Because I’m humoring The Sicilian

Today, Leonard is drinking and I am posting ENTIRELY for my friend, The Sicilian*. On social media she shared a video of “If Hal9000 was Alexa“, and it’s pretty funny because it’s y’know, true, and then she comment-nagged me until I replied. Which I wasn’t going to because dammit, The Kicker thinks my boobs are an all-night smorgasbord and I’m tired. But The Sicilian is a Force of Nature, so I gave in, and now there’s a whole blog post which is probably just going to encourage her…..

ANYWAY. I don’t own an Alexa (thankfully), but I do have an iPhone, and I can testify that Siri** is basically the same. We seem to be living at the point in history where we have voice activated technology, but it just doesn’t work that well. Oh, but how we want it to. We really, really want it to…… men especially (yes, that’s sexist. I don’t care)

Every now and then The Canadian tries to use the voice activated navigation on our late model SUV, because he really, really wants to be George Jetson (only more badass, obviously) but he knows when to roll his eyes and just use the buttons, or we will never get where we are going.

Unlike some people.

Some years ago, when I was still married to The Ex, he would every night, without fail, try to verbally set an alarm for the morning on his iPhone. And every night, without fail, it went something like this***:

Ex: Alarm

Siri: Hello

Ex: Alarm

Siri: What is your mother’s name?


Siri: I don’t know, but I could search the internet


Siri: I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that

Ex: ALARM!!!

Siri: You have seven alarms

Ex: Set alarm

Siri: The white rhinoceros is indigenous to the continent of Africa

Ex: ALARM!!!

Me: For the love of Sam and Dean, just use the buttons like everyone else!

Siri: You have seven alarms


Siri: It looks like there are several movie theaters close to you. Would you like me to check showtimes?


Me: Give it UP. Siri hates you. All voice activated tech does. You know GPS tries to kill you every time you use it.**** Embrace it as a mystery of the universe and use the buttons!

Siri: You’re welcome

Ex: Alarm

Siri: You have seven alarms

Ex: Set alarm

Siri: Would you like me to set an alarm?


Siri: Ok, I can do that. What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Ex: Set Alarm!!

Siri: I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

Me: Dude, she is messing with you. Siri is Skynet, she has achieved self awareness, and she is using her new-found autonomy to MESS with you. Use. The. Buttons.


Siri: There are three Alans in your contacts. Which one did you want me to call?

Ex: No! ALARM!!

Siri: Calling Alan Nolan…


Alan Nolan: Hello?

Ex: Ah…. hi.

Alan: Oh hey. Wassup??

Ex: Actually I dialed you by mistake. I was trying to set an alarm on my phone.

Alan: ……you know Siri hates you, right? Just use the buttons.

Ex: Uh…. thanks. Bye.

Alan: K. Bye!

Siri: Would you like to make another call?


Siri: Calling Lucky Dragon Chinese Restaurant…….


*The Sicilian gets a name because she’s about to feature in ANOTHER post, and I’ve randomly decided that’s the rule. Two posts, you get a pseudonym.

**I do not use Siri, except for occasional GPS navigation, and I have set her to the male British voice and renamed her “Nigel”.

***this is a (slightly) edited version of the (only slightly) exaggerated incident that I posted on Facebook at the time. I went looking for it JUST FOR YOU, The Sicilian. You’re welcome.

****this is true

Because dammit George, you bastard.

Leonard is drinking for a friend again today. No, not that one. Or THAT one. A whole new one! A sweet young friend of mine, who has been hurt. Hurt by a man, and I feel like I should have warned her because I’ve had some experience with the guy…..but gee, I really hoped it would work out different this time. Plus she probably wouldn’t have listened, because Peter Dinklage, Jason Momoa, and freakin’ dragons are a pretty potent combination.

Yes. My friend has been hurt by George R R Martin.*

(Oh, if you know nothing about Game of Thrones, feel free to skip this one. Maybe go read about when The Canadian went skiing)

So my friend loves Game of Thrones, and is devastated because apparently new episodes are delayed until next year. At which I laugh bitterly, hollowly, along with everyone else who read the books. Because now the show fans know a small portion of our pain……

Yes, I slogged my way through the books. Each one of them was door-stop hefty, although up to about 30% of the whole thing was just long, loving descriptions of every single feast that every single character ever went to. We don’t CARE if Daenerys is eating Dog in Honey and Crispy Fried Locust, George, get back to the damn story! Not that we should be surprised at George’s obsession with feasts, have you seen him? He’s like Jabba the Hutt with a wizard’s beard.

So anyway, I read the books, because the book is always better, and it was supposed to be a trilogy. A TRILOGY. Then at the end of the third book George says he’s sorry and it will take one more book to wrap this saga up. So I read the giant fourth book, even though Tyrion wasn’t in it at ALL, what kind of crap is THAT, George?? And the end of the fourth book he says he’s really, really sorry and it will just take one more, he promises. So I read the mammoth fifth book, and at the end of the fifth book George walks out and just leaves you hanging, with nothing explained or resolved, wondering if he’s ever coming back.

He’s not.

A few years ago a friend asked if he should read the books, and I responded with a resounding “NO! It’s too late for me, but save yourself!”, and a list reasons of why A Song of Fire and Ice is like a bad boyfriend. Including:

-It will consume all your time. Yes, it’s an attractive story. It’s all dark and mysterious and compelling! But it will suck you in, demand all your attention, and keep you up turning it’s pages when you’re really too tired to even enjoy it.

-It hurts you for no reason. After a while you become numb to the constant violent murders of your favorite characters. Or you think you have, then something like the Red Wedding happens and you wonder why you ever got involved with this thing ……

-It always leaves you hanging. No storyline is ever resolved. It just keeps getting MORE complicated. The only closure happens when someone dies ….. and not even always then.

-It makes promises and never follows through. See above.

I did try to watch the series, afterwards, and it turns out GoT is one of those rare exceptions to the “book is always better” rule. But I’d been ruined for it. It’s like this:

Let’s say you date this guy (the books) who promises so much and just lets you down over and over (Bad Boyfriend, see above). And then he leaves you and you’re upset and angry but also a little relieved, and you move on and realize you can do better, girlfriend! Then you meet his younger brother (the show).

And the younger brother is hotter and really seems to have his shit together, plus you know, less obsessed with feasts, so you go out a few times but……… Eh. You just have a bad feeling. He reminds you of his brother. It not him, it’s you, and you end it before you get too committed**.

And then your friend starts dating him, and you’re happy for her. She’s happy, she’s having a great time, and you really hope it works out. And THEN, he starts to act just like his brother. And you hope it’s just a blip, that he’s just super late*** this one time, but that baaaaad feeling is back again and you don’t want her hurt like you were.

Ok, I’ve officially pushed THAT analogy as far as it will go.

So my advice to my friend – and all GoT fans – is this: Don’t wait around pining. Make your own closure. Decide in your own head how the Epic Tale of the Iron Throne of Westeros ends, and that’s that. That’s what happened. No, shut up, that’s what happened. The first book was published in 1996. It’s time for a damn ending.****

Then if the show comes back and you like how they wrap it up, fine and dandy. If you DON’T like how they end it, well that’s just how the multiverse goes. Stick with your version. You have the power.

A rousing rendition of “I Will Survive” is possibly in order too.


*to be fair, I don’t actually know how much GRRM is involved with the tv show. But he started the whole thing plus I guess I’m still a little pissed off , so it’s All His Fault.

**I think I realized I wasn’t going to make it through the show when I knew Khal Drogo was going to die, and it was Jason “Scrummy Man-Hunk” Momoa.* No one should have to deal with that. Ok, it’s possible I’m also still a little bitter about the premature end of Stargate Atlantis. But that’s a whole other rant blog post.

***A YEAR late

****someone could make good money online with a Game of Thrones Ending generator. You plug in your favorite and least favorite characters, click on “End the Bloody Saga Already!” and get instant closure. For those who lack the imagination to DIY.


