Monthly Archives: February 2012

Today’s Best Moment: Wednesday 2/29

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Today’s best moment came when I walked into the room to find my 12 year old son listening to the Rolling Stones while doing his homework, all of his own accord.

It was at that moment I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt,  as a parent I was doing something right. For clearly, he knows good Rock & Roll when he hears it. I felt so proud.

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Bulldogs Don’t Wear Lipstick

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A special time of year is quickly approaching.  It is the time, each year, when I transform from your typical mild mannered Mom (did I hear someone snicker?) into something scary and not a little bit dangerous…the Sport-Mom.

You see, very soon, it will begin to warm up, the grass will turn green and my two boys will be heading out of doors with their bat, ball, and glove to “take the field”.  And I, being the devoted Sport-Mom, will be right there with them. I will sit in the stands, with all the other Sport-Moms doing what  Sport-Moms do in such circumstances: guide in all sporting skills, guard against sport pitfalls, protect from  lurking evil sport entities, and provide snacks.

Now let me say, it has taken some time for me to become the full-fledged proficient Sport-Mom you see before you today.  There were those novice days when I unknowing purchased football cleats for my son to wear for an entire baseball season. The time I actually calmly watched as my son took the mound for the first time – frivolously unaware of the high stakes of Little League Baseball.  Oh, and the worst – the time I forgot the snacks.

But now, I come to play – bring my A game, as it were.  I try to be good, I really do. But it is a struggle. Let’s face it, whoever decided it was a good idea to meld the Mama-Bear mentality with kids sports had to know trouble was on the horizon.   I fear the day I could morph into that Sport-Mom who runs to the dugout to chew out her son for a mistake made on the field because she thinks the coach isn’t doing an adequate job of it.  Or, the Sport-Mom who corners the coach after the game with notes on what he needs to change – which usually includes her little dickens starting in pretty much every position.  Or, the Sport-Mom who wears sexy, tight and inappropriate outfits to the game in an attempt to distract the opposing team’s coaches (ok, I might do this one if I was blessed with the goods).

Therefore, as the time approaches, even though there is no denying my ability to coach from the bleachers is, well, beyond impressive, I will head into the season with a fresh approach. Strict directives- some self-imposed and some “suggested”- to keep from getting too out of hand.

For example:

I will (per request) make every effort to restrain from screaming out those annoyingly obvious instructions such as “Throw strikes” “Hit the ball!”  “Make good throws” “Keep your eye on the ball”  “Just play pitch and catch” “You gotta want the ball” “Bat to ball”

and my favorite “See ball…Hit ball” (I definitely won’t say that one because someone might mistake me for an idiot).

I will squelch the impulse to hurl chunks or obsessively pace every time one of my boys comes up to bat – takes the mound – squats behind the plate… ah heck, takes the field in general.

I will resist the urge to go Spider Monkey on the Sport-Mom who is convinced her kid is getting drafted into the Majors straight out of Little League…or the Umpire who doesn’t know the rule book…or the coach who takes advantage of the Ump who doesn’t know the rule book – I will send my friend Nikki to do it.

Lastly, I will not, under any circumstances whatsoever, tell my kid (or anyone else’s) “Get your head out of your butt and get in the game”, unless, of course, it is, and in that case we are probably headed for the hospital.

I will, however, cheer until I am hoarse, gives high fives & hugs when they win, give high fives & hugs when they lose,  tell them they are awesome…always, eat the teams combined weight in Good n Plenty, wear my sunscreen, and quietly kvetch with empathetic fellow Sport-Moms.  All the while, keeping in mind there is undeniably, only one true answer to the question:

What is the difference between a Bulldog and a Sport-Mom?

Bulldogs don’t wear lipstick.

Ode to Chris the Caveman

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My son was an action figure connoisseur of sorts.  As a kid, he spent hours engaged in elaborate battles with his huge collection.  These ‘campaigns’ would continue for days on end and until completion, I was not allowed to alter their tactical arrangement in any way.  In the majority of these battles, an action figure he named Chris the Caveman (of mysterious origins) was invariably the leader and subsequent conqueror.  I asked my son once, why?, and he replied that his battles required super-hero strength against extreme powers and Chris with his ripped muscles seemed like the man for the job…

Head over to Mamapedia, where I am honored to be a featured writer today, to find out how Chris the Caveman  aides in this Mom’s fight against the most powerful, and sneaky opponent of all time!

Go here!

Little Orphan Annie Wears Dittos Jeans

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From left: Lori Kickliter, Kristen Sauter, Jennifer Cihi, Michele DeCuir, Paula Benedetti (Danner), Molly Ringwald.

Today I am hanging out at one of my favorite places to guest post,  DenimDebutante.com.

I love random.  Today, I am writing about the musical Annie and Dittos Jeans.  It may not be as random as you think (then again…).  I guess you will just have to go here and find out. And yes, that is me in the  picture (Annie/National II) above…a “few” years ago.

True Love By Way of a Kitty Dance and a Bucking Horse

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Over the years I have been encouraged to tell the serendipitous story of how my husband, Jim, and I found each other. Valentine’s Day seemed like a good time.  Honestly, I tried to keep it short, but it just isn’t that kind of tale.

I was 23, touring as a performer in the National IV tour of CATS.  He was 25, working at his family owned hotel in New Orleans, LA –  which is where the story begins.  The tour stopped in New Orleans for  2 weeks of performances and some of us ‘Kitty’s’ were thrilled to find and stay at his quaint, historic hotel.  Our first meeting occurred over a broken stove. I called the front desk to have someone come repair the stove in my room (this was when cooking actually seemed fun) and he showed up at my door. Over that hot and steamy repair job (kidding!) the attraction was immediate. We spent those 2 weeks together, getting to know each other.

After those two weeks, though, on I went with the tour to the next city.

Over the next several months we stayed in contact by letters (you know the handwritten thing that goes on paper).  We kept in touch while I finished the tour and went back to Los Angeles to continue my performance career and he cruised around South America starting an export business (the legal type – Alpaca sweaters) and around the US on the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) circuit as a Bull and Bronc rider (all true, I swear).

Finally, an agreement was made; he would come to LA to visit me.  However, not long after his arrival in LA, I informed him “I do not see this relationship going anywhere”.  In truth, I do not recall saying it in just this way (as he relayed to me some time later), but my Mom ratted me out by saying it sounded “exactly like something I used to say in those days”. (There went her Christmas present that year!).

Anyway, off he went, back to New Orleans. That was the last time we spoke.

7 years went by (yep, 7 years!).

In that time he continued with his export business, riding the Pro-rodeo PRCA circuit, and attending to the hotel.  I kicked around LA doing commercials & videos, singing in bands, marketing music artists, and doing what all aspiring performers do in LA –bartend, waitress and do odd jobs.

But, the pertinent part is, during that time, I had the pleasure occasion to kiss a lot of frogs. Cute some may have been, but none of which turned into a handsome prince (although, a few morphed into evil wizards with bad complexions).

Then, it happened.  One day, on the heels of the crown jewels of bad relationships, I was teaching Line Dancing at the trendy Denim & Diamonds Country Music Nightclub in Santa Monica (one of those odd jobs).  I happened to look up at the TV screen with the ever running assortment of ‘all things western’ and there he was; on the screen, in all his Pro-rodeo glory, riding a bucking horse (well, getting bucked off a bucking horse if you must know), in a PRCA rodeo in Texas. Thus began the obsessive thought process that would plague me for days on end:  “He was a really good guy”…”What was I thinking back then (as in, what an idiot I was)”…”man, I really blew that”…”I wonder what he is doing now…married???”

I spent days thinking and thinking about it; until I could not take the cosmic hammering anymore and decided to take action.

At the time, I was performing in a trio that was preparing to open up for Carlene Carter.  As the group was addressing promotional postcards with our picture on it (this is what one did before “social networking”), I addressed one to him at his hotel in New Orleans, which consequently his family still owned, with a small note (and, duh, my phone number) included. (oh, home-wrecker I’m not – one call to chatty desk clerk at hotel confirmed bachelorhood).

Since our final parting 7 years prior had been, ummm, not the best in his memory, he was prepared to possibly discard the greeting.  That is until his English friend (I knew I liked that bloke), in his never beat around the bush way, pointed out that due to the “positive physical attributes” displayed in the picture, perhaps at least a return phone call was in order (praise be the wisdom of guy-logic).

He did call.  Then he called again, many times.  And then we arranged to get together. Gullible Forgiving guy that he is, he, again, came out to see me in LA.  This time, I did not send him home with some stupid edict, but rather with the promise of a reciprocal visit to New Orleans and more.

And despite the fact that I bristled ever so slightly at the statement made by him some months later that if “anyone had ever told me I had already met the girl I was going to marry, I would never have thought of you” and he, annoyed by the fact that I had to slobber all over a bunch of frogs before finally getting it right…

We married a 1 ½ years later.

Well, 7 years and 1 ½ years later.

This year we will celebrate our 16th anniversary. I am thinking all those frogs and bucking livestock were well worth the trouble – which only goes to show that it is a good thing, life is what happens while you are busy making plans!

As author Saul Bellow so eloquently put it:  

“Unexpected intrusions of Beauty.  That’s what life is.”

Happy Valentines Day

A Decade of Wisdom

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I have a son. I have had him for a decade.  Apparently, 10 years is a long enough time for some to acquire a significant amount of knowledge and I have, consequently, learned a vast amount from him.  Not the usual wisdom one might aspire to but, I have come to believe,  he is definitely onto something.  What, exactly, I couldn’t really say; but valuable, to be sure. And, what good is knowledge if not shared? Therefore, in the interest of fairness, here are some of the Decade Boy’s most admired words of wisdom.

Why goof of tomorrow when you can goof off today.

Girls who chase boys are pathetic.

Smart people are often “over-rated”.

The enjoyment of any activity is always increased by the removal of all authority figures.

School (work) could actually be fun in Heelys…and, of course, no teachers (bosses).

The song “Animal Crackers in My Soup” is worth singing repeatedly after changing the word “Soup” to “Poop”.

School is completely unnecessary, just “figure it out.”

Forget motivational speeches, prizes, or perks…you want results?  Show me the money!

Which brings us to:

Career goal: “To be Rich.”

Most Memorable Quote:

“All the seasons of Childhood are wasted while in School.”

And lastly:

The person who decided it was a good idea to have 5 days of school/work to only 2 days of weekend was the dumbest person on the planet.

Confucius say: He who passes gas in church sits in his own pew.

Decade Boy say:  When all else fails…kick butt.

Like I said…clearly onto something.

For more Pre-teen isms –  A Decade of Wisdom – Go Here!