...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

naw little cutie, i ain't drinkin, but scope this i was just thinkin'

You know what I'm sensing?

Yep. I'm sensing you all are totally aching to have one of my random, "which way is she going now" kinda posts. Because I truly wish to cater to you, my pumpkins, I give you the following. Suit up and strap in.

btw, FTN? This post is going to be pregnant with links. I'm talking septuplet quality, because I know how you know I love it, and it's been awhile since I gave the linky love. I mean, a week's a long time. Not as long as some things, but that's a full fledged post idea right there.
  • I learned today that Prince is launching a new scent soon. Calling it "perfume" is apparently not high class enough. Honestly, after reading the product description, I'm still confused as to what it will smell like. I hope it doesn't smell of sweat. With Prince, you kind of want it to smell like sex. Not the kind of sex smell my college friend's dorm room would cloud over with after she'd lock herself and her boyfriend in it for a weekend. God no! But something like sex and, oh, I don't know. Feathers. Sure.
  • Why can't celebrities just do one or two things and do them well? Why, why, why do we really need a line of Prince scents? Because honestly? Prince, you should really spend more time concentrating on the music lately. Why can't Jennifer Lopez just sing and/or dance and nothing else? Must she have 25 perfumes and a line of sunglasses? Is this necessary? Or is it that my raging jealousy at the fact that I get worn out just getting out of bed some days - and only getting out of bed - is slipping?
  • Sure, I believe Prince stops through here from time to time and wants my opinion on his efforts. I also believe in fairies and trolls. Whatever.
  • When motoring around the villas and luxurious countrysides of your homeland with your young, impressionable child - a child who memorized and performed a grand rendition of the Pointer Sister's "I'm So Excited" after picking it up off a TV show earlier in the day - remind yourself that it's a good idea to skip past NIN's "Closer" when it ques up on the iPod. Remind yourself of this before you hit the 2 minute mark in the song (Desmond - if you're out there, I just recommend you not click the link on that last song and keep reading on...).
  • After fast-forwarding to something sweet and pure, like this, be sure to look in the backseat and assure yourself of two things. First, that this child who normally never shuts up (EVER!) is actually in the vehicle with you. Because he was pretty quiet during that NIN tune and you really don't want him asking about that animal part at preschool summer camp next week. Second, ponder if it's normal to be so musically eclectic. Then start that ABBA tune again and rock it, baby!
  • I had a raging case of procrastination Wednesday. Raging! Rather than do the job I had before me, I searched "procrastination" on YouTube. Nearly 1,000 entries for that tag. Seriously, this fact assures me that I'm actually more productive than I think I am.
  • Sadly, part of my procrastination time on YouTube was prompted by the Barbie Girl link CH sent me. It was to my dismay I discovered the stunning number of knock off Barbie Girl clips there are. Almost all done by guys. My question is how they decided which dude would get the girl part. And how does a girl like me pick her favorite.
  • Jack Bauer never stops to eat, pee, charge a cell phone or change clothes. However, between tearing out a terrorist's throat with his mighty teeth, he apparently has time to pimp for Degree antiperspirant. Alas, I actually found these little clips to be better than the truly lame season 6 finale last week.
  • Have I mentioned I have a procrastination issue? It's so hardcore that I actually killed off 15 minutes at work tonight wondering if we, as a society of women who wear clothes, just can't get past the need to spread words like "pink" and "sexy" across our asses.
  • AA batteries, not diamonds, are truly a girl's best friend. AA batteries actually made of diamonds, though, would totally kick ass.
  • Why do some people feel the need to explain their purchase to me? I truly don't need to know why you're buying this. Truly. I don't even know your name (unless you pay by check, and if you do, seriously, consider joining us here in the 21st Century and get a debit card). Do I really need to know your intent? However, I do kind of want to know how this diet plan works for you. Purely so I can decide if I need to stock up on more batteries.
  • So, driving to work in a rainstorm last night, the following songs came up, back to back and without coaxing, on my iPod - "Rain" - The Beatles; "Red Rain" - Peter Gabriel; and a couple songs by The Rainmakers (Desmond - the Beatles clip is, of course, me making up for the other clip). Before anyone can send me the link love for this rain themed song, trust I have it on the iPod. I just usually fast forward through it.
  • I'm going to get Starbuck's training soon at the store. I know, right!? Dare to dream, jealous ones! My mom will be so proud. I'm totally going to be the frappuccino goddess. I'll even include extra chocolate syrup on your whipped cream. No charge and no need to ask!
  • Frappuccino's make me a smidgen too delighted. A dollop of heaven in a plastic cup.
  • I seriously need to figure out how to get me some what this song does to me.
  • I don't actually believe in fairies and trolls. I'd still be in the game for Santa Claus, though, if I didn't watch my husband eat those cookies the kids leave every Christmas Eve.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

you know those boys don't wanna play no more with you

While growing up, my best friend and I would meet each afternoon in her driveway, conveniently located next door to my house, to play Barbies. After lunch, I'd cart out my pretty pink Barbie case, filled with tiny outfits my mom had crafted and even tinier pairs of plastic shoes and boots, and we'd hold summit for hours, playing and imagining wonderful lives for our plastic dolls to live. Lives we, no doubt, wanted for ourselves.

Successful actress.
News anchor.
Rock star.
Doting wife.
Porn star.

You can pretty much be whoever you wish to be when you're 10 and playing with Barbies. Even if you're not sure, exactly, what a porn star does aside from having the ability to be quite friendly while not exactly having to talk very much.
And you will always have the name Jessica, for our Barbies were always christened "Jessica."

I've a secret desire yet today to play Barbies. I would play them every day had I someone to play them with. In my mother's basement are my pristine dolls in the same pink case, a Barbie jumbo jet and a travel bus. And they're waiting for me. I'm ready. I just need someone to play with.

The boys won't play with me, of course (not to mention their father would freakin' freak if I convinced them to tear apart the couch cushions to make a Barbie penthouse on the living room floor!), so I'm relegated to having to play superheroes and action figures with them.

This, honestly, is not necessarily my cup of tea. First, action figures do not come with sexy clothes and plastic stilettos. This is a crying shame. While Barbie looks lovely in a cape and brandishing a plastic sword or tiny light saber, it's not exactly couture. Plus, those little weapons look like twigs in Barbie's delicate hands.

Second, boys stink. They stink and they always want to kill things. Barbie girls such as myself are peace loving creatures who smell of daisies and clean laundry. We just want someone to take us to the charity ball and tell us how beautiful we are, and then have that someone lay on top of us so that suddenly we share a brood of giant babies together.

Third, boys are loud. There are always explosions, crashes and screaming when you play with action figures. Additionally, there is an apparent rule about coming back to life three seconds after you've been killed by your nemesis. You know it's exactly three seconds because you and your nemesis count it out (despite the fact that you're dead) and then, when the reanimation process is complete, you're best friends. Barbies practically sing as they talk in their whispery voices, and are never loud and screechy. OK, except when it's "porn star Barbie" time, but that's just a side thing for her. Don't judge her! Clearly, Barbie loves everyone.

The boys have tried to include me in their little afternoon action figure scenarios, but as you will see below, it's pretty obvious why I get encouraged to find something else to do rather quickly:

My ode to "Dirty Dancing" -

"My frame! Where's my pleasing arc? Spaghetti arms?! Would you give me some tension please? You're invading my dance space! This is my dance space. That's yours. Let's cha-cha!"

To love uncontained -

Oh, they tried to deny their feelings. But how could that which would be seen as so wrong feel so utterly and completely right? Bringing the forces of good and evil together in wave after wave of passionate, penetrable madness. What would the world say?

"I don't care about the world," the Green Goblin whispered, leaning in to nuzzle at the neck of love. "Just let me sink into your web..."

My testament to the truth:

"I don't care what you stinky boys say! Your smokin' hot mom is totally kick ass! I mean seriously! I'm not slingin' any web B.S. That fiery mane of hotness and insane rack? Come ON! For those about to rock, we salute her!

If you're ever in the neighborhood and wish to play Barbies, just look me up (remember, just look for the cracked Little Tykes frog sandbox on Google Earth and it will lead you right to my front door)! If you want to play superheroes instead, sure, I suppose you can still come knocking. Just beware. If I get enough of these action figures together in one room, I'm totally reenacting "St. Elmo's Fire" next time. As a porn. And then you'll probably take all your little toys and go home. Just like all the other boys. Or better yet, you'll cave and want to be the Ken to my Barbie (Yeah! Someone to play with! Wait. Do you stink?). Go ahead and admit it. We all have our little secrets, afterall.
My secret? I have all the "Charlie's Angel's" dolls...and I'm always Sabrina. You better believe an Angel isn't caving to being renamed Jessica.

Friday, May 25, 2007

well, can the people on tv see me or am i just paranoid

Included on the list of things that creep me out just a little bit are the following:
  • My lingering fascination with Dave Navarro. I own nothing the man has ever really played on, except this, but since "Rockstar INXS" I've had a little desire to have him flash me the rock and roll salute and tell me that, while he doesn't understand me or get where I'm going with it, he loves my heart and passion. Then I'd probably lick his skinny little body and we'd both be a little creeped out.
  • That after this week, there is only one week of school left and soon there will be two little boys around me constantly, wanting to be entertained and fed. I'm not exactly ready for summer vacation. This could be in part because I feel like I'm living "Groundhog Day" when they're around. Every day it's reminding them of the same rules they had to follow the previous day. They should know them, of course, because I had to tell them about them the day before that. It's because of this that I, too, would like to end my day with a drink to world peace.
  • Finding my youngest son, three years into knowing how to use the toilet, recently sitting on the toilet with the lid closed, fully dressed and reading Once Upon A Potty. Apparently some refresher courses are never a bad idea.
  • Looking up my address on Google Earth and finding my house so clearly defined that you can see the crack on the lid of our Little Tykes frog sandbox in the backyard. Every day, I think I may just step out onto my deck and wave to the sky, hoping one day I might actually show up on the satellite image. Or Dave Navarro will spot me and swoop in to do nasty things to me.

Now it's your turn. What creeps you out?

Things like "lame blog posts like this one, Ms. Navarro," don't count, btw.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

rolling numbers, rock & rolling, got my KISS records out

There are a few reasons why I'd want to be a celebrity:
  • One - The opportunity to nest myself into Bono's inner circle. Believe me. I can do the whole compassionate and caring thing. You want me to wear a red tshirt and hobnob? I'll drape myself in them, Mr. Hewson. I believe!

  • Second - My signature already has the making of a great autograph. I sometimes practice it while on the telephone. Sometimes I'm "Mrs. Hewson." Why? Because I'm a 14 year old girl.

  • Finally - I want to make it my hobby to attend award shows. Any award show, from the Oscars to the stuntman awards or whatever knock off thing there is going on. Not because of the opportunity to wear couture fashion and drip diamonds, though. Nope.

I want to be a celebrity for the free swag. Seriously. Who other than a celebrity with their multi-million dollar film contracts and such actually needs another 80 GB iPod, week long spa retreats, $2,500 sunglasses and designer shoes?

Me, that's who.

So I have to admit it was with a bit of intrigue that I opened my email Monday to an invitation from a reputable adult toy and novelty company to review products for their website. How do I know it's reputable? I do things on the web other than browse your blogs, my pumpkins. In fact, I'd spent a pretty big chuck of Sunday on said company's site.

Because sure, God would've wanted me to.

While I'm not certain how I cropped up on their radar, anyone browsing my site would learn I've a fondness for my small cache of toys. Cripes, my beloved dolphin and bullets could very well be co-authors here (however, they are on brief holiday after this morning). My fondness for my bedside beauties is so great that you might be inclined to taunt "If you love them so much, why don't you marry 'em?" But than that would make me think of these as "marital aids," and while they can be and have been, thinking of them as such would then make me think of my parents (shudder) and my enthusiasm for these vibrating and bouncy toys actually wains.

But just for a bit. Because seriously, I do love them. Like a fat kid loves cake. With pink frosting.

Give me a moment...


So my question is this. If you got such an invitation, coupled with an addendum about being paid a small fee for your opinions, and were told your mail would begin to contain discreetly packaged boxes filled with tingling treasures (Heh...I'm leaving that last part in. Because I may actually be a 14 year old boy instead!), would you accept? If it only involved taking something and using it for an activity you already do, would you yell out, "Oh God! Yes! Yes!"

(btw, my 14 year old boy self? Name is Spencer. My friends just call me Spence. Or "D-Spence" 'cause I'm always busting out with the killer sex references)

I have to admit, there's a part of me that wants to give it a whirl.

A really big part that resides comfortably below my neck, at least.

But here's a little conundrum. Say you have a spouse who may or may not know about your blog and who may or may not read it, but has definitely never said anything about it to you. Would you tell them you'd gotten an offer like this, or just make it appear as if you had a running tab at the neighborhood "lingerie shop" (which is what they're called in the suburbs so they can be right outside your backyard)?

I'm leaning toward inquiring deeper (what up, D-Spence!).

Not just because I like to say "swag" and have an inquiring mind, but because I've had my eye on an item that would actually allow me to achieve something just a little deeper.

Or, I'm just a sucker. But good girls like me and my 14 year old self don't talk about that on the internet!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

my first & only reference to a bob seger song in a post

On a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha
(this is quite accurate, btw)

You can listen to my lovely rambling about one lone bookstore

(and my tales of last Friday night)

You can think about me, or the girl you knew the night before
(but probably me, since you’re here anyway. Wha? Rambling? Ok. Back to the point)

But my thoughts will soon be wandering, the way they always do
(sorry. I can’t help it. Besides, now I know you’re thinking about me…)

Here I go, yeah, whatever. Blah, blah, blah. Playing star again….
Just turn the page already.

Chapter 1 – The Science Fiction Author
It was great to meet you, new science fiction writer. Your eagerness to do a “meet and greet” and sign copies of your books rivaled a supernova, burning so bright you actually came to the bookstore the night before the scheduled event to “map out your territory,” which is how I believe you described it. You were truly charming, and the snappy “Google” t-shirt and unique – read ‘extremely high waisted’ - pants you wore clinched it for me. Getting your entourage of two virginal friends to then hover around like cute little Ewoks, asking if I could find copies of “Reading Stargate SG-1” in the store while also outlining the merits of the newest Tolkien book for me truly pushed my tolerance capacity to a place that can only be described as a galaxy far, far enough. Were I able to get my fingers to fall into place that way, I too would have given you the Vulcan salute upon your departure. I shall have to settle for the one the three of you gave me, instead, as you beamed your way out the front doors.

Chapter 2 – The “Groper Kids”
Friday nights at Barnes & Noble means more customers, people willing to pay in cash after payday, and the uncaging of the groper kids – the delightful teenage couples bonded together below the waist and with arms twisted around each other’s necks. The Gropers spend four or more hours melting into the upholstered chairs or laying tangled together on the stage in the children’s department, giggling over copies of the Kama Sutra and ‘position of the day’ books. Often making out with such a fervent power I don’t know whether to be offended or deeply jealous. Touching parts of each other that would require the showing of a driver’s license and a handful of coins were you in any other type of “book store.” Leaving us as employees with the creepy sense we need to wear latex gloves when we’re inevitably left to toss away their menagerie of half-empty Starbuck’s cups. My favorite groper kid from last week? The one bold enough to wear the “
I ‘heart’ Hot Moms” t-shirt. That has to make his mom proud. Alas, I would have totally dug that kid when I was in high school.

Chapter 3 – Disney Diehards
Ah, sweet family of three. I know my question of “Did you find everything you were looking for tonight?” seemed unnecessary as you plopped five Disney vacation books on the counter before me, but it was when I glanced up and had my eyes opened up like Sleeping Beauty roused by the kiss of her Prince Charming that I knew you were hardcore. I dig Disney World as much as the next person who’s tolerated long lines and irrational fears of Space Mountain (don’t ask), but your full dress uniforms of Disney apparel spoke to your passion for all things mouse. Mom’s Tigger t-shirt complemented by the Winnie the Pooh earrings. Dad’s golf shirt featuring miniature Goofy’s, sporting his own jaunty golf attire and ready to tee off. Junior’s patriotic Donald Duck airbrushed t-shirt. It was all so beautiful. That you cemented your purchase by whipping out your Walt Disney World Visa card assured me you were well on your way to earning consumer points that would help you secure this dream Disney vacation you’re prepping for. But you must’ve needed a few more points, for I feared we were going to battle, Scar and Mufasa style when, after asking where the Disney Store was in the mall, I had to inform you there was none. “What!? There’s no Disney Store in this mall?!” mom yelped. “Well, do you know? Do you know where the nearest Disney Store is?!” bumbled dad. “How can there not be a Disney Store in this mall?!” cried Junior. “It’s a small world, folks,” I replied with a smile (damn right I did!). “I’m sure if you wish upon a star, your dreams will come true.” But inside? Inside I was thinking a Disney detox was seriously in order.

Chapter 4 – Listen Lady, There Really Is No Secret To “The Secret”
We’re still selling copies of “The Secret” as if this little tome contained the key that would unlock the bounties of the universe upon its readers. Of course, most people wanting it don’t know where to begin looking for it. Part of the problem is they come to us asking “for Oprah’s newest book.” “Oprah’s not written a book,” some of us (i.e. “me”) will say, because we obviously have some less than “Secret” negative thoughts about the book and it’s theories. In addition, many shoppers don’t even know what it’s about, but want to purchase it because Oprah says to. We like to see their shock when we tell them it’s not shelved with the religious books (because, since Oprah is God, it would seem natural, right?), but is instead in the New Age section. Most of the people buying the book have been unwilling or unable to look us in the eye when asking for it. I’ve not yet figured that one out. One theory of the book is not to look at or even think about something you don’t wish to have or be, so that might actually be a reason. Especially considering how jaded we booksellers can be about this book. However, I like to believe they realize they’re spending $25 on a book that can be summarized in two words – common sense. Or, according to my work husband, utter crap. That or they’re afraid to harness the power of having a kick ass rack themselves, and thus turn their blind eye to me during their search. Yeah. I’m sure that’s it. Because that’s my secret in this power of positive thinking.

The End
Because I have no better way to cap this thing off.


Friday, May 18, 2007

...and then she said

You know when you have nothing to write about? At all? But your mind keeps blabbering? Loudly? And sometimes you laugh? Out loud? Then you realize you don't hear anyone else laughing? And you hate when people end every sentence like it's a question? Even though most of them aren't?

That's pretty much me this week. So buckle up, pumpkin. I'm just going to toss out things here and there. I'll smile and probably laugh because I sometimes find myself charming. If you don't, I'll poke at you and get in your face and make you.

But then you'll probably fall in love with me and things will get weird and a little messy and before I know it, you'll have gone on your way and I'll be back to talking to myself again. But you'll find yourself trying not to say my name at inopportune times. I know.

Before that happens, though, just let me get these things out of my head:
  • I've developed a rather unhealthy, simmering hatred for people who back in park. This is most predominant in the school parking lot every afternoon. I don't know if I'm mad because everyone wants to make the fastest getaway, or because I simply haven't brushed the dust off this talent in many years to know if I can even do it in a mini. This anger I feel is stupid, but seriously, just park the damn car. If you do this, however, I don't hate you.
  • I can parallel park like a wing man waiting for my lowlife boyfriend to make a dash from the bank, money flying out of the Hefty trash bags and screaming at me to "gun it, baby!" like nobody's business, though.
  • My family has not taken a real vacation since before my husband and I actually became "a family." If you're doing the math, that's an insanely long time. Last night, the word "vacation" got whispered and I wanted to laugh. Then cry. Because our "vacation" is a dollar amount on the credit card statement due this coming week and I've been trying to figure out how that's going to get covered. If you close your eyes, kids, and listen close, you can pretend you're at the beach.
  • But I'd never vacation at a beach. Things live in the water. Therefore, I don't go in the water.
  • The last time I was at a beach, it was in La Jolla, I was pregnant with my oldest, and a homeless man approached my husband and me, touched my protruding belly a lot and carried on about blessings and love, and then asked us to get in a circle together and pray. Naive Midwesterners that we are, we actually did. And I didn't check my pockets or my bag after our prayer circle broke up. I'm just that naive. Use it to your advantage.
  • Speaking of water, we got a survey stuck in our front door from a water quality company. At the bottom it asks "Is there anything you would change about your water?" I intend to write: "My water is a selfish lover who often sneaks out in the middle of the night to return to it's family. This makes me sad. It promises it will leave it's faucet and case of little water bottles, but I don't know that I believe it any more. It also never pays for anything when we go out. Do you think I'm being used?"
  • In addition to being sweetly naive, I'm pretty gullible. I know you're going to fall in love with me after this post, but don't tell me you love me.
  • Eh, who am I kidding. Tell me and tell me often. It's taken miles and lines to learn the right from the wrong. I keep you hanging on. Like Night Ranger did when I saw them in concert for free many years ago and the entire night, the audience did nothing but yell "Sister Christian" until they finally played it as the last song of the night. Like Night Ranger wouldn't play "Sister Christian." Please! Cripes, if I had a band, I'd play "Sister Christian."
  • How many other blogs do you think plugged Night Ranger twice in one post this week? While I'm at it, I might as well give some of the love to those Damn Yankees, too.
  • I'd also do just about anything right now for some peanut M&M's.
  • When "Blue's Clues" comes on television, I pause wherever I am in the house and listen for the voice. If it's Steve, I'm happy and will rush to watch with my youngest. I love and miss Steve like he left me yesterday, telling me we needed a little break, and yeah, don't wait for me because I can't be the one who holds you back, baby. Joe? I gave him a chance. Too virginal. Too needy. Just doesn't get how to make me happy. Refusing to stick to the program by not wearing Steve's trusty green shirt? Assertive and bold. Still not doing it for me, though. I'm admitting here that I've watched our old "Blue's Clues" videotapes as if it were porn. Yeah, I'll sit down on that thinking chair and think, think, think. 'Cause when I've used my mind and taken a step out of time, I can do anything that I wanna do. Here's a clue. They come in a pair and when I'm sitting in that chair, they're eye level.

Ok? Do you think I've babbled enough? You love me now, don't you? I can see it in your eyes. Don't fall in love with a dreamer, baby. Especially one who can't remember her dreams. Unless they involve apes dressed in three piece suits.

But you're going to leave me now. I know it. Maybe without leaving a comment, to which I say, "What's up with that?!"

Ah well, we'll always have this post...and a little more Blades/Shaw love. Yeah, your kinda love make a man outta me.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

some things just seem universal

Mother's Day came and went at my house, pretty much as expected and not without the results I should know by now to brace myself for and just accept.

I guess I'm expected to accept a lot of things, though, including what's not there.

What seems to be the standard, though, is the one thing given to me - the marigold in the decorated Styrofoam cup. Quite possibly the universal gift crafted by children and received by moms every Mother's Day. This one was put together by my youngest son.

Of course, it wasn't presented to me with declarations of affection and accompanied by hugs and kisses. I discovered it, disheveled and battered in a paper bag that had been tossed in a backpack that had then been thrown on a chair and left to languish there for hours until my motherly instincts sighed and picked it up. I carefully opened the paper bag, scooped the dirt back into the cup, tried to straighten the blooms, gave it water and attention and placed it in a window so it could grow toward the sun.

A reasonably accurate metaphor for how I raise my boys. They seem to accept things, too.


Monday, May 14, 2007

moral of the story: get your newtons at target

So my husband and I were splayed out on the couch Saturday night, doing what we do when we finally have time alone on a weekend to bring our raging libidos together to one precarious location.

Yep. We watched television. Because we're sexy like that. Well, and because we're way behind on Tivo'ed episodes of "Planet Earth," so we figured we'd
free our minds and the rest would follow.

So we tuned into the "Jungle" episode we'd started watching a few days earlier. Ah, look at the cute
gliding leaf frog! Oh, isn't it amazing the way the fungus grows! Goodness! Look at all that water the rain forest produces!

Yes, I was learning a ton. I've made no secret of the fact that much of my grown up smarts have been garnered from television. So I was freakin' shocked to discover these cute little male gliding leaf frogs essentially rape the females of the species as the unsuspecting divas try to work their way up a tree to reach the male frog they have chosen to mate with.

"I know it's the jungle, but good Lord!" I said to my husband, as the Discovery Channel crew spared no angle to show this act to me. "Leaf frogs are the jungle's gang lords!"

And I held onto that idea.

Until it was time for the chimpanzees.

Yeah! Chimpanzees! Adorable cousins of man! Teased with the idea of chimpanzees bouncing from tree to tree, eating figs and cleaning each other, I soon put aside the idea of those nasty leaf frogs and was grinning from ear to ear. Listen to them call out to each other! Oh, isn't it cute? That chimpanzee is so hungry he can stuff five figs in his mouth at one time! Isn't it all adorable? The jungle is so sweet!

Or is it? Sigourney Weaver, are you teasing me before the commercial break?

When we returned, we see that chimps are fond of sticking together in large groups, and like to maintain a hold on their territory so as to protect their supply of figs and such. No big deal. I completely understand. I've hidden bags of peanut M&M's away from my kids before. I'm on track with the chimps.

But then Sigourney tells us this colony of chimps is prepared to defend their territory from other chimps who've dared enter their turf, and I immediately sit upright, all tingly.

"OH!! They're totally going to go Jets and Sharks on each other!" I exclaim, excited once again to have the opportunity to toss in yet another reference to "West Side Story" as the larger chimps start circling their turf.

When the chimps' yelping and howling started in, I lost it with out of control laughter. "This is so much better than "West Side Story," I told my husband, perhaps punching him on the shoulder for emphasis. "This is freakin' 'Yo!
Ding Dong, man. Ding Dong. Ding Dong, yo,' in the jungle, baby!

"Back off me, man! Back off!" my husband tosses back (cementing yet another reason why I married this man).

Watching the chimps chase the intruding chimps out of their territory and exerting their power by slamming their head into tree trunks, I was near tears laughing as they got bad ass on each other. Tossing out Weird Al dialogue ("Is that what they teach you in that little sissy school of yours?" - me. "I've got more chins than Chinatown" - my husband) to enhance the soundtrack only added to the glee I felt.

And then...instant silence. Wiping away a tear that finally escaped and crossing my legs so as not to wet myself, I sat up, refocused and peered closer at the television.

"Hey...um...is that a little chimp head that bigger chimp is shaking in the air?" I asked my husband.

"Yes. Yes it is," Sigourney answered first.

"But...weren't we all just happy, fig eating primates a moment ago?" I asked, horrified as this gang of large male chimps tore into a poor baby chimp, glutton style.

"Yes," Sigourney confirmed, adding that while cannibalism isn't unusual in the animal kingdom, no one knows why a species would gang up on and then devour their own kind.

My respect for chimps, once questionable at best based on those who wear clothes or exhibit embarrassing behavior at the zoo (I'm talking to you, poop eating chimp), fell even lower.

"So, yeah," I say, my laughter cast aside along with my sadly immense knowledge of Weird Al videos. "Here's hoping the episode on forests is a bit tamer."

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Friday, May 11, 2007

here we come to save the day...

My sons love superheroes and enacting Earth saving adventures. Just so you know, were it not for them, our population could have been ruled by unforgiving dinosaurs, held prisoner by marauding pirates and destroyed by giant arachnids. Just this week.

And let me tell you, those giant scorpions were bad ass. It was touch and go there for awhile.

You should also know they don't want your thanks. Oh no. They just want you, the people, to remember that you can rest a little bit easier tonight knowing they're protecting you. Even when it seems they're busy watching "Full House," you can trust they have an eye trained for evildoers. If you require their assistance, you need only summon a beacon juice box or chocolate chip cookie.

I caught them playing like this earlier in the week, and while it's cute (though I'd never tell them that! Superheroes are many things, but "cute" is not what they want to be thought of!) and I feel safe having their abilities on hand, I actually left them to their play thinking they captured everything it feels like for me to be their mom.

Let me share:
  • One day you want to be Spiderman. The next? Batman seems the way to go. When you can't decide, why not just be both? Some days, I feel like my identity is split and I require different capes or masks (never spandex suits, though - too unforgiving!). Like any superhero, I have numerous skills at my disposal. I can help with a math problem and try to knowledgeably answer questions about subjects I know nothing about. I can help create a diorama for a school project using only a shoebox, two lumps of modeling clay and a questionable looking feather found under the bushes in the front yard AND then transform into a wife, skilled at wifely things. It's not easy, but has there ever been a superhero who hasn't been tormented by some aspect of their dual identity? None I can think of. However, they always seem to carry out the job, no matter how it twists at them, because that's just what superheroes do.

