Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Measure of a Man

It's a pickle. That's what it is. It's a real pickle I'm in.

And damn dang if that ain't the funniest thing. A pickle. Long, thick and, whew. Ahem, sorry.

I just can't figure out what the heck happened. Everything was perfect. On pitch. On course. Straight. Aw, I mean, straight up.

I was singin' my heart out underneath those klieg lights. The nation was swept up in my small town boy making good soundtrack each week. It was a dream come true.
A steady gig. Great marketing. A panel of judges who dug my stuff, "dawg". And I was good. A good, clean American boy. Oh yes, so good, so clean. A sailor singer.

And it wasn't like they were asking me to dress up like some gnarly rocker, it was fun, boy band stuff. Lance Bass light. They ate up my Raleigh accent and my horn rimmed glasses. I was pointed down Barry Manilow Avenue with nothing but adult contemporary chart number one power ballads on the horizon. Even up to the end when I came in a shocking second, I was still playing the game.

It's been almost four years and looking back I just scratch my fool southern head wondering where I ever went wrong. I never stopped talkin' about my mom and my dad, or about the good folks back in Charlotte. I think maybe when I brought that beauty pageant girl out for a date I might have upset my fans. I think that they didn't buy it they felt jealous. You know, because they realized I was kind of taken, because my god I just loved that girl and her hot brother family. Who knows.

Then there was the weight gain. Can I help it if I've filled out a bit? God knows I don't like it anymore than the fans. Being away from home was tough. Trust me, it's much easier getting a fine piece of beef cake ass dates when you have a slender, boyish face. You know that's the only reason I've been doing those internet chats ya'll have probably heard about. I'm not looking for sex. I just want a friend. A really good friend, just makes sense that it would be a man, you know, because he could understand what I am going through in a way a woman couldn't ever satisfy me.

And the Kelly Ripa thing? Well dang, girlfriend needs to relax. I have some of the cleanest hands on tour. I carry Purell and anti-microbial freesia scented soap wherever I go. Have you seen my hands? They're a heck of a lot cleaner than Miss Thing Thing's.

Anyway, I just hope that I can find my way back to serenades and one-night stands touring and concerts. All I really want to do is sing. Sing and dance, and yes, maybe love too.


This flaming Tiger Beat post was guest authored by Amanda from The Wink. You’ll find Mrs. Chicky over at The Wink edifying the masses with a riveting post on one person achieving the American Dream.

Thanks to Kristen for arranging this Blog Exchange. Visit her site to read other posts from the February Exchange.

It's all fun and games until someone finds a white hair on their hoo haa

So it's official. I'm old. Miss Muffy is going gray. If I were as fabulous as Samantha from Sex and the City I would be running out right this instant to buy hair dye for my kittie. (Although, we all remember how that turned out. Hello carrot top!)

As if it weren't bad enough that my bones creek and my joints pop. And? I swear I'm getting the beginning of a wattle. No, not this type. Eeeww. A turkey neck. The skin on my neck is staring to sag. Hell, everything on my body is heading south.

Do your boobs hang low, do they wobble to and fro.
Can you tie them in a knot, Can you tie them in a bow.
Do they go flip flop, Do they do that while you hop.
Do your boobs hang looooowwwww.
(Try getting that song out of your head. You're welcome.)

As if all that were not bad enough, like the fact that all that was buoyant and perky is now loose and pliant is not enough to make me feel like a circus freak, but now my lady parts are going white. It's enough to make a woman want to hide in her room wearing a caftan. A caftan over a couple of pairs of sweatpants, a girdle, a fleece sweatshirt and a down parka... while downing three pints of Ben and Jerry's and a package of mint Oreos. Not that I'd ever consider doing that myself. Um...

And my husband? Barely a gray on his thick head. Not fair not fair not fair.

Am I happy* about this latest aging milestone? Hells no. Am I opening myself up to jokes? Hells yes. Am I also looking for others to come out and admit that their Golden Amber Beaver (Garnier, number 83. Fuck you SJP) is actually a Silver Fox? Oh God, please share in my misery with me. I'm hitting a monumentally low point in my life. It's all down hill from here and the trip will be swift and painful. I'd love to have a passenger or two. We'll play good music and eat Doritos while we hang our old, wrinkly toes out the window.

So tell me, is the Path to Paradise paved with gold or platinum? Silver? White gold? Aluminum? Spill it.


** I can't forget to thank the person (or persons) that nominated me for some Share the Love Blog Awards. I'm honored that someone would name my blog to the list of "Blogs You'll Never Stop Reading". I chuckled, even guffawed, at the nomination for "Best Commenter" (or, as I like to call it the "Dude, You Really Need a New Hobby" award). But I have to admit that I was perplexed by the "Happiest Blog". Do I have a Happy Blog? Really? Uh, okay.

Don't forget to go vote for your favorite blogs by women. Voting starts tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Boogie Fever

I gave up nightclubs a couple of years before I became a mom. I just couldn't take them anymore; the smoke, the drunken, unintelligible pick-up lines, trying to talk with your friends over the ear-splitting house music, it was all too much for me to take. Mix all that with the fact that I dance like a wounded chicken and you can see why I was only too thrilled never to see the inside of a club again. [Read More...]

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Frigid? Maybe hibernation is the answer

By now you might be wondering if Mr. C is still in possession of his testicles after Friday's heating fiasco. I decided to let him keep his balls but I'm reserving the right to use them as punching bags when the mood strikes me. And, no, I'm not speaking figuratively. Here's what he said in response to my bitching about not having heat on the coldest day in the past two years (5 degrees, but -14 with the wind chill):

"I'm sorry. I said I was sorry. What else do you want me to do?"

Hmm, let's see... You could massage my frosty toes until they regain their feeling. That would be a nice start. Some serious groveling, perhaps? Back-rubs for the next few months, without being groped or propositioned for sex. Did any of that happen? In a word, No. I got an apology and a promise that it would never happen again. Yeah, I got that last year. I should have had it printed on a t-shirt because then I would have had something to show for my inconvenience and for my kid's extreme discomfort. He did take over a majority of the housework this weekend, but it's going to take a lot more than folding a load of laundry to get back into my good graces. And my pants.

I thank those of you who offered their homes to Chicky and me during our hour of need. If we ever lose heat again I'll take you up on that offer, but you should know that if it does happen again because my husband had a brain fart I'll be looking for long term housing.


In other news, I've decided to take a break from my other blog. Every time I go to write something over there, the blink of the cursor just reminds me that I have nothing to say. Nothing to say that hasn't already been said a million times. By me, by others. I'm discouraged, my friends. I don't know if it's the latest crop of students I've had or if this is truly a trend I'll be seeing for a while to come, but I keep getting people in my class who are not only unwilling to do what it takes to train their four-legged companions for the long run but are also unwilling to also start their relationships off on the right foot... Or paw. Whatever. They say they do, but when the chips are down they resort to other avenues and then accuse me of making things difficult for them. And let's face it, positive trainers just don't have the PR that He Who Talks Softly has.

You know who I'm talking about, please don't make me say his name. It hurts me.

If I hear one more person say his name with reverence while questioning my methods (methods, I might add, that have been proven more effective than his in the long run for the every day dog) I might just go use one of those choke collars in a way is what not quite intended. No, not like that. I was actually thinking of using it rectally.

I will continue training for as long as I can take it - gotta think about the business, after all - but I have to take a hiatus from the writing.

(The dog writing. I never get tired of exploiting my kid on this blog.)

I hope to regain my desire to force my opinions on unsuspecting owners via the internet soon. And I sincerely thank all three of Dog Gone Blog's readers for continuing to come back, even though I wasn't very consistent. Bad dog trainer. Bad, bad, bad. That's one of the cardinal rules of training - consistency. See? I'm starting to push my training on you guys, and you didn't even ask for it. There's hope for me after all!

Friday, January 26, 2007

What could be considered grounds for divorce

*Update! WhooHoo!*

I'm shivering. My nose is red and my fingers stiff, which is only slightly better than Chicky's fingers. Hers are purple. We're dressed in two or three layers of clothing, wearing winter hats and we're freezing, regardless of the roaring fire next to us.

Why would we be outside if we're so uncomfortable? We're not. We're sitting on my couch.

It's 5 degrees outside, the coldest day of the year by far.

It's 43 degrees in my house and it's getting colder.

My husband is in New York City, warm and toasty. Probably sipping coffee with co-workers. And he forgot to have our oil tank refilled. Before the Coldest. Day. Of the. Year.


I could kill a person for less than this.

I've bribed Chicky with Dragon's Tales and Sesame Street on Tivo to keep her on the couch and under the heavy blankets. My kid, who would sooner stand in front of the tv rocking back and forth - you know, just to keep moving even during a sedentary activity - or run around the house bouncing off of walls is compliant. I think mainly because her blood is so cold that it's thick and slowing her down. Her hands are two ice cubes but I can't get her to wear mittens because YOU CAN'T EAT KIX CEREAL IF YOU'RE WEARING MITTENS. Duh.

I can't feel my fingertips, but these Kix sure are tasty.

My cat has just joined us on the couch. I've never been so happy to have an obese animal try to sit on my neck. At least she's got body heat.

Am I being melodramatic? Fuck no! It's cold and I have no heat. Now would probably be a good time to bring up all those families that routinely have to choose between food and heat each and every winter (and honestly I don't know how they do it, I don't mean to make light of their horrible situation) but I'd rather bitch about my fucktard of a husband. Yeah, you heard me right. A fucktard. Under normal circumstances I can look past his minor oversights in judgment because he's usually on top of things. But this is the second time he's done this to me.

That's right. The second time he has left me with no heat on a cold winter's day.


Guess who will be taking over the oil delivery scheduling responsibility?

So here we sit, our hands starting to swell. Chicky starting to whine and her nose beginning to run. We wait for the oil man to bring us our emergency supply of fossil fuel. And when he gets here I will ask him that if he were in my situation would he think it were appropriate for his wife to divorce his ass for leaving her and their young child alone in the cold.

I'm thinking he might agree with me. Especially when he sees the steam coming from my ears. Funny how that steam isn't keeping me the least bit warm.

And when Mr. C gets home late this evening he better walk through the door on his knees, clutching a big, fat diamond for me and a pony for his daughter. Or the equivalent. Which would be complete servitude for the rest of our lives.

I'm open to any other suitable punishments.

Daddy's in trouble. Daddy's in trouble. Daddy's in trouble.

** Update!**

The oil man came! Finally. Five hours after I called for a delivery (and an hour and a half after I called the second time to inquire if the oil man was dead) he showed up. I was so excited to see him I think I might have peed on the floor. But that might have been because I held it for so long... Have you ever sat on a frozen toilet seat? Yowzah.

After explaining to him why we were without heat the oil man said, "It sounds like your husband will be sleeping with those dogs tonight." Which I considered, until I came to the conclusion that the dogs had been suffering along with us all day. Instead I think Mr. C will be sleeping on the dog bed in the kitchen and the dogs will sleep in the bedroom with me. That seems fair.

Our fire went out around 11:30am, so all we had for heat was a small space heater for a couple of hours (thanks Carrie for reminding me I had one!) . Also around 11:30 Chicky started asking for a nap. Do you know what it's like to tell a toddler that, no, she couldn't go to bed because it's too cold in her room? That was probably the worst part. Two hours of keeping Chicky's mind off of sleeping - because she absolutely would NOT just lie on the couch and close her eyes. Instead she just stood and whined. Loudly. And hit me repeatedly. So we ran around a lot and there was much bouncing up and down involved. After the heat was turned on we still had to wait for the house to warm up enough so that I wouldn't worry that Chicky would die of hypothermia in her sleep. I didn't want a Chicksicle on my hands.

