Friday, February 29, 2008

Dream Man

Clive Owen

The other night I had a dream about my latest crush Clive Owen. We were standing on a deserted boardwalk at the beach, the winter ocean waves breaking hard against the cold sand. A chill breeze ruffling through his sexy hair pushing a stray curl across his forehead. I reached over to brush the curl away. He grabbed me up into his arms and stared deep into my eyes.

"Run away with me," he said with his sexy British drawl, "forget about everything and let's fly to Paris."

"But Paris is full of sh*t!" I replied in despair. "You know how deathly afraid I am of stepping in dog crap."

"So what, it's just semantics. We'll go to Singapore instead," Clive replied. "I hear their streets are real clean. No dog is allowed to poop there for fear of being sentenced to death. Plus they have wicked chicken and rice."

Be still my beating heart, I swooned, he is tempting me with food. In my dream, I actually looked over and saw my husband's sleeping form snoring peacefully away as the boardwalk behind me morphed partly into my bedroom at home. Da Man slept on, unknowing that his wife was contemplating running away with a sexy phantom man.

"Alas," I sighed, "I can't go for that. No-o-o No-o-o. No can do." Oh yes, I blew off the incredibly sexy Clive Owen by singing the riff from that famous Hall and Oates song, but with a sexy Indian accent. "No can do. I'm so into you. But no can do. Can't sleep with you. Sucks for you. And me too. Chicken Vindaloo. Lobster stew." Suddenly, I had turned into Dr. Seuss, and I was hungry.

He walked away disappointed, dejection clear in the way his head hung low, sorrowful brown eyes gazing back at me in defeat. His leather trenchcoat blowing with the wind as he left me. And as he began to disappear in the mist that began to form in my bedroom/boardwalk, he turned one last time in silent entreaty, I waved back despondently and hollered "NO CAN DO! I LOVE YOU! BABBALOO!" From Dr. Seuss to Ricky Ricardo. Dreams are weird.

Still in the dream, my husband wakes up all sleepy and wondering why there was mist in our bedroom and asked me "Whas sup?"

I gazed down at his sweet dopey sleepy face and said, "I just gave up Clive Owen for you, now where the hell is my god damn big ass ten year wedding anniversary diamond ring already!"*

He blinked and said, "She-e-e-et, I'm not the one who gave back a perfectly good diamond ring that fate and fortune tossed right at your feet." **

And then I woke up.

Dreams are so bizarre. I hope Johnny Depp shows up tonight. I may not be caring about a ring then.

* FYI - we've been married fourteen years and I never got a real engagement ring because he was a student at the time. As you can see, I'm still waiting.
** Never tell your husband that you found expensive jewelry only to give it back. They'll never let you forget, even in your dreams.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Random Stuff

Merry has tagged me with an interesting meme where you have to sum up your life in 6 words, like that famous Hemingway story. "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

I came up with two:

Once I suffered, now I’m blessed.


Be careful! Watch out for crap.

And while the first one is actually quite a succinct write up of where I am now in life compared to where I was previously, I think I gotta go with that second one cause it has so many meanings. For example, this is like my most famous motto to the kids whenever we are walking in the park or in certain city streets famous for people unable to pick up after their dogs. Since I have already done a long blog post on my hatred of dog poop, I will restrain myself now. But an interesting perk from my irrational fear of stepping in dog poop is that I find quite alot of lost stuff on the ground. You see, I spend so much time with one eye on the ground that I hold the world's record for finding the most lost money. I have found wallets, purses, jewelry, and cash just about everywhere, from singles and twenties to once a fifty dollar bill. In my younger days, when I was broke and no one was around, I would keep the money. Nowadays, I give money found to the homeless or to the church cause honestly, found money is usually not lucky money. And you get better luck if you give it away or return it to the rightful owner (not always possible).

Just last week, I was walking out of my favorite restaurant with my friend V and our kids after a nice meal. I came out of the front door at the end of the whole group and as I stepped out, I immediately spied something shiny on the ground. It was a HUGE ASS diamond ring. It was at least two carats, platinum setting with additional diamond bagettes on both sides of the solitaire. The thing was not only huge, but it was a heavy ring. It was easily a $20,000 ring or more. (V, if you are reading this, chime in and back me up on the size of this ring!) And since I consider myself a diamond connoisseur, I can assure you that it was a good diamond (not best quality - but good enough in cut and color to be quite expensive). I could not believe someone could have dropped their diamond engagement ring on the ground like that. The first thought that popped into my head was of a hysterical woman freaking out when they found that they had lost their ring. So I immediately turned around and went back to the restaurant and handed it over to the owners, who I know pretty well, and told them that I was positive someone would return that night to claim it. Turns out I was right, an hour later a panicked woman returned, claimed her ring and ran out. Although she did thank the owners, they were miffed on my behalf that she didn't want to try and contact me to thank me for my honesty and reward me. Now honestly, I was not seeking any reward of any kind. I was just thinking about how horrible I would feel to lose a ring like that and did not want anyone else to suffer. But the owners were so indignant that they comped me a nice appetizer with my dinner, which was totally unexpected and sweet of them.

The other thing I like about my 6 word story is that it also applies to life and the drama that can come with it. I dislike drama intensely. I don't like being dragged into other people's crap. If it isn't my business, I like to keep it that way. Recently a friend of mine was telling me how she inadvertently got roped into a huge dispute between two other casual acquaintances. I told her to stay out of it, she didn't listen to me and what happened? Crap exploded all over her face and now neither of these two casual acquaintances will talk to her anymore.

"Ha, ha!" I laughed at her and said "I told you to stay out of it! They still talk to me but now they hate your guts."

"Screw you," my friend says. Oh yeah, I deserved that, I was rubbing her nose in the crap. But hey! I did warn her!

See, you can't win with other people's drama. Unless your family or best friends and you can't help but get dragged in, you have to watch out for and stay away from other people's crap, because it will stick to you and leave a nasty stinky mark all over you. And that's all I have to say about that.

So if you can come up with a six word story that sums up your life, please feel free to post it and let me know. I came up with some more just as I was typing this like:

Ha, Ha! I'm better than you.

No I did not eat it.

Please try to go potty again.

So sorry, did I do that?

I know something you don't know!

Help! The wolves are after me.

I was lost... and still am.

These aren't the droids you seek.

I really, really stink at this.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Random Monday Story

Lana has tagged me for another random facts about me meme. I was thinking that I didn't have anymore random facts but how can that be true? I am a walking enigma after all. But I am not going to come up with seven random facts, instead I am going to tell you a funny true story.

When my husband met my father for the first time, my dad gave him a nervous breakdown.

We had come up to NY for the weekend and were having lunch with my parents at a midtown restaurant. Da Man was so nervous his palms were soaking wet. Arriving at the table, my dad positioned Da Man right in front of him and proceeded to grill him like he was applying for a job with the title "Possible Husband Material."

The first question he asked was "What are you planning to do with your life?" Da Man started to babble inanely about his plans to attend law school and get a good job, etc. Halfway through his rambling answer, my father cut him off with a sharply raised hand almost in his face as he stated, "Enough! Next question, ..." Frankly, I don't remember the next series of questions, all I can remember is the sheer look of horror on Da Man's face as he sweated his way through a series of probing questions about his past, education, family background, ambitions, philosophy of life and the state of his health. I am sorry to say that my mom, my younger sister and I sat next to the showdown trying desperately not to laugh. With every stumbling answer, my father would cut him off, sooner and sooner, impatient with Da Man's awkward babble and anxious to ask all of his questions. Nearing the end, as all of us, except my soon-to-be husband, enjoyed our delicious lunches, my father asked the following question:

"What are Ellen's three worst qualities?"

I looked up with alarm to see my dad smiling a very enigmatic smile.

"Um, she doesn't have any," Da Man answered with a strained smile in my direction.

Before I could smile back, my father announced in a near shout, "Wrong answer!"

"Hey, Dad!" I was indignant.

"You shouldn't ask him such a question," I said with a reassuring pat on Da Man's arm. By this point, a nervous tic has appeared under his left eye.

"No, I'll tell him the right answer," my dad said bombastically. "First, bad temper!"

I looked at my dad in open-mouthed astonishment. By my side, Da Man nodded his head eagerly.

"Oh yes, I've witnessed it many times," he said, relieved to no longer be the focal point of my Dad's attention.

"Second, big spender," my dad continued as he paused to down his sake.

Da Man, rushed to refill my dad's sake cup, at the same time nodding his head so vigorously, he reminded me of one of those large headed bobble dolls. I began to fume.

"Third, too stubborn," my dad announced, extremely pleased with himself.

"DAD!" I said.

"It's ok honey," Da Man said soothingly. "I still love you."

And with that, my Dad and my soon-to-be husband shared a smile of perfect accord for the first time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random funny commercial!

FYI - I so want to get that ring tone!!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Random Funny Things My Kids Say - Part 7

Although I hate shopping, I had to go to the mall this weekend to buy some presents. It was pretty packed, as the mall was having big President's Day Sales. We drove around and around with no luck. The only spot open was 1 of only 3 maternity parking spaces near the doors. Angus asked why we didn't park there and I explained it was because I wasn't pregnant and that the spots were specifically for pregnant women who would have a harder time walking into the mall from far away.

On our fourth go around, we finally spotted a space fairly close to the doors. All the kids were cheering when I pulled in and parked. As we walked towards the doors, we watched as a huge Hummer pulled into the one and only maternity spot left open. While waiting for a car to pass us, I got mad when I saw a short, tubby man jump down from the driver's side of the Hummer and walk ahead of us into the mall.

Oldest, who is the law enforcer of the house, immediately yells out in her high carrying voice,"Hey, he's not a pregnant lady! That's against the rules! He can't park there! What if a pregnant lady comes and there is nowhere to park?" Tubby man starts to walk faster. Ok - usually I hush the girls right up before they can say rude and impolite things to people, but here was someone who deserved it. So smiling evilly, I forced the girls to keep pace right behind him.

Youngest shouts out, "But he has a big fat tummy like a pregnant lady! Maybe he's pregnant too!"

This is too ridiculous for Oldest who then says, "Don't be silly, men can't get pregnant."

Angus yells, "I know! He's pregnant with too much food that he ated! And he has to go poo poo!"

"Ill, ill, ill! You are so nasty!" The other two scream and laugh as Mr. Tubby begins to speed walk/trot away as fast as he can. Hopefully a lesson has been learned, but I doubt it. I slow down, now that Mr. Tubby is too far away and I turn to my middle child.

"Angus, why is everything about pooping with you?" I ask.

"Because poop is funny!" she replies.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

winning caption

Picture copyright John Bullas
Winning Caption - Blogless Troll
"And I thought Mommy's melons were tasty!"

Ok that one just made me laugh out loud, partly because it was exactly the same caption that came to my mind! I fear that Blogless and I are too similar - except that he is a man and I am a bitch. Wait that might be more alike then I thought! Just kidding! What I meant to say was that we have very similar senses of humor, and if you don't believe me, check out his new blog Underneath the Bridge. And a special nod to Lana Gramlich who's line "And I thought Mommy had nice melons!" was a close second! Thanks to everyone for their entries! They all made me laugh, except my husband's who clearly is a demented individual. Help me!

So we have contests going on all over the place, Christine Eldin, the former Church Lady, is having a great writing contest with lots of great entries in play. And I hear Jason Evans is rolling out his 8th writing contest! These are exciting times! I too have been thinking about doing a contest too, but mine has to be more lighthearted more fun. I'm taking suggestions if anyone has any to share! But I'll wait to roll mine out til after the big guns are done with theirs! And I'll have to think of a good prize. Bear with me, my mind works slower these days.

But I would like to ask my writing buddies for some writing advice. I have lately been working on my trio of evil villains for my YA novel. And I wondered, what makes a good villain and keeps him from being stereotypical? I want them to be villainous without being cardboard copies of every other villain that has walked the pages of fiction. One of my all time favorite villain is Alan Rickman's character as Hans from the very first Die Hard. A truly marvelous evil villain. He was charming, cold, calculating, self-deprecating, humorous, all wrapped up into this one character. But what other evil villains do you admire and why? And would you mind sharing your thoughts on what it is that makes a great villain without being stereotyped?

Thanks to all, in advance, for your help and advice.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Caption Contest!

So I have been remiss on doing a story prompt on a good picture for the sole reason that they do take time to get right and even though they are great fun, I have been lazy about it. But I have come across such great pictures that I thought, hey what about a caption contest? No real prizes, for now. I'm thinking over a real contest with prizes for later on. But in the meantime, how about a putting your creative heads together and coming up with a caption for this funny little picture.

Copyright by John Bullas available through Creative Commons License on Flickr

Post a caption for the picture and I'll let you know the winning caption.

Also - big news for our blogging buddies Therese Fowler and Carleen Brice. Therese's beautiful book Souvenir and Carleen's essential Mother-Daughter drama Orange Mint and Honey are on sale NOW! I'll be posting a review of Therese's book real soon and I'm heading out to pick up Carleen's book today so please join me, buy these books! And both ladies have promised me interviews so keep an eye out for info on their books and their writing processes. If you can, pick up their books and review them on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. Let's support our blogging buddies!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Random Funny Signs

I love Flickr. Especially the generous photographers who share their photographs through the Creative Common License program. That's where I found this photographer, John Bullas, who takes these hysterical pictures of great random signs. I love funny signs. It makes me happy to see so many other people out there with warped senses of humor like myself.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It should come as no surprise...

I don't like to talk politics on my blog. I leave the political discussions to my blog buddies who can lead and mediate excellent commentaries on their blogs like Stephen Parrish and Smart like a Streetcar and Erica Orloff to name a few. For me, politics can be dangerous ground, one that is a huge bone of contention within my own family. So why then am I hosting a picture of Hilary Clinton on my blog? My mother, who is a staunch Republican and who forced me to join the Republican party when I was 18 on threat of losing my car, would kill me if she even knew what I was doing. But I don't care, I'm a big girl now, she can't tell me what to do. And besides she doesn't know anything about this blog so I'm safe. However, I will leave the politics behind, as strange as that sounds, and state only one reason why Ms. Clinton's picture is on my blog. I have three daughters and everyday, I remind them that they can do anything they want in life and that there is nothing that a boy can do that they can't do. And in a world where sex kittens bombard our girls with negative images of sexuality and stupidity, I would love to counteract all of that negative imagery with a powerful image of a strong woman as the first female President of the United States of America. This is not about being a sexist and everything to do with being a feminist. Empowering our girls with positive imagery should start from the most important and highest job of this country. For all the girls of America, my vote this coming election, will go to Hilary.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Report of the Sexualization of Girls

Lana provided this link to the Report of the APA of the Sexualization of Girls in the comment trail yesterday that I felt was important enough to warrant another post. Thanks Lana!

While yesterday's post was fairly light and sarcastic, I was not joking around when I talked about my frustration with inappropriate toys aimed at young children. We are living in a time where the steady bombardment of images fed to us by the media and for profit corporations are causing us to become desensitized. Television, magazines, movies, toy companies, clothing companies, cosmetics, fitness, food, drink - image is everywhere. As adults, this over saturation of what the media defines as beautiful is alarming and harmful, to young children it can be devastating. The media is teaching children to conform to an ideal of beauty that is abnormal and unhealthy, it is also teaching them adult sexuality at an entirely inappropriate age.

The APA states that "In study after study, findings have indicated that women more often than men are portrayed in a sexual manner (e.g., dressed in revealing clothing, with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness) and are objectified (e.g., used as a decorative object, or as body parts rather than a whole person). In addition, a narrow (and unrealistic) standard of physical beauty is heavily emphasized. These are the models of femininity presented for young girls to study and emulate." The Report notes that advertisements for clothing feature young Hollywood stars in sexually provocative clothes geared to young children and clothing lines that are completely inappropriate - like thongs sized 7 years to 10 years of age. Honestly, I would seriously like to meet a mother who would buy thong underwear for their 7 year old. I'd like to meet her just so I could smack her face silly. Then I would like to find the clothing exec who thought it was a good idea to market thongs to 7 year olds and run them over several times with my minivan.

The study goes on to say that "research links sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood." Who is surprised with this? The ideal of sex and beauty portrayed by the media and advertisers is such a small, narrow level of beauty that virtually 90% of the rest of the world falls out of it. The pursuit of this narrow ideal has spawned the billion dollar plastic surgery business and has led to the unnaturalization of women and men. While this is a completely separate topic that we can dedicate another post to another time, one thing that is relevant is the increase of plastic surgery for younger and younger girls condoned and even insisted upon by their parents. Nowadays, plastic surgeons are dealing with young patients, starting as young as 15, for nose, eye, chin, ear and even boob jobs.

I have a very close friend who when she turned 15, her mother took her to the plastic surgeon's office for an eye and nose job. The girl did not even know she was going to the plastic surgeons until she was in their offices and swept onto a surgery table being prepped for surgery. Her mother had decided that the girl's looks were not attractive enough and had forced plastic surgery on her daughter. To this day my friend is still shocked and hurt by her mother's actions. This story is not unique. There are many parents who believe that plastic surgery is the answer to their children's problems. But what about the message being sent to the girls? Your natural looks is unacceptable so change them. Why can't people accept the natural beauty of all of us?

It is time of a new era of people who are willing to step up and fight back the media and the advertisers and let them know that adult sexualization of young girls is not acceptable anymore! That plastic surgery is not the end all! And to celebrate the natural beauty of all people, all colors and all sizes. I believe this has to be a battle cry carried by all parents. We as parents have got to step up and monitor what our children watch, read and buy. We have to counter attack and teach our children to grow up slowly and to respect their bodies and themselves. Turn off the television shows, video games and the music videos and spend more quality family time together. Let's talk to our children about what really matters in life. Not perfect nose, perfect skin, perfect breasts, but talents, skills, intelligence, morals and respect. And maybe we can have a revolution.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Pictures of Me

My department has requested that all faculty provide a picture to be placed on the department website. Problem is, I hate pictures. Hate taking them and am never happy with any that have ever been taken. Even on my wedding day, my photographer, a typical rude Korean man, announced that here was a wedding where the groom outshone the bride. But since he was gay, I put it down to jealousy until I actually received the wedding albums and realized the little fucker was right. Da man outshone me in every shot except for the one of me throwing the bouquet, and only because he wasn't in that shot. Even now, whenever a guest wanders over and looks at a wedding picture, Da man will shoot on over to point out how much better he looked than me. It was August, I was in a twenty pound silk dress sweating my ass off in a New York City park. He, on the otherhand, drank alcohol of every kind at every moment of the day into the night so that by the time we got in front of the officiant, Da man was actually swaying like a slighty inebriated sailor causing me to giggle furiously.

But I digress. I am not keen on the idea of taking a picture for the website. Why do they need a picture? What does plastering my face on a website do to further their academic experience? Think of the harm a disgruntled student could do with my picture? In law school, there was a nasty little bugger who lived in the apartment below me and my roommates. He had pretty much asked us all out in a row and after summarily being rejected by all five of us, he proceeded to cut out our facebook pictures and place them onto the bodies of animals and hung them up on the school student bulletin board. Apparently I was a donkey. We told everyone he had a small penis and wet the bed. He never bothered us again.

So what to do about this picture thing. I thought maybe I could draw a picture of myself instead.

Hmmmmm, this one was a little too cutesy. Too girly.

OK - I tried to add breasts and instead they look like I'm wearing one of those donut life preservers under my armpits. But I'm a pretty realistic artist as one breast is slightly larger than the other and apparently when not restrained they both point away from each other.

This one was better. I'm not really a dress girl. I live in pants. But it was still too happy.

Here we go, that's more like it. Wait, WTF? Is that a gun or a hair dryer in my hand? What the hell did I draw that for? I'm either going to kill you or give you a stunning hairdo. And why the hell am I dressed like a pirate?

Who am I kidding? I am no artist. I have a better idea. Why don't I just post this instead:

X2 14

What's that? You don't like your grade? Come shake my hand...