Thursday, April 29, 2010


Readers, I've been thinking a lot about my next step this week. Not my next meal, or my next nap, although those are perfectly reasonable things for me to be plotting, but the next step in my, y'know, life.

My daughter has said some things recently that have made me wonder whether it is such a good idea to let her see me chat on the phone and eff around on the computer all day. She and a friend were once playing Mom and Dog, and when I saw her on the couch with her feet up flipping through Newsweek, I asked her what she was doing and she said, I'm the mom. She has said things like, You don't have a job. and You don't work. and it got me to thinking about why I am the way I am (read: lazy) and I came up with a theory.

I have great mom, a fantastic, generous, beautiful, healthy, fit vivacious mom. But she was also the product of her times, and although she did work when we were growing up, her jobs always seemed temporary, mind-numbing, and only necessary to bring in a little extra dough. She didn't start a career until I was 15 and my brother was out of the house, and my guess is she never entertained the idea of getting a college degree. It was clear that her jobs were necessary, but not valuable. My dad would never, in one million years, have stayed home from work to take care of a sick kid, so guess who would? As awesome as it was to have had a mom that was home when I came home from school, even if I had no idea how awesome it was at the time, I am now wondering whether not having a working mother as a role model was not such a good idea. Although, saying that out loud seems crazy; lots of people I know had moms who stayed home, and they're the same people who are ambitious and hard-working and who take fewer than one nap a day. (My mom would probably like me to mention here that, even though she was often "just" a housewife, she actually spent her days cleaning her house until it gleamed, making her own clothes, and actually cooking dinner every night. She would probably also like to make it clear that she did not raise me to be a slob, and hereby absolves herself from any responsibility for my slovenliness. I'm just guessing.)

I'm concerned that, at eight years old, it may be too late to embed into my kid that working for a living is the default position. Of course, having to buy her own tampons and pay her own rent one of these days might give her a clue regardless of whether I have a job right now or not. She wasn't alive when I had my career and was too little to notice when I was the primary bread-winner of this family, and - am I ruining her? Is she gonna be like me? God, I hope not.

And how do I show a kid how to go after her dreams and reach for the stars if I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up? I do not want to go back to what I did before, and, hence, I am pondering next steps.

What do you guys think I should do with my life?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stick me with a Pitchfork, I'm Done

You may not know this about me, but I'm a really good gardener. Real green thumb. But only in April and May. Starting in June it all goes to shit, and by September all that's left are dried out bits of straw that began their lives as herbs and flowers and stuff. Last year, I didn't even plant the poor dears; I bought all my little herbs and things, but they just languished in their little plastic nursery pots, and never reached their life goals. I guess you would say I'm a big picture person, and idea man, a conceptual thinker, more than an implementer. The only things I tend to execute in the garden are innocent plants. They never know what hit 'em.

So, here it is April, and I am in full gardening mode. I'm at the peak of my abilities and interest right now. My big picture, my idea, my concept was to get a half wine barrel, put it right outside my back door, and fill it with herbs and a tomato plant. That way when I needed fresh herbs, I only have to take a few steps from the kitchen and snip. If the herbs are out in the actual yard, forget it. That would be mean going down the stairs, which would mean going up the stairs, and you all know who you're dealing with.

On Sunday, my family and I drove up to wine country to find the elusive wine barrel. I love how my husband indulges me in these pursuits, watching his hard-earned money slip through my fingers on pipe dreams of live plants. There was a guy on Craig's list selling wine barrels, but I sometimes feel a little weird calling random dudes off the internet and meeting them at their houses to buy leftovers from the hooch trade. So we decided just to go up there and drive around and see what we could find. It was like The Amazing Race, or what I imagine The Amazing Race to be like since I've never actually watched that show. We drove around, looking left and right for garden stores, or roadside stands, thinking that we'd be tripping over wine barrels up there, but no. We bumped into the Napa Visitor's center where the nice lady with the leathery tan and the fake nails told me to try Walmart or Home Depot. Would I have dragged my whole family, including the dog, all the way up to wine country to go to Walmart? Um, no. So she sent us in the direction of a local nursery and garden store; they were fresh out of wine barrels (seems the boy scouts supply them, which is kind of funny) They sent us to the OSH (we were getting a little desperate by this time) and they didn't have any either, but there was a guy in there who told me he sees a guy selling them out of the back of his truck over on Coombs street. So we drove in circles for a while looking for Coombs street, and Voila! we find the truck! I'll spare you the part about how my cell battery was dead, and we didn't have correct change, but suffice it to say that I purchased an oak wine barrel, stained red on the inside and reeking of cabernet, out of the back of a truck, owned by a guy named Randy. The same Randy who had wine barrels advertised on Craig's list...

After we got home, Leila was released from the clutches of the family outing and allowed to go play with a friend while Rob and I went to the nursery to buy all the plants that I will surely kill. More money sliding in the wrong direction. I got all kinds of cool stuff, but I couldn't actually plant anything because the barrel really needs to be on wheels so you can move it once its full of dirt. Monday I went to Home Depot to get the rollie thing, and some more plants, and then, I PLANTED. You heard right, I implemented my grand plan. It rained last night so they're not dead yet, but I had trouble sleeping during the rain worrying about my little darlings out there on the deck. Of course they were completely fine, they're plants, for chrisakes. I keep having to go over to the back door and admire my little barrel. I have parsley, basil, cilantro, chives, cherry tomatoes and one strawberry plant. I also have some corn, but I'm going to get Rob to implement that big idea.

Now I'm thinking about installing a drip system so I don't kill off everything. The deck out there is hot enough to fry bacon (mmmm bacon...) in the summer time, and if these plants are going to meet their makers anywhere, it will be on this deck. A drip system might just be the thing, and I think I can pretty much install it myself. Or, at the very least, I can communicate my vision to someone who knows what they're doing, or maybe just Rob.

Apropos of nothing, here is picture I took at the zoo few weeks ago that I think it good enough for a wildlife magazine, except that he lives, like, in a zoo. He had just picked his nose and eaten it. Does that info make the picture less cute?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Whole New Person

Dude, I know: Its been a week.

We had a great spring break. I decided that I couldn't handle being talked back to any more, so I thought that all this quality togetherness was the perfect time to crack down on the snarkiness being thrown my way every moment of every day by her highness. Seriously: it is one thing make it your mission in life that your child does not grow up to be a rude adult who can live and relate in the world in a way that does not make others want to slap her, but there is also something to be said for teaching this child that people have a limit for how much of her bullshit they will take. That people have self respect and will not allow themselves to be treated like crap. That I am The Mother, and I have ultimate power over the TV and Wii remotes, and I can make your life a living hell if I see fit by making you eat things you don't want to eat. (Actually, that last one isn't true. She pukes at the table if I make her taste something weird, like a hot dog.)

So I took away her screen privileges for the weekend, but I caved when her uncle came over to hang out and they wanted to play Wii together. So I suspended her screen privileges for two more days, and I thought I was making a dent. I also started charging her a quarter from her piggy bank every time she mouthed off, and I was making a killing, but she's the kind of kid that will look at me defiantly and go "25 cents? Lets make it 50!" What ended up working the best was telling her (after we spent the day in the snow with my mom) that "Grandma has noticed that your attitude sucks." That's all I had to say, and suddenly she was happy and grateful and loving. Like herself, only nicer.

Daddy got a couple of, "thank you so much for taking me to the Exploratorium, I had the best day, and you're the best dad in the whole world" I got "you're the best mom for taking me to the zoo, and I love you so much!" and she stopped asking me to watch TV 30 seconds after she opened her eyes in the morning, and she actually thanked me for making her "delicious" brown rice, and I have to say, it was DELIGHTFUL.

Why is it that, even though I am the main authority figure in her life, the threat of Grandma thinking she's a stinker is the thing that makes her turn the corner? When she was little, we used to tell her that The Manager of, y'know, the zoo or the bowling alley, or the airplane, said that whatever shitty thing she was doing was against the rules, and she would straighten right up. But I have to yell and scream and bust a poop string to get her to put her pajamas away without her shooting poison darts at me from her eyeballs. What do anonymous, invisible, and sometimes non-existent authority figures have that I don't have? This is a rhetorical question, but if I only had some of the magic that The Manager of every single restaurant she's ever been to has, I'd be in business.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Snow Day

I can't really pick what would be my Best Day Ever. I don't know if anyone can. But yesterday was pretty damn up there. Awesome day!!!

We decided to go to the snow and ski for the day, and then come back in the evening. Could it have gone any better? No, it could not have gone any better. Traffic? None. Weather? Warm. Snow? Powedery and beautiful. Food? Delicious, and paid for by someone else. Lift lines? short and fast (there's a slut joke in there somewhere, but I can't pull the name of a dwarf skank right now.) I didn't ski this time. We were planning on going to one of the cheap places, where you can ski for $20, but they're all closed for the season, so we went to a mid-range place, and you know what? You can really tell the difference between cheap and mid-range; you definitely get what you pay for. And all the kids working at these places? The nicest people ever! Are they all stoned? I'm just wondering. The guy who was sweeping the deck of the lodge was very detail oriented. Anyway, I took one for the team and saved $60 by not skiing.

So we got half-day passes for Rob and Leila, and they skied their little butts off. I sat in the sun with my mom, who tagged along, and people-watched and drank hot chocolate. I found complete satisfaction in watching Leila finish a run, and just get right back in line for the lift. She loved it, and didn't spend too much time on her butt. My mom and I went for a walk in the snow, and threw some snowballs, and we even got snowed on a little. It was more like snow drizzle. Snizzle. So fun. Made me look forward to going up next season and skiing my not-so-little butt off. Screw blisters and sore calves, man! Count me in!!

In the parking lot during our tailgate lunch

Getting her skis on like a pro. And poles? We don't need no stinkin' poles!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Here it is, in all its glory. I rule, and that's all I'm tryin' to say.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bored Housewife is Mad as Hell

So check this shit out. You know how I'm the head room parent for Leila's class, and I do all the stuff like the auction project, and the get-to-know-you cocktail party, and the class gifts and the end-of-year party and all the other little parties in between, and I email all the stuff that the PTA wants the class to know, and I collect and manage all the money, etc. etc.? You know, all that stuff? Well, yesterday, after I was all aglow from the successful art project that I did with the kids, I emailed the parents to tell them that A) their kids had all been super rock stars with the art thing, B) we would not be meeting at the classroom 15 minutes before the final bell to sing happy birthday to the teacher as previously emailed because she was going to be at a training, and C) that there is a new lice policy.


I got five emails, all from parents who were pleased and thankful that I consented to take on, and how I execute, the head room parent role. All of those emails had undercurrents of Thank God its not me, and Thank God the auction project is over and I can stop hiding from her and feeling guilty about not volunteering. These emails are lovely to get. These are all nice people who are appreciative. I got a lot of personal satisfaction from the project yesterday, but the nice emails are a bonus. And you know what? I don't expect the nice emails, and I don't do this job because I have a sick need for appreciation or parades in my honor. I do it because I am a control freak and its easier for me to do the job myself than worry about how someone else is doing it. God forbid they do it wrong!

But then, this morning, I get an email from this one parent, who shall remain nameless, lambasting me for the change in plans about singing happy birthday to the teacher. It seems she had to move an important meeting to be there for the song. Her message started with - wait, here's her actual message (the names have been changed to protect the innocent):

Well, that's not good Bored Housewife,

You said only yesterday that we shall sing on Friday, and I had to change an important meeting to make sure I come at 2:00 and told my kid (who was out today) that the celebration is tomorrow...

Also the teacher told me she will be finishing the technology project with the kids and I am coming to help at 11:00.

When did all this change?

Really? I mean, REALLY? How important could this meeting have been if you decided to reschedule it to sing a 25 second song? And, by the way, you're welcome!

This is the same parent who razzed me about how long it was taking to schedule the get-to-know-you cocktail party, but didn't volunteer to host it (so I had to host it) and the same parent who made the time to come to the holiday party in the classroom, but didn't bring anything, didn't lift a finger to help with the party while she was there, and then complained that there was no music. She also asked me in front of people if I have a hormone problem and if that's why I'm so fat. (those weren't her exact words, but that was the meaning, trust me.) This is the same mom who stared at my toenails last year like I had rotting talons, and shamed me into getting a pedicure the next day.

Her daughter is absolutely lovely, she really is. Great kid. But I'm seriously considering asking the teacher to not place her in the same class as my kid next year so that I don't have to deal with her mother, should I volunteer to be head room parent again (which you will not let me do, right? RIGHT?)

So here's the lesson I want you to take from this post, and it is the lesson I learned from having my daughter in a cooperative preschool: when someone is volunteering for a job, when they are doing something for nothing so you don't have to, DON'T COMPLAIN. The obvious exception is if they are embezzling money or something like that, but generally speaking, keep your pie hole shut, unless you're ready to take on that job as your own. If you think you can do it better, keep it to yourself if you don't want to actually do it. If you have a great idea about something that could be done or how something could be done better, unless you're ready to role up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, shut the hell up.

For chrissakes.

And you know what else? She has a disabled placard in her car, which I presume is for her elderly mother because neither she nor her child have any discernible disabilities; she uses the placard to park on campus when she picks up her kid. I know this because last year when I was ACTUALLY disabled for a few months, and actually NEEDED to park in a disabled spot to get onto the campus, her car was in the way. Now, if there is an invisible disability of which I am not aware, I will eat my hat, but I suspect that there isn't.

This is fair warning: Don't piss off a blogger!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Conquer Second Grade: Check!

You know what? I could totally teach second grade. Yes, I would probably be bald at the end of the first week from tearing my hair out, and by the end of the second week I'd be dead, but today, for 45 minutes, I did an art project with a room of second graders BY MYSELF.

I'm still kind of stunned.

I told you about the class auction project, and about how I don't really have an artsy bone in my body, but what I didn't tell you was that I worked in Leila's preschool once a week for three years and when the job rotation landed me in the Art Room, I would do almost anything, wash the dishes, do a rain walk, mow the lawn with my teeth, FILL THE BRITTA, to avoid doing art with preschoolers. They make an ungodly mess. There is glue, glitter, crayons, more paint on the floor then on the paper, and then there's the home-made playdough, and add to all of that that the art room also had a door to the outside and a half bathroom, so mixed with all the paint and glitter and playdough and glue was sand and toilet paper and probably a little pee, and since they're preschoolers you know there's snot or boogers on the floor, too. I hated that room. I had nightmares about it. It gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.

Also, I'm not a natural at working with little kids. Surprising, I know, since I'm a patient angel all the time. I think I can have a good rapport with little kids, but when they stop being cute and start being loud or messy or snotty, I just want to run. Thank God I have a kid who is quiet and compliant and lovely, otherwise I'd be in big trouble.

When Leila was two and a half or so we went to someone's house for a play group where she could play and frolic with other two and half year-olds and one of those little effers was mean to her; pushed her or something. A completely reasonable behavior for a toddler, but when you see your kid get shoved, your mother-instincts make you want to mow that other kid down with your minivan. So, about fifteen minutes later, I'm in the garage of this house where the uber-mom has set up an art room (yes, my nemesis, THE ART ROOM) and the kids have completely moved on from the shoving incident or whatever it was, and the little bitch, I mean little girl who shoved my kid looks up at me with some tube of paint or whatever and says, sweet as you please, Could you open this for me? and I look at her with disdain, like she voted for Giuliani or something and I'm all, NO. It took me a beat to realize I was being a complete jerk, so I opened the thing and decided to go in the other room and calm down with a juice box.

Which brings me back to the auction project.

I was awesome. The teacher was grading papers, and I helped 17 kids do 28 panels for the project that we're doing for the auction. The kids were even awesomer than me. They had eagle-eye focus, and were totally into the importance of the project. I even heard my own daughter say to a classmate, We have to do our best, the whole school is counting on us. Not entirely true, but I liked her verve.

So, anyway, that's it. It was good. Turns out second graders are slightly more mature than preschoolers, and way less snotty.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Black Coffee in Bed

Like I would ever give you up for Rob, of all people. Honestly. April Fools, just in case you haven't caught on by now.

I just don't know what to cover first. I took part in the longest PTA meeting to ever take place this morning, I've eaten my weight in liverwurst and herring salad in the last few days, I have the inaugural meeting of the Mother/Daughter Book Club at my house tomorrow night, and I'm in charge of doing the class' auction project for the big fundraising auction this year.

That last part makes me feel like I just typed, "and I'll be going into space on the next space shuttle." I am the lamest artsy person I know, and it is a crime that I am in charge of this project, but no one else volunteered in time, so here we are. If I can get this project done and in a frame and ready for people to bid on by the end of next week, it will be a freakin' miracle.

When I write in September about how I want to be Home Room Parent for the class, please remind me of this moment, okay? Maybe that will knock some sense into me. I have figured out why we have summer vacation: because at the end of the school year, you are muttering to yourself, I am never going to be Home Room Parent again, and this school fundraiser can suck it, and I need a real job and I can't take it anymore, and then they give you two glorious months off, during which time you drink a lot of margaritas and spend some days by the beach and sleep in and stuff, so that by September you're all, eh, it wasn't so bad. Okay, sign me up.

Please don't let this happen to me.

Here's something totally else, though: Is it gross to eat in bed or not? I have heard conflicting ideas on this. Does it depend on what you're eating? Like, what if what you're eating doesn't produce crumbs or drips? When I smoked, a thousand years ago (because I'm the pillar of health now...) I smoked in bed too and people thought it was disgusting. I loved it! It was the best place to smoke; in bed with a good book and a glass of water, smokin' away. And after years of roommates that made me sit outside in the cold and smoke, it was the height of luxury. So I ask you: what is so gross about eating in bed? I love eating in bed. In fact, I think most tasks are vastly more enjoyable if you can do them in bed. If I were some kind of rich industrialist, I would probably run as much of my empire from bed as possible.

Alright that's it. Love ya.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sad Day

Alright everybody, here's the deal. This will be my last post.

Things are not going too well over here at Casa de Bored Housewife. Rob was really upset about the post where I called him a clueless douchebag. He tried to be a good sport about it, writing his little guest post, but he's been really snipey and weird ever since and it all blew up last night. We were fighting well into the night, and then he finally slept on the couch.

He wants me to give you up. What am I supposed to do? As much as I've loved writing this, and as much as I love your comments, I love him more, so I guess this is it. Thanks all you readers for being so awesome, this was really fun.

Take care

Love, Bored Housewife