Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Monkeys - The Other White Meat

My day today, it was more fun than a barrel full of monkeys.

Not really, but it was a cheap excuse to post this link.

Archive File: Random

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Girls Who Scream, Part 1

We had an adventure this weekend!

First, the backstory:

A few years ago:
Two sisters come to Hollywood where, via the powerful Disney machine, they are transformed into pop stars worshipped by legions of little girls. Mothers everywhere are subjected to shrieks everytime the duo are sighted on the Disney Channel (approx. every 2.25 minutes) and fathers feign indifference while at the same time getting closer to the TV for a better look.

August 15, 2005:
Kira is anxious and unable to sleep because she's worried we won't be able to get wristbands for the Aly & AJ concert/cd signing taking place at Tower Records. To get a wristband you have to buy their new CD, which is being released the next day. Rigel has agreed to take part in this bit of manipulative marketing and to take her and Kiyomi to The Event. I suspect he's looking at it as prime record-shopping time, while his children are busy being hypnotized by their musical idols.

I sulk the rest of the night, whining about my lack of 'me' time since I'm the one who'll have to take them to acquire said CDs and wristbands. I anticipate massive crowds and the real possibility that I may have to do some kung-fu on a few of the other moms in order to get my hands on these 'golden tickets.' I decide to bring my mace along.

August 16, 2005
The girls wake up at 7am to prepare for the Sacred Wristband Crusade 2005. As a mother, I put the needs of my children before my own. I agree to get out of bed before noon.

On the way to the record store the girls convince me to come to the concert, too. I think they're secretly afraid that Rigel will leave them alone to fend for themselves if a Led Zeppelin 2-for-1 sale should suddenly break out.

We arrive at Tower Records at 11am and the girls are ecstatic when the clerk tells us they still have wristbands left. I'm just relieved I won't have to take anyone down and I tell her so. She laughs nervously and motions security over just in case. As the girls squeal and dance around, I shell out the bucks for four cds. (Disney Fleecing Tip: Small children cannot take themselves to a concert.) The clerk reads my mind as I concoct my plan to return two of the cds to another store, and informs me that only opened cds are being sold for the The Event and they are non-returnable. For a moment I consider her a deserving candidate for my mace but resist, and we leave happy, four cds and four wristbands tucked safely inside my purse.

Girls Who Scream, Part 2
August 20, 2005:
The girls awaken at dawn to prepare for the big day. Here they are, waiting outside, ready to leave. I think this was taken at around 10am:

The concert starts at 5pm and we arrive at 3:45. When we walk through the doors of the record store, we are met with the voices of Aly & AJ, and panic ensues. Kira is certain we're missing the concert and takes off running (she CAN move quickly! WHO KNEW?) towards the stage. We discover that they're doing their sound check, and the girls get to watch for a few minutes, clutching cds to their chests and doing a little pogo dance while they mouth the words. It was too cute.

Here's a picture Kira took:

After this, the beefy security guards hustle us outside to stand in line and we discover there's quite a few people in front of us. I bemoan the fact that we didn't get there earlier, while Rigel's eyes dart around nervously, afraid someone he knows will see him standing in line for a Disney band's autograph. We're in front of a window where Kira and Kiyomi can see the them practicing, and soon they're joined by a few others.

Here they are. We overheard them plotting to kill their parents and go on tour with the band.

My camera is acting strange, and then I get the 'Battery Exhausted' signal. Panicking, since life doesn't exist unless it's on film, I hustle Rigel off to buy a disposable camera and he returns a few minutes later, triumphant. I bow down and lick his feet.

Finally, at exactly 5pm we're ushered inside to stand around the small stage. Kira and Kiyomi have made friends with a little seven-year-old girl who seems to have the concert savvy of an eighteen year old. She takes a drag off her joint and urges my girls to follow her to the area in front of the stage, where some of the small children are sitting on the floor. I hear her tell them (I'm not making this up) "I've done this before. My dad's in the business." They follow their new messiah, defiantly walking right up into the front row. I keep a close eye on them, making sure Kiyomi doesn't try and offer the 12-year old roadies a six-pack of Molson to get her backstage.

And the show was -gulp- good. They played four songs, and I was impressed that they actually played their own guitars and didn't lip synch. Aside from the unfortunate incident where an insane dad got into an argument with another dad and said, 'Yeah, I'm talking to you motherfucker" within earshot of a room full of impressionable children, the crowd was pretty orderly.

After the announcement was made that in order to get your cd signed you had to exit the store and get back in line, we hurried out but ended up towards the very end. A few minutes into the wait a woman with a headset, appearing to 'case' the crowd, plucked the very last person out of line and took them inside the store. Wow! This brought back memories of my early concert-going days, when my friends and I would attempt to charm the weasley ushers at The Forum so we could move on down to the good seats, all the better to hear Earth Wind & Fire sing 'Reasons' just to us.

Rigel and I were fading and in need of salvation, so he offered to run to Starbucks for heavily caffeinated fluids. As soon as he left, I couldn't find our new disposable camera and called him on his cell phone. He had it and offered to run back with it, but I figured we would be in line for at least another half hour. Ha ha!

The Caser returned shortly thereafter, and I discreetly told Kira and Kiyomi to stand in plain view and look as pathetic and bored as possible, which they did brilliantly. She scanned the crowd briefly, and then marched right up to us and asked us if we'd like to come to the front of the line! We eagerly said yes, and began following her, all to the envious stares of the hundred or so people still in line. It felt not unlike being picked first for softball in seventh grade. NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE.

This prompted a frantic call to Rigel. "We're going in! Get back here NOW!" I begged. I got my cell phone camera ready as we neared the front of the line.

Their big moment arrived! The girls got their cds signed and got to chat for a millisecond with their Hot Pop Goddess crushes, who seemed very sweet. The moment was ruined by the neanderthal guards who were getting their panties in a knot about picture taking, so I took a quick one with my camera phone. Rigel appeared at that moment with the other camera, but it was too late.

But we had made it out alive! We sat down to drink our coffees, glad that the whole ordeal was over, and I began the self-flagellating over the fact that we had gone through the trouble of buying another camera but weren't able to use it for THE MOMENT. Well, at least I got one with my trusty camera phone! Right! Right?

This is when, if you were there, you would have seen me banging my head on the concrete since I neglected to hit the 'SAVE' button on my phone. This is also when you would have heard the collective moan of two little girls whose shining moment was not recorded for future generations, followed by the incredulous voice of Rigel above us all saying, "We went through all of this, and all you can talk about is THE PICTURES WE DON'T HAVE?"

Let me pause here and reiterate: THREE CAMERAS. ZERO PICTURES OF BIG MOMENT.

Just then Rigel pointed out that we all still had our wristbands on, where everyone else's had been cut off entering the autograph line. On a mission now, we ran back to the line, which had shrunk considerably, and got back in it. A security guard pointed to me and said, "I recognize you" but he kept quiet after I shoved his ass into a rack of 80's compilations. Finally their (second) big moment arrived, and the girls met their idols once again. With the telling of the long story of my camera woes the entire store was lulled into a deep sleep and I was able to get a shot of all them; Kira & Kiyomi, Aly & AJ, together at last.

Sadly, I can't post this picture yet because it's on 35mm film, locked inside my camera until I take it to get developed. That is, UNLESS I LOSE IT FIRST.

Archive File: Offspring | Family | This Life

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Peace, Love And A Spare.

Last Friday Rigel's office had a bowling party that was funnnnn. If I was twenty years younger I would even go as far as to say IT ROCKED. HARD. He works with a bunch of great people and I really like all of them, but not in a creepy, stalker kind of way. That said, I don't think that my suggestion of a slumber party for their next office get-together was that out of line.

I'm a terrible bowler, but coming off the alley even I got high-fives and a soul-shake or two. (Which, by the way, I am not young/hip enough to totally get. When someone's fist is coming at me I am inclined to give a swift kick to the nether regions.) I did get a spare, though, and I say it still counts even when you haul down the alley and knock those muthas down with your purse. Ah, bowling! There is something primal about the annihilation of an innocent grouping of stationery objects by a heavy, human-propelled projectile that seems to bring people together. And when you're belting out Pat Benatar's 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' at the top of your lungs with a group of women, including the boss' wife, I'd say that all is right with the universe.

Then Green Day's 'Time Of Your Life' came on and made us all cry and everyone there joined hands and swayed back and forth and then hugged mightily in a non-threatening, heterosexual way. Why, if Oprah were there she would have been saying, "Yeah!" and shaking her fist in support of all the camaraderie and lovin' swirling about. At the end of the night I ordered a tonic water and the waitress asked me if I wanted a lime with it. When I said "Lemon, please!" and she said "Sure thing!" I thought, "It doesn't get any better than this."

But it did!

They had one of those instant photo booths and it was calling our names. We crammed into it with our friends Jon and Alex and here is the chilling aftermath:

I won't post the one where Alex said, "Make a funny face!" and then she was the only one that did. Cause that night, it was all about peace, love and understanding.

Archive File: Married | This Life

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Friday, August 12, 2005

I Used To Be Left Out Of The Conversation At Starbucks, But No More.

Here are some entries from

To clown car it
When more people than there are seatbelts are shoved into a car. When people have to sit on the floor or on each other.

Kelly was driving, Becky had shotgun, Ashley, Kelsey and Mandee were in back with the other Ashley sitting on Mandee and Jay sitting on Kelsey. I had to sit on Becky. We were so clown car-ing it.

Grill Check
1.When you ask a friend to make sure there is nothing in your teeth (or grill) after a meal or snack.

2.The act of checking the teeth or yourself or others for food bits.

"Katie! Grill Check!"

Person A:"That spinich pizza was great"
Person B:"Agreed! GRILL CHECK!"

A word that would come before no,as though the said phrase is completley obvious that the answer would be in the negative.

"Hey man do you like me?" "Prrrrfffff no!"

Archive File: Random

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tired Of Being A Ho

Here's my pimp name:

Sugartastic Marsha Shmoove

Write it down.

You can get your own, here.

Archive File: Random

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Totally Wicked Good Journalism

Two phrases we actually heard Ted Koppel utter last night during a special Nightline tribute to Peter Jennings:

"...catnip for the ladies."

"...cute as a button."


Archive File: Random | TV Drone

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Let's Do This Again Never.

I saw a friend last week who told me he had broken up with his girlfriend. I gave my condolences and then immediately high-fived him and began rolling on the ground in joyous rapture. I had never warmed to her, and my friend confessed that the relationship had been an extremely stressful one. It brought back memories of a recent outing with them, after which Rigel and I came home, curled into the fetal position and sobbed and prayed we would never see her again.

We had attended an event together, the four of us. I had to sit next to her, bookended by our Men. I think they do this on purpose, The Men, to teach The Women a lesson, that it is not such a good idea to go out in couples, that they are best left to their manly outings. So that, if things don't go well with the other Woman, you will say to him, "Oh, let's not go out with other couples! You should just go out with the guys, and do manly things." This is what I think.

That night, in review:

Her: Oh hello. I will set the tone for the evening by insulting you within the first five minutes of our greeting. Now hear my insensitive comment about you which displays my ignorance. Snort! I will laugh at my own cleverness, and will ignore your piercing stare.

Me: You are truly boorish and immature. I intensely dislike you with all the force of my being. I will use my body language to convey this. See my crossed arms and how I lean away from you! As if you are covered in raw sewage.

Her: I am too self-absorbed to interpret body language! I will now show how insecure I am by dropping names and monopolizing the conversation. In between I will berate my boyfriend because I truly feel superior to him and need to demonstrate this.

Me: I am imagining a band of wild monkeys jumping on you and eating your head. Guffaw!

Her: I mistake your laughter for amusement at my meaningless banter. I will continue to talk incessantly.

Me: I am no longer listening. I am staring past you at the man with the martini. How I desire to be numbed against your offensive behavior by the warm arms of gin.

Her: Your vacant stare signals to me intense interest. My one-sided conversation will continue unabated. My boyfriend is attempting to speak so I must interrupt him and make him feel as if he has no penis.

Me: I will attempt to speak to your boyfriend in order to form an alliance against you. Hello! Please talk to me! Be not afraid!

Her: Do not speak to my boyfriend! He has not secured the proper permission to speak! I am the interesting one here! Me! Me! Me!

Me: I am wondering if I reach into your throat and remove your voice box with my bare hands, will you cease talking? I think not. Sigh.

Her: Your sigh signals to me compassion! I like you! I will order my boyfriend to arrange another meeting between us.

Me: The evening is ending and my joy is unbounded. Escape from your clutches is imminent now, and I will eagerly return home to my children who are half as needy and twice as cute.

Her: I must hug you goodbye. We will get together again soon!

Me: Not in a million fucking years.

Archive File: Cranky | Married | This Life

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Monday, August 08, 2005

And To Think I Told Kira That Cheerleaders Were Evil.

I feel a new Steven Bochco series coming on.

Archive File: Random

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

For The Price Of Three Lattes. Or Two CinnaBons And A Coffee. Or One Twelve Piece Bucket Of Original Recipe.

My friend Maggie sent this to me. Seeing as she once stopped me from leaving for a date wearing stirrup pants tucked into my pumps, I listen to her sometimes:

As you may be aware, the US Postal Service recently released its new "Fund the Cure" stamp to help fund breast cancer research. The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland. It is important that we take a stand against this disease that affects so many of our mothers, sisters and friends.

Instead of the routine 37 cents for a stamp, this one cost 40 cents. The additional 3 cents will go to breast cancer research. A "normal" book costs $7.40. This one is only $9.00. It takes a few minutes in line at the Post Office and means so much. If all stamps are sold, it will raise an additional $35,000,000 for this vital research.

Just as important as the money is our support. What a statement it would make if the stamp outsold the lottery this week. What a statement it would make that we care. I would urge you to do two things TODAY:

1. Go out and purchase some of these stamps.

2. E-mail your friends to do the same. We all know women and their families whose lives are turned upside-down by breast cancer. It takes so little to do so much in this drive. I think we can all afford the additional 60 cents the new book costs.
Please help and pass this on!

And it's purty too! You can even buy them online here.

Archive File: Random

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Friday, August 05, 2005

My Day

"What are we having for lunch?"

"Tuna sandwiches."

"Awww. Can we go to McDonalds?"

"No, we've been there too much. The drive-thru lady knows my name."

"We don't feel like tuna sandwiches. What else is there?"

"This isn't a restaurant. WE ARE HAVING TUNA SANDWICHES."

"Mommy, why are you still wearing your pajamas?"

I retreat to a corner and weep as they order pizza from the other room.

Archive File: Offspring

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I Am Paranoid

I don't think I'll be able to get away with not writing about Kiyomi's ice skating birthday party this past Sunday. Because knowing Kiyomi, this will be the scene fifteen years from now:

There she'll lay on the couch, head resting on a stack of her unemployment checks, dragging on her third cigarette of the morning while nursing a scotch in her other hand. Her numerous tattoos will be visible beneath her tank top and her belly ring will glisten brightly, as if to mock me. She's waiting for her boyfriend to show up, but, being on the lam, he'll be late again since travel usually involves some form of public transportation and a ride from one of his ex-wives. While she waits, we talk, and this surprising revelation comes to light.

"You know, it's all your fault." She stubs her Marlboro out on my new Ikea Hällskär rug. She really knows how to push my buttons.

"What's my fault? Don't blame me for that infected navel piercing. I told you not to let your father do it."

"No, all this. My life. My angst. Good God! Are you blind, woman? The snub? My seventh birthday? My ice skating party that you were too busy to write about in your blog, when Kira's freakin slumber party got all that ink? I mean, five whole entries about her goody-two-shoes sleepover, and you couldn't write one sentence, ONE DAMN SENTENCE about my special day? That was the beginning of the end for me, I tell ya. I never got over it. Never. Now if you'll excuse me I've got someone outside waiting for me that really cares. Don't wait up - Willy Bob's takin me to meet his parents. And they have real furniture, from Wickes. None of this cheap Swedish crap."


So, the ice skating party! This was the third of Kiyomi's birthday celebrations. By now most of you are familiar with this family's penchant for over-celebrating every event, be it a birthday or a new coat of paint on the garage. It started with a small celebration with her classmates before school let out, followed by a dinner for seven on the actual day of her birthday. Next up will be our family party, where she will celebrate with Rigel's and my families and be showered with yet more gifts and cash monies.

Rigel and I thanked the righteous birthday gods that Kiyomi had given up the idea of a slumber party in favor of some icy merriment. Of course, while not having the party at our house saved us from all the laborious planning and clean up duties, it did involve the passing of numerous large bags of money and one of my kidneys to the ice skating party committee. (Although I have trashed a mom before for revealing to me the cost per child of her daughter's bowling party, I must say now I feel your pain, sister!) On top of the basic fees they charged for the party room, cake, and skate rentals, they begged us for more money for pizzas, a veggie platter and skating lessons and we obliged, because they guaranteed Kiyomi would hate us if we didn't spring for the total party experience. (Because really, people, what's an ice skating party without a veggie platter? A colder, darker hell I cannot imagine.) It's a blur now, but I think the total came to around $8500. We've decided that next year, to save money we will take Kiyomi and all her friends to the Ritz Carlton for a weekend of catered room service meals and a private in-room performance by Cirque du Soleil. I will buy each child a pony as a party favor.

But there I go, being such a party pooper! And my God, don't we sound cheap! Because really, the party was a huge success and none of her friends wanted to leave, they were having so much fun. We got to hang out with a few of our friends who stayed to watch their kids skate, and we had fun, too, despite the absence of an open bar. And when all was said and done, Kiyomi told us it was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. Please tell her that you read all about it here, August 5, 2005.

Kiyomi and her peeps taking an ice skating lesson

Archive File: Offspring | Family

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Go See This Movie. Then Again, I Don't Get Out Much.

I went to see a movie called Junebug last night, which I really enjoyed, as did the other five people in the theater. And this on opening night. Let's just say that 'War Of the Worlds' needn't worry about it's per-screen average being eclipsed by this film, but at least it doesn't star an Insane Scientologist Who Licks His Girlfriend Alot. It's an indie movie, with an unknown cast, completely devoid of car crashes and gunplay and heavy on meaningful dialogue often spoken in hushed tones. (Translation: Dudes will just LOVE it!) I would definitely recommend it, and if you hate it I will send you nine dollars.

Then again! Maybe I am not fully qualified to give movie reviews, seeing as I rarely get to see these moving picture things in the theater, unless of course they feature talking animals or a magic car and the girl who loves him. So, the bias is there, and every theater outing is seen as a salvation of sorts, and maybe I would be just as effusive about the new Rob Schneider movie. Uh, maybe not.

But I can't hide my glee at being able to get out of the house for a whole two hours, by myself! If you were there, I was the one with the big-ass smile on my face, doing cartwheels down the hall all the way to theater 4 and telling everyone how much I loved them and how beautiful they were. Before you judge, let me emphasize here how much I love my kids and my husband (especially for watching the kids I love, so that I could get out of the house for a whole two hours, by myself! He's a keeper!) but since the beginning of summer I have been followed constantly by two small people determined to suck the life blood out of me. They demand snacks! They ask questions! They require craft projects! And at the end of the day, when all I ask for is a hug in return, they roll their eyes, flog me with their fruit roll-ups and say, "Ta! Can you be more NEEDY?" Well, not really. But you get the picture.

So stay tuned for my next movie review, when I once again venture out to mingle amongst the human race, set to occur around the time of the colonization of Mars. Mark your calendars!

Archive File: This Life

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