Temerity Jane
08. 10. 2013

I had to take a break for a while, due to some health concerns and the fact that my husband was away for six weeks and a Penelope stops Peneloping for no man or blog. Oh, and also, I watch Korean television, like, ALL THE TIME. But when I talk about it, it’s like I’m talking to Penelope, because no one gives a shit or listens or does what I say and then just draws on the wall even though I am RIGHT THERE and saying STOP IT.

Or, at least, I thought that’s why I took a break, but I just logged in here to make a post and it turns out THIS STUPID POST INTERFACE DIDN’T MAGICALLY FIX ITSELF and I guess I wasn’t posting for a while also because everything is stupid.

Anyway, Phil’s been back for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve gone as far as to open WordPress a couple of times to regale you will all of my thoughts, but I’ve stopped short when I’ve realized that most of my thoughts are more like complaints or complainy observations, and there’s bound to be someone who is all, “geeze, don’t you do ANYTHING but COMPLAIN?” and I will point out to you that I just did several months of nothing, so yes, I complain and I also do nothing. So, I’ve just unmade your point for you right there, hypothetical person I made up in my mind largely as a reason not to make the effort to post.

(At this point in writing this post, I updated WordPress, and some things fixed themselves, but I can’t go back in time to two months ago and do that. Sorry.)


Here’s my kid in a flying bathtub.
I went to the Phoenix Children’s Museum while I wasn’t posting.
I also started using Instagram.
It was an eventful time.

So during this whole period, most of what was occurring to me to post was pretty complainy stuff (see: health issues, husband away for a month and a half, general predisposition to narrowed eyes and curmudgeonliness in the face of blank text editors), and it was stacking up. I had piles of small ideas for a blog post, but they nearly all fell in the “general grumbling” category, making me feel as though I couldn’t write a WHOLE POST of general grumbling – though I don’t know why I felt I couldn’t, when I’ve made a pretty solid five year blog career of doing just that.

I was thinking a bit about why it bothered me, and it mostly comes down to the trend of pegging anyone who has anything negative to say as someone who must actually be deeply sad or internally unhappy with herself somehow. Or how someone who finds fault with another person  is actually just jealous. I guess it’s pretty tempting to imagine deep faults in another person when they’re finding fault with you, but we all know that’s just something we say to make ourselves feel better, right? That those are completely empty and likely totally untrue words in most cases?

Desert Ridge Market Place

We also went to a splash pad.
She was reluctant to splash.

Listen, all of this is lead up to say this: you can’t send me an email that says: FREE SHIPPING!! as the subject, and then inside, it says, “with $50 purchase.” That’s not free shipping. I basically expect free shipping with a $50 purchase from most of the places I shop, because I do not buy expensive things. That email subject line is bullshit and I hate it, and fucking stop.

Here’s another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks.

Here is another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks, and then he had a week of leave, and for some reason, since he has to shave for work every day, he feels no obligation to shave when he’s on leave, even if his leave is long enough that the only face I can make at him by the end is a hate face.

The helpful hobo

After church one Sunday, this random helpful bearded hobo offered to buckle my kid into her carseat. Thanks, hobo! Go shave. Because you look like a hobo. Hobo.

Hey, I know I have not been totally on the ball with updates here on this site, but hopefully those who are interested in attending PJs at TJ’s in 2014 have already joined the Facebook group. If you haven’t, you can do that now or follow me on Twitter for updates, but regardless of either of those things, you should know that registration opens at 9am west coast time on October 10th, which is this Thursday. All of the details are in the Facebook group so… I still suggest you go ahead and join it for full information. I can’t tell you if it will sell out or not, because I don’t know, or how quickly it will sell out if it does, but the best way to make sure you get a spot if you want one is to sign up for the Facebook group and register when registration opens on Thursday morning. Like always (the whole entire two past years), PJs is not exclusive. Everyone is welcome. There’s no secret in club or list. You don’t have to know anyone to come. You do have to register and it is first come, first in, and that includes people who have attended in the past or who are my very best pals in the whole wide world, so don’t think you don’t have a shot because I’m going to try to pull some tricky shenanigans so only my friends can come. That would make me a big hypocritical asshole, and while I am several kinds of asshole, I am not that kind.

If you have any questions, leave a comment, email me, message me on Twitter or Facebook, whatever you want. I don’t extend personal invitations, nor do I extend personal exclusions. You, personally, are welcome. That’s it. That’s the best I can do to assure you. I’m assuring you.

Penny on Charlie


Penny also on Charlie

On further reflection, this horse is just okay.

Let this be a lesson to me, I should have just complained when my complaints were hot, imaginary complaint complainers be damned, because now I can’t remember any of my complaints, except for one, which was kind of specific, in that I can, if pressed, name several people that I have, over the course of ACTUAL YEARS, seen do this specific thing, even though I would not actually be thinking of THEM SPECIFICALLY if I was to complain about it, you know what I mean? Like, for example, if I say, “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right.”

A guy actually did this to us fairly recently, fairly recently meaning I remember it but don’t have any real concept of the time frame. Just walked up and said, “Can I just get my bananas” and set them on the belt and began to go through the whole checkout process as if it was just a given that it was fine, because we had several items in our cart and he had the MOST IMPORTANT BANANAS IN THE WORLD in his hand.


And you know, when I have a full cart, I do often let someone with just a couple of items go in front of me. But that’s my call. On this occasion, we had several items in our cart, but by no means a full load. Maybe we were in a hurry, too. Maybe we had exactly enough time for X items, with X being the number of items in our cart. Not X plus NICHOLAS CAGE’S BANANAS (I assume). How arrogant do you have to be to assume that wherever WE have to be is unimportant enough that it can absolutely, definitely and certainly wait for one banana bunch checkout’s length of time in addition to the time we’ve already calculated for our own shopping? How do you assess the shopping lanes to choose? “Oh, those schmucks there can definitely wait a banana length. They’ve got nowhere banana-important to be. Not like me. OUT OF THE WAY, PEONS. INCOMING BANANAS DESTINED FOR THE BREAKFAST OATMEAL OF THE GRANDSON OF SPUDS MACKENZIE.”

Anyway, so sometimes when you pick a specific complaint to make, like the one I had in my head that, when pressed, I could remember some people I do actually like and consider friends and don’t in any way hate AT ALL maybe doing on one or two occasions, one like “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right,” you’ve got to be ready for those people to maybe defend it. And I get that, I guess, because I just said I don’t like something you do, and we’re friends, so obviously I actually hate you.

And someone will say, “Well, I’m actually responsible for buying Nicholas Cage’s bananas.” Or tries to explain how it’s actually a courtesy on their part to stop clogging up the lines with just their one bunch of teeny weeny bananas. Or explain how they only did it one time, but they actually did have a really extremely important place to be that time, more important than anyone else in the store could have possibly had to be. And then everyone feels awkward. Because, what? I’m supposed to start giving arrogant banana line rushers the benefit of the doubt? I’m supposed to issue individual pardons so that a line jumper can mentally reconcile the fact that they can both do something that I personally don’t like, yet still somehow remain my friend? I’m supposed to… continue this awkward stare down?


And that’s why I had to just scrub one whole complaint from the list, but I think the whole banana guy thing worked out pretty well, because THAT GUY, RIGHT? WHAT THE HELL? “Can I just get my bananas?” Can I just rip off your arm and beat you with the wet end?

Here’s something else. I haven’t talked a lot about makeup stuff recently because I haven’t talked a lot about anything recently, but you need to go out and get Gimmie Brow by Benefit right now, and I will demonstrate the reason with an actual picture of my actual face wearing the actual makeup product I am actually talking about, something I have never actually done on this blog, which is kind of amazing, considering how much I talk about makeup. I went and got my eyebrows done by the most amazing eyebrow lady in all the land, and after the waxed my wonky and odd shaped eyebrows, she used only ONE PRODUCT on them, Gimmie Brow, and this is what they looked like, holy shit, go buy it:

Don't care, eyebrow hair.

Far from the most flattering angle of my forehead wrinkles.
Don’t care, eyebrow hair.

Macy’s, Ulta, Sephora, Benefit site, wherever you’re racking up your bonus points for buying all the awesome holiday gift sets that are coming out. Buy Gimmie Brow. Do it.

Anyway. That’s it, I guess. We’ve still got a lot going on right now. Some stuff is up in the air. Still working on some somewhat difficult health issues.

Oh! But Penelope isn’t! In September, she was pronounced completely clear of all kidney and VUR issues by her pediatric urologist and she was completely released from care by her team at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. All issues related to her failure to thrive and vesicoureteral reflux have been resolved. We passed my “one year catheter free” goal and hopefully she’ll stay catheter free until she epidurals up for her own kid some day.

Penelope's Last U/S


And speaking of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phil is once again participating in the Extra Life marathon fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, specifically playing for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Last year, he was playing when Penelope’s surgery was pretty recent. This year, he’s playing shortly after finding out that we’re completely done with seeing Penny’s team at Phoenix Children’s, but I don’t think we’ll be ending our relationship with them – in terms of support – for a long time.

