Thursday, August 10, 2017


Hello again.  I'm 46 years old and will be 47 next month.  It's natural and normal for me to go through menopause, right?  Natural and normal.  Healthy even.  This may be natural, and it may even be normal, but it sure as heck doesn't feel healthy.  I looked it up on Google and here are some images:

Image result for menopause

What is healthy about that?  How is a person supposed to function with all this shit going on?  I'm so IRRITABLE!

I was looking for some suggestions on relief and researched what is actually happening to my body while this is going on and I came across this graphic:

Image result for menopause

Notice that in the younger reproductive system the ovaries are pinkish and in the older reproductive system the ovaries are GRAY.  Why?  They don't have to color them gray!  The only other change I see in the graphic is that the uterus is opening up like "Hey, what the hell, why not.  Bring it."

An irrationally irritable person doesn't need to see gray ovaries when searching for relief. It tends to make her more irritable.

This is all compounded by the story about the 28-year-old Google engineer who sent a company memo outlining all the ways that women are "different" than (read: inferior to)  men, and that accounts for women not being in leadership roles in technology.  A 28-year-old doofus writes a memo that ironically displays his prejudice and privilege, mansplaining the gender gap in technical jobs.  He says women can't handle stress as well as men. Oh my god. Imagine reading this while trying to function as a regular person while also experiencing 70% of the symptoms in the top graphic AND having gray ovaries.  I feel like my body has been taken over by mean aliens, yet I'm still going through the motions of my life and my somewhat stressful job.  Imagine that!

I would like to take that tech misogynist and give him a virtual reality taste of menopause.  Put on the goggles, Google man!  Oh, sorry, former Google man.

First, let's take away the sense of well-being that keeps most people from seeing horror and danger everywhere they look.  That's foundational to the menopausal experience.

Next, let's add in bursts of adrenaline to give him some anxiety surges.  That's fun.  Don't like randomly crying in public for no reason whatsoever?  Too bad.

Then we'll add in an 8 out of 10 level of irritability just for walking around.  We'll ramp it up to a 10/10 when he hears someone chewing or sees a graphic of old gray balls.

Now for the physical symptoms:

First, let's give him a persistent but not debilitating headache.  Doesn't seem like much at first but by day three it will make him want to stab his eyes out.

Then we'll add in some joint and muscle aches.  Again, not debilitating, but compounded by everything else... man oh man is it annoying.

We can't forget to give him hot flashes.  That's a pretty well-known symptom of menopause, but compared to everything else it's a walk in the park.  Dress in layers, Google man.

Okay, now the pièce de résistance: how about some genital bleeding.  Let's make it unpredictable and persistent.  That goes really well with the first symptom of losing any sense of well-being and makes him constantly ask "Why is this 'normal'?  This is fucking HORRIFYING!"

So, let's look at the results of our experiment.  Hey Google man, why are you sobbing?  Get off the floor!  Go look for a job!  And pull yourself together; nobody wants to hire a hysterical mess.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hello Again

The last time I wrote on this blog, I was struggling with the idea that Donald Trump seemed to, RIDICULOUSLY, be positioned to get the Republican nomination for president.

We've come a long way since then, with our new so-called president.

But, HOW....?  Oh... wait:

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." ~ H.L. Mencken, The Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

I guess democracy has been perfected?  Maybe?  Is that the glass half full version of what happened?

Aside from our national dumpster fire, my own personal life is going well.  Family is well, job is going fine, I'm alive and in good health.  I'll write more when I feel funnier.  Not feeling very funny today, but I have been updating the blog gadgets so I thought I would write a little update.  Hello, everyone!  I hope you are doing well too.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

20 Things About My Summer

Hey there, everybody!  It has been one heck of a summer.  Let me just make a list:

1. I am on the school board at my school.  The chairman wanted to step down and I was nominated to replace him.  I didn't want to do it.  I hedged and stalled but was voted in and reluctantly accepted the job.

2. The board decided not to renew our director's contract.  As chair of the board, I got to tell him.  He didn't take it well.

3.  The staff of the school was pissed and, as the voice of the board,  I got to deal with the backlash.

4.  During the whole work crisis our home internet went out.  And stayed out for six weeks.

5. I've been working all summer.  I'm a teacher.  I get teacher pay.  But I'm the head of the board.  So I work.

6.  We had a storm a couple weeks ago and our power was out for two days.

7.  We live out in the sticks so we have a well which is run by an electric pump so when the power is out, so is the water.

8. The septic system broke and Mitch had to dig up the tank to fix it.  We couldn't use the toilet for a day.

9. The stress a person experiences when they don't know where they are going to poop is greater than you might expect.

10. We had another bigger storm and several trees broke, one of them fell into the septic hole.

11. Since the latest storm we have not had power for three days and it's not expected to be back for three more.

12.  Two of the three days we have not had power were the hottest days on record.

13. I have not used a toilet this infrequently since I was in diapers.

14.  I have not showered this infrequently since last summer. (nothing was wrong last summer, I just had a phase of not caring much about hygiene.)

15. I am afraid that a lack of convenience for hygiene is going to wipe away any refinement I might have.  For instance, I now see nothing wrong with wearing my underwear to a public beach.  My underwear are older than some middle schoolers.

16.  Donald Trump is seriously SERIOUSLY the nominee for the Republican party for President of the United States.  SERIOUSLY.

17.  Donald Fucking Trump.

18.  I think my voting-age son likes the idea of Trump as a president.

19.  I am frantically trying to think of a convincing way to tell my voting-age son that our precinct doesn't vote until Wednesday, November 9.  Is that voter fraud?  I don't really care if it is.  It's for the greater good.

20.  The forecast for the next few days calls for torrential rain and flash floods.

Is it the apocalypse?  Because if it is I'm going to resign from the board and eat a donut every day until the end of times.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Boat Show

The Boat Show is in Duluth this weekend at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.  I don't find anything fun or entertaining about the boat show.  It's hot, crowded, boring and full of foods that seem like a good idea but then turn quickly into diarrhea.  (I'm talking to you, corn dogs and mini-donuts.)  All the men in my life are excited for the boat show.  I didn't really know why, besides looking at a bunch of boats nobody can afford to buy, but then I got to the bottom of it.  Sam said, "There is going to be a water-skiing squirrel there!"

Without thinking I said, "Oh Sam, water-skiing squirrels aren't really skiing, they are standing on a platform that has skis attached to it.  And the little boat isn't going fast enough to even convince anyone that he could be skiing.  The boat would have to go a lot faster.  He's not skiing, Sam.  He's just standing."

Sam said, "Oh......................... I didn't know all that."

I ruined it for my boy!  It's like I told him Santa isn't real.  Just because he's 19 doesn't mean my parenting duties are over.  How mean of me.

Mitch is going to the Boat Show too.  He was talking to his friend, Chuck, on the phone today, making plans to go and while he was talking I did this annoying thing I've been doing for YEARS.  He says something and I use a Beeker the muppet voice to mock him quietly in the background.  Like so:

Mitch:  I think I will head down to my office around five and do a couple of hours of work beforehand.
Me: Me me me me me me me me meme meme me me me me meme me me me me mememe.
Mitch: I think the doors open at five.
Me: Me me me me meme me me.
Mitch: I suppose I'll be done around six or seven, what's the hurry?
Me:  Me meme me me me meme me me me, me me meme?

Until today, Mitch has never ever said anything about me doing this very annoying thing.  Never once in years.  Sure, he leaves the room, but he has never actually asked me to stop or told me I'm annoying.  I took it as a sign that he likes it and would like me to keep doing it indefinitely.  That's fine with me because I really like doing it.

Today he got off the phone and said, "You know, people can hear you when you do that."
The damn burst.  I laughed way harder than was warranted because 1) He finally said something!  and 2) I KNOW people can hear me doing it!  THAT'S WHY I DO IT!

Then he said, "Boy.... Chuck really wants to see that squirrel."

Monday, November 30, 2015


Today my fellow teachers and I were eating lunch together and we were talking about the house plant that the art teacher has outside her room.  It's poisonous and several years ago for some unfathomable reason a kid picked a leaf off and ate it and then his mouth and throat started to swell and they had to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Did I mention I work in a high school?

Anyway, that reminded me of when I turned 40.  My mom gave me a beautiful Jerusalem cherry tree.  It had gorgeous tiny orange fruits on it.  I raved.  Before my mom let me get a good look at it she said, "Hey! You can't eat it. It's poisonous."  What 40 year old woman looks at a house plant and wants to eat it?  Did she think I was a glutton or just a moron?  I was offended.  But then.... well, here's my thought process:

She thinks I'm an idiot.  I'm 40 effing years old and she is still giving me moronic commands like "don't eat houseplants."  How ridiculous.  Why would she get me a plant with such beautiful fruit on it if I'm not supposed to eat it?  How poisonous could it be?  Would I get die from it or just get a little sick?  If she thought there was even a chance of me eating it, why would she give me a poisonous plant?  Is it "throw up" poisonous or  "brain damage" poisonous?  I wonder what those little fruits taste like.  They look delicious.  I bet they taste like tomatoes.  They look a little like tomatoes.  She's watching me like she's going to slap my hands if I touch it.  How insulting.  I'm way faster than her.

Then I plucked a little orange fruit off of the plant and ran to the opposite side of the room.  My mom said, "I knew this would happen.  I thought you'd like it because it is so beautiful, but after I bought it I learned it is poisonous I thought you might do this.  DON'T YOU DARE EAT THAT!"

Did I mention I was 40?

I wasn't going to eat the fruit.  I believed it was poisonous, but I wanted to make a point that I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT, MOM!  So I took the teeniest, tiniest bite of the skin.  And my mom said, "You are an IDIOT."  Shortly after taking the teeny tiny bite my lips and tongue got a little numb and weird feeling and I got a little concerned and wondered again about HOW poisonous this plant really was, but I couldn't admit it. I had doubled down and showed her she couldn't tell me not to eat poison.  I couldn't get sick and prove her right!  A bit later mom asked me how I was feeling and I had no choice but to say, "I'M FINE!" through lips that felt like I had just finished at the dentist.

That plant was a challenge to have.  Not because it was particularly hard to care for, but because it was a constant temptation to see just how poisonous it was.  I remember cutting one of the fruits open once and I MAY have stuck the tip of my tongue in the pulp. I googled it after that to find out what I was messing with and the top symptom is coma followed by delirium and diarrhea.  I didn't have any of that.  (Well, not the diarrhea anyway.) I'm fine though, so I think I've made my point.

What is my point, you ask?  There are several:  I AM actually an idiot, my mom is right; the term "poison" is relative to how much discomfort a person can stand before they cave and go to the hospital; I really really wonder about what that plant outside the art room tastes like.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Remember Wet Head? (Not her real name)

I got the greatest message today out of the blue from a "followaaaah."  He said that he was sad my blog is gone because what will he read at work now?  I explained to him why I put stronger privacy settings up and added him to the reader list.  

The last thing I intended when I stopped writing on this blog with any regularity was to deny anyone  a reason to be less productive at work.  My bad.

Obviously I have not been blogging, but I do have a blog-related story to tell you.  A long time ago I wrote a letter to a fellow-blogger who was trying her hand at giving advice.  She answered my question in a video blog which you can see HERE.  Go watch it and then come back.

Funny lady, that Hobo Siren, right?  So then I wrote a blog post about it.  Read that HERE, and then come back.  I love screen shots of videos.  We all make so many funny faces if you just watch videos in milliseconds.

I was telling this story to a friend of mine just two weeks ago because I admitted that I don't really care enough about new people to learn their names so I told her the story of Wet Head, and I directed her to the video blog answer which she thought was hilarious.  Before that I hadn't thought about Wet Head in years.

But just yesterday at the grocery store I SAW WET HEAD!  I had to smile at the mere coincidence of it all. But that isn't even the best part.  Yesterday, November 15, 2015, I actually learned Wet Head's name.  It's Anne.  She's a cashier and another cashier said, "Hey Anne, are there any more apple boxes over there?"  I almost screamed, "ANNE!  ANNE!  WET HEAD'S NAME IS ANNE!  WAHOOOOO!!!!"  But I didn't.

I immediately texted my friend and told her that I finally learned Wet Head's name.  Her response? "I didn't realize that you never actually eventually learned her name."    Good point.  That fact speaks volumes about what a jerk I am.  Thanks, What's-Your-Face, for making me feel like it's 100% my fault for not eventually learning Anne's/Wet Head's name after working with her for five years.  It takes two to tango and Wet Head was a good dance partner.

Oh, and BTW, yes, Wet Head's hair was dripping wet.  Like I'm supposed to remember "Anne" when I'm looking at a person whose hair is still dripping wet at two o'clock in the afternoon.

(There, J, with links and videos and everything.  This post might kill about 15 whole minutes!)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

First Aid

It's back to school for teachers at my school so we have just spent the last couple days in workshops and meetings.  Ugh.  That really takes it out of ya.  I don't know why, because it's not hard, but I was so tired last night I was practically delirious.

However, I did learn something I didn't know before.  We learned some basic first aid and I learned that if a person gets a finger cut off from say, an electric saw while making sets for the fall play, you are NOT supposed to put the finger on ice.  It freezes the delicate capillaries and makes it harder to re-attach the limb. You are supposed to clean it and then put it in plastic and place it in cool water for transport to the hospital. I thought the whole put-it-on-ice thing was pretty standard knowledge and wanted to share (and one-up) my family by telling them what I learned.  Here is how that strange conversation went:

Me:  Do you guys know what to do if someone cuts their finger off?
Kira: Say "gross!"?
Mitch: Why?
Me:  Because I learned about it in our first aid workshop.  So say someone cuts their finger off and you have to provide first aid what do you do?
Mitch:  Stop the bleeding.
Me: Yes, then what?
Kira: Call 911
Me:  Yes, but what about the finger?  What do you do with that?
Kira/Mitch (simultaneously): Put it in milk.  

Me: ...Wha.....?

I just wanted to catch them telling me that the amputated finger should be put on ice and then obnoxiously correct them with my new knowledge.  How could BOTH of them think it was protocol to put a severed limb in MILK of all things?  That is so WEIRD.  What I discovered was that I better take care of myself because if I require first aid I will be in real trouble.  Or I will have to be sure to have lots of fresh milk and hope for the best.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Parenting at the end of August

Since my kids have gone to school I have found being a parent in the month of August to be challenging. The kids have run out of things to do, they are bored, I am sick of them, and we are all getting anxious about school starting again.  A friend of mine said that August is like a month of Sunday nights.  Absolutely.

One year in late August I remember Sam, Kira and the neighbor kid were trying to trap chipmunks under buckets by piling seeds up on the sidewalk and luring them.  They actually managed to trap a few under the bucket but then they were at a loss of how to get them out from under the bucket and instantly domesticate them and make them friendly pets.  If this would have happened in June, I would have told them to stop, and talked to them about being kind to wildlife, and also that it isn't safe to trap wild animals.  They could bite!  A friend of mine came over while this was happening and questioned my lax attitude about their activities.

Friend:  Are they trying to catch chipmunks?!
Me:  Not trying.  They ARE catching chipmunks.
Friend:  Are you not worried about this?
Me:  No.  Why?
Friend: Umm... because it's not very nice and it's not very safe...
Me:  But they are busy.  And they aren't whining.  Or hanging on me.  Or in the house.
Friend:  Aren't you worried about rabies?
Me:  There's shots for that now.

Just a few years ago I was in the living room mercifully alone because Kira was outside doing something.  I kept seeing her run from the driveway across the yard at full speed with her bow and arrow.  Back and forth, back and forth, again and again.  Eventually I got curious and went outside to ask what she was doing.

Me:  What are you doing?
Kira: What do you mean?
Me:  I mean why do you keep running back and forth with your bow and arrow?  What do you mean,      
        "What do I mean" ? (Jesus)
Kira: I'm shooting a wasp nest on the shed.
Me:  ........ but... WHY?
Kira:  (shrug)
Me:  Well, why do you keep running?
Kira:  Because the bees are chasing me!
Me:  .......... Okay.  Carry on!

I was talking to a friend today who has an eight year old and is now in the thick of "August Parenting."  She said her daughter came in the other day and my friend said, "Whatcha been doing?" (translation: go back out and do some more of it)  Her daughter said, "I was down the street talking to Oliver's dad."  

Okay, first of all my friend had no idea who Oliver was, much less his dad, and in June she would have probably been alarmed, but yesterday she was not.  In fact, after a couple hours of trying to think of new activities to do together that didn't involve whining and complaining (from either of them) she said she was tempted to say, "Why don't you go see what Oliver's dad is up to?"

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Night Crawler

A few years ago I learned about Kira's "Night Crawls".  She basically gets up in the middle of the night and wanders around in the pitch dark.  She said she's watched us sleep, she's had a snack, she's gone outside etc. etc.  Super creepy, right?  Just a normal part of childhood, right???  She still does it.  Only since she's become a teenager and has technology she texts me about it now while she's doing it.  This was from my parent's house a few years ago when she was visiting.

(Sleep tight, Mom and Dad!)

This morning when I woke up I saw this series of texts:

Kira is still sleeping right now, but as far as I can tell she got up, night crawled a while, trampolined a while, found a dog, discovered the gender of the dog, discovered the dog wasn't trained, pet the dog, and then went back to bed.  

But the dog didn't go home.  The dog slept right underneath my bedroom window and barked at every tiny noise.  I got up at around three in the morning and tried to make the dog go home, but she wouldn't.  She wanted to come in.  I wouldn't let her.  But she weighs about a thousand pounds and if a thousand pound, dumb, dopey dog wants to come in your house at three in the morning, it will.  

It was a long night.  And now Kira won't get up because she is tired from listening to the nightcrawl dog bark under our windows all night.  When do children generally grow out of nightcrawling?  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

No Mistakes!

One day in the car Kira and Mitch had this conversation:

Kira:  Dad, did you like The Lion King?
Mitch:  No, not really.  It was kind of a cookie cutter movie.  Not my favorite.
Kira:  I liked it.  He had such a perfect plan.
Mitch: .............. who?
Kira: Scar.
Mitch: ................ wha?
Kira: ................
Mitch:  Kira, do you think Scar was the hero of that movie?
Kira:  Well, yeah.
Mitch:  Not Mufasa?
Kira:  Mufasa?!  No way!  He was dumb.  Scar was smart.
Mitch:  What?
Kira:  He wanted to be king.  He got rid of his stupid brother with a flawless plan.  He didn't talk about it with anybody, he just did it, and he didn't make any mistakes.  NO MISTAKES.
Mitch:  What about the hyenas?
Kira:  Yeah, the hyenas screwed up.  Eventually.  Scar didn't.  And he was king for 15 years before they screwed up.  Pretty perfect.
Mitch:  What about Simba coming back???
Kira:  Oversight.  Couldn't be helped.  Not Scar's fault.
Mitch:  Kira, Scar is not supposed to be the hero of that movie.  He's the villain.
Kira:  ........So you say.

After that they were quiet for a while and Kira texted Mitch these pictures:

After this one she wrote "Such evil.  Such smart.  Wow."

Sunday, June 21, 2015


It's summer vacation.  Kira and I are home most of the day together.  We go a little crazy in June enjoying the new free time, sleeping in, and not bathing, which inevitably leads to feelings of guilt for not using this short, wonderful time more productively.  I had to run errands the other day and as I was leaving I looked around at the messy house and told Kira, "When I'm gone, do something productive" meaning, tidy this place up a little.

When I came home this is the only thing in the house that had changed:

 Displaying IMAG1519.jpg

It's the whiteboard on the fridge.  We have been a little distraught lately because we have three robin's nests in the yard that had eggs in them.  One after another, they have been raided by crows.  It's upsetting.  So Kira is dealing with her grief with art.  I guess I can't blame her for not being more productive when she's grieving.