Sunday, April 30, 2017

This CBJ Adopt-a-Sailor Press Release is Low-Key BOWM CHICKA BOW WOWM.

I hesitated to dedicate an entire post to this topic, because at least this week, I lack the bandwidth for the online shade I will inevitably get for interpreting this press release in a salacious light. A tawdry light, I'm afraid, in which it was clearly not intended to be viewed.

But I meeeeean, COME ON. COME. ON. 

"Adopt-a-Sailor" sounds tooooootally bowm-chicka-bow wowm. This whole thing should have gone through the double entendre filter, because right now it reads like a setup for an episode of "Midnight Indiscretions" on Showtime or Cinemax. 

There are "no strict guidelines as to what is expected from the volunteer homes?"  It "can be as simple as taking the adopted sailor home for a home-cooked meal?"

Oooooorrrrrr . . . ?

There's at least a suggestion here of Netflix and Chill, is there not? And I suspect that after months at sea, the men (and women, and women!) of this stalwart vessel are interested in something less earnest than a tour of the glacier and awkwardly saying grace with strangers over chicken pot pie and a glass of milk.

If you want to "entertain one or more sailors" you should get in touch with CBJ and "provide a general description of the proposed activities you are considering."

Whaaaaaaaat?! One OR MORE?

This might be a "careful what you ask for" type thing. If I were young and single as opposed to old and married, the "general description of the proposed activities I would be considering" with a sailor would not be fit to print in an email to the CBJ, but suffice it to say there would be several Long Island Iced Teas in the mix.

But that's just me. A stone cold 'ho, I suppose.

Even the way they spelled "compliment" here implies the whole CBJ should skip the formalities of adoption and just give these 330 officers and crew a "home cooked meal" to remember.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fox News: Fabio is a Political Scientist Now

If you haven't thought about Fabio Lanzoni in awhile, you're not alone. I bet you didn't even remember the Italian "fashion model, actor, and spokesman's" last name, if you ever knew it in the first place. 

And who could blame you?

Fabio has been puh-rettty high-key washed up for some time now, with the crowning achievements of his career--a stint as the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" guy and cover beefcake for a slew of Harelquin bodice rippers--firmly in his Ducati's rear view mirror.

But don't dismiss Fabio as a cast member of Dancing with the Stars season 8,999 just yet. 

Fox News' Tucker Carlson, baby-faced pretender to Bill O'Reilly's woe-is-whitey throne, knows that Fabio is more than just a shill for the axel grease condiment industry or masturbation slideshow material for menopausal librarians.

No sirree, Bob!

Fucker Tarlson has the good sense to put Fabio's tanned rawhide leather wallet face right where it belongs. On his show, talking about California's "collapse" via liberalism.

Make no mistake: you won't catch me defending the insufferable limousine liberals of San Francisco or Hollywood. They can have their kale and kombucha colon cleanses for all I care. Same goes for their $50,000 a plate benefit dinners to raise money for platypus conservation research or whatever.

But putting Fabio on TV to talk about California's "collapse" due to "liberalism" is a bridge too far. 

I don't need to watch or listen to this interview to know two things for a fact: (1) "liberalism" is not leading to California's "collapse;" and (2) Fabio's main (and I dare say unique) area of expertise is "getting a face full of live goose while riding a roller coaster":

Now I'm not disputing that California is collapsing, but it's probably collapsing under the weight of assholes, smog, gratuitous lawn watering, and the "Big One" we all know is coming. Not liberalism per se. I mean, have you seen San Andreas starring Dwayne the Rock Johnson and Paul Giamatti as the panicking and prescient geologist?! Hello?!

Go home, Fox. You're drunk.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Selfie Drones are a Thing, Trump Thought Being POTUS Would be Easy, and Humanity Deserves a Viking Funeral Right Now

Not only are selfie drones a thing, but there are actually MANY different types of selfie drones, or "dronies," as they're called. 

So long, selfie sticks and regular old earth-bound smart phones! Selfies limited by the laws of gravity are SO last week. Pretty soon, the days of duck-lips in front of Incan ruins and a quick upload to the 'Gram will be over. Instead, a zillion little dronies will be hovering above your brunch, playing bumper-cams in the sky while vying for that perfect shot at narcissism.

Almost ten times a day, I find myself thinking that the universe should do the planet a favor and send humanity off in a Viking funeral somehow. Like just put us all on a boat, set it on fire, and push it out into the middle of the North Atlantic. Selfie drones are one more reason why. Yet another reason is this quote from Donald Trump in a recent interview he gave to Reuters:

In other words, the man LEGIT thought being the fucking PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES would be easier than shouting "You're fired!" on reality TV and putting his name on steak and water bottles.

M'kay. So, let's review.

"This is more work than in my previous life," said the President of the United States about being president. Unfortunately for his 322 million plebeian subjects, Trump's "previous life" bears a striking resemblance to his current life of endless golfing, frittering away inherited wealth on "amazing deals," and shameless self-promotion.

Trump thought being president would be easier, and the rest of us thought Trump getting to be president would be harder. Time for Trump to invest in a gilded, embossed selfie drone that flies over Mar-a-Lago all day and snaps him making his "this is serious" face. 

At this point, it's the only remaining thing that could salvage his credibility.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Shitting in Paradise Relationship Paradox

There comes a moment in every relationship when you acknowledge that the other person shits. It's not a fun thing to think about, especially in the early stages, when your image of them is untarnished by (among other things) the human excretory system.

That's why I think it's KIND of a risky bet to take an early-relationship trip to somewhere like Cambodia or Mexico. The relationship might not be shits-reveal ready, and yet when you do this type of travel you almost guarantee yourself several days straight of travelers' diarrhea and a burning asshole. 

Yet there are like, sooooo many couples who do this you guys, and I actually think it's a low-key geeeeeenius relationship litmus test.

So many new relationship trips are all like, "Let's go ride motorcycles around rural South America. It'll be JUST like the Motorcycle Diaries!"

Two tamales later, it's inevitably more like the Motorcycle Diarrheas.

But that's how it goes. I guess it's better to know ASAP whether your new bae can hang with three straight days of shitting warm bowls of soup off a cliff on the side of a winding mountain road in the Andes.

If not, you'll know the relationship is doomed. If so, it's more likely than not that a few years later, you'll be shitting with the door open, talking about soccer practice and where the fuck is the IRS with our tax refund already.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Triggers and New Experiences

I couldn’t get the images out of my head, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the fire and the text messages I'd received Monday evening from friends. 

“You might have heard already but castle playground is burning to the ground right now,” said one. “Twin Lakes playground is on fire!” said another, with a crying emoji and a dramatic picture of the conflagration.

Almost immediately, I felt something involuntary happen in my body.

Like “journey” and “movement,” the word “trigger” gets a bit abused these days. It’s become sort of a new-age catchall for upsetting experiences, and it’s kind of overused in the sense that if everything is a “trigger,” nothing is, and the entire concept loses meaning and exposes itself to exasperated eye-rolling.

At the same time, it’s clear that “triggers” are real, trauma and PTSD are too, and certain sights and sounds can quite literally “trigger” a physiological response of some kind.

Frequent visitors to this blog have probably read about my experience on 9/11 in New York City, which I won’t repeat here. My point right now is that I never felt consciously “traumatized” or impacted by 9/11 beyond the two hours in which that sequence of events actually took place and perhaps a year afterwards.

At first I would startle at sudden noises, but that faded with time. Although my asthma worsened over the years, and I enrolled in a 9/11 health study, there is no way to prove whether a year of working in close proximity to the smoldering ruins of the WTC aggravated my asthma or not. Basically, I’ve gone about my business in the 16 years since 9/11, and I don’t think about it much except for its anniversary, which I dread each year.

But something about the playground fire put me back into that space.

Maybe it was the familiar, dramatic orange flames, or the fact that the fire was intentionally set. Maybe it was the unexpected and sudden destruction of a treasured, heavily-used, and highly visible community asset, in which so many memories were stored. Perhaps it was the response of the firefighters, or the initial uncertainty about the degree and nature of loss.

Whatever it was, it immediately made me feel a grief that was logically disproportionate to the event.

After all, nobody was hurt, much less killed. It was "just stuff,” which is what my mom used to say every time our car would get stolen (which was often). Plans are already underway to rebuild the playground. We now know the fire was intentionally started by two thirteen year-old boys, and because of the nature of the juvenile justice system, that’s all we are ever likely to know, at least officially.

Yet somehow this didn’t make me feel better.

Amid relief that we did not have an adult serial arsonist to blame for this fire, I instead began to feel mournful for these boys and their families. This quickly spiraled into images of Paige in the baby swing at this park at nine months and Isaac swinging off the monkey bars just last week. I wondered how I would feel if Isaac had set this fire, what I would do, and then sank into a more generalized anxiety about our community, which has been besieged lately by property crimes and thefts tied to the opioid epidemic.

I couldn’t think about anything else.

I started to feel despair and I called a friend to have lunch. I cried into my bowl of stir fry about the playground fire, and about how absurd it was that I was this rattled by an event in which no one was physically harmed. She validated my feelings as a friend, and offered her professional services, which is something called somatic experience therapy that I had never tried before.

I’m pretty skeptical of alternative therapies and medicines, probably too skeptical. Like I hear the words “cranial sacral” and I secretly stop listening. At the same time, I also recognize that there’s a fine line between healthy skepticism and self-defeating close-mindedness, so I decided to take my friend up on her offer and keep my mind open to new experiences.

I laid down on the massage table in her office and she put her hand underneath my lower back, over my kidney, first on one side and then the other. We made small talk and I felt a self-imposed pressure to report some sort of dramatic response. But when she asked me to concentrate on what I was feeling, I definitely felt a weird tingling sensation in my hands and became aware that I was hyperventilating, which I suddenly remembered I did a lot as a kid but have not experienced in years.

Heaven and earth didn’t move, but I left feeling a little better than when I’d arrived. I began thinking less about loss, and more about how good it would feel to help a new playground rise from the ashes of the old one.

Photo: KTOO

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Piece of Juneau's Soul Died Tonight, But Not Forever

Not since watching the first of the Twin Towers fall in real time, the Brooklyn Bridge shaking beneath my feet, have I felt a more sickening, spiraling dread at the sight of a structure fire. 

This is Juneau's largest, most central playground engulfed in flames in an act of apparent arson, one of several recent suspicious fires in town. 

Immediately social media was organizing to rebuild the playground, although the fire department warned of fraudulent crowdfunding, and has not endorsed a fund. No doubt, the playground will be rebuilt. And hopefully, this fire and the others are in good investigative hands and justice will be served. 

But for now, all you can do is grieve, and thank whoever you thank that no one was hurt, it seems. Because this was more than just a playground.

It was a community effort, not without its detractors, that the town came together to create. I was living in Palmer then, but moved down to Juneau around the time Project Playground was completed. It was apparent how much hard work and love had gone into it.

That's what makes this really sad. This was more than a bunch of wood and bolts and rubber sawdust. It was a testament to the best of what communities can produce when they work together. It holds the memories of a decade of Juneau kids and their families. Barbeques, birthday parties, community events. All our kids spent countless long summer days there splashing around in the gross water or skating in winter. 

It was a public space that everyone could use and enjoy for free. FOR CHILDREN. Now, we have to somehow explain this to our kids.

It puts a lump in your throat. It makes you lose faith in humanity, in a way. Like we can't just have something nice without shitting all over it. I could repeat how the Alaskan economy is in the toilet, and the whole world is going to hell. And no doubt about it, a little piece of Juneau's soul died tonight. 

But I have lived through a far worse community tragedy on a much bigger scale, and the good news about a city's soul, I learned, is that it has the capacity to regenerate.

UPDATE: According to a report in the ADN, two thirteen year-old boys are in custody for this crime. My heart aches for them, too.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Please Come with Me on My Journey

Namaste! I’m glad you’re here. I invite you to come with me on my journey, once I figure out what that is.

If you have a pulse, you know full well that everyone is on a journey these days. Personally, I refuse to stand still on the sidelines in a single static destination (physical or metaphorical) stuck in a rut like a dilapidated four-wheeler spinning its tires in the mud of apathetic sloth and processed gluten consumption.

No. I am no longer holding space for my own unacceptable absence of a journey, and hereby pledge to embark on SOME kind of journey. The only question is, what will it be? 

As I see it, there are a few options:

There’s the mindfulness journey, the hair and skincare journey, the self-awareness journey, the sobriety journey, the sexual awakening journey, the weight loss journey, the fitness journey, the fertility journey, the detox-colon cleanse journey, the gratitude journey, the simple abundance journey, the nonviolent communication journey, the Crossfit journey, the self-care journey, and (I suppose) even the Journey journey, in which you ultimately realize that "Can’t Stop Believin” is actually a terrible song and there's no such place as "South Detroit." Ask anyone from Michigan.

Certainly I don't mean to brag or suggest that any of the foregoing journeys are inferior, but my journey promises to be the journey to end all journeys.

First though: what sort of conveyance will propel me on this journey? 

Surely not my own willpower or quest for meaning. My 2005 Subaru Forrester with 130,000 miles also seems a risky bet. The driver’s side window is totally busted and I have to open the door every time I go to the drive through ATM or espresso stand. The seat belts are peppered with black mold, and there is a giant crack in the middle of the windshield that my dad chastises me to fix every time he visits, to name just a few issues. 

Thinking about it carefully, I lack the funds, emotional resiliency, and well-regulated central nervous system bandwidth for a super long plane journey right now, too. Particularly with paying customers getting punched in the face, extra baggage fees, TSA going to second base on my boobs, and other hassles inherent in journeying by plane. It's all very triggering, so an airborne journey is out, I'm afraid.

Similarly, I no longer live in a city with reliable public transportation, so that's an issue as well. There’s the public bus, I suppose, but there’s only so far you can go in Juneau. A bus ride in Juneau seems more like an outing or at best an excursion, as opposed to a journey. It’s probably even generous to call it a trip, which has LSD/Jefferson Airplane connotations that are fine if you’re on an “in your own head while pounding a bongo in the desert at Burning Man" sort of journey, which I am not.

I have higher hopes and standards for my journey and refuse to settle for a standard-issue journey.

I’m picturing something between Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Iliad, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Thelma & Louise, Easy Rider, On the Road, and Road Trip starring Tom Green and Seann William Scott (a.k.a. the Stiffler of “Stiffler’s Mom” from American Pie), with maaaaaaaaaybe a dash of Y Tu Mama Tambien thrown in? Because there was some super hot sex in that movie, let’s be honest.

While I do not yet know the full scope or nature of my journey, I do have a motto for it: 
“Gas, Grass, or Ass: No One Rides for Free.” 

Living by that motto, I will stop along the way for any like-minded journeying souls who will buy me a medium strawberry cheesecake Blizzard at Dairy Queen and roll up a joint for future use on my journey, in exchange for not murdering me en route to the next truck stop along I-90, chopping me up, and putting my severed limbs in a chipper shredder never to be heard from again until a dedicated episode of Dateline NBC catches my cold case killer.


Life is a journey, not a destination. Which is a problem for me at the moment, because like I said, I’m stuck in journey purgatory while half of humanity is on a journey, and the other half is part of a movement.

Don’t worry though, my journey will begin soon, I promise. And when it does, you can be sure I will send post cards.

Come for the journey. Stay for the movement.

Nothing Could be More Awkward than This

I wish I'd been at the board meeting where the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons hotel came up with the "Pretty Woman for a Day" promotion. I had to double check to make sure this wasn't fake news. 

It wasn't.

During this “glamorous weekend getaway for two,” you and your bae will be “the star of your own love story” inspired by the film. The “experience” starts with a “personal shopping consultation on Rodeo Drive,” a ride in a Rolls-Royce, a "shoeless picnic," and an evening at the opera that allows “you and your sweetheart to mimic classic scenes for exclusive photography opportunities.”

What. The. Actual. Fuck?

Let’s review some of these “classic scenes,” beginning with a brief overview of the 1990 legendary rom-com starring Julia Roberts and Richard “Gerbil-in-the-Ass Urban Legend(?)” Gere, whose entire acting range consists of 10 different squints.

In order to imbue this experience with verisimilitude, you’d need to reenact ALL of the scenes, not just the “fairy tale” ones.

You'd have to pretend to be a down-on-your-luck sex worker. You'll start the experience by standing out on Hollywood Boulevard in Go-Go boots when your bae comes cruising around the corner in a fancy car he doesn’t know how to drive, and you’ll charge him $20 to take him to the hotel.

You’ll also need to bring your sassy friend Kit DeLuca along to give you tips on how to handle various tricks, and almost get raped by one of your boyfriend’s gross attorneys played by a George Costanza doppelganger. That guy needs to be part of the experience too, no?

You’d also need to sing in a bathtub while listening to Prince, feel clueless at a polo match, and be humiliated during that “personal shopping consultation on Rodeo drive,” where you’d first go in wearing Lucite heels and pleather, get treated like shit, and then come back in with bae all dressed up and have your ass kissed from here to next Tuesday because now you look like a total baller.

At the end, you’d pretend to break up, only to have bae come back and give you flowers on a fire escape and “rescue” you from your entire life.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

At Least for Now, My Daughter is a Reverse Junkie

Phases. All kids have them, and the second you master the one they're in, BAM! It's on to the next one. It's like being forced to take calculus when you haven't even figured out algebra yet--multiple times. Or at least that's how it feels to me. I know because that actually happened to me. The calculus algebra thing. Whatever, that's another story.

The point is, Paige is in this phase right now that I'm loosely (and perhaps a bit crassly) labeling her "Reverse Junkie Phase."

She's completely unwilling to take any type of weak sauce Tylenol or Benadryl for stuff like fevers and hives, and she inspects every inch of her food before she cooks or eats it. You'd think she was one of those kids from Flowers in the Attic being fed arsenic donuts on the regular or something.

These habits will serve her well in adolescence, presuming she retains them, but right now it's a whole lot of "MOOOOOOM, what's this little brown thing in my oatmeal?"

And when I approach to look, I almost need a microscope to see what she's talking about. When I finally locate it, it's like one half of one oat that somehow got singed during its production. It's enough to put her off breakfast and necessitate a long explanation of exactly why she can safely consume half a singed oat in a bowl of oatmeal.

The worst, though, is when she's right, since this validates her whole semi-OCD'ish "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you" approach to food contaminants. 

Like she recently cracked an egg and noticed a little spot of blood in the yolk, which she immediately summoned me to address. It could be an old wives' tale for all I know, but for as long as I can remember I was told not to use those eggs. So when we threw it out, she was triumphant. 

"SEE?!?!," she crowed. Suddenly, every future attempt to give her a teaspoon of Tylenol or tell her that a pepper corn isn't mouse shit was a fait accompli.

For all I know, that whole bloody yolk thing started with another reverse junkie; but fine, whatever. 

Chalk one up for Paige.

UPDATE: I just Googled and of COURSE the bloody egg thing is bullshit. I'm retracting Paige's point.


Donald Trump Weekend Tweet Translator

Today on Earth Day, we celebrate neutering the EPA by installing a hostile climate change denier at its helm. Enjoy!

Looking forward to a far-right neo-Nazi with a nice blonde bob cut joining me on the long decline of western democracy into hopeless, dystopian global fascism.

Everything I've ever said about this border wall with Mexico is a brazen con on par with that Monorail episode of the Simpsons. SAD!

The border wall is an impractical pipe dream lie that I used to get elected, and that won't do jack shit to "stop drugs" and "very bad hombres" anyway.

All I care about is using my unearned power to distribute goodies to white collar criminals who will make me rich. IDGAF about anything else!

Here come some big tax cuts for the one percent! Let's just pretend I released my tax returns.

I'm the first U. S. president in history to hold rallies for myself while in power, for no other reason than to get high off my own narcissism supply. #Hitler

This tweet sounds like a ransom note. Also, I'm senile and Idk what I'm talking about. Ever. VERY SAD!

My priorities are super well aligned with what America gives a shit about. Mostly Hillary, an election that's over, FAKE NEWS, and my ginormous ego!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

I'm Crying on the Outside That My Mom has to March for Science in 2017

My mom is good at doing the science, and I for one could not be more jealous. Before she went to medical school--one of ten women in her class of 100--she was halfway to her PhD in chemistry. 

Fast forward 20 years later, and she was working and teaching at Columbia University med school. We got into many YOOGE fights when she tried to explain 7th grade algebra to me, and I just kept screaming and crying about how stupid it was that there were letters in my math homework. 

Later attempts at organic chemistry and evolutionary biology failed similarly, so I chose instead to focus on two spaces versus one space between sentences, move far away from her formidable shadow, and the rest of my academic and professional trajectory is history.

Every time I call and ask how she's doing lately, she says some version of great, you know, except for everything Donald Trump does makes me insane. So it was almost a foregone conclusion that she would attend the March for Science in DC this weekend. 

I wanted to go with her, but was stopped by the hypocrisy of consuming the fossil fuel it would take to fly 4,000 miles from Juneau to DC and hop in several Ubers along the way. I mean, I'm not Al Gore for fuck's sake.

Here are a few pics my dad texted from the march. He's a science writer, not a scientist, but he too hearts the scientific method and evidence-based science. So, why the hell not, right? 

It makes me sad that my mom has to do this in 2017. That we have taken such a dangerous intellectual leap backward with the election of a quasi-senile climate change denier who can't spell and doesn't even know what uranium is. It's deeply depressing, to be sure.

Admittedly, it's science that got us into this pickle. Without science, we wouldn't have the internet, and without the internet, we wouldn't have Trump. Likewise, without science, we wouldn't have bombs and Exxon, and without those things, we wouldn't have our quality of life and yet seriously be considering trying to inhabit Mars when earth reaches the literal and figurative boiling point.

That's what makes science such a dangerous but essential tool for humankind. It's the thing that separates us from every other sentient species on earth. It has the capacity to divest us of our most basic limitations, and create seemingly insurmountable new ones we are then forced to reckon with.

What will a bunch of nerds marching do? Probably nothing, other than to show the world that not everyone is okay with a fact-free universe. Meanwhile it's 54 degrees in Juneau today, and my Alaska kids and their friends are complaining that the heat is excruciating. 

So here's to science, and the scientists who expand its horizons every day.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Thoughts on an Evening Walk: A Post in Pictures

Wow, literally both of Isaac's legs together in those jeans is like ONE of my lower legs. God what is wrong with me? Will I never get over my stupid body image issues? What kind of example am I setting for Paige? Ugh. I am so ashamed . . .

Ah, here's a nice view. Gee I wonder when the first cruise ship is coming. Wow, I'm not sure I'm 100% ready for that to happen yet. Hold up. Am I allowed to admit that?

Oh look! A crocus! (I think)? The first sign of spring! Wait should they be putting their faces right there? I'm almost positive there's dog shit somewhere around here. What if they get it in their hair? That's the end of this little perambulation.

Wait WHAT? This exists? Wow. Wow. Wowowowowoowowow. We are even more fucked than I thought.

Um, okay. This is reeeeeaaaaly pushing it. How does a guitar tuning ap think it is possibly going to make a difference for Earth Day by telling people to play "the best environmental songs" for their friends and family? Pete Seeger is dead, I think Joni Mitchell might be in assisted living, and Trump is President. Buckle up, buttercups. Because--and I say this with the utmost love and solidarity--it's gonna be a looooooong, bumpy ride for the "If I Had a Hammer" crowd.

Today--and Only Today!--I Shall Embrace Self Care by Walking up the Stairs at Work Instead of Using the Elevator

Have you heard of “self-care?” No? Well let me to drop some science on you.

ICYMI, self-care is like, a supes big deal right now. Technically, "self-care” is old AF, having started back in the polyester plaid bell-bottom/wood-paneled station wagon olden times as a way to drive down health care costs by promoting the consumption of grapefruits and the lifting of dumbbells with Jane Fonda.

Today, self-care is to the lifestyle industrial complex what the Macarena was to your aunts dancing at a bar mitvah in the early 90s. Self-care is the new me-time, but it’s more “Namaste and juice cleanse” than “mani-pedi and Unicorn Frappucino to cure a hangover in Vegas,” is the sense I am getting from the Googles.

Additionally, ever since America shot itself in the face by electing a demented, jowly Creamsicle with a boner for bombin' to the most powerful job on earth, self-care has become increasingly important for women, minorities, LGBTQ peeps, and other leftist libtard snowflakes who can no longer count (if they ever could) on a $75 pap smear and a safe space from Nazis.

That’s why I took a break from dreaming up plots for a new genre of Trump-demise erotic fan fic by walking up the six flights of stairs in my office today, and only today. 

I want to say that I will do this on Monday, but that would be an aspiration at best and an empty, bald-faced lie at worst. I want to say I will be like this one dude who works down the hall from me and does this EVERY DAY, and somehow is not out of breath and has a legit smile on his face every time he comes out of the stairwell and seems to always be in a really good mood.

But I will not be like that one dude, and it's pointless to pretend otherwise. 

Today I parked in the garage and walked up many stairs, to the street level, and then I walked up six flights of stairs and back down again. I did not count the number of stairs this was, and I don't have a special wrist monitor to tell me. But I'm confident that this was a yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooge accomplishment in self-care. 

Just look at the poster in the stairwell. It’s like THEY KNOW ME. The Mysterious Big Brother who wants me to Self-Care--which I'll have you know is NOT just a euphemism for masturbation after all--is telling me to "be invigorated," and I AM!

At each floor, there is one of these posters that speaks fitspiration to the Stair-Walkers, which sounds like a Stephen King novel but is actually what we call ourselves. 

See what I did there? I just "actually'd" you about walking up stairs, which is actually the most actually to ever actually, since I actually just started this "journey" today. (Pro tip: You can't do self-care unless you are on a "journey"). I say “we” like I am part of a “community” or a “movement” of “self-care,” which I am not. I did, however, bring a 12 ounce iced almond milk latte with an extra shot from the drive-through coffee stand along for the first literal and figurative steps on my journey toward self-care.

So that’s something, actually.

This might sound trite, but we are not actually promised tomorrow. And I am certainly not promising myself that I will ever walk up this staircase again, much less tomorrow. But for today, at least, I consider myself duly cared for.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Prayer for My Alaskan Daughter, with Apologies to Tina Fey

Tina Fey is one of my writing idols, and I love her "prayer for a daughter." I was speaking with a friend recently, and felt inspired to do an Alaska-based parody of it, since the prayers of an Alaska mom might differ a little from mothers in other parts of the country or world.

First, Lord: No Commercial Crab Fishing. I know it's badass. But may neither a lucrative crew gig nor the Discovery Channel beckon her to the deadly, frigid waters of the Bering Sea or worse, the seedy dive bars of Dutch Harbor.

May she be Adventurous but not Stupid or Unlucky, for it is Stupidity and Bad Luck, combined, that will make her the subject of an Alaska State Trooper aerial search and rescue operation, and subsequent articles in the Alaska Dispatch News.

When the black market prescription Opioids are offered, May she remember the parents who bundled her up in five layers of fleece, put her in a backpack, and took her cross-country skiing next to a glacier, and stick with one can of Alaskan Amber.

Guide her, protect her
When skiing, walking on ice, stepping onto boats, stepping off of boats, hiking in the woods, riding in small planes piloted by amateurs and professionals alike, surprising a cow moose and calf, trail running in the mountains, taking the garbage out in early spring when the bears first emerge from hibernation, looking for the Into the Wild bus like a fucking moron, biking in Denali, working at a drive-through Espresso stand alone late at night, driving to Girdwood on the Seward Highway in winter, handling firearms, crossing the intersection of Tudor and Lake Otis as a pedestrian, sleeping over at that friend's house with the creepy older brother, kayaking in the Brooks Range before all the shelf ice has even melted, and most of all getting into the cab of a pick-up truck with a drunk high school linebacker named Taylor, Austin, or Dakota behind the wheel.

Lead her away from Juneau so she can function on the Outside if she must, but not all the way to Silicon Valley where she will come under the influence of insufferable Stanford hipster tech bros working for a wifi-enabled juicer startup. 

But Lord, at the same time do not lead her back to the Capitol Building only to become a perky indentured servant to some mediocre, self-satisfied douchebag who spends 120 days plotting how to get into her pants when he isn't busy making bad decisions for the rest of us.

May she play the upright bass in a bluegrass band, but not long enough to have the banjo player’s baby before she’s ready, thereby derailing her future plans to go to medical school (with a scholarship) in Seattle or become an artist.

Grant her the patience and charm to sell enough rice krispy treats and raffle tickets to travel to Washington, DC or better yet London with her eighth grade social studies class, for leaving Alaska is very expensive, and I don’t feel like taking her to either of those places anytime soon.

O Lord, give her the common sense and sound judgment not to text naked pictures of herself to anyone, because that shit comes back to haunt you as revenge porn, and you will forever be known in your small Alaskan town as that-girl-who-Snapchatted-her-titties-for-the-yearbook-senior-year.

And when her on-again/off-again boyfriend tells her not to bother applying to college because he will miss her too much and who needs college anyway, give me the strength, Lord, not to call his mother and sound like a snob by telling her I didn’t start a 529 so I could blow its contents on a shotgun wedding on the beach, ya know!

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, heed her prayer, Lord, that she shared with me when she was nine, which was that she wanted to adopt a baby because there are too many babies in the world without loving homes, and she “does not want to be involved with any type of man.” 

Those were her exact words, Lord, I FUCKING SWEAR to You, pardon my French.

Remind her of those words, Lord, and do not let her forget. For while biological grandchildren would be nice, "not being involved with any type of man" is actually a pretty good idea a lot of the time, let's be honest.


Serena Williams Won the Australian Open While Eight Weeks Pregnant andI am DONE.

It doesn’t pay to make invidious comparisons to anyone in this life, much less elite world-class athletes. 

But when I read that Serena Williams won the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant, I couldn’t help but just be totally done with life. For who among us has NOT won a major professional sports title while lending our uterus to another human being, rent-free, for nine months?

At the risk of alienating my non-uterus-owning readers who have publicly burned O.H.M. for (and I’m paraphrasing here) belaboring the theme of “eating Fritos Bean Dip while on the couch making fun of Gwyneth Paltrow,” I’m fixing to do a little compare-and-contrast that’s admittedly somewhere along these lines.

Every pregnancy is different, every woman has different abilities and experiences, yada yada. Okay, granted. 


Anyone who has ever been eight weeks pregnant knows why winning the biggest tennis tournament in the southern hemisphere is a superhuman marvel in said condition, because no matter who you are, if you’re eight weeks pregnant your body is under hostile takeover by an evil, foreign fetal host parasite who is literally leeching off your very life force.

I don’t mean to brag, but here’s what my average day looked like then: 
  • Wake up after tossing and turning all night during weird dream about tsunamis.
  • Smell a banana and vomit.
  • Examine prominent new veins all over body.
  • Try to take shit, fail.
  • Listen to NPR story about somebody’s grandpa. Cry inconsolably.
  • Squeeze titties into bra, go to work with quad-boob.
  • Place head on desk and pass out in small puddle of own drool while on conference call.
  • Come to and drive to Fred Meyer.
  • Help self to a pint of mixed olives from olive bar, eat several before paying.
  • Pee for seventh time in an hour, panic about blood streak on toilet paper.
  • Call doctor.
  • Google miscarriages.
  • Go to doctor and get sonogram, resume Googling “coffee during pregnancy.”
  • Smell somebody’s turkey sandwich from Subway, specifically the bread. Vomit again.
  • Eat aforementioned pint of mixed olives.
  • Go to sleep for the night at 6:30 p.m.
Again—and I speak strictly from my own experience here—I felt like Sigourney Weaver in Alien when I was eight weeks pregnant (both times), and I wouldn’t have been able to toss a tennis ball up in the air and catch it again from a prone position.

So yeah, Serena won the Australian Open amid stiff competition, while in what is arguably the worst possible part of pregnancy (also amid stiff competition).

But I ate a bucket of olives, so.