April 28, 2015
by admin
4 Comments

Lying Liars And The Lies They Lie About

Image from FreeImages.com

Image from FreeImages.com

I told a lot of lies when I was a kid. I remember first grade as the time when my more extravagant lies were at their peak — that was the year I told my classmates that I didn’t have any fingers on my right hand (a birth defect) because my mother cut them off with a pair of scissors when I was a baby. I’m pretty sure Mom got a phone call that day.

You’re welcome, Mom.

I also went into great detail about a boat that my family owned (didn’t exist) and that the reason I was sad one day was because our dog died (she hadn’t.) Go big or go home, right?

When I first started thinking about this post, I said, “Wow. I never really lie anymore.” Then I thought about it some more and said, “Oh wait…I have kids. I tell bigger lies now than ever before.” Within the past week I have told my children that I will definitely not die for a long time, that they are welcome to live with me for the rest of their lives if they want to, and that Seattle will probably never have an earthquake. Now, these are big things to lie about, but all are totally acceptable when you’re a parent; no one’s going to  argue that telling a seven-year-old that their mother could die just driving to the grocery store would be a good idea. Especially not for my super-sensitive kids. I would never sleep alone again.

At seven, my twins are at the age where I’m starting to feel a little bit bad, or at least nervous, about some of these lies. It’s different when they’re two and you can tell them that kids who don’t behave well aren’t allowed to go the park by law. Now that they’re in elementary school I can see that the time when some ugly truths have to be revealed is bearing down on me. I’m talking about everything from the lack of a Santa to the fact that, in truth, there is no way I will allow them to live with me when they’re adults. No chance. Get out of my house I love you sweetie call me when you get home which is the place where you live on your own without me.

If you have older kids, I would love to hear your stories about when you had to finally start telling them the truth about these kinds of things. How old were they? How did it go?

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This post was written for Netflix to celebrate their new original show about lying liars telling lies, Bloodline.

#StreamTeam

April 11, 2015
by admin
4 Comments

I Went To My Kids’ Open House And Discovered My New Favorite Thing

Last week was Open House at my kids’ elementary school. That’s when all the teachers open up the classrooms so that you can speed-walk behind your running children as they lead you from room to room as quickly as possible in order to get to the ice cream social part of the evening.

It was a lot of fun and very sweaty, but the best part was when we visited the library and I happened to spy a series of books that are now my favorite things in the entire universe. Sorry, kids. You’ve been pushed back to number two.

book mil worker

That’s, “You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Victorian Mill Worker! A Grueling Job You’d Rather Not Have.”

book convict

And, of course, “You Wouldn’t Want To Be An 18th Century British Convict! A Trip To Australia You’d Rather Not Take.”

I just about died from joy.

Heck no, my kids wouldn’t want to be 18th century British convicts! You are absolutely right about that, book. I didn’t get a chance to page through these, but I am curious about how real these books get. I looked for quotes on the back that said things like, “It’s the funniest book about child labor you’ll read all year! — Ann Coulter,” but alas, there were none. If the entire book is done in a “man oh man, you’re not going to believe this one, kids” tone, then I would like to order the entire series and see how they cover other horrifying subjects. I have a few ideas:

  • “You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Girl During The Song Dynasty! The Agonizing Foot-Binding You’d Rather Not Have.”
  • “You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Slave In The American South! The Soul Crushing Injustice You Wouldn’t Want To Experience!” (Alternate title: “I Know I’m Three-Fifths Of A Human Being But What Are You?! And Other Games From America’s Past You Wouldn’t Want To Play.”)
  • “You Wouldn’t Want To Be a Medicinal Leech Collector! This Job Fucking Sucked.”

You know. Stuff like that.

March 27, 2015
by admin
7 Comments

I’m in a book and it comes out today!

19496_789206001158170_3884681758299427990_nI am thrilled to be part of an awesome anthology called I Still Just Want To Pee Alone, which is the follow-up to the New York Times bestseller, I Just Want To Pee Alone.

I’m one of forty bloggers who’ve contributed to the book, which is the brainchild of Jen Mann of People I Want To Punch In The Throat. Of the forty, mine is by far the least interesting but the rest of these bitches are fantastic. You’ll love it. I am so proud to be featured with a bunch of other writers who I love and respect.

Here are all the ways you can buy it:

1. KINDLE

2. AMAZON PAPERBACK

3. ITUNES

4. BARNES AND NOBLE

5. SIGNED COPY: If you order a copy directly from me (and no pressure here but I do have 50 copies sitting in my dining room that I need to get rid of) I will not only sign it but will also have my children come up with a random dedication for you. I’ll try to keep the number of times they use the word “toilet” to a minimum. Email me at [email protected] for a copy!

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Thanks to all of you for reading. Without this blog I never would have had the confidence (or skill) to live my dream of writing and being read.

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P.P.S. If you are a member of my family, you are expected to buy a book. Come on. Do it. Do it for the sake of all our future Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

 

March 23, 2015
by admin
0 comments

Healthy Cookbooks Remind Me Why I’m Not Healthy

good food dayI am trying to eat healthier.

Sometimes.

It’s tricky to work in healthier foods when you have kids who only want to eat mac and cheese (and only the yellow kind, with the tube pasta), but for the sake of myself and my family I keep trying. My attempt to eat better is a work in progress that will probably end with me dying of a heart attack in my eighties after fighting with my nurse over my secret stash of Tootsie Rolls. (The first line of my eulogy: “Meredith Bland was full of love: she loved her children, she loved her husband, and, unfortunately, she loved her Tootsie Rolls. Which brings us to the reason we are gathered here today….”)

My latest attempt at healthy eating involved the new cookbook A Good Food Day, by Marco Canora. This book is beautiful: the photos are great, the recipes are clear, and there’s lots of helpful information about better ways to eat. Unfortunately, as I flipped through the pages, I realized that I will never be one of those super-healthy kale-eating smoothie-making people. I am not good enough for this cookbook.

Here are a few recipes, with the parts that are impossible for Meredith crossed out:

1. Buckwheat Groats with Apricots and Almonds

That sounds frickin’ delicious, but “buckwheat groat” is clearly something that gets cleaned out of a machine. According to Canora, however, it is “…actually the seed of a plant similar to rhubarb, not a type of wheat.” This makes me all kinds of suspicious. First of all, why can’t we say the name of the plant? What’s wrong with this plant that makes it unnameable in a cookbook? Second, why not then be honest and call the recipe, “Seeds of Unnamed Stalked Vegetable With Apricots and Almonds.” And finally, I object to using the word “wheat” for something that isn’t wheat. It’s like capturing an opossum and introducing it to everyone as your new cat. Nice idea, but it doesn’t work.

2. Dandelion Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs

Nope.

Did I ever tell the story about the time I was pregnant and nauseous and an old man started peeling a hard-boiled egg next to me?  It ends the way you think it does. And I know a lot of people who say that dandelion greens are delicious, I’m just not there yet. It seems like the kind of food you eat when you’re starving to death in a field, and it doesn’t kill you, so you put some olive oil on it and keep going.

3. Cream-Free Creamed Corn

See the discussion about the word “wheat” in number one.

4. Japanese Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Frittata

I can’t. I can’t go to the produce guy at Safeway and say, “No no, not regular sweet potatoes. I’m looking for Japanese sweet potatoes.” I do not have a big enough flounce or a tight enough asshole to pull that off.

5. Amaranth “Polenta” with Tuscan Kale

If the name of a recipe includes a food in quotes, I’m intrigued but not particularly hungry. And also, fucking kale. The end.

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I’m going to stop there, but I think it’s clear why I will fail at health. All of the above recipes might be insanely delicious, but the chances that I will make them and that my children and husband will eat them are negative never.

I’m not writing off this cookbook, though. I tried two of the recipes and they were out of this world.

1. Roasted Broccoli with Hazelnuts and Pecorino

It was like the heavens opened up when I ate this broccoli. I mean…it’s the best broccoli I have ever had. Ever. EVER.

2. Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Porcini Mushrooms and Baby Spinach

Now, I had to make this using regular rigatoni and had to leave out the mushrooms because I wanted my kids to eat it. They weren’t excited about the spinach, but they ate it and said it was “okay.” I LOVED it. And if my kids tolerate something and I love it, I call that a huge success.

If I were a better person and someone who didn’t struggle with making cereal, I would make everything in this book and probably love 99% of it. The two recipes I did try were awesome. I’m just not a “Roasted Carrots with Millet and Mint-Pistachio Pesto” kind of girl. But if someone wants to make it for me, I’m all in.

Note: This cookbook was given to me for free by the Blogging for Books program. All opinions are my own.

March 6, 2015
by admin
6 Comments

A Crash Course In Cultural Competence

I am not culturally competent.

I never have been. It’s not something new that happened when I had children and stopped having time to read on the toilet — I’ve always been strangely behind the times. Wherever it is that people go to learn the things that everybody else knows? I don’t know where that is.

Indeed, if you’ve ever wondered who it is living under that rock, it’s probably me, hanging out with your grandmother, complaining about how we can’t understand what any of the singers on the radio are saying.

I decided it was time to educate myself about the latest trends in movies, music, social media, food, and books.

MOVIES

It is only because of my friends that I ever see movies in the theater. Normally I am a “wait till it comes out on Netflix in a few months” kind of gal. But I have friends who like to live in the world, and from time to time we get together to see whatever the latest book-to-movie release is. Cuz we’re nerds. Deal with it.

In order to be up-to-date on the cinematic front, my friends and I went to a movie theater that serves alcohol and saw Fifty Shades of Grey. I was nervous about this because I can be a bit of a prude: watching people do it on screen while I sit in a dark room surrounded by strangers makes me feel icky on the inside. But I swallowed my fear and a large Diet Coke and went for it.

Everyone has been giving this movie a bad rap, saying things like, “It’s the worst movie ever made.” Let me tell you something — if you think Fifty Shades of Grey was the worst movie ever made, then you have not seen The Smurfs 2.

I thought it was hilarious. When he walks into her room while she’s sleeping, gently sits on the edge of her bed and says, “The woman who gave birth to me was a crack addict. And a prostitute,”  I almost choked on a Milk-Dud. And when he says, “If you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit for a week,” and she says, “…What?” I mean…how could you not love this movie?!

One and a half thumbs up.

MUSIC

I went to iTunes to see what the best selling albums are these days. Number one? The Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. I heard that when I saw the movie, so I am already ahead of the curve! Woo hoo! I decided that was cheating, though, so I looked at number two: Taylor Swift’s 1989.

That’s the year she was born.

I was in the seventh grade.

Mm-hm.

Taylor Swift was actually responsible for my first “I’m too old for this now,” moment. a few years ago I was in my SUV, driving my twin toddlers to the park, when her song “We Are Never Getting Back Together” came on. I started singing along, until she got to the part where she says:

“Ugh…so he calls me up and he’s like, ‘I still love you,’

And I’m like…’I just…I mean…this is exhausting, you know?

Like, we are never getting back together. Like, ever.'”

And that’s when I realized that as a mother of two in her mid-thirties, I can’t pull this song off anymore. It has been relegated to the iPod, along with that Kesha song about how the party don’t start till she walks in.

I’m going to skip this album.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Just the term “social media” makes me tired. I love myself some Facebook, but that’s all I need to keep track of the various people in my life. Instagram and Snapchat have no place in my world. I just don’t take that many pictures of my day-to-day life. Look, here’s what I’m doing now:

See? Now what? I don’t get it.

Besides, most of the new social media seems to be geared toward getting you the highest number of dick pics in the least amount of time. I don’t need that anywhere near my life.

FOOD

Paleo! Everybody wants to eat like cavemen and leave out all the preservatives and such! Okay! That sounds healthy and sadly lacking in cake.

I don’t know much about the Paleo diet, so I visited Paleo Grubs and checked out their list of “Foods to Avoid.” These include:

  • Artificial ingredients                    That sounds hard.
  • Soda                                               I’m out.
  • Partially hydrogenated oils         I don’t even know what these are.
  • Junk food                                       Okay. That’s bad for me.
  • Fast food                                        Ditto. I’m on board with this plan.
  • Grains                                             Wait…no grains?
  • Dairy                                               Or dairy?
  • Processed food                              Or corn dogs?
  • Legumes                                         The hell is wrong with a bean?!
  • Potatoes                                          Forget it. None of this makes sense.

BOOKS

I can easily stay modern when it comes to books, right? I read constantly! So I was feeling pretty positive when I looked up the New York Times best-seller lists. These lists were populated mainly by American Sniper, The Girl on The Train, and Fifty Shades of Sweet-Jesus-Mary-And-Joseph-How-Many-Of-These-Are-There Grey. 

I’m only interested in American Sniper for the fake baby in the movie, and I’ve read The Girl on The Train and two of the three Fifty Shades books.

I WIN!

As long as Taylor Swift doesn’t write a best-seller, I am golden in terms of book culture. Now I’m going to go drink another latte with artificial sweetener in it, eat a muffin, and not look at any pictures of penises for the rest of my day.

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I wrote this post for Netflix in honor of their new original series, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In the show, Ellie Kemper plays a woman held underground for years as part of a sister-wives cult until she is freed and moves to New York City to start her new life. The show comes from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, so that should sell you immediately. If it doesn’t consider these facts:

1. The women are referred to in the media as “the mole Women,” which they hate.

2. The theme song consists of a man saying, “They alive, dammit!” And “Females are strong as hell!” Just that. Back and forth. Awesome.

3. I was introduced to the term, “foot slut.” And for that, I am forever grateful.

You can start streaming The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TODAY on Netflix!

kimmy

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