October 11, 2009

The Week That Was – A Body Made for Radio

It started out like any other week. Monday morning was the usual struggle to get the kids back into our weekday morning routine. A certain girl didn’t like the socks I picked for her. A certain boy didn’t want to put his shoes on. A certain Daddy was under-caffeinated and rushing to get to work.

Tuesday was more of the same. Nothing very exciting.

Wednesday, however, got interesting. In a brief chat with Tania from Chicky Chicky Baby, we both got into a whining match about how much weight we’ve gained since BlogHer. My memory of the actual conversation is vague but I seem to remember references to thunder thighs and hippos. It also got more interesting when Tania said, “I smell a bet.” So a bet was made. The bet? Whoever loses the most percentage of weight in the next six weeks is the winner. The loser? The loser will have to post a photo of herself on her blog wearing spandex.

My starting weight was 189.5 pounds.  Since the bet was placed, I’ve lost 3.5 pounds. I am determined to win this bet. Here is my game plan:

  • Have a net daily caloric intake of 1300 calories.  (I can eat more but the exercise I do has to cancel out the extra calories)
  • Exercise. A lot. I’m thinking of doing the thigh master at my desk at work.  Maybe some buttock squeezes whenever I’m walking. Perhaps even some running.
  • Taunt Tania with apple cider donuts. Thinking of having a dozen shipped to her every week day.
  • Shave my head. Every ounce counts. That hair was on its way out anyways.  If that doesn’t work, shave the rest of the body.
  • Lose a limb. How often do I really use my left arm?
  • Donate a kidney.  How much does a kidney weigh? A pound?

This better work.  If it doesn’t, I’m going to have to post a photo of a bald-headed, hairless, one-armed, spandex-clad me on this blog.  I’ll miss my readers.

Thursday was a lot of fun.  My body adjusted to me starving myself. And when I say adjusted, I mean my stomach growled all. day. long.  That evening, however, I got to chat with Karl from Secondhand Tryptophan on his internet radio show.  You can listen to the recorded show at his radio show website or you can look up the podcast on iTunes.  We had a nice talk.  I answered the questions that James Lipton always asks on Inside the Actors Studio and chatted about why I think women hold men back from parenting (you know you wanna listen now, right?).  It was fun and I had a good time.

Friday, aside from starving myself, I went to visit our day camp at the Y.  The staff asked me to participate in a banana eating contest with other staff directors in front of the  entire camp.  I happily obliged because I’m a team player and I wanted to support our camp staff.  As I stood with five of my fellow directors in front of the camp, they blindfolded all of us and handed us a banana.  Soon after, they shouted “GO!” and it was on!  I crammed that banana in my mouth.  As I finished it, I could hear the kids cheering and someone handed me another banana.  I started to shove that one in my already full mouth and suddenly, I was declared the winner.  I removed my blindfold, banana still in my mouth, and glanced around.  Every staff member that had been standing next to me was no longer next to me and not one was eating a banana.  It was then I knew I had been had.  The banana eating contest was a contest of one: Me.

Of course, the staff and kids began laughing and I laughed along too.  They got me.  They got me good.  Of course, they won’t be laughing so hard when I don’t sign their timecards next week.

Saturday and Sunday were all about not eating.  It’s harder than it sounds.  Stay tuned for that. Bald, one-armed guys in spandex could be a sight to see.

September 28, 2009

So they say it’s her birthday…

Dear Renee,

I hear it’s your birthday and some of your friends are getting together to throw you a virtual birthday party. And I know I only just met you at BlogHer and while I’m pretty sure we were once sprawled on the same bed in a hotel room*, I thought you were pretty cool. And I never miss a good party.

So, I volunteered to bring the pinata. But not just any pinata. This pinata was bought for my daughter by her evil Grandmother who wanted to ship it off to our home after a visit last year. See for yourself the pinata in all its glory:

hello kitty pinata

As you can see, it’s a Hello Kitty pinata. It’s pretty. It has a cute little pink shirt and a cute little pink bow and cute little whiskers. Take a moment to bask in it’s cuteness. Perhaps Hello Kitty brings back certain memories for you. An old backpack, a pencil case with a built-in pencil sharpener or little erasers that smell like bubble gum. Or maybe it means nothing to you. That’s the trouble with surprise parties, you do the best you can with what you’ve got.

Anyway, it’s so cute. Just imagine it at your party. Hear the laughter of friends and family drifting into the air. You can smell the barbecue and the feel the warmth of early fall sunshine fall upon your serene face. All is right with the world. It is then that you casually walk over to Hello Kitty, pick up the baseball bat nestled up against the tree and…


And just like that, you nestle the bat back against the tree and smile knowing that no one at that party, after witnessing your violent assault on Hello Kitty, will EVER even think of messing with you or your family.

Have a Happy Birthday, Renee! You deserve it!

To be clear, the sharing of a bed isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds when half a dozen other people are sprawled around the room as we try and coordinate our party itinerary for the evening.

August 27, 2009

Going down swinging

[Editor's note: Tania from Chicky Chicky Baby and I had a bet.  It was simple. If your Little League team lost, you had to write a guest post singing the praises of the other's baseball team.  She's a Red Sox fan - something I've been trying to convince her isn't in her best interests - especially since it's an AL team and baseball was meant to be played with 9 players, not 10.  But I digress.  She lost the bet.  And THIS is what she sent me.  Half the post is defending her poor decision to make the bet in the first place and the second half is... not exactly what I had in mind.  But whatever.  I know it took the Red Sox like a 1,000 years to be good so I won't blame her for jumping on the band wagon now.  Anyway, here's her LOSER post.]

I am not a fan of the Little League World Series. There’s something about watching a gang of boys on the cusp of true adolescence try so hard to emulate their sports heroes and only to give up 10 runs in the fifth inning that chokes me up. Sure there are winners – if there are losers there must be someone who wins – but watching the losing team try valiantly to hold on to any semblance of fabricated maturity when faced with putting one in the Lost column after months, even years, of hard work… Let’s just say when I see a twelve year old boy dissolve into angry tears while trying to hide his shame with his ball cap, it makes the Mama Bear in me come out. I want to squeeze them and bake them cookies. And maybe wipe away the dirt on their faces with a spit covered tissue. Which is not weird AT ALL.

So when Matthew wanted to make a bet that his Chula Vista Park View Little League team would beat the local boys from Peabody, MA, I had to root for the home team despite my feelings.

(Although, honestly Peabody is not so local compared to where I live in the state. But whatever, it’s a small state. Everyone pretty much knows everyone else.)

(Okay not really.)

(But let’s get this straight right now, Peabody is not pronounced Pee-Body. It’s not a cartoon dog. It’s pronounced Pee-Buh-Dee. Yes, I feel better now. Thanks for asking.)

I couldn’t say no. I knew it was a fool’s bet – in Little League and High School baseball it takes a special group of northern kids to be able to compete at the same level as teams who get to play all year round because they have access to better weather conditions – but I wouldn’t give Matthew the satisfaction of backing down. There’s the whole East Coast/West Coast thing to consider. I’ve got a rep to protect. East Coast represent!

The stakes: Loser would have to say something nice about the winner’s Major League team. I’m a Red Sox fan – Naturally. I mean, isn’t everyone? – and he’s a Padres fan. Probably the only one.  American League vs. National League.  Designated hitter vs. those who secretly wish they had a designated hitter.  I mean, purists.  Whatever.

Long story short, I lost. I mean, Peabody lost. Chula Vista and their 6 foot 2 inch, 215 pound 13 year old pitcher trounced on the poor, sweet and innocent boys of Peabody. It was painful. There were tears. Ugly tears. The boys looked pretty upset, too.

So now I have to write something nice about the Padres.


Wow, something nice about the Padres? Uh…

Oh, I know! I’ve had a Tony Gwynn rookie card since I was 10 years old. He’s practically the patron saint of the Padres. I can’t believe I held onto it for so long considering all the ones I sacrificed to the spokes of my Pink Huffy tires. It’s in mint condition and it’s worth about sixty bucks at this point… But I think I left it behind with my ex husband and I’m not going back to get it any time soon. And if I continue with this line of thought I may say something nasty so that’s probably not the nice thing Matthew was expecting…. Back to the drawing board.

Something nice, something nice… Hmm…

Petco Park seems great. Beautiful, modern and all that.  I’m jealous…. You can probably get sushi while watching a game! Am I right? Much better than cramped seats and boiled hot dogs and almost a hundred years of baseball legends. Who needs history when you have raw fish wrapped in seaweed! And from what I hear you never have to worry about getting a decent seat – there’s lots of empty ones! So there’s that.

Hey, isn’t your mascot the Chicken??

I loved that guy! I used to watch the Baseball Bunch when I was a kid and that darn Chicken always upstaged Johnny Bench. What skill! What charisma! What… What’s that? He’s not the Padres’ mascot? Well what the hell good is he?? Your mascot is a priest? A Friar? The Swinging Friar? Well, nothing says baseball like a man of the cloth, that’s what I always say. I could also say something about how even God Himself wouldn’t be able to help the Padres but as a lapsed Catholic I’m afraid of the inevitable lightning strike. So, moving on.

(Sorry about the “Hell” thing, God. I’m sure the Chicken counts as one of Your blessed creatures. Don’t hurt me.)

I’ve got it! No really, you’re going to love this one. This is the best thing I can think of about the Padres.


On behalf of Major League Baseball, its fans, players, and associates, we would like to thank the Padres for being a glorified farm team as of late. Because of you other teams, real contenders if you will, have picked up some choice players in the past few years and have gone on to winning seasons. Give yourself a hand, Padres! You’re Triple A but with better salaries! And I’m sure Adrian Gonzalez is there to stay… Until someone else offers him a more lucrative contract.

And if that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, at least you’re not the Mets.

July 29, 2009

Last night I had the strangest dream

I jerk my head up suddenly and let out a loud gasp as if surfacing from the depths of the ocean.  I inhale deeply as my heart races and I look around wildly at my surroundings.  It is dark out and as I squint into the night, my eyes adjust and I see the familiar surroundings of my bedroom.  The chaise lounge in the corner, covered in clothing.  The exercise bicycle against the wall, covered with dry cleaning.  My wife, sleeping soundly at my side, just covered.

My heart begins to slow and my breathing becomes more regular as I struggle to think of what it was that so violently awakened me from my slumber.  I close my eyes and it all comes back to me…

I am at Midway Airport, the walls appear Dali-esque as I am joining the death march of travelers wandering towards the baggage claim area.  I am on my phone trying to text a kind, virtual friend to come and pick me up.  We arrange to meet outside and as I am standing on the curb waiting for the chariot to arrive, it begins to rain.  The acidity of the rain burns upon my skin and I am left to find cover.  Before I melt into the concrete, however, a large pumpkin driven by eight, white stallions, appears and I am offered a ride by a pixiemom and her three little pixies.  I am introduced to Amy, Noelle and AnaBanana.  One likes to talk, one likes to sing and the other goes good with yogurt…

Before I know it, a loud, piercing sound penetrates my skull.  This sound is repeated hundreds of times as I grab my head with my hands and try in vain to overcome the pain of the sound… “SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” I look around to see if anyone else is being traumatized by the sounds but smiles are in abundance and most of the faces I focus on are jumping up and down and I start to feel seasick… “SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!”

The scene shifts again and I am suddenly being herded into a room with music blaring.  There is a mad dash towards one part of the room and I am left to wonder what could possibly be over there that is causing such a commotion.  I can’t quite make it out as women are throwing elbows and those caught on the fringes of the group try to battle their way to the front.  As the crowd begins to disperse I strain to see what could have been so important but all I am left to see are empty cardboard boxes as women, clutching red totes to their bosom scatter in different directions…

Suddenly I find myself in a room with hundreds of people with their faces buried in their phones, typing away furiously about God-knows-what.  There are blow-up dolls, bottles of lube and a naked woman walking proudly through the middle.  I see the Wild Rumpus from Where The Wild Things Are and I even get accosted by a wild woman with a southern twang…

The room shifts again and I find myself in another room full of chocolate.  I am wearing a tiara and I suddenly realize it’s my birthday.  My brother suddenly appears dressed like Big Bird and this makes sense because he is from The Street.  I am acutely aware that he shouldn’t be there but glad he is but I get worried when I am told I have to go to another party that has lots of glitter and a mean bouncer at the door.  I stuff Big Bird in my shirt and we sneak him into the party that, for some reason, makes me think of my Mom and Dad…

I am on the dance floor and shouting out Beastie Boys songs at the top of my lungs.  Someone walks by looking like my girlfriend from 1989 – full of neon and lace.  A unicorn winks at me from across the floor.  A man gives me whiskey that tastes like raspberries.  A dirt-eating man suddenly accosts me and I find my face being pushed into the floor and I wonder, for a brief moment, if this how it feels to die. And I wonder if I’m wearing underwear with holes in it…

I am standing in front of dozens of women. I think I might be naked but I’m too scared to look.  Am I before a firing squad? Why are there two other guys next to me? And what is that woman going to do with that microphone? I am forced to answer questions about my undergarments and I am fighting back tears.  There’s a really good looking guy standing in the back of the room flexing his muscles but all the women seem to love him for his mind.  Accusations are tossed about and women look both angry and confused.  Soon all the women are squeezing pink balls…

I am in another crowded room, with trays of cheese burgers being served by beautiful women.  I am given a bag to wear upon my head and no one thinks this is strange.  Other men, who clearly don’t belong because they are NOT wearing bags on their head try to crash the party.  I am introduced to Ms. Lori and I wonder where Hooper is.  I also wonder if Captain Kangaroo and Mister Rogers are somewhere in the room.  I think I see Mr. Green Jean hitting on a Cheese burger girl in the corner.  Men in suits arrive at the door and tell us we must leave. A woman with a camera pleads for the man to look “MORE PISSED OFF” as I head out the door…

A very Bossy woman tells me I have to go dancing and suddenly someone who tells me she is stalking me, along with my brother and other people with really weird names and accents force me into a cab and we are on our way.  Once there my shoes become scrutinized and pass muster.  I can’t hear anything but the stalker as we make our way inside.  I chat with the stalker until the Bossy lady determines it is time for us to go.  We arrive back where we started and I try to run but I’m pulled back to sit and talk with others…

I am talking and talking and listening and listening and my mind wants to sleep but my tortured soul loves every minute of this.  A muskrat runs through the lobby and no one seems to mind.  A mister-lady shows me her tattoo and I think I should understand what it means but I don’t.  I smile politely anyway because you do that when you’re dreaming about really absurd things.  I glance at my watch and it says 5:00 a.m.  I announce I am leaving and I make a run for it…

I am running and running and running… and going nowhere and I suddenly wake up with a loud gasp and I suck in oxygen while drenched in sweat.  I look around and see my beautiful wife sleeping next to me.  I lay back down, close my eyes, and try to have that dream one more time.

July 26, 2009

Funny Names But Good Times at BlogHer

He arrives outside of the hotel, dressed in a newly purchased outfit – part Banana Republic Outlet, part Target-chic – accessorized with one of five pairs of shoes he strategically fit into his crowded suitcase the previous evening.  He is acutely aware that beyond those revolving doors lies uncertainty and the potential for feeling ostracized and feeling he doesn’t belong.  But the excitement of the moment, characterized by butterflies mingling with the incredibly strong airport margarita he had at his layover in Minneapolis, overtakes any trepidation he feels and, taking a deep breath of false bravado, he swings through the doors and into the lobby to meet people with funny names.

Names that are personal and synonymous with humor, love, and passionate brilliance. Names that although would be absurd to the uninitiated, roll off the tongue and sound as normal as any real name you would hear being shouted across a crowded park on a warm Sunday afternoon.  These names begin to run through his mind from years of stalking following these incredibly talented writers.  Who would he meet?  Where was Bossy and how bossy would she be? Would BusyMom show herself, offering me a tray of champagne? How red is Redneck Mommy‘s neck? Would he recognize Chicky Baby if he saw her in real life?  Would Cheaper than Therapy really fit snugly into his coat pocket?  Is WeirdGirl really that weird?  Is Issa really that crazy? Were Karen’s pants REALLY made of sugar? Would Back To Me sound like she’s from Chicaaaago? And is Backpacking Dad, really that hot?

And suddenly, as if to answer every question, he is welcomed to the first of many parties.  And as he circulates around the room trying not to feel the long-ago anxiety of a middle school dance, he is approached by person after person offering warm hugs, warm wishes and cold booze.  And just like that, the acrid anxiety of not knowing washes away – leaving only the sweet smelling aroma of friendship.  Old friends and new friends and hundreds of little paper business cards stuffed unceremoniously into pockets.

Before he knows it he is 38 years old, celebrating with incredibly-generous-when-drunk bloggers, eating chocolate pouring from fountains, dining on cake shaped like a unicorn and gyrating wildly on the dance floor as 80′s songs flood the room with nostalgia and lousy singing, lasting so deep into the night that it is way past his birthday by the time he makes it to his bed.

Sleep.  This is the one thing that eludes him.  His brother shows up to surprise him and while the benefits are many, the one drawback is the jack hammer-like quality that does the term “snoring” a deep injustice.  But even this obstacle does not set him back.  Before he knows it he is headed to do a panel presentation at this mostly-women conference.  He, along with his brothers-in-arms, Avitable and BusyDad must have been total whack-jobs to accept this role (and this suspicion would soon prove to be true) as I Am Man – Hear Me Roar is sure to cause a stir.  And while the discussion goes remarkably well he is both overjoiced and simultaneously disappointed that he is NOT, in fact, linked to any of the tawdry rumors flying through the conference like those monkeys doing the bidding of the Wicked Witch of the West flying maniacally from room to room on waves of tears and squeeeeeees.

Time continues to fly and before he knows it, the conference is coming to an end to be culminated by dinner amongst new friends, parties with cheeseburgers and hats made of paper bags proudly perched upon his head.  And then, someone has the great idea to go to a night club and before he could protest he is being whisked off to Chicago’s party-zone and sitting in the dark but loud club trying to have conversations as fellow bloggers dance wildly to the gyrating beat.

After the urge to dance is sated, he finds himself in a hotel lobby, the same lobby he had nervously entered just two days prior, having deep conversations with newly cherished friends and feeling contented that there are such good people in the world – even if they do have the unenviable flaw of being a Red Sox fan.

But even great conversation must give in to slumber.  And as he heads back to his hotel room the sky to the east seems a bit lighter than it should for no other reason than morning beckons.  He has crammed as much fun into this time as he can handle and he snoozes into the full daylight of mid-morning.  After rising, he crams as much swag as he can into his suitcase – not an easy task with five pairs of shoes.  He looks forward to seeing his family once again but leaves knowing how many friendships he made, strengthened or cemented these past few days.

And as he sits in his tightly cramped coach chair 35,000 feet above the ground, having paid the $12.95 for airplane wi-fi, he ponders the past few days and can’t help but smile.  And yawn.

July 21, 2009

Being Vaginally Challenged at BlogHer

I have a story to tell.

One day, after talking to his very successful blogging cousin, a guy decides to start a blog. He starts it. Then starts it again. Wonders why anyone would read his blog and begins once more when he and his wife move away from family and friends. The blog becomes a way to keep family up to date on his life.

Then his wife gets pregnant. With twins. And suddenly, he begins find a voice for what he really enjoys writing about. This parenting thing, it turns out, provides some pretty good material for writing. Then, while writing, he finds he isn’t alone. He finds other guys out there who are having children and writing about how fun being a dad is.

But there those dads were few and far between. Mostly, his blog world consisted of the women of the blogosphere. They would come to his blog, leave encouraging comments and make him feel like he belonged. They’d laugh together. They’d cry together. And over time he felt a real kinship with many of the female bloggers he was fortunate enough to interact with.

Then one year, a female blogging conference was held. It was a complete success and people were talking about it all over the place. He thought that was cool. A central place where he could meet some amazing people who he had only known through their blog names. But there’s no way he’d go. It was for women. And he was certainly not a woman.

But then he heard other male bloggers attended subsequent conferences and survived to tell the tale. But still he decided it wasn’t for him. But he really wanted to go.

And then, this year, events unfolded that showed him that these women (and some guys too) weren’t just blog friends, they were real friends. They were friends who could be counted upon during difficult times and for the first time, he felt a need to meet these kind souls. In person. Without pixels and bits getting in the way. So he bought a ticket. Booked a flight. Reserved a hotel room. But he still couldn’t believe he was going.

But now that day is coming. In two days he will board a plane to meet his friends. He will celebrate his 38th birthday with these friends and that seems fitting since they certainly helped him through a very challenging 37th year.

So, the bags will be packed with newly bought clothes. He’ll even have a small part of a panel discussion at the conference but the most important thing will to look friends in the eye who have been so generous and say, “Thank you.”

BlogHer. BlogHim. BlogUs.

June 6, 2009

Entertainment (Semi) Weekly

Hey there! If you’re here after reading the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly and you took the time to actually look me up on the internet (I mean, seriously EW, I really appreciate the love but would adding the web address have killed you?!), then I say you have a lot of time on your hands.  Nonetheless, you’re here. So take a look around.  Some favorite posts of mine are right over there on the right so kick back and prepare to be dazzled by my “irreverent” humor. (I won’t lie to you. I had to look “irreverant” up in the dictionary. I’m not proud.)

Also, can you tell me if you would consider buying Katy Perry’s eye make-up that’s profiled on page 23?  And if you would, can you tell me at what strip club you are employed?

Oh, and since I’m first on the list and you might not have looked at the others, you can find them here (But take your time. They’re not going anywhere.):

Halcomb Hellions

McNulty Quads

Howell Quints

July 20, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words a twin stroller.

One of my favorite pastimes is taking pictures of Swee’Pea and TheMonk.  Even more fun is going back and looking at some photos and the joy it brings to me knowing that I survived that time how much fun that time in our lives was.

So when the nice people at Chicco, the Italian juvenile products and toy company, approached me about giving away a free twin stroller here, I thought I’d do a contest surrounding photos.  The stroller is a double stroller for sizes birth to 40 lbs.  It retails for $219 and is a good travel stroller as it folds up compactly. It looks like this:

Trevi Twin Extreme Stroller

So, here’s the contest… First, I really want the winner to put this stroller to good use. So, extra points if you have multiples or two small children close together in age. Second, I would like you to submit your favorite photo for consideration. You can present it any way you like but a caption that best describes the photo would be great (see below for examples). You can either email me with it (address is on my sidebar to the right) or you can provide a link to your blog in the comments section. If you are currently pregnant and don’t have a photo of your kids, you can provide photo evidence of said pregnancy. Everything will be considered.

The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, July 25th. Good luck!

Here’s some of my photos that would warrant consideration…

You can make your own “Motivational Poster” at FD’s Flickr Toys.

Kisses for Swee'Pea
Tug at the heart strings

Helping Hands
A Gentleman and a Lady

Of course, your ingenuity might be way better than mine. Good luck!

May 3, 2008

Do you have “Blog Friends?”

I’m guest blogging today over at Rattling the Kettle.

Go on over and read about “Blog Friends” Vs. “Real World Friends.”

Oh, and leave a comment. The guest blogger who gets the most comments gets a kitschy knick knack from Hawaii and I could use a little more kitsch in my life.

Thank you!

April 15, 2008

The Favorite Meme

I was tagged by Christine at The Bean Blog for this meme and I’m just now beginning to forgive her. I have done many memes in my blogging life but THIS one was downright impossible. I have almost 700 blog posts and I was expected to pick just one in each category.

OH. MY. GOD. I was tagged on March 6th. It only took me 40 days to finally choose my favorite posts in each category. And I’m STILL not convinced I picked the right ones. (Although it was fun to re-read my archives. You should try it some time.)

Anyway, before I pass out from sheer frustration I finally submit these choices…

Here are the rules:

Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written.

Link one must be about family.
Link two must be about friends.
Link three must be about yourself.
Link four must be about something you love.
Link five can be about anything you choose.

Post your five links and then tag five (or more) other people. At least two of the people you tag must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better.

I tag:
Life, Liberty, & Vodka Tonics
Mamieknit bits
And Whit because I like to torture my friends.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: