You Say Phobia, I Say Safety Measure

beanie babies

I travel a lot. You already know this though, right? In fact, this blog post is being written from 32,000 feet in the sky as I sit surrounded by people who have very bothersome coughs.

(Is it too much to ask for you to hack into your sleeve as the CDC has indicated? Pfft.)


I’ve realized over the course of two years, the better part of which were spent up in the air (sadly not with George Clooney) that I have developed a certain level of phobia about my trips. It all started with not wearing my engagement ring when I fly, you know, in case the plane crashes…it would be a shame to waste such a pretty bauble. The one time I did wear it? Emergency landing because of an indication of smoke (read FIRE) in the cargo area complete with military helicopters surrounding us, and a descent from 30,000 feet to the ground in 8 minutes flat where we were greeted by fire trucks, ambulances and scary little men in hazmat suits. I kid you not. Also, most of the senior management of my company at the time was on the plane along with Tommy Lee (the Tommy Lee of Pamela Anderson fame) which apparently is not a good combination for safe travels.

But I digress.

Every since then, I’ve adhered to not wearing my ring but have also added frequently to the things that must happen in order for me to get home safely.   In short order, here they are:

• You must never change your seat, even if it’s the middle one on a long flight, for a window or an aisle upgrade. If first class comes along? That’s a different story. God would never ruin my fun in first class with a stupid thing like engine failure.

• The children must each give me one stuffed animal to take along with me for the journey. These sweet little animals would look really bad on a news reel should anything unfortunate happen, also, they make lovely hotel room decorations.

• I must call my husband as soon as I am seated to let him know I was responsible enough to get myself on the plane and not miss boarding by doing something stupid like having one glass of wine too many at the bar one gate down. I mean, not that that has ever happened.

• I must also tell my husband what flight I am on and then give a chipper little shout out of “Track me!” because God would never let something happen to the plane as he sits for hours watching it make it’s way across the map on his tiny computer screen because I’m totally sure that’s what he does for hours while I fly, right honey?

• I will not speak to you unless you look very young or very nervous, or a combination of the two. If you are the latter, I will feel it’s my duty to make sure you don’t get nervous and freak out on me…because if I keep you safe and calm, we can all avoid the hassel of those pesky security guards boarding the plane to take you off and delaying me getting to my destination.

• I rarely use my iPod even though said husband has carefully loaded it with movies I love. Why? Because someone on this plane has to be listening for suspicious knocks or keeping an eye on anyone shady looking, that’s why. I am all about protecting my fellow travelers.

• And here’s the main one. The minute the plane touches down wherever it is I’m going, I have to say to myself “Halfway Home”. I honestly have no idea where this one came from but the one time I said it out loud, the person sitting next to me refused to make eye contact with me as we taxied to the gate. I didn’t blame him.

One of my other rules has always been to not blog about my superstitions about flying on a airplane for fear of creating a “situation” for myself. As I type this, we have just hit a ridiculous amount of turbulence and the captain has ordered everyone back to their seats for the duration of the flight.

Signing off from seat 30E somewhere above Utah….


Do You Kiss Your Grandbabies With That Mouth Grandma?

Because it was two days that ended in Y, this weekend I spent all of my time at a cheerleading competition. This wasn’t just any competition, it was the biggest one of the year where some of the best teams from across the nation gathered to compete.

It also draws some of the craziest cheer parents which, honestly, should be a sport in and of itself. There were Moms wearing blinky hats with green tinsel for hair, some Moms chose to wear feathered wigs and matching make up in support of their teams. There were loud shouts of support, hugs of encouragement and tears for the girls when they fell.

In my case, there was  the dubious honor of getting cussed out by a Grandma.

It all started innocently enough. A group of parents from another team were sitting behind us on the bleachers. They stood and they cheered, as they should, when their girls took the stage. Our group of Moms clapped politely for them when they were finished even though they were competing with us in the same bracket.

You would think when the time came for us to cheer our girls on, the favor would be repaid.

Oh honey no.

We stood up immediately as our girls came out, cheering for them, hoping they could hear us since we were so far back.  Immediately the parents from the competing team behind us started screaming at us to sit down because they couldn’t see even though they had stood in front of others just moments before.

Thinking they surely must not understand these are our girls , I turned around and said, “But our team is on the stage…” and resumed being loud and obnoxious. But just when i thought I had the market cornered on being loud and obnoxious they started yelling “SIT DOWN! SIT DOWN!! SIT DOWN!!!” at the top of their lungs. I’d had just about enough of their complaining by this point and decided to end this once and for all. I turned back around again and said very firmly, “You stood up for YOUR girls, now We are standing for OURS. HMMPH!!!!.”

That pretty much shut up the entire group except for one woman who appeared to be someone’s Grandmother. She seated two rows directly behind me and proceeded to yell, “SHUUUUUUT UUUUUUP!!!!” at the top of her lungs. That’s when seven year old Mini-Stiletto made an appearance and I turned around and yelled back, “NO, YOU SHUT UP!” back at her. It was at this point that Grandma decided to up her hood rat game with me. She pulled out the Mac Daddy of cuss words, the be all end all, the one that got that Ralphie’s mouth washed out with lye soap in the movie A Christmas Story….she threw out THE EFF BOMB.

Holy homemade chocolate chip cookie Grandma….the language!!!!

Can I stop here and remind you this was a cheer competition? Full of cheerleaders? Who are young girls? And let’s not forget their siblings… of which was a sweet little seven year old boy standing right next to me.

My friend Jenny (mother of said sweet seven year old boy and Zen Master) had to hold me back from pulling off my exquisite high heeled boot and nailing her with it. With a death grip on my arm, she said something in a soothing voice to me about karma and since I like her and didn’t want to go to jail for nailing a grandma with my heel, I acquiesced.

Grandma wasn’t done with me though. As we left the bleachers to go collect our daughters, she fired up at me again. “Nice to meet you SWEETHEART!!!” she said as she waved a certain finger in my direction. I stood there for a good five seconds with my mouth hanging open while deciding if prison time was really in my future and remembering that I do, in fact, look stunning in orange jumpsuits . However much to my chagrin, I decided to take the high road. Putting on my biggest smile and flashing the thumbs up, I returned, “Thanks for bringing your classy A game out today! It was a real pleasure to meet you!!”  

I was a full ten feet away thinking that was the end of it, when I heard her shout her final words, “Effing bitch”.

Oh yes. She did.

Which made me wonder, do you suppose she reads my blog?

Jenny was right though, karma does come back to haunt as we finished well above Grandma’s team and I got a great blog post out of it. See?   Everybody wins when a bitch like me has a very public outlet and high heels to defend herself just in case.

PS: I’ll be off most of this week while I’m in San Francisco training for my new job. Be good out there…and if you can’t be good? Well, just stay a safe distance away from any finger waving Grandmas.

Thanks A Lot Ian


One of the least enjoyable things about starting a new job is the paperwork. Mountains and mountains of paperwork. Do you want insurance? If so, how much? Would you like to participate in the 401K? Tell us know how much to zap your check each pay period.

Oh…and the best…are you REALLY a US Citizen? If you are, be sure to prove it by showing us your drivers license and social security card. Great, can do….except….I haven’t seen my social security card in quite a while. Also, it still has my maiden name (because I’ve been too busy for 16 years to change it, that’s why) and my signature from when I was 13, complete with a daisy on the end for effect. Tell me that combined with the artwork I’ve already shared with them wouldn’t be over the top impressive….go on…..

Luckily for me, they also accepted a certified copy of my birth certificate to prove citizenship. I work in a remote office, so there is no one to show the actual document to, I just have to get the form notarized by someone who has seen it.

Easy enough.

So off I went to my local bank where Ian, a Jeff Spicoli like bank employee, offered to help me. (Trust me when I tell you that you need to read the part of Ian with your best Fast Times at Ridgemont High accent…because that is what he sounded like.)

Ian: May I help you m’aam?
TSM: Yes, I need to get my I-9 form notarized.
Ian: Can do m’aam, step right in!
TSM: So, here is my drivers license, and here is my birth certificate.

Ian: WHOA!!!!!!!
TSM: That certainly isn’t the reaction I was expecting…
Ian: Doooode, what is all that black stuff?
TSM: Well Ian, back in the day we had something called mimeographs before copy machines were made. We used to power them with dinosaur poop.
Ian: Not really.
TSM: No, Ian, not really.
Ian: That’s so funny you said that because the other day? We had to print out some blank money orders? Bcause the machine we usually use to make them broke? Someone brought out a typewriter and none of us knew how to use it so we had to ask this old lady to help us.
TSM: Old?
Ian: I mean, like she was WAY over forty.
TSM: You didn’t look very closely at that birth certificate did you Ian?
Ian: ::looks at birth certificate:: ::blinks rapidly:: ::blushes::
Ian: Oh, sorry about that m’aam.

I’ll leave you with this thought dear readers, young Ian here is actually employed by the bank to help people manage their money. You think the financial crisis is bad now?

Just wait a few years.

New Beginnings

Sixteen years and counting...

Tomorrow starts a new chapter in my life, my new job….and I am beyond excited about it too.   In the movie “Hope Floats” one of the last lines goes something like this, “Beginnings and endings are scary, the good stuff is in the middle.”  

I disagree.

The end of my last job was not scary and the beginning of this one isn’t either.   I think I jumped straight to the good stuff in the middle due largely in part with the tremendous peace I have mentally about the choice I made.   And having a week off in between?   

Sheer bliss.

Having a full week off, you would think I would have done something fun….maybe gone somewhere for a long weekend.   Possibly enjoyed a massage or a facial.


I cleaned out my closets.   Every last one.    Pictures to come on that shortly (including unfortunate shoe choices…gasp!!!!).    All I can tell you is the entire experience, all five days and 20 trash bags of it, was incredibly cathartic and just what I needed.   A fresh start.   Clean.  Organized.  Without meaningless clutter.

It’s a great place to be.

Also?   We had our own “Snowmageddon” in Texas this week.   12 inches of snow, the highest ever recorded in one day, on February 11th which also happened to be the 16th anniversary of the day I got married on a ski slope.   Coincidence you say?    I say it was God smiling on us that day and reminding us of a very snowy day in 1994 when I made another great decision.

More to come on the closet cleaning….because I know you are dying to know…but in the meantime, here are a few pictures from “Snowmageddon…Texas Style!”

That? Is a lot of snow. Taken on the trails in our neighborhood at 9 am before anyone else was out. It was magical.

Sixteen years to the day…snow again!

Respect the hat.

Snow kisses. This after the kid beaned me in the head every two minutes with a snowball.

Not snow angel. SNOW DEVIL.

…and finally, my attempt at being “artistic”.

I hope whevever you were, you enjoyed Snowmageddon and stayed safe and warm!


Cake Monster


It all started with a dream…

Well, that and a five dollar bet my son made with a boy in his class that he could create a Valentine box that not only looked cool but talked as well.

Blueprints were drawn up:

Parental heads were scratched. Maternal sighs were issued. And somewhere in the background a boy with a dream saw himself losing five bucks out of his piggy bank after witnessing his parents confusion.

But we don’t lose bets around here, oh no siree. So off The Man went in search of supplies.

Hat boxes were painted:

War paint was applied:

Power tools were used:

…and Cake Monster was born.

But wait, not only does he talk….he sings too.

I know one little boy who is about to be five dollars richer.

Happy Valentines Day Y’all!

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