Monthly Archives: November 2011

First Guest Blogger! John and the Combover Controversy.

You know when you get married? And you take vows? And you’re all, like, “I vow to never, ever, ever look a fool!” or “I vow to always look my stylish best!” or at the very least, “I vow to never embarrass you in public!”? Remember?

Well, John forgot. He forgot so hard that the other night, he seriously and quite casually mentioned, with a touch of excitement that he will one day sport a combover. To which I replied, in record time, “I want a divorce.”

And now, in the interest of equal time, I will let John have the floor. Take it away, hubby!

* * *

Guys. Fellas. Dudes.


We know what ladies want, right? Eh?


Oh, they might say they don’t like them. They might constantly make fun of them. They might visibly shudder at the sight of one. They might even go so far as to verbally utter, in all seriousness, possibly under oath, with or without a bailiff present “I sincerely hate combovers and I will initiate divorce proceedings if you if start doing it.”

But . . . c’mon, we know better right?

Here’s the thing: combovers have a bad rap. Why? Because you only ever notice the bad ones, the failures. And they are failures because they are noticeable. The essence of a successful combover is stealth. You can never tell a guy with a good combover because you can’t see it. He looks like he has a good head of hair. And because stealth and secrecy are essential to the combover, no one with a good combover will ever willingly reveal that his apparent copious hair is actually an intricate ruse.

So judging combovers in general solely by its worst possible examples–fifteen 12-inch strands stretched from somewhere around the occipital bone to the eyebrows–is like judging the entire medium of film solely by Michael Bay movies, or plastic surgery solely by . . . people with bad, obvious plastic surgery.

So, when the time comes, guys, you know what to do. Agree with your lady that combovers are tacky, then mentally high-five yourself for your successful, invisible combover.

* * *

And now for a bit of realism from your trusty friend, Sarah.

Ahem. First of all: bros? Really?

Second of all, I know what the ladies like because I am, in fact, a lady. A lady that married a man with a full head of hair and at the time, some sense in the head that is under the hair. Seriously, John is known for his hair! He’s the Lady Ga Ga of hair! Out of all the men in his family (four, total) he is the most gifted in the hair category, although third in Math. He’s got the second largest head, though which brings us to issue #3.

Honey. I love you. But your head is . . . well, huge. It’s masked by your beautiful, luxurious dark head of hair. And your glasses tend to shift focus away from the girth, but it’s pretty big. Sort of like my nose. We get what we get, right? And I love your big head! I love it so much! And there’s a really big brain in your really big head! Such a big brain that I’m a little stunned that you would actually consider a combover!

See, here’s the thing. You say that you can’t judge a good combover because you can’t see it, but that’s just plain silly! The thing about eyes, see, is that they can like, see stuff. Like, clearly. And unless you plug that shit, we are going to see your stealthy combover. Because we, as women, notice everything. Let me say that again. We. Notice. Everything. Not only do we notice everything, but we can actually predict the future, too.

Add to that the fact that our record for being right about pretty much everything is, well, to account for really dumb women, about 98% and you’ve got yourself a really unstealthy combover.

This is on the Things My Husband Should Never Do list! Right between “must never become suddenly religious” and “will never use the word ‘bro’”! It clearly states, “my husband will never, ever, ever, ever have a combover. Like, never, ever, ever.” So, this leaves us one option, which is clearly, divorce. Because, bro? I didn’t marry my high school social studies teacher. Mr. Holland you are not. Which is a good thing, because he was a total tool.



Filed under Love & Marriage.

Ode To Tucson.

My first night in Tucson I slept in the trunk of my car. Well, technically, I slept both in the trunk of my car and the back seat, but it was darker in the trunk, so my head was there. This girl’s all about comfort. Thor and I left Santa Fe with the intention of getting to Tucson in time for dinner, but let’s just say that when traveling with someone like Thor, you get held up by frequent stops at places that fill them with wonder and delight, when in fact, they are just really shitty rest stops in the middle of nowhere. But to Thor, well, he tended to find something to marvel at everywhere we were, even if it was a simple a discarded shoe in the middle of the road. Actually, Thor had a few items of clothing that he wore all the time that were retrieved from the middle of the road. That’s just how he rolled. Once he actually found a sick bird on the side of the road and spent weeks trying to nurse it back to health. It was weird.

That first night in the car was pretty awful. Thor assured me that he had chosen a safe neighborhood, and now, years later, I know that it was a safe neighborhood. It was the Sam Hughes neighborhood, a lovely residential area filled with coveted historic homes. But at the time, considering what Thor thought was beautiful, I was convinced we were in the ghetto. He would have loved the ghetto. (He had his gun after all.) And truth be told, I didn’t want to be in Tucson. I wanted to be back in Santa Fe, where I was just beginning to enjoy my life, and meet people that I wanted to stay in my life. But this was a difficult age for me. I was still very much a follower, and it was easy for me to prioritize Thor’s goals over mine, since mine seemed so insignificant and unclear, and his seemed, like, totally groovy, man.

