Season Six, Episode One: Daddy’s Girl

“you’re so strong”, they say

as if I had a choice

as if there was any alternative.

you taught me to be strong,

and you were the strongest man I know.

you were my first best friend,

my truest friend

you got me when no one else did

a perk I guess of sharing some of the same DNA

you taught me how to properly dunk mini donuts into a glass of milk

tried to teach me to play the keyboard, 

but I was too impatient to learn.

you taught me to be gracious

told me that I was capable of the world and so much more

I learned to appreciate sports from you

learned to carry an intelligent conversation

how to make people laugh.

I inherited your stubbornness

the tendency to work too much.

I’m certain that my love of true crime came from you 

and I will miss watching our “murder mysteries” together 

because of you I’ve never felt short,

even though I’m the tiniest person in the family

confident in every step I take, head up because your daughter would never, could never, won’t ever walk with her head bowed down

you passed on your fierce pride,

along with your quick and ferocious temper

I think of you constantly, 

pushing my sadness aside because it does not bode well to dwell on tragedy

I hope to make you proud one day, if the human soul exists

if your human soul is somewhere out there

I hope that wherever you are, you smile and say 

“you see that strong and accomplished woman? that’s my baby girl, my Caker Boo.”
I love you, Dad.

                    –“Sunday, November 13, 2016 @ 7:28 pm”







George Chillious, 04/26/1944-11/13/2016

Season Five, Episode Four:  Un Peu de Prose Contre

I’m that unconventional kind of pretty, I suppose
If one were to try to define one’s features and retain modesty.
Sometimes I think I’m cute, other times I hate my reflection
I constantly feel too big for such a small person
A walking contradiction
Unsteady yet confident,
The girl who doubts herself in a room full of women
Who feels most like herself in jeans and a tee shirt,
At her best with just lip balm, mascara, and a smile.
I stumble over nothing when I walk,
Clumsy but certain.
Athletic grace has not once entertained me
Just look at my ankles as proof.
I stay up all night and wake up early,
Partly because life is so damn short
But mostly because I’m afraid to miss all the things the Muses have to offer.
I wear my hair up almost at all times
Because life has to be lived and I don’t need hair in my eyes.
I say things over and over in my head,
Because I worry that I’ll trip them up once I say them aloud
And I usually do,
Words have a way of getting stuck in my teeth like caramel popcorn.
I suck at guys, and am perpetually single.
The real world Liz Lemon.
I chew on the edges of my nails when I’m worried,
I make jokes to cover up my nervousness and thin skin
Because I’m a tough girl on the outside,
Who will never let them see how deep they cut her
And who keeps her insecurities inside.
She is braver than she realizes
And stronger than she believes.
Lazy but a dreamer
I’m a mom and a person,
A badass and a debutante,
Indie but mainstream,
Naive but jaded.
I might stumble but I’m never completely down
My glass is eternally half full.

–“autobiographie”, 07/01/2016

Season Four, Episode Nine: Popping My Hipster Concert Cherry (A Review of Sorts)

So last Tuesday night I went to the Matt and Kim concert at the House of Blues with one of my friends.  Prior to stepping foot in the venue, I had heard of them a few times and listened to some of their music for literally the very first time on their Pandora station while I got ready for the show.  I decided to go in with an open mind, because I love music and will give anything a listen at least once.

So.  Many.  Hipsters.

I can feel their sardonic judgement.

I can feel their sardonic judgement.

Hipsters in denim.  Hipsters in scarves.  Hipsters wearing fedoras.  Hipsters in plaid.  Buddy Holly glasses.  PBR.  SO.  MUCH.  PBR.  Cardigans.  Chuck Taylors.  Irony everywhere.

AND BEARDS.  HIPSTER BEARDS ABOUNDED.

A hipster beard AND Pabst Blue Ribbon.  It's too much for one image. LOOK AWAY.

A hipster beard AND Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s too much for one image.
LOOK AWAY.

I enjoy hipsters, for the most part.  I like that they ride bikes and urban beekeep and garden and the uncanny ability they have to go reside in a shitty neighborhood and BAM, almost instant gentrification.  I admire their dedication to microbrews and tattoos and the obscure.  Without them, I would not have Portlandia.  And I love Portlandia.

Without Portlandia, I would have never discovered the fabulous feminist bookstore ladies.

Without Portlandia, I would have never discovered the fabulous feminist bookstore ladies.

But anyway.  There were hipsters, and the sheer number of them in one small venue was mildly overwhelming.  So I went to message my best friend on Facebook Messenger (he is in the Caribbean and cannot use his phone because international rates and stuff), and I HAD NO CONNECTION.  I cursed the House of Blues gods for blocking my 4G and proceeded to take notes in my Notes app of the funny stuff I thought of while the show went on.  After the show (which I really enjoyed), I read over my notes and realized they might make a witty blog post.

So here y’all go.  Matt and Kim, AS IT HAPPENED (four days later):

I hate tall people.

(I am 5’1″ and all short people will understand the hatred that is getting stuck behind anyone who is more than three inches taller than you at a standing room only concert.)

No matter how much you stand on your tiptoes, you can never really quite completely see.

No matter how much you stand on your tiptoes, you can never really quite completely see.

Either my whiteness is coming out and I have no rhythm, or either all the white people around me have no rhythm.

I’m going with all the white people around me because I feel like I can dance.

Sometimes.

Someone control the bros.  They’re getting out of control.

(Shortly after this, a drunken bro was escorted out of the venue for turning up too hard.)

I am the calmest person at this concert.

I don’t know how to dance to hipster music.

Like, is bouncing my leg and nodding my head appropriate?

I feel like it is.

That’s what I’m going with.

Oh hey…they’re covering “Ignition (Remix)”.  I love that song.

That man across the room is wearing the shortest, tightest jorts I have ever seen on a man.

You cannot deny his obvious dedication to a strict squat and lunge exercise routine.

You cannot deny his obvious dedication to a strict squat and lunge exercise routine.

They are seriously like Daisy Dukes.  He’s wearing denim hot pants.

I will not jump, Matt and Kim.  I’m in a room of uncoordinated young white professionals.

I am uncoordinated and the people around me are most likely uncoordinated and full of overpriced Downtown Cleveland beer, so...I'm just going to bob my head to the beat and look interested, okay?

I am uncoordinated and the people around me are most likely uncoordinated and full of overpriced Downtown Cleveland beer, so…I’m just going to bob my head to the beat and look interested, okay?  But you totally do your thing and stand on your drum.  You got this for the both of us.

I have upgraded my dance moves to wiggling my body and shaking my head back and forth.

Seems legit.

This band is pretty great.  I would be friends with these guys.

You guys can be my quirky musician friends who are the constant life of the party and get too loud when they drink.

You guys can be my quirky musician friends who are the constant life of the party and get too loud when they drink.

Oh…they busted out the fucking smoke machines.  You know shit is serious when they bust out the smoke machines.

Because nothing says shit is getting all kinds of real quite like the crazy smoke from a smoke machine.

Because nothing says shit is getting all kinds of real quite like the crazy smoke from a smoke machine.

Is this hip hop?

Oh shit…I can dance to hip hop.  And dance briefly to the blip of music I shall.

The guy in front of me smells like Beefaroni and stale PBR.

Perhaps he had stored some Beefaroni in there for later.  He might really love Chef Boyardee.

I could only get a shot of the back of his head, but I think that’s all I really needed for you to get the idea.  Perhaps he had stored some Beefaroni in his beard for later. He might really love Chef Boyardee.  I don’t know.  Also, I would totally be friends with the unimpressed concert bouncer security guy.  (And look, Jorts Guy makes a repeat surprise cameo!)

No Kim…I cannot FaceTime someone because I went over my data this month and AT&T charges $10 an extra GB.

Blue eyeshadow just is not flattering on ANYONE.  I don’t care who you are.

Wait wait wait wait…she’s gonna dance on their hands?

Holy shit…she’s dancing on their hands.

Okay…I am downloading their albums from iTunes when I get home.

(Here is an actual music video of Matt and Kim performing “Hey Now”.)

Season Four, Episode Four: Wintered Out

I am so over this winter.

Like, completely.  And I’m sure that everyone in the northern United States can agree.

February, I hate you. Although I hated January almost just as much.

February, I hate you.
Although I hated January almost just as much.

I spent about 75% of my vacation last week in my house because the wind chill was below zero.  The actual temperature hovered around zero and dipped into the negatives this past weekend.  My off days this week are beginning to look the same.  I had been doing pretty well before this cold snap, going to the gym and watching what I was eating (we are having a weight loss thing at work) and I had dropped about two pounds before last week.  Ever since last Sunday, all I have done is eat and sit on my butt and watch Netflix.  I’m sure I could work out at home and eat right but ughhhhh I don’t wanna.  I’m miserable and I have cabin fever and I just want to sit and eat paczki wrapped in blankets while binge watching BBC dramas (The Fall was amazing, and I binged all four episodes of the first season of A Young Doctor’s Notebook tonight).  I’m pretty sure that is what one does when they are sick and tired of being stuck in the house.  This arctic snap of hellishness is making me feel like a depressed sleepy bear.

Sometimes I don't even realize how many hours I've wasted watching snarky British shows on Netflix.  Hours I cannot get back.

Sometimes I don’t even realize how many hours I’ve wasted watching snarky British shows on Netflix. Hours I cannot get back.

My son is beyond bored.  He wants to go outside and play on the snow days he keeps getting, but you can’t really play outside when the wind chill makes it feel like it is -15.  You have to bundle up just to take out the trash.  I let the mail sit in the mailbox for like three days before I left the warm confines of my living room.  My Ikea couch and my legs have become one.  My son has exhausted his usual queue of cartoons and Minecraft YouTube mod videos.  If it is hard on a 29 year old grown woman, I can’t imagine how unbearable it must be for a ten year old boy.  He is frustrated.  The coldest day this month so far was his birthday, and since we don’t drive, we had to stay inside rather than go to the science museum like we planned.  It’s not worth potentially getting frostbite while getting from Point A to Point B on public transportation when it is 0 degrees with a -17 wind chill.  I’m sure people in NYC and Boston can certainly relate.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a city where it wasn’t odd to not own a car (but I suppose that will be another post for another time), because then I think others would understand the winter struggle a little more.

My son's sad snowy self-portrait that he drew while we were waiting an hour for our fifty minute late bus on Saturday.  It was 12 degrees with a -8 wind chill.  When I got home my lips were still tinged blue.

My son’s sad snowy self-portrait that he drew while we were waiting an hour for our fifty minute late bus on Saturday. It was 12 degrees with a -8 wind chill. When I got home my lips were still tinged blue.  It’s hard for me to empathize with people’s “ohmigod I was so cold sitting in my car waiting for it to warm up” struggles.

I know March is coming and that spring is allegedly just around the bend, but let’s be brutally honest here:  I live in Northeast Ohio.  Lake Erie is like 94% frozen over.  I can expect to wear a winter coat until probably mid-April.  I just want it to warm up and be sunny and green and pretty.

So I can start bitching about pollen and my allergies.

Seriously?

Season Four, Episode Three: White Zinfandel

I get drunk alone
Sometimes.

And I have empty, meaningless sex
With a boy that I may or may not like
But I’ll never admit to it
[He makes me smile but he’s toxic and all wrong in all the right (but oh so wrong) ways]
Never
Sometimes.

I write drunk poetry
And I drunk text my closest friends
And tag them in random memes
On Instagram
Hashtagging random ass shit
Sometimes.

I drink entire bottles of wine
To chase away PMS-induced migraines
And sit on the cold wooden floor
Of my dining room
Sometimes.

And I sing sad songs
At the top of my lungs
Because I’ve had my heart broken
By men I’ve truly loved
Sometimes.

I am beautiful
And I am a mess
Because I am a hurricane of a girl
But my life is amazing
And it’s too damn short for regrets
Always.

–“White Zinfandel”

IMG_8139

Season Three, Episode Seven: Tinderless Nights (TSCBL#1)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish as a single lady. A badass single lady.

But nowhere near as badass as this.

But nowhere near as badass as this.

But anyway, the first thing I decided to tackle (mainly because it seemed quite possibly the easiest thing to get accomplished) was #4 on the list.

4. Be moderately successful or even slightly successful at this online dating stuff.

Exactly.

Exactly.

Anyway, I have always felt that online dating (such as Match and eHarmony and Plenty of Fish) is for life losers. I personally do not think that I am a life loser, but hell, those people in those commercials look so happy and what the hell, I should get to be happy. Right? Right.

So I decided to try this online dating shit back in November because I obviously suck something terrible at the normal route of dating. I made a profile on Match and on eHarmony, and I learned something about myself right off the bat.

I am incredibly shallow. Yes, my last boyfriend was overweight, but he carried it well and had a good looking face. That offset the chubbiness. But you can’t have a jacked up face or be plain or be fat or awkward looking or any/all of that in various possible combinations/at the same time. I can’t be having any of that. I mean, I think I’m pretty.

That face.

That face.

I totally deserve a hot guy who is almost as awesome as me. And that man has to exist somewhere in the annals of online dating.

Or so I thought.

Well…optimistically talked myself into thinking. Because I am a bit of a realist and I think that online dating is just strange. But whatever. My friends told me that it’s not weird anymore and that people do it because they have hectic schedules and life is all digital and interconnected in the fucking global village and all that technobabble. I decided to keep an open mind and try to talk to some guys who seemed cute. So I tried the free shit first, but you can’t read messages or look at people’s pictures when it’s free, and as I brought up in the previous paragraphs, I am pretty fucking shallow. So I paid the stupid but cheapest possible fee that I could. Match offers a month to month option for like $36 (or something–I don’t feel like looking it up) and that’s kind of less desperate feeling than eHarmony, who only lets you get a full year for different payment options. That made me feel lame in all sorts of ways. Paying to look at people who probably either felt as awkward and lame as I did or were actually excited and optimistic about online dating because they had exhausted every other possible option. Ugh.

I should have listened to you, Lemon.

I should have listened to you, Lemon.

But I kept an open mind. Even through all the weird messages from the socially awkward creeper sorts who looked like they were socially awkward creepers in high school and the weird guys who “liked” my pictures and the icebreaker things that consist of random questions and stuff. I was kind of desperate to find someone wonderful to get my mind off my ex, who I still missed terribly. So I kept an open mind and told myself that I would find someone. Someone worthwhile. Someone hot and funny and not a weird creeper.

I kept up with this for two months. (I stopped the first time in December because it was a complete failure in my opinion. I started up again in January because I thought it was maybe worth another try.)

And then I found this guy on Match who was possibly the Holy Grail of online dating. He was hot. He was funny. He didn’t seem like a weirdo creeper. So I messaged him and we talked and then he said something that struck me as somewhat odd, but it was a legit question: Did I want something serious or just something casual? I chose to say that I wasn’t sure and that you couldn’t really know what you wanted until you met that person and could gauge the potential chemistry. Boom. Solid answer. Get me ready for The Bachelor now.

Actually...no.  Fuck that shit.  That's like every single shitty dating site wrapped into one douchebag guy.  No grazie.

Actually…no. Fuck that shit. That’s like every single shitty dating site wrapped into one douchebag guy. No grazie.

He was all like “yeah that’s right, you can’t know until you meet someone” and I was like hmm…maybe this guy is legit? So I traded numbers with him and we texted and then…I get this little textular bomb: I’m just looking for a hookup.

Of course he was. Because of course. That would have tied in nicely with The Single Chick Bucket List #3: Have a random hookup/one night stand. But for some reason, that felt wrong. I didn’t want a stupid hookup situation. I very politely told him that I was past that phase of my life (because I am) and I wished him the best and that was that. I deleted his number and I stopped talking to him. I’m sure I could have kept slogging through the endless profiles and photos until I found “The One”, but shit. It’s not worth it. I don’t have the time for that and I couldn’t shake the inherent feeling that I have that it’s not really for me. It’s not. I hate dating, but I think I hate online dating even more.

So I deactivated my Match profile and cancelled my membership. I took that as a sign. I also took it as a sign that The Guy had the same name as my ex but spelled differently and he turned out to be a cretin. Shocker. I can’t delete my eHarmony one until November, so I just don’t go on it and I have all the emails from Match and eHarmony directed into my trash. I guess I will suffer through the stupid traditional way of dating…but not right now. This online dating thing reminded me that maybe I’m not ready to jump into the pool of quicksand that is dating and relationships and heartbreak. I have way too much going on for a boyfriend. I have a list of life things to get through and a dad who is super sick with cancer and a wonderfully fabulous nine year old and a brand new shift at work and a fledgling social life and I just don’t want that boyfriend aspect. I still somewhat want that boyfriend aspect with my ex, who has pretty much become less than a stranger to me and as sad and as pathetic as that seems…it’s true. And it’s not fair to anyone for me to pursue a relationship when I’m still kind of broken up over him. I will have my Netflix and my son and my family and friends and that’s fine for now.

I would much rather watch Mad Men in my sweats than deal with the awkwardness of pimping myself out per se to awkward men online. And I had to pay for it!!!

I would much rather watch Mad Men in my sweats than deal with the awkwardness of pimping myself out per se to awkward men online.
And I had to pay for it!!!

So…

4. Be moderately successful or even slightly successful at this online dating stuff.

 

Season Three, Episode Six: Curveball Thrown

Man, it’s been a while.  Like two months.  I feel like we went out on a really bad date and then I decided that things were too awkward for me to like your statuses on Facebook, favorite your Tweets, or call/text you back.

My bad.

Fret not, kiddos.  I’m back.

That's right.

That’s right.

Shit got a little real after that last post I wrote about the Single Chick Bucket List (which I have been trying to get done and will start to blog about in the near future).  Six days after that post was published, my dad was rushed to the hospital for severe swelling and leakage in his neck.  He received emergency surgery the next day, and on Valentine’s Day (because nothing good ever happens on that fucking day) he was diagnosed with advanced stage throat cancer.  So needless to say things have been quite the rollercoaster since then–with the exception of a week and a half at the end of February, he has been an inpatient at the Cleveland Clinic and its sister hospitals.  Three weeks ago he had to have his larynx, lymph nodes, both thyroid glands, and a major vein removed from his neck–he has a trach and hopefully in a few weeks he can begin to try to learn to talk again with speech therapy.  Once things settle down and he gains the weight he lost (he was admitted to the hospital at 115 pounds;  he is 6’4″), he will start radiation.  He is supposed to have a lung and bone biopsy in the upcoming days, and hopefully things slow down a little and the results come back good.

My dad has taught me a lot about strength in the past two months.  The things I worried about in January seem so damn trivial compared to what we are dealing with now.  My dad being sick really made me get over my ex–seeing him still sucks ass in ways that I can’t eloquently describe, but I changed shifts in the shift rebid we had at work and I won’t have to worry about seeing him except for an hour or two depending on my schedule.  For some reason I thought that maybe my ex would come up to me and ask me how I was doing or how my dad was doing–his younger sister has stage IV cancer and I love her like the sister I never had, so I thought maybe he would show a shred of compassion.  Yeah…I was wrong.  He acts like I am invisible.  So I had to suck that up and tell myself right then and there that his lack of being a nice person just shows that there was no point in being brokenhearted over him.  I have learned to appreciate my friends and I love them all so incredibly much.  The texts, hugs, kind words, and phone calls have all meant more than you would think.

But strength.  My father has faced every step of this bullshit with a positive attitude.  He smiles and cracks jokes and just holds it together for our family.  I think maybe he always knew that this was a possible consequence of being a smoker for nearly 60 years.  I did, but I never really thought it would happen.  It has made us stronger as a family, it has made me stronger in the fact that I have realized that life isn’t a given.  Things change.  Moments occur that can shake our every belief and thought to the core.  I laugh a lot more and I have decided to become more self-assured and more self-aware then I was before.  If I don’t like something, I make it known.  If I don’t want to do something, I don’t do it.  I decided that you don’t get anywhere in life by shrinking back in the background and not making waves–I’ve always been an extrovert, but I hate confrontation and I hate hurting other people’s feelings.  I have also decided that if I know what I want, I should try to figure out how to get it.  There are no do-overs, no rewind button (old school VHS reference), no backspace.  Everything is constantly moving forward and you have to move forward with it.

It’s like the Modest Mouse lyric, “And we’ll all float on okay”.  We need to stop taking everything so goddamn serious and just let it go.  Time hurtles on through the great void, with or without us…just stop worrying about the little things and let go.

It’s good to be back.  I missed writing, but I figured that I would find my words when I was ready.

Lamp tripping

Quick Blurb:

I started a new shift last week and I’m adjusting to working during the day like a normal person.  No more 8 pm to 4 am…I don’t know what it’s like to be awake during the day and asleep at night.  It’s like the world flip-flopped itself on me.  I feel more rested and maybe I’ll get more accomplished.  And accomplished means more blogging, which is always excellent.

I just have to get used to it.  Sunlight?  What’s that?

when did they put a lamp here