Friday, September 12, 2014

This Time Last

A game I like to play. This time last week I was at work writing about makeup. This time last month I was on vacation. This time last year I was holding my mom's hand.

But this time today I have butterflies in my stomach. Isn't that strange? Of all the things I thought I would feel, I never once thought I would be nervous.

This is what I remember: she had not spoken for days, maybe a week. Had not eaten. Her eyes were not really closed. The Hospice workers told me they had never had someone hold on for so long, and this made me feel both proud and sad. I wanted her to know that she could go.

I remember pulling the sheets up at the end of her bed and feeling like I was doing something I shouldn't be doing. But I had read that the skin gets mottled before death, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. So I pulled the sheets up and held her feet. They were purple and blotchy. I went out to tell the Hospice workers about her feet and that I was going home to get some stuff so I could spend the night there, but they said no, her breathing was not yet rattled. They said I should come back in the morning and plan to spend the next night there. So I kissed my mom and left.

This is what I regret, that I was not there for her when she passed. I should have been there, holding her hand and not so concerned about the soles of her feet.
This time today it's been a year since. I try to remember her strong, happy, her sense of humor, her wit.
Dressed as Nurse Ratched for Halloween.
Here. Here is a story I want to tell about my mother. (If you are my dad, however, or even my in-laws, you really probably don't want to read this next part.)

(Trust me.)

One night a long, long, looong time ago Bryan came over to my house to help me with a speech I had to give in my senior high school Humanities class. It was about Bruegel, the Flemish Renaissance painter, which really has nothing to do with anything except maybe The Seven Deadly Sins. At the time we lived in a house with Jack and Jill bedrooms for my brother and me, only my brother was in college already. So Bryan and I were in my room with the bedroom door closed and locked doing something we really shouldn't have been doing but we were doing it, or I should say *I* was doing it to him, when all of a sudden I felt Bryan's body stiffen. Like his entire body. It all happened so fast, but I looked behind me and saw my mom's reflection in the bathroom mirror. Shit! Shit! Shit! It was like a funhouse reflection of ohnononononothisdidnotjusthappen. She had come through my brother's room to tell us something and instead saw something. Of course she turned and fled, leaving Bryan and me scrambling to get dressed. Bryan was freaking the fuck out, saying he was never coming over again, that he was going to leave through my window, etc., etc. when all of a sudden a folded up piece of paper slid beneath my door. I unfolded it to read:

Dear Susannah
Please know that I will always love you, no matter what you do. And I will never tell your father what I just saw.
Love,
Mom
p.s. Bryan's tips on how to give a good oral report are better than any I would have come up with.

And that, my friends, is how witty my mom was. I opened my bedroom door and she was standing there laughing and gave me the biggest hug.

So yeah, I just honored the memory of my mom with a story about me giving Bryan a bj. But we're married now so it's all legit, plus my mom always loved that story even if we couldn't really look each other in the eye when talking about it.

Now I'm off to go back to bed, another way to honor her. If you don't believe me that lazing around in bed on a beautiful sunny day is a way to honor her, well...here is a Valentine I found that she made. For her bed.
Also, if you knew my mom at all in real life, just watch this video of Bette Midler signing The Rose and you can truly sense my mom. She loved to play this song on the piano and sing it. She had the prettiest voice. So this is how I am ending this post.

This time last to this time next and forever. I love you I love you I love you, and I miss you so so much.

xo,
S

Sunday, September 7, 2014

In Other News: Sometimes That Is Enough

Remember when I used to post stupid stuff about vaginas and leopard print coats and it was 2007 or 2010 or somewhere in between when I thought turning 37 made me old? I know. What a total lightweight I was.
Which is why I'm posting this pic today. Because shit is about to get heavy in here, like when the news reports that a storm is coming and you look out the window and even though the skies are calm you know it has to be coming if they say it's coming. So I'm thinking it's coming? Friday will be the one year anniversary of my mom's death.

Which might be why lately when I have wondered what time it is I look at the clock and when I look away I still don't know what time it is. So I look at it again and I still don't know, and when I look a third time and someone asks "what time is it?" I have to shrug and say "I don't know." My head is slow with sand and what, and the only thing I know for sure is that even though it's not 2007 or 2010 it's time to look at this photo and giggle because, indeed, there is a vagina on his neck and sometimes that is enough.

xo,
S

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Elephant

I read something the other day that absolutely felled me. It was simple, maybe a little stupid. It was this: There was a day your parents put you back down and never picked you up again.

I thought about that obvious little sentence for the better part of a day, turned it over and thought about how one day I will put my children down and never pick them up again. And then I lifted Zoey who is almost as tall as I am and kind of cuddle-dragged her to make a sandwich with me, hummus and greens, lots of mustard.

I know. How can I be gone for over 3 months and come back with no explanation, talking of mustard?

We'll get to that later.

Today was the first day of school, so there was also this:
 And this:
 And of course:
Third grade and preschool, the smell of fresh paint and new backpacks, things that make me feel clasped and familiar.

But that. The other. I know. I don't mean to be coy--I detest coy--I swear I will tell you soon. For now I will just say this: there was a day I was put down and never picked up again, but I am trying very hard to pick myself up, and I thank you for your kind comments and emails. In the meantime, let's make friends with the elephant in the room. He's really quite nice.

xoxo,
S

Sunday, May 18, 2014

¡Mucha Lucha!

¡Señoras y señores! Today we had a birthday party for the one, the only, Ozzy "Tres Años" el Guapo Mas Fuerte.
The party was el Luchador-themed, natch, and the morning leading up to his party Ozzy ran around the house naked with nothing but his mask on. Of course I tried to take a pic, but he must have sensed a slideshow 30 years from now when I would totally show it at his wedding. (I am going to be the best/worst mother-in-law.) I ended up having a total Gypsy Rose Lee moment just to take the above photo, promising lollipops and another cupcake if he would just show me his muscles. He refused, so you get this, Lucha Irritado con su Madre. Ah, mi amor.

But my dad complied. I owe him and his girlfriend a cupcake + probably an apology for going public with their especial-ness.
Ozzy's real birthday isn't for another 2 weeks, so yes, there will be a schmatzy birthday letter to my little kind-hearted luchador. 

And now for a real Piledriver (I don't know how else to segue from Mexican Wrestling to this)...

Chachi died last week. Last Monday. I came home from work to find that the FIP had progressed so rapidly that he could no longer walk, and one pupil was larger than the other which meant that it had gone into his neurological system and brain. I didn't want him to be in pain, so we had him put to sleep. There are no words for losing him, truly nothing. But this--
He was such a sweet, sweet boy, and we were so lucky to have that furry little belly to rub while we did.  

Now go love on your own fur babies, or hug your kids, or if you don't have either just rub your own belly. In Chachi's memory.
xo,
S

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Impossible

A second after I sat down on the bus I noticed the wad of chewed up gum stuck on the side right next to my armrest. Only it was too late to change seats, the bus was moving, a woman had sat next to me, the bus was full so I told myself not to look at the gum. Just don't look at the gum. I looked at my phone, emails, HuffPo, was it going to get hot this week? The gum was blue. Don't look at the gum--god--how hard is it? Just don't look at the gum. So I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep and thought about what if I sort of shifted in my sleep, would I touch the gum? Fuck, what if I actually touched the gum? I have this irrational fear because when I fall asleep on the bus my mouth inevitably hangs open and I think maybe that someone might put a tab of acid on my tongue and before I know it I will be tripping balls on Market Street. Only this thought was worse, and I spent the next few blocks with my eyes closed wondering if the lady next to me would do that, put the piece of chewed up blue gum in my mouth. The lady was reading a book and the book looked stupid so I thought she might, I don't know, something about her canvas tote told me not to trust her.

What this has to do with anything is nothing except that it's almost Mother's Day and I have been trying to tell myself not to think about it even though I have been writing about it for work, emails, web copy--don't forget!--Mother's Day is this Sunday. Just don't think about it. My first without her. For some reason I went on my mom's Facebook page today and tonight I took out her cellphone, a flip phone. I opened it and smelled it, perfume and cigarettes and her. How long will her smell last? If I could have one more day with her, an hour, if I could just make her laugh again or hold her, hug her--god, she loved to be hugged, I would put that stupid piece of gum in my mouth and chew it. How hard is it?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

=ƎE= (Apparently This Is The Emoticon For Knuckles)

So Ozzy's got this thing, a complicated ritual of greeting or parting, or sometimes just because he wants to give respect/he likes you. It starts off as a high five, then a fist pump (wherein he says pound very seriously), then it evolves into "elbows," then a chest bump (during which both participants are expected to say BOOM), then ending with a high five + a kiss if you're lucky.
Except lately he's been punching me in the throat at the end. Which might be okay for a parting shot if you're fast but sucks as a greeting, especially if it means you get a time out. Which he does. High five, pound, elbows, BOOM, high five, kiss, punch in the throat...time out buddy. Until tonight when I looked in the mirror and noticed that I have been wearing a cheap gold hamsa necklace for the past week or so, a palm-shaped amulet, and asked if that is what he has been punching. Pointless story short, he placed his sticky little boy fingers there on my necklace and said knuckles. Score one for the evil eye.

Quite frankly this story kind of sucks. It's not that interesting and features a photo that I put on Facebook last week. Whatever. I guess I'm just stopping to give you my own little waspy-hugged greeting as if to say hi, what's up? nothing? me neither, alright, take care, talk soon...

Mwah,
S

Thursday, April 24, 2014

8

Dear Zoey,

One day someone is going to fall in love with the freckle on your bottom lip. If he is a poet, he will probably write odes to that freckle; if he is a shoe salesmen he may still. Or she, whatever, the point being there is a freckle on your lower lip that reminds me of hearing my favorite song on the radio while I'm driving with the windows open on a day that smells like sweet grass. Please don't grow up and wear too much lipstick.
Last photo of 7.
Sometimes now when I kiss you goodnight you don't stop talking and I end up kissing your teeth. Something something about Minecraft and the story of how the annoying boy chased you at recess. It all runs together, from the description of your drawing to what happened in the Judy Moody book to where does maple syrup come from and why are you only turning 8 when you were born in 2006 and that was 9 years ago?

I don't know.
First photo of 8.
I don't know how you got to be this person who talks to me about kindness and tide pools. How you are turning 8 when you were born just a second ago and yet have always been a part of me? You used to wear the teeniest little socks printed like Mary Janes and now we wear each other's socks, yours on legs now thin and coltish. When we walk to school you squeeze my hand and I squeeze back in a secret code that I will never, ever tell, but what I will tell is this: sometimes I love you so fiercely it's hard to breathe.
Those are my socks.
It's all so hackneyed, the time and the goes and the fast, even this letter, and so I focus on what is distinctively, perfectly, only you: the freckle on your bottom lip. How your eyelashes look like starfish when you swim. How I stand in the hallway sometimes when you don't know I'm there just to listen to you sing to yourself. How no matter what you are singing it is the most beautiful, purest, truest thing I have ever heard, and how I am the luckiest person in the whole wide world to be your mom.

I love you, I love you, I love you.
Happy birthday, sweet girl.

Forever,
Your mommy

7
6
5 (too pregnant with Ozzy to write 5)
4
3
2
1 (pre-blog)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

We've Got 3 Weeks

I'm not about to get all coy and crap about Mother's Day being three weeks away because I have had my ass handed to me pretty much every year since I labored for 12 hours, pushed for 3 more (all without an epidural), then had to have an emergency c-section and gave birth to Zoey. That is, every mother's day I give little hints and big, I flat-out say what I want and am left feeling sorry for myself. Total martyr mother, which does not a happy day make. Which is why this year I am going to plan the day myself and buy my own mother's day gift. Here are a few of the things I am oogling:


Click here to check out this personalized Intersection of Love canvas. For one, I love the colors. Two, I like the idea of my kids growing up seeing my maiden name on a daily basis. (Three, I realize this coupled with the first paragraph makes me sound like a bit of a narcissist.)

I also really need one of these to go next to my kitchen sink. Maybe I will also have to buy myself a bauble to adorn it?

Speaking of kitchen sink (or everything but), here is the most un-me thing that I really want/need/have to have: this Micro-Green Kit.
For the past year I've had the saddest potted basil in the window above my sink and just added an equally sad cilantro. I suppose I want to add to my sad garden? The truth is, I have this unflagging faith that if I just grow the right herbs and veggies I will stop eating quesadillas for dinner and my basil will grow robust and I will never have cilantro in my teeth. A girl can dream, right?

So there you have it. A few of the things I am thinking of buying myself. Along with a massage and a facial because, duh. That's the thing with planning and buying your own Mother's Day: you get everything you want (I highly recommend it).

It must be said that this is a paid post sponsored by Uncommon Goods. However, and this is a big however, I do truly want all of these things, and I believe in this company. If you don't know about them, check out their mother's day gifts here and gifts for women here...they are a privately-owned retailer with a mission to provide a platform for artists and designers. Most of what they carry is created in the USA and incorporates recycled or upcycled materials.

But enough about them. If you're a mom, it's time to start planning--and shopping--for your day.

xo,
S

Thursday, April 17, 2014

IstanBullshit

Last weekend my brother, my dad and I began the arduous task of cleaning out my mom and Allen's house which, if you know anything about either one of them, you know that means wading through wooden buddhas and mannequins, doll heads smiling through clock faces, books, platform pumps stuck onto the legs of one large frog, snake skins, various animal skulls, feathers, artwork, ribbon, miniature boats and an unfathomable amount of very ploufy bedding, all the while listening to the two parrots talk to each other IN MY MOM AND ALLEN'S VOICES.

You try to not let that get to you.
Here we are, not letting it get to us.

It was near the end of the day when we opened a drawer and found a wad of cash. Or wads. Not sure if that can be plural, but trust me when I say it was a lot of money, albeit Turkish money.

Neither my mom nor Allen have ever been to Turkey.

Not knowing much about Turkish currency, we had no idea if we were looking at $5 or $500, so we counted it and looked up a currency converter, and...at first my brother wouldn't tell me what it said. Instead he made me do it on my phone to make sure he wasn't messing it up somehow. So I did and then we did it again and double checked on Google Images that we were looking at the right bill, and then we looked it up on a few different currency converters but we kept getting the same thing. 530,000 Turkish Lira = $251,000 USD. We found $251,000 in my mom's house in Turkish Lira. Lirasi? I don't know.

The next hour was like a montage in a Quentin Tarantino movie, my brother, my dad and I sitting on the floor surrounded by cash, whispering, greedy, incredulous. Because seriously? That would be so my mom and Allen. To leave us mystery money in another currency left in a drawer that reeked of pot. Where did it come from? Why? But more importantly, how could we exchange it without attracting too much attention?

My brother was flying back home that night so he took one 10,000 bill with him (=$4750 USD) to see if he could exchange it at the airport. He was nervous because, well--Midnight Express (even though he was just flying back to LA). I sent him a text that read: Biiiiilly.

Long story not very short, they told my brother he had to exchange it at a bank, so the next day I took a 10,000 bill to the big Wells Fargo in the San Francisco financial district. I should add that I was nervous, too, because as soon as I opened the big heavy door I tripped over nothing and did a complete yard sale on the hard marble floor. I make a terrible money launderer/smuggler/door walker-througher.

The teller took the money into the back (again, Biiiilly, plus I was already sweaty from tripping in front of everyone) and finally came back with it to tell me that Turkey had reissued their currency in 2009, that the bank note I had was no longer in circulation and thus worthless here, but could be redeemed at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. In Turkey.

To which I called my brother and my dad to say I hear Istanbul is beautiful this time of year.

Here's the thing: this has a 99.9% probability of being stupid. The same 10,000 note that we have (a lot of) sells on ebay for $8, not $4750. But the truth is, I love my mom with everything I am and I love Allen, too, but they couldn't have left us with a bigger mess if they had tried. I joke that trying to settle the estate is like trying to clean up diarrhea with a q-tip.

So I have emailed the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey--so far no response--and if they don't get back to me I will talk to the Turkish embassy. Maybe it's worth nothing--it's very much most likely probably worth nothing--but it's giving me something else to think about, and I can almost hear my mom and Allen laughing with us (or quite possibly at us) as we joke about a family Christmas in a Turkish bath house.
Inşallah. Coincidentally, that is the only word I know in Turkish. It means, "God willing."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm Ok

When we last left off I was feeling rather sorry for myself, so I thought I'd take a quick moment to update you on what I've been doing to make myself feel better.

First off, there's this: my new spirit animal.
This is V.C. Andrews, and if you don't know who that is then you can't sit at this table. And yes, I'm mixing Mean Girls metaphors with Flowers in the Attic, so? So.

So. Me and a few of my favorite people at work have started The No Shame Book Club, and right now we are doing a close reading of the tome Petals on the Wind (in preparation for the Lifetime Original Film of the self-same name debuting at the end of May). This is in stark contrast to my other Legit Book Club Made Up Of Moms From Zoey's School in which we are now reading the biography of the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, and when I say "we" are reading it I mean "I" am totally not reading it and will probably just go to the next meeting for the fine selection of cheese and gossip. But back to Petals on the Wind.

Of course I read all of these books when I was in the 7th grade (My Sweet Audrina being my fave), but it's different to read as an adult slash as someone who has actually french kissed a boy. Here is but a sampling: "How beautiful your breasts are," he said with a low sigh, leaning to nuzzle them. "I remember when you began to grow. You were so shy about them, always wanting to wear loose sweaters so I couldn't see. Why were you ashamed?" BECAUSE YOU'RE HER BROTHER, YOU SICK FUCK. p.s. Happy National Siblings Day, Christopher.

So there's that. V.C. Andrews has been making me feel better, as in I am not locked up in an attic and my head is not too large for my body, nor am I in the 7th grade anymore, thank god. So there is that.

Then there is Nurse Jackie. Please tell me someone watches Nurse Jackie. BECAUSE IT IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN ON TV, the end. (Yes, even better than Breaking Bad because I actually really care about the characters.) Bryan and I have been binging together every night, only I have the sinking suspicion that I am more into it than he is, kind of like a bad relationship when one person is more into it than the other. Just recently we had to break up our Game of Thrones relationship because I couldn't bring myself to care about the dragons anymore. So now he just watches that alone while I read V.C. Andrews, i.e. we are so hot right now.

Also? Cadbury Mini Eggs are keeping me together. And red bell peppers (I eat them like an apple). Melatonin, yum. I am loving these cheap camo pants paired with Converse and have been listening to a lot of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin on Pandora. I think I have finally learned how to style my bangs.

I am ok, everyone. Things still suck, but I am ok.
xo,
S

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Feel Sorry For Myself (And I'm Not Sorry)

The funny thing about grief, I am finding, is that it's embarrassing. Like no, no, everything's fine, stop looking at me like that, ha ha! Make a joke someone please, how do we extract ourselves from this conversation kind of embarrassing. Like maybe I smell, I don't know. Because do I? Smell? Can you smell it emanating from your screen? The smell of bad things happening to someone and you kind of want to turn away? Don't worry, I get it.

It stinks.

Chachi is dying. 
My mom died in September, then we had to put my cat to sleep on the day of my mom's memorial, then we got a new kitten, because rebirth! And then my step-dad died last week and yesterday we found out Chachi, our new kitten, has a rare, incurable and fatal disease called Feline Infection Peritonitis and will die in a matter of weeks, months if we are lucky.

We are not lucky.

There is a zen saying or a Yiddish proverb, or maybe my dad just said it to me once: if we all put our problems in a huge pile and saw everyone else's that we would grab our own problems back. Or maybe it's if we all put our trousers in a pile and saw everyone else's that we would grab our own pants back. 

See how I make jokes when it's really not funny at all? The point being that I know I actually am lucky. I like my pants and I know that my problems could be way, way worse. But goddamn if things don't suck ass right now. I mean--a kitten? A fucking kitten dying??? It's like some off internet joke that's forever too soon...every time you (fill in the blank) a kitten dies. Only the blank this time is me not believing that there will ever be a time again in which I am not wading in embarrassing, clumsy grief.
Fuck this.
xo,
S

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Allen

Once upon a time there was a man who pulled beetles from blocks of metal. 
That might be the wrong way to tell his story, although scarabs are a symbol of rebirth so hopefully that works in a way. 

Other possibilities: He was a jeweler. A contractor. A fisherman. 

No, instead I will tell the story of how once he knew another man, an acquaintance, in the town in which they both lived, and this other man thought his name was Bob or Dave or Bill, something that was most definitely not his name, and he let the other man call him Bob or Dave or Bill rather than embarrass him. They did not see each other often, just the odd run-in on the street, and so it went for years that this other man knew him as the wrong name. No harm, no foul. Until one day the other man moved a few doors down from him and began to socialize with his other friends, and he had to tell him that, in fact, his name was not Bob or Dave or Bill. But rather than embarrass either of them he said it had been his name once, that he had been right to call him that other name then, but he had since changed it. And his name was now Allen.

I love that story.

He was a sailor. A tinker. He used to put blue cream soda in empty Windex bottles and squirt it into his mouth. He could fix anything.

Tonight I found out that Allen passed away, and even though things with him have been so hard for the past few years and even harder since my mom died, grim, confusing, downright awful, I know that his story is more than that.

Once upon a time he was my stepdad, and I loved him.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Tooth Fairy: An Epistolary Post

Saturday, March 22, 8:01 a.m.
Dear Tooth Fairy,
I was so excited for what I was going to get, I was really hoping for 10 dollars! I tried to lose my tooth, I wiggled it, I flicked it to the top of my mouth, I twisted it and I tried everything, nothing worked and after all that effort all you give me is 2 dollars. Just 8 more dollars please. If you don't accept what I need it's okay, I'm used to being upset. But please don't take away my 2 dollars because then I'll be broke because I only have 6 dollars!
Love,
Zoey

Saturday, March 22, 10:41 p.m.

Dear Zoey,

Thank you for your letter. Not many kids write me...it's nice to hear from you.

I'm sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the $2. The thing is, that particular tooth is worth $2. That's the going rate for the Upper Left Lateral Incisor. Different teeth have different rates. For instance, the first tooth you lose is usually worth much more, which may be why you were expecting more money.


It's important to learn that you need to work for your money, earn it and save it up. If you are simply given money (and toys), then you will not appreciate what you have. Unfortunately, I've seen this happen, not just with kids but with grown-ups, too...if people are given anything and everything they want, they only want more and more, and they forget how to appreciate what they have. Eventually this makes people feel sad, and the last thing I want is for you to feel sad.


Listen--I have been alive for 1700 years, three months and 4 days. I have learned a thing or two watching kids grow up, so let me tell you this: money that you earn, a toy that you save up for? That feels so much better than money or a toy that you get just because you want it. Simply put: happiness is found when you want what you already have (and you have so, so much).


At the same time, I am also proud of you for writing a letter to me, for speaking up for what you think is right. This is an important skill. You won't always get what you are asking for, but I want to encourage you to continue to fight for what you are worth, and I don't just mean this in terms of money because you are worth more than $8, more than $800,000,000, more than any amount of money. You are worth everything, and I love that you felt confident enough to write me. So even though the tooth was only worth $2, I am going to leave you a little more because you had the guts to ask. I won't give you the $8 you are asking for, though, because I want you to earn the rest. Here's an idea: ask your parents what you can do to earn the rest of the money. I am sure that together you will be able to think of something.


Anyway, it's such a pleasure watching you grow up. Me and the other fairies are so proud of you and how well you're taking care of your teeth (although you have to remember to brush before school every day!).



You are amazing.


Love,

The Tooth Fairy


p.s.Thanks for the ring. It's too big for my finger but looks great as a belt. I love it!

Sunday, March 23, 8:17 p.m.
Dear You,

Let's just pretend I didn't disappear for a few weeks with no explanation. Because quite frankly the explanation is icky and I don't know how to write about it, if I should at all. Apologies for the vaguery--I do hate me some vaguery--I also hate hearing about dreams, though I do want to point out that teeth falling out is a symbol of anxiety, of losing something, not sure how the Tooth Fairy figures into all of that. Though I will say she is right...happiness is found when you want what you already have, and in that way I am very, very happy.

Missed you.

Love,
Susannah

p.s. Ugh. I'm sorry all. I hate hate hate vague posts, and I ended this with such vaguedouchery. I am fine. My family is fine. The Ick of which I speak has to do with my mom's estate...maybe one day I will be far enough away from it to write about it. Or not, and we'll just talk about kittens.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

#Promagram #TBT #EvenThoughItsWednesday

I wore a dress I designed myself: forest green velvet bodice with a black chiffon skirt. Bryan was too cool to wear a tux; he picked me up in his dad's classic Volkswagen Microbus. There were no seats in the back, so he put down a mattress with a pile of crochet blankets his grandma had made and we parked way out in the middle of nowhere and slept there after everything.
I don't know if his parents know that part, about the bus, but they are my in-laws now so let me just say sorry on this Throwback Thursday and divert their attention to how plump our skin looked back then.

Fast forward to now when we are all paradoxically worried about protecting our private information with encrypted identities and passwords that we forget while simultaneously oversharing our online persona, myself included (especially myself). Because, see? Once upon a Thursday I was younger, my eyebrows thicker, and what is up with my hair? Thank god you cannot actually see the dress I designed. I post this as a #MeToo, but also, admittedly, as a #GiveMeValidation, #ForWhatIDontKnow. I am annoyed with myself while also loving the collective nostalgia that is Throwback Thursday when we all post photos of a time that seemed simpler, dorkier, our skin smoother. Because, see? That is all. Just see me, and I will see you.

(What you cannot see but I will tell you is that it rained later that night after prom and at daybreak we fell asleep on the mattress listening to metal pings of rain on the roof of the VW bus while sticking our toes through the holes in the crochet and somewhere I still have that awful dress in a box.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

7 Truths and 1 Lie

Quick! I have 30 minutes to write a post before I have to jump in the shower to rinse #6N Brilliant Brunette out of my hair before it turns into more of a #6AhHellNo. Trouble is, I got nothing. Just a couple of gray hairs that glint just so in the bathroom mirror at work and a handful of weird facts that don't fit anywhere else, so here goes:

1. There is a genetic mutation called Alexandria's Genesis that causes deep purple eyes, pale skin and no body hair, although it does not affect the hair on your head or eyelashes/eyebrows. Women with this mutation do not menstruate, but are still fertile. (In other words: no shaving, no period, purple eyes = why can't I have this mutation?)
2.  Semordnilap is a word that, when spelled backwards, creates a new word such as stressed/desserts, regal/lager, deliver/reviled. It is also "palindromes" backward. This makes for fascinating small talk, trust.
3. If you ever doubt camaraderie amongst strangers, watch a line of cars band together to prevent an asshole from cutting in line.
4. Freshly shaved legs feel just like dolphins.
5. There should be a gym that makes you pay $10 for every day that you don't go. That's not really a fact, but a free idea.
6. One time, Woody Harrelson came up to me at McDonald's, took a french fry off my tray, looked me in the eye and said, "Nobody will ever believe you."
7. The only place you can tickle yourself is by using your tongue on the roof of your mouth. (Double dog dare you to try it.)
8. The only thing more ignored than the allergy test instructions on hair dye is the warning label on cookie dough.
Oops, it's been 35 minutes.
Adios, bitchachos.
S

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Public Service Announcement

Whatever you do, don't buy a bikini wax from Living Social at a place you've never heard of, particularly if that place turns out to be in a strip mall next door to Domino's Pizza. Then? If the lady makes you wait for 35 minutes even though you made an appointment? Don't act as if you're even mildly inconvenienced, seeing as how this is the same person who will be applying hot wax to your lady garden in about 5 minutes.

But wait, there's more.

If that same lady asks you if you want it all off and you say no, but at the exact moment you say no she answers her cell phone, maybe you shouldn't let her start slathering said hot wax on your bits while she has her phone still cradled with one shoulder. Chances are, she is not listening to you. These chances go up if she drops her cell phone on your vagina and picks it up and carries on her conversation as if you are simply a table, albeit a sticky one.

Too much?

Lastly: if at some point she asks you to flip over and you don't want to appear prudish or dumb so you do it, well then. I have nothing more to say about that.

The good news (I am nothing if not an optimist) is that I no longer want to get a hairless cat because, ew. Also? This gif has nothing to do with this story except for the fact that you're going to have to trust me when I say you really don't want a pertinent photo. Plus, I just freaking adore me some pissed off Joan Crawford (she is my spirit animal).
xo,
S

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Climate Change

My house looks out on bay marshland so we see the tide go in, go out, the bike path disappear during a full moon. It's nice, this unspoken tie to it all, something that I forget sometimes, take for granted most times. Although one of my favorite small pleasures happens when I get off the bus at the end of the day from my commute back from the city--I take a deep breath of salt air. It smells of sweet grass and right.

Which is why it suddenly struck me how wrong it is that every photo I have taken this winter is of us sailing or swimming or at the beach, short sleeves and warm. We are smiling, I won't lie. 72 degrees in January is amazing, but it is an unsettled amazing. Amazement met with worry, with a gut level realization that this is wrong, because really? This is the driest year in recorded history and everywhere I go conversations are peppered with percentages of rainfall, record high temperatures and the rapid increase of catastrophic fire. My skin is dry, my eyes feel gritty, my banana plant died from frost or lack of water, not sure, the hills are the silver gray of teak. I am scared, and I want to turn to Zoey and Ozzy and apologize profusely because this is my fault--our fault--not theirs. We fucked up, and now they have to live with it.



So here we are. It's been a beautiful winter, stunning. Today we went on a bike ride and I wore a tank top. I am trying, but it's hard to see the glass half full when the Sierra snow pack is grasping at 17%.