Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chicken and the Battle at Big Mall Build-a-Bear: A Memoir

Hi World,

When BigB told me he had reserved "Build-a-Bear" for littleb's fifth birthday, I felt my bowels go watery.  I put my head between my knees, took a few deep breaths, then mustered the biggest fake smile I could and said, "Terrific!" in exactly the same pressured speech sort of way that a delusional inpatient might insist, "The Demons are eating my intestines". 

Build-a-Bear was not the problem.  I knew the kids would love it.  I was equally sure that every parent of every kid invited would hate us.  Forevermore.

Build-a-Bear resides in the state's largest mall, accessed primarily via a poorly designed parking garage that brings to mind the NYC sewer system.  Every weekend in December the entire block of the city containing the mall and garage turns into one big migraine-inducing clusterfuck as shoppers wait hours to get in and out of the garage.  Us suburbanites mostly avoid it throughout the month of December and, if we have to venture there, will do so on a weeknight, never on the weekend.  We leave that sort of craziness for the braver city folk and the uninitiated tourists. 

I envisioned parents reading our super hero invitations, with horrified faces and rising blood pressure, as the realization dawned that post-party they would have to wrestle their birthday-crazed child a half mile out of the mall and into the worst parking garage ever designed in the history of parking garages, only to sit in a line of slowly-snaking cars for God knows how long while their kid chatters relentlessly away in the back seat asking question after nonsensical question and demanding answers to each and every one before giving way to whining and, finally, high-pitched wails. 

We'd be ostracized for years after this party.  I could see it all playing out:  The conversation stopping every time we entered the auditorium for PTO meetings.  The glaring eyes upon us at every bake sale. Drawing the worst tasks for every single parent volunteer event.  There was no doubt in my mind that we woud have to move to Vermont after this party.  No more temperate weather for us.  We'd be freezing our asses off through April and fighting off swarms of small black flies through August, collecting sap from maple trees for a living, and hoping the neighbors never found out what we'd done back in Rhode Island.

It wasn't BigB's fault.  BigB doesn't shop; malls aren't his playground. This was all my fault.  When BigB, frustrated by my chickeny procrastinating ways, announced that he would be happy to take over the party plan, I should have shouted "NO, I'll do it, I swear, I'll do it right now!".  But I didn't.  I said, "Go for it, Dude".  And I might have snickered. 

That snicker will haunt me the rest of the days of my life.

Knowing that this party was going to go over like an invitation to the fifth circle of hell, I resolved to keep a close eye on the RSVPs. 

The invitations were distributed.  The first week two saavy moms were smart enough to get their regrets in early.  No other parents replied.  I smelled their fear.  It was clearly time to take action.  I mapped out the preschool grounds, donned my camouflage and went to work.

"So, Mom#1, are you guys coming to littleb's birthday party?", I queried the poor, shivering creature I had backed into the story corner.  "It's going to be so fun", I threatened.  "Yes, of course", she fake-smiled.  "We can't wait!". 

My heart was bleeding for you, Mom #1, but this is my kid's big day and if you think he's going to be standing forlornly in the middle of the store with an unstuffed bear and no friends you are seriously underestimating my mother hen geneology. 

"Hey, Daddio, you'll make it to littleb's party, won't you?", I caught him unawares in the parking lot of the preschool.  It was dark and I was wearing black clothing and night-vision goggles.  I looked as menacing as a middle-aged mother of four can look who isn't Angelina Jolie.  Daddio was discomfited and on edge just the way I like him.  He pretended to have no idea what I was talking about.  Puhleeze.  As if we all didn't know he was the prototype for the sensitive new-age Dad.  "I don't really keep up on that stuff, so I'll have to check with Mrs. Daddio", he responded, deepening his voice and trying unsuccessfully to sound masculine.  But we weren't going there, not today.  "Why, do you have plans that day?" I asked, showing my canines, filed down to sharp points.  "Uh, no, I...we....it's not that...it's just....I....we...".  He faltered and I had him.  "So we'll see you there then, can't wait!".   That guy wouldn't be having sex again for at least two months but I didn't care.  My boy now had at least two friends committed to attending.

The next parental victim was an experienced multiple-child mom and nobody's fool.  I knew I'd have to bring out the secret weapon to secure this parent/child duo:  I hid out in a dimly lit corner of the room watching.  And watching.  And pinning the feather on the turkey and watching.  When I sensed the moment was right, just after the cake and punch, when every kid in the place was so lit with sugar they could have flown home, I moved in for the kill. 

"Thanks so much for having us, Mom#3.  You guys throw the best parties.  Last year?  The pilgim theme?  That was inspired.  That reminds me!  I'm sorry you had that family emergency last year and couldn't make littleb's birthday party, but you will be able to join us this year at Build-a-Bear, won't you?  How is your second cousin's father-in-law, by the way?"

That's right, Mom#3, you've used up your free pass.  Check mate, Lady.

Then I slid to seriously low measures, even for me.

I arrived early for pick-up at the preschool and sidled up to Kid#4 on the playground. 

"Hey Kiddo, how're you doing?  I love your dress.  So pink!  Are you coming to littleb's birthday party next week?  What, you didn't hear?  It's going to be so fun!  You get to build your own teddy bear and every kid gets a real pony!  Tell your mommy and daddy you want to come, okay?  They might try to say no, but if you keep asking and you cry really loud, they'll give in for sure so don't give up, okay?  Ponies are for winners, Sweetie!"

I owe you one, Mom and Dad #4.  But face it. If you hadn't been trying to avoid me all week, we could have handled this like the civilized adults we mostly are.  You really didn't leave me with much choice. 

Then, after I had sunk as low as I thought I could go, I sunk a little lower:

"Hey, Mom#1 and Daddio!  So glad I ran into you!  I wanted to let you know that we would love to have Kid#1sibling and DaddioJr join us for littleb's party!  I know it's hard on the little ones to be left out and so we would really love to have them join us at Build-a-Bear.  littleb has always wanted a little sister or brother, but he isn't going to get one.  No. That ship has sailed.  So nice that he can enjoy the siblings of all his friends on his Special Day."

Yes, Mom#1 and Daddio, I know I've now sentenced you to a post party episode with not one but TWO sugar-addled children in the parking garage from hell during the holidays.  I'm truly sorry.  I am.  Consider it training for the real sibling rivalry that will arrive in about 2 years when one realizes the other is not his/her best friend but a competitor for parental affection. You think things are ugly in the parking garage?  You have no idea. 

Finally, I had an acceptable number of friends for littleb's party but I knew I couldn't trust these pansies to actually show up, so on the morning of littleb's party, I stuffed the cake into the trunk and the family into the car at dawn's first light.  Never underestimate the element of surprise.  I collected each family, shooing them out of their houses in pajamas and housecoats, coffee in one hand and car keys in the other.  I took position in the front, leading the way to the mall.  When I saw the line of cars waiting to access the parking garage even I grew faint of heart for a moment but then I took a deep breath and found my center.  My center of delusion. 

I squinted my eyes and checked my troops.  In my rearview, I could see Daddio nudging the hood of his volvo out of the line.  No.  Not now.  Not when we had come so far.  Just one lily-livered parent is all it takes and it was not happening on my watch.  I turned to BigB.  "Take over the wheel!  Do it NOW,"  I screamed. 

Then I exited our vehicle and ran up and down the trail of cars, waving my tattered birthday cake flag back and forth, a maniacal gleam in my eye, screaming through the windshield at the bewildered, panicked parents.

"HOLD THE LINE.  HOLD THE LINE, DAMN YOU, HOOOOLLLLLLD THEEEE LIIIINEEEEE!" 

Somewhere far off I heard a fife and bugle and I knew Mel Gibson was smiling. 

Several hours later, our rag tag bunch convened inside Build-a-Bear.  We were tired, wounded and hungry, but we were victorious.  Daddio was still bleeding profusely from his left ear after suffering a love bite from his over-excited three-year-old.  Mom#1 was nursing a bruised shin, the result of wrestling her child past the mall Santa's Village.  Mom#3 fought valiantly, almost losing her life in hand to hand combat over a vacated parking space.  She had a glazed, far away look in her eye so I slapped her.  Then I wiped the sweat from my brow, wrapped Daddio's head tenderly with a clean diaper, and commenced with the post-parking/pre-exit bearstuffing rally.

Now listen here.  We're all scared, sure.  But the real hero is the parent who fights even though she's scared.....Sure we want to go home.  We want this party over with.  The quickest way to get it over with is to stuff these damn bears and eat some cake.  Then we  can go home.  And the quickest way home is through the East end of the mall and out of the lower south level of the garage.  And when we get to the lower South end of the garage, I am personally going to shoot that party-planning sonofabitch, BigB.  Just  kidding BigB!  But remember, troops!  There is one great thing that you will all be able to say after this party is over and you are home again:

Thirty years from now when you are sitting by the fire, with your grandson on your knee, and he asks, "What did  birthday parties used to be like when mommy was little?", you won't have to shift that little nugget to your other knee, cough and say, "Well Son, I shoved my face with pizza and cake at Chucky Cheese".  No.  You can look him straight in the eye and say, "Son, your grandmommy partied with the Rhode Island littleb mall contingent and a Sonofagoddamnedbitch named Chicken!"

And now, troops......LET'S STUFF SOME BEARS!!!!!  Happy 5th Birthday littleb!!!!


Chicken out

Postscript:  In reality, we hardly had to twist anyone's arm but mine.  RI parents are hearty, hale and not afraid of any old parking garage.  Thanks to all the family and friends who ventured out to help us celebrate.  Also, thanks to that sonofagoddamnedbitch named Georgie Patton for his great speech to the US Third Army on the eve of D-Day.  It was fun to adapt for my own selfish entertainment.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dear References....In which Chicken changes careers. Again.

Dear Reference Number 1:

You've been a very good friend and former boss to me.  Perhaps you might see your way to offering one more stellar reference on my behalf?  If you wouldn't mind confirming, I'll tell you just what to say.  Thanks, as always.  Have I mentioned you were my favorite boss ever in my long history of bosses?

Sincerely,
Chicken

Dear Reference Number 2:

Don't laugh, but I'm job hunting again.  I know.  Stop laughing. Look, could you do me this one solid and stop laughing long enough to tell these people I'm responsible and committed?  Stop. Laughing.

Happy Halloween, Trick or Treat and all that,
Chicken
P.S.  I will totally TP your house if you do not stop laughing.

Dear Reference Number 3:

Dude, so I saw this job and it called to me and I applied.  As luck would have it, I think I might get an offer depending on my references.  If they call at the right time of day with the proper attitude and at the right number, could you please tell them I am nice and how we've been friends since childhood and not mention all our nefarious schemes for self-employment? I don't think they would go over so well in the corporate world.  They might think I'm flaky or flippant or one of those other "F" words.  Could you do that for me?  Thanks.  You are the best.  Here's hoping.

Chicken

Dear Reference Number 4

I learned so much from you.  You never got the chance to give me a reference when I left your company, but I'm hoping, since we parted on such great terms, that you wouldn't mind giving me one now.  I've had a change of heart.  I know. I said I "was leaving the industry forever", but turns out I miscalculated by 30 years or so.  It happens.  Could you please not mention any Chicken stories?  Come to think of it, many of our stories are not sharing stories.  Come to think of it, you know what, Reference number 4?  I think maybe we should skip it...

Best,
Chicken

Dear Chicken:


Of course I will give you a stellar reference!  Don't I always?  Every single time?  Of which there have been many over these last 10 years?  You can count on me (as does half the civilized world or at least several states and PTO organizations). BTW, you haven't blogged lately.  What is up with that?  How am I supposed to promote you when you only deign to write something every other month?  Get busy Chicken!


Your Supporter and friend,
Reference #1


Dear Chicken,


I'd be happy to tell them all kinds of stories about you.  All.  Kinds.


You're welcome,
Reference #2


Dear Chicken,


Really?  Again?  Yegads, Woman, when are you going to PICK something already.  BTW, I found these lovely antique door knobs at an auction last week and I was thinking...wouldn't it be great if we started a mail order business for things like that?  We could call it "Found Objects".  We wouldn't sell any creepy things featuring Elvis, though.  Um.Where was I?  Oh yeah, reference, yup sure.  Good luck.  You would rock that job. We can still email though, right?   And if it doesn't work out, there is still the bookshop/day care/antique shop/cafe idea we had.


Love,
Reference #3


Dear Chicken:


They would not want to hear from me. Trust me.  But go ahead and put me down if you want.  Who are these people?  I do not know any of these people.  Trust me.


Sincerely,
#4

Hi World:

I'm Chicken.  I'm a compulsive job hopper.  It's been a year-and-a-half since my last job

(Welcome, Chicken).  

I've mostly worked in the hospitality business in one form or another.  Now I return to it, after a brief excursion, because I've missed it.  Once it is in you, it makes itself at home, uses up all your clean towels, eats your bacon and eggs, stretches out with a contented sigh on your couch and never leaves.  It is easier to give in than to try and give it up.  I'm going to miss those wonderful, focused and intellectual Bears.  But guess what you Gold/Platinums?  Chicken is back!  And I've brought amenities!

Thanks to all of my great references, as always, particularly cagey #4 who claims always to know nothing and to have done nothing. 

Colonel Klink would love you. 

Yours in hospitality,

Chicken Out





Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chicken Theory: Excerpt 187

Scene: Chicken and BigB are leaning against the kitchen counters drinking the delicious French roast that Chicken got up early and made while BigB caught up on his beauty sleep.


Chicken: BigB, I think there is a problem with the water heater.


BigB: What is it?


Chicken: In the morning when I take my shower the water doesn't get very hot and it runs out quickly.


BigB: Well, the water heater is getting old, it might be time to replace it.


Chicken: Maybe or it could just be the time of year and the time/temperature ratio.


BigB: (cautiously) The....time/temperature ratio?


Chicken: Yes. You know. How the early mornings are approximately 15 degrees colder than later in the day.


BigB: And where did you read that.


Chicken: I don't know. But it's a common fact. Everyone knows that.


BigB: It's not a fact.


Chicken: Pretty sure it is.


BigB: Pretty sure it is not. Pretty sure you just made that up. But explain to me how that has anything to do with the water heater.


Chicken: (waves hands excitedly). Ok, this is my theory: Here's the water heater, right, and it is the middle of a November night, and it is getting colder and colder...brrr... Anyway. The water heater is working away, keeping the water hot, chugga chugga chugga...keeping it at just the right temperature per the carefully chosen green setting of just right, and not the blue setting of "why bother", nor the red setting of "melt the skin off your face", and then I get up in the dark at six-thirty, a whole hour before you, and I turn on the shower. (looks expectantly at BigB).


BigB: Yeessss?


Chicken: Well, the temperature is 15 degrees colder than it will be by the time YOU get up, and when you apply the 15 degree temperature difference to our copper pipes, that equates to a 30 degree temperature difference per the copper pipe/temperature difference ratio...


BigB: (eyes rolling wildly) So now there's a pipe/temperature ratio?


Chicken: Put it this way, BigB. On a hot sunny day in the middle of the summer would you just walk up to a pipe that's been lying in the sun and grab it? No you wouldn't. It would burn your hand. So if you take away the sun, bury the pipe, and drop the temperature, what do you think happens? The pipe gets colder because it's like, it's like...it's like it is cold blooded and depends on the sun for warmth. It's physics. Where did you go to school, anyway?


BigB: Not the "School of Imaginary Theory" where you apparently were valedictorian.


Chicken: (Bats eyes facetiously) Focus BigB. So the water is waiting in the basement, all nice and appropriately warmed, and then I turn on the shower.  Now it has to travel from the basement up to the second floor through the cold pipes and by the time it gets there, it is 30 degrees cooler than it was.  So the poor water heater is chugging and chugging away in the basement trying to produce more hot water, but it just can't keep up so it gets frustrated and stops trying.


BigB: OMG Chicken, the water heater does not get frustrated.


Chicken: I know. Just making sure you are listening. The rest is perfectly logical, though.


BigB: What? No it's not. Nothing you said makes any sense at all. You don't know how the water heater works or how the pipes work or even that the pipes are copper. You made all that shit up.


Chicken: I know nothing? Is that right? You obviously have forgotten how our house almost blew up nine years ago because you thought the funny smell was from the oil tank and I saved all our lives when I insisted the gas company check the pipe in the study. Remember that BigB? Remember how you and the gas company geezer laughed at me? Because we don't have gas heat? Because it was an old pipe? And remember how I asked him to humor me so he did? And oh! Guess what? We had a gas leak because that pipe was still connected to the city system and the valve wasn't turned off tightly enough. I saved your butt BigB. Fact. Does that sound like a person who knows nothing?


BigB: Oh that's right. The gas debacle of 2003. You got lucky, Chicken.


Chicken: No, YOU got lucky, BigB.  You should listen to me more.


BigB: Because you have all the answers?


Chicken: Well now that you mention it, not always. For example, I've often asked myself why you get to sleep an hour later than me and I haven't really come up with a good answer for that.


BigB: That's what all this is really about, isn't it?  You're getting cranky because I sleep later than you?  Silly Chicken. You get up an hour earlier than me because your alarm is set for 6:30 and my alarm is set for 7:30. It's the clock/alarm/shower schedule ratio.


Chicken: Touche, BigB, Touche.


BigB: I'm going to take a shower.


Chicken: Enjoy. I warmed up the pipes for you.


Sleep well, World. Chicken is on duty.


Chicken out

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Guardians

World, Hi

This was one of my first posts back when I had no readers and posted for my own pleasure. Not that I do not still post for my own pleasure, come to think of it. But this is a pure Chicken memoir from the early less inhibited days and I do not want to be arrogant or anything like that but I still like it. You bloggers probably understand what I mean: Sometimes you post something and then read it a year or two later and think, wow, this sucks. At least I do. And sometimes you post something and read it two years later and think, yeah, that was me speaking right there.

So, without further ado, I give you Guardians. Happy Thanksgiving, World, and happy holidays as well. Can't believe they are upon us again. Where do the days go?

GUARDIANS

The holiday season has me thinking of holy, otherworldly things and it reminded me...

I used to have two guardian angels. They were very little.

One sat on my left shoulder and I thought of her as "Eurotrash Girl". You can call her the "Id Girl". She led quite a hedonistic lifestyle and her job was to encourage me to follow her example. She smoked French cigarettes, had a raspy voice, and spoke in a Romanian-ish accent that was probably as real as Pamela Lee Anderson's chest. Eurotrash girl never missed an opportunity to have a good time. She wore an old black leather biker jacket over her short black dress, and accessorized with black tights and biker boots, big hoop earrings and bright red lipstick. Her "Midnight in Paris" dyed hair was shoulder length and razored to give it a spiky just got out of bed look, not that she slept much. She believed that a.) eyeliner is a staple and one never leaves home without it and b.) a man who does not have tattoos will eventually bore you to death. Eurotrash Girl sported her own tattoo, a tiny pair of white wings, just at the base of her neck. She was always calling me her little popover, her sweet cherry cordial, her petite croissant. This constant reference to food items led me to believe that Eurotrash Girl wanted to pop me in her mouth and swallow me whole but given that I never saw her eat, I suppose they were terms of endearment.

The other angel sat on my right shoulder and I called her "Armani Girl" due to her meticulous appearance. I never saw her in the same outfit twice and I never saw her without pearls, even on dress down Fridays. Armani Girl could be critical. Her job, it appeared, was to encourage me to see myself as others saw me and to act accordingly. She called me Darling, but not in a very endearing way. "But Darling", she might say, "do you really imagine those potato chips won't migrate directly to your ass and stay there like spackle for all eternity?" Armani Girl found eating to be a crass habit that one could overcome if only one would try. Her honey blonde hair fell in a smooth, graceful wave to her shoulders and her always perfectly applied makeup was subtle enough that it looked natural but took two hours to apply. Armani girl also held to a couple firm beliefs: a.)There is no virtue in aging gracefully and b.)any man with a tattoo will someday let you down and is to be avoided at all cost. Armani Girl did not have any permanent markings on her body. Even her earrings were clip ons. Every Thursday morning she would disappear for two hours and come back with a fresh mani-pedi.

As you might imagine, Eurotrash Girl and Armani Girl did not get along. In fact, were it not for my head sitting on my neck directly between them, they would have done each other harm. Instead, they occupied themselves issuing directives in each of my poor harrassed ears and making snide comments about one another just loud enough for all of us to hear. They often fought amongst themselves as though I were not there.

A typical conversation might go like this:

Eurotrash Girl to me: "Take me to ze club, Lollipop, I vish to zee all ze exciting young men in zhere tight, tight, jeans. I vant to dance, dance ze night away and drink ze vodka collins and maybe ve vill meet zat cute guitar player who look like ze Sting for a little rendevous, ay Porkchop? Vat do you zay?"

Me to Eurotrash Girl: "Vat...I mean, What, club? I do not go to clubs. I do not know guitar players who look like Sting. I am married! I do not even like Vodka."

Eurotrash Girl to Me: "Ridiculous little Lollipop....everyone love ze vodka...is ridiculous not to love ze vodka...Ve vill go to ze no name club...is very special..ze guitar player, he give me ze secret code. You know vat? Ze guitar player has a secret tattoo, you vill love him. Ve vill dance and drink ze vodka and stay out all ze night. Vill be Fun. Let us go."

Armani Girl to Me: "Darling, do not let that unkempt little trollop lead you astray. We discussed this just this morning when we made our list, and Darling, tonight we are ironing and then we are watching 'Mad About You',although tomorrow you must tell everyone you watched the presidential debate, so we had better also schedule in time to read the morning headlines, which means early to bed and no time for accompanying faded tarts God knows where in search of lecherous, sweaty musicians."

Eurotrash Girl to Me: "Vat a bore. Vy do you put up wiz zat old slut, little Baklava? Do not you vant to have ze fun? Do not you vant to dance ze macarena vith ze Sting man? Vat is "Mad About You"? Is stupid, stupid show for stupid vomen who know not vere to find ze hot men. Zat Paul, he has no tattoos...zere is no future for Helen vith him...leave ze bat at home to pluck her eyebrows a vittle bit thinner and come vith me, my spicy Chicken Ving. Vill be fun."

Here's where I get left out of the conversation:

Armani Girl to Eurotrash Girl: "Darling, you wouldn't know fun if it kidnapped you and dumped you in front of Elizabeth Arden's Red Door. You have the moral rectitude of a rabbit, the drinking habit of Hemingway, the mental stability of Van Gogh, and an annoyingly perverse habit of projecting your trashy character onto me. Why don't you run along now and if you do not stop smoking in here I am calling the building superintendant to have you thrown out...."

Me trying to interrupt: "uh, I don't think we have a building....."

Eurotrash Girl to Armani Girl: "oh shuuuut uppppp, you are boring me vith all your talk. You are old, you have frozen face of ice statue, yes? You need vodka and ze sex and maybe you become not so frozen. You come vith us, vill be fun, but you must change zat awful clothing."

Armani Girl to Eurotrash Girl: "Listen to me, Darling, and try to stay focused. If the apocalypse was upon us, if the world was doomed, and the only way I could save myself was to go, with you, to some seedy little bar without the forethought or consideration to post a sign outside the door, and participate in your debauched little game of charades, I would take all of my Xanax at once, drink a bottle of Chardonnay, and sing hallelujah"

Eurotrash Girl: "Stay zen, I do not care, old bat"

Me to No one: "I'm going to bed"

Aramni Girl to Eurotrash Girl: "I win, Darling"

Eurotrash Girl: "Ve vill see, old bat"

I'm tired of writing now, so let me end this, and maybe I'll come back and finish it later. The truth is, Armani Girl usually did win but I liked Eurotrash Girl better and she, also, had her moments of victory. Eventually, I was exhausted from their battles and one fine day I had an epiphany: These two were not guides, not angelic entities sent from on high to nurture and protect me. These two were the demons of extremism; the demi-monde and the demi-mom. Once I had processed what I was living with, what I had done to myself, I took a walk, had a nice long shower, and a glass of Kendall Jackson. Then I kicked those two demis right to the curb, sat down with a good book, and I've been a slightly unkempt, fairly laid back, moderately politically conscious human ever since.

Happy Holidays, World. Hope your angels are many and your demons few.

Take care,

Chicken

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pablo Poem

Hi World,

Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time to hear great news. Sometimes it is the opposite.

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood---
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.

Pablo Neruda



My friend, you are in my thoughts.

Chicken out

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chicken talks about "The Sex Talk"

Hey World,

Amazing how you all flock when the word "sex" comes up. Yeah, don't try to pretend you were just stopping by. Chicken is totally on to you. "Know thyself, know thy perverted friends", that's what I always say.

I'm not going to talk about sex, though. I'm repressed for a tattooed chicken. Luckily, I don't have to. My good friend, CB, who often comments here, was nice enough to share the following video with me of Julia Sweeney talking about the day sex came up with her eight-year-old.

I'm not going to lie. It is hilarious. And scary. If you, like Absolute Narcissism, have recently had cause to have "the talk", you will appreciate this.



And remember World, "People figure out the legs. They just do"
And Wikipedia? Bad idea.

Enjoy your weekend, World.

Chicken out

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicken Scratch: 10 Bits of Randomness

Hi Worldians,

Hope you've been well.  I've been thinking, and similar to Lady GaGa's thoughts, it almost never ends in a good place.  At least it ends in a lucrative place for Lady GaGa.  For me, it just generally leads to more disassociation.

1.  I've been thinking about purses.  I don't like any of the names we have for lady bags.  Purses, pocket books, bags...these terms are all outdated.  Brand a better name. Boots are in this year. Maybe you could call it a BodBoot. A ShoulderSack. OMG there IS no good name for a bag that hangs off your shoulder. That's it. We should just all stop carrying them. Hear Chicken's call for a new social order. I like to call it Occupy Coach. We will camp in front of Coach headquarters until someone comes up with a new name for..I can't even say it....But hey, Who's with me? Anyone? Someone?  Please? 

2.  I've been thinking about head lice.  There's a vaccination for Chicken Pox, which you can't even see until it hits you, but no bright-eyed Stanford major has figured out a way to rid the world of these foul, itchy, jumpy little bastards? 

3.  I used to think that "genius" was all about what you know.  Now I think it is all about understanding what other people think they know. 

4.  I can't buy anything artificially red or blue anymore.  Food scientists, are you paying attention?  I'm terrified of color additives.  I heard they make my kids hyper.  I'd probably buy your "energy drink", under pressure, if it didn't look like Smurf ambrosia.  Just sayin'.

5.  "Just sayin'" is a horrible thing to say.  It is crass, it is disrespectful, it is grammatically incorrect and it is sarcastic.  And I'm going to stop saying it.  Tomorrow.  Just sayin'.

6.  I'd like to be young or I'd like to be old.  Being middle-aged is too close to average.

7.  Well.  Middle-age can be sort of a fun hodge-podge in this baby boomer age.  Who really knows what is normal?  It's like jumping down Alice's rabbit hole and meeting Elton John first thing.  And he introduces you to his baby.  And then Martha Stewart comes along and wants to teach Elton how to grow an organic garden and make his own baby food.  Elton is so touched that he writes a song about how Martha is misunderstood and fragile, probably like a candle in the wind, and then Ralph Lauren is inspired to design a whole line of organic clothing, aptly named "Just Martha", and through it all, Yoko Ono maintains that Elton's song is about her.  As does Mick Jagger.  Then Kirstie Alley loses 60 pounds eating Martha's organic baby food, hooks up with Ashton Kutcher and Miami Vice wear comes back in style, and....well...I could go on and on.  It's a confusing age.

8.  Come to think of it, Middle-age is the age to be, as long as you live it with confidence.

9.  Until the World Ends next year, in which case many of us baby boomers might have a bit to answer for and offering to make the Pearly Gates a little more pearly, if you know what I mean, isn't going to get us far. 

10.  Unless you are very pleasant, humble and easy to be around, in which case, why wouldn't God want to hang with you?  Hey.  I learned that in Kindergarten!

I started out with purses and ended with apocalypse. Is there a connection?

Be well, Worldans. To those of my blogger friends facing challenges right now, please know my thoughts are with you, and to those of you celebrating the sweetness of life, my thoughts are with you.

Chicken out

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun Friday? I'm in.

Hi World,

It is Fun Friday, Follow Friday, and all those other fun "F" words. So here is one of my favorite new videos except I do not believe it is that new since Teenager Who Lives In the Basement cannot believe I've never heard of Epic Rap Battles. But whatever.

I give you...

Shakespeare vs. Dr. Seuss




Who do you think won? I can't decide. Shakespeare is fast, but the Dr. is a favorite in my house. I think Thing One & Two might have given him an edge.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicken Got Mail or Fan Folly, depending on your perception

Hi World,

Guess what?  Huh?  Huh?

No, guess!

No, George Clooney did not marry me, he married some other chick, according to Joann Mannix.  I know, the resemblence is uncanny. 

Alright (rolling eyes) I will tell you.  I got mail!  Yes!  Someone, in an apparently desperate attempt to revive Chicken's flagging career as prolific blogger, actually asked me, Chicken, for advice.  Oh the folly.  Shakespeare would have a field day.

But me?  I'm just wildly flattered.  And of course, I have answers.  Not only do I have answers, but so does Pearl Annabelle LaFleur.  Just this one time, I'm going to post both our answers on this page, but going forward (because I know, based on this audition, that you all will have questions), we will post my advice on this page and Pearl's advice on her page.  Two opinions for the price of one and they are both free!  And, ah, you know, right, about the tongue/cheek ratio?

First, Lived La Vida Loco writes:

Dear Chicken,

I was cleaning out the spare room yesterday, and came across pictures from my college days. Said pictures present me living my college life to its fullest. Suffice to say, it's not a path I wish my progeny to pursue. Should I shred the pictures or pray that they keep hidden away until after both have acquired their MBA's?

Signed,
Lived La Vida Loco


(Therapist note:  Progeny?  WTF is progeny?  It is totally obvious to me that LLVL learned some good words in college, if nothing else, and for that, he/she should be commended.)

Dear Lived La Vida Loco:

Yes, I see your problem.  I have some questions I must ask. First of all, do you have any tattoos, and if so, where are they located?  Second, what are "progeny"?  Do they have anything at all to do with parents?  Because, generally, I believe that parents are better off not knowing what you were up to while they were paying for your college education.  The ones they may not have had access to.  And I have to ask, why are you still living with your parents and where are they going to school?  Are you paying for it?  Is that why you are so concerned?  At any rate, a little la vida loco never hurts the old folk.  I say order a case of hurricane mix, throw in some mardi gras beads, and throw a themed keg party in their honor.  Hope this helps.
Chicken
 
 

And now, Pearl's advice:

Chicken, first of all, quit with the tattoo questions.  Not everyone has your obsession with tattoos.  Second of all, this reader presents with a legitimate concern.  Use your dictionary, Chicken.  Finally, obviously, this is a female writer.  How many former frat boys do you know with shoeboxes of evidence hidden in their house?  Or any concern whatsoever that it might be discovered?  Just sayin'.

And LLVL, what were you thinking asking Chicken for advice?  Have you seen her graduation picture?  Here it is:


Notice anything?  Yes, Chicken was absent on picture day.  She was living a little La Vida Loca her own damn self.  She was probably out getting her right breast tattooed. 


But lucky for you, Old Pearl is here, Honey, to help you adjust to No Vida Loca Ever (NVLE) status.  Here's what you will need to deal with this situation:
  • a rosary
  • a bible
  • a photo of you at bible camp
  • a camp fire
  • or a high security mailbox (think Switzerland)
  • A copy of your college diploma and subsequent degrees, if possible
  • A bottle of vodka or suitable substitute
  • All the ingredients for s'mores (optional)

First, take the rosary, the bible, the photo and a copy of your degree.  Put them in a battered shoe box marked with your graduation year and labeled "Top Secret".  Leave in an obvious location, like the top right hand corner of your closet.  Next, gather all incriminating evidence and hope to hell your kids ain't as nosy as Chicken's because otherwise, you've been found out, fool. 

Second, either set up your campfire or call Switzerland to find out how to get one of them top secret security box accounts like you see in the movies.  I definitely recommend the campfire, because then the fun just keeps on coming.  Take your beverage of choice and your incriminating evidence out to the campfire.  Pour a drink and toast those photos one at a time.  Relive each photo before watching it go up in flames (just like your youth!). 

When you are done, write down a few alternate memories in a fake journal, as an additional distraction from the truth device.  Consider it a memoir of what might have been, if you hadn't been busy surfing cars an' boys, and listening to the devil's music and whatnot. 

Then what you do is you toast some marshmallows and your childrens' futures, knowing your past is beyond progenic inspection, providing you don't tell campfire stories;  or talk in your sleep; or have a husband who talks in his sleep; or have parents who talk whenever they feel like it just for fun and revenge.  Yeah, that last one's the bitch.

Good luck LLVL.  Just know that one day you'll have grandchildren and then?  All the fun begins again.  

Love,
Pearl
Don't let your kids see this


Chicken out

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fashion is a Two Faced Bitch

Hi World,

You look great!  Have you lost weight?

With Labor Day right around the corner, you may be wondering what fashion must haves you should be stocking up on for fall.  Well, I've taken some time to peruse the latest fashion mags, and have put together this short synopsis which I'm sure you will find clears things up a bit.

My dears, for fall, straight legs are in.  Unless you like flares, because they are also in.  And bootleg?  So hot right now.  Oooh, and don't forget to stock up on boyfriend jeans for weekend tailgate parties.

Wear your straight legs with cute ballerina flats.  Or heels.  Or sandals. Or boots:  Short boots, riding boots, cowboy boots, slouchy boots, thigh-high boots, motorcycle boots or cement boots.  Whatever.

Long skirts?  In!  Wear them pleated or pencil skirted.  But you know what is also in?  Metallic minis, yes! But an A-line skirt is flattering on everyone and remember, for fall the buzz word is menswear.

The silhouette for this year is fitted and classic.  Unless you prefer asymmetrical and boxy, because guess what?  That's so hot right now!  And fitted and slutty is always in style.  And the peter pan collar?  So In! 

Colors are bold and jewel toned.  Unless they are pastel or neutral.  We forget.  Oh, speaking of which, don't forget to wear earthy tones, so in right now.  And, AND, sweet prints are IT this year.

Shoes:  We still like a nude heel, it so elongates the leg.  Also, don't forget to add a punch of color or two because strong jewel tones are in.  Kitten heels are still all the rage for fall.  Of course, a killer heel never hurts either-try a stacked heel peep toe.  But you know, take it down a notch this fall because flat pointy shoes are where it is at.  Oh, and get yourself a pair of moccasins for fall, extra fringe, please.

Handbags:  We like totes this year.  And clutches.  and backpacks.  And really tiny purses that only fit your lipstick and a $20 bill because this year it is all about minimalism.  But also it is about sustainability-the girl who has everything she needs definitely wins.  Who has a rose lipstick, a chapstick and a NYC Red lipstick?  You?  You win!  Oh, but you are carrying it all in a faded red 1990 LL Bean knapsack.  With your initials embroidered on the side.  Oh that is sad.  Wait a minute...that's not sad!  OMG that is so fresh.  So different.  LL Bean vintage, OMG!

Accessories:  Ladies, dainty is in.  Unless you like big, bold and ethnic because that is a classic that will never go out of style.  Diamonds and pearls are oh so timeless but so are leather cords and Native American accents.  Multiple bracelets recycled from used rubber tires?  Oh you go, Earth Child.  That's so fresh. But then again, we like our silver, gold and gems, am I right girls?  So pile them on anyway you can get them. Let your lights shine, girlies.  Oh, and that reminds me of the Irish.  Have I mentioned...

Sweaters:  Thick and chunky, friends.  Think Irish fisherman.  Over a long flowing chiffon skirt. Ethereal is supposed to be out, but when you pair it with a a trendy cable, presto, it is in again. So hot.  You know what is also nice? The boyfriend sweaater in a nice cashmere, yes, over a tailored white button down.  But really, forget about sweaters for a minute and get yourself a varsity jacket because that's so trendy this fall.  Outerwear this fall is classic and timeless but also youthful with a playful element.

Fabric:  Ummmm.  What do you like?  Because we like, like, everthing....we like tweed, silk, wool, cotton, polyester....really...we like everything.  What do you like?  Huh?  Huh?

Pair your fall look with bold makeup moves, like cat eyes, bright red lips, and a noticeable blush. But don't overdo it. Remember, demure is the key word when it comes to fall makeup. A nude lip, a barely there blush, and you are on your way. Don't forget your Bonne Bell Watermelon Lip Smacker for that sweet retro feel. 

Our style icons this fall are Audrey Hepburn and Brigette Bardot. 

And Farrah Fawcett.  And all three of the Kardashian sisters. 

And Mia Farrow.

So let's recap, shall we?

The look for fall  is classic and feminine, bold and masculine, demure and over the top.  It's a mix of 20th century chic and 70's country sweetheart.  It's disco meets square dance with
a pinch of dirty dancing just to spice things up.  It's chocolate milk in a martini glass. stirred, not shaken.  It is 20th century Ice Queen meets 1950's pin up girl.

Still confused?  You totally get it!  Yes, fashion is a two faced bitch, friends, so my advice is wear whatever the hell you want, just wear it like you mean it.  Somewhere out there, every Glamour don't is being paraded as a "do".

Except the exposed thong look.  I think that trend is well and truly over.  I know.  I'm sad too.





Happy shopping, World

Chicken out


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Super Heros 2011

Hello Chicksters,

I was on someone's blog recently and the post concerned superheros.  This close to July 4, it got me to thinking...who will we look back upon in 100 years on July 4 and remember as a superhero.

Because it is odd, but we never really seem to recognize the true superheros until they are gone from this earth. 

Abraham Lincoln, Ben Franklin, and the guy who invented lightbulbs....

We all pretty much would agree, I think, that they were pretty futuristic.  Pretty super heroistic?

And that Henry the 8th sucked.

