Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm Drooling Just Thinking About It

Here are the items I will be covertly removing from the girls' halloween bags tonight and storing in my pillowcase for secret consumption:

- Whoppers
- Baby Ruth bars
- $10,000 bars
- Hershey's kisses, caramel only
- Wax lips
- Starbucks cards
- Money, bills only. (I let them keep the change 'cause I'm such a nice momma!)
- Meat products
- Tequila lollipops

Archive File: This Life

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

People, People Who Need People

So yesterday we had our monthly PTA meeting at the girls' school. But this time, instead of spending the entire hour begging for money, thinking of ways to raise money or imagining all the money we would be rolling in if we were all supermodels instead of mothers of grade-school children, we had a presentation by our school nurses. We managed to find time in our agenda for them between 'Groveling For Dollars' and 'Shameless Pleas For Cash' and that felt good.

We see alot of each other, these two nurses and I. Because of a strange architectural anomaly that exists in the entrance of our school, it is sometimes necessary to walk through their office in order to enter the campus. With all the time I spend there this amounts to many intrusions on their personal space, clumsily banging through with my loud shoes and oversized purse and generally making a nuisance of myself. They are always so good natured about these trespassings, cheerily greeting me and everyone who walks through - I almost feel that they would offer you a seat, a pot of tea and a wafer if they didn't have to tend to that pale kid in the chair heaving up big chunks of his breakfast. I have no doubt that if I were faced with the same constant interruption of bodies swaggering through my workspace I would be a raving lunatic, threatening everybody with a syringe filled with horse tranquilizer.

The presentation they gave was required by the district detailing the school's emergency plans and procedures. In light of all the natural disasters occurring almost weekly, I feel good knowing that my children are in a place where people actually take the words 'Earthquake Kit' and 'Preparedness' seriously, since you can bet if the Big One hits while we're at home, Rigel, the girls and I will all be scratching each other's eyes out for that lone piece of beef jerky and the can of root beer we have tucked away 'just in case.' I was duly impressed with their inventory of emergency supplies (enough food and water for everyone for THREE DAYS), and by the time they got to the part about the 'Bathroom In A Box' I was begging them to let my family and all our relatives move in.

Our babysitter picked up the girls from school yesterday and when I got home, Kiyomi couldn't wait to tell me her 'surprise': her loose tooth (or as she now pronounces it, "toof") had finally fallen out. She told me that her teacher had sent her to the nurses' office, and then she showed me this sticker they gave her along with this teeny tiny little treasure box to hold her tooth. It struck me what a simple, loving gesture this was and how I felt very lucky that these women are there looking out for my girls, since THEIR OWN MOTHER usually just unceremoniously wraps it in a square of toilet paper before propping it up next to their pillow.

If this doesn't just make you cry, well, your heart is a cold, small stone.

Archive File: Offspring | This Life

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Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm Getting My Period In Around Three Days YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

Okay, she is really starting to get on my nerves.

Seriously, somebody stop these two.

For the love of God, don't let this happen.

Jeez, people, can we forget the bird flu for one second and stop this from spreading?

Just whip him, whip him good.

Oh crap, wasn't she the former head of the Arabian Horse Association?

Hey you, touch my steak, and DIE.

Thank you. That's all for now.

Archive File: Cranky

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Me And Halloween Are All
Reunited And It Feels So Good

I totally reverse my previous views on Halloween.

Because now I've found the perfect costume.

(Thanks, Kim)

Archive File: This Life.

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Gives New Meaning To The Phrase, "I'll Fry Yer Ass"

If you're wondering what to get me for Christmas, look no further:

It's a Stove! It's a Chair! It's a Totally Unsanitary Idea!

(via BoingBoing)

Archive File: Random

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

But I Like The Mini Babe Ruth Bars

I don't like Halloween.

It's not from a lack of trying. I've bought the Halloween flag and gone to to the pumpkin patch to haul back pounds and pounds of pumpkins which we then carved into astonishing works of art, Pumpkin Picassos if you will! (Seriously. If I showed you pictures you would have total SQUASH ENVY.) I've flung fake spider webs hither and yon across trees and shrubs and scoured the aisles of Target for the perfect scary-but-cute door hanger! And I've passed out candy - lots of candy and not the cheap kind but the kinds with brand names - and taken my girls trick-or-treating faithfully every year! But I confess I find it extremely difficult to hide my apathy for this 'holiday.'

Witness a recent conversation:

Mommy, what are you going to be for Halloween?
A Mommy.
That is so boring.
Okay, what about toxic mold?

I don't remember being particularly fond of Halloween as a child, either. I can't really explain why, although I'm sure a detailed psychological profile would reveal a latent fear of orange or perhaps an aversion to my neighborhood being invaded by tiny superheroes and wee princesses. I recall that when Rigel and I first started dating he suggested we go to an 'industry' (read: lots of geeks that do the same thing you do) Halloween party. I agreed, and then started stressing over a costume, because when you first start dating someone it's all about the sexy clothes! And the hair! And I wasn't about to go to a party and mingle amongst my peers (no matter how geeky) dressed as a Viking or a penguin (those two come to mind because for some reason I remember them from the party. Along with a Woody Allen and his Soon Yi, and a guy with his parasitic twin. Creative people are such cut ups!) Rigel came up with the idea of Morticia and Gomez from the Addams Family. This was in my early artist days when my wardrobe consisted of all things black, so I didn't have to do much in terms of preparation. At the party, someone commented "Great costume!" as I mused to myself, "Sucka! This is what I wore to work today." That was one of the last times I remember dressing up for Halloween.

Becoming a parent increased the stress tenfold, what with the frantic rush in the first days of October as your child decides what to be and then you go about attempting to make it from scratch. Because you know, if you don't make your child's fairy costume from an old car cover, some homemade paste and a toilet paper roll your child will NEVER GET INTO COLLEGE and you will be tormented by taunts of BAD MOMMY whilst she slithers through the Halloween parade in her store-bought travesty. The last costume I actually made was around four years ago. Kira wanted to be Pocahontas, so I found a dress at the thrift store and set about sewing on trim (actual SEWING, people - real mommies DON'T USE GLUE GUNS), making her 'Indian' jewelry and even making some moccasins out of brown felt that slipped on over her shoes. Here it is:

This little costume, this getup that she wore for exactly two hours, took me around three hundred hours to make and probably cost as much as if I flew to the Smithsonian and bought a authenticated and hermetically sealed Pocohantas garment. Rigel put the kibosh on any further Halloween do-it-yourself projects after he witnessed my manic all-night sewing session and the morning after when I was spewing real flames from my nostrils.

Now, I whip out the Party City catalog, have the girls circle their desired costumes and go wait in line with all the sane parents, sipping our cappuccinos and wondering what to do with all our spare time while our counterparts are at home, hunched over sewing machines fastening on the last of the five-thousand hand-woven tassels on little Apple's cabaret ensemble. Sadly, I don't know if my girls will ever don a homemade costume again, unless they want to be something that's easy to make like, say, a toll-booth operator or a walking trash bag, and you know then I'll be all about the glue gun.

Archive File: Offspring | This Life

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Desperate Housewife

Fridays are special. This is the day the girls have their ice skating lessons which they have been looking forward to all week. I also look forward to it because they go to these lessons with their very best friends, Sophia and Samantha, and for a whole hour I get to sit and drink coffee with one of their parents and have interaction with another human who isn't asking me to get them a snack or begging for Pokémon cards. Friday nights are also special because for two of these a month Sophia and Samantha's parents, our friends Lisé and Bruce, take all four girls back to their house while Rigel and I get the evening to ourselves. We just started this trading-off of babysitting duties a few weeks ago but so far it's working out great, since even when it's our turn to have all of them at our place Kira and Kiyomi are fully engrossed and occupied with their friends, saving Rigel and I from having to provide enriching activities for our children like the making of math flash cards or elaborate macramé projects which is what we've always meant to do but actually have never done.

This past Friday was our turn to venture out, and we decided to do something creative and cultural instead of staying home and drinking pre-mixed margaritas right out of the bottle while we watched TV, which is something else we've always meant to do but actually have never done. We decided to go see Sandra Tsing Loh's one-woman play, 'Mother On Fire' which, while being an excellent title for a play also seems to sum up my perpetual state of being.

The evening didn't get off to a great start, since I neglected to look up the address of the theater and instead of being in Santa Monica it was actually closer to downtown L.A. This resulted in a frenzied drive across town with me at the wheel of our van cursing frequently and making liberal use of my upturned, middle finger while Rigel, his knuckles white and the color drained from his face, kept repeating the mantra, "It's just a play. Don't let me die." We made it in time though, and the evening got better when a friendly lady at the door motioned to a counter and uttered the two words I most wanted to hear at that moment, "Complimentary wine."

The performance was amazing and funny and insightful and championed a cause close to my heart, public schools, and captured the whole stressed L.A.-school parent dilemma perfectly. By the end of the show Sandra Tsing Loh was my new role model, surpassing Oprah (but not Will Smith) on my list of people Most Worthy Of Stalking. She's smart! And witty! And pretty! Maybe even prettier than Will Smith, in a less-coiffed kind of way.

As we were walking through the small lobby bemoaning our dull and insignificant lives, Rigel motioned towards the door and whispered, "It's her." I remember squealing like a chimp, realizing that I was within speaking distance of Ms. Loh, and proceeded to knock over an elderly theater patron or two in order to gain an audience with my new idol. At this point Rigel made up some excuse like having to go to the bathroom or having to wash his car, which was obviously just so that he didn't have to stand there and watch his wife LOSE HER SHIT.

And oh, the shit I lost! How I fawned! And drooled! In between dropping to my knees to clean her toenails and brushing her hair with my fingers I managed to spew out gems like "I've read all of your books!" and "I am the PTA president!" It's all a blur, but I have the vague memory of offering her all the contents of my purse and perhaps suggesting our families vacation together - why, I have two girls, too! Yours like malls and hotel rooms? Why, so do mine! She was so gracious, and respectfully refrained from groaning when I asked her to sign my program. She chatted with us for a few minutes (Rigel re-emerged when I agreed to release her from my bear hug) until some other pushy, way-less-interesting-than-us groupies barged into our private party to talk about things with little artistic or cultural merit. Philistines!

I did manage to leave one, last pathetic impression on her though, by slipping her my blog-card. I'm sure it was a coincidence that after this transaction the theater doors immediately closed shut and a large bolt could be heard sliding into place while a cadre of security guards personally escorted Rigel and I back to our van. Sandra, if you're reading this, I was SO joking about the Loh Shrine I'm going to build out of our ticket stubs and the strands of your hair I ripped out. Really!

Archive File: This Life

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Big Scary Things

As a parent, I've always wondered when the moment would arrive that my children would discover that I am, in fact, a mere mortal and not the myth-like figure they've propped me up to be, infallible, brave and able to leap tall ottomans in a single bound.

Unfortunately, that moment came on Tuesday night.

I was coming back into the house after feeding our cat, when a huge moth decided to follow me in and wreak havoc on my peaceful domicile. Let me stop here and type the word HUGE in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS to emphasize that this sucker was major, bigger than a breadbox and with a head the size of a cabbage. And oh the mighty wind caused by the flapping of its wings! I tried to keep it out but it wedged one of its big muscular legs in the door and pushed me aside. An appropriate analogy would be, 'I was Tokyo, and he was Mothra.'

I began my usual lunatic-like screaming and mad windmill-like flailing of the arms, which I feel is the appropriate response when ones life is being threatened by an enormous, winged creature. Rigel wasn't home to come to my aid (although even if he was home, by the time he arrived on the scene the monster would be enjoying its after-diinner cigarette, having already feasted on my limbs) so I grabbed a coat hanger to ward off the impending beast (because the coat hanger, it is an effective weapon against the flying enemy! Take that! And then hang up your parka, you nasty varmint!)

Of course, all this screaming by their mother, their protector and symbol of security, brought Kira and Kiyomi running out of their rooms to my aid. Upon seeing the object of my terror, Kiyomi, looking annoyed, grabbed a fly-swatter and began chasing the flying offender, while Kira attempted to calm me down by giving me vodka in a sippy cup. This was followed by both of them remarking how small it was, and how they couldn't believe how much I was screaming, followed by me shutting them up when I wondered out loud what it felt like if Santa skipped your house. Kiyomi finally swatted the thing dead after it landed on a cabinet to catch its breath and sharpen its fangs. Thus I was saved from a certain death by my own children, effectively flushing years of authoritative parenting down the toilet. You just try telling a couple of seven and nine-year-olds to clean their room after they've had to kill a bug for you.

At least we think she got it. We couldn't find the body and I never got a good look at where it fell - it's hard to see when you're huddled in a corner covering your eyes.

Archive File: Offspring | This Life

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Can't Wait To Put THIS On My Next Invitation

Tonight Kira had a sheet of homework that consisted of a list of abbreviations that she had to write out the meaning for. A few of them she figured out herself (st., bldg., misc., etc.) and for the ones she didn't know I suggested she look them up on

Kira: Hmmm. 'R.S.V.P.' I've seen this before. I'm going to look it up.

Me: Did you find it?

Kira (writing): Yes.

Me: Tell me what it means.

Kira: Revolutionary Surrealist Vandal Party.

Archive File: Offspring

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Going Postal

One of the casualties of our recent home improvement flurry (more on that later, MORE MORE MORE until your head explodes) is the elimination of our mail slot. When we bought our house we had two, one in the door and one permanently imbedded in the entryway, but with the installation of our new door and the poorly-planned plastering-over of our other mail slot we are left with none.

Then there is the issue of Rigel and I not being able to find a mailbox that is aesthetically happening while still being adequately functional, meaning can it look hip while shielding our bills and letters from the elements while still enabling us to receive our mail without having to step too far out of our house so as to be seen by other humans or other intelligent lifeforms? How we struggle, us modern creative types! (Oh, here's a joke I just made up: How long does it take two designers to put up a mailbox? Fifteen years and five minutes. Fifteen years to pick one out and five minutes to drive the nail in! Hahahahah!!) Bottom line: Our house is, sadly, bereft of an official repository for my People and Oprah magazines.

This has gotten our mail carrier's panties all tied up in a knot. Not to mention the fact that he is our substitute mail carrier, who are usually malcontents to begin with, burdened with having to take on another comrades load while that slacker is off at some Club Med Postmaster's Retreat soaking up the sun and showing some unsuspecting mailbag hottie his discreetly and intimately positioned 'Do Not Bend' tattoo.

A few days ago there was a knock at the door, which is unsettling enough, what with having to stop my game of Tetris and put on some pants. I was greeted by a visibly irritated mailman, holding a bundle of our mail in one hand and glowering at me. "Do you HAVE a mailbox?" he sneered. I started to regale him with my redecorating woes and the demise of said mail slot, offering him a chair and a nice glass of chardonnay, but he just thrust the bundle into my hands and mumbled, "GET A MAILBOX" while he walked away, shaking his head.

He repeated this charming routine again the next day, only instead of shaking his head he did one of those sucking-air-through-your-teeth kind of whistles followed by an impressive rolling-of-the-eyes as he walked away. I considered for a moment giving him a hard kick in his wide khaki-clad ass as he walked down the steps but thought of my children who would miss me so as I wasted away in solitary for assaulting a government employee.

The next day he pounded on the door and once again inquired, "Have you gotten a mailbox, YET?" Seeing as it had been a WHOLE FREAKIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS since he had last appeared on my doorstep to point out my mail receptacle shortcomings, I started to apologize profusely, explaining that we were waiting for the plans from Frank Gehry to arrive, and then it would be another two weeks before our rare imported wood from the Netherlands came into port after which we would have to wait an additional three days for our illegal underage Thai workers to clear customs and then another five weeks for them to build the thing and oh, did I tell you about the hand-polished inlaid abalone shells and NO WE DON'T HAVE A FUCKING MAILBOX YET CAN YOU JUST LEAVE THE MAIL ON THE DOORSTEP AND LEAVE ME ALONE?

