Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

I’m watching the kids carve pumpkins and get their costumes ready for trick-or-treating tonight, terribly excited about the pillow case full of sugar they’ll be divvying up. Bringing back a flood of memories of cheap plastic costumes in a box, with masks that cut your ears with their rubber band straps and eye/nose/mouth holes so small you could barely see/breathe/talk. I loved those crappy get ups! And as I watch the excitement build in their faces, one thought fills my mind…..Being a grown up sucks!

When I was a kid, all I could think about some times was how cool it was going to be when I was a grown up. I could finally stay up as late as I wanted. Nobody could force me to eat fried liver in order to go on a camping trip (yes, they actually did that once). I could have as many pets as I wanted. I could wear whatever I wanted, eat whatever I wanted, watch whatever I wanted on TV. It was going to be SWEET!

Then it came. The adulthood of my 20s. And for a while it was indeed dandy! I’d stay up til 3, drink like a fish, dress like I was in Miami Vice, and watch whatever I wanted on TV. And to hell with fried liver. Of course, my 20s meant some serious expenses coming my way. A car, an apartment, student loans. But I had cable, Letterman and didn’t have to panic when I got carded. So I was right! 20s adulthood was as sweet as milk chocolate.

Then came the adulthood of my 30s. Marriage and a few years later, motherhood. Adulthood was still sort of sweet. There were now two car payments, a bigger apartment and eventually a mortgage. And the lingering student loans. But I could still stay up as late as I wanted! Sure, I didn’t want to stay up past midnight anymore, but if I wanted to I could have! And still no liver! 30s adulthood was…semi-sweet chocolate.

Now I have a firm foothold into the adulthood of my 40s. Two kids. Both involved in lots of activities that cost mucho dinero. Medical bills for to sets of over-40 eyes, ears and joints. Mortgage, cars, insurance premiums, office equipment…and why the hell am I still paying student loans?! I do still stay up as long as I want, but unfortunately it’s now because of insomnia. I can eat what I want, as long as it’s preceded by Bean-O and immediately followed by Imodium or Tums. Of course now I’m slightly anemic so the doctor recommends I try eating some fried liver. Yes, the adulthood of the 40s…baker’s chocolate. Trick or Treat.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Frillies" Huh?

Sometimes, you just don't need to write much to tell a good story.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just a "Little" Unwell

Welcome to Cold and Flu Season. If you should see me about town, avoid me like the plague. Oh, I’m perfectly healthy. But I work in a pre-K Petri dish. Sixteen kids in my class, and five called out sick today. Out of the remaining eleven, seven kept coughing and several were warm and/or sleepy. Which brings me to ask:


If your kid’s warm ~ keep them home. If they blow bubbles out of their nose every time they sneeze ~ keep them home. If they bark like a seal when they cough ~ keep them home. If their eyes are so red they look like college freshmen after a two-day frat party ~ keep them home. If they’re as green and nauseated as you were in your first trimester carrying them ~ keep them home! There isn’t enough Purell in Pennsylvania to kill off what you folks are knowingly sending into school.

Sure, it’s nice to have three hours to yourself in the morning. I live for Fridays when I get the same. But come on! Surely you noticed the green mucus oozing from junior’s nose before you dropped him off and ran for the mall! It’s nice that some of you are teaching your tubercled tots to hack up into their elbows on occasion. But then stuffing snotty Kleenex into the play kitchen’s oven kind of undoes the deed.

Enough said. Hopefully people will get the hint. But I doubt it. So tomorrow, I invest sixteen of the world’s largest hamster balls. Gazundheit!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Matter of Trust


It’s a fine line that’s very hard to walk, and constantly shifting. If you do it too quickly you can be burned. Sometimes badly. If you hold it back too long, you could ruin a potentially wonderful relationship.

I often give it too quickly. Sometimes it tak
es weeks, even months to realize I’ve made a mistake. I was too eager to please someone and ignored signs or signals. Or I was just blind-sided, bamboozled, hornswoggled. (I bet NONE of you typed those last two this week!). But sometimes the regret comes literally within minutes. A V-8 moment where you hit yourself upside the head and say “why the hell did I just share that about myself?”

Yesterday I had a V-8 moment. Someone I “kinda” “sorta” knew asked me for information on myself that I just too quickly shared. It seemed innocuous at the time. I mildly regretted it instantly, but held out hope that I was right in my knee jerk decision to share. Less than 24 hours later...bitten in the ass. Nothing major. I'm not the proud owner of a time share or a Nigerian bank account co-signatory. I just hate it when I have to tell MYSELF “I told you so.” I’ve given out my email too quickly. My social-networking site names. My age. I’ve never been dumb enough to give out my phone number. But it floats out there, like everyone else’s does. Someone found it. The same wonderful Internet that helps us spell hornswoggle and find free "classy" porn (not me...a friend) also reveals a lot of information about ourselves we may not want teenage nutcases to know. Fortunately my quick thrust trust mistakes only ever extend to myself. I don’t trust anyone with information I have about anyone else. And if anyone asks for it, the crimson flags immediately go up. Take note: INSTANTLY UP.

Of course, there are many times when my initial decision to quickly trust someone has been right on target. I’ve made many good friends through the years who I’ve been able to confide in completely on very personal issues. And I think I’ve earned their trust back. Like most folks, I have names, numbers and juicy tidbits in my head that lots of other people would love to have. And I can be trusted with them. Hopefully the people who've made the decision to trust me have never had a V-8 moment; or if they did, that they quickly got over it. I’m the full daily requirement of veggies, baby. Don’t doubt it.

I’ve also been on the other side of the fence. Where you’ve completely proven yourself trustworthy, but you still are met with a wall. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Great Wall of Distrust or just a picket fence of doubt; if you know it shouldn’t be there, it hurts. I guess that’s why I sometimes give away my trust just a little too freely. I know how it feels to give it, deserve it in return, and not get it completely back. So while I may get bitten in the ass on occasion, I’ve got a big enough ass that I can stand a few chomps if it means not having to build my own Great Wall. So to show you all how sincere I am, my Social Security number is 453-52-V8V8.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blogging Broads and Baseball

Blogging has taken a back seat to scriptwriting these days. But I got a complaint, so here ya go! A little something on…baseball.

What does MLB have against Phillies fans? First they schedule post-season Round One against the Rockies at crappy hours that most die-hard Phils fans (and all school aged kids) can’t manage. TWO 2 p.m. weekday games. And then 10 p.m. on a Sunday. Of course, the Sunday game was supposed to be on Saturday. But the Rockies' domeless Coors Field was full of snow Saturday. So the game had to be postponed. Gee…early snow in Colorado. What are the chances? Genius planning, Colorado.
And your beer sucks too.

And why does the American League get all their coverage on free Fox, when us NLers have to pony up for TBS for all our post-season? In the long run, however, these television slights will matter not for the Phils as a team. They kicked CO tail to make it to Round Two. They gave is a nail-biter of a 9th in Game 1 against the Dodgers. I don’t want to talk about Game 2. Too painful and too soon. Although I do thank the pizzeria owner who gave everyone free condolence zeppole after the third out on Friday. I do suspect the strength of his faith in the team based on the fact that he came out of the kitchen door with them 10 seconds after the out. But they were so good that he's forgiven. For now.

The off-Broad Boys of Summer (did I mention it's 42 here?!) now have to go from playing in 90+ degree heat to playing in 40-degree sop. But I have no doubt they’ll do it. Sure, Lidge will give us all an ulcer or two in the process. Sure, we’ll all feel incredibly bad for Old Man Moyer. But they’ll do it. And pretty boy Hamels’ orange wife will soon be kissing a 2009 World Series ring. You’ll see. I bet you a box of Pancake Krimpets we make it to the series. And a Schmitter that we win. Google it. It’s worth the bet!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Answer (and Hair) is Blowing in the Wind

Tonight I actually ran up the stairs in a rush to get something, and by the time I reach the top step, I forgot what it was. Since this isn't the first time that's happened it got me thinking. So I put on my now-requisite CVS reading glasses and sat down to blog. Blog about the effects of being...

40 - Something

What the hell is happening with my locks? Used to be a time when my hair was so thick my mother would have the hairdresser thin it out with these freaky scissors. Dumb, dumb move. I’m now starting to leave hairs everywhere I go. If I’m caught in a good wind, I sometimes feel like a giant dandelion who just had her fluff blown off. I thought I’d dread going gray when I hit 40. Now I’d will my hair to go gray as long as it stayed! I used to think this was just happening to me, until I started looking at all the other women about my age. Ladies in the gym, you may think I’m looking at you intently while we talk, but I’m just reassuring myself by checking out your also widening parts! There are quite a few thinners among us! First one of us to need a comb-over wins $20. And a hat.

OK, so if it’s coming out on top, why’s it coming in everywhere else? This is proof that if there is a God, he’s got a wicked sense of humor. When I was a kid, I would quietly giggle to myself when I’d watch my grandmother go to town on her chin and upper lip with her pink, rhinestone-encrusted electric Lady Schick. Now I wonder where the hell I can buy one. Sometimes I feel like Richard Nixon during the televised Kennedy debate. Like the world is noticing I’m developing a 5-o’clock shadow on my chin. Of course, the world has no clue (until they read this concessional), because I take great pains to mow the lawn. Again, I thought this was just me. Until a good friend admitted over lunch that she too tends the field. And if the school’s hottest mom has to do it, then I feel just a weee bit better about plucking. Now I just have to make sure I have a coma buddy lined up and ready to go. You know, a gal pal who’ll creep into my ICU room if the need ever arises, and tweeze as needed.

My arms are clearly getting shorter. Why else would I now need to hold menus halfway across the table in order to read them? Sure the computer screen is blurry and I have to get the kids to read pill bottles and microwave instructions, but I’m convinced it’s an arm problem and not aging eyes. It if wree ralely a prolebm wtih my eyes my splelnig on the copmteur would be afefcetd.

People are starting to get a little too respectful. Case in point: On a recent Friday night trip to the liquor store, the diligent clerk asked the three people in front of me the same thing. “Could I please see some ID?”…”Could I please see some ID?”…”Could I please see some ID?” When I got up to the register, I however was asked, “How are you this evening, ma’am?” MA’AM. Just stab me in the gut while you bag my bourbon, buddy! Of course to make matters worse, the next day I read on Facebook how my close friend~~a bald mono-browed and clearly 40-year-old Hatfield-ian (Hatfield-ite? Hatfield-er?) who shall remain nameless ~~was himself carded last week. Again, God’s warped sense of humor.

I could go on. I could write about how my knees pop when I first get up, how I’m starting to use dreaded phrases from my youth like “Because I said so!” and “Don’t make me come up there!” more than I’d like. How I sometimes find myself becoming…my mother (Hi, Mom!) But I won’t. There are a few things that are actually good about being in my 40s. I no longer really give a rat’s ass if I accidentally do something embarrassing. I’m way more outgoing and make friends easier than I did in my youth. Probably because I no longer care about being embarrassed. My car insurance premium decreases at the same rate my blood pressure increases. And my vocabulary’s getting pretty damned good even if my splelnig is geinttg wosre. So you lose a little, you gain a little. I can deal with the 40s I guess. But so help me I may go postal when I hit 50.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Freaking Birthday to Me

I have not blogged in a fortnight. (Google it.) At first it was because I’d been scared out of “giving away my funny for free.” Then I just got too busy pulling crayons out of preschooler noses and making sure junior high school students (alright, ONE PARTICULAR junior high school student) was keeping up with homework and prepubescent skin care. Then I just got “blogger block.” Every writer gets blocked from time to time. Oh, I’ve got plenty of funny fodder for the social networks. But I feared I had hit a dry patch blog-wise. Until tonight. Tonight I decide to just catch you up on the fortnight that was for:

BEN: My “baby.” The blond-haired, blue-eyed surfer dude among a sea of hazel-eyed brunette landlubbers (no, Mailman Mark is not blond) turned 7 since my last blog, and now looks like an extra from the cast of Deliverance. Corn on the cob is no longer a viable option as a sidedish at KFC. After losing three teeth in one week, the Tooth Fairy learned the hard way that she must always have singles in her purse. Kid woke up to four quarters one morning. I told him the fairy didn’t like his brushing technique. Ben’s kickin’ it in 1st grade, beating the pre-pre-pre-pre-teen girlie set off with a stick and reading at the top level of books offered in his class. And it’s only Oct. 1st. I’m thinking he’s peaked already and it can only go downhill from here.

EVAN: Crossed the hump, and then literally the street, and is now in Middle School. Yay!! Yay?! Feh. Has to be at school an hour earlier than last year. This is not going well. Wakes up like an old man every morning, stumbling blindly down the hall in his boxers like a geezer looking for his soaking teeth. School seems to be going well so far. It could actually be going to hell in a hand basket since I haven’t seen any grades come home yet. But he hasn’t come home bloodied or hickey'd yet, so it’s all good for me! At back-2-school night we met all his teachers. I think I could have babysat or given birth to most of them. Except fo the science teacher. She could have babysat for George Bush...Senior. The biggest thing I’ve noticed as the new mother of a middle schooler is the difference between the girls and the boys now. Boys vary in height, that’s about it. Girls? Ay, Chihuahua! Evan was so nervous the first day of 7th grade that he got sick. Then we pulled up in the morning, and some 9th grade girls (God I hope they were 9th graders!) walked in front of our car. The raised eyebrow I saw on my son said a thousand words that morning. He’s never had a problem going to school since that day. I swear I think I share a bra size with some of these girls. And if you know me at ALL…

CHRIS: Is still Chris. Only change is a recent trip to Chicago. Where he was officially diagnosed with the “meat sweats” after finishing off ¾ of a Gino’s East deep-dish, sausage-patty-as-big-as-the-pie pizza. I felt no pity for him when I heard of his agony, and neither should you. He ordered extra tomatoes on the pie because, as everyone knows, vegetables are healthy.

ME: (Yeah, I’m going to get the biggest passage today. The rest of ‘em know how to write; they can make their own blogs!) I’m still leading my "secret" double life, only I’m now a year older while doing it. Turned 87 on Monday, according to my “dear friend” Mickey, who I hope to see staring down my headlights one night on an desolate road. It was actually a surprisingly lovely birthday. I was treated to a sushi buffet lunch at my favorite once-a-year restaurant. Ben’s photo is now taped to their register under the heading “Do NOT serve!” (that boy is to sushi what termites are to seasoned wood). My parents and siblings went in on a joint gift and got me the scriptwriting software I had longed for, and unsubtly hinted at, for weeks.
The day took a brief detour into hell when I went to Cub Scouts and was serenaded by a room full of scouts and parents against my will. (PAUSE! This is the point in the movie of my life where you notice the birthday girl putting her cell phone on “vibrate” because it would be rude to have it ring during a Cub Scout pack meeting. RESUME PLAY!) After scouts, my folks came over and I was treated to a lovely birthday cake with the number “87” in candles on it thanks to my husband finding “dear friend” Mickey’s message on Facebook. Both men have since been beaten. Chris surprised me with a gift of my very own teeny-tiny-oh-so-adorable netbook laptop, just for me to write my scripts. I named it “Tim.”
After the “party” was over and the kids were put to sleep (not euthanized, just tucked it); Chris set about installing my beloved scriptwriting software onto Tim, while I went to check my email on the now old-hat laptop upstairs. (PAUSE! Flashback to me putting my phone on “vibrate” at scouts. Never took it off that status, so it never rang all night and the voicemail filled up with birthday wishes. RESUME PLAY!) I won’t bore you with the details of emails/texts/obscentities, but my birthday was the night that bad phone etiquette and a secret double life collided and made for one unhappy camper of a secret-life-housewife. Lesson to learn folks: If you leave your phone on vibrate and your mailbox fills up, you may miss the “birthday wishes” phone call of your life. For a would-be comedy writer, this was a dream phone call. It would be like an aspiring physicist getting a phone call from Stephen Hawking’s voice synth. It’s still promised to come “sometime soon.”
So, I now go everywhere with my fully-charged cell phone always in my pocket, with the volume turned up so high it could wake the dead, or at least my father-in-law. I’m an 87-year-old woman waiting to get a phone call. From a talking dog. And I'm happy as a clam. A drunken clam.
(yeah, that's a phone call hint.)