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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Screwed.

Some people don’t trust

the IRS

or

their next door neighbor

or

their significant other.

I don’t trust

my body.

I wait in earnest, each day, for it to fail me.

Holding my breathe in anticipation,

a flicker of pain,

a persistent twitch,

an unwelcome jolt of Something Is Wrong

I notice. 

Each. and Every. One.

Waking in the morning

pleasantly surprised  I’ve made it through the night.

Going to bed each night

apprehensive I may not make it till morning.

My heart pounds as I ride another wave of fear, trying to fold myself into it’s rising crest, knowing that if I struggle and fight back, the odds of drowning are greater.

I cannot

will not

let you see

my misery

So I stand upright, laugh at your jokes, make solid eye contact

while the world blurs and I wonder if 911 would get here in time

in case $%*! hit the fan.

And then, an almost euphoric calmness; the wave collapses over me and I am an exhausted mess.

Thrilled to have made it out alive again.

Terrified of the next time.

A world that continues to shrink

while I watch from behind the glass

of a car I cannot drive past 60

Indebted to a

patient husband

running out of excuses

for my

ignorant kids

daydreaming about

flights and late nights

wrapped in freedom

instead of fear

tired of

apologizing

for

cancelled plans

 

anxiety means

 

I’m screwed.

 

 

Friday, June 25, 2010

What’s Next? A Home Cooked Meal and Warm Slippers? Geesh.

The other day my husband mentioned that he missed seeing

me all dressed up.

His exact words were, “I miss seeing you all dressed up.”

I think he’s trying to tell me something.

This blatant disregard for my feelings can only mean one of two things:

He doesn’t love me anymore

or

He’s developed a sudden and deadly aversion to stained drawstring pants, faded tank tops, and smeared mascara.

Which of course brings us to the real story behind his ridiculous demands.

Clearly there’s another woman.

Why else would he suddenly expect me to look like a tart when he comes home from a long day at work?

Okay.  There’s a slight possibility that I’m jumping to conclusions here.  But the truth is, the only people to see me at my best each day are a bunch of five and six year olds.  By the time my husband comes home from work, I look like a woman who spends her entire day with five and six year olds. 

I sort of maybe kind of overreacted when he lovingly let me know that he enjoyed seeing me put together as I headed out the door for a mid-week event.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?!” I screamed. 

I suppose, though, for the sake of our marriage, I could try and greet him at the door in something other than standard issue prison garb.

Or at least pick the leftover chicken nuggets out of my teeth.

I think Dr. Phil would be proud.

You know.

For my willingness to compromise and crap.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ten Things I Learned at My Oprah Audition

Recently I bragged that I was going to do this, and fulfill my destiny of becoming rich and famous. 

jo Oprah

I stand before you today, neither rich, nor famous, and with a slightly bruised and battered ego.

Here’s what I learned from my short-lived quest for fame.

10. I was not the only one to get the memo about this event, held at the Laguna Hills Kohls.  Apparently, most of Orange County knew about these auditions; so did a sprinkling of folks from Chicago, Hong Kong, and Australia.

line at Oprah

9.  Everyone there thought they were the next big thing and ripe with talent.  Everyone.

8.  The weirdoes always get the interviews.

cardboard lady at Oprah

7.  You can make friends with other funny, spontaneous, talented people while waiting  in long lines, even though you’re competing against one another.

 

jo at Oprah

6.  My husband loves me.  And believes in me.  Even when I don’t.  That’s pretty rad.

Mikey at Oprah audition

5.  The camera adds way more than ten pounds.  More like 65.3 pounds to be precise.

4.  Life: It’s all about Confidence, people.

lady from Oprah

3.  I am not defined by a thirty second audition in front of an over-animated, visibly disinterested, slightly moody assistant producer and thirteen other wannabe television hosts.

2.  Unless of course I make a lasting impression and am chosen for the show (which I didn’t and wasn’t).

1.  The whole thing sort of made me feel dirty and cheap.  We had to scream and wave and jump enthusiastically every time a giant camera on a crane came swinging by, which sucked for many reasons but mostly because every time I waved I could feel my arm fat jiggling back and forth and I just KNOW that out of all of the day’s footage, they’re going to somehow end up slow-mo-ing my giant, jiggling, waving arm for their promos.  Eventually I just felt like an attention whore.  Which is different when I actually am the center of attention at a small and intimate gathering with close family and friends who clearly love and appreciate my presence. In other words, I’m all about being the one getting all the laughs.  On Saturday though, I was one out of thousands who was trying to get noticed by someone, anyone, and frankly, I don’t need that kind of validation…………..oh who am I kidding.  I’m just bitter.  If they had called me over and told me to stand on my head and spin flaming hula-hoops in alternating directions from my ankles, while wearing a faux rabbit fur bikini, I totally would have.

Because

You just don’t say no to Oprah, people.   

 

***By the way, Oprah, thanks for splurging on flushing porta-pottys!***

 

 

 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Congratulations

I love this season of Graduations.

It’s a time of change; bittersweet goodbyes intermingled with the dizzy excitement of new beginnings.

Endless possibilities.

Memories made.

New ones waiting just around the bend.

Today, as I sat in my classroom with a young sampling of our country’s future (who were busy building wooden block castles and reading oversized books barefoot), I could hear the air horns blowing from my old high school alma mater, the graduates no doubt soaking in the intense emotions of the day.

Maybe someone beat the odds today; the first to graduate in a long line of dropouts.

Maybe someone saw the light at the end of the tunnel today; surviving years of exclusion and belittlement, knowing that at Harvard, she’ll be recognized for more than just her outdated jeans.

Maybe someone decided that today was the first day of the rest of their lives.

And isn’t that beautiful?

So today I say, Congratulations Class of 2010.

Whether you graduated from

Kindergarten

or

High School

or

College

or

you got your damn Ph.D (show off).

Because, Dear Class of 2010,

I see great things in your future

 

but it only matters

if you do too.

  graduation

 

Now check out the link below, and tell me it doesn’t inspire you to go and Do Something with your life.

http://www.sdranchcoastnews.com/cmv_dm_pages/cmv_dm_feature/6.10_cv_feature/6.10CVft3Inspirational-autistic-TPHS-student-graduates-will-deliver-a-commencement-speech.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

iGrownup?

 

When I was a child, hell, when I was a teenager, my television viewing was incredibly censored by my overbearing, paranoid, well-meaning parents.  My sister and I weren’t allowed to watch any tv shows or movies that depicted actors kissing, women who wore too much makeup, or unruly farm animals.

This left us with two options: My Little Pony commercials and Reading Rainbow on PBS.  Of course, this was no way to live. 

Since we didn’t have cable at our house, we relied on good friends and random people we met in dark alleys for our MTV fix and forbidden shows such as Married With Children.  I fantasized about the day I would be able to see an R-rated movie and vowed that I would spend the rest of my life wasting precious time by watching seedy television; every young girl’s dream.

Which is why now, at the tender age of almosthirtythree I am dumbfounded at the fact that I spend my tv time watching……iCarly.  Religiously.  With my husband.  Without our kids in the same room. 

People.  We press pause when one of us has to get up and pee. 

Clearly we have suffered a massive brain injury that neither one of us can remember and instead of watching crap that’s seeping with gore, violence, and sexual themes like other mentally stable couples, we’re glued to the tube and completely immersed in the lives of three loveable webcast stars and their unrealistic yet hysterically relatable antics.

So while I may not be able to join your conversation about the time Jonathon woke up from a coma and realized he was in love with his stepbrother’s paternal grandmother who just got out of prison for killing her lover Jose with a sharpened eyebrow pencil……

if you happen to be curious about how Carly, Sam and Freddie got stuck in a lonely girl’s basement along with a mild-mannered chicken named Maurice, and eventually got rescued by their oddball pal Gibby by sending him a secret code birthday message via email….…..

then I’m your girl. 

 

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Five Seconds of Perfection

Have you ever
been absorbed
in something
mundane

like laundry
piled high

mismatched socks
impatiently awaiting
your undivided attention

when something tells you
to turn your head
because Life is Happening

and you catch a glimpse of it
and your heart begins to flutter
and you feel tingly and alive
and every part of your being
from your toes to your very soul
are basking in the glow of this very fleeting
completely unrehearsed
absolutely perfect
moment
in
time?

















Ya.

It was sorta like that.





Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm Not Entirely Sure, But I May Belong in the Zoo......

I'm going to sum up my day with the following:

Today I read a story about a baby elephant named "Ellie" to my kindergarten class.
"Ellie" loves to eat peanuts, play in the mud, and cuddle with her mommy.

"Ellie" weighs less than me.

A baby elephant.

Weighs less than me.
















That is all.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Yoo-Hoo! Oprah! I’m Over Here!

So, have you ever had the feeling that you were predestined to be something…..great?  That there was a preordained path for you and all you had to do was go in search of it and it would lead you to your life’s calling? No?  Always knew you were going to be the guy that pumps out the porta potties on construction sites did ya?
Well I have. 
I’ve always felt that I was predestined to be filthy rich.  And famous.
Now, I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point between birth and the present, I misplaced my directions to Rich and Famous and ended up on a winding and mostly uphill path towards Middle-class and Ordinary.  This simply won’t do.  I am meant to be someone of influence.  Someone of power.  Someone who can afford to carelessly throw away underwear after her son has had a potty accident instead of trying to salvage them because they cost $5.99 per three pack and that sure adds up; someone who drives a limited edition something or other and not a car that puts me through this.
And then today, I opened up my computer when I got home from work and saw THIS.  My ticket out.  Or in.  Whatever.  In any case, it’s an opportunity to get back on that path towards an overindulgent lifestyle that is only annoying and socially frowned upon by those who can’t afford to participate in it.  In other words, I’m going to use $100 dollar bills as fly swatters.
But I need your help.
I need an angle.
I figure, what with my myriad of knowledge on important subject matters such as: OCD, Panic, Autism, Immigration, and Weight Control Issues (just to name a few), I may never need an actual guest.  I could just interview myself.  Everyday.  Which would be…..magical.
So help a soon-to-be celebrity out.  Even if you’ve never commented before, now’s your chance to come out of your creepy little hiding spot and give back to a good cause.  Me. 
Because I need your ideas, your support, and most importantly your compliments.  I’m not gonna lie.  Flattery will most likely secure you a spot in the inevitable entourage that will form once Oprah and I are likethis.
Open auditions in Orange County are being held at the Laguna Niguel Kohl’s on Saturday, June 19th.  I know you’ll be rooting for me. I mean, unless you wanna give it a shot.
But. 
We both know that would be a colossal waste of time, don’t we?
So, let’s be realistic and focus on me again.
Because Destiny is calling.
And I’m sure as hell listening.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Old Macdonald Had a Farm, and On That Farm He Had a Bunch of Orange County Bloggers

 

If you haven’t heard by now, (and you may not have, since I’m not really famous enough yet to be featured on any sort of breaking news type announcement)  I’m the newest addition to an awesome group of bloggers over at OCFamily.com.   When you’re done reading this post, come check me out over there, then stay awhile and browse through the other great blogs written by some pretty cool folks. 

So the OC Family bloggers were invited to partake in Tanaka Farms’ Cookout Tour this past Sunday, and because I make it a point to attend anything that has the term cookout in it, I graciously accepted the invite and dragged suggested to my family that they come along.

Below is a recap, for your viewing pleasure. 

And suffice it to say, we ate enough veggies to ensure digestive regularity for months to come.  Aren’t you glad I tell you everything?

 

Tanaka Farms 1

Orange County Bloggers sure know how to reproduce.

Tanaka Farms 3 

Spouses of bloggers must be ready and willing to engage in various extracurricular activities at a moment’s notice.  Even farming.  Notice the crossed arms and defeated grin.  This indicates that the spouse knows he doesn’t stand a chance in hell in getting out of this, or anything else his gorgeous blogging wife suggests for that matter.

Tanaka Farms 4

Um.  He. Was. In. Heaven.

Tanaka Farms 5

Okay.  Whose child is this and what have you done with my Nutella-on-Hawaiian-Sweet-Bread-For-Lunch-Everyday-Son?

Tanaka Farms 6

Monchichi loved harvesting the celery and ate it straight out of the ground.  So apparently, in order to get my kiddos to eat their veggies, all I have to do is secure several hundred acres of land, plant a bunch of crap, drive around in a giant rusty tractor, and use my sons for cheap labor.  Easy enough.

Tanaka Farms 2 

This is us.  Before we knew we were going to be walking uphill and eating swiss chard.  (the cutie pie on the far right is not a secret child I’ve kept hidden in the basement, mainly because we live in Southern California and if I were going to hide her anywhere it would most likely be in the three car garage, but her name is Olivia and she’s totally legit; she’s actually the boys’ cousin visiting from Ireland).

tanaka farms 7 

If you’re smart like me and slather SPF on everyone but yourself because you forget and then you spend the day on a farm in the unforgiving California sun, you too can end up with a new skin color fondly dubbed crimson (otherwise known as “#$%$%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”)

tanaka farms 8

I was beginning to panic that we were in the middle of nowhere and really starting to miss civilization when my husband, somewhat smugly I might add, pointed out that we were less than 50 yards from the nearest Starbucks.  Whatever.  It felt rural to me.

 

Aside from my horrendous sunburn, which was clearly operator error, we had a wonderful day, and I can assure you that the next time I’m at the grocery store, loading the cart with fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, I’ll be thinking about all of the hard work that goes into producing them; and be damned glad I’m a blogger, and not a farmer.

 

*Tanaka Farms graciously offered me the opportunity to participate in their Cookout Tour but I was not asked to review or write about this experience. I did it because I felt like it, okay?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Let's Go!

Hello Readers!
It's a beautiful day, so let's venture out into the wildneress and take a field trip!
I'm guest blogging here today, so follow me! Recently I met this wonderful gal and not only is she a genius for coming up with these, her business, Eli's Lids, donates to Surfer's Healing, a non-profit organization that runs surfing day camps for kiddos on the Autism Spectrum.  Woohoo!

So let's get going already.
Do you have your nametag on? 
Now, single file line, hands to yourselves, and watch out for oncoming traffic.

Hey!  You!
I said Hands To Yourself!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How Could I Have Known?

I’m in line, waiting for my turn.

A man in a blue uniform approaches me, his tired eyes fixated on the ground, and hands me a stack of paperwork.  I sign on the dotted lines, initial where indicated, and forgo reading the fine print, mainly because it’s so small it looks like it’s written in Chinese. 

He escorts me to the waiting area, and when I ask how long until the results are in, he shrugs and says they have no way of knowing; it all depends on the circumstances.

I pace the tiny and cramped room, and watch through the large windows as they hook up the machines.  My heart flutters a little, and I look around at the others who are sitting, thinking, wondering, all of us joined here today by a common purpose, all of us hoping for the best.

Twenty minutes pass, but it feels like hours.  My mouth is dry from thirst, but I dare not consume the stale muddy coffee that sits on the otherwise empty counter.  I’m tired of this.  I just want it to be over.

The man in blue opens the door, and slowly approaches me, his gaze meeting mine, and I already know the news is not good.  I feel a wave of humiliation and disbelief wash over me, and suddenly I wish I had forced my husband to come instead.

“Failed.” he says to me in a monotone voice, and I try not to mistake his callousness for cruelty;  I know he’s had to say this to many innocent people over the years.

“No! It can’t be!” 

“I’m sorry ma’am.  We’ve done everything that we can.  I suggest you seek a specialist.  It’s pretty serious.”

I walk, defeated, towards the pick up area, and get back in the car, confused and embarrassed, wondering how I will break the news to my loved ones, wondering what the neighbors will think; knowing that I will have to come back and try again, knowing I have no choice. 

Because I live in California.

And my poor station wagon Volvo

is officially

a gross polluter.

 

mobile-smog-checks-big-brother-is-watching-you