Saturday, October 06, 2007

She Wore the Dress, and I Stayed Home

After seven years, I have a sister in my home again. Esther The Sister-In-Law is here, and I was scared that I would scare her, because Esther can cook and plumb plumbing and fix cars and the rest of the world, too. And... we've seen my cupcakes.

I have long known the benefits of having a big sister, but as it happens, sisters are useful for more than merely producing nephews; sometimes, they come in a younger version. Esther took me out for dinner once, for instance, and this weekend Josh, who made the mistake of sitting between us, tried to change the channel while we were watching a home decorating show, and I had another person on hand to hit him and screech.

I had secondhand couches which required recovering; for this, I had two sets of Wal-Mart sheets and a staple gun, and if it were up to me I would wind up with a wad of cotton, a small pile of metal, and legal blindness. Esther went in with the staple gun and walked away from a couch which looked reality show-fabulous, and not at all sheet-intensive. And then she did the same thing with a loveseat, a curtain, and an armful of end-of-the-bolt fabric.

Big sistering, then, has its perks. I shall send her forth to check the toilet that runs. And come back with wine. Maybe I'll let her paint my nails.

last from the womb no more at:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Why's It Always Have To Be Snakes?

I am evaluating student essays this semester, but am not in the classroom, about which I have mixed feelings. I miss the performance aspect of teaching and being told via facial expressions several hours a week that I am boring and have no idea what I'm talking about and am harshing one's buzz and am way too mean and amusing when I don't mean to be and that I... suck, really.

My daily entertainment of student excuses is missing (best to date: "I can't come to class today because somebody got shot in my apartment complex and the cops aren't letting anybody leave") so Country The Brother-In-Law informed me that his recent college graduate minion called him early in the morning with the following:

"I'm going to be late, because my pet snake got out? And my roommates hate the snake? So I have to find him before they do."

(Half an hour passes.)

"Hi, I'm still going to be late? Because I haven't found the snake? But now I'm all sweaty from tying to find the snake, and I need to take another shower. Okay?"

okay at:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Competent Offical Homemaker UPDATE

O my people, now there are cupcakes.

Nice cupcakes, right? Fully respectable cupcakes. A good dozen. They're from scratch.

But then, so are these:

What happened here? These are the cupcakes of Satan. They are the scariest pastries I have ever seen, and they are from my hands, and I am frightened. I should have known not to trust what was going on with the batter at the bottom of the bowl. It had this weird, gooey-lump quality to it, but did that stop me, nooooooo, I was all, "Well, it's sugar! Therefore, good!" and into the flute cup it went, because I'm still managing this amazing compulsion to assume that if something doesn't taste good going into the oven, a few minutes at 350 degrees is magically going to fix it.

Then there's the Singer Saga, in which my beloved sewing machine and I had it out in the kitchen for about an hour and a half. I was laying my considerable seamstress skeelz on the line and attempting to hem curtains, and what happened was not a hemmed curtain, but a ball of fabric with this utter mass of thread on the bottom. Here, I drew you a picture:

(actual size)

It was just this highly unfortunate growth right on the middle of the hemline, with the density of a black hole and, left unattended, will swallow Virgina whole. That's not very nice of me, introducing something like this into my new state. I need to go back to addressing my icing issues.

cream cheese out of the can for the cupcakes at:

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I like to give professional interviews as a writer, so when Monsignor Jim Lisante's people (he has people) contacted my people (I have no people; I have an email account and a mini-fridge) to appear on "Personally Speaking," I said I would do so only if Bob Dole and Marky-Mark Wahlberg and Pat Boone and The Tesh went first.

So there's, like, actually, legitimately famous people featured on this program, and then there's me, who was stuck in a regional airport at the time of the interview, which meant I conducted a conversation with a fairly major force in Catholic media while crouching in a bathroom hallway. It was that or the tarmac; it was the utter, periodic inability to hear one another over angry roaring propellers versus the occasional FLUUSHHHHHHH. You pick.

At one point I found what I thought was an abandoned, unlocked office, and ducked in there, and began speaking very earnestly about marriage decisions and crippling obsessive-compulsive disorder, there amongst the dust-covered computers, and then a suit-wearing person opened a door from the opposite direction and very pointedly wanted to know if he could help me. I gave him the "one second, one second," sign and darted out the door, as though I had some hugely vital suit-intensive business to transact with him, but it had to wait until I completed my audience-of-one monologue concerning the onset of panic attacks at the age of ten.

So that's all going down on Sunday, October 14, on SIRIUS Radio's Catholic Channel. If you, like me, are completely flummoxed by all things SIRIUS, a podcast link will also become available. The show starts at 8 PM EST, and I'm on in the second half, because first? Corporal Klinger! You are so lucky you know me.

in my contract at:

Monday, October 01, 2007

Welcome readers

To those of you who aren't regular readers (what's wrong with you?) of BlondeChampagne, be sure to stop by often for more samples of Mary Beth's amazing writing. She'll be sharing her unique perspective on "Housewives" every Sunday night, and during the week you can check in here for her commentary on a myriad of other equally entertaining topics.
If you're convinced, like I am, that she's simply the greatest writer in the world, or at least the next Dave Barry, check out for information about her first book.

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