Tag Archives: ryan reynolds

Checklist for road tripping with small children

  1. Run to the store to buy juice boxes, goldfish crackers, raisins, assorted cheaply made toys designed to be hurled into the backseat at the first sign of a tantrum.
  2. Eat all the leftovers in the fridge, even the questionable ones, over the three days leading up to the trip. The ancient pizza, the fossilized Chinese food, the milk on the verge of going bad, the giant vat of bean soup everyone hates but mom keeps making because it’s cheap and has at least a 2 percent nutritional value. Eat it. Eat it all.
  3. Do everyone’s laundry because every single person in the household only wants to bring the outfits they wore for the past five days.
  4. Run back to the store because you just realized you are out of dish soap and need to run the dishwasher before you leave.
  5. Spend 45 minutes looking for suitcases in the attic.
  6. Realize suitcases are still in the corner of the bedroom where you left them the last time you took a trip and still contain the dirty laundry from said trip.
  7. Unpack suitcases.
  8. Do laundry. Again.
  9. Run back to the store AGAIN for Little Swimmer diapers because the hotel has a pool. Pay $10 for an entire pack even though you will likely only use one. Cry briefly in the car.
  10. Gather all the chargers for everyone’s electronic devices. Keep removing chargers from the pile of chargers because everything needs to be charged.
  11. Look up route on Google Maps. Cry again.
  12. Drop dog off at the dog-sitter’s house, who you found off of Rover.com after surfing the website for five whole minutes. Feel huge waves of guilt you are abandoning your dog with a complete stranger. Try not to look too concerned when she opens the door and looks 12.
  13. Run back to that godforsaken piece of crap store AGAIN because the Little Swimmer diapers were the wrong size for your toddler. Also fork over another $10 for another pack because what if your freaking 4-month-old wants to swim too? Give $3 to a bum in the parking lot so you can take a swig from his brown bag whiskey.
  14. Pack. Or more precisely, try to fit basically everything you own into every suitcase, backpack, tote bag and ridiculously large purse you own.
  15. Drag all the luggage to the car the night before. Play the world’s least fun game of Tetris.
  16. Start drinking heavily.
  17. Wake up hungover at 4 a.m. Throw everyone in the car with their pajamas on. Get snippy with your significant other over whether the coffee pot is still on.
  18. Run back into the house to search for Mr. Doody, the stupid stuffed monkey your toddler can’t live without. Give up search after 20 minutes. Go back to the car and see your toddler holding Mr. Doody.
  19. Try not to murder your significant other when they ask if you checked the coffee pot while you were in there.
  20. Climb into the driver’s seat.
  21. Re-enact Ryan Reynolds’ car scene from “Just Friends.”
  22. Calmly put the car in reverse.
  23. Take a deep breath as you pull onto the highway and both children immediately start crying.

Checklist for the return trip home

  1. Hurl everything into the car.
  2. Throw suitcases into the corner of the bedroom and unpack eight months later when you need the suitcases for another super fun family bonding trip.

I’m running away from home

If you would have asked me 10 years ago what I saw myself doing in the future, arguing for 23 minutes with a toddler about appropriate places to poop would have been fairly low on the list (which, by the way, the bathtub, Momma’s bed and the dairy aisle at the grocery store all equal Not Appropriate for any of you toddlers out there reading this).

Winning the Pulitzer Prize, divorcing Orlando Bloom so I could marry Ryan Reynolds, sailing on a fancy boat with a clever name like Ship For Brains; all of these answers would have probably come tumbling out of my mouth (No, YOU were a delusional 25-year-old!).

Even jail wouldn’t have been too outlandish an answer (No, YOU have issues with authority!).

But running on a trail with actual running shoes when nothing was chasing me and/or I wasn’t trying to make it to the liquor store before it closes? That wouldn’t have even made it ON the list.

Running for fun? Pffft. In my book, those two things are mutually exclusive. Much like, say, a delicious vegan meal or a funny Kevin James movie.

And yet, here I am, sweaty and gross and begrudgingly emitting an aura of health because I just got done with a run. A run I did ON PURPOSE.

It all started because after I had my second baby my body was 80 percent mush. And, to be honest, I’m not really comfortable in my own skin when I’m above 75 percent bodily mush. So, as much as I hated it, I gritted my teeth and ran (well, did a weird walk/sad jog hybrid before working my way up to my current level of just a sad jog).

But then a funny thing happened. I started to look forward to these runs. So much so, in fact, that I was actually willing to do them at 6 a.m., watching the sun rise while my perky ponytail swished back and forth like I’m goddamn Kate Hudson in some rom-com. Not because I started to like to run. Oh god, no. It’s the worst. But because that 45 minutes hoofing it around the park gave me an escape from my kids.

I love my kids. Of course I do. You know I do. Just like I know you love your kids. Children are amazing human beings we occasionally want to murder.

And so that we don’t murder them, we do insane things like literally run away from home (albeit temporarily).

The best part is that even though my main motivation while running is that at some point I will stop running, all this exercise is helping me get back to myself. To the person I was before I considered a trip to Target by myself as a luxurious vacation.

It’s easy to lose yourself in the demands of parenthood. To remember that you are not just a glorified sippy cup re-filler and breathing boob milk dispenser. Having children changes you to your very core but it doesn’t erase your former self. That person is still in there, waiting to come out occasionally so they can look around and say “why the hell are we running?”

Running helps me remember that I’m a complex person with interests outside achieving the perfect brown color on a grilled cheese sandwich. And on the other end of the spectrum, although I have yet to feel that mythical runner’s high, I have experienced what I call “cranial radio static.” This is when your brain just stops and there’s no thought; just music and pavement and your feet going one in front of the other and heavy breathing and chaotic jiggly butt movement. And as a mom and a writer and a woman who keeps up with the news in 2016, anything that helps you turn off your brain even for a short while is a miracle.

But most importantly, now that I have kids, I want to be healthy enough that I live forever. I want to be the unbelieveably old lady with the leather face that says wildly inappropriate things at Christmas about losing her virginity and terrifies her infant great-grandchildren because she looks like the Crypt Keeper and sounds like Marge Simpsons’ sisters. But she don’t care. Cause she lived through both 9/11 and the Kardashians.



Have you hugged your nurse today?

She couldn’t have been much more than 100 pounds. Just super petite. Tiny even. A tall hobbit, if you will. This was made even more apparent when compared to my extremely rotund and bloated figure. So when she said “lean your head against my chest and squeeze my hands when the pain hits,” I laughed. And then laughed again. And then the laughter walked right up to the border of hysterical, mostly because Dolph Lundgren’s voice saying “I must break you” in Rocky IV kept running through my head.

But then the pain hit. I gasped and squeezed as hard as I could as the world’s largest epidural needle penetrated where no needle had ever dared penetrate before. And suddenly, Nurse Itty McLittle turned into a rock made of steel and Ryan Reynold’s abs.

Yet her voice suddenly took on the soothing murmur of a grandmother comforting a toddler with a boo-boo knee.

“You’re doing great. It’s almost over. Almost there. You’re doing fantastic, Momma.”

That’s when it hit me. No matter what happened from here on out with the birth of my first child, I was in very good hands. The very good, freakishly strong hands of a caring nurse.

And for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was going to get through this in one piece.

Bringing a life into this world, and the aftermath of that birth, whether you did it the old-fashioned way or via a cesarean, is absolutely brutal. We’re not supposed to admit this, of course. Not in our society. Oh no. Women are supposed to have an 8-pound human exit their body and then continue on their day as if nothing happened (and God help you if you aren’t back to your pre-pregnancy weight the second they cut that umbilical cord). Nevermind that your body has been stretched to the limit physically, mentally and emotionally. Nevermind that you haven’t slept, haven’t ate, haven’t been able to take a pain-free breath. Nevermind that when you tell the lactation specialist, with giant crocodile tears in your eyes, that there is a large amount of blood in your breastmilk when you pump, and her response is “oh, don’t worry, the blood won’t hurt the baby,” and your response is “that wasn’t my concern.” No. Nevermind all that.

It’s time to get over it. You’re a mom now.

I mean, it’s not like you’re a man with cold. Back to work, lady.

Part of the blame for this falls on our society in general, which has made it clear time and time again that we don’t necessarily value mothers or what they do. But another big chunk is simply that when you have a baby, everything becomes about the baby. You, your partner, your parents, your in-laws. All of your collective concern is on the baby. It is tiny. It is fragile. And even though you’ve only known it for 30 seconds, you all love it with such devotion that you would die if anything happened to it.

They’re miracles. Our own personal miracles.

How can a bloody and broken and stretched and exhausted mom body compare to that?

It can’t. Except when it came to the nurses. They’re the ones who saw me. In all the chaos, they saw me. They saw my bloody, broken, stretched, exhausted body and they took care of me.

They, for lack of a better word, mommed me.

This was especially apparent with my second baby. Because when you are a mom, it doesn’t matter if you have another child’s head emerging from your vagina at that exact moment. Your toddler will still ask you to get him some juice.

So when, after getting someone else a cup of juice no less than 1,672 times, someone asks you if YOU’D like some juice? It’s enough to make a crazy hormonal, homicidally sleep-deprived new mom cry tears of joy.

Of course, none of this is to discount what my husband and my mom and my mother-in-law did for me during this time. All three went above and beyond to take care of me, the baby, my older son, my ridiculously needy, neurotic dog and our quirky home with its weird windows and very vocal refrigerator.

I also had a fantastic doctor who got me from Point A to Point “Get This Thing The Hell Out Of Me” with grace and humor and competence.

But it was the nurses, oftentimes working quietly in the background, that need to have the spotlight shined on them.

So many of us new mothers feel we can’t complain or even acknowledge the amount of pain we are in because the gift we get in return is so much greater. And that’s where the nurses swoop in with their invisible superhero capes. They take care of us without us ever having to ask. They know we need tender, loving care even if we don’t.

It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse, I think. The kind of person who you can meet and within 90 seconds has you comfortable enough with them that you let them help you pee. The kind of person who makes you feel like you are their only patient, when in reality they are overworked, underpaid and haven’t had time to go to the bathroom themselves since 8 a.m.

I realize that for my nurses I was likely just another patient that day. But to me, they made all the difference. Their smiles, their gentle hands, their patience, their laughter, their reassurances, their ability to answer my god-awfully stupid first-time parent questions without a single eyeroll. They are how I survived those utterly terrifying first days of motherhood.

So to all the nurses out there, I want to thank you for seeing me. And I want you to know that I see you and all you do.

I see you.

And while I’ll forever be grateful to my wonderful and highly skilled doctor for bringing my children into this world, I’ll forever be grateful to every nurse who graced my hospital room door for bringing me back to life.

A new year, a new me…at least until Thursday

Sooooo…you may have noticed that I never finished my Christmas countdown. And I have one very good reason:

My family sucks.

Unfortunately, they suck in that functional family way, giving me unconditional love, support and other touchy-feely crap. Awesome if you like to be mentally stable. Horrible if you’re a humor writer. So, when I drove home for Christmas, it was like a Norman Rockwell painting, only with more booze (which actually made it way better than a Norman Rockwell painting). And, come on, no one wants to read about my brother and I playing Uno with grandma, my mom and I “cooking” but really drinking martinis and my husband showering me with affection.


They couldn’t even muster up one single condescending “so, are you ever going to get paid for your writing?” quip or snide “where the hell are my grandbabies?” comment.

So, I stopped the countdown. But you know what? It’s a new year. Out with the old and in with the snarky. Because I think we can all agree that 2011 was overstaying his welcome, what with all the natural disasters, civil unrest and hogging the remote while eating all our Triscuits.

But now it’s 2012, a bright new shiny year full of wonderful new opportunities and bright new shiny predictions of a fiery and violent end of the world as we know it.

For those of you who haven’t heard because you’ve been too busy fist pumping your brain cells away (I’m assuming this only includes the cast of “Jersey Shore”), the Mayans made this wicked long calendar back in the day and it ends on Dec. 21, 2012, thus making a certain portion of the population believe the Mayans knew the world would end on that date. Personally, I think it’s much more likely the Mayans just decided to blow off the rest of their math homework. But the theory does have some credible evidence behind it. I mean, according to the “official” Dec. 21, 2012 website, both Britney Spears AND Montel Williams are among the supposed celebrity believers, so…yeah…

But, BUT, if it is true, forget the future worries of a horrific death of all living creatures. This brings up a much more immediate concern. For days, I have been trying to come up with my New Year’s resolutions. And I have to tell you, I am downright stumped. I mean, if this is my last year on earth, I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend it getting organized, being nicer to people and finally losing those pesky extra five pounds (OK, fine! 10! Not that it matters. Just more for the apocalypse to love).

For example, if the world is going to end, one of my resolutions is to stop paying my rent and then use the money to go on an exotic trip. By the time the landlord goes through all the proper channels to get me kicked out, we’ll all be dust (as will my rental, actually, thus making rent moot). HOWEVER, if the world does not end, that means I will be homeless.

Likewise, if the world is going to end, I fully intend on eating bacon and drinking Scotch for breakfast every morning. But if Dec. 22 does dawn, that means I’m probably destined to die a painful and disease-riddled death at age 37.

It’s a very delicate balance here. I want to live it up during my last year of existence, but I can’t discount the fact that every single other prediction of the end of the world has been…hmm…how to put this…100 percent wrong. So for days I’ve been stuck weighing the possible repercussions of my potential resolutions. Such as:

Finally buy that pet monkey and name him Winston/Be stuck changing Winston’s diaper for, like, 40 years or however long those wretched creatures live.

Finally tell my high school nemesis how I really feel and how stupid her face is/Spend the rest of my days avoiding her both online and in person.

Stalk, kidnap and force Ryan Reynolds to make out with me on a daily basis/Have a very awkward conversation with my neighbors about how I am now classified as a “sex offender.”

Don’t bother with voting because it won’t really matter or change anything/Don’t bother with voting because it won’t really matter or change anything.

Finally let my husband buy that 72-inch HD plasma flatscreen with pixel-something or other so we can watch the world burn on CNN in crystal clear clarity/Live inside the box the TV came in in some scary alley behind what used to be our house.

Don’t bother buying Christmas gifts for anyone/Be stuck shopping on…(shudder)…Christmas Eve where my chances of being trampled to death inside Kohl’s is fairly high.

Like I said, this year is a particularly difficult year for resolutions. Luckily, if personal history is any indication, I’ll forget and/or give up on all of them soon.

But just in case, Ryan, if you are reading this, you might want to invest in more bodyguards. Soon.

Two guys, a girl and not a DVD to be found

The life of a writer is tough. I mean, after so many months, you run out of movies and TV series on Netflix to distract you from the fact that you should actually be spending your time writing.

Which means you now actually have to write.

And no self-respecting writer actually wants to write.

Hell, most of us just do it because it’s easier than data-entry or flipping burgers.

So, we writers are endlessly looking for other ways to distract ourselves from creating the next Mediocre American Novel. And thanks to the whole 90’s nostalgia wave sweeping the country currently and my “never say die” attitude when it comes to procrastination, I have found a new way.

Why the hell can’t you find “Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place” on DVD? Or Netflix, for that matter? Or, well, pretty much anywhere?

For those of you that don’t remember the show (or are too young to remember…which, if you are, get the hell off my blog, you make me feel old), “Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place” (which was later changed to “Two Guys and a Girl”…because the TV execs apparently finally realized a TV show title should not resemble a haiku…in length or form) was a show that ran from 1998 to 2001 on ABC. From what my old ass remembers about it, it was a good show, not great, but highly entertaining.

But more IMPORTANTLY, it is the show where not one, but TWO of my imaginary husbands got their start. The sitcom featured both Ryan Reynolds and Nathan Fillion as main characters.

I mean, I looked everywhere for this show. To no avail. Even Amazon, which has a page for the “complete DVD set,” has the disclaimer, “when becomes available.” Apparently, whichever company owns the rights to it now doesn’t think it would sell well.

Even the Internet pirates let me down. The only place I could find episodes, besides a few 15 minute, low quality videos on YouTube, was some scary eastern European-ish (or possibly Martian, judging by the language) website, which had the first season, but no dice on the other three (which I’m not linking here for fear the TV gods will go on the war path and take it down).

Now, granted, a lot of my frustration stems from the fact I am of the Internet generation, where we literally can have everything at our fingertips. Any information, any image, any video. So the fact that I can’t have something makes me want to throw a Generation Y-sized tantrum.

And so, I say we Gen Yers and Xers no longer stand for this. We want the crappy, laugh-track sitcoms from our youth and we want them NOW. So let’s flood the Internet with our demand for more Berg! And Sharon! And that guy on the left that no one can ever remember the name of!

It is our instant-gratification, self-entitled RIGHT!

Plus, I think we can all agree the world needs even more scenes of a shirtless Ryan Reynolds.

P.S. Between obsessively trying to track down episodes, I did do SOME actual writing. So for you suckers hard-working people with actual jobs that want to waste even more time, you can check out my latest two posts for the Weekly Dig, where I bastardize the Bard’s work after seeing Shakespeare in the Park and get all gangster on a trolley. And, of course, my latest Advocate humor column, where I reveal my brilliant new plan to make new friends based solely on their pop culture preferences (you Next Gen Trekkers are in…Original Series? Hit the road, loser).