Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 - My Year in Sarcasm, Snark and Silly

Every year, the bloggers of the world get together and write reflective posts. It's a thing. I've done it.

Some years I write about what I wish things might be like the following year. Sometimes I write summary posts including my favorite posts of the year. Sometimes I write a mini-retrospective on what the year was like for me.

Let's just be honest.

2016 was a fucking dumpster fire.

Seriously.

I mean, sure.....there are good things that happened and I am absolutely certain that there are many people out there who had AMAZEBALL years. I'm certain of this because they're telling anyone who will listen this week. They're the people who have to comment on all the "Hooray 2016 is almost over" posts telling everyone to suck it because they got married or had a baby or got a job and they had a great year, so everyone should just understand that since it didn't blow for them, everyone should be fine, so no more whining.

Yeah.

Just because YOU might have had a good year doesn't make this year any less of a dumpster fire for other people.

Tons of people are legitimately scared about what is going on in this country, and just because it might not affect you doesn't mean you get to decide what is and isn't a big deal for someone else. That's called privilege. (and you're welcome)

Just because some good shit happened to you doesn't diminish the bad shit that went down for other people.

No one shows up on your posts about how great things are and tells you to STFU because "I" had a bad year.

Just saying....

There are also the people sharing all the posts about how we're conditioned as human beings to believe that time frames like years are "good" or "bad" and how we're naturally pessimistic, or how we remember only the bad things when really there were a bunch of good things or whatever.

You do you, man. Let other people feel whatever they want and post whatever they want.

Was 2016 the worst year ever?

Probably not. There have been some really fucking terrible years in history. I mean, if you are the kind of dick who has to bring up every awful thing that has happened historically in an attempt to make your friends who are complaining feel like assholes, then maybe you're the asshole.

It's perspective, you guys, and it's not just about things that happened on a societal level, it's about the stuff that goes down in our real lives too - and SPOILER ALERT - people don't always post about that shit on social media, so you really have no clue what someone might be referencing.

And don't come at people with that silver linings bullshit.

FOR THE LOVE.

Let people feel what they want.

Personally for me, 2011 was the worst year in my life. 1999/2000 comes in a close second. Neither had a damn thing to do with current events. So there.

GODDAMN that was a long introduction to this post...obvs I haven't been writing enough rants lately and I have some unresolved anger to type out.

Obvs.

Anyhow, since it's the time for reflection and that, I wanted to write a year-ender too. But this isn't going to be like my top ten most amazing posts or the top ten great things that happened or the top ten inspirational posts I wrote. Nah.

If you've been around, you've read that shit already.

This post is about me being an asshole. A funny one, hopefully.

And that's the thing about being an asshole. For real. I'm about to drop some hard truth on you right now. If you want to be an asshole, no one is going to stop you. Just own your assholish ways. Don't pretend like you aren't being an asshole, don't try to put it onto other people. just own it.

Yep.

This is me.

I'm a giant asshole.

(occasionally)

(okay, so fairly often)

(I even annoy myself sometimes)

So, in consideration of my ways, I offer to you, some inspiration and humor, done my way. Things I actually said or wrote or did this year, along with a pretty picture of something. Enjoy.















And on that note, Happy New Year.

Hopefully we survive this one. Kidding, not kidding.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Year End Playlist - All those we lost this year

In case any of you might want the playlist I’m using tonight for work. All songs by artists/band members who died in 2016. And yes, some artists are on there a few times...

  • I Wanna Be Your Lover, Prince
  • Faith, George Michael
  • Somebody to Love, Jefferson Airplane
  • Let’s Dance, David Bowie
  • Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
  • September, Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Take it Easy, Eagles
  • If We Make it Through December, Merle Haggard
  • People Don’t Get What They Deserve, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
  • Tightrope, Leon Russell
  • We The People, Tribe Called Quest
  • Pretty Women, Alan Rickman
  • Rock Steady, The Whispers
  • Bend Me, Shape Me, The American Breed
  • My Woman’s Love, Jimmy Riley
  • Liar, Rollins Band
  • All the Young Dudes, Mott the Hoople
  • Humanoid, Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  • 1999, Prince
  • Under Pressure, Queen & David Bowie
  • Everybody Knows, Leonard Cohen
  • Let’s Groove, Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Desperado, Eagles
  • Simple Man, Jimmy Van Zant
  • Something in the Air, Thunderclap Newman
  • Love Rollercoaster, Ohio Players
  • I’d Die Without You, PM Dawn
  • Deception, Christina Grimmie
  • Flashlight, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic
  • Mustang Sally, Wilson Pickett
  • Kryptonite, 3 Doors Down
  • Breakdown, Colourbox
  • Gett Off, Prince
  • Moonage Daydream, David Bowie
  • Set Adrift on Memory Bliss, PM Dawn
  • Shining Star, Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Hotel California, Eagles
  • Okee from Muskogee, Merle Haggard
  • Midnight Rider, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
  • Me & Mrs. Jones, Billy Paul
  • One More Try, George Michael
  • The Space Program, Tribe Called Quest
  • The Whiskey Song, Swamp Dogg & Leon Haywood
  • Unfinished Life, Jimmy Van Zant
  • A Summer Song, Surfer Blood
  • Painkiller, Freestylers
  • Fake King, Prince Buster
  • Inside Out, Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  • You Spin Me Right Round, Dead or Alive
  • Poor Boy, Glenn Yarborough
  • When the Gates Swing Open, Otis Clay
  • 50,000 Names, Joey + Rory
  • My Favorite Things, Florence Henderson
  • Good Morning, Debbie Reynolds
  • I’m the Reason Why You Drink, Candye Kane
  • Va Va Voom, Brett Smiley
  • L.A. Freeway, Guy Clark
  • Tengo Miedo, Emilio Navaira
  • Praying for Time, George Michael

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

That's General Organa to you...

Carrie Fisher died yesterday at the age of sixty years old, less than a week after suffering a heart attack on board a flight from London.

I've been told by more than a few people that I'm ridiculous for allowing the deaths of celebrities to affect me, and this time was no different. The shamers and mockers ever present in this digital age of ours, ready to pounce on the feelings of others.

I'll never really understand why people care so damned much about who we mourn and why.

I digress. I get distracted by assholes on the internet too easily. It's a character flaw.

That's not what I am here to write about.

I'm here to write about her. I'm here to write about what she represents to people out there like me, the ones who were first exposed to her as kids, the image of that metal bikini ingrained in our minds.

Sure, she was a character in a few movies. That's how most people associate with her.

I've seen more than a few of my male friends, particularly the ones around my age, lament her passing as she held a special place in their, ahem, maturing.

And yeah, she was hot as hell in that bikini.

But if that's all you remember her for, and that's all you think is important about her, I've got news for you.

She was so much more than an object to ogle. SO MUCH MORE.

Even her character, if you want to simplify her for the purposes of this exercise, was more than that. She was feisty and raw and the hardest worker in the series. Seriously, where were Han and Luke for all those years leading into The Force Awakens??? Han bailed on her and their son. Luke disappeared, found some island in the middle of nowhere to sit on and mope until someone came to find him. A woman eventually found him, I might add.

And where was Leia all that time? At home, dealing with all the shit the men ran away from.


OF COURSE SHE WAS BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT STRONG WOMEN DO.

That's General Organa to you, now.

I could go on and on about the character issues, but I won't do that here. That's not what I'm writing this for either.

I'm writing this for everything else she was, to me and to so many others, away from the screen.

She was born into the film industry, the child of stars. She could have loafed around, mooched off of their wealth and influence. She didn't. She worked, and then once she had that fame all to herself, she used it for good. She used her position and her privilege and her money and her fame to help not just herself, but others.

She owned her vices. She talked about them openly in a world where such talk is discouraged for fear of ruining reputations. She dragged her inner struggles out into the light. She wrote about them. She admitted them openly. She fought like hell to be a better person. She screamed aloud to the world that she had mental health issues and that it wasn't something to be ashamed of.

She called out the sexist misogynists in the industry. She demanded better for the women who came after her. She mocked the men who objectified her. She shined a light on the fat shaming ageist world called Hollywood.

Then she proved to all of those who've tried to quiet her that she could still utterly steal the show, even though she was old and she carried more pounds than they, the men of the world, wanted her to.

She went from Leia to Organa right on the screen in front of us, and it literally took my breath away as I sat in that audience in tears.

This was what I came back for all those years later. Her.

She had become the true core of the rebellion. She was the one to be reckoned with. And she didn't give any fucks at all about what you thought she should wear or do with her hair or how much she should weigh.

I've said for quite a long while now that I wanted to be just like her when I grow up.

Not Leia.

Her.

Carrie.

She was strong and capable and complicated. She was a fierce advocate. She called it like she saw it, never pulling any punches. She demanded accountability, from herself and from the industry that she occupied. She was willing to stand up and tell the world who she was. She was an addict. She lived with bipolar disorder. She owned all of it, dared all of us to do the same.

And she did it all regardless of what anyone ever thought of her.

She was a hero.

And she was a hero not for what she did on a screen, but for what she did in real life.

As I wrote on my Facebook page yesterday.


"And she was. 


Past tense.

That's the part that's wrong."

Women like her give me the strength to be who I am. They tell me to swallow that lump of fear and hesitation and to scream out loud to the world that I live with PTSD and anxiety and postpartum depression. They tell me that there isn't weakness in admitting these things, that there is power in them. They tell me that I have the ability to help someone else by chipping away at that stigma we're all taught to obey. They tell me that I don't have to wait until I'm thin enough, I don't have to be pretty enough, I don't need to be older or younger or richer or more famous to make a difference in the lives of others. I don't need to fit into the tiny boxes that society tries to put me in. 

I can be who I am, and I can fight. I have the strength. I have the determination. I have the voice and the skills and the passion already. I don't need permission from anyone to be who I am.

And she taught me that.

Carrie taught me that. 

She taught millions of us.

And she did it boldly, often awkwardly, usually toting her dog along beside her. 

I still want to be like her when I grow up.

Thank you, Carrie, for all that you were and all that you gave and all that you taught us. 

May the force be with you.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What to get for the person who has everything.....for real.....

I have a few people in my life that are impossible to shop for, which always makes the holidays a bit of a challenge. They know who they are.

You know, the people who just buy themselves whatever they ever want or need. The people who have hobbies, but already have whatever they need to engage in those hobbies. The people who always tell you that they don't need anything even though societal norms dictate that there must be a gift exchanged.

Those people.

My two people happen to both be men. They're also related. Neither of them will ever read this post, so we're safe.

And, frankly, they end up usually getting the same thing from us whenever we manage to find something they don't already have, For instance, last year, we got them both freestanding camping hammocks. I cannot even begin to tell you how completely excited we were when we found freestanding camping hammocks.

They are THAT hard to shop for.

Maybe you have someone like this on your list and still can't figure out what to get them this year. Not to fear, I am here to hook you up.

Uncommon Goods is your one-stop online destination for unique and interesting gifts. Committed to sustainability, they offer a wide variety of handmade, recycled and organic products and they are a founding member of B Corporation.

Their website is easy to navigate, with gift guides for everyone on your list.

If you're looking for two impossible to shop for men, like I am, check out these gift ideas.

These glasses are amazing. Like, I want them in my house. Right now.

City Map Glasses

Constitution Glass
There is a Declaration of Independence one too!
If you're looking for gifts for kids, I can totally recommend this game. We have it and every single one of the kids will sit and play with it for hours, from the 2 year old all the way up to the teenagers.

Snap Attack Magnetic Game
Looking for a teenager and have no idea what to get them? Start here.  If you have a music lover, there are guitar pick makers and mobile DJ mixers. There are tons of unusual things for science lovers too, from chromosome pillows to Dino Pets and experiment kits.

Have a wine loving woman with everything in your life? I'd bet she doesn't have a wine purse yet. Yes, this is an actual thing. I swear.

Wine Dispensing Tote
There is an entire section of the website devoted to gifts for women and you can check them out here.  I want the literary scarves. Hint, hint.

Here you'll find all the quirky, fun Christmas gifts you could possibly imagine. 

If you're on a budget (and we ALL are these days, right?), the site is searchable by price as well, with 517 awesome gifts for under $25. FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN. Now you officially have no excuse. There has to be something for everyone on this list.

Happy shopping.

If you were to toss a scarf or one of those glasses in your cart and send it my way, that'd be cool with me. Just saying.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

All I want for Christmas, 2016

This is my eighth annual Christmas list. Which is crazy.

There's simply no way I have been doing this for that long.

If you're so inclined, you can read my previous lists here.

2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009


Yes, I really am an enormous child who writes Christmas lists. Every year around this time I think that I won't do it, and then I remember that it's basically the only tradition I've kept for this many years, soooo...

If this is your first perusal of my wishes, I should warn you that some of the things I want are silly. Some are unrealistic. Some are never even a remote possibility. Some require a Tardis to be built and functional and at my disposal. Some are entirely realistic. It's all random. Like me.

1. I want my puppy to stop chewing up clothing, specifically the clothing that someone is actively wearing. She's cute and actually quite smart, but I am SO OVER this puppy stage. 

2. I want new flooring. For the entire house. I need it. We've been in this house for over eleven years with seven permanent residents and at least 8 different dog inhabitants at times. It's been torn up, scratched up, dug up, peed on, barfed on. It's been run over by bikes and scooters and skates. It's seen things...and it shows.

3. I want my left knee to stop being an asshole. I know that I'm overdue for surgery but I don't wanna. I just want it not to hurt.

4. I want a new coat. I've had the same one since we moved here and it's fine. Really. It's functional and does all the things a coat is supposed to do, but when I bought it all those years ago, I prioritized function over style. It's boring. I mean, it's fine. Whatever. 

5. I want my kids to stop swiping my eyeliner and mascara and boots and sweaters (at least without asking first). 

6. I want my van cleaned, and not just a sweep of all the trash tucked into every nook and cranny, but a thorough analysis of what is that smell and why does it exist. I know it wouldn't stay clean longer than 12 hours anyway, so this one is basically an exercise in futility.

7. I still want a wall full of bookshelves with a rolling ladder and a comfortable reading chair and a tiny table beside it. I managed to get my husband to build us a huge storage bench dining room nook, so maybe 2017 is the year I get the bookshelves. p.s. he REALLY FUCKING HATES PINTEREST

8. More tattoos and piercings. Some people start running marathons as they approach 40. Not me. No fucking way. I don't actually hate running, I am just terrible at it and my knees won't let me. Which is fine. I have the pace of a slow, overweight, three legged turtle. I just want more ink and piercings. What? I have gotten three new tattoos this year and...um....five piercings, but I just want more. I have a list. 

9. I want more regular teams at work. I know, I know. This one is totally about practicality and it entirely self-serving, but I'd like another 3-4 regular teams to show up. I know it's a late quiz. I know. I'm tired too. Let's be tired and drink beers and know things together. I'd like to keep my gig, and I'd like a few more teams on a weekly basis to ensure that I do.

10. I want new boots. I got two new pairs two years ago and while they're okay (as in they aren't actually falling apart yet), they're not the greatest. They were the doorbuster black friday online specials and not really designed to be worn as much as I wear them. 

11. I want the walrus Lularoe leggings. This one is totally unnecessary. But, hey. TC. Help a girl out.

12. I want a really amazing pair of Wonder Woman earrings.

13. I want the new Wonder Woman movie to not suck. We need it right about now. Fuck, the world needs Wonder Woman for real. 

14. I want an unlimited budget for homeschooling and music education for my kids. I have carts online that I'm constantly filling and then emptying with curriculum materials. Constantly. It's been a struggle this year as I had to re-evaluate almost everything I'd had prepared, but now I'm to the point where I have the things I didn't get initially and needed, and now I want to be able to get the fun stuff. Also, having teenagers in band is really fucking expensive, especially when they decide to not suck at playing their instruments and their teachers recommend upping the quality of their instruments for better sound quality. p.s. French Horns are $$$$$$ and does anyone know where I can get at least an intermediate quality, decent used one for under $2k? Kthanks.

15. I want to be able to go and get pedicures every six weeks and not be allergic to whatever is in the salon. Again, this is an impossibility, but a girl can dream.

16. I want my kids to all stay the ages they are right now for a while. I know that I'm on borrowed time having them all home and together. I know that it's not going to last much longer. I know that things will be fine and different and amazing in a whole new way as they get older and branch out on their own. I know that. I LIKE IT THE WAY IT IS RIGHT NOW though, so don't try to minimize my feelings, internets. 

17. Last year I wished for Donald Trump to disappear from the face of the Earth and that didn't exactly go as planned. Since I write one of these every year, and I hope we're all here to do this again in 12 months, I'm writing this list just to cover the next 365. So. I want him to waffle on the crazy shit he promised to do. I want him to reveal himself to be even more of a liar than he already has when it comes to all the things he promised to do to illegal immigrants, refugees, Muslims and more. I want him to stop naming assholes to Cabinet positions. I want him to stop thinking he can just call anyone he wants and fuck up decades of international relations. I want him to wait at least a year before being impeached because Pence is a walking dumpster fire. I want him to admit that he is at least partially responsible for the increase in hate crimes and tell people to knock it the fuck off. I could go on here, but I'll stop. I just hope I'm writing this list next year. 

18. I want the keyboard warriors of the world to go outside and find a person in real life to talk to. Yelling at me in all caps isn't going to do anything.

19. I want world peace, an end to hunger, freedom for all, true equality and for Citizens United to be overturned. I want Ginsburg to stay on the Supreme Court forever. Someone get her some vitamins immediately. 

20. The last few years, my last wish has been reserved for Daryl Dixon sitting under my tree with his crossbow. I still have mad love for Daryl, even if Negan has given me a permanent 703 Easy Street earworm. But. In the past year, my husband discovered tattoos. So, I'd just like him to get more of those....because.....well.....


I know, right???

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