Thanks for your well wishes so far. Keep those suggestions for painful retribution coming!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Where I implore a multi-million dollar company to stop scaring the living shibbit out of me

Dear Sony Pictures - Movie Division,

This is not the type of letter I usually write but I have to ask, nay, beg you to stop playing the trailer for The Messengers during the day.

Why should you stop promoting this guaranteed money maker during daylight hours? I'll tell you. Imagine, if you will, there is this suburban housewife - it's not hard, there are a lot of us out there. As a matter of fact, imagine me 10 pounds lighter and naturally blond. With perkier boobs - and try to picture said housewife going about her business, just dusting her living room while watching I Love New York on VH1.

A show, I might add, that she only gets to watch while her toddler is napping, because as much as the housewife loves a good trainwreck she is unwilling to expose her child to this trash because New York's new yabbos might just pop through the screen and knock the unsuspecting toddler unconscious. Seriously. WTF is up with those things? But I digress.

So our heroine, the housewife, is dusting the living room and while clearing the television of peanut butter finger prints and dog hair, her face this close to the screen, your trailer for The Messengers comes on. At first the housewife is interested. Aw, what a cute little boy, she thinks. Paranormal phenomenon, yeah, yeah, yeah. Ooh, Dylan McDermott. He's yummy. Hmm, old farmhouse. Interesting. That spot on the wall is never going to come clea... Oh My God! What the hell was that!! Ahhh! Stop it. Stop with the scary shit. Shit! What the hell was that thing that just crawled across the screen?! What just grabbed that pretty girl?! Okay, cute little boy again, everything is going to be fin... Jeezus! Scary faces! Scaaary faaaaccesssss!!

A person should not be that close to her fear at 1:17pm on a Tuesday. I'm now afraid to make my bed for fear of catching a glimpse of demon pre-schooler legs while fluffing the blankets. If you're going to produce a horror movie stick to the time honored themes: Escaped mental patients, guys in hockey masks, over-developed teenage girls getting busy with horny boys in the back of AMC Ramblers while jealous psychopathic cheerleaders lurk in the bushes, waiting to decapitate them with field hockey sticks. I'm used to that stuff. But please, leave the children alone. My heart can't take it. I don't need to know "that children are highly susceptible to paranormal phenomena". Now every time my child babbles in her sleep I'll be worried that, yes, in fact she is speaking in tongues. (I knew it! She is possessed.)

Please, Sony Pictures, don't make me beg. I'm not asking you to stop playing the trailer entirely, just not when I'm most likely to be alone. With nothing but a dust rag to hide my eyes. Do you know what it feels like to get Pledge-coated cat hair in your cornea? I can tell you, it doesn't tickle.

Play the trailer at night, I'm totally okay with that. Because it scares the bejeebus out of my husband. And scared husband = high comedy.

I thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter. Oh, and for Catch and Release. I love a good chick flick. But you probably already knew that, didn't you?


Mrs. T. Chicky (she of the naturally blond hair and perky boobs)

p.s. BOO! Aha, got you, didn't I? Weren't expecting that, were you? Payback, suckas.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

When I was a young child my mother would pack my sister and me into the car - and before she got her license my mother would drag us along for the mile or so long walk, my sister in her carriage and me dragging myself behind complaining about how the baby got to be pushed, so why couldn't I - and off to my grandmother's house we'd go. This happened every Saturday, almost without fail. There, in that strange home with its rooms added on to one another as more children were born (Eleven children in all in my mother's family), we would spend the day playing with our cousins or whining about wanting to go home, usually right before it was time to go to church. We'd cry for potato chips from my grandmother's cupboard and carefully climb down the scary cellar steps to steal a coke or two from the basement refrigerator. Coca Cola in real glass bottles with metal caps that required the use of a bottle opener. Our only job was to make sure the empty returnable bottles were placed in their wooden box, ready to go back to the distributor, and to stay out of the adults' hair.

The majority of my extended family lived in the same small city, or its neighboring towns. I was surrounded by aunts and uncles, cousins, and close family friends. I had all four of my grandparents and two great grandmothers. I was as lucky as I was smothered and when the opportunity arose I left my place of birth with little more than a glance into my rear view mirror.

I didn't go very far; my current house is barely more than a forty-five minute drive back to my home town, but it may as well be hundreds of miles away. My family members do not stray far from their comfort zone, usually staying within a 20 or 30 mile radius of their homes. For those of us who moved away the task of keeping close connections has fallen mainly on our shoulders. If we want to stay close to the core of the family we have to be the ones to make the effort. But life gets in the way and our visits are few and far between, and we usually wait for holidays, weddings and funerals to bring us together.

None of this really bothered me... Until I had a child of my own. Having grown up in the bosom of my maternal and paternal families I know only too well what my daughter will be missing by living some distance away from close relatives. Large families are messy and dysfunctional, but oftentimes in the best ways possible. There is a connection that only comes with blood and history that you can't duplicate with friends, no matter how hard you try. There is an unspoken acceptance, even if your lifestyle is not understood, because you are part of something bigger. You're family. Familia. Familiar.

I do try to visit more often, but as I said before life gets in the way. These days a "quick" trip to my grandmother's house requires a bag of toys, a packed diaper bag, and a nap in the car - for Chicky. I usually come home exhausted and melancholy. I have no plans to move back since the town has nothing to offer us -except family - because it has been forgotten by progress. There are few jobs and the educational system is so-so, at best. Mr. C and I want more for our child. As a matter of fact we are considering moving even farther away. Every day we wonder if living in this state, with its expensive housing prices and high cost of living, is best for our family. Is moving away the solution? What will we gain by giving up? What will we lose by trying to get ahead?

In the 21st century the definition of family is so very different than it was just a couple of decades ago - "Families" are not always related by blood, but by circumstance and necessity. I can't help but wonder if this is really progress. Can we successfully move forward if we have no idea where we came from?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Attack of the cheese-tacular 80's videos!

I just can't write a real post today but I can't stand the idea of all my needy whining being left up all weekend. Although, I really appreciate your pick-me-ups. Really. I do. Gosh-oh-golly-gee, you guys are really great. But I'm making myself vomit and it's never a good thing to make yourself sick. However, it can make you famous for life.

So please enjoy these links until I can extract my cranium from my rectal area. Delicately.

- Maybe if I watch the very special Scrubs musical episode I'll learn how. Especially if everything really does come down to poo. I've got to get my head out of there. STAT. (And why do I giggle whenever anyone says "Gotta drop the kids off at the pool"? Why?)

- You crazy Germans. If everyone where to drive off a bridge, would you drive off of one too? Well, quite possibly yes.

- I may be evil, and I just might be going to hell, but I couldn't stop laughing. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing.

- If only this woman had a blog. She could have been the next Dooce. Instead, she's just a dumbass.

- The Patriots are the new Yankees? I. Think. NOT.

- I'm not a violent woman by nature, but I could seriously hurt a person that would do this to an animal.

- Does it get any cheesier than this? God, I hope not.

- Not so fast! It does! What the hell did I ever do before YouTube?

- I can tell you what I wasn't doing. I wasn't watching this over and over again. And I was probably getting more done.

- And, in closing... Parents, you can thank me later. After you've picked yourself up off the floor. I must have watched it a hundred times, though I don't know why since I get the real thing at home every damn day.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fear of flying

After a bitch session, like the one I had the other day, I usually like to follow up with some humor or irreverence; perhaps a list of music, to use T's suggestion, that "[gets] the blood pumping when we're pissed at someone"...

For the record, T., there are far too many to list, but I like the cut of your jib. Feel free to play along. Let's start with one from my list of favorites - Mother Mother by Tracy Bonham. Gets me every time. I played it for Chicky the other day and she thrashed in all the appropriate places. I don't know if I should be proud or scared.)

... Or maybe another story about my daughter's fascination with my vah-jay-jay...

She still insists on calling it my bum, and though we have not had a repeat of that day's "name that furry animal" game, now she just looks at me as one would a simple person. A look that says, "Okay, Mom, sure it's not your bum. We'll just pretend like you're not making up words. Vagina? Sure. That's a word." Insert eye roll. She's not, yet, rolling her eyes but it is implied.

... But I can't bring myself to write about such mirth and frivolity because that is not my mood. I've sat down with monitor in lap a handful of times trying to put something down - mainly so the cursor would stop blinking at me, blink blink blinkity blink - but the fluff would not come. And then I thought, Hey! Wait a minute. This is my blog. I can be as heavy as I want and if I come across as a total downer then so be it.

So there.

The job is getting me down, my friends. It's not the job exactly, because should the time come that something that only takes me about 3 to 4 hours a week to complete starts to get me down I'd like you to hit me with a frying pan. No, not the job but my direction in life, and that means from a working stand point .

Chicky, though still needy (oh my lord, so needy), is not the wee babe she once was and this trend will continue. As much as I try to stop it, she will get older and more independent. Where will that leave me? Alone, with my dogs, watching the Food Network. I'm baking bread, people. I'm cooking meals that don't have their beginnings in a cardboard box. Someone stop me!

(And don't be so quick to say Have another baby! because that is part of this bit of navel gazing, but I am reticent to get into that right now.)

Yes, there is the business I'd like to start, but the fear is paralyzing me. Let's set aside the fact that once my current bosses (the soul sucking beasts) will trash my character to everyone who will listen once they catch wind of this endeavor. Let's put off the fact that all my time and money will be sunk into this business. Let's not even think of my lack of personal life once the ball gets rolling. No, let's not consider those things - because I just might throw myself in front of a bus if I dwell for too long - instead let's go to the root of the problem.

The possibility of failure.

I do hate to admit that failing is even an issue, but it is. New businesses fail every day at an alarming rate. The one that I'd like to start is, if we're being honest with ourselves (and by "ourselves" I mean me), a luxury service business.* Not everyone is willing to pony up the money for such frivolousness. I don't think it's frivolous, but I know many others do and if there are more of them than there are of me and those like me than I am, in a word, Screwed. Royally. Up the pooper.

Sorry, but failure is not pleasant. Not even if you get off on that kind of thing.

If I fail (If oh God If please just be If) then I'm out of options. I'm not exactly employable, especially after spending the past four years working with my four-legged friends, then being a SAHM, then throw running a failed business into the mix... Can't you just see that resume on The potential employers will be beating a path, I tell you. As far away from me as possible.

So there you go. My dreams are holding me back from bringing them to life. But they are such lovely dreams. Dreams full of wet noses and sloppy kisses - and poop and hair and bookkeeping and creditors, I know - but lovely dreams that I have held and loved and whispered to. Dreams I have nurtured and fed bits of cake to. If they were to be killed I would be crushed.

I wish I could tie all of this up in a pretty red box and leave you with visions of hope and rainbows, but I can't because my prescription for lithium hasn't been filled yet. This is scary shit. I feel like I'm looking at it all with my hands in front of my eyes, my fingers barely letting the vision through. I can't let this fear, like my overwhelming fear of heights, keep me from making the big leap, if you catch my thinly-veiled metaphor.

But I'm going to need a really big push.

*Forgive me for being vague again, but The Google. Is still out there. Looking at me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch

Once again, the readers of this blog are worth their weight in designer shoes and football play-off wins (and whatever else you non-footwear/non-sport loving people like. Freaks. Who doesn't love shoes and/or football?). Your tear-jerking song suggestions were inspiring, even the country ones. And, no, I will never again admit that I enjoy a country song from time to time, except maybe a Dixie Chicks tune because they're all liberal and rabble rousing and that gets me hot.

Rabble Rousers = Hoootttttttttt. Write it down.

I spent quality time, and most of my coffee money, on iTunes downloading some of those songs, and then a good number of Kleenex were sacrificed all in the name of "research". Hey, what kind of person would I be if I didn't take your advice on this music? Not much of one, I can tell you that. I wouldn't be much of a person and I wouldn't have large, puffy bags under my eyes. I wouldn't be much of a person and I wouldn't have a permanent sniffle. I wouldn't be much of a person and I wouldn't have a slight headache. I wouldn't...

Hey, come to think of it, I kind of resent you all right now.

But tonight I am not weepy. Tonight I am too exhausted to be sentimental, because I started two new training classes this evening and they wiped me right the fuck out.

For you newbies (Hello! Thanks for de-lurking!), I'm a dog trainer. Whoopadeedoo!

I'm so tired, both mentally and physically. Physically because I am out of shape and standing around for three hours while getting yanked around by untrained 80 lb dogs really hurts my back. Mentally because I'm growing tired of repeating myself to a new crop of dog owners. Every eight weeks it's the same thing: No free lunch; be consistent; say what you mean and mean what you say; follow through with your commands; a command is said once, not repeated over and over; don't be stingy with your treats or your praise. Over and over and over again I repeat these words - and not just at the beginning of a new class, but throughout the entire eight weeks - and the names and faces are starting to blur.

How blurry? Tonight I called a girl by her dog's name and her dog by her name. Repeatedly. And that's good for me. Because usually I forget the person's name entirely.

(Hi Bailey's Mom! Hello Max's Dad! Please don't ask me to introduce you to my husband in Stop and Shop, because I will introduce you by your dog's name and breed and then stare blankly until you provide your name and save me from my stupor.)

I'm sorry to you dog owners out there, for my bitching and moaning. I don't expect you to come into class knowing what I know. Because that's not the point of taking a class, right? But would it kill you to do some advanced reading or something? I'm begging here. I would even go so far as to recommend watching a few episodes of that Guy Who Whispers, and that kills me to say because I hate him.

Okay, maybe not hate, but seriously dislike enough to use his book to pick up puppy "accidents", if you catch my drift.

I know it's not your job to make my job easier, but when a grown woman of, oh, let's say 140 lbs gets pulled out of her shoes by a 15 lb Maltese puppy I know I've got my work cut out for me.

True story, I'm afraid to say.

My weariness with dog training is contributing to my reluctance to update Dog Gone Blog. It has curbed my enthusiasm for starting my own business. And my dogs... My poor, neglected babies. They're suffering as well.

Mommmm. We're so boooooored.

Here, honeys, have another cookie. Now stop looking at me like that. You'll get a walk... Someday.

Ooh. Did someone say "cookies"? Yesss.

Is it a break I need? Some time away from the soul sucking neediness (Please help me train my dog or I'll have to send him to the pound and how would you like that on your conscience? Huh? Help. Me.) and the unethical asshats I work for who feel the need to remind me of the thousands of customers they have regardless, or because of, their lies? Yoga? Pilates? Amphetamines, maybe?

I don't have the answer. You probably don't have the answer. (Uh, right? Do you?) My husband just asked me what I was doing and I said "Purging". If you're still here, having made it through the bitching, I thank you.

And now the bitch is done.


Friday, January 12, 2007

A three hankie, at least

**Edited! Because I am a dolt. A super sized dolt. And others have reminded me of that fact so I must rectify the situation.**

I am a sap. A weepy, sniveling, teary pile of snot and sentiment. I break down while watching Pampers commercials and I'll turn on the water works if I so much as catch a sweet, private moment between my husband and my child - like when he takes her for a walk down the street and I see the two of them walking hand in hand, and Chicky is looking up at him babbling something incoherently and he's pretending he understands every word and oh lord it hits me right in the gut, gaaahhhh....

I'm sorry, I need a minute.

All this blubbering, however, is done mainly in private. You will never see me cry, and neither will most of my family or my friends, because that is just not done. Shed tears in public? Psssh. Are you kidding me? Show me a wounded puppy, a lost child, a missed 50% off sale at my favorite clothing store, and I will show you stoicism and a level head. You may call me insensitive (which is just not the case, because as soon as you're out of sight - Tears. Lots of them, as mentioned above.) but I call it tough. Yeah, tough as nails, tough as steel, tough as the last steak I cooked.

There are a few things that will turn my icy heart to mush in the company of others, however. A newly opened bottle of good wine that an errant hand sends crashing to the floor, for instance. That will cause me to shed a tear or two. A post that I spent all day working on that magically disappears when I hit the Save as Draft button will also cause me to bawl. Not necessarily because of the lost post but because in my fury I probably kicked something with my bare foot. And the one surefire thing that will make me yowl like a lost kitten - Music. Sappy, sentimental music. These days any music written about children and parents will make me cry harder than that scene in Beaches when Bette and Barbara Hershey are at the beach and Wind Beneath My Wings starts to play and did you ever know that you're my hero? and she dies oh my lord she dies and the tears the tears the tears that stupid song I hate that song and it gets me every time I see that movie the tears the tears...

(hey, I'm having a private moment here. Do you mind? Keep your finger pointing and laughing to yourself.)

I'd like to say that this started happening after I became a mother but, no, I was a puddle of goo when I first heard "Butterfly Kisses" ten years ago. And yes, that hurts to admit. I know that by admitting that the ol' credibility-o-meter just plummeted through the floor, but it was right before my (first) wedding and I was already an emotional wreck because I knew I was making a horrible mistake but it was about a father and his daughter and growing up and growing apart and...

(I said stop laughing. It's not that funny.)

Since becoming a mother I have reached a new level of sap-titude. If the song is about a child, or can be attributed to a parent/child relationship, and it hits close to home I will cry like a pregnant bride left at the altar. I feel safe telling you this, my friends, because I know I'm not alone. I can't be the only one who feels this way when I hear "You are my Sunshine". There must be others out there like me.


No? I'm the only hormonal mess with a craptacular taste in music? Yeah, thought so.


Because I love to spread mirth and merriment where ever I go, along with sunshine, rainbows, and puppies - and because I know there are others out there with this same problem - I've compiled a list of my favorite songs so that you too can weep in your bowl of corn flakes. Together we will weep in parental solidarity, and if you are not a parent there's a good chance you have a parent or two whose image you will conjure up while listening to these tunes. In the spirit of weepiness I give you...

Mrs. C's list of songs about children and parents that will make you run for your box of Kleenex or will at least put enough of a dent in your icy cold veneer to make you crack a smile, you hardass you.
(ooh, catchy title. K-tel records is going to be sorry they missed that one.)

Slumber My Darling - Allison Krauss, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor & Yo Yo Ma
Still Fighting It - Ben Folds (Son or daughter, I dare you to not cry when listening to this. Go ahead. I. Dare. You.)
Gracie - Ben Folds (Damn you, Ben Folds, and your sensitive lyrics! Damn you.)
I Will Take You Home - Grateful Dead
Lullabye - Jack Johnson & Matt Costa
We are Going to be Friends - White Stripes
Have a Little Faith in Me - John Hiatt
Dad Caught Stars - Justin Roberts
To Zion - Lauryn Hill
Love and Happiness - Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris
Forever Young - Bob Dylan
Sunrise, Sunset - (just wanted to see if you were still paying attention)
Child of Mine - Carole King
Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) - Billy Joel
My One True Friend - Bette Midler
Lullaby Baby Blues - Keb' Mo'

**And because I can't let this opportunity go by...

Father and Daughter - Paul Simon (like a postcard of a Golden Retriever? How could I have forgotten this song? Thanks Kristen.)
Daughters - John Mayer (thanks for reminding me Casey. Duh.)
Dream a Little Dream of Me - Cass Elliott (one of my all time favorites. Ever. And I forgot it while compiling the original list. I am a loser.)

There you go. Enjoy a good whimper. Now tell me, lambs, what would you add?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Throw me a freaking bone

I am terrible with dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, you name it and I'll forget it. If it were not inscribed in my wedding ring I would forget my own anniversary. It's true. I always forget if it's the 30th or the 31st. My husband is reconsidering his choice of spouses.

So I suppose it is apropos that here it is, Thursday, and I've almost forgotten to mention that it is De-lurking Week here in the blogosphere. Technically it's National De-lurking Week but I just can't exclude all the lovelies to the North. Besides, if a Toronto baseball team can be part of the American League then I say let's change it to World De-lurking Week.

This time last year I was scratching my head (which is socially preferable to my ass, though not as satisfying) over this phenomenon. A week dedicated to coming out of my safe hiding place in the shadows to tell others that I was reading their most private thoughts? True, private thoughts posted for all the world to read, but it felt a bit like being the new girl who carries her lunch tray over to the cool kids table to ask if she could sit with them.

Fast forward a year. Cool kids table? Bwahahahahahahaha.

Please, dear reader, come out from your safe place and leave a comment. Any comment. I won't bite. Unless you want me to. Rwaawr.

But what should I say? you may be asking yourself. Tell me what you had for dinner last night (and if it was really good be prepared to leave the recipe too, or at least your email address so I can badger you for it until the end of time). Tell me a silly story about yourself, because I loves me some silly. Tell me your pet's names and how you came up with it (good stories may be used on Dog Gone Blog when I revive the sucker). And if you are a brand new commenter go ahead and let me know a little bit about your blog. Because as much as we loves some silly around here, we equally loves us some new friends. Especially if they bring wine.

Mmmm... wine.

There's another thing to comment about! I'm always looking for decent wine recommendations, so if you have one you love let me know about it. So what do you say? Hmmm? Come out, come out, wherever you are.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In Defense of the Girly Girl

My name is Mrs. Chicky and I am raising a girly girl.

(Hiii Mrs. Chiickyy)

I'm not intentionally making her this way, it's just how she's turning out so far. I don't know where she gets it from because I could never be mistaken for one. I prefer blue jeans to ballgowns, sneakers to stilletos, and you'll find me more often than not wearing a ball cap - even though I spent my mortgage on my highlights - which you could chalk up more to sheer laziness than a fashion statement. I've been this way for as long as I can remember, when way back in the day I was racing my Matchbox cars around Barbie's van. When I became pregnant most of my friends were confident that I would have a boy because, well, that's just the way it should have been. Surely the universe would see fit to give us a son. Bringing a daughter into our lives would be a cruel joke. But then I shot forth a baby girl from my loins and I knew instantly after one look at her pink cheeks that, no, it should be this way. I should be the mother of at least one daughter. I will show the world that a girl can be more than frippery and lace.

HoooBoy. Do I have my work cut out for me.

Though I don't normally allow much of it in my home or on my child, something tells me if given the chance Chicky would work the frippery to its fullest extent. She is turning out to be, despite my best efforts, quite girly.

It slays me.

Because, God help me, I love it.

Before she was born, Mr. C and I had many discussions about what types of activities (mainly sports related) were going to be appropriate for Chicky as she grew up. On the Yes list: T-ball (softball, baseball, the first female shortstop in Major League Baseball, I'm not asking for much), Soccer (though I loathe the sport. Loathe. It.), Basketball, Lacrosse, Field Hockey (again, loathe, but I can respect a tough bitch who'll take a wooden field hockey ball off of her naked shins), and pretty much any team sport that requires you to throw a few elbows from time to time. On the No list: Cheerleader...

Um, cheerleader and....

No, that's pretty much it.

(No offense to my former cheerleading friends, but we'd rather see our daughter participating in the sport, not cheering from the sidelines. And yes I know that cheerleaders are real athletes - It would be a cold day in hell before you see me at the top of a pyramid or performing a perfect liberty while being suspended in mid-air - but we don't want that lifestyle for our kid. Know what I mean? Don't make me go into it here 'cause that would make for one long post.)

Mr. C and I both knew early on that if given the choice we would much prefer a daughter who was like us, a child with a healthy distrust of all things peppy and anything that required pompoms, ribbons and ankle socks. We've even gone so far as to debate the purchase of traditionally gender-specific toys such as kitchens and toy vacuums but have never had a problem bringing toy trucks and soccer balls into the house. But why are we fighting it? We are raising a girl. So what if she prefers baby dolls and purses? Why has it become taboo to treat our daughters as feminine creatures?

Well, for one reason, in Chicky's case anyway, Mr. C's family seems to have a hard time with the extreme girly girl archetype. As a recent example, Chicky was given a plastic tea set for Christmas by my father. She loves it. She'll spend multiple minutes playing with it. That means more than one whole minute in a row! Can you imagine?! Anyhoo... Recently she went to visit my in-laws and brought it along. My mother-in-law took one look at Chicky pouring her make believe tea into her Daddy's cup and said "You better watch out, you've got a girly girl on your hands." This one comment wouldn't mean much if not for the fact that since she was born my MIL has been using Chicky's easy tears and crying jags to admonish the warning that we'll soon have a "twirling princess" as a daughter.

"So freakin' what?!" I scream. Loudly. In my head. One day I'll grow a set of balls and actually speak up for my kid instead of just grabbing her and walking away.

In my husband's family a child would have a better chance of being accepted if they were gay than if a girl was overtly feminine or a boy extremely masculine. A young jock needs to be in touch with his feminine side, and a girl can wear as much pink as she wants as long as she's tough enough to play rugby. Severely traditional roles are frowned upon. I do agree with them to an extent, so maybe this is my way of rebelling for rebellion's sake. I definitely want a daughter who is not afraid to have skinned knees, but knees that are peeking out from under her pink skirt. How cute would that be?

(Ooh, but look at her kick a soccer ball! And she's got a fantastic arm! And cat-like reflexes good enough to snatch falling pasta boxes in midair (true story)! There's hope for her yet in the eyes of my husband's family.)

You might be wondering where my family stands on this issue. You can be anything you want - and I do mean anything, you should see some of the yahoos in my family - as long as you love the Red Sox. We're simple folk.

I don't want to go backwards 50 or 60 years but have we started going overboard trying to de-sex our children? Why has it become a negative statement when someone says "Oh, she's such a girl, or, He's such a boy." Is it okay to dress your daughter in a shirt that proclaims I'm A Little Princess but only if she's dragging along a dump truck? Or what about a young boy whose favorite toy is a doll.? Not an action figure, a doll. Personally, I'm okay with both for either sex. Maybe not the princess shirt. But certainly the dump truck. And I'm becoming comfortable with the idea of tiaras and tutus. For the girls. If your son wants to wear a tiara after a certain age...

Let's leave that for another post.

Recently, while playing with some other children her own age, Chicky was roughhousing with the only boy in the group. His mother remarked, "Wow, I didn't expect her to be so tough. She seems like such a girly girl."

That's right, my girly girl is one tough chick. Don't mess with her tea set because I can't be held responsible for her actions. She just might try to cut you with her tiara.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Shweet shweet schwag

In a previous life I worked in the multi-media department of a very large, Massachusetts based, technology corporation. It was a good time to be in that line of work; it was 1999 and we partied in an appropriate manner befitting the pre-turn of the century technology boom, which may sound funny when referring to a work environment. Odd, that is, until you learned that our motto was "Have fun and get shit done".

(We were also oh-so-very politically correct.)

My co-workers and I worked hard but we played harder, usually on the company credit card. On Friday afternoons - sometimes starting as early as noon - our group, as well as members of the larger training department that we were a part of, would find reasons to have an "off-site" at the local Mexican bar, where we discussed "strategy" over margaritas. Many margaritas. Many, many, many margaritas. Our managers would quickly follow along and soon corporate credit cards were being tossed about like frisbees. Platinum American Express frisbees. Our summer outings were legendary for their Bacchus-like excess, where you were guaranteed to see someone's naked ass before the day was through.

(Like I said, very PC.)

These were the days before the rug was pulled out from under us. We were nearing the year 2000; it could be the end of the world as we knew it and we were feeling fine. Our managers and VPs thought of us as "artsy" and left us alone to circulate the latest Flash movies (oh come on, you know the ones, don't make me link to them) and download "free" music to our heart's content. Our outlandish requests for expensive DVD authoring systems, digital video and audio editing suites, and every new software package that came down the pike were granted, along with the trips to other parts of the country for the training necessary to work these new toys. Boondoggles. Yeah. I once convinced my manager that, even though there was a center much closer to home, I needed to go to New Orleans to learn the latest After Effects upgrades. And I won't even get into the trips to Las Vegas, Atlanta, and multiple trips to California. Good times, my friends. Good times.

Oh, and did I mention that my husband worked for the same company? Double the boondoggles! He wasn't my husband then, but he was one of the "perks" that kept me hanging on. Heh.

Which leads me to my next point.

For all our fun, we in the multi-media department were, by far, the lowest paid workers on the corporate totem pole. And because of that we became swag whores. Goody bags at a conference? Yes please, I'll take two. Free shirts, jackets, hats (which really benefited the men more than the women, corporate fashion being an oxymoron and all). Food pilfered from the nearby training classrooms became the equivalent of a cubicle big game hunt. We were poor, relatively speaking, and we had no shame. Most was utter crap, but occasionally we'd catch the scent of something really good and then it was all over but the weepin'. If the boss wanted to send me to RTP and back in less than 24 hours, carrying 20 gazillion pounds of video equipment, there had better be some damn good perks to make up for my paltry salary. Not to mention my bad back and sweaty, work mule hair-do.

Even though I don't work at that company any longer (Mr. C still does, however, and the perks just ain't what they used to be. The corporate gift perks, that is, not the huz.) I'm still all over the swag. The shweet, shweet, schwag. I'll take it where I can get it since I'm a SAHM and, um, have no income to call my own. (No, I still don't have any shame. Why do you ask?) So when I was contacted to be a part of The Parents Blogger Network I jumped all over that like men in bad ties jump all over free pastries and gourmet coffee at a boring conference.

Okay, not the right comparison.

Stuffy conference room and a sea of Dockers = Bad. The Parents Blogger Network = Faaaabulous.

Parent Bloggers Network

From time to time you will see some reviews of products on this blog. I'd like you to know that even though I am a swag whore (thankyouverymuch) I am a discerning swag whore and I'm not afraid to let everyone know that the bagels in conference room B suck. So I won't be afraid to tell you the truth about what I review. I figure that's what friends do, they tell you the truth about that product you're about to spend a bunch of your kid's college fund on.

So, to review - Shweet shweet shwag = Good. Boondoggles = Used to be good, now bad. Very bad. Reviews of products by your friends on the Parents Blogger Network = Faaaabulous. Shweet even.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Nice kittie

These days if I want to get a shower before noon I have to take Chicky into the bathroom with me, or turn the television to that insufferable red muppet and keep the bathroom door open for her to wander aimlessly in and out. While in the shower, with the warm water washing away the memory of that morning's tantrum, I'm always wondering what I will find when I get out. I like to live dangerously that way, living for the element of surprise. But there are those days I just know that if left to her own devices Chicky will grow weary of Elmo and start redecorating, so it's better to lock the door behind the two of us and let her play with my birth control pills.

Today was one of those days.

The water was running and I was stripped down to nothing more than what the good lord gave me - and the rest that the birth of Chicky made unrecognizable. Her vocabulary might not be impressive, but she's fairly good at identifying her body parts and is appropriately curious about Mama's.

She took one look at my furry monster, of the not-so-Sesame-Street-friendly type, pointed to it and said,"Bum."

"Well, no honey. That's not Mama's bum. Thats..."

She sized me up while I stumbled and groped for the right descriptive words.

"Mama? Bum?", she said again.

"No, um."

That's when the look of recognition crossed her face. She took one look at me, pointed again, and said,

"Mama. Meeeoooow."

Close, hon, that's pretty close.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


My next door neighbors had a baby a couple of weeks before Christmas. Do you know what this means? There's a new baby next door.


Shut up, I don't want to hear it.

That baby is so close I can almost smell him. Mmmm, baby powder and newness - Or that could be the Cabbage Patch Premie doll Chicky got for Christmas. Whatever. - A pile of soft baby folds and whimpering need, all squishy and warm. We visited our neighbors soon after they brought the baby home and as I held him I remembered something: I really don't like the newborn phase. The newborn phase from the perspective of the mother, that is. As a friend I love newborns. I can hold and cuddle him and give him back as soon as he cries. I'm not responsible for diapers or nursing, and the best part, I don't have to go through the self-doubt, the questions and the endless Google searches. And the long, sleepless nights. And the frantic calls to the pediatrician. And...

You get the idea.

The new mom called me yesterday with breastfeeding questions. I told her as much as I could remember (we tend to forget these things, don't we?) but added the caveat "This is all from my experience. Your's might be different." Because it's true; every newborn is different, what worked for me might not work for someone else. Not to mention that I didn't want to freak her out with all that lies ahead for her. Yes, I know what is in store for her, and as an opinionated person who suffers from foot-in-mouth disease I tend to let new mothers in on these secrets to a fault. I resolved not to do that with this woman, mainly since I don't know her that well, but I do feel there are some things she needs to know that aren't written in all the baby manuals. How many times have we lamented over the lack of knowledge and important advice we didn't receive? Why didn't anyone tell me not to point my sore boobs directly at the shower stream the first time I got a real shower? Tea bags on the nipples? Who knew? Why did it take me so long to buy a baby sling? If someone would have told me that my colicky infant would fall almost instantly asleep in one of those suckers I would have gotten a sling way sooner.

So, friends, I turn to you. In my position how would you approach this? Would you let all the ugly bits hang out - not those ugly bits, let's save some of the mystery for her, shall we? - and tell a new mother some of your horror stories, or would you hold back and let her learn some things for herself as not to freak her out? I'm going to be delivering her some books soon and I'd like to be armed and ready if the occasion arises to answer the hard questions.

Tell me, internets, what would you feel comfortable telling a new mother?


I would be remiss if I didn't thank a certain blogger, one Janet aka Wondermom of Dancing Through, for the kind words on her blog and the Perfect Post Award for my entry about my baby book.

A Perfect Post - December

It's a cruel club to belong to, but Janet is a motherless mother herself and I'm glad to know that there are others out in the blogosphere that understand where I'm coming from.

Thanks Janet!

****Edited to Add****

I just found out that I was nominated twice for this post. I'm blushing, seriously blushing. Dispatch Mom also bestowed this great honor on me. Aw, shucks.


Monday, January 01, 2007

A look back...

... At January 1, 2006

It seems like a lifetime ago.

Time marches on.

Happy 2007!