Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Because I am lazy today

I am feeling kind of blah today so I am posting a Ten on Tuesday instead of a Mommy blog. 

Questions from Roots and Rings where I will also be linking up!

1. From your childhood, what do you miss most about summer vacation?
Um...Having one?  Unless you're a teacher you don't generally get 3 months off in the middle of the summer.  I also miss fighting with the neighborhood kids about who rode their bike the fastest and staying outside ALL DAY LONG.

2. Are you going anywhere on vacation this summer?
Possibly to Lake George.  Nowhere far or full of excitement.  It's just too expensive right now to do anything.  And Lila is JUST NOW getting to an age where she is sleeping like a normal person so we think it may be safe to intrude on my relatives for a long weekend.

3. What foods do you like to barbecue?
Meat.  I love meat.  I like to make kabobs with meat and veggies.  However.  I am terrified of the grill for some stupid reason so I make Ben do all the grilling.

4. How do you celebrate the fourth of July?
We try to go to the beach and see some fireworks.  Pretty standard stuff.  HOWEVER, the real excitement happens when we come home...We live in a city.  And for some reason, my neighbors always think it's perfectly appropriate to come home after drinking all day and set off their own fireworks in the middle of the night.  I cross my fingers and hope someone takes off a finger so they will knock it off but no one ever does.

5. What’s your favorite beverage to drink in the summertime?
My bevarage of choice year round is coffee.  But my NEW summertime beverage is Pink Lemonade spiked with Cherry Vodka.  I am sure there's a name for it but I call it Selena's Cherry Fantastic.  I am going to have to go have one now.  It's 5pm somewhere, right?

6. What movie are you looking forward to seeing this summer?

7. In the car: windows down or AC?
AC.  I lived in Arizona for 5 years and that spoiled me to the AC forever.  I LOVE not having hot air blowing in my eyes for some reason.

8. Have you ever had a summer fling?
Hahahahahahaahaha!  I plead the fifth.

9. Do you wear sunscreen?
I don't usually.  Because I am stubborn and because I don't spend a ton of time in the sun.  I like to get A LITTLE color when I do.

10. Do you have any favorite summertime activities?
Napping on hot days nude with the fan going.  Does that count as a hobby?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ba-Ba Blues?

What the hell is it with the older women and their total refusal to allow modern moms to do what we think is best for our kids?

Yesterday I was at a family barbeque (and I won't even get into the thrilling experience that I had) and was talking to my aunt, whose first grandchild has just turned one.  She and her son were discussing the bottle and the aunt was APPALLED at the idea that he would even THINK of taking the bottle away from her at a mere 1 year old.  She defended her stance saying that the pediatrician said "15 months at the latest for a bottle, 18 months for a pacifier."  She acted like it was flat-out child abuse to even consider depriving a kid of a ba-ba so "young".

"Once you pop you can't stop," says Grandma.

This is not the first time I have encountered this kind of outrage from an older woman in my family.  My mother completely lost her shit when I suggested that Lila was not supposed to have a bottle to go to sleep since that is what parents had done for 50 years previous.  She told me that this was basically the cause of all the problems I had with Lila's infancy and that if I just gave in all those problems would disappear. 

I finally DID give in.  And guess what, a year later when Lila was 2 and still wanting a bottle to go to sleep my mother acted like I was talking about murder when I suggested that it was time to stop.  Even though the doctor had told me to do it a year before.  Even though every parenting book ON EARTH says that they shouldn't have a bottle to go to sleep, my mother thought it was simply cruel. 

Believe me when I say that it was one of the worst transitions I have ever had to make.  Lila was never a good sleeper to begin with and this just made her worse.

All that being said, why do these women think that we modern mothers are so mean and cruel for trying to do exactly what all the pros tell us we need to do?  Are they offended that their way may have been wrong? Or is it actually mean to take a comfort item from a baby?  Are we no good at going with our guts or is it just a matter of them trying to keep the babies as babies for as long as possible?

What do you guys think?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yes...It DOES.

I have a problem of feeling very alone sometimes, surrounded by women who LOVE being moms.  So every now and then I google "motherhood sucks".  I am rarely disappointed.  Today I found this blog and wanted to share it with you.

The worst mother

Motherhood Sucks. And then you DON’T die.

By the WORST mother

Yeah, you heard me.


With a capital M-O-T-H-E-R-H-O-O-D-S-U-C-K-S


Why are moms so afraid to admit this? Oh, that’s right, I know….






So, does that mean there is something wrong with ME?

You all know I disagree totally with this whole thing.  NO!  There's NOTHING wrong with you!  IT FUCKING SUCKS 90% of the time. 

I love this:

Luckily she does come to a new and better conclusion:

Seriously.  Go check her out.  Mention you found her through me and I will be forever thankful.

or go to:


Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Mother's Daughter?

I know you are going to be shocked to hear this, but I really didn't turn out so great.

I dropped out of high school even though I was taking college-level classes simply because I refused to participate in gym class.  I hated high school so much that I never bothered to apply to college.  When I did go, I went to community college and only took classes I was interested in rather than actually attempting to follow some kind of curriculum.  I dropped out of college too when I realized someone was going to have to pay for all those classes I enjoyed so much and then managed to throw my student loan into default during what can only be described as "one of my insane periods".  This has ruined my chances of going back to school to get a degree so that I can make real money to actually pay back the loan so that I can go back to school to make real money...you get the idea.

And I blame the entire spiral on one person..MY MOTHER.

My life after about 10th grade.
(Image thanks to wired.com)

Yes, yes...I know.  I am an adult and was when I went to college so how can I blame my mother for decisions I've made since that magical age when I should have been living alone and being responsible for myself?

Well, simple.  Her parenting sucked. 

And I am reminded of it every time I show up to pick up my kid and she is having a Hershey Bar at 5:00 pm (perfect for an appetizer I suppose) or when she demands that she IS NOT putting her shoes/coat/clothes on to leave because she doesn't have to do what my mother says.  I am reminded when Lila comes home and tells me she played with the hose all day in March "because Grandma doesn't like it when I cry".  I am reminded of it when I try to explain the concept of "time out" to my mother and she tells me it isn't nice to let Lila cry like that, even for a few minutes and that it "hurts Lila's feelings" when I yell at her.

My mother is a woman of no boundaries and fewer limits.  It was her lack of limits that allowed me to have a 17 year old abusive boyfriend when I was 13 and allowed me to skip school and sleep in because everyone knew I could pass the test.  It was her lack of limits which was the forerunner of my inability to delay gratification for ANYTHING until I was about 25 years old.  And by then it was too late.

She never pushed me to do anything I didn't want to do, assuming that I was a strong kid and I would figure it out and she criticizes the way I refuse to allow Lila to do insane things (like take everything out of the refrigerator to keep her busy for 2 and a half minutes) even though it would "make Lila SOOO happy."

I parent NOTHING like my mother.  I set rules and limits.  Lila cannot stand up on the dining room table.  She cannot act like an animal in Wal-Mart.  She will not get Pepsi no matter how much she cries for it and I don't care if she wants a toy.  I said no.

I am hoping that with a little guidance and direction, I will succeed where my mother failed me.  I want Lila to find a life that suits her but also that is not full of missed opportunities and hurts that were totally unavoidable.

Oh, and I hope to spare her the 10 + years worth of therapy I have accumulated throughout the years.

Inspired by one of Mama Kat's weekly writing prompts:

Not your mother's daughter...how do you parent differently than your mother did? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Mama's Losin' It

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ancient History: 5 B.C.

I was sitting in a McDonald's with Lila the other day and overheard a woman talking about the good old days.  Back in B.C.  Before Children.

Let's take a little stroll through history, shall we?

All that's left of my life Before Children
5 years B.C. I could wake up on Sunday morning and have the whole day in front of me.  The house would be quiet and the newspaper would be waiting for me.  I would leisurely drink my coffee and peruse the paper and carefully weigh all the possibilities for the day ahead.  Those days are gone.

In 5 B.C. I could get a phone call at 7pm on a Friday and be out the door in half an hour for a night on the town where I dressed sexy and got hit on all night by various attractive men offering to buy me drinks in the hopes that I would go home with them.  That's over too.
That's me on the left in blue at a rave in 2001
In 5 B.C. if I was sick, I stayed in bed all day.  Sometimes a friend or even my mom would come over to take care of me.  I could watch movies or read or just sleep.  Not so much anymore.

In 5 B.C. I worked to buy myself nice clothes, shoes, a car, and to support my habit of buying more books than I could read.  I worked so that I could go out and eat with friends or offer to pay on dates.  I always had money left over after paying my bills even though it was just me and no roommates.  So much for that.

Me in my slutty clothes
In 5 B.C. I lived alone.  The only mess to clean up was mine (and MiMi, my cat's).  I hardly cooked because it's no fun to cook for yourself and so I ate a lot more fast food, and yet never managed to gain any weight.

In 5 B.C. I had perfect boobs, a flat stomach and minimal cellulite.  I showed off my body and if I chose to I could even sleep around if the mood struck me.  Just because I was a hot young thing.  I'm not anymore.

Me at dawn. I was 22 here.
Today, Sunday mornings are loud and my day is left in her hands.  It's impossible to have spontaneous plans pop up because I don't have a spur-of-the-moment babysitter and even if I did, I am so exhausted by the end of the day that I rarely stay up past 9pm.  If I'm sick, too bad.  Mom's don't get to call in sick.  I work to buy my kid nice things.  So that she can leave them all over the house for me to clean up.  Today my boobs are heading south, my ass is expanding to unclaimed frontiers and there is a roundness to me that I can barely identify.  It isn't pretty or sexy and I cannot remember the last time I thought about sex.

It's not that there aren't good points,  Lila is the joy of my life in so many ways.  But seriously, when you put it on paper it really makes me yearn for the good old ancient days of B.C.

(All photos were the result of a Bing Search and thumbnails.  But the captions are mine)

Monday, May 23, 2011

12- 30 Days of Books

After today I am moving the 30 days of books into its own tab because it doesn't really have anything to do with Motherhood. 

Day 12 - A book so emotionally draining that you either couldn't finish it or had to set it aside for a bit.

(I wish this was an option in real life)

This is seriously one of the best books I have ever read.  Seriously.  I am oh, so grateful that I finished it.  But it's tough.  The subject matter is tremendously disturbing, unless you find pre-pubescent boys dressing up like little girls and  turning tricks at truck stops "easy to read".

I was devastated when I found out that JT Leroy sold the movie rights to this and then came out in public (he/she was a "recluse" which was apparently all a stunt) because the idea that it was a real autobiographical novel added power to it.  Still a fucking fantastically powerful read.  And who could resist the title? 
Image from amazon.com
The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things by JT LeRoy

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Parenting Fail?

Am I a terrible mom?  I try to stay on top of things.  I want my kid to eat well and get enough sleep and say please and thank you.  I want her to be smart and capable and independent and well-behaved.  And so far I have failed at all but the part about her being smart (assed) and independednt (3 going on 13). 

In trying to come to terms with just how to handle this problem of Lila being the sassiest little bitch on earth (yeah, I said it), the only thing I can come up with is that I am just too fucking tired to discipline her EVERY SINGLE TIME (which would literally be about 3 times per minute) that she does something that pisses me off. 

My kid yells at me.  She throws things and she refuses to eat.  Then she throws a huge asshole fit about the fact that she doesn't get any snacks because she refused to eat what I put in front of her (No, I don't give in and she still does not GET it). She refuses to poop on the toilet still and when I refused to buy any more pull ups, she held it for 4 days until it was so painful for her (even with the laxative) that she will probably never want to shit on the toilet again (thanks to the doctor for that award-winning advice).  She acts like an animal when we go to a store.  She manipulates me by crying and telling me she hates me (remind you, she is not a teenager - she's 3). 

In between the 3 minute hugs and the 2 and a half moments of happiness is all this SHIT.

I am at my wits end.  And all I can do is blog about it. 

Fucking kid.

Day 11

Day 11 - The Book that Made You Fall in Love with Reading

In 10th grade, I had the best English teacher on earth who pushed me to find a book that I loved.  I found the Martian Chronicles.  I am not a sci-fi nerd and I don't generally enjoy space themed crap but I LOVED this book because of it's short stories that linked together and then the magical and severely emotionally powerful writing of Bradbury. 

Thank you, Mr. Casamento...It is becaus of this book that I went on to become so promiscuous with books.

From Wikipedia:


The Martian Chronicles is a 1950 science fiction short story collection by Ray Bradbury that chronicles the colonization of Mars by humans fleeing from a troubled and eventually atomically devastated Earth, and the conflict between aboriginal Martians and the new colonists. The book lies somewhere between a short story collection and an episodic novel, containing stories Bradbury originally published in the late 1940s in science fiction magazines. For publication, the stories were loosely woven together with a series of short, interstitial vignettes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

# 10 - 30 Days of Books

Day 10 - The First Novel You Remember Reading

I know I read this and I know I loved it at the time but I will be damned if I can tell you anything about it.

I also know I read it in fourth grade because that was the year the Catholic school I went to since preschool closed and it was a pretty traumatic time. 

The fact that I read this in fourth grade just reinforced the feeling that I need to send my kid to private school because apparently this book is meant for kids in "early middle school" which I take to mean 6th or 7th grade.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Public schools here are pure evil and Day 9

I just want my kid to learn something when she goes to school.  This year we have her in a preschool we really like.  She goes 2 half days a week and LOVES it.  So next year we want her to go more.  Like every day.  But here's the thing - her school only offers 3 half days a week for 4 year olds.  Lila definitly needs more.  So we decided to try the city schools and see what's up.

My city has very good schools and very bad schools.  There is little in between.  We assumed that since we lived about 4 blocks (and over a hill) from one of the very good schools that Lila would be in the district for that school and we would have been a shoe in to get her into the pre-k program there.  So I called the district office.

Turns out that we are in the zoning for another school that is still less than a mile away but is more, shall we say, "urban" (it's in the ghetto).  It has no windows and is in a neighborhood where you can find crack at any hour of the day or night (seriously, I know because I grew up a few blocks over).  Not to mention that the scores are about half of what they are at the better, prettier school.

I would rather homeschool Lila than send her there.  That's a pretty strong statement because you all KNOW how much I just LOOOOVE spending several days in a row in the house just me and the kid...

The only other option is private school.  In our case, it means Catholic school, which I am not against because I did it and I KNOW I learned more than some of my public school friends.  But the cost...WHEW the cost!

More important is the absurdity that in the same city the PUBLIC schools that are less than a mile away from eachother vary THAT MUCH in the ability to educate the children.  I know it isn't about the teachers.  They do the best they can with what they have.  It's a bigger problem of the city not finding a better way to balance out the kids and the money to make sure that all the kids in the district, regardless of where they live, can go to a school that the parents (like me) can be comfortable with. 

I wonder why that woman in Ohio lied about her residence to get her kids into a better school?  I was thinking of doing the same. 

Moving on:

30 Days of Books Day 9 - A book you've read more than once:

My copy is underlined, dog eared, highlighted, starred and has comments in most of the margins.  I LOVE Kundera's stark scenes and philosophical look at the human condition.

Bing Shopping's description:
A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover -- these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence, we feel "the unbearable lightness of being" not only as the consequence of our pristine actions but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 8 - 30 Days of Books

Day 8 - An Unpopular book that SHOULD be a bestseller:

I don't even need to comment on this one.  All parents should own this to pull out on those particularly "fun" evenings where the kid just will not fucking go to sleep.

You can find it on Amazon HERE

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 7 and also a little rant

When I was growing up I had a friend (who we’ll call Britney to protect her identity and in case she is reading my blog) who refused to eat anything that wasn’t name brand. I would pull out the grocery store brand “W” cola and she would turn her nose up and tell me she’d just have water. She told me over and over how much better REAL Pop Tarts were compared to the generic ones that my mother bought and faked illness when my mother dared to offer her GENERIC PEANUT BUTTER sandwiches for lunch. But I liked Britney and we were friends even though I never owned name-brand sneakers or drank REAL Minute Maid orange juice. Somehow though, this ALWAYS made me feel inferior.

An artist's rendition of
my friend "Britney" as I
remember her.
Perhaps this is why I have refused to jump on the “organic foods” bandwagon. As far as I can tell, there is no point is serving Lila organic breakfast cereal, organic frozen dinners, organic cookies, organic yogurt, organic popcorn or pretty much any snack junk food that is labeled as organic.

First off, let me say that for this kind of stuff, the fact that it’s processed is far worse for her than the fact that it’s not organic. Processed foods have all the good stuff taken out and a bunch of other stuff put back in. These are not actually FOOD as people a hundred years ago would understand it, but more like “foodstuffs”, which is like food but with less actual nutrition involved. If Lila wants this stuff, (and because I want to choose my battles because she is a total fucking warrior who will win) she eats the generic stuff. And usually there is no generic organic stuff.

The second thing though, is more rooted in the mentality that I experienced as a kid. I don’t know if I believe that “organic” is necessarily any better quality than “name brand” is. I know there are a bunch of you out there who want to explain to me about chemicals and pesticides and nitrates and all kinds of other things, but truly, that was the same kind of argument the name brand girl gave me, telling me that the factories that make name-brand foods are cleaner and pass a higher standard than their generic counterparts.

Here’s the thing. I am worried that this is going to be a problem when Lila gets older and has her little friends over, just like it was to me. There are so many parents out there who would never let a “regular” apple touch their children’s lips and I worry that someday Lila will feel the same kind of inferiority that I did at the fact that her mom doesn’t buy into the bullshit marketing campaigns and that honestly, generic regular popcorn slathered in butter and salt is just as bad for you as name-brand organic popcorn slathered in hormone free butter and sea salt.

For the big stuff, I am on board. I like grass-fed meat better, I am all for not giving my kid hormone-filled milk and I truly think organic produce tastes better. But if it comes from a package and has a shelf-life of more than a couple of months, I just don’t buy it. And I just won’t BUY it.

30 Days of Books Day 7
A book that is hard to read

This could be taken two ways.  But my selection for this one made me have to stop because it was seriously disgusting me, which I am sure is NOT the intention of the author:

First off, I want to let you know that I watched the movie.  As bizarre and disturbing as the movie was, it was NO WHERE NEAR as fucked up as the book. It is NOT easy to upset my sensibilities but Bret Easton Ellis managed to completely destroy them.  I squirmed and gagged and finally gave up because it was so graphic and twisted that I wanted to slit my own throat. 

The writing is beautiful though and in some parts I was actually touched.  Like this passage:

"My personality is sketchy and unformed, my heartlessness goes deep and is persistent. My conscience, my pity, my hopes disappeared a long time ago if they ever did exist. There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it. I have no surpassed. I still, though, hold on to one single bleak truth: no one is safe, nothing is redeemed"
But Ellis's ability to capture this character's total depersonalization was too much for me. 

To Whom it May Concern:

Inspired by Band Back Together's May Venue for Making 2011 My Bitch, I am ready to write a very formal cease and desist letter to my deepest fear.

Dear Sir or Madam (whatever the case may be):

This letter is written primarily in regard to your recent campaign to make me feel insane whilst you and your minions laugh hysterically from the balcony. 

I do not appreciate the subconscious suggestions that I am "just like my mother" nor the ones where you purposely try to convince me that my child is going to "end up just like the rest of the depressed assholes in the family."  She is also unlikely to grow up to smoke crack and worship Satan, and I refuse to let that thought intrude any longer.

(Thanks to Google for this one)

I understand that you exist as a mechanism to push me to do (and be) better, but I must say that your tactics thus far are completely out of line with your objectives.  So I am requesting that you immediately make the following changes or face serious consequences:

1) You must cease and desist any dream-time activity.  I know that the easiest way to paralyze me is to interfere with my sleep, but the idea that you will win by cheating and attacking when I am defenseless and not even awake is beyond reprehensible.  And I have a hard time knowing sometimes if it is a memory or a dream so this is unacceptable. 

2) You will slow your progression from merely warning me that I am missing the mark to causing outright panic so that I may be able to interject at least TWO rational thoughts between each suggestion, thus stalling and perhaps even averting all-out catastrophic thinking.

3) You must allow me to say out loud, sometimes repeatedly that the past is NOT an indication of the future.

4) You will accept the fact that I am NOT MY MOTHER.  Additionally, you will remind me that it was not necessarily my mother's mental illness that contributed to my struggles, but the way she presented them and failed to seek help until the damage was already done.

5) You will additionally be required to tell me at least once per day I am not going to become my mother, nor am I going to allow my own child to feel the misery I felt at my own mother's hands. 

If you do not agree to the demands set forth here in this letter, serious remedial action will be commenced including but not limited to talk therapy, anti-anxiety medication, electroshock therapy, hypnotism and in all likelihood, serious blogging and exposure of your trickery.  And we all know that exposure of fears to the light is the best way to destroy them.

Very sincerely yours,


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

6 - 30 Days of Books

Day 06- A Book that makes you cry

Anyone familiar with John Irving knows about the emotional potency of his writing.  Anyone who isn't familiar should be warned that he will make you cry.
This is a book in three parts and the first part is the subject of the movie "The Door in the Floor".  This is the part of the book that I cry throughout.  Because Ruth is 4 years old and lives in a house where her older brothers had died in a car crash and her mother never quite recovered.  The emotional incapability of her mother is so palpable that it hurts to read.  She ends up having an affair, which is also very emotionally charged and she just leaves one day, never to be seen again.  And so this little girl is left somewhat bereft but very much loved and cared for by her father.
The second part of the book is also very satifying and as Ruth becomes a very successful writer she embarks on a book tour.  While in Amsterdam she witnesses a murder and spends the rest of the book trying to find someone who will investigate.
In the third and last part, she is widowed and has a young son and falls in a deep love for the first time (which also makes me cry) with the detective who is working on the murder case.  I am not telling if he solves the murder or not but I will say that there is a surprise at the end of the book and it isn't that he's the killer.
(Doing this list is making me want to go back and read all these books again from a different point in my life.  Except Twilight.  Fuck Twilight.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

A long slow death

I hated getting out of bed then.  I was about 13 and suffering from a pretty severe case of my own melancholy. Not the way normal teens did.  It was much, much worse.  But it was hard for her to notice.  Because of the way she just sat there.

I used to come down the stairs loudly, hoping it would make her snap out of it.  I thought that perhaps she would put on a show of being okay just for me.  She didn't.

Outside, the sky was always gray - a constant miserable bleakness that only seemed to make the kitchen more gloomy and unbearable than what it was.  I hated that time.

She always sat at the end of the kitchen table in her dark blue furry bathrobe.  It was old and worn in plenty of places and she usually had not washed yesterday's makeup off so her mascara would be smeared around her eyes.  She sat in the dark and held her head up with her right hand leaning closer to the wall, just in case she couldn't hold it any longer, I suppose.

She chain smoked with her left hand.  One cigarette after the other.  As I tried to work around her silence, I would rinse the coffee pot, trying to make some coffee for her so that she would seem more awake.  But she just sat there.  She wouldn't even move when I needed to get into the drawer behind her.  She'd just let the drawer hit her in the back. 

The tip would light bright fiery orange and she'd breathe in and hold.  As she stared straight ahead, she'd seem to relax a bit as she exhaled - a long soft sound that sent the smoke swelling out into the room and sent her back to being still for a few minutes until she suddenly put the thing back to her lips and started all over again in a simple, small, slowly choreographed motion.

She would sit there like this for hours.  Some days I wasn't allowed to turn the light on.  Other days she would just forget.  She would just sit there - sad and alone, silently contemplating some hurt that I had no way of comprehending and that she would never tell me for fear of accidentally passing that inertia on to me. 

The same way I fear I am going to accidentally pass it on to my own girl.  Like killing her slowly with secondhand smoke.

(written in response to the above photo as a prompt at the RedDressClub)

30 Days of Books

Day 05- A Non-fiction book that you were assigned in school that you actually enjoyed.

(I told Mollie that I was going to change this up a little because we both took offense to the idea that one could "actually" like nonfiction.  So I added the part about the assignment.)

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote was assigned to me in my creative nonfiction class in college.  I typically HATE true crime and hate gory murder scenes but this book transcended all that with fantastic character development of these two small-time crooks turned murderers of an entire small town family.

The reason I loved this book so much was that Capote took the time to humanize everyone in the story, from the killers to the family to the sheriff investigating the crime.  No one was a small character and the story moves from the time before the crime right through to death row.  Of course, after spending many hours interviewing one of the convicts, Capote develops a crush and so his interpretation of Perry Smith are much more emotional and you actually find yourself momentarily thinking that this guy isn't pure evil but just dealt a bad hand.

The movie version is good, but the book really must be read.  It is a true American classic in every sense of the word.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

30 Days of Books - Day 4

A Book That Reminds You Of Home

This would have been much easier if I was still living AWAY from home in Arizona.  But I am going to pick one and tell you why:

It isn't the theme of this book that makes me think of home.  Honestly, I don't remember much of the story.  It's the time when I was reading it.

I was an odd teenager.  I was suffering from serious depression and dropped out of high school half way through my senior year.  During that spring, I started this book.  I would spend hours sitting in my parent's backyard or in my room reading this.  I had a tough time concentrating and so I went and got the audio version hoping to listen AND read to absorb the story.  I didn't know about audiobooks being abridged though and so I had to tough it out with the book. 

Half way through, my parents split.  My mother had a boyfriend and so she moved out and my father was thrown into his own private hell, which I could do nothing about because I knew that there was no words to help.  I was stuck there and this book became my escape.

So that is my book that reminds me of home.  My parents' home.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 3 - A book that Surprised You

I was not sure what to make of this book when I found it in the bargain bin.  It appears to be a kids book with big pictures and humorous explanations of the head, but as I began to read it I realized that this is really a spoof of a kids book.  Meant for adults with a bizarre sense of humor.

Take for example the treatise on ears called "Who is the lunatic who designed your ears?".  It describes how ears were invented in 1911 and how the designer only had 2 days to design them so he was a little rushed.  But he was also working on a tree fort, and so the ear was created in a late-night session wherein he just created ANYTHING to get the ear finished.

Other topics include:

  • Political Affiliations Within the Body
  • The Great Swamp Mouth Hunt
  • Your Nose Hairs: the body's fallen angels
  • Reasons to Remove your Teeth and/or Tongue

Friday, May 13, 2011


glut·tony (noun) \ˈglət-nē, ˈglə-tə-nē\ 1: excess in eating or drinking; 2: greedy or excessive indulgence

How does Motherhood make me gluttonous?  Does anyone else hide the snacks?  I love Oreos.  I love ice cream.  I love chocolate bars and marshmallows and chips and salsa and dip and anything covered in sugar.  I also have a three year old kid who is limited to the amount of this stuff that she gets.  
Lila is still too small to reach the upper compartments of things and so it is easy to hide these things from her and tell her we don't keep them in the house.  Part of this is the real genuine reasonable concern that she not get too much junk food and sugar and crap (as my usual readers know, she gets plenty at Grandma's) but there is another part of me.  A darker more sinister (and probably more honest) part of me knows that I will never share my stash with her because then there's less for me.
I used to eat ice cream every night.  EVERY NIGHT.  Lila would go to bed and I would pull out the chocolate ice cream and melt some peanut butter in the microwave and crush some Reeses's Peanut Butter Cups to throw on top of it.  I want to repeat:  I DID THIS EVERY NIGHT (hence the fat stories).
Lila does not know this.  Lila has never had chocolate ice cream (she always asks for vanilla) and she certainly would never do anything so crazy and waste candy by combining it with ice cream.  I don't consider it a waste at all.  And in fact, I dread the day when she can see the counter tops and begins begging me for a little bit of what is mine. 
Lately, I have been trying to be better.  I don't do ice cream nightly anymore (just on the weekends) and I try to just do ice cream on its own without the bells and whistles of candy and melted ecstasy along with it.  But I still don't want to share.  I want to eat it all.  I want that whole half gallon of chocolate-y goodness in my belly and I want it now.
The only thing that stops me is that I know I will be a fat glutton and I will hate myself in the morning.
Poor poor Lila.  She has no idea what she's up against.

Based on the prompt at  http://thereddressclub.blogspot.com/

Day 2- A Book You Hate

Day 2- A Book You Hate



And I know this is going to get me all kinds of hate reactions but screw you guys.  I hated it.

I was working at Borders when the phenomenon that is "Twilight" happened.  I was curious.  What the hell was so great about this book?  Why did people think this was so awesome?  This has only happened one other time to me and that was with the DaVinci Code and when I read that I totally "got" why a gazillion people LOVED that book.  It was cool and complicated.  A page turner with smarts. 

Twilight was a story about a girl and a vampire.

Yes.  That's it.  A girl who likes a sparkly dude who drinks blood.

I want to make it clear that I LIKE vampires.  I once DATED a guy called Johnny Vampire (true story).  I LOVED all of the Vampire Chronicles and think Lestat is one of the great vampires of all time. My hatred is not about the vampires.

The writing is mediocre at best.  The story is predictable.  And when the author came to one of the Borders stores to sign some books she was apparently a total cunt to everyone who worked there.

Twilight is a vampire story (and werewolf story too) for those who don't really like vampires.  It's a teenage romance novel, not a horror novel.  And I do LOVE me some good gory vampire horror.

So there.  I hate Twilight.  And I also hate that Pattinson guy and his doped up girlfriend.  :-)

(as always the images come via google search.  They aren't mine)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

30 Days of Books?

My buddy Mollie over at Ok in UK is doing this and she got it from somewhere and I am stealing it from her. 

Since I am a total book WHORE, I should have no problem with this, right?


This book is nothing short of a total mind fuck.  It is terrifying in that psychological, you don't really KNOW why you're scared kind of way.  Not to mention that the format of the book is all part of the story. 

There are pages that are normal.  But then there's this:

 And this:

 And even this:

The story itself is about a couple of different stories that connect...a house that has a bottomless room, a junkie who got his hands on the story and it's making him go crazy...a mother in a mental institution...It's a fantastically magnificent and involved book.  It must be read to be understood as there is NO WAY I can do it justice.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just like her mom!

All mothers love it when their little girls put on their shoes, jewelry, perfume, etc., and turn to us and say "I'm just like you Mommy!"  But I am finding that I am passing on other things.  Not just my shitty attitude, mood swings, and perpensity to swear like a trucker either.

Lila had her first "treatment" today.  For any of you who are fans of the sci-fi show "Dollhouse," you know why that makes me snicker. 

That's (not) me in the suit.

But all kidding aside, last night Lila tossed and turned all night waking up crying and frustrated because she simply could not breathe.

Lila has finally developed Mommy's asthma.

My poor kid.  Last night was awful.  It's seriously the worst feeling in the world when you can hear your kid wheezing and struggling for air but she doesn't complain enough for you to think its an emergency.  I wanted to take her to the hospital but knew it would just scare her and so I had to let her just suffer through it until morning. Until we could get her into her doctor.  Until they could give her the "treatment" and send us home with a nebulizer contraption.

It's kind of like this.  (But not really)
She did a fantastic job.  She was completely terrified by the thing.  She was scared about "breathing the stinky smoke".  But the doc and I assured her it would make her feel better so that she could play with her little cousins later on today.  So she sat there all pissed off at me for making her do this and when it was done cheerfully picked out as many stickers as she wanted because the doc was so impressed that she was so scared but never cried once.  My kid is a bad ass like that.

And so for a week, every four to six hours, I have to strap the thing onto her head and force her to breathe in the vapors and pray that she lets me.  Because with all the other fun battles (eating, sleeping, what to wear, not being an asshole) I truly don't want to have to fight another one.

And because the doc said that it is likely just a side effect of the extremely high pollen count and the moisture that is causing an outbreak of mold, she is optimistic that she will not need the treatments every day of her life. 

Which I hope is true.  Because being the sickly kid with asthma would be terrible for my kid's reputation as a trouble maker.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


When I was younger I loved the beach.  Living in a place where lakes abound, I was fascinated by the ocean and couldn't wait to get there.  When I did I marvelled at how beach sand is so much richer and more coarse than the crappy backyard sand they truck in to line the beaches where I'm from.

But all that changed when I became a mother.

Sand is the enemy.  It gets everywhere.  There was a time when I didn't mind taking a nice walk on the beach and shaking out my shoes when we got home. 

Now I have to worry about shaking out shoes, ears, butts, toes, and still finding sand in the strangest places months afterwards.

Some of us (my mother included) are crazy enough to put a whole box of the stuff in the yard so that it can be tracked through the house all year long.  Not me.

The trunk of my car looks like a sandbox from just a few modest trips to the beach where I swear I shook and rinsed and de-sanded everything before we left.

There are toys that she will no longer play with because they have something that appears to be a permanent sand dust on them.

There are sea shell collections that pop up in very unusual spots.  A few days ago I found 3 of them shoved in the dirt in a houseplant.

And yet, in spite of all the trouble and all the mess, we are still constantly drawn back to the beach, aren't we?  We spend all winter longing for the damp breeze and the hot feeling as we dig our toes into the sun-warmed sand and recline while the kids play with a bucket of sludge from the edge of the water.

There is something incredible and beautiful about sand.  And its ability to stay with us long after we think we've left it. 

(Inspired by a prompt from the Red Dress Club)


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

As much as I complain about my kid, she really is amazingly adorable and wonderful.  This morning after sleeping in until a whopping 8:30 am, as I came down the stairs Lila came speeding through the house smashing her shoulder on the doorway to yell "Happy Mother's Day" at the top of her lungs for me.  Now, I knew she hurt herself, but she was trying SO HARD to be strong and brave and I saw her little lip quivering but she refused to cry.

Next she gave me my presents...a leather bracelet she picked out for me at Target because "It's rockin'" and a pretty little book she made for me at preschool. 

Well, they spelled my name wrong but you have to love a 3 year old's perception of age!

Seriously, how fucking cute are my kid's answers?


Then she presented me with the gift her and her Mia (Ben's mom) made for me over the course of the last two weekends.  It's a MAILBOX!

I blotted out the names and address.  Sorry stalkers!
Seriously.  I have never ben so happy to have this little on to take care of and I hope that you all can find joy in your special day as well!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Because you guys ROCK!

I am finally doling out the awards that were bestowed upon me several weeks ago:

The first one goes to No. 7 and comes with the prerequisite that you tell us all a juicy secret about yourself:

The Second goes to JLK at Pieces of Me because she writes beautifully about a bunch of different topics:

And you only have to give us 7 short facts about yourself in order to claim it. 

OH, and please...pass them on to a blogger you love.

Lila ruins everything

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Tell that to any mother of a preschooler and she'll tell you that it actually destroys worlds.

Every mom wants to share the things she loves with her children.  For example, a favorite song or book or movie. 

I used to love Joan Jett.  I have seen her in concert a few times and always thought of "I Love Rock and Roll" as the summation of my childhood (I was a strange kid).

Lila also loves that song.  In fact, she loves it so much that when I played the CD one time while driving her to the sitter, she "rocked out" through the whole song, then merrily shouted, "AGAIN!"  By the third time, she was singing along to the chorus and "OOOOOW"-ing in that high-pitched voice of hers.  Luckily, it only took 3 times to get where we were going.

But it didn't stop there.  She needed it every time we got into the car.  Some time around the 218th time in a row I heard it (and nothing else) while driving, I told her that I forgot the disc in the house.  A full-on heartbreak ensued and she cried the entire trip to the grocery store and back.  And even though I could have simply put it on because I was obviously lying, I didn't want her to know I was lying and so instead I endured her tears and whining.

Needless to say, I cringe when I hear it now. 

She did the same to my favorite color, which used to be purple.  Lila LOVES purple.  And after painting her room purple, and getting her purple sheets, a purple rug, purple curtains, a purple bookcase and pretty much any toy that contains purple in it, she started to insist on wearing something purple every single day.  We have A LOT of purple socks and underwear and she would only wear one pair of shoes (can you guess what they look like) every day if I would let her.

She has done this with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was my favorite Disney movie.  I hate it now.  This happened with Tom and Jerry cartoons.  It happened with a children's book I kept around BEFORE I EVER EVEN THOUGHT I MIGHT HAVE A KID, Ferdinand the Bull, which Lila wore out in a matter of days.  It happens with foods, with games (I was thrilled the FIRST time she wanted to play Candyland.  The 7,586th time?  Not so much.). 

Because preschoolers are nothing if not obsessive.

(Image from  http://www.last.fm/music/Joan+Jett/+images/5113011)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Taste in Music is Obviously Questionable

I was fooling around with the interwebs again clicking various links from blogs I like and opened up Mama Kats site and found this prompt:

"Soundtrack of your life: Pick 10 songs that you would have on a soundtrack for your life, pick a line from each that you most identify with and write a short statement of why this song made it."

This got me thinking about all the songs that have been very mood enhancing and/or devastatingly depressing at certain points in my life and so I am going to give you a play by play of the songs playing during the movie version of:

Mostly True Fiction:  Why Selena's Life Sucked but Kind of Didn't

Opening Credits:  A sweeping scene of rain clouds over a volatile body of water with breaks of sunshine beaming through in some spots like at the end of a thunderstorm.
Song: Ordinary World by Duran Duran ("What is happening to me...crazy some say...where is the light that I recognize...GONE AWAY")

Childhood:  I consider this any time BEFORE I was 11.  This time is mostly about my family including the drunk Polish side of my family who I spent most of my time with.  I went to Catholic school and was raised watching MTV with my then-teenaged brother and he used to get somewhat protective over me growing up too fast because he was convinced I would end up a whore. (I think he was on to something)
Song: Sister Christian by Night Ranger ( "Sister Christian there's so much in life..Don't you give it up befrore your time is due...It's true." )

Summer of 1989- I discover boys:  My friend who I will just call "Pippie" and I find a skateboard shop in our neighborhood filled with boys who are too old for us and total rebel punk rock types.  PERFECT!
Song: Boys of Summer by Don Henley (or the remake by the Ataris which I will quote here) "Out on the Road Today I saw a Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac.  A little voice inside my head said 'dont look back, you can never look back'...Thought I knew what love was...what did I know? Those days are gone forever...I should just let them go..."

Summer of 1991 - Selena turns into a Hood rat:   We thought we were really cool and all gangsta and all that but really we were just a bunch of stupid white kids.  Around this time, my mother's depression was at it's worst and so to cope I hooked up with a guy who used to slap me around.  I also ended up hospitalized for depression but when summer came around the bunch of us took over a local schoolyard and terrorized the kids there.
Song: Around the Way Girl by LL Cool J ( I can't quote it because it's too cheesy but it fits, trust me).

1997:  Groupie Alert!: I wrote about it a little before and I am not going into any detail other than to say that I really DO need to do a full post about it.
I will just pick my song:  Plowed by Sponge ("In a world of human wreckage...")

From there until 2004 before I moved to Arizona:  Holy shit.  I was crazy.  I am still not sure what my problem was.  But the jist is that I had many MANY boyfriends.  This may be a great place for a montage, where they shoe me meeting a perfectly nice guy, having sex with him and then turning psycho and throwing shit at him and/or stalking him and finding that he actually IS married after all.  Seriously.  It was a fucked up time in my life.
Song: Crazy on You by Heart ("If we still have time, we might still get by...Every time I think about it, I wanna cry...") I do.  I want to cry when I think about that time.

2004-2007 - Move to Arizona: I just up and left.  I had a friend out there and I was unemployed having been fired for Sexual Harassment (I totally didn't do what I was accused of although I admit to plenty of harassment in other circumstances) and the guy I just broke up with thought I was going to be his wife someday.  Seriously.  So I just left.  I spent a lot of time sitting outside in the hot desert air wishing for rain.  And the song really describes what life was like there
Song: No Rain by Blind Melon ("...And I don't understand why I sleep all day, and start to complain when there's no rain.  And all I can do is read a book to stay away.  And it rips my life away but its a great escape...")

2007-2008 - Baby: Lila NEVER slept.  NEVER. NEVER.  And I needed some medication for depression and the unrelenting anxiety I felt because I never slept and was going crazy.  I stayed on the Xanax long after I needed it because it kept me from losing my mind during those nights where I was up and awake after getting up for the 3rd time with the kid.
Song: Mothers Little Helper by the Rolling Stones ("...you can tranquilize your mind, so go running for the shelter of a mother's little helper. And four help you through the night, help to minimize your plight...")

2008 - Move back to Syracuse:  We were broke.  Bens business had gone under and we really wanted our kid to be near family.  It was a bittersweet move because we had both hated growing up here and had left for good reasons.  But here we were going back home. (You shoule know that compared to AZ with its 95% days WITH sunshine, Syracuse has at least moderate clouds about 90% of the time)
Song: Mama I'm Comin' Home by Ozzy Osbourne ( "...and I don't care about the sunshine yeah..cause mama, mama i'm comin home..")

Now: This part would be about dealing (or not really "dealing") with a toddler/preschooler who is strong-willed (a nice way of saying evil).  The song sums up what I do all day.
Song: Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue.