Summer Time … Almost

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It’s Memorial Day Weekend. Which means people are opening up their freezing cold pools, gardening, hiking, hitting the beach, drinking and eats lots, and seeing friends and family and BBQs. 

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DO we remember what Memorial Day is all about? Thanks, Wikipedia.
Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

So, hug a military man or woman this weekend, donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, buy flowers for a homeless vet. Do something. You get a three-day weekend. Many gave their lives, limbs, and sanity. (That’s not supposed to sound as crass as it does). 

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Anyway. Summer. Memorial Day. Pools are open! Bring on the sunburn and the bathing suit shame.

This summer is going to look / feel a tad different for me. After working for a school for eight years, and having four-day weeks in the summer, quieter / slower workload, and the ability to take all of my three weeks of vacay throughout the summer months, should I choose… now I work for a company that speeds up over the summer. It’s our busy season and we cannot take time off August-September. 

Not a huge deal, the benefits totally outweigh, but I worry that I’ll stare longingly out the window at the sunshine and daydream about beach days, BBQs, croquet on the lawn, snoozing on a blanket in the shade, camping weekends, beach trips, and endless hiking.

Yes I can still do some of this over the weekend, but the BF is now working every Saturday, 9a-8p. Sigh. Bringing in the dough, but still, I miss my buddy. 

So, I have decided that Bella and I will go for a different hike around Maryland every Saturday over the summer. At least have a planned outing. Today we hit up Rocks State Park. It was loverly. Well-marked trails, up a “mountain” and down, an then back up, to the King’s and Queen’s Seat (cliff overlook), and back down. Bella is such a good hiker. She clambers over rocks like it’s her job.

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Besides that, bring on the frozen bevs, sunscreen, bug spray, BBQs, CRABS, and last but certainly not least – HELL OR HIGH WATERMELON BEER. If you have not tasted this refreshing summer brew, get on this. 21st Amendment Brewery. Yes. 

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So, see you at the beach, under an umbrella, reading my book. Until then, stay refreshed.

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I drove all night

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Lately, I have been having a really hard time for several reasons – all too boring and self-wallowing to go too in depth at this point but short story – I have been working long hours and this is a stressful time at work and on top of everything, I was struck down with a horrible virus. Patient First told me to drink a lot of water. Thanks for nothing, jerks. I needed a break. So, I did the best thing I could do – I took a day off for pause.

Now in my ripe old age of 35, I don’t have a lot of time for myself anymore. Between working full time, being a wife, a mother and a homeowner – it is a lot to manage sometimes. In no way am I saying I’m busier than anyone else but it is a lot to have on your plate sometimes.

And, I did one of my favorite things – drive. I love to drive. I love to drive fast. With the windows down and the music high. I could drive all night. It is hard now to cruise around Baltimore because of the heavy traffic but on Tuesday? Everything worked in my favor. The beltway was clear. I opened it up. It was great. And for the first time in a while, I felt free. I felt like I used to feel when I was 17 and would just hop in my car and go. My first car was my favorite. It was comfortable. The stereo was loud (thanks to the boyfriend who then became the husband) and my car was fast. It was a boss machine (that’s for you, Dad, even though I don’t think you read this).

One thing that I have always really loved and has been a big part of my relationship with the husband is music and we have passed it on to the boy. When I was in high school (don’t you feel like I am going to talk about my 5 mile walk with newspaper shoes? Ugh. I’m so old), subwoofers in the back seat and giant stereo systems were quite the thing. I used to love knowing when my buddies were coming to pick me up and I could feel them for five minutes before they actually got there or sitting on top of the subwoofer riding down the road. I still listen to my music a little too loud. The boy often asks me to turn it up. I’m glad I passed it on to him. I love to sing loud and proud. Lately, I have been listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magic. Still one of my all time favorite albums. HS me loves them. 35 year old me still loves the 1990’s version of them. I’m still coping with Anthony aging. It’s been difficult. But remember his long hair with the giant back tattoo….swoon. For your viewing pleasure:  RHCP

My day was awesome. I needed it. Shout out to Billy Squier as now I have had Stroke stuck in my mind for days now. That probably hasn’t happened for him in decades.

On another note, I have a million bruises on my body right now and no idea how I got them. Did I fall down the steps and forget? What exactly do I do that I can produce this kind of damage yet I cannot remember. Old age? Well, they are ripe for the poking – have at it if you see them.

Apparently the folks at Lauren’s new job send out emails to each other every morning. She sends me snippets. I have to be honest. I need to be friends with these people. They are hilarious. I know enough about Dungeons and Dragons to have a real conversations with them. I think I have mentioned before that I have lots of friendships in my head with people who don’t exactly know that we are friends (I have ruined pregnancy announcements, declared people my spirit animals all with people that I either don’t really know or know by proxy…you know, the usual). But these folks, I approve. Lauren. Let’s make this happen. Apparently there is a social happening with them and I so want her to invite me so I can infiltrate. Come on, Lauren. You know it would be epic. I’m a great icebreaker – my Asperger’s will come into play.

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend. Here are some things to help you relax.

Seriously one of my favorite movies. http://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/for-everyone-whose-sexual-awakening-was-caused-by-david-bowi

Mean Tweets

Cheers!

Ugly Duckling Syndrome

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Today, I came upon an article that described what it’s like to grow up feeling a tad less … physically awesome…. than other girls, and how that manifests in adult women.

14 Lasting Side Effects Of Growing Up As The Ugly Duckling

They call it Ugly Duckling Syndrome, and I can really sympathize with many of their examples. I selected a few from the article to share with you. 

1. You have difficulty accepting a compliment.
At the hands of any kind words paid in your direction, you become uncomfortable and rebuke with a self-deprecating statement or silent rationalization of why the compliment can’t be true.

–> if people tell me I look nice, or I like that shirt, or whatever, I immediately feel like a) I do not, b) I am wrinkled and frumpy, and c) are you saying I usually look like a scrub? And then my friends say, can’t you just take a compliment? And I’m like… no… cuz I’m gross and you lie….

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2. The idea of jealousy pointed in your direction is baffling.
Because you can’t rationalize that you are someone worthy of targeted jealousy, you have difficulty understanding the hostility you receive from other women.

You don’t understand why women have the tendency to compete with you, and you can’t fathom why the existence of “frenemies” is present in your life. You also put the blame on yourself for lost or undeveloped friendships.

–> this is extra funny cuz it’s never happened. Not one of my three boyfriends (yes, I have only ever had here, but they’ve been good ones) was ever jealous, cuz I don’t flirt, I don’t know how to flirt, and evn if I did, I knew there was always someone else more flirty (read: hot, drunk, slutty) around that they should be talking to.

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3. You see yourself as a conversationalist, not an object of desire.
When you’re out socializing in a bar or a nightclub, you’re nice to people, but being approached by a member of the opposite sex is rationalized in your mind as an innocent conversation, not a pick-up tactic. When a stranger asks for your number or pays the bill from across the bar, you’re shocked.

–> yup, always surprised, usually in denial, make excuses… again, hasn’t happened often, or if it has, I honestly haven’t noticed.

 

4. Stares from men (and women) come as an insult, not a compliment.
When out and about minding your own business, you’re put off by eye contact with strangers. You become defensive and take the stare as an assumed insult, rather than what it truly is: a compliment.

-> do I have something on my face? Did I spell coffee on myself again? It happens a lot. I assume my hair is sticking up.

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6. The powers of your beauty are lost on you completely.
You don’t realize you can get nearly anything you want or have almost anyone you desire based solely on your looks. Therefore, you rely on your smarts, your integrity and your inner strength to get ahead in life.

–> sometimes I can see it… but usually.. ogre, scrub, frumpy….

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7. When beauty is expected, you become a neurotic mess.
You’re much more comfortable being the simple, makeup-free you, and when beauty is expected for special occasions, you feel anxious and nervous. Suddenly you have nothing to wear and your makeup and hair are a mess. The object of beautifying yourself is, needless to say, a nerve-racking feat.

–> I am happiest in stretchy pants, tshirts, no bra, no makeup, hair in knot on top of my head. Oh you want to go out…. I’ve already taken off my pants… I’m in for the night. Maybe tomorrow.

When I have to get dressed up and go out for a wedding, or fancy occasions…  i feel like no matter what i wear i still look like a sporty frump girl.  sure i could have a great dress (usually only if someone has picked it for me, read: bridesmaid dress), great jewelry (might match the dress, might not), but the makeup, hair, and shoes are always a mess.  oh wait, if the shoes are good, i won’t be able to walk in about 15 minutes and will either sit all night or take them off immediately.  

accept me for who i am. 

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12. You appreciate your privacy.
Though you’ve likely developed your social skills much more than those who were beautiful from birth, you still appreciate your privacy and alone time. You might light up a room when you enter it, but since you likely don’t realize it, you prefer to light up your own quiet room, instead.

–> we have already discussed me bing an introvert and needing alone, recharge time.

The Freakness of Preakness

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Preakness is this weekend. And for those of you who live under a rock, that is the second of three big horse races each year. If the same horse wins all three, it’s the triple crown. Doesn’t happen much.

Concerned that it rained today and that it may affect your bets? Cosmo Kramer here to help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L3KU5eiEBo

Here is the thing about Preakness… I don’t care. Born and raised in Maryland, home of Pimlico and the Preakness. I have been to Pimlico exactly once and it was for an all-day music festival about 8 years ago. No, that’s not true, I have been a few times for wine festivals too.

Horse races = Nascar for rich, white people. (“What, am I wrong?”… “No, Walter, you’re not wrong, you’re just an ass hole!”)

Watching animals race in a circle does not thrill me. Giant hilarious hats, sure, but I can see pics of those online without the hassle. (I sounds like an old grumpy man, right? … “Get off my lawn!”)

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And there’s the Infield Fest. Because when I hear horse race, I think, what does that need… band performances!   It is quite the shit show.   My brother and his friends went every year and made a mess of themselves. Some of my friends went a few times. Receiving texts about being sunburnt and drunk at 10am does not encourage me to attend this mass debauchery.

KEGASUS

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Don’t get me wrong, close quarters with drunk people, sweaty, muddy, long days, getting sunburnt, or oily with sunscreen, sweat, and whatever beer has been spilled on me…. It all sounds great …. Right? I think the story that really got me was that of drunk guys running along the top of the port-o-potties line, while people threw FULL beer cans at them. CONCUSSED!

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The culture of horse racing is lost on me. The giant hats are funny, but are impractical and obnoxious if you are behind one, or short (which I am).  

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I also feel like horses are huge. When they fall…. TIIIIIIMMMMBBEERRRRRRR! I have heard more horror stories about horse-related injuries, whether from being thrown off, getting kicked in the head, bitten, etc.! Eeek! No thanks. I will ride a horse, but slowly. A trot is sufficient for me.

Anyway …. Have fun if you’re going. Wear sunscreen. Bring disinfectant. Hydrate. Enjoy.

A Smattering of Samples from Our Pinterest Board

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If Joey had Instagram – If only Friends were still on the air…  could it BE ANY MORE AMAZING!  

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Imma go ahead and say, yup, true story:

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One of the many reasons I love Tina Fey:

ImageTina Fey’s prayer for her daughter… “…And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.”

 

And some other random, but awesome thoughts:

I don’t know why, but this really makes me laugh:

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And remember my story about the Poop on the stoop?  No?  Feel fee to catch up..

But look at this…  THIS SHIT HAPPENS!!!   (Pun absolutely intended)

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Also, not sure how this became a thing, but it has officially spread across generations, as my 16-yr-old sister texted me the other day, “uh, Lauren, go away, I have a shit-ton of homework.”  **sigh.

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Anyway, hope you enjoy these shenanigans as much as I do!

The Truth About Men and Bugs

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Trapping Bugs

Ladies and gents, can we discuss something of import?  True or False: when a girl lives with a boy, she is allowed to put a plastic cup/container over a bug and leave it for the guy to handle.  Caveats: if a girl lives alone or with other girls, or if the guy won’t be home for a really long time (like days), then yes, just take care of it yourself.  But otherwise, I feel like it’s one of the FEW perks of living with men.

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Let me ’splain.  I love G, the bf.  But boys smell.  They are messy.  They don’t know where anything goes, and even if they do, they don’t put things away. Some can cook (thanks, babe), but most can’t clean.  When I say, hey, babe, will you clean the bathroom this weekend?  A) it doesn’t happen for weeks, and only if I continue to ask, and B) when it does happen, he has wiped down the sink and toilet, ignoring the shower and floor.  “What, it’s clean! I don’t see anything.” 

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In some cases, we can blame this on their mothers for doing everything for them growing up (**shakes fist… Donna!), and in some cases they just feel like things don’t need to be as clean as women do or honestly don’t see it

I digress.

Bugs under containers.  Always use plastic, as when the bug inevitably escapes and scampers towards you, you’re likely to fling the container, bug and all, as far away as possible.  Plastic doesn’t shatter….  Experience.  Disposing of bugs and reaching things up high are two of the best BF perks.  I am not saying I cannot be an independent woman and do it myself.  I did things all on my own for years (**see handling poop on the stoop).  But I think I’ve earned this perk.

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Next time though, remind me to telllllllll  G that I have done this so he doesn’t just pick up the container with no warning of said bug trapped beneath.  Whoops.

A few random thoughts for today:

Is there anything worse then yogurt water?  I get it, live cultures, good for your digestion, healthy bacteria.  But seriously.  Can’t they come up with a way to stir it in before I open it?  A button?  Shake it up first?  Stirring fluid into my yogurt (Greek, fruit on the bottom, light), is not an appetizing way to start the day.  And I like adding granola, but depending o the hardness of the granola it gets mushy way too fast.  And you know how I feel about mushy food.  **gag. 

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Fellow Game of Thrones nerds: 

This is chuckle-out-loud hilarious (Spoiler alert for this past Sunday’s ep): http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5311646

Mother’s Day…  in a nut shell

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My mother is awesome.  Silly, cuddly, goofy, serious, smart, healthy, energetic.  Etc.  

She has many “isms”.  One is that she asks you a question and then doesn’t listen to the answer and proceeds to ask again, maybe 3x, through the evening.  **Sigh.  I get to the point where I remind her that I already answered her question and she needs to pay attention.  I am an ass.  I know.  But this is not an “aging mind,” this has been forever mom.  Genetic.  Down to her bones. 

Which leads me to the most prominent female “ism” on my mom’s family side….  That thing with the guy? Who was that?  What is that called?  What is that word?  We all have a serious issue with word recal.  With remembering the names of people, places, things, movies, food, etc.  My mom can be ¾ through a movie and be like, “Oh, I HAVE seen this before…”  Again, **sigh. 

And we all do it.  My grandmother, aunts, cousins….  It’s hilarious to see us play board games like Taboo or Pictionary.  We’ll be gesticulating and yelling, but we juuuuust cannot reach the word in our brains.  My grandmother is the cutest.  She laughs so hard at herself she tears up.  Le cute.  

My mom calls it “Sometimers.”

My mother is also one of those crazy people who gets up at the asscrack of dawn to work out every day.  Take a day off, you ask?  Well, that’s when she does yoga, or goes for a hike, or only swam for 30 min instead of 45.  Um….  Take a nap.  

Now, when I was in high school, my friends affectionately referred to my mom as The Multigrain.  As in, Lauren, why do you only have granola and all natural PB and no soda or cookies?  No, fig newtons.  Oh not Fig Newtons, Fig Newman’s (The Paul Newman / Newman’s Own all natural version).  It’s amazing I survived.

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My friends would bring their own snacks, their own sodas, etc.  They stopped asking.  And to me, our all natural, granola, crunchy, multigrain food was totally normal.  Chips?  Do you mean pretzels?  Sugar cereal….  Omg never.  That is allllll sugar.  Another glass of OJ,  that is allllllll sugar. 

She puts flaxseed in her …  everything ….  And if you don’t know about flaxseed, it is high in fiber and looks and tastes like sand.  She puts it in pasta, salads, etc.  Sand.  Gritty.  No. 

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Now, you’d think that when she had her third child, 14 years after me, she would continue all these healthy nut trends.  No.  You would be wrong.  Not only did my lil sis have Cable (*gasp!), but she also eats Mac N Cheese!  I didn’t know what that was! 

So, in honor of all mothers everywhere, for their crazy rules, their idiosyncratic food beliefs, their inability to name that movie she watched last night or tell me what the book she is currently reading is about …  let us raise a glass of patience, love, hugs, and appreciation for teaching us not to sweat the small stuff…  and it’s all small stuff.

Love you, mom.