Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Slacker Mom? Bitch, Pleeze!

My 36th birthday was Saturday.  Now that I’m one year older and that much closer to the wrong side of 40, I’m finding that when it comes to some of life's little nuances, like political correctness, I just don’t care. For example, I'm finding that my ability to self-edit before blurting out exactly what is on my mind is slipping.  You all know what I'm talking about...it's those times when you think “WTF Retard!” when the well intentioned mentally challenged grocery bagger stuffs your loaf of organic whole grain bread in between multiple juice box cartons, a large bottle of diet iced tea and a jar of black bean salsa to create one large, flat, oblong tortilla.  The vast majority of you would politely push your cart away while silently cussing a blue streak in your head.  But yesterday was one of those days, and in the 12 item or less line, I think I might have said it out loud.

As I stood there wondering, "Oops, did I just say that?"  I kept thinking of a Saturday Night Live skit that I watched over the weekend and have not gotten Angie Tempura, the “Bitch Pleeze Blogger”, out of my head.  I laugh every time I watch it and the response has become my unofficial slacker mom battle cry! 

Why? Bitch, pleeze!  It is an apt response for almost every friend, co-worker, family member and occasion.  One perfect, snarky little Hallmark-ism that just says, “Shut the fuck up,” but in a much nicer way.  And, it is VERY cathartic.  Just as the lector reads the petitions/intentions at church and the congregation responds with “amen” or “Lord, hear our prayer.”  So too should moms everywhere state “Bitch, pleeze!” in response to whining, nagging, complaining and utter stupidity.

For use with the kids:

“Why do you have to make me do ALL of my homework!"

“Bitch, pleeze!”

"Mommy...even though I just had a Pop Tart, 3 juice boxes, a twinkie and 10 mini pancakes, I'm STILL hungry"

“Bitch, pleeze!”

"I don't want to play outside, it's boring.  I'd rather watch High School Musical again."
“Bitch, pleeze!”

“Everyone in the fourth grade has a Nintendo DS, IPod, AmEx Platinum Card, Smart Car, Pony, and Snuggie, but me!”

“Bitch, pleeze!”

“Mommy, I didn’t make it to the potty in time!”

“Bitch, pleeze!”

For use with teachers /administrators:

While your son tries hard, he needs to focus more on his classroom work and less time on farting noises.

“Bitch, pleeze!”

This is the Vice Principal.  There was a little incident in the lunch line this afternoon.  Your daughter told a little boy that he was only going to get coal in his stocking this Christmas.

“Bitch, pleeze!”

For use with your husband / spouse:

I thought I was going to get a birthday blow job?"

“Bitch, pleeze!”

Can you take the kids out for the afternoon, I really need to focus on the football game I’m watching on TV!

“Bitch, pleeze!”

It also works, I have found, for any "high priority email" with return receipt request and ASAP in the subject line, non-profit organization communications, neighbors that park on my lawn, phone solicitors from India, the cranky, sexually ambiguous mail lady who reads my People magazine, and my mother-in-law.

Got any good ones of your own to add to the list? 

Friday, March 27, 2009

What Is It About 5 Year-Olds & Poop?

Get down!” I called after my 5 year-old son. He did not listen. As I called out again, he had already adeptly scaled the 5 foot post and rail fence, even though it was wrapped neatly on either side with heavy gauge chicken wire. He looked back at me with a triumphant “I’m king of the world!” smile as he balanced precariously in his shiny black penny loafers and newly pressed green corduroys, both last worn at Christmas. We were in Massachusetts for a blessing ceremony, the barn and animals were on the adjacent grounds. It proved to be too much of a novelty for my youngest child, who still desperately wants any kind of animal, other than one of the three god damn Webkinz he doesn't already have, to call his own pet.

“I’m going to name the big cow ‘Mommy,’” he proudly (and loudly) proclaimed as he pointed to the bored looking animal leaning up against the barn at the far end of the paddock. He seemed more and more wobbly as he strained to get a better look at the pig and the other animals. He was too busy naming the pig after his older brother and the chickens after preschool girlfriends to notice that the wire he was leaning on had begun to bend. He was now balancing his upper torso on the very top of the fence. Head, arms and chest flailing happily on the muddy barnyard side, high polished shoes and clean pants vaguely hanging on to the other.

Get down!” I said for the third time. I was almost next to him, but not close enough if anything would happen. “Buddy, I can just see you going head-first into all of that mud.” He looked around, as if to survey the ground around him. It was a warmer than usual February day. A warm rain had fallen overnight, melting all remnants of snow.

He shot himself back up, upright, gave me a sheepish sideways glance and said, “It’s not just mud mommy, there’s poop, too.” And without missing a beat, he gracefully hopped down off the fence and was off if search of his siblings. I was left there with the animals thinking, if that had been any other kid, there would have been tears, dirty clothes and a long ride home.

