Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meow Love Rock and Roll

Shame, shame, shame... has been eons since my blog groove has been on. Sometimes the brain gets overloaded with serious business~ like Department of Defense work and managing my career as a desperate housewife.

Speaking of ........ on yet another shift of Desperate Housewife, I caught Patrick using the microphone. You see our living room has been converted into a karaoke/hip hop haven by some little people that I sometimes yell at. Mr. Furball found the microphone abandoned....... easy on the teeth there dude!

So after photo taking, I thought I would put a Warhol twist on FuzzNuts.

And in Amazingly But True News, someone has recruited me to officially use my creative side and wants me to travel around with her promoting There Is Life After Breast Cancer- Volumes 1- Indefinite. I guess I passed the no drama test in DC. So stay tuned.

But be sure to visit the There Is Life After Breast Cancer site for a hint of the fabulousness that Hayley is cooking up. And for any breast cancer survivors out there, do not be shy. Let your creativity flow and submit some of your work :)

Monday, March 23, 2009


That is how I think my mind is constructed. Pieces of brain matter stacked, unstacked, rolling around, put on hold, empty, asleep, keenly aware, overworked, in need of a sugar fix, mixed-up, set on fire, multi-tasked to submission. Kind of like being schizo, only much more middle aged- wifey. My reasons? Here are some of the my current realities:

* My oldest son has a serious sports injury (pulled an arm muscle) that prevents him from even holding up a book, much less writing, doing homework, drawing or doing chores. Injury occurs while wii bowling. Now we have to explain said injury to his teacher and his baseball coach.

* My daughter is the Queen of Stubborn but she is no match for me :)

* My other son (the middle child) has been on his best behavior as of late, and it is also true that I probably notice him less :(

* I used to be a power feminist, but now if someone would consider me a trophy wife, I would consider that a compliment.

* I always said I would never have plastic surgery or get tattoos, yet I did lots of both. Oh yah, and I never thought I would need an oncologist either.

* I have been wondering what exactly "going to hell in a hand basket" means and is it worse than just going to hell plain?

* I have noticed we no longer get turkey turds all over the pool deck in the spring because we now have two German Shepherds. But now we have german shepherd turds instead.

* Speaking of the pool. I have at least 5 bathing suits, but I always need a new one. You know the fantasy one that is comfortable and cute and make you look 20 years old again.

* Your cat can and will screw up your Wii yoga session. Thanks Melissa.

* You can be an atheist with kids in Catholic school. Maybe there is a support group for that.

* And along those same lines, you can make a purple Jesus out of clay for a class assignment in the name of "it is called creativity Mom!" Did I mention that ivory/beige and brown clays were all available?

* Middle son is petitioning for a "rise" in his allowance and his argument includes "Show me the money Deep Pockets." Need to find second grade reading regarding the recession.......

* I can absolutely assure you that force= mass x acceleration because no force is moving my mass......

* I don't think the new parochial school would approve of one of my favorite youtubes of all time

And that is all for now folks. Play safe and sane out there!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Like Your Tool

So, many of you know about Lance Armstrong and have even maybe read his wonderful book It's Not About the Bike My Journey Back to Life. Hayley, Shannon and I regularly stalk him as much as we can. So when Shannon asked if I wanted to ride my bike with Lance this past Saturday night, I said "Hell, ya!" It seems Nike and Lance are launching their Global Art Exhibition "Stages" to benefit Livestrong and they just couldn't do it without the three of us and about 1,000 other rabid fans. Shannon has the best connections and I should thank her more :)

So our adventure begins and I am calling it:

It IS About the Bike: Our Journey Back to Von's

So when you throw Hayley into any adventure, there is bound to be a book deal. So after I blog this, I guess I need to find an agent for us and call Oprah.

OK Hayley has a tandem plan that involves a tandem bike (of course), some buffs, some tulle and some fabulousness otherwise known as being Hayley's friend means life is fabulous. She wraps some yellow tulle around the front spokes of the tandem. The yellow is a Lance thing :) Puts some pink buffs on our helmets. Then the three of us try to figure out how to load the two bikes in one, or potentially two, trucks. Mechanical placement of mechanical things is not one of our strongest skills. But we do figure out the tandem will fit in Hayley's Envoy with the tail closed, against ol' husband of Hayley's prediction. We go for one bike in each truck and head on out to LA. Sunset Blvd to be more specific.

Shannon has a little road rage along the way and I worry Hayley will have trouble keeping up, but it turns out she is furious with the same assholes and she predicts our every move and nimbly stays behind us. Our next challenge is parking somewhere near the start of the race without getting the trucks either towed, peed on, or both. We bank our hope on Von's and park there. They say they only want Vons customers and we drop in and buy a little somethin' somethin', not knowing that later on Von's will be crucial to the incredible journey known as Three Women in LA for Some Stalking and a Free T-Shirt.

We check in and get said free t-shirt. Go back and subtly unload 200 pounds of tandem and mountain bikes. Hayley has the brilliant idea, perhaps premonition, that maybe we should practice riding the tandem before joining the peloton. It seems she recently had the nightmare that involved each of us taking turns trying to ride the tandem alone on the back seat.

We hop on. Well, I hop on, Hayley is suspended on the front seat. Which. Is. Set. Up. For. Her. BIL. Who. Is. 6 feet. 7 inches. Tall !!!!!!! I am a little taller, I try it. NOPE. Need tools. No tools. Need someone with tools. No one with right tools. Need wrench. Run to car, after calling husbands who are doubtful trucks have wrenches, they are correct: no wrenches in trucks. VONS? Maybe we think. Run in with our buff helmets, check aisle 9 as directed. Light bulbs, extension cords, no wrenches. Another stock boy passes by and asks us if we need anything. We say "Yes, wrench." He says "Wrench?" We say "Yes!" He says "Follow me to aisle 15 and I will show you." We jog behind him to aisle 15 (condiments) and he proudly shows us the ranch. As in ranch dressing. We don't have time to properly laugh too hard and pee our pants, but we thank him anyway and run out to the parking lot. What to do? Hmmmm... Hayley with her wrench vision sees an AutoZone across the street and up a block. We run over. Select wrench. Buy wrench and run all the way back to the start of the race. As we both frantically try to loosen up the nut and push the seat down, another cyclist walks by and says "I like your tulle." Or maybe she meant tool. We will never know since the cosmos of this universe decided to converge tool and tulle for us at that very moment. Seat is adjusted down and I can reach my feet to the ground just in time to take off from the holding area. No practice. OMG didn't tighten the seat and it is spinning all over as I am trying to steer this bike. Tell Hayley we are going to have to go SLOW and she says "No problem" although I am sure she is biting her tongue trying to to laugh at my unstable ass. Thankfully the peloton stops again and we can secure my seat. I am not sure if I should tell Hayley that I also notice our front tire is flat. Decide to keep it to myself.

And we are off! Riding with 1,000 other people, and dear Shannon for two miles down Sunset Blvd. Strangely, we figure out that the three of us have had, on average, probably at least 3x as much plastic surgery as any of these other women and we are in Hollywood. The wind in our faces, as we ride right down the middle of Sunset Blvd. Strange and normal people talk to us, everyone is ecstatic, joyful, and we are definitely free of cancer for that 20 minutes. We make it and Hayley did notice the flat tires. There were actually two. It made for quite the work out. We get our bikes valeted. We go into the Montalban Theater and enjoy some snackies and some photo stories. Ben Stiller comes out to talk to us and then Lance and the Presidents of Nike and Livestrong. They also bring out Shephard Fairey (the famous artist that did that bold Obama and this huge mural of our boy) then there is music.
It was great! Shannon even noticed that someone was playing beer bottle bowling in the back of the theater and she laughed at every strike.

We had been looking forward to riding our bikes back to the Von's late at night, not, with the roads now open to junkies and cars. We go out at about 10:00 and ask the valets what we should do since we didn't see any taxis. "Take the subway, it is right there on Vine and Sunset." So we walk our bikes over to the corner and see no subway. Looking at the 4 foot wide sidewalk, it seems to be our best bet. We figure we will ride as long as we can, and maybe walk the rest.

And we are off! The flat tandem is challenging. We go through intersections, up and down ramps, dodge a few bums, newspaper stands, zoned out people, stoned out people, huffing and puffing. Shannon almost was speechless at our beauty with the wind whipping our buffs ever so gently as we glided along. OK that is not what happened. She was speechless because it defied the laws of physics, and really intelligence, to be riding this fast, in the dark, through so many obstacles on a bike that needs about 20 yards to come to a complete stop. We raced for our lives, huffing and puffing (at least I was) and we made it back. My legs tasted like chicken. We signed the wrench and plan on selling it on ebay after we reach fame and fortune. We then loaded up the bikes and moved on out. The next day we all had a yellow carpet hangover. But it was well worth it. Thank you Lance. Don't be such a stranger. We don't bite ;) And we have wrench.

And dear Lance, we would be happy to sport some of your new Livestrong Sneaks. They are sporty cool!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So My Son

was practicing his cursive after school today. He is seven and full of energy. He can barely sit still. Eating for him is an experience in physics, texture, art and creative dance. For real. So when he said he was practicing his cursive ( you know, sitting sorta still for more than a split second), I must say I was shocked. When I saw that he practiced his cursive by writing me a poem, I immediately went into full mom-brag mode. So here it is (he is in the second grade):


I love you so much, I can't love you more.

I love you so much, you can soar.

I know it is not long, but I think it is spectacular :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Career As a Swimsuit Model

Was launched in 1971 and short-lived. As you can see, I really did not have the right attitude. I don't know what my mother threatened me with to take these pictures, but it must have been good. I sported this lovely navy and white wrestling style one-piece swim suit. Considering we lived in Hawaii at this time, I am pretty sure my mother had much trouble finding a swimsuit so outrageous. My sister got a slightly more feminine style in some sort of pastel color. I guess the photo shoot was to contrast the tomboy with the not tomboy. I do give myself credit for perfecting the pout/scowl decades before this was en vogue. We are not sure about the contraption pictured behind us, we probably used it to restrain our youngest sister (not pictured) I am sure I could have tied dear Moira up to that thing, I was looking buff!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sideboard Makeover

My sideboard was a plain Jane. She asked for nothing, and didn't even cry when dear daughter smashed her head into her glass door and cracked it (the door). She is an old gal, of questionable background. So plain, we didn't notice her much. Well, she did have that one intersting tile inset composed of teal and white.....

I thought about getting rid of her for some flashy new thing. But, aside from the lack of redecorating funds, I decided to give her a chance. I repainted her and made her look unique. That is a nice way to put it! Anyway, if anyone is interested in the method of my madness, here is a step-by-step for painting glass doors. I really wanted to hide the secrets within (i.e. all my art and other crap stored in the shelves) and went all out on the doors.

First you pick a design. I copied some stained glass patterns. Tape the pattern to the outside of the glass. Trace the pattern onto the glass using a permanent marker. Paint the pattern with acrylics or watercolors, depending on how much transparency you want. I used both. Remember, you will be seeing the reverse side. Hang up the doors and voila! I painted the wood a cranberry red and used some antique gold paint as a highlighter.

And a big thank you to Hayley, who assured me I could do this!

No more sitting in the corner for my baby :)

Dear daughter saw the camera and insisted on a photo op for her blossoming little girl pout career. Style and pose by Ellen, age 5.

Aren't my girls somethin'?

I haven't replaced the glass since the head incident. The cats like to jump in there for now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mission Survival

No, not talking about cancer, blah, blah, blah on that topic. Talking winter. In Chicago. Since we are hitting 70's and 80's this week in California and the Chicago forecast is butt-ass cold, I am fondly remembering my first winter in the Mid-West.

Mission: Survive Dental School

Launch Date: Fall/Winter 1989-90

Location: lake side, downtown Chicaaaaago

Enemy: besides gnarly teeth (not mine), nazi-esque instructors and a piss-poor student budget~ the wind, the below zero cold, the icy streets, the cab drivers

Cohort: my roommate Maria, who was from Miami

Mitigating Factors: none, OK maybe our youth

Fancy Gadgets: none (no cell phones or Internet, this was still the 80's)

Maria and I were talking in our dorm room one Sunday afternoon. We were pretty sure we had the proper gear to make it through the upcoming winter.


My coat, on the left, didn't have a hood and it was BRIGHT royal blue. Remember, this was the eighties. I was sure I would be fine, but I was not so sure about Maria. She may have had to wear a pashmina to the disco once or twice on a cold night in Miami, but her heavy coat was unlined leather.

So we call the experts~ our classmates from Canada, New York and the Mid-west. We asked them to come and check our gear.

They laughed. And laughed. And belly laughed. And peed their pants. Then they asked us did we have winter boots? Boots? we say. You need boots? OK more laughing. Then we pull out our boots...



Then the experts lost it and dragged us to one of their rooms where they had actual winter gear. Their coats looked like sleeping bags with belts. They had hats. (OMG I was going to have to smush the chi-chi poof down?) and boots that were a combination hiking boot/top-siders. We had never seen anything more ugly in our lives.

We tried to be cool, and brave. But by Mid-October our chi chi was blown to bits, our feet were frozen and our dream fashion glamour was in the toilet. We had to catch the el to the Loop and buy some ugly-ass coats. We made it that first winter nicely in our ugly coats and survived many other indignities that year.

We petitioned the dean to assign dorm rooms matching each warm weather student with a cold weather roomie.

Maria, where ever you are, I hope you are nice and warm.