Laughing Mama's Blog

My inner monologue with myself inside my head put in this blog out in the open for everybody to read.

I’ve offended a Hollywood actor… (AKA: “How many Tweets does it take to get blocked? If you’re me, two.”) April 24, 2010

Filed under: Humor,Life — laughingmama @ 7:40 pm
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It was a lovely Saturday afternoon. My husband, kids and I had finished cleaning up the house and frankly, I was wiped out. I had spent all week trying to get over an upper respiratory infection and in typical fashion, once I feel well enough to do something, I overdo it. Arnie decided to take the kids to a local boat “showroom” to let me have some time to lay down. I did rest, a lot. But they were gone for a while. So after I woke up from my nap I opened my laptop. I have a Twitter account but don’t participate much. The following story is probably why:

I’m not sure how I came to find Mr. Craig Bierko on Twitter. I think someone retweeted something he said or something someone else said and when I went to their page, he had commented on something else… I really don’t remember, Twitter confuses me. But somehow I found myself on his Twitter page reading his tweets which were all really funny AND intelligent. I clicked the “Follow” button. Let it be known that I did the same thing to two other people- Mindy Kaling from “The Office” and Michael Ian Black who is completely hilarious. His last tweet at the time I wrote this was: “Hey E.E. Cummings, the whole lower case thing is stupid.” I want more of that in my day.

So, I began following Craig Bierko. Very soon afterward he tweeted like 10 things in a row. Most of them in response to other people’s tweets to him. “That’s cool”, I naively thought. I wonder if he would respond to something I said? One of the tweets had a link to his IMDB page. I thought that was kind of funny because if you’re following him you presumably know who he is. At least I did. I’ve been a fan for a long time. He’s a multi-talented actor who has been in numerous TV shows, movies and was nominated for a Tony award. He is the only reason I actually downloaded the pilot for his new show “Unhitched” from iTunes. I’ve NEVER done that. For any actor. Anyway, I went to his IMDB page mainly so I could look at the pictures of him. He’s a very handsome man with awesome hair. While there, I saw there were like 60 entries. The dude has been busy. Sarcastically I tweeted “@MrCraigBierko thanks for pointing me to your IMDB page. It’s really a shame your career hasn’t taken off like it should.” thinking he would get that it was a joke. I mean, this isn’t Spencer Pratt we’re talking about here. He’s been in the biz for quite a while and has worked consistently for years.

He didn’t get it. He kind of retweeted me but didn’t include everything I said, just the part about his career and said this in response: “@laffingmama I’m deeply grateful for my portion of gravy & wish u the same”. Okay, he didn’t get my sarcasm and he’s trying to take the high road. Admirable. But I still want to let him know I’m joking. So, I tweeted: “@MrCraigBierko you wish me a portion of your gravy? Awesome. Also, you have the best hair in mankind”. I even put a compliment in there to let him know I AM a fan. I guess he read the compliment as sarcasm and everything else as what I actually meant because he retweeted me (again, only the bad portion) and responded with this: “Yes – and now I wish you into the cornfield. On your way.” and then he blocked me from following him! Wow. I was floored. I’ve never been blocked before. I only have 130 tweets and most of them are about David Cook! I’m really not that controversial!

I went over everything I said. Yes, it was sarcastic and it is electronic media which gets misinterpreted all the time. But he himself is sarcastic in his tweets to people so I thought he was someone who could see it coming. As a matter of fact, in response to one of his fans who tweeted “New follower here, just wanted to say “hi” he said “You’re suffocating me”. Funny! Of course, right after that he said “Welcome” I guess as a way to let her know he was totally joking. Maybe that was my mistake. I should have put something like “just kidding, I think you’re awesome” in the first tweet but Twitter only gives you 140 characters and I had used most of them up on the snark. Stupid Twitter.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of how Twitter works but when someone retweets you, everybody that follows them sees what you tweeted. Or, in this case, what Craig Bierko wanted them to see of my tweet. One of his friends stood up for him after my first tweet and said “How strangely rude, thoughtless & inaccurate.”. I know it’s inaccurate! That’s why it’s a joke! I didn’t say it was GOOD joke, but it’s a joke! I mean, good job sticking up for your friend. I really like that. But I SWEAR I am not rude or thoughtless. Possibly a bad joke teller, but not rude or thoughtless. On second thought, a nun in our high school used to accuse us of being crude, rude and socially unacceptable so maybe Craig’s friend had something with the rude thing. Of course as with anything, there are many opinions. Another guy tweeted that he agreed with me. I hope Craig Bierko blocked him too because I was just joshing but this guy seemed like he was seriously questioning the actor’s success.

I didn’t know what to do. My ears were burning. I wasn’t mad, I was sad. Sad that my words were being twisted and that I was misunderstood. I kind of felt like… well, how a Hollywood actor might feel if they find themselves in a tabloid magazine filled with lies and half truths. And if that’s how you feel I NEVER want to become famous. (Not that there’s any fear of that.) I felt bad for Craig Bierko who thought he was being made fun of by an internet troll. That was SO not my intention. So I did the only thing I knew of to do. I said I was sorry. I sent him one last tweet: “@MrCraigBierko I apologize. I really am a fan and didn’t mean to offend. My mother raised me better. Mea culpa.”. There was no response.

I’m going to have to be okay with that. I felt really guilty about the whole exchange. I have this personality defect where I want EVERYBODY to like me. The fact that I don’t even know this person doesn’t matter. He doesn’t like me. He doesn’t like me so much that he chose to delete me, as if my very presence on his “followers” list was a black mark on his life. Well, that may be too dramatic. But, he blocked me! And that sucks. I feel like I was docked karma points because of all this. I’m afraid that one day I’ll find myself in LA and get into a grizzly accident and that Craig Bierko will be the only witness. He’ll come running to my rescue but then recognize me as the bitch who mocked him on Twitter and will simply shake his head disapprovingly and walk away, leaving me in the burning wreckage. In reality though, he seems like a very nice guy and would probably save me anyway.

Twitter is a strange thing. You don’t know these people. Yet you can tweet perfect strangers ANYTHING that pops into your head. And by reading their tweets you get a glimpse into their life which you probably shouldn’t have anyway. (One time David Cook tweeted a picture of what he was cooking on his grill and I thought it was kind of cool but creepy at the same time. I mean, it looked really yummy but do I really need to know what the winner of American Idol season 7 is eating for dinner?) Lesson learned, Craig Bierko. I’ll stick to tweeting only my actual friends or just the Twitterverse in general. Or better yet, do something good with my life like volunteering at the Food Bank. Clearly when I have time on my hands I don’t make good choices. By the way, I’m still a fan and will watch your TV shows and movies. And you do have awesome hair.


Happy Anniversary! (AKA: “No, it’s not your birthday so you don’t get to do THAT.”) April 21, 2010

Filed under: Humor,Life,Marriage,Uncategorized — laughingmama @ 7:34 am
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On April 21, 1996, in front of God and our friends and family, my best friend and I exchanged marriage vows and committed ourselves to one another for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health until death do us part. It honestly was the happiest day of my life. Arnie and I were friends long before we realized we were MFEO. (For those of you who haven’t seen Sleepless in Seattle that’s “Made For Each Other”.) I was in college and worked at the mall. Yes, we met at the mall. No, I didn’t have braces or have to wear a uniform or a paper hat. I worked at a home decor store which was ridiculous on my part. Just about the only guys that came in belonged in one of two categories: men who were definitely NOT interested in women, and men who carried their wives purses while they shopped. Not great dating potential. But sometimes the women I worked with had sons or knew guys who would come say hello if they were in the mall. Such was the case with Arnie. I worked with his best friend’s wife. He is a nice guy and would have probably come in to see her anyway, but I think Cathi kept him abreast (pun intended) of the babe potential at her workplace.

That’s how the story goes. Oh, are you under the impression that he came in to check me out? Ha! That’s funny! No, I was not the potpourri peddler that first caught his eye. He was instead drawn to someone we’ll call “Slut”. Sorry, that’s mean. (But she was.) I’ll try to be nice. I’ll call her “Girl with loose morals”. So yeah, there she was. I didn’t see the attraction except that she was the type that chose a major in college that was predominantly male because she liked the attention. She knew how to use guys and they stood in line to be used. Whatever. I really didn’t have an opinion since I barely knew Arnie but the more he came in to see “Girl with loose morals”, the more we talked and the more I liked him… as a friend. He was sweet and thoughtful, always complimentary to everybody and even remembered what I had talked about the time before. Questions like “Hey Eileen, how did that organic chem test go last Thursday?” always floored me because most of the guys I knew wouldn’t even remember that I was TAKING organic chem let alone remember that I was stressed about a test. But that’s who he is. I remember him sending “Girl with loose morals” flowers once because she was having a bad day. I will never forget that I turned to one of my other co-workers and said, “Gee, he’s going to make someone a wonderful husband some day.” I never in a million years thought it would be me.

As much as I liked him and looked forward to his visits, he was different from the type of guy I went for. While he was panting after “Girl with loose morals” I was caught up with “Hot guy who didn’t give two shits about me”. Oh you dated him too? That figures, he got around. I won’t bore you with the details, but a spring break trip to visit him at Cornell University didn’t go as planned and I came home swearing off men for a whole year. At nearly the same time, “Girl with loose morals” showed her true colors and Arnie stopped coming around the store. But he couldn’t stay away for long. He would say later that he came back for me, and it might be true, but I think the fact that, when he showed up, I was on a ladder in a very tight, very short brown skirt kind of sealed the deal. He asked if I wanted to hang out and I accepted but only because I thought it wasn’t a date. I had my whole “No men for a year!” plan in place after all. Besides, he liked Yanni for crying out loud. Yes, Pink Floyd and Radiohead too, but Yanni??? I could not see my Lords of Acid, The Sugarcubes, and Tori Amos CDs fitting in very well next to Yanni. So when we were on the phone making plans and he suggested Olive Garden because he “takes all his first dates there”, I was a bit taken aback. First, I guess it was a date after all and second, I wasn’t sure I liked being lumped into the same category as “all his first dates”. And what’s the rest of that sentence? “I take all my first dates there…” “and then they usually throw a drink in my face and storm out because I’ve made a pass at them.” or “and then I take them back to my place and lock them in the basement.” or “but there’s rarely a second date because, although I love their food, it tears my stomach up and I spend the rest of the evening in the bathroom with explosive diarrhea.”??? I remember laughing and saying, “Okaaaay…” His awkwardness about it was kind of endearing and unlike any side of him I had seen before. It piqued my interest. Who was this guy really?

The first date was good. We ate, we laughed, we called our ex’s assholes. He drove me around in his little hunter green sports car with leather seats and I found the way he drove and shifted gears very sexy. He did take me to his house which he had recently bought himself since he had already graduated from college and had a great job. (Thankfully it didn’t have a basement.) I thought he was showing off (which I also liked a bit) but in actuality his motive for bringing me there was to meet his dog. He was pleased Schaefer and I liked each other. According to him, he didn’t date girls who didn’t like his dog. Gotta love that. You also gotta love that he was named after nasty, cheap beer. Poor college dog!

Because we didn’t want the evening to end, we went to a movie and then he drove me home. Through the course of our first date, I found him to be smart and funny and engaging. He treated me like a lady without being condescending, was a good listener and put me at ease, and all of a sudden I was seeing him in a new light. How had I not noticed him being this tall before? Had he always had this amazing head of curly brown hair? How had I not gotten lost in those beautiful blue eyes until now? And how can he make me feel so safe simply by just standing next to me?

