Monday, March 29, 2010

Yeah, I'm still 40.

Well, I've been 40 for a little over a month now. So far, so good. I think I'm finally prepared to talk about it without breaking down.

Remember the surprise party that wasn't? Yeah, thank God for that. Instead, my mom and sister opted for a day of fun involving a tea party for the girls, manis and pedis, and dinner with the whole famn damily. And it was great.

The tea party was at a place called Miss Annabelle's Tea Room. Ellie and my nieces thought it was the coolest thing EVER.

At Miss Annabelle's, everyone wears a vintage hat and a feather boa. It's, like, a rule.

And of course no birthday in my family would be complete without the smart-ass birthday cake:

Thanks to my family and friends, turning 40 was fun and relatively painless. And leftover cake didn't hurt anything, either.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear Stephen: I can be fair and balanced! Honest!

I am a liberal. A left-winger. A bleeding heart. A pinko-commie, if you will.

Religiously, politically and socially, I lean far to the left. Many of my conservative friends love me in spite of this.

I probably don’t have to tell you, given my socialist tendencies, that I am not a fan of Fox News. Fair and balanced my ass.

But I swear if I could sleep with Stephen Hayes, I would change my political stripes.

Have you seen this guy? He’s HAWT. In a nerdy, neo-conservative sort of way. I like that in a man.

(And just so you know, I’m an equal-opportunity luster – I also find George Stephanopoulos to be unreasonably sexy. And besides, I really like his . . . politics.)

In theory, there is nothing about Stephen Hayes that I should find appealing. He’s a writer for the Weekly Standard. He honest-to-God believes there’s a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. He’s Dick Cheney’s official biographer, for cryin’ out loud. I should loathe him with every fiber of my being.

But when he’s on the screen, all I can do is watch his pretty mouth and gaze into his beautiful blue eyes. At least I think they’re blue. The reflection off his round, nerdy little glasses makes it hard to tell.

How, you may be wondering, do I even know this guy exists? I’m the least likely person on the planet to watch Fox News.

My mom, bless her Republican heart, is a fan. Every time I’m at her house, Stephen seems to be on her TV.

I’m okay with this.

Mom, thank God, usually turns down the volume on the TV when I come to visit. But -- thank God -- she doesn’t turn it off. I still get to watch Stephen without having to listen to him.

I’m no lip-reader. When Stephen is on-screen talking about how much he worships Dick Cheney, I can’t tell what he’s saying. So I pretend he’s professing his undying love for me instead. The relationship is a bit one-sided, but it works for us.

I got online to search for photos of Stephen – I wanted a pin-up for my office. Unfortunately I was able to find only small screen shots like the ones on this page. But I did come across an entry over at that pretty much sums up how I feel about him:

Because I’d do those Fox boys alphabetically. But I’d start with him.

Because . . . he’s my goatee go-to guy.

Because he’s the best-looking man on the Fox All-Stars panel.

Because he’s made me imagine a moment with just the two of us, that Special Report desk, and some heavy, sweaty, nekkid breathing.

Because I’m a sucker for a cute conservative.

Because I cried when I couldn’t find a bigger picture.

Because . . . damn! Can’t a gal get a little love from the right wing, if you know what I mean, and I think you do . . . Stephen.

Well said, my friend. Let me add just one thing: if you're going to be an idiot, at least have the courtesy to be a good-looking one. Thank you, Stephen. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Bumblebee

Ellie in her dance costume. Size extra-small.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A whorse is a whorse

Dear friends and family:

As you know, my daughter’s birthday is coming up. She will soon be three, and like most three-year-old girls, she is into girly stuff. Dress-up clothes, Disney princesses, dolls of all shapes, sizes and real-life defecating abilities – all these are of great interest to her. Even Barbies are starting to grab her attention.

And I’m generally okay with all these things. Yes, I do what I can to discourage Prince Charming Syndrome, and I don’t want her to think it’s natural for a woman’s breasts to be so large she is incapable of standing upright. But I’ve given in to the inevitable. She is a girl, and I’m allowing her to be one, even with all the baggage that can come with that. The truth is that I’m a big Disney fan myself, so I don’t mind the princesses so much. Barbie comes in several incarnations, including doctor and lawyer. As long as my kid is engaged in creative, imaginative play, I really don’t care if that involves frilly dresses or wooden blocks.

So as you choose a gift for my daughter’s special day, please feel free to purchase anything you think she would like. But know that I do draw the line somewhere.

Like here:

These, as you probably know, are Bratz dolls. Otherwise known as Trollop Barbie. They are wearing tiny little gladiator stilettos. Do not buy one of these for my daughter, mmkay? Thanks.

And while we're at it, don't buy her one of these, either:

This is Baby Bratz, which appears to be a baby in a thong. With a tiara and eyeliner. And cankles. But that's an entirely different post.

Not that Barbie is letting the grass grow under her go-go-booted feet:

This, my friends, is Bling Bling Barbie. No, really. Complete with cell phone, pouty lips, excessive eye makeup, and skirt that barely covers her cootchie. I do not want my daughter to own one of these. Not now, not ever, not in this lifetime. A nice, normal, regular Barbie? That's fine. Bling Slut Barbie? NO.

Ellie has lately been introduced to My Little Pony, to which I have no objection. I'm not a rainbows-and-ponies type of girl, but whatever. I'm sure I was when I was three. If you feel compelled to grace Ellie with a My Little Pony, you go right ahead. Knock yourself out.

But please do not buy her a whorse.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a horse in high heels. It is carrying a purse. It is wearing eye makeup, jewelry, and what appears to be a mini-skirt and halter ensemble. It comes with a curry comb AND A COMPACT. It's from a line of toys called Struts. They are called "fantasy fashion model horses" with "runway magic." Really? REALLY? We now have fashion model HORSES?!

I think girls' toys have perhaps gone too far.

So if you must buy Ellie a horse, get her this kind:

We'll be needing a pasture and a barn to go with that, mmkay? And if you could run it past the homeowner's association and get their approval, that would be great. Thanks. And yes, Susie, I'm ripping off your Facebook photos.

Friday, March 19, 2010

You no talk me.

Ellie will soon be three, but she has the attitude of the average 13-year-old.

The most recent addition to her vocabulary?

"Whatever, Mama."

I am not making this up.

She routinely looks at me, holds up one tiny hand, palm out, and says "Whatever." I get this in response to bedtime, bathtime, and requests to pick up her toys or put on her coat. I tried to blame my sister, who is fond of "whatever" as an all-purpose response to . . . well . . . whatever. But then I was informed by several people that I say it a lot, too. So I guess the fact that I'm raising a miniscule diva is no one's fault but my own.

Another new trick is that she now calls me out when I talk to myself. If she hears me mumbling, she says "Mama, who you talk?" More often than not, I am forced to say "Nobody." Or "Myself."

How embarrassing to be caught by the toddler holding a conversation with yourself.

If she doesn't hear something I've said and wants me to repeat it -- a favorite stalling tactic -- she also asks, "Mama, you talk me?" I was prepared for this response the other day when I asked her to put her toys away in preparation for bedtime.

But that's not what I got.

Instead, she looked up at me, cocked her head to one side, showed me her palm in classic "talk to the hand" style, and said, "Mama, you no talk me."

Excuse me?

My not-quite-three-year-old told me -- ORDERED ME, in fact -- to stop "talking her."

Sigh. It's gonna be a long 18 years.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Emilie got her groove back

I know what you're going to say.

"Where have you been? Why did you stop writing? What's going on?"

More likely, you might be saying "You took a break? I hadn't noticed."

To those of you who DID notice, thanks. Your kind words meant a lot. And to those of you who didn't . . . I'm taking you out of the will.

Anyway. I did take a little vacation there for awhile, mostly because my job search was overwhelming me and I found I had nothing to say and no creativity with which to say it. All the time I normally would have spent blogging was spent looking for a job, and I felt like I was being irresponsible if I DIDN'T spend my time that way.

But I've figured out that I have to continue doing the things that bring me joy and fulfillment, regardless of what else is going on in my life. And I need this outlet to help me work through the emotional ups and downs that come with searching for a new job. So the posts you get for the next few months may be disjointed, or random, or downright incoherent. But they'll be there as regularly as I can manage.

And I think it's possible that the job hunt is looking up. More on that at a later date.

It's good to be back -- MWAH!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to me

Yesterday I turned 40.

Or, as my friend Melanie put it, I entered my fifth decade of life. Thanks, Mel. I needed that.

I like my mom's philosophy better: she says I'm just 39 years and 366 days old. In other words, it's just another day. Big freakin' deal. And it beats the alternative -- at least I'm still on top of the grass instead of under it.

So far I don't think I mind being 40. I'm a little confused as to how I got to be this old -- I don't remember 40 years passing. But I think there are some advantages to being a woman of a certain age. Like being comfortable in my own skin. And enjoying my own company. And not having anything to prove to anyone anymore. And not having to shave my legs on any sort of regular basis. After all, it's not like anyone besides me is likely to see or touch them anytime soon.

As I get older I find I'm appreciating my girlfriends more. Like, for instance, the ones who took me out for pizza and ice cream on Friday night. These girls make me laugh on a daily basis. Their emails, phone calls, text messages and IMs are the highlights of my day. On Friday they proved they know me well: their birthday gifts included margarita mix, peanut butter cookies, and a button that said "Sarcasm: Now Served Daily!"

They also bought me a vibrator. Shaped like the Easter Bunny. But that's a story for another day.

Another set of girlfriends made breakfast for me on Sunday, fussed over my daughter, and listened while I bitched about my employment status and getting old, among other things.

A college friend saw this photo and named us the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse. I decided I must be Death -- my friend Emily (second from left) claimed Pestilence, I'm too non-confrontational to be War, and I weigh too much to be Famine.

I've known two of these girls for 17 years, and one of them for 22 years. They've seen me through a lot. And now they've helped me brave 40 -- the next frontier. What would I do without them?

So this post is a little birthday card to all my girls from all the different eras of my life. Some of you have shared this milestone birthday with me in person, and others have participated through the mail, Facebook, Twitter and the phone. All of you have enabled me to face turning 40 with laughter and gratitude. You're the best gift I could have ever given myself.

Happy birthday to me.
Check out yesterday's post by moi over at the Ohio Moms Blog!