Thursday, October 14, 2010

Flat Stanley for the Bravo Generation

Ah, Flat Stanley. The cautionary tale of a boy who gets smooshed by a bulletin board and ends up, spoiler alert, FLAT! (1) Our hero finds the silver lining by getting his mom to mail him to California in a manila envelope. Lest you worry that this isn't the best plan ever, his mom also sticks an egg salad sandwich in there.

And thus was born an entire second grade curriculum. Students mail paper Stanleys to friends and relatives all over the world and take pictures of his adventures. Or rather over-eager parents and grandparents do this. The kids are all fixated on how how bad that envelope must have smelled.

This is actually a photo of a photo. I have a dream that one day man will invent
the technology that skips one of those steps.

We actually colored Stanley a yarmulke and sent him with my mom to Israel. I have an entire album of Stanley touring the Middle East. Do you think my second grader even bothered to show it to his teacher?

Well, Hell. If I'm gonna drag a paper cut-out of some attention seeking whore all over creation, let's at least liven this puppy up.

Introducing Flat Salahi.

I'm surprised they couldn't get a better parking spot.

Fun fact! You can now rent the Salahis, the way you might hire a magician or a James Bond impersonator for a kid's party. (3) You never know where America's favorite couple might show up next. Your nephew's bar mitzvah? The opening of a Hyundai dealership?

Or the mouthwash aisle!

Sometimes a caption is just too easy.

I went to Target for braces wax and a new pill box and found neither.
But they did have 4 different kinds of coconut milk.

1) He was already named Stanley, poor kid. The odds were already stacked against him.
2)We will call it "The Digital Camera."
2) The standard joke is "like one might rent a clown" but I'm trying to be less predictable. Although just by posting twice in the same week, I think I'm ahead of the predictability curve!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Everything I ever needed to know about insulting one's mother, I learned in Kindergarten

Despite Eli's protests (1) or maybe because of them, I've been volunteering in the elementary school cafeteria. (2)

Anyway I'm walking around the table, sticking tiny straws into milk containers and reminding kids to eat their sandwich before the cookies, and a little boy turns to Eli and says "I know what your mom looks like."

Every single child from room 37 stopped eating and looked at Eli. What could he possibly say to counter this attack? I waited for Eli to defend my honor, perhaps with a "Isn't she beautiful?" or "I hope my wife looks like that at 41!" (3)

But instead there's silence while his mind searches for the perfect retort.

Maybe a classic like 'Your mother's so stupid she failed a survey.' Or something retro-cultural like 'Your mother's so fat, when she went outside in a red dress, everyone yelled, "HEY, KOOL-AID!'

So many to choose from!

Five minutes later Eli turns to the boy and says "Well I know what your mom looks like too." And the little boy was stupefied. Silenced!

Honestly the public schools just don't get the respect they deserve.

1) And my better judgment
2) Translation: I went once and it was really traumatic so now I do all the typing and cutting for the teacher in the safety of my own home. Or rather I will if the teacher asks far enough in advance for me to get a good netflix movie while I do it.
3) The 3 R's: Reading, writing and sucking up to one's mother. WTF? Writing doesn't start with an R either.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wrong Word Wednesday (1): The "REALLY? This is how you choose to re-enter the world of blogging?" edition

I'm not even sure which of my cookbooks tells me how to prepare foot funghi (2)

1) I know it's Tuesday. That's what makes it funny. It's been a while, I know.
2) Alternate caption was something about regular quality foot funghi

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another casulty of the recession

All is not well in ShallowLand.

It's this stupid recession.

To save money, Charles' company made some rule that restricted his travel schedule.

So my husband, usually on the road 16-20 days a month, is now home every single night.

Which sounds like it would be exactly what I want. And in theory it would be. But there's one problem.

We only own one pillow.

That might be a slight exaggeration. We really own 32 gazillion pillows. (1) But we only own one good pillow.

Back in the olden days, I'd use the pillow Monday thru Friday and then Charles would use it on the weekends when he was home. And I would have been so well rested from my 5 nights with the good pillow that I could sleep on an inferior pillow just fine. And sometimes on Sundays I'd manage to fall asleep, or at least play possum, before he got into bed and hope he wouldn't wake me just to get the good pillow.

