Thursday, December 31, 2009

How to Corrupt a Minor

Charmaine arrived in Denver on New Year's Eve.

Very disappointed in her younger sister's lack of coolness, (as evidenced by having no plans for the most celebrated night of the year), she immediately asked for directions (and a ride) to Party City.

A party - ok. Guest list: Dan, me, our 3 boys, our 14-year old niece, Chandler, and 11-year old nephew, Burke, and, of course, Charmaine.

Party supplies: party hats, tiaras, blowy things, silly string, balloons, and maybe a little alcohol.

Sounds good, right? A little family-friendly gathering to usher in the new decade. What could possibly go wrong?

Balloons - helium balloons. In innocent hands, the biggest consequence of balloons is a popping sound when it escapes and hits the popcorn ceiling or when a child sits on it.

That was before Charmaine showed the kids how to inhale helium. See for yourself.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vegas - Where Old Stars Go to Die, or Live, Depending on the Situation

You gotta love Vegas! I don't, but clearly, someone does.

Michael Jackson informed me that my $1 "tip" for having my photo taken with him was inadequate. He needed at least $2.

I'm not sure what he would've done if I didn't give him another dollar. Maybe throw his red lipstick at me!

Elvis was much cooler!
Ok, so I didn't get a photo with the young Elvis. Or the old Elvis. Or the old, fat Elvis.

I DID, however, get a picture with the dwarf Elvis. (Bet you didn't even know there was one)!
Of course, I bitched to my friends about the horror of the clear exploitation of this man, but they told me to shut up and smile. (photos to follow)

But, the highlight absolutely had to be Donny and Marie!
I was 10-years old again. And my bitch of a sister had a Donny poster on her wall, ergo, I couldn't. I had to settle for a poster of David Cassidy. It was so wrong!
On a different topic, I want to know how it is that I go to sin city and end up giving free legal advice on divorce to the stranger who danced with my friends?
Seriously? He didn't even buy me a beer!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sophie's Choice

I'm not a psychologist or anything - but I'm thinking that Sophie's choice of chew toys is a symbolic backlash against our male-dominated society that subjugates and sexualizes females (apparently of all species).

(This is an athletic cup, in case you didn't know.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Run, Brody, Run"

BRODY: "Mom, can we go to church today?"

ME: "No."

BRODY: "Why not?"

ME: "We just don't do that kind of thing, honey."

BRODY: "But mom, all of my friends do it."

ME: "If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you? Now stop whining and go play some more video games, or you're grounded."

Our Christian neighbor offered to take Brody with them to church last Sunday in an attempt to save one of the Lord's lost lambs. Great, I thought. One experiment with organized religion would definitely break him of this nonsense.

I waited for him to come home.

ME: "How was church, Brody?"

BRODY: "Good."

ME: "What did they talk about? The Bible? Sinners? Reverand Sun Yun Moon? Taking
the Lord's name in vain?"

BRODY: "No." (Whew!) Just stuff about encouragement."

ME: "Those bastards!"

If I didn't know better, I'd think they were trying to brainwash our children like that damn Obama did when he spoke to the schools. They must be stopped!

Does anyone know a good cult deprogrammer?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream

I dreamed a dream that everyone who has now been introduced to Les Miserable through Susan Boyle could see the song being sung by a professional.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How To Make a Rapper

Luckily for Charmaine, my son knows how to beat-box!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Poop vs. Vomit - That is the Question

My sister and I believe we possess superior intellect. Our brains have a constant need for challenge which is not satiated by conversations with normal people.

And since our friends and family are mostly "normal" (and I use that term loosely), we find we must save discussions of the most intellectually-challenging imponderables between us.

For example: Why did our father marry our mother?

Why are there Republicans?

Why don't any of my kids look related even though I know, for a fact, they
all have the same father (despite a few suggestions to the contrary
from the in-laws)?

Is there any man hotter than Keith Urban?
(Ok, so we don't discuss that. I just happen to think it's true.)

Today's topic, (drumroll please), What is a better indicator of love - poop or vomit? (We can thank OneMoreMom's blog for inspiring this topic today.)

The argument for poop:

From the day you have babies, and every day thereafter for many years, you are cleaning up poop. Sometimes it's green. Sometimes it looks like marbles. Sometimes it's never-ending diarrhea blowing out of a diaper in every direction all over you, clothes, carpet, etc. But you clean it and their bottom's up, because you love them. A lot!

The argument for vomit:

From the day you have babies, and almost every day thereafter(although decreasing in frequency), you are cleaning up vomit. At first it's mainly spit-up (which is really funny when someone offers to hold the baby after you fed him and they don't first get a towel). Then, when associated with a stomach bug or the flu, it becomes a projectile known to fly many more feet than one would think. And they vomit on you, your bed, your carpet, etc. Vomit has been known to produce the gag reflex more often than poop, but you clean it up, because you love them. A lot!

We're pretty much equal at this point.

The argument against poop:

From the day you meet your significant other, and every day thereafter, you are totally disgusted with their poop, as well as, the odor that lingers in the bathroom. You find yourself screaming at your significant other every time they pass gas outside of the bathroom, particularly when confined in a moving vehicle, and you find yourself wondering how you can jump across the car, open the door, and throw them out.

The argument against vomit:

From the day you meet your significant other, and every day thereafter, you are totally disgusted when you overhear them vomiting in the bathroom. Although you are a little more sympathetic. I mean, they are sick. You still find yourself (silently, of course) wishing they would close the freaking bathroom door.

In conclusion, when it comes to kids, you love them despite their proclivity to poop and vomit. When it comes to spouses, you hate both, but you're a little less judgmental about the vomit, and if you didn't love them, you'd bail.

So, I conclude that vomit is a better indicator of love. What do you think?

Tomorrow's Topic: Why won't Charmaine look for a job?

My Best Friend is a Bitch!

This is Sophia.
Ok, Sophie.
I wanted to name her Maggie, but apparently she was attached to the name that she had been given at birth and the year that followed thereafter (that bitch)!
She's a Goldendoodle (golden retriever/poodle mix). We got her from the Golden Retriever Rescue Shelter. Apparently, the owner was being treated for lung cancer and couldn't take care of her anymore. The Rescue people said they could hear the owner's 10-year old son crying in the background as they took Sophie away.
Bummer for him!

Baseball Slideshow Hell

I spent every fricking one of Brody's baseball games taking pictures on the sidelines, in the dugout, through the fence, etc. I was even hit in the ribs by a baseball that the 1st baseman failed to catch. That hurts!

My thinking was that since none of the other parents had a good camera like mine, they all might appreciate photos of their kids. Better yet, how about a slideshow dvd for all of the kids?

So day after day, game after game, I took pictures. Literally, thousands of pictures. Then I painstakingly categorized pictures by child, by action shot or candid, by batting, sliding, etc. (you get the point) then compiled the best of the best accompanied by appropriate music with certain photos matching up with certain lyrics.

In other words, I have been obsessed!

Just as I am coming to an end of this excruciating process, I learn that the team is dissolving (that's a story in and of itself).

But here's a very small clip of the DVD that almost sent me to my grave.

Vocabullyishness (Re-post)

Don't feel bad if you don't know the meaning of vocabullyishness. I'd tell you to look it up, but you won't find it there. Why not? Because I coined it.

Ya see, I'm sitting at work catching up on Maureen Dowd's columns in the New York Times, when to my great vexation, I stumbled upon an unfamiliar item in the lexicon - solipsism. I moved on to her next column, and there it was again, solipsism.

What is the meaning of this curious word, I pondered, that it would be felicitous in two sequential columns? Extreme egocentrism. No, I'm not talking about my mother right now. It's the definition.

Do you ever discern that some writers take pleasure in bestowing words they cognize no one will comprehend? To the ambit of being loquacious? Me too. I deem this praxis to be an impudent essay to cause us sycophants to feel middling.

In other words - vocabullyishness.

"Santa Isn't Black"!

(This is a re-post. I have writer's block!)

When's the last time you heard THAT at a Christmas party?

I heard it last night. Uttered by a 7-year old girl, embroiled in an argument with, you guessed it, a black Santa. Santa tried, in vain, to explain to her (over the raucous laughter) that there were, in fact, black Santas. "Just go out to East Denver".

She wasn't buying it.

I can't really say I blame her. I had to convince black Santa himself (as I was delivering my Santa suit a few days earlier) that there ARE black Santas. As proof, I showed him my Christmas ornament of a black Santa sitting at a piano.

He didn't buy it either.

Of course, until recently, no one thought that there would be a black President in the near future either. Which would lead one to think that times are changing, right? But change is slow, and racists never change their spots. (They just blot on a little concealer). But every woman knows that concealer doesn't work for very long.

I discovered a heavily "made-up" man at Friday night's Christmas party (which had no black Santas). We were having an interesting conversation about the First Amendment. Some of you might think that those are mutually-exclusive terms, but they're really not. (Previous readers will remember that I took a class in First Amendment Law taught by Archibald Cox).

Anyhoo, there was a small hullabaloo a while ago when a kid wore a t-shirt to school that said something about Obama being friends with terrorists. The school decided that the t-shirt was disruptive. They gave the kid the option to turn the shirt inside out, change, or be suspended. He chose to be suspended.

His father immediately alleged this was a violation of the First Amendment. So this guy at the party brings this up with a very strong belief that the First Amendment was, indeed, violated.

As someone who took First Amendment Law from the man who argued more First Amendment cases before the US Supreme Court than anyone else, and who had the most impact on how the First Amendment continues to be interpreted to this day, I explained to this man that kids in school do not enjoy the same First Amendment rights that the rest of us do.

This man was so annoyed that I felt I had to explain that this wasn't my idea. It's just the law. For a moment, I thought I had a real card-carrying member of the ACLU in my midst. But later, as he dismissed the notion of respecting others' religions, I realized that he was just another bigot.

I bet he would be surprised to know that Santa is black. (And God is a woman! )

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crocodiles Beware - Mom's In Town

Following my failed attempt to leave my mother in Ireland (see previous post), my sister and I were discussing where else we could send her. Maybe Florida. Lots of old people live in Florida. There's a beach. There's no snow.

More importantly, there's no me!

There are, however, TONS of crocodiles in Florida!

Do you know what creature is higher in the food chain than a crocodile? What makes a crocodile swim away shivering in his boots? There's only one creature that inspire fear in the cold heart of a crocodile


Charmaine and I agreed that we could potentially be paid a great deal of money to send Skeletor to Florida. She could single-handedly stop the ploriferation of crocodiles in Florida without using any traditional weapons.

After minimal exposure to Skeletor, the crocs will lose all of their self-esteem. They will believe that they are too fat and will become anorexic (which is good for the 2-year old unsupervised children playing around the swamps).

It's a win/win!
Does anyone have Florida's phone number?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Bucket List

Today is my birthday. I am now 46. I am on technically on the downhill slide into 50.

My mother came by today to deliver my birthday present - two pounds of bacon. She also sent me a card that said that she loved me in spite of myself and that I didn't treat her like a mother, but she wished I did. (Happy fricking birthday to you, too!)

Last month, while drinking a couple (maybe more) pints in a pub in Ireland appropriately named "Bar Undertaker", my uncle John (the psychiatrist) asked me and my cousins if we were to die tomorrow, would we be satisfied with what we had done in our lives.

Tom said "Yes." Deirdre said "Yes." I said "No."

They looked at me, mouths agape, and asked, "Why not?"

Because I haven't changed the world yet. Duh! They responded uncomfortably that I better get going. So it got me thinking. What DO I want to do?

1. Hold an elective office.

2. Go to Paris.

3. Go to Russia.
4. Relearn French and Russian.
5. Grow a couple inches.

6. Write a book.
7. Take my kids to Ireland and show them the jail my grandfather broke into, thereby getting shot, the hospital next door where my grandmother helped him escape saving him from execution and everything else there.

8. Get paid for taking photos.

9. Live where there's no snow and where there is an ocean.
You may have sensed that I haven't put a lot of thought into this. Anyway, how about you? What do you still want to accomplish?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 6

My father died 28 years ago today. Weird, huh! I was just shy of 17 then. Today, I am just shyof 46. I remember the year that I was alive longer without him than with him. It's strange.

It's been a long time.

The last time that I saw him, I was a very different person. And his absence in my life has probably shaped me as much as, if not more, than his presence.

But I miss him. At least the him that I expect he would be right now.

He would be so thrilled to have grandsons. Not because they were boys. But because they were mine.

Digital cameras. You have no idea how much my father would have loved those!

And I wonder what he would think of me now. With everything that I've done right, and everything that I've done wrong. Of course, he would love me - but what would he THINK of me?

It's strange to seek the approval of a person who doesn't exist.

The photo is my dad and sisters in Ireland around 42 years ago. Charmaine and Erin are wearing wigs. Apparently I refused to wear one. I guess I have always been stubborn :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Great Escape

I begged my cousin to keep driving.

No, I pleaded.

I didn't really want to leave my uncle in Ireland, but sometimes collateral damage is necessary for the common good.
He stopped. Damn it! He must not love me!
Tom should've been with me about this. In the middle of our 8 hour drive across the country to pick up Charmaine in Dublin, (don't get me started on that), Tom pulled over and said he had to go to the bathroom. He hightailed it across the street into a pub.
Given the opportunity to pee, I ran after him. He was not, in fact, in the bathroom. He was sitting at the counter ordering a beer. He told the bartender that he had to get away from "the two old farts" who were driving us nuts in the car. Understanding his frustration, I joined him.
Eventually the 2 old farts found us and we got back in the car.
I think my Skeletor and I need to take a trip to Africa!

You might wonder why I would want to leave Skeletor in Ireland. That is, if you haven't met her.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Gormleys Are Vicious!

I know they look like a sweet pair of 86-year olds in Ireland. That's their cover.

When I was a helpless 2-year old in Ireland, I attempted to escape the insanity that is my family. In the cover of night, in my jammies, I surrepticiously walked 2 doors down to the Gormleys house.

I quietly knocked on the door just as they were headed to bed. They let me in. I was saved.

My grandmother discovered that I was missing and headed to the first place she thought I would go - the Gormleys. (Damn, I knew I should have hidden in the bushes!) She attempted to retrieve me from my safe haven, but I refused to go with her. Even at 2, I had a keen sense of self-preservation. Defeated, my grandmother went home alone.

Yippee! I had a new family :) !

For the next few days, my grandmother came back to abduct me. But, I wasn't born yesterday. I was born 724 days earlier. So, just like Anne Frank, I hid in the attic. (I hadn't read that book yet, but great minds think alike.)

Eventually, the Gormleys made me go back with my grandmother. I'm pretty sure there had to have been a threat of violence. My grandparents were well-known in Ireland for their involvement with the IRA.

Still, the Gormleys abandoned me. I never saw them again - until last month.

I had been waiting for 43 years to tell them how much they screwed up my life by making me go back. But I couldn't do it.

They had to be the sweetest old couple that I've ever met. They gave us tea and "Digestives" (which are fabulous cookies with chocolate on one side). So I forgave them.

I mean chocolate - who could ask for more!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why I Hate Vegetables

Very few people know how to make a proper vegetable tray. Many have tried - but most fail.

I know what you're thinking. How hard is it to throw some veggies on a plate with some ranch dressing? Or for the less motivated, grab a plastic tray at the grocery store.

That's where you would be wrong.

After my father died, my mother tried to start a catering business. My sisters and I were required to help. We each found our particular niche. Charmaine is artistic, so she was able to carve apples and other food items into things like swans and people.

I'm not sure what Erin did. I think she just walked around with trays of hor's doevres looking pretty.

For some reason, I had a HUGE problem with serving people (It could be that "false pride" Charmaine keeps saying I am cursed with). But that's neither here nor there.

I discovered that my particular talent was repeatedly plunging my hands into ice cold water until my hands were blue in order to grab elegantly carved crudites that had spent the night in ice water and then placing them in an aesthetically-pleasing (some might say anal) fashion on a tray covered with leaf lettuce and then completed by clumps of parsley separating each type of vegetable. My veggie tray is a beautiful thing. Seriously. I sooo wish I had a picture!
You might think that the tray pictured above is a nice veggie tray. You would be wrong. Look at the carrots and celery - they're not even stacked straight with the same side down. There is no reason why one should be able to see the stalks of broccoli. Each flower should be placed in such a way as to hide the stalks of the previously placed flowers. I'm too distressed to even address the problems with the cucumbers!

The problem now is that I cannot look at a vegetable tray without mourning the beauty that it could be. And, God forbid, I am MAKING a veggie tray. The process of cutting the veggies in such a manner that they will flair in a particular manner following a period of time submerged in ice water, followed by the meticulous placement of each carrot and broccoli flowerand others, followed by parsley separating each type of veggie, around the outside of the tray, and between the veggies and the dip, takes AT LEAST three hours which consist entirely of me screaming profanities at the fricking radishes that didn't turn into roses.

I know that sounds insane to most of you. (It actually sounds insane to me, too.) My husband picks up on my stress (God knows how), and asks why I can't just put veggies on a fricking tray like a normal person. (You would think he would know by now that I am not normal).

I keep doing this, even when mere mortals have no idea the time and effort required to produce such a thing of beauty, and, therefore, do not lavish me with appropriate compliments. I understand. They haven't done it. But at the end of the night, if the veggie tray remains mostly intact, I have been known to slip into clinical depression.

I'm not a perfectionist. In fact, I put very little effort into cooking (as my husband would attest). But a veggie tray? That's when the gloves come off.

Grocery produce guy - be afraid! I have a party coming up.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A New Generation of the IRA

You may have thought that the fighting between the IRA and the Brits was over. I'm here to tell you, Ireland is growing a whole new set of terrorists.

Look at these rebels. I was just walking down the street in Tralee, (during the Rose of Tralee Festival), when I was accosted by these heavily-armed rebels demanding euros in exchange for a picture.

But I knew how to handle these terrorists. Afterall, my grandfather was in the IRA. So I outsmarted them. I enticed them with quarters, which they accepted under the naive belief that American money is worth more than euros.

It was about then that their leader (ok, their mother) came out of a store and summoned them to their tank (umm, her car).

As they say, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Are You Feckin' Gorgeous?

I ask this, because, according to the men in Ireland, I am.

Ok, so it's just Irish men over age 70.

Well, I guess it was just ONE man over 70.

Ok, so he was drunk, in a dark pub, and he had one eye, but still, he said I was "feckin' gorgeous" and that's good enough for me!

No, it wasn't this guy! Jeez!

I have heard it suggested that the Irish spend a little too much time in the pubs.

I don't know what they are talking about!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two Messed Up Moms

The other day, Skeletor, a.k.a., my mother, made one of her daily surprise visits to my house. From my living room, I can see her drive around the corner. Typically I jump up, grab my keys and run out the door muttering that I was just running out to go to (insert fictitious location here).

But I wasn't dressed yet, so I knew that I would have to suck it up and stay there. (From now on I am going to sleep in jeans and a t-shirt to make sure I am always ready)!

When my mother walks in the door, all conversation, activity, tv show, meals, etc. must immediately stop so that we can pay full attention to whatever she has to say.

Her favorite topics are as follows:

1. "My dog wouldn't poop this morning. Or my dog went right
out and pooped."

2. "Do you think it's going to be hot/cold/rain/snow?
Or alternatively, "Weathermen lie."

3. "Dan, check the oil in my car" (which he just checked a week ago).

4. "I am getting so fat. I weigh 110 lbs. How much do you weigh, Briana?

5. "Have you talked to Charmaine? She never calls me. Is she looking
for a job?"

The rest of her statements comprise of a plethora of veiled (or unveiled) insults and attempts to invoke guilt that I have ruined her life or that she is going to die soon.

On this particular occasion, Gunnar was sitting across the table from me. In the middle of one of her diatribes, he looked at me and very seriously said, "Mom, I am so sorry that you had to endure this as a child. I understand why you are so messed up."

I'm not kidding. He really said that.

I burst out laughing. Gunnar was laughing. Skeletor can't hear anything other than herself so she had no clue. It was funny. And sad. But mostly funny!

This is Gunnar playing his guitar at Red Rocks Ampitheater. He's going to be famous one day. Trust me!

Friday, July 31, 2009

My French Connection

Aidan came home from school one day with a brochure about a foreign exchange program, whereby teens from France come stay with a host family in America for 3 weeks. The object of the program is to help the kids practice English and also to show them the "real America" not seen on TV.

I already have 3 boys, 4 if you count the 7-year old from across the street who practically lives here. What's one more?

So I said, "where do we sign?"

Two months later, we were at the airport picking up Etienne - a 14-year old from outside of Lyon.

He was shy and my boys were a little shy. The first thing they did was play fooseball. Aidan was on one side and Etienne teamed up with Gunnar. He very quickly determined that his fooseball skills were greater than theirs, so I heard him ask in his heavily-accented voice, "I play against you two?" I had to chuckle.
My husband apparently felt that the louder he spoke to Etienne, the more likely he would understand him, while Brit, the 7-year old neighbor, spoke to Etienne like he should understand everything he was saying.
The next day, they all went to the park to play football (American football which French people don't do). Upon their return, Gunnar said, "He schooled us!" And so it went, Etienne played Aidan's bass guitar, piano, video games, etc.

My kids soon discovered that Etienne was just like them - just from another country.

We took him to a Rockies game where Brody got one of the players to throw him a baseball. Etienne was thrilled when Brody gave the ball to him. We went to a water park, an outdoor concert in the mountains, golfing (which was funny since no one knew how to golf), bowling, a drag racing track. My husband's co-worker has a dragster so he let Etienne sit in it.

His first specific request was to go to Abercrombie & Fitch. There Brody discovered a fondness for expensive clothes. He bought a shirt which was on sale for $28 with his own money, which he wore continuously for the next 3 days.

We introduced him to the American tradition of eating plates and plates of nachos for lunch and watching tv.

The two requests he made were to eat at Burger King, and to buy peanut butter to bring home to his mum.

Speaking of gifts, he brought us all gifts from France. Most importantly, a bottle of Chanel #5 for me and a small vial of Prada perfume. The Prada is FABULOUS! I have now forced at least 10 people to smell my arm.

Anyway, it turned out to be a great experience for my family and for Etienne. As we left the airport, Brody said that he already missed Etienne and could we go to France to see him.
Etienne invited us to visit him in France. (He has a grandmother that lives on the French Riviera, so I'm thinking that's a pretty good idea!)

My Sister's Knees

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be just like my big sister. She was much better pianist than me. A much better ballerina. A much better artist. A much better gymnast. Much more sociable and funny.

Not much has changed about any of that; however, I have one more characteristic to add - flair for drama.

For example, her latest escapade entailed a dramatic "rescue" from a rock by a helicopter, boat and hunky lifeguard. The medical trauma which resulted was a few bruises on her knees. (For photos and a complete story, see her blog).

I hurt my knees, too!

I was taking a walk around my neighborhood to get a little exercise. As I attempted to cross the street, I stepped on the curb, which slopes to the street - not straight up and down like a normal curb.

My foot slipped resulting, not only in my diet pepsi becoming airborne and landing several feet in front of me, but me crashing to the pavement.

My first thought was that I was going to break my arm since I am getting old and my bones aren't as strong as they used to be. My second thought was that my afore-mentioned weak arms wouldn't be strong enough to prevent my face from crashing into the pavement (which, given my vanity, would have been worse).

Luckily, neither happened.

Instead, just like my big sister, I bruised my knees. And if you ask me, they're a lot worse than Charmaine's knees. But I don't have the fabulous story she has. I just went for a walk.

It's so unfair!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Dog's Life

I grew up with dogs. (No, I am not referring to my sisters). Hee, hee.

First there was a brief encounter with some kind of dog that my father brought home which my mother wouldn't let us keep. Then there was some kind of little dog that kept running away.

Eventually, we settled in on a German Shepard puppy named Karla. Every day, without fail, my dad worked on training her to heel, walk, sit, stay, etc. Most impressive was her adherence to the rule of not setting one paw off of our property (no matter what she was chasing).

But, at 6 years old, I didn't care much about that. I cared about being able to pet her, lie on her, talk to her, kiss her, and have her grab my hand in her mouth to lead me somewhere. She was my best friend.

Then just before 6th grade, we moved to South Carolina. I don't know if it was the heat or humidity or both or neither, but Karla developed hip problems (which I know are common in German Shepards). Nonetheless, it became harder for her to get up and she spent much of her time resting in the backyard.

Then my parents sent us to Chicago to visit our uncles for a few weeks.

When we returned, Karla was gone. Not just gone from the yard, or gone from the house - just gone.

With no warning, my parents had put Karla to sleep. No conversation with us, either before or after.

Emotion is only acceptable when displayed alone.

Skip to 30-ish years later. I have married a man who is allergic to dogs. (The marital contract should have a contingency whereby a dog allergy is grounds for termination of the contract). So, I have wanted a dog for the last 18 years.

As luck would have it, I went in to a liquor store a while ago (that's not the lucky part) and there was a big, cute, light-colored, curly-haired dog. I asked the owner what was the breed of the dog and they said a golden retriever/poodle mix (hereinafter referred to as a goldendoodle). She told me that she was allergic to dogs, but not this dog (due to the poodle part).

Time passed and the next time that I was in the liquor store (ok, several times later), I asked the guy in the store if he knew where that woman got the dog. The gist of the conversation was that the dog, "Winston," has a sibling who belongs to some people who didn't realize that the dog would be more than 40-50 pounds and there was a distinct possibility that they might want to find it a more suitable home.

I excitedly wrote down my name and spent the next few days waiting for my dog connection to call. My grand plan was to surprise my husband on Father's Day with a dog, despite the fact that he doesn't want one. (This is what happens when you've been married for fricking decades.)

Father's Day came and went.

Last night, Aidan asked me if I would take him driving. I said, "sure," and promptly directed him to the aforementioned liquor store.

I explained my dog dilemma to the man at the counter (while purchasing my beer). He said that he knew the dog of which I was speaking and that my connection would be in on wednesday, and that I should await further communications.

Tomorrow is wednesday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Woes of a Parent With a New Teenage Driver

My 15-year old son got his permit today. I'm scared! I've been dreading this day since he was born.

He asked if he could drive home from the DMV. Oh sure - it's a light blue bug (my husband won't even drive it during the day) - it's a manual - and we would have to drive on the highway. I DON'T THINK SO!

So we negotiated a deal whereby I would take him to Subway for lunch and he'd stop asking to drive. (You all know what a great lawyer I am, and, I am sure that his acquiesence to such a deal had nothing to do with the fact that he knows he can't drive a stick).

That being said - do I not have an adorable car?

Viewers are sucked in by the seemingly girly, sweet, Barbie car (really, it is the Barbie car), and then they see it - evidence of my undeniable obnoxiousness.

I can't help it. I have now reached an age where I don't care if I annoy people. And, frankly, I find it fun!

I guess the apple really DOESN'T fall far from the tree (see previous posts about my mother on both my and my sister, Charmaine's, blogs). It just took a while for my apples to become ripe!


"Mom, I can be your designated driver". Uttered by Aidan in an attempt to provide incentive for me to teach him how to drive sooner, rather than later.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

White Boy on a Black Radio Show

This is a test. I somehow was able to load the videos from the video camera onto my computer. I saw sections that I wanted to post. And now I can't find them. I'm confused.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jesus is Letting Me Down (Business Card Update)

No, not THAT Jesus - the Jesus who is purportedly designing my business cards.

I'm thinking the other Jesus may, indeed, have a problem with my lack of participation in organized religion. As a result, he is impeding the ability of Office Depot Jesus to complete the design of my card, as well as, my ability to contact him (and by "him," I mean Office Depot Jesus).

Jesus takes a lot of days off.

Which Jesus am I talking about? You decide.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Jesus is Designing My Business Cards

No. Not THAT Jesus. It's the Jesus at Office Depot. The real Jesus doesn't communicate directly with me like he does with George Bush. Although I think that Jesus is working through the other Jesus to provide me with a fabulous business card.

I don't think Jesus minds that I don't go to church and don't believe in God, do you? Jesus clearly cares about the downtrodden which makes him a Democrat. And Democrats don't discriminate against others on the basis of religious beliefs.

So, he wants the economy to rebound since it's the downtrodden that were all screwed by the rich assholes on Wall Street and the banking system.

For the economy to recover, unemployed people(like me) need to find jobs and make money which they can then inject into the economy by buying shoes. (At least that's what the "experts" say, and who am I to argue with them!)

My theoretical law firm is going to do bankruptcy and tax resolution. I know what you're thinking. Technically, I can't make money unless other downtrodden people are in dire financial straits. Cause if the economy recovers and there are no more downtrodden people, who is going to hire me to file for bankruptcy or argue with the IRS?

Does this mean that Jesus and I DON'T want the economy to recover? Noooooooo! Of course not! Jesus wants to help the downtrodden so they can buy shoes. Ergo, I need downtrodden clients.

Ok, Now I'm confused. But answer me this, why else would Jesus be designing my business cards?

Dolly Cannot Compete With Gunnar

Gunnar has been performing the character, Rudolph, in the junior high musical "Hello Dollly" for the last three nights. This is his version of heaven.
Not one to gush about my kids, I have to admit that Gunnar has an amazing stage presence and charisma. Only he could take a relatively minor role and make it unforgettable.
Don't forget his name. He's gonna be famous some day!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leprechauns and Mysteries

In a brief lapse in my parental judgement (ok, stop laughing), I taught my son how to "Ding and Ditch" on St. Patrick's Day. He was a little reluctant at first, but then he caught on pretty quickly. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree)!

I know what you're thinking, but, no, we didn't leave bags of flaming dog doo doo on my neighbors' front porches.

We left packages of homemade Irish Soda Bread with homemade raspberry jam with an anonymous note quoting an old Irish proverb. (We had to deliver the bread in this manner, because, as we all know, leprechauns never allow themselves to be seen).

To accomplish this feat, I spent two days in the kitchen baking bread. At one point, I left 4 little loaves cooling on the counter while I ran to pick up a child. When I returned, 2 of the aforementioned loaves were missing and there was a pile of bread crumbs on the living room floor.

Who would attempt to sabotage my secret leprechaun efforts? Was this the work of the British?

Damn them!

I knew they'd never gotten over my grandfather's participation in the Irish Republican Army and the resultant loss of control over some of Ireland!

But wait. Who is the only person (or mammal) to be able to surreptitiously single-handedly (or single-pawedly) get into my house without any human assistance?

Sprocket. That bitch!

Readers of previous posts will remember Sprocket.
At least I know she appreciates high quality authentic Irish bread! And now I know not to leave food on the counter even though I don't own a dog.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Colorado Mountain Men

Aren't these the cutest little mountain men you've ever seen! This is from Brody's 4th grade musical which was about the early days of Colorado. (Brody is on the left). These 3 are also little baseball rockstars (are those terms mutually exclusive?)

That's my baby on first base. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing he got the guy out.

Brrrr! I Thought You Said This Was California!

Just when you thought you were ready for summer!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Business 101 and virginity

Ok, so I never got around to writing an actual post about the radio performance. For information about it, go to my sister's blog. She's a better writer anyway.

I've been busy trying to start a law practice. It's supposed to be for bankrupty and tax representation. I feel kind of bad that the only reason that I am doing this is because the economy is so bad that there is a rising demand for this kind of thing. I really don't like taking advantage of other people's desparation. But I have bills to pay, too. And I did work really hard and incur alot of debt to get through law school. I'm so conflicted!

Starting a business is much harder than I thought it would be. Apparently, lenders want me to put up my own money and be personally liable for a loan. I don't like that idea. And, other than Wells Fargo, no bank seems to anxious to loan me money. (It couldn't be due to the collapse of the economy and the amount of "toxic assets" that banks have, right?)

I don't think I'm toxic. I usually refer to my mother and other sister that way. (Again, see Charmaine's blog or one of my previous posts a while back). When my mother came over today (again), I tried to hide under the covers of my bed. My oldest son, Aidan, told her that I had gone to the store. But, alas, she found me. Crap!

She then somehow launched into a diatribe about how she and her brothers were virgins when they got married. Did I mention that Aidan is 14? I tried to stop her, but, no, she doesn't listen to me. I'm still not sure how that started. (Did I also mention that she never, ever, ever, discussed anything about sex to me or my sisters.)

This is my baby. He's a sweetheart! But now he knows more about my mother's sex life than any kid should know.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Radio Stars

This is a just a teaser until I have a chance to write a post. It's 2 of my sons and my sister, Charmaine, recording at a hip hop radio station (which aired later that night). Very fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Am I Interesting?

Ok, Charmaine, I'll do it. I'll come up with a list of 10 interesting things about myself. (Charmaine is my older sister - I have to do whatever she says!) Of course, it all depends on your definition of "interesting."

1. In college, I majored in Soviet Studies. I don't know why.

(Although I used to be able to read this.)

2. I'm a lawyer. I don't know why.

3. When I was about 9, my sisters and I took Irish Dancing lessons and participated in a few competetions. Once I was doing a 2-handed soft jig (that means 2 people and shoes that don't make tapping sound) with my sister, Erin. All of the other competitors had done a hard jig which required different music, so we were the only pair on the stage.

We were very cute in our little dresses and long hair in pigtails. Early in the dance, I turned to go on the next step before I was supposed to. There was an audible "aaaaaahhhhhh" in the audience in recognition that we were now going to lose. We did lose. Not even third place! 35 years later, I still feel horrible for making my sister lose. I once told this story to her with the expression of my guilt, and she didn't even remember it.

4. I love to sing. I'm not good so I only sing in front of my kids. Brody says I should be on American Idol. Isn't that sweet? Did I mention that he's deaf:-)!!

5. I want to go into politics. It's the only profession less respected than law, so I don't have far to fall! My problem is that I'm not good at politics. Oh sure, I know the issues and I know how to best help the world. It's the public speaking, schmoozing, and being nice to morons that I can't do. I also hate rejection.

6. My hero is Anita Hill. She held her ground with the stupid male U.S. Senate with dignity and intelligence. She is singularly responsible for identifying, giving a name and advancing methods of recourse for the epidemic of sexual harassment that has affected millions of women. She rocks!

7. I almost had a panic attack when I realized that I was doing one of the same damaging things to my kids that my mother had done to me. I can't tell you what. It's damaging to their self-esteem, and therefore, damaging to my future "Memoirs of A Great Mother" book.

8. Which reminds me thatI am fanatical about correcting my kids when they use the word "good" when it should be " well." I'm sure it's annoying, but I really do think that people who say, for example, "You play baseball good" sound stupid. The problem is that the reason for my fanaticism is that growing up, my sister, Erin, used to harass me about this. "You do good things and you do them well." It's not only etched in my brain from her, it is now etched in my kids' brains. (Although, I still don't think that is such a bad thing.)

9. My first job was at Shakey's Pizza when I was in high school. We had to wear light yellow t-shirts. The problem was that I was short (and still am), so when I leaned over the pizza to get the required toppings, my bosom would land in the pizza sauce, thereby leaving red spots on my shirt, much to the amusement of my male co-workers.

10. I truly believe that Bon Jovi owes their success to me. Ok, maybe I exaggerate. In the mid-80's my best friend, her sisters and I bought tickets to see them in concert. That may not sound very remarkable, but keep in mind that Bon Jovi was the opening act. They were not quite famous then.

In hopes of gettng the best damn general admission seats that we could, we decided to sit outside the stadium for the entire day. There were people in line passing their time smoking pot and drinking. Not one to miss a good idea, I walked over to a liquor store, bought a 12-pack of beer, and carried it back to our group. Within minutes, a group of security guards came and confiscated the beer. We said we would take it to our car, but, noooooo. (I guess they were planning a fun night, too.) That was a lot of money to me back then. I was pissed.

So, we waited and waited and waited without beer. When it was close to opening time, we began discretely moving closer to the front of the line. When the doors opened, we made a mad dash to the floor and ended up in the 3rd row. Very cool considering how far back we started. (All's fair in love and Bon Jovi)!

I will never forget Jon, Richie and the other guy with their long flowing locks, walking in a line together, playing their guitars, crouched over, across the stage, singing Livin on a Prayer. (It looked way cooler than it sounds).

This brings me back!

After they left, we had to listen to Ratt. They suck.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Like 'Em Chunky

When I first saw this title, I thought it was referring to either peanut butter or cookies. (or better yet, peanut butter cookies).

It doesn't.

It's a song from Madagascar 2 in which the male hippo asserts his preference for "chunky" females. I am concerned about the message that this sends to the females of other species. What are female giraffes supposed to think? No matter how much they try, they won't be able to gain enough weight to compete with a female hippo.

Hippos are naturally big. Giraffes aren't. They can't find fried mozzarella sticks on the savanna in Africa. Zookeepers don'tcooperate. They blatantly ignore the pressure on giraffes to become obese by their insistence on serving them leaves.

Look at this poor giraffe begging zookeepers for a Big Mac and fries. I feel her pain! Not a day goes by that I don't wish for the same meal.

This hippo just turns his back on the giraffe. He won't even talk to her. He's an ass!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Question for Computer Saavy People

I have a dvd of my son's talent show. I want to post just his performance, but I haven't got a clue how to do it. Can anyone help?

My future rock star thanks you!