You gotta really trust him.

November 30, 2006

He holds you hostage, you know.  With drill guns, and shots full of numbing agents.  Pressed into a chair with a bright light blinding you, you hand over control and hope…pray…that what’s about to happen is not going to hurt.

I’m talking about the dentist.

I just got back from my dentist, a great guy who puts you at ease by asking about the kids, the weather, “how was your Thanksgiving?”–that sort of thing.  He’s a family man, a regular joe, and I think he’s pretty cool. But then he revs up the drill.  A real-life drill.  Which is going to touch my teeth–THAT HAVE NERVE ENDINGS IN THEM!

When he walks out of the room to go get something (more drills?), I quickly place a call to my husband on my cell.  Me: “I’m about to bolt.  I’m scared.”  Hubby: “Hee hee.  You’re fine.”  Me:  “I’m NOT JOKING.”

But I stayed.  I was too embarassed to try to sneak out.  And, sitting here now, my teeth nice and clean…a cavity filled…I congratulate myself for seeing it through.  I’m so adult.  Brusha Brusha Brusha.

Holiday swing.

November 27, 2006

In a moment of sheer, unmitigated madness, I decided it would be FUN to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. 

It was, predictably, NOT FUN.

People are mean this time of year.  Something about being in a store saps the feeling of holiday charity all around.  The hordes of people, the clammering for that one item that is 40% OFF!!!!  WHAT A DEAL.  It feels ugly and for me, it is depressing.

An option: shopping online.  I think I’ll give it a go this year, because I’d rather not face Macy’s, Target, the Mall.  Somehow, www.redenvelope.com feels much more doable, and more thoughtful in the end.  I’d like to peruse the goods to be had, read the descriptions, enjoy laying out the money…all of this as opposed to muttering, “excuse me, pardon me” as I try to jostle my way through a throng to take a closer look at that sweater that might be a fit for my husband.  Oh, I forgot to mention…jostling through the throng with two boys in tow…a definite hazard.

The holiday’s are here.  My gift to myself: staying out of the stores.

Thankful.

November 24, 2006

Tradition dictates that I ponder some things to be grateful for in the year past.  A (very) short list:

  • +My children and their health.
  • +My husband–his health restored.
  • +My health.
  • +My family, who love me.
  • +My friends, whom I love.
  • +My country. God Bless America.
  • +My comfy bed…where I lay my head.   I am thankful for every minute of sleep I get.
  • +Coffee and the caffeine it contains, to keep me awake all the other minutes.  Thanks, too, to my dear husband for bringing me my cuppa every morning. 
  • +Law & Order re-runs, priceless to me for their relaxing properties.  A glass of good wine and an L&O is all it takes to put me in a good state of mind.
  • +My writer’s group–inspirational and motivating.
  • +My dogs.  I bitch about them, but I love ’em.
  • +Mascara.  With enough mascara, I can convince anyone that I am awake when in actuality, I am walking around fully asleep.

This list is extremely, absurdly incomprehensive.  There are somewhere around 3 gazillion other things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving.  Alas:

Thank you, for reading this.

Exhaustion…mommy-style.

November 22, 2006

I have never known true exhaustion the way I (intimately) know it now. With two sons ages 3 years and under, I know what it is to wake up with dark circles under your eyes, your hair matted to your head, and to not have the energy or desire to do anything about it. 

To those who have had Mono, Epstein-Barr, Chronic Fatigue Syndrom…you know what I’m talking about.  Those who have small children who refuse to sleep through the night (as mine refuse to do)–you know what I’m talking about.  There is a tiredness that seeps deep into the bones and I think it takes somewhere around 24 hours of continuous, uninterrupted sleep to conquer it.

When I was younger, my parents would take my kid brother and I on weekend trips to Vegas.  We’d be tremendously excited on the car ride there–all seven hours of it.  They wouldn’t get a hotel room, though, and so my brother and I would spend the weekend alternating between the car (one parent would stay back with us), a video arcade, or sitting on the floor of a casino lobby. 

I’ve never been one to be able to sleep anywhere except for a bed, so my recollection of those weekends is that I was terribly sleepy and tired, cranky…desperately wanting to lay in a bed.  For years afterward, I’d refer to sleep-deprivation as being “LAS VEGAS TIRED”–as in “I crammed all night for my finals.  I am sooo Las Vegas tired.”  Nobody except perhaps my brother would ever be able to understand this peculiar term.

But now…all these years later…I’ve come up with a new one.  “I’m exhaused—mommy-style.”

How classy are you?

November 20, 2006

I’ve carried around Paul Fussel’s book, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, for years and through several moves.  I recently re-read the book for somewhere around the 10th time, and was as amused and intrigued as the first time I read it when I was just out of college.

Class is an entertaining expose of how the truly “out-of-sight wealthy” (this means those royalty in places like Greece, not wealthy “debutantes” like Paris Hilton–according to this book, she’d merely be rich, not upper class) live as opposed to how those of us in the mundane middle classes live.  But…which “middle class” are you?  There are, according to Fussel, several levels of middle class–upper-middle, middle-middle, and lower-middle.  He goes into detail about these and also the “proletariat” or lower classes. 

You’ll like this book if you “get” why a worn, threadbare rug is higher class than a brand spanking new rug.  Or, that a dusty room messy with books and newspapers is higher class than a sparkling clean living room with the latest t.v. set.  What bespeaks “really old money”–an old chevy that’s been kept up or the flashy Ferrari? 

It’s fun to take a glimpse at the snobbery of the upper classes and the sometimes sad yearning and pretensions of the middle classes.  A caveat: this book was written years ago, so some of the standards have changed…some of the upper class trappings are far more attainable than they used to be, so some folks can pretend to the upper classes.  Still, a very fun read.

For reviews and other info on Class:

http://www.amazon.com/Class-Through-American-Status-System/dp/0671792253/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_a/002-8262244-7318437

Weekend getaway.

November 20, 2006

I wanted to get away this weekend, but we didn’t plan and before we knew it…it was Friday night.  Too late to plan an impromptu weekend away. 

But the interesting thing is…we had a great “away” anyway.  We went to the Marin County Farmer’s Market–and it was almost like getting away. 

The beautiful fruits and veggies, the artisan booths, the baked-food and gourmet vendors, the music.  The kids enjoyed the lively crowd of people, Gregory took advantage of the bounce houses and the opportunities to run ahead of us and point out new and interesting things.  Every corner had exotic samples to share: brazilian cheese bread, curries, unusual cheeses, boutique olive oils.  I felt energized by the commerce and the sharing…it was apart from the usual weekend trips to the market, cleaning out the garage, errands, etc.

Weekend getaway.

Modern culture, redux.

November 16, 2006

I read that O.J. “the Juice” Simpson has written and sold (!) a book of (supposed) fiction about how he would have killed his wife, had he done it (ha ha).

I won’t be buying this book, nor even perusing it in the bookstore aisles.  This is not just in bad taste…it’s revolting.  Is there really anyone who believes he is innocent of the crime of murder?  How has this become our entertainment?  There are only so many minutes in the day–I cannot fathom spending one of them reading this book.

My recommendation: pass.

Modern culture.

November 16, 2006

I initially posted this a few days ago, however…someone I respect a lot was offended and insulted by it, so I removed it.  After considering it, I’ve decided it’s accurate, and a blog is…after all…just my thoughts.  If you disagree with this post, just chalk it up to differing opinions.  And to that person who hated this post—even though you liked this movie, I still love you!

I succumbed to all the hype surrounding the movie Borat and bought my ticket…one zillion people can’t be wrong, right?

I went, thrilled at the prospect of escapism…leaving behind my real life for a couple hours.  I’d read a review (“it’s smart and funny! original!), seen how the movie was eliciting stars and thumbs like I’d not seen in a long while.  This is the movie of 2006!  A MUST SEE!

The movie came on…disbelief quickly turned to disgust…then to boredom.  The jokes got old fast.  A Candid Camera with nudity and references to bodily functions and incest.  Daring!  Genius!  After about 30 minutes, I called it quits.

I believe I have a good sense of humor…I fancy myself having an ability to see the absurd or the ironic in daily situations. I rely often on dripping sarcasm to get my point across, and I snicker at the politically incorrect on a frequent basis. So, why was I turned off by this movie?

It’s not that I am necessarily disturbed by the movie itself.  What disturbs me is the fawning, the positive reviews, the declaration by our society that this movie is somehow great.  It’s not.  It appeals to the basest parts of our selves, and the fact that it is the #1 movie in America at present says more about the state of our country than the elections of last week, the war in Iraq, the price of gas, the ozone layer, our timber forests, or the divorce rate.  It says, in essence: we as a nation desire to be amused by the lowest common denominator.  Both a frat boy and the most pretentious university professor can laugh with with equal abandon at Borat. Even playing field.

Time magazine proclaims that anyone over 35 years old will hate this movie, and those under 35 will love it.  That seems a valid demarcation, but you may be that 40 year-old hipster who thinks this movie is truly entertaining.  If you loved this movie and consider yourself somehow intellectual, unique, of fine taste, alas hip…you are not alone.  There’s millions of you (unique) consumers out there-all proclaiming that a man playing jokes on regular folk with a plastic sex toy is GENIUS.

Me thinks the joke’s on you. 

Rude People.

November 9, 2006

I spoke with a very rude person on the phone today…soooo rude that I burst into angry tears after hanging up.  Why I didn’t just hang up on the person is a long story…you don’t want to know.

The thing I’ve been thinking about today is why, on the telephone, some people feel they have permission to be rude in a way I don’t imagine they’d be in person.  The autonomy, the facelessness…I suppose it allows a freedom for folks to vent, feel “assertive,” and let it all hang out.  I wonder what will happen to this phenomenon in the new millineum, when phones that show live video of the callers faces to each other are the telephonic way to reach out and touch someone.  I hope it’ll have the effect of keeping people polite.

Rude people!  Ugh.

Some serious stuff.

November 8, 2006

I’m an adult, right?  I mean, I’m married, I’ve created human beings, I can drive, vote, do all the stuff that adults do.  But I have a fascination with some childish, teenager-ish stuff.  I kind of think we all have a guilty pleasure we should have grown out of, so I’m going to fess up and admit mine.  My guilty, age-inappropriate curiosity is about…

Celebrity Divorces!

Isn’t that bizarre?  And immature?  Yes to both.  But, for whatever reasons, I’m really interested in why Britney Spears is divorcing Kevin Federline.  Why is Whitney Houston leaving Bobby?  And, who can believe that dream couple Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe are falling apart?  Who cheated???  Who has a drug problem???  WHY are they blowing apart the public marital fantasy?!!!

Ok.  So I admit that I read www.people.com and submit myself to that kind of trash.  No, I don’t buy the Enquirer, but I do love to occassionally grab a copy while I’m waiting in line at the grocery.  I don’t know Brad Pitt or Jennifer Anistorn, but I was really sorry for them that it didn’t work out.  I found myself asking, am I on Team Aniston or Team Jolie?  Am I alone here, or do you have opinions about people you’ve never met, will never meet…actually don’t want to meet? 

Okay, now that I’ve admitted my deep dark secret to the world, I’ve gotta go.  I’ve got some intellectual, serious things to do.