Monday, October 30, 2017

If My Docs Could Talk

They wouldn't say “Eat My Shorts!” or “As If.” 


They’d mention President Bush.(Not the one known by the single initial.) While they’d be open to engaging in healthy debate regarding his pragmatic and conservative approach to foreign affairs, sourcing The End of the Cold War, significant attention would also be paid to the banning of broccoli on Air Force One. Shameless disobedience of his mother, who reportedly made H.W. eat it as a child. 


With air-cushioned soles resting on a neon-pink inflatable love seat, they would belt out “Girl You Know It’s True,” but they’d insist their tone-deaf rendition came from a pair of smelly All Stars. 


Few would think it still funny, but they’d make a Lorena Bobbitt joke anyway. 


They'd agree that keeping a dress (of any color) stained with bodily fluids (no matter the source) is gross and a little disturbing. 


Like the other ninety-five million viewers across the nation, they’d admit they couldn’t look away from the white Bronco. Yes, they’d overused the expression “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Yes, they’d acknowledge there was too much publicity. Yes, they would condemn Fuhrman. Of course they'd think he was guilty.  


That devastating image of the Oklahoma City fireman cradling the baby girl is something they’d guarantee can’t be scrubbed from their memory.


They would maintain Kurt Cobain wore a pair just like them, wonderfully heavy with signature yellow Z stitch. (They’ve never had the stomach or the heart to view any of the crime scene photos. They’ve never bought any of the conspiracy theories. They’ve always felt In Utero was the best album.)


They might say “Fart-Knocker,” albeit under their breath.


Five photographers on motorcycles in pursuit of one dark-blue Mercedes. They’d concede they’d had to look up the word: Paparazzi. By all accounts, the princess was beautiful, selfless, a good mother, and what they’d remembered most, unhappy. They’d say they couldn’t imagine living with the constant flash of camera bulbs, barbaric and blinding, but would they be telling the whole truth? Fame, after all, does come with its advantages.


Troubling. What they’d say about kids nowadays who draw a blank whenever hearing reference to “Festivus” or “The Soup Nazi” or “The Puffy Shirt.” 


Black laces dangling, dangerously loose, they’d shrug over the faint recollection of Y2K, swearing the only bug they ever feared was the large, hairy, many-legged kind.


There are steadfast believers, those who stick to their guns that rockstar-wannabe was (and is) The Almighty. Branch Davidians believe the dead are merely unconscious, awaiting resurrection and travel to Their Kingdom. “Complete horse shit,” they’d proclaim, their Black Greasy leather scuffed. (Nevertheless, they do like the sweet sound of immortality.)


I'm 90% certain I'm wearing Docs with tube socks in this vintage photo. I'm 100% certain my now husband (then boyfriend) was not a fan of this flight.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

America's New Worst

Woke up this morning to another mass shooting, America’s New Worst. (How many more new worsts will there be in my lifetime?)

The minutes and hours ticked by in ordinary routine, but my state of mind? Miles from ordinary. Light years from routine. I had little choice but to obey all-mighty Oprah’s command: turn off the news. I’ve vacuumed the same stain in the carpet to no avail. I’ve battled an army of stink bugs in my living room. I’ve watched My Little Pony with my five-year-old, when I can’t stand Pinky Pie’s voice. (Her exuberance is particularly unsettling this week.)

I’ve tried shunning Facebook, peeking in with one eye open. I don’t know any of the dead or wounded, but I’ve wept for them. I’ve cried in the early morning hours, late at night, on the road to pick up my daughter, in the shower. I’m compelled to shield her from this grief. I can’t stomach her asking that innocent, incessant question. Why? 

Why are you crying, Mommy?

Today I can dodge answering her. The next time, and there’s great promise for a next time, I may not be so lucky. With each passing day, her cognition grows at an amazing and alarming rate. 

Because I tend to ruminate, especially on tragedy, especially on senseless, repeated tragedy, especially on senseless, repeated tragedy involving our nation’s obsession with the right to own, operate and otherwise glorify guns, I write. I wasn’t anywhere near the scene of the crime. Yet body cameras and smartphones have allowed me to hear those spraying bullets. The sounds of war. What many of those beautiful couples and friends and families and strangers who together shared a love of country music first believed was harmless fireworks.  

I’ve said we need more, but of course I’m thinking of and praying for the victims and survivors, the civilian heroes and the courageous employed to protect and save lives. The calm and compassionate medical professionals in the throes of chaos. 

Maybe it’s too soon to write a single word about Las Vegas, not the expected glitz and decadence, but the unforeseen carnage and despair. Some would argue it’s insensitive to use tragedy as any kind of muse. I’ve taken heat in an argument like that before. I probably will again. 

Still, it’s therapeutic. A momentary lull. The clacking of the keys gives me something to do with my hands instead of brushing away tears. Something to shake that eight-hundred pound gorilla named Futility sitting on my chest. Anything to quell my anger over three capital letters: N, R, A. Letters my Kindergartner practices reading and writing in school, although not strung together in that formidable acronym. 

I can’t begin to imagine how heartbroken and outraged these three letters must make the Newtown mothers and fathers feel. I don’t regularly follow Twitter, but this tweet: 

“In America we value guns, flags & fake acts of patriotism over people, pain & real acts of courage.” #LasVegas #TakeAKnee #EndGunViolence

Nelba Marquez-Greene lost a daughter around my own daughter’s age in the Sandy Hook shooting. Her sobering words echo and cling, no matter how many loads of laundry I re-fold or abandoned bowls of cereal I rescue and rinse or health care tips I attempt to write“Three Healthy Breakfasts for Champions!,” “Fitness That Fits Your Life,” “The ABCs of Managing PAD.” 

Disturbing how one mass shooting brings the others flooding back. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Sandy Hook. Charleston. San Bernadino. Orlando. 

A gruesome chorus. And these are only seven that immediately spring to my mind. Too many agonizing dots populating the map. Too much suffering crowding the head and heart. By definition, two hundred and seventy-three mass shootings in the U.S. in 2017. 

So far. 

How do I distance myself from the approaching two hundred and seventy-fourth? Hard to escape relying on Netflix alone. Parks and Recreation my temporary safe haven. Ron Swanson, staunch libertarian, my savior. He’d probably cloak himself in meat armor to protect the Second Amendment. Though he has a teddy bear side, too. That’s what I love about his character. I think after Las Vegas, even Ron would move a reasonable centimeter toward middle ground. 

Or maybe he wouldn’t. I can’t predict his mindset any more than anybody could predict this latest psychopath’s. Time puts its head down and plows full speed ahead, at least for the living. It’s a little over a week since the shooting and the news coverage highlights his “undiagnosed severe mental illness.” 

No shit. 

I mean no disrespect, but that revelation is shit. (And yes, I agree mental illness was, and is, an absolute part of the equation.) That’s as obvious as the recklessness of the right to bear forty-plus guns. In the last twelve months, he purchased thirty-three. In online gun marketplaces, prices currently double and triple for bump stocks. They’re flying off the shelves. Buy one, get one free! 

I’d never heard of these sinister add-ons that make semi-automatics mimic the firing speed of fully automatic weapons. Until now, and now the NRA says “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

The key word here is “should,” as in, “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.” 

Before Las Vegas, a bump stock retailed for less than two-hundred bucks, a bargain for the high-stakes gambler and sociopath who outfitted twelve of his rifles with this perfectly legal device. 

The key word here is “legal,” as in, what a former firearms official called a “goofy little doodad.” (This same official recommended the ATF not regulate bump stocks, as they technically didn’t alter a gun’s trigger mechanism.)

Two-hundred dollars is a lot of money to me. I paid around thirteen for my kid’s Halloween costume, Pink Power Ranger, a jumpsuit with long sleeves and pants, matching gloves. Last Saturday I let her wear it out to lunch in eighty degrees, unseasonably warm for a Michigan October. It has its own “goofy little doodad,” a mask that makes the wearer look somewhere between fierce and sad with a hint of smug. She and I laughed about that expression, trying to mimic it with our real faces. Lips turned slightly downward, parted. Not quite a full pout. 

Oh how I wish that silly costume would provide anything resembling a permanent distraction. Speaking of distractions, the news provides many, none reassuring. Wildfires in California leaving thirty-two (and likely counting) dead, consuming homes and that breathtaking landscape with unprecedented fury, transforming those forever blue skies to an oppressive overcoat of gray. Harvey Weinstein, once legendary film producer and studio executive, ousted for years of sexually harassing and abusing women, his brother saying he hasn’t shown a shred of remorse. (May his prison uniform be a dirty white bathrobe. May his cell and every small comfort in it be wallpapered with #metoo.) Our President. Where to begin? 

A sampling of his recent tweets:

“The Failing @nytimes set Liddle' Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that's what I am dealing with!”

