Monday, November 15, 2010


A few years ago, my friend was celebrating her 40th birthday with a weekend cruise to Mexico. A group of her friends were going, and many of us had never met. I was to room with one of the women, whom I'd met on only two occasions spread over about 20 years.

As the trip approached, I realized I was having some anxiety about going - more specifically, sharing a room with someone I didn't really know. It took some introspection, but it came down to this: I poo first thing in the morning. First thing.

With a thin, airplane-style door and no fan, there is nothing disguise noises or diffuse odors. Perfume? Too noxious. Matches? Too obvious. Multiple flushes? Dead giveaway with potential clogging risks. My plan was to see if there were public restrooms on the same level, but no luck - they were two levels up and too far to risk it.

I considered being direct, "Hi Kim! Great to see you again! By the way, the first thing I do in the morning is poo. You know, drop the kids off at the pool? Lay some cable? Looking forward to sharing a cabin - it's gonna be great!" In the end, it didn't matter - she was up and gone each of the three mornings before I'd even woken up. Thank heavens for small favors.

To my relief, I have since found a solution: Give it a try! I'd love to hear how it comes out for you in the end.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pure Poetry

We were at the recycling center and the man next to me was standing in the bed of his truck, pouring glass bottles down into the weighing containers. The sound was deafening.

On the drive home, Boy commented that it sounded like 'the glass was screaming.'

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Norman Bates vs Metallica

I've heard that Ronnie James Dio, of Black Sabbath fame, made the claim that the 'horns' gesture (index and pinkie fingers extended with thumb tucking middle and ring fingers down) he originated and is so prevalent in the metal world came from his grandmother. My mom confirms that it's called the 'evil eye'.

I find it humorous that a gesture meant to ward off evil spirits found it's way into the metal music community, but there it is. When we were in Hawaii, I confused 'aloha' hands (thumb and pinkie out, remaining digits down and wrist rotated so the back of the hand faces out) with 'metal' hands, so that every photo taken in paradise looks like I'm front row at an AC/CD concert.

On Monday, we took a family trip to Universal Studios. One of the best parts was the tour of the lots where movies and TV shows are filmed. We rode the tram through old western towns (complete with rain and flash floods), Wisteria Lane from the show Desperate Housewives, and a waterfront facade that was used in both Murder She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury as well as a scene from Jaws.

As the tram pulled around a corner, we came upon a small string of hotel rooms just in time to witness a man coming out of one of the rooms, with a body wrapped in a shower curtain. It was Norman Bates from the Alfred Hitchcock film, Psycho. After he placed the body in the trunk of a waiting car, he 'saw' us and pulled out a knife. Slowly at first, he approached the tram and then moved into a run as we pulled away.

We occupied the last row in the last car, and I can tell you that he was menacing to the very end. We turned in our seats to see Norman Bates, now stopped in the street but still holding his knife, staring intensely right at us. I looked down at Boy to make sure he wasn't totally freaked out, only to see that he was making a small gesture with his hands.

For a horrible parenting moment, I thought he was flipping Norman the bird - which seemed not only rude but unwise. With a small amount of pride, I realized he was gesture was 'metal' hands. Rock on, Norman Bates!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


"To love and to cherish
To respect and to trust
To be faithful and honest
One day at a time
I will strive to attain
the consciousness of a
spiritual awakening, and
your life will become as
important to me as my own."
August 12, 1990
Happy 20-year wedding anniversary, my love. I love you always.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Joke of the Day

Question: Why didn't the mouse get hurt when it fell into a glass of soda?

Answer: Because it was a soft drink!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Heavy Metal (Mouth), Part 2

I posted Heavy Metal (Mouth) because Girl Doll had her braces removed last week. To celebrate, we had ribs and corn on the cob that night for dinner.

Over the following weekend, she invited a few friends over to go to the movies. Before we went and gorged on popcorn and caramel apples. It was all of the forbidden foods she had gone without for two years - in one big, gluttonous smorgasbord.

Girl Doll will have to wear retainers, but has already mastered 'flipping' them in and out with her tongue. It's a combination of charming and gross, but she is clearly pleased...and has a gorgeous smile.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Heavy Metal (Mouth)

In junior high, I watched most of my friends get braces. I saw the whole process through from beginning to end - head gear for the unfortunate, rubber bands, and missed classes for tightening appointments.

One by one, the time passed and my friends emerged from the experience with big smiles and straight teeth. Sure, there were retainers to be worn after - but that was all part of the fun, right? I was green with envy; my teeth were so crooked that one tooth was completely eclipsed by my magnificent, chiclet-sized front teeth. Braces had never been a consideration since we never could have afforded them.

I have always been self-conscious about my teeth. I covered my mouth with my hand when I laughed, and most photos taken were of me with a close-lipped smile on my face. One of the most embarrassing moments that I've had as an adult was during Halloween, when a co-worker thought I was wearing fake teeth as part of my witch costume. I will never forget the look on her face when she realized her mistake - but I can tell you with certainty that I felt worse than she did. There's just no taking something like that back.

So, I got braces as an adult. At 25-years old, I endured rubber bands, missed work for tightening appointments, and even head gear - although my orthodontist said I was fortunate because I would only have to wear it at night. My thought was, "Fortunate? For whom?" Because I can tell you that all romance grinds to a halt walking into the bedroom with that thing on my face. It's just so not sexy.

And although it felt like time stood still, eventually came the final appointment where I had them removed. Running my tongue across my teeth was one of the best feelings ever, and the nicest thing I've done for my self esteem.

To celebrate the occasion, we had friends over for dinner. The menu? Ribs, corn on the cob, and caramel apples for dessert.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Moment of Truth

When I was in first grade, my mom told me that the teacher made me sit in the corner and wear a dunce cap during math. I actually have no memory of this - the only thing I remember about my first grade teacher was that she had black hair. I have heard this story often, and my mom tells me that this is the origin of my 'math fear'.

This is such a cruel and horrible story that part of me simply doesn't believe it. I mean, what kind of person would do that to a child? My mom is also prone to exaggeration; I have stood beside her during conversations, and she will come away with a completely different experience and outcome - sometimes adding parts that didn't occur.

During this last school year, Girl attended a Saturday workshop for a social studies project. The teachers that were there were introduced, and one of them had the same name as my first grade teacher. I thought, "This couldn't be the same teacher, could it?"

I decided to approach her; she was a woman in her late 50's or early 60's with black hair. So I asked her, "I heard your name, and was wondering if you ever taught at _____ Elementary School?"

She replied, "Yes! That was my first year teaching..."

So, here is where I wonder whether this is my moment of truth: Do I lay into this woman for an experience that I don't remember having? Anyone who knows me also knows that I hate conflict or confrontation. I'm all about rainbows and butterflies. I am a total lightweight that would rather move than deal with an uncomfortable situation.

In the end, it occurred to me that it wasn't my moment of truth - it was my mom's. And I can say with confidence that had my mother been there, you would have seen some old ladies brawlin'.