Things Driving Me Crazy Today

Tuesday. The smelly, unshaven armpit of the week. Here’s the first list of Things Driving Me Crazy in 2016.

  • When I walk 15 flights of stairs (because Fitbit) but my gadget only counts nine flights.
  • People who don’t shovel snow off their sidewalks and now that snow has turned into mini ice glaciers that I have to climb over when walking Ringo.
  • College football.
  • Falling off my chair at work. (I wasn’t even drunk!)
  • People bragging about keeping their New Year’s resolutions. It’s been 12 days. TWELVE days.
  • Not being $900 million richer. Thanks, Powerball.

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  • Eating something, not because it’s delicious, but because it’s there.
  • Sneezing at work. Ten times in a row.
  • Writing a freakin’ brilliant blog that nobody reads.
  • Not having a personal chef.
  • Driving to work in the dark. Driving home from work in the dark. (I just assume the sun rises at some point during the day.)
  • The yogurt war between Chobani and Dannon. Isn’t yogurt supposed to be the Gandhi of dairy products?
  • Finishing Terry Pratchett’s final book. This isn’t driving me crazy. Just making me sad.

terry(The world just got a little less funny. RIP Sir Pratchett.)

Hopefully, your Tuesday can now continue crazy-free.

Top 5 Ways For Americans to Pull it Together

I read news headlines with increasing horror. Not because of the atrocious acts committed by people with more weapons than brains, but by the reaction of our country (the freakin’ United States of America!!). After the tragedies in Paris and San Bernardino, some Americans are called for an end to accepting refugees fleeing from war. WAR! Women, children, families, grandparents–they’re running away because people are trying to kill them.

Inexplicable presidential candidate Don Trump suggested we ban all Muslims from entering the country. Instead of offering assistance and kindness, many ‘Mericans agreed and want the borders closed, a wall built around our country and a missile-proof dome dropped over the land. Will that keep us safe? Will that let you rest easy in your comfy beds at night?

dome

(Coming to a city near you!)

“But maybe refugees are terrorists trying to get into our country,” you whine incessantly. Shut up.

We already have a fair share of crazy people living in America, hell-bent on inflicting terror and violence. And it’s not just potential bomb-toting refugees making a segment of the population blow their collective stacks. Gay marriage causes global warming!! Women with access to birth control will annihilate society! Gun control laws will destroy our planet!! Medical marijuana is the new crack cocaine!!

I think we all need to step back and take a deep breath.

How can we learn to work together without turning on each other like rabid raccoons trying to share one garbage can?

Here are 5 ways to pull it the f*** together:

  1. Stop judging. I’d tell you to walk a mile in a refugee’s shoes, but most of them don’t have shoes. They’ve left everything behind. Everything. If you have a compulsion to judge others, go to law school.
  2. Show compassion. Look at your loved ones. If you had to leave your home, wouldn’t you want to go to a place where kindness was key, where safety was possible? Of course you would.
  3. Be accepting. This is not about tolerance. Tolerance is a patronizing condescension you show to people you think are beneath you. Would you want to be tolerated? How ’bout accepted? You don’t have to agree with everyone, but is it possible to let them live their own lives?
  4. Use common sense. The media tends to shout at us with megaphones turned up full blast. Just because it’s loud doesn’t mean it’s true.
  5. Don’t be afraid to live. Fear creates chaos. Chaos creates rage. Rage destroys. Yes, there are people who want to do us harm. But there are many more people with big hearts, open arms and warm smiles.

French President Francois Hollande stated his country would continue to accept refugees. Since when were the French braver than Americans?! Pull it together!

Utah 2015: A Recap

Utah survived another year but several significant events made headlines, including Mormon preppers convinced the world was coming to an end on Sept. 28. Didn’t happen. But here are some things that did happen:

President Obama visits Utah

In a token gesture to our super-white, super-conservative and super-Republican state, President Barack Obama reluctantly stepped off an airplane at the Salt Lake airport and spent the next 16 hours trying to get out of Utah.

During his first visit to the state, President Obama spoke at Hill Air Force Base, blocked traffic in downtown Salt Lake, created a security headache for several agencies and reportedly slept in a Sheraton Hotel to demonstrate he just didn’t give a s*** about Utah’s hotel options. In less than 20 hours, he was back on Air Force One, getting the hell out of Dodge.

obama

(“Where are we?” Prez Obama asks.)

Prison Relocation Plan

Because this is still a thing, the Utah Prison Relocation Commission selected a new prison site near 1-80 and 7200 West in what is currently an undevelopable marsh similar to the planet Dagobah (in the Dagobah system).

Land developers who own the land surrounding the current prison in Draper said, “Moving the prison has nothing to do with the fact that the prison sits on prime real estate and we will make a (figurative) killing once this penal colony is relocated to Dagobah.”

The mayor of every other city listed as a potential prison site breathed a huge sigh of relief that this “blessing in disguise” would not be “blessing” their communities.

Utah beats BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl

As a Christmas gift to the state’s football fans, the University of Utah faced Brigham Young University in Las Vegas at the lazily-named Las Vegas Bowl. Utah haughtily accepted the match-up, convinced they would stomp the Cougars into poker chips. After jumping to a 35-0 lead, the U’s defense sat it out the rest of the game, with BYU racking the score up to 35-28.

After the loss, BYU Coach Bronco Mendenhall stormed off the field, threw his clothes in a duffel bag, hopped in his 1968 Volkswagen Beetle and drove to the University of Virginia.

Utah man returns $22,000

While driving down I-80, a Utah man stopped to move a bag that had fallen out of a Brink’s armored truck onto the highway. The bag contained piles of cash, totaling more than $20,000.

Not believing his good luck, the man looked both ways, put the bag in his trunk and drove home but made the mistake of telling his wife about it who punched his arm repeatedly until he called the police to report the bag of cash.

“I should have kept my mouth shut,” said every married man in the world.

cash

(This could have been your bed, Utah guy.)

LGBT anti-discrimination bills passed /LDS Church pisses people off

Historic legislation in 2015 granted Utah’s LGBT residents the freedom from employment and housing discrimination. Gay rights advocates celebrated the new law saying, “It’s about freakin’ time!”

“Not so fast,” the LDS Church replied. A change in the church’s policy handbook was leaked to a ravenous press, explaining that members in same-sex relationships are apostates and their children must disavow the practice of homosexuality in order to participate in church ordinances.

The policy stirred worldwide outcry and prompted thousands of “members”, who had already stopped going to church years ago, to officially turn in their membership cards and keys to the cultural hall/basketball court.

Utah’s population exceeds 3 million

In what was sarcastically described as a “stunning achievement” the three-millionth Utahn was born in 2015. This “stunning achievement” was attributed to millions of couples having sex in the state since Utah was granted statehood in 1896.

It’s been projected that the state will have 4 million residents by 2031.

“That’s a challenge I’m willing to accept,” said every man in Utah.

Jackie Biskupski is elected mayor of Salt Lake City

In a narrow victory, Jackie Biskupski beat incumbent Ralph Becker to become the new mayor of Salt Lake.  As an openly-gay, single parent, newly-engaged Salt Lake mayor, Biskupski said her election was meaningful on many levels, but mostly she was excited about her cool, new office which she was super-excited to move into.

In a poorly-executed plan to boost morale, Biskupski quickly asked for resignation letters from most of the city’s department heads, except for former Chief of Police Chris Burbank who had “resigned” earlier in 2015.

The Governor cuts funding for Planned Parenthood 

Because men can’t seem to stop trying to control women’s bodies, federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics around the country is in jeopardy. After a secret video emerged detailing the alleged sale of aborted fetal tissue, legislators crapped their collective shorts and decided to cut off the organization’s funding.

Utah’s Governor Herbert told state agencies to stop giving money to Utah chapters of Planned Parenthood. Because Utah.

Although the health organization helps women with sex education, STD testing, pap tests, pregnancy and birth control options, the guv felt it necessary to stop funding Planned Parenthood “Because I don’t really know what they do.”

In an updated projection, Utah is expected to have 14 million residents by 2031.

Obama has vowed never to visit the state again.

Getting in My Pants

When I was in kindergarten, I only wore dresses because I was a princess, dammit! My mom whipped up dresses on her Singer sewing machine and I’d fluff around class, mocking the girls who were low enough to wear (gasp) pants. (I was a precocious little snot.)

But a field trip to the zoo changed my life. My teacher announced EVERYONE had to wear jeans. No dresses were allowed. I freaked out. What was I? Some type of peasant?!

Luckily, my mom, who was skilled in the polyester arts, whipped up an orange pastel pantsuit with a matching top so I could roam through the zoo without looking like a female hobo. I was HOOKED! I climbed without boys looking up my dress, I ran without a skirt getting tangled around my legs—it was freedom!

pants

(Even better in light tangerine polyester knit.)

My love for pants evolved. In seventh grade I developed a rabid devotion to Levi’s Button-fly 501 jeans. In high school, the dance company members wore loose, comfy sweat pants so people could see we were cool enough to wear sweat pants to school.

When I was pregnant, my relationship with pants changed again. As my belly grew, I wore regular jeans, threading a shoelace through the button hole and tying it around the rivet of my jeans. Worried that my child would be born with the Levi’s logo on her forehead, I decided it was time for maternity “jeans”.

Maternity pants back in the day, were nothing like today’s stylish maternity wear. It was all horrible colors (Lavender? Really?) with horrible fabrics and that horrible front elastic panel that never quite fit and kept sliding under my quickly-expanding belly, making my pants sag like they were filled with coal.

pregnant

(This is not real. Unless she’s super-glued it to her belly.)

After giving birth, I was so excited to wear regular jeans again that I packed a pair to wear home from the hospital. I had no idea my body wouldn’t bounce back to its pre-stretched-out position. I spent nearly 45 minutes in the hospital bathroom, trying to push my belly flab into a location where I could button up my jeans.

I almost passed out twice. I fell over once. Finally, I pushed my belly up to my bra and hurriedly buttoned my jeans. I couldn’t breathe or walk and when I got home my belly literally exploded out of my pants, sending denim flying in all directions. I wore pajamas for six months before trying to wear pants again.

Jeans pair with anything and it doesn’t matter if they’re boot cut, boyfriend, skinny or cropped; jeans are my go-to attire—because I’m a princess, dammit!

An Open Letter to Santa

Dear St. Nick,

I know you’re busy with all your dashing and dancing and prancing and vixing, and I know you have mall appearances, party stops, photo ops, elf control, reindeer upkeep and sleigh polishing, not to mention Mrs. Claus’ to-do-list. So I thought I’d help you out by putting together a Naughty/Nice list that could save you a lot of time.

Do NOT leave gifts for these people/groups:

Any Kardashian/West. There’s nothing you can give them they can’t give themselves. Including pretentious names.

Any candidate for president of the USA. From Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders, these people deserve NOTHING. Correction: these people deserve to live like middle-class Americans for six months. Make it so.

gop

(Let’s have our election Hunger Games-style.)

Any member of ISIS. Since they don’t celebrate Christmas anyway, I guess that’s not an issue. Maybe just have your reindeer poop on the Syrian headquarters.

Random people with guns. Not only should you NOT leave gifts, you should take their guns and hide them at the North Pole.

Anyone who posts a selfie. Get over yourselves!!!

These people/groups deserve something nice:

The Prince William/Kate Middleton Family. They are the epitome of freakin’ cuteness. They don’t need stuff. Maybe just keep them safe.

royal family

(The All-American family. If they were American.)

Pope Francis. He’s probably not that big of a gift guy, so you can give his presents to the poor.

Middle-class Americans: Hey, we’re just trying to make it through and shaking our fists in helplessness as politicians screw with our lives.

People who care for animals: As more animals are listed as endangered, these people bring attention to saving everything from elephants to whales. (Maybe don’t give them anything with fur or leather.)

Kids: But nothing electronic. Make sure they have to take their toys outside.

Travel safely, Santa. Be sure to avoid surface-to-air missiles, drones, Donald Trump and brownies in Colorado.

Merry Christmas!

A Brief History of Children

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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.)

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(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.

But.

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

joker

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.