There and Back in 13 Minutes

So I was thinking about my next post yesterday because I wanted to be sure to get one up here before I left for vacation for a week.

Who’s going to the Caymans?  WITHOUT HER KID???? THIS GIRL!!!!


And I realized I’ve been pretty strict with myself in terms of editing these posts (no comments from the peanut gallery – I’m not talking about my fifteen typos and twice as many grammatical errors). I’ve been trying to keep the content of each post streamlined and “on topic.” But what the hell? I’m the Tangent Girl and these are MY Volumes for a reason! So the heck with that – today you get the uncensored version. Welcome to My Brain.


I got up this morning thinking about posting and decided I would write something about the drama of the past few days. So I was focused on how I would write it, and what I would include or wouldn’t…

So at first it didn’t register, when my son asked me around 8:40am (this is important – take note) when we were getting ready to head out the door –  “Why are there cages in our living room?” But after about 30 seconds, I was like, wait hold up… did he say cages??? Then I realized he was talking about the cat carriers, which are in the living room because my husband is taking the cats to the vet for their shots this afternoon.

And that reminded me that I needed to ask my daycare mom about watching our cats while we are away. My husband was supposed to do it but I wanted to be sure we were all set.

And that reminded me that it was Friday and I needed to bring her a check for my son’s daycare. But I decided not to write the check yet because I wanted to be sure she was watching the cats before I included extra money for that.

So I grabbed the checkbook to put in my purse, which was next to a pile of clothes that I’d ordered for several friends (I am the Lularoe Bargains Queen) that I hadn’t had a chance to give them yet. And one of the dresses had a small tear which I needed to repair and I kept meaning to check to see if I had any fabric fusing in my sewing supplies. So I put the checkbook down for a minute and went into my office to look while I was thinking about it.

And man, my office has really become a mess over the past few weeks. I need to hang my new whiteboard and get my laptop station set up so that I can work on the book more easily at home. I’m not sure yet how I want to do that. I HATE having anything on my desk permanently because I like a completely clear workspace, but where should I put my laptop and docking station? On an under-desk tray? On a cabinet next to my desk? On a shelf on the wall?

Though the whiteboard is going on the wall above my desk so that won’t work.

Except, my monitor was supposed to be mounted on that wall, so now where is that going to go?

Oh, and I need to make my beach bag!! I’d bought a plain bag from Amazon before I started creating things on Zazzle so I’m just going to make my own bag this time with some iron-on transfers. And anyway, I don’t think a Zazzle order would have arrived before we flew out.

Should I pull my passport out now and put it in my suitcase with my clothes? I doubt I’ll forget it, but you never know. But I’d rather keep it in my purse not my suitcase because the suitcases are getting checked and I’d hate to be like, “So sorry, you can’t go on vacation because your passport is in the suitcase which IS on the plane even though now YOU can’t get on the plane because you don’t have your passport.” But I don’t want to carry it around with me for the next two days because I’m terrified I’ll lose it. But I figure, I still need to pack toiletries and jewelry before I go anyway, so I’ll just deal with it then.

And you know, I really need to organize my jewelry better. I’ve really gotten into bracelets lately but my current storage system has NO means of holding these, so they’re just scattered all over the shelf next to my jewelry box. Which is super annoying. I wonder if I can find something at Ikea? But how big would it need to be? And also how many different compartment would I need to sort all the different colored bracelets (I’m a bit OCD about arranging clothes and accessories… and pencils…. and sewing thread… ok fine – EVERYTHING by color).

“Mommy, is it time to go?” Oh crap it’s 8:42am, definitely time to get moving. I quickly write a check and we run out the door.

We get to the daycare mom’s and I confirm that yes they are watching the cats and realize that no, I did not remember to wait to write the damn check until I knew that. So I tell her I’ll have the hubby bring one for the difference, but she’s like don’t worry about it… but before I can argue with her, our conversation gets interrupted by her dog Raven.

It’s so weird. I mean I LOVE ANIMALS, and I always give them lots of attention, so there are very few pets that don’t like me. But Raven doesn’t like me, she LOVES me. Like, we all think she might actually love me more than her own people.


So I’m walking to my car to head to work and I remember this funny story from when two of my friends got married. Before the wedding the girls were hanging out in the upstairs of his parents’ house and the guys were in the basement. I wasn’t in the wedding so I was acting as a bit of a go-between. I go down to tell the guys everything is starting in about 10 minutes, and they’re all like, “Be careful coming down the stairs!!! Mom’s bird is at the bottom and SHE’S EVIL!” And I’m like, “No she isn’t!! Hello Sunshine, are they being mean to you?” I start singing to her and she crawls off her perch onto my shoulder and starts dancing and preening my hair. All the guys are like, “What the HELL?? She’s tried to kill everyone else who’s come down those stairs!! DO EFFING BLUEBIRDS GET YOU DRESSED IN THE MORNING???”

But see, the week before I’d seen his mom sing to the bird and that’s how she got the bird to calm down and come to her. I’d been inside at the time getting some paper towels because right after eating a huge spaghetti dinner the bridal party went outside to practice the medieval dance they were all going to do at the wedding, but it was hot as HELL out, and one of the bridesmaids had gotten sick.

I really do hope this sore throat and congestion I have right now goes away before we leave on Sunday. The sore throat’s definitely better and it won’t slow me down, but we’re supposed to do an assisted dive and that will certainly be a problem with head congestion.

I wonder if there are sharks near where we are diving? Christ, am I going to travel all the way to the Caribbean for the first time only to become a shark’s lunch?

Hey – I’m going to the CAYMANS!!!!!

Who’s going to the Caymans? THIS GIRL!!!!


But it’s 8:53am and I’ve pulled into my last day at work before I go away and have a lot to do (you know, I really love living so close to work!), so I guess I better get going!

One For Me, One For You

It’s been a busy few weeks, so I was determined to have some quiet today. Hubby went out to mow the grass, kiddo played in his room, and I got the chance to retreat into my office to have some quality time with my art supplies.

The result:

Betty Avatar!!!!

I drew her myself!!! Yes, yes – I realize it’s no Van Gogh (spoil sport), but since I have NO artistic talent to speak of, this is a pretty big deal to me. Plus – BETTY!!!!! I loved it so much, I decided I wanted a Betty the Support Fox t-shirt. So off to Zazzle I went.

And then I realized – I could create stuff ANYONE could buy!!!

Oh. My. God!!!

I have no Earthly idea why anyone would want a Betty coffee mug, but I still think the world is a better place because you could have a Betty coffee mug.

Also, I have two words for you: BETTY HI-TOPS!

Oh yea, oh yea!!!!

Bring on the Ray Bradbury

I’m starting to think that living in a “dystopian” Sci-Fi novel might not be so bad. You know, the one where people have to pass some kind of a test of common sense, if not intelligence, to be allow to live with the rest of us folks (or for us to have to put up with living with them). Otherwise, off to the Mars Colony with you, you freaking dimwit!!


Aside from the mind-numbingly unbelievable this-can’t-really-be-happening-in-2017-in-America week we’ve all already been having, today I read an article from a well-known publication asking why no one was questioning if the upcoming eclipse was a “real thing.” The writer suggests that it’s all a conspiracy by the scientists, acting under the bribe of big cash money from the corporations that own hotels along the best viewing zones and the folks who manufacture eclipse glasses.


Why does he think this? Because NASA won’t post the calculations they used to figure out the date/timing on their website so the writer can “check the math” himself. Clearly this MUST mean they are lying…

‘Cuz, ya know – SPACE MATH is like, easy and shit, right? Lemme get out my TI-83


But of course, just to COVER HIS ASS, he does say he’s not necessarily saying it isn’t going to happen, just that he doesn’t “understand” why no one is questioning it because while the scientists insist that it’s true, there are two sides to every story.


No, see. no. That actually ISN’T how any of this works. Because sure, there may be two sides to every story, BUT SCIENCE ISN’T A FREAKING STORY. You don’t get to make up your own version and then declare your hair-brained idea developed while you drank Pabst and watched Aliens on TLC is “just as valid” as REAL SCIENCE. Nope, sorry, uh-uh, no, NOT A THING.



At first I tried to comfort myself with the idea that this might be satire, but that makes me feel WORSE NOT BETTER. Because that means some jackass out there who KNOWS better thinks it would be funny to put this out into the world even though he knows full well THAT PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IT. At least if he believes it himself, he’s genuine – STUPID, but genuine. If he just thinks he’s being funny – I want to dip him in honey and release him into a pit of hungry bears.

Hey, is that….. HONEY??

This Time It’s Personal

I’ll just warn you – this posts gets all kinds of political… And there is strong language..But I HAVE to say this.

When the nation that we live in, and the very LEADERS who are supposed to guide and protect and be an example for us, are so morally bankrupt… it makes me wonder if I REALLY, ACTUALLY helped my BLACK son’s life be better by bringing him here to this country…

I honestly, literally, don’t even know at this point…

What I do know is know that the people who did this and the people who support them are not the majority of our country. But what the FUCK consolation is that when my son could be subjugated… ostracized… KILLED just for being a COLOR???? And that the president of our United States thinks the fault for this would be “on both sides”??????

“Is your favorite color blue or gray? Blue? <bullet through brain>”

Geez, I mean HE IS the one who picked blue so it’s clearly his fault to some extent that he’s DEAD, right? …



Fake It ‘Til You Make It (to the Funny Farm)

There are real downsides to being an intense introvert in a highly social world.

As long are there are clear expectations and roles associated with a social scenario, I can function fairly well.  I don’t have problems giving a talk in front of a bunch of people because I know what I’m supposed to say, where I’m supposed to stand, how I am supposed to sound… I can host a party for 40+ people because the role of a hostess is clearly defined. But put me at a function at someone else’s house, or worse – at a professional networking reception – and I’m jumpy and uncertain and miserable.[1] But because I can present this façade of comfort, many people tell me I’m not an introvert.[2]

So my dread of saying or doing something wrong often comes across as anti-social or dismissive or awkward.[3]

And because I’m most comfortable working within clear parameters to function, squishy stuff like dealing with people’s feelings can be hard for me, especially in a professional setting. I feel empathy, and behind the scenes I advocate strongly for people, and I frequently tie myself in knots when I can’t avoid having to do things or give news that is to people’s detriment.[4]

But my inability to communicate my feelings easily to others often comes across as rude, or unsympathetic, or heartless.

And because I’m so paranoid about all THESE things, I’m desperate for affirmation that I’m worthy.[5] And this leads to my abject terror of being wrong, or being seen as inadequate, or worse – being seen as incapable. So I tend to be very direct and very vocal about my ideas in order to ‘prove’ I’m not useless. I’m that annoying person who can’t let any silence in a meeting or conference call go for more than like 4 seconds. If I ask a question and no one speaks up right away, I start to babble again before anyone else can talk. If someone else asks a question or for feedback and no one speaks up right away, I start to give my thoughts before anyone else can share.[6]

My need to be valuable often comes across as overbearing, or not collaborative, or not open to other people’s ideas.

It’s a total nightmare and makes me even more neurotic and depressed and anxious…

And all this when all I really  want to do in life is hide in my house, with two dozen pets, a book, and a cup of tea… and not talk to anyone.


[1] And I’m not just talking about socializing with mere acquaintances or colleagues… I’ve known most of my friends for decades, and I still get uncomfortable at social gatherings. I struggle to make casual “small talk,” even with them, so I end up feeling like I’m just babbling. I am convinced they find me annoying or stupid or boring.1a

1a No, SERIOUSLY – My best friend and I have known each other for over 30 years, and I still get nervous even with her because I’m certain I’ll do something ‘wrong’ and she won’t like me anymore. It’s totally nuts. And exhausting.

[2] By the way, one of my pet peeves – when you tell someone you’re an introvert and they say “You aren’t an introvert.” They don’t say, “I wouldn’t have guessed you’re an introvert,” they make it a statement of fact that I am not one… I’m sorry, do you have access to some part of my very being that makes you more knowledgeable of who I am than I myself am? …OMG, is it just me, or does this drive other people crazy too?

[3] Actually, I’m ALWAYS awkward. Awkward is my middle name.

[4] And being an administrator who’s responsible for communicating dictums from on high to the front line, AND responsible for creating the work schedule…. There is plenty of opportunity in my life for practicing my pretzel impersonation.

[5] I still feel like I’m back in school and hoping the cool kids will like me. 5a

5a Which being the fat, nerdy, geeky outcast type, they never did. 5b

5b I’m almost forty for crying out loud! Wasn’t caring about this kind of thing supposed to have stopped ages ago?? WTF?!?!

[6] I know, totally ridiculous that being an INTROVERT has, in this twisted, crazy, Escher-like way led to me talking MORE.

You Be You

One of the best ways to spend a Sunday is:

* With my FAMILY

* In our Steampunk regalia (new hat!!)

* Hanging with “weirdos” just like us

I don’t give a shit if my family doesn’t fit someone else’s idea of “family”. I don’t give a shit if people don’t “get” us.

THIS is what America is all about.

Do what you love. Be who you are.


Please Stop Talking

I think the universe was screwing with me earlier today.

we went to Walgreens to pick up my meds. We always use the drive-thru, especially when we’re on our way somewhere like we were today. But it was closed (?!?!).

So now I have to go into the store.

You cannot make me. I’m staying in my box.

I realize I’ve forgotten my phone at home. Rather than add more delay to our trip, Dave leaves me to grab the stuff by myself while he goes home to get my phone. So into the Walgreens I go, and without even having any backup.


there’s a line. A LONG and slow moving line.


I’m stuck listening to the two people in front of me in line, who clearly don’t know each other, but are having an animated and loud conversation about the best way to kill rats. They’re really getting into it. Then the guy gets called up to the counter.


without skipping a beat the woman turns to the closest person to her (that would be me) and continues the conversation as if I’d been a part of it from the beginning. If you know me, you know there are several problems with this. First, I hate talking to people. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone feels this need to hold vigorous and ongoing conversations at all times, even with strangers.  Second, I’m not really sure why she clearly assumed that I had any experience, knowledge, or interest in the topic of rat control (This really got me questioning my choice of clothing for the day – I mean, what kind of vibe was I giving off here? Oh well, guess this dress is going in the trash…) ( BTW, my phone autocorrected vibe to wine… I think my phone knows me far too well.)


But it can’t get worse, right?

Just when I think the fact that she’s even talking to me at all is bad enough, she really went for the gold. She started talking about how she’d seen this rat around that was pregnant and she was really hoping that she caught it before it had those babies… and lo and behold, there it was in the trap!! And do you know what? Even after she finished drowning it, she could still see its stomach moving and she was like, “oh well, I guess the babies are still alive in there, at least for now. But I’m sure that won’t last long now that mom’s dead.”


Stop stop stop stop STOP!!!

How is this conversation happening to me? How am I stuck standing here with this stranger who’s gleefully talking to me about her little rodent snuff film, and clearly expecting me to be like “oh yeah, that’s awesome!” I mean I get it, wild rats carry diseases and you can’t just have them traipsing around your house. But Jesus woman, could you tone it down a little??

I manage to plaster on what I hope was a neutral face and make some kind of positive-ish non-committal sound, while SCREAMING INSIDE. (Clearly I succeeded because she seemed completely undeterred and continued to chat away about her rat infanticide reign of terror. Or maybe she was just that damned clueless.) Either way, I was SO FREAKING RELIEVED when they called her up to the counter.


without breaking stride, she picks up the conversation right where she left off with the guy from before who is standing at the register next to her.

And then…

 she had to repeat it AGAIN when the lady comes back with her prescriptions. And at this point, the babies have gone from ‘moving’ to a full on in-utero foxtrot while she mercilessly cackled from above.

Please. Stop. Talking.

Sneaky peeky…

I’m a rock on the edge!

To get you through HUMP DAY, I’m making good on my promise to include little sneek peeks of the book.

Hopefully this will encourage you to continuing following the blog in hopes of more teasers in the future. AND hopefully get you excited to read all of Wait, What Were We Talking About? later this year!! (Though it’s just as likely you’ll read this snippet and be like “Meh, glad you posted this bit so I don’t to waste my money buying the whole book.”… It’s a chance I have to take. Yup, that’s me –  livin’ dangerously.)




A couple of notes for you, since you’re not getting the benefit of all the intro info in the book itself:

  • I use annotations, versus putting stuff in parenthesis (like I do in the blog). You can follow the numbers to the corresponding thoughts at the bottom (just click the number in the body text to be brought to the correct annotation). As I say in the book, I highly recommend you read the annotations as you go. But hey, whatever floats your boat.
  • For any youth or sensitive folks out there – I try to keep the language here in the blog clean-ish, but I have no such restraint in the book. If foul language bothers you, you should probably just skip the rest of this because it has not been censored.



All materials contained herein are the sole property of the author. Any use of these materials without the author’s consent is prohibited.

Cleanliness Is Next To Deadliness

I set off a fire alarm with a shower.
This happened in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia no less.[1] But let me start at the beginning…
Working in the world of academic medicine as an administrator can be challenging.[2]  But I’m fortunate to work with a group of leaders dedicated to giving their staff every possible opportunity, and one such chance came when my Director asked me to be part of the consulting team being sent to Saudi. I was surprised, elated, and quite honored. I was also pretty nervous.[3]
A month before we left, I received a generic organizational email.
           … observe all laws about dress and behavior as police may detain or assault travelers suspected of breaking them. Carry a card apologizing in Arabic for any unintentional offence….[4]
           … a female US national was arrested for sitting in a coffee shop with a male colleague and detained in prison for several hours, strip searched, and forced to sign a confession.[5]
           … Islamic court rulings, for Muslims and non-Muslims, are frequently influenced by gender, and penalties are often harsh, including capital and corporal punishment.[6]
My fellow female teammate and I found this understandably… ominous. We got in touch with our international team and they were still like, “Nah, it’s FINE. You’ll be FINE. We’ve been there lot of times. Pay no mind to the horribly terrifying sounding official information you received.”
I was not convinced.[7]

[1] Just two lines in and this story just keeps getting better, right? It’s like – it isn’t enough that this even HAPPENED, but I chose to do it in another country. And not just any old easy-going European country, no! When I decide to do an incredibly unfathomable thing, I go all out. It’s tough being an overachiever, but I do my best.

[2] In a fair fight, this statement would totally make the list of “Top Ten Understatements in the World.” My peeps know I’m right.2a

          2a ‘My peeps’? Seriously, who do I think I am, Snoop Dog?2b

          2b Though, I’m pretty sure insinuating that Snoop Dog would ever say something as stupid as ‘my peeps’ is a complete insult to Snoop Dog. Sorry, Snoop, my bad.

[3] Actually… a little bit terrified. I mean we don’t exactly get a happy, safe image of Saudi here in America, especially for women. But our team assured us it was perfectly safe. Still, I managed to imagine pretty much every nightmare scenario possible in those first few days after being asked.4a

          3a Although, as I was to learn – not EVERY nightmare scenario. There are somethings that are just too unbelievable to ever be imagined.

[4] Wait, assault??? Does that say assault???


[6] Hold the fucking phone… Corporal punishment… CAPITAL PUNISHMENT – like as in DEATH?!?!?! In what world is this considered “perfectly safe”? What fucking dictionary are you using to define your words, folks, because it’s a totally different one from the one I, or any other FUCKING SANE PERSON, are using!

[7] Moreover, my fucked-up anxious brain was sure as HELL not convinced. It was all like, “What the hell, woman? Why do I need to intervene here to tell you this is a terrible-stupid-crazy idea? Pull your head out of your ass!”7a

          7a (1:00 am) … “have you come to your senses yet?”7b

          7b (2:00 am) … “How about now? No… here, let me you play you this little video I made for you! There you are, beautiful sand dunes behind you, warm sun on your head… oh wait, that’s your head on the ground – no longer connected to your body… isn’t it just GREAT??? Moron…”7c

          7c (2:17 am) … “Don’t make me pull out the big guns – I will sing the Macarena directly into your brain on volume 12 out of 10 if you don’t give up on this idea right now!” 7d

          7d (2:59 am) … “HEY MACARENA!!!!!” 7e


          7F (3.45 am)… “Hey, remember that time when you got really drunk and totally tried to sexy dance to the Macarena in front of all those people? I bet you they haven’t forgotten it…”7g

          7g (3:50 am) … “Ready to give in yet?”

Interested in more? Be on the lookout for  – Wait, What Were We Talking About? –  out later this year!

Rollin’ in Saudi
Rockin’ my abaya