Queen Elizabeth

About four years ago, my friend Jenny decided to take a job in Texas and leave California. To say I was crestfallen puts it mildly, as she was and always will be one of my dearest friends. But she knew her future was there and so it was. She met a great guy, got married and had two more kids.

I have known her first child, Arthur all his life and couldn’t love a kid more if he were my own. I taught him how to say “Republican Rage”, the Italian flip off and how to make a mashed potato pimple (you don’t want to know). But I never met her ‘new’ kids until Thanksgiving of last year.

She and her brood came down to visit everyone over that holiday weekend and we all headed up to Santa Barbara for the family feast. Her new little boy, Maverick is one of those cuter than cute kids who at that point didn’t really talk but had a series of grunts that meant certain things, it didn’t take long to figure those out and I became a hit with him when I gave him a keychain that had a little button that turned on a light.

Then there was Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth to you cretins. For a three year old she had an amazing presence. It was clear on my first look that she knew her own mind and soon so would I. As soon as she got out of the car, she stared me down with her unwavering gaze as if to say, “Who is this broad?” The fact that I have a little dog who is cute as a button fared well for me with QE and I guess she decided she liked me.

Elizabeth is a girlie girl. She likes her dresses and shoes. Craves hair ties and tierras. Purses, wallets, mirrors and probably make up if you gave her any. I figure by age 5 she’ll be donning stilletto heels and ignoring all the giggly little boys who follow her in her kindergarten class. She is a cutie to be sure. And stubborn as the day is long. Crafty too. On the drive up, she kept managing to get that little keychain away from Maverick which of course inspired blood curdling screams from little brother. Her ability to create and wear convincingly the I don’t have a clue what’s wrong face could give all the Barrymore’s a run for their money and it took a while to figure out what she was doing. And there were battles over blankets, snacks, water and so on.

Clearly, in Elizabeth’s world, all that she purveyed was hers to have and let the peasants take what was left or bored her. It’s the kind of attitude that will make her a rich and very savvy entreprenuer one day. She is a go-getter. She knows what she wants and goes after it with a venegance. I wish that when I were a child I’d been that focused and sure of what I wanted – how different my life would have been.

Throughout the weekend, Jenny and I made jokes about her queenly attitude in all its many manifestations and it is truly one of my fondest memories of that weekend. This willful and charming child stole my heart.

For Christmas, I sent her a watch (because we discovered over that weekend where Jenny’s watch kept getting to) and a variety of hair ties. Which I have been told by Jenny that she covets and guards with enthusiasm.

The other day Jen sent me the top picture and I had to laugh because I thought, “Finally she has found her crown.” And from the looks of it, couldn’t be happier in her kingdom.

So, here’s to you, my Queen, long may you reign!



Gracie Does Pomp & Circumstance by Jess Em

I was a clumsy kid.  As a matter of fact, I’m a clumsy adult.  The person who falls down in the middle of an empty sidewalk wearing flip flops and carrying nothing more interesting than a small bag I purchased specifically for it’s easy-to-carry-while-carting-around-two-toddlers style.  And then attempts to pretend that I didn’t just fall down while all alone, surrounded by nothing more than air, while strolling leisurely on the most innocuous sidewalk in the world.  It’s a sad testament to my capability as a grown adult, but at least I’ve managed to never harm another human being in my inability to do anything gracefully.

 I grew up in Jersey.  We had big hair, wore leggings under everything, and had high tops to coordinate with every sweatshirt-dress we owned.  I had at least ten pairs of dangly star earrings in a variety of colors, and wore them proudly with my crimped hair and teased bangs.  I was cool.  Until I walked into an open locker while staring at Eric Cochrane over my right shoulder.  Or fell in PE while jogging as I tried to impress him with my fleet-footed sprinting capability.  My parents called me “Gracie”, a supposedly affectionate nickname that served only to remind everyone that I was bound to trip over something. 

 My school was K-8, the eighth grade graduation being the culmination of all things.  It was the pinnacle of the early school years: an event each of us yearned for as we entered into the middle-school wing.  We had the pomp, the ceremony.  The eighth graders missed class for graduation practice.  They got to leave school early…they got pizza for lunch TWICE a week.  They were the ultimate.  We all wanted to be in eighth grade, so when I reached that pinnacle, I knew great things would come.  My eighth grade graduation would be the day, the one where I shined.  I was smart-I knew I’d get awards.  I’d be stylish, because mom took me shopping for shoes with heels on them.  By God, I’d have good hair.  No frizz. 

 The day of The Graduation dawned bright and beautiful, as it can only be on the Jersey shore in June.  My parents had made reservations at a rather jazzy little place in Manasquan, and I couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle to the graduation song.  I had my new shoes ready, heels and all, and took my time getting my bangs to just the right height to sit perfectly under the square of my graduation cap.  I loved the jaunty swing of my tassel; the click of my little heels on the floor.    I was wearing makeup.  Mascara, and a little lip gloss.  I was the shit. 

 We got to the school, my family took their seats, camera at the ready.  They had already put in their order for the VHS of the ceremony.  I joined my classmates in the band room, all of us happily chattering in our royal blue graduation robes.  My bangs were the perfect height, I noted, looking at the bangs of my classmates. 

 The chairs for the graduates were set up on the stage of the elementary school gym stage.  The kind with the heavy red curtains used for everything from dances to PE class to PTA meetings.  My last name starting with an “M”, I was right in the middle of the procession.  To get to our seats, we had to walk down the center aisle, turn right at the stage, walking around the band to go up the stairs at the right side.  Simple.  And interesting to watch, I’m sure, as 90 eighth graders step-tap-step-tapped all the way down the aisle to the beat of “Pomp and Circumstance”. 

 My turn, finally, and I step-tap-step-tapped my way down the center aisle, smiling for the cameras, my little heels clicking on the floor, my bangs maintaining their perfect height.  My tassel swinging perfectly.  It was beautiful.  My shining moment.  I walk down the aisle, around the band, up the steps.

 Until, well.  The Moment.  The moment of all things ridiculous, mortifying, humiliating.  I tripped.  Up the top step.  Shouldn’t have been a big deal, a little stumble that was easily recoverable. 

 Except.  I was wearing heels, for the first time ever.    So here’s how it went: I trip up the step, try to recover, step on my robe, slip on my heels, teeter left, over the stage.  Off the stage.  Onto a band member, slamming my forehead against the edge of the stage on my way down, before landing on the back of my head on the lovely, well-polished, hardwood floor. 

 I spent my graduation in the ER, being treated for a concussion.  Getting stitches over my left ear where I slammed into the trumpet of the terrified fifth grade band member as I fell onto the floor. 

 Needless to say, my parents have kept their VCR in good repair solely for the purpose of being able to show that particular video.  To everyone in the world.  If they knew about YouTube, it’d probably be on there too.

Jess Em

Hope Your Weekend…

is going better than this little guy’s.  Sorry, I just can’t stop laughing. Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommy’s out there. Hope you are all treated like queens and at least get some flowers and breakfast in bed.


What Moms Will Do For Their Kids…


(My friend, the super-mom, sent me this true story of how she ‘helped’ her kids learn one of those scout-type lessons. Amazing, the lengths we’ll go to for our kids, eh?  😉 WC )

We had our Daisy troop meeting at Oakwood Park this afternoon so we could work on our “Making the World a Better Place” petal by going around the park picking up litter.  I got there with a handful of plastic grocery sacks so each girl could fill her own bag with litter.  Then we were going to talk about recycling as we took any bottles and cans we found and put them in a separate recycling bag. 

So, while the girls are playing before we get started, I look around and….. the park is spotless!!  No litter anywhere!!  Nothing!!  Our petal earning was in serious jeopardy

The only thing I could think of was to send my older daughter to our van (where there happens to be plenty of litter) to get some litter and go out and sprinkle it around ahead of us as we got started.  She said she got some strange looks from people as she was boldly and deliberately littering.  That is, before they saw our Daisies way behind on the trail squealing as they raced to pick up the scraps.

Thank God one of the boys playing basketball happened to finish his water bottle so we had something to recycle!

Technically, we didn’t really make the world a better place but I think they got the idea 😉  Too bad there isn’t a “Make your leader’s van a better place” petal.  😉

(LOL- that’s what I call ingenuity!  WC)

This One’s For You, Sanjaya!

Sorry for all the vids but I had to post this one for our favorite idol disaster. WC

Turn the Magic Ear to the ‘On’ Position

I have seen the future and it looks like this. LOL. Oh yes it does. 😉


And The Oscar Goes To…

Nah, not really – sorry Al, I doubt you’re getting any awards for your ‘film’ but it was quite an interesting piece of fiction. However, that dress is rather striking, so you might luck out and end up on the best dressed list for the Oscars. And have you been working out because you look positively svelte. 😉 WC

(hat tip to patriot post for the incredibly funny pic – lol, this picture just slays me!)

If you want to read a compelling and interesting post about Algore and his contentions check out this post from my buddy Mick.


Breakfast at the Museum

I guess we all get a bit peckish, sometimes. So, here they are Zelda and my alter egos…for your entertainment. 😆 WC

Have You Painted Your Cat Lately?

Apparently, people still are finding ways to waste their money. A new trend appears to be having your cat painted for about 15 grand a pop. And if you want to keep up with the Jones’ you have to do repaints every three months. Can you imagine having nothing better to do with 60 grand a year than to have your housepet painted? Duh!

That being said, they are pretty impressive paint jobs.

(HT to FC for the pics!)


What She Did For Love????

Okay, call me crazy, but don’t they have any psych evaluations at NASA? I mean if you’re going to send somebody up into space (potentially) wouldn’t you want to make sure that they had their head screwed on right? I would. Hell, even if it was just a driver’s license I’d want to make sure. Talk about out of this world. This chick was like Fatal Attraction meets SpaceBalls or something. Jeez. I think it may be time to rethink the NASA program. These folks should be being drafted for politics not space travel. 😉


(HT to Gerry for the toon. Tanks, buddy.)