The first date turned into a second (the next night) and then a third (the night after that) and the rest, as they say, is history. Flash forward to April 21, 1996. This was before the time when entire wedding parties danced down the aisle to pop songs. I tried hard to be a graceful bride and contain my excitement as I was escorted by my father toward my future husband, but my eyebrows and smile gave me away. I tried to look at each person as I passed the pews and as I did, I arched my eyebrows high on my forehead and flashed a big grin as if to say “OMG! Can you believe it?” “I’m getting maaaaarrrriiiieeeddd!” “Look at you! You’re here! Now look at me! I’m in a wedding dress!!!” “Have you seen Arnie? Doesn’t he look cute up there?”. “THIS is happening right now!!” But when I reached the altar, nerves took over and I became slightly terrified. Arnie, sensing this, took my hand during the ceremony, leaned over and informed me that he was wearing a silk penis sock and nothing else under his tux. He really wasn’t but there I was sitting on the altar, facing my friends and family and the priest, with Jesus on a cross behind my left shoulder and someone doing a reading on my right and I all could picture was Arnie’s penis wrapped in silk. “Love is patient, love is kind…” and MY love is encased in shiny fabric right now. I bit my lip so hard to stop the giggling welling up inside me. I looked at him, he winked at me and I grinned again from ear to ear. I knew right then that everything was going to be okay. And not just at that moment, but for the rest of our lives together.

At our rehearsal dinner Arnie’s dad gave a wonderfully moving speech. I really, really hate that we never got it on video so I could hear it again and quote it exactly, but such is life. I will never forget, though, how he described Arnie and me. He said it was like putting your hand into a box with millions of puzzle pieces, pulling out a piece and then reaching in again and pulling out the exact match. That we are each our own people, separate and unique, but when joined together, fit perfectly and create something beautiful and good. That doesn’t happen every day, he said. I remember being humbled that someone else got what we understood about “us” so completely. That we were MFEO and better together than we ever had been apart.

Fourteen years have flown by. We’ve moved houses, had children and lost people very dear to us. We’ve celebrated and cried and laughed countless times. I had a wonderful example of marriage in my parents who were happily married for 52 years. Through their respectful arguments and frequent kisses I learned that it’s never easy but it’s always worth it. The green sports car has come and gone, replaced with a truck to haul our camper and a minivan. It’s a sign of the times we’re living right now. And I wouldn’t change a single thing. Except… I kind of do wish you had been wearing that silk penis sock, Ace. And I really wish I had landed that punch when I tried to bitch slap “Girl with loose morals”. Happy Anniversary to my one and only puzzle piece.

PS- Thanks for stopping the car and going back that night so I could kiss my dad good-bye. You’re all kinds of awesome.

Copyright 2010 by Me


So we joined a gym… (AKA: “I knew group sweating could be fun, but I’m usually not this sore the next day.” April 5, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Humor,Life,Marriage — laughingmama @ 11:43 am
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I’m no stranger to sweat and exercise, it’s just that we haven’t been on good terms lately. There wasn’t one thing I can point to that made us drift apart, but lots of days we just didn’t feel like spending together. Sweat and exercise is a pain in the butt and I’d much rather be in the company of things that make me feel good. Like beer and pizza, or wine and cheese… basically any alcohol and dairy combo. (Except vodka and milk, that’s not as yummy as you would think, but when you’re out of OJ or lemonade you do what you have to do.) Oh sure, sweat and exercise and I had our good days. There was that time I “Jazzercised” with my mom when I was 12 and the time I passed PE 100 in college by running a 9 minute mile for 3 miles. More recently, I “ran” a half-marathon. Those were definitely good times. Until now I was satisfied with the memories and didn’t think about sweat and exercise too much.

And then my very sweet husband took some pictures of me at my niece’s birthday party and there I was. Well, my ass specifically. See, he’s a butt man and you can time-line our relationship all in pictures of my rear end. If he has a camera, my posterior will be on the digital SD card. When I was 115 pounds, that was funny. After my niece’s birthday party, it was a wake up call. It’s not that it’s huge, or flabby, it just didn’t fill out the pants in the exact shape I thought when I left the house that morning. God bless him, he still is crazy about it and I guess that’s why I hadn’t paid too much attention to how the alcohol and dairy were gathering back there. But when faced with the evidence, even in the 3 inch display screen on our camera, it was hard to deny. I needed to get re-acquainted with sweat and exercise.

The very next day I convinced him to go with me to a local health club that was having an open house and running a special with no enrollment fee. Half of our friends are members there and we’ve heard for years about how awesome it is. We’ve also heard about the expense of it. That day I didn’t care. All I saw as I looked around the gym during the tour was my body becoming more fit. The tour guide/membership salesman, Ritchie, called it the “Walk of Life”. I called it the “Walk of Killer Abs and Glutes.” I was sold. Ritchie gave us the run down on the club- price, amenities, rules and regs. When Ritchie asked us if we were on board, Arnie said, “Ritchie, I think it was a foregone conclusion when we walked in the door. Where do we sign?”. It was disgusting how excited I was.

But honestly, you would be too. Let me describe the health club to you, starting at the front door. You walk in to a sweepingly open, airy, sunlight filled lobby. There’s a cathedral like feeling to it and as you look up at the puzzle of skylights three stories up, it’s almost amusing to see that on the second floor, overlooking the lobby are rows of exercise bikes. People already lustily having relations with sweat and exercise peer down at you as you enter. You feel voyeuristic but then again, they’re watching you too – it’s how it’s set up. So, I guess in this scenario the designers of the club are the real creepers. That’s on one side. On the other side are the stair climbers so a row of (mostly) nice, marching back sides greet you from the second floor on the right. Hmmm… maybe THAT’S what Arnie meant when he said joining was a foregone conclusion. Maybe he had his mind made up that any club that would put his favorite body part on such display is a place he needed to be. Those smart, smart, health club designers. Have I mentioned the employees? They’re always smiling, friendly and willing to help. One or two of them are available to take your card and check you in. They almost make you glad you came.

Off the lobby is the “spa”. You can get a hair cut and color, manicure, pedicure, massage, facial, all manner of waxings, and any other spa service you wish here. It’s very tranquil and relaxing in there, right underneath all the people quite literally working their butts off. Also off the lobby is the cafe. All sorts of healthy fare is served there and every menu item includes the nutrition information right on the board so you can make an informed choice. What would be more helpful is an approximation of how long it would take to throw up your healthful dish once you make your way upstairs and hop on the treadmill. I find it funny that both of these things are options for you to choose before you even step foot on the equipment floor. I could spend all day there and never once exercise anything but my fingers as they get polished or my elbow as I eat lunch. I guess that’s what the peep show to the second floor is all about- reminding you that you have a date with sweat and exercise.

On your way to the locker room you pass by the sales offices (give a shout out to your salesman- “HEY, Ritch-IE!!!”) and the “gym” part of the health club. There you can play basketball and racquetball, and hone your rock climbing skills. Yeah, that last one is only going to be used by the kids in our family. It’s an impressive area with many walls of varying degrees of difficulty. But I, for one, won’t be strapping that “guaranteed wedgie” harness around my waist and hoisting myself from hold to hold until I’m so high I’m gripping the wall like it’s my mommy and I’m trying to hide from a stranger. No, I’ll leave that to my children. They’ve already done it and probably had more fun coming down from the heights they reached with the automatic belay than actually climbing. Honestly, I don’t think Mary’s a fan of the wedgie maker either.

They are, however, BIG fans of the indoor pool. It’s a zero entry pool and at the 0 foot mark there are little fountains of water that Drew likes to sit on. I wonder why. There’s also a giant mushroom in the middle of the pool that drops water in a big sheet all around it. I love that. The kids constantly want me to ride them piggy back style through the waterfall. They squeal when I stop directly under the water and then fall off my back. That gives me an opportunity to walk back out through the wall of water and I like to imagine that I’m Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon, running my hands through my wet hair. Thank God no cameras are allowed because I don’t want a picture of what I REALLY look like. The pool also has two water slides. They look like great fun but I’ll never get on it. I’ve seen adults come down it and you could be the skinniest 37 year old in the world but you’re still 37 and shooting out of a water filled tube ass first and screaming is an activity best reserved for the 15 and under set. I really wanted to tell that to the older man I saw the other day in a Speedo but I was too late. And too close to the slide as I watched my kids. Down he came and all I saw was hair and genitals. I’m pretty sure “Balls-in-your-face fun” is not a phrase the club will be putting in their next promotional pamphlet.

So, getting down to the actual purpose of the gym, the equipment floor is well-appointed. There are towel stations strategically placed, as well as towel depositories after you’re done with them. Wipes are conveniently located and I’ve noticed with pleasure that almost everybody wipes down their machines after they’ve sweated all over them. Nice gym etiquette people! There are tons of treadmills, bike machines, ellipticals, stair climbers, and various other machines that are too complicated for me to attempt. Even when it’s been incredibly busy we’ve been able to find an available piece of equipment. There of course are weight machines and they’re all grouped by body part it helps. I’ll be concentrating my efforts in the “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard” section. There are also two studios for group classes and another one dedicated to cycling. Oh yeah, cycling.

I decided on our second day as members that I would do an “Intro to Cycling” class. I’ve heard about “spinning” and thought it sounded interesting but had never done it before. I wanted to get an idea about what it was before I jumped in with both pedals so I thought this class would be perfect. The instructor very kindly helped the newbies get their bikes set up. I had no idea it was this involved. I figured you would hop on an exercise bike and go. Not so. There were at least four dials to adjust and a “cage” for your feet. I should have walked out right then. If I had known it was an hour-long class I would have. I pedaled, and pedaled, and pedaled for a whole damn hour. My Facebook status that day was “Cycling is just another word for ‘numb crotch'”. I’m not even joking. I thought the rock climbing wall was the wedgie’s best friend. I was mistaken.

Last but not least there are the locker rooms. They are, of course, beautiful and spacious. There are plenty of towels, lockers, and… nudity. Now I remember what I hated about college PE classes. At least here there are doors to the showers. But I have yet to find the right combo of showering, drying and dressing with as little skin showing as possible. Not that anybody is checking me out, but I’m not going to go prancing about either. I reserve that for my own personal time at home. Apparently the guys locker room is a different story. My husband said that he’s never seen so many swinging um… “appendages” in all his life. I guess the gym guys are real proud of their endowments. My question was, doesn’t building muscles elsewhere make other things look smaller? “Not in this universe.” said Arnie. He was particularly disturbed by one guy who stood next to his locker, Statue of David-like, not doing anything in particular, just standing there like a peacock letting all eyes that cared to, take him in. Arnie has since made it a habit to keep his eyes forward and down as to avoid all “two eyes to one eye” contact.

Joining the gym overall has been a good experience. It’s allowed us to see how long it takes to walk off one beer so that when we go home and have two, only one counts. Seriously, I’m glad we’re both doing something for our health. We met with a personal trainer who tested our overall fitness and were surprised at the results. He told us to come ready to focus on the negative. (Like I don’t do that every day when I step out of the shower.) But shockingly our overall fitness was in the “average” category. The group they are comparing us to obviously has a problem. The training software also estimated my fitness age as 41 years old. Being 37 I wasn’t completely disheartened by that. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t THAT bad. Our trainer said if sweat and exercise and I “go steady” again, that I could be 31 or better fitness wise. I’ll take that. My ass looked awesome at 31! I know that for a fact. I have plenty of pictures of it.