Three Kinds of People

We were driving in the car, listening to the radio.

I’m driving my Dad’s car while we’re home, and so I’m not familiar with it.  Plus, I’m a bad driver.  Let’s just say I was distracted at best.

The DJ was saying, “There are three kinds of people in this world-”

I listened in as I was waiting to turn left.

“- people who complete tasks–”

And then there was an opening and I started to turn.  The radio cut out as we moved.

“Oh!  I wanted to hear the rest of that!” I screamed.

Brian looked at me.  He kinda laughed.  “Haha, very funny.”

I looked at him.  “What?  The radio cut out and I wanted to hear it.”

He paused.  “…it was a joke.  He did finish it.”

“What?  But he said there were three kinds of people!”

“Yup.  He did.”

“…the radio didn’t cut out, did it?”

Now that I type this, I think this is one of those things where you just had to be there, because we laughed so hard that I was crying and nearly had to pull over.

Clearly I am the type of person who likes to have tasks finished.  And I guess I’ll never know who the other two types are.


My Seventh Mission

It was my seventh mission.

Well, scratch that…it was my sixth mission gone wrong, which kinda morphed into a seventh unexpected mission.  The goal of this mission was simple: get back to Abel Township before they close the gates.  Oh yeah, and don’t get eaten by zombies.  But that goes without saying these days.

Let me back up.  (First of all, Spoiler Alert for Zombies, Run!)


I’m the new Runner 5 for Abel Township, and I’m pretty lucky to be alive.  I was flown in from another camp because Abel was losing runners to the hoards of zoms moving through the area and they needed more.  Fresh meat, so to speak.  …too soon?

So I get the lovely task of running outside the lovely, thick, safe gates of Abel Township about once a week to do…whatever it is the people in charge need done, really.  Usually it’s some sort of supply run, or warning our neighboring camps that a hoard is headed their way.  Once, I ran out to bring an abandoned child back to Abel before the zoms got to her.  Most likely, her parent was bitten or killed while fighting off one or more zombies and then had to abandon the child before he/she turned.  Gruesome to think about, but it’s reality now.  And people are counting on me.

So, back to yesterday.  It was my seventh mission: get home!  I’m still not sure what went wrong on Mission 6.  Maybe I should confront Janine about that.  Buuut, if Janine actually did send me straight into an ambush, I’d better take it up with Sam.  Sam (or Mr. Yao if we’re following protocol) is usually my lookout while I’m out on missions.  He’s my eyes out there – warning me when the zoms are close, and if I’m still headed in the right direction.  And, well, yesterday…Sam was mysteriously out.  Janine took over.  She had me running over to New Canton, said they were letting us have some badly needed electrical equipment.

Now this was odd, because the people of New Canton have a history of…not sharing, shall we say.  They don’t play nice.  But Janine assured me she knew some good eggs on the inside.  So off I ran with her in my ear.

Well…let’s just say things didn’t go according to plan.  Once I approached my destination, I found myself surrounded by angry humans with guns…and zoms weren’t too far off either.  I didn’t think – I just RAN.

And then…everything went dark.  Meaning, the sun went down, but I also could no longer hear Abel (Janine or otherwise) in my ear.  Just static. Shit.  This wasn’t looking good, and I was getting tired.

There’s nothing more motivating me to run than the undead, I always say!  They never get tired.  I had to circle way around to steer clear of New Canton and then find my way back to Abel before they closed the gates for the night.  Buuuut, considering that it was already dark out, I figured I was screwed.

And then, I could hear him.  Faintly.  It was SAM!  He was still in his office, calling out to me!  I hissed as loud as I dared into my mic that I’m still alive, Mr. Yao!  And I can hear you!  GET ME HOME!  No response.  But bless him, he kept talking anyway.  The best part was that he told me, or my zombie self as far as he was concerned, that he’d convinced the higher ups to keep the gate open for another hour or so just in case I made it back!!  I had a chance, I just had to KEEP RUNNING!

