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Insanitysauce

Why is it when my husband goes away on business trips I become convinced that one of the following will definitely happen:

  1. The apartment will go up in flames while we’re sleeping. Probably because I forgot to check that the toaster was unplugged the usual 24 times.
  2. LJ, fur-child and I will all succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  3. A creepy, murderous crazy person will bust into our apartment through the roof door.
  4. Some insane person will swoop into LJ’s room in the middle of the night and whisk her off to some far-away land where she will fetch a hefty price on the black market.

The thing is, when my husband IS here and we experience the occasional middle of the night “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT NOISE?! OMGGOCHECK!!” freak out moments: I’m usually the one to go fight off the killer rapist in the kitchen with the pointy horn of LJ’s unicorn doll. I’m the crime fighting mama-bear. Pete usually stays in the bedroom “protecting the dog”. My lab, by the way, couldn’t care LESS if we were being robbed. While my bat ears hear every thump in the building, causing me to launch out of bed in supreme freak-out mode: Carson is all, “Huh? (Yawn)” as she resumes snoring and chasing dream squirrels.

So why do I morph into the helpless damsel in distress when he’s away? Most of the time, my fears are completely irrational. Like the black market bit: that probably won’t happen. I’m sure I won’t have to pull a Macgyver and fashion some sort of massive Moby wrap out of a bedsheet that can hold the dog AND kid while I shimmy out the second story window in a fire. No, I haven’t thought about that awesome plan at ALL.

I know I’m not alone in the irrational fears, though. All you need is a vivid imagination to freak yourself the f*ck OUT when you’re home alone. Case in point: my mother. 1993.

When I was a senior in high school, my parents hit a rough patch in their relationship, and for a very brief period of time my father was living in the next town. My sister, who was about 22 at the time, mom and I were trucking along in our usual routines, just sans a man in the house. Late one weekend night, when my friends pulled up to drop me off after a night of drinking wine coolers in various parking lots in town, I noticed the living room light was on and you could see the back of my mother’s head silhouetted in the window. When you’re a teenager that is never, EVER a good sign. I entered the house, walked up the stairs to the living room and found my mother AND sister both sitting on the couch looking panic-stricken at 1am. Cue 17-year-old  (buzzed) heart beating out of my chest as I try to imagine what I did to deserve this insane intervention-like meeting. The following conversation (more or less) took place:

Mom: Tracy, sit down. We want to talk to you about something.

Me: ….Okay. (Shitting in my pants. Did she find my Parliaments? Fuck!)

Mom: Now I don’t want you to get upset….

Me: … Okay. (I’m. DEAD. My life is over.)

Mom: …but we’re a little afraid that someone may have tried to break into the house.

Me: Huh?

Mom: We’re a little afraid that someone may have tried to break into the house, and they put THIS picture through the front mail-slot as some kind of warning. (She slid the following picture across the coffee table.)

Me: Wait, Ice Cube?

Mom: OH MY GOD YOU KNOW HIM? Why would he put a picture through our mail slot?!

Me: Why would WHO put a picture through our mail slot? Ice Cube?

Mom:  WHO IS HE?!?

Me: He’s a rapper!! Are you INSANE??!?

Mom: Are you sure? You mean it’s your picture?

Me: It probably fell out of my backpack or from one of my magazines or something. You mean you SERIOUSLY thought a robber would give you a PICTURE OF HIMSELF before he robbed you? You thought Ice Cube was some stalker that was trying to break into our stupid house?  (Dying laughing at this point. Almost crying.)

Mom: (clearly embarrassed) Ok, that’s enough. I was afraid. Never mind. Now, go to bed!

Clearly overactive imaginations and the inclination to expect doom and horror around every corner run in my family.

Also, poor Ice Cube.

***P.S. In no way, shape or form is (or was) my mother racist. It bums me out that I even have to comment on that.***

I’m a huge sucker for the following things:

  • lists
  • reminiscing about high school, and
  • 90’s music
…and so another list was born. I originally only wanted to include my top 10 favorite songs from high school, but that was an epic fail. I found myself trying to be a show-off and only including the songs real music critics would think were super-cool, leaving off horrible/awesome treasures like Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train. So I went for it. No holds-barred. There are some god-awful tunes on this list, but they’re like the soundtrack of my life circa 89-93 (in almost chronological order).

1. Come on, come on. Feel it, feel it.

2. Jesus Jones- Right Here Right Now. This was on all of my field hockey jogging mixes.

3. C&C Music Factory- Gonna Make You Sweat. So terrible. So good.

4. Madonna – Vogue. No, I didn’t memorize all the dancing in this video. Not at all.

5. 

6. How badly did I want to be in En Vogue? And the intro to this song? Hot.

7. Technotronic- Pump up the Jam. 

8. Janet Jackson- Rhythm Nation. You know the hard-core dance sequence in this one? I still know it. I’m 36 (and pathetic).

9. Best. Video. Ever.

10. Digital Underground- The Humpty Dance. This was the second song played at my wedding. Seriously.

11. Color Me Badd- I Wanna Sex You Up.

12. Extreme- More Than Words. This was SO on every girl’s “sad” or “love” mix tape. Because we still made MIX TAPES.

13. Remember this one?

14. REM- Losing My Religion. OMG DYLAN AND BRENDA BREAKUP SCENE NEVER FORGET.

15. Chris Isaak- Wicked Game. For a gangly, awkward 15-year-old girl with zero boobies and zero chance of getting some: this was like the sexiest thing ever.

16. Jane’s Addiction- Been Caught Stealing. Jane’s Addiction is still a regular in my itunes.

17. Such a crush on this man…

18. Salt n Pepa- Let’s Talk About Sex. Was it embarrassing for our parents to hear us singing along to this?

19. Public Enemy- 911 is a Joke.  Git up a git git git down. 911 is a joke in yo town.

20. Ce Ce Peniston – Finally. Kind of the same as C&C Music Factory, right?

21. Was Stevie B just a Long Island thing?

22. Damn Yankees- High Enough. 

23. Skid Row- I Remember You.

24. Tesla- Signs.

25. Black Sheep- The Choice is Yours. The third song played at my wedding (after Humpty Dance). That’s how much I loved it.

26. Pearl Jam- Alive. Totally reminds me of riding around on my friend’s boat. I feel like this was always blasting.

27. Kriss Kross- Jump. When some clearly insane Spanish teachers from my high school decided to take 50 juniors and seniors to Spain one break, this was the song I remember the most.

28. Tag Team- Whomp There it is.

29. 

30. 

31. House of Pain- Jump Around. Hands down the song of senior year.

32. Wreckx n Effect- Rump Shaker. I don’t even have a rump. Seriously, I never have. Flattest booty ever.

33. Because the scene where everyone sprays their forties on that uppity b*tch is pretty amazing.

34. Soul Asylum- Runaway Train. I saw a concert at Jones Beach with Soul Asylum, Screaming Trees and….

35. The Spin Doctors- Two Princes. Oy vey.

36. Dee Lite- Groove is in the Heart. Who doesn’t love this song?

37. Sir Mix A Lot- Baby Got Back. Again, with the butts. Poor, poor flat-assed young me. No back at all.

38. Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit. ANGST! GRUNGE! My signature outfit senior year was a flannel, cut-off jean shorts with tights under them and my doc martens. Like an Angela Chase wanna-be.

39. 

40. Naughty By Nature- O.P.P.

41. Sophie B. Hawkins- Damn, Wish I Was Your Lover. You know you used to sing along to this. Don’t lie.

42. Cypress Hill- Insane in the Brain. I was with my mom when I bought this cassette single and made her listen to it on the way home. She must have been thrilled.

43. Tribe Called Quest- Scenario. So, so good.

44. Now this… THIS is a Long Island thing.

45. Red Hot Chili Peppers- Suck My Kiss.

46. Shabba!

47. TLC- Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. While I had a ton of records and tapes, THIS was my very first cd purchase.

48. 10,000 Maniacs- These Are Days. 

49. Porno For Pyros- Pets. We’ll make great pets.

50. Beck- Loser. This was independently released right around graduation. It felt like an anthem.

Fin!

 

Happy Friday. 🙂

Dear owner of the nondescript beige car that was parked on 13th Street yesterday,

What? Excuse me? There were many nondescript beige cars parked on 13th Street yesterday? You’re right. I’m talking about this one:

Hey buddy, your car alarm went off between the hours of 12:45pm and 4:30pm. The. Entire. Time. Screeching. Honking. Eardrum-splitting decibels of noise all up in my face for FOUR HOURS.

