Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Management

Remember when you used to have to plan everything in advance.   You had to do your banking during banking hours.   And no one had a cell phone.  So meeting up with friends required  you to designate a concrete meeting spot and a time.  If they stood you up you'd hold an epic grudge followed by the silent treatment.  Until you found out later through the grapevine much later  that their car broke down.  And then you'd feel like shit.  Back then life just moved slower and your emotions really got a chance to simmer before your realized how misguided you were.

But now, with electronics we live automated lives at warp speed.  

We can do almost anything at anytime.  We can get so much more done.  And it's just so much more efficient.  When things work exactly like they're supposed to work.  Which is exactly never.  Because electronics are exactly as flawed as the people who make them and the people who use them.  And drop them.  And shatter the screen.  Because the owner chose the pretty, environmentally friendly case over the ugly, bulky, highly  protective one.  And bonus, now you can realize how misguided you were virtually instantaneously.

But, the stuff that makes life simpler, makes it more complex. 

Managing all the stuff that makes things convenient is really inconvenient.  Like remembering all the log-ins and passwords in your life.  And just trying to keep up with technology, mostly so you can spy on your kids who already know and use the latest technology and have to explain it to you.   And I'm still totally cloudy on the cloud.  In fact I got off the cloud because it freaked me out.  Or at least I think I got off the cloud.  I'm cloudy on whether deleting anything in this day and age actually deletes it forever or if it just hovers waiting to be retrieved.   And I didn't even mention the nightmares of viruses and updates.  And how we're tracked doing everything.  And then marketed to and hacked.  

The management sucks!  
But not as much as my management skills.  


Monday, October 26, 2015

Becoming Amy Winehouse

Every year for Halloween I get ridiculously excited when I come up with a costume idea for our annual Halloween party.  And then I tell my husband and I also tell him who he's going to be so we coordinate.  Because I'm a Halloween dictator, apparently.  This year I decided to be Amy Winehouse.  Although I didn't know how difficult it would be to transform myself into her.


Because I'm lazy and not very skilled with make-up or hair.  And becoming Amy Winehouse is all about black eyeliner and her enormous beehive bump.  And I seemed really under qualified to do either.

First I tackled the hair with a wig.   Actually 2 wigs sewn together.  I cut bangs in the first one and rolled the second one into a bump and attached it.  Maybe I was meant to be a wig stylist.  What if that's my calling?


The make-up was more challenging.   Applying gobs of black eyeliner straight and symmetrically on both eyes is damn near impossible.   I was at it for about an hour.  Drawing, layering, fixing, washing off, correcting.  The end result was more Uncle Fester than Amy with all the shadowy smudges.  I have no idea how you'd be able to pull off this look under the influence of alcohol or drugs because I couldn't even do it sober.  That's when I  finally I asked my husband to help.  He's much more creative and attentive to details than I am.

And then he made me this tattoo out of sharpie to complete my look. 
 Before he got into his Kurt Cobain costume.  Which took him a whole two minutes.

Conclusion:  Being Amy Winehouse is way too much work.
Plus, I was kinda hungover the next day...
...kinda like Amy Winehouse.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pretty Little Liars

Every kid lies.  It's just when they're little it's almost kinda cute.  Like when my youngest wrote her name in sharpie pen on the kitchen table and then denied it when I asked her about it.  But, when they get older and the lies get bigger and more malicious.  Like when they learn to write their sibling's name on the furniture in sharpie pen.    And then they evolve into teens and learn how to deceive you, while trying to make it sound like they're mature.  While using their expansive words to completely bullshit you.  While you're just hoping that their expansive vocabulary is reflected in their SAT scores. 

It's like they don't know that I have a whole degree in bullshit.  

Because no one is a better lie detector than a liar.  And I confess I've done my fair share.  Telling my mom I was going one place when I was going another.  Like that time I skipped swimming lessons and rode my bike to the park instead.  It didn't occur to me that I'd be caught on the technicality of returning home with dry hair.  Which in hindsight was a stupid rookie mistake, which could have been easily rectified at the park water fountain.  Duh.  I could recount many such stories, but the list is way too long to um...list.  But, suffice it to say I get it, because I did it.  All of it.  

Unfortunately, it doesn't make it anymore palatable to be lied to.  

In fact, it might even make it worse.  Cause then you just have to assume that your kids think you're idiotic enough to buy the lies they're selling.  Which just really pisses you off as a parent.  As does the fact that the more kids you have, the more kids you have to suspect and confront.  And thus, the more complicated it is to determine the exact involvement of each suspect.   It's like I have to Sherlock Holmes everything, like who didn't flush their dookie in the toilet.  Or zip up the cheese.  Turn off the lights downstairs, etc.  All these stupid and ridiculous things,  even though they're teenagers.  I just assume at any given moment of any given day, at least one of my kids is lying to me.  

And I'd be a pretty little liar too if I didn't admit...
 that paybacks are a bitch.  

Monday, October 19, 2015


There are times in your life where enormous leaps of personal growth occur.  They're usually both heartbreaking and exhilarating, stretching you beyond what you thought possible.  The ability to see things from a different perspective accompanied by a surge of creativity.  And then there's other times...

...maintenance mode.

Where you're just surviving, going through the motions and accomplishing the minimal.  It can last for days, weeks, months, years and even decades.  Sometimes it's just unavoidable.  Like after a big break-up or the birth of a child.  But, sometimes the need passes and you end up stuck there.  Existing, but not really living.  A  homeostasis, that may leave you fairly home bound.  

Then you have to maintain the fortitude to change course.  

How do you do that?  It's different for everyone.  But it generally begins with one modest vicissitude at a time.    Plodding the course to a destination.  Trudging along when all you want to do is quit.  Reconvincing yourself it's worth it over and over again even if you doubt yourself,  even if no one else understands.  Especially if no one else understands.   

Maintain your truth. 
To live life with passion. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015


If there's one thing about parenting I like the most, it's got to be being right.  I LOVE being right.  Everyone does.  And if you say you don't, you're a liar.  I'm positive I'm right about that by the way.  My righteousness is exacerbated by the fact that I have teenagers who think I'm a moron convinced I don't know crap because they are also righteous.  I'm positive I'm right about that one too.  Because that's exactly what I thought of my mom when I was a teen.  

But I was wrong.  

Of course I didn't realize how much my mom got right until I was a mom myself.  Which is exactly when I started being right all the time.  (This may be an outright lie.)  So much of parenting is pretending you know the answers and what to do, that sometimes you forget you actually have no idea what you're doing.   Because you're simply so lost in the charade of adulting and trying to win the Oscar for parenting.   But alas,  there is no Oscar for parenting.  So why the hell do we try so hard?  

Because it seems like the right thing to do.  

But then, sometimes, you are right.  And your teen will come to you and tell you some utter bullshit.  And you'll calmly tell that child that you think that's really interesting, but that you're concerned for this particular litany of reasons, because of these potential outcomes.  And that outcome may blow up in their face.  Then you allow them to choose.  Secretly hoping it will blow up in their face.  Not enough to cause permanent damage.  Just some painful yet superficial flesh wounds.  And when everything plays out exactly the way you predicted, you're so relieved you were right, you want to shove their face in it so bad.  Of course, you won't.  But, on the inside you totally are.   Not that you wanted to be right, cause you didn't.   But, it's just that they'll learn more, faster from failing on their own.    

And then you feel a little bit righteous for just a little bit.
Maybe I do know something about being a parent after all.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Old Curmudgeon

I like staying home, listening to NPR, watching 60 Minutes, eating meat loaf,  hanging out at the library, composting, complaining about modern society and avoiding crowds.  I dislike technology, I'm distrustful of the government, I don't go to the movies or drive at night and I don't answer my phone, but mostly because I don't really know how to use my phone.

My transformation into an old curmudgeon is complete.

I've known I'm old for a while now, but sometimes I forget. Which is probably due to the onset of Alzheimer's.   But there are constant reminders.  Like I can't sleep past 5:30am.  Which might explain why I can't stay up past 9:30pm.  And there's nothing I can do about it.  Well, maybe there is, but I'm just too damn tired and lethargic to care.  I'm not missing anything.  And if you're not in your jammies at the first opportunity immediately after dinner curled up on the couch with a good book, I'd say you're the one missing out.  

This is who I am now. 
And I'm content with it.

I've done the late night stuff at clubs where you can't have a conversation with anyone cause the music is too damn loud.   The expensive festivals, chock full of weirdos lacking common courtesy not to block the thoroughfare while gnawing on a ginormous Flintsone-esque turkey leg.   And don't even get me going on the complete lack of shopping cart etiquette at Costco when the samples are out.  Nor on why you would hate follow a celebrity on social media.  Or why anyone gives a crap about celebrities in the first place.  Celebrities are the Costco samples of people:  Junk food.  I don't have any time for this, cause I'm on the downward slope.  

I only have time for diatribes.  
Cause I'm an old curmudgeon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Not Pictured

I confess, I take a lot of pictures of a lot of things.  And in the digital age, why not?  It's free after all and you can delete the ones you don't want later.  So that's what I do.  It's like a visual diary of my days. Except it never works out quite that way.  Because things are never as beautiful as they are with the naked eye.  And because in a diary you record the most intimate details of your life.  But, pictures are the opposite.  

The more real and pure the moment is, 
 the less likely I am to ruin it by taking a photo.

Which leaves me with a bunch of obscure photos that aren't truly representational of my life.  Not that they are intentionally inaccurate.  But, they are misleading because my photos are void of certain aspects of my life, mostly, my friends and my kids.  As I have mentioned here before, my kids don't  let me take many photos of them, let alone make them public on social media.  Also, I will rarely interrupt something, like a dinner with friends to take a photo.  And while I try to document the unsightly,  with photos of me first thing in the morning without make-up on or pictures of squat potties.  I do try to keep things presentable, pretty-ish (so people want to look at them on instagram) and try to preserve some decorum.   

Because of these things, I still sometimes feel like a fraud.  

Because I have more people that only know me soley through social media now.   And I like to keep things as real as possible, without embarrassing my family or friends.  Although I 've found that it's virtually impossible where my kids are concerned.  I still try to take great care to protect my family, while presenting myself as the flawed person I am, not the person I want you to see me as.   In order to own my mistakes, awkwardness and inner dork.  To promote self acceptance through my photos and my words.   But, I  realize I'm probably bullshitting myself.  And that none of this even matters.  Because as much as society says that images complement words, the truth is 

... images trump words.  
Every time.

This is the crux of my love/hate relationship with the digital age.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Internal Conflicts vs. External Conflicts

I was feeling good about myself when I stepped on the dog scale at the vet just for fun.  Because I thought I knew what the display would reveal.  But, I didn't.  I was 10 pounds heavier than I thought.  And even though I knew it was mostly muscle.  And, who's kidding, those cheeseburgers.  Not to mention the fries. Still,  I was shocked.   It was, after all, a 30 lb weight gain from when I was in Morocco.  Where I was much too unhealthy mentally and much too thin physically.   At a time when I was so unhappy internally, I got the most compliments from women on how good I looked externally.  And it was really conflicting.

Then a weird thing happened.

With a lot of hard work from the inside out, I began revealing my true imperfect self to the world through my writing and dance.  And opening up gave me confidence.  I actually like myself now.  Even those 30 extra pounds of me.  Maybe I even like those most of all.  Because that's where my strength comes from.  And I've even got some reserves in my thighs now.  Not that I don't screw up and get off track.  Because I do, all the time.  But,  I know that if I get myself off track I can get my ass back on track.  That while I can't control the external conflicts,  I can control how I internalize them.   

And that's the difference.   

I'm not gonna lie, it's not easy to plod along and stay grounded.  Especially in a world that rewards the salacious flash in the pan.   I've failed far more than I've succeeded.   And I still long to be perfect with perfectly long legs.   And my skin is still thin.  I still want to be everything to everybody.  I still want you to like me.  But, I'm not conflicted about it anymore.  I'm far more concerned that I like me.  Where I'm at.  Right now.  And I don't think that it's my problem if you don't, anymore.  Because...

I like me, so you don't have to.  
You're welcome. 



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