Jesus Wears Nike

Warning: This post contains confusing religious messages and delusions of grandeur.

I don’t want to make anyone feel inferior here, but sometimes God talks to me. I don’t actually hear his voice, which I imagine sounds just like James Earl Jones, but sometimes he sends me little messages, like a spiritual IM. I’ve noticed that I receive more messages after a Venti beverage, which may mean that these are just caffeinated delusions or maybe Starbucks is adding an extra squirt of Jesus in my cup. I’m not here to question. Sometimes those messages are clear, sometimes they’re confusing as hell and sometimes they freak me the f*ck out, but regardless,  I take them and shove them in my little bag of crazy to figure out later.

Take this morning, for instance, I decided to add to the world’s most pathetic Christmas display happening in our yard with a trip to the local hardware store, because nothing says “happy birthday, Jesus!” like an inflatable Santa and icicle lights.

I think Jesus kicked over our tinsel tree in disgust.

As I was driving, sipping on my Starbucks green tea, I heard Charlie Sheen’s response to the statement made by the kid from Two and a Half Men about the show being filth and forcing him to be an incredibly rich, conflicted 19-year-old telling bad jokes (I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea). Anyway, Charlie believes that the kid’s outburst is yet more proof that the show is cursed and he referenced the Heaven’s Gate cult (the cult where everybody committed suicide while wearing Nike tennis shoes) in his statement.

I love Charlie. He makes me feel so sane.

A tweaker, a Seventh Day Adventist and a closeted gay man walk into a bar…

Anyway, I get to the hardware store and on my way inside, this person emerges from a convertible Jaguar with a handicap placard, who was so disturbing that I violently averted my eyes and nearly veered right into the pole holding the handicap sign in front of the store.  In my defense, let me just say that I am absolutely unphased by most handicaps and disfigurements. Sadly, I’m not as adept at handling really bad plastic surgery. I’m not proud of my reaction. I tried to play off my tactlessness, hoping that the person would interpret my rudeness as confusion and joy at my hardware store arrival or a mini stroke.

I say “person” because at first I honestly wasn’t sure whether I was looking at a man or a woman or just a composite of a plastic surgeon’s patient files. Imagine if a wax statue of Donatella Versace melted into a wax statue of Mickey Rourke and then went hardware shopping. This person’s face was stretched and plumped and then generously spray tanned into a look I’ll call Timeless Alien. His (I checked for breasts, that’s how I know) hair was bleached white blonde on top and left dark on the bottom in a classic boy band style and he wore a red and black Nike warm up outfit as if he’d just emerged from rehearsals as Siegfried and Roy’s new stage partner. Given that this is LA, the land of celebrity, I did wonder if he actually was a celebrity like Siegfried or Roy or Melanie Griffith.

Anyway, he was very friendly, chatting up all of the women in the Christmas lights and ornaments aisle and I felt very badly about my reaction. Really I was so overcome with guilt that I could barely manage to grab the last inflatable Santa on sale. I did manage, but I want you to know that there was no joy in it.

Then it struck me. This was the second time that craziness and Nike had been combined in the past half hour. This was a message from God.

Messages are everywhere. Here we have a bedazzled @ss message.

But what was the message? Vanity is its own handicap? Appreciate what you have? Shop locally, age gracefully and watch out for chemical spills? Don’t smoke meth and then visit a plastic surgeon?

If I had another green tea, I’m sure that I would unravel this parable. Of course, I’d also stop blinking and then my heart would explode, so I’m going to hold off on enlightenment for now.

Instead, I thought I’d share the message with you on the off-chance that you were looking for a message from God and hadn’t had the time to make it to your local Starbucks or hardware store. Consider it an early Christmas gift. Ho ho ho.

Sorry I didn’t get you a card.

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Bozo Motley

I’m vain. I’ll admit it. Sure, I might wander around in unattractive workout clothes without makeup for most of the day. Or week. And I’m more than willing to humiliate myself in any number of ways in the name of comedy. But despite my goofiness and sometimes slovenly exterior I still like to look presentable when the time calls. And the time is about to call.

I’m going to be on stage for the first time since Jesus had acne and to commemorate that fact I decided to get my hair freshly done. My hair didn’t really need to be done. It looked fine. But I was shooting for fabulous. I wanted to feel special.

“Do not blaspheme, my child. I had a couple of pimples at best, but a little Proactiv cleared it right up.” (image via dreamstime)

I made an appointment with my hairdresser, the one in Hollywood who has guns tattooed on her hips and is so cool that she really shouldn’t even be cutting the hair of a housewife from the Valley, except that she’s too cool to even care. She is so cool that the space shuttle flew by three times just trying to get an appointment. She is so cool that I always walk out of the salon ten shades cooler than when I walked in just because she talked to me. Yeah, that cool.

And I did what you never do right before a big occasion. I asked for a change. I asked for more red in my hair. Because I wanted to make an impression.

Well she gave me what I asked for. She most certainly did. Lots of red. In my hair. Enough red to really make an impression. And also burn some retinas. I didn’t notice how bright it was in the salon, because I was intoxicated by the coolness, but I think I caused some accidents on the way home.

“Oops, my bad.”

When the shelf life of my cool status had expired and I looked in my own mirror, I thought, Whoa! followed by, Oh sh!t, WTF, sweet baby Jesus, am I supposed to do with this?

A friend of mine tried to assure me that my hair would look great on stage. I appreciated her effort considering that she had to squint through the glare to talk to me. And I think she was probably right. My hair would look good on stage. At the circus.

Am I the only one who thinks this clown looks drunk and terrified? (image via dreamstime)

After putting on two pairs of sunglasses, my friend also mentioned that I could tint my hair with coffee. This sounded like a brilliant idea. I wouldn’t have to spend another day traipsing through Hollywood to correct my hair, layer my head with more chemicals or (ahem) admit to my hairdresser that I wasn’t cool enough to carry off my edgy new hair color. And Hubs always leaves at least a cup’s worth in the pot.

I took the coffee left in the pot (which judging by the smell had been made in the 1990s) mixed it with some conditioner, slathered it on my hair, wrapped it in a towel and let it sit for an hour before shampooing.

“Your head smells like the good old days when we mixed coffee with dirt and drank it in a bunker.” (image via dreamstime)

Let me tell you what stale coffee can do for your hair. Not much in the color department. Evidently coffee cannot magically take the clown out of your hair. It can however, make your hair reek like a burnt cup a joe in a roadside diner. And who doesn’t love bad road coffee? I’ve donated several layers of stomach lining to the stuff myself. When the process was complete, my head smelled like it had been sitting in the cup of a fat, unwashed truck driver with a giant belt buckle and sallow skin.

(I don’t know why I’m so down on truck drivers. I’m sure many of them are lithe and rosy and smell like honeysuckle.)

Even after washing and conditioning, my hair smelled like a 1970s teachers’ lounge. If Bozo the Clown taught high school algebra, he would smell like me. He would also make me wet my pants. Because he’s evil.

Anyway, I’m excited to take my new train wreck coiffure on stage. I think it’s going to add an edge to my performance. I mean there will be lots of normal looking women on stage but only one with stinky clown hair. And when you think about it, that’s pretty special. Right?

Conor painted a picture of me. I think he really captured the intensity of my new hair.

This Little Piggy

My in-laws are in town, which means that my waist line is thicker, my kids are happier and Hubs and I got a date night. Woohoo! Date nights in this household happen about as often as a lunar eclipse. It’s hard to find a babysitter that fits my husband’s standards. Even the people who do well in the interview and polygraph usually balk at the body cavity search. Nana and Grandpa are exempt from invasive investigation–you don’t want to suggest a body cavity search to an Italian mother from New England unless you have really fast running shoes and access to a witness relocation program.

So Hubs and I got an ENTIRE afternoon and evening to ourselves. HELLO! You’d have thought we skipped our Ritalin we were so giddy. We had enough time to break our ten-mile we-don’t-want-to-go-any-further-in-case-there-is-an-emergency-and-the-kids-need-us-plus-this-babysitter-is-costing-us-an-arm-and-a-leg radius. I even put on a dress and impractical high-heeled boots. Plus jewelry. And Hubs smelled suspiciously like cologne. That’s how excited we were.

Unfortunately we sprinted out the door too fast to have a picture taken on this particular date night, but look how excited we were on a date in 2010!

We got off to a shaky start. We chose to go to an area that we both really loved when we first started dating: the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Lo and behold, we aren’t in our twenties anymore and don’t find crowds, panhandlers and street performers every 5 feet, singing conflicting music genres all that charming anymore. Plus, I was hungry and I need to be fed on a regular basis or I get a little agro and, though Hubs finds me especially attractive in that state, it’s not a good idea to start a fight in impractical high-heeled boots unless you’re Cat Woman.

Watch out for this chick. She'll roll you for your wallet and a ball of yarn. (image via dreamstime)

Luckily we discovered a cute little cafe off the promenade and I found Jesus at the bottom of my salad bowl. Well honestly I’m not sure whether Jesus was at the bottom of my salad bowl, my husband’s plate or the bread bowl, but I found him in one of those spots along with my love of mankind. A big shout out to the cook at Le Pain de Quotidien. I don’t know you but you saved some lives with your over priced salads this weekend.

I usually deal with loaves and fishes but an organic salad is also nice. (image via dreamstime)

Then we headed to REI. Hey, we don’t get out much. Don’t judge us. ‘Cause you know what? We weren’t the only couple in there on a date night. In your face!

I’m sorry. I went a little agro on you. I just need a granola bar.

Seriously, if you want to feel a sense of community, head on over to the running shoe section of an REI. Runners love other runners and they are some really nice people, which is why I pretend to be one of them. So anyway, there we were surrounded by our new besties, shooting the breeze about the merits of different running shoe styles (you are so jealous of my date night–I can tell) and the topic turns to the new barefoot style shoes. Hubs loves any new fitness gadget, so he got up on his athletic soap box and sang the praises of this brilliant invention. One of our new friends jumped on board and proselytized about the philosophy behind the shoe–how the shoe allows all of the bones and muscles in your foot to act independently in the manner in which they were meant, yadda, yadda, yadda. At that point, I had completely bought into the lie that I am a runner and I excitedly decided to try on a pair.

Barefoot running makes you younger, happier and more attractive. (image via dreamstime)

Here’s the thing: the bones in 40-year-old feet don’t want to act independently. They especially don’t want to act independently after being jammed into impractical high-heeled boots that fit much better before I was pregnant and my feet widened.

I torqued all of my shell-shocked toes into the individual toe spots inside the life changing footwear and then I jumped around and did the type of calisthenics that I imagined runners must do. However, one of my toes seemed to really dislike the shoe. Apparently I forgot to brief it on my secret identity. I decided against the purchase. Back into the impractical high-heeled boots my feet went and after a few heart-felt goodbyes, we departed REI to finish out the rest of our date night.

My husband's running shoes. Notice how they mock me and my psuedo-runner status?

The next morning, my toe woke me up bright and early with a manifesto about the horrors of barefoot shoes and delusional people who believe themselves to be runners. It’s diatribe got even louder when I tried to walk to the bathroom and continued to increase in volume until I finally considered that my toe might be broken.

My first broken bone. You have no idea how disappointing it is to have avoided breaking a bone all these years and then break one trying on a shoe. Pathetic. Seriously. I’m going to tell people I was paragliding with a snowboard in uncharted mountains.

How I Spent My Winter Vacation And Broke My Toe by Kelly Redican. (image via dreamstime)

I called a foot expert. No, not a podiatrist. A dancer. No one knows more about broken toes than a dancer and you can pay them in Diet Coke and cigarettes. So I called my dancer friend and got a very detailed treatment plan guaranteed to heal my toe and make me graceful and painfully thin. Bonus.

And you’d better believe that on our next date night, Hubs and I are going base jumping in Columbia. For real.