Friday, November 30, 2007

By George...

Years ago, my mother watched ER, and I learned early on to NOT call while George Clooney was on the air.

At that time, I didn't see the attraction.

However, as I get older (and so does he), I find that Mr. Clooney is becoming more and more appealing.

First, he is goes by the name George. It is a regular guy name. It isn't like he had the need to call himself Montana Canyons or Derek LeBoeuf, or at least he didn't succumb to these desires if he did have them.

Second, this is a man who is secure enough to let himself go gray. Unlike Robert Redford's unnervingly (yet still attractive) blond hair, George is what he is.

And third, the man is intelligent and not afraid to show it. He is not attempting to impress us with outlandish stunts performed with large firearms--he is more apt to make us think while entertaining us.

So, the younger guys in Hollywood can dazzle women with their toe-curling good looks. I figure by the time that Mr. Clooney and I are both in our sunset years, he will be employed and I will still be watching.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I am a mean mom. I know there are many of you out there who are suffering under the impression that you are a mean mom, but I have to tell you that I am the gold standard.

Or at least that is what Kiki, my preteen, tells me. She already has shown all the eye-rolling, screaming, irritated, hormone driven impatience exhibited by so many of her age group. If I ask her to unload the dishwasher, she reacts as though I have requested a five-year-long commitment served in a cloistered convent where speech is prohibited at all times.

This kid has a gift, though. She is incredibly talented at singing, and her dad, a vocal coach, has made sure that she still sings like a child instead of a miniature Ethel Merman.

A couple weeks ago, Kiki was requested to do a solo in a program of Christmas music to be shown on local access cable. I drove her to the church, and waited while I listened to a musical group with an overly loud drummer and a bunch of bell choir members who were so busy talking that they appeared unaware that the video crew was actually recording. When it came Kiki's turn to sing, she stood up in the spotlight, opened her mouth, and sang this simple song with a beauty and purity that brought tears to my eyes. And she did her song in one take.

Today, this same child who brought such a feeling of tenderness to me is yelling, "That's not FAIR!" because this mean mom is making her do her homework correctly.

Imagine that.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stop being so weird

Just now, my youngest told the munchkin, "Stop being so weird."

Munchkin is a child who appears to defy logic. Today his teacher sent home a note from the lunchroom mom stating that the munchkin "took food off of someone else's plate, chewed it, and put it back."

When I asked him about it, he told me it was green beans and that he only put back the ones he didn't chew. Sigh.

The playground moms have written him up for running into people. He said they were in the way.

I live with this child, and believe me, I know how exasperating he can be. However, he is like those anti-heroes in those old movies--he follows his own code. And I really doubt that the moms on the playground and in the lunchroom get the code. There are days I don't.

However, I also don't get "male." Munchkin will say, "Watch this, Mom" and throw a stick in the air. I take it I am supposed to ooh and ahh over the path of the projectile and be thrilled at how far it goes, how high it rises, or the arc it follows. I mean, we aren't talking Galileo here. I make approving noises and quickly move on, unless said projectile encounters a breakable object such as a window or a younger sister.

Just now I was surfing the web, looking for some insight into the effect of testosterone on the brain of the XY chromosomers. One web site actually warns young men that girls are not impressed by those who throw rocks at ducks.

Perhaps I should bookmark the site. Or maybe I should just hold out for another eight or ten years.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I have spent the last few months in a totally exhausted state. I can’t seem to get enough sleep. I can’t focus. If I sit down, I drop off. I conk out during William Petersen on CSI. As you can see, this is quite serious.

I was telling this to my sister, who suggested that I get my thyroid checked. She told me, “Thyroid does run in the family.”

Just then, my girls came into the room, screaming hysterically and smacking each other, which is pretty much a standard method of communication for them. My sister added, “But then again, it may just be your life.”

I adore my doctor—he is a good physician and listens, one of those medical professionals who is so attentive that women find themselves babbling when they are in his office, basking in his interest and finally feeling validated. However, I am not sure he “gets it” about being a mom. I mean, suppose I am showing some physical symptoms. Could the symptoms be the reason for the tiredness? Or could they be caused by three kids, three Labrador retrievers, a full-time job, three years of dealing with parents with Alzheimer’s, a house, and so on?

One of the women at work was talking about a new diagnosis which her doctor thought might be related to this woman’s forgetfulness and distractibility. He called it Adult Onset Female Attention Deficit Disorder.

She looked at him and declared, “DUH! That’s called being a working mom.”

There you go.

Friday, November 23, 2007

What's with the Thanksgiving parades?

We tuned in at the very end of the Macy's parade yesterday. We saw a lot of singers who were too young for me to recognize, all of whom were lip syncing to their recorded music. We saw Kermit the frog from many angles, and we saw a couple of marching bands. We also saw a lot of commercials.

And we heard the commentators yak yak yak over the soundtrack. At times, they were so excited that they shouted.

Why is this? Do the commentators feel that "parade sounds" are dead air? Is what they say so incredibly relevant to the parade that our lives can't go on without knowing that this band earned its way to New York by selling calendars and pulling weeds? Or that Kermit weights over 300 pounds? Are factoids more important than entertainment?

Why can't we have a passive parade experience?

Thursday, November 22, 2007


What is with some women and their “E’s”?

This one isn’t a mother—she is a mommy.

That one doesn’t have a spouse or a husband—she has a hubby.

Recipes are yummy. That fine actor in TV is a hottie. We want to eat enough veggies.

It makes me rather scream-y.

I realize that E is the most common letter in the alphabet, but can we please do away with the cutesy dialect? Why on Earth is it necessary for women to talk like Betty Boop? Why is this a good thing? If our men piped up with these affectations, we’d be appalled. At what point do we stop talking like sixth graders and start speaking like adults?

Just a few minutes after I began these musings, I sat down in the living room to read a cookbook to find some quick recipes. I have watched Rachael Ray once or twice while visiting someone in the hospital, but she, quite frankly, is too energetic for me. If I bounced around in the kitchen like that, with the flames and hot liquids and sharp objects, I would end up back at that hospital, this time in the ER.

However, the woman is nothing if not coordinated, and she can cook, and I do appreciate her efforts to make food prep accessible to all of us. Unfortunately, it took me a while to determine what EVOO was…some newfangled substance? By-products of the emu? I started cooking at age seven, and even though I don’t live in a metro area, we do have supermarkets here, and I had never encountered EVOO.

As it turns out, I had, just not with that nickname.

And then…and then…I reached the section on “stoups.” Now bear in mind, I cut my cooking show teeth on Julia Child and her French verbiage, but this one was new to me.

When I hit the chapter where we were making “sammies,” I realized I was somewhere along the line destined to fight a losing battle. However, until I run out of strength, this non-foodie mommy will not be eating yummy sammies and veggies with her hottie hubby.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The best part of waking up

My husband is a coffee drinker, and he has been addicted to the stuff since he was in fifth grade. I, on the other hand, never drank coffee until I was well into my twenties and only started with caffeine when I went to college and started my job at 4:24 a.m. As in dark o'thirty.

When I arrive at work, every morning, I usually am the one to brew the decaf, and it is generally my intention to drink only decaf that day. However, the spirit is willing, but this ample working mom flesh is not just weak, it is flat-out pooped. Some people spike their coffee with cream, some with liquor, but I spike mine with regular coffee. Who am I kidding? Recently I realized that there should be a recovery program for people like me, people who wonder if mainlining caffeine might not be a viable option.