Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can't Beat It

I always figured that the hardest part about being a parent would be setting a good moral example and providing structure and consistent guidance. But you know what? It's not. The hardest part is paying more per year for preschool than for my entire college education laughing when I am not supposed to.

It has always been this way -- even with other people's children.

Long before I had a child, I went to a birthday party for one of my friend's kids. My friend's enthusiasm about this party was evident -- even after his son came up and announced, "Dad, Kelsey frowed up in the balloon thing."

("Balloon thing" = "moon bounce.")  ("This kid" = "not that bright.")

My friend was also excited as he showed me the pinata he had bought for the party. One he was thrilled with because it was a "safe" pinata designed especially for small children. He actually walked me over to where the pinata was hung and explained in painstaking detail how that instead of clubbing this pinata with a stick, each child got to select and pull a string on the underside. When all of the little fingers pulled simultaneously, the bottom would drop out and it would be candy madness! -- free from errant whacks by sugar-crazed toddlers. He was so obviously delighted with this feat of engineering that he could not stop talking about it.

When it was time for the pinata, all of the kids gathered 'round, selected a string, and pulled the strings as designed. And as if it was choreographed, the force loosed the pinata from the beam on which it was secured and the pinata came crashing down on the head of a small child, knocked his glasses off onto the floor and promptly broke them.Which is when I promptly burst out laughing.

Adios, empathy,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I'm at Laugh out Loud today. Please visit and leave a comment.

And just for the record, my posts featured elsewhere are always about poop...and bikini area hair removal...and butt piracy...

Which I find offensive...because I write about a wide variety of things, suitable for all audiences.

You know. Like swinging and when my parents went through the car wash naked.


(Thanks, LOL.)

UPDATE: This post on LOL also got picked up by Hippest Snippets. Thanks, HS!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Major Impact

I know some people who distinctly remember their loss of innocence as the time when they found out that Santa Claus was not real, or when a beloved pet died, or when they learned that "no new taxes" means "I'm a liar, liar pants on fire." I remember my own loss of innocence like it was yesterday.

Because it was.

It happened when a lovely friend of mine shared some medical information over dinner at a nice little Thai place. (To her credit, she did ask before sharing if it was okay to discuss possibly gross topics while we ate. I said "sure" never imagining that with her words, she would instantly and fundamentally change who I was.) 

You see, according to my friend, there is a medical procedure called a "stool transfer."

You read that right.

There is an actual procedure that takes "good" fecal matter (from a healthy colon) and inserts it into the colon of a patient who is not-so-healthy, and in the magical way that medical science works, the poop recipient lives happily ever after the end (heh). A bit of Internet research shows that not only is this true, but also that there are support groups for the people who undergo this procedure.

The worst part? (Other than realizing that there are people willing to show their faces at support groups and admit that they are walking receptacles for stranger poop) is that I can just picture the type of person who would offer to be a stool donor. I know that if I ever required donor stool (and honestly...if it ever comes to that...please just set me off on an ice floe...) I would hope that it would happen discreetly and that we would never speak of it again.

Much like when I went to see "Gigli" on opening weekend...

But not your stool donor. Oh, no! His name is Larry, he speaks in a monotone, and he wants to be more than just your stool donor...he wants to be your friend. He'd set up some kind of Oprah reunion show where he would get emotional explaining to O-girl how he feels a bond with you that he has never felt with anyone before. He will talk about how he got his stool (never "poop," you Philistine) to a donor grade and how he hopes to take the stigma away from this and make it more acceptable to talk about. He'll start a Facebook group and a blog called "Fecal Matters!," he'll try to recruit other stool donors and educate those not in the know. ...and of course, you'll be on his holiday card list.

Stool pusher, indeed.

UPDATE: HippestSnippets linked to my post today. You know, my poop post. I'm so proud.

