Wednesday, January 30, 2013

M-O-O-N spells Captain Trips ("Laws, yes!")

No new post today, party people.  I appear to staging my own live-action version of "Outbreak" over here...*

*only, you know, with less monkeys and more pansy-ass whining

Due to my high fever, and the fact that I'm hopped-up on a cocktail of antibiotics and DayQuil, I fear that anything I attempt to write will come out sounding like: "Me lyk rioting.  WurDs R gUd.". Going to crawl back into bed.  Stay well.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Seacrest, Out.

"So", Kelly sighed, setting her Diet Coke on the coffee table with a thud.  "You're really done?  Like, officially out of the game?" 

"Yup", I replied, popping another Wheat Thin into my mouth, "I've spent waaaaaaay to much time vacationing on the Island of Misfit Boys.  I'm over it."

Kelly mused quietly from her side of the couch.  "I don't think I could ever be 'over' men.  Not as long as I continue to enjoy being under them."

"That'll do, Whore. . .that'll do."  I replied, kicking her leg and reaching for another cracker.  "Is Gina coming over?"*

*Kelly, Gina and I have a standing weekly date to meet and watch 'American Idol'.  But only during the audition weeks.  Once the contestants actually have talent and the judges stop slap-fighting, we lose interest.

"Yeah.  She just had to give Milo a bath and wait for Alex to get home to watch him"  Kelly took a long swig of her soda.  "My kids might drive me batshit crazy, but at least I know I can leave the house without them. I wouldn't go back to the baby age for anything."

I nodded sagely.  "Hear, hear!  You know what Gina told me the other night?  That having a baby was like getting a DUI: you can't go out, you can't leave the state, and you're always waking up in random places with vomit on your shirt."

Kelly choked on her Diet Coke in laughter as 98 pounds of indignant teenager stormed into the room.

"MOTHER!"  Kelly's 13-year-old daughter Sophie screamed, "I was watching TV and Justin just marched in and changed the channel in the MIDDLE of my SHOW!"

"What's that you said about not wanting to go back in time?" I asked as Kelly rolled her eyes and called for 9-year-old Justin who came cruising in looking smugger than Kanye when he jacked Taylor Swift's VMA.

*I love that kid.  So.  Damned.  Hard.

"Hey, J-Man," I said, "did you seriously turn off Soph's show while she was watching it?  That's a dick move, my friend."

Kelly sighed heavily.  "Don't listen to Auntie Jen."  she said, glaring at me harshly before returning her steely gaze to her son.  "Justin, did you turn off Sophie's TV show while she was watching it?"

"Yes." he replied with a cool grin, reaching over to snag a Wheat Thin.*

*Oh HELLZ no, my friend.  You might only be 9 but I will cut a bitch before I'll let you jack my Wheat Thins, yo.

Kelly dragged a hand over her face tiredly and turned to a silently fuming Sophie.  "What exactly happened, Soph?"

Sophie threw her hands in the air like she was signalling a passing plane.  "I was just sitting in the basement, watching TV, and Justin walked in, GRABBED the remote, and changed the channel!"

"What were you watching?"  Kelly asked.

"Teen Mom 2".

"Well done."  Kelly told Justin and handed him the box of Wheat Thins with a smile as Sophie squealed and left the room more dramatically than RuPaul getting his wig ripped off.

"Glad to see I didn't miss any of the action."  Gina said as she walked into Kelly's living room. "Door was unlocked and I heard screaming so I figured either someone was being killed or Nicki Minaj finally went all Aileen Wournos on Nick Cannon's baby mama."

"Nope", Kelly replied with a grin, scootching over to make room on the couch.  "Miss Minaj is remarkably well-behaved this evening."

"I feel sorry for Keith Urban." Gina sighed. "That's a loooooot of hours sandwiched between all that crazy."

I snorted derisively.  "Oh, please!  He's married to the skeletal Australian ice queen who used to bump uglies with that Scientology hobbit, Tom Cruise.  I'd say Keith is all stocked up on crazy, yo."

"True", Gina agreed, walking to the kitchen for a bottle of water.  "but still, no one can top Paula Abdul.  She was crazier than a shithouse rat."

"I miss Paula,"  Kelly mused with a sigh. "there was just that constant sense of 'will-she-won't-she?'  Will this be the week she passes out?  Will she actually manage to applaud without slapping herself in the face?  Will she provide any cognizant input or just keep spinning in her chair?  That was the REAL competition on that show, my friends."

I shrugged casually.  "I don't know, I'd say she maintained pretty well for someone who's been drunk since the Reagan Administration."

"Didn't she hit you with her car?"  Kelly asked as Gina returned to the couch.

"Wait, WHAT!?!?"  Gina cried, spitting her water in shock.

"Nah, just grazed me."  I said, stretching my feet out onto the coffee table.

Gina shook her head in bewilderment.  "OK, in the immortal words of Miss Minaj, 'Pause that.  Abort that.'  Paula Abdul GRAZED you with her CAR!?!?  How did I not know this?"

I paused thoughtfully for a moment.  "I thought I told you.  It was in L.A., we were filming on the same set where they film "Idol" and when we were crossing the lot she came tooling through in her hoopty ride and almost took us out.  The production assistant yanked me back but her side mirror clipped my arm."

Gina stared at me like I had sprouted horns and a tail.  "You were in L.A. . .filming?  What the hell were you filming?"

Kelly laughed and threw a pillow at my head.  "You never told her?"  she turned to Gina. "Jen was on a game show a few years back."

Gina snorted with laughter.  "Back.  The fuck.  Up.  Which game show?"

