Monday

One more click and you are THERE!

Oh my goodness! What are you doing here???
Have you not subscribed or switched your favorites to my NEW site? http://www.marcywrites.com/ Come on over. We are having a big party. And it isn't the same with YOU!

Sunday

Okay- for SOME reason, SOME of you have yet to visit and subscribe to my new and improved site....I am not naming names or anything...but I am looking at YOU.
Okay enough of going the tough angle....how about pretty, pretty please?
Lots of new posts....
What the crtiques are saying:
"Marcywrites is a way better site than the old one"
Jack Massura
"Finally I can leave comments without all the hassle"
Marcy's Mom
"You moved your site? Why?"
Tucker Massura
"What is this new site costing us?"
Marcy's Husband
Make the switch today! Don't miss another exciting post!

Monday

Looking for me?

SO glad you came by The Glamorous Life Association today! And guess what? I moved to new fancy digs....so just click here and come on by. I will make some coffee and we can sit down and chat for a bit okay???

Wednesday

Its moving day....come on over!

I am moving.
To a new home.
But I don't have it fixed up yet....ya know pictures to hang and things to organize. It is in the fancy Wordpress sub-division in Bloggyville so it is going to take some time learning my way around. I am already frustrated with design things. Looks like I am going to have to pick up a copy of HTML for Dummies to survive. Actually I had an insane amount of help moving from Racheal from Cafinated Elf. She is a good sport and can really carry more boxes than you would think!
But I am worried. And I have been since I decided to move. I am so afraid I will lose those of you who subscribe to my blog! I know it is going to require you to re-subscribe...and well, I am afraid you will reconsider or something! So please. Take a moment and subscribe (or bookmark me) to my new address- and make my day!
Easy to say. Easy to Write. And Easy to remember.
All part of my world domination plan.
Yes, I have a plan.
So come on over to the new place.
How can I have a proper blog warming without you?
After all- YOU are the party!

Tuesday

How Blogging found me...

Over at We are THAT family...one of my favorite reads. The discussion of 'How did you start blogging' came up...and so I wanted to tell you HOW I got here.
My father, who has passed away, was adopted with his twin sister at the age of 2 in 1947. A few years before he died, I became obsessed with finding out who his real birth parents were. My whole life he always maintained the same mantra of 'why would I want to know anybody who gave me up?'...but it was different for me. I am a history buff and I had a lifelong yearning to know my true race and family history on BOTH sides of my family. Including medical history. Something you don't realize how important that is- until say...my dad who was struggling with a cough for months before his cancer was diagnosed, who could only answer the 'is there any family history of cancer in your family?' with a "I don't KNOW. I am adopted". Perhaps if he had known....he would have been diagnosed earlier....and be here today to read my blog and laugh with me. Who knows.*
Anyways...one night while doing my numerous searches for anything relating to his adoption and birth date (3/01/1945) I clicked on a site called 'OCthen'...which as it turned out was a site with memories about Orange County from various authors...one of which was Suzanne Broughton of Emphasis Mine. I linked over to her blog and was...enthralled. I had never visited a personal blog before. Photos of her lunch? Comedy tales about her family? Links to other blogs?....I was in heaven! And so there I stayed. I commented and commented. I followed her over to the OC Register. I commented and commented. Sometimes my comments were longer than the post. Once Suzanne showcased my photography work on her blog. WOW. And eventually Suzanne e-mailed me and said 'You really should have your own blog'....The next night while up at 4 in the morning....I went to Blogger and signed up. And by 7am I had my own blog with my custom header and all.
Here is my first post. And look who was my first commenter. Yup, Suz of course! Blogging was one of the best decisions I have ever made. These are my PEOPLE. My TRIBE. Had this been going on right under my nose? People were being funny and witty and clever all around me? Were there this many people out there with the same sense of humor as me? I thought I was all alone! And now I found my home. My happy place. A place to be heard. To be validated. A place to be accepted and loved. And it gives me such peace of mind that if my glamorous world falls apart around me- I know I will always have a place to call home. A place where anything is possible. Thank you Internet. Thanks for giving me a place to be.....well, ME.
*still searching for my dad's birth family. I won't give up.

Sunday

Saturday: what a day!

So much to catch you all up on. It has been a busy weekend...lets just take a look at Saturday.
We drove to Hollywood and toured around the city. Showed the kids the house in Larchmont I bought and remodeled before I even knew their dad. This boggled their mind- they have a hard time imagining their mom not being, well...their mom. We went by Grumman's Chinese Theater on Sunset and let the kid put their hands and feet in the cement imprints of the movie stars. It went a little something like this:
Tucker: Mom who is Jackie Cooper? and why are his feet so small?
Me: He was a famous child star a long time ago. His feet are small because he was only 8 when he did this imprint.
Tucker: Oh so he had an agent like me and Jack?
Me: You do not have an agent yet Tucker. We go see the manager guy in a few hours about all that. Now let mommy get a picture of you.
and there was a lot of this:
Me: Oh wow, there is Eddie Murphy's....
Boys: Who is that?
Me: Nevermind.
We then went across the street to the historical and gorgeous Roosevelt Hotel for breakfast. They say it is haunted. I have no beautiful photos for you, since the lobby interior was sporting candle light only which was a photographic nightmare for me since I only had my 'purse' camera. This is a photo of a trickling fountain in the center of the lobby. The last time i was there-I saw Lyle Lovett in a small concert in the ballroom and partied till the wee morning hours with the band afterwards. This time I was chasing my boys around the lobby and repeating the mommy mantra of 'don't touch anything' over and over until we left. Boy things have changed. It really was just as beautiful as I remembered.
And then finally- off to meet with the talent manager (Mr. Manager) that had requested a meeting with the boys. I was (am) beyond sceptical. But we met him and he seemed nice and sincere. He and his team really took a liking to the boys right away. He gave the boys scripts and they did little 'commercials' for him. He seemed impressed. It is strange to have a room full of people talking about your kids like a commodity. "They are so marketable"..or.."yeah, they are an easy sell to any agency"......so at the end of it he said that we would be able to meet with several different Talent Agencies (some I have already researched and was surprised to find they are extremely reputable in LA) and chances are we would be in a position to pick the agent we liked best. He felt that all the agents he would send the boys too would be interested. It was all very very flattering for my boys. And of course flattering for their mom as well. But I am taking it one day at a time. We go back up on Thursday for all the meetings with Agents. And then we will see where this goes.
We then went to Philippe's for French Dips, chili and potato salad (this historical LA eatery-is 100 years old this year and doesn't look a day over....well, 100). Philips is a place I went to with my own dad on the lucky days that I was able to go to work with him in downtown LA over my summer vacation. On the way home we all gave lots of thought to this whole new crazy world of auditions, headshots and all the other ingredients for possible stardom. I was giving lots of thought to something Mr. Manager said about confidence being a key ingredient in getting booked for work. And if the conversation I heard from the back seat on the way home is any indication of my children's confidence level- then we should be on our way to stardom.
Tucker: Jack after our first movie we could get a secret science lab at the house maybe.
Jack: They don't pay you THAT much Tuck.
Tucker: Oh- well, how much do they pay you?
Jack: I don't know. But I think Mom gets most of it anyway. She might give us enough for new skateboards I bet.
Tucker: oh........what kind are you gonna get?
Jack: Tucker, we have to become stars FIRST...then we can spend the money.
Hey, you think I could buy them new skateboards now-and they would forget the whole thing?......I know, I know....bad mommy. bad mommy.
Later that night we went out to diner for our omni-friends 11th anniversary. And lucky us, Dan surprised us with a limo for the night. We had a great dinner followed by Improv Comedy club. (fyi: Mitch Fatel's whole routine is about sex. The whole 90 minutes. Funny-yes. But I wonder if he can talk about ANYthing else). Mmmm. Applemartinis, Margaritas and really great friends. It was a perfect night.

