Sunday, April 28, 2013


So at 6:30 in the morning the other day, I was walking to my car in the Safeway parking lot. (Hush, people. There's a Starbucks inside. I was not grocery shopping at 6:30 am.) Next to my car was a black Mercedes. With this inside:

What is that? Why, it is a veritable bouquet of Black Ice air fresheners, of course! And!
Here is another! In the same car!!!

I had previously thought black ice caused accidents, but now I know: It smells good, too! So this person who owns this car has decided that whatever unpleasant smell was in there would be solved by approximately 26 cardboard air fresheners. And what is this "Black Ice"? A macho air freshener? Is it racial? Or does it have something to do with S & M? Drugs? I am so out of touch. Srsly.

Anyway, speaking of grocery shopping, I went to Whole Foods the other day, and I took Ari. I forget where B was, but I was feeling brave. I for some reason decided that going to Whole Foods in the middle of a Saturday afternoon with a five year old and buying anywhere near the correct groceries was a plausible thing to do. Fool. I wasn't even in the store yet when it all started to fall apart. First, Ari tried to get out of holding my hand in the parking lot. To understand the severity of the danger here, all you have to do is go to Whole Foods when it's busy. You take your life in your hands just getting out of the car. And then there is the body slam you have to endure for guacamole.

Now, I know all of you people think I'm fat because of that picture from my last post (which I heroically shared for the good of humanity, putting my own personal vanity aside). However! I'm actually pretty waifish. 5'3" and 111 soaking wet. I used to think I was 5'4", but my friend Casey, who claims she's 5'3" but is somehow taller than I am, disabused me of that notion. (Actually Casey is more of a house-guest than a friend, but that's another story, for another day.) One day she and her husband came over with a tape measure just to prove me wrong. They took such liberties! They measured me! Against a wall! Oh, sure, there was some thinly veiled excuse about "finding" my "genotype" or some other nonsense party game, but we all know Casey just wanted me to admit I'm short.

The point is I am little, so the guacamole body slam hurts. And I know this may shock some of you because Whole Foods makes damn good guacamole, but some days I am not even sure it is worth it. Some days I want to give up guacamole altogether, and some days I DON'T EVEN WANT TO GO TO WHOLE FOODS AT ALL, and I toy with the idea of going to (hold your breath) Walmart instead. I know this makes me un-American, but the Whole Foods crowd is ghastly and vicious. I want to be as far away from them as possible. And what better place than Walmart? This is what I was thinking as Ari lunged towards a speeding 18-wheeler in the parking lot, and 17 slow-moving, upper-crustich hippies dawdled and stood in our way, dooming us to certain death. Somehow we escaped, with many of the dirty rich people glaring at us for interrupting their very important Standing In The Way Of Things.

As we entered produce, I got a text from B which read, mysteriously, "cashew cookie." I brightened at this, deciding it was a new endearment and that she was happy with me for supervising our progeny and doing our shopping. I quite liked it. Silly and cute--edible, and with alliteration! I was all grinning and blushing when I received a second text. "Carrot cake." Then a third. "Apple pie." By then even I knew that these were not endearments, but Lara bar flavors. Sigh. Nothing good ever comes out of a trip to Whole Foods.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mom Jeans

Ok, so. I am blogging with the Blogger iPhone app. We will see how this goes. Reviews are mixed. See below--though actually I don't know where the pic will end up. Scroll around if you can't find it. It's gotta be here somewhere. LauraMB42 down there seems pretty damn riled up, even to the point of accidental rhyming. And we all know it takes a lot to go there.

Recently I've started buying $200 jeans. Well, I get them at Nordstrom Rack (teacher!), but they're still $95ish. "Why??" you may ask. Because! I would do anything to avoid wearing mom jeans.

An. Y. Thing.

I'd pay a thousand dollars. I'd leap into a vat of shit. I'd shoot heroin with a dirty needle. I'd endure Ari's newborn stage all over again. You get the idea. And I think (because this is so logical) that the jeans manufacturers are regulated somehow by some fashion industry body, like the FDA, but for clothes. I have decided this, and I have further decided that one of this mysterious body's regulations is that nobody can charge exorbitant amounts of money for mom jeans. Ergo, my jeans ain't mom jeans. Of course they also don't look like mom jeans. See below (or wherever). If they do, please Jesus somebody tell me. This shit is crucial. It is so important that I have posted a picture of me in my non-mom jeans, just so you will know what to look for, even though I think it makes me look fat. It is that critical, people.

If I ever get caught in mom jeans, you are to immediately contact Mara, my very close friend, at. . . Ok, I'm not really going to give her cell out on my blog. Look her up. Figure it out. You people are smart, right? You're here aren't you?

Mara will know what to do. And what to do is call the police. (Have you noticed yet that for a queer liberal, I'm pretty eager to get close to the po po? What is that about? I do not know.) Anyway. She will stage an intervention and get me a new shrink, since the one I have is obvs not doing anything for me, not having been able to prevent my downward spiral into mom-jean-wearing, completely bananas lunacy. She will come to my house and rip them off of me, by force of necessary, and she will save me. I know this because fashion and I are both very important to her. She will do whatever it takes. So call her. You know when.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

True Story

Lately Ari has begun to say cute little phrases. I forget what you call them. Idioms? Anyway, the first one he said was "I'll take that as a yes." I was sitting in a chair, as I get to do for approximately five minutes every two years. He was playing with something, and I wasn't paying attention to him. He said, "Raise your hand if you wanna watch a magic show!" Since we were alone with the cat, I think he meant me. I was too tired to raise my hand, and I didn't really want to see a magic show. So I just sat there, hoping he'd move on. Instead he looked at me and said, "I'll take that as a yes." Then he did his show.

It's funny how the 4-5 year-old set loves to arrange things via hand raising. Ari is forever wanting me to raise my hand. No matter if I am driving or carrying a pot of boiling water (or him). "Raise your hand if you want a cookie!" And here I am stuck because, like any sane human, I always want a cookie.

They want you to raise your hand for everything. Raise your hand if you're Irish. Raise your hand if you have to go potty. Raise your hand if you want to play Candy-land for the 7,000th time. (Ugh.) Times like that I wish I didn't have hands. Also would be nice because then I couldn't do as many chores and could finally get some sleep.

The other thing Ari says is "true story." The other day he told me "Mommy, dinosaurs went extinct because volcanoes erupted all over the world, and the dinosaurs got burned to death." "Oh, yeah?" I said. "True story," said Ari. Because he knows this.

This has nothing to do with my topic, of course, which is neighborhood list servs. So, we will call it An Unrelated Introduction. Rebel English teacher --> me. B is on the listserv for our neighborhood, even though we don't own our home. (Do not start, people. I never wanna have to fix shit. Even if I rent forever.) Like any neighborhood list serv, ours is full of lunatics. They write to complain that the blade of grass on the corner of Ding Dong Street and Dumb Ass Avenue (made up names) is one millimeter longer than the allowable Grass Blade Length Limit passed in 1946 by the homeowner's association. Then! Here is the fun part: twenty-six thousand people immediately respond to argue about whose fault it is. This happens very quickly. Faster than a refresh. Faster than a speeding bullet. Seriously, if we could harness the speed of bitchy posts on a neighborhood list serv we could go to Saturn and back in seven seconds.

So Petunia Snarkle-Nutjob (made up name) and Thomas Freak (made up name) get into it over the blade of grass, and for some reason everyone on the list serv goes absolutely bonkers. They all choose a side and go googling for data to back it up. They usually bring some numbers into it, sometimes charts and graphs and ancient historical documents. There is talk of hiring an expert on grass blade height control, and more talk about getting a mediator. There is a massive amount of brain power from people who seem dumb as stumps used to argue over this. They can talk Grass Blade like geniuses. It is a serious, bad-ass throw-down. Everyone is suddenly obsessed with whose fault it is and what the rule actually says, and they are like, quoting Shakespeare (That, I don't mind, because hello: English teacher.) and threatening to beat up each other's relatives and shit. Anyway, right before I turn to B and suggest perhaps we call the police, somebody for some reason regains sanity and shuts it all down. This person is named Margaret (actual name), and I love her.

Actually Margaret is the name of the person who filled this purpose on the mom list serv I used to be on. But there is always a Margaret. And she (It is usually a she.) says (writes) something so profound, so pithy and simple and true, that everyone comes to their senses. It is lovely to watch: sense returning to the masses.

The other thing about list servs (and here I guess I'm straying from the neighborhood list serv and moving on to the list serv in general) is that they make the people on them believe that the topic of the list is THE ONLY THING IN THE WHOLE GODDAMNED WORLD THAT ANYONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT. And also: that everyone everywhere will understand the minutiae of the topic, even if they are not on the list serv. Seriously, I was on one when I pumped for Ari--pump moms or something, it was called--and I believed at that time that it was perfectly appropriate to discuss pump horns or mastitis with the guy at the deli counter. At the deli. Where people eat. Yo.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Paper Cut and a House Guest

Over my spring break, I decided to take Ari on a little weekend trip to Brooklyn, just the two of us. He could see his aunt and uncle and grandma, and I could take him to some museums, and we could have a slice. I booked a hotel room because the idea of staying in my sister-in-law's guest room was a little intimidating. They have a dog, and Ari's afraid of dogs, and I wasn't sure how he'd sleep in the same bed with me. So, I booked a room with two beds, and off we went. The things I remember about the trip were this incredibly painful cut on my thumb and . . . well that's kind of it. So this cut. Let us discuss. I don't know how it got there, but it was there before I drove to Brooklyn. I didn't have any time to put a band-aid or any antibiotic on it, but since it was the approximate size of an electron, I figured I'd be alright. Boy, was I wrong!

The Friday of the weekend I got on the road at about 4:00 pm. Ari and I were tucked into our beds in the hotel by 10:30, and I was happy. Except! My thumb hurt. And I couldn't go anywhere. Ari was asleep (success!) in the bed next to me, and I couldn't call the front desk to beg for Neosporin with pain relief without waking him. I thought about texting them, but didn't know how. Can one text the front desk? There should be instructions. I obviously couldn't leave Ari while I ran to CVS. I didn't even consider waking him. I may have been a little neglectful of my paper cut or whatever, but I'm no moron.

Unsightly scar
I went to the bathroom and rinsed it, but it still hurt. So I came back to bed and tried to sleep, but I couldn't because my thumb was throbbing, so I stayed awake and texted all my friends. Which required banging my thumbs into the screen of my phone. Duh. Eventually I fell asleep, and in the morning there was kind of a lot to do, so I had no time to stop at the drug store and then Saturday night was in the same boat, only it somehow hurt more! I wouldn't have even tried to text anyone that night, but of course someone started texting me, and then I got all into the gossip or whatever it was and couldn't stop. I do a lot of texting. This is because I am 13. My thumb was at this point throbbing so much I could hardly sleep at all. I tried everything. I held it under very cold water and then shoved it out the window, hoping it'd go numb. I looked around with my flashlight app for something to amputate it with, which I guessed I would do using tap water as a disinfectant. By the light of my flashlight app. One-handed. Luckily, all I found were candy bars and a corkscrew, and I'm not that creative. I slept a little, but I woke up because my thumb was throbbing, before Ari.

I'd planned to stop in Philly for lunch with a friend on the way home, and we hit the road fast because I knew when we got to Philly I'd have time to go to CVS. This was the only thing I was thinking. I'm surprised I remembered to bring Ari. I stopped at CVS before lunch and immediately started applying first aid to self at the table of the diner where I met my friend for lunch. I felt so instantly better I swear I started to levitate. Now, more than a week later, I have an unsightly scar.

When I returned home, I was folding laundry, because that is all I ever do, when I looked out the window and saw this:

Spider-man took a dive.
"What is that?" you may wonder. Why, it's a potty seat on the balcony outside my bedroom, of course! And why is it there? I didn't know, so I asked B. She had a house guest while I was away, and I thought it might have something to do with that. It was a new house guest, someone she wanted to impress. So, of course that required putting the potty seat on the balcony. Quickly! Before the house guest arrived. The house guest was staying in the guest room, where an enormous pile of junk sat in the corner, with Spider-man's prostrate body beneath it. He'd taken a dive for some reason. The pile was okay, but the potty seat in the guest bathroom had to go. I mean, I guess it doesn't matter. Ari doesn't need a potty seat anymore, but you know. On the balcony? What if it was nice out, and B and the house guest wanted to sit outside? What excuse would she contrive to go remove the potty seat? And what would she do with it once she was out there? Drop it over the side? And then, if the house guest noticed it sitting below on the grass, what would B say? "Oh! Fancy that! A potty seat in the grass! How did that get there?" I let my wheels spin about this, worrying somehow about a house guest who'd already come and gone and not seen the potty seat. Worrying in the past tense (past perfect? past conditional?), just in case B hadn't done enough worrying before the arrival of the house guest on her own. I was her worry back up, after the fact. Because that is so useful. That's what love is, yo: having her back.