Monday, June 30, 2008

Stranger Things (Have Happened)

I think I may have mentioned before that I don't really like people. And that's true to some degree. I don't like people in line. People in cars. I don't like people in crowds, people in Disney apparel, people doing the wave at sporting events. I don't like people wearing fanny packs and pleated pants, double breasted blazers, drunk people, loud people, sweaty people, the stupid, the greedy, people who are too serious, people who sit right smack dab in front of me in an otherwise empty movie theater. As a general rule suicide bombers pretty much suck. But mostly I don't like people in theory.

In reality, though, people are pretty awesome. People who hold the door. People who smile sincerely. People who stop you on the street to ask for directions, that vulnerable look in their eyes as if they are searching for soft cookie crumbs of strange kindness. I like my friends and my family, small people, old people. The hopeful. I like the woman who makes my drink at Starbucks every morning with her sharp nose and smart blue eyes, the way she tells me to have a nice day. I can tell that she means it. For the most part, I like people in reality.

And so it was with interest that I read of the guy who tied a disposable camera to a bench with a sign that read: "Good afternoon, I attached this camera to the bench so you could take pictures. Seriously. So have fun. I'll be back later this evening to pick it up. Love, Jay / The Plug." I mean, what a pure idea, right? It got me in that tiny slice of my heart that thinks people are A-ok. Aside from his moniker of The Plug, which, let's face it, sounds a bit unsavory, this is just a perfect social experiment.

Granted I am not the first blogger to post about this. I actually found out about it from Jessie at The Lucky Stone (great blog, btw. Go there now. No, wait, go there after you've read this. And maybe commented on it. Because I love your comments. Remember? I like people? Yeah, that means you, too. I like You.)

Anyhoo, I lay awake on Friday night thinking about conducting this experiment. It seemed so enticing, so cool, and yet something about it made me feel shy, as if the universe were sprinkling my bare skin with salt. I almost backed out at least a dozen times until finally with nothing else to do on Saturday morning Zoey and I went and bought the camera and some string. We decided to add a blank notebook and a pen to make it our own. Our sign read a little something like this: "Hi! I've attached this camera to the bench so you can take pictures. Seriously! So have fun! I'll be back late this afternoon to pick the camera up. Oh! And here's a notebook, too. In case you have anything to say. Have a great Saturday!" And we tied it to a bench right in the center of our small town and went home for a nap.

When we awoke, here is what we found:

Two amigos with hair and one without; slightly foggy morning.

Adorable dog with a very large head, complete with happy owner.
Friendly man waving goodbye to the fog.

Safety first.

Safety second, plus one possible taco.

I'm sorry, lady, for showing your nostrils, but the composition is divine.

Handsome man, possibly Dermot Mulroney.

Attitude with striking eyes, the male version of Zoey?

Sadly there was nothing written in the notebook except a short note thanking me for the camera fun.
Of course I am nothing if not a woman of (too many?) words so undeterred I took the notebook to an Art & Wine Festival the very next day and I tied it to a bench with a note that read: "I NEED ADVICE. Please write some advice in this notebook. I'll pick it up at the end of the day. Seriously. Have fun! Thank you." It is my belief that good advice should pertain no matter the situation. And then I strolled around in the sun with my friends looking at bad art and inhaling the wet hot scent of gyro and tannins for a few hours until we decided to go back to the park and spy on the notebook.
When we got back to the park we saw an older woman sitting on the bench next to the notebook and if anybody so much as paused to read the sign she'd say in a voice full of gravel and wine, "I'd tell that person to stop asking for advice!" And then she'd chuckle as if the bench were center stage at The Laugh Factory and she was the headliner. She sucked. I'm pretty sure I'd have flipped her off in traffic if she so much as crossed me in what is sure to be her Chevy Nova, that she had spent her entire adult life waiting in line somewhere while wearing a Donald Duck tank top and possibly a homemade bomb in her "check-me-out-I'm-an-asshole" fanny pack. (Remember! I love me some people!) I was with my friend Rosalie who is just now getting some hair back after completing chemo and we thought about grabbing the notebook from beside the crotchety Disney lady and tearfully telling her that Rosalie really needed advice, that she was dealing with breast cancer and her therapist suggested she seek out strangers for healing. But then we realized that while we could spend two, maybe even three hours shootin' the shit with Bezelbub we don't necessarily want to burn in the fiery depths of Hell for all of eternity so we opted to get some smoothies, instead.
And yet at the end of the day when I picked up the notebook it was full of pearls of wisdom. Inside I found:
--"Follow your heart, use your brain. You'll do fine and take care!"
--"All of the answers to your questions are within--be true to yourself. Good luck."
--"Follow your heart and don't listen to anyone else! Remember this!! But! If your parents were fucked up so are you! But! Don't give up, just do your best! If you do you might be okay. The fact that you are asking for help is promising. I am an LCSW." (Scary indictment of the profession?)
--"Stay present. Move forward. Acceptance is key."
--"Don't believe everything that you think or feel. Depression, anxiety and fear are all liars."
--"Find that thing that makes you fall in love with yourself. Remember what it was that you were drawn to as a child if you don't know what to do right now."
--"Seek regular counseling, a psychic, therapist, channeler, whatever."
--"I am not going to give any advice, only a suggestion. Forgive yourself!"
Hidden camera shot of people doling out advice.
At the end of the weekend I felt secure in my belief that people in general suck, especially when they have spent the afternoon in the sweaty sun drinking wine and feasting on fried festival food, but people in particular? They make me feel as if I am part of something larger, something warm and breathing, something undeniably beautiful, messy and real, every. single. time.


I just came across this image at Design Crush who found it here. If you're in the mood for some inspirational tidbits and tasty recipes, head on over to Design Crush.
But of course that's not entirely why I'm re-posting this beautiful piece of letterpress. Nah, I bring it up because it reminds of this one time? Our friends Alex and Melanie used to live right on the Great Highway at Ocean Beach in the city. Bryan used to keep some of his surfboards at their house so he didn't have to haul them around the city if he wanted to surf after work. So one day he goes to Al and Mel's house and they're not there, they're already out in the water. But they had given Bryan a key so he let himself in to get his board and wetsuit. He was feeling a little wobbly--remember, he is diabetic. His blood sugar was crashing and he needed energy to surf. So he spotted a platter of brownies on the counter and he gobbled them up. All of them, every last one. Have you ever seen a diabetic with low blood sugar? Next thing he knows he's paddling out to surf and he hears the waves. Actually listens to each molecule of water as it crashes over his head. He feels his heart pounding and the clouds overhead are looking at him suspiciously. He thinks he might be having a heart attack or possibly a psychotic break; somehow he manages to paddle back in where he collapses on the beach and just lays there, breathing. Hours go by, or maybe it's just a few seconds. The sky overhead is laughing at him and one black lab won't stop sniffing at Bryan's head. Finally Melanie comes in from the surf and finds Bryan sprawled out on the beach, still in his wetsuit and probably developing a bad ball rash, a skinny beached whale that they might just have to bury there in the sand to decompose, a rancid gelatinous mess sheathed in black neoprene. She couldn't figure out what was wrong with Bryan until she finally asked him if he had eaten the brownies in the kitchen. Of course they were pot brownies, and poor low blood sugar Bryan had eaten the whole pan without knowing how very special they were. If only we had that beautiful letterpress stationery to commemorate the event but no, all these years we just had the story, which we've told over and over and over, a story which is now made public to you, my dearest friends. Love, Susannah

Start the Week Off Right

Crazy busy weekend worthy of a looong post complete with photos galore. Sadly I don't have time right now but here's a quick vid to tide you all over. (The blogosphere will rue the day I learned how to operate the video function on my camera!)

