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Me, Left Holding the Bag

June 15th, 2007

Crazy Big Sister is Wacky Girl’s best friend. (Crazy Baby Sister is younger than Wacky Boy, but already a force to be reckoned with. Who needs words when you can gesture, shriek, throw pizza, then smile winningly so everyone goo-goos at you? She is a dolly. I want to nibble on her.) CBS has straight dark hair; WG has straight blonde hair. They’re both long-legged and coltish. They think boys are stupid. They think gum is good. They like to play tricks. They’re brilliant at reading and math. They met playing soccer two years ago. They were in first grade together. They were in second grade together. If they’re not in third grade together — I don’t want to think about it. They’re both a little… quirky.

When I ask them a question, for instance “Who broke this?” they don’t have to get their stories straight first. They have some kind of mind-meld going. CBS usually takes the lead. (more…)

Get the Lead Out! Recall notice on Thomas trains!

June 15th, 2007

from one of my listservs.


Dear MomsRising member,

We heard from outraged young moms, grandmas, pre-schools, and our own team members about one thing yesterday: Toxic lead in a popular line of children’s toys. It’s a scary thing. Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends toys are now the subject of a major recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC advises consumers to immediately stop using these toys. Here’s the link to their recall notice so you can find out exactly which toys are trouble. (more…)

School’s (Almost) Out!!!!!!!! Thirteen Goodbyes

June 13th, 2007

I’m definitely in the mood for Thursday Thirteen this week. Oh. Man. Has it been a looooooong school year or is it just me? I thought we had one of the shortest school years in the nation? Oh, all those Wednesdays and Thursdays off, I guess they mean. They add up.

Yesterday wasn’t the last day of school for my kids (who are now proud to be kindergarten and third grade students-in-waiting), but it sure felt like it. It was field day! Water balloons, dumping buckets of water on each other, the long dash, the frisbee toss… fun.

13. Goodbye, Bruno. I hope over the summer you learn to stop stabbing yourself with scissors. I also kinda hope you try out a different school. One where they have more counselors? (more…)


June 12th, 2007

Also, I’m a little lost without Lost, The Office, My Name is Earl, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal and Grey’s Anatomy to define my week. You?

Also, we HAVE NO HBO so I won’t see the second half of the final season of The Sopranos until it’s out on DVD.

I’m in pain.

Also, the season finale of Lost made me a little agitada and I still can’t talk about it. Stupid Lost. Stupid plot contrivances and sexy men that draw me in like a moth to a bug-zapper time and time again.

Also, the Pink-Haired Housewife saw the season finale of the Sopranos, as her parents are cool and have HBO and she dines with them every Sunday night for their Sopranos date. (The kids are in the other room, playing, calm down, jeez.) Isn’t that sweet?

Also, the painter FINISHED and my house looks GREAT. I am telling you — hire a painter. Don’t try to get cute and do your own painting unless you’re brilliant at it.

Also, I’ve gotten over missing work. Ha! My husband is going to buy me two chaise lounges. One for me and one for the Pink-Haired Housewife. So there.



Six Stories About My Mom At the Pub

June 12th, 2007

1) We used to always babysit for my cousin Ralphie while Mom and her sister Kay-Kay went out. They’re getting their purses, pulling on their coats, and Ralphie, who is 3 or so at the time, calls out, “You going to No Dogs or the Leaky Roof?” (Two popular tavs at the time. No Dogs Allowed had pictures of dogs on the bathroom doors and two signs: Pointers and Setters. None of us kids could figure out why this was so funny to the grown-ups.)

“We’re going shopping!” they hissed at him.

“Really?” he asked, looking a little baffled.

2) Then there was the time she told me about the guitar player who was entertaining at the pub that night. He sang “Sympathy for the Devil,” an acoustic version, and this table of revelers provided the “woo-woo’s” in all the right places. It became a mission of mine — to find the perfect night, the perfect pub, the perfect crowd. You can spend a lot on dinner, drinks and dancing, but the woo-woo chorus? Priceless.

3) Then there was the Mountain Moving Cafe, this all-ages lesbian-gay-hippie bar (no, seriously. I mean, how great is that?) we used to go to when I was about, 11-12? My friends were all too eager to go because hello? None of us had ever seen women french kiss each other before. Or men. We’d barely seen heteros french kiss. No, really. And they danced, and we danced, and we’d have drinks (just Cokes for us; booze for the adults) and it was righteous.

Also everyone smoked dope. It smelled great in there.

My friends: “When is your mom going to take us to that place again?”

And over the doorway that led into the adjoining bookstore? A print of a woman’s legs, cross-section, and she was inserting a tampon. Ewwwwwwww!!! My mom: “What’s the big deal, anyway?”

4) So a convention of morticians walks into the room… No, seriously. My mom and I were at the beach. I was barely legal. The morticians wanted to chat. And my mom was all too happy to engage them in some scintillating conversation.

“When did you decide to become a mortician?” was her opener. Oh. My. God. OH MY GOD! I made her leave with me and to this day I regret it.

5) My high school boyfriend and I were Dark and Introspective. We’d both lost our fathers, a year apart (mine to suicide — he was schizophrenic; his to heart attack — he was only 38). We liked to party. But we also liked to stay home, make waffles, and watch Speed Racer with my little sister. One night we were staying in, and for no good reason decided to drink an entire case of Hamm’s, just the two of us. Jesus, were we loaded. So when “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” came on at midnight, we decided to stay up and watch it.

This was not such a hot idea. We’re drunk. He’s crying over my dad, I’m crying over his dad, we’re crying over our own dads. We’re both worried, What if we go crazy, like poor Kathleen Quinlan. It could happen. Then my mom gets home, after the bar closes. She’s in her honky-tonkin’ phase — she’s dressed really cute and has on boots. She’s all “Yee-haw!” down to the basement, gets a load of us and is all, “What the hell’s wrong with you two?”

6) We always tease her about going to the Rovon Inn. “Where’s mom, anyway?” “She just roved on in” or “Call the Rovon — it’s happy hour.” But truly? She doesn’t even drink anymore! She stopped a long time ago. Go figure.

Tuesday Recipe Club: Vegan Chili & Cheese Straws

June 11th, 2007

My temp job ended today, and no new job is in sight. That’s OK. I type for a living, remember? I just get paid in love bucks. I’ve started hunting for an agent again, in earnest. Wish me luck. I have a completed fiction manuscript, this blog (I think it would make a nifty parenting manual and/or memoir), a children’s story (in English and Spanish!) and a few essays. And my left kidney. Something will sell.

So, for now, goodbye work. Goodbye desk and my own coffee mug and a paycheck every other week. Goodbye, vending machines. Goodbye loud, funny, amazing co-workers who said things like, “Great shoes!” and “I like that skirt,” and “Wow, you type really fast! I wish I typed fast like that…” without even knowing how much it would mean to me.

These recipes are both from Zip, who always comes through:

Cheese Straws
Makes at least 10 servings

1/2 pound cheddar or other hard, flavorful cheese
1/3 pound parmesan cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chilled butter (1 stick), cut into chunks, plus a little more for greasing the baking sheet
Few drops ice water, if necessary
Coarse salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grate cheese by hand or in food processor and place in bowl. Pulse flour and cayenne in food processor. Add butter and process until butter and flour are combined. Pulse in cheese.

Turn dough out onto counter or cutting board and knead by hand, adding a few drops of ice water if necessary. (You may wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 days, taking it out for about a half hour before proceeding.)

Roll out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips as long as you like. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, if using. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Crockpot Vegan Chili

1 can vegetable broth
2 cans kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
2 cans chopped tomatoes in puree
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano

Combine ingredients in crockpot, heat on high to start, then low for at least 2 hours.

Sizzzzzzzle splat!

June 9th, 2007

Big power outage all afternoon here at Wacky House but we are back, and servers are NOT toast, I am pleased to say. Sorry if you were shut out. Here’s your all-access pass.

Carry on. Happy weekend to you.




June 9th, 2007

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat, author, and lecturer (1884-1962)

I came across this again today (from “A Room of One’s Own” — and why is it that all that anyone ever remembers is “…a woman must have… a room of her own…” when there is so much more to it? WM):

“…a woman must have money and a room of her own is she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.”
— Virginia Woolf

“True remorse is never just a regret over consequences; it is a regret over motive.”
— Mignon McLaughlin, author (1915-)

(I miss my doggie. WM)

“Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way.”
— E.L. Doctorow, writer (1931- )

and (just as importantly) from a WM diary entry, 4/6/85:

“The object of painting is not to cover the wall. It’s to empty the can.”
— Homer Groening (Matt Groening’s dad, also an artist)

Friday Book Review: Punk Rock Dad, The Big Payoff, Garage Sale America

June 8th, 2007

Reviewed today:

Wacky Mommy: Another parenting book lands on my desk. And even though I’m allegedly a “mom blogger,” I am feeling a little ‘eh’ about one more parenting book. This one is by Pennywise lead singer Jim Lindberg and it’s about his three adorable little blonde daughters and his sexy, supportive, Bunko-playing wife.

She’s not on the cover, the wife, but I’m assuming those are his kids and not models. Pink-Haired Housewife, have you ever listened to Pennywise?

Pink-Haired Housewife: First of all – no thanks to a bottle of Clairol 121A that was NOT “Dark Brown” as labeled, I am now (Joan) Jett Black-Haired Housewife. The little pot of gold at the end of my shoe polish-head rainbow is that there’a not a grey hair in sight. For now… (more…)

Lemon Groves, go in peace

June 8th, 2007

We miss you, Lemon. Peace, always.


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