Monday, December 31, 2012

I Miss Dick Clark and I Need to Figure Out My Ryan Seacrest Problem

I know, I'm posting two days in a row, but do not get your collective apocalyptic panties in a bunch, I swear to you the world is NOT ending.

I just need to work out this problem and I need your help. This is a two-fold problem. So put on your thinking caps.

The back story is I have been a fan of ringing in the New Year with Dick Clark for as long as I can remember. I don't really recall when I started staying up until midnight on December 31st, but I know when I was like 17 or 18 or something I was, and I remember one time when I was like 19 and I was SO SICK and I watched Dick Clark's New Year's Rocking Eve at my boyfriend's house who stayed with me even though we were invited to a party, which was really sweet because he could have told me to go f$%k myself and be sick at home so he could go to the party.

Anyway, when I say I watched the show, I don't mean like, the whole show. Because I would hardly ever watch anything other than the last 10 or 15 minutes before midnight, when stuff started getting exciting. That's the part I'm talking about. If I was at home, or if I was at a party at my house or someone else's house I would be like okay, it's time to put the TV on to channel 7 so we can do our countdown with Dick Clark, and no, it did not matter that he had really done this countdown 3 hours prior. Not one bit.

The man, new year's-ararily
photo credit

There were several years after I had my kid where I did not care one bit about being awake for the start of the new year. You parents know how it is, when you have a kid you sleep when you are able and you don't mind saying "happy new year" at like, 9 pm and pretending it's cool to celebrate on east coast time.

So then Dick Clark had a stroke, which was very sad, so they brought in Ryan Seacrest to be the host and pretty much just propped Dick up in the studio as decoration which again was super sad, but at least he was there. And now, obviously, since he died, there will be no Dick this year.

Just. Ryan. Seacrest.

I don't like him. Usually when I don't like people, be they a celebrity or a real person, I usually feel pretty justified in my dislike. But I find myself questioning my intense dislike of Ryan Seacrest.

I watched like, one part of one season of American Idol, and not really even on purpose, it was just when I used to get off at 9 and I would go pick up my baby from my mom's house she would have it on and one thing lead to another and I actually just paid attention a little bit that season. And I'm pretty sure it was then that I decided he was a weasel and I couldn't stand him but I'm really not sure why.

I have wondered if it's because he's kind of a little guy but damn, I married and made a baby with a little guy once so I don't think that's it.

I'm talking to my brother last night about new year's and I was like I hate that damn Ryan Seacrest and he was like well, I don't really like him but I admire his hustle, which makes sense, since my brother is a successful businessman, that he would appreciate the fact that Ryan Seacrest is EVERYWHERE and has made like eighty gajillion dollars because he is EVERYWHERE. Then I said to my brother, the thing is, of ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the people in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, why does it have to be Ryan Seacrest who takes over the show? Why do I have to choose to go to some other channel or ring in the new year with this guy? I said there are like tons of people who would be a better choice. And he's like, who? And I'm like ummmmmmmmm... I'll get back to you on that.

Okay, so this is where you people come in and I'm sorry that as usual I had to ramble for 8 billion years to get to the point. I want to know who would be better than Ryan Seacrest to host Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (or anything else that Seacrest does) and also, help me understand if thinking he is a weasel is justified.

I want to be justified in my dislike of this guy. That may not happen. But it might, with your help.

But seriously, does this face not look hella punchable?
photo credit

I will throw out a few names of people with whom I would like to ring in the new year on my TV who are NOT Ryan Seacrest (so obviously they need to be famous but not famous ENOUGH that they would be like are you crazy, why would I host that show when I am over here being a famous movie star).

Guys who host late night shows would be good, because hey're used to staying up late, right?
Jimmy Fallon
Conan O'Brien
Craig Ferguson
I love David Letterman but I don't see it and I don't like Jay Leno, so no thanks.

Wayne Brady
Neil Patrick Harris
Aisha Tyler
Ellen DeGeneres

Okay, seriously, I could go on and on. But I think I would like to start a campaign to make the new host of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve be Tom Bergeron.

I know this will never happen because Ryan is all in with the production company, he might have sold his soul to the Devil and this is all part of the deal, and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Sigh. So what will I watch tonight if I happen to be up at midnight? I'm not even sure yet. What are you guys doing? Do you like to stay home? Go out and get your party on? I love the idea of parties but I hate the idea of driving anywhere plus I have my kid so staying home and chilling is my plan.

Whatever you do, have fun and be safe, yo.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Some Stuff I'm Fixin' to Try to Do in 2013: The For Realz This Time Edition

I'm not going to call anything I plan to do a New Year's resolution because then I'll biff it for sure. I just refuse to say that I RESOLVE to do x, y, and z, because I'll be setting myself up to fail a little bit, at least.

So I'm going to TRY to do this stuff. Because maybe some of it I try to do already but I might make a renewed effort because yes, it is a brand spanking new year and that seems as good a time as any to let old acquaintance with bad habits be forgot and days of auld lang syne and all of that, my dear.

Plus I need to do a post because I haven't since like December 5th. So let's just start with...

1. Blog more. 
I need to stop being so damn lazy and just like, sit down and do it instead of hoping a muse will strike and force my fingers to the keyboard because that just about never happens.

2. Eat better.
As soon as I type something like that I want to go look at what I wrote LAST YEAR but that will make me feel like an asshole. Well, if you know me or read any of my recent posts you know it hasn't been a banner year for me. So I'm not gonna beat myself up too badly for what didn't happen in 2012. So yes, I need to eat more vegetables. Those are like, things that come out the ground, apparently, and sometimes they're green or orange or white. The green ones are the ones I especially need. Also fruit. I can goes days on end without ingesting anything that remotely resembles fruit. And then less fat. Like, I don't know, make a jar of mayonnaise last a lot longer than it has been in my fridge. Less cheese. Fewer processed things like turkey hot dogs. Dang, I really love turkey hot dogs. More stuff like chicken and veggies and junk.

If ever I read a magazine and there's a celebrity talking about how they stay in shape they are forever eating grilled chicken and veggies. Grilled chicken and veggies. And I like grilled chicken and veggies but I want it between two pieces of bread with mayonnaise and they never mention that part in the article. So I am gonna try to eat more grilled chicken and veggies, hold the bread and mayo.

Note to self: vegetables look like this

3. Keep up the exercise.
I'm sort of in a groove, especially with strength training, so I want to stay in that groove and keep up my cardio and not let myself go several days at a time without. So yes, that.

4. Watch less TV.
No, I'm kidding. I probably won't watch less TV because I love it.

5. Get my kid to eat more veggies. I mean, get my kid to eat veggies.
So this will go with number 2. Like, seriously. I have done a horrible job as a mom on this front. I don't even want to get into it because it'll get me all bummed and I'll never get this post finished. So just trust me on this one, I'm gonna try to be all like "normal mom" where we "fix dinner" and "sit down at the table" and "eat together." Like that. Because it's not really like that now for a variety of reasons so this one is HUGE. I'm all over it. For realz. I have told all of you this so now I must stick to this one. I love my kid more than anything in the whole world and I need to nourish her properly. Word.

6. Not be a stupid dummy when it comes to money.
I used to work at a newspaper in the circulation department back in the day, and I will never forget when this one lady called her paper carrier a "stupid dummy." And she did this in the office in person and I have no clue how I managed to keep a straight face because it was one of the best things I ever heard and I am forever in her debt since I love to use that phrase, and that was like 20 years ago.

Anyway, when it comes to money I am a stupid, stupid, stupid, dummy. This is another one where if I go into it I'm gonna put my head down on the desk and cry and then where will that get me? Exactly nowhere. I am 42 years old. But I have the money management skills of a young 10 year old who blows all their lawn mowing money on candy and Slurpees. When I had a paper route back in the day my money literally went to playing Pole Position and eating candy at 7-11. I shit you not. So I'm still like that. Except I'm a grown-up and a single mom who thankfully has a mother who has bailed me out of trouble like one too many times. As I've told her, I will need no inheritance should she ever leave this earth since I am getting it as I go.

Long story long, if I don't fix this one I am an asshole. Period, the end.

7. Drink less beer.
See what I said about TV.


I don't know, we'll see. As it is maybe a couple of times each week I want one AFTER my workout because a) it's delicious and b) there was that Spanish study or something about beer being good for hydration after exercise but c) mostly it's delicious. So we'll see about that one. I'm on the fence. And then there are the MANY I might have when I'm with my girlfriends and... oh man. This non-resolution is making me sad. NEXT.

Me, not drinking less beer

8. Be nicer. And more patient.
If I can pull of this one it will be a miracle.

Look, I'm not a terrible person. Some people think I'm a pretty good one. So I mean I need to be nicer to people who don't necessarily deserve me to be nice to them. Because that will make ME feel better. Like way better. Because it takes so much more energy to be NOT nice than to be nice. Like seriously. So I will work on this one.

My girlfriend made that for me, isn't it cool?

9. Worry less about stuff I can't change or that hasn't happened yet.
If anyone has advice on how to actually do this one I am all ears. But I'll throw it on the list for grins.

10. Do more stuff around my house, like deal with boxes that have been in my garage for 3.5 years.
Maybe if I start watching Hoarders I will get this situation tackled. My house is only just ever "sorta" clean. I have too much stuff. Way too much stuff. The only way to deal with that is to sort the stuff and get rid of some of the stuff. Wish me luck.

If you guys don't have any resolutions or things you want to work on, that's awesome, because that means you're rockin' it like you want to already. If you are able, be nicer and laugh more. Because we can never get enough of that sort of thing.

But if you DO have some ideas about what's gonna happen in 2013 for YOU, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Few Times When I Like, Totally Made The Right Decision

So, as has happened before, several times, actually, my buddy Tams over at Teacher Goes Back to School has yet again inspired me to write some stuff down. She was inspired by Amy  (and I dig her blog), and also by Holly, and I'm new to Holly and super thankful she inspired Tams. So Tams could inspire me. See, it's a big ol' circle of inspiration and perhaps I will inspire some of you. It's CRAZY how that stuff works.

What we're talking about here are the best decisions we've made as grown-ups. First of all, I'm not really a fan of making decisions and never have been, I don't think. I think it's sort of weird to be a control freak (which I am) but also someone who doesn't enjoy making decisions (and I'm also that). So it's kind of a miracle I ever made any decisions, like, ever, frankly. Plus I really needed to write something since I've been so flipping lazy so sure, let me kind of shout about some of the things I've managed to get right and write something down at the same time.

1. Getting knocked up.

I seriously at one time wasn't sure I wanted to have a kid. Which makes sense, there are a lot of grown-ups who feel that way. You know, you're sitting around with your man and you're all like, "This is so great. It's just me and you and we don't have any stupid diapers to change and we can come and go as we please and wow, this is just so awesome." And there is totally truth to that. But holy heck. The thing in this life of which I'm surest is that I was supposed to be Kayla's mom. On the very hardest days with her it has never occurred to be that I wish I could go back and change it. She is the light of my life, the beginning and the end, the main deal. Everything else I have is just icing on a Kayla cake, pretty much.

2. Taking that job at the movie theater.

Does this count as a grown-up decision? Crap, probably not. I was 17. But had I not taken that job and had instead taken the first job offered, the one at the cookie place I would not be here now. I was supposed to meet the folks I met at that place (mainly my ex-husband). Super important part of my journey.

3. Moving out of my folks' house when I did/living alone.

Oh my gosh. I am so glad I had the chance to live on my own before I shacked up with my ex. Living alone makes you realize that you can live alone. This one is a little bit huge for women who sometimes don't think the can live alone so they stick around in situations that are not conducive to their well-being because they think they need a dude around. Nope, not so much. Well, at least not for me. I am woman, hear me roar, and watch me take out my own garbage. Granted, I have the bestest cutest roommate in the world who is almost seven, but still. I'm kinda set in my ways now about not living with a guy, for better or worse, but that's just the way it is.

4. Leaving my ex.

Seriously. I planned on being married forever and ever. I truly did. But leaving that marriage was the second best decision I ever made as an adult.

Look. It's like this. There is the person you think you are within the confines of a relationship with someone with whom you should not be in a relationship to begin with. And then there is the you who has that relationship under her belt, and who is eleven years older, and a heckuva lot wiser. I like that "you" way better than the other one.

5. Wookin' pa nook on the Internet.

Yes, I really just said that.

After my marriage ended I knew I did not want a boyfriend but I also managed to like, hmmm, how to put it... sort of hit my stride as a woman. Just, use your imagination. So no, I do not have this really long belt with  a bunch of notches in it. It's not like that. But I knew I was not gonna meet anyone in the "normal" way, like, "Hey, I have this friend and I think you might like him," nor did I think the dude I wanted to spend any time with was gonna show up on a bar stool next to me. Though yes, that sort of thing totally can and does happen, I just didn't think it would for me. And as it turns out I have made a friend I even hope to have for like, the duration (I mean who knows how those things go, right?). But the end of the story is that I'm very happy. And had I never poked around on the Internet I would not be saying that. So I'm super thankful I listened to my friends who said, "Why the heck not?"

6. I applied to work where I work.

Thanks to my mom, because I never thought I would want to be in this line of work, and here I am having found my career. Crazytown.

7. I went to college. A bunch of it.

Did I wind up working in the field in which I almost earned a master's degree? I did not. I am glad I am able to say I have a bachelor's degree? I am. Do I think having to use your brain like that and do a lot of work is a super character building sort of experience? For shizzle.

8. I never lived more than 30 miles away from my family and friends.

I need those people. I love that I'm 12 minutes away from my mom and 10 from my brother and sister-in-law and that I have friends sprinkled all around me. These people lift me up, they boost my spirits, and I get to hug on them in person a lot. I'm so lucky.

What about you guys?  I know you've made some awesome decisions and I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

(Random) Thanksgiving Day Thoughts

Random thoughts from my brain as I drink coffee and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and listen to the kid talk about what's happening in the world of Club Penguin. And no, I don't understand a single thing she is saying but I listen and do my darnedest to appear interested. I just love being in the same room with her so whatever she is saying is fine by me.

Just heard my heater kick on; turned it on earlier because it was cold as heck in here but now we're fine and I am so lazy to get up and walk all the way across the house (I mean, we're talking like 30 feet away [and also I am a horrible judger of distances and I really did just try to picture laying myself out over and over and tried to estimate how many of me it would be to get over to the heater]) and turn it off. Okay, cool it's off I think. See, sometimes if you're lazy and you just hang out long enough, stuff takes care of itself.

"This is like, the BIGGEST shop here. Everything here costs a lot of gems." Kayla, regarding Animal Jam. No, I do not care. But she is still cute, especially in her Hello Kitty jammies.

I wish I had a ring like this lady from Today show who is one of the hosts of the parade. You know, the kind  that goes all the way up to your knuckle. I heart big rings.

I liked Matt Lauer better when he had hair. And before I heard stuff about his marriage and about him not helping to save Ann Curry's job. Am I mixing things up?

Oh, how I love love love Matthew Broderick!! And a Gershwin tune, you kidding me? How about you?

"SANTA'S ON HIS WAY!" Kayla, after they said Santa was still to come. Earlier when she heard he was gonna be there she was like, "Shouldn't this be the Christmas parade then?" You can't get anything past that kid. She also wanted to know why it was called the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade so we have already discussed sponsorship and advertising today.

I just went to check my email and on Yahoo I have it set that the only "news" I see when I go to my mail is entertainment news because when it comes to real news, I leave it to all of you to tell me what's going on in the world. Anyway, it said something about an ex-Price is Right  model getting 8.5 meeeeeeeelion dollars in damages and I wonder if this is the one who just won like almost $777,000 the other day so now I'll have to go check that out.

Blake Shelton's gonna have a Christmas special? Yes, I will watch that because he is really super cute. I can't help it and I'm sorry to say this but Reba McEntire's face bugs me. I like her okay, it's her face. 

Coffee... made it a wee bit strong this morning. Soon my fingers will be too shaky to type.

I'm doing that thing where I count backward from the time our movie starts today (going to take the kid to see Rise of the Guardians)... if I have to work out, get her ready, get myself ready, chop some broccoli and cauliflower, just how much time does that leave me to mess about on the computer? Math. It makes my brain hurt.

I am a Giancarlo Esposito fan. I like his face and his voice and I loved him the show Bakersfield P.D. which I think only my mom and I watched. They just talked to him at the parade because he is on a show on NBC I haven't watched yet called Revolution. Maybe I would check it out except for the fact that I only watch 87 billion other shows right now.

Hey, there's John O'Hurghley talking about hosting the dog show! I like dog shows AND I still think he shoulda won the first season of Dancing With the Stars. Dude got robbed. Well, it's just that people vote for that Kelly Monaco on account of her being on a soap and all.

The heater just kicked on again. Sheesh.

So the kid is listening to Chippette (the girl Chipmunks, she loves them) version of Rihanna's song, "Disturbia." She loves that song and always makes us do it on Just Dance 4. She loves other Rihanna songs and I don't like that anytime I think of Rihanna I think of that whole Chris Brown thing and it makes me glad that my kid is so young and innocent and it makes me wonder for how long I can keep her that way. In terms of not knowing about icky stuff in the world, you know? Double sheesh.

Carly Rae Jepsen is gonna be on the parade show later? I can't help it. I love that dang "Call Me Maybe" song.

Last night I sang some karaoke and the shelf thingy where it is was HECKA dusty. I need to do some dusting today. Or tomorrow. Yes, I know, it does sound really fun.

I love that Matthew Perry show, Go On. It is really super adorable and funny. I love that guy. I sure did want to marry Chandler Bing one day.


Geoffrey Zakarian in the parade! He is so cute.

Kermit! That whole thing about the Elmo guy breaks my heart. Like, if someone made up stuff and basically sort of ruined that guy... or if it really happened (but I tend to believe the former). Like, seriously. So sad. That sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me thing sounds like a bunch of bullcrap right about now, right?

Carly Rae Jepsen is on... and NOT singing my song. What the deuce? I get it, you want people to know that you have more than one song but I was actually sorta stalling so I could hear that dang song and well, also because I am really lazy and don't want to move.

Okay, I can't stall anymore. I need to get the exercise done and get us ready for the movies and I am SO looking forward to smelling wonderful Thanksgiving smells later and seeing my family because I love them so. 

I hope you guys all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Any random thoughts you'd like to share with me? How was your coffee? Did you like the parade? What are you doing today? What's YOUR favorite thing about this holiday?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Attitude AND Gratitude

Guys, this has been such a weird time for me. If you read my last post, you know my dad passed away on October 6th. So that was awful. And since then, in addition to having these times that I'm incredibly sad (nighttime is the worst) I find that I have NO PATIENCE. Like, none. As in, stuff that would normally just minimally chap my hide is making me feel like a crazy ass nutbag and like I want to punch someone in the face or kick them in the 'nads. Not anyone specific (usually), just in general.

So yeah, that's not really a good thing. To that end, I'm about to get set up for some couch time so I can talk about that. And talk about other stuff that makes me nutty, as well. Like stuffing my face all the dang time even though I know it's not a good idea. I might also talk about men. They're challenging, as some of you know. I'm sure there are other things I can think of to talk about for eight free sessions (hooray for an employee assistance program, yo). I mean, if you know me, you know I'm pretty much never at a loss for words. That's pretty rare, much to the chagrin of some at sometimes (and you know, sometimes it makes me fun at a party).

Obviously, this is the ATTITUDE part of the my post. I should say, I'm not like this all the time. But I'm like this enough of the time that I realize that I either need a bunch more medicine or it's time to take a big swim in lake ME (stolen from this bit I saw Dana Gould [the part to which I refer starts at about 5:30] do one time). I want to get back to laughing stuff off more, and wishing I had lasers on my car to shoot at stupid drivers less.

Now that that's out of the way, how about some gratitude? You guys probably know about the Attitude of Gratitude Project, wherein for each of November's 30 days you mention something for which you're thankful. I already did a post about this on another blog last week, but I figured I should do something here on my real blog because really, can you talk too much about being grateful? I think not.

In order to stress how much there is for which to be grateful, even though I've already posted twenty things in other places, today I'm going to try to come with 21 MORE and DIFFERENT things. And yes, some are gonna be little things and I will hit the important stuff I already covered in one blurb because come on, a blog about being grateful without mentioning my kid, family, and friends? Ummm, no.

So this list is not necessarily in order, but here are 21 things for which I'm hella grateful:

1. My kid, my family (especially my mom), and my friends (especially the besties). Seriously. Pretty much all the rest means nothing without them. 
2. Regina Spektor's song "Firewood." I like it down to my soul.
3. Spell-check. Because sometimes words like "necessarily" make people with bachelor's degrees in English scratch their head.
4. Swiffer products. The sweeper vacuum thingy and the the WetJet... way better than a broom and a mop. I still use my broom, but seriously, when you live in a house with a cat who leaves tufts of hair all around like tiny little presents you are pretty grateful for the Swiffer vacuum sweeper thingy. Okay, I looked it up, Sweepervac, that's the one.
5. Love this site onto which my BMSF turned me on because it makes me lift weights which is a great thing. You earn points for stuff you do and strength training earns a lot of points. 
6. Words With Friends on Facebook. Word games are fun. I say the same thing about Scrabble but the people who make it succumbed to that "it wasn't broken so let's fix it and make it sort of suck" disease that Facebook also tends to catch sometimes.
7. Facebook. For real. People easily blow it off but it's a fanflippingtastic way to connect with people.
8. Netflix streaming. For someone addicted to television and who loves movies it's a wonderful thing.
9. Stop-motion Christmas movies like we (meaning people who are old like I am) watched when we were kids, specifically Santa Claus is Coming to Town and The Year Without a Santa Claus, featuring the Heat Miser and his brother the Snow Miser. I can't wait to bust those out this year.

Snow Miser and Heat Miser

10. Texting. I love to text.
11. Cooking shows and cooking competition shows. Top Chef, Next Iron Chef, Sandwich King, just to name a few.
12. Trader Joe's and Target. My shopping places. They make it so that I rarely have to go to the grocery store. Granted, I am missing out on eating a lot of different stuff but I guess I'm sort of boring that way.
13. Antacid. The kind that last for many hours which is probably bad for me for so many reasons but I'm sorry, I'm still really glad it exists.
14. Books! And I love so much that my kid loves to read and loves to have me read to her. We're reading Tangled right now, a novelization of the movie (which we love), and it not only follows along with the movie but it's actually really well-written, and I love it when she says, "One more chapter, PLEASE?" Good times.
15. Cheese. I eat too much of it, but it's so good and there are so many kinds of cheese, wonderful cheese.
16. Email hoarding. Okay, in general this is really bad. But it also allows me to go back and find things that made me laugh or smile or to remind me of when certain things happened since my memory SUCKS. Yes, I seriously have 9,416 unread emails in my box right now which no doubt, is ridiculous. I will work on that.
17. My car. I really love it very very very much. It's my most favorite car ever and if it ever doesn't work anymore I hope I get the latest edition of the same car.
18. Christmas music. I am started listening to it last week because I'm a freak like that.

Straight No Chaser's Holiday Spirits album is what I'm playing in the car presently

19. Yelp. I look on there for reviews of all kinds of stuff, especially restaurants because I heart food.
20. England. Because I love people with English accents, especially when they are in TV shows and movies. And then there's Pride and Prejudice, my favorite book. 
21. Blogger. I'm thankful I have a place to write what I'm thinking about and share it with you guys. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Newest Member of the Club No One Wants to Join

Sadly, a bunch of you are members of this club, it's the I Lost a Parent Club. And it's a really shitty club that most of us know we will join one day, sooner or later, if life takes its natural course. It's still shitty. The people in the club? Oh, they're fabulous. And they get it. Because no matter how empathetic or kind or loving you are, you don't get it until you join.

So I'm a member of this club and that's part of the reason I haven't written in a while (well, that plus my normal laziness, the lazy part has not changed with my club membership), because I figured the first time I went to write I'd need to write about Dad and I kind of don't like to talk about it.

I stalled on reviewing the obituary draft Mom worked up, I still have unread sympathy cards on my table (they're opened because Mom was at my house watching my kid and sometimes she gets in this mood to sort out my mail because I will literally let it pile up for weeks [see the lazy part above, plus I pay all my bills online], so she opened them and told me how lovely they were). But I still haven't read them. Because that sort of shit reminds me that it is real. My dad is really gone.

Dad, holding Kayla the day she was born

On the one hand, I remind myself to be thankful that the suck-ass part of his disease was relatively short compared to the way many have suffered with cancer. He was on this planet for nearly 70 years, while every time I turn around I hear stories of fathers taken from families when their kids were little. My dad at least got to see that his kids grew up pretty okay (yes, the jury IS still out on me). I got to see him blossom when he became a grandfather, Kayla's and then Morgan's Pop Pop, and we got to see parts of him that we hadn't seen before.

We got the chance to have beautiful conversations with him in the last six months, opportunities that so many people don't have when they suddenly become members of this club, and for that I am eternally grateful. There is peace in me because I felt like there was not a single word left unsaid.

Let me take this opportunity to remind you all, again, to tell people that you love them. A lot. As in, all the fucking time.

The other good points were the people I think of as guest stars on The Shit Show. Laura, the one who took me and Mom to look for care homes so we could pick the place Dad spent his last night (though at the time we didn't know it would be his last night because the end all happened so fast, except for that last day which was the longest and worst day of my life), is a beautiful special lady who will never be forgotten. She, too, was a club member so obviously she gets it and then she was just amazing. The lovely ladies at the care home, the one who stood behind me (okay, I wasn't going to cry when I did this, dang it all to heck) and held my shoulders while I held Dad's hand and just sobbed. The last nurse we had, who was with us and Dad until the end... Elmar. We'll never forget that guy. Yes, this is the best you can hope for, kind, caring guest stars on one of the worst shows ever. And of course, all the people who supported us throughout this whole thing. My friends who had to hear about it as often as I could manage to talk about it and who lifted my spirits and kept me sane... of course I'll never forget those guys because they're stuck with me.

And the very best thing to have is a family you love and like very much. Without them I'm sunk.

I think about him every day, several times each day. Like I told Kayla, even when people pass away, if we love them we keep them and our memories of them in our heart. And that's exactly what I'm doing. That, and laughing and living a lot, because you need to do a little extra to live for the one who is not here anymore, at least that's what I think. And every once in a while I cry. And every once in a while I get hit with this incredible ball of loneliness, which is the only way I can explain it, and it really sucks. I mean, I just keep saying, "This really sucks." There's no way around it. And to pull myself out of it I look at something lovely and amazing, like stars or the sun setting behind a hill, or leaves on trees rustling, birds flying, good nature stuff like that. And of course looking into the eyes of my lovely and amazing daughter and hugging on her is pretty helpful. Beautiful distractions, joyful distractions, finding these would be the best advice I can give to club members.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lessons From the S#$t Show™*

*I stole borrowed the term "Shit Show" from my pal Stephy Poo. I know she will forgive me and I even threw her a bone by adding the ™ in the title.

Learn some stuff from this shit show my family and I are going through. Here I define shit show as knowing that someone you love is very, very sick and there is nothing you can do for them. Except to be there and try to make them comfortable if you can but mostly just be there and hold their hand and tell them that you love them. So here is the stuff I'm hoping to pass on to you because it makes me feel a little better to write it down.

 There is no such thing as saying "I love you" too much to people you love. Try to live your life so you have few regrets. And then if you do have a few, try to concentrate on the good stuff. Remember that part about telling people you love them. Hug a bunch. Hugging is great even if you don't have a rack like I do. Try to find stuff that is beautiful. Like, look up at the stars. Those are hecka beautiful. And they remind you of how small we are, which is trippy and amazing. Try to find stuff to laugh about. This part can be hard so have as many funny ass people in your life as possible. And you know, crying is okay and it's gotta be done when shit is just hella, hella, hella sad. And you're not weak, you're human, if you just have to cry. But remember all that other stuff because it's super important.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Other Stuff

I was going to be all committed to posting three times each week, because I figured I have three days off and at some point during each of those days I should be able to pull something out of my a$% to put on paper, figuratively speaking. 

Hey, for those of you who write, remember when stuff like this would have been done at a typewriter? The first screenplays I ever wrote when I was a teenager were on a Brother word processor... at last I think that's what it was... Like, it was a typewriter, but fancy, because I think there was a little screen that showed what you were typing and I think you could save your work? Sheesh, I'm so senile. And I remember my white typewriter, and I would haul it with me if Mom and I went on a road trip, and I was like 20-something, sitting in a hotel room, smoking and typing, while Mom was a slot machine, smoking and dropping in nickels (remember, this was the OLDEN days). And there was that one word processor I had where I could save stuff on discs... I mean sheesh, I don't think I even had a computer until 1998 or so, and it was a hand-me-down from my bestie, Spook. Wow. Now it's so much easier to write now, technologically-speaking, and I am amazed when I think of all the writing I got done in the olden days, when I had to insert paper and back space with the white-out corrector to fix errors and holy heck. Just wow.

I have a sick baby at home with cabin fever. I love her to bits but she is driving me a little bit nuts. One of the reasons the words aren't flowing this week.

Also, it's been a heckuva a week. Starting Monday. The kind of week where certain parts of my life are turned upside down.

Here is what I have learned, and some of this stuff I already knew, of course:

I have the best friends and family in the world.
I'm sort of strong, like emotionally.
Life is not fair.
Banging your head against the wall hurts and is completely not at all useful.

And most importantly, my number one priority in life for the past six and half years is my daughter. And she will ALWAYS be my number on priority, period. Nothing is more important to me than her happiness and well-being.

So when you have a ball-busting few days, the good part is that you do see how much people love and care about you, you do see what you're capable of, and you force yourself to look at all the things that are in your life that are good and wonderful.

My coffee was too strong. Typing is a little hard because my fingers are sorta shaky. Not. Good.

Anyway, I have a lot of stuff in my life that brings me joy. I laugh. A lot. 

Curling up in a ball and crying about the s$%t that just ain't right is pretty ineffective. Though once in a while, you just need to curl up in a ball and cry about the s$%t that just ain't right. Then dry your tears and hug someone up who loves hugging on you, and then think about the joyful stuff.

So today is about making plans and being constructive. Like I'm gonna clean my house because it's a MESS. 

I'm also going to exercise. I've been with a head cold or sinus stuff, I swear, off and on for like 5 weeks. Not kidding. And it's taken the wind out of my sails a bit and made it easy for me to be lazy. Well, I need some endorphins. I need to feel STRONG, physically. I did 30 minutes of Wii yoga the other night and it was ridiculously therapeutic. And like, at the beginning I couldn't touch my toes and at the end I could, so there you go. Stretching my body out and breathing is soooooooooooooooo good for me.  I have to do it more often.

What's the point of this post? I have no clue. To let you guys know if you are having a f$%ked up week you're not alone, that could be one point. Also because writing stuff down sometimes helps my brain. Maybe someone will read this and exercise today, or do some yoga. That would be awesome. Mainly, if you are reading this, I encourage you to find some joy. Feel joyful, be joyful, spread it around. Cry if you need to, and then get all joyful if you can. 

If you need hugs, please take these cyberhugs I'm sending now. Feel that? That's for you! I hope it helped! Talking to you guys always helps me out, so thanks!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Contents of My Head: Friday Edition

I apologize in advance because I'm just not feeling a post that I could consider an organized bunch of thoughts. So I'm just going to write about the stuff that is going on right now.

  • I have entirely too many dishes to do. I do not have a dishwasher, and in my whole life outside of my parents' house (1994 to present) there were only like 4 years when I did have a dishwasher, when I owned a house in Fairfield. So no big thing, but also my faucet has been sorta broken for months now, meaning when I turn it on it makes a HORRIBLE noise and the water pressure is all jacked up so you can see how this, on top of my normal laziness, would make it that there are dishes piled up. Those things and the fact that I actually cooked some stuff so yes. A lot of dishes. And I don't want to do them but I know that's first on the list after this post.
  • I missed the Endeavour flyover. Well, first of all, I'm oblivious and didn't even realize that was happening today until I saw a friend (Mamasattva) Tweet about it. And then who knows if I would have seen it from my little neck of the woods, though I did see this really big jet stream from my backyard so maybe that was it, who knows. The good thing is that I was reminded that my backyard is super duper peaceful. Chirping birds and it's all nature-y out there. Serenity NOW!
  • Yesterday was a bad day to forget to take my meds. Well, any day is, but yesterday especially so.
  • Today was picture day at the kid's school. First of all, my kid is beautiful. Which is great. Second of all, she tends to do this thing when she smiles where she is thinking too much. Or something. It's hard to explain but I'm all like, look, just SMILE. Like, have your eyes smile, too. She's like, like this? And I'm like well, think of something really funny. Like Paper Jam Dipper (from Gravity Falls, which is a hilarious show) or something. Still, the smile is too forced or it's not going with her eyes. I just want her to look in her pictures like she is the happy kid she is and not like she is full of all this inner turmoil but trying to smile for the camera. Because she really isn't. So hopefully I didn't do a major head job on her and when they tell her to smile she's gonna be all like, what did Mommy tell me to do? Smile with my eyes? Paper Jam Dipper? And have like a wackadoodle meltdown. Because that would suck. And then I put this cute yellow jacket on her, it's super adorable but it's basically like a casual zip-up hooded sweatshirt sort of deal, but she totally looked like SUNSHINE, with this coat and the light blue dress with white polka dots and a daisy on it with a bright yellow center. So she's like I want to wear the jacket in the picture. I'm like you should take it off. She gets all pouty. I'm like holy. Heck. In my mind, I'm thinking is there NOTHING I can say or do this morning that will actually be RIGHT??? I'm like wear the jacket if you want, but keep it open so we can see the dress. Then as I'm walking away I'm all discombobulated and it occurs to me that I didn't check her eyebrows and smooth them out. So who knows what her eyebrows will look like in the picture. Sigh. She's cute. I'm sure it will be fine.
  • I am madly and passionately in love with my daughter. She is hands down the very best thing that has ever happened to me and she brings me a ridiculous amount of joy. But sometimes her wackadoodle parts are like mine with the volume turned up, mixed with being bolder and more opinionated than I EVER was at the age of six-almost-seven, so I sometimes feel like I'm being slapped in my face with ME. Another sigh. I wouldn't change a thing. But yes, this is the part where my mom is laughing. Because I did get a kid very much like myself. But way, way better.
  • I really do love my kid more than life itself. And usually life with her is very easy.
  • Do you know what is NOT easy? Anything that has to do with me and boys, it seems (insert your favorite joke about being "easy" here).
  • According to Facebook, I really am the only person in the Bay Area who missed the Endeavour flyover. Sheesh.
  • I read a blog post today that made me cry. It was so good. Klonnie, you're hecka awesome, and a huge part of why I've managed to blog three days in a row.
  • Crap. My head is empty and so is my coffee cup so I guess I need to do those f#$king dishes now.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You're Doing It Wrong!

So the other day my BMSF (Beer Mayonnaise Sister Friend), Jean (who I'm supposed to be calling Jeannie, but I'll work on that), posted this picture on Facebook which she captioned "Hey asshole on the scooter - you're doing it wrong."

Asshole parking his (why it gotta be a guy, the men are asking) scooter wrong

Jean rides a scooter, so she knows what's she is talking about. Meanwhile, I would have no clue that this guy was doing it wrong.

So I was like, "you're doing it wrong," I love that and it's from a movie and I've said it a million times and I totally blanked on the movie from whence it came. Thank goodness for the Internet, that place where you can find like, EVERYTHING. Well, almost everything. It's a quote from Mr. Mom, a classic from 1983, that I am pretty sure I watched eight million times back in the day when it was on cable. If you have never seen this movie I will ask you, why, what is wrong with you? And then tell you to watch it because it is great. It also has one of my other favorite movie lines, "You fed the baby CHILI?! You crazy? You don't feed a baby CHILI!!" You'd be surprised how often you can use that, even if there is no chili involved. But today we are focused on that great line, "you're doing it wrong." For your viewing pleasure, here is a clip:

"You're doing it wrong."

The conversation with Jack and his kid and Annette the crossing guard lady, it's like my daily conversation with the parts of me that actually want to lose weight and be all healthy. I feel sorry for them having to talk to me, as I am constantly doing it wrong. Because I do know how to do it. I just do it wrong. A lot. I will riff on the dialogue and show you how this goes:

"You're Doing It Wrong," a short skit that takes place inside the confusing jumble of overgrown weeds known as "Jen's Brain," featuring three characters, Jen, Healthier Jen, Thinner Jen, and Fed-Up Jen, who we will call J, HJ, TJ, F-UJ, since the author is lazy. (Tee hee, I said "F-U.")

TJ: Jen, you ate that whole burrito that was as big as your head.
J: Ate what, I don't know what you're talking about.
TJ: But this isn't the way fit and trim folks roll.
J: I'm doing it the Jen Moore-Skallerud method.
(J feels the bloated awfulness that always comes after a ridiculous amount of over-indulging.)
J: What is this god-awful feeling? Ugh, my gut. This is nuts. Why do I feel like CRAP????
J: Don't tell me I'm doing it wrong, I know how to do this.
(HJ walks into J's brain.)
HJ: Hi Jen, I'm Healthy Jen.
J: Hi.
HJ: You're doing it wrong.
HJ: This is what I tell all the people who are trying to be less fat and more healthy. We eat less, and we exercise more. And then we repeat. That way we don't feel like such crap and we get to wear cuter clothes and maybe even stick around longer to drive our kids crazy.
(J nods, taking it in.)
HJ: Okay, move it out, and remember, eat less, exercise more!
J: Eat less, exercise more, okay, that's a good system.

Yes, it really is a good system! And when I do it, it really works. But I just keep doing it wrong for reasons that seem right at the time. No, not really. Not even at the time I'm eating a burrito the size of my head. But at the time, I'm like Jack Butler, and I'm like screw it, we'll do it my way. And I think the Jen Moore-Skallerud Method has been like the Control Data Institute commercial from back in the day, when the dude is saying he will start trying to find a career... tomorrow... tomorrow... tomorrow... and it like echoes? I think that is what goes on with me. Probably that guy was thinking, "Today I'm gonna watch daytime TV and get stoned, TOMORROW I'm gonna apply at Control Data Institute and get started on my path to a CAREER!" And I'm thinking today I'll eat EVERYTHING, and then tomorrow, not so much.

And those of you who know me or have read the many posts I've done about the same thing know that I have "issues," like being a compulsive over-eater and an emotional eater and junk like that, and yes, I've got some super sad stuff going on, stuff that makes me all, "if this is my last day on Earth I wanna live it up, yo!" Which.... is good way to be, but not if NOT taking off some of this weight makes me sad on top of that sadness, right?

So... how is today going to go? Maybe better than yesterday since I wrote this. Here's to doing it less wrong today.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Cat Makes Me Wanna Break S$%t

Really, he does.

Right now he is doing his current crazy thing, which is to sit on the bathroom counter. Why? I have no idea. I am in the office and I can hear that something just fell off the counter and since I don't have ghosts (well, I kinda have had one or may still have one [which is a whole other story] but never one that sat on the bathroom counter and pushed stuff off) and I'm the only one in the house, it's gotta be Chief. But let me go verify this... 

Yep, he was sitting on the counter. But he saw me walk to the kitchen (I needed more coffee), so he hopped down and followed me. Why? I have no idea. I fed him an hour ago. There was no need to follow me, but this is what he does.

When I'm getting ready to take Kayla to school in the morning, he likes to walk RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, either nearly tripping me or causing me to step on him. When I step on him he gets very perturbed and I not-so-gently or quietly explain to him that had he not been walking RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, perhaps I would not have stepped on him. Usually, this explanation, in addition to being somewhat loud, contains several bad words, none of which I will write here, but I'm sure you can imagine.

He has a penchant for wanting to be let out. And then back in. And then out again. Or, if you let him in the back door, thirty seconds later when someone comes through the front door, he dashes out as if you've been holding him hostage for months.

My cat is one crazy a#$ motherf$%ker.

Chief wearing Kayla's nightgown

I don't think he has always been this nuts, but he's old, as my mom always reminds me. She told me today that getting mad at him is like elder abuse. I'm not sure exactly how old he is and I only know he showed up at our door on Corte Arango in El Sob #1 in 1998 or 1999. Like a long time ago.

Also, he has no teeth.

Chief back when he had one tooth

He had one tooth for a really long time. Like, years. But just last week I came home from work and my ex-husband goes, "Hey, Chief lost his tooth." The tooth is MIA. It would have been nice to find it and, as Mom said, put it under a pillow for the Kitty Tooth Fairy, or at least bury it and have a little ceremony, but I am thinking it will not turn up. It probably fell out when he was rolling around in some weeds, one of his favorite things to do, so that he can come home with little burs and weeds stuck to him which fall off in the just the right place for me to step on them.

Anyway, I am thinking that if I had no teeth I'd be kinda crazy and grouchy all the time, so I do try to cut him some slack. I love him very much, he is my Chiefypoo and my kid is absolutely nuts about him. However, he really does make me want to break s$%t. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Procrastinate So Much That Here's a Post About June Stuff That I'm Going to Post in July

So today is Friday, July 13th. I totally have no plans to tell Kayla that I want to switch places with her because as we know, if you do that on Friday the 13th there is a possibility of a Freaky Friday scenario. Plus, I truly believe that in some ways, being 42 is easier than being 6, but that's a whole other post. So anyway, I started this post below sometime in June and never went back to it, so I'll post it and I guess it needs to be finished so it's a June post with July bread on it. And then maybe I'll do a fresh post, like a July sandwich, complete with yummy July filling and July bread and everything. Why does everything have to be about food for me? Yet another whole other post...

I haven't posted since March. That's just silly. But it's also how I roll. I mean, I've done some blog posts for Pinole Patch, but still, my real blog has been woefully neglected, as usual.

I'm planning to make some lasagne for a favorite colleague of mine with who's last day on the job is June 17th, so I came to my blog to send the recipe to his wife to make sure there was nothing in there he didn't like, and that's when I noticed the last post was March 21st. So there's my first June thing, a good pal and great co-worker is moving on to a job he really wants to do and I'll miss him. He's been great fun to have around and it won't be the same but I wish him all the luck in the world in his new endeavor and I know he'll rock it.

July update: He loved the lasagne and I miss that guy!

Today, June 9, 2012, would have been my 10th wedding anniversary. So on this day I am eternally grateful to no longer be married and reminded that those blasted three pieces of paper that need to be turned in to the court to finalize my divorce ARE SITTING ON MY DINING ROOM TABLE. None of the reasons I haven't turned those in yet have anything to do with wanting to be married to my ex or ANYONE, I swear, Mom. Since I'm on vacation this week I'll get that done.

July update: I turned those papers in on June 22nd (well, I attempted to do it the day before but I was missing a form so I had to go back)!!!! Now, I'm just waiting for that piece of paper to come in the mail that says girl, you are FREE, as in, officially a single lady like all the single ladies who is not going to be singing a song about how if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it because this single lady has been there done that.

On June 6th I turned 42. I'm cool with that. I feel really thankful that turning 40 was one of the best things ever.  I mean, I was really adjusted to being single and loving my place in life with my daughter and my friends and my family, so to hit a number like that just as you feel your life is exactly where it should be is so very helpful as far as not freaking out about aging goes. And I don't feel old. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes my body feels very, very, very, very old. I mean super old. But mostly I don't feel that way inside so I'm gonna try to ride that train as long as I can and think of birthdays as a day might go out and party (as I did on this last one) and get a whole bunch of super sweet messages on Facebook (like I did this week) and even maybe get someone singing me Happy Birthday on my voicemail (which also happened). So really, what is there to complain about??

July update: I still like being 42.

The part to complain about would be mortality. Getting older, ostensibly getting one year closer to the end of my time on this planet. I'm very much not liking to think about mortality these days, mine or that of people around me. I just don't want to think about the end. I'm way more into thinking about the days we have right NOW.

July update: I still hate the fact that one day I won't be around and neither will people I love. I just hate it.

June 1st was Kayla's Kindergarten graduation. Luckily, I was distracted by being hot (as usual) and the fact that my camera was acting up so I didn't even cry. I teared up the day before when I had the privilege of being at the graduation rehearsal - as soon as I heard "Pomp and Circumstance" playing and saw the kids walking around the multipurpose room I was like wow, this is really happening. Her last day of school was June 8th. So bittersweet, because it's just been an unbelievably awesome year. I've enjoyed being in her classroom one day each week for most of the year, and I love the kids in her class, and part of me just wishes we could re-run this year every year, but we all know she's going to start first grade... and then turn seven... and start second grade... and turn eight... whether I'm on board with these changes or not. And I loved age four. But then I liked five even better. And now I'm a huge fan of six. So let's hope it keeps going on like that, at least until we hit ages that end with "teen."

July update: I still love six and we are having a fantastic summer. That kid is awesome.

June 10th we'll head to Monterey for an overnight trip with two of our very dearest friends, the first of hopefully several cool things we'll do this summer. This is our first summer break, of sorts, since when Kayla was in Tiny Tots she went during the summer, too. So this is truly a summer during which I'll appreciate sleeping in if I want to on my weekends (which happen to be on weekdays) and the time I get to spend with my kid, either just chilling or getting out and enjoying some sunshine and nature and all that good stuff. Happiness.

July update: Kayla's first trip to the ocean (Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove) was a smashing success. She said it was the best day ever. But we went to Stinson the other day and she said THAT was the best day ever. Asilomar was the second best day ever, and the day we went to the pool down the street a few weeks ago was the third best day ever. She makes so many of my days the best day ever. Also, I love to sleep in on my weekends very much.

So, I like June. I'll probably dig July and August. Most likely I'll be a fan of the months that follow. At least that's the plan. I wish the same for all of you.

July update: So far so good mostly in July, and I hope you guys are having a great summer. I am thinking of something I heard someone say before, someone famous, and I have no clue who they were or what it was exactly that they said. But it was basically like hey, make the most out of summer because you're only going to get so many of them. Which I take to mean that when we look at each day, sure, hopefully, you have a bunch of those. If you're lucky. But you don't have a bunch of summers, really. Like, I've had 20-something as a grown-up, which is not all that many, if you think about it. And I'll only have a few more, maybe, where the kid wants to hang out with me and stand in the waves and hold my hand at the beach. So take all that blah blah blah that I just said and make the most of your summer. And every day, of course.