Nobody Told Me There’d Be Exploding Bras

Well, here we are, only January 8th and my New Year is already shaping up to be chock-full of bra-exploding drama.

A few highlights (and some lowlights):

  • I exercised to a new Xbox video game program but went a little overboard. I did about 100 squats in 45 minutes. The next day I went to sit down and nearly passed out from the pain shooting from my thighs. Now I have flabby thighs AND I don’t want to sit down anymore. My will to live has vanished. So much for that resolution.
  • My 9-year-old daughter was very sick with pneumonia. She became ill on Christmas Day and for nearly a week afterward. Funny how everything in your life, every stupid little worry disappears completely when your kid is sick. Last time she had it she was very close to being admitted to the hospital for an IV, so I was very concerned (panicked). Thankfully, her fever finally went away yesterday and she was back to her old cheerful self.  She gave me a huge hug last night and said in her sweet grown-up voice, “Thank you for taking care of me, Mommy.” Melted my heart because of course I will always take care of her, that is my job! And the older I get, the more I realize it’s the most important job to me. Everything else I do is just gravy.
  • Siri followed me on Twitter. Or to be more accurate, the actual woman behind the voice, Susan Bennett. (I’m still not convinced Siri isn’t a robot sent from Steve Jobs to destroy the human race.) Sure, Siri follows about a million other people, but I was tickled pink. I was so happy I forgave her for that snide tone she took with me last week when I asked her how many squats it would take to burn off one doughnut and she said: “Give up now.”
  • I write alt-text for an academic publishing company and completed yet another anatomy textbook today. At this rate, I could easily pass for Dr. House. Or at the very least, I can rattle off every single structure of the male/female genitalia with confidence. I’m certain this skill will come in handy one day.
  • My bra exploded.
    I was picking up some heavy bags while checking out at Target, went to straighten up and that is the precise moment the metal hooks in my bra decided to break free. I have never had this happen in my life. The force of my wardrobe malfunction was so powerful, my boobs shot out from under their restraints like balls from a cannon. Really sad, floppy cannonballs. It was almost as if my bra was saying, “Nope, uh huh. I ain’t gonna hold your girls back no more. The force of gravity is much too strong. You’re on your own, girlfriend.” The best part was my bra just sadly hung there, slowly sliding down the inside of my sweater as I tried to make small talk with the clerk while simultaneously squishing my boobs together awkwardly with one arm. I must have had a constipated look on my face because my daughter tugged on my sleeve and asked, “Mom, do you gotta go poop?” Later on, after I had told her what had happened to my bra she said, “Why do you have to wear a bra anyway? What is it for?” And I thought, Yeah! What the fuck are they for?! Who needs ’em! So, if you happen to see me again at Target grinning like a fool it’s because I’m free-boobin’ it now. I make no apologies.
  • I’m reading a funny book. So funny, I cry with laughter every time I sit down to read it. (okay, I’m mainly crying because of my thighs) It’s John Cleese’s So, Anyway…. It’s a memoir and the way he spins a tale from his youth kills me. He’s got that dry humor I love.

    “So, creatively, I was doubly blessed: constant relocation and parental disharmony. Add to these two gifts the well-established fact that many of the world’s greatest geniuses, both artistic and scientific, have been the product of serious maternal deprivation, and I am forced to the conclusion that if only my mother had been just a little more emotionally inadequate, I could have been HUGE.” – John Cleese

    One of my fave movies is A Fish Called Wanda (I saw it TWICE at the theater back in the day). But would you believe I NEVER saw a single Monty Python movie? I think it’s because my brothers watched them so much but I refused to stay in the same room with a bunch of rowdy, farting jackholes on purpose.

  • I’ll leave you all with a few posts I read recently that you need to check out:
    Over at Peg-o-leg’s blog, it’s a coyote-ugly time as Peg bravely ventures out on a walk in the woods in Crouching Tiger, Crapping Coyote.
    Blogdramedy explores writer’s block and inspirational memes in The Search For My Words.
    Exile on Pain Street contemplates Picasso and other things in This is Picasso’s Brain on Drugs.
    Paul Johnson (aka The Good Greatsby) is back writing humor and doing stand-up comedy in 5 Tips for Surviving Your Child’s Christmas Pageant.
    Jackie explores what fiction can teach us about life in Why We Read: The Truth.
    Steve tries to become a morning person in My New Year’s Resolution 

    Happy reading!

