Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wax on, Wax Off

I started getting my upper lip waxed a few years ago. According to my husband and kids I don't even have a "mustache," but every 6 weeks or so, I'll look in the mirror and in my mind, see a female Magnum PI-sized 'stache' starting back at me. While slightly painful, an upper lip wax is over quickly, and when done, I always feel more like a lady and less like a member of ZZ Top.

Knowing that I'd become comfortable in handling the "upper lip wax" like a trooper, last night I came up with the brilliant idea to give myself a bikini wax. I've always been a shaver but growing up in the 70's and 80's there was never an emphasis on grooming "down there". Back then, everything was a la natural. When bathing suit season came around you might carefully shave your bikini line, but for the most part it was just "tuck and go." With the arrival of the nineties I began to hear about brow, bikini and Brazilian waxes (I blame Sex and The City) but continued to keep it old school until I finally caved in late in the decade and put my Intuition Lady Shaver to some good use. The razor does the trick, but of course as most women know, you have to shave every day if you want to avoid looking like you have a Chia Pet in your pants. 

I headed down to CVS Pharmacy and got the deluxe Sally Hansen waxing kit, complete with wax, wooden wax applicators, hand held mirror, trimming scissors and a pair of paper-like underwear (which I  think you are supposed to wear to avoid getting wax in your urethra?) This particular kit had wax that you applied directly to your bikini area, let dry and then ripped the wax right off. Sounds easy enough. Any moron could accomplish this, right?

First of all the wax, when heated was not unlike a combination of Sue Bee Honey and Rubber Cement. These are two things I try to avoid when it comes to my privates. As instructed, I applied the hot wax (rubber cement) to the stubble along my bikini line in a 2-inch strip. 45 seconds later I ripped that wax off faster than a kid unwrapping a present on Christmas morning. Painful? Yes, a bit. But the worst part of it was that for every 3 hairs that were ripped from my sensitive lady-flesh, 7 hairs remained. Also in my deepest crevices remained some wax, stuck to my skin like white on rice. Never one to give in (actually I am always the first to give in) I tried the same area again, with the same results, along with some bleeding and a rash in the shape of Lake Michigan. This continued on for the next 25 minutes and unfortunately the results were futile. When I finally gave up, I looked like I had gotten into a cat fight with a blender. Chunks of wax lingered where no man has gone before. It was a horrendous hot mess. The wax that did "grab the hair" I had cast aside where it had formed into a freakish sculpture that looked a bit like a deformed mini black Care Bear after chemotherapy. 

Worse, at the age of 38, my back  was starting to get sore and neck was starting to crick from the odd pretzel-like position I had been sitting in. Nothing about this was simple, clean or lady like. In fact, as I threw away my pubic hair chemo-bear sculpture, along with the remaining half jar of wax and accouterments, I caught a glimpse of my pink Intuition razor with aloe strip and ergonomic handle and smiled at it as though it was an old friend. Tomorrow I go back to kicking it old school and that's the way I like it.

Email of the Day: Those Damned Jenny Craig Commercials

To: Val@doingthelaundry.com
From: Parker@Don'tEmailMeAtWork.com
Re: Jenny Craig/My fat ass

I just caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window and if I saw Valerie Bertinelli on top of a hilltop right now I would run up to her and say, "Hey Valerie, I'm a size Fat Ass!" and she would turn to me and say, "I'm a size thinner than you and I have Eddie's money."

Oh the humanity.

To: Parker@Don'tEmailMeAtWork.com
From: Val@doinglaundry.com
Re: Jenny Craig/Our Fat Assess

I totally know how you feel. If I saw Queen Latifah right about now I would say, "Hey Queen, can I borrow your biker shorts? Mine are three sizes too small." and she'd say in her I'm-a-size-healthier-happy-voice, "Sure thang sistah."

Honestly, it's bad enough that Star Jones is now thinner than me, but so help me if Queen Latifah drops down to a size 2, I will get my jaw wired. 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Brush with Fame: The Day My Music Died

Back in the 1980's, David Letterman did a bit called "Brush with Fame" where he would poll the audience members for interesting stories about their encounters with famous people. As a youngster, I was always fascinated by the studio audience's tales of mingling with celebrity and could only pray for the day when I would run into Sissy Spacek at a 7-11 or find myself seated next to Ricky Schroeder on a flight to Albuquerque.

I live in Southern California, where it is quite common to have a celebrity sighting now and then. A few weeks ago, I found myself at a hotel bar where within a span of ten minutes, Shaq, Morgan Freeman and a cast member from 'Lost' all sauntered by my table. But as a youngster growing up in Tucson, Arizona, celebrity sightings were rare.

As a college student I worked at several hotels where I had the opportunity to come in contact with a quite few celebs. Nicolas Cage? Not impressed. Jerry Lewis? Annoying and a total attention whore. Donald Trump? As egotistical as you could imagine (although his wife at the time, Marla Maples was quite sweet). I once waited on the table of Academy Award winning director Taylor Hackford ("Officer and a Gentleman") who looked at me and said, "If you move to  New York, I'll put you in a film."  I blushed, acting modest and embarrassed, but secretly I thought I was some hot shit for the next few weeks. 

As a Reservations Manager for a 5-star hotel, I had the honor of reserving President Clinton's room for him under the alias name of "Joe Rock," and when Tom Cruise was making Jerry Maguire, I had to make sure his room was stocked with "Tom's Natural Toothpaste" and lactose free frozen yogurt (both not an easy find in Arizona back in 1996). I booked David Bowie into one of the nicest suites in the hotel and then managed to walk by his room at least 3,000 times over the next two days in order to get a glimpse of him (I never did). I also brushed by a very debonair John Kennedy Jr. once in the lobby and sat next to Led Zepplin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at the pool bar (they looked like rotting corpses drinking margaritas). I have stayed in a Presidential Suite above Sean Penn and his wife, and once stayed in a suite directly below Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards. Despite my hopes and dreams I did not overhear any verbal abuse or fist fights from either of their rooms. 

While embarrassing, I have to admit that I am always excited when I see someone famous. Content just to catch a glimpse, I have never (nor probably would ever) asked anyone for an autograph. And, despite all the times I've had a chance to see or mingle  with the famous, (see: Spago Story) I will always regret the day I missed the opportunity to meet my favorite band of the 80's.

It was a summer day circa 1987. Parker and I had attended the INXS concert the night before (our third INXS concert in as many years).  Having consumed one too many Bartles & James wine coolers the night before I found myself in a funk in my pajamas watching One Life to Live when she called me early that day (10 a.m. was early for me as a teen). Parker and one of her other Nu Wave friends were going to head down to the Doubletree and linger by the Tour Bus in hopes to get a glimpse of the band, and most importantly the sexy lead singer Michael Hutchence. "Did I want to come along?", Parker asked. I seriously debated it but after burping up some orange alcohol I decided I'd stay home in front of the soaps to see if Tad was the father of  Tina's baby. A decision I would live to regret. 

Four hours later I got a call from Parker. Not only had she met and conversed with the band, but Micheal Hutchence had given her the "once over" with his steamy Australian eyes.   From that moment I cursed the day I chose "One Life to Live" over meeting my favorite band. I pretended to be nonchalant, but jealousy raged inside of me as Parker re-enacted her conversation with Kirk Pengilly, the creepy saxophonist player. As I listened to her describe her amazing encounter with the band, a sad Howard Jones' song was playing on the radio in the background. I began to  envision my best friend Parker, marrying the lead singer and leaving me for the shores of Australia where she would become a Rock Star Wife/Fashion Designer while I dredged away my senior year in High School. Her and Rachel Hunter (wife of Rod Stewart) would surely become best friends and I would be long forgotten. Alas, Michael Hutchence and Parker did not marry - good thing considering he died 10 years later with a belt around his neck while masterbating (not a quality you want in a devoted husband). 

In 2007, 20 years after the INXS incident, I got a similar phone call from Parker when she had the opportunity to meet and mingle with Duran Duran. I was less jealous this time - but still felt a twinge of the green monster and put on a Howard Jones song for old times sake.


Friday, June 20, 2008

The Six Million Dollar Turtle

No, he's not bionic. He's Dribbles the $3.50 turtle that become a $400 (and counting) adorable nightmare.

When my daughter Ellie decided she wanted a turtle, I assumed it was a passing phase. Three weeks later after listening to her tireless whining, I gave in. We found a baby red-eared slider on the Internet at the bargain basement price of $3.50. How could I resist? Unfortunately they forget to mention the overnight shipping of $43.00 until you have already put the little guy in your online "shopping cart" and your child is over the rainbow with giddiness. Fine. If I'm being honest, the $50 was worth not hearing the word "turrrtttlllee" every three seconds. 

The next day he arrived, no bigger than a quarter and cute as can be - in a plastic container the size of a doily. Obviously this would not do. I headed over to the Pet Store thinking a $10 plastic container and some turtle bites would do the trick. Apparently I was wrong, as according to the Pet Store's "Red Eared Turtles for Dummies" book,  aquatic turtles need more square footage than Donald Trump's NY penthouse. The book suggested a minimum of a 30 gallon tank, with heater, lamp, filter, rocks, and a floating plateau where Dribbles (a.k.a. Puff Dribby) could "bask" comfortably in between swims. $298.00 later I was set and Dribbles had the home most turtles could only fantasize about.  

Dribbles life went swimmingly over the next several weeks. He enjoyed the boiled carrots we prepared for him with krill for dessert. He frolicked in the waters, climbed his Bonzai tree like a natural. All was well in Turtleville. Then without warning, he began refusing to eat. He slept all day just plopped on his log like roadkill. After a week of turtle-anorexia, I assumed that this was the beginning of the end for our little guy. But Ellie begged me to take him to a vet and like an idiot, once again, I finally gave in. Of course aquatic turtles can't see a regular vet - it has to be a specialist and we happened to find the one that used to work at Sea World, a virtual expert on all things reptilian and slimy.  $97 later the vet told me Dribbles isn't getting enough warmth from his Aquatic McMansion. A $40 clip on UV light and possibly a water heater would be needed stat. Vitamin A drops in his eyes and a calcium supplement were prescribed. Seriously, at this point I was ready to set him free in the nearest sewer drain  and hope he didn't mutate into a giant sized Fecal Frankenstein Turtle that would terrorize the streets of Orange County. Instead I paid my bill and took Dribbles back home to his rockin condo with new improved tanning lamp.

Today Dribbles seems to be feeling much better, but he still won't eat. After all the money I've invested, that little bugger better pull through. Of course I also heard that they can live up to 40 years, which honestly scares the bejeezus out of me, because if he lasts that long he truly will be the "six million dollar turtle."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"The Costa Rica Chica": Asses of Fire

Costa Rica was great and I highly recommend it to anyone especially in lieu of Mexico if you are one of those people who always vacation south of the border. There are tons of things to do in Costa Rica and while my favorite activity is sitting on my ass by the pool or ocean reading US with a Margarita or Bloody Mary, I decided to venture out into the great wilderness of Costa Rica.

My husband, niece, sister and I all headed out to Zip Line, or as I like to call it, 'Dry Enema in Mid Air followed by wedgie and terminal crick in the neck.' Flying through the rain forest like Peter Brady on Celebrity Circus was actually quite fun even for someone who doesn't like heights, however I have never sweated more in my life and apparently neither had our friendly tour guides whose body odor was a compilation of every stinky cab driver I have ever been exposed to in my life - combined. One guide in particular was very fond of me and wanted to adjust my 'gear' quite often. I just had to  hold my breath and grin and bear it. We later saw  some white-faced monkeys and toucans, however this adventure made me realize that I was for sure not cut out to be a contestant on Survivor. Luckily there were cold beers waiting for us at the end of the day.

The next day my sister wanted to go on another adventure an hour and a half away which I was not on board with since I get car sick and again who would watch over the pool and pool bartender in my absence? My 15-year old niece also vetoed the excursion as it would require her to get out of bed before 11:00 am. Instead, we all settled on horseback riding. We went to a nearby Eco camp and as we rode off I thought, "Shit it is hot," however we went to the top of a mountain and the breeze felt great and the view was incredible. I have only ridden a horse maybe two other times in my life and my husband kept calling me Annie Oakley. I am sure I looked like a complete jackass on this horse/donkey(?) in my Chanel sunglasses and Ed Hardy tee shirt.

Twenty minutes had passed and my ass was unbelievably sore. No one pointed out that I should occasionally stand up on the stirrups and not sit on the saddle like it was a Lay Z Boy recliner. My ass continued to throb as we went up a hill and my horse decided to channel Secretariat and took off like a bat out of hell over the mountain. Roars of laughter from my family ensued as I rode the horse sideways and jiggled from every part of my body. After 16 "Holy Shits" the horse finally slowed down.  We headed for the beach for the final stretch of my ass lobotomy thinking there is no way I am not bleeding out my ass. When I got off the horse I could barely walk and felt like I had been caned.

I knew the outdoors and I didn't mix well when we headed back in the van an my eyeball turned red and swelled shut a la Will Smith in the movie "Hitch". A red welt also appeared on my chin which itched like a face hemorrhoid. I rubbed the shit out of my eye, smearing mascara and eyeliner across my face. Luckily I brought allergy pills - which created a great buzz along with the ice cold beer waiting for me by the pool bar.

The Tramp Stamp Epidemic: Sad Lady Indeed

Although it is 3 years old, the Saturday Night Live Tattoo removal skit is perhaps one of the best SNL bits of all times. I live in Southern California where sadly, the lower back "Tramp Stamp" has become somewhat of an epidemic. Even in my Stepford-like, upscale neighborhood it is not uncommon to see a mother bend down to pick  up her toddler, revealing a hideous purple garland o' pansy's hovering above her thong, or  garbled Chinese lettering resting comfortably above her butt cheeks.

I too am a victim of the tattoo craze that swept through my college in the early nineties. At the time, thankfully the lower back was not yet an option for upper middle class sorority girls. No, the ankle tattoo was all the rage. At the age of 19, nothing said "classy" to me more than a tiny rose bud tattoo, placed delicately on my right ankle. Sure it would stay with me forever, but really what is more timeless than a rose bud? It would never go out of style and practically screamed, "You are a refined yet confident lady." My parents almost shit a brick when they eventually discovered my disfigured foot. Dad was certain I would never get a real job. After all, who would hire an inked up punk like me? My mother thought I'd most certainly start turning tricks any day now.

Regardless of my parents' concerns, I did manage to get gainful employment after college and despite a few drunken make out sessions with some oddballs, I never really did turn to a life as a prostitute. My tattoo will always be a symbol of the mistakes we make growing up. Cut to 19 years later and it is no longer a delicate rose, but rather what appears to be a faded chili-pepper with a stem, lurking amongst the wrinkles of my calloused cankle. "Sad lady" indeed!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This Day In History

Hard to believe, but it was 14 years ago today that the infamous OJ Bronco chase took place. I was newly married, childless and living in a small apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona. I sat enthralled during the entire chase, hypnotized by the onscreen action (or lack thereof). Would OJ shoot himself in the head? Would they crash into a Semi resulting in a bloody fireball? Would AJ Cowlings stop at a Burger King and order a Double Whopper with Cheese? Oh the possibilities. Sadly the car chase itself was mostly uneventful - but we were all sucked in by that white SUV cruising down the 405. 

Although it's embarrassing to admit, my addiction to celebrity drama goes way back to my childhood. I was only 13 when John Belushi died, yet I was obsessed with the details of his gritty death. When Princess Di passed, I was glued to CNN for days. During the Anna Nicole "baby-daddy" drama, my kids almost disowned me because of their sheer disgust with my nonstop entertainment television Anna-watch. When Anna dropped dead smack during the middle of the Daddy Dilemma, my curiosity reached critical mass. My house became Anna headquarters. Seriously, I could have been booked on Larry King chronicling the details of the last few months of her life for as much of an expert I had become.

If it were up to me E! True Hollywood Story and VH1 Behind the Music would run on a continuous loop on the "Scandal Channel". Sadly, this is not the case and even more sadly I need to get a life. Until the next car chase, drug overdose, wardrobe malfunction or illicit affair, which should be any day now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Junk in the Trunk. When Backhanded Compliments go Awry.

Last week I spent 4 hours in the Emergency Room with the mother of all migraine headaches. I don't remember a lot, aside from a screaming lady somewhere in the background who most certainly was having her legs sawed off.  I do however remember that the nurse - right before she gave me a shot of pain killers and anti-nausea meds - pulled down my Juicy sweat pants exposing my right buttock (I realize, not a pretty sight) and asked me if I had any "implants down there". Headache or no headache, this made me pause and take notice. First of all, considering that my ass is the consistency of Jello Gelatin after a hot day in the sun, the idea that an  implant lurked beneath my lumpy butt flesh was ludicrous to say the least. I know my ass is big. Even as a youngster my parents always lovingly made it a point to tell me that someday boys will love my "junk in the trunk." But Kim Kardashian I am not. Had I felt better I would have thanked the nurse and told her, "No, Nurse
2X4, my ass is naturally the size of a watermelon." Instead I took my shot, pulled up my trousers and fell into a deep heavenly sleep, knowing that as soon as I awoke from my drug induced daze my 'Junk' and I had an appointment with the treadmill.

Today, while working my at daughter's "end-of-the-year fifth grade picnic," as I chaperoned a brutal game of Tug-O-War I met another mom who told me I was the spitting image of one of the Kindergarten teachers, who was in her 20's. Flattered, I started to thank her, mentioning that I was quickly approaching 40, when she went on to say, "You could be the 40 year old version of her - or her older sister." Wait. What? Umm, how about you just quit while you are ahead, lady? And while we're at it, you're no spring chicken yourself. Honestly, I don't think she meant to offend (after all I am almost 40) but no one wants to hear you are an older version of anyone over the age of 12. 

I'm  no stranger to the backhanded compliment. I've had people ask me if I am a runner because my calves are so big. (Thanks a-hole! No running here but I do enjoy a Baby Ruth now and then which might account for calves the size of tree trunks!). I even had a co-worker scream across the office once (when I was bending down and quickly exposed a left hip)  "I didn't know you had stretch marks." Thannkkkkkkkksssssssss.

Because I have the self-image of a flat chested, stuttering teenager who has been locked in her room for 4 years, these barbs always hurt more than they should. Today however I choose to rise above it. First, by doing 4 miles on the treadmill and later by drinking heavily while eating a piece of lettuce.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

She Hulk and the Dropped Red Zinger Tea Bag.

I love both my children equally and unconditionally. However, I'm not sure how a set of parents could produce two children who look similar yet are such polar opposites. My son, Daniel is one of the most mellow, laid-back souls you'll ever meet. Picture a 12-year old Matthew McConaughey on Xanex and you get the picture. M-E-L-L-O-W. Honestly there is only one thing that can stress that kid out and that's his sister.

Ellie at age 10 is more high strung than Sharon Stone with a gun to her head. Her temper can go from 0 to 50 in a millisecond. If things aren't going swimmingly, it's although she has been possessed by David Banner himself. Clearly my son takes after his dad and my daughter takes after me. The thing that worries me is that I was pretty carefree as a kid. It took me till I was well into my late 20's to become a high-strung neurotic. 

Her mood swings are almost always set off by one thing: Her brother. He can look at her, sit by her, sneeze or just walk in the room and she inevitably acts like he has just stuck a Swiss Army knife in her eye. Last night I was making tea and let my children sniff the Red Zinger tea bag before I dumped it into my cup. Ellie smelled it and then Daniel took a whiff and promptly dropped it into his glazed chicken and rice. "IDIOT" screamed Ellie at an ear-shattering decibel. Last time I checked, I didn't raise my kids to call each other "Idiots" but for some reason it has become her word of choice. "Don't you use that word" I warned her, to which she replied (screamed bloody murder), "I didn't do anything." When I sent her to her room for a half hour, she said I was a "Meany", so it became an hour. She then made a guttural whining sound not unlike the speech-impaired character "Nell" played so freakishly by Jodie Foster in the nineties. An  hour became an  hour and a half and then 2 hours.  The "Nell" sounds continued behind closed doors for approximately 45 minutes with random torturous screams thrown about intermittently. When she came downstairs at 8:00 I half expected to see green flesh and muscles ripping through her tee shirt.

Now, how such a sweet natured 10 year old blond who loves animals can get all Hulkamania over a dropped teabag is beyond me. Her teachers (thankfully) don't see this behaviour at school and she is nothing but cordial to her friends and other adults. Perhaps it's Daniel's carefree mellowness that throws her into a tizzy. I'll probably never now. But god help me, in three years she will be a teenager. 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Torture Theater: The Worst of the Worst

This week while Parker enjoys a vacation in ugly and boring Costa Rica, I will be unwillingly dragged to the theater in order to sit through 2 tortuous hours of Adam Sandler's latest masterpiece. My kids are both dying to see this craptacular movie and of course I will take them. I have sat through many Adam Sandler flicks and even liked a few (Big Daddy, Billy Madison) but something about a movie called "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" makes me uneasy (and is the "You" in the title really necessary? Isn't it a given?) How does  a movie about a mulleted Israeli Commando-turned hairdresser even get green lighted anyway? 

Last night I got to thinking about all the horrible movies I have sat through so my children could be entertained. There are hundreds, but the most memorable recent ones are:

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Yep, I said it. I actually hated one of the classic Harry Potter movies. During the third hour of this movie I began to pray to the popcorn gods that Harry would die a painful death at which point I would do a cheerleader hurkey, scream "Hooray it's over!" and dash out the theater faster than you can say Hocus Pocus.
  • Son of the Mask: This was the long-awaited (not) sequel to "The Mask" starring Jim Carrey. It did not star Jim Carrey or Cameron Diaz. It did star 'Jamie Kennedy' (was Paulie Shore unavailable?) and was so bad that I developed restless leg syndrome and uncontrollable muscle spasms from sheer boredom. If I hadn't been escorting three 10 year old boys, I would have jumped out of my seat and done lunges out the door.
  • Hot Rod: I think Andy Samburg is pretty funny on 'Saturday Night Live' and my son worships his comedy. However, I should have seen it as an omen when my children and I were the only ones in the theater - on opening day. This movie was hysterical, if  you are a 12 year old boy. For anyone else it is comparable to undergoing Chinese Water Torture during a Bobcat Goldthwait comedy routine while Gilbert Gottfried shoves bamboo up your fingernails. Santa even gave my son the DVD so we can enjoy it again and  again.
  • Spy Kids III in 3D: I came close to vomiting in my popcorn bucket at least 36 times during this psychedelic, plotless movie. I know Parker will agree with me on this one as she also watched this   LSD-trip-of-a-movie with her nephew and coined the term "Spy Kids Headache", which refers to the throbbing headache that comes with watching perhaps the worst movie of all time. 
I'm sure there are countless others, but at the ripe old age of 38, I am only capable of remembering shitty movies that go back 3 years or less. As I sit through the Zohan movie, I will think of my friend Parker who will probably be rappelling down the side of a waterfall as I try my best to resist poking my eyes out with my soda straw.

The Simple Life IV: Doggie Style

There is a scene in an old episode of "Sex and the City" where someone annoyingly asks a couple in their late thirties, "When are you guys finally going to have kids?" The woman dead pan returns with, "My husband and I decided to have really great furniture instead."

My husband and I have great furniture and are indifferent on having kids. I thought by now, after almost 11 years of marriage we would have at least one. One reason we haven't had a baby  might be because his brother has five -all under the age of 8. They are extremely cute however any length of time around them and I inevitably have spaghetti dangling from my shirt and want to chug Grey Goose like a cold bottle of Fiji Water on a hot day.

Nine months ago, my biological clock started ticking like a pipe bomb and I told Daddy Warbucks to get me preggers or get me a dog. Stat! You have never seen someone get on a computer and research something faster. He was going to great pains to find us the perfect dog as soon as possible. A friend of ours told us about Boykin Spaniels, who are super cute, smart, dark brown with yellow eyes, they shed minimally and only get to about 40 lbs. If you haven't heard of them (most people haven't), Google one. They are adorable. People give me grief about my "designer dog" versus saving a dog from the ASPCA, but I was set on a Boykin.

Sam arrived at the tender and scary age of 6 weeks, weighing just barely 4 pounds. I knew right away she was my baby at least until a human one comes along. Before her arrival I purchased three different organic cotton dog beds, a $100 Coach collar that would not fit her for 6 months, a $200 water and food bowl to match our modern home, and the best toys and snacks a dog could hope for. Sam would soon learn that she had been adopted by a dog's version of Brad and Angelina. As she grew bigger and settled into our digs, she quickly embraced lounging on the Barcelona chairs, silk coverlets, Jonahtan Adler pillows, and when outside swimming in our saltwater pool,  jumping from one Frontgate raft to the next.

While a great dog, I had to chase her little ass across the street to various neighbors homes (who I try to avoid) one too many times - and braless no less. Hence it was time for our little Shilo to go to boot camp.

In line with everything else, we have sent our little princess to the best money can buy. People actually fly their dogs privately to be trained by our trainer, who I now affectionately call "Rambo". Seriously, not only is poor Sam probably the canine equivalent of Private Benjamin at her doggie training school, but she is being trained by Sylvester Stallone. When I call him to check in on her, he gives me little to no information - reminiscent of a Stallone grunt. He says, "good", "fine", and "yep", meanwhile I am looking for a complete psychological analysis of her current state of doggie mind. Poor Sam is most certainly thinking, "WTF, was I that bad?"

She's been gone a week (4 weeks total!) and I have already sent her two care packages including a pillow from home sprayed with my Hermes cologne so that she doesn't forget my ultra-chic scent. Rambo did tell me she lays on it a lot. I am considering sending doggie bones form Dean and Deluca shipped ice-packed to her. 

Sam will have to continue to dream of life back in her doggie chateau while I continue to have visions of that scene from "An Officer and A Gentleman" where Richard Gere breaks into the plant and sweeps Deborah Winger off her white trash ass, and me doing the same to Sammie while Rambo shakes his head in the background. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Daily E-Mail: Why America is so Fat

To: Val
From: Parker
RE: Why America is so fat

If I could eat fast food 24/7 and not look like Beth Ditto, I would. I love it all, McDonald's fries, KFC, and of course the greatest hangover cure ever - the Jack In the Box taco with American Cheese (one part taco, 99 parts orange mystery grease). At the Texas State Fair I have even eaten a Corny Dog followed by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich dipped in Bisquick and deep fried with powdered sugar (Skinny!)

Today my craving overpowered me and I went through the Taco Bueno ("Taco Good") drive thru for a tostada. Innocent enough, unless mixed with "Alli" (not recommended unless u like unexpectedly creating your own orange mystery grease in your lace hanky pankys). As I ordered my tostada (I was Alli free, thank god) I noticed a new menu item: As if their full taco wrapped in another  taco shell and then deep fried isn't enough fat-punch for you, you can now proudly order - drum roll please- the "Cheesecake Chimichanga." Savory and sweet all in one. If it's too hot to eat you can just rub in into your inner thighs. What will they think of next? 
Great, now I am hungry again!

To: Parker
From: Val
Re: Why America is so Fat

Holy tamale, that sounds disgusting. Why not just order a can of Crisco and a plastic spoon? Of course nothing tops the time when we were 17, you forced me to drive through Harbee's to get a burger and found a thick black curly hair (with root) smack in the middle. You were so hungry you ate in a circle around that hair. Ah to be young and carefree again. I think I just vomited in my mouth.


TV Wasteland

As a 38 year old woman, I have the television-watching habits of a 15 yr old. I'll watch Reality TV till the cows come home. I'm ashamed to say that I have yet to turn away from an episode of "Sweet 16" or "The Real Housewives of Anywhere". But lately something is amiss. Every since the finale of American Idol, there has been a lull in the prime time hours that has left me feeling empty.

As I flipped through channels last night, jonesing for entertainment like Amy Winehouse for a hit of crack, I was astonished at the craptastic choices available amongst my 373 channels. E! actually had a show called "Real Life Cougar Tales." Are you kidding? Even I had to draw the line at this. I quickly flipped over to my fail-safe channel VH1 and was horrified to find an airing of Trista and Ryan's Wedding from 2001, which was the culmanation of an entire marathon of the first Bachelorette series. Really VH1? If this is the best that you can do then I need to step  in as the programing director pronto. Honestly, I'd rather see a marathon of the 1970's game show Match Game than watch Trista and Ryan tie the knot. Speaking of Match Game, I was so desparate the other night I actually watched "Million Dollar Password" hosted by Regis Philbin. When I caught my self screaming clues out at celebrity guest Neil Patrick Harris, I knew I had reached rock bottom. 

My TIVO is barren. Perhaps it is time for me to take a trip to Borders and purchase a few books. Go to the gym in the evening? Maybe even play a game with my kids - which I'll do, right after tonight's new episode of The Real World. -VAL

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Email of the Day: "Bad News Bear" indeed!

To:  Val
From: Parker
Re: Tatum O'Neal

Did you hear that Tatum O'Neal tried to say she was researching for a role when she got busted buying cocaine? When I got arrested for shoplifting at the Tucson Mall at age 14 I should have said I was researching for a role in "Little Darlings".

To: Parker
From: Val
Re: Tatum O'Neal

No- she retracted that and is now saying she bought the coke because she was mourning her dog who died like 3 weeks ago. She also said she was still sober and had not used up until this point. And I'm Shiloh Pitt and my ass cheeks are made of pure gold. When my 17 year-old dog dies you better watch out because I will be scrounging the streets in search of meth.

Speaking of "addictions", I was watching "Intervention" last night and they had a lady on who was "addicted to exercise".  Granted she also hardly ate and looked like she was 100, but hook me up with that addiction. Clearly I  have the opposite affliction.


Walking (and Drinking) with the Lord - A Story of Survival

Send your kid to a Catholic High School and they are sure to get a great education - especially in drinking and pot smoking. You will also get a taste of charitable fund-raisers which your child will be asked (forced) to participate.

Despite the hefty tuition our parents paid for our strict religious education, Parker and I were asked to participate in a number of fund raisers including the yearly Cheese Drive, Blood Drive and the dreaded "Walk A Thon".

The Walk A Thon was a mandatory 4-mile walk in which the entire Senior Class marched from the school to a park and back in an effort to raise money for the Boosters Club. Since Parker and I did absolutely no extracurricular activities (except occasionally get high in the parking lot) the idea of coming to school and walking 4 miles in the Arizona heat was certainly not appealing. 

In order to make the Walk a Thon more bearable we came up with the genius idea of chugging a few 2 liter bottles of orange-flavored Bartles and James wine coolers beforehand. We met in a parking lot near our school and proceeded to pour said coolers into 32 oz "Big Gulp" special edition Nascar cups. Surely no one would suspect liquor was hiding behind the mug of a race car driver as I stumbled into my homeroom smelling like Dean Martin on a bender.

At age 17, we did not  know the meaning of the word "moderation" and the big gulp o' wine was empty before we even started to walk. No worries, as our bulimic cheerleader friend Carrie had a backpack filled with more. At 8:15 we began our torturous walk. Our drunkenness immediately caused us to lag behind our more spirited classmates and pious educators. Good thing because our plastic cups had runneth empty and we needed to refuel. We came across a small park with some restrooms where we guzzled down more glorious orange fizzy wine. Never mind that we were in the middle of town  at a creepy bathroom most likely surrounded by homeless pedophiles. We had our priorities. Pedophiles be damned, we needed to get our groove-on.

A mile behind everyone with alcohol sweating out of every pore and our stomachs sloshing with orange, carbonated, fermented beverage, we managed another mile or so before I knew that I could not go on. As I stumbled down Ft. Lowell Road in my dusty, lace-up Madonna boots (I did not own athletic shoes in High School) I saw in the distance a bus with my school logo on the side. I knew that hot, exhausted and drunk was no way to go through life and I was going to flag down that mutha-of-a-bus if I had to lay spread eagle in the street to do so. The bus was returning with the marching band members (who were all evidently sober an on their way back to school to greet the returning walkers with a brass performance of the latest Thomas Dolby song). The band bus was my saviour as it pulled over to pick me up. Despite the fact that it was filled with band geeks and driven by our evil Chemistry teacher, I was willing to risk suspension just to rest my drunk ass for a spell. I called out to Parker and Carrie to join me on the bus. They pretended to follow me until I was on the bus and turned around to see them running in the opposite direction, sloshing off into the distance

Alone, drunk and wearing Madonna boots, I plumped down next to Tony Alanzo, who weighed approximately 73 lbs and played the cymbals. I might have actually given Tony a woody when I sat next to him and said (in a slurry Kathleen Turner voice) "If you tell anyone I've been drinking I will whip your puny ass."

My secret was safe with Tony and I returned back to school alone and exhausted. I found a resting place behind the back tire of my 1974 Oldsmobile where I settled in for a siesta while I listened to the marching bands rendition of "She Blinded Me With Science." 

Monday, June 2, 2008

House Party Revenge

As a teenager, I never thought twice about the bi-monthly raging keggers I had at my house. Having raised my brother and sister whose partying would put Lindsay Lohan to shame, my parents were "over it" by the time I reached 16. They left town often and as long as I didn't get kicked out my expensive Catholic school or crash my Cutlass Supreme, they had a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. We had a huge backyard, a pool and a big, fully-stocked, oak bar in our family room that rivaled the one from "Cheers."  The parties were always large, loud and wild. One party got so out of control that Parker actually stood on the bar in her black studded Zodiac boots, knawing on a turkey leg while brandishing a butcher knife, and screamed, "Everybody out! That means you, Mutherf*ckers." It worked.

Parker and I always did our best to clean up the evidence the next day, but inevitably something would be broken (like one of my mom's rare Kachina Dolls or a piece of Ho Hokam Indian pottery that dated back to the 1700's). We'd get up the next day with our Alice Cooper eyes and matted hair and fill the Hefty bags with Miller Lite cans and add tap water to the empty vodka bottles. I should have known back then that karma would come back to bite me in the ass.

My son Daniel is 12. A great kid, but with the cleaning skills of a crack-addicted squatter. He is, to put it mildly, a slob. Most 12 year boys are, so I should have know better when I allowed him to invite 2 friends for a sleepover last Saturday. The boys wasted no time in behaving like a metal band at a Best Western. Their first plan of attack was to go into Daniel's room, shut the door, turn on Guitar Hero and throw everything (including mattress and box spring) on the floor. Promising me that they'd put everything back the next day, I let it slide while they continued to hurl pillows and shoes at each other. This was my first mistake.

My second mistake was going to bed at 9:00. The boys, having nothing left to destroy in Daniels room migrated downstairs to the family room to "watch movies". Apparantly "Watch Movies" is 12-year old code for trash the kitchen, graffiti the furniture and burn random things with a cherry scented candle.   

When I awoke the next morning (refreshed from 10 hours of sleep) I sauntered downstairs to find Jake Ryan's house from the party scene in "Sixteen Candles." In an effort to stay up late, they had made coffee. It must have been strong because the entire can was empty (about half was strewn across the kitchen and stuck to the granite counter with some sort of adhesive-like substance). Evidently they didn't like it black, as they used a full jar of Vanilla Non-Dairy Creamer and all the sugar in the house to sweeten the deal. The coffee cups (4 in all) sat throughout the family room, along with an empty bottle of Starbucks Mocha, and 3 cans of special edition Orange flavored Sierra Mist. One of Daniel's friends had eaten an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, leaving a trail of of cinnamon that looked like a cocaine party circa 1983. The other friend, who must not be fond of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, preferred to eat raw spaghetti, which also doubled as "confetti" since it was completely covering my wood floor. At some point my cherry scented candle was lit and used to melt spaghetti, pens, pencils a few large marshmallows and god knows what else. 

I stood their, mouth agape and ran back upstairs to my bedroom. Knowing that if I returned to the scene of the crime, I would start screaming like Gordon Ramsey when the risotto isn't cooked right, I made Tom go down and deal with the boys. "He can deal with those Kitchen Donkey's," I decided as I took a long hot shower. 

Later, after a long hard talk with Daniel about respecting his house and not letting his friends act like cast members from the Real World, we began to clean up the mess. It was at that time that I found, horror of all horrors, a large 5-inch black sharpie mark across the cushion of my brand new chocolate brown sofa.  I sent Daniel scurrying to his room (amidst a flurry of my best Chef Ramsey one-liners), imagined what it would be like when he was sixteen, and realized that Karma is A Bitch.

Gaydar Love

After High School I left Val behind, regretting my crappy grades and lack of extracurricular activities (aside from smoking pot after school). Had I played a sport or tried in Geometry instead of closing my book the first day of class  knowing there was no way in hell I would ever 'get it', I might have actually gotten into the U of A and Val and I could have partied on together for the next  4-6 years.

Alone in a new city at a college where I knew no one, was a lot to take. Luckily in Louisiana, Southern Hospitality is a plenty and on my first day I met Devon, a bubbly red head with a giant satin bow in her hair and shoulder pads for days. Devon introduced me to my first college love, Johnny. Imagine if Clay Aiken and Jim Jay Bullock were to somehow procreate: Johnny would be thy name.

Regardless of his southern Aiken-like twang and Jim Jay Bullock smile, I thought Johnny was perfect. His favorite movie was that 80's classic "Less Than Zero" which we watched no less than 17 times together. Jimmy was raised in New Orleans with 6 older sisters. In the 1970's his family appeared on the Family Feud with Richard Dawson - a brush with fame that I was totally impressed by. He loved to dance (shirtless) and knew all the hot spots in New Orleans. On Thursday afternoon we would head to New Orleans to party like crazy. My mom loved Johnny and thought he was a perfect gentleman - which he was, maybe even too perfect as my self-esteem was in the shitter because I could not get Johnny to touch me in any way except for the occasional hand holding. Val come out one weekend for a visit and after meeting Johnny, her "gaydar" was pinging like mad. In a drunken stupor (while I was in the bathroom) Val looked Johnny square in the eye and asked, "Are you gay?". His reply was a high-pitched "Noooooo." Followed by a giggley, "AS IF." Ping!

A few weeks later, while partying at college hot spot "Denim & Diamonds", a friend of a friend named Sergio told me how great Jimmy was in bed. At least Sergio was getting some. In hindsight the theme song of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" should have been playing every time Johnny walked down the street, but love was blind. Even gay love.

With Johnny out of the picture, it was on to Shane. Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I listened to Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 u" and lamented over my Ike and Tina relationship with "Fish Face" (as  my brother called him). We broke up more times than Heidi and Spencer (only not for publicity). Shane was 4 years older and because of this was always telling me how young I was and how I would be wise like him one day. Why I didn't say "Wise like being a Crawdad University for nine years?" was beyond me, but once again I was in love. Shane cheated on me relentlessly including one time bringing a girl into my section on Hennigans and ordering champagne. So white trash. In hind sight I should have poured some of that "red sauce" all  over him. I fell hook line and sinker for his fish face head games. One day he bought a navy Cutlass Supreme, which he was so proud of and as we drove to his Grandmother's house in Gaydon (yes there is actually a place called Gaydon - it may be where American Idol found Carrie  Underwood milking cows) he looked at me and told me that this piece-of-shit car he was driving would be our "family car" someday. All of the sudden I had a flash of kids in the back crying, snotty baby noses, a trailer, a velvet Elvis, red beans and rice on Sundays in Gaydon, Shane in a baseball that said "Jim Beam" while eyeing our trailer neighbor Betty Sue and that was all I needed. I gave Ike the boot the next day.

I quickly moved on to Shane's good friend Joe. Yes, I was kind of using him, but he was adorable and a great guy however his penis was the size of my thumb and having sex with a regular sized tampon was the deal breaker for me. Of course I didn't give him this reason as I peeled my white Mazda RX7 out of his parking lot.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was Eric, aka "the Root". This nickname had been given to him by his Frat brothers as Eric was a very skinny guy with the goods that make Dirk Diggler look small. I was no Pamela Anderson and broke up with him for fear that my va-jay-jay would never be the same. When I told him it was over he told me I complained a lot - so funny, nothing has changed.  After college I found out he was the manager of a  Luby's in Shreveport, LA., the armpit of the country.

Ok by now you are probably thinking that Parker is the sluttier version of Trishelle from the Las Vegas season of The Real World. I decided that I would buckle down and find a "nice guy" right about the time I met Charlie. Unfortunately, Charlie had a reputation for loving X and acid, but his sexy smirk and Brandon-Lee-in-"The-Crow" good looks couldn't keep me away. Chuck took so many drugs that he would get flop sweat walking me to my car. Some friends of his had a party once and on the coffee table was a dirty skull. I picked it up and commented that it was so cool and freaky life-like, at which point someone told me that's because it came from a grave. I drop-kicked the human skull just as Chuck entered the room (high on acid and completely naked) contorting his body, convinced that he was the letter "J".  I walked home knowing that night I was ill equipped to help my major crush deal with his letter issues. 


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sex & the City...and Linda's Gang

My hubby made a brave face and escorted me to see Sex & the City yesterday. We arrived 20 minutes early to an almost full theatre. There were so many women there that I think our menstrual cycles might have synched. We found a seat towards the front and all was well until a gaggle of girls came in together looking like they had just robbed the Coach store. Having just one friend myself, I didn't know it was possible for women to be friends with so many others. There were at least 10 of them, the ringleader apparently named "Linda". I know this because over the next 10 minutes they all proceeded to scream "Linda" approximately 34 times. 

Tom and I were asked to move down a seat (and then to move again) to accommodate the brethren of bitches. The theater was so crowded I felt like I was on a Southwest flight to Albuquerque. Linda and her gang giggled throughout the movie. There was a lot of "Ohh's and Ahh's" over the fashion and a few "That's totally me" or "That's totally you" which became "totally" annoying. 

As predicted, Tom fell fast asleep 10 minutes into the film. His 20 minute nap still allowed him to see the remaining 2 hours and 10 minutes of the movie which he only mildly enjoyed. If you want my opinion, Sarah Jessica Parker is a majoh "Fattie",Mr. Big's character was  a "Big" f*cktard, Kim Cattrell is getting way to old to play the slut-monger and I could have done without the Cynthia Nixon sex scene (yikes!). Still loved it and give it 4 out of 5 Manolo's.