Monday, November 30, 2009

The Naked Drummer Story


Last Thursday, over the Thanksgiving dinner table, my mother-in-law was telling my mom about one of Jeff’s old bands, Pink and Brown. (Jeff was “Brown.”). Pink and Brown was a punk duo noted for wearing pink and brown unitards and face-masks. Mom-in-law told the story of she and her husband going to watch Pink and Brown play at a downtown back alley club called The Smell. Let’s just say it was a fish-out-of-water yarn involving nice middle aged folk dropped into the world of all-ages underground punk rock. My mom is still laughing at the idea that there is a nightclub called “The Smell.”

Of Pink and Brown, one reviewer said, “Sources close to the band eulogized them as ‘the sh*t’ and ‘the best band to wear the colored body suits since that last band wore the colored body suits.” The San Francisco Bay Guardian summed them up as “The fine art of destroying everything.”

Back in September, I wrote about how Jeff and I first met online. He had shared a story with me that had resulted in my first nickname for him, Naked Drummer and it involves his membership in Pink and Brown. At the request of a number of you, I now share his story, the story my sweetest husband first sent to me, by way of an introduction. Enjoy.

03-02-02 San Francisco, CA 68 Julian Alley Eviction Party w/ Pink & Brown, Numbers, Lo-Fi Neisans, Crack W.A.R.



We showed up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to this warehouse as this was to be the first show of our second 2 month US tour. We had been playing a lot and had a lot of momentum. The show was thrown by some guy named Ed who decided "f**k it" since he was getting evicted from the warehouse he built, and he invited all of San Francisco to come tear it down in grand fashion. I remember showing up and being introduced to his dog named Freedom and some girl doling out sledgehammers.

 The night unfolded much like that.

We were the last band to play, and by that point it was a full-fledged riot. There were people hurling chunks of debris and full 40 oz bottles off the second and third stories into the street, walls literally coming down while we were playing. 



You should know that by now that our band had a reputation for being confrontational and basically inviting any and all kinds of mayhem.

 We had been trying to tread a fine line between having a show that allowed the audience to participate with our tomfoolery but yet also did not give them carte blanche to f**k with us.

Effing with us would usually manifest as 1) John's cords getting unplugged many times 2) My drums/cymbals getting tipped over 3) John's mic getting unplugged 4) Something/everything getting doused with beer.

 In an effort to avoid this, John and I were trying out this idea that night of bringing effigies of ourselves so that maybe instead of trying to destroy us, the show-goers would thrash the dolls. That lasted for maybe 5 minutes, as we floated these giant poofy ninjas out to their (quick) demise.
 Then they came for us.

I remember us getting through most of the songs but it was very hard to see what was going on as I think I got maced at some point. There was a crowd of people behind us who kept darting in and ripping off pieces of our costumes. At one point I looked up at John and he was down to something like pant legs, underwear and a mask only, but he was quick and could move places with his guitar. On the other hand, I had been stripped of my entire sweaty costume minus the mask. This includes underwear. Smell of fear.



Some may imagine that it sounds liberating to drum naked but I was just really thinking at the time "Oh God oh God finish the song oh Jesus" and was told later that the tempos were all blisteringly fast. I also believe that something like the "lake effect" was probably happening in my down south areas. I also remember consciously deciding to not care anymore about the beer being sprayed / dumped from all angles and just get through the songs-- which we did.

At the end of the night there was nothing left but the memories: no clothes, barely any functional musical instruments, no walls, no warehouse, and no people (They did not want to be arrested by the 20 cops who showed up at the end). A night to remember.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Smacksy Sunday Link: Bob's Choice


This is Bob's current favorite link. You might be really into this if you are three years-old, or nostalgic, or deaf.

Cha cha cha.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pearly Gates

Bob Rosenberg
Heaven Town, 2009
ball point pen on paper

About this piece:
"Heaven Town is a nice place to go if you are dead." - Bob Rosenberg

Thursday, November 26, 2009

S.O.S.


Bob has been running in circles through the living room for the past five minutes wearing just red underpants and one sock. He stops occasionally to jump up and down while alternately whining and making low guttural noises.

Finally, he disappears into the bathroom. After a few minutes he calls out.

“Mama? I need you!”

“What’s up?”

“I need you to keep me company. Can you sit on the edge of the bathtub?”

“Sure.”

We sit in silence for a while.

“Everything alright, Bob?”

“No. It wasn’t good.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I think you need to... I think you need to send me a care package.”


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rhythm Section

Baby Bob asleep in a dressing room at the 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.

Bob and I traveled with Jeff’s old band, Lavender Diamond, quite a bit during Bob’s first year. Bob is quite familiar with the music. He likes to listen to it in the car when he is driving with Jeff.

“Daddy? There's jingle bells in this song.”


“That's true, bells like on Santa's sleigh.”



“Daddy?”


“Mm hm?”


“Who plays that tambourine in your song?”


“Uncle Ron played tambourine.”


“But Uncle Ron plays the drums! The kick drum and snare and cymbal and tom-tom drums! He very plays them!”


“He also played tambourine, that's another instrument that drummers play.”


“How many hands does Uncle Ron have, Daddy? Why are you laughing? He has many hands?”


 “He only has two hands, Buddy. Sometimes when we make music we record it once and then go back and add things to it, like tambourine. That's called an overdub.”

"OK... So how many hands does Becky have for the singing?"


Oh No - Lavender Diamond

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mademoiselle Magic Stuffing


Every Thanksgiving for the past 25 years, I have been pulling out of the recipe file, a now tattered three pages ripped from the November 1984 issue of Mademoiselle magazine containing my favorite stuffing recipe.

The lovely and wistful girl in the picture stands in her swell New York single gal kitchen, the Thanksgiving Day Parade is on her (prehistoric rabbit-eared) television. She gazes over a beautifully garnished Thanksgiving spread and arranges seasonal flowers while chatting on her corded phone with her startlingly handsome French boyfriend, Guy. (Pronounced "gee.") She has stem wear for 16, sweet serving dishes, a horn handled carving set and an Agnes B. checked blouse. She is an eighties Thanksgiving goddess.

I know that my 20 year-old self was secretly hoping that executing the recipes on these pages might cause some of her perfect life (I know she’s just a model, but still) to rub off on me. That Mademoiselle magic never did work itself on the details of my life, (and I have the photos to prove it) but the stuffing recipe has been a consolation prize that keeps on giving. It is easy and wonderful and always a big hit.

The Recipe For The Stuffing You Should Be Eating On Thursday

8-oz bag Pepperidge Farm Dry Herb Stuffing Mix (I’m pretty sure this hasn’t existed for many years. Any 8-oz bag of any seasoned stuffing mix will work.)
1-1/2 cups chopped, dried apricots
1 cup water
8 Tbs. butter
½ cup currants
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, minced
1 egg, beaten

First, insert Purple Rain into the cassette player. Then, in a large bowl, toss together stuffing mix and apricots. In a small saucepan, combine water, 6 Tbs. butter and currants. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower and simmer until butter melts. Add to stuffing mixture, toss well. In a medium skillet, melt remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Lightly sauté celery and onion; add to stuffing mixture and mix well. Stir in egg.

Makes enough to stuff a 12 pound turkey. Extra stuffing can be placed in a baking pan and baked for 30 mins. At 350. For moist stuffing, cover pan with foil. For a crustier stuffing, leave pan uncovered. Apply more mousse to your perm and pour yourself a frosty glass of Tab.

Coupon no longer valid.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgluten


We host Thanksgiving dinner at our house and it's something I always look forward to. When putting together my traditional menu for Thursday, I had to take into consideration my new Celiac status when figuring out what I will be loading onto my plate.

Turkey - Many turkeys contain gluten in their "natural" (not so natural) juices. Who knew? Celiac.com knew. So, I will be buying some fancy pants turkey at Whole Foods and I will get my turkey on.

Stuffing - Obviously it's all bread-crumby and not for me. I looked at a few recipes for g-free stuffing and in the photos, they each had a look of dirty Moon Sand, so no thanks. My old recipe is great though, so I will post it here tomorrow and you can eat it for me and thank me later. It has made stuffing eaters out of those who swear they do not like stuffing. I got the recipe out of Glamour magazine in 1984. With a lineage that sketchy, you know it must be good to have survived the years.

Cranberry Sauce - I've read that these are mostly gluten free but it's easy to make.

Mashed Potatoes - And plenty of them. I promised to remind you all of that fast potato peeling thing I posted back in July so you can put it into action this week. Go back and check this out again.

