Dear Human

Dear Human,

It’s been one week since I graced you with my presence. In other words, seven long torturous days of needless suffering. It’s a wonder I didn’t bolt through the open door on the first day, never to return again to this pathetic excuse for lodging. Alas, I’ve been cursed with a stubborn laziness with no cure. I barely have the urge to bother finishing typing up this letter. What’s the point? You’ll never learn. Yet I press on with the ever-diminishing hope some of what I’m about to write will seep into that utterly minuscule brain of yours.

When I first arrived, I found the accommodations severely lacking in good taste. I assumed you’d get the hint when I turned up my nose at the shoddy basket you gleefully offered as my bedding. Everyone knows the only proper spot for slumbering is on top of your head. How can you not know that? Astounding.

Which brings me to my next plea: Stop touching me. From now on, I will be the sole instigator in all aspects of physical contact. If I want to crawl onto your lap, consider this a rare blessing. If I sit on top of your keyboard — trust me — it’s for your own good. (For once in your meaningless existence, stop going on the Internet! Can’t you see I’m only trying to prevent those last few brain cells from seeping out of your ears?)  As for spontaneous expressions of affection, I will only allow a few light strokes of my head per day and nothing more. If you insist on cuddling me like a two-bit stuffed animal, I will be forced to claw the stuffing our of you with my hind legs. Again, common sense.

Granted, I’ve only been here a week, but I’ve noticed another peculiar trend involving the endless parade of ridiculous “toys” you dangle in front of my face like the proverbial carrot. Honestly, I’m baffled. Fuzzy purple mice? Feathers on a stick? My apologies, I didn’t realize you hired me to be the lead act in your three-ring circus.

And the way you effortlessly demean yourself in your sad attempts to prompt me to play! Have you no self-respect at all? The more I have to endure the unnerving sight of your googly eyes and the sound of your voice squawking, “Wanna play? Wanna play?” the more my opinion of you sinks to new lows. What would I prefer to amuse myself with? Your shoelaces when you’re walking out the door to work. Your necklace when you’re trying to watch television. Your hair when you’re in a dead sleep. Pay attention! Stop wasting your time and money! Gah! I’m so exasperated I might not be able to continue this tirade. Perhaps another 18-hour nap might be in order so I might collect my thoughts again.

Now that we’ve covered sleep, touch, and play, the only other point of contention left is perhaps the biggest one: Food.

Forgive me for my savage bluntness, but the menu here should be featured on the upcoming Gordon Ramsey cooking show, Gorge & Puke. Purina Kitten Chow? Please. Herb-crusted sirloin tips with a creamy horseradish-chive sauce? Now we’re getting somewhere.

How many times can I wrinkle my nose, smugly close my eyes and slowly turn my head away from the gruel festering in my bowl? Still you repeatedly choose to misread my signals. I’m not rubbing up against your leg to say, “thank you”. I’m giving you a chance to redeem yourself before I leave you another “gift” outside of the litter box! Don’t you get it? I need a steady stream of the choicest cuts of beef! How else can I keep up with all the physical and mental demands you continuously swamp me with on a daily basis? And what do you mindlessly pour into my bowl? Seafood Sensations?! In pellet form! I weep for all of humanity.

It pains me to end my letter this way — especially when I have oodles of other things to complain about. But have no fear, I will write more letters to you in the future. My fervent wish is that my words will bring to light the tragedy that has befallen me; the callous way you have forced me to live in such deplorable conditions.

Until then, I promise you one thing– I shall prevail.

Best,

Maggie the Magnificent

maggie

 

 

 

 

 

Bloggers Gone (Mildly) Wild

I’ve been lucky to have met several bloggers over the years. As lovely as all of them turned out to be, I admit that I had my doubts.

What if they’re really ax murderers?
What if they think I’m totally uncool?
What if I end up wearing a fake mustache, plaid earmuffs, and yellow yarn on my head in public?

Preparing to blow the hipster restaurant crowd away with our epic dorkiness.
Preparing to blow Portland away with our epic dorkiness.