I buried my face in the pillow and mumbled incoherently.

"Oh, no."  Gina cried, tearing the pillow away.  "HELL, no!  You don't just tease me like that and leave me hangin'.  Which.  Show?"  

I saw Gina's generally serene features settle into the stony courtroom mask she usually reserves for recalcitrant defendants and lackadaisical Starbucks employees.  I knew that it was futile to resist her.

"The Singing Bee."  I reluctantly admitted.  "It's on CMT."

Gina shook her head slowly.  "CMT?  I don't know..."  Suddenly, realization spread across her face and she erupted with laughter.  "Wait, CMT as in Country Music Television?  You sang country music on TV?  Voluntarily?"

"It wasn't a singing competition,"  I cried indignantly "it was more of a lyrics competition.  You know, how well do you know the words?"

Gina continued to laugh.  "You can't remember where you left your keys five minutes ago, you must have gotten your ass pounded like a hooker at a biker bar."

"Oh, you're hilarious,"  I drawled.  "been auditing classes at the Andy Dick school of comedy lately?"

"Shouldn't give her too much crap, Geen."  Kelly stated in my defense.  "She won."

Gina's laughter abruptly stopped and her mouth flew open in shock.  "You WON!?!?  How much money did you get?"

"Ten thousand dollars."  I replied smugly.  "It paid for my first year of grad school."

Gina stared at me in awe.  "I would gnaw off my arm to see that footage, my friend."  

Kelly laughed and reached across the table for her laptop.  "No need to resort to cannibalism, mah dear.  I've got the video bookmarked."

Gina squealed with delight as I groaned and grabbed the TV remote.  "You don't want to watch that, Gina.  It's "Idol" night, remember?  Shitty contestants, thinly veiled references to Ryan Seacrest's sexuality, all of the things you hold dear.  This is MUCH more interesting than some old. . .holy shit, you really do have it bookmarked."

I watched in horror as the laptop screen was suddenly filled with the image of me standing beside Melissa Peterman, a cheesy smile plastered across my face.

"This is beautiful."  Gina whispered in wonder.  "So many things to mock.  So many, many things."

"I hate you both so hard right now."  I grumbled, rising from the couch.

"Where are you going, Miranda Lambert?"  Kelly called after me.

"Downstairs to watch pregnant teenagers with Sophie."  I retorted.  "Somehow that seems far more dignified."


PS:  Yes, I really was on The Singing Bee.  Yes, I really won $10,000. And yes, the video exists somewhere out there on line; or you could always email Kelly, I'm sure she'd happily send you the link.  ((sigh))  My friends suck.

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's About to get Biblical Up in Heah!

Although I have the tendency to dress like an aging prostitute and have a mouth that would make a sailor cringe, I am, in fact, a Christian.  When my short people and I relocated to our own little corner of Portland after my divorce, we happened to move into an apartment complex located LITERALLY across the street from the raddest church ever.   The first Sunday the boys and I walked in we were greeted by a grinning man in jeans and cowboy boots who turned out to be our pastor, and as soon as we were seated, a band took the stage and started jamming; complete with electric guitars and a lead singer with more ink than the cast of American Choppers combined.  It was as if the Mother Ship had called me home.

My boys loved Sunday School like R. Kelly loves underaged girls and when they heard of the additional weekly evening youth group, they were begging me to join.  The evening group is sponsored by the church, but not a direct affiliate of it and as such, I can't say I always agree with some of the tenets they espouse.*

*One shining example?  Last year the boys were told they had to bring at least two new friends to join over the course of the year and my son J. was specifically told "You'll get extra handbook points if you bring in one of the Iranian boys we see you playing with at school."    Sooooo, indoctrinating Muslims for the win.  Well played.

Now, I'm pretty open minded.  I'll accept whatever it is you choose to believe as long as you don't force me to pay for it, understand it, or listen to you talk about it. That being said, I was obviously a little skeeved out to learn that the youth organization was encouraging my 10-year-old child to go all "Zero Dark Thirty" on his friends Amir and Hassan  so in the end I had to weigh my higher moral beliefs against my desire to have two hours of free childcare one night a week . . .yeah. . .guess which won.   Terrorism = 1, Jen = 0.

Most of the youth group activities -- Movie Night, Backwards Night, Game Night -- are run by the same Stepford clique of church ladies who run the "Ladies" events at the church.  They are the ones who descend upon you in a cloud of Clinique Happy cologne, beaming at you with mock civility while secretly imagine the things you're doing with your filthy little genitals and barely restraining themselves from going all Book of Revelations on your whore ass.*

*Of course, as I am nothing if not passive-aggressive, I derive a perverse pleasure in wearing my red leather pencil skirt and leopard pumps to church as often as humanly possible.  I just know they hear a 'bwocka-wocka' porn guitar the second I walk through the door.

Last month, the youth group had the first of three Store Nights they hold throughout the year.  Store Night is when the kids trade in the points they've earned for memorizing Bible verses and doing good deeds for dollar store gifts and shitty Happy Meal toys at the "marketplace" we set up in the church choir room.  As I am a dedicated mother (and one of the dad's volunteering was wicked hot), I graciously offered to man a table at Store Night and schlep trinkets to the unwashed masses.

No, allow me preface by stating that I am not a fan of short people.  I love mine:  my shorties are funny as hell and have impeccable manners, and know all the words to every David Guetta song and even if they weren't my kids I would still totally hang with them. . .they are THAT cool.  But other people's kids?  Oh, HELL no.  But while most shorties make me want to drive a chopstick into my ear canal, I can fake it like a Mormon Sister Wife, so I figured, "How bad can this be?"  Yeah. . .like THAT question ever ends well.

The second I walked into the choir room, I knew I was screwed like a hooker at a gangbang.  Because the woman in charge was not just any church lady, she was THE church lady.  Any of you who regularly attend church know who I'm talking about.  She's the one who organizes all of the canned food drives, and donates the lilies at Easter.  She's the one who chooses the theme for every Ladies Brunch and whose children always play Mary and Joseph in the Christmas pageant, despite the fact that they look like hobbits and the boy has a lazy eye that gives him a certain homeless drifter joie de vive.  She is the Regina George of the church, a modern-day Torquemada in J. Jill separates, and while she may be surrounded by hordes of minions scrambling for her position of power, like the Highlander or the Vampire Slayer, there can be only one.

The church lady (whom I'll call Linda, because. . .well. . .that's her name), approached me and gave me a smile stiffer than Jerry Sandusky at a Cub Scout Jamboree.

"Jen, I'm surprised to see you  here.  This is the first time you've volunteered. . .ever, isn't it."

I stared at her, more stone-faced than Tommy Lee Jones at the Golden Globes, and replied, "Why, no, Linda.  I've volunteered quite a bit in the past.  Just not as much as you, but then again I also work full-time and attend school.  So, how's that quilting project of yours coming along?"

I watched in quiet victory as her smile began to waver like an IKEA bookshelf, but like a Hydra, a new one grew in its place.

"You'll be over here."  she said briskly, waving her hand toward a table covered with enough glitz and glitter to make Honey Boo Boo holla' for a dolla'.  "I know you have boys," she said judiciously eying my scoopneck sweater and Steve Madden peep-toe pumps, "but you look like you understand what. . .SOME young girls may like."

"I'll do my best."  I replied sweetly, and took my place behind the table. Then Linda grabbed my arm and spoke with great solemnity.

"Now, this is very, VERY important, Jen."  she said in a tone reserved for recalcitrant toddlers and willful housepets.  "The items HERE are 40 points,"  she pointed with a lacquered acrylic nail, "and the items HERE are 80 points.  THESE are 40, and THESE are 80.  Do you understand the difference?"

"Well,"  I replied gravely, "my math may be a tad rusty, but I believe the difference is 40 points." 

Linda beamed at me proudly and for one awkward moment I thought she might actually scratch my head.

"Good!"  she cried, "Now, if one of the children wants one of THESE," she held up an 80 point pack of two Silly Putty eggs, "but they only have 40 points, then you can sell them ONE.  Do you understand that?  TWO of them for 80, and ONE of them for 40."*

*Thank the Baby Jeebus that I have always been blessed with the gift of selective hearing and as such,when someone I don't like begins to speak I can shut down like the Red October in enemy waters.  So, while Linda was blathering on about the cost of Silly Putty and hair scrunchies, I stood there nodding like Boo Radley on NyQuil and heard "Blah blah blah, Jen.  Blah, Jen, blah blah blah."

I crossed my eyes slightly and concentrated deeply, like I was letting this novel concept of commutative addition sink in.  "So. . .what you're saying is: 40 plus 40 equals 80, right?"  I saw Linda's eyes narrow slightly as she tried to assess if I was mocking her, but I just beamed at her like I was more out of it than Diane Sawyer at the 2012 Olympics and she went on to the next table to clearly elucidate the related concept of 20 + 20 = 40 to the woman standing there.*

*Who happensedto be a corporate tax attorney.  It was with no small amount of glee that I watched her mouth "What the fuck?" to me as Linda walked away.  This may be my new BFF.

Before long the short people flooded in with their point sheets in tow and started tearing through there like it was half-price at a Michael Kors sample sale.  One little girl came up and started trying to bargain me down on a pair of High School Musical ankle socks, but I held firm, (a) because this kid annoys the ever-loving shit out of me, and (b) because I cannot, in good conscience, allow any child to be seen traipsing around with Zac Efron on her insteps.  Oh, Honey. . .no.  But this little troglodyte kept drilling me like she was EXXON and my ass was a Texas oil field so finally I knocked off ten points, threw the socks in her grubby little hands, and sent her on her merry way.  That's when I heard it.

How does one describe the noise I heard?  It was a cry of such fear and desperation not heard since the napalm fell on North Vietnam.  It was the cry of a vegan watching "Fast Food Nation", it was a sound akin to Mariah Carey passing a kidney stone, and it was at that moment I knew that something had gone horribly, horribly wrong.

"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?!?"  I heard Linda screech as she came barreling toward me like Jack Ruby crossing the parking garage.  I gaped in abject horror as she grabbed -- GRABBED -- my arm and yanked me away from the table.  Bad choice.

As many of you may know, I'm argumentative on a good day, but when I'm surrounded by short people and have the blood sugar level of Kate Moss during Paris Fashion week then any confrontation is apt to make me go all Arab Spring up in your grill.  But, anger management issues aside, I am also smart enough to realize when I'm about to say something so inappropriate that it would make Paris Hilton say, "Whoa, that's way harsh, Babe."*

*Actually, I'm relatively certain Paris Hilton wouldn't say "babe".  She'd probably just giggle, flash her hurt locker, then OD on Stoli and crank.

So, I calmly removed Linda's viselike talons from my upper arm and asked her what was the problem.

"You. . .you. . ." she sputtered frantically, "you sold McKenzie a pair of 80 point socks for 70 points.  70!!!"

I shrugged nonchalantly.  "I'm sorry. t didn't seem like a big deal, Linda; Store Night was ending and she. . ." 

