Spoiler Alerts

Spoiler Alerts

I took a friend’s daughter to see Only The Brave this weekend. It worked nicely for both of us, because she “never gets to do anything” and I didn’t have to go to the movie by myself. After the movie, I posted something to my Facebook page about it, because if you don’t put it on social media, does it even count? (jk…I swear I’m not one of those “I MUST post EVERYTHING” people.) Anyway, a friend of mine commented “Um….thanks for telling me he dies!” and I’m 99% sure she’s being sarcastic about it, which is cool. Sarcastic people are my favorite.

The message I got from a complete stranger though….that has me questioning society as a whole. It read in part “You have a responsibility to NOT share the ending of movies before people have a chance to see them.”  Um….what in the hell?! First of all, the movie had been out for 10 days when I posted something about Josh Brolin dying, and secondly, it’s based on a true freaking story! Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure “spoiler alerts” aren’t possible in movies that are based on actual events. BUT….in case you missed basic history or current events, and because I’m feeling like quite the sarcastic jerk today, here’s some more “spoiler alerts” for you.

  • World Trade Center: Airplanes hit the World Trade Center and Pentagon killing nearly 3000 people
  • American Sniper: Chris Kyle gets shot
  • JFK: Y’all, the president gets assassinated during a parade
  • Lincoln: You’ll never guess, but he gets shot in a theater
  • Pompeii: Mount Vesuvius erupts, that’s not good
  • Zero Dark Thirty: Seal Team 6 kills Osama bin Laden
  • Titanic: The entire movie leads up to the boat sinking. Who knew?!
  • First Man: Now this one is in pre-production, and due to release next year, but it’s about Neil Armstrong, and you’ll never believe it, but he walks on the moon!
  • Pearl Harbor: Japan attacks the US at Pearl Harbor bringing the US in to WW2
  • Marie Antoinette: executed by guillotine
  • Apollo 13: after the infamous “Houston, we have a problem,” and some makeshift repairs, the astronauts make it back safely.
  • Milk: A gay activist becomes California’s first openly gay elected official
  • Only The Brave: …the one that got me in “trouble”…it’s the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who were killed in 2013 when the fire they were fighting blocked their escape route and trapped them.

Finally, because some day, someone is going to make a movie about this one, you know they will, but *ADVANCE SPOILER ALERT*, just so you’re not upset when the movie is released, in November 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States of America, and the country lost its collective shit.

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What’s your name?

What’s your name?

In an effort to remember that my kid isn’t ALWAYS a giant teenage asshole (let’s be honest, some days that’s a giant mother forking struggle!), it’s probably time to reminisce about the times when he was actually kind of cute and fun to be around.

First, I have to admit that once upon a time, I thought Wal-Mart wasn’t that bad of a place to shop. I got smarter and realized it’s actually a portal to Hell disguised as a discount store, but before that, I shopped there, because as a single parent, you need to save money, and at one point in our lives, we’ve all been brainwashed in to thinking that’s the place to do it.

On one such shopping trip with the kid, we were standing in a ridiculously long line waiting to buy whatever we couldn’t live without. Side note: WHY do they do this? Really, there’s like 500 checkstands and 3 of them are open. Have you EVER been in a Wal-Mart that has more than half of their cash registers open? I didn’t think so. Those 500 checkstands are a myth. They’re there to make you think that at any given time there could be 2000 other people in the store and ALL of them will want the stuff you’re thinking you might need someday, so you should buy it all now before someone else can. It’s a fantastic way to boost sales.

Anyway, I digress…as I was unloading things for the cashier, this sweet little lady behind us was making faces at my 2-year-old and talking to him in that voice we all use with babies, animals, and stupid people.  After a minute or so she asked him “What’s your name sweetheart?”

As plain as day, he responded “Damn it Bryan, no!”

