Monday, September 29, 2014

Stop Doing These Things

1) Stop airing dirty laundry on social media. It’s tacky and pointless. Every sensible adult realizes that there are two sides to every story. However, that doesn’t mean you have to tell yours on Facebook. 

2) Try not to be the wet blanket of your news feed, no matter how terrible your life is. It’s a real bummer and it forces friends and family to act like they care, which can make them uncomfortable.  If you must at least liven it up with some emoji or creative punctuation.  

3) Stop posting about body acceptance by simultaneously bashing other body types. Some "real" ladies have curves, some don't, some have big butts and some don't. Some are very thin or very buff and some aren't. Some ladies were born with boy parts and only became ladies later! It's a crazy world!! But it's all good so calm down and be nice.

4) Stop sharing Matt Walsh blog posts. Seriously. He's the worst.  

5) Stop sending me game requests on Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I love games. My favorite being Cards Against Humanity: The Real Life Edition wherein you just always say the terrible things you're thinking and no one sends you Evites anymore. However, I will never want to play Candy Crush or Harvest Your Loneliness or whatever other games Facebook offers. 

6) Stop talking about your gluten sensitivity.  You know who's sensitive about gluten? People with Celiac disease. And probably Gwyneth Paltrow.  I'm pretty sure she eats frozen mink tears and kale chips exclusively.

7) Stop trying to sell me shit and/or recruit me to peddle your shit.

8) Stop reading articles that consist of asinine guidelines some random blogger made up. 
“Things You Should Do In Your Thirties!” 
“Things You Should Stop Doing in Your Twenties!” 
"Stop Doing These Things!" (LOL too late you already read it, suckerrrr.)
We’re all individuals with dynamic and complicated lives.  There is no definitive guide for when or how we should do things. I once read that after thirty a woman should start throwing dinner parties. I tried that but my guests just pushed their microwaved hotdogs around their plates and nobody even touched the sour licorice fountain. It was a disaster.  What works for one doesn't work for all. So find what works for you and do that.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Not Your Mom

Life has been busy lately. Cole started football, I'm studying for the GRE, boys are both in piano, I started volunteering at Aidin's school and shit is getting real hectic over here. I know some of you might be thinking, "Michele...volunteer? She hates helping others."

I really do. 
However, when your kid still wants you around you make certain compromises. Besides, as humans go nine year olds are actually pretty okay. 

Anyway, here are a few crappy phone pictures and some of the more memorable quotes from the week. We hiked, we swam, we terrorized the locals. Togetherness.

 "Cole quit trying to impress mom with your sarcasm and your meanness." -Aidin

"Nicki Minaj's laugh makes me want to kill myself. " -Cole 

"Well luckily I'm not your mom." -Me to that one brat kid who kept telling me how his mom did things. (Don't worry, his mom's not dead. I checked. She's alive and well and probably super annoying.) 

"When I was younger I felt invincible, like nothing could hurt me. Now I'm older. I've broken my arm. I'm more cautious." -Cole explaining why he isn't a more aggressive running back.

"I hate you. I know mom said to never say I hate you but you're a real butt turd." -Aidin anger-whispering to Cole.

"I got invited to a birthday party."
"Cool, you wanna go?"
"Nah. I'd rather buy myself something and stay home to play with it."

That's a wrap, kids. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014


I recently started writing letters to my sons because I'm a better writer than verbal communicator and I felt like there was a lot I wanted to convey to them.  I won't share every single one because some are more personal and some are frankly a bit boring, but I thought I'd share a few, just because.

Dear Cole,
I want you to know that you can truly tell me anything and it will stay with me and only me until I'm dead, whereupon I'll become a lovable albeit quirky ghost who will haunt you for the rest of your life, privy to all your secrets.   But seriously, I've got your back no matter what. I might get mad sometimes but you never have to worry that I'll stop loving you like crazy. You can also ask me anything and I'll try to give you a straight answer, because you are old enough for honesty and because honesty is freedom.  

Honesty is something that everyone tells you to practice, but not many people do. Lying is easy and sometimes it helps in the short term, but it also creates lots of little land mines you're forever trying to memorize and avoid. It's exhausting.  Sometimes being honest is hard and scary or could hurt someone you care about, but when you tell the truth, you're free from that deceit. You don't ever have to think or worry about it again.  I can tell you all this not because I'm perfect and never lie, but because I've lied and been lied to many, many times in my life. Most were innocent and had no real consequence, but some took on a life of their own and did a lot of damage, the worst damage being the harm I did to myself.  I sort of went with the flow and said what I thought people wanted to hear all the time and after a lot of years I realized that I didn't like who I was. I had become a phony version of myself and reversing the process would take a really long time.  I don't want that for you. So just be honest.  With yourself, with others and especially with your mother.

Forever the Sophia to your Dorothy,


P.S. Write me back or you're grounded.

P.P.S. Just kidding :)

P.P.P.S. Not really. :|

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bored Ginger

This post is dedicated to the drunk man I walked past while I was in the states who said, "Hey Red!" And when his friend asked who he was yelling at he responded, "That bored ginger right there." (Either that or, "Hat bow ginger Rhett Butler." I'm not 100%.)

A.  No. I was just discussing this with my friend Jess. Give us a freaking break. You know who drinks solely because they like the taste? Psychopaths. 

A.  Um, no. They use the sound of crying babies to elicit confessions from hardened criminals. Or at least they do in movies. My point is, it's a horrible sound.  I don't care if it's your baby or someone else's, it's the worst.  We all get it. Even the ones who plaster a big fake smile on their face and act like they love working out and volunteering. No they don't. They love anything that gets them away from their screaming baby and makes them feel better about how hollow their lives are.  Not all of us can/want to stay home with our kids. There's absolutely zero shame in admitting you don't want to. Working moms are the shit. Stay at home moms are the shit. Babes rule.  (And if you want to work out or volunteer that's cool too.  I was mostly kidding about that.)

On another note, what is your baby's name? Did you name him something unique and hip, but also terrible? Kale? Wren? Drum? Maybe that's why he's crying.

And hating where you live...preach on. I get it.  I live on a tiny, isolated Japanese island in a house sandwiched between the sea, a burger joint and a cigarette shop. The smell on hot summer days can only be described as Courtney Love's vagina circa 1993. 
*Cue email from my mom with the subject line "GOOD GRIEF, MICHELE."
As I see it, you have three options. Learn to love it, tolerate it, or leave. 

A.  Human blood and formaldehyde.   

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Take Away

Since my last personal post was a bit doom and gloom, I thought I'd update everyone in a way that says, 
"Hey, I'm okay!"
(I was going to spell that out in single shooters I stole off my flight home but I thought it might send mixed messages.)

No, maybe home wasn't all I'd imagined it would be and maybe I didn't have any spiritual epiphanies, but looking back I definitely learned a lot and had some things confirmed to me.


6. If you are an awkward and/or embarrassing person, just accept it. Don't fight it. Don't overthink, make excuses or obsess on it.  If anything it makes life more entertaining. For others. And by that I mean your behavior gives people something to talk about at parties when you're not around.

5.  Loyal friends and family will make themselves known when you are in crisis, but so will the glass house stone throwers and gossip-mongers.  Again, don't overthink or obsess on it. Let them create and spread whatever narrative they like. Send them flowers with a card that reads, "Thanks for making me sound more interesting than I am."  Or get creative!

4. If you break something, stain something or clog the bathtub drain at someone else's house, don't tell them.  If they ask about it, suggest that maybe their house is haunted.  Or blame their kids/pets.

3. Leaving thoughtful notes around your host's home when you leave is very sweet, until your flight is cancelled and you have to return for the night and face everyone you already wrote your emotional goodbyes to. Then it's like running into the same person ten times at the grocery store. Next time think about taking a cab to the airport in the dead of night.   For an additional layer of fun act like you were never there and see if you can make them think they're going crazy.

2. Do not tell your hostess how sad you are the morning before you dye your hair red. Seeing blood-like splatters on the bathroom floor is apparently very upsetting to some people when taken out of context.

1.  Be selfish sometimes. When push comes to shove you are your best and only advocate.  You might look like the bad guy.  You might burn bridges. You might make a mess. It's okay. It's your life. Don't live it for how you might look to other people.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I'm not going to sugarcoat it. This is a post, in part, about coasters.  But in my defense, look at them. 

They're freaking beautiful.  I don't even want to put my peasant cups on them. They deserve wine goblets made of hand-carved wolf bone and gold or something.  UncommonGoods has a huge selection of unique, handcrafted gifts, many of which are produced using recycled and natural materials.  I promise you will find something amazing for everyone you're shopping for, but will probably end up buying only for yourself because you would rather have agate coasters than friends. 

I spent maybe six hours browsing this awesome site. I know this is a review and I'm supposed to be very critical but I just can't.  I love it all.
So go check out UncommonGoods (they have gifts for kids too).   Give them all your money. You might lose your house but you will have a Homemade Gin Kit so what are you even complaining about?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dandelion Village

My step-brother is doing something sort of amazing. He bought a house on some land and is in the early stages of building an EcoVillage, or sustainable community called Dandelion. The property is beautiful and for the first time in two years I got the slightest taste of fall, as the leaves are just starting to fall and crunch underfoot.  We walked through the gardens, stopping occasionally to pick raspberries, peppers and squash.  It's an awesome concept and I hope he gets the funding and support he needs to make it a reality. 

If you want to learn more/help out/live there/donate click here!