Monday, February 26, 2007


There are some years that have more significance than others for some people. They are the years whose significance we never forget. The year of our birth or the year we graduated from high school, for instance. Or the year you got married, had a baby, last fit into your skinny jeans. We remember the songs on the radio and the movies that were popular. Hell, we even remember the weather patterns (if you have weather, that is). For me 2004 is one of those years whose importance outweighs most others.

It was the year the Patriots won the Super Bowl and the Red Sox won the World Series.

It was the year Mr. C and I took our last trip to Italy for some time, I suppose. Because...

It was the year I got pregnant.

And it was the year my mother died.

Three years ago, this week. In 2004.

They say that time has a way of helping us forget. Of healing all wounds. Enabling us to go on. As time goes on memories get soft around the edges. But honestly there are some things about that week leading up to my mother's death that I will never forget and I have no desire to do so.

It was unseasonably warm for the end of February in Massachusetts. The irony that my sun worshiping mother would choose to leave this earth on such a balmy day was not lost on me. It seemed fitting that she would break free from her shackles of pain and sickness on a day when her spirit could dance in the warm breeze, unencumbered by morphine, chemotherapy and cancer.

I'll never forget how her cool, dry hand felt on my cheek the last time she looked at me, the last time she really saw me without the veil of impending death covering her eyes. She said goodbye without saying a word, and though she lingered for a few more days she was never the same. She was never really there with us but instead in that space between life and death. I still lean my head into that phantom touch. I close my eyes and imagine she's still there in front of me. I imagine that I let myself cry in front of her instead of turning away to hide my pain. And I remember her face and her look that said she was at peace with what was going to happen.

The next few days are a blur of visitors, nurses and medications. Until the day she died. That day I remember vividly. And that's my memory to keep, for myself and my daughter one day. I may not remember which of her old friends came to pay their respects at her wake - in my defense there were hundreds of people there - but I'll remember each and every hour of the day she could no longer fight the cancer that was ravaging her body.

Is it a coincidence that my mother, the Red Sox fan(atic), died the same year the Sox finally won the World Series? Probably, but I'd like to think she had something to do with it. Our trip to Italy was planned months before my mother died, but I raised many (many, many) a glass in a silent toast to the woman who never saw the need to leave her country for far away lands. And my husband and I had decided to start a family that year, but after I lost my mother I finally realized how important she was to me. We named our daughter in her honor. There is a picture of her in my daughter's room. She is in my thoughts every day.

Three years have done nothing to dull the pain of her death. I still remember hugging her thin frame to mine, wondering if my shoulders felt as frail as hers and knowing that, yes, they probably did since our bodies closely resembled each others. I remember the feel of her hand, the shape of her fingernails, the roundness of the knuckles in contrast to her long, thin fingers. And I remember missing her immediately upon her passing. That memory has not dulled. The wound has healed but the scar remains. And I go on.

But I carry her with me. Always.

A Perfect Post - February 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

speed of lightning, roar of thunder, fighting all who rob or plunder

Between the trainwreck media frenzy surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith (Ack! Clowns!) and Britney's extreme breakdown (She's in rehab! Now she's out! She shaved her head! She got bad tattoos! She's back in rehab! Now she's out! She attacks a photographer's car! She's back in rehab! Can't we just remember her as she was?) I skipped last Friday's links. I know, it ruined your whole weekend, but never fear! Super Links are here!

Super Links? Seriously? Oy.

(Admittedly, heavy on the iFilms. Like that's a bad thing?)

- Perhaps you'll think twice before throwing a cup of ice at the car that just cut you off in traffic. I know I will. Beware - The McMissle.

- Proof that the more you fucking swear in your muthafucking movie the better your fucking chances are of winning a goddamnmuthafucking Oscar. Bitch.

- Oh, this is so wrong. So, so very wrong. Why am I still laughing?

- This is so sad. This man guaranteed that McDonald's didn't lose thousands, no possibly millions of Catholic patrons and what did he get for his invention? Nuthin'.

- This is what happens when you drop acid before going on David Letterman's show. (an oldie but a goodie)

**Added** - Shoot, almost forgot this one. So far the only thing interesting about this season's American Idol contestants is when one of the girls goes wild. And topless.

And since comments are my bag, baby - the funny ones, the thought provoking ones, the ones that make me piss my pants - I've got to thank Dirty Birdie for not one, but two comments on two separate posts that had me running for the Charmin. Her comments on this post and this one made me laugh out loud, and that's hard to do these days. Thanks DB, you're one funny beyotch.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sorry doesn't seem to be the hardest word to me

I'm sorry.

No really, I'm very sorry.

Very, very sorry.

Extremely sorry.

Did I mention just how sorry I was?

C'mon, I said I was sorry. What more do you want from me?

I've never been very good at accepting apologies. Especially from those who are closest to me; the word "Sorry" just seems so meaningless sometimes. It's just a word. It doesn't make up for any wrong doing. And if you hear it enough the words just seem to melt together. Soon enough it's like listening to the adults on a Peanuts cartoon.

Wah wah wah wah wah waaaahhhh wahwahwah wah wah waaaahhh wah.

There are certain situations when the words "I'm sorry" will suffice: You're a few minutes late to a meeting or a scheduled lunch date with a friend, for instance, or when a strange person bumps into you in a crowded shop or restaurant. Then, not only will it suffice, to me the apology is mandatory. It's polite, and without that common courtesy we'd be nothing more than a mob of animals. Or French or German tourists.

(Seriously, what is it with the French and Germans and waiting in line? Or, should I say, Not waiting in line.)

For me, however, a simple sorry just doesn't cut it for major infractions. Let's say your husband forgets to order oil for the second time in two years, leaving you and your child without heat on a very cold winter day. That's one instance that leaps to mind. Or when someone dumps an entire caramel latte all over the front of your new cashmere sweater. Or your dog takes a huge dump on my lawn. In these cases don't tell me you're sorry, do something about it.

Show me how sorry you are by making up for it.

I admit I'm tough on people who expect me to forgive them for their transgressions, but the word "Sorry" seems to have been overused and, therefore, has lost most of its meaning. For instance:

You know those times when I said I didn't sleep with my intern? Well, I did. Oops. Sorry!

I had sex in my car with a prostitute. My bad. Bloody sorry mates!

I got drunk and threw around some anti-Semitic slurs. Sorry! (But I'm not sorry for calling that officer Sugar Tits. Yowza.)

Did I say we were more popular than Jesus? I take it back. Sorry!

Okay! So I called some guys the N word! Whaddya want me to do? Say I'm sorry? Okay, I'm sorry!

These days if you're a celebrity who has screwed up all you need to do is book a date on a late night talk show or call a press conference, muster up your best shamefaced look and apologize. Preferably with a tear or two. And more than likely the public will let you off the hook. Except for you, Janet Jackson. The horror! We saw your boob! The public will never let you live that down.

Sure, public humiliation is a form of retribution. But when it comes down to it anyone can say they're sorry while their fingers are crossed behind their backs.

Seriously, how many times has Ted Turner apologized in his life?

How many "I'm sorrys" do we need to hear before the words totally lose their meaning for everyone? Even those, unlike me, who still believe there is good in people?

I was happy to hear that Jet Blue was compensating the customers who were stranded in their snowstorm clusterfuck debacle. But is that enough? What about the money spent on family trips that were missed? How much retribution is enough of an apology? And does everyone need compensation, financial or otherwise, to make up for these types of slights?

What is enough of an apology for you? Are words enough? Small gifts? Sexual favors? Monetary compensation? What helps you to forgive someone?


Two things that are totally unrelated:

- Blogher announced the venue for this year's conference. Anyone want to shack up? Email me if you're interested. Chicky Chicky Baby at Hotmail dot Com

- Also, I'm looking for graphics work (business cards, pamphlets, possibly a website, definitely a logo) for a possible new business for me (Squeeeeeeeee!), but I have limited resources. I guess what I'm trying to get at is I need graphics work, cheap. I don't want to sink too much money into this venture until I've got it up and running somewhat smoothly. If you know of anyone, again, email me. Chicky Chicky Baby at Hotmail dot Com

Thank you, dear and wise internets, in advance.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

She has danced into the danger zone, when a dancer becomes a dance

It gets mighty lonely - and boring - on these cold New England nights. A woman's got to be resourceful to keep from going mad. And if that means dressing her toddler up in leg warmers* and encouraging her to dance to tunes from a bygone era (uh, that would be music from the 80's), then so be it.

She's a Maniac, Maniac on the floor...

And she's dancing like she's never danced before

Grand plie, second position. And without the aid of a bar. Eat your heart of Baryshnikov.

And the big finish.
Or, where I hope you'll pay more attention to "Crazy Legs" Chicky than to the carnage behind her. It was a long day.

*This 80's flashback was brought to you by Baby Legs. The pattern hurts my eyes but I'm not complaining. They were free.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dog is not a four letter word

Very dear friends of mine became parents today. At 2:30am they delivered a baby girl; a beautiful, healthy, precious bundle of joy who will enrapture them and wind their hearts around her little finger. They're first time parents so when my husband and I told them, repeatedly, that their whole life was about to change they nodded and agreed, but anyone could see that behind their smiles they didn't truly understand the brevity of their old life or the upheaval they will soon be experiencing in their new one. And that's fine - no one can really prepare you for something in which you have no experience with - but there is one big red flag that waved at me from behind their heads when we have had these discussions and it troubles me.

You see, this new baby girl will be brought into a home where two very pampered cats and one much doted on dog already live and reign with velvet covered iron paws. As their friend, a person with more than a few years of pet ownership and a handful of years of experience training dogs under her belt, I felt it was my obligation to tell them that not only will their lives change but that their pets' lives would change too. When I have told them this their smiles widened and I got a knowing look.

"Oh, nothing will change. We'll still love them and treat them exactly the same as we do now."

Those of us who love animals and owned animals before we were parents know the feelings we had/have for these beloved pets. They were our first babies; we bought them special treats and took them on pet-friendly outings. We visited dog bakeries looking for just the right all-natural cookies and bought the finest collars and leashes. Dog daycare, veterinarian-approved boarding kennels, and grooming bills that rivaled our own, we spared little expense. Surely, the love we felt for these animals could not be eclipsed.

And then the baby came. Wow. It's amazing how some things can change.

In my line of work I hear countless stories of "problem dogs" who, according to their owners, were wonderful before the kids came but then started acting out when a new baby was brought into the house. Stories of people who feel the need to give up their dogs because they just can't handle the extra work. What they don't realize, or don't want to recognize, is that these problems could have been avoided. And it makes me sad, really sad.

These people, my friends included, also don't realize that it's not their dog's problem. It's theirs. People are the cause of more dog behavior problems than you might think. Would you like to know why? Because dog owners are not treating their dogs like dogs but like little furry children.

It's commonly called "anthropomorphism",or "the attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to nonhuman organisms or inanimate objects." Dog owners commonly attribute human behavior to their dogs. Love, malice, jealousy and revenge are human motivations and behaviors that dogs know nothing about, at least not in a human way, but we insist on believing otherwise and that is very dangerous. For both us and our dogs.

Let me give you an example. My friends, the soon-to-be-new parents, told me when I asked where their dog would be sleeping (to paraphrase):

He'll continue sleeping on the bed with us, we don't want to hurt his feelings.

Hurt his feelings? I saw red flags popping up all over the place. What happens when the baby comes home and their dog, a very friendly and very large Golden Retriever, wants to cuddle? I can tell you what I think will happen, before long that dog will be unceremoniously kicked off the bed and off the couch. His feelings won't be hurt, but he'll be confused as hell and if you ask me that is really not fair. Not that he'll be relegated to the floor but because his life as he knows it will change, quickly. And that's just one way that his life will change. Will his owners spend as much time petting and stroking him? Probably not. Will they cut his walks short on occasion? Probably. And in countless other small ways his life will change, but they're not preparing him. They're going to lavish attention on him right up until the end, thinking that they're doing right by him. But they're not. It's like pulling the rug out from under someone who's not looking. Not fair.

Another example of anthropomorphism, at its most blatant (and used very effectively, if I do say so myself), is the latest Pedigree commercial. Why does that commercial cut us to the core when we see it? Well, aside from the dulcet tones of David Duchovny's voice, the music, and the ridiculously cute canine faces, it's the narrative. The dog is talking to us.

"I know how to sit, how to fetch and how to roll over. What I don't know is how I ended up in here. But I know that I am a good dog and I just want to go home."

Don't feel bad if that commercial strikes a raw nerve in you. It's supposed to. But think of it this way - does a dog know good from bad? Not really, not in the way that we do. Good and Bad are abstract qualities that a dog would never think about, mainly because it doesn't have the intelligence to do so.

Mata H., a contributor at Blogher, wrote better than I could why this commercial gets to us in the psychological sense, so I'll let you go over there and see what she's written. In short, however, we see ourselves in the dog. Yes, I am a good boy/good girl. I don't deserve what was done to me. We're, in part, rescuing a part of ourselves when we rescue these dogs.

But what do my friends and their dog have to do with this Pedigree commercial? I do believe that my friends and others like them are treating their dogs in the manner in which they themselves want to be treated.

Let's get down to the irony. Why do you think so many of those dogs ended up in those pounds and shelters to begin with? A good number end up there because people put heavy burdens on these animals that they could never live up to. Dogs act, for lack of a better term, dogish. They are dogs who pull and bark and dig. Dogs who jump on our clean clothes with muddy, scratchy paws. Or dogs who don't come when they're called. They're dogs who are expected to live in a human world but were never properly taught how to do that.

