Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hot Yoga

In the past few years, I have gone through hell.  Not the sulphur and pitchforks kind, the absurd, asinine kind.  Where people will ask me in amazement how I'm dealing with the shit I've been handed and I just shrug my shoulders because there really is nothing to say. I got screwed, blued and tattooed.  Well, not tattooed, but definitely screwed.  So while I'm trying to cope with said screwing, I have received advise on how best to handle the mental and physical stress that has come from my ridiculous screwing.

Punching Bag.
Ice Cream
All have been suggested as potential stress relievers.  After another metaphorical kidney punch, I was in desperate need of some stress relief.  Keep in mind, the stress I'm talking about put me in the hospital last year with a pseudo heart attack...was diagnosed with "Broken Heart Syndrome".  Google it.

Anyway, to avoid a repeat visit, I have been trying to better handle the pile of bullshit that keeps being forced down my gullet by a sociopath and accomplice.  

I posted some 'poor me' things on Facebook, which drew the attention of a teacher at my children's school.
Who asked me if I wanted to do Hot Yoga with her.
I didn't. 
But she assured me it was a great stress reliever.  
And that I wouldn't have a heart attack.
In my desperation for some fraction of peace, I said yes.


Text from Teacher: Are you going to make it to yoga?
Me: Going to try! (not really)
Teacher: Do you need a mat?  I have an extra in my trunk.
Me: Have one, on my way...what if I'm late?  (yes, I have a mat and at this point I gave in)
Teacher: They lock the door at 5.  I can let her know you're on your way so she can let you in.
Me: Lock the door? WTF? (pause...because WTF???)

Note: evidently, because they like the room to be hotter than hell, they lock the door to keep people from barging in and messing with their peace and shit.  And temperature.

So if you've been contemplating hot yoga, please feel free to follow my guide.
Hot Yoga

Screech in because you are late.

Grab dog hair covered mat and approach locked door.  Wonder if it is also locked from the inside because that would be just fucked up, not to mention a huge fire marshall offense.  

Yoga lady lets you in.  Room is dark.  There are about 20 people and they appear to be segregated by fitness levels.  Close to the door are the pudgier people.  Further away are the fit, toned, yoga bodied people.  The Teacher has saved you a spot next to her, in Hottie Town. You stand out like a sore thumb. 
Roll out mat like you know what you're doing.
Notice it is really, really hot.
Try to copy pose.
Take in fellow yoga-ers. 
The guy next to you is a million years old and of Asian descent.  Decide to call him Egg Roll.
The woman in front is about the same size as you, only rather than wearing the loose workout pants and t shirt you have chosen, she is in tight shorts and a sports bra.  With a large fleshy tire hanging over her waistband.  Be proud of fellow chubber and decide she shall be known simply as Green Tank Top.
Son's teacher is a little in front of you, giving you a perfect view of her perfect butt.  Think that if  she wore those shorts to any school function, a lot of middle school boys and their fathers would re-discover Van Halen's Hot For Teacher because...damn.
Try the next pose.
Fall a little bit.
Notice it is getting hotter in here.
Yoga teacher is telling you to inhale and AXhale.  Not EXhale, but AXhale.  This will bug you the entire rest of the class..sort of like when people say melk instead of milk.  Dub her Axhale. 
Remember Hot Teacher telling you that hot yoga will create such a diversion from the thoughts in your mind that you can't help but relax.  This is true.  Because all you are doing at this point is wondering where all this god damn heat is coming from and where the nearest hospital if should you require medical care.
There are little puddles of sweat in  your bra, under each boob.
Take in room and try to determine age of building and if the electrical is up to code because it is scorching in here.
Egg Roll is axhaling his ass off.
Hot teacher has become a human pretzel.
Green tank top is lying on her mat like a beached whale.  It's possible she's dead.
Axhale keeps talking about interlacing fingers and trying for a standing split.
This involves one foot on the ground, the other way up high.
Think if you can master THIS pose, your celibate days might be O-V-E-R.
Give it a try.
Realize part of the reason you fell was because the bottoms of your feet are so god damn sweaty, you have no traction.
Wonder if there is something wrong with the giant heaters because you now notice your underwear are wet and in your confusion, falling  and sweating, you have no idea if you have pee'd yourself in or if this place is seriously so fucking hot your lady parts are sweating, too.

Axhale keeps babbling.  
Tune her out.
Copy Egg Roll and Hot Teacher.
Green Tank Top hasn't moved.
Axhale doesn't seem to notice the possible corpse because she's too busy talking about how good this bullshit is for you.

See there are ceiling fans, which are doing nothing more than swirling the hot air around.

Watch as Axhale goes to door.

She opens it.
She must have realized the heater was broken or someone set it to 5 million degrees.
A cool breeze comes in and you try to soak it up.
Then, she closes the door.
Wonder if Axhale has ever been accused of being a prick tease.
That was just fucked up.
After the ten second taste of fresh air, you're insanely hot. 
Wonder if this is what drug addiction feels like...because now you know that cold, fresh air is so close... you've had a taste and you want more. And would do anything for it.
Every blood vessel in your face is about to burst.
You look like an old alcoholics nose, only it's your entire face.
Your cute hair clip is falling out because your scalp if dripping with now look like one of those middle aged ladies with the wierd giant buns on their head, only instead of a giant bun it's a spastic bun, flopping all over the place.
Axhale has decided now's the time for power sit ups.  Don't even try this.
Wonder if Axhale is like Sookie Stackhouse and can read your mind because if she could, she would know how pertinent it is to her safety to open that fucking door again and give you another taste of freedom.
She doesn't do this.
Instead, she suggests a move that you can only refer to as "Ass end over tea kettle" pose.
Of course, Hot Teacher and Egg Roll are in this position, staring at the tops of their feet from an upside down and backwards position.  Green Tank Top is decomposing.
Sit  on your ass in defiance and drink water.
Notice clock.
It's almost over!
Decide to attempt last pose.
Squish boob while attempting said last pose.

Do some weird breathing thing wrong and accidentally hyperventilate.
As if knowing she is on your shit list, Axhale tries to make up for her inability to operate a thermostat by spritzing water on you as you lay there; it evaporates before it even reaches your skin, making you even more annoyed with Axhale the Prick Tease. 

Survive class.

Get little schedule that explains how hot yoga can burn up to 1200 calories per session.

Decide to give Axhale another chance. For Now. 
Provided the red tomato look you are currently sporting goes away and you look human again at some point.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Grandma Ethel's Snickerdoodles

Of all the cookies in the world, snicker doodles are one of my least favorite.  Sure, they are way better than gross, flavorless, crumbly shortbread cookies, who can only redeem themselves if they are saturated in chocolate, but compared to a good chocolate chip or peanut butter?  Please.  

However, my grandma made these snicker doodles for me when I was a kid and being the nice kid I was, I ate them.  
So she made more. 
So I ate more.
So she made more.
So I ate more. 
You can see where this went.

Once, during my high school years, a few friends stopped by.  
A few high on the marijuana friends stopped by.
And my grandma had just made me a fresh batch of these cookies, of which I was MORE than happy to share.
Now, two teenage males can eat a lot.  Two teenage males who had just smoked a solid amount of pot?  Can eat several dozen cookies, much to my grandmother and my delight.  
Which they did.

Once I was on my own, I was able to stop snickerdoodling.

Several years past.
No snicker doodles.
Whenever people would discuss snicker doodles, I would make sure they knew I did NOT like them...just in case they ever decided to bestow upon me a cookie basket, they would know what would not fly.  
Neither would a fruit basket.
A basket stuffed full of Starbucks cards?  

Once enough time had passed, I revisited the idea of snicker doodling again.
I had found a 3 x 5 index card with the recipe written in my grandma's old lady penmanship and decided I'd make them just to see if they were how I remembered. 
They were.
However, this time I shared them with self proclaimed cookie connoisseurs who were NOT high.  
They. Loved. Them.
As in INSANELY loved them.
They also thought I was nuts for wrinkling my nose at them.
If you're looking for a "perfect" snicker doodles (not my adjective, but that of several who have tried them), give Grandma Ethel's recipe a try.
Just don't expect me to try them.

Snicker doodles

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  
If you have a convection oven, do it to 375.
--2 sticks of room temperature butter.  It has to be room temperature or the sugar won't get all creamy with the butter and it'll end up chunky and weird.  Room temperature. Got it?
--1.5 Cups of Sugar
Beat together until all fluffy and pale.

While this is happening, mix your dry ingredients.

Rather than use a sifter that has a small opening, and in my case, rust, I like to use one of these strainers.  Sure, you won't be spinning the sifter wheel, but what are you? Six?  Get over it.  My way is better.

--2.75 cups of flour
--2 Tablespoons (yes, TABLESPOONS) cream of tartar (wtf is this stuff, anyway??)
--1 teaspoon  baking soda
--1/2 teaspoon salt
Notice I'm doing decimals AND fractions?
  I'm clever like that.
Dump the dry ingredients in a bowl, using the brilliant and somewhat scientific method I have shown above.  

Now, go back to your sugar and butter mixture, which should be all fluffy.
--2 eggs, one at a time and do what those chefs say and crack your egg into a little bowl before you dump it in because you really don't want to go hunting for egg shells in your cookie dough.
--1 teaspoon vanilla

As your mixer is sloooooowwwwllllyyyyy mixing, add your dry ingredients, a cup or so at a time.
  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  
Did I REALLY need to say that?  Oh.

Take a small bowl and add 3 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon or so of're making cinnamon sugar which you will coat your cookie balls with.
Heh heh.  

Roll your cookie dough into little balls, about the size of your big toe.  
What?  A golf ball or ping pong ball would be too big and I'm assuming you don't have mutant feet and that your human feet will provide you with a good gauge for your dough ball size.  
But I could be wrong.  
If I am, maybe you shouldn't wear sandals.

So roll each little ball in your cinnamon sugar mix and plop it on your cookie sheet that you've lined with parchment paper.

Squish them nicely so they look like little discs.

Once you've made them all, survey the damage.

Practice your fellatio technique on your fingers.

Pop the cookie sheet in the oven. 
Bake for 9 minutes.
  I only have one cookie sheet, so I tell myself my cookies cook 'more evenly' if I just bake them one sheet at a time.  If you have more than one cookie sheet, count yourself lucky. 
While these bake, check on son.

Who is clearly enjoying the process of atrophy.

Once your cookies are done, they will look like this

Then, because you didn't make these for yourself, they will look like this

Note: cheese cake pan held a blue cheese cheese cake that sounds gross but is over the top delectable and will probably make it's way into my groovy cookbook.

Seriously, everyone loves these cookies.
I don't know why, but they do.
Try them and let me know what you think.
And if you feel badly that I only have one cookie sheet, feel free to send me another one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Asian Noodle Salad

This is one of my all time favorite salads.  
It's cheap, it's easy and it makes an assload.  Yes, assload is a term.
  I made this for a pool party a few weeks ago to rave reviews.  
My daughter hates it...but she has shitty taste in food so we won't worry about her opinion this time.  
Or the fact that every time I make it she gets a big bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios for dinner.   

Asian Noodle Salad
---1 package linguine, cooked. duh.  Cool it with cold running water.  Don't be a dipshit and just soak it in cold water because then the water will just get warm and the noodles will keep cooking and then it will taste like mush and you'll try to blame me for the fact you made a boner mistake during the noodle cooling process.
---3 different colored bell peppers.  Or the same color.  I like variety.
---3 green onions, chopped pretty fine so people don't get huge hunks of onion when they are inhaling salad.
---1/2 bag baby spinach.  You can get just a bunch of spinach and chop it up, which is what I did today, but it brought me back to my days of slave labor rouging spinach as a child and since I didn't enjoy that flashback, I will be choosing the bagged spinach from now on.  But that's just me.
---4 Persian cucumbers.  I like these because you don't have to peel them, they are crisper (or is it more crisp?) and taste better than regular cucumbers.
---1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded.
---1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded.
---1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped.
---Handful of bean sprouts

Minus the noodles, it'll look a little like this at the grocery store:
You will feel quite healthy buying this. 
To the point you will justify a Slurpee.

Chop up  your vegetables.

Pretty, huh?
Except the purple cabbage.
  It kind of looks like a brain.

Boil & cool your noodles.  
As noodles cook, comfort daughter, who is sobbing. 
Because her brother keeps calling her an "angus burger with fries." 
Don't try to figure this out.  Just don't.

Make your salad dressing:
---1/2 cup soy sauce
---1/2 cup olive oil
---1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sesame oil
---half of the juice in one of those fake plastic limes.  Or you could use a real lime and squeeze the juice if you're so inclined.  I like the convenience fake fruit provides.
---1 jalapeno.  Or 2.  Not 3.  
---1/2 bunch cilantro
---3 heaping teaspoons of minced ginger from the jar.  I know I bought a ginger root.  Just never you mind.
---3 cloves of garlic or one big teaspoon of the 
crushed garlic from Trader Joes.  
Which you had to do a Where's Waldo thing with 
because your spice drawer is out of control. 
Five points if you spotted it within two seconds.  
Put all of this in your blender and liquefy.  This makes a TON of dressing but I'm of the firm belief a salad without enough dressing is about as stupid as fat free mayonnaise or one pat of butter on a stack of pancakes.  Don't be an idiot.  Make. Enough. Dressing.  

Toss your cooked noodles, chopped vegetables and tons of dressing together in the biggest bowl you have.
Serve yourself some deliciousness.  
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and dry roasted peanuts.

 As you enjoy your creation, read daughters suggested chores list and correlated pricing.  

Wonder if the Honey Nut Cheerios people have been putting kiddie crack in their cereal because she's clearly on something if she thinks you're going to pay her $18 a week.  

Enjoy your salad...but eat it with a bib because the combination of vegetable juices and dressing might make you splatter some on your white shirt as you stand over the sink eating it like a ravenous lunatic. 
But that's just a suggestion.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Snort of the Non-Tiger Mother

Amy Chua recently came out with the much talked about memoir "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother".  In it, she talks about such lovely stories as forcing her seven year old daughter to practice a piano piece for hours on end, through dinner and not allowing bathroom breaks.  She talks about calling her other daughter "garbage" when she was disappointed in her.  There is a story about rejecting a homemade birthday card from her young child because it wasn't "good enough".   Her children were not allowed to bring home anything other than A's on report cards and couldn't have playdates or sleepovers.  No television or computer, either.  I'll go on the record to say I think this broad is off her nut.  I get that memoirs squish and redistribute information to collectively narrate the over all story.  I have no doubt this woman believed, as she was raising her daughters, that she was doing what was best for them.  Her children are now almost adults and seem to be strong, intelligent and well adjusted people.  I'm sure there are lots of people following her model and trying to apply some of what they learned in her book to their own parenting style.  For the others, I would like to offer a slightly different view of parenting styles.

How to Not be a Tiger Mother

Convince yourself that because he liked classical music as an infant, your son is a musical prodigy.  Begin piano lessons at five years old and continue for three years.  Never force child to practice.  Pay through the nose.  Never get piano tuned.  When piano teacher ask why he hasn't done piano homework, throw kid under the bus and talk about how you have tried to encourage piano practice to no avail.  On the ride home, lecture him about practicing piano.  Once home, feel guilty about the lecture and agree he can practice tomorrow.  Forget all about this deal until the next time piano teacher inquires about his progress.  Again, blame the kid.

When he decides to give up piano, let him.  Agree trombone is the way to go.  Go to music store where you ask the guy to tell you all about things "tromboner".  Don't realize you've made a giant ass out of yourself until every trombone accessory is on the counter.  Buy it all because you are sure the salesman thinks you are interested in his "tromboner" and you seem to have lost ability to speak.  Again, be sure to not force him to practice. Ever.  Agree it is safer to leave thousand dollar rental unattended in school hallway because he has a sister and you're pretty sure one of them would end up with their head stuck in the big end of this thing or one of them would fuck with it in some un-fixable way and then you'd be out $1K. 

Redeem yourself by acquiring a Wii and letting both children play Rockband on it.  They may not know Beethoven, but they sure as hell know Bon Jovi and that's what matters.

Fourth grade math is the spawn of evil and you don't blame  your kid for not wanting to do it.  Sit with him and try to explain this stupid shit that you don't even remotely understand.  Tell kid the best thing to do is to stay in from recess and do it then because his teacher will be there to help.  Feel huge sense of relief on the days there is no homework because it sucks and takes away from quality farting around time with your kids.

When conferences happen, don't be afraid to use such excuses as lost backpacks or misunderstood assignments...this works like a charm.

Homemade Crafts
Unlike the Tiger Mother, us non tigers save everything.  Boxes and boxes of scraps of paper with crayon smudges are held as sacred documents in giant storage bins.  Dig these out occasionally and force children to listen to your stories about the little cute reindeer they made in preschool.  Know that even though their rolling eyes say they hate this trip down memory lane, their hearts are loving it.

Have it on.  Non stop.  Figure it's a crazy world and you are doing them a service by watching Paula Deen because it is forcing them to REALLY concentrate on their homework.  Know that when they ask you to turn it down, they don't really mean it, they're just jealous you don't have to practice your letters and with the exception of your nine's you have your multiplication tables DOWN.

This is the prize.  Use it when you need to punish, bribe or otherwise control your children.  Otherwise, prop door to computer room open with a boot so you can half assed hear what websites they are going on because you're nothing if not responsible about computer use.  Start an Office marathon.  Watch four episodes.  Realize kids have been on youtube for two hours and will most likely need to be de-programmed.  Wonder if Jim and Pam are going to have another baby.

Have them.  Have kids come to your home where you will let them do pretty much whatever they want.  Five cookies before dinner?  Sure.  Run around in the backyard without a jacket in the rain? Why not.  If both children have friends over, shoo them all outside with a stern warning not to kill each other and to let you know if anyone loses an eye.

Eat in front of the TV more often than not...Spongebob is a favorite dinner time companion, especially if cheeseburgers are involved.  Then you can all pretend to be eating Krabbie Patties at the Krusty Krab.

This requires several bellows and 'no more computer' threats. After what seems to be an eternity, they WILL eventually wear out and crash.

Give them all you have and accept them for who they are.  Not who you want them to be. Huge difference.  I have a son who will be at least 6'3" and built like a brick shithouse.  I had to accept a long time ago that he will not be doing the "Hi Mom" thing in the camera when he wins the Super Bowl. More than likely, he will do something that requires tremendous empathy and compassion, for those are his strengths.  I have a daughter who thinks most dresses are again, no "Hi Mom" as she's crowned Miss America.  However, I've no doubt her intelligence will take her amazing places.

So, Ms. Chua, you parent your way, I'll parent mine. We both have reasons for how and why we do what we do.  You method seems to be geared toward creating children that represent who you are.  My method is geared toward letting my kids figure out for themselves who they are...and that would never, ever, involve depriving them of food, water or bathroom breaks so that they could memorize a piano piece to make ME happy.  Don't misunderstand me.  I would take a bullet for my kids.  I am their strongest advocate.  I also have zero problem with laying down the law when necessary and both kids can discern between the "I'm starting to get annoyed, knock it off" tone and the "You little shits have gotten on my last nerve, that's it!" tone.  Maybe the difference is you are pruning your children like a bonsai and I'm letting mine grow the way nature intended.  Sure, yours is more uniform and contained...but mine are free.  Free to excel, free to love, free to fuck up, free to change their mind, free to be angry, free to live the life they want. Oh, and ten bucks says your kids end up on a shrinks couch with mother issues way before mine do.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Weight Watchers

As many of you know, I took a big leap of faith and jumped into the weight loss abyss a few months ago.  I had a fabulous idea about collecting pledges for pounds lost and donating the the money to a food bank.  This was such a good idea.  It still is.  I am still working toward the goal, however it is clear my 41 year old metabolism has a very different idea about how long it will take....but that's ok, because after a few months and 11 pounds, I decided to join Weight Watchers. If Jennifer Hudson can do it, so can I!  What about Jenny McCarthy?  I will be the next success story....maybe WW will feature me on their website...there I will be, smiling and happy with a caption "Andrea lost 50 pounds with Weight Watchers...You can, too!  Get Started Today!"  These are the kinds of thoughts that run in and out of my brain...random, inane and based on nothing even close to reality...however, to those of you who may be considering Weight Watchers, I'd like to share with you my experience thus far in an effort to spread my vast knowledge and idiocy....

My Guide to Weight Watchers and the Subsequent Fall out of Doing it All Wrong.

The night before you start, bake a ton of cookies.  Chocolate chip AND peanut butter.  Excuse this because both kids have friends over and you love being the mom who cooks the good stuff....add some sliders and you are golden....these kids will never want to leave your house...bask in the glory when you hear child's friend tell daughter how lucky she is.  Do a head waggle - self back pat combo when no one's looking....

The next day, take daughter and her little friend to cheerleading camp.  Admire / smirk at the teen age girls in super short shorts with UNBELIEVABLE bodies.  Wonder if ANY of them realize how amazing their bodies are because you see a few gals who had figures similar to yours in high school, when you thought you were gargantuan.  At 138 pounds.  Vow that your daughter will appreciate her figure but not obsess about it.  Promise self you will throw away scale so she doesn't think the number has any significance. Again, head-waggle.  You are heading in the right direction with both your diet and mentality.

After dropping them off, head to Weight Watchers meeting.  See someone you know pulling in.  Haul ass as fast as you can away from parking lot.  She doesn't need to know what you're up to.  Circle block.  Talk yourself off the ledge and remind yourself you are a grown up who can face running into someone you barely know at a WW meeting.  Notice she is leaving!  Feel exhilarated because you're a chickenshit who didn't want to do the whole "oh, yeah, time to take off a few pounds...heh heh" conversation with her because she's skinny and you aren't and that equals only one of you talking about losing weight and it's you and that is a big ball of suck.

Park directly in front of meeting.  Keeping head forward, scan eyes from left to right, sort of like a spy.  Make sure no one is looking.  Take a HUGE slurp off your mocha.  Wish you had gone pee before because you are about to weigh.  Register.  Step on scale.  Step off. Get little booklet that shows your starting weight.  Really wish you had gone pee and downed a box of laxatives the night before instead of three cookies.  Have light bulb moment about COMBINING LAXATIVES WITH COOKIE DOUGH.  Decide you are having a flashback to those two days you were bulimic in high school and shake off this brilliant idea as possibly not brilliant.  Although it has all the makings of brilliance.  And stomach cramps.

Meeting has already started.  Find seat in the back.  Listen as woman talks about how she hasn't had a piece of chocolate since April.  Start to wonder what kind of cult you have just joined.  When meeting ends, meet with leader to receive additional booklets and information.  Mind starts to wander.  Listen to him babble about his weight loss and how great he feels.  Tell him about your fundraising his eyes glaze over...know he isn't listening to you because when you are done talking he simply says "hey!  did you get a sample of the cinnamon breakfast bar?  they are REALLY good and you can buy them out front!"

Sit facing each other as he goes over the plan...start daydreaming about your mocha.  Hear words like "so, you have 30 points to work with...but you also get 49 allowance points so you aren't deprived"...try to refocus....hear him talk about "power foods" and the "little green pyramids"...mind still wandering although you are putting on a good show...hear him explain about fruit being "free" and also a "power food".  Thank him for his time, waltz out, drink remainder of mocha and look up points values for chocolate chip cookies (2).  Oh, mocha?  11.  Realize we all have our crosses to bear and yours comes in the form of chocolate, milk and decaf espresso.  With extra whip cream.  And light ice.  But it's nonfat, because you are all about slimming down.

  Give this your full 60% effort.  Skim over reading materials, determine how many activity points you earn by walking for an hour on the treadmill (5)...shove booklets in drawer.

Think about what you've learned from your  half-assed reading and the short conversation with the WW guy.  Start to realize WW is the way to go...with your free green pyramid foods and your 30 points and you 49 allowance points AND the extra five activity points you can add, you will be eating until the cows come home.  The next day, order a caramel drizzle on your whip cream, because if there is one thing you accurately remember Steve or Mel or John or whatever the hell his name was said, was that you shouldn't starve yourself and that the WW wizards want you to make sure you consume your points value every day...You are KILLING this new way of eating...your fingers start to feel a little puffier in the morning but you tell yourself it's because you have abandoned the low carb way of eating and since you have all these points to eat, a huge plate of spaghetti at 10:00 pm really doesn't matter, because it's clearly all scientific and you just need to power through the puffy fingers.

Go to next meeting.  Get on the scale.  You have lost one half of a pound.  You have exercised for over an hour every day and you've lost one half of a pound.  Explain your exercise routine to weight checker who has a name badge announcing she lost 117 pounds in 18 months on WW.  Wonder if she has weird stomach skin.  Start darting eyes to her mid-section to sneak a peek.  Realize she is trying to give you tips but you are kind of obsessed about stomach skin.  Wonder if you ever got a tummy tuck what your belly button would look like, because you have a really good belly button and wouldn't want it messed with.  She's still talking.  You're still in plastic surgery la-la land.

Head home, annoyed.  Dig booklets out of bedside table.  Jennifer Hudson is scream singing her new skinny anthem in that white dress and now she's just bugging the shit out of you, not inspiring you AT ALL.  Re-read information.  Realize your mistake.  You had a choice.  You could eat as many of the free green pyramid foods OR foods totalling your point value.  Not both.  Go on the internet for more research...turns out, it's NOT mandatory to add your activity points to your daily gluttony.  Realize you are an idiot. But now you're an idiot who knows what she's doing.  Which is ALWAYS important.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Toddle Time

I have decided to write a book...just like millions of other people.   I love to write and have no money with which to gamble, travel or pay someone to suck fat out of my ass. So, that leaves me in front of my computer with a head full of random babble that I enjoy spewing out via the keyboard.  I have decided my book will be on the mindfuck that is motherhood.  I will NOT be discussing the time we went to Aspen and my children learned to ski within five minutes while the hubby and I shared hot chocolates (um, no that didn't happen) book will be much more real...and while it will discuss ski trips, it will also include what a pain in the ass it is to take two small children to snow covered peaks.  How steadying oneself in a Honey Bucket in 0 degree weather whilst dangling a two year old butt over the gross hole and getting pee'd on in the process is just par for the course... I will be relaying all kinds of stories, adventures and experiences without the rose colored glasses that so many moms feel is necessary to put on to prove they love their kids.  I would take a bullet for my kids...but motherhood isn't a fairy's hard, draining, and the moment you become a mother is when you realize you will never fully relax again...those little punks are always in the back of your mind, no matter what.  Below is a short story that I would like to use as the introduction....

“I want her fired.”  I said, hearing my voice tremble with rage, my cell phone miraculously not breaking from the death grip it was in. 
 “Excuse me? You want her, um, fired?”  the calm and somewhat patronizing voice asked me. 
“Yes.  She should never be allowed around children, let alone be teaching them!  What kind of weird brainwashing, infanticide program are  you running anyway?  Maybe I should contact the mayor…or the media!  I want to know something is going to be done about this woman.  She’s a monster who clearly needs to be committed.  Maybe she’s gotten away with this in the past but not now!  No way!  She fucked with the wrong kid!”
With that, I glace in the rear view mirror, amazed at the resiliency of my 2 year old little boy, happily licking the ladybug stamp on his chubby little fist.
“Ma’am, can you calm down and just tell me what happened so that I might bring it to the correct supervisor for further discussion?” she was losing her snotty attitude and beginning to take me seriously.  Good, I thought.
“Well, for one thing, when she asked the kids to do butterfly knees, she didn’t give my son any recognition.  No ‘good job’ or ‘that’s great!’. Nothing.  Then when it was time to have the kids make the letter T with their bodies, she forgot to call his name.  Just forgot.  Sure, she apologized, but I’m sure she didn’t mean it.  Then, when it was time to go, I noticed on her little attendance sheet she had descriptions of each kid under their names, perhaps as a way to help her remember because she’s clearly in some sort of mental psychosis…anyway, under his name she had written the word STOCKY.  I mean, seriously, is her intention to give him a fat complex before he’s out of diapers?!?!”  I took a deep breath and waited for what I was sure going to be full agreement that this monster be locked up in a mental ward.
“OK, um, I can transfer you to her supervisor’s voice mail and you can leave a message…I’m pretty sure this isn’t a situation that will result in her being fired though.  Perhaps we can transfer your son to another Toddle Time with a different instructor?”  I swear, I thought that bitch was choking in some sort of giggle fit. 
“Yes, that would be good.  Another instructor.  And she must be reprimanded at the very least….I would like a phone call to let me know how she will be disciplined.”
“Uh, certainly.  I’ll transfer you….ok?” with that, I heard a full blown laugh and was immediately sent to her supervisors voice mail.  She sounded about 13. 
I started to leave my message but  got cut off before I was done.  I did include my name and number, though, and waited all day for a call back.  A pleading, apologetic call back.  It never came. 

When I discussed the situation with my husband, he looked at me with furrowed brows, not saying much, which was good, I thought, because it clearly meant he understood the dire situation and how disastrously it could have affected our son. 
“You’re nuts.” He said and walked to grab a beer.
“WHAT?” I asked, stunned.
“You’re nuts.  If you weren’t a mom, if you weren’t pregnant, you’d be laughing at how ridiculous this is.”  Really?  Maybe you’ll laugh at how ridiculous it is to find a rubber band in your chili, Ass Munch.
That following Saturday, I took Henry to his new Toddle Time gymnastics class.  As we walked in, the instructor very nervously approached me…”are you Andrea and Henry?” she asked.
“Yes…you’re Patrece? I’m so glad you had room in your class for us.” I smiled.
“Well, we didn’t actually, but this seemed to be a situation where we needed to make an exception”  She kept looking at me nervously, almost waiting for my eyes to roll in the back of my head.  She gave me a tight grin and approached Henry the way one might approach a ticking backpack left in a subway station.
“Hi, Henry!  I’m so glad to have you in my class!!”  Her enthusiasm was a little much but I was glad to have someone who was actually going to be nice to my kid.
The rest of the 30 minute session was full of Henry centered attention.  This lady knows how to do it!  I thought.  She’s a great teacher! 
When the class was over, I was on cloud nine.  My voice had been heard.  My child was being treated like royalty.  I wasn’t sure what, but I was positive the skank that he had originally was being disciplined in some medieval fashion.  Life was good. 
After putting  a dinosaur stamp on both of his feet, Patrece the Wonderful Gymnastics Teacher sent Directly from Heaven asked me tentatively if I enjoyed the class. 
“Yes! Thank you, it was such a wonderful difference!”
“Good.  I spent a bit more time with Henry today, to get him comfortable, since this was his first day.  Usually I try to spread my attention evenly, to all the kids.” She smiled, again looking at me  like I might bite her leg.
“Oh, sure, I understand.  Thanks so much!”  I gleefully grabbed my baby, put his dump truck emblazoned jacket on and began to head out. 
On my way, I overheard one of the moms from the class lodging a complaint against Patrece the Wonderful Gymnastics Teacher Sent Directly From Heaven.
“She barely spoke to my child!  That other little boy got as many dinosaur stamps as he wanted and my son only got one!   I mean, seriously, if this is the kind of favoritism you guys support, I’m going to have to ask for my money back!”
The receptionist cocked her head to the side, looking at the woman patronizingly.  “Perhaps we could transfer your son to another Toddle Time class, with a different instructor?” 
“Yes!  That would be good…”  I could see what I’m sure was some sort of steam escaping from her ears. 
Stifling my laughter, I looked at Henry and walked out.  What a nutcase, I thought.  It wasn’t until last week I got the irony of it…six years later. 


Monday, January 24, 2011

Generation X

I was having dinner last week with some girlfriends and heard myself ask aloud "didn't you love the 70's?" Granted, a few were a bit younger and didn't quite meet the birth timeline to be considered Generation X so I got a few shrugged shoulders and polite smiles.  Well, I'm going on record.  The seventies rocked.  The eighties were awesome.  Granted, we have loads more technology at our fingertips but who's to say that's always for the best?

I have two kids.  I am observant...I notice and I compare.  I get that some things have improved, others haven't...and this is what I think....

Vehicles / Traveling

Carseats & Boosters
OK, this is a no-brainer...statistics show zillions of babies would be dead if not five point harnessed into a car seat that has been bolted to the back seat.  If you put said car seat in the front seat, you are a monster because of, that's right, the risk of the air bags exploding...which didn't exist in the seventies.  My favorite spot to sit was on the floor board of the passenger side.  In the front.  When I was about seven.  I would use the space as my own personal cubby, look up at my mom and babble about Andy Gibb.  NO ONE THOUGHT IT WAS WEIRD when we would get to our destination and rather than being un-strapped from a booster seat, I would spill out onto the parking lot.  The same applies for pick-ups.  No one thought anything of a bunch of kids going down a freeway in the back.  I would do that with my cousins and we'd pretend we were different types of dogs.  By the time the ride was over, our hair would have a million tangles and the only thing that would work was half a bottle of  No More Tears.  Who doesn't remember being left in the car when your mom ran into the store?  Again, this wasn't weird.  It also wasn't weird to leave the car running because it was cold and she wanted to keep the heater on.  If someone were to stumble upon a car full of kids in a parking lot with a running car these days, the shit?  Would HIT THE FAN.

As a child, I had a shoestring with our house key on it and wore it tied around my neck, under my shirt.  I WALKED to and from school alone.  No adult supervision, just other kids, doing the same thing, half of whom had fed themselves breakfast that consisted of either Pop Tarts or Fruity Pebbles.   Nowadays, we are made to feel guilty if we even consider sugary cereal and eggs that aren't fucked with to include extra omegas because clearly, regular eggs will turn them into drooling idiots.

There were a few kids back in high school who regularly brought rifles to school...they'd put them in their lockers (yes, lockers) so they could go hunting after school.  It never occurred to anyone these guys might lose it and go on a shooting rampage.  The mentality, the ideas, just simply weren't there.  Now, however, a kindergartner bringing in an army guy holding a little piece of pointing plastic that is supposed to be a gun but actually looks more like a toothpick makes the news.  Because clearly he is a tiny maniac with a pipe bomb in his SpongeBob backpack...probably nestled next to his Juicy Juice box.

We picked teams.  Sometimes we were the last picked, sometimes we were first, depending on who the captains were.  If it was our best friend, we got to strut up next to them and look at the losers who hadn't been picked yet.  If it wasn't a friend, we would talk to the remaining unchosen about how much we hated dodge ball and pretend not to notice the diminishing group of hopefuls.  Gym teachers didn't give a shit about how this made us feel.  We were expected to suck it up, grab a giant pink ball and hurl it as hard as possible at someone elses face while they tirelessly blew their whistles. My kids didn't know what dodge ball was until I told them, because it was determined at some point to be too violent...hmmm, MY generation threw balls at each other and went through the humiliating team picking process.  But we didn't shoot each other.  Today, anything considered 'too rough' is eliminated...and kids are shooting each other...connection? 

Guys drove old trans ams and mustangs and wore permed mullets with their parachute pants.  We wore leggings and giant sweaters.  We teased the shit out of our hair and wore shoes that had laces with pictures on them.  Now?  Guys wear pants that hang down past their knees, forcing them to walk like they have elephantitis of the genitals.  Girls?  Wear practically nothing except a Bluetooth.

Everything else...
We had musicians that stood the test of time.  Bon Jovi and Motley Crue are still hugely successful and touring.  Does anyone really think the Jonas Brothers will sell out Madison Square Garden in 25 years?  No. We went to concerts and spent too much money on concert t shirts.  There was no we saw it live or we didn't see it. We also were the first generation to REALLY push the limits.  Mohawk?  Seen it.  Purple hair?  Seen it. Nose ring?  Please, half of my friends have them.  Nothing 'rebellious' really shocks us.  We laugh at idiocy (ie wearing jeans that don't cover the ass), but aren't shocked by it. 

We went to arcades.  We put in our quarters and played Pac Man until our hands cramped.  Now, kids have X Boxes and  Wii's.  Finding a quarter in the return coin thingie was exhilarating.

We played outside until it was dark.  Running, jumping, riding bikes and climbing trees.  Now, kids sit on their asses and do all of this via some virtual game....and we wonder why childhood obesity is out of control?  Hello, people, it's NOT the Fruity Pebbles. It's the fact these kids aren't moving like we did.

 We HAD JOBS. Everyone I knew as a teenager had some piddly job they hated.  I have spoken to friends with young adult children who have never worked.  Ever.  But they spend countless hours doing World of Warcraft..and brag about how much their accounts are 'worth.'

I get that times change.  I understand and appreciate all of the wonderful things technology has brought us.  I truly do.  But if I had a choice, my kids would grow up at a point in time they would ride their bike for hours,  exploring our neighborhood...they would get thirsty and rather than come inside, they'd drink out of the hose.   I could take them to McDonalds for dinner and not know what the fuck a trans fat was.   We would go to a drive-in movie in our truck, sit in the back with blankets and enjoy the sound of the  crackly, clunky speaker hanging on for dear life.  We wouldn't have cell phones that were glued to our heads.  We wouldn't assume the world would stop revolving if we weren't text-able. We would laugh and point at the moron with pants around his ankles because that's just damn ridiculous...and rather than worry if he had a fucking Uzi in his giant pants, we would be confident he was just an idiot and not about to blow our faces off.  We wouldn't know what the hell 'politically correct' meant.  That's how MY generation grew up....and I wouldn't trade it for anything.