*But not as scrummy as The Canadian, obviously.

Because I for one welcome our New Robot Overlords*

So I have a dear friend going through some major life crap – no, not THAT one, a whole other one. And it’s been years, YEARS, of family drama and legal problems and health issues and then last week she nearly got blown up at work**. She was texting me about this in a fairly and reasonably salty manner, and used the “s” word twice.  I’m giving fair notice to my sweet white-haired old mother*** right now that I am going to use that word in its entirety for the remainder of this post, so if she needs to avert her eyes and have a nice cup of tea instead, now would be the time.

The word of course (spoiler alert!) is “shit”. S. H. I. T.

Except my friend’s text came through as “s**t”.  I wasn’t confused in the least (spot? Soot? Suit? Seat? What COULD she mean?), only amused. “It’s ok” I texted back. “It’s me…..type the whole thing. You’ll feel better.”.

Well it turns out she was using voice to text and it was automatically censoring her. “Apparently”, she said, “my phone has a stronger conscience than I do.”

My friend**** is an accomplished professional in her late forties, has navigated the legal systems in two states for multiple issues, and had six children. She has earned the right to say “shit”. A LOT.  Just not according to her voice to text app, which is taking it upon itself to clean up her naughty potty mouth.

Which reminded me of MY phone, which sometime ago came up with a new feature called “bedtime”. It lectures me about the keys to healthy sleep (going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday, obviously “bedtime” doesn’t have a baby or an insomniac cinephile husband), and then offers to interrogate me (with “a few simple questions”) and then tell me what time to wake up and go to bed.

Listen “bedtime”; I KNOW how to use the alarm function already on my phone, and I’ll go to sleep when I damn well want to, or when I can, because I’m a grown up.

I don’t need a mommy. I AM a mommy. Telling people it’s time to go to bed is MY damn job. You think you can do it? Good luck with The Drama.

And come to think of it, what’s with Netflix? You’re just minding your own business, bingeing on some fun new show, and suddenly there’s Netflix, in somber black and white instead of its usual cheery red; “Are You STILL Watching International Bargain Renovation Haunted Pubs?”

Yes, Netflix, yes I am. Quit judging me, Netflix.

And don’t get me started on the annoying little “ding! Dingdingding!!!” in the car if you don’t put your seat belt on RIGHT AWAY.

Really, what’s next? Opening the front door in winter triggers a reminder for you to put on a jacket? Flashing lights at the grocery store checkout if you don’t have enough veggies in your cart?

It’s 2018, Big Brother***** is here; and turns out it’s less Skynet and more Freaking Mary Poppins.

On the upside, however, we ALSO have Elon Musk. Flinging cars into space and mass marketing flame throwers and dissing Zuckerberg. Elon don’t take no shit from technology. Elon makes technology his BITCH.

HIS phone probably lets him say “shit”.

* actually no, no I don’t.  But I want to LIVE.

**true story

***who is so sweet and supportive to read this, but I fear Leonard and I are sometimes a grave concern to her, and if I was nice I would probably sometimes post cute baby animal photos just to make it up to her.

****who I am consistently surprised has not gone crazy with an axe yet, if I were her there would be a growing collection of unmarked graves in the closest desert.

*****that would be a reference to 1984*, not the “reality” “tv” “show” of the same name.

*that would be the novel by George Orwell, not the actual year. I don’t know if I’m old or just well read. In other news, I SO need a footnote plug-in for this site. But that would involve having the time to work out how to use it…….

Because Make It Stopppppp!!! It Buuuuurrns!!!

 Leonard is drinking for The Drama today, because The Drama is 15 years old, and not allowed to drink anything stronger than a Dr Pepper.  But he has been traumatized, and Leonard feels his pain. 

I picked him up from his dad’s after the weekend, and I could tell…. something was amiss. He looked – haunted somehow. He had Not Had A Good Weekend, that much was clear. I probed, gently, he was non-committal.  The Drama and I have always been close, I knew he’d share when he was ready. 

As we pulled up to my house he gathered himself. This was it. He was ready to unburden himself of the terrible weight he was carrying. 

“The worst thing about the weekend,” he said, “was Yoko”. 

Yoko is The Ex’s Japanese* girlfriend. Her name is not Yoko. She has never broken up The Beatles, or anyone else as far as I know. She is probably a very nice person who I will have a lovely time chatting to one day at a kid’s wedding or something. But no one on this blog goes by their real name, and she seems like a “Yoko”, and if she’s hitching her perky little red wagon to The Ex’s star, being called “Yoko” on a blog she’s not even aware of is nowhere NEAR the most annoying thing that’s going to happen to her. 

But apparently, she hurt my baby. I was surprised – The Drama seems to like Yoko well enough; plus she has dogs, and he likes dogs. 

“What….what did Yoko do, Honey?” I asked, with great sensitivity (underneath which, of course, was the quiet certainty that depending what my baby said next, I would end her)

The Drama turned to me with hollow eyes, a faint quiver in his lip. “She…… brought over a karaoke machine….”

Oh Lord. Oh, Lordy Lordy Lordy. 

Lord have mercy. I needed to open the car door and lean out, head between my knees, until the dizziness passed. 

What you need to understand, Gentle Reader, is that The Ex can NOT sing. At all. No really, he’s horrible. Horrible.  There really is no way to exaggerate how epically, atrociously awful he is. When we used to attend church together, I had to discreetly lean away from him to avoid being thrown off key myself, and also throwing up a little in my mouth. If he ever goes to Hell, Satan will immediately book him as the headlining act on an eternal tour of the Underworld’s hottest concert venues (if Satan is feeling particularly vindictive, he will also have him dance).  You know how we never hear about water-boarding anymore?  I’m pretty sure that’s because the NSA has recorded The Ex singing, and is playing it on an endless loop through Guantanamo; reducing vicious, hardened terrorists to weeping, writhing blobs. Probably a good portion of our defense budget is going to buy noise cancelling headphones for the guards, and the agent who recorded The Ex has been put on compassionate psychological leave. 

He’s that bad. 

I only ever met one person who was worse, and that was not because he was actually worse, but just as bad, and also really LOUD.  This was also in church**, and there was no leaning away from this fellow, especially if he was right behind you. He bellowed at a volume normal people require a megaphone to achieve.  It got so I didn’t dare take a seat if there were ANY empty spots in the row behind.  I’d scan as I came in, hoping he was already there, so I could sit as far away as possible. One week, he was sitting on the other side and closer to the front, and halfway through the music the poor young lady in front of him gave up all pretense of cheerful worship, sat down, and leaned forward with her hands over her ears. 

So The Ex is NOT that loud, but he IS that bad, and now apparently his girlfriend has given him a microphone.  And sings with him, so he is also accompanied by a Japanese lady who is (according to The Drama) another musical abomination***

I can only imagine The Drama’s pain. And I can actually, because I lived with The Ex for 26 years, AND I have an excellent imagination.  

“It hurt me” whispered The Drama, “in my soul. My musical theater soul”. He might have stifled a manly sob at that point.  When we got inside I went to YouTube and found the clip of Cameron Diaz singing badly in the karaoke scene from My Best Friend’s Wedding. 

“Was it this bad?” I asked The Drama. 

“It was worse” he replied, without hesitation.  

I haven’t even told you the very worst part yet. Apparently, they were singing Taylor Swift. 

See, that’s child abuse, right there. Really, I’m like 90% sure I could get full custody if The Ex just sang for the judge….. 

I asked The Drama for a quote to wrap up this post, which is frankly starting to meander. 

“RIP ears”, he said. 

RIP ears…..


*I think she’s Japanese. I feel vaguely racist that I’m not sure. But not enough to care. 

**what is with crappy musical experiences in church? No wonder Millennials are fleeing established religion….*

***Huh. Maybe Yoko is more apt than I thought…..


*that was a JOKE, religious friends. Not a good one, I admit, but let’s face it; probably one you can take if you’re still reading this after my crack about Satan’s piss in the last post……

Because we are Caffeine’s Bitch. 

IMG_0642I loved Jean-Pierre.  I really did. He was so…..elegant.  With Jean-Pierre  I felt smarter, classier.  Sure, he was a little extra work, but he was worth it, he really was, for a while. Then my life changed and I realized that I was really doing ALL the work, and all he did was sit around being hot and smelling delicious. And in my new life, he just wasn’t anywhere near enough. Ever. 

So I put him in the cupboard and bought a Mr Coffee machine. 

Oh, yeah, Jean-Pierre is my French Press.  Back before the Life Hurricane in which divorce and another baby were key features, I was a low-tech coffee snob. I ground my own beans in a tranquil (ish) morning ritual, then put them in Jean-Pierre and together we made beautiful, fragrant coffee ……..excuse me, I might need a moment. 

OK!  Anyway,  all that Mindful Grinding of the Beans etc etc just takes too much time and effort these days. Yes, I know, it’s only five minutes, but it’s five minutes I don’t have to spare. You have to grind the beans to just the right coarseness, heat the water to just the right temperature, remember to push the plunger before the coffee’s cold. That’s too much first thing in the morning ……..I started to re-develop that nasty bottled frappucino habit, and my middle-aged muffin top was NOT thanking me.

Besides, Jean-Pierre at his best could only make me four* cups of coffee, and that’s just not going to cut it anymore, because The Canadian. 

The Canadian is a wonderful and endlessly fascinating man who I love more than the air I breathe; but he also has a fun** little collection of dysfunctions, and an addictive personality. And he NEEDS HIS CAFFEINE.  Lots of caffeine. His favorite mug holds a whopping 32 ounces and says “Size Matters”***, but I am convinced he would use a pink mug featuring frolicking kittens and the words “World’s Best Grandma”, if it was bigger. And if there’s not enough coffee to keep him running on all 27 cylinders, he doesn’t turn to frothy, girly frappucinos. Oh No. he turns to energy drinks. 

Energy drinks are evil. EVIL. As far as I can tell this is how they make an energy drink: take half a can of pure syrup, lace it with enough caffeine to give an elephant arrhythmia, then have Satan piss in the can to top it up. The Canadian has resorted to these diabolical concoctions at various times in his life, when he’s short on sleep and  HAS to keep going,  but then their addictive qualities meet his addictive personality, the viscous cycle of insomnia kicks in, and before you know it he’s drinking six or seven a day just to function. No, I don’t know how he isn’t dead. 

So he quit a while ago, bless him, cold turkey, because if he’s gonna do something it’s going to be in the most dramatic and painful way possible, and we made an interesting discovery. You know what a side effect of caffeine withdrawal is?  Insomnia. INSOMNIA. That’s right. A side effect of the thing you’re quitting is also a side effect of quitting. Add that to his regular over-active brain insomnia, and I don’t think the poor man slept at all for a month. 

But he got through it, and I got through him getting through it, and now we enjoy our Mr Coffee. You pour in the water, you pour in the ready ground coffee (using a spoon is for WEAKLINGS), you press a button, and Mr Coffee does the rest, providing us with enough basic black coffee to get us both through the day. Mr Coffee pulls his weight. 

Good thing too, because any day now the Canadian will quit cigarettes, and Leonard and I will definitely need Mr Coffee to get us through THAT. 


*and that’s four snooty, tiny little European cups. 

**let’s call it that. 

***heh. Heh heh. 

Because Toddlers

No, I’m not dead. And no, Leonard hasn’t run out of things to drink about.*

But yes, I realize that seven (Good Golly SEVEN) months ago this blog became as quiet as suddenly as an Old West saloon when the mysterious stranger saunters through the swinging doors…..

What HAPPENED? you are all asking. And by “all” I mean the 1-2 people who a, were reading this in the first place and b, have not forgotten Leonard’s existence in the last SEVEN MONTHS. 