Do you know what happens between the hours of approximately 1-4? It’s motherfucking nap time, my friend. NAP. TIME. Nap time of many small neighborhood children who, because we live in a dense urban environment, were unable to take a nap because of your stupid car. Nap time that was much, much-needed in many apartments so the harried, frazzled, sleep-deprived mothers could take at least one hour to catch up on the Housewives of NYC reunion. One precious hour to themselves. One precious hour where they don’t have to sing Trot Old Joe 9000 times.

I’m not even talking about me. I have a chill 3-year-old, but what about the people with tiny, scream-y infants? Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to get some scream-y infants to take good naps?! Have you ever tried to tiptoe through your apartment while avoiding certain creaky floorboards in the hardwood lest you wake up the scream-y infant? Have you ever put a baby in the tightest burrito swaddle on earth, borderline straightjacket-style and rock, bounce and loudly “SHHHH” said baby for two straight hours until they finally give in and you get a tiny moment of relaxation?

You know what REALLY fucks up said tiny moment of relaxation?

Your stupid car alarm.

And what about the writers? This is Brooklyn! How could you disturb the flashes of brilliance taking place behind laptops in coffee shops throughout the neighborhood? Isn’t anybody thinking about all the novelists?! The bloggers?! Shame on you!

Here’s the thing: it’s not a deterrent. I couldn’t. Care. Less if someone steals your car. Seriously. Nobody is calling the police. Nobody is jumping up from behind their MacBooks shouting “Oh my WORD! It sounds like crime is afoot! Come on everybody! Let’s form a community watch and stop the car thief!”.  That’s not happening. I didn’t glance out the window until TWO WHOLE HOURS had passed, and only THEN did I peek out to see if anybody had placed any disparaging notes on your windshield. Somebody could have stripped your car down to the bare frame, and we would have all been like, “Meh. Just turn off the fucking alarm, ok robber? Thanks. XOXO.”.

Do you see what I’m getting at, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle?

I did wonder, for a brief moment, if I was just being a jaded, lazy NYer, so I did a little googling. Did you know there are a gazillion blogs, websites, community groups and movements solely dedicated to trying to eradicate all car alarms in NYC? There are. It’s not just me. It’s everybody. Everybody hates you, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle. EVERYBODY.

95% of the time your badass Viper alarm goes off when the fucking wind blows, or when a Fresh Direct truck rumbles by on their way to deliver someone’s case of Pampers and bundle of kale. It’s almost never an actual thief. Even if it is someone with malicious intentions, odds are nobody will help save your car. We’re too busy rummaging through junk drawers for a sharpie so we can scrawl an expletive-filled note for your windshield.

So, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle, on behalf of all residents of NYC, be they mothers, fathers, infants, writers, acupuncturists, puppeteers or dog walkers: please shut your fucking car up right now. Everybody hates you.

XOXO,

Everyone

Have I mentioned how much I love the beach? No? Well, I do. A LOT. Growing up on Long Island, I spent many days and countless summer teenage nights at the beach (doing illegal things, most likely, but we won’t talk about that here). I don’t think I could ever live far away from a coast: it makes me claustrophobic even thinking about it. The ocean soothes my crazy. It’s my Xanax. Or Klonopin. Or Valium. Whichever you choose.

We have a cabana at a beach club on Long Island which makes going to the beach, especially with a kid who loves to dive face-first into the sand the second I apply sunscreen, much easier. It’s awesome. We even have a cabana boy. A CABANA BOY! Like in The Flamingo Kid and 90210, except not really. Not having to deal with lugging chairs and coolers everywhere leaves us plenty of time for our favorite beach activities: sitting, punching waves in the face and saving the jellyfish. LJ will spend HOURS picking up jellyfish, and often jellyfish BITS that have washed ashore, and throwing them back into the ocean. She thinks she’s “saving” them from dying. Even though she only throws them 2 feet away and they wash right back up. That’s my girl!

Summer rules, with or without jellyfish bits.

*************************************

For this Wordless Wednesday I linked up with the fab mamas at Live and Love… Out LoudProject Alicia, Moms Own Words and Angry Julie Monday.

This morning LJ and I were driving to the beach when the song “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince came on shuffle. The following conversation took place:

LJ: (smiling) I love this song! Woohoo!

Me: (smiling back at her in the rearview mirror) Me, too! Woohoo!

LJ: WOOHOOO!!

Me: WOOOHOOOO!!!

LJ: No, I said, “Woohoo!”!

Me: I said, “Woohoo!”, too. Woohoo!

LJ: No, stop saying that. I said “Woohoo!”!

Me: Well, so did I. WOOHOO!!

LJ: NO! STOP SAYING THAT! I SAID “WOOHOO!”!!

Me: What are you talking about? Woohoo!!!

LJ: I SAID “WOOHOO!!”!! STOP IT!!!

Me: No, I won’t stop it. I’m allowed to say “Woohoo!” whenever I want thankyouverymuch.

LJ: NO!! YOU CAN’T!! STOP SAYING THAT!

Me: Stop saying what? “Woohoo!”? I don’t want to stop saying that. I can say whatever I want. WOOHOO!!!

LJ: (Bursting into tears) NOOO!!! JUST STOP!! STOP SAYING WORDS!!

Repeat some version of this conversation about 5 times a day. Yay for 3 year-olds and equally as stubborn mothers!

Hot Stuff

Unless you live under a rock, you know that we’ve had a nice little heat wave for the past few days. I have to say: I didn’t mind it. In fact, after the thousands of blizzards we had this past winter, where our streets didn’t get plowed for about a week (in NYC!?), I welcome summer with all its stickiness. Now that Lotte is old enough to really hang out and is no longer a tiny, whiny cryfest, we’ve been doing some pretty awesome things recently. I’m ticking things off my summer bucket list like an efficient supermom. Ok, ok, we still manage to watch Wall-E, Bolt, or Toy Story 2 what feels like every five seconds, but we’ve really been taking advantage of living in the city lately.

 

Last week we went to Pier 6, one of our favorite parts of Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of Atlantic Avenue. The last time we went was in March, when I was in the throes of potty training madness. Since they didn’t have bathrooms open yet, Lotte may or may not have tinkled through her skinny jeans into the sand area. Luckily we were the only people there, and nobody knew. Until now. Sorry. Fortunately the potties have been completed, so we won’t use the sandbox as a litter box anymore.

 

Seriously, though, it has to be one of the greatest parks in the history of EVER, with an amazing view of downtown Manhattan. Look at this awesome view:

I wish I had more pictures of the actual playground areas, like “slide mountain”, the to-die-for water park and the biggest sandbox in the universe, but I feel sketchy taking pictures at playgrounds. Isn’t that sad? At a couple of NYC playgrounds parents have recently been reprimanded by park workers for taking pictures that may have other people’s children in them, so I’m always reluctant to even take a picture of MY OWN KID playing with a fountain, lest some crazy person comes to yell at me. Lame. I DID snap an iphone pic of the most amped-up mom there, though, because she was so into the water park I swear I caught her elbowing toddlers so she could have a turn.

She was literally leaving kids in her wake. That guy behind her was clearly checking out her ass since she was the only adult there in a bathing suit. Go crazy mom, go!

 

Friday was my birthday, and Lotte and I went to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens to see the Jim Henson exhibit. The temperature in my car while driving on the BQE read 104 that day: it was balls hot. The film museum, however, was really, really cool. Super interactive, interesting, modern minimal design… and air conditioned. Huzzah! I wanted SO BADLY to take pictures in the Jim Henson exhibit, because they had a few Fraggle puppets, Miss Piggy in her wedding gown (from Muppets take Manhattan), Bert and Ernie, as well as a bunch of props from The Dark Crystal (which I LOVED when I was little but looks creepy as shit now that I’m an adult), but there was absolutely NO photography allowed. There were security guards and museum workers around every corner, but like a complete badass rebel I snapped one pic with my phone.

Rowlf! Watching the footage of the making of the Muppet Show and Sesame Street actually made me a little teary. I was a huge Henson fan. HUGE. I’ve tried to get LJ into the Muppet Movie and Fraggle Rock, but she might be a little bit too young. Of course she couldn’t pass up a little bit of THIS guy:

On Saturday NYC felt like a urine-scented, roasting pan in hell, so we did what any sane family would do in a stanky heatwave: we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge! Totally out of our minds insane, clearly. At 5pm the temperature read 96 degrees, but we soldiered on, and then turned back around and went RIGHT back to our heavily air-conditioned apartment, gasping for air and recovering from heat stroke.

See that group of people under the Manhattan Bridge? That was a wedding. How awesome is THAT?

Yesterday the heat broke (barely), and since Pete had to go into the office to work on a pitch (on a Sunday! BOOOO!! Hisss!!), LJ and I hit our usual spot:

God, I LOVE summer.

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