Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ask A Stupid Question...

I was trying on dresses to wear for the New Year's Eve party extravaganza that we are hosting. I turned to my husband and asked, "How's my neckline in this dress?" He, in turn, raises his eyebrows... cue the wolf-whistle and cartoon like eye-pop. It was a fashion question. I wasn't asking if he liked boobs. But, hey, ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

But it gave me a great idea for a website, although I don't know how to implement it. I imagine a website where women from all over the world can upload pics and ask for fashion advice. Yes, I know this exists already but MY site would be different. Because seriously, we want honest advice from other women, or gay men only.

This is where it get's complicated.

I'd have to have a way to gender authenticate. Like an estrogen meter but then that's a whole hardware component you'd have to buy. Or maybe I can ask really specific questions about menstruation or child birth. The male OB / GYN's would slip through that security and those women who've never experienced the sheer joy (ha!) of child birth would be excluded. Or maybe it can be a combination of questions about the female reproductive cycle, Desperate Housewives, shoes and Twilight. Although I might fail the Twilight questions myself.

We'd also want to let the gay men in because, seriously, who better to give you fashion advice than a guy who can look past your boobs and actually observe what you are wearing. But how to do that? Some detailed questions about Judy Garland and show tunes?

There's one other flaw in my plan. I did says HONEST advice, didn't I? How do I weed out the caddy chicks who would say "OMG! You looks so totally amazing!" when, in fact, you look like a fat, stupid, cross-eyed tranny. You'd think that they'd be honest, because they are strangers. It's not like they'd be going to the same place as you are and they want you to look fat and stupid so that they look better by comparison. However, I think there are still some women, no matter what, who will want you to go out with your dress tucked into the back of your pantyhose. So, how to weed out caddy bitches? Maybe have them rate a series of "seed" pictures and see if they say all the train-wrecks look "beautiful" and if all the super-models are "okay, if you like that sort of thing."

Alright, my idea needs work. I'm just saying, it'd be nice to have. When I need fashion advice, my only nearby options are my kids who always think mommy looks beautiful, which, though very sweet, isn't helpful. They tell me they "like my hat" when I come out of the shower with a towel wrapped around my head. My other option is my husband, and I already told you how that story goes.

See you in 2010, everyone!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Crystal The Christmas Imp

This is not my typical blog post. It's an illustrated children's story. In 1989, my dad had the idea for a new addition to the Kringle Family and the overall Christmas legend. I, at the tender age of 15, wrote the following poem. At the time I painted it on the window of a store I worked at in the mall and it was published in a local paper. In 2002, my dad's friend illustrated it. We always hope to get it published but it never happened. So here I share it with you. Please share it with your family this Christmas.

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Foreword:
The Legend of Santa Claus
By Anthony J. Solicito


In 1822, Dr. Clement Clark Moore, a classical scholar, composed "The Night Before Christmas" to read to his children on Christmas Eve. Unbeknownst to him, a friend sent it to a newspaper and it was published. Other papers and magazines reprinted it, and soon, Moore's every word became an integral piece of the legend of Santa Claus.

Over a century later. in 1939, the poem "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" appeared in a Montgomery Ward Christmas booklet as a marketing ploy to have customers save it and remember the department store's name each holiday season. The skyrocketing success of "Rudolph" marked the only new addition to the folklore of Santa Claus in this century.

The following poem brings a much needed helper to our aging St. Nick, so that he may better serve our ever expanding population. Who better to assist him than a long overdue child ... a daughter. Yes, the world is about ready to have a female sharing some of the credit for those wonderful presents!


_____________________________________________


Crystal, The Christmas Imp

by Jean Tagliamonte
Illustrations by Gunn Orachantara




One Christmas Eve, some winters ago. Something happened that not many know.

When the air was especially crisp, and the stars were especially bright. The sky was especially black and the snow was especially white,




A very special child was born to a very special pair. Sparkling blue were her eyes and golden was her hair.

The baby was quite a beauty to see and Crystal was her name. Through her birth, it came to be, Christmas would never be the same!






Crystal was an imp, you see, which is a very special gift. She's very small with silver wings that make her very swift.

With a shake or her tiny fingers, there's magic all around. Once where nothing was before, presents can be found!




It was on that day, of birthday twelve, that it came to be, Santa took young Crystal Claus, and placed her On his knee,

Crystal, my dear, the time has come that you should understand. The very special power that's been placed upon your hands.






"The gift that you were born with, is wonderful, you see, Because now you are old enough to begin a journey with me."

"Crystal, my daughter," Santa said "This is a growing world. And I cannot possibly reach every boy and girl!"





Then Mrs. Claus began to add, "Together you'll spread joy, all over our beautiful planet, to every girl and boy!"

"I'll be glad to help you, Daddy" She said In a voice so small, "I'll do my best, around the world to spread joy to one and all!"





Now on Christmas, children. if you fail to hear a sound, don't think that nobody's there, Crystal just may be around.

And you may not hear the sound of sleigh bells clanging. Just the little chiming of jingle bells dangling,





Or instead of reindeer hoofs, you hear tile fluttering of wings and at night, you are dreaming of sweet and special things.

It just may be a sweet little imp. who's quiet as a mouse, spreading joy and leaving gifts, all throughout your house.




And if you wonder why your parents. are especially filled with joy. That's Crystal's very special gift to ever girl and boy!

Whether Crystal or Santa was there, you may never know, but in the morning you may find tiny footprints in the snow.



MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
JT

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Is A Few Hours Of Fun Worth A Full Day Of Tantrums?

I wasn't sure if this was blog-worthy (and every time I say the word blog-worthy, I think of the episode of Seinfeld when Elaine is trying to decide if her boyfriend is sponge-worthy. Genius!)

Anyway, I wasn't sure if this was blog-worthy but what are my other options? A Facebook "Note"? Nah. That's sooooo early-09. A long status. Lame. Squeeze it into 140 characters? Impossible. Keep it to myself. Also, impossible. Blog it is!!! So if it's not the most awe-inspiring, hilarious or life-affirming post ever, I apologize.

I went out to a Holiday Lights festival with the kids last night. We had a great time even though it was booger-freezing cold out. By the time we were done exploring and they were loaded in the vehicle, it was an hour past their bed time and I still had to get them home, free of the 86 layers of clothing they were wearing, pottied, pajamied and tucked in bed. By myself, mind you, as my husband got to escape the freezing activity of the evening and go to his work holiday party.

The munchkins dozed in the car but of course I had to wake them to strip them down. I longed, briefly, for the days of sleeping babies I could undress, change diapers and dress again without waking but then I remembered that they'd be up once every three hours and I stopped longing.

Lights out was 9:53, nearly two hours past their regularly scheduled bed time.

Fortunately, my daughter adjusted and slept much later than she usually does. My son however, has an inconsistent wake up time to begin with. He wakes anywhere from 6:15 - 7:30. Today it was 7:20. On the later side but still, clearly not enough sleep for him as he has been awake an hour an a half and has lost his mind no less than five times.

It must be me. It must be that I'm such a horrible, evil mother to make him scream and cry like he's being murdered! Thank the Lord we don't live in an apartment building.

Let's see. What was the first AWFUL thing I did today? Oh yes! I decide to make them chocolate chip pancakes in Holiday shapes using cookie cutters as pancake molds. The horror!!!! He melted-down because his tired brain couldn't comprehend that we were using them in a hot pan and not like we would to cut cookies and he wanted to do it himself. When he finally settled down I made one round pancake and let him cut it with a cookie cutter.

What torture did I have in store for him next? Muwahahahahahah! Just to rub salt in the wound I gave them extra chocolate chips to decorate their pancakes with! I'm simply diabolical!!! He fell apart because one of the chocolate chip "eyes" was slightly melted and smudgy and he wanted me to throw the pancake away and give him a new one.

It goes on like this. In my maniacal plan to destroy him, I gave him a malformed white chocolate chip that he thought was melted, made the chips fall off his pancake when he picked it up and made the bottom of his pancake all LUMPY. Call CPS! I must be stopped!!!

I'm sure it will go on like this all day, or at least until blessed nap time which is a looooong 3 1/2 hour away.

I still haven't figured out if it's worth it. It's hard to run a tight enough ship that everyone is tucked in by 8PM but, when I don't, the next day is usually full or screaming. Sometimes them, sometimes me, sometimes all of us. I know, with absolutely certainty that their sleep directly affects their behavior so I try to hit that magic bed-time number but I can't always make it. Is the ruin, worth the reward? I certainly don't have the answer and I know I'll run into this again soon with Christmas and New Year's Eves upon us. If anyone has the answer, I'd love to hear it!