Sunday, October 19, 2014


There is an abandoned hotel high up on a cliff near the temple the boys and I frequent and every time I drove past it I would wonder how the hell I could get there. There didn't seem to be any roads leading to it, but finally yesterday, after almost two hours of driving around and some serious reconnaissance work on Cole's part, we figured it out. 

The last time we explored an abandoned hotel it was a high-rise and heights upset me, so this one was much better. Instead of one large building there were several smaller structures built in more of a traditional Japanese fashion.  Also, unlike the last hotel, this one was full of spiders. Not in every building, but the more overgrown the structure, the more spiders it contained. 
I just gagged six times typing that.  

Anyway, the story behind this particular hotel is that in the 1970's a wealthy businessman built it despite warnings from the locals that it was too close to several sacred burial sites. After a series of mysterious occurrences and unexplained accidents during construction, the site was abandoned and the owner went crazy and is still in a psychiatric hospital today. 
Is it haunted? I don't think so. Although it had the eerily hallow atmosphere that many long-abandoned structures seem to possess, I didn't get a sense that angry spirits wandered its halls. Plus, it's been like 50 years. It's not like they were murdered there, they just didn't want some big hotel junking up their burial site. I'm sure they're over it. They're spirits. They can go anywhere. They can possess people.  They can get sexy with ladies on pottery wheels. Without some traumatic event binding them to this place, I just don't think they're hanging around. I am a ghost expert please respect my authority on the matter.

Cole wasn't scared. He just didn't want to stop walking. Or talking. Or making noise. And he absolutely forbade us all from going down like four different hallways. Legitimately put his foot down.
 "Fine, mom, if you want to get murdered then go right ahead. MOM!! DO NOT GO IN THAT ROOM! I WILL LEAVE YOU!!"  

  Haunted or not, it was pretty amazing and it doesn't get much better than hearing your kids say, "This is the best day ever."

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


When I was in high school I dated an older, more popular boy for about a month. Let's call him Joe. Initially I was a confounded by his interest in me, but that soon gave way to the giddy delight of being desired.  The gratification of simply being acknowledged can be a powerful force.  However it soon became evident that I would have to work for his adoration and compete for his attention. I changed the way I dressed and talked and I started listening to The Grateful Dead because that's what he listened to.  I...wore hemp.  I also had to do things to make myself attractive to other guys, because I sensed that he liked having something that other people wanted. 

Here's the kicker. I didn't like him. At all. But in some weird, high school way I felt like I needed to in order to stay relevant.  Like if I lost his affection I would go back to being insignifigant. So for a month I gave myself over to this effort of constant vying to keep his eye focused on me. It was exhausting. 

 I don't really remember what ended it. Maybe I got tired of caring so much about things I didn't actually care about or maybe I just couldn't listen to Truckin' one more gaddamn time.  Whatever it was, I do recall the immense sense of relief I felt when it was over. Like I'd been wearing a dress that was two sizes too small and I finally got to take it off. I went back to being me and though I'd like to say he was devastated without me, when I saw him a few months later he referred to me as "Mindy."

I thought of Joe and I can't help but draw parallels between that doomed pairing and the relationship so many of us have with social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; they're all Joe, and Joe has created a perpetual cycle of pining for that illusive more. More likes, more friends, more compliments, more shares, more connections. And don't get lazy. The recognition and adoration don't come free. Yes, we have to work and compete for it, but isn't is worth it when your phone lights up?  Yet even as we get more online, we feel less satisfied with our real lives.  Go to a bar sometime. Look around at people on first dates and watch as one or both parties periodically check their phones, making sure there's not something better waiting for them in that little black rectangle. How do people make real connections anymore when it is so easy to dismiss one for another?  

I'm not saying Joe's a bad guy. I'm just suggesting that maybe we've all invested a little too much in someone who won't even remember our name.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

R. Riveter

I don't know where I was going with yesterday's post but I think we can all agree that maybe the next time I have a bad day I should just knife murder a pillow like a normal person.  Also, I think I talk a little too much about eating people and drinking blood. I don't know. I may need to rein that in.

Moving along.

R. Riveter is a company that I'm really happy to support. These talented boss ladies make beautiful bags out of recycled military material. The quality is amazing.  How they do what they do is amazing.  They currently have a Kickstarter campaign that will go towards updating their studio equipment and every little bit helps, so check it out and pledge if you can!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Being Alone

When I was little I used to love watching Breakfast At Tiffany's.  The romance, the intrigue, the cat with no name who belonged to nobody, the kiss in the rain...

Then I read the book.

Um, there is no romance. Homie's probably gay and Holly Golightly is all, "long hair don't care." The cat with no name? She dumps it in Harlem.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

Tonight I got to thinking. Thinking about how many lies we've been sold since childhood about love and being in love and the horror of being alone. The absolute failure of belonging to nobody. Let me tell you, as someone with a lot of "life experience" (what people say as a polite way of inferring that I've fucked up A LOT of times), there is no shame in being alone. There is a sort of freedom in it, actually. You can look for love or lust or seek that elusive something that you feel you're missing, but ultimately nobody's going to fill that void in you. That's you, boo boo. 
(Sorry I just watched Raven Symone's interview with Oprah and I'm ruined.)

Anyway, in all my spare time I compiled a list of things I've learned with all my experience learning life things i.e. making many mistakes:

1. 90% of people who say they prefer to be alone are literally never alone. They're like people who wear Led Zeppelin t-shirts but look at you like you're a poet when you quote Black Dog.

2. Pizza Rolls taste best when mixed with one's own tears. (New dipping sauce flavor, Totino's?)

3. When you think you are at your lowest and things could not get any worse, things will get worse. 

4. Don't invest yourself in anything until you're fully invested in yourself. I know that sounds like a confusing fortune cookie, but it's true. You know those airplane pamphlets that tell you to put your oxygen mask on before you help anyone else with theirs? Well, that's life. Help yourself first, always. No offense but the person next to you on a plane is probably a douche. They might seem really cool and interesting, but then again you're probably drunk.

5. Faking is too much work and makes you smile weird. 

6. Avoid people who adore being adored. You will not be able to handle the adoration supply /demand. 
Also, yawn.

7. If someone pulls a Holly Golightly and dumps you in an alley in Spanish Harlem, you better learn something (Spanish. Or street fighting.). If you go through a shit situation and learn nothing then I'm gonna assume you're not very smart. People are assholes. This is not news. We're all assholes sometimes. Wise up and get over it.

8. Hurting sucks. It hollows out a pit in your stomach that you just can't fill. It makes you feel vulnerable and lonely and weak and lost. Indulge the negative adjectives for a minute, but then refocus and move along. Somewhere out there is someone far better than you dealing with far worse problems. Isn't that comforting?

On a particularly bad day last week I got a pretty great email from one of my amazing friends that made me feel all the feelings. Although I stand by my belief that people are generally terrible, it's nice to know there are still a few good ones out there.

"I think all people have moments when they feel totally alone in the world, where they feel they're drifting in an open ocean.  But when I read that post of was like you reached over, tapped me on the cheek and said, 'You're not by yourself. I get it.' Like you jumped on the life raft with me."

I'm a mess. You're a mess. We'll figure it out.  In the end it's all just VALUABLE LIFE EXPERIENCE. 
*Also full disclosure do not invite me on your life raft I have no qualms about eating human flesh if it's life or death. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

I Love Princess Superstar

If you know me well at all, then you know that if there's one thing I'm always looking for, it's friends. 
Just kidding. People are awful. 

However, occasionally I'll meet someone and just can't help but begrudgingly adore them.   My babe of the hour is Princess Superstar. She's talented, funny as hell, a crazy hard worker and maybe a little bonkers but in an incredibly fun and endearing way.

“Few have gone to the lengths that hip-hop outlier Princess Superstar is willing to go… Superstar is an incredibly inventive musician who blends together elements of hip-hop and various bits of electronic and dance music that is always interesting and typically profoundly funny.” 

Princess Superstar has been making music for more than fifteen years, but took some time away from the spotlight to make a baby. Now she's back and blowing shit up as per usual!  Her rad new single,  I’m A Firecracker, marks her first official release of new material in nearly five years and 
her new web series  chronicles her life as badass mama and electro-pop princess with honesty and humor.  She does not put on airs for the camera and her candor is a breath of fresh air, making her all the more likable.  Her single is available on iTunes and I just basically love her.  So if you didn't already know her, let me introduce you!

*Not safe for work unless you have a rad boss. I don't know your situation. Maybe just turn the volume down to a normal level and be courteous to your coworkers. Bring them donuts or coffee sometime. I hear people in offices love that shit.

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.