Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm back. Again.

Hello?  Is anyone out there?  Anyone at all?

Life has taken some unpredictable turns lately.  I've been creatively constipated and reluctant to write as I feared not putting out my best work.  However, recent events have convinced me that my best isn't required; I just need to write something.  I am hopeful that today's blog will kick off a renewal of my commitment to this little-known and even lesser-read writing experiment.

I'll keep this short today as I am working on a new project and I have much to learn.  For those of you who are interested, please visit  Which brings me to my theme today: people evading responsibility.  I have two photos for your consideration:

This is a bag of shit.  And my dog.

This is the bumper of my car.

You may be wondering: what could these two photos have in common?  Well, I'm going to tell you!  The first photo was taken this morning on my run through Forest Park.  Like me, many walkers and runners bring their dogs to accompany them on the exploration of this unique urban paradise.  I include the Blonde Goddess so she can exercise and also because despite her short stature and slight build, I am confident she would tear out the throat of anyone who threatened me, or even gave me a dirty look without a good reason.

On these runs, I am consistently annoyed and surprised to discover these discarded plastic bags along the trail.  In case you are wondering what is in the bags, it is canine fecal material.  I know.  I checked.  So there are people out there using the trail with their dogs and subsequently littering the park with plastic shit-filled bags.  What is especially infuriating about these folks is that they are in the middle of the forest, for thegodIdon'tbelievein's sakes!  Why not just kick it off the trail?  Flick it with a long stick if you are especially squeamish about these things!

These people want to be seen by others picking up the crap, but don't want to carry it with them until they can properly dispose of it.  They leave the dirty work to someone else.

The bumper photo illustrates what happened to my car in the gym parking lot last month.  Someone backed into me with such force that this repair cost over $1,000.  There is no chance they were not aware of the accident, given the damage to my car.  That must have been quite a thump.  Did they leave a note?  Insurance information?  Hell, even just an apology?


So I had to clean up someone else's mess, and it cost me a pretty penny.  And it made me grumpy for a good long time.

People, please listen: if you want to own a dog, clean up its mess.  If you do damage to someone else's property, own up to it.  On a larger scale, own up to your life choices.  I have made some bad ones, both recently and in the distant past.  I accept those mistakes, learn from them, and move on to hopefully what amounts to a clearer perspective and focus on my goals.  I don't expect anyone to take care of me or assume responsibility for my choices.

Lecture over.  Cute picture of two generations of DesCamp males to cheer me up.   And a flower.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Back, and I'm annoyed

Once again I am faced with apologizing to my legions of adoring fans for my lengthy blogular absence. However, I have several very good excuses!
1. Summer finally arrived and when I wasn’t at work, I was chasing a tiny stupid white ball around a golf course with my husband, trying to finally establish a handicap. For those of you who are interested, I am trending towards a 538.
2. Speaking of work, I have been doing a lot of that.
3. I had writer’s block.

As I believe I have observed here previously, my writer’s block is usually the result of too much happiness and too little controversy in my life. Like many other great scribes with whom I rank myself (Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe, and Danielle Steel), sadness, struggles and personal drama tend to bring out the best in my writing. Fortunately and unfortunately, things have been relatively groovy lately, and my greatest driving creative force (the length to which I can be annoyed) has been tempered for the past several weeks.

Luckily, today I am annoyed. Here, let me share:

Tuesday evening, many lawyers in Portland received an email regarding a CLE or some other such nonsense. Unfortunately, one technologically obtuse recipient decided they no longer wanted to be a part of this list (which I don’t think any of us signed up for), so they hit “reply all” and asked to unsubscribe.

In a tsunami of stupidity, suddenly lawyer after lawyer began to do the same. After receiving roughly ten of these emails, I hit “reply all” and said the following:

“I'd like to continue to subscribe but hear from all of you who want to unsubscribe. Please reply all.”

Now, if you are reading my blog, that means you are a person who enjoys humor, more specifically, the irreverent and sarcastic sort. Frankly, I have little time for people who do not appreciate that sort of comedy. Usually, those folks are tedious, haven’t changed their hairstyle in 30 years, and tend to wear sensible shoes and elastic waist pants.

One nice result from my message was how many responses I got back thanking me for making an otherwise ridiculous and annoying email event funny. I heard from people I haven’t seen or talked to in years, and made a few new friends as well. It was a great example of making lemon drops out of lemons (who wants lemonade?).

However, one person let it be known she did not appreciate my jocularity. In fact, she took time out of what I assume is a busy day of administering justice (she’s a judge) to write me the following:

“You may think it amusing to encourage everyone who has been spammed with this email, to continue to spam everyone else with "unsubscribe" messages, but I assure you it is not amusing. You are certainly free to encourage others to fill up your email account with useless and irrelevant emails, so if you wish to be copied on "unsubcribe" (sic) messages, feel free to invite copies to you specifically. Suggesting, even in fun, that others 'reply all' when you already are well aware of the consequences is irresponsible and obnoxious.”

Now, I am not going to name names here. I really do try to protect people’s identity when they act in a manner that betrays their high degree of boringness, which is the most unforgivable of character traits. However, I will note that being called “obnoxious” without irony by someone who screwed over a friend and neighbor to get elected is slightly ridiculous. It’s like the Divorce Lawyer Who Shall Not Be Named calling the new wife who has worked since she was 14 and earns a great living “expensive to maintain” while simultaneously representing the former wife who has never supported herself or anyone else. It’s funny, but in a sad way, because it shows such a lack of self-awareness.
"I think you are ugly!"

The truth is I don’t really mind being called irresponsible or obnoxious. I have been called worse in my life. Come to think of it, I’ve been called worse today. There have been times in the past when I acted irresponsibly; though I think those days are long behind me (last night being the exception). On one or two occasions, I may have acted in a way that could be deemed “obnoxious.” Maybe three times, four tops.

That being said, I take great umbrage at her accusation that my message was not amusing. She went so far as to “assure” me that my message was not amusing. You can call me obnoxious and you can call me irresponsible. Hell, you can even call me a bitch or a variety of other unpleasant things (except “expensive to maintain,” of course) - it really doesn’t bother me. But how dare this woman accuse me of not being funny?

See, funny is my thing. I’m not especially attractive, I can’t play chess, and as far as golf goes, I can drive the ball 240 yards but my short game lacks finesse, to put it politely. Actually, my short game sucks, and it isn’t unusual for me to go from trap to trap in an effort to land on the green. I’m working on it with the love of my husband and some help from a sports psychiatrist.

Everyone with any sort of a personality is known for something, and I am generally regarded as having a splendid sense of humor. Frankly, I am fucking hilarious. I’m the life of the party and have a knack for coming up with clever and insightful insults at a moment’s notice. I have mastered the art of the pun (for which crime I belong in the punitentiary for punishment – ha!). I once saw a group of children outside a daycare center running amok while their caretaker tried to corral them, and I spontaneously noted to my friend that we were witnessing a coup de toddler. My husband says my sense of humor is what drew him to me when we first met (that, and my supermodel looks and weight of 115).

OK??? Get it? Don’t ever, EVER accuse me of un-amusingness. Now that is obnoxious. Her Honor probably also found my reply to her obnoxious, in which I suggested she take a walk and try to locate her sense of humor.  I think she's still walking...

On a lighter note, Tom and I just returned from Tucson, where we visited JT for Parents’ Weekend. Here are some photos from that trip:
I am smiling because we haven't teed off yet.

I bought this head cover at the golf resort pro shop and JT seemed oddly embarrassed.  Can't imagine why...

This bobcat was on my 9th tee box.  There is an incredibly inappropriate joke there, but even I can't bring myself to put it in writing.

JT on the right, Tom in the middle, and JT's friend Patrick on the left.  Patrick could really hit the ball.  Unfortunately, not very well.

And here is what Margot was up to while we were out of town. You just can’t trust kids these days.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Nest

About two weeks ago, Tom and I sat out on our deck after work enjoying a drink, the sun, and waiting for Taylor and Alex to arrive so the four of us could go to dinner. Suddenly, several birds began squawking and circling overhead.

