Thursday, February 27, 2014


It needed to be done.  Shopping for new jeans.  Since I wear them everyday, they wear out fast.  And when they begin to look skanky, I know I need to make the sojourn to the Levi's store.

Oh, I've tried other brands.  But most of them nowadays are all stretchy.  And you know what happens as soon as you put them on.  They stretch.  And you're left with an obscene pair of jeans barely creeping down and exposing your underwear.  And when you're walking with them half way down your crotch, the buckled fabric rubbing between your thighs starts to make a weird swishing sound.  Of course, it was this particular pair of jeans I wore when I met my friend Suzanne for Jeansapolooza 2014.

Luckily, the clerk could hear me coming and came right over to offer her assistance.  And right away I start sharing all of my hopes and dreams.  Low waisted and straight cut to make my short legs with ample thighs look longer.  Because we all want what we don't have.  As luck would have it, they didn't have what I was looking for.  Suz insisted I try on others outside my narrow, confining, claustrophobic box.  This is one of many reasons it's important to go on a jeans quest with a friend.  They are far more objective about your body and what looks good on it than you can ever be.

Which is how I ended up with jeans tight around the thighs with a slight bell bottom.  
To my surprise, they really do look and feel good on.

Here's the thing though.  When you get that perfect new pair of jeans and you swear to yourself you're going to get rid of the old ones.  Well, it's just to hard to do.  You start to bargain.  Ok, so I'll keep the old ones and only use them for painting, cleaning out my oven or heavy yard work.  And you know for damn sure, you don't do ANY of these things!  But the new ones are just so perfect.  What if you wash them and they shrink and aren't perfect anymore?  WHAT THEN?

I actually put the new jeans on the other morning, determined to be brave and just do it already.  And took them off and put on some old ones 5 minutes later.  I can't wear them in their brand new fabulousness just to hang around the house!  I must have an occasion to make their debut.  Like a night on the town with a silk camisole top and sexy strappy heels.  And if I'm wearing that, it must mean it's summer.  Cause otherwise I'd freeze to death.  So, maybe a few months from now I'll bust them out.

Until then, I'll be wearing my old ones branded by the chapstick rubbing my inner right pocket until I blow the knees out.  Actually, that has never stopped me.  They just become my grunge jeans.  You know for concerts I never go to.   

Monday, February 24, 2014

Holed Up

Photo courtesy of
Between the frigid temperatures, broken social engagements due to never ending illnesses and  the kids, we were holed up in hibernation.  Except for that last time we went out.  A couple weeks ago when I was Bob Costas's twin sister with a raging eye infection.  My husband and I were both exhausted, but forced ourselves to go out anyway.  Of course, that night unbeknownst to us,  there was an Olympic celebration in downtown Colorado Springs.  Making it nearly impossible to find parking.  And even more impossible to have a quiet romantic dinner.  In fact, I can sum up the evening in two words.  IT SUCKED.

When I fork out the money and make the effort to go out, I have a lot of expectations.

1.   A  quiet yet funky place with an adult ambiance without a kids menu.  And no TV or any other screen that I can see from my cozy little table.

2.   Low lighting acting as a soft focus lens making me appear both younger and hipper.  As if I could effortlessly stay up past 11pm.

3.  The excellent selection of wines on the menu will prove 9pm challenging though.

4.  Inspired culinary choices that I'm way too lazy to make for my family at home.  Preferably ones my kids would absolutely abhor.

AND 5, which is extremely, extremely important, the place must be stocked with characters.  No, not customers, characters.  So we can watch them and make up their story.  Cause god knows, if Craig and I are left to our own devices, we're only going to end up talking about the kids.  And the whole point of going out is to get away from the kids.  

Does such a place exist in such a relatively small city?
 The Rabbit Hole.
The former city morgue converted into a restaurant.
So it's even got an intriguing creepy component. 

My kids would definitely not eat the rabbit balls served with a piquant sauce.  Or the seared ahi steak drizzled with wasabi, accompanied by bok choy I ordered.

And the characters!

The young attractive guy at the bar eating alone.  Surrounded by couples.  Stubbly scruff on his chin.  He can't be military, unless he's off duty for a few days.  Maybe he's from out of town.  Or fresh from a break-up.  

The old guy alone at the bar, flirting with the waitress, asking her when she works next.  And everyone within earshot knows:  She's just not into you.  

The long center table is filled.  Half the table with the older set, the other half younger.  We spent most of dinner trying to conclude if they were all together or two separate groups. Turns out they were one.  Although we couldn't determine their common bond.  A rehearsal dinner perhaps?

The couple I sat facing.  About our age.  No wedding rings.  Not a first date.  She eats from his plate without asking.  It looked more like end of a relationship than the beginning.  Especially when he placed his ipad on the table and checked it frequently, ignoring her.  Noooooo….what are you doing?  Stop! 

To our left was a young couple, in their 20's.  Even they didn't have their faces in their phones, which I thought was totally refreshingly weird, especially considering their age.  They are totally scoring couples points with us.  Right now they're in the lead, our favorites really.  Then I see his shoes and so does everyone else in the restaurant.    Fluorescent pink sneakers.  Not converse, which would earn him style points.  Interesting choice.

Craig points out the lady directly behind me having a night out with a girlfriend.  "What's up with her hair?" He asks.  I have to do the casual turn around.  And she has gobs of product in it, so it's crispy.  Like bacon.  And while everyone loves bacon, no one likes bacon hair.  

Luckily, I had the best seat of the house.  Sitting across from this man.  And even though he was on call for work, his phone was tucked away out of view.  We were eating scrumptious food.  Sipping a simple red. Talking about everything except for the kids.

There's no one I'd rather be holed up with.  
Absolutely anywhere.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Advice Columnist

Photo Courtesy of

It started immediately after the book was published.  People started coming to me for advice.  I've never been good at giving advice. Plus, I don't know what kind of tips I can really give any other person.  Other than how to become a statistically insignificant blogger and an incredibly insecure author.  Cause that's exactly what I've got to share.  But, I'm totally flattered that there are people out there who think I have some book wisdom.  Or any other kind of wisdom.

A few weeks ago, I got together with a friend who just started a blog to talk about writing.  She'd read the blogging rules and wondered what I thought about them.  And while I normally take a long time to consider all the options before dispensing advice, this was a no brainer for me.  "The 'rules of blogging' are stupid.  Fuck the rules! Write what you're passionate about." The world is cluttered with disingenuous bullshit.  Authenticity is more important than anything else.  Especially numbers.

The very next day, having just finished reading a marketing book I bought, I started to implement some of the things I'd read.  Namely, joining even more on-line groups for even more social media. Which is why I joined a large indie author network with over 2,000 members.  Passively joining, of course, is not enough, one must socialize.  So, I asked for advice, wrote supportive comments here and there to other authors and tried to keep up with the threads about grammar, chapter size and marketing.

The thing is, whenever a group of people gets too large, the sense of connection that brought them together in the first place gets lost.  Members can become distant, confrontational and desperate to prove that they are in some way an authority.  On something.  Somewhere.  I sensed this immediately.  But, I persisted.  And I started to spend way too much time contemplating what to write and how exactly to write it.  So as not to piss any of these 2,000 complete indie author strangers off.

It took me 4 or 5 days of this before I realized I was a total hypocrite.  I had just told my friend to be authentic and yet, I joined this group with the sole purpose of marketing myself because some stupid book said I should.   So, I  quit.  Not that anyone noticed.  I was a number, not a person.

That's when I decided to fuck the rules, again.  And follow my own damn advice already.
Authenticity is more important than anything else.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day Bites

It doesn't seem to matter what I do, Valentine's Day sucks.  Every year.  Now, I'm not even a big Valentine's Day girl.  I don't expect roses, diamonds or champagne.  And I don't even like those things, let alone want them.  All I want is a nice quiet night with the ones I love.  That's it.  And every year, no matter what I do, it just doesn't happen.

This year Valentine's day was on a Friday.  So there's no way in hell I'm going out.  Too many people and variables including much too crowded restaurants and people out to prove their undying love once a year to stress me out.  So by unanimous decision, we're staying home.  Bonus, I get to share the night with my other love, cooking up a gourmetish meal for the family.   Of course, before all that, I need to make it through the day.

As luck would have it, the hot tub we ordered weeks ago is being installed on Valentine's Day.  Perfect for an adult evening of soaking after the kids have gone to bed under the night's full moon with a belly full of deliciousness capped with dark chocolate fondue infused with red wine and berries.  Could it BE more romantic?

Wait.  I didn't start at the beginning of the day.  With a valentine to each of my kids personalized with my own prose of their most lovable characteristics and a box of chocolates for each of them.  I was so excited for them to discover them when they woke, as I am whenever I do something special.  But instead of  getting a "thank you" or an "I love you" back, I got "This one is coconut, eeeeewwwwwwwwww, disgusting!"  Ok, so this is a great start.  No mention of my thoughtfulness and no reciprocated sentiments of heartfelt adoration.  Which let me remind you, are the ONLY things I want.

Hot tub guy arrived late.   The kids were inconvenienced because I couldn't to and fro them across the free world.  "But, I need to be home when the hot tub guy arrives.  Sometime within (or as it turns out) outside the specified window."  Finally, my oldest settled for  inviting a friend over to our house.

After the hot tub guy arrived and hooked up and began heating our hot tub, I delivered the bad news.  "It's not going to be hot enough for you guys to go in tonight."  Fully planning that my ass was going to stay up way past them and have some adult time in it basking in the glow of the night's full moon.  I mean full moon people.  Could it BE any more romantic?

"Mom, can ____________stay over for a sleepover?"  Asked right in front of said child.  Oh hell no!  I cannot have sex on a night someone else's kid is sleeping over.  I can barely have sex on a regular night when my own damn kids are at home.  I can't risk traumatizing someone else's kid walking in on me and my husband having sex.  Defeated on the home front,   they asked _____________'s parents who said yes, on Valentine's Day.  Which made me wonder…do they not adhere to the parental code?  I mean no one has sex when there's a sleepover at their house. Right?

With one kid gone, there was more steak and shrimp to split between the 5 of us.  "Ewwww…it's pink and chewy."  And then the chocolate fondue was "too greasy".  And then the kids selected a movie for all of us to watch: Bubble Boy.  I just don't even have a comment on the movie.  But, I did exactly what I do every time we watch a movie and the lights are dimmed.  I fell asleep.  And woke up for the credits.

As the kids got shuffled upstairs, we checked the temperature of the hot tub.  Seventy freakin' one!  There is no way in hell I can stay up until it reaches a dipable 103. So we just went to bed.  There was nothing romantic about it, all the romance had been sucked out of the evening by the kids. We got a good couple of hours of unadulterated sleep when the wind started gusting at 75mph.  Which in the past has ripped our windows off the hinges because our windows don't close all the way because of the settling of our house.

The only way to get them closed is to go out on the roof to push them from the outside.  And if you're a new reader, you may not realize that my husband fell off the roof onto his fucking head and I thought the man was dead back in October.  So, needless to say, I didn't sleep for the rest of the night worried about the windows, but more worried that someone I loved was going to get sucked out with the window or fall off the roof. Again.  I guess, this brings me back to the true meaning of Valentine's Day, being with the people I love.  And the fact that a "quiet night" with them is really unattainable  and just might mean they're dead.  And I'm ecstatic they're not.

But Valentine's Day can still bite me!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Professor

It was an utter shock.  It always is when you hear of someone passing away.  No matter if they suffered a long illness or if it was a sudden event.  Disbelief is always first.  The reality, when it does finally come, always hits hard. The loss.

I'd never met Thom in person.  But, that's not a prerequisite for feeling a grave loss.  He was a member of my small, intimate on-line writing group.  He was the professor.  Not only a Professor of Psychology    in the same state system I graduated from, but also a fellow to all of us writers.

He had a fatherly presence.  Modest, insightful and wise.  But with a playful nonjudgmental side too. Unless it came to cheating, which he didn't tolerate.  Because he was a man of integrity and fortitude.  Navigating through life with a disability,  but never allowing it to disable him.

I always wanted to be in his class, sitting at a desk soaking up his wisdom and life experiences. It wasn't until his untimely passing that I realized,  I'd been a student of his all along.  Watching and learning from his example.

Rest in peace Professor Brown.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sweater Weather

Winter is not my favorite season. As a girl with low blood pressure (an idiosyncratic trait of introverts),  I always struggle to stay warm.  Which is probably why I have a huge penchant for sweaters.  I'm a sweater aficionado really.  Some are too scratchy.  Others too sheer.  And don't even get me started on those stupid little pills that form that need to be shaved off.  Even Santa knows how much I hate those, apparently. Because he gifted me a sweater shaver last Christmas.

So, my sister-in-law, Donna, was in town for just one night from Chicago.  She, like me, loves to thrift shop.  We formulated a very ambitious plan of thrift shopping, Garden of the Gods hiking, olive oil scoring and lunch at my favorite restaurant, Adam's Mountain Cafe.  But first things first, thrifting.

