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.



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