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Dear Stephen Colbert (an homage and a plea):

9 Dec

colbert image

Dear Stephen Colbert or shall I call you “Dreamcrusher™?”

The Boy started watching your show about three years ago and since then he has spent every waking moment wishing away years of his life so that the day when he was old enough to attend a live taping of your show would arrive and he would not only score tickets and play his guitar for you, he would also meet Jack White and ultimately become legend among the 13-17 year-old crowd in Upstate, NY.  (Well, maybe not every waking moment.  There were those times where he went to school, played outside, slept, did chores, breathed oxygen, slept, did homework, ate food, slept and wrote songs.  And slept.)

Impossible?  Not for this kid who once overcame having no Monterey Jack cheese in the house by crafting his own grilled cheese using nothing but domestic Brie, pear slices and day old baguette.  The Boy is a warrior.

Now you may ask “what kind of parent encourages a kid to dream so big?” and to you I reply: “a really lazy and/or disengaged one.”  And in a follow-up question to you, Mr. Colbert: “what kind of grown man wears a white daredevil suit, for any reason, ever?”  (Answer: “Stephen Colbert.  Hell, I would too if it meant taking over for Letterman.  Well played, sir.”)

Nation, (note: if there were a “camera two” of writing, here’s where I would turn and face it.  Sadly, all literature has to offer is the paragraph).

Nation, I’ve watched Mr. Colbert during some sweet, sweet eras of comedy when the jokes practically wrote themselves.  Shooting ducks in barrel, if you will.  Or, if you’re Dick Cheney, shooting anyone, anyone at all, in the face.  I also hung in there during some lean moments like when Mr. Colbert kept musician Michael Stipe on a shelf on the set of The Colbert Report.  I’m sure that Mr. Stipe was thankful for that shelf as rents in Manhattan are out of control and R.E.M. record sales aren’t what they used to be.  For what shelf space costs today you used to be able to get an entire bookcase worth.  I’m not saying that Stephen Colbert is without heart.  He’s just without a big heart.

And so I ask you and your heart, Stephen Colbert, to help make one of The Boy’s dreams come true. (All his other dreams involve Sofia Vergara and a diving board.)

Invite The Boy to appear on your new show.  He will play his guitar and tell jaunty tales of eleventh grade life (and also discuss how Elvis Costello often seems to sing in iambic pentameter so if you wish to invite Mr. Costello to appear at the same time, that’s fine).  He will help himself to all the swag and citrus fruit in the green room and make googly eyes at any female with a pulse.

Mr. Colbert, I’ve paid my dues.  I sat on my behind and watched your show for years.  I’m an American, damn it.  Sitting on our behinds and watching TV is one of the things we do best.  (See also “face-shooting,” and “cage-fighting.”)

You owe me.

You owe The Boy.  (Note: if I could raise one eyebrow, I would do that here.)

Don’t make me get out of my chair, Mr. Colbert.  (Because I won’t.)

But you can at least give The Boy some room on your couch.  (Assuming that your new show will even have a couch.  If it’s just people sitting around on shelves, talking, you may want to invite John Mellencamp as he’s small and somewhat dusty too.)

Imagine how a Colbert Bump could alter the destiny of a teenage boy and then do it anyway.  (He has so little to lose.  I’m his mom, I can say that.)

Mr. Colbert, won’t you help a boy, like The Boy?  Or even the actual Boy?

Do it.  Do it now while you are still popular.

#BumpTheBoy

or via email at: BumpTheBoy@gmail.com

(PS: if you need writers for you new show, try emailing BumpTheBoysMom@gmail.com.  Sounds weird but we all thought a spin-off from The Daily Show wouldn’t make it either.)

Best Wishes~

 

Why I (Presently) Don’t Work Full Time

20 Sep

the capn

I wrote such a stellar resume and cover letter in response to a recent job listing that any prospective employer would feel foolish for even considering anyone else for this position.  And you know I mean it because I used lots of italics.

All active verbs and adjectives were prodded into action: I excel and complete things at both a high level and at a granular one.  I am not only an expert, I am also adroit, proficient and highly-skilled.  I use words like “proficient” and “adroit.”  I am a team player who enjoys working alone (especially if the uniforms are off the rack).  I am self-motivated yet capable of spacing out in front of a box of Cap’n Crunch while contemplating the contraction “Cap’n.”  I know what a contraction is, damn it, and I’m pretty certain that “Cap’n” is a fine one.

I am the greatest ________ who ever lived and I am willing to work for only a fraction of my worth.

So what’s stopping them from hiring me?  (PS: do I really want to work for a company who doesn’t have their uniforms tailored?)

Toner.

Toner is what’s preventing me from fulfilling, nay, exceeding my potential by getting hired, being promoted (more than once) and taking over the company.  Toner.

Toner and The Boy.  (Which really does sound like a bad TV-cop show.)

The Boy, who, for who knows how long, has covered the walls of his room with downloaded pictures of Zooey Deschanel, Sophia Vergara and Tina Fey.  (I really should go in there occasionally.  If only to retrieve all the cutlery that he has also been stashing under the bed for who knows how long.)  It’s a teen version of “binders of women” on those walls- without the creepiness.

And I understand where he’s coming from: the shiny hair, the bangs, the curves and the general loveliness.  (Although he says that in Tina Fey’s case she represents smart and quick-witted women everywhere.)

It’s just that for as long as The Boy has been printing, he has also been putting empty toner cartridges in the place where full cartridges used to be.  And you know I’m mad because, again, italics.

(Side note: should you get an interview and decide that you no longer want the job, say, because the morning commute is eastbound and the early sun can damage fine skin, do what others have done: during the interview, drop random words into your answers then flee leaving the employers feeling, what I like to call, “dazzled and confused.”  Beginners will often start by referencing more popular words like “the Google,” “the Netflix” or “Sanford and the Son” while more seasoned interviewees know that the fun lies in making references that only your friends will understand.  Phrases like: “the Dufresnes study, as presented by Mr. Hedberg, puts forth that humans have limited patience.”  Or, “Robert Lee has been instrumental in introducing Asian philosophies to today’s workforce.”  The less they get, the more they will insist that the office cannot run without you.  That’s my theory.)

So, to answer your question, Spouse, The Boy is the reason I don’t have the perfect job today.  He used up all my toner and now I’ve lost all my mojo.

“Missing Her Mojo:” How one mother’s search for employment leads to an entire bedroom makeover.  (On Lifetime this Fall.)

Back to School

12 Sep

back to school

Here’s why I hate the first day of school:

First: I am not known for being quick.  To move.  To judge, well, who’s to say?  (Actually, I am.)

I revel in all things slow (side note: future NPR show- “All Things Slow”?)  Friends have been known to doze as I search for the exact word whilst in conversation (for example, “whilst”) while others have consumed an entire meal before I have properly plated my green beans opposite my cranberry sauce (Spouse, Thanksgiving 2008).

It takes about a week once school ends for me to fully develop my summertime groove- from switching bed linen to a higher, more luxurious  thread count, to picking berries to add to my morning beet smoothie (side note: future morning music show about ska-influenced music titled “Beat Smoothie”?) and then imagine, if you can, how disruptive deconstructing that groove can be.  You see now how the first day of school is overwhelming, at best, and, at worst, a total Weepfest (September, 2011).

Secondly: the paperwork.  Every year it’s the same.  Science lab rules, gym class rules, homeroom rules.  Where are the Stevie Ray Vaughn Rules rules?  Doctor’s information, emergency contact (where you ferret out true friends and then saddle them with caring for your sick child because the school cannot reach you at any of the contact numbers you provided- oops, did I leave off a digit?) plus an improved code of conduct- NEW for 2013-2014!  The “I will not wear sleepwear to school rule!”  (PS: I didn’t even know that wearing pajamas had been an option.  Oh, the Lifetouch pictures we could have had- complete with airbrushed option and crooked hair.)

Third: lunch.  The Boy has watched enough Food Network to now believe that only fresh basil and hand-hewned croutons are acceptable in a salad.  Who hews?  Of course, a PB&J is fine if you’re rushed (hello, it’s me) as long as the bread is stone ground whole wheat, preferably cold-climate grown.

Fourth: the clutter.  The constant jumble of socks and shoes and backpacks and lunchboxes.  And books and binders and paper and such.  All in front of the kitchen door.  You know, the door that we must fly out of right now if we are to make it “on time.”

Finally, about the quest to arrive “on time.”  I put quotation marks around “on time” because while “time” is more of a “concept” to me, previous employers have adopted a more literal definition of “time” and the “wasting” thereof plus the need to “show up on” it.  But, hey, we’re all different and both schools and workplaces benefit when tolerance is practiced.  Besides, who am I to judge?  Oh, right.  I’m the unemployed one.

Let’s not even discuss the switch to Standard Time where, from November to March, I am 59 minutes late for everything.  Oh sure, I eventually make up a few minutes here and there- mostly at doctor’s appointments because physicians have even broader definitions of “time,” “schedule,” and “appointment” than I do, but it’s not the same.

Plus the reason I am at the doctor’s office is due to some nasty germ that The Boy brought home from school anyway.

Then, from my scratchy-sheeted sick-bed, I will begin counting down the days until summer vacation again.

259 from today.

*I really needed soy milk and paper towels.

2 May

I am not one to take out my frustrations on a person who is just doing their job.

After all, I once worked as a UPS package handler (for two days.)

Of course, having achieved a certain level of self-awareness, I now know that I prefer spending the day standing and lifting heavy things to sitting at a desk and then going to the gym where I pay money to stand and lift heavy things.

Plus when I did work for UPS, I conserved precious brain energy for use during off hours which resulted in such a surplus I should have at least written a movie treatment and a children’s book series (“Why Mommy Drinks,” “Why Mommy Cries,” etc.) instead of spending hours hanging with friends contemplating the corn dog (which came first?), Tinky Winky (the only gay Teletubbie, really?) and The Smiths (great band but so sad).  Also- I had paid vacation and health benefits.  Those were good days.  Both of them.

So, obviously, I have no issue with working for a living.  It’s just that, if you happen to be a Food King cashier, why not rule the Food King Kingdom by becoming Emperor of All Things?  And by “Emperor of All Things” I mean stop asking me the names of all the weird fruits and vegetables I buy and just do your job.

New policy: if you don’t know what the produce is and you ask me, instead of looking it up or learning it, I’m going to tell you that it’s the cheapest fruit in the store until your front-end manager freaks out and banishes you to clearing jams at the Coin Star machine (so many germs!)

From now on, all unrecognized produce is a Granny Smith apple (on sale this week for $1.29/lb.).  A pear that is so fragile it comes wrapped in cushion like a museum artifact?  If you ask me, I will say it’s a Granny Smith in pajamas.  Tomatillos?   Granny Smiths still in their husk.  And persimmons?  Why, they’re how Granny Smiths look before they turn green and lose their leaves.  Everyone knows that.

So listen up Food Kings- I have been where you are.  Accept your current employment situation, pass your produce test and move on.

I often shop while conserving brain energy and your constant badgering is a drain on my limited supply.

Although that does help explain why I came home with one doughnut (thank you for not asking me “how many?”) and a plant.*

We’re Gonna Need a Better Back-Up Plan

18 Apr

I bought a mega millions ticket.

You know things are tight if I buy a lottery ticket, singular.  Finances may be dire but that doesn’t make me a fool.  One lottery ticket is fine; it’s a tiny dream- like wishing on one star for 161 million other stars to align.  A bundle of lottery tickets is a desperation move and if I were going to take that route, I would buy myself a $100 dollar pair of Skechers Shape Up Toning Shoes and develop a Plan B that features my improved bottom and pays me money for it (or have the Kardashians beaten me to it?)

Plan C includes consulting the Feng Shui book then cleaning all the windows in the house.  According Feng Shui, money cannot find its way into your home if the windows are dirty.  On the plus side, neither can Jehovah’s Witnesses- all you have to do is duck below the grime and whisper.

But I’m not worried- I’m too busy being what my workforce counselor calls “proactive.”  “Pro” from the Latin indicating “favoring”  and “activ” from an infomercial meaning “acne control.”  My employment counselor has great skin.

Besides, there are always scratch-offs which, as of today, equate to $500 A Week LESS for Life (for me).  I swear, as soon as the boy turns 18, I’m buying the “For Life” lottery tickets for him, The Prince of Longevity.

I call that Plan W.  As in “What becomes of Grown Ups with English Degrees?”

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