HuffPo Comedy and Advanced Reader Copies of Martinis & Motherhood

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My Contractor Satire piece is in the Huffington Post Comedy section – Likes and comments on HuffPo are welcome!

Here’s a link  “A Letter to My Contractor (Please, Please Call Me Back)”

 

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And, advanced reader copies are now available for the upcoming anthology “Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe  & WTF,” where I’ll be featured in the “WOE” section.  Yes, woe is me.

The publisher has allowed me (3) three copies so if anyone wishes to receive and write a review on Amazon, please contact me at kbrakeman@earthlink.net, or leave a comment below.

Thanks!!

 

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To My Contractor, Scott: Won’t You Please Call Me Back?

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Dear Scott:

I am writing to you with actual pen and paper because I keep waiting for you to return my calls and texts and I can’t figure out why you won’t respond.

What went wrong with our relationship, Scott? Did I ask for too many changes? Was I too picky, or did you just get bored?

I heard horror stories of construction projects going unfinished and contractors disappearing, but Scott, I never dreamt it could happen to us.

I look back fondly on our first meeting. I remember I got your number from my friend Natalie. My husband and I needed a kitchen remodel and she said we would “just love you.”

And we did love you, Scott. We did. I could tell immediately that you shared our vision for our new kitchen. You were so enthused and eager to please.You didn’t care that we wanted to convert from electric to gas. You weren’t put off by our request to add a window. You said all the right things.

Remember how we shopped for granite? I can still picture you in the store (oddly in slow motion) sharing your expertise and wisely talking us out of the “cheap stuff.”

The first few months of demo and constructions went so well. But then, something changed. Something went awry. I should have picked up on the signs. When the wrong cabinets were delivered you didn’t apologize and offer to fix the problem. No, you implied that they were exactly what I ordered.

Really Scott? Any idiot could tell the difference between Caramel and Honey Spice. Did you think I was a fool? Did you think I just wouldn’t notice?
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My Picture Book Available on Kindle Now

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I wrote a picture book!

It’s a counting book with fun rhymes and cute and funny illustrations by my very talented niece, Natalie Berger, who has a Fine Arts degree in Illustration.

For those of you with tiny tots, or  who perhaps need a little refresher on your  own 1-10’s, it’s a steal at $2.99!

It’s only on Kindle for now, but later, who knows?

Reviews are also welcome – thank you!

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Filed under babies, books, parenting

Why I Won’t Educate My Kids

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I’ve made what some say is a controversial choice.  I refuse to force-educate my kids.  I will not subject my children to dangerous schoolyards, ever-changing teaching methods, and suspect curriculum just because some expert or some government entity says I have to.

I have thoughtfully considered and researched this choice – both online and through posts on celebrity blogs – and because I am a mom that means that the choice I’ve made is the right one for my kids.

Here are the 5 reasons why I refuse to educate:

1)  BIG EDUCATION CAN’T BE TRUSTED.

One minute it’s “No Child Left Behind” and the next it’s “Common Core.”  One day it’s phonetics, then the next it’s whole word.  Continue reading

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TSL Thursday – Beyond Your Blog

As promised, another edition of “Throw Some Love Thursday!”

Today I’d like to introduce you to Beyond Your Blog.  It’s run by Susan Maccarelli.

Susan has posted a ton of links for places to submit your writing – from unpaid guest posts on blogs to paid columns in published books. For anyone trying to boost their writer profile there is lots of helpful advice here.

Enjoy!  And feel free to Throw some Thursday love on your blog.

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Beware Paddington Bear

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When Paddington, the movie about the beloved English bear, arrives in theaters this coming weekend we Americans should be afraid . . . very afraid.

While it might seem like this adorable scamp of a talking bear is just here to delight and make fans this side of the pond, I believe his arrival is actually part of a plot, a sinister and incredibly long-in-the-making plot conceived by the Brits shortly after the Revolutionary War.

In the last few decades, while we as a nation were busy creating and then cleaning up the messes of the world, the Brits quietly and quite unassumingly infiltrated our Continue reading

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Throw Some Love Thursday

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I’m happy to introduce a new feature to my blog, “Throw Some Love Thursday” where I’ll feature a blog I like and/or want to introduce to ya’ll.  I’ll do it every once in awhile – on a Thursday.  Feel free to steal the idea.  I figure, we’re all trying to be heard!

First up is Hairpin Turns Ahead, run by Liesl Testwuide who I was introduced to in last year’s Blogger Idol competition. Liesl had a post go viral last year. Very funny stuff.  Check out Liesl and follow and like and do all that stuff we needy writers appreciate.

Thanks!

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Why Updating My Mom’s Christmas Card List Drove Me To Drink


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My mother needed her Christmas card list updated because – well there’s no gentle way to put it – because her friends keep dying.  Since I printed her address labels the year after my dad died, the maintenance of her Christmas card list is a job that now belongs to me.

I thought it would make things more simple if I printed up a paper version of the labels and sent it to my mom so she could make her corrections and mail it back to me.

But no, she insisted we do it by phone.  This morning she called with her changes.  I held my copy of the printed labels while my mother held hers, and we proceeded to discuss each and every one of the 45 names listed, whether they needed changing or not.

Mother: Mrs. John Bonham, yes that’s right because John died two years ago so it is correct it’s just her.  And okay Mrs. Richard Burke, that’s good, that’s still correct. Mrs. Jill Carlin, yes that’s fine.

Me: Mother, can you just tell me the ones that aren’t correct? Perhaps that would make things go quicker?

Mother: Oh, okay, you prefer to do it that way?

Me: Yes, yes I would.
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Book Review – No Land’s Man by Aasif Mandvi

I’ve signed on to do book reviews for the New York Journal of Books.  Here is my first!  It’s on Aasif Mandvi’s essay collection, No Land’s Man

Perhaps you know Aasif Mandvi from The Daily Show.  I didn’t, however. Because I rarely watch The Daily Show.  I know I shouldn’t admit that.  It make me unhip.  I always intend to watch it, but then I forget.  Anyway, I had never heard of this guy before.  Which is probably good because that made me unbiased, right?

Let me know what you think.  By the way, writing in the third person is hard, it turns out.

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http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/no-lands-man

No Land’s Man by Aasif Mandvi

If you are looking for behind-the-scenes dish about The Daily Show, you won’t find it in Aasif Mandvi’s collection of essays, No Land’s Man. But what you’ll find instead are fascinating and funny tales about Mandvi’s childhood, South Asian family, and acting career—all told with rich description and an engaging, self-deprecating humor.

Mandvi, the “Senior Muslim Correspondent” for The Daily Show, begins his story with the realization that even though he had just completed a one-man show, “Sakina’s Restaurant,” about being an immigrant in America, the experience left him with a greater desire for more self-exploration.
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Bulky Trash – I Love You

imgres-1It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Is it time for the holidays already? No. It’s Bulky Item Trash Pick-up week!

I can hardly contain my excitement whenever I receive the postcard from the rubbish company announcing that we can put our oversized trash items at the curb and they will magically be picked up. No questions asked. No extra fee. What a wonderful thing!

It’s so satisfying getting rid of old stuff. I find it truly liberating whenever I purge these unwanted items from my home. I like to put on my gardening gloves and drag to the curb those miscellaneous pieces of lumber, errant cement blocks, and rusted pieces of patio furniture that have been stacked up next to the trash cans. And something about them being labeled as “Bulky Trash” makes them even more repellent.

Go away bulky trash! I banish you from our home!

I look forward to this week for another reason too. I am, apparently, a bit of a scavenger. Okay, some might call me a dumpster diver. Whatever. Guilty as charged.
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