Monday, September 28, 2015


Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Life,

I used to work in the theater world. I was trained how to do my own face and then became pretty good at doing so for others. To keep up, I freelanced for a make up line and did plenty of weddings, proms, senior pictures. What that means is that I had to learn to be fashion forward, it also usually meant a full face of make up every day. That was the norm. It wasn't until recently that my perspective changed.

#the first step is admitting you ave a problem
First of all, I admit I was all about covering up all of my imperfections. Did you know that I have freckles, Life? I do! And for the longest time, they just wouldn't do. So, me and my foundation became besties. When the foundation wasn't enough, I used concealer. When the concealer and the foundation wasn't enough, I used whatever I needed for contouring. When the concealer and the foundation and the contouring shadows (and the partridge in a pear tree) weren't enough, there was always a highlighter or a serum to add to whatever I was going for. I admit it. I am a recovering makeupaholic. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE a good smokey eye...and I've not gone completely buck naturalist...just more minimalist...and when I do a full face, it's just not every day. I was using make up to hide...and I don't want to hide any more.

#natural beauty
I work with a group of primarily Latina women who handle the production element of our business. Every day they come through my hall, and I notice their distinctions. I notice how strikingly lovely they are, exposed skin sans makeup, and just gloss and mascara. This was a novel realization for me. They wear this beautiful skin...make up in this environment doesn't make sense. It gets hot. It's humid. All of that effort will melt off through the they do without. And they're gorgeous.

#tanned progression
You know when you go on vacation to a tropical place, and you spend a day warm on the sand, and then you realize you've been kissed by the sun? The truth is that your foundation is now two shades too light, and buying a full container of this new shade is ridiculous because you'll only be said shade for a few weeks, unless you get darker because you're a sun worshipper now, and then you have to start the whole process over again because the darker shade is now too light again (or not red enough to properly match your new-found hue), but also the salt water and sun have given you a golden glow that you don't want to spackle over. Everyone else is golden brown, so it's cool to do as the natives do, right? It's also a good thing to let it linger as long as holding on to the vacay for a week longer. (Or wish that you were in another tropical, please.)

#chem burn, I mean, peel
I found a groupon for a dermaplane that sounded interesting. I hadn't really ever done any kind of devoted esthetician services before. I love a good facial (it actually does more for me that a massage), it's just not something that I can always afford all the time (I would go every week if I could). When I went to the dermaplane, the lady told me about how much my skin would deeply benefit from a chem peel. I figured she knew what she was talking about...even if it was from a sales pitch angle. I totally took it for granted, didn't ask the right questions, didn't research other kinds of peels, didn't realize there are huge variances in products, in application, in skin kinda took it...and then didn't...and it created more of a mess for me than the flawless skin the gal had assured me would be the end result. Even almost a year after, I still have all kinds of fun pigmentation that surfaced a bit, but not enough to go away, that wasn't there now gentle freckles are more like undeniable sploches. In order for me to achieve a 'flawless' look, it takes ALOT of coverage...when then makes me feel like I could rake off my foundation. Yuck. The good news is that I found a skin healer of sorts who, over a number of months, and natural product, has vastly improved the condition of my skin. I may venture into the peel waters again...maybe, but this time, I'll know my stuff.

#can't I just be me?
I turned the big 4-1 this year. No matter what road I take, I keep coming back to this place where I question myself about where these practices/habits/choices will lead me. I feel like I want to reach a place where I can keep peeling things OFF (worries, hiding, blah blah blah).

Once upon a time, I was a missionary in Romania for a year and a half. I entered the country with two huge, stuffed, purple duffle bags. I was 23. I had traveled all over the US, but this was new. I hadn't really experienced the full extent of seasons (being both a Hawaiian and a Southern Californian native) and I knowingly overpacked because I was (unreasonably) terrified of literally freezing to death. (Once, it was so cold on a long winter night, that my eyelashes, and wisps of hair that were sticking out of my hat froze solid. It freaked me out!)

When a new missionary is in the missionary training center (MTC), there's always a new group coming in every week (as finishing groups head out to their respective cities and countries). The MTC president always used to remind us NOT to help incoming missionaries with their luggage. It would be the only way they would realize that they had too much stuff. Still, I NEEDED MY STUFF! BAD! So, I pridefully, stubbornly, exhaustedly, lugged (more like, dead lifted) those snazzy (non-roller bottomed) duffle bags through Bucuresti, and Sibiu, and Timisoara. I don't know...maybe it was a way for me to hold on to things back home...maybe it was because the reality was that I was far from home, speaking a language that made me sound like I was 2 years old. These THINGS were helpful in a way that it allowed me some familiarity as I eased into the work and the culture...and then, as time went by, I was ready to let things go little by little. By the time I was coming home, I came back with half a bag. I came home in June, so, I knew I would never need my FAT winter coat again. (I did, however, bring home my pea coat (which I still have).) Everything else, I pretty much let go of. I gave my running shoes to a lady I had become close to. She used to comment on them when she saw me wear them. I think I had bright pink accents on them and she was all about it. I also gave her daughter a number of dresses. They would use them...and that made me happy. As I become more comfortable with myself, with my purpose...I didn't need to cling (gripping, veins popping out) to all of this STUFF. The material became kind of irrelevant. And the things that were important weren't things at all - they were people. And it was beautiful.

#it's not a destination
I want to come to a place in my life today (despite all of the reasons why I've been hiding) where I can feel secure and lovely and totally in acceptance of self without any interference. I want to be able to feel lovely without a stitch of make up on...the reality is that in a workplace, it just makes me look tired, so I accept that I'm not QUITE there, but it's the direction I want to move toward. I think the exercise, though, is about becoming more self-real, no matter what the path that gets me there. The ultimate objective is about having a sincere, healthy self-relationship/image and becoming stronger. Look, how many beautiful men do you know that need concealer? Other than drag queens (they're not in this particular equation)? And not movie stars either that have been made up. I'm talking about that guy that you cross paths with every so often at the store or wherever. If men can be beautiful without makeup, why do we as women need it to "look our best"? Granted, there are days when we need a little help and those tools are available. I'm not talking about those instances. I'm talking about everyday putting on a thick facade in order to feel beautiful. I think it's the person that radiates through...and all of the external put-on is icing. Yeah, ok, sometimes the icing is the best this example, I'm telling you, it's the cake that is exceptional. Really, all that matters is that YOU think so. That's where I'm trying to go.

hang tough,

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Life,

Sometimes you are NOT fun, not planned, not reasonable, and not welcome. My friend is moving away. She's moving far. In, like, two weeks. There's no time to try to convince her to stay...and it's just a personal travesty. She's a singer. With her, my other friend and I can make a singing trio. Do you know how rare that is, Life? Do you? UGH!!!

Yesterday, we got together to practice for a song we were performing today...and I couldn't keep it together through her solo. Her voice broke me...and then we needed a good 10 minutes to get over it. I'm not one of those people who looks all pretty when they cry and can keep their timber. I look like my face is being stretched beyond possibility and I warble TERRIBLY. Me and crying...not a good thing. My voice gets all shrill and high pitched...ridiculous.

Also, the last few days at work have been stupid dumb. I tried to talk with a co-manager and it went to pot. I was so annoyed that I got up and left. I actually did the right thing before I left and apologized for getting angry. And in the middle of being rational and to the point, I got lame emotional and cried!!!?!?!?!? UGH!! My emotions BETRAYED ME!! The stretched face!! The warbly voice!!! Crush ALL emotions!! BAN them! DENY them!! Pfff...I can't. I wear them on my sleeve. It's terrible.

I feel like there's been a lot of loss in my life, family, etc. this year. I generally try not to think about it too much while I'm going through it, but when I stop this race for a second to catch my breath, it all catches up to me...and the world is quiet for a second...which is probably why I start running again.

It's not that I can't handle just that sometimes I don't want to. So, I thought it a perfect throw-in to include a list of things I don't want to do:

- make my bed today. no one is going to see it. and sometimes, I LIKE it all messed up...that is, until my legs get all twisted up in unruly sheets and then I feel like my bed (that is really my friend) is trying to strangle me...can' Nope. They MUST stick out of the covers. Or I will suffocate. And die. Well, fine, not really die. But I will get icky sweaty and sometimes it feels like the same thing.
- eat parsley. i know it will freshen my breath. i still don't like it.
- take off my make up. i'm too tired. i'm too grouchy. i'm going to take a nap with it on. wait, that's actually gross...FINE, I'll take it off. But I won't be happy when i'm doing it.
- eat my kid's roasted macadamia nut. he found a macadamia nut on the ground and beat the shell off of it with a mallet. Then he stuck it with a shish-ka-bob stick and roasted over the flame of the stove. so much effort. meh, i still don't want to eat it. (actually, because I want him to eat it. he worked so hard, he deserves it. but back to my whining.)
- put on socks
- take a happy selfie
- lay on a wet towel
- talk to anyone happy
- snuggle with my man (he gets too sweaty because it's been way hot...and then I get hot and sweaty and feel like I'm going to die...well, not really like I'm going to die, but like i'm going to drown and that's pretty much the same thing. do NOT wrap your sweaty armpit around me. don't. not even a little. because i'm groucy.)

I'd rather:
- kick a pillow
- scream at the top of my lungs in the back yard (wait, that will totally blow out my voice for the next three weeks...), k' fine, middle of my lungs.
- throw cotton balls around with all of my strength
- wear dark glasses so people can't see me glaring at them
- watch some annoying youtube videos so that I can judge people I don't know and feel better about myself (but I won't. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and feel bad for them probably.)
- chew on ice cubes. LOUD.
- do cartwheels like i don't give a care
- be in the glaciers
- or be in Paris
- even if it was swelteringly hot, i'd still rather be in Paris
- even though I've never been there before

I know you're saying that I should get a grip. And you're right...just not right now. I need to feel grouchy. And then I'll get over it. I don't need no sunshine and rainbows junk right now. I need to listen to Beastie Boys do their Superstition thing. I need to maybe do yoga at the same time. In front of fans so that I don't get sweaty and die (you know what I mean). And THEN be at a point where I can watch something funny and be happy.

I do this, you know? I get all of my angst out and then I'm fine. I will NOT pretend to be happy when I'm not. I will NOT pretend to be ok with my friend moving and losing our trio...I will be grateful, though, that I had the time to sing with her...even if it was too short. I will be grateful that I said what I needed to say to that co-manager dude...and rest in the fact that those emotions, though embarrassing, were true...and then some. I will give all of this noise the energy it needs and nothing more...and I will be cool with failing sometimes...or losing against my will...or being order to more fully be happy...eventually.

Unless we were in Paris. Then I would only be happy. Forever. Pretty much.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#tech me back

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Life,

Remember way back when? When cell phones were 50 pounds, and huge, and you could always tell who was using them because they looked like that guy that was in 'Lady in the Water' who was buff only on one side of his body? I remember long summer days down in Huntington Beach. The beach cruiser was like the cool, new bike design and mine was a few inches too tall. I could ride, but I couldn't get started unless my bike was straddled over a speed bump so that I could climb on. I also couldn't stop, which was kind of important (meh, mildly). It wasn't uncommon for me to use the bumper of a Trans Am, or a Camaro, or a Porsche, to come to a complete stop. It was also pretty common for me to look around to make sure no one saw me...then I could move on to the next new car to cushion my lack of braking skills. Now, don't flip out. I never damaged anything. It was a huge blue cruiser bike tire. And every car back then had an ACTUAL bumper, none of this dumb bumper made of plastic junk. The only time that it was an issue was when Cole Davis saw me from his front window, but didn't say anything until he was with his gaggle of surfer friends. * wouldn't have mattered if I hadn't have had a galaxy-sized crush on him. But I digress (as per usual).

Technology wasn't really a part of every day life back then. I mean, we had the Apple2e, and we had the Atari game console, and every Halloween, we could get our 3D glasses (and a slurpee) from 7-Eleven to watch Elvira's special. But there was no texting...only actual note writing (that would still get you in trouble if a teacher found you out)...some with little boxes that said 'check yes or no'. It was charming.

Now, the use of tech is EV-RY-WARE. I can't go into a bathroom in a movie theater without some middle school girl primping and taking duck-lip selfies. Read it again. Bathroom. Duck lips. Selfies. I support/tolerate/admit to the taking of selfies in one's own bathroom, but in public-ish's like the pic has germs all over it. And seriously, are there not enough movie related, huge displays that you can stick your head through and laugh over? The potty was the ONLY place you could take your selfie gig? Ugh. So over it. I'm eye rolling hard. You should, too. Niiiice.

The phone epidemic isn't in emergency status ONLY in the bathrooms of public's rampant and my following examples will succinctly (well, kinda) demonstrate how:

#are you sure you want to do this?
A dear friend of mine (and inside reporter/contributor) attended her cousin's wedding last week. It was during a weekday, and really only the immediate family was in attendance (which, in all Mexican and Hawaiian families means that it's at least 100 people minimum). It was in a beautiful cathedral, with lovely flowers, and music, and romance...and her uncle sitting in his lavender tuxedo next to her using his phone. At first, she didn't think anything about it. The wedding hadn't yet begun. Maybe he was checking his snap chat or something. Everything was in line. The harpist was doing her thing. Weaving musical magic through the room. Guests were anticipating the start of the ceremony. But she was distracted by him suddenly. He would text a something and then know? That giggle...when someone is doing something they probably shouldn't be. It's a sinister low laugh, really. Then, he proceeded to show her his text feed...which was being sent to the groom..."are you sure you want to do this?" giggle giggle "it's not too late" ha ha "we can hop in my getaway car and head to Vegas." And it's not that the match was troubled or bad, he was trying to be funny. In a ghetto-fabulous manner. The best man had the phone...and each time, he'd look at it and then look around, confused. I think I would be, know, because the best man was the bride's brother.

#bizarre way to grieve
Years ago, my man had a close friend who passed. It came as quite a shock for everyone. The friend was young, full of vitality...this was a tragic and unexpected loss. The services were held in a really beautiful church, with his extensive family, and everything about it was lovely, hopeful, comforting and peaceful...rather, it WAS, until my man's buddy who was sitting next to us (granted, whom he hadn't seen in months) wanted to take this 'perfect' (not in the LEAST) opportunity to show him pics of his new, "very hot" girlfriend. I think it wouldn't have been a big deal had the guy received a message or something and shared his, then opened, screen pic. You know? If it had been there and it was a brief share because it was momentarily present. But it was nothing like that. It was him nudging my man, and scrolling through his (seriously) 400 photos of his shiny, new and improved girlfriend, With added narrative. Her in a blue dress. Her with her hair in a pony tail with curled ends (she's so hot). Her after she had worked out (I think she likes, like, some resistance training thing). Her in the pool (at my house, dude). Her sleeping (she kinda snores, kinda, it's not loud...she's just so hot. Even her snoring is hot, dude!). Her drinking coffee (it's super trendy, but I don't care, she's hot). Her eating (so glad she's not a veg, dude. she likes meat and everything. it's really hot). Oye. It was such a strange was like he hadn't grasped the PLAINLY OBVIOUS fact that we were sitting IN A CHURCH...for a FUNERAL..."dude, look at this one. she's so hot..."

#tick ti tick tick (whispering (more like airy shouting)) let me call you back
My family was hosting an out-of-town friend of theirs in their home for a special presentation. We had invited other family and friends to attend. Included was a long-time family friend who had come half-way through the demonstration, and sat in the back of the room on the couch. The room isn't that big, and there were MAYBE 10 people there in total, but still...I guess she forgot that someone was STANDING right in front of her talking and explaining. I assume this because 1) she forgot to turn off her phone, which meant that, 2) she was intermittently texting, and you could hear the touch point tones...that sound like ticks...tick ti tick tick tick ti tick tick tick...and THEN, 3) she actually got a call!!! and picked it up!!!!, but "whispered" (and by whispered, I mean the neighbors could have heard it through steel doors) "let me call you back..."and THEN, she fell asleep a little and snored...and THEN, 4) started texting again...tick ti tick tick tick...Are you kidding me??

Maybe I'm crazy (don't answer). Am I completely naive to think that ALL people would have a keen sense of appropriety when it comes to sensitive events? Like weddings...or FUNERALS??? I'm baffled. And, yes, kinda facetiously judgey. PLEASE, leave your flippin' phones in this box, out here, AWAY from everyone else...And to make the point: no, Uncle Manny, you're not even remotely funny. Please, go to Vegas on your own. And leave your fabulous sense of humor (and your fashion sense) there. Dude, your virtual wallet of photos is both wildly compelling and completely pathetic. And, through my tears (can you see them? i'm surprised you missed the hiccuping sobs of the lady in front of us), your girlfriend looks drippy, but whatever.

TURN OFF YOUR PHONE, pretty please. These are etiquette basics. There's no extensive protocol about this approach. It's a basic display of manners. Remember those? Manners? If YOU were getting married would you want some related, family nerd sending you (not) witty texts about having second thoughts?? Etc...common sense. I'm NOT hating on phones, just phones in places where they shouldn't be the center of attention, or even considered as a participant. Am I completely old fashioned for thinking there's a time and a place for all things? Am I totally off for being of the opinion that these situations were made difficult, awkward, and quirky-strange because of the random introduction of phone usage into the context of these stories?

Can I just go back? Please? To a being a girl riding a way oversized bike? Where phones weren't really a thought or a forefront distraction...and were used primarily after school, after chores, and after Bio homework was done, while laying on the floor of my room, by my dog, with my legs supported up against my bed, bare feet shooting straight up to the ceiling, talking on my Mickey Mouse phone with the cord all wrapped around my ankles and knees, while I'm talking to Jenny about her birthday party next week, and giggling uncontrollably while we shyly ask each other if Ryan (so cute) likes her? Duran Duran playing in the background, electric globe on the shelf, the spine broken on some Judy Bloom book, looking forward to the next episode of 'Knight Rider'? Uncle Manny FOR SURE couldn't have brought his Mickey Mouse phone with him to ANY social event. Although, he'd still probably be in the lavender tux. Just sayin'.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

#listening is overrated

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Life,

I've come to realize that this spazzy, overactive mind of mine is getting me into trouble. I'm not sure what, if anything, you could recommend to force me to take a breath and absorb everything before I open my very big mouth. I think I've done this all my life - In stories and movies, I usually can see things before they happen. My kid and I have a thing where when we are watching a movie, and we get an inkling about what's going to happen, we pause the film and call it. "That guy's totally going to be the killer." Usually before a killer is even introduced. "That lady totally did it." Before the it ever happens. This occurs in conversation, too. It's like I see the natural progression of the tale before it goes and I find the humor or agony in it before the punchline is ever delivered. It's not uncommon for me to be the only one in the theater laughing. Or the only one shrinking in anxiety. But this thing/curse manages to haunt me in unexpected places where I should just shut up and listen before I throw in my witty (I really should let other people tell me they're witty) comments...which then make me look, well...ridiculous. For instance:

#she works where?
I was talking to a couple of friends and one brought up a story about a lady she worked with. She was a temporary employee who left and then came back. I thought the lady had left to pursue her schooling or do something relative to elementary education, but my friend told me, to the contrary, that said lady had spent the last few months working in a, this is where I asked her if she was going to say 'brothel'. Don't ask me why I thought that. The phonics triggered the completion of the word in my head. And I nervously giggled. This is where my friend (bless her) looked at me like I was an idiot (deservedly) and sternly corrected me. Bra Factory. She had been working at a Bra Factory (which I didn't even know existed locally). The other friend interjected that there wasn't much of a difference. We ALL know that there really is. Still, 'brothel' should NOT have been the first word I thought should have been...well, I don't know another nice, conservative, non-implicative word that starts with bra...but, whatever. You know what I mean.

#first, let me take a selfie
Church is supposed to bring uplifting feelings. You're supposed to listen intently and become inspired. The key word is listen...and listen completely to, THEN, achieve a sense of inspiration. It's supposed to work that way. Sometimes, I get distracted. And I giggle. Profusely. I've got lots to work on. So, today, this darling lady comes to share a message she has diligently prepared. We had had some really beautiful music and she commented about how the music in and of itself presents a sermon (to which I whole-heartedly agree). It was almost like she was saying that she didn't need to give her talk because the music had given so much, but she knew/I knew/we all knew that her talk was happening...and she said, "but, let me take a moment." But that's not what I heard...what I heard was, "but, let me take a selfie." That's like your most pious and dear grandmother coming to you with some serious dialogue, only to throw in that catch phrase. It catches you unaware. And in that was dangerously funny...dangerous because I sit facing the crowd (because I handle the music)...and there was no way to hide my shaking shoulders or my (albeit attempted) muted snorting. It made me look like I was laughing at this sweet woman...and that, friends, is bad. I'm admitting now that I'm a terrible influence. My only sincere hope is that you'll learn from my moments of buffoonery and become more complete, learned members of society. Graceful. Delicate.

Listen. And be well.

Friday, September 18, 2015

#shuffling and the brake pedal, aka things that I'm afraid of

Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Grammar has been intermittently used to both annoy you and give that feel of rapid rambling that you would experience if we were having this discussion in person. It's more for your safety, really.

Dear Life,

You know how there are those facebook posts where it's a bra color, or a pirate name, or if you don't press like it means that you DON'T, in fact, love, but must SURELY (rather) HATE homeless children, or Jesus, or all things good (because you DIDN'T click the button)? (I love how my priorities and devotion are solely demonstrated/indicated in a 'like'...and if I ignore it, or pass it by, or just don't 'like' something that someone says I MUUUUUST, I'm an instant hater...guess I'll have to live with that one. Sorry, children. Sorry, Jesus. Sorry, all things good. Wait, I'm supposed to be a hater (maybe I'm really bad at hating??)...wait, can we do another take? I missed that cue...(clear my throat, find my ANGRY motivation, narrow my eyes...I'm ready!) I'm NOT sorry, children, et al!!! NOT SORRY!!! (throw some stuff around to emphasize my DISLIKE.)

Anyway, a few years ago, there was a trend where we would 'like' someone's post and they would give you a number and you would have to create a secondary post with that number of random's totally buried in my feed, so I can't write to the full extent of the original, but I can summarize: blah blah blah i trimmed/hacked my eyelashes when i was a little girl blah blah blah i found the loophole in becoming a legit musician by recording my practice sessions and replaying them so that my mom thought i was hard at it blah blah blah i'm terrified of high maintenance hair blah blah blah i'm random blah blah blah i love hard blah blah blah i'm insecure blah blah blah i wish i was in tahiti the end. So, I was taken back to the terror thing today on two occasions, and this, my loving, devoted (third post) friends, is the theme of my postity post post post today.


#every day I'm shuffling
When I was a girl, I wasn't a big fan of uppity. Which was probably a shame, because my mom was in the fashion industry and she was (is) a bad ass. She could rock leather (it was the 80's) pants, cashmere, stiletto heels, frosted tips, and tangerine gloss through JFK with a rolling rack full of samples to show her client at Saks in one hand, and her Louis Vuitton in the other while simultaneously hailing a cab, and radiating this vibe that you just didn't want to mess with her. I think that if I had had the same interest, I could have seriously capitalized upon that fine grooming and example. The standard was high, folks. I knew how to travel solo from coast to coast and back on my own by the time I was 12. I also knew how to clean a house, cook a decent, balanced meal, and shake hands properly at that young age. She showed me the ropes: be nice, don't ever settle for a dirty hotel room, tell the truth, try new things, when you feel like something is wrong, it IS (trust your instincts), when you're walking down Broadway and a guy is pissed and screaming at the world, DO NOT ENGAGE, I repeat, DO NOT ENGAGE.

Unfortunately, then I was (and still am to a degree) quite I ruined plenty of beautiful designer shirts/pants/dresses by spilling things down myself. She was (is) immaculate. I was more at home in keds and overalls. And, for the most part, she let me. But while I may not have gleaned the her excellent fashion sense, but rather a strong sense of self, there were certainly standards/things in that upbringing that could never be: all things slouching, any variety of bad table manners, every incantation of talking back, any reference to butts, AAAAAND shuffling.

In that world, shuffling = scuffs on the floor = no bueno. The picking up of feet was a requirement. This law retained order and cleanliness, not to mention peace and serenity. There was no clomping, no swishing, no dragging of shoes. (Nor the dragging of chairs across the floor - another no no.) This generally accepted lesson seems to be missing in others, I observe. And while I try to keep it together in public places, in my head, I DO find the posh, coiffed vision of my mother sternly commanding that these shuffling feet be immediately picked up.

To be in a public place, surrounded by strangers, is one thing, but to WORK with someone who wears platforms EVERY DAAAAAAY and then drags them around implies that either those kicks are too heavy or...i don't know, something else. I can tell you 100 quirky stories about all the different things I've seen in the work place. I'm sure you have your own, too. Workplace gigs like this are hard because we're adults and, let's get real, if some one came up to you and said "dude, you keep dragging your feet, BUY DIFFERENT SHOES OR LEARN HOW TO WALK PROPERLY," you'd probably buy a kewpie doll that strongly resembled them. And in as much as I've set up this tale with the precedent that shuffling annoys me, I find that, in this specific instance, it's not so much that the sound annoys me, as much as it kind of has a bizarre, stalker-like effect. My brother works with me, and on a few occasions while he's been with me in my office and this lady is on approach, we stop and listen with wide she coming? Is she walking by? Is she going next door? WHERE IS SHE??? AAAAHAHHHAHAHAHHH!!!!! So, this must be added to my list of random oddities (which is a LONG list), I'm freaked out by draggy shoes and chicks who can't properly walk in platforms. They're reminiscent of Freddy dragging his claws over pipes...he's coming. (Psycho strings play menacingly.) Perhaps, in another environment, I would be inclined to judge. In this case, it just freaks me out.

The second LEGITIMATE fear is new, but probably good in what it will prepare me for. New drivers. That are in my family. That are in the same car as brings out a whole new world of terror, anxiety and over-assertive behavior that I never considered possible. My brother is driving. It's great. I'm proud of him. It's also going to age First, he LOVES to hug the outside means that most of the time, I'm on the side that's hovering over this line...that's close to the parked cars...and bikers...and kids riding skateboards...that one day I'll end up scraping up against, or decapitating, or dismembering...all because he loves said lines. At first, I tried to be chill about it, but then when I'm shouting at him to move over, I guess that's not really so chill. Second, his gear and braking transitions are not smooth. That's not totally his fault, but when you're talking and then your speech is interrupted because the seatbelt has heimliched your throat because the car hops and jumps and bucks...oye. Third, because he's new, his judgment is developing. When you're an experienced driver (hopefully), you can gauge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic. When you have a tiny window, you drop it into gear and work it. Oncoming drivers are counting on you to be out of their way when they get to there. If one gets messy. Today, he meandered into the intersection to make a left turn and a classic impala was hauling toward us...and he was like...DECIDING whether he should go or not. YOU CAN'T WAIT, YOU'RE IN THE INTERSECTION AND IF YOU DON'T PUNCH IT RIGHT NOW, I'M GOING TO DIE IN THE GLORY OF AN IMPALA. Of course, I'm never that articulate. It comes out as snorts and grunts and partial vowel sounds...and then comes the desecration of my eyeliner and mascara because I'm dragging my hands down my face in anxiety. The only word that managed to make it's way out in it's entirety was COMMIT!!! Poor thing. I'm sure I'm going to give him a complex IF he doesn't murder me first by means of unintentionally wreckless sisterslaughter.

What's even more stressful is that my oldest son will be 16 next year...and this whole crazy driving madness will start again. Ugh...I mean, yaaaaaaaaay. Right? Until that day, I may need to up my medication, I mean, meditation...maybe listen to Enya to build up an arsenal of peaceful feelings prior to strapping myself in beside my kid. YIKES! I'm afraid!!

Wish me luck. Just don't shuffle while you're doing it.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

#privacy, please

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Life,

I think bathroom stalls are weird. I find it awkward to go into the bathroom while I'm at work and recognize people's shoes. I once worked at a place where people used the whole space, if you know what I mean. It didn't matter that there were 5 stalls, if they were busy, it was known. And revolting. So, my strategy has been to check the vacancy of the WC before committing. Even if it's to wash my hands. Even if it's to adjust my chonies. Even if it's to see if my eyeliner has melted and now is making it's way to my chin. Even THEN!! I prefer to use the facility in complete and utter privacy.

I like it when the big stall is open and I can use the safety handles like a big ballet bar. Take that, Madame Romanoskovichalinski! I still plie! Even if my quads and hamstrings are burning because my trainer is sick and twisted and loves to cause me pain!! Yes! Plie! Second position! I will! But only in the private, clean-like air environment. I know, it's weird. Plie in the loo? I won't even get into doing funky yoga in my office, in a dress, behind closed doors when I'm in between conference calls. Weird is my norm. I'm wired for weird. REGARDLESS! The point is that the space can be helpful to my peace of mind in other ways than merely evacuative. But hasn't there always been a thing with girls and bathrooms? I think there was a time when I would only visit the comfort station while in a posse, but back then I was still using aqua net and turquoise mascara. Now, I prefer to go solo. You know, big girl pants and everything.

Once upon a time, while I was in undergrad, the student union thought it was a brilliant idea to post wellness newletters on the inside of the stalls...but it was a strange (even for me) intrusion (probably because it was riddled with spelling and grammar errors). While I may use a stall as my own private Idaho and pretend I'm Mary Katherine Gallagher, it was a bizarre happening to guffaw in a stall and then proceed to have a conversation with a colleague in the next stall about the irony of posting a bomb like that in the toilet. I decided that I really don't like to carry on a discussion while I'm conducting THEN, there was a time when a co-worker decided to always use the SAME stall, but wouldn't check to make sure that all of the bits were entirely disposed of. Perhaps she was trying to get the love out of there so that she wouldn't be implicated by the evidence...too late. But that's a risky talk to have, "hey, so, ummm, you didn't flush everything down AGAIN, and it's, quite frankly, repellent. Sooo, yeah, do you think you could do the rest of us a favor by flushing 2 or 3 or 4 or however many times it takes? That would be greaaat." Instead, people started posting flyers inside the stall. "Please be courteous to others and flush thoroughly." It had a cute-like, friendly toilet graphic. The kind you would use as reward coupons for a potty-training toddler. I gather it wasn't effective, because weeks later ANOTHER flyer was posted underneath the original that provided further instructions: "Please flush 4 times if necessary! AND SPRAY!!" Wow. This is when I'm thinking the co-worker should perhaps see the on-site physician. And, we may need to get a super-uber-industrial-olympic-strength-grade-version-thing Toilet.

Once upon another time, while I was a student at college, I stumbled upon a bathroom in the Administrative building that had a separated lounge room. This powder room wasn't usually frequented by students unless they held a position that supported the president of the college or his cronies. I think if more students knew there was a mauve leather mid-century modern chaise in that room, it probably would have had J+B initials carved into it. It looked like a perfect fainting fact, given that the college was built in the 50's, it wouldn't at all surprise me to learn that the piece was an original. NEVERTHELESS, it was a monumental that I had to share by smuggling one of my friends in to see it. She didn't believe me that it existed and when she saw it we were both fascinated and grossed out. There's something about a piece of furniture in a bathroom. I dunno, it doesn't do it for me. It's like carpet in a potty, too. Gross.

Anyway, Life, the moral is that one must flush properly, never over decorate, pretend not to recognize shoes (even if they're super cute and you REALLY want to know where they got them, but shouldn't have that question asked in such a private place), and, when possible, dance shamelessly when making a scheduled or unscheduled visit to the lavatory (without hurting yourself or others).

The End.

#Prostitution...or something along those lines...

An actual email sent to my man. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Life,

So, my grad school drama isn't going away...I may have to take a class hiatus after this term because the university won't have my OFFICIAL undergrad transcript (that my undergrad institution (hereafter, known as MUI (My Undergrad Institution)) is ruthlessly holding hostage). SO, I'm trying to come up with some creative ways to make the required amount to pay the remaining balance due to MUI that is not currently in my bank account so that I can get them off my back and set me free to pursue my dream of graduate school. It's not a lot of money, but still.

Ideas to make like $1,300 real quick:
- Ummm, prostitution? (which may create some undue hardship on my marriage, maybe? I hear women who ONLY cuddle WITH clothes on can make some serious bank.)
- Kidney donation
- Collecting an advance on donated organs prior to my death
- Selling all of the tires on my car (which may create some undue hardship on my work relationship? i dunno)
- Hocking my wedding ring (oh, wait, I don't have one)
- Hocking my birthday watch (oh, wait, I don't have that either...I think you have it because it got water under the pretty crystal face...or something...where is that thing?)
- Do you think someone would want to buy my hair or my toes or something? You know, something I wouldn't miss...


i need to make more bucks. so do you. i wish you could take care of me and say "i love you so much, i will take care of all of this and magically buy you boobs, too, and erase all of your student loans so that you can actually have and income, and don't worry, i've taken care of your law school tuition, too, and by the way we're going to tahiti for a month because that would be fun, and i know you're lonely, so i got you two british bulldog puppies, and that cayenne that you keep googling, it's in the garage of your house, yep, i bought you a house that's not in the middle of nowhere because i know you like to actually be around people, and did i tell you? you're the most amazing perfect wife in the whole entire world? go get a facial, and a massage, and i brought you some flowers, and i got you a lifetime membership to that hot yoga place, and a cello teacher, and watercolor painting lessons like you always wanted, and i took care of your studio fees to cut your album and here's a more better camera with a bunch of crazy lenses that are fun...wanna go to paris for christmas? me to, let's go, did i tell you you're the bestest wife ever? yep...let's have some ice cream."

i hate not having enough money. :(


My man replied: YOU SAID IT. XO love you