At that point I should have known what the next 16+ years had in store. Instead, it was all I could do to not just literally die laughing at the horrified expression on her face. If only I knew how many times I was going to utter those words, I probably would have just gone ahead and named him “Damn it Bryan, no.”

Is that a hair in your food?

Is that a hair in your food?

Business lunches are my favorite. It’s working, but you don’t have to be at work for it. They also result in either the rep you’re having lunch with paying, or a nice tax deduction for yourself. I think they’re the best way to break up the monotony of a work day, all while continuing to be paid for working. The other reason I prefer lunch meetings with potential business partners (or first dates on the rare occasion that those happen), is the opportunity to see how people react when they’re on a time constraint, and things have the potential of not going their way. If you treat the restaurant staff like crap because something goes wrong, or they’re slower than you think they should be, the chances that we are going to have any sort of relationship, business or otherwise, are slim to none. There’s also the “well, I need to get back to work” excuse if things are going poorly.

A while ago, I was at just such a lunch. I don’t even remember what the person was trying to sell me, but it was free lunch and good company, so I didn’t mind being there. We were talking shop when I looked at my salad, pulled out a hair, examined it for a second, then put it on a napkin and kept eating. This HORRIFIED the person I was with. They immediately started ranting about how disgusting and unhygienic that was. How they would never eat at this restaurant again, and how they were going to tell the waitress that they demanded that meal be free.

About half way through the ongoing tirade, I wished I would have ordered the moscato, because it pairs so nicely with adult temper tantrums. Near the end of the seemingly unending spew of complaints, they looked at me and said “I can’t believe you would even think about eating your lunch after finding a hair in it.” To which I responded, “Well, it was about a foot long and green, so I’m almost 100% positive it was mine. Thanks for lunch, but I’ve got to get back to work.”

Do you need ice cream or an alibi?

Do you need ice cream or an alibi?

One should never underestimate the therapeutic power of friendship. I mean the real friends, not the ones who say “Let me know if you ever need anything” to placate themselves, only to never hear from them again, aside from a random like on social media once in a while.

I recently came across a study that said 10% of adults don’t have a best friend, which really sucks for them, because I have several, and I couldn’t live without them. I’m not being overly dramatic in saying that. Hand to God, there are times over the last few decades that these people have seriously saved my life…or my sanity….or my ability to breathe air outside of the gray bar hotel. Either way, they’ve saved my life.

Making friends in school is easy. Play a sport, pick up an extra curricular activity, or whatever. The next thing you know, there’s never a day that you’re not piling in to someone’s car for lunch, skipping class, heading to a party on the weekend, or laughing so hard over lunch with the girls that you swear it counts as cardio. I don’t know…maybe that’s just an Alaska thing, but it feels like when you grow up on 14 miles of island, everyone is just friendlier.

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As an adult…or someone adult aged anyway…it’s not as easy. Maybe that’s why 10% of adults say they don’t have friends. Who do these people lean on? I mean, my friends are undoubtedly THE best people ever. Like the “if I die, I need you to clear my browser history and rid my house of anything that will embarrass my family” coolest. That’s a thing you know? Everyone needs that friend who can keep it together long enough to clear your browser history, get rid of the embarrassing things, post to your social media for you as if you still have Facebook on whatever side of eternity you ended up on, and in my case, make sure they play “Drop it Like It’s Hot” as they lower you in to the ground just to lighten the mood at the funeral you didn’t want them to be having in the first place. They’re the people who you just want to live with when you’re older and have so much fun that people wonder if you’re maybe losing your mind because that’s the only logical way to explain why you’re still acting like you’re teenagers.

Do you need ice cream or an alibi?

My core group of best bitches, and some of the very best of my friends get it. That’s how we respond to life’s trials. I mean, it’s not always ice cream. Sometimes it’s a walk, wine, chocolate, tacos, coffee, someone to watch your tiny humans so you can pee without an audience, a little financial help…you get the point.

  • My husband is such an ass. (obviously not a problem I have)
  • Why can’t you leave teenagers at the fire department with no questions asked like you can with an infant?!
  • Guys, I think it’s time to break up with my boyfriend. (still not a problem of mine)
  • I need to move, and I don’t know where to start.
  • My #$*@()! car is in the shop again.
  • My ex…well that’s a whole laundry list of my ex this, and my ex that, and I just don’t have the time to list those.
  • My kid moved on my birthday.
  • My kid dropped out of high school.
  • My kid moved back home and isn’t doing ANYTHING with his life.
  • You would not believe the day I had at work!
  • There’s far too many bills left at the end of my money.
  • If I don’t get some time with other humans, I’m going to go insane
  • Guys, I can’t spend one more minute with nothing but my thoughts today.
  • I just got a 24 hour shut off notice and I don’t get paid for 3 more days
  • You will not believe what so and so just said/did

All of these have been very well responded to with “Do you need ice cream or an alibi?” And then we laugh, sometimes joke about needing bail money instead, and then go have ice cream for dinner at 7:30 at night, because we are adults, and nobody can tell us we can’t. Ice cream or alibi friends are the best thing in the world, and everyone needs at least one of them.

 

Things that give life a purpose

Things that give life a purpose

I don’t know where in the actual hell summer went this year. I’m sitting in my office at this exact moment wearing a beanie and a sleeveless shirt, refusing to believe it’s over. Not that I REALLY need the beanie…but I haven’t remedied the eyebrow issue I’ve been avoiding since last week, and I’m having a bad hair day anyway, so it’s the beanie to the rescue! I mean, I know exactly what happened to summer this year for me. Basically it was this Rihanna song….work, work, work, work, work, and you can’t really understand the rest of it.

So, I was sitting around feeling a little sorry for myself when I decided to take a peek at my Facebook memories for the day. That’s when I came across the memory that changed my entire day. The memory that reminded me, that maybe it feels like all I do is work, because between 2 jobs and some volunteer work, it literally is all I do. But holy crap is the volunteer work worth it or what?! wp-1507847392924..jpg

Two years ago, I was at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Salt Lake City. We were talking to thousands of people about health care legislation that would affect the lives of people with cancer. It was great, but I remember really just wanting the walk to be over, and the thousands of people attending it to leave, so I could take a private tour of the Hope Lodge before it opened a few days later. You see, during the 2 years prior to that, I had been anxiously awaiting the opening of the Hope Lodge in Salt Lake City. It’s dormitory style, short-term housing for people who don’t live in Salt Lake City, but are being treated for cancer in Salt Lake City hospitals. It’s free, and it serves people from all over the country! It’s one of my favorite programs offered by the American Cancer Society, and it’s something a whole lot of us had been a part of fundraising like crazy for.

As we were wrapping up at Strides, we met a woman who was talking to us about her journey with breast cancer. In talking to her, we found out she was in Salt Lake City being treated, but she lived in North Dakota. We also found out she was living in her car, because she couldn’t afford treatment AND housing.

And… queue the tears, from all of us.

This woman was receiving chemotherapy and radiation while living in a freaking car…in Northern Utah…heading in to the freaking winter. I don’t know about you, but I am THE biggest damn baby when I don’t feel well. I want someone to rub my back, make me lemon tea, and just hold me so I can go to sleep. Then I remember I’m a “strong, independent woman” and the only person doing that crap for me is me. The point is, I at least get to go home to a comfy bed, and it doesn’t last forever. This woman was dealing with that and more EVERY day, while living in her mf’n car. Unacceptable!

We talked to this woman for close to an hour about the help available to her through the American Cancer Society. We gave her the number to call to access services (1-800-ACS-2345) so she could get some assistance with a hotel for a couple of days, and then get in to the Hope Lodge when it opened.

Seeing this picture in my memories today brought that memory in its entirety back. The feelings, the sounds, the tiredness, the emotions….all of it flooding back. Maybe in the sense of missing vacations because I worked every single day from Memorial Day to half way through July, and then only had a day or 2 free in the next 2 months, summer was a failure. But if even one more person didn’t have to sleep in a car while being treated for cancer, or have to wonder how they were going to pay for their next treatment, or wonder why some suit in Washington DC thinks they shouldn’t have health insurance, or worry how they’ll afford it if their insurance gets taken away, if even 1 more person didn’t have to worry about things like that, it was worth it.

 

Priorities

Priorities

You know your friendship is solid when the only form of communication you have over the course of a day is stupid faces on Snapchat and memes, either texted back and forth or tagged on Facebook, and you’re both 100% ok with that. I mean, it’s not like that every day, but some days, a meme is just all you have time for. 
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Case in point: I just got this text from one of my very best friends. Scratch that… it’s more of a sisterhood…a trio of best bitches. We do have the matching tattoos to prove it after all.  “I hope my best friend meets a boy who loves her as much as I love her, because sometimes I think she forgets how well she should be treated.” I smiled, and simultaneously texted back “Can he use proper grammar too?” She said “That’s next on the list.” Basic grammar is good, mmmmkay. She gets it.

The lazy girl’s guide to buying time between eyebrow waxing

The lazy girl’s guide to buying time between eyebrow waxing

Ok…to call it the lazy girl’s guide is a bit of an overreaction. I’m not lazy, it’s just that ripping hair out of my body doesn’t rank too high on my list of priorities sometimes. That shit hurts, and if my choice is 5 hours of sleep tonight, or use hot wax to rip stray eyebrow hairs off, I’m going to bed. I’m also not waking up any earlier to remove those stray hairs that just showed up out of nowhere either. Seriously though. WHERE did they come from? It’s like one second they weren’t there and the very next *bam* eyebrows look like you haven’t touched them in months.

Here’s the trick though, because seriously, it takes more time with makeup to hide the strays by drawing those perfectly coiffed brows than it would to just remove the offending outcasts, so that’s not an option for the “wake up 15 minutes before you have to leave” kind of mornings I have. Besides, can we just agree that this is one trend that needs to die right tf now anyway? Seriously, we’re going to look back on it like we did the ultra thin brows of the 90s and wonder what the actual hell we were thinking.

I could wear giant sunglasses that cover your face from mid forehead to the corners of your mouth. I mean they’re all the rage right now too, but they’re not going to cut it working inside all day. Also, they look ridiculous. Clarification: oversized sunglasses don’t look ridiculous. I actually own a couple of pairs of them. It’s when you take oversized to the place where your face looks like it’s being consumed by flesh-eating plastic eyewear that you cross the line in to irrational.

Fortunately though, there’s option 3, the ever popular CC Beanie. Thank God for the CC beanie, cool enough weather to wear one, and a job that doesn’t care if I don’t take it off at all through the day. See, I was already planning on wearing one, because the guardian angel in charge of my hair must have been drinking heavily last night. This crap on my head was not cooperating at all, and not even the best of flat irons was going to fix it in the time I had available anyway. I smoothed the ends as much as humanly possibly, threw on the beanie, put a shirt on and headed for the door.

Once I got in my car, I realized that the act of putting a shirt on after the beanie (it was a rough morning) pulled it WAY farther down on my forehead than I usually wear it, and was just about to push it back when it hit me. If the CC beanie is covering my eyebrows, NOBODY can tell that they are in desperate need of a conversation with some wax. Also, it doens’t look ridiculous, so I’m leaving it there. BONUS!!

So…there you have it. If you just can’t be bothered to find the time for eyebrow maintenance, and you don’t feel like just sprouting the seemingly increasingly popular Sesame Street eyebrow, just rock that beanie and be thankful you don’t have anyone to impress (maybe that last part is just me). You know…because eventually the beanie does have to come off…