After Fourth Disease

My daughter has contracted, yet another illness. This latest diagnosis scared the hell out of me. It turned out to be far less serious than I thought. It got me thinking. Why would a medical professional give a viral infection such a chilling name. So, I wrote a short film about it.


A man with bushy sideburns is pacing back and forth in a medical research lab. The lights are dim. He is in deep thought and does not hear the door open.

“Hey, what are you working on?”

The frustrated scientist, who won’t realize how ridiculous his facial hair looks until his children snicker at old photographs, is startled.


“I have to come up with a name for this rash kids are getting, but I am having a bit of writer’s block. I was up late disco dancing and only got a few hours of sleep on my bean bag chair.”

He pounds his hands against the earth tone colored wall. His colleague escorts him to an orange couch. They both sit down.


“Sometimes it helps if I talk to my pet rock. Have you tried that?”


“I have tried everything. I even tried to get some ideas from people on my CB radio, nothing.”

The second scientist chuckles.


“I have an idea. Let’s make sure the name of the illness has the word ‘disease’ in it.”


“But it’s just a viral infection and most of the time it isn’t that serious. You know, man, it’s like a rash, maybe a low grade fever. The word “disease” scares people, man.”


“Yeah, but they would take you seriously.  Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to psyche out these square, uptight parents. That would be totally rad.”


“Rock on! Let’s name it ‘Fifth Disease’ that way when they try to explain the diagnosis to other people they will stutter. Nobody can say the word ‘fifth’ man!”

The men take off their white jackets revealing tie-dye shirts and bell bottom jeans. They light up and laugh imagining the anxiety attacks they will cause for years to come.



Look up……

I laughed when I read this article :

Here is an excerpt:

I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry


Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?

blah, blah, blah….

Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?

blah, blah, blah….

If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?



Her post is offensive, but I am not angry.  I have met the person she will become.  She is a lonely woman with a lot of regrets.  She sometimes lingers at the grocery store to avoiding going home alone at night.  She dreads the holidays.   She accomplished her career goals, but doesn’t feel successful.  In fact, she encourages young women not to make the same mistake.   Success isn’t defined by your title.  I worked for a decade in the TV news industry before deciding to stay home with my children.  It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made.  Was I a quitter? Quite the contrary.  I got a promotion.  I am home when my children wake up in the morning.  I put them to bed at night.  My work assignments can be taxing.  Have you ever tried to put pants on a toddler who has declared, “Princesses don’t wear underwear?”  Have you ever sat at a kitchen table for an hour trying to help a 6-year-old understand his math lesson while he complains in a Gilbert Gottfried-esque voice?

Sure, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry is not difficult. It sucks, but it’s not hard.  The hard part of my job is being a parent.  It’s not easy to put someone else before yourself.  We aren’t programmed that way.   It’s not easy to be strong when your child is sick or struggling.  It’s not easy to stay calm when they are whining or crying.

I actually applaud women who climb the corporate ladder if  that is what makes them happy.  However, I would argue it’s pretty common for women to do so. This isn’t the 1800’s.   I feel sorry for women who put a career before finding love and/or having a family.   The truth is nobody will care about your promotion in ten years. In fact, the name plate on your office door will probably belong to someone else. My children will remember that I was there for school concerts, field trips, birthdays, sporting events, etc.  My job is important and when I retire I will have an abundance of beautiful memories.   Amy will (the way things are going) only have a few bucks in her 401k.   I would offer to trade places with her for a day, but I don’t think she could handle it.  She thinks taking care of herself is difficult.  Being alone is easy.  That is the path of least resistance.






I did something this weekend I rarely do. I watched a movie that was not rated “G.” There wasn’t an animated princess, minion, fish, etc. I saw the movie “Her” at night in an actual theater. I didn’t even smuggle popcorn or candy inside, opting instead to waste my son’s college fund at the concession stand. When the popcorn was gone I suggested my husband refill the container so we could bring some home to the kids. “What the hell is wrong with you?” he asked. We laughed. Then, I picked a few kernels out of my dentures and hiked up my nude knee high pantyhose.

I will be honest, when the previews first came out, I thought, “You have got to be  kidding me.” A guy falls in love with Siri? What are these film companies thinking? Next thing you know they will have a guy from a Jennifer Lopez video play a superhero.

So, what made me want to see it? I can tell you it wasn’t Joaquin Phoenix’s mustache. There is something wrong with a man under 40 who grows a mustache. I fully expect that guy to drive a van with blacked out windows and end up on 60 minutes.

I was intrigued after reading all the positive reviews. It is a beautifully written script. Well, minus Joaquin’s awkward phone sex scene with his phone. File that under Things I don’t want to ever watch again in a room full of strangers. The costumes were also a bit odd. Apparently, in the future men wear pants that rest on their sternum. It must take 10 minutes to close this zipper.


I would recommend seeing “Her.” I would also recommend refilling your popcorn bucket. That s**t is expensive. You might as well get your money’s worth.

Under the weather

I have been battling a head cold for three days. I don’t usually get sick. Then again, my 6-year-old son doesn’t usually sneeze on my face. He was mid-sentence, blew snot on my cheek and finished his thought, “and that’s why I think Batman would totally beat Superman in a fight.” Really? Really? You couldn’t pause to grab a tissue. That deep thought couldn’t wait 10 seconds?

A few days later I had the virus that took all three kids out last week. The only difference is nobody is taking care of me. I don’t get a day off. My daughter won’t even ride her tricycle to the store to buy Dayquil. She can be so incredibly selfish. You can’t play the ‘I am only 3′ card forever. My son offered to make me something to eat, but I didn’t want my house to burn to the ground. I can barely sleep in my own house, I wouldn’t catch a wink in a shelter. So, I have been doing everything and laying a guilt trip on my family. “I can barely hold my head up, but sure I will make you a grilled cheese sandwich.” I still had enough strength to laugh at this Louis CK bit. I swear (if he looked like Ryan Gosling) he is my soul mate.


Fashion police

I don’t want my daughter to dress like a whore. Unfortunately, fashion designers have another plan for her and millions of other children. My daughter will be 4 in October, but is already outgrowing a size 5T. She is tall for her age. I’m not exactly short. The little kid section has racks of pretty dresses, tops and bottoms with matching accessories. In many stores the big kid department has shirts covered in lace, metal studs and glitter. Call me old fashioned, but I want my daughter to look like a lady and not like Elizabeth Berkeley in Showgirls.

It is not going to be easy to find school clothes. Here are a few examples of what I have to choose from.


Daisy Duke wore longer shorts.


I am pretty sure I’ve seen Fergie wear similar pants. She sings about her humps and lady love bumps. Enough said.


Does your child wear this to the classroom Christmas party or to the
local bar? Decisions, decisions.

I hate to sound like a prude, but department stores need to tone it down. What is wrong with little girls looking like little girls?

Hairy situation

It is one of the great mysteries in life. How is it you can shave your legs regularly, but miss the same spot over and over again? You never notice it in the shower. The patch of hair can only be seen when you are in a public place. For me, that was at the dentist’s office. I made an appointment because of a toothache. It turns out a piece of a filling cracked. The dentist says I “might as well have a root canal.” Might as well? You might as well eat French fries. You might as well have another cocktail. You don’t might as well have needles stick needles in my gum line and use a drill to kill a tooth.

Growing up I went to a dentist (may he rest in peace) whose office was in a village with one stop light. He wasn’t exactly up to date on the latest technology. He didn’t use string and a pick up truck to pull teeth, but it was almost that bad. Fast forward a decade and I have more metal in my mouth than Lil’ Wayne. I use my “grill” to scare the hell out of my kids. “Do you want your teeth to look like this?” They are frozen with fear. “Then you better brush your teeth!”

I was sitting in the chair waiting to have an x-ray when I noticed a patch of hair that was long enough to braid. I quickly crossed my legs to hide the hack job.


The dentist didn’t even look at my legs. I guess the “Mom sandals” I was wearing didn’t catch his attention. Until recently, I didn’t know there was such a thing as “Mom sandals” either. A friend’s teenage daughter informed me that my fully cushioned flip flops are not cool. Go figure? Upon entering the room the dentist asked, “So what seems to be the problem?” My mouth wanted to make a smart ass comment like “My vagina has been itching.” My brain, realizing that is funny, but highly inappropriate edited my response. “My, um, tooth, is, um hurted.” What the….? Hurted? Now, my chart has a footnote Patient has a difficult time speaking and shaving her legs properly.


I recently read an article about Ty Beanie Babies being worth far less than experts predicted. Do you remember how people flocked to stores to buy the latest release? True collectors protected their Beanie Babies in curio cabinets. Amateurs cut off the tag.

Fast forward a decade later and you have a worthless box of teddy bears. Fools. (Evil cackle) I had a better plan to get rich. I collected New Kids on the Block Memorabilia. Who the hell could have predicted that comeback? There was no way of knowing women, on the verge of “the change,” would buy albums and concert tickets in 2013.
So, according to the Ebay Gods, my vintage lunchbox is not even worth 20 bucks.


A few months ago I decided to clean out my collection. It has been stored in my Mom’s attic for well over a decade. I donated a t-shirt to Goodwill. So, if you see someone walking around town sporting a Hangin’ Tough t-shirt, you’re welcome. I gave my 3-year-old daughter the Joey Joe doll. That slut Barbie has already gotten her claws into him. I think she just wants his gold ring. I washed the beach towel and placed it in our linen closest. A few days ago, I decided it was time to put NKOTB to work. So, after a fun filled afternoon on the Slip n’ Slide (not to be confused with the Slip and Slide) I wrapped my 6-year-old in that invaluable towel. My son asked, “Who are those guys?” I told him, “New Kids on the Block.” He gave a blank stare. “They were a popular boy band when I was younger,” I explained.


My son was not impressed. He kept the towel on long enough for me to snap this photo before demanding a new one. I will never understand kids these days. Who wouldn’t want Jordan’s face on a beach towel? He has the right stuff. (Thank you, I will be here all night. Tip your waitresses.)

Music Torture

I was in the kitchen this morning when I heard what sounded like techno music blaring upstairs. Were my kids hosting a rave? I crept upstairs to bust the party. I did not find glow sticks or over sized pacifiers. Instead, I discovered a digital drum set in front of my 13-year-old’s bedroom door. I bought this electronic drum at Goodwill before Christmas. It only cost $5. Sometimes Santa is on a budget. It sells for $50 on Amazon. Score! I am trying to encourage my 6-year-old’s love of music. I had no idea it would be used in psychological operations. My recently graduated kindergartener channeled Moby, cranked the volume and placed the digital drum in front of his brother’s door. Why? Well, because my older son refused to let his little brother inside. So, my 6-year-old opted for musical torture. It took less than five minutes to break my teenager. He had no choice, but to admit defeat. Can you blame him: