Sep 30, 2010

I Will Kick The World's Ass (If It Kills My Sister)



So my sister, Kathleen, as most of you know, is about to go on a daunting trek. She and her husband, Jeremy, are going to be traveling across the globe (the plane hopping itself being a three day ordeal) to spend fifteen days hiking around the base of Mount Everest.

Yes, this is the same girl who was flitting around with a gold braided belt on her head just this past weekend. And while she is very, oh... active, she's not exactly a rugged, athletic, adventurer type. I mean, except for her past dalliances in roller derby, rock climbing, sky diving and... er, wait, I guess she is sort of the rugged, athletic, adventurer type. Huh. Go figure.

A lot of people have started asking me lately if I'm scared about her going.

I mean, when I think about all the things that can kill her there:

1.) the most probable being the most dangerous airstrip in the world where she will be landing; to

2.) the most far fetched being death by trying to wipe her freezing poopy bottom for the fiftieth time in one day (apparently frequent diarrhea during this whole Everest thing is just a given) and falling off a snowy cliff where she will be discovered days later, frozen solid with her bum having been chewed off by ice yaks...

.... I'm really not scared.

But, of course, that sort of goes hand-in-hand with our family's collective sense of hubris that nothing bad will ever really happen to us. (My dad does not share this trait, by the way, thinking everything will kill him, especially left turns.)

All in all, to me it just sounds monumentally exhausting.

Ironically I will be in Disney World at the exact same time. To many a soul-sucking, exhausting place of it's own. But I like it. Whatever. You know you do, too.

So when I ride the Everest/Yeti rollercoaster in the Animal Kingdom I'll be thinking of Kathleen. It actually happens to be Kathleen's favorite Disney attraction. I think the meticulously-detailed theming of that ride alone, from little Tibetan prayer flags to vintage climbing gear displayed museum style all along the waiting line (combined with her Netflix addiction to Everest documentaries) is what actually inspired her to take this trip in the first place.

Or, let me clarify. I think this year Kathleen decided to be a citizen of the world. I had my first sneaking suspicion after I saw the film version of
Eat, Pray, Love (which a year ago Kathleen read the book of, but told me I would hate because I'm just a big ol' cynic that way) that it was probably the secret inspiration for this particular life need. And then the Disney-Yeti-Ride-Plus-Netflix-Everest-Documentary-Addiction just helped her pick a point on the map to make this fantasy a reality.

So when ice yaks are gnawing on her ass, maybe she can find consolation in her frozen delirium by imagining Julia Roberts playing her in the movie, and
It's A Small World playing sweetly and endlessly in the distance.

Sep 26, 2010

Kathleen Gets "Carried" Away

Every Saturday our family hangs out at my parents' house. We lounge around, snack, visit, watch the kids play, sometimes get our act together enough to go shopping or go to an afternoon movie. When the weather's nice my dad will barbeque and we'll do our lounging in the back yard.


And then my younger sister Kathleen will make her entrance.


This is an outfit she spontaneously fashioned back in my parents' bedroom. No one is really phased.


Even when she starts to pretend she's puking.

Apparently this is a reenactment of a scene where Carrie Bradshaw starts throwing up on the beach because Mr. Big got married to someone else while he was in Paris.


Let me back up a little here.

The Sex and The City dramatics all began just a few moments earlier when we were leafing through one of our leftover family vacation beach reads my mom had lying around. This "book" actually highlights every single Carrie outfit from the Sex And The City movie and all the behind-the-scenes wardrobe wrangling and assembling it took to construct each one.

Don't judge. You know you want that book, too.

The problem is that this is where Kathleen starts to get all, "ugh... why can't I be Carrie?" This spread in particular got her especially riled up. At one point she got so worked up she shouted out "mom, can you fashion me a headdress like this!?" at which point my mom ignored her, as she was preoccupied baking brownies, and Kathleen stomped off to the back room for about twenty minutes.


Then she came out like this.



