Feb 14th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

dearest BS,

i’m probably going to be hooked up to an IV while you’re reading this, doing my best to stay awake during my 5-6 hour monthly marathon of IVIG goodness for my CVID. not exactly a romantic way to spend the bulk of valentine’s day, but on the other hand, it’s my best present i can give to you: more time with me. see, i know i’m just the perfect wife.

my cooking skills are impeccable.

my plumbing and laundering skills are astonishing.

and what’s more, i’m just the best. mother. ever.

how did you ever get so damn lucky? now if only i could actually purchase, er, i mean, if only santa was a mind-reader and could get you the presents you wanted, we’d be all set. hey — give santa a break and a clue next year, k?

in the meantime, i’m doing my best to be healthy so that i can be the bane of your existence for as long as i can be.

please do the same.


your girlfriend

p.s. the comic book guy lets the girl drive the car to safety. just pointing it out. he’s in the car; she’s driving. what an idea!

are you ready for the summer
Feb 13th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

here in the people’s republic, planning for summer camp starts as early as january. it’s absolute mayhem if you’re a working parent because you need to get your kid situated somewhere with before and after care. camps make it difficult, too, because the public school programs and the parks and rec programs and the programs at private schools and the programs at the YMCA and so on all have different signup dates.

some of them even have lotteries for the signup. you can end up signing up for three different camps on the same week only because you’re afraid you won’t get into your favorite camp with the latest date so you need to be covered just in case. it’s insane. and some camps are filled up by mid-january; no lie. i’m lucky i am working out of my home these days; the worst thing that will happen is that BC will spend a lot of quality time with me. not a problem in my book, though girlfriend might disagree at times 😉

anyway, it’s a far cry from my idyllic youth, when i attended one day camp for the entire summer. nothing glamorous; we played outside, learned to swim, did arts and crafts, and occasionally ran through the graveyard where my grandma rose was buried. (we played capture the flag in the woods, which are now covered by mcmansions; but i always managed to run through the graveyard and wave to my gram. i was a weird child, even then.) i was saddened to ride past my camp recently, only to see that it is completely overgrown, including the pool where i learned to swim and the area up to the garden state parkway (where my brother, a counselor, would sometimes threaten this one annoying boy (who shall remain nameless, though i’ve learned he continues to be annoying as a grown man) that he would throw him onto the road so he could play parkway tag (rules: if a car hits you, you’re it!) if he didn’t straighten up. good. times.

i ended up working there as a counselor once i was old enough. it was all great fun except since i was a tomboy of sorts, i always ended up taking the boys. it was great — we played soccer, softball, everything — lots of fun until they discovered the tie on my bikini top and chased me all around to try and untie it. did i mention these were good times?

anyway, i wish i could go back to camp. however, times and my abilities have changed. i have made up some new camps i would like to attend.

week 1: Wine Tasting Camp. travel around the countryside while your designated bus driver takes you to 4 wineries per day. sleep it off in charming b&bs.

weeks 2+3: Rock Band Camp. start that garage band you always wanted to be in but were too busy studying and being a good and obedient child. since CBGBs isn’t an option, pick a club of your choice and gig there.

week 4: Indy Brewery Camp. see week 1. substitute independent brewers.

week 5: Waterpark Camp. every day, visit a different waterpark, which has been reserved for campers over 30.

week 6: Spa Camp. visit some ritzy spa for a week. enjoy proper food, exercise, and pampering treatments. wave at oprah, who is leading the camp and who showers you with her favorite things of the week.

weeks 7+8: Follow Your Band Camp. pick a band you like, and follow it to different cities for two weeks, discovering the joys of various cities in between shows.

week 9: Go to California and Watch Films with the Actors Week. make it john cusack, johnny depp (not the captain hook crap, though), and robert downey, jr. week and that will suffice.

week 10: Vacation. a redundant concept, but i’m not as young as i used to be, you know. gotta rejuvenate before school starts.

are you with me?

election day
Feb 12th, 2008 by wrekehavoc


i guess i don’t have to lecture anyone in the greater chesapeake area (this means everyone — from the Deliverance parts of the commonwealth, the amazingly democratic district of columbia, and even the farthest mountain reaches of maryland) to vote this election day.

i just returned from my polling place, and i can state with no doubt that i have never, ever seen my polling place this crazy (except for the 2004 presidential election.) i specifically went at a non-rush hour time, and yet the line snaked around about 5 times. it didn’t help that school was in session, and parents — like me — were racing to get their children in school amidst no parking and narrow streets crammed with busses and extra cars. in short: dogs and cats. living together. mass hysteria. the voting officials could have done with an amplifier; they’re surely earning their $85 today.

and in VA, people don’t register as democrats or republicans or independents. they just vote. so there was one loooooong line of everyone waiting to choose which party they wanted to vote for that day (i often wonder about the people who wake up and decide to try out life as voters of a particular party that particular day to see how the other half votes) and then move on to the electronic voting box of joy. i approached it with some trepidation; i literally didn’t know who i was voting for up until the moment walked up with my blue democratic ticket and cast my ballot.

but i voted. i won’t reveal how i voted in this space, as according to a mom who i’ve never met, i have the power to move mountains, to influence thousands of moms in the greater DC area, and apparently to control the universe. maybe not in that order. and as i want to use my powers responsibly, i will keep mum, only announcing: hooray for peter pumpkinhead!

(just let me know when you want to buy a shirt that says: WHAT WOULD WREKE DO, and i’ll get one ready for your wearing pleasure. 😉

seriously though, i just hope whoever wins takes the other one as a veep. it’s such an embarrassment of riches, you know.

guilty pleasure monday: the wall (kansas)
Feb 11th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

the grammys (tagline: we only reward artists after they’re dead, irrelevant, or past their best work) have inspired me. i’m thinking it is time for a theme, at least until i get bored with the idea 😉

so welcome to the inaugural post of guilty pleasure monday, where i’ll talk about a song i love, a song i listen to at times when i think no one is around, a song i might sing at the top of my lungs except for the fact that BS will look at me with that face that says you know, i thought you were cool once, but you’re just one giant sap.

so today’s gem: the wall by that prog rock band kansas. you know, the ones who gave us point of know return and carry on wayward son? oh, and the one my mother refers to as the all-time, #1 depressing song, dust in the wind?

and yes, i did sing this at the top of my lungs at one time in my life. i absolutely identified with the idea that there was a wall that i had to overcome; a wall of being who i wanted to be and not who everyone else thought i should be. yes, the stuff that 19 year olds everywhere feel; only instead of going punk like every other self-respecting person of my era, i dug deeper into prog rock. (i don’t think punk ever made it to miami.)

anyway, back to the top-of-my-lungs-singing bit. fortunately, when i was doing it, i was enclosed in a soundproof booth at the university of miami (motto: the harvard of the south), witnessed only by my best mate murph, a person who still admits publicly that she’s my friend in spite of the fact that i’m a dork and made her listen to me sing and play piano back in the day. so, back in that noisy day, i attended UM for two years. you should know that while it has earned its rep as suntan u, UM truly has an amazing music school, which boasts a zillion great musicians — pat metheny, for one. and it reserved its pi-anos, housed in little glass soundproof closets, for said music school kids.

of which i was not.

i did find a very nice guy in the music school, a man who i have since googled and have found that he plays professionally in a jazz duo with his significant other. and this adorable man, who at age 20 looked like an older version of christopher robin, let me borrow his university photo ID every time i wanted to play. it’s a credit to the people at the front desk that never did they ponder why i didn’t have short, light brown hair, or wasn’t a boy, for that matter. they just let me go.

and one of the first things i would sing and play at the VERY TIPPY TOP OF MY LUNGS was the wall. not the we don’t need no education wall. the dark and silent barrier between all i am and all i ever hope to be wall.

i still love this song, even though i probably have since written graffiti, removed chunks, and finally leaped over that wall. metaphorically speaking, of course. all things that would probably disturb the song’s author, who has since become a born-again christian. but i digress.

(did i mention that murph is still my friend some 25 years later? in spite of my dorkiness?)

strange brew
Feb 8th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

my musically-inclined friend philfree tagged me with a meme: six random habits or quirks about me. i tend to be quirky by definition, so its just sooooo hard to pick six without someone attempting to have me commited. but i’ll try.

1) i am right handed. i bat lefty. this is due to some tomfoolery, courtesy of my two older brothers. (thanks a lot, guys.)
2) i like to wear black. a lot. BC always asks me to break out of my fashion rut. but i say, hey, it’s easy to match when all you wear is black. it’s slimming, it’s fashionable in that bored new yorker sort of way. and it’s what i do. when you see me wearing pink and white, it’s probably best to head for the hills. i’m having a breakdown.
3) i watched I Love the 80s while in labor with jools. it just seemed like the thing to do at the time. i made it all the way up to the 1987 episode before the dude decided to appear. i still have yet to watch 1988 and 1989. not that those years mattered much.

4) during 8th grade, i served as the disk jockey for the disco club at school. yes, kids, while i quietly seethed because i would have preferred listening to the police (a band none of my friends had heard of in 1979), i spun classics like we are family, le freak and of course, everything from saturday night fever that i could hardly stomach. (in other words, more bee gees than human beings ought to be allowed to experience in one year.) yep. all that while having to watch my intermediate school french teacher waddle around on calves the size of wisconsin, teaching kids how to do the hustle. yep. good. times.

5) i love chocolate and consider it an important part of my training table. i love dark chocolate best, especially the 85% cocoa or the type with cacao nibs. it may be too bitter for other people, but i eat it. i like to pretend i am eating it for the flavenoids. chocolate = health food! (a girl can dream.)

6) sometimes, when i am driving by the perfectly-coiffed, perfectly-perfect moms at my daughter’s school, i will dig up some ramones or black flag or dead kennedys, roll down the window, and blast it.

i. am. that. juvenile.


mamma mia




Feb 7th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

well, we all need someone we can lean on. but if you’re addicted to meth or booze or something else equally enticing, stay the hell away from me.

the other night, while BS was out of town and the kiddies were in bed, i was attempting to sleep. only, too bad for me. i never sleep when i’m the sole responsible parent in the house. so i started channel surfing, something i don’t do all that often, thanks to my friend mr TIVO. and i ended up riveted, in a macabre sort of way, to a TV show called intervention. i watched as a former track star named john cavorted (in that junkie slo-mo way of cavorting) around the screen. all through his life, his parents apparently made him the shining star, ignoring his brother and sister while supporting his athletic dreams. sadly, an injury dashed them all. after that sort of buildup, where do you go in life?

apparently, to ‘shrooms, booze, and other fun hallucinogens. john, so enveloped by his fantasy life, believes he’s a famous DJ named Dr. Doom (only no one will hire him because he’s a bit of a violent sort). he agrees to this interview, like the others, because he is told he is taking part in a documentary about addiction. they use this excuse apparently with all the addicts — that they are participating in a documentary about addiction — and i wondered at first whether people would start to catch on. hey, they’d think, i know its not a documentary — it’s intervention! but then, when i look at people like this, i realize that they don’t really have the wherewithall to know. in fact, i suspect they’re too busy scoring or using to watch TV. not that TV is so wonderful, of course — it’s a different kind of addiction.

but i digress.

after watching the addict basically humiliate himself on TV, with the dream nonlife and the parasitic hangers-on (are their parents watching? hellooo?), the intervention guy and the tearful family join together to get the addict to commit to rehab. hopefully, he doesn’t say no, no, no like amy winehouse. and then you find out that the person is hopefully not dead.

now, i like reality TV like the next person, and this is compelling drama. but i feel incredibly uneasy watching someone in the throes of an illness. yes, they’re out of their heads. let’s film it. it’s great TV. i wonder at times whether producers have gone too far. when people choose to humiliate themselves, it’s one thing. but addicts are not really in a position to make any decisions beyond do i wake up today, and even that’s a toughie.

yes, i was fascinated. but am i entitled to watch someone else’s private hell?

left of center
Feb 5th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

best. homemade. granola. recipe. ever.

jools keeps eating it up. BC, of course, turns her nose up: EWWWW! did you put cashews or something in it? (almonds, sweetheart. almonds.) i don’t have barley flour, so i used whole wheat. it made the yummy crunchies in it, and it didn’t made a zillion gallons, which is what most granola recipes make. as if you need 5 cups of granola.

guess which way i vote 😉

tuesday afternoon
Feb 5th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

we don’t vote until next tuesday here in the magical commonwealth of oz. by then, i expect it will be all over except for the shouting, as today, 24 states are in play for the presidential primary vote. SUPER TUESDAY! TSUNAMI TUESDAY! WAHOO! seriously, i wonder why VA didn’t join the ecstatic fray on this day. it sort of makes us into a strange little unnecessary postscript: sorry, folks. we didn’t really need YOUR vote. go about your business. nothing to see here.

when i was younger, it was so much easier to feel one way or another about a candidate. i mean, when i was REALLY small, it was quite easy to vote for anyone except for richard nixon. (of course, they didn’t ask me, a snarky 7 year old at the time, for my electoral opinions, though my next-door-neighbor at the time, who had NIXON stickers plastered all over her camper, nearly swatted me every time i went on an anti-nixon tirade.)

it was even a piece of cake to vote against ronald reagan in my first presidential election (1984), though history shows that my vote, once again, meant precious little. i had an internship at the ABC affiliate in miami then, and i was running the results to the anchors that night. i stood there with the ticker — yes, kids, this was long before the internet, and we received the latest on little pieces of paper — and trembled when i read the election was being called a little after 8 that night, long before the west coast had even closed. i didn’t want to bring the anchors the results: miami doesn’t have to know!, i thought. but in the end, i did my job, sad as it was.

now, it seems more complicated to me. on the one hand, whoever gets elected will inherit a thankless foreign policy disaster and economic nightmares on the horizon. who the hell wants to be saddled with that? and if you care only about party affiliation, then you’d say that it might be a great idea to vote for the opposing party, if only to see them riddled with angst when the time comes to make things better. they’ll get heaped with blame, even if they didn’t start the proverbial fire.

but i have children now. and i have to worry about the world they’ll inherit. i have to think about who i believe will actually take steps to get us out of the international morass and who might help them have an actual future.  it is quite a bit more daunting than provoking that old next-door-neighbor. the worst that would have come of that is her slamming her camper door in my face. but the worst that could come of electing a leader who could turn the country into a shambles?

wait, hasn’t that already happened?

so things have to look up. things have to get better. and so, i’ll cast my absurd vote NEXT tuesday.  and next november. my vote might be useless — as it was in the past two elections — but it’s my teeny tiny stand in the world for my kids.

and yours 🙂

things that make you go "hmmm"
Feb 2nd, 2008 by wrekehavoc

the four of us made our way through macy’s cosmetics area last night on our way to dinner at Ted’s. my third grade reader grrl, BC, looked at a bottle she passed.

mama, what’s better than buttocks?

WHAT? i replied, wondering where the hell that came from. (is it a trick question?)

that bottle. it says better than buttocks.

i took a look. and giggled. uh, no, honey. that would be better than botox.

reading is fundamental.

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