Friday, August 1, 2008

5:00 Fridays

I'm Indian. 100%. I look it, but I'm terrible at math and science, and I speak with a discernible Southern drawl after testing a handful of 5:00 Fridays concoctions. Today's cocktail is a nod to my heritage and a grown up version of my favorite Indian treat that my sons now clamor for.

Mango Lassi for Lads and Lasses

You'll need a tall glass. Grab the tallest one you got, folks. Add some ice just for clinking effect.

You're gonna need a straw. Grab a few extra from McDonald's if you can. They have the best straws. Trust me here. They really do. Nice wide openings to make the drink burst through and wake up even the laziest of taste buds.

Now get your blender out from the cabinet above the fridge. Yeah, I'll wait while you move the salad spinner and rice cooker out of the way. Now by all means, rinse the dust out of that puppy.

To your newly clean blender add four, yes four, ice cubes, a shot of vanilla vodka, a shot of amaretto, a cup of mango juice (Trader Joe's has a great variety), and a tablespoon of plain yogurt. Whiz away until it's smoothie consistency.

Pour over ice into your tall glass. Don't forget every cocktail's necessary accessory! Garnish with a skewer of fresh mango chunks. For a real Indian touch, a simple sprig of cilantro would look lovely.

And because this looks like a smoothie, I just might be sipping one right now and you wouldn't even know it. Hee hee hee...

5:00 FridaysSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Time Saving Tip

We are all busier than a hive of predatory queen bees bucking for, well, Queen Bee, these days. With all the Facebooking, Twittering, Stumbling Upon, Kirtsying, and blogging we do, there are simply no seconds to spare or waste time on the inane. That is precisely why I don't watch Regis & Kelly or bother to shave when it's not date night. In light of our buzzing lives and all that beckons, I'd like to share a time saving tip.

Do not read this book.
Put it back on the shelf. Dig up the receipt and return it for The Other Boleyn Girl. Hell, read Elle Decor instead. Reading a whole box of fortune cookies would be more interesting (especially if you add "in bed" to the end of each fortune).

I have read some crappy stuff in my day, but this one takes the reine de saba cake.

I was so excited to get my hands on this book and finally have a free spot between book club books to read it. I didn't get past page 51. And let me tell you, I never ever leave a book dangling in mid air before I've finished it. Life is too short to read shitty literature.

I love to cook. I love to read. I love to write. All the necessary ingredients to make Julie & Julia a time honored favorite of mine, right? I envisioned reaching for its tattered pages over and over again through the years. Nah. Not gonna happen. The writing is unimpressive, and I am surprised some editor or agent didn't get fired over its publishing. The author's voice is unauthentic, and the attempt at comedic banter is uncomfortable and unnatural. But mostly what irked me is that I've been duped.

Here I thought I was going to dig into a verbal feast a la Like Water for Chocolate. Not even close to being Like Water for Chick Lit. Food played a tertiary role in the book, not capturing the lime light as I had anticipated (and naturally expected based on the title and premise). The author spent more time complaining or waxing about random adolescent memories that were not salient to the premise. I feel like she secured a book deal, spent the advance, and went to town writing a free flow piece all in one sitting, deadline ticking feverishly away. I bet she even turned it in bleary-eyed with cramped fingers and carpal tunnel about to blast through her wrists. This book is not an example of stellar writing, folks.

If Julie Powell can land a book deal and have a mastermind PR team behind her, surely Dirt & Noise can. In the mean time, I'll devote my time to not wasting yours.
A Time Saving TipSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Hangin' with the In Crowd

I love the concept of this new site, and not just because Dirt & Noise is featured as site of the week!

The website, 30Threads, in its beta form right now, is a wonderful clearing house for goings on in the Triangle. It might cover events and hip happenings, up-to-the-minute news, or simply people like me opining about a variety of topics. I have a hunch the content is gonna be pretty doggone interesting and cool whether you live in my neck o' the woods or not.The best part is that 30Threads helps me be even lazier than I already am; doing the surfing for me so cool websites and blogs come right to me. Yup, I don't have to lift a finger off my well-loved wireless mouse.

Take a look at all the topics covered in the right hand sidebar. That's a tall order for any dedicated surfer to fill! As for this blogger, though, I'm going to work on filling a tall drink order for tomorrow's 5:00 Fridays post.
Hangin' with the In CrowdSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Story of Deception

My new bloggy friend and one of my fave reads, San Diego Momma, prompted me to write about DECEPTION today. I've got only 10 minutes and 250 words. Ready, set, write!

She wore a filmy silk crimson gown and teetering strappy heels. Supple peach lips, a gloriously shiny brown mane that bounced when she threw her head back in laughter, legs as tall as the dwarf coat check guy. Smoldering Gauloise in a Holly Golightly vintage cigarette holder with a glint of crystal encrusting the tip. Her own bling was heavy on her fingers and ears, rubies. Only rubies for her. She knew it would be sexier to keep her decolletage free of jewels to show off her well cut clavicle and long neck befitting royalty.

Men were showering her with cocktails and compliments. She flirtatiously laughed and reveled in the attention. She giggled on cue and absentmindedly twisted a strand of hair with her French manicured fingers between drinks. The offers came at at a fiery pace, but she smugly laughed them off. She wasn't going home with anyone tonight. Not tonight. Maybe not even tomorrow night.

She wasn't ready for commitment, and a casual fling wasn't an option.

She was the center of attention, yet lonely. Internal strife tortured her soul. Her life was a cliche. A B-rated screen play at best. She should really find a good therapist. And she should really tell her family. The mere thought of it made her shiver, goosebumps covering her strong taut arms.

Stripped of the gown, the jewels, the gloss, there were overdue plastic surgery bills, dental crowns, bunions, and Spanx. She spent a fortune on laser hair removal and colored contact lenses. Her shoes were special order from England a la Kinky Boots.
A Story of DeceptionSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Blogger Mom's Week in Review

I've taken to carrying around a wee notebook and jotting down things that strike me. I feel like a reporter, minus the press pass and fedora. I do have a degree from a journalism school. Now I know how the editorial half must feel.

I see the world through my own two eyes. Incidentally, it used to be four eyes, but my eyesight improved with each pregnancy. I got a wrinkly stomach and back fat, but at least something actually improved on my body. Once I had kids, I started to see the world through their eyes too. And oh, how delightful that has been! Since I started blogging, I've begun to see the world through Dirt & Noise lenses. What would my readers get a kick out of? What inspires me? What can I teach or change? In essence, I take note of things that are blog-worthy. Does this officially make me a "blogger?" I dunno. I don't get paid (though I wish I could figure out that one!) and I'm not one of those viral blog celebrities. I blog because it's cheaper than DSW therapy. And I really dig it.

I'd like to share the items that made the notebook cut. So here are the noteworthy events of my first week as an official blogger, in no particular order:

I don't have any ribbon magnets on my car. I have a University of Virginia decal and Obama 08 bumper sticker on my car. And the registration and inspection stickers that are chronically overdue. I cannot keep up with those ribbons and have no idea what all the colors mean, except for the red and pink ones. On my way to the gym the other day I noticed a navy blue magnetic ribbon on the back of a Mustang (not a cool old one, mind you). I paused to look and boy am I glad I did! The magnet, with tongue fully implanted in cheek, read "Support lap dancing." Come on, that's funny stuff! Deal asked me why I was laughing, and I hadn't even realized I was laughing aloud.

One morning post workout (man, I sound like an exercise maven...I assure you I am not...see back fat comment above), Deal and I went to Starbucks for a treat. We were sitting outside in a somewhat swanky part of town. Let's put it this way, it's where the middle school girls get weekly mani-pedis and have designer handbags that cost more than three months of our mortgage payments. I was not shocked to see a well coiffed gent in uber preppy attire. Khaki pants with no pleats and a tish droopy, blue oxford cloth shirt, blue, red, and yellow striped prep school tie, Weejun loafers sans penny, Omega watch. And get this, white socks. The kid he probably just worked out in. This is the South. No socks would be perfectly acceptable, but white socks?! No way. It gets better. He also had a pair of reading glasses hanging around his neck. I was prepared to see those Croakies lanyard thingees that are ubiquitous among men down here. But no, this prep of the white sock clan chose to hang his reading glasses on a jerryrigged strand of mardi gras beads. New at your neighborhood Brooks Brothers perhaps?

When I dropped Bird off at camp one morning there was a white Suburban parked next to me. That damn vehicle was so big it was practically parked on me. I feel no pity whatsoever for that guy's fuel bill. On his car was a bumper sticker that said "Honk if the twins fall out." What the?! I am amazed at what messages people feel inspired to advertise on their cars.

I am guilty of exposing my children to bad music. For this I feel some shame, but mostly I see humor. I was unexpectedly surprised in the car the other day when Bird was singing along to Scotty's Lament by the Connells. I was a huge Connells groupie back in the day. I have all their CDs (and some on cassette, which tells you something). I can't bear to get rid of my Fun & Games T-shirt. You can imagine my utter delight and downright giddiness when I realized Mike Connell himself lives down the street from me. He's a lawyer now but will always be a rock star to me. And you know what? He's a super nice guy who asks about Bird and Deal and is quick to share a smile. And then my friend Will introduced me to a couple of his friends at political event a while back. The guy looked so familiar, but I couldn't place him. He took the mike and I knew instantly...George Huntley! My friend is friends with George Huntley! How could I continue to act laid back and cool when I was thrust back to a 20-year old groupie?! I told Bird about how I loved the Connells (still do, actually), showed him my CDs, and then whispered that one of the singers lives down the street. Bird was duly impressed. That might compensate just a tad for the other musical damage I have inflicted.

Is there anything grosser or funnier than an obscenely fat kid belching at 53 decibels? And no, he did not pardon himself. That wasn't so funny, but proved to be a good teaching moment for the boys.

I am in love with Eric Stolz of Singles, the Waterdance, and Mask fame. You will be too when you hear him sing this. Bird and Deal dig the song Snuggle Puppy, and we sing it to each other in the car. It was my lullaby of choice when I realized Bad to the Bone was a poor choice.

Deal and I went to the children's museum last week. Being the naysayers of Team Tardiness we are, we were at the front door as the clock struck 9:00 so we could be the first (the first!) people there. Though we have been there, oh, seven million times this summer, Deal was as excited as if he were yelling Wake up, Jeff! to Jeff himself. Those little three-year old legs barreled their way up the ramp, leftover jigglies of baby fat still bouncing. God, I love those mushy thighs (not so much mine though). There is nothing cuter than the canter of a slightly off balance preschooler.

I just bought two new bathing suits. I tried on 95 just to settle on those two. No kidding. 95. It tooks 3 1/2 hours and it wasn't fun. Imagine my horror when a saggy, wrinkled tattooed grandma with about four gold hoops in each ear and an organza ribbon in her hair at the pool was sporting the same suit I just bought. I didn't think a ruched brown tankini was so Golden Girls (no disrespect, Estelle!). Luckily I had worn it to the pool the day before so there was no Us Weekly "Who wore it best?" contest. And then another grandma was wearing the bikini that I had in my hand at the register and decided against at the last minute. What totally bummed me out? She looked better in it than I did.

Also at the pool was a heated game of Marco Polo going on. Marco! Polo! Marco! Polo! Gosh, that brought back memories of childhood at the Sugarloaf Pool. My brother and all his buddies tricked me into thinking they wanted me to join their reindeer games, when in fact they used me as their Marco Polo pawn. Rule number one of Marco Polo: don't play on or near the steps. This is basic pool etiquette, folks. Mac Daddy and I were trying to safely guide one kid who's learning to swim while trying to cajole the other one into the pool to at least get his feet wet. There were noodles flying, dive sticks sinking, floaties floating away, beach balls bouncing, children wailing(well, maybe just Deal was wailing, but it was loud enough to count as multiple children). One of the Marco Polo kids rammed into me while I was minding my own business floating lazily on a noodle. No big deal. I'm sure I did that too back in the day. Imagine my horror when that five-year old little shit looked me in the eye and yelled, "Get out of my way!" WWHHAAATTT?! I know this makes me sound old but I'm going to say it anyway. Kids today! Geesh.

Lastly, I would just like to share what Mac Daddy is doing right now. He's watching his second episode of VH1's I Love Money. That's TWO episodes. Back to back. I don't get the premise of the show and cannot get past the extraordinarily high cheese quotient. The collective IQ of the participants is just slightly higher than George Bush alone in a room with a bag of pretzels. And guess what? Mac Daddy is laughing ALOUD. Over and over again. He's gonna love reading this.

I guess there are things in life that are even more than notebook-worthy.
A Blogger Mom's Week in ReviewSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend