15 Things That Keep Away The Crazy

I think we all know that I’m a little off. By off, I of course mean batty; and by batty I’m trying to beat around the bush of insanity. And while I haven’t been dragged off in the ol’ straight jacket just yet, I probably should be. Being a Stay At Home Mom that homeschools can be tough sometimes. A little nerve-wracking, to say the least.

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There is an episode of The Simpsons early on in the series where Ned Flanders goes ape shit and drives himself to the mental hospital, driving straight through the wrought iron gates to get in. When he goes to check in, they ask if he’d like to go willingly to his padded room, or would he opt for the kicking and screaming option. He asks for kicking and screaming. I like to think that were Ned Flanders to have my fifteen things that keep me sane – or at least sane enough to avoid the mental hospital – he may have avoided his own mental breakdown.

(Yes, I am aware of the fact that I am talking about a cartoon character as though he is a human being. Need more proof I’m close to the nuthouse?)

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#1 S&Ms

You people are perverts. I know what you all are thinking when you see #1 as S&Ms: you think I’m talking about some kinky shit with my husband. Poor Nick bringing home cans of champagne and edible panties, and shit.

Not the case. When I say S&Ms I mean that what keeps me sane are my starlight mints. You know those old people candies that they sell either with or without sugar, the little mints you also get after a particularly garlic-y meal out? After my brief stint with smoking cigarettes in high school, my S&Ms replaced the nasty cancer sticks. They keep me sane in a big way.

#2 Lipgloss

Between this and my S&Ms, it’s very possible that I have an oral fixation problem. I apply chapstick and lipgloss so much. I’m addicted and develop a facial twitch if I go too long without glossy lips.

#3 Diet Coke

So yeah. I have an oral fixation. Clearly. My top three things that keep me from losing my everliving mind are relative to my mouth. What’s #4 going to be – blow jobs? Not the case. Nonetheless, I am heavily addicted to Diet Coke. The people at McDonald’s know me by name for no reason other than my morning trek to obtain a $1 Large soda.

#4 Books

This is really serious. As long as I have a book nearby when I feel the crazy coming on, all I have to do is open the book and lose myself in the story. This is why I love being a writer; and it’s why I am terribly obsessed with reading as much as possible.

#5 The Bathroom Lock

I hear moms complaining all the time about wanting to take a dump without being interrupted, and I think to myself: where’s the fucking lock? Your kids will be fine left to their own devices for a couple minutes. And as long as you have a key or another fail-safe to get the door open, should a kid lock themselves in – this is a surefire way to escape the insanity of parenthood.

#6 A Sense of Humor

I joke about a lot. And when I’m not making jokes, I’m finding something that’s naturally hilarious and laughing until I pee. A lot of times people don’t get my jokes, though. On my wedding invitations, I had a picture of a bride and groom with a joke about bringing your flame retardant clothing to prevent the lightning injuries that were sure to come from my husband and I marrying in the Catholic church. No one got it.

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#7 Weird Personal Fitness Challenges

I’m not one of those uber-douchey people that’s obsessed with fitness. You know them. They are constantly posting about their gym workouts and judging others for what they do and eat. Let’s be clear here: if you work out and like to talk about it, that’s totally cool. It’s when it moves on to judging others (…posting pictures of people’s cellulite on Facebook, and making fun of people that don’t eat healthy all the time…) that it becomes a problem.

OK, all that being said, weird personal fitness challenges help keep me sane. It isn’t even that I want to be fit, or lose weight. It’s that I find it funny to do weird workout and eating stuff, and it’s interesting to see the things I will do to keep it up. Right now I’m doing a three parter. Part One is 10 more seconds of wall sits each day. I started with 10 seconds on the 1st of April, and am up to almost 2 minutes. Part Two is eating only fruit for one or more meals a day. (It’s harder than you’d think, fruit is not very filling). Part Three is doing the Sweatin’ To the Oldies workout tapes. That’s right, I’m rockin’ it with Richard Simmons. Randomly about a month ago, I found one of my mom’s, so I went out and bought one and the Pookies went wild for it. (A video blog will follow here shortly…)

#8 Nonstop Weather Updates

I know. It’s weird. Growing up in the Midwest really made me fear the weather and all its wrath, though. Nonstop weather updates on my iPhone, iPad, and Macbook help me feel like I have control of the situation.