Anatomy of Pretending Like Your Sarah Jessica Parker

Headdress: Kathleen's Belt & One of Mom's Scarves

Sunglasses: Mine, Which Kathleen Swiped Out of My Bag

Necklace: A Stuffed Chicken Wind Chime From The Kitchen Wall

Dress: A Wrap Donny's Girlfriend Sent Our Mom All The Way From India, Which Kathleen Has Already Tried to Steal At Least Once


What? What does your family do on Saturday?

Sep 24, 2010

Cookie Robot. Closet Robot.



Robeox. Our six-year-old Charlie's invention (meant to name him Robox, how clever, but misspelled when he wrote it on his back in Sharpie.) His head is fancy organic peanut butter cookies, but his body is just a plain old variety pack of cherry, grape and orange popsicles.




This is the robot costume we made for Charlie two Halloweens ago. It now hangs in his closet.

I keep waiting for it to become self-aware in there and then start controlling our minds, which strangely but innocently begins with our two-year-old Sam randomly placing metal tributes like errant silverware and bits of foil in the closet, and culminates with all of us becoming moon-eyed shut ins that cocoon the entire boys' bedroom in baking tins, foil and wire clothes hangers.

It could happen.

What's funny is the other day we got the flyer for our neighborhood picnic and among the activities including pie contest and moonbounce was "robot contest." We were like, what does that mean? Like robot costume contest? 'Cause will break that baby out and take home the blue ribbon. But we were afraid to show up with Charlie in this elaborate robot costume and have it turn out to be something else entirely. We know we're a bit over the top and kind of freak people out sometimes.

Turns out it was a robot dance contest.

But can I just say, if they had handed out a blue ribbon (which they didn't, they just pulled names randomly from a box... blast!) Charlie would have been the hands-down winner. I swear, when he got out there on the grassy knoll by the park gazebo and some thirtysomething neighbor dad started blasting Beastie Boys... Charlie was like a six-year-old Beck meets James Brown meets Napoleon Dynamite. He even tried to pop n' lock.

As children started to move back to make room for him, I acted all stunned and innocently amused from the sidelines... but I wonder if our neighbors could tell that I used to force him to watch So You Think You Can Dance with me, or sometimes flip the cable tv musical genre channels as I make him change styles, and say things like "use your whole body!" "use your chest!" "use your neck!""use your butt!" and then "let me see it in your eyes!"

Apparently we don't even need costumes to stick out like the crazies that we are. Wait, I have to stop writing now, I suddenly have a strange compulsion to stack all my pie tins in the boys' closet...

Right, like I own pie tins.

Sep 22, 2010

Almost Famous Meets Actually Famous

When Donny was growing up one of his big inspirations was Steve Martin.

We could have never realized that Donny would actually grow up to stick sharp metal things through his head, rather than just wearing them as sight gags. But, same general sentiment I suppose.

This photo, along with all those great black and white ones of Steve Martin reminds me of how as kids we used to listen to his comedy album on my old tan and orange Fisher Price record player. And, of course, we'd watch reruns of his old Saturday Night Live skits on TV (and when I say old, I mean like seventies era Wild And Crazy Guys and King Tut, not the nineties Toonces the Cat, okay?)

We also loved his movies. Too many to count.

But the one where Steve Martin was in his most inspirational form was probably The Jerk. Specifically the scene where even though he was raised as a poor black child with apparently no sense of rhythm, and therefore feeling the misfit among his soulful kinfolk, he finally finds his own groove to this very, very white supper club big band type music piping through his old-time radio. Starting with just the tap of his big toe and spreading along with his own growing revelation he begins to dance wholeheartedly with every fiber of his being with this silly, nerdy, goofy, gleeful joy across his quilt-strewn, gas-lit, wooden shack of a bedroom.

Okay, you just had to be there.

Oh, and we loved when he was the sadistic singing dentist in Little Shop Of Horrors. Oh, and in Parenthood (before the Lorelai Gilmore version). Okay, like I said, too many to count.

So here's where the two worlds collide. And I don't mean Mary Steenburgen film version and Lauren Graham TV version of Parenthood.

I mean Donny Vomit and Steve Martin.

Fan and famous person. Goofy white guy and goofy white guy.

So how it went down was Donny attending Monday Night Magic, an off Broadway production that stars a lot of performers, magicians, and comedians that he knows and sometimes collaborates with. So whenever he goes to watch a show every now and again, usually at some point someone up on stage will give him a shout out, tell folks they should check out Donny Vomit at the Coney Island Sideshows by The Seashore, the spot light will sweep the audience, land on Donny, and he'll give a wave.

So this particular magical monday night, there's a bit of a buzz in the crowd. People are whispering about something or another and eventually Donny hears from the person sitting next to him that Steve Martin is in the audience.

Basically, his heart lurches, his stomach flips, he freezes right there in his seat. He can't believe it. I think eventually the performer on stage makes mention of Mr. Martin in the crowd, and just like Donny has done in the past, gives a polite wave. The only difference being that he's... uh, actually famous.

The show goes on uneventfully, people swallowing lit cigarettes, cards flying through the air, coins coming out from behind ears and stuff, lots of "are there any volunteers from the crowd?" "Oh, not you, Mr. Martin, of course. You want to be an anonymous audience member enjoying a night of magic, except that you are super-famous so we're all just going to pretend not to look at you like it's no big deal, except now we're all getting neck cramps from trying to watch you from the very outermost corner of our eyes with out being as unsophisticated to actually turn our heads."

Then the curtain goes down, and everyone starts to mill out of the smallish theater. Since the first whispered confirmation of "the sighting" Donny's friend has now learned that Steve Martin is basically like Donny's personal Jesus, so (I can't remember if it was a guy or a girl) but they kept nudging him like, "Donny, you have got to go talk to Steve Martin out in the lobby."

Donny is just mentally paralyzed by the situation. I mean other people seem to have no problem going up to him and greeting him, and ogling him, but Donny feels really self conscious about it.

So as he's standing off to the side steeling his nerve, and all of a sudden this girl, out of nowhere is like "Oh my gosh!" "You're Donny Vomit!" She comes up to him all flustered and excited and is just telling him how much she loves his show, and is telling her friend "this is the guy I was telling you about! You know, with the hammer, and the nail, up his nose, at the sideshow!" Giggle, blush, etcetera.

So that really threw Donny for a loop. He was kind of all bashfully flattered, but still thoroughly distracted because he was standing there being a fan, and then she was his fan, and then it was this whole surreal thing... you know, like irony and all.


After the girls went on their way, Donny eventually went up to greet his childhood idol.

Don't they both just look kind of awkward here? But also perfectly "geeky makes good." Just different degrees of "making good" let's say... and leave it at that.

Sep 20, 2010

Fair Is In The Air



Tonight we said poo-pooh to Monday mexican night and homework and baths and crappy Monday night television (although we still have to watch Sunday night's Mad Men which we sometimes save to watch on Monday, like consolation candy for getting through... well, Monday.)

Instead, just on a lark, we decided to go to "the great state fair of... Oklahoma!" (That's like a jingle, see.)

I used to hate the fair. Ugh. So tacky. Bleh. So seedy. Phew. So stinky.

But now I love it. Especially at dusk. With our kids all wide-eyed, like what the heck kind of crazy place did you drag us to? And can I have a stupid useless giant balloon hammer? Yes! And can I have cotton candy? You bet! And are we really going to walk into that ginormous inflated monster mouth?


Most definitely.

And now that everyone has been disinfected, all stickness (well, most stickness) mopped off faces and fingers and tired little brows, and tucked into beds along with their stupid, useless balloon hammers, it's fair to say that this Monday...

was more than just fair.

Sep 16, 2010

The Wild Things Are Where I Are

Danger, Man... Danger's A-Comin'

Charlie In Step

Charlie Toes

Oh, wait... Mommy's going outside to shoot some photos for her story?

We must come outside.

It's a party. It's a shin-dig. It's a cavorting-on-the-lawn and stomping-along-the-path hullabaloo. In short... "let the wild rumpus start!"

Prop Master

Sam Takes Five

Sam A Blur


"I could eat you up I love you so."

Now, go away for a minute, okay?

Sep 13, 2010

Kind Of A Long Story: Sleepwalkers


It's one a.m.

While the cats stalk dust bunnies, and her hubby peacefully slumbers, Kathleen is chatting away to her pillow.

In the city that never sleeps, Donny is screaming at giant cockroaches on the ceiling (which in this particular Brooklyn flat at least are actually imaginary.)

And while little boys dream peacefully in their bunk bed, on the other side of the wall their mom, that's me – is intensely negotiating some sort of corner drug deal in the hallway. (That's what happens when I watch The Wire before bedtime).


Yes, it is a common known fact that we are a family of sleep talkers and even more creepily – sleepwalkers.

If you didn't think we were freaks before, please, be our guest. We've put clean sheets on the guest room bed. Here's a stack fresh towels. Would you like us to turn the ceiling fan on low or medium-low for you?

Oh, and by the way. If we burst into your room yelling about cretaceous period insects or threatening to pop a cap in your ass, oh... ha, ha. La-dee-da. Just go with it.

If this sounds particularly disturbing, try being one of our significant others.

One of the first times I "slept over" with my now-husband, Chris, was in college at his parents' house out in the country, while they were gone for the weekend on vacation. I woke up screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night. Chris nearly leapt out the window (which we had left open to listen to the crickets... awww). I lamely explained I thought I had spilled a glass of red wine on their bedspread. Hmmm. Guilty much?

Since then my husband has been subjected to years of my midnight mayhem, which usually involves me either shouting and jumping out of bed and running into the other room, trying to conversationally and quite civilly rationalize some very pressing matter with him (which he has to just go along with, because I get really defensive and pissed if he dares to tell me I'm sleep talking, which I'm obviously not), or sometimes is just me eerily creeping out into the dark house before I slowly come to my senses and wander back. Seen Paranormal Activity?

When our kids were little babies things got even more wackadoo (which we're not completely out of the woods yet since our youngest is still only two years old, and I pulled a number three from the list below just last week). The baby sleep-freakouts that Chris have been subjected to include me:
1 . trying to push him off of our baby that I'm convinced he's smothering
2. climbing over him to forage on his side of the bed to save the aforementioned baby
3. jumping up with a startling bed-shaking gasp because I forgot we had a baby and therefore had neglected to feed it or take care of it for several days (seen Trainspotting?)

I saw in a documentary once that when you dream you aren't really supposed to be able to walk or talk or move. And that if you are experiencing dreams while mobile or vocal, that it actually qualifies as a night terror.

And while I have been terrified at times (if you've seen that Trainspotting baby you know what I'm talking about), mostly my episodes are just very, well, vivid. Like trying to march (like marching band style) to the end of my bed, my phantom flute held high, on nights after high school football games. Like sneaking out of the motel bed and dumping all the change out of all my girlfriends jeans on school field trips. Like standing motionless in my college apartment living room, and after being discovered by (and scaring the crap out of ) my best friend and roommate, actually convincing her that she was the one being ridiculous for shrieking, and shaming her back into her room.

Okay, so maybe the term night terror isn't actually describing the experience the sleepwalker is going through, but rather describing the horror they inflict on others.

Case in point. Donny. His night terrors started at a younger age than mine, about nine or ten years old. So I'm having a slumber party. Picture a bunch of thirteen year olds just giggling away in the living room (along with my little sister, of course, hanging out like our little pizza-eating, brownie-nibbling mascot). When all of a sudden, the I'm-being-murdered-screams of a young boy start echoing down the hallway.

We all jump up, and start sort of shuffling-running-wrenching-each-others-clothes-in-a-crazy-scaredy-cat-single-file-line (you know, like how you do with a group when you're all going through a haunted house) down the hallway. I'm in the lead. I grab my brother's doorknob, and bravely, if not spazzily, fling open his bedroom door. The force of the "door wind," or whatever you want to call it, makes all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Batman posters fly up off the wall all at one time. Which made me scream. Which in turn made all my girlfriends start screaming their heads off.

So amidst all the tween screams I flick the light switch on. Donny is standing in his bunk bed with his eyes, I swear, like a possessed person, all big pupils and red irises and the foggiest, craziest look you've ever seen.

He's shouting that there are cockroaches on his ceiling. (Yes, a theme that will follow him well into adulthood.) Granted, in reality there were a bunch of those greenish-white glow-in-the dark little solar system stickers on his ceiling. Not really a good idea in our household in hindsight.

However, it was actually the highlight of the party. And, what the heck? Our parents never even woke up.

They did when Donny was a teenager, though, when in the middle of the night they were woken by the sound of the front door suddenly banging open. Donny had run, like all-out run, out the front door (in the middle of February in the ice, mind you) in nothing but his tighty-whities. He was halfway down the concrete drain-ditch that runs along the side of my parents' house before my they caught up with him and yelled him back to his senses.

One of the worst times Donny ever hurt himself in relation to his sideshow profession (except the mouse trap incident) was sleepwalking shirtless into his bed of nails, which was propped up against the wall, and left a pretty nasty wound along his side.

Kathleen never really went all Girl, Interrupted with her random nocturnal talking, and her little bit of sleepwalking here and there. You know, hers is just enough to be cute. And, honestly, until I started writing all this down, I always thought it was just an entertaining little quirk for all of us. Even with my dad, who once slept walked off the balcony of his college dorm.

So in review, perhaps it's less in the realm of cute, and more like in the vicinity of competency hearing.

Plus, if there was a movie about us, of course blonde bruisey Angelina would play Kathleen, and I'd end up being the girl who hid the chicken carcasses under her bed. Since there are no boys in Girl, Interrupted Donny would just have to be cold-sweat, sheet-writhing Ewan in Trainspotting.

With that damn baby climbing on the ceiling.

Just watch out for the cockroaches up there little guy.

Sep 9, 2010

Sam Mustache

My favorite mustached man? Sam Mustache.


That's what we always call him, at least. But his actual name is Sam Eliot. Sigh. Love him.

Lots of people know him from The Big Lebowski, but I always prefer him in a good western, like Tombstone. If not in a cowboy hat, then in that solid eighties classic, Mask. Not to be confused with The Mask. No, Mask as in the Rocky Dennis story. Oh man, as Cher's carnie biker boyfriend. I think he like, operates the Tilt-A-Whirl, but he's so cool and understanding with her son, Rocky, played by Eric Stoltz who has this horribly disfiguring disease. So, he's like the Tilt-A-Whirl operating biker with the heart of gold. And tight jeans. And a tight black t-shirt. And feathered salt-n-pepper hair. And... that mustache.

On a side note, one time Kathleen and I went to Cher's, like second farewell concert. About two-thirds into the show she had to break for her fiftieth costume change, which apparently was so complex she couldn't do it behind some scrim in the center of the stage clouded by a bunch of fog and lycra-clad dancers... so she goes backstage, or under the stage, and as filler had this montage of all the movies she's had a role in play on these huge screens. Moonstruck, Witches of Eastwick, etc... then a scene came up from Mask with Sam Eliot, and Kathleen and I both screamed, "Sam Mustache!" We got weird looks. At a Cher concert!? Really? I mean I can understand the dirty looks for screaming at Brian Boytano during Celebrities on Ice, but if you can't fly your freak flag at a Cher concert, where can you?

I also call him Sam Mustache because I'm constantly confusing his name with Sam Shepherd and Sam Neil. Both good actors. Neither one with a mustache.

A Marked Man


Photos by Halston Bruce.

Donny calls his mustache, "the money maker."

He thinks it's especially cute to have my six year old, Charlie, tug on his mustache, to which Donny boomingly shouts "don't mess with the money maker!" This results in Charlie dissolving into shrill girly giggles (we're working on his macho laugh) and followed by several more rounds of mustache tugging and "money maker" shouting.

Donny's mustache has become such a part of his persona, it's hard to imagine him without it. But he really only grew and cultivated it (not unlike a topiary) in the past five years or so.

I always say that's when he got his swagger. His mustache has in many ways become his own memorable "mark."

As a matter of fact, Donny has always been marked. From birth. It's really kind of biblical.


See that small... okay, crater-sized... dent in Donny's noggin?

Yep. That's where he was "touched in the head."

This is not the result of some sideshow accident, like hammer-juggling or an upside-down straightjacket escape gone bad. Although that really happened, with the straightjacket that is, when a suspension beam he was anchored to in a local dive gave way and he fell at least three feet, hands bound so no breaking the fall, on his freakin' head – surprisingly inflicting no permanent damage to his thick skull.

See, Donny was one of those babies who have a strawberry birthmark, as they're called. No big deal, right? Except...


1.) Donny's was right on the top of his head, and...


2.) like the rest of us, he was seriously bald until he was well into his two's.

Pretty much all of Donny's studio portraits from back in those days involved a well-accessorized cap, jauntily but strategically tilted towards the same side of his head.

We all got used to it, but sometimes it would throw strangers for a loop. Like once a woman outright gasped in line at the grocery store, and asked my dad, who happened to be the one in line with Donny at the time, "what's wrong with him?!" My dad dryly and gravely replied that he was terminally ill and only had a few months to live.

Our dad has never really grown tired of dryly and gravely making extremely inappropriate remarks. And likewise, Donny has no problem making a living getting people to audibly gasp and then ask "what's wrong with him!?"

But really, I can't blame Donny's career path on any childhood struggle or embarrassment. The birthmark was only just a superficial thing, and not even something he had to overcome in the years when superficial things can be so painfully and permanently scarring... the teens.


By the time he was a full-fledged toddler his hair had grown in, the birthmark began to fade, and he could just be a regular boy...


... a regular boy that nobody could ever imagine would make his future "mark" in such a gaspingly and horrifically delightful way. But I like to think when I look at this picture (this series is my all-time favorite of Donny as a child) that he knew. He knew all along.

Sep 7, 2010

More Mustaches

Photography ©2009 Norman Blake

Apparently you don't even have to be a dude to enter the Coney Island Beard & Moustache Contest.

Photography ©2009 Norman Blake

But testosterone probably helps.


Photography ©2009 Norman Blake

Thanks, Donny, for sending me these cool photos from a Coney Island contest from yesteryear.

That is, if you consider 2009 yesteryear. And I do. Just ask my discarded Ugs.

Okay, that's a lie. I did not discard my Uggs, they are waiting patiently for the first cold snap. They are also not Uggs, they are Uggs knockoffs. This has nothing to do with the Coney Island Beard & Moustache Contest, unless I decided to recycle my no-name Uggs and fashion myself a fuzzy white fake no-name beard out of their lining. I actually saw a money-saving article in like Real Simple or some magazine like that about recycling your Uggs by cutting them into pot-holder squares. Strangely enough, that seemed like a bit of a stretch to me.

Sep 6, 2010

Mustache Weekend



If Labor Day weekend just wasn't enough excitement for you, this coming Saturday is the 3rd Annual Coney Island Beard and Mustache Competition. It's a show that Donny has started producing every year.

This year I designed the poster for him. My inspiration was a combination of that crazy ringmaster in Moulin Rouge, Daniel Day Lewis (as Cat In The Hat) in Gangs of New York... and the Pringles chips can guy.

I though about doing a design based on this vintage mug, which I got for Donny for Christmas a year or so back, but the delivery was late and he had already flown back to New York... so I kept it. I like it because it says "Your Father's Mustache."

It's awesome having a dad with a mustache your whole life, because any time you draw a picture of your family in grade school or whatever, it really makes for some instant visual impact. Nothing translates as "dad" like a good ol' squiggly black crayon mustache.

Dad and Donny in front of Sylvia's soul food restaurant in Harlem, one block away from one of Donny's first NY apartments.

These days it's a little gray. But that's okay, Donny can carry on the tradition.

Sep 3, 2010

Mary Vs. McPhee


So all this motherly talk, has me thinking of one of my favorite characters (who my mom has also been compared to many a time)... Mary Poppins.

But recently Nanny McPhee (a huge generational gap here, I know) has entered into my fictional consciousness as well. Emma Thompson is wonderful. And I love her creed:

"When you need me but do not want me I will stay. But when you want me, but no longer need me, I must go."

Chills. Every time.

Also my husband started this running joke when the Nanny McPhee sequel trailers started running recently. During every commercial conclusion, he'd do his trailer voiceover voice: "Revenge of Nanny McPhee..." or "Nanny McPhee Strikes Back..." But now Charlie thinks this is what it's actually called, so he's at school say, "oh, yeah I saw Nanny McPhee Strikes Back this weekend," all flippant... like that's just how he rolls.

But... Mary Poppins. I mean, come on. "Practically perfect in every way!" When she's not making out with Dick Van Dyke behind a coal bin, she's powdering her nose, hypnotizing children to sleep, kicking her heels up higher than a Rockette and pulling all sorts of crazy awesome shit out of her bag. "Stay Awake" is one of my go-to reverse psychology lullabyes I sing to my boys all the time, so I have to say she even makes me a better mom.

True, compared to snaggle-tooth McPhee, Mary is quite vain...


... or should I say... vane! Get it, huh, huh?

Mary Poppins weather vane from

I want this weather vane for my detached 1930's garage. It's also kind of spooky, when Mary Poppins blows in with the wind. Very "something wicked this way comes," right?

This vane would make me feel like magic was nearby all the time. Which frankly, I could use a little magic in the garage area of my home as I'm screaming at my kids. Get. In. The. Freakin. Car. And, no you can not take all THREE of your blankies with you, and stop dragging them on the freakin driveway! I just washed all THREE of them. And this is just what I'm yelling at the two-year old, you don't even want to know what the six-year-old wants to drag in the car.

So back to Mary vs. McPhee. Which is your favorite nanny?

Sep 2, 2010




My mom is also a sister.

Aunt Lynda, the red head.
My mom, Wanda, the raven-haired.
Aunt Becki the typical youngest – a blonde.

Despite the Witches of Eastwick diversity in the tresses department, they are all from the same father, not the postman, the milkman or the er.. bakerman? Or, at least that's our grandma's story, and she's sticking to it.


Don't they just look like you walked in on something "between sisters." Don't they also look like they're all texting? Then I realized they are playing cards. Sigh.

I tend to gravitate to pictures of them from the seventies and early eighties, because they are the age that Kathleen and I are now. And it endlessly intrigues me. Their hair and clothes, yes, but also wondering what they were going through. Their flaws that just make them prettier and even more interesting.

But the reason I decided to extrapolate on the mom post, is because today my Aunt Lynda sent me this email:

I probably should put this as a comment on the blog - but it's too long. I loved your blog about Mom/Me. One of the things you probably wouldn't have great insight on is what a wonderful sister she is. What I really want to say as a comment....


Becki and I laugh about this all the time and come up with inside jokes because our lives have had so much drama and things just didn't turn out for us in the perfect way they did for our perfect sister, for example:

1. "I think I'll get pregnant next Tuesday." She got pregnant on the day she wanted. She had the baby (you) so fast that it didn't even hurt (much). Nobody has a perfect delivery like that...except Wanda.

I had to wait until I was 35 to have a living baby...suffered greatly, the baby was in NICU for 7 days....not so perfect. But guess who was there to support me for the C-section and the first few days...Of course, the perfect sister Wanda!!! And she really did help me get through such a scary time.

2. HER LEGS. She has legs like a race horse (and arms) and not even being almost 60 has had any effect on those muscular beautiful lean legs.

3. The last thing I want to say is something else you might not know....when we were growing up and somebody would ask Wanda what she wanted to be when she grew up (this was until she graduated from high school)...she always said A MOTHER. I knew she meant it. Your blog tells the story of a young girl who grew up to be exactly what she always wanted to be and who does it so well - a mother....oh, and a grandmother.

It makes me really happy that I have a perfect sister. I hope she never has sickness (like me)...or has to be unhappy or suffer for any reason. I want my life to have one little perfect sister who is perfect, loving and smart.


P.S. Becki has a great idea for another blog subject...."The Thomas Big Head"

Yes, we have really big heads. Thanks Aunt Becki (truly the ultimate younger sister and where Kathleen surely got her irreverent spirit).

As for Aunt Lynda (the oldest and somehow a kindred spirit to me in that way) I could go on and on about the ways our folksinger-pianist-organist-artist-whipsmart-eloquentlyspoken-beautiful Aunt Lynda has influenced us as a super creative figure in our lives – but at this moment I only have one thing to say:

How come Kathleen doesn't write letters like that about me?