The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Yearly Archives for 2013

Winning The Morning Lottery (Alternately: Why I DO Love to Run)

I still consider myself a relatively new runner, even though I’ve been doing it with a moderate amount of consistency for about three years now.

Nope. Scratch that. I just recalculated, it’s only been two years. Math is hard. That actually makes me feel better. If it had really been three years, I should probably suck at it less than I do.

Anyway, I am still a newish runner. I have, however, definitively decided running between May and mid-September in Arizona is utter bullshit and I do not enjoy it even a little bit. Between May and September, I have to cajole myself into getting up at ridiculous hours simply for the luxury of not actually dying of heat stroke during my standard four miles. Even when I’m successful and out on the road by 5 AM, it’s 93 degrees and every step is torture.

I’ve found the only way to even get through is by distracting myself from the misery. Sometimes this involves repeating to myself, Don’t think about how horrible this is. Don’t think about how horrible this is. over and over until the sentence loses all meaning and my mind naturally drifts to something else.

So, this morning when I dragged myself out of bed at 5:14, I was not looking forward to the five miles I had planned. I was tired and the last time I did this loop, I ended up with some kind of wacky heat exhaustion that caused me to sweat profusely for hours after the run even though I was freezing. I think Jason is still traumatized by the memory of me curled up on the couch, wrapped in a towel to soak up the sweat and two blankets on top to keep the shivering to a minimum. I broke my internal thermostat or something. It was not normal.

But I had planned to do my five miles today, and I knew if I didn’t I’d have to live in a shame spiral all day, so I sucked it up and went.

Right away it felt different. My head wasn’t pounding. My cheeks didn’t immediately feel like they were on fire. There wasn’t sweat pouring into my eyes. It was almost… nice.

I took the East path out of my subdivision. I ran alongside the road at McKellips where they’re building this weird bridge across the road they’ve been talking about for the last five years. I turned North on Ellsworth where that crazy lady hit and killed two people back in April, and I began the uphill portion of this loop that’s always fairly unpleasant.

Except, it wasn’t that unpleasant today. I didn’t have to talk myself out of walking 8 times. I didn’t have to mentally run through the list of terrible things I’ve eaten in the last two days to shame myself into continuing to put one foot in front of the other. It wasn’t that bad.

I turned West on McDowell, knowing I was about halfway done and most of what I had left was downhill, and I was feeling pretty damn fantastic. The air was still cool, it was plenty light enough, but the sun wasn’t really up yet and Benny and the Jets was on Pandora (I’m pretty sure he’s not signing about electric boobs, but it really, really sounds like he is, right?).

I coasted along for another half-mile-ish and crested the peak of McDowell road, which lands about mid-way between Ellsworth and Hawes. At this point, McDowell is just a two lane road between neighborhoods that sometimes has a sidewalk, but is mostly just edged by natural desert. It’s also a straight, downward sloping, 20ish mile shot to Papago Peaks.

The sun, behind me, was just starting to get high enough to shed light on the valley. As I ran, I watched the curtain of shade over that Tempe/Phoenix area right near Papago Park, slowly draw back to reveal tiny copper and green sparkling buildings. The road T-ed right between the two peaks down in the city below, and the remnants of last night’s full moon still hung, bright white against the cloudless blue sky, directly above.

I couldn’t help but feel like somehow I’d won the lottery of circumstances for that moment in time. I know it’s incredibly cheeseball of me and I partially blame the endorphins for that (those endorphins will fuck you up but good), but with the symmetry of the road between the two mountains and the moon hanging above, and the light, it felt like I was in exactly the perfect spot at exactly the perfect instant to experience this flawless bit of beauty that will probably never exist precisely the same way again. I feel a little fucking teary about it right now, even. (Goddamn endorphins.)

When I reached Hawes and turned South, I felt a little sad, for a second, that I was leaving behind the amazing view. Then I turned my head to the left and glanced at where the sun was peeking up from the East. It turned out the sun was rising from behind a hill and the Eastern portion of the sky was littered with small, even, patchwork-type clouds that were dark on the top and West, and glowed like what I think Heaven would look like if I believed in it, from behind. It was, at the very least, an equally spectacular view to what I had just experienced.

I finished my run without once considering just not eating anymore at all instead of forcing myself to regularly run. As I was finishing, I realized, Oh, right… I actually do like to run. 

(Just not between May and September.)

 

 

A Margarita Tree and an Enclosed Patio Dress

Last night, after a long (LONG) exhausting week and weekend, we had a quick dinner at the Chipotle by our house. We wanted to sit on the patio where it was quieter, the light was nice and it wasn’t frigidly air-conditioned, but we were quickly shooed back inside by an employee.

Once we were seated back inside –

Jonas (6): Why do we have to sit in here? I like it so much better outside.

Jason: It’s because of Mom’s margarita. We’re not allowed to sit outside with it.

Jonas: Mom, can’t you pop a top on that and pop a straw in it and tell them you won’t be able to spill? Then we could go outside. I think you should ask. It’s worth a try.

Me: As much as I’d like to pop a top on it, it’s not about the spilling. It’s about the liquor laws.

Gray (9): What are the ‘liquor laws’?

Me: This restaurant has a license to sell alcohol, but you can’t take it off the premises. And even though there are little tables out front, it’s really just a pretend patio because it’s not enclosed, so it’s not technically part of the restaurant.

Jonas (under his breath): Stupid margarita.

Gray: So you can’t just walk around the streets drinking alcohol?

Me: Some places you can… but not Arizona. Or Mesa, at least.

Jason: You can in Las Vegas, but that’s a weird place.

Gray: You should get your own personal enclosed patio you could bring with you. It would just be a little tiny square of patio fencing you could set up right around you. Then you could have a margarita whenever you want.

Me (giggling): That’s like a really good idea, Gray.

Gray (with a grin because, like his father, he loves to make me laugh): It could be a dress. You need an enclosed patio dress that would let you carry your drink wherever you go.

Me: You really need to invent that.

Gray: I’m totally going to. It will be awesome.

Jonas: What if there was a tree that grew on alcohol? Like you just walked outside and poured margaritas on it and it grew and grew.

Me: I bet it would grow really amazing limes… OK, eat your tacos, you weirdos.

 

Laundry is a problem. fun. is not.

Last Saturday – 

Me: So… next week is going to be bad…

Jason: Ha. What, like worse than this week? *snort*

Me: Um, yes. Fairly considerably.

Jason: What?! Are you serious? How could the schedule of next week possibly be worse than this week? We barely survived as it is!

Me: I know. And I don’t want to ruin your day, so I won’t go over it in detail, but I just wanted you to be prepared.

Jason: What were we thinking with this whole having children and lives and working and trying to stay in shape and letting our kids have lives and activities and birthdays bullshit? It clearly isn’t a sane lifestyle model.

Me: I agree. It was sincerely poor planning on our part.

 

***

This was my two youngest children’s room this morning when I went in to find laundry to wash.

My instinct is to tell them I refuse to wash any more of their clothing until they can take 3.8 seconds to put it in the goddamn dirty laundry basket and another 2.1 seconds to shut the mother-bleeping drawers. (Like, for reals, who, WHO, is so overtaxed in life it’s just too much effort to shut the drawer he just opened? I bet the POTUS and Ryan Seacrest close their own fucking drawers and they both seem super busy.)

I’m worried the incentive might backfire, however, and they’ll both just be thrilled they’re allowed to leave their wardrobes on the floor AND each wear his favorite shirt every single goddamn day because mom won’t have stolen it to wash.

I’m at a loss.

***

Jason and I went to the fun. concert Tuesday night at Comerica Theater. This is all I have to say about that:

Dear Teenagers,

Stop bogarting fun. Nate isn’t singing about you or your lives. Have you listened to the words? His intended audience is the mid-30s wife and mother who understands the pain of life and struggle to succeed. Not a hipster 15 year old whose mom dropped him, his best friend and his best friend’s girl friend off downtown and picked them back up after the show.

I mean, really. Carry On? Is clearly about the torture and misery of 2 a.m. feedings. Just listen to the first three lines:

Well I woke up to the sound of silence
And cries were cutting like knives in a fist fight
And I found you with a bottle of wine

It’s like he was sitting in my house watching. He probably even knows about that time in the early-2000’s when we didn’t have cable, and one night Ben wouldn’t sleep THE ENTIRE NIGHT so I was force to watch The Roseanne Bar Talk Show while sobbing uncontrollably for like 6 hours. Jason found me with a bottle of wine that morning, too.

The point is, this music is not for you, Teenagers. I don’t know what the hell you were all doing at the concert the other night, but move along and find yourself a band that is more age-appropriate (although stay away from those post-Disney stars, also. That’s just generally good advice).

Sincerely,

fun.’s intended fan

My outfit selfie from fun. It’s possible my children learned their laundry habits from me. BUT I SHUT MY DRAWERS GODDAMNIT.

The selfie I took in the drink line at the concert to send to my Facebook friends who were mocking me for Facebooking the concert and trying to guess when I would start posting selfies. I’m going to start a new hashtag called #unflatteringphotoFriday. Want to join me?

What a Girl Wants (And We Kind of Hate Ourselves For It)

I get it, Men; women are confusing.

You just don’t understand what we’re looking for in a man. Your brain is wired a little differently from ours, so it makes sense you’d be a little flummoxed about what we’re attracted to and why. It’s OK, the other day a male friend was trying to explain to me why some men are attracted to crazy chicks and it didn’t make a lick of sense to me.

The point is, I thought I could shed a little light on the subject with one specimen that embodies everything women are attracted to in one package: CT.

What’s that? You don’t watch The Challenge? You mean you won’t admit you watch The Challenge, right? Oh. You actually don’t watch The Challenge? Well you’re missing out.

The Challenge used to be a competitive reality show that pitted cast members from The Real World against people from Road Rules, but now it’s just a bunch of people who may or may not have ever been on an MTV reality show in the last 15 years.

The point is, Chris “CT” Tamburello, was originally on The Real World, but has gone on to compete on The Challenge 9 times. And the more important point is: WE LOVE HIM. Like soo much. We, 20-40 year old women (intelligent, college educated, professional, mothers, etc) collectively adore CT and a little bit hate ourselves for it. He’s kind of everything that’s wrong with women. I think if we break down exactly what is so attractive about CT, you men might have a better understanding of how we women, work.

So what, you ask, are the reasons we love CT?

1.  He loves cancer-y Diem without her wig – Not only did CT fall for the adorable and recovering from a recent bout with Ovarian cancer, Diem, but he convinced her she was sexier without the wig she was hiding under. AND THEN HE DID IT AGAIN, several years later on this summer’s season of The Challenge when her cancer (and their romance) had reoccured. Who could possibly resist a hot guy who tells you you’re more beautiful in your natural state than under the artifice you’ve constructed to hide your insecurities? No one. Even if you’ve already been down that road and it didn’t work out the first time. We understand, Diem. We understand. 

2. He’s a bad boy with a heart of gold – Sure he’s been kicked off one or two seasons of The Challenge for drunkenly fighting (usually with someone smaller than he is… because that’s everyone). And he smokes. Both of these are gross, but what girl doesn’t like a little bit of a fixer-upper? He’s had a hard life. He’s a little bit damaged and raw. He just needs the right woman to heal his wounds and he’ll settle down, right? And he’s always real sorry about the fighting. Oh, CT, we know, honey. It’s difficult and complicated to be you. 

3. He’s no dummy – In an episode this summer, CT had to guess his partner, Wes’s responses to various inciting questions about other cast members. If he guessed wrong, Wes would be dropped into the water he was suspended above. When asked who Wes thought the trashiest girl in the house was, rather than offend any of the ladies, CT answered ‘RIP Wes’ and Wes was dumped. Dude knows what side his bread is buttered on.

4. That accent – Boston accents aren’t known for their beauty, but CT makes it work. Half the time you don’t know exactly what he’s saying, but you don’t really care.

5. He’s loyal – In this season, CT was paired with a former ‘rival’ as a teammate. He and Wes have a long history of bad blood and general dislike. Once they’ve competed together, however, CT gets into a shouting match defending his teammate against the bullies of the game. He interviews (basically) that he’s going to dance with the one who brought him. Aw… 

6. This happened – 

I’m not even a fan of brute displays of strength, but DUDE. I have a girlfriend who says any man she dates has to pass ‘the bear test’. As in, if they were in the woods together and happened upon a bear, she wouldn’t have to be the one rescuing him from the bear. In a bear vs. CT match, I would be concerned for the bear.

7. Then he puts on the glasses and the white oxford shirt and you’re sure he’s a poet – I don’t even know if the damn glasses are even prescription, and frankly, it doesn’t matter.

8. He’s the underdog –  CT’s the lone wolf on every challenge he’s been in. He’s too strong a competitor to be ignored, but refuses to simply follow directions from the gang in charge. He likes to stir up trouble. He sometimes defeats himself. You want to see him win, partially because you know he probably won’t. Everyone loves an underdog.

9. He’s a gentleman (even while he’s a cad) – Diem finally succumbs to his advances and lets him kiss her at a bar. It looks like he’s sealed the deal when she comes back to his room that night. But as he is putting up a tent around the bed to keep the cameras out, she literally passes out, snoring, in his bed. He sighs and makes himself a bed on the floor, knowing full well the next morning she’s going to pretend she doesn’t even remember kissing him and he’ll be back to square one. His reenactment of the incident the next morning for the other guys is priceless.

10. The confidence – He knows we all love him. And we love that he knows it.

See, CT has our number. Even those of us who think muscles are kind of yucky are wrapped around his brutish, hairy (but sensitive and beautiful) finger.

I know what you’re thinking, That dude sounds like a violent, womanizing jackass who makes his living on a reality show 90% of its viewers are embarrassed to admit they actually watch.

We’re neither disagreeing with you, nor particularly proud of ourselves. We’re just saying:

Hey CT, call us when you’re done filming.  

The post where I ask you to do stuff…

…and you’re all, Dude, I just come here to read stories that make me feel better about my own life choices. Why you gotta be all needy and high maintenance?

And I’m like, Uh, I’m not being high maintenance; you’re being a whiney bitch. Shut it. 

And then you’re all, OK, ok, simmer down. I was just kidding. What do you need?

So! Getting down to it. A few things:

1. Did I tell you I joined the steering committee for Ignite Phoenix #15? Because I don’t really have enough hobbies or commitments.

The point is, I’m their new blogger (my dad read that post and immediately emailed me all, “SOMEONE STOLE YOUR VOICE AND IS BLOGGING FOR IGNITE!!!” and then like two minutes later, “Oh wait, it’s you blogging for Ignite. Nevermind.”).

The more important point is we’re currently looking for submissions for the next show AND YOU SHOULD TOTALLY SUBMIT. Or tell your sister who does that really cool thing with her toes, feathers and chocolate sauce, to submit.

Or you should at least plan on attending and come hang out with me after. I’m pretty sure being on the committee means I’m not allowed to get hammered during the show, but after should be cool, right? I’m thinking about wearing my rainbow tutu again. Because I really like wearing it and there are surprisingly few occasions in which it is appropriate. *sad face*

And if you’re sitting there at your computer thinking it would be fun to speak at Ignite, but you’re kind of a scaredy cat or you aren’t sure what you should submit to speak about, you should totally call me and we’ll discuss*.

2. I updated the About Me for this site so it has all the new important info you really need to be aware of if you’re going to read this site. I just felt like you needed to know that.

3. I’ve been implementing this new marketing technique I devised for my latest few listings. It’s an Instagram video 15 second teaser in which I highlight a few special parts of the listing by describing what I would drink if I lived in that house. It’s possible I made it up so I would have another excuse to combine drinking with work, but if it goes viral and becomes like a whole marketing craze I invented then I will stand by that it’s because I’m a marketing genius, not a drunk.

This is the one I did today. I know, I’m a nerd. Cute house, though, right?

So in order for it to be successful, I’m gonna need you guys to all follow me on Instagram. And also ‘like’ my selfies (that’s not for my marketing success, it’s because it makes me feel happy). But hey, if you follow me and you’ve got a private account, you have to accept my request to follow you back, because otherwise it sends me into a confused shame spiral where I just keep wondering why, why you’d want to follow me but not give me the opportunity to ‘like’ your outfits and your kid pics and your dinners back. Don’t you want me see your sunsets and the creatures you find around your house?

That’s mostly it. I just need you to submit to speak at Ignite and encourage everyone you know to as well, attend Ignite in October and come hang out with me after, and follow me on Instagram so I can be a marketing genius. Is that like really asking a lot? Have I mentioned you’re pretty?

 

*Dear People, stop being like, I don’t have your phone number… Um, it’s on the top right of this page. Duh.  

Learning to Cross the Street

So I’m just saying:

Would you refuse to teach your child how to cross the street alone?

I mean, it’s a scary, dangerous thing, right? There are all these cars going too fast not paying attention to your sweet, innocent kid. There are drunk drivers and rage drivers and all those fucking idiots texting while they’re driving, just itching to mow your defenseless kid down in the road. All of these are extremely valid reasons to just keep your kid out of the goddamn street when you’re not there to protect her.

You could tell your kid she’ll be a better person if she just chooses not to cross the street alone. You could tell him waiting an undefined period of time until a moment in the distant future to cross the street alone is just the way it’s supposed to be, for magical, diaphanous reasons he shouldn’t question. It might keep him safe.

But the problem is, you know at some point, your kid is going to be walking down the street without you and there’s going to be a goddamn carnival right across the road. It’s going to have rides and games and food that smells so good, right there in front of her. Right there across the street.

At that moment, your kid (because he’s smart, you know he is) will think through the warnings you’ve given him about the crazy drivers and he’ll glance around, not seeing any scary traffic. And then he’ll wonder about this idea of him being a better person and the magical reasons he’s not supposed to question. He’ll think to himself, All of these other people cross the street alone all the time. Are they all bad people? They don’t seem like bad people. My parents cross the street alone and nothing has happened to them. I bet they didn’t wait until that unspecified time in the distant future to cross the street alone when they were kids. None of this makes sense. They just don’t trust me.

And then your son or daughter will take a deep breath and dash out into the street. She won’t look both ways and cross in a crosswalk with a light that says it’s a safe time for her to cross. She won’t have known all of this would dramatically increase her chances of getting across the street safely and without harm, because you’ve just always told her not to do it.

There’s a possibility the very first time your kid runs out into traffic he’ll be hit by a driver who turned the corner and didn’t see him coming, or maybe even just have a very close call that will leave him shaking and regretful. But it’s more likely that she will sprint across and arrive at the other side totally unscathed, validated in her decision to just do it.

So now, you’ve got a kid who is regularly crossing the street by herself in an unsafe manner because she doesn’t even know exactly how to do it, how easy it is and how much it will reduce the risk to her own health and safety. Eventually your kid is going to get hurt. At the very least, she’s going to spend the rest of her life associating crossing the street with guilt about how it makes her less of a good person in some way she doesn’t totally understand.

And it would be your fault, for not giving your kid the proper information about how to cross the street, simply because you couldn’t get over the idea that even if it was done perfectly, properly and conscientiously, crossing the street alone still carries a risk to your child.

The point is, you teach your kid to cross the street, right? Because crossing the road isn’t some kind of moral choice as much as it is a skill that needs to be learned and understood. Everyone eventually crosses the road.

So, why (WHY) would we have abstinence classes in the schools? Who thinks this makes sense and how did he get to be in charge? 

 

If I Had a Live-in Shrink

Do you ever have those weeks where on Monday, you think you’ve got it all pretty much under control but then you blink and it’s Friday and your kids are throwing things over the balcony to see what they look like when they shatter, your voicemail has 7 messages you haven’t listened to yet and you can’t put your finger on exactly when you last showered?

Yeah.

Sometimes I wish I had a live-in psychiatrist. He could sleep in the extra bedroom and then, when my head is feeling explode-y, I would ring and bell and he’d come down with his little round glasses and his pad of paper (because he’s a psychiatrist from the 1800s, obvs) and say, Yes, Dear. What seems to be the problem? Tell me how you’re feeling today. And then Jason and the kids (and my blog) wouldn’t have to hear all about the inside of my head all of the time and I would probably feel less like throwing myself into traffic on a regular basis. I wonder if I could also pay him to pet my hair?

Today, if I had a live-in Sigmund, this is how it would go:

Me: I just feel so stressed. So much stress.

Sigmund: And what exactly do you feel stressed about?

Me: EVERYTHING. Just so many things.

Sigmund: Specifically, Dear…

Me: Well, like Eli. I feel really stressed about Eli’s general happiness.

Sigmund: And Eli is?

Me: The tortoise. Who lives in the backyard now. How do you tell if a tortoise is content with his life? At least with the cat he cuddles when he’s happy and talks to us and purrs. Eli can’t even smile. He wanders around the yard in a fairly enthusiastic manner, chomping on grass and whatnot, but what if he’s cold? Or lonely? Or scared out there all alone? How do we even tell?

Sigmund: Well, he’s a tortoise. So first of all we have to deal with the question of if he even really experiences the emotion ‘happiness’-

Me: Also I’m stressed about the middle of green onions.

Sigmund (scribbling furiously): The middle of green onions? In relation to what does this cause you stress?

Me: I have all of these recipes that call for green onions and almost all of them have me dice the white part separate from the green ends. The white part is used more like a regular onion and the green as a garnish. But green onions don’t have a definitive transition between the white and the green; it’s gradual. In the middle it gets too green to be with the white parts and too thick to be sliced with the green tops. The middle parts just don’t fit in! Where do they belong? I feel like it might be a metaphor for my life.

Sigmund: Well, now even I think that’s taking it a little far…

Me: I’m also stressed about my total inability to make good choices regarding food when I’m starving.

Sigmund: You shame-binged on Taco Bell in your car again, didn’t you?

Me: At 10:57AM! And then I regretted every bite by 11:14AM. It was a new low. I hate myself so much.

Sigmund: Well now that they have the Cool Ranch Doritos taco shell, it’s sort of hard to just drive by without swinging through.

Me: I know, right? The weather is also super stressing me out.

Sigmund: The clouds? They’re nice. We might get some rain this weekend…

Me: That’s what I’m stressing about! If it rains all weekend the roofer won’t be able to complete the roof-work on the house my sweet first-time buyers are trying to close on Monday. And they’ve already given notice at their rental, so if we can’t get their house closed because the roof isn’t done then they’ll end up homeless! Maybe I should tell them they can stay in the extra bedroom…

Sigmund: Hey, that’s my room!!

Me: Oh, right… sorry. I was reading an article on Jezebel the other day and the writer made an offhand comment about how she doesn’t trust IUDs because she knows like four people who’ve gotten pregnant while using one and ever since I read that I’ve been convinced I’m pregnant.

Sigmund: I read they’re almost as effective as female sterilization. You should probably stop worrying about that one.

Me: I’m feeling tense that I’m doing a bad job with my eye makeup. I can’t get a grip on the whole eye shadow thing. I also can’t decide if it just makes me look like an old lady or if I look like an old lady because I am an old lady. I know I just need to devote a day to watching YouTube videos on how to do my eye makeup, but I’ve been really busy with stuff that makes me money and raising these kids. So lame.

Sigmund: Anything else on your mind?

Me: There’s a drawer in the kitchen that won’t open all the way and I’m pretty sure something is stuck in it but I’m too lazy to try to figure out what. *WHEW* I think that was most of it. I feel so much better. I just needed to get that off my chest.

Sigmund: I need a nap.

I wish I had a Sigmund. Oh well, at least I have a blog. Thanks for letting me vent, Blog-readers.

Cool. Or Not.

In the car yesterday –

Ben: That’s why I’m not telling you when I have a girlfriend. You’ll be all asking a billion questions and embarrassing me.

Me: See, that’s a mistake. I could totally help you out with girls. You should be grateful you have a cool mom.

Ben: HA! Cool mom? You’re kidding, right?

Me: Um, I AM a cool mom. I’m totally younger than most of your friends’ moms. And I know lots of stuff that young people know about.

Ben: You do not. I have to explain stuff to you all the time!

Me: That is not true. Name one thing.

Ben: You didn’t know what YOLO was until I told you. Not that it’s cool either. It’s super lame.

Me: Oh, whatever, fine. One thing…

Ben: And Gangnam Style. Which is also super lame, but I had to explain that one to you, too.

Me: So I’m not cool because you had to tell me what a couple of ‘super lame’ things were?

Ben: Well they were cool at one point. And you didn’t know what they were then. In fact, you can probably directly trace the moment they stopped being cool back to when you found out about them.

Me: You’re just being mean. I am definitely a cool mom.

Ben: First of all, you know what a cool mom might be? A mom who’s not trying to be cool.

Me: What?! I am not trying to be cool!! I just am cool!

Ben: And secondly, there’s no such thing as a ‘cool mom’. It doesn’t exist. There can be a cool dad, but a cool mom is not a real thing. Like Dad, is a cool dad.

Me: WHAT????! Dad is cool? You’re just screwing with me now, aren’t you.

Ben: No. He knows about cool music and likes good movies and stuff. He’s like kind of hip.

Me: Your dad is cooler than I am. That’s what you’re saying right now? Like, I just can’t even… you need to stop talking.

Ben: OK, listen, I’m not trying to offend you. You’re fine. I’m sorry.

Me: No, just don’t say any more words. I don’t want to talk about it any longer.

Ben: Don’t be mad. You’re sort of hip-ish, too… I guess.

Me: I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed in your judgement. Regarding the coolness of human beings. I just thought you had better taste.

Ben: You’re still mad.

Me: Whatever. He’s not cooler. Next time you need an awesome haircut makeover or contacts, call him. See how that turns out for you.

 

Nightmares and Puppet Vomit

Dear Crash and Bernstein*,

We have an issue to discuss. It’s regarding this video, my kid and his nightmares:


I’m not saying this situation is entirely your fault. There’s plenty of blame to pass around.

For instance, there was that time I decided the only way for my five year old to get through his crippling terror of that commercial for the episode where Crash gets the flu, was for him to face his own fears. So I forced him to watch the entire episode with me so he could see it wasn’t as scary as it seemed. It turns out that was not a valid solution and will possibly be a topic for him to work through in therapy as an adult. My bad.

Also, it’s possible I should have been more careful, in general, about monitoring what the poor kid was exposed to. I’m not saying I should be excused, but it’s hard with the third kid. His older brothers want to watch Sharknado, so he wants to watch Sharknado. It’s easy to forget that while a 9 and 13 year old can handle it, literal rivers of blood might be a little much for a kindergardener, regardless of his proclivity to learning about nature and all of its terrifying creatures. Oops.

Regardless of those errors in judgment on my part, though, I feel like you need to step up and take some of the responsibility for this predicament I’m currently dealing with. You people put this gross, disturbing stuff out there on the kid channels and then you don’t have to deal with any of the repercussions.

Did anyone come into your room late last night sobbing that he doesn’t want to be alive anymore** because he can’t sleep without nightmares from a show he watched six months ago? Did you have to spend 20 minutes at midnight murmuring details about his upcoming birthday party and the awesome tarantulas, snakes and lizards the Reptile/Insect party guy you hired is going to bring to your house, to calm him down (and then subsequently have nightmares about tarantulas and snakes yourself)? Did you get woken up at 3AM by an elbow to the boob?

No, I bet you didn’t. I bet you slept like a baby.

I don’t think all of your programming needs to be completely without excitement and interest. I get that it’s Disney ‘XD’ because it’s supposed to be for the older kids. That said, must you really show a clip like the above at every commercial break for two weeks before the episode? Like even during the super sweet, funny and smart Phineas and Ferb episodes that are actually age-appropriate for my youngest? Can’t you save the really gnarly stuff for the actual episode? It’s possible even I am a little bit scarred by puppet vomit at this point.

I’m just asking you to think about it. Or I might send my kid over to sleep at your house to see how you like it.

Sincerely,

An exhausted and bruised mother

*Some dumb show on Disney XD about a family who adopts a moderately violent and insane puppet? If The Muppet Show and Jackass had a love child, I’m fairly certain it would be Crash and Bernstein.

**Yes, he has a flair for the dramatic. No, I have no idea where he got it.

 

Molly D.

Alrighty, then. Car names. You guys were totally helpful with all of your suggestions (even those of you too wussy to post them publicly… you know who you are). I appreciated every single one of your red-themed, slightly-to-moderately lewd, lesbian-referencing, acronym-utilizing suggestions. So much creativity!

Although many were close, one stood out as particularly perfect. Stacy Najim (of The Scottsdale/Phoenix Najims) commented on my Facebook post that she’d had a red wine blend once she’d really liked by a wine maker named Molly Dooker. She said Molly Dooker is Australian for Left Handed.

As far as I was concerned, it hit all the right notes: red wine, Australian for the ‘Outback’, and dude: I’m totally left handed*! Plus it’s cute. But, of course I couldn’t name my car after a wine I haven’t tasted.

Saturday, Jason and I made a pilgrimage to Total Wine to seek out a bottle of Molly Dooker. When I asked the sales guy who was helping us out, I accidentally called it Molly Dooky. Which was both funny and embarrassing because: Poop. It’s possible I had been taste-testing tequila.

But, eventually the giggling wine salesman was able to point me in the direction of a red blend by Molly Dooker named Two Left Feet:

And the bottle confirmed the left-handed lore:

Sunday night we took the wine to family dinner at my parents’ and tried it out. It was a unanimous success. My mother even liked it. With ice, natch.

So, I’ve officially christened her, Molly D:

And it’s a super appropriate day to do it, as it’s like Official Left-handers Day or some shit. I saw it on Twitter. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to celebrate by buying anyone you know who’s a lefty a cocktail. (Don’t read this list of ‘interesting facts’ about left-handedness, though. It’s mostly about how we’re the devil, will die early and are probably autistic.)

Stacy Najim, you are the official winner and need to let me know whether you would prefer an inappropriate coloring book or an I <3 Boxed Wine t-shirt.

Thanks again, Guys!

*Mostly. There are a few things I do with my right hand. Additionally, I bowl and paint watercolors with equal aptitude with either hand.