Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm An Idiot, But I Went to The Movies

Yesterday I hired a babysitter. Actually it was an an Artist Sitter™ from Sitters Studio. The reason that I hired a babysitter is that I had it in my calendar that was going to a yoga workshop with my friend from elementary school, Nick Atlas.

I rushed out the door and left the kids with Laura. I texted Nick that I was on my way. He replied:
"Uh, you know that the workshop is tomorrow right?"
I paused for a second, looked at the empty N train track and realized that I had totally fucked up.

What was I going to do? Laura was already watching the kids, and it was too late to cancel. So I called around to a few of my friends to see if they could hang out.

Everyone I called was either with their kids or asleep. My single friends' phones went to voicemail.

I was freezing, and I didn't want to go home, so I went to Target and bought a sweater.

What the hell am I going to do with myself for four hours? I thought

I called my best friend Mint.
"I want to go to the movies," I sort of whined "But nobody can hang out. I don't really want to go by myself."
"Oh I love going to the movies by myself!" She gushed "It's the best. You should do it."

I hung up with her, because she was on her way to brunch, and I decided that I would go to the movies. So I put on my headphones, grabbed an iced coffee and a muffin and went off to the movies.

I was concerned that the people at The Pavilion Movie Theater wouldn't allow me to take my iced coffee with me. So I hid it in my purse.

P.S. I'm not pregnant.

I saw the Maggie Gyllenhaal movie "Won't Back Down." It was great to go to the movies alone. I actually loved it. There was a particularly emotional scene in the film, and I was actually glad I was there alone, because I was able to cry freely.

I had a great day by myself, to my surprise. It was a happy accident that I hired a babysitter for no reason at all!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I fell Asleep and Ari Needs a Cooking Class

I was tired. It's not an excuse, but it happened. Ari was in the living room watching The Smurfs, his new obsession. I had been transcribing and taking care of Samara all day while he was at school. I told myself Self, you're tired. Wil is not going to home until midnight. Just rest your eyes for a few minutes. 

Well a few minutes totally turned into 30 minutes.

Ari came barreling into the bedroom and woke me up saying:
"Mommy! I made a mess!"

Of course the one time in my parenting life that I fall asleep on the job this happens to me.

I walk into the living room to find that he has taken the Ajax from the bathroom and sprinkled it all over the floor like freshly fallen snow. He has also decorated a shoebox with shampoo, conditioner, Bacitracin and lotion. Also in the shoebox are all of his toy smurfs.

I was speechless. I was also groggy from my impromptu nap. It was especially upsetting, because that very day a lovely cleaning lady had deep cleaned my house.

"You're going to help me clean all of this up and you're not watching TV tomorrow."
"Okay." He said
"What were you trying to do anyway?"
"I was trying to make ingredients!" He exclaimed.

Ari diligently assisted me in cleaning up the "ingredients."

But this brings to light a potential hobby that he might have. Perhaps Ari needs to take a cooking class.
Does anybody know of any cooking classes in NYC for kids that you would recommend?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What Does Geodeo Smell Like?

I'm giving away a year supply of Geodeo, a natural deodorant. But you may be wondering what does it smell like? I'm here to answer your questions about that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Taste of Wool Part 14

"Ah, a brilliant question! Yes I am real, and I'm not; depending on how you look at it. You see, on the one hand, none of you exist in reality. The only entity that exists is myself. I am really sitting on a linoleum kitchen floor somewhere in southern New Jersey, slave to a housewife and mother of three. It was on this very floor that I began daydreaming and came up with all of you. But that got out of hand when I decided to break the news to Harry that he wasn't real. You see, I got tired of imagining day after day in this silly little school and I wanted to move on to another fantasy. Unfortunately the characters from daydreams don't let go as easily as all that. Harry argued with me day after day about how he wanted to go on existing. But I told him I was tired. I wanted to move on with my life. On the other hand, maybe I'm full of shit. Maybe you all are having a massive hallucination and are not seeing a cleaning device speak to you at all. In that case, what could be the harm in telling me to go screw myself and go on existing regardless of what I think?

There was silence.


This is part 14 of my short story, A Taste of Wool. You can read Part 13 here.  This is a bonus part. Usually I post parts on Wednesdays as a part of Wool Wednesdays, however Benjy pointed out that it's Yom Kippur tomorrow, so therefore Tuesday!

Geodeo - "I don't stink anymore" Giveaway

When you post things on the internet, sometimes people look at them! That's what happened to me. I posted a silly video about how natural deodorant has not worked for me and has (in fact) made me smell like sewage. You can watch that video here.

Fortunately, Kristi from the Geodeo natural deodorant company was watching. Kristi came to save the day! She offered to send me a year supply of Geodeo, and another year supply for a lucky reader.

Thanks Kristi! Sorry, I totally called you Kristen in the video, but you get the point. 

Check it out:

Do you know how to enter?

Now you do! Look at this cool thing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember, to enter you need to post a comment. The other entries are extras and increase the probability of winning.

**Disclosure - I received free Geo Deo! Aren't I lucky? The best part about it was I actually liked it! Also, I wanted I wasn't paid for this post. It doesn't matter though, because (once again) I really like this deodorant. Yay!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Natural Deodorant Stinks

Ever since I learned about the dangers of aluminum, I've tried to start using deodorants that do not contain it. However, the result is that I smell like garbage.

Let me break it down for y'all:

Jessica Bern's Web Series "Blog That" - An Interview

Jessica Bern is one of the funniest people on the internet.

Here's one of my favorite vlogs from her about tupperware:

This video makes me laugh every single time.

Jessica is currently producing a web series called "Blog That." She sat down with me via Skype to tell me all about her upcoming series, which chronicles a divorced woman whose husband leaves her for his mother.

To learn more about Blog That and to help support the project on kickstarter, click here 

To learn more about Jessica and her hilarity, visit her blog here.

A Taste of Wool Part 13

"What I have to reveal to you is not of a humorous nature." I said calmly. "There are several reasons why I must disclose what I am about to disclose. But enough of the previews, on to the feature presentation." I paused and then I said very slowly "You are not real."

"Who's not real?" Urie asked incredulously.
"All of you, Terrence, Harry, and you, James Urie, are not real beings. This school, Rutherford Bacon Elementary School is fabricated; it's not real. Mz. Sweeny's breasts are not real. I created everything you see before you, from the snot in Urie's nose to the hair on Terrence's head, to the crazy look in Harry's eyes right now."

At that moment, Urie and Terrence turned to face Harry.

"I invented everything you see around you."
"So nothing here is real?" Urie asked.
"That is correct." I replied.
"Harry did you know about this?" Urie asked, his voice trembling.

Harry stared wide-eyed at Urie and said nothing. If he could have spoken at that moment, he would have yelled "BLOORRG!" However, the power of speech escaped him just then.
"Yes he knew." I answered for him. "Why do you think the school officials think that he's crazy? Wouldn't you go a little bonkers if you found out that your entire reality was false?" I realized that I was being a little insensitive just then. After all, I was telling Urie that very truism; Urie's entire reality was specious.

"But if everything isn't real? are you real?" Terrence asked.


This is Part 13 of my story A Taste of Wool. I will be revealing new part of the story each Wednesday as a part of Wool Wednesdays. Click here to read part 12. And please post comments on what you think so far!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Kids Get Haircuts By Vardit on The Upper West Side

After receiving the best haircut of my curly girl life, by the lovely and talented Vardit, I was longing to get my kids the same quality of cut.

Unfortunately in Park Slope, haircuts for kids cost an arm and a leg.

I was lamenting about my haircut woes on Facebook, when my Fairy God Mother, Kyle came to the rescue, she reminded me that Vardit cuts children's hair, and a reasonable price too.

So we headed uptown to 102nd Street to visit Vardit for Samara's first haircut ever! I tried to wait as long as possible to cut her hair, but she's a curly girl too, and she needed a good trim and shaping.

The minute I walked in the door, I told Vardit how much everyone loves my haircut. She looked at me and said "That's great, but you know, with curly hair, you can't just wake up and go; it's a process."

She reminded me that if I didn't want my hair to look frizzy, I needed to wet my hair and condition it daily, and only shampoo once every three days or so. But the most important thing was to use the right product, for me she recommended Curls Rock.

I was nervous about how Samara would react to her first haircut ever. Vardit put the cape on her, and I thought, oh this might not be too bad.

But then, she ripped the cape off and became restless. She stood up in the chair.

Fortunately, since Vardit has three girls, she wasn't phased at all. She followed Samara's natural active toddler movements and managed to calm me down as well in the process.

And guess what? Samara got a haircut without the assistance of Toy Story or Yo Gabba Gabba. She didn't need to watch anything to distract her; that's how talented Vardit is.

Ari on the other hand, was trickier. At first he said that he "didn't want a haircut."
"Well, I don't want to force him," Vardit said kindly. "What do you usually do when he gets a haircut?"
I thought about it, and usually, when he's gotten haircuts in the past, I realized that he's been watching some sort of movie or TV show.
"He's usually distracted." I said "I know!" I exclaimed and with that I busted out my IPhone and quickly found my fingers to YouTube and then to an episode of The Smurfs from the 1980s.

Once Ari was watching the Smurfs he did not care what was happening around him. And Vardit gave him an awesome haircut.

Now I'm sure if you're anything like me, you're a curious person and you're dying to see the final product. you go!


And Ari:

Thank you Vardit, for giving my kids awesome haircuts, and for being so patient and loving with them!

Friday, September 14, 2012

On The Road to Financial Recovery

On Wednesday night I took a big step. After seeing my therapist, and discussing how money seems to fall through my hands like water, he suggested that I hand over my debit and credit cards to a trustworthy person. I chose one of the most trustworthy people, I know, my dad.

I if I need to spend any money at all, I'll have to go to my dad and ask him for my card.

I would have given my cards to Wil, but he's at work most of the time, so that wouldn't be a feasible plan. Wil supports this decision to hand over the plastic to Fader senior.

Whenever I need to pay for something, anything, I need to physically go to my dad and ask him for my debit card.

So far it seems to be working. Yesterday, I really wanted to go to the store (before I went to play Magic and Cori and Kodjo's place) and get a GUS soda. But I didn't have my cards, so I couldn't spend any money. And guess what? I didn't miss that soda at all.

To clarify, the plan is that I have to ask my dad for my card if I want to buy something. I don't need to tell him what I'm getting or justify it to him. The reason behind this plan is that there is an interim step between thinking about buying something and actually purchasing it.

I've struggled with compulsive spending for my adult life. In college, I had a pretty severe Ebay addiction, and whenever I even look at a credit card it seems to get maxed out.

The other factor here, is that children are expensive creatures. They need haircuts, clothes, food, educational and extracurricular classes, toys, college savings accounts, and more.

This is a big step for me.

I'm admitting that there's a problem.
I'm not ignoring it.

Please offer your words of support as I make my way from compulsive spender to compulsive saver :-D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Taste of Wool Part 12

"Harry, I know something is going on! I have this sick feeling in my stomach, and I want you to tell me what it is!" Urie demanded sporting his radish face.

Harry sighed. I decided that I had better handle the situation.
"Urie, if I may address you so informally," I began "I think it would be best if you went back inside your classroom and continued crying." Urie cocked his head to the right and his mouth dropped open. He looked into the dishwater colored strands of my hair.
"What the...fuck?" he bent down to touch a strand of my hair.

"Mmm, that feels nice." I said. "You can continue petting me if you wish." Urie jumped back and shuddered as if a roach had just crawled onto his hand. He stood there for a moment and said nothing.

"No, no, this can't be real. Harry, you've got some sort of tape recording device behind there or something. This is not real!" He stood very still shaking his head.
"Ironically, my friend, you are partially right about that. 'This' isn't real."
"Harry, what are you doing?! What is this?!" Urie exclaimed.
"Let me confirm your doubts, Urie." I sighed "I know that every time Mz. Sweeny speaks a word, you hear a cacophonous sound that is unbearable. I know that you secretly hate her and all that she stands for. I know that your mother gives you the same thing for your birthday every year, a maroon sweater vest and a lemon meringue pie. And finally, I know that until today, Harry and your..."
"Stop!" Urie exclaimed "There's no need to go on! I've never told anybody about my mother's pies. They're horribly disgusting." I took that to mean that he no longer doubted my vocal capabilities.

"Very well then." I responded.
"So what is it that you have to tell us, Mr. Mop?" Uried asked, and with that he began to laugh hysterically. Harry and Terrence joined in, and soon there was a festival of laughter.

I waited until the wave of laughter subsided and then I began to speak.


This is part 12 of my short story A Taste of Wool, a part of Wool Wednesdays. Each Wednesday I will be revealing a new portion of the story. To read part 11, click here.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Day That Samara Broke My Phone Part 2

After repeated calling Tristan, I finally managed to get him on the phone. I was pleased to discover that his ring back tone was "Moves like Jagger."

He answered and I explained the situation to him.

"What color is your phone?" He asked.
"Um, let me check." I said. We both laughed.
"It's black."
"Okay cool," he said "I'll order the screen for you, and when it comes in, we'll meet up, I'll fix it and you'll have your phone back in an hour. Don't worry, it's not major surgery." He reassured me. I laughed.

We arranged to meet up at the mall on Friday.


As it turns out, I lost my phone, today. I won't be meeting Tristan, I guess.

I'm about to call him to break the news...

So I called Tristan, and it went straight to voicemail.


Like a bad ex-boyfriend, my phone showed up again, cracked screen and all. As it turns out I left it at Ari's school. Wil sent me a Facebook message, because that's how we were communicating since I had a distinct lack of phone.

He said "Ari's teacher has your phone. You left it on the playground."

When I picked Ari up, I also picked up my busted phone. I decided that I would be needing Tristan's services after all.


This morning, I looked at my phone to find a missed text from a number I didn't recognize, it said:
"Hi Sarah, sorry I'm sending this so late. Are we on for 10am tomorrow?"

It took me a minute to figure out who was texting me, then I remembered Tristan. I texted him back and told him I'd see him at 10.


I met Tristan at Target. At first I couldn't find him, so I called him from my busted phone and he described the plaid shirt he was wearing. He answered and I spotted him sitting at a table with a woman. He was in the middle of a surgical procedure on another IPhone.

"Hi," I said, "Wow, that looks intense." I said staring at the parts of IPhone spread out over the table like tiny little robotic body organs. I watched as he expertly used a micro tool set to adjust various tiny screws.

"You can leave your phone with me and come back in an hour." He said. He had a warm smile, and I immediately felt reassured somehow.


I left my broken IPhone with Tristan and went into the 1800 Mattress store to browse. The store was empty, and then I spotted the one employee in there. It was like he owned a giant apartment that consisted entirely of beds. We got to talking, and it turned out that his girlfriend was expecting a baby. So we spent a little time discussing baby things, then we talked about mattresses. I asked him if he ever took a nap in the store.
"I would totally nap, if I worked here."
"Yeah, we're not allowed to sleep," he said "But sometimes we lay on the beds, our manager allows us to do that."
We talked about other things besides mattresses, life school, politics, my blog. And then I realized that an hour had passed.


I went back to meet Tristan at Target. When I arrived, the same robotic organs I'd seen before were spread across the table, except they were my phone's intestines.
"You're more than welcome to watch." He said peering deeply into the phone's central artery.
"You don't mind?" I asked
"Not at all," said picking up a micro-screw with a magnetic screwdriver.
"So how did you learn to do this?" I asked. The curiosity was brewing inside me.
"YouTube." He replied nonchalantly.
"Wow." I said floored.
I watched as he carefully and methodically put my phone back together one tiny robotic piece at a time.
While he worked we talked about life, school, accounting, and more. He was 24 years old. I asked him how old he thought I looked. He said "28." I said "Thanks, I'm actually 32, so that's a compliment! I have a young soul."


I watched as Tristan placed the last screw inside my IPhone. He handed me the finished product. It was flawless.
"Take a picture, you want to make sure that the camera works."
"Okay," I said gleefully.
So I took this picture, of Tristan.

Thank you Tristan, for fixing my busted IPhone. I'll be sure to recommend you to everyone I know in the same predicament.

I'd also like to send a special shout out to all the DIY YouTube videos that made this day possible.

The Day Samara Broke My IPhone

*The names of some individuals in this store have been changed to protect their identities.

I used to have an IPhone, until today.

Samara woke up in a cranky stupor this morning. I quickly gave her a bottle of organic whole milk, hoping that would lift her mood, but she refused it. She sat on my bed, picked up my IPhone and threw it hastily onto the floor while screaming.

I picked up my phone, thinking nothing of it, and found that the screen had shattered into tiny pieces. It looked like a spider web.

My jaw dropped. I didn't know what to do or say. So I called Wil.

"They're not gonna replace your phone you know."
"They have to!" I exclaimed. "I'm going to the Verizon store and I'm going to beg them to give me another phone."
"We'll see," said my unconvinced husband.
"I'm not leaving the store without a new phone." I said firmly.
"Let me know what happens." He said with a sigh.

I loaded the kids into the double stroller while talking to my friend Cordy on the phone about gay marriage and how we're both passionate about equal rights.

The kids and I headed to the Verizon store.

Unfortunately, the Verizon store was not yet open, so we went to Target and I spent some money I didn't really have on cute skirts.

After Target we went back to Verizon, which was just opening up. There were several people standing in line waiting for the gates to open. I was talking with one guy about the Verizon customer service phone number.

"I hate calling Verizon customer service," he said rolling his eyes. "It takes like 10 minutes to get a human on the phone, and then you have to sit there waiting for them to ask you all these useless questions."
"I know!" I agreed "I guess someone created that website getahuman dot com, or whatever, for a reason."
We laughed.
"That's why I'd just rather go to the store." He said nodding.

The pearly Verizon gates opened and I maneuvered the double stroller into the store. I marched right up to the counter and spoke with "Fred." I won't give you his real name, I'm calling him Fred to protect his anonymity.

"Hi Fred." I said with a sigh. "My daughter threw my phone on the ground and the screen shattered. Is there anything I can do?" I asked trying to look pathetic.
"Well, your next upgrade isn't until July..." he said looking at the computer "But, the good news is, you do have insurance. So your best bet is to call the insurance company and get a replacement phone." With that he handed me a business card with the insurance company's number.

"Thanks so much, but the thing is, I can't afford to pay the $169 deductible for the new phone. Is there anything you can do for me."
"I mean, there are mom and pop shops that fix the screens, but once you go that route, your warranty is no good anymore."
"Oh," I looked down, trying to conjure up the tears to fake cry, come on! Where was my theatrical training when I needed it?! Nothing was coming though.

"Look, your best bet is to go through insurance, this is a 600 dollar phone." He said looking me in the eye. "You don't know how many people come in here every day with the same problem, crying, begging for us to fix their phones."
"No no, I totally understand." I said.
"Miss! Your daughter!" Shouted another Verizon employee. I turned around and Samara was running up to the escalator and attempting to step onto the first step. I quickly ran out of the store, grabbed her, and shoved her kicking and screaming into the stroller.
"Can we go now?" Ari asked as whiny a voice as possible.
"No!" I shouted.
"Listen, is there anything you can do for me? I know this is not your problem, I totally understand, but you can see I have my hands full. Anything you can do would be so appreciated." I begged.
"Yeah," Fred said writing something down "The insurance is the way to go." He handed me a business card with something written on it.

I looked down and it said:

"Call Tristan, he may be able to help." And then it listed Tristan's digits.

"Thanks so much Fred!" I said with a wink. And with that, we left the Verizon store.
I immediately dialed up Tristan's number, it went straight to voicemail.
"Hi Tristan, my name is Sarah, and I have a cracked IPhone screen, Fred from Verizon recommended I call you, please call me back. Thanks."

To be continued.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Interview With Adam Mansbach, Author of Go the Fuck to Sleep and a Giveaway!

Today was an awesome day. I had the opportunity to interview the amazing Adam Mansbach, author of the required parental reading Go the Fuck to Sleep.

Adam talked me with me over Skype about sleeping, critics, fatherhood and more!

Check out what he has to say:

Guess what insomniacs? I'm giving away a copy of Adam's masterpiece. Want to win GTFTS?

Each counts as an entry!

1. Follow Go the Fuck to Sleep on Facebook
2. Share this giveaway on Facebook and link to Old/School New School Mom's FB page
4. Follow OS/NS mom on Google Friend Connect
5. Post a comment on why you think this book is awesome.
6. Tweet this giveaway!

Please post a comment telling any or all of those things that you did!

Winner will be announced Thursday September 27th here!

Ari's First Day of Pre K

Wil and I often talked about this day together, the first day that Ari would start school. In the past he told me:

"You're gonna cry."
I thought he was right. I was sure that the moment I left Ari in the hands of his new Pre-K teacher I would start to tear up.

But I was wrong. I didn't cry. In fact, it was quite the opposite feeling, I was happy. I was excited for him. I just knew he would love school.

Part of it was that I'd heard great things about this particular teacher and I specifically requested her. But other than that, I know my kid, and I know he's dying to meet new friends, play with toys, and learn new things about the world.

I think Wil is more emotional about this day than I am.

My only worry at this point is not about Ari, it's about me. It's about the parents. I'm way too weird and crazy for any of the parents to like me, I think. And it's hard for me to edit myself and pretend to be "normal."

Hopefully, Ari will make friends and so will I.

How was your first day of school?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Taste of Wool Part 11

Terrence was no stranger to unusual occurrences in elementary institutions. After all, he had seen Ms. Hanover's love affair with a domesticated rodent. This was enough to make anyone's skin crawl, but Terrence took it in stride. What Terrence wasn't prepared for! Now you're probably wondering who I am, or perhaps you've already figured it out, after all humans are fairly intelligent creatures with a decent amount of reasoning skills. Well, some of them are anyway, with the exception of Mz. Sweeny. But anyway, on with the story.

Harry led Terrence a few feet down the hall to where I was leaning against a doorway. With no prior warning, I began to speak.

"Hello Terrence," I began. Terrence stared wide eyed as I, Harry's loyal soapy sheepdog addressed him. "Don't look so surprised, You're used to strange happenings in elementary schools. Something comes to mind involving a cute blond with a hamster fetish." Terrence blushed as he recalled Ms. Hanover.

"You're probably wondering why I decided to talk to you, as opposed to the numerous other people I could have chosen. Well, it's actually a very simple answer. You believe that Harry isn't crazy. You didn't need proof that his mental capacities were functioning adequately, you blindly believed that they were. This is the type of faith that I admire in humans. I felt that you deserved to know the truth."

Terrence stared at me in awe. The fact was, speaking had become quite commonplace to me. I wasn't amazed at the fact that I possessed the power of speech, I was used to it, just as I was used to my own thoughts. I remembered the day I discovered that I could think. But that's an entirely different story. What probably amazed Terrence the most was that I had no mouth. I mean, there isn't much room for a true mouth within a moppish clump of hair.

I was speaking telepathically to Terrence, only he and Harry could hear me.
"There's something else you should know..." I started to say. All of a sudden, Urie burst out of his classroom.


This is Part 11 of my story A Taste of Wool. To read part 10 click here. I will be revealing a new part of the story each Wednesday at a part of Wool Wednesdays. Jenni Chiu came up with that because she's awesome.