Linda cut me off with a derisive snort and eyeroll, unaware that my son J. had just stepped up behind her to show me the treasures he'd bought.

"Oh! It wasn't a 'big deal' that you just made your own rules and decided you were going to run everything from now on!"  I saw her bloodless eyes glaze over like a Jonestown prophet.  "You're SORRY!?!?  Well, I'm sorry that I trusted someone like you to handle the 80 point table!  I'm sorry that you aren't smart enough to tell the difference between 70 points and 80 points!"

OK, let's pause for a moment.  Because I'm sure that right now you're bracing yourself for the inevitable "This is when Jen loses her shit" scenario, and in any other venue, it would doubtlessly be the case.  But, I am (as aforementioned) a Christian, and we were in the house of the Lord, so I decided to be all Matthew 5:39 and turn the other cheek.   That bitch had been touched by an angel, yo.  But what she did not account for was the 60 pounds of righteous indignation standing directly behind her pious fat ass.  You, see, J. truly is his mother's son, and as such, when he sees a member of his family being mistreated, he flies in with about as much dignity and self-restraint as Motley Crue leaving a hotel room.

"DON'T talk to my Mommy like that!"  J. said, his genial, pixie-like face drawn into a menacing scowl.

Linda started, dropping her hand from my arm and staring at J. indignantly.  "How DARE you raise your voice to me, young man!"  she gasped sharply.  "I am SPEAKING to your mother!"

"No,"  J. averred, meeting her gaze with his steely blue eyes, "you were being mean to my Mommy and calling her stupid and NOBODY talks to my Mommy like that."

The two of them stood locked in a Mexican standoff, Linda with her hands on her hips and a schoolmarm's cold gaze, J., hands clutching his gifts, his eyes never leaving Linda's.  She had no freaking clue who she was dealing with here.  Finally she tore her eyes away from J's and turned to me.  

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself," she hissed icily.  "you've obviously raised your child to be as rude and disrespectful as you are."

I smiled sweetly back at Linda, looping an arm around my son's shoulders.  "If by 'rude' and 'disrespectful' you mean a child who fights for what he believes in and will defend his family at all cost then. . .yeah. . .I guess I have."

Linda shook her head in disgust and walked away, and I led J. over to the  side of the choir room.  

"Hey, Buddy," I told him, "I appreciate what you were doing back there but when it comes to grown-ups, let Mommy handle it, 'kay?"

J. nodded a little sadly.  "OK,"  he reluctantly agreed.  "It just made me extra mad 'cause her kids are always picking  on M."

"What do you mean, 'picking on" M?"  I asked, looking across the room to where J's twin brother M. was showing the candles he'd chosen to his youth leader.

"Because of his autism."  J. reluctantly admitted.  "Casey's always calling M. a baby because he still likes little kid shows and Hannah's always making fun of how he talks.  It just makes me mad."

I felt the familiar white-hot rage flood through my bloodstream when I heard of my son being teased for his disability, followed almost immediately be the sensation of having been struck in the chest.  I spend so much time thinking about how M's disability affects his life that I often forget how deeply it impacts J. as well.  I reached down and hugged J., then pulled him into my lap.

"Dude.  You don't have to take care of M., OK?  That's my job.  You just keep being an awesome brother and leave the vigilante justice to me."  He smiled and hugged me with his free arm, still cradling the gifts he bought.  "So what do you have there?"

J. beamed, placing the items on the floor in front of us one at a time.  "This is a case for Pokemon cards I got for Amir, this is a candle I got for Hassan, this is a keychain I got for M., this is a sparkly hair bow for you, and I don't know who I'm giving the snow globe to yet."

I furrowed my brow thoughtfully.  "Didn't you get anything for yourself?"

J. shook his head with his trademark sunny smile.  "I like getting stuff for other people.  So, who should I give the snow globe to?"

I paused for a moment.  "Someone who really needs it,"  I replied.  "someone who is sad and needs to be cheered up."

J. mused quietly, then bounced to his feet with joy.  "I know!"  he said "I'll give it to Hannah!"

I glanced over at Hannah, the vicious little troll who'd been tormenting my son M. and daughter of the succubus, Linda.

"Why Hannah?"  I asked with no small amount of horror.

"Because she must be sad."  J. replied with conviction.  "She has a mean mommy and she does mean things.  That's just 'cuz she's sad, and maybe if I give her a present she'll be happy and stop making fun of M."  and with that, he raced across the room, paltry peace offering in tow.

So, my request to all of you is simply this:  be like my son.  See beyond the words and actions of others and know that they come from a sad and angry place.  Maybe if we all take time to understand that, and to offer some goodness and light to these people, we can make a small dent in the wall of intolerance and hatred out there.  I have a long way to go in that journey of forgiveness; thank God I have a blue-eyed angel to show me the way.


Monday, January 21, 2013

"A@@holes, A@@holes, We All Fall Down..."

My hometown is making national news again, my friends.  Not since the heady days of Bob Packwood's little black book or the wacky hijinx of America's favorite little knee-cracker, Tonya Harding, has Portland, Oregon achieved such celebrity status.  But just last week ABC's "Good Morning America" reported on our latest local claim to fame:

When I first heard this story, I laughed like a coked-up whore for a solid minute, then looked at my friend and said "No, seriously.  You've gotta be shitting me."  I mean, consider the facts.  She fell off the roof of a parking garage.  A parking garage.  Now, parking in downtown Portland is at a minimum and as such we have an ungodly amount of parking garages and the citizens of my fine city have mastered the art of their usage like a boss. It is quite simple, really. You drive into the garage, take your ticket, park your car, then traverse to the street level by way of either a spacious elevator or one of the myriad stairwells surrounding said structure.  At no time do you ever park your car, climb to the roof, and attempt to access the neighboring building by making a grand jete from the railing.

I know, I know.  This shouldn't annoy me as much as it does.  I mean, who did she really hurt, besides herself?  Well, how about the taxpayers who shelled out their hard-earned money to pay the rescue workers who came tearing in there like the INS at a bordertown Taco Bell and had to wedge her sorry ass to safety at 3:45 am?  That stuff nags at me like Norman Bates' mother when a blonde checks in.

I don't have a problem with drunk people gallivanting on top of buildings in the middle of the night.  If that's what blows your skirt up, then more power to you.  What I DO have a problem with is the amount of press this crazy bitch is getting for making the Walk-of-Shame off the StarPark and screaming like RuPaul with his (her?) nuts in a Black and Decker work vise.  If it were me, I'd be so embarrassed that the last thing I'd be doing is yelling for attention.  I'd let myself starve up there in silence for a couple of days until I was thin enough to slide down the wall like Jeremy Renner in "The Bourne Legacy"; then I would haul my chafed ass to my car and be tearing outta there so fast my tires would be balder than Donald Trump in a Class-4 hurricane.

I get it, the media loves a good search and rescue story, but this chick's not Baby Jessica; she's a grown-ass woman who knew exactly what she was doing when she went all Black Swan at 3:00am.   Right now her local popularity is through the roof. . .literally, THROUGH the roof.  But this kind of "fame" is a little like winning a People's Choice Award: all it shows it that you caught the popular attention of the same people who nominated "Twilight" for Best Picture.  It only takes 5 seconds to be a media sensation, then you spend the next forty years as a joke with a shitty punchline.*

*Yeah, I'm talking to you, Kate Gosselin..

I'll admit, I got a perverse voyeuristic thrill out of watching the rescue crew jimmy this woman free like Star Jones taking off a pair of skinny jeans while everyone stood around clapping like a bunch of spastic kids cleaning erasers, but for the love of all that is good and holy, when ABC News starts giving this dipshit more screen time than the Chilean miners then I declare shenanigans.  If she chose to do so, there is no doubt in my mind that Humpty Dumpty could parlay her little swandive into a LifeTime Movie of the Week, but to her credit, she's laying low.  So, fortunately, it looks as though her "15 minutes of fame" will last about as long as a sparrow's fart or an American Idol winner's career.

I understand that she's human, and as such, she made a bad decision.  We all have our shit.  We all do things that make us question our place on the evolutionary chain, but in a day and age where common sense is harder to find than a virgin after Prom Night, we need to stop deifying these acts of stupidity, and turning them into profiles of courage.  Because the day I see some idiot who got stoned and walked in front of a bus sharing the cover of People magazine with the victims of a school shooting is the day I invest in a tinfoil helmet 'cause that kind of crazy is viral, yo.

I'm glad this woman is safe. I certainly don't wish ill will upon anyone on this planet. . .*

*Well, maybe my ex-husband.  And that perky girl at the gym who's always yapping on her cellphone, because. . .reasons.

. . .but I do think there needs to come a time when we as humans can step back, look at the dumbass wedged between two buildings like a chunk of human cholesterol, and say "You know what, Darwin?  We're just gonna let you take it from here."



Friday, January 18, 2013

Stupidest Crap Ever Spoken: The Parenthood Edition

I apologize for the brevity of today's post, but  I appear to be mired under an unholy amount of whiny, self-pitying bullshit.  I promise to bring back the funny on Monday when I'm feeling like less of  a giant pussy.


JESS: Sean and I are going to start potty training this week.
ME:  Well, that's good.  That way, when it's time to potty train the baby, you two will be able to set a good example.

ME: I'm at that age where my biological clock is telling me it's time to make another man's life a living hell.

MATH HOMEWORK:  Please explain your answer.
MY SON M's RESPONSE:  It's right.
MATH HOMEWORK:  How did you arrive at this answer?
MY SON M's RESPONSE:  By not writing down the wrong ones.

KELLY:  When I had my C-Section the doctor kept saying, "I'll make  the incision really low and small so you can still wear a bikini."  And I was, all "Bitch, please! It's a bikini and a bottle of Captain Morgan that got me into this situation in the first place"

MY SON (singing to Lady GaGa):  "I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me, I'm a proper -- proper Nazi..."
ME:  Wait. . .what?

JESS' 5-YEAR-OLD, TRENT:  Mommy!  This is my penis!
JESS:  Yes, Baby.  That's your penis.  Do girls have a penis?
TRENT:  No. Girls are from Virginia.

GINA:  I love my son, but sometimes when he's flipping out I think "Oh, HELL no!  I did NOT give up nine months of drinking for this shit!"

ALEX:  When I was a kid we had Superman, and Shazaam, and the Hulk. . .dudes who could fly, and shape-shift, and blow shit up.  You know who my son has now?  Bob the Builder.  Guess what he does?  He fixes other people's stuff.  That's not a superpower, that's a bad career choice.

SANTA:  What do you want for Christmas?
MY SON M: A puppet theater and a new paint set, please.
SANTA:  And what does your Mommy want for Christmas?
MY SON J:  Jeremy Renner.  But she'd probably be happy with cash.

KELLY'S 13-YEAR-OLD, SOPHIE:  You have NO idea how lucky you are to have me as a daughter!  I could be running around drinking and smoking. . .what would you do if I suddenly came home and said, "Mom, I'm pregnant"?
SOPHIE:  I'm moving in with grandma.
KELLY:  Might wanna rethink that, Babe. Living with grandma is what made Mommy start drinking and smoking in the first place.

ME:  My son's kindergarten teacher was wicked psyched when I told her M. was autistic.  Turns out she thought I said "artistic".  She was pretty bummed when it turned out he couldn't draw stick figures for shit.

ME:  I can't believe my son's math homework.  I'm half-tempted to tell them "fuck it, just do what Mommy did and copy off of the Asian kid".
GINA:  People always tried that with me but I am the 1% of all Asians who suck at math.
ALEX:  Yeah, and I'm the 1% of all Jews that can't balance my checkbook.  (pause)  Our son's screwed, isn't he, Babe?
GINA:  Like a two-bit whore.

ME:  Dude!  You did NOT just pick up that cookie from the floor of the grocery store and eat it!
MY SON J:  Pfft!  It's gotta be cleaner than our floor at home.
ME:   Excuse me, you could eat off of our kitchen floor.
MY SON J:  Yeah, probably.  There's enough food down there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I "Heart" you, Portland

Portland, Oregon is a city fraught with contradictions.  It is a feminist bookstore and a strip club standing side-by-side.  It is a garishly painted food truck unabashedly advertising vegetarian BBQ.  It is not uncommon to walk through Portland's bustling downtown streets and see a dreadlocked panhandler wearing a $75 Banana Republic tee, or see an "Lessen Your Carbon Footprint" sticker on the back of a Ford Aerostar.*

*Oh, and thanks for covering the back of your ride with that  stick figure Duggar family so that I can see your obvious  stance on overpopulation as well.

To give you a better idea of what I'm talking about, the other day I saw a waifish young lass standing next to the offramp near Barbur Boulevard.  She gazed pitifully at each passing car and held aloft a cardboard sign reading:  "STARVING.  ANYTHING HELPS.  VEGAN FOOD ONLY, PLEASE." 
Now, color me omnivorous, but I think history has proven that if a human being truly is hungry enough then anything can be considered "food" be it grub worms, tree bark, or a partially-frozen Uruguayan soccer player.  But, as I was feeling all benevolent and shit, I pulled over and handed her the scone from my Starbucks bag.*

*Which I told her was vegan. . .it totally wasn't.  Oh, please!  This is ME we're talking about!

But while the liberals and the hipsters and their neverending phalanx of Schwinn fixies blocking the streets may do make me want to kick puppies, I love this city with every last fiber of my being.  Portland is like a crazy uncle who lives under the stairs or your tweaky little brother who enjoys setting fires to fuel his hate rage.  You just know it ain't quite right, but by God, you'll  go to the death defending it because it's FAMILY.

But, while I can bare utter the word "Portland" without a fanfare of trumpets and puffy pink glitter hearts bursting around me, there is one very crucial issue upon which P-Town and I do not see eye-to-eye.  Fashion.

Clothing was not always   of such great import to me, much to the overwhelming dismay of my mother and sister.  As a  child, I was a great proponent of the "whatever's clean" method of wardrobe selection; something that brought my perpetually fashion-conscious sister, Holly, to tears.*

*Literally.  My mom tells tales of mornings Holly would  cling to her leg sobbing "Mommy, PLEASE don't let Jenny go out wearing that!!!" She was five.  I shit you not.

When I was married, my Machiavellian ex-husband took a rather sadistic pleasure in dressing me like a lesbian gardener and as I found his attentions endearing at the time, it never occurred to me to question why I was wearing hiking boots and Mennonite dresses with a glaring lack of irony.*

*In answer to your question, yes, I was drinking a great deal of vodka at this time. . .oh, so very much vodka.

Portland is a city for people who live in Seattle orNorthern California and find themselves looking around one day thinking, "You know, this is nice.  Pretty trees, and good coffee, but there's just WAY too much personal grooming going on around here." Suffice to say, now that I am single and sober I am a proud fashionista, and as such, find myself appalled on a semi-regular basis  by the ensembles thrown together by my fellow Portlandians.  A tutu and a wizard's cap?  Porquoi?  And the animal hats with the long earflaps?  Oh, Honey. . .no.  

About two weeks ago, my friend Curtis was planning to visit from Central California, and being the fabulous man-whore that he is, sent me myriad pictures of the clothing he was packing for the trip along with texts asking for accessory input

CURTIS:  The navy pea coat or the ivory duster?

ME:  Which ever one is warmer.  It's colder than a stepmother's tit up here right now and the wind chill will cut you like a prisonyard shiv.

CURTIS:  Well, then. . .this should be fun.  So, what are the hot colors up there this season?

ME:  Dude, seriously?  It's Portland.  Our colors are Gore-Tex and flannel.  Trust me, if you're wearing socks they'll accuse you of being "all fancy and shit".

While I've often pondered how a citizenry so culturally rich and diverse can continue to dress like color-blind Somali refugees, all was made manifest to me on my last foray to the mall.  It was then that it occurred to me.  Portlandians are too goddamned friendly (present company excepted) and to be honest, it can be a little offputting in a retail employee.

PERKY SALESGIRL:  Ohmigod, I LOVE your hair. Seriously.  I could just rip it right off of you!

ME: Oh, umm. . .thanks?

PERKY:  And your skirt is totes adorb!  Where did you get it?*

*Want to stab.  Want to stab so hard.  Stabstabstab...

ME:  Here, actually.  I got the skirt here.

PERKY:  OK, I should totally have known that.  But I'm new.  Well, not NEW new; I used to work at the Lloyd Center store but there was this, like, totally sketchy guy at Zumiez who was all 'you're hot' and I was all 'Euw, whatever' because, like, HELLO!  I would SO never date a guy who worked at Zumiez and he used to like totally stalk me out by Jamba Juice and my friends were all 'you should report him to security' and I was all. . .

ME:  May I have a dressing room, please?

PERKY:  Ohmigod, TOTALLY!  Let me get one for you.  If you need anything, like AT ALL, my name's Perky and I am SO there for you. 'Kay?

ME:  Umm. . .'kay.

Now, I'm all about quality customer service, but sweet Baby Jeebus in a Hot Pocket, if I wanted to shop with a friend I'd have brought one with me.  I was pondering this at great length (and taking advantage of the fact that I was in a small quiet room without my short people) when a brisk knock snapped me from my reverie.

PERKY:  Hey, friend.  It's Perky.  You've been in there for, like, a REALLY long time now.  Are you OK?  Is everything all right?

I immediately thought of replying with "Just trying to stop the bleeding" or "Hey, can I borrow your little security tag remover?  My pliers are jammed"  but I bit back my vitriol and thanked Perky for her concern.

Walking back to my car that afternoon, shopping bags in tow, I looked around at the people in the parking lot.  All shapes, all sizes, all manner of jacked-up clothing. . .but all smiling.  All greeting one another in passing.  All stepping forward to hold the door for a stranger.  And THAT is what I love about this city  Regardless of your age, race, political affiliation, or wardrobe, everyone here is so freaking nice to each other just because they CAN be.  And that is why Portland will always be more than  just my hometown, it will be a part of my soul.

But, seriously?  We need to have a talk about those shoes.


Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and 'Doggone it!' People LIKE me!

Like most Americans, I spend a fair amount of time on personal aesthetics.  Eye cream, neck cream, hair dye, boot camp workouts; for me the are all just daily ministrations in my ongoing fight against Death and my undying wish that I will get laid just once before the new iPhone comes out.  I'm not alone in my pursuit.  Between the melatonin and the colostrum and the vitamin E and the gingko biloba, my holistic friend Kelly is dropping more pills than a three-fingered pharmacist.  And our friend Gina?  When she told me how much she spends on facials and hair products my ass hit the ground faster than Mary Kate Olsen in a game of "Red Rover".

We all seem to be racing against time in some narcissistic scavenger hunt, hoping that we'll discover just the right product, just the right procedure that will ensure us some Dorian Gray-like existence and absolve us of the atrocities we ignorantly inflicted upon our bodies in the past.*

*In my case, the years 1989-2002.  Go hard or go home, my friends.

I would like to be one of those people who appear all haughty and self-righteous and speak with great disdain about the type of woman who would go under the knife for the sake of beauty. . .well, no, actually, I wouldn't.  Because to be honest, those people annoy me as much as the one's who judge others for their religion or sexual orientation.  As long as you're happy and aren't hurting anyone, you can knock on as many doors as you want with your copy of Watchtower and go home and sleep with an armadillo,  I don't give a shit.  It's the same with plastic surgery.  If you want to inject ass fat into your rack or have face lifts until your ears touch then go for it!  My chest was not always as proportional to my frame as it is now, nor was my nose quite this pert.  While I gotten some snarky comments in the past for my decision to have plastic surgery I have never once regretted my decision.*

*I also derive a somewhat perverse pleasure knowing that my ex-husband is still paying off my breasts and yet cannot legally come within 50 feet of them.  I "heart" you, Karma.

These days I'm no longer desperately chasing after a non-existent image of perfection, but simply looking to maintain the status quo.  A view not always shared by my two best friends.

"I'm telling you, she's AMAZING!"  Gina gushed last week when Kelly and I came over to let Alex take care of the baby while we watched reruns of "Project Runway" help with baby Milo.

I snorted disdainfully.  "Amazing, huh?  As amazing as the facialist you recommended?  That crazy bitch took a belt sander to my face like she was freaking Bob Vila and I walked out of there looking like an extra from 'Apocalypse Now'."

"I love the smell of collagen in the morning,"  Kelly mused wistfully "it smells like. . .victory."

"Ooh!"  I squealed, bouncing in my seat, "speaking of collagen, did you see Lindsay Lohan on 'Letterman' the other night?  She looked like Steven Tyler after a slap-fight."

Kelly shook her head sadly.  "That poor child is about 50 shades of 'cray-cray'. The lips are just the tip of that crystal meth-berg."

"She didn't seem high,"  I reflected.  "She sounded drunk."

Alex looked up, interested for the first time in the tenor of our conversation.  "What's the difference?  How can you tell between a junkie and a drunk?"

Now, for those of you not in the know, Kelly and I first met in A.A. years ago.  She bravely stepped in as my sponsor when my original one, Nancy, suddenly passed away.*

*I miss you every day, Nance.  xoxo

"Oh, please."  Kelly drawled with a roll of her eyes.  "You can't bullshit a bullshitter.  Any true alcoholic can spot a drunk a mile away.  It's like some form of Stoli gay-dar."

"But what's the difference between an alcoholic and someone who just likes to have a few now and then?"  Alex asked, taking a sip of his Dos Equis.

"Well, day drinking is a pretty popular sign."  I noted with a pointed look, earning a ripost 'screw you' from Alex.

"But seriously," he persisted, "what it is it that makes you look at yourself and say 'Holy shit, I'm an alcoholic'?"

Kelly pondered for a moment.  "Oh, I don't know,"  she said thoughtfully.  "maybe when you register for your baby shower at the Liquor Barn?"

I sputtered into my coffee.  "Or when you're hired as a creative consultant for 'Leaving Las Vegas: Part II'?"

Kelly grinned at me evilly.  Oh, game on.  "When you start leaving empty beer cans under your pillow for the Liver Fairy?"

"When you call Charlie Sheen to be your designated driver?"

"When you have Charlie Sheen's phone number in the first place?"

Kelly and I collapsed into a fit of giggles while Alex rolled his eyes. "You drunk  bitches be crazy, yo."  he muttered, walking out of the room to check on Milo.

Gina heaved an exasperated sigh.  "Can we PLEASE return to the subject at hand?"  she pleaded.  "My eyebrow waxer; I'm telling you, the woman is an artist!"

"And by 'artist' I assume you mean she costs more than my student loan payment."  I snorted, digging in my purse and producing a small pink box.  "I just use these wax strips.  Three bucks at CVS, five minutes in the bathroom and 'voila!'  I got your genius right here.  BAM!"

Kelly critically appraised my brows.  "Hmm.  They look pretty good." she conceded.

"Let me try them out on you."  I offered, waving the box alluringly.  "I mean, to be honest, you've kinda got that Freida Kahlo thing going on, Honey.  And no one can rock that look."*

*Complete lie.  Kelly could be the bearded lady in the sideshow and she'd still look so much like Courteney Freakin' Cox that men would be falling at her feet.  Combined with Gina, who is a dead ringer for Lucy Lui, I often think that when we're together in public people view us as some live-action version of Darwin's 'Evolution of Man'. Guess which one of us is still ass-deep in the primordial ooze?  I win at life.

"I don't understand why women are so obsessed with their eyebrows." Alex noted, reentering the room with a sleepy Milo on his hip.  "Do you know what men notice about a woman's eyebrows? If you have two of them.  If so, we're good."

I shot Alex a withering glare and grabbed Kelly's hand.  "C'mon, Leonid Brezhnev.  Give me five minutes and I'll have you looking hotter than a napalm enema."

"Ohhhhhh, no."  Kelly stated firmly, pulling away from my grasp.  "The  last time you gave me one of your makeovers I looked like I was headed to a casting call for 'Toddlers & Tiaras'."

"Oh, suck it, Honey Boo-Boo,"  Gina hooted from the kitchen.  "Beauty is like a TriMet bus or an old-school vending machine: it DEMANDS change."

"You didn't see what she DID to me last time!"  Kelly retorted. "With the right 'Wow Wear' and a little Go-Go Juice I totally could have nabbed Ultimate Grand Supreme."

I sighed dramatically and flopped back down on the couch.  "Did I bitch this loudly when you drug me to your chiropractor?  Or your holistic aromatherapist?"  Kelly and Gina both smirked at me sarcastically.  "OK, maybe I did.  Whatev.  My point is, if I can sit there while some dipshit in a tie-dyed smock covers me in essential oils that smell like Jerry Garcia's old gym shorts, then the least you can do it let me rip out some of your facial hair."

Kelly threw up her hands in mock surrender.  "Fine.  I give up."

"Eeeeeee!"  I squealed a'la Cher Horowitz.  "Project!"*

*Yes, I'm a 42 year old woman who still quotes 'Clueless'.  Don't judge. . ."like I SO need lessons from you on how to be cool.  Tell me that part about Kenny G. again?"

A mere twenty minutes later we emerged from the bathroom.  Kelly, with eyebrows that would make Linda Evangelista weep; Gina, with burnished burgundy highlights, in her raven hair; and Alex, with a complete lack of awareness of either one of the aforementioned alterations.  But me?  I looked exactly the same.  

You see, while I still practice a daily regimen of maintenance and upkeep, I am no longer looking to become something I'm not.  Since my divorce I've really gotten to know my face and my body and the three of have developed an understanding.  As such, I disagree with my friend Gina (sorry, Geen); I don't think beauty requires change. . .quite the opposite, in fact.  I think the secret to true beauty can be found within the tenets of A.A.'s Serenity Prayer: making the most of what you've got, and accepting and loving the shit you can't change.*

*Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know...I'm paraphrasing.  But you get the general idea.

My body may not be the cultural ideal, but it's my imperfections that tell the story of my life.  My stomach is not a perfect six-pack, but that's because of the myriad times I've chosen to skip the gym to take my children out for ice cream instead.  The sunspots on my chest tell the tale of countless summer days driving with the convertible top down, sitting at a scorching early- season OSU football game cheering my Beavs onto another crushing defeat, and long, lazy afternoons fishing with my dad.  The scar on my leg? Cut it on a boulder when learning to rock-climb.  The one on my arm?  A remnant of the burn I incurred (ironically) at Dylan's annual BBQ last summer.  And my favorite scar. . .the one low on my abdomen?  A constant reminder of the day my twin boys entered the world.  My smile lines show that I am capable of compassion, the laugh lines around my eyes an indicator to all that I can find the humor in damned near anything, and the crease between my eyebrows shows that -- like everyone else in the world -- I've faced my fair share of demons, and come out swinging.  Every.  Damned.  Time.

Will I continue to take care of myself and make the most of my appearance?  Of course.  But I will never again do so as a form of punishment or self-hatred, but as a form of self-love and appreciation.

But if it also happens to get me laid, I'm not totally averse to that either.

Be kind to yourselves.


P.S.  You have no idea how happy your comments make me and I wish I could reply to them all.  But, when I am at work, I am an employee -- not a blogger.  And when I am at home, I belong to the short people, so most days I am unable to respond.  Please don't think I don't appreciate each and every one of you. . .because I truly, truly do.