Rex and I don't spend as much time together as some couples. While I am thrilled we are not so co-dependent as to check in every hour about whether almonds or a granola bar would be a better choice for a vending machine snack (Yes, I know those couples) a few mid-morning calls just to say "I love you" wouldn't suck either.

Sometimes, like getting a cold, we don't realize how little time we spend together until we're knee deep in sniffles and coughs and are then forced to co-habitate for hours on end on the same sofa, complaining and whining and moaning (and not just about our runny noses.) Two hacking spouses do not a romantic ensemble make.

It's not that we don't adore each other. And Lord knows we need each other. But it's kind of a like a flu shot - the antibodies are ultimately awesome for your wellbeing, but it hurts like a mother when it's first administered.

But... and here's the fun part of the flu shot and our marriage - when everything is great, it's awesome! And we always wonder why we didn't do this sooner. I remember the beautiful man I married, the wonderful father and the practical day to day rock that keeps my crazy balloon from soaring too high into the atmosphere, getting caught in telephone wire or being pooped on by a passing pigeon.

Today we got a babysitter and visited a city near by. Then we got dinner at an old standby (because too much newness in one day would be crazy.) Then we came home and walked around the neighborhood, admiring the Xmas lights.

As we turned toward our house, Rex commented, "You know, we should really walk more. It's nice."

Me: "How about we do it tomorrow during lunch?"

Rex: "How about we do it every day for lunch?"

Me: "How about we do it Monday Wednesday Friday and get used to the idea of being in shape and being connected again before we get completely insane?"

Rex: "Cool."

Then we came home where he proceeded to play with our new AT&T internet and I did my blogging.

As he would say, "It's all good." And as I would say, "It beats the hell out of the flu."

 * Photo of my son at my mom's Thanksgiving gathering. I wish I had a full body shot of him. He was so joyous that night - putting crackers in my booty and then laughing so hard I thought he'd cough up a lung, all the while slapping his knees like an old man who just won a game of chess.




 
 

1. Minding my own business at the park today, a bee flew into my arm and stung me. The second time in two weeks. What the hell?????

2. Stella officially has the biggest lamp in the history of time. "Retro schmetzo my ass." In an earthquake that thing could either flatten my Pipsqueak, could be used to store vodka or is really solid gold cleverly hidden in a mobile home park. (Or it's a genie's lamp, proof that when Stella has a few martinis in her she's not shy about rubbing stuff.)

3. All members of current household, save for me, are sleeping. It's 6PM. When they wake at 6:30 (by either me, the alarm, or the prize patrol handing out cash prizes to the luckiest mama on the block) we are going for dinner with friends. No cooking! I'm so lucky! Except for the bee sting.

 


 
 

I never realized how many men I had in my life. First, there's my ex-gay boyfriend, Bruce. He's coming over to meet the kids next week and I couldn't be more thrilled. Even my non-excitable Rex has his interest piqued.

Then there's my ex-TV writing partner. No one makes me laugh like Herbie. We haven't seen each other since his two children, super close in age to my two, entered into his life. The strike happened, he got a job as a producer on the life-changing FX show Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (Just MXE to the frat crowd. You know who you are. You're probably living with one.) Don't know it? Consider yourself lucky. It's a Japanese reality show with American subtitles. Herbie's job was to write jokes. I don't think I've ever heard more references to sex, farting and boobs in my life - and I write a sex column.

Last week he came by the house due to a court ticket he had to pay down the street. I pitched out an idea in my brain and he told me to run with it. We're going to write it up. Given that our last job together was for Carsey Werner's Good Girls Don't - once entitled My Roommate's a Big Fat Slut (shocking it didn't make it) I'm not exactly betting the farm on our pilot. But just to write again... To trade silly quips with someone who makes me chuckle... well, I couldn't be more thrilled.

I love my family. I love Rex. But I forget how much I loved writing for the studio also. And the late nights of the writing room. Oh, the stories I could tell if I didn't want to sound like an old woman reliving her glory days.


More to the point, my short lived TV career was never about the money - Lord knows I never really made it big - but the fun of the "what if" is so exhilirating. I am over worrying about if I sound like a name dropper. If I'm writing to somehow cover up some deep seated secret in my soul. If I am somehow so flawed or insecure or unhappy about real life that I have to hide under blogs or scripts or magazine articles. I'm tired of wondering if perhaps I'm really a phony. The honest to God truth? I am either going to write and create or go crazy. Unlike the "what if's" of my children's health or my husband's job in this economy, I thrive on the "what if's" of the creative world.

What are your "What If's?"


* Photo: Yes siree, that's my Herbie at my wedding. Don't ask me why I wore pink. If that's the biggest regret of my life, I can deal with it.


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 More of my writing can be found daily at BabyCenter and Good Housekeeping.









 
 

I am a pretty anxious person by nature. I'm also a pitbull. I refuse to give into fear, so via exercise, writing, prayer, healthy food, and never to be underestimated - thrift store shopping - I somehow manage to tame the beast.

What I can't control for some reason, though, are bees. I am their honey, their nectar and their pin cushion. A few years ago, at a lovely outdoor birthday party, one found its way into my shirt and stung me on the boob.

Last Friday, while chugging up a hill and breathing in the invigorating Fall air, a yellow jacket landed on my face, stung me on the ear, then died in my hair.

Then there's my neighbors' home. If we are The Cleavers with our 1950's two story, replete with roses, a rocking chair, geraniums and a red door, they are the Munsters with the plywood of their roof exposed, crab grass, broken fireplace (never fixed from the 1994 earthquake), unfilled pool (minus a shallow pond...those poor mosquitoes need a home, too!) and massive BEE HIVE.

I am fine with this joint looking like a storage unit for hermits. I am not fine my kids dying from West Nile Virus, slipping into his cement eye sore of a swimming hole, or STEPPING ON BEES. The last part has happened twice.

Here's how much of a peacekeeper I am - I have yet to call the city. But my fingers, like the President over the red button during the Cold War, are feeling trigger happy. Then again, with our winds and rain this winter, perhaps Mother Nature will take care of the problem herself. Then Rex and I can buy the lot, bull doze the house, and buy a flock of goats. Then WE can be the irritating neighbors! Baaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

Happy Thursday.


More of my writing can be found daily at BabyCenter and Good Housekeeping.




 
 

Paragraph.


A true conversation with the tantrum boy of yesterday's post as we drove past a beautiful brick building.

Stink: "Wow, Mommy, that is a nice buidling."

Me: "Isn't it? It's a school. "

Stink: "I want to go there!"

Me: "Perhaps when you're 13. It's an all boys high school."

Stink: (Gasp) "No girls?!"

Me: "What's wrong with that?"

Stink: " I looooove girls. I can't wait to marry them."

Me: "There's no them, Stink. You get to choose one."

Stink: "But I'd want at least two."

Me: "That sounds lovely. But that's called polygamy - kind of against your Sunday school teachings."

Stink: "(Big sigh) Fine. I'll marry just one. But when they aren't looking, I'll blow kisses to the other ones."

Even my five year old is so male.



* Photo taken at a Halloween carnival last year. Even then it was all about seeing what the little ladies behind him thought as opposed to enjoying the ride with Pip. 

More of my writing can be found daily at BabyCenter and Good Housekeeping.

 





 
 

Apparently buckets of candy combined with a fever and little sleep do not a rational child make. Hence, Stink threw a tantrum of epic proportions at Borders yesterday.

Given my options of slap the bejeebus out of him, ingest buckets of vodka or parent him with grace, I opted to enforce quiet time in his room while making him work on those kindergarten spelling skills.

"Here are five lines, Stink. You write the words "NO ARGUING" (at the top) on each line and call me when you're done."

I was thinking I had thirty minutes.

Five minutes later, I heard my name. When I came upstairs I was presented with his completed task, along with the following mandate right back at me: "Mommy, I wrote your name and eight lines beneath it. Since you made me do something I didn't want, you need to do the same for me."


I wasn't sure whether to kill him or send in his application to law school.

Brat.





 
 

So tomorrow is the big day. I think I have a good enough sense from all of you to tell that your voting preferences are going to be as different as the candidates themselves (and some of them more interesting.)

I have been so torn about this entire campaign. While on one hand I struggle incredibly to make a vote that is worthy of not just me, but other generations of people (eliciting thoughts of the "what is moral/what is ethical/what is realistic" variety) I'm equally stunned into humility with the grave and obvious notion that my opinion does not drive the universe. Perhaps a little blog traffic and a paycheck, but that's it.

And so, if I decide to vote only for myself, then perhaps I'd vote on spiritual principles only. But we live in a country where church is seperated from state. And so, is this somehow turning a back on my faith?

Ah, but if my faith were truly that strong, would I even be having this battle with myself? Is all the philosophizing in the world worth it if one never lands at a point of peace? But can one land at a point of peace and not alienate the rest of the land that thinks differently?

I have gone a million rounds with this notion. Many more spiritually convicted people than I will say, "Stick to the universal truths and the particulars will all fall into place." That's lovely, if only one could be 100% certain that the truth is, indeed, true. And we all know it's far from universal.

And so, with all of our truths being vastly different, what do we do? And how do we live in a world, let alone vote, where we don't just live with the "might makes right" philosophy (ex: Just because everyone does it doesn't make it okay). In other words, for all my bravado, I so desperately want to live not just in a place "as is" but instead "as it ought to be."

Which leads me back to my original conundrum. And yes, there is really one simple answer for many spiritually minded people in the form of three letters. But the world is made up of other people, too, and how can we be so certain that our way is the only right one? Only God knows. If you believe in God. (Ah, there I go again.)

Best of luck to you all! One day I will find an answer to my passionate probing. I hope when you see me all happy and content on that grand occasion, you will walk away with the words, "Wow, that was a kick ass funeral!"