Monthly Archives: June 2013

Where’s the Bathroom?

When I was in college a bunch of girls and I decided to head down to Florida for Spring Break. I know … strange. College kids rarely do this … but we were rebels. Since no one had any money, we all piled into one of the girls’ cars, a station wagon no less, and headed south. For our 18 hour drive down, I think I only had to pee once. I distinctly remember being wildly annoyed that these girls needed to stop every two hours for a potty break. I had a steel bladder … a bladder to be reckoned with … Chuck Norris’ bladder, if you will.

chuck norris

My how bladders can change. Oh, and minds. Minds can change too I guess. But mostly bladders.

One of my favs got tickets to the Jimmy Fallon show last weekend. Headlining guest? Jason Statham.

I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

Oh, yeah … peeing.

Three of us piled into a car – a mid-sized SUV this time, if you must know, then grabbed a train, and lugged our sorry, tired mom asses to New York City. We had an amazing time. And Jimmy Fallon … if I didn’t like him before, I love him now. But enough about Jimmy Fallon and his adorable self … the real story here is about the mind numbing amount of times we had to pee in the city that doesn’t sleep.

Now that my friends and I are moms, everything revolves around the bathroom. EVERY. THING. I thought it was bad when the kids were potty training and you had to know where the nearest bathroom was at all times … whether it be at the mall, the pool, the highway, or Aunt Junie’s one bathroom mansion … you didn’t know where the bathroom was and you were screwed … and by that I mean you’d be cleaning pee off your child’s legs and convincing yourself that potty training is overrated. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a 15 year old wearing diapers.

But now that our mom bladders have shriveled up to tiny Altoid sized, out-of-shape muscles (thanks kids!!), we are in pretty much constant need of a bathroom.

So back to NYC … we head to the JF show and do everything right. We pee and then get in line. Everyone knows this. You ALWAYS pee first. But, while standing in line, my friend begins to ask the guy in charge (presumably a 20 year old intern who can piss standing up and probably has a bladder the size of a basketball) what would happen if she had to pee in the middle of the show. He says – you can’t come back in. You can leave, but you cannot re-enter. She starts to panic. And even though we’ve JUST PEED, she proceeds to ask how long it will be until we are let in and if she has time to run to the bathroom and pee again. He says it could be 5 minutes, could be 15 minutes. I see her mind frantically working … trying to figure out the distance between the bathroom and where we are currently located … and it ain’t a hop, skip and a jump. But if she doesn’t make it back in time, she will not be allowed in. AT ALL.

She rips open the elastic barrier keeping us corralled into place like the cattle we are, murmurs “I’m going to the bathroom” and starts running.

I love her, but, honestly, we would have to ditch her if we were on the Amazing Race.

My other girlfriend, the one who got us the tickets and has a slight tendency to worry, starts hyperventilating. While I search the floor looking for a paper bag, she keeps her head firmly looking back to see when our friend with the weakest bladder will return. The people behind us are taking bets on whether or not she’ll make it … and there’s always that one Debbie Downer who insists, “She will NEVER make it.” Shut up, lady, or I’m gonna piss right here on your shoe. I look over at one point and my hyperventilating friend is now taking her own pulse. Apparently she’s concerned that her heart may explode from the pressure. This is high stakes here. If we don’t make it in … well, we might as well just screw world peace.

I’m wondering how I’m going to resuscitate her when one of the interns states we will be entering in 5 minutes. 5 MINUTES!?! We have no idea if our friend will make it back in time. Sweat is pouring off my body and my only mildly stressed friend is starting to sway and turn blue. Every scenario is whizzing through my mind. How can we stall them? I could collapse, sprawling my body out as far as I can to block people from moving forward. But then I picture people just stepping over my limp body as I desperately attempt to trip them. Damn you 5’5″ height!! Or what about starting a loud rendition of the Wobble song that blocks out the intern’s insistent voice stating that it’s time to enter the studio. I’m just about to start screeching out the lyrics, when our friend comes, red-faced and gasping for breath, back into line.

The relief was palpable. I even heard the people behind us relax … and the shuffling of money. I shoot Debbie Downer a look that says I knew my friend would make it back in time, I never had any doubt, and she should shut her pie hole. Ok, I did that in my head. But I bet that bitch knew it.

Point?

This is the shit we have to deal with people!! We basically have a disability. In fact, we DO have a disability!! Is anyone hearing me? Anyone getting this? DISABILITY. ACCOMMODATIONS need to be made. This is no different than being an amputee or a blind person. NO. DIFFERENT.

But seriously, we all agreed we’re bringing Depends next time. It’s just too risky not to. Could you imagine if we had missed Jason Statham?

pee

Church

I wish I could say that we go to church every Sunday or even belong to one but we don’t.  We’re sinners that way … among other ways.  This past weekend though, we attended the Hubs’ adorable cousin’s quinceanera.  It’s basically a coming of age birthday party that involves a grand ballroom, a fabulous dress, and enough food and dancing to make you wish you were 15 again … or at least 28 … actually, 34 would work too.  Oh, and church.  It involves church.

We knew this going in, of course.  Everyone kept saying it’s a FULL Catholic mass.  Is there any other kind?  I guess there must be abbreviated ones (you’d think I’d know since I was raised Catholic).  But the way everyone kept saying “FULL” – with eyes the size of a tarsier (google it), head gradually dipping while the word slowly left their mouth (as if you’re an idiot who doesn’t understand what the word ‘full’ means) and the ‘f’ making the same ‘f’ sound you make when pronouncing the word “fuck” (yeah, THAT f), made me a little leary.  And by leary I mean that dreaded feeling when you know everything is gonna go to shit and there’s not a blessed thing you can do about it.

My plan was to stay at the hotel with the kids.  No such luck.  My mother-in-law gave me a look like I had just given the middle finger to Jesus Christ himself and then proceeded to tell me it would be “good for the kids”.

Ok, plan B.  We will sit in the waaaaaaaaay back and sneak out when the shit hits the fan … like Guy pronouncing loudly during the sermon “THIS IS BORING!” or “WHY IS HE WEARING A DRESS?”, but the Hub’s Aunt was insistent that we sit with the family up front.  I seriously love this woman and lying in the house of God seemed criminal on 20 different levels, but I could feel myself about to spout any kind of fib to get out of being in the front of the church – diarrhea usually shuts people up.  I sucked it up though – I really do adore her.  Plus, maybe my mother-in-law was right.  Maybe this was good for the kids.

I positioned myself as far away from the boys as possible.  This sounds mean, I know, but they were going to be the hardest to deal with and why shouldn’t the Hubs suffer some too?  Plus he’s more Christ-like than me.  Somehow we lucked out and, about 5 minutes in, this was Guy …

asleep in church

Sweet Jesus on a cracker!!  God really was on my side!  Maybe I should start attending church more often.  That’s when I noticed that AD was starting to nudge Guy … feeling it was unfair that Guy was able to sleep through this thing while he was in agony.  I started giving him those mom eyes – you know the ones, bulging out of their sockets and, if you had the ability to have them physically pop out of your head and lunge at him, you would totally do it.  Oh, yeah, and the tight lips that are mouthing things like “NO!” and “Knock it off!”.  Meanwhile, the Hubs, who is physically closer to the boys than I am is blissfully ignorant of what’s going on.  In fact, I may have caught him singing a hymn.  Wtf.

We’re on page 2 now of a 117 page booklet for the ceremony, when AD starts giving me the pained eyes … like “I can’t survive this.  I’m going to die.  Please someone kill me now.”  I want to at least make it to Communion!  Everyone knows you can bail after communion – I’m pretty sure this is some Catholic secret that has been passed down from generation to generation.  In the meantime, Munch is asking me why we have to stand so much.  “Because you’re supposed to suffer like Jesus,” I pull out of my ass say and she gives me a guilty look like “OH” and puts her too tight, ragingly uncomfortable shoes back on … I guess she wanted the full blown suffering experience.  Apparently I’ve taught her well.  And, on a pain scale, every woman knows an ill-fitted pair of shoes is eerily similar to being nailed to a cross.

So during communion, I scurry the older two out (Guy is still quietly sleeping – god bless his little heart) while the Hubs gives me a scathing look for leaving early.  Truth be told, we had been in there for over an hour and there were still 56 pages left.  I was starting to give him the same looks AD had given me earlier.  I’m a baby that way.

We stealthily sneak out in the chaos of communion – and by chaos I mean everyone waiting in line in an orderly fashion in silent prayer – went outside and hung out with the Virgin Mary … a statue who was missing her thumbs, poor thing.  I then proceeded to randomly receive questions from my warped lovely and curious children regarding the Immaculate Conception.  Don’t ask.  About 3 questions in, one containing incessant giggling and the word ‘penis’, I started responding with “I don’t know” and “this conversation is officially over” until they eventually moved on to obsessing about Mary’s missing thumbs.  I don’t know what I would have done if that Mary had had all 10 fingers.

So we survived.  But I learned a very valuable lesson … I think it has something to do with not having thumbs, but I have a kid screaming in my ear right now, so you’re just gonna have to make up your own lesson.

READ THE BIBLE … that was it!

P.S. I’m pretty sure I’m going to hell for this post.

I’m Bored

Day three.  Oh, lovely day three!!  And I’ve already heard it 6 times this morning.  I may lose my mind.  Already.  Did I mention it’s day fucking THREE?!  Just checking.

I have no ideas left.  And by that I mean, I have tried, every summer, to figure out how to keep these kids entertained, mildly educated, and, more importantly, out of my hair busy, but no matter what I do, they’re bored.  A couple summers ago, I even went as far as hanging up a list of at least 75 things they could do if they were bored.  It was called the ‘I’m Bored List’ (my creativity knows no bounds).  And they were still bored.  Although I will admit that coming up with 75 ideas wasn’t easy and the last couple were just plain weird … jump up and down 100 times, crawl under the couch and stay there for 2 hours, or write a 10 page essay on how to create world peace with a toothpick.

Then I swung the other way and just ignored their whining and complaining … planned nothing, made no lists, just go with the flow, baby.  But that usually ended in them playing video games and watching TV for days hours on end … I tried to explain to them that good moms don’t let their kids watch TV and play video games, but they just responded with “I’m bored” in robotic voices until I gave up and wandered away muttering that I’m not that great of a mom anyway.

I think we should ban the word ‘bored’ – it’s stupid anyway.  Why is it ‘bored’ … I looked up some history on it, but frankly I got bored.  It’s pretty bad when you get bored trying to figure out where ‘bored’ came from.

I think I am going to make it like a 4 letter word in our house though – despite not knowing the historical significance of it (yawn).  If you say “I’m bored” that’s the equivalent to saying “I’m fucked” and I will subsequently gasp in horror, scream the child’s full given name, and immediately send them to their room … where they will presumably be bored again.

I try to be the understanding mom – “it makes sense that you’re bored, you’re used to being in school all day”, but I can only shpew that bullshit for so long until I evolve into melodramatic mom – “are you serious?!  find something to DO!!” (the ‘do’ being pronounced with a long slow vocal descent that makes it sound like it will be turned into the word ‘doom’ – which is basically where I’m headed) and then later, into psychotic mom – “you ungrateful, selfish, beep, beep, beep!!”, well, that’s what I think in my mind anyway, with the ‘beeps’ being replaced by words no one would dare utter to their precious, dear, innocent, doe-eyed children (do those type of kids exist?). It usually doesn’t end well after that … for anyone … especially the Hubs.

Ah, summer.  You and all your ambiguity.  I don’t know whether to love you or to hate you, so I guess I’ll do both … that or shove legos in my ears til it’s over (god knows we have enough of them covering EVERY SQUARE INCH of our floors).  Why not?  Nothing else has worked.

bored

I LOVE CATS!!

Some people give their time, some people give their money, but very, very few people do both. Ok, that’s completely untrue, but celebrities are the epitome of selflessness … am I right? They are always making up their own charities, feeding skinny kids in Africa, and trying to create peace and shit.  And then there are those that just go way above and beyond. True American heroes, if you will.

Like Brooke Burke, for example. 🙂  She is truly an angel sent from heaven. It was brought to my attention by Kate of loveandknuckles that Brooke saves cats.  She SAVES. CATS.Brooke Burke - cat

I think there’s a cat somewhere in between her legs … can you see it?

Anyhoo …. could there be a more worthy cause? I mean, I know I think about cats and their welfare on a daily basis … and by ‘daily’ I mean ‘never’ … and it’s so important, ya know? But I never actually DO anything about it. I’m really embarrassed to admit that here, I mean, it’s kind of like admitting that you’re a white supremacist or a Nazi or something, but I know you guys understand.  Hell, I can barely take care of my kids, how can you expect me to care about cats??  But after a long and thoughtful deliberation (around 2 minutes) I decided I needed to become a better person.  The kids are raising themselves, so I decided to try something else.

In the spirit of Brooke … and god knows I try to live up to her questionable morality everyday … I’m gonna start doing stuff for cats.

I decided to start with my bestie … she just got 2 dogs and her cat has been SERIOUSLY neglected (this is wildly untrue, but it’s the only cat I know … desperate times call for desperate measures). So here are some shots of me making a difference in this cat’s world, … I think her name is Esmerelda or Seraphina or Budapest or something … oh wait! It’s Lily. That’s right.

Josephina

Here she is … little Josephina.  Poor thing.

Now, I thought it was important to start with basic needs – like reading.  I mean, how the fuck is she supposed to learn about how to kill her new housemates dogs if she can’t read!?

Macarena Reading

Here’s little Macarena reading!!  I started with the letter Y – ya know, for yarn … or Yentyl – whichever she leans towards. (Ignore the wad of cat hair on my boob – I was attempting to “get into character” for her)

After reading, I thought maybe I should work with her on the “potty”.  I mean, if you’re gonna save a cat, you damn well better teach it how to piss in a box.  For god’s sake, the poor thing had been holding it in until now.

cat peeing

She kept turning her head away (modesty?) but I forced her to watch (wow, that sounded really creepy)  … how else is she gonna learn???

And then I showed her how proud her owner would be when her piss congealed into a sandy, gelatinous mass!!

proud

Lastly, I really wanted her to have fun!  I came up with a really cool game for her and I’m pretty sure it made her day!  It’s called “the cat’s outta the bag” and she screamed and clawed in delight!!

burlap sack

My work was done!  Man that was exhausting!! I don’t know how Brooke does it!  And with the 10 kids she’s “raising” at home … I’m wiped out just thinking about it.

P.S. No animals were harmed in the making of this post … only my shirt, which is currently covered in a layer of white silky cat hair that will never come off.  In fact, Lily (or Salvadora or whatever her name is) was rewarded handsomely.  After telling me to ‘fuck off’, she promptly took her prize and pissed in the dog bed.  God I love her.

She Laughs …

There once was an old, old lady … she was only in her 40’s 😉 … who decided to live even though she was very, very sick. She strapped on her shoes and walked out the door every day. Yes, I could tell you how she went to the hospital and I could tell you how she had innumerable treatments that ripped through her body and I could tell you how she forced herself to walk up and down a neighborhood street when it must have been excruciatingly painful. But I am going to tell you a story about how she lived. Because this is a happy story … and happy stories deserve their place just as much as sad ones do.

See, she was always fun. Always a little mischievous. And always good with kids. She always had a camera out and she always made sure to document her friends in the most embarrassing and compromising situations as possible. Her friends, to this day, are curious as to where all those photos are!

When she got sick, though, we wondered. We wondered how our friend would cope. We wondered about her soul and the toll it would take on both it and her heart. And we wondered. And we worried.

But this was not a woman to be trifled with. And while she is quiet and dignified in her illness, she has refused to stop being fun … in fact, she has refused to let ANYONE stop being fun.

