Too many mental tabs open today.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Be Back Soon

Next week!!!

D, K and I are about to embark on our Mexican adventure. That sounds more exotic than saying we are leaving to relax at a beautiful resort, it will be an adventure though. Seven straight days of non stop togetherness with no phone calls or emails interrupting the fun. Seven straight days of meals served to us without a dish to wash or fish to fry (I actually don't fry anything, but it sounded cool). Seven straight days of someone else making my bed and cleaning my bathroom. Seven straight days of not worrying about my diet or not drinking because I have to drive. Seven straight days of NOT DRIVING!!! Wow, for a while yesterday I was worried I'd be bored being away for a week now I can't wait.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. We'll be doing our best to stay out of trouble (as well as the sun) and to make the most of our time away. I have a few books that have been waiting patiently for me and I'm looking forward to fulfill their destiny. Hopefully I'll come back refreshed, recharged and ready to tackle the summer with K.

Let the wild rumpus start!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why you need a vacation

We're going on vacation tomorrow, first one in a long time. At least one that isn't an oblication (a phrase I coined after one too many family visits). I'm thrilled to be getting away for a whole week of R and R but am utterly exhausted by the preparation for it. Besides making sure we have everything we need like clothing, sunscreen, medication (just in case) first aid (because I know my daughter), reading material, stocked iPods, cute bathing suits (that's just me) and comfy shoes (so NOT me) I need to make sure we are safe. I know I'm overly protective here but we're going to a place that has been hit with incidents. When I found out we were landing at night I went ballistic. I insisted D call the resort and secure a shuttle for us. I've been to parts of Mexico already, I know the annoyance of dealing with transportation to the resorts. I actually felt kinda sick until I saw the email from the resort guaranteeing our ride. That helped.

Today K and I went for mani/pedis, a vacation must, who wants yucky hands and feet while traveling? We also picked up a few last minute things like beach shoes for me, when I purged my closet a few months ago I got rid of all my old shoes. I also needed shorts. I hate shorts and prefer skirts but decided to try to find some, Old Navy is perfect for this. I also got a casual dress to wear over swimsuits. I can pretty much tell you now that I will be living in this dress the whole week. K got another pair of flip flops. I swear that girl has a pair for every day. Her orange and green toes look very cute in her new bright pink flip flops, didn't we used to call them thongs? All of my new beachy shoes look cute with the bright pink toes I am sporting, K loves to pick out my color and she chose well this time.

We came home and started pulling clothes, actually I pulled clothes and K put her plane bag together. I wish I knew what her thought process was, the things she deems as necessities baffle me. After we discussed the reasons she didn't need 10 dry erase markers and doll shoes I filled it with Junnie B Jones books, a journal, her iPod and some markers. I have a feeling she won't use any of this stuff anyway, we are also bringing the ultimate babysitter.

People keep asking me what we have planned during our stay and I tell them nothing. No running around from tourist trap to silly trinket markets, we'll be lounging by the pool, playing in the giant water part our resort has, running on the beach (OK, playing on the beach), and eating, lots and lots of eating. I'm glad my vacation wardrobe is elastic. I'm actually pretty proud of my suitcase ready-pile, so is D, I'm bringing a few skirts, tanks and some dresses (and of course swimsuits and shoes) not only a tiny amount of clothing but tiny items of clothing. I better make sure I don't eat too much or I'll be coming home in an oversize t-shirt.

Oh yeah, no wi-fi at the hotel which means no Facebook, no email, no texting and NO BLOGGING! I'm pretty bummed about the last one, I've managed to have some sort of entry for every day since I started this. The resort does have a computer center so if I am totally jonesing for the interwebs I'll be able to get a quick fix. A whole week without online ranting might do permanent damage to my psyche. I will have my iPhone because it is now my iPod, if I get really desperate at least I'll have that. Just don't tell D, I'll worry about that when the bill comes in, or when he reads this, whichever comes first.

I'll say my goodbyes tomorrow so for now adios!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rock Star!

Rock Star (film): Audition for Steel Dragon

I love the movie Rock Star and not just because Marky Wahlberg is so cute. Isn't is every music lover's dream to be chosen as the lead singer (or guitar player, drummer, whatever) of the band they love? I have these fantasies daily, too bad I can't sing or play an instrument. I guess that's why I love this movie, besides Marky Mark of course. I get to live vicariously as Chris the lead singer of a Steel Dragon tribute band becomes Izzy the lead singer for real. It's just good unclean fun, until it falls apart of course.

Last week I told D that I wanted to see this movie again and today it was on and uncut, so I got to see it without commercials and all the language and sex. Cool. I did have to endure Jennifer Aniston but Mark makes it worth it. This clip is when Chris (Wahlberg) is called to audition for Steel Dragon, he really is adorable.

Rock on!

\m/ \m/

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I went back to the dentist today, usually that would be followed by a :( but today it can be a ! I finally got the temp thing replaced by the permanent one and it feels so much better. Last week when they had to cancel my appointment I was bummed. I got a call on Friday letting me know there was a cancellation and I could come in on Tuesday, cool, I figured I would drop K off with D and not have to worry, I'd just have to drive to Hollywood and then again to get her. On Monday I got an email from one of K's friend's mom, she wanted to know if I could drop K off for a playdate. Perfect, their house was on the way to my dentist, I dropped her off and told her I'd be back at 2:00PM

I thought this appointment would be quick and I'd have time to get a latte and maybe do some shopping, I mean why not, K was occupied right? I got to the office early and had to wait, glad I brought my book. Then I waited some more. When he finally entered the room I was half asleep. He immediately went to work without the Novocaine, I preferred not to have it unless it was necessary, last time it made me feel awful when it wore off. He fitted and tweaked for over an hour until he was sure the fit was right and then he made sure some more. Usually I just do whatever it takes to get out regardless of the outcome. This time I wanted to make sure it was perfect and I didn't just say it felt perfect when it wasn't. Even the dentist was surprised.

I guess when you finally get over a fear it takes you to the opposite end of that spectrum. I am now obsessed with teeth and have already made an appointment for my next cleaning. The dreams about teeth falling out and being ambushed to see a dentist have stopped. The anxiety I had when I saw the dentist's number on my caller ID is now gone, and I actually return the calls when I get them. Shocker.

This applies to other areas as well. I never liked dropping K off at playdates, especially when it was with the nanny but I realized that wasn't fair to K who wasn't able to do the things she wanted because of my paranoia. Even when the worst does happen: The very first time I dropped K off at a birthday party I was a wreck, we left her at her friend E's house and the parents took the kids horseback riding. I had to sign a waiver stating I would not sue if she fell of the horse. Awesome. After the ride they were going to dinner and K would be dropped off at home. I waited all day for a phone call, I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen. I never got a call. When the party was over and E's mom brought K home she told us that K had fallen on a table during dinner and her mouth was bleeding, they put ice on it and she was OK. I looked at saw her gum was red and she said her tooth hurt. Crap. I knew, just knew that her tooth was fractured and that it would eventually start to turn blue. This would freak any mom out, for sure, for me it freaked me out for a number of reasons. First, I hate to think that my child was in pain, second, I knew this would happen if I let her go somewhere without me and third, she's a model, she cannot have a blue tooth. What happened? Her tooth felt better in a few days, the tooth did turn blue because it was fractured, no real harm was done and she still booked jobs. The tooth is now back to normal and I don't freak out when dropping her off somewhere.

I guess all my phobias are somehow related to teeth.

