And How Dirty Are You?

Last Friday, I let Roan skip school to go to a casting call my friends over at Planet Awesome Kid hooked up for a Benetton Ad photo shoot.  Roan’s friend Sachin went with us, and I just have to admit one thing.  The weather was much too nice to let them go back to school, even though there was plenty of time.  After such a mean winter, this day with its sun and its flowers blooming and its two boys of summer practically exploding with electricity was too too much to deny.

Breaking the Law

After a quick session with the Benetton folks, we went to Chelsea Market and got a few snacks, then headed over to a park near Chelsea Piers.  Sachin and Roan couldn’t have more excited.  There’s something extra magical that makes everything extra fun when you know you’re getting away with something, no?  Missing school to be at a park = heaven for a six-year-old.  Anson was working just a few blocks away so he snuck off for lunch and joined us at the park which totally made Roan’s day.

We headed back home in time to go teach our kickboxing class (per our verbal contract, Roan is not a student, but an assistant).  We walked Sachin home, and Boone (who also happens to be an assistant in the class) managed to convince us to go to Target and then host a sleepover.  That kid is like a ninja with getting me to say yes to things.  Because I would really never go to Target voluntarily.  He’s dangerous with persuasion.

The following day was a the Planet Awesome Kid event at Milk Studios.  This is where I had my run-in with Brooke Shields that I couldn’t help but write about.  I know, I’m pathetic.  But you know what redeems me?  The fact that I didn’t mention that Beastie Boy Mike D was there, and didn’t even hint that super duper coolness ultrahipstess Agyness Deyn was also making the rounds.  So you know, I’m cool like that, unaffected etc.

Whatever.  I’m lame I can’t help it I love to star spot and tell.  That’s my weakness.  The only one.

And the grand finale was Boone’s Birthday party at the park – with beautiful weather and good friends and three-legged races, (which Emmie figured out how to win), and my favorite thing, frisbee playing with my kidney-challenged nephew, Dallas.

Three-Legged-Race

That's Not Cheating, Right?

The weekend took one shower and three baths to finally get all the dirt off of my son’s body, but that to me is a badge of honor.  I believe the amount of dirt on a person is directionally proportionate to how much fun was had.  And makes no mistake, this was one filthy child.

[P.S. Momversation is running my City Kids vs. Suburban Kids piece.  Go see me at the big time!

P.P.S. The Stir is also linking to the piece.  Checkitout here!]

Wherein I Challenge My Fellow (Wo)Man(s) to Kiss Double and Hug Triple on Snow Days

Totally Ready. Bring it.

Oh man Oh boy Oh yeh.  They cancelled school today, anticipating a gigantic snow storm.  I know it’s uncool being stoked for my boy being out of school, but sisters and brothers of the world, I’m not at all cool and I am totally stoked. May I tell you why?

First: my friend Kara, of “My Friend I Always Write About” fame is making us waffles for breakfast.  Kara is an excellent food woman, and though I’ve not yet experienced her waffleness, I expect I will be delighted.  She’s also invited over Roan’s closest friends; she is a master of hostessing, and she has a Master’s Degree.  There will be coffee.

Second (or is it actually sixth because I listed five things of an exciting nature up above?  I dunno.  Where’s an editor when I need one?) Anyway second/sixth: I am really enjoying my boy’s company these days.  Yeh yeh yeh I always write that but my imaginary editor hasn’t made me stop repeating it yet.  Though Roan has only waxed and not waned on the farting humor and questionable objectification of women in a very Japanese Anime way, I find him totally irresistable.  Last night we were playing Wii together and he is absolutely better than me, even when I’m playing my best, though I am a capable player.  So he’s six and he’s kicking my arse on the Wii and he yells, “In your face!” right before he does a crazy flying leap through the air landing on my abdomen which turned into a hugging/motorboat combo.  And I saw fifteen-year-old Roan right then, and held him tight enough to be considered torture, intending to stop the aging process just for a minute.  I don’t think it worked and I’m not advocating suffocating your child to keep them young but man, it was a good strong hug.  And realistically in life we get a finite number of hugs and kisses – you know, there will actually be a number that you received and gave after you drop dead.  I like to add to it with him, when I can.  And tomorrow?  With school out-of-the-way, with a belly full of waffles and friends all around, I’m guessing I will be able to double or triple my hugging/kissing score.

And damn straight that’s a snow day well spent.

Muay Thai Kickboxing for Kids, Round 2

Photo Credit: Isak Tiner

After much procrastination and Roan totally getting ready to poke my eyes out because I’ve put it off for so long, I’m finally ready to start teaching Muay Thai Kickboxing for kids, again.  I love teaching these classes.  First, there is something inherently cute about a kid in boxing gloves.  Second, it is so cool to see kids feel strong and powerful, and third, there is also something profoundly hysterical about kids putting punching and kicking combinations together. Roan loves having me teach these things and I love having him be proud of me.

I’m starting with just two classes, so if you’re in the NYC area and have a kid between the ages of 5 – 10, you can register them here.  Registration is for twelve weeks, one day per week, either Thursday or Friday, from 3:30 – 4:15, beginning on February 25, 2010.  They’ll be held at Area Yoga but my advice is to not take a yoga class during that time because baby…..I like my people to get loud.  And in my experience, these kids do not hold back on their “Hiiiiiiiiii-Yaaaaaaaa’s”!

Superlatives Are Not My Style, But OK.

Roan is featured on Time Out New York Kids homepage this week.  For reals I’m not one of those moms who’s all “HEY LOOK AT HOW CUTE MY KID IS!” well I am a little bit but not to this degree but hey everybody?  Go look at how cute my kid is.

Time Out New York Kids

Parents vs. Non-Parents

Beach Sanctioned Hijinx

There’s a reason that many people with no children feel compelled to hate on the people with children.  I’m not saying they’re right but they could be well within a reasonable shot of being right.  In the interest of world peace and acting like I’m thinking in my local globe, I’ve compiled an agreement between parents and non-parents.  This agreement will be called, “How to Be an Awesome and Upstanding Human Being.” (Working title.)

Let’s start with the basics for those who do own children:

  1. Your child is special like a snowflake.  To you.  Not necessarily to those around you.  It is not cool when you speak really loudly in hopes of getting complete strangers to notice how cute junior is being.  It’s desperate.  If they notice, cool.  If not, focus on searing your child’s cuteness into your own mind to use a reference when your snowflake is being awful.  It is essential, trust me.
  2. The obvious places for kids to not go are actually places your kid should not be taken to.  For instance, movies that are not intended for them even if you really think it’s ok for them to watch.  I have no interest in telling you what your child can and cannot watch.  Just don’t make me watch it with them.  It’s so very hard to block out your child firing off questions about sex and/or violence and then listening to you having “that talk” with them because you’re a supergreat parent and want to be open with them.  Also take note: there are family friendly restaurants and there are family unfriendly snooty-pants restaurants.  C’mon.  Be a sport.  I’m rarely let out into the snooty-pants adult world, and when I am, I don’t want to feel like children surround me.  Even though your child is a snowflake. (And please – tip your server a little extra when you bring a kid in.  They’ll end up cleaning a little extra or managing a little extra or any number of extra things involving children and food.  An extra few bucks makes world peace.)
  3. I know meltdowns are stressful.  They are stressful for you, for the kid, and for everyone around you.  They are also inevitable.  They’ll happen in public.  Your job is to manage the temper tantrum, and if you cannot, your job is to get that kid to a more private space.  It’s not only a great way to show your child that the behavior is not ok, it’s also a great way to tell your fellow-man that while you love your little snowflake, you understand that they may not.  This is a good time to use that image of them being cute (see #1), and wait it out in a car, outside under a tree, or in an alleyway next to a dumpster.  Just make it as non-public as you can.
  4. Stroller etiquette is essential. Simply put, just because you have wheels and precious cargo it does not mean that everyone has to get out of your way.
  5. Turn your kids video games down in restaurants, subway cars, airplanes or any other place where sound is shared.

Now, on to those who do not own children:

  1. I love my kid.  I’m proud of my kid.  My kid is like a snowflake to me.  Please don’t sweat me if we are enjoying something together in public, and the laughter, running around or general love is flowing in a raucous way.  Stink eye is a total buzz kill.
  2. If I take my kid somewhere that the obvious demographic includes children, you’ve got to make a little space for my kid to be childish.  For instance, the old fart who kept telling Roan to be quiet during an outdoor screening of The Muppets Take Manhattan – you could use a little love in your heart.  Possibly you found the plot complicated and hard to follow, but I do believe my son laughing and whooping it up every time Animal was on-screen was right in line with the theme of the night.
  3. Meltdowns and temper tantrums are super hard-core stressful for me as a parent.  I know it’s grating to hear someone’s kid flip out.  And while I do my best to handle it, pacify it, redirect it or totally bribe my way out of it, as long as I am trying, you’ve got to give me a few minutes to try to manage it before I pull the plug on whatever we were doing and heading home.  Your mad-dogging me does nothing to help.  Trust.
  4. When there’s a stroller involved in my life, could you just make a little room?  I know it’s big; I’m the one pushing the giant thing.  But there are only so many options, and jet packs for kids have yet to be invented.

So the list is by no means exhaustive but it is a start for peace talks.  There are things I remember thinking I’d never do as a parent that I do all the time now that I am a parent.  There are things I now see parents do that drop my jaw.  I’d love to hear what I missed, on both sides.  Leave your ideas for “How to Be an Awesome and Upstanding Human Being” in the comments.

One Perfect Gift

There’s always a dilemma I struggle with during the holidays, and I’m pretty sure it’s a universal struggle.  Should I give my friends a gift this year?  I’m broke, they’re broke, we all are pretty much strapped so I know that a card would be fine, they’ll not think twice about it.  But there are those who I’d really like to give that little extra something to.  A candle?  A scarf?  Some smelly thing?  These are all things I’d enjoy receiving, but my people they are extraordinary and deserve something specialized and cool.  And I require that something to be under $15.  Totally impossible, you say?  “HA!” I say.  And then I raise my right eyebrow, lean in close, and whisper to you which makes you a little uncomfortable because let’s face it, we’re not really there in our relationship where I can go around whispering in your ear without it being a space boundary that I’ve crossed.  So, I will shout it from the rooftops (and from a respectable distance from your person).

Lori Nelson has designed my gift of choice this year.  It is a canvas tote, which everyone can use.  Need to carry groceries?  Need to carry books?  Need to carry a small animal?  Need to carry a virus? (ha ha just a test to see if you’re paying attention.)  No problem.  The designs are super cool and neither fish nor fowl (masculine nor feminine, if you’re not picking up what I’m laying down).  As far as I know, the awesome Brooklyn ‘tween girls are not included in the purchases.




Order these here, superquick.  They’re only $13.  All who receive them will love them.  If you live in Brooklyn, you can pick them up and avoid paying shipping at the Brooklyn Indie Mart (corner of Smith and Union) on Saturday the 12th, and at the Recession Art Market (Bergen btwn Smith and Court) on
Sunday the 13th.  Everyone else – use the internet.  It’s totally your friend.

How'd It Go? It Went Really, Really Well, Thanks.

Whatever.  I had no idea when I planned June 30 as the evening for my Livestrong Challenge Fundraiser in the beautiful backyard of Layla Jones that we would be in the middle of the Apocalypse with the Biblical rain and whatnot.  Still, my Brooklyn people are a magnificent species of fundraise-ees and we triumphed! Despite the umbrellas over the tables that apparently were of a decorative more than utilitarian variety, most people had some pretty soaking wet clothes and hair but here’s the thing: everyone was smiling.  The spirit of the night could not be rained out, and that made everything feel right as rain.  So to speak.

 

The Pistols + Popcorn team raised $5,000 all for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  I had some amazing prizes to give out – and as it turns out some of the distribution of some of the prizes turned out to be pretty damn cool.  Here’s a run down:

 

Tickets to the Red Carpet Premier of “Shutter Island” were awarded to Michelle Weber.  Michelle is the beauty brains and brawn behind Thursday Night Smackdown.  She plugged the hell out this event in her own writings, and donated plenty of her own money.  I’m so happy to have this lady and her super-cool husband on the carpet.  I will be buying every copy of US Weekly, IN Touch, and People that they appear in, and hope to be a regular in their eventual and inevitable reality series.

 

Appaman Clothing Set went to Beth Hulme.  Who the?  Well, that’s Anson’s sister and I did not put the fix in but you know….his family has to love me just a little more for bringing awards and riches into their realm, no?

 

Speaking of Appaman, the Segway Tour of the Hudson Valley went to Lynn and Harald, the people behind Appaman.  I cannot think of any two people I would rather spend an afternoon with, our helmets on, me occasionally breaking the rules by reaching over the handlebars and touching hands with Lynn.  What?  My life is lived in slow motion with soft focus filters and Air Supply playing in the background.  Why do you think I’m pregnant again?

 

And who better to win the Colbert Report tickets than a local church, CCfB? The beautiful thing here is that I’d guess each member of the congregation is an avid fan of the show.  This speaks to why this church is so cool that they would even be aware of the badness that is Pistols + Popcorn.  Yeh.  If any of the members are wondering….Casey assures me that she’s willing to donate her time to go to the show. She’s a giver!

 

Speaking of CCfB – another friend from there won the tickets to the All Points West show.  It’s a little suspicious because truthfully I was totally indebted to her anyway because she created the flyers for this event in no time and for no money, with a song in her
heart and birds chirping in her ears.
  But again, read my lips, I did not fix any of these contests.  Yay Sarah!!  (By the way do yourself a favor and check out her site – she’s a gifted graphic designer and unfairly talented in the creativity department.  You’re welcome everyone.)

 

Finally – the hand painted portrait by Lori Nelson.  Let me preface this with part of a comment left not too long ago by my old High School friend, LeLaLu (or Lauren, as we call her) directed towards my sister:

 

BTW, your art is truly, hauntingly beautiful. Some day when I have $ to burn, I’ll commission you to paint my sweet firstborn boy.

 

Lauren’s sweet firstborn boy is named Acanaan.  I cannot tell their story because I don’t own those words.  I can say that the words would tell the story of a young mother who loves her son the way we mothers love our boys.  The words would then describe the profound loss she experienced when she lost Acanaan, at age twelve, to Leukemia.  I can’t even imagine those words, to tell that story.  But it is a hugely important story.  Still, it’s only part of her ongoing story which continues with her two other sons and loving man. 

 

I read Lauren’s comment and had to put a donation in her name, for the portrait, hoping that somehow things would align.  They did, and when Roan pulled her name out of the soaking wet paper bag, I was glad for the rain so I could turn my face away and back to my friends with tears and no questions.  Lori was equally happy. 

 

There were more winners –

 

Painted Pot Birthday Party went to Jackson

Painted Pot Pottery Classes went to Antoinette, as did the Big Movies for Little Kids Season Passes (though she feels guilty for winning twice)

Boone who I will be taking with me to Vegas next time I’m feeling like gambling won:

“Kitchen Play Dates” by Lauren Bank Deen

A Haircut by Lola Newsom at Hello Beautiful

One Year Unlimited Pass at Area Yoga

Lauren won a $75 Gift Certificate from Catbird

Abigail won a sassy Leather Bag from Exit 9

$50 Gift Certificate from Exit 9 went to Sachin (who shared it with Roan.  Sachin = awesome)


Roan’s cast signing project was a huge success – he was overwhelmed with signers, and I’m posting the picture which came from furthest away, from Ingrid, via her proxy, my neice Emmie.  Thanks Ingrid.

 

                             
                                        

I just wish I had better words than “Thank You” to all the people who donated their money and all the people who donated prizes.  But that’s what I have, and so that’s what you all get.  Thank you, from my whole heart, for giving me the ways and means to feel like we CAN do something to fight this violent disease.  It means the whole world to me.  Thank you. 

Super Glam Prize – Segway of the Hudson Valley

 
This past weekend contained too much drama and intensity for me to get my narrative on (but in order to not be overly dramatic myself, I must say that everything is ok and of course you’re going to hear all about it), so luckily I have a friend who is interested in raising money for the Livestrong Challenge who has not only donated a tremendously generous prize, but has also described it well beyond what I could ever do.  Checkitout, from Segway of the Hudson Valley:


You’ve been reading her blog for years. You voted her into the winner’s circle of the Bloggies and you know more about her than you know about your grandma. You’ve heard all about the Segway Personal Transporter but don’t understand it as it defies what your Physics teacher taught you. You giggle at these things, but secretly really (really really) want to take one out for a spin.  You also have some strong animosity towards Cancer and want to help fight it.

Super Glam Prize – Portrait by Lori Nelson

[Special plea from me: The voting works again, so if you feel like I shouldn’t be getting clobbered in the Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks for Best Brooklyn Blog, click here, vote for me, and then come back to see what cool things are in store for you here, today.  Thanks!]


Super Glam Prize!

Beginning today, right now, yes this minute for every $5.00 you donate to my Livestrong Challenge Page (to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation), a virtual raffle ticket will be generated for you.  The winner will be drawn at our fundraising event to be held at Layla Jones Pizza on June 30th, beginning at 5:00 pm.  You do not need to be present to win, but you do need to be present to eat their pizza, which I DO recommend above all others.  Indeed.

 
What are you entering to win?  A hand painted portrait of your child by New York artist phenom Lori Nelson.  I would tell you how awesome she is and how magical her work is, but why don’t you just take an eyeful right here, right now, and then help me fight cancer and hopefully get a piece of artwork you will love forever and ever, by clicking here and donating any amount.  Every increment of $5.00 gets you one ticket.  (Secret pointer to help you win: I’d get a few.)  Just an FYI: you do not need to live in NY to win this prize.  Lori can work off a picture, and knows how to ship things.  She’s not just talented, she’s smart as well.

  

Also one more announcement:  If you live anywhere within the Tri-State area, you’ve already heard Roan screaming this from the rooftops.  Or if you’ve passed him on the street, he’s probably at least whispered it to you.  He has asked me if I’ve told the people that read about him (yes, he knows you exist, and lets me know what things are ok to talk about.  He’s like Tony Danza – He’s the Boss.)  I told him no I haven’t written about it yet, and he looked at me like I wasn’t speaking English.  So, I’ll let his workbook exercise from last night fill you in.  Get your decoder rings on…

  My name is: roan
I am 5 3/4 years old.
I was born on Dec 19.
I have schrat hair.
I have tow eyes.
My mother’s name is Jodi.
My father’s name is anson.
My favorite food is PIZZa.
My favorite color is all
.

  My favorite book is CHaPR Books.
My favorite movie is all on my TV. 
My favorite thins to do are SWIng VIDYO Gaem

   My brothers and sisters are In Moms Tomy.

(You see where we went with that?  It’s true.  Except it isn’t “brothers and sisters”, it is one or the other.  We all agree that we’ll be cool with either.  Roan is seriously excited about this, and already has taken to letting me know when he thinks my belly is getting fat, which is always nice to hear.)

New Super Glam Prize – Win All Points West Tickets

 
And so the big announcement – beginning today, every $5.00 you donate to the Pistols + Popcorn Livestrong Challenge page will generate a virtual raffle tickets to All Points West.  To find out why I’m participating in the Livestrong Challenge click here.  To find out what other prizes will be on the block click here.  This prize is the one that tempted me to forego all my good intentions, keep the booty and then just dodge the philanthropist that donated them to the cause.   But no can’t do it but YES I thought about it and there I said it.  I’ve gone back and forth on should I divide this prize up so there are more winners or should someone just hit the jackpot Super Glam Style?  I’m all all about Super Glam Style obviously, so I’m keeping this prize as one giant win for whomever is the lucky devil that is chosen.  And also – can I tell you something?  I’m not Dooce or The Pioneer Woman or The Fat Cyclist over here.  I’ve got an awesome readership (some including me (but not including my mother) would say a larger readership than I deserve) but your chances of winning a prize in this thing are very very very good.  I don’t know the odds but they’re better than most raffles because I have a lot of (Super Glam Style) prizes, but let’s face it, I have a limited amount of readers who may donate.  So – you want this?  Come and get it citizen!

 

What’s the Prize??

All Points West features “More than 65 artists appearing on the three stages throughout the 80-acre historic location that has panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline.”  Pistols + Popcorn has two tickets for each day for one lucky so and so, plus their “plus one”.  
Also the tempter philanthropist mastermind behind this prize decided to throw in transportation costs as well – so you also get two roundtrip tickets on the ferry to get there and back, for each day.
  Wanna know what it’s worth?  Are you like that?  Are you that person that looks their gifts up on the Internet to find out their value? I’ll save you the work.  This prize has a value of $624.  Add the satisfaction of fighting cancer while enjoying the show, and it’s worth a million dollars (USD), at least.

 

Click here to see the entire line-up, but for a taste of the headliners, it goes a little something like this:

    

 Friday, July 31, 2009:
Beastie BoysYeah Yeah YeahsVampire Weekend
 

 Saturday August 1, 2009:                                     
ToolMy Bloody ValentineGogol Bordello
 

 Sunday August 2, 2009:                                       
ColdplayEcho & The BunnymenMGMT
 

 

I have an awesome pool of prizes to get through before June 30th, when the drawing will take place at our fundraising party at Layla Jones Pizza.  You have at least until Wednesday June 10 to enter the drawing for the All Points West tickets.  All raffles will re-open for a few hours at the party on the 30th.  But if you don’t want to miss this chance – I’d suggest doing it today.  Or tomorrow.  Most def by Wednesday, m’kaaaay?

But Wait There’s More!
One more cool add to the collection of prizes – Neighborhood legends Big Movies for Little Kids have joined in the fight!  They will be donating Two Season Passes for Fall 2009 (a more than a  $100 value).  Read about what they do here, and join us on June 30th for your chance to score your passes. Also – do yourself a favor and get to their shows – they select the coolest films for kids (and their owners) to see.  It’s a favorite haunt for Roan and me.