But, I think my 5 year old philosopher nailed it, because, sometimes mud is mud and poop is poop…and sometimes, it is just mixed together.  And that is life!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Take the Baba Wawa Cha-Cha Chow-wenge

An open letter to MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host, Mika Brzezinski, from Barbara Walters as part of a growing vibratory rift between the two powerhouses:

Dear Mika,

My good friend Fidel Castro once told me that "when it comes to sex toys, everyone is a comedian". So you can imagine how surprised I was at your utter distaste for my witty bon mot on Monday’s show. After all it is 2009 and we are living in a post-SITC (Sex In The City) world. Did Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha not teach you a thing or two about a well placed "rabbit"? No need for "Mr. Big" in this discussion, especially where my co-host Joy Behar is concerned....

Perhaps "stimulus" is on the tip of everyone's tongue these days, but in my experience when you get four cranky women grousing around a table and it’s only a matter of time before a vibrator rears is large pulsating head. Really, I mean what are Joe and Willie really going to gab with you about while sitting at the news desk? I’m going to guess the Seinfeld “swirl” move episode is not a topic of discussion.

Much ado about nothing has been made from a wise ass crack from Joy and my quick witted response. I didn’t even utter the big bad “v” word or "dildo", "schlong", or "mommy pleaser" for that matter. But as someone might cryptically ask “do you burn?” when asking if you smoke the reefer, I surmise that you have never “zzzzzzz-ed” a four-speed Joy Stick to Prince’s assless chapped Alphabet Street. It was my good friend, Cary Grant who once said that "making love was his favorite form of exercise"....I know that just the thought of this made me yell out "Judy, Judy, Judy" in the throes of passion more than one time...My other good friend, Alex Rodriguez once said he enjoyed making love, but "more when doing it with myself". I have first hand knowledge that his own line of sex toys, called the A-Prod will be debuting at Kabala Centers very soon -- and potentially in the "Spring Training Package" from Intimate Surprises.

Mika, you need to loosen up and get yourself a little better acquainted with your “lady business.” To start, I suggest you hand-pick a nickname. Just as Henry Kissinger once confided to me that he often referred to “little Henry” as “Shaft,” I have given my general vaginal area the nickname "Cha-Cha" or more formerly "Cha-Cha Wawa". Why "Cha-Cha" you might ask? I picked a moniker that would also provide a private homage to my favorite character from “Grease,” no not Kinicki, but Cha Cha DeGregoria, "the best dancer at St. Bernadette’s with the worst reputation". And if you knew me during the 60's and 70's, you'd know that Cha-Cha Wawa got around!

If all of this dick talk is making you consider changing your prudish ways, I suggest that you start slow in the personal massage department. I strongly recommend starting with the Jackhammer Jesus and one dollop of “Slick-uid” -- any more and your chooch will resemble a Six Flags log flume. Trust me....I still walk funny since I got a little over zealous with myself in 1987 after a late night of partying with Gary Coleman in Malibu....

As my friend the Dalai Lama once whispered to me, "a good orgasm will make you see dead people, curl your toes with delight, and realize in one brief moment of clarity what the numbers on Lost really meant".

Warmest Regards,

Barbara and Cha-Cha Wawa

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When Sex is Spelled C-A-T

A cautionary tale....
March always inspires me to do a bit of spring cleaning. So earlier today, I decided to tackle the basement playroom. Just as I was about to throw a number of scattered magnetic letters into the donation pile for my son’s pre-school, a Christmas flashback quickly made me think again…

Perhaps it was the yuletide spirit, or just the thrill of getting caught wrapping the kids’ gifts, but this past Christmas Eve, my husband and I got a little busy tying other things up in bows. It was just after midnight and I had been moving bags of toys from the attic to the basement to be sorted, tagged and wrapped. I admit, it’s not the most clever, streamlined or efficient of processes, but as many things in our household go, it was a last minute cluster fuck.

Usually, I am on my own, toiling away wrapping gifts and stocking stuffers for the three children, plus my husband...while he would fall asleep on the couch amid an “A Christmas Story” marathon. This year, however, it was different. Maybe he was procrastinating wrapping the one box he usually puts all of my gifts in, the ones that don’t get wrapped for free at the local bookstore, or perhaps something in him stirred watching Will Ferrell in tights in “Elf” for the umpteenth time…whatever it was, I wasn’t going to question it. He decided to join me and it was much needed help – light at the end of the tunnel and I thought I’d finally go to bed on Christmas Eve long before the kids got up.

He looked boyishly handsome as he waded into the piles of gifts, but his countenance quickly grew grim almost stern. I could tell he was trying to estimate the amount of damage done on the credit card. But I had a plan for times such as this. Oh yes, I knew what I was doing - a playful tousle of the hair, a shy smile and passing squeeze of the hand, a quick shoulder rub – I was activating launch codes. Alpha! Tango! Rudolph! Foxtrot! Tired as I was, I stealth-fully sent out the message, either get a little nookie now or kill the mood until Easter with an argument over spending.

Hugging went to kissing to let’s just say "gettin’ it on" on the coffee table, which just hours before the kids had been making cookies for Santa out of play-doh. “Who’s your Santa?”my husband devilishly whispered as pushed my right leg up higher. “Ouch,” I thought, but it was a moment and I figured I’d go with it even if it wasn’t feeling quite right. “Who’s your Santa?” he asked again, pushing my leg higher. “Aghh, ride me, ride me like a reindeer,” I cried as a piercing, sharp pain shot up through my lower back. (Admittedly, now I cringe at this lame attempt at seasonal dirty talk...in the moment or not, "ride me like a reindeer," what was I thinking??? And ok, it's not quite the same as screaming "Oh Richie, fuck me like a cop, not a lawyer," like the divorce attorney instructed Russell Crowe's character in "American Gangster," please note that at the time I wasn't trying for bonus style points...) In the end, our holiday hijinx had been fun and fulfilling, but I was really hurting.

Afterward, as we laid there amid the strewn wrapping and packages, my husband looked at me and asked “Are you okay?”

“Yes," I said, "but, I think both you and the table did a number on my back.”

“Oh, sweetie, I’m so sorry,” he said then burst into hysterical laughter as I tried to get up. All he could do was point at my ass and giggle, “cat!”

"What the hell?" I thought as I stood up and twisted around to try to look at the right side of my ass….Then I saw the source of my pain. Three large magnetic letters were embedded in my backside, neatly spelling out “C-A-T.” (By the way, for those wondering, the letters are NOT included in the Intimate Surprises intro package at this time...) And when I gingerly picked them off, my husband howled again at the sight of what looked like a remedial tattoo and said, "At least the letters didn’t spell POOP!"

Moral of the story: Definitely think twice before getting busy in the playroom….and if you do, be careful not to donate anything that may or may not have been stuck to your ass …ho.ho.ho.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama Takes Off The Teflon & Bowls a Turkey

Has the media finally chipped away the smooth as silk image to unearth President Obama’s one true Achilles heel? Superman had Kryptonite. Bill Clinton had interns. George Washington had wooden teeth. Now, Obama has bowling.

Toward the end of his taped appearance with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show,” Obama compared his bowling talents to the Special Olympics. It’s not really a stretch, considering how bad he sucks at bowling, but if I was a Special Olympics athlete, I’d be pretty damned pissed. Danny Duval, a Special Olympian from Missouri, bowled a 231 in the 2006 Games in Iowa -- that’s 200 points more than what the President scored almost a year ago while bowling on the campaign trail.  Mr. President, your bowling isn't like Special Olympics, but more akin to Laff-A-Lympics.

Making light of the physically and/or mentally challenged by comparing them to his remedial bowling abilities, marks a low point for the President’s first 59 days in the White House. Frankly, I think there is just one way to make the pending furor go away --  a bowl-off. Just like the “Thrilla in Manila,” the “Woweey at the White House Alley” will serve to entertain the nation and divert attention from the Sesame Street layoffs, the Snuggie, John Stewart’s feud with Jim Cramer, and Lindsay Lohan. Danny’s got your number, Mr. President…it’s just a matter of time before he packs up his “special” balls and hits the Beltway with one objective – to take you down.

What I loved was that in an attempt at damage control, the White House immediately issued the following statement: "The president made an off-hand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics. He thinks the Special Olympics is a wonderful program that gives an opportunity for people with disabilities from around the world."  Really....I was actually disappointed that the White House, riding the wave from the confirmation of O'Bama's Irishness, didn't take this opportunity to say that his being "bowling challenged" is evidence of a physical disability....

The amazing thing about this entire scenario is the timeline – first cable news outlets leaked the comments from the live feed, then maniacal web outrage ensued and finally the White House statement - the remark was effectively wrapped in a neat little “swept under the rug” package, all before the show aired. Apparently Obama has Teflon-coated bowling shoes. Why did the White House have to issue a statement, anyway….hmmm…could this be “Bowling Gate?” Bryant Gumbel, I smell an HBO “Real Sports” expose in the works.

In a few days, I'm sure we will be able to look back on this blip with more clarity and appreciate it for what it is – it’s bowling for Christ’s sake! Bowling! And the ability to bowl isn’t really even a skill – it’s like eating with chopsticks or tying your shoes – if you don't practice enough, you ultimately look stupid trying. It is an activity that you can do while drinking beer, has obnoxiously large, heavy balls, is virtually impossible to look cool doing, has doublewide gutters, shoes that even Payless wouldn’t sell, and hell, was the backdrop for most plotlines of "Laverne and Shirley". 

So what if Barack Obama can’t bowl? Do we really want the leader of our nation to be an elite bowler? What does that say about us as a nation, anyway? And besides, the last truly avid White House bowler was Nixon…and we all know how well that administration went over.....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lost Money Recently? Then, You’ve Been “Bernie-d”

Bernie Madoff jokes are less than a dime a dozen, no pun intended, and not really funny. Most of them start with “Bernie Madoff walked into a bar with a priest, a rabbi and a minister….and then walked out with all their money…” While I haven’t been able to uncover a truly laughable, G-rated one, I have become enthralled with the entire Madoff saga.

Today, Madoff’s lawyers will be back in court to appeal a federal judge’s ruling to have him await his June sentencing in jail. The attorneys will argue that Madoff be allowed stay under house arrest in relative comfort, quietly overlooking Central Park in his tony Park Avenue apartment. I didn’t realize that Chanel made ankle bracelets, did you?

I have become fascinated with the video footage and photos of Madoff that seem to run on the internet and on cable news channels in a continuous 24 hour loop (even more so than the stories about the damn wacko chimp that turned all Hannibal Lecter a few weeks back). He is somewhat of an enigma - part villain, part mastermind, part-raging egomanic - in his natty suits and silk ties or quilted country car coat, always topped off with a well-coiffed silvery mane of hair. Hair that has been groomed with the best hot oil treatments and jojoba shampoos that money, not his money, but money could buy. Hair, that makes all of Vice President Biden’s hair plugs envious enough to stand on end and salute. His expression is almost always the same, grim, but not rueful. If you look at the images long enough, you detect a faint, smirking, half-smile. If you look at the images and happen to be drunk, you may think you are looking at one of our Founding Fathers, oddly enough....

Sorrow, regret and remorse are not adjectives I would use to describe Mr. Madoff. Relief, pure and simple, is what I read; relief that the hoax that he knowingly started is finally over. And when you think about it, what does he really have to be remorseful for? His victims were duped for two simple reasons: he did not provide the proper amount of information regarding his investing methodologies and his victims didn’t ask. While the story seems Machiavellian under the current economic conditions, I am reminded of Robert Frost’s iconic poem, “The Road Not Taken.”

The life lesson that we need to take away from this sad story and pass on to our children, is to always travel on “the road not taken.” Teach your children to be their own person, to ask questions and demand answers. Teach them that it is okay to not follow the crowd and to trust their inner voice. Fill them up with enough encouragement and resolve to make their own choices. Empower them to choose their own fate and not have fate choose them, as the latter was the case with so many of Madoff’s victims. Kids today, more than ever, need to be better equipped to withstand peer pressure that will flow over from adolescent choices to adult choices and then ultimately, to family choices.

My heart goes out to victims like Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel, who lost not only his own fortune, but $15 million from his foundation’s fortune. Many blindly trusted Bernie due to a shared religious heritage, but a crook is a crook regardless of religion. It makes you wonder if more people had stopped to kick the tires, would they have acted differently before freely handing over their bank accounts? We are all familiar with the first and last lines of Frost’s prose, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…I took the road less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Bernie did not take the road less traveled and neither did his victims.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

O'Bama Go Bragh?

Even on St. Patrick’s Day, we can’t ALL really be Irish, can we?

Apparently, we can…recent published accounts claim that President Barack Obama has Irish roots. The tiny village of Moneygall, population just under 300, has laid claim to the title of ancestral home of President Barack Obama. Town officials claim that Obama’s great-great-great maternal grandfather lived there until he left Ireland for the United States at the age of 19. Apparently, this was 160 years ago, and the country that brought us “Waking Ned Devine,” claims to have uncovered “official looking” documentation to prove it.

While casting Barack in “Famine, The Musical” would be a bit of a stretch as only 1 percent of the current Irish population is black. It’s not that far-fetched that he is indeed Irish, because what isn’t he these days? Savior of the economy, beacon of hope for our nation, Norman Rockwell-esque family man, lover of Michelle and according to his Joint Congressional address possible curer of cancer…it was only a matter of time before the blarney was out of the bag regarding his Irish ancestry. After all, I tell my children that they are a melting pot; that their ancestors hail from Ireland, Cuba, Italy, Scotland, Russia, Germany and the Ukraine. (Of course, I am very, VERY quick to point out that the best part of them and majority of their heritage hails from the West Coast of Ireland, but that is beside the point.)

And who doesn’t want to be Irish? According to the last census, 34.5 million people in the U.S. claim they have Irish ancestry. This statistic is approximately 9 times the actual population of Ireland, (somewhere over 4 million). Perhaps this is a new kind of Chicago/Irish math, because the numbers don’t seem to jibe with the approximately 2 million Irish who immigrated to American during the height of the famine in the mid-1800’s. If the stats are true, than one thing is certain: the Irish are one horny, mother fucking lot (and clearly do not stay at the Holiday Inn Express!). They reproduced like rabbits, or like wire hangers in a coat closet….throw one in and 25 come out….but maybe it’s just the Catholic ones.

Yet, this great “mick” love affair was not always the case. Even if your only exposure to Irish history has been the be gosh and be goragh “Far and Away,” the Lucky Charms leprechaun or Colin Farrell, you know at various points in time nobody gave a shit about the Irish. But I must admit, that I’ve always loved my Irish heritage. I’ve never once woken up and wished to be Dutch, Swedish or even Japanese. There is no secret handshake, special way to order a pint or VIP access to “Riverdance.” I have tried to proudly teach my children about all the branches in our family tree, with special attention to the clan from County Mayo. No matter hard hard I try, however, my 8 year old son wants nothing of it.  For some reason, much to my chagrin, he is absolutely convinced that he is the only one in our family that is French.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Swimming Lessons Can't Stop Potty Mouth

Remember back in day when swimming lessons meant you really only had to worry about your kids peeing in the pool instead of having a potty mouth? Maybe as our kids get older we are much more tolerant of swear words, maybe it's the Michael Phelps-bong effect, or maybe hanging out at the YMCA pool sets the tone for kids to just kick back and keep it real. Regardless, I knew it was not a good sign when my 8 year-old son ran up to me in an agitated state at the end of swim class.

“There is this boy,” he said slowly and deliberately, “in our class…and he… said bad words!” There was a big pause in between his words for added drama. “Really bad wordsAdult words….words that only you and daddy say!” he continued as we walked out of the pool area and into the small hallway to the locker room.

Internally, I groaned, knowing my kids had more or less heard it all….mostly coming from my lips. A woman walking out with us chuckled and said, “At least your kids knew enough not to say them.”

Still having more to report, my son, clearly annoyed by his classmate’s verbal diarrhea, grabbed my arm to stop me before we reached the locker room. “He said the “s” word,” then he looked around to see if anyone was watching or listening. “You know the S-H-T word,” purposefully he had left out the vowel.”

“Oh my gosh!” I cried, “he said SHOT?”

“No mommy!” my son cried.

“He said SHUT?” I continued to tease, but my frustrated son would have none of this. Tired and angry from having bad words shouted repetitively in his ear for the greater part of his 45 minute lesson, he yelled, “He said, ‘This place is a crap-hole. Crap. Crap. Crap. Everyone just leaves their crap around here. Crap. Crap. Crap.’” I just stood, tried not to laugh and waited for him to calm down. Then quietly he said, “Well, he didn’t say crap, instead he said the S-H-T word.”

Again he could not pronounce the vowel sound and before I could chime in, my 5 year’s voice from behind innocently called out, “He means the kid said 'shit', mommy.”

I started to get the image of this kid in my head as a mini Kenny Powers, the crude, mullet-wearing, down and out ex-baseball player, on HBO’s “Eastbound and Down,” series. “His mother had to talk to him in the beginning of class because he wasn’t listening,” my 8 year old continued. “Then what happened?” I asked.

“Well, his mother left and then every time we were done swimming laps he would ask me, ‘Hey, my damn ass hurts, does yours?’”

“That’s from all the shit!” very wisely summed up the 5 year-old, who definitely knows a thing or two about shit himself, and who I know had taken all of this in with the intent of repeating everything verbatim in his swim lesson tomorrow...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Can You Tell Me How to Get…to the Welfare Line?

Brought to you by the letter W…

I knew the state of the economy was bad, but when I read in USA Today that layoffs were hitting Sesame Street, you know the shit is really bad. When the cutbacks reached 123 Sesame Street, it was widely reported that many overheard Bert yell at Ernie, “Bitch, you better get your ho’ shoes on!” Frustrated that he has never been able to make it out of the basement due to Ernie’s shopaholic ways, Bert finally was pushed over the edge by a recent eBay bender consisting of Ernie selling off Bert's beloved paperclip collection to pay for auction items beginning with the letter "n."

Yet, the first ones forced to pack their bags and move off of Sesame Street have been Roosevelt Franklin, Rosita and the number 9. “I thought Obama was going to make it all better,” claimed Franklin. “First Wall Street, then Main Street, now Sesame Street.  Damn! This was going to be my year for marquee status – endorsement deals and a shoe contract. I was moving on up to the main house with Gordon.”

“I know what you mean, one day you’re on Salma Hayek’s speed-dial, the next day your cleaning up after Snuffleupagus….and believe me, despite the myth, there ain't nothin imaginary about that mo’ fo’,” concurred Rosita. Neither had any thoughts regarding their next steps, though Rosita did mention a life-long dream of driving a livery cab and the number 9 was planning on hanging out for awhile with the number 6 in the West Village....

To pick up the slack, a corporate restructuring has left many Muppets pulling double duty. The Count von Count has been reassigned to the finance department while Oscar the Grouch will be phased into customer service. “It’s not an ideal situation,” stated Muppet spokes frog, Kermit, “but we are accountable to our shareholders. The layoffs are the only way to weather the current economic storm.” The frog also confirmed that executives are exploring alternative storylines for Ernie and Bert in an effort to appeal to a broader audience and compete with HBO.

This did little to allay job loss fears, as protesters, lead by Prairie Dawn marched to Hooper’s store. “Monsters, Muppets,” said Ms. Dawn, “I am here to recruit you.” The thick, furry crowd chanted “Letters! Numbers! Monsters! Fight! Muppets know that frog ain’t right!”

“If Mr. Rodgers was still alive, he never would have let this happen!” said Prairie Dawn. “None of the humans are getting the boot, only the flocked, fluffy, and furry ones.”

“What can I say,” said long time Sesame resident, Bob, responding to the remarks, “I guess one of these things is not like the other.”

Older, lesser-used Muppets, such as Telly Monster and Sherlock Hemlock have opted to take a lucrative early retirement package, while a lucky few, Grover, Cookie and Herry Monster have scored stand-in gigs with Blue Man Group. Sources also claim that Elmo has started intense negotiations with producers, eager to boost Broadway ticket sales, for a permanent move to Avenue Q.

Big Bird, who has no plans to leave the nest, commented, “Let’s face it, the Elmo’s World series is so not Oscar-worthy.” At press time, Elmo could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ain't No Beaver Better Than A Gray Beaver!

This Saturday is my mother-in-law's 60th birthday. She requested that her party have a bowling theme so that all ages can join in the fun....But, be careful what you wish for, we are getting her a custom hot pink bowling shirt with a big gray beaver on the back. Not sure if she will like it, what do you think?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Potty Training Will Only Get You So Far….

This morning, I got the phone call that every parent dreads.

The nasally, annoyed voice of the preschool secretary was on the other end. “Your son has messed his pants, again,”she said with great disdain, placing too much emphasis on “again.”

Damn it, I thought, as I watched a long list of emails load. I had only been home for 15 minutes, hadn't even touched the steaming latte and was angry that the day would be cut short. I took a deep breath and tried to think of a plausible excuse to buy me a little time. She had gotten me on the home phone, so my usual stuck in traffic or just checking out at the grocery store stories wouldn’t fly. “I have an important call for work coming in any minute; I’ll be over as soon it's done.”

“No,” the stern voice reprimanded, “You need to come NOW, it is a very bad accident.” Now, how exactly do you respond to that? You can’t, really. Besides, how could I, in good conscious, let the teachers and preschool students suffer through whatever stench my son had created? “Of course, I’ll be there in five minutes.” I hit refresh on the computer screen one last time and grabbed my keys. “Little shit!” I thought figuratively, but hoped literally and began to replay the 45 minute bathroom scene that had occured this morning in my head. At the time, my stubborn 5 year-old either couldn’t or wouldn’t go.

For close to three days now, something had been brewing and he was now the 4 ft. equivalent of Mt. Vesuvius. The combination of chicken nuggets, bananas, Skittles and chocolate milk would prove toxic. When I did drop him off this morning I had a passing thought of issuing the following warning - Better start clearing the block area, the sand and water table, housekeeping and the circle time rug, kids, because, it’s just a matter of time before he’s gonna blow.

I pulled into the school parking lot and did not see a SWAT or disaster team. My biggest fears began to abate. No sirens, flashing lights or haz-mat suits, these were all good signs. I mean, after all, how bad could it be? Did she really need to say it was a “very bad accident?” Would I need the Jaws of Life to extract him from his underpants?

I fully expected a scene of this magnitude when I arrived...

Potty training had always been a problem spot, for the little guy. And it was becoming harder and harder for our family as a whole, to reconcile the lack of potty interest with this whip smart little boy who could single handedly reprogram the universal remote control, log onto the internet, take cell phone photos of my behind and send them out to random people with the text “big mommy’s butt”, and compose and save PowerPoint presentation slides on my hard drive titled “No Running in Wal-Mart,” “My Star Project,” and “Big List of Farts.”

Whatever I tried, bribing him with candy, small toys, extra "Naked Dance Party" time -- didn't work. He was completely unfazed about running around all day with poop in his pants. I was beginning to wonder if he just didn't care or couldn't smell. As I warily entered the class room, the teacher came over and said, “We’re very proud of him, today.” I looked confused. “He pooped on the potty, but he just forgot to tell us he needed help cleaning himself up,” she explained.

“Hey Buddy,” I said, as peaked into the bathroom. Ahhh. I was hit first by the smell, then by the scene of the crime. "Hi Mommy," he said, unsure of how I was going to react and sounding a tiny bit sad. As I tried to piece the forensic evidence together, I concluded that in his excitement of pooping on the potty at school, he simply decided that the best way to clean himself off was to wipe his ass on the ceramic toilet bowl, effectively smearing poop on the seat, the base and along the wall as one would thickly spread Nutella on a rice cake. Then, I hypothesized, he simply pulled up his pants and said “I’m finished!” before anything could be done otherwise.

I looked back out in horror at the teachers. “We would have cleaned it up,” they both said, “But it's not in our contract." Which could just as well be translated as "The cheap-assed dollar store notepaper you gave us at Christmas definitely doesn't cover wiping the adult-sized shit from your son's ass.” I cleaned him all up and helped him change into the emergency set of clothes kept on-hand at school and gave him a big hug. I decided to take him home to celebrate his first poop at school and minimize whatever bad feelings the clean-up had caused. Email can always wait, spending time with a 5 year-old can not. As a wise mom once said, "the road to kindergarten isn't easy - there are lots of potholes, poop and thrown out underwear along the way".

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Told Him to Wax His Back Before He Tried This....

....but my know-it-all husband just couldn't listen, could he?  You leave them alone for one night to go out with the ladies, and this is what you get....

That bastard owes me a new black Danskin leotard too. I don't recall giving him permission to wear that!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Will Happen When Obama has Fallen and Can't Get Up?