Those days are over. Charles is home 7 nights a week and asserts that it's his pillow, just cause I bought it for him for our anniversary.

I was telling my friend Wendy (2) this story the other day and she offered to buy me a new pillow. As if it's that easy.

The pillow in question is a Tempur-pedic neck pillow. And according to their website buying the wrong size could be hazardous to your health:

It is important that you choose the proper pillow thickness based on your shoulder dimensions and sleeping position preference to promote an anatomically correct posture. A pillow that forces your head too high or allows it to fall too far back not only places stress on your neck, but could inhibit breathing.

I just can't take that chance.

There's a chart (3) to help you buy the right pillow. But it asks all these personal questions like my height. Do I use the height I tell the weight watchers people so my goal weight can be 10 pounds higher? (4) Or should I use the height that allows my husband to perpetuate the myth that he's really 5'9" (5) ?

Tempur-pedic also needs to know if I sleep on my side or my back and I sleep on my stomach. I'm afraid if I go into the Healthy Back store and tell them that, not only will they not sell me a new pillow, they might take away the one I already have.

Keep your fingers crossed. With any luck, this recession will end, my husband will resume his busy travel schedule and I will regain full custody of the pillow.

1) Does 'integrity in blogging' require me to really go upstairs and count all the pillows?
2) Wendy is totally awesome but was eliminated from BFF contention because she's training for a marathon. I have a strict "no-runners" clause.

3) A chart. To buy a pillow. This is why the terrorists hate us.
5) 5'4"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

T minus one

The day we've all been dreading is nigh. Despite my pleas and my prayers Linda is moving to Leesburg tomorrow .

Obviously I have a plan. During the move, I'll be watching 3 of her 4 children. I'll send her this text.

Planning to kidnap your BFFs kids? There's an App for that.

Unfortunately it probably won't work. Linda knows me well enough that she's stashing her spare kid somewhere else.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Paperwork Hell

What I'm looking for:

Noa's camp medical form that took the pediatrician 2 weeks, cost me $20 and was due 6 weeks ago.

What I found instead:

The obedience school diploma
for a dog that's been dead for 25 years. (1)

I think it's fair to say that I need a better system.

1) What do you call the dog who graduates last in his class from obedience school? Doctor. Wait, wrong joke.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Le excuse

I don't know. There's no excuse. I've been doing stuff, interesting (1) stuff. Plenty to tell you. I'm in a good mood, getting my RDA of sunshine and exercise. I just haven't been feeling writey lately.

But then the fabulous Mouthy Housewives asked me (ME!) to guest post. (2) Giving assvice (3) is my speciality (4) along with making monte cristos and, well, I'm running low on specialities these days.

So go over there and give me some love. Make those mouthy Housewives wonder why it took them so damn long.

1) Interesting if you're my mother or my shrink
2) About fucking time.
3) Advice that comes out of my ass, duh.
4) Pronounced Spesh E ality.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday, Federal Holiday edition

I can't be the only one stymied by what I found under the couch today:

Either my husband is moon lighting for the cable company
or the couch is haunted.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Le Post that sits and sits because I can't think of a title.

Tuesday will be Charles and my 14th wedding anniversary. The traditional gift is ivory, but I'm going with the more contemporary gift: the world's largest gummy bear. (1) (2)

Photo borrowed from the awesome folks at

I got the idea, no kidding, from Kelly on the Real Housewives of New York, who tweeted about it, after complaining that she didn't eat processed food, while shoving gummy bears and jelly beans in her mouth. Because nobody embodies a healthy, happy relationship like Kelly.

Secret to our lengthy nuptials? Separate bathrooms. It sure as hell isn't our communications skills. To wit:

Charles: I saw the beginning of a good movie last night on HBO, we should put it on our Netflix queue.

Me: I thought we canceled HBO.

Charles: We did, that's why we should see if it's on Netflix.

Me: Did they not turn the HBO off? Do we need to call Directv again?

Charles: No they turned it off, we're good.

Me: I'm really stymied here. How did you see this movie?

Charles: I watched it on HBO last night.


Charles: In the hotel.


Charles: In Boston.


Charles: Where I was last night.


