Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Foto Fiesta or When You Give A Kid A Camera

When you give a kid a camera

(a great idea from my new bloggy friend Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional) makes for fun day at the soccer field...

Rachel's self portrait... she looks just like me (well, at least her chins do). Stretch your neck , dolly!

Front row viewing for Barbie and her peeps... meanwhile, I had to stand up the whole game. 'Cuz nobody puts Barbie in a corner. Check out their solidarity pose. Word.

...even the ball had one. (get it?)

You put your whole self in, you take your whole self out.... this is what I call going for 'the Hokey Pokey' goal. These little kids literally run into the net with the ball, their teammates and their opponents!

Go Fireballs! Greatest coach ever, too! Encouraging the kids to read 20 minutes a day and to eat Captain Crunch on game day! ('cuz don't we all wanna be smart and sweet?)

Emily's self portrait... she got the neck elongation thing down!~

Pop on over to Carrie's for more Phriday Photo Phun!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's (Women's) Business Time

The questions are coming faster than I can deflect them. I have tried to answer (read: avoid) them in a meaningful way - but I can' t do it anymore without going to that place I have been afraid to go. She is only 9 , I know - but things are different these days. I mean, have you seen the 4th grade lately? They are not little girls anymore. There are belly shirts, and heels and little boobs budding everywhere. I realize that every mom and grammy reading this (especially one that I can think of, two if I count my sister) is saying - 'been there , done that' with their daughters - but this is me and my it is infinitely more important than anyone else's experiences on this subject.

{{cue flashback music and wiggly wavy things }}

Mom was driving me to a party. A boy-girl party at Brian Brady's house. In the basement with Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Terry Jacks' 'Seasons in the Sun' playing on the record player. His parents were upstairs while we - the 4th grade class of Heminway Elementary School in Framingham, MA - were about to embark on our first co-ed birthday party. And I have to say - I like liked him. And, I was one of the popular girls in 4th grade. And he like liked me back.

So mom is driving me to his house. I am all dolled up in my Huck-a-poo shirt and Jordache jeans. (BTW - this was the only time in my life I could actually fit into designer jeans) Love's Baby Soft roll on lip gloss tucked stealthily in my back pocket right along side of David Stacy's comb (okay, so I liked Brian Brady first and David Stacy was second on my list) and my mom says to me "You know, you don't have to do anything you don't want to."

{{flashback over}}

That. was. it. The extent of my 'the talk' with my mom. I don't recall her ever having sat me down and having the all important 'conversation' with me about the changes in my body and my emotions and ... you know.

So the 9 year has asked "Mom, what is puberty?" and I said "It sucks, wanna ice cream?" (deflect and re-interest NOW) and she has asked what neutering is (when we were watching the Animal Planet once) and I said " Let's see what's on Disney channel and wanna ice cream?". All this deflecting has done has been to delay the inevitable and cause me to gain a few unwanted ice cream pounds.

So I broke down and scoured the shelves of Border's for the right book. Oh sure, once I was in High School - I had 'Our Bodies, Ourselves' loaned to me by my friend Jodi who is the 3rd of 4 girls in the family. The 9 year old is too young for that at the moment. But I need something to help open the floor to questions without raising any unwanted ones...and I found the right mix of cartoon and credibility. Straight talk about first bras, first periods and the changing body.

Our girls have see us naked all the time. In fact, one of the funniest things the 9 year old ever said to me was when she was about 4 and in the shower with me helping me shave my legs while I was very pregnant with the now 4 year old (conserving water lazy and huge to do it myself , yes) she looked down and up , down and up at my very different unmanicured, wet and naked body and said "Mom, your feathers are dirty!" There is chapter in this book that I think is actually titled "Your Feathers Are Dirty" This was a bright kid .

So the 9 year old reads the whole thing in like 45 minutes (crap!) and decides that we, like the author, should have "Women's Business Time" once a week. The first meeting was this past Sunday. In her oh, so grown up voice- she sits me down (on her bed , right next to the 27 Webkins and assorted stuffed animals and I have to take the eraser out of the bottom of my foot and give her some shit about what a pigsty her room is first) and we have the first session. Using the book as a point of reference, we go over the first bra stuff. Easy enough.

Moving to the touchy stuff now. I start with "You know honey, a period is not just a punctuation's actually a lot more than that. " She comes right back with - "So it says I should get used to blood on my sheets." " How do you know when it's coming?" " Will I get zits and stuff?" " Is that what all those mommy bandaids were for?" "You had a hysterctomy so you don't have periods anymore, right?" "How do you know which ovary is releasing the egg?" All good questions...this is a bright kid.

I take the experiential stance at this point and look to graphics in the book to explain what a period is biologically, how often it comes, and I am thinking this is a good thing. We talk a little more about some of the emotional issues that are starting to pop up and Hubby calls us for dinner (phew - thank you, thank, thank you Hubby). It is then decided that we should have the "Women's Business Time" at the same time next week. Done.

Later that evening - she asks me "So , if the egg doesn't get fertilized each month, you get a period right? What if the egg is fertilized?" I respond by saying - "Well, then, you are pregnant if the egg is fertilized"

...and then she pops the big one - the big gulping, seat squirming question ....
"How does the egg get fertilized, Mommy?"

{{cue flashback music and wiggly wavy thing}}

I played 2 minutes in the closet and let some kid named Doug something or other - who was not even on my 'like list' - play chicken with me and he felt me up. We kissed with our mouths closed and moved our heads back and forth mushing our lips together and he put his sweaty hand on my Huck-a-poo shirted boob. And for the record, I was one of the 'developed' girls in 4th grade so lucky Doug. (I wonder if he is sitting somewhere with his 4th grade daughter remembering his first boy -girl party.....nyaaaah.) What can I say? Once a slut always a slut.

{{end flashback}}

I say to her "It's business time, women's business time." week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Phriday Photo Phun!

Name that foto contest #2.
No winners, no prizes - just phun*

*Over at Carrie's place, it's Phriday -You know what that means!! In her world...we spell everything with a 'ph', but only on Phridays...

So this week , I tried a little something that I've seen phloating around the blogosfere (get the 'f' here?) - You go into your picture philes, pull up the 6th pholder, and the 6th picture - Voila!

Go on over there - and have a safe trip. As always, keep both hands inside the ride at all time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The One Where She Goes Where She's Been Trying To Avoid...

There is an old addage that says one should not discuss sex or politics with friends. And, since NOT talking about sex is completely out of the question - I am going to break my rule and go to that other place I have been trying to avoid. In light of certain things that have come to pass and with only a few weeks left in this most historic election - I will give a few of my political opinions and hope that I can try to make sense of some of this absurdity called an election. If you came here looking for my usual fun and jaunty post....come back another time.

First of all - I have a theory regarding the subject of Presidency itself. Four years is simply not enough time to effect change or really leave a mark on things. The first year on the job is spent establishing oneself, choosing a cabinet, pardoning a few cronies, succumbing to party pressures and promises, settling in and redecorating the White House, whipping out a State of the Union full of "I told you so's " and "don't shoot the messenger's" and "it's not us , it was them". You know, getting one's POTUS* MoJo groovin' - so to speak.

*for those of you who don't know, POTUS = President of the United States

Year two is all about globetrotting, State Dinners, making the cover of Time Magazine Man of the Year, (or People's Sexiest issue) acting on a campaign promise or two (pork , pork), in other words - staying low. Years three and four are spent gearing up for and running (again) for the second term! Can you say Lame Duck? Then in the second term - you do your 'thang' for two years...then ready the Big Rolly Chair for the next schlub to assume the position.

So here's my suggestion - 6 year term, no re-election. Get in, futz around for a few months - Then get busy - fix shit... roll a head or two....fix more shit...restore the US 's world position ...then, get the fuck out! And while you're at it - end this friggin' thing in the Middle East. I hasten to call it war - as clearly there is no opponent and no prize to be won at the end.

And while I am eating my pie in the about co-Presidency's? I think there are admiral qualities on both sides of the political fence - so how about sharing the love inside the Okay Corral? In this the year of Newbie v. Veteran (neither of which has shown any real chutzpah** without cowtowing to the right or left (I mean , do you really think McCain chose that woman for any other reason but religious right political pressure?) - Why can't they run the country together? Really make the Vice President's position important for something other than spoof and parody? If either one have them suggested the other as a running mate I think that would have nailed it!! True Bi-Partisanship. Presidency by Steering Committee? Nyaaaah. But a girl can dream can't she?

** chutzpah = balls

I am trying to stay as neutral as possible in this election, because as of this very moment, I am registered as "Undeclared" as far as political party affiliation - so this year, my vote clearly counts. At this very moment, I am still on the fence - And in the last election , I stood there at the polls in sort of a stupor until I chose a candidate. They literally asked if I had a problem because those on were getting antsy waiting for my spot. Shit, I wasn't tossing around whether I was going with the Grande or the Venti, I was choosing a President. Sheesh.

I don't vote based on Party rhetoric, but rather on issues that are important; in sort of a conical way - with myself and family at the center and wending it's way out and out and out to include, yes, even people who are less fortunate than I. Strangers too. People who have differences in opinions, religions, sexual orientation, financial status, education, values, environmental concerns - yes, they are all in my concentric equation as well. Call me a commie- but I think part of our job in this country is to try to address the needs of EVERYONE as best we can.

But- we should all be ashamed of the way we have been behaving as a country lately. Here's just a few reasons why:

~ While at a friend's house a few weeks ago, my 9 year old daughter was told by another 9 year old that if Obama is elected, he'll be assassinated while in office. Note to self, don't let your kid hang out with that kid ANYMORE!! This family goes around sporting their Vote Yes on 8* buttons while couching their beliefs in Christian morality. I don't think their Jesus would be too happy with that sentiment. It sickens me that a child would say something like that to another child. 9 year old's should be wondering about which Jonas Brother is the cutest, not about what assassination is.

*Prop 8 in California would amend the state's constitution to include the definition of marriage to be one man and one woman. They say they don't want gay marriage to be taught in school. I have never seen the lesson plan, but I hope they don't use Britney's 37 hour marriage to a man, or Liz Taylor's 8 marriage as the bar standard for traditional marriage. But this issue is a mired in religiousity, fear, and hatred. Enough already.

~ I like McCain. I always did. But something happened in the past few months . Dude's been slipping in the polls since Palin's entre on the scene. He was moderate and smart - now he's completely turned his conscience over to the dark side as far as I'm concerned. He is listening to his strategists who are now publicly stating that Obama will win. The hopes here is that people (and that's only stupid people) will listen to them , and not vote on November 4th because it is a 'fete accompli'. Their hopes are that the independents and undeclared would not cast any votes for anyone and McCain would have a chance. Seriously, if that is the only way they think they can get their candidate elected - they don't have as much faith in his ability to lead as they should. That in and of itself is sad, my friends - really sad.

And, Obama is no picnic either. I think it sucks that the guy has to constantly defend his race and religion and upbringing. But, all of these things are out there and he has to defend. We are just not open minded enough of a populace to let it go. And, he's been trying so hard to be nice and not spew vitriole the way his opponent's have been - but I bet he wants to get down and 'shiv them right about now.* Add that to the fact, that by party doctrine - he has to believe in the opposite of everything that happening now, even if he doesn't. And, he's no dummy and knows he won't make a difference in his first two years (see above theory about all that)

* I am not above a little dissin' either fo shizzle.

So what are we to do? Get out there and rock the vote. We have no right to bitch about the result if we weren't part of the process in the first place. And, on or about November 8th, when the President elect has been announced... nobody will give a shit anyway. They'll have taken their toys and gone home. Sales of Goo Gone will exponentially explode so people can scrape their bumpers clean.

And- let's not forget W still has 2 weeks (and several months before innauguration) left to fuck us over even more...

so- every year I am stuck (which is every year) I say to myself " Swirl Girl - vote the lesser of two evils." This year I am afraid I am having to vote for the evil of two lessers.

...I don't want to go there.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Wine Please....literally and figuratively

I was tagged by Colleen at Wine Please because she Hearts Me. So- as I am ever the rule follower - here goes:

The rules are to answer the following questions with one word - but since you can't see my hands that I talk with , I had to use two or more words on some these. (c'mon , I said I follow rules, I didn't say I don't bend them) and then pass it on to seven others.

Where is your cell phone? charging
Where is your significant other? work

Hair color? yes
Your mother? Florida
Your father? (sniff) sorely missed
Your favorite thing? sleep
Your dream last night? bizarro
Your dream/goal? livin' it?
The room you’re in? family
Your hobby? wine please
Your fear? lonliness
Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
Where were you last night? couch
What you’re not? Patient
One of your wish-list items? security
Where you grew up? Massachusetts
The last thing you did? blew dry
What are you wearing? sleeveless
Your TV? off

Your pet? flushed
Your computer? lap
Your mood? calm
Missing someone? (sniff) daddy
Your car? Honda
Something you’re not wearing? Socks
Favorite store? Nordstom
Your summer? endless
Love someone? oh yeah!
Your favorite color? yellow
When is the last time you laughed? morning
Last time you cried? daily
I heart so many of you that I can not pick only a few to pass this on to. So , I'll tell you what - if you heart me (and you know you do, I am Miss Random Popularity afterall) feel free to do this one with no strings attached.
Sometimes we just need a little simplicity in our lives - with no strings attached.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Phriday's Photo Phiesta or How to Hate Me Now!

Aloha and Mahalo for stopping back in after my long absence. I thought I would rub it in a little...

This is my little slice of paradise. I usually sat on the chair on the right - Hubby on the left.

We did a lot of this on the Garden Isand of Kauai...

Our attire for the most part of the trip....

...oh, and none of that poi for me thanks - we ate BIG!
Our home away from home....
My backyard ....

We looked at lots of this on our trip....

and ate some more of this with this guy. Great food, but not much of a conversationalist (the statue not the Hubby, of course) I think I saw Batman on this mountain....
Played a little of this...*
Drove around in this....

There's a Grand Canyon in Waimea....
No - that ain't Starbucks in that travel case you were wondering.

Heard these little things ALL day and ALL night....** and one of the many waterfalls in Kauai!

* Editor's note : I have 'played' some of the best golf courses in the country. Or so I'd like you to think so. I drive a mean golf cart and have a perfect golf clap. Next time, I'll pose the shot and put an actual ball on the green.

** There are no natural preditors to these roosters on this island. They are all over - the mountains, the beaches, the highways...and just in case you were wondering - they actually do say - very clearly Cock-a-Doodle-Do! I heard them all day and all night. I was going to print up a T-shirt that says "I went to Kauai and all I got was this lousy cock" but I didn't think it would over big with the tourists. I hate chickens.

I read two actual real live grown up books - imagine that! Books without rhymes and illustrations! I met some (who we kidding, tons) of honeymooners. I spent quality time with my husband for the first time in years - and knowing that my children were in their Grammy nanny's capable hands , well - it was just the bomb!

I hope I don't have to wait another bunch of years to do this again. The last time was before right after 9/11 seems my vacations follow major crisis on our planet and our economy. I had no idea I wielded such awesome power.

oh yeah- and I missed the SITS Blogathon, but to all of you who gave me the shout out...I am so touched and more in love with you than before I went away! Mahalo y'all!

PS - Join the fun at Candid Carrie's !

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The One Where Sally Met Her Harry.....

* A note from Swirl Girl: While you are all no doubt reading this with baited breath - to see what little pearls of joy I am about to unleash upon all of you...Hubby and I are, no doubt, elbow deep in some frothy tropical beverage on the island of Kauai celebrating a much needed real live vacation and our 13th Anniversary. Aloha!

I went to summer camp in New Hampshire for practically every summer as a kid until I was 14 years old. Overnite camp - for one or two months. That is what we did back east. That is what everyone did back east.

Anyway - back in the summer of 1972, I was a mere 6 years old and went to this sleep away camp. It was really a great experience with all the trappings that summer camp had to offer.
I met a boy named David Goldstein. He was a much older boy. Maybe 7 or 8. His older brother was named Steven and he was there to. Steven had this distinct , almost broadcaster type of voice with the ever slightest whistley sound when he said his 'esses'. Very distincive.

Well, that David was what I would call my first boyfriend. We sat together at the Saturday night movies in the rec hall, holding hands and sharing a pillow as we lay on the cold concrete floor. (they actually showed Wait Until Dark and The Birds to a bunch of kids!) I chased and caught him on Sadie Hawkins day and he danced with me all night long . He sat patiently while I auditioned for a part in the Junior dance show. We danced at Prom, and sent little paper candle boats out onto the lake on the last night of camp after the banquet. This David was from a town not too far from where I lived. All winter we would write notes to each other. He would sign his name and then write Shalom in hebrew letters , enclosing a few chocolate pennies in each wet, sloppy envelope.

That David and I were camp boyfriend and girlfriend for many summers after that. And, then I stopped going to camp. Eventually the letters stopped coming. Life went on.

Fast forward to 1984, when I was in college, I had a summer job as a plant tender for a company named Baugh Haus (don't you just love that name?). I would go from office to office on my appointed route and water, trim, shine and care for the office plants. I met a lot of interesting people. One day , in an office in Newton , MA - I heard a voice. There was ever the slightest
whistley sound when this very distinct voice was speaking. I looked at the name plate and it was him - that David's brother Steven! We spoke for a while catching up. That David had gone out west to pursue his life ...blah, blah, blah.

Fast forward to summer 1991. I had moved to Florida a few year prior. Livin' off my parents and working in a bar and having waaaay too much fun. ( and since my mom reads this and is at my home taking care of my kids - let's just leave the waaaaay too much fun part at that - 'kay?) I finally got a real job working for a wine and liquor distributor and had to call on my first account. It was a total disaster. The General Manager of this mall restaurant hated my company and the previous sales rep and my supervisor. Great first day on the job. I hated this guy and he was a total dick to me. He practically threw me out. Thank god my boss who was, BTW, also a total dick, made me go back in and get an order from this guy. I did. And it was a good thing I did. Within a few weeks, I had secured the no-name well brand liquor, the entire wine list, and had sold this guy on a series of very successful money making promotions (there was one particular promotion involving butterscotch pudding and JB scotch shooter if you can imagine- but again, my mom reads this....). We soon became fast friends. I sort of set up shop in his tiny office. In those days, we actually used telephones to patch our orders into the big computers at the distributor. I would start the week with a roll of quarters and use pay phones. It saved me time and money to use this guys little office, plus he fed me while I was there. It was just assumed by all of his employees that we were going out. It was that comfortable.

We did everything together outside of work. I met his brother Steven who lives in NYC and all of his friends. We were best friends. We each would share each other dating horror stories. He came to my parents place for all the holidays. Everyone would ask about us and our answer was 'we are just friends'. My sister even said "you're gonna marry that guy" one night while partying at his bar. I said, "no way we are just friends, best of friends."

Fast forward to summer 1992. Hurricane Andrew swept south Florida with devastating results. We camped out together. Surveyed the damage the next day. Right after the hurricane, he lost his job at the restaurant and spent several weeks borrowing on his years in the restaurant business. He gathered donations of food , ice, water, sanitary supplies and a truck and made umpteen trips to the storm territories. We had no cell phones in those when he went down south of Miami , into the National Gaurd territory - it was scary. But I was so proud of his selflessness.

Fast forward a few months. He gets a job working for Kenny Rogers Roasters (remember the Sienfeld episode with the neon sign??) He was in field operations and travelled non-stop for about 3 months. Again, no cell phones. No day to day contact. I missed my best friend. When he finally came back we went to dinner and realized that we were more than just best friends. Neither of us wanted to go another day without knowing where the other one was or what the other one was doing. And, just like in the movie - we started 'dating' ...right there on my apartment couch.

Fast forward about a year... everyone of his friends told him that it was time to shit or get off the pot. We had been dating for a long time already and where was it going? "She's not going to wait around forever" "Don't let this one go, dude" "She's your best friend and can drink like a guy! How much more perfect can she be?" (adapting reality for the dramatic here) In other words, dude - take the plunge.

So- just like in the movie...he ran 14 blocks to meet me on New Year's Eve to tell me he loved and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me...oh wait, that was the movie...

This David Goldstein (whose brother Steven does not have a whistley sound when he says his 'esses') proposed to me while I was getting my nails done with champagne and flowers and a beautiful ring! I was surprised. Nobody else was.

Everyone but the two of us knew we were kindred spirits. If you believe that some people were meant to be - that would be us. There are so many sort of 'no way' or ' you are kidding me ' moments in our lives. Here's a few:

It turns out that his stepfather and my Aunt were 'sandbox sweethearts' . They have known each other for over 60 years and speak to each other every birthday. Still.

Our grandma's were in the same sewing circle or something like that, back in New Jersey -back in the day.

His cousin was best man at my cousin's wedding. His Providence R.I. relatives are friends with my Providence R.I. relatives. Still.

- and let's not forget the whole that David Goldstein with whistley brother Steven and this David Goldstein with non-whistley brother Steven first boyfriend thing.

Call it fate, kismet, magical, mystical or spiritual - tonight marks our 13th year married.

Who said 13 was an unlucky number?

Certainly not this Sally. So I tap you on the shoulder and ask you this question:

Wanna do it again for another week, Harry?
Happy Anniversary, dude.
Aloha and I Love You.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Aloha and Adios

I am off on vacation for a week. (cue my Snidely Whiplash devilish laughter now)

I am not a good enough of a preplanner to ask for guest bloggers to fill in for me...a la Johnny Carson .

But I did pre write and prepost a little something for 10/7.
So check back in here on Tuesday.

Hubby won't let me take the laptop to Hawaii , he doesn't want me to be blogging all day.
No computer, no casino....what's a girl to do?

Aloha and Adios y'all!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Randomly Popular or Random Popularity

(closed fingered , cupped hand, big swaying wave...back and forth , back and forth. Big vaseline toothy smile now, looks of disbelief, keep waving, keep smiling...Are my boobs tucked in and my stomach well corseted? Oh shit, the tape is peeling of my nipples and they are starting to pop out...good thing I have this sash.)

Kat over at Sunshine and Lemonade bestowed this bling on me...

Random, adj., by chance;with no plan or purpose Popularity n., being generally liked.

I guess you could say this is a good thing - sure I was surprised to win something in this blogosphere (hell, I enter every flipping contest and this is the first one that I have actually won)...or did I? I was randomly chosen as popular. By chance, with no plan or purpose - chosen as being generally tolerated and liked- kinda like American cheese. Not as bad as boring and plain as Velveeta, but certainly not as ripe and pungent as Gorgonzola or a wonderfully flowery Le Ter (the most amazing triple cream goat and sheep's milk cheese from Italy BTW).

Hell, I'm no Lula. She was actually picked or selected , quite unrandomly, as the most likely to be asked to dinner at Applebee's!

But I'll take being generally liked by all - and the bloggy bling is mighty fine.

Right back at ya Kat!

I am the Oxymoronic Blogger!! How can you be random and chosen at the same time?


My prize you ask? Besides the blog bling (does it go with my eyes?) I am going a real live fabulous vacation ....WITHOUT THE KIDS!!!!! Yessiree folks, read it and weep. Swirl Girl just said the magic words...WITHOUT THE KIDS!

Hubby and I are off to the land of poi and hula dances and Mai Tai's....Hawaii here we come!

Leaving Sunday right after the Relay for Life ....Grammy is coming to take care of the kids and schlepp them around for a week....

This is the first real vacation that we are having in about 6 years. And I don't mean a vacation like going on a chick's weekend to Vegas. (hell, that's work for me!) I need it bad. He needs it bad. WE need it baaaaad - together. Going to celebrate our 13th anniversary , sit on the beach, read a book with no rhyming passages or illustrations, and just generally get lei'd. Hopefully A.L.O.T.

Now if you were to post a contest for Most Envied Blogger - would I be the random or chosen winner?

Nyani Nyani BooBoo!