She jumps in basins full of water, she passes out shots at parties, she winks at you from across the room, so that you wonder what she’s up to now, and she celebrates everything … everything that deserves celebrating … which is anything really.

And she plans a trip every year for a group of friends to get together and live. Really live. And it’s not easy – as people’s schedules get busier and busier and as kids get older and as time flies by.

So yes, this is a story about how she lives. But it is also a story about how she has helped everyone else live. Because we could sit in our houses and we could drink our coffee and we could muddle through the days … cursing laundry and bills and traffic. But we take a weekend every year to really truly live. To have fun. To celebrate the most important things in our lives … our families, our kids, our friends.

She might argue that she is not the catalyst for this or she might argue that this could happen without her. But we beg to differ. Her living has taught us to live. Her living has taught us the importance of it … and there is nothing more important.

People die everyday. It is sad, but the truth. How many people can you say really embrace and live every day? Don’t you find those are the people you most want to live like? And when you do live your day to the fullest, or your weekend, aren’t you happier for it? There is a certain jealousy or envy of this group of individuals, this group of neighbors, this group of friends, that I am lucky to be a part of. And there is a reason for that. We are living. And that old, old lady I was telling you about? She has a little something to do with it.

I love this quote because I so desperately want it to be me … but, in fact, it is this woman, who is proudly celebrating a huge success in this battle … and so, I continue to strive toward this quote or, more importantly, strive to be more like her.

Sandra

Chica … wherefore art thou?

I could not possibly love this article any more than I already do.  My heart overfloweth.  These are the articles that show how fucked up society is make the world go round.  I mean, what a human interest piece!!  Some brainless, plastic ‘sort of’ celebrity has lost her dog … HOLY.  CRAPBALLS.  If I could fly out to California and look for little Chica right this minute,  I would!  But since I have a life I’m strapped for cash, I’m doing my part by looking for her here, because, well, you never know!  Chica could have hightailed it the hell outta there accidentally jumped on a plane headed for the East coast.  That shit happens all the time.

But the most disturbing best part is that Brandi (just DAYS after) got a NEW dog.  I mean, how did she wait so long?  I would have had a new dog in minutes.  That little Chihuahua-mix probably got eaten by a coyote, don’t you think?  I think coyotes eat dogs all the time out there!  Especially ones that are fed caviar on a regular basis.  It only makes sense.

Possibly topping the replacement purchase part would be her quote:

“We have a new family member until Chica comes back to us.  His name is Chico.”

Seriously?  Does this story get ANY better?  UNTIL Chica comes back??  Does that mean poor little Chico is SOL once Chica is found?  Is Chico like a loaner dog?  Are they kicking Chico to the curb once their precious Chica (who’s been missing for DAYS … apparently in celebrity speak that’s equivalent to MONTHS) comes back??  I’m picturing Chico on the watch for Chica, making back alley arrangements with coyotes, squirrels, raccoons and any other animal in need of some quick cash, for Chica’s “removal”.  I bet Chico is on his BEST behavior right now – crossing his legs whenever he needs take a piss, clenching his butt whenever he has to take a shit and then cleaning it up himself before anyone can even see it, let alone smell it. I’m sure he’s being the biggest cuddle bunny any dog has ever been in the history of time … all the while keeping a lookout for Chica, his eyes darting right and left on constant patrol, spending sleepless nights pacing the house stopping at every little noise, wondering when his mother’s little Chica will be back … who, by the way, he has no issue tearing to shreds upon return.  Their names may be one letter apart, but they are WORLDS different.

But don’t worry!!  They are still looking for Chica.  Brandi’s pleas for Chica’s return?

“This is devastating”

“Give her back”

Is she only capable of forming three word sentences?  Or is she really hoping Chica “stays lost” because, let’s face it, Chica probably didn’t tell Brandi that she was pretty enough on a daily basis.  I picture Brandi saying these three word sentences in a robotic voice at some high official’s podium, with a flashover scene of her screaming at Chica – “You little, BITCH!  I AM PRETTY!!  TELLLLLLLLLLL MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” while Chica rolls her eyes and mutters, “I’m so done here.”

I hope Chico can live up to all this pressure.

I’m thinking more and more that Chica tore out of that house like a bat out of hell first chance she got and is sunning herself in Puerto Vallarta with her hot Spanish boyfriend, Rafael, drinking a Mai Tai and laughing her ass off about Chico (who, we find out in the next installment, is Chica’s half brother … he murdered their Shelty-mix father in a vicious fight over a basted chicken flavor Purina Busy Bone and landed himself in the pound … with no chance for parole).

Don’t you find it odd that nothing else was stolen from the house?

Chica

To My Dad …

dad IP

Today is my dad’s birthday, plus Father’s Day is coming up, so I thought I’d do a little post for him.  Plus he asked me if I was going to (lol), so … 🙂

Seriously, though, my dad is pretty awesome.  Look, I could list all the ways he screwed me up (I’M JUST KIDDING!), but it’s more fun to talk about all the good stuff.

Despite growing up with 3 brothers and a stereotypical Italian mother, my dad was really the first to make me feel like it didn’t matter that I was a girl.  I mean that in the best way possible.  He would tell me over and over, growing up, that I could be whatever I wanted to be.  And the fact that I still remember this today means something.  He was a first class, hardcore feminist and he didn’t even know it.

When I was young, I used to love hanging out with him.  He was so funny, and, to this day, has the most infectious laugh (next to my nephew).  He told stories (some involving puppets and children crapping their pants) and always explained things by drawing them on a napkin.  He would take my brother, sister and me to his office on the weekends and we would wreck the place UP, mainly the secretaries desks – tearing apart their rubber band balls, slobbering on their phones, and twirling about on their desk chairs.  They must have loved us.

Of course there are tons of stories I could tell … Indian Princesses, the day before the start of high school (when he took me to the school to walk the halls because my anxiety was out of control and I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to find any of my classes), going to see Total Recall, the Headless Horseman, and, of course, the day my brother stole my school report (a story he’s told at least 50 times).  But mostly I just want to say how amazing he has been over the last 6 months.

He has honestly been the most supportive person in relation to me branching out and doing my own thing now that the kids are in school.  He will gush about my writing and tell anyone that will listen about how great he thinks I am.  And when you’re gushing about this “normal level of crazy” you are definitely blinded by some fatherly love!  But seriously, who doesn’t want that?

Now that he lives close, he has taken the time and the energy (along with my stepmom) to really spend time with and get to know my kids.  Honestly, there really is nothing better than that.

He’s been faced with a lot of challenges over the last couple years and I still see him smile and laugh and have hope in his eyes when he talks about the next big thing.  And there’s always a next big thing that will make us all millionaires 🙂

My dad and I bond over a lot of things … chocolate, Disney World, Jim Gaffigan, history, our inability to lose weight (btw, I ran across a Father’s Day paper I had filled out for him when I was probably 8 years old – his favorite meal: Lean Cuisines … lol, that poor guy has been dieting forever!) … and I love that he kind of views me the same way he views himself – flawed and real, but crazy fun.

We were up on the altar at church yesterday for his youngest daughter’s baptism.  Watching him with her, by the way, is also something I am very proud of.  But anyway, afterwards, he said he was thinking as we were standing there, that it was funny that he was standing in the front of a church when he isn’t very religious and certainly doesn’t go to church much.  He said he felt my husband and my stepmother, and obviously my baby sister, were fine.  It was him and me that he was worried about.  That we’d get struck by lightening or something.  I gasped – me, too??!!  What did I ever do???  I’ve read your blog, he said.

Let me tell ya, if there’s anybody I want to go to hell with, it’s my dad.  He’ll have me cracking up the whole way down while encouraging me to “write a blog post about it” or maybe a book (My Decent Into Hell: A Rollicking Tale of Adventure with My Father).

Love you, Dad.  Happy birthday and Father’s Day!

dbc7dc84d1ea11e2be0322000a9f38f1_5

Dad, for the record, I could not find the photo of you on the toilet reading me a book.  I feel like that photo captures our relationship perfectly and I am devastated I can’t find it 🙂

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