Friday, February 27, 2009


Sheesh. Fridays at my company are like Mondays elsewhere. It's like we start slow on Monday (which isn't a bad way to ease into the work week), but by about 2:00pm on Friday, there are a million things due and that have to be done before the end of the day. (Insert a "My life is SO hard" refrain here while sweeping back of hand across forehead.)

Weekend ahead will be laid back, but fun:

Tonight: Party at Amy and Pete's house -- 3/4 of the dilettantes and their spouses will be there.

Tomorrow: Peeps diorama construction at Hillary's in the morning. We're submitting two entries this year. And if we do not make it as a finalist (based on how ridiculously awesome these entries are), I will construct yet a third diorama -- one that depicts a bag of poop, which I will light on fire and toss into the Style newsroom at the Post.

Saturday evening, we're going to the GMU basketball game -- their last home game of the season. I hope to see Alan Merten so I can compliment him on his cornholing form. (Like swinging, cornholing never, ever gets old.)

Canetto is off doing something with someone. (Biking? Racquetball? Cheating on me with another woman?) It's one of those, I'm fairly certain. I'll be home going through Avery's closet, pulling all the stuff that no longer fits. The clothing swap where I score a ton of clothes for her every year is coming up and we need to be ready.

Gas, Grass or Ass -- Nobody Rides For Free,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Google Koogle

Sitemeter let me know that someone from Italy found my blog last night by googling "mixed race naked guys blogspot."

The two-handed typing probably started again when they reached my blog and found a recent post about a preschool acceptance.

More importantly...what in the world did we ever do before google? And kind of related...does anyone remember that horrible flavored peanut butter that came out in the 70s called "Koogle" -- theme song went, "you'll love Koogle with the goog-goog-googily eyes". Because I really want to eat something with googily eyes -- well marketed, Koogle. Anyway, the stuff came in banana and chocolate flavors and some others, too, I'm sure. But it was awful. (Unlike the manna that is Nutella -- seriously -- I could live on this stuff.)

That's it. Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Fine Edumacation

We just got a call today that Avery has been accepted into the preschool that we LOVE! This place has a waiting list of a year or more (and has never advertised in its long history and has always had a waiting list). The school focuses on music and social studies and languages, has small classrooms and a fabulous campus (that I referred to as "kid nirvana" during our tour). Plus? They do an end-of-year concert. cute will that be? I should stockpile the waterproof mascara in anticipation.

I put our names on the waiting list last year, hoping that a spot would open. And in addition to her having a spot in the fall...there is also one in the she can start there sooner than we thought. And stay there -- through kindergarten. Because of cut off dates in the Fairfax County school system, Aves will be one of the oldest kids in her class when she begins first grade at public (or as we like to call it "holy crap -- what are we going to do with all that money we're no longer paying for preschool?") school.

All of the teachers have been there for ten years or more, with the exception of one that was hired last year -- a former teacher of Avery's at her current school -- and one of our favorites.

We're touring one more preschool tomorrow, because Captain Spreadsheet needs "at least two data points" (direct quote) to know we've made the best decision. But I've already accepted enrollment at our first choice.

With a "woo" to the "hoo",

UPDATE: Avery begins at her new school on June 15th of this year, which faithful readers will recall as the 5th anniversary of Brutalism. I'm a fan of small coincidences like that.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Royal Wii

I won a Wii game system at my company's holiday party at the end of last year. To say I am not a fan of time-wasting technologies like this is a tremendous understatement (and also hilariously hypocritical, considering how much time I spend surfing the Internet). In addition to the time sucking factor, I just hate clutter and prefer things of a simpler era that didn't require ten thousand cords and cables and controls and game cartridges. It exhausts me (says the woman who has made a career in marketing).

If it was up to me alone, I would still have a 13-inch television set without a cable hook up. Along with my disc man. As it is, I am married. To a guy who does not share the same philosophies about a lot of things (including the importance of adding whimsy to our family room with this). We went back and forth as to whether we should even keep the Wii. Canetto definitely wanted to open it and play with it...but also agreed that we could give it up if we didn't play with it as much as he thought we would.

Fast forward two months -- we've played with the Wii (not a euphemism) a handful (heh heh) of times. As expected...I just don't understand what is so great about these things. Avery likes the bowling game and Tim has tried the other games, but I think we're all fairly underwhelmed.

Today, a late birthday present arrived for me. It is a Wii Fit. And I must admit that I am very excited to see what this is all about and find out my vitals and all that stuff. So, of course we are now keeping the Wii as I am confident that I will get up every morning and do a Wii workout (so to speak). Talk to me in a couple of months, when I realize it's the technological equivalent of the home exercise bike, just a lot less useful for drying clothes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Have My Limits

Avery and I had a difference of opinion this morning. I thought she should get dressed for school and she thought I should mind my own business, dammit.

I made her get dressed and then she stormed off to her room. (We are already stockpiling alcohol for the teen years.) She whimpered in there for a few minutes, then came into my room and asked, "Mommy? Do you still love me?"

Because I needed to make a point, I replied, "No, I don't. I also don't love your father, and never have. And while we're at it? There's no Santa Claus."

(Okay, okay -- I actually scooped her up and gave her a big huge hug and told her that I loved her more than anything in the world, for always and no matter what. Well...unless she becomes a lawyer...)

Oscar Goldman

I do this once a year and then I hate myself in the morning. I stayed up until almost midnight last night watching the Oscar telecast. I feel so dirty. And now, I'm bringing you along for my walk of shame:

1) I'm a latecomer to this whole Hugh Jackman extravaganza. I have never seen the guy in anything and thought "sexiest man alive? really?" However, based on the interviews I've seen and things I've read about him lately -- I'm a fan. The guy is gracious, grateful, his wife is eight years older (cougar), they have two adopted kids (mixed race, by design, because he knew that mixed race kids were harder to place), he had some tough times in his life (mom abandoned him as a small child), yet he seems like a happy guy. Even says of the paparazzi, "Hey...I didn't get into this business to be ignored." He's refreshing and likable. Two thumbs up.

2) Sarah Jessica Parker needs to go away. If she pronounced "haute couture" as "oat couture" one more time last night, I was going to throw something at the televison set. You're not French, mon petit chou. (See how annoying that is?)

3) People I want to hang out with: Aforementioned Hugh Jackman, Ron Howard, Freida Pinto, Dev Patel, Ann Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Sean Penn, Steve Martin, Tina Fey and Danny Boyle, who bounded onstage like Tigger, because he promised his (now adult) children he would do that many years ago if he was ever to win an Oscar. People that scare me a little: Mickey Rourke, Brad Pitt and his rings, Evan Rachel Wood and Miley Cyrus.

4) Could Freida Pinto be any more gorgeous? She is flawless. And so was her dress.

5) Robert DeNiro actually has a sense of humor. Did anyone else know this?

6) I liked former Oscar winners doing a personal introduction for each of the nominees in the main categories.

7) How much do you think Jennifer Aniston loved it that neither Brad Pitt nor Angelina Jolie won their categories?

8) Overall, I was bored. I was on my computer while watching this...yet I still watched it almost all the way to the end -- giving up just before the Best Picture was announced (and that was a shocker after seven other Oscars earlier in the evening).

I need to break up with this, but we have fallen into a comfortable rut. Maybe I'll just continue to put in my time until something better comes along...

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'll Be Brief

This week I bought Avery some new Minnie Mouse and Dora underpants. Also this week, we will apparently be having a conversation about what is private and what is public.

Me: (Yesterday, when picking Avery up from school): "How was your day?"

Avery: "Good. Everyone loved my new underpants."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A True Patriot

Looks like I'll be upping my contributions to Mason this year:
a) A drag queen was named Homecoming Queen.
b) University President, Alan Merten, "cornholing":

With A Name Like That, He Better Be Good

Check out one of the best blog posts I've read in ages. The guy is not only a great writer, but is obviously also quite perceptive.

(He's also not above whoring his blog. And neither am I -- add Wide Right to your "must visits" every day.)

P.S. Here's a little history on my second favorite actor in LA (after Leo, of course). And a little more, just for good measure.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm Only Going To Worry If He Asks If The Wings Make His Butt Look Big

On Friday, we're driving to a resort a few hours away for a "Princesses and Pirates" themed weekend. (For AVERY, not for us -- get your minds out of the gutter. We wouldn't have to drive any further than Ashburn if it was for us...)

