A Brief History of Children


When silly, old Eve chose wisdom over nudity in the garden of Eden, what was her punishment? That she would be fruitful and multiply. In non-biblical words, she was doomed to have children. Seems like the penalty didn’t really fit the crime.

Did she understand, as she grew rounder and larger and moodier, that a parasitic growth was stealing her nutrients, sleep and sanity? When the baby started kicking, did she consider the fact she might be possessed by an evil spirit? She was correct.

There were no childbirth magazines, no social media sites, no mommy blogs–nothing. She was alone. In the wilderness. With a baby. (Yes, Adam was there. Not sure what he was doing. Probably renaming animals and practicing his Tarzan yell.)

Depending on your level of belief in evolution, fast forward thousands (more likely hundreds of thousands of years) and motherhood has become a thing. I guess it caught on, even though the process is brutal, bloody, hormonal and excruciating. And that’s not even considering toddlers and teenagers.

As mothers there is only one absolute when it comes to raising children: You have NO control.

Your kids will scheme, manipulate, scream, disobey, fight and lie right to your face. They’ll make you feel like you’re the worst parent in the entire universe, and they’ll have data to back up their claim. They’ll be ungrateful, unforgiving, cold, unreasonable and impossible. You’ll often feel like hiding under your bed with a bag of Oreos and a warm blanket. (Don’t bother. They’ll find you–and steal your Oreos.)


(Daughter heading out to go clubbing? Just smile and nod.)

You’ll seriously worry that your kids will end up on COPS or Dog the Bounty Hunter, and you wonder how they’ll tolerate you visiting them in prison. You’ll get upsetting phone calls from teachers, irate emails from neighbors and you’ll start avoiding eye contact with parents at the grocery store. You’ll be convinced that once your kids have left home (whether through arrest or by other means) you’ll never hear from them again.


One day.

You’ll find yourself having an enjoyable adult conversation with this person who once threatened to call social services on you. You’ll receive a text message with a smiley-face emoji and you won’t wonder if you’re being manipulated. Your kids will come for dinner and no one will storm off to another room and slam the door. It’s almost like interacting with humans!

You’ll realize these tiny terrorists who never let you have one ounce of privacy are suddenly pretty cool. They talk in coherent sentences and speak without complaining or retaliating. You’ll watch them try to reason with their own little toddler tyrants, and while you might have the occasional eye tic of sympathy, you’ll feel an unconditional love.

There’s no right way to be a mom. We get up every morning with the best intentions. Sometimes we succeed. More often we fail. There are no accolades, awards, thank-you notes, pats on the back or even an encouraging smile. We all feel we’ve done it wrong.

I’m sure every mother since Eve has experienced that overwhelming feeling of inadequacy as we teach these children how to adult. We can only pray they’ll do better than we did.

Just Smile: An R-Rated Rant


Men. Reading this blog could save you from being murdered to death by your spouse, sister, mother or female co-worker. If at any point in your life you walked by a woman, noticed her expression and told her to smile, you are in extreme danger. I’m not shitting you. Your coffee is probably being poisoned while you read this.

One of the most irritatingly condescending things you can say to a woman is, “You look so serious. You should smile more.”

Fuck. You.

When I’m at work, I’m focusing my attention on my job. I’m not worried that my expression might not be pleasant. I’m doing my. fucking. job. Do you smile when you’re staring at your computer screen or reading a 50-page legal document? Of course not, because that’s fucking ridiculous.

Women have laughed these comments off for a long time, making jokes about Bitchy Resting Face and such, but guess what, guys? Men have Bitchy Resting Face all the time but nobody calls them on it–because women don’t give a shit. We figure you’re working and we would NEVER DREAM of suggesting you smile.

If I’m staring vacuously at my computer with a smile on my face, that would be bad. If I’m giggling stupidly for no apparent reason, I’ve lost my marbles.

I would bet you $1 million you’ve never walked by a male co-worker, saw him focused on his work and felt the need to tell him to “Just smile.”

Even Carly Fiorina, a candidate for the position of president of the United States, was told to smile more during the debate. Fuck that. Did anyone comment that Ben Carson or Marco Rubio took running for national office too seriously? Fuck no.

I’m 100 percent certain no one walked by Einstein as he was working on his little Theory of Relativity and said, “Hey, Al. You look so serious. Lighten up.” Gandhi, John Kennedy, Martin Luther; no one told them to look happy, smile more or stop looking so stern.

I’m aware that when I’m focused I don’t have a smile on my face. If I’m concentrating on a particularly hard piano piece, trying to figure out how to put a fucking IKEA dresser together, even writing a HUMOR blog, my expression is not happy. It doesn’t mean I’m NOT happy, it just means I’m, what’s the word? Thinking!!!

If you’re reading this and have been offended, that was not my intention. I’m just letting you know what EVERY female in the ENTIRE WORLD is thinking when you say, “Just smile.”

So, lighten up, guys. Put a smile on that face.

Halloween for Dummies: Top 5 Tips For a Successful Holiday


Some people live in countries (or states) where Halloween is ignored because people believe it’s based on Satanic rituals and pagan beliefs. They might have a small Jesus-themed trunk-or-treat event in a church parking lot, handing out mini New Testaments, before heading home for a family sing-a-long. But in Utah (home of pagan beliefs) we celebrate Halloween like NO OTHER. We Halloween the s**t out of October.

I attribute our love for this dark holiday as a respite from the otherwise strangling hold the dominant religious culture has on our everyday lives. When you’re afraid to go to lunch on Sunday or fearful of ordering a glass of wine with dinner, Halloween is nothing!

So if you are Halloween clueless, here are some tips to help you get through this hellacious month.

  1. Decorate your house. This doesn’t need to be elaborate. Maybe a mummy by the doorstep or a bloody head on the mantel. It seems the more religiously oppressed a person is, the more Halloween decorations they purchase. If your neighbor has a plethora of monster-themed inflatables, they probably need a religious intervention.
  2. Get a costume. To blend in on Halloween, you’ll need a disguise. Again, if you’re super-religious, you’ll probably decide to go as a sexy Dr. Who or a nymphomaniac circus clown. If you’re more moderate, a T-shirt with a clever Halloween slogan will do.
  3. tshirtCarve a pumpkin. If you’re a vegan, gutting and carving up this orange squash could make you a little nauseous. But suck it up. Carving pumpkins is a big business. Instead of using dull butter knives and metal nail files (like I did 40 years ago), there are now super-duper carving kits with all kinds of blades that will guarantee you a night in the ER. (For extra points, roast the pumpkin seeds; then brag about how you roast pumpkin seeds.)
  4. Buy candy. In bulk.  This is a holiday MUST. Utahns have an average of 9.5 children per family. There are approximately 800 families that will come to your door begging for candy. You must give each trick-or-treater (aka Halloween beggars) at least three pieces of candy. You do the math. I don’t do math. It’s a lot of candy.
  5. Host a Halloween party. Part of the requisite celebration is throwing a Halloween bash. Spend at least 14 business days constructing a menu that includes demon-themed delicacies. Make sure to throw a tantrum when people don’t appreciate your culinary efforts. Post photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and every other social media platform that validates your superior Halloween cooking talents.

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(Last year’s Carrie-themed Halloween cake.)

Important note: you must have ALL Halloween decorations, costumes, foods and paraphernalia removed by midnight on October 31 so you can start decorating for Christmas on Nov. 1. Happy Halloween!

Things Driving Me Crazy Today

I realized it’s been a while since I’ve posted a Things Driving Me Crazy Today blog. Does that mean I’m more tolerant of the insane behavior around me? Nope. It just means I’ve been living in frustrated anguish, but once I vomit-blog my list I’ll feel much better.

Here are the Things Driving Me Crazy Today (and by “today” I mean anytime during the last four decades):

  • When you lose one earring but don’t realize it until you get home.
  • People looking at you weird because you’re only wearing one earring. But you don’t know why they’re looking at you weird.
  • Working through lunch, thinking of all the calories you just saved–and then binge eating the pantry when you get home.


  • Running with my crazy-ass dog Ringo when he decides to take a sharp left turn right in front of me so I have to do a quasi-spastic almost-hurdle over his body to avoid face-planting on the asphalt.
  • Being at a business conference where people take their jobs WAY too seriously.
  • That ONE person who has to keep asking questions or making comments when the workshop is already over and people want to leave and go get lunch, dammit!
  • When my sock slips off my heel and lodges under my instep while I’m exercising.
  • When you use a public toilet, but it’s about a foot lower than you think it’s going to be and you fall onto the seat.
  • Waving back at someone in the gym before realizing they weren’t waving at you. (Turn that wave into a ponytail check.)


(Oh, you weren’t waving at me? Awkward.)

  • When you’re at work with two hours to go and you only have two things to do: a project that will take three hours or one that will take 20 minutes.
  • Books that suck.
  • Eating taffy. Having it pull a filling loose. Ditto for Bit o’ Honey.
  • When you bring up a website where a LOUD video automatically starts playing–and you can’t find it to shut it off!

Another World’s End False Alarm

If you’re reading this, the world didn’t end yesterday. Or maybe it did end and your hell is being forced to read my blog for eternity.

Anyway. Once again, we’ve survived a predicted apocalypse and I’m getting pretty tired of preparing for the end of the world only to wake up and find that I have to go to work. I thought world-ending collapse would at least get me a couple days off.


During the few years that I’ve written this blog, we (as humanity) have survived several earth-ending scenarios. I already wrote about a couple of those events in Top 5 Reasons the World Didn’t End and Why the World Won’t End This Year, so I’ve had to stretch my mind to find another disaster-specific blog topic about the End of Times. I discovered Preppers.

Preppers are not (as I mistakenly assumed) upscale students, prone to wearing branded clothing to impress their underlings. Preppers are dedicated to surviving disasters through vast and over-the-top preparations for every possible apocalyptic scenario.

Their website boasts topics like (and I’m not making this up):

  • Misconceptions About Prepping for a Nuclear Attack (Misconception #1: You can survive a nuclear attack.)
  • Preparing for the Coming Clash of Civilizations (I’m not sure which civilization we’ll be clashing with. Aliens? Dinosaurs?)
  • Here’s How You’ll Die When the Shit Hits the Fan (Great title for a kids book, just in time for Christmas.)
  • Ten Ways to Fool the Authorities (That sounds like a great idea.)
  • Nine Tips for Preppers With Non-Prepper Spouses (That’s a sure-fire way to spend the apocalypse sleeping on the couch.)
  • Survival Bread recipe (It doubles as a truncheon.)
  • Cooking Without Electricity (I do that all the time. I call it ordering pizza.)


  • 18 Off-grid Uses for Tin Cans (One of these ideas is a Hobo Alarm. Still not joking.)
  • 10 Awesome Rubber Band Tricks (This only works if we’re invaded by pretend cowboys with wooden guns.)
  • How to Train Your Chickens (Because dancing chickens will come in handy after the end of the world.)
  • Are you Fit Enough to Escape? (Have they seen Americans lately? We’re too lazy to escape an open elevator.)
  • North American Spider Identification.


For more fun and laughs, wait for the next predicted catastrophic, calamitous, devastating event that will probably involve a virus attack from Neptune and the unveiling of Taylor Swift as the leader of the Neptunians. If you’re interested in learning how to make acorn coffee or turn a coffee can into a machete, check out http://www.prepperwebsite.com.

What’s In My Bag?

Why is it suddenly cool to stick our noses into a celebrity’s carry-all? Fashion magazines devote pages to discovering the secrets in a movie star’s purse. Do you really want to know that Meredith Vieira hauls around dog treats and a machete in her $800 bag? Or do you care that Lady Gaga carries pints of her own blood stashed in her chic Chanel Cerf Tote? I’d love to discover that Gwyneth Paltrow carries a homemade tampon and $5,000 in small bills in her clutch.


(This actress carries her Volkswagen in her bag.)

Celebrities are weird. But at least they don’t walk around asking to look inside our pockets and purses.

But if they did, here’s what they would find in my non-trendy, 2012 Guess knock-off purse:

1. Receipt from Chipotle for a healthy salad with black beans and grilled chicken. Time stamped at 12:45.

2. Receipt from Paradise Bakery for five snickerdoodles. Time stamp 12:57.

3. An assortment of used and shredded tissues.

4. Five half-full lip gloss tubes, sticky and covered with tissue residue.

5. A toy dinosaur. I think it’s a stegosaurus. Or it might be a stuffed rabbit with Doritos stuck to its back.

6. An assortment of writing awards.

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(Hey, do you wanna see my trophies?)

7. Empty water bottles. (In case I need to build an emergency raft.)

8. One earring.

9. Sunglasses with one lens missing.

10. A handful of leaky blue pens.

11. One sunglasses lens.

12. A balloon hat.


(A balloon hat is always in season.)

I think you should stop people all day long and ask to look in their handbags. I wonder how long it would take for someone to punch you in the pancreas.

Questions I’m Often Asked

Now that I’m a super-famous blogger, I’m always getting stopped in the street and asked questions. Usually those questions are along the lines of, “Can you get out of my way, ma’am?” or “What the hell are you doing?” but once in a while, someone surprises me with a true inquiry.

Because I don’t know how to talk to strangers, I usually stare at them for 20 seconds, then turn and run the other way. But once I get home, I realize what I SHOULD have said. So here are the answers to all those unanswered (or unasked) questions:

Q: How do you write funny?

A: I have a clown costume that I only wear when I’m writing my column or blog. Plus, Mad Libs.

Q: Why did you become a writer?

A: Because my dancing career never took off.


(I still know the Bat Dance if you’d like to see it performed.)

Q: What is your biggest regret?

A: The 1980s.

Q: How do you get your ideas?

A: I turn my constant rage into manageable humor.

Q. Why is writing so hard?

A. I’ve already answered that question: Top 5 Reasons Writing Sucks

Q: Do you ever find swearing tiresome?

A: Hmmm. &*#@ no.

Q: Have you ever been arrested?

A: Define “arrested”.

Q. Do you have a favorite book?

A. My favorite book changes based on the day, time, season, what I’m wearing, if I’m in a good mood and if I’m hungry.

Q. How can I get past writer’s block.

A. I’ve answered that question, too: Top 5 Ways to Get Over Writer’s Block

Q. Who will win the next presidential election in the U.S.?

A. Not the American people.

Q. How can I become a writer?

A. Write.

Sorry, but that’s all the time I have for questions. If you want more answers, I suggest you buy a Magic 8 Ball.