K and I can both say cheese now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Driving Miss Crazy Part III, the final chapter

OK, I really thought I was trying to be better about my issues with the roads of Los Angeles. I've been leaving early, taking maps, water and snacks for K, anything that eliminates the angst I get when our commute goes wrong. Today the only thing that could have helped me was a helicopter but given my fear of heights and enclosed places that wasn't an option even if one magically presented itself to me. All I could do was sit and wait. K had a 4:00PM photoshoot for our favorite designer in Laguna Beach, a ride that should have taken a little over an hour. We left with plenty of time. I got some cash at the ATM and filled up the car and was on the 10 freeway by 2:00PM. I figured we could get there early and scope out a place for dinner, the 10 was a breeze and we got to the 405 in record time, even that seemed light. Sweet, things were going well, better than well and then all of a sudden we drove into a see of red lights. Traffic slowed to a speed my speedometer didn't even register. I saw my GPS slowly change my arrival time: 3:10....3:12....3:15......3:30. The longer we sat there the later we were going to be. I called D for advice but there was nothing he could stay. I needed to stay on the 405. I could feel my blood pressure rise as I watched the estimated time of arrival rise and rise. I was irate when morons kept cutting in front of me for no reason. We weren't moving!!! I frantically looked on my phone's GPS for an alternate route (don't worry, when I say we weren't moving I mean it, I could have put my car in park)there really was no way around this traffic. I yelled and screamed for a minute and then looked at myself in the rear view mirror. So we were late, who cares? Most shoots we sit around and wait for hours, at least it was cool in the car and I was with my favorite gal pal. I relaxed. Finally after about an hour we crawled passed an accident that had been taken to the shoulder. Minutes later the road opened to a manageable speed. OK, we might just make it and on time. I started to feel better when the sea of red lights reappeared. I just laughed. Even K made a joke about it, she knew she was the only model and said that at least they couldn't start without her. I called the designer and told her we were stuck but on our way, sadly we weren't even halfway there!

K and I swapped stories, talked about what we wanted to do this summer and told each other jokes. I have no idea how long this delay took but once again it was another accident, this one didn't look as bad. Again we had a sort of open road ahead of us. Too bad it was now after 4:00PM and we were officially late. We drove the rest of the way uninterrupted by accidents and made it to the photographers house closer to 5:00PM than 4:00PM. They were happy when we arrived, more worried that we would want to just turn around and go home. This is a job that we do for the clothing, beautiful and expensive clothing, and for the designer whom we both adore.

It felt good to get out of the car, almost 3 hours without a break is crazy, K ran out of the car and into the arms of her favorite designer who offered up many apologies for having us endure such a horrible ride. Honestly it wasn't bad. It was all in the attitude, once I relaxed it made no difference to me. I got over the being late thing because I had no choice. I was extremely fortunate that I left early though, the traffic would have been worse. They took K dressed her and did something cute to her hair. Then we were off to Crystal Cove and we had to drive. I was spared that responsibility though, feeling my pain we all piled into A, the designer's huge truck. I relaxed on my booster seat insistence for a couple of reasons. I certainly did not want to drive again and I can't remove K's booster, I put it in wrong and it will be in there forever. Besides she's 6 and legally it was OK, we were all kind of squished together so I felt OK (and the location was close).

The park and the beach were beautiful, being surrounded by such beauty has a calming effect that was felt immediately. I stayed close and the girls (photographer, designer and stylist) did their thing. I watched and only had to direct K a few times. Mostly I just relaxed, that felt great. On a break K took off to follow what she thought was a squirrel (and what I hoped wasn't something else) it turned out to be a Roadrunner, I honestly had never seen anything like it before, except the cartoon of course. It was amazing to watch and K was fascinated!

The shoot was done, they were happy and got what was needed, A promised to send K a huge box of new clothes along with a CD of the photos. We said our goodbyes and went off in search of dinner. The town of Laguna is beautiful but we couldn't quite find a place to eat, we found a bunch of restaurants but not what we wanted. I decided to just get on the freeway and find something. We drove for a bit and then I saw a huge mall I used to frequent when visiting friends in the area. I got off the 405 and parked in what I thought was the mall. It wasn't, it was a whole movie theater complex, full of discount stores and eateries. I told K that the first one we pass wins, except Subway, I can't eat there. We walked out of the structure into Karl Strauss. It was perfect, it would have been more perfect if I could have some wine but I could wait. The food was awesome. Instead of drinking I carb loaded with a giant plat for pork filled mac and cheese. It was wonderful. K sat on my lap and we stuffed our faces and laughed at each other.

We made it home in record time. No kidding, I think I even beat the GPS estimated time. I shut it off when I knew where I was going. I am also grateful that the average speed at night is over 80.

Driving Miss Crazy? Hopefully this series is over!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband and babydaddy D and my own awesome daddy L. I wanted to find a poem that embodied all I felt about the two amazing men in my life but I kept coming back to a song I heard a while ago. It's not one of the indie artists that spin uncontrollably from my iPhone. It's actually a song by legendary R&B singer Luther Vandross and I remember the first time I heard it, the tears were non-stop.

So to D from K and to my dad from me:

Dance With My Father

Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around 'til I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved
If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never, ever end

How I'd love, love, love
To dance with my father again
When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way, I would run from her to him
He'd make me laugh just to comfort me
Then finally make me do just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me
If I could steal one final glance, one final step, one final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never, ever end

'Cause I'd love, love, love
To dance with my father again
Sometimes I'd listen outside her door
And I'd hear how my mother cried for him
I pray for her even more than me
I pray for her even more than me
I know I'm praying for much too much
But could you send back the only man she loved
I know you don't do it usually
But dear Lord she's dying
To dance with my father again
Every night I fall asleep and this is all I ever dream

Author: Luther Vandross

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Give me an A

I never was one to stress over grades, I did the work and was rewarded for it. I knew what expectations my parents had for me (don't fail so we have to deal with it) and I never disappointed them. I always tell K to do her best, in school and in life. In school it's a challenge sometimes, she likes to be like her friends. Last year during our first parent/teacher conference K's teacher Mrs. G gave us a glowing report, she was doing really well. She told us by the end of the year K would be able to read a list of sight words. D and I looked at each other curiously, K already knew all her sight words and more. Mrs. G just smiled and took out a little notebook, she said that there were a few students in class this year who hadn't let on about their tricks. She said that it's normal for kids to keep accomplishments to themselves especially if their friends weren't at the same level.

I was happy Mrs. G knew this about K but a little shocked that our daughter could succumb to this behavior. When K was old enough to hold her own head up I was right there shoving flashcards in her face. I read everything to her: street signs, magazines, food labels in the supermarket, if it had words she heard it. When I diapered her I told her exactly what I was doing at each step. When we were driving I told her where we were going and who we were meeting. Once during a food shopping excursion when she was about 6 months I was doing my usual thing, letting her know what I was getting and how I was going to cook it. I did this all the time, anyway, a woman passed by and asked me if I thought my baby knew what I was saying. I replied that I always tell her what I'm doing regardless of what she is capable of understanding, she looked at me like I was nuts and walked away. She didn't get too far, another woman came up next to us and said that she was a child psychologist and told us there's proof that constant talking and explaining to babies was extremely helpful in their development. She told me that I giving a huge gift to my child and I should just keep doing what I'm doing. I thanked her and we chatted for a bit, the other woman just looked at both of us and shook her head.

I never stopped reading and talking to K. One day my friend A and I were in Ross with our daughters who were about 18 months or so, K was calling out letters and A asked her what she was saying, K pointed to a sign and read each letter "r..e..s..t..r..o..o..m..s" I had one of those stupid "My kid rules!" look on my face. It was cool to have this with A, she knew all about my relentless pursuit of baby perfection. I had books like "How To Teach Your Baby To Read"
and about ten different sets of flashcards. I had her counting and spelling before preschool, most likely the reason she was so bored there, sorry K!!

I remember last year during Kindergarten orientation Mrs. G told all the parents exactly what our kids will know by Winter Break, D and I slyly glanced at each other, K already knew all that. Her report cards reflected that as well, all the worries we had about placing her in kindergarten early were gone. We were a little nervous when first grade started but again, K did well. She had more obstacles to overcome this year, the biggest was a bully who threatened K with "telling the principal" if K wasn't nice to her. This didn't last very long. K's emotional growth this year was on par with her academic achievements.

She was nervous about her final report card even though she knows that the grades were secondary to her effort in the classroom. LAUSD doesn't give letter grades only 1 - 4, with 1 being not proficient and 4 for advanced. My little worried overachiever brought home a perfect report card. When I opened it I feigned surprise and asked her in my stern mommy voice "what is this??" She looked up at me eyes wide and filling with tears "what Mama, what?" When I showed her the line of straight 4s she got mad at me for scaring her. When I asked why she was scared she told me that she was afraid of getting 2s and 3s because she knows she did her best and she knows that she's smart. She doesn't have to worry about how far up I set the bar, the one she set for herself is already pretty high.

Am I happy that she got all 4s? Of course, she deserves it. Would I be mad if she didn't? No, I knew she did her best, I'm just happy that her best is truly remarkable.

Congrats to my now second grader!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Song for a Friday

Today my little girl walked out of her first grade class for the last time. She is now officially a second grader!! Much to do in the next few day so I'm putting this song up. For some reason it's one of K's favorite songs and every time she hears it she goes in depth about it's meaning and what the dad told his son, ay least as in depth as a six year old is going to get. It's intense, she gets really into it and she knows most of the words.

I'll write this weekend about the huge blow out end of the year class party and her perfect report card. Now I need to get some sleep!!

My Chemical Romance - "Welcome to the Black Parade"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mayor McCheese

I miss bread. I really do. I understand that giving up certain food forever is difficult and sometimes you just have to say what the fuck (yeah, I just quoted "Risky Business," so what?). Today was one of those days. I hear about The Grilled Cheese Truck a few months ago and have been following them on Facebook. I've driven by it a few times only to find huge lines, which would be fine if I had time to wait but I don't think calling K's school with a "cheese emergency" would fly.

Earlier in the week I checked TGCT website for the week's locations (just in case) and I was thrilled to see that they were going to be melting (TGCT speak) right across from D's office on Thursday at 11:30AM. Perfect. I had a dentist appointment at 9AM and could come right after unless it took to long and even then, I was going to finally meet the famous GCT. We made a lunch date and I counted the hours. Then my dentist canceled and I was thrilled, I wouldn't have to worry about time, I would have to put up with this stupid temp thing in my mouth but for the sake of cheese I'll suffer.

In the morning I had an errand to do and then I headed east to D's office. They way I saw it we would have to be at the truck a little after 11AM so we wouldn't have to wait. I got to D in record time, we chilled in his office for a bit, went to get cash and then walked over to the truck's location. D's office is on Wilshire, smack in the middle of the Miracle Mile, the place for food trucks. In fact these trucks are so popular local (but crappy) restaurants are being forced to shut down. We arrived at the location and were thrilled to see we were the only ones there. We looked at the menu and waited for them to turn around the "closed" sign. A few people had shown up and started the lineup. When the little window slid open we sauntered up to the truck and ordered, giddy with excitement and hungry for cheesy goodness. I was so excited I posted relentlessly on Facebook letting all my friends know that I had not only finally met TGCT but I was first to order!! I got the daily special: pastrami, Havarti, grilled onions and spicy mustard on rosemary potato bread. D got their most famous melt: macaroni and cheese with sharp cheddar, bbq pork and caramelized onions. We split an order of tots and a side of pickles. Oh yeah, we also ordered plain and simple melt with Gruyere.

We took our bounty around the corner where an ESPN truck had parked and was showing the World Cup on a giant screen. The nice people of the building that let the truck park were handing out blankets so we could sit on the grass and watch comfortably. Our picnic was perfect, the sandwiches were incredible. So good in fact that we barely said a word and just sat there eating with giant smiles on our cheese filled faces. I ate so much I couldn't move. Like I said, I don't normally eat bread so when I do it's with a vengeance. I thought about even going back for more but I honestly could not move. I was full, happy and satisfied. Feelings that usually come from a $200 dinner, not a "roach coach" a term I will never say again.

It's silly to obsess over food, especially when it comes from a truck that I stalk weekly but this was incredible. All these trucks are. Now that the summer is here and K is home with me I think we'll be venturing all over town trying out new ones. The Korean BBQ taco trucks are supposed to be amazing. I have a feeling by the end of the summer K and I will be an expert on Mobile Food.

We'll be like culinary storm chasers.

First stop? TGCT of course!!

Our first stop on

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clean, baby, clean

I don't know how much longer I can look at these images of the Gulf without losing my mind! I can't listen to BS either. Reminds me of a Facebook status I had last week: BP is the new BS. The blame game is getting out of hand and the only sure outcome is more oil coming out of BP's giant hole in the ground. More beaches ruined, more water polluted and more wildlife destroyed. BP execs show no remorse. They never had a plan in case of an accident. They only knew they had a huge opportunity to make money and that's what they did.

This whole thing reminds me of my MIL, maybe because they both piss me off. It's most likely due to our appointment with Dr. Phil today. I didn't go last week and was kind of glad. I welcome the relief. I get sick of talking about her, just like I don't like talking about BP. They are both responsible for their actions but refuse to take responsibility for them. Very different yet exactly the same. It's merely another form of injustice and you know how I feel about that.

So once the session started I knew it was going to be one of those days: Why do I need D to confront her? What do I expect to change? Do I see similarities in her behavior and mine? The answers: Because he has to, nothing and oh hell no (I actually said much worse). I understand what Dr. Phil is trying to do, diffuse my anger and lessen it's effect. I've done that, I don't feel angry anymore, just pity. When I was asked if there was something a little condescending about that I said no, and I mean it but really who cares? Who cares if I feel above the pathetic way my MIL does things? I can tell you right now, it's not likely that I'll ever be as evolved as Ghandi but I think I've done a pretty job thus far. If I feel pity when anger used to live so be it. Dr. Phil should be happy I made it that far. Is it really necessary to make my husband confront his mother? I think so, just as BP execs were forced to meet with Obama. Is it anything more than a PR move? Maybe but who cares, it made a lot of people happy just as D's confrontation will make me happy. Will her response be as pathetic as BP's? Probably but we'll never have to spend another minute knowing that what she did never happened like she likes to believe.

I wish the oil spill could just be like that. Once it's all out on the open that they were responsible they could go on to fix it. Honestly that will never happen, in the Gulf or my family. Why is it when faced with the confrontation of actions some of us turn into 5 year olds? Constant denial will never take it away. I never understood that. I fully understand wishing that things could be different but the whole arms crossed head shaking thing is ridiculous. Don't they call that the OJ defense? Deny, deny, deny. Nope.

Not in my house.

Not in anyone's house, including the White House. Getting 20 billion from BP is a good start, sure it's not even close to what's going to have to be paid out but it's something. It says that they know it's their fault, regardless if those words ever come out of the mouth of that moron Tony Hayward. If they won't admit to any wrong doing, like not spending 500K to make a fix that would have avoided this whole thing, the least they can do is compensate the losses. Does it excuse or forgive? No, it gets them where it hurts the most.

That's better than nothing.