If Barack Obama fell alone in the woods, would we all feel his pain? When he stumbles upon his first policy failure, will we, the American people, hurt the most? I ask these questions because, this morning I read a New York Times blog post titled “Sometimes a President is just a President,” and was left wondering what was it exactly about President Obama and the entire Obama clan that makes them seem so accessible to us as a nation? Do we want to mirror them in our own lives and our own relationships? Or are we looking for some sort of hero, a savior?

In the piece, author Judith Warner, details a dream she had of Barack Obama showering in her bathroom. She then went on to describe similar dreams of others, dreams of having sex with Barack, dreams of befriending Michelle, dreams of having the girls over for a play date, while Michelle goes off to shop at Costco. Quite frankly, it all strikes me as a little creepy, because my dreams and anxieties usually include teeth falling out, free-falling over the Grand Canyon or riding a subway car naked, not the President of the United States and his family, and definitely NOT the Vice President. I dream of Biden? No way.

Our national Obama obsession is quickly crossing a blurry line into demagogue territory. Has history and Simon Cowell taught us nothing about idol worship? Barak Obama is not Superman. We are only in his first 100 days of the presidency. He will be tested. He will fall. He will fail us. Why? Because, he is human. The expectations we are all placing, not just Americans but the world, on this one man are gargantuan and godlike. Everyday the pedestal that we have placed him on rises higher and higher to the Heavens like the Tower of Babel. Newsweek has even run a cover story citing how Obama will talk us out of an economic depression with his confidence. How will we all react when he falls?

We need to give the man and his family space. The freedom to make decisions and the freedom to make mistakes. My favorite essay in “The Last Lecture” is titled “Be the First Penguin,” it is about not being afraid to fail. Late author, Randy Pausch, writes “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.” He later writes that students need to realize that “failure is not just acceptable, but that it is essential.” At the rate that Obamania is growing, there is no room for failure and one misstep, one wrong turn and the entire train is derailed. Will the fallout merit the mistake? In Obama’s case probably not, but rest assured Mr. President, there will be some of us waiting with one of Pausch’s “Best First Penguin” awards to help you up, to applaud your failure and to let you use your experience to move us as a nation on.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sexless Marriage: Silly Marketing Ploy or Ultimate Economic Stimulus?

Aside from the state of the economy, Obamania, Snuggies, and Jessica Simpson’s weight, it seems that the nation is also captivated with the concept of the “sexless marriage.” The topic seems be discussed everywhere, from Good Morning America, CBS News and USA Today to The Village Voice. Hell, even Oprah has been devoting time and space to the topic!

I decided to do my own "deep dive" if you will, because I just couldn't accept that sex was going the way of the subprime loan.  However, a Google search for “sexless marriage” yielded almost 300,000 results (in .17 seconds I might add...).  Hmmm.... I continued to be skeptical until I happened to stumble upon an extremely morose blog titled, “The Neglected Husband.”   After reading it the third time, I was able to convince myself that my husband wasn't that good a writer.....

AskMen.com claims that approximately 40 million Americans live in a “sexless marriage,” which means that the average couple has sex less than 10 times a year. That statistic is astounding. How does that jibe with recent reports that condom sales are up and newly launched "relationship enhancing" services, like Intimate Surprises, are thriving?

Isn’t this a rather glass half empty way of thinking? Perhaps this whole concept was drummed up on a cocktail napkin by some hot-shot, over-sexed adman to use reverse psychology to sell Viagra. It’s as if the marketing powers that be put their heads together and whipped up another annoying social disease, putting “sexless marriage” right up there with Intimacy Deficit Disorder, Erectile Dysfunction, germ phobia and the fear of clowns.

Let’s think about all who profit from this sexless frenzy: therapists hawking books, seminars, services; drug companies peddling a panacea; pharmacies filling prescriptions; bookstores selling books; condom companies; adult entertainment companies; bars; magazines; news programs; people doing PR for companies serving this market…wait, maybe there is hope! Perhaps the sexless marriage phenomenon will be our ultimate economic stimulus...Scare the crap out of men by repetitively telling them that they will NEVER have sex again and it will touch off a national spending bender like we have never seen.

Other than Madonna (who apparently is the poster child for "sexless marriage" according to Google Image search) and the Clintons, celebrities seem to be immune to “sexless” press. I’ve often wondered if Katie Holmes lives in a sexless marriage, but when I read a headline yesterday that she was “only pregnant with possibilities,” and I nearly threw up in my mouth....but that is a whole other post....

For me, it’s like the Almond Joy tag line, sometimes you feel like sex, sometimes you don’t. I certainly don’t log my bedroom exploits on MapMyFitness.com or plot it out on the calendar as if I was tracking a full moon. Though, I know my husband has been secretly trying to create some sort of sex algorithm that would tell him key times to pounce. In our house, the concept is pretty simple: when I’m pissed at you, we’re in a pretty damn sexless marriage. Got that Romeo?

Monday, March 2, 2009

With a Snuggie On, Who’s Got Your Back?

My daughter just informed me that for her next birthday, all she really wants - aside from an IPod, a Nintendo DS, $10,000 cash and a pony – is a Snuggie.

Thrown for a loop, I definitely didn’t see that one coming. Even if you’ve been living in a cave in Afghanistan, you’ve seen the obnoxious commercial - first hypnotically on late night television, and then repetitively sprinkled into daytime and primetime fare. It is as much a part of Disney Channel as Hannah Montana , that annoying HSM franchise, and subliminal marketing. It has moved into my family’s vernacular the same way rote learning has taught my son his addition facts. Blaring at us 24/7, my kids know, without skipping a beat, that Snuggies come in “three designer colors,” cost $19.95 plus tax, shipping and handling, come with a free book light, and if I act now, can get a second one for free.  

The New York Times Sunday Styles section ran an expose by Allen Salkin, “Snuggie On the Street: Watch Your Back,” about the one untold side effect of Snuggie wear, static. While the article was funny and informative, it still did not answer my one fundamental question, “If you stand up, how does a Snuggie stay on?”

After all, isn’t it just a glorified hospital gown? What good is it if the minute you stand up to go to the bathroom your freezing ass is hanging out? C’mon, we all know the best new car amenity is the built-in seat heaters! And besides, isn’t there some adage about happiness being a warm ass, but cold body, or is it the other way around….warm body and cold ass?

I’ve read where “Snuggie Bar Crawls” are a new phenomenon and the Times article even featured a photo of a Snuggie-clad fan sitting on a bar stool, holding a wine glass. However, more questions came to my mind…Wouldn’t it feel like your entire backside was exposed? Wouldn’t you feel a draft? Wouldn’t a cape, monastic robe or serape cover more? And BTW, in this economy, how the hell is there even a market for Snuggies? Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to wear your coat backward and still get the same look?  Or are we as a society so in need of having to fit in that we are resorting to walking around wearing god damn "blankets"?  You watch, pretty soon North Face will exact its revenge and release their own version of the Snuggie for $99.99 a pop and everyone will HAVE to have one....That of course will lead my daughter to whine that her original is no good and is now a "Fuggie" -- aka a fake Snuggie....

Yet, every time I see the commercial, especially the shots with multiple family members wearing the same color Snuggie, I can’t help but think of Nike wearing, kool-aid drinking cults. And at Halloween, all you need is a "Scream" mask to look like one of the crazy phantoms from Scooby Doo cartoons. I am comforted, though, with the thought that just as the mania over beanie babies (which now seem kinda ghetto next to the damn Webkinz), Cabbage Patch Kids, spray on hair, dancing flowers, singing trout and “Billy Beer” eventually subsided, and I pray that this too shall pass.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Counted the Days Until He Returned!

My husband was away on a West Coast business trip for most of this past week. OMG, I have to admit I was a complete mess until he returned.

You know, it wasn’t THAT bad just being me and the three kids this week. I am used to dealing with the homework, the periodic fights over the remote, the skid marks in the 5 year old’s underwear, and the daily complaints from my 9 year old daughter that the school clothes I pick out for her purposefully make her look like a freak. No, I’m actually cool with all of that. It was the longing for his companionship and his touch that really made this week unbearable.

Since the stay at the Holiday Inn Express came so close to his trip, I’ve really felt the void. All week I really had to try hard to hide this extreme feeling of guilt that I didn’t rise to the occasion and give him the pre-business trip sex that I know he enjoys and so greatly deserved. I know it would have meant a lot to him, and could have been such a special send off for the guy I deeply love and appreciate. He works so hard to “bring home the bacon”, the least I could have done was Crisco his pan if you catch my drift…..

I can’t tell you how much I missed making his favorite dinner, Fiesta Meatloaf, this week (and the good natured comparison to his Mom’s recipe that always accompanies it). I missed the cute way he leaves the empty toilet paper roll for me on the floor in the bathroom. And in a funny way, I actually missed having him remind me to get his dry cleaning – once by email and once by voice mail – like he does every Tuesday. I know he does all of this because he loves me, and it is his way of letting me know how special I am to him.

So when he reminded me on his way out the door that he was extending the trip until Sunday so he could visit “his grandparents in Scottsdale”, I was all for it. It is a true testament to the kind of person my husband is that he would sacrifice a weekend of togetherness with us to be with his 90 year old grandparents during the 2 hours of awake time they have a day. I feel horrible that I didn’t remember to put his golf clubs in his car before he left, because I understand they live on one of the nicest public courses down there. Too bad he probably didn’t get in a couple of rounds, because that guy definitely deserves a break from everything!

But now, he is home…..and I am complete again. I worked extra hard to get the laundry folded and put away, the kids to clean their rooms, and yes, I made him his Fiesta Meatloaf. We’ll have a nice family dinner, and I’ll clean the kitchen and quickly put the kids to bed early tonight so I can give him the “proper” welcome home. Maybe I’ll actually follow through this time and “go for round two” instead of just saying it in the heat of passion – god knows my man deserves it! ;)

Editor’s note – In case you were wondering, I did not write this crap. Somehow my husband figured out my password and submitted this post behind my back. That well tanned, well rested bastard is smoking crack if he thinks he’s getting any nookie now…