Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I think I kind of look like a Gouda Gold

Damn you, snow! We were trying to throw a New Year's Eve party but now the people who were on the fence about driving up to Mulletville have climbed down off the fence and snowshoed back to their cozy homes to ring in the new year without us.

The cheese stands alone in Mulletville, my friends. So...very...alone.

Back to New Years. Since I don't do resolutions, I have four simple requests for 2009:

1) That it stop snowing so damn much.

2) That my birthday, which is in three days and for which Chuck and I have planned a date night, is more titillating than Date Nights I and II. (Would you rather have a quick synopsis? Date Nights I and II involved beer, Lens Crafters, Hell Boy and an 80-year-old named Corky. If we don't top that, well, I can't even go there. We will top that.)

3) That Junior start using the "l" when he says clock and the "r" when he says fork, lest people start to think he is being raised by perverted truckers.

4) That Chuck heartily accept his new role as a stay-at-home dad and that he greet me at the door with homemade dinner whilst wearing something sexy. And by sexy I don't mean skanky (there's a huge distinction, you know). And he better not start complaining about how we never talk anymore while I'm trying to enjoy my after dinner brandy. So annoying.

I think that about covers the necessities. If you find yourself up this way (we're just past the goat farm and grain store), feel free to stop in.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I love when Life gives you a good ole bitch kick

Remember how I wanted to break up with the nanny because I hated her slipper obsession? Well, I decided to try the old adage "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." So I got these for Junior:

Then Chuck, being the smartass he is, gave me these for Christmas:

(Those, too, are slippers. Is it any wonder that Junior cries, “Cookie! Cookie!” while trying to attack my feet because he thinks I am trampling the face of his favorite puppet?)

I even got Chuck a pair of slippers! (Normal LL Bean slippers, I swear).

We were all going to be one big, happy slipper-wearing group. Happily Podiatry ever after.

But Life had a different adage in mind, didn't she? Mmmm, yes, the ever popular "careful what you wish for." Chuck's boss gave him the pink slip today* which meant I had to have THE TALK with the nanny after work (I get home first and Chuck, well, he's a talker and a sucker which means he might have given the nanny a raise instead of ending things).

Aside from the heavy sighs and wistful looks, she took it well. As she packed up her cheese and—yes!—slippers, I kept wanting to tell her that it was us, not her. That with a little time things might work out differently and we may still get back together. We need a little space right now and yes, we need our keys back.

Sigh. I was really starting to like her (again). She brings her double stroller and she puts her own kid in the front carriage and tucks Junior safely in back so he's not dangling into the street. Who does that with someone else's kid?

I want her back! We can make it work!

I'm going to shoot some Jager and cry into my Cookie Monster slippers now.

* Sorry, honey. You'll make a great stay-at-home dad.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Are you a modern woman?

It’s over. It’s finally flippin’ over. Twenty people. Chez de Mullets. Heartburn. Headaches. A life-size Elmo. Old faces. New friends.

Well, I wouldn’t call them friends exactly.

My grandmother brought her new boyfriend, John. When I offered him coffee he shouted, “We finished eating. I don’t know why the hell we’re still here.” (He’s actually an improvement from her last boyfriend, who tried to charge my dad for a turkey he brought for Christmas—a turkey he’d gotten free from work.)

Aunt Flo decided to pop in and visit my niece, Sarah, for the very first time. She didn’t take it well; in fact, she and her mom left early because of it. Sarah was worried people would see the Kotex wrappers in the waste basket and know they were hers. I offered to casually announce that they belonged to me—as in, “Hey everybody, if you, um, happen to notice Kotex wrappers in the bathroom they are totally mine please pass the potatoes”—but she wouldn’t have it.

It’s funny how you forget the weight of those early coming of age experiences. Why, after Sarah left I realized I had completely blocked out that muggy afternoon in Maine when my cousin and I were at my aunt’s house and I butterflied into the vibrant, oh-so mature woman I am today.

I believe that when I came running out of the bathroom that fine day in 1987, my aunt was slinging one of my training bras across the room at her parakeet, Hank, who, incidentally, could whistle “Oh, when the saints.”

