Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Forbidden and The Forgotten

Yes, I did just fall to earth
Tonight, the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show aired.

There was much in the way of ridiculousness: women in giant bird wings, super hero capes with thigh high neon boots, clamshell cage ensemble thingys, and even a little something for the latinas: a 5 foot tall awkward peinilla and mantilla. There were angels, devils, tramps and thieves; all culminating in which can only be described as featured left overs from a mardi gras parade.

All this for an underwear show. A fancy underwear show vs a fancy, underwear show.

I can't help but smirk when I think of the expensive, expensive underwear that gets purchased in the hopes of a little sumpin sumpin happening.

The only sumpin sumpin that'll be happening to that gossamer barely held together by threads knitted in a moonlit forest by faeries (vs fairies) that were bred solely for the purpose of producing Victoria's Secret gauzy underthings, is that those sparkly bands of fabric will get shoved to the back of the dresser drawer.

I must finish thine corset before the first wane of the moon

Banished to The Land of The Forbidden and The Forgotten.

It's a very nice effort, one full of hopes, Mr. Victoria's Secret, that those items will be used for daily living, but the truth is that women in the real world (those that believe in the cotton crotch, weigh more than 100 pounds and walk on sidewalks in flats not on runways in heels, whilst engaging in the high risk behavior of an acetate panty panel) are not going to pay that much for underwear with seams that will take on the fragility of an overused Kleenex if you sneeze too hard.

We just won't do it.

Not when you can find some perfectly durable, comfortable, no threat to your circulation 50 to a pack Hanes Her Way at Costco for less than $3.39 each.

We know enough to resist the urge to buy what you offer us. Victoria's Secret Models are the most beautiful in the world. They're like Barbie dolls. They have figures that aren't found pushing a shopping cart full of Hamburger Helper and Lunchables at MegaMart. 

That exact same gorgeous 3 inch wide band of lingerie on a VS model, will not look that same way on me.

It will not look the same way on me and I will be sorry. And disappointed. And regret ever thinking the possibility existed I could wear that. And then I'll have to sit down and eat 12 100 calories at a pop Weight Watcher fudgesicles while watching Bridget Jones' Diary.

Models are really, really different from you and me. Stare at something pretty for too long, and the mind begins to do funny things. Like tricking ourselves into thinking, Yeah, you know, if I double up on the hot yoga and the spin classes, I could do it...

No, no you can't. The only thing you can do is the clamshell cage. So, leave the underwear made from one thousand butterfly wings to the professionals. 

Besides, Hanes has animal prints out this year!

Whoa, that a double reinforced stitch all cotton crotch??


Monday, November 28, 2011

What I Missed By Not Black Fridaying It

This year, due to financial instabilities of the economy within the world of this household, we decided to not be part of the Black Friday money saving madness. *spending to save is still spending*

We're crazy, I know, because who wouldn't want two flat screen TVs when they're BOGO?

Because of me staying home the day after Thanksgiving in my well worn mismatched pajamas, sipping on Your Store Brand Here coffee by the steamy mugful, Value Deal Bing crooning in the background, I missed out on these sorts of deals:

Getting my face pepper sprayed for touching someone else's coveted doorbuster Xbox.

Being trampled underneath while lined up customers duck underneath a lifting store gate.

Carried away in a sea of humanity over $2 waffle irons.

Climbing into vats of sweet potatoes to get that video game.

And before you smugly think, Oh, this only happens at Walmart and Best Buy, here's a hipster crowd at Urban Outfitters, where the theft detector devices get trampled down in the insane gates opening dash.

This holiday, reject the spirit of greed and consumerism: and not just because of the economy, do it for your family. Teach them that the holidays are about sharing. A holiday season without any thought for the poor is an impoverished holiday. 

Think about this: 1 in 4 children in America goes to bed hungry because of unemployment, neediness, the mental and physical health of their caretakers. Can you imagine trying to fall asleep hungry? These children do, every night. helps you to feed these children. For as little as $21, you can feed a hungry family for 2 weeks. You decide whether your donation is used on a local or a national level. If you're not able to donate, you can volunteer to help. If you want to find out about food program eligibility, for you or someone else, you can click here.

Please, today, click over and learn more about FeedingAmerica. You don't have to decide to give anything, just read the stories there. Follow them on twitter, friend them on FB.

Take your time, there's no mad dash, no one's going to pepper spray you. You can do it all from the comfort of your safe home, in your pj's, hot steamy mug in hand--return home from your virtual tour without a black and blue mark on you.

Thank you.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Is This A Common Condition?

Did I ever tell you how lucky I am that I found a place that will not only take my stories of parenting mediocrity, but asks for them?

I am that lucky.

Today, at Aiming Low, I have a post up where I confess to you the condition my significant other suffers from.

I hope you are not affected by the same in your household, but if you are, let's exchange emails and commiserate.

Hope to see you here.
AIMING LOW: "Here at Aiming Low we strive for anti-perfection."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Letter To My 18 Year Old Self

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of good times and good food and goooooood naps.

I had a lot of fun preparing a post for the always sweet and supportive Jamie at her awesome site, Chosen Chaos,  for her weekly "Letter To My 18 Year Old Self."

If only we could go back and shake ourselves by the shoulder, or put our arm around ourselves, and let loose with the "If we knew then what we know now."

Thanks for the invite, Jamie!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Without Much Thought Needed, My List of All I Am Truly Thankful For

It's good to close our eyes and ears to all that roars around us so that we can feel gratitude for that which is well and good in our lives. We hear and read about things happening in the world that give us pause, and nudge us to not take our blessings as a given. Throughout my day I'll have flashes of wanting to be still, and be thankful for all that my family and I have. Today, it felt good to stop the chatter in my brain and write what I am grateful for, here, in public display of deep appreciation.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

1.    I am grateful for my children, the greatest and most important things in my life.

2.    I am grateful for my husband; who is a good, honest man who loves his family.

3.   I am grateful for my health, my husband's, and my children's good health.

4.   I am grateful that we never have to worry about having a meal to eat.

5.   I am grateful that my husband and I both have jobs.

6.   I am grateful that we have two working cars in this family.

7.  I am grateful that if my children need boots or a coat, I am able to get them.

8.  I am grateful for the safe, clean neighborhood we live in.

9.  I am grateful for the excellent medical and dental care that we have.

10. I am grateful that I have a body that is able to do anything I need it to do.

11. I am grateful that I have children who love to hug and kiss me.

12. I am grateful for the mundaneness of my life, with nothing extraordinary happening.

13. I am grateful that this new family of mine has been spared any tragedy.

14. I am grateful for my niece, who has been my best friend since the beginning of time.

15.  I am grateful that have a close friend in my life who always acts as if seeing me is the best thing in her day.

16. I am grateful for my sisters and my brother; these are the people that make me laugh as hard as my children do.

17. I am grateful that I began this blog and for all the amazing people I've met through blogging.

18. I am grateful for the unimaginable opportunities that blogging has put in my life.

19. I am grateful for the people in my online life that keep me smiling and feeling that I am part of a community.

20. I am grateful that I am able to write in a way that makes people feel more understood and less alone in this world.
21. I am grateful that I survived PPD, and that my life online has helped me reach others who are in the midst of their battle.

22. I am grateful that I have a fighter spirit that will not let me be swallowed up by the daily knocking on my own door by depression.

23. I am grateful that because of this blog, my life has been saved on a daily basis by those I've come to love and come to count on, as part of my life on this earth.

24. I am grateful for the readers that come here and remain faithful to me. To these people, I love you, and thank you.

25. I am grateful that I still have a little boy who whispers to me at night as he falls asleep, "Hold my hand, mommy, I want you to come with me to my dreams."

Happy Thanksgiving to my dear, dear friends in the blogosphere. Thank you for your visits, your comments, your tweets, your DMs, your emails, your encouragement, your support, your beautiful posts.

I love you more than you can understand. xo


Monday, November 21, 2011

The Non Traditional Holiday Post

Blogging has opened up many wonderful opportunities for me. I am grateful for the places I've been able to write, and the people I've met that have offered their sites to me.

One of these sites is TikiTiki Blog, where I post a monthly column on growing up as a first generation American.

Today, my post on "Thanksgiving for the Non American" is being featured there.

And, today, I am grateful for TikiTiki Blog, for creating a community for all of us online to share memories, laughter, nodding agreement, and a peek into what life is like for others.

I hope you'll stop over to TikiTiki, and learn a little bit more about life in the USA when you grow up as a child of immigrants.

Happy Thanksgiving...and do I have to tell you how I am most grateful for you? Yes. I do.

Thank you. 

**An extra helping of Thanksgiving thank you to ANDREA, of the sweet, cute, funny, interesting blog, Maybeit'sjustme , for the Versatile Blogger Award. I appreciate this, and you made Baby E smile by also giving him this bloggy award. You're good people. xo

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sometimes, I Get It Right

My coupons were clipped, and I was at the grocery store before nine o'clock on Sunday morning. My plans were to be in and out of our MegaMart and back home before eleven; where my three children would be waiting for me, hungry, knowing that Sunday morning meant my cinnamon rolls.

I grabbed the first cart at the front of the store and headed toward produce. Apples, grapes, bananas, oranges; we were out of everything and the grocery list I held proved it. I pulled off a plastic bag from the roll available and began filling it with the pears that were on special. Toss, toss, toss, three, four, five; I counted the amount I needed for the coming week's lunches. I looked around for the next item on the list.

Shoot. The grapes, I reminded myself, I can't forget the grapes. If this was the way things were going to go this morning, I'd be here forever. I made a U-turn mid-aisle to get back to the grapes I remember passing at the store's entrance. As I stood near the automatic doors loading up on the fruit I needed, I could see a tall man staring at me. I looked up, and recognized him from a church we had attended years ago.

I remembered that he had lost his wife suddenly while she was away on a business trip. She was only 39 years old.  At the time, they had a nine year old son, a twelve year old daughter, and another son who was fourteen.

"Hi," I said, surprised to see him after so many years. "Hi." He didn't answer back. "How are you doing?" I said his name twice.

He looked at me, not so much surprised as caught deep in thought. I saw that he was blinking away tears. "It's been eight years, you know."

"Yes, yes, I know. I am so very sorry."

I looked at his face. I put my bag of grapes into the shopping cart. I pulled my cart out of the way of the other early morning shoppers. He kept looking at me, not saying a word, and not moving. "Are you doing okay?" I asked, now feeling concerned for how disoriented he seemed. 

"You know, people are afraid to ask me about her. They're afraid it'll make me think of her. I think of her, even if no one asks me about her."

"I know. I'm sorry. I don't know why people do that." I offered up an explanation, "maybe they're worried they'll make you sad."

He looked hard at my face for an awkward amount of time. His eyes beginning at my forehead, then jumping to each side of my cheeks. His pointed his chin down, and centered his gaze on my feet. He kept his head lowered. He began to speak, his eyes still set on my black clogs. "I knew something was wrong when they called me and told me she hadn't come to work....she never missed work. That wasn't like her..."

I felt the thickness of the shopping list I held in my right hand. I could see the hand on the clock in my head pointing to nine o'clock. I noticed how red the rims around his blue eyes were.

"You know, if we move toward the store's bank over here, we'll be out of the way," I hoped my suggestion wouldn't embarrass him. "They're closed Sundays." I didn't take my eyes off of his face.

He didn't answer back. I decided to lead the way with my cart. He didn't walk after me right away, but after a few seconds, he followed not even five feet behind.

It was quiet, empty, out of the way, where we stood. "Please," I asked him, "tell me about that morning. I've never heard you tell the story about how you found out about your wife."

He looked at me, quiet, his two lips trembling. His eyes made even more blue by the contrast of the redness surrounding them.

Without a crack in his voice, he began, "I knew something was wrong when the hotel called. She was always on time. Never missed work. That day, she was going to do a presentation for a group of engineers...." The words fell out of his mouth, so many of them, fighting to get out first, as if they hadn't seen sunlight in a lifetime.

I nodded, watching him talk. I let him tell me the story of that morning eight years ago. I let him tell me how he decided to let his three children finish out the full day in school rather than picking them up early to tell them that their mother was gone. I listened to him as he told me how the youngest didn't believe him and insisted on proof that he wouldn't see his mother again.

I listened to it all until he stopped. Then he said no more, and took a deep breath.

And then he walked away. Saying nothing.

I stood and watched the back of his blue jacket head to the store's entrance. I don't know if he went back to finish his shopping or not. I hoped for a minute that I might run into him again while we were in the store because I didn't have the chance to tell him I was sorry. I didn't have the time to ask him how I could help.

I don't know how long we had been together, and I thought of how I hadn't even started on the grocery list I came in with. I knew I'd be getting back home late. It would be time for lunch and too late for cinnamon rolls. There'd be no time for me to use the money saving coupons I had been stockpiling for this morning's trip. 

I hadn't done anything I set out to do that Sunday morning.

But, somehow, I got it right.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Primer To Living With Chronic Mortification

I have a lot of fun writing a twice monthly column called "Memoirs of My America" at the fantastic humor website, FunnynotSlutty. Today, my post is up there where I discuss a side effect of being raised by people who are only in America "temporarily:" that of Chronic Mortification.

I hope you'll click over, and take another peek into why I am the way I am.
If you're new here and following over from FunnynotSlutty, thanks for clicking on home. Please check out my Best Of page and my About Me page.

If I make you smile, we can be friends on my Google Friend Connect, you can subscribe to my blog, follow me on twitter, or like me on Facebook.

All of that would be really, really nice.


 FunnynotSlutty is:
Funny not Slutty features comedy for women created by female producers, writers, humorists and comedians. FnS Original Productions have been featured by Funny or Die,, and Internet Video Magazine.

We Make Women Laugh

Monday, November 14, 2011

Notes On How To Make A Bed

I'm tired because my family never lets me sleep late

It's Monday, Baby E's post day; he posts here when he feels he needs to.

He feels he needs to today....must I tell you that he feels we again ran him ragged this weekend.

If you're new to Baby E's Posts, he posts on Mondays. You can go here to read his first post.

Thank you, as always, for listening. He is so lucky to have a place to go when life gets him down, thank you for that.


It's me.

I didn't get to do anything fun this weekend again.

My mom and dad made me do my homework all day Saturday.

On Sunday, I had to help with the groceries.

And my mom told me on Sunday I have to start making my own bed.

I don't like to do that because I told her I don't know how.

She told me to go watch my brother and watch and learn.

So I went upstairs with my brother and he was supposed to show me how.

I took notes to learn.

Here are my notes on How To Make Beds: (from watching my brother who is 14 years old)


oBe crabby

oDo it fast


oMake crabby faces

oTattle about mom to your brother

oWhen your little brother asks you a nice question be mean to him and say  "duhhhh..."

oTrip on the covers

oThrow the top blanket on top and say mumble mumble about making the bed

Those are the notes I showed to my mom.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Bil Keane, You Made It All Possible

This week, the creator of the cartoon Family Circus, Bil Keane, passed away. He was 89 years old.

Bil Keane was a self-taught cartoonist. His original series, Family Circus, debuted in 1960 and was syndicated in over 1,500 newspapers. He also ran with some big dogs: Charles Schulz, Erma Bombeck, Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

Most important for me, Family Circus was the first comic strip that I was able to read for myself.

Temptingly eye catching, Family Circus was a clear, boldly outlined circle, with just one scene taking place, and a one or two sentence punch line below.

What could be easier and more attractive to a child first learning to read?

There were some larger paneled strips, too. Those usually had the famous dotted line walks that Jeffy would take with his dog, Barfy. I loved that name, Barfy.

Still makes me laugh.

Bil Keane made it possible for a small child to read the funny papers themselves: a pretty grown up feeling thing to do.

Know what else Bil Keane made possible?

The Dysfunctional Family Circus!

These comics are from the now disbanded website, "Dysfunctional Family Circus."  In 1999, Mr. Keane insisted that the website be shut down.

But that was in 1999, the sweet and wonderful Mr Keane could not yet imagine how on the internet, Billy and Dolly live forever.

Stoned or not.
**Rest in Peace, Bil Keane. This woman here remembers how you helped her feel so proud when she was able to sound out your cartoons in the Sunday Paper. I just wanted to say Thank You.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Can No Longer Be Silent

I've seen it in broad daylight.

Too many crimes of this type being committed.

On really nice women.

Today, I spotted 5 within 3 minutes. That's one sighting every 36 seconds. 

Finally, this week, on someone who shops at our neighborhood grocery store.  

Lady Poncho at the grocery store Monday

Poncho Wearing Crimes.

I have never brought up a controversial topic on my site: but this. This is something I can no longer stand by and watch well intentioned women do to themselves.

Oh, they want this look to work; I see the hope in their eyes. It is their genuine puppy like eagerness to fashion please that has me using my blog today for the public good.

Poncho sins no mo'. Dear shrug wearing sister, take note: lest you become a victim of a carnivorous blanket. Or, worse yet: an unaware member of the dishrag wearing movement. Here is everything you need to know about the wearing of this garment that also graced the bodies of Andean beauties.

Poncho Wearing 101

 1.  Keep your look balanced. BIG poncho? You need slim bottoms: leggings, skinny jeans, straight lined skirts. Anything but the triple tiered Ma Ingalls.

2.  Your poncho should be no shorter in length than the bottom of a properly supported breast. Otherwise you have a capelet. And that's a whole nuther story.

3.  Your poncho should be no longer in length than fingertips. Also, you must be 5 ft 7 or taller. If you're shorter than that, proceed with caution.  Not a bad idea to stay home and grow tonight -- you could be inches away from the cape wearing horror of impersonating a SuperHero.

4.  Please wear something underneath your poncho. I know the expression is "I love them! You just throw them on!" But not every day is Lazy Sunday.

5.  Life is too short to wear a beige poncho. 

6.  One Size Fits All does not really mean that. Learn to say no to the strangling poncho.

7.  Sweatpants are not allowed under a poncho. It's an actual law.

8.  When having your own poncho day, avoid gaggles/murmurs of other poncho wearing women. You don't want to look like you just stepped off a ladies' club tour bus.

9. The poncho is a fashion accessory. That being said, don't accessorize your accessory with another accessory, i.e., no big knotty pom-pommed scarves tied around your poncho wearing neck.

10. You must switch to a slim bag when you wear your poncho. Carrying an airline approved legal carry on Guess bag under your poncho will transform you into The Elephant Man.

Wearing a poncho is a decision that requires respect for the garment.

Still see it as just a cavalier fashion fad?

Tell that to this lady. 

The Prison Poncho aka "The Great S'Cape"

The poncho: wrestle it to the ground and stick a flag in it.

Next on SVU fashion crimes: The Jeggings Jihad 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Weekend Was Not Mine and Now It's Monday

This is me having a good time like I didn't get to do this week end

Baby E post day here today. It's Monday, and -- as always -- when he feels he needs to get an outside opinion on the unfair state of his life, he turns to the keyboard.

Apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. 

[if you're new to Baby E, you can go here for his first post. If he has something to say, I give him Mondays here as his space. He loves knowing that]

Here is his rant, which I typed out for him Sunday night while the words were flying out of his mouth: such is the injustice that he endured at our hands this past Saturday and Sunday. [thanks so much for tuning in...means a lot to us xo]

Hi. It's me, Baby E and my mom is typing but she cannot stop me from the stuff I'm going to say.

This weekend was not mine.

All weekend we had to do stuff for my family and I had to do it, too.

On Saturday, we had to drive an hour away to go to my big brother's Lego Robotics competition. And the car ride got so long and hot that I barfed.

My other big brother helped me.

But that is not a fun Saturday day for me.

Then on that day we had to wake up at 6:00 to get to the place on time.  This was on Saturday morning that I had to get up early like that.

That is not my weekend wish for me.

On Sunday it was nice out and that made me think "oh no" because then we have to rake and it is dumb to rake.

The wind comes anyway. It's just dumb.

Oh, but wait, I just remembered my mom took us to see PussnBoots on Friday. Yeah, that was a good part.

Now my mom says I have to remember another good part: Okay, my mom did make us cinnamon rolls on Sunday. That was another good part.

Oh, wait. And my dad did buy me a new Beyblades Barf prize on Saturday because I got sick because he is an old man that has to have the heat on superhot in the car because he is an old man.

And my dad is getting crazier. Today, I told him it was too cold to go outside and rake and he looked out the window and said, "I don't see that it's cold out," and I said DAD! You can't see the temperature!!

And then my dad, when he was reading the paper said, "Look, Disney is opening up a new resort in Hawaii," and my mom said back to him, Tell me dishwashers are on sale at Sears and maybe then I'll get excited.

And that made me laugh because I love when my dad gets powned.

And then I had to go to indoor soccer. I forgot about that. That was good.

Basically, I'm mad because my favorite day is Saturday and my favorite thing is screen time and that didn't happen to me this weekend. And my favorite part of the day is to sleep and relax.

And now it's Sunday and my weekend is over and it feels like I never got it.


Friday, November 4, 2011

One Lucky Person

Research Randomizer Results
1 Set of 1 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 38 -- Unsorted
Job Status: Finished
Set #1: 29

Out of a total of 38 combined entries, compiled by date and time received via Twitter and here, the happy winner of Marinka'sWANTED: CAT hilarious Family book is Number 29:

The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful said...
I have two cats. One who claws my breasts in the middle of the night (which can be a bit startling despite the nursing deadened nipples) and another who pees down our heater vents which infuses the house with a lovely eau de catbox. But I will still read this book, because you recommend it! xo

Congrats!!! Please send me your address, and I'll get this wondrous book to you. You and yours will get a kick out of it. Very clever writing, I hope you all order a copy for the holidays.

And now, for some fun: are you the last person on earth that didn't see Jimmy Kimmel's cruel but hilarious Halloween dare thrown out to parents To Pretend They Ate Their Kids Candy?? Some of them sent in recordings of their heartless hoaxes.

SO funny...especially the last two little guys. I love them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


What does this typical family do for fun on an autumn night?

The usual: have a dance party to Dead or Alive's Spin Me Round Round Like A Record Baby and fight over pass around our copy of Motherhood In NYC's hilarious family book, WANTED: CAT.

But why should this family be lucky enough to have all the fun?

We are giving away one of our copies of Marinka's new book, WANTED: CAT.

oLeave a comment here for one chance to win.

oTweet this for a 2nd chance to win: Yes, I want it-Gimme @marinkanyc new book WANTED: CAT from @GDRPempress

oPost the above tweet on my FB page for an additional entry.

This for-all-ages who want to laugh book has been read over 5 times at a sitting in our house. It gets read at the kitchen table, while laying on the front room floor, while snuck in between the pages of math homework, and while tucked in front of mama's cookbook stand.

Marinka's WANTED: CAT has achieved the highest award in Family Book Reading possible: enthusiastic two thumbs up from teenagers.

*The 16 year old says, "Give it back, dork...I had it first."

*The 14 year old sings, "Goodtastic!"

*The 9 year old bats his lashes and asks, "More, to me again about Snowflake!"

*Mama raves, "Look at how Marinka made her stiletto heeled self look on page 20. Like she was born in Spanx. Reason enough to write a book right there."

Seriously: this book made the littlest to the biggest laugh out loud. For me, it was like a long delicious Motherhood in NYC post, just what we always wanted.

The standards Marinka holds for herself are in every sentence of this child to teen book: if it's not thigh slapping funny, she won't let it leave her computer screen.

My entire family loved WANTED: CAT. This book has the high quality humor and comic set ups we've come to expect from this woman.

If you're into clever, smart, intelligent humor for your kids and a book that your kids will love sharing with you, order this book here.

You know, in case you don't win my giveaway.

She cracked me up, and all my kids, too.

You nailed it, Marinka. You really did. 

Let the family fun begin!



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