Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This Is: A Lame Excuse For A Blog Post.

This has probably been the longest stretch I've gone without posting to this blog. I wish I had some valid excuse - a bout of amnesia resulting from a street brawl, or the discovery of a winning lottery ticket, but the truth is I just haven't had the time or the inclination to sit down and write anything. I thought about doing one of those audio posts that I've seen so many people do lately, but to be perfectly honest I absolutely hate the sound of my voice and it would be tortuous to hear it blasting out to cyberspace, causing all ten of my readers to simultaneously lunge for the 'mute' buttons on their computers.

Blogging has become such an important part of my life that when I'm away from it, it's always interesting to see the effect it has me. For instance, that witty remark I made during the school planning meeting? I pause afterwards and wonder if I should Save as Draft or hit the Publish button. And while whining to Rigel about the horrific day I had helping out with all the end-of-school parties and PTA activities, I wonder the entire time if he will leave a comment afterwards. And who else will comment? Would my story about Kira coughing into the salad bar at Vons go over better? How many hits has my life gotten today? If my phone rings does it get recorded by SiteMeter? All these thoughts are going through my head as Rigel leaves the room, growing impatient with my faraway stare and annoyed at my fingers tapping at an imaginary keyboard on my dinner plate.

I've also had no time to visit the three hundred blogs that I'm addicted to, and it's got me in a bit of a panic. I've been feeling like I'm missing something, that once I check back you'll have all signed multi-million-dollar book deals and all those pictures of your kids on your blogs will have been replaced with shots of you laying on George Clooney's lap while he drinks Cristal out of your bra cup.

We're off to stay with some friends at their lake house for a few days. I'm taking my laptop with me, and while there I'm hoping that someone pulls up Jimmy Hoffa while reeling in a trout, or I accidentally lock myself in the bathroom at the gas station, or anything else interesting that will give me some inspiration to write. Because otherwise I'll have to subject you all to an audio post of me waxing poetic about a tree or singing a lullaby to my daiquiri, or better yet maybe a video post reenaction of Kira hacking into the bins of romaine and three-bean salad at the supermarket. Don't say you weren't warned.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

If You Run Into Me In The Next Couple Of Weeks, Don't Be Surprised If I Try To Taste Your Arm.

I've been meaning to post more details about our incredible vacation to Yosemite that we returned from last week, but before I do I need to write about the one thing that has been consuming me for the past week. The thing that has eclipsed blogging as my obsession, the thing that is driving me to thrice-weekly trips to the health food store, has me crying over Outback Steakhouse commercials and had me salivating over the can of Friskies Lamb and Rice that I fed to our cat last night.

Yes, I am on a diet.

Okay, according to this, my weight is within the 'normal' range, but the snug fit on my jeans and the roll of fat that lays next to me at night like a small pet rodent tell a different story. I'd been noticing that my clothes were feeling a little odd, lately, and my two-day, pre-menstrual bloat had turned into a permanent, second-trimester-pregnancy tummy. Also, I would be lying if I said that this woman's comments didn't spur me on in some small way, and when this hellish diet is over I look forward to our next supermarket encounter, when I plan to ram her with my cart, spin her emaciated body around over my head Kung-Fu Hustle style, and throw her clear across the store into the deli case.

Mostly what I'm trying to do is get my weight down to what I'm comfortable with, one that doesn't have me calling 911 to help me squeeze my ass into my pants or interrupting conversations with the sound of my thighs slapping together. And my prime goal? To be healthier, and to make better food choices. I know this is starting to sound like some overwrought infomercial, but trust me when I say that guidance is absolutely necessary for someone who routinely chooses the bacon-wrapped pork chop over the field-green salad and eschews the 'Healthy Heart' portion of any menu for the one labeled 'Fat Packer.'

The diet plan I'm following is the Duke University Rice Diet, which was originally developed to help people with hypertension and diabetes. The emphasis is on low salt, low fat, non-processed foods, with the first day of each week consisting of only whole grains and fruit, and the first two weeks of the diet being practically vegan. As I say the word 'vegan,' my voice drops to an embarrassed whisper, since normally I make a sport out of taunting and ridiculing my vegetarian and vegan friends, daring them to just lick the surface of my top-sirloin or threatening to blend some mashed up hot dog into their tempeh casserole. The idea that I can't have any meat for the next seven days (already having gone without for six) is definitely daunting, but I've been keeping my mind off it by covertly planning my coming out party for when this whole tortuous diet is over, the one where I barricade myself in the kitchen and roll around naked in every beef and pork product I can get my hands on and shovel big spoonfuls of salt into my mouth.

Along with feeling and looking better (I have more energy and my beard is not nearly as full) the downside is that subsisting on a diet normally reserved for gerbils has left me not only starving, but cranky as well. Who can blame me for snapping at the kids and withholding sex from my husband when all I've had to eat for dinner is a mound of lentils and a peach? And while the whole-wheat pita pizzas I whipped up last night were pretty tasty, my lunch today of brown rice and salt-free black beans made me want to beat the crap out of our elderly neighbor who, obviously trying to taunt me, was frying sausage near her open kitchen window.

We've all been on diets and know what works and what doesn't, but before you start telling me that the diet I'm on has been know to cause hair growth on your thumbs or is actually one followed by sumo wrestlers to increase the density of their blubber, remember that I'm already six days into it, and it's too late to turn back now. Also, consider this: I haven't had a steak for six whole days. I may just hunt you down, tear off one of your legs and throw it on the grill, just for a little treat to have with my organic bulgur pilaf and cabbage salad.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Sweatpantsmom, Now With More Hemp.

We got back from our trip to Yosemite a couple of days ago, and I've been useless ever since. If I could sit up straight, stop drooling and string together a coherent sentence I would tell you that:

Despite what I said here, nature is swell.

And, while I'm not quite ready to trade in my cigarette jeans and boots for a pair of burlap pants and Birkenstocks, I have to admit that hiking is much better for the hiney than sitting in front of a computer attempting, and failing miserably, to string together a coherant sentence about a family vacation.

Mosquitoes, on the other hand, are pure evil.

Screw the FDA - bring back DDT. I'll bathe in it, gargle with it, inject it directly into my brain stem if it'll keep me from getting eaten alive by the little bloodsuckers.

The absence of television and telephones can lead to the serious overeating of s'mores.

The absence of television and telephones can also lead to the renewed love of ping-pong, board games and the whole concept of family time, and unfortunately, the sad realization that at some point in the not too distant future, my daughters will only come on vacation with us, their parents, out of a sense of guilt and duty and even then only after repeated threats to take away their cell phones, car keys and Starbucks cards. And then? They'll spend the entire vacation secretly phoning their boyfriends, who will then 'coincidentally' show up right before that family hayride I'd been planning all summer.

This is where we had lunch on Tuesday:


I'll post more later, about our trip, the warm fuzzy moments that made me sad, the mosquitoes, the ping-pong, the waterfalls, the s'mores and the gargantuan ants.

Oh, and don't forget to ask me about our trip home, when we were in a restaurant surrounded by big, hairy truckers and women wearing sweatshirts with American flags appliqu├ęd on them and visors that said, "I'm Too Hot For You", and Kiyomi decides to start talking, in a very loud voice, about the time she played Life with her friend Sarah and they pretended they were both gay, and Kira asks incredulously, in an even louder voice, "You mean you were lesbians?! LESBIANS?! YOU AND SARAH WERE LESBIANS?!!"

Ask me about that. In the meantime, I've got a hayride to plan.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm So Ready For My Close-Up Now, Mr. De Mille.

Have you met my famous family?

In all fairness, I have to mention that that is Kira's hair spliced in. Her hair's agent gets very touchy about equal billing.

I actually believe that it's this poster that Tom Cruise was referring to on Oprah when he proclaimed, "I'm in love!" and moved him to jump that couch.

No one believes me when I tell them that sometimes he gets paid to stand around in his bathrobe all day.

I think I've mentioned before that Rigel designs movie posters for a living. Oftentimes they aren't able to get the actual stars to show up for a photo shoot - say for instance the shoot is taking place on a Wednesday at 9am, and that happens to be the exact time that Joaquin Phoenix is having a vegan facial at The Four Seasons, or John Travolta is hosting a Scientology Quilting Bee in his Hollywood home. This is when body doubles are called in, and well, if you happen to be the exact height as a cosmic hitchhiker or have a couple of daughters that could double as fire victims or orphans of an alien invasion, Hollywood may come a knockin'.

What's that you say? Someone's missing? Why, yes - it appears that I'm the only member of this family whose image has never graced a movie poster. You see, as the rest of them makes inroads into cinematic fame, I've been left behind to wallow in my sheer anonymous-ness, to flounder in obscurity as my husband and children enjoy catered photoshoots and public recognition and say to each other, "Yes, pity that mother isn't here, but thank goodness she'll have a hot meal waiting for us when we return from our glamorous day."

At 5'3", I realize that my abilities as a starlet stand-in are limited. I harbor no illusions of doubling for Charlize Theron unless she plans on transforming herself into a pygmy in a desperate bid for another Academy Award. But surely various body parts of mine could be salvageable as movie-poster material. For instance, I find it hard to believe that my slender forearms could not at some point stand in for those of a fourteen year old boy. Or the left side of my right ankle? Virtually undistinguishable from that of a Thai prostitute's. And don't get me started on all the Japanese tourist stand-in jobs I've been passed over for.

Recently Rigel did a photoshoot for Snakes On A Plane. They needed several people to play passengers in the plane, all asked to pretend that they were being attacked by menacing snakes. Screaming, in horror at the presence of creepy crawlies? Hello! I've only been practicing for this role my entire life. And while he, along with several of his co-workers were asked to be in the shot, was I asked to participate? To perhaps play that passenger in aisle 5, seat 4 who's hyperventilating at the thought of having her life blood sucked out of her by an escaped reptile? Let's just say that my lifelong dream of sharing some ink with Samuel L. Jackson won't be realized this time around.

So, now that I've laid out my case, consider this the start of a vigorous campaign to be included in my family's advertising legacy. I look forward to the day when I'm asked to put down my iron, pull myself away from the breakfast dishes and make my way to the photo studio to become a part of the movie-marketing machine. Because, I hate to brag, but I've been told that in certain light, at just the right angle, my left earlobe looks just like Jennifer Aniston's.

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