Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friday: My Most Revealing Post Ever (Note The Use Of A Colon)

There are so many ways to start this post, none of them mature, so let's just get it out of the way because shit's about to get real around here. For years I've been nagging my doctor to schedule me for a colonoscopy because my uncle passed away from colon cancer at 40, but my doctor said I could wait until I was 50. The thing is, I didn't want to wait. They say that death begins in the colon. Now, I'm not sure who "they" are, but that's a pretty shitty thing to say. Not that I necessarily want a camera snaked up my bum, but I also know that shit happens. 

Everyone who's ever had 5 feet of surgical tubing inserted into their colon will tell you that the prep you have to do the night before is the worst part, and I am not about to argue that point. (Seriously though--it's 5 feet; I asked.) I jokingly thought I would live-blog the event, or at least do a mock live blog, so I took this pic of me with the mixture of the stuff you have to drink before I even tasted it. Here I am perky, trying to be cute, happy if a little hangry from having to fast for the entire day. Looking back on this pic I see what an asshole I was being, no pun intended, because...
The stuff you have to drink is heinous. Like the spit of a mean person heinous. And you have to drink 2 liters of mean person spit within 2 hours, which basically means you're chugging something you can barely choke down. (Pay no attention to the unintentional placement of Zoey's chalk drawing behind me.)
After this picture, i.e. after the very first glass, everything went dark. As in the mean person spit started to work, and holy fire hose, people. I think we can all agree that my trying-to-be-funny idea to "live blog" the event was beyond fucking stupid. There are simply no words to describe what occurred in my bathroom for the next 8 hours, except to say that Bryan slept on the couch that night and there was a point sometime past midnight that I thought for reals that I was probably going to die from the sheer velocity of it all. I mean, if I didn't shit myself forward, cracking my head on the tile floor, then surely there was a very real possibility of me falling off the toilet because I was so dizzy from the medicine and the not eating. And the shitting. Did I mention the shitting? 

You guys, believe me when I say I am someone that has gone 4 decades without admitting to ever having gone poop. So the fact that I am even writing this post is a testament to a.) my absolute disbelief that colonoscopies are a thing we should all do, and b.) that I want people to be less afraid of shitting themselves to death via colonoscopy than shitting themselves to death via cancer.

Because I didn't. Die, that is. The next morning I woke up and had to drink yet another 2 liters of the mean person spit. Only this time it was less violent as there was simply nothing left to vile. Except bile. Out of my butt. Too much? Please, we've come this far. Bryan drove me to the hospital with me clenching the whole way there while Googling on my phone "do people ever poop on the doctor during a colonoscopy?" (Surprisingly, there were not that many direct hits to this inquiry, which I still think is a valid question.)

I had wanted to Sharpie something on my butt for the doctor beforehand, but in the throes of prep I forgot to be funny. Instead I just asked him if anyone ever did that, and he said yes, once he had a guy write Go Giants on his ass. I laughed, and thought for a second that I should probably tell him that when I was little I had swallowed a Weeble Wobble once, that he might find it in there because I don't remember it ever coming out, but then I thought that maybe he would think that I had put it IN my butt, so I didn't say anything, suddenly ashamed of that 35 year old stomach-acid-eaten Weeble Wobble, and then they put something in my IV and all of a sudden it didn't bother me at all that someone said they were going to insert the camera in my rectum now. There was a power ballad on, and I was awake but also not, as I usually am when listening to power ballads. I guess my eyes were closed; I guess some time went by. All I know is that there was some tugging and pushing and then the doctor said there was a small polyp, and I opened my eyes and looked at it on the screen. Yes! I said out loud, which was maybe a strange thing to say, strange to say anything at all, but I was happy that there was a reason for being, or a reason for shitting, a raison de la merde, I don't know. Just yes?

Later, after it was over and I was dressed, the doctor came out to shake my hand (dude, I know), and to tell me that they had taken one small polyp that was probably nothing but they would biopsy it. So it was small? He said yes. Like small and dainty, a pretty polyp? He said it was not dainty per se, just small and probably nothing, and then he told Bryan that I was not allowed to drive for 24 hours, or cook or go on social media, that I should probably just stop talking because I was still under conscious sedation, which seemed very modern and fair. The rest of the day had rounded edges and was pleasant.

So there it is. In 10-14 days I will find out that my polyp is most likely nothing, but if I had waited until I was 50, who knows? The bottom line (groan): if I can do it, me--someone who barely acknowledges pooping--then you can do it. Please, get a colonoscopy.

And because you stuck with me this long, this, just for shits and giggles...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

R is for...

I'm just going to leave this here.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015


If you know me in real life then you know I've been trying to make overalls happen for the last year or so. Not like I'm a trendsetter-- No, more that I had such a good time in overalls circa 1993 that I really want them to work on me again. Screw the fact that I was 21 in 1993 and not 21 now (you do the math). I think I should look like I did then, or at the very least like an overalled Winona Ryder back in the day. You know, because I have short hair now and all. Twinsies!
I mean, right? Totally could be me.

Except it's not. Couldn't. Isn't and never was. It wasn't in the first pair I bought from Madewell that were supposed to look good on everyone. (Lie.) And it wasn't in the 3 vintage pairs I bought from Urban Outfitters. It wasn't in the stupid expensive ones I bought from Anthro either. (I can't even link to those, I am so ashamed of how much I was willing to pay, i.e. how much I wanted 1993 back.)

Every time I ordered, tried on, and sent back overalls I told myself that was it. It just isn't meant to be. 1993 is gone. I have a muffin top and naso-labial folds now. Naso-labial folds and overalls are simply not meant to go together outside of a pottery studio. But then I would see another pair on a blog and feel like maybe I just hadn't found the right pair. And I would order them again.

And again. Today I got the latest maybes, another Madewell find--the Flea Market Flare. I mean, you guys, I love flea markets! Surely these would work. I had ordered two sizes and went about pulling the smaller pair on. They were...stiff. Snug. Not like 1993 overalls which had been faded and soft, floppy. These were fitted. Sharp. Intentional overalls. I'm not sure overalls are meant to be intentional? But I also know that all things get updated. So I sucked in my gut. Thought perhaps a different shirt underneath? With heeled boots? Maybe...?

That's when Bryan found the larger size and tried them on to show me how ridiculous I looked. How ridiculous 2015 overalls are, how I am not a 21 year old Winona or even a 40-something Gwen Stefani rocking a pair with a crop top beneath. No, I am more like an SNL Pat.
(I admit--at this point I thought still, maybe they could work. Until Zoey took our picture and showed me just how dowdy they looked.)
To some degree, Bryan actually looks better in the Flea Market Flare than I, something about his slim hips, perhaps. Or maybe it's the camel toe.
After I saw the pictures, I knew. I'm definitely returning these. Which is nice in that I am saving $$$, but also nice in that I can stop stalking 1993 now. You know, don't go chasing waterfalls, and all that.
(Although maybe? If I find a super soft vintage pair? Shut up. Why can't I stop?)
Stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to...

Friday, September 11, 2015

September the You-Know-What

Today is September 11. Tomorrow is September 12.

The first date makes you pause. Tense up. Remember and feel bad, vaguely heavy and where were you? Last week I noticed that my milk was due to expire on September 11. It took me a second, but then that date looked strange stamped all nonchalantly on a gallon of milk like that.

I know you see it too. Maybe not on your milk but on your cheese perhaps, all of our Facebook feeds full of when our worlds stopped 14 years ago today. Never forget. So we don't. Can't. Because forgetting would be somehow rude to those that died, their families, though I don't know that they care. I am pretty sure that when I die I will want to be remembered for how I lived, celebrated for my life and not for the way I died. 

I am strangely afraid of how you will read that, but I stand by it. Instead of the day-long zeitgeist of sadness and vague fear, what if every September 11 we eat kale salad with warm panko-crusted goat cheese, drink Slurpees, watch reality tv, gossip, debate politics, embarrass our children by dancing stupid in living rooms across this great nation of ours? What if we turn the day into a celebration of each of those 2,977 Americans who died, into a celebration of us all? Because fuck terrorists. They don't get to have every September 11 forever and ever, amen.

September 12. Apparently my milk will be sour by tomorrow. It is also the 2 year anniversary of my mom's death. Zoey has her first soccer game. When I got the soccer schedule I looked at the date thinking wait, I have something else to do that day. And then I remembered. Of course. September 12.

But do I? Have something else to do? What do I do? Such a strange thing to commemorate, a death day. I feel guilty not spending the day mourning my mom, remembering her, creating some sort of ceremony out of her death as a way to control the uncontrollable. This day two years ago. Where were you?

I think we can all agree that cancer is a terrorist, and conversely that terrorists are a cancer. They took September 11, 2001, and for me, September 12, 2013. But what if we took back those days in the future? I mean, if Bin Laden were still alive and on Facebook, I'm pretty sure he would love the fact that our feeds are full of images of the planes crashing into the towers. Fuck that. Fuck Bin Laden. Fuck cancer. Let's fill up our feeds with American mundanity: pictures of sunsets and stories of period panties, videos of Jimmy Fallon's lip sync battles. Tomorrow I am going to Zoey's soccer game. I will bring snacks and a blanket to sit on. Afterward we might get fro-yo. We might not. Then the next day will be September 13. And I will still love and miss my mom.
Happy this day to you, and tomorrow, too.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Boy

The photo of the dead Syrian boy who washed up onto a beach in Turkey.
I can't stop looking at it. Like I see an article and even though I already know the story, saw the photo, I click on it, click past the warning of a graphic image, and I see it again and again and again.
There is nothing I can say that others haven't said better. Something about his shoes. His body heavy with the sleep of a 3 year old boy. Every parent knows that repose. Except of course we don't because this boy is dead. 
I go in at night to look at my own children sleeping. I am in disbelief that the world has given me this love, this luck, this burden of knowing how hair trigger close I am to losing it all, the difference only in where I was born.
Something still different but also the same: I read somewhere that Sandy Hook marked an end to the war on gun control in the US once America decided killing children was bearable, and yes. I am still friends with The Brady Campaign on Facebook, but I am also friends with Chipotle and Kate Spade.
What do I do, what do I do, what do I do? I donate to the Refugee Crisis. I read more articles. I click on the link thinking that making myself look at the photo honors the boy, humanizes him, maybe wondering if at a certain point it will no longer shock me, the photo of a little boy so much like my own, face down dead in the sand. 
Thousands of people pushing to get on a train that doesn't move. Other than that, inclusive of that, I don't know.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I stopped eating gluten. Developed a taste for ghee. I learned the fine art of pomade and we swam in the pool, the lake, the ocean. (Not that those things are necessarily related.) We watched Charlotte's Web and Stand By Me, both of which took some fast forwarding. I told Ozzy to say please when he yelled at me from the bathroom to wipe his butt. I did this 243 times.

This is the slow end of that particular montage, and while I know sentiment is cheap, I can hear the music rising.

Today was the first day of school. It slips in quietly surrounded by noise, and before you know it you are taking photos of a 4th grader and your son in Pre-K, standing on your lawn brown from the drought.

Don't. Stop. Don't. Stop. Remember how Popeye would say that in the old cartoons when Olive Oyl was kissing him? The joke being that as he said it faster it sounded as if he was asking her not to stop. I thought that was so funny when I was a kid. Don't. Stop. Don't. Stop. Don't. Stop.

4th grade and Pre-K. This is the first day.


Monday, August 24, 2015


I am so in love with my family. And I'm not just talking about Bryan and the kids, although yeah, I have to watch how hard I hug them, because sweet Jesus, they are squeeze-y. No, I'm talking about my family family: aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins once removed, removed from what, I don't know because I love them so.

When I was in Israel, which--well let me just back up. I kind of hate starting anything with when I was in Israel because I don't want that to be my thing. I don't want that to be the most interesting thing about me. Whatever. Moving on. Love. My family. When I was in Israel I felt terribly far away from everything that made me me. So I pulled the chemo card and sent an email to my extended family to initiate a family reunion. It had been too long since we had all been together. I didn't want to wait for another wedding or god forbid a funeral to see them.

My Aunt Eleanor offered up her farm in New Hampshire along with a family summer cottage 20 minutes away, and after months of exchanging emails it was set.

So last week we traveled from San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Phoenix, Oregon, Nebraska and Santa Fe and spent time teasing each other, laughing, swimming in lakes, kayaking, looking through old photos, and staying up until 4am to talk. It was one of the best vacations I have ever taken.

The farm, aka Uplands.
Oz walking from the cider press barn with all the tractors to the original barn with the chickens.
He was more than a little infatuated with the chickens. In fact, I am trying to figure out if I should do the whole urban-chicken-thing, although cleaning cat litter is already too much for me.
Me and my cousin, Tess. She is my sister from another mister, although that other mister is my uncle so technically that means she is my cousin. But she may as well be my sister. One of my favoritest people on earth, and the only one who likes to do bad accents as much as I do.
Zoey and cousin Ian chilling in the hammock. Some of my best childhood memories are with my cousins, and I so hope Zoey and Oz have the same experiences.
Speaking of cousins, mine are tall. Farish, 6'8", Lucas 6'6", and Georgia, 6'. Not pictured: Oliver, 6'4". I got the hair that flairs red with the sun, freckles, brown eyes and the twisted dark humor, but sadly I did not get the tall gene.
Lake swimming! So much lake swimming. It was a first for my west coast kids, but they loved it, hard. 
How could they not? There was a Sunfish, kayaks, a canoe, a row boat, a rope swing over the lake, and a thousand water skeeters that stopped no one.
Zoey and Ian in the kayaks.
Ozzy was pumped on jumping into lakes.
He also loved the tractors. So chickens, lakes and tractors = his new favorites.
Also...children of the corn. Or El Hombre of the corn. Whichever.
We stayed at Tip Ridge, my aunt's summer cottage on a lake and it was straight out of On Golden Pond. Here are the cousins reading a book. I mean, right???
The sun porch might replace a remote beach on Mykonos as my special place I go to in my head when I am getting my blood pressure taken. So. Freaking. Peaceful.
Forget freaking. It was FUCKING AMAZING.
Back at the farm we went to the frog pond, picked apples and played field golf.
And this happened. But I don't like to think about it because creep-to-the-New England-eee.
On the last night we had dinner in the barn and watched old family videos including one that all of us older cousins made on Christmas 19 years ago called The Real World, Santa Fe. I hadn't seen it since we made it in 1996. We were 24 and drunk and stupid and wow, it was embarrassing. But fun. Fuck, we have fun together.
You know, chemo sucked. I cried, I puked, I even pooped my pants a little, but goddamn if it wasn't worth it to remind myself of the importance of family. I love these people, my tall freckled witty smart family who not only reminds me of where I come from, but where I can always go.

Do me a favor and call a cousin today. ;)

Love you all,

And a special thanks to my Aunt Eleanor for hosting, and to Susan for organizing.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


The year I was born a Big Mac cost .65 cents. I wish I could taste it. I bet it tasted different.

Zoey hates her camp this week. Feels left out from her friends, is afraid of Stand Up Paddleboarding, told me to throw away the camp shirt because she is never going back there again. 

She has been on Instagram for a few months now, set to private. We sit together and look at her friend requests and delete anyone I don't know. She posts pictures of Cinque and Ike, her Littlest Pet Shops, of her brother asleep. She "likes" every single photo people post, and when I told her you're not supposed to do that, only the ones you really love, she asked me why. I don't know what I said, only that she told me that's stupid. Why not "like" every picture because it makes people feel good?

Tomorrow she is not going back to that camp.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Check Out My New Hair Don't

This is for those of you who say, oh, but it must be easier! Right? Short hair. Just wash and go! Except this is how it looks when I wake up in the morning. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Straight up Don King. So no, it's not easier, or even easy. It's fuzzy and weird, curly thick and downright lofty. Which means my sink is littered with pomades and creams, pastes, and god I hate the word paste. (Product is not much better.) So when you see me looking like this, kind of awkward and wrestled, patted down and pulled, know that this is the best I can do and please don't look at me too long.
Seriously. Look away. A great big nasally meh

I thought maybe I might be ready for hair accessories, the very thought of which filled me with exclamation points and the hope of a thousand Lisa Frank stickers! Except this:
I don't know but something about it feels very Ethel Mertz, and I do not aspire to being anyone's neighbor. Maybe it's the polka dots? Maybe women over 40 should stay far away from polka dots? *sigh* So I tried another headband/scarf thingie, only...
...only there's not enough there there. Enough hair or 'do or even don't. I just kind of look like I forgot that there is a something on my head because clearly it is not serving an actual purpose.

Oh, I also tried bobby pins, barrettes, both of which were too sad to photograph, plus a metal leaf headband that would look absolutely darling on Michelle Williams. But.

It's kind of my fault. I was talking to my friend who said I just need a hair stylist to partner with, to help me grow it out gracefully and teach me how to deal in the meantime. The problem is I've always been a total hoary slut when it comes to my hair. Never seeing the same stylist twice, going wherever Groupon takes me, trimming my own bangs, Supercuts because sometimes you just need a little, you know? And now here I am needing a real relationship with someone who knows me, my hair, and I got nothing.

Nothing but a big bush. And you. Anyone have any ideas? Tips? I mean, I don't even know if I should get haircuts to clean up the back and the sides, try to maintain a short cut until some mystery switch is ready to be flipped to go long, or do I just go full bush from the get go, close my eyes and think of England?

Please send help. Especially if his name is Chaz Dean.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Will Be

It occurred to me today that my mom would have loved to talk about Caitlyn Jenner with me. Hours of convo right there, and it made me sad that my mom never got to know that Bruce Jenner was really a woman inside.

There are other things she will never know. That I have (had?) MS. What I look like with a pixie cut. She will never know that # is a hashtag and not the number symbol, she will never hear the song, "Happy."
This is not to say that I spend a lot of time brooding over my mom. I don't really, or I do, but I don't. It's just a shock sometimes when I realize she is still gone and that Bruce is now Caitlyn.

Of course it also occurred to me today that I have a dad who is one of my best friends. I have a husband that I geniunely like, kids & in-laws that I love. I am lucky in seventeen hundred ways and only unlucky in sixteen hundred and ninety-nine. Down 7, up 8. But who's counting?

Halloween is only 3 months away, something I also realized today when I looked at the calendar. My friend, Penny, who is a goddamn Halloween genius told me I simply must incorporate my hair into my costume, and I have to agree. I anticipate reaching Cosmo Kramer by then, maybe Al Sharpton, something with loft and fluff, definite inexplicable curl, Patrick Dempsey in Can't Buy Me Love, a poodle, a cone of cotton candy, a chia pet, a dandelion, close your eyes and make a...

What? I welcome all suggestions in the comments below.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Where I've Been And What I've Been Eating, + A Tour Of My House (A Fascinating Exposé On The Last Few Weeks)

Remember when I told you I was going to rehab?
Only the rehab was for sugar, and I began seeing a nutritionist who not only said no sugar but also no dairy, no gluten, no grains, no soy, no vinegar, no corn and strangely no pineapple or fluoride either? Yeah, that. Well here I am freebasing something called L-glutamine to curb the cravings of my molto dolce vita past. Life is such that I perv out on 86% cacao now, but only sparingly, choke it down chalky with a handful of raw almonds and water, but not tap water because tap water has fluoride in it and I am intolerant to fluoride. Sans fluoride and brushing with hippie paste, maybe soon I will have nasty crack teeth to match my coke whore habit of rubbing L-glutamine on my gums.* *footnote: I have never actually done coke. Just not my jam. Not that I judge you if you do. Except if you're this guy in which case I totally judge you, though you do seem rather polite. 

In hindsight, this was not the ideal time to re-do my whole way of eating, what with me going back to work. It was also probably not the best time to do a major remodel on our house, but that sort of happened by accident. See, when we went to the beach for a week before I went back to work we had intended to get new windows put in our house. Super clean, in/out, the windows were supposed to be installed by the time we got back. The old ones were single pane aluminum and you could feel the wind blow through them, that sort of boring blah adult decision thing that makes your throat close up as if swallowing a very large vitamin. But when the contractor opened the wall to put in the windows he found buckling beams which led to the discovery of rotten siding and a deck that was thisclose to collapse. And suddenly our quickie window job became a chaotic ka-ching of you're-fucked-if-you-don't-do-it-and-screwed-if-you-do, also known as re-siding the whole house, painting it, new windows and shoring up beams and a little deck rebuild. 

I should also mention that before we went to the beach for a week we had ordered a port-a-potty for the workers. My husband told them that because I am immuno-compromised we can't have everyone using our bathroom. Which was something of a white lie. Anyhoo, the day that we drove back I had to pee super bad. When we finally pulled into our driveway, Bryan parked the car and I raced into the kids' bathroom doing an impressive pee-pee dance, and gah! The toilet was inexplicably taped shut with blue painter's tape. I thought maybe that was just a construction thing, so I did some kegels and leaned down to quickly unpeel the tape from beneath and opened the lid to find a massive shit in the toilet. Like the size of a dinner plate. And a few days old at least. Someone not only took a huge shit in the toilet and didn't flush it, but also taped the lid down. And because I was kneeling down to untape the toilet, my face was inches away when I saw it. Touché dear construction workers who apparently did not like the Honey Bucket we ordered for them.

So that's where I have been. Coming face to face with shit, living in a construction site of dust and plaster, eating fistfuls of legumes, eggs and probiotics. Every morning before work we had to re-tarp our entire house, and every night when we came home we had to untarp our beds to sleep. Quite the re-entry into working full-time again. I was white-knuckling the Before-ness of it all.
Which is why I haven't been here. Because my laptop was under a tarp, but also because of chaos and dust and strange men walking into my house starting at 6:45am. 

I still don't know which one of them is responsible for the big shit, but we are very nearly almost done, so I am willing to forgive. Here is our living room today:
Note the new windows--we have to keep the labels on them until our inspection is done. The window wall was the one buckling.
Bear in mind: I am not a decor blogger. While I would very much like to get rid of my porn-backdrop stone facade of a fireplace, it's not happening because $$$, so I have decided to embrace the brown chicken brown cow vibe.
In addition to being paper thin, the previous windows also had bad bubbling tinted shit all over them, as if we were looking out into the world through the windshield of a used Gremlin. So that's gone. Though you might notice the crumbling deck is not yet done.
Ozzy's Spicoli van holds a multitude of sins/toy mess.

Speaking of which, here is Ozzy's room with new windows.
And Zoey's room. Her old sliding glass door had been installed backwards, so the lock was all wrong. Now it's all right, alright (alright), and she took the opportunity to paint her room blue. (*sob* the days of little girl pink are over.)
And finally our room. Where the proverbial magic happens. Our old window didn't open and was cracked. I chose not to take that as a symbol of anything.
So that's where I've been. What I've been eating. 20 grams of protein per meal and 7 servings of vegetables a day. Did you know there is soy in pretty much everything?! It's hard as fuck, but easier now that I have my table untarped to sit at.

Missed you all.