Friday, July 25, 2008

Obama Mama Redux

See that gorgeous Indian lady with the sassy hennaed hair and ginormous earrings? That's my mom. Yup, the one who gave birth to me. I'm the apple, and she's the tree.

I can't see her hands but I'm guessing she's wringing out her clammy palms or clasping them in prayer, begging the goddess of political stardom to plant Obama into the Oval Office come November. But chances are, she's digging in her gigundo purse for her camera. I bet it's one of those unstructured hobo bags I hate because it doesn't have any compartments. It's a good thing a photographer from Der Spiegel caught this shot because I don't think she'd know how to work the camera if she unearthed it anyway. The woman knows politics and current events but she don't know squat about technology.

My mom was in India when John, Paul, Ringo, and George visited back in the 60s. Seeing Obama up close and personal trumps that, I'm sure. And would you take a look at Obama. Where's he looking? As I see it, he's making direct eye contact with my mother. My mother. I'm all goose pimply over this. I feel like I am a rockstar by association. Well, maybe a groupie. I see matching Obama Mama T-shirts in our future. And look again at his eyes, he's holding that gaze; this is no fly over glance.

My mom lives in Berlin for part of the year. Being overseas has not squelched one iota of her Obama fever. She's still tirelessly campaigning, working the phones, and hosting staff members to ensure Obama squashes McCain. Her zeal is contagious. And trust me on this one, she was an Obama Mama before the term was coined. Foresight. The woman's got foresight.

Meanwhile I'm working the Obama brigade over in North Carolina. I'm set to take Bird canvassing with me. I took Deal to visit the campaign office today. He digs any place that has stickers, though the Obama logo and his visage planted all over the place made Deal's little head spin with excitement. This is a prime opportunity to introduce our boys to our values, political views, and civic duty. Why not grab this teaching moment by the horns and make some freakin' noise?

Bird just saw the photo of my mom and exclaimed, "I didn't know Nani was friends with Obama!" From the sounds of his squeal and delight, you'd think his Nani was shaking hands with Peter Parker himself.
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5:00 Fridays

Bird, Deal, and I spent the afternoon at our farmers' market. It's been a favorite adventure of ours since the boys were babies and immobile. I certainly don't miss navigating that mess with a stroller. Believe it or not, it's easier with ambulatory preschoolers. Luckily they are willing to hold my hand, and Bird is old enough to actually help carry the goods. Based on my aching shoulder this afternoon, I remembered what the stroller was good for...carrying the bounty.

The market is a great opportunity to talk about food, nutrition, the hard working farmers who grow our food, and where our food comes from. When the boys were little the farmers' market was a great way to quiz them on colors and shapes. They were wide eyed at the piles of fruits and vegetables, and I suppose my orgasmic reaction was contagious. Just seeing the variety made us all excited to try everything and even pushed the boys to be the amazingly adventurous eaters they are.

The gorgeous displays of fruits and veggies inspire me to cook. I've even been tempted to try my hand at canning all the stuff that's fresh this time of year so we can enjoy summer veggies in January. I'm no domestic goddess, though I love to cook and keep a pretty clean home. Canning is pretty much out of my comfort zone. I've waited to give it a try lest I give my family botulism or something. If I'm to be inflicted with botulism I at least expect my forehead wrinkles to disappear in the process.

The bounty today included yellow squash, tiny, perfect cukes, deep green zucchini, red, green, yellow, orange, and purple (purple!) peppers, crimson tomatoes, treacly sweet white corn (so much sweeter than the yellow kind!), yellowish green tomatoes, fat heads of garlic, purple onions, white eggplants, drippingly sweet canteloupe, juicy watermelons, supple purple eggplants, deep blue blueberries, magenta raspberries, tied dyed red and orange peaches, honeydewish sprite melons (love the name and the taste!), and curly leafy greens. There were the also the requisite freshly baked bread and German bakery staples like apfelkuchen and kolaches and homemade goat cheese, honey, and fresh eggs that actually have yellow yolks.

We tasted just about everything that anyone was offering on a toothpick. The boys' chins were dripping with fruit juice, and I'm not talkin' the high fructose corn syrup shit that riddle kids' juice boxes. In honor of what both Bird and Deal named their favorite sampling of the day, I present to you the Bellini.

Get yourself a champagne glass. Go for the real crystal that you got for a wedding gift. Go on, dig it out and dust it off. We actually still have some Waterford with the labels still attached...Mac Daddy and I have been married for eight years. We do, however, break out the good Waterford and Tiffany flutes from time to time. The problem is that we usually only break out two, and we have enough for all of my readers to toast with us (sadly more a testament to my paltry few readers than my trunk full of barware).

Now find a fresh peach. Juicy, juicy, juicy. On the verge of over ripe. Pick it off the tree of you can. Crappy bottom shelf peach liqueur that will eventually go rancid in your liquor cabinet simply will not do. Now puree that fresh peach and add it to your champagne glass.

Pour good quality champagne over the peach puree. This is not an Andre moment (You should have outgrown any Andre moments from your past by now anyway.) You also need not pull out the Veuve or Dom. Korbel is your friend for this cocktail.

DO NOT STIR, lest you lose the bubbles. And what is the point of champagne without the bubbles?

Bask in the glory of the weekend. Toast life's little pleasures like secrets untold, your children laughing at your jokes, promises kept, shoes found on sale, a pound lost, wisdom gained, afternoon delight, and smiles from strangers. You're worth a champagne toast every single day; don't horde it for special occasions.

Cheers and here's to a peachy keen weekend!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mad for Men

4, count 'em, 4 more days until Don Draper graces the small screen for the second season of Mad Men! I can hardly contain myself. OK, so maybe only my screen is small. We are those technology laggards without a movie screen-size flat screen taking up a whole wall in the family room. But, oh, do I covet one! So far Santa's elves have not been listening. Ahem.

Don Draper looks absolutely grand in a hat (Who's going to bring back this fashion?!), and his wife, the lovely Betty Draper, makes suburban angst look downright stylish. John Slattery is hotter than ever; he epitomizes a sexy gray haired gent. That facial structure is the stuff that day dreams are made of, with whipped cream and a dollop of hotness on top. Ooh la la! Many of the mad men make my heart go aflutter. Don Draper looks unlike anyone I've ever worked for in an ad agency; he is divine. I can't wait to see what devilish Pete Campbell conjures up this season. And what's to come of Peggy and her baby?! The illegimate one!

If you have missed out on AMC's new series Mad Men, you must run, RUN I tell you, to get the DVDs to get up to speed. The whole show is eye candy; not just the actors, the way it's shot is gorgeous. Amazing cinematography, set design, and costumes. Oh, the clothes are to die for! Why is that all the outfits in 1960 cinched in a woman's waist just so? Surely they didn;t really have a 17-inch Audrey-esqu waist. The kitten heels, dainty handbags, and flouncy skirts are fab.

Smoking cigarettes is indeed one of the main characters, and the smoke adds a lovely ethereal element to the screen shots. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I am totally against smoking. I abhor it. But it makes a big bang in Mad Men.

Mad Men is clever, intriguing, provocative, enchanting. It depicts a genuine example of the work force in 1961 and does an even better job showing us how much life must have sucked for women back then. Martinis and crystal decanters at the office. Sultry cigarette smoke galore. Redefining family values. Office politics. Seduction. Infidelity. Even if you never worked in an advertising agency or commuted to New York City, you won't regret spending an hour a week with Don Draper.
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Don't cha wish your momma were hot like me?

These were the best of times. These were the worst of times. I'd like to share two tales of hotness lost.

First, picture this. Six moms dressed like single lady hotties. Dresses cut high enough to show off some pilates gams. Halter tops cut down just so to show off some flirty, sun drenched cleavage. I'm talkin' dry clean only attire here. Dangly earrings with no risk of toddler hands ripping them out. Heels stacked, stilettoed, wedged, and highly hot. Nothing more than a clutch to tote the requisite lipstick, cell phone, and Amex card. Not a diaper bag in sight. Not a bag of Goldfish to be seen. Even I stashed away Chapstick in favor of Smashbox lipstick in the perfect shade, Lavish. Makes me wanna lick my lips just thinking about that pouty pucker.

That night we were high flying women ordering up every colorful martini on the menu. After a couple cocktails we were even getting cheeky with the waiter, who was literally young enough to be my son. And I'm not talking teen pregnancy. Geez, how young are kids these days?! The girls were back and ready to roll. For one short night were were giggly girlfriends, watermelon martini warriors, sexy chicas with a barrel of confidence and a surprise stash of sex appeal. We were frolicking and fancy free, enjoying every bit of attention our hoopla was garnering.

Damn, we felt HOT. In fact, we WERE hot. Boob sweat in August heat in North Carolina hot. Vindaloo hot. Penn Badgely's abs hot. Sizzle. Sizzle. Sizzle.

And so we trapsed from one bar to another, ready to settle into the supple leather bar stools and order an insanely tasty (and might I add potent?) mojito. The six of us were a picture of moxie indeed. Sassy, smart, sexy women, not moms, for a night. Purrrr.....

Enter buzz kill stage left.

Two semi-grease balls who looked like they hock cameras from a seedy storefront in Jersey stopped to get a taste of the eye candy that was us. We flippantly ignored them, used to the attention, natch. Every one of us, however, stood a tish straighter and laughed a bit more joyously just to cement to those dudes what they'd be dreaming about that night. We were totally basking, drowning even, in our hotness.

"So, moms' night out, huh?" exclaimed grease ball #1.

"Hardy har har har!" gulumphed grease ball #2.


And so our bubble of hotness popped. It not only lost its air; it sadly deflated in slow motion, left hanging like our baby suckled breasts. Our swagger turned to slumped shoulder stutter step. Luster lost. Here we thought were hot WOMEN, and those grease balls pegged us for moms immediately. I still can't put my finger on the dead giveaway. We should have cuffed them and made a citizen's arrest. The charge? Buzz killers.

So you tell me, is being a mom mutually exclusive from being a hottie?

This second tale of hotness lost comes from my friend Allie. I don't think she'll mind my sharing it.

Allie got to head to the sunny state of California for 5-day business conference. Almost a full week of kid-free responsibility. So what if the days were peppered with dull conferences and dweeby sales guys? At night the wine and steak juices flowed. Evening conversation centered on drug therapies, and the days were filled with retail therapy. No one cared that Greg would not be touring with the Wiggles this year or that the neighbor kid's birthday party was Sunday at 6:00. No one needed her grapes cut in half or mouth wiped.

This was a week to learn, of course; it was a company-paid conference (aka boondoggle) after all. But it was also a weekend to fall asleep to Entourage blaring on the TV, a night without the stirring of a baby monitor to jostle her from her slumber, the pleasure of a long, slow cabernet buzz, frou frou dinner on someone else's tab, shoes too insensible to wear to the playground, skirts too short to squat down to tie a shoe, and lipstick instead of Aquaphor, perhaps even a flirty spritz of Jo Malone Verbenas of Provence. Oh, if only blog technology had a smell feature! You would be titillated, I assure you.

So one evening Allie is hanging out at one of those typical conference wine and smile get-to-know-you events. She's dazzling in a hot little number that had no risk of mac n' cheese hands wrecking it. A dress that would make her husband order champagne instead of beer. A dress that her husband would think looks better on the floor...wink, wink. She so had it going on. Allie is a hottie to start with, mind you. That dress was nothing more than frosting. She was enjoying a glass of vino, chatting with her boss, relishing the freedom of an evening without responsibility. It was then she noticed him noticing her. Yes, he was definitely looking, and it was obvious. Allie's boss tuned in too.

I imagine a slight blush crept over Allie's face, adorned with a simple swipe of liquid black eye liner and a touch of creamy lipstick. That man. That man was checking her out! Yeah, he was digging her. He was so hoping to get his groove on. And so her confidence soared. She and her boss giggled in hushed tones and wondered what the guy's story was. Allie is a married woman, after all. She repositioned so he could clearly see her wedding ring. Allie is not a cheating kind of girl, mind you, but a bit of attention when you know you look hot is simply an innocent self esteem boost.

No matter where Allie flitted throughout the ballroom, his eyes followed. Soon others were taking note as well. And then more eyes followed her. Imagine her exploding confidence and hotness, absorbing the attention. Loving it. Feeling like a most excellent blend of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda.

That's when her boss noticed something BIG. Mouth agape, speechless, BIG. All she could do was point in horror.

Allie is a lovely woman and a looker by any definition, alas it was not her charm nor good looks that garnered all that ogling.

Her dress, that hot, kicky little number, was tucked up into her panties. Her butt cheek was hanging out, advertising the goods beneath the dress! And no, she was not sporting lacy La Perlas. Nothing racy in any way. Paul Frank's chipmunk days of the week underwear (that she swears are the most comfortable underwear ever!) were peeking out for the whole conference to see. A cartoon chipmunk adorning her ass. All the geeky sales reps were taking it in, and not a one of 'em could muster up the courage (or decency!) to alert her!

Hysterical, yes. Hot, no.
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