Wednesday, September 26, 2007

East Bound and Down

I'm off for a long weekend, folks. (Just me, the rest of 'em are staying home. We wonder in what condition the house will be in when we get back. We really, really do.)

Can you guess where I'm going?

Wait, I'll give you some more hints...

What, you still don't know? OK, one last one:

Oops... that's David Boreanaz naked. My bad. How'd that one get in there?

Oh, wait...I know!

He's from....PHILADELPHIA!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Suburban Family Morning...

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mags Hartman! Mags Hartman!

So, I went to the gynecologist yesterday to find out why Aunt Flo is nearly two weeks overdue.

No, I'm not pregnant. As it turns out, I am actually a WIZENED OLD CRONE.

I mean, I found out that I was perimenopausal a year ago, but I wasn't really thinking that it would, you know, begin to GO AWAY all that fast. (To quote the inestimable Michael Palin from Holy Grail, "I'm 37! I'm not OLD!")


You know, I always used to watch those old comedy shows - "Soap," "Maude," "All in the Family," and the like, and they were always making jokes about women and taking "the hormones."

Though I got the gist of the jokes then, I didn't really laugh at them. But now - now, I'm sure I would find all that humor just freakin' hysterical. Yes, folks, I'm now on the estrogen.

Hey, you kids, stop all that racket! I gotta go take my hormones, 'lessen I go crazy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Things You Need To Know RIGHT NOW

For those of you who are committed to going to ACL Fest next year - or for those like me who are looking for an excuse not to be so fucking old and tired and lame all the time - at their website, they are taking names for a lottery-style chance at buying $50 tickets for next year.

You have to do it pretty quickly after they notify you, so I guess you have to be pretty convinced that you either a) want to go, or b) can sell your tickets to someone next year if you don't. Probably the last one is a safe bet, especially if you're only asking for what you paid for them.

(Note...if that link to the ACL fest doesn't work, you may have to sign up to be on their e-mail list before you get the chance to enter.)

It is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Darrrr!

I learned that, if one wants to, one can buy perfume that smells like a woman's va-jay-jay. (And, um, if it weren't already fairly evident, don't click on this link at work.)

And that is all.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A conversation with the OG yesterday

We were sitting at the table, having lunch, alternately eating and reading, as we are wont to do.

OG (suddenly, out of nowhere, snickering slightly): "I can see your boobs."

Me (in a sleeveless top and jog bra, replying wittily): "Huh?"

OG: "I can see your boobs. That means 'armpits.'"

Me: ", it doesn't."

OG: "Then what does it mean?"

Me: " means 'breasts.'"

OG (pensively, with a look of slowly dawning comprehension): "Oh."

Me: "But that is NOT a term you use with your teachers, grandparents, or other authority figures, OK?"

OG: "OK. But I still see your armpits."

Me: "Duly noted."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not At ACL Fest

Hello, I'm Mags, and I'm not at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

I'm not seeing Dylan, or Crowded House, or Bjork, the Killers, Reverend Horton Heat, the Arctic Monkeys, Robert Earl Keen, The Decemberists, Spoon, Yo La Tengo, Steve Earle, Raul Malo, or Arcade Fire.

And, though I sound it, I'm not particularly bitter. It was hot, expensive, and - the presence of The Jelly Dots notwithstanding - not particularly kid friendly. (See "hot." And "expensive.")

But - as in the previous "If I Were at South By Southwest" post - I do reserve the right to daydream about the bands that I WOULD have seen. And to make a mental "fantasy schedule" of the whole three-day festival.

Sad and lame? Yes. But at least I know I'm sad and lame. Which makes it OK, and much hipper than being sad and lame AND uninformed about how sad and lame I am.
At some point within the last month, YG has become a completely-formed three-year-old, shrieking temper tantrums at all. I thought I had skipped this phase with this one, but apparently not.

The upside of all this is that OG has realized that she has suddenly graduated to the status of the "less stressful" child. And she is pretty damned gleeful about it, let me tell you. When I'm hauling YG off for a time-out because she's having a wall-eyed screaming fit about the amount of milk in her bowl of Cream of Wheat, it is all the OG can do to not dance about the living room in joy.

Though I admonish her for taking pleasure in her sister's pain, it's pretty damned funny, I have to admit.
So, I'm making 10th anniversary plans, for me and The Man, already. They're very exciting and secret. And perhaps premature, since it's not until next June. A lot can happen in 9 months. (But not THAT. I hope. Anything going on down there yet? Helloooo?)

In that amount of time, he could totally ditch me for some hot, beer-and-track-and-field-loving, politically far-left-wing, mass-transit-espousing, Tina-Fey-looking chick with perkier breasts and less ass fat.

But, hey, dude? If you do, then you won't get to do this kick-ass anniversary thing with me. So think about THAT, why don't you, you cheating bastard!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Things I Cannot Live Without Right Now

  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Freshly made peanut butter - PARTICULARLY the "Honey Roasted Peanut Butter" from Whole Foods. Damn you, Weight Watchers! (shakes pudgy fist in the air)
  • The oddly compelling video for the (lovely) Shins song "Phantom Limb"

  • Morning Edition
  • My cell phone (which has been missing for five days now, and is presumed stolen, according to my phone company. DAMMIT!)
  • Double, half-caf, skim-milk lattes from Sorrento's on Anderson Lane in Austin
  • New TV seasons of Heroes, The Office, My Name is Earl, and 30 Rock
  • Reasonably nice EVOO
  • Burt's Bees Evening Primrose Overnight Cream
  • My new, super-comfortable-but-good-for-work, slate-greyish-silver, short-heeled, open-toe-but!-fine-for-fall-'cause-hey!-it's-Texas! - Josef Seibel "Zina" sandals from Nordstrom
  • Various soundtracks from musicals (e.g. Godspell, Evita, Rocky Horror,) played at top volume in my car, ven I vant to be ALONE
  • The big, juicy pluots that they've been selling at Central Market the past few weeks
  • Aveda Lip Glaze in melon. I've decided that lipstick ages me. It makes me look like I'm in my late thirties.
  • Eddie Bauer jeans, hemmed (thanks, Connie!) because I'm apparently somewhere between a "regular" and a "tall." Wear with snug-fitting "boob shirt."
  • My period, which I never thought I'd be happy to see. (You scamp; you're getting so unpredictable these days! First I see you every two weeks, and now it's been six, and nothing! And Mr. EPT says no, no,, where are you?)

Monday, September 10, 2007

(insert clever title here)

Jeez...what on earth did I do with my weekend? I swear to GOD, and I am not exaggerating AT ALL, that if I DON'T write this shit down, it is GONE from my head by the next week. Just gone.

I am sure that the aluminum in my anti-perspirant is giving me Alzheimer's Disease. Sadly, I am DOUBLY sure that just using hippie-dippy Tom's Deodorant is going to ruin my career and every one of my friendships.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, I was moaning about being sick on Friday. (I can't believe I forgot to mention my Marky Mark lookalike gutter man who came over on Friday. I must have been sick. I must say, when he was working on my roof with his shirt off, I was tempted to use one of those lines that I'm sure many a bored housewife has used on him. "Hey, you. Can you come tend MY gutter?")


9:50 AM - Went to YG's first music class with her on Saturday morning, snuffling and coughing. It was cute, all the little three-year-old girls dancing and singing little songs with the charming French music teacher. I enjoyed myself, but am feeling anxiety that I now have the responsibility to ensure that yet another child does her homework.

10:30 AM - Ran to see 15 minutes of OG's soccer game. Still the fastest on her team; still hanging back in the backfield. The Man has angst about this. (I try to let him own this one.)

12:30 PM - I refused to succumb to my cold, and went out on the Leftover Bobnoxious Birthday Dregs Party Barge Party Part 2 on Saturday. (Damn if I was going to miss another trip to the lake due to illness. I would have gone even if I had been bleeding from both ears.) Tylenol Allergy Sinus and cheap box wine saved the day. I have a great time. Later on, I have mysterious bruises and a nagging sense that I looked less than dignified hauling my tipsified ass up onto the boat, both of which confirm that I did indeed have a great time. (But my gauge of whether I drank TOO much - which is a horrible fear that I made out with someone not my husband - did not go off. So, yay for me.)

4:30 PM - back in the car. Listened to Mizzou kick Ole Miss's dixie butt on the satellite radio. Sweet.

5:00 PM - We race to Wonder Boy's birthday party. Poor OG, who has been making such enormous social progress, hit a snag with another guest, and I don't think she ever really got past it until the party was over. Though I was stressed at the time, I was very happy that she did not appear to be the instigator, and - honestly - I didn't think she was completely overreacting! For once, I was totally, and completely, empathetic with her - to the point that I even teared up a bit myself. (I believe that I have some old birthday party tears still lurking around the back corners of my psyche somewhere.) I think I decided, right then and there, that she's going to be OK in the world, and that I'm OK with her.

7:00 - Watch/listen to UT with The Man. They have a hard first half. I am secretly pleased. (I love The Man, and Austin, and even went there for grad school, but part of me hates the big UT monolith. I don't necessarily want them to lose all the time; I just want them to realize that they're a college, and not a fucking professional football team. And, I find it highly amusing that their fans start bitching and beating up on their team when they win.)

9:30 - Call my sister, wish her a happy birthday. Try to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with OG, but my voice has finally given up the ghost. Suck on the Liquid Benadryl teat. Watch 15 minutes of SNL before dropping into a stupor.


8:00 AM - Hoarse, slightly hung over. I drink several cups of coffee, but still make The Man fix me a cappucino. He makes the best foam. No, that's not a euphemism.

10:00 AM - Bill and Julie have us over for their daughter's four-year-old birthday party. Jokes are made about getting started drinking early. I am not amused; yea, I am in fact, slightly sickened by these jokes. I drink a whole lot of water and eat one more piece of pizza than Weight Watchers suggests is appropriate. Urg.

1:00 - I embark upon installing Elfa shelving to create a home office for the man. I invent a new slogan: "Elfa! It's cheaper than a divorce!" which is quickly modified to "Elfa! Where the fuck is that little bag of screws?"

7:00 - It's done, with only one trip back to The Container Store. It looks fabulous. I am an awesome wife. (Not so sure about being an awesome mother though. Can't remember at all what my kids were doing for those six hours.)

8:00 - kid bedtime. There, I can't be that bad; I did find them in time to put them to bed. So there.

9:00 - I watch the new HBO series, Tell Me You Love Me. I am more or less unimpressed. If I wanted to watch thirtysomething couples ragging at each other, well, then, I'd just go hang out with my friends. (Kidding! That's a joke. LAUGH, DAMMIT, LAUGH.) The main reason to watch appears to be "Are they really doing it or not?" To me, it appears that there may be prosthetics in play, but they're clearly doing enough to where it doesn't seem to matter. But it's really, really not erotic at all. It was weirdly depressing. I will give it two episodes, like I did "John From Cincinnati," but if nobody has smiled or made any more interesting conversational interjections than "I just don't know you!" by the end of the second episode, I'm done, full-frontal and junk viewings notwithstanding.

10:00 - Damnit, there's still laundry on the bed. Why is there always laundry on my bed on Sunday nights?

11:30 - I really need to go to bed earlier.


6:00 - Jesus, school starts early.

7:17 - I try to open up a bottle of red nail polish to do a quick touch-up. The lid is stuck. I try to jimmy it open with a pair of nail scissors, and BAM - the neck of the bottle breaks. My hands, the sink, and the floor are covered with red nail polish. FLY. ING. FUCK. There is not enough nail polish remover in the house to deal with this. I suddenly sympathize with what serial killers go through when they have to clean up a crime scene. OG yells from the next room: "MOOOOM! IT's SEVEN SEVENTEEN! WE HAVE TO GO OR I'LL BE TAAARDY!"

7:22 - I take OG to school. My hands are still covered with red nail polish, and I stink of acetate. Yay, Monday!

7:30 - I decide it's not that bad. I go on to work. Maybe they'll just think it's dry-erase marker.

10:00 AM - I trip over the legs of a table and come down onto my knees on the tile floor. Hard. More large and unsightly bruises on my legs, now.

Rest of day: Reasonably uneventful. The Man likes his office. I am good on my diet. There's still fucking laundry on the bed.

10:00 - Stewart. Colbert. Bed.

11:00 - Oooh! Reno 911 is on! I haven't seen that in months!

12:00 - I really need to go to bed earlier.
So...on this topic, I ask this: When do I get to pull a rock star, an Amy Winehouse, and get to take time off for "exhaustion?" Would someone send me to a spa if I developed a nasty drug habit?

