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The Power of Thought

wish flowerI was asking people their thoughts on positive thinking when my manicurist, Sandy told me a story about finding her “By the time I’m 40” wish list. One of the items on the list was not to do the nails of an elderly lady at her home in the evening anymore. She didn’t have the heart to cancel her weekly appointments, which had been long standing. “And would you believe it, the woman died right before my 40th birthday? For a while I thought I killed her,” she explained with an odd sense of accomplishment. “Talk about powerful thinking. What a stroke of luck.” “Yeah,  I don’t know if luck is the word for that kind of stroke. I’m betting she would have preferred that you simply canceled on her.”

That tale made me realize that more interesting than the power of positive thinking, is the power we give our thoughts. I should probably warn you, I can control things with my mind. Bad things. Like Continue reading

A Trip To The Zoo, Day 2

This was the first round of tests, an echo cardiogram and a heart rate monitor to wear for 24 hrs.  I was supposed to have a stress test but, I had rolled my ankle the day before while tripping over my puppy and trying not to crash into Jake on our afternoon walk/sprint.  Being that I was too frail for the stress test I did the others and rescheduled for Thursday, at this point what’s one more visit?  I am already getting hellos from the staff.

As I left the office in my workout clothes with the wires and electrodes hanging from me, I was keenly aware of the stares.  I know they weren’t thinking this is some girl who runs marathons and needs to be monitored to remain in tip-top shape, no they were thinking, “Oh, so young, so sad.“  I really wanted to announce to the office that I was 97 when I walked in and that they took me back and ’Cocooned’ me.  “Seriously, ask the nurses to peel there faces off.”

Instead, I walked out with my little 24hr card, a log for episodes or stressors. Funnily enough, my father in law called the minute I walked in the door.  He wanted to know if I could pick up and store his bed in our garage storage because my husband told him, “no problem.”  This is the room which is now an office, which had so little space, we had to give away our own extra bed to fit in the desk.  Now, I am set up to be the unwavering, nay saying bad guy.  “Can you excuse me a second, I want to write something down.“

Father in law:  “What”

“I’m wearing this heart monitor and I’m wondering if this phone call is affecting it.“

This went on throughout the day as I kept a mini diary of my moment to moment stuff.

1PM:  Have a great idea for an article.

1:45PM:  First round of carpool, pick up 3 wound-up 1st graders and listen to them argue over which seat they get and who gets to play the Nintendo DS.

2:15PM:  Puppy drags me and Jake around neighborhood despite our best efforts to drag him.

2:45PM:  Second round of carpool to pick up Ryan.

3PM:  Have a playdate for both kids, but realize Jake has a fever, so I had to bring him home.

3:15PM:  Still listening to Jake crying and telling me I’m the…oh, what did he call me?  That’s right, “the worst Mommy ever.”

3:30PM:  Confess to being the ‘worst Mommy ever,’ just to make it stop.  Then I make a list of all the other mommies he could go live with.  This is followed by a quick “You’re not the worst mommy.  You’re the best mommy.”  To which I respond, “and don’t you forget it.”  How quickly the threat of giving him away works.

4PM:  Double shot of espresso.

4:20PM:  Poop.

5PM:  Clean puppy poop and pee out of my new carpet.

5:30PM:  Try to walk dog with Ryan on her bike, crying that her chin strap, which is barely touching her neck, is too tight.  Jake on his Ripstick, a mile ahead where I can’t see him, won’t answer my incessant screaming down the street.

6:15PM:  Ask kids 37 times what they want for dinner, while listing available menu items…  To no response.

6:30PM:  My children are melting down, hitting each other and then taking turns telling on each other in indescribably high pitched whines that are making my ears revolt and my puppy try to hang himself.

7PM:  Call them in to have the turkey and cheese sandwiches I have made for them only to hear,  “Turkey I didn’t ask for Turkey.”  “Yea, we don’t want turkey.  This turkey is yuck!”

7:10PM Mark walks in the door and goes to our room to change.

7:15PM Put out peanut butter and jelly for Jake and a grilled cheese cut in the shape of a heart for Ryan.

7:30PM:  Put out just peanut butter for Jake and a waffle cut in the shape of a heart for Ryan.  “Kitchen’s closed.”

7:31PM:  Check gage to see if I’m having a heart attack.

7:32PM:  Mark reenters and starts bugging me about calling Verizon and about insurance.

7:37PM:  Manage to escape conversation to give Ryan her bath and get Jake in the shower.

7:40-8:10PM:  Play naked Barbie’s with Ryan in the bath.  Ryan is all the pretty girls and I have the choice of being the boy, the homely faux Barbie with cut hair, or the queer fluorescent green sea horse.  Thanks Ryan.

8:11PM:  Beg pruney Ryan to get out of the bath and end up threatening to take a star from her star chart, which I actually only pretend to keep.

8:15PM:  Kids are in pj’s and have managed to sneak into my room for some late night cartoon network.

8:20-8:30PM:  The time it takes to bribe, threaten, yell, and beat them into submission.

8:31PM:  Family race into bedrooms.

8:32PM:  Ryan is crying, because someone did something she either did not like or does not allow, during the family race.

8:33PM:  Do-over of the family race, adhering to Ryan’s strict guidelines and allowing her to win.

8:34PM:  Mark walks back to our room thinking the night is done, and turns on sports.  If there is no new sports he actually rewatches some game on ESPN classic that he already knows the outcome of.  WTF?

8:35PM:  Ryan begs me to read 3 stories which I shrewdly negotiate down to 2.  Once I’m halfway into 1, Jake slinks in trying to be unnoticed and slyly gets in bed with us.

8:40PM:  I finish the first story and then tell Jake to read the next one as I slink, trying to be unnoticed, out to the laundry room.  I like this trick, it gets him to read and gives me a one book reprieve.

8:50PM:  I tell Jake he must go and he then begs me to come into his room after I leave Ryan’s.  Why not?  I require no personal time.  Nope all need it an hour to plug myself in to a wall socket and I’m recharged for the morning.

9PM:  I now find myself singing 2 songs of Ryan’s choosing, doing a tickle monster, and two kiss attacks.  What can I say, she’s really cute and she does a great quivering lip.

9:10PM:  Bring Ryan a milk in a sippy cup, as requested.

9:11PM:  Give her one more big kiss, as requested.

9:12PM:  Take the toys that are scaring her out of her room.

9:13PM:  Fix her pillow.

9:14PM:  Threaten to take more imaginary stars away.

9:20PM:  Inform Ryan that this is “the absolute last time I am coming in.”  That’s right, even if you give me the eyes and the lip, I know how to put my foot down!

9:25PM:  Go into to see Jake who is passed out.

9:30PM:  Allow puppy to drag me around the block, despite my best efforts to drag him.  Watch him relentlessly bark at a black trash bag that someone has left in the swail.  I then threaten to take away stars from his imaginary star chart.

9:45PM:  Run in to tell Mark, we should have sex just to fuck with the Doctor, but he is fast asleep.  Yea well, I’ll be fast asleep soon.  Right after I do the dishes and straighten up, and check on my kids, and wash-up, and brush my teeth, and floss, and take my vitamins, and play some kind of word game on FB with people I haven’t spoken to  in 18years to remind me I have a brain.

Day 2 in the bag, stay tuned… day 3’s a doozie.

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The Traditional New York City Pedicure

So I am finally getting a long overdue pedicure. This current span has been about 2 months or 68 days, but who’s counting? I like to let the nails grow unattractively long in the true spirit of martyrdom. Then I wear sandals and constantly draw attention to how badly I need a pedicure, by saying things like “How badly do I need a pedicure?”

The trick is to go as infrequently as possible and only surrender when your nails split and a jagged edge pulls threads in your sheets, thereby making a 3 AM roll over feel like chewing on metal. Most importantly do not, under any circumstance, remove the polish. This way you have undeniable proof of your hectic schedule. It implies that your “me time” is so sparse that you don’t even have enough to simply wet a cotton ball.

Today I arrived with the red so far at the tip it looked as if I was starting a new trend in French pedicure. Sarabeth, whose real name is Choi Jae Hua, or Yi Hae-Won or something else I can’t pronounce, looks at my feet with a “Tsk.” “I know it’s been a long time,” I say with the joy of squeezing in one last sympathizer. Then she looks up at me and asks if I am aware there is a Pokemon sticker on the bottom of my foot. “Oh, my son was looking for that, if only it were so easy to find my keys.” She then asks if it’s okay to remove it. “Well if you can’t work around it.” I’m not sure if she can hear me; my chair is set on high-multifunction-10. Its “Human Hand” technology is loudly knocking me out of my seat while it heats my tush, vibrates my thighs, froths milk for my cappuccino, and sorts my mail.

I lie, well shimmy, back trying to enjoy my favorite part, the massage. I can’t seem to relax. I am so keenly aware of every left over scrub granule that is kneaded into my legs. Worse, I can sense her daydreaming of the family she has left behind and I’m sure she’s totally resenting me for not shaving, detesting America for making her touch feet, and cursing her boss for making today “$20 Tuesday.” I finally start to relax as she coincidentally realizes she has massaged long enough. She halts to do the required Korean calf knocking, which she follows with the “Ten Toe Pop” event. She’s seems let down when she can’t get a good snap out of the last two toes (not unlike that annoying handshake of the mid-nineties).

“Okay, pick you color” she says pointing to the wall. I can’t decide between “After Sex” or a hue one shade darker, “3 Bottles of Whine.” I don’t understand why all the colors are sexual innuendos. In the end I go with “Popped Cherry,” which is a medium shade of…well, you get the picture. I spend most of the polish application staring at the tranquil paintings of nude women relaxing on furniture. The woman in the painting across from me appears to be giving herself a breast exam on a plush sofa.

I decided to heighten my relaxation by purchasing a 10 minute massage. I swiftly wriggle myself into the pretzel seat after viewing a short video demonstration by Cirque De Soleil. Then she literally beats the tension out of me. “Excuse me Sarabeth, that knot you’re trying to knead out, I think that’s bone.” She ignores me as she does not recognize the sound of her own name. No matter, she manages to pummel it smooth regardless. Then she grabs my wrists, pulls my arms back and relentlessly yanks trying to crack my shoulder blades. She ends with vigorous karate chopping to the back of my neck. Sarabeth then signals someone, and an EMT rushes in with the Jaws of Life to free me from the chair. I walk away totally relaxed, one arm carelessly dangling from the socket. No worries. I’m sure it’s nothing an good orthopedist can’t fix. Why do my attempts at tension release always seem to stress me out?

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The Proof. Can You Dig It?

Evidence

I did not lie in yesterdays post. Notice the trashcan has fallen down. I was going to pick it up for the picture, but I was scared he would come out cacti a-blazin’ and outline my body with “do not cross” tape and reflectors.

FYI in this neighborhood they will cite you for not promptly bringing in your trashcan from the edge of your driveway, but apparently it’s okay if you throw it in a hole and tie it to your tree.

I’m a Movin’ On Up

I’m outta here. I’ve moved to the new SUBURBAN JUNGLE http://www.suburbanjungle.net . It’s new and improved with 33% more content, FREE. Reading it will make you softer and shinier or your money back. Thank you for checking in or for whatever link sent you to this (my old crappy site). Please take the extra step to go to the new site and when you get there don’t forget to bookmark it or follow the feed or subscribe for email notifications or whatever other ingenious technique the internet world has thought of to make me sound like more of an ass.

For all you chic parents who want to be in the know, now is the time. Soon the new site will be so big your window for being able to say, “I knew her when’” will be closed. We all know you’ll be kicking yourself then. Also, be aware that if you do not make the switch I will be talking about you at parties, playdates, and the multitude of important celebrity functions I am invited to on a regular basis.

Thanks and see you at http://suburbanjungle.net soon!

Jenny

These Are The People In My Neighborhood

Everyone says their neighbors are insane…well so are mine. Each one of them a whack-job, and G-d only knows what they have to say about me. At the very least I’m the inappropriate exhibitionist who walks her kids to carpool in her underwear every morning, pulling down her t-shirt hoping to cover the cheeks protruding from her On Gossamer thong.

As you are probably aware, I live in Florida. You know, palm trees, severe humidity, hurricanes, prehistoric insects, the whole bit. Bearing this in mind, one of my supremely crazy neighbors is cultivating a pretty intricate desert-esque cactus farm, each one jury rigged to the other with a series of ropes, boating lines, and phone wires. Like a house of cards, or some other profound metaphor, even a slight gust (which as everyone knows never happens in Florida) would disrupt this fabulous display of “anti-tropics”. Last summer he planted a single leaf and then proceeded to encircle it with 8 stakes and do not cross tape attached. My neighbors and I eagerly waited to see what this leaf would become. He watered it, patted it, talked to it, got it high, and now it is a small bush. Fascinating, I know.

Today I drove by and found that he is digging a hole to China on the actual town property beyond his sidewalk. I’m told it’s called a swale, but don’t hold me to it. For the past couple days there has been police tape between a tree and a chair tilted back ever so carefully on a 37degree angle (I used a protractor), next to a kitchen trashcan with 3 long reflectors sticking out of it. I thought it was out for bulk trash pick-up, but now it appears he has “McGuivered” some kind of pulley system and is digging a trench around it. I am not sure if he as at war with the people across the street, but I feel maybe I should warn them as I think he may start shooting his cacti out of a cannon.

The man two doors down from me is running a crack den that offers a free car detail with every rock sold. I am sure of this as he has maybe 8 kids all of different descent, clearly the product of his crack ho disciples. There is a slew of hopped up Bentleys, Benz’s, and Hummers getting detailed outside of his house on the weekends. I was going to turn him into the association for running this drug ring, but I really liked the job his detail guys were doing and decided to hire them instead.

My next door neighbor is straight out of “Arlington Road”, you know the movie where the neighbors were terrorists and set up Jeff Bridges to look like the unabomber. First of all they spend a fortune every year on a 4th of July fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous. This extravagant celebration of our countries independence is very shady, as they are British. They are also anti-Semitic. I know this because they fought with me about our property lines. Oh, and also because they had a 4ft replica of a WWII German plane with a huge Swastika on it, which they fixed in the driveway of our predominantly Jewish neighborhood for like 3 weeks. I don’t talk to them much.

Two doors to the other side I have a woman who asked my carpool and the 5 other elementary school carpools on our street not honk in the morning as it wakes her middle school children. I said that might be a problem and suggested earplugs, a sound machine, or to just deal with it like every other person not living in Century Village. Now her husband gets a sadistic joy out of driving by my house around 9pm when my kids are asleep and beeping all the way to his house, passing 3 carpool houses along the way. Today I made a lovely introduction between them and the “Arlington Road” people, I’m sure they’ll become fast friends. Now if I can just get the cactus guy to attack their house all will be right with the world… or at least my block.

Welcome to the Suburban Jungle

Yesterday 253 people visited The Suburban Jungle, which is a personal triumph for me considering my stats the day before were 3. So I thought now would be a good time to introduce you to the blog.Blog…People, People…Blog.Now that the formalities are out of the way I’ll tell you a bit about what to expect from Blog.

I am a neurotic mother of two amazing, wonderful, brilliant, perfect children which is saying a lot ‘cause I am a really tough critic.They have to sing for their supper kinda stuff… well at least ask… well at least grunt.Actually, they just sit and I make multiple meals until one is worthy of their sophisticated taste buds and doesn’t exacerbate their fear of burnt spots, crust, pizza bubbles, or food that touches other food.I live in a sheltered little suburb which I like to compare to the Truman Show.The bikers travel in perfectly dressed packs and the runners never sweat; they’re all just on a loop.

Most likely you’ll find that you and I are a lot alike.I have a husband who’s often little more than a roommate (a great roommate that pays the rent and supports my shopping habit).However, to earn such moola he commutes an hour to North Boca leaving at 5:30AM and arriving home between 7 and 8 in the evening.We get less than an hour a day to talk, most of which I spend nagging or just plain in awe of his ineptitude and suckiness.“I love you Monkey!”But seriously wait till you read some of the stuff he does.

Like you I have crazy neighbors who do lovely things like leave anonymous letters in my mailbox and ask that my child’s carpool not beep in the morning as their older children like to sleep in.Like you I have crazy friends who are teetering on divorce, having affairs, start pourin’ the Mommy juice at noon, or act like they’re still in the 7th grade. Like you I have cellulite begging me to stop wearing short shorts, laugh lines screaming for restylane, crows feet crying for botox, and spend far too much money trying to look dewy.You and I have a Cinderella complex, penis envy, and buyers remorse.G-d we have a lot of problems don’t we?Let’s just take a quick break to call our therapists.

This blog is about all of the above plus daily observations about all those mundane little things that given a little attention seem odd and humorous; like repeating a simple word when you’re high until it loses all meaning.Please, if you haven’t taken the time to read the other posts do so and leave your email on my subscribe link to get notification of new posts. Welcome to the JUNGLE!

Love,

Jenny

P.S. If you like what you read please pass a link to every person you have ever emailed in your life. Also, I am offering a sizable reward for great contacts towards my goal of getting a column or freelance work.If I already owe you money, “The check’s in the mail.”