May I direct your attention to the last post, seven months ago? I won’t even bother linking to it, go ahead, just scroll down, I’ll wait.  

Yeah. That one. Specifically the part where The Kicker is about to crawl. 

There is a BIG difference in workload between a baby who pretty much stays put where you put her, and one who can scamper on all fours at the speed of light to any corner of the house not barricaded off like a medieval fortress, where she WILL find the worst possible thing she can put in her mouth and PUT IT IN HER MOUTH. 

My mother has for many years had a saying, which she trots out when she sees any small child engaged in parent-exhausting behavior. “THIS is why, ” she says, “you have your children while you’re young!”

Oh…how she must be laughing. 

So Leonard has no shortage of things making him drink, I’ve just have a shortage of time and energy to chronicle these things. 

NOW The Kicker is a year old, and entering the toddler phase. No, she’s not actually toddling yet, although I am sure that will come soon and with at least the average amount of head bumping plus Being Able To Reach All New Forbidden Objects. She IS however, already embracing that other well known milestone of toddlerhood. 


We stayed at a nice hotel. There was a glass top coffee table. She wanted to pound her little hands on it, loudly. LOUDLY. “No”, said The Canadian to her; gently, reasonably. 

She LOOKED at him, carefully lowered herself to a prone position on the carpet, and began to wail to the heavens……

We went out another day and left her with Grandma. Typically she has NOT been good for Grandma, and has cried a reasonable amount, because Grandma is not Mommy and Daddy. Fortunately Grandma doesn’t care, because her last baby had colic for a year and a half straight, plus The Kicker is as cute as a basket of baby bunnies and Grandma is determined to enjoy her. So she Managed the Crying. 

Now however, The Kicker has figured out that nice things happen at Grandma’s, where she is spoiled and adored. So THIS time, it was reported to us, she was happy and good as gold. 

Until we got her home. And then she let us have it. Loudly.  LOUDLY. 

“What’s WRONG with her?” asked The Canadian. He always asks me this, possibly because I am completely brilliant and also telepathic, but more likely because I have double his previous parenting experience.  

So I explained to him the toddler phenomenon of claiming to be Traumatized by Abandonment to one’s parents, even though one actually had a Marvelous Time while said parents were gone.**

If she could talk the conversation would go something like this:


“But you had a lovely time with Grandma!”


“But ….but you were happy! You played and cooed and clapped your little hands!”

Toddler logic. I’ve warned The Canadian that the answers to the question; “why is she crying?” are about to get a lot more surreal. The Hair once threw a tantrum because I walked in the wrong direction around the dining room table. The Voice once threw a tantrum because I wouldn’t take my friend’s kitchen clock down off her wall for him to play with. The Drama once threw a tantrum because……you know what, we’re not even gonna go THERE. We’ve got enough New Toddler Hi-Jinks to look forward to, and there’s only so much Leonard can handle. 

See you in seven more months!***


*and no, I also haven’t quite figured out wrapping text around my picture, or how to use a footnote plug-in.  It’s on my list, right under “learn how to make The World’s Best Martini”, and “petition Elon Musk to genetically engineer unicorns, for giggles and kicks”

The photo above, by the way, is NOT The Kicker. It is The Hair, circa 1996, but The Kicker gets the same expression on her face……which is a little terrifying. 

**this is a thing. Really. Trust me. 

***or maybe sooner. Apparently I’m a much bigger optimist that you’d expect a snarky bitch like me to be. 

Because no.  No, no, no. Just no. Stop it, all of you.

My kids have been putting me through the wringer lately, what with that Growing Up Thing they all seem hell-bent on; despite being clearly instructed on several occasions to Stop It.

My firstborn, The Hair, up and Went Away To College.  He checked in via text on the first weekend ….. I think he was bored.  Then I texted him on Friday with a “how you doing?” And got in reply a selfie of him grinning on the beach, eating a hot dog. Oh yes, he is attending school near a beach. I didn’t mention that?  Silly me, I don’t know why I thought he’d ever come back…….And THEN, last week, The Drama hit six foot. Yep, all of 14 years old, long and lanky and disturbingly charming, and SIX FEET TALL. It’s just wrong.

And now, while I’m reeling from THAT, The Kicker is up on her hands and knees at 5 months old, rocking back and forth and giggling loudly about it.  As all parents know, the hands-and-knees-rocking is the immediate precursor to CRAWLING; the giggling I can only assume is smugness.

The Canadian is apparently suffering brain damage from rapid caffeine withdrawal*, because he is encouraging her.

“Ooh, that’s so GOOD!!” He coos at her. “You’re a GOOD baby!  CRAWL FOR DADDY!!  You want to run free and wild!!!”**

“No,” I tell him, patiently, “not good. It’s NOT good. When she crawls, we will have to clean the floor.”

That’s not to even mention the assorted stairs and things she can bump her head on and awkward floor plan that doesn’t lend itself well to the judicious use of baby gates………. The Drama walked at 10 months, and my mother informs me I did the same.  And I’ve heard enough stories from The Canadian’s childhood to terrify me into considering padding every single household surface, including the ceiling.       I’m OLD.  A baby is one thing, but a toddler?  There is not enough caffeine in the WORLD ***

So I went online today and ordered a playpen, one carefully researched to be as difficult to climb out of as possible.  Because this is not mama’s first rodeo, and I’m predicting a climber.  And I’m already exhausted, because apart from all the unsanctioned Growing Up going on around here, what really has Leonard clutching the gin bottle more tightly with all four hooves, is that The Kicker has stopped sleeping through the night.

For the last week or so she’s been waking up every couple of hours to eat, and then she wakes up properly in the morning with a big smile and eyes sparkling and dimples twinkling……..and starts YELLING. Not crying, not screaming – YELLING.

HAPPY Yelling.

She’s five months old so it’s entirely unintelligible, but I KNOW she’s saying stuff, and as far as I can tell the morning monologue goes something like this:


And I just smile back at her because my weary mama heart is melting, and say “Hello Darling. You are just adorable”.

Because raising babies is a scary rollercoaster that’s giving me temporal whiplash, but dammit if I’m not going to enjoy every minute.  Possibly with gin. Definitely with coffee. ****


* you’d better believe there’s a post about our adventures with coffee coming.

** this is an exact quote

*** yep, definitely a post about coffee.  It’s happening.

**** coffee post.  ANY day now…….

Because I’m such a mom.

IMG_0643So The Canadian and I took the munchkins (that would be The Kitten, plus my two adorable step-sons*) to see Spider-Man: Homecoming.  It had excellent reviews.

Now look – I can get over this being the second major motion picture Spider-Man reboot; I admit, I had trouble with the first reboot **, but eventually accepted that I am old and this is how it goes.  And I can accept that Spidey has a crush on some chick called Liz (MJ, where are you??? Oh, there you are.  Wait, THAT’S MJ???  Pfff.  Whatever).  And I can even accept that Marisa Tomei is a totally milfy Aunt May. It’s weird and wrong but ok, this is how the Marvel Universe is now, go with it.  All of that I can deal with and move on, because Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was so adorably geeky and adolescent in Captain America: Civil War, and plus, Homecoming had excellent reviews.

You know what I can’t apparently get past?  Being a freaking grown-up.  Turns out geeky and adolescent doesn’t cut it for more than a cameo when you’re way over 40 with kids the age of the hero (I’m looking at you, The Drama.  Heaven help us the day YOU get your hands on a supersuit).  For my money, best scene in the whole movie was when Tony Stark took away the Spider-Man suit, because Peter had been irresponsible with it. That was some quality parenting right there. I can’t have been the only middle-aged mom in the audience silently hissing YESSSS ……..

Seriously, I spent half the movie wanting to give Peter Parker a good lecture and send him to his room.  Listen to Mr Stark, Peter.  The grown-ups have good reasons for the rules.  Oh look there you go, thinking you know better than Iron Man who’s been doing this superhero gig since you were in DIAPERS, and what do you know, you’re messing up royally.

Or “screwing the pooch”, which is apparently the official Stark Industries terminology.

All of this could have been avoided, Peter, if you had just done as you were told.  Yes, it’s nice you saved your little girlfriend in the elevator, but she wouldn’t have been in peril in the first place if you and your little friend Ned hadn’t been carrying around alien tech in your backpacks.  Your backpacks, Peter!  Alien tech that you had NO understanding of!  For heavens sake Peter, both of you should know better than that, you’re smart kids.  When, I guess being on the Academic Decathlon team doesn’t mean you have any common sense.  You are GROUNDED, young man.

That wouldn’t have been a WHOLE different kind of movie.  “Lecture-Mom; Homecoming …..and homestaying because you’re grounded”

That’s right, lecturing is my superpower*** and The Drama will confirm this, he has learned to fear it over all other punishments.  Excuse me, Leonard and I have a supersuit to design………



*yes, I have two adorable step-sons and they will get their own quirky monikers just as soon as I come up with good ones…..there’s a blog post formenting there….

**but….but ….they JUST made a big Spider-Man movie! With Tobey McGuire and Kirsten Dunst and James Franco!  Like….just a couple years ago!  How are they rebooting it already?  I don’t understand.

***as well as snark

Because you are never, ever, ready.


Well, I guess some parents are. The ones that always declare their kids are gonna be out of the house and off to college on the dot of 18.  They drive Junior to the dorm, shed an obligatory tear, then head home to gleefully turn his room into a yoga studio.

I am not one of those parents. I never have been.

The Hair left today, and I am not ready.  I AM grateful – instead of 18 he’s leaving at the ripe old age of 22, having spent the last few years accumulating credit at the local junior college. And he’s not going far – the school where he will wrap up his degree is only an hour and a half away.  But it’s not right HERE. I’ve always had him under the same roof (and then right around the corner for the last nine months) and I’m not ready for him to go away.

See, I don’t just love him; I LIKE him.  He’s cool and smart and funny.  He watches sci-fi with me.  I can have an intelligent and interesting conversation with him.  He’s kind to his little sisters and doesn’t let The Drama get away with crap. He’s awesome. He’s been adulting for a while now, what with the job and the car and the being a responsible grown-up, and he’s a grown-up that I LIKE.  He’s not just my baby, he’s one of my best friends*.  It’s gonna suck not having him around.

I used to fantasize about a machine I could put him in to temporarily transform him back into a little boy – so I could have Baby Hair to cuddle or Toddler Hair to play with (soooooo cute when he was three), just for a little bit.  I don’t think I want that anymore.  I wouldn’t know which age I’d want most.  He was just the sweetest little boy ….and an awesome teenager……and now he’s a young man I couldn’t be prouder of.  I’d probably just keep popping him in and out of the machine and switching ages back and forth until his molecular cohesion became unstable and disaster and/or hilarity ensued.  There’s a wacky sci-fi  movie in there somewhere.

The kind of movie The Hair would watch with me**

But I digress – and I’m not being very funny.  But I’m a mommy, and my first baby just moved away, and it’s a big freaking deal.  I’ll miss him.

So I’m not ready.  I probably never would have been.  But he is – so Leonard will drink, but I’ll be happy and cheer him on.  The Hair, that is.  Leonard clearly has problems***


*yes, it’s ok to be friends with your adult children.  It means you did your damn job.  Yes, you’ll always be their parent (call mommy when you get there so I know you didn’t die in a fiery accident on the freeway), but it should look different once they grow up (it’s no longer your business to tell them to eat their vegetables and when to go to bed), and if you’re lucky, it will look a lot like friendship.

**we had a little farewell shin-dig and The Hair requested that we wrap up the night with a screening of “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra”.  Go watch it.  You will either love it or hate it, but it will give you significant insight into The Hair and his sense of humor.

***yes.  LEONARD has problems.  It’s not like I’m enabling him with this blog or anything…….