FreeLance Armstrong

My Performance Enhancing Drug.  Put a Sock in It!
My Performance Enhancing Drug. Put a Sock in It!                                                                                  * Sock placed by young child aimlessly throwing sock in kitchen.

FreeLance Armstrong

Written by : Andrea Angileri

I’d like to apologize in advance to all of my cyclist friends.

Recently, Lance Armstrong was exposed as blood doping….it was somewhat less entertaining than the fake Te’o incident…really rather low on the totem pole of things I could care less about as it had something to do with sports.   All I knew about Lance Armstrong was that he rides bikes…fast, he dated Sheryl Crow, and he unfortunately, has one ball…that’s all I really needed to know.  But now, I know that he used ‘performance enhancement ‘ drugs…..and people are pissed.

Am I the only one who doesn’t care that much about steroid use in athletes?  Am I ‘cheating’ because I drink coffee?  Here’s what my interview with Oprah would look like:

Oprah: “So..Andrea…do you admit to using ‘performance enhancement’ drugs?

Me: “Yes….I drink coffee.”

Oprah:  “How often do you use ‘coffee’ and why?”

Me: “I try to drink at least a cup a day most days….I like to think it helps me ‘do better’.”

Oprah: “But can’t you do everything you do WITHOUT coffee…what about tea instead?”

Me:  “I know that tea has added health benefits, but coffee seems to push me to load that third set of dishes in the dishwasher, focus on conversations…it’s just a part of my morning routine.”

Oprah: “Can you believe I’ve built my entire empire…without coffee?”

Me:  “I know you’d like to think that your ‘little dogs’ (using sarcastic finger quotes) take a lot of energy….but I got 4 real kids…real kid shit to deal with.”

I would then peek at her cards and see the topics ‘wine, beer, Ritalin, and plastic surgery’ and storm off with my Starbuck’s off the set.   Just kidding…I love Oprah, I would give her a hug and eat crow…like Lance did.  Lowercase ‘c’ people….I have to say that because as much as I’d like to deny having perverted friends….I have to stay a step ahead of them.

We live in a performance enhancing drug society.  My eight year old is convinced that I should buy the ‘5 hour energy drink’….”Look how little it is, “he says, “and It gives you energy for 5 hours!”.  I tried energy drinks for one day.  I was irritated at how sweet they were and how slow the results were.  A sleepness night is not what I needed….it should have kicked in earlier!  Remember the ‘No-Doz’ phase.  People were taking them to stay awake…legal speed I guess.  I tried this once, which resulted in being the passenger in a car going 45 miles an hour down N. 2nd with me yelling, “WHY ARE WE GOING SO SLOW?!”  I’m pretty sure that alcohol and a median were involved, and definitely sure that was enough of that.

So we can conclude that performance enhancing drugs are a part of our society, people drink coffee/tea/ energy drinks/ pop to wake up, kids take meds to focus, people use booze to relax and socialize, older men use drugs to perform…so why should athletes be excluded?

I say let them have the choice.  They can be on the non-juiced league or the SUPER MEGA ULTRA JUICED LEAGUE.  It would only be a matter of time before someone got hurt, exploded, lost a penis, or what have you and that would be the end of that, but it might make for interesting T.V.

I am not an avid sports watcher.  I mean… I obviously support the Chicago teams because I love my family and I appreciate the commercials during the Superbowl, but I am a fourth quarter, 9th inning watcher at best.   I will sit next to my husband and he will ask, “Did you see that play?” and I will say “No”.  I have this crazy talent of sitting and watching T.V. and using it as a chance to zone out and think about what I will do next when I get the energy to get my lazy butt off the couch.

So Lance, yes, you cheated…and that is wrong….you are still a lying bastard.   Athletes of all kind get the results that they want by using healthy alternatives.  They work hard and they don’t use performance enhancing drugs.  You will forever be in the doghouse with them.  As a person who accidentally watches sports, “I Forgive You”.

***It’s just been clarified to me that it was never steroids, but blood doping.  I didn’t even know blood doping existed, because I don’t pay close enough attention, which is why I will never post political things.  Apparently, it involves adding more red blood cells so that blood can carry more oxygen, which actually sounds pretty awesome.  I’m pretty sure this can treat anemia and I’d like to sign up.  I think it’s dangerous on some level, and I obviously am wrong, but too lazy to research why.

I am a Tree Killer and the Lorax is Pissed

I am a Tree Killer and the Lorax is Pissed

Written by: Andrea Angileri

No…I am not making thneeds, though the idea of making millions by creating a multi-purpose scrap of fabric is right down my alley.  I enjoyed the movie ‘The Lorax’.  I’m convinced that I want hair like the kind that grows on the trees from the movie, am pretty sure that I am following Rob Riggle on Twitter solely based on his performance on Aloysius O’Hare (FYI: he’s a bit of a sports buff), and thought I saw that Bruno Mars had something to do with the music (proving my theory that Bruno Mars can do no wrong).  No…my idea that Danny Devito would shake his hairy finger and tell me “You have been warned!” refers to my current project….weeding through my accumulation of paper.  Sure, a typical house might have typical paperwork…manuals…kid momentos…bills, but combine that with the paperwork involved in my multiple jobs  and my tendency to be file cabinet  illiterate and you get a big mess.

In my attempt to carve out a little corner of my house for me and my paper hoard, I have brought every single piece upstairs to create a play room/ office.  Since my husband shares his man-cave with our three sons it seems fair that I share my corner with tubs of Thomas the train sets.  Now, when I first brought all of my stuff up there in the affectionately called ‘crap room’, it was pretty bad.  It was pretty ‘Hoarders’ worthy…though I don’t THINK there were any dead cats up there…’Fluffy’?…..”Tigger?”.  If I were to be on ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ and Wayne Brady offered 50 bucks for a middle school note, a manual for a T.V. you no longer have, or a lesson plan on how to make a lemon demonstrate electricity, I would be in luck!  I could also go dressed up as my minivan and be just as lucky.  The beauty of the room was that I decluttered (to the best of my ability) every other room in the house and could close the door to this room and be content. The ugliness of the room is the room.  After many decluttering sessions accompanied by revisited tapes and CDs there is progress.  There is something about jamming to The Jets ‘Rocket 2 U’ that really gets those hanging file folders moving.

My supervisor is going to be supplying me with 110 binders for my 110 provider caseload next week.  There is hope that I will have floor space if I keep it up!  By the way, I just told my 5 year old to use ‘scrap paper’ because ‘The Lorax would be proud’ to which he disgustedly replied…”UGHH!…It’s just a show!”  Reminder to self: Follow Ed Helms on Twitter next.

Ten Things I Won’t Miss About Having Young Children (Part 1)

Ten Things that I Won’t Miss About Having Little Kids

Written by: Andrea Angileri

Don’t get me wrong….one day I’ll cry over their photo albums with a good bottle of wine like the rest of you…but for now they are under my roof and up in my face.  Here are ‘Ten Things that I Won’t Miss About Having Little Kids”.  Don’t worry…it will be followed by a ‘Ten Things that I WILL Miss About Having Little Kids”.

  1.  MAKING MY DAUGHTER FACEPLANT IN THE DRIVEWAY AND OTHER PARENTING FAILS.   This is a title to a different blog post where I will elaborate on this.  Basically, it’s the real possibility and fear that we can cause our kids to get hurt.  It will be conjured every time we get in the car, watch the news, or read the paper.  Now let me move on before I start rehashing a particular Oprah episode and make us all cry.
  2. SUPERVISING EVERYTHING.  Baths, toilet paper rationing, kids on stools, kids with markers, kids with scissors…you get it…hanging out in your watchtower with eyes in the back of your head to avoid chaos and disorder.
  3. CAILLOU AND OTHER ANNOYING ANIMATION.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been known to order a Netflix kid flick or two solely because I wanted to watch it.  I will enjoy ‘The Lorax’ and cry at ‘Up’, laugh at SpongeBob, and make my kids watch old Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons because they let me reminisce about my childhood.  My husband thinks my daughter is just imitating Caillou when she whines about something.  If he is sitting with me when my kids are watching cartoons we usually just mock and poke fun with our inappropriately dark humor.  We should probably just be taking pointers on patience from his parents.  See…look…Caillou’s dad is taking him on a bike ride….maybe we should turn this stupid T.V. off and go out and buy some grown up bikes and do the same thing….or maybe sit and snuggle and let the colorful shapes blur and blend on the screen.
  4. I DIDN’T MAKE THAT MESS.  We all know that my house hates me.  It makes messes after I’ve cleaned it and the clutter slithers around….I’m beginning to think the kids have something to do with it.
  5. WHY ARE WE TALKING SO LOUD?  Kids are loud.  I mean I wasn’t….I’m pretty sure people considered using sign language after hanging out with me for a while…but my kids are loud.  The youngest has pretty much learned that she needs to be louder than everybody else to capture full attention which results in, “Blah…blah..blah…blah…OOOOKKKKKK?!!!!”
  6. BODILY FLUIDS AND POTTY ISSUES.  Wiping snot, vomit, pee, and poop are just part of the gig.  Potty training is punishment for enjoying the first 2 years of your child’s life.  I’m glad that is over.  I am still working on toilet paper efficiency,  however.  In fact, this blurb is really inspired by the fact that I just had to plunge a toilet.  I’m pretty sure that I have never had to plunge a toilet because of my own doing.  In fact….I don’t even USE the bathroom.  I have been famously known to not go for close to a week…o.k.  not famously until now and not funny I should speed dial the doctor.

Ten Things I Won’t Miss about Having Young Children (Part 2)

7.  SHIELDING THEM INAPPROPRIATE MEDIA.  Right now I have left the kids upstairs to play listening to ‘MTV Party to Go Volume 2’ and Salt and Pepa’s ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ is blaring.  Oops.  Inappropriate media will be lurking on YouTube, available in the boys’ room on Xbox’s late night Netflix, and skimmed through on the radio.

8. BEING INTERRUPTED.  Now, to be honest, I’m not really much of a conversationalist.  I can go all day without talking if I really had to, but I do need to make the occasional phone call,  desperate catching up with friend and/or loved one, or just proof that I have a pulse.  I would love to get that ‘Recording for assurance and quality’ that all the businesses offer for my own entertainment.  You will hear my kids in the background, muffed ‘Be Quiet I’m on the Phone!’ s and other laughable moments.  Whether it’s talking, doing, or thinking, young children will exasperate my already A.D.D-like tendencies to an all time high.

9. SCHOOL PICK UP AND DROP OFFS.   I’ll admit, there is something heart-warming about seeing my school ager wave to me with a hopeful smile and clomp away with his backpack, the preschooler who flags his latest art project at me, and even my middle schooler who barely makes eye-contact when I say, “Have a good day…See you at 3!”….but school pick up and drop offs kinda suck.  Despite having to scrape windows, pack lunches, brush teeth and waiting for the one who’s poking around in the bathroom, we’ve been doing an awesome job getting to school on time…..I should be given a large cash prize for this.  But wait…in a few hours it will be time for the preschooler.  I will remind him not to eat lunch so he can eat at school and break away from whatever home activity we are doing to take him.  I will have to get the younger sister out of the car, go into the school, sign him in, and leave.  Maybe we will lag around the playground until I get chased away by the recess chaperones.  Clearly…I am a strange woman who is a threat to other small children.  Then I will go home with a younger child who takes naps in my wildest dreams.  We will get back in the car to pick up one child…wait 10 minutes for the next one…wait 35 minutes for the last one…and return home to barge into the house like large bears looking for a pot of honey.   Some years I’ve included other innocent children into these routines….some days I’ve entrusted other adults to take on these duties while I am at work….some days I don’t wish a large yellow bus came to my corner to do it all for me.

10. HIDING COOKIES.  Not too long ago I resorted to hiding Pepperidge Farm Sausalito cookies in my underwear drawer.  Obviously my daughter, who was trying on my socks, found them.  I don’t like that when I allow sweets into the house it immediately turns into crack and my children turn into junkies.  I am a little irritated that there is no pop in the house and the only thing I can have to myself is the wine.  I’m sure the healthier eating habits would be wonderful and we would all eat the same balanced meals consistently if I was Caillou’s mom.


So…there they are all ten reasons.  I will probably cut this into two parts because as my husband noted on the ‘Skinny on the Skinny’ post…it got a bit too long….and some of you might lose interest.  Reminder to self: Write a post about my husband soon.

A Penny for Your Thoughts?

A Penny for Your Thoughts?

Written by: Andrea Angileri

I’ve always enjoyed writing on some level or another.  Whether it was a persuasive speech, a poem making fun of an ex-boyfriend, a desperate journal entry, whatever…writing has been enjoyable for me.  I did well in English class and even enjoyed a short stint as a writing tutor.  I am not always stellar with all aspects of academic writing, however.  I tend to do things very MLAPA (MLA and APA lovechild).  I never use a semi colon.  I go on tangents away from my thesis.  I want to put in something sarcastically funny.  I still have this theory that if I ever did opt to finish my project study it would have been the first comedic dissertation.  “According to the 2010 statistics of retention rates…blah blah..come on let’s just get real college ain’t for everybody”.  It dawned on me one day in a fast food wi-fi hell…”I don’t want to do this anymore!  I’m sitting at a McDonald’s listening to everybody else talk trying to research attrition rates.  This is my only 3 hour window away from my ankle clinging kiddos…I should be wandering around a Shopko or watching Netflix at Starbuck’s….or blogging.

I enjoy blogging because it can be about any topic of my choosing.  I don’t have to be tied into something I’ll dread.  Though I have before.  O.k. every person who discovers they are decent at something thinks about how they might make a buck off of it.  Oh, let’s say about five years ago or so I attempted to freelance.  Here’s my freelance story.  I joined a freelance site and began trolling.  There were a variety of jobs, so I attempted to look through anything related to motherhood or children.  I bid $50 on one assignment.  I was the lowest bidder.  I moved on to other things and forgot about it.  When I got the email of interest, I was ecstatic.  Yay! A writing gig!  Sure, sort of like my talk show gig…I didn’t even care what it was about…I was game for some excitement.  The topic was ‘Marketing Tips for Maternity Photographers’.  No expert on marketing, but plenty versed on maternity and pictures I pushed on.  So, the topic was ’50 Marketing Tips for Maternity Photographers’……at 300 words a tip.  That is 15,000 words.  I am no math genius, but thanks to my iPhone I have calculated that I would be making $.003 per word.  Seriously…not even a penny for your thoughts.  This is where the phrase ‘starving artist’ comes from.  By tip #20 I was like….”I don’t know…go hang out at a library during tot story time or something”.  I emailed my contractor and confessed that there was no way I would make it to 50, I was good with 25.  Because that was not the agreed upon content, and some of my tips were pose ideas, I would be pro-rated for $25.  The freelance site takes $7, so I made $18.  Wait…let me get the iPhone…$.0024 per word.  I don’t know…maybe my math is off…I did bomb my math placement test for community college…but don’t be sad I pushed on just short of the doctorate.  Anyways, somewhere is cyberspace is a very desperate attempt to be a freelance writer.  I just spent $18 at Starbuck’s blogging.  I am not making money…I am spending it.

Anyways, I’ve only been blogging for a couple months, but have really enjoyed surfing the web (do people still even say that?) for other blogs.  There is so much out there!  Lots of funny, lots of artistically beautiful, aesthetically pleasing blogs.  People know what they are doing.  There’s a lot of links and support and advertising.  It’s a bit over my head and time consuming.  I start reading blogs and then I’m remembering that Ana has only just started getting into Christian’s sadistic love contract or that my Netflix movie has been sitting on my dresser for a month, or maybe that there is a child staring at me breathing on my shoulder.  This blog was 669 words…I should have gotten $2 for it.