My priorities are all screwed up. I'm not sure how it happened, or exactly when, but everything seems to be all out of whack. Lately, I've been feeling like...something's missing. I'm overwhelmed. I'm tired. I'm caught up in OPD (other people's drama, *No NOT you DL*) and other black holes of virtual nothingness. I used to feel like my skills were being utilized for SOMETHING (yes, I DO have SOME skillz).

I used to volunteer for a women's shelter.
We used to give regularly and generously to several charities.
We used to adopt families at Christmas.
Give to food baskets for Thanksgiving.

What happened?

Part of that is financial. We certainly don't have the resources that we used to. But what excuse is that not to volunteer? That costs nothing right? (Gas to drive there once per week or month)? It's sad that there always seems to be a million reasons not to help others.

Today I received an email that was a reminder of all the BIG NOTHINGS that I'm providing right now. Months and months ago (maybe even years), I had signed up for Volunteer Match reminders. They send you updates of volunteer opportunities that may be of interest. Usually? I delete them. (Because, hey, who has time for other people?). Today, for some unknown reason, I opened the email. I was surprised to find one listing. It was for my background and it was virtual.


If that doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does.

VolunteerMatch has a website where you can actually search for volunteer opportunities in and around your area. From their website:

VolunteerMatch is a leader in the nonprofit world dedicated to helping everyone find a great place to volunteer. The organization offers a variety of online services to support a community of nonprofit, volunteer and business leaders committed to civic engagement. Our popular service welcomes millions of visitors a year and has become the preferred Internet recruiting tool for more than 50,000 nonprofit organizations.

Can't make it outside your home (like, um, you have a 7 month old or something)? They even have a specific area on their home page that allows you to search virtual volunteer opportunities by your keyword of interest.

Go ahead...what are you waiting for? Get up and do something...for someone else.
You won't be sorry.


Remember the children's book Flat Stanley?

'Nuf said...


Would it be taking the whole soccer-mom-my-kid-is-better-than-yours-honor-roll-student thing to an entirely new level to have "My kid got a letter from the President of the United States (and yours didn't)" made into a bumper sticker?
That I handed out?
For free?
At bookstore events?
Just wondering...


So I'm in the middle of MAFE project #3,742 (also known as the ridiculously-large-crap-filled closets in the front hall).

I call the stud my husband in for some help, because really? Do we need all this luggage? I mean, SERIOUSLY, exactly HOW MANY pieces of luggage does one family need?

This is bordering on a serious problem.

Maybe even addiction.

As he weeds through the keep/sale stack (*gasp* get rid of the TUMI or HARTMAN *shudder* how dare I?!?), I find one of his old guitar picks in a bag pocket.

HUBBY (look of nostalgia crossing over his face): "Oh. This is when I was cool."

Me: *blink*blink*


HUBBY: (defensive) "SERIOUSLY. Chicks used to line up to get these from me..."

Me: *blink*blink*




Over my guffaws and snorts:

HUBBY: (complete and total dejection) "OH MAN! At least you could just go along with it. I used to have some beautiful girlfriends, you know!"

Yes, honey, and it was all because you had guitar picks engraved with your name.
Don't you ever think differently.
Now that I think of it? It's kinda turning me on right now...


Ella is either:
1) Totally enthralled by the vacuum cleaner, or
2) Totally terrified.
You be the judge.
Whenever I get it out, she stops what she's doing and watches with a look of "I'm equally terrified and yet completely curious at the same time" look on her face. Something like this:

I'm pretty sure this is the conversation going on in her head:

MOM-MOM-MOM-MOM! Did you SEE this? Come 'ere. You GOTTA get a load of this...

Did you HEAR the noise coming outta this thing? What the...

Dude, seriously? If you don't take control of this situation, I'll be forced to.

OK. Just stand there.

On the count of three I'm goin' in.

Ready? One, two...

Wait, what comes after two?!?

I think it's interesting that she's frightened by it especially since "they" (you know, all the baby expert gods) say that if a newborn is upset try turning on a vacuum (or hairdryer) because SUPPOSEDLY they simulate the noises heard in the womb.

And my baby is terrified of this noise? Makes me wonder, "Damn, what kind of sucky womb did I have in the first place?"


So we go to the named-event-that-shall-not-be-named-that-we-paid-the-overpriced-fee-for-the-convenience-of-ordering-online event?


(Of course it would. OF. COURSE. IT. WOULD.)

The best part? One of our friends (who had the foresight NOT to pre-order early for all those nifty savings)? ONLY PAID HALF PRICE FOR HIS TICKET.



The only cool thing about the day? I got to see famed author Elmore Leonard.
For a bookstore owner? Pretty damn cool.

(But did I mention that I am TOTALLY pissed about the other stuff?!?!)


More Riveting Conversations from the back seat:

Him: I saw on Ebay that Matthew McConnaughey is selling his custom Texas Tech Harley Davidson. Auctioning it off for some charitable fund.
Him: Apparently, if you win the bid, you also get an autographed head shot.
ME: OOOO...do you mean. HEAD. Shot?!?!
Him: *sigh*


ME: If we won the bid, do you think we could get him to touch my boobs instead of a head shot?!?
Him: *sigh*
ME: I was just wondering...


Him: Now we have some Yay-Who in front of us going 30 miles an hour!


ME: What's a Yay-Who anyway!?!?
Him: An A-hole.

Effing Jerk.


Anal Sphincter Wart.

Him: Now, wasn't Yay-Who a lot better?!?
ME: I liked Anal Sphincter Wart, personally.


Today, I did the mundane task of buying a diet coke and some other items from a convenience store gas station. As I waited for the cashier to bag my items, I took the time to put the change into my change purse and re-snap my purse. The big brute with tattoos behind me says, "Don't worry. We ain't in a hurry or nuthin'" (in grammatically-correct regional speak). I say, "Um. I'm waiting for the cashier to bag my items, but you have a nice day, now." I flash him a brilliant smile on the way out.

As I was backing up, he and his wife were getting into?

(Oh, the joy of payback).

So, I say?
"NICE MINI VAN!" as I drive away in my sporty convertible...

...with the baby's puffy monkey mirror attached to the headrest in the back.


There's a show on British television (shut up) called It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet. The lady's name is Victoria Stilwell and she goes into homes where they are having dog problems and teaches the owners and the dogs some respect. It was another one of those up-all-night-with-Ella's-reflux-might-as-well-watch-TV finds. It's also informative. And (shockingly enough) entertaining.

Anyway, I've learned quite a bit. The most helpful being what to do when your dogs are barking. According to Victoria, when your dogs are barking you aren't supposed to yell their names. You are supposed to make a loud noise like, "ACK! ACK!" What this does is simulate a noise the doggie mother would make if the dogs were doing something wrong in the litter. And, guess what? IT WORKS. Which is fantastic news since my usual approach of INDY! ABBEY! INNNNDY! ABBBBBEY! INDY-ABBEY-INDY-ABBEY-INDY-ABBEY! HEEEEY! SHUUUUUT! UUUUUP! really wasn't working at all when my dogs were barking.

So now at my house, when the dogs are barking you will hear me do a brief, loud ACK! ACK! (Go ahead and laugh, everyone else does, including my parents. Thanks mom & dad!).

End of the story? Not quite. Remember, we have an almost 7 month old. A few days ago Ella started doing this low grunt-like thing that comes out, "GRR! GRR!" - almost a cross between clearing your throat and grunting. I knew immediately what she was doing. The first time Todd heard her he said (look of confusion), "What IS she DOING anyway?!?"

My response?

I laughed hysterically (like any good role model parent).



Let's talk about the raping of America, shall we?

What is with the convenience fees, surcharges, subcharges, printing costs, race/ethnicity fees and "have you hugged a kid today?" charge tacked onto tickets that you purchase "conveniently" online?

My friends and I (oh, and you, too, honey) are going to an event this weekend *cough*winefestival*cough*. My friend was purchasing the tics online for all of us. Supposedly we were to save $7 if we ordered early (making it $36/couple instead of $50/couple). Seems worth it right?

She just informed me of the following convenient online fees:
$4.25 each ticket "convenience fee" (UM...OK!)
$4.25 one-time "because we let you log into our website and you're not the right religion" fee

AND - get this - if she had printed the tics instead of leaving them at will call?

HELLLLOOOOO people...?!?!

And, for all my little nerdie math friends - here's your favorite part:
Ticket Price $18
Convenience Fee $4.25
Other Fee (divided among the 4 tics) $1.06
TOTAL? $23.31
(Sitting at home on my dock and drinking wine for free? PRICELESS)

Quoting a Classic Period Piece,
"Damn the Man! Save the Empire!"


Well it happened.
Ella finally witnessed me doing something that I wish she didn't have to witness. I said the "N" word in front of my daughter.


I generally try not to use this word with/around her. Not because I give her everything she wants, but more because I dread the day that she starts using it against me. Instead? I try to practice "redirection". At almost 7 months it really only takes a small amount of "look a baby seal"* before she's interested in something else (kind of like communicating with my husband). Also, I want her to know that when we say "NO!" we really mean business.

Today? Different story.

We have a Bumbo chair- you know the most dreaded-and-feared-you-must-be-an-awful-abusive-uncaring-and-unkind-parent-if-you-are-still-using-it-after-all-the-warnings chair.

Yep. That one.

And guess what? We sit it on the *gasp* kitchen counter. Before I get all the hate mail and you're all like, "Don't do that! You'll kill her" and stuff, we don't leave her in it alone. EVER. AND, we only sit her in it on the counter to feed her. Then we take her out.


If not sooner.

Anyway, they really are unsafe if you leave babies elevated and alone in them (not good for places like, um, the top of the Eiffel Tower or on a box of doughnuts while you go get the rest of the groceries). They aren't safe for this very reason - Ella has just started to do this weird back-arching, pushing with her feet while she's sitting in it. Yes, I could see how it might tip over IF WE LEFT HER ALONE.



(Got it?)

So tonight when she was doing her newly discovered gymnast/acrobatic move, I said "NO!" In a loud, stern "I'm the parent" kind of way.

Her reaction?

She stared right in my eyes for a brief moment and then?
Started laughing.

At which point I tipped her over off the counter anyway.

No, OF COURSE I DIDN'T. Instead? I honestly had a brief who-am-I-Rodney-Dangerfield?!? moment and then I ignored her.

Parenting sucks sometimes.
The "look a baby seal" thing expanded:

My stepdaughters grew up with me (and vice versa). I think I met Todd when they were 2 and 6 or something like that (they're 15 & 19 now). Anyway, whenever Todd and I wanted to divert their attention when they were young, we would say, "LOOK! A BABY SEAL!" and their little heads would whip around while we talked, hid something, tongue kissed, steal something from the convenience store...whatever. This worked for YEARS, until the youngest one finally said one year, "Look, I'm not falling for the baby seal thing anymore. You might as well just go ahead and do whatever it is you're going to do."

It was a sad, sad day in the Wilson household that day, let me tell you. And, yes, we will be carrying on that tradition with Ella. Hey, why knock a good thing?!?


I've found my new sex manual.

(I mean, not that I was looking for a new sex manual or anything.)

(Or any sex manual for that matter...)

While doing covert ops a few days ago (AKA: getting a coffee at a big box bookstore...shhhhhhh...), I found the perfect book. I wanted to get it for either our friend Dennis or Phil (maybe both) for Christmas, but Todd didn't seem that keen. (Sorry guys...)

The Llama Sutra: Getting Wild in the Wild Kingdom

I mean, seriously, who ever gets tired of looking at animals having sex?!? Especially when they have captions like (for the lady bugs) "Does this make us lesbians?" and (for the bears) "All this for a salmon dinner? What a slut I am". I mean really, can you think of a better gift than this?

Me either.


There's a free newspaper in our region. It's a joke. I haven't read it in months and months because, frankly, it makes me insane. I generally find myself spending more time editing the grammar and content than realizing the meaning of the story.

Oh, and did I mention that they were partially impartial?

Let me first say that this is personal. I would be lying if I didn't put it out there right up front of this rant. Since we moved here, we could not pay this paper to do a story on our bookstore. We have been told over and over again (by the paper) that they can't do a story on us because "it would be considered biased and favoritism." Um...since when did doing stories on local businesses contributing to their community say BIAS. But, OK. I'm from a big city. Apparently I don't understand the good ole boys club yet.

It hasn't mattered that we spent (PAST TENSE) hundreds and hundreds of dollars advertising in this crappy paper. Or, that we brought some big names to our bookstore events (bigger than this area has ever seen). We still couldn't get coverage.

When we became a Books for Soldiers affiliate and created a big push in our store for a books for soldiers book drive, we were picked up by three national online and print news venues. Locally? Nothing.

When we provided free, no-strings-attached seminars to the community just because it was in our mission statement, we couldn't even get them to print time/description information without paying for it.

When we partnered with another business to create a community trick-or-treat trail that brought over 300 new customers into our local business community (and paid for time and advertising ourselves)? Still nothing.

Oh, guess when they did do a story? When we announced that we might be closing because the local economy is so dismal. Guess why they did a story then? Because a local, soon-to-be commissioner asked them to do the story (because this "journalist" - using the term loosely - "owed him"). And? He's never let us forget it. (In all fairness? A far superior local paper also did a story on us possibly closing with - huh, imagine this - no strings attached! Just because it was a good community story!)

So am I bitter? Beaten down? Confused? Tired? Pissed?

You bet your bottom dollar that I'm pissed. Really pissed. Especially when I, once again, open the paper to see YET ANOTHER BUSINESS GETTING AN ARTICLE WRITTEN ABOUT THEM.

It's personal. It's personal for people and businesses like us who try to believe in a community - try to help build up a community. Those of us who have the knowledge, background and know-how to move it forward. Instead? We get beaten down.

Go ahead, free little newspaper, keep writing about businesses that you "owe" something to with your "unbiased" journalism. Keep selectively reporting - pretty soon you won't have anything left to report on.

This message was brought to you by The BBB (Bitter Bitchy Business) campaign for Jackie Wilson. Jackie Wilson has approved the content of this message.


Today is day three of The Mayhem and Foolishness Experience (MAFE). I've come to terms with the fact that our clutter is serious business. We might need an intervention. Like, yesterday.

You may be wondering if you are stuck in MAF (mayhem and foolishness)? If you aren't sure, take a picture of your rooms because, as we all know, pictures don't lie. I took pictures of the MAF in my office and seriously? I. HAD. NO. IDEA. Try it. It will catapult you into reality.

I worked on my office MAF most of Sunday. I made a dent, but outward appearance would say differently. Mostly, I cleaned out cabinets and bookshelves (you know, to eventually fill with other MAF).

I actually set up a schedule to clear out the MAF permanently (shut up). I found some nuggets of help and inspiration online, mostly due to Michelle at Babblin' on the Bayou (she's my organized fantasy self...I want to be her when I grow up), the Org Junkie, and a some freebies at www.KeepAndShare.com (the calendar is a little glitchy, but it's F.R.E.E. so don't whine). Anyway, according to my calendar, The MAF will be permanently gone by the third week in September. We'll see.

You'll be happy to know (or, more likely, not really give a sh*t), that I can actually see the top of my desk as I'm typing this today.

I'd love to chat, but I'm off to file more paperwork.

Maybe I'll get to that after a nap...


Last night before I went to bed someone starting following me on Twitter named ByeByeWorld.
Yes, I found it strange.
Interesting, yet equally uninteresting.
Minorly alarming.

But you know what? People are weird. And I have all kinds of crazy going on in this head, so other people's crazy (OPC) is the last thing I need to be worrying about.

This morning? ByeByeWorld is bye bye.

Now I wonder if it had something to do with the simulated-but-very-real-fake-boob-cleavage on my new Twitter Avatar?!?!

*duh* It is ALL. ABOUT. ME.
(Isn't it?)
(It is, isn't it?)
(Please say it is...)


Having a kid does wonders for your car communication. I bet our car communication has tripled, maybe even quadrupled, since we've had Ella and I now sit in the back with her while Todd drives.

B.E. (Before Ella), our car communication consisted of Todd rambling incessantly (sorry honey) while I semi-slept and interjected an occasional, "HM."
The conversational wonders that come from back to front (and vice versa).

Next time you go out, try sitting in the back while your other half drives. If you do, you may have the same kinds of riveting conversational experiences that Todd and I had on the way to lunch today:

RC1 (Riveting Conversation #1):
ME: Do you think this headband is cutting off Ella's circulation to her head and that's why she's sleeping so soundly?
Todd: Uh, no.
ME: How do you know?
Todd: I just do...
ME: Oh.


ME (reading a sign): WOW. Black light tattoos, that's weird. Wonder what that is? A tattoo that you only see when you are out in clubs...
Todd: Kinda cool.
ME: ...or when you are at people's houses with a black velvet Elvis?!!?


Todd: Do you think a tattoo on the top of your foot hurts?
ME: Not as much as getting one on your jugular.


ME (Between sneezes): Wondered what triggered my allergies?
Todd: Probably that skunk smell.
ME: Um...a dead skunk we passed 10 miles ago is just now triggering my allergies?
Todd: Yes.
ME: Huh. How's that?
Todd: Well, the smell gets into the membranes in your nostrils and then seeps into your bloodstream for a while, therefore not triggering a reaction until a little later.


ME: You know, your medical knowledge is astounding.
Todd: I know. I amaze even myself sometimes.


Todd: I think that was a stripper store back there.
ME: What makes you say that?
Todd: The girl going into the store looked like a stripper.


ME: UM...what's a stripper store, anyway?
Todd: You know, like naughty underwear and stripper clothing and stuff.
ME: Maybe we can stop there on the way back...
Todd: OK!
ME:...with the baby.
Todd: Oh...(disappointment)
ME: Hey, strippers have babies, too.
Todd: Yeah. That must be bad for their tips.
ME: I'm sorry, did you say tiPs?!?


We're this___close to being an episode of Clean House. So today ("the nicest of the nice summer days we've had" as my bitter husband spat), we're cleaning house.

Not playing outside with our daughter (who loves the outdoors - check that - loves watching the cars that drive outdoors).
Not swimming.
Not drinking margaritas on our dock.
We're cleaning.

C-L-E-A-N-I-N-G. (The opposite of H-A-V-I-N-G F-U-N).

I don't really know how it happened. The moment that it started to spiral out of control, that is. It seemed to be around the time that I found out I was pregnant (with the "surprise you're almost 40 and have an oldest stepdaughter in college and one in high school" pregnancy). I was ill the entire 8 months of pregnancy (Ella came 1 month early). I was so sick that I only gained 8 pounds in the first 6 months of pregnancy. EIGHT POUNDS. I gained that the first 2 days of my Cancun vacation two years ago. If I wasn't hanging my head in the toilet bowl, I was at the doctors office or in the hospital for yet ANOTHER medical emergency. I think the downward spiral started to happen about then and we never recovered. I mean, when you spend 98.34% of your day puking or feeling like you are going to puke, you don't really care if your office desk is clean or if the macaroni is growing mold in the 'fridge.

I'm working specifically on my office today. It's HARD. REAL HARD. I have built-in bookshelves on both sides of the room that are packed. What goes and what stays? It's hard when you are an academic writer. As soon as I throw one medical book away, sure enough, I'll get a contract were I need page 287 out of that one book. *sigh* I think I'm actually breaking out into hives.

It's sad. We used to be organized people. Todd and I have both successfully worked from home for years - so that alone proves some level of discipline. Now? I have to shove over a pile of teetering crap just to make room to work at my desk. Real productive.

On my desk right this very moment (that I can see as I'm writing this): a stack of marketing books, stacks and stacks of God-only-knows-what stacks of paper, some packing tape, 2 other laptops, 3 kids books by Gyo Fujikawa, a digital camera, a roll of trash bags (hah hah-that's the best one), an aromatherapy gift box of -- something -- that has "Relax, rejuvenate and find inspiration" staring at me from the side of the box, a matted freighter pen & ink drawing from a local artist, a used paper towel, two almost empty bottled waters, an empty Diet Coke can, and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh, and some almond M&M's (and that's only half the stuff, but I think you get the idea).

I used to have a cleaning lady. I wonder what happened to her? Maybe she's stuck in my office clutter somewhere. I do occasionally hear a muffled cry...


In an earlier phone call to my husband:

ME: Well, it's finally happening.
Him: What's that?
ME: One of the two pairs of jeans I can fit into are finally wearing through on one of the legs. In two weeks or less we will need to spend money to find some jeans I can actually wear.
Him: Hm..
ME: I guess we'll just have to do something drastic to be able to afford it...
Him: Oh yeah? Like what?
ME: You know, sell one of Ella's kidneys.
Him: That's just soooo wrong...
ME: Phft.

I mean, what's the big deal? If you have a kid and you can't use her when you need her, then what good is all this?


A brief note about the book review rating scale:
When reviewing books, I will be using a modified version of my husband's book rating scale. Namely? The Leg Numbness Scale. What's this you ask? Well, (according to my husband), a good book will leave your legs completely numb (from sitting on the toilet) and a ring around your butt - you know, because you want to keep reading instead of getting off the toilet. So as a nod to my husband, here's a modified rating scale (1=poor to 5=great).

LEG NUMBNESS SCALE (aka: The Numbie Scale)

1: Feet barely hit the floor before your done.
2: Blood beginning to rush to your feet.
3: Tingling in legs starting.
4: Definite numbness in spots on legs.
5: Full toilet ring imprint on butt and can barely walk from total and complete numbness in legs because you had to stay to "read just one more chapter".


Ok. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit: I love Anthony Bourdain. I loved him before I read the book, I still love him.

I first became acquainted with Anthony Bourdain when Ella was born and I would have to spend hours holding her because her reflux caused her to be in great pain when she would lie flat. What else was there to do but surf TV channels?!?

Anyway, on with the review!


I was immediately interested in A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain. I like the show and the book was no disappointment. It's classic Bourdain - bitter, foul-mouthed, sarcastic humor with a well-rounded peppering of not only food information but geography and regional history, too.

If you like the show, you'll love the book. He goes into more behind-the-scenes moments that you would never know from the show - in one chapter, he describes how he and Zamir were completely drunk and then expected to re-tape the intro into the restaurant, in another he divulges how he teared up when he had to shoot a bunny rabbit for the show. The book is fantastically funny and completely disgusting all at the same time.

The only disappointment in the book is that sometimes his foody lingo was over my head (look, I only took 2 years of French, so I definitely can't decipher Foody French). Mostly, he does a good job of describing, and I found that it gets better as the book goes on. Early on however, I definitely needed a food dictionary guide (maybe one with pictures).

If you're looking for an entertaining and informative read (especially one that you can read a few pages and put down without that "what happened last time" feeling), then this book is for you. It should be required reading for culinary students because, after all, Anthony Bourdain is the master of all culinary bitterness and sarcasm. And no student should live without that influence in their life.



If You Give a Mouse a Baby by Jacqueline Wilson.
A modern classic, beloved by babies and cats everywhere.


If you give a mouse a baby, surely he'll need?

Some diapers.

A burb cloth.

Some acid reflux medication.

Maybe a shot (or two) of tequila (with a splash of lime for good measure).

Sure-fire winner in the crazy kids category. But parents needn't worry, there are valuable lessons learned about when you give a mouse a baby (we won't ruin it for you) AND it's a SFB (Scritch-Free Book) - No scritching in this book!


Step 1: Contact me in the middle of a busy work day.
Step 2: When I tell you that I'm very busy, the only one working and will call you back, continue to ramble on about your books saying, "It will only take a few minutes".
Step 3: Continue to hold me hostage on the phone (for more than just "a few minutes") while my customers impatiently wait in line.
Step 4: Try to force me to buy the "small minimum order of only 6 books" while I'm on the phone before I finally hang up.
Step 5: Continue to call back every 30 minutes until I finally ignore the calls coming from your area code.
Step 6: Leave me a semi-disappointed-tinged-with-bitterness voicemail about "guessing I wasn't interested in the books."

(Dang, seriously, am I the ONLY indie bookstore left?!?!)

NOTE: Before all the hate mail from you authors out there, let me say this - I'm an author, too - published in the academic field and would LOVE to have my mystery fiction book published, so I can completely empathize. HOWEVER, this approach did not work for me - an independent bookstore owner who is the ONLY employee and takes care of ALL BUSINESS. NOTE TO AUTHORS: You might want to remember this posting when approaching Indies - we are strapped for time!


My husband and I actually got away on a date last night (you know, the kind that didn't involve poop, puke, or the use of animated 'yummy-yummy for my tummy' every time someone took a bite of their dinner).

As we were walking through an upscale outdoor mall where we can no longer afford anything, we strolled past a children's play area. The mall was blaring the sound of children's laughter through outdoor speakers.

"It cracks me up that they are piping in children's laughter," said Todd (all goofy with grins).

"Whatever. Subliminal happiness. They are subconsciously trying to make us be happy so that we buy more. It sucks," I replied (in my usual sunshine-y-ness).

"Well. Don't you feel happier just hearing it?" Goofy Grins sentimentally piped up.

To which I replied?

"Shut up. This is why I never go out with you."


Is anyone else annoyed by the new JC Penney Breakfast Club commercial? It's targeted for kids who are, what, 16? Let's do some math, shall we?

The Breakfast Club came out in 1985. Kids who are 16 today (and ready to buy all those groovy Jacques Penne' school clothes) would've been born in 1992 and would've missed the whole Breakfast Club era.

That was MY era.

MY movie.

I WAS Breakfast Club.

Get your own era and stop trying to market MY era to MY kids.

Damn, don't dis The Club...

(But I'm not bitter)
(I've let it go...)
(I'm SO OVER the whole, "Let's shut the door and get the prom queen impregnated" thing...)

Addendum: HM. Wonder why they left out the smoking-chicks-can't-hold-their-smoke scene?!?!

Editorial Note: I saw this comment on the commercial listed on YouTube and must say I totally concur about the cutting thing:
kh2sora13: Okay i saw this at the movies, then i was like "OH GOD A BREAKFAST CLUB REMAKE" then i saw the jcpenny ad then i was like "thank god" i would seriously cut myself if they made this into a remake. but i respect them for making it a commercial though! hee hee


I'm always skeptical of awards - whether it be movies, books, songs, whatever. Generally? Award winners = big time suckage to me.

Today, I was looking through a children's book, Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans, a winner of the distinguished Caldecott Award. I have to admit, the artwork in the book (what looks like mostly pen/ink with watercolor) is fantastic, but the book text? SUCKS.

The book, written in (what is supposed to be) rhyme, starts like this:

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine.
(OK, so far so good...)
The smallest one was Madeline.
She was not afraid of mice.
She loved winter, snow, and ice.
(UH, HUH? Ok, seems random, but whatever...)
To the tiger in the zoo
Madeline just said, "Pooh, pooh!"
(OMG...I've never seen such an attempt just to rhyme! HORRIBLE! ORRIBLE!)

And nobody knew so well
How to frighten Miss Clavel-
Until the day she slipped and fell.
Poor Madeline would now be dead
(UH...HELLLOOOO...children's book!)
But for a dog
that kept his head
and dragged her safe from a watery grave.

Anyway, it goes on to explain how the girls hid the dog in the school with them, got into trouble, and in the end the dog has puppies (And to her surprise she found that suddenly there was enough hound To go all around.)

If you love unique artwork in children's books (as I do), then it might be worth it, but the story leaves a great deal to be desired (you know, unless you are really into scarring your kids for life, then by all means, go forth and buy!).


We are stuck in a world of poop and puke. (When I say "we", I mean my husband and I "we", not you and I "we"...)

If it isn't Ella pooping or puking, it's one of the dogs and/or cats. It's so bad that you step in cat vomit on your way to throw away a poopy diaper. I change the baby, go throw her diaper away, and go back to pick her up only to find that she's pooped AGAIN (and she finds it very funny when I say, "YOU POOPED AGAIN!")

WHAT IS UP AT OUR HOUSE?!? I mean, are we under some POOPY-PUKEY full parenting/pet owner moon that I knew nothing about until now (or that people don't warn you about until you know the poopy-pukey secret handshake)?!?! It's REALLY wearing on our nerves, let me tell you. Ella belly laughs now whenever I say, "POOPY-PUKEY, POOPY-PUKEY, THAT'S ALL IT IS HERE! POOPY-PUKEY!" (yeah, way funny, kid, thanks).

A few nights ago, as I was TRYING to get some work done, I hear one of the cats hacking up a fur ball in the hall, while the dogs danced their pee-pee (poopy) dance at the back door. I sigh really loud and yell from my office, "TODD! One of the cats is puking and the dogs need to go out to poop!"

He appears around the corner with a poopy diaper in his hand and pleads, "Come on! I just changed a poopy diaper!"

To which I reply?

"What is THAT?!?! The DIAPER DEFENSE?!?!"


I suck at thank you notes. Which is really ironic since I am, well, let's see, a WRITER.

I really loath them. It's not that I don't appreciate the gifts. It's not that I don't WANT to express thanks. It's just that I hate the concept of being required to send thank you notes. And, I feel phony (even if I did like the gift).

There are just too many unanswered questions with thank you notes. I mean, what's the purpose of them anyway? Is it really to thank the person? Let the person know you got the gift? What if you hated the gift? Should you still send a thank you? And, how long before you send a thank you? What if it's after that allotted time? Can I still send it? What if I've said thank you in person? Am I still required to send a written thank you?

See, there are just too many confusing issues for me to deal with. So, for those of you - all of you - that I've missed over the years with the unintentional rudeness of not sending formally written thank you notes, I'm sending you a telepathic thank you note RIGHT NOW. Yep, this very second.

FYI-This will be my future way of distributing Thank Yous from this point forward.

(And, you're welcome).