Not Everyone Lies On Facebook

Sigh. Where to begin?

I’ve been reading MANY posts lately about the lies people tell on social media, how we scrub our lives and portray only our most beautiful moments. It’s a social media backlash that I honestly take a little personally.Lies Kids

I post pictures of my kids doing adorable things. I only post pictures of myself when they look good. I share anecdotes of my small children saying amazing, profound things. And I am not ashamed of my life shared on social media.

Here’s how you can interpret my social media activity:

  • I post cute kid stuff maybe 3-5 times a week. Other than those moments you can assume they have been in timeout for knocking each other around like barbarians.
  • You will find pictures of me, usually with my husband, about once a month because doing my hair and makeup for anything other than work (and usually not even on those days) only happens that often.
  • I share articles and stories that inspire, inform, or make me laugh so hard I snort coffee. Since this is most of my posting, you can infer that I read a lot and care about politics, world events, the great irony of reaching middle age, and art. To name just a few.
  • I “Like” a lot of my friends’ posts because I like my friends and their kids – both human and animal. I genuinely like seeing their fondest memories, reading lists, and musings about life.

You see, I don’t lie on Facebook. In fact, it’s a pretty accurate highlight reel of what my life is like. Would it make my friends happy to see 4 pictures a day of my children crying, whining, or giving me the evil eye? Would they rather see pictures of me the moment I wake up with puffy eyes, standing over a toaster making waffles willing the coffeemaker to brew faster?

Life will always be a series of highs and lows. I have faith in my social media friends that they can read between the lines of my “perfectly Instagrammed” life and know that I am well-rounded, equally disturbed, and a majority of the time completely unraveled. I know that I believe the same about them.

If you love social media and want to continue the fun, please feel free to share this rant. Who knows, maybe it will start a counter-revolution.

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

stand up comedian David Galle (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?



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.

Finding out what’s really important.

It’s all about mice.

Did you know that mice poop while they walk?  It’s like breathing to them. They don’t have a special “place” to lay their dukes.  They don’t excuse themselves to another area.  No. They just walk, poop, breath, pee, procreate, poop, breath, pee.*

This phenomenon is only important when mice decide that your house is a pretty swell place to domicile. I have a really terrific house.  More specifically, I have a spectacular laundry room/random un-insulated addition to the back of my very small house.  (For more on my small house, click here.)

In this room are all the things that are important enough to keep, but not important enough to keep in any easily accessible space. It’s also the place where I go to get the spots out, the stains annihilated, and my clothes really clean.

Imagine my joy when I discovered the trail of scat leading from one edge of the room to the opposite corner.  OH ____ RAPTURE.  (Intentional blank, fill it in as you please.)

I spent that last 7 hours of my day donning a mask, yellow rubber gloves and a bottle of bleach.

Let me tell you something about mouse scat.  You CAN’T

–        Sweep it up

–        Vacuum it up

–        Disturb it any way


I won’t bore you with the details, just a final fact. ONE in THREE people that contract the virus will DIE.

As I bleached and scrubbed, holding my breath despite the mask, I had one of those moments of great discovery that only come when faced with a 30% chance of death.

I don’t need this stuff.

I have been holding on to stuff that I really don’t need.  This stuff has been binding me to the past, to other days that will never happen again.  Seriously, when am I ever going to play scrabble again on an actual board with PIECES? I have an app for that.  And iron?? I don’t iron.  I don’t even cook. Which is good, since the barbecue tools were pitched today too.  Along with the dog brush, wrapping paper, extra toilet paper, sunshade, chair covers, and the funky bowl that was a wedding present from some of my favorite people that was accidentally set on the shelf.

So, really, the mice were a blessing.  They allowed me to rid myself of the past, potential future, and the convenience of having items handy that are not required on a daily basis.  Because of their potentially deadly crap, I now have the cleanest, whitest, laundry/no longer storage for anything that I might ever want to use again room.

Thank you, mice, for your ________ visit.

Bon ______ Voyage.

*Not substantiated by any relevant source, but substantial evidence collected (by me) suggests this statement is true.

I think, therefore you’re awesome.

It’s simple, people are pretty awesome.

I was driving the other morning and passed a rather large woman jogging, and I thought, “You are awesome. You decided that you want to make a change.”

I was at the lunch with my kid and sat near a dad having a solo lunch with his two kids under 3, and I thought, “Wow, you’re an awesome dad.  Never mind the meltdown, you made your kids’ day.”

I was reading a really well written blog post, and I thought, “Seriously, you’re an awesome writer.  You captured a moment in time with such humor it makes me want to follow your next post.”

This entry just as easily could have been about the person who cut me off on the freeway, the dog owner that left the “present” in my yard, or the woman who scowled and complained about the meltdown mentioned above, but it’s not.

I am choosing to believe that the person who cut me off on the freeway was racing to the hospital to see a dying friend, the dog owner just forgot the bag and will pick up someone else’s crap as karmic payback, and the woman who scowled had a migraine and will feel horrible about her reaction later.

I am no Dalai Llama, particularly when I get too little sleep and the coffee has run out.  I can road rage, cut off, sneer and snarl with the best of them.  That subtle scratch of my nose while you pass is done with one finger.  And that casual one finger lingering on the steering wheel while you pass, yes that’s for you.

But today is Monday. The beginning of the week, the start of a new hell adventure, a chance to do it differently.

Here is my Monday pledge:

Today, I will not get annoyed when milk is spilled, jelly ends up under my feet from an errant piece of breakfast toast.  I will not stress about getting out the door on time, we will get there when we get there, and my hair WILL be brushed.

I will think your parents didn’t teach you manners when you cut me, and every other driver, off just to shave 2.5 minutes off your commute, but instead of hating you with unabashed rage, I will feel sorry for you. And you parents. And your ex (because clearly you are shunned, alone, and bitter.)

I will do my best to keep my subtle finger gestures out of my day, I think the kids are picking up on them anyway.

I will try really, really, really hard to remember that, in general, people are pretty awesome.

Happy Monday, All!

Keep it subtle.

Who are you again?

I am horrible at remembering names. If there were a competition, I would lose by calling the host Mike instead of Ryan Seacrest.

I avoid using names at any cost, even when I am fairly certain that I know it for sure.

Case in point: I was out front chatting with my neighbors when I attempted to introduce them.

“Dan, have you met Christian from across the street?”

“Matt, but nice to meet you Dan.”

“Oh my god, I’m sorry, your name is Matt.” (??? I could have sworn his name was Christian.  But wait – he is the kid that chose public school over a private Christian academy.  How did that information get so crossed??)

I have tried every trick in the book. Clever rhymes (Sarah, Sarah, dressed in… Farah?), repeating names immediately (Nice to meet you Farah – I mean Sarah!), and using their names at least 3 times in conversation (Farah, how did you keep that red bathing suit from rising up in the back?). Nothing works.

I recognize the signs of a name memorizer when I meet people, and I try to pop quiz them later. Just for fun.

I have finally come up with a foolproof strategy for greeting people who may, or may not be, someone I have met before.

I start with a large, wow-it’s-really-you, you-are-my-best-friend smile, followed by a cleverly extenuated, “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”

I spend the next few minutes figuring out if I have, in fact, met you before, and if so, where from.

“How are things in your world?”

“What exciting things have you been up to?”

If I am lucky and actually recognize your face, and even where I know you from, I may find an excuse to get your email address since most people use some version of their name.  Although, I had one person reply, “Oh, it’s just my name @ gmail.” Assumptive little narcissist.

I just keep smiling and offering inane responses to your pointed questions, because clearly you have figured out that I don’t have a clue what your name is.  I would rather have you believe that I am idiot of vast proportions, than know for sure that I have no idea who you are.

Oh, I’m a Preppin!

Doomsday people! It’s nearly here!!

I was awakened from my sound sleep early this morning with the shakes and rolls that can only be attributed to a major earthquake, with an epicenter nearby.  My mind instantly raced to destruction, and naturally, Armageddon.

How much water do I have? Did we remember to fill the Britta last night? Probably not. Why does my husband NEVER fill the Brittta?? Oh – but we have more water in the dog bowls – if my husband remembered to fill those. And I can leave out various containers to collect rainwater – thankfully I watched Lost at Sea once.  That is IF my husband did the dishes.

Water is going to be problem – eek!

I surely have enough food, though. Wait, I forgot to go grocery shopping yesterday.  Well, not really forgot, I just couldn’t bear the thought of shopping cart derby at Trader Joes.  But my shelf is stocked – at least 3 baby food crushers, some dry pasta (no marinara, ugh), black beans from that time I was going to make chili, peanut butter, green icing, sprinkles, and maybe even some granola bars.  Why do I only have a single shelf that I call pantry??

Food is going to be a problem – argh!

We have a roof over our heads. Unless this earthquake shatters our support beams and brings the roof down over us.  But we have a tent, somewhere. I think.

Shelter is going to be a problem – ach!

At least we have protection. 2 dogs are better than any gun.  Although one is 12-years-old and can barely walk.  The “younger” 9-year-old is morbidly obese and is more likely to eat us than protect us if things really go down.

Protection is going to be a problem – crap!

The rumble of aftershocks hits again, the bed is shaking and I’m about to cry.

I’m not ready for Armageddon! I’ve only seen one episode Doomsday Preppers!!!

Just as I am about to jump screaming from the bed, the husband jolts with a snort and rolls over. The rumbling ends. All is quiet.  Snoring, seriously?? His SNORING is what woke me up??

I should wake him up and have him fill the Britta.

Retirement… Ewww! Isn’t that what old people do?

Photograph of Shuffleboard at the Century Vill...

Old people shuffling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are lucky, you come out of childhood with only minor PTSD resulting from visits to Boca Raton and playing shuffleboard with the elderly set.  Others suffer more traumatic nursing homes, or “Your grammy is moving in!”  Regardless, most of us will deny our imminent mortality until faced with the realization that one day we will be old.

