Sunday, May 29, 2011


Is it just me, or does it seem like there's been a constant full moon out? People have been straight up cookoo for cocoa puffs crazy, and I can't figure out why. Everything is breaking, dying, or deciding that it is suddenly a rebellious teenager.

Yes, I realize I just called my daughter "it". You would, too, if you've been experiencing all the drama I've been through. Lucky for me, I'm told by a great many people that Princess' behavior is all completely normal.

You know, that doesn't help much? But thanks just the same. (Never mind the eye roll I do behind their backs as I pour another vodka cranberry.)

I'm feeling like the train is coming off the tracks in my life again. Just when things calm down, one minor shift can turn everything completely upside down. The thing is, that I'm not just upside down. I'm on Space Mountain, zooming by, twisting and turning in the dark at 55 mph with only the ghost of a light to show me my path, hoping to hell that someone above is controlling the movement of the car and that we don't go flying off the tracks. Slow down, for Pete's sake! Things are going so fast that I might need to invest in some Depends...and some Clorox wipes.

My life has become derailed.

The Big Fat Baby Cat is even running around this apartment like her tail's on fire, which is some feat given her rotund belly and fat face. Don't worry...just because I'm bringing the cat into the discussion does not mean that I'm suddenly going to become the next editor of Cat Fancy. I may own three cats, but I lack in enough chin hair to be considered The Cat Lady. Her behavior is just relevant to this discussion.

By the by, that little cat can run pretty fast for her size. (Which goes to show that I have no excuse for not getting my own butt on the treadmill. I'll get there - the gym is opening back up in a few days and I'll get back on it. Besides, if I don't? Mamma Bestie has a taser, handcuffs, and a nightstick, and she's not afraid to use any of them. Plus, they need some dusting off and apparently, I'm lucky contestant #6 who gets to be the honored recipient. Jeepers! That's what I get for mentioning a 5K.)

Tangent, anyone?

So anyhow, this month I finally verbalized my decision to move forward with writing a book. And when you verbalize the dreams of your heart, and actually put it out into the great universe, somehow God has a way of making things happen...and quickly. Connections are falling into place and pushing me far out of my comfort zone. (Like that time I tried a Crueller instead of going with my old standby - a rainbow sprinkled donut. Never again, people! The Single Girl is a creature of habit.)

Mamma Bestie always told me that if God brings you to it, He'll pull you through it. He's gonna need a heavy rope for this adventure, because He's sent this Single Girl off on a zip line over a 3000 ft ravine. Did I mention I'm afraid of heights?

Three cheers for irony! Pass me a donut...

Before I run off to start this new adventure, I'd like to take a moment to thank each of you for your support. This next chapter in my life is going to be a doozy, but I won't be able to do any of it without you. I'll still be here along the way, giving you lots of tales about how I'm messing up and learning the ropes, hopefully having some success. You, my friends, are my biggest fans. You are the reason I put myself out there, because you can relate to these stories of absolute idiocy personified. (And yes, I can be a complete moron sometimes. But a moron in supercute stilettos, which somehow cancels out the moronic behavior.)

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My train may be derailed, but it's flying high in the skies of hope. This calls for a celebration! Off to the donut shop we go! Oh, and if you see Mamma Bestie, tell her I'm at the gym, mkay?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Land of Forgotten Toys

Well folks, rapture didn't happen this weekend. But I did experience my own kind of out of body experience on Tuesday as I watched Nurse Betty's backyard (re: the land of forgotten toys) being demolished. Some of you may wonder why this day was so important to me. Why would seeing a backyard ripped to shreds be so cathartic? It's just a backyard, after all.


Hello? Remember me? The bowl stacker? The real-life version of Monica Geller? The one who has more fun cleaning up after a party than during the actual party?

You see, boys and girls, there are two types of people in life: the bowl stackers and the "I'll just throw this glass bowl in the one last vacant spot in the cupboard and hope to hell that it doesn't come crashing into my head the next time I open the cupboard door" people. I happen to be a bowl stacker - the kind of person who believes that organization and minimalism are key to a happy, orderly life. Go ahead and hate.

And then we have my bff, the antithesis.

Coincidentally, Mamma Bestie is a bowl stacker, too. Must be a brunette thing. Or a fabulous person thing? Or that awesome people seem to gravitate toward each other...

Yeah, that's it.

So, the bff is not a bowl stacker. So what? I've got insurance and a snazzy helmet to wear when I help her put away the dishes. (It's got sparkles and is all different shades of blue.) We could all learn a thing or two from her. She's self-sufficient, successful, beautiful, and can carry on a conversation with anyone (including random people she meets - like at the park, the grocery store, the gym, the gynecologist office...Ahem. I, on the other hand, prefer to be of the "stranger danger" variety and keep my distance, only getting near after checking ID, blood type and getting a full background check.)

When it came to her backyard, she knew she'd eventually get around to having it re-landscaped and thus the whole scene never really bothered her. Instead, she focused on having the inside of her house remodeled and refreshed, and then completely overhauled the front yard. Now that she can turn her attention to the backyard, she has.

I, however, looked at that backyard every single time I came over and imagined how magical it could be with just a bit of blood, alcohol, sweat, alcohol, and tears. (I'd certainly cry, too, given the overgrowth of thorny shrubs on her side yard. Plus, I'm a wimp.) Give me a few hundred dollars (money, money, money!), a crew of sweaty, shirtless men, (yowza!) and I'd have this backyard looking fab-u-lous! (Like me!) But seeing it sit, (cue sad music) year after year, summer after summer, vacant...lonely...decrepit, made me want to overhaul it that much more. My bowl stacking tendencies almost forced me to do just that when Nurse Betty mentioned last month that she was going to start interviewing landscapers.

What? Really? Hallelujah! Lord have mercy! My prayers have been answered!

I could (read: will) make lots of sarcastic comments about the state of this backyard in its pre-demo state. But the truth behind this backyard rip and renew is that we all have a little excess growth hindering us. We all have something that we've yet to take care of that's become a festering, Ebola-laden, feces-throwing, monkey on our back. And until we rip it off, however painful that may be, we won't realize the true beauty lurking beneath the overgrowth. Sometimes tearing away the surface reveals a beauty unimaginable.

For Nurse Betty, this is one of the very last steps in her post-mortem divorcee life. If she can tackle this backyard on her own, what can she not handle in life? Sure, it's scary. We've all seen one too many episodes where Mike Holmes stands in the kitchen of some poor soul with his charming smile and Canadian accent, telling the homeowner how he's made it right. Contractors can be shady. And trusting your gut is key. Nurse Betty is learning to trust her gut and stand on her own two feet.

The fact that her feet were standing in a backyard that looked more like the Serengeti Plains is beside the point...

Or that you could play a fabulous game of Marco Polo and never find one another...

Or that all sorts of inflatable toys were discovered during the demo...

But yeah, that's all beside the point. Totally...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Poke, Poke, Poke

I'm bored. Sigh….

Uninspired. Oh, woe is me…

Lacking in fun. Boo hoo hoo…

And when I get this way, I make my fun. Muah ah ah ah ahhhhhhh…..

Last night I finally bought a Kindle after 18 months of pining away for one. Kindle, Kindle, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

The first book I purchased on my new Kindle was Jen Lancaster's latest installment, If You Were Here. (I highly recommend this author. If you've never laughed hysterically on a crowded Southwest plane – while reading a book, which is apparently important that I clarified - so much so that people thought you were A) off your meds, B) having a heart attack, or C) about to have an accident in a town just south of vomit, then I suggest purchasing each one of her books and hopping on the first flight out.)

I thought the new purchase would fill the boredom void I've been experiencing. Alas, it did not.

Cue the suspenseful music, the wicked Grinch smile and the evil wringing of hands, as all villains do.

What, oh what, would possibly bring joy to my heart? I started making a mental list.

Trip? Nah. I'm heading out next week and at this point should just relocate to Southern CA.

Killer new stilettos? A trip to Nordstrom Rack and a pair of $20 Soffts that mysteriously made it to my car solved that last week.

Hug from Princess? Ew. Smellage times twenty these days.

Usually when I’m bored I start poking Princess in the arm. It’s a lot of fun. She’s like the little sister I never had, despite dressing my little brother up in my mom’s clothes when we were younger. (He’ll deny that one completely, just so you know.) She annoys me and does things on purpose just to annoy me, so poking her in the arm when I’m bored and want to stir up some fun is a nice little payback!

Since she wasn’t available, who could I possibly poke with just as much return on investment?

Think, think, think…

I had to do something drastic… Poke!

Still thinking. I might hurt myself.

Something lasting… Poke!

Think harder! Ow! I did hurt myself. (Note to self: must not poke own self to gratify boredom void.)

Or something sinister, laced with evil BFF plots. Poke!

...the music gets louder...

Aha! Hallelujah! Eureka! I’ve got it! Poke! Poke! Poke! Poke!

And somehow, some way, my car ended up at Home Goods last night. Just drove itself right on over. Like Kit…

Not so scary, you say?

Well, right about now, Nurse Betty has just raced home and changed all the locks on her house.

Or she’s relocated to Jupiter.

With no forwarding address.

She understands how dangerous that place can be for her. (See posts entitled King Me and In Keeping With Tradition.) The last time I went to Home Goods, she ended up with two of the most adorable Christmas ornaments ever.

E V E R!

Nurse Betty and I have this love-hate relationship with Home Goods. I love to go there and purchase one-of-a-kind works of crap art for her. She hates it when I send her taunting texts of what I am threatening to do purchasing for her. But this level of evil brings joy to my heart and makes me giggle like a little girl. Boredom problem SOLVED!

Cue Single Girl happy dance in the rain! (As all happy dances are done in the rain.) I was even doing the running man. Join me, if you will. *Parachute pants optional.

What does this have to do with Nurse Betty, you ask? Well, if any of you know Nurse Betty, you know that she's about to redo her backyard. Pics will be coming along with a full diary of what is happening, complete with my own sarcastic (read: intelligent, pertinent, fascinating, and downright awesome) commentary. But what is a new backyard without a fabulous lawn ornament?

Hee hee hee hee hee hee....

The pictures you see below are among the top contenders for Nurse Betty’s hideous fabulous new lawn ornament. Please vote on your favorite as soon as possible so that the item is not snatched up by some other sinister BFF with her own plot of world domination. Bonus imaginary donut points awarded to those who also name the work of art. Let the voting begin!

She who poketh the beast, runneth the fastest.

Yay for painted frogs!

Or a painted gecko?

Ooh! A slumbering buck tucked under a bush would be nice...

Here's Princess with a lovely green gecko.

A fishing frog is always a great accoutrement for a new backyard.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Mom Mug

Today is Mother's Day. It's the day for cards with the word "MOM" written out of curly noodles glued to construction paper, of inedible breakfasts in bed, and twelve blissful hours of reprieve from all our motherly duties. But what does this day really mean? Is it an opportunity to use the "It's Mother's Day" get out of all things chore-related card? I use that with abandon, much the way I use the Santa card at Christmas to keep Princess 2 in check when she's creeping up on the naughty list. Yes, I'm evil. And no, I haven't copyrighted that one yet, so feel free to use and adopt as your own.

Well, call me a late bloomer, or call me less motherly than the average bear, but it took me about nine years to really, REALLY understand what being a mom was all about. Funny enough, it didn't happen on Mother's Day. Grab your pillows, boys and girls. This mom is going to take you on a journey back in time. Hold on. This one may get bumpy.

It all started in 1999, when Princess was born. I was young (don't say a word), thin (I'm warning you), and a brand new mom. Seeing my bundle of joy being passed over to me just after giving birth didn't elicit some euphoric response of intense motherhood. I felt lost, unsure, and pretty much felt like running for the hills. What was I supposed to do with this pink-faced set of eyes staring up at me as if she knew me? I was clueless (I swear if you take a crack at that one...), and I felt no real instant bond with her. It wasn't until about a week later that I had that overwhelming sense of love, so great that it welled up great big crocodile tears at 2 am during one of her nightly feedings. And from then on, my gut reaction to protect her was always spot on. That ferocious mama bear syndrome was roaring in, loud and clear. Surprisingly, the ability to see the love she had for me was not always as honed.

Princess and I have been on our own for quite some time now, and we have had our share of adventures. We've learned to navigate our own new trials and tribulations along the way. Me, learning how to secretly date around a twelve year old who is known as the "Nosey Italian Grandmother". Her, learning how to trust her gut, stand up for herself, and keep herself out of useless drama. We've tested each other's patience over the past few months, and this has caused a strain on our relationship. So this morning as I pulled down a mug from the cupboard, I had to pull down my MOM mug.

Your MOM mug, you ask? Yes, my MOM mug. Princess gave me this coffee mug for Christmas when she was nine. Her school had a Christmas bazaar where students could shop for low-cost items for their family members on their own at school and give these gifts as Christmas presents. Princess purchased the MOM mug for me, not only because I love to drink coffee, but because it represented her love for me. Anyone else might have put on their best happy parent face at their Christmas gift, knowing it came from their child's heart, and responding that they love it so much, even though it's something they'll never use. But this gift brought tears to my eyes. And I got it - I'm a mom. I'm a mom. I'm finally part of that club. And I'm not just auditing, I'm a full-fledged member.

I never really understood what being called Mom meant. Sure, I'd been called that name, and a number of any one of its variations, over the course of her short life. And yes, there were times where it drove me absolutely nutter butter batty. Princess had the whole "Stevie" routine down way before Family Guy was ever around. Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mommy, mom, mom, mom, mom, ma, ma, ma, ma, ma, ma, mommy, mommy, MOM! Mamma Bestie's hubby used to impersonate her pretty well. Good thing they have one of their own now so I can return that little nugget of a favor. But back to the mug and why it turned me into a mushy, gushy, puddle of goo. (I said goo, not poo. You had to read that one over a second time, didn't you?) This mug not only represented who I was, but how Princess perceived me.

We moms sometimes forget that it isn't only what we do for our children, but how they perceive what we do. They keep track of those out of the ordinary special things we do, like sitting in a rocking chair by the front window during a summer thunderstorm, rocking, listening to the thunder, and not talking. They remember crazy times with pipe cleaners and sugar cookies. They remember tickle fights and movie nights under a makeshift tent made out of blankets. Our children perceive us as the great imaginators, the ones who can hug and kiss away a boo boo, the ones who cheer them on when they've done well, the ones who make them giggle. We are their biggest fans. We are their heroes. We are Mom. And today represents not only a deserving day off, but a celebration of who we are perceived to be.

Bringing down that MOM mug this morning only brought back a flood of memories, both good and bad, of the times I've had with my daughter. It also brought memories back of all the times I've had with my own mom. She has taught me how to love, how to listen, how to be a friend and a mother all at the same time, and how to be firm but judicious when I messed up. No mom is perfect, but to me and my perception, she is.

So here's to all the moms out there. May your mom mug be filled with all the love and get out of chores free cards that time could buy. Happy Mother's Day!