The Newsletter: Issue #9

Welp folks, I’m 40. Fuck everything.

I can say in all honesty that I never in a million years expected to live this long. I’m not sure why. I feel 100, and also 12. Who knows what’s next? It’s just a number, and to be honest this doesn’t really change anything at all or mean anything.

Still…

Around the World

Not all of you live in California, or the United States, so I imagine this needs a bit of primer.

In America, we like our United States Senators to be old. And I don’t just mean old… I mean these fucks could drop dead any day. It’s sad, because they should be enjoying their Golden Years watching TV and doing crafts, but these folks have a tendency to get into office and then hang onto it with the life force of Skeletor’s death grip.

This week, the San Francisco Chronicle published a piece in which several colleagues (as in Democratic Senators) and former aides to United States Senator Diane Feinstein attested to her cognitive decline over the last several months. Those of us in California for whom she is one of our two senators know that her husband recently died, so she may arguably be a bit distracted. Nonetheless the woman is in her 80s (88 to be exact), and as with many of them… aging fast.

This calls into question not only her ability to serve in her office now – making major decisions on behalf of the American people, but until her term is over, still years from now. She has since issued a statement that she plans to – and claims she is capable of – continuing her tenancy in office; but the rest of us are left wondering… why? Why does a United States Senator choose to spend every last breath of their lives in office for a little over $100K a year and a good parking spot at the airport?

Especially one like Feinstein, whose net worth now stands above $87 million.

I – for one – am all in favor of term limits for holding public office. Nancy Pelosi is another, who is 82 years old and running for another two years. These people play games with the lives of over 340 million Americans – from choices about war, to how social spending is (or is not) to be had. And when it comes of an appropriate time to retire, to head to Florida to live out the lives of the Golden Girls (or some similar retired folks anecdote), they instead choose to hang on to office for as long as they can.

I have my own thoughts, and a lot of others have theirs. On one hand, I do believe you have some politicians who have been doing it for so long that they just don’t know what they’d do in retirement. Or, they had an agenda when they first got elected, and because government moves so slow have yet to finish it.

But I think the real crux of it, especially in cases like Feinstein and Pelosi, can be found in what they block while in office.

Nancy Pelosi, as one example, has been opposed to bills that would limit what types of, if any, investments elected officials can make while in office. Unlike our Governor – Gavin Newsom, who placed all of his investments and businesses into a blind trust when he entered public office – many other elected officials go on to hold robust stock portfolios. And whether anyone will admit it or not, they cash in when they are privy to information that will affect the stock market before it happens.

For people like Martha Stewart, or average schmucks like us, this is called insider trading, and comes with hefty prison sentences. But for people like Feinstein and Pelosi, or the same on the other side like those two Republicans from Georgia that lost in the January ’21 special election, it’s a blip in the news, and no one is ever held accountable.

Election reform, again, would go a long way to correct this. But then that would require the elected officials to vote for the types of reforms that would stop them from doing all of this, so… I guess we shouldn’t hold our breath on that one.

Around My World

Things are getting pretty grim around my neighborhood. The new one, that is.

We are at war with our duplex neighbor, who is psychotic and has come banging on our door in the middle of the night more than once. She complained to our landlord about alleged noise, and rather than come to our defense and talk to her about her crazy behavior, the landlord decided instead to take her side, warn us about noise (our 5 year old giggling…), and say they were going to do nothing about it.

So we’ve also had several maintenance issues come up with, what appears to be, just years of neglect of the home. The circuit breaker is outdated, and so our lights all over the house intermittently flicker if more than one light or appliance is on at a time. When we told the landlord, they sent out an electrician and then tried to blame it on us. So we just deal with that and hope no one has a non-epileptic seizure. The duplex neighbor has also made damn sure that our kids don’t play out back by encouraging her elderly mother to chain smoke in the backyard. After one asthma attack by my little guy, that sealed off use of the backyard for us.

The real kicker is in the pedophile down the street. I thought this guy was a little off, if you know what I mean. His wife pumps iron in the garage like a body builder, and he shuffles around smoking a pipe all day and all night. One night, my 14 year old daughter was just walking the dogs up and down the street, and he started following her. So this guy is a … creep…

Last week, my husband was heading out on a run one day when all of a sudden he came running in screaming my name. Our house was completely lined with sheriffs and unmarked cars full of guys in suits. My driveway was blocked, and the neighbors all around pretty much acted like it was your average day around here. We saw a K9 unit go in and then come out with a black bag.

No one left. No one was taken away. Just… the black bag…

So we’re looking for a way out. Frankly, I’m not sure how much longer we’re going to be able to do it. At least it’s good for some stories?

You Can’t Unsee This

I’ve been thinking there’s some haunted presence in this entire neighborhood since we moved here two months ago. I even wondered if the flickering lights through out our duplex unit are actually just a ghost.

Two nights ago, I fell asleep on the couch in the living room and around 4:45 in the morning woke up to what sounded like someone knocking on the back patio sliding glass door (which runs parallel to the couch I was sleeping on). I dismissed it and went to sleep again, too tired to go to bed; only to wake up in the morning to see that shortly after I had woken up, our front door camera (titled “Christine Watch” for our psycho neighbor) had pinged my phone with a “Human Detection.”

Except, as you can see, there was no one there.

STFU Fridays

I think I’ve said this before, but for real this time: shut the fuck about “COVID is over.” It isn’t. Every time you dumbasses rejoice and rip off your masks and start having parties, and shit, COVID comes raging back.

If you are paying attention, the cases in the United States – as in other places around the world – are beginning again to increase. As are hospitalizations, and the deaths will follow (in fact, in some places deaths are increasing more quickly than cases, indicating woefully inadequate and faulty testing). This is all happening probably because of a relaxing of protection; or more of that seasonal bullshit (although I don’t know any other specific virus that circulates seasonally as in all the time, unpredictably, in every season…). There was also recently a huge outbreak at a political event in DC, in which more than 11% of attendees contracted the virus. That is an alarmingly high number of people to be infected as a part of an outbreak, and to make matters worse the management of the venue refused to disclose how many employees got it to.

There’s also a new variant, which has mainly gastrointestinal symptoms, so I’ve really enjoyed the dozens of posts in the Facebook moms groups about this “crazy stomach bug going around that also has a cough.” I mean come on, get tested and stay the fuck home.

And while we’re at it, maybe stop with this “we have the tools” horse shit. Yes, vaccines and antivirals are available, but available is not equal to effective tools that everyone can avail themselves of. Vaccines have limits, too; we know this now. The efficacy of them wanes, even the second booster and even with protection from hospitalization. And antivirals… maybe if you’re a wealthy elite, you have access to them readily. But a lot of people have no access, or limited access; and hardly any insurance companies are planning to cover them (this includes ours, which has it marked as Non Formulary).

The problem is that the more y’all don’t shut the fuck up with these trite and dismissive comments is you give our leaders no reason whatsoever to continue doing anything, ie funding, the effort. So stop. Even if things are looking better.

To me it’s like: why tempt fate? Why call it over, say we’re good now, when you just do not know? No one knows, this is a pandemic! A once in a lifetime event! Maybe have some humility and accept you don’t know everything, err on the side of caution, and realize that people exist on this planet other than you.

That, and shut the fuck up.

I turn 40 next month. I’m not dealing with it well.

All of my childhood friends, as well as acquaintances from high school that have connected with me on social media I can assume for only a possible opportunity to one day sell me their shitty MLM products, are turning 40 this year. The spectacle has been something to behold, and by that I mean that they are all handling it much better than I am: having parties, going out to fancy steak dinners, concerts, plays… getting shirts that say “Forty and Fabulous.” Next month, I will join them in turning 40 myself, though there will be no fanfare, no parties, no dinners out or special events. No novelty t-shirts (those aren’t really my thing anyway). As has always been the case, if I don’t do it myself, nothing is done; and this year, I just don’t have it in me.

When I turned 39, I threw myself a backyard party. Still in the throws of a raging pandemic here in California, we had my mom over, but I – as I said – did all the things, for the most part, because if I didn’t they would not have been done. I’m used to it; I still remember throwing my own big party when I turned 30, and that year I even baked my own cake. I won’t go that far anymore, but now I don’t even have it in me to figure out who to order from, or what to do that day. My kids keep asking, I guess I should be grateful for that; but even the thought of coming up with an idea is too much. And to have to get dressed and put on makeup that day to celebrate? Forget it.

Maybe I’m depressed; my doctor seems to think that I’ve just had an exceptionally shitty year. He would not be wrong.

When I look at photos from my 39th birthday, I don’t even recognize the person in the picture. That’s how much I’ve been through this last year, and it shows. Largely alone in this endeavor, if I were to make only a partial list of all the bullshit I’ve endured since vowing that 39 would be an epic slide to 40: my daughter’s guinea pig died; I went into anaphylaxis from ingredients in the COVID 19 vaccine; I was ghosted by a moms group, for reasons I still don’t understand (it was mostly because I ran for city council); I celebrated Mother’s Day by myself while my family (including the kids) forgot completely about it – and me; I had to bow out of an art show I planned to participate in because of the rise of the Delta variant and the fact that I remained not fully vaccinated on account of that life threatening allergy (and my elderly father lives with us, so I didn’t want to – like – accidentally kill him); I was told that homeschooling my kids was a complete and utter failure because my daughter chose to wait a year to go to college (something I thought, on the contrary, was a mature choice given the challenges the pandemic continued to present); I lost all access via hackers to all of the social media I worked for over a decade to build out for this blog (still trying to rebuild that, and Facebook/Meta continues to be of no help); my oldest dog was diagnosed with a heart murmur, and she’s progressively gotten worse; my oldest daughter caught antibiotic-resistant strep throat, ruining her last Halloween before turning 18; my younger daughter fractured her ankle, and later developed a bilateral knee injury that no one seems to be able to figure out; I – with no income but my husband’s – absorbed virtually all of my elderly father’s financial responsibilities, as well as his unmitigated stress and ingratitude for everything we do for him; I celebrated another anniversary alone, and was threatened with divorce about a month later; I made the holidays plus a 5th, 14th, 18th, 41st, and 79th birthday magical, in spite of how exhausted I was; my son and I were attacked, and the police never filed a police report; we were given notice that our landlord was selling the home we had lived in for years, forcing us to move during an unprecedented housing crisis in California; we moved – majorly downsizing from an already overcrowded situation – around 30 minutes away from our entire lives – community, school district, friends, everything; my younger daughter has been given virtually no choices on what to do about high school next year because of our living situation; my son lost his playroom, with all his school and toy stuff being relegated to the garage; immediately upon moving in (as in, starting the first day) a crazy neighbor started harassing us; within a week, the realities of the daily commute back to our lives hit home; within a month, a number of undisclosed issues with the home came to the surface, for what now amounts to 46% of our income in rent; our former landlord abused our security deposit, returning virtually none it; and, in the final blow, I was rejected from a doctoral program I worked three years to get into, on the grounds that the interview revealed I am a bit too busy with kids at this stage of life (“we encourage you to re-apply when your children are older”).

That is only a partial list.

So the issue with my 40th birthday, just weeks away at this point, is that I am both hesitant to celebrate it and tempt the dealer of fate even further; and, frankly too exhausted to even think about it.

And that’s the thing. So much of my life this last year has been about figuring out solutions – to everything. I have to be the one to find answers; they are never given to me, and the people that should be participating rarely – if ever – are either. So when people ask what I want for my birthday, at this point my answer is only that I want answers. I want to know how I got here. I want to know where to go next. I want to know how to manage all of these things and feel better. I want to know when I can expect some real and serious support as a mother, and validation as a woman – both from my own household unit, and my community at large. I want answers to fix the problem of us living so far away from our entire lives, our communities. I want to know when we can move back, and how we’re going to do it and I want to know how to even go about crafting my own future, when so many of my plans – personal and professional – have been foiled.

I’m tired of people just saying that it’ll take time, or that God has a plan. Those are niceties meant to provide no answers, and I don’t buy it. Moreover, Forty and Fabulous t shirts, or steak dinners, will not offer me the birthday I want.

I keep looking at external things I can do to feel better about this, myself, and I only come up empty-handed. I started doing a ridiculously complicated skincare routine, in hopes I would look less tired and sad. It hasn’t helped. I considered going to get my hair done, instead of continuing to dye it (I mean fry it) with Madison Reed, but I was so overwhelmed with the move and finding someplace close enough that I wouldn’t need to leave my son at home with babysitters for hours and hours, that I had my daughter just do it and now I look like the cross between a mushroom and someone who stuck their finger in a socket. I tried going to bed earlier and getting more sleep, my son just ended up staying up until odd hours of the night making noise, and our neighbor came over and complained. I tried having more fun in the moment with the kids, that time the complaint from next door came with a letter from the landlord about how my son’s giggling was annoying people.

Forty and Fabulous? More like Forty and Fucked.

So that’s where things stand right now. I turn 40 next month. I’m not dealing with it, or life in general, well. I still think I’m a little depressed; but what I believe my doctor is right about is that nothing will change the situation but the situation, itself, changing (if that makes sense). How? Not sure. Maybe I’ll figure that out by 41.

Today I Am 33. Or 133, Who’s Counting?

hope-being-sodomized-birthday-ecard-someecards

Today is my birthday. I am, at my core, a Tax Baby. I’m not just saying that I was born on American Tax Day; I’m saying I’m high maintenance.

Kidding. (Not really kidding.)

There was a time when my birthday was a day-long party. Either I had a party, like when I was little with clowns and friends and Pizza Hut and bowling and sleepovers. Or the day was an entire celebration of me, like that one time my husband took me wine tasting and it had been a while since I’d had wine, so I got blitzed just a few tastes in and ended up joining a bunch of wineries I had no actual interest in.

(That was last year.)

Now that I’ve fully embraced my mom-ed-ness, and have accepted that I’m over the age of 15, my birthday seems to be just another day. Don’t get me wrong, we still had a cake (which I baked) and a nice dinner over the weekend; I still got presents and I was flabbergasted by the Facebooks, emails, and text messages I had received wishing me the happiest of days.

But in all seriousness, it was just another day. Mom’s got too much shit to do to take a day off.

happy-one-few-people-birthday-ecard-someecards

6:45 AM

Woke up to my husband breathing in my face. Annoyed beyond belief (I’ve got some pretty terrifying PMS right now).

“What the hell are you doing?” I quipped.

“Getting ready for work.”

“In my face? GAH!”

7:00 AM

Woke everyone in the house after my husband left for work screaming: “Arise everyone! Today is the day of my becoming!!”

No one arose without the typical mom bullshit of having to pull the covers off, threaten to take away the electronics, and so on. I even had to do this to my 72 year old father.

7:10 – 8:25 AM

Showered, dressed, had breakfast, hustled. Decided that I’d have to wear make up today, since I had a doctor’s appointment; but fuck him if he thinks I’m wearing anything but yoga pants on my birthday. Enough is enough.

Referred to it as “putting on my face.” Realized I am now old-slash-ghetto-slash-motherly enough to refer to putting on make up as “putting on my face.”

8:45 AM

Morning private tennis lessons. Which means I sat in the car reading my book, sneezing because I’m allergic to everything and made the mistake of opening the windows.

10:00 AM

Dropped the dog off at the groomer. Mentioned casually that today was my birthday in hopes this would garner me a discount.

Received no discount.

10:15 AM

Received my mother’s first annual birthday text, where she turns my birthday into being all about her. She does this by giving me a yearly play-by-play of what was going on around the time she was texting me.

10:15’s text message read: “I had lost my mucous plug and back labor pains had begun.”

10:30 – 11:30 AM

Made homemade, Hungarian goulash for lunch while helping with homeschool worksheets. On my birthday. As in I cooked for an hour, slaving over a hot stove on my birthday.

No one ate my homemade, Hungarian goulash. Instead, they complained that my meals are too fancy.

11:30 AM

Left for my doctor’s appointment.

11:40 AM

Picked up the dog on the way, reminded that I wasn’t given a birthday discount.

12:30 PM

Learned that the old man who manned the parking lot at the doctor’s office that dressed like a quaint, African American Santa Claus every year at Christmas time got fired last week for bringing his dog to work. Ducked my dog’s head down as I drove in. The man was replaced by a kid who looked to be about 15 years old, covered in acne, and so skinny I could break him in half with my pinky finger.

1:00 PM

Found out I have a sinus infection.

(Wasn’t surprised that I have a sinus infection.)

1:30 PM

Waited for the kid to get her allergy shot.

1:40 PM

While waiting, a woman walked into the waiting room carrying a can of beer. Briefly considered she may be there to celebrate my birthday, in spite of the fact that I had never met her. Resolved to quietly wonder how someone lives life literally giving not a single shit.

2:00 PM

Drove home with a large bag of antibiotics and other miscellaneous sinus drugs. The perfect cocktail for the evening of my birthday.

3:00 PM

Text from Mom: “contractions coming closer together now, began asking for and being denied a c-section.”

3:15 PM

Everyone in my family was, at this point, starving. Remember? They refused to eat my “fancy” Hungarian goulash.

So we went to Lazy Dog Cafe down the street from my house. Finding nothing certifiably gluten free on the menu, I ordered edamame. My dad ate half of it.

4:45 PM

Seated behind me right before we left, a group of people quite obviously a decade or so younger than me were seated. One of the women in the group was also a Tax Baby, and she ordered a strawberry margarita to celebrate her birthday, proclaiming loudly “I’m celebrating tonight woooooooooo!!!!!”

Decided to do my own celebrating tonight. In my pajamas. On my couch. With my Netflix and whatever remains of the wine from those wineries I joined last year but never intended on sticking with.

6:00 PM

Text from Mom: “your head had begun descending down the birth canal as the urge to bear down increased.”

And then, I was done.

Today I turned 33. Or 133, who’s counting? I’m too old for clowns, too young to give absolutely no fucks. I’ve embraced the concept of “putting on my face” and would much rather celebrate pretty much everything in my pajamas on my couch.

Tomorrow will be another day, just like the rest. And in truth, I regret nothing about these last 33 years.

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Dirty Thirty, Dirty Thirty

You all recall I’ll be turning the big three-OH in less than six months; on April 15th to be precise.  Thirty is a huge deal to me, although it remains to be seen exactly why.

For years I had a huge and overtly unrealistic list of things I wanted to do by the time I turned thirty, of which not one thing on the list was completed.  Not a one.  So for my 100th blog post, I went ahead and recreated my list with some things I thought were a little more realistic.  To review, that list in short was:

1) Finish 40 books for the calendar year 2011 and get a good start on 40 for 2012

2) Go on a date with Wolf Blitzer

3) Prove to myself once and for all that I am going to stop letting what other people say influence me so much

4) Buy a plane ticket to take a trip home in 2012

5) Take a road trip to northern California to visit the John Steinbeck museum

6) Eat sushi

In hindsight, though, faithful blog followers, short of #2 inspiring me to Photoshop a picture of myself with Wolf Blitzer, that list was pretty lame.  There were no typical-Heather crazy times on there.  There was nothing too terribly difficult or lofty.  (I mean, seriously … eat sushi?)  In the end, I think I was just trying to cop out so that I could hit thirty and say that I had actually done the things I wanted to do before turning thirty.  Well, I’m still months out and have accomplished almost all of those things already.  I’ve almost finished my forty books for the calendar year and have stacked up my pile for next year.  I had happy times in Photoshop Land with Wolf.  Recently I decided to ignore the majority of the comments made by a group of writers I previously allowed influence my writing to the last period, thus proving to myself that I actually can overcome uninhibited influence of others.  I ate sushi (albeit just a taste) and I have planned a trip to the Steinbeck museum as well as booked my trip home (in fact, that very trip is happening a few weeks before the dirty thirty hits).

So it’s time for a revision.  Here’s my new list of things to do before I turn thirty on April 15th … this time, please tell me if it’s lame:

Meet an author that actually inspires me

I’m not talking about the people that write that glitter puke crap like Twilight or Harry Potter; I’m talking about a real author.  Someone that has made me cry when I read their poetics, or that has given me the hope and courage to move forward with my own writing.  In graduate school, I always wished I had been in a situation to had the opportunity to meet the likes of Bertrand Russell or Plato; Nietzsche, Sartre, or Simone de Beauvoir.  Now that I spend hours and hours a day reading, I salivate at what it would have been like to meet some of the American greats – many of whom I missed by only a few decades.  So goal #1 is to meet an author alive today that actually inspires me.

Finish my manuscript, once and for all

A few months ago, I finished the manuscript of my first book only to turn myself around a few weeks later and start the entire thing over from pieces of the original.  Since then, I have thrown away more writing than I have ever thrown away – in all of my years writing professionally as well as academically.  I have learned so much about myself during this time, mainly that I have self-confidence issues when it comes to my writing, that I let myself get caught up in what others want rather than what I know is good, quality writing, and that I lack the focus to stay on track sometimes.  So you see, in meeting this goal by dirty thirty I will have done a lot of other personal growth in the process.

Go for a full week without dropping the f bomb

… or the s bomb, the d bomb, the GD bomb … you get the point.  I swear a lot.  I know, I know, faithful blog followers – perhaps I’m being too hard on myself.  But seriously, I curse worse than some of the sailors I know.  I am sure I can go for a day or two without dropping any of the bombs mentioned above, but a whole week?  That is quite a challenge.  This isn’t to say that after the week is over I will swear less, just that it would be nice (I’m sure) for the people around me to not have to hear my potty mouth for a week.

Finally get up the courage to delete dysfunctional family from Facebook

We all have at least a couple dysfunctional family members – many of us have more than a few.  The difference between you and me, though, is that I can admit that they are dysfunctional and I also know that no line of blood, nor obligations of “contributing to my existence,” require me to associate with them when they’re that messed up.  The first step to mentally freeing myself from the psychological discord that accompanies every family holiday?  Deleting those psychos from my Facebook friends list.  I’ve hemmed and hawed over this one for months, it’s time to give them the ax.

Begin turning my cell phone off for three hours every day, and stick with it

I feel overly connected.  Everyone can reach me at all times – be it over email, cell phone, Facebook, Twitter, you name it.  It’s frustrating because with such accessibility it seems that people now expect to get a response immediately.  This really hit home for me last week when a woman I met at a conference called me to ask a question about Facebook, then called me three more times and emailed me twice upset because I had not returned her phone call right away.  Effective immediately, my phone is going off from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm PST.  Let’s see how long it lasts…

Start a new trend like owling, planking, or tebowing, only with some sort of a purpose or message.  You know planking was so stupid and had no message.  Then owling and tebowing – both stupid.  But there’s also something to be said for the impact of an Internet sensation and the potential to actually carry a message.  So I want to start a new Internet trend with a purpose.  Sure, probably five people will participate … but five is better than none.

So, faithful blog followers – do you think I can do it all?


Magic Number 100, or things I want to do before I turn 30

Yippy!  This is my 100th blog post!  Excitement abound at the Schmidt Ranch, and of course by excitement I mean me (in pajamas) skipping around the house and sipping an extra large bottle of bubbly, Canada Dry ginger ale.

For me, faithful blog followers, this is an exciting day.  That I have had enough things to bitch and complain about to constitute one hundred entire blog postings is, in itself, something exciting.  But it also may not be surprising – I have a whole cadre of things filed away in my head, just waiting to get out.  The topics have been varied, although it is obvious what my pet peeves are:  stupid people, hipsters, hillbillies, poor use of the English language, things that put me either in danger or at an inconvenience, and … well, basically the rest of humanity.

So for my 100th post, though, I wanted to do something different.  While it is the B(itch)log, I thought it would be nice if I didn’t bitch for once.  Instead, I thought I would talk about something more positive:  My Revised List of Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 30.  I decided to do this for my 100th blog post, mainly because hitting 100 posts was one of those things I recently added to the list of things I want to do before I turn 30; also, because I am just a few, short days away from 6 months out from the big 3-0.  For years (actually over a decade), I had this extensive list that I wanted to achieve, all of which I have failed to do.  So recently, I started scaling back and accepting that I probably won’t publish that book or finish that Ph.D. in the next six months.  That doesn’t mean I can’t do some things, though.  So here we go, and I am counting on you, faithful blog followers, in keeping me on task:

My Revised List of Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 30

1.  Finish 40 books for the calendar year 2011 and get a good start on 40 for 2012.  At the beginning of this year, I decided I was going to keep track of the books I read and try to read as many quality books as I could before December 31st.  Now that we are nearing the end of the year, I am within site of 40 and think I can do it.  I have just finished numbers 30 and 31 … just a few more to go.  For my completed list, click here!

2.  Go on a date with Wolf Blitzer.  I know, sounds psychotic, right?  A week or so ago, I blogged about my hatred of Chicago news-weatherman Tom Skilling and in it mentioned that I have a secret love of Wolf Blitzer.  After that blog went out, people emailed me, Facebooked me, and even asked me in person what it was that gave me the hots for Wolf.  In truth, I can’t explain it.  But as I grasped for any reason to give people, I realized that I really do have an infatuation with most news anchors that are as hard-hitting as Blitzer is.  Since my chances of even coming in contact with Wolf Blitzer, let alone going on a date with him without finding myself in divorce court shortly thereafter, though, are slim and none … not to mention I would probably pee my pants if Wolf, Chris Matthews, or any of the other dream-teamers were actually in the same room as me … see photoshop below.  Mission accomplished?  I think so!

3.  Prove to myself once and for all that I am going to stop letting what other people say influence me so much.  A few weeks ago, I realized that I spend more time writing as an author based on what other people suggest and what other people are going to want, rather than what I want to write and what I know is good.  This is something that, unfortunately, is in almost every aspect of my life:  I let myself get pushed around by the wishes of others rather than either a compromise or what I know is right.  Before I turn 30, I want to prove it to myself that I am working to get over this (sometimes crippling) fault:  be it in my writing, my blog, or some other arbitrary aspect of my life.

4.  Buy a plane ticket to take a trip home sometime in 2012.  This is a big psychological problem for me, mainly because I know that flying home to sweet home Chicago will make it very difficult for me to get on the return plane home.  I am that homesick that often.  But I have missed so much in the last decade of my absence that to continue to forestall a trip back is just plain assholish of me to do.  It’s time for me to put on my big girl pants and buy myself a trip home.  While I know it won’t be the same as it was a decade ago (when I was last there), I also know that there is so much there I need to see and do before I turn the page to the next chapter (so to speak).

5.  On the note of trips … take a road trip to northern California to visit the John Steinbeck museum.  I really have few other interests in northern California besides that, but it is something I have wanted to do for years and yet never done.

6.  Eat sushi.  I have never eaten sushi – real sushi, that is – and yet every time we go out for Japanese food (which is frequently), I pine after it.  I have no idea what my fear of it is – probably the fact that I don’t really like fish all that much, as well as the fear that I would develop deadly tomaine poisoning – but I want to get over it and try it, just once.

That’s six things, as compared to my prior list of twenty-five (which you do not even want to read, it is that sad).  If you count my 100th blog post, which I am now about to hit “publish” on, that is seven; I think manageable given the time frame and my idiosyncrasies.  Let’s knock another one off that list … right ….. now …. this was on our way out for a nice, celebratory dinner in honor of my 100th blog post (in my head, that is) …………. the only thing needed is an audio file you faithful blog followers could play over and over of me going “Oh Wolf!”

Happy 100 Blog Followers!!  Thanks for reading!