the outsider.

El Cuco (Folklore Demond): “why were you so quick to accept my existence?”

Holly (investigator): “An outsider can always recognize another outsider.”

Last weekend was my sister’s birthday. I asked her many times what she had planned to celebrate and if we [the family] were going to do anything. She was not sure… The day came and went and I never heard from her. A few days later I learned that her boyfriend threw her a surprise birthday party. I was not invited because it was only for “close friends.”

This got me thinking about how I am an outsider. I have friends and I have family (blood relatives) but rarely am I included in life events; weddings, birthdays, holidays, game nights, etc. It’s actually one of the reasons I always wanted kids, because I figured if I wanted to be part of a tribe I had to make it. That’s not to say I don’t have friends that include me – I do. I am lucky to have some close friends who have now become my chosen family, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that even with them I sometimes feel like an outsider. And most of the time, I am fine with it. I have become accustomed to my alone time; I actually prefer and enjoy my alone time (I don’t think people appreciate alone time as much as they could or should). But sometimes, some days, I do stand outside looking in and wonder why I didn’t get to live in a world where I felt like a full fledged member of your life [you: the abstract you].

This disposition as an outsider is my biggest strength and biggest weakness. It gives me such a unique view on life but also exposes an insecurity that many have tried to exploit. Some people have succeeded and some very hard and painful lessons have been learned. Let’s just say I definitely have some scars AND some secret wisdoms to life. This is all to say, Reader, if you ever feel the way I do just know that you are not alone and, to me, you are imperfectly perfect just as you are.

Never be fooled into thinking that you aren’t unique or special just because you are an outsider, like myself. Know yourself and know that even if the whole world doesn’t understand you, it does not mean you are not worthy. I may be an outsider but I know my worth. I know my intelligence and my character. I know I’m not willing to behave unethically because I’m asked to blindly follow the decisions of a bad boss; even if everyone else does. I know I will listen to the same story over and over again just to keep an elderly woman with dementia company. I know that I will always drive with dog food in my car just in case I see a homeless person with a dog because I know that’s their furbaby [their family]. I know that I would wait in line for an hour and then drive seventeen miles to bring a friend a chicken sandwich from Popeyes, just because we share a love of Popeyes. I know that talk to my dogs too much, and I sing to my daughter probably too much too; songs I make up – including a song about playing with her toes. This is me. And for a long time I was made to feel like it was wrong; feel ashamed. But now… if who I am makes me an outsider, then I’m okay with that.

What I’m watching: Netflix cartoons (well, most adult cartoons) are my jam and I’m glad Paradise PD is back. It’s fun and a good distraction from the dramatics of the current state of things going on in the world.

Another show that I’m in love with for it’s serious yet light hearted approach is All Rise on CBS. This show revolves around the life of judge Lola Carmichael, a new judge navigating the world of the law, unique cases, friendships, and professional relationships (which sometimes clash). The cast is filled with diverse characters that provide depth to the story lines. I seriously hope this show sticks around past this first season.

Tech specs: I’m still a huge advocate for the Speck Presidio Grip Case. It’s a sturdy case that provides a low profile so it does not feel bulky while still ensuring drop protection thanks to its unique construction. But the truly best part of this case is the grip part – the lines on the back of the case provide a texture and design that truly create a grip for your hand. This is especially important since smartphones are now both big and delicate. Oh and Not to mention EXPENSIVE! This is a great investment for a secure outfit for your $1k+ smartphone. Best of all, this series of cases is available for most of the leading brand phones – not just Samsung and Apple, but also Motorola and LG, etc.

Random thought: more of a plea – please please please EDUCATE YOURSELF on the COVID-19 coronavirus BEFORE joining the many many people who have flown straight into blind panic and hysteria. I won’t give you statistics and scientific facts because I am not a doctor and therefore would come off as just another opinion, but the cases speak for themselves. People recover from this virus. Only those already compromised are at risk of fatality. You don’t need to stockpile like it’s the apocalypse, just simply WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY AND PROPERLY.

Doggy pic of the day: I’ve been working on my back yard as much as I can lately (you have to work slowly with a busted hip and ribs), and Walter and Charles have been my wonderful assistants!!

why can’t we be friends?

You may often hear me saying, “expectation is the root of heartache”; which is my mantra I repeat to myself when trying to reconcile reasons or rationale for hurtful behavior by my loved ones. I try not to expect much of you, my friends, because I love you enough to know you are flawed (as am I) and therefore just as succeptable to making a mistake as I am. As we grow attached to people, our expectations of them grow as well, based on the assumption that the growth of attachment we feel is reciprocated. If you are important to me, I must be important to you. This is where we set ourselves up for heartache, making assumptions and expectations of others. So what’s the right way to approach love and friendship?

When I was in the hospital about to deliver Peanut I was extremely scared because of the negative experience I was having, and too embarrassed to ask anyone to come be by my side. I got terribly lonely in the middle of it all. I realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t trust any of my close friends to be there, my problem was I didn’t think anyone cared about me enough to want to be there with me. Birth is intense and awkward and I didn’t want to put anyone out. I now realize that perhaps there were some people I could and should have called. It’s just hard for me to believe when someone genuinely wants to be involved in my single parenting journey.

It’s been an unexpected journey where people who I thought I would lose, stepped up their support game; and people who I genuinely thought would be interested and involved have gone almost full on ghost status. This has left me to wonder if I’m doing this all wrong. Am I adulting wrong? Friendshipping wrong? All of the above?

Reader, do you keep friends around that you have grown apart (become very different people) out of respect for the length of time you have known each other? Or is there a point where you cut your loses and say, “we no longer talk or have anything in common, and I’m tired of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t reciprocate the interest in our friendship maintenance?”

I find myself struggling with this – and to be clear, this is not about distance or frequency of interactions. I have friends in other states, other countries even, and sometimes we talk every day, sometimes we don’t get to talk for months, and sometimes we don’t see each other for years – but the quality of each interaction is substantial and real; with depth and closeness. So my struggle is those friends you think you have, whom you’ve had that closeness with in the past, and who now feel like a stranger.

What I’m watching: The Stranger on Netflix really got me hooked. I was skeptical at first, as it took a moment to make connections within the storyline, but once it got going I just couldn’t stop watching. As the story unfolds, plot twist after plot twists comes at you and you are knee deep in it with the characters trying to figure it all out. Highly recommend it!

Tech specs: do you want something that sounds as nice as apple bluetooth earbuds without costing about as much as a car payment? Meet the Monster Clarity 101s. These are nifty little true wireless earbuds that fit extremely comfortably in your ear, sound amazing, and come in a unique twist open charging case (avoiding the easily broken hinge-open charging cases). Best of all, they are often on sale and will cost you no more than $50. I use them and I couldn’t be happier.

Random thoughts: Not so random, RIP Kobe Bryant and Gigi Bryant. Made my latest renditions of famous paintings in their memory –

Featured pet pic: sleepy Walter looks so sweet (versus his regular old cranky disposition)

Peanuts, poops, and piercings…

This week, in a very clever marketing ploy, Mr. Peanut (a mascot of 104 years) “died.” A new commercial was released by the company showing Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself in order to save his friends after a car accident. The company relied on the mix of nostalgia and social media to humanize Mr. Peanut and create a parasocial relationship where consumers no longer saw this character as a fictional two dimensional immortal character, but instead like an old friend who passed away. Quickly, there were articles discussing this marketing strategy; criticizing it or praising it. To be honest, I was rather amused by this clever marketing strategy. And as Peanut’s namesake, I cross paths with Mr. Peanut in my purchases of domains for her (such as this one), and social media handles, so naturally this crossed my path. It’s just an amusing thing to watch companies use social media to breathe life and personality into their mascots. And when one company does something like this, it gives others the opportunity to piggyback on the wave of attention and advertise their own products by engaging in the marketing strategy within social media (see images of other companies responding to Mr. Peanut’s death).

Yesterday I realized that with Peanut with me I have the power to punish people with poop – Revenge poop! I often carry not only the means to change diapers, but also a way of transporting them in a bag that locks in the odor pretty well. I do this out of curtesy to those around me – I never know when I have to wait to find the proper out-of-the-way waste basket. I’m constantly worried about inconveniencing the olfactory cortex of those around me. But yesterday, I was faced with a different challenge – how to deal with an office cunt at one of my medical appointments. This woman has been extremely unnecessarily unpleasant to me every single fucking time I see her, and yesterday, during my visit to the office this particular cunt works at, Peanut required a change that included a poopy situation. Like the considerate mother that I am, I swiftly stored the stink to save the sanity of those stuck in there with me. As I was leaving, this bitch required I get in line in order to speak with her (there was no one else in line, or even in the room, so she sent me to the door across the room to stand at the beginning of the line so that she could then call my name for me to walk back to her). As I approached her desk I noticed she had a waste basket in front of her out of her sight or reach, so I grabbed the dirty diaper out of the bag under the stroller and put it in the waste basket without her noticing so that throughout the day she could enjoy the random wafts of baby poop. Why didn’t I think of revenge poopy diapers sooner??? This is going to be my new thing! So if you’re mean to me expect to smell baby poop the rest of the day!

