Friday, May 29, 2009

In the Beginning There was a Really Big Belly Under a Christmas Tree

This is the story of my birth as I've always told it and I fully expect that my mom will read this and immediately be scandalized by my bastardization of the details in a story that is rightfully much more hers than mine. As a bonus I'm also going to throw in the story of my brother's birth because it's related and because it might further annoy my mom which will teach her for learning about the internet. (Private to AngryMom in CA: At least your daughter shares her blog with you, most moms aren't that lucky! Let her slide on the embellishments, after all she's been stuck in an entire year of writer's block, she needs this!).

I was born on January 5th 1978 (mark your calendars! shop post Christmas sales for presents!) which was about 2 weeks later than I was supposed to be born thus affording my mom and dad the luxury of taking a hilarious picture of her huge belly under the Christmas tree with a big bow wrapped around it -- to this day I'm sure my mom finds much irony in the thought that I would be a great gift and not just a never ending source of lost sleep and so much eye rolling (like all babies I'd like to thank Mother Nature for those awesome post pregnancy hormones that made me lovable despite not being very lovable -- I'm not sure who I should thank for giving mom the strength not to try literally slapping me out of my funk every day of my life from age 13 through 17).

I actually know very little of what happened between me playing the part of Christmas package and being born. I assume at some point on the 4th or 5th of January there was a rushed ride to the hospital and hours of screaming and you know, blood and doctors and such but mom was never one to regale me with "Do you know how much pain I went through to bring your sorry ass into the world?" I was born in the hospital where my mom worked as an ER nurse (and now works as the Nursing Supervisor) so the birth was well attended and mom claims much of it was broadcast over the nurses' walkie talkie system. This seems insanely cruel -- can you imagine all of your coworkers listening in on you giving birth to your first kid? Strangely mom never mentions killing whoever made this happen (I assume not talking about the murder is all part of the mass cover-up -- good job mom.).

And then, you know -- here I was (the sun came out from behind the clouds, the heavens smiled, the birds sang, national holiday, etc). But the real hilarious bit of this story starts when we get out of the hospital. I'm not sure how long my new family was actually home before my mom had to be returned the the hospital because there was a lot of blood not staying in her body where it belonged, but it wasn't long -- maybe a day or so. So back to the hospital where mom is admitted to the ICU (that's right folks, the hilarious part of the story is when my mom gets put into intensive care! good times!) and so they're wheeling her away and dad's standing there all "Hey, dudes, you forgot the baby! HAHA!" and the dudes (in this case doctors) are all, "No, it's cool the baby is FINE, take her on home!" And then dad is all "But! DUDES! Please god take the baby back! What the hell am I supposed to do with her when I don't have the magic milk producing body parts!?!?" And then I think his head explodes and he gets put in ICU too. No, just kidding, he goes home and calls my aunt all "Doctors are such bitches, please come help me before I kill your niece."

Let me pause here to say that my dad is super amazing and I'd hate for this story to make him sound incompetent but that's kind of what makes it a good story and my dad is hopefully so awesome that he doesn't mind being the butt of this particular joke. But just in case he's a little miffed I offer this proof of his awesomeness as a counterbalance: Because my mom worked nights growing up my dad was Mr. Mom every morning and he kicked major ass at everything from packing lunches to making a full breakfast (seriously people we had eggs and fruit and bacon or banana pancakes or french toast EVERY MORNING, dude was not fucking around). He was slightly less awesome at doing my hair as evidenced by my 3rd grade school picture where I appear to be rocking some sort of half crimped/half bed head combo do but I've mostly stopped blaming him for my "nerd table" lunch status that lasted through to high school (after all it wasn't him who forced me to join the math team, that was ALL ME). And also: I'm fine, he took me home as a newborn without my mom and totally didn't kill me so GOOD JOB DAD.

Now back to the story. Mom gets better, I learn to walk, everyone is happy.

So fast forward a couple of years and mom is rocking the bump again, my only real memory of her being pregnant with my brother is a conversation about baby names that took place in the car in which I refused to even discuss the possibility needing to consider boy names. I also seem to remember having strong feelings about naming my baby sister Michelle. So April 9th rolls around and again with the hospital and the pain and the breathing exercises. Only this time it sucks even more because my baby brother was born breach (As an older sister this was a god send -- oh the years of "born butt first like a real butt head!" jokes! HILARIOUS) and things really did not go well. Basically my mom died. She lost a ton of blood, she flat lined and while the doctors worked on bringing her back to life (note: successfully, thanks dudes!) she went on a little ride through the dark tunnel to meet with none other than Jesus Christ.

Mom and JC are up on a hill you know, chillin' when he brings up the awkward elephant in the room (er... the field...the heaven?). "So, Kay, umm you have a couple of kids back there in the world who kind of need a mom, you can't let Horst raise them alone, he can't handle it." That's right folks -- JESUS didn't believe in my dad's single parenting skills. And my mom is basically all, "no J-dawg, it's groovy, Horst has this shit! I'm gonna just chill here, lay back on a cloud, take some harp lessons, you know, angel stuff." Luckily our lord and savior is having none of it and basically pushes my mom back down the long dark tunnel and into her body. So big thanks to Jesus for giving me my mom back, I totally forgive you for misjudging my dad's parenting skills. And mom? I'm not even angry about you wanting to dessert me for heaven, I'm sure it would have totally beat changing Kurt's diapers and teaching my stubborn ass to tie my shoes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Make Me Up Before You Go Go

Flashback!!: It's Saturday morning in DC where I've gone to see yet another friend walk down the aisle and I just happen to be in the mall waiting for Geoff to finish getting his hair cut (aside: he went to this place where they gave him a free gin and tonic thus making $50 seem like a totally reasonable price to pay for a trim!) and so I'm browsing the stores when I remember, "perhaps this is a good time to go into the M.A.C. store and see if they have any good pink lipsticks." You see, I have been on a quest to find this one perfect shade of pink since seeing it on Kristen Bell in one of the later episodes of Veronica Mars last summer. Now, it is highly likely that this color, if it exists, will look like crap on me. And it is almost 100% likely that trying on lipstick and then mentally thinking "does this look like Kristen Bell?" will convince one that she is super duper ugly with a cherry on top.

Obviously a glutton for punishment I wander into M.A.C. and start smearing lipsticks on the back of my hand thinking "too purple," "too sheer," "too horrifically ugly" when of course one of the M.A.C. girls comes over to help me and I try to shoo her away but I'm too blinded by her florescent yellow eyeshadow to do anything other than mutter "I kind of want some pink lipstick." I'm always hoping that these makeup ladies are actually going to be helpful, that one of them will be a color genius and not just especially gifted with a trowel and that she will take one look at me and whip out the perfect color and then sprinkle some magic dust over my head and voila! Beauty queen! (but with like 500% less makeup than actual beauty queens).

God knows I need the help since I have no idea how to do makeup. I mostly blame my mom who taught me that tomato plants like full sun and that horses are very afraid of plastic bags but, like a true woman of Woodstock, never put a compact in my hand. I try to roll with it and like the basketball player who "meant to miss" I've embraced the bright side of no makeup by claiming that I generally don't see any need for it. And this isn't entirely a lie. Most days I am happy with just my lip gloss and mascara (2 pieces of makeup whose application process is thankfully only one step long). But whenever an invite for an event of the gussied up variety arrives I get a little nervous and as much as I try to focus on wearing a pretty dress and eating yummy cake and drowning my lip gloss in free champagne I can't help but worry about the eyeshadow problem. Because strapless dresses and high heels and poofy hair seem to demand things like foundation and powder and sparkles in places nature doesn't naturally sparkle. But there seems to be no easy way to learn how to do makeup at the age of 31. Asking the ladies at the makeup counter is only an invitation to some sort of "how much makeup can I get on one little face" contest and my last slumber party invite arrived in 1995. Does Avon still come calling?

I eventually hightailed it out of the M.A.C. store when Little Miss Spackle moved on to a customer who wasn't babbling about not knowing anything about makeup. I left without lipstick, feeling embarrassed, inept and ugly and you'd think it would have been lesson learned for the day, but alas, I am a stubborn wench. Next, I wondered into Neiman Marcus and began the process of making up my hand anew, this time with the help of Estee Lauder. and lo and behold I actually found the perfect pink. It didn't turn violet upon touching my lips, it wasn't secretly peach in disguise, it wasn't completely see through, it was so pretty! And just in time for the wedding. Belle of the ball? Here I was. I figured that sure, Estee Lauder was probably pricey, but considering the arduousness of my lipstick crusade I'd earned a ridiculously priced piece of face paint (and a face paint pencil). Amex card out -- charge ahead. Except apparently my idea of ridiculous and Ms Lauder's are not in the same universe because the receipt that came back for my signature was for $115! FUCK THAT. In the past, faced with a situation where something cost way more than I figured it was worth, I might have smiled politely and signed away a big chunk of my bank account rather than look cheap. Ironically, now that I actually can (technically) afford $115 in lip coloring I had very few qualms about denying my signature. Honestly, it was all I could do to resist engaging the sales lady in a discussion called "seriously my boyfriend just bought AN ENTIRE SUIT for only $50 more than that, are the Lauders doing crack right now or are they still passed out from last night's binge?" Also: "fuck the patriarchy and give me my Amex back."

So I went to the wedding makeup-less (save the old standby mascara, some blush and, for as long as possible, the remnants of the perfect Estee Lauder pink which lasted until at least cocktail hour). And none of the other guests blurted out anything about how ugly I was or exactly why my eyelids were that weird shade of nude known as naked skin but I saw the confusion in their (heavily lined) eyes. I can only hope that sometime before the next wedding (and shockingly for the first time in at least 5 years I have zero weddings on my calendar... but they will come) someone will offer to be my guru of rouge, my messiah of makeup my Christ of the cosmetics counter. Is it you? CALL ME.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Rock Stars Revisited

I am not a rock star kind of girlfriend. I do not like staying out past 1am or drinking PBR or walking in on my boyfriend and a group-o-groupies. I would never qualify for a spot on Rock of Love ("Brianna I can feel in my soul that you're here for Brett but every time I invite you to a concert you not only show up fully clothed but often with a book, I'm sorry to say this but... your tour ends here."). (Aside: I would, however, make a fabulous ex-girlfriend of Brett Micheals, how much fun must those ladies be having watching his series of train wrecks? I have to assume they all gather in some suburban ranch style home to watch the show, sangria in hand, and celebrate what could have been but (thankfully) was not. That sounds like the kind of good time I could get into.). But despit how obviously unsuited I am to be the first lady of rock I cannot help but nurture my rock star boyfriend fantasies (yes, still, despite claims to the contrary).

What does it say about me that I can't help but swoon at the boy with the guitar? Ever since Jordan Catalano started wearing eye liner and getting chubby for movie roles (and, ironically, since he joined a band) I haven't had a really all consuming crush on your average Hollywood heartthrob. Oh sure I think Sayid on Lost is rather dreamy in a bad ass way, and I would sleep with Chuck from Gossip Girl just to say I had but truthfully all of my wet dreams are about rock stars.

The only time I've seriously considered the possibility of cheating on G was at the Drive By Trucker's show I went to in November. Somehow my friend and I were offered back stages passes (normally I'd concede that "somehow" translates to "because we were dressed like the girls most likely to get on our knees" but, perhaps ironically, this wasn't the case -- the place was teeming with girls in mid drift baring tops and we were all corduroys and light jackets). As I gazed up at Patterson Hood's crotch while he rocked his way through some song or other I caught myself thinking "exactly how bad would things be with G if I slept with that dude, I mean he'd have to forgive me, right? He's a rock star!" Least you think I'm a total bitch let me say that I would have totally called G first, and explained how this was like if he met the girl version of Micheal Stipe and she was down to bang (or ok, let's be honest, even the boy version of Micheal Stipe).

Patterson Hood is not even hot . He's a schlub-y dude who may or may not be giving Christopher Walken More Cowbell in this picture but he ROCKS. I'd like to say that this proves that I am a deep soul who is attracted to men for their talents not their looks but I suspect that isn't entirely true its not like rocking has ever been my thing. If I spent my me time fantasizing exclusively about people whose music I love things might be much more George Strait than rock gods. Perhaps I just have a thing for dudes with drinking problems.