Children’s Miracle Network raises money for hospitals across the United States and Canada, to fund research and buy equipment, but most importantly to us, to pay for uncompensated care. We are lucky enough to be in a situation that Penelope’s expensive care and surgery didn’t burden us financially. For others, Children’s Miracle Network provides the funds to allow families in less fortunate situations benefit from the same excellent standard of care Penelope has received for literally her entire life from Phoenix Children’s Hospital. PCH has benefited our family in more ways than just the top notch medical care they provided to Penelope, and that needs to be extended to as many children and their parents as possible.

ANYWAY, the Extra Life Marathon is coming up! Here’s Phil’s fundraising page. If you’d like to donate, we’d appreciate it very much. If you could share the page on your social networks, we’d appreciate that, too. If you’re feeling crazy and want to stay up for 24 hours straight playing video games and want to support Phoenix Children’s while you do it, let me know and I’ll get you in touch with Phil and he’ll get you started with joining his team. If you just want to think about joining next year, still let me know. We’ll still be here.

That’s it! Thank you!


24 responses to “I thought it was going to be all complaining but it’s just mostly complaining.”

  1. Swistle says:

    You know the kind of book where, when you’re not even halfway done, you start feeling agitated and upset because every page you read gets you closer to being done with the book, and you want to read the book longer than that? That was the kind of post this was.

    Also, I love the family picture with Phil dressed as a hobo.

    Also, you look in tortoiseshell glasses the way that makes me keep buying tortoiseshell glasses that then don’t look good on me.

    TJ Reply:

    Don’t worry, it’s a blog. It’s an infinity-parter.

    Do you know what is stupid-irritating about these glasses? I’ve been a big fan of Zenni for a long time, like you, I wrote about them, wore glasses from them forever, had multiple pairs, told family about them, etc. “They’re the same as regular glasses! They’re just as good! Just as nice! SO MUCH CHEAPER. You HAVE to order from Zenni or just any online site. Seriously. You’ll love it. You’ll find great frames. It’ll be worth it!”

    Well, I didn’t have a stockpile like I should have when the pair I was wearing out to dinner one night just gave up from too much baby abuse. And the last time I had ordered from Zenni, it had taken SO long. I’ve never worn contacts. And I just can’t SEE without glasses. So I had to go to Lens whatevers and buy some. So now I’ve had people compliment them and remember how much I tout Zenni and say, hey, I SHOULD look at Zenni. Heavy sigh. They’re Dolce & Gabanna. BUT THEY’RE FROM THE CLEARANCE RACK. AND YOU SHOULD TRY ZENNI. THESE GLASSES ARE A POOR EXAMPLE.

  2. Susie says:

    You are my favorite complainer. I mean that like, your style of complaining is my favorite of all the styles I have encountered. I volunteer to listen to your complaints, as needed, because it is fun, and doesn’t make me feel like a negative person afterwards for engaging in complainy activities. Yeah. That.

    TJ Reply:

    WELL. Pull up a stool. I have some thoughts on the way everyone who isn’t me lives their lives.

  3. I especially loved the whole part about the bananas. And the splash reluctance. And horse skepticism.

    Why did you let a hobo buckle Penny in? I mean, he looks like a FRIENDLY hobo at least. But still.

    And I am going to get Gimme Brow immediately. I will tell the salesclerk to send you a royalty.

    TJ Reply:

    I have pushed Gimmie Brow on SO MANY PEOPLE but you will be SO HAPPY. Eyebrows are so fussy to do right if you weren’t born blessed of eyebrow, and it just makes it SO EASY and so fast.

  4. Linnea says:

    I hate the awkward “you do a thing I don’t like but we’re friends” thing. Mostly because while I strive to be a cart-putting-back kind & considerate person, I’m actually an annoying interupter & adder-of-unimportant-details-in-pointless-stories person too. Anyway, hooray for Penny’s clean bill of health. I hope everything else works itself out just as satisfactorily.

    TJ Reply:

    No one likes everything everyone they like does. But there’s a difference between “uses Twitter in a way I don’t care for” and “is a hugely vocal racist.” I have a lot of friends in one category, and I have no friends in the other.

    Linnea Reply:

    Yeah. It’s been sort of a revelation to me as an adult that you can be friends with people you disagree with. Obviously there are lines, but for a long time I thought you had to like all the same things & do all the same stuff to be really friends with someone. For an embarrassingly long time I thought this. That if someone didn’t like 1 thing about me, they must hate all of me. So being OK with the fact that I have both annoying habits & friends is sort of new. Again, “annoying habits” like being an interrupter, not bigots or racists or stuff like that.

  5. Nicole says:

    Your banana rant (especially “Oh, those schmucks there can definitely wait a banana length. They’ve got nowhere banana-important to be.”) made me asthma-wheeze and choke from laughing so hard.

    It’s more of a compliment than I made it sound.

  6. delicia says:

    Can you buy Gimmie Brow in a regular store? Loved the post, glad hobo Phil is back home with you two.

    TJ Reply:

    A lot of stores are sold out, but usually any Ulta, Sephora, or Macy’s – anywhere they sell Benefit – should have it. If you go to Macy’s and they’re sold out, you can ask at the counter for them to order it for you and they’ll ship it to your house for free.

  7. I’m pretty sure that this entire post just exists in the world to make me extra sad that I am not ready to register tomorrow. I haven’t given up all hope, but if it sells out I am going to be like “BUT! Kelly is one of the only bloggers that makes me LITERALLY LOL! And I miss her face! And I need to look at Gimme Brows and Rockateur and all the other makeup things! And I will have totally watched more kdrama we can discuss by then! And it’s been so long since I’ve played peekaboo with Penelope! Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!”

    Which, bee tee dubs, is that what we are officially calling her these days? Penelope? And is that what she calls herself? I ask because Lucy is no longer allowing us to call her Lucy, glaring and exclaiming “NO!! I LUCIA!” when we even try. Perhaps maybe you talked about this already and it didn’t stick to my Teflon brain – if so, I apologize :)

    TJ Reply:

    I call Penny Penelope a lot, but she will ONLY refer to herself as Penny. She goes around the room a lot, “You Mama, You Daddy, I Penny.” Or if one of us says something like, “Listen, miss,” she says, “I not Listen Miss, I PENNY!”

    I think I refer to her enough as Penelope or Pen that she knows that I MEAN her, but she ONLY references herself as Penny and insists that she’s Penny. I’ve never heard her say that she’s NOT Penelope, but she’s said she’s not honey bunny, she’s not listen miss, she’s not HEY, etc. She’s a weird kid.

    And it is a total bummer that you aren’t going to make it this year. Your streak is broken!

    Susie Reply:

    Eliza just noticed yesterday that when she is bad, her name is ELIZA MAY. So now when she is being bad, she screams ELIZA MAY and it is a useful indicator that I should get up off the couch and see what she’s up to.

  8. Nicole says:

    I am having a crappy day at work. Even though I was fully prepared for a complain-y post from Twitter, the Penny on a horse pictures made me feel better. Better than even crying in the bathroom did. Thank you.

    TJ Reply:

    I should keep a horse in the backyard for days that I want to cry in the bathroom. But then, the poop would probably just make me want to cry in the bathroom.

  9. Tara says:

    WE SAW YOUR FACE TWICE IN ONE POST. This is some sort of alternative universe new blog, yes?

    TJ Reply:

    I know it seems really weird to you to see my face so frequently, but it seems really weird to me that the person to point it out is someone I’ve actually roomed with!

  10. Lawyerish says:

    I want to sock Mr. Important Bananas right in the face, but damn the way you wrote about it was funny.

    “Can I just get my bananas?” had better be followed up with, “my wife is minutes from giving birth and she MUST have these bananas to make it through labor.” Even Nicholas Cage’s bananas had better wait their ass in line.

    TJ Reply:

    I hope I wrote it well enough that you’re picturing the smoothness of the whole event. There was no pause. Just “Can I just get my bananas?” AS HE WALKED PAST US to the cashier. No glance back, nothing. Just the confidence of a man with bananas destined for greatness.

  11. cakeburnette says:

    I am not entirely sure how I managed to miss this when you actually posted it, but YES. SOLIDARITY WITH YOU ON THE LEAVE/NO SHAVING MESS. *insert grumbling face and noises*

    But be prepared. They do this for an UNGODLY AMOUNT OF TIME after retiring/separating from the military as well. It is AWFUL.

    TJ Reply:

    He’s determined he’s going to have a retirement beard. I’m determined he’s going to have a retirement tent in the yard. I didn’t marry a bearded man. No, sir.

    cakeburnette Reply:

    I agree with you. Entirely. Beards are YUCK. I am somewhat fortunate that my hubby CAN’T grow an actual beard or mustache, but he did sport this UNSIGHTLY growth on his chin for the first month or two after he retired. It was HORRID.