Sunday, June 10, 2018

Regarding Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

Photo credit:

Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Suicide, and the aftermath.

They had everything; it’s a selfish act. They had money; how could they be that depressed? They had fame; how could they be so lonely?

I've come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in this world. Those that have been depressed, and know and understand to the depths of their core what its like to feel that hopeless and alone, and those who have not.

Most of us think that the “depressed” ones, the selfish ones, the ones that feel too much--that we are in the minority. We are the troubled ones. We are strange. (We jump off bridges. We hog the news coverage.) At the very least, we need extra help and attention. We are the “special needs” group of (hopefully) functioning adults.

Its sad. It’s a little embarrassing. (What? It’s A LOT embarrassing!)

Who among us would ever willingly admit that we have had thoughts that our life is not worth living? That the world would shine, thrive and bloom in beautiful color without us? That we are the black, ugly dark ink stains on beautiful pink satin?

If I asked you to show by a raise of hands…have you every heard the “voices?” would you know what I was talking about?

I always thought I was in the minority. I've suffered from depression since the fifth grade. I’m weird, right?

I didn’t learn to “handle” it until college. With a very simple method…running! Lots of cardio. (No anti-depressents or medication yet). Yes, its not perfect. It's not the solution for everyone. Others need much, much more. 

But it has helped.  

It's hard. I have to be rigorous.  I can't let things slip. I have to be an eternal, fastidious, disciplined, ridiculous gate-keeper of my own mind. Why do you have to guard your own mind?! Is this thought good? Is it productive? It's not? Then, DO NOT ENTER!

I must train myself to count my blessings. I have to audibly name in gratitude what I am thankful for EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I must eliminate, expel, expunge, any toxic thoughts with the force of a geyser. I have spiraled. I have suffered. But do you see me every day? Yes I am in my running shoes. I am smiling. It's real. Its genuine. I am OK!

And there is beauty, too. (And this is beauty that I hope will stick around for the long haul.)

When you come out of it, you have no fear. You have already looked the devil in his face. You have felt the fiery breath of the hounds of hell. And you have survived.

You aren’t scared. You only have strength. Stamina. The unending, undying knowledge that you will prevail. (Do you see me now? Do you see why I am never scared? I’ve been to hell and back in my own mind. And I came back. I am unafraid! What is left to fear?)

At a dinner party, we were talking about the deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.

The thoughts. The voices shared: How could they do it? Why would they do it? They had everything. Why? How? How could you be that depressed?I don’t get it. I don’t understand.

And for the first time, at this upper-class, white people dinner party in San Diego, the responses were:
“That’s good you’ve never been that depressed! That’s good you don’t understand!”

And I realized then. In this dinner party of 9 people, at least 4 of the people DID UNDERSTAND. They HAD BEEN THAT DEPRESSED. I could see it in their eyes. They didn’t say it. They didn’t articulate it. They didn’t talk about it. But the truth was there.

And it made me realize. What if NOT EVER BEING DEPRESSED was in the minority? What if the majority of humans HAVE suffered from extreme feelings of sadness? Of hopelessness? Of worthlessness? To the point of thinking that their life was not living?  Of leaving everything behind?

Would it be so embarrassing? Would we be so afraid to talk about it? To share our suffering?  Would we have so much shame? Would we be so afraid to ask for help?

What if you didn’t feel so alone. What if you weren’t the minority. What if you were the majority?

Would that help? Would it change things?

I think it would.

This is my hope: Talk. Speak. Share. Tell others how you have felt at your worst. Share your darkest sorrows and also share your greatest hopes, too.  Share your laughter, your vunerability, your hilarity in all its raw glory. Be real. Be candid. Be truthful.

We are not alone. We are a life force, and we are all connected. We are in this together. 

You aren’t alone. And you don’t need to be afraid.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

5 Truly Tasteless Stocking Stuffers!

Need some last minute stocking stuffers? No time to run to the mall? Let's Amazon Prime some awesomeness into your Christmas with these 5 truly tasteless stocking stuffers!

1. Color me happy with this adult swear-word coloring book!  
Some adults work in profanity the way artists work in oil or clay. Explore your creative side with dozens of hilarious swear words for fun and relaxation. Swear words for every level of profanity and skill level!
Amazon Prime this bad boy for only $8.99.

