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Blogging Dumb Shit I Do How Did We Survive? People politics Things that piss me off WTF?

What I Learned on My Facebook Vacation

February 2, 2017
What I Learned on My Facebook Vacation

Recently I took a little break from social media, and this is what I learned on my Facebook Vacation. I needed a break from social media, but mostly I needed to get off of Facebook. Facebook is where I do most of my socializing. 

Don’t judge, you probably do too, or maybe you’re fond of Pinterest, or you hang out with the folks on Instagram. Doesn’t matter, they’re all the same. None of us actually get out anymore. And that’s too bad because there’s a whole big world of people doing things and NOT arguing about politics or calling each other Nazis or Libtards.

What I Learned on My Facebook Vacation

In my week of self induced banning from Facebook I learned that people in the real world don’t commence a conversation with friends by demanding they unfriend each other because one of them may or may not approve of the other’s opinion – which is really just one of them trying to show all the other people in her timeline that she is bold, brash, right (though not “right” or “alt-right”) and mostly virtuous.

I learned that people can go out together and have fun. They can shop, walk, talk, share a meal, laugh, sing, dance and never, ever mention politics, or mock Steve Bannon’s or Kellyanne Conway’s looks.

We used to be a melting pot but now – thanks to identity politics – we’re black, white, hispanics, women, men, lesbians, gays, transgender, cis something or other, religious freaks, atheists, republicans, democrats (republicants, libtards, republikkkans, fascists, Nazis), white males, white women of privilege (which is apparently not only a joke, but also a huge redundancy). We are every group there is out there, we are different. OMG we are nothing but our differences. 

Except we’re not. We used to be Americans. Those who were immigrating here – they were known as people who wanted to become Americans. 

And in the real world, we’re just people trying to get through this crazy ass amusement park ride together. We’re human. We make mistakes, we dust ourselves off, get back up and try all over again. 

I love Facebook, I’ve met some great people there, but I prefer the real world — where we have to look each other in the eye while we discuss the issues of the day, where the nuances of conversations are not surrendered to emojis and 140 characters. Where we actually care about each other. 

And especially where we aren’t just trying to tear each other down so we can build ourselves up for the approval, or “likes”, from those who have more followers than us.

But mostly what I learned on my Facebook vacation is that we aren’t all assholes (in real life). Some of us, most of us, are actually decent people. Even the ones with whom we disagree (go fucking figure!). 

 

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do How Did We Survive? Minnesota Things I Really Like Writing

A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Seltzer Down Your Pants

January 28, 2017
A little song a little dance a little seltzer down your pants

This past week Mary Tyler Moore passed away. The first thing that popped into my head, upon learning of her passing, was “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants”. That was the phrase from the eulogy of Chuckles the Clown that got Mary giggling during his funeral. If you’ve never seen it, you can see the scene here, it’s hilarious even without the context.

A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Seltzer Down Your Pants

I grew up watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Maude, Rhoda, Carol Burnett and all those other fantastic shows of the 70s. I was young, 9 or 10 but I knew instinctively that the writing on all of these shows was phenomenal. It never occurred to me that I could write for a sitcom, but I learned a lot about timing and telling a joke from these shows.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a show my whole family watched together. Do families even do that anymore? With so many ways to consume television I think the experience has been lost.

When I was a kid the TV was commonly referred to as the Boob Tube. Parents, teachers, scholars, doctors, etc… all believed it was rotting the minds of our children. And it probably was. I know I spent a fair amount of time watching TV. From After School Specials, Saturday morning cartoons, and finally the Saturday night lineup on CBS, I probably clocked in a good 25 to 30 hours a week. I’d have logged more if we had another TV. 

Mary as a trail blazing woman didn’t impact me much. Most of the shows back then had strong female characters who didn’t take any bullshit. They were smart and self sufficient and didn’t expect anyone to take care of them. For me, that’s just the way women were. 

I was more impacted by Mary as a Minnesotan and made the trek to the IDS Center when I was about 14. A couple of friends and I took the bus to Minneapolis to hang out and ride the infamous escalator. Yeah, at 14 we just got on a bus to visit another city – unaccompanied by an adult. Do kids do that today?

Because my mother was pretty much confined to the living room couch, or what we eventually called “The Judy Room”, most of my family memories took place in front of the TV. The characters on these shows were family. 

Mary, Mr Grant, Ted, Murray, Rhoda, Bob, Carol, Maude, Archie, Edith, George and Weezie – all of them had an impact on my upbringing, but it was sitting around with my family, sharing the experience of these shows, that will stay with me forever and fondly.

So thank you Mary, and everyone else, for being part of my family.

A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants!

 

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do People politics WTF?

The Definitive Trump Gift Buying Guide

January 27, 2017
Definitive Trump Buying Guide

For the next four years we’ve got a Trump presidency. We can either embrace the humor of it, or cower in a corner pretending it didn’t really happen while we drown in vodka or whiskey. However you choose to manage the next four years, this is the definitive Trump Gift Buying Guide. Doesn’t matter if you love him or hate him, there’s something for everyone on this list. 

The Definitive Trump Gift Buying Guide 

1. Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit

This has everything you need to survive the apocalypse after he blows everything up. Kit includes which Gator Machete, Camp Axe II, Gator Machete Pro, Parang Machete, LMF II Infantry Fix Blade Knife, DMF Folding Tanto Blade Knife, Epic Drop Point Fixed Blade Knife, two machetes, one parang, and a hatchet all enclosed in a super durable canvas carrying case with reinforced stitching, the kit is compact and packable.

2. 10 in 1 Professional Survival Kit

Here’s another great kit to help you survive when civilization goes to shit. For those of you on the left survival is a new thing. If you can’t bring yourself to get a conceal carry permit, let alone a gun, this might be the place to start. 

3. Trump Toilet Paper

Trump Toilet Paper for sale

Of course if you’re out in the wilderness surviving, you’re going to need something to wipe your ass with. 

4. Trump Success Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Fluid Ounce

Ever wondered what success smells like? 

About the Product
  • This product is made of high quality material
  • It is recommended for romantic wear
  • This Product Is Manufactured In USA

Sounds like Trump wrote the ad copy for this. 

5. Fuck Trump Herb Grinder

Trump Herb Grinder

To get through the next four years, especially if the apocalypse doesn’t happen, you’ll need something to grind your herb, this one seems fitting.

6. The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living Through What You Hoped Would Never Happen

The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living Through What You Hoped Would Never Happen

Don’t despair. Don’t retreat. Fight back.

Before we can successfully engage, we need to be clear about the battles ahead. Stone outlines political and social concepts—including such issues as Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, the Environment, Obamacare, International relations, and LGBTQ Rights—providing a brief history of each, a refresher on Obama’s policies, and an analysis of what Trump’s administration might do. Stone then provides an invaluable guide for fighting back—referring to organizations, people, sites, and countless other resources that support positive and possible goals.

While marches and social media are important forms of protest, concrete actions achieve real change. Positive and reinforcing, The Trump Survival Guide presents the essential information we need to effectively make our voices heard and our power felt.

7. Dump-a-Trump Pen Holder

donald trump pen holder

For those of you who would prefer a less active role in the revolution, but still want to register your disgust – there is this lovely Donald Trump Pen Holder. 

8. A Child’s First Book of Trump

The Trump is a curious creature, very often spotted in the wild, but confounding to our youngest citizens. A business mogul, reality TV host, and now…political candidate? Kids (and let’s be honest many adults) might have difficulty discerning just what this thing that’s been dominating news coverage this election cycle is. Could he actually be real? Are those…words coming out of his mouth? Why are his hands so tiny? And perhaps most importantly, what on earth do you do when you encounter an American Trump?

With his signature wit and a classic picture book style, comedian Michael Ian Black introduces those unfamiliar with the Americus Trumpus to his distinguishing features and his mystifying campaign for world domination…sorry…President of the United States.

9. Donald Trump Life Size Cardboard Standup

Donald Trump cardboard cutout

Honestly, I can think of a million uses for a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump. This is from the description: Perfect For Children’s Birthday Parties, Special Events, School, Corporate Events, Awards Programs, Fairs, Festivals, Galas, Fundraisers And Green/Eco Events… Um, really?

10. Donald Trump Toilet Roll Talker

Trump talking toilet paper roll

FILL YOUR BATHROOM WITH DONALD TRUMP’S VOICE – Prank friends and family with this ingenious Donald Trump toilet paper roll holder that makes your regular toilet paper talk! Just insert it into any roll of toilet paper and PREPARE FOR SOME SERIOUS LAUGHS!

You cannot make this shit up. And it’s in his real voice! How’d they manage that? 

Bonus!!

11.Chia Donald Trump Freedom of Choice Pottery Planter

Donald Trump Chia Pet

It’s not real until they make a Chia Pet out of you. At least his hair looks better. 

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do

Stuff I Haven’t Posted to Facebook

January 26, 2017
Cat sleeping

As some of you may know, I’m taking a break from social media. Specifically Facebook because that’s where I waste most of my time. It’s only been 3 days, but it feels like forever.

I miss everyone and yet I’m really happy staying away. I have had to pop back in for work and have regretted it as soon as I even begin to scroll. I miss you all, I do, but I’m a helluva lot less anxious and I’ve been ass kicking with regard to productivity. I have been getting shit done!

You can take the girl out of Facebook, but you can’t take Facebook out of the girl. 

Or something like that. I’m still thinking in terms of pithy little updates and have started keeping a list of all the things I wanted to post but couldn’t. 

Stuff I Haven’t Posted to Facebook, but Wanted to

Does anyone actually enjoy the go?

I’ve wanted to ask this for a long time, mostly every time I see the damn commercial with the bears. Ugh, I don’t know if it is a brilliant ad campaign or not. Here we are talking about it so I guess it is.

OMG there is a huge fucking spider in my kitchen!!!!

I saw him there last night, though he was much smaller (or possibly there are two), and didn’t think it was necessary to kill it. I was wrong! Now the little bugger is hanging from the middle of the kitchen right where my head goes. Thank God I saw him before walking into him. Why are spiders always male? Yeah, I killed him. I also screamed like a little girl.

Cat feet*

I wrote down “cat feet”, but have no idea why. They’re cute, that’s for sure.

Grilled Cheese 

I had a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. 

The Wall

Is anyone watching The Wall on NBC? I only watch it because I miss The Walking Dead and Talking Dead (Chris Hardwick hosts Talking Dead for you non TWD fans). I don’t really pay attention to the show, I’m not sure of the rules, but every now and then Chris will tell the contestants to “drop it”. I presume he is talking about the ball. Oh, The Wall is basically a huge Plinko game, you drop a ball in and it works its way into one of the slots at the bottom worth anywhere from $1 to $1million. Anyway, every time he says “drop it” my dog drops whatever is in her mouth. I also have an urge to drop whatever I am doing because he says it with such gusto, and generally speaking you don’t hear people say that phrase to anyone other than dogs, toddlers, and bad guys. 

How to End a Call

OMG people need to learn how to end a phone call. I have spent more time trying to say goodbye today than any of the actual calls. Here’s a hint, after I say “goodbye” you can hang up, don’t drag it on by telling me to have a good afternoon, or to take care or any of those other niceties. 

Ruby Does Not Like Egg Whites

I’ve always given her the yolks, never the whites of hard boiled eggs. The face she makes as she lets it fall out of her mouth is pretty hilarious. Oh, wait, she’s eating it off the floor. Still doesn’t like it, but doesn’t want anyone else to get it.

I get most of my US news from British Websites

I’m not sure how I feel about this. For the most part the articles are more polite, more concise, just don’t start clicking on the sidebar links – that’s a rabbit hole you’ll never crawl out of.

*I think I figured out what Cat Feet was all about it. It’s in the image above. If you can’t make it out, here’s a different point of view. 

Stuff I Haven't Posted to Facebook

Advice Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Events People politics Send Jen on a Vacation Things that piss me off WTF?

Taking a Social Media Break

January 23, 2017

I’m going to be taking a social media break. Mostly from Facebook since that is where I waste most of my time. I’m doing it for many reasons, the above mentioned wasting time is a big one, but I’m also doing it because it’s not fun anymore. Social media has turned into the Mean Girls table in 7th grade and I hated it then and hate it even more now.

Taking a Social Media Break

Twitter has always been a clusterfuck of negativity, and I am sure Instagram, and Pinterest are getting filled with just as many negative memes if not outright status updates. 

For the most part I have kept my sadness and anger under control when I peruse the status updates of friends and people who update publicly. I’m not a troll and it isn’t my job to educate anyone on the ways of persuasion. I’ve simply had enough.

Stop Being Such Douchebags to Each Other!

People are upset and I appreciate and respect that, but oh my god they are also so very rude, childish and just plain mean. 

This negativity, this aggressiveness, this unpleasantness has been going on for well over a year now, but since the election it’s gotten worse. Since the inauguration, it has gotten out of hand.

“I don’t care who started it!”

Yes, I know, I sound just like my father. 

I know there are important issues that need to be discussed. I get that people are scared and want to do whatever they can to change something… The thing is, I’m not listening anymore. And I’m really tolerant! 

This past weekend I saw women tearing at each other because the appropriate response was not given with regard to the women’s march this Saturday. According to many if you didn’t go you are considered a Trump supporter. That’s quite a leap. I had no idea my lack of desire to participate in an event would lump me in with the deplorables. 

Bittersweet

Social media, especially Facebook, is my socializing. As a single mom, I don’t get out much. Spending some time on Facebook and chatting with friends has always been a welcome way to start the day and wind it down. My time on Facebook was something I looked forward to. Now, it just makes me sad or angry, lately enraged.

And I love you people, but you are being really mean to each other right now and I’m scared. I’m afraid to leave a comment, to engage with other people, because I am afraid my inability to concisely sum up an issue with a pithy comment that is regarded by the majority as correct is lacking. That I can’t say what I want to say without pissing someone, everyone off. 

It Used to be Fun

Listen, I know that social media has never been a place to discuss issues in any sort of meaningful or deep way. Social media comments are like romance novels, you will get down and dirty by page six, or the 6th comment as the case may be. But sometimes, respectful discussions did take place.

These discussions may not have changed any minds, but when respectful they were at least enlightening. Now, it’s just a race to see who can work Hitler or the Nazis into the conversation first. No one actually expects discourse, they just want to get their clever comeback in and then wait for their tribe to hit the like button so everyone knows how influential they are.

And That Pisses Me Off

I’ve tried to reason with social media to no avail so for the time being I’m removing myself from the negativity. Unfortunately, I manage social media for many businesses so I still have to show up. However, I won’t be engaging for a while and as much as possible I will automate my presence there.

That said, I will still be hanging out at my blog and with all the free time I expect will be able to visit those blogs that are actually still blogging. I hope discussion about these interesting times can be had with less snark. If you see me on Facebook – I’m playing Candy Crush or updating a client’s status. I will automate the promotion of any posts here on Facebook and other social media. 

See, I’m explaining myself!! How stupid is that?

I’m sure I will not be gone for too long, probably until TWD returns and all has been righted in the world. I just need to get away from the negativity for a while. Life is simply too short for all of the mean girl bullshit. 

I love you all and I will miss you, but you piss me off too much to stick around right now so I’m disconnecting.

Blogging Events politics

Live Blogging Inauguration Day

January 20, 2017
Live Blogging Inauguration Day

Today I’m going to be live blogging Inauguration Day. Today we will witness the peaceful transfer of power, a pretty amazing thing that you don’t see in many western democracies. Knowing how divisive this election has been and how many rallies are planned, I suspect there might be a few blips, but I don’t expect anything horrible to happen. In fact, in just watching a few minutes of the morning news show I am encouraged at how respectful most pundits are of President Elect Trump.

Live Blogging Inauguration Day

3:30 PM CST

Barron seems to be getting the hang of this…

President Trump Melania and Barron Trump Inauguration Parade

2:42 PM CST The parade is just getting underway. One side of the street is filled with supports, the other protestors, and then there are bikers there doing whatever it is they are doing. #GodBlessAmerica! split screen of Donald Trump and Barrack Obama 12:09 PM CST Obama making a “brief” statement. (Paraphrasing) “When we started this journey we did so to change things. Change happened from the bottom up….” Split screen with Obama saying goodbye and Trump about to sign some executive orders.  And NBC totally just cut off Obama as he was speaking…. How quickly he has become old news to the media. Everyone keeps telling Trump to use multiple pens. 12:02 PM CST Meanwhile anti-Trump protesters are throwing a fit….

Former President Obama Leaves on Executive One 11:45 AM CST Barrack and Michelle Obama board Executive One. It strikes me how quickly this transfer of power takes place. Obama and Michelle are embracing President Trump and First Lady Melania as they leave.  11:37 AM CST Obama and Trump, Pence and Biden getting ready to send off Former President Obama and Former First Lade Michelle Obama as they board Marine One and go on vacation. 11:22 AM CST Rev Graham says rain is a sign of blessing from God.  11:12 AM CST Just popped by social media to see people complaining about the dress Kellyanne Conway is wearing and how there are few people of color in the audience. Um, the last several weeks we saw some very high profile and popular people of color receive death threats for meeting with Donald Trump, what do they expect? I mean seriously, the campaign to vilify anyone who met with Trump, not necessarily supported him but just met with him, especially people of color was incredibly successful. Want it both ways much?

11:03 AM CST It’s beginning to rain as President Trump tells the audience how the power is going back to the people of the United States. “Politicians have prospered but not the people of our country….” “What truly matters is not which party controls our government but how they serve their citizens (I’m paraphrasing at this point, will update when the speech is published). 11:02 AM CST  President Trump thanks past presidents and addresses the nation. “We will face challenges, we will confront hardships….”  Click here for the video and text of President Trump’s inauguration speechDonald Trump taks Oath of Office 11:00 AM CST President Trump has just taken the oath of the presidency. Former president Obama is shaking his hand and smiling. 21 gun salute and Hail to the Chief. Mike Pence take oath of office, Shit eating grin on Paul Ryan as Pence takes Oath of Office 10:53 AM CST Clarence Thomas is administering the oath to Mike Pence. Ryan has a shit eating grin on his face. 10:51 AM CST Stopped by social media to see those who promised not to watch the inauguration are, indeed, watching it. They are not happy about it, but can’t help but watch. 10:49 AM CST Chuck Schumer is talking about the peaceful transfer of power and how we are a forward looking country.  10:45 AM CST Missouri State Choir is singing. Split screen with other view on Trump looking rather Trump-ish. The music seems to be softening his demeanor. The crowd looks pretty big, don’t even notice all the democrat elected officials who are missing.  10:43 AM CST Trump will take the oath using the same bible that Lincoln used and Pence will take the oath using the bible Reagan used. 10:40 AM CST  Panning the crowd – most people have their heads bowed in prayer, a few not so much and aggressively glaring at the cameras.  10:37 AM CST Cardinal Timothy Dolan, I love him, is giving invocation. Give us your wisdom, we’re mere mortals and none of us is perfect….. 10:17AM CST  Hurrying back from my walk at the Mall of America and listening to the festivities on the radio as they start introducing President Obama, Michelle, Melania, and Mike Pence’s wife whose name escapes me. What is that clicking? Is that Melania’s heals clicking? Don’t know, it’s the radio. 9:55 AM CST  I’m getting a barrage of text messages telling me how beautiful Ivanka and Melania look, as well as some updates about some rather petty status updates on social media.  8:55 AM CST Heading out to do my walk, will be back in an hour or so. Hopefully nothing bigly happens. 8:42 AM CST Trump and Melania arrive at the Whitehouse and are greeted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle. Everyone is smiles, joking, Melania has a gift for Michelle from Tiffany’s. Obama tells Trump he will get used to the protocol and to not sweat it. 8:31 AM CST  Nicole Wallace calls Trump the originator of the birther movement. 8:15 AM CST Tom Brokaw is doing a montage of past presidents and the scandals that plagued them. Kinda ironic, I guess. Obama’s scandal is Benghazi – interesting. 8:08 AM CST Today Show is talking about who will be in attendance and what a thrill it is to be there. Barely mention the 65 Democrats who are boycotting the event.

Blogging Link Share

Get Out of Your Bubble Link Share

January 14, 2017
Get Out of Your Bubble Link Share

It’s time to get out of your bubble and see what other people are talking about. This week I’m hosting a Get Out of Your Bubble Link Share for everyone who is tired of fake news. We all have opinions but often they aren’t articulated well in 140 characters or an angry rant on social media platforms. If you’ve got a blog post you’d like to share, I’d love for you to share it here (free backlinks, bitches!!). 

You’re post doesn’t have to be about politics or current events. In fact, if you have some great InstantPot recipes I would love it if you shared them here. Same goes for any product you sell or craft you’ve made. There are no rules here. Well, no porn please.

If you leave a link (or 3 or more) I would appreciate it if you visited some of the other links that have been submitted. Blog karma is a wonderful thing so spend a little time visiting other bloggers, you might make a new friend. You don’t have to share your work only, if you’ve seen an article, blog post or webpage that has some great information that you think others would appreciate feel free to share it here. Kitten and puppy posts are always welcome, too.

I hope you all had a wonderful week, next week looks to be a little stressful so let’s take the time this weekend and enjoy each other’s company.

