Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mew, mew, mew

I am totally over-extended at work. I am having conversations at home with my 2-year-old along the lines of: "I am going to be on a conference call. Do not scream during the conference call. If you scream and disrupt my conference call, I will lose my job and we will not be able to live in this house and have to live in a canyon." [read with a teeth-clenched-together type of tone]. Following this type of conversation, 2-year-old screams while I run around the house to get away from her so I can pretend like I have everything under control. I sometimes wipe my kids' butts while on calls, sprinting away as the toilet flushes.

So it's 1 AM on a Friday night, and I just wrapped up my work for the night. In the past few weeks something has happened wherein I have completely lost the boundary between home life and work life. I'm still trying to figure out what happened, but most likely my need for approval and praise resulted in me agreeing to several assignments which are technically not possible to complete within the bounds of my normal work day. That, and we're coming up on one of our peak periods in our business cycle. That, and a few days ago I had one of those days where everything exploded (Venture partner freaks out at legal liability and drops our very profitable deal! In-house counsel stands me up several times for meetings on time-sensitive matters! Other parts of organization made decisions without informing me that significantly affect my ability to meet targets! I spill my entire lunch on the break room floor!), so I am really not feeling like I've got very much under control at all.

Don't even get me started on this new, humongous, spontaneous mole that appeared on me. I am about to develop mountainous hills of cystic acne all over my face. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


There has been silence, I know. Another fire, perhaps, you ask? No, just catching up on work and looking vacantly at my messy house, which looks, incredibly, like a natural disaster hit it. It did not.

I have a heartwarming story to tell, but I'll save it for a time when I have a little more energy. So for right now, I'll stick in an excerpt from an email I got from Brandweek - The Daily Insider (dated today) about a potentially nifty new product. Check it out. Let me know if it works. I think plungers are disgusting.

WE FEEL {see comment for detail}: We got a pitch from a California company that wants everyone to know “Pressaire is a completely new, simple, and easy way to unclog a toilet without contacting the toilet water or clog.” (Ew. The “Clog.”) At the Pressaire Web site you can see an illustration of the device which resembles a big-blue Whoopee Cushion. You’re apparently supposed to lay it over the commode, then press the seat down on it to release a burst of high-pressure air that will allegedly clear the blockage. (We say allegedly because we couldn’t get the video to play; tried several times.) The only thing that would make this a GREAT product would be if it also made a Whoopee-Cushion-like noise while working. Yes, we’re 12; why do you ask?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fire fire

So if any of you are wondering, "Why the hiatus from the useless information?" I'll tell you: I was evacuated early Monday morning because of the San Diego wildfires. It was my first evacuation, though my college roommate and I used to play hypothetical games all the time, like, "If you were in a fire, what would you take with you?" so I did have some preparation. So what did I end up taking? My kids' toys (especially the key stuffed animals), pillows, blankets and dry food in case we ended up at a shelter eventually, two changes of clothes for everyone, our important documents like passports, house stuff and birth certificates, cell phones / chargers and my camera (I really like my camera. My husband took his bass.). I also packed cotton balls and some water.
Later on, after we left, I saw a list on TV of all the things you're supposed to pack. They said, "Don't forget your medication!" which of course was thing #1 that I forgot (for my daughter -- I'm not vying for any mother of the year awards). They also said that you should take photos of everything in your house for insurance purposes, which I also didn't do -- though I had my camera so I could take pictures of dogs on the street in case they would help my insurance claim! I'm very lucky my house didn't burn down (for many reasons). It came as close as six miles away.
The really cool thing was how San Diego really pulled together. Qualcomm Stadium, one of the evacuation sites, had to issue a press release saying that they could take no more donations at their site -- there was apparently entertainment for the kids and bands for the adults there. Other shelters who posted for help were similarly bombarded. My husband went to Target and then to Qualcomm to drop off some air mattresses and pillows, and for the most part people were really grateful (except the teenager who hovered around and said, "So are you giving away that computer?"). Friends called friends offering refuge.
The best story I heard was about a guy who was walking on the street with a gas mask (the really major WWII type), a wet suit...and a surf board. That's San Diego for you!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Photo session

So I decided that while my kids are still cute and before I'm too ugly, we should get some family photos taken -- professionally. There is also the added benefit of being able to Photoshop me out if necessary.

Ok, faithful readers (um...all four of you?), let me know what you think we should use as a backdrop. We live near the ocean, so part of me thinks that we should do ocean pics while we're here. Here is a link to what that might look like (see "Melissa and Casey") -- pretend that there isn't a couple making out on the beach and imagine instead a suburban family of four, including two kids who hate the ocean. And rest assured that I will not be posing for any swimsuit shots, unlike Melissa and Casey who evidently have gym memberships. I'm worried about the wind at the beach -- wind in my hair looks less "California girl" and a lot more "hurricane survivor". Click here to see what it might look like in a park setting. I love all the park colors, but parks are a dime a dozen.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The beach

This is a photo I took of my daughter while we were at the beach this week. In preparation for the upcoming photo shoot I've been gauging the kids' behavior in each environment. The ocean -- beautiful, vast, humbling, soothing...yeah, the kids still hate it. The only way I was able to bribe them to sit on the beach with me was to bring boxes of salty snacks and juice boxes that a good mom wouldn't buy. So I'm leaning toward park pictures now -- I'd prefer not to end up with a photo essay entitled "The day we spent a ton of money hiring a professional photographer so we could have pictures of crying and whining and look more dysfunctional than usual". I keep telling the kids that they're going to be ostracized in California for not liking the beach.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine, who apparently spends quite a bit of time hanging out at a publishing company, recruited my kids to be photographed for a children's book. My 4-year-old liked it. A lot. I'm worried she could easily be led down the Britney Spears path. My 2-year-old, on the other hand, frowned harder whenever they told her to smile. She is tending toward the opposite path. She has a real talent for chugging milk, so it'd be a serious loss to the college fraternity party scene if she ends up becoming a recluse.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Good cheap fun

I have a headache. I have hip hop dance class tonight, so I'll be even worse than usual (that's sort of like saying "greater than infinity"). Instead of spending quality time with my kids like I'm supposed to after work, I'm letting them engage in some good cheap fun: playing with ice cubes! Yeah, it's really fun at my house.

I think I got the headache from work. I don't understand why we can't have windows that open in office buildings. It's like they're trying to make it a germ incubator. I'm tempted to walk around the office with a mask and gloves now that flu season is starting -- it couldn't make me any more of a pariah than my recent spanking and biting incident (by the way, I have been avoiding walking by the IT department at all costs.

Friday, October 12, 2007

X me

So I finally started to play around with Facebook and installed this application called X Me. With this application you can do whatever to your Facebook friends -- you can hug them, bite them, spank them, give them beer, etc. Let me start by saying that some of my Facebook friends are people who I haven't even ever spoken to (like that guy Dan in IT). So I installed X Me, and decided as a joke to spank my husband. I also decide to wave to my brother-in-law's girlfriend, and to give a hug to my friend Libby in China.

To my horror, I logged in the next day and saw that I apparently spanked Dan, the guy in IT who I don't even know, I bit Gabriela, my brother-in-law's girlfriend's brother's girlfriend (who accidentally invited me to be a friend on Facebook -- we've never met), and as a dressing decided also to hug Gabriela, who again, I don't know, but who will surely run away from me should the occasion ever arrive to meet in person.

I was so careful to select the appropriate people (I actually triple-checked) so there is something wrong with this application! I'm sure of it! This is not for my generation.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hip Hop + Disneyland = Bad Idea

So I did end up taking a day off from blogging after my first hip hop class, because literally every part of my body hurt. It wasn't the normal kind of exercise soreness -- it was the type of soreness caused by extreme stress on muscles that have never before ever been used. I am not genetically predisposed to do hip hop. I probably don't even have the muscles that are required to do it successfully. But my neck -- after an hour of trying to alternate between snake-like and robot-like moves -- was killing me the next day. Only, not right away.

You see, long ago, in a galaxy far away, before I had even made hip hop plans, I decided that the best time to take the kids to Disneyland would be 1) off-season, and 2) in the middle of the week. I mean, who can take their kids to Disneyland on a Wednesday in October? Apparently, millions of people. By the time I got there the lot was packed. And here is important Disney tip #1: do not bring a large double- jog stroller that does not fold up. Contrary to my assumption that a place like Disney would have wild accommodations for handicapped people and people with children (people handicapped by children?), the trams that take you from the parking lot to the theme park only have two rows that accommodate said passengers. So on the way in, I waited til 6 trams passed before I could get onto one that had space for me. On the way back, it was worse -- it took me an hour to get on a tram because handicapped people had first priority -- so every time I was at the front of the line, a handicapped person would appear and get ushered on. The "handicapped by children" people are screwed.

So I finally got to the theme park, at which point important Disney tip #2 kicks in: do not go to Disneyland after your first hip hop class because the stiffness will kick in at exactly 10 AM when Disneyland opens and you realize you have 12 hours ahead of you pushing 60 pounds of people around a giant theme park. I was feeling totally fine until 10 AM, when I suddenly became an octagenarian and groaned my way around the park.

As luck would have it, I then stumbled upon important Disney tip #3: check that there isn't anything wrong with your stroller before leaving the parking lot. Yup, my stroller broke. I was 5 minutes into Fantasyland and I groaned my way down to the ground to assess the damage. Should I abandon the stroller and attempt to walk the kids around? Should I scream for help? After about 15 minutes of sheer determination I was miraculously able, with my hands as my only tools, repair the stroller. I will now fast-forward past all the whining, crying and saying that they have to pee after finally getting to the front of a long line, to the part where my girls met Ariel the Little Mermaid. My 2-year-old rightfully asked, "Why do you still have fins?" (She's right -- Ariel's supposed to be a human now.) We also stood in line for over an hour to meet some other princesses, and they turned out to be the B-list (Belle, Pocahontas and Jasmine). Bummed out by this, my 2-year-old asked Jasmine where Cinderella was. I'm sure Jasmine was annoyed. I bet she hates those A-list princesses.

Anyway, add to that the traffic on the way back (add an extra hour on for that, actually) and I will summarize that I never want to do that again anytime soon.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Using up left-over chicken

I always seem to have chicken left over. Is it just me? Do people hate my chicken? I digress. The point is, I always have some of it around, and the efficient side of me wants to have something innovative to do with it (to digress some more, apparently a few restaurants in Hong Kong have started charging people for the food that they leave on their plates at all you can eat restaurants. I guess they have so much garbage there that they don't know what to do with it -- so it's one of the ways they're trying to reduce garbage. I guess they didn't grow up with my mom -- let's just say that if you did you would never leave food on your plate.). My husband doesn't like leftovers, so I have to do some food alchemy so that he can't detect the left-over-ness of it.

I've done salads (shred it up, toss it into a salad; or put it together with some mayo and celery and -- viola, chicken salad) and casseroles with varying success, but the best ways I've found to use it are in fajitas (again, using a shredded version of the chicken) and -- my new favorite method -- in tortilla soup. In case you don't know how to make it (or at least don't know how to do it the way I do, which I am sure is an abomination of the proper way to do it), here's what I do:

  • Shred up the chicken.
  • Heat up some chicken stock; salt / pepper to taste.
  • Chop up some tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. Distribute some of each into however many bowls you will be serving.
  • Get some tortilla strips (or you can make some, which is pretty easy, and which I used to do, but since the theme of this blog is laziness in this case we'll assume you buy them).
  • Once the stock is hot, ladle it over the bowls that contain the chicken et al. Throw in some corn if you'd like. I've also put in some shredded cheese before, but it's up to you.
  • That's it!

Tomorrow I start my hip hop dance class. I watched some hip hop videos online tonight and am realizing that I should be very, very scared. Apparently, you have to have abs and cardiovascular fitness in order to do this for more than 2 minutes. The class is for an hour (which, by the way, is sixty minutes). I may not post tomorrow -- I may be at the hospital.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

How not to get really, really sick

I'm not a doctor. I don't even play one on TV. But I can't afford to get really, really sick, because there are people to feed and drive around and jobs to do. In fact, somewhere along the way to parenthood it became illegal to be sick -- if my husband is sick, rather than feeling sorry for him, I'm usually annoyed. So here's my strategy for not getting really sick. It's ok to be a little sick -- that is, you're still functional but have a slight cough or congestion -- but the type that gets you laid up in bed hiding under the covers is pretty much unacceptable once you have kids.

