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just a sarcastic working mom living life in New England

Keeping it Clean for Billy Mays June 29, 2009

Filed under: Celebs — nashsmom @ 6:26 pm

Of all the celebrity deaths over the past week, it was Billy Mays that hit me the hardest.   I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities and musicians over the years.  Mostly through their agents who convey the artist’s list of demands which are likely coming from the artists themselves so you get a pretty good sense of who the nice, easy to work with ones are and which are the high maintenance impossible-to-please celebs.

Last year I worked on a project for one of our clients and they wanted Billy Mays to star in the campaign.  I went through my usual resources looking for his agent or manager but came up with nothing.  I played detective and managed to track down his e-mail address.  I reached out to him and he immediately called me back.  He didn’t have an agent, manger, lawyer or anyone working for him.  He was a one-man show.  He was also straight shooter which I loved (being one myself) and we immediately bonded.  Commercial production and the infomercial world are two very different worlds.  I taught him all about ours and he taught me about his.  Every conversation I had with him lasted no less than 40 minutes.  He always had a story to share and he would tell me about his work, his family and his health.   He had recently lost 40 pounds (mainly from swimming) and had a hip replaced.  He had a young daughter that was the light of his life.   He was genuinely one of the nicest guys I had ever worked with.  When the paperwork was signed and I turned him over to the creative team, I made them all promise to be nice to him.  When we had that first conference call introducing him to the team, they all expected the yelly guy from TV, but instead they got my sweet little Billy Mays.  Within moments I could tell they would soon feel the same way I did about him.  

When production time came around and he found out I wasn’t going to be at the shoot, he was genuinely disappointed.  (I never get to actually go so it never occurred to me to mention it)  I made the producer promise to take extra special care of him (which he did).  When I tried to arrange his travel, he said he would just book it himself and just send me receipts.  When I arranged for a car service, he said don’t bother – he would just take a cab (I made him take the car).   Everyone loved working with him and he had a wonderful experience himself.  Everyone was happy and we made some great commercials.  Here’s one of them:



When I opened up my computer Sunday and saw an e-mail with the subject “Billy Mays”, I never in a million years thought the message would say that he died.  I just kept repeating “What?  What??  What???” until I finally turned to my family and uttered the words “Billy Mays is dead”.   And then I started crying.  (like I am again right now)  Both my husband and Nash knew what a nice guy he was because I had told them repeatedly.  And even though Nash had no idea who Michael Jackson was, he knew who Billy Mays was.  And he was a little sad too.

I still can’t believe it.  My heart goes out to his family, especially that little girl that he loved so much.

Rest in peace, Billy.  You were a first class act and you’ll be missed.

billy mays


Happy Birthday, Dear Nash

Filed under: Nash — nashsmom @ 8:04 am
Tags: ,

Nash is SEVEN years old today!!  Not sure how that is possible, but apparently it is.  For you loyal readers, you know that every year I jam Nash into “the chair”.  This year was no exception so – drumroll please………..here it is!


For any newbies out there, click here for the history of the chair.  

The key to a monster birthday celebration is to have it on a Monday.  We started on Friday by heading up to Loudon, NH to see a little NASCAR.  It was practice day and very small crowd, no traffic, etc.  We were there for 1.25 hours and Nash left thrilled!  We watched a few laps, he saw his favorite drivers, we “shopped” and found a few cars that he didn’t have, ate some junk food then hit the road.  Everyone was happy.  And about 15 minutes after we left, it started raining and there was a massive lightning storm.  So sitting out in the open on giant aluminum bleachers not exactly the place you want to be so we were glad we got out of there when we did.  Next we drove by a Home Depot and found this photo op:

home depot nascar

Nash was giddy and even more giddy that this was the winning car at the race on Sunday!  

We spent the rest of the day “toy hunting”.  Some call it shopping but in our family, it’s called hunting.  Don’t ask.

We then hit the Friendly Toast in Portsmouth for a delicious dinner and made it home around 8:45.   Long, fun-filled day for everyone.  Great birthday, right?  But wait!  There’s more!

Saturday was the 2nd annual Pump It Up birthday party.  Sweaty kids?  Check:

pump it up

Star Wars cake?  Check:


Awesome gifts?  Check:


And if that wasn’t enough, Sunday morning dad brought him to see the new Transformers movie.  We spent the rest of the day assembling Legos.  (whee!)

And yet TODAY is his actual birthday.  I’m exhausted and heading to work for a much needed break from it all.  (that’s a joke if my boss is reading this….)  Tonight we will go out for his favorite meal – sushi.  And then it will all be over until next year when his Birthday will fall on a Tuesday (yes, I checked) and perhaps we can scale it back to a one day event again.

But seriously, It was all worth it when he said it was the best birthday ever.   I love you, bear.  Happy Birthday!



Coming soon to a theatre near you June 11, 2009

Filed under: Nash — nashsmom @ 6:19 pm
Tags: ,

Nash has been coming home from school each day for the last couple weeks with stacks of paper for his “movie”.  He’s written pages of scripts and drawn hundreds of characters.  He’ll tell me he has no time for a snack because he has to get to work and will draw and write like mad for hours.  I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to the full content of this project until last night when I finally gathered all the pages from all over the house and put them in one big folder. 

Here’s a sample of his work:


Deth Crush

Deth Crush

I’m assuming this is the title card.  “Deth Crush – Epusod III”.  Awesome.  I’m not entirely sure, but I think that’s a hammer of some sort (or an axe??) crushing the R in Crush.   The blood is a nice touch, huh?  And also, how’s spelling?  (I kid, I kid!)

This next one is, I’m guessing, one of the many villains:


Talk about your short waisted villain.  And are those horns on his head?   He’s perfectly complete with the sinister laugh. HAHAHA!   And I know what your are thinking, but I know for a fact those are light sabers.  So get your mind out of the gutter.

I don’t know a whole lot about Star Wars, but I gotta think this is the good guy:

jedi_blogHe’s smiling, he’s got three hands (better to multi-task!) and clearly underwent some sort of surgery and had part of his legs sewn into his chest.   Not sure if that’s a cape, a horse head or a giant poo on his back, but either way, dude looks like he can totally  save my life.  My hero!

Can’t wait to walk the red carpet at the premier of this one.


Things to do in Vermont May 25, 2009

Filed under: Nash — nashsmom @ 8:52 pm

Here are a couple of things to do at a cabin in the middle of nowhere Vermont:

Play with your light saber in the middle of a field:


Pretend the garden hose is your pee-pee:




Plot with your new best friend on the best way to catch the bear that has been seen in the neighborhood.   Apparently while the bear is busy eating the delicious soup (identified by a sign in case the bear wasn’t sure what it  was) you get him with the dish towel, Off and light saber.  Hey, whatever works.

soup sign                   soup

BTW, if you tell the nice officer you blew the red light because your son really, really, really has to pee, he might just let you go without a ticket.


Money CAN buy happiness May 17, 2009

Filed under: Nash,things I love — nashsmom @ 10:53 pm

Nash has a relentless inability to sleep past 6 AM on the weekends as well as an inability to be anywhere in the house without someone else within hearing range of his voice.   Needless to say, it sucks.  So last night I bribed him.  I told him if he stayed in his room until 7:30, I would give him $5.  After he fell asleep, I put the following note in his room:


At 5:17 AM (not a typo) he came stomping up the steps to our bedroom.  I told him we had a deal and to go back down to his room and look for the note I left him.  He stomped back down and did not return until 7:43.   Bliss!!   He was very proud of himself and seemed genuinely excited about the Charlie Brown videos he watched.

I never thought I would see the day where 7:43 was “sleeping in” or that I would have to spend $5 to get it…..


It’s official. Hell has frozen over. May 14, 2009

Filed under: things i hate — nashsmom @ 7:43 am

For any of you who have been to my house or know where my house is, you know about “The House” across the street.  The House was the bane of our existence even before it was The House.  Way back when it was just The Lot.  See, it wasn’t really even a lot.  There was this fence and below that, a couple of trees and marshland.  Other than that, just the harbor out to our friend the ocean which we had a lovely view of.   Then one day about 10 years ago a “For Sale” sign went up on the fence.  Huh?  Who would buy this worthless land?  You could never build on it….or could you?  Well apparently a man named Ken Gelpy thought he could.  He bought the land and we received the abutter notice that he wanted to build.  We attended city meetings, we objected and went door to door getting neighbors to sign letters.  Mr. Gelpy wanted to build a “little house” with a view of the ocean that he and his sick wife could live out their final days in.  After doing research, we found that he had built this same house with the same sad story about 5 times in the last several years in some of the neighboring cities.  He gets through the red tape, builds and sells.  So we fought.  We learned about wetlands and became advocates for the environment.  We learned about phragmites and their importance to wildlife.  We learned about 100 year storms and water levels.  We had plenty of support.  The city turned him down.  He appealed.  There was a process and he knew it inside and out.  Long story short (too late?) after a couple years of this, the city (or state) missed a deadline on filing some paperwork and he basically got his permit based on that misstep.   

And so he built.  They started by driving pylons or stilts into the marshland.  Then they started on The House.  The modest little house ended up being a 4 story house with a double garage.   All built on stilts.  On marsh.  By the ocean that has been known to flood more frequently than every 100 years.  They finished building The House the year Nash was born.  That was 2002.  The House has been for sale since they started building.  It’s changed hands numerous times.  They tried to convert it to condos.  It’s been basically empty with the exception of one owner that ended up living in the bottom floor with his family (in one room) because he had to sell his other home as he couldn’t keep up the double mortgage payments.  So many people thought they were going to get rich on this one but instead, I’ll bet over a dozen different people have taken a major bath on this one.

The real estate company changes every so often.  We would see the new agent out there that first weekend putting up the sign with a couple balloons looking ever so hopeful.  Then after a few weekends, they would skip the balloons and look a more and more disheartened with each passing week.  Enter another new real estate company’s sign would go up, or even better, the “for sale by owner”.  And there’s the occasional “sale pending” sign that’s usually replaced with the “for sale” sign again within a couple of weeks.  

But yesterday I looked outside across the street and saw something I haven’t seen in the seven years it’s been there:  SOLD.

The original price tag was  –  wait for it  –  $1.3 MILLION dollars.  There was an offer at one point early on for $1 million and they turned it down.  I’m dying to know what it finally sold for in this economy and will research and report back.    I’ll also study the new occupants and try to come up with a name to add to our growing list of neighbor names.  I’m thinking “stupid idiots” but if they got a $1 million house for significantly less, maybe they’re not so stupid.  But they’re still blocking my view of the ocean so I’ll still hate them.  Just sayin’…..


mmmm mmmmm good! (…..or not) May 11, 2009

Filed under: Grandma's Cookbook — nashsmom @ 8:00 am

I was flipping through Grandma’s cookbook again and found a recipe that made me laugh out loud and I decided that I just HAD to try it:


Tuna.  Check.

Peas. Check.  (I actually only had frozen ones so bought some canned to make sure I got the intended coloring of the dish)

Cream of Mushroom & Cream of Chicken soup. Check and check. (I’m from the Midwest so these are staples in my pantry.  Really.)

FIVE cups of Rice Krispies.  Check.

I had Nash mix it all together….




Then baked until bubbly and voila!


At this point I took a tiny taste.   I have to say I was hoping the “crisp” would have stood out more but alas, it was pretty much salty muck.  


I was going to just throw it out but my dear husband told me to save it because he might want more.   Not sure if he was trying to be nice and didn’t realize this was just a blog experiment, but I’ll check the fridge later and find out.

Next up I think I might take a stab at Russian Cookies courtesy of Helen Yurista Jaroscak:


I don’t think I’ve ever been this proud of anything I’ve cooked.  You go, girl!