mom: mad, remember how i “taught” you to recognize “meaningful coincidence” ? we used to trade our “coincidence of the day” stories. i had one today.

mad: i still do, mom. what was yours today?

mom: last night i watched–as opposed to “saw”, which implies first time–the bucket list, tissues at hand. reminded me to carpe diem. and then…

mad: don’t tell me. you went skydiving and then went to tibet to mark your burial spot via southern france and egypt? and you beat cancer. i thought those were OUR plans!

mom: well, after that, i went out to dinner with my 28 yr-old single french friend, virginie, who asked me what i would do over or do still. and then went home to harry, who turned on a show about four twenty-something guys who list 100 things they want to do before they die.

mad: know that show. cool thing is that they give back.

mom: loved that part. so harry said skydive and drag race, since he’s who he is now and i said, save a village. it’s not how much you do in a day but what.

mom: what would you do? i italicized you. hope you don’t mind.

mad:  i want to be happy for a whole week in a row, first of all. night, mom. love you.

mom: night, mad. sweet dreams. i’ll say a prayer.

ASIDE: had to google the hail mary yesterday. kept getting it mixed up with the our father. my 82 yr-old mom asked me to say one for her since she’s going blind. i mainlined  Mary first and then found and recited her verse. blessed art thou amongst women. aren’t we all, tho. thanks, mary. truly. i believe in you. and my own mom.


…about my new blog that she helped me start which is in no way fine tuned as per her advice but will soon sport photos, sidebars, links, games and prizes. oh. and the hysterical ipad spoof from madtv. check it out on youtube.  off to you, pam…

(n.b. pam capitalizes since she’s professional. i don’t have to cause i’m not.) off to you, pam…)

hi suzanne,

wow. your blog is a great read. i love that you are so candid. it doesn’t hurt that you and mad are both hilarious and have such a close relationship.

you also get an a+ for posting four nice, long, juicy posts since january 19th. are you having fun with this blogging thing yet?  : )

(a.d.d. moment…obama’s on tv sounding “snarky”. “snarky” is a new darling word being bantered about. apparently it’s derived from “snide” and “remark”. i hope never to be snarky here.) back to you, pam…

(next come two paragraphs of solid advice on about us and categories. i admire pam’s paragraph structure.)

however, the main thing to focus on right now is to keep writing so that you’ll have plenty of posts to categorize. this seems to come pretty naturally to you, so i don’t think that will be a problem. i can tell that mad, ryan and db will continue to provide plenty of material (i look forward to meeting more of the characters from your life through the blog as well).


pam always answered my questions in a timely and comprehensive manner. plus she’s nice. when i asked her if i could include her feedback, she said she’d be happy to become a character here. when i figure out how to link to her two blogs, they will be the first to be featured here. sure to drive loads of traffic, even if it’s a load of one. me.

off to watch my 17 yr-old wrestler be bent into a pretzel and avoid being taken off the mat on a body board. and then to a moroccan cous cous belly dance establishment with a bunch of french friends. all in a day.

namaste and ciao for now,


p.s. mad says hi. she likes pam, too. much more on and from mad. she’s a stumbler. are you?

Mad and i had a “text fight” last night. It was about her boyfriend, ryan, about which text chapters have been exchanged over the past two years they’ve been together. a few most recent:

wed 1/20 2:43am

mad: ryan just had a great idea! put yourself on! it’s a housekeeping/babysitting/tutoring search engine guaranteed.

mom: (3:12am) What? He’s brilliant!

mad: go for it! isn’t he great?  he’s keeping me mindful. haha. love you

mom: you’re lucky he’s your mate! love both of you!

mad: i just said, “that’s my man” to myself looking at a picture of him.

mad: he’s it!

fri 1/22 5:03pm

mom: just entered beautiful vermont. going to mt. snow skiing with db (douchebag). wish you could come.

mad: me too. off to work! oh, and also ryan just wrote a check for our security deposit for next year!!

mom: you guys are a good team. cause he’s a good guy and you’re a great gal! yes, i said gal!

mom: got your certificate for your energy healing class. i’ll keep it safe. sending reiki to haiti tomorrow at 4:00 from the slopes with the online community. some get the marrow bone…hope it helps.

mom: really want to ski with you and max and harry. ryan game?

mad: we’d love it!

mom: goody! and yes, i said goody. skiing is such good exercise. and liberating! bye for now. keep me in your loop.

