Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day: play-by-play

You may have heard that it's Election Day. I figure you don't need me to tell you to vote. (By the way: VOTE). Or to remind you that this is a historic day that will bring a historic end to a historic two-year run for office. I mean, duh.

What you do need me to do is chronicle the day from MY perspective. I'm taking the day off because a. I'm a total freakshow today and no good to anyone at work and b. what's happening today is more important than collaboration software or global business services. Sorry. It just is.

So I hereby devote this blog post to letting you know EXACTLY how I'm spending this momentous day. Because you care.

7:56 am: Pacing like a cat. And typing! I multitask.

8:45 am: Dropped Tea off at school. She voted. All I can say is, if the amendment to provide two tape stories before naptime doesn't pass, we're gonna break shit up.

Yeah, she voted. And she goes to the ACORN school. What about it?

10:30 am: Ninety minutes until volunteer time. What to do? Go to Starbucks and get my free cup of coffee (aka the LAST thing I need)? Or stand 101 feet outside the Whittier polling place and heckle? Decisions, decisions.

11:35 am: Off to 16th and Pearl to get out that vote! Contemplated taking Vito with me (Vote Obama or the dog gets it!) but he would rather stay here and snooze. Wondering what I'll do if they have me knocking on doors. Sample conversation:

"Did you vote?"


"Okay then!"

We'll see. Back soon with a full report.

I voted early. Piss off.

12: 15 pm: At the Obama staging area on Pearl, trying to figure out what the hell to do. There are a lot of people talking on cell phones. And there are a LOT of volunteers. Enough to canvass my neighborhood about 10 times over. This is good! Except, we're all in Boulder, which is a sure thing. This is bad!

I go up to Organizing Dude and say, is there anywhere we can go where they actually NEED us? Next thing I know, I'm driving me and a really nice lady named Amina to Arvada. Be careful what you wish for.

1-4 pm: Knocking on doors in the burbs, la la la. Once again I'm struck by how much canvassing reminds me of trick-or-treating. Except the payoff comes later, and it's uncertain. Whee. I get a lot of not-home voters (working class people who are....working! Surprise.)

And people who are home? See sample conversation above. I talk to one woman who is just getting in her car to go vote (we do the Obama club fist-bump) and a 12-year-old latchkey girl who says her mom is not home, but "She's voting for Obama today, so no worries."

Word at Obama headquarters is, there are more than a million people volunteering today to get out the vote. Awesome.

5:37 pm: Hey look! The Medill alumni magazine is here! This should be a fascinating diversion to keep my mind off the election! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

6:38 pm:

Will it be a champagne night, or a Boone's Farm night?

9:55 pm: Four years ago, I was sitting at my friend Kevin Cobb's house at the Worst. Party Ever. Apologies to poor Kevin, it was like a fucking morgue. I was almost 3 months pregnant with Tea. In the haze, I just remember sitting there thinking: I'm depressed. I'm pregnant. And I'm SOBER. It was a horrible way to spend a Tuesday night.

I just left a party with a dozen people cheering, a whole lot of them crying. Waking up their friends and relatives to share the celebration. I'm still stunned. Tomorrow, I'll wake up and I'll go back to my impossible deadlines and the demands of parenting and, well, a lot of shit. But tonight? I'm floating. As I wait for Obama to take the stage with my sleeping kid beside me, I can finally, totally, absolutely let myself have Hope.

Thank you, America. Onward.
That's it. Right there.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Low standards: friend or foe?

This fixes EVERYTHING.

Things have been pretty bleak around the office. Oh, we're doing fine. But we've lost a few really cool and talented people, and there's a whole lotta uncertainty about whether our fine clients will continue to spend money given the economic climate. Morale is down.

Last week, my co-worker Cat and I decided that we couldn't take it any more. We needed to inject a little good cheer into the mix. We brought in Peet's coffee and a box of 3 dozen donuts. We put them on the little kitchen cart and wheeled them around the office, serving donuts to our peers. Why? Just because. Everyone needs donuts.

We didn't realize how MUCH everyone needs donuts. Oh my god. As we rolled our cart from department to department, it was like we were the liberators marching into Paris during WWII. People were over the moon. Like, WAY over. It was like we were handing out $50 bills instead of donuts. They were grabbing two, three at a time.

Over and over they asked: "What's the occasion?" "It's Wednesday." And then their heads would explode.

It was a box of fuckin' donuts. Granted, LaMar's makes a tasty donut, but wow. I knew morale was bad, but I had no idea how starved people were for some kind of happy surprise, anything, to remind them that they rock.

People: You deserve donuts. And so much more. We ALL do.

The next day I watched the vice-presidential debate. Sarah Palin ignored the questions. She stuck to lame talking points. She WINKED. She basically sucked, BUT. She didn't say that she could see Russia from Alaska, and she stayed away from the Bush Doctrine, and she didn't suffer any sort of wardrobe malfunction.

So the media and the conservatives declared the debate: A TIE!

Now I know that Sarah Palin probably looks a whole lot like a box of donuts after 8 years of Bush/Cheney (who, to me, are the equivalent of a box of shit sandwiches.) But do you really declare satisfaction, even triumph, because the potential second-in-command didn't do something outright retarded? Is that really what we think we're worthy of?

I love low standards as much as the next person. They've allowed me to enjoy several really stupid movies, and they've gotten me through countless family gatherings. But they can't be the ONLY standards. Just because Tommy Boy totally cracked my shit up, should that be the gold standard for all movies? No no NO!!! (Okay, yes. But NO!) We should continue to demand the best. We want Lawrence of Arabia, dammit.

I'm sure that in the coming year, with this sucktastic economy, low standards will come in handy. They will get us through. But Cat and I upped the ante to waffles for everyone this week. Maybe next week we'll pass out the good beer. It's okay to accept the little triumphs, but we still need to always, always remember. We. Deserve. Better.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go pop some champagne because my daughter pooped in the potty. Low standards, indeed.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Too scary, even for Halloween

Now that it's officially October, I need to address a very important issue.

Last week, I made a comment about going as Sarah Palin for Halloween, and about dressing up my 3-year-old daughter as an impregnated Bristol Palin.

I'm not here to apologize for that statement. Because I still think it would be freakin' hilarious. I want to talk about something that's bigger than one tasteless Halloween costume. I'm talking about the fact that every single woman in the United States is planning to dress up as Sarah Palin for Halloween. (And in the case of the Castro, every single man AND woman.)

Ladies. I can understand the impulse. It's timely. It's cheap. It involves virtually no work at all except putting on glasses and looking disturbingly vacant. It's a great idea. I'm glad you thought of it, and I know that you thought of it first. You're really funny.


But think of the implications. Halloween is about diversity (okay, it's about candy but let's pretend it's about diversity). You can't have every party, every street overflowing with Sarah Palins. The sameness would be heartbreaking. It would be like a cross between the Republican National Convention and Where's Waldo.

Oh HELL no. But you get the idea.

Dare to be different. Go as a ghost. The slutty cat costume is always a good standby. Or how about that costume where you dress up as a salt shaker, and your husband goes as pepper? That one's really cute.

If you must be Sarah, I guess the only acceptable solution is for all of us to coordinate, band together, and go out for an old-fashioned night of ultra-violence. So if you want to throw on that padded blazer and join the crowd to burn up cars Detroit-style, call me! I have glasses!

Monday, September 29, 2008

At least something's going up!

The good news is, something reached an all-time high today.

The bad news is, it was the water level in our basement.

Today, before the looooong client meetings, before the Dow took a giant crap all over the retirement plans of America, our sump pump decided to kick off the day in style...and kick the bucket. Rick came downstairs to find that our lower level was very slowly being reclaimed by the creek that runs under our house. Not good. Not good at all.

THIS is PRECISELY why we decided that a stained concrete floor would be Just Fine down there. Although being right is no consolation when water is slowly seeping through the cracks of said concrete on the floor of your kid's room.

Fortunately, we caught it early, so Rick was able to call many plumbers, get a new pump, evaluate why the old pump went bust, and discuss long-term solutions with our new plumbing friends. He worked hard, which is why I found him basically curled up in a ball in the corner of the basement when I got home, obsessively timing the intervals between sump pump activity while it pumped the excess water away (27 seconds, for those of you playing at home.)

Now I'm sitting here listening to the sump working. It is a little unnerving. I don't like it. I don't like that I can look down the hole in our basement and say hi to the water, taunting me, about a foot away from flooding our basement floor. I don't like that we have to keep the cover off the sump pump hole until the plumbers come back tomorrow, which means that Gianni's room is temporarily the Radon Suite at the Hotel Polito.

All I can say is, it's a good thing we decided not to stuff all our money in Gianni's mattress. There's a bright side to everything.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Quien es mas macho?

A huge chunk of my conversation at a party tonight centered around one crucial question:

Who would win in a fight, Rock'em Sock'em Robots, or Hungry Hungry Hippos?

That is a tough one. I mean, if it were regular hippos, there would be no contest. Hippos are bad motherfuckers. They would take the robots down. But those are the big gray hippos that weigh a ton and wait quietly in the river for an opportunity to ambush. But the little pink and yellow hippos that swallow white balls? Let's analyze.

Hungry hungry hippos: small, plastic, smiling. But still hippos. They have impressive reach and quick reflexes. And did I mention: HUNGRY?

Rock'em sock'ems: Taller, pretty tough in their own right. But their range of motion is for shit. And they waste half of their punches swinging at air.

I give it to the hippos, in 12 rounds, decision.

No, we weren't stoned, why do you ask?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The dog ate my talking points

John McCain! Did you seriously say that you want to cancel the presidential debate because we need to focus on the economy? Did you really say that you plan to take a break from campaigning for the next few days, one of those days being the day of the first debate? And was it really suggested that we reschedule your debate for October 2, the date of the vice presidential debate, in turn postponing that one?

Because even I didn't think you were that big of a pussy. But way to prove me wrong!

Guess what I'm doing on Friday, John? I'm going to Omaha. For one day. I don't want to go to Omaha, even for one day. (No offense, Omaha.) I want to stay here. I want to do Other Stuff. I want to help my husband prepare for our son's birthday party instead of leaving him holding the bag. (A metaphor for our current economic situation? Perhaps.) But you know what? I'm going to Omaha. Why? Because IT'S MY JOB. I'm going to be interviewing a bank executive. That's right, a bank executive. He's not taking the day off to mourn the financial crisis, and he WORKS IN A BANK.

Some may argue that your job is being a senator, and as such you should be in Washington helping to give Henry Paulsen absolute power over everything in the known universe. I say: bullshit. Your job right now is to run for president. Your job is to prove that you can multitask like a motherfucker. There are lots of very smart people working very hard on getting the economy under control right now. And you know, I think they can manage without you. In fact, I really think you've done enough, my friend.

The place you need to be right now is onstage, with a microphone, telling me exactly why I should let you anywhere near a major financial crisis. I think it's going to take a lot of convincing, so I'm going to stop ranting so you have enough time to study up and find a pair of balls before the big debate. Good luck with that. See you Friday!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Palin in comparison

It's been a rough week. The economy--blecch. And I turned 39, which is apparently the year that my warranty expires. I'm not kidding. One night, I was out to dinner and drinking a nice bottle of wine, and then next morning my wheels fell off. I managed to hobble over to the doctor, who diagnosed me with the winning combination of strep throat and pinkeye. I felt like the carpet at Tea's preschool. On Friday, I was supposed to spend with Gianni doing Something Fun. Instead I spent the day lying in quarantine on my couch, catching up on "Mad Men."

And now I have to wear my glasses. Because of the pinkeye, my doctor nixed contacts for at least a week. I actually just bought new glasses. They were cool when I bought them. But when I put them on last week, I saw only one thing.

Sarah. Fucking. Palin.

That's right. I'm the spitting image. At least, it makes me want to spit. I can't believe it. One day you think you're upgrading your look with some fashionable frames. The next day, John McCain chooses a running mate.

It's not fair. God damn it, glasses are supposed to make you look SMARTER.

At least now I have half of my Halloween costume. I just need to get that prosthetic bump for Tea.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What do the mayor of Gotham and Adam Ant have in common?

Vote for me. I'm desperate, but not serious.

I saw The Dark Knight yesterday.

Whoa. Wow. Damn. Yikes. etcetera. As you've probably read and heard from everyone else by now, it's fantastic. Amazing effects. Heath Ledger giving the performance of his (sadly finished) life. Christian Bale, still hot. A riveting story that asks a lot of questions about good, evil and humanity.

But there was one question that went unanswered for me. One that dogs me still.

Why was the mayor of Gotham wearing eyeliner?

I mean, we all know why The Joker was wearing makeup. He's off his fucking nut. But why did the mayor look like he should be fronting Spandau Ballet? Gavin Newsom has the hair gel, but this is ridiculous. It bugged me enough that every time the mayor was onscreen, it's all I thought about. And considering how hard Gary Oldman worked, that's not really fair, is it?

Was he experimenting with gender bending, like the cute little Asian barista who gets me my latte at Starbucks? Was he secretly in cahoots with The Joker, wearing kohl in solidarity? (c'mon, The Joker didn't try THAT HARD to kill him.) Maybe it's a Gotham public sector thing, and Commissioner Gordon has a garter belt on under his suit. This really needs to be explained in the next film.

And if you ask me, the mayor concentrates too much liner on his lower lid. He needs to draw more emphasis to the outer corners of his deep-set eyes. I mean, if you're going to do it, go big or go home.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Steal this trash


I came out to my car this morning and all four windows were open. So was the sunroof. Now, I've been a little crazed this week, but I don't recall leaving the car wide open at any point yesterday.
That leaves two possibilities:

1. While unloading the car yesterday, Rick somehow accidentally triggered the windows and sunroof to open (My car is full of these little surprises)
2. Someone, somehow, got the windows down despite the definite locked-ness of my car. To do...something.

God I hope it's not number 2. Because that would blow. There has been a rash of burglaries in Boulder this summer. We've had our Burley trailer and a scooter stolen already. Losing an entire frickin' car would put me over the edge. I've seen that movie before and I hated the ending.

There's also the possibility that they didn't want the car, but rather the stuff piled in it. Of which there is much. If that's the case, the joke is on them. Because my car is basically a big rolling garbage bin. It's not surprising that they didn't want to steal any of my 27 empty water bottles. Or my three-week-old Boulder Weekly. Or that cornucopia of crumbs and dried fruit remnants that my kids are collecting in the back. I would estimate the total value of my car's contents to be about 3 cents and an empty GoGurt tube. (All of which, coincidentally, is probably IN my car right now!)

That's too bad. Because they didn't take any of that trash, and now I have to clean out my own damn car. Bummer. If they were going to break in, at least they could be useful.

Oh well. More incentive to actually be able to park my car in my garage. The contents of which are worth 4 cents. And Bret Michaels.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The shittiest president ever

Pardon me, can you please direct me to the GEORGE W. BUSH SEWAGE PLANT?

Oh, how I wish I were still a San Francisco voter.
This November, there will be an initiative on the San Francisco ballot to rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. Swear to god. Some guy thought of the idea after several beers with friends. Then he put on an Uncle Sam suit, gathered 12,000 signatures and made it happen. Democracy kicks ass.
I'm considering moving back immediately so I can re-register and vote for it. Not that they will even need my help. There is just no way this thing is not gonna pass. And no matter how fancy and schmancy W's presidential library is, no matter how many speaking engagements he gives, even if he lays in state in the Capitol rotunda after a long life, there will be a shit treatment plant with his name on it.
It's a common and correct assumption that a sewage plant is pretty gross. People, you have no idea. My grandmother worked for many years for the City of Indianapolis. Her last job before she retired was in the office of the Indianapolis sewage treatment facility. One time I was visiting Grandma for the weekend, so my mom dropped me off with her on Friday afternoon at work. I cannot even desribe the stench. To this day I have never been anywhere that smelled so foul. Imagine 750,000 people dropping a dook in the same spot at the same time. Yup. I remember thinking, "Wow, Grandma must've really screwed the pooch to end up in this job." I was only there for a half hour and I'm still traumatized by it.
And now, people will smell that vile odor and think of our president. Not that they don't already. But it'll be official.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Only in Boulder

Overheard at the Farmer's Market last night:

"Dude, you are an embarrassment to Ultimate Frisbee."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Casper the emotional dagger

Friendly Ghosts and pregnancy hormones do not mix

the movie was on TV tonight. You already know this because you all TiVoed it, don't lie. We watched it with Gianni because it is a fairly non-sucky kid movie, as these things go. I know this because I've already seen it. Oh, yes I have. About 3.7 years ago, Casper the Friendly Ghost nearly did me in.

At the time, I was pregnant with Tea and desperate to veg out with some premium channels. Casper was the best thing on (sad, isn't it? Somehow I just wasn't up for the HBO world premiere of Catwoman.)

So I watched our favorite friendly ghost in his first feature film, got into the plot (believe me, they packed a lot of nuance into those other three mean ghosts). Ninety minutes later, Rick came in to find me on the couch, sobbing my eyes out at the heart-tugging ending. Goes without saying that I will never, ever live that down. I hadn't cried so hard since I watched Babe 2: Pig in the City when I was pregnant with Gianni. Or as my friend Marjorie refers to it, "The Shoah of talking pig movies."

A week later, my friend Miranda, who was also pregnant, told me that she had a hard time sitting through Hotel Rwanda. I told her, "I lost it at the end of Casper the Friendly Ghost. I don't think Hotel Rwanda is on my dance card."

Anyway--we watched it tonight and I sat through the ending and realized, oh my god, I was a hormonal idiot. I mean, not even the slightest bit heart-tugging. I think Gianni and Tea actually stopped watching to do their taxes during that part of the movie. It's amazing what a little pregnancy can do to a body.

Imagine what would have happened if Casper were haunting the Hotel Rwanda. I never would have made it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'll try the organic shit-on-a-shingle and a nice pinot noir

We are home and trying to catch up on all of the news we missed on our trip to Greece. (Tim Russert? George Carlin? Who knew. RIP, gentlemen.)

Rick had our tv uncharacteristically blaring MSNBC for most of the evening. While I was wading through my 400 or so work emails in anticipation of my re-entry tomorrow, Rick suddenly said: You have GOT to see this.

It turns out that there is a military-themed burger joint in Beirut called--get this--Buns n' Guns. I shit you not. Go look it up. (I'm jetlagged, URLs are hard today). It has camouflage decor and guys in military garb serving up grilled treats with stupid army names. It's moronic, and, given the location, perhaps a teeny bit offensive. But that's not the reason Rick called me in.

We looked at one another and shouted: "They opened TAKE ORDERS!!"

You might think this was the first military mess-themed restaurant to open in our lifetime. You would be so wrong. In the mid-nineties in San Francisco, someone actually opened a restaurant called Take Orders. It was in the hip and food-chic mission district, right on 16th Street between the cool little tapas place and the renowned Bretagne crepe place. It had an olive-drab facade, camouflage netting above the entrance and bleak metal tables. It served dorky army-themed food. And it was quite possibly the stupidest restaurant we'd ever seen.

Think about it. A restaurant designed after an Army mess hall, a place that God knows is not known for its fine cuisine. In San Francisco, where hipster liberal foodies are not so much about restaurants glorifying military food service. It was SO ridiculous on so many levels I could spend a whole day lost in thought, wondering who the hell figured they would actually make money on this place.

We never ate there, just mocked it, but believe it or not we did have friends who tried it. (You shall remain nameless, although YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE). No surprise, it sucked. It closed after a few months and was replaced by a groovy sushi joint that blasted electronica, a much more fitting establishment.

But Take Orders 2.0 lives on! In Beirut! Somewhere there is some poor schmuck saying, see? It was an idea ahead of its time. Or maybe its the SAME GUY. Maybe this one will fail and they'll just open one up in Baghdad. Third time's a charm!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Greece: It doesn't suck

Greetings from Greece!

I would post using the traditional Greek greeting, but I'm embarrassed to say that I am still not quite sure what it is. I am trying to learn at least a word or two of Greek so not to appear like a complete American ass, but it'll probably take me until the end of the week. So far I've managed to fake "hello" and "thank you." I'm still scared to ask for the check, which sounds something like "I'm having an orgasm." Could be awkward.

We've been here since Friday and I've gotta say this is one of the best vacations I've ever had. Our little boat is, f0r the most part, lovely. We haven't sunk it yet. The islands so far:

Paros: Okay. Kinda boring. But peaceful.
Naxos: Lovely. Great clothes. Nice bars. Excellent liqueur.
Mykonos: Sucked donkey dick. Too many tourists, a shitty port a considerable hike from town, expensive, smelled like poo. Needed to drink all of the liqueur from Naxos in order to cope. Feh. But we did take an excellent jaunt to the sacred island of Delos (ruins o' plenty, by far the highlight of the trip).

And we did have drinks with two very nice 24-year-olds who work for Halliburton (that's right) and make six figs serving cafeteria food to contract workers in Baghdad. Exactly.

Which brings us to Tinos. After the hell that was Mykonos, we just wanted to get the fuck out to somewhere, anywhere. The closest island was Tinos--we knew next to nothing about Tinos--the guidebooks had a few paragraphs about it being a religious pilgrimage site for the Greek Orthodoxy, and that's it. We had not given it much thought, not being into the God stuff, but at this point being Not Mykonos far outweighed any God-hopping that we might encounter.

Turns out--Tinos? Fucking awesome. As opposed to the Mykonos "port" where they didn't even have a power hookup or water, Tinos had a delightful toothless gentleman named Dimitri who met our boat, helped us tie off, offered us myriad services, and did everything but give us a foot massage. We're not sure if he actually works for the port or just has a very excellent scam going (he was scarce when the cops came by), but we gave him 20 euro regardless because he was nice to us. Because we're just that needy. Then we had fucking awesome food and looked at fucking awesome jewelry, and now I'm in this fucking awesome Internet cafe having a cappuccino and killing a little time before a long day of hiking and beaching. It sucks not.

What day is it again?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Technology is evil. Or is it good?

I'm sitting here on the couch in my family room, in front of my nice TV. I'm about to watch a movie....on my computer. You may be thinking to yourself, "Well, that's retarded." And you'd be right. But I'm on a mission and our wacked-out entertainment center configuration will not thwart me.

It's like this: Rick and the kids are back in Indiana with the P's. I'm here, because I just love to work and want to get a few more good days in. Point is, I'm at home. By myself. With a TV. I have about 18 months' worth of films to catch up on. I don't ever, ever watch TV or movies. And it's not because I'm a sanctimonious douche who thinks that television is mind-numbing crap. Hey, my kids watch plenty of TV. They're the only ones. Between work and outdoor activities and kid activities (I guess those aren't mutually exclusive, huh) I barely have time to watch a commercial or a film trailer, let alone a feature-length extravaganza.

So here I am, ready to roll with some popcorn and a copy of Superbad. I turn on all of the apparati and...I have sound! And...that's all I have! No picture. Nuthin. I get cable and a DVD menu soundtrack that promises 90 minutes of unapologetic raunch, but for the life of me, I can't get the DVD picture to come up onscreen. I call Rick. He is marginally helpful but he can't figure it out either.

Okay, I was a bit grumpy on the phone but I'm sorry. Last night I watched There Will Be Blood. Not only did I think that the only impressive thing about it was Daniel Day Lewis' ability to chew scenery like no one else, but god--bummer. I felt like I needed a prozac chaser after that one.

I have had this copy of Superbad since Christmas (thanks Dad!) and I have not been able to carve out two hours to watch it. I've either been surrounded by kids or it's been 3 a.m. So goddammit tonight I'm going to watch something rude and inappropriate or die trying. You can't stop me, demon technology. I'm going to use OTHER technology to make my dream happen. And also to share my experience with people who don't really care about my G-rated hell.

Now where do I put the DVD? And what is this cupholder thing?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Like The Jeffersons, but with more flushing

I just got promoted. I know, yay me.

It's pretty exciting. I've been here less than a year and I'm overjoyed and flattered that the powers that be feel I am ready to go to the next level, or at least I'm ready to fake being ready. That's a huge vote of confidence.

I know I've come a long way in that time. I've gone from a writer of deliverables I'd never created about things I'd never written about to being a subject matter expert in a pretty high-profile area. I've gone from being a lone wolf to being part of a team, and now the boss of really talented and cool people.

But there's another metric I use to gauge that I've really arrived. I think it says it all.

When I started last June, I was assigned to the best cube available. And by that, I mean the best cube available to someone completely lacking in seniority in an office with a fully staffed creative team. I got the toilet cube.

That's right, my cube was right next to the john. Of course, I was not in a position to complain and having worked at home with my children, husband and dog, it's safely established that I can work through anything. (I type this while simultaneously answering a question about the meaning of life for my son and detangling a toy from an embarrassing wealth of twist ties.)

But still. A flush is a flush. And two dozen flushes a day can really rob you of your self esteem and sense of worth in a company. I could hear everything. In consolation, I knew it wasn't as bad as the toilet office on the other side of the building, where it sounded like people were squatting right next to your desk. However, I still had to deal with some less-than-genteel noise, and with people balancing their notebooks and coffee cups and shit on the walls of my cube while they hit the head. I'm a good citizen, though, I figured things would change someday.

A few months after I started, an editor with a bit of seniority left and through a strange twist of good fortune, I became the one with enough longevity points to take over her cube. So I moved a little further from the toilet and closer to the awesome writers with whom I've established a great deal of love over the last 8 months.

The ultimate position of privelege for a non muckety-muck type at my company is a cube by the window. With this exulted spot, you gain a little more natural light and a lovely view of Highway 36 and StorageTek. (The fuckers on the other side get to look at the Flatirons. Not that I'm bitter.)

In the last two weeks, I got promoted and two managerial types with window seats announced that they were respectively leaving and going remote. That meant of course we were losing some amazing talent. But it also meant there were two window spots open. And as a now-manager, I get first crack.

So in less than a year, I've gone from toilet cube to window cube. I don't know if that's a record, but I feel it's significant and I'm pretty proud. Best of all, I get to stay in my row with my peeps, just one seat closer to the window. Win-win.

But I'll never forget where I came from. Every time I hear a flush, I'll think of my roots. It keeps me humble. Movin' on up, indeed.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

You talkin' to me, sonny?

Something happened yesterday that left me walking around thinking I'm All That. I was at the light at Pine and Folsom the other day, driving my family truckster. I saw two mountain bikes pull up directly behind my car and observed that the twentysomething guys riding them seemed to be hopping. And waving. They must see someone they know. Whatevs.

Then the bikes pull up next to me. The guys keep waving in my direction. I seriously do the thing where you look around to see if someone else is there receiving the wave. Then I look around and wonder if I have a flat tire or a "Wave if You Think I'm a Jackass" bumper sticker. Nope.

I am used to doing the big city AVOID AVOID AVOID thing, but I had to see what was happening. I looked over and they were definitely waving to me. Trying to get my attention. Because? Call me crazy but I think they actually thought I was cute. The guy closest to me definitely had that "How YOU doin'" look on his face.

I figured that there must be some mistake. I mean, it's me. Do you not see the dueling car seats? Or the crow's feet? Is this Be Nice to a Tired Working Mom Day? As far as I could tell, there was no ulterior motive. Either my windows have some kind of soft lighting filter, or I was lookin' pretty fine. Nice.

They motioned for me to roll down my window. "Are you going left?" the extra-friendly guy asked.
"Great! So are we!" Mmmmmkay!

Then the moment went from being a mere ego boost to the most hilarious thing that's happened to me this month (granted, it was June 2, but I'm not sure anyone can top this.) The other guy was hopping around on his bike, doing little tricks, basically showing off and smiling at me. Then....he fell right over. Yep. Right on his ass, next to my car. It was the comic timing of the century.

As someone whose motto is, "It's only funny until someone gets hurt...then it's hilarious," it cracked my ass right up. Especially when the guy jumped up with this happy goofball look on his face, arms raised, as if to say, "Hey! I'm okay! Thanks for watching, and be sure to visit the gift shop on your way out!"

Then sadly the light turned green and the floor show was over. We all turned left, but speed separated us. Still, I could see my admirer waving at me as I drove away. It was a golden moment, where I got to feel all hot and stuff and also got to laugh heartily at someone else's misfortune. What could be more perfect than that? I'm still smiling.

I'm off to walk past some construction workers now. I'm on a roll.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Mom, this vacation sucks"

I got out of jail free this morning to attend a seminar on server and desktop virtualization. It was every single bit as exciting as it sounds. They raffled off a textbook (which I DIDN'T WIN, dammit). And I'm pretty sure the entire first row of attendees speaks Klingon as their first language.

But I appreciated the time away from work. How often does one get the chance to drive across Denver during rush hour to the sleepy hamlet of Greenwood Village? Not often enough, I say.

Anyway, I saw the weirdest thing ever during my bathroom break. As I approached the ladies' room, I heard talking. Okay, fairly normal. And music. Okay, weirder. Then I heard the unmistakable horror that is the Dragon Tales theme song. In the lobby bathroom of the Doubletree Hotel. Um.

Did you know that modern technology allows us to embed a flat TV screen into a bathroom mirror? And that four out of five conventioneers like to watch PBS Kids before and after they take a pee? Okay I made the last one up, but I swear to God. There was a TV in there and it was tuned into wholesomely lame cartoons.

Zack and Weezy, don't forget to wipe!

Why? Why?? I can only think of two valid reasons. One, they want to make sure that you return to your boring virtualization seminar post-haste--no lingering in the bathroom! So they play the most hideous saccharine kids' shows known to man. It's the same logic as playing loud bad music in public restrooms so the homeless don't set up housekeeping, or playing Billy Ray Cyrus full blast in the 7-11 parking lot so those damn kids don't loiter.

Or, it could be this--some vacation resort hotels have Kids' Clubs. If Mom and Dad need a little alone time during the trip, they can drop the kids off at Kids' Club for a combination of babysitting and day camp--swimming, crafts, other fun. Maybe the bathroom TV was the Doubletree's children's program, a poor man's Kids' Club. "Honey, Mommy and Daddy are going out to dinner, just go on into the john and watch PBS until we get back."

Jeez, at least give them Spongebob. After all, it is the bathroom.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Oops, I did it again


I read Maureen Dowd. Again. WHY do I always do that?

When I was a kid, I had a hallucination that I read a hilarious Family Circus cartoon. God, it must have been great. Because every single day, I read Family Circus without fail, thinking that THIS WAS THE DAY it would be hilarious again. And? It wasn't. It painfully, stupidly wasn't. It was the dotted line following Billy around the room, or somebody breaking a vase and blaming it "Not Me!" Har har har. And once again, there were at least 30 seconds of my life that I would never get back.

It's not just me. It's a phenomenon. As the cute drug dealer in the movie Go says, "It's just sitting there on the page, waiting to suck," and I just. Kept. Looking. Eventually I stopped, and never read Family Circus again (except for the sublime and legendary Dysfunctional Family Circus before the lawyers shut it down. Who knew Bil Keane had no sense of humor? Other than everyone who ever read Family Circus?)

What I'm trying to say is, Maureen Dowd is like Family Circus. She's just sitting on the Times op-ed page, waiting to suck. And I fall for it every time, because somewhere in my past, I read a column that was brilliant. Right? Didn't I? I'm sure I did. Anyway, I always read it and I always end up rolling my eyes and wishing I'd just stuck with Paul Krugman.

Actually, on the scale of suck, Wednesday wasn't so bad. Not anything earth-shattering, just the totally unnecessary use of the word Brobdingnagian (to describe finger-wagging? Huh?). And Maureen passing off Art Buchwald's old Marvin K. Mooney joke, which was really funny...when he made it, about 35 years ago. She even acknowledged that it was his, and repeated it, laming it up in her own special way. Sigh.

If there's a dysfunctional parody of Maureen Dowd out there, I'm all over it. Just point the way. With Brobdingnagian finger-wagging.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Every day I have a brief moment of silence for the loss of Trader Joe's from my life. At the risk of sounding like one of those annoying city-folk transplants who is always whining, "I reeeeally miss (IKEA, the subway, real bagels, cynicism, etcetera) it does suck to the max that Colorado has zero Trader Joe's presence. I mean, good god, this state probably leads the world in trail mix consumption. Where else are all the rich hippies in Boulder going to shop when they get sick of Whole Foods?

I know that the Colorado liquor weasels blanch at the thought of a store that distributes its own cheap, decent wine. And I also know that there ain't no way Trader Joe's is coming here if they can't sell beer and wine, their bread and butter. But I think I speak for all of the outlanders here when I say that I would gladly give up the Two Buck Chuck to be reunited with my chili spice mango. There is no substitute.

Until now.

Last week, Sunflower Market opened in Boulder. It's not TJ's, but it's pretty darned close. Plastic containers filled with nuts and candy. Tasty produce. Lotsa cheese and crackers. Good stuff.

But wait! It's better! Sunflower has an actual, living breathing meat department, the lack of which was Trader Joe's achilles heel for me. And it also has my new favorite snack--Caramel Corn Puffs. Or as I like to call them, Insane Crack Nuggets. These are basically caramel corn without all that pesky corn. I swear, the only corn in these guys is in the corn syrup that they shellac on the outside of these puffs. I seriously have to have Rick hide them from me or I would eat them continuously. God they're amazing. Thank you, Sunflower Market, for thinking of me in my time of PMS.

Trader Joe's will always have a special place in my heart, but Sunflower now fills the void.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I'm back, and I'm SPARKLY!


By popular demand (hi Kristen) I'm back and making a concerted effort to blog more than once every six weeks. I forgot that many of you are on maternity leave, or don't have jobs, or have jobs and don't want to do them, and reading about the daily workings of my life is the one thing that keeps you going. So I pledge to think of your needs from now on.

Just to catch up, since February I've been through:

A basement remodel
Some snow
A business continuity campaign
A funeral
Annual objectives
A whopping tax bill

Which brings us to yesterday, and two momentous events: Tea's third birthday party and the delivery of the last of our new furniture, making our house more or less complete. Because I always say, the best time to have furniture delivered is an hour before your daughter's birthday party begins. And the best way to ensure a long life for said furniture is to immediately let a dozen small kids jump on it for a few hours. With and without shoes.

But I in such a state of euphoria brought on by a. having furniture not covered in dog hair and b. having a daughter who is THAT MUCH CLOSER to being potty trained that I could overlook a little couch chaos. A few hundred sticky fingerprints on the Noguchi coffee table? NO PROBLEM. I think margaritas helped this.

Tea's party had an extra special side effect that I didn't expect, yet is completely cool. T got several fancy girly dress-up gifts that had that essential ingredient for 3-year-old fabulousness--glitter, and lots of it. After three hours of Tea strutting through the house in her new fairy wings and pink ballet skirt, our new couches and rug are covered in a layer of fairy dust. Everything sparkles with an extra princessy glint. And you know what? I kinda like it. I think it lends just the right mid-century space-age bachelor pad look to the place. I think I'll keep it.

If Design Within Reach were run by 3-year-old girls...

Next on the interior design agenda: Dora the Explorer. And lots of it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Crushing on Bobby Fischer

Hey good lookin', come here often?

If you haven't read Dick Cavett's essay/obituary about chess great Bobby Fischer, published yesterday in his Times blog, go there now. (Or rather, go there after you've read every scintillating word of this blog.)

Cavett tells a poignant story about being one of the only people ever to show the world a relaxed, almost jocular side of the notoriously intense and prickly Fischer. Fisher appeared three times on Cavett's show, both just before and just after his legendary match with Boris Spassky in '72. Cavett's account of that time is very moving--I can't do it justice describing it here, just go read it.

On the video clip of Fischer's first appearance, you see a young man who is clearly brilliant, clearly dead serious about his vocation. But behind those eyes you catch a glimmer of humor and even a bit of longing for a chance to step away from his obligations as the world's greatest chess player. To my untrained eye, there's no hint of the raving, paranoid self-hating wack job who came later. In that clip, you almost see a 25-year-old guy like any other. Almost.

What I didn't expect to see is this: In his heyday, Bobby Fischer was a stone fox. I always assumed he was your garden-variety greasy nerd, straight from central casting. But oh, no no. In the Cavett clip he's tall. Broad-shouldered. Wavy hair. Soulful eyes. Full lips. Excuse me, I need to go fan myself.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for tall handsome guys with an IQ of 200.

I feel completely weird crushing out on someone who, in later years, resembled that homeless guy ranting loudly to himself up and down Market Street. In other words, it wouldn't have worked out between us. But if I were an 18-year-old girl in 1971, for two and a half minutes it would have been magic.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


There's only one picture on this blog right now--it might as well be of puppies

Picasa is a wonderful thing. You can catalog your photos! Create albums! And share them! Wow.

But you know what it's not great for? Telling you that that album of old blog pictures is not just a repository, it's a link to all the photos on your blog. So when you decide that people viewing your public Picasa gallery probably don't want to sift through old photos of a donuts and Japanese pencils, you inadvertently delete all of the pictures in your blog.

This is what we geniuses refer to as a Design Flaw. Whether the flaw is in Picasa or my own brain, that's still up for debate.

Bottom line: can't see the pictures on my blog? Neither can anyone else. The IT staff is working furiously to resolve the issue. Soon, my lovelies, you will once again be able to enjoy such wonders of the world as trucknuts and a squirrel playing a banjo.
The Management

Friday, February 01, 2008


Oh my god, they found my wallet. The Franklin Covey store called this morning to say that they found it in the parking lot in front of the building and they now have it tucked safely into their safe. Franklin Covey is next to Wahoo's, where I had lunch. I crawled around in that parking lot for at least 20 minutes. And the Franklin Covey store was the only place I didn't check. Go figure.

Maybe it's just a bait and switch. "We don't actually have your wallet, but would you like to buy this lovely wallet/day planner in hand-tooled leather, featuring the inspirational thought of the day? It will make you a better person."

If it makes me a person who doesn't stupidly drop her wallet in the strip mall parking lot and pays her cable bill on time, I may just bite.

I'm off to retrieve my beloved wallet and ask Chris at Franklin Covey how the hell they got my home phone number. Loss of privacy is a small price to pay for becoming a functioning human again.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


I'm writing this from the Laughing Goat. Ordinarily, that would be just a super thing. But in this case, it kinda blows.

I'm here because I have no Internet at home. And no phone. And no cable (No! Not NO CABLE!)

This morning, while Rick was nursing a sick Tea (nursing = putting her on the couch to drink orange juice and watch Dora all day) he noticed that we were in a communication vacuum. Everything was off. Yet, he couldn't call because we didn't have a phone. And he couldn't look up the number online to dial Comcast on his cell. Because, well, you know. So I called them from work, and I guess Rick resorted to some kind of Senor Wences-inspired Dora puppet show to keep Tea from losing it.

The surly Comcast dude informed me that somehow we had missed a payment several months back (did I mention how much I love moving 3 times in four months?) I had somehow skipped over that late payment every month while paying our regular bill. So, voila! No mo service. And now we know the dark side of the Comcast Triple Play--complete isolation.

Anyhoo. I was going to pay the bill over the phone. I reached down for my wallet, and...it wasn't there. It was there when I went to lunch. It was there when I paid for lunch. It was there when I rode back with my friends from lunch. I THOUGHT it was there when I sat down. But it was not. I searched and searched my vicinity, the restaurant, even crawled around in the parking lot to see if it fell anywhere. I searched through at least four garbage cans. But no wallet.

To review: I had no money, no credit cards, no driver's license, no Costco card. I was planning to leave early to relieve Rick from sick duty, and when I got on the road I realized that my empty light was on. That drive to Boulder was a nail-biter to say the least. And once I got home I realized that I also had no way to connect back to work. Because see above.

So here I am at the Laughing Goat, drinking a latte that I bought by scrounging through the couch cushions, working as long as they'll have me and NOT relieving Rick from kid duty even for five minutes. I have no money, no gas and limited communications.

Ever read Johnny Got His Gun? I feel like that guy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Someone just lost the rodent vote

Soon to be re-branded as Ronco's MISTER SQUIRREL

Please, please give Mike Huckabee his own cooking show. In yet another installment of "You can't make this shit up," the most affable creationist freak I know turned up on the Morning Joe last week before the South Carolina primary and gave the most bizarre rationalization ever why he is The Man of the People in South Carolina.

Apparently, South Carolina is one of those fine places, like West Virginia or Southern Indiana, where squirrels aren't just cute and puffy-tailed--they're good eatin'. Huckabee claimed on the show that he is the candidate of choice for South Carolina because when he gets hungry late at night, he likes himself some squirrel. Not only that, but he devised an ingenious way to cook up our little friends, sort of the inbred toothless version of heating up soup on a hot plate in your dorm room.

And I quote:

"When we were in college we used to take a popcorn popper -- because that was the only thing they would let us have in the dorms -- and fry squirrels in the popcorn popper."

Woo hoo! When's the dinner party, Mike?

Here's the link (because every time I try to embed it I fuck it up):

That quote is the first best part. Second best part is Scarborough's retort:

"Sounds good, but I prefer grilling possum on the hood of my Ford Bronco."

Ahahahaha! LOVE.

I have two observations. First, if I were a resident of South Carolina, I'd be a little miffed at Gov. Huckabee for his blanket observation that my peeps and I are all squirrel-chomping yokels. And second, if I may channel Thomas Frank for a moment, if woodland critters are a staple of your diet, perhaps you are voting against your own self interests if you side with the Republicans. (Of course, you may be upper-middle class and just LIKE squirrel meat. Not judging.)
What's the matter with South Carolina?

Nice try, Mike. But I hear Hillary will eat ANYTHING if you dare her.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Marketing the slopes

Gianni and I went skiing at Breck yesterday (Weather: A. Snow coverage: D+. Wind on top: F-). Or rather, Gianni went to ski school from 9 to 3 and I ditched him to ski on my own for 6 hours. I took advantage of my innate ability to go skiing the day before a resort gets huge heaping dumps of snow. Mostly I cruised around on whatever now hadn't been skiied off or otherwise dissipated since the last storm. It was both a great chance to get away from it all and yet another opportunity to remind myself that I'm getting older.

It's not that I can't ski like I used to. I still can. It's that the names of some of these runs are having an adverse affect on me. I used to look at runs with names like The Burn, Boneyard, and Lower Boneyard and think, oh hell yeah. In my younger days, I could go for The Burn from first chair to sundown. But now I look at The Burn and I think, "OWWwwwwww." And let's face it, as a 38-year-old white mother of two, I just feel like an asshole skiing something called "Psychopath."

The thing is, I have no trouble skiing Horseshoe or Cucumber Bowl, even though those are plenty tough. Maybe they just need a renaming campaign aimed at women sliding down the ramp toward middle age. Instead of "The Burn," call it "You Go Girl!" And rechristen "Boneyard" as, "Hooray, My Knees Still Work!"

Naturally they can't really do that because the slopes would strongly resemble a taping of Oprah. So I'll just have to do my own attitude adjustment and admit that after all these years, I'm still pretty much a psychopath.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Never say never

That's GOFUCKYOURSELF for the triple word score.

Gianni recently discovered Scrabble. He is enamored and wants to play every night. That's wonderful for two reasons, the most obvious is that it boosts his spelling and vocabulary. But the other is that he has unwittingly brought peace and diplomacy to an area of the Polito family where for 17 years, there has been none.

Long long ago when Rick and I first moved to California, we went on our first weekend getaway. We rented a cute little cottage in Mendocino for next to nothing. We spent the days beachcombing and mountain biking and the nights curled up in front of the fire. One night we attempted to play Scrabble. We failed. Or rather, Rick failed.

We had never played Scrabble together before, and let me tell you it was an eye-opener. I quickly realized that the love of my life was not only a great Scrabble player and a formidable opponent, but also the worst sport I had ever seen in my life. He gloated when he pulled ahead. He swore and sulked when he lost. It was like playing Scrabble with John McEnroe. I finally took the board, dumped the tiles, and swore that I would never engage in Scrabble with him again. And since then it's been a running joke, a sore spot, and common knowledge that it's best for the relationship and mankind that we leave the game box untouched on the shelf.

Since Gianni started his love affair with Scrabble, he's played with me. He's played with Rick. But he'd never played with both of us--until last night. After much deliberation, we decided to think of the children. We established word game detente and Scrabbled together for the first time in nearly two decades.

And it worked. Rick was a good sport. He only said, "you BITCH," once, when I blindsided him with a huge triple-word score. And I could tell he was using every bit of restraint to not jump up on the table and do the cabbage patch when he pulled within three points of me. He's all grown up. He didn't even make a fuss when I crushed him like a grape at the end, which is of course not important to me at all because I'm not competitive in the least. (WOOO!)

We're ushering in a new era of peace, prosperity and Scrabble nights that we hope will last for decades to come. It's amazing what you can put aside for the good of the children.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

If you feel disenfranchised, raise your hand

Tsunami Tuesday is coming. On February 5, Colorado gets to join with approximately 752 other states to help determine who will be our Democratic nominee for the presidency. And given who the choices are, we'll get to play a part in history.

At least, SOME of us will. I won't.

I just found out that I registered to vote a month too late to participate in the Colorado caucus. Because I was too busy feeding my children and reading graphic novels to register in time, I will be sitting at home on Tsunami Tuesday like a college freshman who lost her fake ID. I feel so cheated--I don't get to cast my vote for the candidate of my choice. Or rather, I don't get to show up at the gym in Gianni's school between 9am and 11am and raise my hand. (I really don't understand this crazy caucus shit.) Quel bummer.

That just means that all of you other Democratic Coloradans better represent and hie yourselves to the polls on Feb. 5. One of the beautiful things about being an American, and about registering for your Colorado driver's license before December 5, is that you have that right to vote. Just ask those of us who were too lazy to drag our butts out to the DMV before then. So get out there and make me proud.

Unless you're a Republican. Then stay home.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dodging the bullet

God, what a week.

We had layoffs at my company. Lots of 'em, relatively speaking--about 10 percent of the staff. My head is spinning. I've been really fortunate in my career that I've never worked anywhere that had any intense layoffs, at least not while I was there. I always seemed to jump ship long before it sank.

But wow. To sit there, learning in the morning that it's coming, and watch your cube-mates and co-workers march one-by-one into The Room (and then into The Other Room, for grief counseling) is more emotionally wracking than I expected.

I know it has to be done. I know that our current administration and the Fed and the American financial markets have been beating on our economy like a pinata and it's about to burst. I know that our clients are cutting back, so we must do it too. I know that we're being proactive, and one deep cut in the beginning is better than death by 1000 knives later on.

It still sucks.

And let's talk about survivor guilt. Frankly, I am lucky to still be here. I've only got six months' tenure at my job. The writer who started the same day that I did is gone. So are a helluva lot of people who have been there longer than I have. It's a big gold stroke that they kept me. I hope it's a vote of confidence, and I'm not just next up on the chopping block if the shit goes down again. I prefer to see the glass as half full.

The funny thing? It's definitely sad. But I'm in awe of the power of human resilience, and the strong spirits and professionalism of those who had to go. They are amazing and they will be just fine.

Ditto the professionalism of the company and the compassion they showed in executing a hard business decision that affected so many people personally. I saw the head of the company go around to each person who was let go, tears in her eyes, and tell them that they still matter. And mean it. I doubt we'll see the chairman of Citibank do the same thing.

It's like when we had our bikes stolen out of our garage. We came down and they were gone. We calculated that it had to have happened in about 15 minutes' time. They jimmied the garage door, cut the locks, and took any bike of any sort of value (leaving our neighbors' crappy bikes.)
They were pros. As I told Rick, if we were going to get robbed, at least we got robbed by the best.

Getting laid off by the best is definitely no huge consolation. But it beats a complementary copy of What Color is Your Parachute? and a swift ass-kick out the door. Deep down amidst the suckiness, I appreciate that.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tea's first haircut

It had to happen some day. I'm not talking about the ceremonial first haircut--the one where your precious little angel sits in a chair that looks like a car, plays with toys, and walks away with a lollipop and a lock of hair tied with a ribbon. I'm referring to that other first haircut, where someone under the age of 8 finds a pair of scissors in a drawer and decides to have a party.

The other day the kids were playing nicely in the basement while Rick and I attempted to remember how to have adult conversation. We were interrupted by Gianni, who came up the stairs holding his spiffy new RC car.

"Can you fix this? It doesn't want to go."

We looked at it. No, it didn't want to go. Mostly because there was a huge chunk of hair wrapped around one of the axles. We had to ask.

"Whose hair is this?"

"It's Tea's."

"How did it get there?"

"She was holding the car up to her head and the wheels were going."

"Why were the wheels running?"

"I don't know." (uh huh)

"How did you get it unstuck?"

"I cut it."


The world stopped turning for a second, we all ran downstairs. Gianni can be such an articulate little person sometimes, you totally forget that he's capable of truly awesome 7-year-old boneheaded judgement.

Thankfully, the damage was minimal. Tea has so much freakin' hair, you can't even tell where she lost some. And we did get Gianni to rethink his answer about the wheels and admit that his finger on the button and some direct pressure may have been involved. (The offending car has been put on tiny toy blocks for a week, out of reach.)

On the bright side, he was just trying to help, and he did free Tea from the clutches of the car. The road to hell, etc. And we're very fortunate it wasn't Tea doing the cutting, or I imagine it would have been waaaaay worse. Instead we have our precious first lock of hair--wrapped around a plastic wheel--and a reminder that we need to hide the scissors.

Those kids. They do the darndest things.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The two-ton telephone

Dammit, I did it again. My bag overturned in my car and I've lost my cell phone. Yet, I can make calls because I have Bluetooth connectivity in my car. Once again, I have turned my car into the world's largest phone. I guess I'll need to have Rick call me on the way home so I can actually locate the damned thing by the sound of the ring.

Tragic. Next time you're starving to death or being held as a political prisoner, think of my plight.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Doesn't anyone say "Stop the presses" anymore?

Parade Magazine is about more than Walter Scott's Personality Parade. It's also about publishing interviews with pivotal world figures about their hope for peace....after they get assassinated. The cover of yesterday's issue was an interview with Benazir Bhutto. It's by Gail Sheehy. And as it turns out, it's her last interview. All of those things? Huge. Except....the whole thing was written and went to press before the Dec. 27 shooting.

So Parade is running this juicy interview and the only thing bitter old ex-journalists like me are thinking is: You couldn't have changed the headline on the cover? Or added a preface? You realize you had a great scoop and you've now overshadowed that by looking like complete boneheads.

I guess there are two possible explanations. One, the story went to press and because there was an archaic system or something, they couldn't change anything once it shipped (which in my opinion is totally inexcusable in the digital age, but whatevs.) Or two, the issue was already printed and ready to go before Dec. 27 (likely, since they were probably getting the jump on xmas.) Doing another print run over the holidays would have been pricey and complicated.

Is it worth the money to correct the cover and not appear to be totally not paying attention? Or better to just explain it on the Web, as Parade did immediately after the assassination? Who knows. All I know is that it's journalism. The one thing you're supposed to be is timely and factual. If that's not worth the effort, then hmmm.

I guess it's a good thing no one reads print media.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cindy Crawford--what a hag

We took a trip last week to the world's largest model train shop, conveniently located in Denver. It was pretty amazing...for the first half hour. Then I grew weary of looking at what must have been about 7,000 miles of train track and arguing about which is better, G gauge or HO.

Fortunately, this store knows their audience and the parents of their audience. They have a nice little sitting area next to the Thomas train table with mom-sized chairs and copies of gossip mags. I settled in with Star Magazine to read about the Best and Worst Beach Bodies of 2007.

The best bods were the usual suspects: Hayden Panettiere, Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria, and other hot young things whose vocation it is to look like babes on the beach for the paparazzi. But guess who was the worst? Roseanne Barr? Barbara Bush? No. It was Cindy Crawford. And indirectly, it was me.

Why was Cindy Crawford such an affront to the eyes of beachgoers this year? It's not like she was 750 pounds and wearing a G-string. She didn't have a life-sized tattoo of Yosemite Sam across her front section. She had the nerve to be a mom over 25 wearing a bikini. You could see her stretch marks, which apparently causes the editors of Star to throw up inside their mouths a little.

Because, ew! Here's a woman in her FORTIES who has had two kids and still looks pretty awesome. Every curve is where it's supposed to be. The only difference between her and the best bods is a little extra skin on the abdomen. But gosh, that really offended Star Magazine. So much so, that of all the people on the beach this year, she was the WORST. Never mind that I was sitting in a model train store and every single person in there would look several orders of magnitude worse than Cindy Crawford were they on a beach in Mustique.

Seeing that really kicked me in the ass. Or the stomach, as it were. I am 38 years old. I am a mom. I am in pretty good shape. Yet, I have stretch marks. Oh, the humanity. I wish I could have kept the smooth belly of my 20s forever, but a funny thing happened. I carried two gigantic children. That tends to stretch things out a little. I didn't think that was a huge deal. But apparently every time I walk out on the deck of Spruce Pool, I'm tempting the other patrons to gouge their eyes out. According to Star Magazine, am I now relegated to bathing skirts and demure mom cuts? God I hope not. Yesterday I walked by the racks of extremely cute bikinis at Target and thought, can I really not wear that anymore? Really? 'Cause what a shame.

Oh my god, the comments about Cindy's bod. How can you go out like that? Cover up! Get a tummy tuck! Let me tell you something. At one point after Tea was born, I looked into a tummy tuck, to reduce the sheer amount of extra skin I now have there. And you know what? Not only does it cost about $10,000, but it is MAJOR SURGERY. With a fairly unpleasant recovery time. Do I really want to spend ten large for the privilege of sitting on my ass for two months, waiting to heal? Just so I can look 22 from the neck down? NO. I'd rather buy an awesome custom bike, or go to Thailand for a month. I hope Cindy feels the same way.

Context aside, I was inspired by that photo. Here's a woman who has spent her whole life living up to the beauty myth. Now she has done her time and she is being herself, with her family. And she is still beautiful. More beautiful than 99 percent of beachgoers. And infinitely more stunning than the Star Magazine staff, who, on their best day, probably resemble the cast of Fraggle Rock. No tummy tuck will fix that, bitches.

I hear Jessica Alba is pregnant. Jessica, just remember--you can buy a lot of baby clothes for 10 grand, and still have enough left over for a rockin' bikini.