We are off to the Circus!

Today we off to a family tradition...the circus. Not that my life isn't aleady LIKE a circus...this is the real deal. We go an hour early and get to interact with all the clowns...it is wonderful. And our favorite: Bello the clown. In 2003 when Tucker was 3, he was actually pulled out of the stands and brought down to center ring with Bella himself. That's him in the photo...looking tiny and scared! We have gone nearly every year- and I have managed to sneak in my profesh camera a few times to get some pretty good shots. We love the circus....makes me feel normal I guess. All the way home we talk about the dog tricks, the lion tamer and the dancing ponies. Hours of entertainment without one gun fight, car chase or battery needed. They say it is the greatest show on earth...and we would have to agree.

Friday

My favorite photos.....and MORE tips!

At the request of my friend Candid Carrie- I have decided to post a few of my favorite photos. Not so much for content (although I did pull all photos of my boys!)...but more for photo technique. So read on- I will talk a little bit about what I did to achieve each. You know I am on the constant quest to help others take great photos! I am passionate about photography and want everyone to feel the success of the perfect shot!
FORCE the FLASH:

You push the button on your camera to focus, and it indicates you do not need a flash. Hey it is a sunny day out hiking, why on earth would I use a flash? If I had not forced my flash to fire, my boys would be dark in the shadow of this cave. And I would have gotten home and been disappointed with the shot. Instead I got this shot and it is one of my favorites.

Get down to their level:Hot over-cast day. Kids doing slip-n-slide (nakie I might add!).No flash needed. But I did bend down to make better eye contact and to able to capture the popsicles undistorted.

Tilt it!

Now this tip (or 'trick) is a real secret of commercial photographers. Take portraits at a slight angle. Now in this particular case...I didn't- I took a regular ol'boring straight up and down photo...but when I cropped it, I also turned it a little to give it this effect. So you can go play around with photos on your computer right now! It is obvious in this shot if you look that the palm tree in background. Something about angles makes the subject feel more engaged with the viewer. And this tip can turn a boring photo into a winner.

Get off Center:

Get out of the habit of having your subject dead center of each photograph. Move them to the right or left. Put them down at the bottom of an image and capture a beautiful sky behind them. Mix it up. Take the same photo as many ways as possible. This photo won me a little award on Photo.net years ago. And can you tell I had just said to my then 2 year old Tucker "Do NOT pick the poppies!".....and yes, I clicked...and he picked!

So those are a few photos I really love. And some tips I like to teach to others (some you have heard in my other posts- but I wanted to really nag you about them!) These photos are my favorites because they capture such happy memories of times with my boys. And that is the real purpose of great photography. It is not just about making something 'frameable' but it is about capturing what you FELT and not only what was SEEN. Now go on...get off this blog and go shoot something! Hey, let me know how it goes will ya?

The Universe gives me a do-over.

(I try hard to shorten my posts. but this one is long...I think it is worth the read!)
About a year and a half ago, while walking thru a store in the Irvine Spectrum a woman approached me and said ‘are these boys yours?’. I panicked. What did they do? “Actually,I am a scout for an agency and I would love to give you some information”. So before I could get the words “no chance in hell my kids are gonna be kid stars and end up in rehab at age 12” (see how I just assume they WILL be stars?)…Jack and Tucker were saying “Yes! I want to be an actor! Where do we go? What do we have to do?”…So the lady gave us some info. The following Saturday there I was someplace in Huntington Beach, a library I think. With about 100 other kids. My boys were totally thrilled to be there. Not scared. No nerves. Just thrilled. They were given scripts. Then they went into a room one by one and auditioned. The next day- a person called and told us the agency is ‘very interested’ in representing both Jack and Tucker and could we please come to Los Angeles for a meeting with the agent. Reluctantly I agreed. I told the kids over and over- most of these things are scams. They just want money from you. But we can go- just for the experience of it. So the NEXT Saturday we drove the hour to downtown Los Angeles. When we walked into the agent’s office we noticed about 6 other kids there as well. I told the receptionist we had an appointment. She said “well, we are running late…like an hour late”. So you know what we did? We left. Well we waited like a half an hour and then left. I explained to the boys that it didn't seem all that legitimate- since they should make people they are ‘very interested in' wait that long. The truth was- I didn't want to be the mom to drive to LA every time the phone rings for an audition. I didn't want to do it- even if they did. Bad Mom moment for sure.

Jack and Tucker never really let the whole thing go like I hoped. For a year and a half they have said ‘we would totally be TV stars by now if you had let us stay at that agents’…..at first I thought they were just being silly. But as time as gone one- and my boys have become MORE interested in performing and definitely more dramatic. I have had pangs of regret for not sitting there like some desperate stage mom until they called us in. But did I do anything about it? Nope. I lost the agents number. So that was that. Or so I thought… Tonight as I was driving to my husband’s softball game the agent’s assistant called. She asked if Jack and Tucker already had representation (um, yeah …I mean I represent. I am their MOM), and if they had been ‘working’ (if she meant working my last nerve-then yes)….and she wanted to know if I would reconsider and come see the agent this week. She said they saved their photos and audition tapes and the agent is really hung up on seeing them again. And is looking for boys their age (sounds creepy as I type that last sentence) for new Disney and Nickelodeon shows. And she asked…’are they still so adorable and charming?’….clearly she is not a mother….because of course my answer was a resounding ‘YES. Why yes they are. Actually they are the cutest and most talented kids in the universe’.
So am I thrilled about the possibility of having to drop everything when the phone rings to rush in traffic to auditions and go-sees? To have to deal with rejection and disappointment for both my boys and me?
No.
No I don’t want to do it AT ALL.
But will I?
You bet.
The universe is giving me a do-over. A second chance. So this time I am gonna see it thru. Appointment is Saturday. I will let you know how it goes….stay tuned. That pun was so intended...

Thursday

Held Hostage by Uplinkearth

Uplinkearth is my server/site provider or whatever. I don't really understand any of it...but I pay my money every year to keep my Marcyphotos.com site up and working. That is all I know. A few weeks ago I decided to wanted to move this little blog to my own domain (will be Marcywrites.com) and to the Wordpress platform to have more control over layout and photo size. So I contact a person who does this sort of thing, and give her every single username and password I have for my domain, the server, my blog etc. She e-mails me to tell me she cannot get Uplinkearth to add my new domain to my profile. So I agree to contact them. That is when the hell began. Here is the sequence.
1. Use the Live Chat feature they promote-and I am told 'you can not make that change on-line, you need to call support number' (now this is an INTERNET company. Why on earth CAN'T I do this simple change on line?)
2. Call Support number. Wait 35 minutes. I am disconnected
3. Call Support number again. Wait an HOUR and half. I give up...
4. I go back on line and e-mail the company.
5. Call Tech number and beg to be transferred over to Support. They refuse and tell me to call direct.
6. Call Support number again. On hold for close to 2 hours. I carry the phone with me around the house on speaker....Tucker accidentally hangs it up. I cry. I actually CRY.
7. Back on line. E-mail every e-mail address I can find online. Every department.
8. Find an obscure fax number from press release online. I fax them the following:
" I am desperate. Whoever receives this fax...please help me"
I am a hostage. This was note to the outside. Still no one calls. No one e-mails.
9. Find a contact number for an executive for their parent company Luxmovera. I call his extension. I leave a message. I then call and use about 20 random extensions until someone answers. I explain my frustration. The guy is nice. But HE can't help me. He actually suggests I call SUPPORT number. I cry. He then gives me a 'special' direct number and tells me to call in the morning.
10. Stay up till midnight to try and call their 24/7 support line. On hold. Falling asleep. Give up.
11. 7:00am come downstairs and dial 'special number'. Man answers. He wants to know HOW I got his number. I explain whole story. He is MAD. But not at me. At his company. I think this may have been the darn CEO for all I know. He hangs up. Takes care of everything. Calls me back 10 minutes later and says it is all taken care of. I tell him thank you of course and hang up. He calls back again to tell me he just doubled checked my profile himself and he wanted me to know it was all really fixed. I say thanks again.
So it is over. My hostage ordeal is over. I made it out alive. But I am worse for the ordeal. I am stunned a company can treat its customers like this- and yet in big bold letters have "24/7 Support!!!" on their home page. LIES. all LIES. And I can not switch providers since I just paid my annual fee.....I would lose it.(unless uplink will refund me...are you reading this Uplink?) But I can ASSURE you I will switch when this year is up. Oh yes I will......until then..... Upyours-Uplink.....

Wednesday

When the lens was turned on me....

I was living across the bay from San Francisco. I enrolled in a summer class at Cal State Hayward to hone some of my digital photography skills. As I was waiting in the assigned classroom, because of course I was early, a young college boy walked in and asked if I was the instructor. That was the first time I realized- I might be the only 'old' person in this class. The young college boy was then followed by even younger college girls. Until the room filled up completely. I eyed the door. I considered bolting. But I paid for the class already- and my husband had agreed to babysit so I reconsidered and waited for the instructor. Eventually he came in- also young, disheveled and because I judge and asses people immediately...I decided he was unorganized and unprepared. I was right.

I attended those Saturday classes for 6 weeks. I learned very little. And second to the last week we were put on teams (the very concept of a creative team makes me cringe) to.....get this.....photograph each OTHER. This put me in a tail spin of panic. I am really only comfortable BEHIND the camera. And I was sporting about 40 extra lbs at the time. So my self image was pretty darn low. SO the following week arrives and all the little young co-eds arrived in the skimpiest, tiniest and sexiest outfits they owned. You know- to be in their own fabulous 'photo shoot'. Obviously they were hoping to parlay the photos of themselves to use on their MySpace profile. I however, arrived with a coat. A huge coat. and A scarf. A hat. And a big ol flower. Time for my close up? I decide to block the majority of my face with the flower. I got an A+ in the class. But certainly not for my modeling choices....those need a lot of work.

Want more photo humiliation with the back story? Visit We are That Family for a linky like no other....

Tuesday

I finally figured it out!

As you have always suspected.

CAKE is the answer.

It really doesn't matter what the question is does it?

Rock'n and Roll'n in OC. Not in a good way.

