Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Covfefe is the New Dayenu

If He had never run for Student Council, much less President of the United States, Covfefe!

If He had executed justice upon Jared Kushner, Covfefe!

If He had executed justice upon Michaels Flynn and Cohen, Covfefe!

If He had never changed his last name from “Drumpf,” Covfefe!

If He had given unto us even one iota of sane and productive governance, Covfefe!

If He had tweeted in all caps at 3:00 a.m. a little bit less frequently and alarmingly, Covfefe!

If He had created for us even a single JOB JOB JOB!, Covfefe!

If He was less orange, scowly, and repellent to women and children, Covfefe!

If He had not grabbed anyone's pussy, Covfefe!

If He had dismantled fewer federal agencies, Covfefe!

If He had not enabled and condoned white supremacy, Covfefe!

If He hadn’t humiliated America at home and abroad, Covfefe!

If He had cared less about ratings and more about climate change, Covfefe!

If he had brought us into the land of taco trucks on every corner, Covfefe!

If he never promised to build that stupid wall, Covfefe!

20 Possible Meanings of Covfefe

I'm the last person to shy away from a presidential challenge, so here goes:

1. A coffee-scented queef.

2. The sound the Antarctic ice shelf makes as it melts and breaks apart.

3. Donald Trump’s “safe word” for “pulling out” of international agreements.

4. The PIN code to the nuclear arsenal.

5. The secret spice in Liar Spice’s lyin’ sauce.

6. An as-yet undiscovered and priceless mineral buried in the hills of West Virginia that will bring back JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!

7. The last name of Jared Kushner’s soon-to-be prison boyfriend.

8. A rare virus related to Ebola that is not covered under Trump Care.

9. Trump’s 2020 campaign slogan: MAKE AMERICA #COVFEFE AGAIN.

10. The title of a new weekly feature on Breitbart.

11. Seth Rich’s last word, according to Sean Hannity.

12. The secret code name for Russiagate’s version of “Deep Throat.”

13. A new number mathematicians invented to describe the size of Trump’s crowds when a “googolplex” was too small.

14. A special coffee drink available only in the Goldman Sachs cafeteria and that comes in two sizes: BIGLY and YOOGE.

15. The working name for Trump’s new American propaganda TV Network.

16. The last word Trump typed into his phone before his 1,000th undiagnosed mini-stroke.

17. Carter Page’s middle name.

18. The word Trump’s unsecured Android auto-corrects to every time he types “FAKE NEWS!”

19. Proof that Trump deserves a debut in Us Magazine’s “Presidents: They’re Just Like Us!” feature.

20. The hashtag that, in hindsight, will have broken a presidency and all of twitter.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Is This a Joke?! I Fucking Hope Not, Because I Desperately Need to Watch This Trial

My dudes. I am so fucking confused right now. I work in a courthouse, and came into the basement level back entrance this morning to find this:

In case it's hard to tell from the pic, this is an upside down busted office chair with 20 identical, different sized cut-outs of Nicolas Cage's crazy-eyes face, along with six evidence marker cards. The whole thing is cordoned off by masking tape, and a sign above the wall says simply:


This can only be one of two things: (1) an epic trolling of everyone who works in the Dimond Courthouse Building in Juneau; or (2) literally the best lawsuit/case ever brought before Alaska's judiciary.

Personally, I'm rooting for the latter.

In "researching" this post, I went down a Nic Cage Internet meme rabbit hole so deep it almost touched the earth's core, and yet I was still unable to identify what, if any, specific Nic Cage movie this pic was from. Ultimately, I was forced to conclude it was an outtake from a photo shoot. I had hoped that linking this pic to a movie would somehow reveal a motive for the "crime(?)" in which this . . . um . . . thing is "evidence," and yet hours of web surfing and scrutinizing only left me with more questions.

Finally, I decided I may never know the truth, and since we live in the era of fake news and living one's own truth, I'm going to just make up the employment harassment case for which I can only hope this is an exhibit, along with a pretend part of the transcript on cross-examination of the named defendant in Smith v. Jones

Here's a fake news excerpt of exactly that:

PLAINTIFF SMITH'S LAWYER: Tell me, Mr. Jones. Why did you destroy Mr. Smith's office chair, turn it upside down, and put 20 little cut out pictures of Nicolas Cage's face all over it?

DEFENDANT JONES: Why did your paralegal only mark six of them with evidence ID cards?

PLAINTIFF SMITH'S LAWYER: I'll ask the questions here! 

COURT: Answer the question, Mr. Jones.

DEFENDANT JONES: [Sighing] Well, I'm a huge Face/Off fan, and Dave--sorry, Mr. Smith--and I got into a debate--well truthfully it was more of an argument--over whose turn it was to complete the quarterly spreadsheets, and then somehow that turned into a fight over whether Nic Cage was better in Raising Arizona or The Vampire's Kiss, and I said no, actually, he was better than both in On Frozen Ground--because that took place in Alaska of course--and before you knew it, his chair just got smashed . . .

PLAINTIFF SMITH'S LAWYER: And isn't it true that, in fact, Nic Cage's tour de force was actually Leaving Las Vegas?

DEFENDANT JONES' LAWYER: Objection your honor, calls for speculation.

COURT: Overruled, but you've been warned, counsel. Please limit this line of questioning to Mr. Cage's chemistry with Cher in Moonstruck. You may answer the question, Mr. Jones.

DEFENDANT JONES: Well, Leaving Las Vegas was good, but I actually think Bad Lieutenant was a sleeper and -- wait a minute, aren't we getting off topic here? I thought this was about the chair and the argument with Dave?

PLAINTIFF SMITH'S LAWYER: All I want is the truth, Mr. Jones.


PLAINTIFF SMITH'S LAWYER: Your honor, please direct the witness to avoid any discussion of Jack Nicholson or Tom Cruise. This testimony was precluded in pretrial discovery, and in any event this case is about Nicolas Cage.

COURT: Mr. Jones, please refrain from quoting A Few Good Men in my courtroom.

PLAINTIFF SMITH'S LAWYER: Your honor, I'd like to move to admit Plaintiff's Exhibit A, this broken chair with a zillion pictures of Nic Cage on it.

COURT: Any objection?

DEFENDANT JONES' LAWYER: None, your honor.

COURT: Plaintiff's' Exhibit A, broken office chair with 20 pieces of Nic Cage's face cordoned off by masking tape is admitted into evidence.

Monday, May 29, 2017

I Will Never be Cool Enough to Own a Boat

It's as simple as that, fam. And a sunny Memorial Day Weekend in Juneau lets you KNOW THAT SHIT.

Know'm sayin'?

Owning a boat in Southeast Alaska is definitely the ultimate statement of coolness. Like, you'll totes never be fully cool if you don't own a boat.

A boat says, "I know what dafuq I'm doing out here in these streets. Or, um, channels, as it were."

A boat says, "I can afford this vessel, either by virtue of my able commercial fishing career, or as a toy paid with from the proceeds of my lucrative Tier 1 state job or real estate brokerage firm."

A boat says, "I took a Coast Guard class, or better yet, I TAUGHT it, and I know the location of every barnacle and the name of every rock and gully in this bitch."

And a boat that doubles as your house is the ULTIMATE FUCKING COOL because it says all of the above PLUS, "I don't need the trappings of terra firma and the workaday rat race ties that anchor all these other schlubs to dry land. I'm too cool for that, and I know how to tie 800 different knots."

A boat says, "I will be going places tomorrow that you can only dream of, because you are chained to the earth by your lack of skill, know-how, nausea, and/or money, but mostly lack of skill and know-how. In fact, I'm not even reading this because I'm out of cell range ON MAH BOAT MOTHA FUCHAAAAAAZZ!!"

don't own a boat, and probably never will. Hence I will never be Southeast Alaska cool. Sure I can wear my Aurora Projekt trucker hat and Trickster leggings with Xtra Tuffs, but everyone knows I'm a non boat-owning poser.

I'm okay with that though. I don't trust myself or anyone else in my family with something as dangerous and expensive as a boat.

A boat is kind of like the Cabbage Patch Kid of Southeast Alaskan adulthood. Everyone wants one, everyone wants to play with one, and not everyone has one. And you know who the have and have-nots of boating are, just as surely as I knew Marissa Fine had six Cabbage Patch dolls in first grade.

The worst is that non boat-owning boat etiquette. That vibe when a sunny day comes around, and you're like, "Uh oh, I have Juneau FOMO. Is someone gonna invite us on their boat? Wait, we don't deserve to be invited on someone's boat." I don't want that beholden boat-charity feeling. People hate boat moochers!  Even, probably, when they pay for gas, as you always must do if you're on someone else's boat.

The whole fucking thing is just too much neuroses for me. The neuroses of boat ownership run deep for a born and raised  New Yorker like me. But I know how to stay in my (non-shipping) lane. 

And really? Learning how to stay in your own lane is waaaay more important than knowing how to use a VHF radio, let's be honest.

We All Died from Your Arms Tonight

Oh we, we all died from your arms tonight
It must have been something you tweeted

We all died from your arms tonight
We keep looking for stupid shit in that thread.

Your broken promises lie all around us
And we don't see an easy way to get out of this
Your unsecured Android sits on the bedside table
The mushroom cloud is close, you're completely unstable
Who would've thought that a clown like you could come to this?

Oh we, we all died from your arms tonight
It must have been something you tweeted 
We all died from your arms tonight
Oh we, we all died from your arms tonight
It must have been some kind of tweet 

We should have voted a different way, we should have voted a different away

Is there any just cause for doing this?
On the surface you're on Kim-Jong Un's shit list 

You try to be discreet but then blow it again
You're lost and found, it's your final mistake
You're governing by proxy, no give and all take
'Cos you've been thrilled to nuclear fantasy one too many times
Oh we, we all died from your arms tonight
It must've been something you tweeted 
We all died from your arms tonight
It must've been some kind of tweet
We should have voted a different way, we should have voted a different way.

It was a long hot night
Twitter made it easy, your 30M followers made it feel right
But now it's over, the nuclear holocaust has come
You followed your tiny hands not your orange head, you don't know right from wrong.
Oh we, we all died from your arms
Oh we, we all died from your arms

Sunday, May 28, 2017

White. Terror. Is. Real.

Say it with me, fam. White terror is real. White. Terror. Is. Real. 

Moreover, at least in America, white terrorism kicks all other types of terrorism's ass. That's one thing you can say for white supremacists. They are supremely CRUSHING IT at domestic terrorism. 

You know how to Google, and can do your own research, so I don't need to regurgitate the stats on this. But it's incumbent on white people, especially Caucasian Jews (of which I am one) to call this out. 

Caucasian Jews "pass" as white, but are considered an "inferior race" by white supremacists. They have historically been victims of white supremacist genocide, and remain prime targets of white supremacists in America today. 

So I feel an obligation to own my heritage and use my white-passing privilege to speak out against white terrorism and white supremacy.

I will start by offering my deepest condolences to the friends and families of Rick Best, military veteran and father of four, and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, a recent college graduate. These two men were both stabbed to death this weekend by a fellow white male for defending Muslim teen girls from racist abuse on a Portland, OR train.

You can't count on your worthless, selfish, POS President to offer words of support, and you certainly won't find him acknowledging his not-very-indirect role in your murders. He's too busy congratulating himself on Twitter for nothing.

But the rest of America--the real and already great America--sees what you did, and you did not die in vain. You leveraged your white male privilege in the bravest, most honorable possible way. You sacrificed your lives on Memorial Day Weekend for the true patriotic values of this country, just as surely as if that train car had been a battlefield.

It's now up to the rest of us to carry your light forward, acknowledge the dangerous existence of white supremacist terror, and banish it from America forever.

UPDATE: I wrote this post without realizing and before I heard that Taliesin is the brother of a friend and fellow member of our Juneau community. As if this could get more heartbreaking.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

I Simply Cannot Listen to My Daughter Sing Beyoncé

This is a harsh self-own, so I'm just going to come right out with it. I can't listen to Paige "sing" one more "note" of Beyoncé. 

It's fucking killing me, my dudes.

Yes, I know she can read (much better than she can sing, fortch), and in theory she could read this post tomorrow. But she doesn't have a phone or ready access to the Internet, and she won't for several more years if I have anything to say about it. (And I do).

