Thursday, May 30, 2013


It occurred to me while I was at a swim team potluck party where I should've been socializing, but instead I was off by myself with my head stuck in the book Quiet, the epitome of an introvert.  I've known my whole life I was introverted, so it didn't come as a shock to me.  But, I thought I'd gotten to a point in life, through my own forced self socialization program, where I could disguise my true nature to strangers. But, I just outed myself to everyone at the pool.

When I started reading the book, it was just so engrossing, I couldn't put it down.  It put into words everything I've ever thought as an introvert.  Mostly, that the world is ruled by and favors extroverts.  And that being an introvert is like having a disease.  It's something that needs to be overcome.  I always felt like something was inherently wrong with me that I needed to fix.  Or explain it.  Usually, both.  But, I didn't want to do either if it involved talking to people.  Cause I'm abominable at talking to people.  Especially ones I don't know.

Both of my parents were also terminal introverts.  I can't even comprehend how they got together.  I mean who approached whom exactly?  What did they talk about? Or did they communicate through a series of notes.  Because introverts are typically much better writing their thoughts down than saying them.  Case in point, moi.

I took the test in the book to determine if I was indeed an introvert.  I knew I was, but I was surprised that I answered every question "True" for introversion. Yes, a perfect score.  What I didn't know is that not all introverts are shy.  Unfortunately, I am.  So it means while not only do I live in a world in my head, I find social situations awkward and painful.  Even when I've enjoyed myself, I still feel drained and need post party recovery time alone.  So I can recap all the stupid unscripted things I said trying to make small talk.

I went through years of high school and college, sitting in the back of classrooms not raising my hand when I knew the answer.  I had a college professor tell the whole class on the first day he knew the grade we'd get based on the seat we chose.  While I quietly sat  buried in the "F" zone, I walked out with an "A" like I knew I would.   I avoided parties in high school and college, because they were uncomfortable.  I chose to work on Friday and Saturday nights instead knowing I'd get an "A" at working and knowing for damn sure I'd get an "F" at a frat party that I had no interest in going to.

I haven't finished the book yet, so I don't know if there's hope for me as a desperately shy introvert in an extroverts world.  I hope so.  But, I am happy that while I have 3 introverted children and one extrovert who never shuts up, none of them are shy.  So there is hope for them., if you could kindly keep it down, I need to finish the book.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


"It's summertime and the living is easy..."


I look forward to summer all year.  It hasn't even been a week yet, and I have no freakin' idea what I was thinking.  Because it only takes one day, usually one spent at the pool, to flood back to me.

I'll meticulously pack for the pool.  And every time I will come home with one less towel.  Did one of the kids leave it in the bathroom, the volleyball court, throw it up in a tree?  Or did we just enter the freakin' Twilight Zone because I can't find it anywhere!

(Subsequent trips to the pool will be meticulously searching the lost and found for said towel to no avail.  Because there never is an avail around when you need one.)

The kids whine about sun screening.  They only want the spray kind that costs about $10/ bottle and only lasts one trip to the pool with our family of 6.  Maybe.

Then because they have no school, they want a popsicle every day or candy.  Plus, because they're home all day, they graze all freakin' day.  The kitchen is a nightmare.

Oh, they said they'd make their own lunch and clean up after it, but I had to nag them the whole time.

In fact, because they are home all the time, the house is even more of a mess (as if that was even possible) strewn with bike helmets and dirty socks.

I thought they'd wear flip flops all summer so there wouldn't be any more dirty socks laying under the kitchen table, the living room, the office, the basement.  Everywhere.  THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!

So I need to devote at least 2 to 3 hours of my day to nagging.

I do not enjoy nagging.

My kids seems to love it though.

They also seem to love watching me do my Jillian Michaels dvds.  I get really pissy when I do them without air conditioning in my hot house and it gives me a great view under the desk where I find even more dirty socks.

I wish it was the missing towels, but no, I'll never find those.

And forget swim goggles.  Those are even more frustrating than towels.  I would stop buying them altogether, but two of my kids are on the swim team.

Did I mention that swim team is at 6am every week day morning?  Did I???

And the worst thing about summer?  "What can I doooooooooooooooooo?"  And it's already started.

You can do my Jillian Michaels work out, pick up the socks, find the towels, sunscreen yourself and make a great dinner, eat it outside and refrain from whining that there are bees buzzing about and clean up after it.

That's what you can freakin' do!

(Need I remind you, my kids haven't even been out of school for a whole week yet....)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Destroy my sweater

Summer is fast approaching.  I usually love summer, but this year there's a sense of excited dread for me.  I wanted to be done writing my book before the kids were out of school.  But, their long summer starts tomorrow.  So, I'm short on time and won't be done.  So, all summer I'll be juggling the kids with my incessant urge to write for hours on end with only one shared computer in the house. Wearing my writing sweater.

This photo doesn't do this sweater justice.
I wear my writing sweater every day.  And if you must ask, I do wash it frequently, although it's still  flecked with Clyde fur.  That dog can't get enough of me, unless he just can't get enough of my sweater.  Bonnie definitely loves my sweater, because whenever I take it off,  I become unrecognizable to her and she barks at me.  That's how synonymous I am with that sweater.

But, there's a problem. Actually there's several.  As we head closer to June, it's getting progressively hotter.  Too hot to wear a sweater in my house, which doesn't have air conditioning.  Or to wear it while taking Bonnie and Clyde out for their mid-day walk.  The pockets are a perfect storage compartment for their empty poop bags, my phone and keys.   Summer means either sweating it out or taking off my sweater.  The one that's slowly starting to unravel from overuse and abuse.  There's pricks and pills and a huge gaping hole under my armpit.  My sweater is getting destroyed!

What am I going to do?  Can I write without my writing sweater?  Will my inspiration dry up?  And will I ever stop singing Weezer's The Sweater Song in my head?  At least I know I'll have a song to sing at its funeral when the day comes.  Which I'm hoping isn't for a long, long time.

And which will unravel first over the summer?  My sweater or my nerves?

If you want to destroy my sweaterHold this thread as I walk away(As I walk away)Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked...


Monday, May 20, 2013

Belly Flop

I had already performed in front of a live audience on a pole.  Where the worst that can happen is your hands get sweaty and you fall on your head with a spinal cord injury.  Or a cracked skull.  Or dead.  So a live belly dance performance?  The likelihood of me dying while belly dancing is infinitesimal.  So I've got that going for me.  Even though I'm still ridiculously nervous and my hands are ridiculously sweaty.

The thing about the venue is, it was packed.  This is by far, the most people I have ever been up on a stage in front of.  And the lights above the audience weren't very dimmed.  So you could see the face of every audience member, including the professional belly dancers who were there.  Can you say intimidating?

So I handled things as best as I could.  I had already chosen to perform the only song I know most of the way through.  An old one from Morocco from my vast repertoire of songs I don't even know how they begin, let alone what I'm supposed to do in the middle and at the end.  But, I was prepared to brave the stage fright and the fact that I may forget all the choreography to one song I know or pee my gypsy skirt trying.  With Craig and the kids and a whole room full of other people I don't know watching on. 

The question was, would it be a belly dance or belly flop?  See for yourself....

That's when the memory card in the camera ran out.  At least it wasn't my memory that had expired.  Too bad you can't see the end. It was spectacular!  I balanced two swords on my head whilst breathing fire.  Then of course, rode a unicycle as a monkey played the zils. He pulled up my skirt and I turned 5 shades of crimson.  It's true.

Definitely a belly flop.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Last Friday Night

Some people are into Friday night lights.  I'm in a Friday night rut.  I'm totally okay with it though.  Because I'm old, have 4 kids and can't stay up past 10pm on any given night.  So by the time the weekend comes, I'm completely exhausted and don't want to do anything.  And there's no where else I want to be more than on the couch with a belly full of pizza with a glass of red wine in my pajamas watching a movie with the family.  Notice I said family movie and not family game night, which is the polar opposite of relaxing.  So why in the world would I go to a bar at 9pm on a Friday?  

Mama Beast, my roller derby wife.  I met my Mama on recruit day, both of us awkward introverts, we bonded over our pathetic orange wheeled rental skates.  The fact that we got assigned to  opposing teams didn't matter.   When I moved to Morocco for a couple years she stayed true to me.  Ok, upon my  return she copped to having a mistress.  But, I'm ok with that, as long as they weren't making any long term plans together or anything.   Sure, go have your fun.  In the words of Nina Simone...

The other woman finds time to manicure her nailsThe other woman is perfect where her rival failsAnd she's never seen with pin curls in her hair

The other woman enchants her clothes with French perfumeThe other woman keeps fresh cut flowers in each roomThere are never toys that's scattered everywhere

And when her man comes to callHe'll find her waiting like a lonesome queen'Cause when she's by his side it's such a change from old routine

But the other woman will always cry herself to sleepThe other woman will never have his love to keepAnd as the years go by the other woman will spend her life alone 
But now she's the one moving away.  And it's her birthday weekend.  So, that's why I'm out on a Friday night.  To savor the time we have left living in the same city watching a band I've never heard of.  I would say it's because I'm too old, but they're actually older than me.  It's because I'm totally unhip.  It's a terminal condition. I might set up a foundation The Tragically Unhip to accept donations for this charitable cause.  Wait.  That name's not taken is it?  

Built to Spill
Bars are all the same.  They're so loud it's impossible to have a conversation and not miss half of it.  The toilet never flushes or worse, it overflows.  And there's a pathetic guy in the crowd with absolutely no rhythm air drumming alone.  Either that or air guitar.  Then there's the gross pda couple molesting each other.  Who you know is gonna go home and fight.  Watching the crowd was so intriguing I almost missed the most fascinating person there.  Him.
Wait does he look like...?
From afar he had an uncanny resemblance to Charles Manson.  When we waded through the crowd to get closer, it was clear he actually looked far more like Paul Rudd impersonating Charles Manson. And the best part?  Not only does he play guitar and tambourine, he also rocks a cowbell!  (Unfortunately my cowbell photo is a total blur.)
See,  he does doesn't he?
So after 2 hours of feeling young and hip in this very old, rhythmically challenged crowd with one whole PBR under my belt.  It was time to go home.  And yeah, I stayed out past 11pm.  This only happens once every 5 years.  Which you know means I was on the couch in my pajamas by 5 pm the next night.  That's a lie.  I actually made it to 7pm.

Mama, me and a PBR
No matter how far my Mama moves away, I'm stayin' with her.  Cause I'm in this for life!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Reunion Tour

Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
'Cause we're reunited, hey, hey

When I left you in Rock and Roll Fantasy, Yoko Ono was threatening to break up the band to take her kid to soccer practice.  And she did. That's when we stopped talking to each other.  I can't speak for anyone else, but I suffered a deep depression in those weeks.  I spent countless hours on the couch in my pajamas being consoled by my box of Fish Eye Shiraz.   Unless that's just called Thursday night. Until a major miracle happened.  John, our band pimp, brought us together one night and we reunited.  I can't go into details about what happened, it's so personal.  But suffice it to say, Aretha Franklin was involved and I butchered her slowly until I killed a legend.  Vocally that is.

Over the next 5 weeks we learned a whole new set of songs.  Then we went on tour.  Ok, so the tour was of John's KISS memorabilia in his basement.  But that totally counts right?  I have to admit, we're not all that committed to the music.  Especially Moves Like Jagger.  We're more committed to having a good time.  I would say we're more of a party band.  A dry party band.  Because there was absolutely no drinking of any kind taking place while making these videos.  That came much later.  At the private after party in my house, on my couch, with my box.  To console myself for not being able to nail the pathetic steel drum part and singing in public, yet again.  And seriously?  The socially awkward band member who hides behind words isn't the best front person.  Obviously.

That's Mama on guitar, Yoko on drums and Baby Spice on bass.  What we lack in raw talent we make up for with our self deprecating wit and visible panty lines.  We're making the world a better place by accepting the fact that it's not about how well we play music or don't, but how much we can corrupt Baby Spice.  I mean she as a newlywed didn't know that she gets a fantasy list of hot celebrity guys that should the opportunity arise she gets to cash in on.

Somehow, over the course of a few weeks, distracted by chatter of tampons and to-do lists, somewhere in there, we really gelled as a band.  Check out how tight we are on this song.  We actually really got the beat.  And kept it even.

Just when you might be thinking this is a tale of triumph.  Not Triumph, the band, for clarification.  No, this is a tragic tale.  No, not in a Lynard Skynyrd kinda way.  But, because that's the final performance of VPL you'll ever see.  Mama and Baby are moving.  Not together or to the same place either.   I know you're disappointed. And secretly hoping that one of us is cocky enough to try to go solo.  Or maybe Yoko and I could Sammy Hagar it and add other inferior band members.  But those bitches are unreplaceable!  And I mean bitches in the most affectionate way.

So, you might want to blow this picture up to poster size to remember Visible Panty Lines the way we should be remembered.  Looking musically competent in a still photo in happier times.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Earning My Stripes

Ever since we've been back in the states, coming up on a year now, I've noticed an unusual and alarming trend.  Like most things, it started off subtle.  So subtle I didn't notice it for quite some time.  Until one day it smacked me in the face.  Funny,  it seemed like any other day.  Except it was the day I realized I was wearing stripes from head to toe.  Shirt, socks, underwear and purse.

For years my wardrobe consisted of black and grey and all the tantalizing colors that you can make by mixing the two together.  Namely carbon, charcoal, ink, onyx, raven, iron, ash, smoke, lead and the list goes on to other depressing non-color colors.  This may have been a reflection of my inner turmoil and angst.  Or my deep desire to be invisible and blend in.  Or just a post traumatic garanimals matching melt down milieu.  Or just all of the above.

Now, I get most of my colorful stripey clothes at the thrift store.  So, I figure not only am I contributing to charity, I'm also a charity case.  Obviously, the previous owner of whatever clothing item I just purchased got rid of it for a reason.  That reason may be that it's out of fashion.  Or it could be that it's completely hideous.    But,  before you report me to What Not to Wear.... should know I buy my stripey intimates new!  NEW, I said!
The thing is, either way, I don't care anymore.  I HAVE EARNED MY STRIPES!  So on any given day I may be wearing 2 or even 3 layers of stripes.  Thank god some are more covert so as to not visually assault the naked eye.  But some days I look very Where's Waldo.
So what if this is an extra large child's shirt with puffy cap sleeves?
I just spared a child from being unfashionable and mocked in middle school for wearing this shirt!  I'm positive that said child, whoever she may be, has a phone way more modern than my piece of crap Walmart phone too.  I bet she can actually see the buttons on her phone without getting her reading glasses out so her texts don't make her look completely stupid and or drunk.   And let me just add, I really, really hope she's not sexting.

Suicide shoes

Just so you know, I do have standards.  And my standards say I don't buy new colorful stripey shoes from a real store that will surely lead to my untimely death.

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's a Small World

I've made many attempts at homemade pizza, but none of them have been very successful.  The crust is pivotal. A bit chewy yet crispy is the goal.  After spending a fortune the night before on Boriello Brothers delivery, I was determined to make a cheaper, healthier pizza at home.  On the grill.  That's why I made a run to Whole Foods that afternoon.  And when I saw something that totally cracked me up.  So I did what I do.  Took a picture.

It was just left of the sushi in the refrigerated section.  Ready made dough with millet, cornmeal, rye, soy and flax in it.  I mean I've made a lot of pizza crusts, usually just plain old whole wheat.  Because I don't have a whole arsenal of multiple grains at my disposal.  Because I'm much, much too lazy for that.  Which is why I'm cheating and buying ready made dough to make "homemade" pizza in the first place.

When I got home I showed the picture on my camera to Craig who also thought it was hilarious.  Then I downloaded it and posted it to Facebook and Twitter.  Because when I find things funny I want to share them.  What can I say?  I'm a giver.  This is what I posted with the caption beneath it.

Apparently I was behind David Archuletta's mom today in traffic. Because who else would have these bumper stickers?

First, who has bumper stickers on their car anymore? Besides my husband of course.  It's not the 1980's anymore. Nowadays, bumper stickers have been replaced by those stupid stick figure people in the windows that proclaim how big your family is.  Oh,  don't forget Fido.  Which seems like a really weird competition of how many mammals you can keep alive under one roof or something.  And really people?  The Duggars have won.  So, give it up already.  Second, who knew David Archuletta was still making music and just put out a new album?  Anyone?  

"What if it catches on fire?" Ember asked as I prepared the sauce and loaded a heaping pile of spinach on top of the pizza. Well, that would be an exciting Saturday night.  But it didn't.  Instead, the flames crisped the dough to a slightly charred perfection.  It turned out to be one of those annual events where the whole family agreed.  The pizza was awesome.  Even better than Boriello Brothers.  And at a fraction of the cost and delivered way faster. We basked in the afterglow.
The evidence

It wasn't until the next morning when I got on the computer that I saw my picture had been retweeted several times.  Unbelievably, it managed to be tweeted to the owner of the car in the photo. No, I'm not even  kidding.  Now,  I know what you're thinking.  NO, it wasn't David Archuletta's mom!  Can you even believe it?  Apparently, there is this whole big David Archulleta group on Twitter.  Again, who knew?

Their reaction was completely unexpected.  Instead of being mad, I became a potential convert into Archulletaism.  They offered me kind words and cd's.  In fact they were so nice they scared me a little. This left me feeling guilty enough to google a song of his just to try it out.  You know, just this once.  It just didn't feel right for this ardent realist teetering on pessimism (depending on the day) to listen to such optimistic music. So, it's just not meant to be.  We're just not right for each other.  It's not that he's not talented.  He is.  But, clearly, it's not him.   It's me.   I'm more of a Chris Cornell girl.  I wonder if there's a twitter group for him.  Or a bumper sticker I could put on my car.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

You Make Me Sick!

The day I started taking leftover dog antibiotics for my searing throat and accompanying kennel cough was also the day I started reading Typhoid Mary.  That's when I learned the truth about my husband. By day he helps kids stay healthy.  By night he totally makes me sick!   Everyone thinks it must be great being married to a doctor.  But they don't know the truth.  He's Thyphoid Mary incarnate.  Since that's a bit feminine, I've renamed him Toxoid Craig.

What I didn't realize about Typhoid Mary is she never actually had Typhoid at all.  She was a cook who was healthy as an ox. An ox who wasn't an ardent hand washer and served her meals with a side of pythogenic fever.  This is when I started to put it together.  The pneumonia, sinus infection and strep throat.  No one else in my family got these recurrent illnesses.  In fact, Craig never gets sick.  Ever.  He's healthy as an ox.  Cause he's a carrier.  A breeding ground for all the germs he collects day in and day out.  Then he comes home and gives them to me.

"You make me sick!"

Now, Craig is an avid hand washer and I can't prove it's actually him.  But, I don't even need to.  The fact that he and I both know that he's to blame for me being sick is fact enough for me.  And the fact that he can't sleep when I'm hacking up phlegm loogies in the middle of the night either is just bonus. Then I woke up with the urgent need to pee in the middle of the night.  And peeing didn't relieve it.  It felt like a UTI, but I was already taking dogbiotics. Amoxicillin to be exact.  So obviously it wasn't.  Except it totally was.  How could this happen?  Until Craig reminded me what happened the night before.   "You made me sick....AGAIN!"

That's when I remembered antibiotics cancel out birth control pills.  And also when I remembered I don't want puppies.

Hopefully that's the end of the story.  But, if I start puking my guts out about a month from now I think we'll all know who made me sick!


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