If you live in my world (the OC) you have heard nothing but coverage about the 5.8 earthquake(epicenter 10 miles from my house) we all experienced this morning. It is STILL on the news and the radio. We get very excited about our earthquakes. If you are from some other part of the country (or world- hello to my Aussie readers!) you probably don't even know about it. Because I have a feeling that when a report of an earthquake hits the news wire in say Oklahoma-the news editor says 'earthquake. California...like that is NEWS?'....so unless people die (and thankfully no one has that we know of)...it hardly gets mentioned. So for all my out of OC folks-let me break it down for you:
Sitting at my mom's house drinking a cup of coffee and discussing home improvement, my late father and my plans for Saturday night when a huge BANG is heard and felt. It is like a giant has picked up the edge of the house-but lost his grip and let go. But he is mad about that so he wraps his arms around the house and starts to shake it...HARD. The windows rattle and things start falling off shelves. We ran to the hallway. For as many years as I can remember we Californians have been told to 'get to a doorway' in the event of an earthquake. something about them being the 'strongest' place in the house. Yeah right...cuz I see SO MANY doorways standing amongst the rubble of other earthquakes...but I digress with my sarcasm.
We ran to the hall and by the time we go there the shaking started to slow....and then.....stop. We gingerly walked thru the house assessing the damage. As the chandeliers swung back and forth and the pool was still making waves we made note of paintings on the floor and nick-nacs awry. But happily her china cabinet had tiny little nails in the doors to secure them from swinging open and dumping the contents on the floor (the genius of my late father). Everything in them had shifted and was pressed against the doors- but nothing was broken. So I said "oh Amen"....and she said "what about your house?".........yeah seems I didn't inherit my late dad's sense of genius because I never secured my china cupboards at all. First I had to find my family.
Phones were not working and cell service was shut off. I e-mailed my husband. he was going to run to day camp to check on Jack and I was going to Tucker who was on a field trip at a bowling alley. Kids were fine. Kids were actually more than fine- they were HAPPY and HYPED up. When Tucker saw me coming in the bowling alley he said "Mom are you here to do the next earthquake with me? They said we will probably have another one!"........then he told me how he was bowling at the time and part of the ceiling came down very close to him. he was thrilled. He thought the whole thing was great. It is nice to be a kid and not think of the worst happening to people I suppose. Next I went to the Assisted Living home to check on my great uncle and great aunt. They were fine as well. So finally I went home.
It wasn't as bad as it could have been. I lost a few vases. And a glass blender was shattered on the floor of my pantry- along with a glass bottle of vinegar. My medicine cabinet had opened and there were pills and medicines all over my bathroom. Pictures down all over the house....but all in all. Not bad. Of course I woke Google and Pixel (hammies) up to be sure they were still alive. They were alive, I was alive and my kids, husband and everyone else was alive too.
I went to the grocery store to get something for diner after cleaning the house up. Closed. All the grocery stores were closed. Yippee -take out night for dinner. The only upside to the earthquake so far.
So that my friends is the story of the earthquake today. Thanks to all my bloggy buds who contacted me to be sure I was okay. SO nice to know that people care. Now does anyone have any advice how to get the smell of vinegar out of a stone floor in my kitchen? It smells like Easter egg dying party in here.....cuz that is the only reason I even own vinegar folks.
Check out Thankful Thursday here....

Monday

My Oxy Moron moment

The actual conversations I have with my kids- are funnier than anything I could make up. Take this jewel:
(I am applying sunscreen to his face before the beach)
Tucker: Geez mom, why can't you just use the Oxymoron?
Me: The what? (thinking Jumbo Shrimp? Marital Bliss?....whaaaa?)
Tucker: The Oxymoron stuff...the sunscreen that stays white on my nose.
Me: um, I think you mean Zinc Oxide.
Tucker: Yeah- whatever...the other stuff.
I did not want to laugh...but I did. And later I reflected on my 7 year olds growing vocabulary. No, he clearly doesn't know the meaning of the word Oxymoron.....but at least he knows the WORD. I think that is awfully good. Wait...now that phrase IS an oxymoron.
ox·y·mo·ron /ˌɒksɪˈmɔrɒn, -ˈmoʊr-/ ok-si-mawr-on, -mohr-] –noun, plural -mo·ra Rhetoric. A figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect.

Will I ever stop giving advice????

Hello to all the Camp Carrie travelers who may have clicked over here to see 'what this girl is all about!'. And to the regular Glamorous Life Association members....go ahead and click over to Camp Candid Carrie today....I give out a little camera and photo advice. Including the most asked question..."I need a new family camera, what do you suggest?".......while you are there- look around. You will go on field trips like you never imagined!

A talented man....

One of these men is a finalist in HGTV's Design Star. And one of these men starred on a sitcom called "Just Shoot Me". I am no detective, but I am thinking they might be the same person. Which if it is true means this guy is pretty talented what with the acting AND the decorating skills he has. Wonder where he will show up next?
(Update: My mom tells me this post sounds like I ACTUALLY think they are the same person. I am stupid people...but not THAT stupid. Well, not usually. Things have gotten bad when I have to explain my comedy and sarcasm...)

Saturday

Dinner at the beach & my big mouth....

Last night I went to dinner with Suz, Laurie and Chris in San Clemente. And true to form I talked way too much, which is something I do on first 'dates'. As I am talking my mind is coaching me thru my anxiety and nerves and I hear this from command central in my brain....'okay you want them to like you right? Then just keep talking! Go on that is it...now make them laugh...good keep going...use your hands more when you talk....tell another funny story...don't stop. KEEP TALKING.Just keep TALKING'. So there I am talking about my childhood in the OC, whether or not my husband reads my blog (he does), renaming Chris's insanely successful Tech placement company 'Geeks-R-Us' (sorry for that) and all the while I am using my hands to gesture wildly like some kind of interpretive dancer on crack. I wish I could say this was worse than 'normal; for me...no it is pretty standard stuff. That is the magic of me. Nuff said. On the way back up the 241 to the land of gracious living I was saying a prayer of thank you to the universe, for giving me the opportunity to meet these people. These are no ordinary people. I meet all of them thru blogging. That is our common thread. And I am simply amazed at all blogging has given to me in 6 months. AMAZED. Answered prayers people.
Laurie was just as funny and articulate in real life as she is on her blog. I was fascinated to learn she is a long time blogger (like YEARS), she grew up on a huge Dairy Farm, is terribly tech challenged (whaaa? no cell phone?) and has been known to herd cows (and children) in heels. Chris was that mega smart, mellow and calm surfer guy you see and think..'that guy is just friggin cool'...and well, he was. And although this was not my first time with Suzanne (we go way back- like months back) I learned a lot about her childhood and motivations for the menagerie of pets in her home. And it touched my heart.
Of course blogging was discussed ad nauseam. Actually I think the table next to us was playing a drinking game- and was doing a shot of tequila every time they heard us say the word 'blog'. They were wasted after about 20 minutes and were asked to leave*. We discussed 'blog direction', topics that are too personal for a personal blog and even how we handle the 'stress' associated with having readers, subscribers and all the rest. I learned, I laughed, I cried...and god knows I TALKED. and TALKED. Forgive me new friends...I promise I get better in time. Okay not necessarily 'better'....but.....well, more tolerable.
(*not really. But could've happened....and no photo yet. I am waiting for Chris or Suz to post the ones they took. Cuz ya know I didn't take one single photo. Yeah I am a hell of a photographer don't you think?)

Friday

My first Award! Yippeee!

I won an award people! This is the first blog-award I have won and it means a lot to me. Lit and Laundry gave it to me! In case you are new to this whole thing- there are a few awards that sorta float out in the blogosphere...and are awarded by fellow bloggers. Once you receive you are to select new winners (in this case 7). Generally it means someone thinks your blog is pretty neat.....and well, that is just darn flattering. Okay so here are my 7 folks to pass it on too...so hard to pick. Since I think everyone on my blogroll is worth reading and I just sorta promoted some of my favorites here. But here are 7 more!

Yes, I am fearfully and wonderfully the maid, Shamelessley Sassy, From under the Laundry Pile, One Crazy Chick, Blah Blah Blog, Always Home and Uncool, Lisa Mertins Life Illustrated

If you don't know these blogs- take a peek today. All are entertaining and worth the price of admission! Thanks again Lit and Laundry for this award!

Thursday

Reasons not to clean out your cabinets

Today I cleaned out the cabinets above my much loved washer and dryer (click here to read about the love affair) and I found TEN different Swiffer products. Swiffer dusting gloves, Swiffer Wet, Swiffer Dry, Swiffer refills etc.....I am chronic repeat buyer I am learning (as seen in my pantry from Noah's Arc)....but seriously? TEN? And the real comedy is that NONE of them are opened. So now I call it the "cabinet of good intentions"......

Wednesday

Bail for my kids....

Okay ...in a bizzare effort to find something on TV last night that was NOT Pokemon...we landed on...wait for it......DOG the Bounty Hunter. After trying to explain the process of court dates, bail, bondsmen and bounty hunters in an AGE appropriate way (yes, impossible I know) we watched as an ex-surfer turned heroine addict was captured. This was followed by another conversation about drugs, rehab and why people are homeless. And I survived all this and was feeling like 'hey this show is actually a pretty good conversation starter' and thinking "I handled all that pretty darn well"...when Beth (Dog's wife) comes on the screen in a gravity defying top, exposing her Triple F breasts for the world (and my sons) to see. And Jack says...'that looks like a butt in front". And all I could do is agree. I mean what Nasa developed bra is this woman wearing? And more importantly where can I get it?....after a few minutes her breasts became so distracting we all decided to change the channel. Back to Pokemon. Which after all this, I was happy to watch. I didn't have to explain one more thing. Lesson learned. Pokemon it is kiddies. You win.

Letter to High School Marcy

ONE of my 20 year high school reunions has come and gone. Read about all those HERE. And I did not attend. But it got me thinking. And I thought I would write a little letter to myself. My high-school self......

Dear High School Marcy-
Hi there….First of all you might wanna lose the perm. Well at least for your school photos…I know, I know you are really into Jennifer Beals from Flashdance and think Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters looks great with a full head of curly hair….but trust me it is something you will regret. Also, that super jaunty boy-short hair cut you get right before you start cheerleading in your sophomore year will be another of your fashion mistakes. Even though it shows off your insanely large dangling earrings to their fullest- you still are gonna wish you let your hair grow long and fabulous.
* Okay all those girls who you seem to be obsessed with befriending? You know the ones you think have it all together and are so popular for all the wrong reasons? Don’t waste your time. They are all losers. One actually ends up in jail for a while. And the super hot girls with their perfect hair and perfect makeup you envied who fain illness to get out of PE nearly everyday?….well they end up regretting that, when their hate of exercise catches up with them and they balloon to ginormous status about 15 years later.
* Thank your teachers more- they really are influential and shape your approach to problem solving and feed your growing addiction to being prepared. Don’t change that- it is something that will serve you very well in your business career and motherhood. Oh but stay clear of Mr. Baker….yes, he really was sleeping with JoAnne from your Math class. FOR YEARS.
* As for boys… Tony is really a quality friend and turns out to be a neat adult. He is worth getting to know. But the rest? None of them matter…Oh and don’t go to a party with Mike when your mom makes you because she thinks he is ‘sweet’….he turns out to be a cocaine dealer and you have to bum a ride home from the party. But you do get a triumphant moment when you tell your mom. She never, ever butts in to your dating choices again. And remember to spend a little extra time in the morning when your dad drives you to school on the way to work…you will be grateful you did.
* Oh, no matter how many times people tell you ‘this is the happiest time of your life’…let me inform you..IT IS NOT. You have far more happier parts of your life coming. Lots more. Actually it just keeps getting better and better AFTER you graduate.
* Now get to class. Or Cheer practice. Or Drama rehearsal. …Oh I almost forgot..can you please stay out of the sun? The freckles do not go away when you turn 23 like your mom tells you. They stay forever. Thanks. And remember YOU ROCK. You are already something unique and awesome…..in twenty years your kids will adore you. And that is all you will care about anyway.
* Love, Marcy from the Future
(photo note: my hair was still so large by the time I arrived at the photo studio it was necessary to pull my top down around my shoulders to offset its large-ness. Whooaa...how about that make up? Ready for my close-up! Love this kind of humiliating photo thing? you should really visit We are That Family for a linky event like no other...)

Tuesday

I dream big.....

While doing some internal digging about the whole point of my blog, the point of my career I no longer participate in and the point to my existence in general (beyond being the laundress and chauffeur at Villa Massura) I began to really let myself fantasize about my life- as if I were the one writing it script. Get your mind out of the gutter- not THOSE kind of fantasies! These kind….
* Fantasy #1: I get a book deal for my ADtalk series. This will include a huge signing bonus which will allow me to spend 8 guilt free hours a day to locate vintage ads and write funny copy for them. The book will be a huge success and it will require a re-printing almost immediately. I will be asked to do another. Months later I will be invited to a fabulous cocktail party in Hollywood hills and I will notice MY book on their coffee table. Someone else will notice too- and they will ask me to sign it.
* Fantasy #2: I will be asked to write for a sitcom. This fantasy involves meeting Tina Fey and we have martini’s over lunch and laugh and laugh like old friends. She borrows my sweater, I borrow her red heels- and we hit the town arm in arm that night. The next morning we see each other at the TV studio and we just look at each other and start to giggle…..then we sit down and write the funniest script ever written. We win an Emmy for it.
* Fantasy #3: I am asked interview and photograph Carol Burnett, Steve Martin and Bill Murray. I decide to do all in a single day. I make my way to each of their lovely homes in Beverly Hills, Belaire and Hancock Park. They each greet me with smiles and give the most honest and revealing interviews of their lifetime. Each tells me that I am a very funny person. The photographs are classic and expose their vulnerabilities. Magazines are clamoring for usage rights. Steve sends me a hand written note to express his gratitude and offers an open invitation to his home- because he found me ‘intriguing and bright’.
* Fantasy #4: For no explicable reason I begin to lose weight. The pounds begin falling off of me, although I have not changed my eating habits nor increased my exercise. Weekly I need to purchase clothing in a smaller size just to have something to wear that won’t ‘fall off’ of me. I purchase belts to help hold my pants up. I tuck all my shirts in- because I can. As I am thinning my freckles begin to fade on my porcelain smooth skin, and my hair seems to have a revitalized bounce and shine. As I approach a Size 4 my weight tapers off and I remain this size until the day I die when I am 98 years young. I am buried in a Chanel suit my husband purchased for me prior to our 20th wedding anniversary trip to Paris. It still fits. And of course it still looks great. After all it’s a Chanel silly.
Have you allowed yourself to have a fantasy today? Really? Darling tell me all about it....

If Noah Had a Pantry on the Arc

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Today over at ASK MARCY! (OC Register Advice Blog) I posted this pic along with tips for snack organization (including what is in those white bins). Upon further review of this photo, I noticed my pantry has a lot of duplicates....it looks like the Noah's Arc of pantries......apparently someone needs to take a look at existing inventory before going grocery shopping. I will have to have a word with the maid and cook.....they are always so forgetful.
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Monday

My people...my tribe

A Typical (and ACTUAL) conversation between blogger friends when they meet:
Blogger #1: Do you see what was in Holly's Fruit Bowl this morning?
Blogger #2: Who is Holly?
Blogger #1: You don't follow June Clever Nirvana?
Blogger #2: no. Is she good?
Blogger#1: Okay you HAVE to read her...you MUST. Seriously...I don't even know if I can continue to be friends with you in real life if you don't read her. She is....well, hard to explain..but let's just say she refers to herself in the third person and she DRAWS her posts sometimes.
Blogger #2: Oh I get it. I will add her to my reader ASAP.
This sort of conversation continues....for hours if necessary until we have convinced each other to read the exact same people we read..... So it occured to me (was told to do it by Suz) I should really highlight some* of my favorite reads...and my personal synopsis of their sites. Oh I am sure I will get that part wrong- but hey worth a try:
Candid Carrie: She features a field trip which allows us all to break out of our own bloggy circle! (see button on my side bar) and she has lots of great photos on her site- which ya know I love.
Prose and Converse: Spit take worthy comedy....and a little High School Musical love too.
We are THAT family: You know the ones...the ones you say 'Oh THEM again!'. Seriously- feel like your family is crazy? Read her blog and you will feel right at home!
Emphasis Mine: Great writting, great links, great ideas....and becoming a great friend too. Was also the FIRST blog I ever read. Ever....and I still adore it.
Foolery: Oh the comedy. Very smart writing , be ready to giggle..she tells it like no other.
But I read TONS more. I read them religiously. (via a reader) Check out my new Blog Roll to the right. See all those names? I follow ALL of them! And I love every post.....well, except the ones about poopie diapers and Blogher....those I don't love so much...but I read them anyway....these are my people. MY TRIBE.
*it was too too hard to pick who to highlight here. It is random really.

Happy Birthday 1980 style

Its 1980 and its your birthday! You are turning 4...and all you ever wanted is on this page. I am not sure who is the birthday girl/boy here..pretty sure it isn't the Harry Potter glasses girl on the right. I bet it is the smug pretty in pink one. Now in 1980 I would have been 10 (there now you know my age- now be nice and don't rub it in...I know I am OLD, just ask the AARP), but I remember alot of the toys on this page- so some of these were around for a while. I really remember the cupie-looking doll in pink towards the bottom of the ad. It used to bug the heck out of me that I couldn't take her hood off her head. And she was filled like a bean-bag. I think I really loved her- even though my mom says I wasn't much for doll playing at all. But my favorite part of this pic...the camera the mom is holding. Remember those flash bulbs?

Sunday

Football is my part time job...

Well, I can hardly believe it Internet- but Pop Warner Football training season is upon us. And my baby boy is playing this year even though I did everything but pay him not to. Today he is attending a Tackling Camp (yes, you heard me TACKLE). So I am paying like $500 for my kid to be TACKLED weekly. The practices begin officially August 1st and get this...they are EVERY DAY for 2 hours. Here are a few photos from last season as I was the team photographer and will be again this year to I am afraid. It was flag only-thank god, and he is #23.....can you tell HE LOVES IT? Why oh, why couldn't I have had little pink, glittery, wimpy GIRLS??? (oh I know I am totally sexist with that comment. deal)

Here is to another great season. Hope I survive.

Hope my kid survives too...

Go Bulldogs!

Saturday

I blame Spiderman...

. . What does a kid do when he his DYING to go day camp (an hour early) and his mom won't get off the stupid computer to play Legos with him? . . . He climbs the walls. Naturally.

Friday

I gave birth to a deadly weapon...

Jack passed his Taekwondo belt test last night.
Yes, that is him breaking a piece of WOOD. Which is a skill that will come in handy for wood working projects around the house. Or for breaking down doors I suppose. And of course for breaking a bad guys RIBS if needed. I feel safer having him around.
And proud.
Photo Phinish ...on Phridays...visit Candid Carrie for more Phun!

How to be an efficient blog reader...

Recently I was ask by a friend how I can possible have time to read all the different blogs that I follow on a daily basis. I was a little surprise she had not heard of using a 'reader' to follow blogs. And about the same time Krissy did a post about the exact same thing. AND she found what has to be the lowest tech video to explain how it works. And it also explains (very very clearly) how to set it up for yourself. It makes the old way of checking your favorite blogs look as absolute as your raspberry beret you HAD to buy during your Prince phase in 1984 that you may or may not still have in your closet. So run over to her place and scroll down for the video...it is perfect. Oh and take a look at Krissy's place too....I think you will be adding it to your reader as well!

