs.

I say, more power to them. I envy them. I hate working full-time. I’d love to stay home and write. But I want to write the real stuff, not the product-laden stuff. Writing marketing copy is the worst pity fuck there is: You’re not in it for love, and you have to keep doing it over and over.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone. That wasn’t my intent. I just wish we could own up to the fact that some bloggers are blogging to make money, while posing as a pauper—or worse, a friend. We should throw our cards on the table.

As for Noone, way to demoralize your gender. Just when I think women have infiltrated the parlor room and poured themselves a celebratory glass of brandy alongside the good ole boys, bitches like you come and smash all the glasses.

I mean brightly colored plastic sippy cups. Oops. Giggle, crosshatch, giggle.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So I'm Ferris Bueller's sister. The poor girl had a point

I just spent the loveliest weekend with a British girl named...

Um...er…eerr...

Give me a second, it’ll come back to me.

My brother Ted invited her to the U.S. for the week because he was feeling a little blue about the finality of his Christmas dump fest. He and the woman became friends years ago during his pre-college stint in Europe—which, incidentally, my parents funded, along with a welcome-home Nissan Pathfinder, rent expenses and tuition for golf school.

Know what my parents funded for me? One-third the cost of a piece of shit, rusty Subaru, circa 1972. One-third! It couldn't make it up hills!

Wait, where was I? Ah yes. Catherine. The British chick’s name was Catherine.

Ted invited her to the good ole US of A so he could get to know her better (i.e., see if he wanted to have sex with her). Why he couldn’t have met someone at a bar and come to a similar conclusion is beyond me. Then again, I'm the kind of person who settled for a Subaru with a hatchback that didn't close all the way. Of course I'd think parochially.

(Bitter? Me?)

By day four, Ted decided that no, he didn’t want to schtoop Catherine. According to him, she talked too much, and interpersonal relations were like “humping a cardboard box.” So sweet. He also decided that he didn't feel like taking her on the whirlwind tour of New England he’d promised, so he brought her to our house.

Because nothing screams “I’ve seen America” like boarding with a tired married couple, a train-on-the-brain toddler and two obese cats in Mulletville.

Poor, poor girl.

Amazingly, she made the best of it. While my brother slept



she oohed and ahhed over Junior’s Thomas the Train collection (she’s British, she loves that stupid train), watched every trash TV show she could find (Kendra, Housewives of Orange County and Jersey Shore) and asked if she could take a “proper” shower (which I learned involves washing your hair).

She also ate like a horse. In two days we ordered pizza and Chinese three times and made multiple runs to Krispy Kreme. She couldn’t get enough donuts. She ate six in one sitting. An hour later, she was torn about being too full to try the six assorted donuts left in the box, so she took a bite of each one.

The crazy part is that it all went to her boobs. All weekend she wore a tight black t-shirt with pink hearts on each breast; by the time she left, the hearts were the size of footballs. Chuck was like a giddy school girl. Even I couldn’t stop staring.

And Junior? Junior was in love.

Within five minutes of meeting her, he'd invited her up to his bedroom to see his Thomas the Train bed. By Sunday, she’d seen it 12 times and he was calling her his “big girl friend.”

I was a little sad when she left. Could she be our British nanny? Could she forgive us for the fop that is my brother? I mean, what the hell, Ted? You bring your British fling to our house, and we’d all bonk her. Can't you take one for the team?

I can’t keep going on like this. When do I get to ride in a Nissan Pathfinder?

Friday, March 12, 2010

And so the issues begin...

Have you seen the email forward that's going around called "Parenting isn't for everyone?" I expected to see a bunch of bored parents at a playground, but instead it was pictures like this:



I have a better name for the email: "Parenting classes are for everyone."

I want to thank you all for your supportive comments and suggestions on my last post. I have an appointment to speak with the daycare director in person this afternoon. We spoke on the phone briefly yesterday. I learned that she's 22 and works at a bowling alley after work.

Which may explain the daycare's affinity for hallway bowling.

[Insert pathetic Mulletville joke here]

He's so outta there!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm a virgin. Would someone take me to daycare third base, please?

I don't know what to do. But then I do. And then I don't.

Junior’s been going to pre-preschool for two days a week for about a month now. Even though the staff were a bit zombie-ish it seemed ideal. The school is next to my office. I can check on Junior whenever I want, also known as Operation 007 Daycare. Junior makes friends. Chuck gets time to look for a job. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Except for me. I’m a wreck. My log of my stealth missions reads like this:

February 24, 11:34 a.m.: Escaped work and crawled through parking lot. Thinking of taking up smoking so I have better cover for break-outs. Crept to side of building. Stood under window. Overheard teacher shout, “PARK IT! NOW!” to children. Where is Junior???

and

March 3, 2:12 p.m
.: Escaped work and slid across parking lot. Hid behind bush. Overheard teacher yell, “They’re like VULTURES! They’re ANIMALS!” Snack time? Are they eating remains of zombie grandma? What the hell is going on?

Every day it’s something. One day I found Junior crawling on a floor that was caked with mud. Another I arrived as Junior was getting yelled at for spitting. Should he have been spitting? No. Should the teacher have been shouting at him like he was a cretin undeserving of life? Hell no. He’s a child.

Even worse, there’s little educational interaction. The only singing I hear is when I arrive, squeeze Junior and hum “Let’s get out of here, let’s get out of here, I’m picking you up, taking you home, let’s get out of here right now...” (Sung to the tune of “99 bottles of beer on the wall.”)

Obviously, I’ve been thinking about taking Junior out of there. But he likes it. I'd even say he loves it. I keep waiting for an indication that he doesn’t want to go back so I can yank him but so far, nothing. And trust me, Chuck and I accost him with questions.

You know, just a few...

"Are you happy there? Did you have a fun day? Do you like your teachers? Did you sing/dance/walk/talk/eat/sleep? Did you laugh/cry? Do you want to keep going there? Do you like school? Did you make friends? Do you like your friends? How’s the air quality? Do the teachers seem happy? Do they seem engaged? How can you say you like it? Dammit, Junior, how?"

Then today, I got an email from a co-worker:

Just wanted you to know that yesterday as I was leaving work, the kids were outside at a picnic table. I heard a teacher yell, WE’RE ALL DONE. She slammed her hand on the table, shouted I SAID WE’RE DONE, and threw something over the fence. Not sure if your kid was there or not????

Well, let’s see, was Junior there? Let’s refer to yesterday's super happy write-up from the teacher which reads "Junior loved digging outside":



Yep, looks like Junior was happily digging and avoiding flying objects. What a multi-faceted approach to education! Motor skills practice and tactical maneuvers all at once! It’s perfect—

—ly unacceptable.

So there. I have my answer: We need to pull him. I shouldn't be worrying about him picking up bad habits from adults. And they couldn't even recruit a decent grandmother. What kind of place botches a free granny?

Right? He's outta there? Agh. I suck at this.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: The countdown

randomtuesday

You'd think after taking a few days off from blogging I'd feel refreshed. Instead I keep looking at that horse picture from my last post and feeling, well, ew.

Since I wasn't blogging over the weekend, I had plenty of time to make cupcakes for my dad's birthday.



Mmmm, right? If you want the recipe, I have to forewarn you: It's not for amateur bakers. It takes real finesse to craft a crumbly cupcake that won't hold frosting. And look, achieving that "this is so greasy how can I possibly be choking on it?" surprise ending is no easy feat. But go ahead, ask me for the recipe. I dare you.

Yesterday was Women's Day. I wasn't sure how to celebrate it. I felt like I should do something involving my vagina, but I couldn't find any listings on CTcalendar for vagina-themed events in Mulletville. That was really disappointing.



I stole a Time Out New York for Kids magazine from my doctor's office. I felt kind of bad stealing it. The magazine was a hot news item in the local newspaper: "Mulletville doctor has urban literature."

According to the magazine's Back Talk section—"advice from a mom (Antonia Kidd) who knows everything"—evil walks among us. It's none other than Frenemom. Gasp! Yes! Frenemom is a frenemy (friend + enemy) who's also a mom. Hold me.

Are you as sick as I am of words that have morphed with "mom" lately? Every time I turn around someone's birthed a cute new mommyism. It makes me want to gouge my momballs out with a hot poker—or at least set fire to my momputer. What the momfuck?

Five months ago, I wrote that if nothing in my life had changed and I was still whining, I’d stop blogging. I have one month to make some serious changes. Unless Frenemom gets me first. Maybe I can ward her off with my dastardly momcakes. I mean cupmoms. Shit, I mean cupcakes.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A date should come with more legs



I know this picture is gross, but it makes me think about modern society and how cheap it feels lately. There's no context. No meat. It's all tweets, texts and twats and wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. Text me! Friend me! Give me your status update!

Communication's been whittled down to a stuffed stump on a metal pole—and the worst part is that my own greedy-for-Junior-news mother has become part of the machine. She's on Facebook.

She's holding the bucket, folks, and she wants the goods.

I blame Miley Cyrus.

And I'm taking the weekend off from this damn computer. Maybe Monday, too.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pay attention to me! I only had two glasses of wine. Me, me, me!

Well, I did it. Or rather, my zit and I did it. We got up and gave our marketing presentation to a group of 100 people. For those math buffs out there, that’s 200 eyeballs. All staring expectantly at me and my flesh colored bump.

I was doing fine until I realized there was no podium. It was just me, a microphone, a glass of wine, and a projector. Have you ever tried to hold handwritten notes and a microphone and gesture at a slide show while guzzling wine? Mmmyah. After 10 seconds I ditched my notes and ad-libbed.

I don’t remember anything after that. Anything.

Chuck was there. He said I spoke for 21 minutes, which was shocking to learn. What the fuck did I ad-lib about for 21 minutes? If I hadn’t seen the pictures, I’d swear aliens came down and abducted me during my intro.

Oh yes, there were pictures. I made the Mulletville rag. See?



The good news is that I learned something invaluable about public speaking: It’s a transient beast. Worrying about it is stupid. Half the people in the room probably forgot about me midway through my speech—right about the time they realized the linguine was giving them gas or they’d forgotten to feed their dog. I bet if you went to their homes right now, knocked on their doors and said, “Can you tell me a little about Mrs. Mullet’s presentation?” they’d say “Who the hell is that?”

I don’t often reference Dr. Phil because he’s turned into a self-promoting, crass, sensationalistic manbot, but I once read something his dad said, and it’s really stuck with me:

"You wouldn't worry about what people thought of you if you knew how infrequently they did."

Bingo! Essentially, I was addressing an empty room.

And more good news: According to the February issue of Psychology Today, the fact that my pimple was on the left side of my face was my saving grace. I quote, Don’t worry about that zit on the left side of your face; the right side is the one people notice most. Why? “Primates innately look first at the top left of their visual field. Once identity is established, why keep going?”

Mammoth-sized zits and social anxiety. Why keep going, indeed? Tomorrow’s post: How to make hand puppets out of your leftover lasagna and pantyhose.

You're welcome.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Not to be confused with the Nebraska Newt

One semester at grad school, something terrible happened. I grew a zit on my chin that was the size of an elephant. (I just googled “pimple” so I could insert an appropriate picture. After seeing what came up, I want to vomit. Whatever you do, don’t google “pimple.”)

My darling grad school friends dubbed my zit the “Vermont Zit”—because our school was in Vermont. You’d think people in a creative writing program would come up with something more…creative, but I understand. They were busy working on novel titles, not pimple pet names.

The Vermont Zit was so big that people actually came up to me and told me they liked my Sarah Jessica Parker mole. I toyed with the idea of coloring it in with brown eyeliner pencil, just to give it some distinction. But it was the middle of summer and I worried about sweating it off; no one likes a mole with a muddy trail. Not even those nature-loving Vermonters.

It took me a few months to get rid of that damn zit. Two months and 102 tubes of Clearasil.

Fast forward five years to RIGHT NOW. I’ve sprouted the Vermont Zit just in time for my presentation. And I’m pissed. I thought turning 35 meant no more pimply pimples. Given my last post—in which I begged God to save me from my public speaking self—I have to wonder, what the hell? Other than blinding people with the light reflecting off my zit as I stand at the podium, I can’t think of any divine reason for this zit’s existence.

Except that I’ve just blown 30 minutes blogging about it instead of practicing my presentation in front of the mirror. But can you blame me?



I'm horrid.