Archive | January, 2013

Madge’s Etiquette Guide Vlog

31 Jan

Madge discusses etiquette with her daughter Libby.

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This Ain’t 1979: The New Mom Code

28 Jan

Thank you all so much for your submissions for funny blogs!  I found a few new people to follow and I appreciate it.  And I got several new readers.  Thanks and welcome!

Most of my readers know my story but I’ll give a little Cliff Notes version to the new readers.  I have 3 children, a boy in college at NYU who will be 19 next month, and two girls, one just turned 16 last week, the other turns 14 in three weeks.  Just writing that gives me agita.  I’ve been divorced since 2000 and their Dad lives out of state and has been mostly out of the picture for the past 4 years.  Even when he was in the picture he traveled with his job all the time, so I have basically raised these kids all by myself from birth.

So I’m a one man band. (I play a mean tuba and knee-cymbals)  I’m constantly running.  My kids are slight overachievers and are involved in everything.  Sports, choir, band, theater, student government, friends.  It’s always something.  And I support that because 1.) All that shiz got my son into a phenomenal school like NYU with scholarships.  and 2.) None of my kids has even ever had detention let alone run-ins with the law or substance issues or promiscuity issues.  Oh but wait, I know there’s still time!  The youngest one is only in 8th grade, keep your fingers crossed!  But me, my job history has been less than stellar and I’ve been broke trying to juggle being there for kids and work.  I tried every trick in the book to have a job with flexibility but I didn’t always choose wisely. 😦

Having said all this EVERYBODY has something to say about this.  Everyone wants to give me their two cents when I have a mini-meltdown about how tired I am of running around.  I get everything from “only allow them one activity each” to “make them walk” to “make them wait at school while you work”.  To which I say – politely – f*ck you and mind your own business, I’m just venting.  🙂

But it’s when it comes to the special man in my life putting  in his two cents, I can’t really give him an FU if I want to keep things peaceful on the home front.  I had to explain to him how things work these days as he has never been married and has no kids.  And you know those people think they have all the answers.  hahaha  Oh I can see how he has some valuable “outside looking in” advice but yea, it doesn’t always work.

So I had to give a lesson on “The New Parent Code”.  Oh who am I kidding, we all know it’s all about the Moms.  “The New Mom Code”.

First I had to tell him that it’s a new world.  It’s not 1979 anymore where he was hitchhiking to his private high school and I was sitting at my high school for hours waiting for a ride after swim practice.  Here’s the difference…

In 1979 you could hitchike to school.  In 2013 if you hitchike you end up on a milk carton.

In 1979 you could walk anywhere anytime.  In 2013, I hate to be paranoid but there is a lot more risk.  We live in a medium sized NY city and I have 2 teenage girls.  If they are walking in a group, sure.  But alone, not so sure.  Pervs and killers seem to be more abundant these days.

In 1979 if you were a latchkey kid you could go to school early and hang out and eat your Pop Tarts and listen to your transistor radio.  In 2013 students aren’t allowed in the school until 20 minutes before school begins.  Probably to prevent all the free daycare they’d be providing.

In 1979 you could stay after school for a few hours waiting for a ride.  In 2013 they would be calling Child Protective Services on your ass to see why you haven’t picked up your kid.  Not to mention you’d get a reputation with other parents (and students) as the parent that neglects their kids, which could be a fate worse than CPS.

In 1979 you could bum a sandwich or something off a lunch tray from another kid.  In 2013 if you forgot your lunch, somebody’s calling CPS again saying you don’t feed your kid.

In 1979 you could show up at a neighbor kid’s house and ask to hang out until your parent got home.  In 2013 chances are nobody is home there because the parents are at work and the kid is at an activity because the parents work.  Also if they were home, somebody would be calling CPS on your ass again saying you leave your kids home alone.

In 1979 you could send your kid to the corner store for smokes and beer.  In 2013 a child can’t even walk in a store alone without someone questioning them… and well the beer and smokes thing stopped a long time ago.  Damnit. *snaps fingers*

In 1979 an adult could sit down and enjoy a meal while little Johnny went up to the bar to get them another Manhattan.  In 2013 a child can’t even be within like 10 feet of a bar or some such thing according to law.  For Christ’s sake how are they going to learn to be waiters as a second job to pay off their student loans some day?

In 1979 you could leave your kids home alone to go work the night shift.  In 2013, you guessed it… CPS.

In 1979 nobody’s parents ever went to any of their sporting events.  In 2013 if you don’t go your kid will cry because all the other parents go because everyone is a “helicopter parent” (a hoverer) and everyone judges you as the parent who never shows up to anything and obviously you don’t care about your kid.

In 1979 18 kids could pack into a car with one other kid driving.  No seat belts, no rules for teen drivers.  In 2013, at least in NY State a kid can only have one family member in the car or no more than one other kid at age 16, then maybe 17 you can add one more kid.  I don’t know there are so many rules now.  All I know is teens can’t carpool to school or give each other rides home anymore.

You think I’m kidding right?  No.  It’s a whole new world.  My kid can’t even wait at school or get a ride.  I try to get my children rides with other parents but you definitely need to reciprocate at some point or they will stop giving your child rides as they are “the neglected kid that always needs a ride”.  And before you know it… yup, CPS.

It’s funny how in this day and age most households have 2 parents that work.  Living expenses require two incomes now with cable, internet, cell phones and high gas bills, things we didn’t have in the past.  And with a 50% divorce rate there are a lot more single parents households.  Not to mention non-divorced single parents are very common these days when they weren’t in 1979.  However, society more than ever expects us to live like it’s 1950 and all the Mom’s stayed at home and could be available night and day.  What gives, Beave?

Show Me the Funny Blogs, Please!

24 Jan

All right minions, I need you to do my bidding!

I’ve been on this kind of blog research kick thingy lately.  I’ve been trying to spread my seed (not in a biblical way), connect with people, find new blogs, find new interesting people to interact with.  Not that you guys aren’t interesting, but ya’ know the more the merrier.

So, I’m looking around and… I can’t find much.  😦

Oh I’m sure it’s out there, I just haven’t found it.

In my interwebz travels I have seen a whole lot of “inspirational” blogs.  You know the kind that post pics of waterfalls and sunsets, and everything brings an epiphany.  That’s nice and all but I’m not that serious.  I have my deep side but I don’t want to dwell in it too long, you get consumed.  No offense to your rainbows and shiz.  Namaste.

Then there are a whole lot of “subject” blogs.  A lot of stuff that doesn’t pertain to me.  Computer tech blogs, home remodeling blogs, food blogs, bike riding blogs, fitness blogs, CEO blogs, pet owner blogs, refrigerator repairman blogs, etc.  The only 2 “subjects” that I check out once in a while are writing and marketing.  But there is only so much of that I can take.  Not to be all like “the world revolves around me” but if I’m not interested  in the subject why do I want to read it?  Well sometimes I just open stuff up to see what’s there and how good (or bad) the writing is, but I’m not subscribing.  How many of you men out there have a subscription to “Scrapbooking Monthly”?  I rest my case.

Then there are the blogs that I am most over… Mommy Blogs.  Again, no offense (which totally means I WILL inevitably offend someone) but there are 8 million Mommy Blogs.  They all basically say the same thing, “My kids are a handful, but are the cutest in the world, and I’m so cute with my wearing pajamas all day or going to work with spitup on my dress”.  I TOTALLY get that!  That WAS me… about 12 years ago.  I did the little kid thing, mostly by myself and I don’t need to relive being totally out of milk and food and having to pack up 3 kids under the age of 6 (2 of which were having meltdowns) to make an otherwise 5 minute trip to the store because their Father took off.   I’m getting an anxiety attack just thinking about it.  Seriously, like I just got a rash…

I mean I don’t mind parenting blogs, after all I’m still a parent.  Mine just happen to be 19, 16, and 14 now.  I’m on to things like sexting, sports injuries, drinking and sex at college, drinking and sex in high school, proper use of Instagram’s Insta-Chat, internships, college applications, walking the fine line between adult and kid, and when is it ok for your over 18 kid to swear in front of you when you curse like a sailor?  It’s just a different place, that’s all.

So, what I’m asking is… please send me the funny.  Really, please recommend funny blogs to me.  And not to be a putz but some of the supposed “really funny” blogs out there are just… not funny.  To me.   I like clever wit.  Really smart stuff.  The Bloggess is ok but I don’t know, the lazy underachieving Mom thing has been done to death. (even though I do it a little, but I temper it with overachieving kids, heh) My friend Renee’ Schuls-Jacobson is a chuckle when she’s not being emo or inspirational.  heh heh xo girl!   Also, I adore my kindred spirit MG , with a blog name like Smartassery how can I not love?

If I’ve forgotten any of you, please forgive me.  But I beg you, please point me towards some funny blogs.  Like funny smart, slightly weird blogs.  I love quirky, campy.  Oh, I love me some drag queens!  If you know any of them, show me.  And if you have a blog of your own, feel free to share.  Please provide links below in the comments!  Thanks!

Follow Your Dreams or Become a Dental Hygienist?

22 Jan

Who the hell am I?

What the hell am I doing?

I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately.  Fine time to have to be rediscovering myself but it’s about time I took a thorough calm approach.   If only I had stopped flailing around for a moment to really think things through I might have been on a better track a while ago.

Or not.

I’ve been thrown so many curves, I still probably wouldn’t have gotten my shit straight then, either.

So, I’ve been trying lots of different things lately, as you can tell.  I’ve been writing more, video blogs, auditioning for stage productions, applying for hardcore social media or writing gigs.  No, not writing gigs in hardcore porn or hardcore punk… hardcore writing… nevermind.

Let’s back the truck up a second.  When I was a small hyperactive child with wild auburn hair, my Mother enrolled me in every free workshop or lesson given by parks and rec or whatever non-profit known to man.  (see, those programs do save children from a life of crime and drugs… not booze tho).  And when that didn’t work, she dumped me off at the beach or YMCA for  while.   I took sailing lessons, tennis lessons, ballet lessons, art workshops, theater workshops, book clubs, golf lessons, gymnastics, and swim team.  So, I’ve been all over the place in my interests since I was young.  Or I just have ADD.

But I loooooved me some theater.  I did a bunch of productions.  Had leading roles in some musical crap in high school.  And then when it came time to apply for college, I was all “I’m totally majoring in theater”.  And I remember a direct quote from my parents… “We’re not paying to send you to college to become a waitress”.  Ouch.  Thanks for crushing my dreams, pal.  But those were my parents – practical, realists, safe.  Always.

I was pissed.

However they did have a suggestion.  My Father’s brother had been in radio and TV his whole adult life until he passed away in the mid 70s.  At the time of his death he worked for ABC as… damnit now of course I can’t remember the correct title.  I believe it was VP of News and Special Events.  Anyway, he was a big head honcho.  I was told he was responsible for hiring Peter Jennings.  I also remember my parents watching the 1968 Democratic convention because my Uncle John was in charge of that.  His funeral was attended by many famous folks in news and politics.

So anyway, they suggested broadcasting because I was so into music and had a personality.  This was like 1981-1982 where you could still have a little input with music and some personality in radio.  So, that’s what I did.

I rode that train for a while but quickly realized after I got out of college that radio and TV was all corporate and not a whole lot of fun.  Oh and the pay?  Minimum wage.  So I went and got married, had kids and left the field eventually.

Many incarnations later, here I am.  I’m thinking there is something to that personality, writing, humor thing.  That’s what my idea was in the first place.  Monetizing it is another.  My family was never big on “go for your dreams”, they were always “become a dental hygienist, people always need those”.  (I love my many DH friends and am really quite jealous that you are always in demand)  And why couldn’t I be as smart as my lawyer, executive, engineer, teacher siblings?  God bless my Mother but if she had mentioned one more time in the past 15 years to “just get a job at the school, so you’ll be on the kids schedule”, I was going to shoot myself.  For one, those jobs aren’t as easy to get as you would think.  And two, could you picture me a lunch lady or teacher’s aide?  I’d get in trouble for talking more than a kid!

Funny thing is, I got hired for a P/T social media job recently because of… my blog.  Yes, they told me I basically had balls for putting myself out there and being able to brand myself, and figured I could do it for them.  Seeing the blog got them to call me for an interview and I sold myself in person and got the job.  Tada!  I gambled, it paid off a bit.  I didn’t win the Powerball jackpot… maybe more like a $5,000 scratch off ticket, but it’s a start and I am plenty grateful.   I’ve done social media for other people/companies in drips and drabs but this is a little more substantial and I’m excited.

I’ve been worrying the last couple years about my blog and real life clashing.  I was trying to figure a way to make it work or parlay into a career.  Hopefully this is a start.  My whole life I’ve struggled with what is the real me and making it fit in with the rest of the world and profitable.  Some people would say, “Oh screw society, just be you, go after your dreams!”.  Sorry, not practical while unexpectedly having to raise 3 kids on your own without that other parent in the picture.

So this is a start… and I can still finish up my book which is approaching landing.  I hope to have it out by March.  Fingers crossed.  I’m gonna’ stay true to my heart and think somewhat practically and see where I can go.  I sound like a freakin’ Dr. Seuss book don’t I .  Eh, he was a kook and look where it got him… rich.  There’s hope for me!

 

Animals Who Eat Their Young or Lizzie Borden, We All Have Parent/Child Issues.

18 Jan

Being a parent is an amazing gift for me.  An incredible blessing beyond compare.

It can also be a gigantic pain in the ass.

Oh you all know it.  I just said it out loud for us.

However on the other hand… being a child of a parent can be an amazingly love filled and joyous experience.

It can also be a pain in the ass.  And unfortunately for some can be unspeakable horror.  But we hope those parents are in jail or rotting in hell.

But the parent-child dynamic has always been filled with strange twists and turns.  An emotional roller coaster (a physical one too, if they drive like my Mother).  We all have fond memories of our parents.  Then we all have those quirks that stick out that may have driven us to drink.  Then we also have those moments of revelation that our parents aren’t perfect.  They are human.

I just quickly quizzed my kids on some of their warm thoughts about me.  They had none.  No, I’m kidding but they are all teenagers and were hard pressed to think of things at first.  Finally things came to mind – that I’m funny and make them laugh, they remember being snuggled up in bed reading with me every night, and that I was there for everything.  Oh also my meatloaf, which is funny because “cook” is not the first thing anyone thinks of when they think of me… not even me.

And then I asked for annoying things.  I was surprised to hear about my cough.  In the last couple of years I developed allergy related asthma, so I get this dry hacking cough in response to my lungs feeling like they’re closing.  It kind of goes away when I use an inhaler.  I’m sorry I ever made fun of any nerds with asthma.  It’s a pain in the ass.  Anyway my annoying cough is annoying to them as well.  Other things… that I’m starting to forget things that they tell me.  Oh I’m sorry that you told me 4 days ago you were going to Erin’s after school, I only have 800 other things to remember with 3 overachieving kids and my job.  That’s why I made all 3 make a Google account and share their calendars with me.  Smart, eh?

It’s funny that there are some things that one loves about me that another one hates.  Like me talking to strangers.  One thinks it’s great that I’m so friendly another one is always thinking “Jesus Mom, can we just get the f*ck outta’ here?”.  Also I’m not big on primping, it’s tiring to me.  But when I do, oh look out girl, I’m fierce!  So I tend to go out in sweats, no makeup and a top knot (that’s a hairstyle fellas) which embarrasses the hell out of one.  I think I look sporty, she thinks I look homeless.  Another one says it shows I’m not shallow and have confidence that I don’t care what others think.  Um, maybe that’s a backhanded compliment…

Anyway, I also know that overall we go through the whole thing of thinking our parents are superheros when we are young and then discovering things when we are adults that prove they are mortal.  As I’m sure my kids have and will find out about me.  I just hope they realize I always landed on my feet (so far) and always gave them 100%, and always put them first.

I just went through this with my Father.  He passed away just 3 months ago.  I thought I always had a kind of strange relationship with my Dad but in the end I figured out it wasn’t that strange.  See, when I was growing up I had a lot of friends that always talked about being their Daddy’s little princess. I was always so jealous as I would hear friends in college talk about their Dad coming to bring them to lunch or send them flowers or getting a letter.

My Dad didn’t ever do any of that.  My Dad was a typical Irishman where no great praise was ever given but lots of love was given in the way he knew how.  The Irish are historically sarcastic and negative.  And my Father was that to a tee.  Any great fete we told of, was met with a “well don’t f*ck it up” by him.  That used to piss me off, but now I see it as part of his charm.  You could have told him “I just won the Nobel Prize” and he would have said “Well don’t blow the prize money”.  I understand now, he was really just watching out for us.  No really, he was.   I get that now.

But as I knew he was at the end of his life, out of nowhere these thoughts came to me.  My Dad used to whistle a lot.  But it was this very melodic whistle filled with trills and key changes.  He was like one of those professional whistlers on the Ed Sullivan show.  He would always whistle this tune “Peg of My Heart” which was his favorite song.  (Guy Lombardo’s version was his favorite)  Peg is the nickname for Margaret, my given name.  I was called Peg sometimes as a little girl.  While my Dad was whistling he would often grab me to fox trot.  My 10 year old self would cringe and think get the hell away from me.  My 47 year old self would give my left arm to have him do that again.

How lucky am I?  How many girls were serenaded by their Dad often and named after his favorite song?  Why didn’t I remember that show of affection all those years when I was busy bitching about his sometimes cold demeanor?

I sat with him at his bedside in his final days and told him he was my hero.  He mustered up one of his very animated facial expressions that I realized where I had gotten mine from.  I remembered my Dad was actually a really funny sarcastic guy his whole life.  He made the “what the hell are you talking about” face.  And whispered “why”?  I told him because he always sacrificed everything to give us the best.  He was always there, and always trying to love us and provide for us (in his own way).  He gave a typical answer “hmpf, not much of a provider”.  I was like Dad, you put 6 kids through college, we went on trips, we belonged to a country club, you had a second home before you retired, I think you did ok.  But now I know where I get the self-doubt from too.  Apple —> tree.

It all came full circle.  That was a most incredible gift that I got to realize that.  To understand that people all love and communicate in their own way and you can’t judge your relationship with people by a certain event here or there.  Especially with your parents and children.  It’s a big complicated puzzle.  Eh, maybe not to some of you.  Maybe you had the perfect “Leave it to Beaver” or “Cosby” home.  Either way, look at the whole picture and appreciate what you’ve got.  Even if you want to stab it with a screwdriver sometimes…  🙂

 

 

Video Blog – Madge’s “Don’t Be a Putz” Vlog

16 Jan

Here is another attempt at a vlog.  This time I discuss my least and most favorite reality stars.

I Took the Plunge…

15 Jan

Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!!!!  I’m so excited!!!

I did it, took the plunge… I just got a new video camera!  And at a total bargain price.  Like half price!  Weeeee!!!

But… I’m not prepared to do any video tonight.  Because…

1. I’m tired.

2. I’m not groomed to perfection.

3.  I had a martini a little bit ago, I don’t want to look silly.  Someone might mistake me for a stroke victim.

Yes, I know the thought of tipsy Madge sounds like a lot of fun.  Oh trust me, it is.  But not tipsy tired Madge.  I’m just kind of a slug.  A dirty hooker slug.  Wound up tipsy Madge is worth a chuckle.  This Madge is not.

So, yea hopefully tomorrow I will put together something.  I am really happy with the quality of the camera I got.  Now I have no excuse not to look like a reject.

By the way, my daughters are watching “Pretty Little Liars”.  A show to which they are addicted.  I love my daughters but… anything on ABC Family is just filled with prissy twatty girls.  Really, this is entertainment?  If  my girls turned out to be ya’ know TV show characters, well I would hit them with a shovel.  Now wait though, if they were TV show characters then they’d be on a TV show and making lots of money, so ok I’ll allow it.

As long as they weren’t twatty in real life.  Then I would have to revert back to the shovel.

Hope to be here with a video blog tomorrow.

 

 

 

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