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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 10/22/09


I appreciate anyone who finds artistry in their job, no matter what it is. Like the person who carves those little pads of butter into roses. Or the folks who fold the ends of the toilet paper into little points at hotels.

So imagine my pleasure when Esquavel, the guy who cleaned my carpet, finished off his handiwork with a flourish in my stairwell.

He told me he thought I would appreciate it.

Indeed I did, Esquavel, indeed I did.

Thanks. Next time, can you do Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” at the foot of the bed in the master?

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Author: toni

~ 10/21/09

I’ve got a bone to pick with Hollywood. Yeah, YOU facade face! Usually la-la land is so out of touch with reality that they glamorize things – you know, like homelessness (“Where the Day Takes You”) or crack addicts (“Halle Barry in “Losing Isaiah”).

Well, it appears they have tried to do the opposite with this new flick called “MOTHERHOOD” starring Uma Thurman. And they’ve just made a mess.

Yeah, you read that right. Uma Thurman is playing the haggard, multi-tasking, stay-at-home mom of two kids. Already I’ve got an issue with the casting. I mean, do you think someone named Uma, who is engaged to a billionaire and who once had Mick Jagger calling her house incessantly when she was still married to Ethan Hawke, has any concept of what it’s like to be a REAL mom?

Uh, no. If you don’t believe me CLICK to see her comments on how she deals with the stresses of motherhood.

Nope. Uma’s 5-star version of parenting likely has never put her actually in the trenches (i.e., grocery store aisles with a five year-old ramming her ankles while trying to drive the cart, crowded pediatrician offices during flu season or wait-listed for the Parks and Rec preschool that’s in such demand because it’s cheap).

And because she is Uma Thurman and has Uma Thurman’s life and body, she feels the need to  de-glamorize… to “act” the part of a mother as you will witness in the following trailer…

Nice, huh? Not since the whole “mom jeans” thing (see that post) have I been so offended as a mom.

I mean, who does she think she is? Charlize Theron in “Monster”? Nicole Kidman in “The Hours”? Does she think frumping herself up (mousing up her hair and donning glasses) will sell her as a mom? I don’t know any moms like this. This is a stereotype. Like my friend Erin (who first pointed out this trailer to me) said – all that’s missing in this portrayal is a pair of geeky glasses with the tape in the bridge. Although those glasses are pretty geeky. But like Clark Kent and Superman, a pair of stupid eyeglasses isn’t gonna convince me that she isn’t Uma Thurman, face of Givenchy.

The fact that this movie was written and directed by a woman – a mom no less – just makes me sad. It’s one thing for Judd Apatow to create a caricature of a woman (KNOCKED UP) but e tu, lady? Really?

Normally I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but I know that Hollywood marketing departments pull out all the stops to make a movie appealing. Studios spend millions to get people in the theaters. So, you know they’re gonna put their best lines and moments in the trailer to get people in those seats. And if what I saw are the “highlights” of the film…well, UGH.

If lines like,” I’d like to shove my carbon footprint up your…” are as good as it gets, I think the studio is gonna learn a new definition of “stay-at-home moms”.

I agree with the director that the world could use an interesting portayal of the unsung heroes known as moms. But this ain’t it. For that to happen we’d need Jane Campion teaming up with a younger Meryl Streep. But since that’s not going to happen for obvious time travelling issues, we’ll have to keep waiting.

Sorry, Uma. No sale.

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Author: toni

~ 10/20/09


Well, I’ve finally done it. Almost as good as the fountain of youth, I have found the perfect weight loss method. Illness. Specifically, the fear of eating due to illness.

Yep. If you’ve followed my blog, you know I got terribly ill a couple of months back. Had to get Botox in all the wrong places (my vocal chords), go on a very restricted diet and have consequently shed 16 pounds! You heard me Weight Watchers and Slim Fast! 16 pounds! In two months! And I didn’t pay anyone a penny. Well, unless you count the hundreds of dollars I put out in co-pays, tests, and medications. But I don’t count it. Because it’s my blog and I don’t want to.  

So I’m back to my fighting weight. Except for the fact that I’m so weak I couldn’t fight my way out of a paper bag at the moment. Lack of adequate nutrition will do that to you. But I’m skinny!

Okay. So it’s not the ideal way to lose weight. But hey, everyone is always telling me to look at the cup as half full. So I am. My cup is officially half full.

Unfortunately so, too, is my bra cup.

Cuz you know what happens when you lose a chunk of weight fast? It doesn’t disappear from your problem areas first. Nope, not the thighs or the belly, or those little jigglers that fall over the back of your bra between your shoulder blades and armpits. It disappears from the parts you’re trying to hold on to! Like my boobs.

And I liked my boobs. They were one of the few things I genuinely liked about my body. They were cute. Not huge. But adequate. They got me through dating and into marriage. They even got me through three weeks of breastfeeding and I’m convinced would have made it the whole year if Julia didn’t have trouble breaking down the sugars in my breast milk.

They were perky and pleasant. Not Claim Jumper portions. Not even close. But more like something you’d get at a fancy restaurant. Small but satisfying. “Sensible” my grandmother would say.

“Louvrers” (pronounced Loovers) as an old boyfriend once put it. Meaning they belonged hanging in “The Louvre”.

I don’t know. Maybe that’s where they are. Because they ain’t here.

So while I’m back into my skinny jeans and to shopping in the Juniors department again (well, if I actually had the guts to do it at my age) – I am also missing my breasts. Both literally and figuratively.

Figuratively, from the neck down, I look like one of the Jonas Brothers. The skinny one.

It’s worse when I wear my sports bra. Then I look like I have more cleavage between my shoulder blades than I do on my chest.

I know. I know.  I’m back to the cup half empty attitude. Gotta look at the bright side. Which is…That breast self-exam’s gonna be a piece of cake from now on.

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Author: toni

~ 10/19/09


So the other night, after Julia was in bed and Randy the perfekt husband was glued to the computer in the office checking his Fantasy scores or something, I crawled into my own bed, remote in hand, all comfy and ready to FINALLY watch the Tivo’d season premiere of HOUSE, one of my favorite shows. (Yeah. I know every episode is the same…strange malady, vicodin-fueled medical jargon, last minute brilliant diagnosis. But hey, I’ve got to feed my hypochondria somehow, and the internet is way too real).  

So I start the show and much to my surprise, it isn’t the same old thing cuz it’s House in a rehab facility that’s really more Cuckoo’s Nest than Promises. No green tea facials in this joint.

I’m kinda enjoying the change. Oh, and there’s FRANKE POTENTE! I’ve liked her since Run, Lola, Run and her great turn on The Shield.

Looks like Greg House is changing his spots…for the good. I don’t buy it. There’s gotta be a twist. House isn’t House unless he’s an addicted asshole. It’s why women find him attractive. Brilliant mixed with jerk makes a potent aphrodisiac. Okay. I’ll bite. What’s gonna happen next? I’m on the edge of my seat. Or rather the mountain of decorator pillows Randy finds completely unnecessary when…speak of the devil.

…Randy walks in. My heart sinks. Not cuz I don’t love him. But because I know he doesn’t love House. He crawls into bed next to me.


RANDY: Whatcha watching?

He knows full well what I’m watching as Hugh Laurie is up on screen with a cane in hand.

ME: House.


Which is husband jargon for “Not that show. It’s the same every episode.”

ME: I know you don’t like this show. You want to watch ESPN?

RANDY: No, sweetie. I know you don’t like watching sports stuff. Say. How about we watch something we both like?

ME: Okay.

I reluctantly, but good-wifedly, put House (who has just become responsible for a delusional patient jumping off a parking garage!) on PAUSE. After all, marriage is about compromise. And my husband has made a nice compromising gesture.  I hand the remote to Randy.

He begins flipping. Channel. After channel. After channel. After a few minutes he proclaims… 

RANDY: There’s nothing good on Saturday nights.

He’s right. There isn’t. Expect maybe for that Tivo’d episode of House!

TONI: You’re right. I guess I’ll just go to sleep.


I roll over. Close my eyes. After a beat. CLICK!

And the sounds of ESPN roll over me… Ah. Marriage.


P.S. I STILL haven’t seen the whole episode of House.

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Author: toni

~ 10/15/09


Well my MAMMAKAZES. I came back last Friday from a lovely trip to Wailea, Maui. After weeks of illness, it was a much-needed break. And the amazing thing is that our illnesses seemed to vanish while on this little piece of heaven on Earth.

Whatever Julia and I are allergic to, it doesn’t grow on Maui. In fact, my body hadn’t felt so good in years. The climate, the temperature, everything suited me. And you know how I know? I never once thought about it. I never once felt too cold, or stuffed up, or coughed. It was as if my body was in its natural habitat.

Well, upon our return, our symptoms returned. It kind of sucks knowing you’re allergic to the place you call home. But then, that’s what medications and high insurance premiums are for. That and to line the pockets of pharmaceutical and insurance company execs.

So now I feel guilty that I am unable to immediately move my daughter to a place more conducive to her breathing.

And you know what guilt means. It means an excuse to sip a little guilt-assuaging cocktail. I’m not talking about getting stupid drunk to forget what ails ya. I’m talking about a little, take the edge off, fruity drink that reduces stress so you can live long enough to see your kid grow up. That’s my goal anyway.

So today, I want to present a cocktail AND a cake recipe. We ate at Tommy Bahamas near our hotel one night. And this was one of the yummiest cakes I have ever tasted. I’ve coupled it with their recipe for a Pina Colada. Perfection.


Tommy Bahama’s Piña Colada

1¾ parts Tommy Bahama White Sand® Rum
3½ parts pineapple juice or 3 slices of pineapple
1¾ parts coconut cream

Pour all ingredients into a blender with a scoop of crushed ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass. Garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple and a maraschino cherry.


Tommy Bahama’s Pina Colada Cake

1 box Pillsbury Deluxe White Cake Mix
1 can Swiss Chalet White Chocolate Mousse
(Order Item #90026 at (1-800-34-Swiss) or
1 Quart heavy Cream
½ Cup Tommy Bahama Golden Sun® Rum
8 oz Crushed Pineapple-drained
½ Cup Toasted Coconut

Bake cake as directed in 2 – 9″ x 12″ rounds. Cool. Slice off rounded top level with baking pan and cut each cake into 2 layers (4 cake layers in total). Make Mousse according to the directions. After the mousse mixture is complete, slowly add heavy cream. Increase speed until mousse and heavy cream are incorporated. Continue whipping until stiff.

Assembly: Generously brush each layer of the cake with Tommy Bahama Golden Sun® Rum. Spread the mousse mix evenly thick on the first layer. Sprinkle with some of the pineapple. Top with next cake layer and again, spread with mousse then pineapple. Continue with each layer. The layers of the cake and mousse should be the same height. Coat the sides and top with the mousse mix. Sprinkle toasted coconut over the finished cake.

To Serve: Cut into 8 pieces and serve at room temperature.


INDULGE AND ENJOY! And remember. Don’t drink and feel guilt.

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Author: toni


Thought you MAMMAKAZES might enjoy this. Thanks to both Jane and Vada who forwarded it to me.


This is from the diary of a
Pre-School Teacher

My five-year old students are learning to read.

Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,

“Look at this! It’s a frickin’ elephant!”

I took a deep breath, then asked…
“What did you call it?”

“It’s a frickin’ elephant! It says so on the picture!”

And so it does…




Hooked on Phonics! Unfortunately, when I use the words “a frickin'” I can’t blame phonics. But I can blame it on my frickin’ upbringing.

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