Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The White Coat.

I love doctors. It's something about the white coat that gives me warm fuzzies. A jackass with buck-teeth and an Alabama accent could slip on that white coat and he would be transformed into an instant genius in my eyes. You want to jam a needle in my throat to help a skin blemish? Sure! You want to write a "street legal" prescription and I need to pay you in cash? SOLD!

In other words, I don't care if it's a Halloween costume, people are definitely smarter in that coat. If a Girl Scout shows up on my front step in a white coat proclaiming that if I eat a sleeve of Thin Mints I will live longer, I will buy the entire case of goodies and the wagon they came in.

Everyone should invest in a white coat. Who said doctors and dentists are the only privileged peeps who get to wear that white coat? In Tunisia, teachers wear a white coat to protect their street clothes from chalk.

If my high school teachers wore that coat I would have actually listened to what they had to say. They would have been brighter, better looking, more interesting...smarter. If they british accent to top it off, I would have never gone home. I would have slept in the dirty halls of the high school, hoping the education would sink into my skin, making me smarter by osmosis. Jesus, a british doctor is a genius without even taking a test.

Mortgage brokers, insurance salesmen, advertising reps...just call yourself a doctor and somehow spin your sales pitch to benefit the recipient's health and you'll make a cool mil. The definition of a doctor is derived from the Latin word "doctus" meaning, "having been taught." So if anyone gives you shit about it, you can say you have been taught in that area, therefore they can go to hell with their accusation. If you want to say, "BOOYA!" it will be within your right.

I might consider buying a white coat and wear it around the house. It could give me an edge when it comes to calling the shots around here. "Listen to me, girls. I am now a doctor of mothering you, therefore I know what is best. You need to unload the dishwasher, do your homework and pick up dog poop in the yard. It's for the best, trust me. I am a doctor."

The dog may not understand that I am now a doctor, but I think he'll get the drift when I leave a prescription in his bowl asking him to un-shed his hair all over the fucking place. And since I am now his Master Doctor, I will explain that eating my flip flops for dinner will upset his digestive tract. I will know this without taking a medical test. That's how smart I will be once I get that white coat.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The GPS.

My husband bought a GPS for me after I had a complete breakdown trying to get my daughter to a softball tournament a few weeks ago. It wasn't pretty. You know, the whole sarcastic conversation with construction that goes something like, "Oh this is fucking brilliant. ANOTHER road closed. Maybe next time we could have the tournament on the fucking moon. Unfuckingbelievable."

My poor kid in the backseat had a look of sheer terror. ARE we going to moon? She's obviously crazy enough to do it. Christ. I don't want to go to the moon, I'm kickin' it old school at a slumber party tonight.

So I have the GPS. It's great, but I can't help thinking we should take it a step further. I've already changed the voice to a masculine british accent. That way, if he leads me in the wrong direction, it's not his fault. He doesn't even live in this country.

Well, he doesn't live at all, but that's beside the point. I'm desperate to have this voice do more for me. I want to change it to a voice similar to Queen Latifah and have it shout out, "Oh, Mrs. Nordstrom, you lookin' damn fine today! Yeah, you go get 'em girl!" That would make me feel like a million bucks.

I want to reprogram it so when I drive more than 10 miles, it tells crude jokes to entertain my boring drive. I want it to ask if I've lost five pounds. I want it to adore me, dammit.

I fear I may be liking my GPS more than it likes me, which is an unhealthy relationship. I know this, but I can't stop. I've always been attracted to stoic men.

I worry about its feelings when I purposely ignore its command. "I know you said to take a left, but I need coffee first. You know this. We've been through this millions of times, you and I. Just hang in there." In fact, I don't even put this device on the dash anymore, I set it on the passenger seat like it's an actual british man going for a little holiday with me while I run errands. I haven't belted him in yet, but if it comes to that, I may need to commit myself to a padded room.

The point is, there's room for improvement. Look, I'm not saying anything crazy like having it arrive in the form of a blow-up doll, I'm just asking for positive affirmations for people like me who'd enjoy some compliments sprinkled into their day.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Mom - I KNOW!"

I have this conversation with my daughter Paige quite a bit. At dinner I will remind her that in order to have ice cream, she needs to finish her dinner. I rarely get the entire sentence out before she throws her arms up like a police officer and says, "MOM! I KNOW! Stop talking about it. I already know."

That is the response to all my motherly suggestions:

Brush your teeth or they will rot out of your mouth. I KNOW!

Put on sunscreen or you will be bacon in about 4 minutes. Stop talking, Mom - I KNOW!

Clean your bedroom before we all catch a deadly disease. MOM! I KNOW! I KNOW! I KNOW!

Let's trim your toenails before the FBI uses them for weapons. MOM! Stop it! I KNOW!

Then she said, "Mom, I know ALL of these things. I'm eight. I even know how to text on a Blueberry."

Well, I guess that settles it, then.

I tucked my Blackberry back into my purse knowing that indeed I am still in charge around here even though some days it doesn't feel like it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tour de Bar.

I was among 300 people biking to 14 bars on Saturday. Unlike Tour de France featuring fit, sober, athletes, our Tour featured cowboys, indians, cows, miniskirts, beer, shots, and birthday cake.

We were slurring, smoking, and miraculously, actually biking. Without helmets. Not one. I strapped mine on, but noticed I was the only one so I hung it on my handlebars. Peer pressure still gets to me. My husband called me a fucking baby and strapped training wheels to my bike.

This sounds like illegal mayhem, but it's just our way of giving back to the community. You see, this is an annual benefit to raise money for a local family needing financial help. As I watched 40 yr old men pop wheelies, I figured it may indeed be one of us needing the benefit next year, but we threw caution to the wind and kept clicking off bars 1-14, hoping to make a big contribution to this amazing family in need.

As I looked around Bar #12, the karaoke bar, I realized something. I smiled as people were screaming out the lyrics to "Sweet Caroline", I giggled at my husband getting a lap dance from the neighbor ladies, and I wrapped my arms around my best friend since 3rd grade as her cowboy hat poked me in the eye.

I realized that if I were visiting this town, I would want to live here. Of all the places in the world, I would choose this place again and again. It's home. And it's a damn good one.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Redbox Etiquette.

A couple weeks ago I went to the local Redbox to rent a movie. There was an unusually long line due to a couple not able to make a decision on which movie to rent. It was frustrating, but apparently to the 20-something executive waiting in line, it was unbearable.

She crossed her arms and tapped her toe like a mother waiting for her child to confess a crime. With each passing minute, she sprinkled some verbal abuse under her long exhale. "Aaaaaaaahhh, fucking unbelievable." We all heard it even though it was coated in a fiery breath.

The indecisive couple hung their heads in shame and moved to the side. I imagined their conversation in a hushed whisper: You can't even make a fucking decision between movies, how am I supposed to believe you're going to decide on a ring and propose marriage someday? I want to break up. You failed to even make a Friday night date work, I can't imagine how you'll mess up the rest of our lives.

As the movie-failed couple argued on the sidelines, two more people successfully returned and rented movies. It was my turn. As I started to step up, the sassy bitch in heels standing two people behind me said, "All I need to do is return one. It will take two seconds. Where is the etiquette here? The people returning should be allowed to go first."

I didn't realize there was an established Redbox etiquette. Excuse the hell out of me. Please and thank you.

I held my arm out and said, "Be my guest."

She jammed her movie in and stomped out. Click, click, click her heels went on the floor, grating on all our nerves. As the door quietly closed we heard her yell, "FUCKING RIDICULOUS!"

She had the right words, she just didn't apply them correctly. Where was the etiquette from her? And yes, she was being a ridiculous, pouty, immature asshole. I'm surprised the entire line didn't attack her and throw her out on her ass. I know I wanted to.

We all breathed a sigh of relief as the door closed. The couple on the sidelines stopped arguing and stepped to the back of the line. I looked at another woman and smiled. Peace at last.

And then the movie was rejected and returned unsuccessfully.

We all laughed. I tried returning it one more time because I wanted to make good on my infantile reaction. Still rejected.

I set it on top of the garbage, hoping she will be charged a dollar a day for the rest of her life for holding us hostage to her acidic personality.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trip To The Oral Surgeon.

So, Parker had two molars extracted today. She hates that word. "Stop saying 'extracted'. It's like pretending my teeth won't be dug out of my gums with tools."

We got there and Parks was knocking her knees all over the place. I would too. I was saying a mantra over and over again in my head. Thank Christ it's not me. Thank Christ it's not me.

Parker interrupted my soothing mantra asking, "Hey! Is the tooth fairy aware of what's going down today? I'm thinking $5 a tooth. This is big time." I think she knows there's no fairy, but doesn't want to risk losing some greenbacks.

So she settled into the dentist chair, surrounded by menacing tools hidden under a sheet. I know what's under there: drills, spiked-hammers, and maybe a few knives. I stood in front of the tray so my kid wouldn't ask what was hiding underneath the cleverly-placed sheet.

Paige thought it was a fucking carnival. "You mean, we get to stay and watch? Will there be snacks? Sweet!" I explained that this was not a movie for which we pay admission and we need to support Parker instead of trying to benefit off the entertainment value of this anxiety-ridden event. I let Paige down gently. "No, we're leaving. The doctors will take good care of your big sister and we'll see her in recovery."

Then the doctor said, "Well mom, if you want to stay while she goes to sleep, she could probably use a hand to hold." Immediately, I mentally protested. "You see, I have OCD and I will obsess about the fact that I saw my daughter get as close to death as I'll ever see and I don't think it will be good for my mental health and it's a weird condition that prevents me from hitting the OFF switch on my brain and doctors think it's genetic, but..."

I told OCD to fuck off and held my daughter's hand. I didn't realize when she fell asleep because her eyes were open, so I kept yapping about how Rocket, our dog, will be waiting for her when she got home and how she'll have ice cream for dinner and we'll watch a movie in the afterno...the doctor cut me off. "She's asleep. We'll take good care of her. We need to get started now." Oh, okie dokie. I'll be out there, then. Far away from my daughter. You know where I'll be if you need me. I'll be sitting in the lobby chewing my fingers off until you get me.

In the recovery room, Parker was basically drunk. So I said, "Girls, listen to me. This is what it looks like to have 10 beers. You're dizzy, groggy and you can't really walk. Decisions are impaired because you can't think clearly. I want you to remember this because it's not fun. Well Parks, you won't remember, but I'll remind you later.

So all in all a good day. Teeth were successfully removed. My daughter was a courageously brave champ. I conquered OCD. And on top of all that, I gave a good lesson on teenage drinking. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Road Trip.

A couple weeks ago the kids and I tagged along with my husband on a business trip. Five hours to Canada. Due to forgetting things, it took four attempts to leave our driveway. The last item being our passports, so thank Christ we remembered those.

We were lucky to get anywhere. We needed to maneuver around tornados, bolts of lightening and sheets of rain. If flaming hoops showed up at the Canadian border, I would not have been surprised.

My husband tailgates. Not the beer-guzzling, classy-hot-dog-in-the-parking-lot kind of tailgating. It's the ramming-our-car-into-another-car's bumper kind of tailgating. Trust me, I'd prefer a beer and hotdog. I always watch the drivers as we pass and more often than not, they flip the bird.

The hubbs refuses to believe he's a rude driver, so I have to come up with sarcastic ways to suggest he back out of the car's anus that is driving in front of us.

"Man, that guy should really get a colonoscopy. He has a polyp on the left side of his anus."

"Gross. Who are you talking about?"

"The driver in front of us. You are currently driving inside of his asshole."

Or

"We must be getting really good gas mileage, that's awesome."

"Why? Why would you say that?"

"Because your front two wheels are literally on top of the car in front of us, forcing them to pull us all the way to Canada. I mean, I don't care, but I would think they would want us to remove our front tires from their skulls."

Then Parker gets worked up..."Who's skull are we on? Dad, what are doing? What's going on?"

After five hours of this banter, we arrived at our destination. Apparently Paige, the yougest, thought we drove to Spain. As we sat down for dinner, the server took our order and Paige yelled, "I had no idea the people in Canada speak ENGLISH! Wow!"