Even if Paige finds out tomorrow that I can't stand the sound of her singing Beyoncé, I'm okay with that, because I'm not one of those mothers who just blows sunshine up my kids' asses and tells them they're great at everything and can do anything.

They're not, and they can't, and if it's one thing I want them to know it's this: 

Everyone has their limitations, and it's best to accept yours sooner rather than later, so that you don't waste your time "chasing your dreams." Why would you chase your dreams when you could much more efficiently--and with less long term misery and more dignity--just walk in lockstep with reality?

Chasing your dreams is a fucking waste of time, m'kay?

In Paige's case, the reality is that she's probably not going to be a singer; professional, amateur, or karaoke. I don't want to say never, but I'd think the chance of Paige becoming a singer lies somewhere along the spectrum between Donald Trump becoming "presidential" and me getting a full-time gig as a Victoria's Secret Angel to pay for my Stanford medical school tuition next year.

The fact that Paige has chosen Beyoncé, of all singers, to emulate only makes the gulf between these two people's respective vocal skills seem that much more cavernous.

Like when you listen to Beyoncé sing "Halo," it sounds like an actual angel has descended from heaven, opened her mouth, and let sparkly butterflies and maple syrup-dipped sugar cookies come pouring out. 

When Paige sings "Halo," it sounds like a hummingbird who's just undergone adenoid surgery flew into a plate-glass window and is warbling for help while a leaf blower whines in the background.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, kid. You can follow your dreams if you want to, but if you dream about becoming the next Queen Bey, dollars to donuts you'll be following that dream straight off a cliff.

Friday, May 26, 2017

You Can Get Used to Anything, but It's Nice Not to Have To

They say you can get used to anything, and they're right. Only now am I letting myself exhale and really experience the extent to which the largest organ in my body has been compromised, and for how long. 

How many different things I've tried over how many years. How many medical doctors, naturopaths, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, oils, and diets I have tried. How many drugs, topical and systemic, I have been prescribed and dutifully taken.

How often I've written about living with a chronic but not life-threatening disease that quietly chips away at your quality of life, and about graciously handling well-intended unsolicited advice, allergies, and magic bullets. How much sleep I've lost to itching and how driven to the brink of sanity I have been by all of it.

How I couldn't nurse my babies for as long as I wanted, because I was bleeding from my nipples, and how the lactation consultant made me feel guilty about quitting anyway and tried to tell me some unscientific bullshit about how my kids would have eczema too if I stopped nursing. (I was nursed as a baby, so, um, no).

How I can't exercise or swim in a pool because my skin can't tolerate sweat or pool chemicals. How there are tiny blood stains on all my clothes and sheets. How the only thing that ever really helped me was a psychologist in San Francisco specializing in skin disorders, and a dilute bath with one cup of Clorox bleach to kill bacteria.

Until now. 

I knew this drug was different, because it was an entirely different category of drugs.That didn't mean it would work, of course, but I had to try. My immune system doesn't work right, but fortunately my mind does, and I have extensive research skills. I knew this was the biggest medical breakthrough for eczema in my lifetime. So I followed the clinical trials closely and I was determined to try Dupixent. 

I battled my insurance company for six weeks, enrolled with the drug company, and sent countless emails to my providers to have shipped to Alaska four syringes at $40,000 a year of mysterious, scary-looking yellow liquid.

It wasn't a steroid and it wasn't an immunosuppressant. It was a "biologic" that works differently than any other type of medicine I'd ever tried. The National Eczema Society has a good description of how Dupixent works:
Dupixent is the first biologic medication approved by the FDA for adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD). It is taken subcutaneously (by injection) at 300 mg once every other week.

Biologic drugs or “biologics” are genetically engineered from proteins derived from living cells or tissues. Biologics are designed to target specific parts of the immune system that contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis.

Biologics take an “inside out” approach to treating inflammatory conditions by addressing the issue at the immune system level, the root cause of many diseases.

Dupixent works by blocking a type of protein called an interleukin, or IL, from binding to their cell receptors. Interleukins contribute to a functioning immune system by helping to fight off viruses or bacteria in our bodies. When the immune system goes haywire, it can trigger certain ILs to mistakenly attack the body, resulting in chronic inflammatory conditions such as atopic dermatitis.

Dupixent works on two interleukins thought to contribute to atopic diseases: IL-4 and IL-13. By blocking IL-4 and IL-13 from binding to the receptors, Dupixent curbs the immune system over-reaction that results in atopic dermatitis. A calmed immune system leads to fewer and/or less severe symptoms of AD.
Ten days ago, I got my first injections of Dupixent. At first It didn't do anything, and in fact it was making things worse. I was disappointed but not at all surprised. I was flaring up on my eyelids and my neck. I had to take another bleach bath. I was worse off than I was before. Of course this was one more failed experiment, but at least now I knew.

Then about three days ago, my skin started turning a corner, and I knew it wasn't just another tenuous remission. My eczema was clearing up in places--like the seam where my earlobes meet my neck--that hadn't been free of eczema at any point in my adult life. 

The voice in my head said not to be too excited, that the next injection might cause a setback or another flareup. But I felt different enough this time to think maybe, just maybe, this was the "miracle" I had been waiting for.

It's hard to justify such drastic, remedial medical measures for a common condition like eczema. A condition most people have in one or two little spots that they can fix with lotion. 

People ask me if I've tried lotion. They wonder why I would go to such extremes. I know they mean well. I don't get angry. I know they don't understand what I've been through, and they don't know all the things I've tried to get to this place. They don't understand that living in chronic discomfort in your own skin isn't a cosmetic problem, but a medical one that's worth whatever unknown sci-fi type risks that come with tinkering with your genome.

I'm past the point of caring though. I'm more than willing to accept all of those risks if it means I can stop thinking about eczema forever.

This is me doing wet wraps during a flareup, October 2014. If you're curious, Google it, I'm too lazy to explain!

This is me after 10 days of Dupixent.

Justice is Served, and it Tastes Like Sour Milk and E.T. Bait

What ever happened to the 95% of dudebros whom I sized up--correctly I might add--as hopeless douchenozzles on the very first day of law school? 

Well, at least some of them wound up on the other side of every case I've ever litigated. Others churn out cease and desist letters for banks all day long, trying to bully little old ladies whose homes are being foreclosed on out of 28 cents.  And the rest are suing Hershey's for under-filling candy boxes

In the legal profession, candy-based class action litigation is a calling.

That's right, my fellow citizens. It should cheer you immeasurably to know that, FAKE NEWS notwithstanding, the sweet, chewy center of American justice is tasty, fresh, and currently being munched upon by a Missouri man who claims that 41% of his sour-milk tasting, freeze-dried chocolate-flavored moth balls and 29% of his E.T. bait are full of room temperature air. 

As the Washington Post story notes, "you're not killing me fast enough with the amount of garbage food I paid for" is the frontier of plaintiffs' claims, and Hershey's is just one of many companies to at last be held to account for these affronts to our economy.

Let me be clear: Not for a NANOSECOND do I doubt that Subway, Wise Potato Chips, Mike & Ike, and Barilla pasta are fleecing drive-thru America with the Fritos equivalent of that scam in the movie Office Space. The one where quietly shaving a penny off every transaction adds up to millions of dollars in the pockets of the scammers. 

At the same time, I am also glad that a-lawyer-with-even-less-self-respect-than-me is willing to fall on the sword of holding Jared Fogel's former employer to account before Noble Lady Justice.

She may be blind, but her nose works just fine, and she can smell bullshit right through its plastic wrapping. So now, as part of a class action settlement, Subway workers are required to use "a tool for measuring bread" to ensure that their foot-long and six-inch subs measure up to their names.

Based on the quote below, the lead attorney on the Subway case seems to have a sense of humor about the fact that he's not exactly defending Darwin's theory of evolution in the Scopes monkey trial or prosecuting genocide the Hague. 

"It was difficult to prove monetary damages," he quipped, because "everybody ate the evidence." Note that he says nothing about equitable damages, such as the scarring emotional distress borne of discovering that you just gobbled down one less inch of sponge bread than you paid for.

Usually in settlement agreements, there is some sort of definitions section, and I can only hope that "a tool for measuring bread" is explicitly defined as "anything but a human dick." For I have worked in food service, and know all too well that boredom, monotony, and contempt for one's lot can breed a certain insidious creativity during any given McShift.

Best of luck to the named plaintiff in the Whoppers/Reese's Pieces litigation. This is sure to be a landmark consumer protection case, and I'm certain Ralph Nader is done changing the course of history by helping to hand the presidency to war criminals and back to consulting for a tidy fee on these important matters. 

O.H.M. will be watching this litigation closely as it winds its way through the courts, and will keep you apprised of any important developments.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Photo Essay: Isaac at Kindergarten Graduation, Paige at Gastineau School Classroom Cities Day, and Franma Came to Visit!

Juneau Montessori School Kindergarten class of 2017 at Saviko Field Pavilion.

Ukulele Recital during passage (graduation) ceremony with kids and Geoff.

Isaac receiving his diploma from his teacher, Monica.

Isaac standing with his diploma, flowers from Mom, and photo album gift from school. "I'm never going to forget Ms. Monica," he said.

"I feel happy and sad. Happy because I'm graduating, and sad because I won't get to see all my friends everyday." He cried looking through the photo album of his six years at JMS that his teachers and staff made for him.

My sweet little empath recovering with a reception at the school in the "gross motor room" afterwards.

"One last swing on the playground, Mom."

Then it was over to Paige's third grade classroom at Gastineau Community School for "Classroom Cities." The class did an entire city simulation with a bank, shops, a mayor, a park, businesses, and more. Paige started a tattoo business. "Call, well don't call I don't have a phone. But contact Paige."

Thanks to the always generous and kind (in my experience) Alaska Airlines, Franma made her very tight connecting flight to Juneau without a second to spare! (Grandpa, a.k.a. Baba Nicky, arrives tomorrow).

We went to pick up Franma, and it was a boring wait. Isaac proclaimed it "the longest ten minutes of my [his] life." But it was worth it!

Franma got me my favorite gift; the one she always gets for me: salty socks!

Ending the day with Seong's and froyo with friends.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Alaska is Kind of a Clusterfuck in Summer

I mean, I won't argue the point so let me head this one off at the pass. Tourism is the lifeblood of Alaska's economy, especially now, and we should all genuflect before Princess Cruise Lines and the tourism industry that lines our pockets with the proceeds of tanzanite necklaces, chocolate moose droppings, and Ulu knives. After all, without all of that, we'd probably be a blighted resource colony; raped, pillaged, and culturally genocided into obsolescence by Big Oil, Big Mining, and Big Dicks who are long gone back to Texas or Arizona.

Fine. FINE FINE FINE FINE FINE. We can be upfront and honest about all of that.

But we can also admit--can we not--that Alaska is an unmitigated clusterfuck to end all clusterfucks from May to September?

Because it is.

When the tundra sets ablaze with color, and termination dust settles quietly over the mountain ranges, when we get our skis out of storage and begin to take stock of our wood supply, it's easy to forget. 

It's easy to forget that not two short weeks ago, every glacier on the road system was melting even faster than usual from human body heat, the sound of helicopters and float planes made the Last Frontier sound more like the Viet Cong, and you couldn't get a seat in a brew pub--even a shitty one--after 5:00 p.m. to save your goddamned fucking life.  

When you're on your way to Seattle for medical care, you'd better build in extra time for a practice mammogram delivered by TSA first, because there are fishing poles and walking sticks and brand-spanking new trail shoes that have to get re-run through that belt. And when you come back home, whatever you do, don't make eye contact with anyone holding a laminated placard. 

You're not looking for them, and they're not looking for you. 

But Alaska is amazing, and usually worth the hype. You wouldn't live here if it weren't. And you can acknowledge that, while also acknowledging that you need to take a deep breath and mentally and logistically prepare for reality. 

The sometimes harsh reality that Alaska is kind of a huge clusterfuck in summer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Perfect Girlhood

Is there such a thing as a perfect girlhood? For my sake, I hope there is. For yours, I know that's impossible, and that disappointment is good, necessary, and inevitable. 

Yet . . . I still want a track record of 100% perfect happiness for you. Is that too much to ask?