Speaking of poop… my little guy Vinny, the Italian greyhound chihuahua mix, has been struggling lately with anxiety attack/seizures that induce uncontrollable poopies. He had this terribly when he first moved in with me, and it seems the change of Peanut joining the family has triggered these to flare back up. Do any of you with anxious fur babies encounter a nervous tummy/body like my little dude? And what do you use/do to calm your pups down? I’m looking for new ways of helping him relax. It’s really difficult because restricting him to certain areas within the house means the other two have to be restricted as well so he’s not ostracized alone; causing him to be even more anxious. And I prefer letting them roam the house freely, but as long as there a chance of uncontrollable dog poop, I can’t risk my baby and furniture.

In my family, and a part of my culture, having your ears pierced if you are a girl (or for those of you who require gender be referenced about as part of the spectrum of a social construct and want to be a pain in the ass about it – I mean born of the female sex with female reproductive organs) is expected to be done within days of birth. Peanut turns six months soon and she still did not have her ears pierced, so among many other questions, my family members (and I have MANY) have been asking me constantly why Peanut didn’t have her ears pierced yet and when I was going to take her. My grandmother even gave me money to get it done and get her proper earrings because it was bothering her that it had not happened. So I am happy to announce that Peanut got her ears pierced this week! (And if you are against getting baby ears pierced keep it to yourself – I respect your right to live your life based on your truth, culture, norms and beliefs, so please grant me the same courtesy.)

What I’m watching: A new season of the show 60 Days In has begun. In this show, people from all walks of life volunteer to go to prison for 60 days – both for the personal experience and to give the warden an inside look of their facility and what needs improvement. There are a few things I find interesting about this show: what drives someone to voluntarily go to prison for three whole months?? How much insurance or how intense and broad are those liability waivers for the volunteers?? And do the inmates have access to the show – as in, does this potentially create a long term risk for the volunteer if an inmate is motivated enough??

Tech specs: The Ringke brand for phone accessories! This brand is my new obsession. They offer cases for ALL TYPES of smartphones. I was so surprised to find they even have cases for some of the lesser known phone brands and models. I have tested the Ringke Fusion X case (pictured) for the Google Pixel 4, Samsung A50, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max – and this case combined a thin profile with a sturdy and grippy outer bumper. Bonus (if you’re an extreme nerd like me): Ringke cases come with the slots for wrist lanyards and they sell lanyards in all colors including (the one I have) glow-in-the-dark! This brand offers quality products for a bitch in a budget (such as myself). Cases average $10 and lanyards $6. They sell other types of accessories but this is as far as I have ventured into the brand.

Random thought: what the fuck is this? (Image)… what the fuck is the deal with Gwyneth Paltrow? And why is Netflix condoning this pseudoscience foolery?

Doggy pic of the week: snuggle session – Charles, top left; Walter, middle right; and Vinny, bottom left.

let’s talk about nature’s horchata…

I was at dinner with some friends and found myself in a ton of awkward discomfort because of (what my good friend Anthony cleverly referred to as) nature’s horchata. What is that, you ask? Breast milk! I complained about the pain I felt because I hadn’t pumped all day. The general consensus seemed to be that the topic was gross. Later, as I drove home, I wondered: why is the topic of breast milk so taboo? Why do people automatically say “eww” or “gross” about breast milk?

WHY is breast milk something gross I should be ashamed to talk about? I should NOT need to learn the hard way or be ashamed to discuss leaky breasts from breast milk, Engorged discomfort, Painful nipples, etc. I have heard my friends discuss gastrointestinal issues, medical concerns, sexual situations, and gory descriptions with comfort and ease. If blood, bowels, and boners are okay to discuss freely, why is breast milk different? Talking about your BM (bowel movement) is free game, but my BM (breast milk) should be a hidden shame? I can’t help but be offended that Dr Pimple Popper is socially acceptable but breast milk is socially detestable. After all, some of you survived your first year of life off breast milk. It provides sustinance and nutrients. It is not toxic, contagious, or even viscous (unlike some of the other things that come out of the human body!). It baffles me that I should be willing to listen about diarrhea and mucous but my breast milk grosses some out? Guess which one of those three bodily fluids is healthy to consume and clean? Not your shit. Literally.

Fuck the shame. Breast milk isn’t gross. And you know what, I tasted it (as I’m sure most moms do) and it was not gross. And it leaks. Sometimes everywhere. My boobs hurt and feel uncomfortable. And sometimes I pump and sometimes I breast feed and I don’t like either sensation. Sorry not sorry. To all of you who think it’s gross: I guarantee you are much more gross than breast milk.

What I’m watching: on brand with my current “fuck you I will talk about all women’s issues we pretend don’t exist” mood, I am watching Netflix’s Grace & Frankie. If you haven’t seen this show, you are truly missing out! This show is magical because of the strong female leads of a certain age (who happen to be two of the best actors Hollywood is lucky to have grace the small screen), combined with story lines that consist of clever comedy and courageous characters facing challenges of change and chaos later in life. I am currently watching season 6 and like the previous seasons it is highly bingeworthy!

Tech Specs: I was recently at Target and saw the latest and greatest in 4k smart TVs. If you are like me, a bitch on a budget, you don’t have a smart TV because all your older TVs work just fine. If that’s the case, I want to show you my fix for my favorite streaming – the Roku. I’m sure you’ve seen it or heard of it, it’s an easy way to plug into your TV and stream all the popular streaming services. BUT I am adding this nugget of commentary: you do not need the newest and best versions of Roku! I am still running on a second generation Roku and it’s working just fine. I watch all my shows on Hulu and Netflix without a single issue. I mention this because an older model will cost you a third of the cost of the newest versions with minor bells and whistles upgrades. Save your coins, kids! Streaming doesn’t have to break the bank!

Randomness: I’m in this weird (nesting maybe?) mentality where I feel I need all new blankets. I just bought a “sweater style” blanket. I don’t like the super fuzzy ones or the Sherpa lined nonsense. I don’t know what type of blanket I want but I want it to be warm without being too heavy or having an awkward texture. Maybe something knit? I don’t know. But I sure have spent far too many hours looking at blanket descriptions online…

*New section* Doggy pic of the week:

(Vinny refuses to sleep in his own bed and insists Charles should share)

Mother of Peanut…

First I want to say, I’m the mother of Peanut and THIS is 2020. LOL. Poor Barbara Walters is going to be hearing it ALL year… Last night, Peanut and I were fast asleep by 7pm. But don’t worry, we woke up right before midnight, so I rang in 2020 with my little girl.

I was asked by a reader if I could break up my blog a little to balance the text with imagery and space – Reader, I have heard your feedback and am gonna try my darn best! I am weary of sharing too many pictures of Peanut, but I realized I have not given you all the full effect and cuteness of my dogs! So I promise to give you more of the three silly dudes that run my house…

So why the picture of fireworks? Because of course, with ringing in the new year, we also had to endure the loud booms of illegal fireworks many neighbors were in possession of. Peanut, being the perfect princess that she is, was not bothered; but my poor boys suffered immensely. Do any of you have pets? What works for you to calm them down? I have tried sedatives, thunder vests, drowning out the noise with music or tv, and creating a little bunker for them, but nothing has worked all that well. Last night was no exception, and I found myself huddled in a corner with three dogs climbing all over me shaking and barking. I need to find a better way to handle these situations since my neighbors set off fireworks every damn holiday!

(left – Walter, center – Charles, right – Vinny)

let me officially introduce my boys

Walter: Is a dachshund I found at the Bradshaw shelter. He was free because they believed he was a senior dog over the age of 10. Imagine my surprise when the vet told me there was no way he was over 7 years old! He was already house trained and knew some tricks. He was so scared to be in the shelter that he wouldn’t eat and just sat in the corner crying. The minute I saw that scared little wiener, I knew I had to give him a home. He is now older and grumpy AF, but sometimes he goes back to those sweet moments of being a total momma’s boy.

Charles: is my little sweet man. I adopted Charles thinking Walter would love a companion – he did not. When I met Charles, I wasn’t all that into him – an awkard fox terrier mix at Front Street Animal Shelter. Truth be told, I was looking for another dachshund… But there he was, this little weird dog making oddly intense eye contact with me. Then it happened… He stood on his hind legs to reveal he only had one testicle. Poor one ball bastard. Right then, I knew he was the one. He still stares at me like he did that first day, in that obnoxiously adoring way. He’s not so secretly my favorite; we have bonded in a way that I’ve only seen on cheesy movies about dogs and their human.

Vinny: was my last and youngest adoption. I did not want another dog, I wanted a baby. After so many failed attempts and a miscarriage, I had 95% given up… I was doing some graphic design work for Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary and saw a picture of this ugly but cute and bizarre dog. An italian greyhound chihuahua mix puppy who had suffered a ton of trauma before ending up at the shelter. Tons of issues – basically, a complete HOT MESS. But at that time, my heart was broken and I wanted to help him so I would feel less useless as a human being, so I adopted him.

What I am watching: I started watching 11.22.63 on Hulu staring James Franco. I’m not a fan of his at all but I am mildly obsessed with the JFK assassination so I thought I would give it a shot. I am only 2 episodes in and like it so far. I recommend this if you are into time travel story lines. Some people I know find them confusing or annoying, so I am warning that it’s basically James Franco traveling back to the 60’s.

Tech Specs: This time I have a sort of weird tech spec highlight – the watch repair tool that comes with most watch straps. I feel like it is worthy of tech spec feature since I use it a ton for customization of my smartwatch collection (which will be featured next time – Samsung vs Apple). This handy little tool has helped more times than I can count – don’t toss it when you get a new watch strap even if it is a quick-release! It comes in quite handy.

Random: I apologize for the extra long post this time, but I realized you were missing out on knowing my dogs! I will be featuring more stories about my nutty little sidekicks… Also, Happy New Year! I wish everyone a wonderful and prosperous 2020.

Art, Aches, and Apple juice

Lately I’ve been really into designing my own renditions of some famous paintings. I was a graphic designer for over ten years and am still keeping up on my skills in my free time. This latest interest started with my long time desire to make my own rendition of the last supper. Being one of my all time favorite art pieces (I originally studied art in university), I’ve been interested in starting a series of different versions of it. I had already hand drawn it on a white erase board out of pure memory at work, but then lost steam – thanks to my incredibly volatile work environment. So I decided for the holiday season to create my own version as possible Christmas card art, but has since inspired me to recreate a variety of famous artworks instead of just the one.

Madonna and Child
The Last Supper
Nighthawks

Recently I have had a lot more rib cage aches. The horrible thing about having ribs damaged is there’s no quick fix, so instead I will have to do physical therapy for quite a while. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind physical therapy but the 30 minute drive there and back in winter with a baby is really tough and stressful. Just the other day, my most recently scheduled appointment, I rushed there in traffic on a rainy day. I took Peanut out of the car in the freezing cold, got her in the stroller and rushed to the physical therapy clinic. Now, the rule is that you cannot be more than 15 minutes late – I was 17 minutes late to a one hour appointment (meaning we could have still worked on me for 40 minutes). I walked in wet and with a baby in a stroller and explained that I was stuck in terrible traffic in the rain for 45 minutes. The receptionist told me there was no way they could see me. I pleaded my case but she would not budge, she wouldn’t even ask the physical therapist if she would take me. I went back to my car and emailed from my car my disappointment, then drove home another 30 minutes in traffic. Of course later the physical therapist called me to apologize and say that had I called they would have let me see her – so basically it was my fault for not calling them while sitting in traffic in the rain with my baby in the car. I was livid. I cried. I drank apple juice.

Tech Specs: today I am not giving a recommendation, but instead have a tech complaint – what’s the deal with e-readers? I wanted to find one to relieve the strain on my eyes when reading at night, but I am not satisfied with what is out there! The Barnes and Nobles Nook seems to have not so favorable reviews, the Kindles don’t have an expandable memory option on top of the whole ad bullshit – I have to PAY for them to NOT include their bloat/spam/ads?! Wtf… And lots other less known products are just very expensive. Where can I find a decent e-reader with lighting that I can download kids books to read to Peanut??

What I am watching: Recently my anxiety has been a little elevated and the shows that always brighten my mood are Bobs Burgers and Superstore. Bobs Burgers is an adult animated series about a burger restaurant and the family that runs it. The parents’ dynamic is very similar to my parents, so I really get a kick out of watching them. The kids are so hilarious, smart, and unique in their own qualities and quirks that they make you feel like you aren’t the only weirdo in the world. Later I plan on writing an all Bobs Burgers blog – an homage to my love for this show.

Superstore stars America Ferrera who plays Amy, the manager of a Walmart-like store. It sounded like a boring concept at first but the cast of crazy characters creates a comedic gem. I highly recommend it – you will fall in love with each of this quirky employees.

Random: this week I got the opportunity to help a friend’s work serve dinner at a women’s shelter. I truly enjoyed the experience – the women and children were so polite and lovely. It warmed my heart how sweet they were and grateful they were. It was a really wonderful evening. And although I am very grateful every day for my life with baby Peanut, this was a another reminder about how lucky I am. But also, we are all just one mistake, one bad circumstance away from being in a similar situation, so we should all be grateful, helpful, and not judge those down on their luck.

Ghosts, Germs, and Grey skies…

A ghost is now more than an apparition of people from lives past. A ghost in the 21st century is a way to describe someone who disappears on you; they have “ghosted” you. Ghosting has become a social norm with the advent of tech and text messages typically used as the most common means of communication. Honestly, I usually do not care if someone ghosts me. That may sound callous but when it comes to those close to me, I create close connections or cannot carry on. But I have ghosted people, and people have ghosted me.

There is only one person in my life who truly broke my heart when they ghosted me; a friend who was like a brother to me. I wish I could say that I forgot all about it and let it go, but when I invest in a person I do so with my whole heart. And with this friend of mine, I still am hurt, so angry, and sad.

As luck would have it, I saw him while shopping for Christmas decorations. The most sentimental time of the year for many, the holidays, is when I see him; after not seeing him all year. And it seems silly except I used to spend every Thanksgiving and every Christmas Eve with him, so for years he was my family for the holidays.

Of course, I saw him 4 or 5 times throughout the store because that’s how the universe works. And of course, I survived. Duh. But Reader, let me tell you… it still hurt. My heart raced and my anxiety went through the roof. I didn’t want to see him or talk to him because he is the one that left our friendship. He did. I was the injured party. And I didn’t want him to see how much it would upset me to see him. At one point we were about 5 feet from each other at the check out stands, but he didnt even look in my direction. Do you have someone like this in your life? Or I guess, no longer in your life?

So here’s the thing, I’m a bit of a germaphobe. Not all germs; I have three dogs and a baby so I deal with cooties all day. But grime. Grime has this effect on me where I can’t see it, or touch it, or even think about it. I have a complete physiological reaction to it – I cringe, get tension in my hands, knot in my throat, and slight gag/dry heaves. I wish I could explain it. It makes me feel so awful that I tend to bleach everything and still feel like nothing is clean enough. Why am I disclosing this? It has slowly been increasing in severity and I’m tired of being embarrassed about it, so I’ve decided to do something about it.

I have started talking to my therapist about my germaphobia. I’ve had it my whole life, but it was under control for many many years until my hostile work environment went from bad to worse, and after I had a baby I want to protect from all the cooties in the world. Is it a control thing? Trying to control my environment and focus on what I can control? Maybe. But, Reader, I in no way feel under control” when cleaning [sigh]. My hope is that in therapy I will learn tips and tricks on how to overpower this phobia and put it back in check.

On a brighter note – the weather has been gloomy grey skies with random rains and fabulous fog. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year! Fall and Winter weather in California is like a watered down version of any extreme weather elsewhere. Reader, it is always tshirt weather in California (except for some of my chicken friends who get cold easily lol). It’s been so lovely that even in the worst of days I am happy to look up at the sky and enjoy the weather. Just this week I have gotten to enjoy the crisp feeling of being outside first thing in the morning in 40 degree weather, the rain, fog, and rainbows!

What I am watching: Murder for Hire and 90 Day Fiance are my not so secret trash tv indulgences. Murder for Hire is a program on Oxygen that tells stories of real-life people who are hired to murder someone and turn the information in to the police. It’s an entire story in just one hour, from the plot, to a sting operation, to the take down. Best of all, at the end of the day, a life is saved and the people who put a stop to the scheme are real-life heroes.

Now, 90 Day Fiance is a shit show that cannot be described in a short paragraph. It is about people who come to the United States on 90 day fiance visas and the journey of those 90 days with their partners. Sometimes it is true love, sometimes it is true lust, sometimes it is a green card scam. Essentially, it is international dating russian roulette, aka trash tv GOLD!

Tech Specs: I still can’t get over the loss of my Plantronics Voyager Legend 5220 bluetooth ear piece. Yes, I have other bluetooths, but this one is the holy grail of ear pieces. There is a reason why it has stood the test of time within the tech community for YEARS (which is UNHEARD OF in regards to tech). It is comfortable, long lasting, and the sound is crystal clear HD – it’s like the caller is sitting right next to you! Unfortunately, along with the test of time in tech terms, this little bluetooth has also lasted the test of time in pricing and will run you a cool $80-120. BUT it is worth it if you can swing it (and I just replaced my lost one for a lucky eBay auction at $65).

Random thoughts: In general, I want to give people the benefit of the doubt (though dont mistake my kindness for weakness – I will crush someone who does me wrong without giving it a second thought)… BUT I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I just wish I could understand the people who choose to take the path of most resistance. Those people who have something negative to say about other’s success. Who claim to be your friend but then feel the need to criticize everything you do. Seems like we all have one of those. Or sometimes, we just have one of those around that for one reason or another we can’t get rid of.

Be kind to people. I’m speaking to YOU, the negative nellys of the world! Life can be beautiful or life can be ugly, it’s up to you which path you choose.

black friday for Peanut

We made it through Thanksgiving! Which was a lot more uneventful than all of my friends and family (and I’m not complaining)…

Now, be honest… did you go black Friday shopping?? Peanut and I definitely did not go to the insane events with middle of the night long lines BUT we did go to the extended weekend sales at Target. Now, usually, this is not something I would do. For as long as I can remember, I have a hard rule: Much like the squirrels and the bears, I stock up supplies for the winter and dont go out from Thanksgiving weekend until January.

This rule is in part because I have legit diagnosed and medicated anxiety. Going to stores means dealing with all the elbow bumping, close standing, coughing, and cooties! But here’s the thing, Reader – a tiny human means big responsibilities!

With my long standing tradition of not black friday shopping also existed a ‘no christmas decoration’ rule. I’ve always been a bit of a Grinch. But another thing that comes out of having a tiny human is growing a bigger heart. And there was absolutely no way my tiny human wasn’t going to get ALL the magic there is to get from Christmas. So the target trip was a mission – I had to purchase all the appropriate decor for Peanut to enjoy Christmas properly.

Reader, I’m happy to report the mission was a success! After the panic and anxiety of the peopling and decorating cleared, the end result was more than worth it. Peanut’s face lit up with wonder staring at the colorful lights and twinkling things. It was as cheesy as it sounds! Cheesy and worth it. Much like being a parent.

What I’m watching: Let’s talk about The Crown on Netflix… We are on season 3 and it is both as boring and interesting and entertaining as the first two seasons. I just have one issue: Why Olivia Coleman?!?!? No tea, no shade, but she really makes the Queen look weathered at that age, which is not entirely accurate. This is basically my polite way to say, using Coleman makes the Queen look old. They did my Queen wrong with an older and slightly heavier portrayal.

The Queen on Netflix: Coleman on the left, Queen Elizabeth on the right

I’m also watching Working Moms also on Netflix. I’m super far behind (only on season 2) but I find the show to be an equally split combination of entertaining and obnoxious. If you can deal with some annoying characters for the sake of humor, then I recommend this show.

Tech Specs: This week I tried out AOMAIS 25W bluetooth light up speaker that looks like a tiny boom box. It’s water resistent and LOUD. The main reason we got it is because it combines two of the things Peanut loves – music and colorful lights. It’s still compact enough that we can put it next to her and can play low enough that it won’t make her go deaf. The colors are fun for her to watch and she even tries to sing along with the music. It’s also heavy so she can’t pick it up and throw it, and rubberized to avoid damage. It got the Peanut stamp of approval (I’ll have to make an official stamp logo for P lol). You can get this sweet little speaker for about $30 online.

AOMAIS 25W bluetooth

Random thought: Do people not have a concept of human development at a small age? I mean, we were all small at some point. I find it bizarre the number of people texting me and asking me if my THREE MONTH OLD baby was going to eat turkey and thanksgiving dinner things. Umm… She’s three months old. She doesn’t have teeth. Or eat solid food. Even people who have kids asked me this – are you new to… life? Bizarre…