Category Archives: Silly Stuff

Maybe I Deserved That

As I was sitting on the 405 onramp — essentially parked for twenty minutes behind a woman whom I had just flipped off vigorously, for nearly sideswiping me as she illegally changed lanes ahead of me — the homeless dude on the side of the road started rotating the signs he was holding. For the cars ahead of me, including the She Devil, he held up, “Hey Hot Lady, Please Get Home Safely.”

Then he looked at me. And put down that sign and held up one that said, “NEED WORK.”

My self-esteem really needed THAT hit. As if I don’t already spend enough time wondering why my forehead has to look like a raisin. Kevin snapped a photo of me and Liam passed out on the couch the other Saturday. I thought people generally looked graceful in repose. I looked like I was trying to do calculus. It seems I convey 90 percent of my emotion through my forehead, and now I’m so pleated you could squeeze my forehead and accordion noises would come out. NEED WORK, indeed.

My New Motto

Another house dream last night, this time with a better ending: We were walking around the house, falling in love with all its windows and its bedrooms and the giant kitchen, when naturally my parents arrived from Florida so we could show them. It was here that a bunch of other random details started popping up that we hadn't seen before, including a giant, uncovered indoor pool randomly installed in the marble foyer.

At this point, my father looked around and expressed some doubt that we needed a mansion with two pools and weird decor that was growing more 1970s-meets-Daddy-Warbucks'-house by the second. So I said, "But Dad, if it's good enough for JOAN RIVERS… " and we all turned around, and there was Joan, standing at the built-in bar, making herself a martini.

With those words to live by, I woke up — but not before Dream Me heard my dad say, "Well, that IS true."

Fake Estate

Lately, I've been having a lot of dreams about buying a new house, and moving. They usually go the same way: find house, love house, then toward the end of the dream the house slowly morphs into something less than what I thought it was. 

First, it was this gigantic house that had a bajillion bedrooms all on their own floor-within-the-house, which we thought was so modern and fancy. Then when we went back after making a bid on the house, we realized that in fact they were observation cubes: Each room had four Plexiglass walls up at the top of its own mid-height flight of stairs. So apparently we had to figure out how to get curtains or wall decorations up there enough to give people privacy, without also denying them light. As opposed to, you know, walking the hell out of there. I can't remember exactly why we were so into the house in the first place, but it was one of those things where all of a sudden we were like, "Plexiglass is TOTALLY impractical, why did we not THINK of that?" It seems my subconscious wants us to live in a giant sneeze guard, like a buffet dinner course.

The next fake house had this huge gleaming courtyard in the middle, with a tile pool and swim-up bar, and we were just tickled. Until we did a walk-through during escrow, at which point I had to pull Kevin aside and point out that it had snake problems. As in, they were floating in the pool, which was now in a dirty and overgrown and chipped and cracked courtyard, and oozing out of crevices in the run-down walls. We were like, "Gulp. Can we back out?" It was like a Slytherin shanty, right down to the snakes appearing to find our distress deeply hilarious. 

And the third house was, again, totally fantastic, but as we moved in and I walked around it kept changing bit by bit until the ceilings were impossibly high and the rooms were all dark and narrow, and my office was actually just a bench in the den. And it was within this dream that I burst into tears about the prospect of leaving our current house, because of all the happy memories, and how it didn't feel like it was the trash compactor in Star Wars, slowly trying to grind me to a miserable pulp. (A reasonable objection, although Kevin was like, "What? It's just a tall house.")

Problematically, none of this has stopped me from noodling around on Realtor.com, because even though I know — I KNOW — we are not ready to buy or move, I keep wondering WHAT IF. What if The House is out there right now? Never mind that we can't afford it, that we need this house to regain a bit more value, that we said we wouldn't move until we had another kid and/or the boys outgrew their room. I just keep searching. And ogling. And bookmarking. And then falling into a pit of despair when the $1.6 million house with gorgeous views that we can't pay for and which isn't child-friendly suddenly goes off the market, because what if I were to win the lottery? And that was supposed to be our house? What then?

So it's no secret WHY I'm having real estate dreams. But maybe my psyche is trying to tell me to CHILL OUT and appreciate what we have. The other night, we fired up the hot tub and sat there, surrounded by the plants that give it a wooded feel, and just breathed in the crisp night air, and that feeling that we were in a different place altogether. It was nice to slow down and look around and enjoy. So I may not have a laundry room, or a walk-in closet, or even a GOOD closet; so the microwave might be broken, and you can't sneak across the living room floor because the boards creak so loudly that it sounds like a giant has let one rip. So what? It's home. And hey, those floorboards beat a burglar alarm any day.

The Daily Bean

IMG_0979

Dylan's first strawberry is in that little mesh bag. And on his face. And his bib. And his tray.
 

The Tankini Question

This summer my side of the family is doing what we haven't done since we stopped being "our family" and started getting married and spawning: a family vacation. 

As kids we took a lot of really awesome trips with our parents. On top of the obligatory Texaco-funded annual summer visit to the States, we went places like Crete, Switzerland, France, Austria, and various locations around England. Sometimes we'd arrange it in conjunction with other families; other times, it was just us. We flew random airlines that don't even exist any more — like Dan Air, good old Pan Am and TWA, or British Caledonian (which always had a kids' pack that featured a notepad and pencil and coloring book that incorporated their mascot, a lion in a pilot's uniform) — and as I've gotten older, I have so much respect for my parents for hauling three kids around to nifty places on vacations that couldn't have been cheap or easy. But mostly I have great memories, like when I hated my kid ski group and so I joined my mom's, and we got to ski the Swiss Alps together; or my sister ordering lots of Kir Royales even though she wasn't eighteen yet, and my parents watching this with great amusement because she didn't know how strong they could be. Or six-year old me getting bored and tired in Paris, and making my mother play Uno in the lobby of the Louvre while everyone else got to go see the art. That woman is a saint.

Someday I want those memories with my own family, but I'd also like them with my big posse — my sisters, parents, nieces, and nephew. I'd love for them to know each other as best they can. I'd love to know that no matter what, we'll all see each other once a year. The plan to get together predates Kevin's father dying, but that cemented our decision. Somebody once told me that weddings are great because it's a group of people that generally never gets together again unless somebody dies. And I've had a bang-up time at two funerals now — my grandmother's, and Kevin's dad's — catching up with family members and friends that geography has made too distant. It shouldn't take a tragedy.

So fourteen people — eight adults, six kids — will be under one rented roof in North Carolina's Outer Banks. Duck, to be specific. The house is right on the beach, but it also has a pool, just in case anybody's kids develop an aversion to sand, or waves, or shells, or don't deal well with being asked not to eat sand and shells. I'm really looking forward to meeting my sister's new baby, seeing how my other sister's kids are growing up, and getting to introduce the beans to their cousins. 

What I'm not looking forward to: bathing suits. I hate them. I've decided to explore tankinis, because they seem more forgiving, and I might even get a couple with little skirts rather than bikini bottoms, because I hate my thighs. But this leads to a lot of really important questions for my lady readers. Have you tried tankinis? Do the tops lie comfortably, or when you get in the water, do they ride up and bunch and/or float loosely around you? What about the skirts? I imagine those float. Is that annoying or is it worth it for the leg coverage? I am hopeless at suit shopping. I ordered a bunch from Lands' End to try on — they have good tummy-control stuff — but I haven't been able to go through with it yet. And I've been so certain the tankini might solve my problems, I never even thought about whether it'd be annoying to wear. Sigh. Maybe I can just order some replacement legs for the week. But it will be worth it. We might all have memories of my cellulite, but at least we'll have memories.

I don’t want to know.

Between the two of us, I think that by the time our book comes out, Jessica and I will have had every anxiety dream known to man. But I have NO IDEA what the vivid little play that came to me last night is supposed to mean:

I was at a fashion show that took place in a very small room, with chairs in an L shape and only about three rows' worth. Blake Lively was there, and so was Madonna. Off to the left, across from my row of chairs, was another room that was supposed to be backstage, but Katy Perry was sitting in there on a desk, wearing a catsuit, relaxing as if waiting to go on but leaning back and spreading her legs in a scissor position. As if that's really fun. (Well, maybe it is. I don't know her life.) Then Lady Gaga arrived and ran over to say hi to Madonna, and they greeted each other by rubbing each other's elbows with their hands and purring. Gaga, so moved by this introduction, broke into spontaneous performance art that involved writing on the wall. Katy Perry said, "Dude, FUNKY." Then, of course, who should sit next to me but actor Miguel Ferrer (except in my dream he looked like a cross between Real Miguel Ferrer and John Waters), who introduced himself as if we'd met once before and said, "Tell Kevin HE MADE GOOD."

Kevin's response to this was, "Miguel Ferrer is wise." My response is more along the lines of WTF. Miguel Ferrer is George Clooney's cousin, though, so maybe it's…

I don't even know, and maybe it's best if I don't try.

How I Am Wasting My Time On The Internet

Welcome to my crack: This Web site has so many resources for baby names, it will make your eyes cross, including this awesome time-sucking graph that charts the increases and decreases in popularity of names from the 1880s until present-day.

Basically, you can look up any single name you want, or just do as we've been doing — filter out one gender and then type in a letter of the alphabet and go down the list. This is how I learned that the name Zain is still kicking around, or that Zaid enjoyed its only burst of existence between 1990ish and 2003. Or that people stopped naming their sons "Orange" just before the turn of the century — the LAST century — and that the name Helen, for a BOY, didn't die out until just before the 1940s.

We're finding boy names to be VERY tricky. It's tough finding a middle ground between, like, the ten most popular names ever, and the ones that are super obscure to the point of sounding invented and/or labored. A lot of the stuff in between sounds either overly preppy, overly Chazzy (you know, popped-collar fraternity douche who likes to go out to LA clubs and get bottle service just to be seen, and uses the word "pussy" a lot), or like they'd be fantastic unisex monikers… for a girl. Since our last name is Mock, we're eliminating almost every name beginning with M, and we're having to be really careful about one-syllable names or nicknames because some of them sound too abrupt when you factor in the surname. Nicholas is a nice name, and so is Nick, but Nick Mock rhymes with tick-tock and sounds a bit staccato.

And then you get the names that either sound adorable for a little boy but not so hot on a man, or vice-versa. For instance, we each have/had a grandfather named William, and I think Billy is really cute. But I'm not wild about Bill or Will or William — for instance, Will Mock just sounds like he's advertising a service, and William feels stiff and formal to me — nor am I sure my son will want to be Billy until he's 60. Maybe he would. I can't really ask either of them, though.

All of which is to say: We are overthinking this, except on the flip side, I'm not sure that's possible. Because this is more or less permanent, barring any urges on our children's part to make like Kanye and change their names to Martin Louis (as in Vuitton) the King Jr., just to help see the country through a rough patch by letting it live vicariously through some serious crazy. I love Kanye now. Maybe we'll name them Kanye and Martin, in honor of both his identities.

That little digression exposes the real problem at work here, which is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to have serious name conversations. The fake ones are way too much fun. Recently they've been dubbed everything from "Clive and Remington" to "Darth and Lando" to "Melvis and Nermal," the latter coming from a baby book that actually has two lists called, respectively, "Unappealing Names" and "Geeky Names." And of course there's the fact that for years we've been referring to my future male children as Jacques Mock (who will be raised to think he's French, of course), Croque Mock (so that we can have a child named after a sandwich, the Croque Monsieur/Madame), and Broque Mock, which is just Brock but with the poncey suffix because we find the letter Q uncommonly funny.

In a way, anything we choose is going to be kind of a buzzkill after all this. Perhaps we'll just bow to capitalism and sell their names to corporations every couple years. Little Coca-Cola Mock and Bank of America Mock will be so very happy with their fat college funds.

Not A Good Sign If Muppet Me Is Better Looking

Because what I really needed was more procrastinatory material: Make A Muppet.

I ended up settling on this version of me:

Muppet

Uncannily accurate, especially the big red nose.

I also made a version of Kevin:

Muppetkevin

Although frankly, of all of them, this is my favorite:

Muppet2

You know — given my obvious penchant for garish headgear. Actually, with a minor adjustment…

Muppet4

There! I call her Blair Statler-and-Waldorf.

Beat Well And Bake For 30 Minutes At 98.7 Degrees

Don't worry, y'all, I'll get all the baby-making stuff out of my system once we've tried for a few months and I'm f'ing sick of it. But for now… Jess and I just had this conversation on IM and it's just easier to relay it that way.

HEATHER: So, I'm reading up on all these tips for conception, to help things along

HEATHER: And apparently

HEATHER: They tell you that lube is "hostile to sperm."

HEATHER: I… this isn't even really getting specific to say this, but I NEED LUBE, people. Most people DO. COME ON. GIVE A GIRL A BREAK.

JESSICA: All lube?

HEATHER: Well!

HEATHER: Not if you use… egg whites.

JESSICA: I feel like there must be some wack — NO

HEATHER: Oh, but there's a SLIGHT RISK OF SALMONELLA.

JESSICA: I was going to say "wack European shit"

JESSICA: WHAT???

HEATHER: YES

JESSICA: YOU CAN NOT GET SALMONELLA IN YOUR VAGINA

JESSICA: I mean, you just don't want that.

HEATHER: They're all, "If you must use lube, use egg whites, although there is a slight risk of salmonella." WELL, SIGN ME UP!

JESSICA: Where did you read this?

JESSICA: WHAT IS YOUR SOURCE?

HEATHER: In my fertility book, and in a Fertility Friend mailing, which are separate but apparently equal. I saw it on Google somewhere too.

JESSICA: Oh, but I have solved your problem The Internet tells me: "They found that the Canola oil had no negative effects on sperm."

JESSICA: You can make a quiche up in there, with the oil and the eggs.

HEATHER: I cannot wait until I am making a womb quiche.

HEATHER: "Well, you're not PREGNANT, but brunch is ready."

JESSICA: Ha ha ha! That is gross. Take a picture of it for the baby book.

JESSICA: Your attempts to get knocked up have pushed us into gross-out humor territory.

HEATHER: I can't wait until we write the girl version of Knocked Up. About womb quiche.

 

No, Carl, Congratulations To YOU

I don't even have the words for the awesomeness of this: Change Is Beautiful.

Except to say that the guffaw Carl Weathers lets out at the end of the "Week 2" video may have changed MY life.