For now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mental Health Break

OMG I am way backed up around here. I mean here on the internets, not anywhere else. I'm fine in that area thank you very much. It's the last week of school and I find myself with very little time for anything. Don't ask me what I'm doing because it changes from minute to minute. I am trying to get things in order for our vacation, do some cleaning and purging, trying to stay awake (don't know why but this is suddenly a new affliction for me), dealing with my daughter's career (no I am not kidding) and suffering with this temp thingy in my mouth. Speaking of that, my dentist appointment was supposed to be on Thursday but they called to say that my permanent thingy isn't going to be ready. I now have to wait until next week. This thing feels awful, like it's not supposed to be there and it's all I can focus on for the moment (perfect for my ADD/OCD). Checking every few minutes to make sure it's there and then to try not to take it out. It's become a game. I see how long I can go without messing with it. Ridiculous I know.

So in an effort to catch up around here I'm posting this Mental Health Break from Andrew Sullivan's blog. It's pretty freakin' cool:

Mental Health Break - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


Monday, June 14, 2010

The real heroes

The picture above is a brown pelican drawn by Olivia Bouler, an aspiring ornithologist who's raising money for birds hurt by the BP oil spill, so far she's raised $70,000. Oh yeah, she's 11 years old. With all the blaming going on right now in the Gulf it seems like little is being done by BP or the government. There are a ton of animal rescue volunteers trying to help but apparently access to certain areas is hard to come by. I've also heard about dead animals being removed quickly before they are spotted and photographed. BP has been lying about the amount of oil they have allowed to spill into our water and their "what if" plan is useless and was written by a dead guy.

Through all this the only thing to come out of this has been anger, frustration and blame. I have not heard one positive thing during the 56 days of this environmental tragedy.

Until now.

Please read the following story that appeared in USA Today about an angel named Olivia:

Fifth-grader raises $70K to help birds in Gulf oil spill

By Stephanie Steinberg, USA TODAY

Americans nationwide feel helpless when it comes to aiding the birds smothered in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Not 11-year-old Olivia Bouler.

A fifth-grader from Long Island, N.Y., Olivia has raised more than $70,000 for the National Audubon Society— a non-profit dedicated to bird conservation — by drawing pictures of birds and sending them to people in the USA and abroad in return for a donation.

Olivia has visited the Gulf of Mexico several times, where she has enjoyed fishing and feeding dolphins with her grandfather. After the oil rig explosion, her grandparents in Orange Beach, Ala., called one night and explained how the wildlife are struggling to survive.

Olivia says she "sobbed uncontrollably." But rather than continue to cry, she ran to her room for markers and paper and wrote a letter to the Audubon Society. "It said: 'I want to help, and I want to make a difference and show that the birds are important, and we need to preserve them,' " Olivia says.

The organization liked the drawing of a cardinal Olivia included in the letter and suggested she draw pictures of birds in exchange for donations. Olivia, who aspires to be an ornithologist (a person who studies birds), agreed.

Since she started in mid-May, Olivia has drawn and painted 150 original pieces. People have requested various species, such as the brown pelican, heron and blue jay. Donations have ranged from $10 to $250.

AOL also got wind of her Save the Gulf campaign and offered to help by donating $25,000 and posting Olivia's artwork on its homepage.

After CNN, BBC and The Huffington Post featured her story, requests for drawings flooded in. "My hands were sore by the end of the day," Olivia says.

Her parents spend five hours a day mailing artwork, e-mailing donors and managing the Facebook page that has more than 11,000 fans.

Olivia's mother, Nadine Bouler, a teacher, says her daughter has proved that you really can do anything.

"I've always told students you can make a difference, and I pretty much believed it," she says. "But now I know it is truly possible."

Drawing is time-consuming, however, and Bouler says she wants her daughter to continue with her saxophone playing and to be able to participate in end-of-the-school-year parties.

As a result, Olivia has been limited to 500 requests for artwork, which have all been filled. Subsequent donors will receive a printed copy of an original piece.

The donations are being used to clean oil-coated birds, transfer them to Florida to be released in safer environments and cover food and motel expenses for volunteers, says National Audubon Society president Frank Gill.

Gill says volunteers have found more than 800 dead birds — most of them pelicans — that have washed up on the Gulf shores. About 200 birds have been found alive. Pelican offspring are in serious trouble because they need to be fed four times a day, but the parents can't catch fish in oily waters, Gill says.

With no signs of the spill stopping, Olivia plans to continue drawing. She says the spill is a "depressing tragedy."

"BP made a huge mistake. ... I want to make up for that mistake," she says. "I want to save those birds that are dying."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kickin' it.

I love lazy Sundays, lounging around the house, reading the paper while we enjoy a leisurely healthy breakfast. Yeah, right. In my dreams, Sundays are like every other morning, chaos at it's finest, without the added stress of getting to school on time. Or D and I get to listen to K tell us how bored she is. If we don't already have plans it's a mad scramble to make them, if we do have plans I drag my ass because I like to spend the day at home. This Sunday morning was different, K was at A's house on a sleepover and wasn't expected back until around noon. We stayed in bed until 11ish, it was the first time in over 6 years that we did that.

When she finally graced us with her presence she talked non stop about all that she did. It was cute, I already had the play by play from A but it was to listen to K tell it. We didn't have much time, K had some time to relax and then get ready for her very first karate tournament. She was really excited for that, she was entered in the leg sweep competition and after watching her do this for weeks I knew she was pretty good. She wanted to get there a little early to watch the little ones for a while. It was cool, we got to see some friends and watch their kids break boards and get their trophies. When it came time for K's group she took off and took a seat with her friends. D and I scrambled along with the other parents to get a good spot, it was like watching the paparazzi run after one of those Twilight stars. The momarazzi in me was stealth and I managed to get a bunch of great shots with my SLR while D got the whole thing on the Flip.

I was so proud of my little girl, she was great, her form and defense was stellar and she managed to stay standing while a girl bigger then her tried to get her on the ground. All the kids were amazing and they all took it in stride, even the ones who ended up on the floor. When K got her trophy the smile on her face was brighter than the golden statue. It was priceless. She knew everyone competing would get one but she did her very best and therefor had earned it. K also won a raffle and now has a credit at the dojo to buy snacks when I don't have an cash (which is always).

After the tournament she wanted to go to Menchies, her favorite snack place. We were more than happy to take her there, D and I were really proud. She started karate on May 4th and showed no signs of losing interest, in fact she gets more interested every day. SHe walked into Menchees wearing her gi and carrying her giant trophy, in fact she wouldn't take it out of her hands. SHe fell asleep on the ride home with it clutched in her tiny hands. I got a great picture of that. She even stayed asleep from the car back to the couch and stayed that way for a while. We had to wake her up to eat, shower and then back to bed. When I went to kiss her goodnight I felt something next to her, she has brought the trophy to bed. I convinced her that it might break if she rolled over on it (telling her she could hurt herself would be useless). She kept it next to her and kept her hand on it all night.

D and I were pretty tired too. We talked about how awesome K was. Not just because she's our kid but because she's honoring her commitments, she's honoring them so much she's inspired D to start taking Taekwondo. He has a yellow belt as well.

It's nice to inspire your children to do great things. It's wonderful when that child can become the inspiration for your own greatness.

Nice move Karate K!!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Date Night!

I think it's funny when they call a night out with your spouse a "date." We don't have too many of them around here, as I've mentioned before we have no family living close by and I don't trust many people with K. We have to either be creative or I have to allow for more sleepovers. Since I don't trust other parents those don't happen too often. I trust m bestie A implicitly and when the subject came up on on Thursday I agreed, for K and for D, I know he wanted some alone time with me.

It was a busy day too, K had karate at 10AM and then piano at 1PM, we came home and had a nice lunch together, made some cookies for K to bring along and then packed her up. She barely said goodbye to us, clearly she's not one of those kids that has issues with separation (like her mama). D and I stayed a while with A and her husband J but it clear that K wanted up out. We took off and had no idea what to do. Dinner was going to be at 8:30, I told D he should check out the brand new TJ Maxx that had just opened. It was close to A's house and if we went without K the damage could be kept at a minimum. I really wanted D to go and find some cool things, I always score at these stores and I was hoping he would to. I showed him the high end stuff in the women's department, not that I needed or wanted anything, I just wanted to show him how awesome the deals were. We lingered in that section long enough for D to find a cute dress (in a size 0) and these super cute jeans. He begged me to try both on, the jeans were actually in a bigger size so no problem there, the dress, uh sorry, size 0, really? He had to wait outside, they didn't want us in the room together (probably a good idea) I put the dress on first and shock of all shocks, it fit!! I didn't love it but almost bought it just because I could!! D liked it, it was a little small around the uh, chest area, but that could have been due to my undergarment. Anyway, I didn't really need it, I already have a collection of dresses waiting to be taken out so I moved on to the jeans, they were cute, I walked out to show D and by the smile on his face I knew he liked them. He insisted I not only get them but I also was to wear them on our "date." Cool. It made getting ready so much easier.

We finally made it up to the men's department and D was not impressed, I had to agree, it was pretty boring. He was happy to buy me some new pants though. We came home, made some mojitos and took our time getting ready. We were early but were seated right away. It was fun to be out with my man wearing new clothes, we held hands and enjoyed each other's company. It was a date! After dinner we thought about where to go, there was a cool bar I wanted to try and it was close. After driving around for a while looking for parking we gave up. I had another place I wanted to try. That place had better parking, we liked it already. The bar was awesome and there was live music, score. We found some seats at the end of the bar and ordered a few drinks and an olive plate, a favorite. It was great, the music was cool and the people didn't suck, always a plus. We took the same "date" vibe with us and had a lovely time. It was nice to be out like this again. I finally got why they call it "date night."

It felt like the night was just about D and I, sure we talked about K but mostly we just talked. We were M and D out for the night, alone. We were also M and D coming home to a house with a kid at a sleepover. I won't write about that, I will say it was awesome.

I never was one to kiss and tell :P

Friday, June 11, 2010

Band of Horses - Song of the week

Band Of Horses - Factory (on 'Later with Jools Holland')

I love this band. From the very first time I heard them I was hooked. D and I saw them twice last year and they were awesome. I know every word to every song on both their albums. I spent the summer with them constantly playing as my background music. The new CD came out a few weeks ago and it is beautiful. I have been listening non stop for days. I have a few favorite tracks and this is one of them. Enjoy. Hope you love it like I do!


The elevator in the hotel lobby has a lazy door
The man inside is going to a hotel room
He jumped out right after seeing just the very sight of me
Decided he better hike it to the second floor

It's temporary, this place I'm in
I permanently won't do this again
My belongings scattered all across the hotel floor

An hour later I was thinking it over by the snack machine
I thought about you in a candy bar
An hour later melon gum stuck between my teeth
I fell asleep to the greatest movie of the year

A man gets lonely for heavens sakes
Was wondering only what did you do today
The world is spinning round to an old sad song

It's coming down outside like I've never even seen before
I fell into some kind of sorry state
But looking back now I think it's finally time for me to laugh about it
Get my things together and find something to say

Well I feel awful and I believe that time gets wasted in this misery
And darling I don't ever wanna come back home

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This is going to sound like one of my dad's blog posts, a rambling rant of my crappy day. Sorry. It didn't start off that way, I managed to get in a few errands before picking K up from school. She had a casting at 4PM, usually I would have picked her up early from hip hop but it was the last class so I let he stay for all of it. As soon as it was over we ran to the car, it was now 3PM and we needed to get to Hollywood in an hour. Not usually a big deal but I knew parking might be a problem, 60 minutes was really plenty of time to get there. Unless the traffic sucked. It sucked. It was awful, as soon as I got on the 10 it became a parking lot. Crap. I got off immediately and looked for a decent street to take across town. There was no such street, all the roads were jammed. Oh well, we'll just be late, it was so annoying!! I finally made it to the casting and I found a spot around the corner. We were met in the lobby (casting was in a hotel suite) and were told to wait. While we waited a bunch of other kids showed up. Great, I knew they had no sign in sheet and K would not be first in like she should have been. Whatever. I texted A and let her know we were going to be late, we had a scheduled playdate/dinner planned.

They finally came to gather us and of course didn't care about the first come first served rule. We were lined up in the hall with some other people that were already up there. They took the kids in 5 at a time and wanted parents to come as well (K usually rolls solo but they wanted everyone in the room). They met each kid individually and asked questions, they wanted to learn about each kid, that was cool. Until they got to my kid, they asked her age and if she had siblings, that's it. Clearly they weren't interested in her look (which is fine) and treated her as such (which is absolutely NOT fine). It was hard for me to keep quiet but I managed for the sake of the kids in the room. Then they sent us back to the hallway and told us to wait. A few minutes later they called 4 out of the 5 kids and gave them back their headshots and basically said "thanks but no thanks." I was floored, I had never seen anything like that. Again I kept my cool, I knew if I let it out it would have been bad and there were lots of kids around.

A few of us rode the elevator together and discussed the dissing we just received. I get that all kids are not perfect for all jobs but at least have the decency to treat them all the same, keep the frickin headshots and throw them away like everyone else does. I don't care that K didn't book the job, I care that they treated these kids like dirt. Immediately I fired off a nasty email to K's agent, at least I got an apology from her.

When I got to A's house the first thing I did was put the whole experience on Facebook, I have a nice network of fellow stagemoms, agents, photographers and directors and I wanted them to hear what happened. A few exhales and a glass of Shiraz made me feel better. I was amongst friends and my daughter was happy and playing with her buds.

When we got home I checked my email, I had a bunch of inquiries about my Facebook post, a few people wanted to know who the audition was for, I didn't say so in my post because it would have been unprofessional, and I had enough of that today! I did tell all who asked, but privately. If that's the way they treated kids at audition it's a good indication that the job will probably go the same way. I was fully supported by my stagemom army.

D was out with our friend R and I had the house to myself, K has passed out immediately. I didn't do much, played on the interwebs a bit, watched Keith and Rachel, tried to get in some reading. D came home with R and we all had a drink together and discussed the issues of the world. After discussing some of the heavier topics the anger I had from the audition subsided and was redirected back to the Gulf once again.

I know that K loves this business and I love to support her. Seeing any kind mistreatment makes me second guess even doing this at all but I was reminded by my wise little child that "sometimes people at auditions are stupid, who wants to work with those people?"

Words of wisdom from the 6 year old pro.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another POV

I decided to share this post from my dad's blog (I think the apple barely fell off our family tree), it gives a different perspective of my childhood (even though the story is the same). My dad and I have a completely different style but share the same tolerance for bullshit as well as a fondness for swearing.


Cynical Ridiculous and Pathetic (CRaP) aka CRaPUSA: Ex-Wife from Hell............For Real

In today's NY Post, an outraged judge sent a LI mom to jail for trying to drive a wedge between her ex-husband and their 2 daughters, keeping them apart for weeks at a time and even claiming he groped one of them. When her ex-husband was scheduled to visit the girls, she would deliberately plan trips to the theater or other last minute family outings. It goes on and on, but bottom line is this bitch was sentenced to 6 weekends in the slammer for this terrible behavior. (Ex-Wife from Hell -read the article/link}
Normally I would just laugh at something like this and say to myself that I am really happy. I can't do that. I really can't do that because I am still seething from reading this. My blood is boiling and I want to kill my ex-wife now more than I ever imagined. (Normally I only want to kill her a little, but now it is up really high). I have been so pissed today that I took my son to lunch at a local strip club to try and forget how pissed I was.
When I got divorced from wife # 1 (starter marriage), my 2 girls were pretty young. In fact they were around 6 and 8. I so looked forward to those weekend visits and tried to plan everything that was humanly possible considering I was making almost no money then, and most of that was going to alimony and child support. It didn't matter because loving them and looking forward to the weekends was worth everything. We would go on picnics, parks, cheap restaurants, museums, movies, and basically anything that was free or close to free. We spent lots of time in my apartment in the City, because there were always street fairs and plenty of places to walk. Despite the constant downer of taking them back on Sunday evening, it was pretty good..........Until my ex got re-married. Her new husband, Adolph Hitler (who I never met, but was ready to murder), managed to completely make things a living hell for them. In fact, my daughter wrote a wonderful blog explaining all of that in detail, which was even new to me.........Then it sort of began....I would go to pick the girls up on a Saturday and my ex would tell me on the intercom some excuse of many. Either they had to visit someone, they did not want to see me, they were at one of her relatives and on and on. I would call and she would not let me speak to them either saying they did not want to speak or they were doing homework, or not there, or some other lame excuse. But anyway, the days became weeks, the weeks months, and before I knew it years had passed without seeing them.
I got a lawyer and took the case to a judge, who ruled against me for whatever reason. All that remained was sending cards on a regular basis and trying to call. But then, out of the blue, my daughter M called me from the hospital where she was having her tonsils removed. That was wonderful, but I later found out she got in trouble for getting out of bed. There were a few secret phone calls after that. In fact I had to sneak into her public school graduation, because I was not allowed to see them. Eventually all of that ended and I built a great relationship back with my oldest daughter. It is funny how you remember only certain things about the past.
I never really gave any of this much thought as I got older. I certainly do feel the pain that was caused to the girls, especially due to the fact they were the ones who suffered the most. They were young and I am sure found the entire situation hard to deal with. They had to live with this asshole who I guess was really terrible. They had to endure the ignorance of their mother who let all this happen. I have moved forward all these years and never really thought about the cause and effect of all of this crap...........................Until Today..............Now the anger for my ex-fucken wife is at 100%.......I am able to close my eyes now and picture her spending 6 weekends in prison, even now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


So I had to go back to the dentist today for the work I talked about here. Of course I made the appointment the same day that K was supposed to get a "Student of the Month" award and I couldn't cancel, they give me too much shit for that. Luckily the assembly started at 8:25AM and my appointment started at 9:30AM, I called them yesterday to tell them I'd be late and why, how could they have a problem with that? They didn't, the receptionist (who is more like a dental hitman) told me not to worry about being tardy and even called me on my cell this morning to let me know that the dentist was running late and I should take my time. I was relieved and didn't have to rush, I was also freaked out, it meant he had blocked a few hours for me and I would be there forever. Crap.

I was a little uptight this morning, knowing what my day was going to bring but seeing K's happy face during the assembly made my morning. She even ran up and kissed me goodbye and told me to be brave, I promised her I would be. I didn't even linger at the school to avoid the inevitable, I made it to the office on time and before my dentist. I asked the assistant how long she thought it would take today and she said "not long" but I didn't believe her, if the chair had restraints she might have told me the truth. Before he could even start she had to take impressions, anyone who has ever gone through that knows how awful it is. Not only did she have to take them of the lower right (where the work was being done) but because my bite is not the greatest she had to take a full upper as well. Good thing I'm not a breakfast girl. Yuk!!

After that pleasant experience the dentist was ready to give me about 50 shots of Novocaine, he wanted to make sure I didn't feel a thing. I reiterated to him that my dental issues had nothing to do with pain, regardless, he thought it would help me. It wasn't bad, the shots hurt a little and soon I couldn't feel a thing. He told me to close my eyes and relax. yeah right, not only was that impossible but the classical music that had been playing had been replaced with love songs by Madonna. That was the real torture.

When I go to these appointments I just have him tell me what needs to be done, I do not need a step by step analysis, today it was a long one, I don't know exactly what was done but it involved lots of drilling (!). Thankfully he gave me a few breaks. Holding my mouth open for that long without yelling at someone is not something I'm used to doing. Anyway, after what seemed like hours he was done. He put on a temp until next Thursday and told me to be careful when chewing on the right side. Uh, no problem, after listening for hours to whatever he did I didn't think I would ever be able to eat again. I took off quickly, I needed to get home and change before I went to pick K up from school, I had that dentist office smell on my clothes and needed them off immediately.

By the time we got home the Novocaine was just wearing off, suddenly I felt like I was hit in the face by a hammer. I just retreated to the couch while K watched Food Network, that's when the headache started and I realized I had not eaten anything all day, that sucks. I was not able to take anything on an empty stomach and I had nothing in my house that I could eat. I called D, thankfully he wasn't going to be late, he stopped off at the store to pick up dinner and some soup for me. I felt better after eating and was able to take some meds, did I write that I am allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen? Yeah, sucks to be me when you don't feel great. I still had some Tylenol with codeine left over from a surgery I had a few months ago. It worked like a charm and I was able to finally rid myself of the awful mouth and head pain.

Dealing with this around every six months is not fun, and there's nothing I can do about it, genetically I lost that lottery. Just by going and enduring it all assures that it won't get worse for me. That doesn't make it any better though.

At least after next Thursday I get a few months off.

I hope.


Monday, June 7, 2010

More than words

Cool song, not a favorite of mine but I liked it when it came out. I knew enough about the band to know the rest of the album was quite different from the radio friendly hit. Today as I was strolling through Ralph's on my typical Monday food buying excursion I heard this song. At first I was taken back to 1990, I didn't stay there for very long, somehow I got lost in the lyrics:

Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It's not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me
Cos I'd already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real
What would you say if I took those words away
Then you couldn't make things new
Just by saying I love you

More than words

Now I've tried to talk to you and make you understand
All you have to do is close your eyes
And just reach out your hands and touch me
Hold me close don't ever let me go
More than words is all I ever needed you to show
Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me
Cos I'd already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real
What would you say if I took those words away
Then you couldn't make things new
Just by saying I love you

More than words

I almost cried right there in front of the giant package of beef ribs I was picking out. The words were dead on, it's what I always tell D: actions, not words. Although I do love those words so. I started thinking as I aimlessly strolled the aisles of my supermarket, listening to Nuno's gorgeous acoustic guitar work. For years I was waiting for the actions and not listening to the words, to me they were worth as much alone. What a fool. I was so angry, I let that emotion guide me, waiting for something that wasn't possible. I love my husband, he is many things, a mind reader isn't one of them. All of those "I love yous" were never fully appreciated. How sad. I let anger take take the place of love for way too long. We both distanced ourselves from each other and came close to living basically as roommates. These feelings culminated into an overwhelming feeling of joy. Joy because I realized the mistakes of my actions, joy that D did as well, joy from the second chance we received and joy that we get to spend a wonderful life together.

I finished up my shopping and ran out the store, the music quickly changed and I have a very strong reaction to awful bands like Hootie and the Blowfish. When I came home I put away the groceries and texted D:

M: I heard that Extreme song "more than words" in ralphs today and it made me think of you and how much I love you. I can't believe how close we got to not feeling this way. I apologize for my distance and coldness in the past, anger should never take the place of love

D: Ur amazing - that u could listen to that whole song knowing how much it sucks for you and still have positive thoughts toward me makes me so happy in a way that is truly more than words can say :)

M: It was a very romantic moment for me. The song is actually perfect for us

D: U r sweet - I've actually always liked extreme and that song :)

M: I know

D: My little headbanger :)

M: \m/ \m/

It's funny how much I live through music, this song which once had no meaning to me suddenly took on a new life, 20 years after first hearing it. Sorry you all have to read yet another love letter to my husband, this one was unintentional. It's been a difficult few weeks, watching the news on the Gulf oil spill has brought me to a place I am uncomfortable with, an anger that has no direction or outlet, anything positive I just have to go with.

I'm actually not sorry, just very, very grateful.

More than words.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shipoopi - The Music Man

Here's the Music Man version for the purists and the ones who feel like comparing.

Family Guy - Shipoopi

OK this is hysterical, I love all things Family Guy and ever since this played in my living room it has been sung by D and I. Even K gets in on the fun as she now knows the words to this song. This morning I mentioned something to D about it's origin and he had no idea where it came from! I always thought it was so funny because I remember Buddy Hackett singing it from The Music Man it was always the stupid song. I played it for them this morning and now they both love it even more. K has a thing about dancing and her eyes were glued to the screen, she watched it over and over. I'm so glad she likes this kind of stuff better then the crap other kids seem to be into. Give her a well choreographed musical number and she's happy.

Anyway I'm tired from long day of relaxing in the cold and fog by the pool and then off to a party, instead of complaining about watching my six year old pick up cute boys at the party I thought I'd share both versions of Shipoopi. This is the obviously the Family Guy version, the Music Man is right above it.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

The long road home

The other day when I was picking K up from hip hop a few of the moms were chit chatting while we waited. One of them KH is a mom I knew from last year and one of the "cool' ones, our daughters are friends and I like hanging with her. She told me that she saw something earlier in the week that was so sweet and I was part of it. She said she saw D at pickup on Tuesday and then she saw me getting out of my car to greet him. She said the she could tell how glad I was to see him and then we joined hands and walked off together. She told me it was like a scene straight out of a movie and it made her happy. Happy to know that there were people out there that were actually happy and in love. Then another friend told her she should see the messages we leave for each other on Facebook. They they all made fun of me. It was sweet.

It's been a really long journey to get to be the romantic inspiration for a friend. I told her it took a lot to get there but it was worth it.

The moment that KH witnessed happened on my birthday, this past Tuesday. I was early picking up K (like always) and was in my car reading a book, I looked up and saw D walking towards me. He had tried to come home early so we could go together but he had too much to do. No biggie, I was going to take K to karate and then maybe grab a treat. Anyway he managed slip out early and meet me and I was thrilled to see him. This was obvious to D and KH who saw us greet each other. I think I said something like "What are you doing here?" but in a good way, last year it might have sounded more like "what are you doing here?"

The road to happiness is full of bumps and detours and there are no rest stops. Sometimes the road has been washed out from the rain and it takes a keen driver to stay on track. There were times in the past when I wanted to cut left and double back to the main road but I remained focused, took some deep breaths and continued. D did the same. We don't always drive the same speed but at least we're both still on the road and driving in the same direction. Did I kill that metaphor or what?

I always wanted to be part of that couple, you know the one I mean, that really great couple that everyone loves and always wants to be around. The couple that puts everyone at ease no matter where they are. Not the fake plastic kind but the real kind that laugh and make fun of each other in a loving way. I think we were that couple a long time ago but somehow passed each other on that road. I'm so glad we met up again, I hate driving alone.

I went into my bedroom earlier to write today's blog and relax while D and K watched a movie but I fell asleep curled up around my laptop. This is a big thing for me. I am a terminal insomniac, suffering with sleep issues my whole life. The thoughts in my head never stop long enough for me to relax. Today before I fell asleep I thought about what KH said and it made me happy, happy enough to relax and drift off to sleep. When I finally woke up it was to the laughing of K and D and I realized how happy they made me. How happy I was to have my D back.

This is a love letter of sorts, to my leading man.

I love you D.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hair soaks up oil spills


Hair/Fur As Cheap and Effective Oil Slick Cleanup

With the oil spill Gulf of Mexico threatening the ecology, people worldwide are watching wishing they could help. Perhaps they don't realize just how much they can. Human hair and animal fur can be used to help clean up the oil and stop its spread. That's right - human hair. Hair collects oil. That's why you have to wash it. Just as it collects oil from your skin, it also collects oil from an environmentally threatening oil slick.

After the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, a hairdresser in Alabama named Phil McCrory noticed how the photos of the otters showed the water right around them to be cleaner that the surrounding areas. He recognized that their fur had collected the oil out of the water. Hair, after all, has a natural tendency to collect oil. He went to work inventing the hair mat, using human hair clippings and a kiddie pool in his yard. He soon realized that one pound of hair can soak up about one quart of oil, and when formed into a sturdy mat, it can be rung out and reused over a hundred times!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Let Down

The video above is from my all time favorite band, Radiohead playing their song "Let Down" from OK Computer. It's a song they rarely play live, it's hard to reproduce live so this video is a treat! According to Thom Yorke the song is about an enormous fear of being trapped. This post isn't about music or Radiohead, last night when I was out to dinner with my bestie A she told me to write about how I foiled her plans for a birthday party that she wanted to plan for me, I didn't exactly foil anything, I just never told her the truth about how old I was (it's all right here). She told me to write about how she was let down, and the picture can be a breastfeeding baby (let down, get it?). I'll give her the title but I don't really want a stranger's boobies on my blog.

So A, this is for you:

So recently I started a huge Spring cleaning project, one of the things that desperately needed cleaning was my conscience. When I met A somehow she got the impression that I was a few years younger than I really was. How did she get that impression? I told her, and then I forgot about it. She would make a comment here and there but I never really thought about it. Then as it got closer to my birthday she kept bring it up, she did the math and thought that the birthday that was fast approaching was a "big" one. Crap. I knew that ignoring it wasn't an option. I had to come clean, I just wasn't sure how. The more I talked to her the more she would grill me about what my plans were, the more that happened the more I retreated. She started talking to me about calling D to get a list together for a party she was now planning, a party at her uncle's beach house. Crap! When we went out for lunch recently she followed me around a jewelry store to see what I liked. She was so into this.

When I finally told her she wasn't the least bit upset that I wasn't truthful (actually she didn't believe me and thought I was now lying to get out of a party) she thought that part was funny. She was upset that she wouldn't be throwing me a party, she was serious too, I believe this implicitly. Last night we talked about this, she didn't get to throw the party but she insisted on taking me to dinner. I'm not really big on birthdays, I like going to dinner with D and K, that's about it. I went out with A because I owed her that. It was actually a really fun night, we went to a newish place in Santa Monica and were both happy to see that it was packed when we walked through the door. We were happier to see that our waiter was somewhat of a comedian. We tormented him throughout the evening and he gave us a fair amount of crap as well. At one point A decided to tell the waiter my birthday story and then proceeded to tell him that I was now 50. I was happy to see that he didn't believe it, I don't think he believed my real age either but that's OK.

Usually on our "dates" I have a glass of wine and worry about getting home early. Last night we split a bottle of wine over three hours laughing and swapping secrets along the way. She also made me open a present at the table (something that would usually never happen) she had selected things for me that she knew I would love but never buy for myself (thanks again A, I wore it all today!!) We even had dessert, which was brought out with a candle and "Happy Birthday" written in chocolate. Thankfully there was no singing.

