Long time no post, right?

24 Jan

Have you missed me? Quit lying. I know you have. Gosh, where do I begin? Hmmmm…let’s get an update going.

Well, since I last told you about me leaving my job, I’m proud to say that I’ve grabbed this new venture by the ears and is giving it the face-fucking of it’s life. Ahhhh, you’ve missed that colorful, yet ah-mazing imagery, haven’t ya?! What’s been interesting is that my eyes are now open to so much more. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t have the constraints of the 9-to-5, office environment, or because I dick around on the social webs all day trying to spark conversation. Either way, possibilities are truly endless in life, and you can do whatever you want when you want.

I’ve found that I have so many friends doing such great things. There’s 12 Questions that Spencer and Becky are tackling–you won’t regret this one. Sport and I are going to be their first interview. So. Effing. Exciting! Then there’s also Monk and Mao Photography and Crazy Mae’s Vegan Treats, which our girl Amber is going to drive right on home. Seriously, these cupcakes are a slice of heaven. Oh, and last but not least, there’s the Denver Craft Ninjas. Yeah, Becky has her hands in everything. She’s becoming my hero. (P.S. You can follow all of these amazing ventures on Facebook and Twitter.)

What else is there? *sighs* Time will tell, but I know one thing for sure. We are back people and ready to tear da club up. For those of you not with the lingo: We’re back and in gear. :)

Until tomorrow, scoundrels.

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New year, new you? Nah, that’s bullshit!

6 Jan

One of the biggest bs buzz phrases you hear this time of year is: New Year, New You.

 

Quit smoking, lose wright, be a better you!

What the hell does that really even mean? I suspect it’s a marketers way of trying to tap in to a person’s deep desire to reinvent themselves into something better. It motivates said person with the promise of renewal at the start of a new calendar year.

But in reality, it’s horseshit.  New year, same old you. Despite any of the resolutions you make, you are still you.

That got me really thinking about why this idea of reinvention with a new year is such a big seller in our culture. Are we all really that unsatisfied or unfulfilled in our lives that we’ll shell out big bucks in hopes of people seeing us in a different light? Or is it all a conveniently timed marketing campaign preying on the consumer’s insecurities?

Or am I spiraling down the rabbit hole toward becoming a conspiracy theorist?

Guest Post: Older and wiser?

5 Jan

Happy New Year, scoundrels! We hope your year has started off fabulously!

You all remember our girl vaguelycool? Well she’s back at it giving us a glimpse into the world and wisdom of a super busy, super dedicated mom and wife. This run down of oh-so-rad wisdom gems is exactly the sort of stuff we hope to learn in our 30s as we embrace 2011!

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I was told I was getting old last week. OLD? I’m 35 – my God I’m not old – shit, I’m just getting going here! Old. Even more insulting/humorous/ironic, this was pointed out to me by a woman about my mother’s age, so I knew it was probably true, she said it in a kind way and she wears sensible shoes.

Ah, if only...

Agh, who the fuck cares. I’m actually enjoying my age. Happily married, second kiddo under my belt, two mortgages, two (f-ing stupid) cats, an annoying dog, I don’t drive a mini-van and I’m still wearing the same size jeans I was when I was in college…..ok, so maybe one size larger. I have a financial future, I have life insurance, a will, I’m comfortable in my skin….I’m happy.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned in my 35 years, in no particular order:

  • Smiling is free and it really can make someone’s day
  • It’s good to try not to swear. Fuck.
  • Matching underwear, while nice, is not necessary – clean underwear is a must
  • Good grammar and spelling is really important
  • Charity – I find something that works for me and make sure I do it regularly
  • Manners, at the end of the day, that’s all one has
  • I will sacrifice absolutely anything for my children and my husband
  • I don’t ask friends to help me move, I hire movers
  • I love to have a cocktail or two, always will
  • Pointless bullshit has no place in my life, nor do vapid, pointless people
  • Accepting my family for who they are is a continuing journey – one I’m dedicated to and don’t always do a good job
  • Being blunt doesn’t have to overtake being kind
  • Priorities change
  • Never say never; really
  • I want to be remembered as a truly special person, a loving person, a smart person but most of all a great mother and wife
  • Practice compassion
  • Finally, and most importantly…..exit gracefully

#reverb10 winding down

30 Dec

December 29th Prompt – Defining Moment: Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

January 23rd I walked into the place I had planned on going for several months. Only the circumstances were very different. I had planned on walking through the door a newly married woman with a husband on my arm. Instead, I walked in alone. Sure I had a barrage of insanely supportive friends waiting inside. Sure I was about to drink my weight in martinis. Sure, even then, I knew I had done the right thing. But I swear to you all, I’ve never felt a heavier door in my life. – Sport

December 22nd Prompt – Travel: How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

I didn’t. Come to think of it, I haven’t traveled much over the past 3 years or so. It’s really easy to get trapped in your localized lifestyle and disconnect from the reality that is much more global than your microcosm. Wouldn’t you say so?

But, this ends now. I’ve adopted a new lifestyle, and it’s all-inclusive. From Portland to Tampa to San Fran and beyond, I want everything these foreign lands have to offer. Scoundrels, who’s ready to see TTTM mobile? I know I am. -theVar

December 21st Prompt – Future Self: Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

Um okay, I’m just going to skip that whole first part of this prompt for several reasons. One of which being that this is not an episode of Quantum Leap and the intellectual acrobatics required to get the verb tenses correct are just not what I’m about today.  But the bonus…

Dear Sport 10 years ago,

Stop buying all those damned Backstreet Boys albums. You’re just going to throw them out later. Other than that, keep doing exactly what you’re doing. You’re learning a lot and making tons of mistakes that will only yield wisdom upon reflection.

XOXO,

-Sport today

December 20th Prompt – Beyond Avoidance: What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

Hahahaha. Boy, oh boy! Dating. I ran from that shit like it had stank on it. Scared, worried, unsure, insecure, busy, otherwise deterred, you name it; I’ve had the excuse for not doing letting some hot specimen enjoy the scrumptious that is theVar.

Will I do it? Bonus? Ha—it is to laugh. Precedent set, I’d have to say no. I’m not sure this is an affliction(?) I can get over. 2011 may have a better plan in store for me on this front. Here’s to hoping. *cheers* –theVar

#reverb10 +

29 Dec

#reverb10 is better than a gallon of chunky monkey ice cream and the next day of psycho-babble you’ll need after a break-up. We’re not sure what we were waiting for, but this ish is therapeutic.

December 25th Prompt–Photo. A present to yourself: Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

Above is a picture of The Var and I on Var’s bike, Archie. It was taken in late summer by our dear friend, Amber. She snapped this on a street somewhere between Colfax’s Bluebird District and City Park in Denver. I love this picture of us because it really encapsulates our friendship. A happy partnership on the move.  OMG, and look how skinny I was then! le sigh. –Sport

December 23rd Prompt–New Name: Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

Hi, I’m Sara Downey. It’s nice to meet you.

Yeah. I chose my partner in crime to be for a day. Seriously, she’s one of the funniest, brightest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. At various points in our friendship, I’ve caught myself daydreaming into the life of Sara and imagining how wonderful it must be. Liked by all, hated by many. It’s just how she rolls. Sara’s a gem, and oftentimes, the white picket fence I fantasize about. Trust me, if you hang around her, you’ll understand. <3 you, lady! -theVar

December 19th Prompt–Healing: What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

In  my life, I’ve always found that when I need some time to heal a wound, distance is the answer for me.  Early 2010 was a time of epic heartache for me. I felt like a wound myself. Raw and open, possibly on the verge of gangrene. It fucking sucked. I was grappling with the the consequences of calling off a wedding and the ensuing piles of sadness, chaos and rejection that follow such a decision. I was feeling buried in the aftereffects, so I looked for a quick escape to New York City. A city so large, so loud, that not even I would be able to hear my own bellowing hurt.

My dearest friend, Phil, took me to a play while I was staying with him. It was Daniel Packard’s Live Group Sex Therapy Show. The show was like a band-aid. Meh, let’s be honest, it was more of a tourniquet. It cut off circulation to the mopey, whiny, sobbing mess of a oh-my-gawd-I-feel-so-sorry-for-myself and was a turning point in healing that hurt in which I was wallowing. And sometimes losing something like that is the only way to heal. -Sport

December 17th Prompt–Lesson Learned: What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I’m self-abasing. While in the moment of beating someone to the ‘racist punch-line’, the realization kicked in that I was in a pattern. I’m constantly the one to make the first racist joke among my friends. Why, you ask? That’s a good question. Possibly because I have latent issues about my race and feeling insecure in regards to people seeing me in a negative light because of it. *shoulder shrug*

Going forward I’m going to take a page from Maya Angelou’s book and refuse to use, or be present for the use of, racial pejoratives of any kind. Or at least try. You may think this is easy. Obviously, you haven’t been around me when I’m in my prime. Shit gets vulgar. -theVar


#reverb10 unpaused

28 Dec

We’d mentioned that at the beginning of December #reverb10 was starting. After a few participating posts, we kinda slacked off. Now we’re back in full effect. We hope you’re participating, and if not, consider this your chance to start. You won’t regret it. After reading our responses, feel free to leave your responses to any or all of the prompts in the comments. We’d love to hear your take on #reverb10.

December 28th Prompt–Achieve: What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

Next year I’d like to achieve the feeling of Accomplishment. In my 31 years, I’ve constantly felt like I was on the verge of being where I want to be in life—love, career, spiritually, etc. To reach that feeling would make me happier than a pig in slop.

10 things I can do to experience that today: Be still. Love all (even the little things). Stay open and honest. Embrace fear. Relax. Listen. Ask. Be kind. Be generous. Be thankful. -theVar

December 27th Prompt–Ordinary joy: Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

When I was a kid, my dad used to put apples and oranges in my stocking at Christmas. Christmas morning we’d roll them on the floor and peel and eat them. It’s by far my fondest memory of holidays. It didn’t cost much, it didn’t require a load of planning. It was just nice.

This year, Mike had put two oranges in my stocking for me to find. I nearly cried. What an unexpected and wonderful moment of joy to find that your partner is present. Of course I didn’t cry, because I’m not a pussy. And we haven’t rolled them on the floor yet. I’m pregnant, and getting down on the floor is a frickin’ moment of joy all onto itself. -Sport

December 26th Prompt–Soul Food: What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

Where do I begin? My mom’s in town and has cooked so much deliciousness that’s caused a flood of memories I’d been repressing for years. Got it—Banana Pudding. She put her foot in that one. One bite, and I was that scrawny, big head, dumbo-eared kid climbing trees and running through the yard barefoot. Shrouded by foliage and the smell of country, nothing could touch me. The world as I see it now never manifested. There was mom, dad, my big bro, and I in a land of wonderment. Ahhhh, those were the days. -theVar

December 24th Prompt–Everything’s Ok: What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

Sometimes things seem like they’re never going to get any better. I had a whole period earlier this year where I felt completely defeated. Not just that things weren’t going my way, but that life had bitch-slapped me into submission and I was ready to fly the white flag. Genuine stretches of despair.

But I think those moments that seem so dark in life shockingly juxtapose with moments of light. In fact, that darkness is necessary to see the possibility of light. One of the great moments of light for me this past year was when I laced up my roller skates to play roller derby with the Dublin Roller Girls. It was the first time in months that I remembered the delight of simply doing something that I loved.  Here I was in a foreign country with complete strangers skating around a track and finally feeling completely at home and comfortable in my own skin again. Things were okay. Everything was going to be okay. And all it took was a few laps to realize that.

As next year approaches, with all the challenges I have on the horizon, I’ll always remember those girls, my skates and that things will be fine after a couple laps. –Sport

image courtesy of http://www.reverb10.com

Guest Post: A Jailed Christmas

27 Dec

This is a Christmas tale worth reading. Seth graces our blog with his “this boy is prone to mischief” antics once again.

Walking the Holiday Line

As a 32 year-old male, I now consider myself to be fairly wise, even if I still don’t feel completely mature. To be fair, I set the bar very low in my 20’s, so both wisdom and maturity are still extremely relative. With my current driving privileges somewhat…limited at the moment, and while I was driving past a cop today on Santa Fe here in Denver, I was reminded of the week of Christmas, 2000.

I have never been one to try and make myself out to be some great shining example of a human being. In most time periods of my life, I’ve been nothing but an example of what not to do. Unless you really want to have a lot of fun and regret it later.

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Jealous? Yeah, actually, with that kind of MPG who wouldn't be?

I don’t remember there being a lot of snow on the ground that week, but I also know we weren’t blessed with the joyful tidings of a never-ending autumn like we have been this year. I know there was snow at some point already that year, because I had slid into a gas station pole fixture and dented my Suzuki Swift. Which, by the way, filled up for only $9 and drove me over 400 miles.

That day, 22 year-old me forgot to stop fully before turning right at a red light on my way to work. As a result, I got pulled over, and unfortunately I’d brought some opium with me since me and my friends at work liked to smoke it on our lunch break. Stopping fully at the red light wasn’t the only thing I’d forgotten to do in regards to the law that year. A while back, I also “forgot” to pay a ticket that I got for having no insurance. Strangely enough, neither the cop nor the judge who issued my bench warrant seemed to have forgotten. Continue reading

The Big Reveal!

25 Dec

Merry Christmas, scoundrels.  I won’t even beat around the bush here. You’re only visiting the blog today to get the scoop on what kind of junk Smokey is packing so without further adieu…

#peepee!

For all you not  as familiar with our effed up way of saying things: SMOKEY IS A BOY!!!

BOY!  BOY! BOY!

Yay!

Merry Christmas, scoundrels! Hope your day is as full of excitement and joy!

 

Our gift to you

24 Dec

Merry Christmas Eve, scoundrels! You may be at home with the fam relaxing, or snuggled up with your fine, single self watching Love Actually. Shit you may even be working. Whatever you’re up to today, Var and I wanted to give you some of our favorite holidays songs to enjoy.

A classic! This one gets me every time.

Holy shit, this video is snowing! Woot! And I’m pretty sure Elvis is three sheets to the wind in this version.

Perry. Fucking. Como!

Um, James Brown dancing in heaven? Yes , please.

I’m 30, I don’t know why I still want to bang Jon Bon Jovi so badly.

A slutty one-eyed Mariah Carey brings back Christmas magic to Lil’ Bow Wow. Awwww.

*slap* Ha ha. Just kidding. [Sport, I’m laughing my ass off at this. Well done, gal.]

Guest Post: We’re trying, dammit!

23 Dec

Lorrie’s guest post today is honest. I was reading it and thought back to my rant about my mother last week. Things aren’t as black and white as I try to make it when dealing with her. I have to step back and realize that she’s just trying to do the same thing I am: create happiness. I can’t lie, Lorrie. It is hard to see past the ‘spiteful and impatient and petty and prickly’ we all call mom.

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Sport here! Var and I had a veritable throw down after reading this post about how we interpreted it.  My take: Moms, listen up! Your kids are showing you through their actions that all the extra pressure you’re creating around the holidays and all the over-the-top crap you’re doing isn’t what matters.  Ask any kid and they’ll tell you, they’d rather have a happy mom over a stressed out mom for the holidays. I understand the desire to do extra special things around this time of the year to create memories. Just make sure the memory you’re creating isn’t one of you pouting every Christmas because you feel under appreciated.  – I think whatever you take away from this piece, it’s great food for thought heading into the next couple of days.

And now, on to Lorrie’s take…

__________________

Two days ago, I came down with a wicked cold. This evening, I decided to mix cold medications and rum and this is the letter that resulted. Please note: all children and pets were safe during this endeavor. I taught the oldest one– the cat, not the kid– how to dial 911 if need be!

Dear Scoundrels,

You all have mothers. At some point, you did, unless you were spawned, or grew from a spore, which is pretty frickin’ sweet and I’d like to hear about it some time. But, for the purposes of this missive, I’m going to assume the majority of you have mothers, and, in some capacity, are visiting/dealing/putting up with her right now.Kids and the toy Santa.

I have a mom. She’s on the awesome side of things: she looks a lot like me (score one for genetics!) and drinks and smokes and, if she’s feeling on the bawdy side of things, swears like a sailor. She’s one of my best friends, and I couldn’t have gotten through a good stretch of my life without her.

That said: she drives me absolutely batshit.

I will not detail any of the traits which push me towards that brink of draining the bottle of rubbing alcohol and driving my car head-long into a bus-full of nuns– I love her enough to know that’s not a Christmas gift. I will also not detail the parts that I find most spectacular, as I already know, upon reading this, she will demand to hear all of them, as she will be greatly offended that there is anything about her I don’t like.

How do I know this? Well, for one thing, I’ve known her all thirty-one years of my life. For another, I’m a mother myself.

Granted, my kids are (newly) seven and (almost) five. They have yet to form any really complex reactions to me– currently, I am saintly or evil. My daughter is my husband borne a girl, and, as such, she is terrifically endearing and infuriating in the same breath. I am, however, the mother of a mama’s boy and, by God, they are the best people on the face of this earth. But, for both, I still fall firmly into one of those aforementioned camps, despite my best intentions.

Being a mother is a mind-fuck in the best of circumstances, but is something else entirely in the holiday season. It is a given that, every year, I bust my ass to give both my kids the best Christmas possible, to get them gifts they’ll love, they want, and, inevitably, I am blown out of the water by another person. My daughter’s first real Christmas (that is, the first at which she could interact, being all of four days old at her first), mostly broke, I spent months tracking down and buying her gifts that would encourage her spirit and creativity. Christmas Eve, my husband went to Target for something and, in addition, bought her a five dollar pack of rubber balls. Six years later, she still speaks of these rubber balls, as though they contained magical properties. We still have several of them, and she cherishes them. The beautifully-handcrafted wood toys I got her that Christmas? I think they were all donated a year later.

Every year is like this, and, yet, every year, I attempt to win the coveted Mom of the Year crown. I judge myself mediocre at best most of the year, but something about December turns me into the Martha Fucking Stewart of mothering. I bake. I sew. I decorate. I wrap. I host. Things get haywire. I, like this year, come down with a crippling cold, but I’m still here, with my needle and thread and maniacal plans. I’m that mom when the tinsel goes on the tree.

The thing is: most of us are that mom at one time or another. And that’s what I’m here to tell you, Scoundrels: we are that mom because we love you. It may sound trite, or dumb, but most of our meddling, our over-enthusiasm, our pushiness, it comes from our desire to show that love in a sort of fireworks way. And, like most humans, we’re damned sloppy about it. We’re spiteful and impatient and petty and prickly– I’ve spent the last week feeling sorry for myself because “no one appreciates me!” We put ourselves in this position and, really, we can’t wonder when our children and other assorted family gets frustrated with our whiny asses.

That said: we’ll do it anyway.

So, my friends, what I’m saying (in a nicely drunk, roundabout way) is: please be gentle with your mothers. In a way, we’re all drunk on rum and cold meds, and all we want is to wrap you up in that festive Santa paper and make your heart happy the whole year ’round.

Merry Christmas, Scoundrels, from your very own resident (until Sport sprogs, that is) mama.

XOXO, Lorrie

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