Of course it is. I know that, even if you don't. You're almost 10 and approaching the second half of your girlhood. That most vulnerable part. The part where the instincts of confidence and self-preservation that have defined you up until now subjected to the slings and arrows of The World.


Not "The World," capital T, capital W. Anything but that. I want to SAVE you from The World. MAYDAY! SOS! Here comes the fucking WORLD.

I want to vacuum seal your healthy self esteem in a jar, and put it on a shelf forever with one of those airline "FRAGILE" stickers on it. I've worked too hard to help you cultivate its contents for the better part of a decade, and I want that jar to be shatterproof. 

I want to place it far out of reach of mean boys who would call you fat or ugly or violate you or mistreat you emotionally or physically. 

I want to hide it away from academic and athletic rejection and failure. 

I want to shelter it from other girls who would cannibalize your spirit and chip away at your sense of self. But remember--and this is important: they are fragile and vulnerable, too. They are your sisters on this journey. Do not forget that.


I wish you could skip that whole part. The part that's barreling down on you like a freight train right now. The part of girlhood where the gathering storm of adolescence and young womanhood thrashes your soul against a jagged reef.

No one gets out of The World alive, we all know that. Even you. But in the meantime, will you be able to do the things you set out to do and embrace setbacks as new challenges and opportunities?

Only you can decide that. 

I can't give you a perfect girlhood, even though I wish I could. All I can do is act as a counterweight against The World; give you safe harbor; whisper in your ear to be confident, fearless, to love yourself first. And, if you want to, become a rocket scientist or go to culinary school like you told me the other day you wanted to do.

I can't give you a perfect girlhood, and maybe that's a good thing. All I can do is try to give you the tools to make a happy girlhood for yourself.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Is This Really Necessary? No, Really, Honestly. Is It?

This is a serious question, because I'm legitimately fascinated by the mentality of someone who puts the stars and bars on the front grill of their truck in Juneau, Alaska (or really anywhere), in 2017. 

Let's unpack this a bit without judgment, because it's actually pretty interesting, at least to me. 

First, a few neutral (if vastly over-simplified) important historical facts:

1. This flag is one of several official flags of the Confederate States of America.

2. The Confederacy existed from 1861-1865.

3. The Confederacy was a self-proclaimed nation of 11 secessionist slave-holding states that relied on a labor economy of black slaves. The Union considered the Confederacy illegitimate.

4. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861 with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

5. The Confederacy fought the Civil War because it wanted to maintain a system of slavery, primarily for agricultural economic reasons.

6. The Confederacy lost the Civil War in 1865, and slavery was abolished and made unconstitutional that same year.

7. Today, all the previously Confederate states are part of the Union and there is no legal or constitutional difference between them and the rest of the United States.

So that's the historical backdrop. 

As I see it, there are a few options--none of them mutually exclusive--for why you would choose to fly a confederate flag in 2017, ranging from innocently ignorant to intentionally bigoted:

1. You're just a big Dukes of Hazard fan and one hundred percent ignorant of history.

2. You're from the south and consider the confederate flag part of your "heritage" and feel entitled to "honor" it, regardless of its connotations, implications, or impact on others.

3. You lack empathy for victims of slavery and/or like to provoke anger and controversy.

4. You think slavery was a good thing and should never have been abolished.

5. You don't realize that the south lost the Civil War and that the Confederacy were traitors to the country in the most literal sense of the word.

6. You're a big macho "patriot" and don't think people should be slaves, but yet you also don't think it's a problem to display a symbol of treason, losing traitors, and slavery, all of which could not be less patriotic.

7. You fail to see the logical fallacy in #6.

8. You just think it looks cool and badass and don't know, think, and/or care about the rest.

9. You don't know, think, or care about any of those negative historical connotations, so that means no one else will (or should) either.

10. You lack intellectual curiosity and empathy (in general).

11. You're legally entitled to/can do something, so that means you should, no matter what.

This is all I can come up with. But the one unifying feature is this: if you feel the need to display a confederate flag in public in 2017, you have a lot of critical thinking and self-examination to do.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

If You Thought Your Marriage or Divorce Was Bad . . .