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Blogging Minnesota Reviews Things I Really Like Winter

Ice Castles in Stillwater

January 6, 2017
Ice Castles in Stillwater

One of the greatest thing about being a Minnesota Blogger is that I get invited to some pretty cool events. Last night I was lucky enough to attend a preview of Ice Castles in Stillwater, MN. It was a beautifully clear night out because it was -1°F, the windchill was -24°F. Trust me when I say it was cold. It might not be on your list of things to do in Minnesota – to visit a giant ice sculpture when it’s that cold, but that’s what I did.  

And you should too. 

Ice Castles in Stillwater

Ice Castles in Stillwater

The Ice Castles in Stillwater are made with a combination of hand placed icicles and running water. The people who build these magical ice structures place around 15,000 icicles by hand as they grow the ice around them using running water.

I believe this is the first year Ice Castles has been in Stillwater, MN. It’s been at the Mall of America in Bloomington before and Eden Prairie before this. Stillwater is a great place for Ice Castles. Not only is there ample free parking, but it’s such a picturesque town, something special like Ice Castles fits right in.

Controversy

You’d think something as lovely and beautiful as these ice sculptures wouldn’t have any controversy around them but you’d be wrong. Evidently there are some people who are upset that the ice structures are named Ice Castles, they argue they should be called Ice Stalagmites and Stalactites because of the way they are created. That may be so, but it’s silly to get worked up over something so petty. 

However, Ice Castles are not to be confused with the ice castles created for the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Those structure are build out of blocks of ice, not grown using running water. 

Ice Castles in Stillwater

They’re Beautiful

It doesn’t really matter how Ice Castles was formed, they’re beautiful. I toured the structure at night so the various ice walls and fountains were lit up in a stunning display of blue, red, orange, and green. I would have loved to have stayed longer to really get a good look at the way the ice was formed, it was really cool. It was also really cold and difficult to stay for too long. 

Things to Know

The floor of the Ice Castle is chopped ice/snow. This is not wheelchair or stroller accessible. Walking in the inches deep ice/snow was slightly challenging in big old lunky boots. Pets are not allowed. It is cold inside the structure, it might even be colder than outside – you know, because you’re inside a ice. There might be some science about it one way or the other but at -24°F windchill, it really doesn’t matter. 

Ice Castles in Stillwater

Dress Warm

I wore fleece tights under jeans and my legs still felt as if they had frozen. I wore boots rated to -30° and my feet were just fine. Tennies or any other kind of shoe is not going to be comfortable or easy to navigate through the ice/snow floor. Wear warm boots that have some grip to them. Mittens, hat, ear muffs and a scarf or ski mask to cover your face is completely appropriate. 

Tickets

Buy your tickets online, you’ll save a ton of cash. Click here to purchase tickets. And click here to learn more about the ice structures and how they’re made.

Ice Castles in Stillwater

Make a Day of it

Stillwater is a lovely town. If you plan on visiting Ice Castles make a day of it and have yourself an adventure. There are whimsical shops to visit and some great restaurants all within walking distance of Ice Castles. 

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Minnesota Nice

No Mom, You Didn’t Cause My Eating Disorder

January 5, 2017
No Mom, you didn't cause my eating disorder

I actually said this to my mother today: “No Mom, you didn’t cause my eating disorder”, really, she didn’t. Last week, I made the mistake of telling my mother I was bulimic when I was younger. I didn’t mean to tell her. I knew if I did, it would turn out just like it did. And yet, when it happened, I was unable to stop myself.

A Little Backstory

For those of you who are new here, my mother is in a nursing home, she has been for 10 years. She experienced cerebral hypoxia when I was 4 years old, due to pneumonia. It resulted in severe brain damage with memory loss and physical disabilities. She has a horrible short term memory – think Dory in Finding Nemo, except not as funny. It actually can be funny at times, but mostly it’s just aggravating. Growing up my mother asked what time it was every five minutes, or she’d ask if I had done a chore that I’d completed when I got home from school, over and over again. In addition to the memory issues she also had physical disabilities – mainly difficulty walking, grasping things and anything having to do with coordination. You can read more about my mother’s disabilities here – My Mother has Dementia and it Sucks, and I Made My Mother Cry…Again

I Am Not Carrie Fisher

Every since Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died, my mother has been obsessing on my book. Again for those of you who are new here, I wrote a book, a memoir actually, called Minnesota Nice. I have not published it yet, for a variety of reasons. The main one being that my mother asked me to wait until she had passed away before I publish. My father asked me the same thing except when he asked me I hadn’t written it yet. Anyway, my mother now confabulates our mother/daughter relationship with Carrie and Debbie’s. There are surprisingly many similarities between the two. Regardless, she has decided that I must publish my book so I can capitalize on the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Mom would have been an awesome blogger if she could type faster than two words a minute. 

It is Confusing

I know, it’s confusing. What does my book have to do with my eating disorder? My memoir is about growing up in a fucked up home. My mom had her disabilities and my dad was gay, but shoved so far back in the closet only the family knew about it and we weren’t talking about it. Well, except my mother was, to me, when I was way to0 young to understand any of it. She mostly drank Manhattans, smoked Benson and Hedges cigarettes and cried to me how my father was out banging all the cabana boys at the gay bar. In addition to those concerns, I was a below average student in a school for above average children. Oh, and I was fat. 

Dementia Sucks

Even though my mother says she wants me to publish the book now, I don’t believe her. She has changed her mind about this for the last five years, or as long as she has known it existed. For the longest time she was convinced she wrote it and that Merv Griffin was going to turn it into a movie. According to my mother, Merv was a resident in her nursing home. For the record, he was not, he died in 2007, and as far as I know, never lived in Minnesota. Wow, this all sounds crazy! Anyway, she goes back and forth about me publishing it so I figure since I won’t be able to put the genie back in the bottle I’ll wait. 

More Backstory

The reason I want to wait, is because there are a few things about my younger years that she doesn’t know about. The eating disorder was one of them, the very least troubling of them. She thinks I want to protect her from sharing the story of my parent’s marriage so publicly. I don’t, it was messed up, but there was a deep connection between them. And besides, it turns out everyone knew about my dad. Turns out he wasn’t very good at hiding things.

I was. I was very good at hiding my bulimia. So when my mother challenged me the other week – when she said she knew everything there was to know about me – I threw out my eating disorder to test the waters, so to speak.

I knew it was a mistake right away. I could see the words hanging there in front of me, practically, and yet I couldn’t pull them back.

Of course, her first response was that yes, she did know about it. 

And suddenly I was 14 years old again and ready to go to battle with my mother.

“What do you mean you knew about it?” I asked, “why didn’t you do anything?”

She didn’t know, I know she didn’t know, but there I was ready to fight. My blood pressure rising and my fists clenching at my sides.

My mother would often cop to knowing something she did not know. Partly because of her memory loss. She couldn’t remember what she couldn’t remember so she often confabulated or just outright lied. It was about pride more than anything. She hated to admit she had any disability and she was needed to be in control of things. 

That was last week. The visit ended and I didn’t think much of it, I just hoped she’d forget about it in a few minutes like most things.

Of course the big things she shoves into her long term memory as quickly as possible. 

When I arrived this week all she wanted to do was talk about it.

Sigh.

It’s really old history to me. I haven’t been bulimic since the mid 90s. I don’t want to go down that memory lane. And yet, I opened this can of worms – so there I was.

No Mom, You Didn’t Cause My Eating Disorder

Mom had decided that she was the cause of my bulimia. She wasn’t, I don’t know how she made that leap, but she was sure it was her fault because she “ruined my life”, her words, not mine. I tried to convince my mother that she hadn’t caused my eating disorder and that she had in fact, not ruined my life. We have a very complicated mother/daughter relationship and a difficult history, but, I tried to explain, it was character building. 

“If we didn’t have such a screwed up home, I wouldn’t have a book” I told her. “If you want to blame anyone for my eating disorder blame the school I went to, it was a pressure cooker and I wasn’t the only one there with an eating disorder, in fact it was quite common.”

She laughed at that, at first, and then she started crying again because she sent me to that “god awful” school, her words, not mine. 

I didn’t want to tell my mother about my eating disorder because I didn’t want her to feel responsible – she wasn’t, but also because as a mother myself, I know how difficult it is to hear about your child’s pain and be unable to do anything about it. I’ve changed history for her in a really shitty way. She’s helpless to help because it isn’t an issue anymore. 

As I left, she was smiling. 

“Say hi to Carrie for me,” she said.

 

 

Blogging Events Minnesota Minnesota Nice People

Movies You’ll Want To See: 20th Century Women

January 4, 2017
Movies You'll Want To See: 20th Century Women

File this under Movies You’ll Want To See: 20th Century Women. As a Minnesota blogger and influencer (yeah, I cringed just a little when I typed that last word) I get advance screening tickets to some pretty great movies including Moana, that last Star Wars movie and now 20th Century Women.

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of this movie before I got the invite and I was hesitant pass on the info because the title doesn’t really do much for me. It doesn’t give me enough info about the movie which makes me suspect it’s trying to hide something.

That’s silly on my part because it has Annette Bening in it. 20th Century Women also has Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann and Billy Crudup in it. Also, it takes place in 1979 which is when my story, Minnesota Nice, begins. 

As a single mom to a son, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to relate to this story. The few minutes I saw of the trailer made it clear this is one of those movies that gets under your skin and stays with you for a while. I’m looking forward to seeing it next week.

If you’re in the Twin Cities and would like to attend an advance screening of 20TH CENTURY WOMEN  starring Annette Benning, Greta Gerwig & Elle Fanning  on Thursday, January 12 at 7pm at Landmark Lagoon, then download a FREE pair of passes by clicking on the link below (while supplies last). Please be advised that this screening is overbooked to ensure a full house. Seating is first come, first served, so arrive early to guarantee a seat!

Link to download passes: http://www.gofobo.com/qbVrn81486

Advice Blogging

2017 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

January 1, 2017
2017 New Year's Resolutions Worth Keeping

Happy New Year! If you’re of the belief that 2016 sucked, these 2017 New Year’s Resolutions worth keeping might be just what you need to make sure 2017 kicks ass.

Yeah, a lot of celebrities died this past year but it wasn’t because the year actually anthropomorphized and started taking them down. A lot of great people died because they were old, many died because of poor health and a whole bunch of them died because they abused drugs. It sucks that we lost so much talent last year, but it shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Realistically, it’s going to get worse before it gets better – aging Baby Boomers and all that good stuff. 

We also had an election that most people are pretty upset about. While most of the piss and vinegar seems to have quieted, there’s still a lot of big talk on social media about….well, I’m not really sure what. There’s a lot of complaining, but so far there hasn’t been any sort of plan put forth. At least not that I am aware.

To a lot of people, it feels like the world is about to end. 

It’s not. I mean, sure anything could happen, but I’m pretty sure WW3 isn’t going to start due to a stupid 3am tweet. It might be embarrassing and humiliating as a country to have that sort of thing taking place, but we’re not going to war.

How do I know this? I lived through the cold war, we worried about WW3 all the time  because we had an old crazy man in office for 8 years. Nukes never fell. It worked out pretty well actually.

However, I understand that a lot of people are worried.

I get that. The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to make 2017 a better.

2017 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

Be Like Mariah – Last night Mariah Carey had some technical difficulties and gave a horrible New Year’s Eve performance to millions of people live. The internet erupted with disgust, anger and judgment. Mariah doesn’t give a fuck. “Shit happens”, is all she had to say about it. She shook it off and moved on. She didn’t apologize and she didn’t engage with all of those people saying she just ruined her career. Be like Mariah, stop feeding the trolls and do your thing. Don’t worry about what other people think about you, just be and do your best.

Laugh More – Watch old I Love Lucy shows or Seinfeld or whatever show makes you laugh. Hang out with funny friends and laugh until you shoot Diet Coke out of your nose. Laughter really is the best medicine so take it often. You’ll be happier and healthier if you do.

Stop Dieting – Stop denying yourself the foods that are satisfying and start eating what your body craves. I’m suggesting you eat pizza and drink milkshakes for each meal, but I am suggesting you can stop pretending that kale is actually edible. 

Agree to Disagree – Without being a douchebag about it. This past year really brought out the worst in all of us. For millennia we’ve managed to discuss thoughts, beliefs and idea without ripping into each other (I know, that’s not really true, but let’s just pretend it is). If you read something on social media with which you don’t agree, you can simply move on. You do not have to engage, but if you do you can, and should be, civil about it. 

Get Out and Live – Shut down your computer for a few hours each day and get out into the world and actually experience it. Spend time with people – laughing – go out and try new restaurants, learn to dance, take a cooking class. Anything, just get out there and enjoy yourself. 

Be Kind – Do your best and assume everyone else is, too. Spread kindness by complimenting those around you and especially yourself. Refrain from petty arguments and looking at the glass as half empty. The glass can be refilled, that is what’s important.

Happy New Year!