Monday, January 31, 2005

I Am Not Padre Pio

I called my parents' house this afternoon to see how Mom is doing, and spoke to Sibling Two, who asked if I could sleep over there Wednesday night to help my father out. As much as I would like to (and I would like to; God only knows how much time we have left with my mother), she forgets that I have two children to put on the bus in the morning.

I wish she hadn't asked because it just tears me in two. I cannot bilocate.

I put the girls to bed early tonight. I have to meet Child Two's teacher for a conference at 8:15 tomorrow morning, and I can't have them crawling out of bed at 8:20 as they usually do.

On a happy note, I finished revising the novel. Now I just have to type in the changes, which for me, is the hardest part. I'm not the most coordinated person; hence, I'm a rotten typist.

My Mother is Not a Science Experiment

Last week, before he announced that my mother has something called Frontal Lobe Syndrome, Dr. P. (that's what we'll call him to avoid a lawsuit, although I assure you, the P. stands for something), said that, with physical therapy, she'd walk again in two months.

He has since revised that prognosis, saying soon she'll look at her feet and not know what to do with them. He says she is still eligible for clinical trials, though. Her internist advised us to keep her comfortable and love her. She didn't actually say that Dr. P. intends to use my mother as a research subject, but that's the vibe we're getting.

I spent the weekend on my parents' couch. My mother spends most of the day in bed sleeping. She responds better to questions that require 'yes' or 'no' answers. If you give her a choice between Cheerios or Corn Flakes for breakfast, she looks at you as if you were asking her to decide whether Scott Peterson deserved the death penalty.

I look at this time as a gift. If she is indeed dying, then we have the opportunity to love her and take care of her. She is not in pain. This isn't, by any means, an easy situation, but it it is better than getting a call from a stranger that she dropped dead of a heart attack.

I am going back on Wednesday to take care of her while Dad and Siblings One and Two keep their appointment with Dr. P.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Photos to Break a Human Heart

In the supermarket this morning, my eyes fell upon the latest issue of Star magazine (which I did not sully my hands with, by the way). The sub-head read, "PHOTOS THAT WILL BREAK JEN'S HEART!"

The subject, of course, was Jennifer Aniston, who we all know has recently separated from Brad Pitt. The cover promised to provide lots of juicy photos of Brad and Angelina Jolie, with whom he is rumored to have had an affair.

What is freaking editor-in-chief Bonnie Fuller smoking?

Clearly, she shares a link on the food chain with slugs, roaches, rats, and other undesirables. How depraved is she to publish photos with the intention of breaking another person's heart?

Taking pleasure in other people's pain is revolting.

Frontal Lobe Syndrome

Just got word that Mom has something called frontal lobe syndrome. I haven't seen her since Friday, when we were chuckling away over The Daily Show. According to reports, she's disoriented now, doesn't know what to do with her legs, and that sort of thing. Sibling One says Daddy is beside himself.

Mom will be discharged this afternoon. Sibling One is arranging for a hospital bed to be put in her apartment and for four hours of home care every day. The doctor has been telling Dad that he can no longer care for Mom.

But he's not getting it. He's not the most adaptable person, and these are stressful times to say the least. He thinks if he keeps on as usual, going to the bank, the library, and the post office, things will return to normal.

The doctor says that things are not going to return to normal.

It Needs to Be Said

"'C'est Grand!'" say the historians, and good and evil cease to exist, there is only grand and pas grand. Grand is good and pas grand is bad. Grand, according to their understanding, is the characteristic of certain peculiar animals they call "heroes." And Napoleon making off for home in a warm fur coat and leaving to perish not only his comrades but men who (according to his belief) had been brought there by him, feels that this is grand, and his soul is untroubled...And it never occurs to anyone that to admit a greatness that is not commensurate with the standard of right and wrong is merely to admit one's own nothingness and immeasurable puniness...For us, with the standard of good and evil given us by Christ, there is nothing for which we have no standard. And there is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth." -Leo Tolstoy


I've been sitting on this since Thursday.

How loathesome our president, George W. Bush, is for soliciting donations from corporations to fund his over-the-top inaugural celebration! He should have skipped the festivities during a time of war and provided our troops with adequate protection.

This war was waged on a series of bald-faced lies. While Americans and Iraqis are blown to bits, our president and his greedy family concern themselves only with dressing up and dancing.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Reasons to Be Cheerful

Things I am happy about today:

1) The pot of chili simmering on the stove

2) My amazing husband is on his way home

3) I wrote and sent my singles' ezine this morning

4) I revised some of my novel

5) My new nephew has gorgeous little pink feet that I dream of squeezing

6) My mother is getting good care at Sloan-Kettering and is in no pain

7) That new show, Medium, is on tonight

8) I have a half bottle of Cabernet on the kitchen counter

My children are downstairs playing air hockey instead of doing their homework, as I instructed. The older one lives for TV, so she can just forget it. The younger one lives to download coloring pages from the Internet. Guess she's out of luck, too.

So, that's one more thing to be happy about. I'll send them to their rooms after dinner, and Peter and I can enjoy the evening on our own.

Simple, huh?

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Cream Your Neck

If you live in the Northeast and you plan to go outside, be sure to apply moisturizer. In layers! Better yet, slip a little olive oil into it first.

Instead of hardier stuff, I merely applied my usual thin SPF yesterday. Arctic winds slapped the hell out of me during a mere four-block walk from Sloan-Kettering to the subway.

A look in the mirror later on revealed that I had turned into Clint Eastwood.

Donald Trump is Off the Market

We all know what Melania's wedding dress looks like. I wonder what Donald did with his hair.

I spent Thursday night at Sloan-Kettering with Mom. Turns out that it's the steroids and the last round of chemo that crippled her. An MRI revealed that the tumor hasn't grown much, thank God. This is significant because she has a glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumor.

With rigorous physical therapy, the doctor expects Mom will be able to walk again in two months. She is also eligible to take part in one of two clinical trials that start in the next couple of weeks.

Watched the inauguration re-cap on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart counted the word 'freedom' 21 times in Bush's speech, and 'liberty' 15 times. Talk about belaboring the point.

I looked forward to seeing the Bush twins in Badgely-Mischka, but I was disappointed. The poor girls have no poise. They diminished the dresses.

The gorgeous white coat Laura wore for the swearing in was the fashion highlight of the day, but her evening dress disappointed me. Perhaps the dress wasn't to blame.

The thing I took away from the inauguration is this: Despite the money and power, the Bushes are not elegant people.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I Wouldn't Marry Mr. Trump

Well, the big event this week is not the inauguration but Donald Trump's third wedding. Already Donald and his betrothed, Melania, have made separate pre-nuptial appearances on The Today Show. Melania will grace the cover of Vogue in her 100K wedding dress.

Now, I don't think I'd want to marry Donald, despite all his money and lavish possessions of questionable taste. He's been married twice before, and then there's the matter of that hair. I just cannot imagine waking and finding that hair on the next pillow every morning.

Can you imagine sex with Donald Trump? Where does the hair go? Does it flop off to one side of his head while he's heaving and wheezing? Does his face get red and scrunch up? Does he wear a girdle?

I feel sorry for Melania, having to wander about all day in high heels and low-cut dresses. Does the woman not own a pair of jeans? It must be murder living as though life is one big photo shoot. Which brings me to another thing: Donald always marries former models. Can't he date an average-looking woman with a ferocious sense of humor? Wouldn't life be so much more fun?

Because Melania, as attractive as she is, doesn't seem to have a sense of humor.

Now, in Donald's defense, he uses union contractors to build the massive phallic symbols that bear his name. I admire that, especially in this age of job export and Wal-Martism. I also heard a story that his limousine was stuck on a road with a flat tire once. A guy came along, not knowing who was behind the tinted windows, and fixed it. Trump asked his driver to get the guy's name and address, ostensibly so that he could send his wife flowers.

The guy and his wife got a letter instead. Trump had paid off their mortgage in full.

So, this weekend, I'll wish him well. And Melania, too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Love, Dating, and Maureen Dowd

Last Thursday the amazing Maureen Dowd ran a column about the lack of powerful, successful men willing to date powerful, successful women. I happen to like Maureen Dowd's columns so much that I think she should never be allowed to take a vacation.

Unfortunately, I don't agree with her on the subject of men. According to Ms. Dowd, powerful men desire only women who will peel their grapes. She says that they do not want women who challenge them.

I have counted three such columns by the beautiful, witty columnist who remains single despite her wit and beauty.

I maintain that the world is full of successful and powerful men who would love to date a woman like her. By definition, a powerful man would not be intimidated, or even challenged, by a powerful woman. He would rejoice in her presence.

I think Maureen Dowd is exposed to men who are caught up in the trappings of power. They may make a lot of money and drive expensive cars. They may edit newspapers or run networks or hold Senate seats. But they're not the kind of men who know how to be happy, or how to make a woman happy. They're not truly powerful.

There are plenty of men out there who are.

Friday, January 14, 2005

I'm Not Your Mom

One thing I can't stand is grown men calling me 'Mom.' As a matter of fact, I don't like anyone besides my children calling me 'Mom.'

The name is 'Terry.'

Today I took Child Two to the pediatrician, who came up to the receptionist's desk. He saw me standing there and said to her, "I need you for a second, but I'll wait until you finish with Mom."

Aaaaaaarrrrgggggggggghh!

Why do women cease to be women--persons in their own right--once they've given birth?

Call me 'Terry,' call me 'that broad,' but do not ever call me 'Mom!'

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Single and Dating?

It occurs to me that perhaps I should start a separate blog about dating and the single life.

God knows I have enough opinions about them, and perhaps this little journal about my ailing mother, hyperactive offspring, and newborn nephew doesn't thrill readers who come here looking for insight into their love lives.

In the meantime, I do offer some advice on my website. Check out http://www.marrysmart.com if you're so inclined.

Don't Date This Guy

I read a scary article in today's Connecticut Post (http://www.ctpost.com). I can't give you the exact link because I searched the site didn't find one (you may have better luck; the writer's name is Mike Wood, and the headline reads Ready to go on that first date? Here are some helpful hints. )

Aimed primarily at guys, the article states:

"You want to appear comfortable, confident and in control, which is why, no matter what, you will not let her make the plans. They'd be something like, 'My friend is throwing a party and said we should stop by, or 'Some people I used to work with are getting together if you want to meet up with them.' "

Yikes!

I don't know about you, but I would never date a guy who didn't ask me what I wanted to do. While I definitely wouldn't want to sit around, going, "What do you want to do?"all night, he should ask my opinion. The guy should have a couple of ideas and let me take it from there.

And, by the way, what woman suggests going to a friend's party or meeting up with friends from work on a first date? Nobody does that!

Beware, Girls. If you date a guy like Mike, you may end up married to a guy like Mike.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Hands Off!

Does anybody really think it's a good idea to let W. fool with Social Security? I mean, everything the guy touches falls apart. And is it in the best possible taste to throw the most lavish inaugural in US history when Americans are dying in Iraq?

Just wondering.

Anyway, I revised a few more pages today. Ran into a couple of snags, as some of the pages need muscle. I also mixed up a few details, i.e., does the dude drive an SUV or a minivan? He says he's buying an Excursion but ends up with a Hummer. Must also find out if Hummers were actually on the market when the story is set. Pretty sure they were, though.

Talked to Sibling One today, who's still overwhelmed by her new status as a parent. Everybody assumes motherhood comes naturally, but it doesn't. It's like being pushed onto a concert stage and being expected to play a concerto, when you never had a piano lesson.

The baby has to go to the doctor again tomorrow because he failed his hearing test on his left side. It's possible he still has some amniotic fluid in his ear. I hope that's all it is.

Sibling says that Mom, who she sees almost daily because they live so close to one another, is failing. She says that Mom is getting irrascible, which isn't like her. But she hasn't been treated for that brain tumor in two months, so God only knows how big it's gotten and what it's sitting on.

I should exercise tonight, but I'm still tired from this stupid flu. I did manage to hop on the Nordic Track for a half hour last night.

If I'm 100% better, I can go to New York and see my mother and the baby this weekend. I don't want to push it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

What's New, Pussycat?

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

That freaking song is rattling around my skull like a pneumatic drill. With all the TV I've taken in lately, I've been besieged by a Special K commercial with a Tom Jones soundtrack.

And it hurts.

I went to the post office this morning to send off a few thank-you notes for Christmas presents before people talk behind my back. Then I came home and flopped back on the couch. I'm good for a couple of hours, but then I need a nap. What a flu!

I did manage to revise 20 more pages of the novel, although the goal for the day is 50. Maybe I should get back to it before the offspring arrive home and all hell breaks loose.

It's snowing madly out there. I'm praying school doesn't call a snow day tomorrow. The girls will be off on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, and that's enough.

While the media try to make sense of the Jennifer and Brad breakup, people are dying in mudslides in California. Disingenuously, Us editor Janice Min explained her purchase of candid photos of the couple prior to the separation announcement: "Well, photographers are always around, so we were able to get pictures."

No, Janice. The photographers are always around because you buy pictures. Don't blame the hooker. Blame the john.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Back in the High Life

Or so I thought.

This morning, I broke out of the house for the first time in 2005 and hit Stop & Shop. Oh, boy! After I got home and put the groceries away, the phone rang. It was N, an old friend from Flushing I haven't spoken to in two years. I talked to her for an hour and filled her in on Mom and Sibling One's new baby.

I hung up and fell asleep on the couch for three hours.

I guess it will take me a few days to recuperate fully. I hope to be better this weekend because I really want to see that little baby. As it is now, I call Mom and ask her to tell me what he's wearing. Yesterday, she said he had on one of those nightshirts with the drawstring at the bottom.

I can picture it! Child One was a bald baby, and when she wore nightshirts, Peter's friends commented that she was the spitting image of Uncle Fester.

B's daughter was in a car accident on Friday night. She and three other friends were in a car driven by some hoople who was playing games, speeding and deliberately zig-zagging on a slippery road. B's daughter has a 5 cm gash in her pretty face that will require extensive plastic surgery. Hoople's mother called B's wife to say that they should all look at the accident as a 'life lesson.'

B and his wife will be hiring an attorney.

On the way home from Stop & Shop, I was doing 30 on a 25 mph road, and still I had this monstrous SUV on my tail with a front grill designed to intimidate. You have to wonder what kind of loser buys a vehicle with a grill like that.

Anyway, when the road split into two lanes, he nailed the gas and raged past me. I imagine it made him feel better about himself.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Felled Not By a Cold But By the Flu

I spent most of the last four days on my back. My rump is killing me. I can feel my muscles flattening by the second. A couple of days ago, I got off the couch and did a few squats, in an effort to prevent myself from going completely to seed.

And then I fell back on the couch.

I feel like a bug in a mayonnaise jar. My sister had her baby on Thursday (I think; I've lost all track of time), and I haven't been able to see him. Due to a sick husband (who gave this thing to me, thank you very much) and two sick children, I haven't been out of the house since 2004.

I have watched so much television I am about to sprout antenna. I am an expert on just about everything, from the end of Jen and Brad's marriage (very sorry about that) to the inner workings of Amber Frey's mind from every day from December 2002 to the present. I cried my eyes out with John Travolta and Joachim Phoenix when Oprah eulogized Mattie Stepanek.

I tried to play along with Jeopardy, but I kept answering questions in the "F-Words" category with words that start with "O." Peter said he knew it was getting bad when I waved back to the staff in a commercial for a local jewelry store.

The offspring are up and watching infomercials. Child One, in particular, gets all fired up by infomercials for cooking implements. She's addicted to cooking shows. She sat through Paula's Home Cooking with special guest President Jimmy Carter at least twice.

I must get something to eat. Robitussin on an empty stomach was really not such a good idea.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

In Case You're Up...

My last radio show will air tomorrow (Friday) morning at 4am ET. The guest is psychic Sonia Choquette, who I just love, love, love.

She's completely normal and down-to-earth, rather than the type of individual who sits in a window under a turban. She'll offer lots of cool tips on how to cultivate and use your own six sense. Tune in at http://healthylife.net

After several heartbreaking miscarriages, the last of which occurred the day after Christmas last year, Sibling One gave birth to her first child at 10:19 this morning. I think the kid's name is Michael. He weighs eight pounds and one ounce. Nobody has mentioned if he has any hair.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Felled by a Cold!

Well!

Child Two returned to school today but not before infecting me. I've been taking Cold-Eez 'round the clock, which usually works, but my nose has started running and my throat hurts. But perhaps I can fend off the worst of it.

Peter is on his way back from the supermarket, where he bought sandwich fixings and soup for dinner. It's increasingly difficult to find commercially-prepared soup without MSG or partially hydrogenated oils in them.

In case you don't know, partially hydrogenated oils will kill you. They fill your arteries like spackle, and they're in every processed food known to man, especially the things you feed your children.

Ever see the "Choosy Mothers Choose Jif" commercial?

I hate that commercial. First of all, it's presumptuous. Furthermore, Jif contains partially hydrogenated oil! Does that company want my offspring to drop dead in gym class, or do they own stock in heart medication?

I choose not to feed my children Jif.

Well, I've turned my back and the little critters have completely wrecked the family room. Again! Peter has come up the basement stairs and seen the mess. He's not happy, and I can't blame him.

Tell me. Will copious quantities of Cabernet wipe out my cold?

Hey, did you catch Jon Stewart's riff on Star Reynold's assertion that God blessed her because the tsunami hit exactly a month after she visited one of the affected areas on her honeymoon?

Jon said it must have been an oversight.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Entertainment for the Whole Family!

I've been stuck at home with a sick kid (who had a miraculous recovery today; she was back to walking along the back of the couch and doing cartwheels), so I haven't been to the supermarket. It's pizza tonight.

I could eat pizza every day of the year.

Being confined for two days has given me ample time to revise my novel and to watch insipid daytime television. I caught both The View and All My Children today but fell asleep during the latter. I attribute it to the stress of digesting the hummus and Wasa bread I ate for lunch.

On The View, Star Jones, um, I mean Reynolds, discussed her forthcoming interview with Amber Frey. According to Mrs. Reynolds, less charitable types have been sniping about Amber having published a book about her ordeal as the out-of-the-loop girlfriend of a jerk who murdered his wife and child.

Supposedly, Amber is an opportunist.

I find it absolutely hilarious that the people (I'm talking about the media) who profited the most from the death of Lacy Peterson would dare question Amber Frey's motives. Every news outlet in the country sucked this story for every salacious detail it could broadcast. Every network made money on it. Every newspaper made money on it.

Their family-friendly advertisers made money on it.

But heaven forbid that Amber Frey, the woman the media labeled 'mistress,' should be so crass as to tell her story. How dare she!

What a disgusting person!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Amber Frey a 'Mistress?'

It irks me the way the media refer to Amber Frey as Scott Peterson's 'mistress.' She wasn't his mistress. She was his girlfriend. To be his mistress, wouldn't she have to know that he was married?

Furthermore, I dislike the term 'mistress.' How about 'lover?' Or 'girlfriend' But 'mistress?'

Get over it.

I actually revised 50 pages of my novel today! Well, I made notes on 50 pages, anyway. I didn't actually type them in. My back is killing me from poring over that manuscript for so many hours. I should develop a hump by mid-month.

Child Two stayed home from school with a terrible cold today. Her fever shot up to just under 104. Have to keep a close eye on her temperature because she had a febrile siezure when she was two.

So, Shirley Chisolm is dead. When she ran for president in 1972, surely the world thought that the United States would be led by a woman by the year 2000. It didn't happen.

So much for being a progressive nation.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

People I Would Prefer Not to Sleep With

I would like to start 2005 by announcing the names of men I have no desire to sleep with, even though the media insist otherwise:

Tom Cruise
Jack Nicholson
Colin Farrell
Mick Jagger
Sean Connery
Michael Douglas
Usher
Rod Stewart
Justin Timberlake
The racoon who plays Ryan on All My Children
Anybody who has dated (or married) Jennifer Lopez

Here is a list of people I once desired to sleep with but don't anymore:

Kyle Secor (who played Tim Bayliss on Homicide: Life on the Streets)
Liam Neeson
Colin Firth
Greg Lake

I would also like to announce that I will (do you hear me? Will!) finish revising my novel once and for freaking all, and I will (yes, will!) query one agent per day from January 5th through Feb 3rd.

And if I don't, you have my express permission to take me by the shoulders and shake me.