Friday, February 26, 2010

Book worm

Jack has handled the transition from his crib to his new bed in his new room like a champ. He's also been surprisingly obedient about staying in his room until Boo, his monkey alarm clock "wakes up" at 7, even though we suspect he's in there at 6am playing. Until yesterday that is. I made the mistake of telling another mom that he doesn't seem to know that he can get out of his room or hasn't tried anyway. Why did I do that? I said it all self deprecatingly, like "oh he's too dumb to realize he's free" so it wouldn't come off as braggy. But the universe knows. 

That night, Nipper and I went to dinner at a place downtown called Bottega Louie. It was amazing! We had portobello mushroom fries, and corn with bacon and swiss chard, and a rocket salad, and chicken with lemon and capers, and pasta with rib-eye and swiss chard, and a chocolate souffle, and WHOLE bottle of Magnificat meritage. Whoops. Oh, and they have french style macaroons, and their boxes look very laduree-ish

We came home, and I immediately passed out on the couch watching American Idol. I'm really romantic like that.  First time we've been out since the infamous Christmas date, and I'm like Gary Busey on a Tuesday. Jack's nanny Brenda had put him to bed, which has only ever happened one other time in his life. SO around 1:30 in the morning, Jack wakes up, thinks, "Are mommy and daddy still gone?" get's up, walks into the hallway, then, stunned, he says, standing in our bedroom, "Hey! I just opened that door". Sigh... I cursed myself, took two advil, and lay awake the next two hours, as Jack went back to sleep ON Nippers head, and the two of them battled for mattress real estate and who can snore the loudest. Jack won. 

Before he made his big break I was finding stuff like this when I went into his room in the morning:

Yes, the iphone, and the helicopters are in there, but also BOOKS! And a flashlight! Could it be I already have a little reader? Is he too young to be reading under the covers with a flashlight? Do kids even do that anymore? More likely he was using the flashlight to "shoot" something, but a mom can dream.  When I was very small we lived in a small town, right next door to the public library, which was also very small. The librarian had to make a rule that I was not allowed take out books and return them on the same day. I would walk over, get a stack, take them back to my room, where I would curl up in my closet and read them. She also had to make a rule that I wasn't allowed to eat red pistachios and read her books. Somewhere out there, are a whole slew of public library books with tiny pink fingerprints all over them. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

For your viewing enjoyment

I'm not promising anything nearly as entertaining as this with the Lady Gaga parody video. However the dancing will be similar. Only with less "soul" in the hips...

this is a good look right?

Maybe I've totally cracked, but I really think this would be a good look for me. I've always wanted pink hair like Nony Tochterman of Petro Zillia.

Unfortunately there's not a lot of call for pink haired moms to sell laundry detergent and toilet tissue on tv. There should be. But there isn't. So I think the Lady Gaga video might be my chance to finally have pink hair. Indulge me for a minute here. It's pretty right?!

Monday, February 22, 2010

please mind the delay, we're experiencing technical difficulties

Please listen to this as you read this post. It will help you get in the mood.

I know I haven't written all week. It's only Monday. I mean I haven't written since last week. Oh hell, I'm going back to bed. I have suddenly reached critical mass, the tipping point, whatever it is, I'm broken. Officially. I have successfully piled too much on my plate, and now I'm full, and I can't take another bite, but guess what, there are six more courses. The sad part of this statement is that I don't have a job. Not really. Not a job job, where you get up in the morning, and have to put on clothes that convince your coworkers that you are not a hobo or a schizophrenic. I do have to go to auditions, and from time to time, report to a set at some ungodly hour, but that's only like ten times a year. So how did I end up this Monday in February, deeply in need of a nap, vacation, bubble bath, lobotomy? I blame apple computers. We have four of them. FOUR OF THEM. Not including the iphones that we all have, including Jack. NO, I did not go buy my two year old an iphone. He has my old one that we loaded up with kids games, and movies, and he knows how to navigate youtube to find his favorite videos, because he was born in the future. 

