Monday, March 23, 2009


I love my nuts--walnuts, almonds, cashews...and all the varieties they come in. Salted. Toasted. Roasted. Raw. Organic.

I'm nuts about nuts, but not about the kind you can purchase for your fur baby.

Yes, who knew that all this time my 9-year-old lab, Koufax has been missing out on a synthetic pair of his very own nuts. I thought I was being a responsible pet owner when I had him neutered in his puppy hood. Apparently not.

When I had the dirty done on Koufax I could have invested in a pair of life like testicles. They're called neuticles. If there's silicone implants for broads why not testicular implantation for hounds. Makes sense to me because it's obvious that I've probably scarred him with humiliation every time he's had an off-leash park date. Or anytime he's gone to scratch and readjust his crotch, he comes up with nothing every single time.

A shame I wasn't aware of silicone sacs years ago when my husband went under the knife. Wonder if there's a male version of neuticles as well? Maybe I could have taken advantage of a 2-for-1 offer?


Monday, March 16, 2009

3 yellow pills

3 yellow pills

a Walgreens' vial stares at me from across the room
its contents await patiently
as the appointed hour looms
against the white kitchen counter
yellow pills stare up at me
pleading and begging to swallow all three

their chalky taste make a promise again
of electric pulses not to send
i put my faith in them, i have no choice, i must
but the misfirings begin
another broken trust

neurons gather like armies of ants
agitated and angry, on and on they rant
colors become brighter, emotions out of control
my sense of being, no longer whole

please quell the fires
you said you’d stop inside my head
the thought of more of you, i absolutely dread
liar, liar, liar, you make me ill

3 nasty, chalky, little… yellow pills

Friday, March 13, 2009

Yes, it is Friday the 13th

Was it not enough that we only had Friday the 13th last month? Apparently not. I'm not one to usually complain, but I feel it is not only warranted but vital to vent on this particular unlucky Friday.

I should have known it was too good to be true when both of my previously sick children went back to school after missing the first part of the week.

At just after midnight the hacking began. There is nothing worse than a persistent tickle in your throat. Actually there is when it's not you, but your kids and you're unable to comfort your 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son who are nestled in bed with you. Oh and then there's the 80-pound lug, er lab who knows how to expertly sprawl himself across all three of you.

On the upside, doctor has an early morning opening. Thankfully, we're reassured it's par for the season and incessant worrying? No reason. Mild lingering sinus infection that a week's worth of antibiotics will kick to the curb just in time before spring has sprung.

So while waiting at the pharmacy window Hunter looks up at me with a look moms know all too well. The adrenaline pumps as my arms butterfly their way through shoppers and carts. I pound on the locked bathroom door. Thankfully, store employee quickly registers the sight before him and manages the duck and dash maneuver as Hunter's chest rises and falls with each dry heave. Momentum is picking up and BINGO we have successful splash. Make that splashes.

I figure our antibiotic arsenal should be ready after MacGyver damage control. But no, the newly installed computer system is on the fritz. Pharmacist confirms what I already know to be true. "Yes, it's Friday the 13th."

Not long after mad dash home, pharmacist calls to inform me she just noticed the expiration date on my antibiotic arsenal and it's well, expired. You know where this is going. Earliest available date is Monday.

As of this posting, am still hoping for call that unexpired arsenal has been located and is in the process of being Fedexed. But with my luck today I should know better.

And how could I forget the pièce de résistance? Husband is in balmy f'ing Florida. Of course.

Yes, it is Friday the 13th.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mom's Date Out

I preface the following by saying this was a previously written piece I've updated. I asked myself permission to reprint and thankfully, self replied favorably.

After 15 years of marriage and two kids, I’ve had it. I can’t hear myself think. Wait, I can’t even think. I need to escape the four walls of home, which also serve as my home office that have long imprisoned me. I’m leaving. OK, I just need a half-dayhall pass.

I will finally have a day I’ve long dreamed
about for years--a mom’s date out. I’ve decided that
every Wednesday I will have a date--not in the slip-into-a-
sexy outfit-to-wow-hubby-over kind of way, but a date
of self and soul searching. Preferably from a park bench
or a rocking chair at my favorite local bookstore.
Wednesdays are ideal--it’s midweek and besides, who goes out
on hump day?

I had my doubts at first. If I committed every Wednesday, would it become an obligation or chore like taking that new Bikram yoga class at my master planned rec center or promising to volunteer in my son or daughter's class?

I drew up a contract with only two simple rules and
signed my name in O+ blood:

1. My date can’t be spent catching up--there will always
be laundry, errand running, bills to pay. Once I blaze out
of the garage, all thoughts of work, wifely and motherly
duties are quickly erased from my hard drive.

2. The date is only shared with me, myself and I.

So last Wednesday I made my first date. As the day
approached, I became nervous and full of anticipation.
What would I do? How would I spend it? It had been so
long since I’d been wooed over by my own sense of
humor, penchant for great conversation, and the art of
ordering just the right item off the menu.

“Just be yourself,” I repeated over and over like a
meditation mantra to my reflection in the mirror.

Then there was the issue of the perfect outfit. What would I
wear? I didn’t want to come on too strong or appear
overzealous. I needed the perfect blend of comfort
tempered with sophistication. This was a first date, after

First impressions take less than seven seconds. I
slid into my signature look--faded Gap jeans, black tee and black square-toe boots. On top, I threw over my prized Nordstrom half-yearly find--a lime suede blazer. I had to admit, I didn’t look all too shabby for a frazzled mom and desperate housewife.

I was on my way, but to where? I hadn’t fully planned
out the logistics of my date. I’m always planning and so I
wanted to show myself I had at least one bone of
spontaneity in me. I took the side streets toward
downtown until I came upon an historic neighborhood I’d
always wanted to stop at, but never had the time to
before. I parked and stepped into the unseasonably
warm winter day. The wind whispered. Voices
exchanged opinions. Spokes spun. I indulged in these
long missed sounds.

I meandered in and out of artist-owned galleries
developing a new founded appreciation for a craft I
would never master.

“Are you on vacation?” a Grandma Moses dead ringer
asked, opening a tube of oil paint.

I didn’t hold back.

“Actually, I’m on a vacation of self-discovery.” It felt
liberating to announce that to a stranger. I purchased a
set of note cards as a memento of my journey.

“Good luck on your voyage,” Grandma Moses wished
me as I left, eager to continue down the trail.

I stumbled upon a Victorian home turned into a café a
few blocks away. Patio seating. I swung open the
creaky door. A New York Times left behind. A plethora
of menu choices scribbled in chalk. I’d been delivered
from Starbucks. Angels sang in my head.

I ordered and found a spot in the sun. I sank my teeth
into thickly cut slabs of crunchy bacon, just ripe
tomatoes and leafy lettuce. I was polite enough not to
point out to myself the mayo dribbling down my chin.
Who knew food had taste? It’d been so long.
The date was going great; we had potential.

I read the Times from cover to cover, relishing the ink
stains on my fingers. Me, myself and I engaged in
political banter, shared jokes and mulled over the
always challenging crossword. We lingered over a
pumpkin spice latte until we hesitantly agreed it was
time to go.

But not before making the move we were both

As I leaned into myself for a warm embrace, I knew in
my heart I wanted to continue this relationship.
Next Wednesday it is, I agreed without hesitation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thrifty is Nifty!

I know everyone is looking for ways to cut corners at all angles. I must admit even before these challenging economic times befell us, I practiced the mantra, "Thrifty is nifty!"

Recycle. Reuse. Reduce. Redeem. Rally against the recession.

All of the above!

I thought it would fun as well as entertaining to share my own cost-saving ways and perhaps glean a few tips from those surfing in cyberland.

I now present in no particular order my version of Confessions of a Saveaholic...

Movies. Go for the matinees. In my neighborhood our local multi-movieplex offers $6 tickets for all shows before noon on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Banish name brands
whilst grocery shopping. Plain wrap Rice Krispies taste no different than the Kellogg's label and you'll save at least two bucks a box. Snap crackle pop still snaps crackles and pops.

Skip Starbucks. My husband introduced me to gas gourmet coffees. Yes as in that diesel smelling place you fill-er up! Who knew pumping gas and pouring your own Joe could save you wads of ones. Rev up both engines at once. With the high turnover, you'll always get a fresh brew. Heavenly Hazelnut. Vanish Your Cares Away French Vanilla. Espresso Escapes. Who knew? No wonder Starbucks is bitter. It sits and burns all day awaiting customers to shell out many a George Washington.

Hair cut and color. They (as in those financial experts doling out daily dismal news) say our grooming habits are the first to go in a downward turn. Well they're all wrong. I changed my salon ways long before the sky fell. Three words. Salon training nights. And two words. Beauty Schools. Apprentice hairstylists have to start somewhere. Remember your first job? Practice. Practice. Practice. And having had my head shaved for a few brain surgeries, I figure it's just hair. In fact, it's dead protein and it does and will grow back. Apprentice's have a genuine passion for learning and they are far more attentive too. You'll walk out with tamed tresses, which we all need in these harried times.

The library
. It's become my family's one stop entertainment well stop! Best-seller books. Checked out. Week long magazine and DVD loans. Checked out. Free Internet. Logged on. Free interesting lectures. Attended. In fact, my kids are so conditioned to the library that when we do visit a bricks and mortar bookstore they think we can check out their books.

Speaking of bricks and mortar....they offer free events all year. One of our family favorites is the Tattered Cover's last Friday of every month pajama story time. Free snacks. Coupons for all purchases. What a deal and you only have to fight your kids to brush their teeth once you're home. Bedtime battle half over.

Make up. I admit I used to be a sucker for pretty packaging and fragrant lotions, potions, powders... But like so many things in life, most cosmetics are all dressed up with nowhere to go and superficial on the outside; empty on the inside. I've discovered a $25 tube of mascara doesn't do any better of a job extending what non-extendable lashes I was blessed with. I can admire my son's instead. In the meantime, my new fave is Maybelline's Lash Stiletto. Even if I had Carrie Bradshaw's budget, I would never wear spikey heals, but at least my lashes can parade around. I almost feel badly for the beauty industry. If they only knew how much I was saving. Sorry Chanel, Clinique and Clarins. Cetaphil, Neutrogena and Maybelline are my BFF's. Mom was right!

Hand wash in cold. Music to my ears. I'm lucky my work and adaptable kids have made it possible to rack up the frequent flier miles over the years. I used to overpack until I discovered that nearly every item at White House Black Market is crumple and rumple proof and the best bet, all about Woolite. No longer do I agonize about having that just-in-case outfit for every just-in-case-opportunity that may or not present itself. Another three words. Pack in black. Black blouse. Black sweater. Black tee. Black skirt. Black pants. Black pumps. Black boots. Wanna go crazy? Throw in a pair of dark blue jeans. I do. They all match. It's chic. Simple. Streamlined. Stress-free and no more exorbitant dry cleaning fees! And with the airlines charging for checked bags, your simplified wardrobe comes on board with you.

Thrifty is nifty!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Gym Gripes

Not too long ago I blogged about my beef with cell phones at the gym. Sorry but bulking up and BlackBerry's don't mix.

Other observations since my return to working out after a nine year hiatus...

Don't fool yourself trying to catch up on some light reading while stairmastering, cycling, walking, ellipticalling or running. Honestly, jamming on your iPod while trying to convince yourself you're building brain cells and muscle mass is a farce. Multitasking has no place at the gym. Cleaning toilets while being subjected to thirty plus minutes of an inane Musak track as you patiently hold for a third world country call center so called customer service agent to tell you he or she is unable to help you merits multitasking.

Besides, do you realize how slow you are actually pedaling as you try to focus on three activities all at once? This also applies to the guy reading the Bible on the treadmill. I should think HE would want your fully undivided attention--elsewhere.


Hey lady with the acid washed frayed jean shorts AND cut off hot pink muscle shirt. Not a good look. The past your ass bleached-one-too-many-times tresses isn't turning any heads either even though you have a compulsion to admire yourself in the mirror between sets. I'm a Cali girl too, but please take your look back to Venice Beach. It's not working in Colorado, especially in the master-planned burbs.

Germ-phobe. Yes, I'm talking to you. The one who has a cringeful-to-witness compulsion to reach for the spray bottle of disinfectant not just after each set, but in between each rep. Do your three sets, then spray. And just once. Or do the rest of us a favor and work out in your Lysol-contagion-free-bubble you call home. I'll pass on the asphysixation thank you. You're probably unaware of the fact that human beings require a certain level of germs to actually remain healthy. That's why antibiotics have lost their effectiveness.

Stay tuned for more observations!