“I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is gong to run in 2020? My answer was, I hope so!”

“Dem Senator Schumer hated the Iran Deal made by President Obama, but now that I am involved, he is OK with it. Tell that to Israel, Chuck!”

 “Very proud of my Executive Order which will allow greatly expanded access and far lower costs for HealthCare. Millions of people benefit!”

“The Fake News is going all out in order to demean and denigrate! Such hatred!”

“...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing  (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”

While forty-five sputtered and spewed his everyday tweetstoo many rants to list on this page, too much nonsense crowding this head and hearta horrific story broke out of Somalia. A truck bombing. The deadliest single attack that country has ever faced. More than three-hundred dead. At least another three-hundred injured. The blast area the size of two or three football fields. 

Football fields. Garnering far more media attention in the USA. Our VP walked away from one, reportedly costing taxpayers about a quarter of a million dollars for the protest of a protest. The irony of his premeditated publicity stunt, a reminder of the right to freedom of assembly or the right to freedom of association or the right to freedom of speech, all American rightsno matter who walks out or who kneelsjust like the right of the people to keep and bear their precious arms. 

On the subject of arms, most of the injured in Las Vegas have thankfully left the hospital and gone home to the embrace of loved ones. Most. As the city and the nation inch toward “normalcy,” forty-five remain hospitalized. TV crews have packed up their equipment. The police have handed over the investigation to the FBI. The slot machines wheel and whir, beep and chime. Overindulgence proceeds.  

It’s been seventeen days and America’s New Worst already disappearing from the headlines. How have we come to accept, even expect this bleak drill? 

Recovery for those still hospitalized, those released, those trying to go on living without a spouse, lover, partner, friend, mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, coworker, neighbor, newfound acquaintance? A remote grasp. At seventeen days, a canyon of impossibility. 

Yesterday I read a moving story about a survivor who lingers in Summerlin Hospital Medical Center hundreds of miles away from her life in California. She faces months of counseling and physical therapy, huge medical bills without insurance, and no guarantee she’ll ever stand. 

This wife and mother’s simple desire: to be happy. Happiness, another unalienable right, something she isn’t sure when she’ll experience again, but a gift my daughter freely exhibits and gives me daily. An elixir of hope I swallow in every corner of every room. 

For Diana, and for all the victims, I’ll do my best never to take this joy for granted. 




Tuesday, September 26, 2017

My Stand on American Flag-gate

I admit, I try not to take things too seriously, and when I sit down to write (kneeling hurts my knees), I’m often beckoned by funny. I’ve never been much of a fan of the NFL either, or with the exception of baseball, pro sports in general.  

Until maybe, well, right fucking now. I might just become a Patriots fan. Or buy a Cavaliers jersey. Number twenty-three to be specific. 

Sitting down during the national anthem. Kneeling in front of the American flag. Boycotting the NFL for that? Pay no attention to, oh, the “little matters” of, um, domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Are you fucking kidding me?

(Sorry, that’s twice. Honestly, I do try my best not to curse when making a point—it’s a lazy route—but what the hell, I’m going to get my fuck-fuck-fuckety-fucking-fucks out there, loud and clear. Because Freedom of Mother Fucking Speech, y’all.)  

Without a single f-bomb, my point is, talk about misplaced outrage. You want a list of what outrages me? No? Well, sorry, this is my blog, so you’re going to get one anyway. Because as I mentioned mere sentences ago, Freedom of Mother Fucking Speech, y’all. 

  • Confederate flags: anyplace, anytime, anywhere. On homes, t-shirts, businesses, from the back of pickup trucks. If I have to put up with people waving that piece of shit around, then I guess you’ll have to suck it up and deal with folks kneeling in front of your precious American flag. (Btw, you do realize that Confederates—American flag be damned—wanted to secede from the United States of America?) 

  • The slogan “Make America Great Again.” Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Pause for a moment and reflect on that statement. Screams pure patriotism, doesn't it?

  • Individuals who have their panties in an unbelievable, blood-boiling, hernia-producing bunch over so-called disrespect of the American flag, but they willingly chose to “take a knee” in the last Presidential election. 

  • Those stupid red hats that say “Make America Great Again.” First of all, certain folks just can't pull off baseball caps, especially ones that look like somebody’s alcoholic, blind and highly arthritic great grandpappy made them. (Oh, wow, that was perhaps uncalled for, but ... Freedom of Mother Fucking Speech, y’all.) Secondly, this

  • “I like people who weren’t captured.” It isn’t very often that I agree with Sen. McCain’s politics, but I’ll never forget this comment from none other than our current POTUS, ardent supporter of U.S. Veterans everywhere and suddenly the GREATEST, HUGEST defender of our American flag. 

  • Philando Castile's murder. I’m using him and the complete lack of justice in his case as just one example of the murdering of unarmed black men in America, which btw, is why this whole “take a knee” movement began in the first place. It is not about disrespecting America or the U.S. military. You want to disrespect America? Ban immigration when you’re a nation of immigrants. You want to disrespect the U.S. military? Denigrate a POW.  

  • Calling white supremacists “very fine people.” 

  • Violent protests of any kind, on all sides, alt-right and antifa alike. (You know what the exact opposite of such nonsense is? Taking a knee during the national anthem.)

  • Having to navigate my (almost) six-year-old black daughter through any and all of this crap. Welcome to the rest of my life, folks. I take this “take a knee” business quite personally because I am the white mother of a black daughter. I am privileged based solely on the color of my skin. My daughter is disadvantaged based solely on the color of her skin. While it doesn’t mean there’s no hope—I will never surrender hope that we as a nation can and will be better and do better when it comes to people of color—there is no way to sugar coat that sickening fact. 

  • Foie gras, bumper stickers depicting the state of Michigan holding a handgun, initial-capping common nouns, mainstream country music that directly or indirectly references boot-scootin’ anything, describing weather as “crisp,” stink bugs, playing or even briefly contemplating playing the board game Monopoly, selfies, your husband flossing his teeth in front of you, the expression “holla,” those ridiculous ankle boots that seem to be super popular, regular-sized automobiles for regular-life use suspended on monster tires and ... blogs that are too damn serious. 

God bless America, and God bless you—whether you sit, stand, kneel, pray, don’t pray, eat meat, don’t eat meat, love football, hate football, post political rants or post nothing but sunshine, rainbows, unicorn sightings, and never-ending pictures of your beautiful, smiling offspring. 



   

Thursday, June 8, 2017

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: I PAY LITTLE ATTENTION TO WORDS


Despite the constant negative press covfefe

Told ya I had the best words. 

#

TRUMP WORDS 

1. Winning. A lottery ticket. A marathon. A mammoth pink teddy bear at the county fair. The admiration of your peers. Your battle against cancer. 

2. Stupid. Worse than muttering most obscenities. Fraternities. Status updates about the weather or what you had for breakfast. Jogging in place. Gluten-free pancakes. Describing historically black colleges and universities as schools of choice. Judging fraternities and status updates about the weather or what you had for breakfast.  

3. Zero. Nothing springs to mind. The purpose of meditation? 

4. Huge. America’s deficit. The number of casualties in the Syrian Civil War. The entire cheesecake you ate all by yourself. Disappointments, discrepancies, discounts. Japanese spider crabs. A ball of twine somewhere in Kansas. That pink teddy bear won at the county fair. 

5. They. Don’t make ‘em like they used to. 

6. Amazing. U.S. life expectancy falling for the first time in decades. Sunrises or sunsets over open water. The effect of gerrymandering. Grace. Witnessing birth. The smell of bacon frying, even if you’re against eating meat. Fireflies at the approach of a Midwest summer night, seen through a young child's eyes.     

7. Weak. Excuses. Core strength after forty. The economy. Balloons when unexpectedly released into a web of tree limbs. Comfort zones. Closed-mindedness. The tail streamers of a luna moth. Narcissus. Trusting any ice with a depth of less than four inches. 

8. Politically Correct. Ninety-nine percent of knock-knock jokes. A bride wearing white. Snowflake liberals. Always putting the toilet seat down. An insult. Writing happy holidays or seasons greeting’s!! Napkins in laps. Never calling a crayon flesh-colored. Sipping from the side of the spoon. “God Bless You” following a sneeze. Not pussy grabbing. Times New Roman. Hats off during “The Star Spangled Banner.” Freedom Fries. A widower wearing black. A compliment. 

9. Dangerous. Tweeting after midnight. Smoldering firecrackers in mouth. Propaganda. Hippos, despite their adorableness as calfs. Juggling. Fidget spinners. Juggling fidget spinners.  

10. We. Are the champions, my friends. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: I ONLY RUN FOR THE MEDALS

Even the word calisthenics, which I can’t really pronounce, sounds STUPID. Leotards and spandex are for homosexuals, which TRULY, I have nothing against, but you’ve got to admit, both are kinda, you know, feminine. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice on the ladies. Except for Arianna Huffington, who is EXTREMELY unattractive (both inside and out). Her husband probably left her because he saw her HUGE FAT thighs flapping and jiggly along on the treadmill, as if any amount of power walking to that FAILING OBAMA-LOVING Snoop Dogg could save her marriage.  

I mean, you can’t unsee that. 

And don’t get me started on the vegans again. 

What is their problem anyway? 

That kind of diet is a TOTAL threat to the American way of life. We’re a Christian nation, a pro-life nation, and above all, we stand for meat and potatoes. We were born to go forth and multiply and eat meat. Vegans should be jailed and force-fed my company steaks. With ketchup. Loads and loads of ketchup. Really, why can’t they lighten up and eat a Big Mac, preferably on a sliver platter. They’d be so much happier. Healthier, too. I promise, I eat them for breakfast every day, they are ABSOLUTELY delicious and they won’t kill you, no matter what CRAZY BERNIE or CROOKED HILLARY’S husband say. 

Put Big Macs in your kale smoothies and shut up already! 

So ... get this ... standard guidelines say the average person needs at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. What a bunch of BALONEY. I should sign an executive order banning exercise. After all, there is nothing more heart-pumping than signing my name, a signature that epitomizes ambition, dynamism, bravery and fearlessness! In my first 100 days, I signed those PERFECT 11 letters so many times. Probably like MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of times. More than any chief executive since World War II anyway. 

I have such UNBELIEVABLE penmanship, too. I have the BEST penmanship of any President in the history of Presidents. Go ahead, try it out for yourself. Write my name. Only then will you feel the burn of a REAL MAN’S workout. 

Any other form of exercise besides sex with a beautiful woman is for the WEAK. I tell you, my goal is to sweat as little as possible. I have my SUPERIOR genetics to keep me going strong. Daddy lived to the ripe age of 93, and he ate KFC like the Civil War Hero Colonel Sanders himself.   

Well, I’ve got a tee time at 9:30 sharp, but before I go, a few words of advice for you PATHETIC runners out there. You people, like that DISLOYAL Comey who probably jogs and does yoga, are FIRED! You are fired for being, BELIEVE ME, the MOST ANNOYING bunch I’ve ever met. Stop talking about running, stop posting about running, stop putting those LOSER stickers on your car about running, stop discussing your TREMENDOUS pre-race craps. Because, and I speak for all the INCREDIBLE men and women of this nation, nobody cares. 

Do us all a favor, OK? Go hide in somebody’s HUGE bush until I MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. 

#

I have run alone. I have run alongside friends, acquaintances and strangers. I have run dragged by my sweet, run-loyal dog. I have run in the rain, in the wind, in the snow, in the humidity, in the spit. I have run on a treadmill. I have run on the road and the dirt and the grass and the sand. I have run beneath the bluest canopy of promise. I have run under the grayest roof of despair. 

I have run with a cheese curd dangling from my neck ... for one mile at the second-to-last half marathon I completed in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

I have run 10 half marathons (plus several 5 and 10Ks). I talk about running. I post about running. I have stickers on my car about running. I have discussed pre- and post-race shits, probably at length. If you find this annoying, I won’t apologize for it, but please do feel free to hide me (on Facebook, not in anyone’s bush). No worries. I will still consider you a friend, as long as you don’t step on my purple toe. Seriously, don’t even stand adjacent to it. 

Purple toes are sometimes a casualty of running. (No spa pedicure needed!) See, there I go talking about running again. 


Why do I do this? A guy held out a microphone at my last race, hoping I’d answer this question. I backed away, partially because my running buddies and I were “running” late for a group photo op, and partially because I “run” from pretty much anything that might draw necessary or unnecessary attention to me, myself and I. 

Later I joked about what I should’ve given as my answer: the very same question. Why do I do this? I actually think about that a lot, and surprise, surprise, here’s a random list of some of my top reasons: 

  • I run because I can. It’s that simple. Not everyone has the physical or mental ability to run. I’m blessed to be able to do so. 
  • I run for myself and for my family. My dad passed away unexpectedly at 62 from heart disease. Sure, you can’t outrun your own mortality, but my life is pretty damn good, so I’m going to give it my best shot. (The New York Times reported this past April that running “may be the single most effective exercise to increase life expectancy ... The new study found that, compared to non-runners, runners tended to live about three additional years, even if they run slowly or sporadically and smoke, drink or are overweight.”)
  • I run because it changes my outlook for the day or the evening. Like magic, running  somehow pushes me to be a better mother, wife, worker, human being. It doesn’t help my laundry smell sweeter or my biscuits rise higher, but that’s okay.
  • I run to get outside of myself. Yes, running clears my head, but it transcends that for me. Running lovingly shoves me outside of my comfort zone. I never imagined myself exercising in various shades and textures of neon spandex with a bunch of people I just met, and now I do it willingly and regularly. It may seem small or silly, but it’s a big fucking deal to me. I spend a lot of time in my house behind a computer screen -- and don’t get me wrong, thank God for that -- so running forces me to do the opposite. 
  • I run to enhance and build friendships. You’d be surprised what comes up in conversation when your feet are pounding the pavement -- Donald Trump’s reign of terror ... your kid’s recent obsession with repeating the word vagina ... the dos and don'ts and whys and hows of eating oatmeal. The discussions truly run the gamut. (Run the gamut. Get it?) Suffice it to say, you learn interesting stuff about people, even when nobody’s saying a word. 
  • I run for beer and food. I’m a strong advocate of both. Together or separate. Whatever. The point is, you should eat, drink and be merry. 
  • I run because it’s beautiful here in Michigan (yes, in winter, too; yes, even when I’m whining about the weather or temperature or both). Not so long ago, I would’ve avoided running outside at all costs. Looks like rain. Does that dude have binoculars and a machete? Do I have to carry my phone in a fanny pack? Now the treadmill has become the dreadmill. 
  • I run because I need an excuse to wear my race shirt wisely proclaiming: “If this race were easy, it would be called your mom.” 
  • I run because of the medals. Yeah, they’re pretty nice, too. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: I’M TOTALLY DOWN WITH SELFIES (OF MYSELFIE)

I may not take them myself I have my sweet, sweet Kellyanne to capture my good side but I can tell you, I know plenty about selfies. In the history of Presidents of the United States, there has NEVER been any other President who knows more about taking pictures of yourself with your phone at arm’s length to make yourself appear fitter, smarter, cooler and generally way more attractive than you ever thought humanly possible. 

My wife is a pro, but in her case, the pics don’t lie. Folks, they don’t lie. On a scale of 1 to 10, Melania is at least a 13 and a half. I don’t get to see her very much these days, but, my God, is she beautiful or what? TOTAL babe. Hottchachachacha. Like my daughter, she’s a real piece of ass. 

What?! The POTUS shouldn’t say that about his own daughter? That’s what the bleeding heart liberal fake news would have you believe. To the ultraliberals, the peddlers of so-called truth, the climate change whiners, the illegals, the radical Islamic terrorists, the CHYNESE, the PATHETIC Rosie O’Donnell-loving women who eat Ben and Jerry’s straight from the pint, the haters of my MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hats, the sudden Arnold Schwarzenegger bandwagoners, I say, YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF WEAK POLITICALLY CORRECT MORON LIGHTWEIGHT LOSERS. 

And guess what? I won! I promised you more winning and that promised winning started with the best, most FINE-TUNED President ever, ME! I can say and do whatever I want now! #EVENMOREWINNING!!

Okay, okay, I realize I’ve strayed from the point, just like I’ve strayed from STUPID and BORING conventional wisdoms like common decency, fidelity and honesty. 

Anyway, I can certainly understand why so many of you would want a selfie with me, the ULTIMATE deal maker, the KING of screwing people back in spades, the founding member of the LUCKY sperm club. So no matter how UGLY or FAT or DISGUSTING you are, I suppose I’ll humor you. 

But for the sake of the country, please stand behind me. 

#

There is this picture of my nieces and my daughter taken on one of those glorious spring days we Michiganders crave at about the beginning of every January. It was snapped on their Nana’s (aka my mother-in-law) lawn just this past Easter. 

The shot is quite possibly the cutest selfie ever taken in the history of selfies. Seriously, I say that with sincerity. It’s lovely, and I love its pure and simple loveliness.  

That said, I’ll go ahead and own it: I think selfies are kind of dumb. They’re awkward at the very least. With respect to many of them I’ve taken (or attempted taking), I’ve often found the experience both silly and a touch unsettling. I wonder, do other Gen Xers feel this way? What about Boomers? 

I admit, part of my uneasiness stems from my own insecurities. I’ve never gone gaga over photos of myself. (When did I get so wrinkled? Or rear a third chin? Or style my hair like Eddie Vedder? Or, egads, grow the faint shadow of a porn ‘stache? How come my teeth look like I smoke a pack a day? Why is my butt so big? I can’t even see it from this angle, but I bet it looks YUGE.) 

Then there’s the psychology of it. 

Why do I need so many pictures of myself anyway? I don’t recall cramming various snapshots of me, myself and I in the back pocket of my pinstriped Jordache jeans in high school. So why must I archive album upon album of selfies now? Why must I relentlessly post these selfies on INSERT SOCIAL MEDIA SITE DU JOUR?

Look, if you’re a big fan of selfies, don’t take this the wrong way. I’m throwing no stones. (Unless you’re last name begins with Kar and ends with dasian. Five-hundred and seven pictures of your perfectly fantastic ass. Probably sufficient.) I do not abstain from taking them either, so please keep calm and selfie on. Consider this suggestion a moral obligation.  

Like I’ve already said, I’ve seen selfies I myselfie can get behind. Personal favorite: bare-chested dude riding atop unicorn outside the Colosseum. Okay, that one doesn’t exist (at least in my feed), but it sounds awesome, doesn’t it? In general, I’m a sucker for selfies doing or visiting cool stuff/places, and ones with or of animals and kids. Because if you don’t like animals and/or kids, you’re a green, six-eyed, four-armed monster who takes too many solo selfies of yourself eating microwave taquitos on a random Thursday or organizing your sock drawer on a Friday night, or pumping iron at any time on any day of the goddamn week. (Yes, you’re totally buff. Trust me, I don’t need a shred of photographic evidence to back up that statement.) 

Of course, I’m kidding (mostly). While I do think narcissism (everybody is a little narcissistic) and validation (everybody needs a stamp of approval or five) do play a role in the rise of self-portrait snapping, I don’t believe all selfie posters are narcissistic, soul-sucking assholes. Nobody’s tying us to a chair and forcing us to ogle all these selfies either (although that could be an interesting experiment/form of torture).  

Posting selfies is a form of creative expression and identity testing, and can have other benefits, too. Like hundreds upon thousands of likes. (Again, sort of kidding.) 

Selfies let you peek into other people’s lives without having to be that creep in camo doused in antelope pee crouched behind the bushes. They’ve been used to enact social good, too. Example: The Ice Bucket Challenge. (And to all the haters of aforementioned challenge, that ice-over-the-head business jacking up your feed did raise awareness of Lou Gehrig’s disease and boost its research funding.)

Still, while the numbers remain considerably lower than other life-ending culprits, selfies reportedly now cause more fatalities worldwide than shark attacks. The 3 leading causes of accidental deaths are shooting selfies from great heights (“Look, Ma, no hands!”), from in or near water (“But I’ve always been such a strong swimmer!”), and on train tracks.

Before I wrap this up, here’s a shameless plug: “What My Mother Fell For,” my story inspired by the strange trend of death by selfie. 

Perhaps I’m an introvert who’s simply more drawn to fueling her imagination or channeling her bliss or nurturing her fragile ego with words instead of pictures. After all, “I know words. I have the best words.” And for the sake of this GREAT nation of ours, I beg you to read and keep reading mine. I vow to always let you stand beside me. 

But please, whatever you do, don’t forget the selfie-stick.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: MY MULTITASKING SKILLS ARE SECOND TO NONE

Dear Trumpeters, Trumpallegiance, Trumpalettes, NOT TOTAL LOSERS: 

It has been 1 million years (give or take) since my last confession. I’d say mea culpa, but as my most loyal followers, you should know by now I don’t apologize for anything, not even leaving up my gilded toilet seat in the oval office. 

Where have I been? Well, let me tell you, I’ve been pretty busy between the trips to Mar-a-Lago, Legoland and Russia. Then there’s staying updated with Breitbart and Twitter. Finally, there’s that UNBELIEVABLE Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Guilty pleasure! (I get lost in my reflection and just can’t tear myself away.)

The good news is, The Donald is back, and no matter how bad he spells or what he says, it seems to stick to Crooked Hillary or Wiretapping Obama or No Comment Comey. I could go on here, but I’m not one for distraction or pointing fingers. 

God Bless [Making] America [Great Again], eh?! I’m doing so well, aren’t I? I mean, this has been the BEST start to a presidency in history. I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done. All thanks to the BIGGEST Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan. 

And the crowds at my rallies! Massively HUGE! And my poll numbers! Rasmussen has me through the roof! 

Fellow supporters, our future looks FANTASTIC. Meals on Wheels, overrated. EPA, conspiracy by Chinese. Obamacare, almost replaced by Trumpcare (has better ring to it). PBS, pretty sure Elmo is gay anyway. Border wall, 30-feet high, difficult to climb, not easy to cut through, will look good from north side. Melania and Baron, only $136,000 a day to stay safe and sound in Trump Tower (TOTAL STEAL). 

I could go on, but I’m not one for boasting or prattling. 

Suffice it to say, despite inheriting such an EXTRAORDINARY MESS and having an ABSOLUTE TON on my plate, the ship is running like my well-oiled Lamborghini Diablo.  


I don’t have a problem saying I’m sorry. In fact, I’m a woman, so I probably utter the phrase too often. Before you groan, shake an angry fist in the air or quietly judge me for making such a blatant gender stereotype, let me say it again, I’m sorry. 

The reason I’m apologizing? For the massively HUGE amount of time it’s been since I’ve posted. Don’t you dare quote me fake media, but I believe this is only “Alternative Fact #5.” Shameful. I should have easily reached 10 by now. I’m not sure you or I could stomach many more Donald riffs past 10. Perhaps a baker’s dozen? We shall have to see. After all, the shit almost writes itself.  

While I’d love to devote some legit time to the pressing subject of “What Exactly in The Sam Fuck Hell is Going on With No. 45?,” I’ll stick with the topic of multitasking. Specifically, my failure at it as of late. 


It seems I’m distracted by everything, and these distractions lead me to panic, and the panic leads me to accomplishing little of what I truly value, and the lack of accomplishments leads me to beer, pizza and the Real Housewives of Somewhere Plastic Yet Chic. Something along those lines anyway. 

I swear I eat a wholesome, balanced breakfast every day (only Lucky Charms three times per week), I exercise regularly (yes, I am one of those slow, middle-aged runners who refuses to give up spandex), I sleep well (except when I can’t get Steely Dan out of my head), I meditate (this is a bald-faced lie, but my stress level is generally in check), etc., etc., so what gives?  

I’m not sure I have an answer other than to say my mind’s buzzing more than usual these days:

  • President Trump, encompassing his Tweets, his constant lies and moral bankruptcy, his terrible policies, and his corrupt gang of stinkin' cronies 
  • My 5-year-old’s two teeth that might have to be pulled (not with string, a doorknob and an unexpected slammed door, but by the Big Bad Dentist) 
  • The $1,100 we owe the IRS, plus my quarterly tax payment 
  • Losing and moving on from a client after a 20-year relationship  
  • The pros of mufuletta spread 
  • Affording and possibly owning a pop-up camper 
  • Spring Break childcare: looking forward to my exotic vacation working at home! 
  • Entering an audio (writing) contest, why it isn’t as simple to figure out the damn recording app as I assumed it would be, and accepting the sound of my own voice
  • What I should make for dinner
  • Running three half marathons in May: dream or nightmare? 
  • My husband’s renewed commitment to healthy eating and why I should probably cut back on the nachos, too
  • How a good live music show makes me feel for days  
  • The cons of roller skating as an adult
  • Laundry
  • Balancing paid freelance work with fiction writing with housework with parenting with reading with March Madness with core-strength exercises I should probably do while watching March Madness 
  • Introducing my child to some form of organized religion 
  • Scheduling playdates 
  • Email subject lines reading “I’m begging” 
  • My dog’s urinary incontinence: real or imagined?

Pardon the sad-sack cliche, but this is merely the tip of the iceberg. The good new is, it’s a list! And there’s something about lists: a.) I love making them, b.) I love checking things off and c.) what does this say about me? 

Getting back to gender stereotyping (remember, NOT the topic of this post), is this kind of ruminating a female thing? To be fair, I don’t think I’d classify myself as ADD or ADHD or ACDC, and I can focus and do accomplish a lot of stuff most days, but something seems to be amok or askew or maybe plain absent from my life. 

And maybe what’s missing is the satisfaction I get from writing these silly posts, even if nobody but me cares to ever read them. 

Happy days are here again, folks. The laundry can pile up. The dinner can burn. The client work will still get done (and done well I might add). 

I’m baaaack.