Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yellowstone: A Love Affair

Mammoth Hot Springs
This morning we left the Chalet at the crack of ten (much to all of the husbands' dismay).  We started our day at Mammoth Hot Springs where we instructed the children that failure to remain on the path might end in disfiguration or death.  We took a short hike where we heard, "Mommm, is it time to go back to the car yet?" in no less than six different languages. 
Next stop lunch.  Afterward, we headed to Canyon Visitor's Education Center where seven children became newly annointed Junior Rangers.  Georgie would like me to add that she needed to bribe her children to participate in the Junior Ranger Program by offering a trip to the gift store after Junior Ranger Activity Books were completed. 
Actual picture!
On the other end of the spectrum, we had Birdie and Rach's kids who frantically filled out their forms, quizzing us on the type of rock found in various areas of the park.  We loaded everyone back into the car and then pulled over two minutes later so all fourteen of us could hop out to snap pictures of a grazing bison.  

We hiked down to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  Breathtaking!  Even the littlest in our group couldn't deny its appeal as they leaned over the unguarded edge giving all the mothers heart failure.  Birdie asked an international visitor if they would take our picture but was told, "It is not necessary."  Fortunately, there was another mother there with her college age daughter who was happy to step up to the task.  "Enjoy these years, they're the best," she counseled us. 

Our group

Next up, a long drive and short hike to the Boiling River, a place where a hot spring mixes with ice cold river water.  We set a record for how many Sista' wives can flash the general parkgoing public while changing into swimwear outside of a minivan.  Child #1 set a record for how many random strangers she could stress out by diving headfirst into fast-moving rapids. 

Daily Statistics
The boiling river and my shadow
Buffalo:  One
Bathroom Breaks:  Six, at least!
Number of requests to poop immediately after we left bathroom:  One    
Failed attempts to start hiking songs:  Four 
Antelope:  A whole herd
Times Birdie's husband almost ran off the road:  Five  (but we forigve him because he makes a mean Gin and Tonic)
Same Sex Crushes on Park Rangers: Two.  Those Park Rangers are so darn cute and happy to answer questions.

Best kid moments according to them "The hot springs (a general consensus here), the waterfall, it was spectacular more than I imagined, I dunno, and listening to Child #1 tell stories about 'The Horrid Life'.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Great American RoadTrip: Day 3

Last night I stayed up late watching the lightning storm.  While my husband snored, I propped my elbows on the windowsill and watched flashes slice through the sky and light up the town.  I kept expecting to see something in those brief periods of light, maybe a bear or someone running down the street like in a horror movie but no such luck. 

Speaking of horror movies, the general consensus was our historic lodging was more The Shining and less Charming Country Inn than we would have expected. 

After three days on the road, we've noticed an interesting phenomonen.   Our driving times are getting shorter but they feel longer.  We've also noticed some conceptual dissonance about Yellowstone expressed by the following question.

"Mom, do you think they'll ever take Yellowstone down and move it somewhere else?"

 The best part of the day awaited us just outside Gardener at the North Gate to the park.  The fourth element to our complicated adoring group of ten, which is now officially fourteen: the Minnesota Hardy's!  They were waiting for us in the driveway.  Even though the kids haven't seen each other for a year they fall into their old routines as though they'd only been apart for a week or two.

Rach, Georgie, Birdie and me go into full Sista' wife mode and whip up dinner for fourteen.  Rach suggests we take the Sista' wife thing one step further and have all the ladies share the master bedroom.  The husbands think we're kidding, but we're not.  All of us are fully capable of pulling an all night slumber party gab fest.  Sadly, for the husbands, we are not down with the idea of a girl-on-girl pillow fight in skimpy pajamas.

The house, which I will hereafter refer to as the Chalet, is ridiculous.  It has everything we could want, from Citronella candles to a full slew of dress-up dresses and boxes of legos.  As the kids eat their strawberry shortcake I ask them for a full sentence describing their favorite moment of the day.  Here they are in all their glory.
"I went to Mammoth Hot Springs."

"I liked getting here."

"We set up a fashion boutique in our house."

"I liked the store."

"Having strawberry shortcake right now."

"Tonight, because we're probably going to watch a movie."

"Playing with my friends."

Re-reading the above sentences, I realize it's all about the little moments.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Great American RoadTrip: Day 2

Toes on Idaho
We’re up and we’re tired.  Rach dropped her cell phone in the toilet and Georgie needs her latte.  The grown-ups may be dragging but the kids are jubilant.  They make plans for play dates in each other’s hotel rooms while we pack everything back into the cars.

States are bigger in the West.  We have wide open expanses of land that make crossing a state line feel like a milestone.  I get a thrill when we pass into Idaho.  There’s a garlic crop growing nearby and for a few minutes the car is filled with the scent.  We pass towns with names like Jerome, Rupert and Burley

Pillow Pet Polka
The kids play in the backseat with their pillow pets.  Child #1 admonishes hers, “Do not take that tone of voice with me.”  Georgie’s daughter tells her pillow pet that she must watch one learning show that’s “good for her brain” before she can watch anything else. 
We arrive in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.  Our hotel is historic which means it doesn't have air conditioning.  The good news is it has wireless.  A large stuffed bison head hangs in the entryway next to an equally large stuffed moose head.  We head out to the deck to celebrate with cold beverages but are quickly shooed back inside due to an expected rainstorm that never occurs.  The boys take their drinks and go soak in the hot springs while the girls race each other outside by the river.  
Lava Hot Springs is the kind of town where you can tell the desk clerk where you are going and she will get the message to your husbands, who have disappeared at the exact moment everyone starts shrieking with hunger pains.  We distract the kids by allowing them to raid the restaurant's vending machines until their pizza arrives.  They amass an enormous quantity of pencil toppers which ends in tears and screaming (in case you don't have children, plastic toys and hungry, sleep deprived children always end in tears and screaming).  We do one more quick soak in the hot spring and then convince the kids that EVERYONE would benefit from more sleep.

The Snake River

Tomorrow is Yellowstone!!!  The vistas are going to get even more beautiful than this one and we can't wait.
Daily Statistics
Miles Covered: 280
Fields of unidentifiable crops: Too many to count
Items lost:  One cheerleading jacket, one DS game cartridge and one lucky rabbit's foot
Lightning strikes seen from afar: Six
Small town girls working in fast food restaurants flustered by our (overwhelming?) presence: four
Number of poolside vomiting incidents: One
Population of Lava Hot Springs: Five Hundred Twenty-One
Slices of pizza left over after dinner: Zero

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Great American RoadTrip: Day 1

It’s ten o’clock and we’re off, fueled by Egg McMuffins and Starbucks.  We have a girl’s car and a boy’s car.  Georgie’s husband has a stack of magazines that he’s trying to hide as he gets into the boy’s car.
“Porn?” I ask.
“Motorcycle magazines,” he says, which we both agree is kind of like porn for men over forty.
In the girl’s car we sing, eat Bugles, gossip and most shockingly (since we all admit to being frivolous) is talk about politics in the form of Portland’s new garbage policy.  The consensus, we hate the garbage policy but love Bugles.
Lunch is at Roosters in Pendleton.  We couldn’t have invented a more perfect place if we tried.  It’s big with a playhouse inside for the kids.  Every meal comes with dessert.  The marionberry cobbler is crazy good.
We see amazing things on the road.  There’s a truck full of onions with the onion skins peeling off and blowing in the wind.  And then another truck full of carrots.  At first we think they’re fingers, then French fries.  In the girl’s car everyone is enamored by a forest full of trees planted in straight lines.  It takes us a while, but we decide they’re planted for a paper crop.
We pull in to Ontario and promise the kid’s a late night swim after dinner.  The pool is indoors but opens out onto the patio in the summer.  We drink Select 55 and sample bites of candy bars bought from the local store while the kids splash and run/walk between pool and hot tub.  “They’re going to remember this for the rest of their lives,” I say.  Everyone agrees.    
Miles covered: 400
Fights averted: shockingly only one
Strange items packed:  A box of rocks by Child #2
Rest stops visited: two
Lessons learned:  When the gas light goes on don’t ignore it.  The boys got lucky and managed to coast to a gas station. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Great American RoadTrip

Tomorrow we leave for Yellowstone. 

And if that's not exciting enough, we are caravaning to one of our countries great treasures with two other families.  And if that's not exciting enough, another family in Minnesota is currently packing up to meet us.

Four families, seven kids and ten days.

It's entirely possible that cars will break down.  I would bet good money that kids will break down.  We may see bears or wolves.  Hopefully no one will be attacked.  We've rented a big house together (very Big Love except with more than one husband).  The children have all been warned if they're naughty I will blog about them.  And I will.  It's punishment on a grander scale than usual, general effectiveness remains to be seen. 

It's going to be exciting.  I'm crossing my fingers it will be perfect in that warm, summer childhood memory kind of way. 

The best part is you are all coming along for the ride, in a bloggy kind of way...depending on my access to wireless.  Stay tuned.  The Great American RoadTrip starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Off List

Maybe you don't use the term "Off List" at your house.  Maybe you do.  I have to confess I stole it from my friend Birdie, who is an endless font of the best phrases ever. 

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me explain.  Off List is the phenomonen that occurs when I call my husband and say, "Would you mind picking up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on the way home from work."  He says, "No problem," and when he comes home he has the requested gallon of milk, loaf of bread and perhaps a $600 tent.  

The tent was clearly Off List. 

Items don't need to be expensive to be categorized as Off List.  Exhibit # 1 in the Off List files at my house is the rows of canned beets in my pantry.  I still haven't figured out why my husband thinks canned beets are essential, but the beets don't lie.  Again and again, they have called to him from the canned goods aisle and he has been unable to resist.  Maybe I should throw him a bone and whip up some borcsht.

When I was growing up my father used to go Off List with such frequency and strange results that my mother banned him from the grocery store.  Tins of smoked oysters and canned okra occupied the same spot in her pantry as beets do in mine.

Some would argue that the need for a list is outdated, old-fashioned.  But I would argue that the list is designed precisely to prevent the purchase of things like Costco sized boxes of chocolate filled liquor bottles, oddly colored beach towels purchased at a deep discount, monster sized jars of Pepperoncinis or canned beets!

Please honey, no more going Off List and no more beets!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Earth to Johanna: Being a Mom is Hard Work

I totally give lip service to the concept that staying at home with the kids is hard work.  But some days, when I'm sitting by the pool with three mommy friends drinking our Bud Lights while the kids hoot and holler and do whatever kids do, well on those days, I have to admit I feel like I might be pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.

Honestly, how is this hard work?

Yes, there's the laundry, carpooling, shopping and homework that has to be managed.  Still, it's not like they're babies.  I'm not changing diapers or making sure no one tumbles down the stairs.  My kids are seven and nine.  If they were dogs they'd be well into middle age.  As it is, they're pretty darn self-sufficient. 

It wasn't until the kids went to Camp Grandma and Grandpa last week that I had the sudden realization, much like Virginia about Santa Claus, that, Yes Johanna, being a stay at home mom is hard work.

On the first day the kids were gone I worked on Losing Hope until I hit my 2K word goal.  Then I had a two hour conference call about something exciting that might or might not be happening with Losing Beauty.  A friend called.  Could I meet her at Starbucks.  I could, because it was still only 1:00.  Seriously?   I had to look at my watch a couple of times because that didn't seem quite right.  Normally, it would be much later.

Afterwards, I went home and did the social networking stuff.  And there was still time for yoga.  When my husband came home he found me editing the work I'd started that morning.  Yes, it's so unbelievable it needs to be written again.  I was editing work I'd started that morning!  We had dinner and I called my mom and talked to the kids.

"It's funny," I told her after she'd wrested control of the phone from Child #2.  "I worked all day long and got so much done and I'm not even tired."

She laughed.  "We've been busy, busy, busy here," she said.  "But I can't say we've gotten anything done."

That's when it hit me.  All that stuff I do with my kids, the packing for the pool, the homework, the cooking of breakfast, lunch and dinner, the laundry, the reminding to use nice manners, the pep talks, the snuggles, the listening to them talk, the refereeing of arguments, the making sure they take their vitamins, the worrying about [honestly, just pick something and fill in the blank because I worry about it all].  All of that is hard work.  It's the reason why, most nights by 10:30, I can barely keep my eyes open.

So today I'm reaffirming something for myself (and anyone else who might have been doubting the genuine value of what they do).  Staying at home is a job.  It's hard work, even if sometimes you lose track of why or *gasp* have fun.    Don't underestimate the energy it takes to stay home.  And don't get down on yourself if you don't finish everything on your to-do list.  There will always be tomorrow, or the next day, or maybe the day after you pack everyone up and send them off to college.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blog on Fire Awards Ceremony

I am the worst about doing blogger tag or meme's.  It's kind of surprising because I'm typically pretty OCD about this kind of thing but there you have it.  Me.  The Worst. 

Even so, when Hart, Queen of the Bloggers and Naked Fun awarded me the Blog on Fire award and tagged me, I knew I had two choices.  Ignore it or do it.  Yes, the stakes were high.  But because I adore Hart and love getting an award of any kind, I decided to take a plunge and do my first blogger tag or meme or whatever you call it.  I've tagged a bunch of people below so you can keep the chain going, or not.  But it might be kinda fun if you did.

1)  Are you a rutabaga? No, nor am I kohlrabi or a cardoon.

2) Who is your current crush? The man that stole my heart during the 1993 inauguration still grabs my attention every time I see him (on television, that is).  Yes, it's former President Bill Clinton.  There's something about that combo of power, charisma and self-destructiveness that makes me swoon.  Don't judge!  We all have our crushes and Bill and I have a certain connection.  Seriously!  I have it on good authority (aka, every neighbor that's lived on my street for 50 plus years) that Monica Lewinsky used to babysit for the previous owners of my house.  Now that I think about it, maybe it's my house that has kept the fires burning all these years.  Almost like it's a house possessed by the not yet dead, (undead?) spirit of the former President Clinton-which is a movie I would really like to see! 

3)  Upload a heartwarming picture that makes you smile. 

Oh, I misread that.  I thought it was supposed to be heartstopping!  Oh well, but the knowledge that I don't have to pay for this gal's dental care totally makes me smile.

4) When was the last time you ate a vine-ripened tomato?  Lunch, from my backyard.

5) Name one habit that causes other people to plot your demise.  Isn't this the kind of question that would be better answered by my children?  Okay, if I had to choose one of many it would be my propensity to lose, things like my keys, and then promptly lose my shit only to find things, like my keys, in obvious places, like my purse.

6) What is the weirdest, most-digusting job you've ever had to do?  Cleaning up other people's vomit in the middle of the night.  And, to add insult to injury, it was unpaid labor.   

7) Where da muffin top at?  All this question makes me want to do is write some dorky Weird Al Yankovich type rap song about muffin tops.  I think I should move on quickly before I inflict this on anyone.

8)What author introduced you to your genre?  I don't believe in genre's.  I just believe in good stories so the answer to this question might go all the way back to A.A. Milne.

9)  Describe yourself using obscure Latin words.  The first phrase that came to mind is veni vedi veci, and seeing's how I don't have that much in common with Caesar I think I'll stick with juris scribus and hope I'm not saying something ridiculous and inappropriate, as has been known to happen, when I start speaking foreign languages.

Wow, that was quick and fun. 

Here are my favorite blogger tag picks who all happen to be authors with Fantasy Island Book Publishing ("FIBP").  FIBP is my uber-cool indie publisher.  If you're interested in any of the authors or the submissions guidelines you can check out the FIBP website here.

Allison Deluca:
Dean Lappi :
Danielle Raver:
Gary Hoover:
Connie Johnson-Jasperson:

Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Are You Superstitious?

Superstition is a funny thing.  I was never superstitious as a kid, but lately I find myself knocking on wood and avoiding black cats and ladders (even though I'm convinced not walking under ladders is just good common sense). 

My latest superstition has to do with blogging.  I know!  How shocking that a writer would be superstitious about something connected to writing.  I'm a bit nervous that talking about my newest craziness is going to somehow anger the gods of superstition but my curiosity to hear about other people's writerphobias outweighs my nervousness so I've decided to chance it. 

Somehow, in my journey through blogotopia, I've decided the amount of followers on my blog is directly linked to the amount of blog posts I've posted. 

23 posts = 24 followers

50 posts = 50 followers

72 posts = 71 followers

The correlation has been shockingly consistent right from the get go.  What scares me is whether it works the other way around.  Will I lose a follower for every day I don't post?  Does it count if I write the post and then don't post it?  What about when I guest post on someone else's blog?  There are way too many loopholes and, I might add, it's particularly painful to be a superstitious lawyer. 

A few weeks ago I was ready to give up on the whole idea because my posts were slowly outnumbering my followers....then all of a sudden I had a whole bouquet of new followers (each and every one of you made me smile) until I was back up to the same ratio.  You all understand that the beauty of this is if I post every single day for the next two years I could have 730 new followers!

Hmm, maybe I'll just be content with the ones I have and *try* to stop being so superstitious. 

I've shared mine, now it's time to share yours.  And not just because you'll make me feel better for being so mezzo matto! 

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm writing this on Friday even though it's posting today, Monday.  That's because I have big plans for Monday and they don't involve blog posts. 

I'm going to write.

Every summer about halfway through August I am overcome with the creeping sensation that whatever writing ability I thought I possessed was no more than an illusion, a figment of my imagination.  This feeling has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with day-to-day life.  By the time August rolls around I'm deeply enmeshed in the routine of summer.  We bike, we swim, we stay up late and watch So You Think You Can Dance.  It's lots of fun, but it doesn't leave any time for writing. 

Writing is not like riding a bike.  If I had to compare it to a sport, I'd say it's more like yoga.  It's a practice.  The more you write or do yoga, the more adept you become.  The minute you stop going to class or put aside your computer, all those muscles you've worked so hard to make supple quickly seize up and return to their former state. 

We practice yoga. 

We practice writing. 

I wrote two books and a gazillion short stories before I wrote Losing Beauty--all practice.

Anyway, today the house is quiet, the kids are at Camp Grandma and Grandpa so I'm parking myself back on my literary yoga mat.  Here's hoping that my brain and writing fingers will snap back into shape quickly.   

See you tomorrow because today I #amwriting.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why I Like Google+

When I first saw the announcements about Google+, I admit it, I groaned.  Here was another thing for my social media to-do list.  Most writers have a work schedule that goes a little something like this:

1. write
2. tweet
3. write blog post
4. tweet, tweet, tweet
5. respond to emails, respond to Facebook messages and groups
6. review other blog posts and tweet or Facebook about those

You get the picture.  Most of what we do isn't exactly writing.  In fact, I can finish the writing piece of my day in about three hours and then spend the next four or five hours catching up on social media (now you see why Google+ gave me the groans).

Except, I've been pleasantly surprised. 

Google+ is rapidly becoming my favorite on-line community.  Here are the reasons I like it.

1.  Circles:  I love being able to highlight as many people as I want and then drag and drop them into a circle.  It's an easy way to separate my close friends, family, people I know from the kid's school, book club, and the much larger public that I know professionally.  The G+ circles address my least favorite thing about Facebook and Twitter.  It gives me a quick way to control who sees what information.

2.  Community:  The G+ community is active and full of real people.  Active, unlike Facebook, where some of my closest friends go for months without checking in.  Full of real people, unlike Twitter, which seems to increasingly resemble my junk email account.  

3.  Balance:  The folks at Google figured out a way to strike the right balance between the see-all, tell-all sometimes overly invasive world of Facebook and the limited sphere of Twitter.  In some ways G+ mirrors a giant cocktail party where you can mingle with people, enter into a conversation but they don't have instant access to the pics of you on the beach in a bikini that your friend (hypothetically) posted on her Facebook wall.

Those are my top three reasons at the moment.  I'm sure you all will have more.  Oh, and one last thing, I have a bunch of invitations to send out so if I've managed to sell you on Google+, let me know and an invite will be headed your way! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wackiness Ensues at Unedited

When Jen Daiker, of Unedited, offered me the chance to do an author interview I jumped.  Okay, before you point out that fledgling authors ALWAYS jump at chances to publicize their books, let me just add that an interview with Jen is more than a chance to remind people about Losing Beauty

That's my book cover again!
The reason that I jumped so quickly with my hand up in the air shouting, "Me, me, pick me," is because I've read Jen's other interviews and knew I would get to be a little silly and have a good time.  In case you haven't yet figured it out yet, being silly and having a good time rank high on my list of favorite things.  If you have three minutes stop by and be silly with me today at Unedited.

And since today is already about the my book this is as good a time as any to let you know Losing Beauty is almost out in print and should be available by September.  Thanks so much to everyone who keeps asking me when, When, WHEN will the print version be out. 

For those of you who are just happening by and own any kind of ereader you can purchase the eversion of Losing Beauty for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  Seriously!  What's more, I promise it has fewer calories and will last much longer than a Caramel Macchiato.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why is Camp Giving my Daughter Body Issues?

Last week my nine year old daughter returned from sleepaway camp.  She was dirty, mosquito bitten and singing adorable songs about llamas and butterflies.  She talked nonstop all the way home about her new pen pal who lives in Lake Oswego (which was uttered in the same way you might say darkest Peru, except it's only about twenty minutes from our house). 

As we unpacked her suitcase I noticed everything was wet and asked the obvious question.

"Oh," she said and suddenly she looked crestfallen.  "The swimsuit you sent wasn't..." and here she faltered for words. 

Child #1 in the objectionable suit.
 "Wasn't what?"

"It was inappropriate," she said. 

"They told you that?" I asked.

"No," she shook her head and then drew a v-shaped line down her chest.  "They said it was too small."

My daughter was trying to communicate something she still doesn't have the vocabulary to explain.  "Skimpy?" I suggested.  She shook her head.  "Low-cut?" I asked.  Bingo, those were the words used at camp.

"They told me to wear a t-shirt over it," she added.  "And the t-shirts got mixed in with my other dirty clothes so that's why everything's wet.  Maybe I shouldn't wear two-pieces any more."

I quickly reassured my flat-chested, fifty-two pound child that her swimsuit was, in no way, inappropriate and went to re-read the camp's packing guidelines.  The packing list said 'pack a swimsuit', end of story.

The more I thought about this incident, the more annoyed I became.  Now, I think it's important to go on record and say I understand the camp may be trying to encourage less revealing swimwear in order to make all girls, pre-pubescent and post, feel more comfortable. 

Except that's not what happened. 

What happened is my daughter was given the message that it's unacceptable to show her body.  Take that to the next step, which most girls are fully capable of doing, and you have the message that 'my body is unacceptable.' 

This is particularly frustrating when I've spent years attempting to instill self-confidence in my daughter.  The saddest part of this is I undestand many of the messages my daughter receives from society actively chip away at her self-confidence.  I don't want my daughter to spend her adolescence feeling inferior, fat, skinny, ugly or just plain unacceptable.  At the very least, you'd think camp would partner with me in this important message. 

And, one final note, a little FYI to camp if you will, wet t-shirts are more synonomous with Girls Gone Wild than they are with modest beach attire.  C'mon camp!  I'm convinced your heart was in the right place.  All you need to do is communicate clearly via your packing list and you could save everyone a lot of angst.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What Makes People Laugh?

The other night someone shared a website on Google+ that had me laughing until tears ran down my face.  Seriously, tears and gasping for breath!  The website, in case you're in the mood for a good belly laugh, is 

After twenty minutes of laughing hysterically at fathers texting things to their children like "pick up a turkey breast" and make sure the "butcher has boner" (aka de-boned) I started to wonder why almost every single autocorrect mistake left me giggling. 

The next morning it hit me.  Autocorrect bloopers are funny because they're genuine.  Two people enter into a conversation with a general understanding of what will be said.  All of a sudden. one of those people goes astray, and in the case of autocorrect, it's far, far astray.  The response and befuddlement of the other party to the conversation is genuine, and thus, genuinely amusing.

It's a good lesson to remember from a writer's perspective.  We hear it all the time in a variety of different guises.  Write what you know, is the way it's usually phrased.  I think a better way to say it, is be genuine (or in the words of Seventeen Magazine to every female American teenager, 'just be yourself').  People know when you're faking it and react accordingly.  Stay true to yourself and the good writing, be it comedy, horror, romance or anything in between, will follow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bad Blogger

Blogger eats comments.  I know this because sometimes comments appear in my inbox and then mysteriously disappear.  Or sometimes they appear in my inbox, disappear and then reappear days later.  I also know this because my mother swears up and down that she comments on my blog ALL THE TIME and yet, I have not once received a comment from her.  (It's okay mom, I believe you, really I do!)

Last week I had a case of a Blogger devoured comment that piqued my curiosity.  Un grand 'Bonjour' to my German friend who reads English but writes in French.  I was immediately by this comment because it was in French.  I lived in France for a while, so my first reaction was it might be from someone I know.  But, after reading the comment I realized it was from someone in Germany who commented in French because (I'm assuming) their French is better than their English.

This one little comment turned me (for the space of about fifteen minutes) into an internet Nancy Drew trying to piece together the clues.  How did my mystery commenter know I would be able to read the comment?  After all, reading in a foreign language is not an assumption people typically make about Americans.  I did a quick search on my blog to see if I'd ever mentioned any affiliation with the nation of pain au chocolate et grosses bisoux, mais, non, there was nothing!  Who is this person?  I sent an email to several friends who live ridiculously glamorous lives in Paris and none of them had any idea either.

So whoever you are the following statement (full of misspellings and poor grammar) is for you!  "Merci pour votre comment!  Je suis tellement hereuse que mon blog vous plait.  J'espere bien que vous pourrait visiter encore et peut-etre le prochaine fois, le blogger ne mangera pas votre mots!  Et merci aussi, de votre ami qui recommender mon blog!"   

Okay Blogger, one last thing, please try to behave.  And for heaven's sake, stop eating the comments that nice people leave here or, so help me, I will make you answer to my mother!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Cool Kids

The other day I was headed out to see one of the sista' wives.  On the way over I called to tell her I was swinging by Starbucks.  Did she want anything?  She asked if I would pick her up a non-fat latte.  I walked into Starbucks (or as my husband refers to it 'The Evil Empire') and placed my order and hers and for a moment, I got to feel like one of the super cool coffee drinking kids!

Here's the thing.  I can't drink coffee.  Not because I haven't tried.  Lord knows I've made an effort and the results are frightening.  Coffee kicks my normal slightly-frenzied energy level up to a heart-pounding, sweaty, wide-eyed, cocaine addict on a bender level.  Seriously, every time I have coffee people think I'm ill or crazy or both. 

When I worked at my law firm I would ocassionally have a cup of coffee to get me through an all-nighter.  Then I'd spend the rest of the evening explaining to my colleagues (almost all men) in a run-on sentence that "No, I was just fine and the fact that I wanted to review documents while running up and down the stairs in high heels was just because I had a little extra energy to burn off and while we were at it, did they need help with anything because I didn't think these last two 500 page documents were going to take me very long.'  I also had to explain the word OB-GYN should NEVER be pronounced as though you've sounded it out but that's really a whole separate blog post.  

So back to me and my coffee envy.  Coffee is cool.  There are coffee houses and coffee shops and coffee dates.  Tea, my beverage of choice, isn't quite as edgy.  Now you know exactly how uncool I am, since I just described coffee as edgy.  My mother and the Queen of England drink tea.  It's what I give my kids when they have tummy aches.  And, I'm guessing it's what I'll be drinking for the foreseeable future.  If you need me I'll be in the one in the corner drinking my non-fat chai tea, teabag misto with two pumps of sugar-free vanilla.  But if you want me to stop and pick you up a latte, I'm totally your girl!