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.



F**k you, Caillou

Ten things I would rather do than watch Caillou.

10. Get a Brazilian wax

9.   Give a Brazilian wax

8.  Wake up in 1970 with a debit card and no cash

7.   Wake up next to Carrot Top

6.    Be a Kardashian 

5.    Be Kid Rock’s Loofah

4.   Try on swimsuits with model Giselle Bund- whatever the hell her name

3.   Eat out of the nacho fountain at Old Country Buffet

2.   Walk around Orlando, Florida in August wearing a long sleeve pantsuit made out of bacon 

1.    Call my bank using a rotary telephone


Instructions not included

The Oscars are a week away and I have seen four of the movies nominated, two of which were animated films.  That is a record for me.   I think the movie “Instructions Not Included” deserved a nomination.  It didn’t resonate with critics, but the common folk gave better reviews.  The Spanish-language film grossed over $40 million.  I saw it in the theater with a good friend of mine, but watched it again on TV over the weekend with my husband.  We tried to start the movie when the kids were still awake.  It was a bad idea.  My 6-year-old is learning to read and is very excited about it.   Do you remember the scene in Rain Man when Dustin Hoffman’s character reads every sign he sees a loud?  My son reads everything, too.  E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.    This is what it was like trying to watch a subtitled movie with him.



It’s a new day which means another celebrity is going to post a picture of themselves on Twitter.   I’ve never had the urge to go in the bathroom to snap a selfie.   You’re welcome.  My favorite pics are when people are obviously posing, but pretend to be caught off guard.  Oh, I didn’t see you standing there with a camera. I was just risking my life, hanging on to this plant near a cliff in Mexico while standing in my underwear.
(I call that Tuesday)

Actress Lea Michele posted this pic on New Year’s Day. There is no denying she is talented and gorgeous.   The girl also has a massive wedgie.  I choose comfort over sex appeal.  I would rather have my underwear sit above my belt loops.  Besides, a wedgie + cottage cheese = train wreck.   I am sure many people who look at this photograph see her tight a** and the stunning backdrop.   I see danger.  Honey, you are too close to the edge. You are going to fall!  (Besides, is that a foot in the bottom right hand corner with one too many toes?) I suppose since becoming a mother everything makes me nervous.  Yesterday my 4-year-old daughter was demonstrating how she can balance on  the bottom rung of a chair.   She was so proud of herself. “Mommy, look, look, look.”  I saw a vision of the chair flipping over, her face smashing against the wood and tears, lots of tears, “You are going to get hurt!”    Her smile faded away.  Sure, she could fall, but she didn’t. Why didn’t I praise her first?  I reacted in a similar way when my older son told me a funny story about school.  “Well, I hope you were behaving,”  I said.  His words made my heart skip a beat,  “I can’t tell you anything.” I would rather be sentenced to prison and have a Kardashian as a bunk mate than know my kids can’t talk to me.  I suppose I need to lighten up and listen.  Is it possible to be a parent and really listen without passing judgement.  I have to try.   My job is to teach them the difference between right and wrong, but can they learn anything if I control everything?




My husband wants to give me a chore for Christmas. He keeps talking about how great it would be to have a Sodastream. “Just think you could make your own soda whenever you want.” Yeah, or I could just grab a can out of the refrigerator, flip a metal tab and take a swig. With three kids I don’t have time to eat a hot plate of food. Now, you want me to die of thirst, too? Someone once lectured me about drinking Diet Coke. “Do you know that it can remove rust? Imagine what it is doing to your body.” I was siked! I can drink it and clean with it? Sweet!  My husband has also said, “Think of how much money we can save!”  We could also save money by churning our own butter and making our own clothes.

I have never expressed a desire to make my own soda. Who am I kidding? We call it “pop” around these parts. Soda is pop. Lollipops are suckers. It doesn’t matter what you call it. I don’t want to make it.  I am hoping he keeps bringing up the Sodastream to throw me off his scent.  Perhaps he plans to buy me an awesome gift.   Honestly, I don’t really care if I get anything. I just don’t want a chore for Christmas.   (You can also return the vacuum, dishwasher, iron, broom, etc.) This whole thing reminds me of this Jim Gaffigan bit: