Cherry is the Best Flavor of Metaphor

I love Twizzlers. I LOVE Twizzlers. they are the perfect (for me) candy. They are not too sweet, not sour, not bitter, they don't taste like chemicals, they don't leave grainy or gritty or sticky residue in your mouth. They're versatile: you can untangle them or chop them into little pieces or suck on them until they melt or nomnomnom a whole bag in one sitting. They're great for movies because they last a while and they don't melt all over your hands. You can use them as a straw if you have 7-up and some time. (Do not try this with milk; trust me on that one.) They don't get too terribly stuck in your teeth. They're delicious. 

I love Twizzlers. I LOVE TWIZZLERS. And I can never eat one again, for as long as I shall live. 

The moment I eat a Twizzler I will be on the floor having something close to a seizure. You see, there is something in Twizzlers that just doesn't work with my body. I'm allergic to red food coloring and there is not a single thing I can do about it. I can love Twizzlers with all my heart and it doesn't matter. They hurt me, every stinking time I try, no matter what I do to prevent it.

They can't help it, either; they are who they are and I am who I am and we simply don't work. 

I ate them for a long time anyway, because the pain was worth it. Eventually the pain stopped being worth it. Eventually they were the bell and I was the dog - every time I saw them my head started to hurt, my body clenched up, and I braced for what was coming. Now I don't try anymore. Now I keep my distance and simply remember how much I loved them, once upon a time.

Sometimes if my kids leave a pack laying around, I'll pick it up and take a long, deep inhale. I love the smell of them still. Enough time and distance has made me able to enjoy, nigh savour, the smell of them and every happy childhood memory that smell brings back for me. (Except that milk bit. *shiver*) Sometimes when I'm having a weak moment, I want to lick one of them, just to test the waters and see if maybe, this time, after all this time...but I know what will happen, and I resist.

I've licked enough Twizzlers to know that the end result never changes. I can't will myself out of this reaction I have to a perfectly fine-for-someone-else piece of candy.

We simply don't work.

We never will.

So it goes. 

This post that, while entirely true, has very little to do with candy, is brought to you by the letters M.E.T.A.P.H.O and .R, a healthy dose of DayQuil, and this very lovely post on BlogHer.com. Because this would have made a hellofalong comment. 

MIT Also Has An Origami Class. I Want To Go To MIT When I Grow Up.

Last night I dropped the kids off at soon-to-be-ex's and soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law's house, which is the same place, for their weekend sleepover with their dad. I normally just drop them at the door and go, but I knew STBESIL was home because I could smell food that wasn't spaghetti cooking, so I came inside. 

Informational aside: Baby daddy can cook exactly two things. One of them is spaghetti. The other has artichoke hearts in it, so I pretend it doesn't exist.

Anyway, I ended up staying for about two hours, having dinner with them and watching a bit of tv. Before you go judging me for my epic soon-to-be-ex fail, let me point out that A) before all of this divorce nonsense, STBESIL was one of my very best friends on earth B) I, literally, have no friends here at all and the only adult human contact I have at all, ever, is with parents at the bus stop for all of a wave and a shouted good morning, and C) I don't have tv, only netflix. I am a weak woman who needs love, and NBC, so I stayed. 

Apparently there is a game show called Minute To Win It that all the kids these days are into. Have you seen this? People get 60 seconds to perform random stunts and each stunt gets them closer to One Me-eaallion Dollahs. They aren't eating spiders or riding bikes across tightwires like on Fear Factor, instead they're pushing dixie cups off of a table with a blown up balloon or bouncing seven pencils into seven cups off their erasers. It is the greatest stoner game show alive.

We're wathcing this and all I could think was, "Man, someone gets paid caaash money to think up these ridiculous stunts", but the more I watched the more I realized that they aren't ridiculous, there's actually a lot of science behind them. I realized that it can't be just anyone making these stunts up, it's got to be someone who understands physics, trigonometry, human behavior, and rushing a frat. 

And that's when I realized they named this show *entirely* incorrectly. It shouldn't be called Minute to Win It, it should be called "MIT, You Are Drunk." I would watch the shit out of THAT show.

We don't have cable because, you know, single mom/single income and all. I only really ever watch Dexter, Homeland, and The Daily Show, and Everybody Hates Chris anyway. TV kind of gets on my nerves, mostly because soon-to-be-ex is an "every tv in the house all day, every day, even when we're all sleeping" kind of guy. Same reason I don't drink wine anymore. He drank enough for all of us. I'm completely burnt out on TV and I don't really have the money to waste on 200 channels of there's nothing on, so I just didn't get cable when I moved. We watch Netflix or RedBox movies or nothing, and it's worked out really well up until, you know, the electorial season and Shotime season kicked in at the exact same time and I AM MISSING ALL THE GOOD THINGS. 

I am also missing football season so, you know, it balances out. 

 

A Veeeeery Peeenteresting Weeeeek

It's been kind of a big week around here and I have a bunch of posts I meant to write but, you know, life gets in the way of living sometimes and before I know it, it's Saturday at 3:28 pm and all I've managed to do is drop my kids off at their dad's for the night, fuck the shit out of some lemon cookies I found on Pinterest, and blow dry my cute new hair. 

Date night with my main man

Except that I did also get my son to wash his armpits and his ballsack today, so I suppose I should list that in my accomplishments for the day. I've never actually told either child, specifically, to wash their armpits and ballsacks before, and now I'm kind of worried that maybe neither of them *ever* have. I just really assumed that if you had a ballsack, it was something you'd just kind of automatically tend to, lest it find the chance to wind up in someone else's mouth. 

Which can happen, you know. 

It's important for me to keep an open mind about the issues of the day, and have friends who see this from various perspectives, because sometimes I act like a complete and total hypocrital leftwing whackjob douchebag on twitter and only my libertarian tea party throwin' incredibly disillusioned smart friends are going to call me out on it. 

I imagine Donald Trump must feel exactly this same way about Stephen Colbert. 

You just never know when opportunity will strike. WASH YOUR BALLSACKS, YOUNG MEN. Please don't make your parent ask you too. It will kill her/him inside. 

And I really do think it's kind of important that we start saying very loudly that the norm doesn't have to be "mother", necessarily, and it doesn't have to be "father" either. Why? Read this post by my fellow mom dad parent blogger Vikki of Up Popped A Fox. Read it, and think about every kid in in this country right now who's got a big ol' political campaign aimed at one of their parent's heads. Raising these kids to be adjusted, happy, secure, confident, and successful is the most important thing we can do. The rest is details

Speaking of, we went to Tucson for my son's state qualifier in marching band last week, and while they didn't qualify for state, they did increase their rankings an entire level -which is kind of remarkable in just a few short months playing heavy brass instruments in polyester Luigi suits for hours on end under the blazing Arizona sun together. 

And if you want to read exactly my thoughts on why I think it's totally fine that those kids walked away from a ball-busting season completed empty-handed aside from some massive self-improvement in the face of BRASS and DESERT SUN and POLYESTER, go read Jim's post on Busy Dad Blog about not winning. He said it a thousand times better than I ever could have. 

After the tournament, we went to visit Josh's cousin Chelsea and her wife Molly. Last time we saw them, 3of3 was still a speed bump on my torso, and they didn't have any children of their own yet. Now they have two completely ridiculously adorable children who I totally did not snap one picture of because apparently I forgot I was a blogger. What was interesting to me is that, while my sons of course know that Chelsea and Molly are both chicks, my daughter hasn't ever met them, and we certainly don't make a point of disclaimering everyone we speak of (they're both X gender, they have Y color skin, etc - doesn't fly in my house. People are PEOPLE, not things to be categorized) so I didn't know what she'd think when she saw, with her own two eyes, a family with two mommies

And you know what she thought? Nothing. Didn't even phase her. It never registered as odd or out of place, it was never even something she mentioned, because she saw exactly what she sees every day: a bunch of kids with parents who love them, and give them coconut popsicles if you ask enough times. She wasn't even phased or the slightest bit confused when we all laughed about the last time we'd seen each other, when four year old 2of3 got into a heated argument with the entire family at a wedding, because it was UNCLE CHELSEA, EVERYONE, NOT AUNTIE SHUT UP. 

 

Children can change the way wee see everything, if we just shut up and follow their lead occasionally. 

I didn't vote last election. I was in Canada, it was a huge hassle, whatever whatever yada bullshit excuse, I was in Canada. This year, I look at my son who will be old enough to be drafted/fight and die in a war/vote come the next election and I think crap, I have to show him this is the only thing that matters in his whole entire life on November 6th. I have to show him that this is Priority Numero Uno, especially in Maricopa County where they have purposely whoopsie! tried to trick non-English speaking people into not voting, twice. So I registered to vote in a state that I don't want to be tied to because all I want to do is get out of here at my first earliest convenience and I have attachment issues like that, but I did it.

I registered to vote. Because it's the right thing for my kids.

I live here. Because for today, it's the right thing for my kids.

It's also very good for my taste buds. 

I'm getting really good at this cookie thing in Arizona, and I'm finding that the more I get into baking cookies, the more I get into Pinterest. I kind of hate myself for this: I find steampunk endlessly annoying and I don't care what color my staples are. Pinterest is not my thing. 

Except when it kind of is.

I don't google search recipes anymore - I Pinterest search. I don't twitter crowdsource Halloween crafts for my kids anymore - I Pinterest-source. 9/10 of the shit on Pinterest makes me worry, a lot, about the state of The American Public, but that remaining 1/10 is absolute, glorious, lemony good.

And royalty-free porn.

And I wonder why no one follows me on Pinterest.

So I kind of hate Pinterest, and I kind of hate honey, but I do like a clever contest and I really, really like taking trips, so I thought I'd mention this honey board contest I found while I was looking up porn lemon bread recipes on Pinterest the other day. They're giving like $4,500 in travel away or something. I didn't look too closely. Honey. *shudder*

Sadly, my main traveling days are over. I do get to travel a little bit with my new job at BlogHer (it's not really new, I still just can't believe I get to do THIS job for THIS company), but not nearly as much as I did in 2011. Last year I was on the road every single month of the year - tripping the fuck out over double rainbows in Oregon, singing all the words to New Edition songs in Maryland, and standing in front of the Walmart crying my American eyes out from toilet-shock in Harbin, China. Jim posted to day about our year on the road, and over course the whole post is bass fishing, donuts, and Cadillacs. Men, can't travel with'm, can't get them to apologize for making you film them eating bugs. I guess we can call him giving away a night at any Radission his atonement. 

I didn't actually find a suitable lemon bread recipe on Pinterest the other day, but I did find a lemon cookie recipe that I screwed six ways to Sunday today (though they look *magnificent*, and that, friends, is the magic of Pinterest) and I got a pumpkin bread recipe off Twitter from True Insolence that could end war n' stuff better than singin' loud (just dated myself right there, didn't I?). If you want it, drop her an @true_insolence tweet. 

And I'm trying to figure out what, if anything, to cook baby daddy on Halloween for his 40th birthday, and really, go ahead and ask me how weird it is that the angsty, writerly, built like a freight-train swimmer boy I saw across the room at Bennigan's just last week is turning FOUR OH next week. 

Weirdness abounds. Especially since I don't know if I am supposed to acknowledge it or not. Kids and divorce should both come with rules, especially when they cross streams. 

More notable than that is the fact that yesterday was my vagina's second birthday. ::confetti::

Two short years ago, some jerk stole my uterus and replaced it with a bendy straw he tried to pass off as a vagina. He said to me at my six week checkup, "this is the kid of surgery that either gets me a cigar and a bottle of scotch, or a broken nose." He was seriously the best OB ever.

The worst thing to come of this is that I am 37 and I want a baby so bad I can fucking taste it and I want to name it Floyd thanks SueBob and mine are all too big to cuddle and I can't have one anymore. The best thing to come of this is probably that, but also that my vagina now has both its own PR Director and Social Media Manager

@bblymwndtnnl on Twitter

See, what I know that companies like @KitchenAidUSA and @StubHub clearly don't is that you have to have extraordinary people, ones who are invested in both the message and the mechanism, holding the keys to your social media campaigns. Social media eats mediocrity for lunch. If you're going to properly brand something, you've got to have a team behind you that is in, 100%. 

Also, a team that will not post the pictures of your post-surgery sutures that you sent them via text message in a morphine-induced haze onto your pinterest free porn board, no matter how tempting it may be.

Excellence through discretion. That's Team Bubble Yum Wind Tunnel

Also, authenticity. 100% of bloggers surveyed agreed. 

PR, Social Media, and Testimonials. I think I'm going to sign my vagina up to host a Geek Bar at BlogHer '13. #doingitright

Aside: Tweets For Twats™, *the* social media management firm for vaginas, is accepting new clients. DM @bblymwndtnnl for rates and government regulations.

The Neverending Post

Sept 10th: I was supposed to hang out with my old friend Katie a few weeks ago, which is was to be stupendous because: 

A) I haven't seen Katie since last we sat in a rooftop hot tub and she told me the 15 reasons why she was no where close to having children. That plan worked out well for her. 

B) Baby Daddy takes the kids every Saturday, but I haven't had one person to hang out with since I moved here, which leaves me little choice but to spend my Saturdays scrubbing tile and watching Sandra Bullock romcoms on Netflix.

C) ZOMGBABY

So we were all set to spend the day together on a Saturday and of course I met up with the business end of this flu that had been courting all of us for the previous month or so. I don't remember much of that weekend, because I spent most of it wrapped up in a Snuggie which Vicks sent me while pouring sweat from my calves, having really horrible nightmares, and eating all the egg drop soup I could get my germ-ridden hands on. 

I think that's where this tweet came from. 

Not that I remember tweeting it, but it's there in my stream. That whole weekend is feeling a lot like the weeks right after my surgery, when I slowly began to realize that I had a number of out-bound text messages on my phone, to close friends both male and female, containing pictures of my sutures. Which, you know, were in/on/around my lady bits.

If you google perineum, make sure your image search is off. You're welcome. 

I also don't remember any of that. I can only conclude that there is a strain of the morphine-flu going around, and I caught it.

Sept 15th: The irony here is that I was still sick when I drafted the first half of this post, and I cannotforthelifeofme remember where I was going with it. I think I wanted to do a daily gratitude list or something? See? I had to be on flu/drugs. Daily posts. Me. HA. 

But now I am sick again (iknowright?) and I can't stop sneezing, and I do mean CANNOT STOP. I have sneezed more times this morning than I have in my whole life combined thusfar ever. I let my 12 year old watch me flush out my left sinuses with a dixie cup full of tepid water this morning, and now he may never look me in the eye, or nostril, again. 

I'm pretty sure his gratitude list today will be helium, video games, and anything else that kills brain cells, particularly in the prefrontal lobe area.  

My gratitude list for today would be Puffs Plus with Vicks, and pantyliners. 

Oct 5th: I pretty much gave up on that post here and now I've got like four other posts in draft which will also probably never see the light of day. See? It's not that I don't blog, Momo, it's that I don't publish. BIG DIFF. 

But then last night my daughter went from seven-going-on-14 to 102° in like five seconds flat and right now I am sitting here watching my daughter sleep off this same crud that cause all of that nonsense up there while I'm working right here next to her, where I can get her anything she needs whenever she needs it, and I am really just so totally grateful to have this amazing privilege to have both a career and the ability to be here for my kids when they need me, even when those two things have to happen at the exact same time. 

Working from home exclusively is hard. No, it's soul-crushing. I think that's a fair statement. It's hard to miss out on Thursday Shoe Shots and Friday Happy Hours. It sucks when you realize that you haven't spoken to the actual face of another adult in more than five days. Most of the time I hate everything about it, but then this happens

this happens and I am reminded of why I am doing all of this - the blog, the job, everything - and how amazingly lucky I am to be afforded the gift of time for all of it. 

My gratitude list for today is BlogHer, high-speed internet, Children's Advil, and showers right before the kids come home so they don't think I've just been sleeping all day. 

What's yours?

Saving Private Benjamin

Sometimes I try to wrap my head around the fact that there is a day this year that won't exist next year and then I trip and fall into a wormhole of high school quantum physics and the left side of my brain goes on strike until I end up self-medicating with the Spice Girls - who, for good or evil, know whatIreallyreallywant.

BlogHer '12The 29th is the last day you can register for early bird pricing and save $100 off a BlogHer '12 conference pass. You should come because it's fun, it's informative, it's New York, and because Lesbian Dad and I are working our booties off to make it awesome for you (proof). <--we did that *squee*

I thought I'd commemorate the last day to save a Benjamin with my top five four favorite things related to saving. You spend 16 years in a Judeo-Christian cult and walk away without some salvation-based issues.

On saving days:

On saving math:
Actual billboards in New York in 2007. Best billboard of all time ever. Photo creditBackstory at XKCD.

On saving me:

The song is actually called Manhattan but it's just about the best little chick-punk-pop tunes about saving you ever did hear on the radios.

And my all-time favorite thing ever, saving related or not - On saving THEM: