Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blog Envy.

Being a designer, I've played around with the look of my blog over the past couple of years. I've designed new headers, added crap to my sidebar and even managed to figure out how to add a third column to my page, which I'm surprised no one has contacted the Nobel committee about since I'm pretty sure they have a category for that type of thing. Hell, I can even make type bold, colored and italicized. Take that, suckas!

But I came across a blog recently that has me thumping my chest a little less loudly. This one is absolutely ingenious - simple in design but the mechanics just blow me away. It's enough to make me want to take my fancy type and go home.

Click here to launch.

(It may take a few seconds to load but is absolutely worth it. Also, there is a musical track in the background so if you're at work and supposed to be filling out spreadsheets and not blogging, you might want to turn your volume down.)

If anyone needs me, I'll be over here working on my new 4-column template.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Little Fashionistas Duke It Out.

Do your kids bicker? Mine do. So when they started arguing in the supermarket today I tried to ignore it, figuring they'd work it out between themselves. I was getting pretty tired of trying to help them negotiate whose turn it was to push the cart, or whether the Strawberry Kiwi juice boxes were better than the Minute Maid lemonades. But then I noticed it was getting a little heated so I started listening, thinking maybe I should put my two cents in.

Kira: That is sooooo not true. This shirt is perfectly fine.

Kiyomi: Is SO true! You shouldn't be wearing it.

Me: What IS the problem now?

Kira: She's telling me that I shouldn't be wearing white after Memorial Day.

For the record, Kiyomi had no idea what it meant, or even that the saying is actually "no white after Labor Day." But it still made me wonder if this was a preview of fights I can expect in the future. Will the battles over what cartoon to watch soon give way to which lipstick is the proper shade for fall, or whose purse really matches their shoes?

I'm not ready.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Artist Formerly Known As Relevant.

I remember when I first heard Prince on the radio. It was his first single, "I Wanna Be Your Lover," and I think I yelled out an enthusiastic "Me too!" and rushed out to buy his album. (Yes, it was vinyl. Yes, I'm old. If you must know, I remember buying it with the money I made from selling those wooly mammoth skins I had stored in my cave.) I didn't really care that he looked like he had stolen Diana Ross' wig, or that carny mustache, or the fact that he was three-feet-tall and wore six-inch platforms that he obviously had stolen from a hooker. I loved his music, and I just wanted to party like it was 1999.

And it's continued through the years, through Purple Rain, Controversy, Sign O The Times, and Graffiti Bridge. I even forgave him for doing crazy ass shit like changing his name to a symbol, and for the disturbing cover of Lovesexy, where he posed in the nude and looked like some freakish man-child offspring of Groucho Marx and Cupid.

When I found out he was performing during halftime of the last Super Bowl, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get my girls Princified. I would show them that 'When Doves Cry' was as good as it gets, that 'Rasberry Beret' was just as catchy as anything by The Frey. So imagine how crushed I was when, as I danced around doing the Roger Rabbit to the first chords of "Let's Go Crazy," Kiyomi took a close look at the screen, turned to me and asked, "Is that a woman?"

Yesterday we were listening to the radio in the car and Sinead O'Conner's "Nothing Compares To U" came on. When Kira said that she "kind of" liked the song, I once again saw it as a chance to bring them over to the Purple side. "Prince wrote this song" I mentioned nonchalantly.

"Ohhh," Kira said. "You mean that midget rocker dude?"

I'm thinking of grounding her for a year. Or maybe just confiscating her iPod and then returning it to her filled with the entire Prince discography and every video clip I can find of him on YouTube. There isn't anything in my parenting books that discusses what discipline is appropriate when your child insults one of your musical idols. Of course, summer's coming up, and on our next long road trip I plan to fill up the six-disc cd changer in the car with all my old Prince tunes. Perhaps that'll be punishment enough.

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tags: | i'll just take my records and go home

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Everybody Needs A Secret Edimer.

Kiyomi came running up to me after school the other day, clutching a piece of paper. Then she thrust it at me defiantly, standing there with one hand on her hip, tapping her foot and rolling her eyes. I think she saw me do this very same thing when I was trying to return a year-old vase at Target the week before.

"Look at this," she said. "A boy gave this to Hannah to give to me. He's a first grader." She sounded exasperated but I could also see that she had a slight, almost imperceptible smile on her face.

Kiyomy meet me
at the grass so I can
reve my true fome isted this letter. Meet me there
at lunch. I will tell you more
infor about myself. Signed,
you Secret edimer

"Well, he'll never catch a girl with this kind of spelling." I remarked, still trying to decipher it. I had just figured out that 'edimer' was 'admirer' and not some misspelled version of the sender's name.

"Omigod," she said. "A boy sends me a creepy note and that's all you can say?"

She was right. I have a tendency to do this, to focus on some inane part of the issue at hand while ignoring the bigger picture. Like if a friend told me she had been chased by a bear that day, I would most likely ask her what color the bear was, or what it's breath smelled like.

So yesterday, as we were leaving school and the waist-high Casanova happened to be walking by I knew I had to make it up to her. "There he is!" Kiyomi hissed. Upon hearing this he turned around, proudly pointing both thumbs at his chest and exclaimed, "Yes! It was me! I wrote the note!" Such arrogance coming from someone with horrendous grammatical skills. I knew I could very well be looking at the future President of The United States.

I stepped in front of her and said, "Just make sure you stay away from her." I said it firmly but gently, and though the broad grin on his face immediately turned somber I could tell he was still full of attitude as he walked away. But it was enough to make Kiyomi see that nobody messes with my little girl.

She seemed pleased with the turn of events. I'm not sure how I'll be able to protect her from all of the evils of the world, but she can sleep soundly knowing she's safe against any three-foot-tall Don Juans who try and pass illicit notes asking her to meet them in grassy areas.

And they'd damn well better work on their spelling.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nuthin But A Name Thang.

Recently the girls and their bandmates - another pair of sisters - changed the name of their band. They decided that The Sunflower Sisters was too soft, not edgy enough for the rocker grrrl image they're working. They decided on Off Limits, and as far as Rigel and the other dad are concerned this is the perfect name for their daughters, four beautiful tween girls who should certainly remain off-limits to all the little boys who will be flinging their Spider Man briefs onstage. Rigel's just disappointed they didn't go for his other suggestions, "Now Scram" "Hands Off I Mean It" or "My Dad Will Kick Your Ass." He's working on a logo for the band and it's really cute - it's a drawing of the girls with their guitars and in front of them are both dads holding shotguns.

Rigel thinks the band he's in should change their name as well, since he feels it's something they rushed into. They were coming up on their first gig and didn't have a name yet, and decided to call themselves Nine2Midnight after their rehearsal hours on Sunday nights. He's always on the lookout for alternates, and sometimes when we're listening to the radio and he hears a name he'll say, "Damn. I wish we thought of that." He likes one name so much he was thinking about ripping them off but changed his mind when he realized that people may remember a band called Led Zeppelin from a few years back.

We heard a song the other day and after it was over the DJ said the band's name was 'Finger Eleven.' What kind of crazy name is that? I found out later 'eleventh finger' refers to the still-forming male genitals in a baby boy's sonogram. But still - what's with bands naming themselves after their peckers? Whitesnake, Tool - I can just imagine some drunk rocker staring at his lap and then naming his band after the last thing he sees before he passes out. I'll be there's a band somewhere right now recording a demo that's calling themselves, 'My Belt Buckle.'

But the whole band thing is starting to get on my nerves a little bit. All I hear around here is, "My band THIS and my band THAT like they're trying to rub in the fact that I'm the only one in this family who's not in a band. What's so great about it, anyways? And how hard could it be? So, I don't play an instrument or sing a note, did that ever stop Britney? Or Paris? Or anyone on the first ten weeks of American Idol?

That's it - I'm starting a band. I'm sure I can round up a couple of the PTA moms to back me in some dope cover versions of a couple of my favorite Snoop Dog tunes. Can you see us out there, jackin the bake sale with our rendition of "Drop It Like It's Hot" and "Nuthin But A G Thang?"

Of course, the hard part will be coming up with a name. SweatpantsHo didn't get much response, but thank goodness I found this useful device, and it came up with these:

• Sweatpants Breath
• Keen Sweatpants And The Miserable Lion
• Aesthete Of The Sweatpants Air
• Sweatpants Nipple
• Sweatpants Loop Of The Dandy Mixture
• Fighting Sweatpants
• Sweatpants Vapor
• Pathetic Sweatpants And The Breath

So what's the name of your band?

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Friday, May 04, 2007

My Breakfast With Hayden Panettiere Turned Me Into A Sci-Fi Fan.

Okay, we didn't actually eat together. But I did do a phone interview with the Heroes star the other morning for an upcoming issue of Genlux magazine, and at least one of us was eating breakfast. Never mind that it was just me sucking down a mug of coffee and gnawing on a piece of rock-hard toast. And the fact that we weren't in the same room - just a technicality! And as I asked her questions about Dolce & Gabbana, beauty routines and high heels, I couldn't help but think that it was a good thing she wasn't there to see me with my unbrushed teeth, tangled hair and that lovely toothpaste stain smeared down the front of my sweatshirt.

I don't want to give away too much of the article here, but I can confess that when I got the call to do the interview I'd never watched a single episode of Heroes. I've written before about my inability to watch movies where the actors are wearing period costumes, but I also don't care for anything that requires me to suspend belief - horses that talk, starships named Enterprise, Robin Williams as a doctor - it's all out of the realm of possibility and I can't watch it. But Julia Roberts as a hooker, now THAT'S a movie.

I thought I should know a little bit about the show before I interviewed Ms. Panettiere, though, so I went over to the Heroes website where I was happy to see past episodes available for online viewing. Is this the greatest invention or what? I keep thinking that if only this was around when I was younger I would maybe have gone out and found a boyfriend instead of staying home just to watch all those Three's Company marathons.

I thought I'd skim through the first episode and then be able to come up with a few topics for my interview, questions that wouldn't give away the fact that I hadn't been following the show. Generic things like, "So, how does it feel to be a young woman on a prime time hit series?" or something to show my tech savvy like, "Is your makeup applied any differently for HighDef?" And I would pronounce it just like that - Haidef, since "High Definition" sounds just so nerdy and out of the loop.

But something strange happened. I loved the show. I was absolutely riveted by the indestructible cheerleader and the politician's brother who thought he could fly. I felt the pain of the artist who felt his future was doomed, since I feel that on a daily basis. And the Japanese dude with the teleporting powers? My new role model.

When the last scene was over I couldn't wait to the spend the next few hours catching up on my new favorite show. I made myself a double cappuccino, put a gallon of Mountain Dew and some pork rinds in front of the girls and told Rigel not to expect dinner. Then I clicked over to the Watch Heroes link to start streaming Episode 2, the one where I would find out if the politician's brother could actually fly. Would I feel elation as he soared over the buildings or horror when I saw a bloody, body-shaped splotch on the sidewalk? Either way, I was psyched!

And then, to my surprise, I realized there was no Episode 2 online. In fact, Episodes 2-15 seemed to be conspicuously missing. WTF?! I clicked furiously around the entire site to see if they were hiding somewhere else but found nothing. I cursed loudly and then Googled "Heroes Episode 2" but could only find links to previews, lame recaps and one clever website where they'd replaced the 'o' in Heroes with a 'p.' Next I said a little prayer and put in a call to Blockbuster where the incredibly helpful clerk told me he wasn't seeing it on the computer, but hey, wait - they did have Hogan's Heroes hahaha. Thanks, now go back to cleaning your crack pipe.

So now I'm forced to wait until the Season One DVD is released and it's killing me. It's like having an itch that you can't scratch, or watching the person in front of you buy the very last Rice Krispy square at Starbucks. Well, maybe not as bad as that.

Where's a good teleporter when you need him?

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My Dog Ate My Homework And Then A Dingo Stole My Baby.

This happened barely three months after I got the minivan:

I was turning into a parking space at the party store when a parked SUV I was pulling in next to inexplicably came to life, moved to the left and dented my fender. I know! Weird! I remember being so upset that I forgot to buy the tiki torches.

When I got home Rigel said, "So, you mean you hit a parked car?" in that accusatory voice of his. But what does he know? He wasn't there!

Then, this past Friday, something similar happened. I know! Weird! I was exiting a space at the grocery store when a huge yellow concrete pillar attacked my side doors. I mean, one minute it was over there, and the next minute it was right next to me, scraping the hell out of my paint. I tried explaining it to the store manager to get them to take responsibility, but when they called store security I just took my keg of Coors and left.

I have to run now, but when I get back I'll tell you the story about how I was abducted by aliens last week, taken to Bloomingdales and forced to buy a purse. I know! Weird!

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