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Get Over Yourself Kelly Killoren Bensimon

  • March 31, 2009

Last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of New York City began with Ramona inviting Kelly to attend the Badgley Mischka fashion show with her. While they were waiting for the show to begin, Kelly complained to Ramona that Bethenny had insulted her during the meeting for Jill’s charity by referring to Kelly as “Madonna.” Kelly then said to Ramona, “bad manners are really, really, repulsive to me.”

Ramona, displaying a diplomatic streak I’m not used to, asked Kelly if she thought Bethenny was jealous of, or threatened by her.

“No”, Kelly replied. “That would be like me being jealous of you.” Ramona seemed as confused as I was as she tried to process the backhanded compliment/insult. Kelly continued by saying she couldn’t possibly be jealous because they “live in different worlds.”

After the show, Ramona asked Kelly’s advice for dealing with Simon and Kelly immediately launched into Dr. Phil mode, asking Ramona why she would waste so much energy worrying about her interaction with Simon.

Kelly: “You’re too much of a great girl, you have so many awesome things going on, and you have this amazing energy. Why are you wasting it?
Ramona: “You’re right, you’re right.
Kelly: “I mean you’ll just be the polite awesome girl that you are.”
Ramona: “Oh, that’s so sweet.” (They kiss)
Kelly: “I like you. I’m an awesome judge of character, that’s why this thing with Bethenny is bothering me. I want her to know there was no reason for her to be like that.”

Ramona the diplomat surprised me again by coming to Bethenny’s defense, saying that Bethenny grew up alone. Kelly replied that she didn’t care if Bethenny grew up in the woods, there was no reason for her to do what she did (because calling someone Madonna is SO FREAKING MEAN).

Next Jill and her gay husband Brad are putting the finishing touches on her apartment re-decoration project. Jill informs Bobby that they are over budget and Bobby gives Jill a creepy smile saying it’s okay (and I’m guessing Jill’s going to have to do something really icky in bed with Bobby to make up for it).

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Simon and Alex are conferring with one of their subcontractors. They mention that they will be hanging a huge picture of Alice Cooper, complete with snake, and the subcontractor says, “I’m glad to hear you’re edgy” but what he’s really thinking is “you’re ridiculous and one of you is gay.” Simon then tells everyone how full of information his brain is, and how good he is at juggling it and moving it around. He says, apropos of nothing, that he’s always had a brain for numbers and information and that as a child he used to read encyclopedias instead of novels.

There was a preview for The Real Housewives of New Jersey and I got so excited I peed a little when I squealed, “Dave, I can’t wait for this show to start!” (tune in on May 12th).

Next up, the Kelly/Bethenny smackdown we’d all been waiting for. I gotta say, Kelly Killoren Bensimon went off the rails on a crazy train last night.

Bethenny was such a lady during Kelly’s non-sensical tirade that I immediately felt like donning pearls and pantyhose and brewing myself a nice cup of Earl Grey tea that I would drink with my pinky sticking out.

Here’s how it went down:

Kelly thought Bethenny needed a time out so she called and requested they meet for a drink, supposedly so Kelly could scold Bethenny for calling her Madonna at the charity meeting.

Forty year old Kelly breezed in thirty minutes late in her Forever 21 Flashdance outfit, complete with pink knee-high boots. She forgot to use blotting papers on her face, again.

Kelly thanked Bethenny for meeting her and Bethenny said, “Yeah, thanks I’ve been here for almost a half hour.” Kelly replied, “Really? That’s too bad.”

Kelly goes on to tell Bethenny that she just wants to make it perfectly clear, so that they’re on the same page, that they’re not friends. She tells Bethenny her attitude is “for kids” and that “you will come up to me, I don’t go down to you.”

Bethenny replies that “I don’t do anything that you want me to do.”

At this point the axis of power starts to shift toward Bethenny and I think Kelly is starting to figure it out. She stalls for time and Bethenny asks her, “I’m waiting to hear what you invited me here to say.” Kelly informs Bethenny that she will not “indulge her in this” and explains that she is “up here” and Bethenny is “down there.” Bethenny says, “And I’m down here, why?” to which Kelly replies, “Because I won’t put up with you antics and your bullshit.”

Kelly also tells Bethenny how “embarrassed she was for her” at Jill’s charity meeting and then Bethenny gets a good one in by reminding Kelly that she was embarrassed for her because of her “arthritis is cute” comment.

They go down memory lane for a while and argue back and forth. Kelly explains how she was “so disgusted by Bethenny’s behavior” and Bethenny asked what that behavior was, and Kelly responded, “You tell me.”

When Bethenny goes to leave Kelly is still hanging out in the doorway and she tells Bethenny “you just need to chill out” to which Bethenny accurately responds “I am calm.” Kelly says, “You’re so crazy! I have to go on my date now, bye!”

Bethenny correctly summed up the whole exchange, and Kelly, as a Kel-amity!

(I am so getting me a “Team Bethenny” t-shirt. I’ve also developed a bit of a girl-crush on her after last night).

Kelly flounced off for her date with Max, the almost English-speaking sorta hot guy. Kelly proceeded to give a re-cap of her and Bethenny’s fight but it didn’t matter because I think Max only understood every third word.

Bethenny accompanied Ramona to Mario’s tennis match and has a chance to tell Ramona about what happened between her and Kelly. Ramona further amazes me by listening and then stating that “not everyone is going to like everyone.”

Kelly picked up LuAnn in a limo and they went out for the evening. Kelly gave LuAnn the rundown on what happened between her and Bethenny and the Countess defended Bethenny and subtly pointed out the rude things Kelly did like scheduling a meeting and showing up late. I kinda loved the Countess in that scene and I feel bad because I read on the Internet that Count Chocula left LuAnn for some Ethiopian gal.

Mario got into a skerfuffle with Jill about their upcoming doubles tennis match and creepy Bobby looked like he might be contemplating having someone come and break Mario’s kneecaps. Ramona and Mario then got into another skerfuffle, this time with Alex and Simon. Apparently Ramona and Mario were peeved they weren’t given the heads up before the nekkid pictures of Alex hit the newsstand. Ramona told Alex she “doesn’t believe anything you say” and Alex shot back with, “you’re rude!”

Thank God the episode ended because I couldn’t take any more fighting. I imagine Kelly’s “laying low” today but I hope Bethenny walked through the streets of New York this morning with her head held high.

The Purse Post

  • March 30, 2009

Missy recently tagged me to write a post about the contents of my purse.

I just met Missy and I like her even though she’s a Cyclone and I’m a Hawkeye. I’m wondering if Missy realizes just how much I’ve posted about a certain purse on this blog, namely the Dooney and Bourke medium Chiara bag in black leather that I still don’t own. If you’d like the back story, please click here.

As many of you know, I launched a plan in late December to earn some money to buy the Dooney after Santa fucked me over let me down. Between selling my eggs on Craig’s List, donating blood, and stripping at the Lumberyard, I was positive I’d earn enough money to buy it myself.

Unfortunately, some meddling whore over on Craig’s List read my blog and told everyone not to buy my eggs because any children produced from them would probably have webbed feet and a tail.

And I never did make it to The Lumberyard because Dave got all bent out of shape at the idea of me stripping. I reminded him that before Diablo Cody wrote the screenplay for Juno she wrote a memoir titled Candy Girl which chronicled her experiences as a stripper in Minnesota. Her guy was cool with it and even married her later. Dave still said no way and I read the other day that Diablo and her husband got divorced so maybe Dave knows what he’s talking about.

And I never sold my blood because the Blood Center of Iowa only wants it if it’s free. Huh.

And then when I finally scraped up enough cash to buy the Dooney, those mother-effers at Younkers and Dillards no longer had it in stock.

This is a picture of my actual purse. I’ve been carrying it all winter and I’ll probably be carrying it until I die. I got it at Banana Republic two years ago and I like it because it’s big enough to hold all my stuff, two bottles of wine, and Chloe.

This is my boring brown wallet and my boring brown checkbook cover with the nerdy clip which holds back all the pages of my checkbook register. Below that is my little collection of Aveda goodies (click to enlarge). I love the smell of everything Aveda, especially their Shampure shampoo and conditioner. The little spray bottle on the left is perfume that they mixed for me at the Aveda salon I go to (I had a coupon and got it for free, yay!).

The next two items are necessary because the offspring often have something coming out of their nose or something sticky all over their hands. But rest assured, you will never see either of my kids coming toward you with something gross streaming from their nose while I appear to be blind and act like I don’t see it like some moms (I’ve been known to yell “Uh, little Johnny needs a kleenex RIGHT NOW!”). Below that is the epi-pen and Benadryl I carry at all times because Lauren is allergic to eggs. I’ve never had to use it which is a good thing because I’m afraid I’ll panic and shoot epinephrine into my thumb and not Lauren’s thigh.

Next we have my Weight Watchers points slider thingy, weigh in booklet, hand lotion, cell phone, lip gloss, and chapstick. I never use the lip gloss but I’m completely addicted to cherry chapstick. The cell phone was chosen solely for the fact that it’s red which is my favorite color.





My purse isn’t very full or interesting. But you know whose purse would be interesting? Trish’s. It’s half the size of mine yet she has twice the amount of crap shoved in it. Usually stuff is overflowing out the top. Seriously, I bet there’s some pretty odd shit in there. Next time she’s over I’ll try to take pictures of everything in her purse but I’ll probably have to do it on the down-low because after she reads this post she’s going to be pissed off at me for a little while.

I think that’s all you need to know about my purse. Please come back next week so I can regale you with the contents of my kitchen utensil drawer, affectionately known in our house as “the portal to hell.”

Hey, this post is kind of special

  • March 29, 2009

Glittering Thanks



Because it’s my 100th post since I started blogging on November 6, 2008.

I’d like to thank several people for being so supportive of my efforts especially Tom, Amy, Stef, Dave, Stefanie, and Trish since they were the ones I forced to read my first blog entries and demanded they “tell me if I’m funny.”

Kristi, Keri, and Cindy were also three of my early readers who encouraged me to keep writing by leaving positive feedback on my Facebook wall. I really appreciate it girls!

Louise is awesome! Not only did she forward my blog to Noelle, Elisa, and Cindy, she updated her Facebook status last week to “I think everyone should go to Tracey Garvis-Graves’ blog.” Louise doubled my blog traffic and gave me the highest number of hits I’ve ever received in one day. Thanks Weezie!

To Shellie, Shelly, Brooke, Stefanie, Trish, Kathryn, Lisa, Elisa, Andria, Missy, ReRe, and Amy, thank you for leaving comments on my blog. I get really excited when I notice I have a comment.

To my new blogging friends, thanks for convincing me to come out and play with you. I’m following you too now and look forward to good times in the blogosphere.

Lastly, can everyone come out and say hi today? If you’ve been lurking, this would be a great time to introduce yourself.

Thanks for reading everyone. I really appreciate it.

Tracey

Yes, Fargo, you have a problem

  • March 27, 2009

But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

I’m not trying to be unsympathetic. However, I live in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa and having experienced first hand the floods of 1993, which were among the most costly and devastating ever to occur in the United States, I think I know what I’m talking about.

Yes, you’re experiencing massive flooding and property loss, but if your Red River doesn’t swamp your water treatment center, you’ll still be better off than we were.

In July of 1993, we experienced constant heavy rainfall which culminated in the Raccoon River overflowing its banks and flooding the Des Moines Water Works treatment facility. Sometime after 3:00 AM on July 11th, the plant was powered down and Des Moines would not have running water again until July 22nd. Water was not certified safe to drink until July 29th.

Imagine for a minute what it would be like if your home was without running water for ten days in the middle of the summer. Now I kinda understand why the Ingalls family only bathed once a week on Little House on the Prairie.

Dave and I had spent the evening of July 10th getting our drink on with Dale and Joan at Billy Joe’s picture show, a movie theater/karaoke bar on Des Moines’ west side.

It was raining, as usual, and at one point Billy Joe’s electricity went out which rang not one alarm bell in our alcohol-addled brains. We weren’t thinking about the loss of electricity signaling a larger approaching problem. We were patiently waiting our turn to sing and our karaoke fun was postponed while we sat there in the dark waiting for the power to come back on. (I’m still not sure what happened but I think the already encroaching floodwaters might have shorted out something important somewhere).

I just wanted to sing. I had already handed in my request card for Olivia Newton John’s “Let Me Be There” and was just waiting for my name to be called. And Dave and I hadn’t had a chance to sing our original version of The Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight” yet either. Dave always added a special bomb noise sound effect after the words “sky rockets in flight” which was pretty much guaranteed to bring down the house.

The power finally came back on and I think the four of us closed the bar down. We went home and fell into a deep Bud Light fueled coma.

Sometime after 3:00 AM, L.D. McMullen pulled the plug on Des Moines’ water supply and the television stations went nuts. All the vampires watching the broadcasts immediately filled their bathtubs and sinks with the last of the water in the pipes and rushed out to buy every available gallon of water the grocery stores had on their shelves. Dave and I were still drooling and snoring.

As was our routine, we were still asleep the next morning when our phone started ringing off the hook. Both sets of parents and various friends were calling to warn us that no water would be coming out our taps and that none of the grocery stores had any water left. We ignored the ringing phone for several hours and let the machine answer all the calls. When we finally got up that Sunday morning, turned on the TV, and listened to all our phone messages, it was almost 11:00 AM. Since everyone else had been reacting to the crisis for close to seven hours, Dave and I were pretty well hosed.

I still had to go to work the next day. There was no longer a dress code and I showed up un-showered wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and my Birkenstocks. And in case you’re thinking, “oh my God, you didn’t shower?” No, I didn’t. Because there was no way to shower. The National Guard came and set up water stations and you could wait in line to receive two gallons of clean drinkable water. Whether you chose to bathe in it, drink it, or make iced tea was your business.

Luckily my dad, as a business owner, had booked some hotel rooms for his employees in a town fifteen miles away and Dave and I finagled one of them for ourselves so we had access to running water and showers, an amenity I will never take for granted ever again.

Dave worked in a high rise and was given almost two weeks off, with pay. The rationale was that, if there was a fire in his building everyone would die because the fire department wouldn’t have any water to spray on the fire. Dave spent the time wisely, drinking at the bars with all the other lucky employees who worked in buildings more than three stories tall.

The insurance company where I worked was not a high rise and until Governor Branstad MADE local businesses shorten their operations to half-days, I was expected to show up.

And even though I have a strict policy never to take a number two anywhere but my own bathroom, I was forced to take a poop in an overflowing port-a-potty at work when I couldn‘t hold it any longer. There was no running water to wash your hands afterwards and P.S.? Hand sanitizer is NOT THE SAME THING. Forcing a clean-freak (with borderline OCD ) like me to skip this important step in personal hygiene is like locking someone with arachnophobia in a small windowless room with thirty seven squillion hairy tarantulas (I also refused to shake hands with anyone in Des Moines until the water came back on).

When we finally returned to our condo and had running water again, Dave caught me throwing away the dishes and silverware that had been sitting in our dishwasher for ten days because they were covered with so much mold I could have made penicillin for every resident of our condo complex.

Dave insisted on soaking them in the sink and I ran them through the dishwasher nine times while repeating to myself, “I like blue cheese, I like blue cheese.“

So Fargo? I feel for you, I really do. And as a show of support, Amy and I will temporarily stop using our Fargo names of Marge and Barb, respectively, and we’ll quit talking to each other in our obnoxious Fargo accents which crack us both up (but sort of annoys Stef and Mindy).

But only until you dry out guys.

The Real Housewives of NYC-Fashion Week

  • March 26, 2009

Last night on The Real Housewives of NYC, we got to observe the ladies attending several fashion shows (with front row seats, natch).

The episode begins with the Countess giving Bethenny dating advice. Bethenny correctly sums up the conversation by stating that obviously no one thinks she’s ever gone out with a man before.

The Countess is really starting to sound like a know-it-all blowhard and if she was as classy as she thinks she is she never would have agreed to be on this show.

Bra-less, horsey, Kelly Killoren with the linebacker shoulders spends quality time going through a massive pile of fashion week invitations with her assistant while wearing faded cut off jeans appropriate for a twenty year old. I also desperately want to hand her blotting papers or a compact because sometimes she looks really shiny.

Did you all know Kelly is not only an editor and a columnist, she’s an author? She wrote a book about the bikini! I’m going to write a book about the trench coat this summer because apparently there is a market for this kind of literary bullshit.

Jill visits another gay man, this time an Asian designer who is “fabulous.” He’s going to dress her for fashion week and a luncheon she’s planning for her and twenty of her friends.

Jill squeezes herself into a sample size zero and dislocates her own shoulder trying to pat herself on the back. The fact that the dress can’t be zipped up doesn’t bother anyone and Jill even remarks that “Bobby should be pretty happy.” I think Bobby should be happy that he has enough money to convince a woman to marry him but that’s because I think Bobby looks like a reptile.

Alex and Simon head to the chi-chi Christopher Deane boutique, one of many thriving cutting edge design teams located in Brooklyn. Alex mentions her closet is full because she still has all her maternity clothes and then Simon announces to the world that he’s had himself neutered so if there’s any impregnating in the future, Alex is gonna have some ’splainin to do.

And by the way, Alex seriously needs to find an ass-fat donor so she can plump up her skinny lips (pick me! pick me!). Her mouth looks like it’s missing half the time and it’s starting to creep me out.

Simon and Alex attend a fashion show and on the way to their seats, Simon decides to have a “why don’t you like me summit” with Ramona who is sitting in the front row with Kelly. Although I am not a huge Ramona fan, I think she handled the exchange well, especially since bone-headed Simon picked a retarded time and place to initiate the inane conversation. Ramona showed remarkable restraint by agreeing with Simon when he accused her of “blanking” him. She finally admitted that she felt Simon had no depth, which he couldn’t comprehend because he has a misguided over-inflated ego and a complete lack of self-awareness. I think Ramona could buy and sell Simon, without Mario’s help, any time she felt like it and she’s decided to declare him persona non grata. I just wish she’d make him invisible but Bravo won’t let that happen.

Alex and Simon finally sit down and Simon mentioned how delighted he is to be known as Mr. Van Kempen instead of Alex McCord’s wife. He leaned over to her and said, “I’m a man of my own right now darling.”

HahhahahahahahahohIjustpeedhahahahahahahahahastopsimonstopohmygodtoofunnyhahahahhahahahyoufoolyouareretardedohmygodmorepeeinghahahahahhaahha.

(Peeling self off floor, changing out of pee-pee soaked pants and tapping Simon on shoulder) Actually, you’re Bravo’s bitch, ‘kay? Or, the creepiest weird man in Brooklyn. But you have not arrived anywhere and you never will dahling.

Sure, leaking those photos of your nude wife onto the Internet was a brilliant PR coup, but you’re going to have to keep appearing like a big doofus on Real Housewives if you want to prolong your fifteen minutes of fame. So far, Simon, you’re doing splendidly.

Lastly, we see all the housewives, including Kelly who was half an hour late, sitting around a table discussing Jill’s charity event “Creaky Joints” which will benefit arthritis research.

Jill said to Kelly, “I don’t know if you know this but Ally (Jill’s daughter) has arthritis so that’s why I wanted to plan this benefit.”

Kelly replied, “Oh, I didn’t know that. How cute.”

Um, what?

I now officially hate Kelly. How can you be so simultaneously clueless AND socially retarded?

I imagine Kelly’s friends coming up to her and saying:

“Hey Kelly, I just found out my cat has feline leukemia and has mere seconds to live.”

Kelly: “Sweet!”

Or, “Kelly, my ninety year old neighbor fell and broke her hip and has to move to a nursing home.”

Kelly: “Right on!”

Kelly then got all self-righteous about her name being attached to the charity in any way and the rest of the housewives stabbed her with forks and she died.

Next week, Bethenny and Kelly elevate their catfight to a higher level and I guaran-damn-tee no one will want to miss this pissing match.

Oh, and does everyone know about Bravo’s newest franchise, The Real Housewives of New Jersey?

That one just might make me implode.

Tracey’s shit list

  • March 25, 2009

1. Chloe. Please be advised that when your barking awakens everyone in the house at 5:11 AM it falls under my job description to get up and investigate. Discovering our neighbor’s dog (think huge, slobbering, and looks like it should have a keg of brandy around its neck) unleashed and sitting creepily in their front yard doesn‘t mean you need to go ballistic. Chill, Scrappy Doo. We have an invisible fence and everyone knows you’re not going anywhere so put down your dukes and shut up so we can all go back to sleep.

2. Ford Motor Company. Seriously, the only reason I deviated from my “all Japanese engineering all the time” standards is because my dad sold me this Ford Explorer on the cheap. We needed a bigger vehicle and he happened to be selling one but so help me God if I have to replace my power antennae for the THIRD time I will fly to Detroit, march into your manufacturing plant, and start randomly beating production workers with the antennae. I should have just left it broken after I parked under a big tree at Barnes and Noble and bent it all to hell when I backed out of my parking space. Looking ghetto would have been a small price to pay compared to the “nails on a chalkboard” noise I have to listen to every time my (BRAND FUCKING NEW) antennae goes down when I turn off the ignition.

3. Sears. First of all, no one goes to your shitty store unless they need a lawnmower, a major appliance, or in my case, they have to pick up their husband’s new grill.

Firstly, when I pull up into the parking spot reserved for merchandise pickup and your sign instructs me to call a number and wait in my car so that I will be assisted in five minutes guaranteed, PLEASE ANSWER THE PHONE.

Secondly, when I walk into your store it will not make me very happy when you laugh and tell me the sign is old and the number “doesn’t even work anymore.” It’s not wise to keep telling me how wrong I’m doing the merchandise pickup thing unless you have some sort of death wish.

When I finally got back outside and through another set of doors to the kiosk they’ve told me about, I managed to do that all wrong as well. I touched the screen, it asked me to type in my last name, and then it informed me my merchandise would be REPAIRED soon (average wait time 28 minutes).

Luckily for Sears, some dude came out and I explained that I was just there to pick up an already-paid-for-should-be-assembled grill. He disappeared and I stood around, messing with the kiosk thingy trying to figure out why it thought I was there for repair.

I finally realized that I tapped the screen too fast and it skipped the main menu that allows you to choose the merchandise pickup option. I experimented with how slow you need to tap the screen and I think I initiated four or five fictitious merchandise pickup orders, which hopefully crippled their whole stupid system.

Lastly, two nineteen year old boys managed to shove the grill into my shit-list Ford Explorer and its obvious they spent their lunch hour smoking. I’ll be lucky to get Beavis and Butthead’s Marlboro fumes out of my vehicle by next Tuesday.

Wow, I feel a lot better now.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: The Real Housewives do Fashion Week.

McDonald’s Monday

  • March 24, 2009

Yesterday was McDonald’s Monday at our house.

Lauren has tap and ballet after school and by the time we get home an hour later, the offspring are threatening to gnaw off their own arms unless I produce dinner immediately. A quick detour through the McDonald’s drive thru after dance class is a convenient and fast way to make everyone happy.

I realize they’re hungry. Lauren has just danced for an hour and Matthew is a nine and a half year old bottomless pit. Mama’s hungry too, especially since I’m following the low-fat reduced-calorie eating plan that Weight Watchers doesn’t think is a diet (ok, whatever).

I still make Dave and myself a healthy dinner when I get home although I’m starting to wonder if he wouldn’t like his own McDonald’s meal since he pissed Lauren off by eating half her fries and stealing a chicken McNugget.

The McDonald’s near our house has about a 60% accuracy rate when filling our order. It only took one or two instances of somebody’s happy meal being fucked up before Dave and I learned to always check the bag before leaving the drive thru.

When we went to McDonald’s last night, I pulled up to the window and prepared to launch my usual quality control efforts to ensure there would be no shortage of food.

I try to be quick when I do this because I don’t want to jack up the whole drive thru at McDonald’s and make all the other customers mad.

A teenaged boy who desperately needed Accutane handed me the bag and I quickly checked to make sure there were two orders of nuggets and two fries by counting them out loud.

I turned back to the window for the drinks and the boy handed me the cups one at a time. As he handed them to me he said, “here’s o-n-e and here’s t-w-o.” He spoke extra slowly and exaggerated the motion of handing me the drinks one at a time.

Wait a minute. I think Jr. McZitty Face might be mocking me.

Does he have any idea he has a pre-menstrual housewife in his drive thru and she’s not hormonally stable?

I gave him the benefit of the doubt because I am a mature mother of two and perhaps he’s just a slow talker.

I suddenly realize that they have forgotten to include Matthew’s order of apple dippers and I inform Jr. McZitty that they’re missing. I feel simultaneously vindicated yet irritated.

Zitty hands me the apple dippers and says (very condescendingly) “do you need me to put them in their own bag?”

“No,” I said. “I need you to stop being a smart-ass!”

I grab the apple dippers and haul ass out of the drive thru, forgetting about the big bump in the parking lot and I think my Explorer might have suffered minor axle damage.

Lauren asks from the back seat, “Did you just say ass?”

“Yes Lauren, yes I did. And I was wrong to say that in front of you.”

“Is this like that one time when you got in a fight at McDonald’s about the happy meal toy?”

“Um, yeah, a little bit. But its okay, I’ve calmed down now so don’t worry.”

I got home and re-enacted the whole thing for Dave. He’s not a fan of our neighborhood McDonald’s but my prefacing the story with “maybe I just have PMS” probably convinced him that nodding and agreeing with me was the only safe option.

Maybe Jr. McZitty didn’t mean anything by his mannerisms and comments. Perhaps I am wound a bit tight right now but I’m dealing with a serious Estrogen/Progesterone deficit so it’s not intentional, it’s just out of my control.

Hopefully things will go better next week on McDonald‘s Monday. I can’t promise there won’t be a smack down but I can promise to try harder.

Mars and Venus in High Def

  • March 23, 2009

Hey, guys? Your obsession with HDTV?

Yeah, I don’t get it.

Last night we went over to dad and Debby’s for dinner and we were watching TV in the basement after we finished eating.

My dad’s television is a ridiculous seventy inches. It’s so big that when he first got it, I asked him if it was anchored to the TV stand because I was afraid it might fall on the offspring and squash them like pancakes.

When we got ready to go home last night, my dad insisted on showing me how good the HD channels looked compared to the regular ones. He pulled out one of five remotes he keeps in a little wicker “remote organizer” basket and started flipping back and forth between channels.

“Look, Tracey, do you see how clear that is? Wait, wait, now where did channel eight go? Hold on, I need to switch back so you can see. Okay, look, do you see how much clearer that is?”

“Well, I guess so, “I said.

“Wait, let me try this channel. Darn it, where was that? Now I can‘t find channel five.” My dad’s got his glasses on by now and he‘s jabbing multiple buttons on his huge remote. “Okay let’s try this one. What do you think about this basketball game Tracey? It’s so clear!”

“Yeah, it’s pretty clear dad. I bet all the actresses in Hollywood hate high-def.”

“Oh I’m sure they do honey. High-def shows every line and wrinkle.”

And men wonder why women aren’t fans?

When my dad purchased his current behemoth, he gave us his old Sony big screen TV for our basement. I was thrilled! We were in the middle of finishing our basement and now we were getting a big screen TV for free. But Dave is always muttering about how he can’t wait to replace it with something more current.

I’m totally fine with the hand-me-down Sony. I didn‘t even flinch when we were playing Rock Band the other day and Matthew’s drumstick flew out of his hand and hit the screen when he got out of control during a drum solo. If that had been a new, cool, HDTV, Dave would have had kittens if he’d seen that drumstick hit the screen.

In the name of understanding this male obsession a little better, I googled and came across an article on eCoustics.com titled Why Women Don’t Care About HDTV. According to the female author, there are five main reasons:

1) Technology is complicated.

Amen sister! The only reason I don’t play Rock Band by myself when everyone is at work or school is because I need Matthew to set it up and turn it on for me. My learning curve for all things electronic is s-l-o-w.

2) Women care about content.

Basically, we’ll buy an expensive handbag or two pairs of expensive shoes but we’ll continue to watch TV on a tiny TV/VCR combo set with a thirteen-inch screen because it simply will not occur to us to buy a better TV. I agree. I don’t think many of my girlfriends care about sound and quality.

3) Women don’t care about social comparison.

I like to show my girlfriends my new jewelry, clothes, and accessories. I could care less what they think about our sub-woofer, surround sound, and HD channels.

4) It’s expensive.

I don’t understand spending money on electronics and Dave doesn’t understand spending money on shoes and handbags. Shortly before we moved into our new house, Dave felt it was very important to replace our old TV with a big flat screen HDTV. I didn’t understand why we needed a new television but I’m sure Dave didn’t understand why we needed that new dining room set either.

5) The guys will figure it out.

Matthew and Dave are in charge of hooking everything up and making it work at our house. It’s pretty much a given that I don’t have the patience or ability to do it myself. There are exceptions to this gender rule though because you know who is really good at this kind of thing? Amy. She’s like an electronic idiot savant with wires and shit. She pretty much hooked up our new TV, stereo, and all the components when we moved into this house.

Last night I convinced Dave to watch my new Twilight DVD with me after we put the offspring to bed. When I asked Dave if he liked it, he said it was “pretty interesting” and “not bad.”

I have no idea if we were watching the DVD in HD or not. I don’t care either. I do know that at one point I asked Dave if he was having trouble seeing the actors on the screen since many of the scenes appear to have been shot in really low light. I was afraid I was having simultaneous LASIK failure, macular degeneration, and random blindness issues but he assured me he was having trouble seeing too.

I don’t know if HD would have helped me see any better. But maybe I do understand, just a little bit, how men might think it’s important.

And if high definition means seeing hot vampire Edward Cullen a little more clearly, then I say bring it on.

An attitude of gratitude

  • March 20, 2009

I’m not sure how it happened but I’ve kinda been cyber-stalking Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.

I follow them on Twitter @aplusk and @mrskutcher. They post a lot of tweets and even though they’re only 140 characters long, I’ve noticed that they are often very positive and have an enlightening spiritual vibe.

They seem like they’re really nice people. Ashton is from Iowa, and I think Iowans are very nice, but Demi, who is not an Iowan, comes across as a very nice person as well.

I’ve never sent them a tweet, of course, because I’m not crazy. And I’m certainly not going to send Ashton a tweet to tell him about my completed screenplay that stars him in a role that will most likely earn him his first Best Actor Oscar (but that’s mostly because the screenplay is only complete in my head and loses validity when you can’t see the words in my head converted into scenes on paper. That you can, you know, read and stuff. Details).

I was telling Dave the other night that I was really impressed with how kind and gracious Ashton and Demi are.

Mr. Cynical said, “It’s probably easy to be kind and gracious when you’re a rich celebrity.”

“That’s true Mr. Glass-half-empty, but I still think it’s nice to see celebrities acting truly grateful and not like assholes, “I replied.

Demi and Ashton, and their positive, grateful, and uplifting tweets, have inspired me to reflect upon some of the things I am truly grateful for this week.

1. The offspring have been on spring break all week. Even though we decided to “vacation at home” this year, we’ve had a wonderful time. Dave was home on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday so we were able to enjoy some great time together as a family.

2. We had two days this week that were in the 70’s. Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa.

3. Dave is still employed and even received his annual bonus. The fact that it was half of what he received last year doesn’t matter because he still has a job and a bonus is a bonus.

4. Most of Dave’s bonus was allocated to the achievement of pre-determined financial goals. Even in this economy, we were able to meet two of the three goals and that makes us very happy.

5. The remainder of the bonus was split between house stuff (new lawnmower and grill), the offspring, Dave, and I.

6. The offspring received Rock Band 2. This should really be considered a gift to all of us because the whole family has been playing it this week. I am especially skilled on guitar. I’m like the housewife version of Eddie Van Halen.

7. Dave has a little jingle in his pocket to spend on whatever he wants.

8. A certain suburban housewife also has a little jingle in her pocket so she marched her butt to the mall to buy a Dooney and Bourke medium chiara bag in black leather! Yay!!!

9. A certain suburban housewife DID NOT break down and cry when she discovered that the purse is no longer available at Dillard’s or Younkers.

10. A certain suburban housewife has decided that a designer handbag will take up a substantial chunk of her fun money and is going to buy an inexpensive, brightly colored spring purse instead (and maybe price Botox or Juvederm).

I’m also grateful that I can get back to my usual routine on Monday after I put the offspring on the bus and send Dave out the door with a kiss.

I’ll sit down in front of the computer. Maybe I’ll work on getting that screenplay down on paper.

Then I really will send a tweet to Ashton. We have some business to attend to.

Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me

  • March 19, 2009

The other day, the offspring and I went to the library. I came home with seven books, three of which I’d already read. Dave doesn’t understand why I do this.

Sometimes I like a book so much I want to read it again, especially if it’s been a while. And I’m trying not to buy so many books, even though going to Barnes and Noble, and purchasing a few new releases is one of my favorite things to do. However, the library is a lot kinder to our budget and there are plenty of good books for me to choose from.

One of the books I came home with was The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons. I read this book for the first time in 1978, when I was eleven years old. I don’t know which parent bought it for me and I’m amazed they let me read it. However, my dad also gave me Stephen King’s The Stand and The Shining for Christmas that same year so they either thought I was not an easily spooked child or had absolutely no clue about the content of any of the books they bought for me.

The House Next Door is a horror novel. All of Anne Rivers Siddon’s other books are literary fiction but for some reason she took one foray into the horror genre.

The book is about Walter and Colquitt Kennedy. They are childless, by choice, and live in a beautiful home next door to an empty lot. A young couple has purchased the lot and hired an up and coming architect to design their dream home.

The Kennedy’s become good friends with the architect and each of the home’s subsequent owners.

Something tragic happens to everyone that lives there. The house has a way of bringing out the worst in all of them and the evil gets more prevalent with each new owner. Walter and Colquitt become entangled in the lives of their neighbors, whether they want to or not.

The book is not overtly terrifying. The creepiness is subtle and builds slowly and you are able to understand how Walter and Colquitt are ultimately forced to acknowledge that an evil supernatural presence is the only way to explain what happens to everyone who moves into the house next door, especially when the “house” starts killing pets and homeowners.

I finished re-reading the book Monday night and for some reason, had a lot of trouble sleeping. I kept waking up and thinking about the book.

I woke up again because Lauren came into our bedroom complaining of a headache and sore throat. I asked her if she wanted Motrin and she said she did so I walked downstairs in the dark to the kitchen (I’d keep the Tylenol and Motrin upstairs but ever since Chloe ate the Tylenol on Lauren’s night stand, and had to have her stomach pumped, I keep it in the cupboard in the kitchen).

I felt uneasy walking downstairs in the dark. I hurriedly flipped on the kitchen light and glanced up at the microwave to see what time it was.

Imagine how I felt when I saw that the time on the microwave was 3:15 (or, as I like to refer to it, Amityville Horror time!). I grabbed the Motrin and pretty much ran back upstairs, leaving the kitchen light on. I’m sure if I had looked out the sliding glass doors I’d have seen the glowing red eyes of Jody, the demonic pig.

In case you’re thinking I’m a colossal scaredy-cat, let me explain.

I have a habit of waking up at scary times. A couple years ago Dave and I rented The Exorcism of Emily Rose one Saturday night (ironically enough we had taken the offspring to Saturday night services at church and picked up the DVD on our way home). I was reluctant to watch it, because I don’t like scary movies, but it was billed as a courtroom drama based on a true story and Laura Linney was starring in it.

It pretty much scared the holy crap out of me. It’s about a girl named Emily Rose who is possessed by the devil and the priest who tries to perform an exorcism on her is charged with criminal negligence after her death.
Laura Linney plays the lawyer who is hired to defend the priest. The story is then told in flashbacks as Emily Rose begins, and ends, her struggles against the demons that possess her.

Laura Linney is warned that, by taking on the case, she will be targeted by demons for exposing them. She begins to experience strange occurrences at 3:00 AM, just as Emily Rose had. The priest explains that 3:00 AM is the witching hour that evil spirits use to mock the Holy Trinity. It’s the opposite of 3:00 PM, which is traditionally known as the hour Jesus died.

For almost two weeks I woke up at 3:00 AM. It freaked me out and I told Dave I wondered if it was possible to somehow set your mental alarm clock to wake you up at a time guaranteed to mess with your head. And every single time Matthew or Lauren woke up sick in the middle of the night it was straight up 3:00 AM on my bedside clock radio.

The other night Chloe’s barking woke me up in the middle of the night. She paced back and forth by the sliding glass doors in the kitchen and the only reason I was able to open them and look outside was because I didn’t look at the microwave to see if it was Amityville Horror or Emily Rose o‘clock. And I guarantee you it would have been one of those times.

So basically I can read scary books and watch scary movies but only if I’m okay with waking up at scary times.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? Wouldn’t this be a great time for everyone to share his or her story on my blog?

Please tell me the name of the scariest movie you’ve ever seen or the scariest book you’ve ever read. Or just tell me about a time you had the crap scared out of you. It’ll be fun, really. You can leave your comments anonymously if you want.

I promise to read the scary book suggestions but I’m not watching any more scary movies.

And I need to find a way to store the Tylenol and Motrin upstairs.

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