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Month: August 2006

Huffington Me, baby

Huffington Me, baby

Today is going to be busy, busy, busy!  So, if you are looking for something new, go check out my essay over at The Huffington Post. I am thrilled that I have something over there.  I may just tattoo it on myself.  I can’t wait to write for them again.  (And it is soon, my friends! I will let you know the exact date when I have it.)

Oh, and I will have an essay up at Mommybloggers, too.

AND you know you want to go to Aggroqueen and cheer me on!

But because I want you to enjoy yourself HERE, I am totally swiping this video from sweetney because you may have missed it on her blog.  But because I am putting it here, you need to go over to her blog and say HOWDY!  (Not hi or hello or hey….howdy!) Because I adore her and she kissed my cheek at BlogHer so I am never washing it again and she makes me laugh and…well, she just ROCKS.

Courtesy of sweetney because she cares and feels it is important for you to understand that Women, you should know Your Limits!


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I have a new baby!

I have a new baby!

There is a new baby in my house.  Clint brought her home to me.  Talk about shocked.  I never in a million years expected it.  He came home a week ago and told me he needed me to help him get something out of his car.  I was oblivious to his game, so I hop up and go out to help.  He hands me a box and tells me to carry it in because it is mine.  Me?  Still clueless just stare at the box.

Huh?  What is it?

Clint tells me to look closer.

“It looks like a laptop box.  What’s in it?” (I am so smart…S-M-R-T)

He just stares at me blankly.  (As I AM so well known for being the queen of stupid questions.)

“Well, I hope it is the laptop I just got you.”

“Wha…?  I mean….. Huh?  You got a …..  It’s a….. The hell?” (I am also quite an eloquent speaker when I am stunned.) “What do you mean a laptop?  What for?  Who is it for?  What?  Huh?” All while I am hugging it to my chest in case he is telling the truth and then someone dares to take it from me.

I must’ve hugged that box for 15 minutes stating and restating the above.  Finally, he asked if I was going to open it. 

OHHHHH OPEN IT!  It is more than a BOX!  That is so cool.

Want to look at my new baby?  Her name is Avery.  She is so beautiful and fast and has a lot of space and is fast and is beautiful.

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So, I can work and be blissful as I work.  And, if I want to, I can even watch a DVD.  AND I can lick her and rub my breasts on her and not be kicked out of Fry’s for doing that!

Want to know what else she can do? Do you? Do you?  She can do this:

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Oh, yes, people!  I can play World of Warcraft on my freakin laptop.  The world is sweet.  Which means Aggroqueen, she can start kicking some blogging butt, baby!  (Which, by the way, you are going over there to check it out, right?  And you are leaving comments, right?  And you still love me, right?  I really don’t want to have to SHOW you why I chose the name AGGRO-queen, my friends.  Okay, I am all talk.  But really, I am lonely without you over there!)

I do so love Avery!  Email me.  Msg me.  Game me.  I want to play with her all day long and there is only so much “I am working” that I can do before I want to play, play, play!

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Bad boys, bad boys. Whatcha gonna do?

Bad boys, bad boys. Whatcha gonna do?

Sometimes when I have my nightly wanderings around due to insomnia and am usually subjected to the infomercials or crap on TV, it pays to find some excitement.  Imagine my surprise to look out my window and see not one, not two but THREE police cars with their lights on sitting directly in front of your house. Especially, when just last week we had the fun experience of this:

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Of course, this time it was a bit scarier seeing as there was an SUV parked a house over across the street with the door open and a “suspect” cuffed and cops yelling at him to stop with the bullshit.  Oh yeah, time for that “I am so tired I will certainly sleep well now” mood to be smashed as the adrenaline flows.  Being who I am marched up and respectfully asked the cop the furthest away from the “action” if “Excuse me but could you possibly tell me what the hell is going on in front of my house.” All I got was, “Things are fine.  But please go back inside and lock your door.” Ohhhhh, things are fine. Lock your door.  I feel much better now.  Thank you.

Oh yeah, I am going to sleep really well tonight.  With the Doberbutt right by my side.  He will gnaw the face off of anyone who tries to get into this house uninvited.image

Gotta love Suburban Stepford at night.  Don’t fuck with Stepford. Our cops don’t take it lightly.

But, hey, you got a good entry out of it, right? 

Now, let’s see what happened on Big Brother All Stars or Days of Our Lives.  Hell, everything that happens in Salem is worse than here.  At least I don’t have Stefano coming back to torture me.  (Got an inside scoop at BlogHer that he is coming back.)

So, how was your night?

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I never said I was nice

I never said I was nice

Last night was the open house for the Hair Violating Son.  However, the Hair Violator was too sick to go.  (More on that later.) So, Clint and I headed off to the school to meet the teachers and do the whole Open House thing. While going from one class to another, we ran into the Dean of All Things Hair.  She was sitting on the bench outside her office.  So, I walked up to her, placed my hand on her shoulder and with my “Southern Smile” asked her, “Are you sitting here for a hair violation?” (Yes.  Yes, I did.)

I took that opportunity to introduce her to Clint.  It was then that she opened the door for me to walk right in.

Dean:  “Brandon has been doing so much better the past few days with his hair.  I am so proud of how he is doing.”

Me:  “Well, I have been letting him do his own thing this week…”

Clint: “…since he has been home sick all week.”

You gotta love the tag team sarcasm.  Being together 20 years, we didn’t even miss a beat there.

She just kept her kumbaya smile and began to talk about new projects that she thinks Brandon would be great for when he is back and feeling better.  We pretty much nodded, smiled and walked away.

Perfect.

But, hey, at least she is in touch with the students, right?  Gah!

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Hair raising confrontation

Hair raising confrontation

Bad, bad blogger for not updating you on the Hair Fiasco.  So here’s the scoop.

Friday morning I dressed to the nines to make sure I looked like someone that had places to go and people to deal with in order to not be blown off as non-Stepford in the world of Stepford.  I took the advice given and decided to go in with an open mind.  (Or at least do my best to fake it.) My son was suddenly freaked out that his mother would make a scene.  (Who me?) To be perfectly honest, I was just not up for a fight but more than that, I just didn’t feel that I should drop it, either.

I dropped of Brandon in order to not humiliate him by having a MOM at the SCHOOL.  After parking, I went in armed with my copy of the Student Handbook and a notebook.  “To take notes.” When I got to the office and asked for the Dean, I went through the typical “Do you have an appointment?” Of course, I answered, “No, but she will see me.  I can wait.” It was less than a minute or so before the Dean was standing behind me, all smiles and rah rah.  Walking to her office, I saw THREE kids outside.  For HAIR violations.  [insert eyeroll here] Those kids opened that door wide open for me to barge on in with my, “Surely you are not serious with this ridiculousness” speech.  She took the approach of “If I smile and keep telling her I am on her side and we are in this together, then she won’t be mad.” I took the approach of, “I will smile but think of this as a dog baring her teeth.”

The deal with not having a policy in the Handbook was solved immediately when she handed me a sheet of paper with the new rules that “went out to everyone this summer.” Of course, it was the first I had seen it. The rule states among things prohibited are:  “Anything that impairs vision (Hair or clothing)” So, since it is an addendum to policy I had to take another approach.

That approach was to basically raise hell (with a smile) that I was NEVER contacted about this and “isn’t that rather ridiculous” and “how is that teamwork” and “shouldn’t parents be made aware of such a “horrendous violation that much seriously impair every aspect of learning”?  She claimed it was her bad in not calling me.  (DUH!) and then went on with the kumbaya attitude.

Let me pause here to remind you (or tell you if you are not familiar with) a saying from the South.  (I may be paraphrasing, but you get the idea here.) “A Southern woman can look at you with a smile on her face, tell you to eat shit and you will walk away with a spoon feeling as if you were just complimented.” Maybe it is the Southern drawl of just the way we were raised, but trust me, it works.  I have lived in the South all of my life and have it down to an art form.  It came in handy here.

After knowing that I couldn’t fight the policy or the lack of a phone call (which I did get very angry about), I could put her on the spot with specifics.

“Exactly how long is too long?’

“Where can it fall on his face?”

“What about length in the back?’

“Color?  Is there a color policy?”

“What about mohawks?  I see nothing about mohawks?”

“Is this applied to girl as well?”

On and on it went until we were down to the EXACTS as I wrote them down.  I am sure she made them up as she went, but I have them in writing.  Then I turned to her with my Southern smile and asked, “Do you really feel this is important, I mean the MOST important issue here when this school has the worst reputation for sexual promiscuity in the district and is only a middle school, as well as having girls who dress as if their second job must be on a street corner somewhere?  Because I pick my son up everyday and I see the way the kids are dressing and their hair.  I could pull 30 out just during pick up time alone that you would have to focus on.  Is that your priority here over education?’ (See?  Southern smile and drawl but total eat shit moment.)

She stammered and said she was cracking down on “all of that” and thank you for bringing it to her attention.  (Translation:  “Bitch Mom can you leave now?”)

We talked a bit more about how to get the kids more involved in school clubs and activities.  You should be proud, I did not even throw up in my own mouth at all!  (Okay a little, but not much.)

I mentioned some issues with teachers and we spoke about –shocking I know–education.  We talked about EDUCATION at a SCHOOL.  I know, it pales in comparison to HAIR, but I thought maybe there might be an interest.  *eyeroll*

The bottom line is that if he pulls the hair out of his eyes, he is fine.  And it turns out he didn’t have to serve his ISS-lunch afterall.  Which says so much more than if he had to.  The Mom who makes the most noise, gets the attention?  Absofreakinridiculous!

And for the record we have not and have no plans to cut his hair.

She drew a line in the sand and I plan on keeping my toes right there on the edge.  Let’s get real, people. It’s HAIR!

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Ayun and the Mamalama Ding Dong tour bus pull up for some coffee

Ayun and the Mamalama Ding Dong tour bus pull up for some coffee

imageIt is not often that I will find a person, place or thing to gush about.  Okay, I gush alot, but you totally need to understand that this particular gushfest involves a role model, a person I admire more than coffee (yes, that much) and a woman who took time out of a hectic publishing schedule to answer the questions of a wanna-be, naive author who had nothing to lose by bombarding her with questions.  Who am I talking about?  Why the amazing, cooler than cool, badder than bad Ayun Halliday.  (Ayun as is rhymes with ray gun, just so you know.) I will admit that I pretended to be all cool when she asked me to be on her virtual bok tour, but that lasted about 5 seconds before I fainted, came to and emailed her back an emphatic YES.  I have admired her for years, so it was a no brainer.

To celebrate the UK release of her book Mama Lama Ding Dong:  A Mother’s Tales From the Trenches (The Big Rumpus in the United States) she called upon several bloggers to host her tour bus for a day.  Today is my day, so pull up a cozy chair, grab a drink and sit back while I completely gush about this amazing woman and her writing.  (If you are not familiar with her, check out this interview to get to know her a bit better and then check out her website.  While you are there, sign up for The East Village Inky.  You will thank yourself (and me!) if you do!  We’ll wait here and braid each other’s hair until you get back.)

Back?  Good.  Now, let each of us Dare to be Heinies and dish about the book.

When I first read this description of motherhood in the chapter, “The Daily Grind”, I nearly wept with the realization that someone else not only felt this but ADMITTED it :

The pain of childbirth is a white hot constellation of torture, almost impossible to describe, remember impressionistically at best.  It inspires respect.Taking care of the little criminals day in and day out is another matter. Cutting their food into crouton-size cubes, wiping their spills and their heinies, washing their hair, forcing them to give the ball back, maneuvering them through the grocery store, clearing their mouths of golf balls, dice and Monopoly houses, goading them to pick up their toys, strapping them into the car seats they loathe, reading those hideous Richard Scarry books incessently…that’s like being eaten alive by ants.  Not even red ants, just the regular ones.

I fell in love as I read that passage and realized someone “got it” and was brave enough to put it out there.  I cheered her on while pretending silently that I loved the daily drudgery and didn’t feel frustration because that is what you do in Stepford.  In the coolness that is her New York neighborhood, you can say things like that.

imageHowever, when I read her exerpt on lice–the FIRST time–I laughed.  Oh, how horrible!  That is hysterical!  I cannot imagine! That was before my daughter had brought home lice.  When I came to that point in mamalama dingdong, there was no laughing.  I screamed, threw the book and began to weep before I remember that at one point I laughed.  Obviously if Ayun can laugh about the horror, I could try.

She writes: 

“Head lice were outed on the children’s program Arthur this year in an effort to de-stigmatize the problem. I guess I’m glad that lice have hit the mainstream, thought what’s next for Arthur and his pals? Heroin addiction?”

I for one was thrilled to read of the horror she described just to know that a bad-ass mom like Ayun could be infected with the dreaded lice, then a Stepford mom like myself, surely would not be immune. 

I wish I could quote this whole book to you, but that would be silly (and plagarism!).  I mean, you WANT your own copy.  You really do!  I have a copy if both The Big Rumpus (so dog eared it needs tape to hold it together) and Mama Lama Ding Dong.  I love them both!  (Okay, they are the same book with different names and different colors, but it feels so new and fresh to pretend that I am just now discovering the amazing Ayun Halliday.

Ayun is the kind of author who makes you feel as if you are sitting there with her sharing stories over a cup of coffee.  A woman you want to make your personal friend.  By simply reading her books, your cool factor is bumped up at least a notch or two.  She is just that good!  But don’t take my word for it, go get a copy of Mama Lama Ding Dong:  A Mother’s Tales From the Trenches (The Big Rumpus title=”The Big Rumpus”>The Big Rumpus in the United States) and laugh yourself into a new friendship with an amazing woman and mom!

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