Thursday

Ask Marcy! .....go on ASK ME!

At the encouragement of my friend Jenny, I changed my blog over at the OC Register to an advice column. Arrogant? Heck yes...but I do love to gives me some advice ya know. I seem to always be telling people what to do, or offering tips and tricks form everything from travel with kids to tiling a back splash..... So go on over and check it out. Today's Ask Marcy! has to do with creative waiting time in the doctors office...oh, that and how much my purse weighs. Go see...and leave me a question in the comments to answer!

For the love of FABFs and Bloggers

I recently had a conversation with my mom about my blogging ‘friends’. I tried to explain to her that on some very real level I think people who read my blog will know me as well and in some cases better than those I know in real life. It may surprise you, but when I am hanging out with flesh and blood friends I rarely go on and on in paragraph form about my thoughts on surf camp. I might say-“oh yeah the boys did surf camp last week and they loved it.” But not much more. And I rarely show vintage ads to my flesh and blood friends (FABF’s) and make up funny scripts for them. So really, the people who read my blog get to know me in a totally different method. Of course my bloggy friends don’t get to have the joy of have me coming over to their house and have my kids litter it with Legos nor do they have to hear me complain about my daily mundane tasks as a mom. Nope I save all that stuff for my FABF’s….poor them come to think of it. And my FABF’s see me UNEDITED. And let’s say that I could use a little editing in real life. I have been know to say things I regret. Daily. I think what I am learning (as I type this) that while both the blogger friends and the FABFs get to know me- they are each getting to know me in different ways. Taking different paths to an eventual conclusion that I am positively insane perhaps. Either way my bloggy friends and FABF’s are equally important to me. And my heart sings when the two become one. Some of my FABF’s read my blog, although many don’t (I can tell because when I see them they have no idea about My kids writing on the doors, or Ed traveling or what embarasses me) and I attribute this to the fact that they get enough of me in real life- and well I might be best taken in smaller doses. So when I get to meet a blogger friend in real life- who BECOMES a FABF…well that is heaven to me. I like my friends- all of you. I hope I can keep you around for a long, long time. And I will do my best and promise to make my kids pick up the Legos next time we are over.

Wednesday

The longest post over fries ever written....

Carl's Jr. is a fast food chain we have here on the west coast- and well, it is my favorite of them all. I know, I know White Castle is great, In-and-Out Burger is legendary and Sonic is memorable....but Carl's Jr and I go way back- let me explain......
My elementary school had a Carl's Jr in the way farthest corner of the school yard facing the side street. You could smell the charbroiled goodness while playing handball too. And you could practically be on school property except for the last 10 steps inside- and WE DID. Unbelievable to me now, but on Thursdays we had "long-lunch" (extra 15 minutes for an unexplained reason- I suppose it was so the teachers could get in one more snack/smoke/martini/ before going back to kids).....and on the long-lunch days we were allowed to go to Carl's Jr by our. self. I went every Thursday. Religiously. "Happy Star, fries and a coke please" ...and it cost $2.15 for all that. One day my 4th grade teacher announced we were going on a 'walking field trip' to the beloved mecca of burgers. We trotted right over to Carl's Jr. and were given hair nets and a tour of the kitchen and equipment. And I remember with bizarre clarity the insanely large bag of frozen fries which were then scorched in gallons of hot oil. It was exciting. It was deep fried. It was the beginning of my love affair.
Well, today folks-I went to Carl's and found that they have changed their fries completely. They are 'Natural Cut' in a poor attempt to mimic In-and-Out Burgers cut-in-front-of-your-face freshness. But these don't taste fresh..they taste mushy and greasy and not at all like the old fries. The good fries. MY FRIES. So if you are listening Carl's Jr.....I want my fries back. Either that or $2.15 for my anguish. You pick.
Post-it-note: My omni-friends Shan and Dan first alerted me to this tragedy and share my love of the old fries. As do my kids. And my husband. And everyone else I talked to before writing this post. Looks like Carl Karcher (founder) has been dead less than a year and they are messing with perfection already. And without doing market research either.

Tuesday

Life Instructions

Did you ever realize it is just this simple?
I think I am going to print this out poster size and hang over my kids beds...basically these are the four things I am trying to teach them as a mom. Seriously, every single story, lesson, activity, moral, ethic comes down to one of these 4 things.
I think they should hand this out to new moms at the hospital soon after giving birth as well. "Here is your brand new baby, and don't forget the instructions.
Good luck with that-and remember no exchanges!"
image stolen from here and while you are there-
read a little it is an excellent blog on advertising and such...

Monday

The Rule breaker

Sandra refused to use the sofa or chairs when she dined. She loved to sit on the floor-no matter where she was. It allowed her tablecloth skirt to be spread out before her in a jaunty fashion. Her husband, John always tried to convince her to get off the floor at dinner parties- but Sandra just smiled and fed him bites of food off her plate. She was oblivious to his pain. They were not invited back again. But Sandra didn't care- she thought she looked great eating this way, and that was all that mattered to her...she was a rebel. She was a rule breaker. Eventually John and Sandra divorced. She remarried to a man who was wheelchair bound. They could see eye to eye on everything.

Sunday

"He travels a lot"

When recently asked what was the success of my 10 year marriage (that is like 40 years in Southern California years) I replied “Well, he travels a lot”. I first heard my mom use this same line when I was a kid. Only now do I understand the comedy of it.
And tonight my husband leaves for 2 weeks on business trip overseas. He travels overseas about every 6 -8 weeks, and is gone for at least 2 weeks at a time. He has always travelled for business. Actually a week after we met (and decided to marry) he left for Egypt. So this is nothing new. Last night over dinner my girlfriend asked ‘so where is he going?” and I laughed and smiled and said- “I have no idea”. “So when does he leave? Is it LAX?” And again I said “I have no idea-sometime Sunday night’. Bad wife you think? Perhaps. But I think I am just so used to him travelling - it is no longer a big deal anymore. (By the way I found out he is going to Hong Kong, Ningbo China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and some other place I still can’t remember) So yes, it is true we spend a lot of time apart because of his work travel (and even sometimes mine). In addition to that, I am not one to stay home and work around his vacation schedule. This summer alone I went to Chicago twice and Catalina Island on my own with the boys. I know he would have loved to have gone with us- but he has a hectic work schedule and was not able. Close friends of ours have the polar opposite marriage…they do everything together. They wake up on Saturday and run all the family errands together. When they are home from work they are always, always together. Sometimes I envy their ‘togetherness’ and sometimes I think they are a little insane. I mean I actually look forward to going to Costco ALONE. Sad but true. But they are a very happy couple..so it works for them. On weekends Ed and I use the ‘divide and conquer’ method. He will run to the store in the morning before we wake up, and later I will hit the Dry Cleaner or car wash while he watches the kids at home. And when we are home I am either running around cleaning, or wasting life on the computer and he is watching golf or on his laptop in the other room.
But we are still a very close couple. We are.
Strange to say- but we are. We talk several times during the day when he is at work, and since I was once in his industry we discuss his work issues and office politics for just entertainment. And of course there is e-mail. We are nearly famous for the amount of emails we send to each other. Sometimes from different rooms in the house! (Usually forwarding something- so don’t worry I don’t e-mail him ‘what do you want for dinner?’ from the other room- well, not USUALLY). I love being married and think I have a successful marriage. I do yearn for a 2nd honeymoon with JUST him for several days at a time. But I am sure that will come someday. So is my marriage perfect? No way- but it is perfect for US. I wonder how the dynamics of our marriage differ from others…from yours?

AdTalk: Carol joins the team

Oh the difficulties of creating an ad campaign for such a 'delicate' subject. Even current ads on TV make me cringe a little....especially when my boys are watching too. But this one? This takes the cake....Lets here what our now famous Ad execs Bob and Mike were thinking when they came up with this one.
Bob: Another Tampax ad? These things creep me out.
Mike: Me too- but we got to do it
Bob: Isn't there a girl we could put on it?
Mike: Sure how about Carol from down the hall- she makes a mean cup of coffee.
(Carol is summoned with one of those giant box intercom things on Bob's desk)
Carol: Yes sir?
Bob: Hey Carol I know you have only been interning here after high school for a few months- but um, we have this campaign and we thought you could give it a try. Its for Tampax...any ideas?
Carol: Um, I see white...lots of white and insanely short skirts....perhaps a clown outfit.
Bob: Oh because nothing is more embarrassing that wearing a clown costume....or your period right?
Carol: Except talking about a Tampax ad with your bosses...THAT is more embarassing.
Mike: Thanks Carol- we will get the boys from photo to get right on it... Now can you get me a cup of coffee little darlin?

Saturday

Question of the day....

Came across this while walking around Avalon on Catalina Island. This sign was found in front of a garden nursery-which made it so much more odd to me. So my answer? About 37. Yes, that is right folks- I feel exactly my actual age. I don't feel younger..I don't feel older. I feel 37 years old....and that is okay with me. and if given a choice-I would pick this age to be as well.

How about you? How old would you be?

Friday

Playdates and Me

Playdates and me have had a rocky past. I have always been the fan of having other kids play with mine..when they were toddlers it was to help 'socialize' them (cuz everybody loves a social toddler ya know) and when they were a bit older it helped them to share toys and learn to do team activities. But my biggest challenge was always the fact that along with little Billy or Bobby came their MOTHERS. Don't get me wrong- I love to sit and chat with a lady friend from time to time- but it is really hard to do it WHILE trying to supervise small children. So I was always left at the end of the playdate feeling like I missed out on what my boys were doing- and I felt like I hadn't really completed a sentence in my mommy visit either. This once reached a terrible pinnacle when during a 'playdate' me and the other mommy found ourselves in the middle of a juicy conversation when one of the kiddies who was potty training had to go NOW. Well we ended up all sitting together in the potty room waiting for the little potty-trainer to do his business and we mommies continued our conversation there. Yes, talking and chatting all thru it including the 'now wipe me mommy' part. Lovely right? But now, my boys are older and playdates are so different. For one- we don't call them 'dates' anymore. And best of all- the kids get dropped off. So I no longer have to worry about having the whole house clean and perfect kid AND mommy snacks to serve. Nope- now the invited kid runs from the car to my door- and I wave to the mommy and she drives away. And happily my boys have pretty darn good taste in friends. I really enjoy these boys who visit. They allow me to see my kids through a new set of eyes. Like today I learned from Jack's friend who went to the beach with us, that Jack is known as the super nice kid at school. Really? How wonderful I thought. Um, I also learned Jack is known as the one who does the best arm-farts as well.....oh, this mother is so proud either way.
(Photo note: Jack and his buddy Baylor...a heck of a playdate and a good friend)

Thursday

This is YOUR Life- Live Version

Okay here is a little tid-bit of inside information about me; when I am in public and I 'run into' people I know, or might have known I generally run the other way. Not always- I mean not if you are a relative or in my inner posse (um, my inner posse is like 3 people and one lives 400 miles away)...but you get my point don't you? I have always wondered why I do this....I mean sometimes it is because I might not look my best but usually I do it because I am afraid the other person will not REMEMBER ME. I am terrified of the awkward pause...the 'um, so okay well great to see you' thing. So just now (literally JUST now-I ran in to write this post) I was at the grocery store when it happened. (It happened on July 4th too if you can believe it- read here) Only this time I didn't see the other person first. I was ambushed. No place to run. No way to hide my face while pretending to inspect bunches of radishes. I was trapped in the frozen food section when I heard "oh my gosh MARCY! IS that YOU?"....for a split second I considered lying or throwing out a 'no habla English'....but I couldn't. This woman looked so happy to see me. And I stood there with no memory of her at all. Turns out she knew me from college....and all I can recall about her was that she drove a Jeep with no doors on it. And then she said it....'wow you haven't changed at all!'....now there was a time in my 20's, heck even my earlier 30's that hearing that comment would have bummed me out. I would have thought- "Hell yes I have changed- I have changed for the BETTER!"....but today, as I am closer to 40 and fighting gravity with all I can muster...well to hear I haven't changed at all...is a HUGE compliment to me. I wanted to tell her that actually I have changed. After college I was really HOT and SEXY and now I have just changed BACK to my old self..but that might have been strange. Okay note to self: wear bra, make up and contacts next time I leave the house....