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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Whole Lotta Rosie

The story about my super duper life saving skills is going to have to wait for another day. Sorry. But like Janet Jackson said, “I promise, I’ll be worth the wait.”

If you’ve been reading Home Fires for a while, you already know Rosie O’Donnell is someone I look up to as a mom, humanitarian, philanthropist, author and comedian. She has read and commented on this blog three times, always offering a kind word to fill my hungry ego.

You may also know I was able to talk to her on the phone last week. (If you’re new to Home Fires, welcome to my blog/family/life. The link will take you to the back-story.) As I mentioned, I wanted to say I was “Blogger Lois Lane” to see if she remembered Home Fires. Instead, I gave my real name, afraid if I went around claiming to be Lois Lane they would think of me as some crackpot caller and not let me through.

I had the pleasure of talking to her again Tuesday morning during another test show. Thankfully, I got through on the first try, again using my real name.

Not surprisingly, the conversation nearly turned south. As in, below the belt. Don’t go thinking my internal editor finally woke up.

While on hold, I heard Rosie talking about her love of the sun and how it energizes her. A friend of hers was concerned and scheduled an appointment for her with a dermatologist. Once she was given a clean bill of health she said the Leathery Long Island Lady was the look she wanted most.

Although leathery is not exactly the look I’m going for, I do love the sun and think I look better with sun-kissed cheeks. Of course, some of my body parts are so white, they glow in the dark. My boobs are like two saggy little lighthouses on the shoreline, guiding my old man to a night of surf-n-turf passion. If they ever saw the sun, they might just combust. A chance I am not willing to take no matter how much I love the sun or soft golden skin.

Anyhow, she was talking about going to the dermatologist and having to strip down to put on a paper gown.

Ladies, we all know about that, right? I was taken off of hold and asked if I had anything I would like to say on this subject. Naked talk? Me? Uh, does a bear shit in the woods?

This part is for you guys (since I think most of the ladies already know the scoop) and it’s the more detailed version of what I blabbed to the guy who answered her phone. When women go to the doctor, whether it is to have the ol’ wazoo checked out or to have our ears, nose and throat looked at, it is protocol for us to strip…some nurses, “allow” us to keep our socks on, but mostly we must bare all.

Here’s the scenario: Knowing all of our 2,000 parts will be checked out, we shower, shave, put on our Sunday best. We put on a little perfume, lotion, makeup, and sometimes…in the event our socks must come off, we paint our toenails.

Essentially we get ready as if we are going on a date with a very special someone whom we anticipate will ultimately see us in all of our naked glory. I don’t care how nice you smell, how good your makeup and hair may look, if you are wearing a paper gown, nobody notices those positive aspects. Really, why do we do this to ourselves?

Problem number one is that, the doctor never actually sees us in our Sunday best because the nurse makes us strip before she/he ever enters the room. And for some unknown reason, when we are told to undress, we take our clothes off and carefully fold them… as if we are about to under go a military style inspection. But what’s worse is that we hide our panties in the fold between our pant legs.


Ladies, panty raids, as far as I know, don’t happen at the doctor’s office, like ever. But like many of you, possibly all of you, I’m not willing to chance it by stepping out of “The Routine.” I understand, although I really don’t get it either. I believe one day Unsolved Mysteries will have a show about this phenomenon.

We sit there hoping our ass crack doesn’t sweat, causing it to stick to the damn paper gown. We swing our feet from the table, like we did as a child because it brings us comfort and passes the time. We look around the room, waiting and waiting, reading every pamphlet, magazine and poster.

If they make us wait too long we have no other choice but to use our time wisely and snoop through the drawers. That is unless they are slightly out of reach from the safety of the table. Number one, you can’t go wandering around the room in the paper gown because you know it really isn’t covering anything so you sit on that table thinking at least your ass is covered.

But you know if the drawers are too far out of reach, when you stretch, lifting a cheek off the table to snoop, you feel that cool doctor’s office air hitting your butt and you know deep within your heart of all hearts, if you keep that glow in the dark white ass of yours up in the air for an instant, the doctor is bound to come in.

Guys, I know that all seems crazy. Obviously, I’ve spent an absurd amount of time thinking about this, but thankfully, for the guy who answered the phone, I gave an abridged version. So he loved the story and wanted me to share it with Rosie and her friend Weenie who was also there.

He kept coming back to the line, “Lots of energy, okay?” “Get ready!” “You’re going on next.” Seriously, I was on hold for nearly an hour and I can’t remember how many times he came back to let me know it would be any minute. It made me nervous, although I was happy to be on hold because I could listen to everything they were talking about.

As I waited, I sifted through my brain trying to decide which parts of “The Routine” were worthy of discussion. Either there was some confusion in the calls, or they simply changed their minds as she took my call.

I got to play a “Name that Sound” instead of The (mentally-rehearsed) Routine. I essentially popped Rosie’s Radio Game Show Cherry, for which she said she will always remember me fondly in a very special way. Okay so I managed to squeeze in a little perversion. It’s pretty much one of the things I do best.

Once I had that woman on the line, I confessed my blogger identity. Excitedly she said, I was good, “an exceptionally good writer” to be exact. You guys, she remembered Home Fires and liked what I do! (Someone queue, “I’m So Dizzy My Head is Spinning” narcissistic much? A-hem)

She talked about the amazing talent The Land of Blog has to offer, as I listened perched on my happy cloud. She asked how I came up with the name. I told her my dad gave me the nickname when I got my first reporting gig. She asked me for my link, and told me it was way too long. She said she would hook me up with her IT guy because no one is ever going to be able to find me with the current url. She’s so right, but all the good and easy to remember names were already taken.

I blurted, “You can just link me on your site since everyone is already there.”

I don’t know where my internal editor is but that bitch is fired! Who asks such a thing?! (Someone, queue the music to “Do Your Balls Hang Low?”) Whether she said it just to be nice, meant it, intends to, or was trying to get this crackpot off the line, she said she would link me on her page. Should that happen, I’m going to make an honest effort to be more active in the blogging community. I’ve already tried going back to my roots by responding to comments in the last few posts. I will also try to work on a schedule so posts come more regularly.

By the way, I correctly named the sounds, after she provided me with a couple of clues. She said a prize will be mailed to me. I’m sure you’ll be reading all about it soon. Stay tuned.

Rosie Radio begins November 2nd on channel 102 Sirius XM Stars. (click link for subscription info, how to listen online, or call 1-888-get-sirius) Her show will be on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon (ET).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One Thing Leads To Another

In kindergarten, my son, Lane 1 got into trouble when he stepped out of line to play with the drinking fountain. He received his first detention that day. At the time, and now looking back, I really don’t think it was detention worthy. But like everything in life, it was a lesson learned.

At the age of 5, he said he “saw a spider on the spout, and wanted to send it down the drain so nobody would drink it on accident.”

I stuck to the “rules are rules” bit as we parents tend to do, even though I thought the punishment didn’t fit the crime. I told him it was thoughtful worrying about others and suggested if it happened again he could just let a teacher know.

After his detention was served, I picked him up. He didn’t like staying after school. The look in his big ol’ sad brown eyes said it all.

My son is now a senior in high school. At the age of 17, he received his second detention. Actually it’s called an in school suspension. A lot of years have passed without incident, for which, I am very thankful. I believe sticking to your guns is essential. Rules are rules…no matter how stupid they may seem.

Again, I really didn’t think the punishment fit the crime, but I stayed on the teacher’s side…until the dean of students wanted to talk to me about “What I think may be wrong with him.”

Too many people try to psychoanalyze children these days. As you may have guessed, I was not too shy to tell the dean I thought so.

Initially, I walked into the school feeling nervous, hot in the belly and whatnot, as if it were my ass in a sling. At that point, I had no idea what my son did wrong, but I knew it must have been a doozie if I had to go in for a meeting with the dean and vice principal.

I’ll get back to that meeting in a minute. First, I’d like you to see what he did that caused him to spend the entire day out of his classes.


…drew this in art class.

I know. I know! He comes by it honestly, what can you do?!

What? You don’t see it? Look, in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Balloon Boy! (who incidentally, I have demoted to "Hiding in a Garage Boy" since he was never in the damn balloon)

No, silly! It’s a penis. A super penis. In fact, it is a Super Happy Penis!

Once I was shown the drawing, I don't know how, but I was able to keep my game face on, even though inside I laughed so hard my belly button knot nearly came untied. Seriously! Look at the "D" on its chest and the blue balls! Maybe he's not super happy after all.

The dean told me he wanted to get to the root of my son’s problem. I said, “Really? You really think something is wrong with him? Like not right? Like not playing with a full deck? Like the kid has a screw loose?”

“Well I wouldn’t go that far… but I am very concerned about this drawing. It’s as if he is acting out.”

“Acting out? Really? Hmm… I would think acting out at this age would be, oh I don’t know, perhaps something a little heavier, like failing classes, dabbling in sex, drugs and alcohol, skipping school, getting in trouble with the law etc.”

“Mrs. Lane, as I’m sure you are aware, one thing leads to another.”

And this is where Mrs. Lane turned into Mrs. Insane. My head sort of spun around in a Linda Blair fashion, as the following words fell from my mouth, “Last year when my son was failing algebra, no one bothered to call or email. But he draws a penis, and here we are in a meeting of the minds discussing his acting out? Really?! What exactly do you think this penis drawing will lead to? A career as a urologist? Gayness? Super gayness?”

“Mrs. Lane, it’s very inappropriate, and clearly something is wrong.”

“Inappropriate, no doubt, but you name me one teenage boy…hell, name me one grown man who doesn’t think of his penis as a super hero and I’ll stay in detention all day too.”

And that is where these grown men couldn’t hold back their laughter. They knew the crazy mom was right because they were pretty sure their penises were super heroes too.

Somehow, this old mom kept her game face on as I reprimanded him about drawing inappropriate things. He admitted he drew that because he was pretty sure his art teacher never actually looked at their work. “It was part of a huge collage, ya know, like ‘Where’s Waldo?’ I guess she found him.”

Right or wrong, fair or unfair, I agreed he broke the rules, and for that he should be punished. He served his time.

Bonus photos:

Here’s Lane 1 (infamous Super Happy Penis Drawer) and his friend Addison who lives with us wrestling.

They act like real brothers. And no, he isn’t “ashy” Heather, he and Lane 2 had a fight during their ceramics class. She basically glazed him like a donut. I hope he knows we all love him like he’s a real Lane.

And here is Lane 2 in her, home-made, self-created Halloween costume…

…Super Happy Penis!

Good or bad, sane or insane, I love these kids!

Check back next week to read all about my penisless killer super hero skills.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Operator, Well Could You Help Me Place This Call?

There's no shame in my game as you long-time readers know. Today was no different. I called into a test show for Rosie O’Donnell. You can imagine my surprise when the phone actually rang.

My heart was all racy and my hands were super sweaty. I got through nine times. Eight of those times the ringing turned into a fast busy signal. I was about to give up because I never took Stalking 101, but I was pretty sure after eight times, I’d be getting a fucking A in that class.

Mental oozing for the next three paragraphs, you can skip if you don’t want to know how stupid my brain is.

For some reason I was counting the rings like I was some sort of frickin’ dendrologist trying to determine the age of a tree. There were 20 to be exact. In between counting, I kept coughing and clearing my throat, while covering the mouthpiece.

I mentally invented a frog hopping around in there. I guess it was nerves. It was only a test show that wouldn’t air, so there really was no reason to be nervous. Counting sidetracked me from what I thought I should say. Why did I feel like I needed to have a prepared speech? Was I supposed to be funny or serious? Should I have a radio voice? What if my voice did a Peter Brady and she starts singing, Time to Change?

Certain I must have dialed incorrectly, I checked the number. But wait a minute, she said to call between 10 and noon, what if I’ve got the Eastern and Central time difference confused? And is today really the 16th of October? Was that even the day she said to call? Doubting myself is one of the things I do best. Amazingly enough, I was dialing the right number, in the right timeframe, on the right day.

My stomach did a Pirouette as a man answered saying, “Rosie radio please hold.”

Without sharing any pertinent info, while on hold I heard her cover a lot of news stories, including Balloon Boy. Surprisingly, Rosie didn’t say, “Winnie the Pooh called and said he wants his shtick back.”

After the meat and potatoes of the news was covered, she talked a little about Oprah and some of her guests.

