Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bug Assembly

Yesterday, I was walking around the block, enjoying the lovely, if a little cool, spring air. It seems all creatures are taking in the sights and sounds and smells of spring. Neighbors are strolling, dogs are frolicking, birds are flirting... and gnats are congregating. In large clouds. In the middle of the sidewalk. At head-height.

As I turned a corner, breathing in the delightful fragrances of the season, I stepped right into a lively, grey cloud of gnats. I scrunched up my face, squinting my eyes, pursing my lips, and willing my nostrils closed. I breathed out of my mouth as if blowing out my birthday candles. The last thing I want is gnats in my lungs. Or worse, in my teeth and on my tongue, where my taste buds reside. Have you ever tasted a gnat? I don't think I have, but it's an experience I'd like to avoid. As I was using all the air in my body to expel any subversive bugs that were attempting to fly against the wind of my breath, I danced and swerved and waved my arms around my head. Because that helps. Just as I exited the long, dirty cloud, I noticed two girls walking toward me on the other side of the street. I'm sure I made a sensible impression. They couldn't see the living cloud of bugs. All they saw was the crazy lady waving, blowing, squinting, and generally freaking out over absolutely nothing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Psychics & Walmart

I have asked my fabulous and always entertaining friend Becky to post the following story here for your reading pleasure. She is only the second guest blogger I've had the privilege of featuring on my blog. (Remember Domenico Maiuri and the infamous Flowrider incident?)  After this story, you will all be petitioning for her to replace me permanently. Enjoy!

Psychics & Wal-Mart
by Becky Rhead

I went to a psychic in the Castro District of San Francisco this past weekend.  For those of you who aren’t aware, it’s the “gay district” and I love it. I have a gay brother and I asked him to take me there for dinner.  I knew if we had dinner there that we would meet new friends (accomplished) , have fabulous food (said in a gay voice) and check out all the cute gay boys (wow, there were a lot of them). While walking down Castro Street we saw a sign for a “psychic reading” and decided we better see what the future holds for us. While my brother had his reading I sat outside on the porch and people watched.  Seriously, I don’t know if people watching gets any more entertaining than a Saturday night in the gayest part of the country.

I was feeling pretty good. I felt confident in my new red coat purchased that day at H&M. My confidence was soon shot to hell after spending 20 minutes on a porch with not even a second glance by any of the cute guys walking by. Ok, I realize 99% of them were gay but I hoped for at least a “Giiiiiirl, that coat is fab-u-lous” comment.  That comment didn’t come and I felt significantly less fabulous by the minute.


Soon it was my time to visit the psychic.  I won’t bore you with what she said, even though it was awesome and I apparently have the world’s best future ahead of me.  One thing that shouldn’t surprise any of you that know me is that she said, “Wow, you are very strong minded.”  Yep, that’s me.  I’m a very passionate liberal.  I get angry about social issues, my blood boils on a regular basis.  I am vocal about my beliefs and I am sure I offend people on a regular basis.  But I can’t deny who I am. One thing I am morally and socially opposed to is … duh duh duh….Wal-Mart.  I never shop at Wal-Mart. I don’t care if I will save $2 buying my deodorant at Wal-Mart, I won’t shop there. I hate that it has taken over our country and put countless small businesses out of business!  I hate that when you go there you that it takes more than 2 hands to count the amount of people wearing pajamas and slippers.  I hate that you have to wait in ridiculously long lines shopping there.  Need I go on?  I just hate Wal-Mart.


Thus begins my story. I was on my way to watch a movie at a friend’s.  I was just about to get to her house when she called and said, “I am running late. I’ll be there in 20 minutes!”  I didn’t want to drive all the way home so I figured I needed to waste some time at 9:30 on a weeknight at a store in the area.  I honestly don’t know what came over me but I saw a Wal-Mart and thought, “What the hell, I need some Spanxs and I might as well buy them at Wal-Mart.”  For those of you who don’t know what Spanxs are here is a picture.  They keep you nice and slim for those “special” days in your life.  My friend Sarah was getting married on Monday and I needed them for my bridesmaid dress.

I walked into Wal-Mart.  It took me awhile in the vast store to find the lingerie (all while cringing at the clothes that they sell there).  I found my Spanx (much cheaper than they were at Target!), mission accomplished!  On my way to check out I walked past the ice-cream and thought, “Oh, I should totally eat some Rocky Road while watching a movie tonight.”  I grabbed a gallon and went to the check out. 


It was then that I realized that the two items I was purchasing were Spanx and ice-cream.  The clerk looked at my items, didn’t say anything, but looked back up smiled at me with a look on her face that said, “Oh?  You think you are too good to shop at Wal-Mart? Even you liberals can fall prey to our prices!”  I knew what she was thinking.  I was thinking the same thing.  Wow, I just became a trashy Wal-Mart shopper that I despise.  But, I saved $12.30 in the process and looked better in that bridesmaid dress than I would have!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


One month ago, spring-like weather gave us a little tease. In the four weeks since this glorious day, Mother Nature has mocked us by throwing snow our way on multiple occasions. But again today, she gave us a taste of luscious spring. It was a magnificent day. Blue skies, a slight breeze, and heaps of sunshine. Even the plants in my yard were blooming with pleasure.

Oh my! I don't recall seeing this botanical phenomenon last year.


Warning: If you are male or embarrassed about boob talk, turn back now. You see, I used to be one of you. Not male, but boob-shy. About 5 years ago, if I heard the word "nipple," my normally pale face would blush and burn, and I would shrink into the nearest corner and giggle nervously while clutching my elbows. My man used to blurt out the word regularly just to make me squirm.

Fast forward to the present day. These things are so gigantic that I torpedo everything in my path. In fact, I don't even think of them as mine; they are really just food storage for the punk.

Before having the baby, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about breastfeeding. I knew that I wanted to at least try it for his sake, but wasn't sure I was going to enjoy using them as a tool. Because that's what they are. They are no longer for decoration. And what glorious decoration they used to be! I now think of them as merely utilitarian. In fact, my whole body has been nothing but a vessel for the past year. A vessel for creating, carrying, and nourishing life.

And what do I get in return for donating my body to science? This...

I'll take it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bathtime Reflection

The punk is extremely vain. He can't resist looking in a mirror, no matter what shape or size.

Friday, April 10, 2009


We all know guilt. Especially those of us who are religious. Some of this guilt is deserved, and even healthy. It can be a catalyst for necessary change. But sometimes unwarranted guilt is placed upon us by other people: parents, peers, neighbors... as an attempt to placate their own self-doubt by judging the choices of others.

Nowhere is this more potent than in the silent War of the Moms. The working mom versus the stay at home mom. Since becoming pregnant, I have heard it from both sides. When learning that I decided not to go back to work, those who are pro-home have said, "How wonderful. It would be so hard to have to put your child in (gasp) day care." And friends who plan to continue working after having children have said, "I don't know how you do it. I think I would go crazy if I had to stay home with snotty kids all day." Okay, I added the snotty part. But I've wondered why the judgement... And I am convinced that it is because most of us want it all. We want to experience the joy and fulfillment of having children AND stay connected to our former pre-spawn life. We want to accomplish things and contribute to our communities and spend time with our men and our girlfriends and our manicurists, but we also want to give ourselves fully to guiding and teaching and nurturing our very own child. But, despite our desire for having it all, it is almost impossible to keep 13 balls in the air without dropping 7 or 8 or 12 of them. So we make a choice. We either give up our sassy skirts and Starbucks hot chocolate breakfasts to spend every waking hour with our punks, or we entrust the munchkins with someone who will take care of them while we spend our days working to bring home the bacon. Either way, we sacrifice something. So to fill that void, whether large or small, we look at the woman who made the opposite choice, and we judge. We stick a pin in our "stay at home mom" or "working mom" voodoo doll. And we think we are smarter for making the choice she didn't.

What's with the judgment? What's with the guilt? We are too hard on each other because we are too hard on ourselves. We expect perfection. Maybe not the perfection that Victoria's Secret expects, but our very own, personal brand of perfection. But we need to give ourselves and each other a break. If it were possible to have it all, I would be able to train for a marathon, earn the blue ribbon for my homemade chocolate chip cookies (while never eating any), spend 10 hours every day reading and singing to my baby and teaching him to perfect his golf swing, banish dust from the house, and become Salt Lake City's Erin Brockovich without the trashy clothes, but with the fantastic legs.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sad Violin Face

Either he has perfect pitch, and is trying to tell me that my A is a little flat, or he just prefers his dad's Metallica to my Bach.

Friday, April 3, 2009

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