Category Archives: Random

a moment in the movie Ice Age, I believe, when one of the character is facing impending doom but gets distracted by a squirrel as it passes–these posts represent the best of my tangential magpie-ness…

Exploring Happy Today

Things that make my math brain happy:

Today I realized that I will turn 44 on 11/4/11. No idea how I missed that until now.

Chloe notes that on Elise’s next birthday, Elise will be an ‘Old Fart’. She’ll be 18.  So as of 11/4/11, I will be [(Old Fart x 2) + 8] in Chloe math.

Things that make my grammar brain happy:

Today in the thrall of the breakfast routine, I exclaimed, “Go eat, Children!” but how differently that would read as, “Go eat children.”

Things that make my humor brain happy:

After carefully preparing an enzyme-rich repast for my budding scholars, I hear Chloe say “I am eating American tribal fare and Chinese cuisine.”  Breakfast was Frosted Flakes and leftover Panda Express.

The Scholastic Book Fair was on today at school. Some noteworthy dad strolls up with two kids and a life-sized RC replica of R2D2.  (Of course, I got photo proof!) As R2 was strolling into school, he hit a concrete bump and his butt fell off. Talk about an authentic reproduction!

Some awesome dad’s R2D2, replete with faulty butt panel (not pictured)

Yesterday on the way home from school, all three of my kids somehow got the idea that licking their armpits seemed worthy of exploration. They were all successful.

This weekend my roommate was getting a footrub from her husband and suggested that maybe her clitoris had migrated to the bottom of her foot. She then rubbed his clitoris (which was on the bottom of his foot, naturally).

Things that make me happy in general:

New friends and old friends.

My pending trip to Depoe Bay with two fabulous women, one of whom was my roller skating buddy in sixth grade (go, Andy Gibb) and the other whom I have known since my junior year in high school, just before we all found out that George Michael was gay. This trip may involve too many carbs of various mediums, much laughter, and hopefully a fire on the beach. The more ‘mature’ I become, the more these friendships mean to me.

This amazing, crisp, sunny, weather-amnesia day in the PNW when Mt. Hood is glorious, the sky is crisp, and the fall leaves are resplendent.

The endless supply of popcorn at Les Schwab and the fact that we have piles of books from the Scholastic Book Fair. And that I have kids that read.

Things that make me just shy of happy:

My squeaky brakes which brought us here.




Deep and Abiding Love of Costco, Cups that Run

I often say, ‘A moment of silence in honor of my deep and abiding love of Costco…’ which is, quite naturally, followed by a moment of silence. At least when I stage the presentation well.

The specific Costco goods which inspire me thus vary: it has been dried apples (which the Costco gods discontinued), Fage Greek yogurt (which the Costco gods also discontinued), there is always the TP by the gross, writing utensils by the buckets-full, dental floss, protein drinks, diapers, marble tracks, Dead Guy Ale, and the only predictably decent avocados one woman can find. Really my devotion is multi-faceted and even despite their phasing out of certain items of appeal, unwavering.

Once again, Costco pulls through for me.

As many of you know this week has been one helluva! I’ve moved and am living with friends–dear friends, but an unusual situation and one I didn’t expect to find myself in. Our company is near death, with the ex winding it down. Change in status, change in employment, trying to ramp up something entrepreneurial quickly and dynamically in the midst of this so as to spend as little time as possible not able to make my own hours–charting my own destiny. Oh, and moving, packing, painting, cleaning, unpacking, dealing with the consequences which my carbohydrate coping prescription (willing suspension of disbelief for that other post about having licked that one please) has affected upon my once-again-extant belly fat. Dammit.

Didn’t quite feel like slitting my wrists this week, but did consider that it would be easier to not wake up one day.

So I was feeling a little sorry for myself–not gonna lie–when I went into Costco in search of avocados and pine nuts. Moment of silence in honor of my deep and abiding love of Costco…

I was cruising the isles as is my wont, when I happened upon a demo of a massage pad which fits nicely over the top of any given seat. I sat on said given chair. I turned on the machine. I reposed there, staring out between the stacks of goods on the opposite shelf and processed worthily. At first I thought, “I should get up. I’ve probably been sitting here too long,” like the chair police had a bead on me and they would let society know.

Then I got outside myself. I began to view this scene metaphorically, a hobby of mine.  Despite this shitty week in which I feel unemployed in Greenland (Princess Bride). I am in a store surrounded by people, and a massage chair presents itself. I said yes to that chair. I could have done the socially approved thing and not stayed there; but instead, I closed my eyes, and I took a nap. Right there smack dab in the middle of Costco, I sat in that chair and slept while it massaged me. I felt rebellious and symbolic, and I knew that I would be okay because even if the group of women speaking in a foreign tongue which passed me were talking about the strange woman in the chair, a place of rest had found me, and I recognized it and accepted that rest gratefully.

“He prepares a table for me in the presence of mine enemies,” recontextualized just a smidge… My cup runneth over.

(The corollary, of course: this proves that I am going to be one of THOSE old ladies!)


The Butterfly Effect by Def Lepard

Yesterday was a terrific day. I started out the day spending it with someone I like very much who made me a wonderful breakfast, I made some great contacts for my business, I got free tickets to a concert with some of my very favorite people whom I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with, bumped into another dear friend whom I had lost contact with, and then in the parking lot after the concert, I ran into two friends from my puppyhood and we got to spend about 30 minutes hunting for our respective cars and chatting about life. Turns out we were parked about six spots away from each other. What are those odds? I spent good motion professionally and personally. I slept well.

Digesting this a bit more, it would have been really easy not to go. I am over-loaded with a pending move, behind in my marketing bootcamp assignments, I left late and could have stayed home. I was unfamiliar with the venue, arriving alone, a bit late. I like these people a lot but this is our first outside-of-work social event and I was kind of nervous. I parked about a mile away from the concert hall, didn’t know which entrance to go into and my cell phone was close to death. But I found a gate and got in without a ticket. I eventually hooked up with my peeps. After going for a beer and a pee, I got separated from my friend. It was while I was looking around that I found my friend who literally attended the home birth of my firstborn. It was dark as I walked back into the crowd to look for my hosts. I spent a few minutes hunting for them before I just gave up and stood alone feeling kind of conspicuous in the middle of the venue. Thought about going home but didn’t. My phone lasted. We texted and re-found each other. Some 80’s dancing later, we went to our respective exits having had a very fun time of it, and that is where I ran into my friends from, I kid you not, elementary school.

What if I had left the concert when I got separated? What if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort level and gone? What if I just let my puppy friends pass without flagging them down? I wouldn’t have built a stronger friendship that matters to me with my hosts–one that I would like to invest more time in. I wouldn’t have caught up with my birthing buddy. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have access right back into my small town high school set? I wouldn’t have bought that $9 beer. And I wouldn’t have been able to dance very badly to Pyromania.

So get off your ass and go do that thing that you really don’t want to do but think might be good for you anyway. Choose expansion over contraction. Unless, of course, they are the right KIND of contractions!


Upon this ball of dirt, each has a task–

An inner-driven ‘I have got to be…’

“Shall I commit to course?” most dare not ask.

The answer, tho, is MUST–it seems to me.


‘Tis soul deforming to evade the call:

Alignment of thine talents, dreams, and chances.

Remove, then, hope and vacancy install

When one shows up for life refusing dances.


The day when I articulate solution

Is not so very far–this I can feel.

Anticipating elements Confucian,

For learning, peace & love are things most real.


Do join my walk as I pursue discovery

Embarking on some ‘good enough’ recovery 😉

(ah, my assignment is complete!)


With my bag of addiction gone, I say yes to potential tribal rejection. And life…

I have been careful not to use (or at least become aware when I am using) the typical devices to medicate my emotions. MY PAID FOR FRIEND, may she live forever, points out that we humans use our vices to medicate ourselves instead of doing the hard work of sitting with our uncomfortable feelings. We medicate with overspending (check), sex (prefer not to comment), alcohol (thankfully I’m a puker), drugs (pass), gambling (rather buy books, thanks), reading (shut up), tv / internet addiction (whatever), eating crap food (oh, oh, oh, pay dirt!)…

If you could draw a graph comparing my need to use food to medicate with the amount of food I have stashed in my house to meet those needs, you would see a positive sign today: My house is free from junky snacks, and if this was for any reason other than the raw truth that I have simply eaten them all, then this would be full of valor. Note-worthy, in fact. But essentially I just ate everything, and I’m left with the real food.

You know: the kind that requires rinsing and dicing.

I mean HUGE hypocrisy here as, between paragraphs, I am licking the inside of the wispies of the bag of chocolate chips that just seconds before the birth of this post were the last soldiers left in this fight, but I have cut off the supply lines. The armory lies fallow.

Nevertheless, let’s go with this for a moment: life is an object lesson.

What do these purified cabinets represent to me? I had joined a diet program after the birth of my firstborn biological child when I realized I was an emotional eater. I was homeschooling one of my step-daughters and we were having an irrational fight over some spelling list. I stood up, stormed into the kitchen, threw my pencil against the wall, tore open the drawer containing Trader Joe’s crimson-dyed, chocolate elixir of the gods which finds itself wrapped around dried cherries and shoved half the container into my pie-hole before I knew what happened. Sixty-two points later, insight struck: I eat when I am angry (or sad, lonely, full of anxiety, fearful, facing much unknown…) That was eight years ago. Public school is under-rated.

(Note to self: do red food-dye detox.)

Adulteries, addictions, pathological self-destruction, over-developed senses of dogma, submission to man-made systems of control–even socially acceptable addictions like losing ourselves in our zealous drive to ‘serve’ others…: these distractions are ‘tools’ we use to ameliorate pain, to submit to the resistance that would keep us from being true to our dreams, to accept someone else’s idea of what our true purpose is than to do the hard work of discovery–to keep us from doing the creative work we NEED to do to claim our calling here on this ball of minerals. It takes decisive courage and sustained intentional choices to combat entropy. This is not the playground of sissies. And I recognize that I have the luxury of being as self-absorbed as this post requires only because my basic needs are met and I live in a politically stable land for which I hold resolute gratitude.

That said, our addictions deceive us and disqualify us from the satisfaction of living fully engaged lives–above the madding crowd. We fear the tribe will reject us if we step out on a scarcely traversed paths to make our mark, and so we use excuses to limit ourselves from personal alignment. To fit in, among other things.

As I take the last whif of this cleanly-licked chocolate chip bag, I decide that even if I have to pass alone through the valley of misunderstood, pain, feeling, self-taming, and personal responsibility to get to the mountain of living a life of fluid design, I am ready to start walking! Might as well: the bag is empty!

Control ‘Z’: Where the Hell Are You?

(Kind of wondering why I don’t drink more alcohol. Maybe the whole ‘Child of Irish Catholic Alcoholics’ awareness figures in there…)

At this point in my life, I draw great strength from my deep and abiding belief that framing is the key to the universe; more specifically, that my philosophy for framing rests soundly on the side of Pollyanna-ism. I also draw great strength in my life from the deep and abiding conviction that what today holds extends as far as today and how I deal with it controls what happens to it tomorrow. Mix in some hard work and time, and problems become blessings. I also draw great strength in my life from the unalterable intention I have to turn everything I am living through into fodder for ‘fiction’.

So I’m feeling pretty strong, and if you’re part of my drama, beware. I will change your name but only as far as it gets me out of legal ramifications.

As much as every fiber in my self-obsessed, oversharing soul desires to give the comical and incomprehensible details of the circumstances that feed into the above thoughts, I will hold off for now. People that know me already know; people that don’t know me can merely substitute their own life circumstances and go from there.

Which leaves me to why am I writing this blog post? I am writing this blog post because I really liked the title of it, intend to write a book entitled that, and I don’t have the book written yet.



I just want to be the fucking butterfly!

personal growthAllegedly this is the larval stage. In my humble opinion, it sucks! And I don’t even like it at all.

There is a lot of pressure to perform tasks–crazy things like find cheaper housing to keep the kids in the same school district, or find a job that can cover costs and hopefully build up something to start over again. Other people are facing this and dealing with it. Other people are living and breathing day by day and hoping that they can keep all the balls in the air. And while that provides a small bit of comfort–actually a HUGE chunk of comfort–it doesn’t solve any of my problems. I want them to be fixed right now. Dammit.

My paid for friend, MAY SHE LIVE FOREVER, points out that I am in a volcanic life transition and my identity has nothing close to settled into what it will be. The expectation that I would, then, be able to put out a resume and say be employed in a life-affirming perfect calling within, say, a week is somewhat…illusory, is the word she used. She didn’t say delusional, and I choose to take courage from that. All I did was make a certain point and ask a certain question: since I am living through divorce, financial upheaval, business change, status loss, control loss, job search, parenting guilt, professional entanglement with my ex… I think I would like to pursue something that has to do with change management and conflict resolution. Do you know any good schools, and do you think I would be successful there? Seemed simple enough. Affirm my plan, Paid for Friend. That’s all I’m asking.

“You are asking me to wave my magic wand, again. Aren’t you?” she laughs. Ordinarily, I love to make people laugh, but this one is a little too close to home for me to find much brevity in it. She picks up on a panicked drive to find definitive answers and encourages me to steep in the larval more before putting so much pressure on myself to know what I will be when I grow up. Some bullshit about ‘not ideal but good enough’ and ‘temporary’ and ‘not long term’.

I am asking for the authorized, holy water sprinkled, fairy dusted plan. I pay this woman good money. And she laughs and tells me to stay larval. The larval stage feels constricting and icky. It is tight and dark and larva don’t have arms to complete tasks. They can’t pay rent when they’re stuck in that silly little cocoon. I’m not saying the idea of crawling into my bed and burrowing in doesn’t hold a certain appeal, but I WANT IT FIXED NOW!!

Someday, I suspect I will look back at this period joyfully, fondly, and with wings. Wings accompanied by sage wisdom and great fortitude. Speckles of eternal perspective and a rock core of exhortation for fellow butterflies to be. When I visualize that moment from where I am today, I see a tender little white cocoon. I honor it and wish I had a way to protect it. I look at it a little more closely, and out of the top of it is sticking my middle finger.

How a Category Got Its Name

Not having the kids, considering career transmogrification (I know: awesome word–just found it), gives me far too much free time coupled with anxiety. As a result, I am playing with this new blog-of-my-obsession (BOMO). Provides an escape more liver-friendly than vodka, and feeds my creativity! I realized that all of my posts so far are entirely too revealing. That if I do actually ever go to seek a job from someone else and my prospective employer should happen to find out I have a blog and reads it, I may be SCREWED. Good employees never use the word SCREWED and certainly wouldn’t capitalize it in a public venue. I would remind their HR department about privacy laws. But I digress.

Where was I? Oh, yes, too revealing. So after re-reading all the posts to see if I still liked them, I realized most of them were about body parts and bleeding edge emotional divulgence (which is apparently NOT a word). I steeped in the tension that realization brought me for a moment. Live with the ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ or just tell it like it is? Should I delete all the references that polite people–the kind of people who have tact–would blush about? Things like toenail fungus and rogue chin hairs? Hell no! (Again, privacy laws…) I’m going to rock out with my parts out here and make an assumption that anyone who got past the title of the blog would be expecting nothing less than an occasional oversharing. And that is how a category got its name!

Should I start writing about kittens and butterflies, you’ll be sure to know.

Note to self: soon a blog post must be written in iambic pentameter and use under-utilized words to address some facet of personal discovery. (oh… the girl lays down a challenge!)