The majority appeared to be bluebirds, but also joining in were hawks, crows, and robins. First there were about three birds, then over 10, and suddenly the sky was filled with them. It was just like a scene out of “The Birds,” but without Tippy Hedren and the arty camera angle.

Margot began barking and suddenly darted down into the backyard, furiously trying to get behind a bush under our dining room window. Tom went down to investigate, and found a wounded baby bluebird. What appeared to be the parents darted in and out of the bush, trying to attend to the injured baby while avoiding Tom, who was now wielding a shovel, and Margot, who couldn’t decide if she wanted to eat the bird or if she was afraid of it.

Taylor and Alex arrived in the midst of the excitement, and the four of us tried to come up with a game plan. I won’t identify the proponent of each plan by name, but half of the group wanted to take the bird to Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Care Center, and the other half wanted to expedite the little guy’s delivery to the Great Nest in the Sky so we could make our Hiroshi reservation on time.

I say little “guy,” because by now Alex had named the bird Riley, and she and I were convinced it was a boy. Once the bird had both a gender and a name, especially one as endearing as Riley, it was clear that we would be doing our best to ensure his survival (the Life of Riley, as it were).

Dove Lewis ended up taking Riley to the Audubon Society. When I called them the next day to inquire about his condition, I was promised that once Riley was rehabilitated, he would be brought back to our house and released in the back yard to increase his chances of reuniting with his family. With any luck, he will make a note of our dining room window, and steer clear of it in the future. I plan to not wash it for a while, which should improve the life span of birds in my neighborhood and will also get me out of at least one chore for the time being.

I feel bad not only for Riley, but for his parents too (Nick and Nora). My vivid imagination has conjured up a picture of what happened in the moments prior to the accident. Riley was peering over the edge of the nest nervously, and asked his parents, “You want me to do WHAT?”

“Just jump out, sweetie,” cooed Nora, in her best Mommy Believes In You voice. “Really, you’ll be fine! You just flap your wings, and you’ll soon find yourself aloft with the other birds in the neighborhood. Go have fun with the other chicks, sweetheart. Just stay away from the crows on Shenandoah, they’re a murderous bunch.”

“Hey mom,” Riley likely protested, “Maybe I’m just not ready for this yet. My wings aren’t fully developed, and I think I feel a leg cramp coming on. Can’t I just hang here with you guys, maybe help feather the nest or something?”

At this point, Nick takes over. “Look son,” he urges Riley, “You are the last chick in the neighborhood who hasn’t flown the coop yet. You are starting to make me look bad. Do you want to be known as a coward? Do you want to live with us and eat regurgitated food from your mother’s mouth for the rest of your life? Good God, boy, just do it!”

And with that, Nick probably nudged Riley out of the nest with a loving but firm peck on his head. Maybe Riley soared for a while and started to get the hang of it before he hit our window and his day took a very bad turn. Maybe his accident was immediate, and his parents should have known that a child can often accurately sense their own limitations. Either way, Riley still ended up taking the right of passage known as his first flight, as all birds must eventually do (unless they are ostriches, of course).

In a similar vein, last weekend I put Jake on a bus for his second trip to camp Four Winds Westward Ho on Orcas Island. Last year, camp lasted just one week, and although he had trepidations at first, Jake loved the Four Winds experience and couldn’t wait to go back. The difference this year, however, is now that Jake is nine years old, the camp session is four weeks.

FOUR WEEKS. That’s 28 days. 672 hours. 40,320 minutes without my kid around.

For the past few months, I asked him repeatedly if he was really sure he wanted to go to camp. I peppered him with questions and hypothetical situations to ensure he was ready for a month without his family, friends and pets. He assured me he was prepared to go on this adventure, and while my heart ached as we dropped him off at the camp bus last Saturday in Seattle, it also swelled with pride at the little man he had become. He and his cousin Michael were anxious to get on the bus and get going, while I silently clung to the tail of his shirt, chewing the inside of my mouth to stop the tears and hoping for a few extra minutes before the campers were called away.

