ranchandsyrup

You’ve got a nerve to be asking a favor

Gonna try this blogging thing again like it’s 10 years ago.

I keep my car parked outside at home. It’s not a big deal for me because I’m not really a car person. To tell the truth I’m still not acclimated to how big of a deal car culture is in Southern California. My visits to the car wash are few and far between and in the past my car has taken on a freeloading arachnid passenger.  This time my vehicle provided more than free rides.

My car is getting older and components and parts are starting to fail. My headlights have multiple bulbs in them and they’re starting to go. The car uses more engine oil than it used to. It’s new enough to have a handy sensor that lets me know when the engine oil is low or bulbs are out. I tend to let these notices accumulate until there is a critical mass, then I’ll grudgingly do something about it. I know, not the best way to take car of a vehicle.

It wasn’t time for an oil change yet so I set out on Sunday to buy more oil and light bulbs at the local auto parts store. I  bought the oil and equipped with my paper funnel tried to pop the hood in the parking lot. Didn’t work. Pulled on the latch harder (my solution for everything) and nothing. I walked around the car a few times, muttering and finally banged on the hood a few times and tried the latch again. No dice. I headed home, defeated.

I turned to your friend and mine — the internet–once I got home. There were theories (More about this later) regarding my make and model year and the hood not opening. If they were correct, I’d need some help from professionals so I headed to the local dealer. They tried all of the tricks they knew. They banged on the hood a few times and used a plunger-thingy to try to help it open. Nothing.  The mechanics stated the latch mechanism has two parts, one for each side, and that the linkage between them must be broken. They said they’d be willing to fix it but it would be expensive.  My mechanic suggested a body shop that could do it for less.

I made my way to the body shop. It was busy as hell and I waited for almost an hour before I could get someone to look at my car. The Body Shop explained up front they were not comfortable because they couldn’t guarantee the hood to latch again. I explained to them that I understood, but there were some pressing maintenance issues (like engine oil) that could only be solved by opening the hood.  I’m OK with taking a chance. They told me to come back the next morning (not ideal) and would see what they could do.

I went back the next day, dropped it off and went to a coffee shop to wait. The mechanic called me an hour later, told me had opened the hood and to come back. The shop workers were laughing when I walked up and told me they figured it out and the hood was fixed. I was surprised as I had been game planning on how I would get to work with a non-working vehicle.

The issue? I had a rat living in my engine.

The rat had been bringing in palm tree seeds and pods and storing them where the hood latches were and jammed them full so it wouldn’t open. The rat also shredded the engine blanket on the hood and fashioned himself a little home. There were seeds everywhere in the engine. The mechanic did his best to get most of the debris out some are just too tough to get to.

Now that the mystery was solved I had another problem. How do I prevent my rat from returning? A few days later I went to get an oil change and there was another lovely nest on the engine. I still have all kinds of questions about this. Would the rat leave when I got in the car? Would it cruise with me? If it left, where did it go? Eventually I started checking every day before I left whether it was still building nests. Every morning I would see this: rat nest

Looks comfy, right? Eventually I bought a rat trap and placed it directly under the car.  This rat was too crafty for my trap and I spent weeks throwing away nests and getting rid of seeds. Eventually it gave up or died, but not in the trap. The rat lives in my memory as a comfortable, fat rat much smarter than me.

A Love Letter To My Tribe

What I’m loving right now…my tribe of moms.  This blog post would have been more timely a few weeks ago around Mother’s Day, but this topic really spoke to me last night as I was …

Source: A Love Letter To My Tribe

Jason

dad5.jpg

A few weeks ago Michaela (our 2 year old) began hinting there was another person in our family.  His name is Jason.  At first we couldn’t figure out who Jason was.  He would show up in odd moments and our nanny was convinced SHE was being referred to as Jason.  After inquiring it became clear Jason was Michaela’s imaginary friend.  Jason was a trouble maker sometimes.  Jason is not simply pronounced “Jason”.  Rather you must pucker your lips and express a deep drawn out ”JAAAASSSSSOOOON”.

Bailey (our 5 yr old) had never mentioned any imaginary friends.  Growing up I had my BFF Tiffany so it has tickled me to have a kindred spirit in Michaela.  As our family has become more immersed in Jason’s personality we have begun adding him to our daily questions.  “Hey Michaela where is Jason?”  From what I have surmised he is potty trained, a voracious reader, and an avid jokester.  He loves to make messes, hide at bedtime, and cause trouble.  He is her imaginary friend and her alter ego.  Jason is awesome sauce.

dad7.jpg

Three weeks ago my dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  It was a shock as I am sure it is to any person finding out there dad is not invincible.  The doctors were quick to get surgery scheduled and within days we had the date.  March 29.

My world shook the moment I knew something was wrong with my dad.  Realistically we know our parents will get older and have health problems.  However it is just something we take for granted until a test result slaps us across the face.  My little brother (Rob) and I immediately launched into action making plans to be there.  Logistics wise we both had a ton on our plate but within 24 hours we had travel coordinated, work off and spouses taking over at home.

The family plan was to meet the day before surgery, stay together the night before then do hospital shifts.  Between my mom, Rob and I my dad would never be alone. The doctors felt confident the cancer was only in his kidney. Everything sounded rational and on paper it made sense.  However I knew I wasn’t alone with the feeling of complete and utter fear.

Tuesday I left my girls, Mike and our animals and got on the train.  I spent 5 hours thinking about him and honestly dreading my arrival.  What do I say? How do I act? Do I cry? Make jokes? Will they cry? My role in our family has always been the planner/cheerleader.  I typically take charge (even when they don’t want me to) and lead.  Armed with the team bracelets my daughter had made us I arrived ready to do anything to help my parents.

dad1

The first hour was a little rocky.  My dad was understandably very nervous and my mom was trying to be a comfort while managing her emotions.  He wasn’t allowed to have any cocktails and he didn’t have much of an appetite.  We chatted about surface subjects and idly waited for Rob to get into town.  When he did we headed to a quick dinner in anticipation of our early morning.

I’m not sure when the subject of Jason came about but it did.  My family giggled at the Jason stories and we started making up new stories about Jason.  Everyone pronounced “Jassssoooon” with the deep voice and curled lip I showed them and it just kept getting funnier.  For some reason Jason brought out the child in all of us.  By the time we went to bed we had spent most of the evening laughing and swapping stories.  We bunked in the same room and my brother started cracking jokes in the dark.  We were laughing so hard I was in tears.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt like such a little kid hanging out with my parents.

The next day was LONG.  We checked in a 6am, dad’s surgery was at 9 and he remained in solitary recovery until almost 5pm.   At one point the nurse allowed each of us to individually visit him.  While walking back I was anxious. I wasn’t sure what he was going to look like and wanted to make sure I seemed confident and encouraging.  I walk back and in his drugged state he looks at me and says, “It went good honey. “Jaaassooooon” was in there helping out!” I cracked up.  Good ole Jason had been there watching over my dad the whole time.

dad8

Over the next few days Jason continued to be a theme.  In the patient room next to my Dad’s there was a sheriff supervised patient.  We joked Jason would protect us.  When dad started walking we would say, “Have Jason go with you”.  Even when I left this morning I told dad I had to bring Jason back to Michaela.  Our faith was always present and Jason served as our angel.  He made us all laugh when we really wanted to cry.  He encouraged us to have fun rather than worry.  Jason brought out the childlike banter we had been accustomed to and gave a light in the scary darkness.

My dad was discharged today two days ahead of schedule.  He exceeded the doctor’s expectations with his strength and determination. I heard the nurses talking about him saying he was fun and a joy to have as a patient.  We won’t know the final results until next week but his surgeon felt confident they would be positive.

As I sit on the train riding home I can’t help but smile.  Watching my dad exude the qualities I love most about him filled me with pride.  At 77 he is focused and optimistic.  He is ready to tackle anything and is stubborn to get back to his active lifestyle.  He is serious about his health but can giggle with Jason.

dad10

Jason provided the senseless relief we needed and I can’t help but feel so much admiration for my children.  We wore the bracelets my daughter made us through the whole process and my parents implored us for more grandchild stories.  THIS is the reason for family.  The knowledge and love we receive from our elder’s passes to our children.  Our children provide purity and unabashed wonder to us.  It is absolutely awe inspiring and I travel home with a heart full of love and hope.

Sending the essence of Jason to all our readers!

Xoxo

Mari

dad6.jpg

The Evolution of Friendship

In 5th grade our teacher tasked us with an in class assignment.  Whom do you admire and why?

My first thought was my Mom.  She was and still is the best mom and friend a girl could ask for.  However instead of writing an essay about my mom I looked to the girl seated next to me and asked who she was writing about.

“Madonna! Of course!” stated the popular girl wearing head to toe Esprit, oversized plastic hoops, and three layers of color coordinating socks.

Instantly I was insecure about my choice.  Perhaps Mom was the wrong role model.

I replied, “Oh cool, I’m writing about Cindi Lauper.”   Esprit girl nodded in approval and smiled at me.

The problem was I didn’t know anything about Cindi Lauper.  I knew “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and I had definitely belted out an impressive version of “Time after Time” in the shower on numerous occasions.  The front of my cassette tape indicated Cindi liked crazy hair and lots of bracelets.  She wore neon colors and her MTV videos were cool.  Other than that I knew NOTHING.

cindi cindi2

Luckily I have always had a ferocious imagination and managed to write an entire essay expressing my devotion to a complete stranger.  I received an A.  I still remember the sick feeling in my stomach when my Mom saw the title of the essay and then the reaction of my subject.

5th grade is my first memory of choosing friends over family.

Looking back I can remember disappointing my parents with my consistent worship of school girls.  I would fight to spend time with them, sneak out at night, and put virtually all loyalty aside to be accepted.  I consistently made poor choices and changed who I was to be accepted and part of a group.

Fast forward to my early 20’s and I began flourishing at making girlfriends.  We had a BLAST.  I had lots of best friends and I loved them dearly.  I picked them for holiday getaways, nightly phone calls, and even developed an official (almost famous) group people called a Blonde Coven.   Luckily I could always dump my pesky responsibilities on my parents so I could devote more time to “my girls”.

By my mid-twenties I thought of myself as the life of the party circuit.  I had scored an amazing job working for Budweiser and they paid me to make friends and buy cocktails.  My expense allotment had no ceiling.  I could spend 10,000 dollars in one evening and would be given a pat on the back for doing a great job.  Can you imagine how many friends I made with an unlimited bar budget?  People followed me everywhere.  I always had tons of girlfriends wanting to hang out with me and everyone was so accommodating!

party party2

  party7 party5party9party8

During the peak of my social career I stumbled. Literally.  I was dressed as Rainbow Brite for Halloween and had found fabulous stripper height rainbow shoes.  With my entourage behind me I managed to crack the heel and fall face first into the gutter.  Luckily my “friends” picked me up and graciously offered to carry me to the cash only venue boasting the best Halloween Party of the year.  I felt so lucky to have such amazing people supporting me.   It never occurred to me the 5,000 dollars in my purse and pre-paid VIP area could have been the motivator.

strippershoes

The next day my ankle was blue and I could barely walk.  I grudgingly went to the doctor who immediately told me it was broken.  I was given a cast and strict orders: Stay off your ankle for 8 weeks.

cast

After one week of replying to texts and phone calls with, “I broke my ankle and can’t go out” my phone fell silent.  Really silent.  Some days it never rang or pinged an incoming text.  Most of my friends disappeared.  My own roommate (who loved the perks of my job) became annoyed with me and started leaving things in the way so I couldn’t get down the stairs or in the kitchen.  It was horrible but enlightening.  I didn’t get angry with the people who left me.  I have never been good with grudges and my anger dissolves quickly.  However I did learn the lesson of true friendship.

lonely

Shortly after my realization I met Mike.  He became my best friend and the center of my universe.  I left my job and moved on to a better position albeit less money to spend in bars.  The pseudo friends I had disappeared into the beach bar scene and probably attached themselves to the next alcohol funded wallet.  When Mike and I married my mother was my Maid of Honor.  Two of my three bridesmaids were from my childhood.   Our wedding was small, only 49 guests.  I had learned my lesson and although I had groups of friends I knew how fleeting it could be.

wed

I became a bit more cautious with making friends.   I had girlfriends but began focusing my energy on starting a family and spending time with my core group.

Over the past eight years my social circle has been quietly rebuilding.  I have a few small circles of friends encompassing every facet of my life.   It isn’t flashy.  I don’t talk to most of my friends daily. Some I speak with weekly-some even monthly and everyone seems fine with this.   I used to pride myself on being the leader or social chair of all of my girlfriend groups.  Now I am thrilled if someone can squeeze in a coffee date.  Priorities change.

Last Sunday I wasn’t feeling well.  I didn’t sleep most of the night and knew something was wrong but couldn’t decide if it was the flu or just a bad case of cramping.  It continued through Monday and at my mom’s urging (It might be Endometriosis! It runs in the family!) I made a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday morning.  My doctor took one look and said my abdomen was swollen and I needed to go to ER.  I thought she was crazy and drove home first.  After all I had the girls’ car seats, needed my work laptop, and should probably pack a lunch.  By the time I got to ER I was annoyed and embarrassed.  After all who shows up to ER with their laptop, a packed lunch, and Starbucks?  Granted I didn’t feel like eating or drinking but I certainly wasn’t on my death bed! After hours of waiting I was ushered into a room, given a CAT scan and told my appendix needed to come out.  Immediately.  I was in shock.  Mike was home with the girls and we both assumed I would be coming home.  I was hooked up to an IV and a few hours later was wheeled into surgery.

hospital

Aside from Mike and my parents only two people knew.  My lovely Hannah (who is almost 9 months pregnant) and my bestie Molly who I had been chatting with earlier in the day.  Hannah wanted to come to the hospital and kept texting me.  Molly wanted to pick up my children.  I kept telling them no and they bugged me all night.  I didn’t need their help but their insistence tickled me.  I kept imagining my hugely pregnant Hannah pacing away in ER grossed out by all the nasty sick people and demanding to know what was going on.  Meanwhile Molly and her husband Scott would be wrangling our children in their fabulous penthouse apartment.  My kids would definitely be negotiating ice cream and all night snuggles with them and their doodle Sandy.

After the surgery I recouped and then Mike brought me home.  My friends heard the news either through me or a mutual friend.  My phone began ringing and my text message pinging.  Friends called to check in but also asking if they could take our girls on play dates.  Friends offered to drive them to school.  Friends wanted to know what they could do!  Dinner gift cards arrived.  Flowers.  Desserts.  I was loving the post-surgery weight loss but luckily my friends felt I needed to fatten up by sending sugar cookies, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, etc.  My FRIENDS are still checking in to see what they can do.  My group of friends range from single mid-twenties bikini models to experienced mothers of 5.  Everyone has contacted me to see what they can do.  Over the past year I have made friends with a few phenomenal women in our neighborhood.  These women immediately jumped in to help with my children and offer their support.

help

What a difference.

I have never felt more blessed than the circle of people I know now.  The friends I have made over the past few years have encouraged me.  My best girlfriend Eva had always been suspicious of new girlfriends. Looking back she was probably right.  She never liked a large group and told me not to trust others.  I didn’t listen and was often burned.   She still loves me and sent me cookies thank goodness😉 Lately she has found a group of girlfriends who cherish her.  We don’t live near one another so our journey is an individual experience.

Adult Friendships are AWESOME!!!

Holy moly this is what all knowing adults talked about!   I have friends who want to hang out with me without alcohol or my expense account.  I have friends who offer to help with my children, my health, and my mind.   For the first time I have friends who help me more than I help them!  To be honest I don’t know what to do.  I am not accustomed to people giving without any type of expectation of reciprocation.

For those of my friends who read my blog, thank you for everything you do.  I feel so blessed to have a support system in my life and know I am beyond lucky.

While writing this our two year old has been organizing plastic cups.  Every few moments she says, “LOOK MOMMA” seeking my approval.  It is adorable and I cherish the short amount of time we have while our girls care most about our opinion not their peers.   My hope is we can try to impress the importance of family and character on them during the impressionable years.   I know people will hurt them and it tears me up to know it is inevitable.  However I am filled with happiness knowing if they put forth their best there will be a day real friends will be there.

Happy Friday!  xo Mari

friends

Man made deltas and concrete rivers. The south drinks what the north delivers.

Happy Earth Day everyone. To celebrate, let’s have a discussion about the least popular animal in California since the infamous spotted owl. I present to you the delta smelt.

delta smelt
Cute little guy, isn’t he?

So, what did the delta smelt do to deserve the hatred? The same thing the spotted owl did — lived its life. People chose to utilize the law to protect these species and their habitats. This in turn inconvenienced some narrow-minded people. These narrow-minded people advance one of the stupidest arguments ever to attack the protection of these species. It goes something like, “California cares more about a fish than they do humans.”

So let’s unpack that argument. It falls apart rather quickly with some analysis and an understanding of one concept. The delta smelt is an indicator species. Generally an indicator species is any biological species that defines a trait of the environment. Zooming in on resource, species and habitat management, an indicator species is one that is sensitive to and therefore to serve as an early warning indicator of environmental changes. Typically an indicator species is in the middle of the food chain. They eat critters/plants in the habitat. They are eaten by other critters. So the rationale behind monitoring an indicator species is that if it’s healthy and doing well it is likely the interconnected system that constitutes its habitat is also thriving.

Here’s a quick example about how people intuitively understand the concept. When the settlers were emigrating from the east coast out to the plains and the west access to fresh water was at a premium. Sometimes they ran out and had to source drinking water. How would one go about doing that? The settlers looked for frogs. The presence of frogs indicated a (relatively) healthy source. No frogs equaled trouble. So that is the gist of indicator species.

It is patently absurd to state that regulators and advocates “care” more about the health of the delta smelt than the humans. The fallacy here is that regulating only in the interest of humans would always benefit humans. Remember, we are (still) completely dependent on the Earth and its systems. We know relatively little about how these systems interconnect. I believe we should err on the side of caution because the effects can be wide reaching from operating solely for the benefit of people. What about people that enjoy recreational uses of water (fishing, kayaking, etc.)? What about increased costs of treating water to drinking standards as the system degrades? Lots o’ questions here.

So, why do I think that people push this argument? One reason is that it appeals to “common sense”. I’ve written about previously. The baked in presumption that the simplest approach will bring the best results is off base. The next reason is just plain tribalism. Hippie-punching is a treasured hobby for a segment of people. California is a shining beacon of everything that is wrong in the world to that same segment. So it’s no big deal to twist logic to get some cheap shots in. The last one I’m going to advance is the complete self-absorption of our culture. We demand that everything be done so it benefits us directly. The concept of indirect benefits is becoming un-American, apparently.

So on Earth Day, try to think in a utilitarian manner. Let’s try to do things that benefit the greatest number of people because we are dealing with shared resources, health and safety issues, and a future for our children. We can all go back to being petty tribalists tomorrow (or not!). Give the delta smelt a break. It’s only trying to survive and ensure a future for its family and specie. The people who are trying to assist it by protecting flow rate, habitat, food sources, etc., are doing so for your benefit.

ETA: If anyone is curious as to how the delta smelt is doing, sampling at 40 previously friendly to smelt sites found one delta smelt. h/t Trollhattan. Thx buddy!

Who Pooped In The Tub ?

Monday is bath night for our girls.

Bath nights are every other night and the kids get their hair washed, body scrubbed and are allowed to play with the obligatory toys cluttering my once pristine bathtub.  The whole process takes about 20-40 minutes depending on who is in charge.  Dad is infinitely quicker but his attention to detail does not compare with mom😉 .

It’s easy right?

Some nights Mike and I choose to make the girls their dinner first then eat after they are in bed.  We are at our limit of Mac n Cheese and Turkey Dogs(never thought it would happen).  Plus not shovelling food in and having a conversation is a nice break from the chaos of full family dinner. Mike was planning to BBQ spicy sausage mixed with Caribbean Rice – Delish! Neither kiddo would be impressed so we went with the “kids before parent’s plan.”

They ate their turkey dogs. Drank their applesauce pouch. Sipped Chocolate milk. Refused veggies.  Bath Time!

What could go wrong? After all we are pros at our nightly ritual.

Mike and I put the girls in the bathtub and launched into auto pilot.  Both little people are clean and Mike pulls out Michaela (our 1.5 year old) and gets her ready for bed.  While lotioning Michaela, Bailey(4.5 year old) starts screaming. “There is POOOOOOP in the tub! Mom?!! Come quick there is poop in the tub!!!”

There is a large deuce floating in the tub. A colon cobra slithering in the sudsy jungle.  One ominous brown floater sashaying its way through the bubbles and toys.  It was chasing Bailey. I was sure of it.  She squealed and bounded out of the bathtub.

poop1

I have heard of this. I know it happens. I just didn’t think it would happen to us.  On house keeper day. My freaking bathtub is finally clean and there is a sphincter spear hovering.

Dry Vomit first.

Then move to success driven execution. Both girls are hustled to the shower.  We repeat cleaning measures. Actually we doubled up on cleaning measures.

Then the bathtub. There are bubbles everywhere.  I have to push bubbles aside to find the turd and scoop it out with a bag. Then I bleached. And bleached.  What about the bath toys? Are they safe?  My germ paranoia was sliding off the Richter scale and visions of poop contamination were taking over.

poop4

Just when my crazy thought train was chugging out of control Bailey interrupted my thoughts.

“Guys, I can’t believe Lucy or Elway thought my bathtub was the toilet! Bad Puppies!”

Bailey actually believed one of our dogs pooped in her bathtub(Logistics?).  I can’t handle it. I laugh until I snort. There is no way we will ever tell her that her sister pooped while in the bath with her.  Bailey was so annoyed the dogs got confused and pooped in HER bathtub.  If she knew it was Michaela….. well I just don’t know how that would go.

The bathtub is disinfected. The kids are clean. The dogs have been reprimanded in front of Bailey(and given cookies for not telling after she went to bed).

Just another Monday.

UPDATE…. Tuesday, 7:45am

As I was proofing this to post Bailey interrupted me.

“Mom next time it is bath night can I just take a shower?”

Fainting Couch STAT

victim5

I haven’t written lately because I have just been SO busy.

I work Full Time. Tend to two children. One husband. Two Dogs.  Hundreds of models. 5 States worth of event staff. Girlfriends.  Family. Charitable causes. Attempted work out regime.

My kids have been sick so I haven’t slept much.  My dog gashed open his head.  Traveling for family obligations has been stressful.  My friends are pregnant/engaged/divorcing/partying/depressed. I am exhausted and stressed and being pulled in every direction.

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

If you do. Don’t.

victim1

I decided to write on an area of abuse I see running rampant in many places of my life (sometimes mine).  It is one of the few common personality traits that knows no ethnicity, religion or gender.  It does not exclude any age, occupation or socioeconomic class.  In fact this affliction may be the most contagious disease I have seen of late (Except for diseases once abolished. Thanks anti-vaxxers).

The “disease” goes by a few terms:

Victimhood.  Playing the Victim.  Self Victimization. Victim  Playing.  (Cousins with Martyrdom)

Definition: fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulateothers, a coping strategy or attention seeking.

Playing the Victim is useful.  It works in most situations.  You can use it to win a fight.  Elicit sympathy.  Gain praise.

I would be lying if I said I haven’t played the victim before.  It is usually to throw someone off in a fight (I have married an attorney but my dad always assumed I would be one) or to get out of something I don’t want to do.  I think everyone should get a few free victim cards per year.

victim3

I am not speaking of the occasional overwhelmed feeling of a person needing a moment of praise.  Heck we all need some snaps every once in a while!

IMAG4976_3(My snaps cup of praise given to me by my fabulous friends)

 This blog is geared to the perpetual victim.

The card toting year around victim who literally feeds off the attention and praise devoted to their plight.  You can find the greatest offenders of victimhood in various arenas.  These are just a few I have seen this week:

1. The Social Media Abuser – Facebook, Twitter, Victims.com (OK I made that up).  Good Lord the victims use social media as a personal soap box for their need for affirmation.  These offenders post weekly but most often daily.  They share inspirational quotes about how they are wonderful in a passive aggressive way.

They write about being stressed. Over worked. Over tired. Can’t sleep. Trying the best they can as a (insert lifestyle). The posts literally BEG you to say, “You are AMAZING”, “Keep your head up!”, “You deserve the best!”, “It will get better”, “We are in AWE of how awesome you are!”… you get the picture….

victim6

I should preface.. the Social Media Abuser probably falls into the following categories as well….

2. The Over Achiever- We all know this person.  This victim is cloaked in a shiny coat and often not categorized as a couch fainter.  This person pushes to be the lead in everything.  The class President. Head of the Pismo Beach Disaster Fundraiser. Cheer President.  The Soccer Mom, Carpool director, Team Captain- All in one week.  The over achiever is the individual others are immediately drawn to because they appear to “have it together”.  Months or perhaps years pass before one realizes the praise of being an “overachiever” is the Heroin of choice for this person. Keep praising or this hidden victim will crumble.  This person does not take on one or two areas.  They demand to be in charge of everything.  They headbutt their way to the top then wait for the praise to flow.

3. The Public figure- UGH probably the most offensive to me.  If I read another celebrity complaining about their public comments being taken wrong…. Some celebrities love to talk about how hard it is to be rich and famous.  The horrible problems they deal with and how we should pity and celebrate them.

4. The Plight I Overcamer- “Overcamer” is not actually a word but you know who I am talking about.  The person who overcame the horrible (insert situation) and is reformed… but not really.  They remind us of their past plights constantly, passively begging for us to praise them over and over and over and… well you get the picture.  They want applause for becoming better. Unfortunately they haven’t actually overcame anything because they compulsively seek adoration. Daily.

5. The Never Follow Througher- Again… I might be making a new word but this person tells everyone constantly how they are starting (insert plan).  It never actually happens but we are supposed to praise them for their thoughts toward awesome.  The “never follow througher” is the quintessential beacon of hope wrapped in a soft victim blanket.  They are letting us know they have been through EVERYTHING but are still willing to (insert-go to school, run a marathon, build a boat, become vegan, get a medal, host a speech, break up with bad person, start a freaking revolution). Obviously they never actually complete their goal(or come close) but as a victim encourage others to say YAY!! Way to go!! We never see any results because the ego is fed until the next proclamation.

It is fine to play the victim every once in a while.  We all need a dose of confidence to remind us we are amazing. Capable. Phenomenal. Awe worthy.  However, is this your crutch? Is being a victim your go to? Do you beg for affirmation regularly?

victim4

Maybe I am crazy but why not ask for praise when you need it? Or better yet why not count one’s own blessings?

This past weekend I was in my home town and blessed to see my oldest and most dear friend Rachel.  She is the same age as I am. She has 4 children and is divorced.  As soon as she arrived to meet me her first question was, “How are you?? You have so much going on I need to hear everything”.  I rambled for an hour.  When I inquired about her and her family she shrugged it off.  She mentioned she had been a bit frustrated getting the kids out in the morning but otherwise life was great.  She doesn’t have time for Facebook or social media.  She doesn’t complain or bitch.  She is AMAZING.  If she had a fainting couch I would buy her pillows.  But she never will.  She’s not a victim.

Yet another of my best friend’s volunteers with children.  She devotes her time (quietly) to provide positive opportunities for those in need.  The stories she has told me of visiting orphanages in Mexico and being a “big sister” to two special kids…. hopefully she will guest blog- Unicorn you know who you are…

Remember when this video went viral?

The people who have the most tend to need more.  Those who could actually BE A VICTIM choose different.  Some of the most confident individuals I have met are those with little to nothing.  More important people who actually need our support don’t publicize it.  At what point does the need for praise and affirmation become an actual addiction?

 

 

 

I’m Sean Connery, James Bonding with none of you

My favorite recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live is Celebrity Jeopardy.  I realize this doesn’t exactly make me unique.  I make up for this with fervent fandom.  My buddy Greg got me an outstanding shirt that lists some classic Celebrity Jeopardy categories.  Whenever I wear it (sorry can’t find pic) I get at least one remark from a rando in public.  Thanks for the shirt, Greg!  My brother-in-law Robbie graciously made me a CD (way back when) that had all of the audio files.  Still have it in my car and still laugh at it.

Despite all of the love I have for the sketch, I managed to miss the 3 hour SNL 40th Anniversary show AND neglect to DVR it.  Because I’m smart like that.  My friend Andy that knows I love the sketch even texted me to let me know it was on and I completely flailed. Thanks for the effort, Andy. Good looking out.

The lesson, as it frequently is here, is that I’m a moran moron.
moranHere’s a picture verifying this.

So, I ventured online to see what I could see and have been watching snippets. But the coolest thing I found was Norm MacDonald talking about the history of Celebrity Jeopardy and what it was like helping to write the Celebrity Jeopardy sketch for SNL 40. Well worth your time to read through it. Here’s a storify link, which is much easier to read than when using twitter. I learned a lot from it. Check it out and let us know what you think. 🙂

Here’s the skit from SNL 40:

thanks again Andy G for linky!

My Ass Is In Your Spot

Last night I went to bed with a plan.  To be honest I go to bed every night with a plan.  Most mornings it gets derailed before 8am.  But a girl’s gotta have a goal right?

My plan was to get Bailey to preschool early, visit with her teacher and drop off the 45 baby food jars I had washed the night before (for art projects).  Next I would get my errands done and get home in time to get my work done and laundry folded before 1pm pickup.  Easy peasy right?? Wrong.

My morning started out late and before I knew it I was wrapped up in a work project needing to go out before leaving the house.  At 8:15 I was still in pajamas, Bailey was not fed or dressed and baby Michaela had a full diaper. UGH.  Our sweet nanny Summer knows every morning is an adventure.  Some mornings she shows up to a clean house and dressed and fed kids with backpack and lunchbox packed.  Today was not that day. Instead she came through the door with me shouting, “Watch out I am tossing Bailey’s clothes downstairs”…”Also can you please put away all the food on the counter?”… “Michaela pooped can you deal with that??”…”I need to leave in 8 minutes”….

By the time I pulled into the parking lot it was 9:05am (School starts at 9) and I screeched into the first open parking spot  I could find.  I jumped out opened Bailey’s door and glanced down at the pavement.

Half of my car was in the parking space next to me.  BALLS.

park1

I had inadvertently double parked.  I knew I would need to fix the car even though I was running late.  But before I could get back in the driver side I saw the owner of the car through the windows.  She realized she couldn’t open her door (Because my entire car ass was in her spot) and had turned around.  I was trying to get her attention waving through my windows but they are dark tinted(illegal tint-I know, I am hardcore) so she couldn’t see me.  Next thing I know she is jumping in her passenger  seat and climbing over her seats to get to her driver’s seat.  I was mortified.

When she backs out I walk to the back of my car to get her attention bracing myself for the daggers she would certainly fling. I was envisioning a shaking head.. utter disdain.. annoyance…

park2 park3 park4

 Instead she sees me, smiles and waves! WHAT?? She rolls down her window since I am flailing around like an Idiot and I immediately start stumbling over myself,” I am SO SO sorry about my horrible parking…. I was just getting back in my car to fix it…. I was running so late I wasn’t paying attention….I can’t believe you climbed over your seats… ” you get the idea.  This adorable mom just laughs and explains it happens to her all the time and her garage is so tiny she is used to climbing in any door that has the most space.  Then she tells me to have a great day and drives away.

park5 park6

O.M.G.  How cool is that?? How many of you would have had a smile on your face if someone parked in your spot and you had to climb through your car? She didn’t know I was on the other side about to amend my wretched parking.  She wasn’t annoyed or snarky.  She was wonderful.

park8

Her kindness inspired my day and reminded me for all the negative stories and poor human behavior kindness is still alive and well.  Patience and assuming the best in others is still thriving.  It really tickled me.

Remember the next time someone double parks or cuts in front of you they might not be a horrible person.  They could be just running late or distracted.  They could be shuffling and multitasking and their morning plan might not be panning out.  Let’s try to be kind to one another and assume the best.. not the worst.

XO Mari

 park9

Shuffle Up and Deal

Wherein I hit shuffle on whatever music device is handy and detail the 1st song that comes up.

Queens of the Stone Age — Little Sister

Queens of the Stone Age have really grown on me over time.  With repeated listens I found new and interesting things that they do with time signatures.  I just find it really fascinating.

Little Sister is a solid song in their repertoire.  The video above is a live version they did on Saturday NIght Live that includes Will Farrell as Gene from Blue Oyster Cult on the cowbell during the 2nd half of the song.  Kills me every time.  Most songs need more cowbell.   Enjoy!

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 957 other followers

%d bloggers like this: