Thursday, March 21, 2013

Read Me From the Comfort of My Own Website

Hey guys,


My blog has moved and it now lives on my website,

Up Mama's Wall is Dead. Long live Up Mama's Wall!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to Sprain Your Face Not Using Oral Sex

Here's something I learned this week: When you tell people you've pulled a muscle in your jaw almost every single one of them will make a blow job joke. Except the people at your dentist's office. There, they will look at you sympathetically and say, "stress?"

Did you know you could do that? Just wake up one morning barely able to open or close your mouth because you've pulled a muscle in your jaw by grinding your teeth and sleeping on your face the wrong way? I did not know that. But now I am living proof.

But here's the thing, I don't feel like I've been particularly stressed. I mean, no more than usual. Yes, I have six-year old twins, and I'm job hunting, and I am often kept awake at night shamefully cataloguing all the things I wish I hadn't eaten that day.  But all that is so pedestrian. It's no reason to go around spraining your mouth.

Think of the mothers in Syria right now, fearing for the lives of their children. Think of the people out of work for years. Homeless people, sick people. A billion people in the world with non-pedestrian problems. Real problems. And fully functioning jaws.

I don't like being this weak. I mean, if a little job hunt and 30 extra pounds sends my body into full-on panic mode, what am I going to do when the shit really hits. An earthquake? The apocalypse? A real problem that demands that I woman up and deal? I am afraid my body will just melt into a puddle of goo, like those Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark (man, that was a good movie).

My dad took my brother and me to see The Melting Man when we were 2 and 8. It totally traumatized both of us for a long time. 

It's all, obviously, a metaphor for getting older, for the slow betrayal of your body, once such a faithful ally. First you realize that you can no longer turn ten cartwheels in a row without dying, then you realize you have no interest in casually playing frisbee ever again as long as you live, then you start to hate bending over to tie your shoes, then some whiskers grow in weird places, then you have to hold the menu at arm's length to read it. Then you pull a muscle in your jaw sleeping. And finally, you pee your pants at your son's wedding and decide it's time to move into assisted living.

I do not have to wait for the apocalypse, it's already begun, very slowly. I am melting, but you'd have to  have one of those slow motion cameras that show plants growing and flowers blooming to see it.

Also, my eyelid has been twitching for a about 8 weeks.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Not As bad As All That

I met my friends Jennifer and Karie for dinner last night and the first thing Jennifer said to me as we sat down was, "What are you talking about? You look great!" She also added an empathetic fuck you to the school that rejected Oliver, which was nice.

Apparently I had given the impression, via my last two posts, that I am a horrific sad sack popping pills and getting up only to make my gelatinous way to the fridge and back. Occasionally I might lift my graying visage to curse the heavens, only to quickly return to the eating and popping.

But let me clear a few things up. First, I am still so totally eye-burning hot it is almost difficult to look at me.  Yes, the jaw line isn't what it used to be, and the gut is rather more gut-like than I prefer. But, don't fret, I still look like the white, chubby, middle aged Beyonce. Plus, I just got my eyebrows done, so you know. Working it.

The similarities are crazy

Second, I did get two job rejections in two hours and my ego was just the weensiest bit bruised. But I still have some employment irons in the fire and I'm not going to miss my mortgage payments, and even though I've had to wean myself from expensive salon products and go full-on Wallgreens, KQED just sent me a free digital remote speaker thingy, so I'm good.

Plus, in case you are still worried about me (or worse, trying to distance yourself from my cursedness), here are some other good things.

1. I am going to Disneyland with my best friend and our families during spring break.
2. I got accepted to Lit Camp and I get to spend three whole days rollicking with other writers in April.
3. I just sent the first 85 pages of a book I'm working on to my agent.
4. Our third flock chickens started laying eggs and they are delicious.
5. I know a lot of really great people*, people I am just amazed and grateful to know on a daily basis.

There. Do you feel better now? I know I do.

*You are most likely one of these people. Seriously. Not a lot of other people know I've started up this blog again.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How Not to Handle Rejection

It's been a big week over here at the homestead. And by big, I mean painful and cringey and slightly embarrassing.

But I am getting ahead of myself. You should know, first, that I have been looking for a j-o-b, a real one. After nearly 7 years of on and off freelancing I've discovered that my propensity for delayed showers and sordid internet journeys deep into Buzzfeed's lists is not serving me well. I want colleagues, grown up colleagues. I also want work clothes and collaboration and a clearer sense of mission. In short, I am tired of working in my underwear with little possibility for growth (except of the girth variety).

It started out swimmingly and I had an embarrassment of riches before me: branding jobs, editing jobs, marketing jobs. What I was most concerned with was which one I would pick. I spent a lot of time weighing the passion vs. money thing and came out clearly on the side of passion. I want to learn new things and be stretched. I want to work hard and spend very little time looking at the clock. I bought a snazzy new interview outfit and started to feel confident.

