10 Mar 2013

Sunday 3/10/13

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It’s 9:00AM on Sunday.
I’m on my third load of laundry.
G refuses to go to a Daylight Savings event at my favorite, organic, gluten-free bakery. He likes to stay in PJ’s as long as possible. I get it, kid. But I really want a scone.
There’s very little food in the house and I desperately need to go to Trader Joes. See above statement about PJ’s.
Russ is sick and still in bed.
It is GORGEOUS outside. Sunny, chilly… Beautiful. I know this because our laundry room is outside.
I’m going to pour my second cup of coffee, grab my Sunset magazine, and sit on the couch while G plays Wii Sports Resort.
And we’ll see if we get out of our PJ’s before noon.
I wouldn’t count on it.

What are you up to today?

08 Mar 2013

Project Runway Reactions: SPOILER ALERT

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These were my many moods while watching Project Runway last night.

This is going to be a Duck Brand duct tape challenge?
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I want every freaking color and pattern of Duck Tape delivered to my house right now! I have no idea what I’ll do with it, but I want it.
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WHY ARE RICHARD AND DANIEL ADDING RUFFLES? THIS IS A NIGHTMARE!
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Misty and I love Stanley and Layanna’s dress. It’s hot.
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Wait. Is Daniel wearing a CAPE to the runway show? And is Tu wearing a… WTF is that?
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Patricia and Samantha had the favorite dress at the high school?? REALLY? Then who will win?
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Nina Garcia is being awfully whiny tonight. And can’t say “particularly” particularly well.
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I wish I wore a Duck Tape dress to my prom. My dress was hideous.
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DOUBLE ELIMINATION? Didn’t see that coming!
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07 Mar 2013

I fight Anxiety, Anxiety sometimes wins.

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I walked into my bedroom last night and started to shake. Not a full-on seizure kind of shaking, jut a slight shake that let’s me know I’m having anxiety.

My bedroom does not, as Oprah likes to say, “Rise up to meet me” when I walk into it. It does the opposite. It sits there, flaccid and sad, almost mocking me. It’s the bedroom of a college kid who still has her grandma’s furniture, painted green by her boyfriend 10 years ago. My boyfriend is now my husband. And the bedroom needs a makeover. Really quickly though…

KISS MY ASS, OPRAH! IF I WAS A BILLIONAIRE, MY WHOLE FUCKING HOUSE WOULD RISE UP TO MEET ME BECAUSE I’D PAY IT TO DO SO!!

Anyway, the state of my bedroom gave me a little bit of stress. I actually laughed out loud thinking, “I’m 41! When am I going to have a grown-up house?” My thoughts almost always thankfully, swiftly change to how lucky I am and how many things are far more important than the state of my bedroom. But the anxiety lingers.

Today I opened my bathroom cabinet and all of a sudden saw what was in there, not through my own eyes, but through the eyes of someone else who might open it. I am not exaggerating when I say 85% of the stuff in there was expired. And on top of the cabinet? TONS of products I haven’t used in over a year. Shaking, I calmly walked to the kitchen to get a large, black garbage bag. With each bottle I emptied into a ziploc bag, (so as to recycle and not put crap down the sink and into the ocean), my anxiety… Worsened. Thirty minutes later I was done with the medicine cabinet and a small drawer, still needing to tackle the big closet.

As I worked, anxiety-ridden thoughts floated through my head:

How does this happen?

Didn’t I just clean this all out, like six months ago?

Why did I buy THAT?

Do other people do this???

WHY IS THIS XANAX EXPIRED? AND WHY DID I ONLY TAKE A HALF OF ONE OF THEM????

I pace. I eat. I shake. I pace. I stop breathing. I force myself to breathe. I pace. I triumphantly fill the trash bag. I shake my head. I repeat.

As I pace through the house, and often head to the kitchen, I see everything else that I’m doing wrong. There’s a stack of papers on the dining room table. My office, which was spotless two months ago, is unorganized again. Then there are the tell-tale signs of college-living. The ripped couch. The mangled floors.

I beat myself up. I call myself stupid and lazy and pathetic.

I force myself to breathe again.

*************************************************************************************************

I started cleaning out the bathroom about three hours ago. I’m a quick vacuum away from being done. It’s worlds better. Almost perfect, actually. But I’m sitting here on my laptop, shoveling kettle corn into my face, knowing I have to force myself to go back in and finish. I want to run away. I’m ashamed of myself.

I am not going to let the anxiety beat me today. I’m going to take five more minutes to finish my job, and then I’m going to take my dog on a long walk, until I can breathe again without having to force it, and without shaking.

I take full responsibility for the things I need to improve upon.

And I forgive myself.

*************************************************************************************************

It’s nearly five hours later. I’ve walked into my bathroom several times to see what I accomplished. It makes me feel proud. But the rest of the house is still glaring at me. Not good enough. Not good enough. Not good enough.

I ate too much today and now I feel worse about myself.

But I took Bogie on a long walk and breathed. When Garrett got home, we set up a birthday party for Furby. I cooked a nice meal. We ate together as a family. G and I played Wii and laughed a lot.

I was on my iPhone too much. Something else I really need to improve upon.

I am a work in progress. It gives me great anxiety. But I am fighting to fight it. And breathing. And trying to keep getting better. And forgiving myself.

Do you do this too?

*************************************************************************************************

It is now Thursday morning and I feel like a different person today. I thought I’d let you know that in case you are like me. I’m going to try a new tactic next time anxiety hits like that. I’m going to project myself into the next day and know that I will be fine. And I will force myself to breathe.

06 Mar 2013

My Kid is Gonna Marry Me

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My son wants to marry me.  He does.

I know your kid SAYS he or she wants to marry you. But mine really, really wants to. He’s got it all planned out. We’ll be married, (although he says I can still stay married to his dad), and we’ll live together forever and ever. And if he wants to get married to someone else and have kids, that’ll be okay. We’ll all live in a house together and be happy… ever after.

He really loves me. I know your kid SAYS he or she really loves you. But mine really, really does. He kisses my hand and tells me I’m beautiful. He tells me I’m the best mom in the world. I know your kid says the same to you, but Garrett really, really means it.

We’re going to live in a big, beautiful house. I’m going to cook him all his favorite foods. Any silly face I make will send him, even at 40-years-old, into a fit of giggles so pure people will be watching it on YouTube for years to come. His wife will love me and tell me all the time that she wishes she could be half the woman I am. The grandchildren will secretly tell me they wish I was their mom. In our old age, he will treat Russ and I like a king and queen. And as I lie comfortably dying, in a long white, cotton gown, Garrett will once again grab my hand and say to me, “Mommy, I love you more than anything in the whole world. You have been the best mom anyone could ever, or will ever have. Now, go to heaven knowing that you have loved, and you are loved, completely.”

Then I’ll float away and he will cry with all of his heart. His wife and children will console him, all of them missing me more than anyone has ever thought humanly possible.

The end.

Okay, I get it. Your kids say the exact same things to you. They look at you like you hung the moon and they tell you they want to live with you forever. I know it’s their age. I know it’s a phase. And I know they mean it with every fiber of their being.

But, if it’s okay with you, I’m going to pretend that I’m the only mommy in the world whose son loves her enough to marry her. And I give you permission to do the same.

05 Mar 2013

Listen to me Complain

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I just spent a full fucking hour of my day on the phone will creditors. Medical creditors. One bill had already been paid, one needed to be paid over the phone with my credit card, (I was on hold for 17 minutes), and one had tried to go through my insurance but said my insurance was unavailable at the time of service, which it most certainly was NOT. When I called to figure this out I listened to horrible, loud, muzac for a full eight minutes while being told to press 3 if I wanted the voicemail, but otherwise to stay on the line. At minute 8 I was transferred to voicemail ANYWAY, where I left my name, account number, phone number, and death threats.

Then I think “There before the grace of God…” when I realize if GOD FORBID someone in the house was really ill… Not only would it be devastating, but the amount of paperwork that would have to get done, and the money that would be flying out the window. Then I realize how lucky I am. Then I get back to the following complaining:

I wonder how we’re supposed to get any real shit done with our days when half of our days are filled up with shit that should be done by the person whose job it is to do it!! I mean, can’t you just take the extra second to check my insurance? Or take a minute to call me and see why my insurance is saying it’s not mine anymore?

Why, for instance, do I have to gather every pay check I get through my union every year, tally it all up, and tell that union how much money I made??? They want to “make sure I’m getting my pension credits”, but aren’t they paying people to check records?

And if Target charges me a late fee when my check to them was ON TIME, should I really have to spend 13 minutes on the phone convincing them to drop the $25.00 late fee??? (Okay, it was 24 HOURS late. Seriously. And that has never happened before. It was a holiday week. They shouldn’t have charged me.)

I have enough trouble figuring out what I’m going to cook, defrost, or order for dinner, how I’m going to make my husband feel appreciated, and if I’m going to be able to muster the patience to play one more (imaginative) game of “follow the pirate map around the house” with my (adorable) son WITHOUT all the extra work I have to do during the day because other people aren’t doing their jobs right.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to gather my son’s t-ball gear, a snack, and head out to CVS where I’m hoping they sell flasks that look like iPhones. And don’t worry, I’ll just fill mine with chai tea. I’m one of those moms who wishes she was a heavy drinker, but isn’t. I should probably start now, though. Maybe I’ll realize I just need to calm the hell down a bit.

P.S. I really do enjoy following the pirate map. I’m just tired from all the bullshit phone calls.

04 Mar 2013

How Lena Dunham Makes Me Feel

34 Comments Personal Crap

I’ve been thinking a whole lot lately about Lena Dunham’s show, “Girls”. Specifically, I’ve been thinking a lot about Lena Dunham and all the nudity.

I know a lot has been written about it, and I think I’ve been spending this time ruminating and deciding how I feel about all the hubbub.

First, I should say that I have watched, and will most likely continue to watch, every episode. When the show first began I was completely enamored, and beyond excited to see a show about, well… Girls. I loved the writing and the dynamics of the characters. I instantly loved Lena as Hannah, and all she represented.

As the show has gone on, I have become less enamored, but no less excited to watch. I still feel there are moments of, if not brilliance, then at least pure relatability, in each episode. There are times I rewind, just to hear a line again, or see an expression. I am in awe of Lena’s early success, her amazing drive, and the fact that she clearly has no fear of “putting it all out there”.

Which brings me to the nudity. Or, partial nudity. Or, wait… Is constant partial nudity just complete nudity? Either way, I want to talk about it.

I think I get what Lena Dunham is doing. And I might be COMPLETELY wrong here. But this is my take. Or maybe I should say, “This is how what Lena Dunham is doing, by showing her body so frequently, has affected me.”

Lena is 26-years-old, and according to everything the media tells us, she is not in “perfect shape”. She is a tad on the pudgy side, clearly not into lifting weights, and seems against plastic surgery to enhance her breasts or suck fat out of her thighs. I know these things because I see her entire body weekly on my television.

At first, I was offended. WHY do I want to see this girl naked?? Then I became bored. Oh, there’s Lena, naked again. Then a lightbulb went off. OH MY GOD, I thought to myself, LENA DUNHAM WANTS US TO KNOW THAT IT’S OKAY TO LOVE YOURSELF!!

Again, I might be reading too much into this. Lena might just like being naked on camera. But I really think her nudity comes with a message. And to me, that message is that we, as women, are not the sum of our body parts. What matters is what our bodies are housing: Our brains, our hearts, our creativity, our passions, our desires, our kindness, our strength. We have little to no control over our bodies, so why should they be what defines us? When I die, will the mourners woefully touch my casket and say, “She looked great in 2011, when she got down to 123 pounds.”?

The point is this: If I had one THIRD of the confidence in myself at 26 that Lena does, I might have been as successful as she is. At the very least, I would have wasted SO MUCH less time complaining about my body. Which, I will say (after years of therapy and a ton of 20/20 hindsight), was pretty fucking spectacular.

Had I had just a scrap of Lena’s “my body does not define me” attitude… Oh the places I could have gone. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe Lena’s body does define her. Maybe it defines her as a lovely, adorable, perfect woman who is absolutely fine just the way she is. THAT is the point. Why should a woman only be defined by long legs, a flat stomach, perfect breasts, and a perky ass? Few women posses these qualities. Most have short torsos, or torsos that are too long, saggy knees, chunky ankles, one breast bigger than the other, and dimpled skin. And maybe those ARE the things that should define us, at least physically. WE are okay, just the way we are. And it breaks my heart, truly shreds it to pieces, that I am fortyfuckingone years old, and I am just now grasping this. What a waste of years.

Lena scares us, as a society. She’s throwing herself in our faces and saying, “I am enough.” How dare she.

Thanks, Lena. I mean it when I say you might be the reason my feelings about myself are changing. Even if you didn’t have any message to begin with… I got it loud and clear.

01 Mar 2013

Romance

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The definition of romance has changed for me over the years.

As a little girl, it was seeing my father bringing flowers home for my mom, or giving her a jewel-encrusted bracelet on Valentine’s Day. It was the image of a prince on horseback, rescuing a princess from her sleeping prison.

As a middle-schooler, romance was a Journey song that I quietly wept to in the back of my parents’ car, thinking about the boy I had a crush on.

In high-school, romance was a secret kiss at a friend’s party, or a boy I liked telling me I looked “hotter than I usually did”. And it was still a Journey song I wept quietly to.

As I got older and relationships got more serious, I defined romance as something surprising, like a gift I wasn’t expecting or a note under my pillow. It was a special dinner out, or a candlelit dinner in. It was flowery words and passionate sex.  It was youth and fun and… Journey.

I’ve been with my husband for 15 years, and in April we will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. We’ve never been big on celebrating Valentine’s day or exchanging opulent gifts. We don’t tend to go out for many fancy meals, and we’re not really the “carriage through the park” people.

But yesterday, my husband took me in his arms and hugged me with all his strength. He thanked me for being his partner and for going through this life with him. And I am telling you, with all my heart, that that was the most romantic moment I have ever had. And Journey wasn’t even playing.

15 Jan 2013

If HE has nitrates, I want nitrates!!!!!

6 Comments Cooking/Baking, Family, Nutrition

This is my second attempt at this post. You see, it’s a very complicated subject; one that must be dealt with with such finesse, such a delicate hand, that I’m not sure of my exact approach. I’m sure by now you’ve guessed what the topic is.

That’s right. Lunchables.

Here is me trying to make my long, boring post more readable. Bullet points:

I pack very healthy, very tasty lunches for my son. Organic fruits, sandwiches with organic sunflower butter or nitrate-free turkey, snacks with no corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.  He FREQUENTLY tells me how delicious these lunches are.

Now kids are bringing Lunchables to school.

G wants Lunchables.

I can not seem to convincingly talk my son out of wanting me to purchase Lunchables. I tell him I will make better versions of the same, exact thing. This falls on deaf ears.

Lunchables are packed in bright packages and include juice and candy. The teachers won’t even let the kids at school eat the candy that comes in the Lunchables! I explain this to G. G does not care. He says he can eat the candy after school.

Side note/bullet point: Except for one breakfast, in the car, on the way home from Central California… G has never been to McDonald’s. I know he will go one day, probably soon. Probably with me. But so far I have substituted In N’ Out for Mcdonald’s. It’s not the BEST. But I think it’s much BETTER.

I am trying to apply this philosophy to his lunches. I add fun snacks, like cheddar bunnies or organic fruit gummies. I let him have bad stuff, too. I promise I do. He gets treats. He gets candy. (Real candy made by Hershey’s and Jelly Belly’s!) He gets lollipops. He gets desserts. I don’t shield him from that stuff because I don’t want him to leave for college and shove so much junk in his face that he ends up in a sugar coma for 12 weeks.

I just think there’s a better way to do things. And I don’t want to give him crap to eat just because other people do. And please know that I do not, in any way, believe that these parents love their kids any less than I love mine. They don’t. This just isn’t their main focus. It is, however, one of mine.

So, what do I do? Do I let him have one Lunchable a week? Do I fight the good fight and make Lunchables so taboo that one day he goes out and robs a convenience store with a shiv? Do I show him sickening pictures of the inside of a human body filled with Nitrates, Corn Syrup and Nerds???? Do I start my own pre-packed lunch company called Edibles, filled with delicious, organic food? Do I PRETEND to start this company, just so G thinks he’s getting his own brand of pre-packed goodness to take with him in his Batman lunchbox?

GARRETT-ABLES!!!! Read that out loud. It sounds like “Garr-Edibles”.

I just became a possible millionaire. And it’s all thanks to Lunchables and a very boring first post on the topic.

Feel free to discuss.

10 Jan 2013

Finding What Used to Be There

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I’ve been given an assignment. It’s none of your business who gave it to me (my therapist).

We (she) discovered an important factor in the mystery of why I’m not writing. I thought it was just pure fear. I thought it was because I was afraid to visit that part of me because it’s easier to just go on about my life as if I never was a writer. Were a writer? (See? I can’t write!) I thought it would just be easier to push down the creative part of me and move on. But here’s the part I was missing: I equate being creative with being a part of the entertainment industry. I was shocked to discover that I was doing this.

Every time she asked me about my writing I would reply with some answer about whether or not it would be marketable, or if would make me money, or if it would get me on TV again. I guess I didn’t really see the problem. I mean, what IS the point of being creative if it’s not going to make you rich and famous?

DUH!! Really??? The point of being creative is (are you ready for this?) BEING CREATIVE!! When I was 16, 17, 18 and on, I would drive to a restaurant and sit for hours, picking at my food and vigorously writing in my notebook. I’d write sketches and monologues and thoughts and poems. And yes, a lot of it did end up on stage. But I wasn’t writing for that PURPOSE.  I was writing because I had to, because it was inside of me, because it was who I was.

But then I think my writing just became a means to an end. I wrote to be in the sketch show that lead to me booking Mad TV. Then I wrote to try to get on the episodes. Then I wrote to see if I had a marketable story to tell (I couldn’t find one). Then I became a mom. And by that point, Russ had already been asking me FOR YEARS, when I would start to write again… SO I DID NOT STOP BECAUSE I BECAME A MOM. I stopped long before that.

Being a mom did complicate the issue, of course. I mean for the first time in my life I was channeling my creativity elsewhere. I was thinking less about what would be funny on stage or on TV and more about what would make a two-year-old laugh, or what a three-year-old would find DELECTABLE for dinner, or what game could keep my four-year-old and I occupied for a while. And the more I thought about that stuff, the less I thought about the part of me that used to pour out words just because they were inside me.

So, my assignment is to sit here in this coffee house, just five minutes from home, and to ignore the carpet that needs to be vacuumed, leave the dishes in the sink, and write. I’m supposed to write anything I want that DOESN’T have to do with “The Industry”.  This is my warm-up day. I can write words on a page, like they’re scales on a sheet of music. Or write a series of words describing how I feel about my life or my career. I can write anything as long as it’s not with a mind toward seeing it performed or posted or printed anywhere.

It’s not gonna be fun or easy. That’s the point. And I have to do it at LEAST three times before I give up. It has to be for no one else but me.

And yes, I realize I am writing right now. And I realize you are reading this. But this is not the stuff that scares me. This is the stuff that satisfies the part in me that I try to push down. This writing is just enough to make me feel like I haven’t totally forgotten, but not enough to make me feel threatened or scared. And this writing, although immensely important to me, barely scratches the surface of what I have to say, deep down inside, somewhere I haven’t visited in nearly a decade.

I’m going to go do scales now. Cover me.

09 Jan 2013

Snowmen and Snuggies

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Here’s how it started:

G had a chocolate snowman from his Christmas stocking that he’d been saving to eat. Today he put it out on the dining room table, proclaiming this would be his dessert after dinner tonight.

Apparently, while I was out at my audition, G smashed the snowman with his fist… Just to see what would happen. The snowman was now pretty much crushed, a big hole where his jolly stomach used to be. Russ put him back on the dining room table.

After dinner G opted for another dessert, but insisted he’d eat the chocolate snowman tomorrow. Russ and I decided it was better to throw him out, as he was smashed and flakey and probably covered in little pieces of colored foil.

This did not go over well.

G started to cry. Hard. He had so wanted to eat the snowman, and the snowman in turn was excited to be eaten. The trash can was not the proper place for the snowman to end his days, and G was inconsolable. As he carried him to the trash, he hugged and kissed him, crying harder. Russ hugged G. I hugged G. G cried. Then I suggested his stuffed animals (or snuggies, as he calls him), might want to talk to him to make him feel better. He agreed.

We went to his room together and I made several of his snuggies hug and kiss him. He smiled, but then remembered how sad the snowman was, alone in the trash. I assured him chocolate snowmen don’t have feelings, but I also told him that his dad and I understand him, because we’re exactly like him, and we also assigned feelings to every inanimate object when we were his age. Then I suggested reading a book. He liked this idea, but wanted each of his snuggies to be read to as well. About 10 minutes later, all of his snuggies were in a semi-circle on the floor. I’d say there’s about 23 of them. G and his white bear picked out two books; The Hungry Caterpillar and Snuggle Up Sleepy Ones. G made sure I showed each snuggy each page, as I read it. This took a while. He was busy tending to the snuggies that needed a drink or had to take a nap.

Then we were on to the second book and G had to run out to the living room to talk to Russ. Five minutes later, he hadn’t returned.

And that’s how I ended up reading an entire book to about 23 snuggies with no one else in the room. Yes. I read them the whole book. I even showed them most of the pages… Until I realized I didn’t have to, and read the last few pages without showing them. And then I felt guilty, but just for a second… Because I remembered snuggies don’t really have feelings.  Although,  they probably have more feelings than chocolate snowmen.

G’s fine now. And his snuggies really liked the second book.

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