Pretensious D-Bags and an LA Blow Job

Here I am, at a Hollywood hot spot, post $35 blow out, sporting my “Kelsey” (apparently named after a celebrity I know not) manicure, drinking a glass of $15 Pinot Grigio.

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All this Hollywood glamour brings only one thing to mind, “Pretentious!”

Sitting at Sunset and Vine I’m eavesdropping on some would-be-perhaps-is “Film Guy” pontificate to his latest Twink (said with respect for the poor guy who is this D-Bag’s self-proclaimed dinner companion) on the filmography of Robin Williams, juxtaposed against a Director’s work who apparently can’t finish a project.

Really? We must glorify a man pressed so far he surrenders against an artist who can’t meet deadlines?

Now, before you think I’m soft and permissive, I will clarify: I believe that if one accepts a position, for pay, regardless of their craft, one should deliver on promises.

Did you see any clarification, caveats, or exceptions there? No! Because I make none.

That is the difference between an amateur (hobbyist/volunteer) and a professional (one who pursues a field for pay). The quality of that output (in artistic fields, according to me) is the difference between adequate, good, and great, which may be the difference between prolific and prosaic.

None of which has any impact on anything except for my judgment of a person, in general. But, I do feel heartfelt sympathy for anyone who takes their own life …. can you imagine the despair? I am sure you can.

We have all known someone who has succumbed in some way to severe depression.

And, in a roundabout way, what I’m saying is: Try not to judge Holly-whites against the accomplishments of their peers. We know not the degree of difficulty they are managing. But, if you are going to pass judgment, do so based on an artist’s quality completion rate measured relative to quantity.

Hell, even porn stars can complete 10 films a year, and nobody is nominating them for an Emmy!

When Women Were Protected and Stupid

  • 6:00 the alarm goes off
  • 15 minutes of yoga
  • Shower, Shave, and Shampoo
  • 7:00 wake the angry, sleepy kids
  • Home-cooked breakfast
  • “Where’s my shoes”
  • Hair, make-up, and fighting a stuck zipper
  • Carpool drop-off
  • 10 hour work days
  • Cook the dinner, eat the dinner, complain, clean up the dinner
  • Laundry, groceries
  • “I need a new Sharpie for school tomorrow”
  • Run to the store, home from the store
  • Kids in bed
  • Deep breath, feet up, finally take off the four-inch heels

And, then I ask: “Did telling women they should have an education, career, and a family really make women’s lives better or did it just turn up the heat on the pressure cooker of life?”

The Playlist

I stumbled across your playlist the other day,
it took my breath for a moment.

Strange, to remember a time when those songs fed such angst,
that same old scene is always coming to me.

Before a love song, you have to fall in love;
and so, that’s where the playlist takes me first.

Then there’s a passion, turmoil, and four-four time,
were all of these songs fraught with meaning to me once,
in that place where a tornado meets a volcano?

It seems so long ago now, a confused memory of fights and forgiveness,
back when you said I was too sensitive, and you too much the opposite,
but you don’t hurt me anymore.

Now, then, is just a memory, and the playlist says it all,
the story of who we were, and who we are now,
that old familiar feeling.

Respecting Men Isn’t Anti-Feminist

I’ve been reading too many cutesy Pinterest articles lately. Seriously. Too. Many.

I have adorable workout-clothes crafts, probiotic gluten free vegan muffin recipes, and so many inspirational sayings I could start my own “Van Down by the River” sect. But, the most ridiculous memes I have been noticing a lot lately are the articles reminding women to “respect” their husbands.

Really? Why is this a problem?

Have women become such termagants that we need an entire interwebs meme reminding us to be nice to men? Apparently yes.

And, that’s pretty sad.

When did women (or men for that matter) decide that equality equals … for lack of a better word: bitchyness?

Now, someone will intentionally jump all over me that thousands of years of subjegation has forced women into subserviant roles that we must break away from. To which I ask: how are you, today, in this very moment being subjugated? 

Not in an escoteric sort of way, in a real and tangible way based on your own actions?

Are you making less than the men you work with? Did you actually negotiate your salary in advance?

Do you pull an unfair amount of weight around the house? Is that perhaps because your definition of clean is more arduous than your roomates/partners?

There is a world where women are treated horifically, raped, beaten, and forced into prostitution to avoid starvation and homelessness.

If you are one of those women, kick, scratch, bite and buck until you throw off the patriarichal unfairness that binds you. Please! For the future of your children’s children, Don’t respect the men who forced you into those dehumanizing positions.

If, however, you’re a mother of three living in the suburbs with a mortgage that’s paid by two people who work together (inside of the house and out) how about before you make another joke about your “helpless husband”, take a minute to ask yourself, “Did I marry a mouth-breathing moron who lived in a cage before I brought him home from the store and socialized him?”

If the answer is no, give the guy a break and throw a bone of praise and the good dirty lingerie his way every once in a while … you know, treat him like the boy you married.

No adorable retro-wall art or biblical post required.

Though the golden rule still applies: if you were a fly on the wall hearing your significant other say the things about you that you say to, or about, him, how would you feel?

Take THAT stupid cleaning commercials that make modern men look like domestic neanderthals!

Date Night

The idea of a date night is to take time, unwind, and reconnect. But, with the never ending schedule of summer camp, little league, and an endless to-do list at home and the office, the only “date” I have is with my Serta perfect sleeper.

But tonight, with the laundry scales tipping toward done and my littles tucked in front of a Redbox of Forest Gump for the fourth time this summer (don’t ask me why) I am taking ME out.

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I’ve taken a page from the book of a confirmed bachelor friend of mine and I’m settling in with a glass of wine, a LUSH sex bomb bubble bath, candles, and all things girly – tricks guarenteed to drop a pair of panties in no time flat*, followed up by some trash television – a.k.a. Real HouseBitches – and my comfy socks.

I might even give myself a happy ending (which as exhausted as I am right now means a second (okay third) glass of wine and lights out by 10:30.

*Okay so the panty dropping is essential for a bubble bath, but I imagine asking a girl if she’d like to take a bubble bath is pretty damn effective, even for harried moms with hectic schedules.

That Kind of Morning

It’s that kind of Tuesday morning which really should be a Sunday.

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It rained all night and now the valley smells rich and mossy.
My sheets are freshly washed and perfectly crisp, beconing me back to bed.
The pot is brewing with more coffee than I can drink in my hectic scramble to get out the door, and pancakes are browning on the griddle.

The sun is a perfect shade of August, with a caressing breeze teasing and toying across my sunny porch.
Best not to ignore signs like this.

Clearly the calendars got it wrong.
Today is Sunday, I’m calling in.
I’ll go back to Wednesday tomorrow.

Airport Zen

Surviving An International Flight with Kids: Europe with Teenagers

Park and Ride drop offs; shoes-off-tech-out security screenings; gate change; screaming kids; and octogenarians who have never flown before all collide into one frenetic, frustrating, infuriating pulse during the experience that is airplane travel.

But, when you travel as frequently as I do (just got my Platinum Medallion welcome kit five years running, Damn Diamond always just out of reach!) if you let the airport get to you, you’ll start to look like your passport photo. So, I like to practice what I call, “Airport Zen.”

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Airport Zen takes focus, and practice – much like any meditative practice. Finding it for the first time is a struggle, maintaining it is even harder, but when it’s there it offers a perfect little mental oasis inside the traveler’s hell known as the airport.

Finding Airport Zen in Lines

Lines? An opportunity to breathe in for three, hold for two, and release for six; during which time I zone in on someone or something pleasant to look at (advertisements for a juicy steak, a child behaving like children do, a couple in love) and observe the world around me.

Repeat: At Airports, Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

Security? I move intentionally, not allowing myself to assume the anticipatory posture of “hurry up and wait”. I always wear slip on shoes and the same no-pockets-no-mistakes linens pants with no belt or jewelry when I fly, so I can skip the harried wardrobe change at screening and I have only to pick up a tray (at the exact moment it is needed) place my laptop and toiletries case inside, leave my passport and boarding pass on top, then breathe again and follow the person in front of me. All in a deliberate, intentionally relaxed fashion, forcing my shoulders not to clench and my teeth not to grind in annoyance at the cattle call around me.

Airport Zen in Flight

The Flight? When I board the plane I consider my seat a protective nest for the next 2-12 hours and I settle in, just like in yoga, and focus on finding my “posture” – the most comfortable way to sit in non-reclining 33B. I un-shoe down to my comfy travel socks (the kind I keep a ziplock bag for so I can wear them in airplane bathrooms and not care how dirty they get), request a blanket and pillow, then pull out a book for the rest of the take off process (the real kind, with pages, that turn off the electronic buzz and open my mind to a pretend world of interesting people.)

Once in air I order two glasses of water and a glass of wine, drink it slowly, and meditate on nothing.

This relaxed approach makes flying a “practice” rather than a burden, and helps me arrive at my final destination refreshed and ready to hit the ground running at a break-neck pace.

But, how does Airport Zen work with kids?

Airport Zen with Kids

To be honest, it kind of doesn’t – because kids are humans with their own needs, wants, and agenda. But, a few tips can increase the likelihood of success.

  • Airport Hack One: Buy your way out of inconvenience whenever you can possibly afford it – Uber, SkyCap, Upgrade to Priority Boarding, Pay for Clear if you fly more than three tines per year but don’t have status (Amex Card Holders get a discount).
  • Airport Hack Two: Don’t Bring “That”: Whatever annoying, bulky, awkward “want to, don’t need to” device you’re thinking of bringing – DON’T unless: you will have a dedicated hand that can carry it through the airport, it will be DEFINITELY used at least 50% of days, it would cost you more than $75 to buy it on your vacay if you decide you need it. See airport hack one. Thus includes ANY drinks or containers that carry drinks you might forget about (you can buy them on the other side).
  • Airport Hack Three: Consider shelling out the $$ to visit an airport lounge or at least a convenient restaurant; start your vacay the second you leave home to get everybody in a celebratory mood.
  • Airport Hack Four: Check in online, stalk seat assignments in the weeks leading up to your flight to get the best choice, and involve all fliers in the process. Everybody over age five should be personally responsible for getting their body on the plane – which means you should have age-appropriate conversations about what to expect at the airport, when, why, and how to respond.
  • Airport Hack Five: Screens, all the screens, pretty, pretty screens!

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Nostalgic Summer Days

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When the sun hits the horizon in just that way
Or a rumbling motor passes, low and commanding
I think of Main Street, lazy days, and warm July nights,
and I remember that time ..
the first time you kissed me,
back when the feeling was new.
I remember a cold Cutthroat Beer, the stereo echoing off hardwood floors,
and that one summer,
once upon a time.

Golden Rays of Parenthood

I look forward at a horizon punctuated by two golden heads pressed together digging in the sand,
as once-tiny palms clutch a treasure, to be buried then washed out to sea.
This moment, if I am fortunate, will become a treasure as well, clutched in the palm of my memory,
brought forward on future days, when those golden heads are grown and gone.
The sun peaks through the marine fog, and lights their hair with a coppery glow, and I want to capture that exact color and paint my entire life in the shimmery summer hue,
of two young men, grown too fast, and one beachy, summer morning.

To Soar, To Fly,

I will soar I will fly
This world will know who I am
And part of me will die
I will succeed
I will be what they tell me
For the time being
But I will be me at the same time
I will not let myself lose my self
The world will know who I am
Through my intelligence
Through my music
Through some way some how
That is what I have been told
That is what I want!
I will not be content with a normal life
I will soar I will fly, and in the process this world will know my name
Who I am
But in that process part of me, my soul, will die
Is it worth it, do I want to lose a part of my self
Do I wish to let it die?
But I do wish to soar
I wish to fly
I would not be content with a “normal”, “typical” life
I don’t want to be another person just going through the motions of life
But I don’t want to lose a part of myself
If I choose that path I will soar
I will fly

But I won’t let part of me die

– Aaron Burr

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