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.
So if you saw Michael Phelps on the cover of Sports Illustrated…
…did it remind you of former Olympian Mark Spitz (as intended)?
Or instead, did it remind you of actor Jim Carrey, in Jenny McCarthy’s bikini?
Because at first glance, I thought Michael Phelps was wearing a women’s bathing suit. But maybe I’m just weird. That’s definitely a possibility.
Meanwhile, how do people figure out that they are good at sports like pole vaulting and discus throwing? I mean, it’s not like their mom thought, “Hey, Harry could use an activity on Tuesday afternoons. Maybe I’ll sign him up for javelin throwing at the Y.” Or is that how it indeed works?
And finally (I do realize this is enormously shallow with the depth of the athletic talent and commitment on display at the Olympics) couldn’t they have designed cuter outfits for the women’s gymnastics team?
I guess if you win a gold medal, who gives a crap what you’re wearing? My apologies for my superficial comments, I just caught up on my “Project Runway” episodes and fashion design is obsessively on my brain.
By the way, when are they going to kick off… I think I have impeccable taste but I really don’t… Daniel? I just can not watch his sad, brown, weepy eyes as he gets completely trashed by the judges again. And Keith with the crazy thick bandanna around his head? I mean, why? Why is he wearing that?!
Ah… after three weeks in Europe, U.S. pop culture never felt so good.
mama bird notes
We have a new contributing mama, Karen Palmer Bland, and she is hilarious! And I’m not just saying that because she was my college sorority big sister (yes, seriously). Click on contributing mamas to read her insights on finding the perfect, most definitely overqualified babysitters.
You know how much I love Pingg (the most fabulous, gorgeous alternative to icky evite). Well, Pingg just gave me a new reason to adore them. Now for your next shindig, you can create an invite with the mama bird logo!! I mean, can your life get ANY better than that? Here’s a sample! Yahoo Pingg!
And finally, I want to thank Erin at Follow My Folly for saying such sweet things about me and giving me this very lovely award. I truly enjoy her blog and I hope you’ll run over there and give it a read.
I’m writing this from the balcony of our Rome hotel. And by Rome, I kind of mean New York City.
And by balcony, I sort of mean living room.
Yes. We’re home. Not that anyone cares with that attention hogging Michael Phelps around.
We spent our last night in Rome, gorging on heavenly pasta.
We even gave the girls a quick peak at the Roman Colosseum.
“Dylan, this is one of the most famous buildings in the world,” I explained.
“Is it new?” she responded.
“Oh no. Very very old. It dates back to – Well, it’s super old,” I said.
“Do people live here?” Dylan asked.
“No. It was used for shows. Like “Sesame Street Live” only sort of more geared for adults. Adults who dig gladiators,” I explained. I really am so good at this parenting thing.
Then we hailed a cab and told the Italian driver, “The Holiday Inn near the airport.”
And he apparently heard, “Airport.”
Because 25 exhilarating minutes later (holy crap, they really drive THIS-IS-GOING-TO-SHORTEN-MY-LIFE-FAST), we were delivered to Leonardo da Vinci airport… which was totally perfect except that we had no luggage and we were about 14 hours early for our flight.
So we cleared up the confusion, made our way to the Holiday Inn and paid him copious amount of Euros for our little unintended excursion.
The next day, our flight back to New York was 9 hours and 20 minutes.
Our portable DVD player battery ran for 3 hours and 0 minutes.
If you rock at math, you’ll easily understand that we found ourselves with 6 hours and 20 minutes to fill with the kids. I’m not really one to talk to strangers on planes but by the end of the flight, in a desperate attempt to just pass the time, I found myself interrogating the lovely Houston couple next to me about their lives.
But finally we landed. And it really felt good to be home.
Now I hear there has been some kind of big, fancy, international sports competition going on. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I’m totally going to go check it out. Give me a couple days and I promise I will have resurrected my desperate desire to be a professional gymnast.