Snorelympics

I love Leslie Jones. I think she is an amazing Amazonian tower of strength and humor and power and love and I just want to be her best friend forever.

But even her hysterical commentary doesn’t inspire any interest or positive feelings for me about the Olympics.

I’m sorry. I tried.

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At Least the Government Recognizes My Work

I’m still a noob to this self-publishing thing, only two years in and not by any means successful in the traditional “gaining attention” or “making lots of money” sense. But I did have to pay taxes on royalties this year and that’s new for me. Mind you, I spent about as much at Target this morning as I made on my books last year but still…

Success can be counted in lots of different ways.

 

Tired Mom Tells a Story

“Mom, tell me a story. ’bout the real Goldilocks, not just Goldie and Bear.”

“Ok, sure. The real Goldilocks. Right, so… here we go.”

Onesuponatime, there was a girl. A blonde girl. I mean gold… gold girl. Girl with gold hair. And her name was Goldie… locks. Goldilocks.

Goldilocks was… um… going into a house, the bears’ house. She went into a stranger’s house and just made herself at home, didn’t she? Rude.

In Goldie and Bear, she was delivering an invitation but I don’t know why the OG Goldie was in a bear’s house. Did she even have a reason or like… are fairy tales just… plotting for the sake of the moral and not even… Oh right, sorry so…

Goldilocks was in the house and she… went in the kitchen and she ate some porridge. Or she found some porridge and the Dad’s was too hot.

“The Papa. His name is Papa Bear.”

Right, Papa. The Papa’s was too hot and the baby’s was too cold? Or the Mama’s was too cold and the baby’s was good? I don’t remember. There were three bowls and she ate one. And then she… um… she did nothing. She… did… nothing.

….

“Mom? You ‘wake?”

What?! Yeah, yeah. Uhh… so then she broke the chair and um… slept in the bed? And the Papa’s side was too lumpy and the Mama’s side was too hard so she fell asleep in the Baby’s bed and… then what happens? How does this story end? Do the bears eat the girl or like, what’s the point of… of any of this? Bears and positioning everything on a spectrum on which the middle is the only viable option? Like… why is this even a story?

I… don’t know. Dude, I don’t remember this story at all. Can we do Star Wars instead?

“OK, Mom. Tell the New Hope story.”

Sweet. I can do that one in my sleep.

A long time ago…

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Talking to Strangers in Bathrooms

There’s a reason why I don’t do it. It’s not worth the effort. And sometimes it causes more trouble than you could anticipate.

Like just now when I was washing my hands in the shitty work sink with the push top water knobs that determine–incorrectly–how much water is enough to wash and rinse and then shuts off all on its own. I hit the hot, then the cold before the hot ran out, then the hot again because the cold is quick and then the cold to finish off the last of the suds.

The woman who washed her hands right after me, a doctor sort with the distinct air of Better Than Me, commented on the cold.

“Yeouch,” said the woman whose superiority defines this transaction. “Where’s the hot water?”

Normally, I would shrug and smile and walk away but stupid stupid me, I engaged, “Oh that’s my fault. I hit the cold last. Makes it last longer.”

SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS ENGAGE: Only say half of what you mean to say to create maximum confusion.

Doctor ShizDonStank gives me a quizzical look and says, “Ah, I see. But you know…” (engage kindergarten voice to stupid girl in bathroom) “we really need the hot water to get those germies off our hands.”

I did open my mouth. I did intend to clarify with some sort of, “Oh… no, I meant… oh, um… I did use… but I didn’t explain. Hot. Hot water. Hot cold. Water water. Clean… bubbles?” but caught myself, shrugged, smiled, and walked away.

Of course she exited after me. Of course she saw my supervisor in the hallway. I can’t imagine he would give a good goddamn what my bathroom habits were because we also have Purell like, everywhere so obviously, I could have… or whatever… because like…

I’M NOT DIRTY. I washed my hands. I disinfected my hands. SHUT UP, STUPID BATHROOM LADY!

I’m never talking to anyone in a bathroom again.

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Listen to L

I’m gonna be one of those people right now. One of those people who says, “I don’t DOooOOoooOOoo New Year’s Resolutions, BUT!” and then totally blah blah blab about what I’m planning to do differently in the New Year.

Give me a little credit though. It is February. I’m not posting my Not-A-New-Years-Resolution resolution like, a month ago when it would be most appropriate. Also, this resolution started two years ago and has been building steam ever since.

Here it is. Are you ready? It’s profound and triumphant… for me:

I am going to stop caring about the thoughts and opinions of people who don’t matter.

It used to be so very important not only that I was able to freely express my thoughts and opinions on a subject that meant something to me but that others agreed with me and validated my feelings. As you can imagine, that did not happen. And that not happening made me question myself and the legitimacy of my thoughts and feelings. And spiral spiral crazy-making emotional mess sobbing on the floor of my closet because I’m always wrong about everything EVER!

When really, my thoughts and feelings were just fine. It was the people who were wrong. Or, not even wrong just… you know, not really involved so who cares what they thought.

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“Safe driving is for girls!”

Like bitchy women at Target. Why should I care what they think? Or randos in the mall who don’t like the cut of my jib/pant legs and can’t help but criticize in overly loud whispers within earshot. Or people driving like they just finished watching Fast & Furious who honk at me for not turning left on a red light doing 90mph and then pass me at a truly ill-advised time screaming, “LEARN HOW TO DRIVE!” because somehow I’m the bad guy in this situation?

Or my in-laws when I make the rules about health and safety for my children and they disagree. Or try to break those rules. I learned two years ago to let go my concerns for their thoughts and feelings about how I raise my children because they dooooo noooooot maaaaaatter. What matters is that my children are healthy and safe.

This year, I’m extending my Do Not Care policy to friends and relatives who offer NOT advice or concern but derision, judgments, and those awesome “jokes” that are really just offensive statements followed by a laughy emojis and “haha” on Facebook (GAWD I hate Facebook). Also on the list: salespeople, waitstaff, irrational customers and any vendor or healthcare professional–people I pay for services–who act unprofessionally.

Henceforth, I’mma LL Cool J that shiz:

 

fd4dca0b3d968d1727c9d967435c7658-245x198x24Listen, haters, you say what you’re gonna say but, I don’t receive that.

Thanks LL.

 

Absence Makes the Joke Grow Fonder

Working with pre-teens is such a trip because they repeat what they hear in an effort to look cool but without any of the necessary context to understand what they’re saying or how stupid (or inappropriate) it sounds. I used to just shake my head and laugh but now that I’m like, a legit grownup*, and a role model of sorts, I reaaaaallly feel like I should probably say something.

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*Like a parent with kids I can’t give back after class ends.

Case in point: My Body is Ready

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Let me share first, a fun resource I’ve just discovered that I’m sure I’m the last grandpa shouting at clouds to find: KnowYourMeme.com Owing to my lateness in arriving to grownup town**, I am not totally unaware of memes and their prevalence in youth culture (like a certain fake 26 year old on a show I can’t wait to see the next season of), but I’m also… like… busy, man. I got two jobs and two kids and right now, two WIPs going on so I don’t have time to engage in every bit of internet ridiculousness. So Know Your Meme is like the Cliffsnotes of middleagedom.

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**I got to be an idiot for a long time before becoming a grownup, unlike Liza who spent her youth being a mombot and has to catch up to culture now to stay relevant in her profession.

And today, instead of engaging with the original material like a responsible scholar, I used the condensed version and learned the following:

“My Body is Ready” is a catchphrase mainly associated with image macros wherein the subject is posing in a seductive manner or smiling creepily, similar to the usage of “Draw Me Like One of Your French Girls.” In discussion forums, the phrase is often used to humorously convey one’s excitement or anticipation towards the impending arrival of a desirable object or an event.

The phrase was originally uttered by Nintendo executive Reggie Fils-Aime[1] during the company’s demonstration of Wii Fit at the E3 press conference held on July 11th, 2007. As Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and translator Bill Trinen unveiled the Wii Balance Board, Fils-Aime walked up onto the stage and stated “My body…My body is ready” before stepping onto the accessory to start the demonstration.

Ok, so… imagine, if you will, hearing a group of 11 to 13-year-old boys repeating the phrase over and over again while playing a physically active game. They don’t know what it means, they don’t know the implications, and they haven’t yet discovered that the repetition of joke phrases actually makes it LESS funny.

I was forced by my conscious to act.

What I wanted to say was, “Children… I do not think that means what you think it means.”

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But what I actually said was, “Please stop using that phrase. It’s inappropriate.”

That one actual teenage boy present, the one who probably does engage with the material and knows exactly what the phrase means, did his best not to laugh.

“Also,” I said, because I just want to teach them the way, “repeating a joke actually makes it LESS funny. Obey the rules of comedy, kids.”

Yoda’s Little Basket

My son found the leftover stack of Yoda napkins from his birthday party, unfolded them, and lined them up across the kitchen floor.

“This is the path to baby sister,” he tells me. He walks across it with his arms out for balance.

“When you’re finished walking your path, can you put it away please?” I ask, thinking of the unholy mess of little green shreds I’ll find if the cat gets to it before I do.

“No, Mom. The path doesn’t just end,” he says. “The path never just ends.”

The path… never just ends. Hmm.

“Profoundly true, baby,” I say, thinking of endings and beginnings, doors closing and windows opening. “Wait… what?” I ask, because I’m not sure I heard that last thing he said. “Did you… just call me a poop basket?”

“Yeah,” he says, tossing a transformer behind the couch.

“Yup, that tracks.”

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“You a poop basket, Mom.”

 

Being the Good Voice

Let me preface this preaching with a musical interlude:

I’ve been listening to a playlist in my car of new songs I’ve purchased in the order I’ve purchased them which is how I heard just now, on my way here, Believer by Imagine Dragons followed by Hall of Fame by The Script. “My life, my love, my drive, it came from PAIN!” followed by “You can be the greatest, you can be the best, dedicate yourself and you’ll be standing in the hall of fame.” As parenting philosophies according to popular music go, there’s a pretty clear winner in this battle.

Which made me start thinking about how children are influenced by their parents long after childhood ends.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, kids actually do listen to their parents and they really do internalize those things we say most often. As teens and adults, a lot of those things we said often become the voice in their head that guides them. For better or for worse.

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I know of too many people for whom the voice in their head is that of fear or doubt, indecision, conformity, derision, punishment, undeservingness, lack of acceptance. It’s the voice that tells you you’ll never succeed, you’re too stupid or fat, too weak or too weird, that you should let someone else do it, that you’re not ok the way you are, that you should just melt into the background because every action is too much of a risk.

And with the lyrics of those two songs echoing in my head, I’m determined not to be that voice.

I want to be the voice in my kids’ heads that says…

You can do it

I believe in you

Make good decisions

Do your best

Try again 

Take care of yourself

Be respectful of others

Brush your teeth

Just try to go pee before we leave the house

Eat more good food than treats

I love you!

And then I hear my son say to himself, “That’s ok. Twy again. You can do it,” and I feel like maybe I’m doing an ok job at this whole parenting thing.

Simpler Times for Scumbags

Well, I certainly did try to edit my NaNo project into something cohesive and I’m not saying I’m ready to give up on it. But I do believe it needs some space to breath.

This is true for most of the things I write, that I need some space between the writing and the editing, but especially so for a mostly true story about a totally shit time in my life.

So I’ve started something new! Something fun! Something that started out as a merry jaunt through time and space, an attempt to recreate a nostalgic event in the lives of the main character’s parents… but then… my mind went to the dark place and so did the story. Now the main character will share her story with her mom who’s been reading a lot about the #TimesUp movement and following coverage of a fictionalized version of that scumbag gymnastics doctor’s trial and reexamining some of those nostalgic events through the lens of a more cynical and much more informed adult eye.

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Also… woo! Road trip!

Pineapple Hot Dog of Doom

The last dream I had before I woke up this morning was of living in an unstable tower-type building, trying to find an appropriate outfit to go get a hot dog and pick up my mom from work. I had just plugged in my long-sleeve white bathing suit, not to wear but so that it would be charged for later, and was marveling at the length and breadth of my favorite jeans as they eclipsed my legs and feet. For sure not hot dog getting wear, I thought.

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Home sweet… whoooaaaaaa!

As I dug through the pile of cleanish clothes on the floor in my tower bedroom, wind blew or an earthquake quaked or an explosion exploded and the building began to rock. That happens when you live in an unstable tower building but usually, it straightened itself out, I reminded myself. I scrolled through the hot dog menu in my mind, considering a more classic relish and mustard or a more exotic chili and pineapple.
But my thoughts, my piles of clothes, my reassurances were all interrupted by the disequilibrium that wasn’t re-equalizing. The tower leaned too far to the left. My body rotated in space until I was looking straight ahead at the floor. My stomach flipped over and warmed slowly like a toaster until my breakfast was burnt. I thought, “this is it,”
and “I’m going to die now,” and “Goddess bless my children and keep them safe. Help the people who love me to grieve me without too much suffering…”
But then the building jerked up straight like those dancing balloons outside the car wash. My white bathing suit was fully charged and stain resistant. And I remembered that hot dogs don’t get themselves.
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Fully charged, surprisingly stain-resistant

Then my son woke up–my real son in the waking world–and called for me. So I woke up, under the dark cloud of impending doom, and have been feeling this way ever since.
Happy Monday, everyone. May your day not be overshadowed by subconscious gloom.
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