As with every store, I have a unique pattern to tackle the layout.  Except this time,  I broke with tradition and went straight to the kids section to look for something for my youngest daughter.  That's when I saw it.  Crumpled in the baby seat section of a cart in a heap.  A beautiful shade of green knitted and pearled to perfection.  I couldn't tell what it looked like, but I was intrigued.  More than intrigued. My curiosity must be satiated.  I needed to know exactly how jealous I should be that someone else discovered it first.

I had no self control.  Who could blame me?  THE FATE OF A SWEATER IS AT STAKE HERE!  Covertly, I did a 360 degree scan of the entire store.  No one was looking.  So quickly, I gingerly lifted it to see its design.  Oh MY god.  It's gorgeous!  I have never seen another sweater quite like it.  It's feminine, but not too feminine.  Stylish, but not too trendy.  Classic really.  But alas, it is someone else's to love and cherish.  So I walked away, determined to forget it.  Convincing myself I could live without it.  It's just a sweater for god's sake!

Browsing t-shirts would perk me up.  I'd go there and find a cute vintage one to numb the pain of my loss.  Which I did.  But, it didn't become comfortably numb.  So I went back, like a moth to the flame.  The cart was still there. Still unattended.  I checked that no one was looking, stuck it under the other clothes I'd acquired and headed to the dressing room.  Oh, I'd return it to the cart when I was done.  It was probably too small for me anyway and this would just prove to me that it wasn't meant to be.

Of course that's not what happened at all.
It fit like it was made for me.
Holy crap!  What am I going to do now?

I went back and returned it to the cart.  That was still sitting there.  Now, if someone had to take a kid to the bathroom, they would have returned by now.  Even if the kid had an accident.  If she forgot her wallet in the car she would have returned by now.  If she took a short nap in the dressing room, same thing.  I was considering all of this when I saw Donna.  "Come here!"  I shout whispered with the come hither finger.  And I explained the whole story.  

She promptly picked up everything in her cart and we buried the sweater on the bottom to sneak it to the cash register.  Just in case someone came looking for it.  My heart was beating so fast when we put it on the counter.  And I checked for sweater creepers as I tried to shield it from view. 

It's mine!  It's totally mine!  
I'm gonna wear it everywhere!
All the time!

But what if  I run into a woman who says, 
"I had a sweater just like that in my cart at the thrift store once, before some bitch stole it…."?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Au Naturale

I'm finally doing it.  Going au naturale.  I've wanted to do this for so long.  After all, I'm not getting any younger.  Something always got in the way of me just saying screw it  and just stripping down and going for it already.  Until now.

What would make me do this you ask?  Expensive chemical laden carpet shampoos that do NOT work.  And a dog who constantly pisses and shits on the off white carpet in my bedroom.  Yes, this is how I began my foray into all natural cleaners.  Completely and totally pissed off!  (Pun intended.)

I scoured the internet and found a recipe (I wish I could give the blog I found it on credit, but I didn't copy down my source.)  Luckily, I came upon this right before Bonnie and Clyde ran away and Clyde gorged on god knows what, returning home with bloody diarrhea.  Which was chased with volumes of  vomit.  Luckily, I already had all the ingredients stocked in my pantry.

Homemade Carpet Shampoo

  • 1/4 cup lemon scented ammonia
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons dish washing soap
  • a little less than 1 gallon hot water
I had accidentally discovered a flat stove stop cleaner when I couldn't find that stupid expensive stuff in my cluttered cleaning cabinet.  

Stove top Cleaner

  • Some baking soda 
  • Some vinegar or lemon juice
Dude!  Why didn't I think of this sooner?  It's so easy and so much cheaper.  I feel like I'm sticking it to the man.  You know that guy on that cleaning commercial saying it's all natural and it's a family run company and shit.  Since when is nepotism good?

Bathtub Scrub

  • Dash of baking soda
  • Squirt of dish soap
  • Squeeze of lemon juice or lime juice (if you're a citrus snob like I am)
I hate the smell of bleach and cleaners and this works (even better if you let it sit before scrubbing off) and bonus:  it smells  like a margarita.  I wonder if tequila and salt would aid in cleaning.  Or just in the fun of cleaning?

Glass Cleaner

  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 qt water
  • a few drops of essential oils, like peppermint or orange just to make you happy
I further get my happy on with my microfiber cloth.  And by making my kids clean the damn mirror with the disgusting toothpaste spittle on it.

Laundry Soap

  • 1 bar of natural soap shaved in food processor (I prefer Ivory soap because it smells like innocence.  But that's just me.)
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • (Use 1 tbsp per load)
I got this from my friend Lisa on facebook.  And after going to 3 different stores and texting Lisa to confirm washing soda isn't baking soda (it's not), I finally found the soda at Walmart.  Which I found ironic. To find the stuff to make my own detergent in order to avoid shopping at Walmart, well, I had to go to Walmart to get the supplies to do that.  It's all a big corporate scheme.  Let's stick it to them by totally buying the cheap washing soda there instead of the more expensive brands. That will show 'em!

Fabric Softener

  • Add 1/4-1/2 cup of vinegar per wash load
  • Add a few drops of essential oils, which totally aren't essential for this recipe to bring you to your happy place.

 Don't worry, the vinegar smell dissipates during the wash load.  But the oils just make laundry fun.  I promise.  Ok, maybe not.  But, let me just tell you,  my happy place smells a bit like bergamot.  That was until I found out it's one of the most expensive oils.  Just like ylang ylang.  And now I want to ylang ylang that bergamot like you wouldn't believe!

Automatic Dishwasher Soap 

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • Use 1 Tbsp per load
  • Use vinegar as a rinse agent.
Guess where I found the effing citric acid?  Yup, effing Walmart!  I'm totally pissed.  Why?  Why doesn't Sprouts carry this stuff?  Why do I need to do the walk of shame to Walmart to buy these components to stick it to Walmart?  I don't think this is working out the way I planned…

Hand Wash Dish Soap

  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp borax
  • 1 Tbsp grated bar soap
  • Essential oils for added happiness.  
  • Heat water, pour over other ingredients until combined, let sit overnight.

For extreme happiness add child slave labor to wash pots and pans for you.  That's what Walmart would do.  You know it's true.

All Purpose Spray

  • 1 part vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • A few drops of essential oil
  • And whatever purpose arises.  And you know one or 100 will!  
So come on and go au naturale with me!  You know you want to!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Optical Illusion

It was inevitable and I knew it.  I was just seeing how long I could hold on before I succumbed.  Maybe seeing was the wrong word to use there.  Unless it was the right one.  Because I couldn't see much at all.  Only things within a 2 to 10 foot radius were clear, everything else was a blur.

I used to squint my way through the grocery store, desperate to make out oncoming familiar forms.  That looks like Hillary.  Squint.  Squint.  Ok, now that she's closer, that's totally not Hillary.  I have no idea who that woman is and now she thinks I'm going to follow her home, kill her and then sit in her living room eating her Famous Amos cookies and leaving crumbs all over her couch.  Which of course I would never do, because I don't really like cookies all that much.  But for sriracha potato chips?  Maybe.

Anyway, I've given up my desperate attempt at identification a long time ago and stick to my 2 to 10 foot field of vision and ignore the insignificant optical illusions that lie beyond that.  Except, I have passed by people like Hillary.  Marie?  Then I have to apologize.  I wasn't being a bitch ignoring you!  I just didn't see you!  I have done this many times now.  But, I can't even imagine how many times it's happened and I didn't even know it did.  I might have even lost friends over it and I don't even know it.

So I did it.  I begrudgingly went to the optometrist. Even though I knew what that bitch was gonna say. And then she did.  Have you thought about getting bifocals?  Then I told her straight up and straight from the heart…Bifocals are for 50 year olds.  I'm only 44.  Those are my thoughts on bifocals. 

She was younger than me, and wasn't yet on the cusp of two very significant life changing events,  menopause and bifocals.  I know this because she's pregnant and unbespectacled. Which also means she didn't truly get my story about driving the kids carpool at night and the stress of trying to make out what lane the oncoming headlights are in.  Because she doesn't have kids or old, deteriorating vision yet. She laughed anyway.  It was probably out of pity.

So I settled on adding distance glasses to my spectacle repertoire and switching between reading glasses and distance glasses.  Maybe I could get one of those beaded chains to hang them on my aging, deflating chest.  I think that's acceptable in your 40's.  Unless that's in your 70's.  I'm now unsure of the whole optical timeline.  But,  I'm positive I'm a dinosaur.  So I guess I'm stuck in the Mesozoic era.  And everyone knows, there were no glasses back then.  Therefore, I don't think I even really need to wear them.

So what I'm saying is,  if I walk right past you on the street without glasses on, my pseudo-bitchiness is just an optical illusion.  But, if you mention bifocals, you might expose my inner T-Rex.  In which case, I can't be held responsible for my actions.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...