Giggles and swings, even a snort thrown in for good measure. Happy Monday!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Clean and Dependable!

Now that I actually have a job I probably shouldn't horde all the fantastically promising leads I was working on these past few months. So if you're in the job market, have a college education and your own method of transportation, are a non-smoker within the normal BMI range and produce normal BM's, without further ado, here are your employment options courtesy of Craigslist:

1. Got Good Genes? Why Not Share? The Sperm Bank of California. *This is a part-time job.
Of all the leads I was working on, this job promised to be the most enjoyable. The absolute only reason I turned it down was because I do not produce sperm. I did not go to college for sperm-production nor do I have any work experience in the daily production of spunk. Plus, it was a part-time job and I was looking for something a bit more consistent.
2. Sign Spinner: Must be energetic, enthusiastic, and able to stand outdoors in all weather moving the sign constantly with your arms.
This position boasted an outdoor office, fresh air, a gym of sorts. The problem is, my arms are the size and consistency of rubber bands. In fact, friends have been known to call me T-Rex. So while I am energetic and enthusiastic and could probably stand outdoors in all weather albeit with a bad attitude if it were foggy, I do not think I am the best person to move the sign constantly with my arms. Now if the job description had said "move the sign constantly with your legs," then I might very well be standing on the corner right this moment as my other nickname is kangaroo, strong legs, spindly arms, poochy c-section pouch and all.

3. Nemesis Required: I've been trying to think of ways to spice up my life. I'm 35 years old, happily married with two kids and I have a good job in insurance. But somethings (sic) missing. I feel like I'm old before my time. I need a challenge, something to get the adrenaline pumping again. An addiction would be nice, but, in short, I need a nemesis. I'm willing to pay $350 up front for your services as an arch enemy over the next six months. Nothing crazy. Steal my parking space, knock my coffee over, trip me when Im running to catch the BART and occasionaly whisper in my ear, "Ahha, we meet again". That kind of thing. Just keep me on my toes. Complacency will be the death of me. You need to have an evil streak and be blessed with innate guile and cunning. You should also be adept at inconsicuous pursuit. Evil laugh preferred. Send me a photo and a brief explanation why you would be a good nemesis. British accent preferred.
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $350 up front

I often fantasize about tripping people and knocking their coffee out of their hands. Already I steal parking spaces. So I thought this was a natural for me, a done deal. Unfortunately, the only British accent I can muster is sort of a bad Cockney/Eliza Doolitle way way waaaaay off Broadway, like Pygmalion put on by a small community theater and directed by Christoper Guest, and sadly nemesises (nemeseses? nemesi?) are usually a wee bit slicker than that. Than I am.

4. Writer/End of the World I am making a small book and needs fact in regard to End of the world. If you beleive that now is the end of the world and you have solid fact I will buy the info from you for $5.00 each fact, For example you can say: According to ABCD- EFG this is the end of the world. I need a total of 200 solid beleivable facts it equals $1000. I will buy as little as 1 fact for $5.00.
I emailed this person with my End of the World fact and it went a little something like this: "The fact that you are writing this book and yet cannot publish a post on Craigslist without at least a dozen typos proves to me that the End of the World is coming. Didn't you notice the birds all flying inland? The dwindling population of bees? George Bush? Beleive it!" I have not yet heard back from this employer nor have I received my paycheck for $5.00.
5. Will Pay to Catch Your Cold! It's a long story, but I need to be down with a cold by the end of this week. If you have a cold, I will literally pay you to cough all over me. Not a joke.
So I called this person up and we met for coffee and a loogie at Starbucks. I sneezed on him and let him borrow my eyeliner. As an added bonus I let him lick my $5 bill before I handed it over to the barista. Unfortunately, my watery eyes and itchy nose turned out to be allergies, so he is still looking to catch a cold. I dunno,' seems like an easy buck to me.
6. Take My Son to His Prom I won't go into the whole story, but my son got dumped by the girl he was going to take to his prom. The prom is in a few weeks and I want him to have a date. So here is the deal. Go with my son as his date. No expectations on his or my part other than going to the prom with him. He is tall, fairly good looking, but somewhat unexperienced with girls. He is not a geek as he played on 2 varsity high school sport teams for the past 3 years. What's in it for you. $500 cash for your time and I will pick up the cost of your dress, hair styling, etc. up to another $300. You will be picked up in a limo. Requirements are that you are cute and could pass for 17-19.
I loved 21 Jump Street. Like really loved it, past the point of normal. So I totally thought I could do this, go to the prom with this kid, knock back some Zimas with the high school crowd, back my shit up on the dance floor and then puke in the limo to make his mom happy. But I choked. I couldn't do it. I'm afraid I am Richard Grieco when clearly this kid needs a Johnny Depp. So the position is still open. I mean, maybe the prom is over, but perhaps he needs a date to the water slide park? To the kegger? To his freshman orientation at college?
So that's that. A comprehensive list of job openings in this down-market recession in which the price of crude oil is currently fetching $143 a barrel. Let me know if you need any references.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Birds and the B's

There will be no image with this post, just the words, thank you.

Zoey has a bagina. You might think this is some hybrid of a bagel and a vagina, but no, it is just what she calls her hoo hoo and she is quite insistent that it NOT be called a 'v'agina. Bagina. Bagina in the bath! Bagina in the baaath! BaginaaaaaaAAAAAH! Zoey very much loves her bagina and sings songs to it while bathing. I am very happy for her, that she has a good relationship with her bagina. I hope they have a lifelong relationship worthy of soap and song.
I cannot remember the last time I sang to my vagina, if ever. Or bagina. Hoo hoo, vagine, VJ, kitten, kiwi, there are so many names for it, most of which make me cringe. At what age does your bagina lose the friendly 'b,' beginning instead with a sharp 'v'? At what age does it lose its name altogether, no longer worthy of a word but becomes one raised eyebrow, a smirk? A joke?
I saw the Vagina Monologues way back when. I have heard the proud reclamation of cunt. And yet still I hesitate to even write that word. C U Next Tuesday, pursed lips and disapproving exhale, my hands tightly gripping my pocketbook. (Ah, yes--there's another term for it: pocketbook.) No matter the political stance of Eve Ensler the word still sounds gutteral and mean. Vaginas are to be discussed in clinical terms with a doctor, half-laughing with your friends, with a wry turn of phrase by the media, in the bedroom, dark, the secret life of sex.
How do I make certain my daughter retains her bagina? That it never turns into a, a, a something else, something that no longer belongs to her? That it always merits the lifting of her sweet voice into song?

Maybe by not blogging about it, for one? Oh, and Mom? You are not allowed to comment on this post. I am afraid of the stories you might tell. The rest of you: please. Let's discuss.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Booya: From This Day Forward I Pledge To Use This Word At Least Once A Day

Booya motherfuckers! Guess who got a job? Guess who bought herself some glittery sandals to celebrate? Guess who's booking herself a massage today? Guess who's treating herself to a real grown-up haircut complete with scritchy scratchy scalp massage to fix the wrath of Supercuts? Guess who desperately needs to buy new bras so she can stop wearing the same pill-y nude one every day and can now afford to do so? Guess who's boobies will be oh-so happy? Guess who's officially off COBRA, off unemployment? Off her freaking rocker?! Booya www! That's me! Me! Me! Me!

This image has no real relevance to my post other than it came up when I typed "booya" into Google images. And maybe this is just a little bit how I feel today: as if I am oiled up and wearing leather gloves, tipping my hat to the ladies.
Of course I wouldn't be me, exclamation point and all, if I also weren't guessing who's having just a teensy bit of buyer's remorse. Guess who's already nervous about the first day? Guess who's worried she oversold herself in the interview? Guess who wonders where she'll eat lunch, and with whom? Guess who wonders if using "with whom" makes her socially un-lunchable? Guess who is scared this means she'll never write a book? Boo-yeah, that's me.
But more on that later, motherfuckers. (And I only say motherfuckers tenderly, as a term of endearment, like punk ass bitch, which is Bryan's pet name.) You all helped me in ways you couldn't even imagine these last few months, what with your comments and support, making me laugh when I felt as if my mouth were made of stone and debt. I love you. I honestly love you.

Pop quiz: Did I include this photo because a.) it showcases the finely coiffed layers of my Supercuts haircut? b.) I honestly love you a la Olivia Newton-John? c.) I love me some turned up collar? or d.) all of the above?

Off to celebrate!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ah, Yes, One of THOSE Days

Today I am surrounded by wildfires and the air outside is thick, gray with ash. It hurts to breathe. Here inside my house I have already given Zoey cookies and juice. She has watched too many episodes of The Wiggles and my internet connection keeps crashing. It hurts to breathe.

Inhale pink, exhale blue. I am hitting the Refresh button on my day.
See you manana (miss you already).

Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm Not the Kind of Girl Who Gives Up Just Like That

I just got home from presenting my Secret Service Special Ops Project for Behind Curtain #2 Place of Possible Employment, Please Oh Please Be My Place of Employment Because If You Don't Ask Me to Marry You in a Civil Ceremony Complete with Signing Bonus I Just Might Have to Sell My House and Shop at Ross Dress for Less Not That I Am Being Judge-y Or Anything, No Siree, Pas Moi, otherwise known as SSSOPBC2PPEPOPBMPEBIYDAMTMYICCSBIJMHSMHSRDFLNTIABJNSPM, for short. What can I say? I like working for places with complicated names.
So I am home. I have shirked off my A-Line "please take me seriously, no, seriously" interview dress, my Tory Burch flats (good Lord I am a snob). I have taken off my wedding rings that aren't really wedding rings because Bryan and I don't wear rings but I believe they give me an air of authority situated as close as they are to the ZOEY tattoo on the inside of my wrist. So I have taken those off and am now eating pita chips and hummus wearing jeans and an old tee shirt, my hands bare, my heart beating. And I am scared. Scared that I won't get the job, and then what? There is nothing else out there. Scared that I will get the job. Because, you know, then I will have a job. Scared that. Just that. Scared. Scared seems to be my go-to emotion, like how people have a go-to karaoke song? Yeah, mine is Blondie's "The Tide is High" and I am scared. Unless, of course, someone is singing Young M.C.'s "Bust a Move" because then I am quite willing to sing back up. You want it? Baby, you got it, uh huh, yeah, yeah, yeah...

I am scared. They said they would call me by the end of the week but I am not very good at operating without a filmy veil of control. I mean, what? Am I just supposed to sit here and wait? I'm not supposed to make pacts with the Universe? Like, if I don't push down on the gas pedal but make it to the light before it turns yellow, then yes, I will get the job? Or if there is only one more commercial before Oprah comes back on then I will get the job, right? But wait, ads for Tech Schools and Dental Assistant placement programs shouldn't count. So there, I will still get the job. See? I still have a modicum of control. O Captain! My Captain! I believe what Whitman was referring to with the O there was Oprah Winfrey. Or a Magic 8 ball. Must. Maintain. Control.
Lately Zoey has become fascinated with a large black purse she absconded with from her Grandma DD's house. It is so large that when she carries it on her shoulder she has to keep her arm raised high overhead to keep it from dragging on the ground and falling off, sort of like a Heil Hitler if the Nazis had favored black leather handbags with silver hardware. Which, come to think of it, wouldn't surprise me. In the mornings Zoey likes to walk around the house with her purse filling it up for the day. She might stop in the living room and squash her plush kitten-cat inside, her pink sunglasses, a remote control if she's quick. Often she puts her whistle in there, crayons, a few barrettes and a small tube of baby lotion. Last week I even stashed a tampon in the side pocket knowing full well that they always get tattered in my purse. And as she walks around the house, one hand raised up high, filling up her purse for the day I hear her talking to herself in a small voice, okay, yeah, bye bye ballerina light, bye shoes, mmhm, yes, see ya later alligator pillow. One by one she says goodbye to the house, to her toys and to Nacho, to the hand-vac plugged in by the front door. And I see that big black handbag as Zoey's sense of control, that if maybe she takes enough of her surrounding with her then the big bad world of the day before her is just that much smaller, that much closer to home. Plus, she never has to worry about chapped lips, what with no less than seven lip balms she keeps in her purse at all times.
So this week, while I wait, I think I am just going to walk around my house filling up my purse like Zoey. Pens. Gum. The People magazine with Tim Russert on the cover. Some Dr. Scholl's moleskin in case my feet start to hurt. I am going to keep my arms high overhead so that I don't drop the bag that is much too large for the likes of me; I'm going to see what I can do to make the world smaller and closer to home. Mmhm, yeah, bye bye bills, see ya later alligator COBRA. Oprah is on in one hour and if during that episode there is a commercial for laundry detergent then I will get the job. The tide is high but I'm holding on.
Nothing speaks to freedom louder than a half-suit; photos courtesy of the Business Bib. Buy yours here. No, seriously. If nothing else just check out the product descriptions.

Friday, June 20, 2008

From the Kitchen of Petunia Face

I must be going to that special section of Hell reserved for people who burn books. I bet you this tiny corner of Hades looks a lot like the check out line at Ikea, maybe the 'a' in Hades has an umlaut, or maybe it looks more like the toy aisle at Walmart heavily laden with plastic guns and parental advisory stickers. Except I didn't really burn any books; I cooked them. Specifically, I tore out some pages, brushed them with vegetable oil tipped with soy sauce and then I baked them at 400 degrees for one hour.

And I've always said I don't know how to cook...
When the timer went off I let the pages cool to the touch. Then I crumpled them up tightly in my hand, a wad of warm words, smoothed them out and ironed the pages until they were soft.

With a finely grated reggiano? Delish! And so full of fiber!

This is part of my Secret Service Special Ops Project for Behind Curtain #2 Place of Employment. I needed old book pages but am too broke to go buy actual antique books. So I ripped out a few pages of The Tempest from my hefty volume of Complete Shakespeare, a poem in Spanish by César Vallejo, a page of a short story by Flaubert, all along very much aware of the symbolic implications of destroying my beloved books for the promise of a commute across the bridge every day and a paycheck.

When Bryan got home last night he asked me what I was cooking. The house smelled crispy, a hot wok of consonants, accents a grave and fresh r's trilling in oil. I told him I was cooking a book and his eyes got big and happy. Bryan has this idea that if I would only write a book we would be rich and he would never have to work again. I am pretty sure he got the idea from this one afternoon when we were driving in Pacific Heights and I pointed out Danielle Steele's house, a wide expanse of stucco tiles, palm trees and cabana boys. (Of course Danielle Steele's books are best poked with a fork and then nuked in the microwave for 2 minutes, a guilty feast of shit.) What I did not point out to him that day or any day, every day, in fact, is all of the ho-hum houses, the apartments and rented studios, the basements converted into bedrooms of most writers. The writers who do not rip out the pages of their books to faux antique the pages under the broiler. Maybe that's what Sylvia Plath was doing that day with her head in the oven, retrieving her books, her integrity, her passion.

Sadly I lack Plath's fortitude and am now off to affix my fautiqued baked pages a l'orange to a presentation board. If there was ever a moment, an epiphany when I suddenly knew I was a sell out--this right now? My glue gun heating up next to my now beheaded copy of The Tempest? This. This is it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big Dreams in Little Bathrooms

As a small child I wanted a monkey. Who doesn’t, really? I also wanted a twin sister, blond hair, a banana seat for my bike and to be locked in Baskin-Robbins overnight to feast on all the bubblegum ice cream I wanted without having to save the sucked on gumballs in a napkin for later. Little me dreamed big.
In having Zoey it seems I got the monkey. She is the Bear to my BJ, my trucker’s buddy, but not the kind you pee into on a long haul. She is my high-pitched comic relief with a limited vocabulary and teeth the shape of Chiclets sweet.

This past weekend Zoey suddenly showed intense interest in her potty. Of course it was just as we were trying to leave the house to catch the ferry to Angel Island, but when a two year old says she wants to sit on the potty your world stops, you miss the boat, the movie, the dinner date, and you wait. In my case, you wait sitting on the toilet next to her. Zoey wanted company, so I—ahem—sat on the big girl potty. Our bathroom is so small that her knee rested against my ankle. I peed. She farted. Good job! And when I was done I stood up to button my jeans. No mommy! You sit down, and she patted the rim of the toilet. So I sat back down. But I’m done, I tried to explain. I don’t have to use the potty anymore. Zoey studied my face, crouched down small on her Dora potty like a sculpture by Rodin, and then smiled up at me. You can do it! Mommy! You can DO it! And for a split second she sounded exactly like Rob Schneider in Waterboy. You can DO it! It is this kind of unequivocal support that kills me, the love my daughter has for me even while trying to poop. This is why people have kids, and it is worth more than all the blond hair and banana seats in the world. This is my new dream, to be cheered on while sitting on the toilet, the dream I never even knew I had.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Eyes Are Just Sweaty

I have never been so proud of my city.

Congratulations Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin. Congratulations everyone, to gay people and straight, to humanity. Congratulations love.

The Many Faces of Me (And You)

Last week I had a second interview at Behind Curtain #2 Place of Employment. I bought a new shirt at Anthropologie and presented a project they had given me to work on after the first interview. The new shirt has nothing to do with this story other than it made me feel a little more confident to know that I was not interviewing while wearing a shirt swathed in Nacho hair, the seams forever encrusted with the sticky grit of purple moon sand. I thought the interview went well. Other than the fact that it lasted a total of 5 hours and halfway through they brought me a sandwich, then left me alone in a conference room to eat it. The sandwich had onions on it, the room was windowless and small. For the rest of the afternoon I worried that whoever came in next would think I had bad b.o., that I would then be referred to as the stinky candidate, albeit the one with the nice shirt.
When I finally left the interview the HR woman asked me when I would be available to start. We discussed salary. She said she would call me this week and I left feeling confident enough not to return the new shirt to Anthropologie as I had planned to do. Well, I just got an email from Behind Curtain #2 Place of Employment and they want me to do yet another project and come in again next week to present it to their CMO and SVP and WTF? It's not as if I am interviewing to be a pediatric neuro-surgeon! This is product development, for chrissakes!
In anticipation of gainful employment I have been brushing up on ways to waste time at work. I found this great website that allows you to download a photo of yourself and transform it to see what you'd look like as a caveman, as an Asian, as the opposite sex, etc. When it's utilized to waste time at home on a sunny day it's flat out pathetic. But that didn't stop me from playing with it and passing it along to you so that you may waste time at work. You know, for me. Do it for me.
Here's my original pic of myself. You have to find a photo relatively close up. And I found that the serious mugs worked better. Smiles had a way of distorting the entire image.

Here I am as an African-American Caribbean woman. Not quite sure what that means. Seems like they just gave me Lindsey Lohan's bad tan, widened my nose and enlarged my lips; perhaps the computer generating these images is a wee bit racist? Although I do like the fuller mouth.

And me as a baby. Looks nothing like real baby pictures of me in which I have a scab on my nose from rooting around my crib searching for milk. This was, of course, before the "Back to Sleep" campaign. In my day we were just all left face down, survival of the fittest, rubbing our faces into mattresses treated with flame retardant carcinogens, waiting for the day when we would be old enough to ride our bikes without helmuts and eat Pop Rocks with Coke. Ah, but I digress...

And my personal fave: me as a man. I think I look like a New Wave musician from the 80's, an effeminate Brit who plays the synthesizer, maybe, a man wearing a double breasted blazer and a shirt with a lace collar and a brooch. Hot.

So go ahead. Give it a try. Me, I've got another "project" to work on in which apparently by developing decorative shelving with an 80% mark up I cure colon cancer, dandruff and the epidemic of meth addiction that plagues our nation's youth.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend Update, Now With Less Hair!

Not actual mysterious chicken sandwich.

Our Father's Day weekend started off with a mysterious chicken sandwich. When I got home on Friday afternoon Bryan was sitting at his computer polishing off the last bite. Where was that chicken sandwich from? he asked. It was delicious! And he gave me a shit-eating grin, most likely thinking he was in trouble for eating my chicken sandwich. I thought that sandwich was yours, I said. Because I hadn't put a leftover chicken sandwich in the fridge, would never even order a chicken sandwich in the first place. I'm more of a BLT or veggie kind of girl. You're lying, Bryan said, come on, that sandwich was yours, right? And it went around and around like that until we both trusted that it wasn't the other person's sandwich. At which point I was forced to make embarrassing phone calls to family and friends that went something like this: hi, I know it's Friday night and you're on vacation/asleep/out to dinner/at a movie, but did you by any chance leave a mysterious chicken sandwich in our fridge last time you were here? It was grilled? And chicken? A grilled chicken sandwich, apparently quite good? Because Bryan just ate said sandwich and we've exhausted all possibilities of where it came from. Either you left it here or someone broke into our house and put it in the fridge while ransacking our panty drawers, got spooked and then ran out without his chicken sandwich. Please give a call back to let us know, thanks. Four hours later my mom finally called back to claim the sandwich. Said she had left it in our fridge over two weeks ago when raiding our panty drawers. Okay, she never really went through our underwear (that I know of) but she did put it in our fridge because it had been sitting in her purse for a few hours and she didn't trust it, the chicken and the mayonnaise, TWO WEEKS AGO. So needless to say the weekend was off with Suspicious Meat Watch 2008, me staring at Bryan for any pallor in complexion, any sudden excess drooling or projectile vomiting that seemed out of the ordinary.
While we were waiting for the other chicken to drop, I was folding laundry in our bedroom (Hot parenting weekend! Laundry and waiting to see if anyone pukes!) when all of a sudden I heard Bryan yell, Hey, I never looked like Lorenzo Lamas! And I ran into the office where he was on the computer reading about his Father's Day present two days early, this from a guy who never reads my blog. And let's just say he was not pleased. I think it had less to do with the ponytail and more to do with the leather vest, so I feel compelled to amend my assertion that Bryan looks like Lorenzo Lamas circa 1995 to current day 'Renzo:
Of course I am kidding--Bryan does not look anything like Lorenzo Lamas, with long hair or short. I don't want to be a divorcée, after all. This is Bryan, you decide who he looks like:
Because if Bryan did look like Lorenzo Lamas that would make me Shauna Sand, and I just don't do lucite platform heels on principle. Or brown lip liner. Cheetah print. And the circumference of my waist is not smaller than that of my own head.

So what about the ponytail? I hear what you're thinking. Why am I prattling on and on about suspicious chicken and soap stars? Because even though the ponytail was not well received, we had the most perfectly normal Father's Day outside of a Hallmark card. Bryan bought himself a new bicycle. Zoey made him a colorform card complete with a rocket that says "Dad, you're out of this world." On Sunday we took the ferry to Angel Island and hiked around in the sunshine, stopping only to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. PB&J's, people! On an island named after ANGELS! Life does not get any more pleasant than this. We took photos with Bryan's phone and he promised me he would email them to me this morning once he got to work but it is now 2:30 and no photos to post. Only Lorenzo Lamas. Apparently I don't write pleasant very well and I am left with just this.

To his credit Bryan has a tough work day ahead. He is an architect working on some new CSI like building. Today he has to go down to the San Francisco morgue at Hunter's Point/Bayview, the toughest neighborhood in the entire city. He has to review what needs to be implemented in such a building, slabs with drainage for bodily fluids, refrigeration systems to keep the bodies cold, an efficient system of storing the bone saws and forceps. Just like in Dexter! I said, because I'm sick and like that kind of shit. He looked fine all weekend, but finally, this Monday morning I think I finally saw Bryan getting a little green around the gills. Suspicious Meat Watch 2008 may not be over yet.

But hey. At least I never said he looked like Kevin Sorbo.

Friday, June 13, 2008

You Can't Buy This at Brookstone

Bryan is not one for ties. Or money clips. Chinos--never. He sucks at golf. It would seem that Father’s Day gift spreads in catalogs and magazines are geared more for celluloid dads than for real ones. Because if I had to assemble an assortment of Father’s Day ideas for my own dad it would be a page featuring one lonely succulent, some fizzy water, a bungee cord and cashews. Hardly the stuff of mark-ups and margin.
One tough aspect of motherhood, other than having to get up each morning at 5:30 to watch Yo Gabba Gabba, is that when your kid is just two years old you suddenly become responsible for buying not only your own dad a Father’s Day present but your husband, as well. Now I’ve been honoring my dad every third Sunday in June going on 35 years now. I know what works and what doesn’t. But Bryan? In his checkered Vans velcro wallet he still carries the unused gift certificate for the massage I bought him last Father’s Day. What’s a girl to do for the man who doesn’t have much and wants even less?
So this year I decided to give him something money can’t buy (back): his youth.

Once upon a time in the mid-to late-nineties Bryan looked very much like Lorenzo Lamas. With locks of chestnut tresses tangled with seawater, although to his credit Bryan never did sport a leather vest. Back then I wore dark red lipstick, ribbon chokers, leotards, palazzo pants. I might have been the one rockin' the leather vest. We all have our crosses to bear, but my cross wasn’t ceremoniously cut off by an effeminate hairdresser in the summer of 1998. I do not have a tin box housing an heirloom pair of suede clogs, a reliquary of my lost youth. Bryan, however, has this:

An eight inch ponytail.

To be fair, it's not as if Bryan has kept his shorn locks safe in the back of his underwear drawer all these years. In fact, perhaps even creepier, my mom has had his ponytail. Bryan was going to throw it away back in 1998 but my mom stopped him. She thought it would make a powerful talisman against evil spirits. Against what evil, I shudder to think.

So the other day my mom and I were at her house and came across this hairy shank of yesteryear. And I knew then what I would give Bryan this Sunday.

My husband, the father of my child--I am giving Bryan back his youth. His ponytail, and a roll of very sticky Scotch tape.

Stay tuned, for on Monday surely I will have a tale to tell of unending gratitude, of kisses sweet and nights spent watching 90210 and braiding each other's hair.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Usually I am the death knell for blog tags, chain mail, panty exchanges, friendship bread. You know, anything that involves my mandatory response. Remember roll call in school? Well, I would sit there all anxious about how to answer when my name was called. Here? Present? A coolly nonchalant yeah? What the eff is wrong with you? you're probably thinking. It's friggin' attendance!
But today Habitually Chic tagged me. And I am still heavy with the kindness of the blogging community. If you asked me for a kidney right now I think I'd ask you right or left? You called my name and I cannot slink down in my seat, your class is just too good. So here. Present. Yo. Tag, I'm it and here we go.
1. What did you do 10 years ago? Let's see, in 1998 I had just finished graduate school with a Master's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. See how I didn't say I had just graduated graduate school? That's the kind of thing I learned. What I did not learn was how to get a job. Bryan was living in Florence for the year studying architecture so I hopped on a plane and joined him in Europe. For a few months we traveled together: Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Germany, the Czech Republic. It was all very Hemingway in that we drank a lot and acted affected, depressed and slightly put out. Here I am exiled on the isle of Elba:

Of course this was before the Euro and the devaluation of the dollar. The only thing I had to worry about, other than of course figuring out how to support myself once I got home, was Y2K, a buzz word quickly gaining momentum. That was the summer I was a total asshole, and very, very happy.
2. Five items on your to-do list today: Oh, lists make me feel like such a good person! Even if I planned to rob the Make-a-Wish foundation, if I put it on a list along with balancing my checkbook and buying fabric softener, I would feel good about myself. So here's what I have to accomplish today:
  • Buy Father's Day gifts for my dad and for Bryan

  • Buy my sister-in-law a graduation present (from high school! Bryan's mom was pregnant with her at OUR high school graduation!)

  • Get a job

  • Go to interview

  • Write thank you notes for past interviews

Hm. For the first time I do not feel like a good person after making a list. I feel like a boring person. I think I'd rather be an asshole on Elba trying to look blasé about sunbathing topless.

3. Snacks I enjoy: When I was little I thought a sweet tooth was real, like maybe a tooth turned brown way in the back of your mouth. Luckily I never did find a brown tooth but I most certainly lean toward sweets. And insalata caprese.

4. What would you do if you were a billionaire? This is one of my favorite daydreams, second only to the one where I am somewhere public (it used to be a club, now that I'm older it's usually a wedding) and a song comes on and I freaking get down. The crowd parts, cheering, as if I am Ponch on a very special disco episode of CHiPs; I am a golden god. Is it a Freudian slip that I just typed golden dog? Twice? Sometimes there is a twist in my daydream and I am also singing karaoke like a motherfucker, Blondie's "The Tide is High" all liquid sultry kick. Wait, I'm supposed to be a billionaire, right? Wrong daydream. Shoot. Okay, if suddenly I were a billionaire:

  • I would not work. I don't think I'm supposed to admit that, but there you go. I would write all day and if nobody liked my stuff I would buy a publishing house. In a way, writing a blog is the poor man's publishing house. So already I'm livin' the dream!

  • I would learn fluent Italian and Spanish.

  • I would buy a huge house here in Marin as a home base, a tropical casa down in Costa Rica for my husband to surf, and maybe a Mediterranean place on the Italian coast. And a colorful place somewhere in the Bahamas. Just because I like to swim in large turquoise water warm as a bath tub.

  • I would hire a live-in masseuse and tropical fruit smoothies every morning no matter the time of year.

  • I would have lots of animals: cats, a lemur, tropical fish, maybe a miniature elephant. I don't know if miniature elephants exist but this is my fantasy, and how cute would that be? A teeny tiny pachyderm in my backyard?

  • And yes, I would buy oodles of homes and stuff for my friends and family. Security. I highly doubt money buys security but I would try very, very hard to see if it does.

5. Places I would live: I think I answered that in my billionaire reply above. But places I would not live? Thank you for asking. Guantanamo Bay. Moradabad, India. Shenzhen, China. Fresno. No offense to locals of these locales. Just not for me.

6. Bloggers I am passing the challenge on to are:

  • This One's Just For You--because she hasn't posted in awhile and I miss her. She is a damn fine writer, that one.

  • Runs With Scissors--because she's been such a great support to me, seems like an incredibly nice person and because she has a kick ass blog title.

  • In(side) the Loop--because her childhood in Louisiana sounds like a novel, as does her retail experience in New York, just a very different type of book. I'd like to hear more.

  • YOU--If I did not call you out but you feel moved to respond to the tag, please do so. Either on your own blog or in a comment. In particular, I love the question about what you were doing ten years ago... Maybe you can add what you hope to be doing ten years from now? Jeez, I've been on too many interviews lately!

So there. I hope my voice did not crack when I answered. I am present and accounted for. No demerits for me, no sir, not today.

On second thought: I just re-read this post and it sounds as if I think I'm doing you a favor for responding to the tag. So maybe I'm still the asshole I was circa 1998? But with a hefty mortgage and a c-section scar? Oh dear. I hope not. I love all of you and don't think I am doing anybody any favors. But it's too late to re-do this post. You saw my to-do list! I need to get a job and some seasonally appropriate presents! So I'm hitting publish in the hopes that you will understand...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Breaking News: Zoey Makes Political Endorsement

I saw "Jesus Camp," so I realize that to some hardcore conservatives this video is akin to me watching small children speak in tongues, a proselytizing Army of God. Still, there's something about Zoey wearing my glasses as she announces her formal endorsement of Barack Obama that just gets me all choked up, a one woman, two-year old Army of Good. She's a smart cookie, and an integral part of America's political future...

Just in case anyone from the Obama political campaign is reading this, she also does a mean rendition of the song, "Yes We Can." She is available for appearances throughout the month of July and only requires nonfat organic milk, blueberries and a non-stinky pair of princess slippers in her dressing room.

Monday, June 9, 2008

How Soon We Rise, How Often We Fall

So the other day I was talking to my dear dear friend Guy Kawasaki when Lou Reed tapped me on the shoulder and asked if he could have a sip of my Vitamin Water. What? You don't believe me that Lou Reed drinks Vitamin Water? What if I told you it was the flavor that Fifty Cent created? Or is it 50 cent? $.50? Okay, okay, okay--I'm lying. Lou Reed did not ask me for a sip of my Vitamin Water, although he may very well imbibe in a bottle from time to time, and Guy Kawasaki is not my dear, dear friend. Maybe just one dear. Dear friend? No? Or maybe just a friend? Guy is my friend? Okay fine, not even that. But he did email me yesterday! I swear on Petunia Face the Original's grave!

For those of you who have been living under a rock watching re-runs of Full House (hey, I'm not judging! As long as it's the episodes before Uncle Jesse married Becky. Anything after that and clearly the show jumped the shark)... um, where was I? Oh yes, for those living under a rock Guy Kawasaki just so happens to be a big Silicon Valley venture capitalist. No he did not invent Kawasaki motorcycles and no, he is not Jackie Chan (which I guess he gets often). Instead he had something to do with the beginning of Apple and the internet, marketing and, OKAY! Dammit, you got me again. I don't really understand what Guy Kawasaki does but I do know he's BIG. He has his own Wikipedia entry, for chrissakes! And it's a big friggin' deal that I got an email from him because, what? Do you think John Stamos is ever going to email me? Sing me a little Beach Boys diddy from across the wires of the www? Yeah, I don't think so either.

I do know this: Guy (note the first name basis) created Alltop, a site that serves as an aggregate of The Best Of Blogs: Best of Mom Blogs, Best of Shopping, Best of Jobs, Cricket, LINUX, military. In short, Alltop is the Best of the Best Ofs. And Petunia Face the OG was lucky enough to be included in the category for Women. And then I got overzealous in my search for simplicity and deleted my blog and wah wah wah, all the way home, you know the rest and here we are.

So I emailed Alltop and explained my situation fully expecting not to hear back. A few hours later I got the email from Guy saying all was okay, they would re-route my section to my new blog, kisses, Guy. Okay, no kisses but the email. And I emailed back and after a brief but nonetheless embarrassing email in which I accused him of being my brother playing a prank on me we exchanged some banter and he kindly suggested I use MarsEdit or Ecto for blogging. What does that mean? you ask. Editservercachearchivehost Humdida bleepdin blopdin bloopdin? How the hell should I know, I deleted my own freaking blog! But when Guy Kawasaki tells me to do something I do it.

A lot of you have asked me how to not do what I did. And my first advice is this: don't be me. Because when it comes right down to it, deleting my blog is just so something I would do. A Bad News Bear without that cute kid Tanner or even a frisky Tatum O'Neal pre-crack. But in addition to not being me I suggest you be like Guy. Back that shit up with one of those thingamabops he recommended. You know, what he said.

I fell and I couldn't get up. You people are my Life Alert.

That's the least that I can do: serve as a cautionary tale. Because the responses I got from the blogging community, wow. Just wow. You all completely overwhelmed me with your kindness. From my friend Rosalie posting my debacle to Jules at Pancakes and French Fries, to Beach Bungalow 8, Mrs. Blandings and Runs With Scissors, I Heart You, all of them touting my new address in a blog post and sending traffic my way. To Karey at Mackin Ink for emailing to see if I was okay, to countless people leaving comments on other people's blogs asking what happened to me. To a stranger named Allison who emailed me to let me know she has all of my old posts on her Google Reader and then emailed them to me. To your comments left here. Wow. It warms my heart to know that should I ever get kidnapped and murdered, my body then thrown in a shallow grave I will be missed long before my corpse grows cold.

And that, my friends, is what blogging is all about: not being left to decompose all by yourself.

To the Kicky Tune of a Dirge

A moment of silence, please?

The Original Petunia Face

September 2, 2007 ~ June 6, 2008

R. I. P.

So... did you hear the one about that girl who deleted her own blog? She was trying to clean up the clutter of unused email accounts by deleting them, so concerned was she of debris in the double u, double u, double u? I mean, polar bears are facing extinction, drowning in the quickly rising Arctic sea. The girl thought to herself, hey, self, yes, I drive an SUV and yes I shop at The Gap and no, I do not bring canvas bags to the grocery store. But you know what I can do to help the environment, self? I can toss out my old email accounts! Because surely susannahclay AT has a Shaq-sized carbon footprint! Surely that is a good idea, a little spring cleaning on a Friday night.


Oh, what a weekend it was. I very nearly divorced my husband when, in the midst of my head spinning around over deleting my own blog he had the gall to suggest we watch a movie. SEMI-PRO? YOU WANT ME TO WATCH WILL FARRELL PLAY BASKETBALL WHEN I CAN BE SITTING ALONE AT THIS COMPUTER WEEPING WHILE I TRY TO REACH THE UNREACHABLE? WHILE I STALK THE INAPPROPRIATELY NAMED HELP DESKS AT GOOGLE AND BLOGGER? HELP ME, HELP ME, HELP ME! THERE IS NO EMOTICON FOR WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE FUCKING HELP ME?! Will Ferrell is funny, but he's not that funny.

And Google and Blogger have still not gotten back to me. It's their fault. I mean, sure I guess technically I'm the one that hit delete without reading that boring little paragraph explaining what exactly would be deleted. But come on. I LOVE THROWING THINGS AWAY! Torn open envelopes, receipts, stray socks, soy sauce packets in the kitchen drawer. These things, if you let them they will weigh you down in a choke hold of toomuch-edness. At least that's what I used to think. But I've learned my lesson now and I am never throwing away another thing again. I plan on setting up hundreds of unused email accounts just in case; I will suscribe to the newspaper and buy dog food in bulk even though we don't have a dog and this will be my house in no time at all:

So here we go, Petunia Face Redux. New and Not Necessarily Improved. In fact, loosely stitched together with the stuffing poking out like a sigh.

See, while I did not have the good sense to back up my blog on an outside server (because that would have taken an ounce of forethought and I had my forethought circumcised ages ago), I did have all of my posts emailed to me. You know, on one of my other email accounts. One that I blessedly did not delete. So I have been painstakingly unearthing each post and cutting and pasting them onto this new blog. I have to re-format each one and find the photos again. Typos remain incorrect and any additions I later made are gone. If I have linked to something, sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't. And I have lost all comments forever. All networks I had, connections, nominations, blog rolls I was included on, comments, accolades, hate mail, it's all gone. Poof! Like an unclaimed fart that doesn't stink. Petunia Face the OG might as well have never happened at all.

And that is my story. A cautionary tale of a Virgo gone awry. Of a consumer who sobs when she thinks of a polar bear frantically doggie paddling to an iceberg drifting miles away. Of a lover of words who throws away bank statements yet keeps her 5lb. Norton Anthologies of English Literature from college. Of a woman who was once a girl with the Face of a Petunia who has now become a sequel knowing full well that sequels never sell.

Slightly Abashed Plea: If you have me on your blog roll, on your Google reader or some other type of feed, please oh please correct it with this new address. Because right now? A whopping 7 people on my Site Meter. This for a blog from a woman who hits refresh on her Site Meter at least a dozen times every hour. Refresh, refresh, refresh... I'm obsessed. Please help me get the word out there. Even if the word is that I am the moron who deleted my own freaking blog.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Two Things I Hate and One That I Love: What More Do You Want From Me? It's Friday!

You know what I hate? I hope you're not all thinking "uh, you hate your old job?" because even I know that is getting old. No, I hate the conditioner that comes with at-home hair color kits. You know, the 6 week supply of high gloss crème that's designed to keep your color looking fresh, the one they package in a tube the size of a ketchup packet? For chrissakes, they can't even call it CREAM and then they go and dole out a few tablespoons of spooge, not enough to even get me through one shower. Six weeks, my ass. Maybe if I were Susan Powter circa 1994. Stop the Insanity, Clairol!
You know what else I hate? I hate my internet connection and that stupid error message I keep getting: 404 Not Found. The page you have requested cannot be found. Really? Really, Internet Explorer?! Because if I repeatedly punch the Enter button a few times and call you a little bitch, why! Look at that! You found the page I requested!
And I can't just blame Internet Explorer, either. Mozilla's being a real poop lately, too.
But I can't start the weekend with hate.
Because sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places:

Image via Cute Overload.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Did I Say Thank You?

Oh dear. Dearie, dearie me. *hands fluttering at my throat.* *maybe I have on a strand of pearls and I am twisting them nervously even though I don't own any pearls but that's just how I imagine this moment so go with me here, thanks...***
I'm verklempt. Now I'm not positive I'm allowed to be verklempt since I am not technically Jewish, or even non-technically Jewish. But us WASPS Sans A God (WASP SAGS?) don't really have a good word for it. I mean, what? Am I just supposed to say "I'm feeling quite emotional?" No, that sounds a little flat and plus, us WASP SAGS don't say that, either. Instead we just ask for a drink.
So in that case, I'd like a drink. A mojito, please, with a cocktail monkey or an umbrella? Yes, I know that's verging on trashy but this is my toast and cocktail accessories make me happy.
Cheers! To JackeeG4Glamorous at Runs with Scissors for nominating me for three different 2008 Blogger's Choice Award. Bless you and all of the kind comments you have left on my blog and now this? Well. I am Squeapishified. There. I just made up that word for us WASPY agnostics. It means I am overcome with emotion.
Thank you, dearie, thank you thank you thank you.

The Underminer

Let's see, it's Thursday and I'm in love again!
Another funny guy of the jolie-laid persuasion, this time in the form of Mike Albo who I am sure would object to being called jolie-laid. Anyone would, really, except maybe Serge Gainsbourg and he's dead. Still, I love the term and I guess I love me the funny guys who aren't classically handsome. (For the record, Bryan is both classically handsome and funny. Which I guess makes him jolie-drôle. And me très lucky.)
Anyhoo, Mike Albo... yeah. Apparently he's got this book, which I am now going to have to buy, called The Underminer: The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life. He had me at "casually destroys your life." (Because I am not so easy as ever to be had at "hello." For the record? I HATED Jerry Maguire. That romance was pathetic.) (Good God, I am all over the place with the non-sequiturs today.) (Which reminds me: when typing a sentence inside of brackets, does this period go inside or outside? What about a question mark?)??? Oh shut up.
So yes, Mike Albo has created this character called The Underminer, the frenemy whose every compliment comes off as an insult, making you feel incredibly neurotic and small and stupid. Or, as the Boston Globe puts it, the Underminer is "a viper cloaked in velvet. The Shaquille O''Neal of schadenfreude.” I wish I had written that but I didn't. Damn you, Boston Globe.
Now Albo has brought his nefarious smiling villian to You Tube with two videos. The first has The Underminer welcoming you to yoga class with information on your ayurvedic body type (um, gassy), and the second video has you running in to The Underminer at a Whole Foods type store whereupon he gives you dietary advice for your little "American-bodied" daughter.
God, I love this man.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I KNOW This Song Is About Me

Awhile ago I posted about my bony ass butt which had been whittled down like a branch in the hands of a nervous Appalachian man due to stress. Well fret not dear readers--I have discovered chocolate covered pretzels and all is once again somewhat cushy in my tushy (and my belly's gotten quite squishy, just in time for swimsuit season! Yay, me!). But that's not why I brought up my bum yet again. No, I brought it up because when I wrote about my flapjack ass back in April one anonymous reader commented with a very eloquent GET OVER YOURSELF ALREADY! And although I deleted the comment and immediately took to my bed in the fetal position, I had to wonder, what part of "no ass" is tooting my own horn? How is writing about losing my mind, my job and my pride in the course of two weeks stuck up? How do I get over myself when I write about poop and the perennial zit on my chin? Where is the snobbery in snot? Self-involved, yes, hell, yes! But this is a blog, for chrissakes! Isn't that what I'm supposed to do here? Write as if I actually have something to SAY???
Obviously anonymous got to me. I have never been good with criticism. If you cut me off in traffic and flip me the bird I carry it around for the day like an albatross, a stinky, heavy corpse to serve as a reminder of my place in society, draped down into my cleavage like rotten meat. So maybe in a way anonymous was right: I DO need to get over myself but not because I have no ass and think I am the shit for having no shitter. I need to get over myself because I care too much about what other people think.
So anonymous, this one's for you.Whether the pockets on my jeans cast the only shadow from my behind...

Or my trunk spilleth over with *junk...

This baby's got back (bone). And if I ever do toot my own horn, it won't be because of my butt; it will be for my brain. Check me out, anonymous, I've just been published on Mommy Track'd! And there's more where that came from. Stay tuned!

*Full Disclosure: the junk in question is actually seven plush bedtime socks stuffed into the back of my jeans. So if anonymous wants to kick my ass after reading this post she can knock herself out. I won't feel a damn thing.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Crick, Watson and Petunia Face: A Triumvirate of Genetic Geniosity

Good God, it's getting worse.

Please note the (stink ass) princess slippers worn in bed, the Bonne Bell Vanilla Lip Smacker tightly gripped in one sticky fist. The only reason she is not holding the Pink Bubblegum flavor is because my friend's dog Frida Love ate it today.
Zoey now knows about ballerinas and has taken to twirling in loopy circles in the living room like a Deadhead high on 'shrooms. I am not to be blamed for this, although I do take full responsibility for the lips. Lips, she says, lips? Which means, of course, that her tiny pink toddler mouth must be chapped and I am expected to hand her a lip balm to soothe her lips. However, I have quickly learned not to give her anything with even the slightest hint of tint because smeared around and around the mouth 30 times over and even the sweetest of petal pinks will turn hot fuchsia, the color a Brazilian hooker might blush if she had the good sense to be embarrassed.
This penchant for princesses and pink, for butterflies and oooooh! I don't know where she got it. I mean, sure, on the girlie girl scale of daisy doilies I probably score a solid 7.5 out of 10. I like make up and chick flicks, shoes, manicures, massages, from time to time I will watch an episode of Oprah; I need me some chocolate and never crave steak. But I swear I have done nothing to steer my daughter toward a life of primp.
And yet here we are. Two years old, en pointe et pas de deux. Now I am no scientist but I theorize (or is it hypothesize?) that somewhere in the DNA of most girls is a little curlicue on the 7th chromosome with a picture of a pony on it. And that teeny tiny microscopic pretty pony sets off the balance of the double helix causing the polymers to shift and the polynucleotide to spiral less like a hydrogen bond and more like the pirouette of the pyrimidines, the dance of the sugar plum, supercoiling quadraplex structure-fairies.
I take great pride in the fact that Zoey is not out in the backyard burning pill bugs with a magnifying glass, but this sudden thirst for pretty? For soft and pink and sweet and light? I'm afraid I don't have much to do with it, the Princessification of Zoey.
And I am fairly certain that any year now I will be taking home the Nobel Prize for Molecular Biology.
Scientific Footnote: As soon as I took the above photo of Zoey the flash woke her up. Rather than be grumpy that I was taking photos of her in her sleep she simply uncapped her Lip Smacker and applied a few (dozen) coats to her lips. Thank you, mommy, she said, and turned over and went back to sleep.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Closing My Eyes Now, You Can't See Me

One of my biggest pet peeves, other than the actual term "pet peeve," is when people tell you about a dream they had. Even worse is when they tell you about a dream they had with you in it. A long drawn out story of the innards of somebody else's mind where they saw you in an aquarium maybe, with that guy from the post office? You know, the guy with that thing on his forehead? Except he looked more like that kid who stocks the vending machines at work? And in the dream you were having a long intense conversation with Mr. Post Office/Vending Machine Man and you just have to stand there and listen to this enema of somebody else's subconscious, nodding your head with a stupid smile on your face as you are told about the dream, as if it means something to you, as if at any minute you'll jump in with Oh yeah! That guy! That conversation! Yeah, I mean, wasn't that just cah-razy??!

Another pet peeve of mine: dream catchers. They're almost as bad as bolero ties.
With the exception of Martin Luther King, most people should keep their dreams to themselves. That being said... so I had this dream. But don't worry, you weren't in it. Back when I was pregnant I dreamt that one night I unzipped my belly and pulled out my baby to play with her. She was not yet Zoey or even the guy from the post office with that thing on his forehead. She was a stock photography toddler and she giggled and made faces and poked at me with fingers made of oleo; it was one of those dreams that you just don't want to end. When I was finished playing with the baby I folded her back inside of myself and zipped up my tummy and woke up in the morning smiling. This weekend I realized that dream has come true. Zoey has turned a developmental corner, or maybe I have as her mother, and suddenly she is so fun to play with, the way she talks to me, explains her world. She makes me laugh as if I am the baby lying flat on my play mat and she is the adult leaning over me, dangling brightly colored objects for me to bat at in an effort to make me smile. And she does. I smile. And no, it's not just gas.
Bryan was away this weekend so my mom stayed over. It was kind of like spending the weekend with three versions of myself: 2 year old me, me at 35, and who I will be at 62. The weekend was a mass of versions of me, me if I smoked Marlboro Reds and woke up at 6 am demanding Get Up! Get Up! Get Up! so fast and so loud that it sounds more like Giddyup! Giddyup! Giddyup! The Marlboro Women at Home On the Range of Herselves.
So you will understand if I need a little time to not be myself. To watch some tv about somebody else's reality, to read a book, to sleep. Because for how much I hate hearing about other people's dreams I recognize that a blog is pretty much a dream proffered, the subconscious exposed. A dead mouse brought to the masses by a house cat very much pleased with herself, words gutted and left on a doorstep, a gift, well-received or not.
Sleep Tight, ma petites. Sweet Dreams.