Category Archives for "Miscellaneous"

Weekend regurgitation: Apparently, parallel parking is a necessary evil. Kind of like Spanx, except not as sweaty.

Earlier this week, I took Zoe to a new salon in the village for a hair and makeup consultation because prom is next week and between the dress, shoes, alterations, pedicure, manicure, jewelry, ticket and limo, we haven’t spent enough money. All that hollering and squalling Zoe was doing the moment she was sprung from the womb? That was newborn for PROM IS ONLY 6,235 DAYS AWAY, GUYS! JUST A HEADS UP! ALSO? CAN SOMEONE CUT THIS CORD OFF ME? BECAUSE, EWW.

By the way, who watched the prom episode of Parenthood last month? Afterward, who briefly considered locking her daughter in the basement until she turns forty? Or, at the very least, discreetly stitching a nuclear chastity belt into the seam of her dress?

I knew not knowing how to sew was going to bite me in the ass one day. Right now, my seamstress mother is yelling I TOLD YOU DUCT TAPE ISN’T THE BEES KNEES, DEAR. And my dad is yelling WE’RE HAVING DUCK AND BEES FOR DINNER? WHY?

The salon was on Main Street and for only the third time in my life, I was forced to parallel park, the first being my driver’s test twenty-eight years ago and the second being last year, which is the subject of the post I leave you with.

Happy Sunday, everyone!



In my defense, the curb was only three inches high. It’s not like we needed a parachute or anything.

(originally published May, 2010)


Last night, we arrived at Helena’s softball practice to find that the only available parking spot was located alongside the curb, between two parked cars.

After I executed a somewhat questionable 17¾ point turn, I made an executive decision, one that I think we can all agree with …





I should not be the one to teach Zoe how to parallel park.




They are as deadly as they are opposable and they should probably be registered as lethal weapons

My thumbs are one of a kind. Well, two of a kind since I have a pair of them.

One? Two? Not that it matters within the context of this post but this is the kind of stuff that will keep me up at night. I still have trouble falling asleep for wondering why the plural of goose is geese but the plural of moose is moose.

Not only are my thumbs rendered useless whenever I laugh, losing anything remotely resembling a fine motor skill, but they also have an uncanny ability to spontaneously turn black and rot off whenever they get too close to a plant or a flower or any kind of vegetation, really.

They are the antithesis of those green thumbs you’re always hearing about.

I am a horticultural death wish, if you will, because of my thumbs. When it comes to the plant kingdom, I can single-handedly change the circle of life into a schizophrenic trapezoid simply by walking past a tulip.

For the good of all living things, I stay far far from nature, preferring instead to view it from the safety and comfort of a climate controlled environment such as my living room. That way, nature is protected from me and I from it. As well as from all the squishy bugs, worms and creepy crawly disgustings that come along with it.

Jebeers, why must the outdoors be so gross?

Nate, on the other hand, is an avid gardener. He loves to get messy and grimy and sweaty, even when there is no sex involved. To his credit, he does do his best to involve me by occasionally asking me for my input as to where stuff should be planted and I will use enthusiastic jazz hands to mime through the bay window directions such as “To the left” and “A little more” and “Go up a bit” and “Sorry, I meant down a bit” and “Stop getting huffy with me” and “No, you are not #1, I am simply flipping you the bird” and “I know you are, but what am I?” and “Perfect! now turn it at a 45 degree angle” and finally “WHERE THE HELL IS THAT PROTRACTOR I GAVE YOU FOR CHRISTMAS?”

In my defense, I do my part by running out there every so often and risking a botanical holocaust just so I can wave my arms around in a frenzy and fling my blackened, decaying thumbs off my hands into the soil for some cheap compost. I do this, even though it means that for days afterward, at least until they regenerate, I have no thumbs with which to text and have to resort to using my toes to communicate online. So if you occasionally see a few MMM MMMMMMM MM M MMMMM MMM status updates from me on Facebook, it’s all because I was helping Nate with the landscaping. That, and because keyboards and cell phones, especially those with touchscreens, are really hard to type on with stubby toes.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because this tree lives in my parents’ front yard.

It’s a Japanese Pagoda tree and it is gorgeous.

It’s the only one in their neighborhood.

It has hundreds of long, graceful branches that are adorned with hundreds of thousands of delicate white blooms.

It’s simply stunning.

Even a gardening ignoramus like me can appreciate its beauty.

Despite living in a moderate southern climate, this tree has weathered some pretty brutal weather and has withstood snow and ice and last month’s torrential storms and tornadoes.

It’s resilient.

But it hadn’t yet met my thumbs and my mom wasn’t going to take any chances. This was a woman who had already experienced the horror of coming *this* close to losing a beloved Japanese Maple at our first house because Dad drove over it with the lawn mower on two separate and distinct occasions known as June 3, 1982 and August YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOUR CRAZY FATHER JUST DID, JEEEEE-SUS CH-RRRRRRR-IST, I NEED TO SIT DOWN, GOD.DAMN.IT, 1988.

And, if our common willingness to spend forty-five hours finding $.03 so that a checkbook will balance is any indication, I am my father’s daughter. But instead of a John Deere, I have my thumbs.

So she glued my thumbs into my armpits, called a priest over to perform an exorcism and then made me wear a hazmat suit before she’d let me into her front yard, let alone anywhere near the pagoda tree.

I’m happy to report that both the tree and my thumbs, as well as all surrounding vegetation, survived the ordeal.

I now want a pagoda tree in our front yard and I will take all necessary precautions to make it happen.

Which means I may never venture outside of my house again.



Out of the mouths of babes

I’m down in North Carolina visiting my parents and I’ve been spending some time at my father’s desk. Remember my father’s desk? I’ve been opening up drawers and flipping through papers and generally just being a nosy busy body because every one else is watching TV and ignoring me. By the way, Mom and Dad are watching TV and the volume is so high, I think I could take a chain saw to this desk, transform it into a boat, haul it into the bathtub and play Titanic and no one would even notice.

I kind of feel like I did when I was ten and I rifled through my dad’s desk on one of the many days he wasn’t home as he traveled quite often for work. I was probably hunting for some sort of evidence that he had a second family, possibly somewhere in Canada. Why else did he always have a lot of Canadian change on him? I mean, we only crossed the border to visit MarineLand and ride Maid of the Mist once that I could remember. What was up with all those weird looking quarters? I envisioned him spending half the week at his job at home and the other half trekking into great white north country and I assumed he did that because Mom tended to yell a lot. And he liked Canadian bacon. I often wondered if I could get across the border with my bike and have him take me to lunch with my half brothers and sisters.

Turns out, my dad didn’t have a second family. When you lived an hour from the border in the seventies with an exchange rate that was actually worthwhile, you often accumulated a lot of Canadian change. So, as it turned out, I was just a nervous, high strung kid.

I won’t bother asking if any of you are shocked by that revelation.

Anyway, I’ve found an email that Dad printed almost four years ago and I wanted to share it with you because it’s adorable. It’s one of those joke emails that winds up going viral and lands in everyone’s inbox except mine. Why? Because I’m the last one to ever find out about anything. If you check me out on Google Earth, you’ll see that as of the moment, I’m about 7,844 light years due west of the loop. Check back in an hour and you’ll see that they moved the loop a few galaxies to the south, just to screw with me.

I’m not sure who “they” are, but they’re out there and they know exactly who I’m talking about.

Turns out, that nervous, high strung kid grew up to be a nervous, high strung and slightly paranoid adult.

I won’t bother asking if any of you are shocked by that revelation either.




How do you decide whom to marry?

You’ve got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports and she should keep the chips coming. – Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with. – Kristen, age 10

You flip a nickel and heads means you stay with him and tails means you try the next one. – Kelly, age 8

My mother says you look for a man who is kind … that’s what I’ll do … look for a man who is kinda tall and handsome – Carolyn, age 8

How would the world be different if people didn’t get married?

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain. – Kevin, age 8


What is the right age to get married?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. – Camille, age 10

Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife. – Bert, age 5

What is marriage?

Marriage is when you get to keep your girl and don’t have to give her back to her parents. – Eric, age 6

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.  – Derrick, age 8

How did your mom and dad meet?

They were at a dance party at a friend’s house. Then they went for a drive but their car broke down. It was a good thing because it gave them a chance to find out about their values. – Lottie, age 9

My father was doing some strange chores for my mother. They won’t tell me what kind. – Jeremy, age 8

What do most people do on a date?

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. – Lynnette, age 8

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go on a second date. – Martin, age 10

Many daters just eat port chops and french fries and talk about love. – Craig, age 9

What would you do on a first date that was turning sour?

I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make they they wrote about me in all the dead columns. – Craig, age 9


When is it okay to kiss someone?

Never kiss in front of other people. It’s a big embarrassing thing if anyone sees you. If nobody sees you, I might be willing to try it with a handsome boy but just for a few hours. – Kally, age 9

When they’re rich. – Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen so I wouldn’t want to mess with that. – Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do. – Howard, age 8

You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a ring and her own VCR ’cause she’ll want to have videos of the wedding. – Allen, age 10

Is it better to be single or married?

It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. – Anita, age 9

I don’t know which is better but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m never going to have sex with my wife. I don’t want to be all grossed out. – Theodore, age 8

You should ask the people who read Cosmopolitan. – Kirsten, age 10

It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble. – Will, age 7


How does love happen between two people?

I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be so painful. – Manuel, age 8


What is falling in love like?

Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life. – John, age 9

If falling in love is anything like learning to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long. – Glenn, age 7

How do you make someone fall in love with you?

One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me. – Bart, age 9

Is love important?

Love is the most important thing in the world but baseball is pretty good too. – Greg, age 8

I’m in favor of love as long as it doesn’t happen when “Dinosaurs” is on television. – Jill, age 6

I’m not rushing into being in love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough. – Regina, age 10

Why do lovers often hold hands?

They want to make sure their rings don’t fall off because they paid good money for them. – Gavin, age 8


How would you make a marriage work?

Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck hit her. – Ricky, age 10



A few shout outs

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know I’m a big supporter of indie artists and small business owners.

Just to clarify, I’m talking about owners of small businesses, not business owners who happen to be small, although I’m fans of theirs as well.

I’m a fan of all shapes and sizes!

Just to clarify, *I* am not all shapes and sizes. Just a fan of them.

Why must the written word be so confusing? Maybe blogs should be spoken instead of written? They could be called slogs instead of blogs!

Who do I see about making that happen?

In the meantime, I wanted to give a shout out to two different small businesses because in this world of WalMarts and Targets and Kohls, it’s often very difficult for the little guy to get a piece of the action.

The world would be a much nicer, more relaxed place if everybody got a little action every now and then, don’t you think? That’s what my husband says, anyway.

First up is Liz Nonnemacher. Remember Liz? I interviewed her last year and compared her to a flatulent boat before that. She owns Wickedly Chic, the one-stop online shop for indie goods. If you are an independent artist who needs exposure or some savvy marketing, or you’re shopping for something different, something that everyone and their neighbor’s mother-in-law doesn’t already own, check out Liz’s site. Just so you know, in her spare time, she dresses up her dog in scarves and posts about it on Facebook and dispenses really good, free advice. Recently, she told me that I was awesome and should never drink from someone else’s nipples. You know how much a therapist would have charged me for that little nugget?

Right now, Liz is hosting her 4th Annual Wickedly Chic Spring Fling. Go check out all the artists and businesses she’s featuring. There’s jewelry and makeup and hair products and clothing and more. Tell her I sent you. And then tell her I said to stop putting clothes on dogs because only weird people do that. And then tell her that I’m perfectly aware that we’ve got an extra-small Buffalo Bills jersey with four leg holes floating somewhere around this house and the fact that my husband paid $25 for it, to the glee of both my kids who are old enough to know better, pretty much makes my case for me.


Next up is Claire Gutschow. Claire was born in South Africa and now lives in California and has a forty year old cousin who runs around naked while camping which is neither here (thank God) nor there (now *you* thank God) but I always find it helpful to share with my readers a little trivia about any business or artist I might feature.

Claire used to work in a top international skin care company back in the day and now? She’s running her own skin care line called Fei’d (pronounced “fade” for those of you who were wondering how to pronounce it and thinking there are entirely too many apostrophes in this world.) This skin care line is a cross between Chinese medicine and western science and is specifically formulated for uneven skin tone, dark marks and pigmentation. In other words, WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? <—- so screams all the skin residing between my scalp and my toes.

One of the aspects I like best about Claire’s work is her philosophy of giving back … money that she could be spending on big, expensive ad campaigns for Fei’d is instead being directed to help promote education and educational support through children’s organizations in third world countries.

You can have pretty skin and help out a child in need which is like a win/win with extra hot fudge and a big ass spoon.

I’d get out my soapbox but it’s hiding somewhere on the couch along with my initiative and ambition this morning so instead, I’ll just simply remind you to please support independent artists and small business owners! It’s good karma and karma is like peanut butter … it’s best when spread thick and all over the place.

Only the smooth kind of karma though! Crunchy karma is kind of gross.