There is no way to escape information in this house. I can't dodge an email, or a phone call, or a text message, or the huffington post, or etsy, or my bank account, or that pre-school that we're looking into, or that rug on, or my blog, or other people's blogs, or taking pictures, or playing monopoly, or watching this really funny video that my husband's sister's mother in law's gynecologist posted, or FACEBOOK. All of these things are unavoidable because of the multitude of apple computers at hand in this house. And now it looks like we might be getting another one, because none of the FOUR that we have has a fast enough processor to handle the video files from my new camera. WHAT THE F*#K! When did this happen? Can Steve Jobs just install the chip in my head and get it over with? I want that new mac smell right in my very own body. 

I've been guest blogging on a site called You can read those posts here and here. I'm working on shooting a parody of a Lady Gaga music video. As in, I got this idea one night while standing in the kitchen, so I wrote some new lyrics to one of her songs, handed it over to Cleo's mommy, who I thought would record the lyrics over a karaoke version of the song. Nope, she and the uber talented sound engineer for their band remixed the whole thing so it sounds like oh I don't know, LADY GAGA is singing it. Sadie offered up her backyard for the shoot, and her dance skills. Uhm. Pressure on.

I've been making props, glitter gluing Barbie dolls, making macaroni face masks, figuring out costumes, making shot lists, thinking about getting SAG contracts, choreographing some dance moves (DUDES, this is not going to be pretty), and learning how to use the camera. I just threw that last one in last because if I can't use the camera, none of the rest of this will matter. It should be number one on the list. But I have some kind of genetic abnormality that causes me to wait until the last possible minute, when the pressure to perform is so intense my eyeballs are bugging out of their sockets. Then I sit down and cram. Not really the best way to learn, and I'm hoping I can steer Jack towards some better study skills. Do as I say, not as I do Buttercup.

I've been trying to get some of the home projects done. The bathroom painting I know, is a big joke. I think we are coming up on the half year anniversary of the whole paint pen fiasco. Maybe it'll never be finished. It's the potty of shame. It's also the only working toilet in this house. The upstairs toilet will only flush water. If you put so much as three sheets of toilet paper in it, it clogs. Our handyman Roberto came over to fix it, and $100 later, it doesn't flush any better, but it now sprays water on you when you flush it, which sort of makes it like a poor man's bidet.

The pink man cave/craft room/office has indeed brought a great deal of satisfaction in it's fledgling stages, but it's also caused all manner of strife and indecision. The rug I ordered from turned out to be revolting. As soon as I took it out the packaging, I knew it, but I was paralyzed by the thought of navigating returning a rug through the mail. Turns out it was easy as pie, so kudos to for not making me want to take an entire bottle of xanax. And kudos to Brenda, our nanny, who this morning without hesitation told me the rug was ugly and she hated it. Thank you Brenda, I was trapped in a procrastination spiral that was sure to last until the last possible day before I could return the thing, followed by cursing and some pinot noir, a handful of m&ms and a xanax.

I mentioned I was doing Nipper's cousin's wife's biggest loser challenge. Thanks again to the damn interwebs and apple computer, I'm now engaged in a long distance shame game, whereby if I don't drop this last 5 pounds in the next 4 weeks, it's not just me I'm lying to about unbuttoning my pants while I drive. I was going to go to the gym this morning, but Roberto called me and said he could take out the window to remove the couch from Jack's room to put in the pink man cave. I waited around for him, and ate the leftovers from Hattie's birthday cake. Did I mention I spent 10 hours on Saturday licking frosting and batter off my fingers while making a Minnie Mouse cake for Sadie's daughter's 3rd birthday? Oink oink.

I wore big orange rubber gloves to mix the black food coloring into the fondant. Good thing too, because I had to throw them out when I was done. A million manicures wouldn't get that ink out of my cuticles.

This afternoon, at an audition I ran into another actor who's putting together a show of women doing 5-10 minutes as their mothers. I'm in. Wait, did I say I was in? Did I say I'd have my first draft in a few weeks. Around the same time we'll be shooting the Lady Gaga video? What is wrong with me? Has ANYONE read that ADHD article yet???

Jack moved from his crib into a big boy bed in his new room, which was our old office last week. He's fine. I'm devastated. I know it's cliched but I feel like I just brought him home from the hospital. I just heard his little cry for the first time, all sweet and raspy. I just gave him his first bath in the bathroom sink. Just said "I'm so happy to meet you, I'm your mommy". I moved the rest of his furniture out of what was "the nursery" today. I just stood there in this empty room, save his crib, and some baby toys that he's grown out of. Time is moving too quickly and I'm trying to savor all the little moments.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

I've had a headache for two days straight which is probably related to the massive amount of sludge that is coming out of my nose. I'm pretending it's not happening. I do not have a cold. To help pretend I'm not sick I thought I'd share a few things that are making me happy this week. 

First things first. The weather. While the rest of the country suffers through winter, we are enjoying 78 and sunny. And not just any kind of sunny. That crystal blue dreamy sunny that makes you happy to be alive kind of sunny. Sunday morning Jack and I got up early and drove to the beach, where we played in a monster, went for a stroll, watched helicopters zoom up and down the coast, tried to figure out how to build a sand castle with no buckets (thus the giant nipply breast made of sand in the foreground) and had an all around great valentines morning.

Next up: Cherry Pop! Sadie and I found this new color nail polish by Essie at Larchmont Beauty. It's just a tiny hint of blush on your nails. I'm kind of over my usual finger polish color which is "Sugar Daddy". As much as I like asking for it by name, I've decided it's boring, and makes me look like a mom. Ssshhh. 

How unbelievably cute is this little tray?! It's from IKEA, and it was $6. I know! I hate going to places like Ikea and Target with Nipper because he makes me feel so rushed, and is always asking stupid questions like "What do we need that for?". Ugh! I went to both places with him yesterday and it was like torture. 

I did manage to squeeze one more cute thing out of that visit. I found this perfect strawberry milkshake colored tumbler that I'm going to use for my morning latte. I think she and Francis are in love... Oh, and it was $2. 

Doesn't this look like Wes Anderson designed it?

I'm signed up for all these online sample sale websites. Hautelook, and DailyCandy, and TheMiniSocial. But my favorite one because it has an iphone app is Gilt Groupe. It's also my favorite because sometimes they have $18,000 Valentino gowns, and $7000 pearl necklaces that SELL OUT. It fills me with wonder that there are women out there who would buy something that expensive sight unseen from a "no returns" website. Who are these people? Why are they on this site? Do they brag to their friends the same way I do about my $2 ikea cup? "Oh yeah, well I saved $12,000 on a this season Alexander McQueen". Or do they hide it and pretend like they bought it at the showroom. Do they ever think or talk about money? The world may never know. Long story short, I bought this pretty tin of MarieBelle iced aztec hot chocolate for $12. It's usually $20. Maybe I'll lie to myself and pretend I paid full price for it. What a bargain. When I'm done with the cocoa, I'll use the tin to hold something pretty in my new office. 

I know it's kind of cheating, but I bought these for myself on February 13th at Trader Joe's. They smell SO good, and it feels like spring around here. The place was mobbed and I was trying to do our grocery shopping. Nipper and I don't really do anything for Valentines day. I don't think either one of us thinks of it as a real holiday. So this guy was behind me in line with some flowers that I wanted to tell him were NOT the ones his wife was hoping for, said he wished his wife would get her own flowers on Valentines day. I thought "after she sees those, she's going to wish the same." For the record, Nipper Knapp knows what kind of flowers I like, and has NEVER brought me a mixed bouquet with babies breath or other forbidden fillers. 

yes those ARE naked Barbie feet sticking out of my sewing box. 

This is making me VERY happy. At our sewing class a few weeks ago, Betty suggested these scissors. I had an old pair of sewing scissors, but I had used them to cut everything from paper to, wait for it, my lilac bush. So I figured it was time to invest in a pair that would be dedicated to only fabric. They are made by Gingher and they are dreamy, and have already made sewing so much easier! Before when I would cut the fabric out for a pattern it would be all jagged and messy. Now it's like I know what I'm doing. I also got this handy thread holder. Which brings me to the last thing that is making me happy this week. It's a combo dealie.

Some of my favorite fabrics finally all in one place where I can see them all

Candy jars from our wedding filled with all my buttons

The beginning stages of my first project in the pink man cave! Check out the vintage Heather Ross "Pool Party" fabric I unearthed when I got all my fabric together in one place! Treasure! In tiny letters in some of the pools it says "SHARK!". 
The pink man cave/my office is almost finished. I'm not posting pics yet, because I'm waiting for the rug to come from (did you know they ship ANYTHING FOR $2.95?), the skylight to go in, my box of papers to be put away, oh and for Roberto to remove the second story WINDOW, and pull the 300lb sleeper sofa, (that we promised we'd sell with the house) through it, lower it down from the roof and bring it in here. No big deal. But it's done enough for me work on things, and I'm LOVING it. Finally, I have a place to put everything. All of my fabric is in one place. All of my thread, and yarn, and beads, and buttons, and embroidery floss, and patterns, and glue sticks. I kind of feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

ok, one teeny tiny sneaky peaky.... This is one part of the very unfinished room. Don't worry, that water heater is getting hidden behind something very very pretty...

Also the front loading washer that I always wanted before we owned a house is in here. I find it soothing to start a load of laundry before I start sewing, just to watch it wash, and listen to it suds. I call it the sin eater. What's that sound? Oh it's fine, you just heard my bra burning, war protesting, supreme court ruling mother, vomit, and then shake me like a baby. Love you!

Jack's new bed with curtains that I sewed with my own two hands, on the window behind


I was actually able to make the curtains for Jack's new room (our old office) in ONE day. This is progress. As you know, it usually takes me 3-6 months to do anything. Oh, and Nipper put Jack's bed, that's been in a box in the garage for two months together. He's been sleeping in it for two nights just like a big boy. I thought the transition from crib to bed was going to be this big momentous thing. He just crawled right in and crashed. Even waited until his monkey alarm "Boo" woke up at 7, to shout for us. I'm not sure he understands that he can walk right out of his room yet. I'm sure that day is coming.

So there it is. My nose is still running, and I ran into the rain barrel pulling into the driveway this afternoon, and knocked the spigot off, sending a weeks worth of bath water gushing down the drive. Not my finest moment. Did I mention I need to make a 7 layer Minnie Mouse cake by Saturday? 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Does this ever happen to you?

Look at my mom trying to edify me... in ITALY, and look at how I'm not listening...

I was checking my email, minding my own business yesterday when I got this email from my mother with the subject line: Adult ADHD, the contents of the email included a link to this article, and nothing more. 

I'm sure my mother's not the only one who does this. I'm sure once Jack is old enough to not live with me or has his own email address (next summer), I'll be doing the same to him. Before she worked out how to solve all of my ills via the interwebs, she did it through the good old U.S. postal service. One time she even told my brother that he should go get a job AT the U.S. postal service as a panacea to what ailed him. (I'm pretty sure what ailed him was being 25 with a bachelors degree in philosophy) She would send books: "What Color Is Your Parachute?", "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers", "The NEW our Bodies Ourselves", "Ask Dr. Weil", "The Artists Way". The list goes on, and on, and on. She also sent articles. As in news clippings. Cartoons, real estate news about my area, real estate news about places she thought I'd like to be my area, op-eds, book reviews, health studies, pamphlets, and sometimes funny obituaries with notes scribbled on the sides like "I want a funny obituary like this". My favorite was the time she sent me a full page ad from the back of the New York Times with a note saying "Is this you?". It wasn't. 

She also sent me vitamins. As if from 1000 miles away she could diagnose what my body was deficient in, with nothing more than a mother's good sense. I think I had a conversation with her once where she told me over the phone I wasn't getting enough calcium. When I asked her how she knew, she said "I'm your mother." I had two giant drawers in my first apartment FILLED with dietary supplements. So yay internet. My mother is single handedly saving old growth forests by pointing and clicking me to good health. 

The article she sent was sort of interesting. I don't always get to read the things she sends (sorry mom) because I'm busy, or they don't seem like anything that pertains to me. But the title made me laugh, and I have been wondering about the volume of undertakings on my list lately. As in, I've been laying awake at two in the morning writing blog posts in my head, and re-arranging Jack's bedroom furniture. So I read it. But half way through I realized I was late for an audition, and that I needed to feed Jack, and the phone was ringing, and Nipper was asking me a question, and if I could just sew the last side of the curtain for his new room, he could sleep in there tonight, oh and I was on fire... So I never finished it. If you do, let me know how it turns out. And if I need to see a doctor immediately. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lot's of love to go around

I was going to write a special Valentines post about how Jack felt me up in his Mommy and me French class right in front of all the type A moms. Just put his hand right down the front of my sweater and said "Hey, Mommy, whatchoo got in there?" And then kissed me and exclaimed "I turned you back into a princess!" I lamely said "comment dittons princess en francais?" To which the teacher said "princess". True story.

But then I read my dear friend Andy's post on his new blog The Paper Ball. Andy is an unsung literary genius. I can't wait to see what's percolating over there. Check it out. Feel the love.

Happy Valentines mon petit choux.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

first hair cut

Jack was starting to look less and less like a cute little urchin, and more like a hobo riding the rails. But still, I had a hard time going through with it. He took so long to grow it after all. The dude was bald until he was almost two. 

On some days, he looked like he had a golden fro, and some days, he had matted dreads surrounded by a halo of frizzy weirdness. Not Bueno. On top of that, three different ladies said "SHE'S so cute" in the span of one week. I felt like shouting, "He's wearing a monster truck shirt, and he's ALL boy". But that's weird, and to be honest, he was most likely wearing a french bateau shirt, and knickers. 

So here we go. 

Here's Jack moments before we left the house. Look at those baby curls!

moments before...

in the chair

ok, mom, I'm a little worried now

I'm keeping a stiff upper lip, but where are my golden locks?!

All done!!

Who is this handsome little man? Where's my little mess?

Everyone gets a ride in the bee

Frick and Frack

Some of you have noticed Nipper Knapp and I in a few commercials together lately. We've been really lucky to be cast together on a few jobs. I guess people "buy" us as a couple. Hahaha. We've even gotten Jack in on the action. For this great fortune of being able to work together at the job we love, we are very grateful.

The other day we got a call from our agent (who is incredible btw) for a pilot audition together. As in a tv show that was looking for a real couple to play a real couple. But not a reality show. The audition was on the Sony lot. We set out in separate cars that morning because we both had other auditions afterwards. Nipper asked me if I knew where I was going, and I said, "No, but I'll look at the email with the address before I get there". Except that when I got there I was talking on the phone with Sadie about something really important like, how I had just won an ebay listing for 9 naked Barbies for $1!!!

Hostage Barbie

So Nipper tried to call me, but I missed the call. Then instead of looking where I was supposed to be going, because I'm wired for speed, but not sense, I drove to the main gate, entered the lot and drove to the top of the parking structure.

I took this picture up there. Look at the snow on the mountains in the background! So pretty! At this point, I wasn't panicked at all...

Ok, so I'm sitting up there and it's getting cold, so I call Nipper and he's all "Where are you?" and I'm all "Where are YOU?" He says he's parked on the street because he didn't know if we only had one drive-on pass. I say "Oh, whoops, sorry, I was on the phone, just drive in the gate, tell them you're here for casting, and they'll send you into the lot, we check in at the gate. I'm on the roof. I'll wait here". So I wait. And I wait. 10 minutes go by. I call him. No answer. I text. Nothing. Ok starting to feel a little annoyed. Not panicked or anything just miffed. I'm thinking thoughts like "Ugh, he's probably listening to a podcast and didn't want to pick up" and "he prolly parked on another floor instead of coming to the roof because he didn't hear me say that I was on the roof because I'm a girl, and my tone of voice is in that register that men can't hear, or can block out or whatever." and now I'm MAD. 

I go downstairs and check in at the gate, and try to call again. Fuming. No answer. I wait 5 more minutes. It's now 3 minutes to our audition time. For one second I think "He's been in an accident", but I dismiss that immediately, because it made me too sad, and I was pissed. All of a sudden I get a text from an unknown number "I left my phone in the car, I'm here, this is Nipper on someone else's phone". Great. That's great. You're here, but what does that mean? I mean, I was there, and he wasn't anywhere that I could see him. As I'm standing there with my stupid map, Michael Rappaport walks by saying something very Michael Rappaportish into his cell phone, and the dad from Heroes passes me, and I'm shocked at how tall he is, because I always assume that everyone on tv is a midget. 


I text Nipper "are you at the casting office?" Nothing. Ok, I think, you'd better just move your ass sister, because at this point it's the time when you're supposed to be calmly sipping bottled water on the couch in the waiting room trying to look like you could give a damn. But instead you're freezing your buns off at what you quickly realize in the WRONG end of the Sony lot. No worries, it's only as big as that little Tahitian atoll that Marlon Brando bought. Great. I'm hoofing it across the lot, freezing, trying my best to look like I wasn't another dumbass lost actress. Little sheep... baaa baaaa. WHERE IS MY SHEPHERD?! 

Finally I make it to the other side of the lot, and I'm standing there looking at the map the gate guard gave me and it's upside down, as in North is the bottom the map, and south is top, and I'm having this whole "map is not the territory" argument in my head, and cursing the world, when a nice lady, who must be someone's grandma walks up and says "are you lost?" and I say "yes I'm looking for the Astaire building". But she doesn't know where that is, so she says, "Go right in that door over there, and they will set you straight". And this is the door she's pointing to.

It's the police station. Geez. 

I walk in, say "I'm lost, does anyone know where the Astaire building is?" and another nice lady, who I'm sure had nothing to do with that crazy upside down map, and who doesn't look like any kind of police person I've ever seen, says "It's right outside the door down 1st street. I'm telling you this place is HUGE. So as soon as I get outside I see Nipper. I wish I'd taken a picture of him, because it was like being reunited after war. I could have cried. He says he's sorry he left his phone, and I say I'm sorry for not looking at the directions and parking in the wrong place, and we go upstairs and it's fine. This by the way is why Nipper and I are still married after what would be 78 years in real married years. We don't have jobs so we are together 24/7. It's all very pre-industrial revolution. Bottom line, no one goes crazy, we just hug and get on with it. 

We have some time to look over our lines, and sip bottled water, and look like we've got thousands of Shakespeare's monologues right at the tip of our tongues. The casting lady comes out to get us, and as we are walking across the sizable office, which I realize might be the nicest one I've ever been in, she smiles and says "long walk". She opens the door where I expect to see a video camera and maybe an assistant to read with us. Nope. Not today Shirley. It's a producers session. There are three couches full of people 8 in all. It looks like this. We know immediately who the director is, because he's got crazy ZZ Top hair and a trucker hat, and there's no way anyone hires that guy unless he's in charge of everything.

We make nicey nicey talk about Nipper's Muhammad Ali tshirt, and Sonny Liston. That takes 2 minutes. Then we read our scene. That takes 30 seconds. They say "thanks". Which in audtion-ese means, "get the fuck out my sight". Not really. It could also mean "you were brilliant, we don't need to see anything else, because we love you so much we can't bear to be in the same room with you, so please spare our tender hearts and go before me melt". But more likely "you seem like nice folks, but you're not right for this". 

Mary is my favorite!

It always cracks me up when people cry and beg on American Idol once they've been told they're not going through or they are going home or whatever because dude... You need to be able to smile and look like "Oh, I'm SO glad you just summarily dismissed me just now after I poured my heart out" like TEN times a week in this business. Otherwise, you'll:

A. Seem like a loser 
B. Never get called back 
C. hate yourself 

Rule number one (and two through four) of show business (this from a show business drop out):

2. Your mom is the ONLY person who cares how much you want this
3. Don't make excuses
3.a. It's entertainment NOT therapy

Nipper Knapp walked back to his car which was 3 feet from where we auditioned, but I had to walk back across the lot. So I took some pictures of all the cute shops and alleyways off Main Street just for you guys. Doesn't this stationary store look like it should be in Paris in the 40's? Minus the golf cart obv..

Later that day we ate pizza. How's that for a happy ending?