Family, Humor, Motherhood

Baby you can’t drive my car

Image result for 1982 blue buick skylark
Behold, my first car: The 1982 Blue Ick Skylark.

Here’s a short list of the few things in life that scare the crap out of me:

  • spiders
  • flying
  • politics
  • my 15-year-old son taking Driver’s Ed
  • flying spiders

Alas, the time has come. Next week, The Boy Who Can’t Be Named Because He’d Die of Embarrassment, will be driving a 4000-pound car down the road. The same boy who — only yesterday — thought it was perfectly fine to microwave tinfoil.
Because I told him so. (Hey, what can I say? The clueless apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

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This is my future. Be scared. Be very scared.

Driving. We all do it every day. Except for my mother, who never got her license, so now I’m forever sentenced to drive her to pick up some emergency Correctol because she’s “buttlogged”. Until you’ve had a heated argument comparing the symptoms of diarrhea to constipation in aisle 2 at the Stop-and-Go, you haven’t truly lived.

Every morning, we all tool down the road in our pathetic Priuses (is the plural for Prius Prii?) in a complete daze…oblivious to the passing scenery, the red lights, the angry honks, the screamed profanities and the travel mug filled with hot coffee bouncing off our car roof into traffic.

Ah, yes, I remember the day I finally got my hot little hands on that driver’s license to pure freedom.

The year: 1987
The catchphrase: “Don’t have a cow, man.”

The beauty trend: All hairspray, all the time.

Why did I look so ecstatic? (And dorky? And oh holy Aqua Net, what the hell is with my hair?) Because I passed my test on the first try, in spite of the fact that I:

A) Hit the curb while parallel parking.
B) Let the car roll backward after setting the parking brake on a steep hill.
C) Failed to yield to a car in an intersection.
D) Giggled like an idiot throughout the entire road test.
E) All of the above.

Answer: E. (there really was never a doubt, was there?)

Hopefully, god willing, (pleaseohpleaseohplease!) my son will be an excellent driver.

Image result for rain man driving
Ummmmm…

If not, I’ve got other distractions. Like my daughter taking puberty classes this week.

Annnnnd she’s got a crush on a boy at school.

Thankfully, I am a pro at these unsettling mother-daughter convos.

Me: Who is he?
Her: [smirk]
Me: Jaden?*
Her: [double smirk]
Me: Caden?**
Her: [triple smirk]
Me: Braden?***
Her: [smirk times infinity]
Me: Schmaden? It’s Schmaden isn’t it!
Her: [so mortified she’s dying right in front of me]

No matter. I’m only writing this post to beg you all for prayers during this difficult time. Think of me. Soon enough I’ll be waving goodbye to my daughter as Schmaden peels away in his 2024 Mustang with the tinted windows.

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*Actual boy in her class.
**Actual boy in her class.
***Actual boy in her class.

So tell me: What was your first car? How many times did you fail your driver’s test? Do you also have a son who is about to drive yet doesn’t know how to make a sandwich?

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Humor

Sorry, God

Are you there God? It’s me, jackass.

Image result for near death experiences

I’ve been reading several books on near death experiences about people who’ve apparently died, only to come back to life so they can tell us what happens when you cross over.

Most of the stories are similar: there’s a long tunnel, a bright light,
all-encompassing love,  indescribable peace…yadda, yadda, yadda…

But then a lucky few (or unlucky few) go so far over to the other side, they undergo a type of “life review”. They are shown clips of their past life events in hi-def surround-sound quality. If that wasn’t jarring enough, the person is also reliving certain moments of their life with the “Creator” by their side.

This is the part that worries me. What exactly does God know? Does she see everything? Every single thing I do or think in my entire life? Even the super secret stuff?

If so,  I apologize in advance for the following:

  • Every day I announce I’m on a diet and “this time I really mean it!”
    Then during my lunch break, I inhale a Big Mac and fries in a remote parking lot while gently weeping.
  • When the trash can is overflowing, instead of emptying it, I just cram the next bit of trash down in there, quickly close the lid, and run away cackling.
  • That obnoxious driver at the stop light blasting music so loud it rattles all the cars around it?

    Me.

  • I love Coldplay. All of it. Every song. And I blast it at stop lights.
  • Sometimes in the middle of the night I creep out to the kitchen in the dark and shove a steady stream of chocolate chips down my pie hole while hovering over the sink.
  • Once I willingly ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken. And liked it.
  • Whenever I’m home alone, the first thing I do is take off my bra and throw it on top of the ficus plant. Then I park my ass on the couch, watch a marathon of Big Brother Celebrity Edition, drink a couple beers, devour a large extra-greasy bucket of fried chicken carcass, and burp and fart myself into oblivion.
  • I think cute pocket-sized puppies are annoying little yippy shits sent to Earth to destroy me.
  • I think Adele’s voice is too breathy and overrated.
  • Once I hid my mom’s meatloaf in my napkin, then excused myself so I could discretely flush it down the toilet.

    This was yesterday.

  • Sometimes instead of actually brushing my teeth, I would pretend by running some water from the faucet and swishing the toothbrush around for awhile.

    This was yesterday.

  • I try not to be jealous. But whenever I scroll through a friend’s Instagram photos of her ridiculous f***ing bare feet resting next to a f***ing sparkling cocktail with a stupid-ass frilly umbrella on the f***ing beach in the f***ing Bahamas, I tend to swear out loud a little.
  • I do not like Stranger Things. Not even a tiny bit.
Image result for stranger things
Whoa! Hey, guys? Guess what?!  It’s the ’80s and we’re on bikes and this show is boring as hell and makes zero sense!

 

 

Ah! That felt good! The truth CAN set you free!

Anything you’d like to share in the comments so God will go a little easier on you later?

 

 

 

 

Nature, poems, poetry, spirituality, writing

Sequoia

Image result for sequoia

I dreamed of shadows and sheltered things

beneath the tree with golden leaves.

Today the mighty trunk sliced bare as bone,

the rings rough and splintered,

you take my hand as we count the lives together.

A thousand deaths, a thousand loves,

a thousand circles bound us with frayed fibers,

spinning its thread, the splinters cut deep.

Now and then at the wound’s core,

the sapling sprouts from a single seed,

always yearning and always bending toward love’s light,

free of pain again,

under the sequoia tree.

 

 

 

Humor

Nuclear Bedtime Stories

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I have a lot of things going against me: I’m from Maine; I’m a woman; I’m a Virgo; I’m introverted; I don’t know how to use semicolons effectively. These aspects of my personality result in a few glaring facts — I have no tact, I think too much, I talk a lot, I make too many lists.

Well, excuuuuuse me (Steve Martin) if I see things for how they truly are, then feel compelled to blurt these nuggets of wisdom to anyone within earshot. I can’t help it. Life, death, human existence, string theory, string cheese existence. How do you NOT think about these things?!

Usually I save up all my bone-chilling revelations during the day, only to unleash them onto my poor husband just as he’s drifting off to sleep.

“Hey, honey?” I ask, ignoring the gentle snoring and loud farting. (We’ve been married a long time, I think I’m allowed to let a few rip every now and then.)

“Huh?” he asks, rubbing his eyes.

“There is a theory that the universe is just a big-ass hologram. Our 3D reality is actually stored on a 2D surface. So what we’re experiencing isn’t real at all, just an illusion. Yeah. I believe it. Makes total sense.”

“Okay,” says my husband as he rolls over.

Silence. More farting.

“Hey, honey?” I whisper.  “Did you know that some dude, I think it was Elon Musk…but maybe it was Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory…anyway, he said that there is a huge chance we are in a computer simulation, created from the future. Like we’re inside some insane Sims game, living out our pathetic little lives for some advanced civilization, just for the shits and giggles! Maybe we’re only one of millions of other simulations! The universe is just one big video game!”

Silence. I continue to think so intently, my brain leaks out of my ears.

“Dammit, if only I could live in the simulation where I’m Oprah,” I sigh into the dark.

“Okay,” murmurs my husband.

Silence. Soft farting.

