Saturday, December 29, 2007

Little Girls Shriek for Rock Stars

Andrew asked me why there were little girls screaming in the background when I called to tell him we got Guitar Hero for Christmas.

I should have said it was because since we got Guitar Hero, my fans won't leave me alone.

But I didn't think of it fast enough. I have trouble thinking at all surrounded by piercing war whoops and powerful tiny fisticuffs. I hate it when I'm in the YMCA locker room at the same time as the junior high girls' swim team.

"Courtney give it BACK!"

"I mean it Courtney. GIVE it BACK!"

My survival response is to crank up the iPod and try to avoid the swarming.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

You'll just have to have a pyre

The mail lady is not our friend. After the snowstorm, for a whole week, she resolutely refused to disembark from her vehicle to deliver our mail. The snow plow dudes had fluffed a smallish mound of snow directly in front of our mailbox which prevented drive-by mail delivery. Maybe we should tip her more.

So the day after Tom went down with an ice pick and a shovel and chiseled away at the mound, we burgeoned with excitement. We hauled up forty festive pounds of holiday catalogs and Christmas cards from hair salons the old owners of this house frequented on or before 2001 when they moved to Florida.

But amidst the immediately recyclable, the 2008 Randolph Guide to Garbage glittered before my wondering eyes. I was more excited about getting it than I'd have been about an
official Red Ryder carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle. Every year I read it cover to cover.

Did you know that even during Spring Clean-Up Big Trash Week, you cannot throw out a boat?

That ship has sailed, my friend. The sanitation engineers will simply not pick it up. If you don't believe me, you can read about it for yourself. First paragraph, top of page two. Right before the note about asbestos.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Warming of Suzanne's House

Overwhelmingly the guests were fuzzy. Glittery and fuzzy. I had a hard time keeping my hands to myself. It was calling my name, all the velvet and fur and fluffy silky feathers. I fit right in since I decked my alltogether in Grammy R's cashmere sweater and the black mink coat she wore to the Waldorf Astoria in the winter of 1935.

Tom, me and our fellow partygoers swanned about Suzanne's lovely crib. Mid-evening, there was a well-attended tour that included a looksee at Margaux's tricked out playroom and Preston's man-room.

Michael K was looking buff as a gold button. After the recent ice storm, he shoveled his entire driveway so the cleaning ladies could park their mini-van. Except when the girls arrived, they decided to do a Uturn in front of the neighbor's house and they slid the entire way down the neighbor's driveway. So Michael had to go shovel their driveway too. Lynn went all limp and dreamy-eyed over Michael's strength and stamina.

Melissa rocked a pearl necklace, magical cleavage and a flirty plaid skirt. Visions of turkey chili danced in her head. And double-stuffed yams. And spinach au gratin. There was talk about elves in yarmulkes prancing around lighting Christmas menorahs.

Jen looked goregous as usual and so did Kerry. Kerry would have gotten lost on the way over but luckily Choo rigged himeself out with dayglo orange gloves featuring a compass and flashing red lights. Upon questioning, we learned that the gloves were not superhero gloves. You can get them anywhere.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Entire Can of Cranberry Sauce

Yesterday for dinner I had a can of cranberry sauce.

It wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done.

But canned goods are extremely convenient. In my experience.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Back in the Bookwriting Saddle

I started to write a book for tween-age girls in 2002 and the last page only got locked down so recently I remember doing it. Scott hooked me up and submitted my two hundred pages of writification to Leonardo Dicaprio's agent's company. I got a "recommended with reservations" checkmark right before I got tossed in the slushpile.

For months, I've been sitting on the agent's coverage comments like a sand bag sits on the sofa.

Until now. Now I am inspired. I'm gonna bundle this thing together with coverage comment spackle. Here we go!


Meeting Maldova brings up several universal themes that will surely help young audiences connect with the story. There is good use of the self awareness that everybody goes through when trying to make friends and fit in at a new school. Danielle second guesses every decision she makes because she wants people to think she is cool until she is comfortable with her new group and gains confidence. Maldova provides some great comedic relief with her brash self confidence & lack of manners. She is a good contrast to Danielle and they have a lot to learn from each other.

The plot of the story doesn’t flow smoothly. There are jumps from the story being a coming of age tale about a girl and this fantasy world, but then suddenly she is investigating her classmates for cheating and trying to stop them from getting a buried treasure. The story veers in several directions that give it multiple focuses.

All in all, there is a strong character base and with a little reworking of the plot a great teen fantasy franchise could be built.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Home for the Holidays : A Sensitive Exploration into the Inner Lives of Meanie Ass Grandparents

The story goes that when Omas* and his wife and kids flew the whole way to England for a visit with the British in-laws, it was a busy time of year for the old birds. Banging around inside their big house in the shire. Yet despite busy schedules, grandpa took the trouble to set up a tent in the backyard for his daughter and her family.

But this is the part I like the best. About the mini-fridge. Set up so the Omas family wouldn't get their food mixed up with grandma and grandpa's.

Points for handy camping know-how. Never underestimate a red-coat, I guess.

*Name changed because otherwise my mom would get pissed off.

Tom's Inquisitive Mind Wants to Know

I wonder what happens when you plug two devices into your computer at the same time.

I'm bold like that.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Finally Unboxing Fabulous After Two Years In the Closet

Gloriousness overfloweth when you finally construct an outfit to wear with those kickin' orange fringy clogs.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Night in the Library Fort

What does Tom say when you tell him you went to the library with Lara to drink beer?
Why the hell did you go to the library?

It seemed like a good idea at the time, what can I say.

After scouting all available library locations, we opted to hole up in the back of the periodicals section because there are no serious readers in the periodicals section. We clustered the chairs into a fort and stared menacingly at any of the faker bookworms who ventured into the vicinity.

What do you call it when you crack your beer in advance of the cough that is supposed to cover up the noise because you happen to be in the library and it is very quiet and you are not supposed to be drinking beer?
A premature ejaculation.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Rutgers University Big Chill 5k 2007 : Running with Randy Stine

We got up at the crack of seven AM. Practically. And we were out the door as soon our to-go cups sloshed with coffee. Randy Stine* and I.

Tom was going to sit this one out. He was hellbent to maintain his record-breaking streak. In every race so far, for all time, he's run a personal best. The kid just keeps getting faster and faster. So my brother's plan for today bunched up his knickers.

Sethie recruited us to run on the RU Facilities Racing Team and the idea was to run together. Meaning I'm the lowest common denominator. And Tom wasn't about to blow his harefooted laurels on a stacey-speed trot in the park. So he broke out his incognito alter-ego, Randy Stine, to participate.

Randy has a predilection to sign up for competitors' mailing lists and engage in other nefarious activities that Tom doesn't want to have any part of. Including running nine minute miles.

So I embarked on the 3.2 mile adventure with Sethie and Randy, my two escorts. I don't know what Tom did all day. Meanwhile, Mary and her medal-winning Mom loaded up the Big Chill's littlest racers - Jack and Ella, into the double stroller. They pulled a Rosie Ruiz, otherwise known as Mexican Presidential Candidate and skipped the whole middle of the course. I think they're going to have to confess eventually.

SRating: Scenic course with good terrain, well organized event. Invigorating to dust college students half one's age. Plentiful, although not excessively encouraging, volunteers. Cheer for the runners, people!

*Randy Stine is not Tom's real alias. Name changed to protect the not particularly innocent.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Maybe Just a Tiny Bit OCD... But I Say Pop is a World-Class Duathlete

A "duathlete" is the new "biathlete," as my brother saw fit to point out in ALL CAPS. I'm assuming "biathlete" has come to refer to those sportsmen who play on both teams. Sethie is troubled by such goings on.

After I accused my nutchie brother of being a smartypants entomologist, my pop helpfully noted that entomologists study insects. Etymologists are into words.

So carry on. Now that you know my fambo remorselessly endeavors to squash me under the bad vocabulary "reply all" bus.

Dad discusses his lifetime running and biking stats:

My 1st recorded running milage was 1976 with 332 miles.

My 1st recorded biking milage was 1981 with 2005 miles.

My best running year was 1980 with a whopping 1880 miles. My top biking year was 1988- 6847 miles.

Every year between 1982 to 1987, I ran at least 1100 miles (except a 984 in 1985. Why did I stop just 16 miles short of 1000?) and biked 4100 miles including 1983 when I biked 4155 and ran 1618 miles and 1986 when I ran 1388 and biked 5355 miles.

This year I am over 4700 miles which would be my best recorded biking year since 1989 (4620 miles, of course i ran 868 miles that year also).

My lifetime miles: biked over 100K and ran over 30K- not shabby.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

JP Morgan Chase Incites Terror Amongst the Trees : An Investigative Report

In an act of environmental diligence having practically nothing to do with messy packrat tendencies, this fearless ink slinger assembled two months worth of Confidential Information. All mailed by JP Morgan Chase. To one household. An average law abiding household. With no relation to any Vanderbilts or Rockefellers or Hiltons.

This morning, I put on safety glasses and earplugs and a white lab coat. I fired up the shredder. After four hours of backbreaking labor, I meticulously collected all the shredded JP Morgan Chase Detritus into one extra large Hefty bag, and measured it to be 26" tall by 19" in diameter.

Because of my dedication to hard science, I enlisted a Certified Professional in Soil Erosion and Sediment Control. My brother calculated the volume of the JP Morgan Chase Detritus to be 4.2677 cubic feet or 7,374.7 cubic inches.

Since my stash of JP Morgan Chase Detritus represents only one-sixth of year, I used a formula in Microsoft Excel to extrapolate that this amounts to 25.6062 cubic feet of shredded paper annually.

Therefore, I could easily become one of those batshit crazy old ladies living in a house completely filled up with yellowing stained paper, except for one little trail to the bathroom. I'd just have to be a JP Morgan Chase client for like, two years. Thank you for the option, JP Morgan Chase.

You might be thinking: why don't you ask your JP Morgan Chase account executive financial planner to stop your snail mail? After all, it is 2007. Your reports are available online. Hello. What do you think we are, soft-spoken sissypants? Of course we told our account executive financial planner to cut it with the metric assload of envelopes. The door of our mailbox fell off from the overstuffing. We told her that. Maybe five times.

Unfortunately, she says she can't. Corporate policy. Something to do with the kind of account we have. Seems that unfortunately we own one of those dreaded Accounting for the Deforestation of America JP Morgan Chase Accounts.

Jamie Dimon
, CEO of JP Morgan Chase must have it in for trees.

{{According to ConservaTree, 1 tree makes 16 reams of paper.}}