Friday, July 26, 2013

Halucination station.

Sometimes a girls just gotta take care of herself - get a little pampering.
Sure there’s the usual mani/pedi, a big gooey piece of See’s chocolate, a massage...

And then there’s PAMPERING.

Ok, the more I type "pampering" the more I realize I don’t really like the word - pampering...Pampers... diapers...poop...blech. It's going on the list. Let’s just call it taking care of ourselves. Or me time? Yes, let’s just call it that.

Saturday I had the ultimate me time with Julia at Ethereal Day Spa here in Portland. Afterwards I felt like I wanted to go to sleep for a year - not wanting to leave I fell into her arms, gave her a bear hug and said, “you are SO good at what you do. You are THEEE BEST.”

When I go see Julia we chat a little bit in the beginning, catching up. Then we get quiet and she goes to work and I begin to relax - really relax.

Like otherworldly relax. My mind goes a little nutty, to far away places as I begin to let go of the everyday.

It’s easy to let go of the everyday when you have a paintbrush sliding across your face and you feel like a cupcake being frosted.

Years ago I went to a "spa" where I would soak in a tub of smelly sulfur hot springs, then dripping wet, get wrapped up in several wool blankets which would help to "release the toxins" from my toxin filled body. The girls who wrapped me like a mummy would ask how I would like my blankets - loose, medium or tight.

I of course would say TIGHT and go on trips as I lay there for what seemed like hours. Trips that were more heightened than any Grateful Dead concert I’ve ever been to.

I don’t know where those women went to school to major in blanket tightening 101, but they were damn good at what they did. I mean I was relaxed, but like unhealthy in a coma relaxed. I came out of the blankets once thinking it was the first day of fourth grade and asked where my book bag was. I stopped going there.

On Saturday I was pretty relaxed - I traveled to a "lite" version of that place in my head. Here are some things that I daydreamed about:

Captain Caveman – just thinking of him flying through the air with his big club, wondering if there used to be a breakfast cereal named after him (based on my limited research, there was not.)

Do moles have eyes? – I haven’t had the need or the desire to follow up on this.

Rob Halford from Judas Priest – Just thinking of him in general, dressed in his leathers, wondering how he's doin'.

"Emotional Rescue" video by The Rolling Stones – All sexy, a little creepy and digitized, Uh-hoo, uh-hoo-hoo, uh-hoo-hoo-hooooo.

Then I kinda came around as Julia started to massage around my jawbone I started to giggle.
Not because she was tickling me but because it was all tight and sore and the pathetic memory of why it
was all tight and sore made me laugh.
I explained that the reason the massage hurt so good was because the day before I had eaten several Bit-O-Honeys along with a BIG HUNK candy bar. I told her how I bought the BIG HUNK on my way home from work and ate it in my car, like a junkie sneaking bites at red lights then furiously chewing the sticky goo like my life depended on it.
This is the reason my jaw was sore, it had quite the work out.

Thanks for the TMJ.

We laughed, then I quieted down again and went back into my little druggie/dream state.

In my next daydream I was riding the BIG HUNK like a surfboard, going down a giant one like a slide,
and wearing the shiny brown wrapper like a leather jacket.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The ten best things about summer in the 70's, Ossining edition.

Being a kid in Ossining, New York was THE BEST - especially during summertime.

So not Sally and Bobby Draper.
Me and my brother Mike, in front of our house
on Park Avenue - not that Park Avenue.
We were in Ossining waaay before Don and Betty Draper moved in during season one and put my little hometown on the map for the world to see. When people would ask me where I'm from I used to say, "you know, like where Sing Sing Prison is" or "you know, like where Martha Quinn is from" and now I say, "you know, like on MAD MEN."

Here are some things that made summertime in Ossining awesome, circa the late 70's when everything was of course way, way better.

Marathon banana seat bike rides.
I Remember getting on my bike during the summer at like 9:00 a.m. and not getting off of it until the sun went down. My bike was pale yellow with a glitter banana seat, perfect for flying down the big hill on Ward Place with my feet off the pedals or zipping over to the library on Croton Avenue. It had rainbow tassels on the handlebars, a white, plastic woven basket on the front and instead of baseball cards in the spokes it had trading cards from the movie Grease.

Slush Puppies - the corner deli.
On those hot summer days I would have one or two Slush Puppies a day from the Roosevelt Deli on the corner, one in the morning and one after dessert - my after dinner drink. My favorite flavors were cherry and grape which would stain my lips bright red and purple. The Slush Puppie mascot is burned into my memory, a Droopy Dog look-alike happily licking his chops and holding a cup with his own image emblazoned on it. Blue, red, and white were the colors printed on the waxy 70’s cup that the icy drink came in. I miss standing in front of that deli, chewing on the rim of the empty cup. Summer.

Carvel/Good Humor Man.
Whenever I hear "The Entertainer" or "Pop Goes the Weasel" my palms get sweaty and my heart races, thinking of the Good Humor Man going up and down Park Avenue (Toasted Almond Bar, every time.) Whenever I see/eat a soft serve ice cream cone anywhere I think how inferior it is to the perfection of my east coast Carvel soft serve cone (medium vanilla cake cone with rainbow sprinkles, every time.)

Chillmark Pharmacy.
Again, on the banana seat and up to Chillmark Shopping Plaza. Back in the day the terms "pharmacy" or "drug store" were used loosely - it wasn't just a place to go and get your prescription filled - it was also like a five and ten, a place to get baseball cards, Reggie candy bars, necklaces with your initial on it and a brand new Smurf or Clown-a-Round figure. I was mostly into buying myself a Smurf. And a Reggie bar.

4th of July Neighborhood Parade.
Little neighborhood parade the morning of the 4th where kids decorated their bikes, a fire truck went by, strangers waved at you and if you were lucky you saw a horse. Also candy was thrown at you. Awesome.
ME HOLDING A FLAG WITH MY BROWNIE TROOP! Also, my brother holding a flag on a street corner.

Judy the babysitter.
Summertime also meant Mom and Dad going out more often and staying out later. Lucky for me that meant Judy would be coming over more often. After Mike went to bed I would get to watch The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. It also meant I could eat Cheetos until I threw up, listen to Dark Side of the Moon and in later years see all of Richard Gere in American Gigolo. Best. Babysitter. Ever.

Yeah, yeah you guys look great. Now get outta here.

Italians all around me.
On my block we had the Vallerellis next door, the Scarduzios down the street, the Fortes were on the corner, etc. On Sunday afternoon the block smelled to die for. I know gravy and macaroni aren't your typical summer barbecue, but just because it was 100 degrees outside it was never too hot to "put the water on."

Day camp.
This is a picture from our last day of "Recreational Day Camp" where we made clay ash trays for our parents, ate Goober Grape sandwiches, played dodge ball, traded baseball cards, danced to the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever and made these elephant trunks out of wrapping paper tubes. On the last day we had a parade (again, with the parades) through downtown Ossining where we marched and made elephant noises. And again...awesome!

An elephant never forgets.

The Susie's.
I had two best friends and they were both named Susie. Susie Forte and Susie Kotash. Susie Forte lived on the corner. We would ride bikes, play softball, flip baseball cards and go to the pool together. Susie Kotash and I went to school together. We would sit on a blanket outside her apartment listening to Def Leppard, braid our wet hair to make it curly, and pierce each others ears with ice cubes and a potato. I loved these girls.
Susie Forte and I with our dad's beers. Susie Kotash and I with some Clown-Arounds.

Outdoor movies.
I remember seeing Superman starring Christopher Reeve sitting cross-legged outside at Vets Park one summer. Beautiful night, lightning bugs, Superman. One of my favorite movie memories ever.

Me, Dad, Mike, our surly foreign exchange student Kathleen,
and a bunch of extras from Goodfellas.

I'm sure many of you feel the same way about where you grew up, whatever place and time period that happened to be, as it should be. Go through an old photo album or just sit on a lawn chair and close your eyes, and insert your favorite camp/food/pharmacy/parade/deli/movie memory.

Hot town, summer in the city.

Friday, July 12, 2013

For the record.

Here is how much of an old lady I am - last week I said to someone that Jay-Z had “a new record album coming out.” 

I am saddened that my kids are growing up without a record player in the house. I know I need to fix that.
They also need an avocado green rotary phone hanging on the wall in the kitchen with a long curly cord - they neeeed that.

I miss the ritual of lifting the smoky black plastic lid, pulling the album out of its jacket and putting the needle down, then studying the album cover like I was going to have a life or death test on it in the morning.

I'm so angry that I sold my record player and sold most of my record collection after graduating college, when taking them to Music Millennium and getting cash seemed to make the most sense. Because I needed cash to go out drinking, buy cheap, crummy furniture from Target and get those expensive boots. And why the hell would I ever need a record player again? Ugh.

Below are a few albums that I have vivid memories of admiring, buying and listening to.

Get Lucky – Loverboy.
This one stands out because I remember it as one of the first albums I bought with my own money. I had seen the videos on MTV for “Gangs in the Street” and “When it’s Over” and had saved up my allowance to go out and buy it - proud to present my crumbled up cash to the guy behind the counter who kind of laughed and said, "Loverboy, huh?"

I think I was like eleven at the time and I remember my mom being unhappy when I came home with it because of the album cover, with that sweet ass in those tight red leather pants. I assumed the sweet ass belonged to Mike Reno, the lead singer who I thought was pretty hot. I spent many a night studying it carefully and was disappointed to learn later that the ass belonged to the fourteen-year-old daughter of the photographer. I think that's Mike Reno's hand maybe? I hope it's not her dad's. Gross. 

Between thinking this girls butt was hot and watching
Porky's at much too young of an age, no wonder I was confused.
Thanks a lot, Loverboy.

Radio Active – Various Artists – K-Tel Records.
Oh, I just get a happy feeling thinking about those old K-tel commercials...

I walked up to Woolworths with my grandma and she let me pick out "ANYTHING I WANTED" so of course I chose this album and was awesome. What I loved the most about my K-tel records was the variety of music on them – how about a little Pat Benatar thrown in with some Rick James? Or some Go-Go’s/Commodores action? The record started off with “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by The Police and ended with “Rapture” by Blondie. Radio Active was my original "mix tape." But it was an album. A good ‘effin album.

This Radio Active robot will live in my brain forever.
Led Zeppelin III.
I was never a huge Led Zeppelin fan, I’m pretty sure I inherited this album from my music mentor, my Uncle Bob. Here’s what I did love about the album – the cover. It was kind of like a Hūsker Dū game, for those you who remember the memory game Hūsker Dū, where you could spin a little cardboard wheel and make different images appear through all the cutout circles. You covered them with checkers and tried to match up the symbols. 

Another reason I remember this album is because I traded it for a make out session with a guy named Davey who looooovvvved Led Zeppelin. He and I made out in his closet for like, ten minutes. It was totally worth it.

Whenever I hear "Immigrant Song" I think of Davey. And a closet.
And how his house smelled like macaroni.
And was that kind of a weird Pretty Woman moment for me?
This weekend I'm totally hitting some garage sales and getting a record player - done deal.
And if I'm lucky, an avocado green curly-tangley-cord phone too for the kitchen.
Because, the kids, right???

Friday, July 5, 2013

Does this make me look fat?

As you may have learned from some of my previous posts like a million of you out there - I have a few body image issues.

Actually more than a few.

And mine are a little more cryptic.
A little more illogical. A little more weird.
I totally recognize that.

Like how I felt like people would think I looked like an elephant if I wore a jacket that had elephants all over it
(they didn’t) or how wearing a bracelet can add ten pounds to me (it doesn’t).

I’m super aware of how mean I can be to myself a lot of the time and I’m constantly trying to battle the bully in my head that reared its head at a young age.

I recognize that sometimes the things that can ruin my day by making me feel fat are so beyond ridiculous that I have to laugh at them. Or check myself into the nearest institution.

For example - this week - these three things:

A box.
This box sits in the doorway of my co-worker Mary's office that I pass by 900 times a day walking around the office to and from my desk. My last name starts with an “F”, contains three “R’s” and is hyphenated with my husband’s last name that begins with a “B.” When I walk by this box, every time in my mind I say “LARGE FERRARO BURNETT” which means I say that to myself in my head a lot. Is this the stupidest thing ever? Probably.

This box makes me feel fat.

A Milkshake.
Duh, a milkshake has every right to make me feel fat right? But what if it’s not for me? And I’m just carrying it? From a fast food joint to my car? Last week I was going to see a friend of mine after work who wasn’t feeling well. When I asked her what “treat” I could bring over to help make her feel better she said a strawberry shake from Burgerville. I got her a large, with extra whipped cream.

As soon as the cashier handed it to me I felt like I had to get out of there and FAST as I was mentally preparing my, “It’s not for me it’s for a friend, who is sick, and asked me to pick this up for her” speech. Needless to say, nobody saw me and more importantly, WHO THE HELL CARES IF SOMEBODY DID SEE ME HOLDING A GODDAMN MILKSHAKE. Is this the stupidest thing ever? Close second to a cardboard box giving me a complex.

It’s like I’m having an affair.
Nothing happened! I swear! It's not what you think! 

A Family Swim.
This one makes the most sense since it involves a bathing suit. Jesus, don’t get me started on the self-loathing that goes on for me at the community center pool. I get it, kids like to swim, but it’s a lot of work for me to get geared up for this highly unenjoyable trip. Ultimately I get splashed in the eyes with heavily chlorinated water, my hair gets wet despite my battle to keep it piled on top of my head and I have acute anxiety fearing my bathing suit will slide to the side and my boob will pop out in front of a bunch of dads and children. Towels, changes of clothes, cash for snacks, bags for wet stuff, etc. GAH.

For my boys there is no issue, they whip off their shirts and in they go. But for me, it’s a lifetime of body image issues rolled up with the “is my bikini wax still at an acceptable stage” issue plopped on top of the fact that I really could use a new bathing suit so I can stop feeling myself up in the pool to make sure I'm not flashing anybody.

This suit has seen plenty of action.
By my hands.

Last week we ended our swim all together in the family changing room which is, well, not fun. Peeling off a wet bathing suit under fluorescent lights in a concrete room with a toilet in front of others is not my favorite thing to do. I realized while in there that I had forgotten my bra which for me is a pretty big deal.

With no bra and a t-shirt on I had to take the looong walk down the hall of the community center and out to the car all 70's-style, praying I wouldn't run into anyone I knew. Without my bra on, no make up and wet hair I had easily gained 30, maybe 40 pounds. Easily. Stupidest thing ever? No, this one is completely logical.

I tried turning that box in Mary's office around but it said the exact same thing on the other side.
Why is that box out to get me???
Rather than feel defeated, I doctored it up a little.

I sure showed that box.

"Lovely" has a much nicer ring to it than "large."