Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dress me up (like a), baby

Whenever I shop at Target I get distracted.  This is not the ADD working.  This is the evil Sith Lord that is the Target Corporation.  I don't think it matters if you have crushing ADHD and are popping Ritalin like Chicklets or if you're a steady-headed, personal organizer to Martha Stewart, Target is gonna eat you up and suck the very marrow from your bones.  Dare you to walk in for a new mop head and walk out with only a new mop head.  Consider the gauntlet thrown, dear readers!  (If, by the way, you take me up on this challenge, I will require a proof of purchase and cash register receipt with your credit card info x-ed out.  What will you win, you ask?  Well, I do have this terrier that looks like Sam Elliot.)

As I was shopping for large quantities of bottled water for my daughter's rescheduled party (yes, I'm aware that bottled water is evil.  Not Dark Side evil, but pretty close.  I'm sure this won't be the final straw in failing my Jedi training.), when I decided to look for underwear and pajamas and rain gear for the kids.  Say what you will about big box stores - and I've railed against Walmart (sorry, sweet niece if you're reading) - but I'm a sucker for Target's kid clothes. 

The following is what happened:

  • I trolled the aisles of the girls section for pajamas.  I didn't find anything springy or cheap enough (because I'm a skinflint, people), but I did hold up a pair of XL fleece pants and considered buying them for myself.  They were too big.
  • I wandered into the little kids section even though technically my kids are too big/old/mature for these clothes.  Here, I found the perfect summer beach dress for my daughter, who at 9 can still wear a size 5 because she is my reincarnated mother (who only weighed over 100 when she got pregnant).  Then, I noticed how many dresses I adored in the little kids section and even muttered to myself, 'That.  Is.  So.  Cute.'  At which point, nervous parents scooted away from me and held their babies closer.  Mind you, I wasn't looking objectively at these garments for my own kids.  I wasn't hypothesizing that these outfits would look mah-velous on that baby my husband wants me to have that is never going to happen.  I was looking at them with this going on in my head:  'Hey.  That would look awesome on me!'
Here's what I'm talking about, lest you think I actually was sane:

You know I could work this.

I like to draw shit.

Totally adorable for a middle-aged mom.

Weeeeeeeeeeee!

I like to wear cliches on my sleeve, or chest.
So, maybe you don't think that's too crazy.  You are a dear.  Thank you.

Then I saw this.

Damn, baby, who's taking YOU to the Oscars?
That is a dress for an infant.  And I want it.  If a baby can show off her chunky upper arms, why can't I?

This became a sobering moment for me.  I realized that a.) I don't often buy new clothing for myself and that b.) I want to dress like a toddler.  When my husband took his current job as a college administrator, my first thought was damn, I do not dress like a dean's wife.  I cannot attend cocktail parties with the other spouses.  You're going stag, dear.  Now, my husband wears his red Chucks to work with a blazer and a sweater, so he also dresses like a toddler.

Once I realized that my fashion sense stopped at Garanimals, I left the Target baby section, checked out and bought myself a Tall Mocha at the Starbucks counter to feel just slightly more like an adult.

It didn't work.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

And in the end . . . I still can't write a decent ending

I've been thinking a lot about endings after this whole Downton Abbey boondoggle.  (Let it go, Amy.  Shhhh, baby.  It'll be okay.)  Yes, the ending of Matthew and the third season set off mean, angry firecrackers in my brain, but surprise, that wasn't the first time I reacted passionately to an ending.

  • 1984 (the novel, not the film) - Finished it on the yellow shag carpeting of my high school bedroom and threw the book across the room, hitting the picture of Bob Geldolf on my closet door.  My husband looked incredulous when I told him this.  'What?  You thought it was going to be a happy ending?'  No.  Maybe.  Shut up.  My first realization that I was an idealist and snark is just a front for a very sensitive heart.
  • The Piano - Okay, the ending is left up to viewer interpretation.  Did she die or didn't she?  Two endings.  Which is real?  No matter, I wept like a baby for two hours afterwards, freaking out my then-boyfriend until he finally ignored me and went to sleep.  Fun side note: this movie affected me so profoundly I tried to write my first Master's thesis on it (and a slew of other films/novels), but it became too personal, so I dropped out of the program for 5 years.  Did I mention how sensitive I am?
  • Short Cuts - I love Robert Altman movies, especially with big ensemble casts, especially Edwardian dramas like Gosford Park (and it all comes back to Downton Abbey), but Short Cuts was so cynical I thought I was going to charge the screen back in 1993.  Okay, I get it, it's an homage to Raymond Chandler, as well as an adaptation of his stories.  Yep, Chandler was a twisted old fart.  I like twisted, I do.  I take my kids to the Zombie Walk every year and my husband and I like to quote the David Sedaris essay about the unflushable turd on a regular basis; however, I resist hopelessness and this film, dear readers, was hopeless.  There wasn't one redeemable character, not one.  Well, maybe Ann Archer, but this film obviously didn't do anything for her career.  The ending was so bleak, so mean-spirited and hostile, I really needed a group hug afterwards.
  • Six Feet Under - Here's a case where I actually loved the sad ending.  If you haven't watched the series, I don't want to spoil it for you, but I'm going to if you keep reading.  That said, it's still worth watching up to the end.  I appreciate shows that end tongue-in-cheek, a la Newhart (one of the best endings EVER!) and not so much St. Elsewhere, and more recently 30 RockSix Feet Under wasn't so much tongue-in-cheek as it was complete.  The show was about death so no big surprise that the main character dies in the last episode.  Alan Ball could've left it there and really, we all expected it so it would've been fine.  What Ball did was take it 20 steps further and show every character's demise.  Every.  Single.  Character.  Whether it was violent or sudden or slow and of natural causes, we saw every death.  And some were even funny (Brenda's in particular, dying of boredom listening to her insane brother Billy ramble on).  All set against this Sia song that quite frankly stole my breath away.  As soon as the scene ended and the credits rolled, along with the tears rolling down my cheek, I believe I said something like this: "AGAIN!"  And I watched it all over again.  It was truly poetic and satisfying.

photo credit: http://www.aoltv.com/2005/08/22/six-feet-under-ten-fisher-family-future-details-you-didnt-see/
I've also been thinking about endings because it is the one thing I struggle with the most in my own writing.  Maybe you've noticed in my posts even.  I tend to end with a short jab or snarky remark.  It's a cop-out for a thoughtful ending and you, dear readers, deserve better than that!  My mentor commented on an essay I recently wrote and said, basically, it's ready to send out after you look at the ending.  I questioned her on this:  "What does the ending need?"  She couldn't tell me, but just said it was missing something.  And it is.  There is a lot of humor and gravitas in the essay, but then I slide into the final words with a question mark that denotes COP OUT.  I may as well be Julian Fellowes because I can't seem to conclude with a thoughtful, well-planned paragraph, something that isn't cloying or redundant, but provocative and satisfying.  Like the ending of Six Feet Under.  Something poetic.  Something like what The Beatles did at the end of Abbey Road.  "And in the end . . . the love you take is equal to the love you make."  Or something like that.  Apparently, McCartney was going for a Shakespearean couplet.  The meter is off, but I appreciate the concept.

When I teach my first year college students, I am honest with them as they complain about their concluding statements:  I hate writing them too, it's truly the hardest part of the paper.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Downton Abbey has lost it's center and why I freakin' care so much

SPOILER ALERT:  I'm discussing the season three finale of Downton Abbey.  Kate, catch me next go-round.

Why am I analyzing the season three finale of DA?  This isn't a pop culture blog, is it?  Well, I do like to compare my life to Edwardian dramas and John Hughes movies, so don't fence me in.

I'm compelled to analyze the "Christmas Special" DA because for one, what a lousy Christmas Special it must have been in Britain ("Happy Holidays!  Merry Chri -- oh bloody hell!"), and because it affected me more profoundly than I am proud to say.

For those in the know, read on.  For those who either don't watch the show and don't really care, it's up to you.  For those who are still on season one -- get a freakin' move on, people!

Typically, I don't watch much television and haven't in a long while.  I find one or two shows that speak to me, become fiercely attached to them, and wander around listlessly when they end or I manically watch the entire series on Netflix.  Do I sound like a Joss Whedon fan?  Hellz yes!  The story is that I decided to settle into Downton Abbey during the holidays because I needed some quiet time at the end of the day, my husband kept crashing early, and my puppy was a total freak for Maggie Smith.  Who knew?  So, I watched the first episode and then the second the next night, with trepidation.  I didn't want to like it and get drawn in like so many friends on Facebook.  But in the end, I'm a complete sucker for British costume dramas, what with their witty asides like "What is a week-end?" and  dastardly characters like Sarah O'Brien and Thomas Barrow and the grandeur of the setting, both the drawing rooms and the estate.  I love the period detail, too.  The bits of technology that creep into the traditional manor life, such as automobiles, telephones, and toasters, and the varied responses they elicit from the conservative butler, Mr. Carson, who looks on all innovation as if it were a threat, to young Sybil who sports pantaloons.

But let's be honest: it's the love story that kept us all coming back, right?  From the second episode, we realize that the eldest daughter, Mary, must marry a wealthy chap to keep her in the lifestyle to which she has grown accustomed.  And . . . we learn at the end of the very first episode that middle class lawyer and third cousin Matthew Crawley is to be the heir to the estate.  The two meet and instantly despise each other.  Viola, Sam and Dianne.  The will-they/won't-they tension lasted through scandal, blackmail, war, a ridiculously unbelievable war injury, and terrible engagements to other people (some, who conveniently wither away).  The point is, we rooted for Mary and Matthew to make it and finally, at the end of season two, they did!!!  The folks at Buzz Feed Shift really said it best: "You could eat ice cream while having an orgasm on a private island populated by adorable kittens, looking up at white doves flying above you in the shape of a heart, and it would be just about as satisfying as that scene of Mary and Matthew kissing and professing their love for each other in the snow."

Here's where folks who haven't seen the last show of season three need to deplane.  Bye, y'all.  Take some peanuts with you.

Okay, I get it.  Dan Stevens, the actor who plays Matthew, wanted to pursue other things.  He's on Broadway (a lifelong goal) and is producing and starring in an indie movie.  He has little kids and a wife.  He's reading 5,000 books to judge the Booker Prize and writes a column for the Telegraph.  (On second thought, I hate him.  Who, at age 30, gets to be that successful?)  I don't blame him, however.  Apparently, 1,000s of Downton fans are outraged by his decision and plan to boycott his movie.  Dude has to make a living, follow his dreams.  No, I'm not mad at Dan Stevens.  I am, however, pissed to no end at Julian Fellowes, the writer and creator of the series for killing off Matthew after finally meeting his son (and heir -- like I didn't see eminent death on the horizon when Mary presented the baby to her husband as "your son and heir.").  Really?  This is how you treat millions of fans who have been rooting for this obnoxious couple for three seasons?  Sure, you can kill off William, Lavinia, Lavinia's dad (we never met him), Ethel's scamp of a baby-daddy, and dear sweet Sybil (even though that was hard to bear, but well done and completely believable).  When I told my husband that now the series was treading into soap opera territory, he laughed as if to say, "NOW, it's a soap opera!  It has taken you three seasons to call it a soap opera!  Woman, you are thick!"

Truth is, I feel betrayed.  This isn't the show I signed up to watch.  Rumor has it Mary will have a new love interest and "not be alone for long," but fuck that.  I don't want to see her with anyone else!  I've invested three seasons to see her happily settled with Matthew.  She didn't deserve him and she got him anyway.  It made her a better person.  And he was bringing the family and the manor into the 20th century with his business sense.

I have no snarky caption because I'm weeping.  Weeping.

What do I wish had happened?  I'm glad you asked.  I wish Fellowes would have said, okay Stevens, you won't sign up for season four.  So be it.  The series will end with the birth of Mary and Matthew's baby boy.  Ta Da.  The end.  Plenty of fine shows have capped it with one or two seasons: Ricky Gervais is a master of this with two seasons of The Office and two seasons of Extras; Flight of the Conchords had a great two season run (though arguably could have ended it with one); and even though it was cancelled, Freaks and Geeks is one of the best one season shows of all time!  Three seasons is a great run.  Why not end on a happy note, the note that we have all been craving?  The writer in me is completely galled.  This is not a good story arc.  This is potentially a great example of jumping the shark.  Northern Exposure immediately came to mind as I threw my remotes at the television screen.  Why would anyone want to watch what happens in Cicely, Alaska after Joel left?  He was the main reason the show existed!  He was the unlikely protagonist, the stranger in a strange land!  Well, guess what?  So was Matthew Crawley.  He was the unlikely heir to Downton Abbey.  What is the point of the show now?  I believe it has lost it's center. 


I can't explain why this has bothered me, disappointed and depressed me, so deeply.  It's a bit embarrassing really.  My husband feels the need to remind me that the characters aren't real.  "He's really okay," he told me worrying that I thought Dan Stevens really died in a freak car accident.  Then he started telling me that a car accident of this nature would have been unlikely because cars at that time didn't go very fast . . . YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT!  Yep, I was distraught and distracted (nothing new there, but worse) all day yesterday.  I don't take betrayal lightly.  It nags at me.

Friends of mine disagree with me, but that's fine.  I'll hold my grudge against Fellowes and return to the series next year just like I first began watching it, tentatively noncommittal.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy birthday, baby girl. Now stop being sick!

Today is my daughter's 9th birthday and I'm a-swirl of emotions.

9 - it's so on the cusp of puberty and yet so innocent and sweet an age.

It's also President's Day, but I'm not really feeling it.  Back to my daughter.

Friday night, I noticed that she looked peaked (do people still say that or have I been watching too much Downton Abbey.  The dickens you say!  There is no such thing as too much Downton Abbey!  And no, I haven't watched the season finale so please stop telling me what that bitch O'Brien did.  Tomorrow is fair game.).  Shake my head and clear it a bit.  Yes, she looked peaked.  I felt her forehead and she was pretty hot so I found the digital thermometer and stuck it under her arm expecting to discover I was over-reacting.  It read 101.6.  Friday night plans usually involve pizza and a Star Wars movie, but I felt 101.6 needed attention.  Surely we'd be the only ones at the Little Clinic and would be back in time to eat the dinner my husband was preparing.

We were fifth and last in line at the Little Clinic with a 50 minute wait.  Guess who had Doritos for dinner.  Not my daughter.

The nurse worked up my girl with the standard blood pressure and temperature check.  I still wasn't convinced it was worth the 50 minute wait, but the nurse said it could be an ear infection so we waited.  She popped in the ear thermometer and her eyes widened.  103.something.  "At that temperature, we usually send kids to the hospital."  Really?  My daughter was acting sluggish but not frighteningly so.  "I can check the other ear to see if it's a misreading."  Yes, please.  "103 in that ear, too."

I tamped down my fear and we wandered the aisles of Kroger for a suitable snack for the girl while we waited.  Please tell me it's an ear infection or tonsilitis or something that a.) isn't contagious and b.) can be treated with antibiotics.

When we finally saw the nurse practitioner at 8:00 pm (so much for a movie and pizza), she looked at my daughter's throat and said the tonsils were swollen, but not too bad.  Ears looked good.  Let's swab for the flu.

Damnit.  The flu.  I forgot to get everyone shots this year.  In fairness, the news reports have indicated that so many people are getting it regardless of the vaccines, I haven't known whether it was worth the effort.  I also just forgot.

The NP swabbed my girl's nose and caused significant discomfort, so she nestled in my lap while we waited for the results.  8 long minutes later we discovered that she had the flu.  Strain B. 

"Here's the thing," I told the NP, "she has her birthday party tomorrow."

"She's not having that.  She needs to be in bed in a room alone and quarantined for 5-7 days."

I'm not sure my girl was taking any of this in.  I tend to be a bit of an alarmist, but this seemed pretty 19th century.  You're telling me I have to ruin my daughter's birthday party AND keep her isolated on her actual birthday and beyond?  Seriously?!  Then the guilt flooded in.  I started panicking.  All of this was my fault for not getting her the shot.  The NP told me that if she started wheezing and having difficulty breathing or her temperature spiked again to rush her to the hospital (where, I was convinced she'd contract pneumonia and be strapped to a ventilator.  Perhaps, I have watched too much Downton Abbey after all.  Thoughts of poor annoyingly sweet Lavinia filled my head.).  We left the clinic and crossed the store to the pharmacy where I was told that they didn't have the Tamiflu in stock and I'd have to drive to another store to pick it up in the next 20 minutes before the pharmacy closed.  And while I struggled to hold it together, my daughter collapsed into sobs against my hip.  Nothing like ruining your very sweet and painfully good daughter's birthday.

Oh, Mama, if only you had gotten me the flu shot.  Why are you such a selfish, horrid mother?


Later that night I woke with a panicked start worrying about my daughter.  I crept to her bed and checked her breathing, felt her cheeks, even crawled into bed with her for 10 minutes until I realized how bad an idea that was.  Then, I fell deeper into panic and realized the best thing I could do was take a Benedryl and get some rest.  So I did.  Judge me.

Here's the good news:
  • My daughter is 100% symptom-free on her actual birthday and back in school, where she wants to be because she is perfect.
  • We can reschedule the party, hopefully as soon as this weekend.
  • No one else in the household (knock wood) contracted the flu.
  • Strain B is not as bad as the other strains.
  • We caught the symptoms early and the Tamiflu worked.
  • Now I can focus on that awkward birds-and-the-bees conversation I had planned to have with my daughter.
As one of my Facebook friends reminded me, it's the last of the single-digit birthdays.


And now for a little Downton levity:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2061264/Downton-Abbey-stars-ditch-pinafores-gowns-festive-photoshoot.html
Is it me, or does Joanne Froggatt always look a little TOO giddy?

Photo credit for Lavinia: (although I'm not sure it's the original source: http://oncemorewithgeekery.blogspot.com/2012/01/downton-abbey-25-sticky-wickets.html)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

All Cows Eat Grass

Remember how my daughter had a tantrum the other day at the piano?  Remember that?  I'm not sure you felt the all-out flailing and sliding down the piano bench or the frantic sobbing.  It was a sad scene, but also a frustrating one.  Unfortunately, I've become accustomed to these outbursts.  They happen when my almost-nine-year-old is tired and being asked to do something new.

I also completely understand the anguish because my daughter is basically tiny me with straight hair and balance.

I think - and remember, I am not a licensed counselor but I am married to one - that as a child I overcompensated for my inattention by being the best at everything.  Except sports.  I could not catch a ball without injury and was consequently the last one picked for most sports teams.  But with school and art and music, sometimes theater, I aimed to excel.  I have a distinct memory of sitting on the roof of my house as a teenager working my ass off trying to figure out a chemistry problem.  It just wasn't going into my brain.  (I sat on the roof for minimal distractions.) Finally, I had to draw electrons and protons to make sense of what I was doing.  I didn't throw a tantrum like my daughter, but I did  feel like I needed to get it right and was damned sure I wasn't getting off that roof until it happened.  Why?  Because my entire self-worth revolved around being smart, getting things right.

My daughter has a similar anxiety.  She has to get the piano piece right the first time or she falls to pieces.  Never mind that rarely does she stop to figure out the notes.  She looks at the piece one time and then tries to memorize it.  It's a coping mechanism because I think after three years of lessons, she still isn't sure that Every Good Boy Does Fine.


Perfectionism + Anxiety + ADD + Overcompensating + Coping Mechanisms = I'm moving out when my daughter is in high school.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Enjoying My Coffee

This may sound like a complete no-brainer to "intelligent" people, but did you know that coffee can upset the stomach a wee bit?  I have a serious coffee habit - really, it's my only vice.  I also have a chronic gastrointestinal syndrome called Crohn's Disease.  It's an auto-immune disease where basically (fun stuff) my body attacks itself thinking that my intestines are evil Sith overlords trying to repress the rebel forces.  (Sorry, just finished the original Star Wars trilogy with the kids.) Imagine my distress when I finally made the coffee-hurts-guts connection.  I believe you can call this intense denial.  I've probably had Crohn's since I was a teenager; diagnosed right before my wedding at age 30 (one day you can read my memoir about this terrific time period); plied with pills for 15 years (6 a day right now, which is better than the 9 a day I used to take); and still, terribly symptomatic.  You know that scary lady at Party City or Target dropping sulphur stink bombs and pretending nothing is wrong?  That was me.  Still, I have to have my 3 cups a day.  Hell, I'm drinking a cup right now!  But some time this week I had an epiphany.  It went something like this:

Maybe coffee is hurting my gut. 

And then:

Nah.

And then I had to rush to the bathroom for the 123rd time that morning.

And then:

Maybe coffee is hurting my gut.

Followed by:

Damn, my coffee went cold.  Better top off that baby and zap it for 40 secs.

So, last night, out of curiosity and searing pain, I went to the trusty interwebs and Googled "Coffee and Crohn's."  Guess what?  Most doctors suggest Crohn's patients abstain from all caffeinated food products including coffee, decaf coffee (because it still has caffeine, stupid decaf), and (kill me) chocolate. 

This is freakishly cruel for the following list of reasons:

First off, I barely drink alcohol and I don't smoke and I don't do recreational drugs so give a lady a break!

Secondly, I have ADD.  Guess what's in every ADD medication?  You got it: caffeine.

Third, I'm prone to migraines.  Yes, I truly am a sad sack of symptoms.  Want to know what I take to make the migraine go away?  You guessed it: caffeine.

With Valentine's Day around the corner, I really don't want to receive a gift of sugarless gum instead of the best chocolate creams available in town (can I get a what-what, Dundee Candy Store).

I own this thanks to lebowskifest.com

And this is my Facebook profile photo

Coffee and chocolate have seen me through so many hard and happy times.  My entire courtship with with my husband revolved around coffee shops ("We met at Starbucks. Not at the same Starbucks but we saw each other at different Starbucks across the street from each other."), coffee walks in the park, and gifts of chocolate shaped like Homer Simpson.

Dude, I'm not going to go down quietly. 

Hold that thought.  I need to top off my coffee.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cameos in The Hobbit

This is for Kate @ Nested:

Bret McKenzie is very pretty

And this one is for her too:

So, there isn't a photo of him as a blonde elf online.  I guess he wants to keep the magic a secret.
Photo credits: http://lotrconfessions.tumblr.com/post/12076137426/it-honestly-makes-me-really-happy-that-figwit-has
http://sciencefiction.com/2012/12/07/stephen-colbert-interviews-peter-jackson-and-other-cast-members-during-hobbit-week/

The OCD in me

Did you notice that I'm still tooling around with my header?  Why?  Because I'm slightly OCD, apparently.  This is what I do instead of sleep.  And when I try to sleep, it's what's on my mind.  Basically, it was a problem and I'm a problem solving kinda nut.  When I couldn't get the banner to stretch across the entire blog, I set out to make it work.  I also was only half-hearted on the last attempt and I love an excuse to play with PicMonkey. 

What's PicMonkey, you say?  Rabbit hole, dear readers, rabbit hole.

PicMonkey is Photoshop for the poor and impatient.  Want to add text to a photo or put your head on someone else's body but don't want to go about "learning" how to do it with an expensive program like Photoshop?  PicMonkey is your friend.  Another good one is Fotoflexor.

I also received virtual help with layout from The Capital Carley, who has a tutorial that is to-the-point and easy to follow.  I found the free fonts at Kevin & Amanda who, by the way, will convert your own handwriting into fonts . . . for free!  No shizzle.  If you feel so inclined, you can leave a Pay Pal donation.  I'm totally doing this because one of my secret dreams is to design silly cards for friends and family.

In other news, this happened this morning:

Peace at last (or at least no biting in the face)

So, things are looking up in ADD-ville.

Now I'm going to take myself off-line to focus on the rest of my life because guess what, I haven't opened that Organize Now! book since January 1 and it sits on top of my clutter mocking me.

Must you mock me so blatantly?

Please give me feedback on the header.  Not just praise.  I'm tough.  I can take criticism.  As Jemaine Clement says,


photo credit: http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/567400/Conchords-comedian-shows-sci-fi-side-video

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Heathens craft too

Here's where I turn away half of my readership.

But first, a confession.  I like . . . crafts.  I'm not great at crafting because of the ADD.  Picture this: my "art" table, strewn with half-finished projects from three years ago that I would've hung in my toddler's room. Said toddler is now 6 and has moved on from liking Thomas the Tank Engine through Cars 2 (thank the mighty George Lucas) straight through The Avengers and into Star Wars.  My project is moot.  So, I get distracted.  I also get frustrated.  I can overwork a craft so much I have to throw the whole damn thing away.  Still there is something about getting paint all over my hands that is gratifying.

I am a snark monster who loves construction paper hearts, fancy bunting banners, and fonts that look like a middle schooler wrote them, complete with smilely-face dots for the i.

It's a weird dichotomy, I'll admit.  Weirder: I troll craft blogs to find free downloads or purchase digital scrapbook paper, where I always, ALWAYS find a nice bible quote.  (See, there goes half my readers.  Bye-bye.  It was nice while it lasted.)  So here's my question: What does the bible have to do with putting a shabby chic digital frame around my kids' picture?  I'm not dissing religion or anyone's love of Proverbs, I'm just not making the connection.  One blogger's profile described her as a mom of two squirrley children, a self-taught scrapbook artist, and a fan of Jesus Christ.  Okay, I may have made some of that up, but it was pretty close to that. 

As someone who doesn't follow any religious faith, who is (what the?) a mom, and likes to glue crap on paper, is there a resource for me out there in the blogosphere?  If not, I'm going to start a Surly Secular Mothers Making Crap blog and you're all going to follow me, right?

Amy Sedaris has right the idea:


Saturday, February 2, 2013

I'm a Versatile Blogger, y'all

Imagine my surprise when a reader of mine - fabulous writer and blogger, Lynn @ www.lynnefavreau.com, nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award!  Are you imagining it?  It goes something like this: "What? How lovely! What does that mean? Who cares, I won a virtual blog award!"

Thank you, Lynn Favreau, for your kind words about my blog, for this honor, for following a newbie, and for writing from the heart.  You are a courageous woman who walks it like she talks it.  I think we'd have a fun coffee date if only you lived closer.  Or, if you're going to BlogHer this summer in Chicago (hint, hint).

The Rules for the Versatile Blogger

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site.
  2. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.
  3. Nominate 7 fellow bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and include a link to their site.
  4. Let them know you have nominated them
  5. Share 7 random facts about you
My Nominations for Versatile Blogger
  1. Kate @ Nested (My funny friend who compares her hostile uterus to Lord of the Rings)
  2. AshleyRose @ My Year of Star Trek  (Do I need to explain how awesome this is?  Plus, she's a damn fine artist)
  3. Bev @ Black Ink Paperie (funny & poignant Canadian badass)
  4. Anna @ The Silent Isle (who can switch from lovely insight to good advice, re: don't buy meat from a van)
  5. Julie @ In Fine Company (for thoughtful ponderings on family, place, and sometimes recipes!) and A Thought Grows (for writerly goodness)
  6. Jennifer @ The Baking Life (who takes gorgeous photos of the amazing food she bakes)
  7. Robin @ Balls to the Wall (a writer and artist who I discovered through Pinning all the things and who makes me shake with laughter)

Seven Random Facts About Me:
  1. I have Crohn's Disease and sometimes this sucks.
  2. I wish I had gone to art school, but now that I'm in debt for my latest post-graduate degree, I realize that ship has sailed.
  3. I make art anyway, but due to the crazy-ass ADD, I move sloooooooooow and often don't finish what I start.
  4. I'm obsessed with the following in no particular order: Downton Abbey, photo editing freeware, chalkboard paint (I know, I know - I'm a trendy mo-fo), the color orange, handsome movie villains and cocky bad boys (Oh, Loki, I know you're crazy but can I play with your trident?).
  5. I'm a Bluegrass Jewgirl who doesn't find religion all that appealing.
  6. I lurve coffee ice cream but it pretty much thinks I'm a whore.
  7. I am one semester shy of finishing my MFA in writing, after which I will publish my witty ramblings and earn millions of pennies.

Friday, February 1, 2013

This is the post wherein I talk myself off the ledge

This is the post where my puppy bites my almost-six-year-old (whose birthday is tomorrow and having his first-ever sleepover) in the face.

This is also the post where the Huz hands me the puppy with a grimace and tells me to put her "somewhere" and that she isn't the right breed for our family.

This is also the post where I contact my trainer and she recommends a private session with her for $125 (which she'll reduce to $100).

This is post where I isolate the puppy in a gated room and she barks incessantly during my almost-six-year-old's first-ever sleepover.

This is the mother who is trying to keep calm and carry on, but really wants to throw a puppy out the window.

This is the mother who soothed her almost-six-year-old son with an ice pack and cuddles and determined that he was only bruised.

This is the mother whose daughter was bitten in the face by a dog as a baby.

Both dogs were terriers.

This is the post where I breathe in, notice my kids and friends are engrossed in video games while I click away on my lap top.

This is the post where I decide I don't care if we're all dominated by technology because the puppy is finally quiet and I didn't throw her out the window.

original photo: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/how_to_stop_barking.html