Wrapper Roger the Robber

Fear has struck in my old San Francisco neighborhood once more. This time, the fear surrounds, gasp, a young individual, caucasian, dressed in “wrapper fashion” with bad dark teeth and saggy bottom pants (a saggy bottom boy, reassigned). Here’s what he is accused of: “he wrang my bell,” the spelling-challenged mom posted. The alleged assailant apparently tried to sell her a book to fund a trip to London. So she called the cops. Funny, however, that none of the other moms reported being harassed by the white wrapper. They’re probably all still freaking out about the black kid who’s ringing their doorbell, terrorizing the neighborhood with his pointer finger. Looks like we have an extreme case of doorbell ringing in Noe Valley. Keep you children safe!!!
But on the theme of robbers, the Bug and I had an interesting conversation this morning about thiefs and, as she puts it, “rogers.” This conversation followed a radio report about library budget cuts. I was explaining to the bug that some libraries were closing or cutting back hours because people don’t have a lot of money right now.
“We have money,” she said, which made me laugh for a minute.
“Yeah, for now we do,” I said.
“Unless a roger takes it,” she answered.
A Roger. Hmmm. Logically the Bug means a robber. Or a robber named Roger.
“What does a Roger look like?” she asked.
“I think you mean robber sweetie,” I said. “And a robber doesn’t really have one face.”
“Let’s see what a Roger looks like on the computer,” she said.
“No sweetie,” I tell her. “You can’t use the computer.” I had to remind her that her computer privileges were rescinded last week after she drew all over our dining room chair.
A robber can be anyone, I tell her. It can be the banker who steals all your money or the government that steals your money to bail out the bank or the wrapper who steals your laptop.
Ah, the many faces of the robber Roger.


An open letter to my gym.

An open letter to the people who run my gym:

Why, oh why, are you such a bunch of Bush lovers?

This is not a dirty question or a political one either, but a huge curiosity for me. I mean, with all the happy, dancy, work-outy music you could play in a gym – Beyonce, Fergie, Madonna, vintage Michael Jackson, Ain’t Nothing Gonna Breaka My Stride or anything from the 80s Duran Duran library for God’s sake – why do you choose the grindingly irritating grunge dorks BUSH?

You played THREE Bush songs within an hour today. Three. That is not normal. It is also not nice workout music unless you are one of those lumpy dunces grunting on a bench.

And this wasn’t the first time you’ve Bush whacked me, either.

Before you try to defend your choice and tell me about the band’s zillions of fans, here are a few reasons why you should not play Bush.

1) Rossdale, like the ex-president, cannot write.

“I’m screaming daisies,” for example, is one of the sillier Bush lines in the song “Greedy Fly,” which you played not once, but twice today. The song  implores, in an Alice in Wonderland sort of way, whether you “feel the way you hate and hate the way you feel.” Deep stuff if you’re falling down that rabbit hole. This man also wrote an entire song about glycerine. It’s incomprehensible.

2) Rossdale’s time, like Bush’s, is gone. Grunge, like water boarding, is over. Dead. Dead as Cobaine. Let it rest, in glycerine. Let it die like Guantanamo.

Just as the other Bush, our ex-president, climbed into a helicopter and flew away with a kiss and a wave from the White House yesterday, it is time to retire Gavin Rossdale and his band’s platinum albums at your gym.

It’s Obama time, folks. And that means it’s Aretha time and Mary J. Blige time.

You can say it.

No more Bush!!!! Now turn it off, please.

Thank you for your time.

Ah what a day!

Michelle was in yellow…the kids in J Crew.
Mommy was happy
If Bush only knew
The misery he caused me
each time that he spoke
And how I believed
That his presidency was a joke
But alas it was not
It was a real. It was true.
But now everything’s different
I’m no longer blue.
Because Michelle and Barack are here
and it’s a brand new day
Yes the Dow’s in the dumps
And the country’s astray
But if this man can pull it off
as we all know he can
We’ll be singing and dancing
for this tall, skinny man.

Lurking on the List…

I have something to admit. I still follow the parent list from my old neighborhood in California. This is largely because it sometimes entertains me. My friend Robin and I get a lot of laughs from the privileged ladies who post, looking to share their “wonderful” nannies, amazing carpenters or lovely gardeners, services for people who have more money than we and most people in this country ever will. Much more money. The list rarely has anything informative to share about parenting – fighting croup, dealing with temper tantrums, tackling mean girls in pre-school. Nothing. I have probably posted twice since my friend Mina started the board, once about a preschool and another time because I was pissed off that a mom had completely dissed the local ice cream shop owner (accusing him of sounding stoned when she called to complain about his tardiness in delivering her daughter’s princess cake to the local park for her birthday party). I understand the mom was pissed. Her daughter’s cake was VERY late (not that any of the kids at this party noticed while they were running around playing hide and seek and sucking down juice boxes). So she went to the board and WENT OFF on this guy, imploring us to never lick ice cream at his shop again. The thing is, anyone who tries to take down a small business owner for such a stupid offense just rubs me the wrong way, particularly because in her post, she accused the shop owner of sounding stoned when she called him.  This is a guy who makes all the ice cream in his tiny shop – amazing ice cream mind you – and delivers the stuff, too. The truth is, he probably walks around in an exhausted haze most of the time, (wishing he had the time to light a joint) and lives on about two hours sleep per week. Anyhow, I spoke my mind  and totally pissed this woman off. Whatever. I guess the lesson with this one is never mess with a mommy and her cake.

Now, the ladies are up in arms that black people are roaming the neighborhood, ringing doorbells. Very few people of color live in my old neighborhood and I secretly think these guys are doing this to mess with the rich white ladies, but so far, thankfully, no one has been robbed or hurt. Perhaps there is fear due to a rash of muggings that occurred in a nearby neighborhood last summer that were particularly awful. People seemed to be mugged every day for a stretch and I was even a bit nervous because my husband got off the train every night in that neighborhood, where the muggers were hanging out. It also seemed like the police weren’t catching these guys. So maybe there was cause for alarm over the ding dongers, but the overall tone of the posts on the mom’s list was: BLACK men roaming neighborhood. LOOK OUT! Hide your stuff. Turns out, the black person in question wears the same thing when he shows up at the door, so it’s probably just one guy roaming the hood. He works alone. What he actually does to people (Leers, lurks, cases the joint) is the question. To be fair, a few moms asked to tone down the hysteria just a little bit and stop identifying the door bell ringers as black. Others said they were perfectly within their rights to identify these ding dong ditchers as black men. How else would the neighbors know who to look for? The angry cake lady shared a few words of wisdom about not letting your kids and caregivers answer the door if they don’t know who’s there (Thanks for that! Don’t share your ice cream cake with him, either) The original poster than asked for everyone to stop posting about her original post already. She was done talking about it, of course, until another unsolicited black person rings her doorbell.


Woke up to my kid HOWLING this morning. At first I think she is freaking out and sobbing. For some reason, I think that my husband is in her room comforting her so I returned to snoozyland. The howling continues. “What the &8%#@?” I am thinking in the groggy state. Then I think, hmmmm, the baby upstairs is just bawling.

Then, slow learner I am, I finally figure it out. Kate, who transformed into “George the Dog” last night, is howling. Last night, she’d put on a leash and begged me to walk her.

This is where I sadly draw the line. I really don’t want to walk my kid, even if the leash is just a piece of white Christmas ribbon.

Right now, too, I just want her to shut the hell up and stop howling. I mean, no one wants to listen to a howling dog at 6:30 a.m. “Ow ow awoooooooo!”

Then she comes barreling on all fours into my bedroom. No one moves faster on all fours than Kate, not even a greyhound, I swear. She’s impressed more than a few parents with her scary all-fours abilities, which most resemble a mother ape racing across the ground to snatch up a threatened baby. Pilates mommies have nothing on Kate’s shoulder strength. She could probably plank for days.

Anyhow, I try to be a good mom. I try to play pet when she wants to be one, most often a horse, cat or puppy. But it does make me feel a bit creepy — all that woof, woof, pant, pant. Over the summer, we constructed a pile of large dog bones from cardboard together, coloring them white. When puppy is hungry or does a trick, she gets a bone. Puppy hid the bones around the house, which was all fine and fun. At least puppy uses the toilet. I am still finding bones hid around the house.

Kate desperately wants a real puppy, though, which is a whole other issue. Yes, I probably wouldn’t have to play puppy with her anymore. She could play puppy WITH the puppy. But the thought of walking that puppy in the frigid New England cold is a little more than a can deal with at the moment. So I will let her run on all fours and howl and even upgrade her leash. For now.

Mommy got a Big Ole Butt!

The Bug: Mommy’s Got a Big Old Butt!
Me: Oh YEAH?
TB: Mommy’s Got a Bit Old Butt!!!
Me: OH YEAH?????
Kate and I love to sing this song like a million times a week. We started sometime over the summer and haven’t stopped since. But since Christmas something’s changed, making me feel just a tad sensitive about all the sassy singing.
You see, I’ve got the baking bug but BAD! Since Thanksgiving I’ve baked everything under the sun, mostly cookies and little cakes and things, but all include pounds of butter and chocolate and nuts and nice things like that. And when you bake nice things there’s an obvious obligation to eat them. I was reading Salon’s TV critic Heather Havrilesky recently who said she feels obligated to gain between five and eight pounds around holiday time, so somehow I got it in my head that it was OK, even obligatory, to do so. After all, I moved from California to Boston this past summer and it’s COLD here. Friggin cold. Like “I’m Mister Icicle” cold and I definitely need more than a coat to keep me warm. I need fat. Like a polar bear. Baking is the best way to achieve that goal. So 50 white chocolate macademia nut cookies later here I am, five pounds heavier last I checked, a long way from my weight over the summer when I survived on ice chips during the July heat wave, which brings me back to that butt song. When Kate and I sing it lately it just makes me paranoid and a little sad, as in.

The BUG: “Mommy’s Got a big ole BUTT!”
Me: “I  do? (I crane my neck around in the bathroom mirror to take a peak at my backside) Well, shit it is looking a little wider and I am getting a bigger muffin top these days in my swanky jeans perhaps.)
So we changed the words to “Mommy’s got a cute ole butt!” which makes me feel a little better. Even if it is a lie.

What I would give to not want to eat everything in sight again. But surely there is something about this Godforsaken cold that makes me ravenous. I cannot help myself. Gotta go. I need a cookie.

More time off

So the Bug is appealing for what most of us would agree is a good plan: more days off. She is tired of going to school FIVE days a week and wants to go THREE days a week. More vacation. More free time.
I suppose getting up at 7 and trudging in the Siberian cold across the street is difficult for her. I dare say it’s harder for me. After getting her bundled up in the hat, glove, boot, snowpant ensemble, getting her out the door and up the snowy hill to her school I am tired, too. I just want to come home and crawl back into bed. Winter in New England is WORK. There’s salting the steps and de-icing the wind shield and shoveling the driveway and trying to breathe when the inside of your nose and lungs are frozen. Thankfully I like to sled or I just might be on the next plane…..to where I don’t know. Anyhow, this was supposed to be about the Bug’s appeal for more time off. I told her to talk to her teacher about it and see what they could come up with.