Thursday, December 8, 2016

Winter Hazards

PC: Boston Globe

Winter is a frigid and hazardous time fraught with worry.  What if I or someone in my family gets into a car wreck on the icy roads?  How much would my insurance go up? What if a water pipe freezes and bursts inside my house? Would waterlogged recharger cords for our electronics still work or would we get electrocuted? What if I forgot to pay the utility bill and we didn't have any heat?  That one's easy.  We'd burn Christmas cards and letters in the fireplace to stay warm.  Before we set fire to all the furniture the kids and dogs have ruined.

But, what about the other hazards?

Like having bad hair for months on end.  Because dry air equals bad, frizzy hair.  Even if you do somehow manage to get out of the house while your hair looks good, it won't last long.  First, it'll get blown by arctic air when you're pumping gas.  Then, it will start snowing.  Why is your gas tank always on empty when it's snowing anyway?  When you get back into your nice warm car, then the snow melts, soaking your hair.  Revealing its true uncoiffed texture and that cowlick it took you 10 minutes and lots of expensive product to tame.  Sure, you could wear a hat, but that only makes matters worse.  'Tis the season for staticky hat hair!

You'll stock up on all kinds of comfort foods at the grocery store to give you solace during the dark, bitter cold nights you spend curled up on your couch watching House Hunters, the vacation home episodes.  But, when you get to the store, you'll run into that acquaintance, you know, the chatty one you don't know where you know her from, in the produce section.  You'll have snot running down your nose making a beeline for your mouth, because that's what happens when it's cold outside.  In the absence of a tissue, and in a moment of panic, you wipe it on your hand while making small talk with whats-her-face.  Then, after you finally say your goodbyes, you'll proceed to see whats-her-face in every other aisle.  

Everything's wet, including the roads and your beautiful hardwood floors you just washed yesterday.  Everything except your skin.  Your skin is ashy and flaky and your lips are so chapped it looks like you're wearing dark lipstick that's completely the wrong shade for you.  But, your hands are the worst.  They're so dehydrated they ache when you bend your fingers.  And slathering moisturizer on them makes them sting even more.  Plus, now you can't open doors, a jar or pole dance because your hands are too greasy and slippery.  

Wearing gloves doesn't solve anything.  In fact, gloves or no gloves, my fingertips will not thaw out until May.  And have you tried picking up dog poop with a plastic bag over your glove?  It's nearly impossible.  Plus, with gloves acting like an oven mitt, you don't even get to feel the warmth from the dog poop on your hands.  What a cruel joke.  But, gloves are a far superior option to wipe your snot on than on your hand.  

So there's that...

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Best Things in Life

You've heard the sayings.  The best things in life are free.  And the best things in life aren't things.  When I look at my life, I'd say the best things are my family and the travels we've been on together.  Not to mention our dogs and having a place I love to call home near the mountains with lots of great hiking.  But, none of these things are free.

The best things in life are a total pain in the ass.

Let me start by saying, my husband is wonderful.  However, there are lots of life's little annoyances (that can seem to grow with 20 plus years of marriage).  Like will he ever clean his stubble out of the sink after he shaves?  Why do I have to do this?  And I'm sure he'd like me to unclog my long hair from our shower drain.  Also, why is there more hair in my shower drain than on my head in my forties?  How is this even possible?   And when your husband gets you a foot spa for your birthday, it means he thinks your feet are gross right?  Also, I don't get mani-pedis and my feet are totally gross.  

Then, let me state the obvious: kids are not free.  I know this because I pay the car insurance for two teenage boys.  TWO TEENAGE BOYS, I SAID!  I also buy shoes for them to destroy over the course of a week and jackets for them to lose.   Not to mention food.  Even though I never have anything to eat in my house, somehow this costs me roughly about $300 a week at Costco and I have burrito and Cheez-It wrappers strewn all over my house.  My two girls aren't any cheaper.  The boys can survive on a mere two pairs of shoes, sneakers and flip flops.  The girls need a rainbow of Converse to match every outfit, separate basketball shoes, flip flops, flats, plus dress shoes for special occasions.  Luckily, boys don't have special occasions, being a boy is just one long, unspecial, casual occasion, as far as I can tell.  

The only time I feel special anymore is when I come home to my dogs.  The only people in my house who appreciate me.  And they aren't even people.  But, they cost almost as much as people.  Because I have a special needs dog who needs to be on the $80 bag of dog food I have buy from the vet.  We learned this the hard way after hundreds of dollars in vet bills after our wall-to-wall carpet was destroyed by wall-to-wall dog pee, vomit and diarrhea.  Then there was the time they ate raw pizza dough and had to go to the doggie ER to get their stomachs pumped so they didn't die from alcohol poisoning.  And now my special needs dog is on medication (he doesn't like the taste of and I have to entice him to eat wrapped in luncheon meat like pigs in a blanket) for his hip.   

At least I have mostly new floors in my house because of the kids and dogs.  But, we did all of the work ourselves.  And it totally looks like we did it ourselves.  But, what does it even matter?  Our house was built over a mine on volatile soil and the foundation started sinking about 5 years ago.  Now, we could jack the foundation up for $80,000 with no guarantee it won't settle again.   Or we could just ignore the problem and get new windows (installed on a slight slant so they look straight) that actually close.  Which is what we did.  And no, oddly, insurance doesn't cover your house sinking into the earth.  But, at least we have a clear view out of our very expensive windows to witness the demise. 

Which only encourages us to ignore our problems on the home front by traveling to exotic places to get away from it all.   Places with gorgeous vistas that we can explore by hiking, snorkeling, zip lining and getting food poisoning.  You know, the good things in life.   Trips that we painstakingly plan ourselves after extensive and exhausting research on our foreign destination.  So our kids can complain, "Why aren't we going to New Zealand?"   Not to mention the enormous expense to go off to experience the best things life has to offer.  Surprisingly, going to see the biggest cave in the world is not free.  In fact, touring the biggest cave in the world is ridiculously expensive, which is why we're going to explore like the 5th or 10th biggest cave in the world next month instead.  But, my kids would probably still rather be in New Zealand.

Bottom line:  The best things in life are a total pain in the ass.  
But, they're also, completely worth it.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sagittarius Secrets

I'm Sagittarius.  Not that I read my horoscope or anything, but I do have a very Sagittarius personality.  Optimistic, adventurous, free-spirited and straightforward with a love of travel.  See,  it sounds like me doesn't it?  Me and Stalin,  who's also Sagittarius.  Which just proves this astrology stuff isn't 100% accurate.  Or maybe it's that I didn't get the opportunity to get to know the real happy-go-lucky Joseph Stalin underneath the tyrannical communist dictator exterior.  Either way, I find it fun to excogitate about how we define ourselves as individuals because I'm deep and intellectual like that.  Because my sign says I am and because I used the word excogitate. That's how I know it's true.

A couple of days ago, I got on-line to rate a book on Goodreads and yada, yada, yada...I ended up clicking on an article titled 21 Secrets of the Sagittarius Personality.  Sagittarians are also really curious, so I had no choice but to read it.  Because I had to know what these secrets were and whether or not they were true.  We're also really into brutal honesty.  So without further ado, here are 21 secrets about Sagittarians per and my brutally honest thoughts about them.

1.  Sagittarius is an optimist that dreams big.

I have four kids and I've traveled around the world with them.  First when they were toddlers and now as teens.  I'm either an unrealistic optimist who dreams big or clinically insane.

2.  Sagittarius is candid and honest.

If I say it, I mean it.  Or I will say nothing at all.  This might explain why I'm so quiet.  

3.  Sagittarius is witty and has a wicked sense of humor.

I tell my husband how witty I am all the time,  just ask him!  

4.  Sagittarius is independent and hates being told how to live.

I firmly believe that rules do not apply to me, especially the stupid ones.  I am the exception, dammit!

5.  Sagittarius can be restless and impatient..

I feel like it would be a huge waste of time to even comment on this.

6.  Sagittarius can read you like a book.

And I'm a really selective reader.  I like my books interesting, witty, intelligent and real, so be those things or GTFO. 

7.  Sagittarius is allergic to bullshit.

I was sneezing.  What did you say?

8.  Sagittarius can't stand selfish people or sore losers.

True.  And I'm adding whiny winners and every other one of Donald Trump's personality traits on to this.

9.  Sagittarius is hard to fool and is always thinking 10 steps ahead.

I don't know about 10, that's kind of a lot and I'm not that organized, but definitely at least two.  

10. Sagittarius seeks out freedom and is extremely hard to pin down.

I know this because I've wrestled in jello and no one pinned me down.  And I think everyone knows freedom is best symbolized by jello wrestling.  

11. Sagittarius can become ruthless when they feel they've been wronged.

Don't put a stupid flier underneath the windshield of my car in a parking lot or I swear I'll drive all over town with that thing until it finally blows off.  FEEL MY WRATH!

12. Sagittarius isn't afraid to take risks in life.

I got food poisoning eating from a floating food boat in Thailand and then got on a plane with restricted toilet access.  DON'T TELL ME ABOUT RISKS! 

13. Sagittarius are creative and extremely curious.

I'm a writer who pole dances and doesn't even earn a living.   How's that for creative?  And I'm extremely curious how much more money I'd earn if I was a stripper.

14. Sagittarius is spontaneous and just plain fun to be around.

If you think reading books on the couch with a glass of wine or watching a documentary on a Friday night is fun and spontaneous then...I AM SO DAMN FUN AND SPONTANEOUS!  

15. Sagittarius loves to prove people wrong.

Usually this is true, but with Trump, this is the first time in my life that I really hope I'm totally and completely wrong.  But, I don't think I am.

16. Sagittarius tries to avoid petty drama and instead focuses on what's important to them.

This is why I don't go to PTO meetings, watch The Bachelor and also why I'm not on Facebook much.  

17. Sagittarius is careful about who they give their heart to and takes time to commit.

I've been married for 24 years and I'm still not sure I'm fully committed.  Maybe I'll know in 24 more.

18.  When Sagittarius is hurting they can distance themselves from others and conceal their emotions.

 I distance myself from others all the time, not just when I'm hurt, because I'm a real introvert's introvert like that.  

19.  Sagittarius doesn't hold grudges and leaves the past in the past.

I really don't hold grudges, but that's really just because you're dead to me.

20. Sagittarius is always there for their loved ones when they need them most.

I'm not "there" for people as much as I'm "here" for them.  So I'd prefer you come over to my house where we can talk about your problems and you can see first hand that mine are actually bigger than yours.   

21. Sagittarius is adventurous and loves to explore new things.

Everything except eating organ meats, chicken feet and beaks, I've tried them and they're disgusting.  

Well, there you have it, 
all 21 of my deepest, darkest Sagittarius secrets revealed.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Tirade

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's officially the Christmas season.  With all the music, lights, decorations, candy canes, fruitcake, eggnog, crowded stores and bell ringers.  I can't stand any of it.  I'd prefer to skip the entire season.  Which of course isn't possible now that it starts before Halloween and doesn't end until President's Day, when your last, lazy neighbor finally takes down his annoying blinking lights that shine directly into your house.  Although sometimes that's Groundhog Day, Easter or Flag Day, depending on your neighborhood and whether you have an HOA or not.

I used to conceal my aversion to this holiday when my kids were little.  And I confess, it was kinda fun then.  Lying and bribing them to be good for a total stranger who'd break into our house in the middle of the night to leave them presents.  Plus, it got my kids to go to bed early at least one night out of the year and my husband and I could eat cookies on the couch, leaving crumbs everywhere, completely guilt free.  It was our job, actually.

But, now that my kids are older and their dreams are dashed because reindeer can't really fly and they realize they'll never get that horse or motorcycle on their Christmas list, I'm done pretending.  I'm done pretending Connie Francis doesn't sound like she's on Valium singing Baby's First Christmas.  Seriously, no one with an infant sounds that serene.  Not to start a rumor, but she had to be on drugs, there's no other explanation.  Pretending that fruitcake isn't vile.  I mean, it's all sweaty.  As a general rule, food should not be sweaty.  And who came up with drinking eggs?  Eggnog is just disgusting.   Even more disgusting if there's no actual rum in it.

I could go on about how much I hate Christmas, but I think you get the point.  And I do have another point to make.  I skip as much of Christmas as possible by taking my family on vacation and getting the hell out of the country each December.  The timing is really because all my kids have off school for almost 3 weeks, but it also conveniently helps me avoid some of this dreaded holiday season.  Mostly, decorating my house.  I don't put up a tree that would require the dog sitter to water it and clean up the fallen pine needles. So I can pass it off as a selfless act of kindness.  But, the truth is, I don't want to put up decorations only to come home from a long trip and have to take them down.  

Which is why I was shocked when two of my kids pulled out the Christmas decorations and started putting them up over Thanksgiving break.  "WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING?"  Ok, maybe that was a bit harsh for the petty crime of decorating for Christmas, but still, what were they thinking?  And my tirade didn't stop there.  "Who's gonna put all of this away when we get home?  Me, that's who!"  After they called me Scrooge, they explained how they'd take care of everything.  I've heard all this bullshit before.  Replace Christmas decorations with taking care of the dogs, for example.  Or really doing anything else in our house that doesn't get done without my constant nagging, which would be nothing.

I woke the next morning to find the Christmas lights were left on all night.  Of course they were.  "Why didn't you turn off the Christmas lights last night?" Oh, because they thought I was going to do that.  Me, the one who thinks it's impractical to go to the trouble to put up lights for a holiday we're not going to be home for.  I don't think so!  I also don't think anyone is going to remember the solemn vow that they made to pack Christmas away neatly in its boxes the way they found them when we get back from our trip.  In fact, I know they won't, because I'm psychic like that.  You know what makes Christmas feel so magical?  It's all the behind the scenes tirades that make the holiday actually happen.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Thanksgiving Tragedy

Ah, Thanksgiving, when my kids, who don't get along with each other, have an entire week off school to fight and complain that there's nothing to eat in our house, then leave dirty dishes to the contrary.  Which brings us to what Thanksgiving is really about, coming together as family and friends to nag the ones we love while trying desperately to overlook their really annoying qualities. All while being really thankful that Thanksgiving is only one day out of the year.

It all starts way before Thanksgiving.  With who you actually want to invite to stuff their face and drink cranberry margaritas with and those you don't, but are contractually obligated to invite, usually because you're related to them.  But, sometimes that obligation is your boss who started hinting at Halloween that he'd be eating a frozen burrito alone instead of turkey with all the fixings for the third year in a row.  And since you'd really like that Christmas bonus, it seems like an investment that could really pay off.

That's when the complicated planning involving math comes in.  How many people are coming, how many are ditching your house for other plans that came up and how many pounds of turkey and bottles of booze does that equate to?  And in the end does it even matter?  No.  But, you'll worry about it anyhow.  As you will every other detail.  Like should you clean the baseboards in your dining room?  I say no.  I'd prioritize taking potentially embarrassing things out of your medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  Because statistically,  at least one guest is likely to snoop in there while they're taking selfies in your bathroom.  Unless they're hiding from your drunk Uncle Ned.

Most people think the biggest tragedy on Thanksgiving is that something will go awry with the turkey.  It won't be cooked in time, cooked with the giblets intact, undercooked, overcooked, eaten by the dog while resting unattended, dropped on the floor or the carved by someone who cuts themselves with the electric knife and bleeds all over it.  But, the importance of the turkey is really a misnomer.  The booze is much more important and you can even buy the cheap ass vile Barefoot brand wine, no one even cares.  Because everyone will be so uncomfortable, dressed up in their Thanksgiving Day best, waiting for taboo topics of conversation to arise.  Worrying they're going to be the perpetrator.

Though you've briefed every guest individually on what not to talk about to whom this holiday season to try to maintain peace, it's inevitable.  Even if you make place cards on who sits where at the dinner table to try to keep the peace, the list of forbidden topics is too long and too seductive to avoid.  The most obvious verboten conversations are religion and politics.  But there's also food.  Don't start inquiring about how the host prepared the turkey and comment how your mom's method results in a juicier turkey.  Also, no one cares you're vegan, eat the dry, overcooked turkey and shut up already.  And don't use that to transition into how you do CrossFit to establish your superiority over every other guest at the table.   Or that your kid is an honor student while you pass around his gift wrapping fundraiser sign-up sheet for his fencing team that won the state competition for 8 years straight.  No one wants to hear anyone else brag.

But, no one wants to hear anyone else complain either.  Thanksgiving is not the place to lament you didn't get that promotion you thought you were a shoo in for.   Or your sciatica, psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis is acting up.  Don't grumble that you're still single.  It's just going to make the married couples start griping about how they hate their spouse's driving, sleeping habits and that they load the dishwasher wrong.  Which you've only had to hear about it for the last 15 Thanksgivings.  Which always transitions into complaining about how entitled and ungrateful kids are these days.  And how much better the world was back in the day.  Which is going to shift to stories of when they were an altar boy and Reaganomics.  Right back to religion and politics.

Thanksgiving is a time to pretend that everything's fine. 
While eating your feelings. 
Just like every other day.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

World Settles on New Currency

The United Nations Task Force on Trade and Development (UNTFTD) cites the current system of numerous and diverse currencies as a major contributor to current financial crises and worldwide economic downturn.  After briefly considering unifying global currency with the USD, the proposal was quashed.

"In uncertain times like these, especially now that Trump is President-elect of the United States and financial markets are volatile, choosing the USD as the new universal currency seemed risky.  Even though it's been the world reserve currency for years."  Dieter Hoffman, Chairman of the UNTFTD, explained.  He went on to say, " The fact that most of the world hates the US also made converting to USD an unpopular choice."  While the Euro, yen and even the Canadian dollar were considered, they were all rejected in favor of the popular option; social media likes.

"It just makes sense.  Social media likes have always been a reflection of power and influence on the population.   Which in turn translated to money.  This is just the next logical step."  Herman Bellevue, professor of economics at Trump University explained.  "Obviously, there will be a lot of wealthy cam girls on Instagram.  But, we expect that to Instatrickle down to redistribute income to the less photogenic."

Millennials had a huge influence on the decision, starting a petition for the Financification of Social Media on Snapchat, which quickly spread to YouTube and then Instagram.   They capitalized on their fluency in technology and pushed for a cashless financial system that would be more efficient, eco-friendly and wouldn't require them to do any complex mathematical conversions or log off social media and go outside.  Which is an especially timely concern if Trump revokes support of the Paris Climate Agreement, increasing pollution and thus, pollution related medical issues and health care costs.

"Of course math is still necessary", Gayle Tzitis a high school math teacher from Wisconsin championed the new currency.   "But these are easier computations.  Young people understand that 1 Instagram like is worth 100 Facebook likes depending on whether they accept their volatile Aunt Beverly's friend request.  They also know that they'll need to store up a minimum of five million YouTube or Twitter likes for retirement because social security will be extinct by the time they need it."
Having a financial system based on social media likes is accessible by most and almost equitable. Certainly, countries with the most wealth, like Qatar, for instance, are likely to stay that way.  While countries like Liberia will remain largely impoverished.  And North Korea, where social media is banned, will remain cut off from the rest of the world.  All of which help maintain financial stability worldwide by preserving the existing inequitable conditions.   Making social media likes and the status quo the new gold standard.

Monday, November 14, 2016

I'm a Killer

I am a cold blooded killer.  It's true.  Nothing is safe in my path.  Well, except kids.  And people in general.  I would include animals in this list.  Except I did brutally murder a guinea pig once.  Ok, it was more like involuntary manslaughter.  Don't leave your guinea pig outside in its playpen while you're cleaning its cage and then forget about it on a hot, sunny day.  Lesson learned.  In my defense, that wretched rodent was evil and bit my kids more than once.  So, it was more like karma.  Not like that excuses anything.  And it doesn't explain how I killed an innocent basil plant within a week of buying it.

But, by far, the things I brutally massacre the most are sweaters.  And the thing is, I love them.  I love them to death, apparently.  I love when the weather turns cold and I can snuggle up in a big chunky wool sweater.  One that makes me itch like I either have a severe and highly contagious skin condition or schizophrenia.  But bonus, sales clerks tend not to ask if I need help finding anything in stores, so it all works out.  Plus, I don't think they even care if I need help.  It's just a salutation, not an actual question.   Like, "How are you?"

Not that I'm shopping at stores that have sales people for sweaters.  Because my track record is so bad I  banned myself from buying new sweaters a long time ago.  Now, I only buy them at thrift stores.    I figure they're pre-shrunk and at $4 a pop (and if it's Thursday and they're half off, only $2), that's a steal.  Although if you calculate the mileage of a particular sweater before ruining it, that's about $2 per wear.  One dollar in the extreme rare occurrence that I get to wear it twice before destroying it.

Is there some kind of sweater care manual that I didn't get?  I mean I do know they all come with a tag on how to care for the sweater attached to it and all.  But, it's too small for me to read it and then I'm going to have to find my reading glasses and that's just way too much work.  Plus, more than likely it's going to tell me to hand wash it anyway.  Who does that?   So, I'll do what I always do.  Wash it in cold water in an overloaded washing machine because I have a family of six, four of which are teens.  Then I'll lay it flat to dry.  Ok, not actually flat, cause where do I have space for that? I don't.  So, I'll drape it over the half wall, a chair or hang it on a hanger.

Then, when the sweater is nice and dry, it has stiff peaks in the shoulders from the corners of the hanger.  It's also shrunk at least one full size making it a midriff baring crop sweater, which would have been cool in the 80's, but not so cool now that I'm a mom approaching 50.  Not only that, the sweater will have all those balls all over them.  Do you know how many years of my life I've shaved off trying to locate my sweater shaver?  Then after I do, I'll spend a good thirty minutes trying to get all those buggers off, which is clearly impossible, only for them to reappear the next time I wash it.

And there will be a next time.  With a new victim.  Well, not "new" so much as lightly used from Goodwill.   Which just means the money I spend on sweaters isn't actually wasted because it's going to a good cause.

Cause I'm a killer with really good intentions.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Apolitical Post About Books

I like to pick up a book with an open mind.  Not so open minded that I read just anything though.  I prefer books with weight and substance.  I want to read books that push my limits.  Ones that make me think and grow as a person.

There are two types of people in the world:  those who have to like the main character to like a book and those who don't.  I fall in the latter category.  Don't get me wrong, I prefer to be sympathetic to the main character.  It's a much easier, more enjoyable read that way.  When you have an unsympathetic main character, it's much more of a challenge.  Which makes you confront your core beliefs and why you chose to believe them in the first place.  Antagonism either strengthens your core values or it weakens them.  But, either way, it changes you.

After I've read a book and contemplated its content, I'll get on Goodreads to rate it.  That's when I'll read some of the reviews other people have posted about it.   If I loved the book, I'm always shocked to find people who despised it.  And if I hated it,  I'll be astonished to find people who adored it.  I don't usually write reviews publicly myself as I'm more of a private person. Although, sometimes I'll like what someone else wrote if I find that they've managed to put words to the thoughts I had floating around in my head while I read the book.  But, only if I find them constructive.

Because far too often, words can be unproductive and divisive.  Even though I abhor a book, I try to be respectful of the people who loved it enough to put it on the New York Times Best Seller list. Which doesn't change my stance at all, I will continue to love books that I think should've made the list.  But, instead of focusing on badmouthing the books I feel are unworthy, I will continue to champion for ones that I believe in my soul are.  After all, no book, whether beloved or detested, stays on the Best Seller list forever.  Eventually, they all get shelved.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Denigration of Upgrading

I didn't even want it.  We went to look at phones for my daughter, who did.  I just tagged along with her and my husband because we were following up shopping with lunch and a hike.  That and my husband wanted to ask why we had a Jump plan to upgrade phones on my account when I'm a technophobe who doesn't like change.  So, while I would normally sit in the car on my phone at the T-Mobile store, deleting posts I have over thought from my social media accounts, I was forced to actually go in.  Ugggggggghhhhhhhhh!

Turns out, we got a special plan on my phone only because I'm a well documented klutz and it provides the most insurance.  Oh, right...this totally makes sense.  I've already gotten two replacement phones this way.  And they had protective cases on them when I broke them.  I've also dropped my phone in the dogs' water bowl many, many times which is conveniently located just underneath where I charge my phone.  The last time my phone went for a swim, I couldn't make or receive phone calls.  For an introvert's introvert like me, it ranked up there among the best things that ever happened to me.  Until, it started working again 24 hours later. Dammmmmmmiiiiiiiiittttttttt!

My daughter picked out the color phone she wanted and was ridiculously excited, the way Millennials are about technology.  But, I'm a Generation Xer.  Technology when I was her age was a bottle of liquid paper you used to correct the errors on your typewritten book report you researched with a decade old encyclopedia, so you didn't have to retype the whole thing for one stupid typo.  Okay, several typos and a plethora of spacing issues.  The thing is, I actually knew how to spell back in the 80's before spell check.  It was a simpler time.  With only four channels full of worthless trash to watch on television.  With the exception of M*A*S*H, of course.

Then, all talk turns to me, as my husband and daughter try to convince me to upgrade my phone.  It has great sound quality my daughter says. This is not selling me. I don't even like when my phone rings, and I don't listen to music on it.  I admit, I don't even know how to download a song.  It has great photo resolution and more storage my husband says.  Since basically, all I do on my phone is take pictures and the only app I have is Instagram.  Plus, we're going on an exotic vacation overseas next month.  Which totally sells me.  Although, begrudgingly.

Because now, I'm going to have to remember passwords for stuff.  Like my e-mail.  I should probably keep a list of log-ins and passwords somewhere.  But, I don't.  Sometimes I write things down on a small random piece of paper that I lose.  Some people do crossword puzzles, play Sudoku or memory games on-line to stave off dementia, I just try to remember my passwords.  And I might already have Alzheimer's, because I never seem to remember them.  Then, I have to come up with a new password that's 10 characters long with two capitals, two symbols, two numbers and four random but meaningful letters in a sequence I'll remember.  Then, it'll be rejected for not being secure enough.  Which is kinda the story of my life.

When my new phone arrives in the mail and I finally get it all set up with the help of my teenagers who are fluent in technology, I get a tag on Instagram from someone who follows me to take and post a selfie.  Oh crap.  Because now I have a really great camera with a forty-something-nearing-fifty-something face.  Plus, now on Instagram you can zoom in on pictures.  So you can see pores, sun damage, zits, scowl lines, dark circles, gray hairs, rogue chin hairs, chapped lips and make-up mishaps with even more clarity.  So, essentially, I got a better phone so I could look even worse in photos.

This phone upgrade is denigrating my ego.  

Not only does my new phone make me look terrible. It also makes me sound like an idiot, putting words in my mouth by autocorrecting my texts.  No, no autocorrect, let me correct you, I typed exactly what I meant.  And I totally meant to misspell that word, you douchewad!  And don't suggest dumbass emojiis for me to include in my text, because I can't tell a smiley face from a frowning face without finding and putting my reading glasses on.  

PRETENTIOUS VIEWING RECOMMENDATION:  Black Mirror (Technology meets The Twilight Zone) on Netflix.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tales from the Dressing Room

I can't be the only person who dreads dressing rooms.  It's by far the worst part of the whole shopping experience.  And yes, I'm factoring in mustering up the energy to go shopping, forcing your unwilling kid to go with you to buy them pants, scouring the parking lot on a crowded Saturday at the mall and paying the outrageous bill for pants that fit your really skinny kid with really long legs into the equation.

I think it goes without saying that one only heads to the dressing room after thoroughly combing through the entire store for things to try on.  It's not somewhere you want to have to go twice, because it's not even somewhere you want to go once.  Somehow, my kids haven't learned this very basic shopping rule yet, even though I repeat it every time.

When you manage to find the fitting room way back in the bowels of the store, it is policed by a dressing room attendant.  You'll tell her you have six items and even space them out for her to see clearly there are indeed six.  But, she'll insist on touching all six of them while giving you the eye because you kinda look like a shoplifter.  And you know she's multitasking and also judging your selections.  "Really, she thinks she can pull that look off?  I don't think so.  That trend is way too young for her!"

There's a curious relationship between the stores that are expensive and the ones that are cheap and the condition of the dressing rooms.  Inexpensive stores like H&M tend to have tiny, bright, relatively clean dressing rooms.   Pleasant, except for the fact that there is a fabric shower curtain where a door should be.  And the fear of someone pulling back the curtain to reveal you in your underwear mid-change is worse than any horror movie.

Conversely, the pricey department stores, like Dillard's for example, tend to have large dressing rooms with carpet from the 80's in colors like mauve, with mysterious stains on it that looks like someone attempted a do-it-yourself clean-up from a bloody crime scene.  Combined that with the twenty articles of clothing with 20 more empty hangers strewn about it's very CSI-meets-Hoarders.   But, it gets worse.  Because it smells like feet.  Not just ordinary stinky feet, rotting feet like someone died there.  And it just might be the dressing room attendant, because you didn't even see her, you just walked right in.

That's when you look in the mirror.  And you look like a cadaver, with sallow skin and circles under your eyes so dark, Satan wants them back.  Is it the law that every fitting room in America be fitted with  fluorescent lights?  Because it just doesn't make any sense.  Nothing looks good under that light.  Except maybe pies in the display case at a diner.  Because pie.   But, people are best displayed in a dimly light room, with a slimming mirror and a diffuser burning lavender oil wouldn't hurt either.  Why has no one figured this out yet?

Inevitably, when you're ready to try on your selections you'll be wearing clothes that are a total pain in the ass to get off.  So, you'll try to take the fewest things off as possible.  I think I can slide my jeans off over my sneakers.  But chances are you can't.  And you'll spend more time figuring that out the hard way than it would have taken you to just untie, then retie, your sneakers.  Trust me on this.  If you're anything like me, when you do finally do get the item on, you'll hate it.  However, if it's an item you didn't come shopping for, don't need and have absolutely no occasion to wear it, then, of course, you'll love it.  Either way, you lose.

CLOSE-TO-THE-END-OF-THE-POST RANT:  You might even get stuck in a dress you tried on and can't get out of without asking for assistance.  Totally a true story.   Also, your size is completely subjective depending on the store.  Like, in H&M you will wear two sizes larger than you do in any other store.  It's not you, it's them and their warped European sense of proportions.  Contrary to popular belief, Swedish women won't keep you warm at night because they have no body fat, apparently.  After all this you'll need to console yourself with a pretzel dipped in butter or ice cream.  Depending on whether you're a sweet or salty person or if it's your time of month, in which case, it's both the pretzel and the ice cream.  Also, never try on clothes when you have your period.  It never ends well.  Ever.  

When you emerge from the dressing room the attendant will take your ticket clearly marked with the number of items you took in with you.  But, she won't count the clothes you came out with.  I mean call me old fashioned, but isn't that the entire point of the ticket?  I mean, what was the point of making me feel like a shoplifter on the way in, if I don't get to prove that I'm not on the way out?

Bottom Line: Save your sanity and shop on-line.
Try things on in a dimly light room with a bottle of wine, but not when you have your period.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Doctor's Orders

It happened two weeks ago today.  I injured myself pole dancing.  Which doesn't happen frequently, but it doesn't happen infrequently either.  So I wasn't real concerned when I couldn't walk without limping.  I just pulled a muscle in my calf, that's all.  I'd simply lay off the work outs, take it easy, do some gentle stretching and hot tub therapy.  I mean if I have to.  You know, for my health and all.

The thing is, I don't rest well.  Because working out my body also works the wonkiness out of my mind.  And trust me, my mind is extremely wonky.  I'm already excessively self deprecating and perfectionistic as it is.  Mix that with some recent rejection my writing received (you'd think I'd be used to it by now but, rejection doesn't get easier) and it was the perfect storm.  And I got dark and depressed.

Which explains why a week after the original injury with my limp nearly gone, but not quite, I got back on the pole.  To self medicate.  I can pole dance without using my left leg, I deluded myself.  Bam!  I accidentally hit my injured leg on the pole resulting in a shooting pain that left me temporarily immobilized, shouting expletives.  Which is always extremely therapeutic.  But, then I was right back to exactly where I started the week before.  With an ache in my calf, hobbling along slowly with a limp.  Dammit!

I'd have to see the doctor. 

I hate going to the doctor.  And I think it's mutual.  Because I'm a terrible patient.  And my doctor knows I'm headstrong and I'm not going to do what he says anyway.  Because I sleep with him.   Which does get me free health care.  But, since I helped put him through med school when we were first married nearly 25 years ago, it all balances out.  Unless he still owes me.  Either way, my preferred method of staying healthy is denial.  I like to ignore health issues and hope they'll go away.  Or just assume I'm going to die from whatever fatal disease I likely have.  It could go either way really.  And sometimes both.

So, between the laundry and completing paperwork to refinance our mortgage, I let him examine my calf.  After which he told me I tore a muscle.  Dammit!  What the hell do you do for a torn muscle anyway?  That's when he printed out the treatment plan and handed it to me.  Because he knows I'm more likely to do what I'm supposed to if he doesn't actually tell me what to do.  Not that I think he doesn't know what he's talking about, but because I know he's right and I just don't want to hear it.  Let alone do it.   


No exercise or stretching.  Nooooooooooooooooo!
No walking downhill.   OK, this is impossible in Colorado.
Ice 4 times a day for 20 minutes.  I prefer heat actually. 
Ibuprofen for pain.  I don't like taking medicine.
Time to heal:  4-6 weeks.  No effing way!

The thing is, I know I'm only hurting myself.  I get it.  But, I'm kinda put in a position of choosing either what's best for my mind or what's best for my body.  What's worse, the cure (exercise) or the disease (anxiety/depression)?  So, I'm just going to do what I always do; consider these doctor's suggestions instead of doctor's orders and make my own treatment plan that works for me.  And hope for the best.  


Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Kids' Sports Are Ruining My Life

It's that time of year again.  When you're stressed with seasonal obligations and niceties.  There's so much organizing and planning to be done. Then there are all the parties and gifts.  Then on top of that, you're expected to get into the spirit of the season.  Which is really hard when you're exhausted and probably suffering from some co-morbid seasonal depression.  All because your kid's sport is in season.

In our house, it's basketball.  But it has been swimming, volleyball, fencing, tennis, parkour, baseball, ultimate frisbee, soccer, track and cross country.   The most boring was baseball.  Can you call something a sport if most of the players are standing around waiting for something to happen most of the time?  The most frustrating was swimming because a swim meet lasts like an entire year.  And the coolest was fencing, which three of my kids took together.  Although my kids didn't like it enough to continue beyond one session.  Which I still don't understand because who doesn't want to stab their sibling with a foil?  God knows I wanted to!

So, of all the sports my kids could play, I guess basketball is a pretty good one.  The game moves at a decent pace and actually requires my kids move to play it.  Sometimes they even sweat.  But, since I've never played basketball myself,  I don't know the rules. (Even though I've watched my girls play it for several seasons now.)  Like when two girls are rolling around on the court floor fighting for the ball how do they decide who gets it?  And is it a rule that I always sit next to the mom who cheers really, really loudly.  Screaming things like, "Good D"?   Which reminds me of that completely inappropriate Key and Peele episode that has nothing to do with playing good defense.  And then laughing at that mom distracts me from watching my kid play.

This year one of my kids has her practices on Friday nights.  Are you even kidding me?  Friday night?  Do you know what I do on Friday nights?  No.  I don't go out to dinner.  Are you kidding me?  There are too many people out on Fridays.  Which means it's going to be crowded and loud.  Which is the same reason I don't go to the movies, a concert or really anywhere else on a Friday.  No, on a Friday night I like to be curled up with a slice of pizza and a glass of wine on my couch in my pjs with Netflix the way god intended.  Now, I'll be forced to sit on wooden bleachers making small talk.  Do you even know how painful that is?  Have you sat on an unforgiving wooden bleacher without a backrest lately while talking about the weather?  Have you?

I'm so glad my kids have moved past the mandatory shared soccer snacks.  But, now they've moved into the beginning of the season team building parties, mid-season just-because-we-feel-like-it parties and the celebratory end of season parties.  All of which of course require food.  Gluten-free, vegan, lactose-free, paleo, nut-free, health conscious foods.  So sunflower seeds and water, basically.  The low sodium ones of course.  Don't even get me started on the mid-week practices and trying to find yet another crockpot recipe your family will eat in your absence while you drop off/pick up your WNBA hopeful.  Which we all know is completely delusional.  Which is why I'm more of a basketball scholarship for college hopeful.  It could happen.

I'm so excited when the end of the season approaches until I remember that the team is going to need a coach's gift.  Do I take one for the team and volunteer to do this thankless task?  No.  I spend the last few of my kid's practices praying another mom will take on this burden.  Because I already have a lot of people to shop for in my life and quite frankly, I'm pretty bad at doing it for the people I love most in my life.  I don't want to let the whole team down when I drop the ball on this one.   Thankfully, there's always an overachiever mom who'll step up to the plate.  It doesn't matter that we all know she  took on organizing the coach's gift because she just wants to know who the cheap ass bastards are.  She's still the MVP of moms.  And I'm still the biggest loser.

Why do my kids have to be so damn sporty anyway?

Monday, October 24, 2016

This Year's Hot New Fashion Trend

Forget about pencil skirts, boho chic and high waisted pants that brilliantly camouflage your muffin top.  Asymmetric necklines and androgyny are out this year.  No one cares about scarves or patterned hosiery.  This year it's all about something that French women have worn for years and never goes out of style.  Arrogance.

"The thing about arrogance is, it's not just about looking like a snob." Reports Arianna La Roche, owner of a beauty lounge in La Grange, Wyoming.  "That just scratches the surface.  Fashion has gone deeper.  It's more of a reflection of what's going on in our culture than it ever was."  And what's going on in our culture is an overbearing sense of superiority reigns supreme.  "Just look at Kanye West.  He's the embodiment of the arrogance trend."

But, you don't have to be a celebrity to pull this look off.  Trudy Roach, fashion blogger and part-time Walgreens clerk, explains. "It's an extremely budget friendly trend that everyone can afford. It's not about name brands anymore.  In fact, it doesn't matter what you wear.  You could wear a duvet cover like a toga.  I mean even though "duvet cover" screams the 90's.  No one cares."  Making this an extremely liberating time to be a fashionista,  like the 70's were for civil rights.  "Except, I can help you choose the right shade of foundation to complement your ego. I might even have a coupon and be able to check you out right at the cosmetics counter with no lines and no waiting.  Providing you with the red carpet service you're entitled to."

Another great thing about arrogance is that it's a real space saver.  Which is really important if you live in a metropolitan area which is typically short on closet space.  Because arrogance virtually doesn't require any room in your closet.  Which makes it pair really well the current tiny house movement.  It's also extremely eco-friendly.  "You don't have to worry that this trend will end up occupying space in a landfill near you when it goes out of fashion.  There's also no guilt associated with the use of fossil fuels to ship outdated trends overseas for people in need of clothing in underdeveloped countries."  Stated La Roche.

So, get out there and be condescending and presumptuous and look and feel great while saving your budget, the environment and the world all at the same time.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Indie Chick

I was indie way back when it was just called being a loner.  I always knew who I was, even when I didn't like who I was.  And I didn't for many years.  Because I never seemed to fit in anywhere.  And I still don't.  So, I just did my own thing.  Which is what I still do.

It's not easy being indie.  Staying true to yourself in a world that values selling out.  Where quantity has replaced quality.  Where who you know seems to be more important than who you are.  Where you are easily classified by your politics, religion, gender, looks, class and/or sexuality.

 This is the bullshit that we've bought into as a society.  

I'm not claiming that I'm above it all or that I have no implicit bias.  Because I'm not.  And I do.  We all do.  I'll admit right now that I think your fitbit is nothing more than a really expensive glorified pedometer.  And I will judge you if you're over the age of 25 and use Snapchat.  But, these thoughts are mine.  Not that of my group.  Because I don't have a group.  Because I'm GDI (Goddamn Independent).  Which when I transferred to the University of Alabama for my sophomore year meant you weren't in a sorority or fraternity.  I know this might come as a shock, but I wasn't.  I never understood why anyone would feel the need to pledge their devotion to a bunch of drunk girls (or guys) desperately seeking validation.

It's not that I don't want to be accepted.  I do.  I mean, I think it would be nice.  But, I don't need it. It's just that I don't want to be endorsed by association simply because I'm in the right group.  I don't want you to pretend to like me because someone else you like does.  Like it's some kind of a contractual obligation or popularity contest.  I don't want you to approve of me because of what you think I can do for you.  And god knows I don't want you to hate follow me.  You know like that facebook friend you love to hate.  I hate that!  At the end of the day, I'd much rather be respected than accepted.

To sum it up...
 I like myself so you don't have to.  

You're welcome.  I'm a giver like that.  I didn't get where I am by affiliation, kissing ass,  pretending to be something I'm not or cheating the system.  I got where I am by navigating my own path, believing in myself and making my own opportunities.  If I make anything I do look easy, it's because I work my damn ass off.  Because I am a one woman show.  And I do all of my own stunts.  It's all me.  No agent.  No publisher.  No publicist.  No safety net.  No regrets.

What I am is authentic.
And that's what being indie is all about.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Astronomical Rise of a New Religion

In a time when so many of us have lost faith, there is a new religion on the rise:  Asteroidology. It was founded by former agnostic, Nancy Bellvue, of Holyrood, Kansas in 2015. Downtrodden by the emotional and financial strain of a divorce, with a job as a bookkeeper she despised, combined with the atrocities of the world she had no control over, she searched for something to believe in. 

“That’s when I had an epiphany”, she said. “It’s as if the entire universe opened up to me and told me everything was going to be ok.”  Bellvue went on to say that Asteroidology is different from most other religions, more akin to Buddhism, in that it’s more of a philosophy with the goal to end human suffering and isn’t deity based.  “In an evermore bleak and depressing world, pain in unavoidable and people need something to believe in. Something to count on. Even atheists and agnostics. We don’t discriminate against non-theists. Asteroidology is all inclusive”, the founder explained.    

But, don’t go looking for a big fancy church, Asteroidologists gather for meetings at observatories nationwide on their sabbath; Tuesday evenings. (Which coincidentally is also kids eat for $2.99 at Golden Corral night where the pre-sabbath festivities begin.) At the meetings, they use information from NASA to track asteroids whose trajectories threaten to impact with Earth.  Then they pray for a collision that would result in the total annihilation of life as we know it and thus, resulting in the end of human suffering. 

Bob Frankenship, a devoted follower of Asteroidology for two months from Lakeland, Florida explains.  “There are so many asteroids that come as close as 275,000 miles from Earth. It’s much more common than people realize. Sooner or later, one of the rocks catapulting through space will be the chosen one. We of course, pray it’ll be sooner. To spare the world from things like hunger, disease, the end of oil and terrorism.  But also the lesser known evils of failing to plan for retirement, the confusing conversion to chip encoded credit cards, enduring small talk with Trader Joe’s employees and the results of the U.S. presidential election.”  

Devotees believe the outcome of an asteroid colliding with the Earth would be a swift, fairly painless humane death if you are within 100 to 200 miles from ground zero that is.  Also, if the asteroid is larger than a mile wide, which is big enough to wipe out life on the planet. It would of course be a prolonged demise caused by debris blocking the sun, the further one is from the impact site. It goes without saying that smaller asteroids would have less significant global results. Thus, have less merciful, magnanimous results on the end of humanity as a whole.  

Bellvue summed it up best.  “We just have to take it on faith that a really massive asteroid is sent our way from beyond at the end of times.  And soon.”

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stair Master

When we moved into our house a little over 10 years ago, most of the house was wall to wall with off white shag carpet.  Even the bathrooms, which is a really gross Midwestern tradition.  Which with four kids, and not to be sexist, but especially two boys (really, think about how good a boy's aim is as a toddler) makes me want to vomit.  As did ripping out all the noxious dog pee stained carpets from the entire upstairs because our dogs would get really pissed off when we left the house.  Literally.  Now, only small sections of carpet remained in the boys' rooms and the stairs.  And it had to go.

One fun thing about me is after I procrastinate something for a really long time and then finally decide to do it, it instantly becomes an emergency.  And it must be attended to immediately.  To quote Chaucer, "Time and tide wait for no man."  I don't know exactly what that means, but I hope the tide part means my dogs are done pissing on my floors.  Because I'm the one who's been their bitch cleaning that shit up.  Oh, cause sometimes they shit on the floor too.

Kids and dogs are gross.

I called my husband at work.  "Can I rip out the carpet?"  Now, my husband is a very smart man; he knows that's not actually a question at all.  It means,  "heads up I'm going to rip out the carpet now".  And he also knows that he'll be fixing whatever I screw up, because he knows I'm truly gifted at screwing things up.  So, with a box cutter in one hand and a set of pliers to pull out the millions of staples used to affix the carpet to the sub floor, I was off.  But, I must confess, I'm always a bit off.

When all the carpet was finally gone, and only a heaping pile of dirt remained, it was time to fill all the holes left by the staples and then sand the stairs smooth.  And then paint.  Only to realize I did two coats of white paint that actually attracts my dog's black fur.  What was I thinking replacing white carpet for white paint, anyway?  So, I went back to the paint department at Home Depot yet again, where I'm pretty sure the paint guy thought I was really into him.  When I was really just into choosing the wrong paint.  Apparently.  Until I finally found, Mr. Right.  A high gloss paint with commitment issues, so it repelled dog fur.

Unfortunately, it doesn't repel shoe prints.  Or undecipherable blobs of food.  I mean, who eats on the stairs?  Ok, that was a stupid question.  Teenagers do.  Because they eat everywhere.  Do you know what else teenagers do?  They go down the stairs with purpose.  And by that I don't mean they go down to retrieve their pile of laundry I've folded for them to put in their dresser.  I mean, they put all of their body weight into essentially a fast and furious pseudo-controlled fall down the stairs that sounds a lot like machine gun fire.  My house is a war zone.

Ironically, we needed a carpet to cushion the blow.  

This sounds like the fun and easy part of the project.  But, when you're doing a home improvement project, you realize, there's no fun and easy part.  It all just really sucks.  Because after looking at every carpet store in town, you won't be able to find exactly what you're looking for.   Then, you'll start looking on the internet.  Where you won't be able to find exactly what you're looking for either. Because you can't always get what you want.  But, if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need.  (I may have plagiarized those words.  But, is it really plagiarizing if everyone knows the source?)  Finally, after two months, and finding someone to install it, it was finished.

I am the Stair Master.
And by that I mean I get my exercise going up and down these stairs to nag kids to come get their neatly folded laundry and actually put it in their dresser and not throw it on the floor.

Now, how long until the kids & dogs destroy it?
(Somehow I didn't majorly screw anything up.  As long as you don't look closely at my paint job.) 

Monday, October 10, 2016


If you're a regular reader here, you know I'm an introvert.  Not only that, I'm terminally shy and socially anxious.  Making me a real introvert's introvert.  I love quiet mornings alone.  Self check out lanes in stores.  Quiet afternoons alone.  Avoiding phone calls and group texts.  (Basically, anything that contains the word 'group' in it, like groupthink, is just too social for me.)  Quiet evenings alone.  And cancelled parties.  It's not that I don't love people.  Because, I do.  I really do.

 It's just that I'm really awesome company for me.  

I don't mean to be braggadocious or anything.  But, I know exactly what I like.  And I don't need to compromise or explain myself.  Because both of those things involve talking which I'm not good at. But, I'm really good at giving myself what I need.  Which is alone time.  And if I store up enough reserves of me time, I can socialize and come off as one standard deviation from the norm instead of two.  Maybe I'm overselling myself here.  I can't say, because unlike an extrovert,  I can't get out of my own head to see myself from the outside.

Because extroverts have super powers.

I'm not going to lie, I used to think that they were just super needy wind bags.  With all their talking and needing to be the center of attention.  Which don't get me wrong, I loved and still do because it takes the pressure off of me.  But, I just didn't understand them at all.  Until I had a kid who's an extrovert.  

He's almost the exact opposite of me in every way.  He loves to talk to people.  After a long day at work, he'd love to go to a party to talk to even more people.  Is there an after party?  Cause he'd totally go to that too.  Because being around people energizes him.  So does solving problems.  He's so assertive he tries to solve problems we don't even have.  Whereas, I over think so much I can't even solve my own.  

Extroverts have charm. 

Not that introverts don't.  Because we do.  We really do.  It's just that it may take years for you to see it because we're more guarded.  And because we keep cancelling out on parties where there'd actually be an opportunity for you to see our quiet, understated charisma.  The difference is that the extrovert's charm is so much more accessible.  Which is a huge advantage in American culture where the population is fluent in extrovertism.  I would say I'm jealous.  And in some ways I wish I was an extrovert.  Specifically to feel more easily understood.  Except, it exhausts me just to think about extroverting.

So, I'm content being the mother of an extrovert.
 Quietly watching from the sidelines.
Most likely with a book.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sick Cravings

About twice a year I get a migraine like I did earlier this week.  If you've had the good fortune of never having one, they're utterly horrific.  Because not only do you have the most massive headache of your life, you're also extremely sensitive to light and sound and nauseous.  Oh so nauseous.  So, the only thing you can do is go to bed in a very dark room and pray that you don't puke because the only thing worse than having a migraine is having to clean up vomit when you have a migraine.  In the dark.

I laid in bed praying for death with a pillow over my head because I forgot to shut the shades and the open window when one of my neighbors started cutting down a tree with a chainsaw.  I may have also prayed for the neighbor's death.  I'm normally a very nice person, I SWEAR!  After laying there for hours deciding whether rolling over was worth the risk that the motion would make me retch and coming to terms with the disappointment that I wasn't going to die, I finally fell asleep.  And I woke up with a slightly less horrible headache and an empty, queasy stomach that needed to be fed.

Please god, since you didn't answer my prayer to die, 
let there be saltines in the cupboard.  

Then there, way in the back of my pantry was an open box.  And I really do mean open, because my kids never roll down the plastic bags or close the top of any box of food.  But, even so, thank god!  So I trudged them upstairs and took them to bed with me.  Slowly dining on stale saltines and water, I got a sick craving.  I can't be the only one who starts pining for bizarre foods when they don't feel well.  But, I may be the only one aching for Bit O Honey.  Which I probably haven't eaten since it was in my Halloween loot from 1980.  Because everyone knows no kid wants it and it's utterly untradeable.  But, once you've eaten all the other candy, six months after that, you'll finally take a bite outta that Bit O Honey.  Out of desperation because it is still candy.

I was in no condition to get in my car in search of this obscure candy that they probably didn't even make anymore.  But, later that night,  when I had to go to the airport to pick up my husband and was looking for an excuse to leave earlier than I needed to because my kids were fighting, I went to Walgreens.  Because supposedly, it's on the corner of happy and healthy.  But, I wasn't happy at all when I scoured the candy aisle for a full 10 minutes and couldn't find any Bits O Honey.  So, I left with Swedish Fish.  Which was even more disappointing.  What was I even thinking?

Fun fact:  I obsess about unimportant things that I can't find.  

So, the next day, I strategized.  Where am I likely to find an old candy that was likely discontinued in 1985?  No, not the internet.  That's cheating.  The Dollar Store.  


You know the sickest part of this whole thing?
I really, really like them.  
Which means I'm going to be a regular at The Dollar Store now.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

I'm Racist

For years I denied it was true.  I thought I was unbiased and accepting.  But, it turns out I'm not.  None of us are completely free of prejudices.  It's impossible to endure the varied and all too often cruel experiences life has to offer and remain unchanged and unbigoted by them.  No one is a clean slate.

We're all hypocrites to some degree. 

I don't care what color skin you were born with.  Whether you're straight, gay, bi or transgender.  What religion you are or not.  But, sweet Jesus, if you make yourself orange with self-tanner, I will judge the hell out of you!  You only brought this on yourself.  Literally.  At some point you decided to  go to the store and purchase self tanner.  Or you went to a tanning salon and paid an accomplice, which is even worse.  And why are there tanning salons in places like Florida, California and Hawaii anyway?  GO OUTSIDE FOR 5 MINUTES.  Done.  And you'll end up golden brown like a Thanksgiving turkey and not orange.  See?  My condemnation of the stupidity of it all is completely justified.  Because people pay actual money to look like an Oompa Loompa.  And it's not even a Halloween costume.

My racist roots go even deeper.

I'm even more judgy about what's going on underneath your skin.  Because you can't actually call yourself a vegetarian if you don't eat actual vegetables.  There I said it.  Then you're just an avoid-a-meat-a-tarian.  And really, if you're Paleo, why not just take it all the way and hunt and gather your own food?  I mean really commit to your convictions would you?  Plus, you're guaranteed to lose weight.  What are you a commitment phobe?  And if you're vegan I'm totally fine with that because there's more steak and butter for me.  Unless you're a part-time vegan.  In which case you're a damn hypocrite and give me back all the steak and butter already!

Need something to wash this harsh truth down with?

No, not a beer.  Beer is gross.  You cannot convince me otherwise.  Many have tried and failed. Yes, I've tried the chocolate beer and the porter.  I've tried them all.  Beer is vile.  It's not my opinion, it's fact.  Wine you say?  Sure!  Oh god, not Chardonnay!  I hate whites.  They're inferior.  Yes, all of them.  Even Pinot Grigio.  Which makes me a red supremacist.  And don't hand me some godforsaken nauseatingly sweet Lambrusco.  I like my reds bold and complex.  Which are the very same qualities I look for in people of any skin color.  Except orange.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Thing No One Tells You About Aging

Getting old sucks!  Everyone knows that.  And about the gray hair, blurry vision, mysterious dark black hairs that appear on random parts of your body and thick yellow toenails that require a circular saw to hack them off that come with it.  Oh, and I forgot to mention forgetting things.   Which I do all time.  But, what I didn't see coming was all the worry that comes with aging.

Last week I hurt my hand, there was some swelling and soreness, but really nothing major.  I figured I'd just rest it and sooner or later it would go away.  Until I started to dwell on it.  Because if old people do anything really well, it's dwelling.  And diagnosing.  Which I started to do.  It definitely wasn't arthritis because the discomfort wasn't in my joints.  It was more of a shooting pain emanating from my wrist.  Holy shit!  I have carpal tunnel syndrome.  Great.  I make my living using my hands as a writer and a pole dancer.  I'm just kidding, I don't actually make a living.  After about a week of rest and constant anxiety about how I'd need to give up the things I love and take up crocheting, I came to the realization it was just overuse.  And crocheting also uses your hands.  Dammit!

But, my worries aren't just about becoming decrepit.  They're also about dying.  So, I'm more nervous about driving now.  Especially at night when I can't see quite as well requiring me to wear my distance glasses which also reduce glare from the oncoming headlights.  Which lane is that yahoo driving in anyway?  Because even with my glasses on, sometimes I have a hard time telling.  And if I need to pull into a tight spot I'm going to need to turn the music down.  I understand that turning the music down doesn't have anything to do with my ability to correctly deduce the car's dimensions and the spatial analysis of whether I will fit or not.   Call it lunacy.  I don't care.  Because I'm old.

I may be an old fool, 
but I'm extremely lucid the subject of mortality.

I'm not only more anxious about me, I'm more anxious about my family.  At least if I died, their lives would go on and I wouldn't be a burden asking them to drive an old lunatic to her carpal tunnel related doctor appointments.  Or even far worse things I don't even want to think about.  And then at some point they'll probably contemplate putting me in a old folks home or not.  And that's a lot of stress.  But, what if something happens to my husband?  I can't support myself or the kids with my debilitating carpal tunnel, remember?  By far the worst, is worrying about my kids.  Two of whom drive.  One of which will turn 18 in a few months and bear the burden of being a legal adult and being able to vote.  Which, let's face it is a lot more underwhelming than it seems at first.

I'm acutely aware that when my kids become adults and move out on their own to start their own lives that my anxiety won't end.  It will multiply.  Because then they'll have significant others, spouses and then kids.  My grand kids.  And I'm sure as hell going to worry about them because they're going to be raised by my kids.  Not that I don't trust my kids, it's just that I raised my kids, so I really just don't trust me.  You know, now that I have even more time to dwell with an empty nest and all.


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