Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

F.A.V. The College Rock Edition

Another Friday already?

Then it MUST be time for another instillation of friday afternoon videos.

Today's choices are important. Integral. Sentimental. Instrumental.

And there's even a talking dolphin.

I'm pretty sure I have these guys to thank for my marriage, because had The Uplift Mofo Party Plan not been in my record collection in college, my future husband might have just took one look at all my Dave Matthews Band and Eric Clapton records and high-tailed it in the other direction.

And had he done that, well not only would I probably still be wearing birkenstocks clogs,over-sized courdory pants and an extra-large Eat A Peach shirt, but he would have taken my future best friend with him. And without the two of them - I would have never discovered music like this:

or this:

[too much David Cross...or too little?]

So in honor of my Aarons-Squared, I give you this:

And now I pass the torch on to you....what's your Friday Afternoon Video today?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reason #372 Why Having Twins is Awesome

The school photographer thinks that your two perfectly, OBVIOUSLY separate children, are in fact, just one child.

So much so that he only sent back pictures of one, thinking the other child's pictures, in an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SWEATER VEST, were just extras. Which in turn, screwed up the entire class list, and every child behind mine in line was mislabeled.

Come now, sir, was it really that hard? Can you not tell the difference between a pennant flag and an American flag? Can you not see that only one of my children found your 'fat chicken' joke even remotely funny? Did you not notice that only one of them is expertly contorting his smile to conceal a spot where a tooth once was? Isn't the potato-head/tomato-head comparison blatantly obvious?

I'm just not sure I understand the confusion here. It only took me a measly two years to confidently determine just who was who.

So there. Mr. Photographer. I'm seriously considering NOT letting you rip me off with your over-priced picture packages. Thats right! You heard me! This whole snafu has definitely forced me onto the fence about handing over to you my currently-imaginary-semi-hard-earned moneys.

Oh and by the way...Hayden wants to know why Cash gets to be color and he has to be gray.

I'm leaving that one up to you.

Expect a call from my son in the AM.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And The Dance Party Continues...

I let the boys go out alone with their Dad a few nights ago....

This is what happened when they came back. You might want to shield your eyes, the air guitar and drumming? It's on fire...

Going Down for A Dance Party from emily hartley on Vimeo.

And these dance moves? Pretty fierce. We could totally take over DanceTV.

Going solid gold with santogold from emily hartley on Vimeo.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I'm feeling like a little Dance Party today.

If the video you are about to watch doesn't make you tap your feet until they hurt or give you an itch in your booty to get up and shake it all over the house then I don't know what's wrong with you. You should probably go see a doctor. A beat doctor. Because this beat WILL INFECT YOU.

I don't want to muck up this here party with a lot of words, but I will tell you that my kids and I jammed out to this song in the car yesterday like you wouldn't believe. Oh if only you could have seen the dance moves. I mean, obviously mine were awesome, but my children? They put me to shame a million times over. They've come up with some new-generation robot moves that make the old ones look like square-dancing.

So without further ado, let the dancing begin...

I suggest you put on your groove shoes and keep this party going. If not for me, do it for you, for your children, your future children, your future grandchildren. DO IT FOR PHIL.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Anticipation of Socialization

Next Monday, there's an open house at the boy's school.

Actually it's an Ice Cream Social, since there's gonna be ice-cream and unsuspecting parents will be forced to socialize with one another.

I'm a little nervous. This is new territory.

It'll be the first time I meet the parents of friends my children chose, instead of the other way around, you know, making my kids be friends with my friend's kids.

So this is kind of a big deal. Well, for me at least.

What will I wear? What will I say? Will I still have this enormous zit on my face?

If I make a fool out of myself, I'm screwed. That's the beauty of public school. All these people live in my neighborhood.

So if I do or say something lame, like maybe going off on a tangent discussing the nutritional values of ham vs. spam, people will remember.

Every time they see me walking down the street they'll say 'Oh there goes that spammy weirdo. Hurry. Get all the kids in the house before she sees us'.

So help me out here. Make me feel better. Come over and help me pick out an outfit. Say a prayer that I'll remember to shower that day and hopefully only get a little ice cream on my shirt [not a prayer that I won't get anything on my shirt....because for that to be possible, it'd require some sort of divine intervention.] Do your part to save my children from utter embarrassment [well, at least for a little while].

And in return, i just might let you know how it all turns out. If its not too painful, that is.

Monday, September 15, 2008

To My Two Gray Hairs...


Nice to have you hair, uh, I mean here.

I thought your arrival would spawn a burning hate in my heart, but, eh. I have to admit, I kind of like you.

You're both spunky and wiry, and totally unruly. Who wouldn't want to spend all their time getting tangled up with you?

You don't show up every day, which is comforting and unnerving at the same time. How many of you are really hiding in there?

And just exactly how many friends have you invited to the party? Will they be showing up soon, or will these arrivals be staggered?

I need to know. I have to know how much punch to make. You know. Dark, shiny, permeating, permanent punch.

The two of you are on opposite sides of my head. Are you in cahoots? Or blissfully unaware of one another? I'd always kind of assumed you grew up together.

Is it possible you might be familiar with your next of kin? You know, that insanely large posse on my YOUNGER sister's head?

Oh, and was it me that brought you out, what with this whole 30th year of life deal?

Or was it my children? Always with the breaking and the tearing and the destroying, and the growing?


Somehow I get the feeling this is just the beginning, so maybe we should just get past all this 'getting to know you' business and just be friends already.

A little bonding, perhaps? Maybe a girls night? No painful plucking, I promise, but you do look like you could use a little makeover. Maybe some color on that pale little facade?

Think about it. Absorb it. Let me know.

Spell it out in the mirror or something. When you get long enough.

Just don't show up in my ear or on my chin, ok?

Your partner in condition,

P.S. In the mean time, would you mind telling everybody else up there to chill? Enough with the frizz already. There's a lot of you and you all want to be seen, I get it. Please, just wait your turn, you'll get your chance. The Great Tease is coming.


Everybody talks to their hair, right? RIGHT? Not just me?
If your hair would listen to you, just this once, what would you say?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Afternoon Videos 9.12.08

All week long I thought I had thought I had my Friday Afternoon video picked.

I was gonna pick AC/DC's " Let There Be Rock" accompanied by an impassioned rant about how iconic songs like that one shouldn't be allowed on video games like Rock Band and how its a shame that's the only way kids these days are discovering these classic tunes but then again maybe its not so bad because at least they're discovering it and it went on. and on. and on a little more.

But yesterday, during a period of successful procrastination, I was checking out what my husband was saying on twitter. [Because, you know, I don't like talking to him face to face, I'd rather use an impersonal social network to express my true feelings.]

He kept tweeting about The Lemonheads, and I thought to myself 'GAH! How annoying. He is so hung up on the Lemonheads lately. Every time I get into the car after him he's stuck " It's a Shame About Ray" into the stereo again. And frankly, its getting kind of old.' Yes, my friends these are the kinds of things I get angry about with my husband. It's not about dishes left in the sink, or clothes all over the floor, it's about albums, who's overplaying what, or who liked this song before everybody else did first.

Even though I was succeeding at feigning annoyance, I couldn't get the Lemonheads out of my, um, head. I woke up this morning feeling more vintage 90s and less vintage rock, like I'd originally planned.

So I searched them on the ol' YouTube, and oh my, at first chord, it all came rushing back. Mostly in the form of an extreme-hadn't-been-awoken-in-at-least-14-years Evan Dando crush, but still, you must admit, there wasn't a band like them before, and there hasn't been since. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.

The hard part was picking which song, but I finally settled on this one. It was one of my favorites, probably because in the mid 90's I was as obsessed with Evan Dando living happily ever after on the arm of Juliana Hatfield as I was with Natalie Merchant marrying Michael Stipe [which I now know was an impossible dream...].

And here's another. Because I couldn't resist. Old school crushes never die. Besides, this is Friday Afternoon VIDEOS, who says I can't post two?

How about you? How are you feeling today? 90's? 80s? 70's? 1963? What's your Friday Afternoon Video?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My First Day as A Suck-Up

Today, I made a crucial first step in my life as a mother of school-aged children.

I volunteered in the classroom.

Yes, yes, I know. I've been dropping a lot of bombs lately, first I tell you that I'll be giving actual people, actual advice, and then I admit that I'm going to be helping to shape the minds of younglings as well. I know its all a little hard to handle, but bear with me will you, please?

I was nervous about this choice. I've heard the horror stories of letting your child's teacher know you were even remotely available. I've heard the complainants about 'that bossy room-mom' who keeps asking you to 'do stuff' or 'buy something'. But I've also heard the occasional success story, the rare mom who actually enjoyed volunteering, or appreciation from a teacher who was in need of a little help now and then.

I labored back and forth over the decision during the summer, worrying that I'd go from sleepy semi-slacker to super-over achiever in just a matter of months [beacause I thrive on both overreaction and over analyzing]. I had frightening daydreams about going from being that mom who just drops her kids off and runs, to being the mom that tackles you for fundraising before you even know what hit you.

But by the time school started I'd finally come around to the conclusion that it couldn't hurt to help out. I mean what could be so bad about getting to know my children's teacher, or their principal, or heck, even the lunch lady? After all, the school nurse claims to be a relative of Elvis, how could I possibly deny myself a relationship with her?

I told the boy's teacher during orientation that I was willing to volunteer, and she just about jumped out of her skin with excitement. I was relieved and felt so good about my decision that I somehow managed to also rope myself into designing the class t-shirt. I figured that way I couldn't complain about my kids coming home in some dopey school shirt. At least now I can say 'Hey, I designed that dopey school shirt'.

After weeks and months of deliberation & speculation, today, my first day as volunteer, finally rolled around. I was a bit anxious. Would I be loved? Hated? Ignored? Would I spill glue everywhere? Would I ever figure out what the heck a 'center' was?

I expected I would just be helping the teacher with her papers and things, maybe making copies or cranking out some die-cuts. But much to my surprise, I actually got to be her assistant. Sure, I did have to use a glue-stick, and yes, I did hand-address every child's report card, but I also helped teach one little girl how to write her name and I quizzed the whole class on their basic colors. I even had a little roll call. Can't you just imagine me having to call each kid up by name one by one to hang out with me? No? I couldn't either. I almost made myself laugh. Especially when I had to summon my own children.

The best part was joining all the kids for lunch. If you're looking to feel popular, or even pseudo-famous. I advise that you join a bunch of kindergartners for lunch. You've never felt such admiration. They'll bombard you with questions:

"How can you be a mommy?" Um, ask your mom.
"Where do you work?" When I answered 'at home' they all doubled over in laughter.
"Is my mommy going to pick me up at daycare?" Uh, I hope so?

And give you compliments!

"I love your hair!"

Okay, maybe that was the only compliment I got, but they did cheer when I came into the classroom. So there.

All this and I was still home by ten after eleven. There's nothing like a full meal, complete with rolls and mashed potatoes at 10:30 am, lemme tell ya. I drove home feeling stuffed and pleased I'd given up a few hours to hang out with a bunch of feisty five year olds.

In fact, it was all so much fun, I'm doing it all over again next Tuesday. And the Tuesday after that, and probably every Tuesday until the end of time, or um, the end of the school year.

So call me what you will, suck-up, brown-noser, or maybe just Sally. I'm sticking with volunteer. Just don't make me wear any bright orange. Please.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Here, There, Everywhere.

Remember that time I went to DisneyWorld and never shut up about it?

Yeah, well my tirade is back. Just in case you want to re-live it all over again, or maybe you forgot to read it the first time, my well-researched, put-to-the-test snarky survival tips are up today at the newly remodeled Blissfully Domestic!

You'll find me over there from time to time in the Family Channel, dolling out advice. Yes, that's right, telling people how to do things. Based on my personal experience. Go ahead and laugh if you want, but I'd be careful if I were you. I just joined the PTO, which means i could totally be your Vice President in 12 years.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Afternoon Videos

Remember Friday Night Videos? Do you remember staying up late on Friday nights to try and catch the latest, coolest music videos?

Well I remember it. And I'm bringing it back. Except, uh, in the afternoon.

Because I miss videos. I miss staying up all night waiting for my favorite video to come on. I miss hovering over the record button on my VCR trying to get the best ones on tape. I miss shows like Headbangers Ball and 120 minutes.

I'd like to think I could keep this up, making it an every Friday kind of thing, yes? So consider this my first installment.
I think you should join in too, so feel free to link to your fave video in my comments or steal my little badge and do it on your own blog.

I'm gonna kick this thing off with a true classic. A standard in my house. I'm sure you won't be surprised when you see it.

I'll admit, I tried to pick something else, something more obscure, more hip maybe? But I just kept coming back to this one.
Because let's face it, they just don't make 'em like this anymore. What ever happened to the classic worn-out-sweaty-band on world tour documentary-esque video? Where'd all that hairspray go? More importantly, whatever happened to those sequined dusters?

Yep. You're making fun of me on the surface [probably because you know I still pay to see this band in concert], but you know you were singing along. You know you got a little giggly when Jon came on screen.

Now it's your turn....what's your Friday Afternoon Video?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Things I Learned in Space

For their birthday, we took the boys on a trip to the unknown. I learned some very important things. Like...

...or excuse me, the "waste paper".

that is of course, as long as they can actually reach the controls.

otherwise things might get a little toasty.

not cheese. duh.

yeah, that whole no gravity thing? it's a lie.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And So Goes My RollerCoaster Ride

A week ago my kids turned five.

2 weeks ago they started school.

Considering I am usually quite the emotional mamajama [I've cried at Kill Bill, you know], these milestones did not affect me the way I thought they might. I had originally imagined that the first day of school would be bad, really bad. I just knew the ugly cry would come out, snot and all, and I'd be forced to wipe my nose on the teacher's shoulder as she tried to comfort me.

I'd thought their birthday would send me into a downward spiral, one in which I might actually long for the return of pacies and diapers. Instead, that first day was downright giddy, and I actually felt comfort and relaxation, [relief even!] as we left them in their classroom. And on their birthday [and the subsequent birthday week], I was full of enthusiasm and pride .

Until last Friday, of course.

Last Friday was one of the first days in which we had to drop off the boys in the car line [the first week, you walk your child[ren] into school]. I hadn't really thought much about the difference, other than a few days worth of preparing the boys for the task of walking to class by themselves.

When we pulled into the school parking lot that morning, I was a little nervous, expecting some sort of "No way am I getting out of this car alone" sort of scenario, possibly with screaming, and maybe a kick or two. I held my breath and closed one eye [because that what everybody does, right?] as the door opened.

Much to my surprise, it was silent, except for the shuffling of backpacks, as the boys jumped right out without so much as a wink or a wave.

I have to admit I was impressed. But nothing could have prepared me for what I saw next in the rear view mirror.

There they were. My two boys. Walking confidently across the school parking lot towards the door. Looking so astute, so self-sufficient and self-assured with every step. Oh, the horror of it all!

It hit me all at once, crashing into me with the blunt force of a homework folder. I have five year olds!! They go to school every day!! Who am I and who's life is this?? Did i remember to turn off the faucet after brushing my teeth??

My little mommy heart broke into a million pieces.

I watched until I couldn't see them anymore. Feeling like maybe they'd turn around and run my way, or maybe, at least throw up a goodbye or something. Anything. But I got nothing.

Except heartbreak.
Whiny, self-pitying, snotty, lump in my throat, mommy's getting left behind heartbreak.

How could they? Leaving me home alone to actually finish a cup of coffee and take an uninterrupted shower? How could they be so heartless to let me put my clothes on without having to referee a fight pantsless, in the middle of getting dressed? Or God forbid, how dare they leave me alone with enough time to actually get some work done?

And all of this while they trot off and get an education? Getting smarter with every passing minute? Making me enjoy each day with them more than I ever have before?

Yeah. My life totally sucks.