Follow My Sorry Ass


Thursday, April 21, 2022

An Open Letter to Christina Hall

 














Dear Christina Hall,

I'm a big fan of yours.  My husband and I love to watch Flip or Flop after our young kids are in bed, engaging in lively debates on the elements of a beautiful home.  You're a talented designer and professional with a great instinct for creating stunning spaces, all the while juggling parenthood and making good TV.

I am writing to you because I have noticed something worrying.

Your butt's too small.

Hey hey hey, hear me out.  In a recent picture with your husband you appear to be very thin.  I am no body critic, and to each her own.  Still, there are a few things I would like you to know.

It's not cool to comment on someone's body.  But I implore you, as a woman, a person with ambitions, a partner, and a mother, to take a close look at what is happening within you.  I can't pretend to know or even guess at the inner life of a stranger--but, woman to woman?  I have been there.

You have addressed the body-shamers over social media and through outlets like People--"Chill people--I eat, and I eat healthy."  And this sentiment is entirely valid.  As Zora Neale Hurston's heroine Janie Crawford said in Their Eyes Were Watching God, "you've got to go there to know there", and it's not fair for those who have never sat down to dinner with you to make unfounded assumptions or cast judgment about you in any form.  But as someone who has struggled with disordered eating as a way of coping with a variety of traumas--some told and some hidden from even my husband and closest friends--I know there.  

In college, I walked on to a Big Ten, Division 1 swim team.  It was a no-nonsense female coach, Kathleen Milloy, who called me out when I was nineteen for working out too hard and eating too little; "I noticed your back is getting really narrow," she euphemistically worried out loud.  She had the cojones to gently help me notice that my performance was suffering in things mattered to me greatly--swimming, academics, and friendships--and that I was hurting myself by trying too much for my own damned good.

Your talent for beautifying things and places is clear.  It's incredibly easy for us detail-oriented, focused women to overdo it in the name of self-improvement and health.  But there is no need to prove anything to anyone by using your body as a teardown-and-rework.

For your daughter, and for the young women who follow your forays on TV and Instagram, please don't renovate yourself on the outside.  I won't talk at you about eating disorder recovery or body dysmorphia.  But for me, I needed the "foundation work" of therapy before I could feel beautiful or understand that I'm good even with some fluffier throw pillows on my backside.  I needed to work through grief and accept a lack of control over some things, and this may or may not resonate with you.  In any case, I hope that when you look in the mirror you see a woman who doesn't need ripping down and is worth cherishing.  

As-is, and with no concessions.


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter

 Happy Easter to Aunt Kay, From Your “Practice” Grandkids--












XOXO, L


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Santa Cruz Versus the World

 A Comparative Photo Essay


Everywhere Else, USA:







[Ho-hum street names having to do with sports]




Santa Cruz:






[Straight to the point: Old Big Trees Rd, along Hwy 9]








[Actual street names en Español: Quién Sabe Rd, Scotts Valley]




------------------

Namespotting:


Reeva  

Anson  

Nash 


And *this* lady on Facebook.  I don't make fun of too many names as a general rule, but I can't stop laughing when I say this name out loud.








Apparently this is her real (married) name--I know because I made the blunder of publicly asking our mutual friend on her Facebook post.

I totally thought it was an awesomely disgusting, double entendre nickname and that she was my kinda people...yeah.  No.  It's her real name.

She ended up sending me what my father-in-law calls a "nastygram" (p*ssed-off rant of a message) over FB messenger, calling me out as a stupid, terrible person for making fun of someone's name like that.

True, true.  To be completely honest it was more out of amazement than b*tchiness, though.  But by then I was laughing too hard to explain myself, backpedal, or apologize properly, so I just blocked her like the grownup I am.

Also me, inside my head:  [Honey you do realize you don't have to take your husband's last name?  Way to take one for the team.]

Then again, if Joe's last name were Butt, I still would've taken his last name, too.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Conversations With Quora

I used to get embarrassed at school a lot.  I never wanted to ask any questions about anything, no matter how curious I was.  It wasn't so much a fear of exposing my ignorance as it was a general hatred of hearing my own voice in a roomful of silent people.

That's why Quora.com is awesome.

I know this is going to read like an ad but I just need to fangirl on this site for a minute. You just type in your question, pick some people to ask based on their credentials, and voilà!  Someone who probably knows what the hell they're talking about explains something important to you.

Here are a few I've asked:







Asking that one for my daughter.








I guess what I am getting at with that one is, is there a biological basis (besides random events) for Elon Musk having so many sons relative to the number of children he has?  Is he, according to any hypotheses, reproductively "fitter" than most, due to having lots of resources to raise his young?  I'm making a lot of assumptions here about the sex ratio of offspring, reproductive fitness, wealth effectively equating to energetic resources, and the overall health/abilities of the parents.


Today's inquiry:










These are things we all think about while we're showering, right?

I tried posting it earlier today, but Quora took it down, thinking I was trolling.  Womp, womp.

Sounds like something Joe would dare me to ask a medical professional. Now I might have to start asking that last one of doctors IRL, and with a straight face at that.  

Dirty Work

On Still Working at Getting Your Obstinate Child to Not Sh*t in His Pants Anymore,
For the Love of All Things Holy and Pure in this World.


Ever washed out your six-year-old's underwear in the bathroom of a grocery store?










No?  

"Well you ain't never lived!"


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

I Want the Truth

 

6 Y.O. Son:  Yeah Mom I washed my hands.









Me:  Did you wash those hands?  Really?  After you flushed?









Me:









6 Y.O.:  I don't WANT to wash my hands right now











Memeworthy: The Postpartum Mom

Jenna Joseph’s exhausted face is all of us right after having a second child.

Holy sh*t am I tired.



















Source: https://people.com/parents/tyler-joseph-welcomes-second-baby-girl-with-wife-jenna/

Namespotting

Names from a different class at my son's preschool (links to name info, courtesy of Nameberry).


Miri and Freya, the 3- or 4-year-old artists behind these:














Lark (I love this name!)














Some parents' names:














Ilea doesn't come up as a searchable entry on Nameberry, BehindTheName, or even Google (aside from some acronyms).  Facebook has mostly people named Ileana.  Ilea is cool and unusual!

Doris is fun and retro, and I can't help but wonder if this is a grandparent's name.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Separated at Birth

Separated at Birth, Perez Hilton Style

Will












Waldo Woo 


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Sons and Daughters

Five-Second Screenplays on Raising Sons and Daughters: Developmental Differences 


Daughter (age 2): "My diaper is dirty, Mother."
Son (age 4):  *keeps playing forever with actual sh*t in underpants*  


Daughter (2):  *pets kitty gently*
Son (4): *tries to drag cat into the bathtub by its hind leg*

She's led a hard life.























Daughter (2):  *runs to the toilet*
Son (4):  *sits on bike seat with full-sized underwear-bomb and blithely squishes own sh*t*


Daughter (age 2):  *comparing shoes*
Son (age 4):  *comparing buttholes*

Friday, April 8, 2022

B*tch and Moan

Now that I’ve been a mom for kind of a long time, I can’t decide whether I should laugh or get righteously indignant about the following story from my childhood:


When I was about seven and my brother, Max, was five, we would argue and complain a lot.

Addressing an imaginary audience, Dad would interrupt us to say, “These are my two kids, B*tch and Moan!”

Then Max and I would argue with each other about who got to be Moan. 



Best Flower Names

 Namespotting: Nine of the Best Flower Names


Sure, Elon Musk and the so-called namers-of-the-future are calling their children Lux, Flux, X, Y, Z, and whatnot.  But these fun, floral names are far from wilted.  Here is a visual guide to these stunning names.



Hyacinth













The youngest Bridgerton daughter, she is fresher than Violet but has the visual impact of a purple gentian.  Use it with Cindy as a retro but ready-to-return to the mainstream nickname.



Zinnia













If you need a reason to namesake the likes of this Blush Zinnia, Z-names for girls are gaining in popularity.



Dahlia  











Dahlias are members of the plant family that includes daisies.  There's also a noir association with "The Black Dahlia" murder case, but the association isn't a very well-known one.



Linnéa













This "twinflower" name would be great for a girl who has a boy twin named Thomas ("twin").  The accent over the "e" is not necessary.  Pick the Linnaea species spelling for maximum plant power.



Iris













A sleek name that would make a good sister to an Elise.



Lilac













This fragrant flower comes from a deciduous tree or large bush.



Azalea











Spring-blooming azaleas are associated with the Southeastern United States, Asia, and parts of Europe.



Rose












This name is a classic (and the name of everyone's favorite Golden Girl) for good reason.  The Just-Joey variety (above) is a showy example of its loveliness—Josephine Rose, nicknamed Joey, is worthy of the flower.



Camellia











It sounds a little bit like "chameleon", but Cammie is cute.  Camellia is a Southern character of one of the girls from Before We Were Yours.  Camellia leaves are used to make tea, and this bush grows into a small tree.


——————-

Spotted (or overheard) at a park in Soquel: Striker, someone’s son of about six or seven. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Separated at Birth

 Separated at Birth, Perez Hilton Style


Brooklyn Beckham (in Men's Health)













And one of the guys from this movie:



Saturday, April 2, 2022

Wheel in the Sky

 I am almost thirty-nine years old.  I live a blessed life.  Most of the time I feel like I've totally "won" a 7th-grade game of M*A*S*H--

Youuu willlllll....live in a house, marry a surfer, live in California, have six kids, and drive a purple SUV.  

Sweet!

"Green?  No, WAIT, I want a do-over."


Then again, the Fortune Teller in the Sky threw me this--

You will discover that you have been living with a weird cancer syndrome from the moment you were conceived.

You'll also turn out to have bipolar disorder.

Your unflappable and largely-agnostic husband will find himself praying his @ss off for nothing but the restoration of your health.


It's something called MEN1--Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia--Type 1.  Neuroendocrine Cancer.  It's an inherited (autosomal dominant) kind, meaning there was a 50/50 chance of my having had it passed down from my particular family.  A somewhat rare (but not that rare), often slow-growing suite of tumors.  Mostly pancreas, parathyroid, and pituitary, but sometimes involving other neuroendocrine tissues--for instance, parts of the lungs.  I used to think I had all three of the classic tumors, but my more recent scans have shown that I just have the pancreas and parathyroid stuff.

"Cancer" and "tumor" are always scary words.  But it's really not that bad.

I found out about the MEN1 in 2010, but there were weird signs before then, starting in my teens.  But the random manic episode, culminating in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder last summer, was completely out of left field.

MEN1 can be a "good" cancer to have, in case you are ever in the business of choosing one.  It’s cancer in slow motion. Lots of mostly-uneventful scans and bloodwork.  Weird hormones, but not terribly so.  Three parathyroidectomies, but the last one was a rousing success.  I am not nearly as chronically exhausted as I used to be because now I don't have hyperparathyroidism anymore.  I am hypoparathyroid, but although I have to take a lot of calcium orally, this is a hell of a lot better than the "moans, stones, groans, and bones" accoutrements of having too much calcium in the blood.

There is a big-@ss scar on my neck.  Sometimes children stare at it.  Sometimes I think I should make up a cool shark attack story or some equally-implausible superhero origin story about it.  But in any case, I think it's pretty badass that someone slit my throat three times--in a controlled and consensual manner, nevertheless—and I lived to tell the tale.  And it reminds me every day that I've survived a little bit of sh*t.

I am also stable on psychiatric medication now.

Not this kind of "medication", but maybe something like it would have helped.

I am surviving this stupid bipolar sh*t, too, and am so very, very lucky.

I'm watching the paper Cootie Catcher start to unfold for my teenagers and hoping the big game of M*A*S*H smiles kindly upon them, in turn.

Happy Hollows Zoo

 "Here it is, your moment of Zen."  -Jon Stewart

Joe and the bigs are visiting my dad and Sandy for a ski trip.  So the littles and I needed something to do.  I brought them to a petting zoo/amusement park/regular zoo rolled into one, in San José.  We petted hot, sweaty goats and watched them poop.  We rock-climbed and went down two-story slides.  We saw a Giant Anteater.  There's even a roller coaster there that Arthur is tall enough to ride.  

They did not want to leave.

































Friday, April 1, 2022

Spotted Around Town

"Leave me alone!"












Today George went to school with black marker spotted all over his face, and he also wore yesterday's shirt.  He'd decided to decorate himself but wouldn’t acquiesce to a spitbath, baby wipe challenge, or even a regular bath--not even one with the yellow toy fishing boat involved. 

It is the last day of school before spring break and already we’re at loggerheads. 

Also spotted around town:

Ganja Yoga to "elevate" yourself











What Would Kermit Do?











Real Name of Local Businesswoman: Burgundi Rose, of Ben Lomond, CA














-------

Zach:  Did you know that Uranus was the first planet discovered by telescope?  

Me:  No, YOURS was.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Santa Cruz vs. The World

 A Comparative Photo Essay


Everywhere Else, USA:













Santa Cruz:













FYI: Groms are 16U.




Everywhere Else, USA:










Santa Cruz:













-------------------------------------------------------------


Nobody:


Santa Cruz Real Estate:

Taunted from the garage attic by a ventriloquist's dummy


Some Celebrity is Gonna Name Her Kid:

Outlandish-Yet-Predictable Picks for Tomorrow’s Celeb Babies


Sur (for Big Sur, CA)—the name of Gwen Stefani's daughter someday.  She already has a Zuma.

Battle—Josh Duhamel or some ‘80’s rocker’s next child.

Serendipity—but not with a nickname of Dippity.

Hyperion “Hy”—Elon Musk’s next kid. Nicknamed “U.”

Egon—like that guy from Ghostbusters.

Californian— it’s the next Aurelian, Christian or Lucian.  

Hyper—if Wilder and superlatives can be a thing, so can this.

Striker—inspired by a fierce border collie.  The next badass baby name after Ryker. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Land of Flowers and Nuts

Tiptoe Through the Lupines


 





I thought some old-ish lady was trying to Karen me when she shamed me for picking these flowers by the side of the road. 

“There’s not enough of those this year,” she motioned toward a hillside with acres of them.

OK Boomer Karen.

Turns out, they were endangered lupines. And it’s a misdemeanor to pick any wildflower on public lands in California, even those irresistible sweet peas or whatever they are that line the roads in Bonny Doon every April. I didn’t get caught by the authorities this time but learned something new about the left coast state that is my home. 

Apparently super-violent California criminals like Michael fucking Cheek can live among peaceable people, on privately owned roads, in the woods, with little to no supervision, butttttt if you touch any of these public-domain flowers we are going to have a situation here.

I imagined doing a little reiki on the lupines after putting them in that vase I like. They would’ve said it’s all good, girl. Pick away