Charles: You did notice I wasn't here last night? (3)

We had another little snafu when I got stuck at an appointment and I texted him to ask if he could pick Eli up at a friend's house on his way home from work and he replied


and then a minute later


which I interpreted as No and then Probably, which I thought was a strange response because I'm at the doctor and it's not like Eli has mastered the suburban public transportation schedule, but he actually meant NO PROBLEM. (4)

Then again, who needs communication when you have a 5 pound gummy bear?

1) I made a similar joke on our 12th anniversary.
2) He got me an ivory patent leather Coach bag and you all don't need me to spell out that whole process, although suffice it to say, that I've been doing my own shopping since I got tic tacs for my birthday. I also bought a kick-ass pair of sandals but I can't manage to make that one relate. I'm losing my touch.
3) In my defense, I'm not very observant.
4) Originally I wrote "I dunno, you be the judge." but you people are unpredictable lately, and I can't have you all taking his side.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Le Dog

I feel like I haven't been entirely honest with you.

Probably because I haven't.

You know my dog, Dobie?
The big ferocious one? And his equally menacing dog sitter, Al? (1) All made up. The Shallow home was, until yesterday, blissfully canine-free.

But you can't be too mad because Karma has bit me in the ass with a petulant, cranky, dog.

Huge scary picture courtesy of the
West Sacramento Photo of the Day blog.

only this dog is better cause he brought tequila.

His name is Joe. Joe, as in Joe Giradi, manager of the New York Yankees, not Joe, like Joe the Plumber. Jake was opposed to the name Joe because he thought it made him sound average. This dog aspires to be average. His full legal name is Josephat Macaroni-Head, so that's what I'll call him when he's in trouble. Which is apparently going to be all the fucking time.

He's a rescue dog, and I'll admit that Eli wasn't the only one disappointed when he wasn't dropped off by a hunky firefighter. He's a grade A mutt; best guess is part lab, part water dog, part Satan hound.

Yes, Satan Hound. Example: when we pet sat for friends, we would leave their dogs in the upstairs hallway with all the doors and the baby gate closed when we went out. It gives them more room than a crate plus a view. We've never had any complaints. Until today.

In the 20 minutes it took me to drop Eli off at school, Joe managed to chew thru the baby gate, thru his leash in 72 different places and then destroy Jake's brand new size 7 1/2 (men's) Keens. (2) Twenty minutes. I can't empty the dishwasher that fast. Look like we'll be adding a crate to our already super cluttered 1372 square feet home.(3,4)

On the bright side, I finally have fodder for my book, which I think I'll title Joe and Me, Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog. Jennifer Aniston can play me in the movie adaptation. I'm also going to start a website called Shit my Dog Destroyed, which is going to be an overnight sensation.

Stupid Karma.

1) Although I don't really know what's menacing about downloading porn.
2) Details added in case any of my readers are actually Keen representatives.

3) 4 bedrooms, 3 baths in a good school district in case any of my readers are actually benevolent real estate moguls.
4) So cluttered and too small to have anything good to steal. Oh wait, I really do have a dog now, stalkers! Named Joe, short for Cujo.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to prepare for a terrorist attack and/or natural disaster: ShallowGal style

I feel like I should start with a disclaimer: I'm not a disaster expert. Pretty much everything I know on the topic comes from watching movies like 2012 and Volcano and Gigli. So if you've reached this page because you have 15 minutes to evacuate your home and you've already wasted the first 2 minutes of that googling "What should I take when I evacuate because of a natural disaster and/or terrorist attack?" please go find some official disaster site. Actually get off the damn computer, grab your kids and your keys and get the hell out of dodge. I'm sure you'll pass a 7-11.

But hopefully you're reading this preemptively. First you need one of those big rubbermaid bins with a matching latching lid. You might want to pick a color that matches your living room decor, that way you can use it as a coffee table. (1) I taped a supply list to the front for ease of identification.

Which is more disturbing, that half the list is missing or
that not a single item is checked off?

You need to put a great deal of thought into packing these disaster kits. They need to provide everything a family of 5 needs to survive for three days. Every inch of the bin should be carefully allocated to the bare necessities. (3)

As in "Congratulations, you have survived the Apocalypse."

Let's keep looking. Next up, three platters, my favorite of which has broken. (4)

My thinking was probably that the banner
will have drawn all the other survivors
and they'll be expecting nibbles.

But before we can throw this big shindig to celebrate our survival, we actually need to do some surviving. C'mon, Amy. Check the damn half-list.

Would you be surprised to learn that neither flashlight has batteries?

Next up, a large purple beach bag stuffed with essentials. Maybe not stuffed, but definitely essential.

Essential if I need proof that I've been to Ocean City
or I need to build a quick IKEA bookcase
or measure Jake for a skating dress.

After 9/11, when I extensively researched evacuation kits, there was a lot of discussion about grapefruit seed extract and oil of oregano as all-purpose magic must haves.
Although it really only had the effect of making the box smell
like an Italian restaurant.

All joking aside, a first aid kit is a necessity.

I'm prepared for basically any injury sustained during the apocalypse
as long as it's a headache or a skinned knee.

Maps! This makes sense because there's a good chance that the satellite that controls the combined 4 GPS's (5) in our cars have been affected.

This way I can get from ground zero to ground zero. Or Delaware.

Under the maps, a great surprise! I have been looking for this vacuum attachment for, I kid you not, 4 years. I've been vacuuming my house with the little round attachment that you use for dusting.

Life as you you know it is over, but cheer up, I found the vacuum attachment!

Score! Duplicate maps!

We're reaching the bottom. The things that were so important that I must have packed them first. A dinosaur puppet. A sixth map.(6) A can opener and a novelty bottle opener. A blush applicator and a bow.

Actually the bow may come in handy for the house warming present
for the lucky Delaware resident I drop in on.

1) The whole point here is that you want to grab your emergency kit and run, gaining you valuable time ahead of the competition your neighbors.
2) Answer: Neither. Just you wait.
3) ♫ The simple bare necessities! ♫
4) Meaning the volcanoes have already won.
5) GPS' ? GPSes'? GPS's's? GPSi ?

6) Of Delaware, natch.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The BFF search begins

So I've been hard at work these past 2 weeks, auditioning new best friends. I've decided that most likely, I'm going to promote from within. Just to keep the learning curve to a minimum. (1) There are a lot of important things that I don't have time to teach a new BFF, like when my birthday is. (3)

One of my leading contenders is Hope, aka Lolita Travelsalot, a friend since our La Leche League days, 12 years ago. You know her as my baycation partner in crime, and also from BlogHer '08.

That's Hope on the left, and btw, this is the picture to
be used in my obituary.

  • Fabulous wardrobe that she's willing to share, and even pretends will fit me, even though, c'mon, look at her!
  • Willing to drink before noon.
  • Long shared history. I've spent the past week looking for the most adorable picture of Noa and her middle daughter dressed like bumblebees for their dance recital when they were 4.
  • Not only remembered my birthday but even took me out for lunch.
Cons: (4)
  • Because she's so gosh-darned awesome, her schedule is pretty full. I hate to break this to you, but I'm a fairly high maintenance friend.
And so the search continues . . .

1) My husband mentioned that until my post last week, he thought *HE* was my best friend. Isn't that cute? Although, funny story: I was reading this book called
How to Have a New Husband by Friday (2) and it mandated that you shouldn't complain about your husband to your friends. Which begs the question, who should I complain about my husband to? Total strangers on the street? Grocery clerks? Not a well thought out book, I think we can agree.
Which was utter tripe, and I took a lot of crap for reading it, even though it was just for potential blog fodder.
3) It was last Monday by the way, and a tremendous number of contestants neglected to so much as send a card and were immediately disqualified.
4) Besides, you know, working too hard and caring too much.

Friday, April 30, 2010

SG searches for a new best friend.

Linda, my real life BFF, has put her house on the market, six months earlier than planned. (1)

So the search for a new BFF has moved up my to-do list. Originally I had planned to hold informal auditions over the summer, maybe organize some kind of reality show in August, and reach a final decision, probably with some kind of bridging ceremony, in the fall. But if I'm to have a new best friend in place the day Linda moves, I need to get started yesterday. And considering I'm still working several hours a day on a post I started last August (2) I think we can all agree timeliness is not my best quality. (3)

(Although if you did agree, you're automatically out of the running. My BFF would never say something like that about me. )

And just so we're clear, if you think you know how this is going to end, with some preachy dialogue about how true friendship can survive, and for the love of all things holy, she's only moving 40 minutes to the west and she already lives 20 minutes to the east now, and what's 20 minutes more? No. At the end of this series, I will have a new best friend, and visit Linda weekly and reminisce about the good old days. And take Linda's five calls a day even when I'm out with my Linda2.0 so as to remind her that she's fine, but not quite as good as her predecessor, until I cause another poor soul to move out to the middle of nowhere as well.

Let's get looking. I can't imagine there isn't a line around the block already.

1)Marinka helpfully pointed out last week that Leesburg, where Linda is moving, sounds made up, so I asked for a forwarding address. It's 123 Main Street. And her new number is 867-5309. So there, Marinka!

2) It was about a dinner party I had with David, Vuboq and some guy whose name I don't even remember anymore. I was going to title it Queer Eye for the ShallowGal and we made pizzas on the grill topped with produce from the garden and it had one funny line about confusing it with a 6 year old's birthday, and this picture & caption:

It may look unorthodox
but I can guarantee that his elbow hasn't been in his nose or his butt.

So if today's blog accomplishes nothing else, I got that monkey off my back.

2.1) But not this monkey:

AKA something about my trip to Nicaragua.
Yes. It's an actual monkey on my back. In Nicaragua.
See how I made that transition seamlessly? This stuff takes time, people!

3) What's the most important thing aboutwritingablogpost?TIMING! That joke never gets old.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You think you're busy?

You should see Eli's to-do list. He dictated it to me at competition practice this morning.

Keep your fingers crossed that he gets it all done
cause once you fall behind on drawing hearts, basically you never catch up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wrong Word Wednesday

Keeping in mind all the usual niceties about how English is hard, my Spanish / Korean / Farsi isn't any better, how I always try to have a nice blog . . .oh fuck it. Get a load of this note I found today on the community bulletin board:

OK, admit it. On first glance (1) your first thought also was that this woman was offering a weekly blowjob. And your second thought was how much time contracting that job out would free up in your week. I know for a fact that I'm not the only pervert on the internet.

1) Unless you're my friend Bethanny who found the note and only noticed that Janet was offering prizes. You'll be reading more about Bethanny soon in my upcoming series (2) where I write about the auditions I'm having to replace my BFF Linda who is fucking leaving me to move to Leesburg.
2) I'm telling you now, possibly spoiling the suspense because I guarantee that by the end of the week I will tweet "I had the best idea for a blog and now I can't remember it."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to do a science experiment, ShallowGal style

This post is written to honor Susan, aka WhyMommy, who is simultaneously the smartest and the strongest woman I know. Kick some cancer ass Susan!

Not to put too fine a point on it, but really, I think we can all agree that all science experiments boil down into one of 2 camps:

1) Those conducted with mentos and diet coke
2) Those conducted without mentos and diet coke.

And I'm sure you can guess where I pitched my virtual tent.

Purpose of experiment: Show Susan how much we love her by comparing the reaction of mentos with diet coke as compared to the reaction of mentos with generic diet soda.

Hypothesis: That somebody will have a meltdown before the end of this experiment. Probably Noa. And that kids will want to eat the mentos. Also I'll taste the remaining diet coke and decided that with a little rum, it's still drinkable. Yes those are all hypothesis. Hypothesi? Hypothesises? (1) And that generic diet cola will not have as big a reaction cause honestly, it tastes more like diet pepsi than diet coke. (2) Hey! Can one of you kids go run to the 7-11 and buy diet pepsi, cause coke vs pepsi would be a better experiment. What do you mean you're only five? You know where the 7-11 is. Yes, the place where Mommy buys lottery tickets. It's not too far. No I have to stay here and guard the mentos. Fine. We'll save that experiment for next year's science fair.

Observation: That sure enough, all of the kids wanted to eat the mentos. And upon realizing they were the mint flavored ones, they spit them out. And stuck them in the generic cola before I had my camera ready, and created only a mini-geyser, thus ruining the entire experiment. And resulting in a mass meltdown.

Conclusion: Mentos/diet coke science is way harder than you think. (3)

1) C'mon Spell-check, a little help here.
2) Or diet shasta. Remember that crap?
3) Still, I expect at least a ribbon since I properly followed the Hypothesis / observation / conclusion model.

Monday, April 5, 2010

How to prolong your stay in Immigration & Customs, a play in one act

Scene: Dulles Airport, Immigration and Customs. 2am.

Amy (to posse): Listen up. We've been on the move for 19 hours, and I know you're exhausted. All we need to do is go thru these next two checkpoints, get our bags, catch the shuttle to the car and Bob's your Uncle. So you know the rule here; nobody, and I mean, NOBODY says anything to the nice immigration officer or the nice customs person unless asked a direct question. They DO NOT CARE about our vacation. Capiche?

Noa: Can I tell them you got drunk on rum and swam naked in the pool?

Amy: Anything they need to know, I will tell them.

Nice Immigration Man (Studies form, shakes head, writes a large letter A on our form) You were on a Nicaraguan farm? And you admitted to it? You're going to need to go to agricultural customs for additional inspection.

Amy, PCSguy and Posse drag over to Agricultural customs.

Nice Agricultural Customs Officer: Because you were on a farm, I'm going to need to disinfect all your shoes.

Amy: Really?

NACO: Oh sure. We don't want to infect our agriculture with foreign germs. (She pulls out a bucket and starts spraying shoes) Did you have a nice vacation?

(Kids nod, possibily following instructions, but more likely wondering who Uncle Bob is, and how many delinquent birthday presents he owes them.)

NACO: And your flight? How was that?

(Kids smile and nod and I try to make some excuse about how they're not really rude or stupid, just tired)

NACO: Well thank you for being honest on your customs form.

(Kids nod again)

NACO (to Eli:) Your turn. Can I have your shoes?

Eli: Sure. But watch out for the brown stuff. It's monkey diarrhea.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Break

Guess where the Shallow family is going for Spring Break. Seriously, guess.

Wrong. Here's a hint.

Your hint is that this particular bookstore carries
ZERO guidebooks about my destination.

Tomorrow at 4 am, the entire Shallow family will head off to the airport for the 5 hour flight to Panama, followed by a 2 hour flight to Managua followed by a 3 hour drive to fulfill my almost sixteen-month-long dream of going to Nicaragua.

I'm taking 3 kids to a place that they aren't writing guidebooks about yet. Yes, I know it's the second poorest country in the Americas. Yes, Nicaragua has active volcanoes, earthquakes and malaria. Trust me, my mother googled it all.

But it also has this.

And this

and this.

So I think we'll be just fine.

I won't be blogging while I'm gone. I'm going dark. (1) And sorry, Servant of the Most High. I'll be turning off comments while I'm gone. Go spam someone else.

1) I wish I could say it's because I want to completely focus on the kids, but honestly I just doubt there's wifi in Nicaragua. Also this way the dog sitter won't download porn on the kids computer. (2)
2) I know it was you Al, and I'm over it. Just don't do it again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I went to 3 birthday parties this weekend and all I got was these 2 lousy pictures.

I really don't want to drop names (BOSSY!) but I had the most fabulous weekend (VUBOQ!) and got to hang out with the coolest people (DAVID!)

And I have the photographic evidence to prove it.

Here I have lined my drinks up shortest to tallest.
Trust me, it was
really funny at the time. (1)

I took this one on the way home
because apparently I'm a tourist.

Satisfied? No wait! Really! I was there! Here let's look at some, ahem, borrowed pictures of the festivities.

How adorable is the birthday boy? Answer: very!

Here Bossy is either warning me to stay away from her gays
or begging me to be her roommate at Mom 2.0 next year.

Possibly both at the same time, there was a lot of whiskey involved.

There's my husband standing next to David
while David auditions for a beer commercial.

The guy on the left is VUBOQs uber-awesome brother, who needs to come back to DC cause I have the greatest woman to introduce to him.

This weekend was also Jake's twelfth birthday. (2) There are zero pictures of that because his party included girls and I spent the whole party acting like I wasn't eavesdropping and I suck at multi-tasking. Being the stud his father is raising him to be, Jake sat at the movie between his girlfriend and his ex-girlfriend.

Too bad Larry didn't answer the pay phone over at the Regal Beagle cause Jake really could have used his help.

Our third birthday party was for the kids skating coach and can you even imagine the hell to pay if I told you I took dozens of pictures of that one?

1) Honestly, is there anything more annoying than people talking about things that were funny when they were drunk?
2) But his social media skills suck, so he gets second billing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

His Jewish preschool is going to be pissed
but Eli is taking no chances of his sister pinching him

Monday, March 15, 2010

Who's on first?

Eli: I know this song. It's Eye of the Tiger.

Me: No it's (pauses, listens) I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

Eli: What are you looking for?

Me: No, that's the name of the song.

Eli: What's the name of the song?

Me: I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

Eli: (Deep sigh) Fine. I'll help you look after Eye of the Tiger is over.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Years ago, Self Magazine (1) used to run a feature where they'd stop a random woman at the grocery store check-out lane and evaluate the nutritional value for everything she bought. I figured my odds of getting chosen were probably a solid 50 / 50 so for years I'd put all the healthy stuff first and then when the cashier started bagging, and I figured no reporter was going to pop out, I'd pick up the little lane divider and claim the junk as my own.

And even today, I still always look at my groceries and wonder:

What would Self Magazine Say? (2)

I figure the interview would go something like this:

Self Magazine: A gallon of low fat organic milk and whole wheat bread with no high fructose corn syrup. That's a pretty good start.

ShallowGal: Thanks. We only drink about a gallon a week, so it's not a big deal to buy it organic. And I read the low fat allows you to absorb more calcium than skim milk.

Self Magazine: Berries, carrots and broccoli. Not bad. The berries are one of the things you should buy organic. And you could stand some more dark greens.

ShallowGal: I know. When the weather gets nicer and I can go to the farmer's market, I will. And Millie just brought me a cantaloupe and some red peppers so I didn't need too much more produce.

Self Magazine
: OK, not a big deal, you don't need to get all defensive, this is just a friendly little page filler. So here, the four pounds of chicken is fine,if not a little ambitious, but you know to limit red meat to once a week right? And fish. You should be eating fish four times a week.

: Gag.

Self Magazine: Holy cereal batman! What was there, a sale?

ShallowGal: Yes.

Self Magazine: Pretty. It's nice to treat yourself to something non caloric sometimes.

ShallowGal: Yes, non caloric treats. Exactly what I was thinking when I bought them.

Self Magazine : Oh yeah, we heard about this. So where's the rest of the wine?

ShallowGal: Just the one bottle.

Self Magazine
: So you don't mind if we go look in the car?

: No, go right ahe. . .Stop! Wait. . . fine. There's 3 more bottles in the car.

Self Magazine: Three more?

ShallowGal: Five. You get a ten percent discount for buying six.

Self Magazine: And those baby bottle nipples on top of the cookbook. Are those from the foster baby you had here the first week in January? It's mid-March! How often do you clean this kitchen?

Self Magazine: Lunchables! Lordy, is this a joke? They're filled with sodium and nitrates! How long would it take to just make a sandwich anyway? And there's a rumor you call them DINNERABLES. I knew you were full of shit with all that chicken. What do you do all day, that come 5 o'clock all you have the energy left to do is pull off a plastic cover?

ShallowGal: Actually the kids can do that themselves.

Self Magazine: Wow, all that pretend turkey makes you snarky. And what's the deal with the toaster? Everytime we see a picture it's a different one. I've never met anyone who cycles thru toasters and dishwashers this quickly. What exactly goes on in here?

I think we all see now why that particular feature ended.

1) Maybe they still do, my subscription ran out. Hint hint Self Magazine!
2) Get it? WWSMS.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


As far as I'm concerned, there are basically two categories of notes that kids bring home from school. The first informs you of a classroom lice infestation (1) and the second warns of an impending award ceremony. In my house, both kinds of notes are viewed with equal terror.

Maybe it's ADHD in me, but sitting through any kind of school assembly bores me to tears. (2) There's just not enough drama. (3) If I were the principal, I'd totally arrange for someone to propose or get a Harley delivered during the event de jour. Now that's entertainment.

So last week when Jake brought home a notice about a ceremony for Reflections winners, it was headed straight to the recycling bin. (3.5) Then I noticed a small handwritten note on the bottom.

"Jake will be receiving a special award."

Like I'm falling for that. Not my first rodeo, nice PTA volunteer. If I were to ever redesign my blog, my tag line would be "avoiding all school functions since 1998." I sent the nice PTA volunteer an email:

"We're so proud of Jake and excited for him to receive his award. Unfortunately, we have some other commitments for that afternoon. (4) Before we rearrange our plans, can you please specify if Jake has won a special award or a "special award?" Thanks so much.

Within a few minutes we had received the following response:

"Jake will be receiving a special award."

I'm pretty sure she's playing with my head because NOBODY is that dense.

Because even more than the boredom factor, I object to the whole pretend award aspect. I'm cool with giving the kid who showed up at every swim meet but never scored any points a little trophy. But back in 2005 when we went on a Disney cruise, Jake got a diploma for "graduating" cruise ship camp.

Hence my suspicion of "special awards."

Thanks to BillyBear4Kids pretty much anyone can be special.
Although in this case, "special" refers to the upside-down monkey

I asked Jake how important my attendance was to him. He explained that he knew that he hadn't won a first, second or third place award as those had already been announced. But maybe like in Toddlers and Tiaras (5), he was excluded from those because he was being pulled for a higher award. You know, like Grand Poem Supreme. Also there was going to be cake. So I went.

Of the 53 kids who entered this year's reflections contest in Jake's school: 8 first places, 12 second places, 9 third places, 23 honorable mentions.

And one special award.

We still aren't entirely sure what this award signifies but I suspect it's
PTA code for "trick that poor kid's mother into showing up."

1) Lice notes will be covered in an upcoming blog post, and integrated so craftily that you'll say "Oh THAT'S where she was going with it." Or not. I'm unpredictable that way.
2) And I do mean
any kind. I sat out a large portion of my own law school graduation.
3) Exception: any ceremony involving Noa contains
plenty of drama.
3.5) I may be a crappy mother but at least I recycle.
4) Not a lie! On this particular Friday, I had both the season finale of Real Housewives of Orange County and the season premiere of Real Housewives of New York on tivo.

5) Ahh Toddlers and Tiaras. Offensive and creepy, but entertaining.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Begin with the end in mind

First off, thank you so much for the incredibly warm welcome back. I wish I could thank each of you personally, and honestly, since there were only a dozen comments I probably could, but I don't want to set that kind of precedent. What if I hit the big time? It would be like the blogging equivalent of driving you all to the airport. (1) Begin with the end in mind, I always say. (2)

But seriously, thank you. You all were way too kind. (3) Had I known, I would have stopped blogging years ago.

Blogging after a hiatus presents unique challenges. So much happened during my unfortunate incarceration that it's hard to decide what to write about first. We weathered three blizzards. I had a mammogram with a suspicious, but ultimately benign, mass. There were enough earthquakes to make us wonder about the end of days. My kids took TEN snow days, making the end of days look like a pipe dream (4)

Of course, there were good times too. A family vacation in Mexico. A coaster bonanza in Orlando. Eli turned five. We snuggled with a newborn foster baby and hung out with an about-to-be adopted teenager.

But one image stands out from all others. One life-changing, brief glimpse of something that makes one wonder: What is it all about, this thing called life?

Although in this case, it's meat on a stick in a box.

Let me know where to pick up my Pulitzer.

1) For the record, I do occasionally drive PCSguy to the airport. But I charge him $30. Hey! Gas ain't free!
2) I do too always say it, I've already said it twice in this very entry. Exception: Blogging. I usually just sit down and type until I get bored. (I have no clue where I'm going with this entry. Hell, I have no clue where this footnote is headed!)
3)Even Kelly who called me a biatch.

4) FYI: If I were to rank these in terms of disturbance factor, I'd go with (from least to most upsetting) mass, blizzards, earthquakes, snow days.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A very Shallow excuse-fest

If there's one thing I've been asked repeatedly over the past 3 months it's "Who the Hell taught you to park? Do you see those lines? Do you have some aversion to parking inside of them?"

And the occasional person also asks why I haven't been blogging.

I blame both things on the snow. It makes it hard to see the parking spot and it does a real number on my mood. And seriously, how many whiny snowbound posts can one person write? We were both better off.

No need to feel guilty either, because not only have I not been writing my blog, I haven't been reading yours. So we're even.

But Spring is right around the corner. The days are getting longer and the giant snow drifts are melting. The parking spots are easier to see and 9 times out of 10, I park right smack in the middle of them. Things are looking up.

I'm afraid to look at my stats and see if anyone still checks in here. But like Uncle Ben told Peter Parker "With great power comes the ability to park inside the lines and then blog more often." (1) I'll try to rise to the occasion.

1) Or something. What am I, some kind of Spiderman expert?