Tag Archives: family

What Does Mindy Kaling’s Hips, Bob Marley’s Teeth and the Best Women Farters All Have in Common?

The is my first search terms post and I’m really excited to exploit my misplaced sense of self-importance. People have stumbled on to my blog from a lot of silly search terms like “girls+poop”, “all men are boob guys” (really?), “how do i reverse seven years of bad luck from breaking a mirror”, “the best women farters”, “how wide are Mindy Kaling’s hips?” (leave her hips alone, a-hole) and let’s say a lot more terms regarding pooping, farting, and women, which is totally kick-ass.

Why, yes, please tell me again about how sexism no longer exists..

Why, yes, please tell me again about how sexism no longer exists..

I am especially honored to fit into the category “women farters,” because as we all know, this is an exclusive club for wild, unabashedly raucous women who have no moral values, especially not being lady-like. I mean, the first time I farted I had to look around the room and then at myself in the mirror to make sure my lady bits didn’t fall off from the mere unrefined act of flatulence. Wait, no, that never happened. I’ve been breaking wind since 1989, suckers! But yes, I do consider myself among “the best women farters” — it’s an honor I believe I have rightfully and dignifiedly earned. Just ask my first boyfriend.

tv-once-upon-a-time03To the person who wants to reverse the bad luck they struck after breaking a mirror, I hope you are under the age of thirteen. If not, here’s some advice: sit in your living room staring at the television. Turn on a show like say, Once Upon a Time and imagine everything that happens in this show is real. Now walk over to your television and sit down in front of it — remember, you must believe that the town of Storybrooke and Rumplestiltskin are real (as the show predicates). Try now to reach into your television with your hand. Remember, you must believe. Now try sticking your head up in there. Did that not work? No? Okay. Well then try holding your hand up and turning it around so that your palm is now facing you. Now bring your palm to your forehead. Do it again. One more time. Okay, your luck should now be reversed.

On to you, person who is too concerned with the width of Mindy Kaling’s hips. Do you actually measure your own hips? What is this piece of information worth to you in a dollar amount? And why do you think the internet should have this particular statistic? Please do me a favor and go buy a book and then actually read it instead of wasting all of our time on your celebrity appearance-oriented inquisitions.

But the real reason for this post is this gem: “want a redo on growing up.” Finally, my soul mate finds me. Let’s talk fellow wannabe redo-er, we’re all friends here. What about growing up do you want to do over? All of it? If you’re like me, you would go back in time and not make fun of David O.’s power ranger undies in first grade because you  could tell how embarrassed he was after. You also would’ve started reading books before 8th grade. Aw, man, if I could do it over, I’d write more stuff down (says the girl with 30 childhood journals sitting in her closet) that way my dad couldn’t use my lack of childhood memories as a favorite personal anecdote at family get-togethers.

What else? I would’ve rehearsed more for my audition for You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown in 5th grade and maybe not have used “Hit Me Baby One More Time” as my song choice — Britney always let me down. I would’ve been such a good Snoopy.

I would’ve quit soccer WAY sooner. soccer

I would’ve spent more time in bouncy houses because they don’t tell you once you reach a certain age it is no longer appropriate to jump around in bouncy houses. Something about “letting the kids have their turn.”

I definitely would’ve shown Mickey some more respect at Disney World instead of running away, crying. That mouse has been through a lot.

I would’ve embraced the mean-spirited nickname Aly Dicky as a potential anecdote for my future famous self. Actually, let’s just pretend I loved the nickname from now on.

I definitely would’ve worn my retainer more, that way I could smile freely as an adult without worrying about which angle best hides my snaggle tooth.

I would’ve spent more time playing tricks on my parents, like switching the sugar with salt, so I’d have more funny childhood stories to write about.

I would play with legos ALL the time.

I would continue my Harriet the Spy venture for way longer since my invisible decoder pen was everything, but this time I’d disinvite my next door neighbor, Ashley because she thought she was sooo cool because we both had the same bedroom set but she had the matching wallpaper AND the book shelf.

dressmeI would’ve worn this outfit every day. (C’mon that’s adorable).

I’d make my family perform the plays I wrote as a child and record them so I can use them later as blackmail.

I would’ve applied for a job at Blockbuster instead of wasting all my time there for free.

I’d definitely go back in time to our family vacation in the Bahamas and tell my 11-year-old self that no, you really don’t need to get your entire head braided because no, you do not look good you little white girl, you look like when Monica from Friends got her head braided except wholly more frightening. But at least now I know how much I could never pull off being bald.

I would’ve never thought this was an acceptable Halloween costume. What the hell are those lips?

halloween

Our perception of being old ladies was apparently women sitting in bathrobes doing their hair and getting facials. Definitely accurate.

Let’s stop there for now before I end up curled into a ball shaking back and forth, regretting all my past decisions as Tengo licks my face in awful doggy delight.

What would you redo about your childhood or about anything? College major maybe? Going out with that guy with the weird mustache? Forgetting to shave your armpits before that time at the beach with all your friends? Spill it, redo-ers.

Waking Up Late to Poetry

I was up last night till 4:00 a.m. watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix and fully intended on writing ya’ll a mini review on Jenji Kohan’s (the creator of Weeds) colorful take on the prison system. Instead, I woke up at 11:45 — just in time to still call it the morning — with way too much to do, by which I mean way too many places to go wearing my new engagement ring. Instead, I’m gonna take some advice from fellow blogger, Jennie and share a poem I recently revised:

When I Was Six:

When I was six

me and my brother

spilt our sea monkeys out

of their glass home.

My brother grappled and thought

“what bad luck”

sea monkeysI cried and got a spoon.

There on childish knees

scraped from rocky driveways

and swinging too high

I scooped up my best friends

like I was building a house

with the wrong side of a hammer.

I didn’t watch television

that night, survivor guilt

absorbed me and nights were

dreamless for a while

just haunted by tiny dancing

friends. Until one day

I got a dog, named her Casey,

and fighting boredom,

I washed her sandy coat

with dishwashing detergent.

 

Reflections from the Fourth of July: Things that ALWAYS Happen

Growing up, the Fourth of July was the day everyone in my family was expected to drag their asses out of bed and do something patriotic. For me, it was the relay races. All the bitter resentment of never getting the most athletic awards at school brought out in me the ultimate relay race beast. And I was proud of it. I never went a year without medaling. I still have these morsels of accomplishment hanging from my old bowling trophies, because yes, I was once in a bowling league (Fair warning for anyone who ever bowls with me “for fun” in the future).

In Wakefield, MA we had this tremendously loud parade, chalk full of decorated tricycles, little league banners, and baton swinging band geeks in their time of glory. People would leave their chairs overnight on the streets to save seats. You would think these people were preparing to wait all night in line for the new Xbox, but in this case the Xbox was a ridiculously long flow of wailing fire trucks, dancing middle schoolers and retired firemen. So, you can see the appeal.

Inevitably, however, every Fourth, something inexplicably burdensome would happen. Like Grammie falling over at the parade, making it impossible for her to move without her walker, resulting in the entire family circling around her like a life force, charging the crowd like we were the Sharks and everyone else was the Jetts. But this is just one of the many things that happens on the Fourth.

This is what else can happen when you choose to be patriotic and leave your house on the Fourth of July:

  • Someone is going to get really anxious about parking. I can say this with confidence because this person is usually me. But of course, there’s always the worry: we’re not gonna get there on time, we’re gonna miss the fireworks, etc.
  • Someone is going to think they know-it-all about where to park. I dare you to tell me that on the car ride to wherever it is you’re going on the Fourth, there isn’t someone shouting, “we can get closer! I know we can get closer!”
  • Someone is going to have to stop on the way to pee. You’ve already parked your car and now you are walking. As a young girl who grew up with a mother who had Colitis, frequent bathroom breaks are par for the course. It’s either this or listen to your mother complain that she shit her pants. You will decide to stop at McDonald’s in fear of what the porter potties will have in store. There will be a fifteen person line at the McDonald’s women’s restroom. You and your weak-bladdered cohort will be stuck in this line as men briskly walk in and out of their bathroom. You may even explain to the little girl in line in front of you that this is how life will be from here on out — men peeing whenever they want while you, as a female, wait in the line at McDonald’s.
  • You’re going to wish you brought a chair for a moment but on second thought, you’re glad you didn’t have to carry a chair. On the way back to the car, you’ll relish the emptiness of your hands.
  • Someone is going to spill a drink all over the middle of the blanket you are on. Sometimes, this person is you. It is best to be very apologetic and remain calm in this situation just don’t get your hopes up that it will dry in time for the fireworks. You’re better than that.
  • The group you are with will get split up and you will be forced to find them in the middle of the fireworks. There’s nothing easier than finding your way back to a four-person group in complete darkness in the middle of a vast field lined with people on blankets looking up at the sky as fireworks blare overhead. Of course, your group will be reunited just in time to watch the fireworks finale.
  • There will be a baby crying somewhere, loudly, for the entire duration of the fireworks. You will not be upset but rather, amazed at the amount of babies that are not crying as tremendously loud bursts of fire explode in the sky.
  • You will take twenty, blurry, unimpressive, dark pictures of almost fireworks that you will end up deleting that night. You will realize you spent more time trying to take a picture of the fireworks than actually enjoying the fireworks.
...And this was one of the better ones.

…And this was one of the better ones.

  • You will be jealous of all the kids will cool light wands that their parents bought for them. There’s just never a time I don’t want a light wand.
  • The fireworks will end and you will inevitably sigh and think out loud, “that’s it?” It will seem like you got to the park to watch the fireworks like five minutes ago because the show only lasted fifteen minutes. You will make your way like a sheep to the park exit like all the other thousands of people. You will think, “well, what’s more patriotic than sitting in traffic for an hour to get two miles?” 

By the time you get home, the Fourth of July will be over.

The Real Reason I’m Here: A Man Who Continues to Inspire

Rick

I’ve been putting this off for a while but I think it’s time to get personal. Right now you’re totally rocking an exaggerated Tina Fey eye roll (a rather impressive one I might say) in anticipation of a sob story, but I promise this will be painless.

About 90 days again is when my fiancé, (NO I don’t have a ring yet and stop bugging me about it), Matti’s dad died. I had never known loss in such an emotional, epic capacity before his passing. Even as I write this now I can see his face, can see him sitting in his fold-out chair on the porch smoking a stogie, being brilliant.

It has taken me a while to begin to write about him because of fear that I won’t do him justice. That I cannot write elegantly enough to portray the work of art that was his life (as if this would be possible for anyone to do). But I know now that this is just one of many posts that will have his words, his legacy, his personality, his humor, and everything else he left with us.

I wish I could say that when we found out he died I had that moment, you know, when you say to yourself, “This is it.” When you stop being a lazy college grad and get to doing all that stuff that you set out to do six years ago when you were barely an adult and definitely not the person you are today. Unfortunately, that all-encompassing moment never came. Instead, it happened in slow strides over time, very slow, indeed. It came in moments where I thought: How is this possible? How do I get to where I’m going? Can I get there faster? And, are there going to be any toll roads?

And Rick would tell me to just sit down and start writing for fuck’s sake.

Let me tell you a little of what I know of Rick. Rick Hautala was a writer, a bestselling author, a horror writing, stogie smoking, liberal, but more than anything he was an amazing father. I know this because I have a father myself. When I met this man over four years ago he got on me for not writing when Matti and I stayed with him over winter break. At that point, he already cared.

rick2

“You’re young! I’ve already written 20 pages today!” He said, sitting in his “cone of silence”–his space on the couch with a tiny light above him that literally made a cone of light–he often looked like he’d be beamed up by some literary god as thousands of books lined the living room walls. I like to think of that happening now.

Rick was everything. He was hilarious. He was seriously smart. He was a smart ass.

One of the best memories I have of him is sitting on the couch watching George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on Television” and thinking to myself, well he’s saying them on T.V now isn’t he? I’m annoying like that. But Rick just laughed because that’s what he did and it was infectious and impossible to ignore. And also how jealous are you that I could see with my future father-in-law and watch that special without it being awkward? Yeah, that’s how cool being around Rick was.

Rick was prolific. The amount of books he wrote and published still astounds me. But it wasn’t about being rich and famous (though he definitely wouldn’t have minded the rich part and at one point, he definitely made it big). Writing was his passion. Not giving up on this blog is for Rick. I started it because I knew I had to build a platform for my writing but I put my heart into it, let my honest voice come through and put myself out there because of Rick. I was always so intimidated to let him read my writing because I was afraid he wouldn’t think I was good enough. I could  and someday will punch myself in the face for that.

Matti and I were sitting on the couch the other day and he turned to me like he does in those hard moments when it all comes flooding back, when it’s impossible to imagine Rick not living in this world.

He said, “I wish he could see your blog and all the writing you’ve been doing,” and we both teared up because the hardest part is the journey ahead. I wish I could thank him now.

After every trip with Matti to see Rick, walking towards the door to leave, I’d turn around to say, “Thanks for having me,”

As if on auto pilot, the most comforting exchange I’d ever known from a father figure, Rick would say, “Thanks for being had,” assuring me I was loved and appreciated and that humor was such a gift to be thankful for. And also to say, being a smart ass was funny and absolutely expected.

So I’m going to keep my humor and use it. I want him to continue to live on in my posts. It feels like one way I can honor him and finally take the advice he used to give me. (And also if I keep writing about him now I’m going to do some serious water damage to my keyboard and that shit was just replaced.)

Rick’s work still lives on, click here to see what is coming out and also to see how much of a badass he was. Man he is so missed.