The Book Club (of One)

I have a confession.

Not the kind I need to go into a stall in a Catholic church and disclose to a priest… The kind that I’m just a bit embarrassed about.

I haven’t read a book in six months.

I have a lot of good excuses: I have a baby. I have to clean the house. I have to go grocery shopping. I have to floss my teeth. I have to wash my hair. I have to clean the dryer hose and vent (not a euphamism). I have to write comedic musings. I have to respond to texts. I have to respond to emails. I have to change 8-10 diapers a day. I have to buy diapers! I have to do laundry. I have to pay bills. I have to make the bed. I have to pick up toys off the floor. I am a mom! I  am busy! I don’t have time to read!

Besides, reading is hard. It takes effort. You have to pick up a book and open it and let your eyes follow the words and you have to focus and make sense of sentences, and ugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… I’m tired.

Full disclosure: In the last six months I have made it to level 378 on Candy Crush; I have read an article about a squid-like horror found in a woman’s coconut water; I have colored my entire Golden Girls coloring book; I have sorted my button collection; I have spent an hour and 46 minutes on hold with Telus to get a $5 credit because my internet was down for 15 minutes;  I re-watched all 10 seasons of Friends; I organized my Tupperware; I spent twenty minutes writing a strongly worded response to a stranger on Facebook about a cause I feel passionately about, and then deleted it; I spent an hour looking for the perfect fruit basket at Home Sense.

In other words: I definitely have some time. 

For the last six months I have chosen NOT to read books. I have chosen to let my brain take an extended holiday to Lollipop Land, and I can feel my brain getting mushier every day.

BUT NO MORE!

I am going to read a book, dammit!

The first step to reading a book is getting a book, and I got one… The Subtle Art of Not Giving A [bleep] by Mark Manson. In this “generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.”

That’s what I want…

I want to become a better, happier person!

And I want to stop wasting my [bleeps] on stupid crap and/or people!

And I want to read more books! 

So I have decided to start a book club (of one) so that I’m held accountable (to myself), and because clubs are awesome, even if you’re the only one in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Time (It Flies)

Do you ever ask yourself what day it is?

How about the month?

Year?*

(Just me then?)

I became a mother six months ago and something has changed in my brain. I no longer have any concept of time. All the days seem to blur together, and it is always a surprise to me when I hear anyone say the date… I’m always at least a week off.

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. (I’m not sure who “they” are – but “they” say a lot of things.) And they are wrong.

According to Psychology Today,  “when you are cognitively busy, you are focused on each task you are performing […] so you don’t have the opportunity to notice the passage of time. As a result, the interval feels like it passes quickly.”

So, time might be flying because you’re busy – not because you’re having fun.

Of course, it’s all a moot point anyway because time doesn’t really exist.

Whoa, right?

Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli says that our naive perception of its flow doesn’t correspond to physical reality. Reality is just a complex network of events onto which we project sequences of past, present, and future… “Chronology and continuity are just a story we tell ourselves in order to make sense of our existence.” 

Omg.

So, basically, time is an illusion – something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality – and a delusion – a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.

Make sure to say that the next time you’re late for something. (It worked for me at the dentist this morning.)

 

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* Obviously I know what year it is. I mean, I wish it was 1993 again because I preferred the music, but I obviously know that it’s 2016 2018.

The Ice Cream

For the past few Fridays my husband and I have been treating ourselves to a well-deserved ice cream. Around 5pm we stroll down Cambie Street to Rain or Shine to get a pre-dinner cone. I usually carry our seven month old son in the front pack carrier (he refuses to walk).

We’re new parents. We’re hardly sleeping. We’re struggling to “look alive” most days. If we want a pre-dinner cone, we should be allowed to have a pre-dinner cone.

Last Friday, I sidled up to the counter to have a few samples of Rain or Shine’s delicious, homemade ice creams (Honey Lavender, London Fog, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Coconut Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter, Vanilla, Cracked Mint, Coffee Toffee, Blueberry Balsamic,  Pumpkin Pie, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Cheddar Apple Pie, Nanaimo Bar, Smores!), and then finally settled on Malted Chocolate Honey Comb. My husband ordered the Triple Chocolate Moose Pie, and then paid for our two cones. As we made our way to the door, I noticed a few pointed looks from the other customers.

At first I thought it was because my husband and I were way, way better looking than anyone else in the store.

I’ll be honest – this happens a lot. It’s really hard when you’re way, way better looking than most people; way, way smarter than most people; way, way funnier than most people; have a really, really magnetic personality; plus have the finest jewels, furs, cars, homes, private jets, etc. Some* of you might know what I’m talking about.

Plus, our baby is really cute, which really gets people’s blood boiling. They look at their own baby (homely) and then our baby (super cute), and they become green with envy**.

I soon realized that these looks weren’t looks of insane jealousy that I frequently get (because of the good looks, smarts, funnies, personality, jewels, furs, cars, homes, jets, cute baby, etc.). These were looks of outrage. These were looks that said: “How can those two people eat ice cream in front of (and in my case – because I was carrying him – above) their baby?”

I’ll be honest, I was outraged. My husband had to pull me away from the ice cream shop because I was about to give them a piece of my mind (or worse). I mean, even though they didn’t actually say or do anything, their sharp looks said enough.

Here’s what I would have said:

Excuse me! Who the hell are you? [Pause for their name.] Well, [name], how dare you imply with your furtive glance that we are bad parents for eating ice cream in front of, and/or above our baby! First of all, he’s a baby, he doesn’t know what’s going on! Secondly, he doesn’t even know what ice cream is! Thirdly, according to Health Canada he can’t eat ice cream anyway! We might as well be eating broccoli! Would you like us to stop eating broccoli as well? Would that make you feel better? Fourthly, it’s been a long week, and this is a well-deserved pre-dinner cone that I’m eating above my child’s head, and yes, I’m dripping Malted Chocolate Honey Comb ice cream and waffle cone crumbs onto his head, but that is neither here nor there. Why don’t you just eat your cone and mind your business! What flavor did you get anyway? [Pause to find out which flavor they chose.] It’s good, isn’t it?

Thinking back, it could have also been because I insisted on sampling every single flavor, and there was a really long line, and when people tried to order before me, I slapped them.

 

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* Not all.

** This can also be a reaction to wearing copper jewelry, due to a chemical reaction.

 

That Time I Went to a Celebrity’s House

There was a time when I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, with whomever I wanted.

That time is no more.

I have responsibilities now… I pay bills. I go to important meetings. I send invoices. I’m also a wife, and a mother, and I have four houseplants that require watering once a week. Pretty serious stuff.

Sometimes (when I’m supposed to be listening to someone, but instead I’m staring about 100 meters off in the horizon), I think back to those crazy, devil-may-care days… Days when I did crazy things, and learned important lessons.

Let me paint you a picture… Los Angeles, 2013. The city is alive. It has a pulse. It vibrates with fervency. It glows with purpose. It is a matron of provocation, offering you everything and nothing.

LA is an exciting city, where anything can happen. And it does.*

Like, being invited to a celebrity’s house. (You know how SoulCycle, micro dogs, palm trees, the 134, and droughts are very LA? So is being invited to a celebrity’s house.)

To be clear: the celebrity did not invite us. The sister of a friend of a friend, knew the boyfriend of the celebrity. He invited the sister, who invited the friend, who invited their friend, who invited us.

So, of course we went.

As we walked up the steep drive to the celebrity’s house, we prayed that our friend (who is the friend of the sister who knows the boyfriend of the celebrity) was already there. I knocked at the door, expecting the celebrity to answer it, but instead some random person opened the door and told us to come in.

I immediately got excited… Because if this random person just let us in, without questioning who we are, we must belong here. 

There were a few dozen people in the house. When we entered, no one looked up, or even glanced in our direction. Again, I got excited… Because we were blending in with celebrities and people who hang out with them.

We quickly found our friend (who is the friend of the sister who knows the boyfriend of the celebrity), got a drink, and then went and sat by ourselves. We spent about two hours like that – sitting by ourselves, talking amongst ourselves. At one point I saw the celebrity across the room, but we made no eye contact.

And then we left.

I learned an important lesson that day…** I never want to be famous!

Here’s why: Celebrities are jerks.***

The celebrity didn’t tell us where the bathrooms were, nor did they refresh our drinks. They didn’t offer us snacks, and they didn’t stop their dog from sniffing our crotches. Heck, they didn’t even greet us when we arrived or say good-bye when we left.

I mean, what is the point of letting your boyfriend’s friend’s friend’s sister invite people to your party if you’re going to completely ignore them?

(The other reason I never want to be famous? You get random people showing up at your house.)

 

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* Sometimes it doesn’t.

** And isn’t that the point?

*** Without exception.

 

The Rainbow

My husband and I recently became parents, and it’s the best thing that ever happened to our marriage.

But not for the reasons you might think.

Yes, having a child has enriched our marriage, strengthened our connection, and made us feel real joy for the first time. (Blah, blah, blah.)

Having a child has also meant that we are sleep-deprived, and that causes a very unique kind of hysteria. The kind of exhaustion-induced delirium that makes everything really, really funny… Including my husband.

Full disclosure: For the first 12 years of marriage I didn’t think that my husband was very funny. Smart, kind, loyal? Yes. Funny? Not so much. I mean, he had his moments (when I consumed beer, wine, or hard liquor). He is very clever and occasionally witty, but during our entire marriage I never, ever slapped my knee with amusement.

The only person in our relationship that really makes me laugh is me. (Yes, I laugh at my own jokes. Yes, they’re very funny.)

But in the last five months, I have never laughed* more.

I’m talking snorting, bowled over, sides hurting, can’t stop, tears streaming, tiny trickle of pee kind of laughing.

You know how a rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky? (Totally, right?)

In order for you to see a rainbow, everything has to align… It’s a phenomenon!

Right now, I’m sleep-deprived, dopey, and off my hilarity game – so my husband’s quips and zingers are really working for me. Everything has aligned… It’s a phenomenon!

n-RAINBOW-628x314.jpg

And don’t even get me started on the fact that two people never see the same rainbow. It’s such a metaphor for life really… I mean, the light bouncing off certain raindrops for your rainbow is bouncing off other raindrops from a completely different angle for someone else. And so it’s creating a different image – basically, no two people can stand in the same exact spot at the same time to view the same rainbow. Omg.

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* Or cried.

The Best and The Worst

I have been a mother for five months now.

And I’m a total pro.

I guess for some people it just comes naturally, and those some people are me.

(Before I became I mother I did a little research to know what I was getting myself into: I read several pages of several parenting books; I read several paragraphs of several parenting blogs; I watched several episodes of several TV sitcoms which feature children and parents (Growing Pains, Full House, Fuller House); and I watched several parents get it really, really wrong.)

I just find it really, really fun and really, really fulfilling and really, really easy… All the time.

Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), I’m being sarcastic.

(I do realize that sarcasm is considered the lowest form of wit, but a recent study showed that sarcasm makes people brighter and more creative so I thought I should help my dear readers.)

Here’s the truth: Parenting (mothering, fathering, etc.) isn’t easy.

Someone recently asked me the classic question people ask all new parents: “Well?”

This one word left hanging in the air begs a lot of questions… Is it everything you hoped and dreamed it would be? Are you tired? Are you in love? Is it the best thing you ever did? Has your life changed? Are you sleeping? Are you eating? Is the baby eating? Is the baby sleeping? Is the baby eating? Are you still having sex?

My answer has changed over the last five months, but I recently gave this answer: “It is better and worse than I ever imagined.”

It is worse than I imagined. It is definitely not all puppies and rainbows. (In fact, there have been zero puppies and zero rainbows.) It is really, really hard*. More accurately, it is really, really exhausting.** And I’m tired all the time.***

But! It is also better than I imagined. He’s so joyful and funny and sweet. And I love him so much I want to cry every second day.

It may not be easy, but it’s the best.

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* It is hard to love someone so much.

** It is exhausting to love someone so much.

*** There is never a time when I’m not tired.

The Angel Muffin

Hello there! It’s me, Kim!

It’s been almost five months since my last post, and for that I sincerely apologize.

You might be asking yourself, “What on earth could possibly keep you from writing your hilarious comedic musings?”

First of all, that’s a great question. Second of all, omg, you are so sweet. You really think my comedic musings are hilarious? (You’re not wrong!)

I’ll tell you what’s kept me from writing my hilarious comedic musings… A baby… More specifically, an angel muffin.

Said angel muffin is keeping me very, very busy these days. Aside from not writing hilarious comedic musings, this is a short list of things that I have NOT been doing:

1. Drinking hot coffee (Any hot beverage.)
2. Drinking cold beverages (They should invent ice cubes that don’t melt.)
3. Making out with my husband (Every time it starts to get interesting angel muffin cries.)
4. Styling my hair (Perpetual ponytail.)
5. Eating breakfast (Cold coffee.)
6. Eating lunch (Cold coffee with crackers.)
7. Shaving my legs (I’m just glad we’ve entered the autumn season.)
8. Shaving my arm pits (See above.)
9. Plucking my eyebrows (See above. Hats with a low brim.)
10. Cutting my fingernails (Guinness Book of World Records has called.)
11. Exfoliating (I have never done this, but still.)
12. Corresponding (I’m sorry if I was supposed to get back to you about anything.)
13. Aquascaping
14. Reading books (I think this is what retirement is for?)
15. Thinking
16. Exercising
17. Jazz-ercising
18. Vacuuming (Does picking up a pretzel off the floor and eating it count?)
19. Sleeping longer than three hours at a time (Former UK prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had a gene which allows people to survive on less sleep. I definitely do not have that gene.)
20. Bathrooming (it’s a word) with the door closed.

I could add at least 236 more things that I’m not doing because my angel muffin keeps me so busy, but I won’t. Because it doesn’t matter. None of it matters. The only thing that matters now is angel muffin. I’ll happily give up sleep and hot coffee and reading (and even aquascaping) if I get to spend more time with him. (Also, I don’t have a choice because angel muffin is the boss now, so I’m making my peace with it.)

The Real Story of Regret

In life, sometimes you’ll have feelings of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.

Maybe you never told someone you loved them and then they passed away never knowing you cared. (Too dark?)

Or maybe you lost all of your money playing the slots and couldn’t make rent, so you were forced to live in your car, and because you could no longer receive mail you missed an important letter notifying you of your great aunt’s death and the subsequent million dollar inheritance, so it was given to the government, and you died penniless. (This happened to someone I know.)

Or maybe you ordered a salad and your husband ordered a burger, and when the meals were delivered to the table, you had overwhelming feelings of sadness, repentance, or disappointment and forced your husband to switch dinners with you. (This happened to me.)

The regret is real.

I have also had some serious regrets (there was the first story of regret, and then there was the other story of regret).

To be completely honest (and when am I anything but?)… Those regrets do not even come close to the regret I’m going to tell you about!

(So get ready!) (Are you ready?)

The husband and I were vacationing in Oahu in November 2016, during the week of the U.S. election. We thought we would be celebrating the first female president, and instead we watched as the United States elected the worst* human** ever.

It completely and utterly ruined our trip.

We attempted to waterslide our troubles away. (For the record, 79 times down the waterslide does NOT make the pain go away.)

When we got home, we made all kinds of declarative statements about not returning to Hawaii until the U.S. sorted their shit out.

(Full disclosure: we thought that they would get their shit sorted out much quicker than they are getting their shit sorted out.)

And now we regret it… Because we really miss Hawaii.

There have been so many times over the past year that I’ve excitedly said to the husband, “Pack your bags… [insert scandal here]!”

And then we wouldn’t go to Hawaii. (Because we made those declarative statements saying that we wouldn’t return to Hawaii until the U.S. sorted their shit out, and the U.S. still hasn’t sorted their shit out.)

The regret is real. 

 

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* Absolutely, positively

** Robot?

 

 

 

 

The Non-televised Family

When I was a kid I watched a lot of TV.

I’m talking a lot.

(Like, at least 50% more than what you think is “a lot.”)

I couldn’t wait to get home from school and plop down in front of the TV, and then stay there for the next 4-6 hours.

TV was my babysitter, my friend, and my teacher (and yes, I realize how sad that sounds).

My favorite TV shows were sitcoms that revolved around families… Family Ties, Who’s the Boss?, Growing Pains, ALF, The Cosby Show*Different Strokes, Mr. Belvedere, Silver Spoons, et al. 

The families in these TV shows were perfect. The parents had a loving and equal partnership, the kids had very different personalities but always found common ground – and in every episode the family would learn something important about themselves or each other.

These programs were very formative in my life – meaning, they had a profound and lasting influence on my development, and helped form my opinions, thoughts, and beliefs.

For the longest time I thought that these beloved TV families were an accurate reflection of regular, non-televised families.

Obviously, I was very disappointed when my own family did not behave in a televised way.

My dad never took me out to his garage to have a heart-to-heart about making the right choices in life. My mom never told me that she understood my feelings and why I was acting out, while sitting next to me on a porch swing. My sister never punched a bully for me.

These things never happened.

The thing is… (and I just learned this)… These shows aren’t real. Aside from the fact that they are scripted television shows with paid actors (I totally knew that**), they also don’t reflect real families. In fact, I don’t know anyone in my life who has a sitcom-esque family.

Sometimes I’ll ask people: “Is your family like an 80s sitcom family?” And after they ask me who I am and why I’m asking, the answer is always “no.”

I have learned that it’s okay to have expectations of your family, and to strive to create a special kind of bond, but you (I) should also realize that people are imperfect and they might disappoint you sometimes.

I have also learned that those TV shows definitely impacted my brain development, and it can occasionally get weird.

A few years ago, the husband and I were in Hawaii (the big island). As we headed down to breakfast one morning, we got on the elevator… And there he was… Steven Keaton… The perfect dad.

His real name is Michael Gross and he doesn’t like hugs

It was a very surreal experience for both the husband and I. We both felt such a weird and familiar connection to this man, so it totally made sense for both of us to give him hugs and call him “dad,” – and on the other hand he doesn’t know us at all, so it also made perfect sense for him to scream and then call security.

I bet we been together for a million years, 
And I bet we’ll be together for a million more. 
Oh, It’s like I started breathing on the night we kissed, 
And I can’t remember what I ever did before. 
What would we do baby, Without Us? 
What would we do baby, Without Us? 
And there ain’t no nothing we can’t love each other through. 
What would we do baby, Without Us? 
Sha la la la.

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* I didn’t know! He didn’t seem like the type of person to abuse his power with drug facilitated sexual assaults!

** I almost knew that.

The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened To Me

You might be thinking that it’s marrying my wonderful husband, or meeting Larry David.

It’s not.

Or maybe you’re thinking it was when I went on a tour of Henson Studios and met Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, and got to hang out in his office with him and hold his Emmy, and then go watch a puppet show.

It wasn’t.

Some of you might even be thinking that it was the time that I sat in the front row at a Martin Short show and he gyrated in my face while wearing a nude bodystocking with drawn-on genitals.

While that was certainly a life-changing experience, it was not the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Perhaps you’re wondering if it was finding out that I’m 5-10% Jewish.

That was pretty awesome, but it’s not that.

I’ll bet that some of you think that it must be the time I received a letter from Steven Spielberg, or perhaps the time I was in a sketch with Amy Poehler.

Nope.

Those events were boring and forgettable compared to… THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME!

(While it was fun to keep you guessing, I’m going to tell you now.)

The best thing that has ever happened to me is a Roomba®

I mean he’s high performance, good for pets, Wi-Fi connected, hypo-allergenic, and he has incredible suction. He’s everything you would want in a man AND he cleans.

Who knew that you could experience such a true and pure love with a robot vacuum*?

He’s taken on so much work around the house that I now have more time and space to just think (I’m planning on picking up where Stephen Hawking left off).

Thanks Roomba® 

Now I know what all of those 80s ballads were about…

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* Probably some weirdo.