Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Thanksgiving Refrigerator Conundrum

Thanksgiving evening my husband went to bed early while I stayed up to do some writing. While I was writing I heard a noise in the kitchen and, upon investigation, found that our refrigerator had died. It has been on its last legs for a while so this wasn't surprising, and because Black Friday sales were going on and promised free next day delivery I went downstairs and shook my husband awake.

"Honey, wake up!"

"What is it, hon?"

"Our fridge just died. Are you okay with me buying a new one online and having it delivered tomorrow?"

"Yeah, that is a good idea."

"Okay, thanks. Go back to sleep. Goodnight babe!"

After confirming the purchase with him I went and measured our refrigerator and then purchased the most affordable one available online and arranged for next day delivery. Patting myself on the back for solving this problem in literally just a few minutes, I mentally leveled-up my Adultness and headed down to bed.

The next morning, however, I was awakened by a firm shake and my husband's angry voice, asking me why I felt the need to buy a refrigerator without consulting him, especially since our current refrigerator seemed to be working just fine. Confused, I sat up and explained the conversation I'd had with him the night before, after which he burst out laughing and explained that he didn't remember a single word I'd said because he wasn't really awake when we had spoken. After we had a good laugh I stopped and said, "Wait, our refrigerator works again?"

Yep, apparently our refrigerator came back from beyond the grave (and is possibly now being worshiped by the other household appliances) and we don't actually need a replacement at all.

Yeah...that was a fun call to make to the customer service people. "Why do you want to cancel your order?"

"Well, let me explain..."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sam Loves New York - FREE through 11/24!

Great news! For the next 5 days my children's book is free to download on the Kindle. Please take advantage of this awesome offer by clicking the link below and download a copy of the book to read to your won't regret it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Stop Saying Everyone Is Racist, Please

Donald Trump won the election yesterday and is officially going to be the next president of the United States. But even though this is a tragedy, a Trump presidency isn't the worst thing that has come from this election. The worst part of this entire ordeal is the blanket accusations of racism and sexism being thrown about by ardent Hillary Clinton supporters, as though anyone who could ever have a problem with the idea of her being our president could only have come to that conclusion because they are bad people.

This started more than a year ago during the primary, where HRC and her entourage were quick to create a "Bernie Bro" label for anyone who supported Senator Sanders for President. They designed an image of a straight, white, rowdy frat boy who hated women and painted everyone on Team Sanders with it, whether they were a 22-year-old white guy or a 65-year-old woman of color. Any mention of Hillary's vote for the Iraq war or her votes against LGBT marriage and equality until 2013 were brushed aside as excuses for misogyny. Bernie Sanders talking about her taking millions of dollars from the oil and gas companies was spun as an attack and he was told to tone it down, despite the fact that Clinton was the biggest recipient of oil and gas money of anyone involved in the election. Any mention of anything negative about Clinton was deftly spun as a hatred of her because of her gender, no matter how accurate the statement might have been.

Then, after winning the primary, Clinton began her campaign of "I'm Not Trump!" and started slinging mud at his supporters. They were racists. They were deplorables. They were nuts to support anyone other than her. When they responded that their towns had no more jobs because they had all been taken by NAFTA they were told not to worry, because that was better than voting for Trump. When they said that they didn't want a corporate politician who was going to let the gas companies build pipelines through their towns they were told not wanting to die in an explosion or deal with daily earthquakes from fracking made them racist. When they said that the recession of 2008 had gutted the few employment options available to them and that all of the economic growth went to the people at the top they were told that didn't matter because they now had the opportunity to vote for a woman and not voting for her would be sexism.

Obviously, her strategy of telling us that anyone who doesn't support her is an awful person didn't work. But just because Hillary Clinton lost doesn't mean that the liberals and progressives of our country also have to lose. We can move forward and fix the biggest problems in our nation. We can address inequality and climate change and all of the important things united together, but we can't do that if we don't look at why the Democrats lost this election. They lost because they refused to address any of the problems the people in our nation are dealing with, instead opting to try and shame everyone into voting blue. Let's move forward and try to create a political environment where we listen to each other instead of trying to shame one another into doing what we think is right.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Nuts To This Election

Two days ago I stopped being able to taste food. I mean, it had a flavor and everything, but my mouth and brain were no longer capable of sensing anything from it. My favorite foods no longer gave me any joy and foods I don't particularly like no longer had any appeal at all, not even when I was really hungry and would normally eat anything.

After thinking about it for a bit I realized that the stress of living with this election garbage had stolen my ability to taste things. I was so stressed out that I lost one-fifth of my senses. Sweet, buttery fuck, how did I let it get that bad?

So last night I quit the stress. I watched three hours of Russell Howard stand-up comedy and read hilarious Buzzfeed lists about nothing in particular. It was wonderful! Today, much like Stella and her groove, I got my sense of taste back. We went out to a wonderful restaurant with about 50 different flavor combinations and I enjoyed every bite.

Our political system is so broken it is actually breaking people. I hope we find our way back to where we need to be before 2020, but until then YouTube comedy and taking a moment to breathe are going to be the way I manage to get through life. Come join me, won't you?

Friday, November 4, 2016


A few years ago I took the second most memorable nap of my life. This was pre-parenthood, so naps were a thing that still existed in my world and since I suffer from insomnia I'm never one to turn down sleep when the opportunity presents itself.

I put on my most comfy jammies, fluffed up the pillows, and climbed under the blankets. The room was a nice, cool temperature. Everything was quiet. It was perfect. I drifted off into a tranquil slumber, knowing it might be days before I was able to properly fall asleep again.

I awoke only a few minutes later to something cold and wet being pressed against my lips, causing me to howl like I had been stabbed by serial killer. I jerked awake and sat up screaming, convinced I was dying in some horrible way.

Fortunately I was completely safe.

Unfortunately I scared the shit out of the cat after he had jumped up in the bed and pressed his cold little nose against my lips. I screamed. He screamed. We both jumped. I sat and blinked several times, breathing slowly to calm my nerves which were jangling like a telephone in an old-timey cartoon. The cat moved to the foot of the bed and fell asleep immediately because he wanted to rub his ability to fall asleep instantly in my face for screaming at him like a crazy bitch when all he wanted was to love me.

After a quick glance at the clock I figured out I had managed to sleep for approximately 6 minutes.

I can hear you thinking - a six minute nap that ends with screaming and an angry cat? How can that be your SECOND most memorable nap? Because my most memorable nap happened a year or two later.

I was snuggled into the bed and completely covered in animals. I had two cats and a dog at the time and they all seemed to think that sleep was only possible if they were touching me. My husband is allowed to sleep unmolested but I am forced to be buried under a blanket of fur at night and if I try to move them away or make them sleep in another room they scream like they're being haunted by ghosts that attack them with electric shocks.

As I slept I dreamed of a huge lumberjack murderer. He was wearing red flannel and slowly walking towards me while revving a chainsaw over and over again. He said, "I have only one chainsaw!" and waived it about, the noise getting louder and louder. When I woke up I felt our french bulldog snuggled against me on my pillow, snoring loudly right next to my ear.

Yep, that's right, I turned animal snores into a murderous, chainsaw-wielding killer.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

When I Was Homeless

In 2010 my husband and I moved into an adorable little 2 bedroom apartment in Manhattan. In 2011 I gave birth to our daughter and we lived happily in that space for several months. On April 1st, 2012 (oh, the irony!) while I was home with my daughter there was a knock on the door. When I opened it I found a police officer, a fireman, and two Red Cross representatives standing on the other side. They told me that the city had declared our building to be unsafe and all of the residents had 7 hours to evacuate.

I got out my cell phone and called my husband to tell him he had to come home from work and help me pack up some things so we could get out of the building, to which he reasonably responded that this was not a funny April Fools prank. After a few minutes of convincing he hopped on the bus and came right home, but now we were stuck on the sidewalk with a baby, a dog, two cats, and nowhere to live. It turns out the reason the Red Cross was there was to provide housing to the 112 newly homeless people from our building. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Luckily my mother-in-law lived close by, so we moved all of the people and animals from our apartment into her 5th floor walk-up on the other side of town. This lasted about 3 weeks until she couldn't tolerate us in her space any longer (a small apartment is not meant for 4 people and three animals, after all) and we went from there to my husband's aunt's home in Connecticut. Luckily she had a huge house that was big enough for all of us while we figured out what was going on with our apartment. While were in this state of flux we found out that support beams in the building had been removed and nobody would be allowed back indefinitely. We started house hunting but that didn't work out either, so in September we hired an apartment finder (the only real way to find an apartment in New York City) and paid a princely sum to move into a new place in Manhattan again.

My period of homelessness lasted 5 months and I spent most of that time living in a million-dollar beach house in Connecticut. Short of Hef volunteering to move out of the mansion and having all of his bunnies boarded so we wouldn't have to share the grotto there aren't many better situations to be in when facing homelessness, but it was still one of the most miserable times in my life. I had an infant daughter I was responsible for and the universe had conspired to take away the roof I had worked so hard to put over her head. I was forced to be an intruder in the homes of the people I cared about most. I was forced to put all of my things in storage and sleep in a strange bed in another person's home. It was a far cry from having to give up my pets and live at the Red Cross, but still a situation you couldn't pay me to repeat a second time.

I live in Massachusetts now and I take the train into Boston for work. Every day I pass the same homeless man who is begging on the street and at least twice a week I give him something - an apple, a sandwich, a toothbrush, etc. - because I know that, but for the grace of some higher power, I could very easily have been that man. I've seen the looks people give me for supporting someone who is living on the street, judging me for not judging him, but I don't care. I know that without family nearby, without the money for an apartment finder, and without the good mental health to deal with the stress of it all I might have been raising a baby in a homeless shelter just a few years ago.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A (Sort of) Horror Story

This is the time of year when we gather around to tell spooky stories designed to give people a fright and, often, warn people so that they can avoid succumbing to the same terrible fate as the poor saps in the story. The tale I am about to tell you is absolutely true and should serve as a warning to everyone that reads it about avoiding...cheese-filled chicken nuggets! *Insert spooky music here*

One crisp, cool day in the fall of 2010 I walked the 5 blocks from my apartment in New York City to the neighborhood grocery store. I loaded my folding cart full and slowly worked my way back home, careful not to catch a wheel on a crack in the sidewalk lest I be thrown over my cart with such force that I appeared to be tossed about by an invisible giant. After getting my cart back inside of the apartment I began to unload my groceries when I noticed that I had accidentally grabbed the wrong container of chicken nuggets from the store freezer. My husband and I always made sure to have some type of easily nuked foods in the house for those days when you are in no mood to figure out what to pack for lunch the next day, and in my haste to fill the cart I had accidentally grabbed a brand of chicken nuggets that were stuffed with cheese. That still sounded appetizing enough to me, so I didn't think anything of it when I shoved the box in the freezer. And, as everyone who has ever gone grocery shopping knows, once you've put in all the effort to shop and haul and put away groceries you certainly aren't in the mood to prepare a meal, so I threw some chicken nuggets and veggies into a ziploc bag to take for lunch at work the next day and made myself a sandwich for dinner.

The next day seemed normal enough. I worked from 8:30 to 12:30 and then took my lunch break, microwaving my simple meal and reading a book in the break room for 45 minutes. I went back to work, completely unaware that anything had changed until about 2 hours later when I noticed a terrible smell. It was foul, as though rotted meat and sweaty socks had been left to ferment in the Bog of Eternal Stench for a few weeks before being hauled into my office. It took about 20 minutes to figure out that I was the culprit, with farts I had thought were tiny and discreet but in fact turned out to be enormously awful. I had never in all of my life produced a smell like this and I was horrified that if anyone figured it out I would be fired.

I rushed home, totally embarrassed, and told my husband what had happened. He was very comforting until the first time I let one rip in his presence, at which time he loudly exclaimed that it smelled like my insides had died. Because he is a bit of a joker he was having a grand time mocking me until he started having the same problem a few hours later. After some probing I figured out that he had eaten some of the chicken nuggets after he got home but before I arrived, so we quickly became cellmates in our prison of stench. I'm surprised no one in the building called the fire department to report a toxic leak.

But the next day we still had to get up and go to work again. Luckily my intestinal fortitude had returned by the morning, but since my husband was about 4 hours behind me in eating them he was about 4 hours behind me in recovery time as well, which meant taking his topsy-turvy insides on the subway. After a few minutes on the train I thought we were going to be okay, until I saw the face of the woman standing next to him, as though she had been shit on by a vengeful god and couldn't understand why she was being tortured in this way. I picked it up a few seconds later, and at the next stop we ran off of the train and waited on the platform for the next one to avoid someone murdering him and later claiming it was justifiable homicide because of the smell.

That night when we got home we threw the package in the trash and vowed we would never, ever buy them again. So far we've kept that promise, but every so often when one of us does something the other doesn't like we will threaten to go find another package of those cheesy chicken nuggets and eat the whole thing before bed just to torture them. We've also talked about trying to convince the government that these things are so potent when they hit the human digestive system that they could be weaponized, but as we haven't seen them for sale in years I guess the manufacturers learned their lesson too. But if you should ever see a package of them in a freezer at your local store consider yourself warned - run far, far away and never look back!

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