Tag Archives: childhood

For Love of the Game

If you know me at all, you know that one thing I love is my baseball. Every year around this time I wax poetic about Opening Day, and this year will be no exception.

baseball

But don’t worry.

Although I’m repeating myself, this post isn’t going to be filled with statistics and names or metaphors about the game that I’ve loved all my life. If you don’t love baseball, I won’t try and convince you. If you do love baseball, you don’t need me to tell you why.

But for me, it’s more than a game.

It is just a bat and a ball, but it can unite a city, a state, a family with one swing of that bat or one pitch of that ball. It can make grown men cry, and sometimes, even a 32-year-old woman who usually only cries for road kill and good food spilled on the floor.

It’s remembering summers by games that were played—the crack of the bat, the stitch on a ball, the smell of the grass in the field. It’s looking forward to spring training in the dead of winter when every other joy seems frozen beneath layers of ice and of snow—especially given the historically horrible winter that we’ve endured.

It’s being able to identify players by their batting stance or jersey number and feeling an instant connection with strangers wearing clothes with the old English “D” for my Detroit Tigers.

For me, it’s an escape.

Sports in general afford me the opportunity to forget about the mundane concerns of everyday life for a while and to spend time with others who take pleasure in enjoying a similar break. It’s a reminder that I can still feel excited about something when a lot of the time I’m just numb.

For me, it’s family.

It’s a 92-year-old woman who can’t always remember who I am, but who might tell me about a game in 1948 with a clarity time hasn’t stolen quite yet.

I know this year will be different.

Gram doesn’t understand the games on TV and can’t comprehend what we’re watching. Selfishly, this makes me sad because I feel like we lost our big “thing”—the talks about players, the gripes about calls, the excitement of recaps and scores.

Yet watching the game with her takes me right back to being sprawled on her living room floor as a kid, watching each game on mute while Ernie Harwell came through on the radio. (But not lying underneath the ceiling fan, as I was warned the goddamn thing would inevitably fall on me and crush me to death. Fuzzy memories.)

For me, it relates to everyday life.

The goal of every single hitter is to always make it back home. There are daily ups and downs, success and adversity. You can fail miserably one day and be the hero the next day. Slumps happen, but you have to let go of the past and look forward and remember the goal—and that you’re not in this thing by yourself.

It’s tradition and memories tied up with box scores and hopefulness mixed in with stats.

Sure, it’s a “pastime. ” But it’s my favorite way to pass that time.

Play ball.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

P.S. A reminder that Facebook is limiting what you see, so if you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

I Crap Glamour

Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I actually cared how to coordinate clothes or correctly apply fancy makeup. Maybe I would have more friends or wind constantly blowing through my perfectly colored hair like it shows in all those commercials.

But then I remember that I’m the girl who went out in public with a Velcro roller stuck on her head, has blinded herself with liquid makeup applied directly to her eyeball and designates “good” T-shirts/jeans/yoga pants for when she needs to feel classy.

Basically, I just crap glamour.

It started early, as growing up I wasn’t what you would call a “girly girl” at all. My best friends were boys, but seeing as girls were around us as well, I carefully balanced stuffing my leotard with foam balls and coating my eyelids with glitter to lead “Get in Shape Girl” sessions in the yard with digging in the mud with a stick and baiting a hook for fishing.

477016_3474362017902_1236746333_33557601_560426145_o

Although I did have a Marilyn moment or two early on.

I experimented with a variety of questionable “girly”-type things to try and fit in—a crimper, Electric Youth perfume, a Caboodle filled with plastic barrettes and scrunchies to match my colorful socks exposed under my stirrup pants and Jelly shoes—but once I got past the awkward years of 11 to 20, my interest started to fade even more.

Now if someone were to sweep me away and completely make me over, I probably wouldn’t object (as long as they didn’t abduct me near a meal time.)

However, I have no interest in learning how to do it myself—kind of like automotive repair or computer programming, but with more glitter and possibly more power tools.