#9 Tetris

Hello! Mindlessly fitting blocks into impossible spaces. A metaphor for life.

#10 Reading Satire Websites

Like The Onion and Cracked.com. I enjoy John Stewart on YouTube sometimes too. Are you getting the theme here, though? I enjoy laughing at the absurdity of life. Better to laugh than lose it, right?

#11 Comparing My Life To My Mother’s

Whenever I start to think that life’s getting me down, I compare my misery to my mother’s. No one is in as bad of a situation as she is – with a hillbilly husband that lies like drinking a glass of water, living in a trailer halfway across the country, and cracking jokes about wanting to get her back to his trailer so that they can work the bed sheets (if you know what I mean).

#12 Fantasizing About Wolf Blitzer

Have you people forgotten about my terrible crush on Wolf Blitzer? Whenever I start to feel a little like I’m going to lose my mind, I let it get lost in thoughts of Wolf. And Ryan Reynold, Vladimir Putin, Hulk Hogan, and most members of the NBA.

#13 Writing On My Blog

People sometimes call their blogs “an outlet,” or a “place to vent their frustrations.” I think of my own blog as that, as well as a place to share my stories of every dip shit, asshole, douche-tart I come across so that you all may benefit from my wisdom in the ways of dealing with trailer trash jerk offs. And about parenting and being a shitty housewife. And stuff.

#14 Shitty Romantic Comedies and Episodes of Maury Povich

Good movies? Good movies that win awards? Good movies that are critically acclaimed? I typically hate those. But whenever I feel a bout of the crazies coming on, all I need to do is hunker down in my pajamas for a day with a romantic comedy marathon, coupled with Maury Povich paternity test episodes on YouTube, and I feel better.

#15 Making Fun Of My Husband

This goes along with my sense of humor. In my family growing up, we made fun of each other. Constantly. We still do. I maintain that this is – by far – the greatest gift my dearly departed grandparents gave to us, for we developed a thick skin to the world early on, and we learned that the best way to live life is to have fun. You know we love you if we make fun you, and as a result I rip on my husband nonstop.

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What keeps away your crazy, faithful blog followers? Are your things as mundane as mine? Or are they more meaningful or legitimate, like a prescription for antipsychotics?

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My Complete List of (Planned) 2013 Failures

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Do you like setting yourself up for failure? I sure know I do. I used to think that if I never tried at anything, then I would never fail. Then I realized that never trying was in a sense failing too, so I started trying but realized that if I were to succeed then I would never know what to do with myself. So I try but set myself up to fail so that I don’t run the risk of not knowing just what in the hell I do once I do succeed. And then I still never have to fail because by setting myself up to fail, I in a way actually do succeed at something, but not something so terribly successful that I am lost once it’s all over. Technically.

Follow my logic? I know, it’s hard being inside my brain sometimes.

So 2012 may or may not have been a major year of failures for me. It depends on how you look at it. I published a book, that was pretty rad. But it wasn’t the book I wanted it to be – it was a memoir, geared towards the readers of this blog; rather than the Great American Novel (or whatever you want to call it). I really wanted it to be that big novel deal. I planned on reading 50 books, since I had completed my goal of 40 in 2011. That was a big whopper, because I fell into a funk around the spring and read a total of 5 for the year. I tried knitting scarves for all of my family as well. I knitted two.

I know. I’m a total loser.

Moving along to the New Year coming up. I’m not too into New Year’s resolutions – the concept is just so stupid to me. I think that is because the majority of people who make these life-changing “resolutions” are resolving to do things they (a) know they will never do; and (b) should be doing anyway. And the concept reeks of always thinking there is something inherently wrong with ourselves. “I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to drink less.” “I’m going to be nicer to my husband.” All those resolutions are nice, sure – but we are who we are, and even if there is something about ourselves that we’d like to change, to call it a “resolution” is like saying we are lesser people because of whatever the circumstance is that we want to change. I really think that we should be comfortable with the life we’ve chosen. Even if we want to change it, we should first make the resolution to accept where we have come from.

As I said: I know, it’s hard being inside my brain sometimes.

Now just because I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, per se (or at least calling them New Year’s resolutions); and even though I do like setting myself up for failure, I still know that it’s important to make a plan for the year to come as the old ball begins to drop towards midnight on December 31st. Without plans and objectives and things to look forward to, what do we have other than a vacuous day-to-day existence?

Thus, I give you: My Complete List of (Planned) 2013 Failures.

1.  Read 40 books. I think I can do this. Maybe. I may cheat and finish the 20 or so books I started and failed to finish in 2012 to get the ball rolling.

2.  Move to Chicago. I’m sure that I will fail miserably on this one, even though everyone seems to be on board with our plan to finally make this happen. After 12 years of trying and failing, I just remain a little skeptical.

282887_649925093293_198650517_n3.  Knit blankets for my cousins Linsay and Clayton to go along with both of their wedding gifts (they are both getting married in the summer); as well as a baby blanket for each of the 11 friends having babies this next year.

4.  Have a baby. Yeah right, like that’s going to happen. Motherhood has already driven me to the nuthouse enough as it is; and that would require my husband and I to come within 5 feet of each other. Still, though, the thought crosses my mind more frequently as my clock ticks, and more friends show up pregnant.

5.  Cook and clean like a slave less.

6.  Take an art class. There was a time when I was an art major; and despite all the times I’ve committed to get back into it over the years, I have still not picked up a drawing pencil or paint brush in over a decade.

7.  Use the Internet less. In fact, Sundays are now going to be Internet-free in our house (let’s see how long that lasts).

8.  Talk on the phone more.

9.  Watch even more of The Simpsons. This is kind of weird. I have a pretty serious obsession with The Simpsons. I have the seasons on DVD and watch them every night before I go to bed. Sometimes I have day-long marathons of the show too – I just think it is one of the wittiest and realistic betrayals of American life. And I always get it when they take jabs at our contemporary American culture.

10.  Let myself go. I don’t mean gain 200 pounds, or let my hair get all gross and stringy. I mean be more comfortable. Wear jeans and sweatshirts more. Take more makeup-free days.

11.  Publish my compilation of short stories. It’s no Great American Novel, but it’ll do for now.

12.  Get a new dog.

13.  Learn to play the ukelele.

14.  Correct the current Pookies idea that babies get into a mother’s stomach by virtue of “the mom eating the baby, where it stays in her colon until the doctor cuts it out.”

15.  Take a mental health trip to a spa or a plateau or somewhere alone. An insane asylum for electroshock therapy will do.

If I don’t get a chance to say it between now and then, I suppose a happy new year to all of you faithful blog followers is in order. To peace. To prosperity. To failing miserably in all our life’s ventures in the year to come.

The Top 5 Bloggie Blog Blunders

Lately I’ve been thinking about why my blog (life) is so devoid of readers (people that like me). I researched a little about “why people don’t read my blog” (“why people don’t want to be my friend”) and even bitched about it in a previous post. In this quest to make my blog more successful, this last few weeks I looked at other blogs that seem to be terribly successful so that maybe I could see what I’m doing wrong that they are doing right.

So far, I have yet to find much wrong with my page. In fact, I’m starting to think my site is too nice. I don’t boozehound (I mean, not really…) and post pictures of baby shit enough, so it would seem. Maybe that’s my problem.

Nonetheless, I found a lot of blogs that are extremely popular, and there is no reason in my mind why they should be. Obviously I won’t name them by name. Some of them I think are run by really nice people; chances are if you are reading this you are not one of them. But I did learn a few things from these horrors of the Internet:

Bloggie Blog Blunder #1: The Wedding/Baby/Marathon Blog

I’m not one to disparage people for wanting to share the tales of their major life events. But people that start a blog for the sole purpose of documenting either: (a) their engagement and wedding, (b) the pregnancy and birth of their baby, or (c) the marathon they decided to run, are – in one word – annoying.

For one, once their wedding is over or the kid has popped out, the blogging comes to a halt either immediately or shortly thereafter and becomes just another website out there that is taking up space and slowing down the Internet.

For two, why the fuck do complete strangers want to know about this shit?

Today I saw this wedding blog-type thing for these two unbelievably hipsterish morons that basically documented in blog-format the timeline of their douchey, hipster relationship; and then at the end of this 9 mile webpage (which apparently served as a wedding website or wedding announcement or whatever hipster crap you want to call it), people had the option to enter their wedding invitation RSVP at the end. So basically, it was a private event made public. For the duration of their blogging at least, blogs of this type are fine, but should be kept private. Most sites that host blogs give you the option of privating the page; and this gives the world much less nonsense to weed through when looking for something good.

Even more insulting are the number of temporary wedding/baby/marathon blogs that have been Freshly Pressed. Really WordPress? Freshly Pressed should be reserved for veterans.

Bloggie Blog Blunder #2: The Credit Stealers

Maybe it’s in the form of photographs that are stolen from someone else’s website. (I can’t tell you how many amateur pornography sites have hit up my website to copy and use a picture I have of a donkey’s dick…although I don’t want credit for that really.) Or possibly it is an idea that one blogger blogged about that then 7,000 other bloggers decided to take and make their own. The point is that if it originated somewhere else, just add in a little sentence or phrase or even just a word that they get the credit.

This has happened to me quite a few times. Now, I know I can be insightful and witty and shit (once or twice a year), but stealing my ideas without giving credit where credit is due is just atrocious. I’m also not saying that I am the only one with X, Y, or Z ideas, but if a blog is posted with something pretty random and then the same day the same random topic is posted on a bunch of other sites, that just happen to follow the original blog – well, come on now.

While seeking out blogs to compare my own to this last week or so, I saw one in particular that seemed to be pretty bad with the plagarism, whilst terribly protective of her own shit. She’s a mom blogger and even has a trademark symbol behind everything she believes she owns patent to (including her terminology for her overindulgent pig-hogging). For someone that is so protective, you’d think she wouldn’t be stealing other people’s stuff without at least saying where she got it.

Bloggie Blog Blunder #3: The Opportunist Commenter

These people really piss me off. I’m talking fire shooting out my ass, I am just that mad. Here is a great example from one of my posts in the last few days:

Douchesausage left a comment awaiting moderation: Nice post. Follow my blog please IAmADickFaceAssHat.wordpress.com

Fuck you, Douchesausage. I refuse to follow these types of people, especially when few of them actually have followed me. It’s one thing to say “hey, this reminds me of a post I wrote a while ago …” but to make it clear you didn’t even read my post… Well that, sir, makes you a wart on the foot of the Blogosphere.

Bloggie Blog Blunder #4: The Rambler

And then I was on TopMommyBlogs.com. I’m a registered blog on there, trying to solicit votes all the time (see #5). Today I clicked through some of the blogs with higher votes and – while most of them were awesome – a few of them were full of ramblers.

You know who I’m talking about: the people that post 16,000 words about the snausages and eggs they had for breakfast. The people that start a blog off about how their kid is officially potty trained, but before we learn that little Joey tinkled in the toilet, we also read that the dog had a bowel movement resembling the state of New York this morning, the mom-blogger is only 15 pounds away from her pre-baby weight, and that little Joey had a rash on his hoo-hoo a few nights ago which the doctor said would go away with some cream. We also heard about the trip to the pharmacy to get the cream before actually learning that little Joey finally tinkled.

Fucking kill me, right? Stick to topic, people!

Bloggie Blog Blunder #5: Not Paying It Forward

You always support another blogger (or person). You click on their links. You vote for their blog. You share their stuff when they ask you to. And then they can’t even do the simplest thing for you in return – even when you ask.

I think this happens in regular life too. Today I posted on my Facebook, asking my friends if they could vote for me on TopMommyBlogs.com. All it required them to do was click my website and then click the TopMommyBlogs picture or link. I prefaced it with something only mildly snarky, mainly because it was true:

It wasn’t nasty, was it? I was just being honest and possibly (definitely) trying to coax (guilt) them into doing it. I mean, I do vote for a lot of bands, attend a lot of Facebook events for Adorable Dog Contests, and just generally act supportive of my friends on Facebook. I mean, that is the friendly thing to do, right?

I got 8 votes of my 365 friends. I’ll be remembering this next time they want me to vote daily for their kid in the Gap Baby Cute Kid contest.

So what are the lessons we have learned? A good blogger commits to a blog for the long haul. A good blogger cuts to the chase and pays it forward – every time. A good blogger gives credit where credit is due. And a good blogger does not ever – never ever – posts a “Nice post, follow me…” comment. Otherwise you are a douchesausage. And your blog resembles that thing in the shape of the state of New York from little Joey’s dog this morning.

Things That Need To Stop Now – Summer 2012

I have a new series on this blog I’d like to call: Things That Need To Stop Now. The intended content of these blogs is self explanatory, so let’s just get to it.

Things That Need To Stop Now

Summer 2012

1. Hipsters. Hipsters are nothing more than filthy, nasty, under-showered and over-moustached wannabes. Every time I go into an Urban Outfitter or an American Apparel I realize just how stupid our culture has gotten that guys rocking oversized, neon-colored tank tops and brostaches are the coolest we have to offer.

2. Lying. Is it just me or do people lie way more now than they used to? It also seems like people now think that if they can justify the lie it’s okay. “Sure, I lied to you about stealing all of your money, but I really needed to pay my mortgage and my car payments so thought it would be okay.” Lying is a gateway to almost every other bad deed.

3. Marriage Meddling.So my marriage was meddled in last week – I mentioned it in a previous post. It went beyond just a random and completely rude Facebook comment though from said meddler; it went into a ridiculous email conversation that resulted in nothing but hurt feelings and unnecessary drama. I took a poll after that to see what my readers thought of people that meddle in marriages and overwhelmingly the readers responded “no one – my marriage, my life.” There were a lot of other great comments and votes as well, but that “no one” came in at a whopping 70%. I’d say marriage meddling needs to stop now.

4. Use of text lingo in everyday conversation. I really and truly feel like beating my head into a very hard and cold steel post every single time someone says to me in person or on the phone “LOL” or “OMG.” Who taught you nimrods to talk like this? I am taking a class this summer as well, and in the etiquette for said class the professor actually said that LOL would be accepted.

5. Cuts to education.No for real you guys – this isn’t stupid or funny, but it is most certainly making everyone idiotic. The budget cuts in California have hit education at such unprecedented levels this year that I am now thinking homeschooling is going to have to be more than just “short term.” It’s in the community colleges as well. I – a two time college graduate and part of the way through a graduate degree – cannot even easily take a painting class for fun, paying my own money for tuition, because of the cuts. Someone needs to fire every politician and union representative that cannot understand the very basic equation: “more students + more education = more money in the economy and a partial solution to the deficit.”

6. Facebook bullying. I have seen quite a few of those eCards and memes floating around lately making fun of people that use Facebook as their virtual diary. While it may seem that I, personally, post way more about my personal life out there (all over really), if I really posted some of what goes on in my daily life or my head you all would probably cringe. But the beautiful thing about the Internet is that if someone wants to post something cringe-worthy, they should be able to do so without someone saying they are off their rocker or worthy of being judged. When people judge others and make fun of them publicly for doing something they don’t like, they are nothing but bullies. It’s sad that these people I see posting these things are adults too.

7. Jelena. I have no idea why I thought of this the other day, but I thought I should Google “are Justin and Selena still dating” and I found – literally – hundreds of answers, speculations, and Yahoo Questions. Get a fucking life, people. Or maybe I should get a life too.

8. Overuse of the Internet and cell phones. Seriously. As I sit here, my husband has been on vacation for seven days now and he has spent so much time on his cell phone and computer that he may as well have just been at work. But this is a problem I think our culture has – we just cannot disconnect. This needs to stop, and now. People need to be able to let go for a few days.

9. Movies in Hollywood. I don’t mean all movies, I suppose. I think I just mean these hackneyed, bull shit remakes. How many fucking Snow White movies came out this year? And just what the hell was the point of yet another Spiderman? I saw an ad where this one had a crocheted mask. Is that the only difference? Movies in Hollywood need to stop now as they are currently being made.

That’s my list. For now, that is – I have quite a few more stored up there in the annals of my brain. What do you faithful blog followers think needs to stop, and now?