So. Dooce is quitting.

While I was living my life, this news quietly broke and I’m just now finding out about it. Man, some days you log into Facebook and WHAM!  you get hit with something you had no clue about.

 Heather Armstrong

You can read the related article here or read the announcement of her retirement on Dooce.

Goals

Hudson in a swingHudson just said, “I wish I had my own playground… or that I could take over the world!”

It’s good to have goals.

Every Tom Hanks Movie in 7 Minutes

My favorite Tom Hanks movie is Splash. No wait, it’s Money Pit. I really liked The ‘Burbs too. Classic Tom Hanks is the best. But The Green Mile was awesome too. So was Castaway even though it makes me cry when Wilson floats away. Sleepless in Seattle was great too. And You’ve Got Mail…

Alright, I can’t decide. I love Tom Hanks. If you do too then you’ll love this. Tom Hanks recreates his movies in seven minutes with The Late Late Show host, James Corden, and it’s perfection.

Happy Birthday, Micky

Happy 70th birthday, Micky Dolenz. That’s Micky without an E. He’s a Monkee, not a mouse.

Micky Dolenz
I met him in Los Angeles once before a concert with him and Davy Jones. And if you’re wondering how to meet a celebrity, it’s not as hard as you’d think. I called the venue directly to buy tickets. The girl on the phone was so sweet that I chanced to ask, “So, what hotel do the bands normally stay at?” Suddenly this girl’s voice took on a conspiratorial tone. It was like we were old friends when she whispered, “I can’t confirm anything but we usually book the bands at [name of hotel].

And that was literally all it took. Just asking the question.

So when I called to book the hotel I got to talk to another very personable lady. I said, “I know Davy and Micky are staying here. Can you tell me what room number they’re in? Or what floor they’re on?” I seriously doubted she’d tell me the room number. That could cost her her job. And she didn’t tell me the room or floor number. But she did do something totally awesome: “What I can tell you is you’re close. You’re very close to where their rooms.” I took that to mean she’d put my room on the same floor. I was right.

I arrived in L.A. from Phoenix on the day of the show several hours early. After checking in I went to my room and got ready because obviously I wasn’t going to meet Micky Dolenz or Davy Jones looking like I’d just spent the last seven hours in a car whose air conditioning had broken about halfway through the trip.

My friends decided to roam around looking for them but I didn’t want to risk it. Sooner or later they’d have to come to their rooms. So I sat in the hall just outside my hotel room, which coincidentally had a view of the elevator too. I had a pen, an old Tiger Beat magazine with the Monkees on the cover that I’d bought on eBay, and nothing but time on my hands. By the time I heard the ding! of someone exiting the elevator I was about to nod off. When I turned to look, it was Micky Dolenz dressed in all black, including his socks and shoes. He looked so adorkably handsome.

Micky was talking on his cell phone but, fortunately for me, wrapping up the call. It was obvious I was waiting for him and he slowed down as he walked past. I found it so endearingly charming that Micky waited for me to ask for his autograph rather than just assuming.

He smiled shyly and smoothed his hair before taking my pen and autographing the Tiger Beat. As soon as he walked away, I went in my room and jumped up and down on the bed.

I’m sure it wouldn’t turn out to be so easy to meet Justin Beiber or whatever teeny-bopper celebrity is currently a mega-star. But it can totally work for other celebrities. And here’s another helpful tip that I learned the hard way: if you’re staying at the same hotel as the band you’re in town to see, always eat at the hotel restaurant.

Micky, if you’re reading this please forgive me for stalking you and then blogging about I stalked you. Also, I love you.

Push to Add Drama

Most of the television I watch is pre-recorded so I can fast forward through commercials. But once in awhile a brilliant marketing team creates an ad compelling enough to be brief entertainment in its own right.

What if there was a button to add romance? Waiters in tuxedos bring out a table for two covered in white linen and rose petals. Champagne on ice. A violinist serenades you. Fireworks burst in the sky.

How about a button to add humor to a situation? Wherever you are, Jerry Seinfeld appears and performs stand-up comedy.

I really like the idea of a drama button. I’ve often said to Lucas my life is sadly lacking in euphoria. Sure, it’s happy and full of love but what about the intensity? The excitement? So I made this list of possible adrenaline rushes:

Crowd dive at a concert.
Normally I don’t like live music but I’d make an exception for this.

Attend a fancy movie premiere.
Sneak in, if necessary. Bonus: obtain press credentials and ask losing celebrities why they’ve never won any awards.

Perform drunken karaoke.
Possible songs: Copacabana, Summer Nights, and It’s the End of the World as We Know It.

Become an immortal.
This requires a reconnaissance mission to Italy to locate a vampire coven. *Highly dangerous.* Consider hiring private investigators.

Train to fight in the zombie apocalypse.
I’m assuming this goes beyond classes offered at our local gyms. To do: put an ad on Craigslist for a survival trainer.

Ride motorcycles on the freeway during rush hour.
If you’ve ever driven in Phoenix, you know why our auto insurance rates are so high.

Provoke the Church of Scientology.
See if their campaigns of stalking, harassment and wire tapping are legit. Then provoke Donald Trump. Compare results.

Diffuse a bomb.
We may have to make our own if we can’t find one about to detonate.

Join the Cirque du Soleil.
We should be in excellent shape for this after training to fight zombies.

Speaking of drama and adrenaline, are you watching Better Call Saul? This is probably the only spinoff show in history to be as good as the original. Now that this show has started, my Monday nights have certainly gotten high octane.

It’s Friday. Dance.

Molly Ringwald dancing in The Breakfast Club

The Hazards of Shopping with Strollers

With eleven days until Christmas and zero presents brought – yes, ZERO – Lucas and I took our 5yo and 2yo shopping at a fancy mall in Scottsdale. Our thought was that we could put the kids in the double stroller and get presents for the family on our list. We imagined that we’d have a great time together while still being productive and we actually thought we could do this with two kids on the second to last weekend before Christmas.

WE WERE WRONG.

Parking was easier than I thought. We squeezed into a space on the second floor of the garage. Then we had to wake up the 5yo who had fallen asleep because if he’s in the car more than ten minutes he’s out like a light. He wasn’t cranky but he didn’t want to ride in the stroller and from then on the kids took turns objecting over riding instead of walking. “Walking” meaning wandering and either lagging behind or charging ahead.

Anyway, we make it inside the mall and it’s no Mall of America but it’s big – three levels and a split-level in the middle with the food court and movie theater. Certain areas are only accessible by stairs or wheelchair ramp. In other words, it was designed by childless people who have never heard of strollers.

We waited half a century for the elevator to go to the second floor and headed to Crate & Barrel. Out of all the vibrant throw pillows, elegant glassware, and festive holiday decorations, Lucas selected two plain white bowls as gifts. Despite the fact that they’re useless for baking or food storage since they didn’t come with lids, I know my husband has an innate ability to pick out the perfect gift. That’s why I agreed to wait in a Disneyland-esque line for lidless bowls.

By this time the kids were restless. Lucas suggested letting them burn some energy at the kids play area, which is on the third floor. Rather than wait for the elevator, he led us to the escalator. I was reluctant to let him attempt it with the stroller, but I went up holding the kids’ hands and he maneuvered it flawlessly.

After about forty five minutes of play, our shopping led us up and down the main levels and split-level a few times. Lucas was still expertly dragging the stroller on the escalator… until the last time. The kids and I were at the top waiting for him when suddenly the front wheel got stuck at the end. I just stood there watching helplessly as he struggled to free it. All I could think was, “Oh no I can’t believe I’m watching one of those ‘escalator fails’ moments in real life and my husband is about to get sucked into this conveyor of death right in front of our kids and they’ll be scarred for life and how will I afford a therapist as a single mother?”

Fortunately, Lucas was able to yank the stroller free before disaster struck. But his wild efforts sent the bag with the lidless bowls flying and it landed with a crash that sounded not unlike glass breaking. Of course I was happy my husband hadn’t lost life or limb in the escalator but I was pretty disappointed that the only two gifts we’d managed to buy in an entire afternoon were now shattered.

Funny thing about all that annoying cardboard and Styrofoam packaging – it actually worked! Despite the noise, the bowls were in perfect condition and we all made it home safely – without ending up on YouTube. We still have lots of shopping left though. Lots and lots and lots of shopping. From now on, we’ll wait for the elevator.

An actual conversation I had with my teenage daughter

Madison: Mom, I’m scared of Ebola.

Me: *rolls eyes*

Madison: There was this report that some guy caught Ebola and died. Then like three or eight hours later he came back to life*.

Me: So the zombie apocalypse has started?

Madison: MOM! We’re all going to die. Why did you even bring me into this world?

Me: It was an accident.

-  -  -  -  -

*So I Googled it and the story is actually true. Sort of. It happened in Liberia and people were trying to get the sick man help for days. When he was thought to have died, a burial team showed up within an hour and they sprayed him with bleach. Luckily for this guy he moved and they realized he was alive and an ambulance soon came to take him away.

One does not simply argue with Melissa

So I learned from The Bloggess that there’s a new trend where you Google your first name and “meme.” Then you post the results.

Since I’m totally trendy… oh wait, I’m not. Anyway, I decided to do it and I’m so glad I did.

I need to get this printed and framed:

meme1

And look, Ryan Gosling wants me to cheer up:

meme2

Also, people are happy I exist:

meme3

But sometimes I exasperate people:

meme4

It’s true, I do. I can’t argue. This is me saying sorry:

mad-sorry

See that sarcasm? That’s part of what’s so exasperating about me.

Drunken Award

When I win an award I want Johnny Depp to present it…

…and these people to come to my after-party.

I can’t imagine what organization would present me with an award, but something tells me if these people are involved it’s gonna be a good time.