It just so happens that I am still here.

I wake up every morning and plan my day. My day, however, often has other plans.

My absence from BME is pretty representative of the way life is today.  How many of us have stopped watching the news, or more importantly the stock markets?  Sometimes it’s OK to just check out, pretend that the real world is far, far away.  In fact, I recommend it.

All good things must come to an end, and better things await us when we are ready to jump back into reality – ready to work, ready to remedy the past that ails us.  Running indefinitely away takes us only farther away from what we need to be doing, and it makes us really, really tired.  Taking a jog, on the other hand, is good for your heart, health, and mind.

We live in a chronic state of fatigue, with seemingly no end in sight. Checking out may seem like a luxury, but only if you are reading “sleep all day” in that directive.  I still have to work to pay my bills, my kids still need to have their meals made, laundry done. My bills demand attention, along with the dogs.  I needed to check out, so I did. I stopped reading the news, perusing blogs, and writing my own blog.  I can’t afford to run away, but I can stop doing the things that eat away my time to relax, despite being things that I enjoy.  Even if I enjoy something, it doesn’t mean it is relaxing.

The news was making me panicked, the stock market was making me sea sick.  Reading blogs just nagged at me to get back to my own, despite being cleverly written gems that deserved Huffington Post publication.  This precious space, BME, seemed more deserving of quality versus content, and I just got too tired to marry the two.  So I took a break.

If you find you need to check out, take a look at your time.  Other than the bare necessities, what are the things that eat into your day? Do you really need to cook a full dinner every night or can you dial it in for a few days – or maybe a week? Even if you love cooking, sometimes you just need to sit on the couch and rest. If talking to friends and family on the phone is fun, but you end up involved in more drama, take a week off.  Maybe your social schedule has gotten a little to packed, or your golf game is so far off you are just practicing your hazard shots, whatever it is, it  maybe not giving you the pleasure you need to feel rested and happy.

Work and responsibility take a toll, don’t let your “free time” become anything other than what you need, even if it’s just sleep.

My hiatus is over, and I am ready to play again.

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Using the stock market like a mood ring is dumb.

English: Phillippine stock market board

English: Phillippine stock market board (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mood rings were all the rage in the decade before I was old enough to really appreciate fads. Future generations, after much research, determined they were nothing more than body temperature indicators and novelty items.  Imagine looking at your ring, seeing red, and thinking “Wow, I must be really angry.  I don’t feel angry… but wait, now I am really MAD!!”

I think the mood ring is a good analogy for the stock markets today.  Most of us know how we feel about the economy regardless if the market number is red or green.

If I don’t have a job, haven’t found work in a long time, downsized to the point of meager existence, the markets jumping up 200 points in one day doesn’t really have a direct effect on my life. I still have to pay my bills and hit the pavement the next morning, like millions of others.

If I have a small business, I know if I have more customers this month than last.  I can look at the average amount of money customers are spending on items or jobs, and determine if I am growing, shrinking, or remaining exactly the same.  If I am in a growth cycle, I will hire. If I am shrinking, I will fire.

If I am lucky, gainfully employed, and the markets will affect my portfolio, then I will rejoice. I can provide the basics for my family, keeping food on the table, and roof over their heads.  I may not be able to retire when I want, or provide the Disney Christmas experience, but I can provide.  A market drop may be a reminder to simplify, but it won’t destroy me.  I will work hard every day at my job to make my company better and be the best asset I can.

If I lose my job, I will face the harsh reality of being unemployed. But I still need to get up every morning with the optimism that today is the day I will find new work.  I may need to look for assistance, face under-employment, or adjust my life to make my family my priority.  I won’t need the market to tell me that I have fallen on rough times, the bank will do a good enough job at that.

The only barometer I need for my life is me.  If I lose everything tomorrow, I will still have my family, true friends, and my ability to work hard to make a future life for myself.

When I see the headline, “Stocks see worst day of the year after weak jobs report”, it should only be a reflection of life as I am living it, not something to set my mood.  Journalists shock you, make you want to read more, incite feeling to elicit the “click” on their headline.  My advice, don’t freak out until your life tells you to. And if your life tells you to freak out, try to make tomorrow a better day, despite what the markets do, because at the end of the day, it’s all you can do.  That, and vote.

Hallelujah! MIT SuperMinds solve the world’s greatest problem!

I don’t know about you, but global warming, toxic chemical spills, and the nation’s processed food epidemic just doesn’t rate on my list of concerns for the future of the human race. There are just two world problems that I would like to have solved and MIT just smashed one of them.

Tonight I rejoice, and raise a bottle, to the masterminds of MIT that have spent the last two, grueling months of their incredible brain power solving the greatest problem on earth: The have discovered how to make ketchup flow out of a bottle.

Incredible, I know.

Just when I thought there was no hope for that last two tablespoons taunting my fries, the gods have answered my prayers.  Imagine all the ketchup that will be saved at diners across the country, neigh, the WORLD??  (Except in Europe, where they douse their chips in mayo and vinegar. Heathens. But even the heathens can rejoice, apparently this works on mayo too!)

I could watch this video all night long. And I probably will.

Isn’t glorious?

I’m no scientist, but I know the great minds of MIT would never produce an unsafe product, so I was relieved to hear that their secret formula remains under lock and key.

“As for what the slippery coating is made of, Smith isn’t telling, but he and his team worked only with materials that already have the FDA stamp of approval for use in food packaging, for ease of entry into the marketplace.”

via Stuck ketchup problem solved by MIT engineers – Technology & science – Science – LiveScience – msnbc.com.

Already FDA approved and it isn’t even on the market yet? Those clever gits!

Bravo, MIT, for your superior use of minds and resources. I will sleep easier tonight knowing that soon my shelf will hold a magic bottle that will release my ketchup down to the last drop without even the slightest tap.

Sweet dreams all, tomorrow will be a better day.

 

Are you laughing at me?

I worry about competing with Rosie O’Donnel over a woman.  I also secretly believe that Michael J. Fox is harassing me.  And my biggest insecurities stem from lawyers, girl scouts and obituaries.

At least I think that’s what this latest report means.

After reviewing the laugh responses to a video of a stand-up comedian, Robert Lynch, a doctoral student in evolutionary anthropology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, concluded that “Self-deceivers were less likely to laugh at the stand-up comic than those who were more honest. Lynch suspects that it’s because comedians often joke about taboo topics, and those who are lying to themselves can’t chuckle because they feel it would be too revealing.”

via The Body Odd – People who don’t laugh easily are only fooling themselves.

stand up comedian David Galle www.davidgalle.be

stand up comedian David Galle http://www.davidgalle.be (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just when I thought it was safe to say that the title of my blog is actually an ironic twist on the fact that I really don’t like the show “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”  The show that makes my husband laugh hysterically, like a small boy that discovers the perfect toy is actually attached to him.  The show that takes every chance circumstance and creates a comedy fit for a mad queen.

It’s annoying. It frustrates me. I can tell you with a certain accuracy just how the show will progress from random happenstance to full blown personal chaos, and it doesn’t trigger the funny bone in me whatsoever.  I’ve always thought this was an indication of my superior evolution, that my humor could only be provoked by comedic sophistication.

Apparently, I am just a fraud.

Apparently, I don’t laugh at this show because I am afraid to show who I really am.  I am deceiving myself, concealing my true self from the world around me. Something about this show touches a nerve in me, and triggers the insecurities I fight to suppress on a daily basis.

I belly laugh at nut shots, wedding dance blunders, and the damndest things my kids say.  I howl at disillusioned stunts gone very bad, really horrific karaoke, and stealth pictures taken at Walmart.

I guess that makes me really confident about the balls I don’t have, my talent as a triple threat performer, and my parenting abilities. Oh, and my fashion sense to wear the correct size clothing that hides both crack and muffin top on a regular basis.  Other than that last bit, I wouldn’t have called myself confident in any of these things.

So am I insecure? Or could it be that the stand-up comedian in the video just wasn’t that funny?

 

 

Rage against free speech?

The following image circulated the world of Facebook today:

It was pointed out by someone that this picture is offensive, that is mocks free speech, opinion, and the right to demonstrate.

I wonder would it have been less offensive to use this picture instead?

I am absolutely, 100% behind equality (My Married Life), and I am also 100% behind free speech (Sometimes You Need to Have Diarrhea).

What does the image say to you?

Random Acts of Motherness

I have my card, but I refuse to wear the jeans.  I grew two humans and have thrust them onto the world stage. and tomorrow is my day. According to Hallmark anyway. And Kay Jewelers, Edible Arrangements, and every other retail shop in existence.  I get it, and rest assured, I will totally milk it.  As will the adoptive, step, and grandmothers of the developed world. Ladies, this Bud’s for you.

But I will also raise my glass tomorrow, and it WILL be a Bloody Mary, to the unsung heroes of this sisterhood.  Because my sisters aren’t just the card carrying m.o.m.s., they are the fabulous women that either by choice or circumstance, do not have the perfect Hallmark greeting in their honor. And they deserve one.

My list is long, but here are just a few of the women that I will honor tomorrow:

  • The lady who plays peek-a-boo with a youngster in the grocery store moments before a tantrum of epic proportions seems inevitable.
  • The preschool teacher that drops subtle hints about the needs of a young child that the sleep deprived mom can’t see through the haze.
  • The “cool” teacher that quietly councils our children when their parents “just don’t understand”.
  • The friend that arrives at a two-year-old birthday party without kids of their own, bearing gifts that children most desire, moms despise for their pieces, and cost more that than the standard clearance price.
  • The neighbor that bakes the best cookies, doesn’t care if bike tires tear up the lawn, and always seems to know just when to appear when acts of cruelty among young friends are about to transpire.
  • The women who love their friends’ children on first sight and forevermore, simply because.

We mothers like to think of ourselves as part of a special club, whose initiation includes sleepless nights, supreme agitation and worry, and countless hours of PBS programming.  For some it began with 9 months of physical preparation, for others it was years of planning and preparations for home studies.  Every mom has a story, and it should be celebrated.

Not all women want to join this club, others are unable, but most (if not all) women practice random acts of motherness on a daily basis.  Without these women, we mothers would be lost, and most of us without realizing it.

Let’s end the segregation this holiday represents and celebrate all the women that make our children great.

Happy Motherness Day!

Sometimes you just need to have diarrhea.

Pull up your figurative Depends and follow me on this one.

There are times in life when the cautious, filtered approach to communication just doesn’t work.  It’s time for verbal diarrhea. You need to get mushy and stinky and roll around in the crap in order to move forward. (For those with a visual imagination, I apologize.) These are the moments when you need to let the words fly out without warning, premeditation, or any thought at all.*

It’s not advice for every day, and certainly not for performance reviews at work (however tempting that may be when your “boss”, who may be at least 10 years your junior, is giving you advice on how to be a better you).  Regardless, it’s good advice for those moments when candor and truth are necessary at any cost.

Think about your last ugly cry.  You know the one – crazy eyes, snotty nose, sweaty forehead.  It was probably related to the romantic other in your life.  If I look like this after an encounter, it is guaranteed that stuff came out of my mouth that was at times completely incoherent, but brutally honest.

Let me put in a small aside here.  If this is the way ALL of your romantic fights look, then it may be time to stop reading this post and find some Imodium STAT.  For the rest of you, please continue.

It isn’t until I reach “hot mess” that I say what I really feel.  It doesn’t always end the way I want things to, but it always ends the way it should.  My verbal diarrhea comes shooting out, and sometimes they can hack it, other times they can’t.  Either way, we both have a better understanding of one another and can decide if another round is worth the effort.

Bouts of cleansing diarrhea are not only good for high intensity stand-offs.  They are equally beneficial when doling out advice, particularly in cases where the advice seeker is a repeat offender of frustratingly ridiculous behavior but still believes “I didn’t do anything wrong.”  A good friend, after 15 rounds, will just let it fly. Trust me, it feels so much better after.

I am discovering that the only situation that this proverbial diarrhea may actually be a welcome recurring affliction is when I write.  Blog post that took me less than 30 minutes to write, were riddled with grammatical nightmares, and included numerous incomplete sentences, were the only ones that got read.

I am at 29 minutes. Let’s see if the theory holds true.

*Yes, caught that in my brief editing review. Left it in for your pleasure.

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