Am I Really Turning into Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets?

I like to read. A lot. I tend to choose fiction, with the occasional OK! Magazine; which is basically the same thing as fiction. When a book is good, it is goo-oood. When it is bad, it’s like a five day-old scone: crusty and dry, leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth and slight indigestion.

Now, I am all for books taking the reader to a magical land, far, far from reality.  However, the books of late make me snort and say things like, “What? A thirty-four hundred dollar bottle of champagne just ‘cuz it’s Tuesday, and you are only twenty-four years old?? That’s some BS.” I am an optimist/romantic, but come on people – a helicopter ride on the second date? Gag.

My hat truly tips off to all novelists. That is A LOT of work to write three hundred plus pages, and if you are lucky, get it published.  The amount of re-writing done to create characters the reader roots for, or wants to slap, or wants to hug, or wants to twirl around on the beach with then make sweet sweet lov- oh nevermind, TMI – anyway, it’s a lot of blood, sweat, and Starbuck’s runs.

But I’m getting old and cynical.  So when the actions of a character seem ridiculous, I go into Statler mode and say things like, “Of course she left you! There has been no mention of you showering since the beginning of the book, and I’m on chapter thirty-two! Baaa haa haaa.”

To illustrate where I’m coming from, below is a comparison of the enchanted world of fiction, versus the, “Oh crap, where did that zit come from?” reality. This is based upon books I have recently read (no names mentioned):

Unrealistic Situation #1

Guy meets girl for the first time and says (I’m paraphrasing here), “We obviously have an intense sexual connection, but I don’t date. So, how do we do this?” And it works. Really?

What Happens to Real People

Guy hangs with bros at dive bar. He is sweaty from all the ingested Jaeger shots and Your Ass is on Fire flavored chicken wings. He sees/beer goggles girl across the bar. Does another shot. Stumbles over to girl and says, “He I zzzlluuou, you, shhhhouuuuld, cccuommmm overrrrr and hhhhanng ouuut.” Luckily girl is from the Netherlands, so it works.

Unrealistic Situation #2

Woman’s husband “disappears” after five years of marriage. She goes on the hunt after she learns he took all her money, has a different name, stole someone else’s identity, and killed a bunch of mobster people with his fists of fury.

What Happens to Real People

After five years of marriage you roll over one morning and say to your spouse, “Oh, you’re still here.” Then get out of bed before he passes wind…again.

Unrealistic Situation #3

Guy lives as loner in the woods. Oddly enough, he is super hot even though he has not shaved or cut his hair in years. He kidnaps the female reporter (also smokin’) who destroyed his career, in order to save her life because some seedy characters want her dead. Cabin man and ornery reporter have a lot of boom boom in the woods, they expose the bad guys, and cabin man get his job back. Oh, and shaves.

What Happens to Real People

At work, you screw up an Excel budget spread sheet. Your boss yells at you. You go and cry in the bathroom. You wish you could run away to the woods. There is no boom boom involved.

Even though I poke fun at the above books, I couldn’t put them down. They were all well written and fun to read. Yet even with the best books my eye-rolling Muppet tries to argue with the optimist in me.  Usually the optimist wins out.

I guess that’s why we read. To be transported away from the real, to believe in the un-real, and to stay up until 2:00 a.m. doing so.  Let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather read about running away with some mysterious stranger than fix your child’s pencil sharpener?

Especially if you can get some boom boom in the woods.


Am I Really Singing “Back to School…Hell Yeah!” To the Tune of Team America?

Awwwwwwwww yeah! It’s on parents! It’s that time of year when you are ready, like so ready to say the words, “Hurry up, or you’ll be late for school.” You are done with going to the pool/beach/mall/museum/animatronic kid movie. You might vomit if your child brings home one more homemade shield/garden tool/pipe cleaner butterfly/tie-die t-shirt from camp. Your hands have developed muscle cramps from making so many sandwiches that you gladly look forward to the crabby lunch lady giving your child sloppy joe indigestion for the next nine months.


I don’t know about you, but I get that giddy, smell the pencil shavings feeling every time the school year starts. It’s a new year, a new classroom, a new teacher – all holding new promise. One of the best parts of going back to school is the school supplies. The new pens, folders, backpacks, glue sticks, and Trapper Keepers (a 1980s reference yes, but they were awesome!).

But the real reason parents are ready for school is because, that sweet, sweet, angel baby of yours has got to get out of the house before you send her to a year round boarding school…in Papa New Guinea.

Whew, summer is just too much together time.

I love my daughter, could kill a mountain lion with my bare hands for her, but if she asks one of the following again, I will go postal:

1)      Can I have a snack? Why not the good cookies?  I love being a mom, but it’s the constant meal preparation that’s tiresome. When it is 98 degrees outside the last thing I want to do is cook. Even going to the pantry can be a beating. When the food I have prepared is met with a, “I’m not eating this,” I can make Mommy Dearest look reasonable.

2)      What are we doing today?  My child went to some camps over the summer. It was great. However, for a couple of weeks she stayed home full time. I called this Camp Wannadrinkwine and then I pretended I couldn’t hear her complaints.

3)      Can we buy this?  Summer of 2012 = Empty your pockets. Seriously, I’m broke. Where the hell is Suze Orman when you need her? When your child is home you look for things to do. Usually these things cost money. Camp, movies, water parks, snacks and lunches out, the zoo, and on and on it goes. Thank God for school, I’ll need these nine months to save up for next summer.

It’s time to go sister.

And I am not alone.

Many schools around the country have “Welcome Back” coffees on that first day of school. I suggest they change the name to the “I’m Free Bitches!” coffee. It’s a more honest name.  Under the delirium of back to school freedom, we gladly sign up to participate in every upcoming school event.  That and I think they put Khalua in the coffee. Or at least they should.

Why this driving need to shove your child out of the car and peel out of the parking lot on that first day back?


We all need a break. Ever hear of too much of a good thing? We need time away to appreciate one another. If my husband and I hang out too much with one another, I suggest he go in the other room for a while. By day five of our honeymoon we were both like, “When’s our flight out of here again?”

We need change. It’s probably why we have seasons. Summer is awesome, but can you imagine sweating like Boss Hog everyday of your life? No thanks.

It’s why we have vacations, to get away and/or be together. But aren’t you usually glad to go home?

I used to feel bad about being excited to be away from my child for a few hours a day. Why? That’s crazy. It’s not because I don’t love her. Quite the contrary. I know I am a better mother if I have time to myself, away from her and everyone. We all need alone time to stay sane.

So, as little Carl mopes on the couch sighing that he is bored, or little Shandra refuses to make her bed (again) because it is summer; don’t blow a gasket – just remember – school is right around the corner.

Then you have nine months of letting her have it for not making the bed.

Am I Really Thirty-Nine – er – Forty?

You bet your walkman-wearing britches I am!

The other day I turned the magic number of forty years of age.  It was a great night out with friends and included many a cocktail. Good stuff.  One young couple of maybe twenty-one staggered up to me and slurred said, “Wow! You look good for forty!” What did they expect? The creepy old crone from Snow White?

It was then that I remembered how the young view the “older than me” category.

I was ten when my dad turned forty.  My mom threw him a party and everyone bought him “Over the Hill” regalia. I remember thinking, “Damn, that’s old. What’s with the black balloons?  Hmm, maybe I should have bought him a cane.  Poor old, old dad.”

Clearly I was wrong.

In reaching these milestone birthdays, it is common to look back on one’s life and take inventory:  Am I where I thought I would be? Have I accomplished all that I have set out to do? What have I learned?

I am no different. So for kicks, I thought would share my ten-year-old thoughts on what I thought forty would look, in comparison to what has really happened.

Pop in your Depeche Mode tape, and travel back in time with me:

10-year –old Me

I will be married to John Taylor of Duran Duran.

What Really Happened

I am married, not to John Taylor, thank God. He’s way prettier than me and would probably steal all my face creams.

10-year –old Me

I will have seven boys.

What Really Happened

Ladies and Gentlemen, my uterus has left the building. Seriously, seven? Bah! I have one awesome girl, and let me tell you, she could do circles around seven boys. I guess I was watching a lot of Little House on the Prairie and Eight is Enough at the time.

10-year –old Me

I will live in a penthouse in NYC.

What Really Happened

I live in a home outside of Boston. It’s pretty cool, but very far from a high rise. I remember this housing goal so clearly. I pictured myself staring out the window, looking over the city in my purple rayon pantsuit, with shoulder pads, and long lacquered nails. It’s something I conjured up after watching the movie Mannequin.

10-year –old Me

I will not be like my mother.

What Really Happened

I am exactly like my mother. Right down to the loud talking, repeating myself, and constantly wiping down countertops. When I reached college I was shot with a lightning bolt of realization –  my mom is pretty much the coolest person walking the face of the earth and I have her DNA.  So be it life, she is bitchin’.

10-year –old Me

I will be on the hit show Fame. I loooooooved this show. I wanted to be in Debbie Allen’s dance class like nobody’s business. You know the opening credits when she is talking all serious and beating that stick on the wood floors? Oh, I get chills just thinking about it. That and she was always up Leroy’s ass about something. A recipe for awesome.

What Really Happened

I still watch reruns. That and I read trash magazines about famous people.

While my ten-year-old self is looking at me now and probably thinking, “What gives sister? Couldn’t you have done at least one of those things? And where are your legwarmers?”  I know better.

What parents, family, friends, and others in general don’t tell you, are all the things you learn and experience along the way to get to forty. How can they? There is so much.

How can you tell a child that you will learn to be comfortable in your own skin? How can you tell a child one day you will experience a love that will rip away at you and fill you up at the same time? Nobody can explain what it feels like to have life growing inside you, and that you could wrestle a bear with your bare hands to protect that life.  Can someone really explain how good it feels to walk on your own, pull up your pants by yourself, or be medication free after back surgery? How can a person put into words the sense of giddy gratification when you are in your first apartment, buying your own groceries, and paying your own bills? When your graduate school professor hands you the diploma you earned and you think, Holy sh*t! I did it! How do you tell a ten year old that one day she will know which friends to keep and which one to walk away from?

You can’t. You have to live it.

While I have accomplished many things these past forty years, unless I am updating a resume, I really don’t think about them. What I do think about are all the experiences and feelings that have puzzle-pieced together, well, me.

When it is your birthday and you are evaluating your life, think about what really pops up. The fact that you pitched a perfect game, or the feeling it gave you?  When you booked that acting gig, or the journey it took you on? The fact that you can say I have a child, or the feeling you get when you see them running up to you after school?

Forty is not the new twenty, but it is not the end of anything, by any means.  And I feel good – like macrobiotic-eating-freaky-yoga-touting Madonna good. Thank God no one gave me any black Over The Hill  balloons, because I would have choked someone with them – just like Madonna would do.

I’m starting this new decade of “Forty-geddon” with high hopes and big plans! I hope you will join me for this ride.

Right after I get rid of this mother of a hang-over.

Am I Really Thanking the Olympics for My Laziness?

All around the world, spectators, family, coaches, and athletes have their eyes glued to the Olympic Games. I am no different.

I enjoy viewing these outstanding feats of agility and strength with a glass of wine in my hand, lounging on the couch…after dinner…of spaghetti and meatballs.

Watching these athletic specimens I keep thinking, “Wow! That’s amazing! And what are those weird muscle patches they’re wearing?”

Now I like to think of myself as a do-er, a go-getter. I make things happen in my life. But during these dog days of summer, all I want to do is lie down and read, then nap, then look at pictures of puppies on Facebook. So naturally, when I am sitting on my ass relaxing while watching the Olympics, I feel like someone has injected me with some ludes, then made me smoke out of a bong in the shape of Gerry Garcia’s head.

I can multi-task – yes. I have passion – yes. But laser-sharp focus – negative-o.  It really makes me think about all the things I could have accomplished if I had that type of tunnel vision dedication:

1)      A professional dancer. For reals. I was pretty good, like, could have gotten onto Star Search and met Ed McMahon good (we did not have So You Think You Can Dance then).

2)      Become a beatnik poet.  I went through this weird phase when I lived in LA when I would walk on the beach and write about my “hard times” growing up in a loving nuclear family in the suburbs.  Super deep. Give me some snaps.

3)      Won a Latch Hook Championship.  I cannot tell you people how much I was into latch hook as a kid. It’s something my mother would give me to do on family vacations in Maine.

4)      Grown my perm out.  At one point, I just couldn’t take it anymore and I cut all my hair off into a hideous bob. Yes, I am a quitter.

5)      Married Tommy Lee from Mötley Crüe. While I am still a massive fan of his (he kills it on the drums!), I’m pretty sure I dodged a bullet there.  If I had stayed really focused, gotten my boobs done, gotten my lips done, and only ate air for breakfast, I too could have ended up in a sex tape, taken him to court, and divorced him…twice.  I want to rock out with him, not microwave left-overs with him.

6)      Finished my novel, second screenplay, any other writing piece.

7)      Run the Marine Corps Marathon. Oh this one just makes me laugh. I signed up to run this marathon with one of my best friends. I dreaded the thought so much, I moved to California. True story.

The other day my daughter told me she wants to be just like me when she grows up. After I wiped tears from my eyes, I screamed, “No! You have to be stronger, faster, BETTER than me! Don’t settle for driving around with the windows rolled down listening to Hair Nation on Sirius XM.” Then I offered her a Creatine shake, which she respectfully declined.

While many of the examples above are silly, I do take a look back every once in a while and wonder if some greatness could have come from one my kicked to the curb talents. I am in awe of all of the athletes from around the world. I am pulling for our Team USA to reach for the gold. It does makes a person think, “Could I have….?”

Nope. Not me. I like life too much to focus on just one thing. I want to experience everything this place has to offer and meet as many people as possible.  Sometimes I enjoy watching coffee brew in a pot as the beautiful aroma fills the kitchen. I like to sit and stare out the window and think about everything and nothing.

Does that make me well rounded? Probably not. Did I miss out on a “great” moment in my life because I did not stick with something? Maybe. But life has been pretty good to me, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Right after I quit reading this book half-way through.