The Coop

funky chickens

a bunch of funky chickens

Yes, I know they are roosters. But they are cool, and represent me and my flockies perfectly. So there.

Anyway, when I was asked to guest post** over on ‘It’s Fitting’, I stalked the blog a bit to see if I had something worthy to share. Ashley had me at CHICKENS. Why? Because I’m still very close with a couple of the girlfriends I’ve had since college. Whom I sort of  convinced to move out to Los Angeles a year after I made the trek. What can I say? I’m a charming and persuasive trendsetter…lol. Besides, it’s HOLLYWOOD, and both are performers, so it was the natural progression of things. Oh, and not only did I convince them to follow me to the West Coast, I set one of them up with my single FIL 10 years ago, and now she is my step-MIL. That’s another story entirely though 🙂

The thing is, We are Chickens. Always have been…always will be, and will no doubt be sharing a ‘retirement coop’ one of these days, having long out-lived our male-Rooster mates, and doing our best to live life to the fullest….together forever…covered up with grandbabies. To say that I remember how the chicken reference came about, would surely be a lie. I don’t. Probably out of a drunken night of playing Scrabble at 1321 N.Vista. Or maybe one day at FMP in West Hollywood. Or….hell, I don’t know. All I do know is it stuck, and that’s how we’ve referred to each other for almost two decades now.

Why am I choosing today to talk about this, you ask? Well, because it’s The Spring Chicken’s “big” birthday today. As in, the last of us is turning the big FOUR OH. We are, 42, 41 and now 40…respectively: Mama Hen, Middle Clucker, and Spring Chicken.

Since I technically met Mama Hen first, I’ll start by dishing about her. She happened to be in the Beginning Modern Dance class I was a TA for my junior year in college at Bama. It was a class based on the Graham Technique, and it was for neither beginners, nor pussies. Anybody that knows anything about modern dance, knows that Martha Graham–The Mother of Modern Dance–was rigid in her form. We had football players come through the class thinking it would be an easy ‘A’, only to drop it in the second week, because they just couldn’t cut it. Anyway, after the second class, Mama Hen strolled up to me and asked if I tutored students. She was desperate for a good grade, but wanted to earn it and offered to pay me (cha-ching!). The fact that she was genuinely interested in learning the proper technique cinched it, and I agreed…despite the fact I was taking a full course load of 18 hours, had numerous pieces to choreograph for various concerts, had been cast in others’ work which involved rehearsal, AND had 3 other jobs–bartender, Budweiser beer girl, and art class model. What was ONE more iron in the fire anyway? 

So it began.

Mama Hen and Spring Chicken knew each other from working together at a local restaurant…I think? Not certain. I knew of Spring Chicken because we were all part of the Theatre and Dance Department, although I’d not met her formally. That didn’t come until later. After she’d dated my ex-boyfriend briefly while “we were on a break”, and I ended up face to face with her AS MY TRAINER when I showed up for my first day on the job at the same restaurant where she and Mama Hen worked. I couldn’t figure out how to tie my tie, and she offered to help.Talk about an awkward moment! It was either let her do it, or quit on the spot. One beautifully tied red bowtie later….the tension had cleared and we’d become fast friends by the end of the day.

And for the last 18 years or so, you haven’t been able to pry us apart with a stick. Okay, well…that’s not entirely true. We’ve had some moments, the 3 of us. Good, bad, and smacked-every-branch-on-the-way-down-the-tree-UGLY. Fortunately now, they are all water droplets under a great big, gorgeous bridge with support beams rooted straight into the center of the Universe. True friendships like that are really hard to come by, so when you fall into one…don’t let it go. Seriously. And if you are lucky enough to have more than one, take the time to water them with love, kindness, loyalty and respect. Otherwise, just like plants that have been neglected for too long, they will die….

Which reminds me of something funny that happened just after Spring Chicken and I moved in together when she arrived in LA. We ventured out on a mission to Ikea to pick up a few things for the condo. Despite me telling her I had a BLACK THUMB, she decided to invest in a plant. No…a tree. In a pot. She thought I was bluffing. For awhile, it was fine. I stayed a good distance from the green, living thing with leaves and branches, and it remained alive. However, at some point, it perished. Spring Chicken noticed, and immediately asked what I did to it. So I had to tell her: I watered it. Yes, that really happened.

There are too many memories and shared jokes to specifically pinpoint, so I’ll just let them stay ‘on the inside’. What I will do though, is tell you ten great things about The Coop.

1. We are brutally honest. In other words, if we utter the words “Does this make me look fat?”….we must be prepared for the answer.

2. There isn’t very much (if anything) we don’t know about each other. In fact, I’d venture to guess that we know a tiny bit more about each other than any of our respective mates know about us.

3. Having a close girlfriend as your MIL really rocks (once you iron out the wrinkles of the situation).

4. We consider the 5 collective children between us ‘all our own’, even though only 2 of us birthed the lot of them. It’s nice to know, when The Beans misbehave at either household….they will be disciplined in the same manner I would do it myself. Maybe it’s a Southern thing?

5. We keep each other grounded. This alone is worth it’s weight in gold.

6. We harbor secrets, both big and small. Except between each other. Information is usually shared freely, even if at different times. There’s a lot of ‘oh, yeah…she told me that’, without any feelings of betrayal. Hard to swing those conference calls, ya know.

7. We are supportive of each other’s careers, goals, dreams, hopes, etc. Even if we don’t understand them completely.

8. I lent my underwear to one of them at a music video shoot one day, because she decided to ‘go commando’ that morning and ended up in wardrobe that was not conducive to that situation. I pulled off a surprise bday party for the other one year by calling and telling her I was in labor, so she would drop everything and show up at my house immediately. How many people can say that?

9. There are only a few people I would help bury a body. They are two of them.

10. We are doing what we said we would: growing old together.

Happy Birthday, Chicken! Let the celebrations begin 🙂


The Chickens, circa a favorite spot of ours. Good times.....

The Chickens, circa 2003…at a favorite spot of ours. Good times…..



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**This post was originally published over at It’s Fitting. If you’ve never visited Ashley and her chickens, go there….now 🙂

10 Things I Hate About 41

It’s no secret that I’m over 40. Although since I live in Los Angeles, and I’m married to The Man who’s married to The Industry, maybe I should have stopped aging at 30. Yeah, a nice even number. That’s a believable lie, right?  {crickets chirping} FINE. I can’t lie about it now. But I CAN tell you all the reasons why it sucks giant, hairy and sweaty donkey balls, now can’t I?!

The photo below shows me being a hot mess….literally. Holding a beer, my phone, and my wallet all in one hand, while using the other to shoo a bug out from under my niece’s wedding dress. Yes, that really happened. Anyway, this photo is relevant because it was during this particular plantation wedding weekend that I began to really start hating the downside of 40, and the approach of…FORTY-ONE. The look on my face says it all, doesn’t it?  Not sure if I laughed or cried next. Could have been either. Seriously.

She really had a bug under her dress!

She really had a bug under her dress!

Over the past 6 months, things have begun to CHAAAANGE. Normally  I’m delighted to welcome change with open arms. However, there are a few key players in my physiological make-up that were just fine the way they were….when I was 35, 30, 20 🙂 Which brings me to:  

10 Things I Hate About 41


1. I’m not 40 anymore.  Yes, I actually enjoyed being 40. Something about that milestone birthday is attractive. Just like turning 18, then 21, followed by 30, 35 and FORTY. It’s the last best milestone, I think. Now, I’m just 41.

2. Phantom aches & pains—in my back, in my hip, in my big toe or my eyeballs—I could go on forever. Hello? My bones are old. I know. I know. But I really do not enjoy being reminded.

3. My hair is falling out For God’s sake, my hair was my best asset FOR YEARS, and now it’s thinning. I actually broke down and bought some of that ‘AGE DEFY’ shampoo and conditioner that I never even knew existed, until now. wtf…WTF?? I’ve always had great hair, like the Pantene girls. Now I am fully expecting to wake up one morning, rise from my bed, only to discover that all my hair is still lying on the pillow. Or worse, have it slip through my hands and down the drain while I’m washing it. I’m having HORROR HAIR FLASHES to accompany the other flashes (See #4)

4. One minute I’m freezing, the next I am burning up– Hot flashes my ass. These are like nuclear meltdowns, causing a chain reaction of unpleasant shit. Then, in seconds, I’m so cold my teeth are chattering, and I’m walking around wearing my bathrobe on top of my clothes. Even Mother Nature can’t keep up with the internal seasons I’ve got going on. Of course it doesn’t help when The Man says “You’re going through The Change“. Thanks, asshat. I’ll show you change. 

5. I’m thirsty all the time— I’ve never been one to consume a lot of liquids. Not a conscious choice, I just don’t get thirsty. Well shit fire, I am now apparently making up for all the years I forgot to drink. Just great.

6. Incontinence– To be fair, I’ve always had a somewhat weak bladder. I used to pee when I laughed in high school. Of course, childbirth times 3 made it much worse, and now….well…because of #5 above, I HAVE TO PEE CONSTANTLY. Go figure. Perhaps I can be a spokesmodel for Depends, just like Lisa Rinna. Whaddaya think?

7. Young people refer to me as “Mrs” or “ma’am”– Being from the South, I appreciate the reverence. But at the same time, it makes me want to punch the teenaged cashier at Von’s right in the face when she says “Here you go ma’am” as she hands my ID back after she cards me. Brighten my day by asking for my ID, and then burst the balloon by calling me ‘ma’am’. FINE. Be that way. You’ll be old one day.

8. My eyesight is getting worse–as if THAT were possible, right? I mean, I already have something stupid called Adie’s pupil–my right one is permanently blown–so it makes me look like Marilyn Manson, in bright light. Right one blown, left one pinpoint. Most of the time, if people actually look into my eyes and notice, they want to know what kind of cool psychedelic drugs I’ve dropped. It’s very entertaining. That problem aside, I can’t see shit now.

9. What short-term memory?–Sometimes, I feel like Dorie in Finding Nemo. I’ll walk through my house from one room to another, on a mission, and by the time I get there, I stand in the middle of the room wondering what the hell I’m doing there. On occasion, I’ve retraced my steps in an effort to jog my memory. Almost never works. So I guess it’s really true….I gave a 1/4 of my brain cells to each of my children. Thank God we stopped at 3. Otherwise, I’d be a vegetable. Oh, joy!

10. Sahara– This is what I have nicknamed my nether region, because of the dryness. Seriously, I am expecting The Man to saddle up on a camel the next time he wants to take a ride. All the while, I’m thinking “Hey…Eve…I hope that fruit was damn tasty!”

I just have one last thing to say. When I finally kick it, please bury me upside down, so Aunt Flow and her groupies, Bald and Blind, can kiss my tired, old, forgetful ass, will ya?


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