Because, I can, if necessary! I'm already halfway to freebasing the Benadryl...

Friday, September 07, 2007

I'b sorry...

...but I cabn't post. Because I hab a bad cod. And I cabn't breathe.

And I just swigged four teaspoonsful of liquid Benadryl, so, night night, world. Night night, you stupid, stinky, germ-and-allergen-filled world.


- Mabgs

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Crank That, Soulja Boy!

Wait, not Soulja Boy....

um...Crank, Tim, Kevin, and Blaine?

(And, am I odd that I think that they are just too cute?)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

And so it begins...

This afternoon, on the drive home from school, OG was in a great mood, and was uncharacteristically forthcoming about the events of her day.

I, pleased, kept up a fairly lengthy conversation with her about who she was playing with now, who her friends are in the classroom, how she feels about boys ("Nothing!" was that answer, so we're good there for the moment,) that sort of thing.

She brought up the subject of the little girl - we'll refer to her as "Bella," for no other reason than she's pretty - that she's been OBSESSED with for two years, but who has never returned her feelings in a manner satisfactory to OG. The poor thing is just a quiet, shy little girl who I'm sure is completely freaked out by my in-your-face daughter. I'm glad they're not in the same class, now, but they still see each other on the playground.

Anyway, OG has decided that she totally hates Bella now. (Except when Bella decides to be nice to her, at which point OG would stomp a kitten in her mad rush to be by her side. But that's another matter.) Happily, OG and another girl - "Frieda," have bonded over their mutual hurt feelings from Bella, and they seem to have formed a friendship that was at first based on this, but that is now also because they identify as "tomboys" (the diametric opposite of Bella, who is very feminine).

I like all these girls, I will venture. It's not Bella's fault that my kid gets intensely fixated on people, and that she is not easily reasoned with. But I especially like OG and Frieda making friends, and I see in them the hope for a real, true, friendship for my girl, based on equal participation and trust rather than the whole "girl" experience, what with the backstabbing and friend-taking, and all that. But I digress.

Anyway, OG said today - and I have never used this word to her - "Bella has gone over to be on the popular team. Frieda and I hate the POPULAR team!"

I was briefly amused - I had no idea that it had become a team sport - but quickly saddened. I didn't remember that it started so young.

I mean, we talked a bit about it...I wondered what "popular" meant to her, and I think she defines it as "girly," as in the girls with painted fingernails and who wear dresses. (OG complained a bit about another girl, saying "She used to have normal fingernails, but now she paints them so that she can be with the populars.")

But, really, what was I to say? That this isn't real, that it is a false construct set up by insecure people? That women trying to prove themselves better than other women just serve the nefarious purposes of those who would keep us down? That her class, surely, would not divide into these subgroups, in this, the supposedly enlightened twenty-first century?

I didn't. I wish that I could have given her a lie that she would believe, for a little bit longer. Sadly, OG knows a dissembler when she sees one, and I just didn't have one in me.

Well, honey...I will tell you this; we, the non-populars, turned out to be not a bad subgroup, when it's all said and done. I like us. I always have.

My mantra for you, now and always: GET. THROUGH. HIGH. SCHOOL.

(And watch some Monty Python movies. Couldn't hurt your team any.)

YG, on the other hand, appears destined for Cute Fairy Princess Girl School. (Todd helpfully pointed out that she is very reminiscent of Dawn Weiner's little sister in the tutu from "Welcome to the Dollhouse.")

The other day, I asked her if she wanted to get her hair cut short, like her sister's (and mine, for that matter). She replied, "No, I want it long like Ariel's. Princesses have long hair. I want to be able to do this " - at which point she tossed her head back and flipped her hair around with her hand, as if she were posing for the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated.

Fine. OG and I will reserve the right to mock her if she becomes a cheerleader, though.

Not to her face.

(OK, just a little bit to her face.)

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Mags List of Instructions for Your Life

It's, wait, it's Monday. But, it feels like Sunday, so it stands to reason that I'm feeling preachy.

Hey, everyone else has done it...I feel a sense of entitlement to do so as well. So, here 'tis: The Mags List of Life Lessons - Guaran-Goddamn-Teed to Make YOUR Life Worth Living.

Oh, and, you're welcome.

  • People don't change. Oh, they'll quit habits, lose weight, get/lose religion, smooth out the rough edges of their personality, etc., but fundamentally, they don't change. And - more importantly - YOU will never change someone else. So, love, accept, even grit your teeth sometimes; but don't believe, for one second, that a person will change for you.
  • Regarding marriages: See above. Don't expect anyone to change, and you will be happier. They will, too, knowing you accept them for exactly what they are. That's where all that trust stuff starts, you know?
  • Also, regarding marriages: Try to have lots of sex, even if you think you don't want to, or you're too tired. I read somewhere that orgasms are self-perpetuating; the more you have, the more you will, they have the nice side-effect of creating a more relaxed and confident person in the daylight as well. So, if there's a stagnant spot here or there, get it moving - force the issue with yourself, if necessary - and it will get better with practice.
  • For women: Don't sweat the porn issue. You know your man looks at it. It's OK. You have your fantasies, too, and that's all it is. He's not comparing their bodies to yours, and he doesn't want those women in his bed. (And, just a suggestion...if you will venture so far as to occasionally look at it with him, he will think you are totally scandalous and dangerous, and thus smokin' hot. Word.) I think - and this is my opinion only - that husbands viewing internet porn is the thing that we just have to accept, like the way previous generations accepted that men would visit prostitutes or have affairs with their secretaries. I don't know about you, but I'm better with it this way.
  • For men: Don't sweat the "ex-boyfriend" issue. You know your wife has them. It's OK. She doesn't want them. I swear. Emotionally, physically, mentally, she made the vow to you, and she bloody well meant it. If there are thoughts of her past lurking in her head, they are just special memories, that she might pull out like a photo album from time to time. These have as much real, substantive meaning as your feelings toward that girl on that website you were looking at last night. (Hey, I have an idea...can we just consider these two issues a trade-off?) And - talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies - if you are more confident in your woman's love for you, that confidence radiates from you, and makes you more attractive to her. Thus, more trust, and more sex! (See above.)
  • Try to eat something new, and listen to new music, at least once a month. I read a study somewhere that suggested that, if you have not tried something by the time you are 40, statistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that you will ever try it. Break that pattern. Stay interesting, even if it's only to yourself.
  • Moderation, moderation, moderation. Except for occasionally. Which is FUN. (To quote the eminently succinct and correct Dr. Seuss: "If you don't/You should/These things are fun/And fun is good.")
  • Go dancing. (Yes, men, I'm talking to you, too. The psychic penance you feel for possibly looking like a dork will be more than repaid by the happiness of your partner for getting out there with them.)
  • Your kids - if you have them - are clearly your biggest responsibility in your life, and you must give them an enormous part of your being in order to raise them well. Do this - but do your utmost not to give short shrift to yourself and your relationships with your significant other and your friends. Resist being subsumed into their lives completely, or when they've moved out, you may be left with nothing.
  • Don't be a hypocrite. Don't go screaming about family values if you're fucking another woman (or other men). Don't go on about the horrors of illegal immigration if you didn't screen that cheap roofing company's employee roster to make sure they all had green cards. People can handle your transgressions far better than your hypocrisy, and the cognitive dissonance in your brain will not clang as loudly.
  • Along those lines, do your best not to judge others. That horribly behaved child in your kid's class may have a nightmarish family life. Same with that bitch in your office, or the guy that yelled at you in front of your boss. Sure, be angry; you're human. But just remember that there may be another story of which you are unaware.
  • Your life is too short to hold on to hate or grudges. Learn from your mistakes, of course, and withdraw from "crazymakers." But, holding onto bad experiences in your heart is like sucking on poison. Try to let it go. Don't let your anger define you.
  • Have animals in your life, in some way. Sometimes furry unconditional acceptance is the only kind you're going to get. (Even if that acceptance does admittedly smell pretty foul sometimes, and occasionally licks its anus prior to unexpectedly french-kissing you.)
and, last, but most certainly not least:
  • Never, ever, underestimate the value of a good haircut and color. If you take nothing else away from this discussion, hear me on this, my children. If you are feeling down, get thee hence to the nearest swanky salon. There, prostrate yourself at the Aveda altar, and pray for your floral-scented deliverance from shag, frizz, and two-inch long, disturbingly gray roots. Amen.