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2014 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Long Live Mom


To his father’s dismay, Michael likes to watch cooking shows and British comedy.

The other day we were watching Top Chef when I ask Michael “Do you think you might want to be a chef?”

“No, it’s a little disgusting,” he responds. “I still want to be a scientist when I grow up.”

“I’m so proud of you,” I say.

“I hope you’re not going to die soon because I want you to see me be a scientist when I grow up.”

“I’m not going to die. I have a long way to live,” I laugh.

“How much longer?” asks Michael.

“Another 60 years,” I say in a huff.

Don’t tell him I’ll be 100 years old in 60 years, but I have decided that I WILL live that long.

The Intruder


I will begin by saying that my mother has a sweet, beautiful soul. It will become apparent as you read this.

The other day a baby white-footed deer mouse (I researched – thank you Google) made its way into our kitchen via the garage. It is a field mouse. Not as gross as you think, but still… it’s a mouse. Blech! (We have never ever had a mouse in the house… EVER!)

I run to the store, buy some traps and put them under the sink cabinet because that’s where it ended up. Nothing for days, not even mouse poop. I was disappointed. I mean… cheese… crackers… crackers with cheese… nothing attracted this thing.

Last night I get home about 7:30. I’m downstairs getting some dinner while my mother is putting the children to bed upstairs. All of a sudden, I hear a blood-curdling scream coming from her bathroom.
Because I am a very caring individual, I start laughing hysterically, because I know the mouse is in her upstairs bathroom.

I run up the stairs only to hear my mother scream, “Go get the broom!”
I run back down the stairs to get the broom, run back upstairs.
My mother screams, “Did you bring both?”
“What the fuck! NO! You said bring THE broom. So I brought one.”
“Go get the other one,” she screams.

I’m still laughing.

I run downstairs, get the other broom and wait by her bathroom door. I am NOT going in there. I know… very… brave of me.

From the bathroom, my mother says, “Where the hell did it go?”
“Where was it?” I ask.
“The linen closet,” she responds.
“Fuck ME!” is my classy response. “Go through all the linens and find it,” the caring part of me says.
“Oh my God, I don’t want to,” whines my mother.

There is no way in hell I am going in that bathroom.

She starts to go through all the linens… then… a struggle accompanied by another blood-curdling scream.
As soon as I hear her scream, I jump on the chair outside her bathroom. I am still holding the broom

Again, I already know I’m brave. Thank you very much.

“What? What? What?” I start screaming.
“It’s under my broom and I can’t get it. It’s crying and I feel so bad,” she responds.

This is where my mother’s sweet soul comes in. She wants to capture it alive, without injury, and let it go – even though apparently you’re supposed to take it about two miles away.

Then she says, “Stop struggling stupid, I’m trying to get you out of here.”
YES! She is talking to the mouse.

Somehow, she looses track of it and I see a shadow run under the bathroom door toward our laundry room.
Again, the very courageous person in me jumps on the chair and starts SCREAMING.

I have never screamed so loud. I would have been amazing in a slasher movie.

When I feel it’s at a safe distance, I get off the chair and we start to look for it but can’t find it. We are sure it made its way back into the bathroom.
All of a sudden, my mother screams and I literally jump up on the commercial paper shredder we have.

I have NEVER moved so fast. At this time, I am also praying to God that the shredder is not on because my ass is literally on it.

We place about six sticky traps in our tiny laundry room, barred the door (hopefully really fucking well) and now we’re waiting.

Ahh! The waiting game.

My mother refused to use the sticky traps before. In fact, she asked me if the mouse gets stuck to them, how we unstick it. Please tell me you’re kidding mother.


Now, before everyone went to bed last night my mother asks, “What do I do if it sticks to the pads?”
“I don’t know mother, unstick it or get rid of it.”
“But why do I have to do it?”

This is where my genius comes in. 

“Because you are my mother and I’m a girl. You still have to take care of me. If you had had boys, you would’ve asked them to do it.”

Ignore the fact that I am 40, yes FORTY, years old. Shut up!

My mother laughs, “Thanks a lot.”
“I have it pretty good,” I say, “I have boys, in my later years, if I see a mouse, I’ll just call one of the boys to take care of it. You had girls. Sorry!”

I was being sarcastic. Almost. I told you I was caring.

This morning, I take Michael to school and I’m about 20 minutes out when I get a call from my mother.

Shit! It’s about the mouse.

I reluctantly answer, “Hello?”
Pause… “It’s stuck and it’s crying,” she whines, “what do I do?”
The good person in me responds, “Throw it away, or unstick it if you want.”
“I can’t throw it away! He’ll die. How do I unstick it?”
“Mother, I don’t know, put gloves on and try to unstick him if you want in a field somewhere. Please don’t do it in the house or the back yard.”

About an hour later, I get back home, “What happened?”

My mother’s sad face says, “There was glue all over him, I unstuck him, but I don’t think he’ll live.”

Thank GOD! This I thought not said. My mother’s a softie.

I tell this story to my husband who said, “I am ashamed of both of you. I thought you were big and tough and strong,” he says to me.
“I’m big and tough and strong with fucking people, not mice,” is my truthful yet pathetic reply.

I’m glad the thing’s out of my house, even though it was cute. Michael, my seven-year-old, of course, wanted to keep it.
Yeah right!

My mother is now bleaching our house.

The M Word


This past June I turned the big four oh. Yes 40. Take note for I will only mention this once and never again. 


Alright, so it was not scary, rather unsettling. That is until my physician dared to mention the big M word. Nope… not marriage [sigh] but… MAMMOGRAM!

How… unsatisfying…

The word generally sends women into a hysterical panic. Not only does it seem intimidating but it also conjures images of a medieval torture device that no person in her right mind would volunteer for, no matter the price.

The stories alone are horrifying. Imagine a plump, perky, stunning breast being squeezed within an inch of its beautiful life, literally. Perhaps not an inch – rather a two-inch thick pancake.

Still doesn’t make me feel better.
Still a horrifying thought.

I grudgingly accept my doctor’s referral paperwork and tell him “I’ll think about it.” I tend to be honest with my doctors.
To convince me to voluntarily agree to this torture session, he reminds me that two years ago I was diagnosed with and had a lump removed from my right breast. If I wasn’t going to do it because of my advanced age, I should at least consider it a follow-up to the lumpectomy.

Fuck me! Way to convince me with logic doc.

After sitting on the paperwork for a couple of weeks, I decide, what the hell… one time won’t kill me. My boobs might fall off, but it won’t kill me. I literally imagined my nipple rolling on the floor as the two ten inch thick metal steel plates released my breast from its ice-cold, menacing clutches.

I have quite an imagination. I’m also humble.

I call and make my appointment. The imagined unimaginable pain makes me take the day off from school.

I get to the “medical dungeon” and with great trepidation, I follow the nurse. I am instructed to remove my upper body clothing and put on a gown. The sterile smell of the hospital gown makes me nauseous, but that’s another story. I remove my top and underwire and put on the gown. The thing is like a puzzle piece. It has three armholes. Crap!

I may not be bright all the time, but I know I have only two arms. What the fuck am I supposed to do with that third hole? Put a boob through it? That doesn’t make sense. I finally realize it’s sort of like a wrap. After ten minutes, I conquer the origami puzzle gown and go into the waiting room. I am the first one there.

I expect to hear screams of agony at any moment.

As I am waiting, other women walk in, all at least ten years older than I am; all with a look of horror on their faces. They’re not fooled by the elegant furniture, lined water bottles, snacks and large flat screen television on the wall. They too know what is about to happen. We all make eye contact and silently pass on the sad knowledge that we’re all here for the same punishment.

After about ten minutes or so, a radiology tech shows up and calls my name. As I get up, I don’t rush. There’s no look of satisfaction given to the other women that I have been chosen first. Instead, every woman looks at me with pity. I know how they feel.

I am ushered into another room, the dungeon where all the painful action happens. It’s quite typical and completely unintimidating. Fuck, that’s disappointing! I worked myself into frenzy for nothing.

The tech begins to ask me health related questions when I notice a rather large tattoo on her arm. Impolitely I interrupt her to ask about the tattoo. Tattoos intrigue me and I generally stop anyone and start touching, admiring, and asking about them. Why should this time be any different!
I am surprised to find out that her tattoo artist is my tattoo artist. Small world.

Back to the boobie talk.

She explains how the torture device works and then asks me to remove my gown.

I am not the type of girl who get embarrassed. At least not easily. After three children, two c-sections, one stomach surgery, and cancer which consisted of an internal, yes INTERNAL ultrasound performed by a young man in his twenties (who apologized profusely every time he moved the rather large dic… I mean ultrasound wand inside of me) I no longer get embarrassed.

I remove my gown without a trace of self-consciousness and my breasts literally fall and swing as heavy bags of wet sand. Pretty picture, right?

The tech comes behind me (oh baby) and lifts up my breast to position it onto the cold steel metal tray. She tells me to not move. I am terrified as she pushes a button and the top of the machine begins to move down toward my breast, its intention clear: to squish me into oblivion.
I cringe and close my eyes but the machine stops as soon as it reaches the top of my breast. I hear a click and it begins to move away.

I open one eye, look down and ask, “That’s all?”
“That is all,” comes the amused reply.

After this experience, I am no longer afraid of the word or the procedure (assuming I always go to the same hospital and have the same radiology tech).

I did spend the rest of the day at home. No sense in going back to school even though the pain was imagined. Might as well celebrate the pain free boobie squishing.