I think the thing is, it just feels better over here.
First, thank you everyone so much for your comments on my last post. Usually by now, I’d have taken some time to go through and respond, but every time I sit down to do it, I’m just not prepared to do it. I read all the comments and really appreciate the support for us and for Brinkley. I especially appreciate people who took the time to document their own experiences, and those who talked about what had/hadn’t worked with their own children and what to expect in that area.
No extended preamble. I’ve talked about this before, I know I have, because of course I remember every single one of the 1600+ posts on this site, verbatim, and so do you.
Let me tell you something I think is adorable. I’ve written before about my love of Marc Summers and that show, Unwrapped. In every single episode of Unwrapped, someone from the company featured will tell you proudly how many of their item has been purchased or consumed, and how many times that item, if laid end to end, would circle the Earth. Every show. Sometimes they shake it up a bit by telling you how far into space they’d reach if stacked up. That is adorable and I never want it to stop, even though I don’t have cable anymore and haven’t seen an episode of Unwrapped in years. That is a thing that every episode does and I would never, ever be tired of it. However, there are also other types of cliches that are used without fail in certain types of things and I need them to stop. Unwrapped, you continue. Other people, stop.
For a long time now – a really long time – money saving articles, the type that give you several “simple” steps to cutting your budget and finding some extra dollars here and there to put away, have included the “cut out your daily Starbucks habit, you’ll be surprised at how fast it adds up!” It’s always been in there, since the dawn of time. The dawn of Starbucks. Whatever. It is a key point in saving money. It is the way to save money. Stop spending that $4 a day on coffee and watch the riches pour in, right? You will have a ton of money if you stop buying coffee shop coffee every day. It’s well known money science. Also, some articles helpfully point out how much cheaper it is to drink your coffee at home, rather than buy it at Starbucks. Cents a day, y’all! Compared to $4!
So that’s been going on forever. A really long time. Long enough for every single one of us to know that spending money at a place like Starbucks is a luxury, because the coffee at Starbucks is an expensive thing. You may not notice it’s an expensive thing, but just stop buying it, and then you’ll be well on your way to rich.
And now that “buying coffee at Starbucks is an expensive thing we assume you all do and need to stop if you ever want to have any money ever” is ingrained into our collective consciousness, it’s generally understood that Starbucks is an “expensive” thing to do, whether it’s occasionally or daily. Is it really expensive? Don’t know, that depends on how much money you have and how much of it you allocate to coffee-drinking, all of which is entirely personal and no one should ever give a shit about how many times a day someone else goes to Starbucks. But we all know we’re making the choice to never, ever be rich if we don’t give up the habit, because every single financial article ever has said so.
Now, though, there’s this other new trend, with Internet subscription services trying to appeal to you with how cheap they are. “Listen,” they say, “just the cost of a cup of coffee a day. That’s all. Not bad, eh?” And they’re trying to tell you that subscribing is a good idea, because, come on, a cup of coffee a day? That’s nothing! I drink a cup of coffee a day without even thinking about it! Of course this service is valuable and worth the money. EXCEPT this tactic is coming behind years and years of “LISTEN COFFEE IS WHAT IS MAKING YOU POOR. IF YOU STOP DRINKING THE COFFEE, YOU WON’T BE POOR.” So what is it, Internet service trying to get me to sign up? Am I supposed to give up that coffee for your Internet service and break even? Then what about the coffee? And really, Internet service, have you not been on the Internet for the last 15 years? We’ve already been informed repeatedly that coffee is too expensive to ever be enjoyed without guilt, and now you want me to add a second identical expense and tell me it’s NOT going to make me poor?
You can’t both use coffee. Coffee is done now. We’ve all been slightly shamed too many times about how that “daily Starbucks habit” – which, come on, how much of the population in reality ACTUALLY has a daily Starbucks habit? Enough of the population to make “cut out Starbucks” a universal money saving tip? I don’t think so. I just really don’t. Anyway. We’ve all been slightly shamed too many times about how that SUPPOSED “daily Starbucks habit” is keeping us down, and now a whole other half of the Internet wants to appeal to our sense of frugality by telling us we can have something for just the price of our “daily Starbucks habit?” We either need some communication between the halves of the Internet, or everyone has to stop using the coffee thing.
Actually, no choice. Everyone stop using the coffee thing. Just don’t. Stop with the coffee thing. Come up with something new for me to save money. Something realistic. And novel. Something someone trying to save money hasn’t already done. When we are broke, we do not go to Starbucks. Starbucks is not keeping me from achieving my financial dreams. How about something like, “Stop paying your dental insurance. You’ll be amazed by how quickly that adds up!” Or maybe if you want me to subscribe to your service, you can say, “For the price of just one month of electricity.” That’s a good one, I think. I pay for electricity without even thinking about it. You’d definitely have me there. Point is, you can’t use the Starbucks thing any more. I’ve just banned it. That’s done.
I don’t usually like to do that weird “semi-related question to inflate comment counts” at the end of my posts because I think it’s strange and painfully awkward, but I’m sitting here obsessed with trying to think of other examples along these lines, where every single article or whatever on a given topic uses the same illustration to the point that it’s now become nonsense. If you can think of any, hit me.
Oh and listen, I don’t even drink coffee, really.
Today, or for the last few days, more accurately, I wanted to post about some stuff – okay, it’s been a week or so since I wanted to post about some stuff, I’m just having trouble getting back into the swing of this, or actually, it’s not that I’m having trouble getting back into the habit of blogging, but more having trouble getting back into the habit of finding time to write a couple of thousand words, and apparently zero interest in developing the habit of writing less. So stuff has been building up for a bit and it’s finally enough for a post, not that I can’t turn a 12 second interaction with a stranger into a 2000 word screed barely related to whatever my original point was going to be.
I’ve been thinking about a whole bunch of different unrelated stuff and just wanted to know what other people thought of them, or your personal experiences with them, because I… just want to know. So I’ll put them out there and you can chime in if you’ve got experience with what I’m talking about, or you heard some stuff from someone who does, or even if you have no experience and just want to say something. What the hell, go wild.
First thing. A week or so ago? Maybe more? I don’t know. What happened was, Cheesefiend on Instagram (Elephantitas Alegres on… blog) posted a picture of some turkish towels. I’ve seen turkish towels before and not been moved one way or the other, because I have towels. But right at this exact moment, my towels are kind of crappy and always falling out of the cabinet and they’re all mismatched, as if purchased one single set or even single towel at a time based on what was on sale at whatever store I was closest to at the moment I needed a towel instead of on any kind of aesthetic or quality preferences. I mean, almost like that, because I definitely want you to view me as the type of person who puts some thought into her towels. And I guess that picture was posted at just the right time, because those towels suddenly struck me as totally appealing. Thin enough to pack easily. Take up less space in that stupid hall closet I hate. Nice to look at. They’ll dry faster so they won’t be as gross as towels tend to get.
But… they are really thin. Can they effectively dry off an entire person? And I mean a person who is a standard level of shower-wet. Just totally covered in water, which I assume most people are after a shower. And they’re expensive. Do they hold up really well? Are they a standard size, like bath sheet size, or more bath towel size? There are some people who will insist that bath sheets and bath towels are the same thing, did you know that? They are NOT. Anyway, do you have or have you used turkish towels? Do you just have one and prefer it for certain things, or are all your towels turkish towels? Where did you get them? How long have you had them? Do you love them or kind of wish they’d go to hell?
Okay, next thing. If you follow me on Twitter or read my TinyLetter, you’ve probably heard me talk a little bit about this, but I’m going to talk some more about it: Brinkley isn’t doing well. If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you know that Brinkley is Phil’s dog who I immediately claimed as my own when we moved in together. Brinkley is my first dog, and I met him when he was four. He’s 10 now, almost 11, and earlier this week I took him to the vet because he’s been breathing kind of quickly. When we moved to this base, we were dealing with the side effects of Brinkley’s Valley Fever infection, and I was concerned that the disease was making a comeback in his body, since we’ve had him only on a maintenance level of his medication for a while now. It was about time to get that blood work checked again, so in we went. Unfortunately, it quickly turned into one of those “can you leave him for tests and come back later?” appointments. You know, the kind that cost almost a thousand dollars hold me.
They took some blood and some x-rays. Like always, the vet was pleasantly surprised by how great his blood work came back. Everything was perfectly within the normal range except for very, VERY slightly elevated liver levels. The valley fever results had to be sent out, so they will take a while to get back. The x-rays also had to be sent out for a consult, but our vet was able to tell us what he saw. Nothing too bad in the lungs, nothing that would indicate the valley fever was out of control. Brinkley’s hips looked awful – flatted where the ball and socket joint should be nice and round, and very jaggedy. His left leg also has little muscle mass, due to that giant abscess last year that ate away at all the muscle. So, increased pain could lead to the faster breathing, for sure. And a bit of a shadow around his liver that was worrisome.
The next day, I didn’t put my phone down for a second while I waited for a call back, and finally called back myself. When I got in touch with the doctor, he went over what the radiologists had said. Lungs are consistent with previous valley fever and just old dog-ness, nothing to be too concerned about there. Hips look bad, but we know that and took an additional pain medication prescription to try to make him more comfortable. The shadow around the liver, though, is a large mass. He’ll need an ultrasound and possible liver aspirations to determine what it is – a benign mass or malignancy, but they were very concerned. We live in a very small town with no access to pet ultrasounds, so our local vet made very quick work of getting us scheduled in the next town over for Monday morning. Before I hung up, I asked our vet to level with me and tell me what he thought. To his credit, he didn’t hedge or skirt the issue at all – he thinks it’s cancer and he thinks it’s not good.
We know Brinkley’s old, and I kind of knew he wouldn’t last forever. I mean, I knew it, but I don’t think I really knew it. A long time ago, Phil told me goldens have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, and I kind of only heard “12” and have just assumed since that was the minimum we’d get. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen now, and I feel absolutely incapable of dealing with any of the aspects of this situation. Over the last year and a half, our dogs have cost over $5,000 – money I can’t say we were happy to spend, but money we didn’t hesitate to spend. Before we even get a diagnosis, we’ll be in $1,000+ on this round of Brinkley problems. What if the vet says he’ll be fine… with a $3,000 surgery? We don’t have it. We just don’t. We’ve spent everything on Brinkley. Everything we have. Actually, technically, more than we have. And he’s old. And he’s uncomfortable. What if they need to do surgery to find out if it’s benign or malignant? With hemangiosarcoma, if it did turn out to be cancer, that surgery would only add a few more months at the outside.
I told Phil he needs to make a living will immediately, with every possibility considered, because I am not a person who is equipped to make these kinds of decisions, but thinking about it, who is? I mean, there’s not a course you take or anything to prepare yourself for this kind of thing, and part of responsible pet ownership is knowing how far to go and for how long. And making that call, whether it’s one you’ve made before or for your first pet, is probably going to vary wildly by situation. It just seems like such an impossibly big decision. I know Brinkley doesn’t know anything about this kind of stuff, but I know and making that choice for another living being is nuts. It’s insane to me.
Obviously we’re not at that point yet – Phil is taking the day off on Monday so he can stay with Penny while I take Brinkley the hour away to the vet for his ultrasound. We didn’t think it would be a good idea for Penelope to be present in case we do receive bad news, but rather tell her ourselves when we’re composed. But then, when? I assume even if Brinkley does have cancer, we caught it quickly, because I am an obsessive and anxious pet owner. Do we tell her right away, tell her he has a few months left, and that we’re going to be extra nice to him, and no, that’s Brinkley’s steak, your peanut butter and jelly is on the table? Or do we tell her at the end? Do we tell her exactly what will happen at the end, or go with something a little more euphemistic?
This is all premature and I know that, but you can probably understand that I’m incredibly anxious about how the next few days to few months are going to play out. Just tell me anything. Tell me about how this went for you and what you did or didn’t do or what you’d do differently. Or what you think you’ll do in the same situation. Just tell me anything at all.
Lastly. Let’s assume we’re all my age, because that’s what I usually do. Remember starting some new job or maybe with your parents or grandparents, whichever works for you, where you had to learn a new software or use a computer in a new way, or some process changed suddenly and you had to do things differently, and you just did it, while some older people (NOT ALL) had a really hard time in the most frustrating ways? Like making you (me) have uncharitable thoughts like, why is this so hard? Why are you trying to do it that way? Why would you think it would work that way? It’s intuitive, why are you making it so difficult for yourself?
I don’t know about you, but I always just kind of assumed it was a factor of growing up with computers, like from the very start, while a lot of older people learned on the job. I’m specifically thinking of the first company I worked for out of college that used a specific and clunky order processing software. I worked at a branch office, and I was sent to the main office in Boston to learn the program for the sales coordinators who worked up there. The trip was for a week. An hour after arrival at the main office, I emailed my boss to ask if my plane tickets could be changed. Done. Got it. I do not need to stay here in frigid Boston (SO MUCH SNOW that winter) for an entire week to learn one process in one piece of software. But the women who trained me said that was how long it took, so I had to stay the week, and I just had my branch office send all the orders to me at the main office and worked as normal. I guess I just thought that because I’m familiar with computers in general, as are others my age, I picked it up quickly.
And I continue to be familiar with computers and I don’t really have too much trouble picking up new things and I thought that’s how it would continue for my whole life – a factor of when I was born, not a factor of age itself. BUT I WAS WRONG. There are things that are coming out now – things that young people pick up and run with without issue – that I just cannot grasp. And it’s not one of those, “oh, kids these days doing weird things, why would I want to?” type things where I don’t get why someone would want to do it, but more that I actually cannot figure out how to do it effectively or as intended, despite my best intentions. Like, say, tumblr. I like to go there and look at stuff about my favorite (Korean) shows and favorite (Korean) bands and all of that. But to actually use it? Like make posts and reply to other people and interact with others? Can’t. Cannot figure it out. OR SNAPCHAT. I don’t think I have anything of particular interest to post on Snapchat, but I want to follow some makeup people, because that is my jam, and the whole interface is just boggling to me. Why can’t I do this? I’m basically technically savvy. I use a jillion apps with no problem. I think it’s that I’m old.
Again, I don’t mean something I can’t understand because it’s not of interest to me. Like say Justin Beiber. He exists, sure, but I don’t grasp the appeal in any real way because I’m just not interested. I’m talking about things I am totally interested in, but cannot work to save my life. Yet young people pick these things up the same way that I learned work software in an hour and couldn’t figure out why it would take anyone any longer. That’s a punch right in past me’s ego. It’s happened to you, too, though, right? You assume you’re knowledgeable in some way about some topic, and other people aren’t because they were born in a different time, but then NO. Something new is totally boggling and suddenly YOU are the person born in the different time, EVEN THOUGH YOU (I) FEEL VERY CURRENT TIME. Am I explaining that well? Let me know.
Anyway, I think that’s it for today. Tell me what’s going on with you.
I was at the mall today because I go to a Benefit Brow Bar every three weeks to get my eyebrows done. I’m not going to talk about that today because it was pointed out to me that maybe I should PACE MYSELF and I don’t actually know how to do that, so what I guess I’ll do is mention a bunch of things, not actually talk about them, and then maybe get around to talking about them on another day in November when I feel like I don’t have anything else to talk about. So, future me – not too far future me, but still in November 2013 me, so maybe next week me, or week after next me – you can talk about eyebrows, if you want to, if you’re in the mood for that. You probably won’t be. I don’t know. I don’t know you. We haven’t met yet. Hope you’re doing well.
After my MYSTERY EYEBROW APPOINTMENT that MAYBE you’ll hear about or MAYBE YOU WON’T, I was wandering around the mall on a mission for some full coverage foundation, because my eyebrow girl, who is fantastic, said “You look… tired.” Which I know is generally seen as an insulting thing to say. So maybe you’re feeling a little het up on my behalf right now. Which is really kind of you. But I did look kind of tired, or kind of something, at least, because I’m taking this medication – hey, there’s some more stuff for another day – and anyway, it’s been doing some things, and apparently, some of the things that it’s been doing have been being… been bong… been banged onto my face. I hope I’m not saying it in a vain way – well, I know I’m not saying it in a vain way, but I hope you understand it’s not meant to come across in a vain way – when I say that I’ve had relatively decent skin in my adult years (this has certainly not been the lifelong case at ALL). A blemish or two at certain times, but nothing else. Generally even skin tone, not dry, not oily.
Well, I’ve described all of this to you just so I could tell you NOT ANYMORE. It is all weird colored and shrunken and unappealing to me. All my of light, sheer coverage solutions do nothing. I even mixed together two of my favorite BB creams so that they could, in concert, do nothing. Now, note that I said it’s become unappealing to me. Meaning that I needed to fix it to make it more appealing to me. Just like I don’t walk out of my house and eye up the faces of other people, deciding that they need to do to make their faces more appealing to my tastes, neither do I do up my own face with the intent and purpose of making it more appealing to others. I operate at my best, and most confident, and most comfortable in general when my outward appearance is something that I am personally comfortable with. It has nothing to do with your appearance, and may actually even have little to do with my own appearance. I can wake up looking exactly the same two days in a row and one day be fine with it and one day prefer wearing some makeup.
I’m just saying, right now – me expressing dissatisfaction with my uneven skin tone says NOTHING AT ALL about how I feel about your skin tone. I do not think about your skin tone. I don’t eye up the quality of your skin. I don’t think about your skin when I talk to you. When you sit next to me, I will tell you if you have lipstick on your teeth, or I will tell you if I like your eye makeup, but I legitimately give no bother beyond that. None. I talk a lot about my hunt for the perfect eyebrow product on Twitter (IT’S GIMME BROW), but I’m not considering your eyebrows unless you ask me to specifically consider your eyebrows. Honestly and truly. I don’t.
Hint: It’s none.
And this is where I would assure you that actually, everyone is like this. Everyone is like me, and totally self-centered and self-absorbed, and really only cares about her own eyebrows and own skin tone and own makeup and dwells upon the face situations of others only when asked. Like how when fat people (I did use the word fat) want to go to the gym, but bring up the fact that they feel self-conscious – that they feel like they need to get in shape first, in order to feel less conspicuous or silly or noticed or silently mocked or otherwise OUT THERE at the gym. And someone jumps in to say that that’s ridiculous, everyone at the gym is there to work out, no one is looking at anyone else, everyone is there for the same reason and it’s serious business.
EXCEPT NO. That is a big lie. That is a huge lie. Probably most of you reading are like me, or want to tell yourself you’re like me, so you’re thinking, “No! No! Not a lie! A true! Opposite of a lie! A not lie!” But it only takes one person to ruin that, and that one person is Twitter. Twitter, telling you what they saw someone wearing at the gym. Or how long they had to wait for someone going HOW slow on the treadmill? Or? OR? In one notable case that still frustrates me to no end, because I did not unfollow the second it happened, and I SHOULD HAVE, and now I don’t remember who it was and search is failing me, someone posted an ACTUAL PHOTO of the person on the next treadmill, along with a comment on the person’s body.
So no. No, I can’t assure you that what I say about me carries over to other people. Because other people have clearly demonstrated that to be a huge lie, in some of the worst ways. I can tell you that how I feel about the way my skin looks and how it makes me feel on a given day has nothing to do with how I feel about your skin, and how your skin should make you feel. I can also say I think I should be allowed to feel ways about my skin without feeling at the same time that it transfers to how I feel about your skin automatically. I have to wear my body, and I don’t have to wear yours. Your body has no power to make me unhappy or uncomfortable, unless you press it all up on me without my express personal permission and let’s all just assume you don’t have that.
LISTEN. Here’s the thing. I just know I talk a lot about makeup. I know I talk about how I’d like my eyebrows to look better. Or today, how my skin has taken a turn I don’t like, and how I’d like to change that to make it more pleasant to me. And I want you to know that I don’t ever think about you that way. I don’t think about the makeup anyone does or doesn’t wear unless it’s brought up to me by that person. And I guess it would be nice if everyone was like that, but we know that’s not true, because people are taking pictures of other people at the gym. It’s messed up, and we can wish it wasn’t true, but it is. Just don’t care what those people think, right? Ha.
What’s hilarious is the fact that I went to Sephora and bought some full coverage foundation actually has NOTHING to do with this post.
WHILE I WAS WALKING TO SEPHORA TO BUY SOME FULL COVERAGE FOUNDATION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE – which I’ll tell you about another time, because at 1300 words in, I’m totally learning how to pace myself – I saw that Bath and Body Works was having a SALE! On SOAP! Hand soap! SHIT YES!
So after I bought the foundation I can’t tell you about because I’m clearly in danger of running out of words at some point soon, I went in to Bath and Body Works, and they had SO MANY SOAPS. All the new Christmas smells! Soaps littered all over the store! No sense of order! No organization! Soaps here! Soaps there! Soap! Soap!
Soap 5 for $15, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I started grabbing soap with no plan. I’m stacked boob to chin with soap. But then I started thinking. Phil bought me a bunch of soap for Mother’s Day, and we had just run out. Well, not actually run out. The problem is, we have just one left, and it’s a scent I really like, but I cannot ABIDE by it in the kitchen. I can’t have strong, floral-smelling hands when I’m trying to eat or cook. Just can’t deal with it. I needed a STRATEGY. Half florals, half kitchen appropriate smells, then, right? But if I do THAT, then I’m basically making myself STEWARD OF THE SOAP. And except for all of the things I hate more, there’s nothing I hate more than being the one solely in charge of any specific chore.
Start over. I put all my soaps back. KITCHEN ONLY SMELLS. BRILLIANT. All the smells will have to be tested for kitcheniness and then ANYONE can replace ANY soap without my intervention needed, which is great, considering my husband is totally smeaf.
Now I’m EXTRA happy, sniffing away, grabbing soaps and grabbing soaps and pinballing from display to display, but then I realized, I had SIX. And also that the space between my boobs and my chin was positively soap-jammed. So I went to get a bag, and an employee watched me try to wrestle a bag free, get half a bag free, attempt to dump my treasures into the bag, and then helpfully asked, “Do you need a bag?” I DO! I DO NEED A BAG! ALL THIS SOAP!
And I was off again! Sniffing up one wall and down the other. Did you know they have these metal decorative things that your soap bottles can SIT IN? Like a shirt. For your soap. Anyway, I got all the Christmas time smells, then I got all the fresh smells, you know, like “Air” and “Tree Fart” and “Nature Yawned” and I was over five, but it was fine, because also? SEVEN FOR $20. BIG SOAP DAY.
GUESS what other section they have? KITCHEN SOAP. Oh hell yes. Got a bunch of those, too. And by this time, I’d forgotten my bag, so I had a Macy’s bag*, and a Sephora bag, and a Bath and Body Works in store shopping bag packed with soap, and then I was once again boobs to well-groomed brows with soap. So much soap, you guys.
I got in line to pay, because I was out of arms, and because I had sniffed every single sniffable thing, examined every single foaming hand soap in the store – every single one – and I had not only picked out any that were kitchen suitable, but also duplicates of my favorites that I worried might be limited edition. While I was waiting in line, an employee asked if I’d be paying with a card, and said that she could take me over at a small side counter. I followed her over and dumped out all my soaps. They took up the whole counter. I tried to count them, but she kept grabbing them, so I said that I thought they were in multiples of the sale, anyway. She said it didn’t matter, because after seven, they were all $2 and some change, anyway.
WHAT. THAT’S AWESOME.
Her: It’s awesome that you’re getting so much shopping done so early!
WE REALLY LIKE TO WASH OUR HANDS!
THEY’RE ALL FOR ME!
THEY’RE JUST FOR MY HOUSE!
WE REALLY LOVE SOAP!
Her: Receipt with you or in the bag?
BAG’S FINE THANKS BYYYEEEEEE.
Then I immediately called Phil. DUDE I BOUGHT SO MUCH SOAP!
Phil is participating in the Extra Life Marathon for Children’s Miracle Network, specifically playing for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, RIGHT NOW! Here’s a link to his page, but unfortunately, the Extra Life servers suffered a DDoS attack today, which is just mindblowing and sad, so you can’t actually get there as of right now. Regardless, thank you to EVERYONE who has supported Phil via donation, words of encouragement, or sharing his page via Facebook or Twitter and also to everyone who has been supporting our family during our I hate the word journey journey with Phoenix Children’s and Penelope’s health over the last two years. We’ll continue to support CMN and Phoenix Children’s via this fundraiser in the future, so please let us know if you’d like to get involved next year!
* I’d LOVE to let you know what happened to Penelope’s pajamas, but I’ve got to pace myself. 2200 words a day. Max.
I think it’s fine to use the popcorn button on your microwave. It’s arrogant Big Popcorn that wants you to think you can’t use it. Calm down popcorn, you’re just popcorn.
I think if you’re a grown adult and still doing any version of “I liked that before everyone else knew about it” out loud, you’re probably doing something wrong. There aren’t any points for that. You didn’t win. If you liked it a long time ago, you made a lucky discovery before other people got to it. That doesn’t make other people less, or make you more. It doesn’t make their enjoyment of Thing less true or sincere or valid, or your enjoyment of Thing a superior, more deep enjoyment or fanhood. No, rather, now you are two people who like Thing. Two people who can now like Thing together. And that’s good. Liking a thing together is one of the best things about liking a thing. Gleeful and sincere shared enjoyment of a thing is fantastic and there should always be room for more, really. Enjoyment of a thing can’t be used up. Also, stop it. Grow up. Move over, make space.
I bet you’re thinking, we all know this is going to lead into you talking about how much you like Korean television and wish people would watch along with you, but no one is going to watch with you, so you should just stop talking about it. WELL, I WON’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. I WON’T. SO GIVE UP, YOU.
Penelope was the Lorax for Halloween.
I spend most of my time these days in a recliner under a blanket like a hundred year old person in a recliner under a blanket, for reasons I’ll probably eventually get into if I decide to post for all of November because I don’t have thirty days of ideas but it’s actually more likely that I’ll just abandon the project by Sunday. And my recliner is under a ceiling fan that doesn’t turn off, which is just straight bullshit if you ask me. Which, if you ask me, you did, kind of, by reading this blog. Which you did. It’s still pretty warm here in the afternoons and the evenings, when the sun has been warming the house all day, and we actually still run the air conditioning in the evenings and through the night, because Phil likes to sleep at 74 degrees. Which, fine. 74 is a reasonable indoor temperature, right? And in the mornings, I turn the air conditioning off, because I’m cold. Lately, I’ve been returning to the thermostat several times a day, trying to figure out why I’m still cold when I know I turned it up. It turns out, it’s because it’s kind of not hot outside anymore. So while the air conditioning isn’t running, it’s staying around 74 in the house for most of the day, until the late afternoon, when it warms back up a bit.
Now, EXPERIENCE TELLS ME that this cooling trend is going to continue. Soon, it will stay around 74 for more of the day. And then around 73. Or lower. And no air conditioning at all will be necessary to keep it cool in the house. And as the winter season goes on, even in Arizona, the nights will be cooler. Cooler, even, than 74 degrees. We won’t need to use the air conditioning to get the house to Phil’s preferred 74 degrees, which is actually quite chilly with the blowers going at night, especially because we use a fan to keep the air moving and the dog stink from settling on us. Our room in particular can get quite still and heavy with the two of us and the two of them.
So I asked Phil this. I says to him, you like it 74 at night, right? And he confirmed. And I said, soon it will even be cooler than that at night. And he said, that will be nice. And I said, but 74 is a reasonable temperature for the house to be. Well, yes, he said. So, I said to him, we could, in theory, on those cooler nights, employ the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to that reasonable temperature of 74. Maybe 73. 70, even, could be fine. But we could use the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to the place where we are currently using air conditioning to bring it DOWN. Right? Because we agree, it’s a reasonable temperature. And he said to me, no. No, it’s different. Because it’s HEATING versus COOLING.
BUT SEVENTY INDOOR DEGREES IS REASONABLE REGARDLESS, RIGHT? How is it DIFFERENT?
(I know, in some people’s houses you prefer to never run the heat. Or you actually prefer to sleep in the very, very cold. Or you prefer another specific temperature calculated exactly for maximum efficiency and money savings. I know. Everyone is different.)
If 74 degrees is a reasonable house temperature now, achieved with air conditioning, how is it NOT a reasonable temperature (even when I give a few degrees, down to 70) when achieved with heat? HM, PHILLIP? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE OF UNSOUND ARGUMENTLANDIA?
Speaking of the King of LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOUR LOGICSHIRE, our three year anniversary was last week.
Despite all capslocks to the contrary, we’re quite well matched.
“Oh,” you’re thinking. “Purple flowers and a card of a suitable nature! An anniversary well done!” WELL, GUESS WHAT, WRONG-O. Your new name is WRONG-O.
Do you see there, over to the left side of the picture? It’s Phil, leaning into the fridge, doing the traditional and ceremonial burial at trashcan of all of the leftovers we didn’t get around to eating before I went grocery shopping again. Except the day ended up all crunched and weird, and I actually ended up taking Phil shopping with me. I had a LIST that followed a carefully laid out MEAL PLAN which adhered to our budget, so this on its own was a dangerous endeavor. A Phil in a grocery store is a magnet for cheese products and crackers and cheese product crackers that I never seem to notice until I’m unpacking the groceries. They go into some hidden nook in the cart that only he knows about and I swear he slips the cashier a ten to slide them through while my back is turned and I’m left wondering how I spend six thousand dollars on two packs of chicken breasts and some applesauce pouches. OH, WE BOUGHT EIGHTEEN FLAVORS OF CAPTAIN CRUNCH AND ONE OF EVERY CHEESE THANKS PHIL.
So I lectured him before we went in. I told him, if I come pick you up from work and take you with us (otherwise he’d sit at work an extra hour or so while we shopped, that’s life with one car), you will stay near the cart! Hands where I can see them! AT ALL TIMES! He agreed. And he really behaved himself through several aisles, so I gave him some leeway. I normally don’t buy snack food by a list, but kind of just pick whatever based on what’s on sale, what looks good, and what Phil and Penny like. In the interest of speeding things along, I sent him into the cookie/cracker aisle to “grab JUST A COUPLE THINGS and bring them back.” And to his credit, he did come back with just a couple things and dumped them in the cart. We got everything we needed, we stayed within the budget, it was a successful trip.
SO WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, right? Is that what you’re thinking right now, Wrong-o? (That’s you. You’re Wrong-o.)
A few days later, I was looking for a snack to give Penelope. Well, it turns out, on our ANNIVERSARY, of all days, the snack foods I had TRUSTED him to acquire? He bought WHOLE GRAIN Fig Newtons. But it was fine, because he’d gotten two packages. BUT NO. The second package was ALSO WHOLE GRAIN.
As soon as he got home from work, I confronted him with my disbelief, my deep sense of betrayal, and absolute bewilderment that he’d buy TWO packages of whole grain Newtons. And do you know what he says to me, Wrong-o? He says, “THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”
Are you feeling it now, Wrong-o? Are you feeling your deep, essential wrongness?
“THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”
And then he took it further.
“I bet you $20 that in a blind taste test, you could not tell the difference between regular and whole grain Fig Newtons.”
Well. There’s only one response to that.
I DEMAND HIGHER STAKES.
Life intervened for a little while. A short while.
YESTERDAY WAS THE DAY.
Phillip, Grand Poobah of Inappropriate Snackfood Choices and Head of the Parliamentary Board of Indiscriminate Tastebuds, administered the test. It was to be a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE – if it was just two Newtons, according to him, I’d have a 50/50 chance and there was no possible way success on my part could be credited to an ACTUAL difference between delicious Newtons and sand-wrapped crap Newton-impostors.
I turned my back to the table, and he handed me a Newton. I bit it. “GROSS NEWTON.” I set it down. He claimed I had to eat the whole thing. “I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT HAVE TO EAT THAT. IT IS GROSS.” He didn’t tell me if I was right or wrong. He handed me another Newton to my other hand – apparently The High Muckety Muck of Newton Testing Standards and Enforcement has his ways – and I took a bite. “REAL NEWTON.” Still, he didn’t tell me. This went on for two more Newtons, for a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE.
At the end, I turned around. He looks at me, and he says, “You got them all wrong.”
I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT.
“Okay,” he says, “You got them all right.”
Ass of Newton Challenge: Kicked
“BUT,” he says. “It doesn’t count.”
HOW CAN IT NOT COUNT. FOUR NEWTONS. FOUR CORRECT IDENTIFICATIONS. CRAP, GOOD, GOOD, CRAP.
“I can’t tell the difference. They taste exactly the same. So it doesn’t count.”
Okay. Okay. So, bringing it all back around. There’s a DIFFERENCE between 70 degrees achieved with air conditioning and 70 degrees achieved with the heating, even though they’re both 70 degrees, and there’s a difference because he can tell there’s a difference. He can tell, therefore, a difference exists.
I successfully complete a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE, executed under his own standards and procedures, because I can ABSOLUTELY TELL THE DIFFERENCE between an excellent Newton and a crappy grainy Newton of sadness and woe, but my accomplishments in the field of snacks count for nothing, because he can’t tell, thus no difference actually exists.
Put that in your shopping cart and sneak it past the flowers, WRONG-O.
EXCUSE ME, you’re going to recycle that bottle, correct? And compost that apple core?
I just don’t know if I’ve ever met someone so great.
I remembered one of my complaints.
I like Louis CK. I like him a lot. I think he’s a funny guy, and his humor hits me just right. I loved the series he had on HBO, with the little kid, and the ballet routine she did to the hilariously inappropriate song about the vagina and the buttcrack, but not before asking fifteen times, “Are you READY for the SHOW?” I like what he’s doing with his new specials, offering them for download on his site at a low price and just asking people not to pirate them, because, hey, here they are for you. I think he’s a smart guy in basically all the ways he needs to be smart as a guy and as an entertainer and as someone I want to entertain me, specifically.
Anyway, he’s a smart, funny guy, which is what I like in a guy. I mean, it’s most of what I like in a guy. I also like an essential Phil-ness in men. Luckily, I found one that was pretty stuffed up on that quality. I don’t know what I feel the need to quickly clarify that I like smart, funny guys that are also my husband. I can just like smart, funny guys and still remain married to my husband. Smart, funny guys can exist independent of the smart, funny (let’s not get into types of funny because you just can’t drill down to specifically into your list of wants or you’ll be alone forever and sometimes you have to settle for the guy who thinks puns are just THE BEST and decide that okay, you’re going to go ahead and CALL that funny because at least, while he does think puns are hilarious, he also recognizes that YOU’RE funny, and that counts for something – a lot of something) guy that I married. OKAY. I LIKE LOUIS CK. GUY’S GOT SOME SMART, FUNNY THINGS TO SAY. AGREE? AGREE.
So recently, I guess on a talk show, Louis CK talked a bit about why he thought cellphones and spending time with faces buried in a screen is bad for kids. It’s an opinion he’s got, the host asked him about it, he talked about it a bit. That’s what these shows are for. You ask celebrities to talk about stuff. Louis CK is a guy who can speak eloquently (or entertainingly, depending on what you consider eloquent, I guess) on a pretty wide array of topics. He’s got kids, he’s talked about them before. He’s also talked about technology before. So for a couple minutes, he talked about both. Okay, fine.
BUT THEN. The next day. All those parenting sites, you know, the stupid ones we never read because they’re totally without editorial supervision (okay, not totally without, but this one time, a column was nearly completely plagiarized and when called on it, the person supposedly in charge said that they have a lot of writers and she can’t possibly be expected to watch over them all, I am not kidding, that is a thing that happened in real life) and full of slideshows about shit no one actually cares 15 clicks worth about? And some other sites. Tons of headlines like (and I’m saying “like” because I don’t recall exactly what and I don’t care to go look because temerity-jane.com just has tons of authors and I can’t be expected to keep track of all of them and hold them to any kind of standards like accuracy and non-assholioacy) “LOUIS CK THINKS OUR CHILDREN SHOULDN’T USE CELL PHONES!” and “FIND OUT WHY LOUIS CK THINKS SMART PHONES ARE BAD FOR KIDS!”
As I said above in a big chunk of about a hundred to a hundred and fifty words like I say everything else, I like the guy, and I think he’s smart and he’s funny. But unless what Louis CK has to say about kids and cell phones or screen time or whatever the hell we’re calling it when we put the little “be quiet for a while” machine in front of our kids is punctuated with the word “fuck” or “fucking” or “motherfucker” or some variation on “shit” or “shitty” or basically any kind of profanity because I think it’s funny when he’s profane, it’s like a cow’s opinion to me, in that I don’t give a fat fistful of gross chewed up and regurgitated wet grass about it.
And it’s not even that I begrudge the guy for having an opinion about kids and cell phones, it’s an issue. He has kids. And I don’t begrudge him for talking about it. He talks about things. That’s what he does. It’s his job. He’s ragged on cell phone addiction before, and it was funny, and I know I’m not the only person in the world to have obnoxiously told someone else to “give it a MINUTE.” So yeah, it’s something he’d talk about. No, no, what’s kind of ridiculous to me is the reprinting and rehashing of it on sites like the aforementioned content pile, on Slate, on Mashable, on the Wall Street Journal’s site! As if I am to sit and ponder the SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS OF LOUIS CK’S OPINION ON CHILDREN AND SMART PHONES and how I might best apply that to my own parenting.
There is already enough pressure and implied shame about limiting screen time from actual sources. We don’t need a literal MADE UP SOURCE brought into it as well. AND I’M NOT SAYING the guy isn’t entitled to his opinions. HE IS. And I am INTERESTED in hearing them. On the television. And then going to bed. And then not discussing them over coffee and a notepad because holy shit. We can silently self-shame just fine without bringing Louis CK into it.
I really, really don’t want to discuss with anyone, now or ever, if your kid has a cell phone or if they’re allowed to use yours, or use an iPad, or for how long each day, or how much television they’re allowed to watch. I don’t want to have that conversation today, where someone says they agree with me that the self-shaming is enough, “and, actually, my kid watches a lot of screen stuff,” and then lists what she thinks is a lot, but someone else feels bad because that doesn’t seem like a lot to her, and someone else thinks that’s WAY too much and lists HER schedule of much, much less, and someone else actually just built a yurt in the woods with her kids, so fuck all the rest of us anyway.
THE POINT OF IT ALL IS, it’s really hard not to raise a shitty kid. It’s especially hard not to raise a shitty kid when other parents are letting their kid be shitty right to your kid’s face. Or, worse, when the ADULT is being shitty right in front of your kid, doing the very things you’re trying to teach your kid not to do in an effort not to raise a shitty kid. On top of it, everyone you know and everything you read carries an opinion on what it is to be shitty or not shitty – both for your kid, and for your efforts and methods in creating your not shitty kid. You spend your whole life picking and sorting through your own ideas, goals, hopes, and gut feelings to cobble together a parenting method that you hope is going to result in the happiest, least shitty, HAPPIEST kid possible. At night, when I settle down after maybe crying in the shower or maybe staring blankly in the steam for half an hour or maybe just rhythmically thudding my head off the wall for a while, and I settle down to be entertained for a bit, I’m not going to sift through all that stuff, too. Because it’s moo.
I have seen just enough 30 Rock to think it’s hilarious to say, “You’re not a paht of this, Lemon,” to a dog encroaching on my fish stick and Stovetop preparation space.
Remember how I said registration for PJs at TJ’s was opening on 10/10, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, so for the best and most up to date information, you should join the Facebook group? I hope you took me at my word if you wanted to go and weren’t waiting for more updates here, because it sold out in 30 minutes, which was surprising and awesome. That was a thing that happened that I did not think was going to happen.
Something, something, here’s Penelope.
Traditional Sunday Waiting for the Ham.
I should explain that caption. See, on Sundays, after church, we go out for lunch, and Penny orders a ham sandwich. Then I take a picture of her, waiting for her ham. I did not need to explain that caption.
Here is a thing I am suggesting to you.
It’s Wet n Wild. I’m real n serious.
So, apparently, while I wasn’t looking, Wet n Wild has been stepping up the quality a lot over the last few years. Tons of beauty bloggers who are actual beauty bloggers have covered that, so I’m not going to, but definitely look up some reviews and swatches of a bunch of the eye shadow trios they have out, for example. They’re still priced very low and they put out a lot of seasonal and limited lines in fun colors, so they can be an inexpensive way to add some out there shades to your collection without spending $10 or $12 on singles from the high end brands.
Now, some stuff is still hit or miss, like you’d expect with a cosmetics line at this price point. When I picked up this powder, I also got a Color Icon Shadow Trio in Spoiled Brat that was just a mess when I tried it. The lid shade had fallout all over my face, the crease shade wouldn’t blend, and the browbone shade… actually, I don’t think that one was so bad, but I just tossed the case aside. More talented makeup people could probably make it work with no issues, but I am not an expert. I’m like Louis CK when he talks about kids. He has some. I have some makeup. Doesn’t mean you should look at me like I know what I’m doing, sitting on top of my hoard and chortling like Scrooge McDuckface. Whatever, it was $2.50 at Wal-Mart and I’ll pass it to someone else at PJs.
THE POWDER, THOUGH. If you’re very fair and have a hard time finding a powder foundation to match your skin, Wet n Wild Coverall pressed powder in 821B just might be your match, and I picked it up at Wal-Mart the other night for $2.43. You can use it with a big, fluffy brush to set all of your makeup in place. You can use it as a powder foundation if that’s the style you prefer. For me, I’ve been using a BB cream instead of foundation lately. I use this powder to set my under eye concealer and brighten that area up just a little bit, and then, since BB cream doesn’t offer full coverage, I use a sponge and press this powder with a kind of rolling motion over my chin and next to my nose where I have some redness. I haven’t been able to use a powder like this before, because until now, I’ve been using (and loving) Rimmel’s Stay Matte powder in translucent. Translucent powder is awesome for the super fair/pale, but a powder that actually matches skin tone has way more utility.
Give it a try. You may have to hunt around a little for the shade, but try Wal-Mart or Walgreens. You can always order online, but that takes a little away from how great the price is.
Last thing! Just a reminder that I will keep reminding you about just a little bit because Phil and I are a team: he’s participating in the Extra Life marathon for Children’s Miracle Network and it’s coming up. His fundraising page is here, and we’d appreciate anything you can do to help. There are social media buttons on the left hand side of the page, so if you’d share the page to your friends and family and guilt them with our adorable child, that would be swell. This is my part of the team effort, because I’m having no part of the whole “24 hours” thing. Nope.
Situations have been such lately that I have not been entirely comfortable putting as much of my personal business on the Internet as I might once have been, but you know what? Fuck it, and right the fuck up yours. You know what I mean?
-I had a lumbar puncture yesterday, and it was basically my least favorite thing to happen to me in about my last hundred years of existence. I was numbed, so it wasn’t as excruciatingly painful as I had decided it would be, but it was certainly one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life, which of course caused me to apologize through the whole thing, just like I did all the way through labor.
“Oh, I’m sorry my sheet is so damp. I think I might be a bit sweaty. I’m sorry about that.”
Except this time, it was more like,
“I’m sorry, I think I might throw up. Can I have a bucket, please? Thank you. Don’t worry, I’ll hold it until I can move. I’m sorry. Can I throw up yet? Sorry to bother you. Is it almost time to puke? Oh, ok. I can hold still, don’t worry. I’m sorry. Is it almost time? Uh oh. I might faint. Can you faint laying down? Am I talking really loud? Sorry. No, I’m sorry. I think I might throw up. I’m sorry. Ok. Ok. I’m sorry.”
I am a compulsive medical procedure apologizer. I can’t be the only one, of course, as I am one of the most average people on the entire planet, so I am interested in hearing from the rest of you and your theories on why we feel we are such an inconvenience to medical professionals who are just doing their jobs.
What’s weird is that I didn’t start my serious medical apologies until late in life. You know who I probably really owed an apology to? That nurse who did a throat culture back when I was 10 or so, the one whose hand I slapped right the hell out of my face. Reflex. I’m sorry.
No, but seriously, lumbar puncture. That sucked a fat fart. I’m sorry.
OH AND TO TOP IT OFF? I rewarded myself a s’mores pie, which I HAD SEEN on the McDonald’s drive thru menu all the times recently that I had rewarded myself a large diet soda for such feats as driving Phil to work and driving to pick Phil up from work and wandering around Target aimlessly, and when we got to the speaker, they said they didn’t HAVE ANY, even though it was on the menu, and I bellowed, “BUT I HAD A SPINAL TAP!” from the passenger seat into the speaker. They were not swayed. No pies were had that day.
LOOKIT HER HAIR.
Okay. Okay. I can’t take watching one more “Let’s all sit around and brainstorm about what outside force is making people not comment on our blogs anymore” discussion. Is it Twitter? Is it Facebooks? WHY IS OUR CHILDREN NOT COMMENTING?
Okay. Two things.
1. It’s you.
2. It’s you.
Allow me to explain.
Point 1: It’s you. Are you commenting? I mean, seriously. Be honest with yourself. Are you commenting on blogs? Not just once in a while. I mean with the frequency you are expecting comments to show up on your own. I mean effort. Every day. You don’t have to. There’s no law. Lots of people don’t. Lots of people don’t, and still get comments on their blogs. That’s the way of things. But if you’re not seeing comments on yours and that bothers you and you’re not commenting on other blogs, then come on. Because, shut up. You’re not special.
Point 2: IT’S YOU. When I write a blog post that doesn’t get many comments, I don’t sit here and think, wow, everyone must have something else to do that is keeping them from my awesomeness today. I think, shit, must have written a stinker. Okay, and I also think that maybe you guys are kind of ignoring my brilliance a little, because the posts that you think are stinkers, I think are hilarious but in my old age I have come to realize that no one really finds me as hilarious as I find myself AND THAT IS FINE.
And if posts and posts and posts go by with hardly any comments, then I assume I am writing lots of stinkers and also that I am not engaging with the people to let them know I am still out there. I don’t sit here and wonder what jerkwad piece of asshole technology is STEALING MY FAN CLUB. I assume that I am WRITING CRAP and IGNORING PEOPLE who are trying to connect with me.
It’s not Twitter. It’s not Facebook. It’s not… anything.
Other people are still getting comments. I mean, lots of other people. And lots of comments.
When people don’t comment, it’s because YOU HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING PEOPLE WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT.
People don’t just SHOW UP because you keyboard-slapped out some words that interested YOU and leaned back in your chair to wait. If that’s what you want to do, more power to you, go ahead, but don’t sit around and look for something else to blame when no one shows up to listen raptly at your feet, damn.
Pen’s surgery is coming up fast, and I’m preparing by losing weight to provide a nice cushion for all of the chocolate cake I intend to consume while we’re waiting. I’ve read a lot about the surgery – well, as much as I could find, anyway – and no two accountings of it have been the same except for ONE THING. Every single recap of the surgery I have read has said that it was supposed to be a 90 minute surgery, but ended up taking 3 hours, or 4 or even up to 5. Every single one. I’m glad I read that in advance. Now I know to wear some stretchy pants. More room for extra anxiety cake. I know from our last stay in Phoenix Children’s Hospital that they have four varieties of chocolate cake alone.
Remember when I used to talk about cloth diapers a lot? Well, HERE’S A BLAST FROM THE PAST.
I use fitted diapers almost exclusively now, with the occasional all-in-two. I have several pocket diapers still hanging around, and Phil uses them from time to time, but I plan to sort through what I have and pull those out to be sold. I might keep one or two for outings, we’ll see.
In the house, Pen wears a fitted diaper and Babylegs. No pants. Since fitted diapers aren’t waterproof, this is the easiest way. I just change her every two to two and a half hours or when she’s stinky or damp. The picture above is of all my favorite fitted diapers soaking in Rockin’ Green Funk Rock ammonia bouncer. Stinkies happen, you guys.
Here’s some stuff I know:
- There’s really no such thing as a super trim, super absorbent diaper. More absorbent means more bulk. Your baby is going to have a big butt.
- Also, you have to change often. That shouldn’t be a big deal. It may seem like to to those used to disposables, but when you think about it like this – how long should your baby have to wait after she has peed herself for fresh pants – it really shouldn’t be a big deal.
- Anti-pill fleece is cheap and you can cut your own liners for babies with sensitive parts. It keeps them cozy and dry-feeling.
- Fitteds rule.
- Rinsing takes an extra minute but saves a lot of hassle at wash time.
- Good diapers are expensive but used diapers aren’t gross.
- And nothing has to be all or nothing – Pen wears disposables to bed and often out of the house.
I have a favorite diaper.