in a world like this just doing my job

Yesterday this:

Literally shared all over social media and even by local Phoenix television news. But what of the ASU and the ASU Police and the ASU LiveSafe app?

No news…at first. Soon though they took to Twitter assuring students, faculty, employees and visitors that while it was unsubstantiated they were investigating…and beefing up their presence. Stay safe they admonish too.

Home from working all night seeing all this on my social media feed as well in texts from my daughter there at ASU I’m thinking that there shall be no sleep…even if the Monday rains in Northern California promise a good day’s sleep for all Vampira Night Shift Nurses.

The hours pass with updates from Jodie with tales of a virtually empty campus

Empty except for the presence of campus police and other agencies everywhere. While denied publicly, Jodie confirmed reports that one building was basically locked down with occupants carefully evacuated and one person appearing to be taken into custody. Classes were never officially canceled, yet most were. At the end of the day, nothing much happened except for nerves rattled even more than they were during the overnight minor earthquakes that happened near Phoenix. Oh, and parents more stressed out than they really need to be literally everywhere. The threat did indeed prove to be nothing more than a hoax as announced today by the ASU Police and for that we are all thankful.

Still the fact that this is the reality for all of our children at literally every level of their education everywhere is absolutely, positively fucked up…absolutely, positively fucked up. Really.

But as for today, today is a new day. Today, hopefully, is a better day. Today is the day that my most favored Sun Devil Freshman is trying to select and schedule classes for the Spring semester which can prove to be a frustrating task when one is using ASU’s wi-fi it seems…if I am to believe my ASU twitter feed.

Lucky for Jodie, I am here.

Made. My. Day.

Just doing my job, baby girl…just doing my job.

Added bonus, I get to see your face. Thank you FaceTime.


literally not the best time to buy shoes

Here is where it confess that when it comes to my feet, I am the biggest, prissy Princess and the Pea kind of person ever. Perhaps it is because more than 25 years of spending 12 hours or more on my feet during busy shifts I have come to realize that I must be kind to my feet and they will return the favor. Because of that I would be the last person to wear new shoes to run a half marathon or to a wedding as a bridesmaid or to work without breaking them in just a little bit…or perhaps a lot.

I’m a big baby when it comes to my feet.

So it should come as no surprise when packing for a 5 day trip to Arizona which would promise lots of of walking…LOTS OF WALKING…all over the ASU campus and parts of Tempe, I packed shoes meant for walking…walking all over ASU everywhere for a few days.

I’m a sensible kind of woman…

…and a big baby when it comes to my feet.

Then came time to pack Daniel’s suitcase and as I am doing so he comes to me and says, “You know mom, my shoes have been too tight lately.” I refuse to feel guilty because he is a thirteen year old boy. He can absolutely put on his own shoes. Yes, I should be checking for fit since he is on human growth hormones. I should. But the thirteen year old boy can come to me and tell me his shoes are too tight and he did.

Mom win!

Hurray for new kicks for Fall Break. Hurray for new kicks for the thirteen year old boy that are NOT little kid sized! We like that. We like that a lot.

So off to Arizona and ASU we go.

This sight makes me happy for so many reasons.

After almost two days and literally ten miles of walking everywhere there are sore feet and blisters.

Perhaps not a mom win!

Definitely not a mom win.

Also it would seem that I am not the only Princess and the Pea kind of person when it comes to feet and shoes. Thank goodness he packed some flip flops.

Thirteen year old boy win!

And this, this is an all-around win.

He can work on breaking in those new kicks when we get home tomorrow because Fall Break goes on for the rest of the week with, hopefully, not as many miles to walk each day…he hopes.

conversation starters

Working on interpersonal interactions, Daniel had homework to do; homework that was basically conversation starters.

Was I willing to do this exercise with him, he wondered?

But of course! I’m his mom. I’m his super nerdy-homework-is-fun-as-long-as-it-isn’t-math mom.

So we sit down together and work on our conversation starters exercise. I am to start and he is to continue answering back with two to three sentences. We’re working on interpersonal interactions here because it has been proven on occasion that not everyone wants to talk about Hot Wheels cars and Lego sets and video games.

Crazy, I know!

Glancing at the ten conversation starters, I’m thinking this is going to be easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. Daniel sighs because mom is saying easy-peasy, lemon squeezy again.

First one: So I heard that there was a fire on your street…

There was a fire? Oh my god! Where?

No, son. There wasn’t really a fire. It’s the conversation starter. I say, “So I heard that there was a fire on your street..” And you answer back…

So there wasn’t a fire on our street.

No son. How about you answer back something like, “Yes, last night in front of my neighbor Don’s house…”

Don’s house?! Don’s house was on fire? But you said there was no fire.

There was no fire. We’re just pretending while we practice conversing. Pretend that there was a fire.

Why would I pretend something so bad like Don’s house being on fire?

Don’s house isn’t really on fire.

Then why would we talk about something like that? It’s not even true! Oh my god, mom!


Do you have any math homework?

But what about my Speech homework?

what kind of mother let’s her kid read Furiously Happy anyway?

Judge me.

I don’t care.

We’ll get to back to that in a minute.

But first can I tell you how Furiously Happy I am right now that this arrived here today under The Big Top?

I am.

I might be already more than halfway through the book too. Might have been done were it not for getting my eyes dilated. The eyes remain extra special…so special that Costco Optometry gets added to the list of places that can’t fill my prescription. Of course that means that I get to spend a ridiculous amount of money above what our vision plan covers. It’s a burden to have extra special eyes. You just can’t imagine.

But back to this book and being furiously happy…I can’t wait to finish reading it, and celebrating my own personal bizarre-ness and my weirdness and even the crazy way that I  was broken because in spite of the anxiety and depression and all around messed up-ness that is me being broken and the smile that tries to hide it all, it is who I am…and a lot of people seem to like and love the me that I am…even with all the messed up-ness…or in spite of it…or because of it.

I am broken. I am broken in so many ways, ways that I have written about before and ways that only a very small circle might know. Shit happens. Shit happens that should never happen to any person. It’s for real. It’s me. And it’s the me that I has been working on and accepting and forgiving and loving…whether I am smiling or not. It’s just me, broken but furiously happy me. And why not celebrate it?

I’m not alone.

Thank goodness I am not.

We are people who have been searching and continue to look for the light in spite of the dark, horrible and shitty things in our lives that weigh us down, that steal our joy, that lie to us.

So, what kind of mother let’s her kid read Furiously Happy?

Well, when your kid is 13…and your kid is with you at the optician that can fill the prescription for your extra special eyes and has homework to do including reading for twenty minutes that he has to get done before Tae Kwon Do and tutoring and dinner, you hand him your book opened to chapter 5 and tell him to read about Rory the Raccoon (see book cover).

I had already read the chapter and vetted it declaring it to be PG13 and okay for my kid to read…so don’t hate.


OMG! This is so inappropriate, Mom!

Take note he said that in between adolescent snickers and giggles.

His favorite part? Rory teasing Victor and riding Ferris Mewler because really what is there not to love about a dead raccoon in your bed or frolicking bareback on a cat?

He wrote about it in his reading journal. Yes, he included that he couldn’t believe that his mom let him read a chapter from this inappropriate book but it was okay because his mom is kind of crazy.

I am imagining that my meeting with his teacher next week is going to be, um, interesting…unless she too is a fan of Jenny Lawson.

Remember when I recommended Jenny’s first book?

Ditto! Ditto times infinity.

what makes me a PTA reject

Yes, I am that mom. I am a PTA reject.

Why are you even remotely surprised?

Now it’s not that I didn’t try. Back when Hollie was a bright-eyed little kindergartener, I did sign on to join and I enthusiastically planned to attend all the meetings and take on all the projects. Then I attended my first meeting…

Oh you work?

I’m not sure why this seemed to be such a bad thing but it was. Still I pressed on determined to support my daughter by supporting her school. They needed me, no matter what anyone who regards moms who work outside the home as bad people might think. But attending meetings and participating seemed like, well, it seemed like junior high where ugly, awkward, pimply-faced me just wanted to be friends and fit in with the graceful, pretty, clear-skinned popular girls.

It seemed that this is where the pretty, clear-skinned popular girls landed…in the PTA.

UGH! This feels a lot like Moms’ Bible Study!


I stopped attending the meetings. I definitely did not sign on to any committees or special projects…except for that one year I was on the school yearbook committee because Yearbook Mom told me the year before that there was no way that Zoë’s name could appear in the yearbook with the umlaut above the “e”. Well, it did when she was in second grade because her mommy participated in the yearbook committee and with a Sharpie pen put two dots above the “e”. Yearbook Mom at first was not amused, but every year after there were two dots above the ‘e’ because I showed her how it could be done. But other than that I was pretty comfortable with paying the annual PTA dues and buying the crappy wrapping paper, the stinky candles, the chocolate candies and all the walkathons because it was for my kids’ school. The school got the money, my kids got the class credit and ice cream party for kids whose parents were members, the PTA moms didn’t have to deal with the awkward of me wanting to fit in and for them to tell me that I couldn’t…and they could get back to their whispering about the moms who worked outside the home…especially the one who looked like she just rolled out of bed in rumpled scrubs at the afternoon pickup…yes, me. It was good for us all.

Added bonus is the free ice cream for me!

Frankly, I find myself wondering why we can’t just adopt this approach to school support and fundraising?




All kidding and snarkiness aside, I still support my kids’ schools….Dolphins and Timberwolves and now Sun Devils all the way!!! Just let me write you a check and you all who eat, sleep and breathe PTA while hovering closely over our kids’ schools can continue to do the awesome that you do. Smile and thank me…then get back to the whispering about my just rolled out of bed look…or the other moms who just don’t seem to fit in.

Like my daughter.

We’re totally okay with that.

And then when I’m feeling oh so smug as I write this the phone rings…


What’s up Daniel?

Today was a minimum day. Are you going to come get me?

Yes. I did that.