  • Superheroes have to juggle a lot of balls. Sometimes I think the biggest one they have to keep up is protecting their alter identity from friends and family (props for thinking a simple pair of glasses or a dinner jacket is enough to do it!). However, I have to keep juggling a lot of balls. Sometimes more than I feasibly should. I'm planning calendars, signing releases, paying bills, packing lunches, making phone calls, answering emails, trying to be a good wife, friend and mother by staying connected, maintaining a home, and earning a small paycheck to contribute. Sometimes one of the balls I juggle is labeled "time for me." But I get dropped many times before I ever drop any of the others.

  • As prepared as they can be, superheroes don't always know what's going on behind their back. For me, rather than a glowering dragon I might actually sense, it could be a bill I'm unsure how I'll pay this month or the unexpected trip to the doctor because "Captain Invincible" jumped off the swings without sticking his landing. I've learned that even though there's mystery involved in being a parent, I have to let my senses tingle a bit so I can brace myself for the things that are out there, ready to sneak up.

Even though I've been doing this mom thing now for awhile, I'm sure I'll never have all the super powers it would take to be perfect at this job. Besides, I think being a mom would lose some of it's charm if my super power was that I did know everything. I'd rather remember on my own to stop and take in the lessons my two boys offer me, even when all they're doing is something as simple as saving the world. I hope all moms who will be remembered on Mother's Day, including those who swing by here on their webs, invisible airplanes or golden lassos, feel at least a little bit the same.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

one day we'll attribute all our successes to each other

My oldest son and I are at a stage in our relationship where we have a healthy respect and admiration for the other. Oh sure, we love each other and I think he's one of the greatest things that ever took a breath, but he's not going to go out of his way to prove he loves me or anything. Oh no! Not when he has learned the fine art of asking "Why?" from his father when I tell him I need a kiss.

I believe that soon "Why?" will be coupled with "What's in it for me?" when I ask for any display of affection from this boy. When that inevitably happens, I will spread my arms like the wings of an angel and spin around the room, bumping into toy after bountiful toy and singing "Just take a freakin' look around this place!"

Because I'm all about buying the love.

Catching me as I start to stumble from that dizzying dance will probably not be an option he'd consider because honestly, that would be too much like an actual hug. The only way I can get a hug from one of my kids these days is if I am holding the PS2 controllers above my head, and that's only after a great deal of negotiation outlining the length of said hug and if any actual pressure must be applied.

And a lot of "Why?" being tossed around.

Anyway, this boy, at nearly 10, would much rather spend his time outside with his friends, riding his bike, playing basketball, or staging heroic battles with his countless action figures. Anything other than spending quality, quiet, introspective time with me. The vessel that nurtured him and brought him safely into this world. We don't have the deep, philosophical talks that heartwarming Lifetime movies depict between mothers and sons.

I daresay the child would actually weigh the pros and cons of gnawing his way out of a steel bear trap versus spending 15 minutes of quality time with me. It's understandable. I still think that sometimes when I consider my own mother.

However, this past weekend, my husband and I and the oldest boy trotted out to a Scouting graduation ceremony. Like these things often are in our Scouting program, it was disarray and poor scheduling. After a couple of hours, my son's role in the event had come to an end and boredom had set in. For my part, boredom had set in about 30 minutes before we'd arrived. I was sitting quietly by myself on a lawn chair near the campfire, trying desperately to drown out the sounds of 40-plus boys of all ages as they screamed around me, when very quietly, my son slipped into the empty lawn chair next to mine.

"Hey, buddy," I said with a smile. "What's up?"

"Nothin'," came his reply. Quiet and somewhat fidgety, he messed with some patches and pins he'd just been awarded. When I asked to see them, our hands connected and I grasped his and told him I was proud of his effort.

To my surprise, he didn't pull away. My heart swelled a bit as he smiled and thanked me, and I believe it's accurate to say a tiny tear of pride may have been welling in my left eye when he suddenly yanked his hand from my gentle grip and started bouncing at the edge of his seat.

"Hey mom! Wanna see something?!" he exclaimed.

"Absolutely, bubs!" I replied, certain that we were on the brink of something so memorable I'd want to immediately rush home and capture this moment of mother/son breakthrough in his baby book.

"I can fart using my hand and my armpit!" he crowed with pride, then proceeded to demonstrate it for me several times.

Sure, I beamed at him with love. And sure, this was a bonding moment for the two of us, even when I had to explain to him that for various reasons, girls (at least this girl) kind of lose the ability to do that really cool trick as they get older. But for his sake, and for our moment together, I tried it out.

"I can totally make some killer fart noises using just my mouth!" I conceded. This, of course, delighted him. It was totally "game on."

Thus kicked off a 20 minute "no actual fart farting contest" between the two of us. He won. My age and obvious years of experience over him was simply no match. The kid is stellar.

"Pretty cool, mom," he said after recovering from the fit of laughter his last lingering mouth fart produced.

Absolutely, I thought. If it takes fake farts to bring us closer, I'll take it.

Then we made up a secret handshake and held a best out of five thumb wrestling match.

And out of nowhere, without any coercion, he gave me a hug. As we walked away from the campfire, he promised he'd teach me how to armpit fart.

It's worth it.


Monday, May 07, 2007

'wanna tell you 'bout the girl i love...'*

youdamom! tagged me last week with the “10 Things About Me!” meme that, I have to say, is like my love for Bono, all things purple and my stunning grace and allure – undying.

After tackling similar tags a couple of times, I figured it would be impossible to come up with even two more things about myself that were of any interest, let alone ten. Granted, none of what I’m about to tell you may strike you as the least bit captivating. I can accept that. It won’t hurt my feelings.

But then I remember how utterly kick ass I am and I have to think you’ll all at least have the kindness to play along and humor me. You know I’d give you the love, too. So, without further hyperbole, I give you the following:

g I am a lip balm and lip gloss whore. Plain and simple. I’ll pucker up for any brand and any flavor. Tubes, sticks, pots, wands. Flavored like mint or pretend fruit. The color of bubblegum, flowers, caramels or sunsets. I have no loyalty. Just a dirty, dirty obsession with keeping my lips smooth and glossy. Alluring if you really want to take it that far. Pictured is a sampling of what I carry in my purse (at last count – 13) and my make up tub. I’m giddy for gloss.

g In my possession is a videocassette of me performing Madonna’s "Material Girl". In a black bra. Oh, they can beg and they can plead but that tape won’t see the light (that’s right).

g I have gigantic sunglasses. Oh, not like this. But kind of like hers. Maybe slightly bigger. But mine cost me only $4.50 at JC Penney’s (because I had a coupon, baby, and I’m not above slummin’!) and didn’t include a Maverick with purchase. I wear them in all seasons, in any weather. I don’t care if it’s raining or dark. I may or may not do this to honor one of my pretend husbands. He likes it when I put them on, then whisper words about debt reduction while calling him my “knight.”

g I’m a chronic list maker. Every week I start off with some bullet-pointed personal manifesto for what I hope to accomplish in that seven-day span. If I actually accomplish something before I’ve had a chance to include it on my list, I’ll write it down anyway just so I have the satisfaction of then crossing it off. It makes me happy in a really sad kind of way. I know.

g Paid programming fascinates me. Thirty minute advertisements for Clever Clasp, One-Touch Can Opener, Yoga Booty Ballet, Pro-Activ, the Betty Crocker Bake-n-Fill. I love them all. I never kill off my finances buying anything off television, but I can and have killed off hours watching these types of things.

g When I’m having a bad day, I sometimes wish I had a life narrator who prefaced any encounter I have with people with the line, “Ok, people, listen up. Marla’s gone rogue.” And then there would be this really dramatic and brief drum or bass line as I entered the darkened room. Because of course it would be dark. CTU dark.

g I never remember my dreams. Oh, I’ve had some dreams where I’ve woken up in tears or experienced some nice little sexual side effect, and believe me, I’ve tried to reclaim those events, but it never works. The last dream I remember having consistently was when I was a teenager and I would dream nightly that the street I lived on had been inhabited by culturally acclimated apes. Seriously. They dressed like humans. Drove cars. Went to jobs or school. And then roamed the street and tossed their waste around. Seriously.

g I say “seriously” a lot. Seriously. I use it as a matter of questioning (“Seriously?”), exclamation (“Seriously!”) and as a basic statement (“Seriously.”). I seriously need to curb it, but I seriously love it a bit too much.

g Sometimes I wanna give up, I wanna give in, I wanna quit the fight. And then I see you baby, and everything’s alright.

g Speaking of bad English, I’m an admitted grammar and spelling snob. I don’t necessarily like this trait, but as a former editor it’s a bit ingrained. It’s really bad when you consider this blog is probably riddled, Tupac style, with glaring errors in word usage and punctuation. However, if you’re going to send me your homemade high school graduation announcement, please proofread it. One error? I’d probably let it go with just a passing comment. Three errors? I’m going to have a hard time with that. I'm talking to you, my niece, with your inability to form a proper conjunction or properly use indefinite articles.

g A bonus – I am confidant that with a can of Suave extra hold mousse, a curling iron, some Aussie Super Scrunch and some AquaNet, I could have my hair as big and bouncy as John Waites did in that spectacular Bad English video. In fact, I may have looked like that in my high school graduation photo.

So that’s it. The little things that make me interesting. Or sad. You be the judge. I seriously don’t know if I have it in me to do a tag like this again (plus, I feel like I should confess that I jotted down half this list while in church today)! Apparently, I’m supposed to tag 10 other people to do this, but because I’m rogue, I’ll just allow you to do it if you wish. And I’ll play along and humor you if you do.

Hell, maybe I’ll even pucker up and kiss you with my slutty little lip balmed lips.


* Alternate titles for this post included, but were not limited to, the following:

  • "No way. I scare me!"
  • "What kind of fuckery is this?"
  • "I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind"
  • It's a secret no one knows"
  • "Can you tell me? Oh, you say you can, but you don't know"

Yeah, like I was just going to let that Hanson thing die easily. Instead, I opted for the classics.

Like "MmmBop" will be one day, of course.


Friday, May 04, 2007

sure, i'd just post the clip, but i'm serious...

YouTube is a fickle, fickle lover.

However, I can't let an addendum to the post below simply languish out there.

And not just because it touches on everything I love about what goes on around here. Seriously. Who knew I would get a papier mache AND Hanson reference in one stunning video clip.

Now I'm off to do boring things like clean the house, do laundry. Stuff I should be doing other than oogling me some Taylor Hanson. But I'm gonna be back...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

'i hear you're driving someone else's car now...'

so yesterday afternoon, the boys and i begrudgingly returned the sweet rental car and returned to our normal, minivan driving life. i didn't let them see it of course, but when we all got settled back in the universal mothership, i took a final glance over at the charger and a tear escaped me. i asked for a moment of silence to honor the demise of my pretend life, but the boys had quickly settled back into the routine that comes with the close proximity of being in the van. thus, the bickering and poking was too loud for my quiet prayers to be heard.

i'm not kidding you when i tell you i plugged the iPod in right away and the first line of the first
track to come up was that which i titled this post with. i'd simply post the video clip, but YouTube hates me, which is shocking when you consider the love I give it at this place. Taking it's shoes off and rubbing it's feet. Muttering sweet, sweet words in it's ear.

Fickle. Kind of like me, when I just realized I had started off writing this post in lowercase letters and I fought the urge to stay the course. I miss you, tiny letters....

So anyway, slipping back into the mini, honestly, was kind of like slipping back into the arms of familiar lover. The lover you fought with all the time and who was never really there for you when you needed them, but with whom you had really amazing sex, so every time you were around each other, you fell into bed or the kitchen counter. But then you'd wake up a few hours later, perhaps bruised and with an unexplainable hickey on the left side of your face, push the hair out of your eyes to get a closer look at this object of your temporal affections, and wonder what in the hell you were doing together.

But knowing you'd be back. "Oh, just try to keep me away..." you'd think.

Yes. Strapping myself behind the steering wheel yesterday afternoon was EXACTLY like that. Except this time, our connection was much more gentle. There was some fondling of knobs and admiring of shiny surfaces. I swear I heard the engine sigh "I missed you, baby," when I stuck the key in and turned. And cripes, the folks at the dealership washed and vacuumed the thing out! That fact alone almost had me searching out ways to get in additional accidents.

You're creeped out a little bit now, aren't you? All this talk about me comparing a used mini with some delicious lover? I don't blame you, but you'd think you'd be used to it by now when you come around here.

Let me further creep you out by telling you that every time
this song comes up on my iPod, I drop whatever I'm doing and dance. This makes driving my above love challenging at times, I'll give you that, but I have the moves. And I listen to it loudly. Without embarrassment. Oh, hell no. I'm not even embarrassed to tell you I once owned the cd. Or that it's not the only Hanson song on the iPod. Besides, who'd have thought they'd grow up to look like this? Well, just that singer/keyboardist one.

Transition time.

I discovered I've been tagged with the "10 Interesting Things about Me" thing by
youdamom.com. Quite honestly, this may take me awhile to complete because I'm uncertain I can come up with any more interesting things about myself. Some of my previous attempts have been brain stretchers. I tend to block out the bad stuff.

Of course, I'm thinking the fact that I compare my mini to a dirty, dirty lover and covet me some Taylor Hanson knocks an easy two off the list right away. What I should have you all do is make up eight more interesting things about me and we'll see where this takes us. But for now, it's time for me to eat some breakfast and


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

i simply say baby, oh baby, my sweet baby you're the one

I have a habit of attaching endearments to people. Within 7 minutes of meeting you (sooner if I get the impression you're all up in my bidness), you'll think I've clearly forgotten your given name. Oh no, sweets. I'll know it. You'll just never hear it pass from my lips again.

I didn't use to be one of those "Sweetie this, Honey that" girls. Not at all. I may be able to trace this habit back to my father, who, while I was growing up, always referred to me as Squirt, but I think it developed in earnest a couple of years ago when I met my best
girlfriend. As we were forging our friendship, we'd spend hours on the telephone and for some reason we apparently forgot we possessed the X chromosome and took to calling each other "Dude."

"Dude! Seriously!?"

"It's amazing, Dude! You really should try it."

"Love ya, dude!" (This would have been the only clear indicator we still sported boobs and didn't spit or grab ourselves. For the most part).

I've since broadened my endearment horizons beyond my basic "man slang." Now people close to me are "pumpkin" or "my precious." I've muttered out a breathless "baby" in place of the names of people who've stretched well past the age of 12 months.

And don't even think I'm going to hesitate if I feel like slipping some "puddin'" on you if I think you've earned it. After all sweetheart, you deserve only the best!

No one has ever complained to me about my excessive use of "dear" or "luv," and I've certainly not taken issue to being referred to as "goddess" or "the best thing that ever happened in my life." When you're comfortable with someone, I think these kinds of monikers get attached.

Don't you, babe?

But last night, I was reminded that sometime it may be good to reign some habits in.

While manning a cash register for a coworker's break, I smiled politely at young family and invited them to bring their purchases forward to ring them out. Two very darling boys happily handed me books they'd selected, a baby entertained herself in a stroller, and the obviously pregnant and tired woman corralled them all while dad took on the retail business at hand.

"Hey sweet baby? I'm going to get your name on our membership card," the man said as he gathered a stack of books and magazines and turned briefly toward me.

"That darling woman right there should be on that card now since we just got married and all," he told me, the goddess who works at Barnes and Noble.

(Yes, sometimes I also refer to myself with pleasing endearments. It kills the time and makes me feel good. Like some of my other habits. I won't link to the posts where I mention those habits. I think you know what I'm talking about).

"You're precious," I muttered, and listened as their conversation floated on endearments that I believe, could they have taken shape and been seen, would have been carried by little round bellied cherubs hoisting gossamer ribbons through a parting flock of song birds and fluttering butterflies. Only in my imagination, those little angels would have been sporting bad attitudes and bitching because they weren't getting paid extra to look all sweet. And God's winged creatures? They may have been diseased.

"We're should we go eat, lover?"

"Oh, baby, you look tired, sweetheart."

"Baby? Remind me that we have to go to the bank tomorrow, together, holding hands and touching each other lightly in the reflection of the brightest sunbeams, and deposit that check."

Come 'ere, Loverboy" I snapped (in my mind, because I have to in order to keep banking that minimum wage). "Will that be debit or credit?"

"Here sugar, use my debit card instead," the woman offered, pulling her husband's hand away from his front pant pocket as he reached for his wallet.

"Oh baby, you know I love it when we use your money instead," he replied. Then blew her a kiss. In front of me. A person whose name should rhyme with "cynical."

The entire transaction probably took 2 minutes to complete, but in that time I felt like I was one person shy of observing a porno threesome. Then I considered I could dangerously slip and be that third person by proxy simply by referring to the man as "sweetie" when I handed him his bagged purchases.

Trust me. I've done it before.

Wait. Not the threesome part. Seriously? Is that where you went with that thought? So quickly? Because if you say yes, I'm going to be a delightful mix of happy sprinkled with a dash of confused. Mixed well with some "Really?"

So anyway, as Sugar and Baby walked away, I wondered if I actually pepper my conversations with friends and loved ones with as many endearments as they easily subjected me to hearing. When do you cross the line from being all friendly and loving to creepy, I wondered.

But then the cashier I was covering for returned and thanked me for giving her a break.

"No problem, sweets," I said, and skipped off.

Trailed by little round bellied cherubs and beautiful song birds. Because they're precious, and so are you, puddin'.