Actually, he had no goals. Hmmm. I may need to rethink my reasoning.

And then there was Tucson. I resisted Tucson like a junkie resists getting clean. For a long time, I just wouldn’t—couldn’t—commit to a life here. I talked often about where I would move and spoke poorly of Tucson. I did this for at least 13 years. So, why am I still here? I tried to leave, once. Well, I didn’t just try to leave, John and I actually left. We packed all our stuff, shoved it in a Penske truck and drove it all the way to Cleveland after being lured there by a recent, perfectly timed visit, which occurred right at the peak of fall. Seriously. I know you’re probably thinking how the fuck can Cleveland, Ohio lure anyone away from anywhere? But after years in the desert, we were yearning for grass, foliage, and water. One drive through the city of Cleveland Heights on a beautiful, crisp, sunny fall day, with gold, red, and orange leaves gently falling on a red brick road in Little Italy and . . . sweet mamajama—we were sold.

We left four months later. Drawn away from the really, really, really fucking cold weather.

Even after that, until this past year, I still spent hours online and with books like Cities Ranked and Rated or Top 100 Small Art Towns, researching cities. And then, suddenly, I woke up to the reality of my life in this city. I’m not sure why it took so long. Maybe because my brain is really small?

Really. My brain is so, so small. The children ate it.

The appeal of Tucson is based on the contrast between the ugly and the beautiful, and how they mingle. At first glance, you see an enormous amount of dirt, rocks, and pavement, weird plants, crumbling buildings, tagged walls, rusted iron, trash, lots and lots of trash, and questionable people walking the streets, or begging for money. And the sun. SIPNEL! The sun! It burns the eyes!

But it’s the kind of place that requires that you look closer. Once you do, you begin to see the sparkle. Once your eyes adjust to the light, that is. The mosaic bench in the middle of a poor urban area, the iron artwork taking up an entire yard that at first glance looks like discarded junk, but upon closer inspection reveals an incredible, large, complex found-art installation.

It seems obvious to most people that the mountains make this city beautiful, but it is so easy to forget them! We spend so much time driving through the city (no easy interstate access), fighting traffic, or being blinded by the sun that we forget to look up and out. When I remember to do that, I still gasp at the sight of them. Still, the beauty of the desert can be hard for people to understand. If you don’t live here, it’s easy to only see the dirt and dust. But I’m always struck by things like the seeming impossibility of desert life. How can things grow so heartily here? It’s mindblowing to me that in a place that is so dry, and in earth that is so hard and rock filled, so many things can grow, survive, and thrive. It’s both alarmingly beautiful and mystifying. Even when plants die here its alarmingly beautiful and mystifying!

And how could I not mention the weather? It’s really fucking hot. And yes, it’s a dry heat. Let’s get this right out of the way: dry heat is better. On a recent trip back east, I had the chance to experience the high eighties with 100 percent humidity, and I actually believed I would die. Or at the very least, manage to have a bad hair day even without having much hair at all. Things that shouldn’t be moist were, well, really freaking moist. I think that my eyeballs actually became sweaty. So, yes. It’s better here. The seasons are different in that we don’t really have a fall that appears to be fall. What we do have is really amazing weather in the fall which makes it all better. And occasionally you have people who send you things like this:

So, really, we don’t miss much. After 17 years of winter in upstate New York, I can say with conviction that I would hands down rather bitch about the sun than have to drive down a snowy road wondering at which second I may hit a patch of black ice and careen into a tree.

People are surprised to learn that Tucson is so large. It is. It’s huge. But it’s also tiny. I can’t go anywhere in this city without seeing someone I know. I could be 40 minutes from my home and still see someone that I know. In fact, we were in Phoenix a few weeks ago and . . . you guessed it . . . I saw someone that I know. As someone said to a national news outlet just after the mass shooting last year, there aren’t even six degrees of separation here. If we are separated at all, it’s not by much. Which is why, I think, the shooting in January felt so personal. There seemed to be a collective gasp from the entire city, and a flood of . . . Oh, I don’t know, a kind of instant familial feeling amongst all of us.

There are a lot of Tucson natives here, but it’s also full of people from elsewhere. In Santa Fe, I would meet someone one week and they would be gone the next. This happened at least thirty times while I was there. Eventually, I found myself sticking to friends I already had history with, knowing that they weren’t gonna go anywhere, and if they did, I would pretty much know where they were going, so I could stalk them. Forever. Anyway, it was the most transient community I have ever lived in. I know now that I could never have built a life there. I know this now mostly because of the kind of life I have built here. And this is where the real reason for loving this city comes in: the people. Good God! It’s an explosion of nice people! It could have happened anywhere, sure. But it happened here, and I, for one, am grateful it did. Suddenly I find my life so full. Full of friends. And support like I’ve never experienced. People who care about the community, local business, art, music, family, books . . . they are all up in my life! I love it! I realize that there are nice, interesting people everywhere if you look hard enough, but here they seem to be the majority! And they are shockingly unpretentious and open.

Years ago, I went back home to central New York for a visit, and while grocery shopping, I behaved as I do in Tucson: looking people in the eye, smiling, occasionally speaking to people (or trying to), being aware of my space as I make my way through the grocery store . . . Just generally being really annoying. What I found was that I was the odd one out: no one else looked around, no one looked happy, and not one person seemed to sense when there was another person in their vicinity. They all seemed to be experiencing some sort of hell. Either that or they were all stoned on pain medication and unable to move their facial muscles. Whatever the reason, it totally threw me off and woke me up at the same time. How lucky I am to live here, in a place where people are present and thoughtful, and where I’m never alone. How nice to finally be able to call Tucson my home.


Filed under Confessions., Women and friendship.

A Poll! A Poll! And Not The Stripper Kind!!!

Hello dear readers!

In lieu of recent, er, mid life crisis’s, I have decided to pursue something completely shocking. You may want to sit down for this announcement because, really, it’s a doozy. What, you ask?


I know, I know…why? Right? Who the hell do I think I am, anyway? All of a sudden I’m going to start writing? Sheesh.

No, seriously. I really, really am. And since I have actually been doing it now for a year and a half in this format, I think I shall continue doing it in this format, with some slight changes. And this is where you come in. I need a little guidance, some perspective and possibly a large sum of cash, if you can manage it.

So far I have stayed true to my original post, which basically was an explosion of whatever was going through my mind at the time. I have yet to actually craft a post with a specific intention, and have managed to write as I am experiencing the thing that has motivated me to write. This has come natural to me, yet some readers have asked, “where the hell do you go for two, three weeks at a time?” and I have been advised by some pretty freaking smart people to write more frequently so as not to lose readers. Which is hilarious, because all this time I have felt all comfy with the gaps in between, because I would hate to be a bother. I realize that I am adorable, but people can only take so much. So, now that I am going to take this thing to the next level, I will be writing more.

So, here is a poll. If you are like me, and live for polls, this is right up your alley. If you are a lunatic and dislike polls, well, consider this you tossing me a life saver as I bob up and down, surrounded by great white sharks.

Alright. I may have taken that too far.

Please, answer these honestly and feel free to leave a more detailed comment. This will be a process for me, and any assistance I can get would be greatly appreciated. For starters, PLEASE share my blog with people. Send me in an e-mail (I can lose some weight for this), post me on your wall, suggest to your friends that they “like” my facebook page, actually subscribe to my blog, tell your friends…pimp me people! That is a sentence I will never, ever utter again.

Thanks, every one. If you only knew just how much I appreciate you and your kind words, and knowing that you like me. You really, really like me!

And this concludes this post. Please know that this went unedited, as my dear husband works for a living. I blame any errors completely on him.


Filed under All of them.

Holy Mid-life Crisis Batman!

Not to be dramatic or anything, but I’m having a midlife career crisis. It’s all, like, wicked stressful. For those of you who know me well, or even just a little, it should be fairly obvious that I love my career. I love doing it, talking about it, receiving it, teaching it, and I love the people that do it, too. Although some of them are a little bit odd.

Anyhoo . . .

There are many things that I imagined doing in my life. Popping out the kids, for example, or buying a couch. Seriously, the couch was a big deal. And there are a lot of things that I have yet to do that I imagine will happen, and I’m totally cool with that. For example, I imagine that at some point I will be incontinent. I can see that is in my future, and I’m hopeful that by then, I will be paying my manservants to spoon feed me out of crystal bowls, so my level of care will be such that a little trickling urine will be no biggie. What I never imagined I would be doing though, is thinking about what I want to do with my life. That I thought I had all figured out.

And then of course, my birthday is coming up. Did you know that? I can’t imagine how any of you could have missed it, what with my giant ego and all. Also, with the many obnoxious reminders to RSVP for my big party. Speaking of which, would you please RSVP for my freaking party? I mean, really. How hard is it to click a fucking button?

I digress.

So the birthday, it’s approaching and giving me another fantastic opportunity to consider my life. The older I get, the more painful that becomes. Time moves faster. Literally. Seriously, if you are over 35, look at the clock, it will totally trip you out. It’s like time is on acid.

So, now that time is moving so fast, I have an enormous amount of empathy for people who used to really annoy me. Like my parents. It’s astounding that I am still a living, breathing, functioning person! They let me live! Say what you will about your parents, or mine for that matter, but reflect for a moment over your previous age of 15-17, and then take a moment to repent. Unless you were valedictorian or something, and in that case, well, I guess all I can say is, way to apply yourself.

Me? Not so focused. Well, unless you count being focused on myself, because I was certainly excelling at that. Now that I’m older, I am beginning to realize that not too much has changed. It’s a little daunting, trying to grow as a human being. It’s hard! And really, really, really stressful, because I have such little time and so many other things to do! If you looked in my shower right now, you’d be all, “Girl! Don’t be growing, clean your freaking shower!” It’s much more convenient to put off the growing til later.

It turns out I have some issues. Well, besides the obvious psychological ones. I’m talking about physical issues. And these issues are the kind that make my doctors tilt their head to the side, look at me with great, heartfelt sympathy when they find out what my career is, and say, “Oh, well, you are going to want to change that.” One of them said, “Oh, honey. You chose the worst possible career for your kind of physical challenges.” She also told me I had to stop eating salad, which really upset me. I love salad! No salad? Isn’t that like telling a child that they can’t have a fucking teddy bear? Come on!

Listen. I knew that having a history of arthritis made me a little unique to the field of massage. In the back of my mind, I had a feeling that my time as an LMT was limited. I just thought that it would come later in my life. In the last month, I have discovered that I have degenerative disc disease in my jaw, no joint(s) in my jaw, arthritis in my upper cervicals (neck, for you dummies) and mandible (jaw, duh), scoliosis, hypermobility (which turns out to not be a good thing), and an issue with ongoing pain. All of this exasperated by one major thing: stress on my body.

I stumbled into my career as a massage therapist (NOT masseuse—make a note of that) by doing what I do best, which is not much. Really, what I have always excelled at (I find the awareness of this quirk to be comforting) is following people. A friend moved to Colorado for college. I followed her and did, well, not much. Not much later, a couple of friends moved to Santa Fe for massage school, and so did I. And once I got there, I did . . . well, not much. What I ended up doing in Santa Fe (besides living in a storage unit and making my way through through very crazy jobs) was receive a shitload of massage. When you have friends that are in massage school, you quickly enter the world of touch. Sure, I got a lot of massage, but there were other profoundly subtle changes that took over my life. No one greeted me without touching me in some way. In fact, no one really spoke to me without touching me. It’s incredibly hard to articulate, other than to say that after living in a body that hurt all the time, where I was touched by health care professionals in a clinical, pain-measuring way, I began to be touched with compassion. And for the first time in my life, I was able to experience freedom from pain. It was profound for me.

It took another couple of years and moving to another state for me to attend massage school. Since then, I have done something rather unusual for me: I have continued to do the same thing. You’re reading the blog of a woman that has moved like, 37 times and had over 30 jobs. It says a lot that I have not changed my career in 12 years. A lot. Which makes this all the more difficult. I can’t possibly imagine doing something that brings me the same amount of connection and satisfaction. I have no job stress (well, other than a recent dress code debacle that shall remain unspoken about here), and I look forward to my work day, every day. Where else will I find that? Not to mention, what else am I good at? Seriously, people! It’s true that I can make a nice necklace, but what else am I good at that can earn me a living? I simply have no idea.

When I think about the things I’m good at, here is what I come up with:

Multitasking, laundry, time projection, making fox cages with pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks, running errands, party planning, eating, sleeping, saying wildly inappropriate things at the worst time, buying beads, shopping, making dinner, and massage.

I’m stumped. And sad. And slightly depressed. Which is why I am drinking wine. Lots and lots of wine.

So it seems I am at a crossroads. I imagined that I would begin physical therapy and discover a way to improve how I feel in my body and guess what? I did! Yet, the first 10 minutes in a massage takes whatever I have accomplished in physical therapy and obliterates it. I realize that all this time over the course of my career I have been alright with the pain because I have been helping others, and that seemed more important. I think it just felt good to me to do something that I did and do well since I hadn’t experienced that before. But, in that last year I came to a moment of clarity when I realized the unfairness of that. Super unfair.

It’s been a while since my last post. Today, more than any other, it feels as if I am writing in a diary (which I don’t do, by the way. I am the most annoying diary writer. I write for an audience, of which there is none!) instead of a blog. I’ve been preoccupied with specialist appointments and discoveries. Not to mention some elaborate freaking Halloween costumes for the little people that I live with. My time has been taken by these things, and with the amount of thinking I need to do. So I apologize for that. And I ask of you, those who know me (those that don’t can chime in, too. It may be interesting!) what, oh what, am I good at?


Filed under Confessions., Pain, TMJD and Arthritis