I just don’t understand things like $25 mascara or dry shampoo. Isn’t spraying more crap in your hair instead of washing the other stuff out counterproductive? And I’m pretty sure if I went for a manicure, the tech would suggest amputation as the least laborious option.

Plus for me, it’s just not practical.

My real goal in life is not to always look fabulous, but rather to get through a meal without dropping food on my shirt or find the fabric softener sheet in my sleeve before someone else does. And I feel like high heels would clash with even my best yoga pants.

So for now, the paraffin hand treatment I get every time I spill the wax out of my Scentsy scented wax warmer and my vegetable steamer facial every night are good enough for me.

But if they make a Bump-It that promises to bump up my chest—not my hair—I  might just shell out the cash.

(Unmanicured fingers are crossed!)

Like the blog? Buy the books!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter for a copy of my book and drop an F-bomb or two of your own.

A Girl Has to Have Standards

It was the moment when he reached down into the console of his truck, picked out a used golf tee and started using it as a toothpick that I learned a) to always keep floss in my purse and b) that even though it means that waking up with hummus in my hair is the closest to breakfast in bed that I get, I was meant to be single.

I would like to think I’ve given the alternative a pretty fair shake — I did the dating scene for a while with the traditional hits and misses — but this particular incident was simply the dirt-covered toothpick that broke this camel’s back.

Plus, I have high standards.

Growing up my crushes always fell into one of two categories—completely unattainable or attainable but not interesting after I attained them.

This wasn’t an issue early on because it’s not like I had that many options. It took me a long time to grow into my nose and grow out my spiral perms, and while I had friends, I wasn’t the “cute” girl in the group.

I was instead the one that was left over and relegated to holding the sweaty hands of the left over boy at the school roller skating parties while Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” played in the background.

However, I wasn’t all that concerned with that scene, as I had much bigger plans.

I was a tomboy and decided early on that I was going to marry a professional athlete. The crush varied depending on the season, but it usually included me covering my walls with their posters and creating elaborate situations in my head in which I held down the fort at home while they traveled on the road for their games.

At no time did anything sexual enter these situations, as aside from putting my Barbies and G.I. Joe in compromising “mature” situations, those thoughts never crossed my mind.

It was simply an infatuation that ran from one player to the next before progressing into Sylvester Stallone through the “Rocky” years—all five films—and then any other action star or famous male with either an accent or a jersey.

I had more realistic crushes in school, of course.

This usually amounted to me reading into a Valentine (that they were required to give everyone in class) as a declaration of love, scribbling their name in my notebook and keeping a stash of assorted flavored Lip Smackers at the ready just in case.

In case of what? I didn’t know, but at least my lips would be strawberry fresh.

Naturally things changed once I got older and declared myself free of the sweaty-palmed rejects and delusions of nabbing a major league lover. As mentioned above, I did the dating thing and decided it wasn’t for me.

Now I’m sure Toothpick Boy was/is a fine companion for some germ-loving gal who doesn’t mind using dirty sports props to pick lettuce out of a molar, but I like my space. I like my freedom. I like knowing that dental procedures won’t be performed with dirt-covered plastic.

Of course, there might be exceptions.

I mean, Hot Gym Guy did say, “No thanks” when I offered to spot him as he was walking into the locker room, so there’s a chance that once the restraining order is lifted he might just give it a go!

But otherwise I’m happy just dating myself.

After all, I do have standards.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

A Priceless Holiday Season

The music, the decorations, the sale ads—the holidays are already here.

Like a lot of people, I sometimes find this time of year to be hard. Between the loss of family gatherings due to time and distance, the rampant and unnecessary consumerism, no holiday break, a dash of deep depression and a partridge in a pear tree, I would much rather just skip to January 2.

While I wrote a rant about my seasonal societal annoyances a couple of years ago, this will not be that post’s sequel. (Summary if you don’t want to click over: Practice an “attitude of gratitude” on a daily basis, not just when people gather around a bird carcass stuffed with stale bread and the creepy uncle makes jokes about being either a breast man or a leg man.)

This year is going to be different.

