Why Sleep When You Can Not Sleep?

It's 5:52 am and we have yet to go to bed. In fact, we just fetched some coffee from the lobby downstairs. Our flight leaves at noon (we thought our needing to wake up at 9am was WAY too risky for bedtime) when I will be accompanying BMC to her native Portland for a couple of days.

It's high time for me to go home, that's for sure, but truth be told? I can barely function without my crazy friend. She's the Dick to my Jane and I don't care who knows it.

Blogher was great fun. I didn't go to any of the sessions but adventures were certainly had. From rhymes with D to a spontaneous carriage ride to fetch some cash (see below) and much fun behind the scenes. I met dozens of AMAZING women, got to hang out with old friends and brought way too many shoes. Good times.

Dutch and Juney of Sweet-Juniper

Liz from Mom-101 = amazing urinal skeels

Kristen with the adorable Drew, from Motherhood Uncensored and Joanne from PunditMom

Larry and Rachel from SMITH magazine

Susan from Huff Post and Romi Lassally = tre, tre chic!

Erik Westra, old friend, mofo and creator of LagMag. Go buy yourself a copy of Issue#2, ye fans of music and art!)

Sandwich from Imperfect Parent party-- the only edible free food I ate all weekend.

Playing Hooky at Blogher: The Movie
Directed, edited and mostly narrated by BMC.
***GGC does not condone smoking anywhere other than horse-drawn carriages during Happy Hour***

If you're not sick of blogher faces click, here for more photos. Word up, Blofos!


Cover Me

This may not be my arm. Or my sleeping baby. But goddamnit, this IS my book cover. Coo! Coo-coo!

*P.S. Release date is March 2008, not January. I lied. Sometimes I lie to make friends.

**P.P.S. Blogher photos to come, I promise. I have sqillions.


Blogher Update

I'm not blogging, but my partner-in-crime is. So if you're at all interested in the going-ons up in here, go see about a cookie. There's a very weird video with an even weirder story. I'll be posting some photos in the future, most likely. Cheers!


Tot-Lifters Of the World: Unite and Take Over

My timing has always been shit. Like for instance me announcing a blog hiatus days before a national blog-convention where I will be attending on behalf of this blog (as well as this, this, this and especially, this.) I mean... what is that all about?

Site traffic? Who the hell needs site traffic? Ad revenue? Who cares? Because, guess where I am? I'm at the W in Chicago, waiting for BMC's plane to land so we can get this party started before the Bloghers descend upon this great city and all of my favorite mamas (and papas) appear before my eyes, some for the very first time and women will flood the pier like a tidal wave of estrogen and yeah, yeah, YEAH!

For those of you who will be attending Blogher, please remember to Confess Yourself at one of our various traveling "True Mom Confessions Booths" that will incidentally be traveling with us all over town/etc.

All confessors will be eligible for one of our feel-g00d-raffle prizes: The Cone. For those of you not familiar, The Cone is the ultimate in self-stimulation, because TMC takes care of it's lady friends. Oh yes. We do.

And if masturbation isn't your bag we will also be raffling off a Stila Makeup basket full of the freshest makeup for the loveliest blogger faces.

We will also be volunteering our dance skills to any and all Bloghers looking for a partner. Romi LOVES to limbo.

Tot-lifters of the wooooorld...

In the famous words of Morrissey (or someone equally as fabulous) ...

...Bottoms up, bitches


Children: Like Servants But Cuter

Not to mention, Cooler:

Now it's my turn to be spoon-fed and apparently his turn to wear my sunglasses.


The Good Life

My friend Dani came to town yesterday with her boyfriend, Tobias. They met when Dani was traveling in Europe two-years-ago where they fell in love. She moved from San Francisco to Copenhagen to be with him and I haven't seen her since she left last summer. Until last night.

They could not be cuter or more perfect together/ for each other. The lesson here: take great risks for great results.

We made a pit-stop at The Burgundy Room, previously mentioned here, before heading to our final destination, my favorite bar in all of Los Angeles and quite possibly, the world: The Piano Bar.

From the looks of it, it isn't much. Some neon lights, a framed portrait of the Queen and some scattered wooden tables, a piano with a bar wrapped around it like a ribbon. But every time I'm there I fall a little bit more in love. With the people and the music and the timelessness of Piano Bars and all who go there: the kind of characters one would want in her story. I certainly do.

Tobias gives Bryan (the resident pianist) a run for his money.

I was born during the wrong time, obviously. I despise clubs and electronic music. Technology freaks me the fuck out. (A probable conundrum because I am a blogger and cell-phone addict.) I want vinyl and live bands and piano bars. I want the scratchy sounds of Billy Holiday and Edith Piaf. The true performers. Artists. None of this "Hollaback, girl- lovely lady humps" bullshit coming out of the auto tuned mouths of current pop-stars. (Gag.)

The very first song played (upon our arrival) was sung by my new friend Betty, a lounge singer and former television-writer, not to mention the mother of a real wild child. The song she sang to us was called "Rockabye Your Baby." It was a sign. We quickly became friends.

Betty sings Rockabye:

I love people and places and singing and timelessness. The Piano Bars are quickly disappearing, and call me old-fashioned, but it is one of the great cultural tragedies. Singing around the piano may be less than "rock and roll" but there is nothing more joyous.

Tobias even sang an original song:

Tobias has a band in Copenhagen and they're amazing. Go make myspace friends and download some tunes.

At the risk of sounding like a PSA, do the world a favor and support your local piano bar, will ya? Because their extinction is imminent and needn't be. Not if everyone really knew what they were missing:

Genuine moments with new and unlikely friends-- Defying time, place and every other circumstance that for whatever reason keeps the old from the young.

The world would be a much better place if we could all just join hands and sing together around vodka-stained pianos.

I'm quite sure of it.


He Takes His Coffee...

... like he takes his, um, death metal?

Actually, no. He takes his coffee like he takes his cereal, with a cup of vanilla soy-milk. His beer? Well, that's another story.

In other news: Last night I submitted the final chapter of my mommy manuscript with one day to spare. And for those of you who asked-- the book is scheduled for January '08 release and is called, "Rockabye: A Young Mom's Journey From Wild to Child." (Seal Press) I will be sneak-peaking the cover, soon, which is AMAZING. Designers gone done me good. Woo! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm about to go have a Rocky moment on the top of the Hollywood Sign.

Gonna fly noooooooow!


Photo of the Week

Two and a half years after getting married, I got myself engaged:

..First comes lust, then comes pregnancy, then comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage, then comes engagement.

Because fuck order, right? We're all out of whack 'round here.

Deets on the ring, here and fyi, my hand is a lot better looking in real-life.


Putting the Dead in Deadlines

There is a good explanation for my MIA status in the days to come (and days past) and my apologies in advance for posting less frequently. I try to post as often as I can but right now it's just too much-- I'm pooped on the subject matter frankly and exhausted with writing about myself.

Note: writing a memoir and two personal blogs simultaneously = major burn-out. I'm so bored with everything I have to say I just want to throw in every towel I've ever owned and buy a new set, something a little less "me-me-me"... (You never thought you'd hear me say it, huh?)

Anyway, at the risk of becoming whiny, I'll spare you the details of my minor existential crisis and say this: I'm dead tired. I love blogging. I'm not going to quit blogging but I need a break, or a collection of mini-breaks. And after this book is finished (days, now) I'm going to need some vacay time... from myself.

I'm pretty sure this blog will benefit from some air, anyway, so it's a good thing that we'll be seeing less and less of one another in the coming weeks. At least until I can regain my lust for self-reflection and sleep.

As it stands now, I can't even write my name without bursting into tears. And poor Archer can't even say, "Hi!" without me racing to my computer to compose a post about it. This is not good. This is not healthy. This is turning me into a narcissist and if I don't nip it in the bud right now, or at the very least, trim the hedges a bit, we're all fucked.

This isn't an end. This is a break-- like in a relationship when you kind of want to be single but the sex is too good to call off the relationship completely. I could never leave this blog, but I would like to spend some time writing about other things for a little while. At least sporadically...

Thank you for understanding and I promise I'll be rocking and rolling as soon as I regain my bearings and close the book... on the book. Etc.


I <3 Station Wagons

Oh yeah, baby...

Because seriously, people.... What else are you gonna do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk?

Am I right?


Photos of the Week

It's been heatwave central here at Casa de GGC, so we've been doing what we can to stay cool, like three-hour bed-jumping a-thons in the only air-conditioned room in the house:

too cool for unmade beds...

...and pants (pants are sooooo last season.)

And then when THAT gets old, there's always good times to be had with splish-splash on the stoop-stoop:

Rock out with your water spout!

Baby, it's hot outside!


Deep Thoughts

If a toddler falls on his face, and no parent is there to see him fall....

...does he make a sound?

(I'll give you a hint: Nope.)


His Mother's Son

When I was three years old I refused to say I was sorry. I refused at four, five, and even six, my reasoning being, "Why should I say I'm sorry if I'm not sorry? I didn't do anything wrong." My mom fought me on this issue for years, until eventually I succumbed. Because whether I meant it or not was beside the point. People say they're sorry even when they're not. Because it's the right thing to do. Because it's kind.

I played the piano by ear for many years. But it was Bach, not Bech, so I quit. Because I couldn't read music as well as I could play by ear. Because I wanted to arrange everything myself. And I refused to practice any other way.

My way or the highway.

A pain in the ass? Maybe, but that was a risk I was willing to take. Because I knew what I wanted and I couldn't do something I didn't love. I didn't hesitate. I acted on impulse and always from a place of personal truth.

I disagreed with an assignment in school? I refused to do it, backing up my reasons with five pages essays, even if the assignment was to write a paragraph. Write a paragraph about what the truth means. I earned zeros on multiple occasions for some of my best work. I made up for low scores with extra credit to maintain my A average and keep my AP courses. Whatever it took. Compromise. Breaking rules to prove a point was always more important to me than following rules and having no point at all. What's the point... If there's no point?

Several years ago I was arrested for kidnapping a friend on his birthday. Some idiot drove by and saw us carrying our friend into our car with a sweatshirt over his face and the SWAT team showed up minutes later. Gun to my head, I managed to say two things to the officers who had cuffed me and flattened me against the asphalt in my party dress "fuck you."

I didn't even know I said it. It slipped out. I realize now this was very stupid of me and blame myself for having to endure 15 minutes with my face in the concrete. I like to think I learned a valuable lesson from the experience. "Shut the fuck up when an officer pulls his weapon."

I am horribly stubborn, have been since birth apparently. I am always right and always have been. This is my worst quality, I realize, but also my biggest asset. Because I can stand strong on my own. Because I am not a sheep. Because I stand by my ideas and my emotions and my people. I am a loyal friend and parent, daughter and sister.

Today was Archer's final evaluation with the developmental specialist, who explained to us that Archer had a severe case of "my-way-or-the-highway syndrome." In other words, he's a giant pain in the ass like me.

"He doesn't want to do what he is told. He's rebelling. Already."

Meanwhile, Archer placed the blue circle on the black square and the red triangle on the green rectangle and laughed uncontrollably at the specialist who said, "no, Archer. You have to do it THIS way."

But Archer said no. He didn't want to. He wasn't sorry. Or afraid. Or eager to impress. He had his own ideas. He wanted to write his own paper. He was telling her nicely to "fuck off."

At first I thought, "Come on, Archer. Just put the green triangle on the green triangle.... for Mommy. Please?"

But then she said something that changed my mind:

"Archer. I know you don't want to but you're going to have to learn how to conform if you want to get anywhere in this world, bud..."

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt. Oh, no you didn't.

She turned to me. "He's going to eventually learn to do as he is told. I mean, that's the world we live in, unfortunately. That's the only way to succeed."

And then I got angry. Because she was wrong. And because that is what everyone is made to think. To get in line, to take a number, to do what you are told, even if and when you disagree. No. That is not the world we live in. That is how we are TOLD we must live in order to get by. That is why "the world we live in" is so fucked up. No one wants to speak up anymore. Conform! Conform! Conform!

"Actually, no. That is not the ONLY way to succeed."

Because "getting by" is not what life's about. Aspiring for mediocrity and doing what we are told is not what one should learn how to do. Conforming is not the answer to Archer's developmental "differences." Or anyone's for that matter. If our kids are the future for God's sake let's teach them well and LET THEM LEAD the way. Because following the leader has never been a way to make any positive change. So what the fuck is going on then? Why has everyone tricked themselves into thinking so? How can a woman say "the only way to get by is to conform" and BELIEVE it? That is NOT what we should be teaching our children. And you can be damned sure that is not what ANYONE will teach mine.

I know Archer is special. He beats to the rhythm of his own drum. He has an instinctual independence that has enabled him to create his own language, regardless of the fact no one can understand him. He knows what he wants. He does his own thing.

I understand. I can relate. And although my stubbornness has made me a giant pain on the ass on many occasions it has also done a tremendous amount of good. My parents were damn good at being parents. They enabled me to be me, and taught me how to compromise but never to conform.

I would have rebelled against them if they had. I would have run away. Just like I know Archer will do if I or anyone else tries to put him in a box.

After These Three Ists of Orient, I have agreed to put Archer in speech therapy because, he should probably know some English if he plans on doing anything extraordinary for America (or any English-speaking countries) and honestly, I have no idea what the Ists will come back at us with, recommendations for "green on green class" or whatever they offer these days to teach toddlers how to sit quietly with different color piles of shapes.

And if my kids should grow up pains in the asses like me? Let them. Let them believe in themselves instead of apologizing for all the things they aren't sorry for.

I am relieved to hear that Archer's only difference is that "he wants to be different" even though I knew it all along. I am grateful to the Ists and their tests and helping show me what advice I should take and what advice I should ignore. After all, parenting is about learning to compromise, something I wrestle with daily as I'm sure all parents do. Something Archer will wrestle with, too.

You have to know the rules before you break them and all of that, and Archer will certainly know rules. But he will also make his own. And I will stand by to make sure he knows that although conformity is a way to get by in this world, it has never been a way to excel. Ever.

And I won't be sorry for saying so.


(Cross-posted at Straight From the Bottle.)

Sesame Street is my Snooze Button

cross-posted at Straight From the Bottle...

I'm not a big TV person. I have my four* shows: Big Love, Entourage, Lost and Project Runway and the occasional bad reality moment: Sons of Hollywood for instance, which I have decided is the greatest reality TV show of all-time. Randy Spelling kissing his father's star on the Walk of Fame in memoriam? Sean Stewart calling himself "A Ferrari Body with Jetta Brain...?" These are two moments in a million best-of-hits. But anyway...

I would gladly delete every single one of my shows from TIVO to insure we have an infinite amount of Sesame Street(s) and Play With me Sesame(s) ready to rock at all time. Those are Archer's shows. His ONLY shows. And they have become my only salvation after anything less than four hours of sleep.

I realize I have publicly claimed to have become a morning person since becoming a mom but I totally lied. (Sorry, Babycenter.) I suck at getting up before 8am, especially because I'm usually not asleep until after 3. And anytime before 7:00? Forget about it, which is why, now that Archer is getting up at 6:30, I have had to make some "arrangements."

Four hours isn't that bad, I know, and I realize there are people who have it far worse than I do and if I could go to sleep at 10pm and live with myself I would, but I can't. There's not enough time to get it all done unless I wait for Archer to fall asleep, and then work through the night. Especially right now, with a nanny on a two-week vacation and a book deadline in two weeks and two days.

Fortunately for my career and unfortuantely for my state of mind, I never got the "but there's no time!" thing. If you really want to do something, you make time. Period. Whatever that something may be, Because there IS time. There is always time. It just depends what you are willing to sacrifice. Favorite TV shows for instance. Well-being. Happiness, Social Life... And of course, sleep. Except I need my six hours, or at the very least, five. So Sesame Street at 7:00 am it is and will stay for a while.

I realize in the world of by-the-book parenting, waking up at 6:30, turning on the TV and going back to bed is frowned upon a big, big way which is why I don't subscribe to by-the-book parenting. By-the-book parenting is for by-the-book parents and by-the-book kids, which is sad for them because HELLOOOO... Sesame Street is the ULTIMATE snooze button. Sesame Street IS THE ANSWER: One full hour of commercial free toddler-crack and I can rest easy knowing he's in the hands of Mr. Noodle and Supergrover: a jet-setting klutz and a fifty-year-old toddler. (Perfect!)

So I guess I am a TV person and Goddamnit, now everybody knows the truth! Sesame Street is my salvation, the difference between doing it all and doing it all badly.

Viva Los Oscar El Groucho y Trash Gordon y Todos Los Amigos de Sesame


Five, actually. Add Flight of the Conchords to that list. Show keeps getting betta and betta.