When it was time for us to go, Jake gave me a big hug and kiss, and whispered in my ear, “I know you’re worried, Mommy. Don’t be. You loved Four Winds and so do I. Be happy for me, don’t be sad. I’ll be home soon.”  No really, he talks like that. 

And so I let go of my little boy, and surprised myself by not crying. I could have kept him home with us all summer, but I know this experience will reward him with maturity, new skills (sailing, horseback riding, guitar, and hopefully, making his bed), as well as introducing him to a host of friends from all over the country. I had to let him fly, despite the uneasy feeling I had turning his care over to someone else for such a long time.

As we pulled away, we noticed one child sobbing into his mother’s arms, shaking his head “no” and clearly not wanting to get on the bus. This was a poignant scene, and my slight disappointment that Jake hadn’t lingered longer by my side was instantly replaced by relief that he trusted himself enough to take this step. Patrick, Crista, Tom and I all began to talk about how sad it was to see this child crying, not only for the kid, but for his mother too, who must have been tremendously conflicted over whether to wrap him in her arms and take him home, or give him a peck on the head and send him on his way.

(Then we all had a good laugh as we imagined really mean things to say out the window to this kid, including, but not limited to: "suck it up, loser!"  "get on the damn bus already!"  and last, but not least, "man up, you little brat, mommy needs a vodka!")

As I connected the experience of Riley learning how to fly with Jake leaving for camp, it dawned on me that a nice ending to this blog would be to give an update on Riley’s condition. The last time I spoke with the Audubon Society they informed me that Riley was doing well, eating a lot, and extremely friendly. Sounds like Jake, right? They thought Riley would be ready to be released into my yard within a week or two.

So, I called a few minutes ago and gave the woman on the phone the reference number that should have allowed her to look up Riley’s status and give me a report.

She put me on hold twice. After the first hold, she came back, asking me if this was an adult spotted towhee. “No, no, this is a baby!” I said, getting frustrated. “His name is Riley, and he is a bluebird. He ran into my window. You guys promised you would release him back into my yard when he is better so he can find his family.”

“OK, hold on,” the woman said, and disappeared for about five minutes. When she came back on the line, she was apologetic. “Hey, I’m really sorry, but we can’t seem to find Riley. I can’t find a record of him or you anywhere. It’s like he just disappeared. Are you sure Dove Lewis brought him here?”

I’d like to write more, but I am driving to Orcas Island to install video surveillance cameras on the camp property. I’ll blog from the road.

“You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again.” ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Eponymous; RIP Phil Mosley

My heart is heavy and sad tonight.

It has been 20+ years since a good friend of mine died so I am not accustomed to this type of shock and dismay.  Today, Portland lost Phil Mosley, the much loved and revered proprieter of Phil's Meat Market in NW Portland at Uptown Shopping Center.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, loved Phil.  Phil was the embodiment of what it means to be a small business owner in our little hamlet of Portland Oregon.  He was a true entrepreneur in the best sense of the word, and ran his business in a most informal and friendly way.  Forget your wallet?  No problem...Phil would put it on your "tab" and then try to convince you the debt was paid upon your next visit to the store.   My perception of Phil is that he always strived to be a kind and generous boss, in addition to being a truly great man.  He succeeded.  Phil was a young man when he died today, far too young to leave his wife, his son, and all his customers and friends who can't imagine Portland without him in it.

I met Phil many years ago when my father would bring me along with him for the sacred selection of meat for Sunday dinners.  Phil was always friendly, funny and warm.  He also had a masterful sense of how to pair wine with food (don't worry, I didn't figure that out until later in life), and I always relished joining my dad for those trips into his store.

Years later after I started a family of my own, I became one of Phil's most loyal customers; not only because he had the best selection of meat and seafood and wine in town, but because each trip into his store was a cheaper version of a visit to a therapist.  Phil always knew what to say, whether you were happy, stressed, down, whatever.  It was ineveitable that if you came into Phil's Meat Market, you left feeling better than you did when you walked in.  Can you say that about many other places?  Do you go to Zupan's and feel like you have interacted with family?  I mean "family" in a good way, of course...

Over the years, business after business disappeared from the shopping center.  First to go was the Uptown Broiler, then Baskin and Robbins, and the flower shop called Stems Uptown.  Still, Phil and his incredible wife and partner Becky Mosley hung in there, knowing that the association people had with the Meat Market in that particular location was a strong component of their success.  The film store, the real estate agency, the blues bar Dandelion Pub all faded away, but Phil's Uptown Meat Market stayed, and prospered.  Thank goodness, so did the liquor store.  I have often noted how convenient it is to be able to make one stop for vodka, Marlboros, and tenderloin.  If you have those three things, what else could you possibly need?  Besides a very good doctor, obviously.

I spent the day today feeling sorry for myself, having suffered some sort of bizarre back injury that kept me in bed and sleeping all day.  What a waste of 8 hours, because who among us knows when our time will be coming to a close?  When the call came from Becky Mosley today, I simply could not believe it.  "He's gone," she said, and all I could say was "no."


Mark Knopfler wrote in a song once that death would be a sweet release.  Well, it isn't.  Perhaps it is for those who pass, but for those who remain in the wake, death is an enigma.  I miss Phil.  I grieve for his wife and his son and everyone else in this city who knew and loved him.  My visits to his market were at least 3-4 times a week, more when Tom and I handled a legal matter for him (we were paid in steak and wine, and as a result became very fat, but that's another blog).  Tonight my son and I stopped by his store to deliver lillies and a card and I simply broke down in tears.

How is there a Phil's without Phil?  For those of you who knew Phil and frequent his store, this question is likely on your mind.  However, I urge you to be a continued loyal patron to this family-owned Portland landmark.  Phil's will go on into the future, under the guidance of Becky and her family, who include not just those people related by blood, but the family that is the Phil's staff.  It is inevitable when people hear about a death, especially a sudden one, they ask, "what can I do to help?"  This is what you can do.

Recent musings of mine have focused on a disbelief in a higher power and an afterlife.  But if there is a heaven, please tell me Phil is playing a fabulous round of golf, cooking a Kobe rib eye, and enjoying a bottle of Owen Roe.  His health in recent years had limited his enjoyment of simple pleasures such as these, and I hope that in the hereafter, God always sets a full table, cooks the meat medium-rare, and decanters the Burgundy

We all love you Phil.  May you rest in peace, my friend.

My heart is heavy and sad tonight.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sisters are doing it for themselves

You are wondering why I haven't written in so long.  I know, I have missed me.  And I have missed you.  I worry about my throngs of adoring readers checking into my blog every thirty minutes to see what new clever missive I have fired across Al Gore's Internet.

Would you like to know where I have been and what I have been doing?  I think the picture below says it all.

Why does this picture explain my absence?  Because this is a plant that was given to me by my company to adorn my office, also known as "where I have been."  Art will follow, though I plan to supply my own.  My job which initially was part-time has become quite busy, and when I am not toiling away in the office, I am working from home.  This is of course in addition to my other three jobs: mom, wife, and aspiring golf professional (I drove the ball 240 yards testing a driver the other day!  Needless to say, I purchased it).

In my efforts to become an all-around SuperWoman, I also recently attempted (and succeeded) at something I never thought would have been possible: I assembled a piece of furniture.  Tom and I finally purchased some teak loungers for our deck about two months ago, but we never put them together because as some of you may recall, it rained all May, June, and well into July.  However, one evening recently I found myself home alone with nothing to do.  I looked at the boxes holding the chairs and they challenged me to challenge myself.

This is what the chair looked like out of the box.

These are the materials I used to assemble the chair: screws, phone, directions, a screwdriver, and a Screwdriver.

Making progress!  The sliding tray and the legs are firmly attached.  OK, the legs were backward at the time, but I figured it out eventually.

Voila!  Those of you who are wondering why the assembly of this chaise is blogable don't know that I attach symbolic importance to many mundane activities in my life.  It makes me edgy and deep, much as my blog name does.  The fact is, there was a time in my life when I never would have even attempted to put this thing together.  Furniture assembly definitely fell in the "ask a man to do it" category of tasks, along with anything having to do with the car, the electrical panel, and killing bugs.

My first husband (a.k.a. The Canary in a Coal Mine) loved doing projects like this, and all other jobs which could be deemed manly.  Luckily for me, he also did all of the cleaning and laundry.  Oh Patrick, sometimes I really miss you...

Tom also loves to do manly tasks, but since he has been working so much lately, I wanted to surprise him with a nice chair to relax on when he got home.  Unfortunately for him, I was on it.

I am thankful every day for my husband, whose charm and sex appeal know no bounds.  However, it is nice to know that I can do the boy jobs myself.  I earn my own living, I assemble my own furniture, and I recently found the electrical panel.  While I draw the line at Bug Duty, I did manage to shoo a spider out the door the other day, which I call progress.  I can't imagine being taken care of, like a child, not willing (and therefore eventually, not able) to do for myself.  Where is the pride in that?  Why be a barnacle, when you can be a boat?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Was yours the best?  The worst?  Somewhere in-between?  Maybe.  However, let us take a moment to remember what our fathers are and are not:

They are:
1. The model upon which many daughters base their ideal for future mates, Podiatron help us.
2. Probably the one who taught us to ride a bike,
3. Most likely the person who bailed us out of our first legal problem.  And our second.  Perhaps the third, but in my house at that point you were on your own.
4. A major contributor to your education, formal or otherwise.
5. Someone you look up to and hope to emulate, while simultaneously thinking they are very old-fashioned and somewhat embarrassing.

They are not (nor should they be):
1. Put on a pedestal.
2. Treated like an ATM.
3. Forgotten until they are sick or dead.

My son is so lucky to have his dad: a loving, generous soul whose world revolves around him.  He is doubly lucky to have Tom, his step dad, a man who would do anything for him. 

Thanks to Ray, my stepfather for many many years, who has always been an all-around great guy and a fabulous grandfather to my son.  Finally, I too am grateful for my father, who would never claim to be perfect but who I think tried pretty damn hard a good portion of the time. 
Dads of the world, thanks.  Kids, did you say thank you today?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hello again, will you marry me?

Wow.  It has been an entire month since I last updated this blog.  My absence would seem to indicate that I have finally lost interest in what is amounting to a fruitless and time sucking endeavor.  That's not necessarily true.  Much has happened in the past few weeks and I'd like to share the excitement with all you lucky and wise people who check in with my blog from time to time.

1. My May 11 Bod Pod result was 21%, which means I lost 2% of my body fat stores since approximately 5 weeks prior to that date when I clocked in at 23%.  19% remains my goal by mid-summer, but I am very proud and excited about the results I have achieved thus far.  The only downside is I have had to purchase several new skirts and pairs of pants.  Buying new clothes is always something I hate to do, you see.  Ask anyone.

2. We went to Las Vegas for The Canary in a Coal Mine's wedding, and it was an enormously good time. (PHOTO)  Besides celebrating the joining of my son's dad with his lovely bride, we also had the opportunity to vacation with 2/3 of Tom's offspring.  The boys were very well-behaved.  **cough**  I may or may not have visited the Jimmy Choo store.  Whether or not I did and whether or not I purchased anything is between me and my God (Podiatron).

3. We bought a lot.  A lot of what?  A lot of dirt!  Finally.  Tom and I are actually realizing our dream of building a home together in which we can continue the merging of our lives and our families.  Also, it's going to have a wicked shoe closet, which is almost as emotionally significant to me.  Closing is today and we are celebrating that fact, along with an early recognition of Tom's birthday, tonight at Blue Hour for happy hour.  Come one, come all (except for you, my mean little lurker)!

Which brings me to my main topic point today: I need a wife.

How did I come to this conclusion, you ask?  Here's how: the other day, I found myself confronted with yet another massive pile of dirty laundry in the basement.  Since I was down to my last pair of hanky pankies, I knew it was time to get after that stuff.  Tom and I created a small gym in the basement, and I find it more economical, time-wise, to work out at home during the week.  That also allows me to avoid running into MACtresses, women I despise in spite of the copious amount of chuckles they give me (MACtresses are female members of the MAC who create entire existences around pretending to be someone that they are not).

So...I'm in the basement, doing the laundry, and my new workout program which consists of blasting really bad music at high volume and accompanying said music with some of the worst dancing you have ever seen.  Solo.  With a resistance band that I have named "Mr. Stretchy."  In fact, I look so ridiculous that nobody, and I mean nobody, is allowed to witness my exercise routine.  It was to my great horror a few weeks ago that I sensed I wasn't alone during the Shakira portion of my abdominal routine.  I looked up through the daylight windows and there was the PGE meter-reader dude, laughing his ass off.  He waved.  I ran upstairs stopping only long enough to grab a pint of Ben and Jerry's from the freezer for consolation.

Oops, there I go digressing again.  Once MeterReaderGuy was off the premises, I returned to my workout.  You will be glad to know I consumed only three thirds of the ice cream.  I've been practicing restraint lately.  Try it, you'll like it!  Anyway, I realized that even while doing some pretty strenuous dancing, I could still fold clothes from the dryer.  This was the ultimate "aha" moment!  It isn't often a person gets to kill two birds with one stone, unless you are Sarah Palin and throwing rocks at doves from a helicopter.  The workout lasted for 90 minutes, which allowed me to wash and fold two loads of laundry and sweat a few buckets at the same time.   Here are the socks which are apparently divorced and unpleasant to be around, because they are never with a mate.

As I lugged the laundry up the stairs and through the kitchen, I noticed that Tom had spilled a large amount of coffee on the counter top.  Since he's not a jerk, he cleaned it up with paper towels.  Since he is slightly obtuse, he left the brown, coffee-stained towels on the counter top, along with many crumbs from his breakfast attempt (toast - don't ask - didn't turn out well).  Add to that several glasses and other sundry dishes that were strewn just about every place in the kitchen except the dishwasher.

I cleaned it up, poured my coffee, and went upstairs to get ready.  See, I have a job, remember?  So that means I have to shower and get dressed and go to the office to right the wrongs that the plaintiffs of the world would try to commit against my employer.  As I looked around upstairs, I noticed several things:

1. Jake's room was messy and his clothes were on the floor,
2. Our new master bath was not exactly tidy, and
3. Our bed was unmade and there was what looked suspiciously like dog vomit on the rug.  I suspect Margot may be bulimic, but that's another blog entirely... 

After getting everything squared away, I was now ready to go to the other job; the one that pays me money.  I realized, after much slightly bitter musing, that I would have to have a "come to Pediatron" meeting with both the husband and the kid.  It went well: I announced a family meeting that evening and held it immediately upon announcement.  Be warned that it is ill-advised to announce a family meeting and provide an itinerary along with a meeting time more than fifteen minutes into the future.  You don't want the other members of the family to have the opportunity to create rebuttals to whatever your pronouncement is going to be.

My boys promised better help around the house, and I was shocked and pleased to note an immediate improvement, once I let go of their collars and stopped shouting "I am not your slave!  I am not your maid!  I am not your cook!  I need help!"  Things really got better, and fast.  Jake took a shower on his own accord that night, and made his bed the next morning without me asking.  Tom cleaned up the kitchen and emptied the dishwasher, plus folded a load of laundry for the first time in months.  I was pleased, very pleased.

That behavior lasted exactly three days.  So here I am, trying to figure out how to juggle being a mother, a wife, a corporate lawyer, and the general concept/aesthetic designer for a new house which we are going to start building as soon as possible.  The unfortunate fact is, I can't.  I cannot do it all.  Something has to give.  I need a wife.

Job description:
You must be willing to do all the cooking and cleaning (including but not limited to ordinary housework plus sundry tasks such as laundry and window washing), take care of all things child-related except emotional tending which I can handle, pay the bills, walk the dog, plan the family and social commitments, etc.  You must also meet me at the door at the end of the day each day with a drink in your hand, a sympathetic look on your face, and an offer for a foot rub.

Please do not gain weight or become otherwise unattractive, as it is important to my business relationships that my wife reflect well upon me.  Also, I will need you to work for free.

Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller???