Monday, October 27, 2008

Personal vs Public

Something funny is up with total strangers blurring the lines between private and public info. People will ask anything! And out of experience, my criteria has become this - make it funny if you're going to make remarks or ask questions!

This stranger phenomenon first struck when I was pregnant with twins. Perfect strangers wanted to know my complete fertility history, and were not shy about asking if I was on drugs. Fertility treatments, in-vitro, acupuncture, karmic meditation - how did this happen to me?? It always caught me off guard, though I probably should have come up with a good line early on. I don't think well on my feet.

Well, that's not quite true. I think fine on my feet, only a foot usually ends up in my mouth. :) So, it's better for me to have down pat what I will say, so as to avoid awkward stares. Plus, I have face that is practically glass. Everything I think runs right across my face, like the CNN ticker. Or maybe my eyes are projectors, like those script-thingies public speakers read from.

Either way, I would stare blankly at the nosy nelly stranger, and state the truth. "Dropped two eggs, and both took! Wow, what luck!" Finally I saw a tee shirt that gave me an answer to if twins "run in my family" - I would say "Depends on who is chasing them." :-) That became a favorite.

But now, when we roll with our entire entourage, people watch and smile or grimace or follow us and ask to be adopted. Oh wait. That's Angelina that gets that question.

So we were going into a store, the whole kit & caboodle, and a kind gentleman was holding open the door. As the kids paraded around the corner, followed by Rick with the stroller, I could see by the stranger's face that he was thinking of those circus clown cars where 3000 clowns climb out of a tiny VW.

He said, "Well, that's a passel of kids! Don't you have a TV???"

Cut to Rick & I, giggling at each other, wondering when our personal life became mall-parking-lot fodder. But truly appreciative of two things: 1. it was funny, 2. we hadn't been asked that before, in quite that way.

A TV? Maybe I should have just told him I ran out of books to read... :)

Friday, October 24, 2008


Some days we just need to take a breath, a deep one, and not take ourselves so seriously.

In the spirit of deep breaths and lovin' life, this goes out to my Dad. He would have forwarded this to the world. Wait a minute... he just did! :)

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Thanks to Backpacking Dad for this one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Call

I got the call this morning.

The ring shrilled out in the silence, early enough to make my heart pound.

I checked the caller ID and got a little breathless. Quietly, I said "hello" and strained to listen:
"This is the A. Public Library, materials you have selected are now available."

Ahhhhhh-YEAH! Whoot-whoot... whoot-whoot!

If you're thinking it is the remaining two Twilight books, you would be right! And if you're thinking I put them both on hold at the same time, you would also be right. I'm a very speedy reader. :) I will fight off those waiting 14-year-olds any day of the week.

So... I'll be MIA for a while.

I'm thinking I can get a huge Costco pizza, and just leave it out. The kids can nibble on that all day, and they're getting better about not spilling when they pour their own drinks.

Sorry children of mine, I have an obsession, and his name is Edward. And klutzy Bella reminds me of myself. I have the perfect example.

Many years ago, as I was just about to leave for NYC, for my first professional modeling shoot, I had a small accident. The morning I was supposed to leave, I over-excitedly opened the front door - right on my face. Skinned my whole cheekbone. Doh. And was delighted to explain to all the make-up artists exactly *why* they had to cover up a scrape. Such is my luck with physical coordination.

I mean, really. Who opens a door on their face?? Surprisingly, my big foot did not stop the door.

You can see why I might have a soft spot for poor Bella. :)

So, until I have read the books a few good times, in all eager anticipation, I will be off the radar. Off the grid. And living large in my gifted imagination.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Happy Day

Today marks the day that R-i-c-k-e-y was born! Why does he spell his childhood nickname with an e-y? Nobody knows. And his mama is 96 now, so she ain't tellin' and may not even be aware that I use that name so frequently. I love this smile. I do not love this muscle shirt. :)
To celebrate Rickey's special day, I put a treat in his suitcase, for him to open in his hotel. I don't know why. Just had a wild hare that I would encourage his lifelong appreciation for H@lle Berry, rather than wishing my poor ole pale self could ever be that glam. So, in went the latest Esqu!re mag, though I did read the article first, and may I say, Ms. Berry IS all that. And they were remaking the iconic Clinton cover this month - very cool. While finding this pic, I learned that H@lle is from Ohio, too, like R. Coincidence? I think not.

Here is Rickey in his Daddy hat, which he wears so competently. He threatens to take over my job. I threaten to let him.

Happy Day, to my main man. May you know the quantity of my love by the way I posted multiple muscle shirt pics even though I am so anti-muscle-shirt. You have me over a barrel. Cover those guns, H@lle's on the prowl.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

You had me at "You..."

This delectable note was in my inbox this week:

You were one of the first‏
Barack Obama (
Mon 10/13/08 1:26 PM

Bethany --You were one of the first 100,000 people to own a piece of this campaign. You provided the strength needed to build a movement. Back then, few pundits or insiders thought we had a chance. But thanks to you, we overcame steep odds. Twenty months later, millions of Americans all across the country have joined you, working for change.

Oh Barack. You had me at "You were one of the first...." Oh wasn't I. I read about you, googled, youtubed and generally stalked you for the past 4 years. When others had never heard your name, I toted a Barack button on my handbag. When your name was but a blip in the Chicago legislature, I forwarded your local speeches. I fell for you. Your crisp diction. Your controlled eloquence. The way you say "Well. Look." as you gather your thoughts.

I have enshrined my fridge with your smiling countenance and love letters, pushing my children's artwork to the fringes. My little ones see your face on tv and come shrieking for me - "Mom! It's A-wok-a-bama!" *sigh*

Waiting for your call‏
From: (
Wed 10/15/08 11:06 PM

I know you are waiting for my call. I will place it very soon now, when early voting week opens.
Your siren song of change has captured me. Please don't break my heart.

Sincerely yours,

"one of the first"

Friday, October 10, 2008

A jumble of unrelated ideas

I had a coupla things brewing up into stories overnight.

The first one was "My grandmother thinks Sarah Palin should be President and I have been struck dumb." Something about the cute little suits she wears, combined with her cute mannerisms, or somesuch notion. But she is so cool for a granny, that I could only listen and mumble respectfully that I disagreed. And finally admit we would get nowhere with this discussion and besides that, my throat was closing up on me and my eyes were bugging out. Such is the toll that stifling of political opinion takes on me. Such is my respect for my beloved Gig. :-)

But I have just the solution for people of like mind:

Write her in on your ballot! Really! Go ahead! There's a spot for people that you think could get the job done, so use that blank space! I think that's exactly what you should do, and get a few of your friends to do the same (but only a few friends, mind you).

And then I'll see you in November... :-)

(What?! You think I'm kidding, and there must be some trick to this?? I promise not. You're truly allowed to write in your own choice. Just don't hold me accountable for the outcome.)

Then I was going to post some fun action shots of the kids playing in puddles yesterday, which I may still do.

But when I walked out to the mailbox, and saw this on the driveway, courtesy of Cole, I knew I had my post:

A propos of nothing, my boy graffiti'd peace slogans on the driveway! With exclamations galore, to show his extreme emotion! "No hate!!!" and "Love is best!!!" - a 2nd grade view of the ideals of life. I love it. (Sorry, pic wouldn't turn...)

Happy Friday all - have a no hate kind of weekend...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Teen angst!

I know this will not be funny to some people... but it really cracked me up! All due respect to overwhelmed parents and all, and feel free to remind me of my hilarity when I am a mom of 4 teens...

On the news this morning, there was a story on a recent problem. It seems that the Safe Harbor law that was passed is being misused. The law was intended to stop infant abandonment, by making it legal to leave unwanted babies at certain locations like fire stations and hospitals.

But lately, parents have been dropping off their TEENAGERS! What an option!

Your kid throws you some teen angst and -BAM! Dropped off!

I called my Mom to tell her I was thankful that this law was not in effect when I was a teen, or I surely would have grown up as a ward of the state. :) Mom asked if there was a limit to the amount of times you could drop a teen off, or was it only allowed once. :) Sorry Mom, Jeremy's not a teen anymore, he's yours for good...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hawks a-swooping

Phoenix is deeply enamored with trees (said the woman who named him after a bird, sheepishly) (not that I named him sheepishly, no, that was with confidence. Just that I am noticing his avian tendencies rather sheepishly!). He will lie on a blanket in the back yard for a very long time, delightedly cooing and kicking. We call it “watching the leaves dance.” He gets all of his appendages a-going, just a-thrashing away, and is so a-thrilled when the wind a-blows and all of the branches a-wave. Haha. That was a-irresistible.

I discovered today that it works from inside too. He was discontent, and it was raining out. So I put him on a blanket by the back door, which is glass, so he could see the tree right outside the door. Magic in the forest – it worked! He saw those branches, with the rain all drip-dripping through them, and the leaves all jiggly with the breeze, and he became content.

But yesterday when we were out back, Phoenix wriggling in delight, me reading alongside him in delight, a hawk flew into the yard again. It was smaller than the one that visited earlier in the spring (pictured in my blog headline, and responsible for the confirmation of Phoenix’s name), but still very cool. It landed briefly in the tree near me, then swooped down into the neighbor’s yard. I soon heard small squeaks and assumed it caught whatever it was after. I couldn’t stand up to look over the fence though, because I was all of a sudden struck by the notion that it might swoop in and take Phoenix!

And that notion snowballed until I was decidedly & weirdly superstitious about leaving his side at all. Like the tales of fairies returning for changeling infants, my mind raced with the idea that my boy might return to his home in the sky… I mean, really. He does a great hawk cry – truly authentic. He would be an asset to any raptor family.
I know. I clearly spend too much time in the company of kids, fairy-tales, my lonesome, and reading sci-fi/fantasy. Part-bird, part-boy! Maybe he has owl blood, which could explain his nocturnal tendencies. Well, no, he doesn't exactly hoot. He only screeches. I'll have to think about this some more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ode to Costco

I think that I shall never see
I sight that is so joyful and lovely
As 3 hungry pumpkins sitting on a bench
Sharing one slice and one drink to quench
The hunger! The thirst! The ravenous hordes!

Well, my rhyming petered out, but this is all true - take one giant Costco cheese slice, divided by 3, and one medium drink - and you've got dinner for 3 for less than $3. No whining, no pouting, just glorious silence accompanied by munching and swallowing.

And 2 snickering strangers, avidly watching the carnage that is our kids eating Costco pizza. These people said it was such a treat to get "dinner and a show" but even more of a treat to see us feed all those kids with ONE slice. I told them that's how I keep them lean and mean, at their fighting weight. Then I told them we would be back next week, and may possibly charge a next-table fee for interested patrons.

Such is life when you roll 6 deep.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gentleman Joe

Happy Friday folks! =)

Well, I honestly cannot say I "watched" the debate, because I kept getting distracted by Palin's beehive, and had to look away. So I listened, and heard waaaay too many Beaver-Cleaverish phrases. Those gosh darn maverick hockey mom outsiders just make me want to say gee whiz and wowsers!
Biden certainly played nice, and even when he called Palin on dodging questions, he did it in a soft way. So that was a little disappointing. I like attack-dog Biden! Of course he had to moderate it, but could have gone with a bit more spunk I think.

I feel like Joe Biden stated clearly the goals of the Obama-Biden ticket, and connected the dots on salient issues. So I was satisfied on that account. But boggled on the so-called mommy appeal of Palin. The persona, charisma and experience of Obama & Biden weigh heavy with me. And the thought of Palin in crucial foreign policy negotiations makes me nervous. Her mid-western pet phrases will not seem half so cute in those situations, and will hardly get the job done. Cuteness can only mask ignorance for so long - and should never replace a firm grasp on policy. Not when our national security is at stake. Cuteness is off my radar when it comes to representing American interests on the worldwide stage. Talk about starry-eyed surprise - when the glaze of Palin's physical appeal has been rubbed off of Republican eyes, that's when you get the surprise - as in, Surprise! I don't know a thing about world politics!

So the only real debate question at this point should be this: Who do we all want to stand up AS us? To speak FOR us? And I am infinitely more comfortable with a well-versed, well-traveled team of leaders who are able to move among a variety of cultures both domestic and international. Maverick won't mean a thing once you're out of US borders. On the world stage a maverick is more akin to a rogue nation - that goes its own way regardless of international opinion.