Posted in days of the week, Weird Wednesdays

I Hear Dead People

wacky wedHello, and welcome to the weirdest day of the week. I thought it was just me. As a former mother to a teen I was told on more than one occasion that I was “so weird.” She’s 22 now and still thinks I’m weird, but I can no longer hear her eyes roll when she says it (and not just because I’m starting to suffer from age-related hearing loss).

Evidently I’m not the only one who thinks that Wednesdays are weird.  Google returns 71,6000,000 results in .61 when you ask it. I would have asked Alexa, but I don’t have an Echo (capital E. I’m pretty sure I still have my echo). I’m already freaked out by the ads that pop up in my FB newsfeed without having to worry about her listening to my private conversations with myself. Yes, I talk to myself. Out loud. Weren’t you listening? I’m “so weird.”

I love “the google.” I know it’s wrong – and not just because loving a search engine is weird. I have a big birthday coming up and am starting to embrace my crazy cat lady personae. Well, that’s not true – I will never become a crazy cat lady, but only because I cats make me wheeze. I still want one two five (breathing’s optional, right?) but my friends and family won’t let me have any (meanies). I am, however, starting to embrace my senior self – I am starting to say “the google” and “the walmart” and I have died my hair a spectacular shade of magenta.

But I digress, again (damned ADHD squirrels). I love “the internets” because I have learned fascinating bits of trivia. Trivia that I am driven to share with strangers, whether or not they want to know. Yes, I talk to strangers, and, despite what my family may tell you, not only when I’ve had too much tequila. Thanks to The Fact Site I know that Wednesday is named for the German god Woden (I thought it was Odin’s day?), that the Japanese word of Wednesday (sui youbi) means “water day” (drink more water!) and that Quakers refer to it as the “fourth day” of the week to avoid pagan associations with Wednesday (I didn’t know Wednesday was pagan).

wednesday

Most importantly, I learned that “according to a survey, bosses are most receptive to requests from their employees on a Wednesday.” Excuse me while I go ask my boss for a long-overdue raise.

But wait! there’s more! (damned squirrels – I almost missed the point of today’s post. Yes, I have a point). Unlike Cole Sear, I cannot see dead people, but if Amazon has its way we may all be able to hear them.  ICYMI (it has been a busy week, after all) Amazon is developing a creepy new feature. As reported in the Washington Post (among others), during last Wednesday’s keynote speech in Las Vegas Rohit Prasad, senior vp and head scientist of Alexa AI, explained that in an attempt to “build greater trust with users” the feature would allow  the voice assistant to replicate people’s voices. In other words, I could have a recipe read to me by my dead mother.

It’s been 27 years and I miss her voice. I may need an Echo after all.

So what do you think – is the new feature cool or creepy?

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Posted in days of the week, Weird Wednesdays

Is it weird in here?

steven wright
image courtesy of quotesgram.com

Don’t you love Steven Wright? I wanted to shout “Yes it is!!” but shouting in my empty living room seems weird.

I mean, I know I’m weird (I’ve been told often enough). I blame the theater. Not the movie theater, although some theaters are pretty strange. Take Cinespia, for example. Cinespia is best know for screening movies at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. People bring blankets and chairs to watch a movie in the cemetery that marks the final resting place for Marion Davies, John Huston, Peter Lorre, Fay Wray, Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer, Harry Cohn, Bugsy Siegel, and the Black Dahlia.

I am talking about “the theater” – yes, it’s true – I am a damned thespian. At least I have a reason for being what my family called “so drama” (special shout-out to my mother for nicknaming me Sara Heartburn*). Fortunately I found my tribe long ago.

tribe

But I digress, yet again. It’s the third Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for news of the weird.

The past month has been weird, and not just because the Depp-Heard drama refuses to die. A 9-foot boa constrictor visited a family in New York (is that weird, or just freaky?), an Idaho man had his brother-in-law catapult 59 marshmallows into his mouth, and Sandy Cheeks ran onto the field (and visited the bullpen) during a Cubs-Pirates game.

But the highlight (lowlight?) of the month has to be the story about the Charlie Bucket wannabes. As reported by Huffpost, two people fell into a partially filled chocolate tank while doing maintenance work at the Mars-Wrigley plant in Elizabethtown Pennsylvania. Emergency responders were able to free the pair by cutting a hole in the bottom of the tank.

That’s the official story anyway. I’m thinking that Willy Wonka has gone to the dark side and that chocolate-covered people are the new Soylent Green.

In closing, I want to leave you with this very important message from Graham Moore.

stay weird

Stay safe, stay weird, and don’t forget – normal is just a setting on the washing machine.

*Sarah Heartburn was my mother’s twisted take on Sarah Bernhardt. In a strange twist of fate, I worked on a production of Divine Sarah when I was in my twenties.

So tell me – do you have anything weird you’d like to share?

Posted in days of the week, mental health monday

Mistakes, I’ve Made a Few

There-Are-No-Mistakes_Richard-Bach-300x298[1]

Here we are again – just another manic Monday. Wish it was Sunday.

No I don’t. Sunday sucked, and not just because it was Monday eve.

That’s a lie. Sunday was ok – I tried a new dish. I’m not much of a cook, but the roasted cauliflower in this video looked delish. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as gorgeous as the one in the video, and it was a little overcooked. The EIC told me that I’d failed.

My normal response to the bully in my head is to roll over and allow him to lead me down the rabbit hole of mistakes. Being a “woman of a certain age” I have many, many years of stumbles and missteps, so it’s a long way to the bottom (I was going to say that my hole is deep, but that sounded wrong, even to someone with a twisted sense of humor).

I think he was surprised when I agreed. Yep, I failed – but that doesn’t bother me any more. That’s because I know what fail means. I’ve said it before, but the definition bears repeating:

First

Attempt

In

Learning

On this Mental Health Monday, I wanted to remind you that we’re only human – you are human, aren’t you? If not, congrats on learning to read! I know it sounds silly, but in a world where dogs and cats are learning to use sound buttons to communicate, anything is possible. Next thing you know this cat will be taking the newspaper into the bathroom.

 

Sorry, ADHD squirrels at it again.

Where was I? Oh yes – being human. 

We’re only human, which means we’re not perfect (as a recovering perfectionist, this was a hard lesson to learn). We make mistakes, and that’s ok. 

That’s a lie.

It’s more than ok. Making mistakes is what makes us human.

Have a great week, and don’t forget to be kind to everyone, including yourself!

Be-kind-to-yourself (1)
image courtesy of tiny buddha

So tell me – what have you learned from your mistakes?

Posted in days of the week, Friyay

Finally, Friday*

lucille ball
image courtesy of myhappybirthdays.com

Looks like we made it!

It’s been Quite A Week (deathaversaries, plumbing issues and anxiety attacks – Oh My!) but it is finally Friday – or is it finally, Friday? Grammar police, this is your chance – my brain has melted and English has fallen out of my head y hablo solomente uno poquito d’espanol (Spanish speakers, feel free to correct me as well). I know enough to ask for “mas cerveza” and inquire “donde esta el cuarto de bano” so I’m ready for my Cabo vacay (I wish).

ANYWAY.

I am slowly working through all the dias de la semana in an attempt to conquer my writer’s block, but today my writer’s block is punching back. For now I will leave you with a Friday funny.

loyal
image courtesy of en.dopl3r.com

Maybe it’s my twisted sense of humor, but that made me LOL. VIMN (Very Important Mom Note) – DON’T DO DRUGS!!)

My second smile came courtesy of those little yellow dudes (no, not mother’s little helpers)

minion
image courtesy of littlenivi.com

So tell me – what’s making you smile today?

P.S. For those of you “of a certain age” here’s a flashback for your Friday

Posted in days of the week, life lessons, WFH Wednesdays

WTF*

happy-hump-day-2
image courtesy of dictionary.com

Happy Hump Day everyone!

We are halfway through the week, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t Wait Til Friday.

Wait a minute.

What’s so special about Fridays? I mean, I know it’s the end of the workweek and all, but really, what makes Friday better than Wednesday? Is it truly a better day, or does it just have a better marketing team?

In my last post I tried to give Monday a spin. I learned that Mondays get a bad rap because they have no feet. I also learned that I am not a very good spin doctor – at least, not as good as these guys:

but I am going to try to work my way through all the days of the week.

I know what you’re thinking (I do! It’s because I’m psychic. Or is it psychotic? I get the two confused). You’re wondering why I would waste my time spinning the days of the week. I’m wondering the same thing.

TBH I don’t know why.

These are things that I DO know –

I know that I have let death, illness, stress, brain weasels and the black dog keep me from writing. I know that days weeks months of avoiding the blank page have turned it into the monster under my bed (literally – I have a whole slew of empty notebooks gathering dust under my bed). I know that the only way to chip away at a writer’s block is to write. And yet….

The words don’t come.

So here I am, rambling about the days of the week, chasing the ADHD squirrels and hoping that they’ll lead me over/around/through the block.

But (pay attention – I have a big but**)

My squirrels lead me straight to an epiphany (ok, not straight – they are ADHD squirrels, so we spent far too much time getting distracted by shiny things) –

We all look forward to Friday – we spend our week looking forward to the weekend and our weekend dreading Monday. When we’re at work we wish we were home and when we’re home (and faced with honey-dos) we wish we were somewhere else.

We are wishing our lives away. It needs to stop.

Life is short. Be here now.

The people at spiritbutton said it better

wtf

*I know what you’re thinking (did you not read my post? I’m psychic!). You thought this was going to be a post about WTF moments. I don’t want to disappoint you, so here’s a link

**mostly thanks to WFH and stress eating

So tell me – what’s your favorite day of the week, and why?

Posted in days of the week, motivational mondays

#TGIM

mondaymotivation

Happy Monday!

I know, I know, it seems like the world’s greatest oxymoron. Who the #!? is happy about Mondays?

TBH I’m not a fan, but as I said before,  I feel sorry for it. Put yourself in its shoes….Wait – does Monday even have shoes? or feet? (Ugh, the ADHD is strong today). How would you feel if you knew that everybody hated you? Is it any wonder that Mondays are so…well, Monday-ey?

I think the problem with Monday is bad PR.

That’s a lie (if you’re new here, I lie – a lot. Well, not a lot…mmmm..or maybe I do)

The main problem with Monday is that we’ve spent 2-3 days playing, and Monday marks a return to the real world – and it’s not even MTV’s Real World. BTW I hate the Real World more than Mondays.* The show, that is, although reality leaves a lot to be desired.  Returning to the real world is stressful. According to this AZCentral article, scientists say the stress of going back to work means our blood pressure is higher on Mondays, which explains why they are the most common day for people to have heart attacks and strokes (side note – the cdc site lists early symptoms of strokes or heart attacks – being aware can save a life).

And Monday can be an asshat – just ask Garfield:

garfield hates mondays
Image courtesy of Jim Davis

But maybe Monday is just taking a preemptive strike? Maybe, just maybe, if we start being being excited for Mondays they won’t be quite as rough? As I was looking for images for today’s post I came across a 2021 post by beautifulmindsinspireothers. Ronda reminds us to be gentle with ourselves because “there are enough people waiting to knock us down or criticize us without us leading the charge.” challenges us to “start your week with a better Monday Mindset and live the week being intentional about of beating yourself up over everything that doesn’t go wonderfully.”

She also shared a great acronym for Monday:

Make today count

be Open to new opportunities

Notice the good in others

Dream out loud

Acknowledge your effort (and remember that)

You make a huge difference

So TGIM everybody! Grab Monday by the balls and make it a great week! (Wait does Monday even have balls? No? No wonder its so mean!)

Sigh. The acronym is nice and all, but I still side with the Boomtown Rats

*Not only did The Real World interrupt my viewing of music videos, it was the very first reality tv show. Yes, you can blame The Real World for Keeping Up With The Kardashians and all the Real Housewives shows….

Posted in days of the week

Poor Monday

monday-meme-18-1[1]

Do you ever get the feeling that nobody likes you? No? Just me, then.

I mean, I KNOW that people like me (I know it intellectually – emotionally I’m sometimes unsure). I have a circle of friends, some of whom I’ve known since I first moved to California. It’s just that, on Friday nights when the phone isn’t ringing and everyone is going to The Big Game, it’s easy to feel a bit like Charlie Brown.

Wait. Scratch that. It’s been a long time since I sat at home wishing that I’d been invited to a Friday Night Football game.

That’s not right either. I went to football games with friends. Memory is tricky that way. We forget things that happened and remember things that didn’t. Anyone else 100% positive that something in a dream actually happened? No? Just me then. Again.

While I might be the only one still irked because my spouse cheated on me in a dream, we’ve all fallen victim to the “Mandela effect.” As reported by UK’s Mirror in “news of the weird”, it’s “the phenomenon where people remember something incorrectly, but their recollection becomes the accepted version.” Don’t believe me? Tell me – what does the Big Bad Wolf say to the three little pigs?*

But I di-Greg (If you don’t know who Greg Kata is, you need to check out @gregisms on TikTok. No, really, go NOW. I’ll wait).

Ever feel like nobody likes you? Everybody hates you? It’s usually the EIC spreading the lie that “everybody’s out having fun without you.” Trust me, it’s a lie. One of the hardest things for me to remember is that we’re busy. “We adults”, that is. As a kid, your only job is to go to school and play. As an adult, we have to do all the things. Well, we don’t HAVE to, but we try. Most of us, at least. I don’t mean to be sexist, but men tend to be single focused while women try to multi-task.

I blame Cosmo (the magazine, not the drink). Helen Hurley Brown spent years trying to convince us that we (women) could do it all perfectly while perfectly quaffed and made up. For a woman who purported to be a “devout feminist” she certainly dedicated a lot of space reinforcing the patriarchal POV about women. Whether it’s Cosmopolitan magazine or other media (standard or social), women believe we can do it all. We spend our days working, cooking, cleaning, nursing, shopping, doing laundry, making beds and chauffeuring smaller humans around town. Oh, and let’s not forget trying to squeeze in time for a little “self-care” (tip for toddler moms – playing “Hide and DON’T Seek” will give you anywhere from 5-10 child-free minutes).

We have little to no time for ourselves, is it any wonder that we have zero time for friends? It’s ironic, really, because friendship is vitally important to our mental health – and not just because the EIC lies when the phone doesn’t ring. Remember, phones work both ways – pick up the phone and dial (or text. Whatever).

Still feeling unloved? Now you know how Monday feels. Pobrecito, everybody hates him. Her. Them. TBH I don’t know what pronoun Monday uses, but I feel sorry for it. I don’t know if this will make Monday feel better, but whenever I was feeling unloved/lonely, my mother would sing the worm song. She’d also offer to fix me a plate of worms wrapped in tinfoil. No, I don’t know why she added “wrapped in tinfoil,” but she said a lot of things I didn’t understand, including the parental fave “I’ll give you something to cry about.” I mean, I obviously have something to cry about, or I wouldn’t be crying!

*The famous line, “I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff and blow your house DOWN” has always been, “I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff and Blow your House IN”.

So tell me – did you ever play Hide and don’t seek with your kids/siblings?

Posted in days of the week, Friyay

Find Your Joy

adhesive-note-with-happy-friday-text-on-a-cork-bul-H4SGYZ3

Hello and welcome to your dose of Fri-yay aka some good news for the end of your week. If you’re anything like me, you’re tired of listening to all the bad and sad featured by the major news networks. Listening to the news is either alarming (“Something in your house could kill you – news at 11!”) or depressing (“We’re on the brink of war! Gas prices are skyrocketing! Avocados from Mexico are banned!”* ). Is it any wonder that so many of our commercials are for anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressant meds? (hmmmmmm…is that an AHA! moment or tinfoil hat time?).

tinfoil hat
image courtesy of wikipedia.com

One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic was John Krasinski’s Some Good News. Unfortunately, John Krasinski stopped playing on Youtube after 8 short episodes and moved on to other things. Something about having prior commitments to his Jack Ryan team or writing and directing Quiet Place 27. I know the truth – he doesn’t love me any more (then again, he doesn’t love me an less). 

With SNG on permanent hiatus, it’s up to us dig through the dreck and find the good. Thankfully, it’s not just up to me and my recently restarted blog. That’s waaaaaaay too much pressure for this somewhat cynical anti-suburban suburbanite.  

There were plenty of good things to celebrate this week, including the fact that my daughter got accepted to all three of the colleges she applied for. I realize that although this brought her joy, it affects you not at all. I’m hoping the next two stories lift your spirits. 

One of my favorite pieces from this week was the story of Jasper, the Siamese cat with a new view of his hooman’s fishtank. Evidently Jasper used to spend hours staring at the saltwater tank from a dining room chair. The new tank was finished last December. While his two-legged siblings spent Christmas eve dreaming of sugarplums, Jasper was dreaming of sushi. 

cat aquarium

World News Tonight has started a segment entitled America Strong. It’s not quite SNG, but it comes close. Last night’s segment featured Andy Toleson, a senior at Lake Hamilton High School in Piercy, Arkansas. His team chose to give this young man a memory that will last a lifetime. He deserves it. As his coach said, “He’s taught us that if you’ll put your mind to something, and you believe in it and you have a dream, that anything is possible.” 

I have to admit, the actions of his coach and teammates made me smile, but the actions of the other team had me reaching for tissues (damned allergies!). These young men give me hope for humanity. 

So turn off the news and find something to smile about. Or, as my new TikTok BFF Greg Kata says – Find Your Joy

*Between the avocado ban and the cream cheese shortage, I might finally lose my #Covid15.

So tell me – what good news do you have today?

Posted in self care, Uncategorized

Love, Me (love me?)

Happy-Self-Love-Day[1]Author’s note – you have not fallen through a hole in the space-time continuum. This piece was originally posted February of 2014. I would have posted something new, but I am suffering from post-superbowl syndrome (#Ramshouse). The EIC was kind enough to remind me that I could have written something Saturday and scheduled it to post today – to which I not-so-kindly say “STFU”. Happy V-day everyone!

It’s Wednesday February 12th, so we are currently being bombarded with advertisements from florists, jewelers and chocolatiers, all reminding us that Friday is that All Important Day to Prove our Love. Everywhere you look, there are messages about pampering your love, celebrating your relationship and BUY BUY BUY! To be honest, I’ve never been a huge Valentine’s Day fan, but this year I am (and not just because I saw a receipt for a florist in my husband’s pocket…).

This pre-Valentine’s Day celebration is special. I am part of a group of women who are blanketing the world with love. Instead of stressing the value of flowers, chocolate and jewelry for your Significant Other, we are stressing the importance of self-love (and not in an x-rated, “batteries not included” way). The idea of falling in love with oneself has come along at a very important time. My daughter is not-quite fourteen, which is a dangerous time for girls. Up until now, she’s managed to avoid or ignore the media messages on beauty and self-loathing. It’s coming soon, I can tell. I’ve seen her looking at herself in the mirror, standing sideways and pulling her shirt tight, trying to decide if the clothes are making her look fat, or if she needs to lose “just five pounds”. She recently gave up soda, and is limiting her intake of salty and processed foods. Some mothers would be proud of their daughter for making healthy eating choices. I am not. Don’t get me wrong. I am very proud of my daughter for wanting to take care of herself. I am worried that she is doing it for the wrong reason – that she is changing her diet because she thinks she is fat, and not because she wants to be healthy. I hope I am wrong.

When I was young(er), I was fearless. I had no doubt that I could accomplish anything I wanted to do. I wore kookie clothes and had weird haircuts and laughed too loudly and talked too much. Somewhere along the way between Then and Now, something happened and I became someone else. There’s nothing wrong with the person I’ve become. I’m a nice person with a nice life and nice friends living in a nice town…I’m just not me. I’m not sure what happened, but I blame the EIC (The Evil Inner Critic).

The EIC is the voice that tells us to smile instead of laugh, to listen instead of talk. He tells us that we’re not good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough or talented enough to pursue our dreams. The EIC is the one who tells us to give up and settle down and live a nice life in a little pink house in surburbia – and then tells us that we don’t fit in – that we need to cut our hair and change the way we dress, that we need to buy a minivan and join the PTA. The EIC encourages us to change, to camouflage our true self and blend, and then laughs at us for trying.

Thanks to the reminder from the women involved with Madly in Love with Me, I am rediscovering myself. I’m the person with the misbehaving hair who snorts when she laughs. I have given up the carpool and committees and returned to writing and standup and singing loudly and off-key in my car. I have stopped caring about what strangers think of me, and am hopeful that eventually the only opinion which will matter to me is my own. The EIC still yammers at me, but his voice is getting softer, and has been joined with other voices. Voices that tell me they want to paint, and dance in the rain, and wear bright colors and sparkly shoes. Voices that belong to my True Self, who has been patiently waiting for me to listen.

This, then, is the lesson I am learning, the one thing I want to teach my daughter while I still have a chance to influence her opinion. A lesson that has taken me 30 years to remember.

Whatever you do, be true to you.

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Posted in days of the week, Friyay, life lessons

Putting the F(inish) in Friday

friday murrayI realize that I’ve missed my New Year’s Resolution goal of writing on a more consistent basis (one could argue that something is more than nothing, but that’s beside the point) but I’ve been crazybusy…or at least crazy.

What’s more important than writing, you ask? (Yes, I can hear you – most of the time I just let it goooooooo). Well, reading about writing has taken up a significant amount of time. That’s a lie (have you forgotten? I lie – a lot). I’m reading Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff. It’s not exactly about writing – it’s about, well, finishing.

Jon is an excellent writer, and his work in Finish is both insightful and laugh out loud funny. I could go on and on about how much I love his book (and his podcast), but I won’t (and not only because I’m rapidly becoming a squealy fangirl not-so-scary stalker). My only regret is that it took me three attempts to begin Finish.

What’s so amazing about this book and why is it sucking up all my “free time”? (AKA the time I’m not spending getting sucked into Winter Olympics –  was it just me, or did Shaun White’s reaction to his fourth place finish break your heart?). I’ll lot Jon explain: 

“According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. You’ve practically got a better shot at getting into Juilliard to become a ballerina than you do at finishing your goals. 

For years, I thought my problem was that I didn’t try hard enough. So I started getting up earlier. I drank enough energy drinks to kill a horse. I hired a life coach and ate more superfoods. Nothing worked, although I did develop a pretty nice eyelid tremor from all the caffeine. It was like my eye was waving at you, very, very quickly. 

Why? Because the sneakiest obstacle to meeting your goals is not laziness, but perfectionism. We’re our own worst critics, and if it looks like we’re not going to do something right, we prefer not to do it at all.” 

That’s right – being a chronic starter does not mean you’re a loser or a failure or anything else your EIC tries to tell you. It means you’re a perfectionist. So am I. I blame Mary Poppins – come on, didn’t every little girl want to be practically perfect in every way? No? Just me then. Ooooohhhhhh –  I wonder if there’s a 12 step program for recovering perfectionists. I could start one. We could have meetings! I’ll bring the brownies! I..oh! Squirrel! Where was I? 

Thanks to Jon Acuff and Brene Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection is equally amazing) I am learning to let go of my perfectionist tendencies. I am also trying to let go of my dream of being Mary Poppins, but it’s hard – not just because she was able to sing, dance and jump into chalk drawings, but because she could clean the house with a snap of her fingers. I’ve tried snapping my fingers, wriggling my nose (a la Samantha Stevens) and singing to squirrels and birds. My house is still messy. I’m hoping that someone invents a self-cleaning house, but scientists seem more interested in developing a flying car. Probably so they can fly away from their messy house.

I have learned that Cosmopolitan lied when they said I could do/have/be it all perfectly. I hope that learning that “good enough” is good enough will allow me to meet my New Year’s Goal of writing on a more consistent basis.

Then again, something is more than nothing.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to check out the Jamaican Bobsled team!