After one night of swimming and movies, we were back on the road. We relied on our GPS even though it drove us to a cornfield. At this point, we were verbally abusing our GPS. "Oh, I'd love to take a left, you piece of shit, but we don't want to drive into a cornfield! You have successfully driven us to a field of nothing, you no-good piece of junk." I was waiting for it to laugh at us. At some point the joke is on us, the idiots, for blindly following it right toward a cornfield. "Well maybe if we just get through the first few rows, there will be a road leading..." Christ.

We may have lost our minds on this trip, but we did gain some good memories and inside jokes that should carry us through the next year or two. Isn't that what it's all about? Memories and being able to laugh at ourselves? That's the good stuff.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sports - And Crazy Fans (Parents).

My daughter's fastpitch team won a tournament last weekend, but the journey to get there was not pretty. All the parents were hysterical nail-biting alcoholics. I somehow morphed into the psychotic cheerleading captain. I found myself yelling, "Okay Parks - make her swing the bat! Blow it by her! Shut her DOWN now!"

Keep in mind the parents of the little 10-year-old batter were sitting on the bleachers next to me while I instruct our pitcher to shut their sweet little bundle of joy down.

Who cares, we had a game to win! I would have painted my face into a fucking White Bear Polar Bear if the opportunity presented itself.

After a couple of games, the parents were ready to share cardiac arrest paddles due to heart palpitations. I swear to God, I had chest pains during one particular inning where a few errors were made. I was ready to watch this game from a stretcher if needed. Christ.

I was yelling, "IT'S OKAY (fuck)! DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT (shit shit shit)! IT'S JUST A GAME (the biggest game of your fucking life)!"

As parents, we came to our senses and realized we needed some beer, bloodies and gin & tonics to calm our nerves. I was ready to start smoking or convulsing to relieve my exposed nerves. After two gallons of Shock Tops, I was ready to be a good, calm little fan. I had my shit together again.

It didn't work. I was worse. When my daughter struck out by watching a strike sail right by her I yelled, "Say WHAT??!! That was perfect!" She turned to me from the fucking batter's box and yelled, "MOM - GOD!"

This required damage control. And self-awareness. And an apology. I stumbled over there with my Shock Top breath and said, "Hey, I'm sorry. I could never do what you're doing out there. I am so out-of-control-crazy-excited, but I will keep a lid on it."

She said, "Yeah. That would be good."

And wasn't that the reason for my insanity? I never could do what any of those girls were doing out there. I was the bookworm, theatre geek in school. I don't have athletic DNA in my body. I don't even own thigh muscles. In fact, and I'm not kidding here, I just pulled a fucking neck muscle while typing this blog.

So I admit it, I was living vicariously through them in complete and total awe. Like a parasite, I dug in and extracted as much of the experience as I could get. I'm not proud of it. Just being honest.

I was honored they allowed me to be a part of their journey to becoming champions (even though they probably would fire me as a fan if they could). I am past my prime and honestly, I never even had a prime, so it's beautiful and fascinating and cool to watch and see how it all happens. That energy of being Top Dog was exhilarating - and I was only feeling the aftershocks of what the actual Top Dogs were feeling. I'm only the mother of a Top Dog.

Although most of the girls on the team had no idea they even won a game. A few of them went up to the coach after one particular shellacking and asked, "That was fun! Did we win?"

Maybe they really are oblivious to the crazed parental hysterics that ensue on the bleachers.

As my daughter would say, "Yeah. That would be good." We have State next weekend, so I'm going to need to learn breathing techniques, buy a muzzle, and take some anti-psychotics in order to maintain a cool, breezy appearance.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Walking Birds.

I'm just going to come right out and say it because I can't figure out how to ease into this blog. My apologies to all bird-owners in case one them described below is you.

My parent's neighbor walks her pet bird. She straps on a "walking cage" and takes it for a walk so it can have fresh air. What is this world coming to when we grab an animal out of the sky and put it in a cage so it can have fresh air? It HAD fresh air (and freedom) before some douche plucked it out of the fucking sky and decided to make it a pet.

Plus, I have to wonder if this woman understands that her pet is not actually receiving exercise. It just sits in the backpack/walking cage. Who fucking invented a walking cage in the first place?

I can't get my head wrapped around this. The animal has wings and is not handicapped in any way, shape or form. Yet it's forced to go on a walk (or actually, just a ride) so it can have fresh air.

If we could have a conversation with a bird, how would it go?

Me: "Hey bird, I see you have wings and all, but why don't you step into this backpack so you can feel the breeze a little better?"

Bird: "Fuck off."

And there's MORE.

My friend "Beth" (I promised anonymity) "bird sat" her neighbors bird. It's kind of like babysitting, but much more demeaning. You see, Beth was asked to shower with the bird so it could have some "fresh water" on its feathers. I'm laughing so hard right now while I type this, so please excuse typos. She placed the bird WITH CLAWS on her fucking shoulder while she showered. This really happened, people. Believe it.

Honestly, wouldn't rain do the same thing? Like, let the godforsaken thing soar in the sky with wind and rain? Why are we trying to replicate nature when it already exists? Isn't that crazy-making behavior?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Other Side Of The *&$!% Birthday.

I bring this on myself, so I'm not sure why I'm always shocked when my daughter's birthday goes down in flames. We're only two hours into the day and in my mind, her perfect special day is shot. By me. I'm so frantic trying to make her day special and perfect that I actually sabotage the already perfect-ness of it all.

It began last night at 3:30 a.m. when my SEVEN-YEAR-OLD who still doesn't sleep through the night woke me up because she was itchy. I'm not saying my kid is a liar, but I think this was a ploy to soak up attention before it all goes to her sister, the birthday girl.

I'm not upset about the waking up part, I'm upset about the not-going-back-to-sleep part. It takes time for this caffeinated beast to find her zen again. I didn't fall back to sleep until 5:00 a.m. because I was running through my list: Shit, do we have vanilla ice cream? need to wrap birthday gifts-where did Derek hide them?, paige wants sports bras, do we have candles?, Paige's sheets ripped - why did they rip - do I need to cut her toenails? why do all menstrual products have an "X" in them? Kotex, Tampax, what's up with that? X marks the spot? Christ, who was in charge of naming menstrual products, a MAN? That makes no sense, why ...

My alarm is set to mexican musak - I have no idea why - so the obnoxious maracas blared at 7:30 a.m. Our usual tradition is to blow up balloons and fill the birthday girl's room with them so she wakes up to a party. Last year I happen to have poster board, so I wrote a sign. This year, we just went with the balloons. The first thing she said this morning was not, "Hey! It's my birthday!" It was, "I thought there would be a sign, so I even checked my closet, but it wasn't there, so ..."

So... what exactly are you saying? Are you saying I fucked up your birthday because I didn't create a sign? Why am I so defensive? Why didn't I make the godforsaken sign???

Moving on. I bought special doughnuts for everyone so we could have a treat for breakfast. I put a candle in Parker's doughnut, then Paige wanted to put a candle in the doughnut, then Paige wanted a candle in HER doughnut, so we argued about that. I sang "Happy [fucking] Birthday" in my best singsong voice even though I only had a nap last night. Paige said, "I don't really like this doughnut - it tastes weird." Derek set his down and said, "Yeah, I'm not feelin' custard-filled today." Parker said, "Sorry, I don't like mine either." So in the trash they go.

Thank God I put a birthday poem in her lunch bag. That will make up for the trashed doughnuts and missing sign.

In my guilt-ridden-wanting-everything-to-be-perfect head, the entire day was quickly going in the trash. Then came the bomb.

I decorated her desk and coat area at school (WITH A SIGN BY THE WAY) with streamers and balloons. That will be a nice surprise. I hope. As I tossed the doughnuts in the trash, Parker said, "So, usually the birthday boy or girl passes out bouncy balls or pencils to celebrate their birthday...did you happen to get anything?" I think my head popped off because she immediately recovered and said, "It's okay if you didn't, I was just wondering."

The motherfucking classroom goody bags. I forgot.

I'm so busy killing myself with the extras that I forgot about the basics. The Classroom Goody Bag (which technically, I consider an extra, but seemingly has become one of the basics). I think I need a goody bag filed with a massage and bottle of wine.

And the real basic, the ONLY basic that matters is that I want her to remember this day as a happy, relaxed day. Instead, she's going to remember her mother ranting and raving about having no sleep, rushing to CVS for bullshit bouncy balls, and trying to fit in a shower before everyone arrives tonight. Instead of celebrating ten years old, she's going to remember trying to calm down her lunatic mother. That's not fair.

So I'm going to flip my thinking to the other side of the birthday. She doesn't need anything special and perfect - she already IS special and perfect. I just need to sit back and cherish her, rather than worry about all the things I'm not doing right. A hug is always right. A kiss on the head is better than a stupid doughnut.

It's not WHAT I do, it's HOW I do it. That is what creates the feeling, the memory, of a very special day indeed. Happy Birthday Parker Sue!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Bad Did I Screw Them Up?

My friend Molly and I had Happy Hour a few weeks ago. As we drained the last of our Summit Pale Ale's she said, "Have you ever realized that everyone you dated in high school has never been married?"

Wait, what? What did she just say? Is that even possible?

I ordered another round of beers to numb this epiphany. I said, "What about Jon? The one I went to Homecoming with in '88, surely he's marrie..."

"No."

"What about Pat? I think he WAS married, maybe he's just divorced."

"No, never married. He is dating a married woman though, if you want to count that." What did she just say? An ex-boyfriend of mine is dating a married woman? What on earth did I teach these boys-now-men about love and relationships that would encourage this type of fucked-up behavior?!

I drained my beer in about four gulps. "No c'mon, this has nothing to do with me." But I can't deny the fact that every person I dated in high school is still single. Not one has even attempted marriage. Not one. Pat, Troy, David, Brad, John, Jon, Erik..."

This is my make-out list. Was I a shitty kisser? Is that how this happened? Why are they all still single? We're fucking FORTY and half of them aren't even in a steady relationship (or a healthy one in the matter of the one dating a married woman).

I have no idea what to make of this, but I can't deny the oddness of it all. Everyone I dated in high school is single. Was I that traumatic, dramatic, high maintenance, and controlling? Jesus. I don't know if I can handle the answer to that.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Naivete at forty.

Today I'm 40. And I'm still naive. Apparently, it's who I am. I try to be "street smart", but it seems that the more experience I experience, the less I know.

Take for instance last summer. The hubbs and I were hanging out on our friend's patio having a couple beers. Some were smoking and I noticed one of them pounding their cigarette on the table to get the nicotine down to the top. I'm not a smoker, but I have a weird obsession with smokers. They own a rebellion I've ever experienced. It's this mentality like, "Fuck cancer, I like it. So I do it." I've never been able to think that way.

Anyway, so on our walk home I said, "Wow, they were smoking some stale cigarettes. Those things were clanking on the table when they were tapping them."

My husband said, "Oh sweetie. I love you. Those weren't cigarettes. It was pot." What? I was surrounded by drugs? In my hometown suburb???

Later, we shared this story with our neighbors. They said, "Well, Mary Jane never hurt anyone."

"Who's Mary Jane?"

"You are fucking kidding me."

That's when my husband stepped in to defend my [apparently fragile] reputation. "She's not kidding. It's her charm." God bless him.

The conversation went on for hours about how I'm pretending to be clueless with my husband explaining that I'm for real and it's not an act.

I put this to the test when my sister Kim came over. I needed to know if it was just me or if our entire family was sheltered to the point of isolation from street slang.

I said, "I'm so embarrassed, we were hanging out with friends the other night and I just learned what Mary Jane is."

She said, "Why, is Mary Jane really a man?"

"No. It's slang for marijuana."

"Oh. Well, I just found out what gahnge is."

"What's that?"

"Pot."

My husband couldn't take it anymore and left the kitchen.

And even as I write this, I had to google "gahnge" to learn how to spell it.

And apparently I still have it wrong because the definition of gahnge is, "An Irish term for a complete idiot."

That aptly sums it up.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Un-Perfect.

Yeah, I went there. I totally bombed my entrance into motherhood and wrote a book about it. Today I thought I would take the time to include some excerpts from the book. These are raw and unedited, so they may technically be, "Un-Pretty". The book is written like a journal, since it's based on my actual real journal entries while bumbling through postpartum OCD, depression and psychosis. In short, I lost my mind.

5/23/00
I cannot believe I've kept my daughter alive for four whole days. I don't sleep. Instead, I check her chest to make sure she's breathing. I do this all night long. If she doesn't move, I tickle her or push her shoulder so she'll squirm around and prove to me she's still living. This usually backfires on me because she wakes up and wants to eat. So I race back into the bedroom and pretend I'm sleeping, so Derek will get up and feed her. I don't want to feed her because she spits up so much - I worry she's going to choke and die. She spits up so much that I've resorted to dressing her in bikini because pulling a puked-on onesie over her head requires a bath. I suck at being a mom.


6/23/01
Why does everyone have it better than me? They all have these happy, shiny live and every day is a struggle for me. It's not that I want their actual live, but I want their confidence, peace, and joy. How do I get that? They're totally at ease with everything and I'm not. That would make me at "dis-ease". I have a disease then, so what the fuck is it? "Un-Joy"? Is that what I suffer from? "Un-Perfect"? Is that what I'm supposed to tell a doctor? That I'm feeling "Un-Perfect"? Give me a break.

8/3/01
It's so weird. I don't look broken. The world is trained to look at the physical nature of things like a fractured arm, thinning hair, a broken neck. We're accustomed to find and fix only things we can see and touch. What about a fractured spirit? There is physical measurement of success. With an arm, the doctor can x-ray it and show the patient how well it healed. No one can x-ray my head to prove that all the psycho babble was removed. No one can grab a sickening, terrifying thought and extract it from my thinking.

9/2/01
Going to work while suicidal is really distracting. I stare at the Foshay Building all day wondering how I can jump from it. Then I have people yapping around my desk, gossiping about stupid petty shit. To these people I say, "If I want you to have a front row seat to my life, I will invite you to take a seat. Otherwise, please be quiet. I'm trying not to kill myself today and you're making it almost impossible."

So there you have it. Just a few sips of the book. I'm proud of it. I like that humor is woven into the content because there were some oddly funny bits and pieces along the way of that wicked journey.

This is a shameless plug to promote "Un-Perfect." If you would like to Pre-Order a copy, please click the book cover in the right margin. Each person to pre-order will receive a Good Energy Onesie (you can see these cute little things on www.evolutionmom.com under the "Evo Products" tab. Scheduled release date: May 31, 2010.

P.S.
I can't BELIEVE I'm an author. An official author. Holy shit.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Portion size.

I went to McDonalds the other day with the kids. I get the Big Mac because the "slop" covers up the fact that I'm eating Grade D meat.

Anyway, I ordered a medium pop to wash down the burger and what I got was a tank of pop. It didn't even fit in the cup holder in my car. The straw looked like a dildo and my arm hurt during the "pass off" between the employee and me.

It barely fit through the window of my car for crissake. If I spilled it, I could've drowned in Coke. I was getting nervous.

Here's my million dollar question:
If that's a Medium, what does the Large look like?
Do they tap a fucking vein and run an IV directly into my bloodstream?
What is happening to portion size?
Can our bodies even handle that much sugar?

Jesus Christ, I felt like I was on speed after drinking half of that keg.

And listen, if I'm going to drink a keg of liquid, it's going to beer. Not Coke.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Books Are My Drugs.

I want to slap our local librarian. And she probably wants to slap me back.

Here's the deal. I'm a book addict and the library is my dealer. I get irritable and shaky if I don't get my fix. I usually race into the library in a frenzy, biting my nails off, hoping to find that perfect line. Currently, I'm running low on books, so I stopped there today. I haven't showered and probably looked a little stir crazy, which could explain the cold reception.

It started off bad. I noticed the cork board in the entrance and thought it would be a great place to advertise my website or workshops. I wasn't even going to ask, but the library makes me go into "Good Girl" mode, so I did the right thing. I asked. And the answer irritated me. "Everything on the cork board is approved by me. I'll determine if it's suitable."

I was pissed. Who says I can't take a couple of push pins and display a parenting workshop? Give me a break. I'm not advertising porn.

Here's where this deal really goes south: I'm not a good paying client. I don't return my shit on time, so they withhold the goods to punish me. She said, "You owe $74.63 for Aristotle, Kierkegaard, and Jung. I was gettin' my kicks on philosophy a few months ago. I was "philosophizing" as I called when I was deep in the high. But now I'm desensitized. I need harder product, like "Finding Alice" and "Burn Journals", but this lady in a Pooh vest was refusing my "drug" of choice.

What a bitch.

I said, "Listen, my husband paid up last week. We're clean, man. We're clean."

"Do you have a receipt?"

I hate that question. I never keep a receipt. She knows this and just wanted to rub it in my face. She was holding my stack of books like a vertical line of coke. I was shaking, reaching for them, just wanting to touch the covers.

She said, "You can't check these out. You even have fees from 1992."

I had to check my license to see if I was even born in '92. Fucking, '92?

I said, "Oh, come on. Listen, I've seen your ledger. It's in pencil. Can't you just erase it?"

She declined the "erasing-of-the-ledger" solution.

So I left without my fix. All those books are just sitting there on the library counter in the HOLD section, waiting for me to inhale, inject, and devour. But the dealer in a Pooh vest got in the way. Caught in the crossfire, as they call it.

So here I sit. Basically sucking my thumb until the withdrawl is over. I may need to raid my daughter's shelf and read Potter. Again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dog With No Manners.

I think it might be a good idea to have someone invent the Invisible Fence for inside of a home. That warning beep on their neck would be helpful around my cabinets, chairs, underwear, and shoes.

And of course all of my daughter's stuffed animals he massacres on a daily basis. If he gets a hold of her American Girl doll, he's toast. Not because Paige cares, she doesn't give a shit about Chrissa, but I spent a ridiculous $100 on that fucking doll. That's another blog.

Anyway, I'm home all day writing a book. You'd think that would be enough for a dog that I give him random head scratchies and kisses throughout the day, but not Rocket. One day I was too busy for him and he turned into a pouting 13 year old boyfriend whose girlfriend has better things to do than make out under the bleachers.

