News


Archive

Home Base


BINKY ME BAD

Have you ever been in a total rush and just as you are heading for the door you can't find your phone. Or maybe it's your car keys. Yes. Let's say your keys because with a phone you can still leave but if you can't find your keys then you are truly and royally screwed. Walking thirty miles to a doctor appointment in half an hour is just not going to happen. So on the first sweep of the house you go to your sacred spots: the table next to the bed, the pocket of the jacket you wore yesterday or maybe the little bowl next to the radio in the kitchen that you put there thinking it would be cute to leave your keys there but you never really leave your keys there because life is not ever as cute as we imagine it. Bowl, pocket, table and the little metal elves that are car keys just can't be found. Then you go back around one more time because maybe, just maybe, in your crazed haste, you overlooked the radio spot and they are sitting there smoking a marlboro, and listening to some Rolling Stones. Nope. Second time around you look and they are still not there.

You now go from panicked to pissed off. You clench your jaw and embark upon the crackhead spot check. Outside by the hose. In the medicine cabinet. Next to the detergent for the wash. Or my personal favorite, on the second shelf of the refridgerator in the egg drawer.  Just as round three comes up empty handed you look by the chair you were sitting on a half hour ago and there they are, draped around Thomas the Train's neck. It seems your fashion conscious two year old wanted Thomas to release his inner Adam Ant. You breath, grab the keys and vow to get a second and third set made immediately. Well this is what I go through every day of my life but it is not for my keys. It is for a much darker, deeper physical nemesis: the binky.

My first son was scheduled for everything.  I followed the the now hated copy of  the "perfect baby" book to the letter. Baby boot camp? I was on the floor doing twenty. So when chapter six told us to ditch the binky by the first birthday we basically let him blow out the candle on his cake and then ripped it from his cold, sticky, baby hands. Ahhh first time parents. Brutal.

Five years later our second child arrived and houston, we had a problem. This kid was basically insanely sucky. That's the term the nurses used when they brought him to our room. You have a sucky baby. Or maybe they were just trying to tell me that my baby sucked. That I had a crappy baby but that would have been really mean of them considering that I felt like someone had just field punted my uterus. So, our second baby was a hoover. Every time he tried to suck his hand he looked like Ozzy Ozborne trying to catch a bat on acid. Along came the binky. It was love at first suck. Day, evening, morning, night. Binky, binky, binky. Oh the joy. Oh they quiet! Everyone was happy and my son's future orthodontist was already putting a down payment on a condo in Boca Raton for the amount of damage we would have to unravel in the years to come.

Then in a moment of pure genius I decided to adopt a dog. Who was part flat coat retriever, part binky assasin. It took me about three months of truly questioning my sanity till I figured out that the dog was burying them in the backyard. Yes. On halloween some people fear zombies but my dog should fear binkys because someday all 200 of them are going to crawl out of their shallow dirt grave and attack that furry beast to death. At least that's what I like to envision when from time to time. Don't get me wrong, I'm an animal lover. No. really I am. I adopted her for krypes sake (and completly know why she got to the pound in the first place. IN. SANE.) But that said, I would totally help her if the zombie binkys took her down. Really. I would. I mean, I'd have to enjoy a good five minutes of watching them attack her but in the end  I would totally save her. Scouts honor.


So. Yes. Where was I?


The keys. The binky. Losing my mind. So my two year old now likes to say "BINTY! BINTY!" on a daily basis.  Yes, the quiet period was back ended. Now he screams if he can't find it, (BINTY!) he screams if he loses it (BINTY!)or he screams if he throws it to the bottom of the car floor and then cannot understand why it doesn't crawl back up to him like a lost starving gerbil (BAD BINTY!). Damn dormant stay on the floor binty! I now live in Binky hell and when I see our dog jostling a fresh one around in her mouth like a menthol halls it takes every fiber in my beaten body to muster up a sweet voice and tell her to "bring it to mommy". She wags her tail and strikes a 'catch me if you can' pose. My eyes darken three shades and I tell her I will skin her alive if she doesnt bring it over so she quickly drops it and then calls up the other dogs in town and tells them that I have post pardem. She is such a bitch.

At this point I am pretty sure that I have spent my sons entire college tuition on binkys in the last year (it was a state school but still.. you'd be amazed at how expensive they've gotten!) and beyond that COUNTLESS hours searching for these damn things. It's the search that has really gotten to me. Under the crib. Behind the couch. In the bins of toys. By the hose. In the fridge. Pillows, tubs, car seats. I am sooooooo over it. those little fuckers taunt me. They disappear just when you need them and then later that night crawl out from under the crib and dance around like drunk immigrants having a party in the belly of the Titanic. I swear I have to start getting organic binkys. They just knit and sip chamomile tea when you can't find them.

So now we have bambino numero tres. She, like her middle brother, is just completely sucky and super annoyed by her spazmatic hands. And really, really, really loud. She is an absolute doll to look at but man I'd rather listen to a Kathie Lee Gifford album than hear her cry when she is getting her crank on. It's not pretty and  beyond tempting to whip out the bink when she starts wailing. So quick. So clean. I now know how the sailors felt when they heard the sirens... just do it.. just do it... use the binky.

So today is a new day. I am letting her find her hands. Calming her with my voice or my arms. Giving her what she needs with my body and not some pacifier.  My anti binky friends told me this all along. That the child needs to figure out how to soothe itself BY itself. That it takes time and patience and eventually she wills suck her thumb or the chrome off the side of her stroller. Either will do. Tonight as I started hunting around for her baby binky and looked under her crib, under the blanket and then eventually found one tucked under her little baby butt I just thought, 'It has to stop. I cannot spend the next two years of my life looking for these things like this'.

I left the room determined to let her work it out. A life free of chasing the elusive bink. Then she cried. I came into the room and cooed to her. A short time passed and she started wailing so I picked her up. A rock of the arms a coo. Silence. Ahhh. and then .. the onslaught. Wild crying, flailing arms, kicking legs and trying desperately to suck her hand but basically slapping her own face in the process. I tried to steer the hand into the mouth. Whoa nelly. Not having it. A total baby freak out.

I  couldn't do it. In 15 minutes I broke down and popped the binky in. She calmed right down. Why? Because I am old and tired. I WANT A BINKY but the only 'binky' that exists for me would half way kill me or making me end up in a ragged tent at Burning Man with a chick dressed up as a dust covered apocalyptic unicorn telling me how the dawn will unleash my inner bullion cube.  Exactly. So. She can have it. So can the two year old. Bliss out baby. I got your back. Suck away. Suck it all away. This big bad world won't get you as long as there is a binky and a dream and a mom to find the damn thing half the time.

 


ALL HAIL THE STALE GINGERALE

I am starting to understand my mother and this, on many levels, scares me. I grew up in a middle class family that fed and clothed four kids with the help of Pathmark Nofrills Cornflakes and the occasional Debbies Little Cookie Snack called Star Crunchies or something to that effect. We ate three square meals a day but 'snacks' were not huge in my house. A pear. A carrot. Hey! Look. A dented orange. Cut it in half and see what you can salvage. Apples with Peanut Butter? You're just crazy. I mean...common. That is one step short of madness. Graham Crackers were big treats. Until you ate about 40 of them at one time because you were catching up for lost time. By the 10th one your mouth was dry and it was pretty obvious that it had to be a saltine cracker disguised as a cookie. The Star Crunchies were however sweet, moist in the middle, indeed crunchy, definitely cheap and full of so much shit that I will not be surprised if my dead ashes glow 500 years from now in outerspace. However the ultimate money saver in our house was the reserved bottle of Gingerale that my mom stashed at the bottom of our kitchen cupboard. We never touched it. We didn't have to because at some point in our search for something sugary and sweet, in a house just short of gnawed wood table corners, we would crack open the hidden gingerale and take a swig just to reconfirm how awful it was. You see gingerale in our house was always flat. Not like 'kind" of flat or "slightly fizzy"... like flat-flat. Like flatter than a Malaysian hooker flat. Yeah. That flat.
Years later, when we were all adults, we would questions her. 'Why Mom, why?' it was just borderline insanity. Did she even know it was flat? Hell yes she did and drum roll please, the flatness was INTENTIONAL. In the late hours while we all lay sleeping, she would creep down the stairs, curlers in hair and crack the top with a slightly wicked smile on her face. She never resealed it properly, just enough to keep dust out but ensure that it lost its fizzy punch. There was a method to her madness. "When you have four children there is no ability to 'hide' something or even 'share' things. If you want something to yourself then, you have to take extreme measures." Flat soda was in some way a victory for my mother over my two teenage milk chugging brothers, my sister and my tiny tim self.  I'm sure she sat there on very hot days sipping her chilled glass of flat gingerale slowly and with a smile on her face. 'Those bastards.' She would think. 'They haven't won yet.'

Today we are at the end of a heat wave. I am 8 plus months pregnant with about 6 weeks to go. The ninth month is full incase you don't know, which most people don't so when I tell them I am 8 months pregnant they are like "Wow! Due any day!". No. I am not. I am due in another month and a half because the nineth month is full. They don't tell you that when they stick the penis in. ANYWAY. So its like a hundred billion degrees outside and I currently have no seperation between my shoulders and my thighs. I am two steps shy of a walking bag of twenty five lb. dog food if you will. I currently have a 7 year old and a 21 month toddler so I know that you are immediately thinking "GOOD TIMES!". Yeah. That's sarcasism for any of you single folk out there. While I have been taking pretty good care of myself I do have one craving that won't go away. Dark chocolate dipped Haagen Daz ice cream bars (how far I've come from my graham cracker kubbard ways. One bite of ice cream and I feel like the long lost sister of Evita). So my question to you is, have you ever tried to eat ice cream in front of small children? Especially your own? If you haven't and want children then just go to a friends house and eat some on the couch and make sure the kids don't have any. Within about fifeteen seconds you will see some sort of pavlovian reaction complete with drool, high pitch whining and arm flailing. Now don't get me wrong. I give my kids ice cream but it's a different kind. Just a scoop or two out of a half gallon of Breyers or Ben and Jerry's. It's not like I'm spooning out orphan grool to them... they are getting thier fair share for sure. But when they see MY ice cream bar then all bets are off. Spoons down. Bowls to the carpet. The swarm descends. The toddler has an open mouth with a finger pointing to the back of it and is using any word he can find from his limited vocabulary, "Ahhh, Ahh, AhhH!! Mee, Mee, MEeeee!!! Woof, Woof! Choo! Choo! Mee, Me MEEEEEEEEE!! " The toddler doesn't know his ass from his elbow yet has the uncanny ability to know that my bar is better than the scoop of vanilla in his plastic baby bowl. So the toddler's doing his ancient wild bird calls while at the same time the seven year old tries a sweet smile and a baby voice (I truly cringe when people talk in baby voice so you know how far that got him). After my first rejection his angelic smile turns into Joan Crawford anger which then turns into futile attempts to just grab it out of my pregnant, chocolate teeth baring hands. Did I mention he's a boy? Did I mention I may have part lion in me? Holy national geographic. On my couch. In a heat wave.

So this only needed to happen once. Despite the fact that I have the memory of an ameoba right now, I am able to process exhaustion and to do my best to avoid it if possible. Withe a big baby in my stomach and two little hyenas at my heels I know when I have the fight in me and when I don't and lately I am in the roll over and just  take it period of my life. There is however, a bit of my mother seared into the back of my brain. I am from the same cattle breed it seems because last night as I finished putting away a quick grocery shop I cracked open my freezer. I went to the bottom draw reserved for frozen fish and shrimp. I slowly opened it and lifted a giant blue ice pack that we use for our cooler. Underneath was a box of three dark chocolate bars in their beautiful gold wrappers. I pulled one out, waddled to the couch and slowly opened the wrapper. The air conditioner purred and as I bit into the glorious sweet ice cream bar the silence of the night welcomed me. The moon shown threw my window with a well worn smile on her face that could only be translated as "welcome to the club". A mom could get used to this. In fact tomorrow I'm going out and buying a big green bottle of cheap gingerale. Hallelujah.

 

 

 

PITCH FORK BABY SOCK

So I've decided that whoever invented baby shoes and baby socks should be shot. Or hung. Or both. First off babies don't even need shoes. 8pm news flash: THEY DON'T WALK. So If a baby IS wearing shoes or I should really say wearing A SHOE  that it is a classic mark of a first time parent or someone who likes torturing themselves (I am the latter). Baby shoes do not stay on babies non walking feet and baby socks disappear altogether. You will see innocent parents  all over the place, at Kmart, in the grocery store, getting their check up at the doctors office and they are oblivious to the evil that lurks on their babies little toes. Unbeknownst to them, they will play out like a cheap deck of cards.  It will go something like this: distracted by their small bundle of joy pulling their hair or crying over a wet diaper the shoe, sock or both will fall off of their babies foot and the lost limp shoe orphan will be thrown out like an empty bag of cheetos from the 6pm janitor. Much like Luke and Darth Vader,  a baby shoe is predestine to be thrown out the minute it is sewn somewhere in the outskirts of China. Personally, I have stopped picking them up for people when their babies lose them. I will not be a baby shoe enabler anymore. If that makes me a bad person then I am fully prepared to defend myself at the gates of Heaven.

Baby shoes just piss me off. I have one baby Ugg, One baby black shiny shoe and as for baby socks well, I'm convinced there is a vortex that exists on the other side of the universe complete with John Malkovich and John Cusack that has the other 52 single socks I need to get one pair that actually matches. When I am out and shopping at The Gap I will see adorable sock sets with three different types.  I hold them in my hand and involuntarily start to curse like an evil stepsister at 10pm  in the side alley of Cinderellas ball. DAMN You Cinderella GAP! WHY! WHY! WHY?  If life was fair (which it is not) there would be an 800 number I could call to just state the obvious. "Please Lord of the baby socks. Please just sell them in matching sets of three or more that are the same sock! Oh thank you Great Cotton One."  The obvious solution is to buy several pairs of the same type but to my knowledge Hanes does not yet make a ten pack of baby socks. They should. They would make a million dollars and save an enormous amount of laundry grief for new moms everywhere.

If I was President the first bill I would pass would be making all baby pants for infants 9 mos and under (shorts included) to have mandatory attached feeties at the bottom. What a world it would be. I would then pass legislation for our top scientists to research the molecular build up of baby feet. They will probably conclude that it is one part banana peel. Teflon would then take this information and make the most amazing non-stick pan ever. RAIN-X would have a baby feet addition to their windshield wiper line and everyone would buy it. The rain would roll off before it ever even hit the window. Miracle Grow would add it to their nasty magic potion to make apples and veggies fall off the vine faster and finally Water Parks would have a baby feet slide that was the fastest, slickest ride in town. Only then would people realize and accept that baby shoes do not stay on baby feet. Their would be a revolution and as President I would be leading the front line,  a pitch fork with baby socks in my hand and hurling baby shoes through the broken window of the town cobbler. Yes. I would go 1800's on their ass in one hot baby sock second.


A Ramble...

Decisions.

That other people make.

That affect your life in a bad way.

Get old real fast.

In your twenties you hold on dearly and ride through the tornado with them. Grabbing at slabs of ripped off bark and slapping away flying shingles. Your fingers slowly ripping apart but somehow, miraculously, you are bound to that person by an imaginary rope, a frayed belt, flying around  in dusty circles as you are thrown about in the chaos of their life. Their decisions. At some point you get an ulcer,  throw up a few times or maybe drop out of life for a while from the stress of it all. Loose some hair and laugh about it with a hangover as your friend jams more black voodoo down your throat. Stupid words. Insecurities. Boyfriends that really, in the big picture of life, literally mean nothing but today, in your twenties, they are soaking up minutes, hours and months as your friend sobs endlessly over what he's done to her. For the fifth time.You think your being a good friend by consoling her but in reality all you are being is a stooge. Your wasting time on the wasted but your in your twenties so it's just part of the package. Everyone heads into the wilderness of life to hopefully find their own passage back.

 

Thirty comes barreling along and some guidelines have been set. A moral compass sits in your back pocket and occasionally points due North. Your beginning to grasp who you are and set a few more boundaries. You still find yourself in situations where you are in certain places you don't care to be. Maybe a few weekends lost because you are so overworked that blinking hurts so you just get in the back seat and let yourself be taken along for the ride. All you really want to do is rest a bit but that would be so thirty of you so you get up and pretend your still twenty.  Friends start getting married. Babies arrive in quick succession and before you know it your sitting at the back of the night club with a stray glass lamp swinging over your head and a lonely kettle one martini in your hand. Guys in bars start looking sleazy and you realize that maybe there isn't as much time as you thought there was in life. When people annoy you, you start to tell them or maybe you just don't answer the phone at all. Maybe you delete the contact all together. That's what the thirties are for. Deleting and purifying.

 

By forty  people in their twenties sound like whiney six year olds, jacked up on to many skittles. You've found a speed to coast at and hopefully a co-pilot to ride with you. When friends bring potential partners into the mix you tell them how you really feel instead of telling them what they want to hear. This does not make you popular. A friend or two at this point has died. Or is sick. Or has just left you behind wondering where the hell they disappeared to. Still lost somewhere in the wilderness trying to figure it all out. You focus on your own life more than that of others. Unless you have kids, in which case their life IS your life. When you gain weight it stays on a little longer and when you cut your hair it grows back a little slower. When people annoy you, you turn in another direction not even wasting the breath or maybe, on a bad day, you lash out from seeing through their bullshit. You've swallowed to much of their bilious air in the past and just change direction of your intake all together. In your forties breakfast sometimes feels monotonous.

 

And your decisions? They are your own. You realize the cause and effect on a day to day basis. A hundred apples falling from the tree of life in your back yard. Gravity.

Weight. Reality.

 

Cut and run doesn't seem so dramatic. It just seems like a smart move to stop wasting time because decisions, that other people make, that affect your life in a bad way, get old real fast.

 


My Dolly

In my freshman year of college I gained what is famously known as the Freshman 20. It is a solid layer of fat that can only be acquired from unchained beer drinking, french fries for breakfast and a daily candy bar. It's an obscene and disgusting way to live and I embraced it like a long lost teddy bear. There were many a late night tests studied for on six packs of Jolt soda and then add to that an exercise routine whose hardest excertion was making my bed and well... it's easy to see how my waistline expanded so quickly. Somewhere around November i was taken aside by one of the female RA's who lived in my dorm. She took me to her room and started to open her underwear drawer.  I quietly crossed my legs and got prepared for what I thought was going to be an awkward Lesbian attempt. She pulled out a size able item from her top drawer and  i quickly realized that no, she wasn't going to hit on me at all. What she was going to do is school me. School me on having gained weight. In short she showed me her well worn girdle and patted me on the back as i wept. At that moment I would have preferred the awkward lesbian attempt complete with black strap on dildo. At least I could have run out of the room screaming on that one. But with the girdle... there was no going back. I had to face my fate.

Now when I was a wee lass the word girdle made me think of Ethel Merman or my grandmother. It was for old people.  Old woman with smelly little dogs who had chain smoking husbands. Therefore I could not, for the life of me, wrap my 18 year old head around wearing something called a girdle. There was, however, no debate that I needed it and I needed it bad. So, as I typically do, I had to change the name. Make it easier to swallow. I thought of  the most pushed up and pushed out woman ever. The human figure eight. Dolly. My girdles name was Dolly Parton.

It worked. It softened the blow. Made it more acceptable somehow. All of my fellow F20 friends started calling it a Dolly too. Soon Dolly Parton was being invited to every keg night on campus. She gave you a tuck here and a pat there. She deceived the eye of the beholder and the moans coming from room 3 A were not that of young college couple having sex but actually just us ladies taking off our corset like leg chambers at the end of the night. AND should you actually hook up it only required a 45 minute trip to the bathroom to peel those suckers off you. Most guys were passed out by the time you got back to the couch. The good news is that  the room was black by then and should the young buck awaken from his drunken slumber there was no party foul like a stuffed bra. Just like her name sake, our college Dolly's were making the world a better place.

Fast forward twenty years and here I am with a Dolly again. Post baby number two and one step short of a mutant Kangaroo pouch. I look in the mirror. I squeeze and poke my baby stomach aftermath. I scrunch it in a circle around the belly button and ask my husband if he would like some cream cheese with my stomach bagel. I'm laughing and he is covering his eyes like I'm the final scene in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It's ok. I keep pinching and prodding  in the mirror. Like a young boy with a first time booger I cannot help but play with my wobble on some level and marvel at it's jello like jiggle. Alien Fat. Dolly Parton Post Baby Alien Fat.

I go to my underwear draw and there they are. Several Dolly's. Black, nude, rosy red. If I ever want to give up as a mother I could surely make a living as a sensitive RA at some random  girl college for sure. It wouldn't be hard to pitch them these days to the next generation. They call them Spanks now a days to make them sound cooler. All the girls have them and you hear the term used freely in the gym or when Trixies had to many Cosmos down in Marist. Spanks this, Spanks that.Guess what? They are not spanks. They are not Dolly's. They are girdles and somewhere up in heaven Ethel Merman and my grandmother Bertha are laughing their angel cupped asses off knowing that some things will never, ever change. Damn you Ethel. Damn you Grandma. Damn you Dolly Parton.

 

Mini Penis Paul Revere

My oldest son is almost six years old. He lost his two front teeth last month which provide him with a semi lisp and lately he finds complete joy in any story that contains the words penis or fart. Sometimes when we sit down to dinner and the we are chewing our spaghetti like aged cows he will raise his fork high into the air and simply declare, "PENISthhhh!". This is followed by a wild peel of his laughter, his toothless mouth open and his tongue sticking out before he dives in for a victory scoop of YAH! pasta. I'm not even phased. "Not at the dinner table" I say with heavy lidded Edith Bunker eyes. He chuckles and I can count down the seconds till he attempts to make a fart sound or in fact, graces us with his heavenly flatulence. Somewhere in China, Im told, an old lady is smiling and telling me to take it as a compliment.

I'm happy he loves his body. Truly I am. But as a woman now completely surrounded by men, getting to know the penis on a sonic level is new one for me. He is so excited and in love. My little mini penis Paul Revere. I can see it in his eyes. He's thinking 'Lets say it loud and clear Mom! Everyone must know. Long Live My Penis!' I've been told this is part of the package with having boys and nothing to get worked up about. I'm down with that. However there are always a few guidelines that need to be set and I'm still trying to figure out what they are on this one. No mentioning the penis before breakfast and after dinner? No penis shouting when family friends come over with small girls? I don't know. Part of me doesn't even care. I am, however, vaguely curious if there are little Joan of Vaginas screaming, "Boobies!" out there or is this is just a boy thing? Either way I've been warned by boy moms to just enjoy the clean sheets while they last and the fact that they still think that MegaDeath is a dinosaur. The Penis shouting will seem so last year by the time they hit first grade.

The penis is only trumped by one other player in our house and that is… the fart.  better hunkering down for the long haul with this one. Men and fart jokes share the same categorization as Cher, twinkles and cockroaches in that they will still be here after the apocalypse. "I'm going to Fart on you!" he cackles as he runs as close as he possibly can to my leg and then darts away. This is not hard to do as my other newborn son is breastfeeding and has my boob, and the rest of my body, shackled to the couch. I'm as defenseless as a baby antelope so he goes in for the kill. Turning backside he shakes his ass while looking at me with wild giggles and spanking it. Spank, spank, spank. "Ha Ha Ha!" he says and then wafts his fumes in my direction. Some people watch the 6 o'clock new… I get the threat of a fart and this spank dance performance each night. The amount of sleep I've had dictates whether I laugh or yell. Sometimes I'm along for the ride and other nights I release the wrath that can only come from being 5 and having your brothers fart on your head. That little girl is still in there and ready to attack at any given moment.

I put the baby to bed. I tell my toothless monster to brush his teeth and get his books. He returns to his room triumphant. We nestle down and start to read. "Come closer" i coo in my late night mommy voice. I wrap my arm around him as he continues to slowly plug away at his reading assignment.

