Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Urban Heirloom Chicken Breed Or Specialty Cupcake Flavor?

1. Buttercup
2. Meringue Buttercream
3. Mandarin
4. Vegan Red Velvet
5. Bantam Cochin
6. Silky Cocoa Mousse
7. Vanilla Silkie
8. Rhode Island Red
9. Zesty Mexican Chocolate
10. Saipan Jungle Fowl
11. Speckled Black and White
12. Spicy Gingerbread & Guinness
13. Brahma
14. Sencha Green Tea Latte
15. Blue Glory
16. Blue Hen of Delaware
17. Ganache Ganache
18. Appenzeller Spitzhauben
19. Rainbow Birthday with Non-Pareils
20. Fleur de Sel
21. Flor d'Ametller
22. Buckeye
24. Old Virginia Blackberry

Chickens: 1, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 21
Cupcakes 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 24
Both a cupcake and a chicken: 3, 11, 22

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Preschooler Performance Artist

Your mother has told me so much about your likes and dislikes when it comes to movement in a room, and fabrics, how you absolutely cannot tolerate chintz. I feel as though I know you; I feel the very same about chintz. Also, chiffon has no place in a boy’s room. May I ask you a few questions?

I can already see that you have more gumption and style than your mother: you have chosen to costume yourself artistically, in a spitting cobra shirt, with khakis. Your mother, bless her simple soul, is more prone to sweats. Yikes. But the choice to add that homemade Spiderman cape simply makes your look. It is just a red towel…to littler minds than ours.

That red towel has so much drama, the way you cleverly swish it over your shoulder, and jump from the couch, and from the couch onto the other couch, and back and forth -- you’re like a blur. Like a late Van Gogh. I must put my couture frameless Titanium alloy distance glasses on, because now you have run into another area of the room and are hiding in a tent of luscious batik fabric and I can’t see you.

Did you booby-trap the door with figurines so neither I, nor your mother can open it? You did! Andy Warhol did the same to his mother, and to me, when I was a young, ingenue. Then, it was annoying. Now, artistic values have undergone a shift, and it is clever. Throw a mini dump truck at my head! I beg you!

Post post post structuralist, is what I told your mother about the faux-naïf sketches you dashed off on the bathroom wall in your characteristic medium, red-orange crayon. I can see that your art is both pop and obstructionist/defiant. Am I right? Have I placed you in the correct school? You are sometimes also Impressionist; in particular I’m talking about what everyone is calling your “blue period” finger paintings.

Do you not give interviews? Oh, but I can hear you through the door. Isn’t that you singing over and over again loud and off-key “Do You Know The Muffin Man” -- and your mother tells me that you are sometimes naked? This is worth pitching to MoMa. You could do an installation! Your mother says you frequently do installation pieces, but she erroneously calls them tantrums, being not of the art world.

Do you have a title in mind? I will slip my calling card of heavy card stock, with my number on it, under your door.

Fantastic! You have written me back. One of your first written communications! I am honored; your mother said you are still learning your letters! I will forever keep this little mangled piece of paper that it also appears you have spit on and defaced, with none other than your infant terrible spit. On it you have written: ANUS. To me you have written ANUS!

What a commentary! What a savant! I could not be more thrilled! One day, in eight to ten years, this will be worth millions so call the Guggenheim. Call Bilbao. Call the dealers. Call the auction houses. Call les grandparents. Yes! Yes! Your son, he is an artist.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Risen Lord and The Easter Bunny: An Imagined Dialogue

The Risen Lord (rising from an attitude of contemplation): Easter Bunny, it seems that more and more people prefer you to me. Why is that?

The Easter Bunny: I am made of chocolate, Lord.

The Risen Lord: Ahh. Yes. But to those who believeth in me I offer eternal life!

The Easter Bunny (with submissive aspect): Amen, Lord. But, still you are not made of chocolate. And, with all due respect, Lord you’re not exactly…

The Risen Lord (beatifically): Go on, Bunny. I am a good listener.

The Easter Bunny
, Well, Lord, I’ll be honest.

The Risen Lord
: It is a commandment, sort of.

The Easter Bunny
: You’re kind of…severe. At least Biblically.

The Risen Lord: I’m not a fun kind of guy? Is that what you’re saying?

The Easter Bunny: Not really, Lord.

The Risen Lord: You’re saying if I was funner, more people might like me? Believeth in my father’s mansion? Fit through the eye of the needle, and all that? Because that would be awesome.

The Easter Bunny: It’s not my place to give the Lord advice, is it.

The Risen Lord: No Bunny. But you have your little fur paw on the pulse of the people who shop at Target, they are my people, but they are buying dozens and dozens of marshmallow Peeps.

The Easter Bunny: Sugar is a drug, Lord.

The Risen Lord: Now that people have easy access to sugar, they no longer need religion? This is what you’re saying, isn’t it? I feared it: I must make myself sweeter.

The Easter Bunny: That would be a start. Maybe also no more condemning to death of idolatrous women?

The Risen Lord
: Maybe.

The Easter Bunny
: You know Lord, I have an idea.

The Risen Lord
: What’s that?

The Easter Rabbit
: You could hop.

The Risen Lord: “Hop?” How does one “hop?” I have never done it. In the Bible, there is no “And then, to Galillee, Jesus hopt.”

The Easter Rabbit: The Bible’s loss, Lord.

The Risen Lord: I do feel mighty good that I have second life, though. Might this joy be expressed by a “hop” ?

The Easter Rabbit: It would be meet and right to also add a skip and a jump, Lord.

The Risen Lord: Well, if it is meet and right.

The Easter Rabbit: Shall I start us off, on the good foot, Lord?

The Risen Lord: Do. You go along and I’ll follow after. I think I might improvise and cause some trees to burst into bloom and fruit chocolate ganache truffles.

The Easter Rabbit: How masterfully thou causeth the trees to bring forth candy.

The Risen Lord: This is how I should have been using my talents all along! Hopping and confecting! Arise, marshmallow fluff! Thunder down like justice, jellybeans. Awake pecan and caramel turtles, awake! In that basket do you have a Peep? I've always wanted to try one. May I have one of your Peeps? There was nothing but carob bean back in the Bible. Blech. I can probably make the best, most heavenly Peep you ever had, given that I am what I am and that is the Sweet Lord.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mom Costumes

At MOM COSTUMES, all our mom costumes are guaranteed to help you seamlessly blend in your environs, should your GPS fail and you find yourself out of your usual mom element, a suburban soccer mom at the downtown farmer's market where there is a drum circle and tribal dancing, for example.

Here are some of our current offerings. Of course, you can mix and match, as will sometimes be necessary, for instance, at a PTA fundraiser for your child's Glee Club.

Urban Hipster Farmer's Market Mom

Clothing: Zippered patterned hoodie, clogs.
Accessories: Canvas tote, several seasonal and realistic plastic fruits and vegetables like kale and/or a baguette, 1 kid (also attired in a hoodie and clogs) in sling carrier, adult black Labrador Retriever, press-on Maori warrior tattoo.
Wig: Light brown pixie cut, with clip-in barrette.
Nails: Short, square cut, no polish.

Rural Organic Farm Mom

Clothing: Momjeans, sweatshirt with unironic Cockapoodle iron-on.
Assessories: Glass milk jugs, rake, three well-behaved teens, used to rising early to milk the cows and participating in 4-H, a flock of chickens, silver stud earrings in the shape of little maple leaves.
Wig: Shoulder length, chestnut.
Nails: Short, dirty.


Clothing: Nubbly fabric skirt suit, with a camisole of a very feminine cut peeking through, heels.
Assessories: Briefcase, drop-earrings of semi-precious stone, Pump-In Style Breast Pump, leather organizer and, to aid in breast pumping, a photo of a cute infant in a silver frame.
Wig: Choose “Blonde French Twist” or “Professional Pixie,” if the workplace is in the arts or higher education or publishing.
Nails: Beige, medium-length, oval.

Potter Mom

Clothing: Overalls, paint-splattered rock concert t-shirt, bare feet.
Accessories: Two rambunctious kids under five who have been encouraged to paint to get their "sillies" out, an old calico cat, a wheel for throwing clay pots, earrings made of sherds of Spanish tile.
Wig: Dark and Godiva-long, with a pronounced natural wave.
Nails: Ragged, with reminders of limestone clay.

Social Worker Mom

Clothing: Wide-wale corduroy sack dress in plum, long-sleeved t-shirt, sandals.
Accessories: Long, swingy necklace of Native American totemic animals, potted ficus, white-noise machine and an NPR tote bag filled with women’s non-fiction, pictures in DIY frames of grown children and smiling grandchildren.
Wig: Short, stylish, spiky, gray.
Nails: Oval, clean, with very neat cuticles.

Country Club Mom

Clothing: Cashmere cardigan, jeans with a tasteful embroidery on the ass pockets.
Assessories: “Pearl” and/or “diamond” studs, leather handbag, 1.5 kids for placement in the rear seats of an SUV, Chesapeake Bay retriever puppy
Wig: Blonde chignon.
Nails: Nude.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To Open A Cupcake Boutique or To Raise Urban Chickens? The Dilemma of So Many.

You can't have a cupcake shop in a coop in the backyard, but you can have chickens.

It was an upstanding American president who said, “a chicken in every pot.” It was Marie Antoinette who said, “let them eat (cup)cake(s).”

Think how much fun the kids would selling chicken eggs at a huge markup on the 695 onramp.

Chickens have brains. My neighbor has a Rhode Island Red named Rhodesia that saved all their lives.

Cupcakes? No brains. Even with patient and persistent training, they can’t peck 911.

But consider this: senior male cupcakes don’t wake up at the crack of dawn and crow. That’s a positive, compared with owning a rooster.

You can't bribe a kid with a chicken. This is another way cupcakes are superior to chickens.

Also cupcakes are cheaper. Unless for your cupcake coop you want an Italian pastry counter and a staff that’s good looking. Then a chicken Igloo is cheaper.

However, cupcakes are recognized as easier to kill; you don’t need a special “neck funnel,” or an ax.

But why butcher at all? You could frost cupcakes to look like chickens and scatter them immobile, silent, and delicious around the yard, easily convincing yourself you have the best of both worlds.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Life in Haircuts


I came into this world with a fabulous head of straight black hair. It was barely apparent to me; I could focus on no object other than my mother’s breast that was all the time inches from my head. The things I could have done with my hair make me want to bite my knuckle (a breast substitute).


The glory that crowned me was greatly dimmed by my first haircut, in 1975. At that young age I could say some words, including, incredibly, “for the love of all things holy, woman, don’t give me a bowl cut,” but my mother did anyway.


There is great value to a sweatshirt with a hood that draws in tight.


A hooded sweatshirt is still valued, and unlike the high school one that said, “Smiths” this one says “Smith: A Century of Women on Top” and I want to be a Marine Biologist and go deep in a submersible.

Graduate School

I write a 40-page thesis on Museum Wayfinding Devices. Some of my hairs turn gray and find their way down the shower train, unassisted. My boyfriend leaves me for a woman named Gail who has a mane that is, like, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful.”

I bite my knuckles continuously for three months until, finally, a friend suggests bangs.

Early Middle Age

Drawn to men with hair power and the glossy black locks that curl like the wool of a sheep and with my biological clock ticking, I invest in Latin dance lessons and within minutes I would like to introduce you to my husband.

My hair looks the best it ever has because, of course, I'm pregnant.

The Current Cut

Like a mare’s forelock, my hair sits on my forehead; I am that exhausted mother you see driving around in a beat-up old Toyota, appearing at ballet class late, without makeup, in a strange ensemble pulled together in the dark, before the sun rose, and with the kids covered in Cheerios, not one of them yet in their tutu.

So I rely on hats, scarves, headbands and distractingly large earrings. And, frankly, whatever El Andre wants to do to create “movement,” “swing” and “texture,” I let him.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Passive Agressive Recipe

Double sifting is just a suggestion. I’m sorry I asked, actually.

I just wanted your “Light Meyer Lemon Cake” to be the best, but obviously you don’t care.

You say there were no Meyer lemons at the green market? I say that your social anxiety got the better of you. You really have to deal with your problem.

Use the balloon whisk on it. BEAT IT. What you’re doing looks more like coddling.

I’m sorry. You’re overworked as it is, with the kids…

Do what you want with the eggs. Don’t even bother separating them, if it’s too much work.

What is wrong with you? If you don’t separate the eggs, you bring shame to your grandmother’s apron.

I specifically called for parchment paper and you don’t have parchment paper, you moron.

Oh, my goodness, I’m sorry. I was so mean. I got worked up about the parchment paper and it was thoughtless of me. You of all people don’t need the stress of specialty baking items.

There, there. Why don’t you just bag cooking from scratch? Go take a nice hot bath.


Idiot! Idiot! Idiot! Like there isn’t much difference between fresh homemade cake and the frozen square of Pepperidge Farm, shipped in from North Jersey, with lots of preservatives that might give your kids tumors. What kind of mother are you?

Get yourself together and get in the kitchen. Double goddamn sift.

But when I say scant teaspoon of vanilla, what I mean is: we’re friends, right? No hard feelings. You decide how much vanilla.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Oscars At My House

Best Actor in a Leading Role: The Oscar goes husband, for his work.

For “Just Purple, Only Purple (Meltdown At Circle Time If Any Other Color Touches My Skin),” my daughter wins for Best Costume Design.

Best Makeup. Me, for transforming “Tired Old Mommy” into “Tired Old Mommy With Eyeliner.”

Best Film Editing. What a creative partnership I have with my husband! When he said, “$#@! Honey, I think I lost the kids in the corn maze,” I simply edited that part out of “Punkin’ Play Yard.”

Best Animated Short Film. The Oscar goes to my son, for his dancing, buttering up, Indian film star tearing-up eyes, “jazz hands,” on the ground flailing, and other histrionic efforts in “Candy Is Dandy.”

Best Documentary Short Subject: My husband and I collaborate again, creating “More Than 40 Days In The Dessert” a very personal documentary on middle age weight gain.

Best Picture. Definitely not “Taken At Sears” the film in which we have to buy a new dishwasher.

For knowing when to say “go to your separate trailers,” the Oscar for Best Direction goes to Grandma for “At Grandma’s House,” a smash hit in two demographics: 2-to-5 year-olds and parents-over-40.

Best Actress in a Leading Role. Me. I have been channeling Julia Child for years, longer than Meryl Streep, and, in my recent work, “Stay At Home Mother,” all I do is cook.