There was only one time I came close to buying the undead farm as I blindly found my way back to Abel that night.  It’s hard for me to run entire missions without stopping to walk, and that’s okay since zombie hoards tend to move at a slow shuffle.  As long as I complete the mission and get back alive, right?  At this particular moment, I was close to Abel, I could smell it, and I was already running…when I smelled something else.  You guessed it.  To outrun them, I typically have to speed up by 10%.  But I was already running.  And I was damn tired.  I gave it all I had.  The air was cold and it started to make my heaving lungs burn, but I kept on.  The voice in my ear told me the zoms were 50 meters away…and then only 20.  By that time, I could hear their moans, and I swear I could feel their ragged breath on the back of my neck.  I didn’t turn around to look, I just ran.

Finally, to keep from getting caught, I was forced to drop what few supplies I had collected along the way.  It distracted them juuust enough, and then, when I had nothing left in me:  Runner 5!!  OH MY GOD, RUNNER 5!  YOU’RE ALIVE!  I CAN SEE YOU!  OPEN THE GATE!!  OPEN IT NOW!

Never had I heard such sweet yelling into my ear.  Thanks, Sam, for keeping me company.  And for letting me back in.  I’ll live to run another day.

Mission 7: Completed.

NaBloPoMo Day 19


My Six Books

I was challenged by a friend – well, I begged her for a blog post idea and she came through like…someone who’s really dependable – to come up with three books that are “a snapshot of me.”

I already failed, since I came up with six and couldn’t whittle the list down any further.  They are listed in the order in which they were read…because that’s the order in which I grew.

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – JK Rowling

This book captures my whimsical childhood imagination.  If I had three wishes, I’d wish to go to Hogwarts for a year.  I’d date Ron and be besties with Hermione and go on adventures with Harry.  And I would steal some lemon drops from Dumbledore.  Why this HP book specifically?  Because they form The Order!  The kids become more rebellious and independent and help each other out and fall in love…sigh.  Deep down, I really do believe in magic.

2. Letters to a Young Therapist – Mary Pipher


I read this book in my Master’s program when I had no idea how to help my clients and I had a shitty supervisor who wouldn’t help me.  This book became my virtual supervisor and gave me space me to begin to figure out what kind of therapist I wanted to be.

3. The Gift of Therapy – Irvin Yalom


Like the previous book, this one gently taught me to figure out what therapy was and how I could use time, space, and words to help people help themselves.  Most of all, Yalom urged me to use myself- that, through authentic relationships between therapist and client, meaningful change could happen.  Such a simple, powerful message that has stayed with me.

4. Quiet – Susan Cain


THIS.  I never fully understood my introvertism, or that all those weird things I do even had a name, until I read this book.  I am drained and exhausted after interviews.  In college, I avoided small talk with drunk dudes in bars by asking a real question, like When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?  I can be alone and happy, reading for hours.  One time in grad school, I wanted to go home and get in jammies but my friends wanted to stay out.  While we were discussing it, the last bus of the night drove by.  I left mid-sentence and RAN to that bus stop.  I didn’t look back.  Reading this book felt beyond validating.  Having the additional insight into my personality and disposition will prove invaluable as I navigate interpersonal relationships (including the one I have with myself).

5. All Joy and No Fun – Jennifer Senior


This non-fiction book is about how children affect their parents, and woo-boy, it describes my first year of being a parent like SHE’S IN MY HEAD.  I spend a good chunk of my days doing work, a lot of thankless work, to keep my child alive and healthy.  It’s no fun.  And every once in a while, I get a moment, one moment of sheer, complete divine JOY when my boy belly-laughs or snuggles with me.  Aaah, that’s why people birth small humans.

6. In the Body of the World – Eve Ensler

Eve is best known for writing The Vagina Monologues, and recently she fought and won her battle with uterine cancer and wrote about it in this book.  While no cancer story will ever be the same as my own, there were many times where her experiences mirrored mine, and her ability to eloquently wade through grief and words and symbolism brought out all my feels.  We’ve both worked to help women survive violence, we lost parts of our female reproductive systems, and struggled not to feel like less of a woman because of it.  I was honored to meet her in 2008.  This book spoke to me on a level that few books can.

nanopoblano2015lightNaBloPoMo Day 16

Welcome to my head space

This month, I have felt really inspired to create.

It’s felt like a nice change.

With the weather getting increasingly gray and depression-y yuck, it has helped to be able to create and channel my energies into blogging while still hibernating from the outside world (it’s a win-win).  Each day I think about (okay, obsess over) what I might blog about, and I am constantly drafting pieces of posts in my head.

Inspiration isn’t the issue.

It’s not having the flexibility to write when I get these urges to write that is the problem…because I’ll think of something awesome as I am falling asleep, or in the shower, or while changing the dirtiest poopy diaper blowout (think, like, day old Indian food.  with undigested corn.  you’re wellllllcome) and then the carefully crafted sentences just sliiiiiip away, usually gone forever.

This month, my husband knows, when I am typing furiously and I barely answer him when he asks how he looks in his new knee-high gym socks, to NOT BOTHER ME.  I AM IN THE ZONE!!!  MUST.  BLOG.  NAO.

(Like, just now, he left to go up to bed……or was that an hour ago?)

So, not being able to write when I want to is frustrating, but such is my life for the past year.  I can’t do anything when I actually want to anymore.  I can’t sleep, eat, pee with the door closed, or dance naked unless Dylan is also sleeping, eating, etc. respectively.  (We observe such time-honored family traditions as the “pants-off dance-off.”  It’s epic, you should try it).

So, that’s the bad side.  The good side is that I’ve been reading people’s GREAT STUFF and I have been taking some stock of my own stuff and I just got to meet THE BLOGGESS and I’m all like YAASSSSSS!!!  IF THEY CAN WRITE ALL THE FUNNY THINGS, SO CAN I.  And write I will.

And I’ve started to think about what stories I want to tell (mostly because I am running out of ideas, and partially because I want to push myself and maybe write about some new things).  For some reason, I feel an urge to write about traumatic things that have happened to me in a short story format.  Does that sound interesting to people?  I supposed I could just try it, and if it falls flat, then lesson learned.

Any other words of advice for someone like me who wants a challenge, who feels inspired in a general sense, but just needs a push in some direction?

Sorry about the rambling post today, but it certainly does capture the head space I am in right now.

Welcome to my head space.


Parenting in Haikus

I just wiped your snot

Now you blow into your hand

Thank you – not really

All the chores I do

Always come undone in time

Say, what is the point?

Nap time is my break

Go to sleep sweet child of mine

Give me, like, two hours

Odor hit my face

Never such stench have I smelled

Beans – never again

You freak me out, boy

When you scratch the wall at night

Nightmares come for me


Read about me

I’ve been meaning to update the About Me section of this blog for forever and a day (read: it hadn’t been updated since before I became a mom some 14 months ago)…and I finally went and did it.

That counts as my post for today – Day 5 of NaBloPoMo.  Please go and check it out.

And now this calls for some celebratory homemade pop-tart ice cream sandwiches!

Excuse me.


Halloween Gets Political

Halloween gets me all excited, you guys, and now I have a wee one to dress up, too.

Well this year, our costumes all got inspired by my son’s hair; he has the most delicious shade of Trump strawberry blonde, and even a bit of a mullet to boot.  Plus, Trump often acts like a toddler anyway, so there was little difference.  The decision pretty much made itself.

And then I decided to be Hillary, because there was no way I was going to dress up as Carly Fiorina, and because Hillary is one awesome lady who likes to have fun.

That left Brian.  Our backup plan was that he’d go as Chris Christie.  Originally, I wanted him to go as Rick Perry and wear the smart glasses and say “oops” all night, but then our super smart Texan dropped out of the race.  So Christie was the backup, where we’d stuff his suit with pillows and call it a night.

But we thought we could pull off something a little better.  A little more creative.  We dreamed up a punny idea for Brian to be a Super PAC.  He’d be like a crooked super hero with a cape that looked like money!  Only, he’d be able to hide where his donations came from so he’d wear a mask.  And instead of “United States of America” it would say, “Citizens United” which was the court case that made these lovely organizations legal.  And the dream was realized.


Look at this inspirational First Family. Super PAC even has on his power tie!

Anyhoo, I made the cape and mask all by me onesie.  Drew, cut, and glued on the green felt accents, and stenciled on all the words.  It turned out even better than I imagined.


My slammin’ powder blue pants suit came from a thrift store for like $2 (Macklemore starts playing in the background…pissss), and I made the campaign buttons for both Hillary and Trump.  My mom actually made Dylan’s black jacket since we couldn’t find any to buy in his size.

Happy Halloween, y’all!!  Vote early and vote often.


Cutest comb-over ever.



I am participating in NaBloPoMo/NanoPoblano, where I try my darndest to post every single day in November.  Bear with me, cuz that’ll mean that I’m not necessarily posting my best, but it’ll be interesting!

I’m Gonna Win at NaBloPoMo

Guess what?!

I think I’m gonna try this NaBloPoMo thing.  I think.  Maybe.

(NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month.  I’m already really tired of typing that, so maybe I should just shorten it to NBPM.)

It all started when I saw WP’s The Daily Post about it, and I thought, Hey.  November is almost here.  I’d kinda like to be a writer.  I’m unemployed outside the home and I enjoy typing in my pajamas.  And I don’t have a newborn this year!  And that was all I had to hear of my own voice before I convinced myself to take the plunge.  Although I totally should have done it last year when I did have a newborn, and I could have pledged to type all– wait, how many days in November?  Only 30!  Yaaaasss! –all 30 days one-handed whilst breastfeeding.  Now that would have been impressive.

And I’ve gone and announced my intentions publicly, so now I’m really on the hook.  Once I stop to think about what I’ve gone and done, this should be interesting.  And by interesting I mean I might fail, because I only have about two ideas for blog posts, and I plan to travel (read: fly) back to California for Thanksgiving with my walking-like-crazy toddler (pray for me, y’alls, pray for me) and so I may miss a few days here and there.  Or, my perfectionist self will yell, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!, so determined not to miss a day, I’ll be forced to attempt to use the WP app to post a frantic picture of myself wanting to melt into the terminal floor and die at the airport.  You won’t want to miss it.

Get ready for 30 days of run-on sentences!!  I can’t wait.

Not Bella Notte

Let me preface this to say that I hate doing the dishes.

I grew up having to do them, and I think I’ll forever hate doing them because of that.  And yet, I do them every single day because I hate cooking even more and we split those chores.

Soooo, when I’m doing dishes, I just wanna get shit done.  Get out of my way so I can sit down, watch the Kardashians, and yell at them through a mouthful of mint chip straight from the carton (because that saves me having to wash a bowl).

The scene is last night right after dinner and I’m doing my thing at the sink.

Brian comes up beside me and yanks the faucet away just as I am reaching for it and our hands mash together that can in no way be thought of as romantic.

Me: *glare*

B: Aww, look, how cute!  It’s just like in Lady and the Tramp!

Me: No, it’s not cute.  If lady were real, she’d have said to Tramp, Hey Tramp!  I’m fucking hungry!  Give me that spaghetti or I will cut you.  And then she does that guttural dog growl so show that she’s not messing with him.

B: …She seemed pretty nonchalant about it in the movie.

Me:  That’s because she was took one too many Xanax because she was on a first date with cameras around and it’s a lot of pressure to live up to a name like hers in today’s society.

B: I think you’re reading into things a little too-

Me: A little too what?  I’m washing knives right now and my hands are quite slippery.  Wouldn’t want anything unfortunate to happen.  *guttural dog growl*

B: *Backs away slowly while singing Bella Notte under his breath*

Me: Damnit, now I want spaghetti.

Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mama

Now that I’ve been a mama for over a year now (!!), I know all the things practically nothing about parenting.

One thing I do know is that I can’t win.  You win, baby boy.  But please don’t read this until after you’re done being a teenager, because I never said that and you can’t prove that I did.

Here are a few other things I’ve learned in the past year, because sometimes I find something that works for me and those make for good days.

1. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the harsh realities of having a child.  Nothing.

There isn’t any advice anyone could’ve given me and there isn’t any book I could’ve read that would’ve made me feel prepared.  I think I intuitively knew this already, which is why I didn’t read any books.  I just went to doctors appointments and read how big my fetus was (and what piece of fruit he was being compared to…ooh, a grapefruit!) on my pregnancy app.

Yeah, I got some advice and I went to my birthing classes and those things prepared me to a point.  But I knew then, and it’s been confirmed many times over in the past year, that there isn’t anything out there that can fully prepare me for such a profound life change.  I knew I’d just have to wing it, and that’s cool.

2. Never underestimate the power of song.

I sing a lot normally, and I sang a lot while I was pregnant.  I sing in the shower, in the car, while doing the dishes.  So, my wee babe heard a lot of my voice singing Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift and Sara Bareilles.  During the past year, when Dylan has been freaking out over diaper changes or having his face wiped clean, we’ve found that he will dramatically calm down if we sing.  It doesn’t matter what song, and it doesn’t have to be me, either – my husband sings to him and Dylan pays attention.

The hardest part for me has been to remember to sing – especially when we’re having such a hard time that I am close to tears myself – and then to figure out what to sing, which leads me to the next thing I learned.

3. I can make a song out of anything or adapt any song to fit my needs.  Seriously.

I sang Katy Perry’s Firework as a lullaby and Dylan loved it.  I changed the lyrics of Madonna’s Express Yourself to go: “you’ve got to make him express your milk, hey hey hey hey!”  We’ve sung the classics to death – some favorites are the Wheels on the Bus (Brian added the vital missing verse that goes: “the drifters on the bus go stab, stab, stab…all day long!”), You Are My Sunshine, Black Socks, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Bingo (where we sing: “there was a family had a boy and Dylan was his name-o!”), etc.

But the best skill I’ve discovered is my ability to make a song out of any stimuli in front of me.  The best example is Crotch Food (the term we use for food that lands in Dylan’s crotch during the course of a meal).  I don’t think I’ve ever sung it the same way twice, so it’s the song that keeps on giving.

4. Formula makes a great substitute for coffee creamer.

It’s chock full of DHA – what every new-mom-brain needs!  It’s iron fortified!  I was out of milk and/or cream!  Need I say more?!

5. My mama bear instincts are fierce.

I’ve gradually learned how to advocate for myself, and now those skills just naturally spilled over onto my son, covering him with gooey, fierce, sticky mom love.  I’ve learned that if you threaten my ability to do my job as a mom, or judge me or undermine my authority as the mom that I will do whatever it takes to get Dylan and I out of that situation.  Because rawr.

6. The most challenging part of having a kid has been making sure caring for him doesn’t get in the way of my relationship with my husband.

This has been huge.  We’ve had to figure out how to divvy up household tasks and childcare, and it’s very easy to feel like the tasks aren’t equal or fair, even when we’re both working hard to keep our household running.  We have less time to connect and more stress and it’s been very hard not to build resentments and feel unsupported.

I’ve had to remind myself that my husband and I are on the same team.  We made Dylan together, we’re raising him together, we’re a family together, and we’re on the same team.

7. I’m still trying to figure out who I am now.

It’s like I am going through adolescence all over again.  I’ve been through several major life changes in the past two years – getting married, getting pregnant, moving out of state, transitioned from working outside the home to inside the home, and I’ve been home with my kid for the past year.  It’s been disorienting, depressing, isolating, challenging.  I’m having to make new friends, which is hard for me.  I’m having to get used to my new body and grieve my pre-baby one.  I’ve been grieving most of my old life, honestly.  It’s been so weird and surreal to embrace my new identity as a “mom,” and I’m still not used to it.

8. Dr. Seuss books make me feel stupid.

Seriously, you try and pronounce all them non-words in Oh Say Can You Say? on little sleep.

9. I need to keep trusting my intuition.

He’s my kid and I’ve been with him every day of his life.  I know this little guy pretty damn well.  I also trust my judgement a lot.  I need to keep reminding myself that I am good at caring for my little man, that mistakes are ok, and that at the end of the day we’re both going to be just fine.

10. Keep finding the humor in the small things.  The ridiculous things.

We laugh when Dylan farts.  He laughs at his own farts.  Farts are funny, you guys.  We just bought these new knock-off Cherrios for Dylan and some of them are brown and wrinkled and look like buttholes.  It’s hilarious!  It looks like my kid is eating buttholes!  And those are only a few examples; I could go on.