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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 03/30/10


I don’t know about you, but I get a little irritated by people who go on about “the good old days”.  Like the days we live in are so horrible. Yeah sure, we have things like global warming. nuclear threat, terrorism, malaria epidemics, water shortages and Meg Ryan’s creepy new face. But you know what we DON’T have anymore?

Jello mold salads with veggies in them.



I mean, who thought this disgusting abomination would make a good meal? Am I supposed to like it better because I can SEE the veggies through the jello? Ew. Suddenly Hamburger Helper and Spam don’t look so bad. Unless, you know, you substituted the Spam for the hamburger in the helper.

Also, I don’t know if you can read the fine print, but they suggest serving this with tartar sauce or pimento.

All I can think is that, like the cinema of the 50s that featured BLOBS and 100 foot spiders, the food of the era also reflected the paranoia of nuclear threat: freakish and suspended in blob-like material.

Anyway, I don’t care how many strands of pearls I would have owned if I lived in the 50s, if I had to make or EAT this thing for dinner, it wouldn’t be worth it.

Know why else the 50’s weren’t so great? Flips flops not considered formal wear. Now that’s a deal breaker, fer sure!

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Author: toni

~ 03/29/10

Welcome to movie math where we take a look at a movie and see if it adds up to family fun.

Normally I do my movie reviews on Thursday, but this Wimpy Kid movie is fresh in my head and I’m feeling thus compelled and since I almost never refuse my compulsions, well, except to jump up and down on the hood of that mommy in the silver Mercedes who made a right turn in front of me from the straight lane to the LEFT! of me during drop off this morning… Thanks lady! Care about your kids’ lives much?


  DIARY OF A WIMPY KID – Let me preface this review by saying that we did not read the books, I know, sacrilege. So I’m reviewing strictly from the standpoint of this story as a movie. And with that in mind, lemme tell you that JULIA LOVED IT! Did we parents love it as much? Eh, not as much, no. Don’t get me wrong, it was no Shark Tales which to me is the measure of all things horrible in children’s movies. It was WAAAAAAAY above that. In fact, there were two scenes in there, one involving cheese and another involving a school bathroom, that had me and Randy the perfekt husband laughing so hard we had tears streaming down our faces (and made the kids around us hold their popcorns tightly to their chests). That hasn’t happened since we saw THE HANGOVER. Before that, the scene in 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN where a drunk Leslie Mann drives Steve Carell home. The point is, it rarely happens AND it almost NEVER happens in kids’ movies. But it happened here. As kid movies go, Wimpy Kid had the right stuff. Julia thought is was hilarious throughout. Well, except for a booger scene or two. Unlike me, who grew up with five brothers and know from boogers and farts and other bodily functions, Julia is an only child and therefore a bit of a delicate flower when it comes to scatological humor. But when things got too booger-y, she just closed her eyes. Lord Voldemort, no biggie. A boogie on a piece of paper… the horror! Overall, the movie was a nice combination of live action with some animation thrown in. And it had some very nice messages about being yourself. And it was nice to see a protagonist who wasn’t a total good guy. In fact, he was kind of the Dexter of kids movies. Okay, maybe that’s going too far.  Still, he was pretty stinky and self-involved. But he learned his lesson. And isn’t that’s what’s important in these kids’ movies? Well, that and some HIGH-sterical scenes about rotting cheese. So true to life. So very kid-like. When we left the movie we were still laughing. Especially from Julia’s spot-on imitation of the east Indian kid saying,” Oooh, you almost got the cheese touch.” Man, I’m telling you, my kid and her accents, she could do voiceover work.  I don’t know if they’ll make a sequel, but if they do they better do it fast. Because if ZACHARY GORDON who plays the title character pulls a Taylor Lautneresque growth spurt, it won’t do for this franchise what Taylor’s six pack did for the Twilight series. Hurry guys! Hurry it up! In fact the film should be in the can NOW!  In theaters



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Author: toni

~ 03/26/10


Okay. Actually it’s been sporadic for a couple of weeks now. But I’ve had a lot going on. And by that I mean I finally put a bulletin board up in my office and posted TO DO LISTS (three to be precise) so that I could SEE all the things I keep forgetting to do.

Big mistake, because now that I see it constantly, I am compelled to actually accomplish things so I can mark them off. Also now Randy the Perfekt husband sees the lists too… and while he doesn’t actually SAY anything about my accomplishments or lack thereof, I am one of those people who reads into everything AND nothing and always make SOMETHING out of it.

So even though I don’t actually know what he’s thinking, I’m making up his thoughts in my own mind. And they always include things like, “What the heck does she DO all day?”

So… driven by a sense of accomplishment or guilt or both, I have been frantically crossing things off my list.

In the last two weeks I have:  

  • completely cleaned and refurbished our grill
  • re-caulked all 7 sinks in the house
  • re-stacked several hundred pavers so critters can’t get behind them
  • planted stella d’oros in the front
  • planted the herb pot I got for Christmas from my sister-in-law
  • fertilized the grass
  • had the back shutters painted
  • had the garage door fixed
  • researched, interviewed and chose an orthodontist for Julia
  • dealt with various health insurance issues (‘nuf said)
  • re-stained 3 kitchen cabinets
  • planned our next two vacations
  • AND prepped for and completed our tax appointment – that’s right – it’s DONE, baby!


Notice anything missing from that list of accomplishments? Yep, anything to do with MAMMAKAZE!  And lemme tell you, that is one long list!

It’s a Catch 22, this website thing. On the one hand if I made a lot of any  money doing it I likely wouldn’t put it on the back burner. But I’ll never make more money on it if I DO put it on the back burner.

But then again, I have all these other responsibilities as a mom to Julia too, like helping with projects and talent shows and drying her hair after a shower (it takes 45 minutes!) and just being there when she’s had a stinky day or a bad dream.

And then there’s the whole being a wife thing. I AM in a relationship after all, which Randy the Perfekt husband occasionally reminds me in the midst of my list-making. And that entails some effort too — and the occasional pair of frilly undies.

And don’t forget DAMAGES. I have carve out some time to watch Damages. Oh and MODERN FAMILY…. and….

See, this is why I always feel guilty… and my toenails always look so shabby. Too many balls in the air and not enough hands. And I was never good at juggling to begin with.


The point of all this? MAMMAKAZE’s one year anniversary is coming up and I am vowing to kick it into gear. Monday, first thing. Well, right after I do the laundry and grocery shopping for the week. And also, I have to get that oil change on the car. But right sometime after that.

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Author: toni

~ 03/24/10


It seems that no matter how many times I tell Julia to hang up her jacket or put her plate into the sink, she never remembers. So I have to tell her again and again and again. I keep thinking it’s like language where they say a baby has to hear a word 1000 times before they learn it. Except, well, I’m pretty sure I’ve told Julia more than a 1000 times to hang up her jacket. Still, nothin’.

And then the other day I was vacuuming and when I was done I pushed the button on the retractable cord like I have done 1000 times before. And the end of the cord WHACKED my bare ankle, like it has done 1000 times before. And  I thought to myself  “I need to make sure my ankle is clear of that cord when I retract it”, like I have thought 1000 times before but NEVER ACTUALLY REMEMBER TO DO! Despite the reminder bruises that are quite visible.

And this got me to thinking that maybe there are some things WE NEVER LEARN, no matter how many times people or life or retractable cords remind us. And the more I thought, the more I realized, YEP that’s right.

Some things in life aren’t LIVE AND LEARN. They’re more like RINSE AND REPEAT.




  • To get my bare ankles clear of the retractable cord on the vaccuum cleaner while it’s retracting…as stated.
  • To CUT NOT PULL the plastic tag off a piece of clothing.
  • That if I buy chips, I WILL eat them.
  • That if I don’t double tie my Nikes before my run, I WILL have to stop and re-tie them.
  • That if I have coffee at 6pm I will be up at 3am.
  • Not to say anything of importance (or that requires retention) during a Lakers game.
  • To give the deodorant a minute before putting on that dark top.
  • That if it has the name Michael Bay anywhere in the credits I will not only be disappointed, I will likely be confused about what’s going on action-wise AND end up with a pounding headache.
  • That paying for a Pay-Per-View movie that starts after 9 pm is a wasted $4.99.
  • That if it says sulfites on the label, I WILL get a stuffy nose.
  • To let sleeping dogs lie. Especially if the dog is your husband and it’s the weekend.
  • NOT to ask my mother “How are things?”
  • That wishing really, really hard won’t counteract the affect of those appetizers and cocktails on my thighs.


And there you have it. There are probably more, but I don’t remember them at the moment. I DID, however, remember to hang up my jacket.


Is there something you never seem to learn?

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Author: toni

~ 03/22/10


The other day was school picture day at Julia’s school. And so I sent her wearing a turquoise top and nice white pants.

Imagine my shock when I went to pick her up,  to see that the knees of those white pants were covered with grass stains. I’m not kidding … about the shock. Julia is so NOTa grass stains girl. She’s more of a ketchup on her sleeve or chocolate sauce down the front of her shirt kind of girl. Rolling around the grass, not her thing.

When I pointed out the grass stains on her knees, she began to profusely apologize in a panicked, teary-eyed kind of way! I’m not sure why since I am soooo NOT about grass stains the way Joan Crawford was about wire hangers. Naturally, I assured her that it was no big deal. I’d bleach it out.

She calmed down and then according to plan, I started to head out to do errands on the way home.


JULIA: Can’t we go home first?

ME: Why? The errands are on the way home and they won’t take too long.

JULIA: I can’t go out in public with these grass stains!

ME: It’s not a big deal. Lots of kids have grass stains on their pants.

JULIA: No mom, no! I just can’t! I’ll be so HUMILIATED!!!


And then she really DID break down in tears.

Now, first of all, I didn’t even know she knew the word humiliated, let alone what the word meant. And second of all, even if she DID know what it meant, I seriously doubted that she REALLY KNEW what it meant. And isn’t it a parent’s job to clarify?


ME: Oh honey. You don’t know the first thing about humiliation. Grass stains on your knees are not humiliation. Humiliation is showing up at a boyfriend’s house begging him to take you back after he’s dumped you. It’s throwing up on the shoes of your friends while they’re walking you around a club parking lot after you’ve had too much Fettucini Alfredo and wine and wild dancing. It’s doing an unflattering imitation of your high school drama teacher in front of the class not knowing that the teacher is standing right behind you. It’s growing up with an Italian mom and then misspelling the word “ciao” on the (you thought) clever job applications you sent out to all the major studios after graduation.  It’s being on a first date with a guy you really like and being told by that elderly lady in the elevator that you remind her of Hillary Clinton and not in a political way. It’s plugging and flooding the toilet at your boyfriend’s parents’ house the first time you’ve been asked to dinner (and doing it just before dessert). It’s getting your diaphragm stuck at an inopportune moment that resulted in a panic so awful and a scene so humiliating that just thinking about it makes me want to curl up in a fetal position in the corner of a shower with the hot water running and my thumb in my mouth.


Well, that’s what I WANTED to say anyway.  But, she’s only 8. And I wasn’t sure I was ready to explain what a diaphragm was. So instead I did what any decent mom would have done.


ME: Sure, honey. I’ll take you home so you can change first.


She beamed gratefully at me from the back seat. All innocence and sunshine. And I thought how she has a lifetime to learn about REAL humilation. And unfortunately she will. As we all do. For now, let her think that humiliation is a silly grass stain.

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Author: toni

~ 03/19/10



I don’t consume alcohol during the week. Never. Well, almost never. I mean, sometimes when New Year’s Eve falls on a Wednesday I’ll imbibe.

Normally, I’m a weekend drinker. It’s part of how I control the calories and keep my svelte (hey no laughing) figure. And while at the end of any given weekday filled with Mamma Drama I find myself needing, craving, LUSTING a little glass of vino, if I had even a couple of sips I’d be asleep 2 hours before my kid instead of the 45 minutes I usually lose consciousness before her.

And so….. I didn’t drink anything on St. Patrick’s Day. And so…. I’m saving that holiday’s inspired drink for the weekend.

So may I present the St. Patrick’s Day Sour Apple Green-Tini

I don’t know about you, but anything with the word “tini” in it is good by me. Okay. Maybe not ANYTHING. I can think of a couple of scenarios in which that wouldn’t be too, uh, satisfying.

So if you need to take the edge off that mamma mania or just for the fun of it… mix away, my friends, mix away.


St. Patrick’s Day Sour Apple Green-Tini  

2 oz Michael Collins Irish whiskey (of course)
1 oz sour apple schnapps
2 oz white cranberry juice


Add all three ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
Add ice, shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a fresh apple slice.


The Luck ‘O the Irish to Ya. And remember, don’t feel guilt and drive… or parent.

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