Friday, September 28, 2007



My son cannot imagine taking a photograph without the
instant gratification of seeing it immediately on the LCD screen of the camera.
Our digital camera broke while we were at Disney World and we had to buy a
replacement in the form of a 35mm disposable camera. My son was mystified. What
was this curious contraption covered in cardboard with no screen? How did you
get the pictures out? These were some of the many questions that he asked
post-camera purchase. I gave up after the first 15, giving a generic snippy
answer to every question:

Why doesn’t it have a screen?
Because it doesn’t.

How will we get the pictures onto the computer?
We won’t.

We won’t. We’ll have the film developed.

What’s film?
Film is film.


It’s what makes pictures.

How does it make pictures?

It just does..

 You get the idea. I'm probably not the person you want to come to for advice on explaining things to your children.

After the experience with the 35mm camera, I remembered what
it was like to actually hold a photograph in your hand. What an enlightening
experience to have a tangible photo that is made of paper instead of just
pixels. It made me consider actually purchasing an old school camera so that I
would be forced to keep up with my hard copy photos. Right now, the pictures on
my hard drive are piling up and, along with them, the guilt. I’ve got 13 months
of pictures, well over 800, with nary a hard copy to show for them. Plus, I’ve
still got 12 months worth of hard copy pictures, for a total of 25
months worth of backlog.

What do I do now? How do I catch up? I’ve met moms who are
ten years behind on their family pictures. They’ve thrown in the towel and plan
to take up scrapbooking in their twilight years. Surely there is a feasible way
to handle this backlog without giving up completely, comforted only by the fact that your grandchildren may catch a glimpse of your family photos before they reach adulthood. Perhaps a support group would help.

Anyone interested in joining Moms on the Verge of a Nervous
Breakdown due to Digital Photo Backlog (MVNBDPB), please contact me as soon as
possible. We've got work to do.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Middle Management

Most preschool boys have lofty occupational goals. Some of the
most popular at this age seem to be fireman, policeman, astronaut, train
engineer and Spiderman. My son has dreams of driving a train or a monorail but
his fantasy role of the hour seems to be that of someone in middle management.
I don’t think this necessarily makes him a realist (I see him headed for upper
management at the very least) but it does make him unique.

Here are some of manager musings from the last few weeks:

One of my workers has been to the South Pole. He stayed
warm because his coat was made of bricks.

Mom, we need to bring food to my workers because they
don’t have any money.

I have to make ramps for most of my workers. They are in
wheelchairs and can’t climb ladders.

It’s my workers birthday and we are having a party for
him so we need to make some cake.

 I take pride in the fact that my son seems to be a pretty
good boss. He throws birthday parties for his employees, makes sure that the
disabled among them are accommodated, listens to their elaborate vacation
stories, and brings food to them when they are in need. My only concern is that
his workers seem to work for him out of the goodness of their heart. I asked
him once if he paid them for the work they did. He laughed and said, “No Mommy.
They don’t need money.”

Entitlement rears its ugly head yet again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger Award

Many thanks to Keli, a faithful reader and my favorite cynic, at Counterfeit Humans for bestowing the prestigious Rockin' Girl Blogger Award on Another Gray Hair.  Sorry it took me a while to pick it up (sound familiar?). I've been a lazy blogger of late and have been playing catch-up today with my favorite blogger Mamas.


I'd like to thank my family and friends for providing me with endless amounts of material,  all of the faithful readers of Another Gray Hair, and Bret Michaels for bringing hundreds of visitors to my blog in their honorable quest to solve the mystery of his mane. I'm the king of the world!

I'm passing this award on to Leeanne at Tired Mama . She's one of the most consistently funny bloggers I've ever read and she gives me a little bit of hope (that I am not alone in this parenting gig) and a little bit of despair (that it doesn't get easier just because the kids get older). Check her out!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Men Shouldn't Take Messages

I'm lacking inspiration today and a friend sent me this. It made me laugh out loud. Enjoy:

(You may have to click on it to enlarge it so it is readable. The blog auto-shrinks it)


Friday, September 21, 2007

Parental Bliss

At this very moment, my son and daughter are sitting on his bed. He is teaching her the words and motions to "Wheels on the Bus" and she is doing her best to sing along. They are on their fourth or fifth round. My heart is in a puddle on the floor.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hula Hoops

I was full of motivation this morning. I was up in time to
take a shower, make the kids a relatively healthy breakfast, brew some tea and make myself a smoothie, all before walking out the door at 7:40 to
take my eldest to school. This is a small miracle. Most days I’m forced to
throw a baseball cap on to cover the disheveled mop that graces my
sizable head. I try to wear glasses on those days, instead of contacts, because
I have convinced myself that they somehow shield my face from onlookers. Yeah,
I’m a heaping pile of self-esteem.

My public persona in tact, I decided to go to my local gym to partake in a class that I had highlighted on
the Group Fitness Schedule a few weeks ago called, “Dance Aerobics.” I love to dance and I hate
kickboxing and yoga so I thought this class might be something I’d enjoy.

Fast forward to 10:00. I dropped my daughter off at the
nursery and cruised to the aerobics room. I hesitated before I opened the door
because I noticed that all of the women were card carrying members of the AARP. I asked one of the women doing
laps around the room, “Is this the Dance Aerobics class?”

“Yes, and it is super fun,” she said in a very enthusiastic
voice, pumping her arms to the beat of a 70’s Motown tune. They were all
smiling and laughing as they danced their way around the room. I considered
running in the opposite direction and never looking back and then I realized that I had
nothing to lose. What if I loved the class? So, I got in step with the rest of
them, doing my best white girl dance/walk around the room.

Our warm up complete, we were each given a hula-hoop and told to revive our schoolgirl moves. I felt like a fool. These old ladies were
tearing up those hula-hoops and I couldn’t even keep it off the floor for 5

The hula-hoop humiliation behind us, we were told to get into a circle and given
medium-sized plastic balls. We passed the balls (there were several in play) to each other in a
constant motion. My fellow dancers laughed like schoolgirls the entire time. It
made me slightly uncomfortable but I decided to throw caution to the wind and commence giggling. It felt great.  I thought of my Mother and her Silver Sneakers class. I was
pretty sure I was in the midst of one. After our coordination and reflex work,
we moved onto the dancing. The teacher asked for requests. Request number one:
YMCA. This request was met with roars of laughter. Oh, the irony! We did some
grapevines and some kicks and had a grand old time.

My Silver Sneakers class was an experience I won’t soon
forget. I took the instructor aside when we finished stretching and asked her
if this was, in fact, a Silver Sneakers class (it wasn’t labeled as such on the
calendar). She looked at me like I was nuts and said, “Oh no.” I shrugged. I
guess the over-60 set is taking over the world of dance aerobics. I can only
hope that, when my time comes, I’m giggling and hula-hooping with the best of

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Bandanna Chronicles

I just had to acknowledge, for all my Rock of Love
cronies out there in the blogosphere, that Bret Michaels does, in fact, have
hair under that bandanna.

Why does this please me so?

Friday, September 14, 2007

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab, I Said, "No No No."

I promised myself I’d never get political on this blog but I
have to break my silence and lay the cards on the table. Did everyone catch the
Britney Spears performance at the VMA’s? Holy guacamole. What a disaster.

I do my best to maintain the illusion that I am above all of
the Hollywood tabloid nonsense but I’m not. The simple truth is that I did care
about Britney’s performance. Her recent public personal debacles and possible
comeback intrigued me. I watched the Video Music Awards with great interest,
taking a little bit of pleasure in her obvious failure. I felt pity for her but
I also felt vindicated or, perhaps, validated that she had lost her magnetism.

Why is this? I have no idea. I’m pretty sure that it means I
am a hopelessly flawed individual. I take pleasure in this young girl’s pain.
Her poor decision making, her youth and her early fame have all led her to this
place. And we (at least the losers among us who are faithful readers of “In
Touch” magazine) have been on the ride with her. I’m pretty sure that I
wouldn’t have handled myself much better in her shoes (I wouldn’t have married
K-Fed but, hey, you get the point) but I continue to judge her harshly. Britney
and I, we’ve got some work to do. If only I could afford a couple rounds of rehab.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Holiday Havoc

The holidays are making their way into my mind already. It’s
a curse. I finally get a handle on our budget only to realize that Christmas is
right around the corner and I’ve got to find a way to buy gifts for all of our
family members. I wrote an article entitled, 8 Creative Ways to Downsize the
that will be published in the December issue of Simple Joy. I’ll
post a link when it is available. I only hope that I can follow my own advice.

I’d like to hear if anyone has any genius ideas on cutting
down expenditures over the holidays. My son already has a working Christmas
list that includes, among other things, the complete monorail/castle set that
he was admiring at one of the seven million gift shops on Disney property. It
costs a ridiculous amount and we have nowhere to put it. How can I steer his
attention to some books, DVDs and smaller toys? What about making it his
mission to give? How can I be the mother of the kid that they feature on the
news who, at the ripe old age of five, starts a toy donation campaign for
children in need? I want to be that Mom. If you have any ideas about how to
turn my greedy five year old into a prodigious philanthropist, please pass them
on. I’m all ears.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Civilian PIs and Creme Brule

It is taking every ounce of will power I have not to
dedicate an entire blog entry to the creme brulee that I had on Wednesday night
at Jiko, an African restaurant known as as €œThe Cooking Place€ nestled in the
Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World. Those of you who know me are
probably not surprised by this. I love food, especially high quality food. That
is part of the appeal of Disney World: you can take the whole family out
to a five star restaurant. I can€'t think of any other place on earth where you
can order from one of the best wine lists in the country while your child
feasts on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on rainbow bread.

Back to the
creme brulee: it was flavored with ground pistachios, situated atop a bed of
dark chocolate and perfectly torched to a candied shell deliciousness on top. It
was perfect.

I digress.

On Friday night we took the whole family to the California Grille, one of the
nicest restaurants on Disney property. A couple feet down from us, seated at the bar, were
some familiar faces. We enjoyed our sushi and flat bread appetizers while the
kids feasted on an elegant plate of goldfish and tried our best to figure out who those people were. My husband, his curiosity peaked,
got up to take our son to the bathroom. He came back and said, "We'€™ve got some
Doodlebop action at three-o-clock."

I was surprised by my own reaction, "€œNO WAY!"€

We had just seen the Doodlebops in concert the day prior and
the kids loved it. They danced with much more enthusiasm than good ol Britney at
the VMA'€™s this weekend
and Sean and I were pleasantly surprised at the quality
of the show. It felt like a preschool rock concert.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Doodlebops, they are an
extremely popular preschool singing group that have a half hour show on the
Disney Channel. Unlike their Australian counterpart The Wiggles, the Doodlebops
wear a great deal of make-up and elaborate costumes so they have the benefit of
a relatively normal existence outside of the whacked-out Doodlebop world.
Except of course, when they are in the presence of civilian PI€™s like my
husband who can spot them a mile away, even without the blue hair. We decided
to keep our Doodlebop sighting on the DL to protect our kids from the harsh
reality that Moe Doodle is, in fact, a small man with black hair in designer
duds munching on flat bread at the bar. My husband, always stretching the limits
of his own dorkiness,  couldn'€™t resist a little poke at Moe on the way out. He
tapped him on the back and said, "€œGreat show Moe!"€ I averted my eyes and ran
towards the elevator.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Another Year Grayer

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Another Gray Hair. My initial goal was to write on a
regular basis and I’m so glad I stuck with it. 190 posts, 1264 comments, and
19,000 hits later and my hair is still going gray, in theory. In reality I’ve
yet to find a gray hair. Hate me if you want but it’s my crowning aesthetic
achievement. Keeping up with this blog
may very well be my crowning literary achievement. I never knew that a public
journal could be so rewarding.

Special thanks to my family and friends for letting me make
a mockery of them in order to further my career. Thank you also to all of the
faithful readers out there in the blogosphere. I look forward to another year
of Another Gray Hair!

Value Resort

Disney World can bring out the worst and the best in a
person and that’s where we are right now, staying in a value resort. Value
resorts have lots of benefits. They are on Disney property so you get
transportation and a certain level of that token Disney “magic.” They are very
inexpensive and loaded with garish statues and play structures, perfect for the
under-8 crowd. My kids love it. They think they’ve died and gone to commercialism
heaven.  I agree most of the time.

We experienced some Disney non-magic yesterday when we
waited in the bus lines for over 30 minutes and loaded all of our crap onto a
bus full of other value resort guests for a standing-room only ride across
Disney property. My kids were tired. I was tired. We wanted to sit desperately.
 It was not meant to be.  The 3 mile trip to our resort took over an
hour and we fell into our beds, wasted from our day of heat and

Despite the heat and the “you get what you pay for” value
resort transportation experience, we had a great day. Our trip to the petting zoo at Animal Kingdom earned Disney
an eternal gold star for their unmatched customer service. How can you complain
about a place where a staff member literally sweeps up the goat poop as it is
coming out of the goat to ensure that neither you or your child steps in it?