Not fair.

I don't expect that the dog belonging to my friends will end up in a pound. For all of their naiveté they do truly love him and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep him happy. And the best part is that they've taken the years they had with him before the baby to give him as much training as possible. I'm just afraid that some damage will be done in their desperate attempt to keep him happy. Because, in the end, they are doing these things, for good or bad, out of love.

The love of dogs is a heady emotion for those of us who feel as if we can't live without one and the Pedigree commercial is extremely persuasive. But before you rush out to adopt the first cute face and wagging tail that sits before you in your local animal shelter after watching that commercial for the hundredth time please remember this...

You're getting a dog, not a mini version of your damaged psyche, if I may be so blunt. You're bringing an animal, with all of his or her canine behaviors - for better or for worse - into your home and into your lives. The least you can do is make a concerted effort to make that transition as easy as possible. And whether you're adopting a dog or already have one at home, do everyone a favor - yourself, the dog, the workers at the pound - please treat the dog with respect.

Treat him like a dog.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

No no's in the snow snow

Things I have learned never to do when there is a snow storm (based on past experiences):

- NEVER chase a boy across a snowy school yard for the sole reason of beating him up because he told everyone that you liked another boy when you so didn't. The result will be a broken arm - after you slip on some ice that was under the snow - and therefore ending your fifth grade basketball career. And the nice doctor who sets your arm will see you in your Wonder Woman Underroos - which you were about one year too old to be wearing - and that embarrassment will scar you for life.

- NEVER go joy riding with a group of friends in your parent's car in a snow storm because you may not be as lucky as you were to not hit that giant oak tree. Next time you might plow into it instead of just kissing it with the bumper. (Don't tell my Dad, okay?)

- NEVER try to drive home from college in your 1982 rear-wheel drive Chevy Monte Carlo during a snow storm. You and your car will end up stranded sideways on a giant hill, therefore necessitating a tow truck and drawing the ire of your fellow motorists who knew that if they stopped to allow the tow truck to move your freaking boat of an automobile they may never get started up that hill again, you stupid, ditzy college girl.

- NEVER try to drive home from college in a snow storm in your 1982 rear-wheel drive Chevy Monte Carlo just to see your boyfriend, because you'll just end up marrying the guy when you're way too young and then divorcing his hick ass.

- NEVER try to drive your fiance's truck to work in the middle of the biggest snow storm in years - at 5 o'clock in the morning - because you'll just end up getting it stuck in the parking lot in a haphazard fashion that will make it impossible for the line of cars next to you to get their cars out of the parking lot when it's actually safe to do so.

Seriously, where the hell did I think I was going? We got, like, three feet of snow. Did I really think I was going to make it to work? Did I really think the place would blow up without me? Why yes, yes I did.

(And if you would have taken the advice before that and you wouldn't have driven home from college to see this guy to begin with you wouldn't have ended up at that job, and you wouldn't have needed to leave for work at the ass crack of dawn, and you wouldn't have had that damn truck, and you wouldn't have lived together for four unhappy years, and you wouldn't have ended up a divorcee. What does that have to do with snow? I have no idea.)

- And when you've finally dumped the previous husband and gotten yourself a new one, and you're deliriously happy and the two of you are soon going to have a baby, NEVER take it upon yourself to go out and shovel snow (because the wonderful husband is on a business trip for his wonderful job), ESPECIALLY when you have pregnancy-related sciatica, because you will end up in SERIOUS pain. Swallow your pride and let the nice neighbor do it for you. Stop trying to be a hero. You dumbass.

And what I've just recently learned:

- If you're planning on getting some lovin' that night NEVER try to shovel heavy wet snow off your walkway just to impress your husband with your snow shoveling prowess. Why? Because, first: Impressing your husband with snow shoveling? Really? And, second: With your history of back problems you will, once again, end up in SERIOUS pain (and feeling slightly ill, too) therefore trashing the possibility of any monkey love happening that evening. Or the evening after. But possibly the evening after that. With the help of muscle relaxers.

- The next day, after more icy, wet snow has fallen, NEVER put your kid in her car seat and leave her in there with the car running while you try to remove the heavy crust of snow from your car just so you can drive her to her playgroup, because you just might LOCK HER IN THE DAMN CAR AND YOU'LL BE SO LUCKY IF YOU FIND THE EXTRA SET OF KEYS, YOU STUPID WENCH.

Just another public service announcement from your friends at Chicky Chicky Baby.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Husband of the Month

It's Valentine's Day. Another day of jacked up prices and desperate consumerism. It's not a day that Mr. C and I usually fuss over, which is fine with me because... How do I say this nicely?

Mr. C and I, in the past, have had a tough go at it in the gift giving department.

No. That was too nice. We suck at presents. Big time.

My husband is horrible to buy for. I think men in general are difficult to get gifts for, but Mr. C is particularly picky. And expensive. As much as I would like to, I just don't have the cash to buy him a flat screen television. Which is what he asks for every holiday. Sorry, hon. How about a nice card?

As for my husband buying me gifts, I have to be very careful what I ask for. If I so much as mention that I like something, just once, it might show up under the Christmas tree or wrapped in birthday wrapping paper. Or, if I happen to say that he shouldn't make a fuss over Mother's Day... He won't.

That was not a good day.

He's getting better at gift giving but I will never let him forget the year he went out and bought a $300 massage table as a gift for me. I'm not a masseuse. But his thinking was why spend the money on massage appointments? He can give me massages and we'll save money! It will be great!


But this year he finally hit his stride. Yesterday morning he got up with Chicky, he fed her breakfast and then woke me with a kiss and a card that said I had an appointment at a spa in a couple of hours. He had gone ahead and scheduled a facial and massage at a posh spa for me, and he took the whole day off from work so he could look after Chicky for the day while I relaxed. He even took her to her music class.

Since he's still making up for that little heating fiasco, he's out of contention for Husband of the Year. But I can safely say that this was one of the best presents he's ever given me. Much better than the early version of the Palm Pilot with the music card that held no more than 12 songs.

As for me, I got Mr. C a card. Oh, he's getting sex too. But I don't know how to wrap that.

I don't know if it's better than a flat screen television but it's going to have to do for now.

Happy Valentine's Day, honey!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ow. My head.

We had a great time at the Boston Wine Expo yesterday. I think. I'm fairly certain we had a good time. Things got hazy after the South African wines. Or maybe it was the wines from Portugal. Or it might have been that last tasting of New Zealand wines. At any rate we were all quite happy when we left. I think. I'm... 85% certain. What I do know is that drinking some wine will make you believe that buying expensive cheese is a very good idea. In fact, it may possibly be the best cheese you ever tasted. The best cheese ever! Cheese! With truffles! Please, take my money in exchange for this mind altering cheese. Fromage! Yes, "cheese" is too common a word. Tonight, after work, I will partake of some fromage. Perhaps with a nice glass of red wine. Scratch that last part. After yesterday I may not want another glass of wine for at least another... 32 hours. Heh.

I did learn a few things at the Wine Expo, however. Dollar for dollar the wines from Portugal were pretty darn good. The South African wines are decent, too. And cheeky. Anyone up for some Goats do Roam 2005 Bored Doe? Yes, this is one of those wines that are banking that their label will reach out and grab you from the store shelves. When I asked the rep how that particular marketing campaign was working for them she replied, "The lawsuits haven't caught up to us yet."

Wine humor, very dry.

The wine itself was drinkable, but I preferred the Fairview Viognier (if you're looking for a slightly sweeter white, and I'm not usually a sweet wine lover) and the Fairview Pinotage. It's a nice change from your Pinot Noir or Zinfandel. You can get either of those for under $20.

And a quick note to my fellow wine lover, Pundit Mom: I found a "baby" Super Tuscan for under 20 bucks! A 2004 Poggio alla Badiola Toscana. It's not as earth shattering as some I've had, but it's not your grandfather's jug o' wine, either. If you're new to Super Tuscans don't let the fact that they're blends throw you off. Sure, the "Super Tuscan" moniker is a bit of fancy packaging but they're not your every day table wines. And if you're drinking Italian wines sometimes it's nice to break away from Chianti's.


Okay, enough about the vino. Let's talk about the Grammys. The things that stood out for me:

  • Justine Timberlake's nose hairs (he may have brought sexy back but no one looks good that close up)

  • Shakira's abs

  • Christina Aguilera's tan. And the poodle she was wearing on her head looked fabulous too.

  • Smokey Robinson's head (which has replaced Kenny Roger's head in the pantheon of bad plastic surgery)
  • Lacy Underall's Carrie Underwood's hair (country music inflates your politics and your hair apparently)
  • Mary J. Blige's skin (and her four Grammys. Go Mary J.)

  • The Dixie Chick's homage to the Simpsons (HaHa)

  • Sting still looking shag-a-rific. Shag-a-licious? Shag-able. But he needs to trim the hair. As my sister said, Sting is starting to look a bit like Beeker.

  • Gnarls Barkley and their pilot costumes. Is it just me or in those costumes did Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse look like this generation's Captain and Tennille?

Other than that? Yawn. There were some good performances (I can't decide if John Mayer is trying to channel Stevie Ray Vaughn or Joe Cocker, but white boy can play the gee-tar), some sit-up-and-take-notice performances (Have I mentioned Shakira's abs yet? And her hips?), and some WTF performances (why were there so many Eagles songs? Done by performers other than the Eagles? Wasn't Don Henley there? If he wasn't I'm sure he was available.).

The red lacquer stage made me hungry for sushi and the director was caught sleeping on more than one occasion. There are never any huge surprises (not since 1989). The Grammys make me long for the MTV awards, which is saying a lot because in MTV years I'm older than dirt. But at least they're not as sanitized as the Grammys. Should there be that many people wearing monkey suits at a music award show? I think not.

Thank the lord for Ok Go, who took their inspiration from my great grandmother's old curtains...

And Imogen Heap. At first I thought it was the effects of the wine, but no, she really looked this way...

I guess she didn't kiss that frog hard enough.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Paying it forward one link at a time, and without that annoying Haley Joel Osment kid

It's Friday. Not that that means jack when you're a stay at home parent, except for the next two days I'll have someone else to share the parenting/household responsibilities with. Hurrah. But this weekend, this glorious Sunday, my sister, my husband and I will be spending the afternoon at the Boston Wine Expo getting pissed snackered loaded crocked looped plowed recommendations for new wines my sister might want to include on her restaurant's wine list. I'm just kidding, we're not going to get drunk because, duh, I'm a mom and everyone knows that mom's can't be trusted with alcohol. Sheesh.

Since it's Friday that also means links, lots of them. Enough to keep your idle hands and minds busy enough to keep the devil at bay until Monday when the internet finally gets off its fat ass and gets creative again.

This week's links are inspired, in part, by all the love that other bloggers have been paying me recently. Since it was mighty kind of them to link to me it only seems right to pay it forward, so most of these clickable goodies are bloggers that I read that I think you should pay a visit to. Try them, you might like them.


The Bloggy Goodness -

- What? You haven't read this guy's personal site? You don't know what you're missing. Go there. Go there now. And then come back here.

- This fine lady, and fellow MA resident, nominated me for a Best of Blogs award. I think that deserves a link. And cookies. Thanks Margalit!

- Please go vote for the always inspirational (and furry) Redneck Mommy at the Share the Love Blog Awards. Especially since her mom just found out about her blog. Yikes!

(And, no, I'm not disappointed that I wasn't a finalist for the Happiest Blog or the Blog You'll Never Stop Reading. But I'm pissed I wasn't a finalist for Best Commenter. I may never recover.)

- So, I recently started reading this lady, then she invited me to join her book club - The Super Coolest Book Club Evah. And that's not just a name, that's an attitude - and then I find out she lives practically within shouting distance of me. Now how do I get up the nerve to ask her out on a blog date? Do I pass her a note in class and hope the teacher doesn't catch us? Do I call her on the phone and then hang up? Do I drive past her house until she notices me? I'm so out of practice.

... And the rest of it -

- Let me get this straight. You're asking me to chose between sex and a whole new wardrobe? Is that even a choice?

- Just another reason why I love Anthony Bourdain. (via

- Was I shocked that Anna Nicole Smith died? No. Do I think Rosie O'Donnell has really bad timing. Hell yes oh God yes a thousand times yes.

- Somebody get this woman some oxygen and a tongue depressor. STAT!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Want to save your marriage (insert name here)? Let me tell you how!

Psst... If you'd like a break from my whining and belly-aching go here to read about my experiences with a how-to manual for new parents who want to save their marriages. Just in time for Valentine's Day! It will make you laugh! It will make you cry! It will make you rethink your position on oral sex!

Did I get your attention? Good. Now clicky clicky.

Our regularly scheduled moaning about my horrible life (har) will continue after these messages.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

If you're looking for me I'll be hiding underneath my pillow

I'm a schmuck.

Chicky and I just returned from a birthday party for two of my friend's children, who both turn two years old this week. Last year we were all having low key birthday parties for our kids, just some lunch and hanging out with friends. No muss, no fuss (okay, a little bit of fuss), and most of all... No presents. It was simple and easy and relatively stress free. According to the evite I received, this year's party was going to be even more laid back since there were going to be less people. Great! I love that idea. That's what I was planning to do for Chicky's second birthday in a couple of months - keep it low key. I have enough stress in social situations without having to add to it.

Since I was the last to arrive I didn't notice anything unusual about this get together. There were a couple of new faces but for the most part it was the same small group of friends. We played, had lunch, ate some cupcakes and then it came time for presents.

Guess who didn't bring presents.


Guess what everybody else brought.


I was mortified. I'm sure my cheeks were pink with embarrassment, especially after my girlfriend said, while trying to sort through the wrapping paper for the toys on the floor, "We didn't miss anything, did we?" And then she looked at me and I was forced to shake my head, no.

No, you didn't miss anything. I'm a schmuck.

I made the biggest birthday faux pas. I was the guest who didn't bring gifts for the birthday boy and girl. As soon as all the wrapping paper was picked up I got our coats and hurried Chicky out of there quickly, muttering something about it being way past naptime. The entire way home I chanted "Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid." It's hard to drive a car when you're banging your head against the steering wheel.

I'm so mad! I'm mad at myself and at everyone else, too. I'm mad that the rules changed and no one thought to tell me - remember, I said last year we didn't do gifts. But I'm also mad because I never thought that they could change. It barely occurred to me. Sure, I thought that at some point, when they were older, we would start doing gifts for the kids. And I thought about it while pulling into my friend's driveway, that maybe a couple of the other people would bring something, mainly the people who were old friends of the hostess, but it didn't even cross my mind up until that point. That's not how our group functions, or so I thought.

Apparently, that is exactly how it functions.

Of course there's more to this story. You knew there had to be. Unfortunately, this is just the culmination of months of feeling inadequate when around these women. I'm the one that will forget to restock the diaper bag before heading out to one of their homes for a playdate, only to have my kid take a huge dump at their house. I'm the one who never has the portable highchair for lunchtime playdates. Or how about the day that the other women decided ahead of time to let their kids play in the wading pool at someone's house after our playgroup. They all had sunscreen and bathing suits, sun hats, water sandals and swim diapers ready to go for their kids. Me? I never got the email, apparently it was sent to the wrong address. I had to mooch an extra swim diaper off of someone. If not for that diaper my kid would have been completely naked, which would have been fine if I didn't already feel like a horrible mother for not having some of those things ready to go in my bag. And, no, it does not make me feel the least bit better that it was someone else's fault for sending the email to the wrong address. I should have been ready, just in case. Because mother's are supposed to be ready for those types of situations.

There are loads of other tiny, almost inconsequential moments. Moments that would be easy to laugh off if not for the amount of times that they've happened. But put them all together and add to them the big elephant in the room - the fact that my kid is so far behind the others in language development - and it leaves me feeling like a complete failure as a mother. I'm always a day late and a dollar short. They're always two steps ahead and I'm always running to catch up. I'm scarred from all the tripping and falling.

Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself. I made a silly mistake and I'm making it worse by drudging up old incidents. But why, for once, can't I be that mom that seems to have it all together? Or maybe, just once, they could let me see them stumble. And then I wouldn't feel like such a schmuck. Which, in this case, is synonymous with being a bad mother.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Dear Friend

Hello friend. Come in, have a seat. Let me take your coat, pour you a cup of coffee. Or would you prefer tea? It's still a bit early for a glass of wine but come back later and I'll open a nice bottle for us to share. Until then can I tempt you with a piece of blueberry lemon bread? It's homemade, I made it just for you. I hope you like it. I really do.

What's that? Thank you, that's very nice of you to say. I'll keep your compliments tucked away in that special place reserved for kind words and sentiments, the place I visit when I need a boost. What I won't tell you is that I spent the entire day before cleaning up the joint, vacuuming the pet hair, clearing away the cobwebs. I wiped away all the dirt and grime for you. Well, not all for you. I welcome the opportunity to gussy up for others, because if left to my own devices I'd let everything go to pot. No, it's no way to live, but it gets me by. For now. But let's not dwell on unpleasant things. Let's keep it light. Breezy. Happy. I do love to laugh, I hope you do too.

Can I tell you a joke? Let me tell you a story and I'll pepper it with quips and one-liners. Yes, sometimes I'll go there, teetering on the edge of that dark place, but I always come back. But I'll make your head snap. You might wonder why I got so serious all of a sudden. Sitting in front of me, I'll make you squirm. I'll make you uncomfortable. Let's go back to being silly. Yes, silly is easy. Keep it easy, light.

Dark is easy too, I'm afraid. Dark is very easy for me. But I've learned to keep it tucked away. No one likes to be reminded of the darkness. No one wants to think about that cloud that hangs above our heads or peaks from behind the open doorway. I try to remove its dark, pointy fingers from my shoulder. Sometimes I give in to it, the darkness, it's easier that way. I get worn down. I get very tired. I get very raw from its chafing grasp. I try to keep it under control. For you, my friend, for you and for my family I try to keep it under control.