We stayed until the place was almost empty torturing our poor waiter until the very end, of course he loved every minute of it coming by our table often.

I hope A is over her let down, I hope she feels like she properly celebrated my birthday with me. I know that she feels like she missed the "big one" but I didn't do anything special for that one. D and I had a nice dinner at Nobu and that was fine with me. I don't really like big parties that celebrate me. I got over that for my wedding but that was difficult. I do like the intimate dinner thing, I can do that every year, maybe next year I can add a few people. Maybe even do something at my house. Maybe.

For now, this one is over and I have a long time to worry about next year.

Not that I'll be worrying.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Emotional Superhero

I coined that phrase today at Dr. Phil's. We were talking about the anger I tend to exhibit after certain sessions, like the ones where I am told to take the high road regarding my MIL. I get it, I know what I need to do, I do it all the time, I just don't have to like it. It's the same kind of anger I get while watching the news and seeing BP's head asshole Tony Hayward tell the world he wants his life back. He is partially responsible for 11 people who lost their lives, for polluting the ocean, for killing ecosystems and the list goes on and will continue to go on until his company does something about it. What will be the fallout from this? Besides the death and destruction? Probably nothing. A fine maybe? Even a huge fine isn't enough. This company should be shut down and all those involved in ignoring safety measures should be tried for murder, all profits should be put back into the businesses that will have to close.

This is the stuff that gets me angry, when crimes and actions go unpunished. I cannot watch the news anymore for this reason, priests are molesting children and the Vatican covers it up, these are CRIMES and they go unpunished every single day. Politicians are lying and committing treason (a crime) and nothing is done. Sometimes I feel like I'm screaming and nothing is coming out. It's infuriating and I cannot stand it. When it happens in my own house I do something about it. I understand that my MIL will never change, I understand that if she wants to spend the rest of her life in complete denial about who and what she is that's her business, the only thing I can do is not reward that behavior with family visits. The other thing I can do is make sure she knows why. She cannot simply blame what is happening in our family on her bitch of a daughter-in-law, I mean she can do this to her friends but that doesn't bother me. I want her to know why this is going on, she can refuse to acknowledge her own behavior but she needs to know that she isn't fooling us.

I know this confrontation is going to be difficult for D, I would do it for him if I could (I don't think I would be as effective or nice about it though). I just need to see her receive some sort of "punishment." I've taken so much crap from her already and although I know it's childish and immature I want her to know what it feels like. We talked about injustice yesterday and I brought up karma, yes I believe the life (or lack of) my MIL has created for herself has some sort karmic value, but in order to go on I need her to know she's only fooling herself by denying her reality. Dr. Phil asked what happens if she doesn't change (she won't) and I repeated once again that I just need this out there. I need to have some sort of balance in this situation. I will no longer keep quiet when she makes one of her awful comments or plans a family reunion when she knows I won't be there (yes, she really did this). I'm not as nice as D, my responses will be quick and cutting, I think she needs to know that they will be coming.

I talked about being an emotional superhero because things like the BP spill, the Vatican abuse scandal, the wars we continue to fight, the ban on same sex marriage, the teabaggers, Sister Sarah, Rush, Glenn and the rest of the big mouthed idiots get me so angry. I feel a violent reaction in my body when I think of these things, I want to fly down to the Gulf and stop the leak myself. Surely my will alone is strong enough? I feel powerless, ineffective and weak when I think of how little I can do about the things that make me so angry. I have no choice but to become emotional over them. What am I supposed to do with these feelings? How can I see pictures of the Gulf and not react? Who can do that? I try to avoid talking about it or watching the news but I can't. It's everywhere. I need to see some sort of action to quell these feelings, if it can't be done with the current plagues of our world then it has to be done with the issues in my house. I cannot attach my cape, fly around the Earth at incredible speeds to create a force making time run backwards until all the oil is back where it belongs and the 11 people that were killed are alive again. I can only help my husband compile a list of past grievances and offenses to bring up to his mother. I can support him and give him the strength he needs to get this done effectively. I can try to not want to beat the crap out of her if she does anything egregious to me again. I can do all of these things.

I am M, an emotional superhero.

Wanna join my team?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another year

I'm not big on birthdays, that's not true actually, I like other people's birthdays. Mine is not that important to me, it seems foolish to make a big deal about something you had nothing to do with, at least that's the way I see it. I do understand celebrating with other people though. So today was mine, not a big deal to me but to my child it was huge and that was adorable. She woke up super early and pulled D out of bed, together they made me breakfast in bed which we all ate together. It was lovely, her happy face in the morning is really inspiring, especially when she gets to help open presents. She gets excited over anything relating to birthdays and I was happy to let her.

After they left I was kind of sad, when the school nurse called 30 minutes later saying K was complaining about burning eyes I was halfway out the door to get her. She was calling to make sure that K didn't have pinkeye, instead of saying she might I told her the truth: she was in the pool all weekend and lately she gets a little itchy (K's word) when she has eggs, which she made me for breakfast. "Should I come get her?" I asked. "No, she's fine, we're just making sure." Waaaaa. I wanted her to be home with me. Instead of giggling with my daughter I slowly got myself ready for the day. I was going to go to a local day spa but scrapped that just in case the school called again and K wanted to come home. I remember that feeling of wanting to come home from school and then the school never being able to reach my mother. Instead I took a ride to visit the brand new TJ Maxx that opened in Santa Monica, it was a shoppers dream. Seriously if you know labels there are incredible deals there. I bought two dresses, I wanted to wear something new to dinner, besides they were cute and it was my birthday. Double justification.

I got to school early as usual and was surprised to see my husband walking up to my car a few minutes before dismissal, he left early to spend the rest of the day with me. Of course when K saw us both she opted to go home with daddy, I wasn't surprised she always comes home with me. As I turned the corner passed D's car he told me he had to pick up something at a friends house on the way home. I figured I'd be about 10 minutes ahead of them and I took my time coming home. After about 20 minutes I sent D a text: uh hello? He called immediately, apparently he and K had a few other things to do. I felt bad complaining when they were trying to do something nice for me but I was tired of being alone. I missed them. They finally came home with gorgeous flowers and a little red velvet cake for me. Yum, thankfully all diet rules are suspended on your birthday.

We tore through the cake and hurried K to to change into her karate gear. I'm glad D got to go with me, Saturday's karate class is so crowded he never gets to really see what goes on in the dojo. He doesn't get to see how it's like a second home to the kids and moms (and nannies and dads) how we all tend to stay long after our kids are done with their class. He got to see that today when we lingered a bit after class talking to D in the office about the weekend and our plans for dinner. Later in car he asked me where I met D, I told him when K started karate. He thought we had known each other longer, I told him that's why we love karate, it's so much more than an activity that K does a few times a week, it truly is a second home.

We got home and changed quickly, we were having dinner at Luna Park a restaurant I have passed a million times but never stepped foot inside, a few weeks ago K and I were watching "The Best Thing I ever Ate" (again) and Sandra Lee said the s'mores were amazing. We watched as she made her own s'mores at the table and we were jealous, I told K that we should go there on my birthday and she agreed. So we did. We went there because of s'mores but I have to say that we had one the best meals ever. The cioppino I ordered was superb, D's pot roast was unbeatable and K's mac and cheese with ham wasn't just great it was super great. The s'mores however, were heavenly. We decided right there to make it a family birthday tradition. It was that good.

Overall it was a great birthday. The coolest gift I got? A leather bound copy of the first three months of this blog. I had no idea that while I was writing the random thoughts in my head I was writing a book. It's beautiful too, my very own coffee table book! I better go out and buy a coffee table now.

I am supremely happy.

See, wishes do come true.