Sunday, May 10, 2015

To My Mom, Eileen

Dear Mom,

It's hard to believe that, this year, you will have been gone for twice as much of my life as you were in it. I wonder so often how my life would have turned out with you here. I wonder what kind of relationship we'd have now that I am almost 45 and not 15. I wonder what kind of person I'd be now if you weren't gone.

But, actually, "gone" isn't the right word, is it? I know that you have always been with me. I see you every day in the things I love and believe in, the way I react to people and situations, and in the wouldn't believe how the faces of my children (especially the this oldest one, who, I swear, you sent to me on purpose). I know that who you were and the things you taught me have made me the person I am today.

When I was a kid, it was so easy to be angry and to not understand why you weren't just taken from me, but you went willingly. It was so easy to blame you for making a terrible choice and making me pay for it. It was easy to stomp my feet and cry and just shout about how it was all So. Not. Fair. Why couldn't you have gone with a traditional treatment and just put up with everything that went with that and you'd still be with me. You wouldn't have missed so much of my life.

As I look at my family, and in particular at my daughter, I completely understand your reasons for everything - not just the experimental and very risky treatment - but for every decision and every sacrifice you made in your all-too-brief life. I'd have done the same things in a heartbeat. Whether you knew at the time how the choices you made then or not, they have impacted me and your grandchildren in such huge ways. You've given us gifts that can never be repaid.

So much of who I am now is so much a result of you being who you were to me as a kid. You were never just my mother - you were my very best friend and closest confidante. I will always silently ask you what you think of new people I meet. I will always shake my own head in disapproval at my choices in impractical footwear (that I will still wear). I will always stop changing stations for a Beatles or Barry song. I will always shout "MAKE UP!" during that 10cc song while everyone looks at me like I'm insane.

I will always do my best to keep the spirit of who you were in life alive in myself and in your grandchildren. I will make sure they know you, even if they never got to meet you.

I love you, Mom.
Saundra Lynne

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dammit, Facebook! It's been awhile. But I promise it's not my fault.

I used to write. Pretty darned frequently. I wrote about every silly little thing I did, said, observed, thought...whatever. And I'm never going to delude myself into thinking that anything I wrote was ever of any substance - by my own admission (and the title of this blog, even), what I wrote was fluffy little nonsense at best. But it was mine and I liked it, and I liked doing it. If I wasn't actually writing in my blog or finding stupid things to post to my blog, I was thinking about writing in it. I would check all the time to see how many people had viewed my posts and read all the comments if I got any in the hopes of sparking conversations about the dorky things I loved and loved to write about. I was a blog whore.

I'm not exactly sure when that changed. Maybe it was the new job/house/husband/kid and all the craziness that goes with all of those things. Maybe it was when I hit 40 and realized that I've done very few things that people tend to associate with being an "adult." Maybe it was when I received a comment from one of my regular readers that my writing is "much more entertaining when [I'm] unhappy."

I may not know exactly when this happened, but I can pinpoint at least one why: Facebook.

Facebook has become my go-to device for sharing all of my stupid fluffyness, and it keeps me from making the effort to blog proper-like. It's fast, easy, and available via pretty much any outlet -- it's like the fast food drive-thru that keeps people from bothering to actually cook. And people blame McDonald's for getting them fat, so I can blame Facebook for my lack of blogging motivation, right? So here goes:

Top 5 Ways Facebook Has Made Me a Lazy Blogger:

5. It's too easy - Seriously. I can post 50 cat photos before I even get out of bed. And I have.

4. Almost everyone is on FB already - Most of the people I know in actual, real-live life are already on Facebook, so they already know what a dork I am. And I don't write enough substance to actually go out and promote my blog to strangers. Who the heck would read this?

3. Everything is in one place - I used to follow at least a dozen blogs, belong to about 5 message boards to which I posted and read faithfully, and I had countless newsletter subscriptions to sites I read daily. And I loved reading and passing along interesting (to me) and funny ( me) information via my blog and commenting in the hopes of getting feedback and starting conversations. My Tuesday Top 5 came from a regular feature on a message board I frequented. But NOW, pretty much anything I would bother to find online has already been posted and shows up in my FB newsfeed half a dozen times before I get out of bed. So, I click "Share," and post. Done.

2. Too easy to lose focus - There are so many people and SO much information flying around on Facebook. And most of it is as fluffy and nosensical as anything on my blog -- even more so -- and I get distracted quite easily. "Oh, hey...let's see what my sister has to say abo.....OMG, KITTEN! CUUUUTE!"

1. Other people are just as lazy - Admit it: The posts that are right there and accessible without having to open another window or go to another site, or even having to scroll down are the ones you're most likely to read. I know I do it. So, I tend to figure no one really wants to bother, anyway, evidenced by the fact that I have 291 Facebook friends and 5 blog followers. :/

So, yeah. I get it. But I need to encourage myself to take the extra time and make the extra effort, so I'm making yet another promise to myself to try to stay focused and get the writing done - just as soon as I update my status...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Dirty Little Tuesday Top 5 that's misleading...

So, since my washer’s been broken for the past few weeks (with hopes for the ability to repair it ourselves dwindling), I’ve been doing small loads on a regular basis at my sister’s. Which is fantastic, and I love her for it. But on the weekends, I try to take care of the big stuff at the Laundromat.

The Laundromat has its pros and cons, of course. It is nice to get everything done in one fell swoop. And it does get me out of the house for a little while. But it’s about the most boring place on earth.

I never realize, until I’m forced to go to the Laundromat, how much else I can actually get done while I’m doing laundry at home. I don’t even think about how much time it actually takes and how much takes to do. It’s not until I’m sitting there, making small talk with the lady behind the counter or trying to avoid people plowing through the narrow rows with their giant laundry carts piled with strange underwear and whatnot that I realize how boring it is—because there is NOTHING ELSE TO DO.

I know there some Laundromats exist that are attached to or near other businesses in order to capitalize on the customers’ wasted time. Like, I’ve heard of them being combined with tanning salons. But that really holds no appeal for me whatsoever—I’ve learned to deal with my shockingly pasty complexion years ago.

So, in the spirit of reviving the Top 5 List, and just for SOMETHING to do while I’m sitting here with no Internet connection, here are the things I would enjoy being able to do while at the Laundromat. Enjoy.

Top 5 Other Businesses That Should Be Combined with Laundromats*:

5. Car wash – Nothing reminds me of how much my car needs vacuuming more than putting clean clothes in the trunk. “When’s the last time we even had Doritos? Ew…”

4. Bookstore/library – Actually, library is probably better, unless the bookstore takes leftover quarters and doesn’t cost too much. Because omg…it’s getting expensive to do laundry.

3. Coffee Shop – I was thinking bar, because alcohol, but coffee shop is a better choice. I could just see people getting loaded and ralphing into empty washing machines. Or not empty.

2. Gym – You’re in there watching bad TV that you can’t hear over the machines anyway. Why not get on the treadmill? Hauling your clothes in and out of the car and the machines could count as weight lifting.

1. Arcade – This would be brilliant, since there’s already a change machine there for quarters. I could totally throw down with some House of the Dead while I’m waiting to add some fabric softener.

*Any combination of the above is also acceptable.

Of course, if the Laundromat I went to would just add WiFi, I’d be a happy girl. But then this fascinating list wouldn’t exist. You’re welcome.

Oops—time to fold!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

You're a Dumba$$, Charlie Brown

Anyone who knows me knows that I've never been a traditional holiday kind of girl. Shocking, I know, but it's not all Martha Stewart up in the Fluffy Little Household. I've never been able to commit to that kind of thing on a regular basis – I'm way too sporadic for that.

But one tradition I do love is watching holiday movies. I love to do the marathons, from Halloween through New Year's Day...and actually pretty much any time throughout the year.

I have specific holiday marathons for each occasion (which change slightly over the years, but are more or less the same, theme-wise): Harry Potters at Halloween, James Bond at Thanksgiving, LOTR at Christmas, comic-book movies for New Year's, zombie flicks for the 4th of July (still no idea where that one originated).

And, of course, each of these marathons has a sprinkling of traditional holiday movies mixed in: Nightmare Before Christmas, White Christmas, Die Hard, Independence get the picture.

But there is one genre of holiday movies that, now that I'm an adult, I never EVER watch. Ever.

I hate Charlie Brown movies. There – I’ve said it.

Hate. With a passion. And I always have.

They’re bad. They’re boring. And their only redeeming qualities are the scenes with Snoopy and Woodstock.

I’ve never understood why these specials are so popular. Is it a nostalgic thing? Because that, to me, is just not enough – there is plenty of TV from my childhood that should never be watched again.

Is it because of the endearing relationships between the characters? Hell no. Because let me tell you – every kid in that show is an asshole.

It’s always been uncomfortable for me to watch these shows, where Charlie Brown’s so-called “friends” insult and belittle him at every possible turn, and he still follows them around and tries to be a good kid and a good friend. Eff that.

They all treat Charlie Brown like crap, and we love them for it? No. Each and every one of them is a jerk, except Charlie Brown, who is jerky in his own way for not telling them to piss off. Every one of those specials could have the same title: Your Friends are Douchebags, Charlie Brown!

And don’t tell me it’s sweet when they all finally decorate the little tree and sing around it at the end of the Christmas special – screw them all for that. You do NOT get to act like a pile of shit all year and then decide to pull your head out of your ass just because it’s Christmas. What kind of message is that?

Don’t even get me started on that football thing. Every time they set up that scene, I cross my fingers in the hopes that, this time, Charlie Brown will haul off and kick that little bitch square in the teeth. Alas…it never happens, but that would be a helluva special.

Luckily, my kids aren’t all that interested in these movies either. And it’s not because of me. I've tried. I used to put them on for tradition’s sake whenever they aired on TV, and I even bought the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas DVD. I've sat and watched objectively, but my kids are just not interested, and they have the same complaints as I do: “Geez, mom…you used to watch this stuff? This is SO boring! These kids are jerks. Let's watch something else.” Totally warms my heart.

I don’t know – maybe there’s something about these movies that I just don’t get. I mean, I think the comic strip is actually pretty brilliant. So why doesn’t it translate to the TV specials for me?

I may never figure that out. Maybe I’m the blockhead.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kitty Pron?

Most people download games or porn apps, right?

I just downloaded a gallery of cute cat photos.

I'm not sure what is going on with me these days...

Monday, November 21, 2011


Dear 20-something-year-old females,

If you...
-end every sentence with your voice raised so it sounds like you're asking a question,
-end every statement with an extra "a" sound ("Oh my god-dah!"),
-speak in that post-valley-girl monotone that makes it sound like you're constantly rolling your eyes,
-have nothing EVER to talk about except drinking/shopping/drinking,
-frequently using the "words" supposably, irregardless, ANYways, or expresso,'re annoying.* Thought you should know.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list, so please listen to yourselves once in awhile, and see if YOU could stand to do so all day long.

Thanks in advance,

*(Sentiment is doubled if you A, work in the office across from mine or B, are actually closer to 40-something. Quadrupled if both are true.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why-yi-yi-yi-yi Don't You Use It...Correctly?

As you all know by now, I am a social networking junkie. I'm not nearly as bad as I used to be, but I rarely start a day without at least checking in to see what the rest of you people are doing (because I really do have to live my life vicariously through other people).

I frequently go throughout my day thinking about what to put as my status for the day, and I love to post pictures of random little things while I'm out and about. I love reading everyone's articles and looking at their pictures and re-posting their clever little pictures and links so that people think I'm clever too. Because isn't social networking just a giant exercise in narcissism? We all just want to throw our lives up on the screen for other people to see, Like, comment on, and secretly be jealous of. And I love that.

(This is primarily referring to Facebook, by the way...I neglect my poor little blog so terribly.)

But there is one thing I really DON'T love about social networking (okay, there are actually at least three, but I'll stick to the topic as best I can): Lack. Of. Style.

And no, I am not referring to fashion. Not at all, although there are some cases where I definitely should be. What I'm referring to is the blatant disregard for the rules of basic grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage.

I am, on a daily basis, appalled by how lazy people can be when they're typing. And yeah, I's just supposed to be for fun and we're not being graded and blah, blah, blah. But if you really think about it, you ARE being graded--this is how you present yourself to the world, and I guarantee it has an effect on how people see and think of you. And, dammit, people I bother to friend (yes, it's a verb now) are not unintelligent people (I think I got rid of all those)--most of them should know better.

But, you know, the saddest part about the whole thing is how widely accepted poor grammar and usage is becoming. It's sneaking into books and style guides (there actually IS an Internet style guide, which is the best contradiction in terms I've ever heard) and dictionaries, because we'd rather just accept the error instead of learning the mechanics.

Because we can remember passwords for twenty different online accounts, we can remember to water our virtual farm crops, we can remember to post the photos of what we had for lunch yesterday, but we can't remember when to use a possessive and when to use a contraction (if your brain isn't getting what this means, you're one of the people I'm talking about).

I'm SO glad I bothered to get a Master's degree in this shit.

I know I've posted repeatedly on the common things that go on online. I've ranted about their/there/they're, I've gone on about when to use I and when to use me, and I've definitely gone on about how to spell DEFINITELY. Those things, I hope, will always be incorrect and will never be accepted. They never will by me, anyway.

So I think today I'll dig a little deeper and direct this rant toward words that probably 99% of people (or 75% of people on my page) don't know they're using incorrectly--and some of these have wormed their way so deeply into common usage that they're even used in dictionaries, despite my jumping up and down in protest. So, without further ado, I will present the:

Top 5 Words I Swear to God You Use Incorrectly

5) Nauseous. If you're trying to get out of work early to go see a Cubs game, and you tell your boss, "I need to go home because I'm nauseous," you've basically just told him or her that you need to go home because you are making other people feel ill. In which case, you should stay the hell away from Wrigley unless you have a seat directly behind the opposing team's dugout. What you should say is that you feel nauseated. Nauseous means "causing nausea," nauseated means "suffering from nausea." You're welcome, Jane.

4) Literally. I was behind the most annoying couple in the entire world at the bookshop the other day, and the girl said to her boyfriend, "Ohmigod, it was SO funny! I literally died laughing!" And I literally had to bite my tongue to keep from screaming, "Ohmigod! A zombie!" Because I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have understood what I was talking about.

So I'll say this to her now: If something literally happened, dumbass, it means it really, truly, actually happened. And, as much as I wish it were true so that you were on your way to becoming worm food and your douchebag Sagger (Google it) boyfriend was hitting on your BFF at your so-sad funeral instead of you both being all up in my personal space with your bad Britney perfume, lowering my IQ by the millisecond, it really just didn't. Damn.

(Whew! Can you tell I've been holding on to that one for awhile?)

3) Snuck. Honestly, I don't know where we get this one. The past tense of sneak is sneaked. And I don't give a blessed damn what the dictionary is accepting these days. I hate it so much when people say this--it makes grown-ups sound like 5-year-olds.

2) Further. This word does not...I repeat, does NOT...mean "even farther." Farther refers to distance. Further refers to time, concepts...things that aren't physical. I'd explain it further, but I find myself getting farther away from my point.

1) (And oh my god, you're going to hate me for this one) Hopefully. Hopefully is an adverb. Dammit. It is not supposed to be used to say that you hope something is going to happen ("Hopefully, I'll get a pony for my birthday!"), but EVERYONE DOES IT! What you should be saying is hopeful. "I am hopeful that I'm going to get a pony for my birthday" (or, even easier "I hope I..."). "I asked my parents hopefully, but they still won't let me have one."


So, there...I said it. And no, poor grammar and misused words are not going to keep me from my online addiction. But it will always give me something to write and rant about.