Category Archives: Meet Mal

Free Pass

I got a wake up call from the Universe yesterday.  I had some medical tests run, and while some were much improved (my cholesterol and triglycerides are waaaaaaaaaay down.  Thank you, thank you very much.) others were baaaaaaad.  I am just barely on this side of the fence from something I dread like the plague: diabetes.  Diabetes sucks, my friends.  Not only because it turns you into a human pin cushion and lets you see way too much of your blood, up close and personal-like, but because it wrecks havoc on your body.  Your heart.  Your eyes.  Your kidneys.  Your circulation.  Your everything.

But hey, thank you God, I dodged that bullet.  I do not have diabetes.  Do you hear that Universe?  I am NON-DIABETIC.  Maybe just barely, but still, I am fighting that diagnosis for all I am worth.  I am worth a lot.  I am worth too much to too many people to have allowed my health to be compromised like this.  It’s not like I don’t know what to do, what to eat.  Did you read that super foods post?  I have this stuff down cold.  What I struggle with is my compulsion to eat decidedly non-super foods.  My remedy for every stress in my life, all my life, has been food.  I like to exercise and move, but when you are fat, you are ridiculed for exercising and moving, so no, I don’t exercise enough.  It is also not easy to lug this ginormous body around.  None of that matters.  Exercise and eating healthfully are no longer optional for me.  I am not starting on Monday, or on the first of the month, or after all the Easter candy is out of the house, I am starting now.  I have now started.  It is official.  Now if you will excuse me, I need to go to the gym.

Giving In To Peer Pressure- My 15 min of fame as a child actor

This is for the hundreds okay, the three of you who requested to know more about my brief but shining career on TV as a wanna be Barbara Walters when I was a kid.  And I don’t want to get you too excited, but yes, it is true, I did in fact, interview Mr. T.  (don’t be a jelus hater, dude.) Also, I am absolutely sure that the producers of Napoleon Dynamite ripped off the idea for the Happy Hands Club from me, and owe me serious props.  No lie.  I will prove it. The show was called Kidsworld, and it was a news show that was written and reported by kids.  It was a national program that aired every Saturday morning after the cartoons.  The local NBC affiliate in Spokane, KHQ, would occasionally do a story on a local kid to be aired on the national show.  When I was in 2nd grade, that kid was me.  See, every year, my parents sent me to YMCA summer camp to get rid of me broaden my experiences and allow me to commune with nature.  At camp, you could chose from different interest classes, and one of them was sign language. In sign language class, we learned crucial elements of ASL vital to communicating with the deaf, such as the “Bumble Bee Tuna” jingle.  Once we mastered that, (along with the words for poop, vomit and fart) we learned to sign along to Bette Midler’s “The Rose.”   I freaking loved sign language class.  I loved it so much, I followed the counselor who taught it around during other activities, asking for more. (“How do you sign lake?  How do you sign my roommate peed her sleeping bag again?”) I love it so much, that when I got back to school in September, I started a sign language club.  And what song did we perform for the talent show?  You guessed it!  The only song I knew other than the Bumble Bee Tuna song, “The Rose.”  And what song did the Happy Hands Club perform on Napoleon Dynamite?!  The Rose!  Coincidence?  I think not!  Because the director of Napoleon Dynamite was from Nampa, Idaho, and what is the NBC affiliate for Northern Idaho???  You guessed it, KHQ.  And KHQ decided to interview the weird little 2nd grade girl who started a sign language club that caught on like wildfire at her elementary school.  And that weird little girl?  Yours truly.  I know in my heart that the creator of Napoleon Dynamite saw me on Kidsworld and created the Happy Hands Club. If the story ended there, it would surely be worth the precious moments of your life that you have wasted spent reading this looooong post.   But no, there’s more. You see, a few years later, KHQ decided they would like to do a local edition of Kidsworld with stories of NW kids, and call it Kidsworld Special Edition.  It would air once a month, in the evening.  If you’ve ever seen the show PM Magazine, it was done in the same style, because we shared a producer.  The producer decided to call all the kids that had appeared on Kidsworld or the news in the last few years, and ask them to audition.   I begged and groveled and begged some more, “Pleeeeaaasse, Mom!  You’ve got to take me!  I know that I can do this!  I will die if I don’t do this!  I will die I tell you!”  Mom decided she didn’t want to hear any more begging even more than she didn’t want to drive me clear across town to audition.  Each kid had to write two sample news stories, and do an on-camera interview and screen test.  I wrote my stories, edited them over and over, and put on my coolest purple top that made my eyes look extra green.  I was ready. What I didn’t know was that the station had also put the word out to local talent and modeling agencies.  When we got to the station, there were kids everywhere—little kids, teens, all of them good looking and guarded by vicious attack stage mothers.  Instantly all confidence left me. “Mom, I am never going to get the job.  Let’s just go home, ok? Mom turned a particular shade that made her face look like an angry pomegranate.  “You made me drive 45 minutes, clear across town, in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic.  YOU ARE DOING THE INTERVIEW.”  Nothing is scarier than my mom after driving at rush hour.  I did the interview, and got the job, one of 12 spots.  Over 600 kids had auditioned for it.  In the end, it was my writing and the fact that I looked and acted like a real kid that made them pick me. I was on Kidsworld from the time I was 11 until I turned 14 and the show was cancelled.  Each month, I would either write and report my own stories, or ghost write for some of the other kids who didn’t quite have as much knack for it.  I also did the wraps, the cute little small talk in between stories, introducing the topic and going to commercial.  I did too many stories to remember, but one that stands out to me was a story I did about the world’s longest soda straw at a high school.  They got into the Guinness Book of World Records, but the best part was the cheerleaders who wrote special cheers just for the event, (“Rah rah rah!  Suck it up a straw!  Boom boom boom, suck it to the moon!”) Another one was about a kid hot air balloon pilot, and they made me go up in a hot air balloon and I was so scared I almost peed my pants, as I was and am, deathly afraid of heights.  There was the parrot that took a crap in my hand on camera (that eventually made it on to the show “TV’s Funniest Bloopers”) and a celebrity interview with Richard Simmons that almost scarred me for life.  But the highlight of my TV career, by far, was interviewing Mr. T. This was at the height of his fame, when he had just done the Rocky movie and the TV show “The A-Team” was a top-rated show.  We weren’t even on his schedule; the producer just pulled me out of school, took a camera man and sent me up to him at a car show where he was signing autographs.  I begged him for an interview, and he agreed, because he loved kids.  I don’t remember much, except that his real name is Lawrence Tarro and the whole Mr. T thing?  A total act.  Seriously.  He was a nice, soft-spoken, perfectly normal guy with a weird Mohawk and a tad overkill of bling, until the camera went on.  Then “I pity da fool!” and all the rest came out of the hat.  After the camera went off, “Mr. T” was gone and “Larry” was chatting with his sister, who is his manager and travels with him everywhere.  His on-camera interview was the typical “study hard, stay in school, and you too could have a hundred pounds of gold chains and an afro Mohawk” but that interview changed my life forever.  I started getting recognized.  “Aren’t you that girl?  From that show?”  or “Hey, you’re on Kidsworld!  Mom!  It’s the fat girl from Kidsworld!”  and “Did you interview Mr. T?”  At first I would cop to it, yes, yes I was that fat girl from that show and yes I did interview Mr. T. But the thing is, kids are not adoring fans of other kids for long.  Kids quickly become little butt heads, at least they were to me.  “That show sucks!  Can you get me an audition?”  After a while, I started to lie.  Nope. Not me.  Wrong blonde fat girl; don’t be embarrassed, we all look alike. The most surreal part, and where I’ll end my story, happened after the Mr. T interview aired nationally.  My biological father, who had divorced my mom when I was 2 months old, saw the interview, and knew by my name and my face exactly who I was, the daughter he had not seen in 13 years.  He contacted my aunt, who contacted my mom, who gave him our address, and out of the blue, I get a letter from him.  It was all very “Maury Povich” long-lost-family-reunion show.  I found out I have 2 half-brothers, whom I later met and am still in touch with.  I am an aunt to a niece and nephew who both have my green eyes and chubby cheeks. And I pity da fool who doesn’t give me props for the Happy Hands Club the next time they watch Napoleon Dynamite!!

What Mallory Needs

This is the best meme ever, stolen from Joshilyn Jackson at Faster than Kudzu. 

What you do is google your name and the word needs.  So I googled “Mallory needs…” and here are the first 10 entries:

1.  Mallory needs a toy (oy, how did google find out about my B.O.B. post?!)

2.  Mallory needs ketchup on her burger (true.  and mustard and mayo please.  oh, and better make it a veggie burger!)

3.  Mallory needs a bodyguard (um, do you know something I don’t know?)

4.  Mallory needs access to the traffic (ah, no, actually, I get plenty o’ traffic driving the kids to school in Outer Bumsquat morning and afternoon, thanks anyway!)

5.  Mallory needs to be here (ok, you got me!  Where’s the party?!)

6.  Mallory needs a real job, one that produces a bona fided W-2 (Wow this is scarily accurate, sort of, ‘cuz I have a real job but I am on a leave of absence and now I am slaving away at housework and wound care and other fun stuff but it does not pay (except in hugs and love and gratitude, which is more than enough, but still,  I will now demand a W-2 from my disabled mother.  Thank you, google!)

7.  Mallory needs to humiliate him and Pepper will lose his marbles (Ok, I’m game, hey Pepper, your name is a seasoning!  Take that!)

8.  Mallory needs to take up collecting stamps or something (um, ok, I choose “or something” )

9.  Mallory needs to go back to wherever she’s been whoring around (ok, Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?)

10.  Mallory needs to spend hundreds of millions of dollars (now this one is definitely my favorite!  Let’s get started now!)

Ok, now it’s your turn!  You do it and let me know in the comments so I can come read it!

Mallory, From A-Z

[UPDATE: If you do this meme tell me in the comments so I can come to your blog and read it!  Long live the meme!]

A is for Age: 
37.  Over-the-hill but not quite under it.  So, yay me.

B is for Booze of choice:
Shirley Temples.  Not really, but what’s a tee-totaler to say?  Iced tea and plenty of it is my preferred libation.
C is for Career:
Mom.  Everything else is secondary…
D is for your Dog’s name:
Hazel, Australian Shepherd extraordinaire.  I also have Smokey the Lame but Adorable Cat, Trevor the Female Aquatic Frog. 

E is for Essential Care Instructions:
Hmmm.  Feed me, love me, rub my back, give me lots of iced tea.  Do not wake me up.  And presents!  Presents are nice…

F is for Favorite food at the moment:
Orange Chicken from Panda Express. 

G is for favorite Games:
“Zuma” and “What Word” and “Jeopardy” on the ‘puter; “Cranium” is definitely my favorite board game.

H is for Hometown:
Roswell, NM.  Seriously.  I am not an alien that I know of, however.

I is for Instruments you play:
I can play Silent Night and Jingle Bells on the piano.  I live in hope of getting lessons one day and broadening my repretore.
J is for favorite Jams:  On my ipod, you’ll find everything from Sheryl Crow to Paul Simon, Nora Jones to my favorite 80’s songs like Funky Town and Le Freak.

K is for Kids:
Lovely Liliana, age 14 (!) and Wicked Witted Mathew, age just turned 12 in March.
L is for Last kiss:
This morning, from Hazel, unfortunately.

M is for Most admired trait:
Hmmm.  Well, I guess I would say intelligence and sense of humor, but then I would, wouldn’t I? lol

N is for Name of your crush:
Crush? None to speak of.  Ok, I am waiting to see if Matt Damon’s marriage works out…
O is for Overnight hospital stays:
Having my tonsils out, age 7; Having my gallbladder out, last August, Having my babies out, age 23 and 25

P is for phobias:
Heights.  Falling.  A wee bit scared of air travel, which seems natural, considering it involves both heights and the possibility of falling.  Yikes!
Q is for quotes you like:
 “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.” John Burroughs

R is for biggest Regret:
Not working my ass off in school, getting lots of scholarships and becomming a doctor.
S is for Sweets of your choice:
Chocolate: preferably See’s, but a nice Lindor Truffle or Hershey’s Symphony bar will do in a pinch.
T is for Time you wake up:
6 a.m, generally.  Unless I have CBS- “Cozy Bed Syndrome”  then later
U is for Unique Facts: I was on a t.v. show as a child, aged 11-14.  It cured me of ever wanting to be famous.

V is for Vegetable you love:
Broccoli, asperagas, sweet corn on the cob, a good spinach salad.  Thank God I love veggies.
W is for Worst Habit:
Too many to list.  Ok, ok, I’m a (reformed) slob and I eat too much. 

X is for X-rays you’ve had:
When I was 11 for broken wrist, and again when I was 13 for you guessed it, the same broken wrist.  Also lots of dental x-rays, and chest x-rays because I am prone to pneumonia.

Y is for Yummy food you make:
I make a pretty good potato salad, my mom’s recipe.  I also make a mean brownie and chocolate chip cookies.  I have recently discovered that I am a good but reluctant cook.

Z is for Zodiac sign:
Capricorn.  Famous for being stubborn.  That part is true, but I think Astrology is all hooey.

The Eyes Have It

eyes1.jpgA multiple personality disorder, that is.  I would normally say my eyes are green, but here they look really blue. 

Do your eyes do this too? 

Or this more proof of my alien heritage?

The Cheese Stands Alone

My name is Mallory, and I am a blog addict.  Seriously, my day doesn’t feel right until I’ve caught up with Dooce and Zoot and Amalah and Mir, and Wacky Mommy, oh, and too many others, just wait till I build that blogroll.  You’ll wonder how I do anything else. 

 Actually I do a lot.  I’m a left-leaning, life-loving, NPR-listening, book-reading, blog-addicted, crafts-making, scrapbooking,  positive-thinking shutterbug who is an ample, angsty, over-scheduled, overfed, under-rested but still smiling mom of two amazing kids. 

The amazing kids, (and yes, yes they are amazing and awesome and wonderful) do lots of stuff.  There are two of them, a 12 year old boy and 14 year old girl.  They are both cast members in a professional children’s theatre, and both do tap and jazz dancing.  (Yes, even the boy, since he was 6 years old.  And yes, he is straight.  Which, who cares, I’d love him any old way, but he is.  Decidedly, emphatically straight.)  The girl also does Irish dancing, and we go to Feisanna, which are Irish dance competitions. 

The girl and boy have actual names:  Liliana and Matthew, who is also Matt or Matty, but Liliana is always, always Liliana.  She won’t let anyone call her Lily (but I do) or God forbid, Lil.  They go to a public school that is a math and science magnet (to balance out the artsy stuff) that has an accelerated curiculum and is about 75% TAG kids.  This school is waaaaaay across town, but we get to go there because we live in “da hood” and the President-That-I-Would-Never-Ever-Vote-For got that law passed that if your local school sucks you can go to a different one, etc.  So I drive a lot.  A lot.

 Did I mention that I also work full time?  And I am going to school to be a nurse practioner?  I should say, I did work full time, because I am currently on a medical leave of absence, not for me, but for my mom.  Here is the Cliff’s notes version:  Mom went in for a “routine” 3 hr operation.  It ended up taking 17 hrs.  They gave her a medication that she was allergic to, that causes massive blood clotting all over her body.  They had to give her clot busting drugs to save her life, drugs you should never, ever give while a patient is opened up in surgery.  She lost 18 units of blood.  She almost died.  She spent 56 days in ICU, had 4 more surgeries.  Had to have her left leg amputated.  Got a horrible post-surgical infection that damn near killed her on Christmas and on my birthday a few days later.  Was on a ventilator, and the doctors kept suggesting we ought to give up and pull the plug.  Instead we prayed and cried and begged her to hang on, and she did.  She went to a skilled nursing/rehab for 6 wks.  She was weak as a kitten, my strong, amazing mom who used to work 9 and 10 hour days on her feet. 

She needed someone to take care of her, so I did.  I have one sister, who’s single, but financially, she couldn’t do it.  So the kids and I moved in, I took the leave of absence and I am trying to live on my child support, which is laughably little but so far so good.  I do everything for Mom and also for Dad, who has MS and uses a wheelchair part time himself. 

If my life were a sandwich, I’d be the cheese, a life sneaked in between supporting active kids and disabled parents.  I love my life.  I feel like I have found my purpose.  It is a life of service, and it brings me meaning.  It also means I have to work harder to take care of myself, and I don’t always do a good job.  That is what I am working at the hardest these days.

 So that’s me–Mallory in the middle.  Nice to meet you.