Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Hangover & HP Magic Giveaway Info

Happy post-Turkey Day.
Is everyone as full and disgusted with themselves as I am?
Although it was tasty going down, I could do without the after-effects.

I need to get out and exercise but, damn, here I am sitting at my computer again.
Between writing, blogging, and keeping up with the news (I'm so sad/mad about the events in Mumbai),
I am NEVER away from my computer.

I am going step away for a bit take my kids and nephews to see TWILIGHT.
Has anyone seen it?
Is it okay for my 8 year old to see?
I would love to hear from you if you have...

And for those of you following my incredible giveaway!! :

The contest has begun.
Not here, YET.  But keep checking in because it's coming here SOON.  Each participating blogger is going LIVE with their contest on different dates between NOW and MID-DECEMBER.  The contest will last 7 days.  Check out each blog for specific details of how to win, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!

Sorry, no family or IRL friends are eligible to enter on my blog, BUT YOU CAN ENTER 49 TIMES on the other blogs (assuming you're not friendly or related to them either.) 

The contest is live  RIGHT NOW at these amazing blogs:


Go visit and enter to win the following:

  • HP TouchSmart IQ816 PC
  • HP HDX 18 series Premium Notebook PC  
  • HP MediaSmart Connect 
  • HP Pavilion dv4 series Entertainment Notebook PC (with Windows Live)
  • HP Mini 1000 (with XP)  
  • HP Photosmart C6380 Wireless AIO (printer)
  • HP 564 Photo Value Pak 
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate/Home Premium or Microsoft Windows XP pre-installed on all units (Mini 1000 runs XP)
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition 2007 (Student-Teacher Edition) – 1 DVD with 3 licenses  
  • Microsoft Windows Live
  • Corel VideoStudio X2
  • Kung Fu Panda (2 widescreen DVDs; 1 widescreen Blu-ray disc)
No,  I am NOT kidding.  YOU CAN WIN ALL OF IT!
Check out HP's homepage for more details.

The only thing we ask is that you keep with the spirit of giving that HP and Microsoft have intended.  They are giving you a HUGE package in the hopes you will share the goodness.  Maybe some less fortunate friends, schools, hospitals, assisted-living residences.  YOUR CHOICE.  But we do hope you give some of it away.  (I mean, how many computers can you possibly keep?!)

I'll give more details on rules and regulations and what you can do to win MY CONTEST when I go LIVE.  Keep checking!  TICK-TOCK.

And you can check out the other 49 participating bloggers here:

Gotta Be Mobile
Barb’s Connected World
Gear Live
Small Biz Vista
JK On the Run
I Started Something
Bleeping Computer
The Gadgeteer
Planet x64
Digital Home Thoughts
Digital Inspiration
Geek News Central
The Digital Lifestyle
Last 100
Geeks To Go!
Slashdot Review
Windows Connected
Techie Diva
One Day, One Job
Student Bloggers
Study Hacks - Demystifying College Success
Noticias Tech
La Bitácora de Erwin Ried
Carlos Alberto
Unión de Bloggers Hispanos
Living - In Theory
Moosh in Indy
Thoughts on poetics and tech
Stop, Drop and Blog
Down-to-Earth Mama
Morningside Mom


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Give Me The Grateful Life - (Tuesday??)

Okay, so I'm a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short...
I blame it on being out of town, on being out of my usual routine...

But no more excuses, let's get to today's GRATITUDE...This is the week for gratitude, is it not???

  1. I am grateful that we made it to Park City unharmed and without harming anyone else.  (Details in a post to come.)
  2. I am grateful there's no snow because I have too much work to go skiing.
  3. I will be extra grateful the day I get paid for said work.
  4. I am grateful for being with family in this absolutely gorgeous location.
  5. I am grateful for blue skies, clean air, and mild temperatures.  
  6. And, of course, I am grateful for being a part of this amazing, in-the-spirit-of-holiday-giving contest.

Please check this post for details.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving week??

Monday, November 24, 2008

Let The Holiday MAGIC begin!!!!! A H-U-G-E GIVEAWAY!!!!

Are you ready for the spirit of the season?
For miracles, magic and giving?

I am, or will be, in less than one week.
And I hope you are, too...because one of you could be the lucky winner of...

HP is launching a MEGA promotion full of GOOD CHEER and GREAT STUFF!
Their giving away $6000 worth of HP products to 50 lucky winners!

That's right, you read me correctly, $6000 to ONE LUCKY WINNER!

They have invited 50 bloggers, OF WHICH MERLOTMOM IS ONE, to help.
EACH blogger is giving away $6000 of HP product to ONE of their incredibly LUCKY winners!!   That's 50 WINNERS!  That's $300,000 worth of amazing computer hardware and software!!

Check out their HOME PAGE for the exciting details and to see the other lucky bloggers invited to the party.


In the meantime, Happy Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yet Another Mommy Screw-Up: When Will It End???????

It was an atypical Wednesday afternoon at the MM household.
And by atypical, I mean peaceful.

Merlot Girl (her new name, you like?) gets out early on Wednesdays, so I picked her up and took her for a haircut.
While she was pampered, I  relaxed in a comfy chair, eating a tasty Subway salad and checking my emails.
We picked up Merlot Boy (you like?) from school promptly at 3pm.  No rushing, no fretting.

We returned home to no evidence of destruction - no shredded magazines, no chewed up shoes, no signs of paw prints on the kitchen island.
All was good with the world.
And continued to be,
As the kids did their homework without fuss,
As I walked my two dogs around the block,
As I chatted with neighbors,


At 5pm,
With one call to my cell,
My blissful bubble burst


"Hey," my friend said, "I've been calling you.  Can I pick up my boy now?"
"What?!" I screamed into the phone, in shock, my brain slowly processing my  mistake.

"Alright," she said, not believing me.  "Just have him ready, okay?"

Why would my friend believe me?  I've often pulled pranks of this nature; pretending I'd forgotten to pick up her kid, or neglected to feed him dinner,  or let him swim in an unheated pool in 50 degree weather.

I don't do it much anymore (I'm maturing I guess), but rest assured it was only with a select few who I knew could forgive handle my SICK sense of humor.

"Holy shit!" my stomach fell.  "I forgot to take him home!  Shit!"  

Today was my day to carpool.

Realizing I was telling the truth she panicked, "Where do you think he is?" she asked.  "How long do they keep the yard open?"

"I think someone's there 'til 6,"  I tried to reassure her.

"Alright, I'm going to look for him."
I demanded. "Let me go.  Please.  I feel awful.  I want to go."

I locked my kids in the house with a rushed, cryptic explanation.  I sped through the neighborhood, slamming the gas pedal and making perfunctory stops.  As I ran onto campus,  I did not see him.

What if something happened?   I thought.  What if he's upset?  What if he's crying?  Why didn't he call anyone?  Shit, I'm such an idiot.

And then there he was.  Waiting.

I threw up my arms, "I'M SORRY, I'm sorry, it's all my fault."
I explained how I was supposed to pick him up, how I totally spaced (I'm mostly into the honest, adults are totally imperfect approach) and I promised him a huge ice cream.  (Good, right?)

He was cool about it, unharmed,  immediately taking advantage of the situation by trying to wrangle a cell phone from his mom.

But it made me think that something so obvious to us, like finding an adult or going to the school office to ask for a phone, isn't always obvious to a kid.  When I asked him about this, he said the adult supervisor he knew was inside with another group, not on the yard, and he didn't think that the office was open.  I explained to him the various options should this ever happen again. (Not by me, of course.)

I apologized profusely to the mom who was also cool about it (thank G-d), I came home and explained the situation to my son so he, too, would know what to do if I ever didn't show up as planned.

So my atypically peaceful afternoon ended precisely at 5pm.
It's just about 6pm and my house, once again, reeks of typical.
My son is bitching about feeding the dogs, my daughter is conference video-chatting with friends, and I am sitting at my computer, writing, with a nice, big glass of red wine by my side.

Dinner? Who's making dinner?

Sort of.


*graphic courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who Said Marriage Wasn't A Competition? (Warning- Profanity)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

Welcome to a new week readers...
Let's begin with a deep yoga breath and some thanks, shall we?
  1. I am grateful that my house and those of my friends were safe from the fires.  (And deeply sorry for those whose weren't.)
  2. I am grateful for, and hoping to see again soon, a clear, blue sky.
  3. I am grateful to have had the morning free to work on my class assignment.
  4. I am grateful for libraries where I can get away from my house and dogs to work on said assignment without distraction.
  5. I am grateful for meeting such nice women last night at the LA Mom Bloggers launch and to SV Moms Blog for hosting it.  
  6. Oh yes, and I am grateful for Spanx - those things are da bomb!
What are you grateful for today?

When Do Moms Come First?

6 Have you asked yourself this question?

I have, many times since leaving my career in television.  I thought it would be a pleasure to leave the rat race and become a SAHM.  I fantasized about baking cookies, walking my kids to the park, cooking family meals, and reading (something other than scripts).    After four years at home, I have done all of these things yet I’m still haunted by a sense of dissatisfaction.

When I worked, I blamed the feeling on my bosses, the demands of my job, the office politics; I thought staying home would eliminate my obstacles to self-satisfaction.  But, instead of blaming it on my work, I started blaming it on my family.  Days filled with fighting over homework, carpooling, grocery shopping, and cleaning dishes were not exactly soul-enriching endeavors.  I became angry, resentful of the people I loved.
I’d dreamed of being a writer since I was small.  I worked with tv writers and read stacks of how-to books on writing but fear and lack of confidence kept me from actually trying to become one.  Nevertheless, the dream continued to nag at me and in my 30’s I stirred up enough courage to take some classes.  Unfortunately, courage was not enough and with two babies at home, writing for hours a day just wasn’t a reality.  So I let myself become distracted.  After all, being helpful to others and checking off to-do lists was much easier to do than risk my own failure.

So here I am, close to 50, and still poked by this dissatisfaction...   (link to rest of article here)

*this post is an original to LA Mom's Blog

Monday, November 10, 2008

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

Wait, I'm not even sure I know how to do this anymore...
Hold on the photo icon, search desktop, add image...
Hey, I think I've got it, I think I remember how to post!

Hello bloggers, I am back.  At least for today, I make no promises I might otherwise break.
I wanted to stop in and share a little WHOLE LOT of gratitude this beautiful, post-election Monday.  I hope you'll join me.
  1.   I am grateful for the ability of the American people to recognize a hero when they see one.
  2.   I am grateful to be a citizen of what can once again become the powerful and respected nation it has been in the past.
  3.   I am grateful for my writing class where I have, so far, written four pieces of which I am proud.
  4.   I am grateful for the hours (and hours) I have set aside to follow my dream, even though much else has fallen to shit.
  5.   I am grateful to my kids for making me laugh.
  6.   I am grateful to my husband for putting up with me.
  7.   I am grateful to the bloggers who let me get away with starting a contest and never finishing it.  SO SORRY!
Oh, who am I kidding trying to stay calm?  I am SHOUTING FROM THE ROOFTOPS grateful that we BARACK-ED the vote!  From all I've read and all I've heard (you must see last night's 60 MINUTES interview of  his campaign staff), if anyone can take us to the promised land from this shit heap we're currently mired in, it's this man.  GO OBAMA!

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