mon 1/25 9:06pm

mom: back from vermont. awesome conditions. only two fights with db. sup with you?

mad: nada. watching the bachelor with hilary.

mom: god mad. just turned it on. what’s with the roses and blue eyeshadow and the angst?

mad: haha. i know. it’s soo hilarious. a soap opera.

mom: thank god you’re not watching it straight. could you imagine us on that? we’d be wearing sandals and smirks!

mad: i wouldn’t want a man who didn’t want me. couldn’t do it.

mom: this is pathetic. tho i bet it’s played out in villages–and palaces– all over the world. sheiks and mormons…


mad: (10:54pm) if i come home over spring break would you be able to give me gas money?

mom: of course, mad. when? with whom? and where?

mad: it’s the second week of march. ryan’s going to the dominican republic with his friends.

mom: wtf? since when? and not with you? mad, clue me in. this is news.

mad: (an hour later) he’s been planning it. kyrie won it so it’s costing a grand for a week all inclusive. i can’t afford to go with him. plus it’s a guy thing.

mom: and you’re cool with that? i’d be so hurt but only know half the story.


mad: there’s no reason for me to be hurt that he’s going on vacation with his friends. if he could afford to bring me, he would, but why wouldn’t i want him to go and have  fun and relax? he works as hard as i do.

mom: fuck that, mad. i don’t agree. you’re a unit and conversely, you work as hard as he does. but he gets to enjoy the islands without you? let’s plan a cruise then…

mad: mom, i don’t wanna get into this with you. i don’t agree with your perspective on relationships and your standards so let’s not talk about it. i’m happy for him that he has the opportunity. of course i’m jealous but jealousy is a wasted emotion. i’m going to sleep now. love you.

mom: he doesn’t think women should enjoy sex and he takes your car every day. yup. agree to disagree. i wouldn’t call it jealousy. night mad. if you want a needed break, let me know. love you, too. that’s why i care. night.

mad: no need to be mean, mom. i don’t know why you don’t like him, but you remain with a man like michael. just please don’t be mean about ryan for no reason. good night.

mom: no reason? he’s going away without you. who’s mean? i invited you skiing–and him–and now on a cruise. it’s not that i don’t like him, mad. or i wouldn’t have invited him to ski with us. i just want you to be happy. i know michael is no prize. no need to be mean, either. he took me skiing all weekend and helped harry and me with the durango tonight. let’s not hurt each other via our boyfriends. i like ryan and you hate michael. so be it. no need to fight. night.

mom: (this morning) can we talk please?

mad: i’m in class and have work right after so i’ll call you after work…




Facebook–Dort– my college roommate who lives in Brooklyn–whose daughter sang in a chorus at the 9/11 commemorative event this morning at ground zero. That morning, she and her young daughters were walking to school in lower Manhattan when the planes shot across the sky, and imploded, above their heads. Mom and daughters raced away uptown, fleeing terror, and passed  in front of the local firehouse which used to be  a popular stop for the kids.  All the friendly firefighters perished that day.

Email–Chris– former co-worker and co-laid off friend–about her friend who won ten mil in a scratch off. Irony? He’s a gambling addict who had gradually lost his house and family. Wondering if he’ll get it back now. To lose it again?

Facebook–Bobby—an old high school fling–with whom I shared excellent sex, once on acid and satin sheets. We kept slipping onto the floor and climbing back up, laughing a “laced with speed” release for hours. I think he’s still incarcerated for some alcoholic-related felony but somehow has access to facebook. He’s an Aries narcissist and posts, “hey girl, i still look good and so do you. what’s the name of that bar across from the summit train station?”

Jdate–Someone by the name of “Etyn”.–He’s Sephartic. I’m Irish. We’re both astrologers. He won’t tell me his sign so he must be Scorpio. He wants to “talk” tonight and gave me his number. Don’t know if I can handle this level of intimacy. I may be gradually shrinking from social contact in the traditional sense.  To wit…I’m now talking to myself.

LinkedIn–Isabelle PhD chemist and former ESL student– Both of us have been laid off and connect thru LinkedIn. We’re flirting with actually getting together for lunch. Yikes. I suggested a “ladies who lunch” jaunt at the Short Hills Mall. She’s French and has style. Can we sustain two hours? I’d like to think so.

Crackberry–My quasi-boyfriend of late — and my first in 8th grade, now 30 years hence…I am his transitional other 3 years in and he has little time for me now. Playing the field, chasing skirts, hiding his devices. He deleted me from bbm (blackberry messenger) since I could tell when he would read the message–and not respond. My one regular text was answered briefly. “I’ll call you.” That was at 1. It’s now 9. dick.

Phone—JW, another high school buddy back in my life thanks to facebook. I reminded him to update his LinkedIn profile. He calls me “Susie Cougar” and is trying to set me up with a 30-something fellow car salesperson who is quite the player. Sounds dangerous. Count me in. Who should facebook who?

In-person— Harry, my 17 yr old son—rapid eye to eye, quick face to face. At least i’m privy to his Friday night updates. His plans fell thru and I had none. We’re both home “together”, on different floors. He’s watching a paid per view horror flick which is less than thrilling; I’m about to put on Revolutionary Road.  A healthy dose of disfunction to complement mine.

Text–My ex-husband–asked him to help me dispose of an old mattress which hosted years of a child’s incontinence who’s now in college. Ex said, yes, but manana. How yes can feel like no.

Text—Jenny–a friend who’s 28 and doing her Saturn return, a Gemini with Libra rising, multi-tatooed and pierced, my angel tarot new age consort who disappears like vapor and then surfaces to talk about Mercury retrograde. Off to b n noble to “write”. Do I want to come? Since it’ll never happen, I say, “sure”.

Mind-reading–My dog, Maggie– She knows when i’m considering walking her, tho i’ll be in the kitchen and she, outside. Knowing scratch on door, run to the leash. She reads my moods. I feed her, pet her, free her. We’re good together. But it’s limited by the cross-species issue.

Silence–Want my quasi-guess-ex-boyfriend to call already. This will end in “words” which has somehow taken on a negative connotation, as in, “we had words.” then i’ll wish he hadn’t called. will he? will i pick up?

BBM–My 21 yr old daughter at school at UVM –Hey Mom. How are you? Hope you haven’t been back in touch with douchebag.

Oh mad, I’m lonely. But thanks for caring. You’re the best person I’ve been in touch with today. Queen of my cyber crowd. Love you. Night. “Talk” tomorrow.

Make yourself visible and post your shameless self promotion here. We love to know what you are doing! (new since Jan. 11, 2010)

This was my invitation from a social media site sub-group which i joined when i was “downsized” last june from my ideal job of 13 years…

ASIDE: I was an in-house language trainer “chez” L’Oreal …because i was worth it. I taught English as a Second Language, French, and Business Writing on a consulting basis which meant i could come and go as i pleased and pretty much do whatever i wanted, which more often than not was tarot card readings and astrology advice–in whichever language i was “teaching” during that “class”.

my students loved me, as i loved (most of ) them . Over the years, i’ve made many friends–and two lovers –which has afforded me open invitations abroad, most of them paid for since i manage to never have any real money.

…so today i was respondent #13 to the post in  question. ‘WHAT’S YOUR SERVICE?…

the others were able to brag, “Owner of multi-accredited international language centre” or “Certified in cetol, efl, tesol, ict, clil, OMG!” ” or “Professional Interpreter Urdu>Arabic”.

I wrote:

Hello Doug and Fellow Professionals…I don’t have a company, I don’t have a masters, hey, I don’t even have a job!

What i DO have, however, (note perfect comma placement) is 30 years experience teaching ESL, French and Tarot, oops, I mean Business Writing, to people from the four corners of the globe. (More true blah blah blah about enthusiasm, creativity and empathy and my unique gift of being able to simplify the complicated , focus on the “why’s” we communicate–called speech acts in linguistic parlance–and teach the “music” of language since I’m a singer (not really), and thus an expert at accent reduction/creation (really)).

then i wrote: I’m currently skyping, facebooking, twittering, linkingin and blogging (!) with a growing network of virtual connections and plan some day soon to actually take my skills to the bank!

When i read this to a friend of mine  for laughs, he said, “Au revoir, mademoiselle! Bonne chance!” And he’s probably right… but it was fun to write and makes for today’s blog post.

How does this relate to my daughter’s and my tandem “textbook”? Here’s how:


mom: hey mad, did you read my contribution to the comment box on this most-likely time-wasting social media site? thank god i’m unemployed and have the time to dance around the looking for work.

mad: proud of you, mom. i never wanted a Type A mom. i prefer a kook. like you.

mom: thanks, mad. p.s. what do YOU want to be when you grow up?

mad: oh mom, you know i’m gonna be a sex therapist!

mom: oh, that’s right. and we’re going into “business” together, right?  we have plans.

mad: hey. who turned you onto the rabbit?

mom: hey yourself. who gave you “the talk” when you were 15 about not faking orgasm?

mom: never had a rabbit when i was your age 😦

mom: mad???

mom: are you having sex? or not and sad? or busy rolling a splif– sure i didn’t spell that right! good night, baby. love you. go to bed loving. that’s our single best wish…cuddling and belonging is my best wish for you. please wish same, love you so much.

your mom

mad: 🙂 let’s sing it, tomorrow!

mom: yes, let’s.

I’m sitting safe and sound and warm and well-fed and privileged on my sofa with my macbook on my lap and all my limbs attached. I’m white and american and tho female, and therefore still in many ways the second sex, i’m grateful. very grateful.

i’m grateful for all this but maybe especially that i have a daughter who’s been my best friend since she was in utero. she’s now 22 and lives in burlington, vt, a psych major and women’s studies minor. and a pip.

i’m a teacher and a writer. english as a second language, french, business writing. it would appear that capital letters are not part of the curriculum. i’ve been called a pip ,too.

i don’t know what a pip is. can men be pips?

together mad and i are writing each other strong. these exchanges will be posted here with expanded comments. it may take shape on its own since neither of us is known for structure.

this is our Tandem Textbook by Mad and Mom. Please let me know what you think. I’ll be sure to visit your lives, too, and that will be with pleasure. off to be the last one to post!

oh but first…our blackberry messages from today. yesterday we even spoke!


mad:  sent photo of eggs over easy, sausage and toast

mad: miss you! ryan and i are starting the master cleanse together tomorrow!

mom: tell me more. i bought an herbal one which i’m looking at now! was that a picture of lunch?

mad: ooh. well the master cleanse is also called the lemonade diet. yup! the place where you got the best pancakes. best breakfast in vermont!

mom: yum. and yuck. not that again! i just had a greasy croissant with tuna a la unctuous mayo. can’t fit into my ski pants. think i’ll pour a glass of wine. then take the dog for a walk-it-off.

mad: haha. i want to finally lose this weight-i dreamt of my fat arms and back in a wedding dress last night! wanna start hitting the uvm gym cuz it’s free. ryan and i started looking at apartments for next year, too.

mom: yesterday i went to the gym and circled all the spinning and yoga classes i could be taking…if i got my butt there more than once a week! did you look yesterday?

mad: yeah we saw a tiny little place, kind of old, but very cheap.

mom: keep looking. good luck. i’ll send you reiki. finally starting our blog as we “speak”! calling it a tandem “textbook” by mad and mom as we discussed. thoughts?

mad: i like the name.

mom: where’s the colon on this bb keyboard???

mad: h

mom: i am such an idiot…and blind!

mad: i just bought a new yuumy candle too. tahitian flowers.

mom: great. good idea. i’ll light my amberwood now for some feng shui aromatherapy inspiration!

mad: i’m going to send this ezpass transponder now.

mom: good

ASIDE: new jersey cancelled my ezpass of 9 years for non-payment of which i was never notified. remember life before ezpass? now you don’t even have to stop on the garden state parkway. remember life before computers?  remember being slow? i’d better hurry up and post this so i can find time later to add photos, widgits, plug ins, pingbacks, videos, graphics. holy mother of god!


later all…

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!


Mad is short for "Madeleine", unwittingly named after both a Proustian cookie and a blessed consort. Fitting. Though she was due Christmas Day, I, her mother, had my way around Capricorn (would have made me look bad) and c-sectioned her birthday so she'd have a Sagittarius sun and Libra moon. Even her rising sign, Aquarius, was finagled as i hid in the bathroom the morning of while the doctors were waiting. "I'll be right there! I'm powdering my nose!" Mad is now 22 and lives with her Aquarian beau, Ryan, in Burlington, VT. She's a senior psyche major/women's studies minor and is very cool. And I love her. We text every day and decided to blog about it. My mother: a wildly liberal, hip, yet morally influential woman. she raised me well. i was only really punished as a kid for lying. thanks to texting, i have a quick, easy way to share all of my significant, honest moments. of course, if you're not in the habit of talking sex with your mom, you aren't going to drop her a line after an earth-shattering orgasm. my mom and i text all the time. every day. i tell her the big and little stuff as does she. my mom and i have the strongest relationship i've ever known. love you, mom. et voila! and welcome. hope you can, and will, relate. as mad and mom relate daily. Cheers!