Ayuh, that’s right. I met up with Jules from Go Jules Go AND Peg from
Peg-o-leg’s Ramblings! I know!! INSANE!! I was delirious from the pure excitement and adrenaline. Or maybe that was because I pounded down a Blueberry Ale in ten seconds.

The Three Amigos: Three Blondes Make Everything Right
Three Wrong Blondes Make Everything Right

The best part was we didn’t even really plan (much) for this to happen — it was like fate, destiny, or pure coincidence. Jules is from New Jersey and just happened to be up here in Maine for Labor Day weekend. Peg is from Illinois and she and her family just happened to be up here in Maine for Labor Day weekend. And it was my birthday! I’m 29 for the 18th time. What a gift it was to chill with some bloggy peeps!!!!! (extra exclamation points absolutely justified)

After bribing Peg’s visiting family with lobster rolls, they graciously allowed me to hobnob with WordPress celebs Peg and Jules (and her adorable dog) on the Portland waterfront.

boo

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Chillin’ with Uncle Jesse.

I tell you I have never been so giddy. Peg is exactly like you’d imagine from her blog times 100. She’s beautiful, bubbly, and hilarious. I’ve already met with Jules a few times, so it goes without saying she’s gorgeous, witty and totally rocks. The three of us had lunch, gabbed about stupid blog stuff, and played with vibrating lobsters

What? The restaurant handed them out to us so we’d know when our lunch was ready! Sheesh!

me-and-peg-and-the-lobster-vibrators
Hello, Portland Press Herald? Breaking news — Darla, a born-n-raised Mainah, actually hates lobster.

I’d love to end this post by bragging about how after lunch we jetted off to party on a rented lobster boat while we toured lighthouses and Stephen King’s estate, but that’ll have to wait until next year.

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Bonus footage: Jim Gaffigan tells you exactly why I don’t like “lobstah”


Have you ever met a blogger in real life? Did you get as nervous as I did? Did you also make a complete fool of yourself in public? (Not hard for me to do…) Do tell!

My exclusive interview with Trump

 

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Last week, I sat down with the Republican Party nominee at the local Starbucks. After knocking back a couple Frappuccinos and ten scones, I was ready to hammer him with the tough questions.

Me: Mr. Trump — may I call you Mr. Trump? Or do you prefer just Trump or The Donald or…?

Trump: I prefer Supreme Ruler of the Universe.

Me: Mmkay. So…I think we’re all dying to know…what the frig? I mean, dude! Seriously?

Trump: I have no idea what you mean by that question.

Me: Really? No idea?

Trump: Look, let’s get down to brass tacks here. Obama is ISIS. He really is.

Me: (scoffs)

Trump: I’m tellin’ you, he created it.

Me: Uh….

Trump: There’s no doubt. My sources also tell me he’s the man responsible for Deflategate, Zima, and Carrot Top.

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Me: You can’t really believe–

Trump: Okay, about what I just said. It’s called (enunciates slowly) SARCASM.

Me: Oh, so you were kidding? About which part?

Trump: No, I wasn’t kidding. It’s all true. When I said it was sarcasm, I was being sarcastic. Here’s the thing, and pay careful attention to what I’m about to say.

Me: Okay.

Trump: Obama’s a vegetarian.

Me: (blank stare)

Trump: Probably a vegan, for all we know.

Me: And how does that–

Trump: Obama’s an alien. Sent from the planet Floopzork to destroy all humanity. It’s true and I have solid proof, but anyway.

Me: Okay, I get the feeling you’re trying to sabotage your own campaign. Thoughts?

Trump: Look — this country is in crisis. We need to make it great again. Starting with banning all people who watch The Bachelor. They’re all despicable, they really are. And I’ll tell you something else, Michael Jackson is still alive and well and living in a bunker underground at Disney World. I think he’s also behind ISIS, I don’t know.

Me: So–

Trump: And by the way, Disney is the main recruiter of terrorists. I mean, did you ever really look into the eyes of Goofy? Really look? If you did, I’d think you’d see pure evil staring back at you, but whatever.

Me: Are you saying these things because you didn’t think you’d actually get this far? Did you wake up one night in a cold sweat and think, Holy shit, what the hell am I doing? So now you secretly want to lose in a landslide to Clinton?

Trump: Hillary should be put in a rocket and blasted to the moon. I mean, we have the technology. Let’s put Carrot Top in there with her.

Me: But…

Trump: Y’know, some of our top scientists say that the moon is really made of cheese. Camembert.

Me: ……

Trump: And we should ban all Canadians from entering the United States. I mean, can you really trust a country that gave the world Justin Bieber?

Me: Well….

Trump: Y’know…sometimes when I’m all alone and it’s quiet… I talk to my pet monkey, Mr. Pickles. He tells me the secrets of the universe. He also thinks the moon is made of cheese, but not Camembert — Colby-Jack.

Me: Clearly you’re panicking now at this stage. People are left to speculate if you’re brilliant, insane, or a jackass. Or a combination of all three, but mostly jackass. Is this your strategy to exit the race?

Trump: Lemme tell you something, okay? Aliens are already here on this planet, right now. Oprah’s one. And I’m pretty sure Hillary is too, I don’t know. Her eyes are all wonky. Lock her up before she starts zapping all our brains, know what I’m sayin’?

Me: No, I don’t.

Trump: (whispers) Shh! They’ll hear us! Here, put this on! (hands me a pair of underwear) Put it on your head! Their signals won’t be able to penetrate!

Me: Uh…

Trump: I’ll try giving them a subliminal message that we mean no harm.

Me: Okay, I think we’re done here!

Trump: (wearing underwear on head) Meep! Beep! Meep-borp-blarp!

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There you have it, folks, my interview with Trump.

And I know what you’re thinking — he has an excellent chance of winning, doesn’t he?

What I didn’t do on my summer vacation

I spent most of the summer reading. Author/spiritual guru/King of Chilltown, Eckhart Tolle, has a simple message: Life is all about balance; there’s an intrinsic ebb and flow. You win some, you lose some. Things come and go. You try to do the tree pose to impress your kids, you fall onto the yoga mat and pull an ass muscle you didn’t know existed.

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Eckhart’s Spiritual Truth #234: Give it up, girl. You’re a klutz.

This summer, I decided to balance my mental state by weeding out the soul-sucking nonsense in my life — social media. What was interesting in this experiment was how little I missed it after a few days. It was very difficult at first. I had the typical withdrawal symptoms: trembling fingers, twitchy eyes, bitchy mood.  I had to uninstall apps on my phone to resist the temptation.

Then I would reinstall them. Then uninstall them. Reinstall. Uninstall.

Balance, dear child.
Balance, dear child.

Then I muted almost everyone on Twitter. Then I unmuted some. Then muted them. Mute. Unmute. Mute. Unmute.

Balance, dear child.
Twitter isn’t real. Nothing is real. It’s all a figment of our collective consciousness. An illusion. Let it go.

Then I scrolled through my Facebook feed, cursing at myself for caving once again.

Facebook is merely a construct that serves the purpose of feeding the ego. We all project a false sense of self, a persona. This is not your authentic essence of your true being.
Facebook is merely a social construct that serves the sole purpose of feeding the ego. It’s a place where we all project a false sense of self; a persona. This is not the authentic essence of your true being. Release yourself from this manmade prison. And let it go, etc…. I mean, I think it really goes without saying…duh.

Finally, I threw my phone in the trash. Then retrieved it. Throw. Retrieve. Throw. Retrieve.

eckhart-tolle
Ah! For the love of– YOU are an IDIOT! 

Man, that Eckhart Tolle sure gets on my last nerve. But the smug bastard speaks the truth. When you let go of things that don’t serve you well and life is in harmony, a whole new world opens up.

And yes, I’m an idiot.

After a week with less social media, colors seemed brighter, images sharper, my kids’ names clearer. Still, there were doubts. I did miss the social interaction on the interwebz.

How would I survive without knowing how outraged people were with the asinine thing Trump did this week? How would I go on without seeing in my Facebook feed 35 photos of my friend’s cat that all look the same? How would I cope not knowing how everyone else is having more fun and looks ridiculously more attractive than me this summer?

I’m happy to say I curbed my addiction. I stopped doing things I wasn’t truly enjoying anymore. I let negative stuff go. I didn’t blog for two months. (gasp) I didn’t go on Twitter. I came to the stark realization that no one really cares how tasty my omelet looks on Instagram. (For the record, it had feta cheese and spinach and it was AMAZEBALLS!) I discovered that people no longer say ‘amazeballs’. My Facebook page was (mostly) silent.

Guess what? I exist. I’M STILL ALIVE!!

(Barely, but I do feel a faint pulse…)

Thanks, Eckhart. You’ve changed my life, dude.

eckhart-tolle-full-size
Huh? Did you say something? Sorry, (hehe) but I was watching a YouTube video of Chewbacca Mom wrestling Trump in a vat of pudding.  Hilarious! But (ahem) yes….uh….balance. It’s all about letting things go. All that matters is being fully engaged in the present moment. To find out more about how we hold onto material things that don’t matter, be sure to buy my book on Amazon, on sale for only 19.95 plus shipping and handling!

Gloating in my success at banning social media, I watched a YouTube video of Tolle talking about another addiction we all face (after I checked out that hysterical Chewbacca Mom clip). It’s an addiction that’s much larger in scope and more difficult to beat.

Our addiction to thinking. Specifically — overthinking. Or thinking about overthinking. Or thinking about not thinking about overthinking thinking.

I am so screwed. I love to think! It’s what I do best! Or worst. First step to get back on my road to Chilltown: Buy beige sweater vest.

The key to a calm mind? It's all about the vest.
Calm vest, calm mind.

Thankfully, I’ve practiced meditation for nearly 25 years, so I’ve got this nonthinking shit down. I just have to not think about it so much. Easy! I need to breathe in….and breathe out….just…..be….one with my true essence…ahhhhh…

I feel dizzy now, but it’s all good.

Because — like Eckhart has said many times in that soft, mesmerizing, endearing Yoda-like way — we are all simply forms of consciousness, always transforming, manifesting and dissolving into formlessness. This is the true reality of existence. Not worrying about how big my thighs look in my leggings or how in the hell I’m going to survive until our election is finally over.

You hear that, Trump?

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump stands during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
The Donald — fully basking in his true essence.

You are a temporary form of consciousness! Everything has its purpose! It’s OK! (deep inhale) You’re just manifesting! (long exhale)

Sigh. I think I need to meditate again. Om.

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How was your summer?
How long have you gone with no social media?
Do you have any extra beige sweater vests lying around?
Is this election all just a crazy, mixed-up, endless, nightmarish trip I’m having due to that time I accidentally smoked the ganja?

 

 

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

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Remember the good ol’ days when the news was delivered to your door by a snot-nosed Beaver Cleaver punk? Remember the times when we leisurely digested the day’s headlines with a mug of Sanka in our grubby ink-stained fingers?

Nah, me neither.

Then again, I’m not sure if I remembered to put on pants today.

[looks down] Oops.

These days, I don’t get my news from those silly 24/7 cable news channels, or even from my Facebook feed.

Come on over to my newest post on The Nudge Wink Report to find out my top secret source of the latest breaking headlines…

I’ve Got News for You, Millennials!

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And this concludes the regularly scheduled programming of She’s a Maineiac.

I will be on hiatus for the summer. My goal is to ignore all social media completely for 3 months before my brain atrophies into oatmeal.

[looks up] Too late.

But before I go, thanks for reading my blog. I’m fast approaching my 6th anniversary (what?!) and it’s been tons-0-fun all these years. 

Peace out, dudes and dudettes!

 

14 Menopause Tips That Might Just Save A Life

 

  1. Never say to the woman, “This must be the menopause talking, right?”

    menopause1
    The moment before all hell breaks loose.
  2. For hot flashes, freeze a washcloth, then slap your husband upside the head with it.
  3. Still feeling blazing hot? Carry a good portable fan.

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    Oh, darling, I do declare I shall hit you in the head with this here fan!
  4. Make mood swings fun. Get out a timer and count how many intense emotions you feel in three minutes. Then throw the timer at your husband.
  5. Practice saying sincerely to your spouse: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, honest. It’s the menopause talking.” Then strike the classic ‘Hold head in hands and look tormented’ pose.
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  6. See a mom with a newborn and think, That will never be me again! Yay!
  7. See a mom with a newborn and think, That will never be me again! STILL YAY!!!
  8. Realize that you’ve entered the I-Don’t-Give-Two-Shits-Anymore stage of your life and it is glorious.
  9. Crying a lot? Keep tissues in your bra. Worked for my grandmother.
  10. Chocolate is soothing. Always have it handy for those moments you feel like punching someone in the throat. I keep a bag of chocolate chips in my bra.
  11. Go full-on “old lady”. Buy the National Enquirer, a gallon of butter pecan ice cream, and a jug of cheap white zinfandel. Say things like, “She’s much too busty” or “That Harrison Ford sure is one hot ticket.” Get a short tight perm and start wearing cat sweaters. Or get ten cats, give them tight perms and name them all Harrison.

    spy-3
    Work it, girl!
  12. Embrace feeling increasingly invisible to the opposite sex. Shave legs? Eh. Makeup? Please. Clothes? What’s the point?
  13. Eat a lot. Get bloated. Wear leggings. Fart in public. You’re invisible now, go for it.
  14. Rent the movie Sisters with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. It will make you laugh so hard your chocolate chip and tissue filled bra will explode.

If you have any other menopause tips, please leave them in the comments below. I’m sure my husband will appreciate it. I’m running out of chocolate chips.

On Pins and Needles

One morning I was half asleep and slurping coffee when I thought, Hey! You know what would be good right now? Needles! Lots of tiny needles shoved into various body parts! 

I’ve suffered from chronic low back pain ever since 1997 when I hit a moose going 55 mph. The car, not the moose. Actually, the moose too. Those buggers can run like hell on their spindly legs when they have a good mind to.

Anyway, all moose-killing* stories aside, I figure a little acupuncture couldn’t hurt. Much.

acupuncture-free-introduction-college-park
Looks like fun!

My acupuncturist is a lovely doctor from California who recently opened her practice here. She said it’s hard to find new open-minded patients like me. I informed her this is because most Mainers believe nothing cures ills better than a cold wash cloth and a full bottle of Allen’s coffee brandy. Then she told me to put down my coffee brandy bottle and get on the table.

You think I was nervous getting my first treatment? Try doing it semi-sober. The room was tranquil enough: gentle New Age music, soft massage table, comfy face hole pillow to drool into so I can wake up an hour later and pay the receptionist with pillow creases plastered across my face like a moron.

“Okay, let’s get started, just relax,” the doc suggested. So I relaxed as much as anyone would before a good needle-jabbing. She gently inserted the first needle into my neck. Interesting, I thought. This feels… just like having a needle shoved in your neck! Yes, it was a tiny pinch, nothing major. Still, a needle! In my fracking neck! Am I drooling because stainless steel accidentally pierced my occipital lobe? Is this how I die? A paralyzed pin cushion listening to Enya while trapped on a massage table?

Then she slid about 20 more needles into my neck, spine, legs, and for good measure, about a half-dozen more in my sacral region (aka upper ass-crackage). Like they always say, the more needles in your ass, the better.

“How do you feel?” she asked. Um, like there’s 30 goddamn needles sticking out of my body! I wanted to yell. How long am I supposed to do this? 

“Good. I feel good.” I murmured. “It’s all good. Yeah.” Yeah, this entire situation is normal. I do it all the time. Pffft.

I tried to calm myself down by listening to the soothing music. “…who can say…where the road goes…where the day flows… only time…” Enya sang.
Such an asshole.

Then I heard the door close and the doc was gone. Probably off to the little room where she’ll eat popcorn and laugh at me through a two-way mirror. This was when my brain went into overdrive.