I came downstairs to find mayhem. A chair ripped apart, a spit-soaked glove, a stuffed animal brutally murdered and toilet paper strewn all over the house. He toilet papered my home. And there was no remorse. He was sitting there like the King of Shit challenging me. Oh, you want to throw it down, momma? I'll turn you into that shredded toilet paper over there.

I kicked him and his badass attitude outside.

But here's what kills me. Since he doesn't have opposable thumbs he can't help pick it up. That's bullshit. Someone should develop tiny gloves with prosthetic thumbs for these little fuckers. We all know that if you make the mess you help clean it up. Yet, mysteriously dogs are exempt from that rule due to a missing thumb. And possibly a brain.

And here's the part where it gets really stupid. After everything was clean, I let him in and hugged him. What can I say? He's my little meatloaf with legs.

p.s.
Spring is coming which means the dog is outside more. Which means if you don't have an Invisible Fence, you risk losing your dog or having him/her run into the streets. Cars and dogs don't mix. If you're considering a dog fence, you may want to save a crapload of money and DIY. Click here for more information: Dog Fences. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wardrobe Criticism.

I came downstairs today and the reaction from my daughters, ages 9 and 7, threw me for a loop.

What are you wearing?

Why are you wearing that?

Your boobs are hanging out.

It's just so much SKIN...


I looked down to make sure I didn't accidentally put on my dominatrix role-playing outfit. Nope, just a harmless v-neck t-shirt. And actually, since the original one I put on was too low, I put another t-shirt underneath the first one. I'm covered for crissake. No sign of bra straps or nipples. Not a glimpse of an areola.

I said, "What? I'm wearing two shirts. What is the deal?"

They said, "Well, other men might see you."

What the fuck? Other men might see me? I looked around to confirm that indeed, we didn't uproot our family and move to the Middle East during the night. All clear. Still in Minnesota.

This is a bit of a shock because my favorite wardrobe is a button down shirt and jeans. Always has been, always will be. It's simply who I am. And I button it up to the second button, barely exposing my throat. So I guess this is the reason for the wardrobe criticism coming from the kitchen table.

One of them even tried hiking the shirt up a bit while hugging me. My choice of clothing was a serious offense to my children. They didn't come right out and say it, but I think they were concerned I'd throw on some boots and do some street-walkin'.

I said, "Guys, you do realize I'm still a woman. I didn't become a wooden plank with legs after birthing both of you. I actually have a body underneath my button down shirts. You understand that, right?"

They weren't buying it. To them, I was becoming a pole dancer right in front of their eyes. You have to understand, this reaction would not have been more intense if I came downstairs in a bikini with fishnets and stilettos, smoking a cigarette.

I'm not sure what to make of this other than my kids like me the way I am. They don't want me to be a model or posh dresser. They just want their mom. In her button down shirts. Conservative as hell. But that's truly who I am anyway. I just thought I'd make use of a t-shirt I haven't worn in five years.

Forgive me, my daughters, for trying to take a shot at being a little more sexy. For wanting to shed my button down shirt and/or fleece jacket (zipped to the neck). I'm almost 40 and need to remember that I actually do still have a body and every once in a while, I choose a garment that is a little out of my comfort zone just to see if I can make it work. I won't do it again for another five years.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stop The Ride.

I seem to have issues on amusement park rides. Yesterday we went to a little place called Mall Of America. It has an indoor amusement park so what the hell, why not. It's freezing and we deserve to go on a ride in February just like the rest of the world, dammit.

My daughter and I were on "The Collider." Sounds menacing, but it's not. Inside the little car it clearly stated, "If you raise your hand, we will stop the ride for you."

There it is. A stupid rule I'm forced to obey.

I don't love rules. Especially a bullshit rule like that. Everyone raises their hands on rides, waving to their parents or giving the peace sign to the little people below. There's something about soaring 25 feet above everyone else that makes me feel superior and entitled to my own rules. Besides, I didn't think the sixteen year old running the ride gave a rat's ass about anything other than nursing his hangover.

Wrong.

I was pretending ride a bull, raising and lowering my left arm while Parker kept saying, "Mom, they're going to stop the ride. Put your arm down." I said, "Oh c'mon, there is no way..."

"MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. YOUR RIDE IS NOT OVER. WE ARE TEMPORARILY STOPPING THE RIDE AND WILL RE-START AFTER ALLOWING A GUEST OFF."

I was getting kicked off the fucking "Collider" at Mall of America. I looked over to my daughter who said, "Seriously. You just had to do the bull." I scrambled out of the cart as fast as I could and reached my husband who asked, "What happened? Why was the ride cut short?"

Let's just move, let's get out of here, it's no big deal...

Parker said, "Mom had to pretend she was riding a bull, so the guy thought she wanted to get off. Nice."

All the parents were staring at me now. What kind of parent causes so much ruckus on a ride for seven year olds? Me, apparently. I meant no harm, honestly. I just don't like people telling me what I can and cannot do. It has the opposite effect on me, creating a desire so fierce, I can't help but test the boundaries.

In this case, the boundaries were not negotiable. And maybe, come to think of it, I should obey the rules and show my kids that they are made for our safety and comfort, instead of testing each and every one of them.

As much as it pains me, I think I'll swallow my need to overthrow the Big Man Who Makes Rules and relax and enjoy the ride. I know my daughter would definitely appreciate the ride lasting a lot longer than 1.2 minutes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dry Humor.

Dry Humor is defined as: "A form of comic delivery in which humor is presented without a change in emotion or facial expression, usually speaking in a monotonous manner."

My humor can be very, very dry indeed. So dry, in fact, often people think I'm either incredibly stupid or incredibly rude. Rarely funny though, except for my beloved husband, who laughs along with me (sometimes). Thank God.

It would make for a difficult marriage if he didn't understand that I'm brilliant and simply making fun of mundane shit.

I attached our favorite Bud Light commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJOeaHK340U), "The Swear Jar." The best part is the woman asking for a pen, so I tend to become her real life. Channeling other characters makes me worry a bit about my stability, but whatever. There are worse things in life than laughing at stupid shit.

For example, we were recently in the Dominican, a business trip for my husband. Sitting at the table I said, "Will you pass the fucking water?" to the hubbs and I got a few glances. They thought I was seriously rude to him. Or at the pool as he walked away, I said, "Can you get me a fucking towel?

The woman lying next to me looked at me like, "You got two broken legs, diva?" She was ready to throw me down, so I assured her it was a joke. I laughed and said, "It's an inside joke. Kind of our thing."

She didn't believe me.

I do love imitating Penelope from Saturday Night Live. The classic one-upper. "So I'm more on time than you are, in fact I own time, and all the minutes in it, soooooo..."

Then of course there's the celebrity fake-out. When the hubbs and I watch movies I always say with great confidence, "God, I didn't know Sandra Bullock could be dark. She's great in this movie." He gets all fired up and says, "Seriously? Kelly, that is not Sandra Bullock, it's Hilary Swank. How could you think that's Sandra Bullock, they are nothing alike at all."

To not know celebrities is a personal offense to a lot of people, especially my husband. We'll be walking down the street and I'll say in all monotoned seriousness, "Is that Vince Vaugn" and he'll snap his around looking for Vince, then exasperated, he'll say, "I hate you."

But he's catching on and I love it. We were standing in line at the airport and he saw a beautiful blonde woman. He leaned in to me and said, "Check it out, Elin Nordegren is on our flight. Sweet." The man in front of him looked at him like, "What a dick. He thinks Elin Nordegren is taking a public Delta flight."

See? And THAT my friend, is what makes dry humor so funny.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bathroom Anxiety.

Let me lay the scenario out for you: There were ten bathrooms at the airport, all of which were empty. I happened to walk in with someone behind me, so I picked a stall that would provide space between us. Etiquette, right?

But this random traveler didn't want space. She snuggled right into the stall next to me. For God's sake, our feet were almost touching.

Then the stage fright set in, so I started the "toilet paper game." This is when I pull more and more toilet paper from the roll in order to make noise to buffer any unwanted sounds.

She was just sitting there, not even flushing. Was she fucking meditating in the can? So there we were, two strangers in our stalls, afraid to make some doo-doo.

That's when I pulled the 'ol "fake tampon" trick. Again, it's a noisemaker, so my neighbor can feel comfortable doing her job and get the hell out of there so I can do mine. I lifted up the tampon disposal thing and dropped it, so she could think I actually accomplished something.

And why the hell do I care what this strange, fellow pooper thinks of me? Why am I going to all this trouble to make her feel comfortable when she was the one that sidled up next to me?

So I leaned down to check her shoes. Red pumps. Why is this important? I don't know, but it is. And don't pretend you haven't done this. When I worked in advertising, we'd report to each who was doing dirty business in the ladies room all the time.

I'd be working feverishly on a spreadsheet when my friend would rush up and say, "Someone with black patent pumps is blowing ass in the can. I couldn't breathe." So we'd spend all day investigating everyone's shoes to see who the offending pooper was.

It provided some excitement and it helped to know that a bitchy colleague poops just like every other person on this planet.

Back to the airport. My stall neighbor and I were out-waiting each other until we were forced to either shit or get off the pot. Literally. The boarding call for all rows was upon us. I "fake-flushed" and moved to the end of the row of stalls so I could do my thing in semi-privacy. There was no way I was getting stuck on a plane without completing my mission.

We washed hands at the same time and I withheld my need to say, "Congratulations. You out-waited me, which prompted a panic attack and required me to change stalls. Thanks, Red."

To which she would reply, "You have issues."

Aaaaaaand she'd be right.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Video Games.

Look, we have two daughters, so video games are new to us. We obviously can't handle this category of play because we're ready to rip each other's heads off. I almost threw my Wii remote across the room during a tantrum screaming, "Paige! JUMP. NOW! Who's Mario and why aren't you waiting for the rest of us? Who's Luigi? Stop PUSHING me into the fiery depths of lava! Oh, this game is the WORST! Okay, let's go again."

I'm sure I'd appear more intelligent if I was an ape scratching my ass on a rock.

I took a deep breath, collected my sanity and said, "I'm more evolved than this. I'm choosing to remove myself from this infuriating situation."

The definition of addiction is, being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming. So it's official. All four of our family members are addicted to the Mario Brothers video game.

As I type this blog, my daughters are screaming at each other downstairs. "GOOOOOOO!!! Why aren't you jumping!!?! Stop pushing me!" Truly, this is a loophole whereby they have persmission to kick each other's asses and kill each other without going to jail.

This video game is tearing our family apart. Even my husband is insane. I can't count the times he's yelled, "AHHHH! This game is SO FRUSTRATING!" He almost started crying. One night, he claimed that no one was going to bed until we beat Bowser and he didn't care if we had to stay up until 2 am to complete the mission and get to World Eight.

That was Tuesday night. A school night. Luckily, we defeated the stupid fucking cartoon character and went to bed by 9:00 pm.

This game is bringing out the worst in all of us. We're screaming, scolding, and accusing, but we can't stop. Because when we do beat that stupid Bowser, we literally jump up with joy and hug as if we won the World Cup.

Defition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I better saving up piles of money to pay for our children's therapy sessions. They're going to need it.

Off to head downstairs to serve up some consequences for treating each other with disrespect. This is what it will sound like: "Paige, you'll be sitting out the next game because you purposely pushed your sister into the lava and killed her. And you yelled at her while doing it. I will not tolerate such blatent disrepect. You guys are acting like apes. Unevolved apes."

Deep breath. Deep breath. Deep breath. Maybe I'll leave out the part about acting like apes. I can't blame them. After all, sadly, they learned it from their parents.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fruit.

Fruit is served at every morning business meeting, right? There's usually one chocolate doughnut tossed on the platter to placate the idiot that hasn't caught on to healthy living yet.

This is me.

For once, I'd love to see a platter of sugary doughnuts and Diet Coke (which my friend calls "Diet Cancer", taking away all enjoyment of the refreshing soda). I say we kick off the day loaded with sugar; We'll get shit done twice as fast until we crash at lunchtime. Then settle in for a nap. Done.

Needless to say, this never happens, so I'm left with an empty plate. This invites The Interrogation:

"What, are you hungover? Why aren't you eating?"
"I don't like fruit."
"What do you mean 'You don't like fruit', how can you not like fruit?"
"I don't like it."
"What about strawberries?"
"Absolutely not."

By now, I've gained the interest of about ten other meeting attendees and they're joining in to see if they can be the one to uncover the one golden fruit that I enjoy. Screw the meeting, they've got a fruit-hater on their hands. It's like a personal assault to people, as if they fucking invented fruit.

"What about pineapple? Everyone loves pineapple."
"No, I really don't. It's okay on pizza or chicken, I guess."
"You can't eat fruit with meat. That's like, illegal."
"Well then, I'm guilty."
"Okay, watermelon. You can't beat watermelon on a hot day."

This goes on until the entire list of every fruit is exhausted. Why is it such an offense to detest fruit? Why is this information so upsetting to folks?

Even my kids can't believe it. "Mom, how you refuse an orange? Are you going to die because you're not eating healthy? You should eat fruit." There is a problem when children are trying to get their mother to eat fruit and not the other way around.

So to clear things up, here's where the fruit trauma began: I tried eating kiwi once and my throat started closing up and I was rushed to the hospital. So here's how my brain comprehends fruit: "Eat fruit and die." Nice.

And with that, I will say to all meeting planners in this world: Thank you for ordering that one chocolate doughnut for breakfast meetings. I appreciate it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Spin Doctor.

I am a DJ when it comes to driving my car. My daughter Paige is the Spin Doctor barking orders from the backseat:

"Mom, #5. Turn it up."
"Mom, start #6 over, Parker was talking to me."
"Mom, you're singing the wrong lyrics. Again. Stop singing."

I can barely concentrate since I'm so busy switching out cd's and changing the songs. But let's face it, I'm fucking grateful we're done with the Back Yardigans. As you can see from the video, I rather enjoy Hannah Montana, or Miley Cyrus, or whateverthehellhernameisnow. She's big enough to just become a symbol now. Like Prince.

The point is this: Errands blow ass.

And there's no escaping them. The family needs chicken, milk and cereal. The household needs toilet paper. Science projects require poster board. So why not crank the tunes and make errands less painful? Rock on dude.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Proposal To Airlines From An Anxious Flyer.

I'm writing this blog on my flight home from the Dominican during a total and complete panic attack. Sweaty armpits and all.

While chewing gum like a fucking ape, I'm surveying the state of all flight attendents. They look terrified. I'm certain one of them just got off the phone with one of the pilots: "We're going down in a heap of flames. Just keep everyone calm for their last hour of life." I swear I overheard this conversation while waiting to pee. I woke my husband up to break the news. He looked at me like I was a crack addict.

But I don't find this anxiety irrational. Not while I'm in the middle of it, anyway. I see it as fear of breaking a promise to our daughters. I promised I would be here for them when they need me. I promised that I will never leave them. I promised to take care of them even when I'm old and gray. I fucking promised I'd be home on Friday (today).

As a plane crashes, broken promises burn up in the air too, don't they?

No one else seems concerned with this shit. They're reading papers, typing on computers, playing cards and in the case of my husband...sleeping. Why isn't anyone else on this plane worried that the Grim Reaper is sitting in seat 12C? My husband is fucking sleeping. To him, this is nothing more than a car ride to Cub Foods. Why can't his peaceful slumber be contagious?

What the hell is that clunking noise? Is the metal ripping off for crissakes?

I propose a drunk tank on planes. Get rid of First Class, which is really only a bullshit attempt to make people feel superior, and use that space for a soundproof tank for anxious flyers. We should board first and have a flight attendant sing lullabies and serve tequila shots. I see nothing wrong with this scenario.

Why does it sound like the engine just cut out? What if it doesn't start again?

In fact, airlines should board according to anxiety instead of rows:
"If you involuntarily grab people's legs during bumps, you may board now." Yes, I've done this.
"If you yell, 'What the fuck was that!?' during take-off and landing, you may board the Drunk Tank now." Yes, I've done this too.
"If you are pretending calm, when in fact you're terrified, you may board The Tank now."

I see no problem sedating anxious flyers. It's legal; Dentists do it. Why couldn't they serve laughing gas instead of pop and juice? I'd pay a hefty $50 for a hit right now.

Oh Christ, we're starting to descend through stormy clouds. Is it fucking mandatory to drop 500 feet while flying through a cloud??

Oh what a beautiful sight. I can see the sparkling nighttime lights of Minneapolis. Okay, now I'm back to sound mind and body again. To all the strangers I've grabbed on a plane, I apologize. Especially to the 21 year old sitting next to me right now. I know this is your second flight and I shouldn't have pointed out every knock, bump, and bang. It is involuntary.

I mean no harm, I swear. Which reminds me, I'm also sorry for swearing while you tried sleeping next to me. I know I woke you every time I muttered, "Shitwhatthefuckwasthat!?" several times throughout the flight.

Again, I'm truly sorry. I'm a good person, I'm just a shitty flyer.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pet Names.

As I sat in the vet's office the other day, I heard the doctor call out appointments for various patients: Sprinkles, Darla, and Killer. Killer was a chihuahua no larger than a tampon with legs. I almost stepped on him upon entering the clinic.

But I loved the witty irony. I come from a family that has fun with pet names. My sister's last name is Knapp, so they named their dog Taka. Take a nap. Anyway, it got me thinking of other names that would be a fun twist on identifying my pet.

I came up with "Grandma". I think it would be so much fun to be screaming at my dog at the park, "Grandma! Get the frisbee!" Or sitting at the dinner table with guests and telling my husband that Grandma pooped in living room again.

Or when she ran away, we could be yelling down the street and asking people if they saw Grandma sprinting through their yards. "Goddammit", I'd say in an exasperated tone. "Grandma is always trying to escape. She runs like the fucking wind."

When the Invisible Fence trainer arrived with a collar my husband could say, "Honey, go get Grandma. We need to make sure this collar fits nice and snug."

Dogs don't care what their name is as long as they're loved and fed. Why not have some fun with it?

My new motto is this: "Life is funny. Enjoy the ride while finding the deeper lessons offered in it." Yes, we can be serious and passionate about our life purpose, but shouldn't we laugh along the way?

And having a dog named Grandma would make me laugh every single day. That might be worth another dog purchase, although I don't know if our bulldog named Rocket would agree. He would probably try to kick Grandma's ass for stealing all our attention.