Penny Rene: February 2008 Archives

In the last four days Hillary Clinton totally made me feel good about my continual support of Obama.

Look, as politicians go, I think Hilary is OK. I know she means well and I gotta give her credit for persistency.  She is an intelligent person with great plans and I do hope she sees them through. And the truth is, I feel bad about her current situation. Clearly, it should have been she who was our president, not Bill. But the fact is, Bill was. Was he ever! Try as I might, I cannot forget the embarrassment I felt as an American overseas when his shit hit the fan. It felt like I was literally walking around with that shit on my face and I had to endure the stares and commentary of people in 3 countries. I had no defense. This, along with he and Hillary's ability to attract suspicion and stir up other legal scandal is something I cannot forget.

And then, after all the work she put into this campaign for nomination, she wraps it up with angry, unfounded bitching about Obama and his supporters. Seriously? She may not like his slogan, his positive attitude, his ability to make us believe in our country again, but can't she at least admit that it's working? 

Obama has united people who would not have otherwise looked in the same direction for fear of being called pussies by schoolyard bullies. He has brought out people to vote and participate in the democratic process who a year ago were thinking of moving to Canada. He has helped educate those who before would not have bothered to watch the debates. For all her experience and all her plans, Hillary cannot do this. And unfortunately for her, right now, this is what this country wants.

Even Hillary supporters can not say they are surprised by her recent outbursts. On the platform she looks like an angry kid who is starting to realize he will not get the ice cream he's been asking for. I cannot help but think that she is decreasing her chances of "getting things done" in Washington as a Senator or otherwise because she cannot hold her anger long enough to make people want to work with her. Do you want to sit on a committee with her when your ideas are different than hers? I don't. She gives the impression she won't listen, that she is as narrow minded as she complains the current administration to be. 

I think I might be disappointed in Senator Clinton. I wanted her to be stronger, better, to rise above. I wanted to believe what she said at the end of the last debate on CNN. But instead she sends the message that she thinks me to be irrational, unfocused and downright unrealistic to believe that a person with great plans, a strong history of community service who is a family man in all the right ways can make a good national leader. Frankly, Hillary looks like just another skeptic in the face of progress and greatness. All I hear from her is, "You guys are crazy! You can't do this." 

How can I respond with anything thing less than "Yes, WE CAN" ? 

If you've ever lost a camera, you'll know what a great site this is. Pass it on.

The Odds

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When I am old and look back on my life I may not be able to say that I did everything that I wanted to do. But I want to be able to say that I tried. 

What I learned over my many years of mistakes and surprising achievements is that the best I can hope for is to know when to accept defeat and when to keep pushing toward my goal. 

This past December, I began to accept the possibility that I would not be having another child; that August would be the only. We had been trying for almost a year, and with two miscarriages behind me, I really felt the universe or God or whoever is in charge of passing out babies had decided I was too old. Or too neurotic or too tired.

I tried. No one can say I didn't try.

And while I was thinking all these thoughts about infertility and my "damn uterus" and how lucky I am to have my one kid, the universe smiled at me as a little baby snuggled itself inside that very same uterus. And that is where he/she is still, twelve weeks later. 

Lily White Dreams

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We're thinking about leaving.

Okay, so it's just for a three or four day weekend, but WOW it felt nice to say that.

If you could see out my window right now you'd tell us to leave. If you could see my face, you'd pay for my vacation. You'd pat me on the shoulder and say, "Look girl, go get some sun. Relax for once in your damn life." Because, I'm telling you, nobody likes me when I'm this pale.

When I was a little girl, I had a bad dream one night. My mom came into my room to comfort me and she told me that whenever I can't get to sleep that I should think of something that I like and imagine I am doing that. She suggested I think about my birthday and imagine that I am having a party. Since then, I have become an expert daydreamer - at night. And it helps me get to sleep. 

For the last, oh maybe four months, I have been imagining myself on a warm beach with Augs and MJ. The sun is  healing me like the fountain of youth and not a centimeter on my body is remotely chilly. I look fabulous. August is potty trained and MJ has been surfing every morning. In this dream we have no plans to return to NJ or cold weather again. A butler is bringing us lunch, and I do not feel even slightly self conscious about this.  This daydream works better than NyQuil. 

So you can imagine my fear and dread since MJ suggested we get away for a few days. I am now bound up in my goal to make it happen. This cannot be a tease. With drool on my chin my pale, sunken eyes are searching the friendly skies for the cheapest tickets to Florida available. And my slack, lily white ass is preparing itself to renew it's tan lines.

We have a new babysitter. She's 15 years old and she has been over the last two Tuesdays to play with August for 3 hours while I answer emails or read the final Harry Potter book. I met her at a Christmas party where she was attending with her parents. Her family are friends of friends and because she seemed to like my daughter so much everyone kept suggesting I have her babysit. They seemed to think she was a godsend. 
I waited a month and a half to call her because I think she's a nice girl who has the potential to become one of the people I am referring to when I use the term "burden on society".

  • She hates school. Fine, lots of kids hate school. I did.
  • She wants to drop out because she already knows what she wants to be - a cosmetologist.  Because there is such a shortage of those...
  • She's a cheerleader. Normally this is not a drawback. But added with the rest of the list, it boggles my mind.
  • She may have flunked a class. Again, I did this too. But she thinks it's funny.
  • She wore flip flops with socks to my house yesterday when it was snowing outside. When I asked her if she was cold she said No. If I slap her, do you think she'll say it didn't hurt?
  • Her cell phone voice mail greeting is "Hi this is C. I'm probably home right now just avoiding someone I don't like. Leave a message and I'll call you back. If I don't call you back, take a hint, it's probably you." I almost hung up right then.
  • She can't spell. Yesterday she wrote on August's chalk board "Your a nut."  Come on! We let these people graduate?
I have been so careful up to this point about who I let in my daughter's life, who I allow to influence her. We hardly ever smoke crack in front of her and it's been at least a year since we sold the strip club.  But seriously. While this girl is okay and seems to like August, the first time my daughter shows any signs of wanting to wear socks with sandals I am so firing that bitch.

marriahebed.jpgLast month Mike and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary by going to the NYC Ballet to see Romeo & Juliet and staying an evening at the Hudson Hotel like we did last year. 

At the risk of sounding completely gluttonous, I must say that the absolute best thing about staying at any hotel that doesn't back up to an interstate is the food. Specifically ROOM SERVICE. There is something about paying a devastating amount of money to have someone else prepare my breakfast, wrap it in crisp white linens and deliver it onto my bed where I am nestled in my pajamas. And the TV is on. And there are no cartoons. And the coffee is hot. Oh yeah, and my husband is there.

Even though I was battling an evil head-cold, we had a great time. And not just because of the food, though these pictures show little evidence that I cared of anything else. "Feed a cold", right?

If you ever need me to give you a kidney, just bring me breakfast in bed.


I hear that women are natural multitaskers. Natural if you consider that we have no choice.

At this moment, I am uploading photos to my Flickr account, checking the primary election results, listening to the new babysitter play with August downstairs, answering emails and writing this blog. In a moment, I'm going to start reading the final Harry Potter book with my left eye because, hell, it's just sitting there doing nothing.

This might be the only time I can bring this up, but I won an award for Outstanding Office Aid in my middle school when I was in the 8th grade. When I accepted that award I specifically remember thinking two things, "Wow, they like me because I can do several things at once." And "Wait, does that mean that other people can't do that?" I admit, I was a wee bit proud of myself.

The unfortunate twist of my "special gift" if you will, is that it does not work unless I have had an adequate amount of sleep. Looking back, I'm all like Of course I won that award in 8th grade! I wasn't a mother then.

Did you know that the US is one of only 4 countries that have no policy regarding paid maternity leave? The other countries who treat their mothers the way we do is Swaziland, Liberia and Papa New Guinea. Did you know that the French government provides in home help for new mothers? For free.

I have a friend down the street who was a single mom at 18 years old. She worked three jobs and supported her son. He is 15 now - great kid. She's married, has another son who is three and is pregnant with twins. Her husband works seven days a week to support them. And when I see her, all I do is wonder how the hell she's going to survive having all these kids to care for with no help. Holy hell. I mean, she'll do it. She's amazing. But when will she sleep??

Ya know, you're not supposed to drive a car if you're tired. But you can be responsible for a helpless baby who needs non-stop attention. That's how we roll here in the US. We give moms all kinds of advice and then send them out to the war zone with no freaking help. Good Luck! Some people actually laugh when we tell new moms how little sleep they'll be getting. Sadistic little shits, they are. 

As these election results come in, I can't help but wonder what these candidates would have said to a debate question like this. "What plans do you have to provide assistance to new mothers so that our current maternity policies will no longer be that of a third world country?"

We Can

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We are one people.


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Listen, when you have a kid, enjoying a CD from the first track to the last is a luxury akin to a full body massage, a facial and a perfect pair of jeans. It just doesn't happen every day.

But the Gods must be feeling sorry for me and have allowed me to hear two CDs that I LOVE in the last month. Clearly, unless I want to spend my next life as a personal assistant to the next producer-made pop star with a drug habit, I better share my good fortune.

CD # 1 - Strange Weirdos - Louden Wainright III

I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that this CD includes a song called Grey In LA. Or maybe it's that the songs are inspired by a movie about a guy who goes out with a girl, gets her pregnant and instead of that turning out to be a tragedy, the boy and girl pull their shit together, get to know each other, laugh a lot & fall in love. I'm just sayin'... I feel it.

Sample lyric: 
When it's grey in LA, it's much better that way. It reminds you that this town's so cruel
Yeah, it might feel like fun when you're sportin' sunglasses. But really you're just one more fool

CD # 2 - Sing - Jim Bianco


A few years ago I went to a bar (big surprise) in San Diego with my friend Kelly to see one of her favorite bands, Cat Empire, perform. Jim Bianco was the opener. That night I bought his CD Handsome Devil and I've been secretly hoping he never becomes famous since then. It was only recently when I read his bio that I started to feel guilty about this. Dude will never know the hidden pleasures of being legally bound to a wife and kids if he doesn't ever make enough money to buy some chick a rock. I am one of those romantics who believes musicians don't have to rely solely on drugs addictions to humble them into old age. A good spouse and a couple of kids can do that, easy. Anyway, Bianco has a voice tastier than chocolate. If you are a guy and want to impress women (what man doesn't?) put on Jim Bianco in the car after dinner. And if you are a woman and have forgotten why you like a man in your life, buy a Jim Bianco CD now.

Sample lyric:
bet'em high when they're running low
you never know
you do the best that you can do
brand new shoes brand new dress 
still you look a mess do the
best that you can do
dirty clothes from a bloody nose
it's how it goes
do the best that you can do

God Bless America.