Tuesday, June 30, 2009

dites-moi pourquoi

I have to ask: Why did yesterday's rambling, nonsensical post garner more comments than usual?

Was it the Hofstadter? Or the randomness? Should I skip all the lovingly Photoshopped images and just go with stream-of-consciousness babbling? That would really save me some time, and I wouldn't have to hear my wrist make all those little popping noises while I scroll around fiddling with levels and curves.

For example, writing about GEB last night reminded me of all the time I spent crooning love songs to that book, which reminded me of all the maudlin, horrid poetry I wrote in high school, and now I can't get the phrase "tears like bleeding skies/wash the sadness from my eyes" out of my head. Which is just embarrassing. Perhaps one day i'll post some old poetry here and really put the final nail in the coffin of my imagined coolness.

Speaking of high school, I was too busy making jokes about my chemistry teacher's resemblence to Elvis to pay much attention in class, so I have no idea how to classify the bizarre concoction in the image up there. I neglected to follow the directions (huge surprise) while attempting to make play-dough, and we ended up with something that was liquid when allowed to drip and solid when squeezed. It was fascinating and fun, and the Biscuit and I spent an hour exploring its vast yuckiness.

So, yeah, i'm being creative.

But it's really hard to blog in a dark room with two sleeping men and Scrubs on the TV. I remember when I could go to sleep in a silent, pitch black room, but those days are long past. Now I drown out my thoughts with Firefly, Frisky Dingo, Venture Bros., The Office, Harry Potter, and, occasionally, an unmentionable viewing of Mean Girls to which I won't publicly admit. I welcome oblivion with an exacting combination of Play All, Subtitles, and Sleep Timer = 1:30.

I used to spend hours just thinking about things or exploring my feelings. For an entire year in high school, I cried myself to sleep every night listening to "Coast of Marseilles" by Jimmy Buffet because it was just so beautifully sad. Yeah, I can't believe it, either. And then I recognized my own foolishness and switched to Satie. But as an adult, and especially as a parent, i'm too busy living to meditate on living. And when I need sleep this desperately, I simply don't have the leisure to spend two hours staring at the ceiling, thinking. Or thinking about thinking.

So i'm just going to answer my own question up there with "I don't know", wait for the metaphysical slime to fall from the sky, and go enjoy Brendan Fraser as a wacky leukemia patient/shutterbug as I drift off into dreamland.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I warn you, i've read this whole post, and it doesn't make any sense.

But you might as well read it, anyway.

I was thinking today about contracrostipunctus. Layers of meaning. Like onions. And ogres. And the interconnectedness of all things. And emus. And synchronicity. And randomness.

I hate beer, but I like BEER WIN, so Dr. Krog and I stopped to take a picture.

I just asked him if he wanted anything from downstairs as I headed down for a weigh-in and blog-in, and he requested a margarita.

Now I wish I had a little drink umbrella. Or maybe i'll serve it up in a sippy cup. The one with cars.

That'll show 'im.

Our teenage niece just mentally gobsmacked him with the t-word via Facebook chat, and it occurred to us both that we are no longer 18, because we were slightly mortified. More amused, though.

She also likes the word "defenestration". It's one of my favorites. She is full of WIN.

So is this guy, who appears to be life's manifestation of my own inner goof.

I miss my long-lost copy of GodelEscherBach. The margins were full of scribbles, the pages were dogeared, and you could literally see the excitement in my pencil when I discovered that Hofstadter's Contracrostipunctus Acrostically Backwards Spells J.S. Bach.

Still gives me shivers.

I've never gotten lost in my head like I did in that book, layers and layers of meaning unfolding. I sometimes wonder if I miss that sort of mental challenge in my day-to-day life, if part of me is sleeping.


But I like sleep. And I like knowing that sometimes it's best if fields lie fallow, dormant, expectant. I like to think that there is always something marvelous waiting. Dr. Krog and I may seem like whiny, misanthropic jerks, but I assure you that we are eternal optimists. And the fact that our life together gets better every year only confirms our philosophy.

Why am I rambling about layers and fields and signs and goofs and margaritas served in plastic sippy cups?

Because I can.

And because I need to remember.

And because I had a few sips of Dr. Krog's margarita, and i'm a cheap drunk.

Goodnight, folks. I've got a date with a freshly made bed, two cute guys and Season 1 of Scrubs.

See? I told you it didn't make any sense.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

call me sisyphus

Biscuit: Can I have some water?

Me: Yes, if you can find your manners and wait until t.rex is done nursing.

Biscuit: PUH-LEASE!

Me: "Please" alone doesn't constitute manners. I need a polite sentence.

Biscuit: Can I have some water, please?

Me: Nice manners! Thank you. Now just wait a moment for t.rex to finish.


Me: YES. Please just BE PATIENT for a moment. It is your brother's turn to eat.


Me: I know, buddy, but waiting is a part of life. Everyone has to wait. One day, you'll go to the DMV, and then you'll really learn the meaning of patience in the face of adversity and yawning boredom and jaw-dropping incompetence. For now, it's going to take only 2 minutes or so until you have 100% of my attention, and then you can have all the water you want. It's free, it's healthy, it's cool. You can drink water until it comes out your ears. BUT FOR NOW, YOU MUST WAIT A MOMENT!

Biscuit: Mama?

Me: Yes, sweetheart?

Biscuit: GET ME WATER!

Me: NO. YOU DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. (I pick her up into my lap, hug her.) See, buddy, I don't like yelling. I don't want to be one of those moms that yells all the time. I want to be reasonable and calm and loving and teach you gently how the world works. I know that it's hard to go from being the baby to having a new brother taking up time and attention. I know that when he's nursing, you want as much attention and love as he's obviously receiving, so you act out and shout and do anything to get me to look at you. I'm not blind, and i'm not stupid. And i'm also not going to indulge you and let you become a spoiled brat. When you yell at me, you get nothing. When you're rude, you get nothing. When you throw things at me or shout, you get nothing. These are the rules of our life together, so you need to get used to it.

Now, i'm done nursing your brother, and I can set him down, and now it's your turn. I would be happy to get you some water. And maybe a snack?

Biscuit: Mama? I want some water.

I'm fairly certain it's like a dog listening to people, waiting to hear and respond to "Shotzi", "food", or "walkies". If I had peppered my loving speech with words like "balloon", "lemonade", "cookie", and "carousel", she would have listened really well.

Speaking to a toddler is the apotheosis of fruitlessness.

Unless you mention a curse word, and then they're aaaaaallllll ears.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

celebristink II

Are you ready? I'm going to blow your mind.

That image is entirely untouched.

I have been staring at it for hours, but I can't think of a single thing I can do with Photoshop to make it more hideous, bizarre, ridiculous, or hilarious.

I mean, there's a ribby, stick-thin billionaire heiress in a gold lame tube bra and filmy skirt, floating WITH SIX FAIRY WINGS in a star-speckled night sky over a bottle of her magical perfume, which has a picture of her as a fairy on the bottle. She's got black, leathery ribbons wrapped around legs so thin they couldn't support a flamingo, and her hair is billowing in the wind yet somehow unruffled by what must be frantically beating wings.

If I had to guess what Fairy Dust smells like, i'd assume an intoxicating combination of berries, muguet, musk, ivy, chlamydia, diamonds, and bitchiness.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I'm trying to bring the "truth in advertising" back to fine celebrity scents.

And it's all because of Tim McGraw.

I don't know who the feller is, although I suspect country music must play into the equation. I was reading a US Weekly OK People magazine today, courtesy of my dear friend Christine, and I came across an ad for a new cologne called simply "MCGRAW".

Isn't that an evocative name? McGraw?

And here's the ad, with a little bit of my own marketing.

Honestly, since I don't know who the guy is, and since I therefore don't have any personal associations with him, I have no idea what this whiskey-colored concoction might smell like. I'm guessing whiskey, saddle leather, and plush recording studios? All I *do* know is that when I hear the word "McGraw", I instantly think of McGruff, the Crime Dog, and visions of slobbery, wet bloodhounds come to mind. That's probably not the image they hoped to paint.

And then there's our old friend Gwyneth, who takes time out of her busy schedule (telling the world what to do on her blog and torturing the genius from Chris Martin) to frolic with puppies on the beach and hang out with foodstuffs in a make-believe garden.

Sorry the text is so small. That chick won't shut up.

I wore Pleasures in college, and Dr. Krog still remembers it fondly, although now it just makes me think of depression and old ladies.

Lastly, for today, because I am exhausted and have been battling a sadly caffeinated baby for 2 hours and am too tired to attack Celine Dion and Mariah Carey tonight, I present you with the person voted Least Likely To Smell Attractive by Everyone In My House.

Pretend I hadn't cut off the word "like" after "smells". Please.

You know how in Mean Girls, Janice smells Lindsay Lohan's character and sneers in disgust, saying, "You smell like a baby prostitute!"?

That's what I imagine "believe" must smell like.

I just can't imagine wanting to smell like Britney Spears, even before the head-shaving-barefoot-in-the-truck-stop-bathroom phase. I think this would make a fabulous gift for someone you hate, but you don't want them to know you hate them. It's the gift that keeps on hating.

Tomorrow: Part II of my riveting rebranding of atrocious celebrity perfumes. Paris Hilton in fairy wings will star prominently.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

it's okay

I don't want to be a Mommy Blogger. I don't want this to be a Mom Blog. I don't want to give family updates and post snapshots of my kids doing kid quotidian things. I don't want to center my posts on my beliefs about child-rearing or my enthusiasm for babywearing or my woes as a mother. I'm not knockin' it. I just feel like, for me, Motherhood is more of a job than a personality trait.

Yes, sometimes I do some of those things. But mostly, I go for weird close-ups and embarrassing Photoshop comments and hopefully humorous ranting. And, when in doubt, I aim for a review of a random movie or some imaginary boyfriend drama. But today, I want to talk about being a mom, because i'm having a hard week at my day job, which is Motherhood.

Psychologically, children go through periods of equilibrium and disequilibrium, and parents are basically in the sidecar, screaming, hoping we don't get scraped off against the guard rail. It's not all nature, and it's not all nurture, and sometimes we are just innocent bystanders to the human drama as played out in our own personal cavemen as they evolve into something more reasonable. Before they become teenagers and are utterly unreasonable again.

Let me reassure you and myself. Let's assuage our fears together.

* It's okay if you have days where you don't like your children very much.

They're little people, and they are sometimes hard to like. Toddlers are loud, obnoxious, greedy tiny dictators with neither manners nor emotional control. Babies are tools of their own digestive systems, smiling or screaming at the whims of tooth, stomach, and colon. You always love 'em, you always keep 'em safe, but you shouldn't feel guilty for telling your husband that the baby was a total a$hole today. Because he was.

* It's okay not to wash your hands or your child's hands if the air dryer in the restaurant bathroom is so loud that it makes her cry.

Just keep hand sanitizer in your bag at that restaurant. Seriously, that dryer hits Mach 2 with a sonic boom. Thanks a lot, environmentalists! You make my kid cry!

* It's okay to swab your toddler off with a wet wipe and call it a "bird bath" when you're in a hurry or the roofers are staring in the bathroom window.

I mean, Louis XIV only bathed *twice* in his life. The kid'll live.

* It's okay if you run around the house stabbing and trashing your kid's balloons after she goes to sleep.

She honestly does not need deflated 5 Trader Joe's balloons dusting the floor. And they're choking hazards. And make you imagine robbers at 2am when you need a swig of OJ.

* It's okay if you're using the internet as an escape.

It's really the only escape a mother of small children can get. The kids are contained, supervised, fed, and vaguely entertained. You can't read a book, finish a sentence, or do anything requiring needles, scissors, fire, closed doors while caring for little ones. You have to be in the room with them, anyway, and are possibly trapped under a Boppy and a sleeping baby. It may be your only way to connect, whether with yourself through a blog or with others through forums or with your urge to shop. Children are only small for a short time, and sometimes you just have to inch towards daylight, getting by any way you can.

* It's okay to have nothing left at the end of the day.

Some days, my husband comes home and goes straight to bed. No supper, no conversation, just a nap, snack, and sleep. And that's totally cool, because he works his a$$ off. Sometimes, I feel the same way. And that's totally cool, because I work my a$$ off, too.


Complaining on the internet from my air-conditioned home in the suburbs is a grand luxury. People have done much more with much less. But I think it's important to give myself permission to not feel guilty when I have a bad day. Mothering is hard. It's imperfect. It's a work in progress. And it's one of the only jobs where you get your boss's poop all over your hands on a daily basis. And you're not allowed to quit.

And as much as I may not want to categorize myself as a Mommy Blogger, I cannot escape the fact that I am a blogger who happens to be a Mommy who is having a rough day at work, and telling all 93 of you about it makes me feel a helluva lot better.

If you're a mom, please remember to be gentle with yourself.

It's okay. We're in this together.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

be smoov

So I was enjoying a post-shred smoothie, and I thought I would share my three main smoothie recipes with you. I call that one up there "Clarice", because it's a peachy southern belle that looks like it's made of human flesh, which reminds me of Silence of the Lambs.

1. "The Clarice"

In a blender, add 8oz vanilla unsweetened almond milk, a sliced up peach or nectarine, half a banana, and a handful of frozen strawberries. Blend, and while blending, add some ice, 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder, and 2T slivered almonds. Peach-vanilla yumminess.

2. "The Swamp Thang"

In a blender, add 8oz 100% orange juice, a handful of frozen strawberries, a sliced up peach or nectarine, and whatever other fruit you have on hand, from mango to blueberries to banana. While blending, add ice, a handful of baby spinach and a stalk of kale, broken up into pieces.

2. "The Chaike"

Because it tastes like chai cake. This one is my biggest indulgence/least healthful.

In a blender, add 8oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a dash of chai mix, and some ice. While blending, add 2 scoops vanilla protein powder, 2T almond slices, some ground flaxseed, and 1/2c yogurt.

My current favorite protein powder is Aria Vanilla, which is available at Trader Joe's.

Mind you, these smoothies are not the sugar-water contrivances you'll find at Planet Smoothie. They taste of their ingredients, and the one with kale and spinach has little green orts floating gently throughout. They taste best after a rigorous workout, when you're so exhausted and sweaty that iced lake water starts to sound pretty delectable.

And you'll want to floss afterwards, too, as fruit skin and strawberry pips and spinach can add unnecessary punctuation to your smile.

Be smoov, my friends. Be smoov.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Text Color
I have found the antidote!

I now know how to shred without dreaming of 65 ways to kill Jillian!

Simply turn on a CD to drown her out!

Seriously. I turned on my utterly ignored Justin Timberlake album (thanks, Dr. Krog, Christmas 2006) and found it the perfect antidote to pretty much everything Jillian says. And the cardio is a lot easier if i'm rockin' out. And I laugh a lot more when Dr. Krog tries to sing along but imagines that all the lyrics involve the word "chocolate".

It's the little, sweaty victories.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

nifty gifties

There it is, folks. As requested, and sadly edging out My Favorite Mutants at the top of the blog.

The haircut.

The best haircut i've had in a long, long time, courtesy of my childhood best friend, Dorothy McClure at Grow Salon in Decatur. She is a hair magician, she has cool tattoos, and she's just as much fun as she was when we were kids. although we ate significantly less Cracklin' Oat Bran, Lemonheads, and cold noodle salad when she came to visit.

Here's another shot of it.

I'm not sure if i've mentioned it on my blog before, and I refuse to go back 3 years to check, but I have always considered myself a "longhair", that is, a person born to always have long hair. Unusually long hair. Painfully long hair. Most of the time, when I go for a shorter haircut, I can't wait for my hair to be long again, and by "long", I mean to my butt. I self-identified as a longhair, and when seeing other people with long hair in public, I wished for a secret handshake of some sort.

But i've been trying to clean the cobwebs and snakes out of my head recently, and i'm finally realizing that I don't have to be ANYTHING. That very few people attached significance to my long, troublesome hair, and that no one really notices the difference between collarbone-length, shoulder-length, and bra-length, much less hip-length. It just doesn't matter. So i'm enjoying this shorter, shaggy hair, and i'm especially enjoying the light and airy feeling of realizing that while hair has great power to make me feel a certain way, it doesn't define me.

My ol' pal Dorfy gave me a gift with this haircut, and I hope to soon paint a picture of her adorable dog to return the favor, possibly in a party hat, because I really dig the thought of a chihuahua in a party hat.

The next gift I need to mention was a surprise care package from my dear friend Val, savior of my Clemson days, baker of cupcakes, watcher of Ten Things I Hate About You while knitting on the couch. She comments here as Virginia Valerie, and I miss her every day.

She sent some rad, blue, rhinestone-studded Star Wars sunglasses for the Biscuit.

I don't have to tell you what a hit *that* was.

She also sent some funky socks.

Also a big, big hit.

Note: the unruly helpmeet does not in any way endorse the combination of socks and sandals in any way. Ever. Not even for old people, or people with weird foot fungus/crusties.

Just sayin'.

In addition to some fun goodies for the grown-ups, by which I mean magazines and pens that we'll fight over for the next week, she also sent some adorable T-Rex focused shirts for t.rex.

He was thrilled.

Seriously, he NEVER looks that happy.

Well, except when he's awake.

But that's beside the point. I can't wait to see him in that blue muscle shirt next summer. He's gonna be a total beefcake. BEEFCAKE!

And why is that?

Because the boy likes his food. Up there... that's chicken and sweet potatoes with a very Jackson Pollack-esque smackerel of prunes. Mmmm. Prunes.

So thank you, Dorothy and Val. You guys made my week.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

mutant love in an elevator

Okay, so it's not love.

It's "teeny-bopper crush on manly militant mutants".

I saw the elevator scene in X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The Part Where They Make Him Even More Invincible and Hairy today and turned to Dr. Krog with goggly eyes and excitedly said, "I am SO Photoshopping myself into that scene!"

And I couldn't find a screenshot of that exact scene, but this picture is even better, because it includes Gambit, (aka. DNA Lovechild of Early 90's Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio) and omits Busey-Like Jerk from Lost and Black Guy in Cowboy Hat, who were not crush-worthy characters.

Oh, yeah. In case you missed my invisible lead-in, I took Dr. Krog to our first solo movie since November to celebrate Father's Day. (THANKS, Nina and Big Ben!) Before kids, we saw nearly every non-chick-flick that came out in the theater. We dearly miss our movies, mainly because we like to sit in cold, dark places and make jokes and giggle together.

Sure, we saw Zack and Miri Make a Porno with our 2-week old baby, but I spent half the movie going Amazon with a sleeping newborn snoring gently on my chest, so it doesn't really count.

And without spoilerz, I assure you that Wolverine was the perfect choice. Fine holiday fun. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

It had everything I need in an action movie. Here's my checklist:

* Hero Walks Away from Fire in Slow Motion
* Evil Guy's Plan Has a Dastardly Twist That He'd Like To Reveal in a Speech
* CGI Fight with Obvious Wire Work, Harkening Back to Charlie's Angels
* Hot Southern Guy in Tailcoat Kills With Possessed Playing Cards and Fancy Cane
* Bullet's Eye View, Including the Bullet's Casing, Which is Actually Impossible
* What a Lovely Relationship, That Chick is Gonna Die Soon
* Patrick Stewart Has a Cameo, and I Secretly Hope He'll Say "Make It So", But He Doesn't
* Ryan Reynolds Plays Ryan Reynolds and Makes Me Laugh and Slobber A Little.

In other news about how awesome my day was, I wore my favorite "skinny jeans" for the first time in over a year. And I was even able to breathe!

And the scale said 148, which is awesome, because on April 29, it said 162.6. So that's 14.6 pounds in 53 days of diet and 10 days of shredding. My goal was 150, and I hereby set a new goal of 140. My self-gift for getting to 150 was this gorgeous necklace by my friend Alicia Istanbul, which I need to go ahead and order, and now I want some black cowboy boots when I hit my next goal.

Life is good, my friends. Life is good.

Friday, June 19, 2009

dear jillian

Dear Jillian,

As much as I appreciate your 30 Day Shred, I do have a few complaints. *

1. When you say "Just a couple more, girls!" and then there are 8 to 16 more reps, I want to smack you in your smug, smiling mouth and knock out "just a couple" of your teeth.

2. When you say "I have 400-pound people who can do jumping jacks, and so can you!" I want to kick you in the bajingo with steel-toed boots, because you have never had a baby and don't know what it's like to do jumping jacks after having a baby. Or sneeze after having a baby. Or laugh after having a baby.

3. When you say, "That pain is fear leaving the body!" I want to run over your taut, stretch-mark-free abs with a monster truck while eating a powdered donut, because there is no fear involved in bicycle crunches.

Please refrain from being so smug all the time. And tell Natalie that she cheats.

Oh, and thank you for my rock-hard biceps. They would be really impressive if I could get rid of some of the fat swaddling them.




* I complain too much, and i'm trying to get better about it. When I think something is funny or weird or interesting, it's often perceived as a complaint, and I just don't register that people don't want to hear about it. Sorry. I feel like I am an upbeat, positive, happy person, but apparently I have been called boring, negative, and whiny. Again, sorry. So I have asked Dr. Krog to help me out by raising one finger every time I say something that could be perceived as a complaint so that I can attempt to change my behavior.

And I understand that he is metaphysically raising several fingers and looking at me menacingly right now, but honestly, it had to be said. Jillian needed to hear it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

yours, mine, ours, mine, and also mine


It's not my forte. Not at all my bailiwick. In fact, it's one of my personal peccadilloes.

(Those last two sentences, drawing together two of my least favorite words, are brought to you by my 2002 boss, the Most Insane Nice Person Ever. Managing smart people was not her bailiwick, and working under her was one of my peccadilloes. But I digress.)

Ahem. Yeah, I suck at sharing. I was an only child, and my father enjoyed torturing me by threatening to remove anything I liked as a child. He had this game where I would get a shiny, new balloon, and he would make me put my hands behind my back, and then he would let go of the balloon and let it soar up to our 20-foot ceiling, counting to 5 until I was allowed to reach for it with my tiny, impotent little hands.

And then my mom had to get out the ladder and a yardstick with masking tape on it while I cried and he laughed.

Again, I digress. Can you tell I have sharing issues?

The point is this: You already know I hate to share cupcakes, but now i'd like to tell you about the wide variety of bizarre and random things that I utterly refuse to share with anyone, even my children and the love of my life.

1. My blanket. I have 2 favorite blankets, and I refuse to share them. If we were on Hoth, and Dr. Krog's tauntaun's intestines were no longer steaming warm after he fought the wampa, and he looked longingly at my blanket with eyes crusted in frozen tears, I would probably tell him to get his own damn blanket.

2. My water bottle. Yes, if it's 100 degrees out, i'll let my child have a few gulps to keep us out of the hospital. But the thought of all those little floaties gently dancing in my water totally squigs me out. If you don't have kids, "floaties" are what happens when residual food in a toddler's mouth is released into your water, and suddenly there are bits of hot dog and avocado floating around in your drink. It's no good.

3. The good frozen meals. Especially the Lean Cuisines with fish, or rigatoni, or the Kashi ones. Dr. Krog can have the Chicken Teriyaki. Sorry, Dr. Krog.

4. My magazines. Fashion and gossip magazines are one of my guilty pleasures, especially when enjoyed in an indulgent bath. But for some reason, if Dr. Krog reads them first, it's like they're not shiny anymore. There are grease spots on them from his dinner, and dog-eared pages, and it feels like old news. I want all the horrible, cheesy glitter for my own, selfish, celebrity-love-hate-disgust self.

5. My special mugs. I love hand-made mugs and buy about one per year from a local clay show and sale. And I don't want anyone else to use them, ever. Because if someone else broke or chipped one of my special mugs, i'd have to break all their fingers. With a brick.

6. My bath. I don't want anyone else's body filth in my bath. I don't want anyone's hair, toenails, sweat, or swamp butt in my bath. I don't want anyone else enjoying my Lush bath bombs, when I can manage to get my frugal, clutching hands on one. I don't want Michael, Eddie, and Freddy from the Little People bobbing cheerfully around my navel. And while i'm in the bath, I don't want to answer any questions, other than perhaps, "What would you like from Chickfil-A, darling?" I'm pretty sure that happened once. It was lovely.

7. My exercise time. Aside from walking on the trails or treadmill with a friend, I just don't want to talk to anyone at the gym or while shredding at home in front of my laptop. I don't want small talk from other gymgoers, offers from bored trainers, or tiny people using dolls as barbells asking me why the lady on TV is wearing her bra while she does push-ups. Before Jazzercise conflicted directly with t.rex's nap schedule, I lived in fear of the over-anxious leaders and their zealous attempts at mandatory audience participation. I do not need to sing along with Fall Out Boy to feel upbeat about my exercise.

8. My breakfast. If you read this post, i'm sure you now understand that MY MORNING IS SACROSANCT. But seriously, when the Biscuit sweetly begs for a bit of my egg-mushroom-spinach-omelett-on-mini-whole-wheat-bagel-with-just-a-dab-of-Trader-Joe's-lite-mayo, I want to roar until the windows crash and car alarms go off and small birds fall from the sky. It's just embarrassing.

I could probably go on, except that 1. It will only get more embarrassing, and 2. My child wants my attention so badly that she's starting to get dangerous. And shirtless.

Please tell me you guys are as bad at sharing as I am? I'm not selfish about being selfish. You guys can be as selfish as you want, and i'm totally cool with that. Deal?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

hell's biscuit

The Biscuit has many interests, but none are so keen as her utter devotion to bicycles. Especially big, purple bicycles. She talks about them in the car, before bed, when spotting a suicidal freak on our curvy, no-shoulder road. So her thoughtful grandparents deduced that an early birthday present would make summer even more exciting for our favorite little spazzbot.

So we lured her into their garage and invited her to investigate the mysteriously wrapped object.

Whaddaya know? It was a big ol', big ol', purple big kids bike!

We all held our breath.

The Biscuit, true to toddler form, was decidedly underwhelmed and chose to focus on the sparkly water bottle that came with her dream bike.

Le sigh.

Also true to form, all the adults put pressure on her to be very excited, so she got performance anxiety and refused to ride her dream come true.

She really enjoyed investigating her bike and its various accoutrements, but for no amount of tea in China/princesses in the Disney vault would the child actually hop on and ride.

Le sigh.

Fortunately, the little dude loves to smile for the camera, so all of our recorded memories will indicate that it was the most thrilling day of her life.

I'm learning a valuable lesson as an adult: Kids are little shits.

Seriously, though. You do something wonderful for them-- a trip to the zoo or circus, their first fishing trip, answering their every dream by buying them the exact bicycle that their heart desires. And then their response is pathetic. They are balky, rude, underwhelmed, whiny, and then refuse to participate with the joy and thankfulness that parents crave.

I now see why my dad never took me to the Ice Capades again. I was a little shit, too.

But we forgive them, because it's not their fault that we are holding them to our own imagined perceptions of happiness and expectations. They're just kids. Just doing their things, thinking on a level slightly higher than labradors.

And one day, they'll be teenagers, which will be even worse. And then, hopefully, if we do everything right, there will a brief 2 or 3 year span in between college and childbearing when they are appreciative, friendly, and respectful and finally realize that they don't know everything and that their parents did the best they could.

That's going to be a great few years.

Until then, there's always the baby.

I can always pin my hopes on him.

And, as a post-script, once we got the bike home, she was totally diggin' it. Rides it all the time around the sunroom and kitchen island. Shows it off to her friends, requests to take it to the park, generally worships the thing, just as we'd hoped all along.

And thank goodness. I almost sent it to China, where starving kids are THANKFUL and RESPECTFUL and actually EAT THEIR GREEN BEANS.

Oh, good gravy. I'm starting to sound like a mom...

Monday, June 15, 2009

lies and also lies

1. No pictures of the haircut today, because it's all messed up and sweaty from exercise. Plus, I need to eradicate the grays tonight. I hope to show you the total package tomorrow.

When I got my first gray hair at 15, I actually thought it was cute. Can you imagine that? My mom yanked it out in a Turtles as we perused the VHS tapes.

2. No pictures of the bike, or Biscuit riding the bike, or the Biscuit in a fancy purple dress and sunglasses chasing her friend around the kitchen island on the bike. Because I am feeling LAZY.

3. Nothing fancy today, because I want to indulge myself after a very long day, and since chocolate and other sugary delicacies are out of the question, I plan on a very luxurious bath with a horrible magazine. And i'm going to paint my toenails.

4. Hopefully tomorrow I will live up to the hype in my head. But for tonight... BATH.

5. Why do I have that sinking feeling, like I forget to do my homework, and the teacher is walking around, and i'm all squirmy? DAMN YOU, INTARWEBZ!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

totally grody to the max

Let me start off with a cliche: Life ain't pretty.

Neither is parenthood.

I currently have something under my right pinkie nail that matches the shade of green in the frame up there, and i'm not telling you what it is, because then you'll never shake hands with me again.

What can I say? I have a baby who likes pears.

In any case, I thought I would share some ugly things with you, because I think society as a whole is terrified of being ugly. That's one reason I share so many horrible pictures of myself on this blog-- i'm trying to get over that sort of vanity. I'd rather get a laugh than perpetuate the notion that people are supposed to be pretty and humble and just sit around being boring all the time.

First of all, there are the smoothies I make after I shred. They're so ugly, they're beautiful.

Like baby warthogs.

That's from tonight. 1/2 mango, 1 nectarine, 1/4c blueberries, a stalk of kale, ice, almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder. Not actually terrible. Like peach ice cream spilled in a bed of ivy, maybe.

Here's another one.

That one, if I remember correctly, included a nectarine, half a banana, some frozen strawberries, a handful of baby spinach, a stalk of kale, and some 100% OJ. It was like sucking grass through a fruit-flavored straw. It stuck in the teeth a bit. Mmmm.

I also made one that was brown and looked like Polyjuice Potion, but it did not turn me into Jillian Michaels, or Jillian Anderson, or Anthony Michael Hall. It was, in fact, in no way magical. Quite gloppy, though. The idea is that by the time i'm done shredding, i'm so hungry, thirsty, and sweaty that almost anything cold would go down well.

That's the idea, at least.

But in case the Swamp Thang smoothies aren't ugly enough for you, here's a bag of hair.

My best friend from childhood stopped by to give me a totally kickass haircut in my own sunroom. It was the most fun haircut i've ever gotten, because instead of listening to the skinniest girl at Toni & Guy telling me about her drunken three-way with her roomate and car-stealing boyfriend, I got to catch up on 12 years of lost time and laugh at the same crap that made me laugh 12 years ago.

And did I mention the TOTALLY KICKASS HAIRCUT?

So, tomorrow: pics of haircut, and story of the Biscuits's Dearest Dream Come True, Except She'd Rather Just Go Inside and Watch Care Bears, Please.

With pictures. That aren't gross.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

eau say can you stink?

No, Dr. Krog isn't forcing me to swallow a pill, cat-style up there.

I'm holding my nose.

And that's why I have this... rant? Soapbox diatribe? Public service announcement? Plea??

For the love of all that's holy, people, be judicious in your use of perfume.

Seriously. It was horrible when I was pregnant, and it's still horrible. A woman sat 5 feet away from me today wearing perfume so rancid and cloying and strong that I kinda wanted to throw up just to smell something different.

I know it's the South, and it's hot and humid, and you don't want people to smell anything about your body. I know that we're trained to believe that sweat and body odor are awful, disgusting, unladylike indelicacies. But I promise you that wearing 78 spritzes of drugstore perfume is not fooling anyone. Even wearing 4 spritzes of fancy-pants high-end perfume isn't fooling anyone.

I'm not thinking, "Mmmm, Calvin Klein! She's classy and hip!"

I'm thinking, "Oh, sweet jeebus, i'm going to have to switch seats before she notices the look on my face and checks her kid's diaper."

Now, don't get me wrong. I love smells. I love handmade soaps, scented lotions and body butters, delicious sugar scrubs, bath bombs, even handmade perfume oils. I'm a regular at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Lush, and searching "soap" on Etsy is my own brand of pornography.

But these things are unique and subtle, and I just dab the pulse points and hair.

Just dab. Just a dab.

But it seems that when you give folks a big ol' bottle with a spritzer or a spray, they just need to go to town. Sptzz, sptzz, sptzzz. Spray your brush, your wrists, your decolletage. And then you have to mist the air, and walk through that.

I guess I just feel that perfumes, or any sort of scent, shouldn't be noticeable from more than 2 feet away. Shaking hands, hugging, talking intimately-- that's when your scent should be noticeable, unique, and interesting, not to mention well-chosen to suit your body chemistry. But 5 feet? In an air-conditioned restaurant? Seriously? No.

So here I am, begging you, America. Cool it with the mass-produced, sprayable stank-juice. I don't want to sit next to you at the movies, or across from you at the coffee house, or stand behind your grandmother at the grocery store, even if we all know little old ladies only bathe once a month because they can't get their poofy blue hair wet.

Just Say N'eau.


That being said, if you're looking for some simply fabulous smells, follow that link up there to BPAL or Lush, or head on over to Etsy and type in "perfume oil" or "natural perfume" or "aromatherapy fragrance". I just placed an order with Wiggle Perfume today, and I absolutely can't wait to receive my sample vials. My chemistry has changed since pregnancy, and I need to find some new signature scents. I never want someone to smell me and think, "Blah, I've smelled that before." No, I want them to barely catch a whiff, and think, "OMG, what is that amazing smell? I WANT TO EAT YOU. But in a fairly platonic fashion"


p.s. I don't think anyone reading my blog stinks. I think you are all fabulous, unique flowers with armpits that delicately waft of roses and almond essence.

pps. Did you guys know I only wash my hair every 4 days? It's true. And I still don't stink, no matter what that biotch said in Glamour last month.

Friday, June 12, 2009

honestly scrappy!

Thanks to the kind and talented Christine at Christine's Arts, I now have an Honest Scrap Award. Yay! And now I get to tell you 10 honest things about myself. Hmmm.

1. I worked at a haunted house in high school, even though everything about it completely terrified me. The drive, interacting with strangers, wondering alone in the woods in the dark. But it was a total blast, and I learned how to do marvelous things with makeup and liquid latex. And I made a bully wet his pants once.

2. I have never liked Goodwill ever since they stole my black-and-white Doc Martens in 1999. I wore them when skanking on stage with the Toasters during my ska years.

3. I have never smoked a cigarette or done any drugs that were not administered by a doctor. I used to wonder what certain chemicals would do for my art, but it was never worth it to try.

4. I have been craving food from La Fonda Latina and Circle Sushi for a couple of weeks and am completely unable to act on the cravings. It's driving me crazy.

5. I really like my leg-to-ankle ratio.

6. I really don't like the place where my neck and back meet. The curvature is wrong.

7. I've always felt like I would write a book one day, but i'm horrible at making up stories and strategy. When I read Time Traveler's Wife, all I could think was WAIT WHAT WHOA HOW DID YOU DO THAT WAIT WTF??

8. Although I love art, my favorite activity in the entire world is horseback riding, specifically trail riding or hunter pacing. Galloping is the closest i've ever felt to the divine. I really miss my horse and our rides alone in the woods.

9. I like my husband so much that it sometimes scares me. Just flat out like him. And love him, too. But really like him.

10. I had a brain tumor in high school.

That's what came to mind. If anyone has any other random questions, i'd be totally happy (and very excited!) to answer them. I love questions and would be happy to tell you almost anything.


Thanks, Christine!

Oh. And i'm passing it on to Charis, Blair, and The Spotted Sparrow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

unruly soapbox: 3 in bed

Yeah, I share my bed with my husband and my son.

Titillating, ain't it?

I write in response to this very annoying article from Parents or Parent or Parenting or It's Apparent That Our Readers Are Transparent. One of those magazines. I get one of them in the mail because it costs about $1.99 a year and gives me colorful pictures for my child's school collages. But even I can't remember the one to which I subscribe.

Don't read it. You don't want to waste the brain cells. Just look outside at a tree instead. I'm going to condense the article for you.

"Insert funny joke. We share our bed with our 2-year old, mainly because it was easy when our kid was a baby. Now we don't get to have sex. Several funny jokes. We tried to do be romantic, and it failed. Our kid is demanding and selfish. It's hard to be a parent. Bedsharing ruined my parents' marriage. We seriously never get to have sex, so we just watch TV instead. Wry, pithy crap. Now we have sex during naptime. Ha ha!"

Yep, that's the whole article. Someone wrote it, Parenting paid for it and printed it, millions of people bought it, and now CNN thinks it's really important that you read it and titles it "Romance Difficult With 3 In Bed", like that's a major breakthrough.

And i'm telling you that this sort of drivel makes me sick.

Seriously. Are we just telling people that it's okay to lose all passion, let your child take over every facet of your life, and get old while you watch 400 channels? That it's funny and clever and sassy to watch your life go to hell in a proverbial handbasket while you watch Everybody Loves Raymond with your kids' feet in your face? That you would publicly admit to giving a sleeping toddler the power to destroy your marriage?

We co-slept with our first daughter until she was 14 months old and are currently sharing our bed with a 6-month-old. And it doesn't change who we are as people. And it doesn't change how we feel about eachother. And it doesn't destroy romance. You know what does? Partners who think it's okay give up on themselves and eachother because it's easy, because kids are hard work, because life takes over. All the same reasons people give up on anything-- exercise, hobbies, friendships. Because working at anything is hard and doing nothing is easy.

I hate that our news sources want to make money by watching the audience shake their heads knowingly, blindly accepting loss of self as a consequence of parenthood. I hate that they appeal to parents by putting down bedsharing instead of putting down the people who are blaming bedsharing for the negative repercussions of their own laziness or lack of imagination.

Here's a big idea: get the baby to sleep, then put a blanket on the floor. Go out on your back deck. Check out the height of the kitchen counter. Go play on the stairs. Your bed is not the key to your marriage, romance, or procreation. Turn off the f'ing TV and FEEL SOMETHING.

I know i've touched on this before, a la Mombies. But it's so much more pervasive than that. We live in a country with a 50% divorce rate. You seriously have to actively protect your marriage, work at it. If both parents come home to exhausted, boring partners with no passions or interests, why would they want to be together, kids or no? People get lured into Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, looking for something interesting. People gain weight or get lost in escapes like video games or the internet and wake up one day, no longer attracted to their spouse.

I'm not saying this is happening to *you*. The reasons i'm friends with my friends, and the reason this blog probably appeals to anyone reading this diatribe, is generally because they are interesting, active people with pursuits, thoughts, and a certain joi de vivre. But i've said it before, and i'll say it again, and it's the biggest cliche out there: If it's worth having, it's worth putting in the work. If you don't use a muscle, it atrophies.

And if you're not willing to work around a small, needy person to get your rocks off and reconnect with your spouse, you're in a lot more trouble than can be addressed by reading some little "sound bite" article from CNN.

I'm smart, i'm sexy, and I share my bed with two men, at least for the next couple of months, and Parenting can bite my ass.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

master shredder

First, let's get several things straight.

1. Whatever Jillian says up there is a LIE, a dirty LIE.

2. I know that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fought *with* Master Splinter and *against* Shredder, but I think the post title really covers all my bases.

3. It is not my fault that I bought Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. You can ask Robert Cialdini. I'm just a victim of hope and good marketing. Click, whirr, baby.

4. You haven't read Cialdini's book, Influence? Oh, honey, you must. It's a brilliant treatise on the psychology of persuasion that will forever change how you respond to marketing. And telemarketers. Oh, you'll learn to have fun with them. Put down Breaking Dawn and get thee to a bookstore!

5. Yes, i'm married to a psychologist. Why do you ask?


Here's me after Jillian kicked my ass today:

Just looking at the picture makes me tired.

See, it happened like this. My buddy Carrie twinked to this blog, and I followed her link to this blog, which convinced me that I wanted to be shredded. After all, the universe has arrayed against me and placed t.rex's naps at the only two times of day I can Jazzercise. So I need shreddification.

Therefore, I went to Target and purchased the DVD for $14.99, even though it's only $8.99 on Amazon, because I wanted to shred TODAY, because I am an American and I want my miracle cures NOW, thank you very much. And then I slapped it on the ol' laptop and began shredderizing.

The Biscuit did a little shredding next to me, which was only mildly annoying, because it wasn't even exercise for her. A minute of jumping jacks? Hurray!

And then, after 20 minutes of her cardio-strength-abs circuit, I was toast. Sweaty, stinky, hair undone, arms and legs of pudding. Like this.

Mmm. Ladylike.

And then, inspired by a post by a favorite blogger, I decided to go for extra bonus pain points and make a green smoothie. Nectarines, banana, strawberries, kale, spinach, and orange juice.

Please, stop drooling on the keyboard. It really did taste as good as it looked. Even the Biscuit wouldn't eat it, and she would usually give a headband for a blender, which is her word for smoovie, which is how she says "smoothie".

Man, i'm so healthy today it hurts!

Day 1 of the 30-Day Shred: CHECK!

Will I love Jillian or hate her by July?

I'm guessing both.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

who's in my bed? no, seriously.

So I found a package on the front porch yesterday.

I had not ordered anything.

It was wrapped in plain, brown cardboard.

The To: and From: tags were typed.


And my first thought was: Did someone send me pornography as a joke?

And then I remembered that my Uncle Lee, Aunt Tammy, and Cousin Andi had requested our address to send the Biscuit a copy of Andi's favorite book from toddlerhood.

And so I have now read Who's In My Bed? by Helen Piers 574 times in the past two days. This book has the loveliest illustrations-- like Van Gogh without the crazy. Beautiful details, brilliant colors, and sturdy lift-the-flip technology.

And no pornography. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Thanks, Arizona family!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Today, I challenged my child to a game of paper airplanes. And she promptly unfolded her airplane, put a cloth diaper on it, and attempted to attach it to the bottom of a fluorescent green rhinoceros inexplicably named Marsha.

Well played, toddler.

Instead, I began a face-off, much like the walk-off in Zoolander. Here's how it went down.

I started.

Sensing that fun was afoot, she made a face, too.

"No, buddy. It's not a smiling contest. Make a silly face," I prompted.

So she tried again.

Ah, she gets it.

So I went in a different direction.

Oh, that got her laughing.

And then she took it up a notch.

BAM! That's wacky.

It was my turn again. I gave it all I had.

And then she struck. Making a face that only a mother could love (while warning her child that if the wind shifts, her face will be stuck like that), I present the Biscuit as:


Game: Biscuit.

So, what did t.rex think of all this fuss?

Let's just say he was glad to be nominated. The boy only makes 3 faces: sadness, elation, boredom.

Although he does sometimes move so fast that the lowly camera cannot capture him. Like a chubby little hummingbird.

He's probably making a really impressive face, like ZOMG SLOBBERMONKEYZOMBIE, and we just can't see it.

So until he joins our ridiculously silly ranks, I proclaim the Biscuit the winner of today's Uglification contest. Her prize is a bowl of yogurt and bedtime.

Man, i'm really glad I lost.