2. Do you love bacon? So do I! That's why you need this grotesque bacon toothpaste! 
Everything tastes better with bacon, right? Order this savory bacon toothpaste here!

3. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! This culinary delight will be a hit with all the foodies in the family.

50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls is the #1 best seller in its category! Which category? Not sure but we're ordering it anyway. Order the cookbook here. 

4. Who wouldn't be delighted to find a radical Marshmallow Launcher in their stocking? Think of all the festive fun this would bring to your home on Christmas morning. Get your Extreme Classic Blaster Marshmallow Shooter here.

5. Time to get serious...this book could save your cat's life. Help your kitty avoid the pitfalls of irresponsible gun ownership, teen sex and drugs.

Seriously though, how can you resist?  How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety: And Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, and Other Dangers That Threaten Their Nine Lives available here.

Thanks for reading everyone, and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Add Some Kick-Ass to Your Christmas: Ninja Gingerbread Cookie Kit!

Why make lame, traditional Gingerbread cookies when there is a more violent and aggressive choice? Check out these bad boys! They are opening a serious can of whoop-ass on each even appears to be injured.

Each box makes 10-12 cookies and comes with icing, candy beads, piping bags and four different cookie-cutter shapes of various pissed-off Ninja gingerbread men.

I don't know about you, but I'm putting these little effers in my cart. (And yes, they are on prime.) Ho, ho, ho!

Ninja Gingerbread Kit is on Amazon.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Why My Kindergartner Will Save Us from the Zombie Apocalypse

Some days are just hard. Sometimes, when my daughter is having her tenth tantrum of the day and I am at my breaking point, I wonder why God gave me such a challenging child. 

To be fair, it’s not all her fault. My sweet, smart, funny and fierce daughter has ADHD and ODD in addition to a speech delay and other random kinks. 

But when it’s 2pm and I’m already pining for a glass of wine just to buffer me from the chaos that is my life right now, I can’t help but wonder: Why me?

Then I realize…the answer is clear. Some other parents would give up on their kid. Not everyone would shuttle the child around to speech two days a week, swimming because she is a born mermaid and the water is her home, gymnastics because she loves movement, a private school because she needs a nurturing environment, and horseback riding because it calms her. God may have given me this child because I might be the only mother who would do all these things.  And, let’s face it… God may have given me this child because I am the only mother who wouldn’t kill it! And it’s clear that she NEEDS to survive, because the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE IS COMING, AND MY DAUGHTER WILL SAVE US ALL.

Here’s How My Kindergartener Will Save Us from the Zombie Apocalypse.

1.She has extremely large, razor-sharp teeth that can slice through just about anything, and she isn’t afraid to use them. (Just ask her sister.) Seriously though, after knocking out her two front teeth on two separate occasions and existing as a toothless wonder for many years, her two front teeth have finally come in and they are FORMIDABLE. They are as big as Chiclets and sharp as daggers. They even protrude a bit from an ominous thumb-sucking habit. Zombies wouldn’t stand a chance.
2. She is restless and always-on-the-move. The zombies could never keep track of her. You think she’s in Spanish at kindergarten? Nope, she’s hiding in the bathroom, pretending to poop. You think she’s sleeping? She’s downstairs making a parfait. You think she’s taking a relaxing bath? She’s flooding the bathroom in a “wave pool” full of anti-lice shampoo. You think she's safely buckled in the back seat? She's in the back of the S.U.V. digging through groceries. I’m her fucking mother and I can’t even keep track of her!
3. Her blood-curdling scream is a battle cry that can be heard from miles away, and send even the undead running for the hills. She will call out other Zombie fighters from (I don’t know, aren’t there others out there? Help me out, Moms) and launch a Braveheart-style attack, complete with sharpie-face paint, sequin snowboots and a fur vest.  Her flair for drama will confuse and distract the zombies, enabling the fainter-of-heart to escape, and other zombie fighters to approach from behind.
4. Nothing scares her. Nothing.  Things that send her big sister diving under the covers barely elicit a response. “Michael Jackson’s jacket is really cool. Can I get a red leather jacket like that? And a zombie mask too, please. Is that brown blood coming from the zombie’s mouth? CAN I EAT A BUNCH OF CHOCOLATE AND LOOK LIKE THAT?”
5. She’s tough as nails with a pain tolerance that could rival a prize-winning fighter. Did she crack her head open and go to E.R. a bloody mess for seven staples in her head? Hell yes she did. No big deal. Home girl got her head STAPLED with just a TOPICAL and didn’t even cry until her Daddy passed out cold on the hospital floor. “What’s wrong with Daddy?” Chi-chi (staple) chi-chi (staple).
6. She isn’t afraid to engage in rogue and subversive tactics to distract and deter zombies.  The Truffle Shuffle, a Moana reenactment and deadly ball-pit dive are just a few items in her bag of tricks.
7. She’s eerily tenacious. Talk about having her eyes on the prize. She gets knocked down, and she gets back up again. You’re never going to keep her down. Is there something she wants? She never, ever, ever, ever gives up. Ever, ever, ever, ever…
8. She will fight to the death for the ones she loves. And her love is fierce. If you cross someone she cares about, she will take you down. 

Well, my love is fierce too. (So I guess God got it right.)

And after she’s saved us all from the Zombie Apocalypse and I finally get her through school, she will find her ultimate calling. I have no doubt she will move mountains. But for now, I’ll take that glass of wine…

Monday, August 21, 2017

13 Signs It's Time for Your Kids to go Back to School

It’s almost here. Can you make it? Just a few more days. A few more painful, excruciating, migraine-inducing days before school starts. Can you make it? You’re not sure.

You’re tapped out. The well has run dry. The dead horse has been beaten. The source of this despair? This chaos, this destruction, this heart-wrenching suffering? Your beloved offspring. The ones you can’t wait to kiss goodbye, never to see again. Well, at least for seven hours.

Is it time for school to start? If you’re a complete sadist and you’re not sure, here’s a handy checklist. For the rest of us...well, this will just confirm our suspicions.

    1.    You plan your day around wine. You actually try to get yourself stuck out of the house, in parts of town where you will be forced to eat out for lunch, which means you can order wine. “Kids, there is NO WAY we can make it home for lunch after Nordstrom Rack, and still make it to music class on time, so we MUST eat out, or we will surely starve. (Sigh.) Oh look, there is a (enter favorite chain restaurant that serves alcohol). I guess we’ll have to eat there!”
     2. Wine doesn’t cut it anymore, and you’ve moved onto vodka. This happens! Last week I had lunch with two girlfriends and they BOTH ordered vodka tonics, and confided that it was too late in the summer to drink wine and get a proper buzz. And these girls are winos like me. Also, I guess vodka has less calories. Should I give vodka a try? I do have a few days left…
     3.  You are in the worst shape you’ve been in ALL YEAR. How are you supposed to run, and go to yoga and Pilates with these KIDS attached to you all day? How does that work? How do moms stay in shape over the summer without starving themselves?  Oh that’s right, they starve themselves. Except for my friend Kelly. (See exhibit A below.) Here, Kelly sports shockingly flat abs after birthing three children and orders a burger at Islands and eats it. With the bun. You go, Kelly!

Exhibit A. Kelly Snodgrass looking amazing!

     4.  Every single thing your kids say irritates you. Every. Single. Thing. Even an innocent “Mom, may I please have a healthy fruit snack and a refreshing glass of water?” can elicit an angry “What’s with your attitude? Go to your room!” Don’t even try, “Mom, can I put my old clothes in a bag for homeless people?” NO, YOU DIDN’T! THOSE ARE FIGHTING WORDS.
     5.  You fantasize about hiring a nanny and going back to work. To work! You could get dressed in real clothes. You could stop at Starbucks. What job could you get? You have skills, right? Of course you do! Amazon Prime skills….Facebook skills…Nun chuck skills….
     6. You are parenting poorly. Duh. This one is obvious. You’ve straight up stopped disciplining your kids because a) It doesn’t work and b) you have no energy. When you DO discipline (take away an iPad, or dessert) you forget ten minutes later when you are throwing electronics at them and shoving cookies down their throats so you can get five. Minutes. Of. Peace.
     7.  You are wife-ing poorly.  When your husband gets home from work, he takes one look at your face and immediately goes into the other room. Your entire being radiates despair and doom, and your eyes are two vapid pools of helplessness and fatigue, mixed with a healthy dose of ANGER AND ACCUSATION because HE GAVE YOU THESE CHILDREN. That’s right, you better run!
     8.  You fantasize about what it would be like if you didn’t have kids. Like, what if you decided not to have kids, or couldn’t get pregnant? Would you eventually recover and move on with your life? Hell yes, you would! You and your husband would be in the South of France right now, drinking rose on a beautiful yacht. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE DO WHO DON’T HAVE CHILDREN! I’ve seen it on Facebook! You would both look super hot and ten years younger because you didn’t have KIDS. (In real life, your not-even-40-yet husband is sporting a GREY BEARD. A GREY BEARD. People ask him if it’s because of his stressful job, and he laughs but you know better. THE KIDS DID THIS TO HIM.

Your Life Without Kids

     9.  You get stupid ideas like taking your 6-year-old off her ADHD medicine to “give her a break” because it’s summer, or take away everyone’s electronics for a few days to clear everyone’s mind. WHAT STUPID FUCKING IDEAS. Why don’t you just stab yourself through the heart with a corkscrew. That would feel better, I fucking promise.
    10. Your self-care has gone out the window.  Your legs are hairy. Your roots are grey. You haven’t meditated in weeks. I won’t even go into your bikini line (unless you have experienced the glories of laser hair removal. Thanks, LaserAway!) Your nail polish is so chipped it’s almost completely gone. You probably have three new cavities due to a summer of poor flossing.
    11.  Your toilets get clogged on a daily basis. Apparently your plumbing can’t handle around-the-clock use by a six-year-old and a nine-year-old because they get plugged up every day. EVERY FUCKING DAY.
    12.  Everything makes you cry. The theme song to Moana. When the Grandma dies in Trolls. When you run out of hand sanitizer. When you can’t find a ripe avocado.
    13.  Your kids are fighting to the death. Their hair pulling, face scratching, biting, hitting and sucker-punching would put the worst barbarian to shame. You think of showing your kids Gladiator to put things in perspective, and you cheer up for a moment because—Russell Crowe-- then you realize that's the happiest you’ve felt all week and you start crying again.

No caption needed.

 If you answer YES to any of the above, guess what? It’s time for your kids to go back to school!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

How to Avoid Mommy Drama, Gossip, and other Assorted Bullshit

I managed to slip through my twenties in a na├»ve haze of beach living, bar-hopping and work. The happy hour menu, job and boys changed with the season, but my friendships…they always remained consistent.  I was lucky enough to fall into an amazing circle of girlfriends.  They are some of my best friends to this day and their love and support have set the bar for friendship really, really high.

Most of us lived in PB, and when we got real jobs, we migrated North to La Jolla. When we got married and had kids, we spread out all over San Diego County. We are in Mission Hills and Point Loma, Encinitas and Del Mar.  Solana Beach and Carlsbad. I was the only one who moved to Coronado. Once again, I hit the jackpot. Once again, I am surrounded by loving and amazing friends.

Living in Coronado is sort of like a fairy tale. It’s like living in the Deep South, but more ocean and less snakes.  Everyone knows who you are. I can’t go to school drop off, the coffee cart, or Boney’s without seeing at least five people I stop to chat with. (This is why I wear makeup every day because ARE YOU STARING AT MY UNDER EYE CIRCLES?) I bump into my daughter’s swim teacher at the Yacht Club. The dance teacher at Nado Gelato.  My OB/GYN at Il Fornaio.  Need to switch up that birth control? Perfect place to ask.  It’s very Norman Rockwell. It’s very warm and fuzzy. Where else do people get excited to hang out at the annual Flower Show?

It’s also a curse.

If you are going through a challenging time, a dozen people will offer to help. But if you roll into the yacht club super-buzzed and dance wildly with the senior citizens…yup, everyone saw that too.  If your husband posts something questionable on Facebook, it MAY be brought up at a lady’s club meeting. If you are a newcomer and you try to patch up a friendship between two old friends…watch out, you might get kicked out of church group! Piss off the wrong person? You’re not getting into the Yacht Club. Looking pretty at the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone might accuse you of cheating on your husband. Seriously. You can't make this shit up.

But by far the BIGGEST problem I have with this town is lady gossip. In particular, moms. I am always shocked when I’m hanging out with a group of women and a conversation turns sour and someone says something negative about someone else.  Why does this happen?

I’ve witnessed many friendships unravel. Some, perhaps beyond repair. Most of the time I am unable to take sides because I genuinely like both parties. Usually someone is at fault but lets face it…good people make mistakes.  And are we really keeping score?

I’m not perfect. I’m not immune to trash talking, but it doesn’t happen often…I really, really try to reserve those fucks for when they are warranted. I feel like my life is better because of it. Conversations with friends are happier and deeper. People tell me secrets because I keep them. My friends trust me—since I don’t talk shit about anyone else, they know I won’t talk shit about them. Luckily, my husband feels the same way and we do our best to try to follow an anti-gossip regime in our household. It’s served us well.

I read somewhere that “what other people think about you is none of your business.”  It’s true. And I think if you stop caring what others think of you, you also start to care less about the shit they do. Shit that isn’t any of your business in the first place.

This is a pretty preachy post so feel free to unlike it and tell me how bad it fucking sucks. But this has been weighing on me for a really long time, and I don’t like to pay for therapy.

Top Tips to Avoid Mommy Drama, Gossip, and other Bullshit

1. Don’t gossip. This should be easy, but it’s actually really hard in a small town. Do your best to not say anything bad about anyone, ever. Don’t stir the pot. Gossip benefits NO ONE…EVER!
2. Don’t get in the middle. If two parties are fighting, it’s not your job to take sides, defend the friend you are closer to or try to patch things up (although I have been tempted.) We are big girls. We have pushed babies out of our vaginas or had them cut out of us. We have pledged our lives to our husbands and have dedicated everything we have to our families. Some of us have had to watch our marriages dissolve. Some of us are widows. Some of us are the breadwinners in the family and work 60 hours a week. WE ARE BIG GIRLS. We clean up our own messes. (In other words…don’t get in the middle. Be fucking Switzerland.)
3. Be kind. Always. 
4. See the good in people. Everyone, and I mean everyone has something to offer. Everyone has a unique talent. There are a few people that I genuinely don’t like being around, but I can still see the good in them, and I am sure they are amazing in their own ways.  (Just don’t ask me to lunch. I will admire you from afar.)
5. Make up your own mind about people. Don’t pay too much attention to anyone’s reputation. (True…where there’s smoke, there is usually fire. But it feels amazing to be surprised!)
6. Remove yourself from toxic situations. If you find yourself in a social situation where someone starts shit-talking, get out of the situation. Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. Go get a drink. Change the subject. Never stand idly by and let the gossip grow. Then you are an accomplice!
7. Have faith in your friends. If you’ve chosen your friends wisely…have faith in them. They may go off in their own circles and join clubs you don’t like or see people you don’t enjoy. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you and support you. They are living their life to the best they know how, and know that they will always defend you should push come to shove.
8. Be forgiving. People will make mistakes. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people. It can be hard to forgive but even harder to let anger fester.
9. Be careful with clubs. I have really good friends who are super active in ladies clubs and thrive in that environment, but I found it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t any good in a sorority either. The only club I really thrived in was Stroller Strides, because we were all too busy sweating with our damn babies in our damn Bob Strollers, trying to not be fat and keep up, and giving each other advice on increasing breast milk supply and sleep training to give a shit about anything else. Peace out, Stroller Strides
10. Try to keep your shit together.  If you decide to go rogue and do some super-questionable shit, please keep it on the down-low and off the local radar.
11. Don’t judge. We all have our own shit to deal with. This includes judging yourself if you find yourself saying something unkind. Were you a bitch today? Be nicer tomorrow.

And finally, take the advice of my good friend. One day we were sitting by the pool with our then 3-year-old girls and were talking about something. She said, “You know, it takes a lot for me to get mad at people. If you try to fuck my husband or hurt my kid, then we have a problem. But if you don’t do that, I’m pretty much okay with you.”

Amen to that!