Then this is the post for you. I guarantee you that as acrimonious and miserable as your marriage or divorce is or was, you probably never divvied up Beanie Babies in open court, under the eagle-eyed supervision of a judge.

Recently my dad suggested I was "unambitious" for having zero interest in ever becoming a judge. I explained to him that I didn't want to work alone in a windowless room, listening to grown adults fight over who gets to keep a set of power tools, and then promptly sent him this picture.

Real life courtroom drama is, sadly, less Law and Order and more Honey Boo-Boo.

Chances are this photo will make you feel better about yourself, regardless of the state of your union. Even if you're happily married, you're still likely fighting about the same three things every day: (1) who works harder/does more; (2) who gets less sleep; and (3) where the fuck all your money goes each month. If you're unhappily married, you're probably fighting about the exact same three things, except ten times as often and with more yelling and even less sex, if that's possible.

If you're divorced, you're probably just relieved you don't have to see your ex's dirty socks or listen to their snoring anymore. You'd likely let them have every Beanie Baby ever manufactured if it meant you only had to speak to them when absolutely necessary for co-parenting reasons, and then only after three glasses of wine or several beers so you don't say something you later regret and that can be used against you in a court of law.

Awkward Family Photos is a highly recommended follow on Insta. It's like a daily affirmation that as lame and stupid as you are or feel, someone out there is even lamer and stupider than you.

Certainly, by the time you're consuming judicial resources to help you DIVIDE FUCKING BEANIE BABIES, it's game over. At that point, once you finish separating Ariel the Bear from Dippy the Bunny (yes, those are real Beanie Babies, look it up), you should walk into a lake with stones in your pockets ala Virginia Woolf.  

But you have never needed judicial intervention for Beanie Babies, and you never would, which is why you feel really good about yourself right now.

You're welcome. 

P.S. On the remote chance that you have needed judicial intervention for Beanie Baby division, I'm sorry. "People Who Fought in Open Court Over Beanie Babies" will just have to join the looooong list of people I have offended with this blog.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Easy Decisions

I can be indecisive about a lot of things, but some decisions--particularly parenting decisions--are easy. 

For instance:  This morning's decision to delete the app "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" (and all of its data), whatever that consists of. Through the ether of cloud computing, Kim Kardashian ended up on my iPhone, courtesy of Paige downloading her million dollar bootie on a linked device. 

Don't ask me how Paige found "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" or what the app is or does. I don't want to know. I just want to pretend it never happened. But not before I confronted Paige about it, and she insisted it was "like a girl dress-up game." "I don't like that," I scowled. "It sends a bad message."

That's how I feel about sharting. Sharting sends a bad message too, and you want to pretend it never happened.

Both my kids went to a Montessori toddler preschool that I loved because it emphasized independence in everything, including toileting. That part I didn't love. The staff of this school was not just willing--but quite insistent--on doing something I refused to do myself: put my kids in cult-issue tighty whities and let them piss and shit themselves until they magically figured out how to control their excretory functions. 

It doesn't sound like fun, does it? It wasn't.  

Not surprisingly, every kid participating in this grand pedagogical experiment shat their undies on the reg, and the undies would come home in a little tied-up plastic bag to be washed. 

The shit-bag would stare out at me from Paige or Isaac's hook, silently reporting on my child's toileting progress while daring me to touch the results. I wouldn't. I couldn't. I would take that bag, underwear and all, and stick it right into the giant dumpster in my garage. 

I know it sucked for the planet and I'm not the least bit proud of myself, but I simply was not fucking around with scrubbing shit out of underwear. This would have to be my ecological sin, and I would pay my penance to save the planet. But I was not putting any elbow grease into saving those undies.

Fortunately, when you're older and (hopefully) toilet trained, you hardly ever shit in your undies unless you make a really bad call on a fart. Like you're at that moment of "what's gonna happen here," and decide to roll the dice and BAM. Shart. That's an easy decision that quickly turns into a terrible decision. I did this when I was checking my bar exam results to see if I passed. Twice. You'd think after New York, I would've learned to evacuate my bowels before checking bar exam results, yet I didn't fare any better with Alaska.

This was my long-winded way of saying: "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the shart of apps, and deleting it from my phone after lecturing Paige about internalized misogyny was pretty satisfying.