Get a Haircut (and Get a Real Job)

We got a haircut today. It was desperately needed -- trust me. The mop was getting out of control, and when your own kid complains that her hair is "so big," you know it's time.


I didn't even bother attempting to detangle her muppethead before we left the house -- that is what the trained paid professionals are for, right? Plus I secretly love watching her trying to process how everything works in there.

Hair Wash

Never ceases to amaze me how we can get her to scream bloody guts when we try to get a generous detangler through her hair, but the hairdressers attack her head with one of those fine-tooth combs and ... nothing.

Comb Out

The little pink nozzle you see in the background is something new that we're trying, recommended by the stylist. It's supposed to basically fix everything that's wrong with her head at once. We'll see.

Snip Snip

She was very good in the chair, sitting still when asked and moving her head when asked and basically soaking up the compliments and the promises of lollipops when everything was done. She made a lot of faces in the mirror.

All Done

The finished look. Now, we won't do this all the time, or maybe even ever, since it requires blowing dry and round brushes and techniques that I can't seem to master, but everybody feels better now, even Shae, who keeps telling us how pretty she is.



I am rockle, and I am a Taurus. I am stubborn and hot-headed and quick to enrage. I have a temper, and sometimes I have to work very hard to keep it under control. Sometimes, I can't -- or, more precisely, I don't.

In the past I have done things of which I am not proud. I have threatened and hurt people, in word and in deed. I never meant to cause actual harm, but then again, that is what they always say, isn't it?

I have spent the last twenty years or so in and out of therapy, documenting and analyzing every thing I've done, every word I've said, every impulse I've had, every instinct I've surrendered to or suppressed.

It has not been easy, not one second, and it's work that will never be done. Not a day passes that I don't ask myself whether I need anti-depressants or anti-anxiety pills or anger management classes.

I wonder whether I am cut out for this, for marriage and parenthood and membership in civilized society, when so many others cannot or will not be bothered to be civilized themselves.

And sometimes when I feel myself falling face-first and eyes open right off the ledge, right into the abyss, right into that deep dark swirling spiral vortex ...

... sometimes I manage to count to ten. And as little as that is, it's big for me, because I have a temper, and sometimes I have to work very hard to keep it under control. Sometimes, I can't -- but sometimes, I do.


The Big Chill

You know that myth-slash-urban-legend that says that there are like some ridiculous number of words for snow in the "Eskimo" "language"? I bet the word for what is going on today is something like "sukksimush." Because, really, this weather situation does, indeed, suck so much. I'm through with snow. Done. No more, okay?

Neighbors' Shrub

It starting snowing sometime overnight on Wednesday, and flakes kept right on falling all day yesterday. During the day things were fine, but sometime after 9:00 last night the temperature dropped about 20°F, the snow started sticking, the wind kicked up ... and here we are. Snowed in again.

Porch Chair

The extreme cold and the blowing are something else this time, too -- I mean, we lost the bottom front porch step in the drifts. The good news this is what I call "Syracuse snow": not exactly fluffy, but very light and very fine, made of what feels like artificial fibers, and since it's so cold a lot of the clearing can be done with a broom.


Obviously we're going to be watching a lot of movies and TiVo'ed shows today, and reading a lot of books. Our hit list so far includes "101 Dalmatians," "Alice in Wonderland," Dora, "The Snow Bear" by Miriam Moss, "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats, and of course more of "Imogene's Antlers," because hey why not? It's going to be fun, if we all live through it.


Reading Rainbow

Sometimes I am amazed at how much of a mini-me Shae is, in ways that both impress and mortify me. She is many of the same things that I am -- stubborn, independent, funny, smart, with a hot temper -- which is both a blessing and a curse. The good news is, we know what we're going to need to work on as she gets older.

Read Along

One of the things we don't mind, not at all, is that she is a reader, just like me. She loves being read to -- in fact, we can actually get her to go to bed early if we promise an extra story. And she won't settle down for the night unless she has a book in her hands when we tuck her under her covers.


My Aunt Bet got Shae some new books for Christmas, and right now the favorite is "Imogene's Antlers" by David Small. Already we know the story by heart, so Shae can read it with us instead of us just reading it to her. She gets so engrossed in the story that we sometimes need to stop and talk about what is happening in the pictures.

I love this kid.


Make Your Own Magic

I'm not going to lie: sometimes, when I am doing mundane ordinary things like giving my kid a blow-dry before bed so she doesn't get the sniffles, sometimes I am inspired. I get these ideas. And those ideas turn into ... well, sometimes they turn into a whole lot of nothing, but sometimes they turn into Photo Opportunities.

Wind Machine

Sometimes these Photo Opportunities can be highly transformative, like when a simple ordinary hair dryer turns into a Wind Machine. And you know Wind Machines are awesome because as Tatianna said on RuPaul's Drag Race 2: "Fans make everything prettier."

Grizabella the Glamour Cat

As if this kid needed any more help. Okay, a manicure and a little bit of mascara maybe, and of course some glimmer powder because bling makes everything better, dammit, but call her Bridget Jones because I love her just as she is.

Fresh Air

Even when she kind of looks like she's sticking her head out the car window like a puppy.


Someone Send a Plunger

Someone unexpected told me yesterday that they read this blog, and when I asked them what they thought, their answer was this: "Man, what happened to all your stories?"

And to be honest, I wasn't sure what to think about that, because on the one hand, it's not like I don't write something 4-5 times a week, but on the other hand, yeah I kind of have been boring lately. I'll 'fess up to that. For a while I thought it was just the doldrums, and I still think that is part of it, but really, I think the problem is the potty training.

Because: potty training really, really sucks. And it is making me feel like a bad parent.

If you go and Google "potty training methods," you'll get about 16 million results. There are separate methods for boys and girls, one-month plans, one-week plans, one-weekend plans, one-day plans. There are books and DVD's and audio courses and special diapers and panties and cattle prods or something, I don't even know any more. I am really starting to think that there is such a thing as the "potty-industrial complex," which is on the same level as the "wedding-industrial complex" and the "beauty-industrial complex" and the "daycare-industrial complex" and all those industries exist solely to tell me what I am doing wrong.

And I am starting to believe them.

So there are no funny stories lately because there is not a whole lot of funny, because most of the conversations that I am having with my kid can be summed up as follows: me asking, "Shae, do you have to go potty?" followed by 15 minutes of screaming and tantrums and arguments and negotiations. And that's just me. Add in the random noises Shae is making and ... well, it's quite a caterwaul.

I know we'll get through this eventually, or at least I hope we will, and I think it will be sooner than later, but man oh man, right now? Agony. Everybody's mad at everybody else all the time and it's just an unpleasant place to be. She'll tell us when she has to pee, sometimes, but she never tells us when she has to poop, and we are talking split-second precision timing if we want to catch her in the act and get her to the potty on time.

If we get mad, she cries, and if we try to be firm but gentle, she doesn't seem to get it, like it's all a game, and I feel like we're being all overindulgent and blahblahblah and everything that everybody says is wrong with people of my generation who are now parents, with kids who don't have any rules or boundaries or discipline.

Then we whip ourselves up into a froth, where everybody's mad at everybody else and ... well, I already mentioned that it isn't exactly Disneyland.

So that's what happened to my stories. For a little while longer, anyway, they're being flushed.

Morning Routine

But hey! Here are some random, entirely out of context pictures to thank you for reading this while big whiny rant.


Tiny Indulgences

I know, I know, I know: I've been a boring old crotchety untalented hack lately, you don't need to tell me. I wish I had a good excuse, but I don't -- basically, it's weather fatigue (as in, "I am SO OVER this frogging weather!") and work and whatnot. Believe me when I say that I can't wait for the spring, to get some green all up in here, for there to be something, ANYTHING, except a dirty old pile of slowly melting snow in my front yard.

Actually, I am starting to worry that I won't get any of my spring flowers. Granted, I don't have that many to begin with -- the front yard is heavily shaded, so in that patch I only get one tiny little anemic azalea, a couple of daffodils, some forget-me-nots, and then my prized, beloved bleeding hearts -- but I really wonder whether I'll get anything this year, because of all that grossness. Maybe I should look into a grow light and planting something in the house. Culinary herbs, maybe, or hemlock.

So anyway, we haven't been going out much or doing anything much except catching up on our TiVo'ed shows and missing MONUMENTALLY IMPORTANT HOCKEY GAMES, like oh my God of all the times to NOT watch the Olympics after I've been bitching about there being no hockey on the regular channels in prime time? Could I be a bigger butthead? Probably not. And I am really dragging out getting to the point here, aren't I?

What I was eventually going to be getting to is this: thanks to the awesome power of the Internet and also my car, I have made a couple of purchases lately that are very exciting, to me anyway, and so I will share them with you here. Please to enjoy. (NOTE: I paid for all this stuff out of my own pocket, in case the FCC is watching.

1. (Top left.) I got Shae a new bathing suit. In the interest of full disclosure, she already had a suit that fit, but I am not sure how much longer that is going to be true. I found a really cute designer suit at a members-only designer discount site and picked it up for her. I can't find a picture of the actual suit, but the picture is from the same designer, and it features the same color story. (Guess who has been watching "Project Runway" again?)

2 and 3. (Top right and bottom left.) Even when you're home and depressed, you gotta eat, and as much as I believe it is possible in theory, in practice I think it's pretty hard for man to live on Double-Stuf Oreos alone. So once in a while we have to go to the grocery store.

Yesterday we went to Wegman's, which is a bit of a treat for us. We don't usually shop there, since it's kind of out of the way. G put the kibosh on getting any fancy stinky cheeses but I did pick up a small bottle of their house-brand basting oil (2) and garlic-cheese finishing butter (3). And I don't know what else is in those bottles, but there is definitely some powerful magic, because it is impossible to make bad food with these things. I made a marinated pork tenderloin for dinner with roasted baby potatoes and roasted carrots -- the potatoes and carrots were seasoned with salt and pepper only, and the drizzled with the basting oil, and everything was PERFECT. I put a little bit of the finishing butter on my potatoes and it made me want to do the happy dance right there at the table.

These are NOT cheap ingredients -- I think we spent about $9 on both items -- but a little bit goes a long way, and I feel like I instantly became a gourmet cook. And I wasn't too shabby to begin with, so that is saying something, I think.

4. (Bottom right.) We also bought Shae a new shampoo that I have tried on myself, just to see. We're trying the Wen cleansing conditioner (in a different flavor than pictured) because she needs a lot of moisturization, but I don't want her hair to get greasy. So far we love the stuff, her hair felt thicker and healthier after only one use, and it makes a comb so much easier to get through her head. She still probably needs a haircut though, as soon as we can squeeze one in.

So that's pretty much been it for splurges for us, unless you count the $3 I spent at Wegman's yesterday on a 1 pt. bottle of freshly squeezed tangerine juice, which was seriously the best thing ever, and also how come nobody told me that TANG actually tastes like tangerines?


WTF?! Friday: Panty Panic

Someday you people are going to go through what I am going through right now: potty training. We've been working on this for a couple of months now -- we started wearing pull-ups full-time sometime over the summer. Her teachers at school have been really great, throwing parties for the kids when they fill up the potty chart, really pushing the positive reinforcement, etc., and of course my mother absolutely relishes the opportunities for bribery when we visit.

We're trying not to "make a huge deal of it" because we're those parents, and we don't want to give her a complex, but she's just about advanced beyond her current curriculum, and in order to move up to the next classroom, she needs to be fully potty trained. So with her birthday approaching -- less than six weeks! -- we decided to take the leap and start sending her to school in underpants ... and it has been far more traumatic for us than I ever expected it to be.

Not because we're not ready for Our Little Girl to grow up, though, but because I don't understand what wackadoodle decided that bikini panties were an appropriate, good idea for TODDLERS. Seriously. Teeny little bikini undies, for teeny little girls. The mind, she boggles.

I mean, COME ON NOW. This is a screen shot of an actual page from an actual major manufacter's website (brand has been redacted because I don't want to get sued). I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination -- although I will also be the first to admit that being a parent, especially of a little girl, has settled me down somewhat (except for the cussing) -- but I can't be the only person who thinks that low-rise underpants for little girls are just eleventy kinds of wrong, can I? I accidentally bought Shae a pair of low-rise jeans once and I won't let her wear them outside the house unless she's also wearing a bodysuit, because even baby buttcrack is NOT CUTE.

Just thinking about this makes my head explode, seriously. Granted, I am not the most fashion-forward person on earth, but I still don't think it's necessary to PUT LITTLE KIDS IN PANTS WHERE THEIR BUTTS ARE HANGING OUT. That guy on American Idol with that "Pants on the Ground" song -- he has a point, you know. Everybody looks like a fool when their underwear is showing.

And of course sometimes I look at the clothes they sell for children my daughter's age and size (almost 3, 4T-5T or little girls' 4-5) and I think to myself: WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? Who dresses their kids like this? Belly shirts? Hip huggers? See-through, skin-tight little numbers? Microminiskirts? REALLY? Have you people never heard of pedophiles? And are you prepared to put your kids on the Pill the minute they hit puberty? Because there's a reason why teenage pregnancy rates are going up lately, and I am pretty sure that DRESSING OUR BABIES LIKE HOOCHIE MAMAS is one of the contributing factors to this problem. Stuff can be cute without making our daughters look like tiny little whores. It's gross.

Am I nuts? Over-reacting? Is it prototypically radically femi-Nazi-ish of me to start wondering if maybe we actually should send her to a convent? I love raising a mini-me, but the pink and the ruffles and the princess bullshit everywhere are going to be my undoing as it is, and now THIS. God help me. WHY CAN'T MY KID JUST BE A KID?

A Note From Management

O hai! Just a little note, which I have conveniently buried between posts because I know you're probably not going to care about this anyway, but I am all about the FULL DISCLOSURE, savvy?

Anyway. Because I am a COMPLETE AppWhore, I have made a few small eensy-weensy changes to my sidebar and added a little Formspring box. You can type a question in there and I'll answer it. It's that simple. If I like your question, I might even be able to make a blog post out of it, because let's face it: neither one us wants to see another post about toddler underpants, do we? I thought not. To make room for the sidebar, I deleted the "Cast of Characters" box. Don't worry, G and Shae and the cats will still make regular featured appearances.

So now that I have that box over there, why don't you ask me something? Or tell me something? Or something? The box doesn't know whether something is a questions or not. It's like commenting anonymously. If you don't want to tell me who you are, I will never know, and that's OK. I won't judge you, or make fun of your spelling errors, or anything like that. Except maybe in private, but never in PUBLIC, because I have MANNERS, ferchrissakes. But help me entertain you, 'k? Thxbai.


Who Let The Dogs Out?

Listen -- I got nothin' right now. I ain't got no mojo no mo'. So we're going to plumb the depths of my Shae Shots photo set and see what's in there, shall we?

 Dog 1
 Dog 2

One of the fun parts of downloading the pictures from the "cramera" is playing what I like to call "the WTF? game," where I try to figure out what's going on. (With the pictures, I mean -- I never know what's going on, universally speaking.) Obviously, these are two pictures of dogs that Shae probably took while she was out on a walk with my parents. But from this perspective, I have no idea where they were taken. The fence in the second picture makes me think this is the house across the street from my parents'. I'm sure these dogs have names, but I don't know what they are.


I think Shae looks like a tadpole in this picture, but don't ask me why. I love how she appears to have only one nostril and no nose or chin. Meanwhile my husband looks perfectly normal.

Green Shoe

No idea why Shae loves to take pictures of shoes, but she does. Apparently we're going through the phase where we're really into random things, like dinosaurs and snakes and aliens ... and shoes. God help us all when she discovers what Manolos are, although hopefully she'll turn out like me and continue to wear her Crocs for almost every occasion. (I don't even CARE if you judge me on this one -- they're comfortable, and they're staying.)


Octopus's Garden

It's snowing again, not as much as it has been, but ... well, I thought I left Syracuse behind when I left more than a dozen years ago, but apparently I am being stalked. Either that, or God hates me and wants me to be miserable. Both options appear equally likely at this point.

Happy Welcome Sign

Some day, I will live in a house with a brightly colored welcome sign like this one. It will be in the Keys or in the Bahamas, after I win the lottery. You are welcome to come visit. I'll set out extra mosquito netting and everything. We'll have rum runners and Red Stripe and conch fritters and french fries and watch the sun set over the ocean. It will be awesome. And while I am dreaming, I would like a pony. And a personal masseur named Sven (if he's Scandinavian) or Carlos (if he's Latin).

Faucet Thing

I had a hard time taking pictures inside the water park because everything is moving and the light was weird. I have no idea what is actually in focus here. But Shae loved this spot, where there were fountains and faucets and things she could control by turning wheels and pressing buttons.

Lazy River Ride

This lazy river ride was pretty okay, if you don't mind water falling directly in your face, and if you can figure out how to get your butt inside the tubes. When we went on this thing, I actually pulled the tube over my head and walked along the bottom. I wanted to get a picture of Shae and G together, but they only went through once.

Big Waterslide

We let Shae go on this "big" waterslide -- it was taller and faster than the blue one from yesterday (although it was not, technically, a "big" slide, unless you are almost 3). I liked this one. Honestly, I could have ridden it all day, with her next to me, screaming her head off with joy. It's hard not to enjoy something when you know your kid is having the time of her life.

Decoration Detail
Wall Art

Detail of some of the decorations. Yes, the place is a little bit "Disneyfied," with the bright colors and the rounded edges and the fiberglass creatures, but you could really do worse than to aspire to be like the Magic Kingdom. I mean, they don't call it "the happiest place on Earth" for nothing, right?

Dynamic Duo

So, again, some more: we had a nice time. We are thinking about going again for Shae's birthday, but we haven't decided yet, since her birthday is right around Easter this year. I have trouble with lots of people, especially when there are so many people running around in bathing suits and Uggs boots all at the same time. It warps my fragile little mind.


Far Away, So Close

We survived our trip to foreign exotic New Jersey, and while I know that sounds typically melodramatic of me, let me just say this: JUGHANDLES. OK? To get to our hotel we needed to make a U-turn on Rt. 73, and it was everything in the world except pretty.

Watching "Madagascar 2"

This is your typical, obligatory "Shae in the hotel room" picture. She's watching "Madagascar 2." We watched a lot of TV on Friday night, because she pretty much refused to go to sleep until the Olympics opening ceremonies were over. She saw everything but the cauldron lighting. Her favorite part, and mine, was the Joni Mitchell number with the flying boy.

Parrot's Perch

When you finally get inside CoCo Key -- you have to kind of run a Habitrail from your hotel room through the entire first floor of the hotel (which is what we did) or you can get a day pass and come in the front door -- you're can be overwhelmed by how much stuff is there. (I was.) It's two stories, with a giant interactive water play structure right in the middle, filling almost the entire main floor.

Swim-In Theater

Upstairs is a smaller swim-in theater, which is basically a pirate ship inside a wading pool, with fountains and bouncy water swings for babies and a couple of small slides. The sail of the ship is a screen where they show cartoons for the kids. (SpongeBob SquarePants, of course.)

Backwards Waterslide

And here is my kid, the crazy rebel, going down a waterslide feet first, on her stomach. After the lifeguards were repeatedly telling other kids not to do this very thing. We had to bench her after this for a little while, so Mommy didn't have a stroke. (By the way -- not a whole lot of picture of her from this trip, because I was unavailable for pictures due to actually participating. I KNOW!)

Crazy Hair

There isn't really much to say about it -- we only stayed for a few hours, because we were all tired and cranky from being up late the night before, not sleeping well in a strange bed, and we were at the water park on a Saturday after a solid week of snow, so it was pretty crowded -- but we had a nice time. It was definitely nice to get out of the house, inhale some chlorine, put our bathing suits on, get our feet wet.

Beach Towel

I'll write some more tomorrow (because I didn't take ONE SINGLE PICTURE yesterday, so I need to stretch this out, haha) but the short version of the story is: it doesn't beat going to the actual beach, but if it's the middle of February and you've been stuck inside and you want to do something fun, I can recommend CoCo Key if there is one near you. Don't tell Shae you're going though because she'll stow away in your suitcase.



One last post about the BLIZZARD OF 2010 (So Far) before I put this whole thing behind us. (Haha -- like that's going to happen. We're going to have snow in our front yard until May, probably.)

Snow Mound

See? This is the snow mound in front of our house. It's definitely taller than I am, and probably taller than G, who is 6' 2" or so. And it goes on like this up and down the entire block.

Street View

It's totally overwhelming. Like, I spent four winters in Syracuse, which is one of the snowiest places I've ever seen, and even there I can't remember seeing anything like this. Maybe because the snow was so ubiquitous there or something? I don't know. But I really don't like it.

Snowy Walk

And we can't play in it, either, because there's just SO MUCH. We briefly discussed staging a "photo shoot" where we decked Shae out in all her gear and sat her in one of the snow piles, but we were afraid she'd fall through and we'd have to get the Jaws of Life to extract her.

Collapsed Sign

They haven't plowed our street since sometime early Wednesday, before it stopped snowing. Most of the more major roads are fine, but when you cruise down our street it feels like driving a slot car. And I am terrified that our muffler is going to get ripped off by one of the icy snow clumps, because I worry about stuff like that. Have I mentioned that I am a lunatic?


Our walk to the pizza place yesterday did me a world of good, though. I was getting very claustrophobic and having a hell of a time handling Shae, who was absolutely bored to tears with us. We sent her to school today and she couldn't have been happier, I don't think. But just getting out, getting some new air and some new perspective, was refreshing. And I slept like a rock last night, too.


A Daughter of the Snows

I feel kind of petty, bitching about our two feet of snow when there are people I know (or that I know of, anyway) who went without power literally for days after the storm over the weekend. We are fine, really, just claustrophic and perhaps, in at least one case, a little bit premenstrual and melodramatic. (Not naming any names though.)

Hour 17

We have plenty to eat, plenty of power, plenty of recorded shows on the TiVo, and of course we're all together, safe and relatively snug. I mean, I'm wandering around wearing a shawl like the Crazy Cat Lady that I am, but that's mostly for show (and because I'm too cheap to turn the heat any more than is strictly necessary).

Still Snowing

It stopped snowing last night around 11:30 or so. G and I were still up, trying to decide what we were going to do about our little vacation that was supposed to start today. Because of course. Look, I am crazy, but I am not stupid: what will make me feel better is pretending, for just a little while, that we're not neck-deep in the white stuff out there. (We've rescheduled for tomorrow, and might skip the aquarium in favor of 2 days in the water park.)

Street ... Somewhere

The snow emergency has been lifted and while a lot of schools are closed, a lot of companies are not, so our neighborhood is going about the business of trying to dig out and get back to normal. I wonder where all the snow is going to go, before it eventually melts and ends up in our basement. Always the optimist, me!

Pretty Trees

And of course if you try to be objective about it, it isn't all bad. Snow can be pretty, although of course I prefer it to come in smaller quantities, with larger gaps in between accumulations. Still, on the morning after, with the sky all clear and blue and the air so crisp and bracing, it's hard not to admire it all. The parts that are on someone else's property, anyway.

Buried Car

Just the same, I'm glad I don't have to dig my car out completely for a few days. I don't go back to work until Tuesday, and it might take me that long to find my tires. Seriously, it looks like a Jack London story out there. Stay safe, everyone!



OK: Snow sucks. It's official. I hate it. And I don't know why you people didn't stop me from spending those four years in Syracuse, because now when we get a good hard blizzard, I find myself sinking into a downward spiral of despair and horror and cabin fever and seasonal affective disorder and I seriously just want to go to bed and sleep until Easter (with only one break, next Tuesday, for fastnachts, because I might be depressed but I am not a fool).

So. I'm done. Here is a link to someone else because I am completely spent. For Christ's sake, I AM WEARING A SHAWL IN THE HOUSE AND COMPLAINING ABOUT THE COLD. At some point today I have turned into my own great-grandmother. I don't know who I am any more. Come dig me out.



So ... allegedly the sky is falling and there is more snow to come tonight into tomorrow and what was once SNOWPOCALYPSE NOW! is about to become SNOWMAGEDDON!!! and I really think it's time for any friends or relations who live south of West Palm Beach to hurry up and claim me already so I can get the hell out of here.


We did go out and play on Sunday. It will never cease to amaze me that you can spend 45 minutes putting on turtlenecks, sweaters, socks, leggings, more socks, snow pants, scarves, coats, hats, mittens, sunglasses, and then get outside and play for like 10 minutes, take one faceplant into a snowdrift and be all: "I don't like this, can we go to the beach?"

(Note to self: Get a stinkin' steadycam.)

I'm not sure how I feel about all of this snow, either. In theory, I like it -- in small quantities, around Christmastime, overnight, just enough to make the world look like a powdered donut inside a snowglobe. But I spent four winters in Syracuse, survived but barely, have the psychological scars from an endless winter to prove it, and I kind of think I'm over it all.


I don't know how my sister and her family in Chicago do it, handle all that cold and all that wind and all that snow for so long at a time. Probably I'd go butternuts crazy, assuming I weren't already, which I totally am, so I don't know what I'm yammering about.

Shake It Off

Doesn't she look like Anne Ramsey there? From "Throw Momma From The Train" and "Goonies"? How weird is that? Shae doesn't normally look like anybody except My Anonymous Mother, which is plenty disturbing enough.


It also looks like our little vacation is going to have to be postponed or cancelled, which I don't even want to talk about, because I was so looking forward to it. And now I am bummed because I can't get to New Jersey. The mind, she boggles!

Anyway ... if you're due for more snow, like we are, be safe and warm. I'll have some spiked hot chocolate for you while I slowly go out of my mind from Disney movies. See you on the flipside.




"Gert, are you there? [louder] GERT, ARE YOU THERE? It's me, Gladys. [louder] I SAID IT'S ME, GLADYS. [muttering] [random touch-tone noises] [shouting] How come you never answer the phone when I call? I'm starting to think we're not friends any more, Gert. [more touch-tone noises and muttering] Dammit, Gert, am I going to have to get a new canasta partner? You know hard it is to train a new canasta partner. I was just telling Herb --"


[three hour pause]


"Gert, it's Gladys again. Sorry about that, but you won't believe what happened. I got one of those cellyphone things, you know the ones? That fit in your pocketbook and you call call anyone from anywhere at any time? Herb got me one for our anniversary because he says I need constant surveillance, like [rasies voice] I'M THE ONE WHO LOCKED HIMSELF OUT OF THE CAR ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY. Christ, that man, he gives me such agita. Anyway, Gert, I just wanted to give you a call from Aspen. Yes, Aspen! The nice girl from the travel agency, you know her, Pamela, she's Josephine Panto's daughter, the one who arranged our trip to Boca last year? Pamela found us an excellent deal on a condo up here and we just packed up our things and took off. Crisp fresh air, lots of sun, something they call 'fresh powder.' [click] Oh, hang on, I think I have another call, let me --"


"Gert, it's Gladys again. [sighing] That was the concierge calling, I made an appointment to get a massage and a facial and mimosas. Mimosas! Can you believe it? Anyway, sorry about that long delay between calls earlier, like I said I was calling you from the cellyphone and I was on the ski lift and I dropped it and I had to get this nice young boy from the ski patrol to find it for me. So anyway -- [shouting] HERB, TAKE THAT SKI SUIT OFF, I already told you you're not going 'bunnysloping' with that Austrian girl and honestly Herb you look ridiculous, that is a woman's ski suit, it's hot pink for Christ's sake, did you take your medicine today and honestly aren't you even listening to me? -- anyway Gert, we're coming home tomorrow, so try to call Pamela and see if they have anything available next week. Okay? By --"


"Gert, I think your answer-ma-jigger is definitely broken. Anyway, just wanted to say goodbye. From Gladys. Gladys Leibowitz, from down the street. And maybe we need to think about finding a new person for our canasta club because [loud clatter in the background] HERB I SWEAR TO GOD I AM GOING TO PUT RAT POISON IN YOUR COFFEE TONIGHT AND THEN SMOTHER YOU WHILE YOU'RE SLEEPING, CAN'T YOU HEAR ME ON THE PHONE WITH GERT? Christ! Fifty-one years of this and I can't ta --"



More pictures tomorrow but I just couldn't help but notice on the similarities to last year's edition.


The Frontyardigans in "The Snow Dorks"

Sorry, really bad and punny title, but we are watching an episode of The Backyardigans right now -- "The Snow Fort" -- and let me tell you that for me, the absolute worst part of being snowed in for-potentially-ever isn't the fear that we're eventually going to run out of food (that's why we have cats) but the terrifying prospect of never watching a TV show targeted at adults again. I mean, I don't mind The Backyardigans at all -- it's kind of cute, really -- but are there only 5 episodes, or what? Because I find myself singing this "Snowball Duty" song to myself and I really kind of want to stab myself in the brain.




I think we've gotten over a foot of snow already and it's still snowing, and at some point we're going outside to play and shovel. Hypothetically, anyway -- I don't really know how much playing we're going to be able to do with the snow up to our knees and all. I figured as much (never trust car salesmen or weathermen, I always say) so last night before it got bad Shae and I went outside for a few minutes to check everything out.


And you know, when they're calling for up to 24" of accumulation and I want to get a head start on keeping the sidewalk clean, the very first thing I say to myself is, "Self, you better get your little plastic rake!" (LIES -- the first thing I say is not to myself, it's to my husband, and it's, "Babe, set the shovel and get work and while you're on your way out can you please get me the Jaegermeister out of the freezer?")


So. Anyway. If you like snow, then enjoy your snow day. Go outside, get some air, have some hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, but whatever you do, STAY AWAY FROM NICK JR. Trust me on this one.