Monday, August 30, 2010

Now What?

I'm officially dubbing this Limbo Week.

The kids are all registered for school. I have purchased the school supplies. We've taken all the appropriate vacations and have a day of outlet shopping planned for tomorrow. I feel like summer's over but it's not really over and I don't know what to do with myself.

I guess I could sell my house.

Anybody wanna buy a house?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hi, This Is Emily. Would You Like A Smaller Room?

Our first night in Chicago was spent listening to the party in the room next door. All. Night. Long. At 4:30 in the morning I had finally had enough and tried to call the front desk, but neither of the phones in our room were working. I threw on my sweater and ventured into the hall where (luckily) I found a phone on the wall and called downstairs. We heard security knock on their door, then the party continued. At 5 a.m. my husband called downstairs. Again. The guys in the room left shortly after.

"I really thought things would quiet down after the guys left," my husband said the next day.

"Are you kidding? They needed to TALK about the guys for an hour after they left," I said.

And they did. Loudly.

Before we left on our adventures that morning we told the front desk about our dismay with the neighbors and the phones ("The phones were probably just on Off," the guy at the desk told me. "That's really not helpful at 4:30 a.m.," I said). The Guy At The Desk was less then helpful. Our option was to leave all our luggage with the bellhop and they would try to find us a new room when someone checked out. So we packed up and headed out for the day. When we straggled back at 3 pm, too exhausted to continue sightseeing, we were sent up to a room that was significantly smaller than the one we had left. It felt like we were being punished for having loud neighbors. I went back down to explain our predicament and ask for a larger room, went back upstairs with two new keys and skipped into the room singing "Who's the best mom in the world?" We grabbed our luggage and headed up four floors to a room that was even. smaller. yet.

Now, we've done quite a bit of traveling this summer, a little more than our norm. Every other hotel we've stayed at has OUTDONE itself with hospitality. When we checked in in New York the young woman asked if we were celebrating anything then sent up champagne and chocolate strawberries for our Anniversary. When we arrived in Las Vegas our reserved room wasn't ready so the next day we were moved into a corner room that was so big our closet had its own room!!

But, apparently, in Chicago they don't feel the need to be hospitable. Or helpful. Or even sympathetic. Were we offered a complimentary breakfast for our suffering? Did they send up a bottle of wine to ease our frazzled nerves? No. In Chicago you're on your own. If the neighbors keep you up all night, too bad for you. You're not a guest, you're an inconvenience. I did call down and complain. And we switched rooms yet again. For those of you that are keeping track, that's 4.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Have you noticed the plethora of Heal-Your-Brain-Because-It-Controls-Everything books that have come out lately? There's Change Your Brain Change Your Body (which I get sucked into whenever I pass by PBS and that guy is on there because he is so skinny that I worry about him having the strength to finish his talk; he always seems on the verge of an asthma attack to me), Change Your Brain Change Your Life (same skinny author), The Brain Power Cookbook (really?), This Is Your Brain On Joy (it does NOT look like scrambled eggs), Change Your Mind Change Your Body (changing your mind sounds much easier than changing your brain, no?), The Brain That Changes Itself (kinda like the ultimate baby!), Buddha's Brain (think I'll wait for the movie), and Train Your Mind Change Your Brain (so. very. confused.) just to name a few and I'm starting to believe that my brain does control more than I think because I am physically and emotionally exhausted (even my foot is asleep!) yet my brain is refusing to let me fall asleep and where the hell on is Change Your Brain And Get a Good Night's Rest?

Friday, August 13, 2010


I'm doing major cleaning of the house today, which means I left the house in the exact condition that every What-Not-To-Wear-French-Girls-Don't-Wear-Gym-Shorts-Book-And/Or-Reality-Show tells you not to: ponytail, baseball cap, no makeup, bad t-shirt, shorts, Ugg sandals. Oh, I was quite a sight. My groceries from Market Fresh included a bottle of wine because, really, all this cleaning makes me the kind of cranky that only wine can undo, and the lovely young woman checking me out rang up the bottle of wine, then rang up a few more items, then paused, then asked to see my ID. In the condition I was in I was happy to hand it over. (I really should keep an over-sized-donation-to-a-charity-check copy of my driver's license in my car for just such situations because I am a LONG way from needing to be carded.) "Aren't you nice!" I said. "Well..." she shrugged.

Then she gasped.

It was an actual, audible gasp.

"You don't look THAT old!"

"Oh, thanks," I said.

"No, really," she went on. "I never would have guessed you were even close to THAT old!"

Honey, you made me feel so good that I'm going to forgive your many "THAT olds." I'm sure the number seems frightening to you but let me warn you that it was just yesterday that I was in my 20's and feeling invincible and pretty darn sure that I would never be THAT old. Your time is a-coming.

Faster than you think.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Texting While Working

Did City of Detroit employees learn NOTHING from Kwame Kilpatrick?

Apparently Interim Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee had a relationship with ousted Chief Warren Evans' girlfriend (I know, you practically need a program to keep all the players straight) and Evans' attorney turned over text messages from Godbee to Girlfriend in an effort to help Evans get his job back. These text messages were supposedly from last fall (and also - from what I can gather - on Godbee's personal cell phone so Girlfriend must have turned them over which leads to a whole OTHER set of questions like "Why did she save them?" and "Why was she dating two different superiors?" and leads me to wonder if she's actually the smartest or dumbest person in this whole situation) which was WELL after the Kwame-texting debacle and wouldn't you think that a smart guy would say to himself "You know, maybe I shouldn't be texting his kind of mush to a co-worker, no matter how much I like her."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Love Letter to Rob Reiner (And Why You Should See Flipped)

Last year my son nailed his first-ever movie audition. According to the Casting Director (I was not allowed in for the meeting) he made Rob Reiner laugh and Rob (may I call you Rob?) said "You've got the part!" and our summer then revolved around one line in a flashback scene which was minuscule in the overall movie but huge for an 8-year old boy.

I got the opportunity to work as an extra as a teacher and spent eight days on the set surrounded by middle-school kids and got to watch Rob Reiner work. Not that I've spent a lot of time on movie sets, but it was obvious that he's an easy-going director. He knew exactly what he wanted. He was great with the kids. He was friendly. He was serious, but didn't take it too seriously (if that makes sense). And this is how nice he is: he picked me out of the teachers for a classroom scene and when we were walking back in after a costume change he asked me if I was on camera in the last shot. "I'm just here to do what I'm told," I said. (Yes, I'm completely eloquent under pressure). "You were. You were on camera," he said. When he walked away the Assistant Director came running over and asked me what Rob said to me. I told him and he said "No, you weren't on camera." Oh well. (But I was!)

When we heard the movie would be premiering at the Heartland Film Festival (after winning Truly Moving Picture of the Year) the kids and I headed to Indianapolis to attend. We weren't even sure my son didn't end up on the cutting room floor (he didn't!). When the movie was over my son said the only thing he wanted was to say hi to Rob and get a picture with him (he even turned down a brownie). We pushed our way through the crowd; of course everyone wanted to meet Rob Reiner. My son wiggled his way close to him and said "Excuse me. Do you remember me?" Now, I don't know if he really did or not but Rob looked at my son and said "Yes, I do. Did you enjoy yourself?" then grabbed him for a photo.

Thank you, Rob Reiner. First, for giving my son his first opportunity and second, for being such a great guy one year later. You've given my son the two best summers of his life.

Now, everybody, go see Flipped. And make your kids go see it. Know why? Because there's a story. No special effects, makeover montages, or unrealistic chase scenes, just a charming story (and some darn fine acting) about two kids actually thinking about things and becoming better people.

And watch for the Teasing Boy in the cafeteria.