Monday, December 28, 2009

An Ice Cube concert review by the whitest girl in the cosmos and how I came to realize I watch too much of VH1's reality programming

Backstory: Over the years, I've been known to attend concerts that stretch the parameters of my music tastes, because not only am I open-minded, I'm just cool like that. For instance, the last concert that I saw (other than the Wiggles or My Little Pony: The World's Largest Tea Party) was The Extreme Metal Tour 2001 - I say "saw" because as I've said before, you sure as hell can't hear it. I've also been to Ozzfest. Twice. And seen Metallica more times than I can remember. That sort of music really isn't my style (to say the least), but I used to take my little brother to a lot of shows when we were younger because he loves it, and I'm the best sister in the world.

But anyway, it had been a while since I'd seen a show, and when Carl asked me if I wanted to go with him and a group of our friends to see Ice Cube, I said what the hell, I'll go. Besides, I like Ice Cube. I'm familiar with his work in Boys in the Hood, and more recently the inimitable Are We There Yet? franchise. Yes, methinks this Ice Cube is a likeable fellow.

The Ice Cube concert is at the House of Blues. When we arrive I immediately take note of my fellow concert-goers. I observe that these are definitely not the sort of individuals that might attend say a Cat Power gig. Wait! I think I see Flavor Flav! Carl tells me that the gentleman I'm referring to is certainly not Flavor Flav and quietly suggests that I refrain from yelling "Do you know what time it is?" (and by that I mean that he told me that he would leave me then and there and pretend not to know me for the rest of the night if I did not stop it right now). The security line, while not long, takes ages to get through, which I consider to be a potentially ominous sign. I decide that there should be drinks. Lots of drinks. And have one of Carl's friends fetch me a rum and coke.

Finally we make it through security and into the venue. While we wait at the bar for more alcohol per my request, there is a brief scuffle and some girl throws a punch at our friend's date. Charming behavior, but that's nothing compared to a Metallica concert I attended where paramedics had to be summoned to assist the guy that o.d.'d in the row in front of us. I guess I'd rather have some bitch throw a punch than have a stranger projectile vomit in my direction. That's just my personal preference though. At that moment I also recall a time at Ozzfest when by the end of a long day of music and revelry, the ubiquitous red-necked males had become quite intoxicated and the environment potentially hostile and I locked myself inside the safe confines of my car until my brother was ready to go while blasting 'NSync in retaliation. Oh, the memories. But I digress...

After we finally get our drinks and find a spot down on the main floor, Ice Cube is nearly ready to take the stage. When the main act does begin and Ice Cube swaggers forth, I notice that he is considerably more portly than the image on the set design behind him. I prefer the portly Ice Cube and make a mental note to consider whether or not I have become a "chubby chaser." Food for thought.

Suddenly I recall something that I learned in grad school from a course on hip hop and film (I was actually the Teacher's Assistant in this class, which makes it even more frightening that I have retained almost NO information.) "Ice Cube is from N.W.A., right?!" I exclaim excitedly to Carl who confirms my observation. I'm all proud now. But I am distracted suddenly when I think I see Garth from VH1's cancelled reality show Megan Wants a Millionaire. I tell Carl that I'm certain that the greasy plumber that serenaded Megan with a plagiarized song called "Sex Mode"* is standing RIGHT BEHIND US!!! Carl does not watch VH1's ground-breaking brain cell eroding reality programming so he is oblivious to my washed up loser celebrity sighting. He ignores me, preferring the vocal stylings of Ice Cube.

As the concert progresses, Ice Cube performs some classic hip hop from the 80s and 90s. I like this about Ice Cube. Some of these songs I am familiar with (and by that I mean that I've heard them once or twice). At one point Ice Cube asks, "You Down with O.P.P.?" (you may want to refer to Wikipedia if you are unfamiliar with this acronym. I was, but I had the urban dictionary that is my husband to translate for me). "Why yes, Ice Cube, I am down with O.P.P., thank you for asking." At other points, Ice Cube gets down right gangsta, but he looks snugly to me and I wonder if he likes cuddles.

Later, Ice Cube performs one of hits from the early 90's "Check Yo Self." He tells me "You better check yo self before you wreck yo self." Methinks this is sound advice Ice Cube. Yes indeed. While I do manage to get my groove on, I fear that I probably look like Bree Vandecamp from Desperate Housewives trying to fit in with the Ice Cube crowd, but roll with it anyway, trying to enjoy whatever contact high I can get from all the weed I smell around me.

In all seriousness though, I would have to say that I really had fun at this concert. It was a cool experience and I'm glad that I went. I might even consider attending another one. But only after Carl agrees to watch me rock out at a Rilo Kiley show - or better yet, maybe I could force him to go with me to see Morrissey (although I'm pretty certain that he'd throw down over that one). Really the options are limitless...

*Note: Carl does NOT consider it erotic when I serenade him with "Sex Mode" , just in case you were wondering. "Grab my stick and switch right into SEX MODE..."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

So let's talk about buffets.


As I'm sure it is for many families, dinner is often a source of contention in our household. It would seem that not one of the members of our foursome likes any of the same foods, with various food allergies making the process of choosing something for dinner all the more difficult. Lately my husband and I often find ourselves staring blankly at each other whenever the inevitable topic of "what should we have for dinner" presents itself. I do cook regularly for my children as does my husband, but lately the kids only like two things, and I'm gonna freak the hell out if I have to prepare tacos or plain noodles with meatballs one more f***ing time.

That said, last week Carl had a stroke of genius - we live in Vegas, why not take advantage of something that Vegas is known for the world round? Their fabulous buffets! At a buffet, each of us can choose whatever we want for dinner.(Plus we had a coupon that made dinner practically free, and considering the fact that we're flat broke, that was a nice bonus). Naturally I was resistant at first, I mean buffets are disgusting. How white trash are buffets (very)? But eventually I conceded because I sure as hell didn't want to have to start the painstaking process of reconsidering our dinner options all over again.

After we picked my son up from school, we headed directly to the buffet because we were all starving and it makes sense to try and beat the dinner rush (add that to the list of reasons I'm geriatric: I prefer to beat the dinner rush when I frequent the buffet at 3:30 in the afternoon). You may be wondering at this point "aren't you the same annoying pain in the ass person that is supposedly into "organic, hormone free this and that?" Yes, I am. But I'm also into not wanting to gouge my eyeballs out with a blunt instrument every time the question of dinner comes up. So that brings us back to our most recent visit to the buffet...

Let me just preface this by stating a disclaimer: children sometimes say things (unintentionally) that are not politically correct. I am not advocating or encouraging these statements; my children are 4 and 6 - they don't know what the hell they're saying. If you're offended please remove the stick from your ass and go away.

So after we made one of many rounds at the buffet (come on - you know it's a pig fest! It's a buffet!) Maggie and I took our seats and proceeded to chow down while Carl and Bear rampaged the taco bar. While I ate mashed potatoes, Maggie began feasting on one of her personal favorites: watermelon. And boy she was gettin' into it. With her eyes practically rolling back in her head, "Mmmmm, I love me some watermelon. Watermelon is gooood." Naturally these comments were said in the not-so-subtle tones of a four year old (meaning she's practically shouting), which aside from the bad manners wouldn't have caused such embarrassment if we weren't sitting next to a table of African Americans. Again, I don't think this would matter all that much if I weren't getting looks, and by looks I mean they were turning around to stare at the person that was loudly saying "Oh yeah, I do LOOOVE me some watermelon!" I mean Maggie did seem to be putting on quite the show and I kind of wondered if they thought she was doing it on purpose or if I had put her up to it or what. (Yes by writing this I am acknowledging the existence of a stereotype about African Americans liking watermelon. What can I say, I was mortified). I was very embarrassed and at that point attempted to get Maggie to keep her ecstasy over the watermelon to a minimum. And I will admit after that I did forbid her to get fried chicken.

Then there was the point at which my son loudly called my husband fat and offended an old lady, all in one fell swoop.. Whoo hoo! We were on a roll! After dinner Carl was standing up because he was so full (our family really believes in getting our money's worth at the buffet). Bear was all (in the loud kid voice of course), "Dad your belly is FAT! I've never seen a belly that big!" and then proceeded to hit the belly and we all know that doesn't feel so good after a binge like we just had. Carl told Bear to stop that and jokingly said that he might explode if he doesn't stop to which Bear replied, "Yeah! Explode! That'd be cool!" Carl responded, "I don't think so. I'd die." Which at this point I'm thinking "Dumb-ass. Don't say 'die' - I so don't wanna go down that road right now. But Maggie didn't miss a beat with that one.
Maggie: (Loud kid voice) "Mommy where do we go when we die?" (We talk about this A LOT).
Me: (Resigned) "Heaven."
Bear: (As usual) I'm not going to Heaven. That's boooring.
Maggie: "But not for a long time right?"
Me: (Looking around and noticing the elderly woman sitting at the next table, only three feet away. Shit. She's looking at US now). Um, yup. More desserts anyone? (Mind you, we were all about to throw up at this point).
Bear: (Again, in the loud kid voice) You mean we'll go to Heaven when we're all old and wrinkly, right?
At this point Carl and I pretty much decided to high tale it out of there (yes with the kids in tow, although at that point we did consider leaving them). Hopefully we're not eighty-sixed from the buffet, because we just got another one of those coupons in the mail. Besides, my son likes the buffet because you don't have to wait for the server to bring you food because waiting (like Heaven) is soooooo boooorrring.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My favorite Christmas story. Ever.

I'm so sorry I haven't posted all week. Christmas is really screwing up my ability to effectively waste time blog. And there have been so many events over the past week that I so desperately wish to relay to you - including but not limited to our recent trip to a buffet and last night's Ice Cube concert. I realize that you are understandably on the edge of your seat. Pinkie swear, I'll post soon.

Until I do have time to write something that is worthy of the literary genius that is my blog, I'll leave you with this charming holiday tale, written by my friend Girl in the Room. It still makes me laugh after all these years, and it's probably my favorite Christmas story. Ever.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I think I've created a monster...



Please note both the scarf (Maggie's favorite, as it's very purple-y) and mini-Starbucks (which contains hot chocolate not coffee. I'm overindulgent, not insane).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dare to be different.


As I've mentioned before, Maggie has very specific ideas about art and fashion, and I've always highly encouraged her individuality. Lately, however, she's taken to wearing her hair in strange ways, and I'm not gonna lie, this kind of bothers me. I constantly want to reach over, yank her headband off and comb that mangy mess she calls her hair (which is usually somehow inexplicably sticky - possibly from one of those glue sticks she's forever toting around in one of the 10,000 miniature pink purses she owns. Because you just never know when you're going to need to glue something. Seriously.)

But as much as I find this new phase slightly frustrating, I do appreciate the fact that my daughter likes to do things her own way. This is also why I allow her to leave the house in outfits that consist of what some might consider less than favorable combinations such as leopard print pants with a pink and purple striped t-shirt and patent leather boots. Because she likes it. And believe me, I do gets looks, as well as the sporadic comment from other parents. They either get it or they don't. But given the choice, I'd rather allow my daughter to explore who she is through fashion, than repress her individuality and insist that she look like a model for Baby Gap. Maggs, even though it drives me nuts sometimes, I like the fact that you have your own ideas about things. We will need to wash the glue out of your hair occasionally, but you can wear it however you like.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Old School

I can vividly recall listening to this song and dancing around the living room with my mom when I was Maggie's age. Steely Dan always puts a smile of my face.



I really dig this photo montage I found on You Tube. I love the 70's. These photos make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's kind of funny that I loved this song as a small child when the lyrics are about a drug bust at Bard college - something to which I was, needless to say, completely oblivious at that tender age of three or four. That kind of makes me love this song even more.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

At our house even the stuffed animals have attitude

Just in case you're wondering, this stuffed leopard is indeed a socialist. Furthermore, we as his family not only support this choice, we advocate it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yup, that's my daughter.

I just sent Maggie to her room for a time out, and as she stomped up the stairs (as loudly as humanly possible for a four year old of course) she looked directly at me over her shoulder and said, "You NOT the best mom I know!" I had to struggle to contain my laughter because come on, that's pretty funny.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mommy Nosferatu


Miss is an artist. That much we've established. The only question I have now is why I seem to resemble Nosferatu in her most recent drawing. Maybe this is supposed to be a depiction of me first thing in the morning, before coffee. But then again maybe not, because I seem to be smiling.



Not that I don't dig vampires - as a teenager I was obsessed with them. But the cool Lost Boys kind (OK, maybe that's not so cool now, but it was when I was 13 so give me a break).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blech

I had a super crappy weekend and have been feeling pretty down. Here are a few things that I've come up with to make myself feel better tonight after the kids are in bed:

1. Lay's Potato Chips.
2. Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream. And a lot of it.
3. Us Weekly Magazine.
4. Lime-flavored Perrier, extra cold.
5. Tivo and bad televison. Fortunately, I think I have an episode of Real Chance of Love waiting on my Tivo list right now. I know that I've said this before, but thank you VH1 for producing some truly awful television. I love you.
6. Pajama pants, a comfy t-shirt, and socks with Adidas flip flops.
7. My bed and goose down comforter.

Any other suggestions?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This makes me laugh every time

With the current state of affairs in this country, it's pretty easy to wake up depressed most days. Bill Maher's comedic spin on things at least gets me laughing once a week - I love "New Rules." This clip is almost six months old, but it's one of my favorites and I think it says a lot.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Have a rockin' weekend!


I've always appreciated the fact that Miss seems to have an innate understanding of "disco fingers" (she gets it from me, no doubt - her father wouldn't be caught dead with disco fingers). Here's to doing things your own way and havin' a rockin' weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

You Can Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar...


Bear just passed me this note from underneath his bedroom door after being sent to his room for a minor infraction (namely, fighting with his sister which they've been doing all morning long). I've gotta hand it to him, the boy knows how to work me - he's no longer in time-out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This One Doesn't Cut Me Any Slack

This afternoon after we dropped Bear off at school, Miss as usual wanted to know where we were going. I told her that we were going to do our usual Trader Joe's run and then head home. She insisted that I take her to Rubio's for lunch, to which I responded that I just didn't have the cash for that today. While she accepted this as a reasonable excuse, Miss demanded to know exactly how many "cents" Rubio's costs. I kind of brushed her off absent-mindedly and gave her a vague "I'm not sure" response (I mean, she's three. I kind of didn't expect her to have any real concept of money, so I guess I was perhaps a little dismissive). Well, apparently Miss did not appreciate this because she then informed me, "YOU'RE the one that takes me to Rubio's, YOU should know how many cents it costs!" While I may find it frustrating at times, I'm glad my daughter doesn't take crap from anyone - even if sometime's that's me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Little Miss Attitude

Just a minute ago after she woke up, Miss stomped into the kitchen and announced "I woke up bored!" I'm soooo looking forward to her teenage years...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday's Mellow Favorites

Me, November 1976

Most people who know me are well aware of my deep appreciation for the mellow hits of the 70's. Here's my playlist for a chill Sunday afternoon (and no, I do not consider mellow hits a form of child-abuse).

You Make Lovin' Fun - Fleetwood Mac (The music of my childhood.)
Nobody Does It Better - Carly Simon
Wild World - Cat Stevens
Forever in Blue Jeans - Neil Diamond (Neil Rulz.)
Same Old Lang Syne - Dan Folgerberg
Tiny Dancer - Elton John (One of my all-time favorite songs.)
Crazy Love - Poco
Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
Reminiscing - Little River Band
Superstar - The Carpenters
I Can't Tell You Why - The Eagles
I'm Not In Love - 10cc (Get drunk, put on your headphones, and crank the sound. You'll thank me.)
How Much I Feel - Ambrosia (I don't care what anyone says, Ambrosia kicks ass!)
Dancing in the Moonlight - King Harvest
Love Will Find A Way - Pablo Cruise
I Just Wanna Stop - Gino Vannelli (The song starts with the line, "When I think about those nights in Montreal..." That's awesome.)
Get Closer - Seals and Crofts
Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel
Baby I'm-A Want You - Bread
Killing Me Softly With His Song - Roberta Flack
The Logical Song - Supertramp
Maragaritaville - Jimmy Buffet
Keep On Loving You - REO Speedwagon (This is a "Power Ballad." What's not to love about that?)
Maggie May - Rod Stewart
How Deep Is Your Love - The Bee Gees

*I realize that a few of these songs are not from the 70's. Sue me.

Day at the Lake


Friday, March 6, 2009

Armageddon on the Island of Sodor

It's not looking good for Thomas and his gang. The Island of Sodor is being assaulted by reptilian invaders. This is what I discovered last night when I went upstairs to get a book from the loft.



I have to say, Thomas and his Trusty Friends appear justifiably terrified.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Recession-Proof Recipes That'll Knock Your Socks Off!



Unless you've been in a coma, you're probably aware by now that our country is currently experiencing a recession. Maybe the term "recession" is an understatement at this point, but it's more optimistic than saying we're in the midst an economic shit storm, or as Bill Maher succinctly put it, "Our booze cruise just hit an iceberg." If, like the rest of us, you're trying to find a means of putting dinner on the table without straining your pocket book, I've come prepared with recipes that I'm delighted to share with you, Dear Reader, from the 1970's era Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that I remember so fondly from my childhood. (I couldn't find the date of publication in the copy that I borrowed from my mother. It's so old that it's missing that page by now). I will feature some of these recipes regularly in a new section of this blog called "Recession-Proof Recipes That'll Knock Your Socks Off!" Since the 1970's were also a time of recession in this country, many of these recipes are geared towards limited household budgets. You can look forward to tasty recipes such as Applesauce Beef Loaf and Frosted Cheese Mold. Today's menu features tender, delectable Ginger Sauced Tongue and a delightful Cucumber Cheese Ring. Happy Recession and Bon Appetite!

GINGER-SAUCED TONGUE:

1 2- to 4-pound smoked beef tongue
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
4 bay leaves
Gingersnap sauce

Place meat in Dutch oven; cover with water. Add next 4 ingredients. Cover and simmer till tender, allowing 1 hour per pound. Remove meat; strain and reserve 1 cup liquid for sauce. Cut off bones and gristle from large end; slit skin on underside from large end to tip; peel off. Slice meat on a slant. Makes 4 servings per pound.

Serve with hot Gingersnap Sauce: Crush 5 gingersnaps; combine with 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/4 cup vinegar, and reserved liquid. Cook and stir till smooth.

CUCUMBER-CHEESE RING:

Refreshing as a cool summer breeze

1 3-ounce package lime-flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup drained shredded or ground unpared cucumber
1/4 cup finely sliced green onion

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add cream cheese, mayonnaise, or salad dressing, horseradish, salt, and lemon juice. Beat smooth with an electric or rotary beater. Chill till partially set. Stir in cucumber and sliced green onion. Chill in 3 1/2-cup mold till firm. Makes 5 or 6 servings.

* I feel it worth noting that when I described the recipe for Ginger Sauced Tongue to C, he became physically ill and angerily insisted that I never again discuss cow's tongue as a food item in his presence. This is the same person that eats Scrapple, but whatever.

Monday, March 2, 2009

WARNING: Delusional Mother Moment

This is some of Missy's recent artwork. Maybe it's just me, but I think the child has an eye for this sort of thing. I mean, look at her use of color in the first picture. What's more, Miss has very specific ideas concerning her masterpieces, and each and every one is a labor of love (please see November's post, "Ahhh, A Temperamental Artist in the Making). When coloring together, Miss will often reach over to my section of the picture and quickly scribble a little of this or that, claiming for instance "This needs more gold!" The child has vision - who am I to argue with that? I included the second drawing here just because I think it's cute.




A baby in a stroller.

Remembering When...

I had sheep hair.



*I had to do some serious cropping to this photograph in order to protect the innocent - I mean, who wants to be seen with someone that has sheep hair?

Happy Monday Morning

Friday, January 30, 2009

It Hurts To Be Beautiful

Ahh, the 1950's. The Atomic Age. Who knew that "radioactive dirt" and Geiger counters could be used as beauty implements?

Cabin Vacation '09









Sunday, January 25, 2009