Can I pour you some more coffee? Let me warm it up for you. Let me feed you. I'll jump through hoops, do a less than perfect cartwheel, a song and dance perhaps. All for you. Help me keep up this appearance. I'll feed off of your joy. If I make you laugh that will sustain me for awhile.

Have you met my child. She's beautiful, no? I never knew how easy it would be to hide behind her. I never knew how much I wanted to hide until I had her. Let's talk about her. About your child. Yes, let's talk about them. Let's deflect the attention from me, onto her, onto them, onto you. So, tell me about yourself. Can I take a peek into your inner workings? Can I see your vulnerability? It makes me strong.

It's time to go. I do hope you enjoyed your visit with me. I enjoyed having you, I really did. Now tell me, did I fool you? Did I convince you that I can keep it together. Once we get more comfortable I'll let you in on my secrets and I hope you'll let me in on yours. But not all of them. No. We must keep some things hidden. It's better for our relationship to be that way. If I believe that you're strong, even if you're not, and if you believe that I am too. I'll let you cry on my shoulder, it will make me feel stronger. Please don't expect me to cry on yours. I have strong shoulders and a weak heart. Let's not go there. Okay?

Please come again. If you do then I will know that I have fooled you. You'll like me, if you don't get to know me. If you do get to know me, the real me, I'll know you're a special person. And I won't have to obsessively clean up before you come. I'll let you see the ugly bits. But next time, you bring the wine.

Friday, February 02, 2007

This is your old pal Stinky Whizzleteats!

After reading the comments on my post about Boo Boo Kitty going gray (three gray hairs! Three! Three. Hairs. Three hairs!), Mr. C told me that I had to mention how impressed he was that one third of the people who commented were bare down there. He counted.

And that's why I married him.


Speaking of hair, I cut all mine off yesterday.

(The hair on my head, you sickos.)

I walked in to the salon, sat down, and let my hairdresser do whatever she wanted to the cut and color. And all without the aid of liquid courage. Go me! I needed a change. Change is good, right? The color is cool - I thought it was supposed to be dark blonde with bits of red, but it came out more red with blonde highlights. But it's good. The cut? I'm still getting used to it. It's short. But it's good. It's good. It's all good.

Have I convinced you yet? Because I'm still convincing myself. But it's good. Yeah.

I tried to take pictures, I really did, but I can't get a decent picture that isn't all blurry. See?

Mrs. Chicky for Whhiite Diiiamonds.

I hate styling a new cut the next day since it usually takes me a few days to get comfortable with it. I assure you that in real life it doesn't look so helmet-ish. It's kind of rock star, actually.

Devil Horns, baaahbeees.


Have you seen the new commercial for Pedigree's Adoption Drive? If I'm allowed to continue watching it every time it comes on I can not be held responsible for the 2,000 dogs I will soon be adopting. And I cannot be held responsible for the 2,00 dogs you'll bring home, either, after watching it. Go ahead, watch it. I dare you.


And a Friday would not be complete around these parts without some serious YouTube-ing. Since it's almost V-day (Valentine's Day. Shudder.) here's five of my favorite songs to set the mood. The romantic mood. The lovey mood. The bow-chicka-bow-bow mood. The Let's Get Down to Some Serious Baby Making mood.

(Scratch that last one. Shudder.).

This is my response to Lawyer Mama's tag for the Five Things meme. It was the least I could do seeing as how she (and others apparently) nominated me for that Happiest Blog award thingie. Even though I haven't been able to get that blasted Happy Happy, Joy Joy song out of my head since, I do thank you both. Dammit.

We'll have to address the whole happy thing at another time. When I'm drunk.

Until then, feel free to add your own to this list.

1. Quite possibly the most romantic song by a post-punk, British rock band with country/rockabilly/classic rock leanings. Ever.
2. Swoon. Melt. Swoon. Aahhh. If you haven't yet heard anything from that man, consider this your indoctrination. You can thank me later. With chocolate.
3. I know it's not cool to love this band, and the intro makes me question my taste, but this song? Bow-chicka-bow-bow. Aw yeah.
4. Classic. Perfect. Beautiful. What else can you say about this song?
5. Excuse me. Do you think I could, uh, touch you? Whoo. Why does this song do it for me? Why? Why?!

(As always, any music is subject to change without prior notice. Especially if someone comes up with a better song that makes me go, "Ooh! I like that one better. Stealsies.")