Archive for the ‘todd’ Category

That Time I Tried to Explain Strip Clubs to My Sixth Grader Over Dinner

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

I know I already posted the snake thing, but this requires it’s own discussion, because kids starting middle school is like some kind of hyperspace/warp speed shit. . . all of a sudden all this kind of serious stuff starts whipping by and it’s all a blur.

Dinner table subjects tonight included:

– How babies are made
– Sperm (with interpretive dance by Rollie)
– Todd: “Tiller, time for your shower.” Me: “Tiller, let me know if you ever have questions about what we all talk about.” Tiller: “I don’t even know what sperm means, but it sounds creepy.” [Exeunt Tiller]
– Drugs (weed, coke, meth, addiction, withdrawal, chewing tobacco, big league chew, oral cancer, and symptoms, medicinal weed, plant-based drugs vs. synthetic, “if you do meth, i will punch you in the face, it is really, really bad.”)
– STDs, communicable diseases, and “how” they are spread
– Rollie: “Tony said he’s in sex ed and some kids started thrusting and Ms. Furr said, ‘Stop gyrating like you are in a sex club.'” (Who the hell, is Ms. Furr?)

So, then we talked about whether or not he knows what she meant by sex club, and he said, “a club where you go to have sex?” and I said that I think that she meant “strip club” when she referred to it as a “sex club” and that you just go there to watch people take off their clothes while dancing to bad music, and they might ruffle your hair or something. (R: “They have poles, there?”)

And then Todd tried to break up our very serious sex club discussion by doing his own interpretive dance, taking off his flannel shirt and whipping it about his head. I’m pretty sure he was hearing Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” in his head.

Me: “And you never put your hand down on anything at a strip club and then lick your fingers.” [‘Yep,’ I thought. ‘I just said that out loud.’] He wanted to know why and I said, “well, they are kind of dirty.” And Rollie looked judgy/disgusted and I said, “Well, they are not bad. It doesn’t make you bad if you go there. Mama and daddy have been to them before. They’re just kind of dumb.” Pause. . . “Maybe don’t tell all your friends mama and daddy have been to strip clubs. [Oh god, plural. Why did I make it plural?] “But other people’s parents probably have too.” R: “I doubt that.” Me: “Well, maybe you’re right. Not all the parents have.”

And then I told him this is all very serious stuff, and that the important thing is to be safe, and respectful, and that he can always talk to us about anything, or ask us about things he has questions about.

This is about where Todd send him off to bed, which is for the best, because obviously I am fucking this whole parenting thing up to hell and back, because I have a hard time not being honest about stuff.

(I originally put this on Facebook, but wanted to document this one here, because one day the kids are going to think this is very, very funny, OR they will need it to hand to their therapist at that initial appointment.)

Family Football Knock Knock Joke

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Good times throwing the football and listening to music with the family this evening. Todd and Tiller were coming up with creative things to do before she completed her routes. (Nerds.) Jumping jacks, dances, knock knock jokes.

This was the funniest.

Little traitor.

Also, does my voice really sound like that?

Rated PG for mild language, for those of you dense enough to blindly play a video from me in front of children.

All in All Okay

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Day 2 of Todd Johnson’s two week absence:

# of hours slept last night: maybe 6?
#book reports completed: 0
# cat poops cleaned off carpet: 2
# cats still living: 2
# pissed off neighbors: 1
# of favors owed Lauren Sullivan Shankman and Scott Shankman: 4
# times i cried about 9/11: 3
# of nights i’ve gone without doing dishes: 2
# miles run: 0
# old friends I got to hug: 1
# episodes of Buffy watched: 2
# points over for day in Weight Watchers: Five million
# vodka tonics: 1 (large)
# children still living: 2

But it’s okay. We have our health. . .

Quint

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

This past Saturday was a year since I lost Quint. Luckily, I was at the beach, I shed a little tear and moved on. But i have been thinking a ton about him this week. I love Brody, but they are not the same dog. Quint was smart and funny, and the biggest waggie butt I ever saw. His whole body wagged when he saw me. I still miss him every single day.

I am still going through my old photos to pull some out and post them. It’s taken me this year just to be able to look at them. Also went through some old videos that had him in it. This is one I took of him with Todd and the kids, the first time the kids saw snow. We were still in EAV then. Quint was so spazzed out by the snow.

We had Q for 12 years. 8 of those years, i worked from home, and he was right at my side the whole time. It doesn’t feel like someone ripped a limb off anymore, but damn, i still miss my buddy every day.

Spring Break 2012

Monday, April 9th, 2012

We did the Spring Break thing. A few days on Hilton Head (Todd had a shoot this week: Bad advertising world! Bad!) and then we did the lake for Easter with the whole family. About 24 hours of my family in one small 2BR lakehouse is all I can take, no matter how much I love them. I think this is normal?

So busy after being gone – work, laundry, trying to get back into a diet and exercise happy place. I feel like a train that derailed in a fiery crash of fried, fat, beer and excess!

Highlights of the week, not in photos: Fishing with my kiddos at dusk. Morning kids swimming with dog while I drink coffee at lake. Watching Brody revel in lake life. Puttering around with my dad for a day at the lake, fixing stuff, for once not snapping at each other. A rarity. Mom’s potato salad. My kids’ awesome manners while out to eat in HHI. I almost cried. Watching Venus in the Pleiades (spelling?) from the dock on a clear night. On the water at the beach. Seeing kids’ faces when they saw dolphins up close. Hearing their contagious laughter in the car on 441 – They had a “make each other laugh contest” and were killing Todd and I with their laughter. Such sweet music. Driving home on a sunny, perfectly-warm Easter afternoon with only Rollie and Brody in the car. Windows down, listening to an old mix CD of some of my all-time favorite songs, discussing them with Rollie: He asks a lot of questions, like “who is it by? What is it called? What is it about? Why do you like it?” Memorable discussions of songs – “Mayonnaise” by Smashing Pumpkins, “This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads, and “Tempted” by Squeeze. R. thought it was so funny that I used to sing it to him as a lullaby when he would cry as a baby. Teaching kids to jump rope in the driveway last night. “Cinderella, dressed in yellow. . . ” (What are your favorite jump rope rhymes?)

Hope you all had a great Easter, Seder, spring break, etc.

Sappy, Sappy

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

“I see my life was brightest where you laughed and laid your head…”
– Wilco

Happy Valentine’s Day, Angel. I have never regretted going out for drinks with friends that Valentine’s Day weekend almost thirteen years ago.

Xoxoxo,
Annie

Radiohead: A Story of Starcrossed Lovers

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Todd and the kids and I had a great dinner last night. They are getting to the age where they are actually fun to converse with. We were fixing plates and the Radiohead song “Creep” came on, and Todd and I were singing along at the top of our voices, and playing air guitar on that bangy guitar part (you know the one), while Rollie yelled for us to stop, and Tiller rolled her eyes. And then Todd proceeded to tell the kids a story of star-crossed lovers back in the olden days. (You know, the mid-90s.)

There once was a boy living in Atlanta, who liked Radiohead. There once was a girl, also living in Atlanta, who – get this – also liked Radiohead. Now, this was before Radiohead was a household name, right after OK Computer came out, but before anyone except diehard The Bends fans had heard the album yet, before folks considered it the Dark Side of the Moon of the 90s. And so this boy and girl, who both lived in Atlanta, and who both liked Radiohead, both bought tickets to see Radiohead at The Masquerade.

And they both went to the show. And the girl was with her boyfriend, who was not the boy. And she stood watching the show with her left shoulder leaning against the sound booth. And the boy watched the show from the front of the sound booth. And they were mere feet apart from one another. And the show rocked their worlds.

And then three days later, she moved to Denver with her boyfriend.

But the story wasn’t over.

Because sometime later, the girl sat drinking beer in a kitchen in Boulder, Colorado, and she saw a picture on the fridge that reminded her of a girl she used to know. And a couple years later, the girl who liked Radiohead met that girl she used to know in a bar, and the girl she used to know introduced her to the boy who also liked Radiohead.

And now the girl who likes Radiohead and the boy who likes Radiohead sit in their kitchen with their two children, who really don’t give a shit about Radiohead, and they play the game horse face. Horse face consists of one person making a funny face and the other person having to match that funny face. And the girl who likes Radiohead makes a face, and it is so funny to her that she laughs until tears run down her face, her stomach hurts, and she almost pees her pants.

And the Boy who liked Radiohead and the Girl who liked Radiohead are happy together.

Part II, a.k.a. Shotgun Blast of Thanks

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I am thankful that I happened to come across a blog post i wrote two years ago on the Winter Solstice. I am thankful that I spent that lovely evening with my dog, Quint. I am thankful that I wrote about it, so I can remember what it was like to sit in the cold on the lake with him and watch stars. I am thankful I still remember what his ears felt like.

This year has been rough and a lot sad, and it has made me even more sad that I haven’t written as much as I normally do. This is part two of looking on the bright side, so that two years from now, I will maybe look back and remember the good things, not the sad ones.

I am thankful for this little guy, and that he likes baseball.

I am thankful for this little guy, and that he likes baseball.

That I had the pleasure of seeing Harmony at baseball games, and know the strangeness of old friends having kids play sports together. Always surreal.

That I had the pleasure of seeing Harmony at baseball games, and know the strangeness of old friends having kids play sports together. Always surreal.

Thankful for the wonderful people who always step up to the plate and coach my kids' teams. This guy cracked us up by coming out to pitch the last inning of a v. close final game dressed as Braveheart. I am thankful for the weird and the absurd in people.

Thankful for the wonderful people who always step up to the plate and coach my kids' teams. This guy cracked us up by coming out to pitch the last inning of a v. close final game dressed as Braveheart. I am thankful for the weird and the absurd in people.

Thankful for Yankees in rural Georgia. They make me laugh.

Thankful for Yankees in rural Georgia. They make me laugh.

And for quiet, woodsy solitude at sunset.

And for quiet, woodsy solitude at sunset.

And that I had time to play hair with friends. I miss those simple time-wasters.

And that I had time to play hair with friends. I miss those simple time-wasters.

And good Chardonnay. Don't get the good stuff nearly often enough.

And good Chardonnay. Don't get the good stuff nearly often enough.

For a sunny cool day spent shopping with friends.

For a sunny cool day spent shopping with friends.

A day spent trying on hats.

A day spent trying on hats.

and being reminded of my long-gone hat collection and how much joy it brought me. (i am a freak!)

and being reminded of my long-gone hat collection and how much joy it brought me. (i am a freak!)

And girls drinking in trucks.

And girls drinking in trucks.

Thankful that I rarely forget to take in the view.

Thankful that I rarely forget to take in the view.

And for time spent in front of outdoor fireplaces. (I will have one, one day. I will!) And for the sweet gift of the MacQueen tartan scarf my Daddy gave me. I love it.

And for time spent in front of outdoor fireplaces. (I will have one, one day. I will!) And for the sweet gift of the MacQueen tartan scarf my Daddy gave me. I love it.

And thankful that I have more girlfriends at 39 than i ever did as a young girl.

And thankful that I have more girlfriends at 39 than i ever did as a young girl.

Thankful that Mom finally made it to Alaska and loved it as much as she thought she would.

Thankful that Mom finally made it to Alaska and loved it as much as she thought she would.

Thankful for the beautiful day I spent with friends in Athens.

Thankful for the beautiful day I spent with friends in Athens.

And that my husband still takes me to the game every other year.

And that my husband still takes me to the game every other year.

Even though I bark in the Auburn section, and I am usually bad luck for Todd's Tigers.

Even though I bark in the Auburn section, and I am usually bad luck for Todd's Tigers.

Thankful for my sweet, artistic girl, and the chalk drawings she does in the garage.

Thankful for my sweet, artistic girl, and the chalk drawings she does in the garage.

Sad that they are not permanent, but that Todd and I managed to capture her precious misspellings. Thankful she lists the things she loves - the cuirur green, sparkely shoes, her dog. - Perhaps she is a bit like her mother sometimes.

Sad that they are not permanent, but that Todd and I managed to capture her precious misspellings. Thankful she lists the things she loves - the cuirur green, sparkely shoes, her dog. - Perhaps she is a bit like her mother sometimes.

I'm thankful for decorative gourd season, mutherfuckers!

I'm thankful for decorative gourd season, mutherfuckers!

Because it still makes me laugh every time I think of it. It is a cornucopia of laughter.

I am thankful that I know what it means to have a daughter.

I am thankful that I know what it means to have a daughter.

And for a most peaceful thanksgiving with my parents. Also, for a husband who has the patience to show my mother how to put books on her iPad. He is worth his weight in gold.

And for a most peaceful thanksgiving with my parents. Also, for a husband who has the patience to show my mother how to put books on her iPad. He is worth his weight in gold.

And that we still do EAV Santa.

And that we still do EAV Santa.

Thankful for my husband's brothers' wife and fiancee. I am lucky we have no drama. And that we all talk when the boys are stoic and quiet.

Thankful for my husband's brothers' wife and fiancee. I am lucky we have no drama. And that we all talk when the boys are stoic and quiet.

Thankful for my sweet niece, Luci. Lucky to have a niece and a nephew.

Thankful for my sweet niece, Luci. Lucky to have a niece and a nephew.

Did I mention Tills? She is my heart.

Did I mention Tills? She is my heart.

And thankful to know what it is to have a large family. My in-laws are so devoid of drama. They are so very normal. It is nice to have something to balance out the crazy.

And thankful to know what it is to have a large family. My in-laws are so devoid of drama. They are so very normal. It is nice to have something to balance out the crazy.

I am so thankful for happy engagements.

I am so thankful for happy engagements.

And that my children will know the love of cousins.

And that my children will know the love of cousins.

For the wonderful Johnson men. It is a comfort to know that they are such a wonderful example for my son.

For the wonderful Johnson men. It is a comfort to know that they are such a wonderful example for my son.

And that I still love my husband and he still (I think?) loves me.

And that I still love my husband and he still (I think?) loves me.

Thankful for Ned and Vanessa and their sweet girl Scarlett, and for the wonderful afternoon we spent tailgating for Iron Bowl. I love that our kids experience that tradition every year.

Thankful for Ned and Vanessa and their sweet girl Scarlett, and for the wonderful afternoon we spent tailgating for Iron Bowl. I love that our kids experience that tradition every year.

And there you have it. One huge shotgun blast of thankfulness. My life is good. Really good.

Thankful

Monday, December 19th, 2011

So, damn. That last post was a real downer. Sorry about that. I am pretty good at the ostrich thing, though. I do lots of fun stuff, and I am lucky to have a healthy family, and I still have both parents, and my husband is the best one in the whole wide world ever (for me.) So, here are some things I’m thankful for . . . Think of it as one whole post about shit I’m thankful for, rather than an annoying “I’m Thankful” facebook post every damn day of November. See how good I am to you? So thoughtful . . . .

My friends Shannon and Matt had a baby and we finally visited him.

Tills and DannyBoy

Tills and DannyBoy


We have beer on Main Street now.

We have beer on Main Street now.


I got to spend an afternoon with my sister and our kids. Sadly, that almost never happens anymore.

I got to spend an afternoon with my sister and our kids. Sadly, that almost never happens anymore.

Tills broke her arm, but I still got to go to NYC with Todd.

Tills broke her arm, but I still got to go to NYC with Todd.

I had breakfast that i bought at Union Square Greenmarket. I ate it on a bench and watched schoolchildren.

I had breakfast that i bought at Union Square Greenmarket. I ate it on a bench and watched schoolchildren.

I drank coffee and rode the Staten Island Ferry just for the view. I didn't care that it was cloudy and was repaid with some sunny patches.

I drank coffee and rode the Staten Island Ferry just for the view. I didn't care that it was cloudy and was repaid with some sunny patches.

I ate a pear in Trinity Church Cemetery, where my 5G grandfather was buried in 1786. Or at least records say he is. His grave is lost to time now. I thought about that while I ate my pear.

I ate a pear in Trinity Church Cemetery, where my 5G grandfather was buried in 1786. Or at least records say he is. His grave is lost to time now. I thought about that while I ate my pear.

Todd and I had dinner with my friend Harris and his girlfriend Anne. I am still always surprised that Harris wears button-downs to work. In my mind, he is always wearing a navy blue hoodie.

Todd and I had dinner with my friend Harris and his girlfriend Anne. I am still always surprised that Harris wears button-downs to work. In my mind, he is always wearing a navy blue hoodie.

And then we all went to a bar and played shuffleboard.

And then we all went to a bar and played shuffleboard.

We also stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Tres fancy.

We stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Tres fancy.

Posting these so that Harris can see what the rooms were like (he was curious):

The room had FOUR windows. And a beautiful rug. And original hardwoods.

The room had three, count'em three, windows. And a beautiful rug. And original hardwoods.

And here's the bed. Nice linens, velvety headboard, good lighting.

And here's the bed. Nice linens, velvety headboard, good lighting.

Pretty sure the bathroom was bigger than most NYC apartments. However, for the cost, i think they could have worked in a tub. (My only problem with the room.)

Pretty sure the bathroom was bigger than most NYC apartments. However, for the cost, i think they could have worked in a tub. (My only problem with the room.)

Even the closet was fancy.

Even the closet was fancy.

And here is a view of the sitting area from the front door. We had a SETTEE, y'all!

And here is a view of the sitting area from the front door. We had a SETTEE, y'all!

The rooms also come with access to the park. It is a private park that you have to have a key to get into. That’s pretty cool. And snobby and elitist. . . but cool.

So, the next day it was cold and pouring down rain. I made plans to meet Anne at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was so god-awful crowded, and wet and damp, but we had a lovely afternoon. I forgot to each lunch I was enjoying myself so much. We mostly wandered, took in the current exhibitions. (Romare Bearden was one Anne really wanted to see and I thought it was great, and was also surprised I had not heard of him in my Harlem Renaissance class in college).

Anne and I both checked out my favorite part – Arms and Armor. I think when she suggested it to me, she must have realized how much I would love it. She probably didn’t realize that I would take so long that she would get hungry and have to leave me there. (Sorry, Anne!) I could have spent all day there looking at the amazing things people have killed other people with over the years! They even had a helm that was (probably erroneously) said to have been worn by Joan of Arc – I have had a preoccupation with Joan since i first read about her as a child. (I also have a weird interest in Marie Curie, Belle Star, Annie Oakley, and Bonnie Parker, among others. I know. I am a freak.)

Joan of Arc Helm

Joan of Arc Helm

There was an interesting Stieglitz exhibition, about him and his artists (O’Keefe, Matisse, etc.) While I enjoyed it, i was way more interested in this tiny little exhibit of his early art photography collection. I could have looked at it all day.

And best of all, I found some new (to me) artists to adore: Like Francis Bacon; Like a painting entitled, “End of the Hunt” by Dale Nichols (Anne, that is the one that you loved!);

The photo doesn't do it justice. The light is so amazing in it in person.

The photo doesn't do it justice. The light is so amazing in it in person.

Or these two huge pieces by Stephen Hannock. You totally can’t see it online, but he put all this writing and mixed media collage stuff in these two works. I almost wanted to cry it was so cool. Oooh, actually, if you go to this link then click on the photo, then zoom in, you can see the writing. Awesome.

Like this one by Paul Cadmus.

His Seven Deadly Sins were awesome! This is Lust.

His Seven Deadly Sins were awesome! This is Lust.

Looks like a really cool graphic novel, right? He made it in 1945. Mind-blowing.

When i left the museum, I was starving, and it was raining cats and dogs, and todd wanted me to meet him for a beer at some place near his conference in Times Square, and i was all like, “Ugh, Times Square.” But the bar was actually pretty awesome, with cheap beer, and seemingly no tourists other than myself. It was warm and the barmaid was kind of bitchy, which I can respect, and I sat next to a guy who makes full-length concert DVDs for a ton of bands, some of whom i thought were crappy. But he also worked with Chrissy Hinde, and so I was all interested in hearing about that, because I heart The Pretenders.

Then we left and had to make it back to the hotel to change for drinks with work people, and it was raining and i felt kind of sorry for all the working sad sack new yorkers just trying to get home, but there is something very romantic about a rainy evening with my husband, and taking cover in Grand Central Station to get away from the rain, and just watching the people.

Blurry, rainy evening at Grand Central Station.

Blurry, rainy evening at Grand Central Station.

And then i put on my nice stuff, and we went to The Standard Hotel for drinks, and damn, they have a really nice view from their rooftop bar, which, i kid you not, is called The Boom Boom Room. Sometimes I think New York comes up with stupid shit like that just to make me laugh at them. The bathrooms in the bar were rooms with no lights and no window coverings, where you could look out over the skyline while you are taking a shit. Ridiculous, but fun. I was luckily warned first, or I would have thought I was trippin’ in some crazy house of mirrors.

I had my jeans down around my ankles and I was peeing while I took this.

I had my jeans down around my ankles and I was peeing while I took this.


After that? Yummy burgers and home to bed because we were both wet, cold, and exhausted.

A lovely trip. I’ll end here for now, as I have gone on and on, and will never click publish at this rate. It shall be a two parter.

Yeah, I Wore Pink Tulle. So what?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

“Mama?” Tiller said.
“Yes, baby?” I muttered while cooking dinner.
Tiller: “Mama, will you be a fairy with me?”
Me: “huh?”
Tiller: “Will you be a fairy with me?”
Me: “I don’t think so, baby. I’m not pretty enough to be a fairy.”
Todd: “You know, we just did a tooth fairy spot. I can get you a fairy costume easy.”
Me: “Shut up, Todd.”

And that’s how I came to be a pink fairy for Halloween.

A little background first: