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I just simply refuse to put up with the traffic, the construction and the grit of New York City, unless I am also taking advantage of the perks… like the restaurants, the museums and live theater.

Which is how my husband and I ended up at the Soho Playhouse on Saturday night, to see, “Life in a Marital Institution (20 years of monogamy in one terrifying hour).” Yes. Actual title.

An off-broadway one man show – apparently about marriage and all its terror.

My husband Rick seemed a little apprehensive about the show, especially as we were directed to the front row. When you’re in a small, intimate theater, about to view something that could be just awful, it’s always better to NOT be in the first row. Because the front row means NO EXIT STRATEGY.

I was sort of expecting a humorous look at the institution of marriage and family life… you know, funny musings that would suddenly remind me that I’m not the only who once in a while wouldn’t mind skipping the 10 millionth trip to the playground and instead, being instantly transported to Rome where I tear around on my pink Vespa, only stopping to eat chocolate croissants and drink cappuccinos and charm the Italians who for some reason can’t stop complimenting me and my model-esque physique.

Turns out, there was no mention of Vespas or croissants.

But the playwright and star, James Braly, did talk about his wife, who made him crazy by breastfeeding their two sons until one was 6 years-old and the other 4-years-old. Now I’m a huge advocate of breastfeeding but that does sound a trifle long.

Braly’s wife also insisted on burying one of their son’s placenta – which at the time had been in their freezer for 3 years. Turns out she wasn’t so odd though, because the rest of their friends were grilling and eating their kids’ placentas.

Yup. We got to hear all about this from the the front row.

The thing about the first row is that you can see the actor constantly spitting as he passionately delivers his lines, which is sort of distracting.

Plus, I had to pee for the entire 70 minute show, which is entirely too short a production to get up and make a big production. I mean, wouldn’t they think I had a urinary tract infection or something? Who can’t sit through a 70 minute show?

So I just kind of sat there, laughing at the sharp writing, watching the saliva fly and waiting to pee.

Now you see why we stay in New York City.

On the way out, a pretty girl stopped Rick to ask, “Are you Rick Folbaum?”

Of course, she was an old camp friend because everyone and their stepmother went to Jewish overnight camp with Rick. For all I know, Rick and this camp girl are now planning a romantic excursion to Rome, to ride their matching Vespas, because while they chatted it up, I high tailed it to the ladies room – to finally pee.

mama bird notes:

If you haven’t had a chance, check out Contributing Mama Erin Butler’s post on when to take the leap from one baby to two. Click on contributing mamas to read more.


Spurred on by comments on my previous post from The Hip Mom’s Guide and Mommy to a Tatertot, today I really want to delve into the topic of abortion.

Oh, I’m so not that brave.

I’ll never be THAT brave.

I seriously want to thank all of you who did not lash out at me after my political post this week. Yes, a few of you were uncharacteristically silent but I respect that completely. And I appreciate all the amazing, insightful, supportive comments. Even those of you who see a different future for this country.

For those of you who wondered, Barack Obama did not actually leave a comment on my post. Just a man who looks very much like him.

So now that I’m on a political roll – or more accurately a political obsession with the presidential race – how about McCain’s choice for Vice President?

As a woman, I’m extremely proud.

As a political junkie, I love an unexpected, interesting choice that brings frenzied excitement to a close presidential race.

As a now-professed Obama supporter, I’m not sure whether this move helps or hurts the Democrats’ campaign. It will be fascinating to watch.  I told you. I’m obsessed.

As a native Alaskan, I am – oh wait, that’s not me.

My husband thinks Governor Sarah Palin is a hottie.  But he wants to see her minus the bobby pins, with her hair down and her glasses off. I do think the 44 year-old could look A LOT hipper and more stylish.

Of course, probably also the case for 65 year-old Senator Joe Biden.

Still, I just want to be on record as saying, a cute cut, sassy blow-out and chic outfit never hurt anyone. Yeah Biden, I’m talking to you too.

By the way, after my apparently misguided assertion that “there is more to life than Starbucks,” a Starbucks representative invited me to a Better Breakfast Hour in New York City – “an opportunity to chat with other bloggers about breakfast trends and the importance of starting off your morning with a healthy routine.”

Wouldn’t kicking my caffeine addiction be a really super healthy way to start off my morning?

The Starbucks rep sweetened the offer by promising free Wi-Fi service on the day of the event. Ok. Pardon my lack of enthusiasm, but I thought Starbucks had finally started offering free Wi-Fi in all its coffee shops.

I’m not a PR whiz, but how about a free $15 coffee card?  Now that’s change I can believe in.

I think I may have just gotten uninvited.

mama bird notes:

Contributor Karen Palmer Bland is trying to figure out how to keep her kids grounded in this age of so much stuff. So throw on a pair of designer jeans, grab an overpriced coffee and click on contributing mamas to read more.

Now I have one more reason to adore Mommy Poppins. She has been working with Seneca Houses, an organization that provides temporary housing for homeless families in NYC. There are 100 children living in their apartments who desperately need school supplies for this coming year.

She has created an Amazon Wish List where you can order and ship the supplies directly to Seneca Houses. Or visit Mommy Poppins for more info. She and I are so grateful for your help!


So I was going to write a really glib post about this guy I overheard at Starbucks. He ordered (and this is verbatim because I actually took out a pen and wrote it down) a venti, half caf, skinny, no foam, vanilla latte at 130 degrees. Yes. Seriously.

Even the seasoned Starbucks barista looked up at him like… Are you insane man?

But this is America. And the customer got his perfectly crafted coffee. At 130 degrees. If not, I’m sure he returned it for one the right temperature. Because who out there can honestly drink a coffee at 131 degrees?  Don’t even get me started on 129 degrees.

And I actually have a lot more dumb crap to say about Starbucks, all of which I’m sure would add a lot of value to your day. But there is just something bigger on my mind.

I purposely stay away from politics on this blog because I don’t really care if you are a Republican, Democrat or Ralph Nader’s lover as long as you think I’m funny. At least some of the time. And I don’t really want to piss off or alienate any of you, my cherished readers. And I do absolutely cherish everyone who takes a few minutes out of their very hectic, full lives to read this site.

But then I watched Michelle Obama.

And Ted Kennedy.

And Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And Bill Clinton.

And Joe Biden.

And I felt something that hasn’t really stirred in my soul since I was a newbie out of college and I hit the campaign trail in favor of my favorite candidate. My 1992 self (with the big super bleached hair and even bigger dreams) used to get down on my knees and pray that my candidate would win and lift the dark cloud over our country.

And this week, 16 years later, I feel it again… Passion. Hope. The real chance for authentic change.

I think turnover in Washington is an incredible thing. When any political party gets too comfortable, they just seem to lose their focus, their drive, the reason they came to Washington in the first place.

And boy, do we need change again. I want our environment protected. I want everyone to have access to quality schools and health care. I want choice protected. I want our troops respected. I want our veterans taken care of. And I want to bring our troops in Iraq home. Now.

I want to live in an America that is respected, not hated by other countries.

I want to live in an America that is revered for bringing peace to the world, not criticized for being on an endless war path.

I want to live in an America that feels more like me. And everything I believe in.

I’m overheating with political hope. 130 degrees and rising.


I’m a little relieved that the Olympics are over.

After I get the kids in bed, I just want to kick back and watch a bit of “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” or perhaps “Project Runway.” That’s it. I’m not all fancy with my TV. I don’t need the HD channels. I don’t need sophisticated fare. Just some Kathy and I’m satisfied.

Except during the Olympics, I feel guilty. I feel shallow.

How can I possibly enjoy comedian Kathy Griffin’s romance with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (it’s incredible those two lovebirds didn’t make it) when the most amazing athletes of our time might be creating emotional Olympic moments of victory or defeat just a few channel’s away.

I mean, Kathy is admitting on Bravo that Steve Wozniak didn’t “click (her) mouse” (and yes, I believe she is talking about the big O) while Michael Phelps is wringing seemingly endless gold medals from the water cube. See? You really can’t compare the two.

So every once in awhile, fearing that I was missing out on the quintessential, inspirational sporting experience, I’d put Kathy on pause and put on the Olympics.

And it would be beach volleyball. Wait – that’s a different sport from volleyball? No. Really?

Or maybe long distance running, which is a lot of running for a very long distance.

Or a commercial.

So I’d switch back to Kathy.

I did get really sucked into some Olympic events. Like the diving. And the gymnastics. And the swimming.

But generally, I’m glad to be off the hook.

Except that the Democratic National Convention takes place this week. And well, then there’s the Republic National Convention. I’ve always felt passionate about politics and even did a stint in Washington, DC. So, how can I not tune in for at least the big speeches?

This only happens every four years for gosh sakes. In a few short months, the DESTINY OF OUR COUNTRY will be in the hands of the American public. Michelle Obama, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and Ted Kennedy are demanding my attention tonight.

Poor Kathy. That chick’s on pause again. Such is life on the D-List.

mama bird notes:

Contributing mama Daphne Biener has sent her baby to kindergarten and well, it has left her feeling a little achy and a bit breaky. You try not to tear up by the end of this piece. Click on contributing mamas to read more.


Ok, maybe I’m a little cranky.

Well… do you feel it?

The end of summer blues.

School starting up, vacations suddenly behind us and a certain clear crispness that is beginning to permeate the air. Yup. I can definitely feel fall waiting in the wings, all ready to pounce.

So, quite predictably, I’m already dreading that evil, bitter, icky, long winter. Apparently, it is possible to obsess over winter in August.

My friend Julie is the one who pointed out that I get all panicked like this every year. She’s obviously right.

Last winter, I was so grateful because I met another mother in my building. One that was cool and awesome and normal. We would pass the dark, cold afternoons chatting away as our kids played together in the lobby.

And she just announced she’s moving to the SUBURBS.

In October. Damn, that’s before the first winter chill.

Crap. I’m happy for her. But crap. So we immediately bought a house on the same block as hers. No, no… I won’t stalk her to Westchester.

Instead, I’m just trying to appreciate every moment of these glorious, sunny, perfectly warm August days.

I’ve been taking my kids for gelato in the afternoons… an attempt to ever so slightly extend our Italian holiday on the streets of New York.

Summer insists on strawberry ice cream EVERY TIME. Look, I certainly support her individual choices but I’m the one who has to keep licking it so it doesn’t all end up in a puddle on her lap. And strawberry is just… I don’t know… really totally not chocolate chip.

Dylan, who misses her nights out in the piazza, keeps asking me, “When do we get to go out at night again?” Somehow books and songs are just not measuring up to sprinting down the quaint, stone alleyways of Polignano in her pink, plastic, princess heels.

Oh girl, I promise before I have to throw a jacket on you, I’m taking you out at night. Maybe a little ice cream underneath the city lights. Dylan’s favorite flav is chocolate which, by the way, totally kicks strawberry’s arse.

For all of you who love strawberry ice cream, please don’t be offended by this post. Although I may not understand you, I certainly respect your ice cream choices. And if you ever want to explore some other, less gross flavors, I am here to help and support you.

kelcey kintner