Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Utter Nonsense

It's been like summer here for the past few days. We went from nasty to gorgeous in what seemed like a matter of minutes. Fine with me. I'll take hot, all day, everyday. Cold is stupid.

What does one do when one is faced with a summers day in April?
One idea is to get the illegal poultry you share quarters with and let them see the light of day.

This is a very normal thing for a very normal friend of mine to do. The funny thing is about the so called, "Crazy" person is that I have found over the last couple days that it seems that a lot times that slight insanity is mixed with genius. Because only a stone cold smartie could make this:

this is the most insanely cool chandelier. Yup, Kooky made it. All while caring for the Emu's she lives with, non schooling her wee ones and painting her entire house. I'm pretty sure her husband just sat there the whole time with his feet up, drinking beer watching football. Is football still on right now, or did the Stanley Cup already happen for the year? He's so lazy! He's a blog post all unto itself. I swear Tom couldn't be more of a meathead. I know he takes steroids. For real real.

When the hazy days of Sprimmer start to drag on, and all your light fixtures have been made and your walls have been painted and your window boas formed what would you do?
Here's an idea!
Chase the chickens.
Chase them good.
Make them jump up in glee!
They love it!
It's totally legal to tease chickens in the borough. I'm positive cause when Arlen was an elephant he had no opinion about chickens, their paths just didn't cross, but when he turned donkey he thought back to those days on the farm and said, "Do whatever you want! Chickens are related to roosters and they get up to early." Total sense to me...

Monday, April 27, 2009


Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

I'm going to tell you something. You might know this but either I didn't know or had never thought about it but do you know it's been 27 years since the show Cheers came on. Twenty-seven? Holy God, that's almost as long as my MUCH older brother Mark has been alive. Insert big smile. Seriously though. Over a quarter of a century.

Remember twenty seven years ago (some of you), things were so easy then. Young and dumb. Twenty seven years means a lot of us were in Junior high school or high school. What was there to worry about then? Some test? If you finished 'Catcher in the Rye'? If you had the matching striped shirt to go with your teal blue Forenza sweater?

What's my point? Why Cheers? Why the walk down memory lane? Here's the thing. I think we all spend a lot of time wrapped up in our own heads, in our own stuff. Of course we do. We are human beings. It is our lives. I spent a lot of today doing that. So wrapped up in myself. Tonight while driving a friend popped into my head who I hadn't heard from in a while. I had tried off and on to call her but I gave up after a while, I had a lot on my mind. So I tried again. After our conversation when she said, "Thank you so much, I feel like I don't have a friend in the world, you have no idea what this means to me." that Cheers song kept playing in my head. It was stuck there while I cleaned the kitchen, played on as I took out the trash, wouldn't go away even when I started writing this.

The only thing is about that little jingly song is sometimes it's just good enough when one person knows your name.
Remember that today maybe. We all know when someone starts flying below the radar. At least I think we do. Take a minute. Step back from yourself. It's so easy to honestly tell the people that are important to you that you love them, that you're there, that you care, that you would do anything you could. When it all comes down to it, isn't this what's important? Make a call. It might make a bigger difference than you could imagine.

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
- Anais Nin

"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out"
-Walter Winchell

"I get by with a little help from my friends."
- John Lennon

Friday, April 24, 2009

Prelude to Summer

This is teacher conference week. That means not much school. It was chilly yesterday but that didn't stop the girls from trying to get a tan. Cause you know, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

When I was younger though I didn't have a laptop to lie out with. It was called a transistor radio. Or a cassette player. Just details I guess. However, she did ask me for tin foil. Now there are no albums around my house so I am not sure how she was going to set this up as a sun reflector, I did say, "No." I know what would have happened, they would have tired of or forgotten about it and it would have ended up blowing around my backyard. Kids these days don't have the dedication we did back in the "olden days." There could have been an errant snow flake but if the sun was shining brightly in late April we would have been out on those uncomfortable plastic striped lawn chairs with Crisco oil and and tin foil covered album covers just sizzling away from 10 am until the bell rang and the sun moved around the house. They used a towel as a blanket yesterday! I need to spend more time parenting so I can show then how it's done. Thank God it's going to be in the 80's this weekend.

After their pseudo lie out session they decided to raid my closet to play what they called, "Dress like a hippie!"
"Will you take our picture Mom?"
"But of course."

I call this, "My Headband Makes Me A Hippie."

"Hippie With Killer Shoes."

The scariest and strangely most comforting part is they do fit in my shoes. But if they fit in them at 11, that means their feet will be to big in high school. Bummer. Not.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Show Me How Smart You Are

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies within us." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you ever get told in school that you weren't "working up to your potential?" Why do you think it is that some people are over achievers and some people just do what's needed?

Yesterday was conference day for my kids school. Marc went to one and I went to the other. My son specifically requested that Marc go to his. I was just fine with this because my daughters conference's have never been more than this through her entire 5th grade career.
"Saige is a model student and a pleasure to have in class." any random teacher says.
"Thank you." I reply.
"Do you have any questions?" teacher asks.
"Okay then, have a good day."
"Thanks for your time." I say as I shake there hand and mentally prepare for my sons.

His has traditionally gone a little differently.
"Chase is such a nice boy. Everyone loves him He always notices the littlest things." teacher says.
"Thank you." I say beaming.
"The only thing is he doesn't always hand in his homework. He likes to talk to his friends. His writing could be improved. He hurries through his work. I have him in a special reading group. Can you spend more time reading at home with him?"
"It is easier to walk over burning shards of glass, but okay."

The bottom line is, for some reason Saige has the over whelming innate need to accomplish. Chase, well, not so much.

Yesterday things went a little differently.
Saige's conference was fine, all her grades dropped a bit. She is extremely social and this has taken a front seat to school work. Her grades are still good, just not what they were. Her teacher actually said that this was the hardest marking period and that some things were more important that school work. That's what he said. Now I come from that school of thought too but also from someone who never "worked up to her potential (yet)." I want her to do more. Not in a crazy "stage mom" kind of way. In a "work hard and get a good job" way. I know she will. I'm not worried.

The big shocker was Chase's conference. Chase has consistently been bringing me home tests to sign that are all A's. He has been doing his reading. I've seen his math worksheets done. He has gotten quite a few "homework passes," in Science from work he has done all on his own. He does maintain that his teacher doesn't like him. I brush it off every time he says it. I have had enough conversations to believe she cares.

So yesterday Marc goes in there for the conference. Chase's report card had all A's and a couple B's. The teacher gives it a once over and then says to Marc, "Well, I really can't believe he did as well as he did." That doesn't sound all that nice.

I get glimpses everyday of what lies with in my children. I have complete certainty that they are going to be just fine, even when someone gives them a push in the wrong direction. It will just make them push back harder. So I think, Chase's teacher is doing him a favor. A nice smile and a compliment will only get you so far.
"Show me how smart you are." My favorite expression of all time. Right Asude?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Do you know that 1500 farmers in India committed mass suicide due to crop failure last week? Mass Suicide. 1500 people who are not living anymore, with 1500 families and countless friends who's lives will never be the same.

During the Great Depression in our country the suicide rate went from 14 to 17 per 100,000. This was 1500 human beings at one time. It is just staggering to me. I think about the complaints we have here. I know it's all relative but come on. These are people just like you and me. Oh, except for the fact they probably don't have laptops or nice cars or go out to dinner to much, they probably aren't spending Spring Break in the Caribbean but besides that they all had families and dreams and hopes and blood coursing through their veins. They loved like we love and prayed like we pray and now they're gone. They were in debt. I don't know if it was a political statement or the only way they saw out. It's not even a new thing for them. It has been going on for over a decade. But 1500 at once? God.

It's not just India, suicide due to drought and wildfires and how they effect farming are prevalent in Australia too. It's global warming my friends. The weather changes things. We know that. Here it's raining, we miss a baseball game. In Australia the estimation is every four days a farmer commits suicide. I am not diminishing any one's troubles. They are all real and hard and trying but good Lord I think we all know we'll get through this. It might look a little different but we'll come out the other side. Not there, not in India. For them things will never look the same.

I was out the other night and someone was talking about how they didn't recycle. They didn't recycle or try to conserve or reuse or do anything remotely environmentally conscious because they said they lived in a house with heat, they drove a car with gas, they knew they were wasteful and just didn't see the point. I think I just stared like an idiot with my mouth hanging open because I couldn't believe it.
After a minute I thought to myself, "What the hell am I doing?" I recycle, but my kids walk out of the room and leave the tv on. I use the plastic bags at the grocery store. I make a lot of environmental mistakes. I'm just as bad as he is. Or almost. I care. I want the best for my kids and their kids but I don't do enough. I think Earth day should be like Lent. Although instead of giving up something you should have to do something good. Be a do gooder. Get all high and mighty with people who aren't. Not in a reformed smoker kind of way, but have an edge for the environment.
It all counts. Every little bit. You might not be able to save the Earth single handily but don't do nothing, that's so lame. :)

For Kathy SSSSSSS . Love you.

They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot

They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
No, no, no, don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parkin' lot

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT
I don't care about spots on my apples,
Leave me the birds and the bees - please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
Hey now, they've paved paradise to put up a parking lot
Why not?

Listen, late last night, I heard the screen door swing,
And a big yellow taxi took my girl away
Now don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
Hey now now, don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise to put up a parking lot
Why not, they paved paradise
They put up a parking lot
Hey hey hey, paved paradise and put up a parking lot

I don't wanna give it
Why you wanna give it
Why you wanna givin it all away
Hey, hey, hey
Now you wanna give it
I should wanna give it
Cuz you're givin it all away, no no

I don't wanna give it
Why you wanna give it
Why you wanna givin it all away
Cuz you're givin it all givin it all away yeah yeah
Cuz You're givin it all away hey, hey, hey

Hey, paved paradise, to put up a parking lot
la,la, la, la, la, la, la ,la ,la ,la ,la
Paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hey Foxy Lady

So yesterday I'm talking to a friend who says, "What are you doing tomorrow?
Without a thought in my head I say, "Well a bunch of stuff but in the afternoon Ashley is going to come over and we are going to lie out."
They started laughing.
I'm all, "What? What's so funny?"
"That just sounds so 70's"
Really? Does it?
It started me thinking about the 70's. I was born in 1969 so I "grew up" in the 70's. Back in the day of no cell phones, no laptops, or computers period, no IPods, no txt messages, IM's, Facebook. Back when we left in the morning during Summer and no one heard from us until night. I walked to the bus by myself. I never looked at my parents for something to do. I didn't txt my Dad from the bus and tell him my brother was getting on my nerves. (Which by the way, Saige did. My Dad would not have liked that one little bit in the middle of his work day). It does seem like a whole other universe.
These are some of the great things that DID come out of the 70's. The "befores" of all our stuff now.
1. Cassette Tapes- remember these. I used to set them up by my clock radio to record music. I never needed and Itunes gift cards for that.
2. The good old sun tan lotion that turned your skin orange.
3. Helen Reddy- "I AM Woman!"
4. Hawii Five -0.
5. Good old platform shoes.
6. Farrah Fawcett in her pretty red suit, Let us not forget the "car phone" with the curly cord that the angels had.
7. Mash- Who didn't love Hawk Eye and Radar. It was like the 70's version of Seinfeld.
8. "Sit on it" My brother was Fonzie one year for Halloween and he rode his yellow banana bike to school.
9. "Go Ask Alice." when she's just this small.... The movie, the book, the song.
10. Judy Blume and "Are You There God It's Me Margaret."

Okay, I could go on and on but I gotta go get those kids up. I loved the 70's with it's Tiger Beat and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Outsiders, Marcus Welby and guess what? The first Earth Day was in the April 22 1970.

Our "Laying Out" Playlist...
Morning Has Broken
Hot Child In the City
You're So Vain
Daydream Believer
Never Rains In Southern California
Blinded By the Light
Seasons In the Sun
Afternoon Delight
Witchy Woman
Evil Woman
Magic Man
Sister Golden Hair
Crazy Horse
Smokin' In the Boys Room
My Eyes Adored You
Spill That Wine
We Are Family
The Cover of the "Rolling Stone"
Have You Never Been Mellow
Hot Blooded
Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough
Carefree Highway
Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me
Dancing In the Moonlight
Looks Like We Made It
Just A Song Before I Go...

Thursday, April 16, 2009


The sun is shining. It feels like it's been raining forever. I guess it wasn't that awful of a winter weather wise. We didn't have ice storms. There weren't that many big snowfalls. Well, that I can remember. Winter is always like giving birth to me. I know it hurt. there were pain killers involved, but I can't really remember the details. I do know, it's not something I have any interest in doing again. Just like giving birth!!

The only difference is with that whole giving birth thing I got two amazing kids out of it. What came out of winter? Hmm... let's see, my skin is not only dry but full of hives. I don't think this is winter's fault but I'm going to say it is cause I'm like that. My garage is a mess cause it has been to cold to clean it. My electric bill is astronomical and oh yes, let us not forget the backyard where Lucy and Mickey go... Finger to nose. Nuff said. Hey Jen, if you're still out there, that was for you.

My friend moved here from South Carolina and she has been complaining about the weather since she got here. I found myself defending it because I just wanted her to shut up. (I love you Ashie). I know it sucks, we all know it sucks. I must have said a thousand times, "It will be over soon." I have said before and I'll say it again. I'm not sure why I live here. Love my family, love my friends but I can make friends anywhere. I'm just kidding. Well, I could make friends, but I'd miss mine. Although they could visit. I'd buy a futon. I'd stock the fridge with mojito mix, I'd always have extra hummus on hand.

We'd save so much money. We only need flip flops, less paid for activities, more outside on the beach. People smile more in warm weather, we'd have to be careful of that cause botox is expensive, but besides that I just don't see a down side. Are you with me?

No complaining today cause the reclusive Sun has made an appearance. Now it's going to shine down on that almost neon green grass and put a little smile on everyone's face. It's going to be 70 today. I'm going be very busy worshipping. My God has come to earth. Lucky me. Sue, can you believe it?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Flocking Together

Do birds of a feather flock together? Some. Just like people. I think lots of times people do, although not always. Just like birds. I'll tell you soon who doesn't flock together. I'm going to be like Asude today and teach you something. My little lesson doesn't have anything to do with politics but it is a little piece of knowledge you can stick in your back pocket for the next time you play Balderdash. That's what life's all about right? Making up fake meanings of words and trying to get your friends to choose them? Okay maybe not, but it's fun.

So I was thinking about this whole bird/flocking thing on Friday when I introduced two of my friends who had never met. Two friends who I adore. Two friends that I hang with a lot. They are also both straight up whack. They know this. It's not a secret. Lovely, funny, generous, beautiful, kind women who both have their own special brand of crazy. The stories I could tell... but that's neither here nor there.

The point is they were like magnets to each other although polar opposites. My one hippy friend who wears flip flops and jeans, no make up and a big plastic ring was mesmorized by my Manolo Blahnik friend with a Chloe bag full of make up that she applied constantly durning the night at any moment of downtime and a big chunky Chanel watch. So these birds aren't really of the same feather, or are they? What constitutes being of the same feather? Your social status? Your wealth? Your looks? Your hobbies? Your jobs? Your meds? What?

My hippy friend said to me after being delighted by my fancy friend, "Amy, all your friends are crazy. You collect them to make yourself appear more normal." So I took a mental inventory of my friends and decided that you were the only normal one. Just you. And by you I'm talking to my laptop.

At that moment Fancy friend pulled out an array of Chanel lipglosses and examined each one closely apparently deciding which to apply over her already shiney lips. Then she took her cute little hat and put it on, looked in the mirror, took it off, looked in the mirror, on, off, on, off, "Should I wear this?" she asked us.
Hippy friend said, "I just want to shrink her and carry her around in my pocket." YES!

Todays information: Woodpeckers do not travel in flocks. They do however hang with their family until the kids are grown and the kids look a lot like Mom and Dad so you might think it's a flock. It's not though, it's a family. Which is probably a good thing, who wants a whole flock of woodpeckers hanging around? That can't be good.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Joke and Some Blackmail

Someone posted this on another site and it made me laugh.

Girlfriend Booby Traps Bedroom Floor - Watch more Funny Videos

And then there is the blackmail. It went something like this...
"Did you read my blog post about Jesus?" I asked through a txt.
"No. I'm boycotting your blog until you post the link I sent you." txted my loving brother.

Please Vote. I'm not allowed to say which photograph is his, but it's on there.

Any Given Day Part Deux

"Want to go down to Philadelphia with me to look for fabric tomorrow?"

Act 1:
Driving down 202 and pass a very dear friend driving, on her cell phone, kinda swerving around. Wave to her like a crazy person. She sees us.
Cell phone rings. "Hello darling girl," the voice of the questionable driver says, "Happy Good Friday to you, the day of our Lord and Saviour."
"Um, to you too." I reply.
After a little more conversation. We hang up.
"So, what's Good Friday famous for?" I ask my friend, Crazy.
"It's the day US Air killed Jesus."
"Yes," Crazy continues. "It was US Air and then he came out the cave on Easter."
I txt another friend with this question.
The first response I get says US Air had nothing to do with it. They were getting a bad rap.
Crazy says, "Misinformation Amy, try again."
I re ask.
"Yes, she's right I do think it was some righteous pilot."
Phew, that's settled.

Act 2:
We don't have a lot of time but we still want to go to Material Culture.
"We need to hurry, but we have to go in this grocery store and use the bathroom." Crazy says.
We go in and go to the back to where the restroom is. It's locked. There is a sign that says you need a key. Crazy goes and asks for the key. The counter girl says there is someone in there. We sit down and wait. It's taking quite a while. Crazy says, "I don't think there's anyone in there. I'm going to go knock."
"You get all over your bad self," I say.
Knock Knock Knock
(Very gruff old man's voice) "Yeah, hold on."
Crazy looks at me. I look at her. "Not so much."
"We don't need to be anywhere near that bathroom when he's done," she says.
We hightail it outta there.

Act 3:
Using the restroom in Starbucks. I let Crazy go first cause she's all jumpy and twitchy.
I come out she is at the counter buying some sort of dead bird sandwich and some tea. She asks for honey.
"How much do you want?" asks the Starbucks guy.
"How much do I want or how much is appropriate?" Crazy replies.
"Just pour the whole bear in there?" Starbucks guy says.
Tears streams down my face as we walk out the door.

Final Act:
(Just so you know we are in the middle of redecorating her entire house) I am trying to stay on point. One area at a time. She has a million ideas for the whole thing constantly. There is a lot of reeling in on my part. There is stripping of paint, plastering, priming, painting, curtains to make, chandelier projects, in fact projects everywhere you look AND an entire house to decorate. Don't even get me started on the four live chickens in their downstairs bathroom. That's a whole other blog post. (All their stuff had to get thrown out cause of a series of unfortunate events, the first one being lead paint). Let's call her Lemony.
So we are working on the foyer.
As we drive home in bumper to bumper traffic she looks at me and says, "I don't know if this is to ambitious an idea, what with all the other projects I have going."
I try not to roll my eyes, "Tell me," I say, if for no other reason than to blog about it.
"Well, I was thinking of doing aura paintings for over the (haunted) fireplace of Juno and Dozer (her dogs that have gone to the other side).
"Wait! Don't say anything else til I find a pen and paper."
Aura paintings of her dead dogs. YES! YES! YES!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Keeps Getting Smaller

The world, right? It seems so big when you look at maps, or the globe or read history books. But when you sit down at your computer everything just keeps shrinking. You can have friends from all over the world. Friends that you didn't meet when you were a student abroad, not friends that you met on Holiday. Friends that you've probably never seen. Honestly though, some of them seem like I've known them for long periods of time. It's so weird, right?

Not only new friends that you "hang" with. Old old friends. Some that perhaps you kind of forgot they ever even existed. Until they "friended" you on facebook that is. Or until you "friended" them after you saw them on someone else's friend list. It's so crazy. People just come out of the woodwork.

And the best part is the friends that you have always stayed connected to but live far away. When we were kids it would have been a phone call every few months or so, or an actual letter. This is crazy, stay with me, but when I was I kid I got out my Hello Kitty stationary and wrote stuff down with a writing implement. It's so weird. I can't even imagine it now. I have a whole box of letters from summer friends and summer camp and summer boyfriends from 9th grade on professing their undying love that were hand written. The only proof of them sits in my basement. Not on the internet for anyone to hack into. What was my point? Oh yes, so I can correspond with my best friend who lives across the ocean and through the woods and with a 7 hour time difference every single day. I know exactly what is going on in her life at all times. Probably better than I know what my friends around here are doing. Because of the internet.

So last night my world got a little bit smaller again. I got to meet IRL (that's In Real Life for those of you who don't know :)) some of my internet friends. All photographers. I just got lucky enough to stumble upon their path cause of one of my bestest college friends, photographer extraordinaire Jami. I started on Flickr to keep in touch with her and our own personal President, Kathy. Then I "met" some others who I just loved. We all met last night in my town and hung out. It was so much fun. There were accents and jokes and some fabulous hosting abilities by the most insanely awesome Ralph. If it wasn't for those pesky predators and my eleven year old IM-ing into all hours of the night (which I stopped) I would totally love the internet. Now I just kind of love it cause of those little details.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Q & A

I have a question and an answer for you today. Now the question is not a riddle like it might sound. It is a valid question that I need an answer to.
What is it called when a gay man has a crush on a woman?
A full blown, act like a school boy, perma grin crush? I witnessed this first hand last night when I was out with my brother. It was so cute. She is a bartender in a restaurant he likes to hang at in Chelsea. He was so excited to go in and see if she was there. When we were on the sidewalk he saw she was behind the bar and I swear to God I watched him go from a grown man to a 13 year old kid in a matter of seconds. I'm going to tell you what, she was super cool, if I was a gay guy I'd probably have a crush on her too. For real. We hit it right off, we chatted and talked and talked, we had one more cocktail than expected. We talked yoga and the laws of attraction, facebook, life, you name it we touched on it. At one point my brother said, " Amy, I'm about to go all Tonya Harding on your ass if you don't shut up." Whoops.
Food for thought.

The answer.
What do you do when you are out in public with your kids and they start to fight?
You bark like a dog. This comes directly from Marc. He called me today and told me he figured it out. Saige and Chase are 15 months apart. They have a tendency to bicker. He said though, if they start to do this you simply start barking at them. They get so embarrassed that they shut up right away. If you are in the car and they start to fight you just roll down the window and bark at the driver next to you. After a while all you have to do is growl at them and they straighten up in seconds. I'm sorry, I think this is genius. There is no begging, no threats, no tears of despair. Just act like a dog. Kids are so quickly humiliated. Brilliant. You can thank him.