There won’t be a big family meal, and come Christmas there won’t be many—if any—gifts. Times are tight and money is even tighter, regardless of the date on the calendar.

I’ve never been bitter because we don’t have money for things, but I do get annoyed that others are so obsessed with those things. However, I get it. It’s easy to feel pressured to buy useless stuff, eat things that don’t make you feel good and stress about spending time with people you might not enjoy all that much.

But when that’s no longer an option, you learn a valuable lesson—be better, not bitter, and be thankful for all that you have.

foamturkey008

Or make foam turkeys and pretzel treats for the old people in the home.

It’s different when you’re a kid. The holidays are a magical time with no worries, only wonder. The fact that parents can take the time to create fun traditions and keep that magic alive is priceless, and something I keep with me now.

Growing up I was lucky enough to get those special gifts I asked for and the big ol’ family meals. Every holiday dozens of people in my big Polish family would be at my grandparent’s, crammed around tables full of food and conversation.

And while I might remember a few of the special gifts that I got, those “things” aren’t first on my mind.

What I remember much more are the things that we did and said, making the food that we ate and places we went every year. That’s what the holidays were, and that’s what they continue to be.

So this year with every Black Friday ad, every person complaining about “surviving the holidays” like it’s a terminal illness and the obsession with gathering “things,” I won’t roll my eyes and dish out perspective with each self-created drama they lament.

Instead I will remind them to focus on figuring out what holiday experiences are personally meaningful to them instead of getting sucked into events that leave them feeling empty and drained.

Instead of feeling burdened to buy gifts, connect to why the person they’re shopping for is special to them and how they want them to feel when they open the gifts. (There is no better feeling than finding the “perfect” gift, even if that gift is a card.)

Instead of debt, try donations. It’s something you never regret.

Instead of rushing around, stop and take in the sights and the smells of the season. Step back and ask, “What do I want to remember?” And if they have kids, “What do I want them to remember?”

So even though these weeks might be rough, I remember those things from above and know the season can always feel priceless. 

And for that—this year and always—I am truly rich and thankful.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

A Boobie Trap

Last week I overheard the neighbor kid say that he got to touch a boob, which got me thinking. First, he made it sound like a pretty big deal so I wondered if I should send a card or buy him a balloon or something to celebrate, but decided against it.

Second, what is the big deal with boobs?

Because I overshare, most of you know that I’m not exactly well-endowed and would just as soon go braless if it wasn’t for that little thing called the office and the awkwardness of “alert” nipples in cold conference rooms.

Side note: I hate, hate the word nipple. We need a new synonym for this, like “boob bulls eye” or “bust bumps” or something.

Anyway, while I got the small bump in the middle of my nose frommy grandma, I also got small bumps on my chest and not the titanic ta-tas that she has. In fact, I think my first memory of seeing actual boobs is with her.

boob1

Every little girl needs a mullet and sock boobs.

I have this distinct memory of being on my grandma’s bathroom counter after she washed my feet in the sink. Apparently I’m a splasher because she had to change her shirt. She whipped it off, turned around and two swinging sacks large enough to alter the tides came flying around in her massive over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.

Quickly looking down at my concave counterpart, it became clear to me that six kids and 60 years could do a lot to alter the female form.

I was both mortified and fascinated by the size of her fleshy pillows. I mean, I knew they were there before in the way I knew my grandpa had tiny bird legs and socks with the balls on the back. But to see those grand gazongas—if only as they passed in a busty blur—was quite a surprise.

After she changed her shirt, we went out to the line to hang her other shirt to dry. There—flying like a flag of fleshy freedom—were some of grandma’s bras. Big, huge white underwire numbers that could double as a hammock for a small child were clothes-pinned right next to the sheets and grandpa’s stained T-shirts on the line.

“So this is what I have to look forward to?” I wondered as I untangled myself from the now-semi-clean sheet I was “helping” to fold. “The rest of my life is going to be spent lugging around bowling balls in a bra that could house newborn squirrels? Won’t they get in the way of the fun things like baseball and teaching Get In Shape Girl on the front lawn to reluctant neighbor kids?”

Well, years later it’s become as clear as the slightly bumpy nose on my face that my cleavage is not a concern, as it doesn’t exist.

Some women might feel insecure about this, like they’re “less of a woman” because they don’t have huge honkers—or any at all. And while I admit that it would be nice to feel a bit more “gifted” in the breasticle area—if only to have something to catch the food that I drop—there are a million other things that I would rather feel insecure about.

I figure you get what you get, and what I got were more memories than mammories from Gram, one faithful bra in my dresser and a pervy neighborhood kid.

Two out of three ain’t bad.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

Why I’m Glad I Grew Up When I Did

Children of the ’80s and early ’90s had to endure the mental anguish of trying to manually untwist the insides of  a cassette tape, but all in all, I look back and think we were pretty damn lucky.

trashbags

Now: Pinterest and “vision boards”

Then: A bulletin board filled with color-coordinated push pins, pictures of teen heartthrobs, quotes created from random cutout letters that end up looking more like white trash ransom notes and school pictures of friends that perfectly captured their awkwardness. Speaking of which…

Now: Selfies (for the record, I have never taken a “selfie”)

Then: Cameras. People took pictures when something special happened, not when they ate breakfast. As kids, school picture day was a big deal with the most important decision being what “laser”-color background you wanted. You couldn’t wait to get the free black plastic comb so you could bend that sucker back and forth a few times until it got hot and brand the kid next to you with a touch.

And the anticipation of getting a roll of film developed really can’t be overstated.

Now: Jeggings and skinny jeans

Then: Stirrup pants and stonewashed jeans. Pants today are basically tights, which were something I loathed when forced to wear. Stirrup pants—they’ll stay in place forever!—and stonewashed jeans—they’ll hide any wear and tear!—were designed for function much more than fashion.

Now: Blogs

Then: Diaries, and god save anyone who tried to pick the flimsy lock and read the drama of trying to decide what color rubber bands to get in your braces. Thoughts were private and you didn’t WANT to share every detail of your day, mostly because like pictures taken of yourself in the bathroom—see above—you were aware that no one would care.

haha-dork-i-bet-your-dogs-name-is-ipod

Now: Politically correct “holiday” parties with “refreshments” from Costco or Whole Foods in which there is no trace of sugar, peanuts, lactose, gluten or fun.

Then: Actual Halloween/Valentine’s Day parties with room mothers who would bring in homemade goodies and roller skating parties with a “couples” skate when pre-teens with sweaty hands would shuffle across the rink together with Boyz II Men playing in the background.

Now: Reality TV

Then: The only real slime on TV came from “Double Dare” and we had actual TV shows with actors and a real TGIF lineup. I’m talking about Full House, The Cosby Show, Family Matters and Alf, that smart-mouthed, cat-murdering alien we loved.

Now: Smartphones and texting

Then: Landlines and notes. I remember dragging the cord into my room to have what I’m sure was a very important discussion about Punky Brewster or zits. Instead of texting and getting instantly rejected, we were forced to actually write notes, those of which an inordinate amount of time was spent folding into a specific shape for delivery.

he-already-has-a-pencil-but-hes-still-writing-the-note-to-be-nice

Plus, we knew how to spell and how to write—even cursive. OMG. LOL.

Now: Ecards

Then: Because computers were huge monstrosities with a four-color screen, use was relegated to games of Junior Jeopardy or Oregon Trail. While we eventually got Print Shop to make birthday cards and banners, hours were spent cutting out construction paper to create our own cards with scented markers we had to resist the urge to lick.

Also, the joy of getting a card in the mail also can’t be overstated.

Now: Kindles and iPads

Then: Scholastic book orders, Book-It and the smell of library book pages illicitly dog-eared and worn. It was fun to wait for the order or go to the store. True, Book-It rewarded kids for reading with a free personal pan pizza full of grease and devoid of veggies, but we all lived to tell—and read—the tale.

Plus unlike a Kindle, books don’t break when you drop them.

Now: Instant gratification

Then: Patience

Okay, maybe not patience, but we had to wait for our favorite songs to play on the radio, stand in a line without checking a phone and make up games or Mad Libs on car trips instead of watching a DVD on an iPad. We kept ourselves busy by creating things instead of relying on something else to keep us busy.

True, it might have involved law jarts and hypercolor T-shirts—Sweaty armpits? Show them off with your heat-sensitive teal shirt and hot pink pit stains!—but at least no one could take a picture on their phone and share it on Twitter.

Ugh, like, gag me with a spoon.

I’m glad I grew up when I did.

Like the blog? Buy the books.

Perfect (Playground) Pitch

Playgrounds and jungle gyms were staples in my childhood, and despite the many injuries and near-miss catastrophes, those were good times. And while I’m not sure, I think kids today are missing a lot of the fun, what with their plastic playgrounds and “soft surfaces.”

It’s sad to think that they might never experience the thrill of woodchips and pavement gravel embedded in their knees or get 3rd degree burns from a hot metal slider. Oh, the memories.

But let’s also be a little practical here.

While the general premise of a playground is great, there were some questionable choices in earlier versions. I can only imagine what the first “playground pitch meeting” sounded like decades and decades ago.


Playground pitchers (PP): Children need something to climb other than trees, so let’s construct a whole ground for play on cement, cover it with splintered woodchips for safety and then scatter pieces of metal equipment throughout.

Committee (C): Go on…

PP1: First, we’re going to include a swing with both black rubber seats that will reach inferno temps in the summer and wood seats that provide the likelihood of ass splinters. Don’t worry though, as the splinters will be ignored when swingers get blisters on their hands or their flesh stuck in the metal chains.

There’s also the slight chance that riders might get overzealous, pump extremely high and then jump off and attempt to be Super Grover at the suggestion of their mom, badly bruising their tailbone and then blogging about that 25 years later, but the odds are slim to none. (Editor’s note: Yeah, it happened.)

PP2: Speaking of metal, we will provide numerous unsupported slides of heights from 10-feet to 12-feet with a nice concrete mat at the end covered in woodchips for those riders who slide down headfirst.

PP1: Next to the slides we’ll provide monkey bars so that “chicken fights”—American Gladiator-like contests in which foes hang from the bars and attempt to pull the other off the structure—can be staged. We also see children climbing on top of the monkey bars and hanging upside down above cement by their legs like cave bats.

PP2: The next piece is a “teeter-totter.” One kid sits on one end while the other—preferably of similar weight, but doubtful—climbs up onto the opposite end. They push off and up and down they go!

PP1: With this there is the slight chance that one will purposely get off when at the bottom of the teeter-totter, causing the other user to crash down to the ground at a dangerous speed, possibly breaking their tailbone. Depending on weight distribution, there is also the risk that one user will purposely get off and catapult their counterpart across the park, but that could be fun, too!

PP2: Finally, the “merry-go-round,” a metal structure with rails that children will grab and run around with to speed the structure up before trying to climb on it like Jackie Chan jumping on a moving train. Once on, they hold on for dear life to the handles (and their recently ingested lunches) and either wait for it to stop spinning or drag their feet off the side through the woodchips to slow the thing down.

C: I like where you’re going with this. And just think! In the winter the slide can be iced up, creating a kid cannon that will launch them clear into a hardened pile of frozen snow.

PP1: Exactly. More importantly, those that don’t survive the playground will be weeded out of society, but better to find out early, right? After all, much like lawn darts and eyelash curlers, it’s not the toys that are inherently dangerous. It’s how people choose to use them.

C: Agreed. Add a tetherball court—ropes, balls, children with bad aim. A little knock on the head from a tetherball is an easier way to learn the lesson of avoiding rapidly moving objects than letting the kid step out in front of a speeding car someday, smug in the unrealistic expectation that bad things can’t happen.

This is really a win all around.

Like the blog? Buy the NEW book here. Why? It has stories about drunk nuns, Vanilla Ice and adventures at the ATM. It’s obviously  destined to be an American classic.

I Love Not Camping

I originally published this a couple of years ago, but seeing as it’s almost “camping season” and no one’s on the Internet this weekend, it’s worth a rerun. Plus, there’s an announcement at the bottom. 


Spring has sprung, which means many people will be packing up to go camping in the coming weeks. I will not be one of them, as I do not camp.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the outdoors and worship the sun and nature. And while I’m not high-maintenance, I don’t find appeal in sleeping on the ground in a tent pretending I’m homeless.

But despite the tent aversion, I do have a bit of camping experience.

When I was younger we had a trailer up north that we spent a good deal of time at in the summer. It was a decent sized rig with a shower, small kitchen, deck, etc., but it was still a trailer.

I fished, shot my bow and arrow (not at anything living, at least not on purpose,) tore around on the 4-wheeler and hit the lake with the inflatable alligator before coming back to nighttime campfires, Cribbage games and attempts to attract bats by throwing random crap up in the air by the park lights.

Such a princess.

I was young, and other than the fact that I rolled out of the top bunk of triple bunk beds—a bed rail was quickly installed—I had no real complaints. Now that I’m older and debatably wiser, I would have many complaints, which is why I don’t even attempt to pretend to want to camp.

Why someone would want to leave indoor plumbing and decent food and increase the likelihood of contracting mosquito malaria, dirt-covered food and being attacked by a baby deer in the woods is beyond me.*

*Of course, to each their own (disclaimer so campers don’t get pissed, although if they’re camping, they shouldn’t have access to Wi-Fi.)

But for those who enjoy camping and would like to recreate this experience at home, I have a few suggestions:

  • Hang your clothes over a wood fire to get that signature smell, the one that will hopefully cover up the other signature smell of musty dampness.
  • While you’re over the fire, singe your eyelashes and grab a hot poker to recreate the experience of starting the fire and attempting to roast anything with a metal stick.
  • Scald the skin on the roof of your mouth in an attempt to eat whatever it is you were trying to roast that didn’t fall into the flame.
  • Hover—a lot—and get used to swatting bugs with one hand while wiping with the other. This takes skill, which is why you will most likely find yourself pissing on your own leg (hey, you wanted to go camping.)
  • Pour sand directly into the bottom of your bathing suit and any exposed crack or opening in your body. If a lake is nearby, also include seaweed.
  • If you feel like getting fancy, spray yourself with a water bottle to recreate the (lack of) water pressure trailer showers provide. Forget about washing your hair (this is actually a positive in my book.)
  • Plant families of the loudest bugs on the planet in your backyard directly next to your window. If available, add in the mating calls of mystery creatures you’re sure are rabid and hunting you down.
  • Roll your meals in damp dirt.
  • Roll your clothes in damp dirt.
  • Roll yourself in damp dirt.

So for those of you starting your camping season soon, may the force be with you. I plan on working in the yard a bit, reading and enjoying the luxury of warm showers, good food I didn’t have to catch and a few good baseball games.

I love not camping.


Announcement time:

cover2front

So I wrote another book.

You should probably want to buy it, and the good news is you can! Exclamation point! Things got done sooner than I expected, so I’ll share the info Tuesday (along with a giveaway.)

Stay tuned!

Never Any Doubt

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, which means there will probably be a (well-deserved) wave of posts honoring the women who brought us all into this world. I thought I would jump the gun a bit, mostly because if I don’t publish this now, I probably just won’t.

You see, I’m not a sappy, sentimental person. I always make sure to say what I mean and mean what I say, but when it comes to being openly emotive and mushy?

Not so much.

This is not a trait I inherited from my mom, as she openly proclaims her love for people and things at an almost disturbingly frequent rate, hugging people she just met and tearing up over a random card I might send in the mail.

I used to find this annoying, and to be honest, sometimes I still do. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s often hard to relate to a virtue in someone else that you can’t easily conceive of in yourself.

But as an adult I’ve learned to navigate these differences and approach our relationship differently. She’ll never change who she is—loving, but stubborn as hell—and accepting our differences instead of constantly fighting against them has really been key as the years have gone by.

Which brings me to my point.

I’ve written about my mom’s disability before and if you’re not familiar with what she’s been through, I suggest you click through at some point. Not because I want you to read more of my posts, but because you should know what I mean.

Even though things weren’t “normal” with my mom when I was a kid—surgeries, braces, body casts—she made sure that everything else I knew was. I was raised with the knowledge that I was special, I was smart, I was loved.

busi

And obviously very well fed.

Things haven’t become easier as time has gone on. I still worry about her on a daily basis, and I know she still worries about me. We both have our reasons to worry.

But no matter what I might doubt in this world—myself, humanity, the validity of expiration dates on ChapStick—one thing I will never, ever doubt is the love that my mom has for me.

How she does it—how any parent does it—amazes me.

I would be a mess.

The thought of loving something that much, watching that little person leave my side or feel pain or hurt or sadness in any way, feeling so helpless as to how things might turn out—and doing most of this behind that “mom” mask of strength that so many moms seem to wear—all that would scare me to death.

But this isn’t about me.

It’s about my mom—every mom—who goes through these feelings of doubt that they’re doing things “right.”  Doubt that their children are happy and loved, that they know they’re happy and loved, that they’re protected enough but not overly so.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now or because I hear it from friends or read it on blogs, but I never fully grasped the scope and the depth of the sacrifice you all so willing make every day, most often with laughter and love. 

I thank you.

Because while I’ll never have kids of my own—my level of nurturing and dedication extends only to a (fake) houseplant—I respect the women who do, not just for what they do on a daily basis, but for who they are.

Women who worry. Women who sacrifice. Women who raise their children with the knowledge that they’re special, that they’re smart, that they’re loved and accepted—even if they’re not mushy.

I’m lucky.

I’ve never had any doubt.

Happy Mother’s Day out there!

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Be Kind, Rewind

I actually rented a movie a couple weeks ago. This is news because I have the attention span of a manic gnat with ADD and prefer just to watch TV shows that max out at an hour.

And going to a movie? It’s been years.

I judge a movie by whether it’s better than spending two hours watching a squirrel perform Cirque du Soleil moves on the feeder, a ballgame or a “Chopped” marathon on Food Network, and you have to admit that’s pretty hard to beat.

Plus, it doesn’t cost $10 or force you to deal with strangers loudly slurping their pop.

At any rate, because I’m old I can also say that I remember VHS tapes—those things that came before DVDs. When I was younger, my favorites to watch were classics like all the Rocky movies (I still know every word,) Troop Beverly Hills, Camp Cucamonga and Mariah Carey Live.

They were often for research purposes, as I would give elaborate concerts on the front lawn before organizing cut-throat games of the home-version “Double Dare” game show complete with plastic helmets with sticks to throw wet sponge hoops at.

I was a recreational pioneer, people.  

The first time I watched a DVD I remember being amazed that I didn’t have to “be kind and rewind.” Brilliant!

But I soon learned that while DVDs are convenient, there are certain things about them I detest. For one, they don’t always let you fast forward through the FBI warnings anymore, and second, they can skip.

There’s nothing worse than getting into a movie and having the damn thing just stop and the timer vacillate between two numbers before skipping 20 minutes ahead and ruining the flow of the show.

You can bet that after staring at the frozen screen, trying to “scan” back and forth and yelling a stream of words that would earn an “R” rating, I march back to the video store and get a credit on my account (for the $1 movie I rented for five days a year after it was popular.)

Wait.

There is something worse—if it’s an exercise DVD and Jillian Michaels suddenly sounds like she developed a stutter and you end up doing squat jumps for 3 minutes straight before realizing the DVD is just skipping.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I watched a couple movies that didn’t stink and avoided throwing my remote at the DVD player while cursing modern technology.

leyland

And considering baseball season is here, I’m good until October.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

What are the movies you always watched as a kid? I have a bunch, but I’ve already shared too much.