Bringing Mediocre Back

Yeah, so, hi. This is awkward.

You know that point in your marriage where you just totally stop caring about having sex with each other and the only time you even think about it is when one of you ovulates because not even apathy is more potent than pheromones and after all, we are but mammals?

No, you don't know that point? Well fuck you, too. Anyway, my blog and I are there, except right now someone's ovulating, so here I am - poking around in this mofo.

I have like 15 posts in draft but they all are totally disjointed and annoyingly boring and most of them start off with I MISS MY KIDS SO BAD and end with WAIT, I DON'T MISS THEM ALL THAT MUCH, ACTUALLY because I spent most of February in California doing the coolest work I've ever done in my entire life. Problem was, I was there on a freelance contract which everyone knows is the dirty little cocktease of employment and now my normal life has resumed in normal Texas where my normal family is who won't let me have Tres Leches or Lemon Squares for lunch because they are mean people.


I would like to find whomever it was that taught them about balanced diets and the importance of nutrients and throttle that person until they are dead. Oh, wait.

So I kind of just gave up trying to blog because Shannon's professional and personal lives both kind of exploded but then Mr Lady was all like, "oh no you di-in't" and grabbed some Vaseline to slide her rings off and just like that, my blog world came out swinging, too.

I filmed my first Momversation video this week. It was way harder than I thought it would be, so be nice to me when it comes out because no one is good their first time so shut up. Oh, and I was invited to join Momversation. I kind of forgot to mention that before now. See? I have a bio and everything.

I also had to film an interview with the despicably adorable Andrea Roxas, Editorial Assistant at Babble. They're doing a monthly Q&A with all the 50 moms they chose to spotlight in 2010, and in the coming months, they'll be releasing interviews with a bunch of us, in which I may or may not come across as a total douchebag with an asymmetrical face.

Really, this is why I chose fake print as my medium.

She Posts ran an article the other day saying that Story Bleed has opened submissions which is awesome news except we hadn't actually opened submissions yet but their wish is our command and so submissions are open even though I am totally not ready for that and though I am not a webmaster, I play one on  the internet and so I have a LOT of work to do in a very little window of time to get Story Bleed ready for all your awesome posts. Meanwhile, go here to submit. We're really excited to be back.

And lastly, but not leastly, BusyDad talked me into co-hosting a cooking show with him for The Motherhood as part of their Cooking Connections series, sponsored by Con Agra.

Jim and I are the last class in the series, and the first presented in a live video feed. We think this is because they just don't know us at all. I mean, the class hasn't even started yet and we've already made reference to our balls.

Our class was supposed to be Cooking With Dads but we think it's kind of silly to imply that most dads can't cook or that those who can't ever will, so we're just doing a Cook A Nice Meal For Your Significant Other Even Though You Think Deglaze Is Something Demi Moore Did With a Clay Pot In Ghost And Christ, If That Woman Isn't Dreadfully Hot All The Time, Yo?

We'll be live cooking from our live kitchens with our live kids and live dogs and live potty mouths and our 10 live super sexy co-hosts, who will be backing us up via chat at The Motherhood.

Angry Julie | Angry Julie Monday | @angryjulie
Mishelle Lane | Secret Agent Mama | @secretagentmama
Ashley Evans | Schadenfreudette | @schadenfreudett
Tanis Miller | Attack of the Redneck Mommy | @redneckmommy
Dan Deguia | | @deguia
Lotus Carroll | Sarcastic Mom | @SarcasticMomLC
Melanie Sheridan | Mel, a Dramatic Mommy | @ADramaticMommy
PJ Mullen | Real Men Drive Minivans | @pjmullen
MomoFali | Momo Fali | @momofali
Robin Sue Joss | Big Red Kitchen | @bigredkitchen
Eddie Carroll | Life One Pixel at a Time | @middletonrare

And to save you, and ourselves, from us for an entire live hour, we decided to open up the gates of Thunderdome and pit you all against each other. See, we'll need a potty break and a drink break and a "Mom, the dog just ate a poopy diaper" break so we need some commercials. Except we want you to make them. Because you're funny, that's why.

All you have to do is film a 60 (max) second commercial about anything (that is PG-13 and won't make the sponsor mad), upload it to Vimeo and leave the url for the video in the comments, or in my email box, or Jim's.

We'll air as many as we can in the hour and let the audience choose their favorites. The top three videos will get a gift basket of awesome from The Motherhood and ConAgra. Cheating is totally encouraged.

And with that, I have blogged more today than I did so far in all of 2011, so I'm going to go have a cigarette, then roll over and fall asleep.

I Am Only A Poor, Humble Cockroach.

One of these days, I might actually post something on this blog again. Maybe. Life, she is distracting me. In the meantime, I've decided to try my hand at writing fiction. Because creative expression is the need of my soul.

*Darn tootin'*

Anyway, my fiction cherry has been popped, and my ass will be, too, if God catches wind of that story. Or worse, my mother. My contribution to the Polite Fiction's Alphabet of Regret is J, which is for {redacted}.

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

I've been trying to write this goddamn book for years.

Really, years.

The first time I started it, I was maybe 14.  I gave it another whack when I was 19.  At 25, once I knew everything there ever was to know in life, I sincerely had an honest go at it.  For the four years I've had this blog, I've tried every year to use NaNoWriMo as my motivation.  I even had a team of fellow wanna-be writers to dream work with for a while, but we always ended up wine-drunk and no good ever comes from wine-drunk.  Unless you're the guy who's getting the tip at the end of the night.

It's always been the same story, it just keeps getting longer and more convoluted the longer I wait.  Now that I'm comfortably wedged somewhere between menstruation and death, and I have all new motivation to get this thing going (see: greying hairs, kids hitting puberty, bunions), still I just can't.  I blame this on the fact that I've read too many good books already.  Maybe I'm just lazy.  Bygones.

When I go through my "serious" phase on my blog, like I seem to be in now, and sorry about that*, I can't read other people's blogs because I can't sort out my own thoughts from all of yours.  When I go through my "oh my god I'm so close to 40 I could pick its nose" phase, I can't read other people's books because it makes me cringe that I still can't do that after all these years.  Reading The Bloggess just makes me want to go work at McDonald's.  I'm not the only one, either.

That said, when I got into it with one of the eleventy-hundred people at the mall trying to push their credit card down my throat, when I explained that I think credit cards are the downfall of modern society, but thanks, and the guy went from sneering at me to really asking me why I thought that and we got to talking, not just pitching, he asked me what I did for a living.  I didn't hesitate for a second when "writer" fell out of my mouth and landed on his tie.

Apparently, I think I'm a writer.  Which explains why I can't read anything right now.  I can't even listen to anything more that the first Live album and The Kings of Leon at the moment.  Both of which are great, but not that great.

I got through Marshall Karp's book with flying colors, mainly because he's kind of hot and more mainly because Beth asked me to and mostly mainly because they gave me three bags of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups afterwards.  Also because it kicked ass.  Also also because his book isn't the type of book I'm trying to write.

The main problem I have is that I want to write the kinds of books I like to read, and I've read them all.  A million times over.  I am a repeat reader, and I am happy that way.  I read authors, not books.  I love authors, and so I love what they write, even what the thing they write goes on for fucking ever and makes me wonder if it isn't time for him to retire.  I'll still read it because I love that man and I can glean what I love about him through his ether-induced ramblings.

So, naturally, I'm a little concerned about how long it's going to take me to get to, and then through, Chuck Palahniuk's new book that's sitting on my desk right now, all autographed and shit.  AUTOGRAPHED.

Zoeyjane and I drug all of my kids and all of her kid down to a bookstore where he spoke for 90 minutes and then autographed copies of his new book.  My boys loved him.  They talked to him after and he talked back and now they want to read all of his books, which of course I said no to, until they're ten, which makes me the worst mother ever but do you know how awesome it is when your kids appreciate the stuff you're into?  Best.  Feeling.  Ever. 


So I've got this new book sitting there on my desk, and I've got his older book Choke which I still haven't read for some crazy reason, and i've got World War Z as well because it was screaming at me from the endcap in the store, and I just can't bring myself to open any of them right now.  Because if I do, I'm perching myself up on the shoulders of these authors who have done what I dream of doing, I'm seeing how far down the fall is, and I realize that I'm left just cold.

And so, for now, I'm going to light my own fire and hunker down and let the world wait while I find a way to tell this story.  While I find MY way to tell it.  But I better do it soon, because god damn do I want to read about the zombie wars.

*Really, I almost got weepy all over my final American Idol recap of the year.  Weepy, I tell you.

On Red, The Seeing Thereof, Etc.

I fancy myself a nice person.  I'm a benefit of the doubt kind of girl, I am not one to raise my voice in public, I have an underdeveloped sense of road rage.  If you cut me off in line, I'll typically just assume that you've got something fairly urgent going on.  I'm kind of a doormat, truth be told.

However, the onset of my advanced age has brought a few changes to my proverbial doorstep.  With who I am.  I went from having A chin hair to having ALL the chin hair.  My moustache doesn't suck, either.  I'm getting Cherry Angioma all fucking over my body, and my hair is coming in gray.  ALL OF THEM.  You know how your hair looks if you go a few days without a shower?  Mine normally looks like that about 12 hours after my shower.  Now, it just always looks like that.  It's stringy and greasy and motherfucking gray.  My 9-days-long-just-like-clockwork period is now a two-weeks-long-whenever-it-damn-well-feels-like-it period, and it usually feels like it right after I've blown the entire bank account on pregnancy tests.

Oh, and I suddenly have PMS for the first time in my life.

My old PMS manifested itself in nesting.  My house is never cleaner that the week and a half after I ovulate.  Lately, though, not so much.

I am blaming this shift in hormones and attitude for the fact that I tore some woman a knew asshole at my kids' school today.  See, we have this drop-off/pick-up lane at the school that is a no-stop zone.  You can't park there, you can't walk there.  You drop your kids at the curb and move on.  No one ever follows this rule.

Of course, we've had 100 billion cm of snow, and the school district kind of forgot to plow the school before it started after winter break, so this already narrow, weird, straight uphill drop off zone is now a sheet of snowy ice and hardly wide enough for one car.

Naturally, some fucking moron decides that today, in the pouring rain, she should park her minivan half-way up the hill and go get her kids.  I could see my kids at the top on the curb, where they should be, waiting and getting soaked.  I waved, they waved, and they stayed put until that car moved and we could all get up the hill.  10 minutes later, after 10 cars piled up behind us blocking the main street and a city bus, she returned.  I was fuming.  She got in her car and tried to drive off, but what was in front of her?  ANOTHER parked car, a Ford sedan, this one at a 45 degree angle, so no one who didn't know how to drive in the snow stood a chance of getting around it.  Minivan mom tried to inch her way around that car, but couldn't figure it out, so she just got out of her car and climbed in the back with her kids.  After 5 more minutes, she got back in the drivers' seat, tried again, and got around the Ford.  Eventually.  Very slowly.

The car in front of me goes around the Ford, no problem, and so did I.  (Nice tense switch there, huh?  I can writes good.)  The 10 more cars that are backed up on the street, and the now TWO city buses that are blocked start to move.  We pull up to our kids, and by now they are dripping and shivering.  They start getting in the car, and I'm pissed.  I look up and see some woman walk past me, grab her keys, and point them at the Ford.  The trunk pops open.  This is my moment.  Am I man or amoeba?  What do I do?

I rag out all of her ass is what I do.

I unroll my window, open the car door, take off my seatbelt, lean my head out of the door and turn it all the way around all Linda Blair style, and as loudly as I can I say to her back, "Are you aware this is a no parking zone?"  She turns around and puts her hand up, like "talk to the hand" puts her hand up, and that was it.  BOOM.

"Are you also aware that you held up TWENTY CARS and TWO CITY BUSES?  It took me TWENTY FIVE MINUTES to get around your car.  My kids are SOAKED.  This is a NO PARKING ZONE.  Do not ever, ever park here again."

She says Sorrrrrrrryyyyyyy.  I say "DON'T PARK HERE."  She starts saying something that begins with "I just..." and a gave her a nice, loud whatever and drove away.

I have never, ever done anything even close to that before in my whole freaking life.  I don't even know who I am anymore.  The worst part?  I wrote the PTA president to bitch that there is never anyone out there directing traffic even though we have an entire committee dedicated solely to directing traffic, and guess what?  I've officially unquit the PTA.  I'm now directing traffic two mornings and two afternoons a week and organizing the parents who I will force to help me with this.

Seriously, do you want my uterus?  THREE TIMES NOW, it's landed me a spot on the PTA.  Fucker hates me, and I'm breaking up with it.

The only thing I'm willing to quit is quitting

I hate quitting. Anything. Smoking, doubly so.

It's not that it's oh so terribly hard for me to quit; in fact, I cold-turkey quit every single time I've ever done it. All 6 times or so. OK, maybe that I've had to re-quit 6 times or so means it's an eencey bit harder than I'm willing to admit. It's just that I like smoking and it's the one grown up thing I get to do every day.

Somebody asked why I quit. I don't really know, exactly. There are a few reasons.

One is that I am a cheap cheap bastard and when I look at the monthly budget and realize we spend more on cigarettes every month than we do our groceries, well, I take issue with that. Smoking is more expensive than crack here.

Another reason is that I have been going to the doctor, kind of a lot, because I am fairly sure something is significantly wrong with me. After throwing around a bunch of large, uncomfortable words and scanning/poking/prodding every inch of me, it turns out that I'm just fine except for my red blood cell count, which happens to be ridiculously high. How does one fix that? One quits smoking, that's how. As for the rest of my health issues, whether they exist on paper or not, I know they're there and now I'm left to find a dietary cause. Step one, cut out the meat. Meat makes me want to smoke. May as well cut them both at the same time, eh?

An even better reason is that my friend is battling cancer within her family right now, and she's about to quit, and I thought it would be a friendly gesture to quit with her.

The biggest reason of all, though, is that my kids are old enough to know better. I am sick of hearing, "Mom, you smell like cigarettes," and, "Eww, mom, you're gross," and the cold, flat, mono-tone, "You're going to die, you know." I promised them I'd quit, a year ago, and it's time to make good on that. 1of3 told he he'd stop biting his nails if I stopped smoking. If that's not incentive, I don't know what is.

And so, with all of this in mind, yesterday I just let myself run out of cigarettes. I figured if it got awful, I could always run out for more. It didn't get awful. It got a little hairy this morning, and I cheated a little this morning, but I am totally ok with a little cheating here and there. It's not like I really want to quit, it's just that I know I should. And I am. And I will.