We coast through our twenties, telling ourselves that the 401k plan is just another way the government tries to keep us from having the time of our lives.  After rent, utilities and cell phone bills, the extra cash goes to student loans and social services (aka beer, taco bell and cover charges.) We bury our PTSD, in denial that age is coming for us.  In our weakest moments, turning 26 or 29, we still tell ourselves that we have plenty of time before THAT happens, and social security will surely be enough. (Our parents are just gluttonous, spoiled after-products of being raised by Depression parents, wanting more than they need. All we will need is love.)

Our thirties bring kids, over-priced preschools, babysitting prices that feel like extortion.  Not to mention diapers, formula, soccer camp, ballet shoes, tennis rackets, trips to Disneyland, bikes, helmets, elbow pads and fingerless gloves.  We also discover that 401k is not a number, but a lifeline meant to pull us out of whatever job we are enduring, and a 529 savings plan is not just another ruse to suck us dry, but the promise that one day these expensive kids may actually move out.  Anger at the 20-something version of ourselves quickly gives way to panic.

That is the moment we stop being young.

Ghetto Birds Nest in My Hood.

Ghetto birds flying.

Plumes of twinkling red and blue.


Hunting Rats.

I see you.

Police helicopter

Not-so-elusive Ghetto Bird (Photo credit: Ivan Pik)

The REAL Hunger Games Review

It was a big weekend for the Hunger Games.  Many of you wondering, how was it??

The story opens with me gorging on pizza Friday night, washed down with a glass of wine. OK – it was two glasses. (Why did I have to post that witty comment on Facebook about the second glass? Grr.)  It fell just short of the drama and excitement I had anticipated, but I recognize now that it was just setting the stage.

I awoke Saturday morning to the blissful silence of an empty house. The two characters, Crazy Pants and Diabolical had successfully outwitted the generous and kind Pops, and were happily traveling the aisles of Target.  They had promised him all sorts of laughter and delight, but Pops soon realized he was entering the Chamber of Doom strapped to a shopping cart.

Delighted with the turn of events that morning, I resolved to make good on my promise to Master Thigh that I would no longer lavish her with gifts of decadence.  Unfortunately, her trusted advisor and resident evil conniver, Sir Stomach, had his plans for me.

Innocently stirring my coffee – with low-fat milk and Splenda – Sir Stomach slowly sidled up inside me and casually mentions that we have breakfast burritos in the freezer. “There’s only one left,” he pleaded. Of course there is only one left, I ate the other one not two days ago. It was then I had the sudden and shocking realization.

The Hunger Games had already started.

How had I missed the signs? The pizza gorging Opening Ceremony, the quiet of the morning…

I quickly jumped into strategy mode, wolfing down the last burrito. (I wouldn’t want that temptation around now that the games have started!). I looked ahead at the coming afternoon and made the snap decision to get as far away from the Baiting Ice Box, and bringing Crazy Pants and Diabolical along for safety.

Once I secured my wards and arrived at the zoo, I breathed a sigh of relief. This would be a safe haven for a short while, allowing me to continue my training (stroller pushing and chasing) that would help later in the round.  My security was short lived as I heard the small, whining voice erupt in my left ear.

“Mom, I am hungry.”

Ach! Sir Stomach had turned Crazy Pants, and she was now working against me. I took a deep breath, kept my cool. I didn’t want to let on that I was on to her. We strolled to the nearest “Café” and I stoically ordered a kids meal. Just one. Crazy Pants and Diabolical could share. They would not defeat me!

As we left the café, I congratulated myself on only eating half the quesadilla, all the fries, and SKIPPING the soda.  In hindsight, I can see the games were wearing on me.

The biggest challenge was yet to come, and I was ready.  The Street Food Fair loomed in the darkness that evening.  In preparation, I had foregone all food and drink, and was readying my responses to vendor cat calls.

I found my fellow competitors turned revelers; Skinny Pants, Gorger, and Just One, and we began the challenge.  First stop, single glass of wine. Second stop, pass on the cupcake (yes! Thankfully it had coconut on it, gross). Third stop, free wine? Just One said it was OK.  With only one more stop to go, I thought I had this competition in the bag.

Two bottles of wine, 4 appetizers, 1 entrée, and a promise to join a sky-diving trip later, I went home. I felt defeated, but optimistic. (I did have a lot wine, everything looked good.)

I was abruptly awoken on Sunday morning by Diabolical’s screams. Sir Stomach had gotten to him too. I knew the screams would awake Crazy Pants and I had little time. I was losing my allies faster than I was gaining weight.  But what they didn’t know was that I had a secret defense this time, the Hungover Medallion.

The Medallion protected me for some time, but it was not to last.  It wore off during the vulnerable time of the rains, and I found myself stuck. I was in the home zone, with limited supplies.  I panicked, looking for help, and turned to Pops for support. Previously, Pops had proven to be a very good cook with limited supplies and a strong contender for Healthiest Player in the Games.  He was my best defense.

“Let’s order pizza and wings, delivery,” he offered. The dreadful Sir Stomach had taken another.  My defenses severely weakened, I let go. The Games had won. I was done.

As if sensing a disturbance in the Universe, Princess Pilates sent a text message out:

“Would you like to come in early tomorrow?”

Yes. Yes I would.

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