Saturday, July 31, 2010


Bookworm! I heart this picture. 

Excuse me, but OMFG
, this woman, Adele Enerson (she's in Helsinki), is using her maternity leave more creatively than should be allowed. I used mine (meaning the time from when I gave birth to when my agent guilted me into going back to auditions) to sleep, eat, and cry. Her blog Mila's Daydreams, is so clever and well done, and makes me wish I'd used Jack as a prop more when he was a little rump roast. These are my three favorites. 


Octopus's Garden

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

la cuisine parfaite

Anoushka and Jack eat breakfast at the bar. Big kids. 

Jack and I went up to Seattle a few weeks ago to visit my brother and his wife and my beautiful niece Anoushka. They recently remodeled their kitchen and I was anxious to see what they had done. My sister in law loves to cook. She's from India, and she knows her way around the spice rack. I was completely inspired by their new kitchen. Every detail had been thought of. The biggest change (to me), besides how aesthetically pleasing it is, was how easy and intuitive it was to cook in their kitchen (I made cereal). Everything was where it should be, and easy to access. I was inspired to make some changes in our kitchen too. 

Jack and Anoushka watch the big kids dive into Lake Washington

Since we moved in I've "suffered" with our kitchen sink. The faucet never quite worked right. It leaked, and never turned all the way. The sink was a stainless steel double sided dealie that NEVER looked clean, and was too small to clean a pot or a pan. I know you are scanning the site for an 800 number to donate to my cause. How on earth does someone live like this?!?!?! 

As luck would have it the faucet finally died once and for all the other day. Roberto confirmed it. There was no fixing it. Nipper Knapp suggested I pick out a new sink when I went to get the faucet. He figured if he was going to get under there and open up a new tube of caulk, he might as well do it all. Yahoooooooo!  I picked out a double sided white enamel cast iron sink with a low center divider. I can soak my cashmere sweaters, and wash long handled pans. Free at last! Free at last! Thank god almighty, I'm... oh, sorry. 

I'd love an apron front farm sink, but they cost more than moses, and would have required a cut in the granite.

They also had these nice rugs in front of their sink, stove, and long runners, going across the most heavily travelled route from the kitchen door to the rest of the house. We have a decomposed granite patio, and path, in the yard. I asked for it specifically because I wanted it to look like Versailles. Uh, yeah. Well, I wanted it to look like a nice European something. But it doesn't. It wasn't the right color, that warm peachy sand color. It's basically just a giant litter box for the neighborhood cats. We are going to remedy this with some flagstone and pea gravel, just as soon as we have the money, the time, and the... oh let's be honest, as soon as we can afford to have Roberto do it. The other big problem with the DG, is that it's sandy, and the grit tracks into the house. Poor me. I know. I will have Laurie Metcalf make an infomercial about my family's plight as soon as possible. 

This is not my backyard. If it was, that whole fountain would be filled with stray cat poop. 

I found these perfect rag rugs from Crate and Barrel. The Sangria rug. (They're on sale right now, and will prolly be gone, soon, soon, soon) They've got the orange just enough orange to go with the rest of the kitchen, and just enough hot pink and purple to look crazy and mismatched, which makes me happy. 

Next stop pull out drawers. We had them in the loft we lived in BJWB (before Jack was born). I think it's the last thing I can do short of you know actually remodeling the kitchen, to make ours more workable. Finally I'll be able to find my pots and pans without getting down on the kitchen floor. Finally I'll be able to order take out in peace! Call Save The Children. Tell them I'm fine. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I vow

To acquire better foundation garments. I vow to be one of those women who has bra and panty sets that match her outfit. Cute ones that I'm not always tugging on. I have cute ones that I tug on, or hideous ones that make me feel like sad Patty.

Perfect Park Vogel panties. No sad Patty here. 

I was thinking of including a picture of a pair of my dainties, but I'm too ashamed, and I think that would also put this blog into a whole other category of weird inappropriate over-sharing. So I'm just going to post the pics I took of the models in my dream undies. Don't they look happy... A few of my cherished Park Vogel boy shorts (discontinued) have holes in them. Not little holes either. Big holes along where the lace meets the cotton. Some of them have runs in them. I've tried several times since Jack was born to remedy this situation, but nothing is quite right. Its like, and pardon this expression, but it's like my lady business can't be contained. The $4 cotton boy shorts I got from Target ride up. I spend half the day pulling them out of my crack. The expensive ones from Mary Green feel too tight, or the lace is too pokey, or they cut into my cheeks weird,, and give me *gasp* panty lines. Don't talk to me about thongs. I haven't been able to wear one since I was 5 months pregnant. This is a major loss.

Before Jack was born (BJWB) I wore these PERFECT cotton boy shorts from Park Vogel. They are made from this soft slub cotton, in pretty colors, and a little lace edging. I got something like 15 pairs when I was shooting their lookbooks. One of the many perks of being a girl photographer. For a few years I had clean white t's, cute striped cotton panties, stacks and stacks of soft cashmere sweaters. I fooled myself into thinking that was what my wardrobe looked like. Like something out of a magazine. You should see the yellowed pit stains now. I've tried to replace them, to just go into a store and buy myself some basics, but either I have some form of body dismorphic disorder (they all seem too clingy, or boxy, or just wrong), dressing room mirrors are getting worse (I don't remember seeing THAT in my home mirror), or I AM LOSING MY MIND. Gone baby gone.

Why can't they just make me 40 or 50 pairs. That would last me until I die. 

It's almost like I'm a teenage boy. I need some sweet fashion mom to just buy my t-shirts, tanks, and underwear for me. I'm wholly incapable of providing the same service I provide for Nipper and Jack. A few months ago I was in the mens underwear section at a department store. There was another woman there with a toddler. I laughed and said "Do you think a married man has ever been in this aisle?" A few times a year, I get Nipper Knapp a stack of new white pocket t's from Jcrew. I buy him cute boxer shorts whenever a torn pair turns up in the laundry. I seem to have lost the ability to do this for myself.

When packing for a trip recently I couldn't find one white tshirt of my own that wasn't grey, pit stained, and stretched out. Not a single one. What is wrong with me? I need a wife.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How To Sing The Blues

Blind Willie Johnson - Let Your Light Shine on Me

We had to tell our beloved nanny today that Jack is starting preschool in the fall. It was awful. I was nauseous and spinny all day. Nipper did the actual telling. I did some tearful texting from afar. We agreed to not talk about it when I got home. She stayed until 7pm just talking and both of us looking at Jack in disbelief. So maybe I can't sing the blues, But I can listen. 

I don't know who wrote this. I got it in an email today. Good stuff. Enjoy some of my favorite blues while you read it.

Blind Willie McTell - Delia

How To Sing The Blues

1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning."

2. " I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, 'less you stick something nasty in the next line, like " I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes ... sort of: "Got a good woman - with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret   Thatcher   and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues are not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in ditch; ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broken-down trucks.
Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft an' state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues liftyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, " adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis .

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada . Hard times in St. Paul or Tucson is just depression. Chicago , St. Louis , and Kansas City still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cuz you skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cuz an alligator be chomping on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues:
a. highway
b. jailhouse
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass

Bad places:
a. Ashrams
b. gallery openings
c. Ivy League institutions
d. golf courses

11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old ethnic person, and you slept in it.

12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:
a. you're older than dirt
b. you're blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can't be satisfied

No, if:
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived.
d. you have a retirement plan or trust fund.

13. Blues is not a matter of looks.  It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Gary Coleman could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

14. If you ask for water and Baby give you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. wine
b. whiskey or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. black coffee

The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. mixed drinks
b. kosher wine
c. Snapple
d. sparkling water

15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or getting liposuction.

16. Some Blues names for women:
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie
d. Fat River Dumpling

17. Some Blues names for men:
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie

18. Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, Auburn , and Rainbow can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis .

19. Make your own Blues name (starter kit):
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)

b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi,etc.)
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.) For example, Blind Lime Jefferson, or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

20. I don't care how tragic your life: you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues. You best destroy it. Fire, a spilled bottle of Mad Dog, or get out a shotgun. Maybe your big woman just done sat on it. I don't care.

Lightnin Hopkins - Trouble in Mind

Saturday, July 17, 2010

We've come a long way baby

A good friend sent this to me a few weeks back. I thought you'd all REALLY enjoy it. You can see the full size version right HERE.

Now before we go an congratulate ourselves for being so modern and evolved because me no longer wash our vajayjays with lysol, read and listen to this story "Difficult Births: Laboring and Delivering in Shackles". I heard it on NPR yesterday, and I'm ill at the thought that this sort of thing is going on. When the representative from the jail (a man) said "well it goes back to the question of, what is labor really? I don't know" I wanted to get on a plane, fly to Chicago, shackle him to a gurney and give him a whole bag of kidney stones to pass. Ignorance indeed. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Someone please feather my nest

Hey I was thinking I might have a reader out there who has a crush on me and wants to send me inappropriate, unsolicited gifts. Or a reader who works for Anthropologie and gets an employee discount. I'll take what I can get.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure if I had these two things, our home would be complete. I'd love to wile away the hours hanging in this chair with Jack in our breezeway. It would be so cozy with the quilt I made this spring tucked inside. The rug could replace the mocha colored shag deal we have in the living room that currently contains bits of every meal Jack has eaten for the last 3 years. Yum.

Or we could hang it on our dock. If we had a dock. Could someone build me a dock? And a lake...

My plan as of right now is thus: amass as many Anthropologie gift cards as I can, wait for a sale, still not get one of them. Rats. Life's so unfair.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Kids Are All Right

We did it, we paid the people our good money and they are saving him a space. How did this happen? I just brought him home. He JUST came out of my frickin womb! My god! Now I'm sending him away to be with other kids. To a place with lots of trees, and letters on the wall, and a tool bench because he likes that kind of "guy stuff". To learn how to learn, how to get picked on. How to laugh at jokes, how to sit quietly while the teacher is talking. How to be bored at school. How to find a best friend. How to have your heart broken. How to skin your knee (he still hasn't ). I have cried spontaneously 14 times in the last 48 hours. When I was trying to go to sleep last night I had that racy heart, pit in my stomach feeling I used to get in my twenties when my heart was broken by a boy. Little did I know that was just practice. I told Nipper Knapp that I'm excited and ill at  the same time. My heart ACHES.

I'm the big talker too. It runs in my family. We're all really "tough". And by tough I mean, we say lots of tough things to cover up for how sentimental and softhearted we are. I'm the one who's usually saying things like "he needs to learn how to do it on his own" and "he'll only do it once if it's going to hurt, it's the only way he'll learn". Meanwhile I've been carrying him around on my hip for three years and I have the bad back to prove it.

We went to see the movie "The Kids Are All Right" yesterday. GREAT MOVIE. It's an indie so for those of you not in LA or NYC it might take a bit before it gets to your local theater, or you can wait and rent it. It's all about marriage and families, and kids growing up. The perfect movie for me yesterday. I got to cry my eyes out in the dark while eating popcorn. Perfecto. Nipper Knapp and I held hands almost the whole movie. Something we did not do when seeing Predators last week.

I don't think I'm spoiling anything when I say there's a college drop off scene in the movie. The oldest kid, the daughter is going away to school. The moment it started, I started to cry. I have distinct memories of dropping my brother off at college. My little family that was on the verge of what we all kept telling ourselves was a "very amicable divorce", (as if there is such a thing) one short year later, was all together that day. I've been looking all over the house for the picture. My parents asked some passerby to take our picture in front of my brother's dorm. I was wearing a purple shirt. My dad had his arms around all of us. I think it was our last family picture. You see? Sentimental.

I don't know if my brother and I had this same exchange that day, that the kids had in the movie, but I'm sure we were thinking it:

little brother "It's going to be weird not having you around"
big sister " I'm sorry I'm leaving you all alone with them"

My brother and I drove my mother crazy. We were always nagging each other and playing stupid games to irritate the other one. There is a picture of us in Italy. We're sitting on a bench on a beautiful precipice overlooking Verona (?) perhaps. Josh (15) and I (11) are sheepishly doodling circles on the bench, eyes cast downwards. My mother's arms are in mid-air, as she's informing us that we are ruining her vacation with our shenanigans. There are two young Italian men behind us, leaned against a wall. They are laughing. At us. My dad is standing off to the side photographing the whole scene. This is my family. I love them.

I wasn't going to write about this at all. It seemed too personal. To raw. Too indecent. But it's just on the tip of my brain all the time lately. I thought I'd wait until we were pregnant. Until had another kid. Or maybe never. Last October we had a miscarriage. We went to the fancy ultrasound doctor for our genetic tests and our 3 month 3D ultrasound. I was finished with the dreaded 1st trimester, and looking forward to feeling good before I got too big and unwieldy. We were having the conversation with the doctor about "did I REALLY have to have the amnio, since I had just turned 35 two months before?". We were giddy to see the baby. The office has these big screen HD tvs on the wall. Fancy. So I'm laying there on the table, and Nipper is video taping the big tv screen on his iphone. The doctor doesn't say anything. He's moving the thing around, and the baby isn't moving. I knew something was wrong. He says he wants to move us to a different room to use a different machine. I KNEW something was wrong.

Before any of this becomes very clear poor Nipper Knapp has emailed the video to our families. They are all excited about the baby, and we all thought maybe we'd find out that day if it was a boy or a girl.

We move to the next room where the doctor then tells us that in fact there is no heart beat. He assures us that based on what he was seeing there was something wrong from the beginning and it was nothing we had done. It just happened. This kind of thing just happens. After it happened, I heard from many other women that it had happened to them. Many just like me, had it happen after, or in between, other completely healthy pregnancies. We never talk about it. It's just too sad. It's too painful. No one wants to hear about something like that. It feels like bad juju to even say it out loud. I don't know if this counts for saying it out loud. But I just thought maybe if there were other women, some of my readers who were out there, who this has happened to, who feel like they shouldn't talk about it, or CAN'T talk about it. I know. All the awful details, I know. But mostly I know about the sadness that sneaks up on you when you are really not expecting it at all.

I know all about having to wait 4 whole days before I could get a D&C, thinking the whole time "I'm still pregnant, but I no longer have a baby". I know all about wishing I could take a little mental vacation from my body. I know about having to sit in the same waiting room as the families waiting for babies to be born at Cedars, to have the procedure to remove my baby. I remember thinking it was some kind of sick administrative punishment. I know all about crying talking to an obgyn I'd never met because mine is mysteriously out of town AGAIN (she didn't deliver Jack for the same reason). I know all about throwing up in my mothers day sweatshirt that was on my lap in the wheelchair on the way out of the hospital because the candy striper couldn't find a barf bag. I know all about being "tough" and going to a callback straight from the hospital (post barf cleanup, and post NK protests), and booking the job. I know all about spending the next two days in bed with oreo cookies and tea, and visits from Jack, and Nipper's sister Jenny who came out to take care of all of us. But mostly to take care of Nipper. I know all about feeling that it must be harder on the husband because nothing is worse than something awful happening to someone you love, much less two people you love.

I thought we were going to have a May baby. May came and went, and it felt like the LONGEST month.  I've thrown myself into work, into cooking, into tickling Jack until he pees a little and begs for mercy. Into hoepfully being a better wife. A better sister. A better daughter. A better mom. I'm hoping we are going to have another kid. We're working on it (not as diligently as Nipper Knapp would like). I just want Jack to have someone to pick on. Someone for him to be able to roll his eyes with when his parents start arguing about whose definition of "clean" is the "right" one. Someone for him to give a quick look to when I am doing some crazy mom thing that will bond them to each other like soldiers in war. (Yes mom, now I know, all moms are a little bit crazy, and now I know why) Someone to share family pictures with when he grows up. He's going to do that. Grow up I mean. I'm not ready for it today. But I'm working on it.

The weird thing is, even through the veil of this sad event, I feel like this has been the best year for our family. Jack is growing into his own inevitable awesomeness. We laugh all the time. We are healthy and happy. And we've had too much good fortune and too many hijinks and capers to list. That's the best thing about family. Through the terrible stuff you're able to appreciate the best stuff you've got, which is of course, each other. (oh, I just threw up a little on myself again. Sorry... blurgh...)

Preschool here we come! I hope they have a spot in the parking lot for the weepers.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Highland Park Chemists

Ok whatevs. I stirred up some creamy goodness in my kitchen last night and I had to share. A few years ago, a make-up artist introduced me to Monoi oil. I was supposed to be a fairy or a wood nymph or something like that. It was for a print job. She put some on my shoulders to make me look shiny, and oh my god, the smell of it. SO yummy! Like summer in a bottle. It's Tahitian gardenia (I don't know know what that means) in coconut oil. It smells SO good. And although I'm mostly a Chanel no5 girl, sometimes I like to layer the monoi with a little Comptoir Sud Pacifique vanilla, vanilla apricot, or vanilla tiara perfume.

I like it, but it's an oil, so it can be you know, oily. Not exactly what you want to put on before running out into the heat of summer. So the other night I thought maybe I'd mix it up with something else. I found a tub of cetaphil cream that is unscented that we had leftover from when Jack WAS a baby. I poured the monoi into the cetaphil and stirred it up. Uhm, dudes I'm like the new Jo Malone!

Now I smell yummy, and I'm not greasy. I should bottle this stuff.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream


We had our neighbors over for dinner last night. We had fried chicken. I don't fry it myself. That would be a safety hazard. There is a fried chicken place here in LA called Dinah's. Almost every party Nipper and I have ever had, we served Dinah's chicken. We get it with mashed potatoes and their gravy, which is incredible, and has some secret flavor that no one can ever name (lemon?). So I thought since it's summer, I should make some sweet corn ice cream to have for dessert.

not my corn ice cream. Someone far fancier than me took this picture.

Nipper had dinner at a restaurant in town called Grace a few years ago. I can't remember what I ate, but I remember the corn ice cream. It was so unexpected and perfect. They served it with some kind carmelized pistachio (or pepitas) crumble. Perfect. I made some dark chocolate sauce that didn't really turn out right. It froze on top of the ice cream like magic shell. Which wasn't bad, but not what I had planned. Cooking without a recipe is an adventure!

Here in the link to the recipe I used for the ice cream. I should note that I added a tablespoon of vanilla extract and few shakes of salt. I should also note that when you get to the part where it tells you to strain out the solids using a fine mesh strainer that I don't have one. But I do have a tea strainer. Like this one, but without the handy handle. So, I'd like you to imagine me using a ladle to scoop 1/3 cup of boiling hot custard at a time, through my tiny tea strainer, while trying to press out the solids with a spatula. Burned fingers and exhaustion were enjoyed by all!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baby Assassins

This morning Jack pooped within 3 minutes of me waking up. Nothing says GOOD MORNING like a poopy diaper. We're doing pretty well on the potty training, but poop is a full stop. He's afraid that it will stick to him if he does it on the potty. I'm all "DUDE, YOU ARE POOPING IN YOUR OWN PANTS, THAT SHIT IS ON YOU!!!"

Contemplating my demise

I don't know about you, but I am not very functional before I have coffee. I often pour Jack's milk into his sippy, handing him the carton, and put the sippy in the fridge. I'm uncoordinated and confused for a good 30 minutes after I wake up. Nipper Knapp is out of bed and dressed before I can even open my eyes. He must be part ninja.

Once we got the whole diaper disaster handled, I made coffee, and started breakfast. Oatmeal! Yes, he says, I want oatmeal, or as he calls it opiemeal. I ask him if he wants to watch Super Why while I'm cooking it, and he says yes. He wants to watch the Beauty and the Beast episode. I no sooner get the oatmeal out of the cupboard and he is shouting in this very specific voice from hell "MOM! MOM! MOM! I want to watch the BIG GAAAAAAAME one!!!!" Over and over and over. I shout back from the kitchen, "No Jack, you can watch that episode while Mommy makes opiemeal, or go play, we're not switching back and forth". This falls on deaf ears, and he continues to shout "The Big GAAAAAAAAME" over, and over, until I go into the living room and (calmly) tell him that his options are, watch the Beauty and the Beast episode, or go play. Oh and please stop shouting. He says fine, and settles in on the couch to watch. I go back in the kitchen.

They say they come in peace, and in such cute convincing packages, but I know the truth.

90 seconds later, and I've got the oatmeal on the stove. I hear kitten sounds coming my way. "Mew, mew, mew". Jack is suddenly by my side on all fours head butting my leg. "mew, mew, mew, I'm giving you kitty hugs!" "Oh hi kitty!" I pick him up and let him "help" me make the oatmeal. We finish up, put it in a bowl, sit down to eat it. I get myself some yogurt and granola. "I WANT SOME YOGURT" he shouts. "ok, let's finish our oatmeal and see". He does. "I want BLUEBERRY YOGURT!" ok. I get the blueberry yogurt out. I stir it up and put  it in front of him. I turn to get a napkin and the blueberry yogurt is in his lap. It's my fault, I should have put it in a bowl. Those stupid containers are too tippy tommy for a kid. My fault, my fault, my fault. As I'm cleaning it off his lap, he says "It's ok, it's ok".  "That's right bug, it's ok, mommy should have put it in a bowl for you" Poor baby.

As I take the soppy mess of blueberry yogurt paper towels to the sink,  he says "But MOM, I want APPLE YOGURT!!!". I say no, and place the blueberry yogurt that he asked for, not 3 minutes before, in front of him. As I'm walking away, he makes a little sound. It's very distinct and the hairs on my neck stand straight up. It's the sound of the alien from the movie Predetor. Kind of a clicky warble. OH MY GOD! It all makes sense. He's been sent here to kill me. Slowly. He's a baby predator. Look at that giant forehead! It's not going to be violent, no decapitations or mudbaths, but it's clear, little by little, he's going to kill me. He must a new higher form of predator that has learned to infiltrate and destroy. He's really really skilled. Good thing I'm biologically coded to love him beyond all sense of self preservation.

Here's an article from New York Magazine that Nipper Knapp sent to me this weekend. It's called Why Parents Hate Parenting, All Joy and No Fun. I can't say I enjoyed it. But I did relate. It says a lot about our generation having kids later in life, and how nobody's having any fun, but everyone is smitten. It's sort of depressing and validating at the same time.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rosebowl - Schmosebowl

Check out Bertha in her modest swim togs. I might as well have been wearing a burkini.

So guess who got to mommy and me swim class this morning with 10 minutes to spare? Then guess who discovered that this wasn't the class where Jack gets in the pool all by himself? Then guess who ran to the swim shop and paid $75 for an ill fitting old lady suit that looks like it was made for an 87 year old woman named Ethel? Then after 30 minutes of applauding, and splashing, and general adulation, guess who got out, put on her sarong, sat in gum, didn't realize she sat in gum, and got in the car with said gum on her butt? 

If you guessed me you win the grand prize. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fort kit

This is Bea at our annual cookie decorating party (and Hattie!) 

Jack has a little friend named Bea, who is a pretty cool kid. She's cool because her name is Bea, but also because she's got super cool parents. Bea's mom Kathy is one of those moms who is so effortlessly cool, that you can't help but feel envious. Sometimes Kathy rocks a modified Dorothy Hamill haircut, feather and all. She and Bea weren't able to make Jack's birthday party, but the day after, we got a package in the mail, and this is what we found inside. At first I thought "OH NO!" A) Because Nipper Knapp was freaking out about the amount of new toys Jack was getting B) Because I thought it was a big tent, of which he has one, fish sized, one gazebo sized for the yard, and a tree house in the making C) Because I thought Nipper Knapp was going to freak out about him getting another big toy (did I say that already?)

Jack's fort kit!? What the what?

Jack's clips! 

The contents of the bag are as follows: 1 white sheet, 1 mini bag that says "Jacks clips" with clips in it (duh). It's awesome. An old fashioned fort kit! It's a known fact that Nipper's sister Jenny is the queen of the homemade fort (I'm sure she has a sash or a tiara or something), so she's going to have to get out here and start building. 

When I emailed Kathy to tell her that was the cutest, hippest, most unexpected, clever birthday mail surprise. She commented back that she knew I'd be scouring the internet for pretty vintage sheets to make kits for all the kiddos in my life. She knows me so well. I have a whole stash of purse and shoe dust bags that I could embroider the kids name on, because I am a masochist. My estimate is that I'll make two of these before I stab myself in the eye with a fork. 

Fort #237 

Maybe something like these:

I borrowed these from the internet

Saturday, July 3, 2010

TV is my friend

Dear Don Draper, Yes. 

We didn't have a tv when I was growing up. So the story goes. We had this little 9 inch black and white set that I think was on the kitchen counter, so I have vague memories of watching Welcome Back Kotter while my my mom washed dishes. The kitchen had avocado green linoleum floors and a national geographic map of the middle east on the door that led to the dining room. You get the picture.

My parents finally broke down and got a tv just in time for the 1984 olympics. I call this period the beginning of the end. I had watched tv at friend's houses. I remember the dawn of MTV, the astrounaut, the guitar riff. Al the neighorhood kids would be crammed into the Osborne's living room watching it. They had 8 kids so they had to have tv... But there was no laying around in pjs staring at the tv in our house. We read books, or played records, or TALKED to each other (I know!).

Who shot JR? Oh Sue Ellen, put your drink DOWN!

The 1984 tv was quickly followed by a vhs machine. Hello world. Like any person who's been deprived of something, I latched on like a starving newborn. Saturday morning cartoons? Yes. Facts of Life (my first crush on George Clooney)? OH Blair! The Cosby Show? I wanted to BE a Huxtable. Kate and Ali? I'm embarrassed to say that the day of the Challenger explosion, I got ants in my pants about watching the non stop video of the event, and told my parents I thought maybe it was time to turn the channel, but secretly I was just afraid of missing Kate and Ali. TV made me a monster!

I went to boarding school in Maine, and then didn't have a tv in college, so there's another large pop culture tv gap in my brain. I sort of missed the whole Beverly Hills 90210 and the beginning of the Friends era. When Nipper Knapp and I got married, I did have a tv, but no cable. This would not do. We got cable, the full monty, movie channels and all. During certain times of the year we have special sports packages that allow him to watch every minute of every game in the world. We don't have a tv in the bedroom because I think that's bad juju. But for as much as I grouse about there being too much tv in this house, and that reality is killing good tv. I still love it. We almost put our cable on hold for the summer after the Tremé season finale (I know I've said this before, but, Tremé is the best show on tv since The Wire). But then True Blood Started. And Hung, and Madmen is starting any minute. We watch Deadliest Catch, and United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie, and 30 Rock, and until it cancelled (BOO) Parks and Recreation. We tivo all kinds of documentaries, and American Experience on PBS. Jack is pretty much learning to read by watching Super Why and Curious George. It's not all bad.

Tabitha enjoys her first pall mall of the day

I went on the AMC website and made a Madmen version of myself this morning. I don't smoke, but my Madmen self does. Her name is Tabitha, and she's wearing a dress that looks like something out of my grandmother's (my mom's mom) house. Tabitha doesn't take any guff from anyone. She listens to Maria Callas on the radio and drives herself to the salon on Saturday. She doesn't have a junk drawer in her kitchen, but she does have a jadite green pantry. There is a missing year in Tabitha's past where she may or may not have been shacked up with a painter named Juan Pablo in a villa in the south of France. Know one really knows. Every June 7th, she calls in sick and ties one on in a dive bar near that place by the train. She's been known to get in fist fights with men twice her size. Tabitha is an animal lover and has 2 goldfish and a chinchilla. She hates pedants, but loves a good matzo brie. Like who doesn't?

Tabitha's first day at Sterling Cooper was a doozy'

Friday, July 2, 2010

Target deal of the day

It says "fleurs" on the side. How cute is that?

Ok, I'm not really going to feature something new from Target every day. But I could. The amount of time and money that I spend at Target is just plain sad. The other day my dear friend Jackie and her son Alex were visiting from New York. They used to live here, but they moved to NY a year ago, and we had a lot of catching up to do. The kids were playing, and we were chatting, and trying to keep the chaos to a minimum. When it was time to go, Alex wasn't having it. He played one of Jack's favorite games, which is "I can't hear you even though you are saying my name two inches from my face". It's really fun. So finally Jackie pulled out the big guns. She said quietly, "If you come right now, we might go somewhere REALLY special on the way home." To which Alex immediately replied  "TARGET?!"

I grabbed Jackie's arm just before I died laughing. I am not alone! Target is an outing. Target is a playground. Target is where I can get errands done, AND keep Jack entertained for at least an hour. Do I ever get out of there without buying him something, even if it's just something from the $1 aisle? NO. Never. Not even when I say "Ok, but we're not buying any toys today." I AM NOT ALONE.

Alright, so long story short. This little planter filled with succulents was only $16. I was in the garden section looking for mini succulents that they sell there for around $2 a piece, to make something just like this. But for $16 I decided theirs was cuter and cheaper than the one I was going to make. It was so cute, I got one for our nanny, who tolerates our insanity daily, and is pretty much the reason I haven't Sylvia Plathed myself. Just kidding. Not really. Maybe she deserves more than a cactus. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

mini me - and Nipper - and Jack

The Nipper Knapps au bois

Doesn't it look Wes Anderson (ish)

As we were wrapping up the pilot, I had to start thinking about our title card and show opening. I think I would henceforth like to be Mrs Nipper Knapp Family Creative Director. Is that too much to ask? Nipper had decided it would be a cold open with no opening song or credits. But we still had to have something that identified the show title. Hum. One day I saw that Broke-Ass Bride tweeted about cute cake toppers. I clicked the link and it led me Urastarhouse's shop on etsy. OH MY GOD PEOPLE. It was like I'd been struck by lightening. I knew in an instant what we were going to do. We were going to have little wooden us made! We were also going to have a Luchador made. Doesn't your family have a luchador? Ours is named Frank. Oh yeeeeah. Here is her listing for our custom couple. Have you ever seen anything like it?

Heather was super game when I contacted her one night like 3 minutes before our deadline. "Hey can you make me this custom family with a Luchador, and can they be in these clothes, and can you beam them here, because I should have shot them yesterday?" Love a girl who can work in a pinch. Not that I know anything about doing anything in a pinch. Here are the pics from her etsy shop. And my pics of when I opened them up when they came in the mail like it was Christmas morning. 

How cute is she with her moo cards and her old fashioned yarn?!

Yes, we are having a Luchador named Frank raise our child. He's very nurturing. 

They have Tostada Tuesday and race pill bugs in the yard

We are a happy family