Friday, August 13, 2010

BlogHerpalooza, Part Deux

Shockingly, I made it through four days at BlogHer having only one alcoholic drink and no coffee. Those are words I never thought I'd type. And words that probably explain why I felt like I was hit by a Mack truck on Saturday morning after going full-tilt for 18 hours the day before...(Though I did take the edge off by smoking some chalk with Aural Pleasures one night...)

One drink, you ask? What's the freaking point? The freaking point is that until you have a drink YOUR ROOMMATE WILL ASK IF YOU ARE PREGNANT AND WILL CONTINUE TO ASK UNTIL YOU NEED THAT DRINK MORE THAN YOU'VE EVER NEEDED ANYTHING IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. Amen.                                                             

You see, I'm having some reflux issues which means that for the foreseeable future I must give up all consumables that bring me joy, which are all things acidic: caffeine, alcohol, citrus, chocolate, tomatoes, spicy foods and LSD. It also means that when I meet one of the funniest women on the planet, I do so with Tums in hand. (If I ever get a tattoo, it will state simply, "Born Cool".)

(That's the Bloggess!)

On the second day we were in town, Amanda thought she lost her business card holder (she did...in her purse...) so we visited Jose at the Hilton lost and found. As we were waiting to speak with Jose, we looked around and saw the usual stuff you'd expect to see in a hotel lost and found: about eight zillion power cords, some cell phones, assorted cameras...I also noticed that the office was going through some renovation and there was a huge granite counter top on its side propped against the wall. When Jose introduced himself and asked how he could help us, I told him that I had misplaced my granite counter top and asked if anyone had turned it in. Jose = fun. He appreciated that. And also that we looked on the security cameras in the office to determine where he'd have the best view of us in the common areas of the hotel if we decided to break into a spontaneous dance number. ("Julie, we need you to help us with some choreography.")

As part of our BlogHer experience, we ran a 5K through the streets of NYC at 6:30 in the morning. (The photo of Amanda flipping me off in front of the Empire State building did not make this post. She is not a morning person and did not realize the race was at 6:30 when she agreed to it.) This was part of the Tutus for Tanner initiative and just a very cool idea and a very cool way to see the city.

Also part of our experience was stalking Padma Lakshmi in the exhibit hall. And while we did so, the company she was promoting desperately tried to get us to sample food and Twitter about meat products. (In their defense, we did kind of loiter around the booth for several hours minutes each day so that we could get a photo with Padma.) At one point, one of the people working at the booth asked me to fill out a survey. Because I'd been lingering at their booth, I agreed to do it. One of the questions: "How do you feel about lunch meat?" Honestly. How do I feel about it? In the spirit of full disclosure, dear readers, I have never really delved into my feelings about lunch meat, and I suppose this was as good a time as any to stop repressing my feelings and put some serious thought into it. And now now that I have...it would be "titillated", I suppose. Though also sometimes sanguine, bitter, euphoric, taciturn, woeful, melancholy, hopeful and joyous. (I'll be continuing to explore this with my therapist for months to come...I have a lot of work ahead.)

We hear that there were a lot of great parties at this thing, though we opted out of most of them to explore NYC. A decision we were fine with until we rode the elevators with people whose bags were bursting with goodies from some of the exclusive parties they had been invited to and we were asked which parties we had gone to. We just began answering, "We hosted a rib party at the Brazil Nut Lounge." (A response that came to Amanda after she was fortified by a few cocktails.) And come to think of it...who wouldn't want to go to a rib party?

Only someone not in touch with their feelings about meat, probably.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Me and my new shoes are back from my first-ever BlogHer. (The shoes were my initial foray into the non-stiletto category, since I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking at the conference. I was so proud of myself for this bit of common sensery, that when I purchased them I sent my friend an e-mail saying, "I just bought sensible shoes. Does this make me a grown up?" And she wrote back, "No. It makes you a lesbian.")

Which makes perfect sense, actually, because I am in love with the awesome women I met there. (Although, not really in that way. Except for Padma Lakshmi, who is very likely describing my physical characteristics to a police sketch artist as I type this.)

It's not my fault she's uptight.

I'll be recapping my experience in a series of posts about meeting blogging idols, running a race through NYC at the crack of dawn, getting in touch with my feelings about lunch meat, hosting a rib party at the Brazil Nut lounge, discussing promotional strategies like the Metamucil-tini (patent pending), hunting down my granite counter top at the hotel lost and found, and sharing with you all of my networking tips because I'm excellent at it. And by "excellent" I mean "god awful."

Also? The New York Hilton completely came through. Our room had a view of the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall, we were greeted by champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries delivered to the room, and two different Hilton representatives checked in with us throughout the stay to make sure everything was going smoothly and that we were comfortable. It was wonderful. And has made living with me and my renewed set of expectations a real treat in the past two days.

One of the reps, Julie, even said that if there was anything we needed, to please let her know. Which, of course, led to a running joke in our room about us "calling Julie" about everything. Over the four days we were there, we picked up the phone and pretended to share the following needs with Julie:

"Julie, Amanda is hogging the remote"

"Julie, the sirens outside are loud. Make them stop."

"Julie, this CSI is a repeat."

"Julie, I want to hear your Arnold Schwarzenegger impression."

"Julie, tell me I'm pretty."

"Julie, I'm in New York. I suppose I should score some hookers and blow?"

"Julie, should I wear the strappy black sandals or the platforms?"

"Julie, can I borrow fifty bucks?"

Will recap (with photos) soon,

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Really, New York Hilton?

Anyone that knows me knows how excited I've been to attend my first BlogHer conference in two days. I bought my conference pass a year ago and have been excitedly planning for this ever since, including booking a room at the conference hotel (the NY Hilton) so that I would be right where the action was for the duration of the conference and would not have to worry about any logistics once I got to New York City.

And guess what? I found out TODAY that my Hilton reservation (which has been booked since and was prepaid in April) was cancelled. I booked through 1800 Hotels, which just filed for bankruptcy, so even though the Hilton confirmed my reservation (both electronically and verbally) through Thursday of last week, they let me know today that it is now cancelled and that basically, I'm outta luck. (When I say "they let me know", I mean that 1 800 Hotels let me know via an e-mail, and I had to call the Hilton to receive confirmation of this. The Hilton did not contact me.)

I was hoping that at the very minimum they would offer me another room at the BlogHer rate ($229/night), but the best they are offering me is a standard rate of $359/night, which I don't want to shell out after (likely) losing more than $800 in the prepayment of my hotel room initially.* (I am filing a claim to be reimbursed, but knowing how bankruptcies work...I'm not holding my breath.)

I escalated this from reservations to Hilton management who was completely unsympathetic (even though I have been a Hilton Honors member for years and was exceedingly polite). Their response was that "I should have booked at the conference rate through the conference initially." Umm...when I tried to do that in April, I was told that the conference block of rooms was already sold out and the best rate they could offer me was $359 a night. Hence, my Internet sleuthing to find a rate of $229/night through 1800 Hotels.

To say that I am bummed and that this puts a serious damper on my whole BlogHer experience is probably the understatement of the century.

Also...where the hell are we going to stay? Anyone know a better hotel in the area that might be happy to have my business?

*For the record, this is a HUGE amount of money to me, and I was going to split the cost with a friend who is also attending the conference.

UPDATE 8/4: Thanks to the good people of BlogHer who responded to my pleas for help immediately, and to the Hilton, who worked with me to get the conference rate (after likely being terrified by my manifesto-style eight-page fax with supporting documentation) and to the community of bloggers who let me know that I should contact the BlogHer folk right away...it looks like I will not be homeless in New York City after all. I'll update again when I get to NYC tomorrow...and in the meantime, wish me luck on getting reimbursed by 1800Hotels...

UPDATE 2: Thanks to DC Blogs for the link today.