But what about now.  Right here.  Who are the people out there doing things that we will look back on (well, not you and me, but our kids and grandkids, maybe) and say, "Wow.  They were so ahead of their time".

Because, really, that is all a superhero is, if you don't count the nonhuman strength and agility.  A superhero is a person who is ahead of their time; a person who knows what the world will need in 20 years, 50 years....a steward of not just the human race, but of the planet. 

In my mind, the world, our world, is going to need a little kindness, a little nurturing.  A little less raping of resources and a little more sacrifice.  Who are the people that will lead that charge?

I'm not a political girl.  I don't keep up with who is doing what out there, but I know some of you do, so who are they?

It could even be that there is a little superhero in all of us.  There should be.  Most of us have kids or nieces or nephews or hope to. 

This independence day, I'm thinking can I use less?  Can I recycle more?

And I'm feeling guilty because although I grew up learning how to grow things, how to preseve things, and how to be respectful of the earth, I've kind of forgotten a little bit in my last 30 years or so of urban living.  Would I know a wild blueberry if I saw one?  Or would I think it was poisonous? 

I'm also thinking about that old biblical prophecy..."blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth".  It makes me think of farmers, especially.  I think the farmers are key. And I'm not talking about ConAgra.

So, until you people tell me different, my superheros right now are the local farmers. C'mon. Buy an heirloom tomato, for God's sake.  For our sake.

And seriously...educate me.  Who should I be following out there?  Who do you admire?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken Reveals the Secret Language of Families. For the Second Time. Because Almost None of You Read It The First Time Even Though It Was Really Funny. Right?

Hello, World:

You know the commercial about college scholarships? The one where the guy is sitting on the couch watching a commercial about how all parents think their kid is going to get a 4 year scholarship, and the guy looks over at his own kid who is, at that moment, twirling around in his striped footy pajamas with a box on his head? I'm pretty sure I saw that commercial too many times when I was pregnant and that I laughed just a little too hard. That's all I'm going to say.

In many families, maybe yours, there's a secret language-a code. For your entertainment, or maybe for mine, I've translated a few of the phrases most often repeated in our house.

MAX AND RUBY IS ON, MAX AND RUBY IS ON!!!!!!

Translation: Everyone in the house is about to be treated to 20 minutes of relative quiet and a marked decrease in head butting incidences.

LETS GO SEE IF MAX AND RUBY IS ON!!!

Translation: I'm overwhelmed, my ears are ringing due to your incessant chatter, and I need a break or a drink, preferably both.


I'VE GOT BOOGY NOSE!

Translation: A little help here?


MOM, I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU.

Translation: I need money and/or a ride somewhere. (Never ever does it mean, "what do you think of this outfit", or "do you like my boyfriend?" It does, however, elicit the Pavlovian response of rolling eyes and clenching stomach muscles)

OH, I MEANT TO DO THOSE BEFORE YOU GOT HOME.

Translation: Yes, I did notice the full sink of dishes and the cluttered sideboard and I had no intention of touching them but saying that I did makes me and hopefully you, but primarily me, feel better.

IT'S OKAY, I'VE GOT IT.

Translation: It's not ok you lazy sod! What am I, your fecking maid?


HAVE YOU SEEN MY _________ (fill in the blank)

Translation: Could you stop what you are doing and go find my __________


I GOT A CALL FROM YOUR SCHOOL TODAY.

Translation: You are in soooo much trouble you don't even know.


LET'S FIND YOU A PROJECT!!

Translation: I need to detach you from my leg immediately before I go insane.


I TOLD YOU THAT (followed by long detailed story that ends in "remember?").

Translation: I forgot to tell you but I'm pretty sure I can convince you I didn't.


So the next time you stop by the house for a glass of wine, a bowl of chips, and some sparkling conversation, and someone yells from the other room, "I've got boogy nose" in a deep bass voice, you'll know there are no real boogers involved, just someone needing a little help. And since this phrase is interchangeable with the phrase, "Have you seen my _________", I will respond with "Where do you remember seeing it last?", which translates to "I just sat my butt down in this chair with a big ole glass of wine and I'm not getting up for love or money to look for your _________".


Even though I know exactly where _____________ is.


This is just one of the many small ways I am evil. mwwwwahhh hahahaha. But that is another whole post.

Chicken out

Thursday, June 2, 2011

If I could save time in a bottle, I'd probably drink it by mistake so why bother?

Oh.  Well.  Hi there.

And where the hell have you been?  Oh wait.  That's your line.

First of all, let's all just lay our cards on the table and agree that the title of this post makes no sense at all.  I know, ok?  I'm rusty. It's been awhile.  You don't take a month off, come back, and start tossing down awesome titles.  Well, maybe if you are someone else you do, but someone else probably doesn't go walkabout for a month, either.  Do Australians still say that?  Did they ever say that?  Mrs. P are you there?  Crikey.  That's a big knife, Mrs. P.

Okay I'm done.  Unless you have an alligator that needs to be wrestled for no apparent reason.

Now I'm done.  Let's move along.  So welcome baaack.  This is my blooogggg.  This is where I write, like, all my personal thoughts and feelings and oh, just whatever comes into my mind, like really random stuff, you know....

Well, that's interesting. I seem to be channeling Paris Hilton now.  Great.  That's just great.  If Brittany shows up, I'm leaving.  This automatic writing thing is for the birds.  Other people channel dead poets and playwrights.  I channel vapid socialites and feisty old black women.  No offense Pearl.  We have a lot of fun, we do.  Especially when you drive.  But just once, I wish I could channel someone profound.  Like Ghandi.  Or Elvis.

Anyway.  What I started to write about, what I MEANT to write about before the voices took over, was my sad time perception disability. 

Sometimes I get up in the morning and I think, gee, it would be nice to go for a walk.  But then I don't because, you know, a walk around the neighborhood is going to take a half hour and I have stuff to do, like drink this coffee and read junk mail.  Maybe tomorrow, I think. 

But one day, I did.  I did go for the walk.  And you know what?  It is amazing how far you can walk in ten minutes. 

This, friends, is the story of my life.  I think that everything I need to do, or should do, will take longer than it actually does so I put it off for the day when I have more time, except that day never seems to come. 

Cleaning out the spare bedroom takes roughly 1.25 hours, as I recently discovered, but I was saving it for a day when I had approximately 234 hours to spare.  Imagine my pleasure at all that time I had left over?  That might have been the day I went for the walk, come to think of it.

Paradoxically, the things I want to do seem to take much more time than I anticipate.  Dinner with friends?  Sure.  I tell BigB I'll be home by 8:30 pm.  BigB knows I won't be home until 10. Watch five episodes of NY Housewives-sure, that'll take about 1/2 hour.  I have time.  Stop at the Shell station for gas?  No way, I'm running late. And I'm quite sure that stir fry takes at least two hours to make.  I don't care what those iron chefs say, stir fry is not quick.  All that chopping?  Are you kidding me?  Getting the stuff out of the fridge?  Putting it back?  Finding all the little bowls to put all the different chopped up stuff in?  Oh.  And then you have to cook the rice, too?  Come on.  That's not a walk in the park, mate.  That's a commitment.  Put a ring on that stir fry and call the minister.

This illogical mindset carries over into the workplace.  My work day starts at 8:30 am.  I like my job.  I try to get there early.  Invariably, I am 10 minutes late.  This is because if I have to leave at 8:00 am and I am all ready to go at 7:50, I will decide to change my clothes, or clean out the dishwasher, or start a load of laundry, or look for something I don't need but that has just crossed my mind as something I haven't seen in awhile.  I do this because in my own warped mind I am ahead of schedule.  But in the process of doing this one small thing that I know I can finish, I will completely lose track of time and forget that I even need to go to work.  At 8:10, I will look up from the article I am reading about making my own floor wax that I just came across in a nine-year-old Martha Stewart magazine that I found in the bottom of the box I was looking in because I thought the other thing I was looking for that I don't need but haven't seen for awhile might be in there, and I will yell, "Shit. I'm late!" When I get to work, I'll say to my boss, "God, that littleb is slowwww as molasses".  The sole reason I had children is so that I could blame them for all the times I am late.  My boss knows better but he won't say anything because he knows that at 4:20, ten minutes before my day ends, I will start looking for one more thing to do and be there another half-hour.  Really, my time perception disability is working out quite well for him.

So time plays tricks on me.  I really have no internal clock.  I have no internal GPS, either, for that matter, but that's a story for another day.  As Thoreau once said, "Time is but a stream I go a-fishin' in".  It is also the same stream that, incidentally, I will look for shiny rocks in, stick my toes in, skip stones across, and take a nap by.  In my mind, it's all good.  I have all the time in the world except for the times when I have no time at all. 

Have you ever noticed, by the way, that the busiest people, the people who should, by some law of physics, have the least amount of time, are the ones who accomplish the most.  Oh you know who you are.  You people are gods to me.  Word.

You know who else seems to have a lot of time on her hands?  Martha Stewart.  Make your own floor wax, indeed.  Is she insane?  I don't have time to wax my floors, Martha.  I have at least 4 back issues, circa 1989, in this box I just found that I have to read first.  After I've learned how to make solar origami paper lanterns and hand carve miniature gourds into adorable christmas ornaments, then maybe we can talk floor wax, okay?

I've missed you guys.  I'll be by to visit soon.  I can't wait.

Chicken out

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don't try this at home, Kids...

Hi World,

Littleb became very attached to his bicycle helmet and wanted to wear it to school.

Because we are sensitive new age parents who never stifle our child's sense of self and creative expression regardless of how maladjusted it makes our entire family look, we let him. 

He is going through a super hero stage and we surmised that the helmet had something to do with making him super-hero-invincible.

We surmised this because he spent the morning before leaving for school hitting himself over the head with various objects and declaring, "Nope-that didn't hurt!".  Apparently this behavior continued at school throughout the rest of the morning.  I'm sure his teacher thought it was adorable.

Then another of the class super heros threw a block at him convinced that it wouldn't hurt him because he was, you know, invincible.  I think this other kid's super power must have been strength.  I know it wasn't aim because the block missed the helmet, hit littleb in the face and gave him a black eye.

Just in time for picture day.

He didn't cry.  Super heros don't cry.  Especially the invincible ones.


Our little black-eyed Pea-wee


I almost did, though.  I am not a super hero.  Just a wimpy mom.

Happy Easter,

Chicken out

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In Which Chicken Re-posts an Old Post for the First Time Ever and Begs Your Forgiveness....Except, Hey, Maybe You Never Read This Post Before in Which Case, We're Good, Right?

Hi World,

You know me, right?  You know me.  I'm here for 10 posts a month, I'm gone for a month, I'm as ADD as they come.  I have tried to be consistent this past year in keeping with my New Year's resolution of posting at least once a week, but this week?  Multiple events at work have me stymied.  I've got nothing!  And very little time to expand on it, so, for the first time ever, I am reposting.  If I were smart, I'd probably repost the Danny DeVito (Devito?) post, which seems to be the big winner in the chicken neighborhood, but although I still contend that Danny is as sweet and naughty as an oreo, I'm going with this one.  That's just the way I roll (tonight). 

So without further histrionics, I bring you:  Chicken Mail

I've been thinking how rare it is to get an actual letter in the mail. Now that we have the internet and facebook, no one writes letters anymore, and that's too bad.

I've decided to spend my last couple days of vacation dropping some notes to some deserving individuals. 

Dear Ivory Soap:

Can soap get dirty? Like if you are in a public shower at the gym, and you drop your washcloth on the floor obviously you are not going to pick it up and wash your face with it because, gross, cooties from the 37 people who showered before you are obviously all OVER that cloth, but if you drop the soap is it the same thing? Or should you just rinse it off and consider it clean again? I really need to know this.

Yours in Cleanliness,

Chicken


Dear God:

Thank you for weakening my eyesight so that I can no longer see the deep wrinkles developing around my eyes and nose. You are a wise and benevolent God.

In piety,

Chicken

Dear Colonel Saunders:

I am writing to let you know that I have almost mentally recovered from the trauma of nearly being coated in 11 secret spices and deep fried back in 1986. You really are a sick bastard, you know that? And your friend, Purdue, also. Hell is reserving a special spot for the likes of you two sickos.

Revenge will be mine,

Chicken



Dear GG,

Happy Library Workers week. I hope they did something special for you like give you a t-shirt or a coffee mug or something. I think a t-shirt that says "Librarians do it Quietly" would be very becoming.
XOXO

Chick

Dear New Boss:

One thing that you do not yet know about me is that I eat cheese and crackers every single day while sitting at my desk and it is seriously annoying to anyone sitting within 10 yards of me. It would be best if I had my own office. I like the one at the end with the big window. I know that is your office. But I've noticed you do not eat cheese and crackers or any other annoying things, so perhaps a different arrangement would work better for everyone involved.

In the spirit of proactiveness,

Chicken


Dear Prince:

That symbol idea was really stupid. Seriously, a symbol that has no pronunciation for a name? What the hell were you thinking?

In disbelief,

Chicken

Dear BigB:

I know it looks as though I haven't done a thing all day. The house is a mess, there's no dinner on the table, and there's a cheese rind and sleeve of crackers in the living room where we mutually agreed I would never eat again. What you don't realize is that I had to spend the day hunkering down on the couch because the census workers were all out in the neighborhood and if I had been up and moving around working and stuff, they totally would have seen me and been all up in my grill about how you haven't sent in the census survey yet.

Irresponsibly yours,

Chicken



Dear Mark Knopfler,

I'm coming to see you play and I am a big, big fan. Did you know I also play the guitar? I would be happy to do a number with you if you think it would be entertaining to your audience. Here's my cell number (401) 555-1234. Text me.

XO

Chicken



Dear  Professor D:

Thank you for teaching me that the possessive form of it has no apostrophe. You did me a solid.

Chicken


Dear Emily Dickinson:
Hello. I am finally getting back to you. I hope you are doing well and are getting out once in awhile.

Love,

The World


Dear Littleb,

I think you are a very smart and progressive little boy to want to pee standing up, like the big boys. Just remember when you do it that you have to AIM littleb. Because Golden Showers are not things that nice little boys give.

Love,

Momma

Dear R,

When I said, "Do you want to spend the day together on Thursday" and you said "Yes" and I said, "OK, I'll call you", I meant this Thursday, as in today, as in why aren't you home? Not some arbitrary, vague Thursday in the distant future when the planets that occupy your universe might be in alignment. Lunch tomorrow?

Love,

Mom

Dear Mom,

Remember that time when I was 17 and there was that funny looking plant on my window sill and you asked me if it was marijuana and I said I didn't know? That someone had given me the seeds and I just planted them to see what would grow? You were totally right not to fall for that. I see now how unconvincing that story was. It is just as unconvincing as Teenager Who Lives in the Basements explanation of why he can never make it home on time for dinner. I just don't really think there is a dead zone at his friend C's house that makes his phone shut off and that they do not have clocks anywhere in their house. This seems far fetched, does it not? I thought you might enjoy knowing that all my duplicitous teenage actions have come home to roost. But that curse you placed on me (I hope someday you have children JUST like you) really turned out to be a kicker. Is there anything you can do about that, by the way? Is there an expiration date for that curse? Is it recyclable? Just wondering.

Love,
Chicken

Hope you enjoyed my first ever repost.  And here's a nice photo of Danny Devito, just for being a good sport


Naughty AND Delicious


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chicken Marketing

Hi World:

This month, I visited three different liquor stores in my neighborhood.  I noticed that all of these stores are using the same pens, stamped with the name of a local apartment complex.  This tells me three things:

1.  We probably drink too much.
2.  If the number of package stores is a sign, everyone in our neighborhood drinks too much.
3.  The local apartment complex marketing guy thinks that drunk people make good tenants

I can appreciate the thought process:  If your tenants are alcoholics, where better to find new tenants than a liquor store? Makes sense, right?

Oh, apartment complex manager, you are so very wrong. 

Here's why:

1.  Do you really want more alcoholics moving in?  Think about it:  Red wine stains on the carpet, people puking in your bushes and ruining the vegetation, constantly having to readjust the PH in the pool because tenants are just too drunk to get out and pee in the appropriate receptacle?

2.  How long do you think the average alcoholic's work tenure is, anyway?  Sure, they are employed when they move in, but before you know it, they get laid off for unspecified reasons (included, but not limited to, being drunk at 9 am staff meetings assuming they make it in for said meetings, getting into fist fights with important clients, and let's not even get into the holiday party debacle.) which will give him more time to hang around the pool but less money with which to pay rent.

3.  Drunk tenants + drunk friends = more pee in the pool.

And that's assuming your pen ploy will work, which it won't.

Here's why:

1.  How many people visiting a liquor store are looking for an apartment?

2.  How many of those people visiting the liquor store and looking for an apartment are coherent enough and/or interested enough to read the very small writing on your pen, memorize or take notes, and then call you later?

I'll give you a hint.  You have a better chance of winning the lottery and getting rid of this sucky apartment complex marketing job.  Seriously, Friend,  people buying alcohol are concerned with several things, such as:

1.  Whether the store sells lime to go with their Corona or whether they will have to make an extra stop, cutting into their drinking time. 

2.  Do these jeans make my butt look big.  Seriously.  Be honest. (note:  Be very very careful)
3.  Which schnapps has the absolute highest alcohol content

4.  How the hair looks

6.  Crap.  Do you sell condoms here?  How about ping pong balls?

Anyone in the liquor store not preoccupied with these issues already owns a house.  Anyone in the liquor store preoccupied with these issues is not in a state of mind to think about apartment choices. 

You see, apartment complex marketing person, those choices are made in the morning. 

Here is a typical scenario:

Jason and Jennifer have happily cohabitated for 8 months.  One Saturday night, Jason attends his good friend, Brad's, bachelor party.  On the way, he stops at the neighborhood liquor store and buys a case of Bud and a bottle of Sambuca.  He has a hard time choosing between the Sambuca and the Jagermeister.  But at least his hair is perfect. 

The party starts out at Brad's apartment, where the case of Bud and multiple other cases of assorted beer are consumed, then moves to a local club, and then a strip joint.  Somewhere along the way, Jason meets Angel and, at that moment in time, Angel does appear to be celestial.  Almost as high as Jason, in fact, and quite enamored of Jason's perfect hair.  Jason and Angel hook up. 

The next morning, Jason is horrified to wake up in Angel's bed.  He looks at Angel.  She looks at him.  Enlightenment happens.  Jason winds his way home, stopping off at Dunkin' Donuts for his hangover vanilla extra extra iced coffee.  He arrives home to find all his belongings on the sidewalk in a, shall we say, untidy pile.  Almost as if they had been thrown there through an open window, which they almost certainly had.

Da dum da dum.

Jason calls Brad.  Brad is no longer engaged, having consumed too much sambuca and, feeling playful, having sent a pic of the lap dance he received to his beloved.  It goes without saying that Brad is not awfully bright. 

Brad and Jason meet up for breakfast at the local diner to commiserate and clear their heads.  Brad and Jason are suddenly homeless.  As this sinks in, the waiter brings their check.  Jason picks up the tab.  As he signs for the check, he heaves a big sigh and says, "Whaddayah say, Dude?  Want to be room mates again?"

Apartment complex marketing guy, do you see where I am going with this? 

And even that is debatable.  Do you think anyone is reading your pen?  The ones you pay fifty cents apiece for?  No.  They really are not.  Except me.  I also pick up random business cards, though, so I'm not a good example.  And I don't need an apartment.

If you really want to pick up some extra tenants, here are some proven strategies:

1.  Loan out your pool for bachelor parties.
2.  Hang out at the local diner
3.  Give hot people a discount.
4.  Pay a referral fee to the hot tenants to bring in more hot tenants
5.  Start a reality show based on the hotness and debauchery of your tenants.

You'll still have to deal with stains, dead vegetation, and public urination, but you seem okay with that.

So, apartment complex marketing guy, while normally I prefer to be paid for my marketing advice, I do have three of your pens in my purse, so let's call it even. 

And by the way, apartment complex marketing guy, could you get rid of the "eye-catching" balloons outside your complex that my kid clamors for every time we drive by?   If you do, I'll stop letting him pee in your pool.  Not that it makes that much of a difference, exept his pee doesn't have the antiseptic advantage of alcohol in it.

Do any of these people look like they need a pen?
 Chicken out

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

She's Baaaaccckkk...Time to do the Chicken Dance

Hi World,


Miss Doxie is back!  Miss Doxie is back!  Only she's Mrs. Doxie now.  But I'll let her explain it.

What?  A little background, you say? 

Okay.  Picture Chicken as a naive, non-blogging, cubicle dweller who has never even heard the word blog before and has no knowledge of this world where people talk about their lives on the internet. 

Until one day, she stumbles across Miss Doxie.  She reads, she laughs, and she falls in love with an Atlanta attorney and her whole family.

And there are cute animals involved.  I mean, really cute.

Okay.  Now picture Chicken doing virtually no work for the next year while she reads all the back posts she missed while she was wasting time doing things she got paid for.

Then picture Chicken's shock and horror when suddenly the drug of choice in her life disappears. 

Oh poor woebegone Chicken.  But s'all ok now because she's back.  And she brought reinforcements. 

Must. Do. Chicken Dance.

I feel like I've been infused with 24 liters of tiger blood.  Well, okay, I feel like I imagine it might feel to be infused with tiger blood if one could actually be infused with tiger blood and if said tiger blood produced in the recipient the energy and sense of well-being that contemporary mythology credits it with imparting.

Does that make sense? 

Whatever.  Maybe I'll just have a cup of coffee and try to calm down a little.

Happy Wednesday.

Chicken out


I didn't have time to photograph my Chicken Dance, but this move right here?  Signature Chicken.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chicken Dinner....

Hi World,

It is lunch time at preschool.  Littleb sits with all of his little friends, around their miniature tables, displaying manners he would never think of using at home.  And feeding himself.  Another task he prefers not to take on at home.

His teacher notices he is too busy talking to eat and tells him the lunch period is almost over, so he might want to eat up.

Littleb:  Well, it is ok if I don't eat because my mom is making a big dinner tonight.

Teacher:  Oh really?  What are you having?

Littleb:  A roast and broccoli

Teacher:  That sounds good.  What kind of roast?

Littleb:  A roast with a dead turtle inside it.

Teacher:  Oh....well....that sounds interesting...where does your mother get her turtles?

Littleb:  She gets them on the beach. She has a pail that she uses.  The turtles are in the sand.  There are live ones and there are dead ones.  She only takes the dead ones.

Teacher:  And then she puts them in the roast?

Littleb:  Yeah, she takes the dead turtle and she puts it into the roast and she cooks it.  It's good.

Teacher:  Yes, it sounds good...

God that kid cracks me up.  As if I'd ever cook broccoli. 

Now, if you will excuse me, I have some turtle gathering to do.   The turtles tend to die most often right about this time and I like to get in on the harvest early.  Before the other moms grab them all.


Happy weekend, friends.

Chicken out