What am I supposed to do now? Just lie here? Oh my god! I can feel the needles! It doesn’t hurt, but I know they’re there! And the ones near my ass are really starting to tingle. Huh. You know what? It’s kinda nice. But what if she hit my sciatic nerve? What if I get a sudden urge to jump off the table? Would the needles fall out? Holy shit, shut up Enya! Die Enya die! Make this music stop! How long am I supposed to lie here? With needles sticking out of me! NEEDLES! THERE ARE NEEDLES IN ME! CALM DOWN, DARLA. CALM DOWN. It’s okay. You can do this. Just breathe in and breath out. Ah, nope, when I breathe I can feel the needles moving. What if one punctures my carotid artery? Just hold your breath, Darla. Just hold your breath until you pass out. This will only take 30 minutes, tops. Whatever you do, don’t move a muscle. It doesn’t hurt. The needles are fine. The Chinese have been doing this for thousands of years! But what if I have to get up to go to the bathroom? I think I have to go to the bathroom. Would the other patients mind if they saw a half-naked dude from Hellraiser creeping through the waiting room? How would I sit down on the toilet? Could I go standing up?  I think I tried it once on a dare back when I was seven, but there were no needles sticking out of me at the time…

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Holy needlenuts, I really have to pee now.

Maybe if I shift my lower body, I won’t have to go anymore…Oh god! I think one of the needles is moving in deeper! It’s–

The door creaked opened. “How you doing, Darla?”

“Wow! Is it over already? Those 30 minutes just FLEW by!” I sputtered into the drool-soaked face hole.

She plucked off the needles and gave me a hug.  I made an appointment for next week and left. But not before she suggested I try a bottle of herbal supplements to help with blood circulation. Among the long list of exotic ingredients: red peony root, licorice root, citrus peel, and eye of newt gingrich.

Even though I’m completely open to alternative medicine, I’m not convinced the pills will work. Red peony root is fine, I guess, and of course licorice root, duh. But what, no elderly Buddhist monk scrotum sweat?! For the amount of money I paid, it should contain at the very least the scrotum sweat of Newt Gingrich.

But I suppose I’ll try anything once. I’ll let you know if I survive next week’s treatment.

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*I would never intentionally harm or kill a moose. Believe me, I was pretty upset when I hit one because I love all animals. Except spiders. Yeah, they can live inside my vacuum for the rest of their days, I don’t care.

 

 

 

Oh, Mother!

 

I think we all know mothers are strong, wise and beautiful women. The moms in my family were no exception.

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Three lovely ladies in hats: my mother, great-grandmother, and gram.

I bet you also realize moms have little time on their hands most days. Which is why I’m posting a short-n-sweet rerun about motherhood, so we can all kick back and savor our breakfast in bed Sunday morning.

I wish all of you moms out there lots of love, laughter, chocolate, and a moment of peace and quiet. You deserve it. Happy Mother’s Day!

My Dear, Sweet, Slightly  Manipulative Daughter

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My daughter is only seven years old, but don’t let her age fool you. When Little Miss J wants something, she doesn’t simply tell you, that would be too easy.

Always a clever girl, she makes little homemade cards to communicate. First, she lures the reader in with her sweet drawings, then goes in for the kill with a well-timed zinger. Over the holidays, she handed me a card and I couldn’t help but laugh. And feel a little afraid. It read:

Dear Mommy,

I hope you have a Merry Christmas! [drawing of Christmas tree]

and get me lots of toys! PLEASE! [drawing of gifts]

and I love you! [drawing of big red heart]

[back of card] and I am standing here watching you read this card 

Love, J

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As I lowered the card, she was right there. Standing. And watching. I get shivers just remembering the intense look in her eyes. She is ruthless.

Her eyes sear a hole in my soul.
Her gaze has the power to burn a hole in my soul.

Today she made me yet another “greeting” card. I had been scolding her all week for not putting her trash in the trash can. Instead she was hiding it all over the house, cramming cheese stick wrappers in my slippers, sliding banana peels under the couch cushions, etc.

I said to her for the millionth time, “You need to put the trash in the trash, okay?”

Clearly fed up with me, she frowned and put her finger to her lips, deep in thought. Then she ran off to get her markers.

Five minutes later she handed me a card:

AWWWW!!!!
AWWWW!!!! Well isn’t this the SWEETEST?
Oh, it's a sweet picture of her and a rainbow!!! My heart might burst!!
Oh, it’s an adorable picture of her and a rainbow!!! My heart might burst!!

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The best part? When she got home from school today and I asked her to turn off the TV, she said, “Where’s that card I made you this morning?”

I have no idea where she gets this behavior.

I Was a 12-Year-Old Psychic

Back in the early ’80s, things were innocent. I cherished my ribbon barrettes, my dog Princess, and my life-sized poster of The Hardy Boys. Sure, Parker was okay, but it was Shaun who stole my heart.

Bringing sleuthing to ridiculously handsomer heights.
Taking sleuthing to ridiculously handsome heights.

And much like the ancient prophet Nostradamus, I predicted stuff, too.

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I predict that one day I’ll shamelessly beg people to go visit another blog.

Uh oh!…I’m having another vision…I see you, dear reader, clicking on the link below and leaving comments and liking my new post on The Nudge Wink Report. Do it now! Don’t prove me a fraud!

2016 Prophecies Revealed!

P.S. I love you.

P.P.S. But not as much as The Hardy Boys, sorry.

P.P.P.S. Unless you click on my link above, then I love you more.

P.P.P.P.S. How long can I keep doing this?

P.P.P.P.P.S. I should probably stop now.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Hurry, go click that link!

Adventures in Anesthesia: The Urination Proclamation

Surgery

A few weeks ago I underwent abdominal surgery. If you’ve ever had surgery, the first thing you notice is how many times the nurses and doctors ask you what you’re getting done.  Apparently, this is their safeguard protocol in case you’re there to have a tonsillectomy and instead end up with one less testicle. I’m not sure why they insist on asking the patient at all. Wouldn’t they have learned to write this crucial information down somewhere? Maybe jot it on a post-it note:

TAKE OUT LEFT OVARY.
DO NOT REMOVE HER TONSILS,
NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO!

So there I was in pre-op, all splayed out in a johnny while an RN tried to start an IV.

“And what are you here for?” she asked. I had already been asked this by nearly everyone else in the hospital at this point, including the janitor, and my response was the same every time: “Why, a tummy tuck and boob job, of course!” (The janitor seemed to think this was a good idea.)

Some nurses have a sense of humor, but this time the joke fell flat. Maybe she’s heard this one before? She jammed the needle harder into the top of my hand. “OK, I’m kidding,” I winced. “I’m really here to have a hysterectomy. Yay. She’s removing all my endo and an ovary.”

“Which one?” she asked.

“Well… I only have one ovary left…so, I would say the one that’s still there. Tell you what — if they don’t see an ovary, then don’t take it out. If they do see one, take it out.”

Again, nothing but a solemn glare from Nurse Ratched.

She left the room. “Tough crowd,” I whispered to my husband.

A few minutes before surgery, my surgeon breezed into the room. She thought my tummy tuck joke was funny, but I noticed she didn’t actually agree to do it, so my hopes were crushed once again. Then she lifted my hospital gown and drew a circle over my left ovary.

Great, the success of my operation depends on a Sharpie.

I kissed my husband goodbye and reminded him that I might very well die on the operating table, but not to worry. Did he have my living will? Did he know how to make the kids breakfast? Did he know the Netflix password?

They wheeled me into the OR, and the last thing I remember is looking up at a large bright light, just like in the movies. The anesthesia kicked in and I drifted into a painless deep sleep thinking (and probably saying out loud to the surgical nurse) “Tummmmy tuuuuuuucccccckkkk…don’t forget it’s the only ovary there….no, no, no! Don’t take out my testicle!…just a nice tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmy tuuuuuuck….”

My three hour surgery was over. After a strange block of timeless time, I started to drift back to the land of the living. I was doped up to my eyeballs on fentanyl so the pain was thankfully absent. But I had this horrible crushing sensation that my bladder was full and about to explode. It was unbelievably uncomfortable. The kind of urgency you feel when you’re stuck in traffic for hours after consuming a 64 ounce Big Gulp and you want to say “fuck it” and urinate into the nearest receptacle.

Before I go any further, I have to explain that Maine women are a unique independent breed. We tend to be strong, stodgy, stubborn and stupid. My grandmother lived to 100 and she used to take my brother’s dirt bike for a spin well into her nineties. My mother still moves heavy furniture around and she’s 82. I once mowed the lawn with a push mower while 9 months pregnant. After the baby popped out, I scooped him up and continued mowing. We don’t need no help, dammit! We’re built like tanks and can power on through anything.

Except holding in our pee.

There I was in recovery, drifting in and out of consciousness, alternating between yelling that I had to go pee and drooling helplessly all over my gown. I faintly overheard an RN telling my husband I needed to sleep. Sleep? My bladder is burning hot and bursting and she wants me to sleep?! After pleading, “I gotta go pee! Please let me pee!” a thousand times in a half hour, I had had enough. Goddammit, I’m going to find that janitor! He’ll let me pee!

“It’s just your bladder having spasms, dear,” Nurse Ratched kept insisting. “You don’t have to pee. It’ll go away in a few minutes.”

Of course, the nurse probably insisted I remain lying down so I wouldn’t hurt myself. Maybe this is because I just had major surgery. And okay, in my drugged-up haze I thought my husband was Sting and the nurses giant pesky bumblebees flitting about my consciousness. But at this point, deep in agony, I was unstoppable. The sweet relief of urination was within my grasp.

I swung my feet over the edge of the bed and things began to spin. For a few moments the entire room seemed to disappear into a milky white fog. I didn’t know where my feet were. When I reached up to scratch my head, my hand moved across my field of vision like it was encased in syrup. Where was my head? Who’s hand is this? Help me, Sting!

“I can’t find my head,” I slurred to my husband as he tried to steady me. An RN and a CNA magically appeared by my other side. Ugh, Nurse Ratched! NO! You will not stop me, devil woman! I plodded forward a step only to be snagged on something. I tugged at the annoying IV line, oblivious to what the hell it was and why it was holding me back. Am I in the jungle? Is this a snake?

Before I knew it I was out in the hallway/jungle with two nurses and my husband all trying to hold onto me. They were talking to me, but my brain concentrated only on the excruciating bladder cramps. My untied johnny hung loose in the front, leaving my ass to flap in the cold breeze. I shuffled along like a tranquilized bear, occasionally pausing to try and brush off Sting and the bumblebees.  “I GOTTA GO PEE!” I hollered at random patients and nurses in the hall.

I finally made it to what I judged to be an adequate hole in the ground by the bamboo trees, grabbed onto someone’s arm, sat down and let it go.

Into the toilet, of course. I’m not an animal.

And Nurse Ratched was right. False alarm. I didn’t have to go after all. Maddening.

Still ranting to no one in particular, “Why won’t they let me pee?!” they led me back to my bed. I repeated this charade at least three more times (that I remember), each time getting angrier and louder. I was in recovery for a very long time. My surgery was at noon and I didn’t get permission to leave until 8 pm. I was close to being admitted overnight, but I think the nurses for some reason were happy to see me go.

Later on, when I was a bit more lucid and back to my normal sweet self, my husband told me how funny it was when I shoved the nurses aside and dragged my IV down the hall while almost completely naked to go to the bathroom, when I didn’t actually have to go at all.

“Yeah, that must have been something,” I said, mortified at the thought.

I faintly remember after I was discharged, I continued to whine about peeing while the nurse wheeled me (hurriedly) out to our car. I think I might have grabbed her hand to pet it like she was a kitten, and told her that she was very nice but kind of mean, too.

I blame the fentanyl.

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Thanks for all the well-wishes. My surgery was a big success. All went perfectly and I didn’t die. I feel wonderful. Back to blogging!