  • As soon as you feel the tiniest inkling of getting sick, like an itchy throat or general malaise, or if you've been near sick people, take some Cold-Eeze. I've tried both Airborne and Cold-Eeze (I'm sure the generic zinc lozenges work just as well) and have had better success with the latter.
  • Keep taking it every 4-6 hours til the feeling subsides.
  • Sleep a lot. If I feel something coming on, I try to go to bed shortly after the kids do. When I used to travel a lot for a demanding job, I found that sleeping was the best way to prevent illness (as well as recover from it). I'm willing to bet this is actually the silver bullet when it comes to mitigating a cold.

I also pop multi-vitamins regularly if I feel like I'm fighting something. It's been years since I've been so sick that I can't do anything, so I think I'm on to something here. Give it a try -- your family will thank you (or at the very least, they won't resent you).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Toe tricks

Another thing that's fallen off the self-maintenance priority list in the past few years is pedicures. Since I live in a place now where people wear open-toed shoes year-round (hence also killing my old east-coast habit of not shaving my legs in the winter -- in, um, the name of energy conservation), I've had to hatch a new plan on how to appear groomed without having to actually do much at all. Why should you trust me? It fools the gay guys at work. These guys can spot a wrinkle in a shirt from a mile away. Trust me -- if they're fooled, the rest of the world will be too.

So here's what I do:

  • Start with a coat of ridge filler -- I like the Essie Ridge Filler, but any ridge filler with a creamy white appearance will likely work fine. This evens out the nail bed and gives it a polished look without much color (even less than the typical "nude" shades like Essie Mademoiselle).
  • Finish with a top coat. I like the Seche Vite formula, which gives a really hi-lacquer shine and dries in less than a minute.

And that's it! The best part is that you can let this pedicure go for a long, long time (think a quarter of a fiscal year or more) without touching it up because chips won't show. In fact, you'll probably end up cutting your toenails before you need to redo the nail polish. There you go...more time for you. Sleep on, friends!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What are we having for dinner?

The first thing that I usually think of when I walk through the door after work is what I should make for dinner (lest we end up eating what's pictured to the right here). I love to cook, but cooking is a lot more fun when 1) you have a lot of time, 2) there isn't anyone holding onto your ankles, and 3) when you haven't just come home from work.

I'm trying to get better about planning. So I've planned my meals for the next week. Maybe it'll give you some ideas too, so you at least won't have to think of things to make. Being a mom is also like running a restaurant that's open every day, and if you don't have enough variety your customers complain. Or refuse to eat. Or repurpose the food as clothing, for instance.

Here's what we're having this coming week (I try to go to the grocery store on Wednesdays because I hate the weekend crowds):

  • Meat lasagna
  • Chicken curry with rice and carrots
  • Grilled steak with broccoli, carrots and mashed potatoes (ooh, carrots back to back -- oh well)
  • Salmon with lemon, fennel and tarragon; asparagus, cous cous
  • Pasta with tomato sauce (a veggie dinner, since we're getting a babysitter this evening who is vegetarian -- I'm going out to eat!)
  • Steak fajitas (using up the leftover steak)

I usually also buy one prepared meal, in case I get really lazy and don't want to cook dinner. This week, someone else is actually feeding us on Sunday, so I have one less meal to make. Trader Joe's has some great prepared meals, but it's kind of far away so I rarely go there. The Costco Kirkland brand meat lasagna is also incredibly good -- I get more compliments on that than when I make my own. Happy eating!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ewwwwww, mealybugs!

One of the benefits of living in suburbia is having a back yard, however comparable the size of that yard is to a postage stamp (I live in Southern California, where even a million bucks doesn't buy much more than that). So in theory, due to the great weather, I'm supposed to be able to enjoy this small slice of paradise -- in my case, year round.

Instead, this reverie has been marred by one pest jihad after another -- I spent most of last year trying to kill my then-mortal enemy, the snail -- which ate pretty much my entire herb garden and about half of my landscape plants. This year -- the mealybug. If you don't know what they are, click here for a photo, imagine them ALL OVER an entire wall of vines, and proceed to puke. I hate them!!! They've pretty much destroyed all my passion fruit vines, and I spend about 10% of my time after I get back from work squirting them with an organic pesticide. To no avail. My vines are so diseased that I had to amputate huge sections today, and I have had enough! Enough of this organic crap, I'm pulling out the big guns. In a few minutes I am going to purchase a poisonous, systemic insecticide that I hope will melt those friggin' mealybugs on contact. Ha! Take that, mealybugs! And, I'll have 10% extra time to spend with my family to boot.

Ready to go in 5 minutes flat

Like how in the few short days since I've started this blog I've abandoned my initially proposed structure?

As Monday morning rolls around I thought I'd share my thoughts on a most important Monday morning skill: making your face look presentable in 5 minutes or less. In my various incarnations as a management consultant, graduate student, Wall Street slave, beauty industry professional (with even some experience doing celebrity makeup, if you can believe this disjointed resume) and marketing / general management type, I've tried to maintain integrity in the area of looking decent (and actually, better than that, I try to look a little nice) and since I've had kids have had to make that process a lot more efficient. The steps below can be accomplished even with a person or two whining and wrapped around your legs:

  • If you have dry skin, moisturize, but I skip this step.

  • If necessary, use concealer or foundation to cover up blemishes.

  • Go over whole face with a mineral powder foundation. The benefit of a mineral powder foundation is that it provides sun protection, and is inert so just about any skin type can use it. It also provides surprisingly good coverage, particularly if you are a light- to medium- coverage type of girl. I'm currently using the L'Oreal Bare Naturale Mineral Makeup, which has an SPF of 19 (and which is really reasonably priced) -- and which saves me the step of having to apply sunscreen. Powders also require less care than liquid formulas, which require blending -- so a quick swipe all over your face will do the job.

  • Fill in your brows with an eye shadow or brow wax; comb out using an eyebrow comb. If you're in a real hurry you can stop here -- having your brows looked groomed really makes a huge difference in making you look polished. If you're brow-challenged, go get your brows done professionally initially, and then you can maintain accordingly -- it's worth the investment if you don't always want to end up looking surprised all the time.

  • Apply a rosy or peachy blush (those tones work well on just about anyone). Again, you can stop here if you want to; you'll look fine. Blush has a way of perking up your face and making you look suddenly healthier. I find that when I wear it people often ask me if I'm feeling ok (which is not a great testament to my natural beauty).

  • Finish up with a pinky-nude lipstick or gloss. I suggest these colors because they're the lowest maintenance; I rarely re-apply once I'm in the office, so I want shades that wear off well gradually. My go-to lipstick of the moment is Clinique's Sweet Honey, which has a great texture, is mistake-proof, and which is for me, a shade just better than nude.
    If I'm feeling really fancy, I'll curl my lashes and swipe on some mascara too -- that generally makes me look a lot more awake.

It took me more time to describe the process than it takes to do it, so give it a try. If I can give just one woman 15 more minutes of sleep, my life will be complete.

Day of rest, day of perspective

It's Sunday, and I'm taking a day of rest. My kids have colds and I want to be sure that they're well enough to go to school tomorrow (thus the trials and tribulations of the working mother without backup daycare). I like to think of Sundays as a day of stepping back, a day to reflect. Sundays for me are typically a church-going day, but I think that religion has given itself a bad name. In fact, I'm generally hesitant to talk about religion much these days, as a pre-emptive strike against confrontational conversations for which I don't have the energy nowadays.

When we lived in Chicago we went to Fourth Presbyterian Church, led by Rev. John Buchanan. I think what Buchanan does best is that, on the day of rest, he provides perspective. And I think one important thing he does is provide perspective on religion -- and the fact that we can all get so caught up in the technicalities of our own religions that we miss the big picture. Too often, our viewpoints stir up animosity, hatred and violence -- the very things that religion was brought in to mitigate. From Buchanan:

Jesus taught about and revealed a God who is big enough: a God bigger than human religions, bigger than religious laws and traditions, bigger even than the most sophisticated and sublime descriptions and theologies and creeds. Jesus revealed a God who is so passionately for all people, a God whose love simply knows no boundaries, certainly not the boundaries religion itself has created...

So you and I who claim his name are invited to the great adventure of living in that love and extending that love into all the world, to all people, near and far; people like us and people who are radically different; other Christians with whom we may disagree on many issues, maybe all issues; other Christians, Jews, Muslims; people of other faiths and no faith—all of them, each of them a precious child of God, each loved and treasured forever by their creator.

You can read the rest of Rev. Buchanan's message here. But I like that perspective. Given that there are so many theologans (even within Christianity) that spend their lifetimes reading and interpreting Scripture who can't seem to agree, I find no reason to claim that what I believe is the be-all, end-all -- in fact, I think that the concept of God is bigger than all of us, and we certainly don't have enough data to be making any exclusionary assertions -- and certainly no basis to go around killing other people with different beliefs.

I like this way of thinking. I wish more people would adopt it, and that by the time my kids are adults people will really be able, spiritually, to focus on what's important, rather than use religion as a tool to dominate or antagonize others.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Economic development is the answer

I recently read a book that spurred me into action. It's called Enrique's Journey, and I've pasted in a synopsis below:

From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Soon to be turned into an HBO dramatic series, Nazario's account of a 17-year-old boy's harrowing attempt to find his mother in America won two Pulitzer Prizes when it first came out in the Los Angeles Times. Greatly expanded with fresh research, the story also makes a gripping book, one that viscerally conveys the experience of illegal immigration from Central America. Enrique's mother, Lourdes, left him in Honduras when he was five years old because she could barely afford to feed him and his sister, much less send them to school. Her plan was to sneak into the United States for a few years, work hard, send and save money, then move back to Honduras to be with her children. But 12 years later, she was still living in the U.S. and wiring money home. That's when Enrique became one of the thousands of children and teens who try to enter the U.S. illegally each year. Riding on the tops of freight trains through Mexico, these young migrants are preyed upon by gangsters and corrupt government officials. Many of them are mutilated by the journey; some go crazy. The breadth and depth of Nazario's research into this phenomenon is astounding, and she has crafted her findings into a story that is at once moving and polemical. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb. 28) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

I live in Southern California, where approximately 80% of nannies and housekeepers are single mothers who had to leave their children behind in their home countries in order to support them. It's hard enough leaving your kids behind when you go to work -- can you imagine having to do it for years, never knowing for sure if you'll ever see them again? Worse yet, knowing that they might embark on dangerous journeys in order to try to find you?

That's why I support economic development. Hand-outs are simply not sustainable. There are ways that individuals like us can easily get involved -- organizations like Kiva make it simple for you to lend $25 to an entrepreneur in a developing region to help lift them out of poverty (and the default rate is miniscule -- these people really want to get out of poverty), so they don't have to illegally immigrate in the first place. It's startling to me that for the price of a t-shirt, I can really help someone change their life for the better.

How to stop thumb-sucking / pacifier / binky use

My older daughter sucked her thumb, while my younger one used a binky. I was able to wean each of them from their respective habits within a day. Yep, you heard it -- cold turkey, all at once, in a single day. While I make no claims that I caused no psychological damage, but I will say that I used the most effective tool available: The Truth. The conversations went something like this:

Me: If you keep sucking your thumb, you're going to need braces. [using a tone of voice usually reserved for ghost stories] Do you know what braces are?
Kid: No [but looking a little afraid].
Me: They put metal wires in your mouth and glue brackets on your teeth and then pull it really tight with a wire and it's really owie. Do you want to see what braces look like?
Kid: Yes...? [looking very anxious now]

I took them downstairs to the computer and using the ever-omniscient Google, I found this website. Check out Case #4 -- it's the most graphic [insert maniacal laugh]. I showed my kids these photos and they were 1) scared, because growing up in Southern California, they've never seen teeth this screwed up, and 2) they shrieked, "I don't want to be like that!" and immediately gave up their habits.

There you have it. Tried and true.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Haircare shortcuts and social networking

I work. I'm married. I have two kids. I've spent years mocking blogs (I mean, who has the time? Um, I guess I do.). So, this is what I'm going to do now after taking care of the kids, putting them to bed, taking a shower, cleaning up, and sometimes doing a bit of work. I can't promise exceptional prose. I can't promise revolutionary ideas. I can't even promise that I'll be in a good mood. But I think I'll start off with a simple format: a Tip, a Rip, and a Clip. Tip being something I think might be helpful to you, if you're at all like me (meaning, you work, have kids, are married, or are inherently lazy). Rip being something I don't understand (or just think is dumb). And a Clip is just a word I had to stick in there to rhyme with the other two -- but will likely be a product review that you can clip away for storage, just like a coupon (ok, it's a stretch, but work with me here. It's my first post.). I will also include random rants that I might have. Sometimes I might not include all categories. Sometimes I might overshare. Luckily, you don't know me.

I never thought I'd end up this way, but here it is: I have two preschoolers, and I have to drop them off at school in the morning, so I have to shower at night after they go to bed (there are several logical mental leaps in between, but trust me, I can't shower in the morning). Sometimes, at the end of the day, I'm just tired. So tired that I just really want to go to bed. I weaned myself after my first kid was born from daily hair-washing, so I'm on an every-other-day rotation. If you have hair you'll understand that the implication of washing is drying, which for whatever reason I have come to view as a cumbersome task. In the face of need comes innovation, so I've come up with a few ways to work around hair washing on those days when you really just can't face it:

  • Baby powder. Remember the 19th century? Powdered hair was in for a reason. It not only soaks up the grease pretty well, but it covers what I call "hair b.o." as well. There's nothing I like less than smelling of hair (or more specifically, scalp). Just rub a bit of the powder into your hair at the hairline (and anywhere you think it's particularly greasy), and presto! Almost clean hair. I have on occassion over-powdered and found myself choking on the powder all night. I wouldn't advise this, since I'm pretty sure that inhaling a bunch of talc is a very bad idea.
  • Dry shampoos. These are basically baby powder in a spray can, but the benefit of these is that they're generally propelled by some type of carrier substance (like isobutane -- again, don't inhale too much) that feels really good on your scalp if your hair is dirty. Spray only at the roots, and after a few minutes, brush out. I've tried two brands: Klorane and Algemarina. I prefer the Algemarina (the Klorane has a smell that I can best describe as "old person"), since it has a nice fragrance, but the can I got from Amazon was defective. I've heard it's better to buy it in a store.
Facebook. At the risk of sounding like a luddite, I just don't get it. I have an account just because I've been invited (by some clearly earlier-adopting people than me). I'll grant that it's good for stalking, which is of course an honorable pastime (I was just notified in my "news-feed" that my husband added "bad spackling" and "magma" to his interests). But what's up with the "wall"? Isn't it just a really inefficient way to send email? In my experience, a friend will write something on my "wall". I then get an email telling me that my friend posted to my "wall", at which point I have to log back onto Facebook to see what it is that was posted on my "wall," so I can post to my friend's "wall", at which point she will also get an email notification that I posted on her "wall". As a stalker tool, I find the "wall" insufficient since the postings make no sense to an outsider -- which is what you would be as a stalker. And the other thing -- why would I want people to know so much about me? Better to be the stalker than the stalkee.

I do like LinkedIn though. It's a pretty good stalker tool for being professional in purpose. I've gotten invitations to be a connection on LinkedIn from people that I don't know that well at work. Like they're in IT, and I haven't ever spoken to them. When I see them in the bathroom I give them a knowing look, like I know that you know that we're connected on LinkedIn but I'm pretty sure that they just find me creepy.

But in addition to being a stalker tool, LinkedIn is great if you're looking for a job, or looking to hire. It's just interesting to see who's in your network. And what those people have grown up into.

So there you have it. Come back and visit for more posting on all the newfangled things this world has to offer. Thanks for reading.