Here is what I've made for him today:

Sigh. I hope he likes it.

Archive File: Cranky | This Life

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

He Be Funny Sometime

Rigel, upon seeing me, uncharacteristically, up and around at 9:30 in the morning, dressed and on my way out the door to meet a friend for breakfast:

"Are you a phantom?"

Archive File: Married

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me

This morning I was awakened by the sound of my alarm. I promptly got out of bed, refreshed from my nine hours of sleep, and hopped into the shower where I proceeded to wash and condition my hair while scrubbing my body clean with a loofah and an herbal body wash. I blow-dried my hair into a pleasing style, applied my makeup and then went to awaken my sleeping children. While they got dressed I made them a healthy, well-balanced breakfast and brewed a pot of aromatic coffee. Rigel commented how smart and sexy I looked in my tight skirt, tailored shirt and high heels.

We left the house at exactly 7:45, which gave us plenty of time to get to school and walk across the yard at a leisurely pace. This gave me the opportunity to cheerily greet other parents on the way, addressing all their questions and concerns that they voiced to me, their PTA president. After I walked the girls to their classrooms I had a meeting with the principal, where I pressed him for a pay raise for the teachers and a four-day school week. After our constructive chat I went home, energized and eager to face the rest of my day.

Oh, wait. it goes more like this:

I overslept, as usual. I rolled out of bed, threw on a t-shirt over my sweatpants/pajama bottoms/workout pants and frantically raced out to the kitchen where Rigel was already serving up cereal and bagels to the girls, because thank God someone actually hears the alarm in the morning. We had exactly twelve minutes to finish getting ready and get to school, so I began my hysterical 'we're SO laaaaate!' routine, where I attempt to brush hair, stuff backpacks and tie shoes all at the same time while mumbling a reminder to myself to brush my teeth. I'm still so sleepy that I can't remember if I've told the girls to use the bathroom or if I've only imagined it. Rigel points out that I have, in fact, made the bathroom request five times.

I put on my sunglasses, not only to partially obscure my pillow-creased face, but also to avoid making eye contact with other human beings that may attempt to speak to me and require me to elicit an intelligible response. We arrive at school at 7:54, giving us one minute to fly across the playground and avoid being late for the fourth day in a row. I realize I forgot not only to brush my teeth, but also my hair and pull my sweatshirt hood tight around my head which adds to my attractive, troll-like appearance. I see another mom approaching but I give her the 'talk to the hand' symbol and when Kiyomi's teacher starts to ask me a question I elude her, aware of the fact that my breath could probably singe her eyebrows off.

Although still half asleep, I manage to make it home where I promptly kick off my pants and crawl back into bed. A short time later I'm vaguely aware of Rigel kissing me goodbye. He heads off for another hard day at work to support his family while I continue to work hard at snoring and drooling on my pillow for another hour or so. When I finally manage to drag my lazy ass out of bed, I wander into the kitchen and pour myself the first of five cups of coffee, the brewing of which has become Rigel's job ever since the day when I, in a morning coma, neglected to put a filter in the coffee maker and produced a pot of coffee that resembled grainy, runny poop. It is an hour before I am fully awake, and I have yet to put on any pants as I take a phone call from a client. As I stood in the kitchen speaking authoritatively about printing deadlines and paper stock in my panties, Paul Frank monkey t-shirt and a knot in my hair the size of a basketball, I thought to myself, I AM ONE RIGHTEOUS BABE.

Archive File: Married | This Life

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I Wish I Thought Of This

This is amazing. The description says "Make sure you are stoned or high on something before viewing." All I had was a slice of banana bread and a mug of French roast but afterwards I felt like becoming a better, more creative person and loving the world fully and completely.

(Try to move your cursor around and click on as many things as possible.)

Go with the F L O W.

Archive File: Random

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