Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Today is the first day of preschool for Little Lawns, who was SO ready to go. Now, I have ready many a Mommy Blog post about moms dropping their kids off for the first time and how they are all teary eyed and sad that their babies are growing up and all that, which is fine, but let me tell you, I did not experience these emotions at all. Not one bit, man. I was ecstatic. Right now, I am in Starbucks, ALONE, and I am writing and later I might even go to Target alone just because I can, even though I don't need anything.

Lately I started getting the sense that Little Lawns, who is a very energetic, enthusiastic and strong-willed, little pixie, needed a challenge. She is nothing like me. She's very social and likes to be out and about all the time and if she isn't thoroughly worn out every day, she gets into a lot of mischief because she is bored. We just really felt that she was ready and would thrive in school, and I'm pretty confident about that, which is why I wasn't sad about her going (plus I get writing time!). I'm so excited for her and I'm excited that I can meet all kinds of cool, new moms to be friends with. I'm already friends with one of the moms in her class anyway. And now, there are all kinds of volunteering opportunities for me. I love getting involved with stuff. Like for real. I even got excited about packing her lunch. This morning I signed up for the bake sale. I am going to throw down some brownies and pie, y'all. I also signed up to cook for the Ladies Teas, which the school holds for elderly women in the community several times a year. I thought that sounded right up my alley. Cooking and having tea with old ladies? Hell yeah. I am there. I'm so thrilled about being part of the school community and all the possibilities opening up that I couldn't possibly be sad. I love that Little Lawns is growing up. She's way more fun as an actual, talking, opinionated, little girl than as a baby.

So now I also have a lot more free time! I decided to dedicate my extra four hours per day to my writing, and I am making strong headway on the sequel to Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat, called Sun Shower. You're going to love it. It's turning into a lighter, sweeter book than Amateur Night. It's far less dark.

So speaking of books, oh mah lord. I've been reading Marisha Pessl's new book Night Film, and I'm only halfway through, so I'm not going to review it just yet. So don't buy it yet, because I haven't formed a complete opinion. I need to see how it ends first and then I'll let you know if it's worth your time. The book is like 600 pages, so it's a big investment.

In other news, after eating like a fucking asshole all summer, and thoroughly enjoying it, I ended up making myself sick and gaining a ton of weight. Not fun at all. Since I've been home I've been on a pretty strict, but not at all psycho, detox diet. My stomach thanks me. I also lost four pounds so far, but honestly, I have eleven more to go to reach my goal.

I'm turning 40 in a couple months and totally freaking the fuck out about it. I think I'm having a midlife crisis or something. I swear. And what I want for my fortieth birthday is to be at my fittest and healthiest that I've ever been. I want to be proud of how I look, which isn't to say that I'm ashamed, because I don't look THAT bad, but I want to be in much better shape. Yoga hasn't helped as much as I'd hoped with that, although it has helped tremendously with other things. So, as a big treat to myself, in the spirit of really honoring my body, which I've never really done, I hired a trainer/ nutritionist and she designed a diet for me, and wow, it has a lot of fucking kale. You may recall that I am not a fan, but I'm really trying here. I was impressed by how balanced and sensible the menu plan was. No food groups are missing. I still get fruit, a ton of veggies, a disturbing amount of fiber, fish, chicken, all sorts of good things. It makes sense, because look, crazy diets don't work and they aren't healthy and I can't follow them anyway. So far, I feel great. My stomach is perfect and I've struggled with stomach trouble since childhood. Must be the fiber.

Oh man, the fiber. I feel like I'm eating sawdust, gravel and particle board instead of cereal and bread. I attempted to eat a bowl of kale the other day and I'm telling you, I was pretty sure that a few hours later I was going to chew my cud from it. Today, I'm supposed to attempt a raw kale salad, which involves, you guessed it, massaging the freaking kale. Why is it that every time I make fun of something on here that I end up doing the exact thing I laughed at? Ugh. I don't know how I'm going to like this, but the nutritionist told me to add blueberries to it because blueberries are my favorite food (yes, really, since I was a baby) and that might make me more amenable to it. I'll let you know.

How are you all doing?
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Home Again!

We got home late Sunday night and the Summer of Fun was all I hoped it would be. I had such a good time. On the way home we even stopped in DC, saw some sights and went to a museum and ate at Chipotle's new, South Asian style venture, Shophouse, which was gross, so Chipotle really needs to go back to the drawing board on that one. Sorry, Chipotle. I love you, but Shophouse is awful.

The Summer of Fun was so successful that I think I will write a future book about it, though not for a while. I have a few more other books that need to be written first before I get there. You all have lots to look forward to.

So I've really been struggling with what to write next. It almost felt out of my control. I had a story I wanted to tell and wanted to write and I started writing it and it was really intense and I came to feel that that particular book needs a rest. I don't have the distance and perspective required to write the story that truly needs to be told yet and I kept feeling a strong pull to write a different story, which I was resisting, but on my trip, I got a sign, or what I interpreted to be a sign any way, about what my next book would be and I started writing and it just came gushing out, so I'm taking that to mean that that story needs to come to life right now. This one came into my head fully formed, just like Amateur Night did, and I had the title and could see the cover art and everything, so I decided to go with it. The good news? It's a bit of a sequel to Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat. It starts the day after I quit the club and spans the next year, which includes more online dating, tales from my grandparents' temple, a visit to Delaware, September 11th, a black sunflower, an eccentric old man, a frog orgy and a con artist named Saddam Hussein. You will love it. It's called Sun Shower. Hopefully it won't take me a year to write this one.

More good news is that the Little Lawns is starting preschool full time in a few weeks, which gives me an extraordinary amount of time to write. There's a Bux next to her school, so I am taking my laptop, getting some green tea and writing like it's my full time job. My goal, which may be a little lofty, but we'll see, is to publish two books per year, but again, we'll see. And next time I'm hiring a professional editor. I promise. Because it just doesn't look like I'm going to be able to figure out how to use commas any time soon. Fucking commas. Grammar is where my lack of a high school education becomes very apparent. But hey, if you want to discuss some literary theory, I'm your girl. I have a master's degree and skipped basic high school grammar. I make no sense at all. Zero.

One of my summer goals was to read and read a lot and to share my favorite books with you. I had au couple of disappointments which we won't discuss, but last week I read two, excellent memoirs.

You all have probably heard of Dad Is Fat already.Written by comedian and father of five, Jim Gaffigan, this book of parenting essays, if you have kids, will make you pee your pants. I haven't read a book that was so clean, lighthearted and genuinely funny in a long time. Some books deserve their best seller status and this is one of them. I thought it was really sweet, silly and dear lord, so so true. Pretty much every scenario he discusses I have lived through in some shape or form with my daughter. This is a quick read that will absolutely put you in a great mood and I think it would also make a perfect gift for any parents you might know. I'm going to get a few copies to have on hand for baby showers, etc. because I think it's better than the old, tired What to Expect books and what new mom doesn't need a big laugh? As a matter of fact, I'm going to go order a copy for my sister right now. She just had a C section last week and has a three year old waiting at home. She needs this book and so do you. Because a toddler "eating a taco is no different than throwing a taco on the floor." Truer words, Jim Gaffigan.

Fans of The Glass Castle (and there are many) will appreciate my next pick Mother Daughter Me: A Memoir by Katie Hafner, a long time New York Times reporter. Hafner, a widow with a teenaged daughter, moves in with her aging mother for a year. At first they have idealistic notions of how it will turn out, but soon there is friction between the three generations as each of the women have very different personalities and baggage to sort through from their pasts. Turns out that Hafner's mother hadn't been the greatest parent, which is an understatement and there's a lot of healing to be done. The flashback scenes to Hafner's childhood are difficult and enraging, but also enlightening. I so appreciated the grace and wisdom with which Hafner, who is an excellent writer and does and expert job at crafting the story, presented these moments of terrible emotional turmoil. She was kind and forgiving. She was fair and I have to be honest, there were some big lessons for me to learn. Although my childhood wasn't exactly like Hafner's, a lot of my issues are similar and I really saw myself in the way she reacted to stress and how she behaved in her relationships, so I needed this book. It was a beautifully written, redemptive story, filled with hope and a sincere, realistic message of healing. I loved it and so did Oprah. I bet you will too. A must read for children of divorce, as well.

That's all for now. I'm about to waste a significant amount of time watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, although I'm finding they changed a lot that I loved about the book.

I'm also going back to yoga, oh my god I am so sore, and trying to do a detox diet, because lord knows I need it after my summer.

Be good, everyone.

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