Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ode to the third year

There once was a cranky three year old
She whined all  the time
She didn’t like you if you said ‘no’
Her favorite word was ‘ mine ‘

 
She hated eating dinner
Unless it was mac and cheese
She would beg and beg for dessert
But rarely ever said ‘please ‘
 

We would love her and hug her
And say she was cherished
Until she pulled away saying
“Now I’m embarrassed”
 

She is so grown up
Yet still a baby
She’s wonderful
But drives us crazy

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Men are from Mars

There’s a lot of differences between my husband and I, many of them stem from our own kinds of personal grooming techniques, some are related to the length of time we can talk to any one person on the phone. Many of our differences originate from our organizations skills and our ability or inability to multitask (he can talk longer on the phone but I can do two things at once).

We’ve been together quite a few years my husband and I but there are still moments that amaze me. Ever since we purchased our new home I have invited friend after friend over to give them the grand tour to show them the awesome huge pull out drawers in the kitchen to say things like, “and on this wall imagine a big focal point like lots of family photos interspersed with art and cool fabric swatches…” my friends ohh and aww over the potential that they can see in our unfinished rooms. But last weekend my husband had some of his friends over and when I got home they were just drinking beer and hanging out in the driveway. I invited them, but they declined. Later after they had gone home I asked my husband if he gave them a tour of the house and he said ‘yeah, I took them downstairs and showed them the beer refrigerator’. Really? All this space all this unlimited potential and you take your friends to the utility room in the basement and show off our second refrigerator? I was incredulous and he was perplexed by this.

Sometimes I wonder how men and women have managed to coexist for so long, I mean despite the fact that our parts fit together so easily. I guess this is the reason there is both HGTV and SPIKE TV.

Thanks millennials for keeping it real

I know it seems lately that my entire life is completely filled with dealing with my strongly opinionated melodramatic daughter, but alas this is not true. I have an entire 40 minutes I spend on the train everyday where I can contemplate things like politics, the environment or the personal grooming practices of my fellow riders.

Usually I spend this time immersed in any number of poorly written chick-lit books as to stop the real world from seeping in to my candy-land colored existence. Oh – how I hate you reality. But every once in a while, despite my constant vigilance, real world events seep into my paradigm.

Take for example the “polar vortex”. First, WTF? I know that most people really don’t care about science. I know that money to support scientific research can be hard to find.  Because of this I think scientist everywhere try to invent fancy names for things. Fancy names to make people care. Fancy names that back when I was a kid were simply referred to as “winter”.

Now – I don’t have an exceptionally good memory of my childhood – many events and day to day occurrences are blacked out and hopefully never surface unless through hypnosis or deep psycho analysis (neither of which I would ever subject myself to). But I do remember some things, I remember getting ready for school in the morning and hoping against hope that the thermostat outside would reach a double digits (because it’s so much warmer at 12 degrees than at 8?).

I remember walking to the bus stop when it was so cold that it hurt to inhale air into my lungs. I remember finally getting on the bus and my hands would be bright red and would burn the entire 35 minute ride from the cold outside. Now admittedly, I was too cool or just too dumb to properly attire myself during this time in my life. I wore an unlined leather bomber jacket most days, a jacket that my Mom inconceivably bought for me at some fine outdoor clothier like ‘fashion bug’. I wore this with no gloves or hats or scarves. I was cool damnit.

And yet, I survived, I survived despite my stupidity, I survived despite the fact that we lived in one of the coldest areas in the contiguous United States. I survived even though school never closed because of the cold. The colder it got the more impervious we acted. It’s honestly amazing the tips of my fingers aren’t black…

But now that I am older and oh so much wiser I have invested in a warm sub zero winter parka and all the accessorizing trimmings that go along with it. Earlier this week when I was all bundled up and the mercury never got above 20 I still saw students walking around campus in short shorts with nothing heavier than a hoodie. It warms my heart.

If you give a three-year old a muffin

If you give a three year old a muffin chances are that she’ll want to help you make them.

So you let her help, and she will immediately pour milk all down the front of her.

So you’ll send her upstairs to change her clothes.

She’ll come back 27 minutes later in a pair of underroos and stripped leg warmers.

You’ll send her back upstairs.

She’ll come back with a matching pink tutu and a tiara, she’ll ask for a snack.

You’ll remind her you are making muffins, because by now she’s completely forgotten.

She’ll ask you what kind of muffins your making, you’ll tell her blueberry.

That will remind her of Blueberry’s for Sal and she’ll run back upstairs to get it.

Two minutes later you’ll hear her yelling “no stop it! Stop it!”

You’ll go upstairs and find out that she’s screaming at her evil twin that lives in the mirror in her bedroom.

You’ll remind her again that the mirror is simply a reflection of herself.

At this point the smoke detector will go off from the burning muffins you also forgot about.

Your three year old will freak out and try to run outside in her underroos.

You will hold her in one arm while climbing onto the living room side table to turn off the smoke detector.

Right at that moment she will remember the muffins and want one really bad.

So you will drive to Starbucks, buy her a blueberry muffin while you doctor up your vanilla latte to get rid of your raging headache.

burnt muffin

Because I care

I currently have several friends that either just had or are soon expecting their first baby girls. I couldn’t be happy for them with their little screaming bundles of oppression joy.

But I thought I would take a moment to share with them some really exciting things they have to look forward to – once their little poop shooters grow up and turn three, below are just a few things that one can expect:

  • She will be obsessed with poop. You will not go to the bathroom without someone running in after (if she’s not already in there) jumping up and down shouting “can I see it? Please Mommy just let me see it!”
  • She will be very annoyed by bookmarks and will begin to pull them out of every book she finds laying around the house.
  • She will pick up on your vernacular until one day you walk into her laid back in the bathtub and when you ask her what she’s doing she’ll say “oh, I’m just chillin like a villain with my baby, Mom”. Or every time you take a picture of her with your phone she’ll ask you to send it to her. When you ask her what her number is she’ll say “five”.
  • She’ll pick the most opportune times (usually in line at Target) to reach inside your shirt for no reason and say really loud to anyone whose around “I like your squishy boobs Mom!”
  • Hide your make-up. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
  • When you get her up for nap time she will often times be wearing 3 pairs of underwear 4 shirts and leg warmers and be mad when you tell her she has to go put on pants. Because its January and its cold.
  • She will never want to wear socks. Even during a polar vortex. No socks. No.
  • One day you will pick her up from school and ask her how her day was and she will say “We can talk about it during dinner Mom, that’s when we discuss how everyone’s day was. Right now I just want to be quiet and listen to Adele.” and you will wonder what the hell happened to your little girl.

I remember when Lucy was still just a little gurgling crawler before she could forms words and I couldn’t wait until she talked. All of my Mom friends warned me not to rush it, but I knew they were insane and I couldn’t wait to hear the pearls of wisdom that would emanate from my little angel.

Hahahahahahaha.

2013: A Year in Books

I know that last year I complained about the measly 34 books that I read and promised the internet I’d do better, but before you scroll down to see my final number for this year (abysmal) let me reminds you that the average American only gets through about six a year. I’ve totally beat a lot of them.

 Audition ***

I liked this book – I listened to it in the car and it took me awhile to get over her speech impediment, and I was surprised that she never mentions her speech impediment. The first half of the book was by far the best, describing her childhood, her famous father and her fairly dysfunctional immediate family – the second half gets a little braggy about her success.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter ****

Wow, what an amazing book. Certainly the best thing I’ve read in a long time. I put it into the same category as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I am stunned that a 23 year old could create such a multi-dimensional,   deep, stirring, story. Run, don’t walk – read this today.

Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy

Winter of the World***

Not as good as The Fall of Giants but still a riveting story. It started with the rise of Hitler and ended with the conclusion of World War II. I liked this but felt like it dragged a little in the middle, it seemed like it took me forever to read.

Great Expectations

Great Expectations***

A classic I always meant to read. I like Dickens and enjoyed this – I listened to it in my car which was very enjoyable and took me away from my road rage and my 21st century paradigm.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry***

A cute, sleeper novel. This was the first book club selection of the year and I’m not sure that it’s a consensus to give this novel 3 stars, but the end took me by surprise and made me think long and hard about old age and the relationships we hold dear.

Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue

Life Interrupted**

The last unfinished monologue of Spaulding Grey, I listen to this in the car. It was read by Sam Shepard and I could not get into his reading. He had neither the rhythm nor the cadence that Spaulding had and I could not hear Spaulding at all. At the end I was just depressed.

2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey Series #1)

2001: A space Odyssey***

I’m adding this here because I re-’read’ almost half of this book this year and I think it makes the list. It’s classically sci-fi and way better than the movie.

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs Series #1)

Maisie Dobbes*

Ugh – I could not get into this book at all. This was a recommendation from both my Mother and my sister who have read the entire series. I read three quarters of it and stuck it back on the shelf. Murder mysteries are not my cup of tea and this wasn’t compelling enough to change that.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada**

Exactly what you would expect a block buster chick-lit book to be. I listened to this in a car on the way to my crappy job in the ghetto and it made me feel better about my own situation. I would have liked it so much better if the ending had been different, but it was the most anti-climactic thing I have read in a long long time.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild***

I really enjoyed this book. As a Mom the introduction and forward made me both sad and depressed and I went through many many tissues, but the story of Cheryl’s hike and quest to get her life back and move forward where both poignant and funny. Not long after reading this I got a chance to hear a reading from her at the free library and she was amazing in person – I need to get more of her stuff.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

 Tess of the D’Urbaville’s***

Another classic that I listened to in the car. I really liked this book even though I felt so bad for the protagonist Tess who is a constant victim of her own design – I spent half of the book yelling at her from inside the car. But otherwise, it is a good story that transcends time and is still enjoyable today.

The Year of the Flood

The year of the Flood***

It’s been a long time since I read Oryx and Crake, the first book in this series that I loved loved loved so I was excited to once again pick up this story and I did enjoy this but I did not love it – it fell short of the first book by a wide margin.

Mississippi Sissy

Mississippi Sissy****

An excellent memoir that will make you both laugh and cry again and again. Beautifully written and raw.

The Phoenix Unchained (Enduring Flame Series #1)

 The Phoenix Unchained*

Ugh – another audio book I got through my book club. I generally really like suspending belief and diving into other worlds that take me away from the stress of this one but this book was ridiculous to the extreme. Perhaps it’s because it was being read out loud. I finished it because I had to but I would not recommend it.

The Center of Everything: A Novel

The Center of Everything***

This is a very good coming of age novel set in Middle America. Not a book I would have picked up but I needed something to read while on vacation and found it next to the guest bed at my parents’ house. I thought it was very well written and makes you empathetic to all teenagers, especially Evelyn.

Traveler

Traveler**

Meh. I had high hopes for this book after reading The Memory of Running from Ron McClarety last year, but again, I thought this fell short. It’s good but not great.

It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy

It Looked different on the Model***

Oh Laurie Notaro – you are one of my favorites. She could sneeze on a napkin and I would think it was funny. If you’ve never read anything by her do yourself a favor and go pick up Idiot Girl’s Action Adventure Club do it now.

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

Official book club selection***

Much better than anticipated. I can only assume that Kathy got a ghost writer for this book… It was a very honest look into her childhood and struggle with her career and relationships. I am a big fan of personal memoirs and I really enjoyed this book.

From the Dust Returned

From the dust returned**

I picked up this book because the Bloggess once named it as one of the three books she would read for the rest of her life if she could only read three books (I had already read the other two and liked them so I assumed this would also be a winner) and I have to admit that I didn’t really get it. It’s all about the supernatural and ghosts/vampires sort of things which I generally can get into. Unfortunately I simply spent the entire book a little confused and not all that interested.

City of Dragons (Rain Wilds Chronicles #3)

City of Dragons****

Robin Hobb is by far one of my favorite authors and if you enjoy being immersed in alternate worlds and like using your imagination than I recommend her highly. This was the third book in the rain wilds chronicles. The only downside to this book is that I thought it was the final in a trilogy but it turns out there’s one more – which now I have to wait for…

A ticket to the Circus***

Another great memoir – from artist, model and 6th and final wife to Norman Mailer. Norris led a pretty amazing life and takes you right inside on her wild ride. Honest and open about her struggles with Norman it’s definitely worth the read.

I Don't Care about Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Faux Sensitive Hipsters, Felons, and Other Guys I've Dated

I don’t care about your band**

Total brain candy. This is classic chick lit and won’t take you long to get through. It’s perfect for train riding or sitting by the pool.

One Summer: America, 1927

One Summer***

I bought this for my Dad for Christmas but as a huge Bill Bryson fan I thought I should read it before I gave it to him. The entire thing is centered around the events of the summer of 1927 and is a masterpiece in investigative literature. Anyone who wants to know more about this era should definitely make this a must-read.

The Last Unicorn (Graphic Novel)

The Last Unicorn***

This book is supposedly a classic (I read it in a list on the internet somewhere so that must be true) and while I am enjoying it (I’m not quite finished) it’s not in any way groundbreaking. It’s a cute story and well written but I’m not sure I would add it to a must read list.