Then yesterday happened. Yesterday was the day I got two rejections in one day. No magazine editor job, no uber-hip branding job. One of them I really wanted, one of them I didn't really want, but both rejections stung. Here I thought it was going so well only to find out you don't want me.  It's just like I remember dating, only without all that fun kissing.

Then, this morning, we got the letter from the private school letting us know that Oliver didn't get in. It's totally fine because we weren't going to send him there anyway (so there), but that's not the point. The point is, they rejected my kid. My awesome, crazy-smart kid. What the fuck?

So here I am, back on my butt on the couch, in my robe if you must know, feeling like maybe this whole job thing isn't going as swimmingly as I thought and feeling like maybe I am doing something wrong, but mostly feeling like I want to take a Xanax to quiet down the squirming mass of earthworms that have taken up residency in my chest cavity. And like I want to take a nap.

But I am not going to do that. Take the Xanax and the nap, I mean. Instead I am going to write away this buzz of humiliation by airing my rejections publicly (check), then I am going to take a walk and hone my message to the universe. That's what my former nanny-turned-life-optimization-coach told me to do.  She said I need to be specific about what I want and ask for it. And I figure it can't hurt. I already tried the snazzy outfit and that didn't work, so it's time for the universe. Also, I'm considering botox.

Oh, and if you have any job leads for me, bring them on.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'm back. I'm fat. Get used to it.

So, I haven't done this in a while. Like, you know, not for a big company. And so much has changed since we last spoke. So much.

But I'd rather not go into it all right at this moment on a Tuesday night when I really should be in bed. And I've had a port or two.

But we'll talk, we will. And the first order of business will be that I can not find a photo of myself taken in the last 2 years that I am willing to post (which is sad in all the feminist, I-love-myself, sort of ways). In fact, I can't think of a way in which it is happy.

And that's what prompted me to write after ALL this time: sucky body image, or perhaps, just sucky body. Jury is still out. But the truth is, I got fat. And I hate it. And I am in an awful pendulum swing between "I-love-myself-the-way-I-am" and "I-am-fat-and-I-hate-it-no-matter-what-the-lesbians-say."

But tell me, when was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought, "Awesome." Because I'd like to know your trick. Unless, of course, your trick is being naturally skinny. In which case, let's just talk about something else--like maybe how much we hate Rand Paul--because weight is not going to be our common ground. Which is ok. I still like you.

And I leave you with this, in case you think I am just belly-aching.

That's me at 16 and then me more recently. I mean, right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book reviews based on my terrible memory

I’ve missed writing about books. I’ve had a stellar summer and fall, reading-wise, and it’s reignited something in me. I’m always an avid reader (which is why I married a bookstore guy—he keeps me awash in my drug of choice), but lately I’ve had this desperate love affair with the act of reading, as if, along with eating and breathing, it is one of the pillars of my very aliveness. It feels a little like having a crush.

The catch in all this, is that I can't remember shit.

I’ve always been envious of people who can quote lines from their favorite authors or make clever literary asides. I am not one of those people. I am the kind of person who will claim passionately (and honestly) to have loved a book and then recall almost nothing about it except the pleasure of reading it.

The other day I tried to remind myself of the plot and character names of The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. I’ve read this book at least twice, probably three times. I’ve written papers in graduate school on it. I’ve discussed it in class, and I can’t remember the basic plot of the thing. An American girl named Isabel Archer goes to Europe—England and I think, Italy—and well, I suppose some bad things happen to her. She has a cousin who tries to protect her.

It’s not exactly a New York Review of Books caliber examination. And it's not the only book I've been awed by but fail to remember.

Some reviews of my favorite books based solely on memory:

Birds of America by Lorrie Moore: there’s a girl named Agnes who pronounces her name An-yez, like the French, and there’s a really funny line about modern dance. At some point some raccoons burn up in a chimney.

A History of Love by Nicole Krauss: Jewish post-911 New York. There’s a key or a lock with a lot of significance. Reminded me a lot of her husband’s novel Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving: A tiny boy named Owen Meany is growing up in a working class granite town in New Hampshire. I think there’s a boarding school in it. I think there’s a scene having something to do with Christmas decorations. His voice is small and strange but people love him anyway.

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros: Mexican-American girl from Texas moves to Chicago. Some of it takes place in Mexico. At one point I think she has sex with her boyfriend in a cheap hotel overlooking the plaza in Mexico City. Rebosos play an important role but I forget how.

The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury: Dry humor. Story of a Midwestern town. There is a water tower and a lot of people drive trucks. There’s a grocery store that closes, I think. And one of the main characters is a high school teacher. There is also a romance. I loved this book.

Look at Me by Jennifer Egan: There’s a model who gets in a car accident and it’s in the Midwest and somehow there’s a terrorist in it. I found it ambitious and prescient.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm over here!

Thank you for stopping by. As it turns out, I am finding it difficult to keep up two blogs. But please, stay here a while. Peruse. I'll be posting here on occasion. So you should keep checking back.

In the meantime, check me out here, where I'm posting four times a week about things like bitchy moms, the insidiousness of Disney, and cute hats.

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