Kiss Me. I’m Not Irish but Screw It, It’s St. Patrick’s Day.

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This is the best holiday ever.

It’s also my brother-in-law’s birthday.

And although we’re not technically Irish, the fact that I thought we were until I was about 14 was enough to have ingrained an irrational obsession with the day for me.

You see, what had happened was that my mother had gone to an Irish school when she first moved the U.S. and as a result had developed a very strong and crazy connection with the culture. She would festoon our house and herself to the hilt, leaving anyone to think there was a pot of gold and some leprechauns hidden within.

So although I am now fully cognizant of the fact that I’m not Irish at all, which saddens me to no end, I still must celebrate this day in some way.

But because I have young children and I’m old and tired and because I had to cajole my sister and her hubby to come out for some Irish reverie, the six Cubans ended up celebrating early at a kid-friendly German establishment.

Because nothing says Erin go Bragh like Bratwurst, Sauerkraut and Wiener Schnitzel.

At least we wore an obnoxious amount of green and had that most traditional of Irish beverages, green beer. So I’m calling it a win.

 

Personal Space!

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I get that in some countries, there’s no such thing as personal space. Either because:

  • a) people, for some reason I cannot fathom, enjoy touching each other all the time or because
  • b)there are just too many people crammed together.

Now because I was born and raised in the U.S., I neither enjoy touching random people nor having random people touch me.

When I’m standing in line, I expect at least 2, if not three feet, of perimeter space.

If I can feel your breath on any part of my body, you’re standing too fucking close.

And when I try to casually move away from you a step, it is not an indication for you to also move a step closer to me. When I sigh loudly and step forward again, in no way, shape or form is it an invitation for you to do the same.

When I have tried to delicately deliver the hint to you that I am not enjoying your proximity and you still don’t fucking get it, you shouldn’t be shocked when I finally lose my whole mind and yell, “Personal Space!!!” like a fucking banshee at the top of my lungs.

The ONLY exception to this rule is if there’s a really hot guy that I wouldn’t mind “accidentally” rubbing up against.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not enjoy having my amygdala activated.

That is all.

How do you feel about people encroaching upon your personal space? Leave a comment below!

 

Thank God it’s Pi Day (π) & Einstein’s Birthday!

To honor both of these momentous events, I decided to run 3.14 miles and to share a little of why I heart both Pi and Einstein.

I have never been a fan of math. Nor it of me.

So much so that when I realized that if I majored in Marketing, I’d have to take more math classes. I promptly changed my major to Advertising and minored in Marketing instead.

But for whatever reason, I’ve always had an affinity for Pi. And for those savants that can slice Pi to 2.7 trillion digits.

Personally, I only know a handful:

π = 3.141592653589

And again, I’m ok with that.

Today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. He would have been 138 years old . I have loved Al with the passion of a thousand suns. Perhaps partly because he possessed a genius I could only aspire to.

And also because he posited the mass-energy equivalence formula, E = mc2, which happens to be my initials. So there’s that.

He also left us with some pretty insightful quotes. Below are some of my favorites:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”
”The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

Also, I may use this as an excuse to eat some pie today. Just because.

How do you celebrate Pi Day? Leave a comment below!

The Suicidal Duck

Duck close up

I was in shock. My kid was traumatized. And the duck was dead.

I was a single mom for a long time. And I was fairly young when I had my first daughter. So you can say that she and I sort of grew up together. Although, if you ask her, she’ll tell you she’s the mature one. And I’m ok with that.

When she was younger, we lived a bit of a distance from her school and my job, which meant that in order to get anywhere on time, I took a lot of shortcuts around traffic and through all sorts of neighborhoods, one of which was near a canal that was home to lots of ducks.

Now, neither my daughter nor I are morning people. Which sort of worked out since neither one of us was thrilled to be awake so early nor fond of having to speak. So we just sort of grunted at each other or rode in silence. Unless a good song came on. Or an apropos one.

Like the time we happened to be driving by the ducks and “Shake Ya Tailfeather” came on. And I cranked it up, rolled down the window and started singing and dancing along. Surprisingly, she found that amusing. And that was no easy feat. It’s incredibly tough to appease a teenage girl, believe you me.

So one day, as we came up on duckville, my kid pointed at me and yelled, “Duck!”

Me: Dude, what the hell is wrong with you? I know there are ducks.

Her: Duck!!!

Me: Stop yelling!

Her: Duck!!!

Now I’m thinking, “Oh, shit, are there gunshots or something?” (It is Miami after all)

Me: I can’t duck. I’m driving!

Her: NO! DUCK!!!!!

The next thing I knew, there was a loud THUMP! and a SPLAT! as I turned just in time to see a duck fly directly into my driver-side window.

Needless to say, that did not turn out to be a very good day. Not for me. Not for my daughter. And certainly not for the duck.

I was in shock. My kid was traumatized. And the duck was dead.

Have you had any strange encounters with wildlife? Leave a comment below!

 

I Just Want a Doughnut

The Salty Donut’s Maple Bacon Doughnut

I’ve been wanting one forever. But since I also want to lose weight, I haven’t had one.

I don’t want one badly enough to actually go out of my way to get one. And luckily, I don’t usually go anywhere where I might stumble upon one.

So I let the desire come and then eventually, it passes. And I forget. Until I remember again.

And I just remembered.

But I don’t want just any doughnut. It has to be a really good one. With bacon. Because if I’m going to eat something sinful, I’m going straight to pure evil.

Pure, piggy-topped evil.

#getinmybellyDoughboy

Also, while we’re on the subject, I’ve often wondered: Does the Pillsbury Doughboy have dough nuts?

What have you been craving? Leave a comment below!

Why I Quit the Gym

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Disclaimer: This is not a picture of me!

Even while I was at the gym, filling out the required paperwork (because they don’t make it as easy to quit as they do to sign up,) I recognized the irony that at the time of year when everyone else is joining, I was ending my long relationship and tumultuous relationship with it. And really, the main reason I was paying for the gym to begin with was because I needed access to a pool for triathlon training. But, I hadn’t been swimming.

And I had finally just decided that I was done making my monthly donation.

Now, it’s not that I don’t like to work out. I just realized that I hardly ever went to the gym. And when I did go, I basically just hit the treadmill or the stair climber. And then I’d saunter over to the machines and do some legs. And maybe some arms. Then I’d hit the mats to do a little ab work and stretch.

The gym is an intimidating place. It’s filled with all kinds of people – from novices to muscle heads. The former are incredibly annoying. And the latter scare the shit out of me.

Because a lot of them can be very judgmental. And the last thing I want when I’m trying to work out is to feel like a fool for doing something wrong. I have a friend who’s notorious for catching people on video using the machines in very creative ways. I do not want to end up on one of those videos.

Anyhow, my best workouts, the ones where I actually felt like I was making real progress, didn’t happen at a huge gym with all the bells and whistles. They took place in a much more intimate, albeit still intimidating, atmosphere.

I’m referring to my experiences at a smaller gym with a personal trainer. And while an argument can be made that all of the money I donated to the gym for all of those years would have been better spent paying a trainer, what I paid monthly for the gym wouldn’t have covered an hour for a one-on-one session.

Having said that, I find myself at a cross-roads. I’m not currently in a financial situation where I can afford either, so I make do, alternating between cycling through the myriad videos I’ve purchased throughout the years and just jumping rope or shooting hoops with my babies.

And although I’ve been religiously adhering to my commitment to do some type of exercise every day this year, I’m just not seeing the results I’d like to see.

I know. I know. Diet is essential if you want to see any kind of real results in terms of weight loss.

But, because I’m not in it just to drop some lbs, I’ll continue to work out in whatever capacity I can until I can pay someone to make me do it right. And I’ll continue to try and watch what I eat. And cut down on the drinking. At least until next week, anyway.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day. I may not technically be Irish. But really, since when does that fucking matter?

How do you stay fit and lean? Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

Why do They Insist on Playing Loud, Crappy Music at Restaurants?

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Before anyone calls me old, let me just preface this by saying that I’ve NEVER liked loud music. So it’s not about being old.

But seriously, why??

I can understand playing loud music at a concert. Or even at a club. But a bar or a restaurant is not the right venue for it.

Most people go out to these establishments accompanied by others. Because in addition to eating and drinking, you presumably want to also have a conversation.

And I don’t know about you, but I do not want to yell into someone’s ear. Or get home feeling like I’ve smoked a carton of cigarettes because my throat is sore and hoarse from trying to speak to the person next to me.

And, to add insult to injury, it’s never good music they play. Not anything you can sing or dance to. It’s just noise. Loud, annoying, noise.

So, please, if you own or manage a restaurant or bar, cut that shit out.

By all means, play music. I’m not a music nazi. But make sure it’s good. And for the love of all that is holy, keep it at a normal decibel level.

One whereby people can carry on conversations without incurring injury to their vocal chords.

How do you feel about blaring noise while you’re trying to have a conversation at a restaurant or bar? Leave a comment below!

Frightful Fitting Rooms

When you walk into a fitting room feeling somewhat fabulous but you walk out feeling like a Botero.

Botero

Why, pray tell, do some fitting rooms have the ability to instantly depress you?

I mean, I know I’ve lamented about having gained weight recently so I’m not completely delusional when I walk into a dressing room.

However, I choose to believe…nay, I have to believe, that I don’t look nearly as ghastly as I appear in the reflection staring back at me.

I don’t often try on clothes for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I’m just not a fan of shopping.

But then there are the dressing rooms or depressing rooms, if we’re being honest.

I mean, wtf is up with the lighting in some of those?

I’m not naïve enough to pretend that SOME of those dimples aren’t actually there. But they can’t ALL actually be there? Can they?

At what point can you distinguish bad lighting from reality? Or blame it?

And also, I’m assuming that the primary goal of any clothing store is to make sales, correct?

Then why, oh why, would they have such horrendous, unflattering lights in those rooms?

Wouldn’t a better strategy be to have those skinny fun house mirrors and like candlelight or something?

And, I love Nordstrom. But they have notoriously horrendous fitting room lighting. Put me in charge of that shit, and I promise sales would increase tenfold!

And depression rates would significantly decrease.

It’s a win/win, if you ask me.

Do you have any tales of woe surrounding fitting rooms? Or am I the only fatass that has this problem? Leave a comment below!

The Morning Routine

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It seems that everywhere I turn lately, there’s an article about the importance of a morning routine. They extol the virtues of waking up early and making time for meditation, journaling and exercise.

Because if you start your mornings the right way, you’ll be poised to conquer the world. Ok, so maybe not world. But at least your day.

I realized that for so many years, I did have a routine. But it was more out of necessity and habit than an actual, conscious “routine.”

The alarm would wake me up and I’d be off to the races. I’d awake with a start, heart pounding. I’d run to the bathroom and turn on the faucet, waiting for the water to heat and in the meantime, I’d check all my social mediums.

Because, you know, ensuring that my posts were liked enough and creeping on my friends’ lives is a vital function first thing. Make no mistake, however. This wasn’t a leisurely stalk but rather a frantic sprint through scroll-land.

Then I’d jump in the shower, dry off, throw on one of the “uniform” dresses I had on rotation and run to the kitchen to get kids up and make coffee, smoothies and lunches. Hair soaking and face bare, I’d shriek at my daughter to get in the car and I’d break several traffic laws to get to the train in a timely manner.

Needless to say, I was harried and harassed and felt like I had already put in a full day by the time I got to my corporate job.

Nobody was getting the best me.

When I finally got the opportunity to slow things down, I decided I was going to make the most of it and consciously engage in a proper morning routine. I’m still tweaking the order of things but the one non-negotiable is my “fire water.”

It’s actually more of a tea. But “fire tea” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

It’s a combination of things that deliver a host of health benefits. That I drink from a glass from a brewery.

Lemon ACV Honey Cayenne
Good source of vitamin C Helps heartburn and acid reflux Helps prevent cancer and heart disease Stimulates circulation/opens capillaries
Improves skin Promotes healthy cholesterol Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders Eliminates acidity
Supports weight loss Supports weight loss Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal Regulates blood sugar
Aids digestion Promotes healthy blood sugar Increases athletic performance Aids in digestion and eliminates bacteria and toxins
Freshens breath Has antioxidant properties Reduces cough and throat irritation  
Helps prevent kidney stones Improves nutrient absorption Helps regulate blood sugar  
    Heals wounds and burns

It’s a fairly simple concoction for which I’ll share the recipe below. I even have small containers so I can take all of it with me when I travel. Because if I don’t start my day like that, I feel off. And everyone suffers.

I’ll talk about the other elements I’ve been incorporating into my morning routine at a later date..once I’ve had a chance to test them out and see if they’re actually making a difference.

In the meantime, enjoy the recipe below. And please, share any morning routines you swear by.

Fire Water Recipe:
1/2     glass filtered room temp water
1/2     fresh squeezed lemon
2tb    Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1tp     organic honey
1/2     glass hot water
dash of cayenne

*Please note that it’s not a good idea to chug this if you’re in a hurry. Trust me on this.

 

Why Cursing Makes You Awesome

I am profoundly profane. In other words, I curse like a sailor. And I sometimes feel bad about it.

You know, all that Catholic guilt and social norms and shit.

It certainly wasn’t the way I was raised. My mother would say, “Oh, fudge!” or, “Oh, sugar!” And we were never allowed to curse in the house. Or anywhere else for that matter.

Aside from sometimes feeling guilty about the fact that I liberally sprinkle my speech with expletives anyway, I also worry that people might be judging my upbringing or questioning my intelligence. I know you’re not supposed to care what people think and all that. Which is something I’m working on.

So, imagine my delight when I came across an article about a study that found that people who curse are actually perceived to have a greater degree of integrity, be more relatable, have the ability to inject humor into situations AND be more intelligent!

In fact, the study shows that a “high use of profanity correlates with overall verbal fluency, and as the study’s authors put it, ‘Verbal fluency is the hallmark of intellectual acumen;’ the more words one knows and uses, the greater one’s verbal prowess or intelligence.

Plus, when you share something funny with someone, you’re also giving them a sense of inclusion, which creates a sense of community.

It turns out, I’m pretty fucking awesome.

The moral of the story: Go ahead and curse away. It makes people like you.

And if they don’t like you? Fuck them!

They probably don’t curse and are therefore probably not as smart as you.

How much do you love cursing? Leave a comment below. Unless you don’t