Friday, September 19, 2008

Get Lost

Here is what is going on with me today.

I decided to go for a walk by myself after dropping the kids off at their respective schools. It is the most gorgeous fall day here and I did not want to be inside in the gym and plus my horoscope said I needed "fresh air"...

Anyway, I started on the walk that I am very familiar with, but also a little bored of, so when I came to a fork in the road, I forked right.

It was a great call. It was a nice incline with the most amazing tasteful estates to look at. I was listening to my iPod and life was good.

Then, 45 minutes in to it, I got so fucking lost I ended up on the highway!!!!! I remembered that I had my phone. No, not to call 911, but to use the navigation system. For the first time, I was glad that I pay an ungodly amount per month for it because it really came in handy. Not that I was in the worst neighborhood, but because I was starting to get hungry and I had no idea where the heck I was.

I was able to navigate my way off the highway, and it said I only had 4.5 miles to go before I reached my destination!!!!!!


Knowing that, I panicked and talked myself into being starving. I got light-headed and considered calling 911.

But then I remembered my days as a camper and recalled that you could eat some grasses and berries. Something about 'shrooms too??!?!

I walked a little further and saw a bunch of day laborers building stone pillars for one of the mansions. I figured I could learn something new if I observed them, so I set up camp. I picked a few berries, learned a little Spanish, stole an enchilada out of one of the guys backpacks and I was good to go.

I knew exactly which direction to go in, and I figured it would take about an hour and 20 minutes.

It would have if it was flat!

There, ahead of me, was the biggest hill I had ever seen. In fact, it was a mountain. I psyched myself up for it and Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation" came on which I thought was ironic because really, who the hell was I talking to?

I started up the mountain. I was freekin' dying in about 2 minutes so I said " I will pick up a walking stick" and then laughed because I realized I was having a conversation.

The walking stick helped a little, but it was a sucky motivator and it made me feel like I was 100 years old so I dropped the stick and forged on while panting and crossing myself (even though I am Jewish).

Then I turned around.

No, not to go down the hill and give up, but to work out my ass muscles.

Let me just say that had I been facing forward I would have seen my friend approaching and I would have flagged her down for a ride, but instead I saw her fly down the mountain-hill leaving me in the dust.

No worries... my navigation system said 4.2 miles left. Fucking phew!!!!

I made it back battered and bruised and I barely have enough strength to hoist myself into the Sequoia. The only thing motivating me to do it was lunch.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


When I was younger I had such a repulsion to worms that it was almost debilitating. I would gag after a rainfall because it "smelled like worms outside." I took a failing grade in 9th grade biology because I could not, WOULD not, dissect an earthworm. In fact, I could not even be in the lab that day when my classmates did the assignment.

Once when I was walking in flip flops, I flipped a worm into the back of my shoe, unbeknownst to me. When I investigated what felt wet and slimy on my heel I screamed so loudly that passers by thought I was an escapee from a mental ward.

Over the past few years I have been trying to get over my phobia because I think the earth worm is here to stay. Plus, I don't want Adam and Ellie to adopt this irrational fear. Although, I don't think that will happen with Ellie. When she was 16 months old she ate half of a worm.

As I write this, Adam and Ellie are outside playing in the overly saturated back yard and patio area. They are playing after having attended a funeral for a loved one. I will explain.

After I picked the kids up from school, they begged to play outside. It had finally stopped raining after 3 straight days, the temperature was nice (78 degrees), and all I had to do was cook dinner and spend quality time on my Blackberry, so I thought “what the hell, no harm in it, let ‘em play outside.”

As I was preparing my pork roast with homemade onion jam, sauteed spinach and garlicky pan-roasted brussel sprouts, I happily observed the kids playing really nicely together. They were getting along so beautifully and I could tell that they were working very hard on a project. I was loving every minute of it from the inner sanctum of the kitchen. Life was good.

At one point Ellie came in to the house to use the bathroom, and I asked her what she and Adam were working so hard on? “A castle” she said. Intrigued, I followed her back out of the house.

Adam and Ellie had taken all the beach toys (buckets, shovels, horseshoes) and they had created quite a Kingdom for what, I was not quite sure.

And then I saw the Royal Subject, the fucking Mack Daddy of all worms. I swear it was part snake/part worm/part dingo-coyote. Adam and Ellie were building a huge castle for this worm and I was numb. Ellie was handling this reptile with such ease and grace and I was trying my hardest not to vomit. She placed it down very closely to the “Moat” of horse shoes and I warned her that if she put the snake/worm/dingo-coyote too close to the edge of the plastic toys while placing one down, it would cut their pet. She assured me that she and Adam were being very careful.

When I asked Adam what it's name was Adam answered "Butt." I then asked Ellie if she had agreed to that name, and she said "NO." Who could really blame her? So I said "ok, Ellie, what would you like to name it?" And she said "Farts."

When I mustered up the courage to look at ButtFarts, I discovered something a bit disturbing. Sure as shit, a large chunk of ButtFarts was missing from it's head (or tail). I don't know if earthworms have a head or a tail... Remember that I told you I refused to dissect one in 9th grade.

Anyway, Adam and Ellie discovered the large piece of ButtFarts next to him too. Ellie pointed and shouted with giggly glee "he pooped!" While heading back into the house I gently reminded them to take care of their pet.

I went inside, poured myself a glass of wine and started to count to 0 backwards form 20. I got to 11 before Adam came in and said “ButtFarts is dead.” “Yup, seems about right,” I replied to him. And told him to tell Ellie that we would have a funeral.

I went outside armed with an ice cream scooper to dig a grave. The kids gathered all of ButtFarts together and we buried him in a nice little ceremony. I asked the mourners if there was anyone that would like to speak a few kinds words about the deceased. Ellie volunteered and said “I loved ButtFarts. He was my best friend.” Adam chimed in “He was the best pet ever, and I will miss him.” Adam wanted to bury ButtFarts with a horse shoe, but I was not digging any deeper, or wider so I vetoed that idea. I had nothing to say (I really was just officiating the ceremony), and we agreed that ButtFarts was in a better place now. Which was fucking ironic to me, because if only ButtFarts had stayed in the ground like he was supposed to, none of this would have ever happened.

Anyway, the pork roast is almost done and in 20 minutes we will sit down for dinner. It was a big day for us here….. and I am confident that I have learned two things.

1) My kids are way too young for a pet.

2) I have no doubt that my kids will be haunted by ButtFarts spirit for years to come.