“Hey, honey?” I prop myself up on my elbow. “I was talking with Judy who used to work for a big power plant out in Washington State like 40 years ago.  She said she knows things, top secret things about all the nuclear waste they’ve buried over the years in the ground! Just massive amounts all over the country.  And all these power plants buried this toxic crap in underground tanks that have shelf lives of like 50 years, and pretty soon, all of it will leak into all our water supply! I’m pretty sure it already has! We’re all gonna die a slow radioactive death!”

Silence.

“Ah well, good night, honey,” I whisper. Then I fall into a deep peaceful sleep and dream I’m riding bareback on a unicorn with Sting.

My husband suffers from insomnia; I have no idea why.

 

 

Humor

Woman Gets Shred of Sanity Back During Commute

Greetings fellow bloggers, bored cats, and heavily tattooed men in orange jumpsuits wasting their 10 minutes of Internet time because they googled “Kim Kardashian Boobs”!

Not only do I blog here at She’s a Maineiac, I’m also a seasoned reporter, interviewing poor slobs about their redonkulous lives.

You might remember my last report, Woman Refuses to Live in the Moment, in which gluten-freak Oprah dished out unsolicited advice to a broke woman and her farting asthmatic cat, Mr. Wankers.

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No? Well, shut up and eat a bagel.

Now time for today’s report!

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Sometimes the daily grind of life is all too much for one 47-year-old woman from the quaint coastal village of East Scrotum, Maine (not to be confused with Scrotum’s Point, a sad little town north of South Bunghole).

Ah yes, Maine — The Way Life Should Be.™

Image result for maine scenery

Unless your life should be that you’re perpetually broke, your feet ache, your boobs sag, and your shit stinks.*

I met up with Starla Turdbucketsen early one morning to see how she does it. How does she survive in today’s crazy-ass world? How in god’s name does she wake up every effing day — remember who she is — yet continue to get up anyway?

“It ain’t easy,” Starla sighed, blowing a steady stream of smoke into my face.

“So, you smoke cigarettes now?”

“No.”

“Let’s talk about your life. Who is Starla Turdbucketsen? You’re a daughter of an elderly parent who thinks Elvis reincarnated as a 13-year-old gospel singer from Sweden. You’re a mom of a teen who thinks he’s going to college to triple major in YouTube Celebrity/Video Gamer/Culinary Farts. You’re a mom to a tween daughter. You’re a wife to a man who incessantly watches MASH reruns in his underwear.”

“Correct.”

“Starla, in the past year, you’ve gone through menopause, major surgery, and the legal separation of Chris Pratt and Anna Faris. You work two jobs, yet you’re wearing a bra you bought circa 1989. Any thoughts, insights or revelations you’d care to share with us about being a modern woman in today’s society?”

“Well, if I have to pluck one more freaking gray hair out of my chin, I swear I’m gonna lose my shit. So there’s that. ”

“So, why do it? What gets you going day after day? Why not just drive your Toyota Corolla into the nearest brick wall?”

“The commute.”

“The what?”

“Are you deaf, you unbelievable nimrod? The commute!”

Oh yeah, the work commute!

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(And yes, my doctor says I’m currently suffering from progressive hearing loss, but let’s get back to Starla and her desperate attempt to cling to those last few scraps of sanity.)

Let’s face it — most of our lives would be a never-ending shit parade if not for those blissful 28 minutes of the morning when you are alone in your car, driving to your soul-sucking job.

I think most harried Americans would agree, the commute is that rare time when you are free to let it all go. That’s right…just take a deep breath…roll down the windows to air out the stench of “medicinal” marijuana…crank some hip-hop…and forget our president is a cross between Forrest Gump and Gary Busey.

Slide1“What is it about the commute that appeals to you, Starla?”

“Two words: No. News.”

“Two more words: ‘Nuff said.”

And so concludes another in-depth interview! Stay tuned next week when I ask Starla her take on the current nuclear crisis with North Korea! (Preview: She thinks it’s the classic “my missile/ego/therapy bill is bigger than yours” dust-up)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*In 2007, the Maine State Tourism Board fired the marketing director after he presented the slogan: Maine: The Way Life Should Be (Except For Those Who Are Perpetually Broke & Their Feet Ache & Their Boobs Sag & Their Shit Stinks. If That’s You–Move To New Hampshire.)

 

Humor

Just Another Maineiac Monday

Lately, I’ve had zero time to blog. So I thought I’d quickly throw up a mishmash of the super important stuff that’s currently taking up all of my precious time.

Let’s start with Gordon Ramsay.

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“Oh, bloody hell.”

My 10-year-old daughter is obsessed with him. She watches all 179 of his current TV shows. Here’s just a sampling:

Master Chef
Master Chef Junior
Kitchen Nightmares

Hell’s Kitchen
Hotel Hell
The F Word*

Satan’s Pantry
Beelzebub’s BBQ Jamboree

The ‘Goddammit, My Face Resembles a Shar-Pei’s Ass, So You’d Better %$#^ing Suck It Up and Cook, You *&^%ing Donut!’ Kitchen

My favorite Ramsay show? It’s Raw! Where top-level culinary geniuses from around the globe forget how to cook a piece of chicken.

While Gordon’s ranting and raving are a bit much, I do appreciate the enlightening cooking tips he dishes out to the contestants like razor-sharp jabs to the nads.
Gems like:
“It’s raw!” and “IT’S RAW!” and “IT’S BLOODY %^%^%$##$%$%$% RAW!”

Image result for Gordon Ramsay
It’s not f***ing cooked properly! Are you not f***ing getting that, you f***ing wanker! Maybe if I crouch down to your bloody level and f***ing scream in your f***ing  stupid face, you’d bloody f***ing catch on!

My daughter and I watch Master Chef Junior, because who doesn’t want to see an impressionable young child have her dreams crushed to paprika in front of millions of people?

Image result for masterchef junior kids crying
[sniffing] [sobbing] [soul dying inside]
And every episode is chock-full of suspense.

[ominous music] Will they cook it right?

[music swells]

…or won’t they?

[dramatic pause]

Image result for Masterchef Junior Judges
“Too salty.”

 

Speaking of salty, what in the bleeping name of Jiminy Cricket is going on with these dagnabbit hoozeewhazzits?

Image result for fidget spinner

 

 

In case you’ve been living in an underground bunker filled with a lifetime supply of Spam and Dr. Pepper, these are Fidget Spinners. Or as I like to call them:

Dum-Dum Doohickeys
Stupid-Ass Shizznitzels
Flippety-Floo F*** ME!s

My kids begged me to buy them one. All the cool kids had one and all the uncool teachers hated them.  They were sold out everywhere. Weeks went by,  and my kids were still sans Zigzag Dilliwackers.

Finally, we stumbled upon a stash at the local pharmacy. I couldn’t wait to see what all the hubbub was about. Is it magic? Is it a game? Is it like a Rubik’s Cube?

I picked one up and asked, “So, what is it?”

Kids: You spin it.

Me: And then?

Kids: That’s it.

Me: [puts fidget spinner back down, then slowly walks away to weep in the car]

 

And how was your weekend?

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*Actual TV show

 

Family, Parenting

The Final Curtain

 

curtain

This is a true story that happened over 13 years ago.

 

“Say your goodbye,” the emergency room doctor suggested, his eyes brimming with compassion. But the deep wrinkles etched across his brow revealed the weariness of all the pain and death they had witnessed behind the hastily drawn curtain.

Say your goodbye.

The beeping of machines dissolved into the background. The relentless ticktock of the clock on the ER wall paused as if waiting for my response. I felt myself sinking into black nothingness. My fingers shook as I clasped her limp hand and traced her wedding ring, its sharp edges jolting me awake. The abyss beckoned me: Don’t be afraid! Lean in! Peer into the darkness!

Say your goodbye.

I leaned over to kiss her pale cheek for one last time. I knew my mother was minutes away from leaving her body, but never expected the stark coldness, the unforgiving finality, the emptiness lying beneath my lips.

I wasn’t sure what to do next. I never had the chance to say goodbye to my dying dad. How do you say goodbye? What do I say? Thanks? Thanks for raising me? For teaching me hard lessons? I’ll see you again someday? Catch you on the flip side? Don’t go? Don’t leave me here all alone? Fear gripped my heart, squeezing the air out of my lungs. I was suffocating right along with my mother. A torrent of tears spilled down from my eyes onto her face. My entire body shook as I held onto her hand.  I can’t do this alone. I can’t do this. I can’t say goodbye. I’m not ready.

“Mom…I love you,” I sputtered into the abyss.

“I’m…..fine….don’t….worry,” my mother gasped, her breath gurgling between each word. “I love you…tell….your brothers…I love them.” She closed her eyes.

This was it. I can’t believe she’s dying. My mom! Dying! It’s just not real. It can’t be real. An ER nurse gently ushered me away from my mother as the doctor closed the curtain around the stretcher once again. She walked me to a small windowless waiting room separate from the larger waiting room outside the ER. This must be the private room for family members waiting for someone to die? Will they move me to an even smaller room when they tell me she’s dead? “We will try and get her stable,” the nurse said. “For now just wait in here. I’ll come get you if anything happens.”

It was midnight. Only bad things happen at midnight.

Only a few hours before I was drifting off to sleep next to my snoring husband and one-year-old son in our upstairs bedroom. A heavy rain pounded on the roof of our house. Without warning, I felt the atmosphere shift; the particles in the air pulsing and bright. Something is off, the universe whispered. Something big is happening.  Electricity surged through my body. The only other time I’ve felt this way was the night my dad suddenly died in a hospital bed 3,000 miles away.

I sat up, listening intently to the steady thrumming of the rain above our heads. I nudged my husband awake. “What was that? Do you hear that?”

“What? I don’t hear anything,” my husband whispered. “It’s just the rain. It’s nothing.” He rolled over to snore again.

But the rain wasn’t right; the wind urgent. Something was wrong.

I crept down the hallway and stairs into the dark kitchen. I wasn’t sure why I was checking, but I knew I had to check. An unseen force propelled me to walk through the kitchen to the door leading to our attached garage. I slowly opened the door, the wind howling outside in response. A low grown escaped from the shadows on the floor. There was my mom, lying on the bottom steps below her in-law apartment above the garage.

“I…can’t…breathe,” she whispered, her tiny frail body wrapped in her nightgown and bathrobe. She was still clutching her phone in one hand. She had managed to make her way down the steps to get help, but didn’t have the energy to remain standing long enough to knock on my door.

Now I was in a hospital, with my mother and The Abyss hiding a few feet away behind a thin white curtain. Soon two of my older brothers arrived and we waited, the foggy early morning hours bleeding into each other. Finally, a nurse entered the “Waiting For Death” room where we had sat for hours like stone statues. “She’s turned a corner! She’s stable!” she informed us.

We were stunned. The ER doctor suggested many times to me that she would probably die that night as she was drowning in her own fluids, her lungs almost completely filled from the congestive heart failure. But now she was suddenly stable. “If you hadn’t found her when you did…” he said to me, his voice trailing off.

My mom almost died that night back in 2003. I said my final goodbye, but the universe had other ideas. They transferred her to Maine Medical Center in Portland and a week later she underwent a quintuple bypass and valve replacement surgery at the age of 69. After the ten hour operation, she emerged feeling like a new woman. “I have a new heart now!” she told me in recovery. The surgeon informed us the average lifespan after such a surgery was 10 years.

Of course, her Mainer stubbornness proved him wrong. I’m thankful to have spent an additional 13 years with my mother and counting. She’s 83 now and enjoys relatively excellent health. I’ve let a lot of things go since she almost died. Peering into the abyss will do that to you. Our once stormy relationship has softened over the years to one of forgiveness, respect, and love.

Often we talk about those final moments; the time she was almost pulled over the edge. I’ve asked her more than once if it hurt to not be able to breathe, or if she was scared to die.

“Oh no, not at all,” she insists. “There was no pain. It was very peaceful. I saw your dad, you know. He was standing at the foot of my bed with two really big angels on either side of him. I knew I would be okay. Not scared at all. I was ready to go.”

I’ve seen death up close before when I was 21 and viewed my dad’s lifeless body lying in a coffin. I’ve carried the burden of not being present when he left us. I felt cheated out of saying goodbye to him. Yet the years of guilt, anger and sadness gradually faded away, transforming into acceptance and gratitude.

I don’t know why I went out to the garage that night. But the universe has a way of balancing things out. Saying my last goodbye to my mom that rainy October night prepared me again for the final curtain. I know when the time truly comes for my mom or me, I’ll be ready to jump into that abyss with less fear and more love.

Humor

Oh, What a Year!

Well, ho ho ho and shut the front door!

It’s that time once again to look at my Saved By The Bell: “Slater Wears Tiny Tank Tops” desk calendar and say to my cat, “Hold up — another year’s gone in the blink of Screech’s lazy eye? What the hell? Is this how time works? Yeah, well screw you, Einstein!”

And for god’s sake, shut the front door.  It’s pretty friggin’ cold out.

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2016 has proven to be quite the stellar year! And by “stellar” I mean an absolute shit show from start to finish! You too?! Come join me as I zip down memory lane at lightning speed on my greased-up sled and crash land into a Wal-Mart parking lot!

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WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

Here’s a quick rundown of the Maineiac family’s year. We’ll start with our 10-year-old daughter.

She spent five solid months of 2016 begging for one gift from Santa. It’s something every hellion in this country wants to get their grubby little hands on Christmas Day.

No, not a Cabbage Patch doll. Not a Tickle-Me-Elmo. Not even a Tickle-Me-Cabbage (I wish). But a stupidly overpriced mutant Furby inside a plastic egg, aka the Hatchimal.

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There’d better be a Faberge Egg inside this goddamned egg.

That’s right–it’s an egg! With a toy inside! What will these crazy toy manufacturers think of next?

My bet is more useless plastic.

My husband and I stopped at Target last week to find a long line of Hatchimal-less losers standing outside in sub-zero temps. They sold out of 38 of the things in 8 seconds. And no, we did not stand outside for them. I wouldn’t stand in line for hours on a warm summer day for two tickets to a “Back from the Dead” Beatles reunion.

But as luck would have it, some 38-year-old man living in his mom’s basement is selling them on eBay for 300 bucks a pop. Why, just take out a hefty loan or sell your soul to the devil and this little gem could be collecting dust at the bottom of your child’s closet in no time!

After we informed our daughter that Santa might not deliver a Hatchimal this Christmas, this is the following conversation we had with her:

Her: But I really really really really really really really really REALLY want one!

Mr. Maineiac: Really?

Me: Hey, know what I got for Christmas when I was your age?

Her: What?

Me: A Nancy Drew book. Then my brother sat on my head and farted.

Mr. Maineiac: You know what I got one year?

Her: What?

Mr. Maineiac: A penny. And I had to share it with my two sisters. We all took turns holding it. Then they both sat on my head and farted.

Her (pouting): But I want a Hatchimal!

Us (pouting): Where’s that wine?

Next up, my teenage son. Let’s check in and see how his year’s been going!

o-teen-boy-using-smartphone-facebook
[absolute silence for a good 15 minutes]
Ooooookay! That’s all I could get out of him.
(And that really isn’t my son. …but y’know what though? It could be. I haven’t seen his face in about 2 years.)

Finally, let’s check in with my dear ol’ Ma. She spent the better part of 2016 telling me how much she detests Trump. I was talking with her on the phone and tried to change the subject of his upcoming presidency by bringing up other horrible reality TV shows.

Me: Hey, have you seen Naked and Afraid lately?

Mom: No, too icky! I get enough nausea from seeing Trump on the news every damn day.  Did ya see that other show?

Me: Which one?

Mom: Y’know the one! That SHOW!

Me: Oh, yeah! Sure! THAT one!

Mom: Where the guy is married to all those crazy women?

Me: Sister Wives?

Mom: It’s ridiculous! First off, that man is not attractive AT ALL. And secondly, he’s ugly. What is wrong with all those women? I wanna see a woman married to four men! Let’s see that! Brother Husbands!

Me: Good idea!

Mom: Jeezum crow, did you see what Trump the Dump did now?

Me: Oops, gotta go! Time for more Hatchimal hunting!
________________________________________________

And how was your year? Let me know so I can be totes jealz!

Happy holidays, everyone!

Humor

Woman Refuses to Live in the Moment

Live in the moment!

Be your best self!

Embrace bread!

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It’s been several years since Oprah retired from her “Be the Best You, You Can Be –Because I Sure As Hell Wouldn’t Wanna Be You” talk show. Among some of her more earth-shattering insights about life:

We need to live in the moment.

Not around or through the moment. Or even under-the-covers-nursing-a-glass-of-wine. But IN.

oprah-3
“Are you living in the moment? How about now? No? Well, how about now? Are you? Are you really living in the moment? I don’t think you are, fool! You disgust me!”

It should be noted that immediately after she made these comments, she gazed dramatically off the deck of her 50-foot yacht, The Big O, that was floating in the Mediterranean next to As You Wish, a 10-foot dinghy filled with butlers, which was surrounded by a flock of housekeepers and hairdressers on jet skies. And a forlorn Stedman treading water and wearing pink arm floaties.

Yet there is no doubt that over the years her “live in the moment” mantra has managed to transform millions of ordinary people’s lives.

colonoscopy
“Before Oprah, I never lived in the moment. But now? Goddammit, I’ll live the shit out of this moment if it kills me! …Please kill me.”

Yes, it’s true! All of us — even butlers-in-dinghy-less and probes-in-butthole losers like you and me — can embrace every single bright and shiny effing moment of life because Oprah said we should.

All of us except for one 55-year-old woman named Marge from East Dingleberry, Maine. Baffling some of the world’s top Oprah experts, she has managed to live her entire life not in the moment at all. Not even once.

I sat down with Marge last week to get to the bottom of this mystery. And to ask her about her hometown’s name because, I mean, come on! That’s just ridic.

Me: Marge, I’ve been informed that you refuse to live in the moment. Why? Don’t you like Oprah? Is your yacht too small?

Marge: Look — I’ve tried okay! I just can’t do it! Last night, I wanted to live like Oprah, but I panicked from all the stress of my craptastic life. Then I frantically reached under my chair for a free gift, only there was nothing there! Just a huge goopy hairball my cat, Mr. Wankers, yorked up from the day before!

Me: Maybe this will help. Here’s a direct quote from Oprah: Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

Marge: …So I grabbed something to help clean up the mess and noticed it was the overdue electric bill.

Me: Here’s another Oprahism: The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail.

Marge [petting cat on her lap]: Then I started to cry, only I can’t produce any tears because I was diagnosed with chronically dry eye sockets. Why, just last week Mr. Wankers was diagnosed with excessive hairballs, sleep apnea and explosive flatulence. I wanted to weep when I saw the vet bill, but again, no tears!  Do you know how painful it is to cry dust? Or what it’s like to be trapped in an apartment with a cat that’s farting swamp gas nonstop? Well, do you?

Mr. Wankers [breathing heavily]:  Meow.

Me: Oprah says, The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.

Marge: In blind agony from my tearless crying, I grabbed the eye drops prescription I had to sell my left kidney to afford. But a couple of squirts in, I realized it was the sample size ghost pepper hot sauce my husband left on the kitchen counter next to all the other overdue bills.

Me: Turn your wounds into wisdom.

Marge: The hot sauce was all we had left to eat.

Me: You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.

Marge: Holy balls! I think those bastards just shut off my electricity! How will Mr. Wankers use his CPAP machine now? [tearless sobbing, wiping eyes] OH, IT BURNS! IT BURNS!

Mr. Wankers [farting nervously]: Meow.

Me: Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Marge: Get out.

Me: What? But you’re not in the moment yet!

Marge: GET OUT!

Me: Hold on! I’m sensing you are almost in the actual moment now! This is a huge breakthrough! How do you feel? Are you angry? Do you feel rage? Feel it, don’t deny it! Live in the moment!

That’s when the interview abruptly ended. Oprah, you’ve done it again — Marge has learned to live in the moment! I’ll be sending your lawyers my hospital bill.

Humor

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.

eckhart-tolle
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.

________________________________________________

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?