Friday, March 31, 2006

Four Things

Alice tagged me for the Four Things meme, so without further ado…

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1) Dishwasher/busboy/waitress
2) Cashier
3) Meat-slinger, deli cook
4) Secretary in an investment firm

Regarding my stint in the investment firm, I enjoyed a few outside opportunities due to contact with many types of folks, and was asked to be a hostess/model for a local fur show, wherein I got so drunk on the free champagne, I dropped my glass to the lovely oriental rug, shattering it into a million pieces. They didn’t ask me back for the next year’s show. Fur is murder.

Also, I was asked to be the “Page Three” girl for a local paper, where I had to gussy up and pose with the Coors Beer mascot, a bored young man wearing an animal suit of unknown species. I got a free case of beer, a few bucks, and much embarrassment out of the whole deal. It was bad enough that my bosses and co-workers heard all about my drunken fur fiasco, but now they were passing copies of my Page Three exploits throughout the office. I quit the investment firm shortly thereafter to work for my boyfriend’s masonry company, where I answered the phone with an English accent and drove a little backhoe.

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1) Donnie Darko
2) Anything with Marilyn Monroe
3) Pulp Fiction
4) Rosemary’s Baby (As I stated on another very similar meme question, I believe this is one of the best horror movies ever made. It fascinates me beyond what should be considered normal, and I always discover something new to appreciate upon each viewing. I feel that it portrays human nature honestly, unflinchingly, albeit in an overly dramatic, absurd fashion. Hail Satan. Just kidding.)

Four places you have lived:
1) A street in the inner city of Rochester, back when it was occupied by old Italians
2) Henrietta
3) Brighton, then Macedon, then Henrietta, then the city
4) And finally, Brighton

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1) American Idol (RESPECT THE IDOL!)
2) The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (I have a crush on Colbert)
3) Lost, The Sopranos
4) CNN programs, PBS documentaries

Four places you have been on vacation:
1) New York City
2) England
3) Maine
4) Florida

Four websites I visit daily
1) Perez Hilton. God help me.
2) The Washington Post
3) Shocklines
4) My favorite blogs, many of which are on my blogroll. I have a lot, so may only visit them every other day, but I love ‘em all!

Four of my favorite foods:
1) Pizza with cheese and mushrooms
2) Manicotti with marinara and a ton of mozzarella
3) Chicken
4) Pasta

Four places I would rather be right now:
1) In bed (I’m still flu-y and weak)
2) In the top 1% income bracket
3) New York City
4) Anywhere in England

Four things I always carry with me:
1) Purse
2) Jovan Musk Oil
3) Cigarettes (shut up, you!)
4) My dignity

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Be Happy or I’ll Scream! By Sheri Lynch

Apparently, this Sheri Lynch person somehow opened my skull, perhaps while I was passed out after two weeks straight of taking care of five people suffering with the flu even though I was close to death myself, and peered into the labyrinth of my exhausted, fanciful, underappreciated, and always hopeful mind. She knows too much about me, this woman. She knows all about my sick suburban fantasies, my secret wishes for the “perfect” family, my fears, my horrible, horrible truths…Then she had the unmitigated gall to write a book about what she saw squirming about my fevered, delusional brain.

Think I’m kidding here? Okay then, explain to me how she knew that I often feel like I’m failing my own Hollywood-perfect image of the ideal wife and mother. How desperately I want to create my very own Cosby/Little House on the Prairie/Leave it to Beaver life, complete with pearls and non-existent toilets, children who smile -- a lot -- and never, ever whine or call me a “big poopy head.” How’d this lady know that I dream of a family life filled with special moments involving sweater-wearing husbands who always see the humor, sparkly-eyed children who are always the purveyors of the humor, and grand, heartwarming conclusions at the end of every perfect, educational day, replete with orchestra, in which the entire family floats off to bed with satisfyingly sore faces from having reveled in the humor all day long?

“Be Happy or I’ll Scream” (St. Martin’s Press), a memoir of sorts that chronicles a year in the life of Sheri Lynch and family as they embark on a not-so-magical journey in pursuit of the perfect family life, hits close to this home, my friends. Way too close. She wants to experience her fantasy family, wants to take vacations like the Brady Bunch did, serve an Alice-worthy breakfast every morning, teach her children well by attending cultural events, walking through museums, dine by candlelight with her husband and have meaningful heart-to heart conversations ala Mike and Carol as a rose petal-strewn bed awaits, along with Brad Pitt and a magnum of champagne. Okay, that last scenario is mine, but still…

Lynch, in her admittedly unattainable quest for Cosby-like glory, forces her husband, thirteen-year-old stepson, and two young daughters to brave the wilds of her imagination, endure the trials and tribulations of such horrors as traveling by plane to Chicago (God bless her, really), going to the (ulp!) State Fair, and turning their home into the Shrine Circus for the benefit of her birthday girl. Not great for the author at the time, but awesome for me, who has, on more than one occasion, gone the Shrine route myself. While reading her thoughts on Satanic petting zoo goats, I found myself nodding enthusiastically and smirking like a…Well, like a Satanic goat.

Did I say that this book hit close to home? What I meant to say was that this book hit me in the back of the head, repeatedly, like a pair of nunchucks. There’s this passage about going to a restaurant with all of the kids, see, and bodily fluids make an appearance, as do alien waiters who are not familiar with our Earthly serving etiquette, and there are staring, whispering people, and humiliation to go with those fries, and, and…STOP LOOKING INTO MY HEAD, SHERI LYNCH!

“Be Happy or I’ll Scream” is a fast-paced, funny read, to be sure, but I sensed a hint of sadness within, too. Though the author doesn’t reveal too much, it’s obvious why she yearns for some semblance of the perfect, happy T.V. family; she’d learned at much too young an age that flesh and blood parents can and will let you down, that they will hurt you, whether intentionally or not, and that the smiling, kind, loving faces with the warm, gentle voices on television are there, not only for entertainment, but for comfort, too.

The beauty of this book lies not in the sharp humor, tight writing, or “everywoman” appeal, but in its lesson to all of us parents, a lesson that is best interpreted individually. We’ll all get something different from this book depending on our life experiences, but there’s one message we all can identify with, and it is a simple yet brilliant one: Happiness is as close as your own backyard, dumbass.

I’m sure Claire Huxtable would approve.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

All Right -- Who Cut the Card? Er, Cheese?

White House Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, resigns today despite Dubya’s bollock-spew last week when asked about near-future shake-ups in the administration::

"I've got a staff of people that have, first of all, placed their country above their self-interests," he said at the time. "These are good, hard- working, decent people. And we've dealt with a lot. We've dealt with a lot. We've dealt with war. We've dealt with recession. We've dealt with scandal. We've dealt with Katrina.” We’ve dealt [many farts] with [great humor] and [laughed and laughed and laughed].

"I mean, they've had a lot [of crow] on their plate. And I appreciate their performance and their hard work [their wonderful ability to lie with straight faces] and they've got my confidence," he said. [While smirking.]

Bush said, "I'm satisfied with the people I've surrounded myself with. We've been a remarkably stable administration, and I think that's good for the country." [And then a bolt of lightning streaked through the clear, blue sky and hit Bush directly between the eyes.]

All right, enough childish political commentary. I’m sick, very, very sick, and I must now go lie down with the dogs. Well, my cat, actually…

Hope to be back here within the next couple of days. And I promise, no fart jokes.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tim Allen’s Face Disgusts Me

Lar and I took the boy and two of our girls to see The Shaggy Dog last night. Surprisingly, the boy sat quietly throughout, and was perhaps the most well-behaved child under five in the theater. The only time he spoke was when, twice, he whispered in my ear “Mommy, is the movie almost over? I’m tired of watching this thing.” Oh, how I empathized.

Okay enough flick, I suppose. Not horrible, not good. But I will say that my disgust with Tim Allen’s face was confirmed for life. Seeing it on the big screen with the grotesque addition of a lolling dog tongue flapping about was even more unpleasant than I anticipated. Still, the boy’s excellent behavior made it bearable. Afterward, we went to Friendly’s, and thus Hell opened its inevitable gates and let loose the sadistic demons of humiliation, whine, and sorrow (Jeremiah, Doreen and Judi, respectively).

Where shall I begin?

Maybe I’ll start with the creepy leather-wearing freak who’d been standing outside of the restaurant when we first got there. Pony tailed, disheveled, reeking of something akin to moonshine, he was filling up a paper tube with some sort of tobacco product and eyeing the five of us with disdain as we entered the establishment. Odd, but he could’ve been a waitress’s boyfriend, a boyfriend that she hides from family, friends and co-workers, and made him wait for her outside until her shift was over. Understandably.

The place was packed, and we had to take a small booth made for four, not five, but what the heck, I'm used to being smothered. As is usual, the kids quickly grew tired of waiting for service. And waiting, and waiting, and had resorted to flinging the complimentary crayons at one another (and in Brandon’s case, eating them), so I did my “desperately searching service” head swivel, eyes pleading, mouth set into a grim line of hatred thing until the waitress got my drift and shambled on over. Awesome. So the food was on its way, and I finally began to relax with a cup of coffee and two Advil, when the boy announced that he had to go pee. ‘Kay, Lar. Go to it. He took the boy to the Men’s Room, returned thirty seconds later explaining that the boy refused to use the “big” toilets. Double awesome. Oh, and the creepy leather-wearing tobacco man? He decided to take a stroll inside Friendly's, began circling the tables as if searching for something, though vacant-eyed and shuffling like a zombie. I silently kept a close eye on his whereabouts, then became alarmed when he shuffled our way. With sinking gut, I realized that he'd found what he was looking for. Apparently, it was me.

Ever been stared down by a zombie while dining in Friendly's? I wouldn't recommend it, folks.

Five minutes went by, boy was squirming, and I suggested that I take him to the “little” toilets (“Women’s Room), but he begged off, said he could hold it. I'm all too happy to agree, because the thought of walking past the zombie had my heart palpitating.

Another five minutes, more squirming, some bouncing, a tiny grunt. Oh, my god. He’s pissing his pants. So I quickly grab him up as he’s squealing in protest, and with my middle daughter in tow, rush to the Women’s Room. Thank goodness one of the burly Friendly's bouncers escorted the gibbering zombie away to an unknown location, or else I might have pissed my own pants at that moment.

So I placed about fifty pounds of toilet paper on the seat, set him down while holding onto his arms (so he wouldn't touch anything but clean, fresh Mommy), and as a line formed behind us (I’d left the door wide open so I could fit comfortably while squatting), my son whined, shrieked, and refused to piss in the fucking potty. I resorted to idle threats, telling him that he would never again go to a restaurant -- no dice -- that he would never again go to the movie theater -- no dice -- and finally, that he would not have another playdate with Ray, his darling little friend from next door, until Christmas -- EUREKA!

He let loose a torrent of pee-pee -- on my bosom.

I’m not used to wrangling with little boys in the Women’s Room, you see. I forgot that the anatomy of little boys differs greatly from those of little girls, and I was severely punished for my forgetfulness. Plus, I was exhausted, practically hemorrhaging from a particularly bad time of the month (TMI, you say? DEAL WITH IT, BITCHES!). He’d also peed all over his own pants and SpongeBob underwear. And the line kept on growing, as did the whispers and stares and snickers…One kind elderly lady pushed the trash can near me so I could throw the underwear away, and I was grateful for her sweet, sympathetic face as I struggled to re-dress my son in his wet jeans and tie his sneakers, and not kick my daughter really hard for her constant snarky comments and “Moooom! There are people waaaaiting!” which, I realize now, was only her way of dealing with this terribly humiliating experience.

We go back to the table, and my hands turned into murderous claws when I saw my husband’s relaxed, unconcerned face smiling at something my other daughter was saying, eating his nice, hot fries, and really, if there had not been so many potential witnesses in the vicinity, Lar would be a dead man right now.

All in all, though, it wasn’t all that bad for a family night out. We only spent a little over a hundred bucks, the food was great (try the Friendly’s barbeque chicken melt sandwich!), and I gained a newfound respect for myself, my saint-like patience and good humor despite my battle with Jeremiah, Doreen and Judi.

But, as I told the sympathetic-faced elderly lady while frantically scrubbing my hands with soapy, scalding hot water for fifteen minutes straight, I will not leave my home ever again until I have reached the age of ninety-five. Perhaps beyond.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Gory

Oh-a. My-a. God-a.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Worth a Shot, Anyway

Ugh. Spent days working on an application for a position as a professional mommy blogger and finally sent it in yesterday. I’m certain they won’t hire me because, jeepers, I’m just not your typical mommy blogger. Although they state they want unique voices and perspectives, I'm pretty sure they mean unique perspectives on cookie recipes, toilet training, and how to speak at PTA meetings without looking the fool. Topical stuff, tips, helpful hints….I dunno. I write about weird things involving Banjo Boys, isolation, and anthropomorphic beasts. I use the F-word. I think it’s a grand idea to drink many beers and produce bad poetry. I don’t attend church. My left nostril is pierced, for Pete’s sake, which makes me equivalent to the Anti-Christ in some eyes. I don’t do helpful hints, and my four-year-old still refuses to poop in the toilet. Gossip nauseates me; if you confide in me, it remains with me. I will not pretend to like you if I don’t. Unfortunately, I dislike many of my “peers.” Not surprisingly, I’m not someone who gets invited to many neighborhood coffee klatches.

I may be a very cool mommy, a patient, attentive mommy who has a lot of common sense despite a lot of foibles, a mommy who monitors what the kids watch, knows their friends, a mommy who believes that treating children with respect is of the utmost importance, that allowing and honoring their individuality is key to high self-esteem, but…I also call my vacuum cleaner vile names -- within ear shot of the kids. There are times (ahem -- PMS) when I bitch loudly about crumbs on the couch, cry over my fading youth and beauty, hate the world and want to be alone, alone, ALONE! I crank Disturbed and System of a Down CDs, and I wear tank tops and flannel shirts with my denim, not nifty little sweater sets and crisp, white button-downs. I have an active interest in my children’s school-life, and keep abreast of the curriculum, contribute to classroom party treats, keep in regular contact with their teachers, but I’ve never attended a PTA meeting, nor do I plan to. Too busy doing the ten hours of “parental” homework the kids’ teachers send home every week or making a robot costume out of PVC and silver spray paint. Plus, I’m just not a joiner. Here’s your box of twenty-five cupcakes for the bake sale, Mrs. Dinklebaum, now go away.

I’m more along the lines of Rosanne, not June Cleaver.

I’m not a typical mommy blogger, and I was honest about that, within my bio and the sample posts I wrote for them. And that will be my downfall, my honesty. But I can‘t bring myself to misrepresent who I am and what I stand for. Even if it would mean an extra few hundred clams a month -- clams I badly need, by the way, but I guess not that badly. I’m a writer who also happens to be a mom, and just as I won’t compromise when it comes to my beliefs regarding good parenting, I won’t compromise when it comes to my writing. No way in hell.

Damn, though. I really could use the money…And I do love to cook…Have a ton of great recipes I could share…And my home is spotless, despite four kids…My kids are, for the most part, healthy and happy, and they behave themselves in public…Suppose it wouldn’t hurt to throw out a tip here and there…

Aw, screw it.

Monday, March 20, 2006

To Dream the Impossible Dream

I had a most delightful dream last night, and woke up smiling. There was this dog, some kind of terrier with the loveliest cream-colored, light brown-spotted, short-haired coat, and big, soulful eyes framed in long golden lashes. She also had lips like a human being, the sweetest little rosebud lips, which amused me and the kids to no end. We kept asking her for a kiss, and she’d pucker up and plant one on us, and it wasn’t icky or gross in the least. Very dry, no dog breath.

I want a dog like that.

So I told my boy about the dream this morning and he said, “Awww, Mommy! That was my dream! You took my dream!” I assured him that I would give back the dream at precisely eight o’clock tonight. And he replied, “Okaaay. But, Mommy, please don't ever steal my dreams again.”

Pretty damn deep, that statement.

Go forth and drool over the delicious new human born on March 18 to the wonderful Cassandra from Rantings of a Stay-At-Home Mom! MAdonn', get a look at that hair, will ya? ***squeal***

Friday, March 17, 2006

Confucius Say “One Who Drinks and Writes Will Suffer Great Humiliation”

Earlier this week, while enjoying my afternoon beer break, I decided to visit one of my favorite writer hangouts, Zoetrope Virtual Studios. I haven’t been active there in over a year and a half, but I still lurk in some of the private offices, occasionally post on the main discussion boards -- but only, unfortunately, when I’ve had a bit of booze. I attribute this to my guilt and frustration over not being productive, fiction-wise.

So I go to Zoe and discover that I’ve been invited to a new office, and upon checking it out, find that it seems to be a fun place to set my beer, so to speak. I see that there are over seven hundred writers that are members of this office, and that the host has a wonderful sense of humor, which she proves by posting random computer-generated topics with which we writers can do what we please. Some write poems, some flash fiction, some pithy comments -- everything goes here. I’m intrigued. Perhaps more than I should be after three or four beers.

One of the topics of the day is “Lionesses Have No Manes -- How Do They Know When They've Grown Up?” Well, goodness, I can do this! What a great way to introduce myself to the group! I’ll post a humorous poem, by golly, and everyone will laugh and laugh and love Ms. Lori to the point of adoration. I will be the Queen Clown of this office! The slightly less depressing Sylvia Plath! The Kathy Griffin of letters!

I’m so excited, my fingers can hardly keep up with my deluded brain. And this is what I wrote (keep in mind that I honestly thought this was a shining example of poetic brilliance):

Adult Lionesses Have Hairy Vulvas

As a little girl-cub on the wild, wild plains
I often envied my older brothers' manes
And dreamed of the day I would get mine
From dark midnight to the morning sunshine
But when Mother explained that wasn't to be
That my head would be bald for eternity
I wept with such fervor, but it did no good
And vowed right then not to embrace womanhood
Then one day, out of the blue
I noticed a hair -- not only one, but two!
As each day progressed, more hairs did appear
And soon realized I had nothing to fear
For I am beautiful with this wooly patch
That covers my nether regions, belly to snatch

As you can see, this is not a shining example of anything but the work of a fey drunkard, yet when I hit “post,” I was confident that this quite possibly was among the best I’d ever written.

But see, I only had four beers in the fridge, so my delusion sadly turned to realization about five, six hours after my literary assault, which was when I checked back in the office to reread my masterpiece.

And then I repeatedly punched myself in the goiter.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I Married Banjo Boy

Okay, Lar, even though you don’t read my blog, other people we know do, and as promised, I am going to humiliate you by writing about your latest antics.

I warned you. I did. But you chose to ignore my warnings in favor of acting the annoying idiot and disturbing my American Idol experience.

Marc, make sure you razz Lar’s ass about what I am about to describe. And be brutal, unrelenting, because lord knows he deserves every single moment.

To begin, I would like to say that when I first became acquainted with Lar, then dated and eventually married him, he seemed the perfect man. He was handsome, athletic, a bit standoffish (which I adore), business-minded, talented, very much the strong, silent type. He did make me laugh, but it was with his wonderfully dark, sarcastic commentary on people and the asinine situations they find themselves in, politics, relatives. Just dripping with sarcasm, and I appreciated that. As the years passed, however, I noticed a subtle change, a slow metamorphosis that crept around the edges, but I ignored it all, chalked it up to stress, exhaustion -- until the year 2004, when the truth of Lar’s monstrous identity hit me with such surprise and force, I felt as if I’d been hit by a cement mixer. I was shocked, still am. Yet I continued to love him, tolerated the squinty eyes, the grotesque way his lips stretch across his deformed face, his tongue lolling out the side of his twisted mouth...And the voice, dear god, the voice. That was especially difficult to overlook, the exaggerated southern twang, the screeching nonsense that echoed throughout the night, kept me awake, induced nightmares...

This is what Lar has become:

Those of you who are familiar with the movie “Deliverance” understand how frightening Banjo Boy is, how chilling his smile, how evil his eyes. Banjo Boy, to me at least, rivals his fellow hill people in the EWWWW! department, not because he’s perverted and likes to make city folk squeal like pigs, as his comrades do, but because of his abnormally hideous manikin-like face. Sure, he plays a mean banjo, but really now, is that even right? Freaks like that should be covered with blankets and hidden in closets, not seen in public pickin’ and grinnin’. Wrong, so very wrong. And I am married, if not to Banjo Boy himself, then to his doppelganger.

Last night was the worst manifestation of Lar’s Banjo Boyism to date. Wouldn’t stop pickin’ and grinnin’, wouldn’t shut up with his Banjo Boy babble, all nonsensical twaddle wrapped up in awful southern accent and jerking facial movements, wouldn’t leave me or my daughter Sarah alone, kept trying to wrestle with us, all the while hooting and hollering and embarrassing himself like never before. Banjo Boy blatantly disregarded my polite requests to be quiet, and in fact became even more annoying, if you can imagine. The angrier I became, the naughtier Banjo Boy, until it culminated to the most disgusting, abhorrent, horrific and unnatural display of perversion ever witnessed by mortal eyes. After he’d driven our daughter from the room, I screamed at him to cease and desist (Taylor was about to perform), Banjo Boy got up on his knees, whipped his shirt off, and...

Hang on...Need a minute to compose myself...

All right. I’m okay. I’m okay...It’s only a memory...Only a memory...

He...He whipped his shirt off and began to...Fondle his own nipples.

It was awful. Never have I hated him more than at that very moment. I yelled, I punched (and hurt my hand), I threatened to tell the world about his behavior, but he persisted, just kept on grinning and hooting and assaulting me with his nipple-fondling until the end of Taylor‘s performance. And then I killed him. I killed Banjo Boy.

And I do not regret it one bit.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

For Myself, Alice, and Anyone Else Who Believes in Mutual Respect


I’m a big believer in it. I believe that you should treat others the way you would want to be treated. Decorum may sound stodgy, something employed in “polite society,” a noun evoking images of gray-haired old ladies pursing their lips, peering over their bifocals, and tsking at the crass, the unconventional, the inappropriate -- but it is so much more. Decorum is and should be something we all use every day, not just when we feel like it, when we are in an especially “giving” mood, when the world seems rosy and our fellow man steps up to the plate for once and makes us proud to be a part of the human race. Allowing dignity to others, when deserved, is, in my opinion, an action requiring little effort; and if someone has difficulty enabling their decorum switch, there is nobody but themselves to blame if they feel they are misunderstood, ignored, disrespected. As the oft repeated saying goes. you must give respect in order to receive respect. And many times, those who have difficulty turning on that switch are blind to the decorum shown to them, are unable to experience true respect -- unable to receive it gracefully -- because it is a wholly unfamiliar concept, be it from a lifetime of hardships, and their lack of decorum is a protective measure, or they are just downright selfish, cruel misanthropists.

I bring up this subject because I am continually aghast at the lack of decorum shown not only by strangers I’ve come in contact with -- which, by the way, can easily be forgotten; turn the other cheek and all that -- but by friends and acquaintances. Not so easy to turn that damn cheek when personal relationships are involved. It’s near impossible for those of us who hold decorum in high esteem to confront someone who has hurt us with their lack thereof. It pains us to even imagine making another soul feel shamed, bad about his/herself in any way, shape or form. If you feel as I do, even in the slightest, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that it is a real, physical ache, a whole-body tremor of mixed feelings involving embarrassment, sympathy, anger, sadness, self-doubt, bewilderment…I hope you get my drift here. I’m no wimp when it comes to standing up for myself or confronting injustice, but regarding even the gentlest of finger-wagging directed at the thoughtless among us, I become squeamish. I tend to slough off negative or insulting comments by those I care about way too often. Why? Decorum, that’s why. I’m chock full of decorum, ask anybody who knows me.

I have many faults, many eccentricities and shortcomings, but my high level of decorum is one thing I love about myself. I can be terribly blunt if asked for my opinion, but the bluntness is coated with truth, respect, caring -- I reserve less decorous behavior for situations in which my honest, respectful statements are ignored or ridiculed. Honesty is key, to my heart, to societal relations. One can be blunt, should be blunt, and not beat around the bush of obfuscation for the sake of saving face. In the long run, that only causes misunderstandings and resentment -- in both parties. Just look at what the absence of decorum coupled with untruths has done to America in only five short years.

I do not tolerate inequity, harmful actions or out and out rude behavior, and have no problem reprimanding the offender. It is the subtle jabs that make me want to run and hide, the backhanded compliments, the bold disregard for others’ feelings swaddled in faux-honesty, contempt disguised as strength, the unkind commentary masked as Truth, when in reality is nothing short of base behavior by egotistical, jealous, ignorant people whose goal is to flay another’s dignity to shreds in order to hoist themselves to a superior position.

That subtlety, like a garter snake in the grass, is hard to pinpoint, thus hard to root out and kill by confrontation. The colors are muted together, the snake stealthy, quick, and if one tries to catch the snake, the subtle contemptuous remarks, one finds that it easily becomes lost if it isn't carefully tracked. But you know it’s there just the same, because you saw it, felt it, to the center of your soul. Confronting the offender with that subtle, sneaky snake usually only winds up with you appearing the accusatory fool. Where is the proof? Where is the tangible evidence? You know it’s there, the offender certainly knows it’s there, but if it’s hiding in the grass, invisible to the naked eye, well then, it doesn’t really exist, despite the bites on your ankles. So you take the bites. I take the bites, for the sake of decorum.

Word to the indecorous: I've got a few snakes of my own, and if provoked, they can be extremely nasty indeed. You don't want me to open that den, because I guarantee they will eat you alive. With ferocious decorum, of course.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Poem by Livia Soprano (Tony's Late Mother)

I Roll in My Grave

by Livia Soprano

I worry about you, dear
The way your breath comes in difficult gasps
While you eat that friggin’ sushi
And capicole
And veal parmesan
And rigatoni
And all of that bread
And the cannoli
And the putana du jour

MA-dawn, and when you jerk across the floor
In the morning, hair askew, belly trembling
Like a gigantic Baby Huey
I think, minchia! What the hell
Is up with that waddle? Stunada!
Friggin’ mook
What? You want you should die? Leave your business
To Chris? The stugats! Friggin’ dope fiend
Capo Bastone, my ass
More like Pezzo di Merda

So lay off the linguini, the mounds of
Bracciole, gnocchi and wine
And take Carmela on a nice, long walk
Three times a week, more if you can
And maybe there’ll be a little less boom
In your fuckin’ bada bing

Okay, I'm done


Putana: Whore
MA-dawn (Madonn‘):: Madonna, Mother of Christ, similar to exclaiming “oh, my God”
Minchia: Penis, used as curse or exclamation of surprise
Stunada: Stupid, insane
Mook: Idiot
Stugats: Stupid Dick
Capo Bastone: Underboss
Pezzo di Merda: Piece of shit

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Proud Sistah, I Am

Congratulations to my brilliant little brother for landing a superb position in a local law firm yesterday. He moved back home from NYC only a couple of months ago, broke and discouraged by shady dealings and unethical practices he’d witnessed in certain firms there (one reason why I admire him so much -- he stands up for justice, which is what an attorney should do), but this firm is da bomb! Gave him a clothing allowance and everything. Now he’ll have the means to take the bar and become the Clarence Darrow of Rochester. And, uh, maybe someday buy his big sister something pretty? Like, sparkly and very expensive kind of pretty? ‘Cause, you know, lawyers are rolling in it. ;-)

Friday, March 10, 2006

I’ve Got a Crush on You

Taylor Hicks, perhaps the best American Idol contestant to ever grace its cheesy stage, has captured my heart with his brilliant Ray Charles/Joe Cocker-like stylings, not to mention his glorious head of prematurely gray hair, sexy Southern drawl, and adorable tics. The man TICS, people, just gets all crazy and jerks and weaves about like Stevie Wonder on methamphetamines. ***shriek!***

I love him.

Here’s a clip of Taylor singing “Taking it to the Streets.” Not my favorite vocal performance of his, as the song doesn’t allow him to showcase his incredible voice to its GAWD-dang fullest, but it does feature him in his finest ticcing glory. ***squeal!***

Don’t hate, Robin. RESPECT the Idol!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My Soul in a Locket

Dan told me the other day that he saw you, recognized you, even though he was a good ten yards away, his vision obscured by dirty city bus window. He told me that your walk is burned into his brain, the subtle limp, the hulking stride, the way your shoulders round off and heave forward with each insulting step. Funny how insignificant things like someone’s walk can stay with a person, even after twenty-five years. He was, what? - nine, ten the last time he ever laid eyes on you?

There was no doubt in his mind that that was you, and before the bus gasped and lurched away from the stop, you turned in its direction, in Dan’s direction, and he saw your face, plain as day, bloated with alcohol. Your unmistakable seventies era, I-Look-Like-Burt-Reynolds-Don’t-I? mustache still rusty-red, still ridiculous.

But he remembers that walk of yours, not only the visual peculiarities, but the sound. He laughed as he said to me “Remember how he used to clomp up the stairs when he was pissed, and Rob and I would hide in our bedroom closet?” He laughed, but the humor was forced, just as it always was forced. Our laughter helped us tolerate the intolerable. We used to call you Big Red behind your back, even our dad. So how’s that asshole Big Red? he’d ask And we all would laugh.

You won’t like what I’m about to tell you, but Dad once declared that if he weren’t so goddamned weak with cancer, he’d blow a hole in your red face with his hunting rifle. I enjoyed hearing that. You, the coward of all cowards, couldn't wait for him to die, could you? You restrained that one last devil dog within, the most evil one, until it was safe to let him loose. I think I actually heard the snap of the leash on the day my father passed.

Sometimes my brothers and I called you Big Red Thud, too. Or just Thud. You always wore your shoes in the house, would leave tracks across Mom’s clean linoleum. I don’t allow shoes in my home, like the Japanese. It is disrespectful to bring the filth of the streets into someone’s home. But you wouldn’t know about that, just as you wouldn’t know about the nightmares I still have, the nauseating waves of shame that overcome me at odd times, the exasperation of my husband when I get in a mood, how I hide not only from you, but from the world as well

And you wouldn’t know the insecurity, terror, suspicion I carried for years, still carry. The sheer obesity of it all prevents me from mastering certain tasks, indulging in ordinary privileges most take for granted, as I am weighted down with you, just pounds and pounds of you. I am seen by many as eccentric, dependant, strange, but they don't know how strong I really am. Despite the unnatural disasters I've been through, I've accomplished much, I take pride in those accomplishments, and I've earned the right to shout a big fuck you at those who look upon my lifestyle or my choices with scorn.

I have survived the avalanche of you, and I am glad to be alive, but the dust, Jesus...Some days I can hardly breathe. Some nights it settles into my sleep, and I dream of being tapped on the shoulder, I dream of innocence tumbling down, of your limping gait; I dream of lost childhood things, like tiny violet-scented dolls encased in lockets or passionate notes scribbled in raggedy notebooks, and I miss them with an intensity afforded only to living things, real things.

I wake and wonder where they might have gone. Are they lying beneath tons upon tons of others’ childhood things in some Riga landfill? Are my dolls still whole, would they smell as sweet despite decades beneath the rot? They were, after all, protected by sturdy gem-cut glass. They are a symbol of preservation, though their whereabouts are a mystery, but they are out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered, cleansed, worn on a chain around some darling little girl's neck.

Metaphor, I know, is above your ignorant head, but I want you to know something, you rotten bastard, I want you to finally know something, so I'll state it simply, loudly: I may still be covered in your dust, the rubble of injustice, fears that taint the quality of my life, but you will not suffocate me. I may not be capable -- yet -- of living my life easy, but I will never go out the hard way. I may choke, weep, cough, bend, but I will always find a bubble of fresh air to get me through. And I may never recapture those damn dolls, but I will continue to search, even if it takes the remainder of my life. So keep walking, free man, keep on limping toward your invariably lonely death, and take my burden with you, please. I don’t want to carry you anymore.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Serena Williams is Stupid

During E!’s post-Oscar party coverage, tennis amazon, Serena Williams, referred to Best Actor winner Philip Seymour Hoffman as Phillip Seamen Hoffmore.

On a lighter note, my son ate a chocolate bar in the "formal" living room (off-limits to rugrats who may be harboring dangerous confections), and when I discovered brown, slimy handprints all over my ottoman, I turned to the boy and said, "Shall I beat you now or later?"

He looked up at me, face smeared with Hershey bar, and said "Later, after I finish my chocolate?"

God, he's adorable.

ADDENDUM: Okay, okay, I know my boy's brilliant quips are probably of no interest to anyone but myself, but lord, he really is brilliant. Here's his latest, said to me as I was folding laundry today...

Brandon: Daddy's not right in the head.

Me: Why do you say that, honey?

Brandon: Because he won't buy me a puppy. Something's really wrong with Daddy's head. Right, Mommy?

Me: That's right, sweetheart. But we love Daddy, anyway.

Monday, March 06, 2006

How I Spent Oscar Day

7:30 a.m.: Up and at 'em

8:00: Coffee is made, boy’s diaper removed, butt washed, Nemo underwear on

8:30: Breakfast served, one argument broken up (dispute over who gets to feed their Neopets first).

9:00: Trudge up to office, have coffee, cigarette, read and reply to E-mail.

9:15: Trudge down from office, break up another argument (dispute over who stole Sarah’s pack of Trident Splash).

9:20: Trudge back up to office, light two cigarettes, stick one up each nostril, consume a half gallon of coffee, continue answering E-mail, visit Zoetrope Studios, decide to post on discussion board later that day, after third or forth beer.

11:00: Drink large glass of water, have a 45 minute workout on the elliptical.

12:00 p.m.: Take hot bath, pop open first beer.

12:45: Make lunch for kids, clean up blobs of jelly with wet paper towel.

1:15: Talk to Mom on the phone, discuss the virtues of Philip Seymour Hoffman, listen while rolling eyes as Mom once again regales me with the story of when she almost met him when he visited the hospital where she works. Remind Mom, again, that Phil doesn’t travel everywhere with “bodyguards,” and that the men he was with that day were probably buds of his, all of them visiting a sick friend. Roll eyes while listening, again, to Mom’s description of the back of his head, his long coat flying around the corner as she and her co-workers stalked Phil and his posse down the corridor. Pop open second beer.

1:30: Break up argument over who hit whom first, restrain boy as he repeatedly smashes cupboard door in a fit of anger, put boy in his room for time out, smash own head into wall, pop open third beer.

2:00: Post asinine messages on Zoetrope, consider deleting them, decide not to, pop open forth beer.

2:30: Clean twenty-sixth mess of the day with wet paper towels, become annoyed that crumbled Pringles do not clean up well with wet paper towels, break out the vacuum.

2:45: Fifth beer meets my lips.

3:00: Lar and I watch lame Discovery Channel program with the boy, which strangely becomes very interesting as I sip my sixth beer. Who’d a thunk that an entire oak tree could be transplanted so easily? And look at that huge trash-smashing machine! Ooooh, Lar, I want one of those monster backhoes from hell! Fascinating, all of them.

4:00: Rejoice when all the kids leave to play at neighbors’ houses, celebrate with seventh beer.

5:00 - 7:00: A bit hazy, but I believe I may have fixed dinner in between there, mugged Lar for his wallet, stuffed forty bucks into bra, laughed hysterically when Lar made an ugly face and did a frightening Zulu dance.

8:00 - 11:00: Oscar time! Again, hazy, especially since I was so very logy from eating three chicken cordon bleu sandwiches with a side of steak fries and gravy. Fight to stay awake for Phil’s shining moment. Beam while Phil accepts the statue for Best Actor, imagine that my mom is probably weeping with joy over his sweet acceptance speech. Become disturbed by that image. Drift off for a bit, awaken to Lar’s inhuman snoring, catch most of the performance for Hustle & Flow’s nominated song, “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp,” rub eyes, itch ears in disbelief. Lar wakes, presumably because he hears the word “pimp” in his subconscious. He rubs eyes, itches ears, snorts. We both enjoy the prancing prostitutes and swaggering pimpage. After Three 6 Mafia wins the Oscar for that catchy little tune, beating out the gorgeous, intelligent, haunting “In the Deep” by Bird York for Crash, Lar snorts a few more times, falls back to sleep, and I, too, head off to the land of nod, visions of a perplexed Jack Nicholson dancing in my head.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cock Shopping?

Don’t mind if I do!

Last night I had a dream in which Lar and I went shopping for a new penis -- his, to be exact.

Yes, it was a wonderful time, just me and Lar, finally able to spend time alone, away from the screaming masses (our kids), and the variety on display at the penis store was truly breathtaking. Why, they had every size, shape and color imaginable, some bent, others ramrod straight, and some with adorable little knit caps. After what seemed a long, long time of browsing the manly merchandise, I suggested to my equally enthralled husband that he might like to try on the Jimbo, a lovely toffee-colored specimen of enormous proportion, and just as he was getting ready to emerge from the dressing room, me all aflutter in anticipation, I woke up.

Have you ever tried desperately to go back to sleep, resume a particularly awesome dream, but were unable, then became so frustrated you tore your pillow in half with your teeth? Yeah, me too.

On that note, I’ll leave you by saying that I hope my homeboy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, gets the golden nude this Sunday. Talk about dreamy! That man is not only sexy-fine-glorious, he’s funny, intelligent and one of the best actors of our generation. So, Phil (as I like to call him), if you’re reading this (which, of course, you aren’t, but I’m allowed to dream, aren’t I ? -- see above), I have a few things to say before you head for the red carpet: Have fun. Bring home that Oscar. And don’t forget where you came from. You’re still a RAWchestarian, boy, and don’t tell me your heart doesn’t still lie in Tanglefoot’s. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Just Because I’m in a Really Bad Mood...

And feeling uncharacteristically homely today, I thought I’d cheer myself up by surfing the ‘Net for terrible pictures of usually gorgeous women. Feel my pain, bitches.

Evangeline Lilly

Apparently, the Cindy Brady look is all the rage now. And I must say, I gloated just a little (fine, a lot) when I discovered that this otherwise exquisite woman looks terrifically bad in a swimsuit. There is a god after all.

Jessica Simpson

I almost felt sorry for her when I first saw this, what with the demonic possession and all, but then I remembered the pornographic Pizza Hut ad where Jessica, half-dressed and obviously suffering from collagen rejection, shoots big cheesy balls of sin into a quivering adolescent boy’s open mouth, and then my pity turned to immense glee.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Well, ‘allo, Miz Jones! Wot’s that scone doin’ on yer face, then? Blimey…Yer old nose, you say? A thousand apologies, ma’am. A thousand apologies!

Cameron Diaz

Honestly, this woman looks so ugly here, my son, who walked into the room just now, said, “Mommy, I don’t like that man.”

Thank you, Brandon, for saving me the time of thinking up an appropriate caption.


Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce that I now feel a little less homely and sad.

Good day.