I was taken off of hold and asked who I was, where I was calling from etc. I wanted to use my blogger name since Rosie has been here a few times and might actually remember Home Fires. But I gave my real name as I was put back on hold.

While I was on hold I kept beating myself up for not saying Lois Lane.

The man came back to the line and asked me if I’d seen the episode of Oprah she was talking about. I said no even though I felt compelled to lie. I was put back on hold.

She started talking about Halloween. That’s where I was taken off of hold again. “What are you going to be for Halloween?” the guy asked. I wanted to lie again, “Nothing this year.” As I could hear the “Why the fuck did you call?” in his voice, I quickly added, “I did dress in drag the year I was pregnant with my daughter.” He cheered up, “Okay, hold on.”

So I was gearing up to tell Rosie all about my homemade costume. I was going to tell her how I let my pregnant belly hang from the bottom of my shirt like a real chubby construction worker guy might wear his. I planned to tell her how I stuffed pantyhose with poly-fill and made a big ol’ prosthetic butt crack, complete with glued on curly doll hair to stick out of the top of my pants.

I was even going to tell her how Mr. Lane got drunk and took his boobies out on the dance floor after one too many cocktails.

Circa 1994, one week before Lane 2 arrived.

But then, something magical happened!!! Rosie O’Freakin’ Donnell started talking about the changes our bodies go through as we age, specifically, the patchy pudendum! Oh joy of joys! Now that right there is something I know ALL about!

So with my Halloween story out the window, I started singing in my head, “The old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be.” (thanks Melzie!)

Taken off of hold one more time, I was asked, “Are you talking about Halloween or was there another topic of interest to you?”

“Well, now that you mention it… I do know a little about the balding beaver phenomenon, and I’m only 37.”

He laughed and told me to hang on again. Finally, without a need or desire to lie, I mentally geared up for my first official talk to Rosie. I couldn’t help but laugh thinking, who really talks about gray haired cooters that look like they’d been intentionally carved with a Bobby Brown hair part during a first conversation?

I do. No really, I do. I’ve even blogged about before right here.

She answered and I spilled. I told her everything anyone could never want to know about my ever aging beaver. She laughed and it pretty much made my day/week/month/year.

I wish I had more time to tell her about my twat toupee.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Won’t You Tell Me Why-yi-yi-yi

There are a couple of upsides to kids growing up. I know, I don’t like to admit it either. Just the conversations we share and those they share with each other, should make me okay with the process of watching my babies bloom into adulthood. I really do love listening/talking to them.

Let’s take a step back for a minute. When Lane 1 and Lane 2 were little, everything we discussed revolved around the great and powerful, “Why?” (You parents know exactly what I am talking about.)

They would ask that question repeatedly, as I would sometimes struggle to answer that age-old question. I hated not answering or saying, “Because.” and leaving it at that. I wanted to enrich their young minds as much as possible.

What a dumb ass I was!

Now…well…I’m the one who keeps asking, “Why?” It’s a role reversal thing, I guess. But it slapped me upside the head when I realized how many times the question, “Why?” pops out of my mouth on any given day. Suddenly, I am the curious three-year-old.

No wonder why teenagers think grownups are so dumb!

Lane 2 began our homecoming shopping trip with, “I need to find a red dress.”

And I asked, “Why?”

“Because my date is wearing a red tie.”

Lane 2 and I have never been great together when it comes to clothes shopping. Her 6’ 1” frame makes it very difficult to find clothes that fit her correctly. Never mind the fact that the word "mall" makes me break out in hives.

When it came to dress shopping, I told myself, I was just going along for the ride. This entire experience is supposed to be fun and memorable. Therefore, I decided to only agree and avoid any input of my thoughts. It was her night to shine.

Have you ever tried doing that with your child, allowing them to make all of the decisions? That shit is hard! (Maybe I’m just a control freak and you guys have no clue what I am talking about.)

Lane 2 tried on every shade, style and length of every dress the mall had to offer with any red whatsoever. I had a real hard time agreeing to the dress she loved most because I thought it was way too short. And sweet stars of the morning, where the hell did she get those boobs?!

Inside, I was not okay. Outside I was calm, cool and collected. At least I thought I was.

“Why this one?”

“It’s cute and I think it will match best,” she said as she smiled at herself in the mirror.

Watching her pose and smile, I nonchalantly tugged the hem of the dress down, as I said, “If that’s the one you like best, it’s all good. You are beautiful.”

When she showed it to my sister Angie, she said, “I think Mom is worried it’s too short.”

In my own defense, I blurted, “Well it is a little short, but your legs are really long.”

Her loving aunt said, “Girl, if I had those legs and your body…I’d wear the shit out of that dress!” Aunt Angie, gotta love her because killing her is illegal.

Lane 1 and his date shopped together, so I was off of that hook.

Thank blog in internet heaven, I was able to find a suit for Addison (my son’s friend who lives with us) at the thrift store. It wasn’t cool or very fashionable, but it was a dollar, it fit him and was the color he wanted.

This homecoming thing was going to be a piece of cake…even if it killed me.

I wanted to host an open house on homecoming night, just like we did back in the day. I wanted all of the kids to feel welcome, have a safe and fun place to come to before the dance, to take pictures with their friends, where they could eat a free home-cooked meal, pile on make-up, help each other tie their ties and just visit with each other.

Lane 2 is the baby so she got to “place her order” of what would be served. Of all crazy things she said, “Spaghetti and meatballs.” Think about that for a second, homecoming dress, plus spaghetti, equals nothing good can come of this On Top of Old Smokey scenario. Simple math, right? So I said the first thing I thought, “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why spaghetti and meatballs?”


“Because why?”

“Mom, why did you ask me what I wanted to eat if you were going to try and talk me out of it?”

Oooh, bitch-slapped by 14-year-old logic, that hurt.

She continued, “We can plan dinner early so we can all just eat spaghetti in sweat pants. We’ll have plenty of time to get ready after we eat. The dance doesn’t start until 8.”

She is smarter than me, whatever.

It was 10 a.m. morning of the dance, and I was wrist deep into mixing meatballs. Lane 1 and Addison walked into the kitchen and said they just made plans to go out for dinner with their dates.

Resembling a puppy whose squeaky toy lost it’s squeak, I looked at my boys and said, “Why?”

With a quick shrug, they both said, “Because.” And that was that. I know I raised at least one of them better!

I asked the boys to run to the market for me because I would much rather have too much food than not enough. I knew at least 15 people were invited, and had no idea how many extras would show up since word-of-mouth advertising can run rampant among teenagers. I already had four pots on the stovetop, just making potato soup and spaghetti sauce. I wondered if I should be elbow deep in meatballs to accommodate all.

Maybe in a twisted way I thought by showing the boys how much effort was going into this pre-dance party, it may guilt them into staying. A tactic I learned from my own mother. (Guilty goodness, yum!)

Yeah only…that doesn’t work on 17-year-old boys. They ran to the store for me, but that was as much guilt as I could squeeze from those two.

I was so wrapped up in the kitchen, I never helped my daughter get ready. I felt terrible. But she kept saying, “Mom, you’re doing enough. It’s okay. I’m probably not even going to wear makeup anyhow.”

I was so busy in that damn kitchen, I didn't greet people as they came in! The door was just open. There were parents, cousins and grandparents, many of whom, I'd never met. Lucky for me... my husband always acts like a guest whenever there is anything going on around here. I hope he was hospitable because I sure as hell wasn't.

My friend Julie showed up early to help. We made cookies together and talked about how teenagers can drive a mom to drink or can melt your heart right out of your chest. (Sometimes switching back-and-forth between the two in the very same breath…like Sybil.)

As things usually do, it all worked out. I don’t know how many people showed up, how many ate or why the kids were eating cookies in the bathroom??? But I know everyone had a good time.

And now...the rest of the pictures.

Lane 2 eating spaghetti with fork and her hands. Guess she still is my messy little girl. I loved how she didn't even try to eat politely with her date sitting right across from her with his mom at her side.

Here's "Thee Boy's" dad and Mr. Lane.

Lane 1 and his date were the only couple who didn't mind taking pictures outside. As you can tell the lighting was way better, but I'm just a grownup, what do I know?

Lane 1...maybe he needs some dating tips.

This was my first real meeting of the girl's date's family. I knew I'd like them because their kid is pretty awesome...for a boy. Tina is washing her son's face...with spit! (Please notice her shirt and mine, great minds.)

Lane 2 and

Addison and his date.

Lane 1 and his date. I have no idea what he said to her to make her laugh, but this is what I was talking about in the post below.

Group shot, wish all of the kids and parents could have been in it.

Our baby who is way taller than both of us. Mr. Lane just got home from work... and I, well when I tell you guys I looked like a "lesbo without a Leatherman," this is the look I'm talking about. Hey, I was cookin' all day, what'd you expect?

Since I never got a picture of my kids together the night of the big dance, I thought going retro was better than nothing. You can see why I miss these days, can't you? Here's Lane 1 and Lane 2 when they were 3 and 5-years-old.

We stayed awake until 3 a.m. talking about how much fun they all had.

Looking at my baby girl's face, laughing...

...watching my son carry his date over our muddy driveway so her shoes wouldn't get dirty, all I can think is...why was I so worried?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

You Belong With Me

What is the world coming to, when Lois Frickin’ Lane is singing a Taylor Swift song? If you know the song in the title, you’ll understand why as you read along. If you don’t, check out the lyrics as they seem to fit this situation better than any song.

I’m nervous because of reason 3,698. Somewhere, someday, you may find a book with all of the reasons in numeric order. Until then…

You really ought to be careful what you wish for. You should also be very specific while making a wish. If you wish for a million dollars without specifying that you don’t want to… collect on a dead relative… or be part of a class action suit for those with missing limbs, you may be sorry when you get all that money.

For the last three years we’ve been in our home, both of my kids have had their eye on a certain somebody. The boy has his best girlfriend and the girl has her best boyfriend. I like both of the kids very much.

But as homecoming approaches…tonight, my insides are a wreck. Both of my babies will go to the homecoming dance with the people they like best. I want them to have fun…but not too much. I want the night to be memorable…but not unforgettable. I want them to be back in Pampers and onesies!!! I miss having my babies be babies.

Sorry, I got sidetracked. As far as personalities go, they are like a little black-eyed peas song in a veggirific ipod. Humor, same twisted, fun-loving all around. Light-hearted, drama-free in a small town it amazes me daily how all four steer clear of the soap opera this town revolves around.

I should have no worries about their dates. See I don’t even like that word, date…a-hem. When Lane 1 was a freshmen, as Lane 2 is now, he was invited to prom by a senior. Because I trust him, and the girl (who had a very good reputation) I said okay, even though he couldn’t officially date until he was 16.

Now, my little Lane 2, who will be 15 next month (I can’t believe that!!!!) has also asked if she could go to a big dance with a boy.

The (pronounced thee) boy.

The bestest friend who happens to be a boy.

The boy who isn’t her brother who happens to have so much in common with her that it makes me want to check my own uterus to make sure he isn’t her brother.

The one who she can cheer up with a goofy accent or a funny face.

The one who can make her laugh on her shittiest of days.

The one she helps with dating advice.

The one boy… who when she talks about causes her eyes to twinkle and her cheeks to flush.

That boy.

At least this boy isn’t a senior. I kinda think I would have pulled some double-standard bullshit on her, if he were. And, yes, I know how wrong that is, but I’m okay with that.

Lane 1 is going with that girl.

You know who I’m talking about…the female version of himself.

The one who makes him laugh his face off.

The one who laughs from her belly, open mouthed, contagious hysteria, rocking like Rainman.

The one who always lets him know when his clothes don’t match.

The girl who he yells at for wearing flip flops on a cold rainy day.

The one who yells back, “Then get me some shoes and socks!”

The one he can sit and talk to for hours about nothing.

Yes, that girl.

When my kids were younger, I always hoped, wished even, that they would find someone who they truly enjoy being around who appreciates them for whatever they stand for. I guess I always wanted friendship, love, compassion, witty banter and genuine happiness for them, like their dad and I share. But I forgot to wish and hope for it to happen when they were 47 or 59 years old. That is where the specific wishing comes in handy. Learn from my mistakes, people.

I’m not rushing anyone down any alters, however, I know it’s the early stages of empty-nest syndrome. This, in a way is the first step of a mom letting go. (Please pay no attention to my white knuckles, I really am okay with this letting go stuff.)

Pictures will be coming soon to a blog near you.