Blogging · happiness

50 Happy Things for 2015: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

Dawn, who writes the blog Tales from the Motherland, invited me to join a group post about all the things we’re thankful for this year in order to spread love and joy around the holidays.

But we have to come up with 50 and only give ourselves 10 minutes to do it.

Sounds a little stressful to me.  So in preparation, I inhaled a few slices of fruitcake, chased them down with some spiked eggnog, then burped up a storm. Ah! Now I was ready to compile my glorious list of holiday cheer.

And because this is all about sharing, we’re inviting you guys to join us. I promise that you will feel truly positive and grateful after you do this exercise.

50 Things That Make Me Happy:

  1. My kids.
  2. My husband.
  3. Yeah, I love my family more than anything else in the entire universe.
  4. Did I mention my family?
  5. Star Wars. I saw the first one in the theater with my dad when I was a kid.  It was mesmerizing and I had a huge crush on Han Solo. And I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s back with J.J. Abrams. Yeah! I just wish to god I had kept my little 1980 Princess Leia action figure. I think my brother fed her to our dog, who not coincidentally was named Princess.
  6. Shopping for gifts online in my bathrobe.
  7. Coffee! Oh, dear sweet nectar of the gods! Sometimes I just want to dive right into my mug and go swimming.
  8. My mom. She knits like crazy and loves to listen to the Doors. Yup, she’s badass.
  9. Forgiveness. My mom and I have had a pretty rough relationship, but age has mellowed us out. We’ve forgiven each other for many things in the past.
  10. Coldplay. Shut up. I love them! When I hear their music my soul feels instantly lifted. It’s full of positivity and I need more of that in my life.
  11. This year, I actually won a contest to see David Gray (one of my faves!) in a private little concert on the pier by the ocean. We sat on a cozy couch on a deck with about 20 others and listened to him sing as ships sailed by in the harbor. It was the perfect setting.
    My future living room.
    My future living room.
    Singing "Snow in Vegas", his duet with LeAnn Rimes.
    Singing “Snow in Vegas”, his duet with LeAnn Rimes.

    And I even got to hug him afterward!
    He had such dry humor and he was very polite. He said to my husband, “How you doin’, mate?” Mate! Oh, those charming Brits. Plus, it was his birthday so I got to eat cake. Best. Day. Ever.

  12. My microwave and crock-pot.
  13. The smell of my Christmas tree when I walk in the door.
  14. My husband for being such a loving, attentive dad. My kids worship him.
  15. Singing alone while driving.
  16. Humor. I live for the funny. I have to laugh every day or I’ll die.
  17. Late night TV when I have insomnia.
  18. Listening to my daughter play the violin.
  19. Singing Adele songs at full blast with my daughter.
  20. My son’s dimples and smile.
  21. My bed. Is it just me, but isn’t that moment when you lie down after a long day the single best thing ever? I love sleep.
  22. Blogging. It’s always been such fun and I love to do it.
  23. The Internet. I can’t live without it. I remember the very first time I was introduced to it. My brother told me to type a word to search and I typed “fart” and all these fart jokes popped up like magic. Mind blown. My life was never the same after that day.
  24. My body. It may be getting wrinkled and fluffier, but I can still go for long walks. I can hug people. I’m just happy to be alive at this point. Only took me nearly 45 years to figure this one out.
  25. Oh, my god, did I get to 50 yet?!
  26. I will never get to 50.
  27. My little tiny Prius that only costs about 12 bucks to fill up now.
  28. El Nino! It’s still balmy and almost Christmas here in Maine. After last winter, I’ll take it.
  29. Polar Express. We can’t get enough of this movie. Isn’t Tom Hanks amazing?
  30. Christmas Vacation movie with Chevy Chase.
    Especially the scene with the squirrel in the tree. Or my favorite line from Eddie: “You know that metal plate in my head? I had to have it replaced, cause every time Catherine revved up the microwave I’d piss my pants and forget who I was for a half hour or so.”
  31. Laughing until you cry. See above movie.
  32. David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s “Little Drummer Boy.”
  33. Chocolate.
  34. The fact my daughter is more obsessed with the TV show Survivor than I am. It’s our little ritual to watch it every week together.
  35. Video games. I love to play them with my kids and I sometimes win.
  36. Pecan pie. I’m making my first one this weekend. And it reminds me of one of my favorite films, When Harry Met Sally.
  37. I work from home and get to be the one to pick up my kids after school. This is one of the major reasons I work from home. I want to be there for them as much as I can. I’m sure they won’t mind if I live in their college dorm room closet one day, right?
  38. Love. I have a lot of love in my life and I’m forever grateful for all of it.
  39. Meditation. It helps calm my racing mind.
  40. Christmas lights. I could sit out in the living room all night and just gaze at the tree. Very peaceful.
  41. Football. When I watch a game I feel like my late dad is sitting next to me. Late as in dead, not as in “late to the game” late.
  42. Dark humor.
  43. That every morning without fail my husband brings me my coffee right after I wake up. He’s been doing this for over 17 years. (I think maybe it’s because he knows how cranky I am before that first sip.)
  44. Wahoo! I’m at 44! And you’re still here? Bless you.
  45. Music. I couldn’t survive without it. It’s magical and transcends everything else. I hear a song and I’m instantly transported to another time or place. My mind is free, just busted wide open. It’s therapeutic and saves my soul.
  46. Writing. Words. Writing words. Yeah. It’s good.
  47. Books. I have about 20 new ones I need to read but don’t have the time.
  48. Gray hairs. I actually love having a little bit of gray. It makes me feel like I’m saying to the world: “Yeah, that’s right! I’m old! Don’t mess with me!”
  49. The Big Bang Theory. I have major crushes on Sheldon and Leonard.
  50. My blog readers. I truly appreciate every comment and like. (I think there are still a few of you out there, right?)

Whew, I’m done!  Now it’s your turn.


If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.

To join the bloggers who have come together for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog at the bottom of Dawn’s post HERE. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise.

Have fun, guys! Happy Holidays!





Blogging · Humor

Is Blogging Dead?

Is disco dead?

Is Elvis dead?

These are the pressing questions of our time and sadly, there are no clear answers.

We live in a social media world, where information is condensed, repackaged then regurgitated straight back into our tiny brains. We’re constantly bombarded with buttloads of useless drivel. We have twitter, youtube, GIFs, Justin Bieber. Everything is getting shorter and more obnoxious. In response our attention spans are adjusting. We crave quick blasts of information and grow tired and bored if we’re forced to focus more than two sec–holy crap, I’ve lost you already, haven’t I? What — this paragraph is too long? Not enough pictures to break up the monotony? You’re wondering where the GIF is?

FINE. Well dammit, here it is! Lap it up! Enjoy it! Get those lazy-ass neurons zapping again in that noggin of yours! God, you’re pathetic!comedy animated GIF
Ok — I admit, that’s a pretty cool GIF. Who doesn’t like a good snort of jambalaya?

Still, whatever happened to taking our time? Whatever happened to slowly digesting a good read? Whatever happened to Elvis? Is he really dead? Personally, I think he’s on an island somewhere with Steve Jobs and an iPhone 10 giggling his ass off.

But seriously. Is blogging dead? I’m asking again because I forgot what the point of this post was. The GIF above is distracting me. [jambalaya!] Does anyone really read an entire post anymore? [jambalaya!] Like say, any of my incredibly stupid and pointless posts, like this one?  [jambalaya!]

Don’t answer that.


I like to think I’m not one to be sucked into the latest trend of super-short bite-sized social interaction.  I like to think I am above kowtowing to the masses. I’d like to know what kowtowing means.

So I looked back over my posts from over four years ago and I noticed a startling trend with my blogging (ahem) “career”:

  1. My posts got significantly shorter.
  2. My paragraphs got significantly shorter.
  3. My ass got significantly wider, and okay, shorter.

Apparently, reading anything more than 140 characters is like, so 2010. Libraries are dying. Stephen King is enraged more than usual. What does this all mean?

If blogging/writing/reading/thinking is dead, what will I do with my time now? Talk to my cat Mr. Piddles? Tough luck there. He’s got over 10 million followers on YouTube, the smug bastard. Although, for someone who spends an inordinate amount of time covering up his own feces, I am impressed.

untitled (27)

Aw, isn’t he adorbs? I could get lost in his eyes forever…sigh…huh?…..where was I? Oh yeah!

I think it’s time we take back our minds, America! We need to start reading full sentences again! Start thinking for once! Put an end to paying attention to Justin Bieber! Otherwise, our brains are doomed, people! Doomed!

So in the off chance I haven’t lost most of you readers already, here’s a post all about how social media is ruining our minds. Keep in mind, it was written three years ago and in that time I’ve no doubt most of our minds have been completely ruined beyond repair. Anyway, I actually read the article and found it fascinating. Of course, it helped there were a lot of real purty colorful graphics and short bullet point lists or I would have lost interest after the first sentence.


Do you think reading is dead? Or Elvis?

Do you like to read long or short posts?

Do you like to read?

Do you know how to read?

Is it because you don’t have time?

Or is it because you really do have time, but you’d rather spend it watching this GIF?

stephen colbert animated GIF

Yeahhhhhh…….that’s the stuff…..

I feel so dirty now.


I am a smartphone addict and the world is going to hell.



Nomophobia — the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.

A drastic change happened in my life this past year. I ditched my trusty old flip phone from the dinosaur age — the one I never texted on and barely used to even make phone calls — for a damn smartphone.

What the hell was I thinking?

Now I’m addicted to this soul-sucking piece of plastic and it feels sad. First sign I had a problem? If a few hours went by without checking it, my hands would sweat, my heart would pound and nothing would ease the subtle yet unnerving feeling I was missing out on something, anything (ohmygodsomethingishappeningIjustknowit!) unless I checked my phone.

The problem is, once you get that fix, you want another hit over and over again just to maintain.


Before I went to bed at night?  Gotta check Facebook.

First thing after I had my morning coffee? Gotta check my email. And Twitter. Instagram. WordPress.

On my lunch break? Phone.

After the boss walks back into her office? Phone.

On my cigarette break? Phone. (Yes, I smoke the phone.)

While I’m on the phone? Phone.

It’s true, I’m cheating on my phone with another phone and sometimes I use them both at the same time and I don’t even care!

Now my life is a big, fat texting, emailing, messaging, instagraming, tweeting, facebooking hot mess of insanity.

I’m caught between desperately craving this fake pseudo-social interaction bullshit of likes and comments and tweets and twits, and realizing it’s all empty and useless for the most part.

Yes, it is.  Empty. Waste of precious time.

But Darla! you say, It keeps us connected! It’s social! C’monIt brings people together! The internet isn’t all bad! Some of it’s good!

No, it is not. We are all pathetic.

Fine, I’m pathetic. Because I’ve fallen for this crap. I remember when it all started too.

One day last semester I was sitting on a bench outside of class with other students, all of them looking down at their evil little phones. I was waiting for class to start so I did the natural thing we used to do in the olden days: I waited.

After a few minutes of pleasantly sitting there doing nothing, a 21-year-old classmate of mine asked “Darla? What’s wrong?”

“Huh?” I snapped out of my daydream.

“What’s wrong? You’re like…just staring off into space….” she laughed.

Oh my fucking god.

The other night my husband and I were sitting on the living room couch in the dark and both of us were hunched over, looking down at our respective tiny glowing rectangles. After a half hour of silence, we realized the TV wasn’t even on.

The TV wasn’t on! Has the world gone mad?

Last year, we used to pride ourselves on the fact we never texted. Now we’ve actually texted each other while in the same house before. Sure it was about dinner and I was very tired and didn’t want to get up to walk over to the next room to talk with my husband, but still.

We’ve fallen hard and fast for this addiction, and guess what folks, it’s real and it is sucking the life out of all of us.

Social communication has been reduced to bite-sized morsels of superficial bullshit we gobble up and spit out over and over again like monkeys pressing a button for food. Release the treat! Give it to me again! It’s never enough! Buzz! Buzz! BUZZZZ!!!

What have we lost? Eye contact. Long, meaningful conversations. The sense of touch. The ability to connect with another soul without a stupid machine wedged inbetween every interaction.

This summer I worked at a doctor’s office. My favorite parts of the day were the little moments I truly connected with a patient who is sick or dying or just lonely. Sometimes I’d rest my hand on their shoulder or help them up or give them a pat on the back and a smile. I looked into their eyes and I asked them how they were today and I actually wanted to know the answer.

The thing that surprised me most was the response. All people — young, old, women, men — their faces would suddenly soften, like a wall was slowly crumbling. Sometimes they’d start crying or telling me stories from the past or relating their dreams and fears to me. It was like a dam busted open wide. Because I actually took the time to talk to them face to face. Imagine.

And it made me think how little we actually communicate with each other today. Genuine communication about the stuff that goes on deep down inside of all of us. How much we all desperately need to know we’re not alone floating around out there, caught in some vapid interwebular net of flavor-of-the-month popularity.

But all things in moderation, right? So I’m starting to put the stupid phone down. I actually have to tell myself not to check it. I have to resist the urge all day.  I’ll admit, it reminds me of when I quit drinking coffee, it’s that much of an addiction to me.

Last week I went a few days without my phone. (I still texted my husband once though so I did cheat a little).

But I found I didn’t miss it, that hollow feeling of craving something I know is ultimately bad for the soul.

Fine, my soul, not yours. It’s just me. I’m sure you’re not addicted, right? First step is admitting you have a problem. Just resist the urge to tweet about it. Like I’m about to do with this post.



Are you addicted to your phone? How many times a day do you check it? Be honest. If you’re not addicted, let me know any tips for quitting, like say, putting the phone on a table and smashing it to smithereens with a hammer.











It’s About Time

Eternal_clockMy grandmother lived to 100. When she was in her early 90s she told me the older you get, the faster time flies. For her a year was like a second. I look forward to this when I have to suffer through yet another commercial for Progressive car insurance.

I’m only in my mid-40s and I’ve already noticed time has sped up considerably. One month it was Christmas, then a week later it was Christmas again. I’d be willing to bet no matter when you’re reading this post, it’s Christmas.

Time is relative. I never seem to have enough time to workout. The two hours of kid-free time I get in the morning before my first class lasts about 12 seconds. And for most of those seconds I’m struggling to put on my pants.

I know I should spend more time with Jillian Michaels, but by the time I’m done stuffing myself into my spandex, Jillian Michaels has suffered a tragic death at the nursing home after being crushed to death by her own trapezius muscles. What’s the point of working out then?

Death will find you. Oh yes, it will.
Death will find you, Jill. Oh yes, it will.

Yet I always have time for dinner. What the hell is going on there? Dinner at my house consists of us sucking down our food in a mad dash that lasts a grand total of about 3.5 seconds.

But the time that goes into planning dinner? Endless.

The time during the day I spend thinking about what the hell I’m going to have for dinner that night? The amount of time my husband and I talk about what we’re going to have for dinner that night? Eternity times forever squared.  It’s the one topic always on our minds.

“Oh, so the test came back negative? Terrific. What’s for dinner?”

“Oh, so the test came back positive?  Not good. What’s for dinner?”

“Hey honey — sorry I texted you a dozen times in the middle of your big important meeting but what’s for dinner tonight?”

“Right, the boss passed you up for a promotion due to your obnoxious texting habit during big important meetings. Bummer. Any thoughts on dinner?”

“Yeah, so you might be out of a job soon. We might have to foreclose on the house and you might be dying of a rare disease.  But are you thinking about dinner? What are we gonna have?”

Yes, dinner is coming up. Again. It’s always here! I bet no matter where you are right now reading this, it’s almost time for dinner. So it’s always time for dinner planning.

Every time it rolls around again I’m peeved. Didn’t we just go through this yesterday? How is it possible I’m sitting here thinking about it again? Great! Again with the food and the cooking and the fact we have to eat or we’ll die. 

My life is just an endless stream of dinners.

If I could just plan all my meals, then eat all my dinners for the entire week in one day, then I’d be happy. Free some time up for my spandex-stuffing marathons.

Time just goes by too fast, I can’t keep up. It never ceases to shock me. I always say the same thing to the clock when I notice time has flown: “Are you freaking kidding me? Really? I bent down to put on my slippers and three years went by?”

Then I ask, “Is it wrong I’m talking to the clock? Is this the first sign of dementia? Or the last? It’s probably the last…” Then I glance down at my watch and another decade went by while I was arguing out loud with the clock about the concept of time. Still, I never get any answers from the universe as to why time speeds up like this.

The universe is such an asshole.

It’s getting harder to accomplish any of my daily tasks, there’s no time to enjoy anything anymore. I try to be more zen, but how can I be “in the moment” when the moment insists on skipping ahead of me?

OK…so now I’m going to open this package of bacon for breakfast and HOLY SHIT IT’S TIME FOR BED ALREADY?

Anyway, I guess I’d better wrap things up now. I started writing this post this morning at 7 am. Once I got to this paragraph, I looked up at the clock and it was midnight on December 24, 2027.

Looks like I’d better start shopping for my grandkids’ gifts, huh.

Before I do, what the hell do you want for dinner tonight? I’m thinking pasta. No? You want chicken? Oh, no, we can’t do chicken.  I didn’t take out the meat to thaw yet. Hey, how about pasta? No? Chili? I like chili. With ground turkey? Ah, but I didn’t take out the turkey so….let’s have bacon.


Any thoughts on how I can slow down time? What works for you? Give me some ideas in the comments.

Humor · Uncategorized

20 Things About the Maineiac

20 Things About Me That You Might Regret Knowing After You Read This:

  1. I am allergic to every group of antibiotics out there. My doctor tells me I am down to one rarely prescribed antibiotic that I can safely take, so if I contract pneumonia and you don’t hear from me, it’s probably because I’m dead.
  2. I had three cats in my lifetime: Cujo, a gray tabby who was the sweetest, wisest old soul that ever lived, who also went by the nickname Old Man; Conan, a giant orange tabby that loved to swim in puddles; and Lint, a puff ball of rage who used to claw at me for no reason. I’ve also had several dogs, lizards, gerbils, hamsters, birds, guinea pigs, fish, chickens and ducks. I currently have no pets.
  3. I was born severely cross-eyed. As a child, I wore glasses but only for a few years. I kept hiding them under my desk and the teacher finally just gave up trying to find them. To this day if I get tired, my left eye turns in. Very attractive.
  4. I can sing very well. I’m alto, but could even be a tenor, my voice is that deep.
  5. I do celebrity impressions. Back in high school, I was the hit of any party. My favorites: Katherine Hepburn, Rosie Perez, Jimmy Stewart, Cartman from South Park. I can do basically anyone if I study their voice enough. My teachers didn’t appreciate my talent much.
  6. I am a great combination of skeptical and open-minded. I will start out questioning how something works, analyze it to death, then embrace it because I will basically believe anything is possible.
  7. I had a dream about my husband before I met him. Also about my son who was with my late father in a vivid dream. My dad told me he was his grandson, my son. I didn’t get pregnant until years later.
  8. I am deathly afraid of spiders, any size. Also afraid of killing them. I have been known to trap one under a cup and leave the cup on the floor until someone else comes along and is brave enough to scoop it up. Once I held my breath and picked up the cup only to find no spider. Finding no spider is almost as panic-inducing as seeing one.
  9. I once tried out for a solo in chorus in sixth grade and didn’t get it. The song was ‘What a Feeling!’ from Flashdance.
  10. I started writing when I was 10 years old. I wrote and illustrated mysteries starring me and my best friend. The first mystery: The Case of the Missing Legwarmer
  11. I have been thinking about concepts like death and eternity since I was a child. Sometimes I try to grasp what the edge of the universe is, or what this all means, or if we’re really alive or just a figment of one person’s imagination, and my brain short circuits and I sit down and watch a marathon of The Golden Girls to bring myself back down from that ledge of panic. That Sophia sure cracks me up!
  12. I was obsessed with Lost. Still am. Still can’t believe it’s over.
  13. I am very blunt. I’m straight-forward and honest. I will blurt anything out at the most inappropriate times. Usually at the dinner table at holiday family get-togethers. It’s a curse and a blessing. Mostly a curse to everyone else but me.
  14. My earliest memory is riding my Big Wheel down the driveway at four years old eating peanut butter toast with one hand and steering with the other. I crashed and my older brother laughed. My driving skills have improved since then, although I did hit a moose once while I was zipping down a back road going 55 mph in the dark of night.  I hit it from behind so I suppose you could say it was an “ass-on” collision. The car (a tiny Ford Festiva) was totaled, the moose died and I survived with a sore neck and a story of a lifetime. My co-workers made me a cake with a matchbox car and a tiny moose laying on it’s side.  This is Maine, where tragedy can be humorous. It’s how we cope.
  15. I love to be alone. I lived alone for years in my early 20s. I had a little apartment off campus out in Olympia, Washington. I wasn’t scared of being alone at all, after growing up with five brothers, I relished it.  I spent lots of time meditating, reading and talking to my cat. I think of those days fondly even though I am grateful for the family I have now. Still, I can easily see myself as a future crazy old cat lady. (It’s a secret goal of mine.)My husband has never been alone for even one night in his entire life. This mystifies me.
  16. I used to twirl baton for years in middle school. I was the leader once in our Fourth of July parade and dreaded it because we went after the horses, which meant I was the first one in line to have to step over the giant piles of poop. Once I missed and had to keep on marching, horse crap all over my white sneaker the entire parade. I quit baton that year.
  17. The library was my favorite place to go as a child. I would ride my bike there after school to read and read. I loved the smell of the books, the quiet; the feeling that everything that had ever happened in the world was somehow magically there, and every author that came before me was whispering–urging me to open up those books and discover them all.
  18. Sleep is everything to me. I cherish it, I treasure it, I covet it. I look forward to it every single day (usually by 3 pm). I need at least 9 hours of sleep to feel fully rested.  Last night I had about 4 and a half total. Getting old sucks.
  19. I once had a vivid dream where an orchestra was playing the most exquisite, never before heard classical music piece. I woke up, rushed over to write down the notes when suddenly the melodies had been replaced by the theme to Three’s Company.
  20. There is nothing in the world that I hate more than shopping. I must have inherited this trait from my grandmother. She used to rush into a store, grab what she needed and rush back out. I can’t even bring myself to go into the store. I usually opt to sit in the car and read a book while waiting for my husband to do the shopping. He loves to shop. God brought us together for many reasons.


Thanks to MJ Monaghan and his fabulous About page that inspired this post.


Hot Topics for the Middle-Aged

I knew it! I should've just stayed on the couch. Image:

April 5

Dear Carlene,

How is the weather up there? I imagine it’s still cold and snowy. The cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom here in Arlington, it’s so beautiful. After church today, we will go for a long walk along the Potomac and enjoy their incredible fragrance. Don’t forget that we are driving up to visit you in Maine the last week of April, so be sure to have the lobsters ready. Miss you and love you very much. Give the kids a big hug for me.

P.S. I have a horrible pain in my kidney, my sciatic nerve is making my behind feel like it’s on fire and your father’s gout is acting up again.

Love, Mom

This was an actual letter from my dear sweet Gram to my mother (“actual” in the sense that I made it up; but trust me, she sent similar letters). Notice how she starts out with a tried-and-true bang (the weather) draws the reader in with the promise of serene sweetness and bliss (cherry blossoms and lobsters) then ends abruptly with the doom and gloom of growing older (ass on fire). Continue reading “Hot Topics for the Middle-Aged”


Bedtime Stories

Bed made with white bed linen. Four fluffy pil...
Hello sleep, my old friend. Will I ever see you again? Image via Wikipedia

We all do it. Yet we never seem to get enough of it. But we can’t live without it.

Sleep. (Anyone who was thinking about sex has to be much younger than me and/or childless.) Oh, how I love to sleep; the perfect way to end a day. If there was a way to sleep or stay in bed watching bad movies 24 hours a day, I’d sign up.

I need about eight to nine hours a night to achieve full optimum power. Any less and I’m a cranky zombie. No amount of caffeine will dull the laser beams of irritation shooting from my sleepy eyes, annihilating everyone in their path.  My husband thinks I’m lazy. I think I’m cleverly escaping from reality. My day could be full of nonstop stress with everything going wrong, but I can always count on that blissful moment when my weary head hits a soft pillow and it all goes away. Please dear god, just make it go away, for 8.5 hours.

Sleep is something you never truly appreciate until it’s gone.  Back in college, I used to complain about staying up all night partying and having to go to an 8 am calculus class. Who would have guessed years later, I’d be surviving for years, almost a decade, on little to no sleep.  When my colicky son was a newborn, we were surviving on mere minutes of sleep. It was only after we started seeing giant blue gummy bears dancing in our kitchen that we realized how much we needed to sleep.  And how much we missed it and still do.

Sleeping entails all sorts of unique habits developed over a lifetime and sure to tick off your sleeping partner.  We all have our little quirky things we need to fall asleep. First is establishing a consistent routine before bedtime.  My daughter prefers to brush her teeth, put on her pajamas and read three books and sing three songs. I prefer to brush my teeth, play Angry Birds on my iTouch until a blood vessel bursts, then sit on the couch and fall asleep watching House.

Also very important is the bedroom atmosphere. I need a fan for white noise. Maybe I’m desperately trying to recreate being in the womb again. Maybe I’m trying to drown out my son’s whining at the foot of my bed that a giant Pokemon chased him in his dream and now he needs to eat some crackers at 2:30 in the morning.

Another key to good sleep is a darkened room.  I like to keep a little nightlight in the hallway that gives off a soft glow, handy for those many midnight trips parading my kids back and forth to their rooms. My husband needs to keep the TV on in order to bathe us in an electric cancer-causing glow all night long. I’m always quick to point out the bright light will interfere with melatonin levels, but he doesn’t seem to care as long as he can fall asleep in the serene safety of knowing Jack Tripper and Chrissy Snow are watching over him. After a few hours of laying there with my pillow over my eyes, having creepy dreams about Mr. Furley, I usually have had enough.  So I carefully slip the remote out of his hands (yes, he curls up with it like a stuffed animal) and put the TV on “sleep” mode. When the TV clicks off an hour later, he’ll suddenly sit bolt upright and shout, “What? Huh? Who?”  Then he’ll roll back over while I snicker as our melatonin levels surge.

If the power goes out at night, (which it does a few dozen times or so every winter) sleepy time is over.  I will stay up all night, eyes wide and heart pounding, cursing the heavy darkness crushing me and the deafening silence ringing in my ears. Is this how they slept during the Little House on the Prairie Days? For the love of all that is holy, how did they do it? I try to picture Laura huddled in her little bed with Mary, trying to keep warm, drifting off to sleep listening to the harsh Minnesota winds in the distance.

Room temperature is also a big issue. He prefers an icy bone-chilling wind blowing in from an open window. If he wakes up with his eyelids frosted shut, he’s happy. “But honey! It’s good for you! Keeps you young! My grandfather used to sleep on the front porch at night in the dead of winter and he lived to 100!” Still I prefer to maintain my body temp at a balmy 98.6. So we do the dance of pulling up the covers and yanking them off again.  I prefer to sleep in a warm cozy cocoon, he feels compelled to have at least one leg exposed (and he normally leaves it on top of mine so I can dream I’m being pinned by a giant sequoia tree all night). Makes me yearn for the old days when couples slept in cute matching twin beds. Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver knew the secret to a successful marriage. Of course, the twin beds would do nothing to smother his freight train snoring. Hmm, separate rooms might work. We need a bigger house.

Knowing what sleep position works best is also helpful. I have slept curled up in a ball on my side my entire life. My husband sleeps on his stomach, drooling into his pillow with one arm draped across my face. After you have kids, it’s a free-for-all of little arms and legs stuck every which way (and usually directly into your kidneys). This brings up another crucial issue: space. Ideally, a king sized bed with one of those memory foam mattresses would be perfect.  Most nights I end up half asleep underneath a pink canopy teetering on the edge of a narrow twin mattress covered in Strawberry Shortcake sheets.

And so tonight I look forward to sleep; that glorious golden slumber. Will I get enough? Will I once again sleep completely straight through the night? Doubtful, but I always have hope. I may find myself drifting off to la-la land only to return a perfect 8.5 hours later. Or I may find myself bleary-eyed at 2 am eating crackers with my son and watching Jack and Janet endure another hilarious misunderstanding down at the Regal Beagle.  I think I know which one I bet on.


Exasperation, Brain Freeze and Adam and Eve

freeze brain
Here comes the pain again! Image by Mr. Wright via Flickr

The other night, as I was watching 60 Minutes (okay, okay, Jersey Shore) I reached into a can of nuts when my thoughts naturally wandered to the one and only, Andy Rooney. Today I decided to give the poor guy a rest and come up with my own list of annoyances about life’s more pressing mysteries. Besides, I’m feeling smug, cranky and exasperated, so what the hell.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH….? Continue reading “Exasperation, Brain Freeze and Adam and Eve”


Remember Spring

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is quite another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. Henry Van Dyke

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. Rainer Maria Rilke Continue reading “Remember Spring”