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Archive for February, 2010

I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

In case you didn’t already know it: I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR! Today’s declaration of empowerment is sparked by the fact that I not only (finally) unpacked my office (98% of my office), I organized the garage. That’s right – my garage is now a thing of glory. It is so organized that I can actually fit my car inside.
The story of my of my disastrous garage began four months ago on moving day – well really a few weeks before that. Hubby #1 put me in charge of finding a mover. I HATE being put in charge of things (refer to my disdain for making decisions on the unknown facts list), not because I don’t like things to happen my way (again, the list), but because I can’t stand the pressure of potentially making the wrong decision. So, selecting the mover on my own was stressful because I knew that, for example, if the mover I hired happened to drop Hubby #1’s flat screen TV that it would forever be my fault since I would have been the one who had hired the incompetent, butter-fingered mover. Follow?
Nonetheless, in the expected I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR fashion I took on the task. I asked friends for references, I called movers, and I had movers come to the house to give me estimates. In the end, I felt confident with my decision – a mover recommended by a very picky friend who ran the business with his son (I’m always a fan of family businesses). He came to our house and looked carefully at all our stuff, making notes as he went, then told me that our life would be moved six miles down the 101 by three men in a 30 foot truck for the bargain price of $WTF. Sounded okay to me. I felt confident that I had made a good choice.
Flash forward to moving day. Three men showed up right on time at eight am. One of them was older than my mother and smaller than me. They were riding in a fifteen-foot truck… They were confident they could make it work though. Long story short, they did make it work – in three loads. Three loads meant that by the time they arrived at our new house with the final delivery, it was past nine o’clock. So, the final load, which mainly consisted of the contents from the well-organized garage at my old house, got haphazardly flung into my new garage. Hubby #1 was surprisingly calm about all this, probably because the TV made it inside in one piece.
For months, the garage was a place I avoided because it was so overwhelming. I would occasionally have to brave my way down to dig up a missing box of cookbooks that I finally found underneath an old dog crate or the box of paper party goods precariously balanced on top of a tricycle, but in general, I was grateful for the solid white garage door that allowed the mess to stay out of sight and therefore out of mind. Then last week, I felt the urge to tackle the beast. For a second I tried to talk myself out of it, but realized that it could be months (or longer) before the urge returned, and so down I went.
Four hours later, the job was done. The left side is sporting equipment (which we own a surprising amount of given how un-athletic we are), boxes of CDs and suitcases. The front is baby clothes, toys, gear, etc., and holiday decorations. The right is random half-full boxes of Hubby #1’s tools and miscellaneous junk (aka – not my problem). And in the middle, is my car!

I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!

I am slightly concerned that my back will never recover, but the quick sharp pain I feel every time I bend down (which you do quite a lot when you have kids) reminds me of my impressive, tetris-like garage, and I feel a sense of pride (and a little relief) that I climbed my Everest and didn’t die along the way only to be hiked over by garage organizers to come.

I admit it, I lost my temper today.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Before reading this post, please remember two things.
1. I really am a nice person, but…
2. I am a redhead and we have tempers.

Let’s begin, long ago when I used to fill my prescriptions at the local Market Pharmacy. Their hours were short, their lines were long and their prices were higher, but they always greeted me with a friendly smile, they knew my name and they remarked how fast my babies were growing up. Except for the short hours, long lines, and high prices, everything was perfect.

Then Hubby #1 convinced me that Insurance Company direct prescription filling was the way to go. I held out for a long time, but eventually caved in. There was no cheerful interpersonal communication, but I could get a three month supply for less money and it was delivered directly to my door. Convenience won out and, once again, everything was perfect…except for the slight nagging that I had somehow let the gang at Market Pharmacy down by abandoning them.

So, today when I called to refill my prescriptions and was surprised to learn that my Insurance Company had changed to a New Company pharmacy and I now needed to contact them. Okay, no problem…I was still able to do this from the comfort of home in my fuzzy pink slippers. I called New Company and they said that my prescription was out of refills and that I needed to call my doctor and have her call them. (I briefly flashed back to the days when Market Pharmacy would call for me.) Undaunted, I called my doctor’s office and was informed that she only accepts faxed prescription requests from pharmacies. Hmmm…I called New Company back but they insisted that they do not fax doctors’ offices – the doctor must fax them a request or the doctor must call them to request that a prescription request form be faxed to her that she can then fax back to New Company. Are you following? At this point, I barely was.
With my head starting to hurt, I called the number that New Company had told me to have my doctor’s office call. I figured I would just request the fax request fax myself (on the behalf of my no-phone-calling doctor). This plan did not work and I was now near my breaking point.

me: “Look,” I said to the unfortunate New Company Employee who happened to get my call, “I’m near my breaking point. I know none of this is your fault, so I’m sorry that I’m being mean to you, but…” and I rationally (I swear) explained the problem.
New Company Employee: “Sorry, our company policy is not to call doctors’ offices. I could fax the form to your personal fax?”
me: “What good would that do?”
She didn’t really have an answer.
me (again): “Isn’t it safer to fax a form to an actual doctor’s office than to a patient?”
Again, no real answer except to cite New Company policy.
Then I ran a scenario by her where I pretended to be from the doctor’s office. She said I couldn’t do this because a doctor’s office needed to provide certain information. I asked what the information was…maybe I had it? New Company Employee was starting to get uncomfortable and, once again, started spouting the stupid policy. We went back-and-forth…she was not budging and I wouldn’t have minded budging except that my doctor wouldn’t budge either. There I was between a rock and a hard place, and I snapped.

Me: “You know what? Fuck New Company. I’m getting my prescription filled by a real pharmacy!” CLICK.

Then, I called my good old Market Pharmacy. I felt a bit ashamed…like if you had to go back to your old hairdresser to fix the mess that a new hairdresser made. The truth came pouring out like a confession…I had been disloyal, I had left to try on the glitz and glamor – or at least convenience – of the Insurance Company direct pharmaceutical world. But, I explained, “they are total idiots, and I want to come back.” As always, Market Pharmacy was friendly and helpful. The nice employee at Market Pharmacy is going to fax my doctor today and this afternoon I will take my fuzzy pink slippers off to go pick up my prescription…and I’m feeling pretty good about it. Sure I’ll have to stress-out that I’m getting there before they close, sure I’ll have to wait in line, sure I’ll pay more, but when I finally get to the front of the line, assuming they are still open, I’ll be greeted with a smile.

I hate it when my kid calls my bluff.

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

1. I feel like I’m going to pass out.

2. I hate it when my kid calls my bluff.

Hubby #1 is off to Nascar today. Don’t ask…the only answer I can give involves eye rolling and I don’t even think there is an emoticon for an eye roll. I’m actually okay with it, but I’d be a fool not to use it for some leverage later on.

I planned to treat Baby #1 and Baby #2 to Menchie’s with their Granny. Menchie’s and Granny are basically two of their favorite things on earth. LA locals know that Menchie’s is legal crack for kids. It is a do-it-yourself frozen yogurt place with a self-serve topping bar that could induce a diabetic coma in a non-diabetic. And my mother is the type of grandparent who spoils the grandkids so rotten that it’s almost disgusting to be around.

The plan was set. We loaded into the car. Then, the plan was shot to hell. All buckled in, Baby #1 started to whine that her seatbelt was too tight. It wasn’t. She continued to whine, moving on to crying and then screaming that her seatbelt was too tight. It still wasn’t. I started to drive and was impressed with myself for keeping my cool. About a mile and a half from our house, I couldn’t stand the crying anymore. I calmly pulled over and turned the car off. She took the seatbelt off.

“You can either stop crying and put your seatbelt back on or you and I will walk home while Baby #2 and Granny go Menchie’s without us. I’m giving you one minute to decide.”

The seconds started ticking by. The crying stopped, but the buckling did not begin. With ten seconds to go, I began a countdown that usually kicks kids into gear. My kid didn’t budge. Time was up. She had called my bluff. I got out of the car, took her hand and we walked home. She happily skipped along, balancing on curbs and jumping on and off of big rocks. We live at the top of a fairly steep hill, which she joyfully jogged most of the way up (wearing Crocs I might add). I worried that I might have a heart attack most of the way up the hill. That is why I feel like I am going to pass out and I hate it when my kid calls my bluff. Plus, I’m pissed that I didn’t get Menchie’s!

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

So, I’ve decided for entry #2 of my awesome new blog that I will do a 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me list so that everyone can get to know me a little bit better. This fad might be over on Facebook, but every week in the Hot Hollywood section Us Weekly reports 25 interesting things about a celebrity you may – or may not – have heard of. And that leads me to fact number one:

1. I am a devoted subscriber to US Weekly. Every week as soon as it arrives I have to look at all the pictures. Then, I read the “articles” for two minutes every morning and every night while I brush my teeth.

2. I hate, hate, hate when people misuse quotation marks.

3. Every Thursday morning when I sit down to write, I have a cup of Trader Joe’s Chai Latte in my Westlake School mug.

4. Speaking of school, I graduated from high school with Jason Reitman and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I wonder if they mention being in the same class as Kirsten Sawyer on their unknown facts lists?

5. Hubby #1 was my college boyfriend. I was nineteen and I thought he was cute. I still do.

6. Every time I fry bacon I say, “Now fry like bacon you little freshman piggies.”

7. I grew up riding horses and my mom still has a silver bowl that I won in some championship.

8. People always misspell and mispronounce my name. It annoys me. For the record, it’s K-I-R-S-T-E-N, and it’s pronounced Kur-stin.

9. My favorite drink is a Patron Margarita on the rocks with salt.

10. I love to shop sales and few things make me as happy as an amazing deal. Right now, I am awaiting shipment of a $98 jacket that I got for $12 from gap.com because it was on sale, I had $30 worth of “reward cards” (which I am so good at collecting that I worry Gap is going to revoke my credit card), and there was free shipping.

11. I had Baby #2 without an epidural. He was nine pounds and three ounces. I did not know he was going to be nine pounds and three ounces when I decided to do a drug-free birth.

12. When you have a nine pound and three ounce baby, all the medical staff in the room get very excited and start yelling, “Big baby! Big baby!” Then they whisk him off to test for diabetes. (Thankfully, he is fine.)

