Monday, April 30, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The Dog Ate My Homework, Enjoli and Other Life Issues
The very same dog I can’t get to eat her own food. The only dog I’ve ever had to refuse meat—good, fresh-cooked meat.
I’m sensing you’re not buying this. I wouldn’t, either. The truth is that I lost track of the fact that it was my turn to blog amidst the day job, the volunteer positions on two different boards, a family, cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring, and being sick. We all have these things. We all have times when we drop the ball.
So, why do I feel like such a failure when one of the balls drops out of the air? I guess because I think I should be able to do it all. Bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and oh, yes, never ever let you forget you’re a man. Why? Because I’m a woman. Enjoli told me throughout my formative years that I should be able to do all this and more. For those of you who don’t remember what I’m talking about Google “VINTAGE 1980 80'S ENJOLI PERFUME COMMERCIAL CAUSE I'M A WOMAN.” It’s all there in infamous glory on YouTube.
If I were an Enjoli woman, I’d never wake up late and have to rush around like a lunatic. My child would always be perfectly groomed, read to, and in bed on time with no complaints. When she said “Mom” it would sound like a loving caress not a desperate shriek from the laundry room when she can’t find two clean matching socks.
My husband would always be attentive, not overworked. I’d be able lavish attention on him even after a full day of office politics, horrific commutes and last minute book reports. We’d never have daycare issues. We’d always have time for each other.
I can’t really address the part of the commercial where the man says, “I’ll cook” because he does actually do a lot of cooking. So I guess I have a tiny whisper of an Enjoli moment. But I’m not getting vamped up while he’s cooking. It just gives me more time for other chores. Besides, if I put that much perfume on, I’d cough until I choked. And that’s just not sexy on any day.
Writing? Well, that has to come between a full-time job, loads of laundry, driving to practices, volunteer work and a thousand other things. And yet I do. It surprises me how much I’m able to do it and how much it energizes me when I do, even after an exhausting day. That’s why I keep writing because it’s one of the things I love about my life. And I do love my life, despite its sometimes breakneck speed.
By the way, if I was a real Enjoli woman I’d be able to create a link to the YouTube commercial just like that. To all you Enjoli women out there, get over it. I’m off to put my ratty robe and bunny slippers on.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Wheels for the Redneck Godfather
Then one day, I saw it: the new Dodge Charger, a beauty of a car with a shark-like silhouette and cocky lift to the rear. It has all the trappings of luxury: shiny chrome, sleek metallic finishes, and a silver grill like a steel-trap. But under all that polish is an old fashion muscle car with a high performance engine rarin' to go.
With the right adjectives, the Charger can help convey the menacing attributes I want the reader to absorb about Lamar: barely controlled violence under a thin veneer of civility. Next time you see a Charger on the street, imagine the Redneck Godfather at the wheel. He'll be smiling—in a scary way.
So, what's your character driving?
Sunday, April 8, 2012
A Change Is as Good as a Rest
A change is as good as a rest. At least, that’s how the saying goes. I certainly hope it’s true, because really, now that spring has sprung, who has time to take a vacation? Maybe we can mark Easter off the calendar, but Passover still has a week to go. The kids are probably home for spring break, but the day job might still expect you to show up so chances are you’ve got to take this show on the road and head to day camp or daycare, the babysitter’s or Grandma’s. And there’s still more to do.
If your boots are blocking your closet’s sandal shelf, you’ll have to switch out your wardrobe. There’s spring cleaning, spring yard clean-up, and the spring AC check. Your professor is expecting your thesis, your editor is expecting your manuscript, and your mother is expecting you for dinner. All in all, there’s no rest for the wicked and very little for the righteous.
When life starts to wear you out, maybe that’s where change can come in handy. Now, I’m not talking big, momentous change. I’m talking about a small, occasional change in the things you have to do anyway. Just such a change can freshen your outlook and bring a bit of fun back to your life. Best of all, you control it which is more than we can say for that spring storm that ripped the shingles off your roof or the stray dog that dug up your daffodils.
Here are Nic's Top Five Ways A Change Can Be As Good As a Rest:
5. Don’t let the daily drive to work or school grind you down. Instead of sticking with those familiar roads—and the rut you’re in—take an alternate route tomorrow and don’t forget to enjoy the view.
4. Exchange your evening glass of chardonnay for pinot noir—or better yet, a Manhattan—and perk up those taste buds.
3. Switch that standard shower gel for something fruity-tootie or excitingly exotic. Just make sure it’s definitely different.
2. Pick a spice, any spice. Try adding it to a serving of your favorite dinner dish tonight.
1. Spend the night someplace else, whether that’s a B&B in Boston or a tent in your own backyard. You’ll wake up with a whole new frame of mind.
So what do you think? What life issues get you down? When they do, have you ever tried a fast, fun way to perk yourself up? What's your quick change?