...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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

check this hand 'cause i'm marvelous

So. Well. Here we are. Not much's going on around here, which is nice, really, because that means more room for my simmering bad mood and overall sense of 'meh' that's been hovering around like a spirit unwilling to cross over these last few days. Or maybe it's been weeks? Months? Suffice to say it's been awhile.

But I don't want to burden you with my sad trombone, friends. Instead, I've decided to compile a list of things that make me forget the time(s) I've been far too 'woe is me' lately. Before I do, though, I feel I should warn you there are a few things on here that might compel you to make fun of me, so just let me remind you to be gentle, m'kay?

M'kay. Here goes. For no one's pleasure other than my own:
  • Jimmy Fallon's Emmy opening number. I seriously can't stop watching this. See also 'freezing the picture on Jon Hamm.'
  • A tub of Cool Whip, a spoon, and some alone time. To eat directly from the container, sickos! What did you think I meant? Listen, what you do on your own time with a delicious non-dairy whipped topping is your own business.
  • Constantly being peppered with 'Would you rather...' questions by the guys I work with. When faced with the choice of bending my fingers backward and rendering them broken once a year, every year, or purchasing a bag of spicy Doritos and using one to scoop my own eyeball out, I always choose the annual broken fingers.
  • Just Dance for Wii. It's sweaty, loud, ugly, and potentially deadly, but if you want to bring it 'Wannabe' style, I have just two words for you -Bring. It.
  • Season 4 of 'Dexter.' Holy hell, this show is so fantastic (aside from the Batista/Laguerta romance, which, yawn)! Sure, even though, thanks to the Internet, I knew how things ended, I still gasped. Yes. I gasped.
  • Speaking of the Internet (and strangers and friends and amazing people outside this little box), did you hear about Cure JM?! After a roller coaster ride on the final day of voting for a Pepsi Refresh grant, they topped the choices for a $250k grant! Kudos to Kevin and his family for their tireless efforts, and thank you to all of you who voted!
  • (pssst - have have the urge to do some more harmless Internet voting for a good cause? My friend the weirdgirl and I hope you'll consider supporting her community's efforts to rebuild their elementary school, which was destroyed by an arsonist's fire. I know, right? Please visit her to learn how you can help. I have. It didn't hurt at all. Do it. Please?)
  • 'Talking To Girls About Duran Duran' by Rob Sheffield - Get thee to a bookstore and buy this one, OK? Don't just grab it off the shelf, find a comfy chair, and then camp out all day reading it for free. You'll be cheating yourself and possibly annoying those of us who work at bookstores. I'm not kidding. Especially about that annoying bit. Seriously. Would you throw your feet up on that coffee table, stuff your hand down the front of your pants and then maybe take a 2 hour nap in your own house? You would? Well, OK. Can you just do it there and not where I work, though?
  • Cutting 10+ inches off my hair. TEN! MORE THAN! The last time I cut more than 10 inches of anything out of my life, I told that guy I was getting married the following Saturday and maybe it would be nice if he'd quit calling me already.
  • My dear best friend who, when she finally saw me for the first time after this major hair transformation, told me I could pass for 19.
  • The fact that I'll never, ever, ever have to be 19 again. Even though I may or may not have made out with above mentioned best friend after her declaration, which may or may not have been something I would have considered exploring at 19.
  • Mario Badescu Drying Lotion for killing the giant bald-headed man who emerged from my chin this week and was all, "Hey, whassup?" and I was all, "Um, my nose? Which you clearly have a bird's eye view into?" I'm a pretty, pretty princess.
  • (now if I could only use it to kill the chin zit's accomplice currently residing in a Locale That Shall Not Be Named)(did I mention I'm a pretty, pretty princess? The prettiest!)
  • The fact that I wasn't killed in my sleep last night by the ghost of a 14-year-old girl who was murdered and locked away who now apparently exacts her revenge upon the world by brutally killing those who don't forward text messages about her while they slumber. Sorry, teenage boy who keeps texting me despite the fact I keep (stupidly) responding (in complete and correctly spelled sentences - a dead - heh, no pun intended - giveaway that no, I don't know him and yes, I AM likely old enough to be his mother. Of course, tonight's another night, so if you don't hear from me after this, it's been nice knowing you!
  • Did I mention it's nice how dark chocolate doesn't seem to go bad even after almost two years? And I wonder why I have a giant chin zit...
  • Hooray! Last year's jeans still fit!
  • Tomorrow, I'm going to spend the entire day holding a newborn baby girl. The entire day. Hours. Holding a newborn. I'm probably going to spend at least two of those hours plotting a way out of the house with said newborn girl undetected, but you didn't hear that from me.
  • 'Camp Rock 2' premieres Friday night (um, yeah, have we met?!)!! I predict some alone time in my future (with or without Cool Whip)!! Hush.
  • That Nick Jonas sure has come into his own lately...
  • I know. Relax. I'm forever a Joe girl. Woman. Old lady. Whatever.
  • Pecan Sandies. Seriously, I am SO thankful last year's jeans still fit.
  • Polite Fictions. Are you (please!) reading us there? Oh, I wish you would! There's some great stuff happening there as we round out our "What Happens After..." theme. I don't know what it is about this go 'round, but I've gotten teary reading every single contributor's entry. Even my own! It's like all my friends there live in my heart and are wrapping beautiful words around the voices I hear in my head. If you want to know the real me, go there. Please read! Please! No voting involved!
  • This clip from 'Phineas and Ferb':

This was how I was dancing (to, um, 'Come Sail Away.' So sue me) in the kitchen tonight when the boys walked in and discovered me. "She's sportin' major kinkification' may be my new mantra. And this? This is bordering manifesto territory, so I'll be going now, a little bit happier than I was when I started. Your results may vary.


just like kenny loggins said, this is it

Today is the LAST DAY for voting to help Cure JM secure a $250,000 from Pepsi's Refresh Everything program. Over the last two days, Cure JM has had more ups and downs in the rankings than I am currently putting my family through. Yesterday afternoon, I logged on to vote and found they'd fallen to three. I yelled "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" and started voting my heart out. When I went to bed last night, they were ranked number 1.


I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Then I got up this morning. Guess who is number 2 again? Did you guess Cure JM? Good for you.


Through TODAY ONLY, you have three opportunities to vote three different ways. Three! Three times a charm, baby! Here's what you do:
After last month's round of voting, I got an email from Kevin telling me Cure JM was out of the running. I really don't want to get another email like that from him. I like the happy ones. I want a happy one.


Friday, August 27, 2010

how often do I promise you something quick and easy?

I spent last night in the emergency room with my youngest son. While on his way home from a friend's for what was sure to be a gourmet dinner (sandwiches!), he fell off his scooter and broke both bones in his left forearm. When I got him inside and was able to take a better look at the situation, I could tell we were in for a long night. His arm was in a very pronounced U-shape, which helped me explain things to him when I pointed to it and said, "YOU have broken your arm, my lovely."

Unfortunately, I didn't have time for the second part of the diagnosis, which would have been "YOU are going to probably throw up right now!" because he tossed his after school snack all over the carpet before either of us expected it. Bonus!

As a family, we've been incredibly blessed to have healthy children. In fact, until just three weeks ago, when this same child went mano-o-vano with our family vehicle and came out on the losing side with five stitches to his forehead, we've never seen the inside of an emergency room. I'd like to think (hope, pray, make questionable promises to questionable individuals) that walking out at 2 a.m., today after this latest visit is the last time we have any medical issues.

I'd like to wish the same for other parents. Unfortunately, it's not always possible.

Perhaps you know my friend Kevin, who writes (well!) at a few sites, including Always Home and Uncool. Kevin is, I believe, one of the entries in the dictionary under the listing for 'awesome.' He's exactly that. He and his family work tirelessly with the organization Cure JM to raise awareness of juvenile myositis, an autoimmune disease affecting approximately 5,000 children in the United States that Kevin's daughter, affectionately known as Thing 1, was diagnosed with JM eight years ago.

If you know Kevin (and you should by now if you visited the link to his blog!), you know Cure JM is a contender for a $250,000 grant in the Pepsi Refresh Project! Did you catch that? Pepsi will give $250,000 (!!!!) to the top 2 individuals, businesses or non-profit organizations in August, and as I write this, Cure JM is holding steady in the top 2!

As you might imagine, Cure JM would love to retain their spot during the next five days of eligible voting (and heck, I'd imagine they'd love to move into the number 1 spot, too, but, well, sometimes being number 2 doesn't stink!). You might also be imagining ways you can help them. What you might not be imagining is just how easy it will be to do so! Now through August 31, you can vote three times a day using these three different methods:
The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is check on my kids, say a little "thank you" for their health and well-being, and then I log onto my computer and I vote. Simple, quick, and for a friend and his child and other children fighting this. My new wish today is that you'll please take a minute (heck, even less than that!) and do the same.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

i went to chicago and all i got were these bullet points, a burnt scalp, and a better understanding of why we don't take many vacations

I call this one "Be thankful for small things." Like the fact this is not a small, curly piece of hair on the bed, but rather a long, curly hair on the lap shade. Hotels rock!

When last we were together, I was getting ready to leave for a vacation in beautiful Chicago. We've been home a few days, and those of you who travel know those days are spent doing laundry, playing catch up on real life, and regaling your Facebook friends with photos of your trip. I've not done any of those things yet. That's the plan for today! What a great way to spend the first day without my kids around all the time! Kids who apparently don't have any clean underwear and, well, at least one of the two is rather fond of fresh drawers and informed me I have work to do this afternoon. So needy that one! I was going to write a fantastic post letting all of you know Chicago did us a grade-A solid, because it really did (psst - call me, Chicago!), but instead, I figured why bore you with my vacation slides. Instead, here's a few things I observed during our time away that helped make our trip complete:
  • HBO is airing the same episodes of Taxi Cab Confessions they were when I was 14 and would sneak viewings of what I then thought was edgy and shocking content. Now you've heard one transsexual's story, you've heard them all.
  • One room bad, two rooms good. After an initial night of hotel lodging in which I thought my 8 year old was actually going to attempt womb re-entry as we tried to (yet never actually did) sleep, we booked a second hotel room. Hooray for Priority Club member points! Tool Man being gone constantly has it's rewards!
  • There's something sweet (and OK, perhaps a wee bit wrong) hearing your 8 year old sing the lyric "...put your hands on me in my skin right jeans."
  • Speaking of jeans, jeggings really aren't for everyone. Seriously. They're not. I mean it. No.
  • While we're still on the subject, neither are body suits ::cough lady wearing neon blue body suit at the Iowa rest stop cough Glamour don't cough::
  • Homeless people love, love, LOVE to pray for me! I was stopped three times on my walk to Buckingham Fountain for a bit of divine intervention. That's more times then we pray during an actual church service!
  • I can go 6 days without a diet Mountain Dew, but you won't like me by the fourth day.
  • I finally got a diet Mountain Dew on day seven, and alas, you would have liked me less. Let's just say fountain pop that's not mixed right put me into tears.
  • However, I'm blaming the tears on having to listen to the that "I Wanna Be A Billionaire" song 5,402 (or an actual billion) times while we were traveling.
  • What up, Oprah!
  • Before I even unbuckled my seat belt when we got home, my oldest was in the house, up two sets of stairs and on the phone with his best friend.
  • Before I got my leg out of the car, he was back asking if we could drive him to said best friend's house 14 minutes away. This after he'd complained and sighed his way through being in a car for 7 hours.
  • Air travel has to be better than car travel with my family.
  • Although portable DVD players are the shiz, yo!
  • Ten minutes after we got home, the phone rang for my youngest but he was already gone to another friends house.
  • Basically, my kids got a ticker tape parade upon arriving home, like they're astronauts.
  • We learned about astronauts during a trip to the Adler Planetarium. Well, I learned about astronauts. Unlike my family, I like to stop and read about the various displays. Call me crazy!
  • P.S. - no one has called for me (crazy or otherwise) yet. We've been home five days.
  • "War" by Sebastian Junger isn't the lightest drive time read you could choose.
  • Negative - My husband got to continue his vacation on Monday while I went back to work. Pro - While I was at work, he took the boys to Chuck E. Cheese and I didn't have to go!
  • My kids ran around the Holiday Inn like they were freakin' Zack and Cody at the Tipton. That was just about as annoying as the actual Zack and Cody.
  • My husband and I accidentally dressed alike on three of our vacation days. We didn't realize this faux pas, of course, thanks to our separate rooms. Not awesome. We were one day away from a fanny pack.
  • We got gas bombed by a dude who got off the elevator two floors before us. I was this close to scratching a goodbye note on the walls before the doors finally opened and we all fell out and crumpled to the floor.
  • We'd driven 40 miles before I finally abandoned all hope someone would say "That's what she said!" after I'd tossed a bag into the trunk and said "I don't want this giant thing between my legs for seven hours!"
  • Speaking of my legs, they are strong like bull after walking the entirety of Chicago. My spirit, however, is crushed after walking the entirety of Chicago with two kids who only wanted to know when they could eat again and to remind me of just how tired they were. "Listen," I said. "You didn't stay up late watching HBO's Taxi Cab Confessions, so just zip it!"
  • I also lost a tremendous amount of sleep on Day 3 because I dreamed of bed bugs most of the night.
  • My scalp is still burned more than five days later. You could drive a Mars rover around up there and not know the difference between me and the red planet...which I learned more about at the planetarium. I did. Not my family, though.
  • Dude, seriously, if I see another museum or anything remotely resembling a museum for awhile, it will still be too soon.
  • Chicago, your pizza is made of fairy dust, angel's wishes, and the bright cheeriness of a child's smile, but sweet heaven, that's some serious cheese! It's way more cheese than my colon should be near. I needed a safe word after eating just one piece!
  • Nice try, Sky Deck. You nearly got me to go completely out upon your 4 X 4 glassy box of (possible) death, but I realized what was happening before it could have been too late. You are a formidable foe, but this round goes to me.
  • I can get Chicago souvenir cheaper on Iowa...so I did. Shhhh. Don't tell my kids!
  • Whoa oh oh oh sweet bed of myyyy-eeee-iiine!
  • "Heh...Wacker Drive...heh!" giggled Seth, my inner 13 year old boy (who should be celebrating a birthday soon) In fact, Seth found it hard NOT to giggle.
  • P.S. - 'Found it hard'? Perfect place for a "That's what she said!" Take a note, Tool Man!
  • Obviously, I need to get out more.

I choose to believe this is the dried blood of a previous occupant of my hotel room, and not the sauce of a delicious Chicago-style pizza left here as a reminder from said previous tenant as he or she searched the channel guide for the more adult fare on the hotel's television. It made things more exciting to think that.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

25 or 6 to 4

In just a few hours, my family and I will be leaving for a short vacation. I had to Google the proper spelling of 'vacation' because it's been so very long since we've actually been on one. To put it in perspective, the last time we took a vacation, my oldest son, who will turn 13 on Thursday, was 2 years old. My youngest son, who wasn't around on that last epic, apparently bank draining adventure, has no idea what's in store for him when I say we're taking a trip. I honestly believe he thinks I'm telling him we're vacating, because he keeps looking around the place, trying to decide which of his most prized possessions he should salvage in the event we have to break camp here in the middle of the night. It's been fun watching him scurry about in a panic because he can't find his Nintendo DS that I've already packed away for our journey.

The title of this post probably gives away where we're going. Additionally, it represents:
  • The approximate number of hours we'll be on the road
  • How many times I'll ask that we stop so I can use a bathroom - in just the first 2 hours
  • A third of the cost for us to enjoy this grand adventure
  • How high I should count before responding to something the boys or my husband says
  • The scientific strain of germ I fear picking up from the hotel bedspread
Good times! If you haven't figured out yet where we're going, here's another hint. It rhymes 'tomato,' but only if you say 'tomato' as though you were quite proper and British. Are you quite proper and British? No? Then here's another rhyming clue - "Key Largo." No, we're not going to Key Largo. Do you really think I'd just give you the answer? Besides, if we were actually going to Key Largo, I'd have referenced another equally annoying song from the late 70s/early 80s in the post title, but that would have given it away completely, and where's the fun in that?

Nowhere, that's where!

Oh, but we're going somewhere (insert enthusiasm! and preparedness! and fun! lots and lots of fun!) here! So here's your final clue:

"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."


Yes! That's right! Chicago! What gave it away? It was the word 'Chicago' wasn't it? No? Awww, you guys are just a bunch of brainiacs, aren't you?!

Sadly, according to our Garmin, Google Maps, Rand-McNally, Google Earth, and every other devise and/or website Tool Man has consulted today, it's far more than 106 miles for us to get there from here. Pity, really, because I could probably make that without any bathroom breaks and all the weary travelers would be happy.

Speaking of happy, I think the kids are really looking forward to our trip. At least, I think my oldest son is because he's been gleefully informing me about how he "doesn't want to go to Chicago!" and asking "Why are we even going there, anyway?" As you might imagine, I'm really looking forward to spending this quality time with him.

Before I can bask in his brightness, though, I have to finish laundry and pack. Tool Man has Julie McCoy-ed the hell out of us for this trip, but for some reason, he neglected to inform me of his tight schedule until today, so the fact we're leaving Sunday morning comes as a tremendous surprise to me. It's no wonder, really, why we never go on these wacky things. What is surprising, though, is how we've made it this far and not killed each other. Don't you wish you were tagging along?

I wish you were. We could stay up late giggling in the hotel room after a day spent tearing up Chicago sausage king-style like Ferris, Cameron and Sloan, which I fully intend to do when I'm not staring at some ancient artifact at a museum or weeping at the sheer joy my oldest child is having. Are there any parades schedule for Chi-town next week? If so, watch the nightly news for reports about how I rocked the Danke Schoen out of that town.

But before all that, I must finish laundry, pack, and encourage all of you to please, don't miss me too much. I know it's hard not to, but really, when I've only been posting once a week (or, ahem, less), doesn't this just seem like normal? Just trust I'll be back and know I'll eat a Chicago dog for you. Maybe. I don't like tomatoes and I'm not particularly fond of hot peppers. We'll see. Either way, you're probably going to miss me (sorry!) and I will be back, so everything will be OK.

Especially after I quit singing that damn Chicago song.


Monday, August 09, 2010

and tell you all my dreaming...dreaming is free. and sometimes a little creepy. ok, a lot creepy

Other than a dream I had last year involving me, Zac Efron, and an elaborate plan to repopulate the planet after a mysterious post-apocalyptic tragedy that was interrupted just as Zac was telling me I should check his ammunition supplies (hint - "ammunition supplies" had very little to do with actual ammunition)(second hint - when I say "very little," I mean absolutely none), I very rarely remember my dreams.

Lately, though, my mind has been revving up during my REMs, and I've been haunted by a variety of different dreams I've been unable to shake. Some of them have been fantastic while others are simply confusing and perhaps a wee bit terrifying. For example, early last week, my mind raced through a trippy masterpiece involving a gang of giant, evil dolphins flying through the air with tiny, terrified humans screaming out their panic while clinging to the dorsal fin of their captive dolphin. Did I mention I could tell the dolphins were evil because of the suits of armor they were wearing? Oh, yes. Ornate battle armor conducive to, well, battling, and apparently, flying through the sky. Because dolphins can't swim while wearing armor, and they were smart enough to know that.

Also, they're smart enough to forge their own armor despite a lack of hands, apparently.

I have no idea what this dream meant. A Facebook friend suggested I'd perhaps had a traumatic experience involving a dolphin as a child, but growing up in the landlocked Midwest would seem prohibitive of such a thing. I was, however, nearly trampled to death by a pen of escaped cows when I was 9, so if there's a metaphor to be made there, I'd be curious. My thought is the dream was meant to serve as a spirit guide sent to prepare me for Shark Week (a moment of silence, please, for the end of Shark Week 2010...), and it sent dolphins rather than sharks because it didn't want to actually scare me (but it sort of did!). If such is the case, then thank you, spirit world, because thanks to Shark Week, I now know there are sharks swimming off the coast of Massachusetts, and it makes me laugh to think of them having hella wicked Boston accents.

Because if I ever actually have and remember a dream about sharks, I'm sure they'd talk.

You know who else talks in my dreams? Paul Rudd, star of stage, screen, and nocturnal fantasies like the one I also had last week involving the two of us and a party at my Mom's house. The first clue it was a dream wasn't that Paul Rudd was at a backyard barbecue on my Mom's patio, but that I looked ah-may-ZING, as I am wont to do in my dreams, including but not limited to the ones where I turn up naked at some Big Important Event, or am falling from a tall building. Or falling naked from a tall building at the conclusion of some Big Important Event. Anyway, after hours of crazy flirting, it was obvious Paul and I had reached a point where one of us was going to be screaming "I love you, man!" before the night was over, and, well, since I'm not a man (which was obvious by my very large dream breasts), clearly I was to be the scream-ee.

I know you're probably thinking, "Sure, it's Paul Rudd. Every man wants to be him, every woman wants to do him. I can see why this was a dream you'd not necessarily want to wake up from." Believe me, that was the case, but then, in the dream, my Mom pulled me aside and said, "I really don't condone you having sex with Paul Rudd in my house, but if you're going to, in my house, and of course you are, you damn well better not get pregnant! While in my house!"

Um...OK? I mean, by then, he'd musked up ("That's the smell of desire, my lady!") and both of us wanted to do the no-pants dance, so I couldn't let him down (heh heh...veiled double entendre!). I have no idea why my mom had to step in and try to, OK, I'm just going to say it, cock block me, but let me just say, I'm glad she didn't succeed, because the sex was - wait for it - dreamy. There was floating, spinning, harp music, tiny birds descended from the heavens to weave ribbons in my flowing locks, and, yes, unicorns pranced about during the proceedings. Hell, a disembodied voice even narrated the festivities!


It was the kind of dream that made me mad when I woke up because (a) now I'm going to have to pay full price to see "Dinner for Schmucks" to get my fill of Paul, which was never on my life list, and (b) I didn't want it to end! It made me want to look up that crazy dream-stealing team from "Inception" and hire them to replant that dream deep inside me (and by that I mean inside my brain...of course...) so I could have it again. Over and over and over again. I want to have this dream again in four weeks just so I can take a pretend pregnancy test to see if I AM carrying Paul Rudd's seed because, despite my Mom's warning, I think I might actually be with dream child!

Then, of course, there's the nightmares. What could possibly be worse than giant flying dolphins wearing battle armor, you're perhaps asking. Maybe a dream involving sex with a giant flying dolphin wearing battle armor? Yes. That would be incredibly terrifying. Thankfully, that wasn't my nightmare!

No, the dream that haunts my slumber involved me, Guy Fieri and acts so depraved I can honestly barely look at him when I watch one of the 8 million shows he has on the Food Network because I feel like he's watching me and he knows what he did to me and he's feeding me signals that let me know he's not done driving the bus to Flavor Town, if you know what I mean. And I think you know what I mean if you take that wonderful sex dream I had involving Paul Rudd, strip away Paul Rudd, and insert Guy Fieri in the equation. Or the position. Whichever you prefer.

Holy-moly Stromboli, that dream scared the Bejesus out of me! Guy went on and on about Triple D, and I was all, "Listen, I know in my dreams, I have tremendous breasts, but I draw the line at triple Ds, and trust me, there will be absolutely no dives of any kind!"

(yep, I'm just as wordy in my dream state as I am in my non-dream state, so it's no wonder I'm constantly exhausted, hmm?)

As things progressed, he'd say things like "This sauce is so money," or "I'mma need more than a minute to win it!" and I'd clamp my eyes shut tighter, hoping he'd finish soon. I tried to distract him at one point by asking why he was making me yell out "FEE-ET-TEE," when it's clearly not how his name's spelled, but then he'd interrupt me by making me say "What's winner, winner?" and I'd have to say "Chicken dinner."

You know those dreams you have when you realize it's a dream and you absolutely don't want to be having it, so you try to wake yourself up from it? THIS was that dream for me. I've never seen an episode of "Minute to Win It," but after I had this dream, I came across one while flipping channels and paused (frozen with fear is more like it), and listened as Guy set up a game for a new contestant. It involved tossing some Velcro wrapped ping pong balls down a sloped board and trying to get the balls to attach at the end. The name of the game?

Sticky Balls.

Guy Fieri said sticky balls on national television. Then he may have turned toward the camera, looked directly at me, and winked.

And I no longer sit up at night watching Food Network before going to bed.