Monday, December 31, 2012

Obligatory New Years blah blah...

It's 8 hours and 7 minutes to 2013.

I don't feel any closer to having a family now than I did when I started this blog in January.

And that's okay.

I think.

Our family will begin when it's ready to begin. Any sooner than that and... well... I don't know.

I'll be honest, there I moments when I feel like we wasted the year. That we should be closer to what we wanted by now.

And there are other moments when I think about sleeping in, spontaneous vacations, quiet nights in and fun nights out when the only thing we had to worry about was walking the dog, and I'm kind of okay with it.

2012 may have been the last full year of my life where I had moments without guilt of taking time for myself.

Or, you know, maybe not.

If there's anything I've learned over my short life, it's that as soon as you think you've got it all planned out, the universe stops in just to remind you that there is something bigger going on than your cute little plans.

Nice try, though.

So, I guess 2013 will show what's up when it's ready to.

I'll just be here, you know, waiting.

And, as always, but especially now, it's hip to be square, kids.

I Hate My Birthday

Unless I'm on the Tweeters or hiding behind my computer screen, I am the opposite of an attention whore. I am a "sit behind my desk and work and everyone else can have the credit" whore.

A whore of a different color, if you will.

I didn't want to have a first dance at my wedding. I directed shows and hated being in them in school. I was always a better coach than I was anything else. I am a behind-the-scenes girl.

So birthdays are kind of a "meh" thing for me to begin with. I don't mind getting older, I just don't really want everyone to, you know, pay attention to me.

Yes, I understand that I am probably the only person in the world who feels this way, but that's cool. I've always been different. Ask my dad about how we used to watch "ER" together when I was 8 years old. I started out weird, and I plan on remaining that way.

Anyway, on top of not liking the attention, my birthdays in past years have sucked major donkey balls. I was born on December 29th, so everyone is either out of town with family or just tired from being around so many freaking people for the past month. My friends are never available, and I love going out to dinner with my family, but it isn't exactly different from the status quo. Oh, and I dare you to have someone sing to me at the restaurant. I will spontaneously burst in to tears.

It started probably 10 years ago when my brother decided to take my dad car shopping for him on my birthday. My teenage self was all like "WHAT?!"

Fast forward a few years to when the same brother was in town over my birthday again and made the whole family cry by being a douche.

Then the next year when there was something else that made me cry.

And then the next year when my husband pouted through my entire birthday because he didn't like his Christmas presents.

And then the next year when he did the same thing. Cue the tears.

Yeah, fuck that shit. Birthdays are crap.

Anyway, this year I got the birthday of my dreams, and all it took was the DEATH FLU.

I was knocked on my butt (and I'm still kind of on my butt) with this icky gross flu of never-ending-ness. It started the night before my birthday. On my birthday, I was well enough to go out to lunch, come home, go to the Coach Store with my hubs and get a new bag (well, c'mon....) and have cake. Other than that, I was sleeping. No one bothered me. No one made half-assed attempts to take me out for drinks. I got text messages instead of phone calls.


So, uh, thanks, DEATH FLU, for, like, giving me an awesome, semi-vomitty birthday that passed without spectacle. You're (kind of) a pal.

And, as always, it's hip to be square (and flu-ish?), kids.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

This Crazy Community

When I started this crazy little thing called blog, I thought that I would write and people would hang on my every word just by the virtue of their existence.

Okay, not really.

I thought my friends would read what I wrote and say "Oh yeah. She's being cranky again." and that's about as far as it would get. As I got more comfortable with the things that I was writing, I wanted more people to read them. I have a more than full-time job, so my time to spend marketing and making connections was limited. I went to Twitter thinking that I would post some links and probably get bored with it pretty quickly.

That didn't happen.

I'm a Tweeting fiend. I never thought I would want to spend so much time talking to relative strangers considering how much of an introvert I am in the real world, but some of these strangers have become good friends. It's a beautiful community of people who just want to not suck at life, and who appreciate the encouragement from Joe Schmo from Tupelo who they've never seen in reality.

Through my Twitter meanderings, I came across this strong group of brilliant women who work together to solve parenting issues, bitch about the day-to-day and swap recipes and horror stories. I don't really fit in because of the lack of offspring, but they have welcomed me anyway and offered support when I needed it. It seems like everyone I've met knows everyone else I've met, and they're all equally as awesome.

There is a point here, I assure you.

On Friday, December 14th, one of our own, with the rest of the nation, felt the hurt of terrible loss. Victoria (@Vdog) had her sense of safety violated, her family ripped apart and her heart broken. We were hurting as a nation, but in that dark time, I was amazed at how quickly a string of people from all over the country came together to, well, get shit done. Anything she needed, this community was on. 

Things like this: JetBlue Letters. Things like major companies responding to single tweets and offering her whatever she needed or like PayPal responding to tweets for help with donations. When someone bought the domain name in the name of her nephew, some communication with GoDaddy got that fixed right up, and then they purchased the domain name for her and transferred it directly to her. Her friends and followers shared links to PayPal accounts and foundations that were set up for Sandy Hook victims and their families. 

We worked together. We hurt together. From across the country, we cried together. 

If you had told me this silly little character-limited social media site would offer so much heart, I never would have believed you. 

Even in the face of this horrible tragedy that we will never recover from, there is kindness. There is kindness from relative strangers who quickly became family. 

For that, I am so, so thankful. 

If you want to help out the family of Noah Pozner, one of the 26 children slain at Sandy Hook and nephew of Victoria, you can do it at You can also use the hashtag #LoveForNoah on Twitter. If you have any questions about how you can help, feel free to contact me, and I'll get you in touch with the right people. 

And, as always, it hip to be square, kids. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Every year. The same conversation.

Every year around this time, I have the same conversation with my mother.

Mom: "What do you want to do for your birthday?"

Me: "Nothing."

Mom: "So, what do you want to do?"

Me: "Nothing. Birthdays are stupid."

Mom: "So you want to go out to dinner?"

Me: "No."

Mom: "Okay. You pick the place."


Sigh. As always, it's hip to be square (and grumpy!), kids. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Do The Bigger Action

Look, I have shit to do. Always. I don't have days without a list of stuff that needs to get done. Ever. There are days when I choose not to do the things, but they're always staring me in the face screaming "DO ME!"

Yeah, I know how that sounded.

Anyway, the sheer number of things that I have to do to run a business and a house and a blog and a Twitter and other things makes me, well, forgetful. I am always multitasking, and sometimes I'm completely on autopilot. This means that I will do things and not remember if I did them. It's always little things like turning off the straightening iron or closing the garage, but I have had to drive home many, many times because I don't remember if I did them. Ninety nine percent of the time, I did complete them, but there is that one percent chance that my house is going to burn down because I left the straightening iron on after my husband has told me a thousand times to turn it off and he's going to be so pissed and he's going to be right about getting one with an automatic shut off instead of the one that I have that straightens my hair so well and FREAKOUT. 

Anyway, I had to find a solution to this because I got tired of going back and checking things all the time. It has gotten way, way better in the last several months because I have made a concerted effort to implement a new way of handling things that uses my very tactile nature. 

I call it "Doing The Bigger Action". It's not perfect, but it has reduced my anxiety and increased the lengeth of time that a tank of gas lasts because I'm not driving home so much. 

It's pretty simple. If there is a way to make something a short process instead of a quick movement, I do it the biggest way possible. For instance, instead of just turning off the straightener, I turn it off, unplug it, and wrap the cord up. It takes a little bit longer, but I have to focus on doing it, and therefore am more likely to remember it being done. When I lock the door when I leave the house, I ring the doorbell because that makes the dog bark. I remember the dog barking and know I locked the door. When locking my car in a parking lot, I hit the button 5 times because I will definitely hear the beep more than once and know it's locked. The things that I do take extra time, but it is so much less time than my neurotic checking used to take, that I come out ahead. 

And, you know, reducing the number of chances I have to burn the house down is always a plus (according to my husband). Meanwhile, I get to keep my beloved straightening iron that turns my frizzy mess into manageable prettiness. I cannot seem to make the husband understand that a good straightening iron is something to be cherished. You cannot just buy a new one. It's an irreplaceable relationship.

But that, my friends, is another post all together.

As always, it's hip to be square (and thorough!), kids. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

WRINKLES! Or, when we got a puppy.

So, we're crazy people. 

Shocking, right?

Dude. You could have at least pretended to be surprised. 

Anyway, we have two dogs whom I have mentioned in previous posts.  

Big dog:

Little dog:

Well, in our insanity fueled by being baby crazy or, you know, just crazy, we decided that, amidst our 60-80 hour work weeks, two existing dogs, obligations galore and baby making plans, it would be a good idea to add this guy:

He doesn't have a name yet. My husband refuses to name him. We've only had him for a week and a half. (Grrr.)

He's insanely cute, all kinds of cuddly, and fairly well-trained already.

This is him on his first day of leash training. 

Mom! Stop! You're embarrassing me!
So far, he has mastered the stairs, made friends with big dog and learned that chasing little dog around the house is intensely enjoyable. He's had very few accidents, and I'm sure he would know his name if my husband WOULD GIVE HIM ONE. 

So, yeah, we're crazy. But we're also happy.

Fast friends.

You can also look for more puppy-related ridiculousness at

As always, it's hip to be square (AND WRINKLY!), kids.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I have a problem that no other woman before me has ever had ever.

I worry about my waistline. Constantly.

Oh wait! That's not novel or rare.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately since my mid-20s silhouette is a little larger than I would like. I'm still small and not quite overweight, but I used to be SO tiny. To be fair, when I was that tiny, I thought I was a heffer, but I digress.

I also LOVE cheese fries. Is there a support group for that?

Anyway, worrying about weight is exhausting. I know there is plenty I can do about it, but I'm so exhausted from worrying that I don't think I would have the energy. (Isn't that an amazing and terrible excuse?) 

The thing is, I would love to have my 19-year-old figure back, but would I be willing to take back who I was then to complete the tradeoff?

Hellllll no.

At 19, I was in a bad (described as abusive by my best friend who was the only one willing to say it to my face) relationship. I was lonely. I was filled with anxiety all the time. I was unwilling to make mistakes. I followed the rules too closely. I worried that everyone had an opinion about me. I was terrified to leave home and get out on my own. I didn't speak up. I didn't know how to speak up. I didn't know that I was worth anything.

I was a child. 

Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of fun, but those things wouldn't be fun for me anymore. 

Being a woman is way better than being a girl ever was. If I have to hold on to the spare tire around my waist as a memento of how far I've come, I think I'll add some glitter and a medal. 

I have earned it. 

And eventually, eventually, I'll get to the gym. 

As always, it's hip to be square (and wider), kids.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

CREATIVITY... For A Second

My husband and I moved into our house more than a year ago. In that time, we have bought a small amount of new furniture and painted. Some pictures were put up by my sister-in-law before our rehearsal dinner, but that is pretty much it. The walls are pretty bar. I want to put more up, but I am, uh, interior-design-impaired. My brain does not work in blank canvases. It works in words and numbers. I am useless with color and space.

That being said, when you get married, there are these things called "pictures". They have your face on them, and you will never look better than you do in those photos. My husband got a bunch of amazing prints for me, and he framed them. I really wanted them hung. It took me months, literally MONTHS of staring at this one small section of wall on the first floor to get the courage to get the hanger.

I also had to make it such that I was able to calculate distance and size more easily considering the fact that the frames were all different sizes. One was already on the wall from before, but the rest were going to be a challenge for me. I am "special", but I am not good with spacial. Numbers and lines, however, I can do. I did this: 

The lined paper gave me something to count, and I could step back and make sure the points were correct. The were approximately the size of my frames. 

In all, it turned out like this:

Don't worry. I straightened them again after the picture was taken. 

I know this doesn't sound like a big achievement, but this was huge for me. I had no assistance, and I made something that looks GOOD. I can craft, but design is so difficult for me. The different frames really made it pop, and I am so happy with the product. 

Now, I return to words and numbers for at least the next year.

As always, it's hip to be square (and creative!), kids.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wardrobe Malfunction

So, I had this awesome day where I wasn't feeling so good about myself. I decided to try to dress up for work. I put on one of the dresses that I thought might not fit, and, to my surprise, it did! Totally excited. It looked adorable, I felt good about myself, and I went to work on my couture-induced high. As far as I'm concerned, any day in patent leather pumps is a good day.

Except, you know, this one.

I got to work and started talking to the doc about different things. Soon, all four of us were in his office going over things. I noticed something weird on my dress. Upon further inspection, the seam on my right thigh was coming apart. At 8 a.m. Half hour away from home with a packed day. 


I decided to leave it alone and hope it didn't get worse.

Yeah, right.

I couldn't leave it alone for a second. I was so worried. What if it gets bigger and I get more naked?! (She said.) Oh noes.

To paraphrase Fight Club, it's like the sore in your mouth that would get better if you could just stop touching it with your tongue, but you can't stop touching it with your tongue. Yeah. I tried to fix it with safety pins, but it just made the dress come apart more. 

To this:

It got worse every time I sat down. Eventually, the only option was to do this:

It looked like it was meant to be that way unless you saw the BIG GAPING SEAM IN THE LINING.

It happened to be a day where we had an extra long lunch break, so after a quick trip to Ross, the dress became this:

I'll be honest, the dress cost me $8.00. I'm not entirely worried about the fact that I had to trash it. I was more concerned about my potential to be entirely unclothed at any point during the day.

That, my friends, is as close as I will ever come to Janet Jackson.

As always, it's hip to be square (and not naked!), kids.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I mentioned this before, but on our recent trip to the Grand Canyon, my husband was hit by a car in Albuquerque. He was (and is) fine, but I had an epic meltdown the likes of no ones business. Maybe it was being in a strange place. Maybe it was the fact that a FUCKING CAR HIT MY HUSBAND. Either way, I came undone. 

As is cliché, the entire thing happened really fast, and I hardly got a chance to think. I don't think my husband did either, but his instincts took over. The instincts are most certainly what make me love him more than anything. 

In the split second that it took for some idiot to not look before making a left turn INTO MY HUSBAND, hubs (who was already holding my hand) shoved me with all of his might out of the way before jumping back himself. Without a doubt, he would have gotten hit by a car when it should have hit me. 

I guess that makes him worth it.

Beeteedubs, I love him a lot. 


As always, it's hip to be square (and safe), kids.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Letting Go of Little Loves

Things change.

My little brother has come to some decisions lately, and as big sisters should, I have been counseling him through them. He just wants to bounce ideas off someone, and I pretty much keep my mouth shut and let him work through them. Sometimes, I ask questions just to get him thinking, but I know he already knows everything that I could say. He just needs to get the courage to deal with the situation. 

My focus has been on him and the family. It has not been on my own emotions as he navigates through this. Mostly because my emotions don't matter because they're his issues, but also because I am pretty unflappable in most situations. I'm the one who makes the tough decisions for my family even though my parents are still thriving. They put the responsibility on me, and I accept it. I just had that moment when I realized how much this is going to affect me, and the tears exploded from my face.

Since it isn't my story to tell, I will refrain from doing so. In this process however, I will lose Little E. He has been the light of my life for more than a year, and I loved spending every second with him that I could. He has morphed from a socially awkward and very outburst-prone barely 5-year-old to a funny, outgoing and well-adjusted 6-year-old. The chaos in his life has subsided as much as possible, and he is doing incredibly well in school. He gives real hugs with everything he has instead of the backward hugs that he used to give because he was scared to touch people. He gives me sloppy kisses on the cheek. He yells my name when he sees me coming. He makes me smile. 

There is no way to stop the tears from coming as I write this. None. He was the first child that I identified with as someone I needed to protect for the rest of his young life. He will no longer be mine to protect soon. I won't be able to swoop in and save him from danger or want to yell at people who look at him funny. 

I think I always knew this day would come. I didn't really see life with him in it for the forever, but that doesn't mean that I don't love him something fierce

The hardest part it that I don't know what would be easier for the two of us to make the transition less frightening for him. Do I stick around and take him for ice cream and to play for a few months so that he knows I didn't abandon him? Or will that be too confusing? Do I call him, if his mother will let me, to let him know that I still love him and I always will? Or do I give him one last big hug and hold him as long as he'll let me, and then drive away knowing that he's probably going to forget most of my existence? Moreso, what am I doing for him, and what am I trying to do to make myself feel better? Even as it breaks my heart, this should be about the 6-year-old who is losing his way of life, not about the 26-year-old who will get over it. 

Kids are resilient. He has people who love him, regardless how dysfunctional they are. He will be okay.

The question is, will I be?

The weepiness is just beginning. 

And remember, it's hip to be square( and broken-hearted), kids. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I don't know if I'm a feminist. Sometimes I am. Other times I'm not. I think that gender roles, though adjustable, exist for some reasons that are good, but can be totally ignored if you so please. I think that women are equal to men, but there are some things that women should do and others that men should do. I also think that as long as partners discuss these things, they should be disregarded as is fit for the family.

This is going somewhere, I assure you. And it isn't political.

When we were driving all over the lame universe (read: the American Southwest) this week, I had to book a hotel at the last minute. We had just gotten into Albuquerque (read: the worst place ever), and we were exhausted. I found a hotel on my phone, and went to book it via the Interwebz. Obviously, they needed a name to put the room under. For some reason, my mind went to my parents' relationship. The room is always booked under my dad's name even though my mother always does the travel planning. Using them as a model, I put it under my husband's name and clicked "book".

And then I got really mad at myself.

I am independent. I fight to maintain my independence. I rely on my husband for very little, not because he isn't willing to help, but because I just like to do things for myself. I felt like June Cleaver for a minute. All of a sudden, because I put a hotel room under my husband's name instead of my own, I was going to have to quit my job, start wearing aprons all the time, and scrub the house on my hands and knees daily. I felt like I set myself back half a century because I deferred to him on something.

I'm not sure why this was such a big deal, but it bugged me for the entire trip. I love my husband, but I love my independence. I took his name, but I get to keep my identity. I know this is just a minor incident that is magnified in the presence of an ongoing struggle within my own mind, but I don't know how to find the balance between independence and, well, subservience. I don't want to be in charge. I just want to be equal. I want my name to matter just as much even though I changed it to match his.

I don't want to be primarily a married woman. I want to be a kick ass, business owning, friendly, helpful, hilarious, humble woman who is also married. And some day will have babies. Some day.

I also want to know why this was such a freaking big deal. The act of booking the hotel room took a whole 30 seconds.

As always, it's hip to be square (and confused), kids.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I am a workaholic. I regularly work 80 hours per week, and I'm always on call. I can get an hour or so off by calling my assistant and asking him to cover the phones, but that's pretty much the extent of the breaks that I get.

...And I love it. I wouldn't trade my job or any of my responsibilities for anything. I built this company from the ground up, and I plan to continue to pour my soul into it. 

Anyway, my husband and family have been insisting that I need a break. I didn't really disagree, but my idea of a break was different from theirs. I wanted to take a few days off and lay on the couch. My husband wanted to take a vacation.

I hate vacations. 

I like being at home. I like my bed, my things and my dogs. I like to lay on my couch, eat off my plates and have cell service all the time. 

These are things that don't happen when you're driving across the country and back in 9 days. 

That was my husband's idea of a relaxing break. 

To be fair, it was a nice trip that ended at the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was incredible. It was worth the drive and the stress. I was worth the anxiety and the long hours. It was amazing. 

However, the so called "good idea" that was the vacation included the phone systems at work going down as a result of the Sandy who hit almost 2,000 miles away from us, my husband getting hit by a car (he's fine), learning that I really dislike the American Southwest, eating a bunch of highly recommended restaurants that were terrible, and a whole lot of altitude sickness.

It was worth it, but I didn't do much for my opinion of vacations in general. Next time, I'm sticking with my couch and my pup. I cannot go wrong with those two.

As always, it's hip to be square (and more exhausted post-vacation than pre), kids. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Manny And The Arrival

We welcome another edition from my good friend, The Manny. 

This goes live today for a reason. Today is also The Manny's birthday. Though it has been a long time since we have lived in the same city, it never ceases to amaze me how close we have become over time. There are few people in this world who understand (or anticipate) my douchebag sense of humor the way that this man does. There is nothing too offensive and no such thing as "too soon". We are two peas in one very effed up pod. I am glad to call him my friend, and very thankful that he takes the time to write these self-depricating yet heart-warming pieces for my humble little blog. This man is going places, friends. You just watch.

Seriously. He knows people. And he has many leather bound books. 

Happy birthday, Sambo.  

And now, The Manny.

“Wow, you look beat!” said the mother of the family I was tutoring. “Long night?” 
“Yeah,” I said, walking in and plopping my bag down. “We had a baby.”

The stunned look on her face merited an explanation. She knew I was not married, and she probably thought I was gay. 

“Oh!” I went on. “My roommates. My roommates had their baby. I was just... around.” 
“Uh huh...” 

The judgement was always the same when people learned of my living situation. How could a freeloading loser like me impose on a nice, pregnant couple like that? 

I was used to that unmitigated criticism, and just let it slide off like the sweatpants we’d all become accustomed to wearing, living in a pregnant household. I’d like to think they had an easier pregnancy because the burden was split between three people instead of two. It was a healthy 50/40/10 split... (I wasn’t “10.”). But, as I learned, no pregnancy is “easy.” They all suck. The true miracle of childbirth is how any of us make it through it, marriages and friendships in tact. 

I will never forget the night the baby came. We had been on Baby Alert Alpha for a week at this point. We knew that the kid could show up at any moment. It’s a lot like being in a town and avoiding your ex; you know she’s there, you know you’re going to see her, and there will be mixed feelings, and a lot of tears and screaming... It’s just a question of WHEN.
That night, I was home from work and cooking as per usual. I was making buffalo burgers and roasted new potatoes. Nice and hearty. My friends came waddling in at about 6, just as I was finishing up in the kitchen. “Sam,” the dad said calmly. “We are having a baby.” 

“I’m fine!” said the mom through clenched teeth, clutching the counter. “They’re false contractions.” 

“NO! I have been timing them!” Dad waved his iPhone in the air with a Contraction Timer app on screen. I wondered, what good is that app after the baby comes. Earthquake aftershocks? I hope he didn’t pay for it. Also, were we eating, or should I box these burgers?

Throughout the rest of the evening, we were all on pins and needles, as contractions came and went. There was talk of going to the hospital, then not. Then going again. I must give my friend, the dad, credit. Throughout our long friendship, he has never done well under pressure of the medical kind, and he is often a hypochondriac. But on the eve of his child’s birth, he held it together so well. Whatever he was smoking, I wanted it. 

What? This was LA.

I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. I kept running upstairs to ask if everything was okay, if they needed anything, or if there was anything I could do. I realized as I said these things how dumb they must sound, as ANYTHING I could do would require probably seeing my friend’s wife’s vagina. We were cool, but not that cool. 

My buddy politely tapped on my door at about 1 am, to inform me (ever so calmly) that they were going to the hospital. And before he could ask me to help out with the bags, I was already throwing on my robe to grab them out of Mom’s hands as she carried them down the stairs herself, muttering and cursing to herself how “dumb” the whole situation was. She still had her spunk. 

I whisked them down to the garage, got them in their car, and off they went. Part of me wanted to go, but I knew I was of no use in the hospital. I’d just be in the way saying “I’m the manny!” So I stayed on the couch and called all of our mutual friends on both coasts. 

I rushed over later that day to see the bambina for the first time. I came in, teary-eyed, as I saw that little cherub looking around with giant eyes. My friends were wiped. The doctor looked at me and said, “Congratulations!” I laughed, shrugged, and said, “Thanks? What did I do?” 

My friend put his hand on my shoulder, hugged me, and said “So much.” 

Just doing my job. 

And my job, as I would soon find out as this kid was now here, had just begun. 

(cue season finale music)

Until next time, dear readers...

-The Manny


Previous Manny posts can be found here: 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Phone Number

My Little E turned 6 last week. He has been in my life for about a year, and I cannot express the roller coaster of emotion that year has been. I want things for him as much as I would want for my own child. His hugs mean everything to me. Watching him grow up has been absolutely incredible. 

It seems that he has finally grown out of some of his attachment issues, and he has worked himself into becoming a happy little kid. The idiosyncrasies that caused concern at one point seem to have gone away on their own with some stability and a whole lotta love. He started a new school, and he was EXCITED about it. On the first day, he ran into his class before his mother could even get a picture. This is not the same scared and anxious child as last year. I am so proud of him.

THEN there's this girl who sits at his table. THEN they started walking to class together. THEN they walked out of school together.


She gave him her phone number.

On a Post-It.

Labeled "Fone". 


THEN he very proudly showed his mother. THEN he turned red when she asked it she was his girlfriend. 



As always, it's hip to be square, kids. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Puppies Versus Babies

As I spend much of each day pining for a tiny little ball of snot to call my own, I often wonder if "baby" is actually what I'm after. I mean, I assume it is. I get all maternal and want to protect things and make them dinner (badly) and clean up after them (a little). I see pictures of baby showers and think that gifts would be really nice, and I want to buy presents for friends who are having babies. I like snuggles and happiness, and I think I could even put up with a little spit up.

Then this creeping thought comes into my head…

Just get a puppy.

Puppies are way easier. They are labor intensive for the first year, and then they just, you know, chill the eff out. They're cheaper. You can leave them in boxes during the day and just go to work. No day care. No child abandonment issues. They may chew up a pair of expensive shoes, but they don't make your entire life smell like vomit. You can shower when you have a puppy because of the aforementioned box. You can watch television with foul language without worrying about the puppy picking it up. 

You can even *gasp* curse really loudly in front of it without being labeled a bad dog parent. 

(Sidenote: If cursing in front of your dog made you a bad dog parent, I would be in jail for animal cruelty every day. Multiple times.)

Of course, I say this all in jest knowing that parenthood will take what I feel for my dogs and multiply it by a bazillion to the quadrillionth degree. That's math, folks. 

But do I really need that kind of intense passionate love if it's going to be that much damn work? 

I think about sleeping through the night for most of the rest of my life. I think about buying expensive clothes and keeping them in good condition. I think about puppy breath.

Is baby breath a thing? 

Maybe that's what I'm missing. 

As always, it's hip to be square (and indecisive!), kids. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It Was So Simple

My husband and I fight on weekends. It's over the same topic, and it's incredibly frustrating. The solution to it has been so simple the entire time. For some reason, it never occurred to me. 

My husband is a procrastinator. He is not a planner. He refuses to makes plans for our weekends, and when I try, he never likes them. 

I am a planner. I am a "get it done now" person. When I say something, I want to act on it immediately.  I get things done quickly and usually before they're due. Procrastinating makes me nauseous. 

These differing attitudes cause conflict when I'm hungry and he's lazy.

We usually go out to lunch on weekends. As we begin to get toward the afternoon, I will state that I would like to go eat. He'll say sure, and then not move. Or, he'll go take an hour long shower. Or mow the lawn. Or something else that is not edible. 

Did I mention that I get incredibly grouchy when I'm incredibly hungry?

Oh, yeah.

Anyway, so by the time he is done doing whatever thing he could have been doing hours ago, I'm irritated. And hungry. And the type of grouchy that he knows is coming. And then he gets mad because I'm irritated. And then we argue. And then Saturdays stink until one of us gives in.

Meanwhile, I'm still flipping hungry.

Anyway, today, we slept late and he decided to mow the lawn at noon. Noon is close to lunch time. He is fanatical about the lawn in the way that I am fanatical about being on time. It took him almost two hours to finish and shower. 

Did I mention that I was starving at this point?

Once the shower was over, I assumed he would be dressed and on his way to lunch with me. 

Except that then he lies down on the bed with the iPad and says that he "needs a minute". 

Okay. I get it. You just did a lot of physical labor.


So I did something that I don't think I have ever done before. I didn't get irritated. I just said "screw it" and went downstairs and had a snack. I didn't want to argue, and I didn't want to be hungry anymore. 


Sigh. I'm dense. I get it. 

I also understand that there are starving children in Africa who have it way worse than I do, and I can deal with a few hours of hunger without getting angry. In theory. But baby girl loves to eat.

Anyway, now Hubs is in the bathroom shaving, and that might take another century or two. I'll probably have another snack.

At any rate, it's hip to be square (and not hungry!), kids.

*Edit* He is now taking ANOTHER shower. I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND BOYS.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stupid Gluten

I am gluten free.

I say that not as a proclamation of my moral superiority because my diet is all holier-than-thou, but more like as an affirmation that the universe is a flippin' cruel place that likes to laugh at me regularly.

Yes, I understand that there are children in Africa who would be more than happy to eat whatever food they were given, and I should be thankful that I have food period. I am very thankful. I just also think that this is majorly effed up. 

I. Love. Bread.

Seriously. It's a good thing I went gluten free before getting married because otherwise, I would have just married bread. I used to eat toast for dinner. I would go to restaurants and eat so much bread that I never wanted my meal. Bread and butter is, like, the best thing ever. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I ordered a turkey club just about everywhere that I went. It was my go-to meal. 

I miss sandwiches.

Yes, there are gluten free breads, and I eat them, but it isn't the same. It's like this mediocre middle ground between delicious, fluffy sub rolls and no bread at all. The good ones are edible. The bad ones are TERRIBLE. 

It's lame.

Anyway, the point is that I have been gluten free for almost a year and a half. In that time, my life has changed drastically. I used to suffer from terrible migraines every. single. day. I went 6 months with a migraine that didn't stop. Every minute of every day, I was in pain. I struggled and muddled through. I went to doctors, and they gave me medicine that didn't work or, worse, took my last little shred of functionality and threw it out the window. No one knew what was wrong. I went for MRIs and blood tests. On paper (and pictures), I was fine. I wondered if I losing it.

This begs that question if I ever had it to begin with. But I digress...

One day, I just had this moment of brilliance. "What if it's that hippie gluten shit that I keep hearing about?" I had no idea what gluten was, but I knew people stopped eating it and it fixed things. 

Within 24 hours, I was 50% better. Within a month, I had finally gotten a hang of my new eating habits, and was 100% better.

That being said, I still freaking miss bread. And cookies. And brownies. And cupcakes. 

Every 6 months or so, I get fed up of it and go on an all out gluten binge. I don't think I could ever be an alcoholic, but I could be a gluten-aholic. I know how much trouble I'm going to be in when I eat it, but sometimes, I just can't say no. 

My gluten free life is so much more productive. I have less anxiety. I don't feel in a fog. I am almost never nauseous (which was perpetual before) and I very rarely get heartburn (also constant prior). And the headaches are gone. Hallelujah, the headaches are gone!

This in no way makes me a healthy eater. Oh hells no. My diet is better, but I have a long way to go before proclaiming that I eat well. I'm still trying to work out the bugs of having most of the things that I love taken out of my diet. That will be a long process. Eventually, I'll work harder at eating green things. In the meantime, though, I'd really flipping love a brownie.

As always, it's hip to be square (and gluten free!), kids.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Good Very Bad Dreams

Life has been stressful as of late. Work is giving me all sorts of palpitations, and my hubs has the world's worst sunburn. It sounds trivial, but that thing is making him miserable. There is stress at the office, and there is just as much at home. 

Yesterday was the worst of it for me. I had anxiety like I haven't experienced since I tried to leave home to go to college. For the most part, I'm a pretty calm person, and I just deal with things as they happen. Not yesterday. I shut down entirely. I felt hollow while feeling like I might explode from there just being too much everything. UGH.

I did manage to fall asleep pretty quickly last night. I thought it was going to be a miserable sleepless night of miserable misery. It wasn't sleepless. If anything, it was something-full. Dreadful? Painful? OhmyeffingG-dcouldthishurtmoreful? 

I don't know.

I had dreams. Weird, mean dreams. 

I never got to meet any of my grandparents. Both grandfathers died before I was born, and my maternal grandmother died when I was 6 months old. My paternal grandmother actually died in 2006, but I never met her, and I don't think she even knew that I existed. My father's relationship with her was more than twisted, and she had severe dementia in her later years. I was always jealous of kids who had grandparents while being irritated that everyone assumed that my actual parents were my grandparents. I wanted more family. I wanted cousins who were also best friends. I wanted people who would spoil me just cause (even though my parents did a pretty good job of that) and provide the kind of guidance that goes beyond parents. I have always missed people who I never got to know. 

There is a point to this, I assure you.

The dream that I can remember still brings tears to my eyes. It hurts me in the pit of my soul. I was running around a small town looking for my maternal grandfather. I guess that I had gotten wind that he had recently died. I was going in and out of stores trying to find him. The search wasn't the hard part because I knew he was already gone. The hard part was finding out that he had just died recently, but I had never gotten to know him. It turned my universe upside down to imagine that this person who had been idolized by my mother just forgot to tell us that he didn't die in 1981. I searched everywhere, and I could see him walking around in front of me, but I couldn't get to him. I wanted him so badly.

I still do.

There aren't words to describe how much I do.

I woke up this morning and knew that the dream was just a reflection of the frustration and agony of the day prior. I don't put a whole lot of stock in the meaning of dreams. I can usually figure out what was bothering me from the day before that would cause a nightmare. 

That doesn't mean that it hasn't been on my mind all day. It doesn't mean that I haven't been trying to wrap my head around why a childhood longing for something that I just couldn't have has resurfaced and just stings a whole hell of a lot.

What it does mean is that I'm now realizing how much time I spend worrying about the time that my future children will have with the wonderful people who are their grandparents. Sometimes, I feel like it's all-consuming. I want my children to have what I had with them. I want them to know from personal experience that their grandparents are amazing, awesome, wonderful, crazy people who love them so, so much.

I need that. I need that for them.

Sigh. It's time to attempt bed again.

Even today, it's hip to be square, kids.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Moment I Knew

I have felt "ready" to make this huge step toward parenthood for a while, but I'm not sure that even I was entirely convinced. I don't think I knew what part of me was holding out. I had an "aha!" moment a few weeks ago, and now I'm so certain that I feel it in my bones.

I think that, up until a few weeks ago, I was thinking about parenthood from the perspective of making and having a baby.  I was thinking about how nice it would be to have someone need me. I was engrossed in the thought of my family "oohing" and "aahing" over something that I created. It was all terribly superficial, but it was all consuming. I'm much more mellow about it now, and I couldn't be more grateful for the chance to take the pressure off of myself.

The story begins with two pups. These two:
Big dog.
(P.S. This picture won a photo contest at our local new station. He's flipping adorable.)
Little Dog.
(She's my heart. She stole it as a pup and never gave it back.)

My husband and I were getting ready to go to bed two Sundays ago. The process includes kenneling the little dog, turning the lights off downstairs, and ushering the big dog into the bedroom upstairs. The big dog was, of course, chasing the little dog around and trying to flip her over with his nose so he could lick her nethers. He has been doing it every single day for the past 4 years. The little dog does not enjoy this in any way, so it's fairly common for her to bite one of his wrinkles to get him to lay off. Sometimes she beats him up pretty badly, but he has 40 pounds on her. We don't worry.

So, when there was a drop of blood on the tile, we didn't really worry about it. When it was followed by a  trail of a whole lot of blood, we worried a little more. When the dog was limping and everywhere he went included a POOL of blood, we were ready to freak out. Somehow, the big dog managed to knock his toe nail out of place, and it included a whole hell of a lot of gushing.

The point of this is not to gross you out. Actually, the dog injury isn't even really the point. It was our reactions. We could have freaked out. I could have done my famous "gagging so badly it makes other people gag", but I didn't. Hubs took the lead, asked me to clean the blood, and held the dog. Then, between the two of us, we found the injury, calmed the dog, and cleaned it up. We discussed whether to wait it out or rush him to the emergency vet. We decided to wait it out. We took turns keeping the dog still and calm. We glued the wound with super glue and made some makeshift bandages. Then, we took shifts at night making sure he wasn't bleeding or losing his personality.

There was no fighting or arguing. We just figured it out until the crisis was over. That's when I got grouchy and just wanted to go to bed.

Big dog laying down with his makeshift bandaged paw. 

But we were a team. There was a big problem, and we just fixed it. We had a gimpy dog for a few weeks, and now he's back to his old, dumb self.

We could totally do this parenthood thing. I know dogs aren't kids, but it's the closest thing we have. We love them unconditionally, even in the wee hours of the morning when we have to lay on top of them to keep them still and keep the blood off the carpet. We can do this.

We can totally do this.

We can do this.

Especially now, it's hip to be square kids.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Number Four

Four years ago today, I started dating the man who would become my husband. 

I maintain that this was a good decision. 

I could write one of my long-winded posts on all of my husbands good traits (and I most certainly will), but I just want to leave you with the tidbit that endeared him in my heart forever. I assure you that I will get back to being long-winded very shortly. 

My husband and I worked together, and that's where we met. He wasn't my boss, but his job was close enough to my superior that it would have looked majorly sketchy for us to date had he not been transferring very shortly. Apparently he had noticed me and tried to take me out to lunch a few times, but I had never caught on to the fact that he was flirting with me. I just thought we were coincidentally going to lunch at the same time for a couple of days. Why yes, I am incredibly dense. 

Anyway, the place we worked threw the employees a party at a bowling alley, and I went with a male friend of mine who, to this day, is still called my fake husband. Apparently, hubs had held off asking me out because he thought I was dating my "fake husband" who I love to death but would never date ever because he's like my brother and that's gross and ewwwww. Vomit.

Anyway, hubs and I got to talking at the bowling alley and ended up leaving there and going with some friends to a hookah bar. The hookah bar was by my house, so he drove me home. I asked if he wanted to come in and see my new apartment. He was perfectly gentlemanly and didn't even try to make a move. He didn't have to. We stood in my kitchen and talked until 3 in the morning. By that time, he had already stolen my heart. Immediately upon walking through my front door, he said six fateful words that ensured that I was his. 

"Can we let your dogs out?"

He proceded to sit right down on the floor and roll around with my two little chihuahuas until they were content and passed out on his lap.

And that was it. There was no more question. Either someone gave him the handbook of me or he had me pegged from the moment we met.

Either way, I think it worked out. 

Happy anniversary of our first date, babe.

And what do you know? That turned out to be pretty long-winded anyway. WIN!

As always, it's hip to be square, kids. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blog Idol

Life has this funny way of putting people together. In general, I have let most of the friends from my youth fall to the wayside. The few that I have kept are in no way the ones who I thought would still be around. They are, however, the ones who have become impressive adults with ambition and skillz. I don't do well with people who aren't motivated for something. 

If you would have told me that so many years after high school, I would still be in touch with Supal at (@chevronseclairs), I'm not sure I would have believed you. Don't get me wrong, we were basically family in high school. She saw me at the airport at 4 o'clock in the morning when I didn't even bother to get out of my pajamas. She saw me win and she saw me lose. She saw me lose hard. We saw each other furious, and we pissed each other off like only 16-year-old girls can do. We hid boys from our parents together. We traveled together just about every weekend. We shared clothes and queen-sized beds. We got lost in strange cities together. She was always perky and excited, and I was always cynical and too realistic. We were major-sized nerds who didn't care that we weren't typical teens because we knew we were going to be so much more.

And we have become, and are still on our way to becoming, rock stars in our respective arenas.

Anyway, the nostalgia isn't the point. The point is, that all these years later, Supal is also one of my biggest blog inspirations. She has a beautiful, consistent, well-maintained, interesting blog about simple things. I can't wait to read her posts and see how she has styled something else. She works hard at it on top of having a big kid job and getting ready for grad school. 

She was also kind of my mentor. When I wanted to start a blog, she was the person I contacted. She read my work, and told me what needed revision. She was honest and thorough. Most of all, she was supportive. She told me it was going to be a lot of work if it became what I wanted it to be, but that I didn't have to (and wouldn't) get there over night. Her blog is beautiful and successful. I am so proud to say that I know her.

She also serves as an amazing ego-boost because she thinks I'm flippin' hilarious. I have never been one to turn down a captive audience…

Anyway, check out her blog. It's awesome. It makes me want to be a better girl. It makes me want to pass up the cheese fries for a dish with "quinoa" in the title.

I won't, but it does make me want to.

Find her at or @chevronseclairs on Twitter. 

And, as always, it's hip to be square, kids. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Honey, he's home!

My husband has been at the same job for the last seven years. It paid well, but it didn't treat him well. We had some nostalgic attachments to it because it was where we met, but other than that, we had lost our attachment to the company. As the company grew, it lost it's connection to the employees that it used to treasure. It used to take care of it's people, and now it just, you know, sucks the life out of them, chews them up and spits them out. He was working five days with no true weekend. It was almost an hour away from the house. He worked overtime all the time because it was there, and it significantly bolstered his pay. Not to mention that, without him, no one in the store could find their asses with both hands. He really was keeping it all together.

And then there was a new opportunity. And then he took it. And now he has a big kid job with a 8:00-4:30 schedule and weekends off. Now he is independent and doesn't have to ask permission of his boss. Now he is someone who people go to for help while actually, you know, thanking him for his time. Now he doesn't wear a name tag (that he refused to wear anyway) or a uniform. Now we need to go shopping. 

Now he's home kind of all the time.

Now... shit.

I love my husband. I am also immensely proud of him for getting this new opportunity, and also for being so indispensable to his old job for so long. Don't underestimate that. But he is, like, home all the time now. Sundays used to be my day. I worked 12 hours days in the office Monday through Thursday. Friday I work from home all day. Saturday he and I spend together. But Sunday, Sunday was mine. Sunday was mine to go to the mall, take hour long showers, grocery shop and eat junk food (not in that order). Sunday was when I could sit on the couch all day watching terrible television shows on Netflix and not worry about entertaining anyone other than my overstuffed gullet. 

Oh, Sunday. 

We're adjusting. 

Husband thinks that if we both have time off, it should be spent together. He wants "us" time. I love "us" time, but I really love "me" time. Like, me and I are bestest buddies. We have entire conversations that the rest of the world wouldn't understand. We like television melodrama. We love cheese fries. We like being left alone with each other. We are total loners, but we do it together. 

Again, we're adjusting. 

Remember when I was single and got to be a total effing loner without worrying about anyone else's feelings? When no one cared what I did? Then I decided to get married to this dude who is awesome, but he still exists and it's totes throwing off my groove?

Again, I love my husband, and I wouldn't trade him in for all of the alone Sundays in the world. I'm just, you know, adjusting. 

Sigh. As always, it's hip to be square, kids.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Joyful, Sexy Noise

I'm sitting upstairs in my bedroom watching Conan. All of a sudden, my attention is drawn away from the television to the sexiest noise in the world. 

My husband

…is doing dishes.


It's hip to be square, kids. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Letter To My Yet Unconceived Child

Hello you.

I don't know you. I think that's fair because no one knows you. You might be tall and thin like your eventual father's family or short and squat like mine. You could be a wordsmith like me or a mechanical genius like your father. Even yet, there is a chance that you might never exist. 

I can't wait to meet you, but I wonder if waiting might be better. Right now, I think I imagine you to be more of a fashion accessory or a new fancy toy than I do a lifelong obligation that screams and poops. I think of you like a new expensive purse that I would really like to have. The part of me who knows I can have whatever I want says, "NOW DAMNIT!" The part of me who is a reasonable adult says that it may be better to pay off our debt before giving birth to a human money pit. The realistic part of me knows that it's not really up to me. Also, my dear, understand that I don't actually buy expensive purses, and I know you're much more important than that. It was just an analogy. Chill out, baby.

I know that I will love you more than anything ever, but I also love other things. Don't worry, you'll be more important, but I will also try my hardest not to lose myself in your existence. I will probably want to spend every moment of my day with you, but please don't be offended if I really want to do a puzzle or go out with a friend without you. I like me. I like me a lot. And, selfish or otherwise, I worry that when you're here, I won't be anymore. I'll be hidden beneath your needs because I will just want to make you so happy. 

But you will be happy. You will be surrounded by people who love you so much. You will be the first  grandchild for your Mom Mom and Pop Pop. I say this not knowing when your arrival will be, but knowing that the universe would appreciate if my siblings did not reproduce. They could, but probably won't. If they do, it won't be for a while. You'll be grandchild number five for your father's family, but you will be the most spoiled. Not because you're the youngest, but because your father is your Grandma's favorite. He's the only boy out of four children, and he is her baby. Your Grandma will be a bundle of happy tears when she sees you for the first time, and she won't want to let go. She'll have to though, because Mom Mom and Pop Pop, my mommy and daddy, have not had a grandchild of their own yet, and they get dibs. They've already made that clear. I think Grandma will understand. There will also be tons of aunts and uncles (biological and by choice) who aren't going to let you be for a second. You will probably be the best socialized baby in the world. You will almost certainly be that freakishly mature child because there are going to be so many adults wanting your attention. In short, you will be awesome.

You might be bullied, and that's okay. I don't want you to be bullied, but to a certain extent, it's part of growing up. You will probably go to public school because you likely won't remember anything that you learn in the classroom, but you will remember that if you open your mouth to that burly gentleman in the corner, he might pound you into the dust. I will allow you to solve these problems for yourself to a certain extent, and I promise to not go all mama bear on things before it's necessary. I assure you, however, that if it's necessary, I will go mama bear all over that place and they will not see it coming. You will always have a chance to handle it how you see fit. Then, they will see how terrifying 5 foot 2 inches of protectiveness can be. Watch out Class of 2031. I will get you if necessary. 

I hope that you get your dad's way with mechanics and my sense of humor. Don't get me wrong, your dad has a wonderful sense of humor, but mine comes directly from your Pop Pop, and he's my best friend. I hope you are someday as close to one or both of us as I am with him.

I hope I can follow the advice that I give the parents of my patients while learning new things along the way. I hope you see your father and I argue while knowing that what's behind it is real love. I hope you understand that difference between loving each other through confrontation and pretending that everything is fine. 

I hope you like books. I'm going to buy you every book I can get my hands on. I mean real books, by the way, the kind that I read and touched when I was a child, not these electronic versions that don't have the same effect. I hope you get to know the heros of my childhood like Winnie the Pooh and Harold and the Purple Crayon. They're cool dudes. 

I hope you get dirty. I hope you roll in germs. I hope you get snotty and icky and gain the immunities of a champ. Your mommy never gets sick, and I'm pretty sure it's because I practically ate dirt as a child. I hope you let your dad throw you in the pool and horse around with you. I hope you have his sense of adventure. He needs an exploration buddy, and I'm not very good at the spontaneous. 

I hope you aren't allergic to gluten because being allergic to gluten is balls. 

I hope you aren't a twin, though I will be perfectly happy if you are. Multiples run in both sides of my family, and your father is a twin. Please understand that this is utterly frightening. Aside from the "taking care of two booger eaters" thing, there is the whole "getting extra fat" thing. You aren't even a twinkle yet, so I can still be vain. 

I hope that you understand that you can believe whatever you want. Both of your parents came from originally religious (and very different) backgrounds that have been relaxed as we grew up. You can be Buddhist or Jewish or Christian or Pastafarian. You will be exposed to a whole bunch of different things. You make your choice once you're old enough to understand. Also, you can change your mind. We're totes cool with that. 

I hope that at some point in your life, your Aunt Amy (or your Aunt Amy and I) take you to a drag club where she can introduce you to all of the drag queens because she will (for sure) know them all by name. I hope that if you're a boy, you at least think it's funny, and if you're a girl, you think that it's FFFFAAABBBBUUUULLLOUUUSSS. 

You're beautiful. Before you even exist, I know you're beautiful. You're loved. You're already causing tons of anxiety, so you're probably worth all of the trouble. You come from strong, stubborn people. You are bound to be both of these things. 

You are bound to be amazing. 

And, don't worry baby, it is hip to be square. 

Note: This post was inspired by my friend Robin (@FarewellStrangr) and her blog www. Her blog to her son pulled at my heart strings in such a way and showed me that I feel the same way for someone who doens't exist. Her devotion to her son and her sense of humor through it all are a shining light in the world for  how all of this could be for me. I am so terribly excited for the "what ifs".

Find Robin's blog here.

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