some stories are so funny; we laugh until we cry and some stories are so sad we cry before we finish, but all stories need to be told...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

the ped egg

if i had a HUGE family sized bag of utz potato chips, purchased in a weak moment, which i then realized, coming out of my fat/salt coma that i needed to rid myself of immediately i would not call in one small black ant to finish the job.

obviously and eventually the bag of chips would be gone- but not in my lifetime.

a predicament of epic proportion cannot be solved with teeny. or dull. 

thus my ped egg dilemma.

as i live in brooklyn, ny, and as i do not possess a car, and as i need things like food and, well mostly food and library books, i do a LOT of walking. my feet are a mess.

and as i am one of "those people" ( a/k/a a judgmental asshole) and as i sometimes treat myself to a subway ride instead of walking say, 50 blocks, and as subway rides can be boring if you've forgotten your library book, i partake in the obvious; i judge people for all the things i am sure they are judging me (that is the "m.o." of the judgmental asshole- "go forth and judge before being judged").  in spring i become completely grossed out by disgusting feet in sandals; cracked heels, giant calluses and those cloudy nails (that look oddly similar to yellow jingle shells). and as any judgmental asshole can attest, we judge ourselves the hardest; i have now added an obsessive compulsive foot care regimen to my chock-full humanly impossible to achieve it all- obsessive compulsive day.

enter the ped egg.

every night after doing the netty pot, flossing with tea tree oil, brushing my teeth and slathering my face with lotion that makes me look eerily similar to a jester- i close the lid of the toilet, spread out a bath mat and get to work. hours and strokes later i finish my right foot and wearily move onto the left. the ped egg is one of those phenomenons- like a bad accident- it's super gross and you don't want to look and yet somehow you are fascinated and cannot help yourself. as i stroke stroke stroke away (i like to sing one of those slave rowing songs from the roman galley ship days) i am fascinated by the amount of foot snow that doesn't stayed contained in the egg shell. when i am finished i am disappointed and left to wonder- who's foot snow is that and if mine, why don't my feet look fantastic?

a little off the point, but something i must add- i want to know; who invented the ped egg? because in the off chance it is someone i know i want to make sure that if i ever go to their house for supper i don't eat anything prepared with a cheese grater as part of the process. it is OBVIOUS that the ped egg inventor (a man) was laid off from his executive position. one day, while sitting in his lazy boy- tuckered out from sending resumes all morning, he took off his socks and noticed the horror of his feet. realizing that he would not be able to apply to the foot model position listed on craigslist that morning, unless he did something immediately, he started to brain storm.  he went to the kitchen for a budweiser and decided to have nachos too. he got out the chips- he scraped the thin layer of mold off of the salsa he retrieved from the far reaches of his fridge, he got out the cheddar and he found the cheese grater. he began his preparation. after his 5th stroke of cracker barrel sharp cheddar on said grater a large chunk broke and fell to the floor. as he leaned over to pick up the chunk that hit the linoleum and landed near his left big toe, he suddenly and without warning had an idea (isn't that how all great inventions are born?)

excitedly and trepidatiously, he took the cheese grater a paper towel and the budweiser back to his lazy boy. he got to work- slowly at first- then fascinated by his own foot snow- he went wild. realizing women would LOVE this but also realizing women don't love messes he was perplexed; "how can i contain the snow?". momentarily disappointed but wildly determined he went back the fridge for another budweiser and a hard boiled egg. back to the lazy boy. he gently rolled the egg on his snack table- and peeled the egg in one perfected motion. back to the foot. back to the grater. wanting to clean up some of the foot snow- and save it for a good measure he inventoried  the snack table- empty bud can, toe nail clippers, foot lotion, (remember the foot modeling gig?), nail file, egg shell.

he carefully folded the paper towel and shook the snow into the egg shell. voila the ped egg was born.

a few days later he landed the foot modeling position. at a celebration dinner that night, he made nachos for his friends and family, quietly pleased with himself, knowing that soon he would be able to financially support all of his loved ones once the patent on his invention was approved.

back to me.
back to my feet- or the horrors thereof.
the teeny cheese grater is about as effective as the wee black ant attempting to eat a family-sized bag of utz potato chips.
that being said
from all the rubbing and stroking and ped egg effort my arms look fantastic- my biceps and triceps haven't been this tone in years.

so, thank you and happy st. paddy's day ped egg inventor man.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

going cheyenne

it started out so innocently. then again, most addictions do.  it isn’t often that you hear an addict on oprah or dr. phil say “i knew even before i snorted my first line/took my first drink/placed my first bet that i would really like this and would be willing to give up all i’ve worked for, just to be able to be high/drunk/at a casino every day”. innocent and easy is how it all begins.

let me start at the beginning.
i text my boys (not really boys; they are 23 & 20) every day.  twice a day- once first thing in the morning and again before i go to bed.

this all started with a morning text to my 23 year old.

wait, let me go back a little further.

i love to read.  i will read anything; fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, biographies, poetry, shampoo bottles- anything. okay. i don’t like to read nutrition labels- because i fear that if i know the number of calories per serving, i won’t ever eat that particular item again; sad but true but hardly the point. the point is that a few months ago i read a fascinating book by jim fergus- one thousand white women.  without going into huge detail- blabbedy blah- and for fear of becoming one of those people who advises: “you must read this”, then ruins the book for you by “outlining” the entire story, i will only tell you this: there are indians- as in native americans.  cheyenne to be exact.  and there are white women. duh.  did you know that an indian name is comprised directly from one’s behaviours/traits/characteristics/foibles and can remain the same throughout one’s life or change many times- depending on the person? beguiling, i know and exactly my point.

back to texting my 23 year old son today. at work. he was at work, i was not. in principle i was if you consider i am a stay at home mother; whenever i am at home i am at work- but nobody sees it that way, plus, if i’m not at home, but always with my 4 year old son - fully responsible for his well being and entertainment, then technically i am always at work- even if I am at the playground playing hide n’ seek appearing to be having fun- don’t be mislead. hello, working. 

back to the texting. i try to keep them brief; however, i refuse to use the "lol’s" and "bff’s", i am far too proper to speak that way.  i keep it brief with real words. some days the texts are serious and poignant. sometimes I write songs- or more accurately i change lyrics to other peoples’s songs. but I do try to keep it brief. especially considering my 23 year old is at work.  he is a recent college grad- attempting to get into the military, he works at a highschool as a supervisor for in school suspension kids; so texting him is inappropriate. i try to keep it brief so he can pretend to be looking down at his shoes or his pant cuffs while ever so quickly reading my greeting.

today, as i’ve explained started so very innocently but all escalated so quickly.  i was suddenly unable to stop myself.

things have changed.

my 23 year old used to call me every day. when he was 22 and stateside he would call several times per day. this summer he traveled to egypt working there for 6 months. he returned in december.  in march he turned 23. he doesn’t call so much anymore. 

this morning’s text began much like any other: “happy day to you” and then it all went, well it went cheyenne: “ a very happy day to you, sonwhonevercallsanymore”. i started laughing- quietly at first. “that is my new native american/cheyenne name for you” i explained.


i kept going: it is what i do best in awkard moments: make them even more awkard by merely existing.

“want to know what i call your brother?” (my 23 year old is militant. my 20 year old is not.  he is a poet/writer/musician lover- who cannot ever remember where he is supposed to be/ where he left his cell phone/keys/car/dorm room)- “ i call him: scatteredmindwholosesthings”.
now i was on a roll- laughing hysterically – my typing hands could not keep up with my mind.
“want to know what I call your father?” (foot note- it was a BITTER divorce. BIT-TER.)
“cheapevilmanwithoneblacktoothwhosmokestoomuch”. i was now thoroughly into this: laughing loudly and maniacally. (this is why i stopped getting high. i was that person- the one who was laughing hysterically at the jokes in my head- laughing to a point where i was unable to talk, therefore, unable to share whatever it was that i perceived as so very very funny. i looked like a total freak.)

and yes, even though my son was at work i was now on the unstoppable proverbial roll.

“want to know what I call your grandmother?” (i abhor my mother- we’ve not spoken in years. she is a strange cold woman who should never have birthed children. which she did.  three times. not one of us speaks to her.  an investment banker & financial planner for years she’s now retired and taken up painting; private lessons- the whole shebang. her walls are covered- literally floor to ceiling with her own (bad) artwork)
“i call her: womanwhopaintsbadlyandlovesherselftoomuch”(my mother also calls my children and offers to PAY them if they pretend to ‘simply happen by’ when she has company- we refer to it as “soul- selling”)
“or, or” (i am now writing as if i were speaking- and i am CRACKING MYSELF UP) “or i call her “womanwhopaysgrandchildrenandtakestheirsouls”.
i then text:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (i know it should be lol- or something like that, but HAHAHAHAHA is so much more meaningful)

my son texts back: “U R so f-in funny”.

i finish the diatribe with myself “know what i call myself?” (i can barely keep my hands on the keyboard and i am so wishing there were someone home, other than the 4 year old i am in charge of to share this hilarity with) “womanwhotalkstoomuchandhasnomoney”. the tears are streaming down my glittery face (don't ask) and my body is shaking.


i have either (a) lost my mind, (b) gone too far or (c) both.

it is addicting, the cheyenne naming way.

it would make life so much more honest.
instead of awkward introductions – like at parties- where you introduce someone you don’t like to someone you do- sneaking away to explain/gossip “oh, that sherry, i don’t like her much, she slept with my sister’s husband”.  you would simply introduce sherry as “inconsideratebitchwhoruinedmysisterslife”no expalanation needed. no need for sherry to wonder if you know, if you like her or if you have forgiven her. it’s all there – in the name.

having a problem with the lousy neighbor? the nosy drunkard who insists on putting your stroller, legally parked out of the way in the hall, down into the garbage room? next time you are with a friend and bump into him simply introduce him- the cheyenne way “janet, this is grumpyjimthealcoholicwhotouchesthingsthatdontbelongtohimandthinkshimselfsneakywhosassiwillkickifhetouchesmystuffagain”. see? point made.

and now i am off, to text my boys goodnight

peace and love to all,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

a conceited penis

today my nearly 4 year old and i had to make an emergency trip to our local century 21 department store.  he's been experiencing "penis situations". or as he refers to them "my piggy is stuck up".
that's right, in our house a penis is a piggy- sly started it- so i'm thinking it must be a west indian thing, but it works- especially out in public. it's like a super fantastic secret code.

when my now 25 year old daughter was 4, we too created a secret language for body parts (it was the early 90's and people were crazy preparing their children for kidnappings and other fun stuff. as if no child before had ever been kidnapped or had any other bad thing happen- in the 90's we started talking about it and preparing our children.  in other words we were scaring the crap out of our kids and ruining them for life. but i stray from my point). a vagina was a goonie- which was great- until the movie goonies came out-  then it became a secret joke- some unwilling participant would ask- "have you seen goonies?" and our family would appear retarded as we, unable to look each other in the eyes, embarked upon fits of 'inside joke giggling'.

my father was appalled at such nonsense. he called one night in a panic:
"hello?" said i.
"eve, what if she has an emergency at a sleep over?" my father nervously asked.
"dad, what are you talking about?" said i.
"what if abby has a vagina emergency at a sleep over- and in trying to relay her problem tells the adult "my goonie hurts"- they won't understand her. what will she do then?"
"seriously dad, who has vaginal emergencies at 4?  she has hands and fingers if all else fails, she can always point." said i.

fast-forward 20 years and my father has completely mellowed, believing "piggy" is brilliant and hysterical.  "if only i were so troubled as to have a piggy stuck in up peeking out of my skivs" he shared today via skype. which made me throw up a little and laugh at the same time.

so now in this house, we have a piggy. we also utilize goonie as reference/secret code for vagina.  my precious boy LOVES to make frequent public announcements: "boys have piggys and girls have goonies".  see? the code is important.

back to the "piggy issues".
the boy runs last minute into the bathroom, does his necessaries and yells what all parents of diapered infants long to hear and all parents of toddlers associate with nails on a chalkboard:  "I'M FINIiiiiiSHED".
one of us goes in. we wipe. we praise. we pull up the pants. and more often then not we hear: "wait, my piggy is stuck up".
at first i thought, "how does he know? how does one assess the attitude of one's penis? are there kind gentle penises? angry rageful ones? are there pontifical penises?  is there a penis aptitude test? i knew they housed male brains, but i had no idea they had personalities too. doesn't anyone tell me anything, must i learn life's secrets on my own?".

then we figured it out.
the piggy doesn't have attitude. yet.
the piggy is stuck.
the skivs and pants go off (don't ask, but he feels the need for complete bottom half naked freedom whilst eliminating).
we pull the skivs back on.
voila, the piggy gets stuck in an up position, pointing out of the top of the skivs as if it is a desperate claustrophobic piggy criminal in need of escape or air.
the problem is furthered by the fact that he tries to fix it on his own by RUBBING the piggy down- which makes it really stuck in UP.

the frequency of the conceited penis situation has been happening all too frequently lately, thus our emergency trip to the store for size 5 scooby doo and toy story skivvers.

this problem needed to be addressed ASAP, after all; i am trying to raise a good man with a kind, intelligent penis AND there is only enough space in this three room apartment for one bad attitude.

Monday, March 7, 2011

a scientific approach

as i was walking down my block yesterday, being my usual observant (or as sly says 'nosy') self
i learned a few things:
eventhough it was windy and felt like the tundra there were buds on the trees, i also noticed a forty of budweiser on the curb.
my hypothesis?
spring is coming as hard as it is to believe and
drunks live in this neighborhood and they do not recycle.....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

a promise

I have this idea, that at birth, the Hippocratic Oath (changed for obvious reasons-) should be read by the new parents and whispered into the child's ear. Later, when the child is old enough to comprehend the words fully the child must read it aloud and sign the document as a contract.  Maybe then the world would be a better place- maybe we would all be little kinder and a little less judgmental:

I've tweaked this as best I could- any underline/small print should be a strike through- or a word removed from the original document and bold italics are what could be promised/vowed/spoken/believed/breathed/passed forward:

I, (state your name), swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians my parents and ancestors in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick,sad, sick, and broken all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment overindulgence and therapeutic familial nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to life(medicine as well as science), and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh all other remedies the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my family colleagues when the skills of another are needed. for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my blood/clan/house patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power, words and actions to damage take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not love a stockbroker, drug addict, or  yogi,  treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a  sick human being, whose illness may life affects the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes all these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick my family.

I will prevent disparity disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the lost and broken infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of  loving.healing those whoseek my help.

I will start today. 
I will make this promise and whisper it into the ear of my nearly 4 year old. 
I will sit quietly, close my eyes and will this promise to my estranged mother, sister, and brother. I will make this promise, silently to the 24 year old daughter I adore who no longer speaks to me. 
I will inhale deeply and on an exhale I will imagine this promise this covenant floating on wings and gliding gently, finally settling into the hearts of my father, my step-mother, my beautiful grown sons, my dear sweet  friends and my miraculous lover.
I promise to live more kindly, more accutely aware that we are all fragile and we are all struggling to make our way.

Will you promise to try tomorrow?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


taking a moment to find my center
i know its here somewhere,
if only i could remember when i had it last.....