Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Success. . . I Think

Kate Spade - adorable- from $298.  I don't have a pair of these.  I wish I did.

Sometimes working on fitness has unexpected successes.  Like being able to tackle three flights of stairs without wheezing at the top. 

Yesterday I was wearing a dress and a new pair of pumps.  Cute pumps.  They are like a Mary Jane-Spectator Pump hybrid.  So adorable.  I bought them slightly smaller than I usually wear because they didn't have my size.  In my book, cute shoes are cute shoes and if your toes pinch a little, suck it up. 

I stopped to chat with the custodian of our building.  His name is Jesse and he is really nice.  Another man who works in our building was standing near by.  I am going to call him Tony.  I am not going to say his real name because I don't want to embarrass him.  And if I misconstrued what happened, I don't want to embarrass me. 

I noticed that Tony was looking at something.  He had a look on his face. . . .you know the one.  The look that a man gives an attractive girl when she walks by.  Not a leer -- he wasn't being a lech.  It was just the look.  And it was just for a second.

I looked around to see who he was looking at.  No one was there but me & Jesse. 

He seemed to be looking down a little bit.  I followed his gaze and. . . .I think. . . .I think he . . . . .

I think he was looking at my legs. 

Of course I checked to see if I had a piece of toilet paper stuck to them or something. 

I didn't.

Then he said "I like your stilettos".

Stilettos?  Well, that proves Tony is not gay.  If he were gay he would know that my shoes are Mary Jane-Spectator hybrids. 

I didn't have any toilet paper stuck to them and my skirt was not tucked into my underwear.

There was only one logical explanation.

He checked me out.

Just for a second. 

I don't know if I can count that as a "success". .. .  but it kinda feels like one.

Monday, March 28, 2011

She Answered Me!

Check out this wonderful, well thought out, gracious response to my De-Facebooking quandry!

Annabel Manners is the BEST! 

Click HERE to read her answer!

Thank you Miss Annabel! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dear Annabel Manners. . . .

One of my favorite bloggers is Annabel Manners.  She's awesome.

I have an etiquette problem that may be a problem for some of you as well, so I am writing my Dear Annabel letter here.

Dear Annabel:

I love Facebook and tend to be somewhat of a . .. . you know.  Rhymes with "door". 

This week I noticed that I had over 450 Facebook friends. 

They are my friends.  Really.  Each of them.

The thing is, some of them are people who are never on facebook, so we rarely connect.  Some of them are people I see ALL THE TIME, so we over connect. 

So I un-facebooked a few.  I un-facebooked 142 to be exact.  I didn't say I un-FRIENDED them.  They are all still my friends -- I hope, anyway.  I meant them to still be friends.  Some people are better friends in person than on line.  In fact, I sent an e-mail to the 142 people explaining that I was limiting my Facebook connections, but I still value their friendship.

Of the 142 people, 140 didn't care.  Hell, they might not have even noticed.  But 2 got offended. 

Both of the 2 who were offended were people I see ALL THE TIME.  It's not like I severed contact.  I didn't disown them.  I didn't delete their e-mails.  I just didn't feel like Facebook added anything to our friendship.

Please, Miss Annabel, tell me what I should do to remedy the situation?  I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. 


Mary A

I'll let you know what Miss Annabel says!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Enjoy Heaven, Jiji

One of the things I love about my husband is his family.

His sisters are the greatest girls -- smart, witty and just plain fun to be around.  They each married great guys and when we get together there is always a ton of laughing and story telling. 

His parents have always been wonderful to me.  They have been kind, generous and supportive of us from day one.  When people kvetch about in-laws?  I got nothing.  Mine are wonderful.  I hope I can be as good a Mother in Law as Greg's mom is to me. 

I call them Mom & Dad, even though no one would ever confuse them for my biological parents.  It must be kind of funny watching our family get out of a car -- first come all these dark headed kids, then Greg's petite Asian sisters, then small white haired mom, little wiry dad, dark Greg & then here comes the big red Irish girl.  Who cares?  I love them like my own parents.

My boys love their grandparents.  They call his dad Jiji, which is Japanese for "Gramps".  They call his mom Gramma, which is English for "Grandma".

Jiji went to heaven on Friday.

I'm happy for him.

Jiji loved Jesus, his wife, his grandkids, his garden and his kids.  In that order. 

Jiji was gentle.

Every time I hear the Beatitudes, I think of him. 

Jiji was simple.

Christ said to have the Faith of a Child, and Jiji had the Faith of a Child.

Jiji was humble.

He never let you know any of his accomplishments, but Jiji spoke three languages, was an avid baseball player, a WWII vet and travelled the world.

Jiji was industrious.

He was a gardener by trade.  He was a gardener by passion.  His yard was so beautifully maintained it should have been featured on HGTV.  He used his trade to make sure all three of his kids got good college educations so they wouldn't have to work as gardeners. 

Jiji was grateful.

He would say things like "So lucky my wife married me".  "So lucky the kids so healthy".  "So lucky have 5 grandchildren".  So lucky. 

Jiji -- we are the lucky ones. 

Enjoy heaven, Jiji.  Enjoy heaven, Dad.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

May the Road Rise to Greet You. . .

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My maiden name is German, but most of my ancestors are Irish.  I was blessed with Blarney, child bearing hips and ruddy skin.

I love St. Patrick's Day! 

When I was in my drinking years (1980-2001), I used to belittle anyone who drank green beer instead of real Irish beer like Guinness.  Unless they gave me some green beer.  Then I would drink it and loudly tell anyone within ear shot that I prefer "real" Irish beer.  I've always been an arse.  (That's how the Irish say "ass", isn't it cute?)

In 1990, two of my also Irish girlfriends and I wanted to go out on St. Patrick's day. They are sisters.  I will call them Peggy and Sheila.   We wanted boys to buy us drinks.  Actually, I wanted them to buy us drinks.  Sheila was engaged already and just wanted to dance.  Peggy wanted to find a husband.

Poor Peggy.  She was a pretty girl - cute figure, pretty face and thick, long hair.  But she had NO LUCK with men.  Peggy would do things like talk about children on her first date.  No quicker way to get a boy to dump you than to start naming kids on the first 30 dates.  I know this. 

Also, Peggy waited for boys to talk to her. 

Peggy was pretty, but she was pretty in the same way I was pretty back then.  Forgettably pretty.  (One of the bonuses to being a plus size girl?  I get noticed.)

I wasn't in the market for a husband.  Frankly, I was at a stage where I could pretty much pick the boy I wanted and unless he was gay or engaged, I would get asked out.  I'm an arse, but I'm a charming arse. 

Sheila, Peggy and I went out on St. Patrick's day to find Peggy a husband.

I wore a green top, a black mini, footless tights and flats.  (Don't judge me.  It was 1990.  I was 24.  I was cute.)  Sheila wore a green top, a black mini, black hose and 4 inch stilettos.  (Don't judge her.  It was 1990.  She was 24.  She was cute.)  Peggy wore a tight back mini dress, nude hose and 4 inch stilettos.  It was a man eater outfit.  (You can judge her.  She wasn't wearing green.  It was St. Patrick's day.)

We went to an Irish Pub in West LA.  Couldn't get in.  We went to an Irish Pub in Santa Monica.  Couldn't get in.  We went to an Irish Pub in Culver City.  Couldn't get in. All the Irish places were so packed that you couldn't even park, much less get in.

Peggy said "I know a place in El Segundo.  It's called CJ Barrymore's.  Let's try there."

I knew full well that CJ Barrymore's was full of Japanese and Korean men.  I knew that because Japanese and Korean men were my very favorite flavors.  I also knew that Peggy didn't particularly care for Asian men, as she wanted to meet a redhead named Kevin, marry him and name their children Siobhan and Seamus.   For once in my life, I kept my mouth shut.

CJ Barrymore's was full, but not packed.  We paid a cover.  We got in. 

Once Peggy got a look at all the hot. . .I mean Asian men in the place, she gave me a really dirty look. 
"You were the one who wanted to come here," I reminded her.

We bought drinks and sat down.  Peggy sat in her man eater outfit and waited for men to come to her. 

Sheila and I went to dance. 

I was ready to use my Irish Charm on these cute Asian boys. 

"Happy St. Patrick's Day!"  I would say to a dark haired cutie.  "Are you Irish?"

I thought I was really, really funny. 

They all thought I was a retard. 

Except the cutest one.

He was sitting at the table next to Peggy.  He was just hanging out, not on the prowl, not looking to dance.  He was CUTE.  Big dark eyes.  Thick black hair.  Broad shoulders.  His shirt was rolled up to reveal smooth brown skin over muscular forearms.

Then he smiled at me.


I had to try it one more time.

"Happy St. Patrick's day" I said.  "Are you Irish?"

He laughed.  "Yes!  My name is Greg O'Rourke and I am from County Clare"

"Really?" I asked.

"No", he laughed.  "My name is Greg A____ and I am from LA.  Are you Irish?"

And that is how I met the love of my life. 

Lucky.  We've been married for 18 years.

Peggy is still single.  She says she is happily single.  I think that's all Blarney. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mind Your Business

It's spring break!


I thought being with the littles 24/7 would be a nightmare, but we are having a really good time.

You know what I have noticed?  When you are with children, people feel it's OK to get in your business. 

I was in a ladies room with the 3 year old and the 6 year old.  We were taking care of business when the lady in the next stall felt she needed to shout directions.  At first I thought she must be on her phone, but then I realized she was talking to us.

I told 3 year old he'd have to sit down to pee and she yelled "It's OK honey, it's just this one time". 

I told 6 year old not to open the door until I was finished and she said "Mommy doesn't want people to see her undressed, sweetie".

Then my 3 year old made an observation about me. . .I won't go into specifics as it was very personal.  Let's just say it's a "Special Time" at my house (if you get the code, good.  If you don't, too friggin bad).  She shouted out "Don't worry honey, Mommy is going to be OK"

WTF lady?

Then as we were washing hands, she came up behind 3 year old to lift him to the sink.  Umm. .. I've got it, thanks.

Later, we were at a restaurant ordering lunch.  The waitress was one of those Flo types -- huge beehive hairdo, pen behind her ear, the whole deal.  I ordered grilled cheese and a side of steamed broccoli for the kids.  My kids LIKE steamed broccoli.  I swear. 

She said "Honey, they will never eat it.  Get the fries."

"No, we'll get the broccoli, thanks."

"But they won't eat it"

"They'll eat some of it"

Then she ROLLED HER EYES at me and submitted my order. 

She also gave my 9 year old a kid's drink, when I ordered a regular.  "I don't want him to spill it"  she said.

He won't spill it.  He's nine.  He's nine going on thirty if you want to know the truth.  I might spill, but he won't.   Who is paying for this anyway?

The kids ate some of their sandwich and some of their broccoli. 

"I told you they wouldn't eat it"  she said. 

That's not the way to get big tips lady.

Then today I got it again. 

I was at Home Depot & referred to my oldest son as Jojo.  He prefers going by Joseph, but he's my kid and we (sometimes) call him Jojo at home.  This old guy in the paint aisle said "Don't call him Jojo -- that's a sissy name".

Oh yeah?  I bet your grandson's name is Jordyn.  THAT'S a sissy name Grampa.

If you see me out & about with my kiddos, feel free to say hello.  But do me a favor & mind your business.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Knew It. . .


Cameron Diaz reads my blog.

Vic -- you are a trendsetter!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

True Colors

I love red.

I wear it a lot.

I also wear a lot of black, camel and navy.

Red, Black, Camel & Navy are classics.  Audrey Hepburn wore these colors.  So did Jackie Kennedy and Coco Chanel. 

Stopping by my local Macy's the other day, I perused the business wear section.  I always start with the sale racks.  Know what's in the size 20 section at Macy's?

Yellow suits.

Green suits.

Pink suits.

PINK SUITS.  Shell pink.  Not Rose.  Not Magenta. Not even Carnation Pink.  Shell Pink.  Exactly the color of my skin.  I should say, exactly the color of the skin that has never been exposed to the sun.  Shell Pink sounds so much nicer than "Mary's Ass Pink", don't you agree? 

Were I to don one of these suits, I would appear to be naked.  And not a good naked, either.

Could I find anything in black?  No. 

Navy?  No.

Camel?  No.

Red?  No.  Oh wait -- here's something. 

It has sequins on it. 

Since I am not a Vegas performer, I rarely wear sequins to work.  I looked at the label half expecting it to be from the Liberace line.  Sequins.

I found suits with lots of embroidery.  Us plus size girls LOVE to look like couch cushions, lemme tell ya!  We also like clothes with anchors embroidered on them.  It makes us feel nautical. 

It's not that the suits weren't nice.  They would be lovely on a 70 year old African American woman headed to church. 

The problem is, I need something for a 45 year old Irish American woman headed to work.

I have purchased these suits before.

One year, I found a very conservative skirt suit.  The cut was good -- shawl collar and straight skirt.  The skirt was black, the jacket was. . .Kelly green.  With a black collar and cuffs.  It was about $30, which is a good price for a fully lined suit. 

So I bought it.

I wore it.

I felt like Janet Reno. 

I looked like Janet Reno (without the wash & wear hair).

I gave the suit to Goodwill.

Some designers do create attractive, classic plus size clothes.  Talbot's has a gorgeous plus size line.  So does Jones of New York.  The problem is, I have Talbot's taste and a Target budget.

So if you see  me tooling around in a pink suit?

Shaddap.  I got it on sale.

matching shoes & clutch.  Oh yeah.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Sunday Re-Post

It's Sunday.  I have nothing new.  So here's an old favorite.

We went to the Last Chance Mass on Sunday – 6pm. For us Catholics, keeping the Sabbath holy means getting to mass on Sunday. (We also strive to rest, meditate, do good deeds, spend time with family . . . but most importantly – get your ass to mass!)

Because it was the Last Chance Mass, it was also the “Come as You Are” Mass. In other words – jeans are fine. Just wipe the peanut butter off the kids and strap them in the car seat because we gotta go.

Please know: this is not a complaint. I love going to mass. I love it. I love the fellowship, I love the mystery, the prayer . . . I love spending time with my Jesus surrounded by my family. I am a Catholic by birth, yes. More importantly, I am a Catholic by choice.

One of the things I LOVE about my tribe is that we have so many opportunities to get to mass. You can go late Saturday, early Sunday, not-so-early Sunday, noon Sunday, or Late Sunday. This week, we chose late Sunday.

Because our kiddos are little, we generally split our masses. Greg likes going late Sunday, I like going Sunday morning. That way we don’t always have to take the 5 year old & 2 year old. To kids that age, a 45 minute mass is eternity. If a certain priest is giving the homily, make that eternity plus 15 minutes. (Sorry Father, but it’s the truth.)

This week, we didn’t divide and conquer. We took everybody.

When we take whole family, my husband goes into the pew first. The 8 year old is next. Then the 5 year old, me & the 2 year old bring up the rear. We kneel and say a pre-mass prayer. At this point the 5 year old – who will never admit to being tired under any other circumstance – is suddenly exhausted. He immediately lies down on my lap. The 8 year old will decide that sitting upright is too much of an effort, so he leans against my other side. The 2 year old then proceeds to climb me like a jungle gym. Meanwhile, my husband is sitting a little apart, comfortably listening to the readings.

When it’s time to stand, I pick up 2 year old and nudge the older boys reluctantly to their feet. Then 2 year old decides he’s had enough and shimmies down. As soon as his feet touch the terrazzo floor, he begins to climb again. And on we go.

We’re not unique – look around and every family with small children is doing some variation of the same dance.

This Sunday, there was a new twist to the mass dance.

As 5 year old leaned and 2 year old climbed, my jeans started to scoot south. I hitched them up as best as I could, retrieved 2 year old from his 10 seconds on the floor and tried to listen to the gospel. Bored with his 20 seconds in my arms, 2 year old climbed down again. And took my jeans with him.

My 2 year old literally pulled my pants off during mass.

That means that half the church plus the choir loft saw my blue-polka-dot-boy-shorts from Lane Bryant.

Thank GOD I didn’t wear a thong.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Update

Remember when I blogged my Revolutions and talked about how goals must be specific, written , blah blah blah?  Well, they must also be updated. 


March 1st.  First day of the last month of the quarter.  (If you are in business, that last sentence should make some sense).

My updates are in pretty purple type.

I will take one class each session. Update:  I am taking Business Calculus.  I should be studying for it instead of blogging.  I secretly wish for violent stomach flu so I will have a legitimate reason for missing class.  Plus violent stomach flu always takes a few pounds off.

I don't have any social goals this year.  Update.  I still don't have any social goals this year. 

I will read at least one book about my faith every quarter. Update:  I have one month to get this done.  I've read the last issue of the Liguorian, and South Texas Catholic.  But those are periodicals, so they don't count.

I will work out at least 4 times each week.  Update:  Doing it.  I pushed a truck. 

I will include fruit and/or vegetables at each meal. Update:  Define vegetable.  I have some work to do here.

We will pay off the goddamn Sallie Mae by 12/31/2012. Update:  On track.  We are coming to get you Bitch.

Remember I said:

Here's what I am not going to do:

Go on a diet.  Update:  we may have to rethink this one. 

Actually, I am not going to diet.  But I may decide to do weight watchers. Even though I fucking hate weight watchers.   (Weight Watchers says they are not a diet. Bullshit.  They tell you how to manipulate your food choices in order to lose weight.  That's called a diet.)  The fact is, weight fucking watchers works.  If you are disciplined and follow the plan. 

See, I think I am having trouble with my vegetables because I am not planning effectively.  Weight fucking watchers has a pre-made plan.  And really annoying meetings.  And literature featuring photos of 50ish year old women in bright clothes riding bikes with their No-Way-Is-He-Straight husbands.   IF I decide to go to weight fucking watchers, I need to change my attitude or it really won't work.  But that is easier said than done.  And the more I try to change my attitude about weightfuckingwatchers the more I fucking hate them. 

If I had an extra $500 a month, I'd go on Jenny-is-a-bad-hair-bitch-Craig.  Actually, if I had an extra $500, I'd give it to Vic because he has great hair, plus he deserves it. 

I don't have $500 to pay for Jenny-80's hair-Craig.

Maybe I can do it on my own! 

Yeah right.    If I could do it on my own, I wouldn't need to even think about joining weight-fuck-fuck-fuck-watchers.  But I do need to.  I need to do it for me.  I need to do it for Vic & Gabe.  Seriously. They have done amazing things for me so far.  But unless I can get control of my food choices, we're stuck where we are. 

I hate being stuck. 

New Goal:  Join fucking weight watchers.  And maybe quit swearing so much.