My Exclusive Interview With Tom Brady

She's a Maineiac:

Did the New England Patriots really cheat? Should Tom Brady dump Gisele? Is Abe Vigoda sexy? How many times can a person say the word “balls” before a grown man cracks?

Find out all this and more! Head on over to The Nudge Wink Report where I dig deep into the dark recesses of Brady’s chin dimple to finally get to the truth. I think you can handle it. Probably.

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report:

Last night I had the privilege to chat with America’s sweetheart and my former boyfriend*, New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady.

tombrady

DISCLAIMER: This interview took place entirely in a dream. Any resemblance to any person living, dead or undead is purely intentional. During interview either Tom or I might have been either partially or completely naked. Fine, Tom was naked. Just Tom. Because it’s my dream and I can do what I like while I’m sleeping.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

She’s a Maineiac: Hey, Tommy boy! Welcome to my dream! How’s it going?

Tom Brady: Aw c’mon! Golly gee, let’s just cut to the chase. Don’t you mean, “how’s it hanging?”

SAM: (tilting head) Why would I ask “how’s it hanging?”

TB: Because of my balls …?

SAM: I’m not following.

TB: Y’know, how is it … hanging?

SAM: (stares blankly)

TB: … Deflating …?

SAM: Oh! (pauses) Yeah, I still don’t get it.

TB: MY BALLS! BALLS! BALLS! BALLS! BALLS! BALLS! (weeps into…

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Mom For Hire

The following post I wrote over three years ago and I’m reposting it because I have little time to write lately. In case you’re wondering the snow in Maine finally melted so I’m spending every waking moment outside.  Plus I’m tired. So damn tired. Happy Mother’s Day!

OBJECTIVE            To prove that when you notice the huge 10 year gap on my résumé, snicker and ask, “What were you doing all that time?!” I wasn’t merely sitting around twiddling my thumbs and eating bon bons.  (Although some days I did take a few breaks and did just that.)

WORK EXPERIENCE          

2000-2002              Fertility Specialist

  • Managed  and supervised an in-depth  and labor-intensive fertility project overseeing one disgruntled employee.
  • Daily progress was tracked with temperature readings, charts, graphs and my husband whining, “Do we have to do this AGAIN?!”
  • Goal was achieved after attending several meetings with various nurses, OB-GYNs and finally one prayer-filled seminar with The Big Guy in the Sky.
  • Assisted in creating an entire human being using only my body.
  •  Increased members of family by one healthy baby boy, increased household grocery consumption by 50%, decreased maternal brain cells by 30%.

2002-2003                Newborn Coordinator

  • Directed various sleep studies involving the length of time it takes for a subject to start hallucinating giant gummy bears dancing in the kitchen in relation to the few minutes of choppy haze-induced slumber one has per night.
  • Involved in product evaluations. Determined diaper wipe warmers are about as useful as another a hole in the head.  Also, breast pumps are not more effective if you crank the setting up to maximum and grit your teeth to get through the searing pain.
  • Managed one colicky baby every night for three months and implemented several tactics such as, walking baby around in circles while shushing, driving baby around neighborhood at 2 am and sobbing hysterically along with baby.

2003-2006                   Developmental Therapist/Lead Teacher

  • Lead instructor for a toddler child with sensory issues and more energy than an Energizer Bunny on speed fighting with the Tazmanian Devi in the midst of a hurricane..
  • Taught child how to count, how to recite the alphabet. Instructed child on proper hygiene, sleep habits, eating habits, social decorum. Lessons included: Hot Wheels are not for the toilet. Crayons are not edible. The cat is not a giant fuzzy doll that hisses. Addressed behavioral issues. For example, how not to hit, bite, kick another human being.
  • Subjects included: Respect, Kindness, Love, Curiosity, Imagination
  • Daily therapy provided:  giggling hysterically, dancing like everyone was watching, and running around the outdoors with wild abandon. Seeing the simple beauty, magic and joy in everyday things.
  • Goals achieved: 1) Raised one loving, caring, sweet, happy boy  2) Increased heart capacity by 1000%.

2006 to present             Mom Extraordinaire

  • Aided and assisted in creating and maintaining another human being using only my body.
  • Supervised two active, clever, bordering on maniacal children on a daily basis.
  • Provided safe, loving, nurturing home.
  • Taught subjects such as: sharing, caring, taking turns, being respectful of others, loving oneself
  • Goals Achieved: 1) Raised one sweet, loving, caring, happy girl. 2) Increased heart capacity by infinity.
  • Other Duties as Assigned: Chef, referee, maid, chauffeur, coach, dish washer, singer, dancer, party planner, counselor, public relations, nurse, doctor, teacher, professional hugger, boo-boo kisser, hand-holder, tear-wiper, confidence-builder and self-esteem engineer

SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

    • Time Management  Able to flip pancakes, clean ketchup off ceiling, figure out an algebraic equation, unclog toilet filled with Polly Pockets, do 10 loads of laundry, drive kids to various practices, classes and play dates simultaneously.
    • Debating  Successfully presented and defended stance that Halloween candy consumed in large quantities for breakfast is a bad idea; flinging a Barbie at your brother’s head is a bad idea; jumping off the roof of the house into a snowbank wearing only underwear is a bad idea.
    • Patience  Able to withstand endless hours of ‘Why?’ questions, followed by listening to relentless whining, Spongebob episodes and sibling games of “But I’m Not Really Touching You!”  and “Stinky Feet”.
    • Love  Provided endless quantities on an as-needed basis until my heart hurt.

References Available Upon Maturity of Children.
Ask them how I did in 15 years. My guess is not too shabby.

Mishmash Monday

Hello there!

How the hell are you?

Just a friendly message letting you all know I can’t write anymore.

No, wait! Don’t leave me! Come back! This is serious! I got nuthin’! My bloggy well ran dry. My bloggy liquor cabinet has been emptied. My bloggy fridge has nothing but a half-drunk bottle of PBR and my bloggy pantry is full of moldy chocolate-covered raisins. No, wait…those aren’t raisins. I wish to god they were raisins.

Normally I have at least a dozen half-assed posts collecting dust in my draft folder. Today I checked and all I had was a quarter-assed post about Duck Dynasty I wrote nearly two years ago. About asses.

duck-dynasty

Oh how I wish I really couldn’t see them.

This terrible no good winter from hell has killed my writerly soul. Yes, I said writerly. See how bad this is?

But being cooped up with cabin fever for these past six months has made me better at complaining. All winter long my husband and I played the classic married game of “Who’s More Miserable?”

Answer: It’s always me.

(Thank you, past hellish childbirth experiences.)

We’re celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary this week so this is what we do for fun now. Every night we cozy up in bed and suddenly turn into our grandmothers.

Him: “Oh god! I think my foot is going numb.”

Me: “My lower back is on fire!”

Him: “Yeah? Well, my ankle hurts!”

Me: “My knees hurt!”

Him: “My right butt cheek hurts!”

Me: “Hey, you know what hurts? That time they ripped all my insides out then put them on the table next to me! Twice!”

What’s even sadder is most times we are so exhausted from our daily lives we simply yell out body parts at each other. Sometimes to spice things up we’ll throw in a few potential diseases or ailments we think we might be developing.

“Thyroid!”

“Ovarian cancer!”

“Sleep apnea!”

“Menopause!”

What a delightful game! Other than my always being more miserable, nothing much else is going on with me.

As for my two kids? They’re flipping fantastic! Love them to pieces!

My eight-year-old daughter was looking at my high school yearbook photo last week and cringed: “Mom? Why is your hair so big? Why did you make it stick all up like that?”

I wish I knew, Miss J. I wish to god I knew.

scan2-e1338080234845 (2)

Laugh all you want now but at the time my Cowardly Lion mane provided a cozy home for a down-on-their-luck family of mice. (inhales) Ahhhhh! and I can still smell the burnt hair and chemicals just looking at this picture. And they warned us back then inhaling too much Aqua Net might fry your brain and lower your IQ! Pfft! Yeah, right! Whatever! hmmm…soooooooo….yeah…ahem….yep…..what was I talking about again?

Oh yes, my kids! My son is almost 13 so my knack for embarrassing the hell out of him comes with zero effort on my part.

The other day I was picking him up after track practice when I noticed a slight change in his appearance — a bit of peach fuzz on his upper lip.

“OH MY GOD! DO YOU HAVE A MUSTACHE?! IS THAT A MUSTACHE? OH! MY LITTLE BABY BOO IS BECOMING A MAN! NOOOO! WHY LORD? WHYYYYYY?”

Sure, I probably shouldn’t have yelled this revelation at the top of my lungs in the parking lot in front of his school. Or collapsed to the ground weeping. Okay, and I shouldn’t have actually picked him up. My back will pay for that one later. And maybe I shouldn’t have done all this when his friends were around. Plus that cute girl he really likes. Live and learn. Or not learn ever, in my case. I live to embarrass that boy. Let’s call it payback for colic.

I’d like to close this random post with a little movie review titled Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of What the F***?)

"Do you know what this movie means?" "Hell no! I thought you did!"

“Do you know what this movie means?”
“Hell no! I thought you did!”

**SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the film yet, go away now! Go back to Twitter where you belong! Nothing to see here!**

Last week the little red Netflix envelope appeared in my mailbox and I thought, Ooh! Birdman! Cool! I like birds, I loved the movie Mr. Mom, this is going to be awesome! and settled down with my popcorn and gin to enjoy the feel-good movie of last year. I should have known a movie’s only Academy Award worthy when it makes you cringe the entire 2 hours. Ah, yes, the endless inner conflict of creativity versus fame, self-acceptance versus popularity, prop gun versus blown-off nose. Oh, Michael Keaton! I love you, man! You should have won that Oscar! But please, I’m begging you, rip off that ugly toupee and tell me what the hell the ending meant! Why were Emma Stone’s eyes so big? Why is Ed Norton so good at playing an asshole? Why was this movie the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen? Please tell me you lived happily ever after and flew away into the sunset wearing your undies! Why, Birdman? WHYYYYYY????

That’s it from here. What’s new with you? Do you know what the ending to Birdman meant? Do you also embarrass your kids? Can you give me some tips on how to improve my parenting tactics? Did I tell you my lower back’s on fire? What parts of your body are disintegrating?

____________________________________

Birdman image: Rolling Stone
High School Yearbook Photo: She’s A “Gag me with a spoon” Maineiac

Why I Should Be On Survivor

She's a Maineiac:

Hey kids, big news! I’m an official field reporter for the WordPress recommended humor blog, The Nudge Wink Report. Want to know my greatest fear? Or why I’m so ticked off at Jeff Probst? Check out my first post, Why I should be on Survivor.

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report:

Survivor30logo

Survivor kicked off it’s 30th season last month with Worlds Apart set off the coast of Nicaragua. Once again I was glued to the TV like a contestant’s soggy underwear to their nether regions in the sweltering tropical heat. A few Mainers have competed on the show over the years, with one actually winning the grand prize. (Anyone remember BobBest season evah.)

This year we have this man to cheer on: Dan from Gorham.

survivor-2015-dan-foley-06 image: survivorfandom

Wow. Ayuh, he certainly looks like a true Maineiac. Some highlights of his quest for the million dollars: Nobody on his tribe can stand him, he peed on his own jelly fish sting and he’s free-balling it because he lost his undies in the ocean. Yee-ouch! Looks like he’s all chafed up with no place to go. I have no idea what that means.

Watching this middle-aged postal worker slog around the beach with his sweaty furry belly hanging out made me think,

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Maine politician makes stuff up. Stephen King gets pissed. What happens next will blow your mind.

As if the six month winter of Snowmageddon wasn’t enough, now us Mainers have something else to bitch about. Our resident prolific bullshit artist, Governor Paul LePage, made national headlines last week by waging a battle of wits with our resident prolific horror writer, Stephen King.

Slide1

When I say wits I’m only talking about one man. You guess which one.

Here’s how the brouhaha went down: Gov. LePage recently stated in his radio address something like, “Hey! Mainers don’t need no fricking income tax! Look at Stephen King!  He lives in Florida! Yeah, that’s right! He’s an asshole!”

To which Stephen King responded with, “Say whaaaaat?”

Apparently, not only does King pay his share of Maine taxes with a million and change every year, I could have sworn I saw him last week at his part time gig selling Bean boots and maple syrup.

Slide1

In typical political fashion, LePage immediately had his comments erased from the transcript and admitted to nothing on his part. Because clearly it was the news media’s fault for spinning their magic voodoo words to make him look bad. Oh, those pesky news reporters! Always inferring and assuming and hearing words come out of someone’s mouth and attaching meaning to those words.

The next day, Stephen King gazed out at the palm trees, took a long sip from his margarita, cranked up his a/c and responded with, “Be a man. Apologize.”

Instead LePage said in his standard “let’s make a lame joke and this will all fade away” way:

“Just make me the villain of your next book and I won’t charge you royalties.”

Oh! Oh ho ho ho! Oh man! You are such a riot, Paul! But I have news for you, I’m pretty sure all of Stephen King’s villains were based on you.

While we wait for King to unleash the homicidal sewer clown let’s have some fun. I love it when people make stuff up to fit their agenda.

Here, let me try… (keep in mind I am clearly not saying what I am saying. If you infer something, that’s your fault.)

**Local statisticians are stumped as to why Maine’s population is steadily declining. Governor Paul LePage lives here.

**In a recent poll, Maine ranked as the number one state full of idiots. Governor Paul LePage was elected. Twice.

Please, America, I’m begging you to realize these facts:

  1. We did not elect Paul LePage. Eliot Cutler did.
  2. 51.8 % of us would rather suffer through ten more winters than one more term with Paul.
  3. Next election? I’m writing in Stephen King.

Liar Liar … is it getting hot in here?

untitled (3)Last week I provided you guys with four short stories about my life and asked you to figure out which one was the lie.

Story #1 — I hit a moose with my car but was saved by some kind of divine intervention? True. Snicker all you want but I actually did hear a voice cut through my own thoughts and it told me to slow down and brake right before impact. I don’t really care if you believe me or not because I was there and it happened. Have I “heard” any voices since then? Sadly, no. I kind of wish that voice would have come back last week and warned me not to wear leggings out in public but you can’t have everything.

Story #2 — Our house was haunted by some old farmer so I basically told him to kindly get lost (and go toward the light blah, blah etc.) only to find out instead he started haunting my mother who lives right next door? True. Yes! If you don’t believe it ask my mom or my husband. Or the ghost farmer. Although, he’s not around at all anymore, he must have found his tools in the hereafter. Or he grew tired of my mom’s constant bitchin’ at him to take out the trash. (By the way, this wasn’t my first ghostly encounter, I grew up in a haunted 100 year old house. Apparently, I’m a ghost magnet.)

Story #3 —  Twenty years ago my mom and I were flashed by some bizarre serial flasher terrorizing the coast of Maine by exposing himself to women on isolated trails near the ocean? True. Oh, dear god how I wish it were false. (shudder) He was captured not long after our encounter but we had nothing to do with it, mainly because we couldn’t remember any details about this creep’s face. (shudder, retch, shudder) And here’s more proof Amy Poehler and I lead eerie parallel lives, she also was flashed once by a guy asking for the time. Must be a thing? Maybe these guys should come up with a new line, like ask, “Would you lovely ladies like a coupon for a free Starbucks Tiramisu latte?” That might get our undivided attention.

Story #4 — And so that leaves Paul Newman. Sweet dearly departed Paul.

Hot damn, I'm good-looking.

Hot damn, I’m good-looking.

No, he was not an asshole. But Kevin Costner is, I’m sure of it.

Thirteen of you clever people guessed story number 4 was the lie, so in bitter defeat I inhaled a box of Paul Newman’s Butter Boom popcorn, smothered my pasta with a jar of his marinara sauce, chugged down a bottle of his Pinot grigio and spun my magic random wheel generator and …

Life With The Top Down

you are the winner of Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please! Please email your mailing address through my contact page and I’ll hop on my snowmobile and get it to you asap. Right after I finish reading it myself. So far, it’s a very good read.  I take it you don’t mind wine glass stains and Cheetos dust in the pages?

I’ll leave you all with a fun factoid to cleanse my soul: I have never seen a single episode of Parks and Recreation in its entirety and probably never will. Don’t care for it at all.

Truth.

Man, that felt good to get out! Ahhhhhh! Any lies you’d like to tell me in the comments? Or truths? TV shows you don’t really like?

Let’s Play the Lying Game!

 

I am such a good liar!

…or am I?

As a writer, I’ve got a good imagination so I like to make stuff up. I’ve been known to elaborate a little when I remember a past story from my life. If I were to give a rough estimate, I’d say about 99.99% of my posts are complete BS. Yep, I made it all up.

Nah, I’m kidding! It was all true! See how good I am at lying?

So do you think you can spot a lie? Time for the misremembering game that’s sweeping our nation –

 

Slide1

I lied. It’s really time for three truths and a lie. Damn, I’m good.

The following are a few short stories about things that really happened in my life. Really, I swear!

Your job is to figure out which one of the following tales is a lie. Give your answer in the comments. I’ll reveal the lie one week from today.  If you get it right you’ll have a chance to win a signed copy of Stephen King’s latest book Revival!

I lied again.  (Sorry but I’m not on speaking terms with good ol’ Steve-o anymore, ahem.) But you WILL win the right to sing “liar liar pants on fire” at the computer screen — just as good, amirite?

OK, fine — I’ll randomly pick from the winning guesses (who reside in the US, preferably within 5 miles of the nearest snowmobile trail) and mail that lucky person a copy of Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please.* (and yes, I’m being serious now)

STORY #1

One foggy summer night back in 1997, I was driving home from work on a desolate country road. Suddenly a voice sliced through my thoughts:

TURN OFF THE RADIO.

I sat straight up in my seat, the hairs on the back of my neck prickling. I switched off the radio.

MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO CARS IN ONCOMING LANE, the voice commanded.

I peered out at the road, my headlights illuminating a blur of dark pine trees racing past as I zipped along the curves of route 136. Before I had a chance to process why I was hallucinating, another demand:

SLOW DOWN NOW.

Without questioning, I did as I was instructed.  While rounding a sharp corner, I braked and slowed down to 50 mph. Suddenly a dark mass filled my windshield. I slammed on the brakes, my car skidding for several yards into the oncoming lane.  But it was too late, the sudden impact crushed the front of my little Ford Fiesta. I violently slammed forward then backward in my seat, severely twisting my back and neck.

I had hit a moose.

Somehow I managed to drive a short distance to find a phone and call the police (I didn’t have a cell phone back then). Sadly, the moose didn’t survive. But everyone from the cops to the mechanics to the insurance agent told me I was lucky to be alive at all because most people are killed instantly when the moose sails through the windshield. If I were going any faster, I wouldn’t be here right now telling you this story.

Was the voice I thought I heard my own intuition? Or God? A guardian angel? Whatever or whoever it was, there’s no doubt it saved my life.

STORY #2

Our current house was haunted for a time. Lights would turn off and on, TV channels would change by themselves. I’d put something down in the kitchen only to turn around and find it missing. Once my entire family watched as a glass bowl slid straight off the kitchen counter by itself and onto the floor, shattering into pieces.

Sometimes at night I’d feel the faint sensation of someone sitting on the edge of my bed. Once while I was still wide awake,  someone tapped my feet. I thought it was one of my kids so I sat up to peer into the darkness only to find no one was there.

I decided to ask a psychic friend of mine to “channel” the spirit for me. According to her, he was an old farmer who had lived in the 1950s near the very spot where our house now stood. She said he was searching for his tools because he used to fix tractors out in his shed, and this is why we’d find things misplaced. Why did he insist on haunting us? Apparently while alive he wasn’t a spiritual man and therefore wasn’t accepting he was truly dead.

She suggested I politely tell the ghost to “go outside because his tools weren’t in our house”. As silly as it sounds, I did this several times out loud. “Hey, farmer man!” I yelled in between giggles to the empty room. “Sorry, but your tools aren’t here! You can go outside now! Oh — and go towards the light! Thanks and good luck!”

A few days later it seemed to have worked. The air was clearer, no longer heavy with a spirit’s presence. The strange electricity occurrences and creepy nighttime visits disappeared. Our farmer was gone. Maybe he finally found his tractor tools outside in the shed? I chuckled to myself.

The following week my mom who lives right next door called me on the phone. “It’s the oddest thing,” she said. “I think my house is haunted. Someone moved all of the utensils around in the kitchen and the lights keep going on and off!”

Oops.

STORY #3

Back in my 20s, I used to hike at Wolfe Neck State Park off the coast of Freeport, Maine. One overcast day, I invited my mother to come along. We parked our car and started down a long winding trail in the woods that led to the ocean.

We heard a car pulling in, so I glanced behind me and noticed a man jogging in our direction. As he passed us further on down the trail, he took off his shirt and disappeared around the bend. An unsettling feeling washed over me but I shook it off. My mother and I continued our walk, admiring the stillness of the forest and the soft crashing of the waves in the distance.

We rounded a corner and there was the man again. Only this time he was holding his clothes in his hands — all of them. Standing there completely naked, he held up his hands, revealing a very sad and direct view of his nether regions.

“Do you ladies know the time?” he asked, like it was perfectly normal question.

My blood ran cold. I panicked, unsure of what to do next. Was this really happening? Is he going to do something else now? Should I scream or run?

Thankfully, I didn’t have time to figure out my next move because my mom disarmed the entire situation by bursting into incredulous laughter. “Time? TIME?” she yelled.  “I think time is the least of your worries, buddy!”

Suddenly appearing embarrassed, the man covered himself up and looked down at the ground.

My mother and I hustled down the path past him unsure of what to do next. When he was out of sight, we quickly make our way back to the parking lot using another path which turned out to be the longest hike of my life. We immediately told the park gatekeeper what happened.  A police officer soon arrived to take down our names and all the details.

“Can you describe the suspect?” he asked.

“Well, we sure as hell weren’t looking at his face, if that’s what your asking!” my mom sneered in disgust.

A few days later, I opened the local newspaper and gasped. Apparently, The Mid Coast Flasher was nabbed, his reign of terror finally over. For months he’d successfully flashed several other women at various spots up and down the coast. His signature move? Asking for the time.  Studying his mug shot, I had only one thought.:

Oh, so THAT’S what he looks like!

STORY #4

image: completelycoastal.com

Around 1998, the movie “Message in a Bottle” starring Paul Newman, Kevin Costner and Robin Wright was filmed off the coast of Maine at Popham Beach, not far from where I lived in the tourist trap outlet town of Freeport.

My house was right next to L.L.Bean’s main retail store,  so most summer nights my younger brother, Chris and I would sit on a park bench downtown to eat a Ben & Jerry’s cone and people watch.

One muggy night in August, we bought our cones and sat down on the bench next to an old man wearing a NY Yankees baseball hat. He responded to our presence by grunting under his breath and pulling the cap down over his eyes.

Minutes ticked by as Chris and I giggled and chatted, both of us noticing the tourist growing more agitated by our conversation.

“Holy shit!” the old man suddenly growled. “Isn’t there anything to do in this godforsaken town but sit and eat goddamn ice cream? Jesus!”

I turned my head and looked straight into a pair of unmistakable baby blue eyes now glaring back at me from underneath the baseball cap.

No, it couldn’t be him! …could it?

Before we had a chance to respond, another man walked up holding two cones. “Beautiful night, isn’t it?” he smiled at us.

“Um….y-yeah….” I stuttered.

The man then turned his attention to the crabby codger on the bench. “Chunky Monkey, right, Paul?”

“Just give it to me for chrissakes,” he grumbled, grabbing his cone. We watched in disbelief as the two men strolled off into the night.

And that was the day I met both Kevin Costner and Paul Newman.

______________________________________________________

Okay! Wow. I’ve lived quite the exciting life, huh?

So what’s the lie? Is it

1) The Voice Saves Darla
2) Ghost Farmer Relocates
3) Flasher Needs A Watch
4) Paul Newman Was One Grumpy Chunky Monkey

If you guys all guess correctly, well then…maybe I should practice lying more?

_______________________________________________________

*If no one guesses correctly I reserve the right to read Amy’s book myself while gloating about how I’m such a good liar.

Five Things About This Winter That Will Blow Your Mind

1. Big snow is bad. Me no likey big snow.

Hey look everybody! It's fifteen feet of snow! Time to bust out the ol' snowshoes and hike to the barn for the Christmas gifts! YIPPEE!

Hey look everybody! It’s fifteen feet of snow! Time to bust out the ol’ snowshoes and hike to the barn for the Christmas gifts! YIPPEE!

We’ve received approximately four feet of snow in a span of two weeks. This is the weather pattern we seem to be locked in until kingdom come: Big snowstorm, followed by 40 mph wind gusts then plummeting wind chill temps of minus-20. Two days later? Well good golly! Another big snowstorm, 50 mph gusts, plummeting temps. This weekend’s forecast? Endless snow until summer.

Conclusion? Clearly, Pa Ingalls was on crack.

2. Driving in big snow is bad. Me no likey driving in big snow.

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HANG ON DARLA! DON’T LET GO! JUST TWO MORE DRIFTS , A 300 FOOT SLIDE AND WE’RE ALMOST OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY!

Yesterday was a breather for us Mainers. Instead of the usual foot or so, we only got about five inches of sloppy, heavy, slushy snow. And because the teachers here don’t want to be stuck in school until mid-August, they kept schools open.

This meant I had to fire up my little tin can on wheels (Prius) and make my way down unplowed back roads that would make Vin Diesel shit his pants.

On the plus side, now my driving skills are spectacular. I managed to pull my own Tokyo drifts at every intersection and narrowly missed being crushed by a city snow plow who apparently mistook my car for a roller skate.

Sadly, I survived to face another day trapped in the Antarctic Circle. Help me. Send hard liquor.

3. The only reason we still have a shred of sanity left is because the Patriots won the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, I didn’t watch the game. I was too busy suffering from a monster sinus/ear infection that rendered me incapable of lifting my head off my pillow. I did manage to listen to the score in between my moaning and groaning.  But when I heard the Pats were down by 10 points in the fourth quarter, I threw a few more balled-up tissues at my husband and shut off the TV in disgust.

The next morning my 81-year-old mom called me (she’s a huge Patriots fan and never misses a game):

angry_old_woman

“Did you see the game?  BEST GAME EVAH! BEST SUPER BOWL EVAH!

Tom Brady got MVP and he sure does deserve it! What with all that crap about him deflating balls. Tsk! Tsk! Good lord! How ’bout the Seahawks stick a deflated ball in their pipes and smoke it? Huh? Deflated balls!

But that halftime show! Oh god! That was terrible! Just awful! Katy Perry was out there prancing around with some sharks! So stupid! And her chest is just too big! Way too big! She needs to cover herself up more. Hello! We don’t care that you have a big chest! And then she sang a bunch of songs and just floated away! Well guess what Katy Perry? You sure ain’t no Lady Gaga, I can tell you that!”

 4. Getting around town is like navigating the maze in The Shining.

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Selfie I took this morning.

With all this nonstop snow,  just venturing outside for a walk or a short drive is a hazard. In some places the drifts are taller than I am. I went downtown to pay my oil bill and had to park three blocks away and hike through the snow because they closed down the entire town for snow removal. Yes folks — the snow here is so bad, they close towns. This was my town’s main street this morning:

downtown lisbonAs you can imagine, trying to drive around corners when the snow banks are this high is loads of fun. Is there a car coming my way? Will I pull out onto the road straight into the path of a tractor trailer truck? Who the hell knows! So every stop sign I come to, I just say a prayer and gun it.

5. My kids love the snow.

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I suppose I should give up and follow their example, huh? Tomorrow I’m installing a hot tub and mini-bar.

So maybe I’ll get back to blogging more once I can take a break from all this shoveling and snow blowing and heavy drinking. I have faith one day it’ll all melt and form one giant tsunami so we can finally begin our Mud Season From Hell.

Hopefully by August if we’re lucky.

Complications of the Flu May Include Extreme Deflation

I’ve been sick as a dog this past week. First my son was socked with a “flu-like virus” (which is apparently our pediatrician’s polite way of saying “you’ve got the flu”) Then he kindly passed it onto his little sister and she promptly responded by coughing directly into my mouth 150 times so I wouldn’t miss out.  Near the end of my week-long Influenzapallooza I also had the added bonus of developing bronchitis.

My husband? Not even a sniffle.

It all started when I felt a death rattle in my chest during halftime of last week’s Patriots/Colts game. I went straight to bed eager to begin spending my days writhing around in a delirium of fever, body aches and hacking cough. But at least I got to practice my moaning and groaning. I’m very good at it now.

Just yesterday the fever broke and I felt almost half-dead again. The mental brain fog lifted and I suddenly realized I had missed the ending of the Patriots game.

Did they win? Did I miss anything?

My mind still swimming in a delicious Nyquil-induced daze, I shuffled out to the living room, snuggled down on the couch in my bathrobe and clicked on the TV just in time to see my old boyfriend up there answering questions at a press conference.

635575448407943902-tom-brady-conference Aw, gosh darnit! Isn’t he adorbs in that hat? And oh wow! His chiseled dimplicious chin seems to be breaking news on every channel! Everyone must be super excited about the Pats going to the Big Game!

Then I turned up the volume.

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“…when I pick those balls out… I don’t want anyone touching the balls after that. I don’t want anyone rubbing them.”

I looked down at the empty Nyquil bottle on the coffee table. Hmm….did I accidentally double the dose? I rubbed the cobwebs out of my eyes and tried to focus harder on what my Tommy Boy was yammering about in his super-cuddly gray sweats.

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“Everybody has a preference. Some guys like them round, some guys like them thin, some guys like them tacky, some guys like them brand new, some guys like old balls. They’re all different. … It’s a very individual thing.”

Okay. Well. Time to head back to bed. Maybe when I wake up tomorrow things will be back to normal? Or at least, less tacky-ball-ish.

That was when my 81-year-old mother (her birthday was just yesterday!) called me on the phone to give her expert take on things. (Needless to say, both of us are huge Pats fans and have been since the pre-Doug-Flutie-On-The-Wheaties-Box days.)

angry_old_woman “Did you see that damn ball thing? Jeezum crow! I mean, just who on the Colts team suddenly said, ‘Hey! I’m gonna start checking their balls!’ Yeah, like just out of the freaking blue he’s suddenly fascinated with their balls! ‘Here, let’s touch the balls! Everyone squeeze their balls! I bet their balls are soft! That’s why we’re losing!’ Why not squeeze your own gol-darn balls, huh? Why not leave the Patriots’ balls alone? We all know it’s the cold air that did it! Cold air makes them shrink! What, are they gonna have to touch every friggin ball before every friggin play now? I’d like to see that! Balls? Balls my ass!”

And there you have it, folks. Balls my ass. The final authority on this whole shrinkage catastrophe. My mom does know her balls. After all, she raised five boys.

Planting the Seeds of Change

“An eye for an eye is just wrong, Mom.”

My 12-year-old son was explaining his feelings on law and order from thousands of years ago. His homework was to determine if justice involved cutting off a person’s hand if he were caught stealing food.

“Why is it wrong? Wasn’t he wrong to steal?” I asked him.

“It’s wrong because violence is never the right thing to do.”

Sadly, his opinion would seem to be rare if watching TV is any indication. We live in a world where violence is entertainment.

News channels repeatedly spew out the same horrifically violent videos 24/7. Popular video games and prime time television shows glorify senseless violence. Social media rewards people who commit crimes by posting their images until they go viral.

We sit there glued to our screens like desensitized robots and eat it up, but we never fully digest it. We let it consume our psyches, allowing the anger and fear fester inside of us, eventually planting seeds of overwhelming sadness until we become the news we are watching.

Newsflash: we are each other. Nothing is isolated in this world. Everything and everyone is connected. Every human has a story, his or her own personal tragedies to overcome. How do we break the chain of negativity? How do we grow to become the respectful, loving souls we are all destined to become? Anger and sadness are genuine emotions but it’s how we transform that energy that matters in the end.

Every day we each have to dig deep inside ourselves to make a simple but powerful choice. Love or fear. The truth I know in my heart? Love is the only thing that will save us.

A few years ago, a holistic doctor was helping treat the anxiety and depression I’ve suffered off and on all my life. I’m an emotionally sensitive person so I absorb all energy, the good and bad. Unfortunately, my own mindset began to change to one full of fear. I started to view the world as full of evil, disrespectful, misbehaving people. It’s an eye for an eye, it’s a hellish, cruel world. It’s hopeless.

My doctor offered a simple suggestion that I immediately scoffed at: Stop watching the news. Stop watching the news? But then I wouldn’t know what was going on in the world! I need to know! I can’t be ignorant of the problems people are facing every day, can I?

Now that I’m getting older I’m finding he was right. For me the key is balance.  I do stay informed of things, of course, but I turn off the news more and more. I’m finding I’m less anxious or sad. Now I go out into the world more positive, more accepting, more open to trust. People pick up on my energy and they feel it too.  Small changes make a big impact in your life.

I still know what goes on in this world, I’m not turning a blind eye to injustice.  Of course things need to be brought to light in order for change to occur. But what are you doing in your life to make that change? Simply watching the news is not taking positive action. But how you act toward everyone you meet? That is how you make real change.  It’s not found in buzz phrases or tweets. It’s getting down to the basics of how we treat each other as human beings.

Now I focus on the good things that are happening and I let them feed my soul. I make it a mission to water those seeds. Contrary to what the news tells us, every second of every day people are doing good. They’re loving, helping and respecting each other. They’re listening to each other’s viewpoint without jumping on a bandwagon just to be popular. They’re showing the courage to actually practice what they preach on a daily basis with no fanfare, no immediate reward, no viral story blowing up on the internet.

Why can’t this behavior be the norm on TV? Because these stories don’t get the best ratings.

There are millions of respectful, loving people on this planet. I remind myself the news media is in the business of getting us to watch. They figured out a long time ago, humans are drawn toward violence — we love drama, we crave conflict. News outlets seek it out and they zero in on it. They replay the worst of human behavior for our endless consumption until it slowly poisons us.

Hope is not lost with me because I’m blessed to be able to tap into a deep well of boundless love and positivity. It’s found within my own kids. I raised them to treat everyone they meet fairly, to try not to judge anyone based on differences. To listen. To understand. To empathize. To respect. To accept. To love. These aren’t mere words, these are actual concepts we practice every day. As a parent, I’m cultivating in them the notion of honoring all life.

My son is now my teacher. I watch how he acts and I relearn how to behave myself. He shows me that talk is cheap. He stands up for people that are considered “different” because he is different himself. He is respectful, loving, and compassionate to everyone he meets. Everyone. I know he will be brave enough to do some good in this world. He will make a real change.

He chooses love over fear, so why can’t I?

Maybe someday, this will be considered popular behavior. Maybe someday, this will be the news.