Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snickers Bars Are My First Responders

I love this.
Well, Frankenstorm wasn't so bad in these parts as predicted; but I was up late anyway, listening for the telltale cracking of the tree that was going to come crashing through our roof.  Also, keeping an eye on developments in NY/NJ, which were bordering on apocalyptic.

Can we all have a round of applause, by the way, for Mayor Bloomberg?  Just seeing all those ambulances lined up, waiting to rescue NICU and PICU patients from a power-less NYU Hospital, was awe-inspiring.  New York did itself proud last night.  Everyone knew his job and did it, come wind and high water.  And transformer explosions.  And collapsing buildings.  And...well, you all saw the rest.

So I sat up late to hang out on Twitter, texting my family in NJ with any relevant news (they were already in the dark, both literally and figuratively) and watching Mayor Bloomberg's awesome sign-language lady, all the while with this tune running nonstop through my head:

[Play it - it's catchy!]

Essential First Aid Supplies

And now?  On to Halloween!  I'll admit it - with kids underfoot all day yesterday and today, I've been breaking into the Snickers Minis a bit.  As emergency rations, they definitely did the job of maintaining morale.  My morale, that is...

Anyone need some jugs of water?  We've got plenty.

[Sandy chart: The Hollywood Reporter]
[Snickers image: Consmr]

Sunday, October 28, 2012


We've been so busy hunkering down around here, I forgot to post.  Currently, the above tune is going through my head, and I'm pondering whether it is worth driving to Harris Teeter at this point to see if there is a loaf of bread left.  There sure as heck aren't any size "D" batteries left in town.  Or bottled water.  Or flashlights.

All I can say is, this storm had better live up to expectations, or we are all going to look mighty silly.  And no one will ever believe the weather guys again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Is It Halloween Yet?

The Halloween candy lies in a bag in my laundry room, mocking me every time I go down there to throw in a load (3 times a day, people).  In fact, this morning, I heard the Twix Bars call my name.
My pretties...

I searched all the shelves in Target today, looking for mini packages of Hot Tamales to hand out next week.  I couldn't find any.  I found Smarties, I found Twizzlers, I found Mike and Ikes - but no Hot Tamales.  I would have asked for help, but I felt like an idiot, complaining about some missing candy whilst surrounded by approximately 15 billion bags of the same.

So the question remains - WHERE ARE THE HOT TAMALES?  I crave their chewy cinnamon goodness, with an urgency unmatched even by my love of fun-size Snickers.  Don't judge - I'm nothing but an overworked suburban mom seeking comfort, like so many others out there this time of year.

Can I blame this on the Obama administration?  Is it possible that its economic policies have caused massive shortfalls in Hot Tamales production?  And why didn't this come up in last night's debate?  Oh, sure, it was all Iran this and Syria that; but what about the issues that truly matter to us as  Americans?  What does it matter if the troops come home from Afghanistan if there are no Hot Tamales awaiting them?  Apparently we, as a country, have forgotten the things that truly matter.

I guess I'll just go drown my sorrows in a Twix.  But it isn't the same...

[Hot Tamales image: CandyWarehouse]

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Maybe We Should Just Stay Inside

Gosh, here's some news you can use.  Yup.  For those of you who don't think it is worth clicking on that link in order to avoid self-immolation, I'll give you the headline:

Banana Boat Recalls Sunscreen After Reports of People Catching on Fire

Seems that, if you spray on this sunscreen, you shouldn't stand too close to an open flame.  At least, not until the product is completely dry.  The manufacturer blames the spray valve, "which is over applying the product. As a result the lotion is taking longer to dry, which raises its flammability risk."

Raises?  Now I don't know about you, but I'd rather not spray anything on my kids that has the remotest possibility of transforming them into human torches.  Tell me, what exactly is the definition of "over apply," anyway?   Does this mean that, while you are spraying your kids with sunscreen and yelling at them to cover their eyes and close their mouths, you have to figure out at what point you have crossed the line into child flambĂ© territory?

Not flammable
You know, we didn't even have sunscreen when I was growing up.  Instead, my mom slathered me with Noxzema.  And no one caught fire.  
Ah, the good old days...

[Banana Boat image: GlobalPost]
 [Noxzema image: Her Bad Mother]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Working Girl

[Note: There are no images on this post.  That is because I Googled "Office Girl images" too close to Halloween, and now I need to get a double eyeball transplant to unsee what came up.]

Last night I had a dream that my supervisor from my last full time job (you know, the one I left almost 21 years ago after giving birth to my first child) called me up.  "Where are you?" he asked, annoyed.  "Why haven't you come back from maternity leave?"

So I said, "I'll be right there!" and hung up the phone.  My job!  Of course!  I'd forgotten.

"Larry!" I said, grabbing my purse.  "I have to go back to work.  It's been 20 years.  Can you bring Rachel to her tennis lesson?  I'm late."

Larry was annoyed.  "I can't," he said.  "You're supposed to do it." (Side note here: this is not really like Larry - he's a nice guy who wouldn't try to stand in the way of his wife's career, even a career that has been on a 2-decade-long hiatus.  Besides, he likes money.)

I called my supervisor back to tell him I'd be late.  But a local NPR talk show host picked up the phone instead and wouldn't let me leave a message.  He kept thinking I was trying to call in on his show.  It was very frustrating.  I mean, my first day back on the job!  I didn't want to make a bad impression. 

I gave up on the phone call and decided that, if I could only get out of this Home Depot elevator I seemed to be trapped in, I could still drive one state over to my old workplace and things would be all right.

Dreams are weird.

I woke up confused.  My job!  They want me back!  But wait - I have to get all the kids to the dentist this morning.  But what about my job?  Maybe LARRY could take them to the dentist. 

I don't know what to make of it.  All day I haven't been able to shake the feeling that I am expected back at work.  That I am playing hooky here at home...

Can I just blame the menopause for this?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Girl Talk

Okay, it looks as though we are pulling out of the fever/sore throat/head cold thing Susie and Brian contracted.  We still haven't figured out what was wrong with Rachel, but she spent an entire night in the middle of last week threatening to throw up.

We sure know how to have fun as a family.

Larry has left on business again; but that's okay with me, as I expect him to come down with this lovely disease any minute now.  He was the one who pulled bedtime duty with Susie for the past week, as she simply did not feel her purpose in life could be fulfilled without her being able to breathe and cough all over one of us all night.  I myself slept in the spare bedroom.  Sauve qui peut, I always say.  Because I like to show off my French.

Last night I was able to escape the coughing and the Kleenex and the cries of my ailing young to go watch Jane Eyre, because a friend and I have instituted a gal's movie night every other week.  There was chocolate involved, too, of course.  I highly recommend this form of recreation - we get to watch all those movies that would be ruined by the presence of a disgusted, irritated male in the room, and then we spend the rest of the evening talking about all those things men think don't warrant discussion.   I got home at 1:30 AM. 

"What were you doing out so late?" Larry asked this morning, slightly irritated, seeing as how we have caught barely a glimpse of each other all week, what with his work demands and our sick children and Brian's Boy Scout trip.

"We were talking," I said.  "So you don't have to."

You know, he didn't even try to argue with that.

[Photo: Makeup Masala]

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Hey, all the kids are sick, so you probably don't want to hang out over here today.  But I am over at Derfwad Manor today, baring all (as it were) about my latest foray into the world of brassiere-shopping.  See you there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cake! Gifts! Balloons!

It's Larry's birthday today, and we're currently in the midst of baking the fabled cranberry upside-down cake.  That link represents my brief foray into the world of recipe blogging, in case you too want to try making a cake that will give you a 3-day-long sugar rush. 

But, hey, it has cranberries!  And walnuts!  It's healthy!

This WON'T be Larry's present this year.
Larry is actually getting an awesome present this year, courtesy of my BlogHer earnings and my Dad's generosity -- as opposed to last year, say, when the kids and I picked out a shredder for him at Office Depot.  In our defense, I do think that he really liked that shredder.  And it's very useful.

This year is different.  In fact, I actually covet Larry's present, which is an IPod Touch (the 4G's just came down in price, people - and now there is a 16GB version that is less than the 8GB used to be!).  I think, in fact, that it will be sort of wasted on him.  This opinion is based on the fact that, every time Larry attempts to use his not-smart phone, he stares at it as though he were a wild primate who had just come across this strange device in the middle of the jungle.  He all but scratches his head and makes chimpanzee sounds as he attempts to retrieve a text message.

Yes, I'm making fun of my spouse on his birthday.  But he IS getting a cool gift to make up for it.  AND balloons.  How much better can it get?

[shredder image: amazon.com]

Monday, October 08, 2012


Growing up, one of my favorite stories was Lisa and Lottie, a book that was made (twice!) into the movie "The Parent Trap."  The story of the two girls, who meet at summer camp and discover that they are twin sisters separated during infancy by their divorcing parents, thrilled me no end.  Imagine!  Perhaps somewhere I - like those lucky girls in the book - could find one of those oh-so-mythical creatures - a SISTER - waiting for me.  I dreamed that a sister would be a bosom buddy, a pal, someone whose innermost thoughts would be just like mine.  We could do girl things together, instead of my having to play chess with my older brother, who only played with me to hone his own skills at that vile game.  A sister! If I had a sister, we could do each other's hair.  We could share clothes.  We could be FRIENDS.  

And there certainly wouldn't be any chess.

Disney's new film Tinker Bell and Secret of the Wings was made for every little girl who has longed for a sister of her own.  Granted, we have no such situation in this house.  With 3 boys and 3 girls, we have ample sibling interactions of every kind.  So I wondered if my girls would still be captivated by this fantasy of 2 fairies who discover that they are long-separated twins ("born from the same laugh," as the movie puts it - apparently, the fairy facts of life are not nearly as awkward to explain as are human ones). 

Would Rachel and Susie identify with the fairies' delight upon their finding each other?  Or would my girls wonder what all the fuss was about, knowing - as they do - that life with a sister isn't always all it's cracked up to be?

I HAVE talked about the puppy problem, right?

Anywhoo, Rachel (10) loved the many twists and turns of the plot; and (naturally, considering her checkered past) she enjoyed watching Tinker Bell and her new-found sister breaking the rules just to visit each other.  The devotion!  The derring-do!

Susie (7), on the other hand, wasn't able to focus on the FUN! SISTERS! part of the movie, as she was too worried about whether or not the fairies would be able to save the fairy dust tree.  Also, her father shows her "The 3 Stooges" way too much; so I think she was waiting for the part where everyone would start poking each other in the eyes.

As for myself, I was impressed by the quality and variety of the character's voices.  Animated films have come a long way since I was a kid, I must say.  Along with Timothy Dalton and Anjelica Huston, the cast of voices includes the woman who spoke for Ariel, long ago, in The Little Mermaid.  And I was surprised to learn that an actual hairdresser designed the hair for Tinker Bell's twin sister.  Slightly jealous here, actually - where's my personal hair designer when I need him?

Or maybe that's the sort of thing a sister would be good for...

And, now, to celebrate the release of Tinker Bell and Secret of the Wings, Disney has given me a “Flitterific Fairies Blue-ray Double Pack”, which is a Blu-Ray/DVD combo, to give away to one of my readers.  To participate in the sweepstakes, please answer the question, "What does sisterhood mean to you?" in the comments on this post.  Further rules are listed below.  And feel free to check out the "Secret of the Wings" website: it features videos, activities, and games for your favorite fairy enthusiast.

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the
following unique term in your tweet message: #SweepstakesEntry; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post"
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/8 to 10/31.
Be sure to visit the Secret of the Wings Reel Sisterhood brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Pajama Game

I was folding mine and Larry's laundry last night (because that is the kind of exciting life I lead - what else would one do on a Saturday evening?).  Having finished, I set aside that evening's sleepwear to put on later.  But then I had what can only be described as an epiphany.

Maybe I need the ruffled shorts?
"Hey!" I said to myself.  "It's 8 PM, and I'm not going anywhere.  Why can't I put on my pajamas and lounge around in them like any normal person?  Why DO I stay dressed to the shoes every evening until 11 PM, anyway?"

So, intrepid habit-breaker that I am, I took off my workaday clothes and pulled on my sweatpants and my T-shirt and the huge, comfy sweatshirt that I stole from Larry, way back when our marriage was still young and it was cute to do things like that.

"Aaah," I thought.  "That's more like it.  How relaxing! Now I'll go downstairs and sit on the couch and read and knit and blog all evening long."

Only I never made it down there.  Instead, I was so relaxed that I lay down on my bed and went to sleep.  Which might just explain why I CAN'T put on my pajamas and lounge around in them like any normal person...

[PJ image: Lady Cass Tumblr]

Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Veritable Potpourri Of Miscellany

Yes, I'm still here.  I've just been very busy exercising and watching what I eat and NOT LOSING ANY WEIGHT, that's all.  Tell me, does weeping over the unfairness of it all burn any calories?

In other news, Larry informed me that he has to travel for business for another week this month.  But not to a place that has good chocolate...

It's turned hot and humid here again, which is just great - I mean, why enjoy cool, crisp autumn weather when you can instead spend your time schvitzing and being eaten alive by mosquitoes?  It's paradise, I tell you. Paradise.

Have I mentioned how much I love the silliness of the Internet?  No?  Well, I do.  Who wouldn't, after seeing this?

And, for the left-leaning among you, Margaret and Helen, every liberal's (and some centrists') favorite old ladies, are back!  Romney supporters, don't click.  It will just annoy you.