"Wonderful" I say."Your doing great! I'm so proud of you". He smiles his gapy smile.

On the last page of the last book I nook him even tighter in my left arm with a firm but loving grasp of his shoulders. With stealth speed my right hand pulls the blanket over our heads and I release my M80 fart. He snorts, he wriggles, he almost starts to cry. Only after a sufficient 15 seconds, when I feel that the alpha role has been truly reclaimed, I pull the blanket back off and kiss him on the forehead.

"That, my friend, is the Dutch Oven." I say with victory. "Old School."

"Mom!" he gasps half laughing, half pissed. "You are so GROSS!".

"That's right sweetheart. I am." I respond while shutting out his light, "And don't you forget it."

Penis out. Good night.


It's all Heidi Klum's Fault

I didn't see it coming. Really. Truly. Not to the extent that it hit me. The force at which it grabbed the back of my shirt, flung me off the station platform and hitched me to it's side. The Pregnancy Express. I've been riding side car without goggles for the entire summer. My hair blown back and dead bugs plastered to my face from the warp speed. I'm a dog stuck in the back of a convertible with no place to duck and hide. My last pregnancy was a winter one and I retreated to the warm sandy shores of Puerto Rico where I knew no one and had time to omphilescepsize. Or, in easier terms, gaze deeply into my navel. This time, five years later and a full forty years old, I found myself working in a booming tourist town which once was a little fishing hamlet, performing and on view for the world to touch, poke and point at.  Wow. Talk about a shit stew. Summer pregnancies are not for the weak.  There were no tiara's, no red carpets, no buckets of cellophane roses. It was all swollen feet, broken sleep and as I aptly told a close friend of mine, a bathing suit my mother complimented me on. Enough said.

Now I take care of myself. I'm not a freak. I don't count calories or inspect every little thing that goes into my mouth with a microscope. I do however walk almost every day, have my share of fruits and veggies and on the whole consider my diet well balanced. I eat the occasional ice cream on a hot summer day or sneak a piece of chocolate here and there. I am defenseless against milk duds in a movie theatre but thats a whole other story. Anyway, I gained the appropriate weight within the "healthy guidelines" of modern pregnancy. I thought I was doing well. Slow and steady wins the race.

Then at about six months (June) the comments started. "Are you SURRRREEE your not having Twins?" or "Oh my god your HUGE!" or "What do you have in there... a whole family?". At first I rolled with it. Water off a ducks back. By mid July I was mildly annoyed and by August I had clenched fists and was one step away from head butting people. What the hell was going on? I wasn't even freaky Friday big. I had gained maybe 20 lbs which was completely and utterly normal. I started to think of other woman who had told me they gained 50, 70, 80 lbs and it made me wonder.. What in the HELL did people say to them? Also when did this happen? When did it get socially acceptable to pick on a pregnant woman about her weight? She's brewing a little baby... shouldn't she be celebrated and just plied with sweet compliments? Even if they are lies?

I paused. I thought for a moment and then it came to me. This is all Heidi Klum's fault. Yes. Thank you oh wonder woman of Bravo. You seem like a nice lady. Really you do. Sweet family. On the go. Zeusian genetics. Married to Seal. But really Heidi... did you need to be back in the catwalk 8 weeks after giving birth to your child a few years back? Did you really need to set the bar that high? Because what has happened is that now the entire female race is doing a Pregorexic Limbo to try and keep up. All the stars must have a veritable "post pregnancy coming out party" where they emerge from a Renoir state to an anorexic butterfly amidst paparazzi and high heels. Just last month Victoria Beckham holed herself up in her house supposedly with a strict workout regime and a daily intake of vegetable broth so she could make her grand entrance for fashion week in her size 2 micro mini. Personally, I don't really care that much. To each their own. But on a grand scheme it upsets me because I'm seeing alot of my friends miserable over the realities of leaking boobs and wearing maternity clothes for the first three months after the baby is born. They are looking at these magazines and feeling like crap and that, for lack of a better term, sucks.

So I am hearing the whistle. The train is slowing down. My final stop is days away. If I am lucky I will push out a healthy little spud and survive the whole ordeal with flying colors. At forty, quite honestly, I'll be happy if I just live. The state of my union is secondary. When I look down at my belly it will wobble and I will smile. No catwalk. No fashion show. No Louboutins. Just some sweat pants and a sweet babe for the time being. A few ocean walks before the winter approaches if I'm lucky. A chance to coddle and coo. Quiet instead of huffing and puffing on a treadmill. I will get back. In due time. This I know. Six Months. Nine Months. It's up to my energy and my desire I guess. I will have enough things on my plate to worry about whether I can rock my Seven Jeans yet. In the meantime, in the near future, I suspect that someone will come up to me and ask me, post partum, when the baby is due. I will smile. Rub my belly and explain that I am no longer pregnant. Then I will walk out to my stroller, pick up my baby and and give him/her an extra hug. When he or she looks back at me and reaches for my face with a goo and a smile then I will be positive that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that Heidi Klum can kiss my big post pregnancy ass.

 

The Bouquet of Motherhood

Imagine, if you will, that you are deep asleep. Close your eyes...No wait. That won't work cause then you can't read my blog. Don't close your eyes. Ok. IMAGINE your eyes are closed and you are in that special happy place where your are dreaming. You are  running down a beach with palm trees over head and soft warm sand under foot. You are smiling at a fabulously handsome man and the sun glistens off his very tan, tone, rock solid body. "Ha haa haa!" he says to you, "You are so beautiful and so so funny!". You coyly smile back and just as you take him by the hand and lead him into the perfect dream sequence blue Caribbean waters someone taps you on the shoulder. You open your eyes in real time to see the dark silhouette of your four year old son and before you can say a word you hear him arch back a choke then vomit all over your chest and your comforter and your pillow. As you fumble blindly for the light switch and sanity he says weakly, "Momma I think I just pooed in my pants toooo."

Ok. Ok. you think. Foot to floor. Must. Get. Him. To. Toilet.

You stagger to the bathroom like some 50's sea creature with puke in your hair, puke on your shirt, puke, I am sad to say, on your face and immediately strip your poor babe down.

Turn. On. Shower. Holy shit does this smell rank. Oh man. Why does the hot water take so long?

As the warming shower head does a snake like dance on the floor you unzip the Carter Alien Footsie Pajamas to welcome the second familiar old guest in this play. Running diarrhea. Down both legs. Up the back. You name it, he's been there. You hold your nose while trying to spray a whining and understandably upset little kid all whilst trying your best not to loose your own cookies as the mixture of poop and puke is what I have come to define as the bouquet of motherhood. Welcome to any given night of being a parent. You cannot make this shit up.

So that exact scenario happened to me two nights ago and I know you believe me because of my viper clear descriptions or maybe from the fact that i just wrote poop and puke a grand total of 7 times within about 2 sentences. What can I say? I have been scarred. I am a light sleeper to begin with but now the slightest creak in the floor will have me jolting out of bed with my hands flailing spasmodically and screaming "AIM FOR THE TOILET!". It is just not natural to wake up and be puked on. Is it funny? Oh hell yes it is. It is very funny in a disgusting sort of way. I should say that it is funny NOW that I know my little guys is ok and just had a bad virus/bug/creature of sarah palin/ Satan living in his stomach. But truth be told, getting woken up from the depths of slumber to  puking on my chest keeps making me laugh every time I think about it. I mean that shit happens in college after a two day Oktoberfest binger weekend where you wake up under a bed with an accordion and two snoring boys name Dolf but NOT on a Tuesday night after watching Glee reruns, brushing your teeth and going to bed. The CIA could take lessons from my son. His move was downright bad ass cold war Russian.

I'm glad i think it's funny. I'm also glad that two days later my little man is ok because the nuts and bolts of it are this: when your kid is sick it will stop you in your tracks and the things you thought mattered basically don't. All you want is for them to get better. Period. So if my son wakes me up again tonight and pukes on my chest I will greet him with open mommy arms and  I think the only thing I would do differently is maybe let out a very long, deep sigh of resignation. Oh yeah. I'd do that AND wake up my husband and tell him that it's his turn.

 

 

 

Bobbing for Strep Throat

Halloween is not what it used to be. Way back in the day (ahem.. like in the 80's... Ok. I feel like ben franklin now) Halloween meant toilet paper in trees, emptying out your Dad's Old Spice shaving cream on your creepy neighbor and throwing eggs at passing cars. Now THAT was fun. But after Eddie Frankel got sued for ruining the paint on somebody's Lexus with egg yoke and Marcal declared it environmentally unsound to leave it's 1,0000 roll count in the upper chambers of your local Oak Tree well, in my opinion, Halloween has gone to shit. Where is the glory I ask? Where is unbridled joy of doing whippets behind a bush and then smearing the left over creamy ooze on some little kid?  I ask you.... where has the fear gone people? Oh, and just for the record. I was not a bully. I was the youngest of four so let me state to the judge of Spook that I EARNED my halloween stripes. I was a wicked and trained Corporal of the neighborhood Halloween Army. I had had my share of shaving cream massacres and being held down while my sacred candy was rummaged through and guess what... it made me a Halloween Velociraptorus. That's right. I was the little scrappy dinosaur that nobody would eventually mess with. I would dart from Mrs Sabatini's shadowy hedge with succinct prowess and end up in a hunched position behind some big old Cadillac, inspecting my chocolate booty. I can still remember the feeling of getting a 100 Thousand Dollar candy bar. Pure caramel heaven. And when I bit down slowly and realized there wasn't a razor in it well that was like looking death in the face and laughing. That, my friends, was REAL halloween.
My son is now four and a half and this year he choose to be a Gladiator.  For a moment I considered having a good ol fashion halloween party for him. You know the one where you blindfold the kids and then make them feel a bowl of eyeballs which is really just a bunch of grapes in ketchup. Then I thought about having my six foot three husband dress up as Frankenstein and come out of the closet. I started laughing. Oh man, they would be scared silly! But as I envisioned the party further and further in my mind I started to come back down to reality. Did I really want to have a bunch of kids with strep throat and runny noses bobbing for apples on my porch? I mean that is, when you stop to think about it, just completely gross. I also could see the fore tellable future with visions of  my son jumping in our bed for the next year because Frankenstein lived in our basement closet. No. I was not ready for this.  I was going to have to pass on the party and play the scariest role of all: RESPONSIBLE PARENT. (cue vincent price voice) Uck. I did make a pact with myself that the party would take place. Eventually. I would just have to wait till he was like six or seven to fully traumatise his punky butt. By then i figured he'll probably be needing a good dose respect anyway.
The good news is that when I put on my matching Gladiator costume I stepped into the bathroom to check out the final product. Maybe it was the black face paint or maybe it was the viking horns but something in this costume triggered an instant tug on my heart. As I turned to leave there she was ... just waiting for me to take her out of her bathroom hell and release her magnificent white streams into the deadened October sky. Ahhh white toilet paper. I've missed you so. I stuffed her into the inner pocket of my fake silver platted  Gladiator chest protecter and somewhere deep inside of me an 11 year old smiled.

 


g.

SALLY ROPER

I name a lot of things. I don't know why, I just do. My big green van is "Large Marge", my favorite worn down guitar is "Willy" and the black stray cat that streaks past my downstairs window from time to time is affectionately titled "Ben". I'm sure there is a text book reason for giving objects a branding. Perhaps it is to get a step closer to them or maybe it's a wanna be mom thing. My  baby car, My  child guitar, my delinquent teenager stray cat. I have no idea. However, five weeks ago when I arrived in Ecuador to officially open my small one bedroom apartment I found myself once again naming. This time it was out of fear and I figured that If I gave my new friend a name it would somehow ease my mind into chilling out and not doing a ninja hokey pokey every time I went downstairs and passed the crackled side wall of my building where my new friend lived.  'I need a name that will make me happy' I thought. Something slightly silly but real. "Sally!" I said out loud. Ah yes, Sally is the perfect name for a big, black, hairy tarantula spider.

 

Now I am not a fan of things that bite with venom and having a three year old son makes matters a tad worse. As soon as I saw Sally I had flashbacks to my beginners Piano Book where there was a descending 8 note song about a little boy that gets bitten by a Tarantula. Above the left hand right hand sheet music is a simple line drawing of two women dancing around the boy who is sweating and lying down. Great song for a kid to learn piano to. Anyway, my next thought was of the opening sequence to "GET SMART" where a tarantula climbs up the sleeve of his dark blue jacket. "RUN!" You think. "SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!" your head screams. In my mind Tarantula was Code Red. Run for the hills. A serious situation if not lethal.

 

The mosquito net went up that night around my sons bed and OUR bed was immediately moved away from the wall. As if, in some way, a spider couldn't crawl up the side of my bed?? Not sure what my logic was  there. I went into town and logged online to check out "Tarantula Bite" just to see exactly what I was dealing with here. Nothing had happened but I wanted to be prepared just in case since Sally was basically my new neighbor. Sally Roper. As in Three's Company. Yep that's my

Ecuadorian hood.

 

So surprise, surprise! Usually when you google on line for anything to do with health or bites or a stray bump on your nose the internet will greet you back with this very response: YOU HAVE 6 WEEKS TO LIVE. I can't tell you how many times I've gone looking for information and turned off my computer with shaky hands and a queasy Dorito stomach. Yes, I eat Doritos. I would even go so far as to say I love Doritos. I wish I didn't, but I do. I like the basic original flavor, the synthetic cheese, the manufactured crunch and the way they pack seventy five milligrams of salt into each guilty nibble. I like those crunchy cheese puffs too. The one with the whacked out cheetah on it in the black sun glasses. Yeah. THAT one. The are like crack and sometime late at night when I am on my computer I will pop open a bag and goggle away. The next day my keyboard looks like a bunch of mice had a runaway Velveta orgy on it. Anyway, where the hell am I... what I was I talking about... ah  yes, the bite the google bite for the vampirish evil black spider that was the size of my hand. No shit. Look at your hand right now. Yeah. Thats the size of Sally. Living under my house. Right now.

 

SO I put in TARANTULA BITE and was shocked when I found several sites stating that not only are Tarantula bites fairly mild but that the spider, in general, is shy. SHY! I mean like, will run away from you and look back at you with through split fingers.  They like to sit at home while listening to jazz and doing crossword puzzels with black rimmed thick glasses on. UNBELIEVABLE.  The site then went on to say that most bites take place from people that keep them as pets (who the FUCK keeps a spider as a pet?.. aside from David Sedaris... sorry. Just read his new book and well, in it he talks about keeping a pet spider but really.. aside from him... WHO keeps a pet spider? Well him and the pig from Charlottes web but aside from that I mean). So those that did get bit  wrote with honesty that they had kind of been asking for it by, I don't know, PUTTING THEIR HAND IN THEIR PET SPIDERS TANK???  Anyway the bite swells for a day and then just kind of goes away. Nothing like  the rotting flesh around a brown recluse bite or other nasty creepy crawlies that are mean and not shy.  You know the bitchy spiders that hang out in the lunch cafeteria and trip you while your carrying a full plate of food with milk. Those bitches. Yeah. Well the Tarantula is nothing like them. Sally's got class and I'll be damned if I haven't grown fond of her. Wait a second. Does that mean that she is my pet? I guess technically I haven't gotten rent from her in the past two months that she's lived here. She tells me it's coming but that her husband left her with 57 kids, no flies and a dried up water spout . Plus, her name is Sally Roper so how could I turn down a stray pet with a name like that? I mean, really.

 

 

Pomegranates and Pumpkin Pie

I have a problem with Pomegranate Juice and it isn't just because of the spelling. Long ago pomegranates were NOT cool. They were the ugly left over fruit that would always be on sale in packs of three on the back aisle of Meat Farms. They were placed on little green styrofoam trays and wrapped with cellophane along side other rotters... parsnips, a red pepper and the occasional bunch of portobellos. It was the 80's and portobellos weren't hip either. So there they sat, the fruit superstars of the next generation, being picked over by me and some old italian lady with blue silver hair and a mustache.

Pomegranates always meant fall. Back then you could only get them at that time of year. I guess that is their growing season and when they naturally mature in California, or Pakistan or wherever the hell they grow. I would love to have a pomegranate tree but I can already tell that they probably grow in some high desert like terrain. They reek of sun, sand and snakes. Eve ate a pomegranate right after the apple. Not really but she should have because that damn fruit looks like it has been around that long. I should probably know more about a fruit that I love so much but I guess I don't want to spoil my relationship with it. Kind of like not wanting to see what Garrison Keillor looks like... let me just enjoy the voice and not associate a face with it, thank you very much. If you don't know who I'm talking about try googling "Prairie Home Companion" and take a listen. Goooood Radio. Yummy to hears. Ancient Chinese say, "man with golden voice be no looker!". Anyway, I digress.

So Pomegranates meant Fall and I would go get my little pack and put them in my fridge and wait for the perfect night. It would be chilly and I would snuggle down on my couch with some fabulous TV show and crack open my little friend and pick away. Pomegranates take time to eat. They are not to be rushed. You needle through them and crack open sides like some freak red pearl bee chamber. Little tetra packs of ruby seeds all beautifully in a line waiting to be husked and you ALWAYS had to be careful because the juice was a stainer so no lost seeds and such. That never stopped it from staining my hands and mouth and clothes. I'm a stainer. What can I say... anyway, just for the record, if Buffy had stopped by my house unexpectedly she would have daggered my ass for sure as my look, post pomegranate, was easily definable as "Teenage Vampire after mauling baby lamb".

So, forward ahead twenty years. Here we are in the land of Pomegranate. Pomegranate Juice mixed with Cherry, blueberry or Acai. Pomegranate in salads, Pomegranate in pancakes. Pomegranate lip gloss and soon to be released, Pomegranate Geritol. The fruit is the Susan Boyle of the fruit world. We cannot get enough. The goods are there... you cannot deny the pomegranate singing a high C. I see myself reaching for a POM juice and something inside me flinches. 'NO!' Inner brain screams,'It's July! Don't do it... wait till Novemeber!'. I can't. She's there all potent and blood like. The fruit vampire in me comes out and I'm chugging it before I've even passed the yogurt section.

Lovely. Dandy. Just great. I need to go to Pomegranates Anonymous.

So the bottom line is that I don't LIKE having access to Pomegranates every flippin day. I want my ritual back. I don't want a 70 degree day in January. I want fucking snow. Hear what I'm saying? Everything is to available, too packaged, too forced. You don't eat Pumpkin pie in March. You eat it this week, on Thanksgiving and it tastes great because of that very factor. When you smell it cooking it takes you back to every past Thanksgiving you've ever had. Deep down you don't even like Pumpkin Pie that much but on that third Thursday in November you can't resist it. It's part of the package, and on that day, part of almost every person in America.

So i am hosting Thanksgiving this year. I will bust my ass and make sure all the basics are covered. 25 people will leave my house happy and content. The next day I will have two shows and work off all the extra stuffing sticking to my inner thighs. Saturday, well I'm probably shopping a bit and Sunday, well, sunday...

When the sun sets at 4:30pm on Sunday I will do my dishes, clean up my kitchen and when I am done, and every plate is nestled in it's spot on the shelf and every glass is dripping or dried, ONLY then will I open the top drawer of my refrigerator. I will grab what I think is the prettiest fruit in the bin. Ancient and firm, a beaten red shell. I will walk over to my radio and turn on NPR and wait for Prairie Home Companion with this said fruit in my lap over a clean paper towel. When I hear Garrison Keillors beautiful golden voice start to speak I will begin to crack open my first Pomegranate of the year and smile.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and don't forget to taste the Pumpkin Pie!

 

THE GRAPES OF NANC

I made jam today which is kind of a fall ritual for me. Usually I  am pressing and squeezing the pits out of beach plums in September but this year was a beach plum bust (who knew?) so I was forced to scout out some rebel grapes that have been growing along the trails out here on the East End of Long Island. At first I was a little scared that I might find some rare poisonous breed of grape because, let's face it, its not every day that you go out picking shit in a forest and put it blindly into your mouth. Maybe two hundred years ago but these days the innate scavenger in all of us has been beaten out of our heads and fingers tips by everything from prepackaged water to frozen ediname beans. Yes. Gone are the days when you could snout out a mid afternoon snack in your neighbors back yard. These days that would land you in jail or at the very least some seriously evil looks from your nasty neighbor, Mrs. Buttersworth.

It's to bad really, because trying to go out and find food is actually quite fun and shockingly satisfying. It helps, naturally, if you live in the country but if your city bound well you can still get a second hand buzz by going down to your local organic market and picking through the fruits and veggies on sale by some overall wearing farmer lady. I don't know why they all wear overalls but they do. Don't be fooled though. When you go to a market you are dealing with emotional scraps compared to the full on connection you get when you find food and harvest it yourself. It's a high. It can be clams, berries, apples hanging in a tree or even that rare moment when you open the refrigerator and there lies a slice of fresh cold pizza that your boyfriend brought home without you knowing it. THAT COUNTS. You hunted it and found it. Something forced you out of bed and you walked up the steps to your fridge and VIOLA there it was like a dream. You take a bite. Your not sure if he wanted it but its to late. your rolling your eyes with a dreamy smile and chewing like a 15 year old Italian boy. Ok. Now Im hungry for pizza. Where was I? How will digging a clam ever compare to cold pizza. I digress.

So what Im saying Vinny Goombatz is that its all about the HUNT. The buzz of finding the perfect tree, with the perfect grapes that are hanging and are fully ripe. Or a pocket of clams where you dig and get 5 at a time. Or the perfect wave if you surf. The fish blitzing if you fish. That pumpkin that looks at you in the stack of 100 pumpkins and says, "Yes, Its me. Im the one you've been looking for. The search is over." Same rush. Same feeling. Same end result.

I tried to explain this to a dear old friend of mine but she wasn't having it. She lives in a bubbling city and will never understand how I exist in a location that doesn't have a movie theatre for 5 months out of the year or at least a choice of 4 different Cosmos at our local bar. It's a fishing village. Let's face it, I replied, The Cosmos could very well be a soccer team to the bartender at the Shagwong. She wasn't having it. She just started laughing at me and said, "You are SUCH a country mouse making your own jam from stuff. I think it's so funny. It's soooo Laura Ingells!"

Ha, Ha, Ha. So funny. Little house on the Prairie. Maybe this means I would finally get to meet and sleep with Michael Landau. I know. He's dead. In my dreams. But you have to admit he was hot in his day. Those farm men. Damn. ANYWAY.

Ha Ha Ha. So funny.

Yeah, well you know what?  I felt sad for her. She would never know or understand the feeling of taking something from the wild and bottling it up in some glass so that on a cold snowy December morning  you could crack it open a piece of the summer. Those grapes grew all summer long. They started in a spring so wet that that was all people could talk about into July. Then they grew and grew. Through limited sun and blustery days... they grew. Through the wicked hurricane that passed a hundred miles east of us. They grew to become these little perfect  balls of the deepest purple you could imagine. And every time I  open a jar of this jam i will unleash a memory of when the trees were restless and Montauk was ripe with post summer lushness. On the day i went harvesting the clouds were so full and the sky a heady blue. I will think of climbing up my ladder, into the canopy of grapes and the first moment I closed my eyes and just took a deep inhale of the aroma. It was like drinking the air. Unbelievable. The deer definitely have it good in these parts. I couldn't believe how fragrant it was and how alive I felt. Then I went about picking vine after vine in silence, admist the most potent perfume the earth had to offer.

All of this because one day as i was driving my car down a fairly deserted road and saw them, hundreds of wild concord  grapes, just hanging out but a few feet over my head. It was like they were calling to me, "Yo! Crazy Country Bitch! Over here sister!! Over here!!". I looked up and it was love at first sight. If I had been staring at my feet I'd have missed it all. Now I have 8 jars of love on my shelves, a batch for friends and purple stained hands.  All this because I was looking. I was looking.

I think I'm going to go to bed now with a smile on my face that another year of jam making is done. That is after I finish braiding my hair, reading a book to little sister Ingell and blowing out a candle. My city mouse friend can say what she wants but my jam rocks the tits off of her Polander swack. Amen. She better watch out or Im going to get Nelly on her shit! Sweet dreams and good night.

 

SHE SUNS ME, SHE SUNS ME NOT

Every October it hits... the sun starts setting earlier and earlier. Now in my thirty eighth year you would think that I might  have gotten used to it. No. I have not. I like the sun and all it's glowy- ness. Its warm heat. The way it enters the room and is the life of the party. The sun is the Marilyn Monroe of the solar system. I would take her over the moon almost any day of the week. Unless I was slowly kissing someone i liked. Then I would  probably choose the moon. But by all other accounts I am the chick at the back of the football field routing for team yellow. Go Sun Go! Yeahhhhh summer!

Living in Montauk, Long Island makes you acutely aware of the fact that the sun time here is limited. Lets face it, She partied hard over July and August and has packed her Hermes bag for the south. "Margaritas," she proclaims lowering her golden sunglasses, "just don't taste good in the snow." and then The Sun hits the I-95 and never looks back. I kick a few rocks and then stuff my hands in the pockets of my new fall jacket. "I thought we had something real?" I say to myself. She cackles a warm light laugh , only the way the sun can, somewhere over Georgia and I know it's official... summer's over. There will be no make-up sunbathing in freak 90 degree October weather this year. She's gone and left me alone with my socks and a desire to eat carbohydrates. Suddenly Pillsbury Cinnamon Bun commercials are everywhere... on the radio, on the TV... in my dreams. I want to eat and sleep and eat and sleep some more.

"Why!" I scream up to the sky, "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!"

There is nothing. Only grey clouds and annoying fall wind. Spring wind is full of energy and life but fall wind is just hallow. Boneless. Snatching and loveless. I call up to the sky again. "WHY? We still need your Sun lovin out here!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! Just one more day over 80! "

The creaky door opens. November answers like the tall dead doorman that he is, a few wisps of black hair combed over his gaunt, pale face. 'Sorry, mam," he replies slowly while blowing his nose ,"there is no one here to take your question. Please call back in April." Then slams the door shut and a few more leaves fall far off in some corner of the universe.

I head back to my house, toast an english muffin and chew it slowly. Painfully. I chew as I stare at my counter and realize it's 4:30 pm and that the sun is indeed, already setting. I sigh. I take another bite. I pull out another muffin and put it in the toaster and press the red power button.

They say it takes six months to heal a broken heart.

Surely who ever said that never met someone as lovely as the Sun.

 

 

 

HUSBAND INSOMNIA

September 17th, 2009

Last night I had husband insomnia. A very wonderful form of sleep deprivation that evolves around the subconcious fact that your partners body is NOT in the bed next to you. Husband Insomnia always starts out the same way and ends the same way. Im sure it is a universal problem for all of those people out there who have limited sleeping abilities such as myself and before we get started with the outline and diagnosis of this problem let me state that this form of insomnia isn't limited to just husbands. it can also be inspired by wives, visiting friends or a new live in boyfriend/girlfriend.

Ok. So lets get started.

ACT ONE goes something like this.

Said Insomniac (that being ME) has had a long day and is going to bed early. It should also be mentioned that there is always a big thing for the insomniac to do the next morning. Early. So the full nights rest is needed. Everything is in order for a perfect nights sleep. Body tired, teeth brushed, ugly yet very comfy sweatpants are on and feeling all sorts of warm and snuggly.

The bed 'partner' however has an obligation for that night. Maybe its going over to his buddies to watch football, getting a drink with friends or even in my husbands case, band practice.

It is very important to note that the bed partners obligation has no set end point. It could be 10 pm. Or maybe 11. However, It is assumed by most wives in the world that by midnight their husbands warm ass ape body will be next to theirs.

ACT TWO proceeds in all it's predestined festering glory.

The hubio insomnia tosses and turns. Maybe they sleep for a little bit but then are forced awake by the fact that the bed is empty. Subconsciously they know it is past 11 pm. Groggy and slightly out of it they turn to the side table and flick on the light. 12:03. This is a critical moment as now the insomniac is fully wake and half scared the partner is in an accident and half pissed that they are now awake and that their jackass husband or partner is not home. They can't decide which emotion to be. Pissed off or worried? Pissed off or worried? It bounces back and forth in their head. On cue a police siren goes off two miles away. The Hubio-Insomniac stuffs ear plugs in their ears at this point, shuts off the light and tries, mercilessly,  to get back to sleep. Which they can't because they are worried. And really, really, REALLY pissed off.

For the next 45 minutes the H.I. debates whether they should go upstairs and eat some cheese or maybe start reading a book. 'No' They tell themselves... 'Just try to get back to sleep'. Something from earlier in the day enters the head. It starts going round and around punctuated every two minutes with this exact phrase "WHERE THE FUCK IS HE?".

ACT THREE - it hurts to even think about this.

Finally, around 1:12 am in rolls the bed partner. They've had a great night. They are trying to be quiet as not to wake their sleeping angel. They use their cell phone for light and try to sneak into the bathroom to take a pee. However they inevitably put the toilet seat up to hard and mark their return with a 3 minute piss. They don't realize that they have a wide eyed demon waiting in their bed. She is one step short of a gremlin. Bulging eyes and claws. This is the part where you put your hands up to your eyes in a horror flick. It is scary. The drunk dumb ass guy is walking right into the chainsaw. Look away. Run! you tell him. But no. He flushes and starts humming some annoying jack johnson riff. The gremlins eyes get wider. She is going in for the kill.

ACT FOUR - Game over.

Ok. THis is where the Hubio Insomniac wants revenge but she is not going to get it. The partner is in a great mood and happy to see them. They proceed to tell them what a great night they had and "Oh sorry lost track of time" and "I love you honey" and stagger into bed with their tee shirt still on and their underwear. They mutter one last sentence and then FALL ASLEEP!! Out. Cold. Blissfully snoring while you are next to them with glaring bloodshot eyes, staring at the ceiling. Wondering 'Will that damn fly EVER find it's way to another room??". But it will not. It will just keep flying and buzzing around hitting into your same four walls and keeping you awake while your partner reeks of beer and is giggling in his sleep. In short: you are in hell.

By now it's game over. Remember, the hubio-insomniac needs to wake up early. They have a job interview or doctors appointment. It is important that they get their beauty rest. It's 2 am by the time they actually leave the bed and head upstairs to the couch. Or downstairs to the futon. Anyplace. Next to the dog on the rug... they need to get to another place to actually fall asleep.

The next morning the insomniac is shot. Wiped out. Can't move. 6:30 am comes at them like Joan Rivers on crack. It's painful and you want it to stop but you must push through.

The partner awakens and is almost skipping. The only thing missing from their cheery disposition is a daisy behind their ear.  They've had a 'great night' they proclaim whilst eating some cold pizza for breakfast.  It was just so 'awesome' and 'ahhh babe... did you have trouble sleeping again? That sucks. Man that's tooo bad. Is that why your in such a bad mood?".

I respond and usually say something that makes him ask me "If I have my period" which we woman all know is quite possibly THE DUMBEST THING TO EVER SAY TO A WOMAN. Look, heads up boys.. just don't say it. You will never win with that question. Even if your right. DO NOT GO THERE. I repeat STEP AWAY FROM THE INSANE WOMAN.

All day the Hubio Insomniac is tired. She treats herself to a nice lunch while rubbing her eyes and yawning. She rents a movie for that night, something funny and light. She pops some popcorn and watches it by herself until her partner hears the noise downstairs and comes creeping down to see what she is doing. They don't talk but he nestles in beside her. She doesn't share her popcorn and feels in some way that it is a payback. She keeps denying him the bowl and he laughs. They shut off the DVD player, climb into bed and go fall off into a deep, deep sleep. Together.

 


WHITE PANTS FOREVER!

It is Wednesday, September 9th and last night I went to the movies and wore white jeans. Normally this wouldn't be an issue but I guess people in the Hamptons actually abide by the "Don't wear white after Labor Day" rule. I know this because as I approached the ticket counter a very stylish woman came up to me and said, "Thank GOD! I am so glad to see someone else wearing white." I did a quick head to toe sweep of her and sure enough she could have been a salesperson for snow.

"Yes," I said, "I am still wearing white and the reason for that is because these jeans don't have a stain on them yet." She looked a little horrified but it was the truth.

She left and bought some water. I got popcorn with butter, milkduds and a sprite. We were definitely different white wearers. She was the real deal. I was merely a white rookie. I could put money down that this lady would have NEVER eaten noodles with red sauce like I had with my three year old for dinner. That would be CRAZY in her mind or probably a better word is stupid. Yes. Cooking and eating bubbling red sauce while wearing white pants is one step short of putting your head in a lions mouth. You just shouldn't kind of do it.

I must be the Zigfreid and Roy of white pants I guess because despite the odds, there I was, still spot free and eating my popcorn in the sixth row. Rubbing my greasy hand on my left knee and digging in for more. I got home and still no stain. I was happy and for a moment understood the reason that people protect their clothing like little pieces of art. It was going to feel good to be able to wear those jeans again in a social setting other then my basement, painting.

So I am going to stick with my new unexpected decision. I will officially wear my white pants as long as they don't have stains on them. I have a feeling that I will probably get another week or two out of them which should coincide nicely with the official day summer ends. Should you see me in December still wearing my white pants then pat me on the back or give me a hug. Be sure to keep your full, spilling, frappaccino latte and greasy ass hands away from me because you will, in effect, be witnessing the first miracle of Christmas.

 

THE EYEBROW CHRONICLES

SEPTEMBER 4th, 2009

My techie friend, Michelle, said to me the other day, "Hey Nancy, If your going to have a blog you DO realize that you have to update it right? "

I told her that yes, I was aware of that minor detail but that I have been really busy with the 'rock' part of rockamom these past few weeks and that my "work" had been calling and that my darling little blog would have to wait till I could put enough brain cells together to clean my refrigerator of molding sour cream and used up jelly jars. Right after that I would update the site.

She wasn't having it. "Listen, I'm just warning you that people will stop checking in on your blog. You have to update it at least once a week. At least. If not more." On and on she went. Google this, meta tag that... all sorts of bloggy wisdom.

Finally I broke. "Listen. I've been busy. I'm tired. I am the first one to admit that I cannot seem to swing it all ok?! Look. Look. LOOK at my eyebrows!"

"Eyebrows?" She said back and then had a face on that can only be described as Scooby Doo lost in a cave with a ghost offering him a cracker. She was throughly confused and didnt know what to say. Step away or take the cracker. It was a hard call.

I was not lying and proceeded in my defense.

"Michelle, take a good look at me. Come close and admire my feral brow. You will quickly realize that I am one step short of an Irish madman.  I almost have fucking hairs sprouting out of my forehead for kripes sake. I haven't had time to pluck my eyebrows since July and it is now officially September. My eyebrows have gone to the other side. The very, very dark side my friend. The blog is the least of my worries. I'm more afraid that my eyebrows are going to attack a small child walking down the street or some elderly lady walking a poodle. In two more weeks Im going to have to register them with the ASCPA along with that pet wolf I keep in the basement."

She took two steps back and clutched her tea with both hands. She leaned in slowly for a closer look and let out a very slow and weak, "WoooowWW. You're not kidding."

Zoinks.

Every summer I go through this. I don't mean to look like a robust German Farmer woman but thats inevitably where I end up after a long month of gigs. The time slips away and eventually one morning when things start to slow down I take a long good look in the mirror and GASP. How could I have let it get that far? How could I have not noticed sooner? How, on earth, could it have happened AGAIN!?

You can tell a lot by a woman's eyebrow. There are several different forms and variations but I am going to narrow it down to a select few so that you can get a quick overview of what I am talking about. It is slightly a joke and yet, at the same time, disturbingly accurate. Proceed with caution.

First and foremost there is the uber pencil thin and tight shape that is usually a very organized person. Preferably a lover of small dogs or ever worse, hairless cats. These woman often smoke and are skinny. They drink their coffee black and wear clothes by Calypso. In short. They are french. To achieve this look they must pluck their little thready eyebrows everyday. The have no children but great lovers. Secretly they wish smash some ones window in but hold it in down deep inside and just walk around looking like a bitch. Which they are. but i digress.

Woman with average eyebrows that are plucked and look normal tend to be fairly cool. These woman are good friends and the kind of lassies you want to take to the bar with you to tie one on. They will help you out in the middle of the night when you run out of gas at some guys house and need to be picked up because the said guy passed out and turned out to be a total jerk. These are the eyebrow girls you want in your corner. They know how to eat, like most animals, except for maybe  ferrets and they like to get dark, cherry red manicures. They like cream in their coffee and are givers of great birthday gifts.

Woman that have "once plucked eyebrows but the plucked areas have grown in" tend to have one of the three: a stressful job, to many kids or a bad light in their bathroom. These woman predominantly have a pile of crumpled empty fruit juice containers in the back of their cars, unbrushed hair that is in a bun and to many clothes in their closet. They often dream of running away to Morocco but somehow never seem to leave their home town. They are constantly battling an unbalanced checkbook and need to clean their refrigerator. Then their house. Then their car. Then their bathroom. Then their eyebrows. I would like to state one VERY specific fact at this point about our cave ladies. Should these woman ever get the time to pluck their eyebrows then my friend - WATCH OUT. RUN FOR THE HILLS.  With their lives in order they are capable of unfathomable feats. Run a large business? no problem. Negotiate a UN hearing? Consider it done. Jump over a large building while changing a diaper and reciting a poem in Japanese... backwards? Easy as pie for our uni browsy broads.  In effect these are the ladies that can bring home the bacon and fry that shit up in a pan yo. For reaaalll.

Last but not least we have the unplucker. The renegade. The au natural or the hippie girl or maybe even the rebel fashionista. Wild. Carefree. Full of spirit... and hair. She walks the streets not giving a damn as her hairy eyebrows and unbraided pits blow wistfully in the summer breeze. She doesn't care about you and your stereo types. She is to busy buying her organic perfume (Dr. Bonners liquid pachouli soap) and reading Dave Eggers "The Believer". She is a loner of sorts but a good friend to the few people she doesn't hate. She doesn't drink coffee but prefers imported tea from Somalia.

We will round out our catagories with the famous UNI BROW. We must give these people a moment of silence and respect. The uni is a unique person that trys and trys to separate something that can not be separated. A mini siamese twin. On their face. It cannot be fun and yet is oddly fascinating. We all know a person with a uni brow and secretly want to bring our Venus gillette razor to their forehead while they lie sleeping on our couch. Don't despair. They have tried it themselves and failed. It is, much like my ugly feet, something they just have to get used to living with. Luckily woman can look exotic and worldly with a uni whilst men look one step short of a a cave monkey. It is unpluckable and should there ever be a Eyebrow Hall of Fame the "unibrow" will undoubtably be the first picture you see hanging on the wall as you enter the building.

So there you have it. This is the unofficial guide to eyebrows. Take what you want from it. Don't say I didn't warn you about the tight lined french chicks. I personally will be out at the hardware store getting a new bulb for my bathroom and cleaning my car. However once that is done I will get to my fridge and then, lord have mercy, my mountain goat eyebrows. Baaaaa. Baaaa. But beware: come October the sky is my limit.

 

DONT BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW

August 5th, 2009

I just spent the last hour of my morning plugging my left ear with my index finger and eating eggs. This is all due to the fact that I wanted to eat out and live in a tourist town and it is August. I should have known better. Our breakfast joint was packed so my husband and I thought we would pull a fast one by sitting at the counter. That marked us as undesirables because everyone knows people at real tables are smarter and prettier. So we waited for 15 minutes outside on the humid and muggy streets of Montauk till we heard "Thomas - Two! Counter!" and bee lined our way in. There were two empty seats at the counter and they were straddled on either side by very big, very fat fisherman. Now I happen to love fisherman, my dad is as fishermanly as you can get. I also love fat people. I was one for many years and still fight the battle of the bulge every winter.  However, I do not like fat fisherman who eat with their mouths open and groan every time they take a sip of their coffee. It was like sitting next to a big Italian mafia version of Monica Selas, the tennis chick that YELPS every time she hits a ball. I hadn't had my coffee yet or any food so that could have added to my crankiness but listening to this man eat felt like putting bamboo under my nails. PURE TORTURE that didn't stop. To make matters worse my ear attached to the sound and it wouldn't let go. A dripping egg and cheese faucet if you will. The clock ticking as your trying to sleep. One of THOSE sounds.  I almost left  in a hungry jackass huff (how would I explain that to the hostess..."Um, I have to go because the guy next to me is eating to loud. In a restaurant! The NERVE!). So I realized my jackass ways and was just to damn hungry and tired so I just turned my back and put left index finger to my ear. I wasn't trying to be rude or funny... It was survival. This guys could have been the special effects soundboard for when the ghosts eat up New York in Ghostbusters. I mean he was gobbling and snorting. EGGS. Ughhhhh. That gross. Ok. I will stop. I am repeating myself. I think it is safe to say that my monthly "friend" will be arriving with two old suitcases any day now. Why do they call your period your "friend" by the way? It's not your friend. Its the evil cold hearted bitch that makes you want to rip the throat out of a man eating eggs loudly. Good times. Goooooood times.

All of this only reinforced the fact that I am going to win the war with my son about  closing your mouth when you eat. I have been living in a world of reverse psychology of late. Anything I want I just tell him the opposite of and I can consider it done. "Don't you put on your pajamas! Don't do it!! Don't you DARE put on your pajamas!" I shout as he runs with glee to his room and attempt to put on his Crocodile Rock ensemble. I'm sure I'm setting myself up for a life of misery where when I actually want him to do something I will have to flip it around three times in my head. On this week and on this particular day, I don't care because it works damnit and I need to press the easy green button from time to time in this mommyhood game.  He's three now so by the time he's six I'll be living out that scene from the movie "Princess Bride" where the small guy is trying to figure out which goblet has poison in it. "Well you will THINK that I think that this one will have poison in it therefore I am thinking that you think I will think it has poison in it so one must deduce that there is NO poison in this goblet" and then he drinks it. And dies. It's a comedy. Trust me. All of life's meanings can be found in Princess Bride. Rule number two. Never trust a Giant who is about to throw you into an ocean of sea monster snakes. I digress.

So let it just be stated that I'm not an etiquette snob. I eat chicken wings with my fingers and have stains on almost every dress I own. That said, people who eat with an open mouth gross me out. It is kind of a class separator. You can have all the dosh in the world but if you have coleslaw being masticated on an open tumble dry cycle in your mouth then in my book, you are a piggo slob. Cows close their mouths but pigs, Im afraid, do not. Piggo slob it is for Mr. Gumba Pescadoro.

I am at home now sitting in a very quite house. My son is at a play date probably spitting chocolate milk out his nose and laughing. My husband is eating cheese like a tired farmer. My dog is lapping up the last remains of his lukewarm august doggy water and I am going out to the store to buy earplugs. I'm dreaming of a day when they invent mouthplugs too. I'm sure they will be stocked right next to the tampons.

 

ADDICTED TO LOVE

August 1st, 2009

Last Monday was a pretty average day. Grocery shopping, a little laundry, a wailing three year old that didn't want me to eat anything. Its some kind of control issue but unfortunately for him my relationship with food is wolfish so when he starts screaming, "Don't Eat THAT!! NOOOOO!" I just start laughing. A train full of machete yielding banshees could not stop me from eating when I am hungry so i find it amusing that my son thinks his tantrum protests will even remotely work against my empty stomach. Three year olds don't like when you laugh at them. They get pissed. So there I stood on Monday morning, out of bread and reduced to eating a ham and swiss sandwich on a hot dog roll for breakfast whilst the toddler opera pounded fists into the floor and screamed a high C repeatedly. Its a great way to wake up. You should try it sometime.

To any extent the day droned on and somewhere around 4 the babysitter came and I headed to my closet. I started digging through all my draws looking for black, which isn't the hardest thing for me to find, but in summer it's like looking for a grape lollipop in a bag of lemon, orange and cherry. Summer clothes are all fruity and fun and don't really have the balls needed to be apart of an "Addicted to Love" theme party. My goal was to look like one of those chicks from the famous 1980's Robert Palmer Videos that stand behind him all in short black skirts and raccoon eyes. Bright Red Lips... you know who I'm talking about. Think slicked back Jackie Collins in a night scene from "Dallas". Wow. That was a great show. What ever happened to Charlene Tilton? I digress.

So lets just state, for the record, that I am addicted to dressing up. I am one of those people that start thinking about Halloween costumes in August or use any excuse to put on a wig and a dream. Irish Elvis for Saint Patricks Day? I'm your girl. The annual White Trash party at the Talkhouse? Give me a six pack necklace and a fake black eye. So, it should come as no surprise that on this past Monday I was foraging through my clothes in order to put together a black ensemble so that I could look like a german rock prop for a 70 year old mans birthday. A 70 year old man whom I should mention that I DIDN'T KNOW. See. I told you I had a problem! The thing was that it was my friend hosting the event and this particular friend has done alot of stupid stuff for me when i ask him so... well, I couldn't resist helping him out.

By the time I was done I must say that I looked pretty damn close to the real thing. With a very square jaw I've never been able to carry short hair and this particular outfit required that I slick it all back. I was not looking forward to the result however it was a vital part to the whole package. I was feeling fairly confident until my husband said, "Wow, you look hot... in a very manish sort of way". Thanks honey. That's really sweet. No. Really. Thanks.

I grabbed a red electric guitar from downstairs because in my household we have things like that lying around. Hey, some households have flashlights that work. Others have a full set of wine glasses. We have neither but I'll be damned if I don't have options when it comes to 6 stringed instruments. I got in my car and headed into town and because this was a surprise party I had to walk about a quarter of a mile to the actual house. Who knew that walking as an addicted to love chick down a main road with a red guitar strapped to your back could elicit such reactions? You have to try this sometime! Its right up there with pretending to be a rock star in an airport (cue heavy makeup, ripped jeans, sunglasses and a guitar case... make your next trip and adventure and get off on the nerd in aisle two whispering.. "who is she???").  If  you do decide to partake in the addicted to love street walk then just make sure you don't do it in your neighborhood because people will think you are a freak. I did look CLOSE to one of the girls but under the wrong lights I could have definitely passed as a incarnation of Michael Jackson. It was a little scary.

I won't get to far into the fact that when I got to the party there was only one other chick dressed up like I was. Or the fact that they only had one cheese plate to feed about sixty people (don't they know about artichoke dip? Its fast, easy and a crowd pleaser). It was DEFINITELY a party thrown by a straight man. Thats all I have to say about that. So yes, other girls did arrive. They gave it the old college try but hadn't dipped to deep into the well of make believe. A lot of knee length cocktail dresses with their arms showing. They had not gone to YouTube and done their homework. Some had a light red gloss but no Marlena Deitrich on acids like myself.  The old man arrived, the music blasted... "MIght as well face it your addicted to love" and  we danced on the lawn around him. He was shocked and confused and trying to pretend to smile but looked slightly in fear. He had no idea what we were supposed to be and couldn't understand why there was some scary disfuncional bartender in a white cut off man beater and a black tie lip syncing two inches from his face with several woman all dressed in black with blow up guitars gyrating around him. It was surreal. Bizarre. And funny. I laugh just thinking about it. And quite honestly I can't wait to do it again. Somebody call a therapist.


 

 

THE GOLDFISH ROAD

JULY 22nd

In the 60's and the 70's every goldfish in the world was named "Flipper". Then in the 80's  good ol' flipper was overtaken by "Jaws". Even if it was a guppy. Then in the 90's we had what has come to be known at the "Nemo" phenomenon where in millions of clown fish were being flushed down the toilet in an attempt to reunite them with the voice of Albert Brookes. Now, in 2009 we are officially in the "Dorothy" era and that is because Elmo and his entire Elmo world revolve around one little goldfish with that very name. We have a two year old Dorothy of our own and that is because there is no way I am denying my son Cash of being one step closer to Elmo's big red furry heart.

Our Dorothy is not nice. She was purchased along with two other goldfish which she managed to kill in under 48 hours. It was not pretty and I was horrified when I realized that she was indeed eating our fish instead of cleaning him. My husband and I woke up on day two with our son screaming, "Mommy! Mommy! Dorothy III is sleeping and only has has one eye!".  I flipped on Sesame Street and then scrambled upstairs to remove the carcass of  Dorothy III  from the murderous crime scene. Dorothy one waided ominously in the corner and made funny fish faces at Dorothy II who was peeing in her fishy pants. I told you she was mean. So at that moment I vowed that I wouldn't buy anymore fish and subject them to alpha Dorothy's Hannibal Lector ways. I thought Big D (her nickname) would last maybe 6 more months on her own but here she is two years later. Big, Gold and still bad ass. She's had plenty of time to repent and sometimes late at night when I come in from a gig I swear I see her counting rosary beads off of Captain Cooks hat. I've forgiven her murderous ways just simply for the fact that she has to live in that damn tank all couped up, alone and falling for her own groundhog day reflection over and over again. How she must long for one real fishy snuggle, for one long sprint of swimming which doesn't result in her bonking her dorsal fin on that sheer fake plexi-glass.

At three and a half Cash is pretty much over his fish. I mean why stare at a fishtank when you could throw a baseball or run, like, super duper DUPER fast? He doesn't even care about feeding her any more so like the over grown puppy with smelly breath the task has been automatically delegated to yours truly. I now wake up every morning and get to her feedings after I put out the wild bird seed and water the plants. I walk over to her 10 gallon tank and tap the glass. She comes over and swishes her tail a few times greatful for the few flakes of fish meal and dried shrimp bodies I toss in.  I stare in and watch her for a few moments then get on with making breakfast and all the other fun filled events that put you into Robot form in the early hours of the day.

Lately I cannot help but think that Dorothy has been trying to talk to me. Maybe it's the first signs of a midlife crisis but I'll be damned if that Fish isn't looking straight at me and sending signals into my head that say "FREE ME"... "FREE ME". It's gotten to the point where I can't help but imagine her first moments in a big, beautiful, warm summer pond. At first she would be totally overwhelmed, then have some fear and then, after about 15 seconds she would be like, "HOLY SWEET MOTHER THIS ROCKS!!!".  I don't expect her to have friends, at first, because she is too cool for school and well, killing your own kind can sometimes make you sort of unpopular.  She'd have to go to a few classes of Fishes Anonymous and change her ways but overall, even if she did get picked off I am still fully convinced that she would take a few days out in the wild over two more years of looking at my shit ass rug or another second of hearing our dysfunctional Thomas train set randomly spit out "Welcome to MORGANS MINE!" in Sir Toppemhats arrogant slave driving voice. I may throw that train set in the pond too. Not sure yet.

I passed the Dorothy release "adventure"  plan by Cash yesterday and he let out a very lackluster, "I like Dorothy." and then two seconds later picked his nose and ran his red train down the stained spotted spine of my couch. I sipped my tea and nodded. Ok. I can do this. I can take a day of the crying and confusion to release this poor fish. It's July after all and the pond temperature would be PERFECT for her to acclimate to. I closed my eyes. I envisioned her swimming up to a rock, then a stick then the sunlight dappling through overhead. The mud. The water. All first taste of a real, live shrimp. Oh it is a must. She must be free. I'm going down to the pond right now and then coming home and booking a few gigs out of town this fall. The air suddenly tastes a little sweeter.



Toots
TOOTING AT TOOTS
July 14th

Last week I went to see one of my favorite performers, Toots and the Maytals. I had been looking forward to the show all month and couldn't wait to be on the opposite side of the stage letting it all hang out. Pre Show Toots was going to be one of those days where your working against the clock, doing things you know will pay off later. Like cooking dinner at lunch time and taking the dog out for a long walk so you know he won't whine all day like my grandmother who hasn't gotten her cole slaw yet. By 7:30 pm i had successfully taken care of everything and anything to assure myself a painless segway from babysitter to work to rocking with my Reggae Superstar. I wrapped up a nice little acoustic set at the Surf Lodge and went back to my car to get my Toots dancing shoes that I had strategically put there in the morning. I take dancing very seriously not because I'm necessarily good at it but because I love it and I'll be damned if I'm going to let a pair of high heeled performance shoes prevent me from the spastic jumping  and shaking I like to partake in at a Toots show.
Summer dancing shoes suck. In winter it's always an easy pick between well worn boots or comfy sneakers but in summer you are basically stuck with flip flops or open toe sandels. Either choice leaves you open and naked to the drunk bruiser who does a untimed step backwards onto your left foot and his 237 gorilla clodhoppers inevitablely lands on your big toe and while you are hopping in agony he continues on with his oblivious white boy dancing. White boy dancing hurts me in so many ways. It is a form of expression reserved for very white, very rich boys with no rhythm that wear navy Izods and white shorts. Now I believe everyone should dance. Everyone, that is, except rich white boys with no rythm in navy Izods and white shorts. Please spare me the pain of watching your prep school ways and your creamy smooth peanut butter moves. You need some more super chunky brother. Bring in the nuts.  Anyway, I digress. So where was I? Yes, I reached in the back of my car and grabbed my summer dancing flip flops and headed to the Talkhouse with a wish and a dance floor dream. Got an Amstel and headed to the front of the Toots lovin pack. Ahead of me, no joke, was a very tall, very mookie mook who was wearing, drum roll please: A navy Izod and white shorts. He had his arms crossed and was waiting for Toots to impress him. Rule number two: never standing in the front of a stage with arms crossed at a rocking show. Performers do not dig. Catch me? Nothing worse. Oy! Ok... so, I'm standing there in all my glory, ready to get down and shake it like I bake it.
The music starts up and the girls are singing. Everyone is jumping in unison singing "Aye Yiii Yiii, Aye Yii Yii!". We are in the church of Toots and he is bringing the roof down. Three songs in I am sweating and can't stop my legs from running in place. I look around and we are like a school of fish chasing after a giant Toots bait ball. We can't get enough. Then at the climax of "Pressure Drop" it happens. The moment that this whole blog is about.
Someone farted.
Not once, not twice but three blind mice times in a row. At least. I tried to brush it off and get back to my groove but the gig was up. Mr. Invisible Flatulence was unleashing them in rapid succession and I became a powerless superman against post fajita kryptonite.
People around me started giving backward glances looking for the evil doer and the only one who seemed unfazed was the tall dude with the Navy Izod and the White shorts. I was willing to put down big money that his tighty whiteys were in need of some  K-Mart aisle 3 Febreeze. It's also possible that it could have been the dolled up blond who was wearing micro white jeans and a bikini top but in my fair estimation those were man farts that were going down. I have lived with two older brothers, toured with four sloppy drunk male musicians in one van for over a month so yes, dammit, I do not like the fact that I can tell the difference between male and female gas but I have been given that unfortunate repeated experience and it is very safe to say that had my fate been different I may have, quite possibly, found my true calling as a highly regarded cheese somelier.
Now I  play alot of shows and they are late at night after people, in general, go out to dinner. At some point in EVERY late night show someone farts in the crowd. I'm sorry. Its true. Trust me if you think it's hard to read try living it on a weekly basis. My only guess is that they think they are shielded by the noise? Is this an airplane thing that people assume the roar of the motor and the already stink ass airplane food air will cover up there need to pop a doozy?  It's like this unwritten airplane code where eveyrone thinks "Oh here comes the smelly airplane lunch tray... nows my chance! No one will know its me... they will think it's the Chicken Marsala and rice!".  Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but when your feeling really relaxed and dancing your ass off and getting all sweaty and think that nobody is going to catch wind of your little nugget your wrong: WE CAN SMELL IT! And since I am just being honest because I feel like we are at that point in our relationship, you can also smell it on the plane. You are not fooling anyone. You may go undetected but at some point your gig will be up. I am asking you or anyone you may know that may take up this practice. Please, stop farting at my shows or any shows for that matter. Just go outside. Use the bathroom. Run to your car. Grab your purse and put it up to your ass. I don't care how you do it but please. Not when I'm dancing two feet from you on the dance floor. Even my gnarly brother had enough love to let me escape the bed should he torture me with a dutch oven. But if you do it while I'm playing or dancing to Toots I am at your gas ass mercy. So I beg on last time: Please stop farting on the dance floor. Thanks.
On this night, in this particular situation it took the fourth round of air  artillery from Mr. Crossed Arms Navy White shorts before I broke. I just went up to him, whilst jumping up and down like a pogo stick, and said with a smile and a bounce "HEY YOU! START DANCING AND STOP FARTING!". His eyebrow went up, his hands dropped to his sides in fists and he left the dance floor like a 5 year old. A very guilty 5 year old. If I can take one farter off the dance floor then I consider my mission for the night complete. I twirled on my flip flop and raised my arms in jubilation. Then the horrified woman moment happened. Whilst cooking dinner at lunch and walking my dog and playing my gig I had forgotten to do one thing. Put on deodorant. I squeezed my arms close to my chest and looked around as if to blame it on someone else. Just as I started to relax and feel like no one had caught on to my stinkfest the chick in the micro white jeans turned around and gave me a wink and a smile. I vowed the next day to be nicer to men in navy Izods and white shorts.



Rock Manicure

Hear Yea, Hear Yea, All Behold the "Flaming Phoenix"

(I didn't say it was pretty...)

ROCK MANICURE

July 7th

Sunday mornings in my house are always the same. I indulge myself in a sleepover babysitter so my husband and I can catch a few extra zzzz's after a typical late night Saturday gig. Most times I get IN around 4:30 AM. I repeat AM. Like little birds talking to the stars hour. THAT 4:30. So my precious babysitter enables me to wake up and be an innocent dishevled human whose only goal in life is a cup of PG Tibs english and to scratch my ass. Unfortunately, before I can get that caffeine infusion I must first wake up, do a full body stretch complete with sound effects of a groaning 38 year old woman who tried to move like a 21 year old the night before, hobble out of bed and over to the bathroom where I will finally take my ceremonial morning pee and survey my "rock manicure" in peeing zen bliss. You know,  its those first few seconds of the day where nothing enters your head except the fact that you are still alive and only have enough brain cells to hear the sound of your own ceremonial waterfall beckoning the day ahead. We all know this moment and feeling so don't act like you don't know what Im talking about. Your smiling and scratching your head and start thinking about coffee or in my case, Tea. So anyway it is exactly at this moment, every Sunday, that I look at my right hand in exhausted Spicoli silence. My right index finger nail to be exact. The polish is stripped clean except for one last strap of blue that is holding on for dear life down by the cuticle. I look at the middle finger. It's polish is half gone too. It slightly resembles an early Rothko painting. When I see that the next finger, whose name I have forgetten... shit, what is that finger called? He's like the Jan Brady of the hand. Well anyway, you know the finger, the one between the pinky and the middle finger. Yeah that one. Well, he's lost a little lacquer too. Wow. I think. It WAS a wild night. A fine example of a Flaming Phoenix if I do say so myself. I have, without knowing it, given myself a deluxe version of a Rock Manicure.

So I think about it a little more. And it's true. I can base my night's performance on remaining amount of nail polish that is still on my index finger. I'm taking it a step further and classifying some new rock manicure names. Hopefully, someday, you will be able to ask for them at your local salon:

1)The No Tipper Manicure

This is a manicure that is basically untouched.  Maybe the very tips of the nail polish are missing from loading your equipment in. This show probably involved playing to people in wheelchairs who were yelling at me to turn it down as they spit cornbread through their dentures. No sweat, no glory and the hardest thing at the bar was Cranberry juice. Nail color preferred: Summer Coral.

2) The Flaming Phoenix

My most popular Rock Manicure. It has nothing to do with a Phoenix  or flames for that matter but I just happen to like the name. This manicure is the one I typically find on my own hand as I am reaching for my Marcal recycled toilette paper. For this one, the index finger of the strumming hand and possibly the next two fingers is scratched off in an jagged sandpaper like fashion. Other possible causes for chipped lacquer could be the unbuttoning of some lads shirt in the third set or blocking the mic from hitting your teeth. Sweaty rock and roll, lots of fun and predominantly beer drinkers. Other well known musicians to sport the "Flaming Phoenix" are Courntey Love, All members of The Cure and Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats whilst shooting videos. Nail color preferred: Dark Blue.

3)The Bleeding Knuckle

I must confess this one is my favorite. It is a rare but PURE rock and roll. Forget the nailpolish. The BK as I call it involves actually losing part of the nail. You don't feel it though because you are playing so hard and in so much sweaty rock and roll glory that your hands are numb. That also goes for the little chunk of skin on your knuckle that gets clipped and clipped and clipped by your bottom E string until it is GONE. Alas the title. The knuckle on my right index finger looks like an East End English boxers nose. It is just fucked. Trashed. But very sexy in it's own way I guess to the select few who have been there, done that. This manicure is not for the faint hearted. All Sweat, all glory and the people at this gig are usually always plastered on Tequila or Jack Daniels. Known followers of the BK are Sid Vicious, Bruce Springsteen and Barry Manilow back in the days that he used to play behind Bette Midler in the Turkish Bathhouses. Awwww Barry, I always knew you had it in you. Nail color preferred: Lincoln Dark Red.

So for those of you that have never seen it, well, it is  now the official marker of what went down the night before for any of you that know me. Rock Manicures have been around for a long, long time but nobody has officially given them a name. I am now putting it on the table. Making it legit. It will not surprise me if John Vavartos has his models wearing them as he debuts his new fall line and if Angel Tips, my favorite mani-pedi place starts offering the "Bleeding Knuckle" as I call it, complete with ripped stockings and a bucket to vomit in. I can see Steve, the Korean wonder who whipped out my last nail experience, donning a pair of headphones and getting down to business with some AC/DC pumping into his cute clean asian ears and a blow torch. It could be the next fad. Hey, if neon pink leg warmers made the rounds a few years back then anything is possible. At the very least, once you get over the initial desire to peel off the remaining nail polish and just let it be, well, once you get past that feeling and leave it in it's bizarre white trash ways, you will be oh so rock and roll.


 

 

BARNUM AND BAILEY JACKSON

June 26th

So last week I was talking about how David Carradine had the ultimate last party as his funeral was cool simply based on what people were wearing (See Six Lemon Trees Please below). Now on the heels of his death we lose Michael Jackson. Yesterday I had instant visions of David whistling over Tiny Tim and the two of them plopping down on some fluffy ass cloud and digging into a bowl of cosmic popcorn. There will surely be a full house at the gates of heaven getting ready to watch whose going to roll in for this one. Wow. Loin Cloths will be so last year!

What I really want to know is: what will the monkey wear? Screw the monkey... There are probably five top designers arguing right now over what Michaels final outfit will be and whether it goes with a silver glove. I would put money down that someone is also arguing about wether he should wear the glove or not. And a crown. And what will Elton John Sing? Will he do yet ANOTHER version of "Candle in the Wind":

"Goodbye King of Pop, though we got into some fights you were more than a lovely dancer..." Oh lord. Someone please stop Elton from another new addition of this song. It's like some bad movie sequel that just won't go away. I love Elton but someone has to tell his agent to stop letting him play all these funerals. He's become the Wayne Newton of high end wakes.

So I know some of you think I'm being a bit too cheeky with all this very sad news but the reality is that this is what is actually going on right now folks. Someone has the monumental task of planning this shin dig and it aint gonna be small. There will be lions, tigers and bears. Smoke machines and Latoya Jackson. I guarantee that it will all be filmed, complete with interviews and corriographed dance numbers. There will be a color theme, tributes and even a bad version of Thriller at some point. Unless Justin Timberlake pulls that straw from the bucket of sticks. Then it could be magical. Just watch... you'll see. I will not be far off on this one.

Let me be VERY clear that I mean no disrespect for the King of Pop. He was loved by millions and even bacterial amoebas can't resist dancing to "Billy Jean". However, if there was ever a funeral that was going to be a circus THIS ONE IS IT. Somebody dim the lights and cue The Jacksons. Cue the Presleys. Cue Pepsi. Cue The Promoters of his comeback tour who are now going to turn this event into some way to recoup the zillions (mega, ba, quad.. your call but that tour was going to make ZILLIONS). You get the big glossy pin up picture. This one is going to be the full enchilada, the whole bag of donuts, everything but the preverbial formica kitchen sink.

In the end I hope it is everything that Michael ever dreamed it would be. Maybe he spoke with my friend Stella and had it all worked out in his will. Anything is possible with Stella. I hope it has cotton candy, lots of ballons, rollercoasters and many finely dressed children of all nations dancing around maypoles. Most of all I really, really hope that all those trials in the past were indeed to extort money from him and not based on truth and that he's headed up to a nice shiny, white dancefloor in the sky for a little rest. RIP Michael and a personal shoutout from yours truly as I will now be playing covers of your music till I too, kick the bucket.

I am looking forward to writing my next installment about something a little more upbeat. Lets hope Madonna and Britney stay healthy so I can get writing about really important things like woman's deodorant. Don't say I didn't warn you!



 

Lemon Tree

SIX LEMON TREES PLEASE

June 16th

The other day I was reading a story about David Carradines' funeral. After mentioning his list of accomplishments and the gloomy weather it went on to note that an "assortment" of people had gathered to say their final goodbyes and that the funeral goers were wearing everything from Indian head pieces to the latest spring collection of Armani. I stopped right there. Personally, I was jealous. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to kick the bucket any time soon and especially not in the fashion that Sir David did. I do, however, need to acknowledge that when you have people showing up to your final hoorah in everything from  loin clothes to high fashion that it's official: your FUNERAL is cool. Damn. That is a hard one to pull off but leave it to David Carradine to pull the ultimate Fonzi.

It got me thinking of a conversation I once had with my good friend Stella who is a mom, a playwright and an phenomenal party thrower. One afternoon over a casual cup of coffee in her london flat, she mentioned that she was writing out her will and that in it she had allotted a fat chunk of money for her funeral. She then went on to tell me that was considering listing a caterer and a hall to boot, possibly even a color scheme. I laughed thinking she was pulling my leg.  Stella took a long drag from her cigarette, held it in, did a Robert Deniro eyebrow lift, shrugged her shoulders and then exhaled. Her eyebrows still up in place she looked down as she mashed out her cigarette into its small little italian ceramic bowl and then, finally looking me dead in the eyes,  very calmly and cooly said, "Lets face it, If it were up to Mick I'd have stale chips and beer next to my casket. That is NOT the last party I'm throwing darling!"  Ahh Stella. She meant every bloody word.

She branded my brain. 'Oh shit!' I thought... "She's RIGHT!" I had visions of cheese doodles and a various array of cornish wear filled with that string bean fried onion mixture in it. Shit shit shit. I have to plan my funeral party TOO? This is crazy! To much. I tried not to think about it but it kept haunting me like a left over bag of halloween candy way in the back of my cupboard.

GO AWAY. I am NOT going to think about this. GO AWAY! I said to myself, plugging my ears and singing, "La la la la la" as loud as I could.

It would not go away. It was in my head and not leaving till somebody got it some nachos and a cold beer. This thought was hear to stay.

So it started... the questions. OH the questions!  What would I want? Where would it be? What would I wear? Mariache or New Orleans Jazz? Bells and whistles or irish bag pipes. My head was dizzy. At one point I was a mere phone call away from ordering 6 lemon trees and a ice sculpture of a swan playing guitar. Ok. Not a swan but maybe just the guitar. Oh hell, go for it, the swan and the guitar. If your going to have an ice sculpture then go all the way dammit!

So I never did enter it into my will. Maybe thats because I've never written a will out yet. I go through phases where I decide I'm going to tackle it and then get distracted by my dirty dishes, a snot river on the side of my sons left nostril or my dog needing to pee. I am very easily distracted especially when I need to get things done. But I do know this. I know this very one thing for sure. If for some reason I split this party a little early I would want a person in Indian Head Dress at my funeral. And Armani.  And ripped jeans. And feathery boas. Top hats and tattered boots. Silver, gold and zirconia. And in that moment I will know, as I watch from my pearly cloud above, that I had lived a true life. That I had been open to all the people that had passed my way. So when I do write a will the description or party theme will read a little something like this:  I wish my funeral to be like a beautiful fucked up thanksgiving cornicopia that keeps spilling out into the street. Fried onion string beans and all. Oh yes. And six lemon trees in the room too. Thanks very much.

RIP David. Thanks for showing me the light.

Stuffing\

THATS WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

June 11th

So it's only 10:30 am and so far the order of my day went something like this:

1) Wake up and have cup of tea

2) Get Son ready for day. Put on his clothes, brush teeth and comb hair. Make baggy lunch. banana, peanuts, milk.

3) Drop Son off at said pre-school.

4) Go to post office check mail.

5) Return home to pillage through my closet and in attempt to put together an outfit for my husband that he can wear whilst stripping at my girlfriends bacholorette party tonight. No nudity but I guess a g-string is close enough.

6)Debate wether to tell husband to shave shall we say, any "stray hairs"... Decide to let that pass.  It's a miracle he's even doing this in the first place and Men, in general, don't care about being a Miranda. If you don't know what I'm talking about just watch the "Sex and the City" movie and you will get it. It's in the pool scene. You'll never be the same again. Forever more when you see a chick at the beach with pubic hair halfway down her thigh you will call her Miranda. Trust me.

So the outfit that I have come up with is a cowboy number and I think I should be a little concerned with the fact that
I just randomly have cowboy chaps, a two gallon hat and a whip in my closet.  He's 6' 3" so I guess the chaps will be a little tight but all the better in the end. I haven't used the whip since I pretended to be a Rodeo Assistant for this very short lived play in town. It looks great hanging in my closet but in reality it has more dust on it than my lint filled piano.

This is all my fault really. Well my big fat mouths fault. I thought it would be fun to watch guys that we actually know strip. I had been to one to many of those bacholorette parties. You know the kind... the ones where some cheesy slicked back chippendales wanna-be, pumps and grind his pork chop butt off. He merciliously slings  CVS Sally Hansen Jojoba oil spittels from his black curly ringlets onto the unassuming walls and participates. After he leaves you want to take a shower. And then another one. So when it was my friends turn to have this last night of mayhem I had to go another route. We rallied a bunch of my guys friends for my bacholorette party and it was a blast.  Very funny, very sexy and not a penis in sight.

However, now the tables have turned. I am not the girl in the hot seat. I am the wife whose partner is going to tea bag the bride to be with all my other friends watching.  I have the extreme pleasure of spending this rainy Thursday morning digging through a draw of unmatched socks in an attempt to find his 1980's skin tight leopard pants  knowing full well that when I find them its a green light that he will be thrusting them  into the general area of my very hot german friend later this evening. Am I insane? Well, as Sting said so many years ago... If you love somebody, set them free. Heee heee hee. I'm laughing already.

Oops.  found them. yes. Just as I remember. Very tight. Very leopardy. Think White Snake without the guitar or the red head on the corvette.

Lord Have mercy. No cameras please.


June 9th

Welcome to my madness. For years I've had a band website where I could blog about my general musings on life and my ridiculous adventures of being a singer songwriter rock and roller all the while trying to get people to go to shows and such. Then I had a baby and things changed. There wasn't really space in my "news" section for writing about how I felt after my breast shield leaked through my shiny blue tank top in the first set. Lets face it, leaking milk is just not rock and roll sexy no matter.  So, It's now three years later and I am finally getting around to creating this website to tell it like it is, like it was, like it should be.  This little blogs main intention is to highlight the obvious and absurd stories in my life and maybe make you smile. Nothing more or less. In short: I am just a woman trying to raise a family and still find time to rock. A goal nothing short of a miracle.