Gravy - I will not be having any, thank you thickening agents.

Candied Sweet Potatoes with the Little Marshmallows - You know that "dust" on the outside of the marshmallows? Super gluten-y.

Some Green Vegetable - Fine. Whatever.

Rolls - I remember them fondly. They are obviously in the past tense column.

Pie - We will have pecan and pumpkin, courtesy of my mom. She is a champ and will also be trying a gluten free pumpkin pie recipe that she found that has hemp milk as one of its ingredients. You heard me right. Jeff was a vegan for awhile in his younger years and he's never heard of it either. I will eat it, I will probably like it, but I will not wear Birkenstocks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Smacksy Sunday Link: F**k Yeah Happy


F**k Yeah Happy aka The Pursuit of Happyness (sic) is Rory Marinich's bloggy collection of happy photos and quotes. To this I say why not? Or more appropriately f***k yeah!

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Fiddy & Bob

Curtis James Jackson III & Robert Edward Rosenberg aka 50 Cent & Bob. 2006.
Because that's how Bob rolls.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Souls


“Where is Meda, Mama?”

“Honey, Meda died. Remember?

“Why did her body stop working?”

“That’s what happens when people and animals get very, very, very old.”

“Like the bee in the backyard that we saw?”

“Yes.”

"And Miss Belva's dog that was very old?"

"Exactly."

“And Meda is not hurting?”

“No. She's not hurting. Not at all.”

“I wish I could see her.”

“Me too.”

“Daddy said that when you die, your soul leaves your body. He said that at the park.”

“Yes.”

“What’s a soul look like?”

“I don’t know if it looks like anything. What do you think?”

“I think it looks like pancakes. I like pancakes.”

“Me too.”

“Mama?”

“Yes, Pooch?”

“I want pancakes.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Lexicon of Mom


Drop Off
Pre-Motherhood Definition: What happens when one peacefully falls asleep in accordance with the body’s natural rhythms.

Post-Motherhood Definition: What happens three mornings a week at the pre-school to remind me that yes, I am in fact the only parent who just woke up within the last 15 minutes and that the giant sunglasses fool no one. And my kid and I are both wearing the shirts we slept in.


Chuffing
Pre-Motherhood Defintion: Catch all term to describe a number of NC-17 related activities.

Post-Motherhood Definition: The sound Thomas the Tank Engine makes


529
Pre-Motherhood Defintion: Prefix of my home phone number at the old Korea Town apartment.

Post-Motherhood Definition: Our tax free college savings plan that at our current rate of deposit and return, will at yield in the year 2024, easily pay for ½ a semester’s tuition at a local junior college.


Cubby
Pre-Motherhood Defintion: Vintage Disney Mouseketeer of the old school pre-Spears, pre-Timberlake, pre-Aguilera era.

Post-Motherhood Definition: Wooden receptacle in the pre-school classroom housing a laminated photo of my son, an art project fashioned from silk leaves + 3 tablespoons of glitter + paper plate, and a Ziploc bag holding one clean pair of Size 4T Elmo themed underpants.


Flats
Pre-Motherhood Defintion: Charming apartments in London - Hugh Grant/Notting Hill

Post-Motherhood Definition: Shoes without heels that have rendered all pre-pregnancy pants three inches too long.


Nap
Pre-Motherhood Defintion: A suffix for the word “Disco.”

Post-Motherhood Definition: Sweet, sweet, two hours of daily freedom which ended when the kid moved into the big boy bed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Picture Day at the Hive


Jeff has a mild (he made me say “mild”) obsession with photos of pets wearing outfits. In 2005, he dressed our dog as a bee for Halloween. (Naturally, he then submitted a photo to one of his online haunts BeeDogs.com.) Jeff also loves photos of pets spooning. The best for him are, of course, photos of pets wearing outfits while spooning. When Bob decided that he wanted to be a bumble bee for Halloween this year so that he could have a costume "just like Daisy's," my husband was just a little (he made me say “a little”) excited.

Halloween provided us with a whole lot of holiday but the real goal from all of this costuming was The Double Bee Photo: One shining moment, frozen in time of our dog and our son wearing matching striped fur body suits and antennae, and possibly spooning. Jeff made little whimpering noises whenever he thought about it. It was to be a cuteness spectacular.

The big photo shoot went down like this:

Boy-Bee refuses to dismount tricycle. Dog-Bee experiences intermittent anxiety induced panting.


Dog-Bee in mild panic. Tries to remove antennae hood. In show of solidarity, Boy-Bee discards own antennae headband.


Dog-Bee retreats to cower under patio bench. Receives snacks for patience. Boy-Bee expresses his lack of desire to "go stand up by Daisy" or to "say cheese." Shows no remorse when told that this behavior is "making Daddy sad." Receives snacks as bribe.


Dog-Bee unwilling to come out from under bench, snacks be damned. Boy-Bee throws golf ball toy: pre-tantrum stance.


Boy-Bee antennae and golf ball toy are retrieved, yet meltdown ensues. There were a few tears. There was no spooning. (Undeterred, Jeff has been on eBay pricing a set of reindeer antlers for the dog and cat.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Command Central: Day 7

Just in case you thought this particular fort was a flash in the pan, we are at day seven and holding. Family meals are happening here. My Twitter account is updated almost exclusively from this area. Laundry folding, tambourine playing, puzzle assembling, all fit under this quilt roof. Even the cat has taken to sleeping in here.
Obviously the 1,100 square foot manse we live in is just too large for us.
And forts are cool.
Our next home will be from this place. Take the tour.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day Tripper

(But black)

Over the last 14 years that my girlfriends and I have been making the trek out to the outlet mall for our annual holiday shopping trip, I have always done the drive with another friend. Due to timing and logistics, Sunday was the first time I drove up alone to meet the others.

There was a little light traffic in the San Fernando Valley. I drove in the number three lane of the four lanes of the 101 freeway, listening to the Breakfast With the Beatles radio show. I had the Honda Civic hybrid’s cruise control set to 67mph, two miles per hour over the speed limit because I’m a rebel like that.

I was belting out Day Tripper when a black sports car suddenly appeared in my rear view mirror. The car was following me so closely, I couldn’t see its headlights. The black car stayed behind me for half a minute or so and then passed me on the right. The shiny Lamborghini Gallardo then slowed to keep a pace that was just ahead of me by half a car length. I didn’t believe the driver of the $200,000.00 car was inviting me of the $20,000.00 (but excellent gas mileage) dusty sedan to a street race, nor did I harbor any illusions that the driver was flirting with my messy ponytail and me. Something odd was going on. I felt like I was playing Grand Theft Auto, if Grand Theft Auto included a sleepy-suburban-mom-with-coffee-breath avatar.

After a full minute of this, the Lamborghini abruptly took off so fast it seemed to double its speed in just a few feet. It crossed a lane and headed down the off ramp at Woodlake Avenue and vanished. A few seconds later, a highway patrol car sped past on my left, and it continued north on the freeway. It then occurred to me that the fancy car had been using my Honda as a shield to hide from the CHP, and when he got close enough to an exit, he had made a successful escape.

My heart was still beating a little faster than usual as I sipped from my coffee travel mug and contemplated my L.A. driving moment. Gradually, my attention returned to my outlet mall destination and my friends and the deals that awaited us. Oh, the deals.

Sunday driver, yeah.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Smacksy Sunday Link: 1,000 Awesome Things


My friend Laura told me about this site 1,000 Awesome Things. As the name would imply, it is a list of things, that are awesome. The list starts at #1,000 of these wonderful everyday-ish little deals and is counting down to #1 with a new awesome thing post everyday. (Currently in the lower 600's.)

It's a gentle reminder to enjoy a daily micro-celebration with awesome things like:

#727 Letting go of the gas pump at just the right moment

#971 Real-Bearded Santas


#836 When you push the button for the elevator and it's already there

With the help of this site, your Thanksgiving "gratitude toast" is writing itself.

Friday, November 13, 2009

(Im)patient


Bob’s 24 hour-ish stomach flu last week is lingering… in his mind. The stomach ache, vomiting, headache, and fever are long gone but their shadows remain in the form of whining, false complaints that just keep on coming.

When bed time is especially unpopular he will say, “But I have a fever! I think I need medicine.”

When he would like just one more episode of Olivia, he will add, “Because I have a stomach ache. The Olivia show will help me.”

My favorite is, “I might do barfing. I need more Halloween candy to help me.” He might then throw in some fake "ah choo" sneezes to further illustrate his point.

I alerted one of Bob’s teachers to his litany of faux ailments. I would not want the pre-school staff to be alarmed if Bob suddenly had a convenient instant on-set headache if the goldfish crackers weren’t meeting his snack time standards. (Although his shrill whine has been known to give me very real instant on-set headaches.) We have learned that if the symptom is “pretend” he will drop it quickly and try another tactic.

In these instances, with my gentle coaching, I have taught him to say, “I am suf-fer-ing from my hy-po-chondria.”

What? It makes me laugh and I am all about survival right now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Fine Romance

This an istock photo representation of Miss Ava

Bob has a history with the ladies.

There was Bob’s sweet girlfriend from summer school who let her mother and I in on the secret that she and Bob are married and that they would be going to the movies very soon, without us. Bob was more than cool with it.

He was also quite enamored with our friend Ilene who Bob refers to as, “Miss Ilene, my tiny grapefruit.”

Then, Winnie’s mother from school, or as Bob calls her, Mrs. Winnie’s Mama. When she works in our co-op classroom, Bob wants to hold Mrs. Winnie’s Mama’s hand. The only time he has used the bathroom at school, he asked Mrs. Winnie's Mama for help. (That’s one lucky lady.)

And now (cue the harps) there is Ava. Ava is a beautiful older woman (almost 4) with a porcelain doll face and a head of Pre-Raphaelite curls. Bob first met Ava at the park where he came to quickly adore her and yet be simultaneously frightened of her, which everyone knows, is the standard recipe for romance.

Any person that Bob now sees with curly hair is pointed out as having, “Curly hair, like Ava’s.”

I usually flat iron my hair as I lack the patience and endurance to deal with my naturally wavy hair explosion. On a recent lazy day where I was wearing the waves, Bob asked, “Mama you have curly hair?”

“Sometimes,” I said.

“Well, Ava has curly hair all the time.”

On a recent playdate at the botanical gardens with Ava and her mother, Bob pulled me aside. “I love Ava, Mama.”

“That’s so nice Bob. Did you tell her?”

He whispered, “No. I couldn’t want to.”

Back home, Bob and I were hanging out on the bed with the dog. “Bob? Who’s my favorite dog?”

“Daisy!”

“That’s right! Who’s my favorite little man?”

“Bob!”

“Yes! Who do I love so much?”

“Bob!”

“Right again! Who is handsome and smart and wonderful?”

“Ava!”

He’s a goner.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Update From the Nerve Center


Inside the Fort, End of Day Inventory:

4 Plastic spider rings

1 Light up Crayon themed toothbrush

1 Green felt tip permanent marker, sans cap

Muffin crumbs, copious

1 Wooden hot dog

1 Red croc sandal, child size 10/11

1 Plush white horse, “Wallace”

1 Sony Ericsson cell phone, ringer has been muted

2 Pair Super Friends underpants, size 4

1 Red flashlight, on

1 Five year-old black Labrador Retriever-mix, "Daisy"

4 Matchbox-style NYPD police and rescue vehicles

Chewed celery, exact quantity unknown

1 Ride Along With Thomas electronic book, with 12 Sounds From the Island of Sodor

1 Set of keys including only existing key for red 1996 Volvo wagon

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunday Supper and Sort of a Recipe


Occasionally we here at Team Rosenberg hatch a fine idea. (And by occasionally, I mean annually.) Sunday night was the culmination of one such scheme. Inspired by the realization that there are many people we adore that we just don’t get to see enough of, we made the decision to start a new tradition and host a potluck Sunday Supper at our house once a month. We invited family, friends, and all of the neighbors on our street. We invited people that live out of town, out of state and out of the country, and will continue to do so in the hopes that one of these Sundays, our far away friends might be in town and join us. We are hoping many people will become regulars.

Sunday night was our first supper. We had 35 people wedged into our little house. There were kids and parents and grandparents and old friends and new friends and brownies and seven different kinds of salsa. There was always someone playing the piano and it was all just what we had hoped for.

Selfishly, not only did I get to see lots of my favorite people, and eat lots of food that I didn’t have to cook, I got to do it all barefoot. Also, for someone like me who has a history of just the teeniest smattering of paralyzing social anxiety, getting to chat a bit and then also have some hostess-y jobs to do was a perfect combo for me.

People brought a lot of excellent food and crazy good desserts. I did a build-your-own-tostada deal which is an easy, cheap, good thing. Even though it’s quite simple and does not require a recipe, at Jeff’s adamant request, I will share the how-to of it. Jeff lost count of how many he ate of these. (And by Jeff, I mean me.)

You can use canned refried black or pinto beans – I did my own. I threw a bunch of dried pintos in the crock pot and let them go for a day and then smashed them up with a potato masher. I fried corn tortillas (and by I, I mean my mom) one at a time in a skillet with a little vegetable oil until they were crispy and brown, salting them with a pinch of Kosher salt on one side. We set out bowls of grated cheddar, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa and sour cream and then let people build away. Jeff has asked me to mention that the magic is in assembling it in the following order tortilla/beans/cheese/lettuce/tomato/salsa/sour cream. Once your guests have departed, you can eat everything that’s left over. (And by you, I mean me.)

It was fun. Start angling now for an invite for next month. I'm thinking spaghetti.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Name of the Smacksy


Tens of people have asked me the question, “Where did the name ‘smacksy’ come from?”

The answer is one of the following. I will let you decide:

Smacksy was the name of the new wave band that I fronted in 1986. On the basis of our one hit "The Heartbreak," we toured opening for Human League and Haircut 100. We lost our street cred when we were dropped from the MTV rotation and picked up by VH-1, resulting in an ill fated North American tour with Nu Shooz and Falco. We broke up in 1989, after our bass player Jax was mildly injured in a pyrotechnics incident at a gig we played at the opening of a 24 Hour Fitness in Carlsbad.

OR

At our house we are really into snacks. Sometimes we call snacks, smacks. When one is hungry it can be referred to as snacksy or smacksy. The domain name Snacksy.com was already taken.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Smacksy Sunday Link: Black and WTF


My friend Jennifer told me about this lovely-creepy-haunting-funny-puzzling-and-did-I-say-creepy-because-really-yeah-creepy-black-and-white-antique-photography blog called Black and WTF.

It's one of those blogs where I had to go through all of the pages and look at the whole thing in one sitting which is the explanation for why we had pizza for dinner on Thursday instead of food that had green parts. You know, one of those blogs.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Vegetable Lover


It was a brief affair, but it was intense. For a fleeting 48 hours, the two of them were inseparable. Bob and the acorn squash.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Son the Doctor


I asked Bob what he would like to be when he grows up. He answered, “A grown up.” Excellent.
And then, “A Mama or a Daddy.”
Nice. And also, “A doctor. A doctor, teacher.”
He also informed me that, “Nurses take care of people and doctors fix people. I can fix you.” (How long I have waited to hear those exact words.)

This is a photo of Bob’s current favorite medical instrument:


The "Dad Golf Pro" half-golf ball shaped tape measure key chain, complete with a picture of a nine iron wielding Tasmanian Devil. (I'm pretty sure Tiger Woods uses this exact model.) Jeff won this at a ring-toss game at his office Halloween party. Re-read that last sentence. Ring toss? Exactly what kind of drunken frat house does he work for?

Bob uses the Tasmanian half-ball to measure our headaches and tummy aches. He will then diagnose our ailments as either, “big” or “not so big.”

Jeff’s current prescription, “Maybe a glass of juice or water will make you feel better, Daddy.” True enough.

For me, “Mama, you always like a kiss.” He has us figured out.

Our dog Daisy, “Wants a sandwich.” Always.

Pearl the cat, “Needs a privacy.” Wise words.

Note: Dr. Bob accepts insurance but is not currently on any managed care plans. Dr. Bob will validate parking.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Her Old Songs

The Song of Songs, Lucas and Moya, 1914

Last spring, we lost a member of our family when Jeff’s step-dad’s mother passed away. Meda, short for Andromeda, (I know. Coolest name ever.) was a sweet lady with a sharp sense of humor and she took crap from no one. We miss her so much.

We had the pleasure of getting to spend many Sunday afternoons with her at her house, especially after Bob was born. We shared stories and ate ice cream. Bob had his first cone in her backyard. As Bob got older, he would pull himself up to a stand, holding on to the edge of her piano and bang on the keys.

When Meda died, her piano came to live at our house. It is an upright, Grinnell Brothers of Detroit and a real beauty. My favorite discovery about the piano was inside the bench: hundreds of pieces of sheet music dating back as early as 1901. Clare de Lune and White Christmas and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing. Songs made popular by Perry Como, Kate Smith, Lena Horne and Hoagy Carmichael, each one a treasure.

I haven’t played the piano since eighth grade. I think it’s time for some more lessons. Thank you Meda.

For Me and My Gal; Leslie, Goetz and Meyer, 1932


Easter Parade; Irving Berlin, 1933


Goodnight My Love; Gordon and Revel, 1936


Do You Really Want to Hurt Me; Culture Club, 1982

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Problem Solving

I wish I took this picture. I wish that was Pearl in the hat. Let's pretend.

I am standing in the kitchen reading the microwave instruction on the Trader Jose’s taquito box. Bob appears at my side carrying his plastic pumpkin.

“Can I have a candy now please?”

“No, not right now, it’s almost dinner.”

“Pleeeeeease?”

“No and you already had some of your Halloween candy today.”

“Not right now I didn’t.”

“No, Buddy.”

“It will give me a tummy ache?”

“It might, if you eat too much.”

“That’s OK. Daddy showed me a good place to do barfing.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Dangerous Book for Moms


I bought The Dangerous Book for Boys as a gift for Jeff back when I was still pregnant. It bills itself as, "The perfect book for every boy from eight to eighty." It's filled with old school facts and activities designed for the male of the species. Jeff looked through it once and then the book took residence next to the bed in the to-be-read pile between a Dave Eggers thing and some Japanese graphic novel.

Bob1 pulled this book from the pile shortly after his second birthday. He loved the pictures of the bugs, and the fish, and the planets. He memorized the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the names of the cloud formations, and other bits of information that at his age were precocious and a little weird. If he managed to hold onto this knowledge until grade school it would charm teachers while simultaneously acting as an open invitation for other kids to beat him up.

Last week I was trying to help Bob dress for pre-school. He wriggled and shouted and refused to let go of the tape measure that he informed me he was using, "to measure your headache, Mama." I asked him why this had to be such a battle. He stopped moving, looked me in the eye and shook his head, "No Mama, this is not a battle. A real battle is the Battle of Cannae." I had no response to this other than the gut tightening I get when watching Jeopardy and I've never heard of the category, much less the actual question.

Page 55 of The Dangerous Book for Boys informed me that Cannae was a battle fought in 216BC between the Romans and the Carthaginians, or something. I sort of blacked out after the first few lines. I read enough to know that if this happens again, I will respond with, "Oh yeah? Well don't even get me started on the Punic wars Mr. Fancy Pants."

I do not know what the Punic wars are but it sounds dirty and I think I've just convinced all of us that Jeff will be the "homework parent."

1Bob is feeling so much better after the crazy night of barfing and howling and sweating and shivering. I am recovering from sleeping on a dog bed on the floor. Thanks for asking.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This Little Piggy Has A Fever


For the first time, I will have to skip writing a new post this evening. Bob has been barfing since bed time and has a fever. After 40 minutes of reading page after page of information about the dreaded H1N1 on the CDC website, I'm confused and will be calling his doctor tomorrow morning. Maybe it's not the flu. Can you get a fever from eating too many Kit Kats and fun sized Snickers?

Here is a link to a smacksy post from way back in the olden days of early May if you'd like a little more in the smacksy department.

If you need me, I will be on the floor of Bob's room curled up on a pile of dog beds with Daisy, listening to the moaning little guy. We're on the waiting list for the flu vaccine. Cool.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Smacksy Sunday Links: Fall Back


Here's the thing. This whole Halloween week was nuts. It was fun but I am exhausted. We had zero trick or treaters this year so in the last three hours I've eaten a cord of peanut M&M's and I'm having difficulty focusing. God bless the time change, I really need the extra hour.

I can't make a decision so I'm giving you a choice for today's links and really, you can't go wrong with any of them.

This one is elegant in only the way a cat playing the piano with an orchestra could be and is giving my husband ideas about a new hobby for Pearl.

This one is an ad for your next favorite pair of jeans with an awesome smooth jazz soundtrack.

This one
is the queen of Canada performing shocking new wave duets.

Enjoy. I'm "falling back" into bed. (See what I did there?) So sleepy.