13. I am horrible at making decisions. I really, really hate doing it…but I also hate not getting my way.

14. I wish I had lived in New York City after college. It’s a decision I regret and I dream about buying an apartment there someday.

15. If I ever won an Emmy for Best Actress, I know exactly how my acceptance speech would go. (No, I have never aspired or attempted to act, but I do fantasize about being “discovered” in line at the grocery store.) The first person I would thank would be the casting director…nobody ever thanks the casting director. If not for the casting director, you’d still be waiting tables at Hugo’s!

16. I think if Tori Spelling and I ever met that we’d be great friends. (By the way, she could potentially drink tea from a Westlake School mug while she writes too because she also went there.) Seriously though, we have a lot in common.

17. I like insanely hot showers. When Hubby #1 tries to be romantic and join me, he ends up shrieking like a girl that he is being cooked alive and it completely ruins the mood.

18. I love the rain and earthquakes terrify me…which doesn’t exactly make Los Angeles the best fit for me.

19. I am constantly predicting earthquakes based on “earthquake weather,” but for better or worse, my predictions never come true.

20. I had a celebrity crush on Seth Rogen before he lost weight…now he’s less attractive to me.

21. Candace Bushnell is kind of my hero – or at least my idol.

22. My top three favorite movies are (in no particular order): Father of the Bride (the Steve Martin version), Christmas Vacation and Back to the Future.

23. I moved into my house four months ago and for some reason my office is yet to be unpacked, so I’m sitting in the middle of cardboard boxes and it smells a little like a warehouse. (The only other unpacked box in the whole house belongs to Hubby #1. It’s labeled: Books – Heavy. It’s in our bedroom and I’m close to caving in and unpacking it myself.)

24. I decided that during the three hours that the $WTF per hour baby sitter is here that I will devote one hour to my blog and two hours to my manuscript. I have three minutes left to blog!

25. I have had the same best friend since I was in nursery school. We actually met when we were a few months old, but didn’t really click until we were four. She, conveniently, happens to be a brilliant editor, so I am going to send this to her now and if it sounds at all good, it’s completely thanks to her.

2010 New Year’s Resolution: WRITE

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I know – totally uninspired and more than a little late, but here I am, forty-one days – almost six full weeks – into the New Year and I am getting to it.

I actually think that waiting a month and a half lends a bit more credibility to the endeavor. How many people’s resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, save the world, etc. have already fizzled 3/26th into the New Year? I took the time to think about what I want to do and how I’m going to do it.

So, here’s my plan.
Step number 1: drop Baby #1 off at school.
Step number 2: pay a babysitter $WTF per hour to play with Baby #2 while I hole up in my little office.

Those are just the basics, of course. What I hope to achieve while holed up in my little office is multi-faceted.
Step number 1: Reinvent my website because let’s be honest, it needs a serious facelift. (done)
Step number 2: Blog. Not being the most tech savvy girl in town, I am pretty unsure of what it means or how to do it, but what I can gather from the characters in Candace Bushnell’s One Fifth (which I just finished and highly recommend), all I have to do is write about what’s on my mind and then publish it online for others to enjoy – or mock. (done)
Step number 3: Dive back into the yet-unnamed Manuscript #3 which I completed a rough draft of months ago.

So, here I am, February 11, 2010… Is it cliché to call it the first day of the rest of my life? I started out in good form – up early, showered (including hair washed!), dressed in my favorite Citizens of Humanity jeans. Normally I’m much more of a sweatpants kind of girl, but I decided that if I wore some “premium denim,” it would be a quick and easy way to slip out of “mom-mode” and into “writer-mode.” Plus, they are my favorite jeans in the world – I bought them shortly after Baby #2 was born on sale at Bloomingdales for $75. That’s right – CoH jeans – like $200 jeans – on sale for $75! Of course, I couldn’t get them past my knees at that point, but they were the size that I once was, and at that price I couldn’t bear to leave them squashed up in the sale rack of unwanted textiles. I bought them during the hottest part of summer with the goal that by the time the weather was cool enough to wear jeans, they would fit. And they did! Isn’t that a happily ever after? It’s so poetic… as the leaves turned golden and the breeze began to have a nip, I comfortably slid into the beautiful, dark designer denim. Aaah…

Then this morning, on the first day of the rest of my life, I put on the jeans (perhaps feeling inspired that the jeans are my goal-achieving lucky charm?) and as I sat down to tie my shoes, the inside of the left thigh split open with a gut wrenching (although in reality almost silent) sound that caused me to gasp out loud.
“What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” Hubby #1 came rushing in from the bedroom.
“My favorite jeans!” I exclaimed in horror, pointing to the gaping wound, which was oozing my lily-white thigh.
He gave me that sad ‘there’s nothing we can do’ look that soap opera doctors are so adept at.
Then Baby #1 went on to sympathetically explain that my butt crack was always popping out of my jeans because my panties are too low.
“Right, thank you,” I responded to her extraordinarily unhelpful insight.

I then picked myself up and changed into my second favorite pair of jeans. First day of the rest of my life, take two – action!