Tuesday, December 2, 2008

unaccompanied minor

Last week I was travelling back to Florida from New York, and I in Row 27B had the good fortune to sit next to JD in 27C. JD was eleven years old and skinny. He had on a red and white wristle, the symbol for an unaccompanied minor. His seat pocket was bursting with a gallon size Ziploc full of snacks. I was hungry, he was a bit bored. It was a match made in heaven, or at least in the clouds.

We played hangman for nearly the entire flight. He had messy boy writing compared to my girls who are constantly adding squiggles and curlicues onto ever letter in the alphabet. Our categories included movies, food, and the famous anything category. No one got hung. At one point I begged to take a nap. JD was clearly bummed. But when I woke up, we resumed our play.

Things were going swimmingly. I had a thought. I asked JD if he would basically write a letter or reccomendation to my girls. I in turn wrote a letter to his dad praising JD's mature plane behavior. We took a picture for posterity.

Of course this all leaves me with the slightly irksome questions, "Why do i have vastly more patience with kids who don't belong to me???"

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Every now and again, I am reminded of the stuff men are good for...today was one of those days...(flashback)

I had taken time out from my busy work schedule to cross a few househould chores off the list. The sauteed chicken breasts were cooked and I was eager to eat one, and it was time to transfer the wet clothes into the dryer.

If you or someone in your family is not the best at pocket-empty-outing, you know that when the wet clothes come out, anything could be lurking in the drum -- lip gloss, candy, phone numbers, and money. I have always respected the way money stays intact while other papers shred to bits. I wasn't, however, expecting a lizard.

I jumped backwards and said "yuck" a number of times. My body tightened. Then came a multitude of "oohs." I slowly approached the open washer and peaked in and noticed the lizard was missing some digits. I found them scattered about. Like a tornado rips apart a mobile home, so did the spin cycle destroy the amphibian.

I gathered up gobs of paper towels, much more than my eco-conscience would normally permit. I collected the odd bits first, got some extra toweling and as I turned away, dipped my hand in for the rest. And quickly took it to the trash which i will be removing momentarily.

And so that had me thinkin' that I could have saved the lizard removal for a man if I lived with one. But a minute later I was happy I had just the right amount of self-reliance to do it myself. Somehow I just couldn't stomach the chicken.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I stopped to pump gas this morning and wasn't paying much attention to the background noise until I heard a familiar voice that was very un-Shell Station-like. I heard the voice of SNL's Seth Meyers. Weird. It was then that I looked up and saw a TV screen embedded into the pump. The entertainment, which was largely advertainment, concluded when i disengaged the nozzle from my tank.
I wonder if I bought the more deluxe gas, would the entertainment be upgraded too?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Sam is getting a new pair of glasses. She lost the ones she got last year, the ones that my friend and trusted opthomalogist prescribed. Sam seems to be following in my nearsighted footsteps, although she's just a fraction sight-impaired. Sam wants glasses more than she needs them.

Every year my girls and I sit and read through the eye chart, responding to a series of "Is this better or worses?" We recite the characters line after line...."E V O T... and A P L O 5..." Gee, I remember those same lines from when I was a kid.

I started wearing glasses in the second grade and now at the ripe age of cough, cough have graduated to a built in bifocal. As I rattle off the familiar sequence of letters and numbers, I am not sure if i am actually seeing the letters or filling in the right answers from memory. I wonder if that could be a problem in diagnosing a prescription, because my vision with glasses could, in fact, be more crisp.

The American Optometric Association recommends an eye exam every other year for adults with no risk, up until the age of 61, after which they recommend an annual exam. Why can't they just scramble the letters every other year, or issue a new set of charts or send something to download at a reasonable expense to doctor's offices. I welcome change.

Here's what Sam picked out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

wishful thinking

(as seen in Ft. Lauderdale)
Thought it read 'Clooney.'

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


On a recent Saturday I ordered a bundle of services from AT&T. Ten days later on the designated installation date, eager for hook up, the man who appeared to install the satellite Dish, told me, "I can't give you Dish. You face the wrong way." I had asked the woman who signed me up if my Eastern exposure was OK for dish. "No problem," she assured me, and she and I spent 1 1/2 hours planning my technological future which now looked grim.

Up until this point, my husband was the one who took care of this kind of this stuff. I was quite successful at pawning off this busy work which involved long phone calls and lots of patience. I called my husband to tell him what the guy said, and he casually tossed in an "I told you so," which I casually brushed off. I called AT&T to cancel the whole bundle. I looked at the boxes of equipment AT&T had sent to me; they got my name wrong twice in one order.

Desparate for reliable tv and internet service, plus a new home phone so my seven year old can talk to her friends, I got in my car and drove a few miles to the closest Comcast office. I had tried to retain Comcast before, and had been told my apartment was not serviceable. When it was my turn with the customer service rep, I heard it again, "Sorry. You are unserviceable."

(Rewind: I had been to the office several weeks prior, after hearing that the apartment was unservicable, to prove that I was a new renter who did not stiff them on a bill. I cleared my name and was told everything was cool)

"What makes me unserviceable? What does that mean -- unserviceable? And can I do anything to become serviceable again?"

"No. I don't know what to tell you." Debbracca(De-BRA-kuh)turned her computer screen around to me so i could see the big "X". She told me to take it up with the property owners.

I was frustrated and felt a lump starting to grow in my throat. Why was this so difficult? I left, sat in my car and called the property manager who said, "Let me talk to her."

I walked back into the Comcast center. Debbracca saw me and I know what she was thinking -- "troublemaker." When she was finished with her customer, she beckoned me over with her hand.

"Look, can you please talk to my property manager. She says there's nothing she can do. Unserviceability is not coming from her direction."

Debbracca shook her head and as I was waiting for "Miss, you're not hearing what I am telling you," I heard this instead, "OK, I'm gonna talk to my tech guy."

Long story, still long but not exceedingly so: I am now serviceable thanks to Debbracca's patience, Rich the tech supervisor's willingness to help, Tony who hooked me up today, and me, who was surprised at my own tenacity.


When I asked my husband to leave, I didn't know how it would feel down the road. I just knew that we had to separate at the time.
The first time something went down the wrong pipe and I coughed and coughed and it was hard to catch my breath, I realized that what was missing was someone who cared to whack me across the back and make sure I was o.k.
The first time I got scared in the middle of the night and wondered why someone was knocking on my door at 3 a.m., I realized that what i was missing was someone to put their arm around me and tell me it was just some idiot. Instead I lay for another 30 mins, eyes wide open, body tense, mind racing.
And the first time, I had to run an errand late at night and leave the kids alone, I realized that if something happened to me, the girls would be alone longer than they should be and very scared.
The first time I rushed out of my office/bedroom at 4 pm to pick up the girls, and left a ton of paperwork in piles on the floor, I realized that no one would come home in the interim, shake their head, and judge my mess. That was a completely liberating revelation, and I was smiling big time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

walk to beat cervical cancer

There's a walk for cervical cancer on Saturday September 13th, 8 am - noon, in New York City. Go to www.tamikaandfriends.org to sign up.

Friday, September 5, 2008


As I wait in long lines at Wal-Mart (yes, I know I shouldn't shop there, but I do) I am often entertained by those last minute items that catch my eye at check out.

Take the limited edition Sickers "Charged," for example. Just when i thought the Snickers bar was perfection they go and give it a caffeine upgrade. As if the chocolatey peanuty gooey confection didn't already perk me up in the afternoon, now i can get an even better buzz. And if that buzz still isn't quite strong enough for me, I have this great idea of dunking my Charged bar into a steamy Starbucks latte.

Around five o clock, when that buzz wears off, and I wish I was drinking wine and eating guac with friends, but instead I am shuttling the kids to activities and squeezing in last minute errands, I may have found just the ticket to ease my stress. Orbit's new Sangria gum may be the answer. I wonder whether the juicy goodness will relax the tightness in my shoulders or if the hint of lime tartness will boost my confidence just enough to drum up conversation with the cute guy in front of me that I'm pretending to not notice.

Should I buy it for my kids. They like fruit flavor. But on the risk of triggering some sort of addiction, I decide against it. I kind of don't want to hear my kids clamoring for some more Sangria.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Suddenly, I'm not feeling so bad about my car.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Laguardia Airport, 2:15 PM Saturday July 26

Sunday, July 6, 2008


AWESOME: I am on hiatus from the word "Awesome." I think the word started as a bridge word for adults to use to relate to kids, a word that the generations could share, but now everyone uses it as a blanket descriptive for just about anything. Parents use it to describe their children's achievements, teachers generate enthusiasm for science by labelling certain phenomenon as "awesome" (which phenomena truly is anyway, but lots of kids don't get that yet), and TV show hosts on shows such as Trading Spaces use it to compliment the young designers and their creative ideas. I just think it's overused and the last time i caught myself saying it, I felt slightly inauthentic about it and went "Ugh."

And yet, when deciding how to describe The Noxzema Bikini Shaver my initial thought was "Awesome." This is Miss B's first product endorsement, coming on the eve of an appointment for laser hair removal. After zealously waxing since I've become Florida-ized, I did the math and decided that laser is cost effective, not to mention mentally liberating.

To prep for laser, you've gotta shave the intended area. And so I bought this cute pint size razor (comes as a set of 6)and used it on the more delicate parts of my bod. I found this handy tool to be effective, painless, and easy to maneuver.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Thank You Starbucks

It was 10:30 AM, Sunday the 22nd, JFK airport. I was making my connection to Charlottetown. Since about 5 a.m. I had been plotting celebrating the first leg of my journey with a venti latte at JFK.

I waited in line for about 15 minutes. I was surveying the baked goods from a distance, debating the chocolate chip scone. Yes, no, yes, no. I had packed some delicious fennel wine biscuits in my knapsack. I could do without it. But heck I've been up for 5 hours already, I deserve something a bit more decadent. Mmmmm. Ok, i'm going to get the scone.

As I inched closer to the cashier, i noticed that each carbohydrate had a little card sitting in front of it announcing its calorie count. 480. That pretty much sealed the deal. My turn to order -- A venti non fat latte and a bottle of water please. That's it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Follow up: Top vs. Dress

In a related fashion discovery, last night while folding laundry, I felt compelled to measure my almost twelve year olds Abercrombie jean shorts. They just looked so absolutely tiny splayed out there on the hood of the washer.

I took out my trusty 25' Stanley tape measure, the one that I use for interior design projects. I knew full well i'd need less than 1/25 of it to accuratley measure the doll-like shorts. From the button on the fly to the middle of the crotch, it is 8". My hand, from where my wrist begins to the end of my middle finger, measures 7 1/2".

My daughter has a beautiful body. I am intrigued by her beauty which incorporates the best of our genetics. It is developing earlier than mine ever did. And she doesn't understand its power. Lessons will come.

I wonder if she'll be amenable to me sewing some colorful pom pom fringe onto the hem of this 8" loincloth to give it another 2".

Monday, June 2, 2008


O Rachel Ray. Even though you kind of annoy me, I thought you looked good in the coffee ad. I have no talent for accessorizing, yet I can spot the talent on others. That paisley patterned scarf, otherwise known as "what appeared to be a black-and-white keffiyeh," seemed to be so nonchalantly draped though i am sure the stylist belabored the fringe over and over again.

The scarf looked like an item you've owned for years. You know, it looks a little ratty. I didn't think Muslim extremist for one minute until the keffiyeh seed was planted in my head. At that point, I did entertain the thought that perhaps you had slept with a hot Lebanese guy, and then just kind of adopted his favorite scarf as a sweet souvenir, much like some women like to hang out in their boyfriend's soft oversized button down shirts.

This Dunkin Donuts drama has even caused a stir in the land of half-votes where i reside. For example, I was in Marshalls yesterday, detoured through accessories, and noticed this pileup of scarves (above). Just as i was out the door, men stormed in wearing orange haz-mat suits, and confiscated this very display. Apparently some body talc from the neighboring cosmetics department spilled all over the display, and someone had called in an anthrax alert. It was quite dramatic. Shoppers applauded in another symbolic win for our government.

I am fascinated by this piece of news. At this press time, Rachel Ray's website makes no note of the ad controversy, nor does Dunkin Donuts' site. For certain people, it's all been swept under the prayer rug, I suppose. But others, like me have lingering curiosity. I found some amusing commentary at Canadian Broadcasting Center, www.cbcnews.ca. Here it goes:

"I hear bank robbers and gang members wear jeans. Maybe we should ban anyone from wearing jeans in commercials. I mean seeing jeans on TV might encourage someone to become a gang member."

"Bet you Rachel Ray's now on the no fly list."

"I'm sure some poor fashion stylist has now lost their job over this nonsense."

"I think my cat just laughed."

"No one has mentioned Dunkin' Donuts complicity in this non-event by pulling the ad. Too bad they don't capitalize on the publicity by giving similar scarves to contest winners."

There are plenty more. Check out the site.

I do recognize the need for intelligent security operations, and I am sure many of these are in place, keeping us from blowing up. Thank you for that. But let's try to minimize blowing iditotic things out of proportion. Fashion police, toiletries in baggies, new mothers pulled aside and interrogated because of suspicious looking breast pumps(careful they might leak something!) -- our government is grasping at straws and overworking it to its detriment.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I'm standing in the check out line at Publix, and spy the US Weekly mag. My seven year old points out Christina Aguilera's "boobies"; I roll my eyes. Yes. I am SO dieing of curiosity -- I can't ever imagine how Christina got her body back?

I think about the crazy busy life she must lead. There's no biz like show biz, right? I wonder how someone like her finds 450 minutes a week to work out. I envy her commitment to her personal trainer. Kudos Christina. What an accomplishment. Your body is an inspiration to so many of us who look forward to watching you soon again, slither about on MTV. And that hot little dress -- sweet!

For all of you diet and excercise voyeurs who want to learn her secret, I don't think you'll find the real answer spelled out in the magazine. You will find a sample menu and a list of favorite excercises. But beyond that, what I believe to be her post-prego body secret is MONEY... and lots of it.

Money can buy her a personal trainer as often as she needs it. Money affords her a nanny so she can get to the gym 5 days a week for 90 minute workouts. Money can buy a personal chef with a B.S. in Nutrition who can put her on the quintessential diet regimen. Of course money also buys her that fabulous figure flattering cleavage bearing dress. And money can also buy her a quick lipo procedure to get that last annoying 5 pounds off if ever needed, not that I'm suggesting...

Christina, you look fab. Motherhood obviously agrees with you. Congrats on Max. When he reaches puberty, his buddies will so want to hang at your house. I just would like to offer up an alternative fitness plan for the masses. Based on my own post-pregnancy experience, I call it "How I got my body back on $10 a day or something like that."

I was pretty lucky in that my babies liked to be held -- in fact they cried for it day and night. So i held them in my arms, rather than the live-in nanny that i couldn't afford and therefore didn't have. What i discovered six months into motherhood was a dinstinctive and quite beautiful definition in my left deltoid. To this day, I still get compliments. Of course, my younger child still likes to be held which keeps me flexing that muscle.

As for my legs, the secret was the Baby Bjorn. For those of you who have worn one around the house with baby propped inside, you know that when bending down to pick toys, clothes, crumbs, pacifiers, etc. up, it's best to keep your back straight and to make the movements slow. What this creates, is the ultimate squat with a 10-15 pound weight. That's how i got my quads back.

As far as calorie counting was concerned, it was just plain hard to get the food into my mouth. I was consuming less and burning more -- and isn't that what dieting has always been about in its simplest form. Duh! If you have ever sat at the dinner table, and tried to eat a burrito while holding a baby, you will understand. The majority of diced tomatoes and black beans will fall on her napkin-draped head rather than land in your mouth. Same thing goes for thick creamy soups, risotto, or paella.

Lastly what really helped me get my body back was breastfeeding. But the inherent joke is, breastfeeding actually gave me the body that i never had and always wanted. Because, for about 8 months i sported big boobs and a flat tummy. Things are quite different now, but my stomach is still flat.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I have a confession:

It doesn't happen a lot, but when I order "White American" from the black ladies at the deli, i feel a twinge of guilt, like i just said something slightly racist.

My friend, Debbie, has felt that way too. Glad to know someone is as ridiculously sensitive as i am. She also mentioned feeling a little weird when she asks one of the cute black guys working the chicken display for dark meat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The dress vs. top controversy has happened twice to me this season. I walk into a store wanting to buy a top and I leave with a dress. That's what it says on my receipt.

It's clearly generational. I go into a store and tell the salesgirl, "I would like to try on that top." She smiles and replies, "Oh, you mean the dress." To which I reply with friendly sarcasm, "Really. That's a dress?!?!"

This is the hemline of a pink halter "dress" that I recently purchased. You can see where i draw the line.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Drama Queen Clean

Today, I was sitting in the waiting room at the dentist's office, reading my new book "Walking in Circles before Lying Down." I am engaged thoroughly by author Merril Markoe's wit, and yet something begins to happen that interrupts my concentration. it is something so strange and beautiful, that I put down the book and watch in complete motherly fascination.

My seven year old daughter is down on the floor sorting through the magazines that have been messily strewn on the small cheap wicker coffee table in the waiting room. And she is putting them back in neat short stacks. She is straightening up their office. At home, we have a very long coffee table on which and under which is all her library books, Highlights and American Girl magazines, coloring books, and notebooks. It's a mess most of the time. She's never made a move to organize it unless I've bribed her or asked her repeatedly in a voice that gets louder as each request passes.

Sam moves on, and starts fluffing the pillows on the wicker settee she has been sitting on. She moves to another chair and gives the seat cushion a refreshing lift. And so she moves along, chair by chair, pillow by pillow. She is going about her business, and has a very cute smirk on her face, and she is pretending that I am not watching.

But I am entranced by this phenomenon of unsolicited organization. I recall once when she got down on her knees and aligned the candy bars at the check out at Wal-Mart. I remember wondering "why doesn't she ever feel like doing it at home." I think she was pretending to be a store clerk and that was her job.

Clearly my daughter has a passion for role play, and when she is in another character, the notion of cleaning and straightening turn her on. She likes to impersonate a pre-school teacher. In this role, she puts on latex gloves and goes about changing diapers on dolls, reading to the class, and disciplining the make believe kids. I may participate by saying, "Miss Sam, I think the boys and girls made that table over there very sticky. Could you please get some wipes and clean it up." And she will do it because she is a good teacher.

I have used her dramatic flair to my advantage; I use it to bait her. It is the coolest thing because she has fun and I get help. Mutual benefits. The other day, for example, I look around the apartment and get completely overwhelmed. It is a mess. I call to her. "Hey Sammi, would you please be the custodian and clean the school." She happily agrees and asks for a broom, a dustpan and rubber gloves which of course are too big and look ridiculously adorable on her little hands. She proceeds to sweep the floor and then take care of the garbage. I went to the store to buy a Swiffer the next day. I know she'll like using that even better.

So back to the present...

Tonight as i am tickling her back making her sleepy for bed, I ask her what the difference is between straightening up in the dentist office and at home. She answers, "Responsibility. You don't think I am responsible, so I don't do it." Interesting. I get that.

I look around her bedroom and see piles of clothes on her dresser and devise our next game. Tomorrow we will play 'Gap Girl, and she will be the manager, and her boss (me) is coming to see just how neat she keeps the store. Yes that should work.
I am eager to hear more of her philosophy on this subject, and so I start to delve deeper. She yawns, and cuts me off, "Mom, we'll talk about it in the morning."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


It was an ordinary day. I was working at home, pushing papers. i went to the kitchen to reload my Swingline stapler. There were four boxes of staples in the top right drawer. I picked up each box; they were mostly full. Three boxes of 5,000, plus a box of 2,000 multi-colored staples. I couldn't remember the last time I bought a box. And yet I owned about 16,000 staples.

It was right there that i faced my mortality. I thought, "I will die before I use all these staples." I had a vision of someone cleaning out this drawer sometime down the road, and saying "Did she really think she was going to use all these staples?"

I bet many people die with a good supply of staples.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Miss Blogworthy is a self employed writer and producer who often dreams of becoming a teacher (for the vacations) or a police officer (for the pension), but never a dentist. She has two daughters, but has never been very good at doing hair. Miss Blogworthy, formerly Mrs. Blogworthy, has just stepped out of her 20 year marriage, and is eager to see where that leads.

Read along as Miss B shares thoughts on parenting, fashion, work, food, pop culture, etc. As you can see, she is quite smitten by the spectacle of life, both the mundane and celebrated, and she likes writing in third person.

Compassionately yours,

Miss Blogworthy