Wednesday, March 26, 2008

i'm into chicks

I've been wondering, amidst the flurry of excitement surrounding my recent engagement to Barack Obama, what on earth I would write about next. What could possibly distract me from our courtship?

You're thinking, tender reflections of motherhood, perhaps?

Think again.

It's these:

That's right. Brach's Chicks and Rabbits. I have been obsessed with these since I was six years old, and my grandmother made sure my Easter basket was bursting with them, as well as their obese, FAS cousins, Peeps, whose blank stare never changes, even as you bite their stomachs off. Creepy. But delicious. Still though, it's the Chicks and Rabbits that transport me straight to my grandma's house 24 years ago, where I would find a corner, and hork out until my hippie mama came to offer something sensible like sprouts or the dreaded falafel. I couldn't tell you why this queer confection has won my heart over such obvious contenders as Lindt chocolate and Reese's peanut butter eggs. After all, they're just a shriveled old circus peanut dressed up for Easter. But I love them. I do.

Most of you know that yadda yadd yadda, we don't celebrate Easter with the kids. This isn't particularly difficult for any of us. That is, until I find myself unexpectedly roaming the candy aisle like a lioness, waiting to devour the weakest specimen. Believe it or not, I always hold strong, resisting jelly beans, chocolate carrots, even Peeps. But then I spot the Chicks and Rabbits. They're always in the ghetto of the aisle, far away from Reese's, Lindt, Hershey's, and Cadbury, and there are seldom more than five bags, because I am, apparently, the only wretch alive who wants to eat them. Every year I weave some bullshit story in my mind about how it is an homage to my grandma to consume them, and every goddamned year I get so sick on them that I pray, with my head in the toilet, to join her in the afterlife. I should mention I have always had really bad luck with Easter candy. I have eaten crates of Peeps until I threw them up out of my nose, and become so sick thinking that the inside of a Cadbury creme egg was like mucus, it makes me gag to this day. But somehow I will always find it in my heart to give the Chicks and Rabbits another chance. I'm nothing if not a good glutton.

Cut to tonight. I spent some time fondling the 50% off candy at Fred Meyer today, texting B furiously, begging for justification to buy a bag. No, she lovingly reminded me, we're fat, and trying to do something about it. Have fruit. Obviously that answer sucked really bad. I tried bribery, bringing her down with me, everything, to get her endorsement, but she wasn't budging. I had even inspected the bags to see which had the most yellows, in case she relented, but she ordered me out of the store, and I slumped out, knowing she was right. Then tonight, when she picked me up to go to the gym, what did I behold on the car seat? This:

She and Adam had conspired to bring me some! I squeezed the bag like it was a long lost relative, and decided to eat them after our work out. They were all I could think about during our mile hike, weight training, sauna, and showers, and when we got back in the car I ripped them open like the lioness I am and began mangling their carcasses.

But it didn't stop there. I kept eating them long after they stopped tasting good, which is only ever the first one, until they were a knotted cluster in my mouth. I couldn't get enough saliva going to break the mass down, so I started to choke. B asked if I was okay and I managed to gulp it down the way a python eats a rabbit. When she suggested she take the bag, I snatched it away like Gollum, and immediately ate more. She dropped me off feeling disbelief, pity, and disgust, but I didn't care. I staggered inside, on the brink of a coma, and sat down to answer email. At one point I started to cry because I felt so sick. The next thing I knew, Reilly had spirited away the bag and hid them in recesses unknown. I begged her for them, and she just smiled. Later, when my head is in the toilet, she will bring me a washcloth and remind me that this has happened every year of her life. I will moan some flimsy excuse between heaves, and thank her for being there, like a heroin addict in withdrawal. Then she will tuck me into bed, and heat up my rice bag-thing, and kiss me goodnight. Quinn will kiss me too, and refrain from asking what the fuck is wrong with me, lol.

Then I will drift off, and dream of Barack Obama, serving me Chicks and Rabbits on a silver platter.

(Followed by Michelle Obama kicking my ass. Yeah, I'm a realist.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

stretching it to 16 minutes...

My friend Devarshi was kind enough to direct me here, to relive my sputtering-beached-whale-about-to-die routine again, and my mom sent this link, which I must admit, was a nice salve for that wound inflicted by the Whoregonian yesterday. (Look at the seventh paragraph down or so.) Lastly, my hero Mike sent me this page, certain that a phone call from Barack Obama would soon be forthcoming.

Knowing that people saw merit in the question really helps console me when I can't shake the image of me up there, sinking like the Titanic (only bigger).

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Perhaps I should just shut up and enjoy the moment, but, um, have we met?

This is what the Oregonian printed this morning:

Cheyenne Fitzpatrick, who called herself a stay-at-home mom, said she and her friends are "torn" between Obama and Clinton and wanted him to outline their differences.

What a crock of shit.

My exact words were: "I am a 30 year old stay-at-home homeschooling mom of two who is so proud to be here, and immensely proud to be supporting you. I have a few friends who are good Democrats, but who are genuinely on the fence between you and Senator Clinton because there are so many similarities on key issues. I was hoping you could distinguish yourself, in a nutshell, from Senator Clinton, for the sake of my friends on the fence."

Even with two reporters putting their empty heads together, they couldn't get my quote even in the vicinity of the truth. They made me out to be some lazy-ass know-nothing who feels "torn" between the jowly, snarling Clinton, and His Majesty Barack Obama. As if. And it also sounds like my friends don't know their asses from their elbows either. (SCREAM!)

And I thought the Statesman Journal was a rag...

Friday, March 21, 2008


Yeah, this pretty much sums up my electrifying dalliance with Barack Obama today: (Please excuse the fact that I look like the undead.)

(I would also like to point out that he looked at and spoke to me directly while answering. Ask B.)

In case you have something really wrong with you, and couldn't tell, I was so nervous speaking in front of 4,000 people I almost passed out. Instead, I just stuttered and trailed off like a simp. And what you could not possibly know is that the senator called on Brandy and me, since were both waving our hands, and it was only because she selflessly bestowed the floor on me that I was able to mutter what little I did get out. I owe her big, and B, at about 4:19 into that video, you will recognize a beautiful familiar face smiling brightly. Thank you so much.

B and I waited in the freeeeezing-ass cold (in t-shirts) in a line that snaked from the armory to Timbuktu, along with what appeared to be half the state, just to get a glimpse of this man Obama. It was a good couple hours until we finally inched our way inside, past the windy vortex at the entrance, past the 10 ft. x 10 ft. protest posters of mutilated babies, through various turn styles, and a few metal detectors. Once inside, where I was determined to get floor seats, we were told the floor was full. This didn't deter me in the least, and I proceeded to lie and say that our party of four already had seats. I have exceptionally good rally karma, and spied exactly four empty chairs in the last row. Our enthusiasm gave way to full-blown adrenaline as it became clear that our man was close, and we were standing on our chairs screaming our fool heads right off.

And then it happened. This man, this almost mythical figure, this embodiment of hope and change, appeared before our very eyes, and I honestly started to weep. I must clarify that I am not as concerned with his celebrity as I am with his message, his movement, if you will, and seeing him before us brought the dream very close to home. He spoke with comfort, ease, authority, and vigor about everything from how to strengthen Oregon, to how to restore America's luster, and finally, how to bring our men and women home from Iraq. The crowd responded with deafening applause, so many times. There was no one highlight for me, as I was just awestruck by his vision, and his execution. Having my own little conversation with him, amidst the sea of people, still has me swooning, but B and I go to heighten our experience by rushing the stage (is that what it's called?) at the end, and getting up close and personal. In addition to photographic proof of our miraculous proximity, we both shook/held hands with him, and we both got to speak with him briefly. I looked him squarely in the eye and said, "I cannot wait to call you my president," to which he replied, while leaning waaay in, "thank you." Several people told me later it looked like he kissed me, which I like to think was his intention, lol. B took her moment to thank him, and he replied with a very genuine "no, thank you."

I really don't know how much better it could have gone, short of being recruited by his personal staff to work on his campaign, or maybe for all the people from my high school and college to have seen me connect with my hero. I can tell you that I have stormed the stage to shake hands with Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Howard Dean, and recently my kids and I were photographed with Senator Ron Wyden (a favorite of mine). And with all due respect, those brilliant men are forgettable by comparison. At the risk of losing all credibility, my experience today was magical, and I have hope that Obama's grass roots, from-the-bottom-up politics is the answer. The answer. That is what I told the Statesman Journal, the freelance journalist who interviewed us, and that is what I will continue to say until we catapult Barack Obama into the White House, where he belongs.

Yes We Can. Si Se Puede.

Just what the doctor ordered:

And we even got closer than this...

And so we've shaken on the deal.

He is worthy of the hype. And you all KNOW I never say that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

seeing stars

Sibling rivalry was pretty much ruining my life as of a few weeks ago, and my options were either to sell the children into slavery, or to conceive of a way to motivate good behavior. I chose the former, but couldn't get Todd on board. He misses out on most of their corrivalry, and is thusly quite attached to them. So I embarked upon a journey to locate, and lure, whatever inner angels had withstood all the gruesome battling. It is with some shame that I confess to you that I have relegated my 8 and 9 year olds to a chart system.

The only chart we have ever used was for potty training a million and one years ago, but it was a wild success. Each kid trained in under a week. Nevertheless I felt a little like I was insulting them to implement these charts, but they have responded so incredibly well, I'll take anyone to the mat about it now, lol.

So Quinn and Rei each have a small chart, with 80-something squares, and they get a star sticker (those ones that our teachers used) for showing exceptional effort to be kind/considerate/tolerant/patient/non-violent towards one another. They do not get stars for adhering to a base level of courtesy or manners, nor for making their beds, doing schoolwork, or brushing their teeth without being asked, for these things are all expected of them. They get stars for walking away from a fight, compromising, negotiating, being generous beyond expectation (giving up the front seat), and for going long periods of time interacting peacefully, and in a way that doesn't make me want to slit my wrists. They may not ask for stars, or point out their good behavior. As you can see from the picture, I am not liberal in doling them out, though secretly, I do delight in it. I love the way they beam when I recognize their achievements, and I am proud to say that chivalry is becoming the norm around here. When their cards are full, they will receive $20, which isn't that much, so I'm surprised at how hard they're working. I'd like to think that underneath all the surliness are two kids who want to please their mama.

Anyway, that's what we're doing, and it's working wonders.

Oh, my kids have code names for some odd reason, don't ask me why. Reilly goes by "Fathom," and Quinn by "Zerix."

a toast

(That's a tiny roma tomato for perspective.)

As many of you know, B and I joined a gym recently, and have been working our asses off in hopes meeting a specific July weight goal. To augment this regimen, and in B's case, because of diabetes, we've sworn off all delicious-tasting food, in favor of low-carb, low-taste things such as hay and spinach. One thing I am allowed is a piece of Oroweat Best toast, with Adam's peanut butter, and a banana sliced on top. This has become a favorite of mine because, let's face it, bananas are sweet, and this option far outweighs the horse food cereal or a Kashi waffle rock with a drizzle of wanna-be maple syrup.

We've been working out every chance we get, and even got in some good time last night, dashing into the club at the last minute. I went to bed hungry and was really looking forward to my pb & banana toast this morning. So, imagine if you will, the depth of my sadness to discover that the shriveled-up grandma heel of bread was the only piece left. After I toasted it, and it shrank to half its size, I spread a teaspoon of pb on it, and then sliced eight pieces of banana onto it, whereas a normal slice of toast holds an entire banana. I sat down to eat and found myself glaring at this meager meal, but ultimately, ate it in one bite and began the countdown to lunch, which I might add, will be early today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

emoticons, check!

This morning I was starting a list of things to discuss with my psychiatrist later, and the first thing I jotted down was that I didn't get my labs done. I instinctively put a frowny face next to this, for I am chagrined to have forgotten. The funny part, though, is that I put the frown sideways, the way it appears when one is typing. I think I may need to talk to him about my excessive computer use as well. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008


Since I'm already being filleted for my hatred of Once, the muppets, and egregious grammatical errors, I may as well climb out on the nearest limb and really bear my soul.

I hate Oprah Winfrey. No, just let me finish. It's not because she's a pompous, self-important megalomaniac, it's because she interrupts constantly. Pathologically. And she always redirects the conversation to herself. One time she interviewed a woman with terminal cancer, who had just suffered the indignity of shaving her hair, to which Oprah blurted out, before the woman was finished speaking, "I know just how you feel, I got a terrible perm one time and had to cut my hair really short." This pretty well epitomizes my beef with her.

Now, I'm not marching in any anti-Oprah parades or anything, but I'm really firm in my opinion, and the margin for changing my mind is razor-thin. While I do offer half-hearted applause for her Angel Network, and her impact on literacy, I cannot help but think that the underlying, possibly overriding, purpose behind these endeavors was to send her ego soaring to new heights. Okay, I digress.

Getting back to that razor-thin margin, Oprah has recently done two things that have given me pause in my loathing.

First, she endorsed Barack Obama for president.

And second, she launched a new reality television show, The Big Give. To summarize, the show's contestants compete to see who can give away Oprah's (or the network's--whatever) money in the most grandiose and meaningful ways. Back story: When I was very young I told my mom my life's ambition was to save all the kids. I even used to cry seeing stop signs in the rain. I have a deep-seated need to know that everyone is warm, safe, and fed. But I lack the means to make this possible, a fact which has fractured my seemingly black heart. But we'll delve into my overly sentimental side another time. So I have a soft spot for virtually everyone. That is, everyone I don't hate, lol. I knew this show would touch me, and I was right on the money (no pun intended). The challenges have ranged from making the best use of $1,000 in 24 hours, to remodeling an entire inner-city school with only a few thousand dollars on which to build. Once the catty, in-fighting, camera-whore players are done hustling to complete their tasks, we get to see the big reveal. I could never convey in words the power of these moments. I know they are edited to pack a greater punch, and I know that ultimately, it's entertainment, but these are real people whose schools are being rebuilt, whose disabled children are being given the treatment and equipment they so desperately need, and real wounded soldiers, who have been cut off by the VA, whose mortgages are being paid. I don't have television, because everything on TV is shit, but my mom records this and, okay, I'll admit it, Lost and Jon & Kate Plus 8. Yesterday I watched two episodes of The Big Give, and I was sobbing like a child, absolutely racked, a worn-out husk of myself. The emotional cord struck by these people in need being relieved of their financial burdens was almost more than I could bear. I don't care about the motives for the show, or who is getting richer, or whose celebrity status is elevated into outer space. I'm in it for the people. I suspect this comes as a surprise. Underneath this caustic, venomous exterior, is a hopeless old softie who wants to heal the world. So I am forced, in spite of myself, to confess that my hat is off to Oprah.

Now, if only she created a show wherein the teams covered all the stop signs with blankies...

me, myself, and i

Since I narrowly evaded a hail of gunfire after my last post on grammatical propriety, I thought I'd give it another whirl, just to live dangerously.

Here goes:

I keep seeing pictures of people on MySpace, as well as references sprinkled throughout various blogs, that contain phrases like "Jenny and I at Silver Falls," or, "He joined my kids and I." (Primal scream)

Here's the deal. When grouping yourself with another person, identify yourself as though you are the only one involved. You wouldn't say, "He gave the gift to I," nor "If you've ever hung out with I, you'd know..." You also wouldn't say, "This is a picture of I at Silver Falls." See where I'm going? Me is the correct pronoun to use in each of these contexts. I suspect this is confusing because if you're following with a verb, the use of I is correct. "Jenny and I went to the store" is right, but it's still a picture of Jenny and me. It's pretty simple, just pretend you are the only one involved, and then add Jenny, your kids, or whomever.

We were all taught as children to say "my friend and I would like some candy," so it is ingrained into our grey matter to say "s/he and I" at all times, but I'm here to tell you, we need a little polishing. I won't even bother with a disclaimer about how I'm not trying to be a bitch. Me knows me's going to regret this altogether.

(But it's worth it if I help one of I's friends!)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

once: one time too many

Does anyone know the going rate for two hours of my life? Because I need a refund. Yes you read correctly. I just endured a movie whose intended audience, I am certain, is lobotomy patients. Who are deaf. The offending movie? Once.

Listen, I know how it is. We intellectual types are supposed to get all swept up in the ephemeral charms of the latest indie art house movie du jour, and then strut around like peacocks expounding upon all the profundities, subtext, deeper allegories, ad nauseum. Or maybe faint on our fainting couch, which we keep nearby in the event of a life-altering experience such as The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. P-l-e-a-s-e. If ever there was a case of the emperor's new clothes, it was The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I have seriously almost had my teeth knocked out for denouncing this movie, despite the fact that it had absolutely no merit whatsoever.

My teeth may be in even greater jeopardy now, because I am here to warn you, much like the soothsayer, against this movie. First of all, I really went into it with an open mind, which doesn't happen very often. Second of all, as soon as it opened, I hated it. The main character, a guy whose name I couldn't decipher for all the mumbling, was supposed to be a gritty, lovable, average Irish Joe, but instead he was the ratty, crusty, bug-eyed roommate you had in college whose neediness knew no bounds, and whose teeth knew no dentist. His name, roughly translated, may have been Arhflgnm or something. Onto the girl, whose name, I think, was also Arhflgnm. My major beef with her was that she reminded me of Love Actually's Lucia Moniz (Aurelia), but was in fact, not her. I kept waiting for her to become Lucia Moniz, but it never happened, and I never forgave her. So he's this haggard musician playing for pennies on the curb, and she wanders up to him and they decide to spin their palpable lack of chemistry into lyrical gold. What ensues is 90 minutes of the same song, set against a hole where there ought to have been a plot. You know it's bad when you're scanning the streets of Dublin for a McDonald's, or anything to connect you to what you're watching. So they play songs, and he grins his desperate grin, and she smiles shyly but never takes off her coat the entire movie. It's as though the writer, no wait, there couldn't have been a writer because there was no plot. So, it's as if someone set stream-of-consciousness to a movie, but all they ever thought about was "ummmmm..." If it were a dance, it would be the insecure kid in the corner shifting his weight back and forth.

Apparently I was born without a soul (or, more likely, I sold it to buy some clothes at Old Navy), because scads of people in my life are gushing about this banal bullshit, er, movie. My own mother, who BOUGHT it, argued that my lack of enthusiasm for the story could only be explained by a serious character flaw on my part. And I am afraid to tell Gabrielle my verdict, for fear that she will get medieval on my ass with her various "craft" implements. I'm just so curious how there can be such a discrepancy between friends who agree on so many other points? Danskos are fabuloso, this movie is shit. Why is that so difficult? Can't we just get along? I fear an angry mob will soon appear, weapons in-hand, to pummel me for my ignorant, callous, misrepresentation. When they arrive, I shall tell them, "You think my hating this movie is bad, Karen hates the Muppets!"

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Saturdays have become the dustpan of my week, the day on which I attempt to take up the slack of neglected cleaning and schoolwork. I used to be very good at this, and had no trouble living up to my email address: lovetocleanup. For years I have sprung awake, turned on the painful-yet-motivating 80's pop, and shown this house who's boss. Later, when every surface was glistening and the smell of lemon-scented Lysol permeated the entire house, I would sit with Quinn and Reilly and tie up the loose ends of our school week. It was a wonderful routine, and I was the shining, lemon-scented star.

For reasons I do not know, I am currently suffering from the cleaner's version of writer's block. (As well as actual writer's block, as you are no doubt noticing.) I don't know where to start, or how to care. Our house has become Seussian in its disorder. We have lamps on amps (literally), 43-year-old boys with toys, Playmobil stables on tables, bags of rags, and the curtains are hurtin' for a cleaning. But I just can't. Everything is so precariously perched, it's impossible to wipe down a surface without sending 700 guitar magazines into the air. As most of you know, we are aiming to ditch this MFSH (mother-f-ing s*** hole) and get us some bigger, brighter digs this year. As such, I have completely disengaged from this house, except to hate it. Anyone can tell you that I am grossly exaggerating in every description, but that doesn't change the rage I feel when I see that Todd has stacked four amplifiers almost to the ceiling, or a week's worth of mail just as high, or that the kids have built an array of creations whose very survival dictates that they remain in our living room. I am also excessively fond of bags of shredded papers taking root by the laundry room door, every surface having become a veritable junk yard, and of course, the worthless leopard geckos who reside on my decorative table, looking smugly at me, knowing that the purpose of the table was to be bare. I could go on and on. Instead, I will try to re-channel my anger into productivity.

I'll start changing my email address to: whyshouldicleanthisfuckingplace.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


This had to have been inspired by my Reilly...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a league of her own

B's comment on my previous post was so (what's the word?) delicious, I had to showcase it:

Hold On, I have to side with the Fitz kids here. While Faith deserves Straight Up to burn on in Eternal Flame, or at least go out in A Blaze of Glory, it was The End of the Road for New Kids and Milli Vanilli. Nothing Compares 2 U using that Poison as a history lesson. It's time to Rush Rush back to the ancients and learn how to Walk Like an Egyptian. I don't mean to sound Cold Hearted but I can just imagine Reilly giving you The Look as you gave those tunes One More Try.

You are my rockstar B.

bad boy bands 101 (isn't that redundant?)

Quinn and Reilly are way into You Tube. They've seen every crazy cat dancing to Old Time Rock and Roll, as well as every tactical Halo scenario played out a hundred times over. So as You Tube was left open today, following our most cacophonous and eclectic music fest at breakfast, I slid into the deejay chair and grabbed the kids for a jaunt down memory lane.

Inspired by Quinn's fondness for George Michael's Faith, I also put them through:

You've Got it (the Right Stuff)--New Kids on the Block
Step by Step--New Kids on the Block
Girl You Know it's True--Milli Vanilli

It was pretty much mutiny by this point. They had lost all faith in me, pardon the pun. Sure, yesterday Quinn was having a regular ho-down to John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," (his very first favorite song, age 1) but he was so afraid of Milli Vanilli's shoulder pads he almost called 911. They denounced all the lyrics, dance moves, and "costumes," and accused everyone of lip-syncing. They were decidedly underwhelmed. But I made the most out of our time travel, and counted this and our subsequent dialog as our music and/or history for the day, which I think is ingenious thank you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

my purse: take 2

Seriously, I wouldn't usually post a repeat, but the disbelief I feel when itemizing the guts of my purse is so overwhelming I just need other mamas to come forth to either A) exonerate me, or B) corroborate that I have a disease... Please someone, say something.

3 new packs of Wet Ones
bottle of Tylenol
bottle of Excedrin
bottle for overnights
bottle of Xanax (you can't say you're surprised)
same old wallet
same new wallet
a book (not sayin' which, but I hate Middlesex!)
4 pens
2 new packs of gum
bag of 5 new lip balms (yes, all the same flavor)
2 lb. bag of cashews
ridiculously dyke-ish carabiner full o'keys
B's simple and elegant keys
a mutilated but usable Morningstar Farms coupon
6 bobby pins
30-odd business cards
spare buttons to unknown garment
Ziploc baggie of Kleenex (hard day)
3 Netflix envelopes
Strunk & White's Elements of Style (so I can correct everyone's speech!)

What is wrong with me? (Please form orderly single-file line to answer that. Everyone will get his/her turn.)

this spud's for you

I have famously opined that potato bugs are so ugly they will make you cry. Inexplicably, this fact came up in Quinn's therapy appointment today, and I declared, with great gusto and authority, that these insect-like demons are too awful to behold. Anthony, the therapist, looked at me with the same quizzical expression I've seen on the faces of so many native Oregonians. The reason being that Oregonians call sow bugs "potato bugs," for some mind-boggling reason, and as such, they are forever wanting to defend their endearing roly poly little critters against my vehement slander.

But a potato bug is another story my friends. The last time I saw one I was about six, and my older brother found one in the yard. It was all nestled into a hole, on its back, and when we peered at at, the gruesome fucking thing reared its head and screamed, and by God, it had its eyes trained on us! I am not kidding. So abhorrent are these beasts that even though I have often wondered if my childhood memory bore any resemblance to reality, I have refused to look them up. For 24 years. Until today. After it came up in the session, Quinn's interest was piqued and he felt a great need to see one, so I cleverly convinced myself that doing so would be our science for the day (hooray Mom!). I literally trembled as I typed the words into Google, and I quickly prayed to die as I hit go. And there they were. A whole page of these monsters, all ready to hiss, curse, and look at us. Naturally I felt them crawling all over me, and Quinn too shuddered from head to toe. But we looked. We were brave. And now we want to share them with you, if you think you can stand it. I do have to qualify this by saying that they are 1,000% uglier, meatier, and crunchier in person, when they are screeching obscenities at you. But at least this way you're safe. Can you dig it? Potato bug. Sow Bug.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

fist fight, in theaters now

Okay the straws were just a decoy so I could construct this seething, hate-filled post. I am livid. Trembling.

I think a little back story is warranted. Todd and I took Quinn to the movies tonight, and I was really looking forward to some face time with my secret boyfriend, Matthew Fox. His hair was freshly shorn, his clothes crisp, eyes squinty, stubble perfect. The mood was set. Quinn was next to me, happily horking down a shitload of candy that Todd surprisingly A) consented to, and B) snuck into the theater. Anyway, things were great until about half way through the movie when I carefully opened the pocket of my pea coat to check the time on my cell phone. Instantly I felt a hand clenched on my shoulder, and heard a loud, raspy, entitled, "Turn that light off!" so close to my ear I felt the spittle. I was shocked. It harkened back to being scolded in school, and I was too intimidated to turn around and look at the guy. Todd was on the other side of Quinn, so I couldn't ask him for help, and it's just as well, for it's likely he would have quoted me a Scripture about either peace or endurance. I wanted uh, a gun. Several minutes later the guy and the woman I presumed to be his wife, shouted in unison at some other people behind us, "STOP TALKING!" There were also intermittent "shushs." But the worst part, the part where I may have ended up in jail tonight, was that every time Quinn leaned over to whisper something to Todd, and I assure you, this movie theater regular was totally inaudible, the man would KICK OUR SEAT! The movie was nearing the end, and I wasn't sure how just how to confront these shitheads, so I just waited for it to be over. Once it was, I stood and looked into their pathetic, pasty white faces, and the 40 year old man was boring holes right through me. "Fucking thanks for kicking our chair through the entire movie," I said as I imagined ramming his glasses down his throat. Mrs. Shithead hissed that I deserved it because I opened my cell phone (in my pocket!). People were watching at this point, including my nine year old, so the best I could do was to say, loudly, "Nazis are so 1940's." I don't know why I said that, especially since they aren't sophisticated enough to know that that sentence is meant as an uber-cool insult, but I really emphasized Nazi, so that was satisfying.

I decided on our way out to wait for them, filling Todd in on their behavior as we walked. I was shocked that he agreed to a confrontation. He was really not happy that the guy kicked Quinn's seat, but let's face it, I'm a much scarier sight to behold than Todd could ever be, so we agreed that I would accost them. I wanted blood you guys, I'm not kidding. We waited for about twenty minutes, but they never came. They either slipped out another door without me seeing, or they stayed in their for an hour, correctly assessing that any number of people might be waiting to bash their brains in upon their exit. The longer we waited the more obscenities and sweat poured out of me, and Todd ultimately expressed a fear that I might actually decimate someone, and he tugged at me to leave. I can not recall being this angry ever before in my life. I was shaking, my blood was ice, and I felt that I could never resume being human until I had annihilated something. I texted Sam, and she ordered me to breathe, and not kill anyone. Then she pointed out that my blinding rage was only hurting me at this point, and to try to let it go. Slowly, my need to destroy something began to fade, until finally, I was at B's doorstep, trying like hell to jam the wrong key into the door, and in the process of finding the right one, got to slam the screen a lot. I was there to let Tawney out, while they were out of town, and the good old dog was so excited to see me, one of the icicles in my heart started to melt.

I didn't get a good enough look to ever recognize The Shitheads again, and it's probably for the best. I'll just be content with my image of them kicking some other kid's seat, and that parent carrying out what I wish I could have done. And I'll do my best to limit my violence to uncooperative screen doors.

the final straw

All too often I find myself posting about some debacle or other, so I thought tonight I'd see if my Obsessive-Compulsive jubilation is transferable...

We buy these enormous boxes of fat straws from this wretched Costco-wannabe called Cash & Carry. (My bad luck is such that some reader is the owner, in which case please accept my standard-issue apology for being a hostile careless bitch whose top priority is making people laugh.)

They are the same straws used by Dutch Bros. (Starbucks rules!), and I've come to discover that I cannot drink coffee, tea, smoothies, or anything, without one. Ideally, I like a pink straw, but the color assortment also includes green, orange, and yellow, so it's my own little neurotic lottery each morning. I pretend not to pick a pink one on purpose, and as if that's not bad enough, I am always really surprised and delighted to get pink. (Yes B, I know you're calling Scott.) I've gone the past few days with no straws, and let me just say I have lost all ability to drink without one, and have soiled like eight shirts. It's a retardation.

Believe it or not, we haven't even arrived at the weird part. Today when I went to Cash & Carry to buy more, I saw that they have boxes of all pink ones. Wow! I had no idea. I immediately reached for it, but then I saw my old humble assorted box staring longingly at me as well. Talk about Sophie's Choice right? The all-pink box filled me with joy, but I knew I wouldn't enjoy them as much if I was guaranteed pink. (This just gets weirder and weirder.) I ended up buying both, and when Todd asked why I did that (he's been instructed a thousand times to buy the assortment), I stuttered that I prefer pink, but I also like the chance factor. When he asked which kind I would use first, I explained that I would put a fistful of the assorteds into our cup, and then a fistful of pinks, to, um, increase my odds.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

what's in a name?
LogoThere is
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

what begins with B?

An excellent speller though I may be, I am a shitty cook. For real. My life is a series of cleverly planned encounters wherein I and my poor children can benefit from someone else's cuisine. That is, when Todd's not home. He is the cook around here. I confess to allowing Quinn and Reilly more mac & cheese than they ought, and I have bent "moderation" beyond recognition where fast food is concerned. I just hate cooking. I can never think of anything, despite having a refrigerator full of wonderful, mostly organic, options.

Enter B. When she's not cooking for my pitiful ass outright, she is helping me see what I have, and how it can all be combined to make delicious meals, albeit simple ones, because I am retarded. (I know I'm not supposed to say retarded, but I mean it in its intended use as opposed to its malicious use.) ANYWAY, she has taught me to make several delightful snacks, and I made one today. I used leftover bell peppers, onions, and zucchini from the other night, and cooked them up in a pan. I then placed them atop a baked potato, and a little cheese. Lemme tell ya, for a mama who's used to eating mac & cheese from a ladle, this is heaven. (And likely the closest I'll ever get.)

Please don't look closely at my plate. Despite its distinct WalMart chic pattern, I do not have geese in my kitchen. As ever, I am sorry if you do, and are offended.

Thanks B. What am I having for dinner?

it'sy bit'sy nightmare

As I mentioned, last night B and I had dinner with (K), a college professor who teaches writing locally. We revered and dissected writing and grammar (convention) every which way, over margaritas, in hopes of gleaning useful ideas for teaching our kids at home.

This meeting has inspired me to say two things.:

A) Brandy is officially debuting as "B," which I have always called her, and which she has readily accepted as an alternative to/antidote for, her long-detested Brandy. So please join me in bidding adieu to the moniker that has brought her so much loathing, and let us celebrate the uber-cool B. (I hope I haven't cheapened the hype by not knowing how to use umlauts on a computer. I should have called Adam...)

B) If I were a super hero, I would be Picky Grammar Bitch. (I know I know, I wouldn't be very popular.) I see rampant and flagrant misuse of everything from spelling, to diction, to punctuation, everywhere I look, and I just have to vent a little, lest I resort to cutting. Now, I am, by no means, an expert, but I inarguably care more about this than virtually anyone else within a hundred, er, million mile radius. I am not out to embarrass or scold anyone, I just want to spruce things up a bit, in a helpful way.

Okay, so the most pervasive problem I see is the use or non-use of an apostrophe in the words its and it's. Here's your out.: The confusion lies in the fact that its is one word that is not made possessive by an apostrophe. If one were talking about Bob, and his books, one would say Bob's books. But if one were referencing the library, and its books, there would be no apostrophe, even though it's (it is) possessive. The apostrophe is used as a contraction, not for possession. Does that make sense? Am I a bitch? Wait don't answer. They are both rhetorical.

It's rude and ego-centric of me to post this.
But that doesn't minimize its validity.
It's something I will likely regret.
And its relevance only matters to me.

Feel free to hack apart my writing and show me what a hypocrite I am.

It's only fair.

no laughing matter

I can't sleep, and it's going to cost you. B and I dined with the fabulous Ms. (K) tonight, and followed it up with late coffees with our bitches. By bitches, I mean, the absolute creme de la creme of friends, whose company we relish, yet seldom get to enjoy.

After our initial plan sputtered and flopped around like a popped tire, we nestled in happily at Starbucks, approximately 85 miles away from where we had intended to meet. No matter, we made ourselves right at home doing what we do best, which, in my case, means scraping the very bottom of the etiquette bucket in order to procure as much laughter as possible. Tonight, I kicked the freaking bucket right out the door. I was so loud I was told my voice could be heard in the restrooms, and I spoke in the most unfiltered, deviant manner imaginable. All night long. It's worth mentioning that the Lancaster Starbucks doubles as a Bible study paradise. It's often hard to find a table because so many of these nice kids are there, praising The Lord and whatnot. But even their presence didn't deter my wickedness tonight. Even as I felt these tender young vessels recoiling, I squawked my obscenities, and cackled at my own depravity.

In fairness, one can hardly distinguish this night from any other, based upon my description. What makes tonight different is that I am having an acute case of morning-afters, the likes of which I've never known. As we were leaving, I asked the staff if we had been offensive, and two of them uttered an irrepressible "yes." My mind is replaying this on continuous loop. Normally I adhere to our covenant, "the joke is sacred," and shake off the scorn, or perceived scorn, of those nearby. I must tell you that it is never my intention to pollute my social environment, nor to make anyone ill-at-ease. On the contrary, my chief objective at all times is to make people laugh, and I will seemingly go to any lengths to secure a favorable reaction. But inflicting misery upon our staff and fellow diners is not my only regret tonight. I came home and read all my friends' blogs, and was swift to realize that I scarcely allow these glorious women to shine when we're together, because I'm always so busy trying to out-blaspheme myself, or reenact someone falling down the stairs, in hopes that they will perhaps, pee themselves, just a little. Karen never gets to talk about her herb expertise, because I will cut her off to honk like a goose, and Sam's voice is an endangered species because I'm too busy exaggerating the shit out of everything to let her speak. B can hold her own, so I have no regrets there, but poor Megan isn't apt to interrupt my rendition of a one-man-band, or whatever else I'm doing. So basically, I'm a solar eclipse, and I owe my friends an apology. Because they are sublime, they will never admit that I am a shameless glory hog, but we all know it's true.

Here is where I ought to vow to be more conscientious of my friends, and of innocent passers-by, but I think we all know what my vows are worth. I'd horrify those baristas again in a heartbeat if I thought one of you would shoot coffee out of your nose.

Some friend I am...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

good-bye, ruby tuesday...check

Sometimes even a serial over-scheduler outdoes herself, and today is one of those days. I say is because, well, there are many ways in which to interpret 'is,' as we learned from President Clinton, but I used it because my days is still in progress. My Tuesday looks like this.:

Wake up early and not resent everything

Clean my house, including hanging 4,500 of my wet garments so they don't shrink.

Get kids up and ready without yelling.

Post a blog for Gail.

Answer four urgent emails, despite running late.

Straighten my hair (talk about tedium).

Drop the kids off with my mom, after mediating the fight over the BACK SEAT!?!?!?!

Go to the dentist for a cleaning; force them to reiterate how beautiful my teeth are.

Pick up my gym clothes.

Buy .7 cents worth of son-of-a-bitchin' gas.

Hit Old Navy in search of more of a certain kind of elusive socks for Quinn.

Drop in to B's to rifle around for some grub.

Rendezvous with my FANTABULOUS psychiatrist; confirm that I am still crazy.

Return to B's to wait for (K).

Write this blog.

Have dinner with (K), and hopefully drinks.

Have tea with Megan at Starbucks, DON'T FORGET MORE COFFEE GROUNDS for B's garden.

Drop off B's dad's birthday gift in NE Salem.

Hit the gym with B, work our guts out.

Drive B home.

Call Todd to tell him to let the kids stay up so they remember who I am.

Come home and kiss them until they push me away.

Read chapters 3 and 4 to them.

By then it will be sunrise and we'll have Wednesday's list to contend with.

watch out gail, they're sharp!

In honour of our mutual obsession with Sharpie pens (a rapidly growing trend, I'm afraid), I'm posting a picture of all the Sharpies I can find in my house. Mind you, there are more, in the recesses of my purse, and in my car, various pockets, etc., but I hoped this picture would bring a smile to your face.

Surely it will heighten your sense of delight to know that the fine-tips are kept in a Starbucks mug B got for me a couple years ago. A proud monument indeed.

Enjoy, friend!

Monday, March 3, 2008

i'll buy that for a dollar!

The last time I went to the dentist, he saw a "shadow" in the root of a tooth that had previously endured everything short of a land mine. He said we'd check up on it in six months, as it would either reveal itself to be an x-ray glitch, or an abcess. Christ.

What could I do? Naturally, I waited three and a half years, hoping that an abcess, like a taunting older brother, will eventually go away if you pay it no attention. It never hurt, nor bothered anyone, nor made inappropriate gestures in public, so I left it to spread silently throughout my jaw bone, assuming it would finally rupture or something, at which point I'd beg for the dentist. That was my plan.

I should mention that I am a dental war veteran, and that I've seen my share of action. Root canals, extractions, fillings, name it. By no means have I been awarded medals of valor, however, for each and every experience has been preceded by a) rocking in the fetal position, b) crying/begging, and c) valium. I am the epitome (or epi-tome, as some might say) of dental-phobic. Hence my egregious gamble with the ominous shadow. Meanwhile, I could just feel my jaw decaying, a false sensation followed by lots of imagined drilling, shots, and those ungodly stakes they jam down your roots. I wasted at least one year by telling Todd we just couldn't afford it, but then, good dental samaritan that he is, he began insisting that I go. Conveniently, I "forgot" for another year, and hedged subsequent queries with my swift subject-changing mojo. (I'm very good at this, but that's for another blog.)

Deep down, I knew I had to go, and last month I finally made the appointment. By the way, the minute I did so, every tooth in my head began throbbing and causing searing pains down my face. People have assured me that because I have endured childbirth, an appendectomy, and the removal of the Tumor that Ate Texas, I would be fine. But I implore you to see that pain inflicted in the past does nothing to nullify pain in the present. Just because I've had babies doesn't mean that ramming a tent stake into my nerve hurts less. Duh. Whether or not I survive is not the issue. I DON'T WANT IT TO HURT!

Back to the day of reckoning. I managed to drive to my appointment, only having moderate myocardial infarction, and was proud to have arrived without an escort. I had my check for $230 pinned to my shirt, like a good little girl, and walked in. I was exceedingly nice to all the receptionists, in hopes that this would karmically help reduce the chances of a runaway abcess. And then I waited. In hell. Finally it was my turn, and when the assistant asked how I was, I unloaded my entire footlocker of anxiety on her, in a manner that resembled vomiting on someone. But she handled it with aplomb, and spent thirty minutes easing my worries. She helped prepare me for my x-rays, which would seal my fate in seconds. Now, it's too late to make a long story short, but praise the Lord, I have no cavities, and the shadow was just a shadow!

Speaking of karma, I didn't deserve to get an A+ today. I deserve to have my teeth fall out in rows, and to be left with bloody, uneven stumps. I'm not a very good person. Maybe today's good fortune was an example of grace, which is much more plausible to me than karma, but that is DEFINITELY another blog. In any event, I told Dr. O'Leary that he was my lucky charm, and then took it too far with a leprechaun joke and made a hasty exit.

The good news didn't stop there. When I floated out to the reception area, I was informed that I was being given a new patient promotion, because it had been so long, and that the cost of my visit would be one dollar. One dollar! I asked if they had any similar deals on liposuction, which got laughs from the young women and disappointed head shakes from the middle-aged women who have already discovered that we are supposed to love our bodies no matter what. Hey, can't blame a Fitzpatrick for trying to push her luck a little, right?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

my purse-nality

When I was a kid, I once saw an episode of Leave it to Beaver wherein The Beave emptied his pockets, and after amassing quite a heap of this and that, he finally pulled out a tennis racket. I knew this was impossible.

Or was it?

Yesterday as I was skulking about Borders, I began to wonder why my purse weighs fifteen pounds, so I decided to go excavating to find out just how many anvils were in there. Mind you, my purse isn't very big, so I was more than a little surprised to discover the following.:

A copy of The Secret Garden--because all the co-op moms are reading it to their kids

A pair of clean underwear. ???

Notes for a blog idea I got while driving

a four-foot ethernet cable, but of course

two wallets--one that I use, and the one I need to move everything into

two pill bottles (I'm crazy, remember?)

an undelivered greeting card, in pristine condition, though it's a moot point

the iPod with the pink arm band

a protein bar with a shopping list stuck to it

Wet Wipes--don't leave home without them

three pens

two kinds of lip balm

two more protein bars

my checkbook

an Always pad factory,

notes from a therapy appointment, stuck to one of the pads

my phone

and the requisite padlock hanging off my purse strap

aerial view:

the whole shebang (note padlock):

Sadly, I put it all right back in.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

lose, your blues, everybody cut footloose...

Today was the big reunion. We parted on awkward terms, seeing very little of each other before the big break. I was even paying for the offending party to stay away from me. So this is a big deal. I finally found it in my wicked little heart to reconcile...

...with the gym, duh! You guys thought my life had reached soaring heights of drama, and I was really just talking about the gym. Sheesh.

So I went this morning, with all of the accoutrements that make us feel bad-ass there, but really just slow us down. (ie iPod, water bottle, phone--because God forbid I am inaccessible for one hour)

I had my playlist all set. It's called "no shoe dropping," which is a reference to my crippling depression and my subconscious obsession with the other shoe dropping in any and all circumstances. Of course my loyal readers (hi Mom!) will remember that Footloose is the absolute highlight track, and I rocked out to it while doing calf raises, lifting 90 pounds--a very big deal for me.

My workout began with the gluteal interval course on the treadmill, which really got me pumped--pardon the cliche. Between completing that course, and Survivor blasting Eye of the Tiger in my ears, I practically swaggered into the weight room, thinking I was Arnold Schwarzenegger, except he would never have a pink iPod arm band. After completing my set, I returned to the treadmill and selected the most intense incline track, with which I have had a severe love/hate relationship for four years. I should mention that I hadn't showered yet, which is extremely uncomfortable, and I also kept mouthing the words to my music, which wasn't helping me earn popularity points, but the real fun started when I had to clutch the bar with all my might when the incline reached its summit. I suddenly became keenly aware of my greasy hair, my bra straps showing, my pathetic loserness.

But oh well. I refuse to cheapen my proud achievement with negative self talk. There'll be plenty of that on other days. Today I'm basking in the glory of bettering my life. (Queue music)

Still, I was really disappointed afterward when I looked in the mirror and saw Kirstie Alley.