Sunday, April 30, 2006

Happy Birthday to me

I've been waiting to turn 36 my whole life.

I know that's a strange thing to say, but it is true. For some strange reason buried deep within a childhood impression from some unknown yet powerful source; I've had this premonition that 36 was going to be significant.

Perhaps my mother did something particularly wonderful that impressed me at that age (I would have been 12 when things are pretty impressionable). Perhaps I dreamt something. Perhaps it is a genetic imprint from a past life.

I have no idea what it means or what it refers to--hell, 35 was a pretty eventful year in the life of me--but somehow something all comes together at 36, and I feel it down to my hopeful toes.

Not a bad way to start a new year.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The first step is admitting you have a problem

Okay, so every birthday card I've received so far--both in the mail and online--have all revolved around drinking.

Are my friends trying to tell me something?

(Probably priming me that they can't afford to pick up my bar tab at dinner tonight, I'm sure.)

Friday, April 28, 2006


Looks like I need new talisman in my repertoire...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Let's Go Lightning

I am dusting off all of my playoff good luck talisman from '04 in honor of our game tonight in which we will be in attendance.

God willing, the "Ice Ice Baby" shirt still fits.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Turkey and Swiss on Rye, minus the swiss and rye toast

Did I ever mention that I am allergic to Swiss cheese? Difficult to believe but true. Ever since I was little, every time I eat it, the roof of my mouth itches.

Well, I must have unwittingly eaten some lately because I have that tell-tale burning sensation in my throat.

Or maybe I just talk too much.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Final Chapter

I'm going to wrap up what Sean has dubbed, "Media Week" in Key Largo with a short little entry on our departure.

By the time Saturday morning rolled around, I was rested from my solo sleep, but a tad sore from my sunburn that I keep insisting is a tan despite its determining scarlet color. But not to worry, as of today, the top few layers of epidermis are peeling off--completely ignoring the sticky aloe that I have lathered myself with over the last 4 days.

We all met for a breakfast at a diner where I had a Keys version of eggs benedict which is still residing in my colon as a little vacation souvenir. Quick poll: how many people reading this (both of you) a) have ever ordered, consumed or heard any other human request rye toast? Or b) had 2 people at the same table order rye toast? I believe c)never is the correct response.

We did some last minute souvenir shopping for all of those sad children I left behind, and one of our stops was at a giant sporting goods store which houses Ernest Hemingway's old boat, the Pilar. What a way to end a book weekend than running my hands along the well-varnished railings that the Old Man did. It was a little surreal, actually. I bought a hat there, too, something I think that completely transforms me.

On the way back from Shell World, which I dropped a handsome price for some cheap sunglasses and shells for the boys, I noticed the tire dangerously low. I filled it with air, but after about a mile, it was as flat as my hair was under the new hat, so we pulled over to a convenience store and before we had a chance to call for some professional help, some nice gentlemen offered to change the tire for us. It only cost me a couple of twenties and 2 books. As I went back to fill the spare with air, one of the men came running up. "Hey Tracey, will you sign this book for me?"

Can you stop me?

This time I had a pen.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Chapter 2--The Signing

That night, in the big, soft hotel bed, I slept alone for the first time--well, ever. I was well worth the almost 4 bills I paid for the privilege.

The next day, I had coffee on my balcony (see chapter 1) and greeted the day island style. I took my time getting down to the pool, but really didn't see the need to wait very long to lay on a beach chair with a brand new book ("The History of Love," by Nicole Krauss) and a daquiri, (strawberry, if you must know.) My friends joined me shortly thereafter, and after I thinly and sloppily applied coat of sunscreen, we spent the afternoon much in the same position, changing only every so often to cool off in the pool or with another round of drinks.

(I would include a picture from the pool, except that the only one I have is a rather unattractive one of me and Sue with wet curly hair in these insane J-Lo diva sunglasses I was forced to buy poolside to save my retinas from spontaneous combustion.)

After hours of grilling in the sun, it was time to get ready for the signing. We primped; both our persons and our livers and all headed down to Cover to Cover books--an enchanting bookstore that would have captivated me for hours anyway--where I happily spent the next two hours signing books and generally feeling pretty damned content. The only time my true colors showed--a bright naive green--was at the very first book, I realized I had not brought a pen. What kind of author doesn't bring a freaking pen to a signing? So, like the entire weekend--Janet saved my ass again and bought me a fancy pen. Thanks, Janet.

So, we had fun. Lots.

And then we all went out to dinner at this little place on the water and between the tropical breeze, the nursed margarita, all of the expelled adrenaline, I was pretty much spent. I ended the lovely day as I began it--in that soft, expensive bed, sleeping one of the best nights of my life.

Tomorrow's entry will include the momentous ride home, including no cell phone, no tire, and gas at over 3 bucks a gallon. Yippee.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Diva Weekend--Chapter 1

Well, we're back.

Let me recreate the 2 days in the Keys for you in loving, rich detail, complete with a pictorial of events and moods...

As you are aware from our last episode, I, and 3 friends (Janet, her husband Todd, and Sue) made a road trip down to Key Largo for my first book signing/radio show.

After leaving early Thursday morning, we made the 5 hour car trip down south. Easy drive--Sue had the horrific task of accompanying me and my neuroses, as I was so freaking nervous about this radio interview.

Part of it was that I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Details--much like clothing, sobriety and clocks--are scarce in the Keys. So I had no idea if I was to prepare with a dossier of wit and one-liners for hours of diva amusement, or if I was going to be given two seconds to spit out the title of my book and an ill-timed crack in my voice. I made Sue shoot possible questions to me across Alligator Alley while trying to remember Sean's (a seasoned radio veteran) advice.

I had a few minutes once we arrived to change and throw-up at the hotel before getting on to the show which was at a restaurant/bar on the water. Here is a picture of the view from my room:

I didn't have much trouble finding the place, but there were 3 other bars I had to walk through before finding mine at the back of the restaurant on a deck on the water. I had no idea if I was in the right place, as there was no equipment, no obvious show biz types, no satellite station or anything else I thought might be required for broadcast. A small banner across the palm-thatched roof said "The Turtle Club Radio Show," but it could have just blown in from the last hurricane and no one bothered to take it down yet.

So I waited. I waited for my friends, and I waited for some clue that I was in the right spot, as all of my prep work in the car began to melt under the blazing sun. But pretty soon, an old sailor-looking guy pulled out a black suitcase looking thing, and four microphones which he set up on a plastic lawn table, complete with several bottles of Budweiser.

This was the show. And I was even more scared than before.

All of a sudden, there was a flurry of activity, as people began to arrive--no additional staff mind you--but friends and other bar patrons. The bookstore owner also arrived, with whom I then found out would be accompanying me on the radio. Whew. At least I wouldn't be alone, I thought.

Lack of company would not be a further fear of mine for the entire trip--least alone this radio show. In addition to the two DJ's, the store owner, and a very-nervous me--Janet and Sue got to accompany me at the table. Here's me pre-show--thank goodness the camera didn't capture the bile that is forming in my throat.

But a funny thing happened as I sat there trying to listen carefully to the questions, or some sort of never-uttered instructions...I relaxed. I relaxed just a little bit to enjoy this moment of talking about something I sure do know a lot about--my life--and even though he didn't ask many questions that I had anticipated or rehearsed, I answered well; and I was witty, and dare I say, at times, even quite charming.

It went on for quite some time.

I have no idea how long it lasted or what I said, but my friends lied and said I was great, and the DJ said I was, "a natural."

A natural what, I don't know, but I'll take it as a compliment.

The evening continued with music, food, drinks and wonderful conversation in an outdoor bar on the sea.

Don't miss tomorrow's episode which includes highlights from the signing and trip home such as a flat tire and rye toast.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

6 Candles in the Wasabi...

Our little Matty is 6....

The party at the final regular game of the season was a huge success. Just what every 6 year old birthday should be made of: hockey, a suite, sushi, and beer. Oh well, at least the parents of the assembled guests had fun. Matty did too, complete with a ride on the Zamboni.

And, of course, his siblings are seasoned veterens of the hockey birthday party.

And tomorrow, we are off to the Keys for our little book signing/radio show. The latter which I am a tad nervous about. I just don't know if I can be charming and witty on command.

Well, of course I can.

Happy weekend everyone, I'm on island time now...

Monday, April 17, 2006

This Week

Easter may have been yesterday, but this week is significant for 3 other reasons:

1) Matty’s birthday is Wednesday, party tomorrow, and so the perpetual countdown that has occurred over the last 11 months will end soon, and the new one will begin. 2 days until I’m 6…one day until I’m 6…364 days until I’m 7…

2) Bathing Suit season begins. I hate this time of year.

3) My starvation diet officially ended yesterday when after an amazing Easter dinner I shoved the last piece of apple pie with a jelly bean chaser after Big Love last night.

4) #2 and #3 should never be simultaneous events.

Happy Easter.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mysteries Solved

The following startling mysteries were solved tonight at dinner with 16 other divas and 432 margaritas:

1)My blog audience was more clearly defined. (Hi Bern and Kathy...)

2)The urban myth I've been perpetuating and my lame "brush with fame" story about a lead singer of a popular 70's band being the mother of a fellow student at the school is completely untrue. (Damn, now I'll have to retell the one about the drummer from The Who--again.)

3)Catholic school elementary teachers have as impressive of livers as those belonging to the room moms. (You go, girls.)

4)We are going to have to hire full-time sober nannies for the Palm Island trip this year. It could get very ugly.

5) Our husbands and children will go hungry at Palm Island this year, because cooking does not seem to be on the agenda.

6)If Suburban Diva is the biggest celebrity we know, we all need to get out more.

7)The whereabouts of some truly embarrassing photos are now known. (I will burn them.)

8)My sons are ladies men. (I knew about #1 son--it's #2 I'm having a tough time believing.)

9) I have "The Talk" to look forward to next year, which is already making my mouth dry and palms sweat. (Maybe this should be sooner--see #8)

10) We'll miss our dear friend, Lynn. Best of luck to you and your family.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mary Lou Retton I am Not

Yesterday, at Baby Gymnastics--futile exercise (literally) in Baby Diva energy harnessing--I ran off to snag her before she could complete the emergency room visit portion of her floor routine. As I did, I tripped over my own graceless feet, and ended up doing quite an impressive tumble of my own, with the exception of a rather sloppy dismount which had me face down on the mat in front of the other 2 year-old participants and their mothers who held up binary number cards in judgment. I was mortified, but picked myself up and continued toddler pursuit.

However, today, I realize that the result of not sticking that landing are black and blue arms that feel as though they are going to fall off. I seriously cannot get over how much they hurt considering that I carry a 30 pound weight around for 14 hours a day and those muscles should be in much better shape.

Matthew, in his Kindergarten sweetness held my right arm in his sticky fingers (which I bit my lip not to show the excruciating pain) the entire way to his baseball game reassuring that, "We'll take of you until Monday, Mom."

I wonder what happens on Tuesday?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Secret Book Review

I could never recommend this selection en masse in my column amongst the pretty people, however I must exalt this somewhere, and I know the likes of whom read this...

The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michael Faber is so wickedly delicious in a beautifully perverse way. I hate to give away even one of its 900+ pages, however, but to sum up, it is a brilliant tale of prostitution in higher English society in the 1870's.

Huh? But how could this subject matter captivate us, Trace?

Oh, it can. And it will.

If you are not easily offended (which again, I daresay anyone reading this is not) then sink in to this tome.


You know that phrase, "If you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself?"

Well, no matter how true it is, it still makes it no less annoying.

Good Thursday to you.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Last night I attended another Book Club meeting, where my friends kindly and pitifully chose my book for their respective clubs to read. As a member of various book clubs over many years, I fully realize that this is an act of mercy and novelty on my behalf. I accept this no less graciously than if I were James Frey incarnate.

So last night, I was treated to dinner out at a restaurant (with a full bar) and a friendly crowd who were very complimentary and complete liars, but I appreciate these evenings more than anyone can know. What has stricken me particularly is that people love to share their stories, and if the only thing that comes from this endeavor is someone feeling a little more comfortable sharing theirs, well, and then it was all worth while.

In a not-so ingratiating task, I have begun to select summer camp activities for the boys. Don’t give me that look! Not sleep away camp or anything so creepy—just little day trips to Busch Gardens and make your own pottery studios for a couple of hours. So I have some information materials spread out on the table and I am reading the titles of fun aloud.

Stevie: Oooh!! I want that one! “Eskimo Camp!”

Me: Not Eskimo camp, Basketball camp. (I have a cold. A very bad one, apparently.)

Stevie: Obviously disappointed he won’t be building igloos and clubbing baby seals in June in Florida. Oh, well then how about Volleyball Camp?

Me: Sorry, that the same week as you will be going to the camp at a country club.

Stevie:He’s rolling his eyes just like you are now… Oh great! What am I supposed to do there all day?

Me: Well, I think that’s ascot-tying lessons day. Maybe we can sign you up for the deluxe extended session to include “Paper-Mache with 100 dollar bills” and “Servant Trashing Talking 101!”

Whose kid is he?

P.S. Amy’s next scheduled hearing test isn’t until April 25, so I am taking the time off from worrying until then. (It’s exhausting, I tell you.)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Happy Birthday

Mom. She would have been 60 today. We're having cupcakes in her honor.

However, a not-so nice present of a phone call from the accountant (on a Sunday, that can never be good) alerting us that we owe a ginormous amount of money this year, despite my best efforts in losing so much and or not making squat with my writing career.