Monday, June 20, 2011

How To Work Out Really Good

1) Go to Target. Spend, like, an hour browsing work out clothes. Do you want the purple sports bra? Maybe the turquoise? Definitely not pink, you think. Who do you look like, Avril Lavigne? Why don't you casually suck on a dum dum while you're at it? Ooh, they have cool new sports pants with flared legs. "Wick dry", they say. Don't know what that means, but it sounds fantastic. Kinda British. Smashing. Buy new socks, while you're at it. Feel free to spend as long as you like shopping for workout clothes at Target. Think of all the calories you're burning carrying your frappucino and shopping at the same time!

2) Come home and put on all your new sporty clothes. Notice how kick-ass and skinny you feel just by putting them on. Stand on one leg and do a serviceable karate style round kick. Impress your daughters. Slap your thigh. Say, "See that?". Say, "That's from ballet". You took a semester of it in college. Bragging rights, earned. Do a couple plies. Go on! You are fabulous. (Don't jete. Just don't.)

3) Bust out the ipod. Create a new playlist. Name the playlist "Kickass Workout Playlist". This is where you're really going to bust a move. Fiddle around with your playlist. Go to itunes. Listen to samples: Ceelo, Kesha, Ting Tings, Britney Spears, Beyonce. Now you are really working hard. Google "workout playlists" to take it up a level. Sample more music. Buy more songs. Arrange them in your playlist in perfect order: warm-up, kick ass, cool down. Spend forever doing this. Literally. Forever. Make sure you're wearing your wicked dry pants. So badass.

4) Stick your ipod in your new sports bra, stretch your calves, and drive to Starbucks. Let the people notice you appear to have been working out. You walk differently, for some reason you straighten your shoulders and push out your hips in these British clothes. You're just so comfortable in your body now. Order the grande Mocha Coconut Frappucino. Let the barista tell you, because of your workout clothes, "You deserve this". Nod. Because you do.

You do.

5)Think, maybe it is time to go for a run? Check playlist. Playlist needs work.

6)Do some sweet yoga poses. The look like yoga poses, anyway. Wobble around one one ankle. Make prayer hands in front of your sweet sports-bra'd uni-rack. Say, "Oooh, I'm really feeling the good energy flow". Say "Namaste". When your kids say, "What?", just smile mysteriously. When your kids tell you to stop, it's annoying, the universe has just handed you the perfect opportunity to practice your round kick.

7) Spend a lot of time thinking about Kate Middleton. It is scientifically proven that you burn ab fat just by thinking about Kate Middleton. I learned this from Oprah. Not Oprah, Oprah, but the lady that comes on the public service channel at three am dressed like a playing card and calls herself "The New Oprah". Practice your Kate Middleton accent. That counts. Practice ordering champagne with a British accent. That counts too.

8) Roll out of bed and actually go for a run. If you run half a block and walk the rest, it still counts as 'a run'. Notice the return of the male gaze. It's shocking, being visible again. You didn't realize, all that time you were hauling around children, how you'd become invisible. Put a girl in sweet new fancy British pants and the boys are looking again. The bouncing ponytail, it must be. Enjoy the male gaze for about a minute. Then begin to resent all the unwanted attention. Start flipping people off. Go home and learn how to swear in Spanish.

9) Come home all sweaty. Feel fantastic. Stick out your hips. You don't know why, you just do. Return to Starbucks. You are a champion, my friend.

Just like your sports bra.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Ayla used to ask me to tell her stories.

She had her special requests. "A mermaid--a purple mermaid with a sparkle tail--and a prince, and. .. .pink kitties. And a golden seashell. By the sea. With a castle. And a sea witch."

And I would bake up a fairy-tale with the required ingredients.

Sprinkle in a pinch of 'mermaid saves herself/sister/prince'. You know. For spice.

She could have listened to me tell stories all the time, but of course I couldn't tell them all the time.

I got tired. I have been engineered to resemble a human in nearly every way and, like humans, I eventually tire of any activity and need rest.

But usually when she asked, I'd weave her a Mermaid Tail. Kingdoms by the sea.

Then today arrives.

I'm brushing her hair to get her ready for karate. Ayla Beloved Tuttle is 6 years, 8 months, and 7 days old. When this moment is over, she will retire to the couch with a small tube of nail polish and bend over her toes, looking for all the world like a 13-year-old. She will write a list that says, in scrawling but improving script, "nail polish. lipstick." She will put on iCarly.

I release her hair from the ponytail it's been in all week and it explodes like a Lee Krasner. She looks like the character from Neil Gaiman's "Crazy Hair". She looks like Beatrice Fluffernutter, or Zoe Azul, or whatever her name is, the girl who goes to school and uses her long red tendrils to write on the chalkboard. To distract her from the pain, I start to spin Ayla a yarn. About how she lived with the wolves. She learned where the wolves found berries in the summer, and where they went to stay warm in the winter. She learned the precise wolf calls for 'I love you' and 'we're out of peanut butter'. Ayla was silent.

I thought she was listening.

In the story she came back to me with her hair looking like she'd been raised by wolves. Which of course, I told her, you had. I was so happy to see you, because I missed you. But one day you began to miss the wolves. So you went out the front door. You stretched your long neck and howled your wolf howl. Then you went down on all fours--

"Mo-om," Ayla said.

You know the way. You've said it, you've heard it. The two syllable lament. "Mooo-oom."


"I don't want to hear this anymore."

I don't know when this happened.

I finished brushing her hair in silence.

On her way out the bathroom, she paused to grab a tube of lip gloss.

She never saw me cry.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Look At This Hipster


Would it interest you to know that my kids were fighting over a laundry basket--a laundry basket--but now it has turned into a good-natured wrestling match?

Clothing remains on. For the moment.

Or perhaps you'd rather hear that yesterday, at the park, a dad rolled in on a hipster bicycle with some kind of--sack, or--pouch--attached to the back, his kids nestled into it like joeys. He appeared whilst deep in conversation with a tot about Laura Ingalls and Baby Mary, then proceeded to spend twenty minutes setting up a tightrope. Between two trees. That he then walked, like a circus man.

The girls stared. I tried not to.

Don't feel inadequate for not transporting your kids in a parachute and walking them on a tightrope. The kids messed with the hooks and carabiners. They tried his patience.

We are at momology today.

Love you.


Ps: Hello, blogher readers! Did you come here through a link from Matt Logelin's blog? Or Radioactive girl? Inevitably, it works like this. We write a so-so post, and it turns out to be the one blogher features on their "more from blogher" links. Then we get tons of traffic for a post about our chin acne or shark week. Or hipsters. So if you came over from Matt and Maddie, or Radioactive Girl--I love you. Please feel free to browse some of our other posts. I'm begging you here. Have I told you I love you??


PPS: We might humbly suggest these two.

Brave New Girls


Happiness is a Stupid Hobby.

You know. If we were into that kind of thing.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lost At Sea


I don't know what day it is.

To prove this to you, I would ask you to please go back and look through the archives--yes, all of them, you want to make the greatest fan show someday, don't you?--and count the number of times I have blogged on a Sunday.


Totally don't know what day this is.

Summer was awesome! Amazing! We read books, went to the pool, had a picnic at the park, slept late, and ate a ton of popsicles. Blessing bless bless blessedy blessed blessings! So, now that we've established how blessed I am and all, I ask you: My kids can go back to school now, right?

I mean, if I woke up tomorrow, drove them to school, ushered them into the building and acted all natural about it, do you think anyone would notice?

I am trapped here somewhere between "Mr.V has left for work" and "Mr. V is still working", throw in a "Mr. V is not home yet."

I feel like I've been home alone with the kids for weeks, months, like we are lost at sea here, solitary sojourners, swooping up into libraries and down into 9 pm bedtimes. Which leave me up until 12 am, watching Supernatural and Downton Abbey and not reading as much as I like to. Asking my brain to do anything lately is like asking me to solve algebra after drinking margaritas and then going to the dentist. And the dentist is Jensen Ackles. But at least we know I haven't lost my knack for drama, because I think I may have been out all day Friday, without the kids, doing my thing. And Friday was approximately two days ago, not forty-seven?

I honestly don't remember.

What I know for sure is that I found Campfire Marshmallows at the War-mart, and if I'm ever in my life going to use the word jazzed, it's about that. BUT I AM USING IT IRONICALLY.

What I know for sure is that I slept until 10 am today and I hate myself.

I think we're going to venture out of the boat to our one safe harbor and see if we can't find us some iced Amanda Palmers.

Look, that joke made a lot of sense. To Amanda Palmer.

I am Vesuvius and where am I? Who are you? Somebody call Marcus with the hovercraft. Marcus will bring the hovercraft. He always did.

PS: Please don't ask me why I'm blogging on my hiatus, or be all like, "I told you so!" (MOM.) I already have enough issues as it is, can't you see? Why else would I be rebelling against myself in this grotesque and unseemly manner? I am basically telling myself to screw myself, and we're not going to wonder why I do that. Why not? Because the computer says it's Sunday, although I HAVE MY DOUBTS.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In Which My Self-Imposed Exile Lasts Three Days


I am happy to know a lot of creative people.

I thought we might like this.

Permission to Suck's 'Manifesto for Creative Professionals'.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Under the Radar


Memorial day weekend passed in a blur.

The girls were sick and missed their last days of school. Mr. V, birthday boy, was sick as well. On Saturday night I went to bed at nine pm and slept for thirteen hours.

I woke up and I knew a few things for sure.

One was that, god willing and the kids don't get pink eye, I spend most of my days doing what I love. And oh, how I love this thing I love. And that is a true happiness.

Indy bursts through the door and dumps out handfuls of flowers and rocks. That she has collected for me. Because she loves me.


I knew that in ten days--or eleven days--look, I don't really know how to count days--I am going to turn thirty. It's true. And I knew that I want to spend these next ten or eleven days celebrating. I am going to fete myself with little treasures.

Today we had Mexican food with guacamole, and ice cream. Holy cow! Sakes alive.

Tomorrow maybe I'll spend some of my early-arriving birthday money on a book and a song.

Bit by bit, moment by moment, is how these things are done.

What I know for sure is that my future holds Frappucinos and some really good pizza.

What I know is that I will never buy margarita mix labeled "Skinny Girl". Life is short. Life is hard.

Life is sweet.

I woke up from my ten year nap, and I knew that it was time to lay low for a little while.

Things need to kick around.

Grains of sand must be turned over and coaxed into pearls.

Soft places must be nurtured for new things to grow.

I'm going under ground. Under the radar. Incognito, if I will. (I will).

I don't know how often I'm going to come around these parts, for a time.

I just wanted you to know, in case you come looking.

When I was in college, there was a serial rapist in our college town.

I was driving in the car with a friend, who was on the phone, trying to explain to someone how uptight we all were because of it.

In her bouncy, lovely way, she raised her eyebrows and exclaimed, "We are all on hi--"--she searched for the word-- "--atus."

I wish you summer treasures. Good books, good beer, crickets in the evenings and languid afternoons.

I wish you peppers on your pizza and cinnamon in your coffee.

I wish you Mary Oliver poems.

I wish you tv shows on dvd to devour, five or six at a time.

I wish you all things coconut and good, vanilla bean and spicy. Whatever is honey-dripped, garlic roasted, and wonderful to you, I wish you those things.

Wherever it is you wish to go, I wish you a piece of it wherever you are.

I wish you many star-filled nights at the cabana of Le Happy.

We are on hiatus, here.

I am Vesuvius and here comes the Mary Oliver poem:

Don't worry, sooner or later I'll be home.
Red-cheeked from the roused wind.

I'll stand in the doorway
Stamping my boots and slapping my hands,
my shoulders
covered with stars.

(from 'Walking Home from Oak-Head. By Mary Oliver.)

My favorite poem by Mary Oliver
is called "The Journey"
and you can find it online.

link within

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