Tim was trying to plan a little getaway for us when he found this and immediately made reservations knowing that our resident pink freak would be pretty excited. (This from a guy who was convinced that he wanted a boy when I was pregnant.)

It is a well-timed excursion. We're currently going through preschool tours, refinancing our house, organizing our office, doing taxes, and handling lots of other tedious business.

Last night, I began packing for our two-night trip. The gear included three princess dresses, a pair of wings, a feather boa, two tiaras, two wands, two pairs of high heels, some long gloves, jewelry, and a princess cell phone. And that was just Tim -- I can only imagine how much stuff Avery will have. (I've got a million of 'em, folks!)

Hope you all have magical weekends, too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dinner Conversation

Me, to Avery, who is picking at what is quite obviously a piece of chicken stuck in her teeth that is making her uncomfortable: "Do you have some chicken stuck in your teeth?"

Avery: "No."

Me: "Well, then, what is stuck in your teeth?"

Avery: "Some hot soup."

Me: "Where did you get some hot soup?"

Avery: "From a stranger."

Friday, February 13, 2009


As I was ready to walk out the door this morning, I saw that Seamus had vomited in the dining room right near the dining table. I got some paper towels and bent down to clean it up, then stood up and hit my head so hard on the back of one of the chairs that I learned what "seeing stars" means. If this is some kind of a concussion and I have to be hospitalized, I'm making up a much more glamorous back story for my injury. Otherwise, it's like being the person in rehab for an addiction to wine coolers. So not cool.

When I regained my bearings, I went upstairs to turn off lights and pulled the chain on the light in the closet -- which promptly broke off in my hand. I came back downstairs and poured some orange juice for Avery which overshot the cup, getting juice all over my hand and the counter. When I got to work, I opened our power bill on line -- almost FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! This is more than $150 more than it has ever been.

I'd like the Friday the 13th dark cloud removed, please.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Pinch of This And A Pat Of That

A few days ago, my friend, Lisa, sent me one of those ridiculous distribution "joke" e-mails. This one was titled, "Pampered Chef Party -- Important Information!!!"

(I never find any of these things funny, yet I feel compelled to open and look at them before deleting them. I also have to look through all of the catalogs I receive before I recycle them. Can someone explain this?)

Since I'm no longer a rookie in this rodeo we call parenting, can someone also explain why I chose to open this e-mail while Avery was sitting on my lap? The e-mail contained four photos of really attractive guys, totally naked except for a bowl, a cookbook, an apron or some other cooking accoutrement strategically placed to block their tackle (Euphemism provided by 15 Minute Lunch). And then it said, "Aren't you glad you opened this?" or something (I wasn't really focused by the time I got to the text...)

As soon as I realized what we were looking at, I tried to close the e-mail. However, Avery had already seen it and screamed, "Mom! I want to see the naked guys!" So, I let her see the pictures. And she thought they were hilarious. And she has asked to see "the naked guys" every day since. And I had some explaining to do when her father came home after being out of town for a few days...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seeing Red

-Those NECCO conversation hearts taste like chalk. And not the delicious kind.

-I still love those little Valentine cards that we used to exchange as kids and that kids still exchange today. We'll be helping Avery address a bunch of these (the Disney princess variety) in the next couple of days.

-Canetto and I had a tradition of skiing on Valentine's Day for a few years. On one of these trips, we witnessed a couple having a massive fight. A man was screaming at a woman, "Where is it written that I have to like everything you like?" (Wouldn't it have been great if she pulled out a document, pointed, and said, "right here, in paragraph three of our relationship agreement.")

-I used to be the person who baked Valentine's cookies for the office or at least brought in candy. Now, I'm lucky if I remember my pants.

Since this holiday was tailor-made for my no-amount-of-pink-or-sparkles-or-hearts-or-candy-could-possibly-be-enough kiddo, we've made some plans to celebrate. On Friday, we're going to an art gallery in Vienna where they are having a special Valentine's Day exhibit and providing champagne and artisan chocolates. On Saturday, we're going to have a special dinner at home. ("Special" meaning one that Tim picks up so no one has to cook.) And of course, we've also bought the little bugger some candy and small gifts.

My mom tells me that Avery is what I always needed in my life, and I just didn't know it. I think she may be on to something.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Goin' All Tiger Beat On You

Let's talk about Leo's fine resume of films and how he has been snubbed by the Academy for a multitude of stellar performances. Actually, let's just look at this photo instead.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Weekend Trip

Aves and I were alone this weekend. Canetto was in Las Vegas with some friends for a few days. (I asked him for one favor while he was out there...and that was to stop by Yves Saint Laurent and find my VERY FAVORITE SHOES OF ALL TIME (pictured below).
(I love Canetto for approximately eight million reasons. Included in those are that he once bought a Kelly Clarkson CD for me because I was too embarrassed to take it to the counter at Tower. He said, "Really? You care what the sixteen-year-old kid working at the Tower register thinks of your musical taste?" And I was forced to admit that I did.) Another reason is that he actually went to YSL today with a printout of the picture of these shoes to ask about them. The woman there informed him that they are last year's shoes (which Canetto conveyed to me via a great voice mail message about how "gauche" he was asking about "last year's shoes"). However, the woman did provide him with the names and numbers of several discount houses that may have the shoes. I have not yet given up!

I bought the book "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff and finished that in the wee overnight hours when I was not sleeping (because I simply do not sleep when Tim is out of town). I figure that when attempting to lull myself to sleep through reading, what better book than a father's account of his young son's descent into meth addiction? It's like the warm milk of memoirs, really.

Saturday, while I learned to play the didgeridoo with the Dilettantes, Avery spent the afternoon with (our neighbor and her former teacher) Esmat and Esmat's son at the park, then they made pizza. This morning, Avery and I had a play date with my friend, Amanda, and her daughter, Allison, at Clemyjontri (no, I have no idea how to pronounce it, either) park in McLean. We figured that as non-church-going heathens, we'd pretty much have the place to ourselves on this beautiful Sunday morning. Apparently, we give the inner northern Virginia burbs too much credit. We're all a bunch of Godless park-goers. The place was packed. And very fun. And served the purpose of wearing out the kiddos. We ended the play date with Happy Meals at McDonalds. Late this afternoon, while I was trying to take a nap, Aves leaned over, kissed my forehead, my nose and my cheek and said, "I love you, mommy, and I could hug you forever. Now go to sleep, Kathleen." Of course, I burst out laughing and never fell asleep (nor did she). This evening has been a long one...

UPDATE: THE SHOES are featured in the movie trailer for "Confessions of a Shopaholic" -- I happened to see that tonight on the TV at the gym. I've made some headway in tracking them down...still need to wait a couple of weeks for confirmation on whether they will be available.

Friday, February 06, 2009

So I Was Just Thinking...

* This morning began with me getting alerted by my credit card company that there were fraudulent charges on my credit card. This is the same company that got me out of paying $500 for a damaged Segway during a particularly painful/embarrassing Segway tour (I say that like there is any other kind of Segway tour) of DC a few years ago. As much as someone using your credit card number sucks...this company rocks and took care of everything immediately.

* Sitemeter is an application I use on this blog to determine how people find me. Most just type in the URL or come here from Facebook or another blog. Although, others find me by typing search terms into google. (For those who get paranoid by this kind of stuff like I do...let me assure you that it does not show me anyone's name or e-mail address or any identifying information other than how people found my site and how many people visit.) I'm frankly disturbed by how many people find me by typing in the words "collage whores." (Some background: one of my very first posts on this site made a joke about someone misspelling "college" in some graffiti they had written about "collage" girls being whores). Seemingly innocent post. All I have to say about this is -- gross -- and those people should be ashamed of themselves. (Mostly about their atrocious spelling...but also about the sentiment...Uncle Dave...)

Also, someone else found the site by googling "brutalism sex". What can I say? The world is full of pervs. I just love how disappointed these people must be when they come to my site and find nothing but a lot of posts about...swinging. (Note to self: Stop it with all the posts about swinging. Someone might actually think you suburbanites do that. When we all know it is only the ASHBURN suburbanites who do that.)

* My cat, Seamus, has been snacking on the lovely flower arrangement my mom sent me for my birthday. He does not eat any of the several plants we have in our house, but he does love a good flower arrangement. He also likes to chew on plastic bags. He is also very fat. I think he has some emotional issues. I took him to the vet once and told him that Seamus needed to learn that food was not love. The vet told me Seamus had some extra weight, but with his bone structure, he could pull it off. He became my favorite vet that day.

* I'm a huge fan of Dorothy Parker. For some reason, I have come across things she has written several times over the past few weeks, such as:
I like to have a martini
Two at the very most
Three, I'm under the table
And four, I'm under the host

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Gimme Five

Brutalism turns five on June 15th of this year.

In 2004, I only wrote a total of 17 posts, and had no idea what I was doing. Now that I have written hundreds of posts, I know with absolute certainty what I'm doing. Procrastinating. At the risk of sounding immodest, I believe I have elevated it to an art form.

Of course there will be a celebration. And maybe I'll even give out awards. Or give away a prize. Or ask some of you to guest post leading up to the actual day. Or maybe finally fill in the "About" section of my blog. Or roll around naked on top of my bed that I have conveniently covered with a lot of money. (That has nothing to do with blogging, but I always thought it would be kinda cool.) I don't know, but I do know that I feel like celebrating and cannot believe that it will be five years.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Amber Arc Of Judgement

An old friend from back in the ORGANIZATION THAT DOES NOT HATE FREEDOM days sent me an e-mail yesterday. She had seen one of those car window decals of the cartoon character Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) urinating on the words "gun control" and not only e-mailed me about it, but tried to get a picture of it with her cell phone while driving. When we used to work together, we had a standing (heh heh) joke about these decals (although, we'd substitute one of the uber-manly female NRA leaders for Calvin, claiming this "woman" could pee standing up. She probably did, and she definitely would have peed on the words "gun control.").

Once, I saw one of these on a car where Calvin was urinating on the words "ex wife." And all I could think was a) she must be thrilled to be an ex and b) what would you do if that guy showed up at your house for a date? I mean, just like those things that go around license plates that say things like "gas, grass or ass, nobody rides for free" -- you glean a lot of information from a seemingly small car decoration. (In the spirit of total disclosure, I did once go on a date with a guy who owned a pickup truck that had personalized plates spelling out DIXEE. I don't know which is worse -- the complete embrace of his redneckedness, or the fact that he had to spell it that way [meaning, of course, that another Virginian already owned DIXIE] and still chose to pay extra to get it.)

Anyway...what are some things you'd like to see Calvin urinating on?

UPDATE: Things I'd like see Calvin urinating on:
1. Whoever writes the "He went to Jared" commercials
2. Mixed metaphors (heard a woman say yesterday that she wears her heart on her shoulder)

UPDATE 2: From Candace, aforementioned former co-worker:
1. Emoticons, and/or all the variations of "LOL" (i.e., ROFL, LMAO, ROFLMFAJHERTCLZ!!!) (I made that last one up.)
2. The people who brought us the Snuggie (TM)
3. Blagojevich's creepy hair (How about Blagojevich in general? - ed.)
4. That Kid Rock song that's part Sweet Home Alabama, part Werewolves of London, and all crap (Don't hate me, but I like this song. - ed.)
5. Kid Rock in general. (Don't hate me again, but I kinda like him. Even though I do realize he is likely to own a pickup truck with DIXEE on the license plate. - ed.)
6. Inappropriate Facebook status updates, like the friend of a friend who posted the results of her pap smear (true story). (EEEEwwwwwww. - ed.)
7. The small dog trend in which people "walk" their dogs in strollers and dress them up, etc. (You're projecting here, aren't you Candace? Uncle Lou LOVES him some dressing up and tooling around in a stroller, we all know that. - ed.)
8. The phrase "a whole nother" (This was the biggest pet peeve of a guy named John that I used to date. He oft said, "why are people inserting the word "whole" into the word "another" -- it makes no sense." - ed.)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Ski Bunny

My child has quite obviously inherited her father's adventure gene. She was on skis for the first time in her life for approximately 20 minutes (and had already gone up and down the bunny slope several times) when she said, "I wanna do the big slopes." Tim took her up in the chair lift to a longer slope and she loved every minute of it. The next day, she was totally into the snow tubing -- the child has no fear.

(The video is especially adorable about 24 seconds in when you get to hear her cute little voice.)