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. 

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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 multiple 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. 

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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. 

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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. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: I LOATHE SENTIMENTALITY

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY from the GREATEST POTUS to ever grace what I can only hope will go down in history as the whitest of all White Houses! As I always say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with raising your hand, no matter how big or small, in salute of your ethnicity. Just remember, please do so with a closed fist. 

Extending right arm from the neck into the air with straightened hand: bad. 

Extending right or left arm from the neck into the air with fist, or lifting both arms bent at elbows, pumping hands with palms open to the sky (aka “raising the roof”) to your favorite Kanye tune: good. 

To help you avoid celebrating this HUGEST of SAPPIEST of UNFAIREST of BEST of holidays the WRONG way, I’m thrilled to share some of the things I love, so that you may love them, too. Otherwise, you’ll be deported. Because I love deporting, and you must hate America if you don’t love what I love, and most of all, that’s me. 

Goddamn do I love me some me. 

Some other things (besides me) I love:

Walls made from concrete, barbed wire or taco shells. 
A reliable, natural-looking bronzer. 
Ordering a side of extra-crispy hash browns with every Executive Order. 
Tom Brady (not in a gay way). 
P-Dog (aka Vladimir Putin), with or without shirt, but never on horseback. 
Pussy grabbing as a new contact sport, not an act of misogyny.
Red baseball caps, bills forward, low and curved. 
Steve Bannon, especially when he suggests banning something or someone. 
Rallies with HUGE crowds of millions of adoring fans waving billions of signs with pictures of me on them. 
Bald-faced lying. 
“Make America Great Again (as slogan and lifestyle)!”
Tweeting after midnight after a glass of warm milk. 
Not releasing my taxes. 
Bald eagles (as an appetizer). 
The expression “In Like Flynn.”
Trying (and failing) to correctly spell the word misogyny. 
My daughter’s floral-print shift dresses. (Buy now! Your sweetheart will love you forever!) 
Chanting the word CHYNA (helps me sleep like a baby). 
Full, pouting lips. 
My Cabinet picks (so filthy rich)! 
My kitchen cabinets (made of solid gold)! 

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Shit, I can’t seem to get through Donnie's introduction fast enough. It’s Valentine’s Day, there is nothing romantic about my desk or my office or my current state of mind, and I have to leave in 20 minutes to pick up my daughter. 

Before I must go, let me start there. Ava is, after all, a great place to start spreading the love. 
  • I love my daughter more than all the heart-shaped mylar balloons in the universe, even when I have to drag her kicking and screaming out of Target because I won’t buy her another plastic toy made in China. 
  • I love pizza and cookies. I’m convinced the smell still lingering in our house should be a fragrance, maybe something like Chanel Eau De Pizza ‘n Cookie Dough. I can picture the TV spot now ... hot dude running down a dark corridor, chasing hot woman wearing dress made of pizza. When he catches her, he discovers their mutual love of baking. (May need a little work, but I’d totally buy it and I haven’t bought perfume since around Y2K, because on the precipice of Armageddon, you should probably try your darndest to smell pretty.) 
  • I love love in all forms. 
  • I love Will Arnett (and no, I haven’t seen the Lego Batman movie yet). Dude always makes me laugh, and laughing is unequivocally loveable. 
  • I love running outside (sort of offsets my passion for cookies and pizza). I never thought I’d utter those words, but running outside has become akin to meditation for me. With that said, I’ve never meditated. I’ve just gotten comfortable with panting, limping and stumbling along in tights in public, so I don’t think I’ll be striking sukhasanas out of doors anytime soon. 
  • I love sunsets, long walks on the beach, breathing, butterfly kisses and sarcasm. 
  • I love Jason Isbell. His music, not him. (Come on, I’m married. He’s married. I don’t even know him. Anyway, I’m sure he’s perfectly nice.) 
  • I love surrendering myself to sentimentality. It’s okay to embrace your sappy every now and then. Go ahead, cry during that Michael Bolton concert or insurance commercial (as long as it isn’t the one with the guy in khakis).   
  • I love trying (and failing) to write the perfect sentence; gin; college sports; the way my 55-pound dog struggles to curl up on my lap; Lake Michigan; my husband’s mad problem-solving skills, his sense of humor, and yes, even his inability to close anything he’s opened (e.g., drawers, cupboards, ketchup containers); short-story collections; new friends, old friends and friends I’ve yet to meet; eating cheeseburgers at the bar of Boone’s Prime Time Pub in Suttons Bay; my awkwardness in social situations; coffee; hiking; working out of my house; inspirational quotes, especially with pictures of puppies or kittens; sweatpants (aka what the kid’s call yoga pants); salads (pairs well with pizza); good IPAs; blogging; living in close proximity to most of my family; the color green, in just about any shade; and each day I’m blessed with having (despite not always expressing my gratitude). 
  • I love John Hughes movies. I can’t recite a single sonnet, but I used to be able to recount Breakfast Club, almost word for word, from beginning to end. 
  • I love long hair on men. (I am, however, much less enthusiastic about man buns. Men's buns are okay.) 
  • I love parenthetical statements. (If you haven’t figured this out by now, you must be asleep at the wheel. Like stop eyeballing your phone or filing your toenails or dry walling. Whatever. I’m out.) 
All my love to you and yours,
Amie

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: I’M NOT A FAN OF DAYTIME TV

If I must confess, I’m the one who stole Brady’s jersey, but can you blame me? I mean, he is THE SINGLE GREATEST QUARTERBACK of all time. He’s also so good looking. Like on a scale of 1 to 10, he’s a solid 6.25. 

Oh, he won’t mind anyhow, not after he sees BEAUTIFUL NUMBER 12 framed and hung at my world-class Mar-a-Lago, right next to the portrait of yours truly fist-bumping THE WORLD’S SECOND GREATEST LEADER: my bro, Vlad. (I like to call him P-Dog, but that stays between us.)

For the record, and I’m talking to you PuffPost, I refuse to apologize for bailing at halftime. Despite widespread voter fraud, and that nasty woman’s lifelong experience and persistent love of spouting truth, I grabbed my way to sweet victory, and I knew THE SINGLE GREATEST FOOTBALL FRANCHISE in history would also rise to the occasion. 

Can you honestly criticize me after that DREADFUL half-time show? First off, Lady Gaggag doesn’t even sing our national anthem!?! TOTAL DISGRACE! And what was with the weird, high-waisted getups, and all that male gyrating? Like raising children, hip-shaking should be left to the ladies. 

Plus, we were almost out of chicken wings and Bud Light. Oh, excuse me, hold on a sec. I’m getting a text here from my main man, Spicer. (I like to call him Press Spice, but that stays between us.) Oh, for Christ sake, Busch, PLAYING POLITICS TO MAKE A BUCK! Promoting your German heritage. SHAMEFUL! This is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICANS, and if you speak Spanish, auf wiedersehen. Go back to DEUTSCHLAND! Your beer is SCHEISSE and your cars are TOTAL CRAP, too! 

So ... wait, let me revise and start fresh. After all, I was given alternative facts. 

... I went on a wing and Leine run. Folks, I’ve gotta tell you, both are delicious with lemon. No joke. Don’t be afraid to try a little fruit wedge in the suds. I promise it won’t turn you liberal or gay. 

In conclusion: Boycott Budweiser (beer made by immigrants sucks). 

And while you’re at it, boycott Lady Gaga (definitely a man dressed as a woman and music sucks), Starbucks (anti-Christian coffee sucks), Macy’s (cheap linens made in CHYNA suck), Mexico (avocados healthy and suck), Oreos (cookies are black and white and suck), and trickle-down economics (gotcha)! 

Just in case you forget who to and not to boycott, here is a handy cheat sheet:

Budweiser: [NEIN]
Lady Gaga: [LIKE NOOOO FRIGGIN’ WAY]
Starbucks: [SATAN SAYS YES]
Macy’s: [ONLY LOSERS SHOP IN DEPARTMENT STORES]
Mexico: [NUNCA]
Oreos: [PREFERRED SNACK OF TERRORISTS]
Trickle-Down Economics: [YES! IT’S RAINING GREENBACKS!]
Make America Great Again (as slogan and lifestyle): [#WINNING!]

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My sincerest apologies for that rather HUGE introduction. I must have been inspired by that historic Super Bowl performance, and what I mean by historic performance is Lady Gaga’s half-time show. Pitch goddamn perfect, if you ask me. (I heard there was some decent football played around it, too.) 

Or perhaps it was the anticipation of a brand new week of sneaking in a little Daytime TV?


Not that I would know how many times Jack Abbott has been married or Victor Newman has died. Soap operas are totally lame, right? Like the worst thing in the world to ever own tuning into, save for maybe Joanie Loves Chachi. (Might, however, explain what the Sam Fuck happened to Scott Baio.)

It’s quite possible my IQ has suffered from the decades I’ve watched The Young & The Restless, but I only harbor a dash of shame and a sprinkle of regret. Laying myself bare here, I’ve even shed actual tears watching this shitshow, and by shitshow, I mean highbrow, highly controversial, fake-ass drama. 

And yes, I admitted decades. 

Writing this, I realize I’ve watched Y & R on and off since late middle/early high school. Forty-four minus 14 equals 30-ish, give or take. Forgive me again, for I was never all that astute at math. (Probably because I know how many times Jack Abbott has been married and Victor Newman has died.) 

I started watching soaps with my brother after school, kept on eye on them throughout my college years with friends I’m blessed to keep in touch with to this day, and continued to tune in whenever I could following joining the post-graduate workforce. When I began working out of my house as freelancer, my regular viewing began in earnest. That said, I only sometimes do so in sweatpants and never whilst ironing my husband’s shirts. 

Now don’t let me mislead you. I promise my obsession is somewhat under control. I do not DVR Y & R. Life does (and probably should) sometimes block the screen. Episodes will sail by without my loyal viewership, and that, my friends, is the pure magic of it. You can skip days, weeks or months of the show, circle back, and easily grasp the gist of the what’s what and who’s who. The plot lines move at the speed of tortoise mollusks, and the actors ply themselves with so much Botox and collagen, they never age.  

Speaking of the actors, I can’t help but admire them. If I wasn’t a writer, terrified of public displays of any kind and a connoisseur of eating and drinking basically everything, that would be my goal job. The shit you get to say, wear and do, well, all of that is pretty fantastic, and I’m betting the pay isn’t half bad either. (Some of the actors aren’t half bad at acting either. Yeah, I said it.)

Why am I a fan of Y & R anyway? 

It would be a copout to say it’s just mind candy or my guilty pleasure, because I think it goes beyond that. Over the years I’ve become downright nostalgic about the show. When I watch Victor spar with Jack or Sharon steal somebody else’s baby or Ashley confess her love to her daughter’s fiancee or Adam resurrected from the dead as a different dude named Gabriel (but he had reconstructive surgery and he’s really the real Adam), I’m that much closer to my brother, my college roommates, and perhaps most of all, my grandmother who left this earth going on 9 years ago. 

At least once I week I used to bring my grandma lunch, and we’d watch and dish on the show together. I miss her strength, her sharp tongue, her legendary potato salad, and yes, I miss that indulgent and frivolous ritual she and I shared. 

In my heart I feel she’s still watching with me. 


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: I CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE ANOTHER CHILD!

Despite my estimates of 1 million or 250,000 (give or take a few), I see only 4 of you are currently following me, and I’m pretty certain all 4 of you followed me from a while back, like sometime during the Watergate Hearings. (I maintain I knew nothing, btw. TOTAL NONSENSE. All of it just locker-room talk.)

Four followers?!!

How SAD! How PATHETIC! Save for The Good Book, does anybody read anything anymore anyway? Second to maybe writing, reading has got to be the ABSOLUTE HUGEST WASTE OF TIME. 

Then there are The Writers. TOTAL LOSERS. They wear hipster glasses! They do hot yoga! They read BuzzFeed! They spend what little money they make—and folks, let me tell you it’s peanuts—on terrible liberal coffee drinks from Starbucks! They talk about semi-colon abuse and experimental expressivism (whatever that means)! 

Yet 4 of you are still here. Remind me to repay you for your loyalty. I promise to put you up in one of my hotel janitor closets very, very soon. Complimentary tap water sourced all the way from Flint, Michigan. All-you-can-eat, day-old taco salad bowls. Really, please enjoy as many taco bowls as you can grab. Nobody’s judging here. 

You’re welcome. 

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Last night I watched my daughter gallop-skip-run with glee across the indoor soccer field alongside the only other girl in her class. If only my daughter could superglue herself to the hip of this other little girl. 

While shy at first, Ava often unfurls into a social butterfly. I admire her enthusiasm for socializing, as it takes me much longer to warm to people. 

The young woman standing next to me is the mother of Ava’s newfound bestie. It’s the fourth or fifth session of this particular soccer class and we’ve finally gotten around to chatting in earnest. As it turns out, her daughter and Ava have met before (a happy circumstance of living in a small town) at my niece’s high-school graduation party a couple of years back.  

This woman tells me she had her daughter at 18, so it’s more than possible this woman could be my own daughter. Our age gap is that significant, and we both have 5-year-olds. Like my daughter, she seems at ease with making a new friend, or at least making an acquaintance of another soccer mom in waiting. I envy her for her ease with people, too. 

Have I mentioned this woman is pretty? I know that sounds vague and superficial, and what she looks like shouldn’t matter, so I’ll skip all the Harlequin-izing of her smile, her skin and her hair, but I admit it: her appearance helped me open up with much less stress and effort. 

In the course of our conversation she told me she could be very impatient; she loved and played soccer in high school and hoped her daughter would one day do the same; she recently opened a salon; her partner wasn’t her daughter’s father, but had basically raised her; she’d been adopted herself; she had three sisters and one brother; and she didn't think she ever wanted another child. 

Ever, I thought, resisting the urge to blurt, “But you’re only 23 (maybe 24 at most)! You might change your mind.” 

And she might. Or she might not, and for that, I liked her even more. 

Twenty-four is 20 (light) years from 44, and yet, we two mothers of 5-year-olds had something in common. I do not ever wish to have another child, from my uterus (mostly cloudy) or via adoption (mostly sunny, as the need is perpetually great). 

One thing I’ve learned about motherhood: sometimes you have to slam the door on what other people think, family, friends and strangers alike. A mom will be judged whether she has one child or octuplets, whether she’s Kate Plus Eight or One and Done. 

So who gives a— [about the Oxford Comma, which I’ll never need to describe my brood, because I only have one kid anyway]?

Would you want another after this one?
Although I already knew it, my lovely confidant from last night reaffirmed my decision was perfectly fine. In fact, it’s perfectly great. No more diapers. No more mind-numbing sleep deprivation. No more pureed food facials. No more feeding schedules. No more mysterious shirt stains dubbed postmodern broaches. No more backseat surprises of old sippy cups turned award-winning science projects. 

No more worries. (Just kidding.)

Look, babies are amazing, and to all you moms and dads out there who have or aspire to have more than one, you’re also amazing. (And if you’re somebody who chooses to forgo having kids at all, I’m totally cool with you, too. You, my friends, are amazing. Don’t let anybody convince you otherwise.) 

At 39, I was blessed with the single most amazing kid I believe I was meant to ever have. From the bottom of my heart, I want for nothing more.