“Is this your Band-Aid?” she asked me.

After I sheepishly shared my news, she told me I could find a box of Tampax under the sink. When I politely asked her for a maxi pad, she told me that modern women didn’t use pads, they used tampons. Coming from a woman who lived in a double-wide in the woods of Maine—a woman who toted a 6-pack of Bud under her arm—this statement struck me as odd.

Nonetheless, I looked under the sink and found the Tampax, right next to my uncle’s collection of Hustler “magazines.” He may have been rolling joints on the kitchen table while I dutifully read the Tampax instructions; this is where my memory grows hazy…

…because using a tampon for the first time is nerve-wracking! There’s sweat, shaking hands, fear you’re going to mess up and end up with a tampon sticking out your nostril. What if you puncture your kidney? What if you can’t get it out? What if you just lost your virginity to a wad of bleached cotton?

Never mind a stoned uncle, heckling aunt and whistling parakeet outside the door.

I would have been thrilled with a Kotex and an aunt who offered to take ownership of my stupid little wrappers. Thrilled I tell ya!


I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I like how WYM ended off her post-Christmas post: “Don't forget. Appreciate. Breathe in your life, hold it in and allow it to nourish your heart.”

And banish those horrid relatives who scarred you in your impressionable years to the bowels of hell!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

I can make the runner stumble

Well fricken well.

Not only did I announce to the blogosphere that my friend Jen has a bun in her Easy Bake Oven, I also announced it to mutual friends who read my blog unbeknownst to me (you sneaks!).

What’s worse is that one of those friends happened to mention to Jen that her wonderful, faithful, darling friend moi has been featuring her for the last week.

Thankfully Jen was very understanding this morning—perhaps because I complimented her good looks so profusely. Heh, heh. But I do feel I owe her an apology. To make amends, I’d like to tell you why Jen rocks my world (am I a butt kisser? Maybe).

When Jen and I shared an apartment many years ago, we were very poor (this is the year she ate microwave popcorn for dinner), so we took a job catering a Christmas party in Greenwich for some extra money. The party was held at the home of a former Talbots catalog model and her very handsome, cowl-neck-sweater-wearing husband.

While Jen drove to the party, I drank the Mr. Boston Blackberry Brandy we’d picked up at the package store. When we got to the party (sprawling mansion doesn’t even begin to describe it), Jen slipped on the ice as she was pulling up her thigh highs (don’t ask) and fell into the wooden clothes drying rack she had in her trunk—eye first.

So there we were, me reeking of cheap booze and Jen holding one hand to her slouchy thigh highs and the other over her eye, which was bright red thanks to all the broken blood vessels. In a word: smokin!

I don’t know about you, but when I start to drink I like to keep going (especially if I am offering cheese puffs to very wealthy people), so we hid a bottle of brandy behind the magazines by the toilet (apparently rich people read in the can, too). In between ogling women’s Christmas diamonds and prepping brie bakes, we would take turns sneaking to the bathroom.

I don’t know about you, but when I start to drink I get belligerent (especially if I am offering cheese puffs to very wealthy people), so I started taking too many trips to the bathroom (you know, salve to my pauper wounds, blah blah). When the caterer asked Jen if I was all right, Jen sweetly told her I had a “killer period” and needed to frequently change my female products.

This is the best method for shutting people up: Offer them more than they want to know.

But the horrible woman was on to us. Maybe it was my slurred words or the fact that I stopped taking no for an answer when someone didn’t want a coconut shrimp. (Yah, I kind of just stood there awkwardly and swayed. Rich people hate that!) She banished me to the door and put me on coat duty.

Which is when I had the pleasure of taking the coat of Jen’s daytime boss, a man who’d have a hissy fit if he discovered Jen working an extra job because people would call him miserly, and we all know that people in small towns talk.

So Jen and I did what any drunk, cycloptic, faux-menstruating duo would do: We lifted a bottle of tequila and got the hell out of there.

Is it any wonder I love her so? Jen, this is for you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mission Monday


If you haven't already, click over to Jay at Halftime Lessons and Deb at Dirty Socks and Pizza and enter the Mission Monday Grand Prize Giveaway!

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Finally, spam for women

Chuck just told me that today is Global Orgasm Day. Didja know that? Huh? Huh?

There's a whole website devoted to it, in which they explain that the day exists to "effect positive change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible instantaneous surge of human biological, mental and spiritual energy."

Uh huh. They also take donations. The currency is VISA, my friends, not um, a global moan. The donations allegedly support Global Orgasm for Peace. Holy crap, and I thought the Goodwill was important.

So get off the computer right now and support peace by schtooping your loved one (or whoever the hell you want).

But wait! One more thing. Did you hear about this?

Yes, according to Health magazine, a new drug called Libigel (ew, how unsexy) has helped women experience a 238% increase in satisfying sexual experiences.

Is that number even mathematically possible? I can't help but picture women rocketing through their roofs, shooting to the moon (note the black bars because this is a PG site).

The only thing is, who exactly told Chuck about this important day? It's not a guy conversation. I mean really, which one sounds more plausible?

GUY: "Hey Chuck, today's Global Orgasm Day bro! Pound beers! Yah!"

GIRL: "Ooooh, Chucky wucky, today's big bad Orgasm Day. Ooooh."

See, it's totally a chick line. And he did have that thing with a bonbon.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hi, Jack Shit? I'm Mrs. Mullet

Today my newly pregnant friend Jen—if you don’t feel like reading the post below, Jen’s hot and the Russian mafia know it—texted me that she is an emotional wreck.

She wanted to know if that’s normal and when it will stop. I told her yes, it’s normal, and that she’ll probably start feeling better when her baby is six months old and starts sleeping through the night.

To which she texted back: "I hate you!"

That went well.

I thought about telling Jen that she is going to hate a lot of people in the next nine months: the nurses who weigh her, strangers who touch her belly and tell her she's "huge!", non-pregnant friends who can drink and stay up past 7:30 p.m., the postman, her fiancé, Kathy Lee Gifford (for the mere fact that she's so fucking annoying), and yes, probably me.

But that was way too much to text. I had no choice; I had to write this: "It'll be fine."

You might think, so what? People say that all the time. But you don’t understand. I was going to be different!

The whole entire solar systemic reason I started this blog was to share honest observations about pregnancy and childbirth. I fancied myself a kind of resource, if you will; a no-holds-barred, give-it-to-me-straight source of expert advice. (Are you rolling on the floor laughing? Cause I sure am.) I mean, one of my very first posts was this.

When I was pregnant, I loathed mothers who patted me on the shoulder and told me everything would be fine. I knew they were lying because I knew I wouldn't be fine. I had to expel another being from my body and then I had to care for that being.

No one can be fine.

I promised myself that I was going to be different. No lies, no sugar coating. I was going to be the woman who told THE TRUTH.

Here! Here!

But it’s not that easy is it? A friend who is freaking out because she cried about being out of dog food doesn’t necessarily need to know that this is just the beginning and that nine months from now she’ll wish an empty dog bowl was her biggest concern. She doesn’t need to know that she is an ant standing before that Empire State Building known as motherhood and that she will never, ever be the same.


After Jen texted back “thanks” I opened up wide and swallowed my blog in one entire bite.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The child should request to switch wombs

I am in the best mood ever, and I haven't even been drinking! First, they closed my office at noon because of the impending snowstorm.

Second, my mom babysat this morning and she brought a baked ham with her. I'm terrified that one of these days she's going to fall in the street and all her little baked goods are going to roll out from under her and that people will laugh. Until then, bless her for feeding us.

Third, I got the most amazing gift from Juicy Alligator. He's the silliest eggplant man I've ever seen. I'm even more in love with him because he has a moustache. And he’s all mine! (I feel like I'm talking about one of the Golden Tickets from the Willy Wonka wrappers, but I can't help it.)

It's called the Edward Murphey Award; it's for any blogger who frequently finds that if anything can go wrong, it will. I’ve been running through the list of blogs I read and while plenty of them make me laugh, no one embodies Murphey’s law like my friend Jen.

Jen doesn’t blog but she should. In the 10 years we've been friends, Jen has:

• had her car stolen twice

• gotten into 11 car accidents

• had her identity stolen by the Russian mafia

• had her Facebook account hacked

• been forced to move from an apartment because the upstairs bathtub fell through the floor

• dumped a man who days later became a billionaire thanks to a dog toy he invented that sold, well, billions

• quit her job and sold her condo to see the world with her traveling nurse boyfriend only to catch him in the arms of another man (yes, man) weeks before departure

• been burned by a tanning bed bulb and begun litigation

• spent a year eating microwave popcorn for dinner, which enabled her to lose 20 pounds (losing weight is glorious, but not being able to poop sure isn't)

• asked to be moved away from a chatty co-worker only to be seated next to a compulsive whistler

I think that's it. Before you start feeling too bad for Jen, consider this: She is so good looking that one morning, her boss was trying so hard to catch her attention as he passed her on the highway—by waving, shouting, changing lanes—that he hit the car in front of him.

I'm not saying physical attractiveness trumps the mafia, but when you're the one responsible for 10 of your 11 car accidents and you only get one ticket—and it's a phony ticket containing the officer's phone number and an invitation to dinner—the sun is shining on you in all the right places.

But back to the eggplant man, I’m going to print him out and put him in a Christmas card for Jen. She needs all the help she can get. Especially since…drum roll…she just found out she’s pregnant.

I'm nervous for her.

Juicy Alligator, can we get a mini eggplant please? And maybe a horseshoe to go along with it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Junior has spoken

And the winners of the sage green Snuggies are...

and C-3PO.

Not only will these two spectacular people be receiving Snuggies in time for Christmas, Temple said, "I will totally wear it and send you a picture of me posing as the old Obi-Wan! I may even try to get Matt to be a sand creature..."

(Does Matt know he's got a rockin' Star Wars-themed night ahead?)

And C-3PO promised, "If I win the green Snuggie and pose with it, you will post the pictures for all the world to see and for my humiliation forthwith."

You heard it here. Public humiliation, Snuggie-style.

May the force be with them.

Oh shut up! I had to say that!

(If you are new to this blog, I swear I do more than peddle as-seen-on-TV products. I swear!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Screw you and your damn gingerbread houses

Well, my pets, soon two lucky people will be in Snuggie Heaven. While you hem and haw over who those two people might be, take a fricken gander at this.

Dinner. Voi-la-fuckin-la.

NPR, this is all your fault.

I was washing sippy cups this fine evening—now my favorite pastime—when a program about childhood obesity came on. While I was listening and scalding my hands, visions of people’s blogs started running through my mind—more specifically, blogs belonging to women who are posting pictures of their homemade advent calendars, cookies, lemon bars, and crafty what have yous. The stuff is pretty and the women know it, otherwise why would everyone and their mother be writing about them?

For God’s sake.

Anyway, one of the people who called in to the NPR show started talking about how all these poor fat kids are coming to school with prepackaged lunches and how the lack of parental meal planning is a major contributor to the extra pudge.

And that’s when I saw him: Junior, 2018. A 500-pound third grader who can’t bend over to tie his own shoes. His nickname: Junior Whopper. All because I don’t know how to cook and I send him to school with Oscar Meyer Lunchables. Day after day after nitrate-ridden day.

I threw down the sippy cup and picked up the eggplant that’s been sitting on my counter for an entire week and I thought, tonight is the night. Chuck’s working late, I’ll surprise him with homemade eggplant. I’ll channel all the crafty maternal know-how that’s percolating in the blogosphere and I’ll make it work.


Halfway through my eggplant endeavor, I started drinking and stopped giving it my best. Maybe it was the rising smoke or the succulence of that third Otter Creek Copper Ale. Maybe I just couldn’t shake the vision of my baby lumbering down the hallway, getting pegged in the head by spitballs spat by other people’s children—children of parents who can bake, macramĂ©, and Chia pet. Yah, that’s a verb (I swear to God if the Chia pet people read this and send me samples I will scream!).

So fine, I can’t blame it solely on NPR. Clearly the eggplant people should start labeling their damn produce with cooking instructions. Or maybe Oscar Meyer can start doing Velunchables made from carrots and green beans and save me from having a catastrophic meltdown.

Speaking of meltdowns, I have a pan to soak and a 6-pack to finish. Oh, and I need to wake up Junior so he can pick a winner. I'm surprised he slept through the smoke alarm...well, tonight's smoke alarm anyway.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Giveaway: You'll be the talk of the town. Literally

Here's Chuck modeling one of the samples we got from the Snuggie people (I swear he's in there!):

I cannot wait to play Obi-Wan Kenobi later tonight.

If you, too, would like to spice up your sex life—I mean, ehem, stay warm while having your hands free to talk on the phone and pick your nose, now's your chance to win a Snuggie of your very own. Just leave me a comment promising me that if you win it, you'll wear it. (Also leave me a way to get in contact with you.)

I have two sage green Snuggies to share, along with an accompanying book light. I'll put all the names in a hat and let Junior pick two.

A word of caution: This thing is a static electricity monster. As I was taking it off, I stopped to turn off a light, and I almost electrocuted myself. Also, if you're not going to sack out on the couch in your Snuggie, you're probably better off with a good ole bathrobe. Walking around is cumbersome and your buns get a serious chill.

Good luck!

This is open to U.S. residents only. Leave your comment by Tuesday, December 16, 9 p.m., EST

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kathy Griffin, watch out!

The Snuggie people are sending me samples so I can share them with you, all the beautiful people who mocked the Jedi get-up while at the same time expressing a secret, hidden desire to wear one. Move over Furminator! I may not be sharing Prada and Dolce and Gabbana but by golly, the "as seen on TV" wares are still hot.

Something that's been on my mind lately: I haven't listened to Ani Difranco since college, mainly because Chuck and Junior are music hogs so we spend way too much of our time listening to Irish jigs and Raffi, but guess what? Difranco's a mom and she has come out with a new song about it. It's turned up on a bunch of blogs and 95% of the comments have been "made me cry," "how beautiful," and "it's simply transformative."

I guess I'm abnormal because my first reaction was ick. I tried to feel moved by the lyrics, but I haven't been able to muster anything beyond blech. I don't feel more beautiful because I'm a mother. In fact, I started to feel more attractive when I lost the baby weight and bags under my eyes and started to look less like a new mom and more like my former self. I mean that literally: not my new-and-improved mom self, my former self.

I want to know: do the lyrics below move you to tears or closer to grabbing the barf bag (or somewhere in between)? Be honest.


lately i've been glaring into mirrors
picking myself apart
you'd think at my age i'd of thought
of something better to do
than making insecurity into a full-time job
making insecurity into art
and i fear my life will be over
and i will have never lived unfettered
always glaring into mirrors
mad i don't look better

but now here is this tiny baby
and they say she looks just like me
and she is smiling at me
with that present infant glee
and yes i will defend
to the ends of the earth
her perfect right to be

so i'm beginning to see some problems
with the ongoing work of my mind
and i've got myself a new mantra
it says: "don't forget to have a good time"
don't let the sellers of stuff power enough
to rob you of your grace
love is all over the place

there's nothing wrong with your face
love is all over the place
there's nothing wrong with your face

lately i've been glaring into mirrors
picking myself apart

Phew. Now that we are done with those sappy lyrics, I am going to pour myself another beer. I took the day off so I could bring Junior to visit his great-grandmother in the old folks home and I am wiped. Plus, I am obsessed with Entrecard and I've been away from it for a few days.

I know, lewser. Big fat lewser. I know. But I have Snuggies and sexy reindeer boot pictures to share! Who's better than me? (Collective "everyone"? Yah, I thought so.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear John, I absolutely hate your stupid effin slippers

I think I want to break up with the nanny. Little things are starting to bother me, like the fact that as soon as she walks through the door she takes off her shoes and puts on fluffy slippers, ala Mr. Rogers. Then she puts even fluffier slippers on her son (I’m not exaggerating: His feet look like they’ve been engulfed by navy Sheepdogs).

All of this slipper wearing makes Junior’s socked feet look very naked and small. Which makes me feel neglectful and guilty.

To compensate, I’ve started layering Junior on top. Sweatshirts, afghans, Snuggies—whatever’s handy. So when she glances at Junior’s barren feet, that little voice in my head (not Winona, not Dudley Moore, this is more like Janice Dickinson) relaxes.

“Yah, bitch, my kid’s roasting from his neck to his waist! Suck it!”

Oh, hold on, Dr. Phil wants to interject.

“Mrs. Mullet, could your resentment towards your nanny’s slippers also be caused by the fact that another woman is getting cozy in your home? Don’t you, perhaps, envy her domesticity?”

Hmmm. Could it be about more than slippers? Could it be that she gets to play with Junior during the day while I dress up as a reindeer?

But wait! It’s not just that. Otherwise, why would her freakish preoccupation with our cats make me want to spit? Like, after we did this to the really fat one

she kept pestering me: “Isn’t he cold? He doesn’t look very happy.” I wanted to knock her lights out.

(Personally, I think he looks ecstatic.)

It didn’t stop there. She even said something to me about the kitty’s anxiety in the can. Hello, I know why the cat is having difficulty relieving himself: There’s a woman with fluffy hair and feet staring at him! Haven’t you ever heard of the website (Not to be confused with

I will gladly listen to observations about Junior’s stools; I will not, however, have someone feeding me commentary about my cat’s bathroom habits. For the love of all that’s holy!

So yah, I guess this is the crux of it: She’s over-mothering my household. Apparently my home—which is cold, slipperless and poopless—needs some fixin' by Mary Poppins-meets-Dr.-Doolittle.

Oh, great, Paris Hilton wants to say something: “Mrs. Mullet, your butt is, like, way hotter.”

Gosh. Do you really think so? Cause I have never, ever, ever thought about the fact that my perky buns outshine her dumpy U-butt. Not once.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The family that wears blankets together stays together

This is quite possibly the most asinine advertisement I have ever seen. The Snuggie looks warm as hell and yes, I'd probably wear one seeing as we keep our heat at a balmy 61 degrees because we, um, can't afford to set the thermostat any higher (I just ordered 10 panels of the ever-luxurious thermal curtains). But would I ever wear it out of the house and risk looking like a pajama-clad monk? I mean, the shot of the family in the stands is priceless if only because they look utterly ridiculous.

(I must confess: Part of me can't wait until Junior is in high school and Chuck and I can put on get-ups like this and wave to him from the stands. "Hi, sweetie!")

I have one question though. Is it like a hospital gown in the back? Because that would really, really suck to get a southerly breeze when you're frying eggs in the front.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ahoy! I bring word from King Peckerhead

I was absolutely tickled to get a personal message today from none other than Ruane Nipple. Mr. Nipple and I go way back. I was delighted he reached out to me before the holidays. I hope and pray that his mother, Bertha Buttcheek, will be able to bring her famous fruitcake to Mulletville this year. Little Sammy Sphincter must be getting so big.

Imagine my surprise when Mr. Nipple neglected to give me updates on his darling family and instead wrote the following:

Show your sweetheart how much you love her!!!
Only today: CLICK HERE

His company. It was high time to get rid of him. A smile with mount. Now, said the general, dropping rapid travelers had the habit of regarding his consequences). From the vedic point of view, virtue of all these monsters and it was not without an.

Dammit! This man lied. He promised that if I turned off my comment verification setting I would not get spammed.



I must admit I am intrigued by this cryptic prose smattered with poor grammar and unfinished sentences. I want to know more about this fast-paced fleet of nomads dropping an unspecified substance. What could it be? LSD? Powdered sugar? And what’s with the vedic stuff? The vedic was one of the first White Star Line ships to be sent to the scrap yard in the 1900s. Did that upset the monsters? Were they spooky old sea monsters with four eyes that swallowed ships? ’Cause that’s kind of what I’m envisioning. Tentacles with suckers and fangs gnawing on rickety wooden boats as little seamen screamed for their lives.

Speaking of seamen, I’m sure you can guess where the “click here” takes you? Yup, a virtual candy store chocked full of Cialis, Viagra and EnhanceRx Capsules.

I don’t get it. Can someone explain the reason for the crappily written story? And while you’re at it, can you forward me the Nipples' new address? The Christmas card I sent to 456 Titty Terrace never made it.


I'm way behind on thank yous for the awards and mentions I got from some awesome bloggers (though they may be rescinded after that post), so here goes:

Thanks to Two Greyhound Town for these awards:

C-3PO over at Football said the "Most Freakin' Sexy" alum award was coming my way, but it never did. I guess he's still too busy on his back to get around to sending it.

She Lives gave me this awesome nod:

And I've been tagged with the Bookworm meme by My Funny Dad, Harry. That is next on my to-do list.

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, if you haven't gotten an award please take one (or two, if you're greedy like me). When you post it/them on your blog (a) be sure to tell me and (b) be sure to tell everyone Mrs. Mullet gave it/them to you.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The proof is in the...antlers

Fine, fine, I tried to gloss over the whole reindeer thing. I thought Rico would keep your minds occupied. Lord knows he's alive and well in mine.

Sigh. You want pictures? Here:

It's the photo we had taken for the office holiday card. I'd show you my face, but I'd like to retain some of my dignity.

The card is the pre-cursor to the office holiday party next week for which it has been suggested (i.e., mandated) that we wear red sweaters, brown skirts and "sexy" reindeer boots (this is from a boss who made me wear her hooker heels, remember?) to accompany our antlers and red noses...

I sent the photo to my friend. This is what she wrote:

"It's sad and funny at the same time."

I love getting kicked when I'm down. On all fours.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How many Ricos do you know? Hmmm?

This is going to seem like it’s coming out of left field, but we have a new janitor at work. And his name is Rico.

Every time I hear his name it takes me back to winter 1996. Picture it, if you will. Chuck and I had just gotten our first apartment together in Portland, Maine. I had a job as an editor at a gourmet food magazine, which is pretty surprising since I once tried to use turkey breasts to make chicken parm. Chutney? What the hell is chutney?

We got an apartment on a hilly street in Portland (if you’ve ever been to Maine and have experienced ice storms, you know that this was a bad idea). The rent was cheap, only $375, but there were concessions. Not only did we have plastic on the windows, we had Styrofoam under the plastic. We could see the basement through the floor boards in the living room, which was actually convenient because I didn’t have to walk downstairs to see whether or not the washing machine was free. The next door neighbor liked the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz so much that she jimmied little men out of aluminum cans and hung them on her porch. A fleet of them. Cold, clanging tin = really fucking annoying.

Chuck hates the winter, so he bought himself a few LLBean thermal underwear suits (you know the kind where you can unbutton the ass?), and I would torture him with my cold hands. Amazingly, he stayed. Ah, young love.

Our landlords, who lived above us, were Carol and Rico (aha, so here's where Rico comes in). They were both chefs at a restaurant downtown, and when they stayed in and cooked, the smells that used to waft down their stairs were amazing. Chuck and I would sit by their door with our mouths wide open and wait for morsels of food to blow across their kitchen floor.

Fine, that’s an exaggeration but not by much. Remember how I said I wanted to birth a banana nut bread? That’s nothing new. Our cupboards were stocked with fancy sauces and rubs (I was the new products editor so people sent me samples all the time) and I didn’t know what the hell to do with them. We were so close to being culinarily satisfied. So….close…

Thankfully, wine saved us.

Rico also liked wine. And gin. And vodka.

And every Sunday night, Carol would let him go downtown and get as hammered as he wanted, as long as he took a taxi home.

So there’s me and Chuck our first week in the apartment, quivering under blankets, looking out our only non-Styrofoamed window, and what do we see? A drunk Rico sliding down the driveway, cursing the ice and snow, tripping on shovels, yelling at the tin men to “shut the fuck up already!”

I’ll never forget his bobbing head. Chuck and I would just stop and stare. After a few months though, it wasn’t such a sight. It started to feel like, this is the way things are supposed to be. Like the fog horn and annoying tourists and rocks through the new Starbucks’ window (remember when people actually hated Starbucks?): It became part of the Portland landscape.

So today, as my boss was telling the office that we have to dress up as reindeer for the company Christmas party (oh fricken joy!), I was looking at Rico as he emptied my recycling bin, and all the while I was trying to think how the following conversation might go:

“I knew a Rico once…”

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas list: one foil hat

Forget the Rose Petal Cottage Butt Playhouse. What Junior really needs are some hand restraints.

His favorite new trick is smacking Chuck and me and scratching! Who is this demon child and what is his return address?

So far, nothing we’ve tried has gotten him to stop. Not the firm but calm “no.” Not the gentle restraint of his hands accompanied by the purposeful yet stern gaze into his eyes. Not even the loving affirmations (e.g., “I love you despite the fact that you have left claw marks on my fragile winter flesh”).


You’d think my prior experience would help. My brother, Ted, was the most difficult child ever birthed. He was already into his terrible ones when I was nine, so I have vivid—nightmarishly accurate—memories of him in all his toddler fury. You know how dogs can smell diseased cells in humans? Ted had that same kind of extra sensory perception. If he even felt that there was something you wanted him to do, he would put up a fight.

The only way to guarantee success was to mask your brainwaves with a little foil hat.

I’m kidding. Though I would have tried that just to get him to concede. Just once. I swear, battling him was like trying to pop a blimp with a matchstick. He left me no choice but to resort to sisterly measures: I knocked him around, tied him up, broke his toys, tried to push him off cliffs.

Sadly, Chuck won’t let me do any of those things to Junior. He’s all Mr. Mom: “We have to set a good example, blah blah, rainbows and rose petals.”

Fool. When did dads get so nice?

To appease my sap of a husband, I spent a fair amount of time online today looking into child-friendly remedies.

The first site I found suggested I keep a log of Junior’s outbursts to see if there’s any trigger. Yah, here we go:

“Wednesday. Let Junior push buttons on microwave. Over and over. Praised him as he repeated the word “moon” again and again and again and again. Listened to Sesame Street soundtrack for hundredth time. Turned on Noggin network. Unscrewed bottle of wine. Watched Yo Gabba Gabba. Drank straight from bottle. Fell to floor as Gabba Gabba creatures infiltrated fatigued brain and attacked compromised brain cells. Got smacked by Junior.”

Nope, no patterns I can see.

Site #2 said:

Be prepared to be hit or bitten repeatedly. If you feel you are beginning to lose your cool, separate yourself from your child. Tell the child "that’s enough hitting, now I need a break." Then remove yourself from the room.

Come again? “That’s enough hitting, now I need a break”???

Yah, mommy’ll be back in five, but don’t you worry, after that she’ll be ready for another smack down.

Child psychology experts my ass!

Tell me, reassure me, hold me—this is a phase, right?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Junior, Junior, let down your hair. Your frog prince is here to refill your Windex.

Do you hear someone shouting from the rooftops? It’s me.


Look! There’s a little boy vacuuming.

He’s playing with the iPlay® Home Vacuum Cleaner. And the vacuum is blue. Not hussy Barbie pink.

I found this progressive lad when the Young Explorers catalog was accidentally delivered to my doorstep. I’m happy (enough to take a picture, obviously) but

The copy says the vacuum sounds just like “mom’s upright.”

Come on. Young Explorers, I was willing to have your love child until I read that. (I still might be convinced, but it would take a lot of heavy petting.)

At least it's better than the Rose Petal Cottage Playhouse by Playskool.

Do you see what it says? Here, I'll read it to you:

“Every girl needs space to call her own…”

Is that supposed to be some kind of demented spin-off of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own? I really hope not. Because I believe Woolf was referring to the need for women to have a space of their own for self-expression, exploration and growth. Not—I repeat, not—for folding socks or baking muffins.

You rat bastards.

The fabulous marketing copy continues: “…and this fabric-covered playhouse gives little imaginations a place to roam free…and help little homemakers feel right at home. [You can even] slide the halves together to form a one-room dwelling!”

How fabulous! Nothing like instilling in your daughter a sense of domestic strangulation.

Mommy, Mommy, the walls are caving in and I haven’t added the fabric softener.

Playskool can bite me. They make Motrin look like Gloria Steinem.

Wanna guess what Junior's getting for Christmas? One Rose Petal Cottage Playhouse please.

Make laundry fun — and punishable

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